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Stories for April 17, 2013

Preview: Pac-Arts Spring Showcase

April 17
By Beth Accomando
Tease photo

The wild diversity of Asian cinema is once again highlighted in Pac-Arts Spring Showcase (April 18 through 25 at the Digiplex Mission Valley) with films ranging from “Linsanity” to werewolf children.

Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Kills At Least 5, Injures 160

April 17
Associated Press
Tease photo

Rescue workers searched rubble early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others.

Texas Fertilizer Plant Explodes; Several Injuries Reported

April 17
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR

Several people were injured after an explosion late Wednesday at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas.

The Ozzie And Harriet Of Arm Wrestling

April 17
By Angela Carone
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San Diegans Allen and Carolyn Fisher have been called the "Ozzie and Harriet of arm wrestling." They’re both world champions and have been married for 28 years. We visit their La Mesa home to learn more about the sport.

Health Officials Urge Proactive Safety Measures Against West Nile

April 17
By Dwane Brown
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As longer, warmer days get closer, San Diego County officials are kicking off their yearly West Nile Virus awareness campaign.

City Attorney Releases List Of Employees Targeted For Layoffs

April 17
By Claire Trageser
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The San Diego City Attorney's Office released a list today of what it says are specific employees targeted by Mayor Bob Filner for layoffs.

Defiant Requiem: Voices Of Resistance

April 17
Defiant Requiem: Voices Of Resistance  Tease photo

In the face of horrific living conditions, starvation and the threat of deportation to Auschwitz, the Jewish inmates of Terezin concentration camp — artists, musicians, poets and writers — fought back … with art and music. Led by conductor Raphael Schächter, they re-imagined a Catholic liturgical work, Verdi’s "Requiem," as a condemnation of the Nazis. Ultimately, they performed for Nazi brass, singing what they dared not say. Six decades later, conductor Murry Sidlin and a new choir take Verdi’s "Requiem" back to Terezin and bring the story of Schächter’s artistic uprising back to life.

District 4 Primary Candidates Line Up Behind Dwayne Crenshaw

April 17
By Claire Trageser
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Five out of seven of the candidates who were eliminated in the City Council District 4 primary endorsed Dwayne Crenshaw in the district's runoff today.

Supreme Court Backs Warrants For Blood Tests In DUI Cases

April 17
Nina Totenberg / NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before subjecting a drunken-driving suspect to a blood test. The vote was 8-to-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas the lone dissenter.

Supreme Court Curbs Lawsuits Over Foreign Abuses

April 17
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to human-rights advocates Wednesday, in a case that was closely watched globally by human-rights groups and foreign governments.

More Prisoners Join Hunger Strike At Guantanamo

April 17
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR
Tease photo

The U.S. military says the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has risen to 52 -- up from 45 a day earlier. The news comes just days after guards raided a section of the facility to move prisoners to single cells from their communal holding area because the detainees had covered security cameras and engaged in other actions.

Immigration Reform Waits In Boston's Shadow

April 17
By John Rosman

Immigration reform is temporarily sidelined due to the Boston Marathon tragedy. But it's on deck to be the next big political debate.

Immigration Proves A 'Rubik's Cube' For Many Republicans

April 17
Mara Liasson / NPR
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While an immigration overhaul has drawn support from church groups, business, labor and even former opponents, there's still deep opposition -- mostly centered in the Republican Party.

More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids' Creativity To The Test

April 17
Elizabeth Blair / NPR
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This is the second in a three-part series aboutthe intersection of education and the arts.

Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales

April 17
Scott Neuman, Eyder Peralta
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A bipartisan compromise that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases has been rejected by the Senate.

Spectator Photos, Videos Likely Captured Boston Bomber

April 17
Tease photo

Thousands of spectators, with phones and iPads in hand, lined the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Federal officials say they used the photos, videos and surveillance footage from nearby establishments to hunt down the suspects of the bombing.

Colorado River Most Endangered River In America

April 17
By Erik Anderson
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The Colorado River, the source of about half of San Diego's drinking water, tops the list of America's most endangered rivers.

San Diego Home Prices Hit Nearly Five-Year High

April 17
By Erik Anderson
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San Diego County's average home price has climbed to a nearly five-year high.

U.S. Airman From Santee On Journey To Summit Mount Everest

April 17
By Beth Ford Roth
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Colin Merrin, a GPS satellite operations mission commander from Santee in San Diego County, is part of an Air Force team participating in a 50-day journey to summit Mount Everest.

MARTHA STEWART'S COOKING SCHOOL: Soups

April 17
MARTHA STEWART'S COOKING SCHOOL: Soups Tease photo

Nothing comforts like a bowl of homemade soup; once you master a few basic techniques, you can make a host of variations. Watch as Martha makes a nourishing chicken soup that’s as easy as poaching a chicken. Then learn the “flavor-boosting” techniques that go into making minestrone. Finally, discover how to make velouté, a classic “mother sauce” that here becomes the basis for a creamy spinach soup.

