Morning Links: Watching the Gulf and Waiting; 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Is Done; Beach Season Begins
• The "top kill" has worked -- for now. U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen has said the next 12 to 18 hours will be "very critical" in efforts to permanently stop the spill, which is now believed the largest in U.S. history.
• BP CEO Tony Hayward has had a change of heart and is now calling the spill "an environmental catastrophe."
• A new New York City air quality report shows that Manhattan and the Bronx have the highest average levels of airborne nickel particles during winter months due to boilers burning dirty fuel.
• The House has voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
• Yesterday, New York City officials and the state assembly agreed tentatively to more than double the number of charter schools, which they hope will give the state a better shot at $700 million in federal grant money.
• Grossest story of the day: Kid admits to pooping in his classmate's soda. He's been ordered to serve probation and community service, write an apology, and write a report on why you shouldn't eat or drink poop.
• Cooper's Beach in Southampton has been selected "America's No. 1 beach" in an annual survey released today. Congrats!
• By the way, all of the city's 21 public and permitted private beaches will be open for the season beginning this Saturday. Remember your rules of summer, and be careful out there.
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