A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, August 4, 2010.
BP (British Petroleum) engineers began injecting drilling mud into the capped Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico as the first part of a “static kill” procedure intended to permanently stop the flow of oil into the Gulf coast. Earlier in the day, the multi-national energy company ran “injectivity tests” to find out if the well, which had been leaking for months, could withstand the pressure of the procedure, which is meant to plug up the oil that isn’t flowing because the well has been capped. The procedure, unlike the “top kill” attempted in May, is designed to proceed slowly.
After a day-long delay, BP declared that the procedure could safely begin and that company’s senior vice president, Kent Wells, said that the afternoon pressure test “went exactly as planned”.
The company also said that the “static kill” was only half the solution, with the other half being two relief wells that are planned to plug the well from the bottom.
- Lauren Frayer. “Crews in Gulf of Mexico Begin ‘Static Kill’ Procedure” — AOL News, August 3 2010
- Dan Vergano. “BP starts ‘static kill’ to snuff oil well slowly, surely” — USA Today, August 3 2010
An illegal immigrant accused of driving drunk has been charged with killing Sister Denise Mosier, a nun, and severely injuring two other nuns. Carlos Martinelly Montano, 23, has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and involuntary manslaughter, following a car crash which occurred at 8:30 AM EDT on Sunday (0030 Monday, UTC). The man has also been charged with felony driving under a revoked drivers license. The car accident occurred in Virginia, USA’s Prince William County. Police also said that Montano is an illegal immigrant awaiting deportation and has also repeatedly been charged with drunk driving.
The US Department of Homeland Security stated that Montano had been released in 2008, with immigration judge’s review of his case pending. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called the accident “a horrible thing” and saying, “this is a horrible case. Why is it that this individual was still out driving? He was in removal proceedings. Why were the removal proceedings taking so long?”
All three nuns were driving to a retreat at the Benedictine Monastery in Bristow, Va when Montano crashed into their car. Montano has been treated for injuries.
- Kathleen Miller, Associated Press. “Police: Illegal Immigrant Driving Drunk Kills Nun” — AOL News, August 3 2010
- Stephen Dinan. “Illegal immigrant who killed nun in accident was released by feds” — The Washington Times, August 2 2010
On Wednesday, Kenyans will vote on a new constitution that intends to fix many of the country’s political problems like widespread corruption and heightened ethnic divisions. Wednesday has been declared a public holiday so more people can vote.
Billie O’Kadameri of Radio France International described opposition that arose from an alliance of churches and political leaders. Warnings of disruption in opposition areas have marred what the government initially hoped would be a united vote in support of the proposal.
However, Salim Lone, senior adviser to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said that “[Kenyans] are united as we have never been since independence more than 45 years ago,” and, “Virtually all Kenyans, from across the political and ethnic divides, want this constitution”.
The new constitution would restrict the president’s power, gives the people a bill of rights, gives more power to local governments and encourages land reform. However, the Kalenjin tribe claims that the new land reform would lead to the taxation and even seizure of their lands.
The last time a major vote was held (the Kenyan presidential election in 2007), violence left almost 1,500 people dead and over half a million displaced.
- Jeffrey Gettleman. “Kenya Stakes Reinvention on Constitution Vote” — The New York Times, August 3 2010
- “Calls for calm ahead of Kenya constitution vote” — Radio France Internationale, August 3 2010