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No oil leaking as BP conducts critical pressure tests in Gulf oil well
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - A highly anticipated test designed to measure pressure within BP's ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well finally began Thursday, and for the first time in nearly three months, oil stopped flowing into the Gulf.
The move was lauded by a variety of officials as a positive step, accompanied by a strong note of caution that the cutoff was simply part of the test, as BP and government experts try to assess how the well is holding up.
The test got under way after two days of delays, first as government scientists scrutinized testing procedures and then as BP replaced a leaking piece of equipment known as a choke line.
The data are being particularly closely scrutinized at six-hour intervals. Higher pressure readings mean the well is containing the oil, while lower pressure means some is leaking out.
The "well integrity" test could end after one of the six-hour periods, if the results are disappointing. But it could go on for 48 hours. The longer it goes, the better indications are that the well is holding with a custom-made sealing cap. Read More
Wall Street reform: On to Obama
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) - The Senate on Thursday afternoon passed the most sweeping set of changes to the financial regulatory system since the 1930s, sending the Wall Street reform bill to President Obama.
The Senate voted 60 to 39 to pass the reforms, ending more than a year-long effort to pass legislation in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Obama is expected to sign the bill into law next week.
The bill aims to strengthen consumer protection, rein in complex financial products and head off more bank bailouts.
To secure enough votes, Senate Democrats made lots of deals, which watered down the bill. For example, Wall Street banks will get wiggle room to make limited risky bets, which is tougher than the current law, but weaker than earlier drafts. Read More
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