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25 Texas Counties Declared Federal Disaster Areas

More than two dozen Texas counties are now eligible for federal help following deadly end-of-December blizzards and tornadoes. President Barack Obama declared 25 counties federal disaster areas. Gov. Greg Abbott on Jan. 26 requested the disaster designation to provide expanded …

Rural Oregon Fire Service Suspended Due to Insurance Lapse

The Lakeside Rural Fire Protection District in Oregon has suspended emergency operations because of a lapse in its insurance policy. Acting fire district chairman Ralph Dotson tells The World newspaper of Coos Bay that the station has been closed and …

Veolia, New Orleans Discussing Flood Prevention System

French water and waste group Veolia said it is talks to install a flood prevention system in the city of New Orleans that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Veolia innovation director Laurent Auguste said a study will be …

Smokers Ask Jury to Award Them Cancer Screening in Trial Over Marlboros

Philip Morris USA should pay for annual chest scans for thousands of longtime Marlboro smokers in Massachusetts because the company sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous product, a lawyer for the smokers told jurors at the close of a trial. …

Obama Budget Calls for Increased Cybersecurity Funding, New High-Level Post

The Obama administration is creating a new high-level federal official to coordinate cybersecurity across civilian agencies and to work with military and intelligence counterparts, as part of its 2017 budget proposal announced this week. The $19-billion increase in cybersecurity funding …

South Carolina Jury Awards $1M to Victim of Drunk Driver

A Richland County jury has awarded about $1 million in punitive damages to a woman injured in a car crash involving a repeat drunken driver. The State newspaper reported that a jury last week also awarded Jami Allison Owens $89,000 …

West Virginia House Approves Bill Waiving Permits for Concealed Guns

After the bill was vetoed last year, a proposal to allow carrying a concealed gun without a permit in West Virginia passed its first major test this week. The Republican-led House of Delegates voted 68-31 on the concealed carry legislation. …

U.S. Again Warns Airlines Against Carrying Lithium Battery Cargo

U.S. aviation safety officials are raising new warnings about the dangers of carrying bulk shipments of lithium-based batteries on commercial flights. The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the aviation industry, on Tuesday sent a notice to airlines urging them to …

U.S. Victims of Mexican Drug Gangs Sue HSBC Bank Under Anti-Terrorism Act

Families of U.S. citizens murdered by drug gangs in Mexico sued HSBC Holdings Plc, claiming the bank can be held responsible for the deaths because it let cartels launder billions of dollars to operate their businesses. The lawsuit brings fresh scrutiny …

Software Qualifies as a Driver, Says U.S. Safety Agency on Google Self-Driving Car

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads. The National Highway Traffic …

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