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Stories for December 3, 2013

LA Airport Shooting Suspect To Appear In Court

Dec. 3
Associated Press

An unemployed motorcycle mechanic charged with killing a Transportation Security Administration officer and wounding three others during a rampage at Los Angeles International Airport last month is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Polar Bear Researcher Gets $100,000 In Settlement With Feds

Dec. 3
Nell Greenfieldboyce / NPR

A scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears raised alarms about climate change has received $100,000 to settle a whistle-blower complaint against an agency of the Department of the Interior.

Sanders Pokes Fun At Elected Officials At San Diego Chamber Awards

Dec. 3
By Claire Trageser
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Former Mayor Jerry Sanders poked fun at several local elected officials while awarding them for their accomplishments.

San Diego Store Gives Back To Military Families With Toy Drive

Dec. 3
By Dwane Brown
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The Armed Forces YMCA has had a record number of requests for toys this holiday season, and one San Diego toy store is looking to help out by hosting a toy drive.

San Diego Woman Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Personal Gene-Testing Company

Dec. 3
By David Wagner
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A San Diego woman who paid $99 to have her genes analyzed by 23andMe wants her money back. And she thinks thousands of other customers will too. Just days after the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop selling its products, the company now faces a class action lawsuit.

San Diego Police: Parents Front Line Of Defense Against Teen Sexting

Dec. 3
By Kyla Calvert
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Dozens of San Diego County teenagers were caught recently sharing illicit photos of classmates through text messages. We look at how police say parents should react, and one family’s takeaway.

Judge Denies Restraining Order Against Barrio Logan Community Plan Referendum

Dec. 3
By City News Service
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A San Diego judge denies a temporary restraining order that would have invalidated petition signatures for a zoning plan backed by ship builders.

Lawmakers In Name Only? Congress Reaches Productivity Lows

Dec. 3
Frank James / NPR
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Here's a variation of the does-a-falling-tree-make-a-sound-if-no-one-hears-it riddle: Can the House be considered productive if it passes bills the Senate won't ever take up and the president won't ever sign?

Ribbon Cut on New Registrar of Voters Office

Dec. 3
By Sandhya Dirks

On election night, after the ballots are cast…the county registrar’s office has the job of counting all the votes and figuring out who won. The count will now happen in a brand new state of the art building.

Elizabeth Banks Lighting Tree At Carlsbad Legoland On Thursday

Dec. 3
By City News Service

Actress Elizabeth Banks will help light what's billed as the world's largest Lego Christmas tree at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Carlsbad.

Obama Offers Second Chance For Missouri Court Nominee

Dec. 3
Carrie Johnson / NPR
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President Obama has made it a priority to choose federal judges who are diverse in terms of race or gender. But for the most part, he's avoided controversy for those lifetime appointments.

Classical Rewind (My Music)

Dec. 3
By Jennifer Robinson
Classical Rewind (My Music) Tease photo

Experience the beauty, romance and dramatic power of musical masterpieces in this visual and auditory joyride through the world of classical hits. Host Martin Goldsmith guides viewers on this fresh and engaging exploration of the world of classical music, with personal reflections from Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell and Stewart Copeland of The Police, among others.

San Diego County Supervisors Back Exploration Of 2024 Olympic Bid

Dec. 3
City News Service

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously backed the efforts of a committee that is exploring whether San Diego should bid for the 2024 summer Olympic and Paralympic games.

Mammograms In 3-D May Be Better, But Hard Proof Is Missing

Dec. 3
Nancy Shute / NPR
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A newer form of mammogram may do a better job of finding cancer, a study finds. But the technology is still too untested to know if it's going to be useful for most women, or even to know for sure which ones might benefit.

Cold Snap Hits California; Citrus Farmers Prepare

Dec. 3
Associated Press

Citrus farmers in California's Central Valley made preparations Tuesday to protect their crops, as a cold front that could bring near-record low temperatures in parts of the state began moving through.

