Russia said Ukraine’s natural gas debt climbed to almost $2 billion and signaled supplies may be cut, ratcheting up pressure on its neighbor as they scrap over the future of the Black Sea Crimea region.
California is parched. The state’s worst drought in decades has left its reservoirs half-naked, if not skeletal. Officials say 17 communities could run out of drinking water this summer; some are considering mandatory rationing; and 500,000 acres in the state may be left fallow.
The U.S. Senate blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the government’s top civil rights enforcer after Republicans and law enforcement groups objected to his role in the case of a Black Panther activist convicted of killing a white Philadelphia police officer.
President Barack Obama said the success of companies that are paying lower-level employees more than the federal minimum wage stands as a rebuttal to arguments that raising the U.S. standard would cost jobs.
Former Republican senators Alan Simpson and Nancy Kassebaum joined a group supporting civil marriage rights for same-sex couples in a filing with the federal appeals court reviewing gay-marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.
Kentucky will appeal a U.S. judge’s decision requiring recognition of out-of-state gay marriages even as the state’s attorney general said he’ll no longer defend the jurisdiction’s laws against same-sex unions.