Alex's Feed
Apr 18, 2015

California revises drought plan after pressure from cities

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California water regulators on Saturday revised a still-tentative drought plan by easing cuts for Los Angeles and San Diego and bumping up reduction targets in the areas that consume the most water.

The changes are an apparent response to criticism from cities, which would have taken the brunt of the cuts under the original plan presented earlier this month. But regulators are standing pat on what critics say is the initial plan’s leniency toward the state’s huge agricultural industry.

Apr 18, 2015

Torrential rain floods Houston before heading toward New Orleans

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Torrential rain triggered flooding on the streets of Houston and sent spectators fleeing from a circus south of the Texas city, officials said on Saturday, as the storm system headed east toward Louisiana and neighboring states.

The heavy rainfall followed a front that built up along the Gulf Coast, causing moisture to accumulate along it, said Mark Paquette, a meteorologist with

Apr 17, 2015

California health officials declare measles outbreak over

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A measles outbreak in California that began in December at the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks and highlighted the risk of unvaccinated people becoming infected and spreading the disease has ended with 131 cases, officials said on Friday.

Nineteen percent of the people in California who became ill from measles had to be hospitalized, said Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist and deputy director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the California Department of Public Health.

Apr 16, 2015

Los Angeles judge orders rap mogul ‘Suge’ Knight to stand trial for murder

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A judge in Los Angeles on Thursday ordered rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight to stand trial for murder in the hit-and-run death of a man outside a hamburger stand in January.

Knight, 49, has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder and attempted murder over the incident, which followed an argument on the set of a commercial for the film “Straight Outta Compton.”

Apr 16, 2015

U.S. study finds teacher bias in discipline toward black students

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Teachers in the United States were more likely to feel troubled when a black student misbehaved for a second time than when a white student did, highlighting a bias that shows why African-American children are more often disciplined than schoolmates, Stanford University researchers said on Wednesday.

The federal government has found black students are three times more likely than whites to be suspended or expelled, a disparity experts say contributes to lower academic achievement among African-American students caught in the discipline system.

Apr 15, 2015

U.S. judge in California keeps marijuana listed among most dangerous drugs

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A federal judge in California declined on Wednesday to remove marijuana from the federal list of most dangerous narcotics, rejecting a closely watched request from people accused of illegally growing pot, prosecutors said.

Marijuana activists had been encouraged when U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller considered arguments for reclassifying marijuana during a five-day evidentiary hearing last year. Pot is listed by the U.S. government as a so-called Schedule One drug along with narcotics such as heroin.

Apr 14, 2015

Denver TSA agents targeted ‘attractive’ passengers for pat-downs: authorities

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The Transportation Security Administration has fired two screeners at Denver’s international airport who schemed to conduct pat-down searches on attractive male passengers, officials said on Tuesday.

The sackings follow a number of controversies over the screening of passengers at U.S. airports since 2010, when the agency adopted heightened security measures including full body imaging and pat downs.

Apr 14, 2015

Celebrity mountain lion leaves refuge under L.A. house

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A mountain lion with his own Facebook fan page that triggered a media storm by hiding in the crawl space under a Los Angeles house has left its urban refuge, wildlife officials said on Tuesday.

The animal known as P-22, who usually lives in Griffith Park and was featured in a 2013 National Geographic photo with the Hollywood sign in the background as it descended a dirt trail, had resisted efforts to evict him.

Apr 12, 2015

Six Greenpeace activists leave Arctic-bound oil rig

April 11 (Reuters) – Six Greenpeace activists rappelled down
from an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday after spending
six days living on the structure to protest drilling in the
Arctic, the environmental organization said.

The multinational team climbed aboard Polar Pioneer, an oil
rig leased by Royal Dutch Shell Plc that is bound for
the Arctic, on Monday as it was being transported by a
heavy-lift vessel about 750 miles (1,207 km) northwest of
Hawaii. Two days later, the company filed a complaint in federal
court in Alaska seeking an order to remove the activists.

Apr 11, 2015

U.S. Patent Office revokes key elements of controversial podcasting patent

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The U.S. Patent Office on Friday revoked key elements of a Texas company’s patent, which the firm deployed in high-profile legal actions to claim ownership over a method for distributing podcasts and video episodes on the Internet.

Personal Audio LLC has drawn criticism for demanding licensing fees under its patent protections, which detractors like podcasters say threatens to undermine the widely used means of placing content online and were not the firm’s innovations.