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November 5, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The federal government's consumer financial watchdog plans to crack down on the nation's 4,500 debt collectors with new regulations to ensure that collectors are going after the right people for the right amounts and aren't badgering the debtors. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Tuesday that it was seeking public comment on new rules because the 1977 law regulating debt collection practices hasn't kept up with advances in technology. As millions of Americans have fallen behind on their bills because of the Great Recession, debt collectors have employed text messages and social media to bombard debtors.
November 4, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
California will fall short of its goal to slash greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury unless it adopts aggressive policies to fight climate change, a new report says. The state is still on track to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels by 2020, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. But reducing those emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, as required under a 2005 executive order by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will not be possible without new policies and technological innovations, the report said.
October 29, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Warning: Driving a truck for a living can be hazardous to your health - if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, researchers said Tuesday. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men, and in most cases it's basically harmless. As the National Cancer Institute says, even patients who never get their tumors treated are likely to die of something other than prostate cancer. So, instead of looking at prostate cancer risk, the researchers who did the new study focused on the risk that the cancer would be aggressive at the time of diagnosis.
October 21, 2013 | Sandy Banks
It seems to happen often enough that we're no longer shocked to hear it: A teenager commits suicide after being bullied online by peers. But the recent death in Florida of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick and arrest of two of her former middle school classmates makes it clear that victims are getting younger and bullies more brazen online. Two girls, 12 and 14, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking based on evidence of a year of online taunts and threats. Sheriff's deputies confiscated the cellphones and laptops of more than a dozen girls accused of bullying Rebecca and found messages such as "You should die. " This may be the first time children have been accused of a crime in connection with suicide.
October 12, 2013 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011 toppled buildings, upended roads and even liquefied the ground under some communities, causing them to sink. The historic city saw the soaring brick spire of the ChristChurch Cathedral topple and another 19th century landmark church crumble to the ground. But residents were stunned to learn that two-thirds of the 185 people killed in the city were in two more modern, seemingly solid concrete office buildings that fell down with the shaking.
October 9, 2013 | By Lee Romney
NAPA, Calif. - It has been nearly three years since psychiatric technician Donna Gross was strangled on the fenced grounds of Napa State Hospital - a slaying that helped expose a systemwide problem with patient violence. Although safety has improved since then, violence is still far too high, exacerbated by an increasingly prison-savvy population with predatory tendencies, an Assembly committee was told Wednesday. The committee focused its attention on the Napa facility, but will also be examining the other four state-run mental hospitals.
October 3, 2013 | Sam Farmer
RENTON, Wash. - Marshawn Lynch once made the earth shake. Now, he does the same to Seattle Seahawks headquarters. The Pro Bowl running back ambles into the locker room at lunchtime, attaches his smartphone to a speaker in his locker and cranks up the thumping strains of a rap song, setting the pre-practice mood. "Marshawn, his style personifies the team," says teammate Richard Sherman, raising his voice above the music. "He's so aggressive, that aggressive, straight-in-the-face, hit-you-in-the-face style.
September 25, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Fire officials now believe the Madre fire above Azusa can be contained by Friday morning, thanks to favorable weather conditions and an aggressive aerial assault. Full containment of the fire had been expected for earlier next week. The fire, which started Monday evening in San Gabriel Canyon north of Highway 39, is now 70% contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It is estimated to have burned 250 acres so far. The aggressive air assault appeared crucial because the area is a maze of steep terrain sometimes difficult for crews to access on foot.
September 24, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - An Arizona city that led the nation in its aggressive stance on panhandling reversed course Tuesday night, setting in motion the apparent demise of a century-old state law that criminalized begging. The Flagstaff City Council voted to settle a lawsuit launched this summer by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested after asking an undercover police officer for bus fare. The ACLU argued that the state law and Flagstaff's enforcement of it were unconstitutional.
September 10, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien and Andrea Chang
CUPERTINO, Calif. - Whether the "c" in iPhone 5c stands for color or China, the launch of a plastic cellphone marks one of the biggest strategic shifts for Apple since the company began the smartphone revolution six years ago. Though the announcements made Tuesday at Apple's headquarters were relatively modest in scale, the tech giant seemed to be signaling that it was intent on recapturing lost momentum in China. Although a rumored deal with that nation's largest carrier was not announced at the event, analysts are expecting it to be confirmed soon, possibly at a separate media event being held in Beijing on Wednesday.
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