Alex's Feed
Sep 19, 2013

Colorado rainfall one for the ages, Weather Service says

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The downpour that inundated parts of Colorado this month was a once-in-a-millennium event for those areas, according to an analysis by the National Weather Service.

Colorado residents are coping with widespread destruction from floods unleashed by torrential rains that began on September 9 and lasted for several days. The flooding killed at least eight people, forced thousands from their homes and caused nearly $2 billion in property damage.

Sep 7, 2013

Another U.S. porn actor tests positive for HIV, leading to moratorium

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A U.S. porn actor has tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, the third such case reported in less than three weeks, leading a Los Angeles-based trade group for adult filmmakers to call a fresh nationwide moratorium on Friday on productions.

The infections follow a vote last year by Los Angeles County residents to require porn actors to wear condoms when having sex on set, a measure that proponents of the requirement complain is largely going unenforced in the county.

Sep 5, 2013

California inmates end hunger strike over prison conditions

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California inmates have ended a two-month-old hunger strike that ranked as the largest in state history and took aim at a policy of keeping some prisoners in near-isolation for years, corrections officials and inmates said on Thursday.

Inmates credited a move by two California legislators to hold hearings on conditions behind bars as a reason for stopping their strike, which at its peak in July saw about 30,000 prisoners refusing food.

Aug 30, 2013

Judge rules U.S. military cannot deny benefits to lesbian veteran and her wife

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. military cannot deny spousal benefits to a lesbian veteran in a same-sex marriage because doing so does not serve any purpose for the armed forces, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

The decision, which could set the stage for gay and lesbian veterans and their partners to claim those benefits, follows a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in June that invalidated a key portion of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that had defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

Aug 25, 2013

Second panda cub at U.S. National Zoo arrives stillborn

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A giant panda surprised its keepers by giving birth to a stillborn cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington on Saturday evening, a day after the animal delivered a live cub, an official said.

The stillborn cub was born with “many abnormalities” and when a staff member retrieved it from the floor of its mother’s den it was “very apparent it had never been alive,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson.

Aug 22, 2013

Dozens injured when tour bus overturns outside Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A tour bus ferrying passengers to a California casino skidded and flipped onto its side on a freeway outside Los Angeles on Thursday, injuring about 50 people who were thrown around inside the vehicle, authorities said.

No one died in the accident, said Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Captain Brian Jordan.

Aug 22, 2013

County clerk in New Mexico begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A county clerk in southern New Mexico began handing out marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on Wednesday, in a move the state’s attorney general said he would not seek to stop as courts weigh lawsuits by same-sex couples seeking to wed.

Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins told Reuters in a phone interview that his office by mid-afternoon had issued about 35 same-sex marriage licenses.

Aug 20, 2013

Autopsy finds drugs in journalist who died in Los Angeles crash

LOS ANGELES, Aug 20 (Reuters) – A prominent U.S. journalist
whose reporting led to the ouster of the senior U.S. military
commander in Afghanistan had traces of methamphetamine in his
blood when he was killed in June in a fiery Los Angeles car
crash, autopsy findings showed on Tuesday.

The drugs in Michael Hastings’ system were of an amount
unlikely to have contributed to the crash in which the
Mercedes-Benz he was driving struck a tree and burst into
flames, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office

Aug 1, 2013

Gay California Catholic teacher’s firing sparks online petition

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Catholic teacher’s claim that he was fired after marrying his gay partner soon after same-sex marriage was made legal in California has prompted a Web-based push to see him reinstated.

The petition drive in support of English instructor Ken Bencomo on the website of social advocacy group has gathered over 9,000 signatures from his former students and people as far away as Spain since it was launched earlier this week.

Jul 31, 2013

Ride-sharing companies may lose ‘bandit cab’ stigma in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Commercial ride-sharing services offered by moonlighting motorists but frowned on by licensed taxi drivers and some cities as “bandit” cab operations would gain new legitimacy in California under a plan proposed on Tuesday by state regulators.

The draft rules to govern companies that already operate under such names as Lyft, SideCar and Uber, allowing passengers to electronically hail rides through smartphone applications, were unveiled by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as taxi drivers continued to lobby against them.