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National headlines

The latest national headlines from NPR and its team of reporters

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."

Tesla said on Tuesday it was complying with a Justice Department request for documents, in connection with Chief Executive Elon Musk's announcement that he was taking the publicly traded company private.

The Trump administration is proposing to roll back another Obama-era energy regulation, this time one that aimed to curb methane leaks from oil and gas operations on tribal and public lands.

New life was breathed into a perennial debate this week, when a former Sesame Street writer revealed that not only did he consider beloved characters Bert and Ernie to be a gay couple, but he used his own relationship as creative inspiration.

On Sunday, Queerty published an interview with Mark Saltzman, who worked on the show in the 1980s and 90s, asking him if he thought of Bert and Ernie as a gay couple.

Updated at 9:29 p.m. ET

Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her at a high school party when they were teenagers more than three decades ago, told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley that an FBI investigation should be "the first step in addressing her allegations."

Floodwaters keep rising in the Carolinas as post-Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump rain on the region. The dangerous storm has already left more than 30 dead and displaced thousands of others, leaving them without electricity or shelter.

In the aftermath of Florence, North and South Carolina officials are encouraging people to volunteer or donate if they can. Here's a guide to how to help.

Why give cash

Facebook became embroiled in another controversy Tuesday, after the American Civil Liberties Union accused the company of giving employers a powerful tool to discriminate against women seeking work.

The complaint alleges that Facebook allowed employers to target job ads exclusively to men — that "they're profiting from thousands of ads that are being hidden from women," civil rights lawyer Peter Romer-Friedman of Outten & Golden told NPR.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

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