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Freight train derails near Washington DC spilling hazardous liquids

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A CSX freight train derailed in northeastern Washington, D.C. on Sunday, spilling hazardous liquid near a city subway station, the railroad company said.

Several cars were overturned but no injuries were reported.

The District of Columbia Fire Department said it had not ordered evacuations near the site of the accident, about three miles (5 km) from the White House.

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Sodium hydroxide, used to produce household products including paper, soap and detergent, was leaking from one car, CSX Corp said in a statement.

Earlier, the fire department said three cars were leaking an unidentified substance or substances but there was no fire. Fire department photographs showed several cars lying on their sides by the tracks on the main train route into the city, including tank cars, bulk material cars and box cars.

The accident forced the closure of the Rhode Island Metro Station and Rhode Island Avenue, it said.

The train, with three locomotives and a total of 175 cars, most carrying mixed freight or riding empty, was traveling from Cumberland, Maryland, to Hamlet, North Carolina.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) could not immediately be reached for comment.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, sodium hydroxide is a caustic soda. It is a colorless to white, odorless and solid at room temperature, usually stored as flakes, beads or in granular form.

(Additional reporting by Frank McGurty in New York; Editing by Nerys Avery and Angus MacSwan)

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Adam Schiff’s anger boils over at GOP’s hypocrisy on Russian meddling: ‘Of course they were silent!’

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During his closing statement today in the House impeachment inquiry, Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff forcefully condemned what he sees as Republican hypocrisy when it comes to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Schiff slammed the contention of some Republicans that the "whole idea that Russia got involved in the 2016 election was a hoax put out by the Democrats."

"And of course, they're not alone in pushing out this idea that is trumpeted by no one other than the President of the United States, who almost on a daily basis at times would comment, and tweet, and propagate the idea the Russia's interference in our election was a hoax," Schiff continued. "And of course, we all remember that debacle in Helsinki when the President stood next to Vladimir Putin and questioned his own intelligence agencies -- I wish I had heard just some of the righteous indignation we heard in the Committee today when the President questioned that fundamental conclusion of our intelligence agencies, but course, they were silent!"

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White House secretly meeting with Republicans to limit impeachment trial as president courts GOP senators

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The Trump White House is in secret  talks with top Senate Republicans to draft a strategy on how the impeachment trial will be conducted after the House passes what are expected to be damning articles of impeachment. The president has been focused the past few weeks on sitting down with Senate Republicans individually or in small groups to take the temperature of the caucus and to woo those who have occasionally suggested they might be uncomfortable with the actions he has taken that have led to the current impeachment inquiry.

"A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately Thursday to map out a strategy for a potential impeachment trial of President Trump, including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks," The Washington Post reports late Thursday afternoon.

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Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical

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A 17-year-old Canadian nearly lost his lungs after five months of intensive vaping, but the ingredient suspected of doing the damage, diacetyl, is different from the substance US authorities blame for dozens of deaths.

The case, described Thursday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), deepens the mysteries surrounding e-cigarettes, which have grown so popular US President Donald Trump earlier this week backed away from a proposed ban on certain vaping flavors, fearing such a move could cost him votes.

Vaping has been blamed for 42 deaths in the United States since the past summer. Canada has been relatively spared, with only eight identified patients, and no deaths.

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