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Compensation battle rages four years after BP's U.S. oil spill

File photo of fire boat response crews battling the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon off LouisianaFour 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.



Smuggled cellphone use a growing concern for U.S. prisons

Handout photo shows mobile phones seized by Mississippi authorities at prisons across the stateBy 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.



GM could benefit, too, from an ignition-switch victims fund

A man walks past a row of General Motors vehicles at a Chevrolet dealership on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MichiganIf 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.



This Week in the Civil War

This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, April 20: Confederate ram at battle of Plymouth, N.C.


Atlanta residents object to planned priests' home

FILE - In this March 31, 2014 file photo, the former residence of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory sits under construction to be used as a rectory for six priests after Gregory moved to a nearby $2.2 million mansion for his own use in Atlanta. Residents in the neighborhood are objecting to the Archdiocese of Atlanta's plans to renovate the house in the city's upscale Buckhead neighborhood so it can be a home for a group of priests The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Friday April 18, 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)ATLANTA (AP) ? Residents are objecting to the Archdiocese of Atlanta's plans to renovate a house in the city's upscale Buckhead neighborhood so it can be a home for a group of priests.



Deputies: Man smothered crying son over video game

HOMOSASSA, Fla. (AP) ? A Florida man suffocated his young, crying son so he could play video games on his Xbox and watch TV, sheriff's deputies said Friday.


US senator: Metro-North fined $552,000 past decade

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) ? Metro-North, the nation's second-largest commuter railroad, has been fined $552,000 over the past decade for safety violations and defects, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday.


White House updating online privacy policy

This Screen grab from the website WhiteHouse.gov taken Friday April 18, 2014 shows the screen explaining a new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explaining how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain. (AP Photo/WhiteHouse.gov)A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tributes, are in the open domain.



Top 20 Concert Tours from Pollstar

The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is ...


10 Things to Know for Today

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: