Environment | Almonds get roasted in debate over California water use 

California almonds are becoming one of the world’s favorite snacks and creating a multibillion-dollar bonanza for agricultural investors. But the crop extracts a staggering price from the land, consuming more

Migration | EU foreign ministers to meet after latest shipwreck tragedy

Rescue crews searched yesterday for survivors and bodies from what could be the Mediterranean’s deadliest migrant tragedy ever as hundreds more migrants took to the sea undeterred and EU foreign ministers gathered for an

This Day in History: 1955 Fleet Street papers back after strike

The stoppage was called off following an agreement on Tuesday night between electricians’ and engineers’ unions and the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association. The 700 maintenance men, who take care of the newspaper

Offbeat: Bosnians hope to break world record for biggest chicken stew

Some 100 cooks and volunteers used 1,000 kilograms of chicken meat and about 300 kilograms of vegetables to prepare the traditional dish, known as Bey’s soup, in the center of

The Buzz | Kids of Cold War crocs going to Cuba

Cuba’s efforts to sustain the critically endangered Cuban crocodile are getting a boost from Sweden, home to a pair of reptiles that Fidel Castro gave to a Soviet cosmonaut four

World briefs

CHINA’s Central Bank said yesterday that it will cut its bank reserve requirement ratio by 1 percentage point to stimulate more lending into a slowing economy. AFGHANISTAN  An Afghan police chief

Italy | 24 dead, 28 safe, hundreds missing as Med migrant boat sinks

A boat believed to be crowded with 700 migrants capsized in the waters north of Libya overnight, leaving at least 24 confirmed dead and sparking fears for what could become

Islamic State | Video purports to show killing of Ethiopians in Libya

A video released by the Islamic State group yesterday appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians by the extremist group’s Libyan affiliates. The 29-minute online

South Africa | Immigrants describe threats following mob attacks

Fearful immigrants in South Africa who fled their homes because of threats and deadly attacks by South Africans said yesterday they were targeted in some cases by longtime neighbors and

This Day in History | 1974 – ‘Troubles’ death toll hits 1,000

The conflict in Northern Ireland has claimed its 1,000th victim. The milestone has been reached amid a spate of killings and shootings over the past two days. They culminated in the

Offbeat | Ringo Starr, Green Day rock their way into Rock Hall

The mop-topped drummer who kept the beat for the Beatles, Starr was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist on Saturday night during a

Egypt runners defy Cairo mayhem as sport’s popularity grows

Young Egyptians are once again organizing on social media and taking to the streets of Cairo by the hundreds every Friday, not to protest injustice or clash with police, but

The Buzz | Average US rate on 30-year mortgage edges up to 3.67 percent

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained close to historically low levels with the spring home-buying season underway. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for

William and Kate | New royal baby expected in coming days

Royal fans are ready to welcome Prince William and Kate’s second child — a younger brother or sister to Prince George, whose birth two years ago whipped up a worldwide

World Briefs

THAILAND The United Nations human rights office urges Thailand to speed up an investigation into the disappearance of an ethnic minority environmental activist who helped villagers report illegal activity in

Russia | Putin defends Iran missile decision during call-in show

President Vladimir Putin sternly urged the West to respect Russia’s interests in global affairs and defended his move to sanction the delivery of a long-range air defense missile system to Iran during

Briefs | Brazil – Governing party treasurer arrested in kickback case

Federal police on Wednesday (yesterday in Macau) detained the treasurer of Brazil’s governing Workers’ Party in the wide-ranging investigation into corruption at state-run oil giant Petrobras, and the party said

This Day in History | 1961 – Exiles invade Cuba at Bay of Pigs

The only news coming out of Cuba is broadcast by the government-run radio station. All other communications with the island have been cut. THe first landing is reported to have taken

Offbeat | Israeli ultra-Orthodox site cuts Kim Kardashian from photo

The original photo of Kardashian, her husband, Kanye West, and Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat was altered to put Kardashian behind a restaurant receipt. Kardashian was blurred in another. Nissim Ben Haim,

The Buzz | Brazilian teams on alert because of dengue fever outbreak

Brazilian teams are on alert because of a dengue fever outbreak that has already affected some of the country’s top clubs. Three players were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease this week,

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