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Oases: Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown is instituting statewide mandatory water reductions on residents. Republicans are striking back, saying such draconian policies will not save the Golden State from its drought. (Associated Press)

Liberals blamed for California drought

- The Washington Times

For California Gov. Jerry Brown to crack down on shower-taking and toilet-flushing to save precious quarts of water as millions of gallons flow into the Pacific Ocean doesn’t make a lot of sense to Travis Allen.

A funnel cloud crosses south Perryville Road on Thursday, April 9, 2015, south of Interstate 39 in Rockford, Ill. (AP Photo/Rockford Register Star, Max Gersh) MANDATORY CREDIT

Tornado kills 2 people, destroys homes in tiny Illinois town

- Associated Press

A second woman from a tiny Illinois farming community has died, Gov. Bruce Rauner confirmed Friday, a day after tornadoes struck a six-county swath of the state, injuring about a dozen other people and sweeping homes off their foundations.

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ADVANCE FOR USE SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 2014 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - This April 27, 2010 file photo shows an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the Chandeleur Islands, off the Southeastern tip of Louisiana. From above, five years after the BP well explosion, the Gulf of Mexico looks clean, green and whole again, teeming with life: a testament to the resilience of nature. But there's more than surface shimmering blue and emerald to the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill. And it's not nearly as pretty a picture, nor as clear. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Gulf health 5 years after BP spill: Resilient yet scarred

- Associated Press

From above, five years after the BP well explosion, the Gulf of Mexico looks clean, green and whole again, teeming with life - a testament to the resilience of nature.

Senator: Decade-old Gulf oil leak is 'unacceptable'

- Associated Press

A U.S. senator from Florida is pressing federal officials to disclose technical data and other information about a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, after an investigation by The Associated Press revealed evidence that the spill is far worse than a company or government regulators have publicly reported.

Americans with illegal Iraq War souvenirs go unprosecuted

- Associated Press

As the elected Iraqi government seeks diplomatic respect and struggles to save its ancient sites from the rampages of the Islamic State group, American military members, contractors and others caught with culturally significant artifacts they brought home from the war there are going largely unprosecuted.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown forms a heart with her hands as she says "I love Oregon" during her State of the State address in Portland, Ore., Friday, April 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Governor seeks to turn the page in state of the state

- Associated Press

Seeking to turn the page on the influence-peddling controversy that toppled her predecessor, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that Oregon is "through the hardest part of that transition."

Hearing examiner rejects utility's plan to raise rates

- Associated Press

A state hearing examiner on Friday rejected a plan by New Mexico's largest electric provider that called for raising rates for residential and business customers and charging more for new solar customers to connect to the grid.