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Years after the Deepwater Horizon well was capped, residents blame it for pneumonia, seizures, pounding migraines and other frightening ills

@LindaMarsa

SOLIDARITY: Riki Ott hugs Lorrie Williams as Bud Waltman (left) looks on at a meeting for Gulf Coast residents with ailments possibly related to the BP oil spill.
MARIO TAMA/GETTY

SCOTT PORTER remembers the last time he felt completely well. It was a warm, clear day with sparkling blue skies in June 2010. A deep-sea diver and marine biologist, he was taking a TV news crew out on a 30-foot catamaran to one of his favorite spots in the Gulf of Mexico, a coral reef growing on an abandoned oil platform at Main Pass 311. It lies about 40 miles north of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which had exploded six weeks earlier. The rig’s severely damaged wellhead a mile below the surface was still gushing thousands of barrels of oil a day— and ongoing coverage of the accident continued to generate headlines. Federal offi cials had assured Porter that the water around the reef was safe, but the acrid smell of crude permeated the air. The minute he plunged into the murky seas, he found himself immersed in a 40-foot-thick mucous plume of oil and chemical dispersants.

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THE NEW ISIS CRISIS The so-called Caliphate may be losing ground in Iraq and Syria, but hardcore Jihadis will keep fighting, there and in the West.
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