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For weeks, a crackdown on fuel theft by the Mexican government has led to widespread gas shortages and miles-long lines at gas stations.

So when a pipeline in the state of Hidalgo burst open Friday, sending a spray of fuel into the air, area residents rushed to collect it in buckets and barrels.

~~~~~https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FWRADIOMexico%2Fstatus%2F1086473724977528832~~~~~~

Two hours later, the gushing pipeline exploded, turning what had been an excited gathering into a hellish inferno.

Opinion: Leaving Syria Is Far Less Risky Than Staying

3 hours ago

Aaron David Miller (@aarondmiller2), a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former State Department adviser and Middle East negotiator, is the author of The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President.

Richard Sokolsky, a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was a member of the secretary of state's Office of Policy Planning from 2005-2015.

Lisa Abramson says that even after all she's been through — the helicopters circling her house, the snipers on the roof, and the car ride to jail — she still wants to have a second child.

That's because right after her daughter was born in 2014 — before all that trouble began — everything felt amazing. Lisa was smitten, just like she'd imagined she would be. She'd look into her baby's round, alert eyes and feel the adrenaline rush through her. She had so much energy. She was so excited.

Until this week, President Trump and several hundred million other Americans assumed he would be coming to the Capitol to give his State of the Union address this month.

That was based on nearly 230 years of tradition, recently renewed by the invitation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Divers off the coast of Oahu's North Shore had the rare treat last week of swimming and frolicking with a great white shark, widely believed to be one of the largest in the world, and the thrilling, inter-species encounter was captured on video.

Ocean Ramsey, who independently studies sharks and leads cage-free shark diving tours off the Hawaiian island, was in the water with her team, monitoring a group of tiger sharks feeding on a decomposing sperm whale on Tuesday, when she suddenly spotted Deep Blue, as the 20-foot-long female shark is called.

Officials in Columbia, S.C., have evacuated more than 400 people from a public housing complex after finding multiple gas leaks that constituted an "imminent danger to life."

Two men were discovered dead in separate units on Thursday morning. Police haven't confirmed the deaths are tied to the gas leaks, but say they don't suspect foul play.

An Iranian-American woman arrested five days ago during a visit to the U.S. is testifying behind closed doors to a grand jury in Washington, D.C., a U.S. federal judge said Friday.

The disclosure by Beryl Howell, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, marked the first time any U.S. authority has provided information on the mystery surrounding Marzieh Hashemi, an anchor on Press TV, the English-language version of Iran's state television.

According to a report by Billboard magazine on Friday afternoon, R. Kelly has been dropped by RCA Records. The move comes in the wake of a documentary series called Surviving R. Kelly that aired on Lifetime and cataloged more than 25 years of accusations of sexual and physical abuse made against Kelly by a number of women, including seven who were interviewed on camera.

It has been a long, long time since New York City's newsstands have been bereft of copies of The Forward. Founded as a Yiddish-language daily in 1897, the newspaper once known as The Jewish Daily Forward endured a host of major changes over its long life span — but through them all, the small publication reliably went to press with news that its predominantly American Jewish audience often couldn't find elsewhere.

But that will change come springtime.

The Department of Defense released Friday the names of three Americans who died in a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Manbij in northern Syria. A fourth U.S. casualty was a military contractor and has not yet been identified in the attack that is said to have killed 15 people.

Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have agreed to a second meeting following their initial summit last year.

"President Donald J. Trump met with Kim Yong Chol for an hour and half, to discuss denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February. The President looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced after Trump met Friday in the Oval Office with the North Korean envoy.

Zimbabwe has constricted Internet access amid a week of deadly protests following an increase in gasoline prices.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country's largest mobile phone operator, said early Friday that it had been directed by the government to shut down all Internet access for the second time in a week.

Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in November in part by promising to work across the aisle and get things done. Now the newly elected freshmen must decide how they will use their newfound power in the face of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history.

About one-third of the more than 3 million Venezuelans who have fled their nation's deep economic crisis have settled in next-door Colombia. But some of these refugees, instead of finding safe haven, are being recruited into Colombia's guerrilla groups, human rights and military officials tell NPR.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller used a rare statement on Friday night to dispute the report by BuzzFeed News that President Trump had instructed his former lawyer to lie to Congress.

The Justice Department announcement appeared not quite 24 hours after the explosive story from Thursday night. Although it didn't go into detail, the response suggested the story didn't correctly reflect the special counsel's dealings with Trump's ex-fixer.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The back and forth between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., over the partial government shutdown escalated Friday, as Pelosi said the White House leaked plans for a congressional delegation to fly commercially to Afghanistan.

On Thursday, Trump said he was revoking a military flight for the codel, suggesting Pelosi fly commercial instead.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the Trump administration has told states they can't offer unemployment benefits to federal employees who are required to report to work without pay during the government shutdown.

Newsom called a letter sent to states by the U.S. Department of Labor "jaw-dropping and extraordinary" as he met with TSA workers at the Sacramento International Airport Thursday afternoon. "So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them."

Updated at 9:09 p.m. ET

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced on Friday to six years and nine months in prison for the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald — an event that he called the worst day of his life.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

On Friday, as they have for decades, anti-abortion rights activists marched through Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Supreme Court – a location that symbolizes the long-held goal of reversing the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973.

But this year's rally comes at a moment when many anti-abortion activists are feeling more hopeful about that goal, on the heels of the confirmation and swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

In its quest to blunt the effects of the partial government shutdown, the Trump administration is using broad legal interpretations to continue providing certain services.

Critics argue that the administration is stretching — and possibly breaking — the law to help bolster President Trump's position in his fight with Democrats over funding for a border wall.

Even with the creative use of loopholes and existing funds, though, the actions the administration is taking will be hard to sustain if the shutdown continues to drag on.

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