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Gowdy seeks answers from Pruitt over frequent first-class flights

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has written a letter to Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, seeking answers about his frequent first-class travel that has been publicly scrutinized, the Washington Examiner reports.

Why it matters: Concerns from the outgoing South Carolina congressman signal that the questions surrounding Pruitt's travel expenditures are extending beyond Democratic criticism and into an actual GOP-led inquiry. Amid the scrutiny, Pruitt recently blamed the "very toxic environment politically" and security decisions for his expensive flights.

The details: Gowdy wants to know how many times the EPA head has flown first class over the last year, whether the EPA granted him a waiver for the flights and whether employees and security staff at the agency traveled first class as well. He is also inquiring about the airfare of such flights, the Examiner reports.

Go deeper: The Trump officials caught splurging on luxury travel

Steve LeVine 18 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

Khorri Atkinson 12 hours ago
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Brother of Florida shooter arrested for trespassing at Stoneman Douglas High

Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in the Florida schol school massacre. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett, Pool / Getty Images

Zachary Cruz, the brother of Nikolas Cruz who confessed to carrying out last month's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was arrested Monday after authorities say he trespassed on the site where the shooting took place, per the Miami Herald.

Situational awareness: The arrest comes just over a month after his brother shot and killed 14 students and 3 staff members to which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.