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Dec 31 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 UN warns Gbagbo against attack on Ivory Coast peacekeepers

by Dave Clark, AFP

1 hr 39 mins ago

ABIDJAN (AFP) – The United Nations sternly warned Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo on Thursday not to allow an attack on the hotel where its peacekeepers are defending Alassane Ouattara’s shadow government.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned UN troops would resist any assault, which he said could trigger civil war in the fragile West African state, after Gbagbo’s most notorious lieutenant vowed to storm his rival’s base.

In a statement, a “deeply concerned” Ban said UNOCI force would “use all necessary means to protect its personnel, as well as the government officials and other civilians at these premises of the hotel.”

2 Ivory Coast youth leader urges assault on Gbagbo rival’s HQ

by Christophe Koffi, AFP

Wed Dec 29, 4:26 pm ET

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Defiant Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo’s most notorious lieutenant on Wednesday urged the strongman’s diehard supporters to launch an unarmed assault on rival Alassane Ouattara’s UN-defended base.

West African diplomatic moves to save the fragile country from civil war took on new urgency when Gbagbo’s “Street General”, Charles Ble Goude, told youths to storm Ouattara’s heavily-protected Abidjan hotel headquarters.

Ouattara’s new United Nations ambassador Youssoufou Bamba further turned up the heat as he received his credentials from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, warning: “We are on the brink of genocide, something should be done.”

3 UN says deaths down, but Ivory Coast still on the brink

by Dave Clark, AFP

Thu Dec 30, 1:29 pm ET

ABIDJAN (AFP) – The United Nations welcomed a dramatic drop in the number of killings in Ivory Coast on Thursday, even as new threats heightened the risk that its political crisis might end in a violent showdown.

The country’s internationally-recognised leader Alassane Ouattara called for West African mediators to find a rapid solution to the standoff, as supporters of strongman Laurent Gbagbo vowed to storm his hotel base.

The United Nations said the rate of killing in the crisis had dropped dramatically, with only six dead in the past week compared to 173 in the previous one, while rights abuses have declining “drastically”.

4 Russia’s Khodorkovsky to stay in jail six more years

by Maria Antonova, AFP

1 hr 28 mins ago

MOSCOW (AFP) – A Russian court Thursday ordered ex-oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky to stay in jail until 2017, sentencing him to 14 more years in a trial his defence said was influenced by strongman Vladimir Putin.

Judge Viktor Danilkin issued the new sentence for Khodorkovsky and his co-accused Platon Lebedev after finding them guilty of money laundering and embezzlement in a trial that started in March 2009.

With the sentence back-dated to his initial arrest in 2003, Khodorkovsky will stay in prison until 2017, removing a key opponent of president turned Prime Minister Vladimir Putin from the political scene for years to come.

5 Israel ex-president Katsav convicted of rape

by Michael Blum, AFP

Thu Dec 30, 11:01 am ET

TEL AVIV (AFP) – Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was convicted of two counts of rape on Thursday, capping a four-year scandal that shocked the Jewish state and leaves him facing at least eight years in prison.

As a Tel Aviv court handed down the verdict, which also convicted Katsav on charges of sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice, the visibly distraught 65-year-old muttered “No, no.”

On the street outside, protesters chanted: “All the world knows, Katsav is a criminal.”

6 Pope’s decree vows to tackle money-laundering in Vatican

by Ella Ide, AFP

Thu Dec 30, 12:50 pm ET

VATICAN CITY (AFP) – Pope Benedict XVI created a new financial authority Thursday aimed at tackling allegations of Vatican money-laundering and “financing of terrorism” after an embarrassing probe into Vatican bank officials.

Benedict’s decree, which addressed “the prevention and opposition to illegal financial activity”, comes three months after an investigation was launched into two senior figures at the bank.

“Sadly, peace in today’s society… is threatened by many things, including the improper use of the market and the economy,” the pope said in a letter accompanying the decree.

