Hurricane Laura heads toward the Gulf Coast of the United States. The storm is now over western Cuba after killing multiple people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The coasts of Texas and Louisiana prepare to receive Laura as a category 3 (or higher) hurricane.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declares a state of emergency as Erika is forecast to hit the Gulf Coast of Florida on Monday. The storm is over Hispaniola with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, but is expected to weaken this weekend. Of particular concern is Tampa Bay, which has had historic rainfall in late July and early August.
London-based BP agrees, pending court approval, to pay $US18.7 billion to compensate the United States government and the five Gulf Coast states--Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas--for damages stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement includes a civil penalty of $US5.5 billion under the Clean Water Act.
United States Congress begins hearings on the massive oil spill threatening sensitive marshes and marine life along the Gulf Coast as the three companies involved in the drilling activities that unleashed the environmental crisis blame each other.