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February 26, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Japheth Peleti has no shortage of unpleasant stories from decades of living across a fence from a sprawling oil refinery. He and his family have contended with rumbling noises that rattle their windows, coped with skunk-like odors, plumes of vapor and smoke and seen their whole block lighted up at night from the orange glow of refinery flares. "We're so used to it that it's become a normal part of life," Peleti said. For nearly as long, the 48-year old has suspected air pollution from the Phillips 66 refinery is one reason most of his family suffers from asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
February 26, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield
So, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni doesn't like gays. In fact, he thinks they're “disgusting.” Oh, and he doesn't think much of the West either. And he says Uganda would be just fine without Western aid . So why haven't we halted - in a New York minute - the $450 million a year or so in foreign aid we give this clown and his country? On Monday, Museveni signed a harsh anti-gay bill into law that basically declares open season on homosexuals in Uganda. But not content to simply spout nonsense about gays, he also blasted Western “cultural imperialism” and Western aid, which he said was a problem itself for Uganda.
February 20, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Two Assembly Democrats want to restore funding for California's healthcare program for the poor, laying the groundwork for another debate over how to make the best use of the state's financial recovery. The proposal, AB 1805, would reverse a 10% cut to reimbursements to doctors and other healthcare providers who treat Medi-Cal patients. The reduction was made when the state faced gaping budget deficits, and Gov. Jerry Brown plans on keeping it in place even though a surplus is expected.
February 19, 2014 | By Gale Holland
Citing a wave of homeless people pouring into the Antelope Valley, the city of Lancaster is fighting for a bigger share of the county's allotment of funding for the destitute. Vice Mayor Marvin Crist said on any given night the Antelope Valley has 12% of the county's homeless population, or 6,500 people, but receives only 2% of the funding from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The service area centered on L.A.'s skid row, by contrast, has 18% of the population and 50% of the funds, he said.
February 19, 2014 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders unveiled a proposed $687.4-million drought-relief package Wednesday to free up water supplies and aid Californians facing financial ruin because of the state's prolonged dry spell. The proposal would provide millions of dollars to clean up drinking water, improve conservation and make irrigation systems more efficient. It would increase penalties for those who illegally divert water. The plan also contains money for emergency food and housing for those out of work because of the drought, including farmworkers, and to provide emergency drinking water to communities in need.
February 19, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
UC San Diego graduate student Alex Piel is studying the family dynamics and habitats of chimpanzees in Tanzania's savanna. The research requires tracking animals, retrieving fecal samples and then testing to confirm genetic links. It does not come cheap. So after tapping traditional funding help from UC and other sources, Piel and Fiona Stewart, his wife and collaborator, recently decided to try their luck on the Internet. They posted a description of their project and an appeal to the public for money on Experiment , an online crowdfunding site devoted to science.
February 14, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama will ask Congress for $1 billion to create a "climate resilience fund" to pay for research, preparation and infrastructure aimed at dealing with the extreme weather and new conditions associated with shifts in the weather. Obama will include the fund in his 2015 budget proposal, due out next month, and plans to discuss the idea during a visit to drought-stricken California on Friday, the White House said. Like much of his budget plan, though, the president's request is likely to meet resistance among Republicans in Congress.
February 14, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration issued guidance to prosecutors and banks Friday meant to make it easier for legal marijuana sellers to open bank accounts. But the guidance fell short of giving banks carte blanche to get involved in a business that is legal in some states for medical or recreational purposes but is still illegal under federal law. A memo issued Friday by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to all federal prosecutors said that prosecution may not be appropriate for banks dealing with marijuana sellers if they are operating legally in their states and stay away from red zones, such as the sale of the drug to minors or across state lines.
February 14, 2014 | James Barragan
Bob Thompson fondly remembers when Downey was buzzing with pride and payrolls as a major hub for work on the Apollo space program and the construction site for six space shuttles. "Since the beginning of time, we had all these world leaders who looked up at the moon," said Thompson, a 72-year-old local history buff who worked for 34 years on the site where the spacecraft were built. "Here in Downey we built the vehicles that put the first man on the moon, and that is why it's a great source of pride.
February 13, 2014 | By David Ng
The future head of the National Endowment for the Arts will likely face many of the same funding challenges that have beset the organization for years, according to two former chairs of the federal arts organization. In separate interviews, Dana Gioia and actress Jane Alexander, both of whom have served as chairs of the NEA, said that the organization continues to be under-funded and that restoring cuts to its budgets will likely be at the top of the next chair's agenda. On Wednesday, Jane Chu was announced as President Obama's nominee to be chairwoman of the NEA. Chu, the president and chief executive of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo., faces Senate confirmation.
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