7 Spanish PM trumpets economic uptick, commits to reforms

AFP

Thu Dec 30, 12:42 pm ET

MADRID (AFP) – Spain’s embattled prime minister moved Thursday to reassure the country — and nervous markets — over the economy, announcing a return to positive growth in the fourth quarter and a small rise in the minimum wage and in pensions for 2011.

In a year-end press conference following a cabinet meeting, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also vowed that Spain would meet its public deficit target for next year, essential for easing investor fears of a Irish or Greek-style bailout of its battered economy.

The Spanish economy, the EU’s fifth largest, slumped into recession during the second-half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of the once-booming property market.

8 Spain draws last puff ahead of tough anti-smoking law

by Denholm Barnetson, AFP

Thu Dec 30, 10:19 am ET

MADRID (AFP) – Spaniards will wake up on Sunday to find that what many consider an inalienable right — puffing on a cigarette with a drink and some tapas at their local bar — has become illegal overnight.

On January 2, one of the laxest anti-smoking laws in Europe will have become one of the strictest, along with that of Ireland.

Spanish smokers will no longer be able to light up in bars, restaurants and cafes as new legislation takes effect that bans smoking in all enclosed public spaces.

9 Bloomberg takes flak over New York blizzard

by Paola Messana, AFP

Wed Dec 29, 6:17 pm ET

NEW YORK (AFP) – Criticism of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg snowballed Wednesday as the top city official bore the brunt of the blame for the lackluster response to one of the worst blizzards in decades.

While airports worked to clear a massive backlog of flights, frustration at the paralysis turned to anger as reports emerged of ambulances failing to reach critical patients, in one case leading a woman to lose her baby.

“Clearly, the response was unacceptable,” speaker Christine Quinn told a special session of the city council, giving voice to hundreds of complaints from disgruntled New York residents.

10 Injured Ponting ruled out of final Ashes Test

AFP

Thu Dec 30, 10:57 am ET

SYDNEY (AFP) – Michael Clarke will captain Australia for the first time and Usman Khawaja will make an historic debut in next week’s final Ashes Test in the absence of injured skipper Ricky Ponting.

Clarke was promoted on Thursday from vice-captain to lead the team after Ponting was ruled out with a fractured little finger.

Clarke will also captain Australia in the limited overs and Twenty20 matches against England following the Test series, with Cameron White his deputy.

11 Rattner settles with Cuomo for $10 million

By Jonathan Steeple, Reuters

1 hr 13 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Obama administration auto industry czar Steven Rattner agreed to pay $10 million to resolve lawsuits by New York’s attorney general over kickbacks allegedly paid to do business with the state’s pension fund.

Rattner is the most prominent outside executive and last major figure to resolve charges in a multiyear “pay to play” corruption probe that involved the roughly $132.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday the settlement ends two lawsuits by his office over alleged kickbacks dating to 2005 and 2006 when Rattner worked for Quadrangle Group, the private equity firm he co-founded.

12 Dollar weakens broadly, stocks lose ground

By Walter Brandimarte, Reuters

Thu Dec 30, 12:38 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar weakened broadly on Thursday on expectations of low bond yields continuing into 2011, while U.S. and European stocks gave back part of the recent gains that had taken global equities close to September 2008 highs.

The Swiss franc soared to record highs against the dollar and the euro as concerns about the European debt crisis reinforced its safe-haven appeal among currency investors.

U.S. stocks dipped in spite of a solid batch of economic data as investors avoided taking on more risk before the new year. Still, the S&P 500 appeared headed for its best December in nearly two decades and a MSCI index of global stocks remained close to September 2008 highs.

13 Russia’s Khodorkovsky sentenced, West concerned

By Alexei Anishchuk, Reuters

Thu Dec 30, 1:47 pm ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s jail term was extended until 2017 on Thursday when he was convicted of theft and money-laundering in a trial condemned in the West as politically motivated.

