BP's outgoing CEO says the company's been a 'model of social responsibility' in the Gulf. We're Keeping Him Honest. Plus, Warren Jeffs' two convictions on charges of rape as an accomplice are overturned in Utah. The polygamist "prophet" of the FLDS will face a new trial. We'll talk it over in tonight's 'crime and punishment' segment.
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CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/27/louisiana.barataria.bay.well.leak/story.barataria.wellhead.uscg.jpg caption="Spokesman for Louisiana governor says the well was abandoned, declared “orphaned”" width=300 height=169]
A towing vessel struck an oil well in the Barataria Waterway off the southeastern Louisiana coast on Tuesday, causing the well to emit oil and natural gas into Barataria Bay, the Coast Guard said in a news release.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's point man for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, said there was a sheen around the platform, and vapor that's probably a combination of gas and water was emanating from the well, called C-117.
Kyle Plotkin, a spokesman for Gov. Bobby Jindal, described the well as "orphaned." He said it had been owned by Cedyco Corp. of Houston but was declared abandoned by the state in November 2008.
CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/27/gulf.oil.disaster/story.dudley.cnn.jpg caption="Adm. Thad Allen reiterates timeline and priorities in oil spill crisis" width=300 height=169]
"The task that's laid out before us is very clear right now," the man in charge of the federal Gulf of Mexico oil crisis response said Tuesday.
"We have absolute priorities," retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said, "on killing the well, maintaining the recovery, making sure the oil is all removed and making sure the beaches are cleaned up and that the commitment by BP to the people is met."
Crews are back on track to permanently shut down BP's once-gushing wellhead in the next few weeks, if setbacks are avoided and weather permits.
Police investigating the disappearance of a former professional basketball player said “there is a high level of concern” in the search to find him.
Lorenzen Wright, 34, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, has not been seen or heard from since last week when he visited his ex-wife and their children in Collierville, Tennessee, investigators said.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/27/wright_web.jpg caption="Lorenzen Wright, 34, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, has not been seen or heard from since last week" width=292 height=320]
Collierville Police spokesman Mark Heuberger told CNN Wright’s mother reported him missing on July 22. “We’re taking it very, very seriously,” Heuberger said, “and there is a high level of concern.”
“His mom made the report because she felt it was unusual that he did not contact his children for an extended period of time, that’s what made her prompt to contact the police,” he added.
Heuberger cautioned that there is no indication he was the victim of a crime. “A red flag has not come up yet,” he said, “at least of today that suggests any harm has come to him.”
“Our detectives have talked to a lot of people, former coaches, players, sports agents, and continue to follow leads given by the public,” Heuberger said, “and we’re working very close to the family and you know at this time, there has not been any information or evidence that would suggest any harm.”
The 6’11” Wright was a forward/center for several teams during his professional basketball career. He played with the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings. He was with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008-2009, his last year in the NBA.
Wright, who has six children, completed his degree at the University of Memphis in 2003, according to the official NBA web site.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police at 901-853-3207.
Follow the Falcon File on Twitter @FalconCNN
CNN Congressional Producer
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that it is up to Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York to decide whether to resign over pending ethics allegations.
"Mr. Rangel has to do what Mr. Rangel believes is appropriate and proper," Hoyer said, taking a neutral stance instead of offering support for the 20-term veteran of the House Democratic caucus that Hoyer leads.
Rangel said Tuesday that he wouldn't talk about whether there is a settlement in the works to head off Thursday's hearing by the House ethics committee, which will make public a report of Rangel's alleged violations of House rules. In brief comments to reporters, Rangel confirmed that his lawyers were talking with lawyers for the ethics committee.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/26/immigration.opinion.archive/story.border.fence.gi.jpg caption="A U.S. Border Patrol officer monitors the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Nogales, Arizona." width=300 height=169]
Since Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law in late April, there has been a wide array of opinions about the controversial immigration law, which takes effect Thursday. Here's a look at some of those viewpoints:
Immigration reform: Start with small steps: John D. Skrentny, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at U.C. San Diego, says: "Like the characters in 'Hot Tub Time Machine,' reformers are stuck in 1986."