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Mandatory water-saving measures in place to fight California's historic drought have produced a sizeable drop in consumption over the past two months, regulators said. The numbers exceed the 25 percent drop mandated by Governor Jerry Brown in April, although experts warn the situation remains precarious. "Californians' response to the severity of the drought this summer is now in high gear and shows that they get that we are in the drought of our lives," agency director Felicia Marcus said in a statement.
Tokyo shares led Asian stock markets higher on Friday after a surprising US economic growth report buoyed investors following a prolonged rout driven by concerns over China's economy. The dollar gained and oil prices rose on the back of the US growth report, but concerns over Japanese inflation figures tempered sentiment. Tokyo stocks gained 2.49 percent in early trading, while Hong Kong was up 1.00 percent and Shanghai gained 1.65 percent.
By Jack Kim and Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called this week's accord between the rival Koreas "a landmark occasion" paving the way for defused military tension and improved ties, but said it was the strength of its armed forces that made the deal possible. North and South Korea on Tuesday agreed to end a military standoff that sparked an exchange of artillery fire and had ratcheted up tension on one of the world's most heavily-fortified borders. "The joint press release published at the contact provided a crucial landmark occasion of defusing the acute military tension and putting the catastrophic inter-Korean relations on the track of reconciliation and trust," the North's KCNA news agency on Friday quoted Kim as saying in a meeting with military aides.