Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration will no longer do joint briefings with BP on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and instead will have former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen handle the daily briefings on his own, senior administration officials told CNN on Tuesday.
According to the senior administration officials, the change is an effort to control the message, release accurate information about the oil spill and speak in one voice to deliver the daily message on latest developments.
Allen, the administration's point man on the oil spill, later told reporters in New Orleans that his job is to speak "very frankly with the American public."
"I think we need to be communicating with the American people through my voice as the national incident commander," he said.
The move comes amid growing frustration from the White House that BP is delivering inaccurate information and not being transparent, said the senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of not being identified by name.
(CNN) - Three primaries, a re-election campaign in Delaware and Al and Tipper going their separate ways. A lot for one podcast with CNN's John Lisk and CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser.
Washington (CNN) - If criminal suspects fail to invoke their right to remain silent, they have waived that right, a divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
The high court upheld the murder conviction of a man who did not verbally assert his right to remain silent during his police interrogation. In a 5-4 ruling, the court said a suspect must explicitly tell officers he or she is asserting that right, known as Miranda rights.
The famous constitutional "right to remain silent" and the "right to talk to a lawyer before answering any questions" are among the well-known warnings all criminal suspects must be given upon arrest. The conservative court has generally been supportive in recent years, when police challenges to Miranda rights have been raised.
"A suspect who has received and understood the Miranda warnings, and has not invoked his Miranda rights, waives the right to remain silent by making an uncoerced statement to police," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court.
The Gores, shown here at President Obama's inauguration, have decided to separate after 40 years of marriage. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
(CNN) - Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have sent an e-mail to family friends announcing a mutual decision to separate, a longtime family friend told CNN.
"We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate," the message said. "This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further."
Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail but declined to comment further.
The couple, married for 40 years, has four grown children and three grandchildren.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday he expects a new presidential commission tasked with investigating how to prevent future oil spills to "follow the facts wherever they may lead" and report back to him in six months.
The seven-member panel, headed by former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, and former EPA Administrator William Reilly, will "thoroughly examine the (BP oil) spill and its causes so we never face such a catastrophe again," Obama said at the White House. Graham and Reilly joined the president for the announcement.
"We owe all those who've been harmed, as well as future generations, a full and vigorous accounting of the events that led to what has now become the worst oil spill in U.S. history," Obama said. "Only then can we be assured that deep-water drilling can take place safely. ... Only then can we be confident that we've done what's necessary to prevent history from repeating itself."
Obama, who recently created the commission through an executive order, noted that the panel is authorized to hold public hearings and "request information from government, from not-for-profit organizations, and from experts in the oil and gas industry ... as well as from relevant companies, including BP, Transocean, Halliburton and others."
(CNN) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will head to the Gulf Coast Tuesday to survey the BP oil spill and meet with state attorneys general and federal prosecutors from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, according to the Justice Department.
Last month a group of senators - including Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California - sent Holder a letter expressing concerns "about the truthfulness and accuracy of statements submitted by BP to the government in its initial exploration plan for the site," and asking Holder to investigate possible criminal and civil wrongdoing.
But in a reply to that letter last week, a Justice Department official did not say whether a criminal investigation had begun.
"The Department of Justice will take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure that those responsible for this tragic series of events are held fully accountable," Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch wrote.
Holder said last month that the Justice Department would "ensure that BP is held liable."
Former first daughter Barbara Bush's new non-profit, Global Health Corps, was inspired by a 2003 trip that she took with her parents to five African countries. The Bush family was in Africa at the time promoting the Bush administration's anti-AIDS initiative.
A visit to a health clinic for people battling HIV opened Barbara Bush's eyes to how she might make a difference in the health field.
"I think that was the first time that – I was not pre-med; I hadn't studied health – that was the first time that I thought well maybe, what am I doing? Maybe I should focus on this," the Bush daughter said in an interview Tuesday on CNN's American Morning. "And I can. You really can work in the health field even if you're not a doctor or a nurse."
Bush decided to take that premise and use it as the foundation of Global Health Corps, a non-profit that recruits young professionals who are age 30 or younger to work for a year in health organizations.
"They're not doctors or nurses. They're filling any needs that the organizations have. And what we've found is all of our partners want people with technology skills. They want program management skills. They want monitoring and evaluation support. They just want general program support – which are skills that tons of people have. They just don't know they can use them in the health field."
For example, Bush said one participant in the non-profit's first crop of fellows is a former Google employee with a background in product management who is now working on health management information systems in Tanzania.
(CNN) – The conservative videographer who plead guilty to entering federal property under false pretenses following an attempt to access Sen. Mary Landrieu's office phone system says that if given the chance, he'd do it again.
"I'd do it again, I might do it differently," James O'Keefe told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday.
"I don't regret what I did," O'Keefe said before adding, "Senators are corrupt, politicians are corrupt. These people have to be investigated."
When asked by Stephanopoulos if he would intentionally break the law again, O'Keefe indicated he would alter his methods.
"I might do it a little differently," O'Keefe said.
O'Keefe is one of four men arrested in January. Two of the group posed as telephone repair workers to get into Landrieu's office while O'Keefe secretly videotaped the incident.
Throughout the interview, O'Keefe defends his methods, saying, "This is not a left or right thing. This is about exposing corruption."
(CNN) - The polls are now open in three states - Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico - holding primaries Tuesday, and in one of those states voters could make history.
Rep. Artur Davis faces off against Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks in Alabama's Democratic gubernatorial contest. If the four-term congressman wins Tuesday's primary, he would become the state's first African-American Democratic nominee for governor. If Davis is elected in November, he would make history again, becoming Alabama's first black governor.
Seven candidates are vying to be the GOP gubernatorial nominee. Among the leading contenders are former state community college system chancellor Bradley Byrne, former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, and real estate developer Tim James. The son of two-term Gov. Fob James has created a buzz with his tough ads and speeches against illegal immigrants.
Two-term Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, is prevented from running for re-election.
New Mexico also holds gubernatorial primaries Tuesday. Five candidates are battling for the GOP nomination. The winner will face off in November against Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Two-term Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, is prevented from running for another term in office.