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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah truck driver alleges FedEx fired him because of his Russian accent, even though he offered to appear before corporate higher-ups to demonstrate his English-speaking abilities.

Ismail Aliyev has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the Memphis, Tenn.-based shipping company and the long-haul contractor that employed him and was ordered to do the firing.  

MINING

Charged exec cooperating in W.Va. mine-blast probe

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An executive who ran several coal companies for Massey Energy and worked closely with former CEO Don Blankenship faces criminal conspiracy charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors, a sign that authorities may be aiming their sights even higher in the company as they probe the April 2010 explosion in West Virginia that killed 29 men.

David Craig Hughart, president of a Massey subsidiary that controlled White Buck Coal Co., is named in a federal information document — which signals a defendant is cooperating.

Although Upper Big Branch is never directly mentioned in the document, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin told The Associated Press that the charges come from the continuing investigation of the explosion.

ENERGY

BP suspended from new U.S. government contracts

The Obama administration put a temporary stop to new federal contracts with British oil company BP on Wednesday, citing the company’s “lack of business integrity” and criminal proceedings stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

The action by the Environmental Protection Agency bars BP and its affiliates from new government contracts for an indefinite period, but won’t affect existing contracts.

From staff and wire reports