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August 26, 2007 | Jeff Donn, Associated Press
His eyes scan 5,000 ducks quacking and pacing across a barn longer than a football field. Jim Skinner knows exactly what he most fears. Back in November, one of his flocks caught bird flu. He had to kill 2,500 ducks to block any spread, gassing them with carbon dioxide or simply breaking necks by hand. "It's the most horrible experience I've ever been through," he says. He also lost $90,000 in business and came "this close" -- his fingers form a pincer -- to going under.
July 25, 2007 | Miguel Bustillo, Times Staff Writer
A grand jury on Tuesday refused to indict a surgeon who was accused of murdering four hospital patients by lethal injection during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The decision ends a sensational prosecution attempt by Louisiana's attorney general that enraged New Orleans' medical community. After meeting for four months, the Orleans Parish grand jury declined to indict Dr.
June 20, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
Carol, an Asian elephant who gained national acclaim by appearing on the "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," has been euthanized by veterinarians at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, zoo officials announced Tuesday. The 40-year-old elephant had been suffering from a painful degenerative joint disease. Zoo officials say they tried for years to help Carol with therapy, a specialized diet and exercise. They also installed a padded floor in the elephant barn.
June 8, 2007 | Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writer
Despite the efforts of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, legislation to allow terminally ill people to hasten their deaths was shelved Thursday for lack of support. Certain they didn't have the votes to pass it, the bill's authors in effect killed it, at least until January, by not bringing it up for a vote on the Assembly floor. Nunez, a Los Angeles Democrat, co-wrote the bill, to the consternation of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and other Catholic leaders.
June 4, 2007 | Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer
To save the northern spotted owl, federal authorities have listed the bird under the Endangered Species Act, set aside 7 million acres of forest for owl habitat, and imposed stiff fines on those who harm the chocolate-colored football-sized raptors. But the spotted owl population is still in deep peril nearly 15 years after President Clinton brokered a compact to protect its old-growth habitat.
May 27, 2007 | From the Associated Press
For nearly a decade, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a retired pathologist, waged a defiant campaign to help other people kill themselves. But as he prepares to leave prison Friday after serving more than eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence in the death of a Michigan man, there's still only one state that allows physician-assisted suicide: Oregon. Some expect that Kevorkian's release could spur another round of efforts, if only to block moves to enact new laws.
May 20, 2007 | David Pierson, Times Staff Writer
Confined to a rusty wheelchair and unable to control her muscles below her neck, Li Yan seemed destined for nothing more than a short life of pain and hopelessness. Instead, the 29-year-old with muscular dystrophy has been catapulted into the center of an ethical debate. Li, fearing that her disease eventually will leave her in a helpless state, used her blog in March to ask the National People's Congress to legalize her right to die.
May 15, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Australia's Defense Department said it wanted to hire professional shooters to kill more than 3,000 kangaroos on the fringes of the capital, noting that their growing population was eating through the grassy habitats of endangered species. Animal rights activists decried the proposal. The department said the 6,500 kangaroos at two sites outside Canberra were destroying the habitat of the grassland earless dragon, striped legless lizard and golden sun moth.
April 26, 2007 | Carla Hall, Times Staff Writer
In the iconography of cuteness, few things hold greater heart-melting sway than kittens. Hallmark, the world's largest greeting card company, owns 1,230 images of kittens and has put at least some of them on 894 products in the past decade. Corbis, a leading stock photography source, offers more than 1,400 images of kittens online for licensing. And proclaims it has posted 117,179 photos of people's kittens.
April 9, 2007 | George Skelton
You can't strip all the emotion from the argument over assisted suicide. But cooling the coarse rhetoric could lead to a more rational and substantive debate. The kind of coarse rhetoric I'm referring to was Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's charge last week that Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) is part of the "culture of death." That's church lingo and, with any luck, it won't infiltrate the public policy dialogue.
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