LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Guadalupe fur seals, a threatened species that breed off Mexico and normally spend much of their time at sea, have washed up dead and dying in record numbers along the California coast this year, another apparent casualty of warming ocean temperatures.
At least 80 emaciated fur seals, mostly pups, have been found beached along the central California shoreline since spring, compared with the 10 to 12 such strandings documented in a typical year, according to U.S. government scientists.
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has canceled a planned October visit to the United States at the advice of doctors following a medical check-up this week, his office said in a statement on Friday.
By Eric M. Johnson and Steve Gorman
(Reuters) – Idaho filed suit on Friday challenging new federal land-use restrictions designed to safeguard the greater sage-grouse, breaking with other western states that backed sweeping measures to preserve the bird’s habitat in lieu of Endangered Species Act protections.
The lawsuit, which names Republican Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and the Republican-controlled state legislature as plaintiffs, accuses the Obama administration of a lack of transparency in devising its sage-grouse conservation strategy.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For paraplegic Adam Fritz, the thrill of the computer-assisted first steps he took five years after being paralyzed in a motorcycle crash came only after he was unhooked from the system that enabled him to walk briefly in a bioengineering lab.
During the experiment itself, Fritz recounted, he had to keep his mind focused entirely on placing one foot in front of the other as his brain waves were translated by a computer algorithm into impulses that bypassed his severed spinal cord and activated his legs.
LOS ANGELES, Sept 23 (Reuters) – A brain-to-computer
technology that can translate thoughts into leg movements has
enabled a man paralyzed from the waist down by a spinal cord
injury to become the first such patient to walk without the use
of robotics, doctors in Southern California reported on
The slow, halting first steps of the 28-year-old paraplegic
were documented in a preliminary study published in the
British-based Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation,
along with a YouTube video.
By Steve Gorman
(Reuters) – Firefighters have gained significant ground against the latest deadly blaze to inflict mounting property losses in California while chasing thousands of residents from their homes in a wildfire season shaping as one of the worst on record.
Containment of the so-called Tassajara Fire, a measure of how much of its perimeter has been enclosed within buffer lines carved through vegetation by ground crews, stood at 30 percent on Monday – triple the figure reported a day earlier.
Sept 17 (Reuters) – Search teams have found the body of a
seventh hiker killed in a rain-swollen canyon of Utah’s Zion
National Park hours after the ill-fated group obtained a park
permit to venture into that area despite forecasts of probable
flash flooding, park officials said on Thursday.
The seven canyoneers were swept to their deaths late Monday
afternoon during a flooding that killed 12 people and left two
others missing elsewhere in southern Utah, most of them in the
town of Hilldale on the Arizona border.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A rapidly spreading wildfire spurred evacuations of thousands of mountain homes in California’s gold-rush country on Friday as flames from a larger Sierra Nevada blaze edged close to a famed grove of giant sequoia trees in Kings Canyon National Park.
Ground crews mounted an all-out defense of Grant Grove, a stand of ancient redwoods that includes the General Grant tree, one of the largest and tallest of all giant sequoias, as flames crept within a mile (1.6 km) of the area, said Paul Garnier, a spokesman for the fire command.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Evacuation orders were expanded to thousands of homes in northern California’s Sierras on Friday as a rapidly spreading wildfire roared for a third day through drought-parched timber and brush, threatening mountain communities near Sacramento.
The so-called Butte Fire, which erupted on Wednesday about 30 miles southeast of the state capital near the former gold mining town Jackson, has grown quickly in the midst of a heat wave baking the region in triple-digit temperatures.
Sept 8 (Reuters) – Stephen Colbert brought a mix of
Hollywood glamour, presidential politics and a patriotic
flourish to his debut hosting the CBS “Late Show” on Tuesday,
opening with the national anthem and trading banter with Oscar
winner George Clooney and Republican White House contender Jeb
Nine months after his final sign-off from “The Colbert
Report” on cable television’s Comedy Central channel, Colbert
launched his first major network broadcast as the late-night
heir to David Letterman, taking a moment to pay a heart-felt
tribute to his predecessor.