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Stories for February 27, 2017

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Ross Confirmed As Commerce Secretary

Feb. 27, 2017
Mark Katkov / NPR

Wilbur Ross, 79, made his fortune buying distressed companies and restoring them to health. Criticized by some as a "vulture capitalist," Ross received the support of the United Steelworkers union.

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SDPD: State Requirements For Racial Profiling Data Still Unknown

Feb. 27, 2017
By City News Service

The San Diego City Council on Monday received the results of a study on racial profiling within the San Diego Police Department.

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A Video Tour Of What's To Come In The Canyons Of City Heights

Feb. 27, 2017
By Tarryn Mento

A nonprofit is upgrading several City Heights canyon trails to create a four-and-a-half mile hiking loop.

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Can Sex Offenders Be Barred From Social Media? Justices Lean Toward No

Feb. 27, 2017
Nina Totenberg / NPR

The court heard two cases today: One on whether the government can deport a resident for a statutory rape conviction, and another on whether a state can criminalize social media use for sex offenders.

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UC San Diego Scientists Unearth Mysterious Maya Artifact

Feb. 27, 2017
By David Wagner

How did a large jade pendant fit for a king end up in the hinterlands of the Maya civilization, and what might it tell us about how they dealt with a changing climate?

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San Diego's Downtown Library Keeps Homeless Warm And Dry

Feb. 27, 2017
By Susan Murphy

San Diego’s wet winter is great for the drought, but miserable for the hundreds of homeless who have to endure the harsh conditions on the streets.

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San Diego Signs Brief Supporting Transgender Student

Feb. 27, 2017
By Andrew Bowen

The San Diego City Council has voted to support a lawsuit before the United States Supreme Court filed by a transgender high school student seeking to use his school's male bathrooms. One councilman abstained from the decision, accusing the city attorney of bringing divisive issues before the council.

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Issa Repeats Call For Independent Review On Possible Russian Ties To Trump

Feb. 27, 2017
By Associated Press, Gina Diamante

The North County Republican first made the call in an appearance on "Real Time With Bill Maher," suggesting the special prosecutor statute could apply. In a new statement Monday, he said he recommended an independent review, but did not use the term "special prosecutor."

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Imperial Beach Mayor Blasts Reaction To Major Sewage Spill

Feb. 27, 2017
By Erik Anderson

A massive sewage spill tainted San Diego's ocean and fouled Imperial Beach air and residents are unhappy with the response.

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Analysis Shows Structurally Deficient Bridges In San Diego

Feb. 27, 2017
By Matt Hoffman

A new analysis of California’s bridges shows that more than 350 "structurally deficient" bridges are located in San Diego County.

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Minnesota Police Officer In Philando Castile Shooting Case Pleads Not Guilty

Feb. 27, 2017
Richard Gonzales / NPR

The aftermath of the controversial shooting went viral as it was streamed live on Facebook by the Castile's girlfriend.

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Black Lives Matter Finds 'Renewed Focus' 5 Years After Trayvon Martin

Feb. 27, 2017
NPR Staff / NPR

From the death that sparked a hashtag that became a national movement, Black Lives Matter takes on a new urgency under President Trump. Co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors discusses what lies ahead.

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SpaceX Announces Plans To Send Two Customers To The Moon

Feb. 27, 2017
Merrit Kennedy / NPR

It would be the first time humans have traveled beyond low Earth orbit since the days of Apollo. The mission would be manned and financed by two private, anonymous customers.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions Focuses On Violent Crime And Police Morale

Feb. 27, 2017
Carrie Johnson / NPR

The new AG held his first on-record briefing as head of the Justice Department on Monday. He said he's "not a fan" of legalized marijuana use, and threats against Jewish centers are unacceptable.

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California Dam Spillway Outflow Slowed To Clear Debris

Feb. 27, 2017
By Associated Press

California water authorities started slowing the outflow Monday from the Oroville Dam's crippled spillway to allow workers to remove debris blocking a hydroelectric plant from working.

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California Court Expands Endangered-Species Removal Powers

Feb. 27, 2017
By Associated Press

The California Supreme Court on Monday expanded the scope of petitions seeking to remove an animal from the state's endangered species list.

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What's The Environmental Footprint Of A Loaf Of Bread? Now We Know

Feb. 27, 2017
Rhitu Chatterjee / NPR

New research calculates the greenhouse gas emissions involved in making bread, from wheat field to bakery. The vast majority of emissions come from one step in the process: farming.

