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News Update: Oil Spill, Gold Prices and Yuan

In today’s news updates we offer links to keep up to date on the BP Oil Spill crisis and the news, economics and politics surrounding it.

BP Reports Highest Oil-Capture Rate Since Spill Began

June 17 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc captured 18,600 barrels of oil from its leaking Gulf of Mexico well yesterday, a 78 percent increase from the previous day and the most since the spill began in April.

About 21 percent of the oil was burned aboard the Q4000, a floating rig connected to the wellhead that began operations early yesterday, BP said in a statement posted today on its website. The rest was stored aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, a drillship that’s been collecting oil since June 4, BP said.

Is BP a Buy? Wall Street isn’t sure.

FORTUNE — Simply put, the crisis in the Gulf is an environmental, political, and financial disaster. You will hear no argument on any of those counts here.

What you will get are short answers to two pressing questions about BP and a longer one to a third. Now that BP (BP) has suspended its dividend and agreed to set aside $20 billion for costs relating to the spill, it’s time to determine what the future might look like for the embattled oil giant. And who else to ask but Wall Street?

BP’s Shareholders Take It on the Chin

Just how big is this oil spill, really? For BP shareholders, about $88 billion big — and growing, Christine Hauser reports in The New York Times.

That is roughly how much money investors have lost on paper as the oil giant’s share price has plunged. And, in the grim calculus of the spill — the lives and livelihoods lost, the barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico — the financial toll keeps mounting, too.

BP is so big, and its stock is so widely held, that its troubles are being felt throughout the investment world. Large insurance companies in Britain, big money management companies in the United States and government-controlled investment funds in Norway, Kuwait, China and Singapore rank among the company’s largest stockholders. BP may be British, but Americans own half its stock.

Rudy Giuliani Bashes President Obama As Political Opportunist On BP Oil Spill

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani went after President Obama on FOX News Channel’s FOX & Friends over the catastrophic Gulf Coast oil spill this morning, saying while BP Executive Tony Hayward “deserves all the criticism he gets…the government has played a big role in this down here as well.”

Giuliani, who as we all know ran for president in 2008, said Hayward would get treated “like a punching bag… There is something very unseemly about it.”

BP chairman apologises for ‘small people’ gaffe

BP has tried to set right another blooper after the company’s chairman referred to victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as the ”small people”, a reference that prompted an immediate outcry.

Carl-Henric Svanberg apologised for having spoken ”clumsily” to reporters after his White House meeting with President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

”What I was trying to say – that BP understands how deeply this affects the lives of people who live along the Gulf and depend on it for their livelihood – will best be conveyed not by any words but by the work we do to put things right for the families and businesses who’ve been hurt.”

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"Constitution Free Zone" Questions Border Patrol Security & Search and Seizure Laws
News Update: Oil Spill, Gold Prices and Yuan