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SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Planet-hunters scouring the heavens have found thousands of distant worlds around other stars, but astronomers may have overlooked one lurking much closer to home. Scientists searching for glimmers of light beyond Pluto say they've discovered a new dwarf planet - and that its movements hint that an invisible giant planet far larger than Earth may inhabit the solar system's mysterious frontier. The new dwarf planet, dubbed 2012 VP113 and described in a study published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, helps confirm the existence of an "inner Oort cloud" in an interplanetary no man's land that was once thought to be barren but could be teeming with rocky objects.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
When asked for the story behind this week's posthumous release of Johnny Cash's "Out Among the Stars," a "lost" album recorded in the early '80s with fabled Nashville producer Billy Sherrill, his son, John Carter Cash, quickly reels off a laundry list of reasons. "It seemed to be a cohesive body of work," Cash, 44, said from the family's headquarters in Hendersonville, Tenn. A few years ago he came across the never-released recordings while organizing the bounty of archival materials left behind by his father and his mother, June Carter Cash, after their deaths in 2003.
NATIONAL
March 24, 2014 | By Matt Pearce and Maria L. La Ganga
ARLINGTON, Wash. - Six more bodies were found Monday in the massive Washington mudslide, bringing the death toll to 14, officials said. The announcement confirming the deaths came from  the Snohomish County Twitter account . A news conference was scheduled for early Monday evening. Despite the efforts of rescuers, no survivors have been found since the Saturday mudslide just east of Oso. The square-mile debris field smashed through a rural cluster of homes about an hour's drive north of Seattle.
SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Steve Dilbeck
While wondering if the Dodgers have almost talked themselves into jet lag, a quick look at questions and answers provided during this spring's camp: Who's the fifth starter? Uh, they'll have to get back to you on that one. Josh Beckett looked strong his first time out, then slammed his thumb in a clubhouse door and suffered a setback. And Paul Maholm didn't exactly impress. Beckett remained back in camp with the minor-leaguers when the team headed to Australia. Maholm is on the trip and will act as a reliever, unless something unexpected befalls starters Clayton Kershaw or Hyun-Jin Ryu. Fortunately the Dodgers won't really need a fifth starter until the middle of April, so they can give Beckett more time to see if he can pitch his way into the rotation.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2014 | By Margaret Gray
In Greg Pierce's "Slowgirl" at the Geffen Playhouse, 17-year-old Becky (Rae Gray) comes to visit her Uncle Sterling (William Petersen), who left the U.S. years earlier for Costa Rica. She's freaked out by his primitive jungle lifestyle, which is charmingly evoked by Richard Woodbury's sound design and the tropical leaves that hang above Takeshi Kata's delicate, bare-bones set, configured tennis-court style with the audience on either side (an approach that heightens naturalism but also impedes sightlines)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
A Central California rancher is being investigated for possible animal neglect after two hikers came across 25 dead sheep that appeared emaciated and malnourished. “What I saw still haunts me,” one of the hikers, Adam Weismuller, told the Tribune . “It was the single most horrible thing I've ever seen.” The sheep were discovered Feb. 28 in the River View Estates area of Heritage Ranch, about 15 miles northwest of Paso Robles, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Authorities are investigating a dead body discovered Monday in Lincoln Heights along the Los Angeles River. The body, reported to authorities at about 7:20 a.m., was on the riverbed near the 1700 block of North Spring Street, said Los Angeles police Officer Rosario Herrera. The victim's gender had not yet been determined, Herrera said. The Los Angeles Fire Department, along with L.A. County sheriff's and coroner's officials, was assisting the LAPD with the investigation. ALSO: California storms did little to ease drought conditions Video shows huge wave crashing into Santa Barbara restaurant Disney to cut funding to Boy Scouts over ban on gay adult leaders adolfo.flores@latimes.com Twitter: @AdolfoFlores3
SCIENCE
February 26, 2014 | By Monte Morin
It's billed as a faster, safer and more accurate way of screening expectant mothers for fetal abnormalities like Down syndrome, and proponents say it has already become the standard for prenatal care. But as a handful of California companies market their DNA-testing services to a growing number of pregnant women, some experts complain that the tests have not been proven effective in the kind of rigorous clinical trials that are required of new drugs. Now, a study published Wednesday by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine has verified that one of the tests can identify likely cases of Down syndrome and other genetic disorders caused by extra chromosomes in low-risk women with greater reliability than traditional noninvasive screening methods.
NATIONAL
February 22, 2014 | By Evan Halper
HUSTONTOWN, Pa. - Jim Crawford was rushing to load crates of freshly picked organic tomatoes onto trucks heading for an urban farmers market when he noticed the federal agent. A tense conversation followed as the visitor to his farm - an inspector from the Food and Drug Administration - warned him that some organic-growing techniques he had honed over four decades could soon be outlawed. "This is my badge. These are the fines. This is what is hanging over your head, and we want you to know that," Crawford says the official told him. Crawford's popular farm may seem a curious place for the FDA to move ahead with a long-planned federal assault on deadly food poisoning.
NATIONAL
February 20, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Police found drugs and drug paraphernalia in the cabin where two ex-Navy SEALs were found dead earlier this week, according to a company spokesman. The bodies of security contractors Mark Daniel Kennedy, 43, of Baton Rouge, La., and Jeffrey Reynolds, 44, were discovered in a cabin of the Maersk Alabama on Tuesday while at port in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The ship is widely known for having been hijacked by Somalian pirates in 2009, an event was dramatized in the 2013 Tom Hanks movie "Captain Phillips.
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