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SECRETS OF THE DEAD: Graveyard Of The Giant Beasts

Feb. 27, 2017
By Jennifer Robinson

A mining operation in Cerrejón, Northern Colombia, opened a window onto a previously unknown period of the earth’s history and a world teeming with giant creatures emerged.

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Reality Check: Trump Proposal Doesn't Cover Major Military Expansion

Feb. 27, 2017
Philip Ewing / NPR

President Trump's proposed increase in defense spending could help the Defense Department plug current holes in the force, but it wouldn't cover the major expansion he supports.

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Repeal Of Anti-Corruption Rule May Hurt National Security, Critics Warn

Feb. 27, 2017
Michele Kelemen / NPR

The repealed Securities and Exchange Commission rule required oil, gas and mining companies to disclose overseas payments. It was meant to promote transparency in countries riddled with corruption.

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No Jail Time For 19-Year-Old In Idaho Coat-Hanger Assault Case

Feb. 27, 2017
Camila Domonoske / NPR

An Idaho judge concluded an attack on a black, mentally disabled teenager, in which his white teammate kicked a coat hanger up his rectum, was not a sexual assault or racially motivated attack.

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Justice Department Reverses Position On Texas Voter ID Law Case

Feb. 27, 2017
Pam Fessler / NPR

The Trump Justice Department asked a federal court to dismiss the Obama DOJ's earlier claim that the ID law was enacted with the intention of discriminating against minority voters.

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Looking Back At Our Oscar Predictions: Lo, There Shall Come A Reckoning

Feb. 27, 2017
Glen Weldon / NPR

We review the 11 categories we got "wrong" and explore reasons why. But we're not being defensive. Maybe you're the one who's being defensive, ever thought of that?

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PHOTOS: Wild Weather In Chile Leaves Millions Without Access To Running Water

Feb. 27, 2017
Merrit Kennedy / NPR

Authorities cut off service to the capital, Santiago, following torrential rains that contaminated the water supply. People are now scrambling to find alternative sources of drinking water.

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Bush Weighs In On Trump Presidency, Calling Press 'Indispensable To Democracy'

Feb. 27, 2017
Don Gonyea / NPR

Former President George W. Bush repeatedly declined to criticize Obama or offer him unsolicited advice. But on NBC's Today, Bush commented on President Trump's travel ban, Russia and the media.

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San Diego Homeless Shelters To Open During Storm

Feb. 27, 2017
By City News Service

Two downtown San Diego inclement weather homeless shelters will open later Monday.

What's The Leading Cause Of Wildfires In The U.S.? Humans

Feb. 27, 2017
Christopher Joyce / NPR

More than 8 in 10 fires are started by people. Researchers say humans are not only causing the vast majority of wildfires, they're extending the normal fire season around the U.S. by three months.

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To Keep Teens Safe Online, They Need To Learn To Manage Risk

Feb. 27, 2017
April Fulton / NPR

Teens should be included in efforts to mitigate their online risks, researchers say, but apps focus more on parents controlling access by monitoring and blocking sites.

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California GOP Accepts Trump, Headwinds And All

Feb. 27, 2017
Scott Shafer / KQED

As he sat on the edge of the ballroom stage at the Sacramento Hyatt Hotel Saturday afternoon, California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte seemed to have not a care in the world.

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Bomb Threats Made Against Jewish Community Centers In 11 States

Feb. 27, 2017
Bill Chappell / NPR

"My instincts tell me this is all part of a coordinated effort," an Ann Arbor police detective tells Michigan Public Radio, discussing threats made in the city.

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With All This Rain, Can We Go Back To Gardening The Way We Used To?

Feb. 27, 2017
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Megan Burke

The answer is no, but what does the abundance of rain mean for the health of plant life? How can gardeners make the most of the wet weather?

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In NYC, 'Sweeney Todd' Baker Serves Up Some Bloody Good Pies

Feb. 27, 2017
Ari Shapiro / NPR

The off-Broadway musical, in which a barber's clients become filling for meat pies, may make you lose your appetite. But former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses bakes a tempting pre-theater treat.

