One year ago today, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers were killed and the worst oil spill in U.S. history took months to contain.
On Morning Edition, NPR's Debbie Elliott revisited the Chauvins, "a Cajun family living on the fragile edge of Louisiana." Their shrimping business was hit hard last year. Now, they're getting ready for a new shrimp season. And, Debbie reports, "the Chauvins have a lot riding on this new season. BP has not paid them for last year's losses or for the damage to their fleet from working the spill."
For an interesting look back at the disaster, New Orleans' Times-Picayune has an interactive graphic on the "first 100 days." Other spill-related stories today include the Biloxi Sun Herald's report that "local government leaders are defending what has been called a shopping spree with millions of dollars of emergency grants from BP, saying they were uncertain what they needed for the unprecedented disaster and didn't want to be caught ill-equipped."
Other stories making headlines today include:
— Texas Wildfires: "Texas firefighters on Wednesday continued to battle blazes that have scorched a million acres and have been burning for more than a week, according to the Texas Fire Service." (CNN)
— More Storms In The South: "Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes could hit much of the South Wednesday, a forecaster warned, a day after President Barack Obama declared a major disaster for 18 counties in storm-ravaged North Carolina." (MSNBC)
— Sarkozy Meets With Libyan Rebel Leader; Promises More Strikes On Gadhafi: "French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday that France would intensify air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi's army, the president's office said in a statement." (Reuters)
— French Advisers To Join British In Aiding Libyan Rebels: "The French government said Wednesday it would join Britain in sending a small number of military liaison officers to support the ragtag rebel army in Libya, offering a diplomatic boost for the insurgent leader, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, as he met with President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris." (The New York Times)
— Syrian Opposition Leader Arrested: "Syrian authorities have arrested opposition figure Mahmuod Issa in city of Homs, activists say, while reports of more detentions are coming out of a protest at the university in Aleppo. ... On Tuesday, cabinet approved a bill to abolish emergency laws, which gave the government a free hand to arrest people without any charges. The bill will need to be approved by parliament, which is not expected to meet until May 2, and signed by the president. The emergency laws will be replaced with new legislation which critics fear will be equally repressive, and the interior ministry has passed a law stating that citizens must obtain permission to demonstrate." (Al-Jazeera)
— As Retrial Gets Started, Blagojevich Admits To "Moments Of Fear": Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) faces a retrial, starting today, on charges of corruption. "The former governor admits that sometimes at night, his mind is under attack. 'I'll confess to this, I have my moments of fear,' " he said Tuesday. (Chicago Sun-Times)