BP will pay a record U.S. fine to settle criminal claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a Department of Justice official said Thursday. The Justice Department says the largest U.S. criminal fine ever was a $1.3 billion payment by drugmaker Pfizer in 2009, part of a $2.3 billion settlement in a case involving the misbranding of Bextra, an anti-inflammatory arthritis drug. Details of the BP settlement would be revealed later Thursday when Attorney General Eric Holder joins federal and local officials in New Orleans for an announcement, DOJ officials told CNN. The London-based oil company said earlier that negotiations with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission were “advanced.” The company had no further comment.
James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora, Colorado movie massacre, has made various “half-hearted” suicide attempts in recent days, law enforcement sources tell CBS4′s Brian Maass. A court hearing for Holmes scheduled for Thursday has been postponed after his attorneys said Wednesday that he had been taken to a hospital for unspecified reasons. Court documents filed Wednesday gave no details of James E. Holmes’ condition, other than that it “renders him unable to be present in court for (Thursday’s) hearing.” The hearing had been scheduled to discuss pretrial motions and media requests for information under state open records laws. However, law enforcement sources told CBS4′s Maass that Holmes has made multiple suicide attempts in recent days — although none have resulted in serious injury.
The military has suspended U.S. Army security clearance for former CIA director David Petraeus’ mistress as well as the Air Force base pass of the Tampa socialite who sparked the ongoing sex scandal that led to his resignation. CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that biographer Paula Broadwell, a former Army intelligence officer, had her security clearance suspended. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Warren told The Associated Press the decision to indefinitely suspend Jill Kelley’s pass to MacDill Air Force Base was made in the last couple of days. Kelley’s complaints about threatening emails triggered the FBI investigation that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus and a probe into communications between her and the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Petraeus had resigned on Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair with Broadwell, his biographer.
The days since President Obama won re-election have been marked by tension and angst in Republican-led states like Iowa, where Gov. Terry Branstad has waited until the last-minute to decide whether to create a crucial tool for people to get medical coverage under Mr. Obama’s health care law. States are supposed to tell the Obama administration by Friday whether they want to create their own health insurance exchange — a deadline that many had bet might never come to pass, choosing to sit on their hands for months in the hope that Mitt Romney would win the presidency and the health care law would be repealed. Leaders of the Republican Governors Association, gathering in Las Vegas for their annual meeting, wrote a letter to Mr. Obama requesting more time, more guidance and a meeting where the president and governors could talk, The New York Times reports.
Pot, at least certain amounts of it, will soon be legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado. Now, officials in both states are trying to figure out how to keep stoned drivers off the road. Colorado’s measure doesn’t make any changes to the state’s driving-under-the-influence laws, leaving lawmakers and police to worry about its effect on road safety. Washington’s law does change DUI provisions by setting a new blood-test limit for marijuana — a limit police are training to enforce, and which some lawyers are already gearing up to challenge. Statistics gathered for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that in 2009, a third of fatally injured drivers with known drug test results were positive for drugs other than alcohol. Among randomly stopped weekend nighttime drivers in 2007, more than 16 percent were positive for drugs.