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Four years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over. Jules Melancon, the last remaining oyster fisherman on an island dotted with colorful houses on stilts, says he has not found a single oyster alive in his leases in the area since the leak and relies on an onshore oyster nursery to make a living. The British oil major has paid out billions of dollars in compensation under a settlement experts say is unprecedented in its breadth. Some claimants are satisfied, but others are irate that BP is now challenging aspects of the settlement.
By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Cellphones smuggled into prisons by corrupt guards, concealed in food containers or hurled over security fences are an increasing worry for law enforcement as prisoners use them to intimidate witnesses, direct drug deals and plan escapes. The concerns about these contraband devices came into the national spotlight this month when U.S. officials accused a member of the notorious Bloods gang serving a life sentence in North Carolina of using a mobile phone hidden in his prison cell to arrange the kidnapping of the father of a woman who prosecuted him. There are no widely available reliable figures on how many cellphones are in the hands of the 2.3 million inmates in local, state and federal prisons in the United States, but statistics point to a swift rise of the problem. In California, for instance, the number of contraband cellphones discovered by corrections staff jumped to more than 15,000 in 2011, more than 10 times the 1,400 seized in 2007.
If General Motors Co creates a fund to compensate victims of its faulty ignition switches, an option that a top legal adviser suggested it is exploring, the company could give up strong defenses to a wave of lawsuits. By setting up a fund, GM could avert years of civil litigation and limit its financial and reputational harm. GM has retained Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington lawyer who has overseen compensation funds for victims of high-profile catastrophes like the BP Plc oil spill and the September 11, 2001, attacks. Feinberg told CNBC on Wednesday that GM is "asking me to help develop some sort of program that might be used to compensate eligible claimants." Feinberg did not return a request for comment.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) ? Wisconsin Democrats and their allies who are trying to take out Republican Gov. Scott Walker have invested all their hopes in Mary Burke, a Harvard-educated political newcomer whose father started Trek Bicycle when she was a teenager.
BOSTON (AP) ? Like many other youngsters, Sean Collier wanted to be a police officer. Unlike most, he brought that dream to life ? and then died doing it, becoming a central character in one of the most gripping manhunts the nation has ever seen.
COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) ? A bunch of kids in a minivan are solving twin challenges in northern Vermont: refugees struggling to find the food of their homelands and farmers looking to offload unwanted livestock.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) ? A Southern California exotic pet breeder who had 20,000 dead and dying rats and reptiles at his business has avoided jail time but was ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution.
(This story from April 15 corrects name of researcher to Breiter, instead of Beiter, throughout story) By Alex Dobuzinskis (Reuters) - Young, casual marijuana smokers experience potentially harmful changes to their brains, with the drug altering regions of the mind related to motivation and emotion, researchers found. The study to be published on Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience differs from many other pot-related research projects that are focused on chronic, heavy users of cannabis. The collaborative effort between Northwestern University's medical school, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed a direct correlation between the number of times users smoked and abnormalities in the brain. "What we're seeing is changes in people who are 18 to 25 in core brain regions that you never, ever want to fool around with," said co-senior study author Dr. Hans Breiter, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University.