Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

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B.P. may be fined up to $18 billion for spill in gulf

A federal judge has ruled that oil giant British Petroleum bears the majority of the blame for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster, finding the company’s conduct to be grossly negligent. As a consequence, the company may have to pay up to $18 billion in new penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. BP executives have vowed to appeal, but U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “The court’s finding will ensure that the company is held fully accountable for its recklessness.”