DALLAS (AP) — As a member of what he called "the people's house" for more than a generation, Texas Democrat Jim Wright was known for his rich oratorical skills in the U.S. House. He never relied on them more than the day in 1989, when he told those who had elected him speaker about two years earlier that he was prepared to resign after being accused of violating ethics rules dozens of times.
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California water regulators on Wednesday adopted a new uniform permitting process for seawater desalination projects expected to expand in number as the drought-stricken state increasingly turns to the ocean to supplement its drinking supplies. Action on the desalination rule, which puts key decisions for such plants in the hands of statewide regulators rather than regional boards, came a day after the same state body enacted sweeping cutbacks in water use by California's cities and towns. The latest measure amends California's Ocean Plan to make clear that regulators must evaluate the best available sites, designs, technologies and mitigation measures for minimizing harm to the environment from desalination plants. It also sets a standard limit for the discharge of desalination's waste byproducts back into the ocean, and imposes monitoring and reporting requirements for the discharges.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's leaders took a step Wednesday typically reserved for nations trying to make amends for slavery or genocide, agreeing to pay $5.5 million in reparations to the mostly African-American victims of the city's notorious police torture scandal and to teach schoolchildren about one of the most shameful chapters of Chicago's history.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The last known surviving member of the German engineering team that came to the United States after World War II and designed the rocket that took astronauts to the moon has died.