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Stories for December 30, 2013

San Diego Convention Center books $1.4B in events for 2014

Dec. 30
By City News Service
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The San Diego Convention Center has booked 111 events so far for next year — the biggest being the annual Comic-Con International in July.

Judge Orders Brain Dead Girl Can Stay On Life Support

Dec. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR
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A judge has extended life support for a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy operation earlier this month.

Train Derailment In North Dakota Causes Explosion, Fire

Dec. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR
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A dozen oil tanker rail cars burst into flames after two trains collided in eastern North Dakota on Monday.

San Diego Mayor offers friendly wager to Cincy mayor over Chargers-Bengals

Dec. 30
By City News Service

Craft beer, ice cream and chili will be at stake when the San Diego Chargers play the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday thanks to a bet made between the mayors of the two playoff-bound cities.

The Other 'F Word': Brewer Responds To Starbucks Over Beer Name

Dec. 30
Bill Chappell / NPR
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In general, getting a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation isn't the mark of a good day. But after a brewery owner got a letter from a law firm representing Starbucks, he saw a chance to draw distinctions between the businesses -- and to be funny.

$0 Profits Couldn't Hold Back This Year's Tech Darlings

Dec. 30
Steve Henn / NPR

Zero. That's the total amount of revenue created by Snapchat in 2013. It's the total profit collected by Twitter. And it's roughly how much Apple's stock price has increased between early last December and now.

Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists

Dec. 30
Kirk Siegler / NPR
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This is one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales off the coast of Southern California as they migrate south for the winter. But recently, there have been an unusually high number of sightings of other whales.

On Evolution, A Widening Political Gap, Pew Says

Dec. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The divide between Republicans and Democrats on their views of the scientific theory of evolution is widening, according to a new poll released by Pew's Religion & Public Life Project.

New York City's Bloomberg Leaves Mixed Results On Health

Dec. 30
Fred Mogul / NPR

On the November day in 2001 when Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor, two things were prominent in New York City's air: fumes from the World Trade Center's smoldering remains, and tobacco smoke in the city's bars, restaurants and other public spaces.

At Long Last, Female Ski Jumpers Can Go For Olympic Gold

Dec. 30
Tamara Keith / NPR

In Park City, Utah, on Sunday, ski jumper Jessica Jerome, 27, became the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Because You Liked Chemistry, We Recommend These Classes

Dec. 30
Blake Farmer / NPR

The same kind of technology that recommends movies on Netflix or purchases on Amazon is now helping students choose college courses.

Doctors And Teens Both Avoid Talking About Sex And Sexuality

Dec. 30
Nancy Shute / NPR

Many doctors aren't asking teenagers about sex or sexuality, and those who do are spending just 36 seconds on the topic, on average. That's not much time to get into sexually transmitted diseases or birth control, let alone sexual orientation, dating or other big topics.

Six Teens Arrested In Temecula For Police Impersonation Prank

Dec. 30
Associated Press

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says 18-year-old Mason Gonzalez of Temecula has been arrested as well as three girls and two boys.

How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Family In San Diego?

Dec. 30
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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A new cost-calculating tool provides detailed estimates of family budgets in each of California's 58 counties.

3.3 quake hits San Diego County; epicenter near Borrego Springs

Dec. 30
By City News Service
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The epicenter for the 3.3 earthquake was 8 miles north of Borrego Springs, near the Riverside County line and about 18 miles south of La Quinta. There are no reports of any damage.

Pullup Requirements For Female Marines Delayed (Video)

Dec. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Marine Corps' new physical fitness standards requiring female Marines to do pullups were to go into effect New Year's Day. But because of the high failure rate of women Marines attempting to complete pullups, that requirement has been delayed.

Official In Charge Of Creating HealthCare.gov Steps Down

Dec. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR

Michelle Snyder, the official who oversaw the creation of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website, is retiring.

Midday Movies: Cinema Junkie Awards

Dec. 30
Midday Edition
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Awards season is in full swing with “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” leading the nominations from the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, and Online Film Critics Society. Oscar nominations are due out on January 16 but you won't find those titles topping the Cinema Junkie Awards.

