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  • Commissioners vote 7-5 to dismiss executive director

    Commissioners vote 7-5 to dismiss executive director

    In a 7-5 vote, the California Coastal Commission on Wednesday dismissed embattled executive director Charles Lester.The vote came after more than seven hours of testimony from Lester and public comment that overwhelmingly opposed dismissing him. Hundreds of people from all over California waited...

  • Coastal Commission fires executive director over objection of hundreds of supporters

    Coastal Commission fires executive director over objection of hundreds of supporters

    The California Coastal Commission fired its executive director Wednesday -- a decision made despite an overwhelming show of public support for the land use agency’s top official. The panel disclosed that it voted 7 to 5 in a private session to dismiss Charles Lester, touching off an emotional scene...

  • Porter Ranch-area gas leak may end within days

    Porter Ranch-area gas leak may end within days

    An emergency relief well is expected to intersect Southern California Gas Co.'s damaged injection gas well near Porter Ranch as soon as Thursday, possibly ending the leak within days, regulatory and utility officials said Wednesday. If all goes well with the intercept, workers could immediately...

  • Belief in all-knowing, punitive gods aided the growth of human societies, study says

    Belief in all-knowing, punitive gods aided the growth of human societies, study says

    Belief in moral-watching, all-knowing, punitive gods might have helped human societies grow far beyond small, close-knit groups, a new study shows. Researchers who ran an experiment with a total of 591 people in eight different small-scale societies around the world found that people who believed...

  • Zika virus found in fetal brain

    Zika virus found in fetal brain

    The Zika virus, thought to be responsible for a surge in birth defects in Brazil, has been found inside the abnormally small brain of an aborted fetus at roughly 29 weeks of gestation, a team of researchers reported Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. An autopsy of the aborted fetus...

  • Plastic microbead pollution harms oysters, the ocean's critical ecosystem engineers, study finds

    Plastic microbead pollution harms oysters, the ocean's critical ecosystem engineers, study finds

    Oysters eat by filtering the water around them and digesting anything small enough to trap, whether that’s algae, phytoplankton — or tiny pieces of plastic floating in the ocean. It stands to reason that the plastic isn't good for them. Now scientists know why: It takes such a toll on their digestive...

  • Big turnout is expected at a showdown over the Coastal Commission chief's future

    Big turnout is expected at a showdown over the Coastal Commission chief's future

    For more than four decades, the California Coastal Commission has policed land use and preserved public access along more than 1,100 miles of shoreline — some of the most valuable and scenic real estate in the nation. Now an internal battle over whether to fire its executive director has set off...

  • If you can't squish 'em, join 'em: Scientists build cockroach robot

    If you can't squish 'em, join 'em: Scientists build cockroach robot

    After running roaches through tunnels that were only as high as two pennies stacked flat, researchers at UC Berkeley have designed a cockroach robot that’s able to squeeze through tiny spaces at blazing speeds. Such a roach bot, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,...

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