With Khodorkovsky and co-defendant Platon Lebedev watching from a glass-walled courtroom cage at the close of their trial, the judge said there was no way they could be reformed without “isolation from society.”

Russia’s leading human rights activist called the sentence “monstrous” for the defendants and their country, and the United States said it appeared to result from “an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends.”

14 Minnesota sues 3M over pollution claims

By James B. Kelleher, Reuters

2 hrs 29 mins ago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The state of Minnesota sued 3M Co on Thursday, saying that the company contaminated the state’s waters for decades with chemicals used in some of its best known products, including Scotchgard stain repellent.

The lawsuit, filed by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, seeks unspecified damages from 3M.

The company did not respond to a request for a comment.

15 Israel’s ex-president Katsav guilty of rape

By Rami Amichai, Reuters

Thu Dec 30, 12:56 pm ET

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav was found guilty of rape and other sex crimes on Thursday, in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a sad day for the Jewish state.

Katsav, who could now face years in prison, had denied charges he twice raped an aide when he was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s, and molested or sexually harassed two other women who worked for him during his 2000-2007 term as president.

But a three-judge panel said his testimony had been “riddled with lies.”

16 China factory inflation eases, yuan hits record

By Kevin Yao and Chen Aizhu, Reuters

Thu Dec 30, 3:20 am ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese inflation showed signs of cresting in a manufacturing survey on Thursday, an early indication that the government will be able to stick to its course of gradual rather than aggressive monetary tightening.

An easing of price pressures could also cap this week’s jump the yuan to a record high against the dollar, which the central bank said had played an important role in taming inflation.

HSBC’s China Purchasing Mangers’ Index fell to a three month-low of 54.4 in December from 55.3 in November, suggesting that the pace of business expansion in the factories of the world’s second-largest economy was moderating but still strong.

17 Ivory Coast on brink of "genocide": envoy to U.N.

Reuters

Thu Dec 30, 9:38 am ET

ABIDJAN/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Political unrest following Ivory Coast’s disputed presidential election has brought the West African country to the “brink of genocide,” its new ambassador to the United Nations said.

World leaders have stepped up pressure on incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo to quit in favor of Alassane Ouattara, widely recognized as having won the vote.

Youssoufou Bamba, appointed as ambassador to the United Nations by Ouattara, described him as the rightful ruler of Ivory Coast.

18 Ivorian refugees flood into Liberian border towns

By Alphonso Toweh, Reuters

Thu Dec 30, 11:30 am ET

OLD LOGUATUO, Liberia (Reuters) – Gluee Teah walked through the forest for a day and crossed a river to escape the political turmoil that is gripping Ivory Coast, burdened by her two young daughters and an unborn child.

“I am nine months pregnant,” she said, as her three-year-old daughter sucked on the tattered edge of her dress in this Liberian border town. “There is not much I can do. Who will help me take care of my children?”

Teah is among the more than 16,000 Ivorians who have fled their country to neighboring Liberia since a November 28 election, fearing that an ugly dispute over who won the vote will rekindle the civil war of 2002-03.

19 Harsh U.S. words for Russia, but little impact on ties

By Arshad Mohammed and Ross Colvin, Reuters

2 hrs 29 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States suggested on Thursday the sentencing of a former Russian tycoon to six more years in prison was an abuse of justice, and a senior U.S. official said it may impede Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization.

Despite the harsh U.S. words, analysts said the treatment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his co-defendant Platon Lebedev was unlikely to undercut the White House effort to work with the Kremlin where it can on strategic and security issues.

A Russian judge ordered Khodorkovsky jailed until 2017 after being convicted of theft and money-laundering in a case seen by the West as a test of the rule of law in Russia and as a political vendetta against an adversary of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

20 Cuomo gets second chance

By Daniel Trotta and Basil Katz, Reuters

Thu Dec 30, 1:50 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Democrat Andrew Cuomo becomes New York governor on Saturday he inherits a $10 billion budget deficit, a notoriously corrupt political system and the legacy of his father, the popular former Governor Mario Cuomo.

