LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A UCLA professor charged in a lab fire that fatally burned a Pakistani research assistant was fined $10,000 and ordered to perform community service on Friday after accepting responsibility for laboratory conditions that led to the blaze, prosecutors said.
Chemistry professor Patrick Harran, 44, acknowledged as part of a so-called deferred prosecution agreement that he was responsible for safety in the lab and was the direct supervisor of Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji, who was killed in the 2008 fire.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has rumbled back to life in Hawaii over the past 13 months with more seismic activity than at any time since its last eruption, scientists say, while calling it too soon to predict another blast.
The volcano, which last erupted in 1975 and 1984, has been rattled since March 2013 by earthquakes of the same type and in the same location as the temblors that preceded those explosions, said Wes Thelen, a seismologist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California wildfire that has already destroyed three structures and blackened some three square miles of forest land near Sequoia National Park was threatening 1,000 more homes on Monday, officials said.
More than 1,100 firefighters were battling the so-called Shirley Fire, which erupted on Friday evening on the park’s outskirts northeast of Bakersfield and prompted the evacuation of several foothill communities.
Los ANGELES (Reuters) – A social media consultant who was arrested after FBI agents found bomb-making materials and lethal toxins during a raid of his San Francisco apartment has been indicted on federal charges, prosecutors said on Friday.
A federal grand jury indicted Ryan Chamberlain, 42, on two firearms counts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for San Francisco said in a statement. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two Russian long-range bombers were spotted just 50 miles off the California coast earlier this week and air defense officials scrambled a pair of F-22 fighter jets to make visual identification, a NORAD spokeswoman said on Thursday.
The Russian aircraft never entered U.S. airspace during what appeared to be a routine training mission, Major Beth Smith of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – A trade group sued the city of Seattle on Wednesday, seeking to block a sharp hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next seven years on the grounds that it unfairly favors small businesses over larger employers and franchises.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Seattle by the Washington, D.C.- based International Franchise Association on behalf of five franchisees, claiming violations of the commerce, equal protection and supremacy clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Department of Justice has determined that Los Angeles County’s jails violate the Constitution by failing to provide adequate mental health services to suicidal inmates, the latest black mark to the nation’s already troubled largest jail system.
The Justice Department, making its latest report this week in a 2002 agreement with the county to monitor its jails, found that there had been 15 suicides at its lockups in the past 30 months, some of them preventable with proper mental health practices.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Alexander Shulgin, who over the course of 40 years of scientific research created some 200 psychedelic compounds, earning the nickname “Godfather of ecstasy” for his pioneering work with the drug, has died at the age of 88.
Shulgin died on Monday at his home in Northern California, “surrounded by family and caretakers and Buddhist meditation music,” according to a Facebook post by his wife and research partner, Ann.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that police departments in the state must as a general rule disclose the names of officers involved in shootings, despite claims by a police union that doing so would endanger their safety.
The court, ruling 6-1 in a case brought by union representing officers in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach, said that Californians’ right to assess the actions of law enforcement outweighed the individual officers’ right to privacy.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A woman abducted from her suburban Southern California home when she was 15 has been found alive after a decade-long ordeal of physical and sexual abuse, and her accused kidnapper has been arrested, police said on Wednesday.
Now 25, the woman told detectives she was kidnapped in August 2004 by a man who lived with the family at the time and held captive by him ever since, the Santa Ana Police Department said in a statement. She was not named by authorities.