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January 13, 2013 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - A large swath of China has been gripped for days by what is being called an "airpocalyse," a prolonged spell of the worst air pollution on record in Beijing. From Beijing to Guiyang, 1,100 miles to the southwest, a thick soup of pollution closed highways, forced the cancellations of flights and sporting activities, and sent countless people to hospitals complaining of respiratory ailments. The government has repeatedly issued an alert urging people in the affected areas to "avoid outdoor activities and, if they do have to go out, to wear a protective mask.
November 30, 2012 | By Louis Sahagun
The bright orange flames of kerosene wick lamps used in millions of impoverished households around the world are significant sources of global warming and pollutants linked to respiratory diseases, according to a new study. Lab and field work led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign showed that 7% to 9% of the kerosene consumed by the crude burners is converted to black carbon -- a 20-fold increase over previous estimates, the study published online this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology said.
November 11, 2012
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it's imperative for California to have more definitive knowledge about the seismic hazards near the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. An additional fault in the area was only recently discovered, and more seismological information is needed about existing faults. Technology has improved tremendously since the nuclear plant began operating in 1985, and license renewal for its two reactors - a process that takes years - shouldn't go forward without this information.
October 10, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota will recall 2.5 million vehicles sold in the U.S. to fix a faulty power window switch linked to several hundred reports of smoke and fires and at least nine injuries. The automaker said it is not aware of any crashes resulting from the problem. The move by Toyota follows a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration probe into the problem and is part of a global recall of nearly 7.5 million vehicles. The U.S. recall includes the 2007 to 2008 Yaris, the 2007 to 2009 RAV4, the 2007 to 2009 Tundra, the 2007 to 2009 Camry, the 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid, the 2008 to 2009 Scion xD, the 2008 to 2009 Scion xA, the 2008 to 2009 Sequoia, the 2008 Highlander, the 2008 Highlander Hybrid, the 2009 Corolla and the 2009 Matrix.
August 31, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Reports of consumers getting a face full of steam and scorching coffee grounds, with 61 suffering burns, have sparked a recall of more than 600,000 Mr. Coffee single-cup brewers. The products - which were sold for up to $80 online and at retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Wal-Mart - have resulted in 59 American customers and two Canadian buyers reporting burns to their faces, upper torsos and hands. Steam built up in the brewer's water reservoir can force the chamber open and cause hot water and coffee grounds to spew out, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
August 26, 2012 | By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
A NASA advance team took to the skies above Los Angeles on Saturday in preparation for next month's scheduled arrival of the space shuttle Endeavour. Two NASA jets, a T-38 trainer and an F-18 Hornet, circled low across the Southland for several hours, scouting possible routes - and backdrops - for a scenic flyover by Endeavor before its Sept. 20 touchdown in Los Angeles, officials said. NASA awarded the retired orbiter last year to the California Science Center in Exposition Park, where it will be put on permanent display.
August 23, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
If you're among the the 21% of American adults who have tattoos, you might be surprised to learn that there's no law or regulation that requires tattoo inks to be sterile. The Food and Drug Administration, which has oversight over the inks, treats them like cosmetics and says only that ink manufacturers must use ingredients that have received pre-market approval. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now calling for higher standards. In this week's edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a group of public health experts writes: “Because tattoo inks are injected intradermally, CDC recommends that ink manufacturers be held to higher product safety standards, which should include production of sterile inks.” That might have spared about two dozen people some nasty skin infections with an organism called Mycobacterium chelonae . M. chelonae causes what are called nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM)
August 11, 2012 | By Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
The explosions came one after another, jolting a South Los Angeles neighborhood. "It felt like an earthquake, and then it was just raining fire," recalled Richard Gomez, who watched a metal recycling facility on Slauson Avenue erupt in flames one day in June 2010. A worker at the United Alloys plant was critically injured in the blaze, which started in a machine that ground titanium into highly flammable flakes. Gomez, who worked at a catering business nearby, said two of his co-workers suffered minor burns when their clothes caught fire.
August 5, 2012 | By Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - On a chaparral-covered hillside 40 miles north of Los Angeles in June 2010, researchers from the Department of Homeland Security hid a device the size of a pack of cigarettes that emitted a safe pulse of low-grade radiation. It was a stand-in for a dirty bomb, or fallout from a nuclear meltdown. Nearby, a pilot toggled a joystick, and a gray drone with the wingspan of a California condor banked through the sky. As the plane's sensor sniffed for radioactive isotopes, law enforcement officers and firefighters watched a portable controller that looked like an oversized Game Boy. In minutes, a warning signal glowed on the screen.
July 20, 2012 | Bill Dwyre
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England - After what took place here Friday in the second round of the British Open, one might theorize that Brandt Snedeker can walk on water. His golf swing isn't bad, either. But let's not deviate from the real heroes at this Royal Lytham & St. Annes layout. Sure, Snedeker mastered the 206 bunkers in the best way possible. He didn't land in any of them. That takes more luck than genius, which Snedeker acknowledged. And sure, Snedeker's 66-64-130 tied Nick Faldo's 1992 British Open record for the best 36-hole start, but Faldo's ego could use a little jolt, anyway.
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