NEW ORLEANS — BP’s broken oil well is not dead yet.
The government’s point man on the crisis said Friday that the blown-out well is not securely plugged to his satisfaction and that the drilling of the relief well — long regarded as the only way to ensure that the hole at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico never leaks oil again — must go forward.
“The relief well will be finished,” said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen. “We will kill the well.”
Work on the relief well was suspended earlier this week because of bad weather. Allen did not say when it would resume, but when the order comes, it could take four days to get the operation up and running again. From there, it could be only a matter of days before the “bottom kill” is done and the blown-out well that wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast economy and environment is no longer a threat.
2010 hottest on record,
thanks to climate change
So far, this has been the hottest year in recorded history.
On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released data showing that, from January to July, the average global temperature was 58.1 degrees. That was 1.22 degrees over the average from the 20th century, and the hottest since 1880, when reliable records begin.
And, while NOAA experts say global climate change isn’t the only reason that 2010 has been so hot — an El Nino event earlier in the year pushed temperatures up — it’s still the most important reason.
“We would not be where we are without” the influence of climate change, said Deke Arndt of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
Death prompts hospital
to halt liver transplants
DENVER — A Colorado hospital said Friday it has temporarily suspended live-donor liver transplants while it investigates the death of a South Dakota man who donated part of his liver to his brother.
The death would be Colorado’s first of a live liver donor and the fourth in the country if it’s ruled the death was a result of the procedure, according to the United Network of Organ Sharing.
The University of Colorado Hospital, which performed its first successful live-donor liver transplant in 1997, is continuing other transplants but is “taking a step back” from live-donor liver transplants following the death of 34-year-old Ryan Arnold of Watertown, S.D., a hospital spokeswoman said Friday.
Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor back in hospital after surgery
LOS ANGELES — Zsa Zsa Gabor’s publicist said the actress has returned to a hospital because of complications in her recuperation from hip-replacement surgery.
Publicist John Blanchette said an ambulance was summoned to Gabor’s home to take her to an emergency room Friday. Blanchette, who was in touch by telephone with Gabor’s husband, Frederic von Anhalt, said Gabor was in great pain and was bleeding from the hip.
The 93-year-old Gabor broke her hip in a fall at her home on July 17.
Bergdorf Goodman hires
dog to sniff out bedbugs
NEW YORK — High-end New York City retailer Bergdorf Goodman has hired a beagle to hunt for bedbugs — just in case.
Store spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said there have been no reported cases of the pesky bugs at the Fifth Avenue department store.
The beagle has been on the prowl for several weeks, working at night after the store closes. The bloodsucking pests have multiplied rapidly in recent years. They can slip into any tiny space, including floor cracks and wall outlets.
Retailers that have reported cases include Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister.
— Wire Reports