But if he succeeds, the new job also offers a second chance on the national stage for Cuomo, 53, who became the youngest-ever U.S. secretary of housing and urban development under President Bill Clinton in 1997 but whose signature achievement there backfired.

“The Democratic Party does not have a lot of tall trees out there on the plain. If he is modestly successful on this prairie, he will stand tall, it’s not going to take a lot,” said Fred Siegel, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute think tank.

21 Home foreclosures jump in 3rd quarter: regulators

By Dave Clarke, Reuters

Wed Dec 29, 1:02 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. home foreclosures jumped in the third quarter and banks’ efforts to keep borrowers in their homes dropped as the housing market continues to struggle, U.S. bank regulators said on Wednesday.

The regulators said one reason for the increase in foreclosures is that banks have “exhausted” options for keeping many delinquent borrowers in their homes through programs such as loan modifications.

Newly-initiated foreclosures increased to 382,000 in the third quarter, a 31.2 percent jump over the previous quarter and a 3.7 percent rise from the same quarter a year ago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) said in a quarterly mortgage report.

22 Budget woes force state parks to delay maintenance

By CHRIS BLANK, Associated Press

58 mins ago

KAISER, Mo. – At state parks across the nation, this is the toll of the deepening budget crisis and years of financial neglect: crumbling roads, faltering roofs, deteriorating restrooms.

Electrical and sewer systems are beginning to give out, too, as are scores of park buildings, some of them built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. In a few places, aging bridges have been detoured and tunnels blocked off because of falling debris.

The tough economy has made money scarcer for administrators at some of the country’s most treasured public spaces who have been forced to postpone maintenance and construction projects, creating a huge backlog of unfinished work that would cost billions of dollars to complete.

23 What you pay for Medicare won’t cover your costs

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

25 mins ago

WASHINGTON – You paid your Medicare taxes all those years and want your money’s worth: full benefits after you retire.

Nearly three out of five people say in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll that they paid into the system so they deserve their full benefits – no cuts.

But a newly updated financial analysis shows that what people paid into the system doesn’t come close to covering the full value of the medical care they can expect to receive as retirees.

Two words- Single Payer.

24 O’Donnell: Spending accusations are ‘thug’ tactics

By BEN EVANS, Associated Press

3 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Failed U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell said Thursday that accusations she misspent campaign funds are politically motivated and stoked by disgruntled former campaign workers.

The Delaware Republican appeared on several network morning shows to defend herself a day after The Associated Press reported federal authorities have launched a criminal probe to determine whether she broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses.

“There’s been no impermissible use of campaign funds whatsoever,” O’Donnell told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

25 Disgraced ex-Israeli president convicted of rape

By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press

1 min ago

JERUSALEM – Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape Thursday, a dramatic fall from grace for a man who rose from humble beginnings to become a symbol of achievement for Jews of Middle Eastern origin.

The disgraced politician, who had rejected a plea bargain that would have kept him out of jail, will likely be sentenced to four to 16 years in prison. The verdict was seen as a victory for the Israeli legal system and for women’s rights in a decades-long struggle to chip away at the nation’s macho culture, which once permitted political and military leaders great liberties.

“The court sent two clear and sharp messages: that everyone is equal and every woman has the full right to her body,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. But he added that it was “a sad day for Israel and its citizens.”

26 Daughter, wife of AZ official accused in sex case

By AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press

6 mins ago

PHOENIX – The daughter of a county supervisor has been arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct with the same teenage boy that her mother is accused of sexually abusing over a three-year period, police said Thursday.

Rachel Katherine Brock, 21, was arrested Wednesday on three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of transmitting obscene material as part of an ongoing investigation surrounding her mother, 48-year-old Susan Brock.

