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December 2, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Congress' unfinished business threatens to leave millions of Americans - including the unemployed, Pentagon contractors and even supermarket shoppers - in the lurch this holiday season. With partisan dysfunction unlikely to subside in coming weeks, lawmakers appear ready to punt several issues into the new year. But many Americans could start feeling the effects of inaction as early as this month. An estimated 1.3 million Americans will lose federal emergency unemployment benefits after Christmas if the program is not renewed.
November 20, 2013 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- California's egg law has emerged as a contentious issue in congressional negotiations over a farm bill. The Humane Society has funded a $100,000 ad campaign to defeat federal legislation that would prevent California from requiring that eggs imported into the state be produced under standards that give hens enough room to spread their wings. The Humane Society Legislative Fund is running online ads in the states of nearly a dozen House-Senate negotiators. The ads do not mention the California law but show an image of a shopper in a grocery store and warn that a "dangerous federal overreach" threatens state laws that protect animals and the food supply.
November 20, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
American meat giant Tyson Foods cut ties with an Oklahoma pork farm Wednesday almost immediately after the release of an activist's undercover video showed brutal abuses of pigs at the facility. The highly edited video , its contents graphic and disturbing, was released by Los Angeles-based animal-rights group Mercy for Animals. It showed short clips of men grabbing piglets by their hind legs and smashing their heads to the ground to kill them. Other clips showed men kicking pigs in the face and hitting the animals with boards and a bowling ball.
November 15, 2013 | By Shan Li
Google Inc. plans to invest $80 million in six utility-scale solar facilities in California and Arizona as the tech behemoth continues to put money toward alternative energy projects. The Mountain View, Calif., company will partner with solar developer Recurrent Energy and private equity firm KKR & Co. on the projects, which are estimated to generate enough combined electricity to power more than 17,000 homes, Google said in a blog post. "You'd think the thrill might wear off this whole renewable energy investing thing after a while," Google wrote on its official blog.
November 7, 2013 | By Martin Hsai
"Symphony of the Soil" is a documentary on the advantages and the necessity of farming organically: without synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge and genetically modified seeds. It's far from one of those propaganda films that hammer their messages home, though. It does have a point of view, but the intended conclusion ripens for the picking in a roundabout way. You certainly have no idea what it's getting at during its National Geographic-esque primer on the evolution of soil, the different types of soils, nutrients contained and organisms that thrive within.
November 1, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Temecula is just 86 miles from downtown L.A. That's about an hour and a half drive when the traffic gods are with you. And yet the fun-loving, party-happy wine region is hardly ever at the top of avid wine buffs' bucket list. But now, with the opening of Farm House Kitchen, it can boast a serious wine restaurant to sweeten the wine region's appeal.  Part of the golf resort Temecula Creek Inn , the new restaurant cost about $2.5 million to renovate. That's a serious investment and Farm House Kitchen will be doing the heavy lifting, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus everyone's favorite, weekend brunch.
October 25, 2013 | David Karp
The 19-year-old Encino farmers market is one of the two best in the San Fernando Valley, because of its large size and quality, and its preponderance of farmers over prepared food. It's on a par with Studio City, which the manager, Carole Gallegos, ran until 2011, but it's in a pleasanter location, in a park, with better parking. The market's earnings go to ONEgeneration , a respected nonprofit that provides care to seniors and children. One recent addition is award-winning Nuvo olive oil , from century-old trees in Oroville, in the Sacramento Valley.
October 24, 2013 | By Diana Marcum
STEVINSON, Calif. -  A leggy bridesmaid smoothed her Grecian-pleated dress and stuffed lipstick and two cigars into her cowboy boots.  Over by the horses, the best man slipped a flask out of his vest and offered a mare a sip. The preacher was late, but everything else was on schedule for the sunset wedding at the Double T. The cows had been herded from the pasture to make room for cars, and the barn was hung with white lights and Mason jars....
October 24, 2013 | By David Pierson
Mexico has blocked imports of Foster Farms chicken from three Central California processing facilities linked to an outbreak of salmonella. The Mexican government told the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday that it was removing from its list of approved exporters two Foster Farms plants in Fresno and one in Livingston, where the poultry company is headquartered. The blocked three plants were identified by the USDA as the likely origins of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 338 people across the U.S. since March.
October 24, 2013 | By Julie Cart
The mission of America's 400 national parks is to reflect the country's history - no matter how uncomfortable or unflattering - which is why some contain depictions of slavery, the fight for women's suffrage, Japanese internment and the struggle for civil rights. Now that archive could include the contributions of Latinos through the telling of the often tempestuous story of Cesar Chavez. The National Park Service on Thursday announced plans to establish the Cesar Chavez National Historic Park, to recognize the achievements of the activist and the farm labor movement he led. Chavez, who advocated for fair wages and humane conditions for field workers in California and elsewhere, also will be honored as an environmentalist and nonviolent human rights advocate.
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