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Obama admin strikes $3.4B deal in Indian trust lawsuit

The Obama administration announced a $3.4 billion settlement today in a 13-year-old legal battle over the Interior Department's mismanagement of land trust accounts for American Indians. Under the agreement, which must be approved in court and requires authorizing legislation in Congress, the government would pay $1.4 billion minus attorneys' fees to hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs in the case, Cobell v. Salazar. Interior would also create a $2 billion program to buy land from willing sellers, consolidating it into larger, more profitable holdings for tribes, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

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