Both women were being held without bond at the Maricopa County jail.

27 US teen birth rate still far higher than W. Europe

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

2 hrs 38 mins ago

ATLANTA – The rate of teen births in the U.S. is at its lowest level in almost 70 years. Yet, the sobering context is that the teen pregnancy rate is far lower in many other countries. The most convincing explanation is that contraceptive use is much higher among teens in most Western European countries.

Last week, U.S. health officials released new government figures for 2009 showing 39 births per 1,000 girls, ages 15 through 19 – the lowest rate since records have been kept on this issue.

That’s close to the teen birth rate for Romania, Turkey and Bulgaria in 2007, the latest numbers available from the World Bank, which collects a variety of data gauging international development.

28 NYC mayor: City’s snowstorm response unacceptable

By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press

2 hrs 42 mins ago

NEW YORK – Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged Thursday that the city’s response to the blizzard that dropped 20 inches of snow was “inadequate and unacceptable” and said it would be reviewed, but he continued to be criticized, including by one politician sharing the spotlight with him.

At an event in Queens where Bloomberg gave an update on the cleanup to reporters, Queens borough President Helen Marshall took the microphone to say her residents need more help. “Where is the plow?” she said.

The city’s cleanup efforts, which left streets covered in snow days after the storm had finished, “was slower than anyone would have liked,” Bloomberg said.

29 Cleanup of oil-tainted Gulf Coast nears end

By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 1:23 pm ET

EAST GRAND TERRE ISLAND, La. – Dig 2 feet into the sand on this wind-swept beach and up comes the foul smell of oil.

The unmistakable whiff of crude eight months after the BP spill is one of the last in-your-face reminders of the long, tainted summer on the Gulf Coast.

For months, in what BP calls Operation Deep Clean, crews have been scouring the Gulf Coast’s sandy shores for oil – digging, scraping, tilling and sifting beach after beach.

30 Vatican creates financial watchdog amid bank probe

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 12:49 pm ET

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Thursday created a financial watchdog agency and issued new laws to fight money laundering and terrorist financing in a major effort to shed its image as a tax haven that for years has been mired in secrecy and scandal.

The decrees, which go into effect April 1, were passed as the Vatican’s own bank remains implicated in a money-laundering investigation that resulted in 23 million euros ($31 million) being seized and its top two officials placed under investigation.

The bank, formally known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, is one of several Vatican offices that are covered by the new financial transparency rules, which were adopted primarily to comply with European Union norms. The Vatican city state’s governing administration, the department that controls the pope’s vast real estate holdings, even the Holy See’s pharmacy, museum and TV station are covered as well.

31 UK’s Thatcher appealed to Iran over US hostages

By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 10:25 am ET

LONDON – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made a previously unknown effort to secure the release of American hostages in Iran and predicted that Ronald Reagan would confound expectations following his election, newly disclosed files revealed Thursday.

The documents from 1980, made public under Britain’s 30-year disclosure rule, also recount Thatcher’s clashes with her central bank governor, diplomats and royal officials, burnishing her reputation as a combative national leader.

Thatcher, who served as prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and was nicknamed the Iron Lady for her tough stance against communism, is recorded as attempting to exert her influence over a wide range of events.

32 Texas, EPA fight over regulations grows fierce

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 12:49 pm ET

HOUSTON – A longstanding tit-for-tat between Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over how to regulate pollution has grown fierce in recent months, leaving industry frustrated and allowing some plants and refineries to spew more toxic waste into the air, streams and lakes than what is federally acceptable.

Both sides and conservation groups agree the battle has put the health of Texas residents and the environment at risk. But the back-and-forth over everything from who should issue permits to whether state agencies are properly cracking down on polluters shows no signs of slowing down.

The fight has gotten so ugly that the EPA took the unprecedented step this month of announcing it will directly issue greenhouse gas permits to Texas industries beginning in January after the state openly refused to comply with new federal regulations.

