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Groundwater levels drop in Southwestern U.S. in ongoing drought
(Reuters) - Underground stores of water in the southwestern United States have receded dramatically amid ongoing drought that has parched states from Oklahoma to the Pacific Coast and is costing California billions in lost crops and jobs, a new study shows.



Colorado appeals court denies bid to block gay marriages in Boulder County
DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado appeals court on Thursday denied a motion by the state's top lawyer seeking to block a county clerk from issuing same-sex marriage licenses until the long-running legal battle is resolved by higher courts.

Federal inspector to examine Alaska tour train derailment site
JUNEAU Alaska (Reuters) - A federal inspector has been sent to examine the Alaska site where a tourism train derailed this week, leaving 19 people with minor injuries, a U.S. Transportation Department spokesman said on Thursday.



Navajo president calls slayings of two Native men a hate crime
ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - The president of the Navajo Nation condemned the beating deaths of two Native American homeless men in New Mexico as a hate crime, and called on Thursday for a federal investigation into slayings that police have blamed on three teenagers.



Arizona killer was given two doses of drugs in drawn-out execution
PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona executioners had to administer at least two full doses of a two-drug lethal injection cocktail to a convicted killer before he finally succumbed nearly two hours after his execution began, the state's assistant attorney general said on Thursday.

Alabama man claims penis was amputated by mistake
(Reuters) - An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.