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Aug 21, 2013

Last installment of Nixon’s once-secret White House tapes released

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. National Archives released on Wednesday its last installment of White House conversations that were secretly recorded by President Richard Nixon in the 1970s, a batch of tapes mainly highlighting domestic and foreign policy issues.

The 340 hours of conversations cover a three-month period from April 9 to July 12, 1973, the day before the existence of Nixon’s taping system was revealed by presidential aide Alexander Butterfield in testimony before a U.S. Senate Select Committee investigating the Watergate scandal.

Aug 20, 2013

Actor Dick Van Dyke escapes unhurt from car fire on Los Angeles freeway

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke, best known for his hit television comedy of the 1960s, survived a car fire unscathed on Monday when a passerby pulled him from the smoldering vehicle before it burst into flames on the side of a Los Angeles-area freeway.

A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol confirmed that the 87-year-old performer was the driver seen slumped over the steering wheel of a Jaguar that was reported to be on fire on the shoulder of the Ventura Freeway.

Aug 19, 2013

Shark bites teenage surfer along Hawaii’s Big Island

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – A 16-year-old boy surfing along the eastern shore of Hawaii’s Big Island was bitten in the legs by a shark over the weekend in the second such attack in the state in less than a week, authorities said on Monday.

The boy was flown by helicopter on Sunday to the Hilo Medical Center, in the island’s largest city, and was listed in satisfactory condition on Sunday night, said William Aila, chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Aug 17, 2013

CIA acknowledges its mysterious Area 51 test site for first time

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – National security scholars at George Washington University have some good news and bad news for UFO buffs – the U.S. government has finally confirmed the existence of Area 51 in Nevada, but it makes no mention of little green men or alien spaceships.

The government acknowledged the existence of the mysterious aviation test site known as Area 51, a remote installation about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas, in a newly declassified CIA history of its U-2 spy plane program.

Aug 14, 2013

California man behind anti-Islam film released to halfway house

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The man behind a film that stoked anti-U.S. protests across the Muslim world has been moved from prison to a halfway house to serve the remaining weeks of his sentence for probation violations stemming from his role in making the video, federal officials said on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, whose real name is Mark Basseley Youssef, previously served time for a 2010 bank fraud conviction and was sent back to prison last year after admitting to breaching the terms of his probation.

Aug 10, 2013

Fire crews tighten grip on California blaze as evacuations lifted

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters tightened their grip around a wind-driven blaze roaring for a third day through dry brush east of Los Angeles as evacuation orders were lifted on Friday for hundreds of homes, but the tally of property losses climbed higher.

The so-called Silver Fire erupted south of the Riverside County town of Banning and by Friday evening had charred some 17,500 acres on the rugged northern and eastern slopes of Jan Jacinto Mountain, authorities said.

Aug 9, 2013

Fire crews tighten grip on California blaze as property toll grows

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters tightened their grip around a wind-driven blaze roaring for a third day through dry brush east of Los Angeles, even as property losses climbed on Friday to more than two dozen homes while hundreds more remained threatened.

The so-called Silver Fire erupted on Wednesday south of the Riverside County town of Banning and by early Friday had charred some 16,000 acres on the rugged northern and eastern slopes of Jan Jacinto Mountain, authorities said.

Aug 8, 2013

Child-abduction alert issued in Nevada for missing California youths

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A child-abduction alert was issued in Nevada on Thursday in the search for two Southern California siblings missing since their mother was found slain in the burned out home of a family friend suspected of killing her.

The notice in Nevada, following similar alerts issued earlier this week in California, Oregon and Washington state, came as authorities escalated their manhunt for the suspect, 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.

Aug 2, 2013

Supreme court backs order that California reduce prison crowding

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Supreme Court refused on Friday to excuse California from a lower-court order demanding that the nation’s largest state prison system reduce its inmate population by about 10,000 convicts this year to ease crowding.

The state’s petition to the high court, denied by the majority without comment, said conditions had improved in the 33-prison system in recent years despite federal court rulings that overcrowding caused problems with mental health and medical care for inmates.

Jul 28, 2013

California prisons, hunger-strike backers clash over inmate death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Supporters of California prison inmates staging a prolonged hunger strike said on Saturday that one of the prisoners who had been refusing meals has died, but state corrections officials said the death was under investigation as a suicide.

The inmate, identified by mediators for protesting inmates as Billy Sell, died on Monday at the Corcoran State Prison in central California, where he was serving time in a “security housing unit” for prisoners held in solitary confinement, according to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.

    • 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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