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Rainfall eases drought in Corn Belt

Rainfall eases Corn Belt drought

A weekly tracker of the nation's worst drought in decades says parched conditions continue easing in key Midwest states as farmers step up their corn harvests. The U.S. Drought Monitor update released Thursday says recent rainfall that benefited portions of the Corn Belt came too late to help already damaged corn crops. But the moisture may plump up still-maturing soybeans. The report shows about one-fifth of the contiguous United States remains in the two worst categories of drought — extreme and exceptional.

Louvre honors Islamic art

In its boldest development in a generation, Paris' Louvre Museum has a new wing dedicated to Islamic art, a nearly $130 million project that comes at a tense time between the West and the Muslim world. The Islamic Art department, which took 11 years to build, opens to the public Saturday. Touting it as a way to help bridge cultural divides, Louvre curators say it offers a highbrow and respectful counterpart to the recent unflattering depictions of the prophet Mohammed in Western media. Still, a consultant acknowledged some Muslims could be "shocked" by three images of Mohammed with his face exposed.

Monica Lewinsky to tell more

Monica Lewinsky reportedly has landed a $12 million deal for her new memoir. The book is rumored to have three things the earlier Monica's Story did not: more salacious details about her relationship with President Bill Clinton, ostensible complaints by Clinton about his wife, Hillary, and Lewinsky's love letters to Clinton, previously unpublished. The New York Post quotes a source as saying, "In them, she opened her heart about her love for Bill and how much happier she could make him. Some of what she wrote was so raw that she never sent them."

Times wires

Rainfall eases drought in Corn Belt 09/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 20, 2012 10:08pm]
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  1. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies

    News

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  2. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win

    Colleges

    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  3. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  4. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

    World

    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  5. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    In their third year with pitching coach Neil Allen, the Twins have been one of the surprises of the American League.