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Stories for December 13, 2012

Los Angeles City Council To Vote On San Onofre License Resolution

Dec. 13
City News Service
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The Los Angeles City Council will take up a resolution Friday calling for Southern California Edison to apply for a formal license amendment and hold a public hearing in order to restart two reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Clemente.

Encinitas' Political Power Shifts Toward Environment

Dec. 13
By Alison St John
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The city of Encinitas has a new mayor this week. And the November election replaced the old guard with a majority that is more pro-environment.

Torrey Pines Park Ranger Shoots Man Allegedly Carrying Knife, Machete

Dec. 13
City News Service

A park ranger shot a man who allegedly came at him today with a knife and a machete in his hands on a trail at Torrey Pines State Reserve, authorities said.

Review: 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

Dec. 13
By Nathan John
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Guest film critic Nathan John took a visit to Middle Earth for Peter Jackson's long-awaited prequel to his "Lord of the Rings Trilogy," "The Hobbit," the first of a new trilogy, opens at 12:01am (opening everywhere December 14).

Senate Passes Bill Covering Fertility Care For Vets

Dec. 13
KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

Wounded veterans and their spouses who want to have children could get the government to pay for treatments such as in vitro fertilization under legislation beginning to move through Congress in the waning days of the session.

Photos: Flooding in Tijuana After Heavy Morning Rainfall

Dec. 13
Erin Siegal
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Heavy rains early Thursday morning along the border resulted in wintertime flooding, common in certain areas of Tijuana.

Arizona Man Faces Big Fine Over Feathers

Dec. 13
By Laurel Morales
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An Arizona man pleaded guilty this week to selling golden eagle feathers and trafficking other bird parts. The birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

County Offers Free Computers For Foster Families

Dec. 13
By Megan Burks
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Foster children and their families got an early holiday present from San Diego County on Thursday: free computers.

Latina Takes A Top Post At San Diego ACLU

Dec. 13
By Adrian Florido
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Norma Chavez-Peterson's appointment to associate director signals the ACLU's growing focus on Latino civil rights.

More Young Californians Turning To Smokeless Tobacco Products

Dec. 13
By Kenny Goldberg
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A growing number of young Californians are getting their nicotine buzz from smokeless tobacco products.

San Diego Transit To Buy 500 New Natural Gas Buses

Dec. 13
City News Service
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The Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors decided today to purchase more than 500 new buses, which will allow the agency to retire its fleet of older diesel-powered vehicles.

Lady Liberty's Sea-Washed Gates Closed Indefinitely

Dec. 13
Joel Rose / NPR

The Statue of Liberty still lifts her lamp beside the golden door, but the island that's home to the iconic statue was severely tempest-tost by Superstorm Sandy. Flood damage inflicted by the storm has closed Liberty Island and nearby Ellis Island indefinitely.

Obama And Boehner Meet At White House; Session Ends Without Deal

Dec. 13
Bill Chappell / NPR

President Obama hosted House Speaker John Boehner today, spending nearly an hour together in which they reportedly discussed ways to avert the looming "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes that are due to strike at the end of 2012. Boehner left the White House at 6 p.m., ET, apparently without reaching a deal. As Politico reports, the Republican plans to return to his home state of Ohio this weekend.

Third Chargers Game In A Row To Be Blacked Out

Dec. 13
City News Service
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For the third time in a row and fourth this season overall, the Chargers' home game Sunday against Carolina will not be televised in Southern California, the team announced today.

San Diego-Based USS Benfold Tracked North Korea Missile

Dec. 13
By Beth Ford Roth
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The San Diego-based USS Benfold was one of several warships sent last week to the Korean Peninsula to track the missile launched from North Korea on Wednesday.

Fighting for Medical Translation: ‘The Whole World Looks Dark Because I Don’t Understand’

Dec. 13
By Megan Burks
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City Heights refugees turn the lens on their health care experiences, using photography to raise awareness about the need for better medical translation.

