The US Attorney General Eric Holder has said that authorities negotiated with BP to resolve the civil claims it is facing but was unable to reach a "satisfactory" number.
He added that is was possible that the US and the oil giant could still resolve the claims out of court, but that officials are preparing for trial.
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A widespread frost across the UK as temperatures fall below freezing under clear skies.
After a vote tainted by reports of ballot-box stuffing and forced voting, Putin said Russia was ready to 'cooperate' with Britain.
Largely dry elsewhere tonight with a widespread frost and icy stretches