In this satellite image, oil spreads northeast from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well seen from NASA's Terra satellite on June 19, 2010.
(CNN) – Downtrodden Gulf Coast residents may soon have something besides the oil spill to worry about. But it's not really a "new" threat - it's what they fret about every summer: tropical weather.
There is a 70 percent chance that a weather system in the western Caribbean will better organize and form at least a tropical depression in the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said Friday morning.
The tropical disturbance's rains have become more concentrated, surface air pressure is dropping and upper-level winds are becoming more conducive to storm development, said the hurricane center. An Air Force "hurricane hunter" plane is scheduled to head into the system Friday afternoon to determine if it has evolved into a tropical cyclone, with closed circulation around a center of low pressure.
Some forecasting models show that by early next week the system could head into the Gulf of Mexico, where it could disrupt the oil cleanup operations. Adm. Thad Allen, who's heading the federal cleanup operation, said on CNN's "American Morning" he'll have to redeploy people and equipment to safer areas 120 hours (five days) in advance of gale-force winds (at least 32 mph). Watch
By Ted Rowlands, CNN
(CNN) – Michael Jackson's last physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, wasn't the one who gave the pop star a fatal overdose of propofol, according to Murray's attorney, hinting at the defense strategy in the involuntary manslaughter case against his client.
"The fact (of the way) that he died was a mystery a year ago, and still is," Houston attorney Ed Chernoff told CNN in an exclusive interview recently.
The Los Angeles County coroner ruled that Jackson's June 25, 2009, death was from an overdose of propofol, a powerful anesthesia used to put surgical patients to sleep. Watch
(CNN) – "Stunned" and "sick" is how the top brass at the Pentagon are reacting to comments made by ousted General Stanley McChrystal and his aides. Those comments, published by Rolling Stone, brought about a change in command, but a new top U.S. commander in Afghanistan does not mean change in policy. Our Barbara Starr has the report. Watch
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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/25/pensacola.beach.cnn.art.jpg caption="Costs associated with the Gulf oil disaster have gone up more than $300 million in less than a week, BP said Friday."]
Tab for Gulf oil disaster tops $2.3 billion
(CNN) – Costs associated with the Gulf oil disaster have gone up more than $300 million in less than a week, BP said Friday.
"The cost of the response to date amounts to approximately $2.35 billion, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs," a company statement said. BP put the tab at $2 billion on Monday.
The company previously agreed to set aside $20 billion in an escrow account for spill-related costs, a sum that does not cover fees and penalties that could be imposed by the federal government.
"To date, almost 74,000 claims have been filed and more than 39,000 payments have been made, totaling almost $126 million," the company said.
According to BP, approximately 37,000 personnel, more than 4,500 vessels and some 100 aircraft are involved in the response effort. Read more
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