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Florida plant detectives are on the trail of a slippery foe, an invasive African land snail that is wily, potentially infectious, and can grow as big as a tennis shoe. In the four years since Giant African Snails were discovered in Miami, they have slowly but surely spread to new territory, alarming residents in the southern suburbs and the neighboring county of Broward. Since 2011, Florida has spent $10.8 million on the Giant African Snail eradication program, according to state agriculture department spokesman Mark Fagan.
By Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve will not need to see balanced risks to the economy to proceed with an interest rate hike in September, according to former Fed officials and a review of central bank statements through recent turns in policy. In its latest statement, released Wednesday, the Fed said it continued to judge the risks to the U.S. economy as "nearly balanced," meaning it still sees a greater threat of a new downturn than it does of accelerating inflation and excessive growth. Prior to its decision to begin raising rates at that meeting, the Fed had for several months judged the risks to the economy as "roughly equal." It kept that characterization at the June meeting, and for nearly a year after that.