By Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) - Authorities battling dozens of large wildfires along the parched U.S. West Coast are clamping down on Independence Day fireworks displays over fears that wayward sparks could trigger fresh blazes. Communities in Washington state and Oregon have imposed restrictions or outright bans on fireworks, while Cupertino, California, joined Alaska's largest city of Anchorage in canceling signature fireworks shows because of drought concerns. "I suggest to show our patriotism, fly U.S. flags, not fireworks," said Erin Janssens, Fire Chief in Portland, Oregon.
Lourdes Segura and Teresa De Leon, sitting on folding chairs by a playground at a Los Angeles park, have neatly set out anything a child might want, from tiny firework snappers that crackle on pavement to Doritos chips. Thousands of Los Angeles street vendors, many of them unauthorized immigrants in a city that has increasingly sought to show support to migrants, may soon be forced out of parks where they peddle ice cream, toys, trinkets, dresses hung on tree branches and other items. "It's been quite a while since the police bothered us," De Leon, 54, an immigrant from El Salvador, said in Spanish.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — More than five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history fouled beaches, coated seabirds in thick goo and threatened delicate marshes, BP has agreed to pay a record settlement to affected states in hopes of bringing an end to a legal drama that has cost the company billions.
FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — The mystery surrounding a missing Phoenix-area couple has been solved with the discovery of their bodies buried 6 feet under a yard and the arrest of a suspect, who told authorities he was high on methamphetamine the night of the killings.
CHICAGO (AP) — For nearly a century, insulin has been a life-saving diabetes treatment. Now scientists are testing a tantalizing question: What if pills containing the same medicine patients inject every day could also prevent the disease?