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February 4, 2011 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Target Corp. has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a multiyear government investigation into the alleged dumping of hazardous waste by the retail chain, according to court documents filed this week. The settlement, pending final approval by a judge, is part of a bigger push by prosecutors throughout the state to crack down on environmental violations by big-box retailers and follows multimillion-dollar settlements in recent years with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot. Under the tentative agreement, the Minneapolis-based retail giant admits no wrongdoing but will pay about $3.4 million to the California attorney general's office.
January 27, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
A labor-backed advocacy group issued a study Wednesday that labeled much of Los Angeles' trash-disposal system polluting and wasteful, and called for the adoption of a franchise process that could bolster recycling rates, provide green jobs and increase city revenue. "What we have now is completely inefficient and chaotic, and we have to put some order to it," said City Councilman Jose Huizar. Private haulers operate on a permit basis that critics say falls short of recycling goals and lacks standards and accountability.
December 12, 2010 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
States and nuclear facilities that want to ship material to Yucca Mountain have sued to resurrect the plan the Obama administration wants to kill. 'It is like in a zombie movie, where you shoot off its arms and then its head and it still comes after you,' says a Nevada official. In the middle of the Nevada desert, jackrabbits and snakes keep watch over an abandoned, 5-mile-long shaft bored into a mountain. The tunnel was the first step in the Energy Department's Yucca Mountain project, where it once hoped to store more than 70,000 tons of highly radioactive waste from the nation's nuclear reactors.
December 10, 2010
Since 2007, members of the Achuar tribe, indigenous to Peru's Amazon rain forest, have been fighting to have their class-action suit against Occidental Petroleum tried in the United States. The Achuar allege that over a 30-year period, the Westwood-based oil company dumped millions of gallons of wastewater into their rivers and disposed of waste in unlined pits, sickening people and contaminating the land. The company, they maintain, should be held accountable in California courts. This week the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, overturning a lower court ruling that said Maynas Carijano vs. Occidental Petroleum should be tried in Peru.
November 6, 2010 | Wire reports
Roger Federer made short work of Andy Roddick this time, winning, 6-2, 6-4, in the Swiss Indoors semifinals at Basel, Switzerland, on Saturday in their first rematch since the epic 2009 Wimbledon final. Federer broke Roddick's serve twice in each set and fired 13 aces to the American's four to win in 69 minutes. Last time at Wimbledon, Federer broke Roddick once in the 39th attempt to win 16-14 in the fifth set after 4 hours 16 minutes. "It's unfortunate my bad serving day came today," Roddick said.
August 15, 2010 | By Daniel K. Gardner
China's Ministry of Commerce, together with five other ministries, issued this warning in June: "Companies making disposable chopsticks will face local government restrictions aimed at decreasing the use of the throwaway utensil.... Production, circulation and recycling of disposable chopsticks should be more strictly supervised. " With summer floods devastating southern, western and northeastern China, a massive oil spill smothering the Yellow Sea off the port of Dalian, 3,000 barrels of chemicals bobbing aimlessly but threateningly in the Songhua River in the northeast, and nearly half a million newly registered cars — just since January — on Beijing roads spewing who knows how much additional carbon dioxide into the air, you may think that the government is unnecessarily overreaching in waging a war on the disposable chopstick.
April 8, 2010 | By Carol Reiter
Every time a cow dies on a dairy farm, it could cost the owner $115 to have a rendering company pick it up. As a result, many dairies have held on to a long-standing solution: hauling the carcass to a "dead pile" on the backside of the property, where no one can see the dead animals as they decompose. This is the way most beef producers deal with their dead cattle out on the range, where there are few people or water wells. But there are plenty of animals and birds, such as bald eagles and coyotes, that make short work of a dead cow. At dairies, where there are more cattle per acre, dead animals are a major problem.
March 1, 2010 | By Ken Ellingwood
When a city crashes to the ground, how do you dispose of it? Six weeks after an earthquake reduced Port-au-Prince to the ruins of a lost war, Haitian and foreign officials who hope to build a new capital first have to confront the wreckage of the old one. The capital is a panorama of rubble: collapsed and half-fallen stores, banks, apartment buildings and homes, hillsides covered by broken shacks that fell like dominoes. Gnarled steel rebar lies all over in massive tangles, like a thousand Medusas.
February 23, 2010 | By Broderick Turner
Gary Vitti eased his way into a hat store in Cleveland on a recent Lakers trip in search of a lid for his bald head, when the door quickly opened and a man burst in. "Hey, you're Gary Vitti, the Lakers' trainer," the man blurted out. "You're the man! You're more important than the coach." Vitti rubbed his head and laughed at what he had just heard. "No, man," Vitti said, smiling, "no way." When this story was shared with Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, he cracked a smile and laughed.
February 11, 2010 | By Claudia Eller
In 2004, investigative journalist Mark Boal persuaded Playboy magazine to send him to Iraq for a story about the "practical reality" of the war. He was embedded with a unit of U.S. soldiers who have the most dangerous job in the military -- disarming deadly bombs. The members of the Army's Explosive Ordnance Disposal squad provided the human-interest angle to the story that Boal wanted to tell about the horrors of the occupation and futility of the war. Over the course of his three-week assignment, Boal realized that the harrowing daily accounts of those who risked their lives to save others would also make for a riveting movie with far greater reach.
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