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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2010 |
One day after a river of mud brought havoc to a La Cañada Flintridge neighborhood, residents faced a massive cleanup Sunday, with chest-high mounds of muck lining the streets, damaged homes rendered uninhabitable and nearby catch basins filled to capacity with debris. Authorities lifted evacuation orders that at one point Saturday had affected 500 homes in the fire-ravaged foothill communities of La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge. Forty-three homes in the communities were damaged, and nine were red-tagged, preventing residents from entering until the structures could be stabilized.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2009 |
There's an unexpected beauty to this pile of junk as a troupe of heavy equipment performs its daily dance. Dump trucks cough up their contents and glide away. Bulldozers swoop in from behind, and piles of lumber, cardboard, plastic and half-eaten food roll off their blades like sets of ocean waves. The noise at the Puente Hills Landfill, one of the nation's largest garbage heaps, is unrelenting. The air is slightly sweet with decay. The ground pulses like an earthquake. Big Mike wades into the mess.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2009 |
Some California politicians are ridding their campaign coffers of cash from a Los Angeles venture capitalist who has pleaded guilty to bribing pension officials in New York. Elliott Broidy, who had California government contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, showered his personal fortune on officeholders and candidates. Over the last decade, Broidy and his wife, Robin Rosenzweig, have made nearly $900,000 in campaign contributions in California, including $57,000 to candidates and ballot measures in the city of Los Angeles.