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Judge OKs Transocean's $1 Billion Civil Settlement Over Gulf Oil Spill

A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill where 11 men died in April of 2010, the AP reports.

As we reported back in January, federal authorities blamed Transocean "for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the face of clear danger signals that oil and natural gas were flowing."

In total, Transocean has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties.

When the EPA announced the settlement, it said the $400 million in criminal penalties for criminal conduct was the "second-largest criminal Clean Water Act fines and penalties in U.S. History."

The AP adds:

"U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said in his ruling Tuesday that he found "no just reason for delay" in approving the civil settlement.

"Last week, a different judge approved Transocean's criminal settlement with the federal government. The company pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and will pay an additional $400 million in criminal penalties."

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NPR

In An Alternate 19th Century London, Sins Are Marked With 'Smoke'

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Dan Vyleta about his novel, Smoke. It's set in an alternate 19th century London, where the morally corrupt are marked by a smoke that pours from their bodies.
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D.C.'s Public Schools Select New Lunch Providers

D.C. Public Schools is abandoning longtime school food provider Chartwells in the wake of allegations of poor food quality and fraud and moving forward with new vendors for 2016. But, questions remain about the selection process and future oversight.

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Creating A D.C. State Constitution

We explore the historic process of crafting a constitution for D.C. statehood nearly three decades after the last attempt, and find out how drafters are preparing for the June constitutional convention.

NPR

Online Eye Exam Site Makes Waves In Eye Care Industry

Need a vision test? Now you can do it online with a computer and a smartphone. The site has attracted a lot of attention in the tech world, but eye care professionals have concerns.

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