December 12, 2012 |
If you're betting that the California stem cell agency will spurn key recommendations of a blue-ribbon review panel that criticized its leadership and management structures, you might want to double that bet. Several board members showed overt hostility to the panel's recommendations during a public meeting today. The governing board of the agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, formally received the review report at its meeting today in Los Angeles. The Institute of Medicine, an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, was paid $700,000 by CIRM to conduct the yearlong study of the $6-billion state stem cell program.
December 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Despite the moderate pace of recovery, the Federal Reserve is so worried about the stubbornly high level of unemployment that it promised to extend its unprecedented stimulus steps until there is "substantial improvement," Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said. "The conditions now prevailing in the job market represent an enormous waste of human and economic potential," Bernanke told reporters Wednesday. The new goal for the Fed is to get the jobless rate down to 6.5%, the first time it has tied interest rates to a specific unemployment target.
December 11, 2012 |
CLEVELAND - These are the Lakers, for worse or for worse. No defense, boring offense, few victories, little entertainment. They took another beating Tuesday night, setting a new standard for lowly losses this season by falling to the already fallen Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-94, at Quicken Loans Arena. They tumbled to 12th in the Western Conference - 12th? 12th! - after losing to a team that was 4-17. They've lost three straight and five of six and are 9-13, two games behind Denver for the suddenly coveted eighth spot in the West, though they'd have to fight through Minnesota, Houston and Portland to get there.
December 7, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Hoping to prod Democrats to offer new concessions on spending and taxes, House Speaker John Boehner on Friday accused President Obama of an effort to "slow-walk" negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" in his zeal to raise taxes. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill at the end of another week that saw little progress in the stalemate between the GOP and the White House, Boehner said Obama had "wasted another week" by refusing to engage after the House leadership put forward a counterproposal.
December 6, 2012 |
What has happened to director Stephen Frears? The filmmaker of so many satisfying and sophisticated comedies and dramas has seemed a bit off his game since his best picture Oscar nomination for 2006's brilliant "The Queen," with Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in the days after Princess Diana's death. But his new comedy, "Lay the Favorite," is beyond the pale. If you're not a betting man or woman, the title might lead you to believe the movie is about bedding the right one. But this is a comedy about the shady sports-book scene and an unlikely prodigy in the shapely form of a naive Las Vegas cocktail waitress named Beth (Rebecca Hall)
December 6, 2012 |
The idea underlying "Playing for Keeps," the new romantic comedy starring Gerard Butler, is basic: A well-toned guy who is good with kids is the ultimate aphrodisiac for sex-starved soccer moms. Three very good actresses are squandered to prove the point. And yet, like the former soccer star played by Butler - all hard abs, easy smiles and golden curls, his Scottish brogue set free - the film has some of the right moves. There is cool footage of game-winning kicks, a kid anyone would adore, and Butler's playboy/athlete who seems serious about unearthing his decent side.
December 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - A decadelong, $7-billion federal program to help local police and fire departments prepare for a terrorist attack has allowed communities to buy millions of dollars worth of equipment that goes unused or is unrelated to terrorism, according to a new report. Since 2003, a Department of Homeland Security grant program called the Urban Areas Security Initiative has ballooned from 12 major metropolitan areas to 31 jurisdictions. The study found that some cities and towns had created implausible attack scenarios to win federal grants, and had scrambled at the end of each fiscal year to buy extra, unnecessary gadgets to spend excess cash.
November 30, 2012
Re "Tired of L.A.'s urban waste," Nov. 26 It's wrong to call wastewater biosolids "waste. " There's no waste in wastewater, and the faster we look at reusing every aspect of this resource, the better. At the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant near LAX, biosolids are carefully cleaned to the highest standards. Gas produced during this process is recovered and utilized to generate electricity. Biosolids are some of the richest fertilizer available - rich in phosphorous and nitrogen worth millions of dollars to farmers.
November 28, 2012
Re "A toxic battleground," Nov. 25 Residents of Kettleman City, Calif., claim that toxic waste dumped into a nearby landfill is responsible for illnesses, birth defects and even some children's deaths. Consider India, where crowding in parts of the country forces some citizens to live in waste dumps. Consider the lights of Las Vegas, other lights and store TVs, which are on all the time as if it were a divine right. Consider the ocean being treated as a sewer. Consider the problem of world population growth: thousands of years to reach 1 billion people (1810)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2012 |
Environmental activists and leaders of this impoverished community, outraged by unreported spills of cancer-causing chemicals, are trying to block expansion of a toxic waste dump that is the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Activists say the history of the troubled Chemical Waste Management dump and new citations alleging failure to report 72 hazardous materials spills over the last four years show the company cannot be trusted to protect public health. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control issued the citations earlier this month -- and is the agency that must rule on the proposed expansion.