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Behind Missing Woman's Closet, a Gruesome Scene

Human remains found hidden behind a closet wall in California

(Newser) - For years, renters complained about a yucky odor in the former apartment of a woman who disappeared in 2009. Now, authorities have found the source of the smell and the focus of what is likely to be a murder investigation: a body hidden in a wall of the apartment in... More »

Dalai Lama's Birthday Bash Driving Planners Nuts

What gifts and what kind of cake to make for spiritual leader are tough calls

(Newser) - He's the man who has (and wants) nothing, which is putting birthday planners in a peculiar predicament. The Dalai Lama turns 80 on Monday, and per the Wall Street Journal , it's been a task and a half to prepare for an address he's giving to about 15,... More »

Family IDs Mystery Calif. Woman With Amnesia

Her name is Ashley, not Sam—and she's American

(Newser) - A woman found on the streets of Carlsbad, Calif., in February and believed to be suffering from retrograde amnesia has been claimed by a family that's now filling in the blanks about her identity, the BBC reports. "Well we have some great news...PRAYERS have been answered!!!!"... More »

Woman Found in California Has No Idea Who She Is

Doctors say stage-3 tumor may be causing Sam's apparent amnesia

(Newser) - A woman who claims she has no idea who she is says she hopes to reconnect with family and a mystery man she may have loved before she dies of cancer. The woman—who goes by Sam and is believed to be in her 50s—was barely conscious when she... More »

Someone Is Trying to Kill the West Coast's Internet

Fiber-optic cables cut in 11th attack

(Newser) - Internet service from northern California to as far north as Seattle was disrupted yesterday after what the FBI says is just the latest in a yearlong series of attacks on the Internet's physical infrastructure. The culprit or culprits broke into an underground vault through a manhole and cut three... More »

Stranded Woman Gives Birth, Starts a Forest Fire

Amber Pangborn also started a forest fire while trying to signal for help

(Newser) - Being stranded in the middle of a forest for three days with little food and water would be terrifying for anyone. Now imagine this happened to you in the late stages of pregnancy and your unborn child decided that would be the ideal time to make her way into the... More »

California Lawmakers Pass Strict Vaccine Bill

But Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't said whether he'll sign it

(Newser) - California lawmakers today sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland . The Senate reaffirmed the bill striking California's personal-belief exemption for immunizations with a 24-14 vote. Mississippi and West... More »

Hobbyist's Drone Interferes With Air Drops on Wildfire

Forest Service says 3 planes had to scrap mission in California

(Newser) - Somebody flying a drone over a raging California wildfire this week probably got some awesome photos. The problem for everyone else is that the 4-foot drone forced three planes that planned to drop retardant to scrap their missions, reports the Los Angeles Times . One was a DC-10 with about 11,... More »

California Poised to Make Vaccines Mandatory

Under bill that cleared assembly, no more religious exemptions would be allowed

(Newser) - After its recent major measles outbreak, California is pretty close to becoming only the third state to deny vaccine exemptions for religious reasons. The state assembly today approved legislation that would require all kids entering public or private daycare, elementary school, or secondary school for the first time in the... More »

Judge Shoots Down 'Kill the Gays' Bill

Calif. measure a waste of resources, judge decides

(Newser) - There's no need for California to waste any more time or energy on a ballot measure that proposes legalizing the murder of gay people , a judge has decided. The Sacramento County judge ruled yesterday that allowing the "Sodomite Suppression Act" to move forward "would be inappropriate, waste... More »

66 Surfers Crowd Onto Board to Break World Record

They somehow managed to ride a wave together for 12 seconds

(Newser) - About 5,000 spectators crowded the sand and a pier in Huntington Beach, Calif., to watch 66 surfers set a world record for most people riding a board at once. Surf champions and local heroes were among those who hung loose on a custom-built, 42-foot board off Huntington Beach yesterday.... More »

3 Farm Workers Dead, 5 Hurt in Cali Van Accident

Van rolled over when driver overcorrected: cops

(Newser) - Three people were killed and five others hospitalized Saturday after a van carrying farm workers overturned on a central California highway, authorities said. The victims were returning from a day of working in the fields when the accident occurred on State Route 152 in Merced County, says California Highway Patrol... More »

Berkeley Complex Builder Paid $6.5M in Balcony Suits

And Segue Construction has one lawsuit that's still being litigated

(Newser) - A spokesman for the Bay Area contractor that built the Berkeley apartments where a balcony collapsed Tuesday , killing six, says the company has "a very good reputation" and has "never had an incident like this before," but a series of recent lawsuits suggests otherwise, the San Francisco ... More »

Distracted on Facebook, Lawmaker Screws Up

California assemblyman Scott Wilk admits he can't multitask

(Newser) - A Republican lawmaker accidentally cast his party's first vote for the California budget in years because he was distracted by Facebook. Assemblyman Scott Wilk was the sole Republican to vote for California's record $117.5 billion spending plan today. The Santa Clarita lawmaker later clarified he accidentally supported... More »

Tiny Tuna Crabs Invade Calif. Beaches

'Mini-lobsters' turn shorelines red

(Newser) - Tiny tuna crabs have been washing up by the thousands on beaches in California's Orange County. The Orange County Register reports that the crustaceans, which look like tiny lobsters or crawfish, created a bright-red rim along the shoreline of Dana Point, San Clemente, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach yesterday.... More »

Another Bad Milestone for California's Drought

Farmers with century-old rights told to stop pumping water

(Newser) - California's drought is now hitting farmers with water rights going back more than a century. The state today told those with rights dating to 1903 to stop pumping water from rivers and streams, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . Those with rights acquired later already had been ordered to cut... More »

Archaeologists Save Sphinx Buried in ... California

Relics from Cecil B. DeMille's 'Ten Commandments' set restored

(Newser) - After months of painstaking work in the sands of California, archaeologists have managed to restore a sphinx and other relics from a lost age—1920s Hollywood. The sphinx, one of 21 used in Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 movie The Ten Commandments, has been restored after it was excavated from... More »

Wireless Group: Radiation Warnings Will 'Stoke Fear'

Industry association says Berkeley's cellphone warning violates First Amendment

(Newser) - Last month, the city council in Berkeley, Calif., unanimously approved a measure that would require all cellphones sold within the city to come with a warning notice that informs consumers about radiation exposure. But a wireless industry trade group is now suing the city, saying that the warning violates sellers'... More »

Tallest Redwood in Muir Woods Not So Old After All

Ring analysis shows Tree 76 is a mere 777 years old—not 1,500

(Newser) - You had us all fooled, Tree 76. Up til now, scientists believed that the tallest redwood in California's Muir Woods was about 1,500 years old, the Los Angeles Times notes. But the 249-foot-tall giant—or, as the San Francisco Chronicle now refers to it, "a puerile sprig... More »

City Making Big Change to Kids' Fast-Food Orders

In Davis, California, the choice of beverage will be milk or water

(Newser) - It's not a typical question heard in fast-food restaurants, but the city of Davis, California, hopes to change that with a new rule: It will require servers to ask kids (or the parents ordering for them) if they'd like milk or water with their meal. Customers would still... More »

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