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The Pacific Gas & Electric logo on a truck in Jan. 2019 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) on Friday struck a deal, pledging to help wildfire victims and improve safety in order to emerge from bankruptcy, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last January, facing an estimated $30 billion in claims over its potential role in deadly wildfires across the state, and in December agreed to a $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims.

  • PG&E will not pay dividends to shareholders under the deal for three years, saving roughly $4 billion, according to calculations by the California governor’s office cited by the Times.
  • PG&E should be able to exit bankruptcy by June 30 under this deal.

What they're saying:

“Through California’s unprecedented intervention in the bankruptcy, we secured a totally transformed board and leadership structure for the company, real accountability tools to ensure safety and reliability and billions more in contributions from shareholders to ensure safety upgrades are achieved.”
— California Gov. Gavin Newsom

What's next, per the NYT: "A federal judge still needs to approve the company’s bankruptcy plan, but the agreement with Governor Newsom makes the approval much more likely."

Go deeper: PG&E bankruptcy judge sides with fire victims in liability challenge

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.