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Stories for December 10, 2012

Looming End Of World Keeps Southwestern College Professor Busy

Dec. 10
James R. Riffel, CITY NEWS SERVICE
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An expert on Mayan culture and prophecy at Southwestern College said today he has been "as busy as a frog on a griddle'' as the day of the supposed end of the world draws near.

San Diego Airport Lands Duty Free Shop

Dec. 10
By Erik Anderson
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San Diego's airport now has something it has never had before. International travelers will now be able to shop in a duty free store.

NRC To Discuss Restart Plan For San Onofre Next Week

Dec. 10
City News Service
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Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorities will meet with Southern California Edison officials next week to discuss a restart plan for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego County.

The World In 2030: Asia Rises, The West Declines

Dec. 10
Tom Gjelten / NPR
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By the year 2030, for the first time in history, a majority of the world's population will be out of poverty. Middle classes will be the most important social and economic sector. Asia will enjoy the global power status it last had in the Middle Ages, while the 350-year rise of the West will be largely reversed. Global leadership may be shared, and the world is likely to be democratizing.

'Profoundly Sorry' HSBC Reaches $1.9B Settlement In Money-Laundering Case

Dec. 10
Steve Mullis / NPR
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Update at 7 a.m. ET, Dec. 11. Settlement Announced:

Reports: $1.9 Billion Settlement Expected In HSBC Money-Laundering Case

Dec. 10
Steve Mullis / NPR
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TheWall Street Journal and The New York Times are reporting that federal and state authorities will announce a record $1.9 billion settlement with British banking firm HSBC on Tuesday.

Forget The Register: Stores Use Mobile To Make Sales On The Spot

Dec. 10
Wendy Kaufman / NPR
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The women's shoe department at Nordstrom's flagship store in Seattle is bustling. Shoppers are trying on everything from stilettos to rain boots -- and when they're ready to buy, they can pay up right where they are.

First San Diego Property Tax Installment Due Today

Dec. 10
City News Service
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The first installment of 2012-13 property taxes are due today for San Diego County landowners.

Boats Get In Holiday Spirit At Oceanside Harbor Festival Of Lights

Dec. 10
By Alison St John
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Boats of all sizes were decorated in holiday lights on Saturday for the Oceanside Harbor Festival of Lights.

'Gangnam Style' Singer Psy Apologizes For Anti-Military Song

Dec. 10
By Beth Ford Roth
1 Comment
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The South Korean rapper Psy, he of "Gangnam Style" fame, has apologized for a far-less popular song he sang back in 2004. Called "Dear America," the song supported the killing of U.S. troops in Iraq.

The Feds Can Tell Ernest Hemingway's Cats What To Do; Here's Why

Dec. 10
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Cats were everywhere. Fifty or so of them. In the house. On the lawn. Sunning themselves on the wall surrounding the property.

Filner Promises To Help City Heights Build Skate Park

Dec. 10
By Megan Burks
4 Comments
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New San Diego Mayor Bob Filner ran a neighborhoods-first campaign. At a community rally Thursday, he promised to make good on his promise to neighborhoods by helping City Heights skaters build a skate park.

Deadlines To Remember For Military Christmas Mail (Video)

Dec. 10
By Beth Ford Roth
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If you're planning to send holiday gifts to your loved ones in the military, there are some mailing deadlines you need to keep in mind to make sure those presents arrive in time for Christmas.

UC San Diego Researchers Create A 'Designer' Cancer Drug With Algae

Dec. 10
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Algae is being used as a biofuel and now UC San Diego researchers are using the tiny organisms to produce medicines to treat cancer.

Fallen Marine Killed In Afghanistan Returns Home Today

Dec. 10
By Beth Ford Roth
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The body of Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Denier, 26, was returned to his hometown of Mechanicville, New York today. Denier was killed in Afghanistan on December 2nd.

Connecting To A Secret Family History Through Music

Dec. 10
By Jude Joffe-Block
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For one dancer in the Phoenix area, the revelation of her Jewish heritage late in life has connected to her to a musical tradition, if not a religious one.

Stephanie Bergsma Leaves Her Imprint

Dec. 10
By Monica Medina
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When I think of the people who personify KPBS, who’ve given so much of themselves to make the station what it is today, two come to mind. Two powerful and remarkable women, that is.

