The Wider World

New drought threat on horizon?


DROUGHT conditions are emerging in Northern California. Will new water restrictions go statewide?

The drought is back. Sort of.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday declared a drought emergency in two Northern California counties, an action that underlines the differences in conditions in different parts of the state.

According to the Associated Press, affected are Mendocino and Sonoma counties, famous for their wine industries.  So far, the mandatory conservation measures don’t apply to the rest of the state.

However, Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, said, “If you’re in a different part of the state, you probably need to know that this will one day happen to you.”

According to the CDWR, this is the fourth-driest year on record. Most directly affected are northern California and the Central Valley, where agricultural irrigation places a heavy demand on the water supply.

During the last severe drought – 2012 to 2016 – statewide water conservation measures were adopted, and cities sought to enforce them by banning residents from washing cars in the driveway, filling backyard swimming pools and other “wasteful” uses of water. Residents were also encouraged to take shorter showers and water their lawns less frequently.

News: More scrutiny of police conduct coming

The federal Department of Justice is starting an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, according to The New York Times. Attorney General Merrick Garland made the announcement on Wednesday, one day after a jury found former MPD officer Derek Gauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May.

“Good officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices,” Garland said.

Putin’s “red lines”: Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of “red lines” that Western nations – including the United States should not dare cross. He promised that threats to its interests would face a “fast and tough response.” Russian has been massing troops on its border with Ukraine in recent weeks.

At the same time large crowds have turned out to protest the arrest of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

Business: Green lights for the economy

THE ECONOMY is surging, say experts.

Economic forecasters polled by Reuters news service are predicting a roaring U.S. economy, with growth fueled by recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of relief packages pushed by President Joe Biden and passed by Congress.

A survey of over 100 economists suggests the economy will grow by 6.2 percent this year, the fastest annual expansion since 1984. The International Monetary Fund is a bit more bullish predicting expansion of 6.4 percent.

Wall Street rebounds: After two days of retreats, the stock market bounced back aggressively on Wednesday. The Dow was up 316.01 points to 34,137.31. The S&P 500 rose by 38.48 to 4,173.42 and Nasdaq jumped 163.95 points to 13,950.22.

Sports: Davis back to Lakers Thursday?


Lakers star Anthony Davis will be back in the lineup on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks. According to Sports Illustrated, Davis says, “I feel 100 percent healthy.”

Davis had to miss 35 games with an Achilles injury, but was averaging 22.5 points a game and 8.4 rebounds before being sidelined.

Laker fans are waiting now for the return to action of LeBron James, out since March 20 with an ankle sprain.

Wednesday’s games

  • Texas Rangers 7, Angels 4: The Rangers rallied from a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth. All four Angel home runs came on solo homers from Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Jose Iglesias. Mike Mayers (1-1) was tagged with the loss. He yielded two home runs worth three runs. The Angels are now 9-7.
  • Clippers 117, Memphis Grizzlies 105: The Clips overcame a 15-point first quarter deficit to win at Staples  Center. Luke Kennard scored 25 to lead the team, which was playing without starters Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Reggie Jackson. It was the Clippers’ third straight win. They are now 42-19 and third in the NBA Western Conference.

Weather: Sun and clouds and sun and …

You don’t need a meteorologist for this forecast. Look out the window and you’ll see some sunshine filtering through the clouds. That’s what to expect in the West Orange County area through Friday. Daytime highs will be in the mid-60s (overnight lows in the mid-50s). More clouds on Sunday, then rain on Monday. For the coastal Huntington Beach area, expect daytime highs to be a few degrees cooler.

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