This January, after the driest calendar year in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent.
But downtown Los Angeles doesn't looklike a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with landscaping, and fountains are running. People still water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.
Kansas is now in a budget shortfall after a wave of dramatic tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. In response, more than 100 former GOP office holders in the state have endorsed Paul Davis, Brownback's opponent in the gubernatorial race this fall. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Steve Kraske of KCUR and the Kansas City Star.
As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.
Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.
Now to the situation in Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence is mounting that Russian backed separatists are to blame for downing a Malaysia Airlines plane over Eastern Ukraine. Here's Kerry talking on CNN about the weapon system that the U.S. believes brought down that plane.
In the western Mexican state of Michoacan, civilian militias have challenged a powerful drug cartel known as the Knights Templar. The vigilante uprising, which spurred the Mexican government to send soldiers and police to help counter the cartel, was fueled by migrants who returned to Mexico after years living north of the border.
Reny Pineda, who was raised in Los Angeles, is one of those migrants. When he returned to his homeland in Mexico, he found a new life fighting drug lords.