News You Can Use

Utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric announced a $13.5 billion settlement agreement to resolve all claims associated with several Northern California wildfires that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of businesses and homes. The wildfires have been tied to the company's equipment.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who pleaded guilty this week to misusing campaign donations, announced Friday that he will resign his congressional seat.

"Shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress," he said in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years."

Mayor Pete Buttigieg called on McKinsey & Co. Friday to release its client list from Buttigieg's time at the prestigious global consulting firm, a response to criticism that he hasn't been transparent about his nearly three years there.

President Trump has decided to stay out of the impeachment inquiry being conducted by the House of Representatives.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone rejected an offer from House Democrats that would have allowed the president to send counsel to represent him at future impeachment hearings.

In a short two-paragraph letter to Democrats, Cipollone said the impeachment inquiry is "completely baseless and has violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness."

Bogdan Bartnikowski recalls occasionally asking older inmates, out of innocence or desperation, when he would be released from Auschwitz. He recalls, too, the answer that inevitably came back.

"You want to be free?" they would tell Bartnikowski, who was 12 at the time. After a mirthless laugh, they would point to the chimneys. "This is how you get out. There is no other way out."

When the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, sailor Lauren Bruner was the second-to-last person to get off the USS Arizona alive.

Bruner and five others were stranded on the doomed ship when a sailor on a repair ship spotted them and threw them a line. Even though Bruner was badly burned and had been shot twice, the 21-year-old managed to climb to safety.

Saturday is the deadline for most people with Medicare coverage to sign up for private drug and medical plans for next year. But members of Congress, health care advocates and insurance agents worry that enrollment decisions based on bad information from the government's revamped, error-prone Plan Finder website will bring unwelcome surprises.

Beneficiaries could be stuck in plans that cost too much and don't meet their medical needs — with no way out until 2021.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Friday that he is suspending a policy that permitted correctional staff to perform a strip search on an 8-year-old girl last month as she was trying to visit her father.

The incident took place days before the Thanksgiving holiday at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, about a 75-minute drive west of Richmond.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made his latest address to the nation this week in the gym, then posted it on Facebook.

A pair of armed robbers and two others, including the driver of a hijacked UPS truck, were killed in an exchange of gunfire with South Florida police officers after the suspects on Thursday led authorities on a high-speed chase.

The robbers held up a jewelry store before commandeering the UPS truck and holding its driver hostage, according to Coral Gables Police. After fleeing the scene and evading police for dozens of miles, the truck stopped in the middle of rush hour traffic as dozens of armed officers surrounded it.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Child advocate Mary Previte spent three decades devoted to the compassionate care of the troubled young people in her charge at the Camden County Youth Center in New Jersey. Previte died last month at age 87.

Virginity tests are making headlines in the United States. In November, the rapper T.I. drew a firestorm of criticism after he said during a podcast interview that he requires his 18-year-old daughter to undergo an annual virginity test with her gynecologist.

This past September, the 20th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference featured a broad range of showcases from diverse musicians across alt-country, roots-rock, bluegrass, R&B, blues, folk and the singer-songwriter genre.

Samoan authorities have arrested a prominent anti-vaccination activist amid an outbreak that has killed at least 63 people, most of them children.

Edwin Tamasese has been charged with "incitement against a government order," according to the BBC.

People have been playing music together in the small Appalachian town of Hindman, Ky., since it was founded in the late 1800s. Today, one of the few businesses still open in the town is the Appalachian School of Luthiery, which teaches people how to build wooden stringed instruments. Now that school is playing a role in helping the local community overcome drug addiction.

On a typical Friday, the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris would be positively seething with travelers hustling to catch their trains or greet arrivals. After all, it saw some 110 million passengers walk through its doors last year alone.

This, however, was not exactly a typical Friday in Paris.

Updated at 9:32 p.m. ET

The gunman who killed three people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning was a Saudi aviation student, officials say. The gunman was killed by a sheriff's deputy after the shooting, which left eight people injured.

