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Texas reaches deal on weaker voter ID rules for November

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas agreed Wednesday to weaken its voter ID law as courts across the U.S., with only months before the November election, are blocking Republican-controlled states from imposing polling place restrictions that critics say target minorities and the poor. The changes must still be approved by a federal judge. But the looser rules have the important blessing ...

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Pittsburgh’s Kennametal cutting 1,000 in drilling slowdown

Oil below $40 forces Texas driller into bankruptcy

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh-based Kennametal Inc. says it’s cutting 1,000 jobs over the next 15 months, citing weak demand for the coal-mining and gas-drilling cutting tools it makes. The company announced the cuts to its 12,000-strong workforce on Monday, but didn’t say what facilities will be affected. Kennametal had more than 14,000 employees, including 5,000 in the United States, just ...

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Sweeney ties gas-tax impasse to Christie’s Trump support

Donald Trump, tickets

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A top New Jersey Democrat says Republican Gov. Chris Christie opposes new legislation to raise the gas tax and pay for road and bridge work because he’s “auditioning” for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Senate President Steve Sweeney predicted Monday the stalemate over transportation funding might not be resolved until after the election. The comment comes ...

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Pipeline construction equipment damage in suspected arson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Machinery located at three oil pipeline construction sites in central Iowa was found extensively damaged by fire Monday in what the company building the pipeline called a shameful act. There’s little doubt the fires were intentionally set along the Dakota Access pipeline, said Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty. Damage to a bulldozer and other large ...

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Payments from 2012 BP settlement $7.9 billion so far

Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico, May 6, 2010. (Image: Petty Officer 2nd class Justin Stumberg via Wikipedia)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The office that processes claims for businesses and people who suffered economic losses from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill says it has approved payments totaling $8.5 billion as of June 30. Of that, $7.9 billion in claims has been paid. The figures are in the latest federal court filing from Michael Juneau, the administrator ...

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Natural gas conversion company wants to dissolve

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine natural gas company that faced a $250,000 fine this year following a potentially “catastrophic” gas leak is asking the state to dissolve an affiliate. On Friday, Summit Natural Gas of Maine asked the state Public Utilities Commission to dissolve Natural Gas Conversion Company, which launched in 2014 to help Mainers convert home heating systems ...

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