Fires create electricity 'island' in San Diego
October 24, 2007 04:01 PM - Bernie Woodall
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California wildfires created an electricity "island" of San Diego County on Wednesday as one major power transmission link to the U.S. West grid was shut and the other flickering on and off, said San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
This makes the San Diego area susceptible to major blackouts unless customers conserve power, said Michael Niggli, chief operating officer of SDG&E.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders implored residents to cut power use.
"You've got to conserve today. You have no choice," Sanders said.
About 20,000 homes and businesses were without power late Wednesday morning, down from 33,000 on Tuesday, SDG&E spokeswoman Rachel Laing said.
California evacuees unwind with yoga, Kosher food
October 24, 2007 09:52 AM - Dana Ford, Reuters
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - As emergency shelters go, the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego might get a five-star rating, with yoga and acupuncture for stressed-out adults, clowns and candy for bored kids and even Kosher meals.
The stadium, best known as home to the National Football League's San Diego Chargers, was converted this week into an emergency evacuation center accommodating 10,000 people forced from their homes by wildfires scorching the county.
City and state officials and legions of volunteers running the center did their best to provide not only for evacuees' basic needs but also lifestyle perks designed to make the Golden State's displaced denizens feel more at home.
Global Water Initiative Created in Response to World Water Crisis
October 24, 2007 08:12 AM - ICUN
A new partnership has been launched to address the declining state of the world’s fresh water supply and the lack of access to clean water services by the world’s poorest people. The Global Water Initiative (GWI) brings together a group of seven leading international NGOs, including Action Against Hunger (ACF) – USA, CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), The World Conservation Union (IUCN), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Oxfam America and SOS Sahel – UK.
EU Allows Imports of Four GMO Crop Products
October 24, 2007 07:35 AM - Reuters
BRUSSELS - The European Union has authorized imports of four genetically modified (GMO) crop products for sale across its 27 national markets for the next 10 years, the European Commission said on Wednesday. Three of the GMO products are maize types, two of them hybrids, and the fourth is a sugar beet. None would be grown in Europe but would be imported for use in food and animal feed.
Watching funny shows helps children tolerate pain longer, study finds
October 23, 2007 09:27 PM - Kim Irwin, UCLA News
Los Angeles - Watching comedy shows helps children tolerate pain for longer periods of time, according to a study by UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the nonprofit organization Rx Laughter. The study findings, published in the October issue of the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, suggest that humorous distraction could be used in clinical settings to help children and adolescents better handle painful procedures.
California fire evacuees top 500,000
October 23, 2007 06:45 PM - Dana Ford, Reuters
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - At least 16 wind-driven wildfires burned from the Mexican border to areas north of Los Angeles on Tuesday, forcing more than half a million people from their homes and claiming a second life on the third day of fire calamity.
San Diego County faced the most dire situation as flames raced unchecked, with 500,000 people now ordered to evacuate their homes, county supervisor Ron Roberts said. At least 1,250 homes were destroyed.
Another person died on Tuesday from burns in a fire north of Los Angeles, after the first death reported on Sunday some 150 miles away near San Diego.
Food safety rules tightened after E. coli recall
October 23, 2007 06:20 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. food safety inspectors said Tuesday they will expand tests and recall infected meat more rapidly to combat E. coli contamination of meat products after the largest American manufacturer of hamburger patties went out of business this month.
The U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a briefing the number of E. coli recalls climbed to 15 so far in 2007 compared to the five cases reported in all of 2005.
"We want the American consumer to know that FSIS has taken a number of aggressive actions ... associated with this pathogen and we are further expanding these efforts," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond.
Target Recalls Game Pieces: Cars
October 23, 2007 11:43 AM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About 110,000 magnetic game pieces that accompanied "Cars" themed backpacks sold at Target Corp retail stores have been recalled because the toys can be swallowed by young children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Tuesday.
The gray and red backpacks were sold with four magnetic game pieces that can fall out of their plastic enclosure, the safety agency said. The game pieces were made in China.
The agency said there have been three reports of a magnet that became loose but no injuries have been reported. Small children can swallow a magnet, and if more than one magnet is swallowed they can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage.
Broccoli sprout extract protects skin from UV rays
October 22, 2007 05:42 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Most people know eating broccoli is good for you but it also can help skin cells fend off damage from harmful ultraviolet radiation, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
The extract derived from newly sprouted broccoli seeds reduced skin redness and damage by more than one-third compared with untreated skin, they said. The extract already has been shown to help skin cells fight UV damage in mice.
"This is a first demonstration that a human tissue can be protected directly against a known human carcinogen," said Dr. Paul Talalay of Johns Hopkins University, whose study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Whole grain cereals cut heart failure risk: study
October 22, 2007 05:39 PM - Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Eating whole grain cereals has already shown promise for lowering blood pressure and warding off heart attacks, but it may also significantly reduce the risk of heart failure, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
They found that men who ate a bowl a day of whole grain cereal had a 28 percent lower risk of developing heart failure over a 20-year study.
"Eating half a cup to a cup of whole grain breakfast cereal may help lower your blood pressure. It may help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease," said Dr. Luc Djousse of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.