By James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Once among the most powerful women in American business, Carly Fiorina emerged as a leading contender in the 2016 Republican presidential campaign alongside Donald Trump, another outsider from the corporate world. Fiorina's performance in the party's Wednesday night debate elicited praise on social media and from political strategists as she commanded the stage equally with the likes of billionaire Trump, 69, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 62. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Fiorina, 61, was one of Trump's strongest challengers from 10 candidates anxious to pile on the real-estate mogul and former reality-TV star leading in opinion polls.
Congress must act soon to extend a Dec. 31 rail safety deadline or risk major disruptions to the U.S. economy, the Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee said on Thursday. Thune was talking about a congressionally mandated deadline for freight and passenger railroads to implement a new safety technology known as positive train control, or PTC, by the end of 2015.