Washington, D.C.

EPA chides Michigan, Flint over water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chastised the state of Michigan and city of Flint for not doing more to address concerns over water quality and high lead levels found in residents' taps, specifically calling them out for not having more qualified personnel operating Flint's water system. Water Enforcement Division Director Mark Pollins told officials that there continue to be "significant issues that need immediate attention," including staffing levels at the Flint water treatment plant. He also said there needs to be a comprehensive plan to ensure corrosion treatments are adequate.


'Affluenza' teen's case moves to adult court

A judge transferred "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch's case from juvenile to adult court. Couch, 18, has been held at Tarrant County's maximum-security adult facility since Feb. 5 and will remain in solitary confinement for his own safety. Couch fled to Mexico, violating probation, after a conviction three years ago for killing four people in a drunken driving crash.


End to El Niño bad news for state's drought

El Niño will end over the next couple of months, possibly to be replaced by its sister phenomenon, La Niña, which could spell a drier than average summer and fall, a foreboding prospect for a thirsty region suffering through an extended drought. The International Research Institute for Climate and Society said the warm equatorial waters, which many hoped would spell relief for California's ongoing water woes, have peaked.


Gunmen kill three police officers

Two gunmen shot and killed three police officers in an attack in Faisalabad. Police said the gunmen escaped on a motorbike after the shooting on a busy road. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault, but a local affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant claimed a similar attack on police patrol in Islamabad last week.


Boko Haram suspected in two attacks

Two suicide bombers hit a market in the Meme, killing at least 22 people, and two others targeted a school in a nearby town. The attackers at the market disguised themselves as food vendors. More than 105 people were wounded. Two others attackers targeted a school in Tokombere, but detonated their explosives in the bush almost a mile from the school. Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group, was suspected.


Proof of Zika link to defects months away

Public health officials are nearly certain that the Zika virus is behind Brazil's surge of babies being born with tiny heads and damaged brains, but they do not expect to have proof until June at the earliest, the World Health Organization said in Geneva. Experts are waiting for a cohort of about 5,000 pregnant women, most of them in Colombia, to give birth.

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