NATIONWIDE: Drought growing ever worse
The widest drought to grip the United States in decades is getting worse with no signs of abating, a new report warned Thursday, as more ranchers considered selling cattle. The report showed its intensity is rapidly increasing, with 20 percent of the nation in the two worst stages of drought, up 7 percent from last week. The U.S. Drought Monitor classifies drought from moderate to severe, extreme and, ultimately, exceptional. It is severe or worse in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Arkansas and Oklahoma are nearly as bad. Conditions are not expected to get better, with little rain and more intense heat forecast for the rest of the summer.
WASHINGTON: Joint attack on health fraud
The Obama administration and major insurers announced Thursday they will share data and investigative know-how about health care fraud on a scale not previously seen to try to shut off billions of dollars in questionable payments. At a White House event with insurance executives, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new public-private partnership will take on scam artists poking at the system for weaknesses.
CALIFORNIA: Anaheim, a city of contrasts
As police around Anaheim City Hall tried to quell rock-hurling protesters angry over two deadly police shootings, the night sky exploded with Disneyland fireworks a few miles away. Pyrotechnics went off as officers in riot gear fired pepper balls and bean bags at protesters.