Eye Central Television is a popular satirical TV news show in Taiwan, with an active social media presence. One day in April, it received a Facebook message from someone using the name Tina Hsu, but this was no ordinary fan.

Hsu's Facebook profile was blank; it had just been created that morning.

And Hsu made a surprising proposition: to buy EyeCTV's Facebook admin rights, taking control of the content shared with its more than 420,000 followers.

Updated at 2:33 p.m. ET

U.S. employers added a better-than-expected 266,000 jobs in November in a sign the economy continues to power ahead.

The unemployment rate dipped to 3.5%. Job gains for the two previous months were revised up by a total of 41,000.

"It's a tremendous report," said White House economist Tom Philipson. "Obviously, it's something to be very happy about."

Before dawn Friday, police transported four suspects to the scene of a crime that has outraged their nation: A roadside in southern India, where the men are accused of gang-raping a woman, suffocating her and setting her body on fire.

The woman's Nov. 27 murder sparked protests and candlelight vigils across India. Within 48 hours, police had arrested the four, their brutality allegedly caught on CCTV cameras.

Police said they needed to question the suspects at the crime scene — before daybreak — to have them retrace their steps and collect more evidence.

Five people moved in tandem down a trail, connected by a wheelchair unlike any other.

This hiking trail, popular with Bend, Ore., families, is a testing ground for inventor Geoff Babb. One miscalculation about how to navigate a tight squeeze of boulders, and he could topple over the edge toward an ice-cold river below. But that's not what worried Babb, who hasn't walked since a stroke 14 years ago.

"I don't feel scared on the trail. I trust these guys to figure it out," Babb said, adding that he feels more vulnerable crossing a city street.

On "good" bad days, the shells lie open at the bottom of the river, shimmering in the refracted sunlight. Their insides, pearl white and picked clean of flesh, flicker against the dark riverbed like a beacon, alerting the world above to a problem below.

The divide among Democrats over "Medicare for All" has dominated the policy conversation in the 2020 Democratic primary. But another rift has opened among Democrats, this one about college affordability. The question: Who should get to go to college for free?

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg jabbed at his more liberal opponents in a new ad airing in Iowa. It doesn't name other candidates, but it's clear he's taking aim at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have pitched plans making free public college available to all.

Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET

The tariff war has caused a lot of anxiety for business owners and farmers. But how much has it hurt the overall economy?

The stock market got off to a rocky start this week when President Trump launched a new round of tariff threats. But administration loyalists insist concern about the trade war is overblown.

The impeachment process now underway against President Trump comes 21 years to the month after the last presidential impeachment, when the House approved two articles against then-President Bill Clinton.

And there are many parallels in the two procedures.

With Democrats in the House of Representatives formally moving to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump, the top Republican on the committee that will author those articles is saying the White House should participate in the impeachment inquiry. But participation should happen only, he says, "when there is an actual opportunity in which it is a situation in which they can present, do the presentation that they need to."

After decades of progress against one of the most contagious human viruses, the world is seeing measles stage a slow, steady comeback.

The World Health Organization and the CDC say in a new report that there were nearly 10 million cases of measles last year, with outbreaks on every continent.

An estimated 140,000 people died from measles in 2018, WHO says, up from an all-time low of 90,000 in 2016.

And so far 2019 has been even worse.

A study designed to test the effectiveness of a controversial practice known as "abortion pill reversal" has been stopped early because of safety concerns.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, were investigating claims that the hormone progesterone can stop a medication-based abortion after a patient has completed the first part of the two-step process.

Updated at 11:12 p.m. ET

As a 23-year-old woman in India was heading to testify against a man who allegedly raped her, a group of men that she says included her rapist attacked her and set her on fire. It's yet another horrifying incident in a country grappling with high levels of sexual violence against women.

One of her doctors at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh says she is in very serious condition.

All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly interviews Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, on Capital Hill about the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Mary Louise Kelly: We are speaking on the day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced the House is ready to move forward with articles of impeachment. What's your response?

Pages