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Fight over tobacco settlement money could cost Pennsylvania millions

By Daniel Kelley PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Lawyers for the state of Pennsylvania asked a judge on Friday to throw out an arbitration ruling that could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars from the landmark 1998 settlement with the nation's tobacco companies. Under the settlement, the nation's four largest tobacco companies promised to pay nearly $200 billion over 25 years to 46 states to settle lawsuits that claimed cigarette-related public health costs.

Pennsylvania judge strikes down state's voter ID law

By Ellen Wulfhorst (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania judge struck down the state's controversial voter identification law on Friday, ruling it is unconstitutional and would disenfranchise voters. The law requiring Pennsylvania residents to present photo identification has been the subject of heated debate since it was passed in March 2012 by a Republican-led legislature. It has never been implemented, due to a series of court rulings.

Pennsylvania judge strikes down state's voter ID law

By Ellen Wulfhorst (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania judge struck down the state's controversial voter identification law on Friday, ruling it is unconstitutional and would disenfranchise voters. The law requiring Pennsylvania residents to present photo identification has been the subject of heated debate since it was passed in March 2012 by a Republican-led legislature. It has never been implemented, due to a series of court rulings.

Pa. ruling that threw out gas drilling regulations leaves future of nascent industry uncertain

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania policy makers and the energy industry are thinking about their next moves after the state Supreme Court threw out significant portions of a law that limited the power of local governments to regulate the natural gas industry. The high court on a 4-2 vote Thursday struck down portions of a 2012 law that had been crafted by Gov. Tom Corbett and his industry-friendly allies in the Legislature.

Pennsylvania court may hear gay marriage ban challenge in June

By Daniel Kelley HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - One of the first challenges to a state ban on gay marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court partially struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act is likely to go to trial in June in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. U.S. District Judge John Jones III, who earlier this month denied the state's request to dismiss the case, said he was looking at a June 2014 date for the challenge to Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act.

Preview: Temple at Pennsylvania

What Temple coach Fran Dunphy lacks in returning talent, he will try to make up for with familiarity on Saturday when his Owls continue their “Big Five” city rivalry at Pennsylvania. One of only eight teams to compete in the last six NCAA Tournaments, Temple must replace 73 percent of its offensive output from a season ago, including Atlantic-10 Player of the Year Khalif Wyatt. The Owls also changed conferences in the offseason, leaving for the new American Athletic Conference.

Pennsylvania attorney general refuses to defend state in same-sex lawsuit

By Dave Warner PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane refused on Thursday to fight a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The lawsuit is believed to be the first federal case since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that the U.S. government must recognize same-sex marriages in states where it is legal.

2 studies find gas in Pa. drinking water; one links it to natural source, other to drilling

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - New research in Pennsylvania demonstrates that it's hard to nail down how often natural gas drilling is contaminating drinking water: One study found high levels of methane in some water wells within a half-mile of gas wells, while another found some serious methane pollution occurring naturally, far away from drilling. The findings represent a middle ground between critics of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing who claim it causes widespread contamination, and an industry that suggests they are rare or nonexistent.
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