Lead Stories

Parallels
3:32 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

In Battered Tikrit, Iraqi Forces Claim Much, But Not All Of City

Iraqi security forces and allied Shiite militiamen look for Islamic State extremists in Tikrit on Tuesday. Iraqi forces were going house-to-house Tuesday in search of snipers and booby traps.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:39 pm

Driving from Baghdad north to Tikrit, we speed up a main road Wednesday through small towns that have been won back from the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS. Some still have smoking buildings.

On the outskirts we pass through places that have obviously seen heavy fighting. Half-built houses are pocked with bullet holes, their windows shattered.

As we move into Tikrit proper, the excited fighters begin celebrating, Iraqi style, with gunshots into the air. They have reason to celebrate with a hard-fought battle that appears to be nearing a conclusion.

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Environment
3:32 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

California Governor Announces First Ever Mandatory Water Restrictions

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 4:03 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Justice Department Won't Charge IRS' Lois Lerner With Criminal Contempt

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:45 pm

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

The Justice Department will not pursue criminal contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was at the center of a political storm over the agency's alleged targeting of conservative groups. The announcement came from Ronald Machen, the outgoing U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, to House Speaker John Boehner. (The letter is embedded at the bottom of this story.)

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Justice Department Indicts Sen. Robert Menendez On Corruption

Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 4:03 pm

The Justice Department has indicted Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, on federal corruption charges.

The indictment alleges that Menendez abused his office to benefit Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor who was the senator's friend and donor. Menendez has always maintained his innocence.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

California Governor Issues 1st-Ever Statewide Manadatory Water Reductions

Morning traffic makes its way toward downtown Los Angeles along the Hollywood Freeway past an electronic sign warning of severe drought. California Gov. Jerry Brown introduced the state's first mandatory water reduction measure this week.
Richard Vogel AP

Gov. Jerry Brown instituted California's first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions on Wednesday, as the state endures its fourth year of drought.

"This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Brown said, mandating several new conservation measures:

  • A reduction in water use by 25 percent for California cities and towns.
  • New pricing structures by local water agencies to encourage conservation.
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