April 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - For more than a decade, conservative Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has formed an unusual alliance with liberals on an unexpected topic - the defense of marijuana. Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and his allies have so far waged a futile effort to pass legislation that would prevent federal authorities from interfering with medical marijuana use in California and other places where pot use is permitted by state law. But as more states have moved to allow the drug's use, Rohrabacher believes his Respect State Marijuana Laws Act may be gaining momentum in Congress.
May 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In spring 2010, agents in the Cincinnati office of the Internal Revenue Service, which handles applications for tax-exempt status, faced a surge of filings by new advocacy groups, with little guidance on how to treat them. Their decision to deal with the problem by singling out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny has now triggered a criminal inquiry, congressional investigations, the departure of two top IRS officials and the naming of a new acting commissioner Thursday.
April 30, 2011 |
As women age, they find themselves at greater risk of developing a variety of health problems. Should osteopenia be one of them? The condition was recognized nearly 20 years ago by the World Health Organization as a potential precursor to osteoporosis, a severe thinning of the bones that can lead to increased risk of bone fracture. The idea was that women whose bones had started to thin could take action to reverse the trend before it was too late. Osteopenia is identified by comparing a woman's bone density with that of a "young healthy adult" at peak bone density, around age 30. The problem is, all women — and, to a lesser extent, men — begin to lose bone mass in midlife after the natural renewal process plateaus.
February 25, 2013 |
NEW ORLEANS - Energy giant BP, behind schedule and $50 million over budget drilling a deep-water well, emphasized cost-cutting over safety, causing the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, lawyers said Monday as the company's high-stakes civil trial began. Lawyers used PowerPoint presentations to provide a dramatic recounting of the April 20, 2010, explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 crew members. Workers were preparing to temporarily cap the Macondo well 4,100 feet underwater when it blew up. The 30-story drilling vessel about 50 miles offshore burned for two days before crumpling into the gulf.
May 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Can a public high school hold its graduation ceremony in a local church? The Supreme Court has been pondering that question in its private conference for six weeks, discussing whether to take up a Wisconsin case that could reset the line separating church and state. Last year, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the Elmbrook School District, near Milwaukee, violated the 1st Amendment and its ban on "an establishment of religion" by holding a high school graduation ceremony in the sanctuary of an evangelical Christian church.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2012 |
Behind the bolted steel doors of an old brick warehouse, Big Wes meets a nutrient company scientist to see if he can increase his crop yield. Rows of hydroponic marijuana plants soak up solution flowing through plastic troughs and light blazing from high-pressure sodium lamps. Big Wes has spent more than half his life calibrating his system of growing high-grade marijuana to its utmost efficiency. At 50 years old, he harvests a crop of dozens of plants every week from five rented warehouses scattered along the rutted streets and alleys around the docks of Oakland.
April 29, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - California's $8-an-hour minimum wage needs to go up, says Watsonville Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo. And he may be getting the votes he needs to make it happen. But don't count on it; Alejo has tried this before. Alejo is the author of AB 10, which would give the Golden State its first minimum wage increase since 2008. The bill would raise it 25 cents an hour next year, 50 cents in 2015 and an additional 50 cents to $9.25 an hour in 2016. In 2017 and annually thereafter, hourly pay would be adjusted upward automatically, based on the state's inflation rate.
May 11, 2013 |
HOUSTON - A paramedic who responded to the devastating fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last month was arrested Friday after federal investigators said they discovered he had the makings of a pipe bomb. It was not clear whether the arrest was connected to the April 17 explosion, which killed 14 people and injured more than 160 others in the small McLennan County town about 70 miles south of Dallas. The explosion had been investigated as an industrial accident, but officials said Friday they had started a criminal investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2013 |
Michelle Rhee, head of an influential education advocacy group that backs using student test scores to evaluate teachers, this week fended off accusations that she failed to pursue evidence of cheating when she ran the District of Columbia school system. In an internal memo, a district consultant warned that about 190 teachers at 70 schools - more than half the system's campuses - may have cheated in 2008 by erasing wrong answers on student testing sheets and filling in correct ones.
January 6, 2010 |
Brothel owner Bobbi Davis got the go-ahead Tuesday to hire what her website cheekily calls "a few good men." Her Shady Lady Ranch is searching for "service-oriented" guys willing to become Nevada's first legal male sex workers. "I personally feel, as do the many other women who have made contact with me since I started this, that this is a service whose time has come," Davis said in a letter to Nye County officials. A county board's vote Tuesday affirming that Davis could offer "shady men" to her clientele followed months of rancorous debate among the state's legal brothel community.