NPR News 2010-05-25 加文本 简介：Download AudioNPR News 2010-05-25The Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, says the idea having BP step aside in handling the oil spill i…
NPR News 2010-05-25
The Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, says the idea having BP step aside in handling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not going to happen.
"To push BP out of the way would raise a question: replace them with what?"
Allen says BP has to deal with the spill and pay for the impact.
"They're responsible for the cleanup, how that's affected. Ultimately, we are accountable, from the federal government side, to make sure they do it."
But other officials and lawmakers are increasingly critical of BP's response. The Senate's No.2 Democrat, Dick Durbin, visited with fishermen along the Gulf Coast today.
"While I listened in there to the oystermen, the fishermen, the charter boat operators, some of them were emotional. They're talking about their ways of life. They're talking about their families. They're talking about businesses they've had for generations that are at stake right here now."
BP is pushing back its next attempt to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf, an effort the company says has at best a 70% chance of success.
Relatives of the 29 men who were killed in a coal mine explosion in West Virginia last month are telling a congressional panel there was an atmosphere of intimidation and fear at the mine. NPR's Howard Berkes reports they were testifying at a hearing in West Virginia before the House Labor Committee.
Alice Peters lost her son-in-law, Dean Jones, a mine foreman who told his family he was threatened when he complained about danger.
"They told him if he shut down the productions because of ventilation problems, he would lose his job."
Witnesses said adequate ventilation which disperses volatile methane gas and coal dust was a persistent problem at the mine. They also said company officials warned mine bosses underground when federal inspectors were on the way. Upper Big Branch miner Stanley Stewart said the intimidating atmosphere was like working for the Gestapo at times. In a brief response, Massey Energy said it does not place profits over safety. Howard Berkes, NPR News.
President Obama is sending Congress a proposal that makes it easier to cut wasteful costs from spending bills. But NPR's Scott Horsley reports one of the president's top economic advisers is defending deficit spending at least in the short term.
White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers says overtime bringing down the federal deficit will pay dividends by boosting confidence, lowering borrowing costs and encouraging private investment. But Summers told the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington it would be short-sighted to put the brakes on deficit spending too quickly. Like spending borrowed money now, he says, the government is encouraging jobs and economic growth.
"Spurring growth, if we can achieve it, is by far the best way to improve our fiscal position."
Summers predicted that a growing economy coupled with modest spending cuts would shrink the deficit by half as a share of the overall economy within the next few years. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Washington.
Stock prices are sagging just before the closing bell. The Dow industrials down 107 points; the NASDAQ Composite Index is off 12.
This is NPR News from Washington.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the US fully supports South Korea's decision to cut nearly all trade with North Korea and to ask the UN Security Council to punish the communist regime for the sinking of a South Korean warship. She's urging China to join in a coordinated response to North Korea, one of China's allies.
"Today, we face another serious challenge provoked by the sinking of the South Korean ship, so we must work together again to address this challenge and advance our shared objectives for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."
Clinton speaking in Beijing today.
The space shuttle Atlantis is nearing the end of what's expected to be its last flight. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports the shuttle was racking up miles as it completes a mission to the International Space Station.
Flight director Mike Sarafin says landing is set for Wednesday morning if weather cooperates at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
"Surely before landing, we will achieve a milestone with Atlantis, and she will cross through her 120 million-mile mark on the odometer of the ship."
Atlantis has been flying since 1985. This mission is supposed to be its last. NASA wants to retire its three space shuttles, so it can develop brand new vehicles. The agency currently has no more shuttle flights scheduled after the end of the year. Nell Greenfieldboyce, NPR News.
Sales of previously owned homes surged more than expected in April - up 7.6%, despite the expiration of tax credits for buyers. Walter Molony with the National Association of Realtors says he expects the housing market to begin standing on its own soon.
"With job creation, we can maintain the pace we've been seeing. We're looking forth the sales market to rebound in the second half of the year."