A federal judge has approved Halliburton Company’s multi-billion asbestos settlement plan.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has given the OK for Halliburton Company’s multi-(b)-billion-dollar asbestos settlement plan.

Judge Judith Fitzgerald has also signed the Chapter Eleven restructuring plans for several of Halliburton’s key business units. The judge’s actions yeterday mean the subsidiaries, including K-B-R and D-I-I Industries, can emerge from bankruptcy soon. They still must fund a trust, using cash, stock and notes, that will be used to pay future claims.

Most of the claims have been traced to Halliburton’s acquisition of Dresser Industries several years ago. The bankruptcy was filed in Pittsburgh because most of the asbestos claims were filed against a former Dresser subsidiary, Pittsburgh-based Harbison-Walker Refractories Company.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.

One of the authors claiming Dan Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code copied his ideas has admitted he exaggerated his case in an interview with a journalist.