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Congressman will not seek relection amid misconduct probe

Congressman will not seek relection amid misconduct probeU.S. Representative Ruben Kihuen announced on Saturday that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest member of Congress to end his legislative career in the face of sexual harassment allegations. The first-term Nevada Democrat, who is the subject of an ethics investigation in the House of Representatives, denied the allegations against him but concluded that the charges would distract from "a fair and thorough discussion of the issues" on the campaign trail. "It is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek reelection," Kihuen, 37, said in a statement issued by his campaign committee.



Winds fuel California wildfire, state's third-largest on record

Winds fuel California wildfire, state's third-largest on recordBy Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state's third-largest on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly blaze since the beginning of the month. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in Southern California coastal communities since erupting on Dec. 4, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. Authorities described the current conditions, including returning winds and extremely low humidity, as "critical fire weather." Coastal Santa Barbara and more sparsely populated inland areas were of special concern, they said.



N.J. nuclear power subsidy bill could cost $320 million per year

N.J. nuclear power subsidy bill could cost $320 million per yearLast week, Ralph Izzo, chief executive of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, which operates three reactors in the state at the Salem and Hope Creek plants, said he may be forced to shut the units unless the state provides subsidies. Izzo, who made his comments at a joint committee session in the New Jersey legislature, said the reactors were profitable now but could start losing money over the next couple of years because cheap natural gas has depressed power prices. If it ultimately passes and becomes law, it would require utilities to recover 0.4 cent per kilowatt hour from customers to cover the cost of the subsidy.



Turkish banker on trial denies helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions

Turkish banker on trial denies helping Iran evade U.S. sanctionsAn executive at Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank took the witness stand in a New York courtroom on Friday and denied charges that he participated in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who has been on trial in federal court for three weeks, told jurors that he "never" conspired with fellow defendant, Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, as U.S. prosecutors have charged. U.S. prosecutors have charged nine people with conspiring to help Iran evade sanctions through fraudulent gold and food transactions.



Judge blocks Trump administration rules on contraceptive coverage

Judge blocks Trump administration rules on contraceptive coverageA U.S. judge on Friday blocked President Donald Trump's administration from moving forward with new rules that undermined an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide health insurance that covers women's birth control. U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia issued a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of rules the administration announced in October that allowed businesses or non-profits to obtain exemptions on moral or religious grounds. Beetlestone wrote that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat who sued to block the rules, was likely to succeed in establishing that the administration did not follow proper notice procedures when issuing the new rules.





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