SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians rejoiced this week when big drops of water started falling from the sky for the first time in any measurable way since the spring, an annual soaking that heralds the start of the rainy season following some of the hottest and driest months on record.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A hefty set of tusks is usually an advantage for elephants, allowing them to dig for water, strip bark for food and joust with other elephants. But during episodes of intense ivory poaching, those big incisors become a liability.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Once-endangered alligators are thriving in the wild, so Louisiana authorities are proposing a deep cut in the percentage that farmers must return to marshes where their eggs were laid.

BOSTON (AP) — For several years, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools had toyed with replacing some of its 1,000 diesel buses with cleaner electric vehicles. But school leaders said the change would be too costly.

CHICAGO — Chicago seems to like to pin the blame for its misfortune on farm animals. For decades the Cubs’ failure to get to the World Series was the fault of a goat that was once kicked out of Wrigley Field. And for well over a century, a cow belonging to Mrs. O’Leary caused the Great Chica…

SOLTVADKERT, Hungary — Zoltan Sztojka, by his own account Hungary’s last Roma fortuneteller, lays 36 weathered tarot cards on a table at his home in the village of Soltvadkert, and peers at them from beneath the brim of his large felt hat.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Opal Lee’s dream of seeing Juneteenth become a federal holiday was finally realized over the summer, but the energetic woman who spent years rallying people to join her push for the day commemorating the end of slavery is hardly letting up on a lifetime of work teaching a…

HONOLULU — Kilauea, one of the most active volcanos on Earth, began erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island on Wednesday. The eruption is not in an area with homes and is entirely contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

LONDON — The adventures of the honey-loving bear “Winnie the Pooh” have captivated children — and their parents — for nigh-on 100 years. Fans now have a chance to own a central piece of Pooh’s history, when a countryside bridge from southern England goes up for auction next week.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. military suicides jumped by 15% last year, fueled by significant increases in the Army and Marine Corps that senior leaders called troubling. They urged more effort to reverse the trend.

QUINCY, Calif. (AP) — Clutching a bag full of duct tape and snacks, Woody Faircloth climbs aboard a motorhome complete with carpet and drapes. At his side, his 9-year-old daughter, Luna, quizzes a family who has just donated the recreational vehicle, appropriately called Residency. In the di…

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One desperate California school district is sending flyers home in students’ lunchboxes, telling parents it’s “now hiring.” Elsewhere, principals are filling in as crossing guards, teachers are being offered signing bonuses and schools are moving back to online learning.

NEW YORK (AP) — Amid the Boy Scouts of America’s complex bankruptcy case, there is worsening friction between the BSA and the major religious groups that help it run thousands of scout units. At issue: the churches’ fears that an eventual settlement — while protecting the BSA from future sex…

Republican legislators in more than half of U.S. states, spurred on by voters angry about lockdowns and mask mandates, are taking away the powers that state and local officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — When news came that a 20-year-old Wyoming soldier was one of the last casualties of the two-decade-long U.S. war in Afghanistan, it arrived as a tragic bookend: A 20-year-old soldier from Wyoming was among the first to die in the same war.

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple is indefinitely delaying plans to scan iPhones in the U.S. for images of child sexual abuse following an outcry from security and privacy experts who warned the technology could be exploited for other surveillance purposes by hackers and intrusive governments.

SANGEH, Indonesia (AP) — Deprived of their preferred food source — the bananas, peanuts and other goodies brought in by tourists now kept away by the coronavirus — hungry monkeys on the resort island of Bali have taken to raiding villagers’ homes in their search for something tasty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a nurse staffing crisis that is forcing many U.S. hospitals to pay top dollar to get the help they need to handle the crush of patients this summer.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health experts and medical groups are pushing to stamp out the growing use of a decades-old parasite drug to treat COVID-19, warning that it can cause harmful side effects and that there’s little evidence it helps.

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple has agreed to let developers of iPhone apps email their users about cheaper ways to pay for digital subscriptions and media by circumventing a commission system that generates billions of dollars annually for the iPhone maker.

SAN FRANCISCO — Al Capone is infamous for having been a ruthless mob boss, but one of his granddaughters says his softer side will shine through when the family auctions the Prohibition-era gangster’s personal items — including diamond-encrusted jewelry with his initials, family photographs …

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to enter into an agreement that includes an $850 million fund to compensate tens of thousands of men who say they were sexually abused as youngsters by Scout leaders and others.

DEDZA, Malawi (AP) — More than a year after COVID-19 began sweeping the world, abruptly cutting short her Peace Corps stint, Cameron Beach is once again living in rural Malawi — this time on her own dime.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Walking for hours through the gritty streets in the center of Mexico City, you can hear the daily urban soundtrack: Car engines, the call of the man who buys scrap metal and the handbells that announce the passing of a garbage truck.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — An off-the-grid New Hampshire man’s days living as a hermit appear to be over. “River Dave,” whose cabin in the woods burned down after nearly three decades on property that he was ordered to leave, says he doesn’t think he can return to his lifestyle.

WASHINGTON (AP) — With climate change threatening the sea ice habitat of Emperor penguins, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday announced a proposal to list the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Crowds of bikers are rumbling their way towards South Dakota’s Black Hills this week, raising fears that COVID-19 infections will be unleashed among the 700,000 people expected to show up at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

TOKYO (AP) — Hiroshima on Friday marked the 76th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing, as the mayor of the Japanese city urged global leaders to unite to eliminate nuclear weapons just as they are united against the coronavirus.

PAGE, Ariz. (AP) — A thick, white band of newly exposed rock face stretches high above boaters’ heads at Lake Powell, creating a sharp contrast against the famous red desert terrain as their vessels weave through tight canyons that were once underwater.