Vanessa Romo

Lawyers filed a class action lawsuit on Tuesday against the company that operates the gas pipelines linked to a rash of explosions and fires that rocked the Massachusetts towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover last week.

The complaint, which names Columbia Gas and its parent company, NiSource, as defendants, alleges "antiquated" gas lines in unsafe conditions caused the over-pressurization of the system, leading to "catastrophic consequences."

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET on Friday

Federal authorities have opened an investigation into a series of explosions that set off fires in several small towns in Massachusetts on Thursday night, killing one person and injuring several others.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Friday that it is sending a team to investigate "what certainly appears to be multiple explosions involving a natural gas pipeline."

A federal judge denied bail on Wednesday to all five members of an extended family accused of operating a training camp for a violent attack on public institutions out of their isolated New Mexico compound.

During the arraignment hearing, Magistrate Judge Kirtan Khalsa told the defendants there was "clear and convincing evidence that you are a danger to the community," The Associated Press reported.

The company that is suing surviving victims of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting has offered to make charitable contributions on their behalf — a move the company hopes will allow the case to proceed to federal court.

In a Tuesday letter addressed to attorneys representing more than 1,900 named defendants, MGM Resorts International offered to donate $500 to any charity connected to the deadly concert shooting for victims who authorize their lawyers to accept legal notice of the company's lawsuit.

A federal judge in Florida has ordered Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner to mandate that local election officials comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by providing sample ballots in Spanish. Plaintiffs asked for the materials because many people moved from Puerto Rico to Florida after Hurricane Maria and hope to cast ballots in the November general elections.

As fall — usually California's busiest fire season — approaches, officials say the agency that oversees emergency fire responses is running out of money.

Cal Fire's director, Ken Pimlott, asked lawmakers for an additional $234 million to be made available as soon as possible, in a letter to state lawmakers on Thursday.

He wrote that fires caused by "climate change driven extreme weather conditions" have triggered massive spending across the state.

Don't think of it as a reversal.

Think of it as the first act of a movie in which the lead — an incredibly attractive, symmetrically faced character — is up against seemingly insurmountable odds. Except in this version, that handsome-yet-relatable hero is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The challenge it faces is trying to make the sluggish annual Oscar ceremony a bit more lively. Only, it's meeting a lot of resistance.

When the feel-good story about a chance encounter between Johnny Bobbitt and Kate McClure that changed both their lives hit the daytime TV circuit, he said her generosity inspired an "indescribable" feeling in him. But less than a year later, that feeling has become devastation, according to his lawyer.

The Trump administration announced on Friday it would cease all funding of an agency that provides services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees. It is a reversal of decades of U.S. policy on a core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation," State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert said in a statement.

A Canadian court sided unanimously with environmentalist and indigenous groups on Thursday in a decision that indefinitely halts the construction of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

The ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal reverses the Canadian government's approval of the troubled multibillion dollar project. The court said the government failed to "fulfill the duty to consult owed to Indigenous people."

Editor's note: This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.

At least seven people were killed and dozens more seriously injured in a head-on crash between a semitruck and a Greyhound bus on Thursday in New Mexico, according to state police. The number of fatalities was raised from an initial confirmation of 4 deaths.

"Many passengers with serious injuries were transported to a nearby hospital," the state police said on Twitter. The exact number of injuries is still under investigation.

Pennsylvania ordered a lockdown Wednesday of its entire state prison system after a number of staffers became ill from suspected exposure to tainted synthetic drugs, an incident that comes as five inmates have died from overdoses in Arkansas and dozens were sickened in Ohio under similar circumstances.

State Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said the cautionary move was aimed at ensuring the "safety and security of our employees" after multiple illnesses among prison staff in recent weeks.

California will become the first state in the nation to abolish bail for suspects awaiting trial under a sweeping reform bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.

An overhaul of the state's bail system has been in the works for years, and became an inevitability earlier this year when a California appellate court declared the state's cash bail system unconstitutional. The new law goes into effect in October 2019.

Kushner Cos. has been hit with $210,000 in fines by New York City regulators for filing false real estate paperwork over several years.

President Trump's son-in-law — and current adviser — Jared Kushner was still at the helm of the real estate company as CEO when, the New York City Department of Buildings says, the company routinely falsified construction applications at 17 sites.

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