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Stand Your Ground Laws Complicate Matters For Black Gun Owners

Feb. 27, 2017
Karen Grigsby Bates / NPR

"When you look at the way that, African American men are treated when they're armed, already the deck is stacked against people who are judged or perceived to be a threat." Caroline Light

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Photographer Builds A 'Photo Ark' For 6,500 Animal Species And Counting

Feb. 27, 2017
NPR

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to document every captive animal species in the world. He talks about getting an arctic fox to hold still, and Photoshopping out poop.

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How San Diego Bookstores Are Surviving

Feb. 27, 2017
By Brooke Ruth, Maureen Cavanaugh

While Fifth Avenue Books in Hillcrest is closing its doors at the end of the month, other bookstores in San Diego are doing OK and surviving in what was thought to be a dying industry.

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Trump To Propose $54 Billion Defense Increase, Cuts To Domestic Programs

Feb. 27, 2017
Brian Naylor / NPR

In the first look at his spending plan, the president is proposing boosts for the military and law enforcement — at the expense of other domestic spending. Congress will need to write the final plan.

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17-Year-Old Transgender Boy Wins Texas Girls' Wrestling Championship

Feb. 27, 2017
Camila Domonoske / NPR

Mack Beggs is prohibited from competing against boys, under Texas rules. His controversial win comes soon after President Trump rescinded Obama administration guidelines on transgender students.

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Your Name Might Shape Your Face, Researchers Say

Feb. 27, 2017
Angus Chen / NPR

Do you look like a Joy? Genes and culture may make it more likely that names and faces align. But researchers say people also may adjust their expressions to match social expectations of their name.

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Ultimate Dinosaurs Stomp Into theNAT

Feb. 27, 2017
By Beth Accomando, Kris Arciaga

Something big is coming to theNAT, it is Ultimate Dinosaurs, but you will not find the dinosaurs you learned about as a kid. Instead, it is a whole new crop of dinos from the Southern Hemisphere that you may not have seen before.

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Father Of Navy SEAL Killed In Yemen Raid Has Harsh Words For Trump

Feb. 27, 2017
Bill Chappell / NPR

"I told them I didn't want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn't let me talk to him," says William Owens of the chance to meet President Trump. Owens' son died in a raid in Yemen.

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The 89th Annual Oscars End With More Drama Than A Hollywood Movie

Feb. 27, 2017
By Beth Accomando

The 89th Academy Awards concluded last night with a dramatic mix-up that initially awarded the Best Picture Oscar to "La La Land" and moments later took it back to give it to "Moonlight."

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Winter Weather Brings More Rain To San Diego

Feb. 27, 2017
By City News Service

Strong winds, mountain snow and potentially heavy rain, which could trigger flash flooding, hit various parts of San Diego County Monday.

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News In Numbers: Homeless Student Numbers Rise In San Diego County

Feb. 27, 2017
By Megan Wood / inewsource

There are 21,466 homeless students in San Diego County K-12 public schools, and the number has been growing over the past seven years.

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San Diego Clubs Create A Home For Jazz

Feb. 27, 2017
By Tom Fudge

A tale of jazz venues shows a network of players and impresarios who create a brimming San Diego scene.

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Minus The U.S., Asian Economic Powers Meet To Form Trade Deal

Feb. 27, 2017
Bill Chappell / NPR

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, seen as China's response to the rival TPP, has benefited from a shift in American politics.

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In Response To Rising Biased Rhetoric, Muslims Run For Office

Feb. 27, 2017
Kat Chow / NPR

First-time candidates are seeking offices across the country. And several nonprofits are helping American Muslims get involved in the political process.

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Hey, Students: 5 Things That Are Wrong With Your Cover Letter

Feb. 27, 2017
Steve Drummond / NPR

If your resume, your cover letter and your writing samples don't tell a story, we may not be interested.

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Here's What To Watch For When Trump Addresses Congress

Feb. 27, 2017
Mara Liasson / NPR

It's not a "State of the Union" address, but Trump's mood about the country will matter, along with whether he gives Congress direction on policy priorities like health care and taxes.

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A Medicine That Blunts The Buzz Of Alcohol Can Help Drinkers Cut Back

Feb. 27, 2017
Allison Aubrey / NPR

Naltrexone was approved to treat alcohol disorders more than 20 years ago. But many doctors still don't know that when combined with counseling it can help people resist the urge to drink too much.

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How The Media Are Using Encryption Tools To Collect Anonymous Tips

Feb. 27, 2017
Sam Sanders / NPR

Technology has made for more ways to leak scoops to the press than ever before. And newsrooms across the country are taking advantage of that.