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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / November 19, 2007



One of the largest wildfires among a number that raged in southern California last month was ignited by sparking low-voltage power lines, according to the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The lines were believed to be in compliance with all regulations at the time of the fire, which burned 300 square miles, but the agency said it won't elaborate until its investigation is complete.

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Hollywood writers and studios have agreed to return to formal contract negotiations Monday. Compensation for shows offered on the Internet is at the heart of the two-week strike, which has seen shows go off the air faster than expected as some cast members refuse to cross picket lines.

The White House has spent almost $100 million during the past six years on a classified program to help Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf secure his country's nuclear weapons, The New York Times said Sunday.

The FBI hasn't yet let convicted defendants know that a procedure once used to chemically link crime-scene bullets to those in a suspect's gun was discarded as unreliable more than two years ago, a joint investigation by The Washington Post and CBS's "60 Minutes" has found.

The accrediting agency that assesses academic standards at Gallaudet University has taken the nation's only liberal arts school for the deaf off probation. Still, the university must continue its efforts to become more academically rigorous.

The Environmental Protection Agency presented Vermont and four smaller entities with National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement. Housing authorities in Seattle and Portland, Ore., the borough of Manhattan, and the town of Barnstable, Mass., were cited for protecting the environment, preserving community identity, and expanding economic opportunity.

In New York Saturday, union representatives for Broadway stagehands met with theater producers for the first time since Nov. 8, but no details were provided on the possibilities of ending a labor walkout. Above, a stagehand pickets outside a Broadway theater.

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