Covered California Sets Goal To Enroll 7,000 Small Businesses By 2014

Dec. 3
By Kenny Goldberg

Even though small businesses aren't required by the Affordable Care Act to provide health insurance, they are being encouraged to enroll their employees in Covered California.

Guardian Editor: We've Published 1 Percent Of Snowden Files

Dec. 3
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The editor-in-chief of The Guardian, which has forged leaks from Edward Snowden into a seemingly endless series of exposes concerning U.S. electronic surveillance activities, says the newspaper has published just 1 percent of what it's received from the former NSA contractor.

No Sign Of Brake Failure On NYC Train, Investigators Say

Dec. 3
Mark Memmott / NPR
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There is "no indication the brake systems were not functioning properly" when a New York City commuter train derailed Sunday, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener told reporters late Tuesday afternoon.

Why Chaucer Said 'Ax' Instead Of 'Ask,' And Why Some Still Do

Dec. 3
Shereen Marisol Meraji / NPR
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The most common stereotype of black vernacular is the pronunciation of the word "ask" as "ax." "Ax" has gotten a bad rap for years. Pronounce "ask" as "ax," and immediately many will assume that you're poor, black and uneducated. New York City's first African-American schools chancellor, Dr. Richard R. Green, put it on his list of "speech demons." He insisted that "ax" be eradicated from students' vocabulary.

Washington State Growers Roll The Dice On New Pot Licenses

Dec. 3
Martin Kaste / NPR
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Washington residents thinking about jumping into the state's new legal marijuana industry need to act soon. The deadline to apply for a state license to sell recreational pot is Dec. 19, and the applications are flooding in.

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Pavarotti: A Voice For The Ages

Dec. 3
By Jennifer Robinson
GREAT PERFORMANCES: Pavarotti: A Voice For The Ages Tease photo

Like Enrico Caruso before him, Luciano Pavarotti extended his presence far beyond the limits of Italian opera. Quickly establishing his rich sound as the great male operatic voice of the 20th century, he expanded his reach to stadium concerts and pop collaborations that brought him fame beyond measure. Audiences adored his larger than life personality, childlike charm, generous figure and happy go lucky style. This program celebrates the 50th anniversary since the launch of the international phenomenon.

Man Killed In Shark Attack Off Maui

Dec. 3
Scott Neuman / NPR

Yet another shark attack in Hawaii, this time leading to the death of a man off Maui. It comes just three days after a woman survived a harrowing shark attack on the same side of the island.

Navy To Give Deployed Sailors And Marines Free $10 Phone Cards

Dec. 3
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Navy is distributing an estimated 35,000 free $10 phone cards to sailors and Marines deployed this holiday season.

Amy Tan's Journey To 'The Valley Of Amazement'

Dec. 3
Midday Edition
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Bestselling author Amy Tan explores the world of Chinese courtesans, the relationships between mothers and daughters and themes of abandonment and identity in her new novel, "The Valley of Amazement."

What's Buried Under An Abandoned Caltrans Building In San Diego's Old Town?

Dec. 3
Midday Edition
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After decades of negotiating, a former Caltrans building in Old Town is now part of the State Parks system. Experts say it could tell us a lot about San Diego's earliest days.

Thanksgiving Weekend Drunken Driving Arrests, Fatalities Down From 2012

Dec. 3
City News Service

This Thanksgiving Day weekend, drunken driving arrests and fatalities on San Diego County highways were down compared to last year.

Nonprofits Challenge Missouri Licensing Law For Insurance Guides

Dec. 3
Julie Rovner / NPR
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In the first lawsuit of its kind, several nonprofit groups that received federal grants to help people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act are suing the state of Missouri.

Warnings Of Strong Winds, High Surf In San Diego County

Dec. 3
City News Service
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Strong winds were expected Tuesday in the mountains and deserts of San Diego County while elevated surf threatens coastal areas with the possibility of minor flooding.

California Lawmakers Get 5 Percent Pay Raise

Dec. 3
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers will be celebrating the holidays with a larger paycheck this year.

