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Weeds grow in dry cracked earth that used to be the bottom of Lake McClure on March 24, 2015 in La Grange, CaliforniaCalifornia announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history Wednesday in order to combat the region's devastating drought, the worst since records began. Governor Jerry Brown issued the declaration at a press conference in a parched, brown slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that would normally be covered by deep snow. The executive order issued by Brown would aim to achieve a 25 percent reduction in water usage across cities and towns throughout California by a combination of measures. "As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible," Brown said.

FILE - In this March 23, 2015 file photo, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ speaks in Garwood, N.J. Menendez has been indicted on federal corruption charges.(AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bob Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants who rose to become one of the highest-ranking Hispanic members of Congress, was charged Wednesday with accepting nearly $1 million worth of gifts and travel from a longtime friend in exchange for a stream of political favors on the donor's behalf.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, right, answers reporters' questions as Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, lisens at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Hutchinson on Wednesday called for changes to the state's religious objection measure facing a backlash from businesses and gay rights groups, saying it wasn't intended to sanction discrimination based on sexual orientation. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson backed away Wednesday from his promise to sign a controversial religious-objections bill, bowing to pressure from critics that included his own son and some of the state's biggest employers, who say the legislation is anti-gay.

California Governor Brown looks on during a news conference at the State Capitol in SacramentoBy Sharon Bernstein PHILLIPS, Calif. (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown, acting in the face of a devastating multiyear drought, ordered the first statewide mandatory water restrictions on Wednesday, directing cities and communities to reduce usage by 25 percent. The cutbacks, which will be implemented by state and local water agencies with more details to be released later in the day, will affect consumers, farmers and businesses in the most populous U.S. state. "We're just doing it through the different water districts." The governor said the move, which comes as California reports its lowest snowpack levels on record, would save some 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months.

Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson discusses the findings and recommendations of the National School Shield Program in WashingtonBy Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told lawmakers on Wednesday to revise a bill that rights activists and U.S. businesses said allowed discrimination against gays, and home-state corporate giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc praised his action. Indiana's governor a day earlier said lawmakers should fix a similar Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In a news conference at the Capitol in Little Rock, Hutchinson, who previously said he would sign the bill, said he was sending the act back to the Republican-controlled legislature to be rewritten so it can better balance tolerance for diversity and protections of religious freedom.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second left, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, left, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, center, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, second right, and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier wait for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program with other officials from France, China, the European Union and Iran at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Diplomats scrambled Tuesday to reach consensus on the outline of an Iran nuclear deal just hours ahead of a self-imposed deadline to produce an agreement. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)Iran and six world powers are pressing ahead with efforts to hammer out a framework accord.

A police officer creates a perimeter outside a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Police say a man was found dead at the home of Andrew Getty, heir to Getty oil fortune. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Getty, among the heirs in a family whose name is synonymous with elite American wealth, said in a court filing before he was found dead that he suffered from a serious health problem that could endanger his life.

In this image posted on the official Facebook account of Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi shows the premier carrying the national flag as he walks with Iraqi security forces in Tikrit, Iraq, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Iraqi security forces battled the last remaining pockets of Islamic State militants in Tikrit on Wednesday before the defense minister declared a ‘magnificent victory’ over the Islamic State group in Tikrit. (AP Photo/Iraq Prime Minister's office)TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) — The government declared victory in Tikrit on Wednesday over extremists of the Islamic State group, and it warned the militants holding other Iraqi provinces that they would be the next to fall.

Visitors line up in front of the Supreme Court to await rulings in WashingtonBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Protesters disrupted U.S. Supreme Court proceedings for the third time in just over a year on Wednesday, with several people shouting out before the nine justices heard oral arguments in a bankruptcy case. The protesters criticized two court rulings that pared back campaign finance restrictions. Activist group 99Rise, which was responsible for the previous disruptions in February 2014 and this January, issued a statement saying it was behind the protest.

A host of political luminaries attended the dedication Monday of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute on Columbia Point, right next to the presidential library of Teddy’s older brother, President John F. Kennedy.

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Des Moines, IA

Few clouds
  • Few clouds
  • Temperature: 82 °F
  • Wind: S (180°), 25.3 mph, gusts up to 35.7 mph
  • Pressure: 100.5 kPa
  • Rel. Humidity: 19 %
  • Visibility: 10 mi
  • Sunrise: 06:56
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Reported on:
Wed, 04/01/2015 - 15:54

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