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CHICAGO'S Commonwealth Edison Co. has agreed to pay $3.3 million to settle claims it discriminated against women by refusing to hire them as meter readers during the 1980s. . . . TWENTY-FIVE deputy sheriffs who started a bonfire and had a beer bash while on standby duty during November's Malibu wildfire have been suspended without pay. . . . FIERCE STORMS that raked Papua New Guinea killed at least eight and have left more than 3,500 homeless, officials said Thursday.

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