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California gas pipeline explosion, fire injure up to 15 people

A firefighter watches the blaze after a gas line exploded near FresnoBy Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A construction crew on Friday accidentally ruptured a natural gas transmission line in Fresno, California, sparking an explosion and fire that injured up to 15 people, four of them critically, officials said. The 12-inch (30-cm) pipeline, belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Corp , was struck by a backhoe near state Highway 99, unleashing a fireball that injured members of the construction team and a prison inmate crew nearby, Fresno Fire Department spokesman Peter Martinez said. Four of the injured were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, and two more were taken to the burn unit there, said hospital spokeswoman Mary Lisa Russell, adding that four were in critical condition and two serious. A county public works equipment operator struck the natural gas line, said The Fresno Bee, citing Fresno County Administrative Officer John Navarrette.


APNewsBreak: Video released of 'Suge' Knight running over 2

This evidence photo by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, released by Los Angeles Superior Court, is one of a series of photos showing Marion "Suge" Knight after his arrest after an altercation in which his vehicle struck two men in Compton, Calif., on Jan. 29, 2015. One man was killed, the other injured. Officials took these photos to show Knight's physical condition after the incident. The photos have been entered into evidence in the court proceedings. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office/Los Angeles Superior Court via AP)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Video of Marion "Suge" Knight plowing into two men with his pickup truck and other key evidence in the former rap music mogul's murder case was released Friday by a Los Angeles court.


Campaign begins in Arizona to make recreational marijuana legal

A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening on New Year's day in Northglenn, ColoradoBy David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Advocates for legalizing marijuana launched a petition campaign in Phoenix on Friday seeking a ballot measure that could make Arizona the fifth U.S. state to allow possession, cultivation and consumption of small amounts of pot for recreational use. Supporters have until July of next year to obtain the signatures of 150,642 registered voters in the politically conservative state in order to get their initiative placed on the November 2016 ballot, election officials said. Following the leads of five other western states and the District of Columbia, the Arizona measure would legalize possession, cultivation and private personal consumption of marijuana by adults for the sake of just getting high. Arizona is already one of 23 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, that allow marijuana for medicinal purposes.


Texas House approves bill that limits city bans on fracking
By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - A bill that would stop Texas cities from enacting their own bans on hydraulic fracturing in the nation's top crude oil and natural gas producing state was approved on Friday in the state House of Representatives. The bill bars cities from overly regulating the industry, targeting a ban on fracking, a method of extracting oil and gas that uses high pressure, adopted by voters in Denton, Texas, a college town about 30 miles (50 km) north of Dallas. Representatives voted 122-18 to advance the bill. The Texas Senate has yet to vote on a similar bill.
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