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Aug 11, 2015

Rivers hardest hit by Colorado mine waste spill to stay closed until Aug. 17

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Two rivers in Colorado and New Mexico hardest hit by contamination from toxic wastewater spilled from a defunct gold mine will remain closed to drinking water and irrigation intakes for at least another week, U.S. environmental officials said.

The San Juan River and its northern tributary, the Animas River, have been fouled by the release of more than 3 million gallons (11.3 million liters) of acid mine drainage inadvertently triggered by a team of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers last week.

Aug 10, 2015

Wastewater spill from Colorado gold mine triples in volume: EPA

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Some 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater, triple previous estimates, have poured from a defunct Colorado gold mine into local streams since a team of Environmental Protection Agency workers accidentally triggered the spill last week, EPA officials said on Sunday.

The discharge, containing high concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, was continuing to flow at the rate of 500 gallons per minute on Sunday, four days after the spill began at the Gold King Mine, the EPA said.

Aug 6, 2015

U.S. agencies petitioned to inspect offshore California pipelines

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An environmental group petitioned
the federal government on Thursday to immediately inspect more
than 200 miles (320 km) of undersea oil pipelines off
California’s coast.

The Center for Biological Diversity cited extensive
corrosion that is believed to have caused an onshore pipeline to
burst in May west of Santa Barbara, unleashing the biggest oil
spill to hit that region in more than four decades.

Aug 6, 2015

Firefighters turning corner in northern California’s big Rocky blaze

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The battle to tame California’s fiercest wildfire this year, the big Rocky blaze north of Napa Valley wine country, neared a turning point on Thursday as ground crews fighting the flames for an eighth day steadily extended their control lines.

The containment level for the blaze, a measure of how much of its perimeter has been firmly enclosed within fire breaks hacked through unburned vegetation by firefighters, rose to 40 percent on Thursday – double what it was two days earlier.

Aug 6, 2015

Bill Cosby ordered to give deposition in sexual abuse lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Bill Cosby has been ordered to give a sworn deposition in a lawsuit brought by a woman accusing the comedian of plying her with alcohol and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 15 years old.

The order, entered by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Tuesday and made public on Wednesday, states that Cosby will submit to questions under oath from the lawyer of his accuser, Judy Huth, on Oct. 9, and that she will answer questions from his attorneys on Oct. 15.

Aug 5, 2015

Property losses from northern California wildfire nearly double

By Steve Gorman and Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – The tally of property losses from California’s most destructive wildfire this year nearly doubled on Wednesday as the week-old blaze raged on through dry scrubland north of Napa Valley wine country.

The higher damage figures from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire) coincided with an ominous U.S. Forest Service report that more than half its total budget is, for the first time, being spent on fire suppression across the country.

Aug 4, 2015

Northern California wildfire grows further after jumping highway

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – California’s biggest and fiercest wildfire of the year grew larger as it raged for a seventh day through drought-parched chaparral and ranch lands north of Napa Valley wine country after jumping a highway that authorities hoped would slow its advance.

The blaze, dubbed the Rocky Fire, has charred some 65,000 acres, destroyed more than 50 buildings and displaced thousands of residents since erupting last week in the rugged canyons and foothills east of the town of Clearlake, about 110 miles north of San Francisco.

Jul 30, 2015

Planned Parenthood reports second website hack in a week

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Planned Parenthood said electronic traffic to its websites was snarled by computer hackers on Wednesday in the second cyber attack mounted against the healthcare organization this week amid a controversy over alleged sales of aborted fetal tissue.

Websites operated by Planned Parenthood and its political branch, Planned Parenthood Action, were clogged by a wide-scale “distributed denial-of-service,” or DDoS, attack, the organization said.

Jul 29, 2015

Fallen tree injures eight children outside California museum

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A pine tree that stood some seven stories tall fell onto a group of children outside a museum in Pasadena, California, on Tuesday, injuring eight of the youngsters, two of them seriously, city and museum officials said.

The tree crashed to the ground as dozens of children who were attending a daycamp at the museum were leaving the building at the end of an otherwise picture-perfect afternoon, city spokesman William Boyer said.

Jul 29, 2015

Sexual-assault accuser says Cosby didn’t realize she was gay

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The woman battling Bill Cosby to make public a 2006 settlement of her sexual-assault complaint against him said in court documents on Tuesday that she is a lesbian, despite his sworn assertions that their encounter was consensual and he has a knack for reading women’s cues.

The revelation by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who has alleged the comedian tricked her into taking drugs before assaulting her in 2004, came in a legal memorandum filed in federal court in Philadelphia.

    • 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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