From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
The Treasury and Justice Departments today sought to clarify for banks how they might navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky because pot is legal in a growing number of states but remains illegal under federal law. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on these new terms under which a bank must operate if it wants to offer financial services to this emerging industry.
In California's farm rich Central Valley, where President Obama meets Friday with farmers and others who are affected by the state's historic drought, Todd Allen nods towards a field of brown, baked dirt passing by the right side of his truck.
"Here's a plot of ground that I'm not going to be able to farm. That's 160 acres," he says.
Allen owns a farm about an hour's drive west of Fresno, where half of the country's produce is grown. Usually Allen's fields contain cantaloupe, cotton, tomato and wheat.
A high-stakes drama played out over the debt ceiling on Capitol Hill this week. It ended with President Obama getting exactly what he'd asked for — an extension of the Treasury's borrowing authority with no strings attached — and an even wider gulf between GOP congressional leaders and Tea Party-aligned conservatives.
Underlying the Republican rift was House Speaker John Boehner's determination to avoid another episode like last fall's government shutdown.
It is almost impossible to buy soap anymore in most small towns in the Central African Republic. Same with sugar, powdered milk, batteries, baby formula. Up until January, these kinds of imported goods — in the stratified society of this country — almost always would have been sold to you by a Muslim.
But for the past few weeks, bands of Christian militia groups called anti-Balaka have waged war on Muslims and their property.