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Fire forces evacuation of Statue of Liberty island in NY

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Thousands of visitors to the Statue of Liberty were evacuated from the national monument’s New York Harbor island on Monday after a small fire broke out at a construction site, authorities said.

Officials ordered the evacuation “out of an abundance of caution” after the fire erupted among three propane gas cylinders shortly before noon local time (1600 GMT) on Liberty Island, New York Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said by phone.

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By early afternoon, the small but dangerous fire had been brought under control, Assistant Fire Chief Roger Sakowich said.

“With that much propane, had one of the tanks exploded – it was would have been catastrophic,” Sakowich said on Twitter.

About 3,000 visitors were ferried off the island, with some going to nearby Ellis Island which has a museum of immigration, hoping to be able to return after the fire was put out, National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis said in a phone call.

Reporting by Peter Szekely; Editing by Richard Chang

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2020 Election

Devin Nunes is livid at report he helped Trump’s White House: ‘Who the hell is leaking this?’

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The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is suing Washington, DC's hometown newspaper.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced that he was suing The Washington Post during a Friday appearance on Fox News.

“A senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests, according to people who were briefed on the comments,” The Washington Post reported Thursday. “Trump learned about Pierson’s remarks from Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee’s ranking Republican and a staunch Trump ally, said one person familiar with the matter.”

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BUSTED: Trump’s new spy chief worked for foreign politician the US accused of corruption

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by Isaac Arnsdorf

President Donald Trump’s new acting intelligence director, Richard Grenell, used to do consulting work on behalf of an Eastern European oligarch who is now a fugitive and was recently barred from entering the U.S. under anti-corruption sanctions imposed last month by the State Department.

In 2016, Grenell wrote several articles defending the oligarch, a Moldovan politician named Vladimir Plahotniuc, but did not disclose that he was being paid, according to records and interviews. Grenell also did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which generally requires people to disclose work in the U.S. on behalf of foreign politicians.

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Air pollution kills thousands of Americans every year – here’s a low-cost strategy to reduce the toll

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About 1 of every 25 deaths in the U.S. occurs prematurely because of exposure to air pollution. Dirty air kills roughly 110,000 Americans yearly, which is more than all transportation accidents and shootings combined.

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency weighs decisions about air pollution regulations, it typically selects candidate actions from one or more sectors, such as electric power generation and industry. For each strategy considered, the agency carefully estimates the costs and benefits, then decides which actions to pursue.

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