Security stepped up at oil executive's British home after his family receive hate mail
Spill cap collected 620,000 gallons of oil in the last 24 hours
President Obama has attacked embattled BP chief Tony Hayward for downplaying the Gulf oil spill, saying he would have sacked him if the executive was a White House employee.
Mr Obama was asked about Hayward's comments 'I want my life back,' that the Gulf was 'a big ocean' and that 'the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest'.
'He wouldn't be working for me after any of those statements,' the US president said.
The president added that he had visited the Louisiana coast 'so I know whose ass to kick'.
The interview on NBC news forms part of a stepped up White House effort to show that Mr Obama is actively engaged in dealing with the worst oil spill in American history.
Polls have shown a majority of Americans believe Obama was handling the crisis poorly.
In Britain, it has been revealed that police are protecting Mr Hayward's family at their home in Kent after they received hate mail and threatening phone calls.
His wife, Maureen Hayward, told of growing hostility towards her and their two children.
'Members of my family have had nasty phone calls and we have also had mail from groups,' she told the Daily Telegraph.
'Tony is obviously away and we are miles away from him so it's upsetting,' she said.
There is an 'ongoing police operation' involving Mr Hayward's family home, police sources said.
In America, the Obama administration isn't even using the same figures as BP any more for how much oil is flowing from the blown-out well and how much is being captured.
Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told a White House briefing on Monday that a cap on the damaged oil well is now keeping up to 462,000 gallons of oil a day from leaking into the Gulf, up sharply from amounts of the previous days.
But his figures conflicted slightly with BP's numbers.
In a statement, BP put the amount being captured at 466,200 gallons. Allen said the government was using its own flow-rate calculations and no longer wanted to rely on those from BP.
Obama yesterday met with Allen and with the president's Cabinet for a briefing on the oil spill, which began April 20 with the explosion and fire on a BP-leased rig that killed 11 workers.
In remarks after that meeting, Mr Obama sought to reassure the nation that the Gulf Coast would 'bounce back' from the spill - but not without time, effort and reimbursement from BP.
BP is the majority owner of the oil well that blew, but other energy companies are also partners and will bear proportionate financial responsibility.Obama stepped up his rhetoric with NBC's Lauer while on a trip to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to deliver a high-school commencement address.
In the interview, he strongly defended his role in dealing with the crisis, including his three visits to the region since the spill began.
'I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf,' Obama said.
Obama said he has talked to a variety of 'experts' on the oil spill in addition to the fishermen.
'I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers - so I know whose ass to kick,' the president said.
It has also been revealed that the oil spill plaguing the states along the Gulf of Mexico is not one slick; it is many.
In sensitive marshes on the Louisiana coast, oil thick as pancake batter suffocates grasses and traps pelicans.
Blobs of tar the size of coins or dinner plates dot the white sands of Alabama and northwestern Florida.
Little seems amiss in Mississippi except a shortage of tourists, but an oily sheen glides atop the sea west of Tampa, Florida.
A cap over the BP gusher at the bottom of the Gulf continues to capture more oil day by day, Admiral Allen said today.
The cap sucked up more than 620,000 gallons on Monday, even as video feeds from the sea floor continued to show black clouds bursting forth.
The cap collected around 460,000 gallons the day before, officials had said, and it's unclear how much oil is still escaping.
BP had announced plans to swap out the current cap with a bigger one next month that can capture more oil.
Officials noted that initial cleanup could take months and that the spill's effects could linger for years.
But as the oil patches dance from coastline to coastline, slathering some spots and leaving others alone, residents who depend on tourism and fishing are wondering in the here and now how to head off the damage or salvage a season that's nearing its peak.
At the Salty Dog Surf Shop in Panama City Beach, Florida, near the eastern end of the spill area, manager Glen Thaxton hawked T-shirts, flip-flops and sunglasses with usual briskness Monday, even as officials there warned oil could appear on the sand within 72 hours.
'It could come to a screeching halt real quick,' Thaxton said. 'So we've been calling vendors and telling them don't ship anything else until further notice.'
In Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour over the weekend angrily blasted news coverage that he said was scaring away tourists at the start of the busy summer season by making it seem as if 'the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle-deep in oil.'
Mississippi, he insisted on 'Fox News Sunday,' was clean.
That sounded about right to Darlene Kimball, who runs Kimball Seafood on the docks at Pass Christian.
'Mississippi waters are open, and we're catching shrimp,' Kimball said. Still, her business is hurting because of a perception that Gulf seafood isn't safe, she said, and because many shrimpers have signed up to help corral the spill elsewhere.
The random, scattered nature of the oil was evident this week near the Alabama-Florida state line. On the Alabama side on Monday, oil-laden seaweed littered beaches for miles, and huge orange globs stained the sands.
But at Perdido Key, on the Florida side, the sand was white and virtually crude-free. Members of a five-person crew had to look for small dots of oil to pick up, stooping over every few meters for another piece.
On Tuesday morning, though, the Alabama side looked markedly better, with calmer seas, signs that cleanup crews had visited and sticky clumps of oil no longer clinging to washed-up seaweed.
For some who are planning vacations in the region but live elsewhere, the spill's fickle nature is causing confusion.
Adam Warriner, a customer service agent with California-based CSA Travel protection, said the company is getting a lot of calls from vacationers worried the oil will disrupt their trips - even if they're headed to South Carolina, nowhere near the spill area.
'As of now we haven't included oil into any of our coverage language, and that's not something that I've heard is happening,' he said.
That kind of misperception worries residents and officials in areas that aren't being hit hard by the oil - and even those in some that are.
'The daily images of the oil is obviously having an impact,' said Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, the state closest to the leak and the one where the oil is having its most insidious effects on wildlife. 'It's having a heavy, real, very negative impact on our economy.'
Some of the most enduring images are of pelicans and other wildlife drenched in oil.
As the sun rose Tuesday on Barataria Bay, Louisiana, just west of the mouth of the Mississippi River, marsh islands teemed with oily brown pelicans and crude-stained white ibis.
The birds inadvertently used their oiled beaks like paint brushes, dabbing at their wings, as the brown goo bled into their feathers. Some struggled to fly, fluttered and fell, while others just sat and tried to clean themselves, squawking and flapping their wings. Dolphins bobbed up and down through the oily sheen nearby.
The Barataria estuary, one of the hardest-hit areas, has been busy with shrimp boats skimming up oil and officials in boats and helicopters patrolling the islands and bays to assess the state of wildlife and the movement of oil.
President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans by saying that 'we will get through this crisis' but that it would take dedication.
Later, he said he's been talking closely with Gulf Coast fishermen and various experts on BP's catastrophic oil spill and not for lofty academic reasons.
'I talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers - so I know whose ass to kick,' the president said.
The salty words, part of Obama's recent efforts to telegraph to Americans his engagement with the crisis, came in an interview in Michigan with NBC television.
The Coast Guard's Allen, the government's point man on the spill response, said Tuesday that will meet with BP to assess how well it is handling claims for relief from people hurt by the spill. The aim is 'to see if we need to provide any oversight,' he said, a day after noting that BP was struggling to handle claims.
Source : dailymail