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Showdown Looms In Case Over Virginia Gas Royalties

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Lawsuits accusing two energy companies of cheating southwest Virginia landowners out of royalty payments for natural gas siphoned from coal seams are headed to a showdown that could dramatically expand the scope of the legal action.

At a hearing this week in Abingdon, a U.S. district judge will consider a recommendation from a U.S. magistrate judge that four lawsuits be certified as class actions representing thousands of property owners who've had the gas extracted from their land.

But a ruling isn't expected immediately. The plaintiffs name EQT Production Co. and CNX Gas Co., companies with thousands of wells in Appalachia.

CNX parent CONSOL Energy said it supports the "fair and efficient" distribution of royalties held in a state escrow account to property owners.

WAMU 88.5

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

NPR

Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals: The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear

An endangered whale was found dead over the weekend, entangled in derelict fishing gear. Such incidents have been on the rise in recent years. A new California law aims to combat the problem.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM form a group to set the first industrywide best practices for the technology already powering many applications, such as voice and image recognition.

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