Nation: Pancakes and Mousse off Texas

A giant oil spill menaces the beaches

On the white, powdery beach of Texas' South Padre Island, hundreds of vacationers last week swam and basked in the sun. They seemed oblivious to Coast Guardsmen who were positioning floating barriers in the water. But even as the sunbathers relaxed at the expensive resort, which grosses $40 million annually in tourist dollars, peanut-size globs of oil began to wash up on the beach. Others, as big as basketballs, floated just offshore.

The tar balls were the first debris to hit U.S. waters from the runaway Mexican...

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