Tornadoes Across Midwest and South Kill Over 30; BP And Plaintiffs Reach Agreement; Man Gets 27 Years in Homegrown Terrorism Case

At least 31 are dead across Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Alabama after tornado storms ravaged the Midwest and South, essentially destroying towns. Today, the rescue effort continued, as parts of the South remained on tornado watch. "It's just nuts right here," National Weather Service meteorologist John Gordon told CNN during the storms. Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodwin told a CNN affiliate that they have "complete destruction." [CNN]

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Manhattan Gas Stations Are an Endangered Species

The former Lukoil on Eighth Avenue between Horatio and West 13th.
New York City gas stations are fewer and farther between than ever, according to a Crain's article that reports there are just 41 remaining in Manhattan (there were 58 two years ago). There are 835 gas stations distributed throughout the five boroughs, with Manhattan's share counting for less than 5%. What do we blame for the disappearing gas station? The recession, plus ever-increasing costs of real estate and of delivering gasoline (meaning the stations that survive are at peripheral locations, on the edges of the city as opposed to the center, in Midtown).

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BP Rolls Out the Lawsuits; Webcam Murder Suspect Arrested; MTA Wants to Sell Midtown Headquarters

U.S. Coast Guard
• On the anniversary of the spill in the Gulf, BP is suing everybody they can think of, including Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, for at least $40 billion; and Halliburton and Cameron International, the manufacturers of the device that failed to stop the leak, for $20 million and $12.9 million. They've also spent $2 million on lobbying. [Atlantic Wire]

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Happy 4/20; Michelle Obama in Dramatic Not-Real Danger; NBC Exec Calls Donald Trump's 2012 Run a Stunt

• It's 4/20. You know what that means. Or maybe you don't. [Huffington Post]

• A plane carrying Michelle Obama was forced to abort landing on Monday after it got too close -- within 3 miles instead of 5 -- to a military C-17 cargo plane. This is believed to be the fault of an air traffic controller. Whoops. The White House doesn't think the FLOTUS was ever in danger, though she did have to circle before actually landing, which is always annoying. [CNN]

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Transocean Execs to Donate Their Bonuses, Sort of

Earlier this week we mentioned the publicity trouble that Transocean, the company behind the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last April, killing 11 and spilling millions of gallons of oil into the ocean, had gotten into by declaring 2010 the "best safety year ever!" and awarding bonuses to an array of top executives. The company since apologized for their insensitivity...and now five executives will be donating portions of their bonuses, for a total of $250,000, to funds for the families of the workers killed in the disaster.

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Transocean, Firm Behind Exploding Gulf Rig, Gives Execs Bonuses for 'Best Safety Year'

The explosion of Deepwater Horizon
As we head toward the one-year anniversary of the start of the BP spill in the Gulf (that was April 20, 2010, in case you've forgotten), it's almost as though we've completely forgotten about that old oil spill in the Gulf. Out of sight, out of mind! BP is petitioning U.S. regulators to drill again in the Gulf. Possibly more upsetting is the fact that Transocean, the offshore drilling firm responsible for running Deepwater Horizon, the rig that exploded, has given bonuses to its top executives for its "best year" for safety.

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BP Wants to Get Back to Drilling in Gulf Of Mexico

BP is petitioning U.S. regulators to continue drilling in the Gulf of Mexico less than a year after the massive oil spill that killed 11 workers and caused massive environmental damage. The deal would be that BP would be able to resume pre-existing drilling operations in the Gulf in exchange for following stricter safety regulations. There would be no new drilling. An agreement could be coming in the next month, although there's been no confirmation yet. More »

Snow, Snow, Snow, Etc.; Beloved Twitter Apps Return; Man Finds Wallet After 40 Years

Happy Presidents Day! In case you haven't noticed yet, it snowed. Central Park was reporting 2.5 inches as of this morning. There's a chance of more snow over the afternoon, and again tonight. [Weather, NY1]

Protests in Libya against Muammar Qaddafi's totalitarian rule are spreading, even as violence has lead to the deaths of some 200. Police stations have been reported burned, and state TV headquarters ransacked. [CSM]

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Tony Hayward Should Really Just Stop Talking

Tony Hayward, the English bloke and former oil company CEO with the name that became infamous, and synonymous, with BP's 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled in the Gulf, and a sense of overwhelming incompetence in BP's attitude toward said spill (what with his taking time to go yachting, and complaining he wanted his life back, and the leak not being fixed for months), is coming forward once again, for some reason, to emphasize his "no regrets" philosophy.

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BP Rejoices, Can Blame Halliburton for Gulf Oil Spill

oil spill bp2.jpg
Perpetually shady company Halliburton has come to BP's aid, sort of, by saying that they failed to do a critical test on the cement used to seal the well in the Gulf. Which then, of course, blew. In fact, tests done by the company showed the cement to be "unstable." It all sounds like a shitshow version of the blame game:

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