News in Brief: Test of Containment Cap of BP Well Delayed, and More

The test of a containment cap on the oil well that has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly 80 days is being postponed, The New York Times reports. A BP spokesperson said the 24-hour delay is supposed to allow time for further tests on the containment cap. The drilling of the relief wells has also been halted “as a precaution,” according to a BP spokesperson.

Thad Allen, the Obama administration’s point person on the BP disaster, made the decision to delay tests Tuesday after consultation with BP and Obama administration officials.

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The Associate Press reports that a new document reveals that the Obama administration intends to reduce the US nuclear arms cache by 40 percent by 2021. While the US presently has about 5,113 nuclear warhead, a 40 percent reduction would “reduce that number to a range of 3,000 to 3,500.”

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In a victory for both free-speech advocates and broadcasters seeking to avoid hefty fines, a New York federal appeals court struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rules on indecent speech Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The court found issue with FCC rules fining broadcasters “for one-time or ‘fleeting’ expletives,” the Journal explains, calling the measures “unconstitutionally vague.” The court also suggested a review of the FCC’s media indecency rules may be long overdue because of ongoing changes in the media landscape.

While slamming the FCC rules as a violation of the First Amendment, the court left the option open for the rules to be rewritten. If rewritten, they must be very specific, leaving little room for regulator’s judgments.

The FCC released a statement saying it was looking over the rules and has not reached a decision on how to proceed.

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According to The Guardian UK, the UN plans to underwrite 20 new coal-fired plants to replace older ones in India and China. The UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) subsidies, if approved, would make the UN “one of the world’s largest provider of funds for new coal burning.” This comes not long after a South African coal company, Eskom, was loaned nearly $4 billion by the World Bank, to build one of the largest coal-fired plants in the world.