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Obama accuses BP of 'recklessness'

US President Barack Obama has accused BP of "recklessness" in the first Oval Office address of his presidency and swore not to rest until the company has paid for the damage it has caused to lives, businesses and coastlines.

The president said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico region has caused a sense of sadness and anger that goes must deeper than dollars. He spoke of anxiety that people may lose their entire way of life.

"We will make BP pay," he said.

Obama was delivering his first Oval Office address to try to reassure the nation he is in command of the crisis.

Many Americans are angry by what they see as the government's slow response to their country's worst environmental disaster. Obama has been scrambling to show he is doing everything he can. But the government doesn't have the technology to stop a spill at such depth, forcing Obama to rely on the British oil giant to fix it.

The speech followed a two-day inspection tour of the stricken Gulf of Mexico region, and was lent new urgency as scientists announced the spill could be worse than previously thought.

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