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PG&E delayed key power line safety overhaul — company shares slip

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Shares of PG&E Corp fell about 3 percent after federal filings showed that the power utility had delayed a safety overhaul of a high-voltage transmission line, a prime suspect behind the deadliest wildfire in California history.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January in anticipation of liabilities from the wildfires, including the catastrophic 2018 Camp Fire that killed 86 people.

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The plans to replace components of the Caribou-Palermo line have been in the works since at least 2013, filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission show.

The company said in 2017 that it would spend $30.3 million in 2018 to eliminate clearance issues on the line that were identified in 2013. The project was expected to be operative in December of 2018.

The Camp Fire broke out on the morning of Nov. 8 near the Northern California mountain community of Paradise. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, though the utility reported to regulators that it experienced equipment problems on the Caribou-Palermo line around the time the fire began.

PG&E did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal here in the day reported that the company had told federal regulators in 2013 it planned to replace many of the towers, wires and hardware pieces on the line.

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PG&E provides electricity and natural gas to 16 million customers in northern and central California and employs 24,000 people.

The company is seeking court approval for $5.5 billion in debtor-in-possession financing from J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, and other banks, the sum being roughly the same as the utility’s annual spending.

PG&E has promised to keep working as it grapples with fire-related costs it estimates at more than $30 billion.

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Shares of the company, which is due to report fourth-quarter results on Thursday, were down 3.1 percent at $17.94 in afternoon trading on Wednesday.

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru and Nichola Groom in Los Angeles; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Sriraj Kalluvila

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‘This is a lie’: Lisa Page pummels Trump for telling blatant falsehoods about her at crazed rally

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Former FBI attorney Lisa Page on Wednesday called out President Donald Trump for once again lying about her at one of his political rallies.

On Tuesday night, Trump told supporters in Pennsylvania that Page supposedly had to file a restraining order against former FBI agent Peter Strzok, with whom she'd had a relationship during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump hedged his claim by telling his supporters, "That's what I heard, I don't know if it's true."

Page, however, took to Twitter to shred the president for repeating a blatant falsehood.

"This is a lie," she wrote. "Nothing like this ever happened. I wish we had a president who knew how to act like one."

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Trump busted for lying about NATO in days-late response to world leaders mocking him

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President Donald Trump responded to a week-old tweet from a Fox Business personality about Canada's prime minister and other world leaders mocking him, and spouted misleading claims about NATO allies.

The president falsely claimed in his response to Charles Payne that Justin Trudeau, along with French president Emmanuel Macron and British prime minister Boris Johnson, were actually angry and not laughing about his bizarre news conference at the NATO summit.

"They were just upset that I demanded they pay their fair share for NATO," Trump claimed, four days after Payne's tweet. "Their countries are delinquent. I raised $530 Billion more from NATO countries! Thank you Charles."

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Trump forced to pay up after his charity is exposed as a sham

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Donald Trump on Tuesday paid $2 million in damages as part of a settlement over use of his former charity to further his political and business interests -- the latest item on the US president's list of legal woes.

Trump had been accused of using foundation funds to settle lawsuits, promote his Trump-branded hotels, and for personal spending, including the purchase of a portrait of himself to display at one of his golf clubs.

The $2 million was paid equally to eight different charities, including the Children's Aid Society, the United Negro College Fund and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.

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