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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / June 13, 2008

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Marijuana potency has more than doubled since 1983, posing greater health risks to people who may view the drug as harmless, according to a study released Thursday by the White House.

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The board of directors of beermaker Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., said Wednesday it will carefully evaluate a $46 billion purchase offer from Belgian brewer InBev SA, which is seeking to create the world's largest brewery. Politicians have already begun lining up against the deal, saying it could cost US jobs.

The median income of the 2 million Americans who call themselves artists is $34,800, well under the average for "professionals," according to a report on artists in the workforce released Thursday by the National Endowment for the Arts. The study indicates that only 1 of 8 actors and 1 of 4 musicians works full time.

Five hundred residents of the heavily forested hills in the Santa Cruz Mountains were ordered to evacuate their northern California homes Wednesday to escape wind-driven wildfires, with voluntary exits urged for another 1,000 residents.

State Farm Insurance Cos. said it won't renew homeowner policies for property within 1,000 feet of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and it won't offer wind-damage coverage for those living 1,000 to 2,500 feet from the water.

Donna Shalala, a former health and human services secretary during the Clinton administration, is among six recipients of this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Wednesday.

Arizona State University said this week that three companies will install solar equipment on up to 330,000 square feet of Tempe campus rooftops, creating the nation's largest such solar power-generating plant.

Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves remains the hottest hitter in baseball, batting .419 through Wednesday. No major leaguer has batted .400 for a full season since Ted Williams compiled a .406 average for the Boston Red Sox in 1941.

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