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Boehner: VA no better off...Obama says climate change affects national security...Oil spills off California coast



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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) says the Department of Veterans Affairs is no better off a year after former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki (shin-SEHK'-ee) resigned. In a speech on the House floor, the Ohio Republican said the VA has made little progress since Shinseki stepped down, despite a new law that overhauled the agency and authorized $16 billion in new spending. Boehner says the number of patients facing long waits is about the same, and the number of patients waiting more than 90 days has nearly doubled.

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — President Barack Obama has told graduates at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy that failing to do something about climate change is "a dereliction of duty." Obama says the planet is getting warmer even though some in Washington refuse to admit climate change is real. He calls it a serious threat to national security that will affect how the military defends the United States.

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — Cleanup crews are fanning out along a stretch of scenic California coastline after thousands of gallons of crude oil flowed into the Pacific Ocean. A broken pipeline onshore spewed oil down a storm drain and into the ocean for several hours yesterday before it was shut off, creating a slick some 4 miles long west of Santa Barbara. It happened on the same stretch of coastline as a 1969 spill that is credited with giving rise to the American environmental movement.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Some farmers who have California's oldest water rights are proposing to voluntarily cut their use by 25 percent to avoid the possibility of even harsher restrictions by the state later this summer as the record drought continues. The farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin (wah-KEEN') River Delta would either take less river water for irrigation or leave a quarter of their crops unplanted. The proposal is expected to be presented to state officials today.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — ConAgra Foods has agreed to pay more than $11 million to settle a charge that it shipped salmonella-tainted peanut butter from its Georgia plant more than eight years ago. Documents outlining a plea deal with federal prosecutors say ConAgra will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of shipping adulterated food and pay $8 million in fines plus $3.2 million in forfeitures. More than 600 people in 47 states were sickened in a 2007 salmonella outbreak linked to the plant in Sylvester, Georgia, that produces Peter Pan peanut butter.

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The Associated Press

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