Alex's Feed
May 22, 2015

Two California men charged with seeking to help Islamic State

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two Southern California men were charged on Friday with conspiring to travel to the Middle East to join the militant group Islamic State, U.S. prosecutors said, a day after one of the men was arrested at the Los Angeles airport.

The arrests on Thursday of Anaheim residents Muhanad Badawi and Nader Elhuzayel, both 24, represent the latest case of U.S. authorities cracking down on individuals they believe are seeking to join the group, which is fighting in Syria and Iraq.

May 22, 2015

Federal judge rules again that gay couples have right to wed in Alabama

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday reaffirmed her
earlier ruling that same-sex couples in Alabama have a right to
wed under the Constitution, but she put the ruling on hold until
the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on gay

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade in January overturned the
state’s ban on same-sex marriage, in a ruling that went into
effect the following month and led probate judges throughout
much of the state to begin issuing licenses to the couples.

May 22, 2015

Raw tuna suspected in U.S. salmonella outbreak that has sickened 53

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An outbreak of salmonella believed
to be linked to raw tuna in sushi has sickened at least 53
people in the United States, mostly in California, officials
said on Thursday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement an
investigation has not identified which supplier of raw tuna
might have been responsible for the outbreak, which so far has
led 10 people to be hospitalized but has not caused any deaths.

May 21, 2015

Transgender California inmate seeking surgery wins parole recommendation

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A California board recommended parole on
Thursday for a transgender inmate convicted of second-degree
murder, the same day an appeals court put on hold a ruling
requiring the state to pay for the prisoner’s sex-reassignment
surgery, officials said.

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, 51, who was born male but
identifies as a woman and is held with male inmates at Mule
Creek State Prison, is seeking to become the first inmate in
state history to undergo the surgery.

May 20, 2015

Trial begins for Los Angeles officer accused of kicking woman who died after arrest

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A white Los Angeles police officer went on trial for assault on Wednesday over accusations she kicked a handcuffed black woman in a patrol car and ignored her pleas for medical attention during an arrest that ended with the woman’s death.

Officer Mary O’Callaghan is charged with assault under color of authority but not in the subsequent death of 35-year-old Alesia Thomas, who was being arrested for child abandonment.

May 19, 2015

Los Angeles gives preliminary approval to $15 minimum wage

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to increase the minimum wage in the nation’s second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020 from the current $9, in a victory for labor and community groups that have pushed for similar pay hikes in several U.S. municipalities.

The council’s 14-1 vote on the measure, which must come back before the panel for final approval, would require businesses with more than 25 employees to meet the $15 pay level by 2020, while smaller businesses would have an extra year to comply.

May 15, 2015

NASA finds Antarctic ice shelf a few years from disintegration

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The last intact section of one of Antarctica’s mammoth ice shelves is weakening fast and will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years, contributing further to rising sea levels, according to a NASA study released on Thursday.

The research focused on a remnant of the so-called Larsen B Ice Shelf, which has existed for at least 10,000 years but partially collapsed in 2002. What is left covers about 625 square miles (1,600 square km), about half the size of Rhode Island.

May 14, 2015

Former top sheriff’s officials indicted in Los Angeles jail scandal

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal grand jury indicted a former Los Angeles County undersheriff and a retired captain on obstruction and conspiracy charges in a long-running investigation of inmate abuse and corruption, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who was the second-highest official in the Sheriff’s Department and is currently mayor of the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena, is accused alongside another former official of leading efforts to quash a federal probe of corruption and civil rights violations at two downtown jail complexes, acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said.

May 13, 2015

California city takes away welcome mat from Airbnb, other rental services

LOS ANGELES, May 13 (Reuters) – Santa Monica, a prime
Southern California tourist destination, has approved
restrictions on short-term home rentals that will limit
companies such as Airbnb, in what the city’s mayor touted as
model regulation for other communities to adopt.

The Santa Monica City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to
prohibit housing unit rentals of less than a month, unless the
primary resident is also staying there and will pony up the same
14 percent occupancy tax hotels in the city must pay.

May 11, 2015

Blue whales, unused to dodging, at risk from ships: Stanford biologist

LOS ANGELES, May 11 (Reuters) – Blue whales are vulnerable
to cargo ship strikes because they are so used to being the
largest animal in the ocean that they often fail to avoid the
vessels, a Stanford University biologist has found.

The study published in the latest edition of the journal
Endangered Species Research is based on direct observation in
the waters off Southern California, where a team used GPS
technology and suction cups to track how the giant mammals
respond when a vessel is barreling toward them.