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A federal judge overseeing the Justice Department’s lengthy civil racketeering trial against major cigarette makers called both sides to a closed-door meeting on Monday.

A federal judge overseeing the Justice Department’s lengthy civil racketeering trial against major cigarette makers called both sides to a closed-door meeting on Monday.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler did not publicly disclose the reason for the meeting or whether mediation talks would take place. A Justice Department spokesman said he could not comment on Monday’s secret meeting.

The government claims cigarette makers conspired for decades to hide the dangers of smoking. The trial, which started last September, concluded earlier this month.

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.