Europe Enters Gaza Talks: European envoys are continuing their effort today to broker a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip despite Israel pressing ahead with military operations, The Washington Post reports. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has traveled to Cairo to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas also says it will send delegates to Egypt for talks.
Those Pesky Investigations: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, President-Elect Barack Obama's pick for Commerce Secretary, withdrew his name from consideration yesterday, citing an ongoing federal investigation into whether "pay-to-play" politics were involved in the hiring of a California firm which had also made generous contributions to political action committees established by the governor, The Washington Post reports. Richardson insists that he will be cleared by the investigation, but he says the investigation could take weeks and would delay the work of the Commerce Department.
Software Suit: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr lost a bid to force a trial court to throw out a fraud claim in a $7 million lawsuit that alleges the law firm overbilled a former executive it defended in a white-collar criminal case, The National Law Journal reports via Law.com. On Dec. 31, the Court of Appeals of Texas denied the law firm's petition for a writ of mandamus, which, if granted, would have directed the trial court to dismiss a fraud claim brought by McAfee Inc., the anti-virus software company.
Charges Coming: Prosecutors in Manhattan are expected to announce today that they will pursue manslaughter charges against the supervisor of the tower crane on the East Side that collapsed last year and killed seven people, The New York Times reports. The rigger, William Rapetti, has also been charged with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault in the disaster.