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Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Rex Tillerson takes tough line on Russian hacking in tense hearing

- The Washington Times

Former ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, took a tough line on Russian hacking, praised Mexican immigrants and acknowledged the problem posed by global climate change -- drawing repeated accolades from Democrats during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, but setting up some potentially awkward moments with his future boss.

VW emissions-cheating deal could put employees in hot seat

- Associated Press

The imminent criminal plea deal between Volkswagen and U.S. prosecutors in an emissions-cheating scandal could be bad news for one group of people: VW employees who had a role in the deceit or subsequent cover-up.

This Jan. 4, 2017, image provided by the U.S. Energy Department and its contractor Nuclear Waste Partnership shows workers moving waste underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M. The repository, the federal government's only underground spot for disposing of low-level nuclear waste, had been shuttered for nearly three years since a 2014 radiation release. (Sam Christensen/Nuclear Waste Partnership via U.S. Energy Department)

Ernest Moniz, energy secretary, lauds opening of nuke repository

- Associated Press

It was the determination of workers over nearly three years and pure ingenuity that allowed the nation's only underground repository for low-level nuclear waste to recover from a radiation release, the head of the U.S. Energy Department said.

House Science Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this June 7, 2012, file photo. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

House GOP accuses Energy Dept. of political intimidation

- The Washington Times

The administration fired one of its employees for telling the truth to Congress, GOP lawmakers charged Tuesday, saying President Obama's political appointees were upset she backed a radiation program popular on Capitol Hill but which the Energy Department had wanted to ax.