VIDEO: Speed Camera Nabs Car Sitting At Red Light

Dec. 13
Bill Chappell / NPR

When most drivers get a ticket from a speed-zone camera, there's little they can do but pay the fine. After all, the ticket often includes photographic proof that their car was over the limit. But a Maryland driver is fighting his $40 fine precisely because of what the photos show: his car, sitting at a red light.

HSBC Critic: Too Big To Indict May Mean Too Big To Exist

Dec. 13
Ailsa Chang / NPR

Federal and state authorities have received criticism after deciding not to indict HSBC on accusations that it laundered money for Mexican drug cartels and conducted prohibited transactions on behalf of countries like Iran and Sudan. Instead, they entered into a $1.9 billion settlement this week with the bank.

Chula Vista Man Dies Of Meningococcal Disease

Dec. 13
City News Service

A 30-year-old San Diego State University graduate student from Chula Vista died of a meningococcal disease, and county health officials today sought anyone who had close contact with him.

Sailor Killed By Fall On USS Carter Hall

Dec. 13
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Navy is investigating what caused a sailor aboard the USS Carter Hall to fall into the ship’s well deck, resulting in fatal injuries. The family of the unnamed sailor has been notified, but the Navy won't release his identity for another 24 hours.

Randy 'Duke' Cunningham Transferred To Halfway House

Dec. 13
City News Service
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Former Rep. Randy "Duke'' Cunningham, R-San Diego, imprisoned in 2006 for bribery, fraud and tax evasion, is now at a federal halfway house in New Orleans and has a release date of June 4 next year, a Bureau of Prisons spokesman said today.

The Heart Of Perfect Health With Brenda Watson

Dec. 13
The Heart Of Perfect Health With Brenda Watson  Tease photo

Internationally renowned digestive care expert Brenda Watson returns to public television with her new program "The Heart Of Perfect Health." Brenda shares compelling evidence of the connection between digestive health and heart health, and includes easy, simple ways to protect and strengthen the heart by balancing the gut and achieving healthy digestion.

DOD Denies Medal Of Honor For San Diego Marine

Dec. 13
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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A letter released Thursday from U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirms the government's decision to deny a posthumous Medal of Honor to San Diego Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta. Peralta died in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq.

Weekend Preview: A Garden Of Lights, The Echo Of Dracula, And A Cook's Confablieri

Dec. 13
Midday Edition
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This weekend in San Diego presents some great opportunities to join in the merriment of the holiday season, either by enjoying holiday themed activities or just taking part in the unique offerings that make San Diego a culturally and gastronomically enriching place to live.

How The Rich Feel About Paying More Taxes

Dec. 13
Alan Greenblatt, NPR
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How much income tax should the top 2 percent of U.S. earners pay? Just about everyone has an opinion, but the opinions that count are those of President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.

Holidays A Bad Time For Those Who Grieve

Dec. 13
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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While the holidays can be full of wonder and magic, for some they mean sadness, depression and a magnification of grief.

Rick Steves' Europe: London And The Lake Country

Dec. 13
Rick Steves' Europe: London And The Lake Country  Tease photo

In this special, host Rick Steves, America’s most popular guidebook author, makes two stops in England where he shares his extensive knowledge of European history, art and culture and offers a fresh perspective on the best travel advice, including where to stay, what to see and how to get around. First on the itinerary is London, a many-faceted city. Visit Westminster Abbey, explore the British Library and enjoy the vibrant scene in Soho. And later, in the Lake country, admire idyllic lakes while hiking the Cumbrian Lake District, a green and pristine mountain playground.

Military Spouse Group That Banned Lesbian To Review Policy

Dec. 13
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses, under fire for denying membership to the wife of a lesbian soldier, has announced on its website it will review the policy it used to reject Ashley Broadway's membership request.

