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The snowpack in the Mountain West is at just a small fraction of its normal level, and it was the driest year ever recorded in many parts of California. Cloud seeders are trying to squeeze raindrops out of Mother Nature by spraying tiny silver iodide particles into incoming clouds.

In the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, there have been calls for changes in oversight of the agency. The outgoing deputy director tells NPR that the NSA believes some of those suggestions can be implemented.

The New Jersey governor and potential 2016 GOP presidential contender says he was lied to by a top aide, who he now has fired, about a dirty trick. Aides sought to punish a Democratic mayor by causing massive traffic problems in his city.

Dental coverage is a required benefit for children under the Affordable Care Act. But it's not turning out to be quite that simple. For one thing, there are no federal subsidies to help pay for stand-alone dental policies.

Some archaeologists have long suspected that a faded painting from the ruins of the 9,000-year-old village known as Catalhoyuk might be a map — of a settlement at the foot of an erupting volcano. Others said no. Now geologists have evidence that the volcano indeed erupted around that time.

Signed 20 years ago this month, the landmark trade agreement radically altered the way we get our fruits and vegetables, encouraging year-round imports from Mexican farms. That's why it's now no big deal to find, say, raspberries in winter. But critics say it has also trained consumers to value convenience over flavor and dulled knowledge of where food comes from.

Two of mankind's oldest beverages are being mashed together in a new generation of brews. These beer-wine blends, boasting layered, complex flavors, are part of a broader trend of experimentation, as craft brewers seek to distinguish themselves in a crowded field.

Al-Qaida has gained control in an area where 1,300 U.S. troops lost their lives during the Iraq War. Troops who came home are now wondering whether it was all in vain, the Arizona Republican says. He says the total withdrawal of troops from Iraq left a vacuum that's being filled by America's enemies.

The New York Times' new Web redesign includes "native advertising": articles written by people working for the paper's advertisers. BuzzFeed and other outlets have already embraced the ads, but critics say the lines between paid and original content are sometimes just too blurry.

The country is producing more natural gas than it can burn, but frigid weather has made it harder for companies to deliver that gas to those who need it, especially in densely populated areas in the Northeast. As a result, prices have skyrocketed.

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