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Nov 21, 2014

AT&T to pay California $52 million in hazardous waste disposal settlement

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – AT&T Inc will pay $52 million in civil penalties and environmental compliance as part of a settlement with California over illegal dumping of hazardous waste but won’t be required to clean up the resulting contamination, state officials said on Thursday.

State officials said it marked the first enforcement action in California against a telecommunications company for mishandling of electronic waste. The settlement must still be approved by the Alameda County Superior Court, where it was filed.

Nov 15, 2014

L.A. school district claimed girl consented to sex with teacher

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Unified School District has come under fire from legal experts for asserting in court that a 14-year-old girl had consented to sex with her teacher and for introducing her sexual history in response to a lawsuit brought by the student.

A number of legal scholars and attorneys specializing in sex abuse cases said the argument that the girl bore some responsibility for the affair was at odds with the minimum age of consent – 18 – established in criminal law.

Nov 12, 2014

Shipping lines, union blame each other for West Coast port backups

LOS ANGELES, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Tension over prolonged labor
talks between maritime shippers and the union representing
20,000 West Coast dockworkers has erupted in public as the two
sides blamed each other for escalating cargo congestion at the
two busiest U.S. container ports.

As of Tuesday, 14 freighters were anchored waiting for space
to enter the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where
container cargo traffic has been backing up for about a month,
delaying deliveries of last-minute holiday merchandise, port and
retail officials said.

Nov 7, 2014

Man charged with killing California couple, young sons

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A lone suspect has been arrested and charged with four counts of murder in the slaying of a couple and their two young sons whose skeletal remains were found buried last year in the California desert, police and prosecutors said on Friday.

The accused, Charles “Chase” Merritt, was described as a business associate of the father, Joseph McStay, whose family was reported missing in February 2010 from their Southern California home, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.

Oct 31, 2014

Suspect identified in eight graffiti vandalism cases in National Parks

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Federal officials have publicly identified a woman suspected of graffiti vandalism in at least eight national parks across the West, including Yosemite and Death Valley in California, and credit social media for helping pinpoint the alleged culprit.

Casey Nocket of New York state has not been arrested or charged but was confirmed on Thursday as “the major suspect” in an investigation of one of the most widespread acts of serial vandalism documented in the National Park System.

Oct 28, 2014

Cyber breaches put 18.5 million Californians’ data at risk in 2013: report

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Cyber intrusions and other data breaches put the personal records of 18.5 million Californians, nearly half the state’s population, at risk in 2013, a seven-fold increase over the year before, the state attorney general reported on Tuesday.

The number of data breaches reported by companies and government entities increased 28 percent, from 131 in 2012 to 167 last year, more than half of them, or 53 percent, caused by cyber incursions such as computer hacking and malware, the report said.

Oct 28, 2014

California Ebola researcher raises $100,000 via crowdfunding

LOS ANGELES, Oct 27 (Reuters) – A California-based
immunologist leading an international effort to develop new
anti-Ebola drugs has raised more than $100,000 in online
donations to hasten the research, achieving her Internet
“crowdfunding” goal in just over two weeks.

The proceeds will be used to purchase a piece of equipment
enabling Scripps Research Institute scientists in San Diego to
more quickly analyze Ebola antibody samples from survivors of
the hemorrhagic fever, a spokeswoman there said on Monday.

Oct 17, 2014

U.S. Air Force lands robotic X-37B space plane in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. military landed its X-37B robotic space plane at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on Friday, ending a classified 22-month mission that marked the third in Earth orbit for the experimental program, the Air Force said.

The X-37B, a 29-foot-long (9-meter) winged craft that resembles a miniature NASA space shuttle, touched down at 9:24 a.m. local time at the coastal air base and launch facility base near Lompoc, California, 160 miles (258 km) northwest of Los Angeles.

Oct 13, 2014

California Ebola researcher seeks more money through crowdfunding

LOS ANGELES, Oct 13 (Reuters) – A California-based
immunologist in charge of an international consortium developing
new anti-Ebola drugs has turned to Internet “crowdfunding” for
extra money needed to speed up the research.

The group led by Erica Ollman Saphire, a professor at the
Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, helped formulate the
experimental ZMapp serum that was used to treat two American aid
workers who contracted Ebola in Liberia and recovered.

Oct 11, 2014

Family seeks medical consensus for California girl declared brain dead

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – A lawyer for the family of a California girl declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy wants to broker a conference between several physicians who insist she exhibits signs of life and a court-appointed doctor who rejects their findings.

Relatives of Jahi McMath, aged 13 when she suffered cardiac arrest in December following surgery to treat sleep apnea, petitioned a judge weeks ago to revoke her death certificate and restore her status as a living person.

    • About Steve

      "Joining Reuters in 1994 as a member of the broadcast/online desk in Washington, Steve later moved to Los Angeles, where he spent 10 years covering the entertainment industry, and the past two years as a general news correspondent. Steve began his career at United Press International in Washington. He also spent three years on Capitol Hill as editor of a weekly news journal published by a congressional caucus, the Environmental and Energy Study Conference."
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