The Changing Face Of San Diego's Gun Culture

April 17
Midday Edition
Evening Edition

As gun legislation is debated by lawmakers in Washington, local activists rally outside a North County congressional office. We take a look at their meeting with Congressman Darrell Issa's staff and look at how the gun culture in San Diego has evolved.

What's Your Vision For Downtown San Diego?

April 17
Midday Edition
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What should Downtown San Diego look like in 40 years? The Downtown San Diego Partnership wants input from 5,000 people living throughout the city to devise a long-term vision for the urban core.

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

April 17
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In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do -- and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

FBI Releases Images, Videos of Boston Marathon Explosions Suspects

April 17
Associated Press
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The FBI releases photos and videos of persons suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Why Use A Pressure Cooker To Build A Bomb?

April 17
Scott Neuman / NPR

They are cheap, easy to build and inconspicuous. And as the explosions this week at the Boston Marathon show, pressure cooker bombs can be devastatingly effective weapons.

What Boston Means To America

April 17
Linton Weeks / NPR
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As a city, Boston is at the crux of this country's past, present and future.

'Tough Ruck' Soldiers Credited For Saving Lives After Boston Bombings

April 17
By Beth Ford Roth
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A team of 15 National Guard soldiers wearing 40-pound packs on their backs marched in the Boston Marathon to honor service members who lost their lives to suicide or combat. When two bombs went off after they finished their race, "Tough Ruck" team members used their military training to aid the injured.

Obama Sent Suspicious Letter, Others Sent To Senate

April 17
Mark Memmott / NPR

There's breaking news in the nation's capital, where a letter containing a "suspicious substance" was intercepted before being delivered to the White House and where police on Wednesday were investigating other reports of suspicious packages delivered to Senate offices. We're following the news. Scroll down to see our updates. (See this note about how we cover events such as this.)

Prolific Joshua Tree Bloom Could Signal Warming Climate

April 17
By Jill Replogle
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This year’s prolific Joshua tree bloom is sending tourists out in droves to see the trees. But the phenomenon could be a sign of the trees’ precarious future.

Full Text: Gang Of Eight's Immigration Bill

April 17
By John Rosman
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The hotly debated blockbuster bill to overhaul our nation's immigration system is finally here. Read it in full.

Boston Blasts A Reminder Of 'The Fragility Of Life'

April 17
Alix Spiegel / NPR

From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.

Hundreds Of National Guard Troops Still Active In Boston

April 17
By Beth Ford Roth
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Nearly 800 National Guard troops are on state active duty, providing support to federal and local authorities in the wake of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.

Activists Plan Keystone XL Pipeline Rally In Coronado

April 17
By Susan Murphy
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Environmentalists opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline are planning to protest in Coronado today, where the primary trade association of the oil and gas industry, American Petroleum Institute (API), will be holding its annual Pipeline Conference.

SD Pendleton

April 17

CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) - Loud booms were likely to be heard around Camp Pendleton today as airborne Marines conduct live-fire training and drop high explosives near the center of base.

Mayor's Budget Prioritizes City Heights Parks, But Not For Skaters

April 17
By Megan Burks
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Mayor Filner's budget allocates funds for a long-awaited park on Home Avenue, but not for a popular skate park project.

San Diego's Urban Agriculture Ordinance Sprouts New Business Opportunities

April 17
By Megan Burks
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This spring marks the first anniversary of a city ordinance that lets residents keep chickens, goats and bees in their backyards. The relaxed homesteading rules have had a major impact on business at City Farmers Nursery in City Heights.

American: 'Near Normal' Flights After Day Of Delays

April 17
Scott Neuman / NPR
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American Airlines has promised passengers that Wednesday's flight schedule will be nothing like the day before, when thousands were stranded due to a glitch in the reservations system that forced hundreds of flights to be canceled or delayed.

Guest Worker Programs Have A Long History In U.S.

April 17
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
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One of the oldest and certainly the largest guest worker program in United States history was that of the Braceros. Nearly 5 million Mexican laborers worked in U.S. fields over the course of two decades.

'Once-Through' Cooling Another Hurdle For San Onofre

April 17
By Alison St John
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California regulators meet today to discuss expensive upgrades needed for the state's nuclear power plants' cooling systems.

Boston Marathon Explosions: Wednesday's Developments

April 17
Mark Memmott, Eyder Peralta
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Throughout the day, we'll be updating with the latest news about the two explosions Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blasts killed at least three people -- one of them an 8-year-old boy -- and injured about 180. We'll also be publishing related posts as the day continues. (See this note about how we cover events such as this.)

Lionfish Attack The Gulf Of Mexico Like A Living Oil Spill

April 17
Elizabeth Shogren / NPR

A gluttonous predator is power-eating its way through reefs from New York to Venezuela. It's the lionfish.