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California utility PG&E will pay $1 billion to a group of 14 public entities — including city and county governments — that brought claims against the company for its involvement in deadly wildfires dating back to 2015; it remains unclear when the group will actually be paid, or if they'll be paid at all, since PG&E is in the middle of messy bankruptcy proceedings.

Why it matters: It's the first settlement in what could be a series of payouts to others seeking to recoup losses from wildfires PG&E's power lines have been deemed responsible for sparking. This settlement is a relatively small dollar amount compared to the company's own estimation that it could be on the hook for $30 billion in liability costs. Residents and insurers (unaffected by this settlement) are among the other groups still looking to be paid by PG&E.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

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