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May 28, 2015

U.S. expands protection for streams, water supply

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled expanded safeguards Wednesday for streams and wetlands that supply drinking water to more than 100 million people. The EPA said it had finalized rules to better ensure that U.S. water protection is “precisely defined and predictably determined.” Approximately ...

Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 19

May 28, 2015

Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 19

Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 19 people dead and a dozen others missing. More rain fell on the hard-hit Houston area, temporarily ...

May 28, 2015

U.S. state abolishes death penalty in landmark override vote

Nebraska abolished the death penalty on Wednesday in a landmark veto-override vote backed by an unusual coalition of conservatives who oppose capital punishment. Senators in the one-house Legislature voted 30-19 to override Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican who supports the death penalty. The vote ...

May 28, 2015

Iran, North Korea forging ballistic, nuclear ties: dissidents

An exiled Iranian opposition group said on Thursday that a delegation of North Korean experts in nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles had visited a military site near Tehran in April amid talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program. The dissident National ...

Trolls cast pall over U.S. spelling bee

May 28, 2015

Trolls cast pall over U.S. spelling bee

Racist trolling on social media is casting an ugly pall over, of all things, the world’s foremost spelling bee. For seven years in a row, and for 11 of the past 15 years, the $30,000 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship has been won by ...

SpaceX cleared for U.S. military launches

May 28, 2015

SpaceX cleared for U.S. military launches

Billionaire Elon Musk’s firm SpaceX has won long-waited approval from the U.S. Air Force to launch military satellites, opening the way to a lucrative market that has been a virtual monopoly for a Boeing and Lockheed Martin joint venture. With the certification, California-based SpaceX ...

Airstrike option alone seen not working against fluid Islamic State

May 28, 2015

Airstrike option alone seen not working against fluid Islamic State

It is the modern era’s military strategy of choice: overwhelming air power delivering precision-guided punishment backed by intelligence on the ground, with minimal exposure for soldiers of the striking side. Seductive though it is to risk-averse governments with war-weary publics, the approach has its ...

Islamic State slays 20 before crowd in Palmyra Roman theater

May 28, 2015

Islamic State slays 20 before crowd in Palmyra Roman theater

The Islamic State group “executed” 20 men in front of a crowd in the UNESCO-listed Roman theater of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra on Wednesday, a monitor said. Across the border the jihadis claimed to have abolished when they proclaimed their caliphate last year, ...