Californians With Food Stamps To Get 'Fast Tracked' To Health Care

Dec. 3
Pauline Bartolone / Capital Public Radio

Soon, 600,000 uninsured Californians who receive food stamps will be able to ‘check a box’ and receive free health care under the Affordable Care Act.

California Lawmakers Want Amendment To Farm Bill Removed

Dec. 3
Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

A bipartisan group of California lawmakers is asking Congressional leaders to remove an amendment to the federal Farm Bill. Opponents say the “King Amendment” would nullify dozens of California laws that regulate food and animal welfare.

NORAD Gearing Up To Track Santa Claus (Video)

Dec. 3
By Beth Ford Roth
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For little ones awaiting Christmas, it may seem like FOREVER until Santa Claus begins his journey around the globe. But the folks at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) have their Santa Tracker website up and running - with lots of games, music, and movies to keep the kiddies busy until the big day arrives.

The Texas Tenors – You Should Dream

Dec. 3
The Texas Tenors – You Should Dream Tease photo

Performing with members of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in Phoenix, Arizona, The Texas Tenors bring their own signature blend of breathtaking vocals, humor and cowboy charm to their first PBS special. The highest-ranking vocal group in the history of America’s Got Talent, this versatile and talented trio — Marcus Collins, John Hagen and JC Fisher — smoothly blend great music from the worlds of country, folk, opera and Broadway.

American Held In North Korea Oversaw Partisan Group In War

Dec. 3
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old American war veteran and tourist who was arrested in North Korea in October, once supervised a guerrilla group of "perhaps the most hated and feared fighters" of the Korean War, his former comrades say. That's according to the AP, which offers details about Newman's service as a possible explanation for his detention.

Detroit Is Eligible For Bankruptcy Protection, Judge Rules

Dec. 3
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history took a major step forward Tuesday when a federal judge ruled that the city of Detroit is eligible for protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.

Overweight And Healthy: A Combo That Looks Too Good To Be True

Dec. 3
Nancy Shute / NPR
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Overweight or obese people are indeed more likely to die prematurely than people of normal weight, say researchers who've analyzed the data. Their conclusion throws cold water on recent studies that have found some excess weight isn't so bad.

Arizona-Mexico Tensions Begin To Thaw

Dec. 3
By Jude Joffe-Block
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There are signs that relations between Arizona and Mexico are on the mend. That’s after Arizona’s immigration enforcement law provoked deep tensions a few years ago.

Feds Want To Change Mexican Wolf Recovery

Dec. 3
By Laurel Morales
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The federal government has proposed to change the recovery program for the endangered Mexican gray wolf. The last public hearing on the issue will be Tuesday.

Poll: More Calif. Voters Disapprove Of Obama's Job

Dec. 3
Associated Press
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A new Field Poll finds that California voters increasingly disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance while fewer than half support his handling of health care.

Ocean Beach Officials Back Ban On Plastic Bags

Dec. 3
By Erik Anderson
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The Ocean Beach Town Council is joining the chorus of calls for a ban on single-use plastic bags.

San Diego Charities Encourage Generosity On 'Giving Tuesday'

Dec. 3
Midday Edition
By Susan Murphy
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Known as Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is a national movement that started last year to encourage people to support local charities.

U.S. High School Students Slide In Math, Reading, Science

Dec. 3
Bill Chappell / NPR
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American 15-year-olds continue to turn in flat results in a test that measures students' proficiency in reading, math and science worldwide, failing to crack the global top 20.

As Rent Soars, Longtime San Francisco Tenants Fight To Stay

Dec. 3
Richard Gonzales / NPR

San Francisco has long been a desirable place to live -- and that's even more true today as the city is basking in the glow of another tech boom. But the influx of new money and new residents is putting a strain on the city's housing market.

A Supreme Court Fight For The Rights Of (Frequent) Fliers

Dec. 3
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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Do airline frequent fliers have any legal rights when they get into disputes over their club memberships?