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BP Gulf money fuels spending spree

US states hit by the Gulf oil spill have gone on a spending spree with BP's compensation money - much of it going on items with little relevance to the clean-up, an investigation has revealed.

In the year since the accident, tens of millions of dollars have been spent on gadgets, vehicles and equipment, according to inquiries by the Associated Press news agency.

BP opened its chequebook while the crisis was still unfolding last spring and poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Gulf Coast communities.

In Ocean Springs, Missouri, reserve police officers got Tasers.

The sewer department in nearby Gulfport bought a 300,000 dollar (£183,400) vacuum truck which has never sucked up a drop of oil.

Biloxi, Mississippi, bought a dozen sports untility vehicles. A parish president in Louisiana got herself an iPad.

And a county in Florida spent 560,000 dollars (£342,300) on rock concerts to promote its oil-free beaches.

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From Belfast Telegraph