Here's Some Good News: Volunteering Is On The Rise

Dec. 13
Mark Memmott / NPR

Enough of the bad news for a moment.

How The Rich Feel About Paying More Taxes

Dec. 13
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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Stephen Prince has plenty of money, and he doesn't mind sending more of it to the federal government.

On 'Fiscal Cliff,' Majority Of Public Sides With Democrats, Pew Poll Says

Dec. 13
Mark Memmott / NPR

As the end-of-year tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" near, "Democrats are in a strong position with the public," the Pew Research Center reports.

Medal Of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer Injured In Assault

Dec. 13
Associated Press
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Kentucky State Police are investigating an alleged assault on Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer.

For Business Owners, Higher Taxes Could Mean Fewer New Hires -- Or More

Dec. 13
S.V. DÁTE / NPR
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Every time President Obama explains why he wants to increase taxes on the richest 2 percent, Republicans have a ready answer: Most small business owners file their taxes as individuals, and a rate hike would discourage them from hiring new workers.

Navy Helicopter ‘Hard Landing’ At NAS North Island Injures Four

Dec. 13
By Beth Ford Roth
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Four Navy helicopter crew members are in the hospital this morning after their MH-60R Seahawk made a “hard landing” at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

San Diego Airport Board To Vote On Extending USO Lounge Lease

Dec. 13
City News Service

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors is scheduled to vote this morning on a lease agreement to keep a USO lounge at Lindbergh Field for up to two decades.

Winter Storm Brings Rain, Snow To San Diego County

Dec. 13
By Susan Murphy
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A cold, blustery storm moved into San Diego County overnight, bringing widespread rain, flooding and gusty winds. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the mountains through 4 a.m. Friday.

Rants And Raves: And Now The Golden Globes

Dec. 13
By Beth Accomando
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Following on the heels of the Broadcast Film Critics Association award nominations, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just announced their nominations for this year's Golden Globes.

Letters From 'Peanuts' Creator Reveal Bittersweet Romance

Dec. 13
Margot Adler / NPR

On Friday, Sotheby's is putting up for auction 44 letters and 35 drawings from Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, to a young woman he was courting.

Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Be Enough To Change Banks' Behavior?

Dec. 13
Robert Smith / NPR

If a kid does something bad and you want to discipline him -- give him a time-out, say, or take away a toy -- there are some basic principles that seem to work.

Report On CIA Interrogation Tactics Revives Torture Debate

Dec. 13
Carrie Johnson / NPR

In a closed-door meeting Thursday, lawmakers will consider whether to approve a secret report that chronicles CIA detention and interrogation practices -- including methods that critics have compared to torture.

Etsy Crafts A Strategy For Staying Handmade And Profitable

Dec. 13
Elizabeth Blair / NPR

Etsy has gotten very big, very fast. This year, sales are at about $800 million.

Finding A Child Online: How The Web Is Transforming Adoption

Dec. 13
Jennifer Ludden / NPR

When Eric James and his partner, Zerxes Spencer, decided to adopt last year, they signed on with Adoptions Together, a reputable agency close to their home in Maryland. They attended the agency's seminars to learn about the process, met other "waiting parents" and formed personal bonds with the staff. But there was just one problem.

New York Planners Prep For A 'New Normal' Of Powerful Storms

Dec. 13
Christopher Joyce / NPR

It will take tens of billions of dollars to repair the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy. But scientists who study climate change say repair is not enough. As the climate warms, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, raising the sea level. That means coastal storms will more likely cause flooding.

From Gang Member To Hip-Hop Church Leader

Dec. 13
Emily Fox / NPR
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Troy Evans preaches at Edge Urban Fellowship in a rundown Grand Rapids, Mich., neighborhood known for prostitution. Inside what looks like an abandoned office building are walls covered by graffiti. There are tattooed people wearing baseball caps and jeans. Three 20-year-old men holding mics get ready to bust out some elaborate dance moves.