33 Ohio child cancers confound parents, investigators

By JOHN SEEWER, Associated Press

2 hrs 36 mins ago

CLYDE, Ohio – Every time his kids cough, Dave Hisey’s mind starts to race. Is it cancer? Is it coming back?

His oldest daughter, diagnosed with leukemia nearly five years ago when she was 13, is in remission. His 12-year-old son has another year of chemotherapy for a different type of leukemia. And his 9-year-old daughter is scared she’ll be next.

Hisey is not alone in fearing the worst. Just about every mom and dad in this rural northern Ohio town gets nervous whenever their children get a sinus infection or a stomachache lingers. It’s hard not to panic since mysterious cancers have sickened dozens of area children in recent years.

34 Adult drive-thru store in Alabama offers privacy

By JAY REEVES, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 11:31 am ET

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Gabrielle Silva takes down a customer’s order from the drive-thru window, stuffs a bag full of products and passes it outside to the couple waiting in a car.

“Thanks, and I put some free condoms in there, too!” Silva chirps.

In this technology-savvy north Alabama city, visitors won’t just find burgers and prescriptions at the drive-thru window.

35 Fit at 50 can mean fit at 60, 70, 80 with changes

By LEANNE ITALIE, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 11:12 am ET

At 45, DeEtte Sauer was a dead woman walking.

She was morbidly obese, her heart disease so serious a doctor warned her to expect “an event at any time.” Eaten up by her marketing career, struggling to raise three kids, she smoked, drank and never, ever exercised.

Sauer remembers a vacation when – at 5-foot-5 and 230 pounds – she couldn’t make it onto a small boat for a day out with her family. “That’s when it hit me. I was an elected cripple. I had done it to myself.”

36 Grizzly bear deaths near Yellowstone rise in 2010

By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 9:44 am ET

BILLINGS, Mont. – Grizzly bear deaths neared record levels for the region around Yellowstone National Park in 2010, but government biologists said the population remains robust enough to withstand the heavy losses.

An estimated 75 of the protected animals were killed or removed from the wild, according to a government-sponsored grizzly study team. That equates to one grizzly gone for every eight counted this year in the sparsely populated Yellowstone region of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

The deaths were blamed primarily on grizzlies pushing into inhabited areas, where bears get into trouble as they search out food in farmyards and from the big game herds also stalked by hunters. Despite those conflicts, researchers recently reported the population topped 600 animals for the first time since grizzly recovery efforts began in the 1970s.

37 Calif. liver recipient, 13, on mission of thanks

By CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press

Thu Dec 30, 4:39 am ET

PASADENA, Calif. – Eleven-year-old Mikey Carraway’s liver had failed – doctors had two weeks at most to find an organ donor to save his life. Two days later, they had one_ 18-year-old Johnny Hernandez, who suffered a fatal brain injury in a motorcycle crash.

Mikey, now 13, and his mom Shaheda Wright thanked the Hernandez family in person Wednesday in a rare meeting between a donor family and an organ recipient.

“We just want to say to you that if it wasn’t for your decision at tough time in your life, my son wouldn’t be here today,” Wright said.

38 Rig owner refuses to honor oil spill subpoenas

By HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press

Wed Dec 29, 10:58 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS – The owner of the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico is refusing to honor subpoenas from a federal board that has challenged the company’s involvement in monitoring the testing of a key piece of equipment that failed to stop the oil spill disaster.

Transocean said the U.S. Chemical Safety Board does not have jurisdiction in the probe, so it doesn’t have a right to the documents and other items it seeks. The board told The Associated Press late Wednesday that it does have jurisdiction and it has asked the Justice Department to intervene to enforce the subpoenas.

Last week, the board demanded that the testing of the failed blowout preventer stop until Transocean and Cameron International are removed from any hands-on role in the examination. It said it’s a conflict of interest. The request is pending.

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