Safety device still a problem in Oil drilling
The key last-ditch safety device that failed to prevent the 2010 BP oil spill remains a potentially catastrophic problem today for some offshore drilling, according to a federal safety board investigation. The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board details the multiple failures and improper testing of the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations for the breakdown. They found faulty wiring, a dead battery and a bent pipe in the hulking device. The safety board recommended new safety standards and regulations in its report.
HHS secretary okayed by Senate
The Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be secretary of health and human services, which will make her responsible for delivering health insurance to more than one-third of all Americans. Burwell, 48, was confirmed by a vote of 78-17. All the no votes were cast by Republicans. But 24 Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two independents in voting for confirmation.
Israel approves new settlements
Israel gave the final go-ahead Thursday to build nearly 1,500 homes in Jewish settlements, saying the construction was a response to the formation of the Palestinian unity government backed by the Islamic militant group Hamas. The move triggered international criticism and deepened a rift between Israel and its Western allies. With Israel outraged at the world's embrace of the unity government, Israel's housing minister said the new construction was "just the beginning."
New York: Daniel St. Hubert, a recently released convict, was charged by New York City police Thursday with murder, attempted murder, assault and other crimes in the stabbing death of a 6-year-old boy and critical wounding of a 7-year-old girl in a Brooklyn elevator.
Cairo: Adly Mansour, Egypt's outgoing president, decreed sexual harassment a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, a much-anticipated move.
Delaware: Delaware's transportation secretary ordered immediate inspections of major bridges in the state on Thursday to see if they might have any problems similar to an interstate bypass that had to close in Wilmington.
Salt Lake City: An appeals court granted Utah's request to delay the implementation of a ruling that ordered state officials to start recognizing same-sex marriages next week.
Washington: Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, will become the Marine Corps' next top officer, the Pentagon announced Thursday.