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SCIENCE
April 10, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
In their continuing quest to prove that coffee is indeed a health food, medical researchers analyzed the health records of nearly 180,000 Americans and determined that the ones with a daily java habit were less likely to get a common type of liver cancer than their less-caffeinated counterparts. The study , presented this week at the American Assn. for Cancer Research's annual meeting in San Diego, may not be enough to get your coffee break covered by your health insurance, but the results were striking.
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BUSINESS
April 9, 2014 | Chris O'Brien and Salvador Rodriguez
The discovery of a significant flaw in software that was supposed to provide extra protection for thousands of websites has thrown the tech world into chaos as experts scrambled to understand the scope of the vulnerability. On Tuesday, Tumblr, owned by Yahoo Inc., became the largest website to disclose that it had been hit by the "Heartbleed Bug" and urged users to change not just the password for its site but for all others as well. Signaling just how much uncertainty and confusion surrounds the glitch, security experts warned that such a gesture might actually be useless because if a site has not fixed the problem hackers could just as easily steal the new password.
NATIONAL
April 7, 2014 | By Jenny Deam
DENVER - It was spring break, and Levy Thamba, a 19-year-old college student from Africa, had checked into a fourth-floor hotel room with three of his buddies. They had come from their small college in Wyoming looking for an adventure. No one is sure how much Thamba ate of the marijuana cookie purchased by one of his friends at a local pot shop. But soon the engineering student, who had never tried marijuana before, began acting strangely hostile, tearing around the room and pulling pictures from the wall.
NATIONAL
April 3, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga
SEATTLE - A Coast Guard investigation into the 2012 grounding of the Kulluk, an offshore drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell in the harsh Arctic, blasted the oil company for legal violations, poor management and taking undue risks, according to the final report released Thursday. The Kulluk ran aground 15 months ago on New Year's Eve after breaking free of its tow lines during severe weather and was beached for several days on a remote, rocky shore in southern Alaska. Although the company has invested an estimated $5 billion in recent years in offshore oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic, the Kulluk's problems were among the difficulties that kept Shell from offshore drilling in 2013 and forced the company to abandon any renewed drilling efforts this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | Jessica Garrison and Jill Cowan
A metal-finishing facility in Newport Beach poses an "unacceptably high" cancer risk to its neighbors and should curtail its emissions as soon as possible, state air quality officials said Tuesday. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said it would ask its independent hearing board to order Hixson Metal Finishing to reduce its emissions of chromium 6 "on an expedited schedule. " The plant is next to an apartment building in a neighborhood with a mix of homes and businesses near the border with Costa Mesa.
SCIENCE
April 2, 2014 | By Amina Khan
As NASA plans to send astronauts to an asteroid or even to Mars in the coming decades -- missions that could last well beyond 30 days -- they're grappling with an ethical dilemma. How do they handle decisions on long-distance space exploration when it could expose astronauts to high or unknown health hazards? To help develop an ethical framework for venturing into this unknown territory, the space agency asked the Institute of Medicine to convene a panel of experts to offer some helpful guidelines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | By Kate Mather
Thousands of acres of Yosemite National Park that were closed to the public since last year's massive Rim fire have been reopened, park officials announced Wednesday. However, park officials cautioned visitors to the affected areas - which include Hetch Hetchy hiking trails and the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias - about potential risks such as "hazardous trees, uneven ground, potential rockfall, and down and dead debris on trails. " Fire restrictions also have been lifted, but could be put in place again later this year because of California's extreme drought conditions, the park statement said.
NATIONAL
March 31, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Climate change is already affecting every continent and ocean, posing immediate and growing risks to people, an international panel of scientists warned Monday. The longer society delays steps to cut the release of planet-warming greenhouse gases, the more severe and widespread the harm will be, said the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report, which collects and summarizes thousands of scientific studies, is the panel's starkest yet in laying out the risks facing nature and society.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court sounded ready Monday to curtail the use of certain business patents in a case involving a patent for a computerized risk analysis of international financial transactions. Use of such business-method patents has soared in recent decades. Once granted, they can give a firm or a person a monopoly for up to 20 years to profit from the patented process. Critics say many of the recent computer-related patents are vague and stifle innovation by giving exclusive rights to commonly used methods or formulas.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Tesla Motors Inc. has announced plans to reinforce the undercarriage of about 16,000 cars with high-strength shields to reduce the risk of damage from a crash starting a fire. Elon Musk, the electric car company's chief executive, outlined the retrofit Friday morning, at the same time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it has signed off on the changes and was closing a probe into two fires that occurred in Tesla Model S sports sedans. The NHTSA said it has not identified a safety defect trend that would justify asking Tesla to issue a recall for the Model S. It said "consumers should have their vehicles serviced promptly once they receive notification from Tesla Motors.
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