NEW ORLEANS - President Barack Obama on Thursday heralded the progress New Orleans has made rebuilding since Hurricane Katrina battered the area 10 years ago but said more needed to be done to overcome poverty and inequality.
SAN FRANCISCO - Drought-stricken California cut urban water use statewide by 31.3 percent during July, exceeding a government mandate to reduce consumption by 25 percent for a second consecutive month, the State Water Resources Control Board said on Thursday.
BEIJING - China's Environment Ministry has put in place a 24-hour monitoring system for pollutants from explosions this month at a port and will report accurate and timely data to the public, it said on Friday.
MIAMI - Tropical Storm Erika weakened slightly on Thursday as it dumped torrential rain on islands in the Eastern Caribbean and appeared to be headed for the U.S. East Coast early next week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
NEW ORLEANS - Of all the areas near New Orleans blasted by Hurricane Katrina, none was harder hit than St. Bernard Parish, a low-lying coastal stretch southeast of the city, once known for its small fishing villages and thriving seafood industry.
- Hawaii authorities reopened Honolulu's famed Waikiki Beach on Wednesday after water quality tests indicated the ocean was again safe for swimmers following a serious sewage spill earlier this week.
BERLIN - Knut, the star polar bear who was hand-reared at Berlin zoo after his mother rejected him, had a type of auto-immune inflation of the brain that is found in humans, scientists said on Thursday.
BRUSSELS - Monsanto said it would abide by Latvia's and Greece's requests under a new EU opt-out law to be excluded from its application to grow a genetically modified (GM) crop across the European Union, but accused them of ignoring science.
SEATTLE - Lawmakers were urged to boost federal funding for local wildfire prevention efforts at a meeting in Seattle on Thursday during a summer that has seen scores of major blazes across the drought-parched West.
LIBREVILLE - Measures to counter the trafficking of wildlife in a proposed Pacific trade pact should help to discourage animal poaching in Africa, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.