Three companies have agreed to pay a minimum of $750-million to replace leaking polybutylene plumbing nationwide and compensate property owners for damage caused by the leaks. It is the largest settlement ever in a class-action property damage case.
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The South Korean government says a 64-year-old soldier has escaped from North Korea after 43 years as a prisoner of war. Cho-Chang Ho had been listed as killed in action Cho told how he barely survived on meager corn rations while working up to 18 hours a day under the watchful eye of prison guards. "I was so hungry that I often had to steal food," Cho said. He escaped only after he caught pneumonia and was released from the coal mines to live unattended in a remote area, he said.