Age minimum on Morning-after pill is dropped
The Food and Drug Administration approved unrestricted sales Thursday of Plan B One-Step, lifting the age limit on the emergency contraceptive. The move came a week after the Obama administration ended months of back-and-forth legal battles by promising a federal judge it would take that step. It wasn't clear how quickly Plan B One-Step would move from the pharmacy to drugstore shelves. Until now, customers could buy that morning-after pill, as well as generic versions, without a prescription only if they proved to a pharmacist they were 17 or older. FDA said the product will have to be repackaged to reflect the change.
House bill cutting food stamps fails
The House rejected a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill Thursday that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on recipients. The cuts weren't deep enough for many Republicans who objected to the cost of the nearly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program, which has doubled in the past five years. The vote was 234-195, with 62 Republicans voting against it.
FBI got okay for 4 drone missions
The FBI received clearance from federal aviation officials to conduct drone surveillance operations in the United States at least four times since 2010, according to public records and U.S. officials. The FBI began seeking permission in 2009 from the FAA. Documents the FAA released Thursday provide virtually no detail on where the FBI operated drones, for what purpose or how long. But they shed more light on the origins and extent of the secretive program FBI Director Robert Mueller revealed Wednesday in Senate testimony.
Tropical Storm Barry dumps rain
Tropical Storm Barry weakened to a depression Thursday after hitting Mexico's Gulf Coast and forcing the evacuation of four towns near a river swollen by heavy rain. The second tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph in the evening and tropical storm-force gusts were possible along the coast of eastern Veracruz state.
National parks fighting norovirus
Near the peak of the summertime tourist season, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are fighting an outbreak of norovirus, the highly contagious gastrointestinal scourge of cruise ships. Park officials said the virus had so far sickened 150 employees and 50 guests. Sick employees, and some who might have been exposed, have been quarantined. On Wednesday, the National Park Service warned visitors to the parks to wash their hands.