Navy SEAL Killed In Afghan Rescue Identified

Dec. 10
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Department of Defense has identified the Navy SEAL killed in the rescue of a kidnapped U.S. doctor in Afghanistan as Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Want To Find A Restaurant That Treats Workers Well? There's An App For That

Dec. 10
David Schultz / NPR
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Smartphone users have a wide range of apps to choose from if they're looking to dine ethically. There are apps that advise which supermarkets have good environmental records and apps that keep tabs on restaurants and markets offering sustainable seafood.

Watch Exercise Steel Knight At Camp Pendleton Live (Video)

Dec. 10
By Beth Ford Roth
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The commencement of Exercise Steel Knight at Camp Pendleton is taking place this morning, and you can watch a live webcast of the ship-to-shore amphibious assault exercise here.

Famed Tijuana Architect To Be Sentenced For Smuggling Cocaine At San Diego Border Crossing

Dec. 10
Associated Press
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Eugenio Velazquez is not a typical courier busted for smuggling drugs on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rain, Snow And Cooler Temperatures Headed For San Diego

Dec. 10
City News Service
1 Comment

Cold, wet weather and mountain snow could be possible when a storm from the Gulf of Alaska reaches San Diego County Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Firefighters Brace For Strong Santa Ana Winds

Dec. 10
By Susan Murphy
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Emergency officials are bracing for dangerous fire conditions across San Diego County today as strong Santa Ana winds blow into the region.

Navy SEAL Killed During U.S. Doctor Rescue In Afghanistan

Dec. 10
By Beth Ford Roth
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A Navy SEAL was killed during a weekend rescue mission in Afghanistan that freed an American doctor abducted by the Taliban outside of Kabul six days ago. The fallen SEAL was a member of SEAL Team Six - the same elite team that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Rap Star Snoop Dogg To Play Intimate San Diego Venue

Dec. 10
By Angela Carone
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The Belly Up in Solana Beach is one of the more intimate venues to see music locally. KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone says that’s why it was a bit of a surprise to hear that the rap star Snoop Dogg would take its stage for two sold-out shows starting tonight.

New Report On Human Rights Defenders Has Dismal Findings

Dec. 10
Erin Siegal
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A new study published by Amnesty International examines the situation for human rights defenders in the Americas. It concludes that criminal impunity is an ongoing challenge.

Ratepayers Say SDG&E Is Misleading State Regulators In 07 Wildfire Rate Case

Dec. 10
By Amita Sharma
1 Comment
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Ratepayer advocates claim San Diego Gas & Electric may be playing a numbers game as it attempts to gain regulatory approval to bill customers for uninsured costs from the 2007 wildfires, which state investigators say the company's lines started.

Fiscal Cliff Casts Shadow Over San Diego Economy

Dec. 10
Midday Edition
By Erik Anderson
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San Diego's economy could be in for a rough ride if the federal government can't avoid the fiscal cliff.

San Diego Seeks A Swifter Current For Water Recycling

Dec. 10
By Tom Fudge
6 Comments
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Recycling supporters say it’s time to stop sending wastewater out to sea.

'Rocky' Composer To Conduct Symphony Pops Concerts

Dec. 10
Midday Edition
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Oscar and Emmy winner Bill Conti will take over as the San Diego Symphony’s new principal pops conductor. KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone says the veteran composer is best known for his score to a classic 70s movie.

Newly Elected School Officials To Be Sworn In

Dec. 10
City News Service
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The San Diego Unified School District will swear in its new and re-elected trustees at a special meeting today.

How Obama's 2nd Inauguration Will Differ From 2009

Dec. 10
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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Details are starting to come out about President Obama's second inauguration next month. The co-chairmen include some leaders of the Democratic Party and the business world as well as actress Eva Longoria. A record crowd came to the nation's capital in 2009 to witness the country's first black president take the oath of office, but this one is expected to be less flashy.

'Orange County Register' Presses Hum With Optimism

Dec. 10
Ben Bergman / NPR
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The Orange Country Register in suburban Los Angeles is expanding its newsroom. Not only that -- the owners are emphasizing print, not digital.

Everyone Chip In, Please: Crowdfunding Sandy

Dec. 10
Alex Goldmark / NPR
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Big-hearted Americans always rush to give money after a disaster. Just how much and how fast is often determined by technology. After the earthquake in Haiti, texting small donations, for example, became a new standard practice.