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Black Openly Gay Judge Would Be Federal Bench's First

President Obama nominated Florida Judge Darrin Gayles to serve on the U.S. District Court bench. GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who blocked the president's last nominee for the position, says he doesn't plan to object.
NPR

'Almost Otherwordly': The Sea Caves Of Lake Superior, On Ice

Thousands of people have walked out to the caves in recent weeks to inspect beautiful ice formations. It's the first time Lake Superior's ice has been thick enough to walk on in the area since 2009.
NPR

Scientists Help Western States Prepare For Drought As New Norm

In a warming world, extreme droughts are predicted to become more common. Amid the historic drought gripping California and much of the West Coast, scientists are studying how states can manage with a lot less water in the future.
NPR

Celebrities Turn Star Power Toward Political Stage

Clay Aiken is the latest in a long line of actors, singers, reality TV stars and athletes to seek second careers in politics. But fame is no guarantee of success at the ballot box.
NPR

More Than 80,000 Tons Of Coal Ash Flow Into N.C. River

A broken stormwater pipe in North Carolina has sent the waste into the Dan River, which flows through Virginia and out into the Atlantic. Officials say the drinking water is safe, but environmental questions linger.
NPR

In The Depths Of A Drought, One Mayor Seeks Ways To Cope

Melissa Block speaks with Holly Madrigal, the mayor of Willits, Calif., about the ways her city is seeking to conserve water in the midst of the drought.
NPR

U.S. HVAC Firm Reportedly Linked To Target's Data Security Breach

Hackers who broke into Target's computer network and stole customers' financial and personal data used credentials that were stolen from a heating and air conditioning subcontractor in Pennsylvania, according to digital security journalist Brian Krebs.
NPR

White House Creates 'Climate Hubs' To Help Rural Towns, Farmers

President Obama used an executive order to start a program intended to help farmers and ranchers cope with weather changes that have begun to alter growing seasons and crop health.
NPR

California Is So Dry, Some Diners Won't Get Water Unless They Ask

Across the state, towns and cities now see waste in the the full water glasses left on diners' tables. Santa Cruz is one of the first California towns to bar restaurants from serving drinking water unless diners request it.
NPR

Which Way For Stocks? Investors Watch 'Worry Index' For Clues

The new year has brought much higher volatility to the market, with stocks bouncing up or down almost daily amid doubts about the global economic outlook. The closely watched Volatility Index has signaled uncertainty about the market's direction in recent weeks.

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