Report Details NSA's Alleged High-Tech Tricks For Snaring Data

Dec. 30
Bill Chappell / NPR

Intercepted packages. Custom-made cables that steal data. Towers that mimic a commercial cellphone network. Those are a few of the tricks used by elite units of the National Security Agency to monitor potential threats, according to Germany's Der Spiegel. The magazine published those revelations Sunday and Monday, detailing what it calls a catalog of the NSA's high-tech spying products and methods.

Federal Health Care Sign-Ups Pass 1 Million Mark

Dec. 30
Associated Press

Combined with numbers for state-run markets, the total enrollment in the new private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's health law is at about 2 million people through the end of the year.

Test Sites Chosen For Commercial Drone Testing

Dec. 30
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday unveiled the names of the six applicants who have been granted the right to test the commercial uses of "unmanned aircraft systems" -- drones.

San Diego Fails To Secure Drone Test Site

Dec. 30
By David Wagner and Associated Press
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The Federal Aviation Administration announced Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia will host test sites for drones.

Air Force Capt. Killed In Afghanistan Suicide Car Bombing (Video)

Dec. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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The American service member killed in Friday's suicide bomb attack near Kabul, Afghanistan has been identified as Air Force Capt. David Lyon.

Harold Simmons, Billionaire, Philanthropist, GOP Donor, Dies

Dec. 30
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR
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Harold Simmons, the Texas billionaire, philanthropist and GOP donor, has died. He was 82.

GOP Crafts New Rules To Shorten 2016 Primary Season

Dec. 30
S.V. Date / NPR
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Republicans may not have figured out how to connect better with minority groups yet. Neither have they settled on how to cut down on the primary debates where their candidates take turns eviscerating each other.

More than 100,000 attend San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade along Harbor Drive

Dec. 30
By Dwane Brown
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The 23rd annual Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade drew thousands of visitors and spectators downtown to Harbor Drive on Monday morning.

Russian Bombings Kill 31, Raise Olympic Security Fears

Dec. 30
Associated Press

Two suicide bombings in as many days have raised concerns that separatist militants have begun a terrorist campaign in Russia that could stretch into the Winter Olympics in February.

Ski Resorts Race To Produce Artificial Snow During California Dry Spell

Dec. 30
By Susan Murphy
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December usually delivers Southern California a few good winter storms, but a persistent ridge of high pressure has kept the region warm and dry.

Loren Nancarrow Memorial Paddle Out To Be held at South Cardiff Beach On Monday

Dec. 30
By City News Service
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Monday's memorial paddle out and beach gathering is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at Seaside Reef. Attendees are encouraged to bring a candle to light for longtime San Diego television journalist Loren Nancarrow.

Signed Contracts To Buy U.S. Homes Level Off

Dec. 30
Associated Press

Higher mortgage rates and strong price gains over the past two years have slowed sales. The pending home sales index had fallen for five straight months before November.

Pot, Guns And Paparazzi: New Laws Run Gamut In California, US

Dec. 30
Associated Press

The new year is bringing a host of new laws taking effect in January or thereabouts. A look at some state and local laws that are making news.

Scenic Baja California toll road that connects Tijuana, Ensenada collapses

Dec. 30
Preston Phillips / 10News

Traffic between San Diego and Ensenada was detoured away from the southern end of the Baja California toll road Sunday, because a chunk of it collapsed towards the ocean following a series of small earthquakes and recent heavy rainfall.

Assessing Bloomberg's Legacy Is A Complex Task

Dec. 30
Margot Adler / NPR
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At the end of this month, Michael Bloomberg ends his three terms as mayor of New York City. Assessing Bloomberg's legacy, a man who went from Republican to Independent, is not a simple thing to do. His 12 years in office were groundbreaking, locally and even globally.

Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

Dec. 30
Steve Henn / NPR
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Millions of people are turning their thoughts to self-improvement and New Year's resolutions this week. And one of the most common resolutions, after promises to lose weight or get in better shape, is to be better about money.