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Southwest Offers Passengers 'Goodwill Gesture' After Holiday Chaos

Those affected by delays, cancellations are being given 25K frequent flier points

(Newser) - After chaos over the holidays disrupted travel for more than a million Southwest Airlines passengers, CEO Bob Jordan said "there's just no way almost to apologize enough." On Tuesday, the airline reached out with what it called a "gesture of goodwill"—25,000 frequent flyer...

Across US, Giant 'Lite-Brite' in Sky to Replace July 4 Fireworks

Drones increasingly being used in lieu of traditional July 4 pyrotechnics due to fire, noise concerns

(Newser) - Goodbye, fireworks finales; hello ... drone formations? That's what multiple cities across the US may be seeing this July Fourth weekend, with traditional pyrotechnics shows replaced with drone light extravaganzas—especially in the Southwest, where just one spark on the drought-affected landscape can set off an inferno. Axios reports this...

Southwest Is in for 'Extreme' Heat
Heat in Southwest
Could Be Deadly

Heat in Southwest Could Be Deadly

Areas in Texas to California are looking at temperatures over 100 this weekend

(Newser) - The National Weather Service has warned of a dangerous weekend ahead in the Southwestern US, predicting a "dangerous and deadly heat wave" for the region. More than 30 million people are under heat alerts, CNN reports. Areas in Texas to California will be affected, the agency said, by temperatures...

At Critical Reservoir, a Tangible Sign of Trouble

Intake valve at Lake Mead is fully exposed for first time in its history

(Newser) - Lake Mead has hit a new low. For the first time, water levels at the man-made reservoir have dropped low enough to expose one of three original intake valves, CNN reports. The valve has been drawing water since 1971—but that's no longer possible, according to the Southern Nevada...

Southwest Drought Is Worst on Record

Climate change has made it more severe, report says

(Newser) - Not only is the drought in the southwestern US the worst on record, it's not over yet, say researchers who leave no doubt the severity is connected to climate change. A team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and independent researchers found the 20-month period from January 2020...

Rare 'Snoring' Frogs Found in Place They Shouldn't Be

Nearly a dozen threatened Chiricahua leopard frogs spotted in central Ariz., not their usual haunt

(Newser) - A rare frog has been found beyond its known range in the Southwest. A US Forest Service volunteer recently photographed a Chiricahua leopard frog in an earthen stock tank near the town of Camp Verde in central Arizona. Biologists later confirmed that at least 10 of the frogs were living...

Ancient Turquoise Rewrites Aztec History
Ancient Turquoise
Rewrites Aztec History
new study

Ancient Turquoise Rewrites Aztec History

Looks like Mesoamericans found their own and didn't trade with American Southwest

(Newser) - For a long time, scholars have thought that the Aztecs had frequent contact with groups in what's now the American Southwest. But a new chemical analysis of ancient turquoise artifacts just put a giant hole in that theory. It now appears that the Aztecs and another Mesoamerican civilization known...

Toddler With 'Scorpion Sting' Actually Took Meth

This mistake has apparently been made before

(Newser) - A toddler was treated in the hospital for a scorpion sting, but her tremors just wouldn't go away—until doctors realized that the trouble had actually been caused by the girl's ingestion of methamphetamine. The 17-month-old was then treated and discharged from the hospital, but her case doesn'...

Western US Poised for Worst Drought in 1K Years: Study

But experts say there's still time to change our ways

(Newser) - Within a few decades, a significant chunk of the US could be in for the worst drought in more than a millennium. That's if we don't change our greenhouse-gas-emitting ways, scientists say: A study co-author says the chance of a megadrought in the central and western US sometime...

'Megadrought' Could Come to Southwest: Study

3-decade dry spell could spark mass migration: experts

(Newser) - An "extreme" drought is already affecting 82% of California, researchers say, and 58% is facing an even worse "exceptional" drought—but perhaps the most worrying news deals with the possibility of a 30-year "megadrought." The odds of that occurring now range from 20% to 50% in...

Old Uranium Mines Still Haunt the Navajo

Retired Navajo miners suffer from high lung-cancer rates

(Newser) - During the Cold War, Navajos worked in uranium mines in the Southwest—which helped the US build atomic bombs and compete with the Soviets. Now those ex-miners are getting lung cancer at 29 times the rate of other Navajos, while their grown children become ill fairly often and their grandchildren...

80 mph Winds Rip Up West
 Santa Ana Winds Rip Up West 

Santa Ana Winds Rip Up West

Worst Santa Ana winds in decade knock out power for thousands

(Newser) - Winds topping 80mph blew down people and power lines and upended enormous trees that crushed cars and houses in a freak storm that raged through Southern California and the Southwest. The craziest Santa Ana winds in more than a decade left hundreds of thousands of people without power. "In...

US Sizzling in Record Heat
 US Sizzling in Record Heat 

US Sizzling in Record Heat

Fireworks canceled as skiers hit slopes above sweating throngs

(Newser) - The US is still sizzling in triple-digit temperatures as record heat threatens fireworks displays. Santa Barbara County has set up special cooling centers in libraries, senior centers and other community facilities as California struggles in 100+ degree heat, along with much of the Southwest and the lower Mississippi Valley. Several...

Clues Suggest How Grand Canyon Formed

New data explains rising of huge Colorado Plateau

(Newser) - We know the Grand Canyon was formed when the vast Colorado plateau rose from the ground, then eroded. But scientists have long been stumped as to why the 130,000-square-mile region pushed more than a mile upward. Now, a team of researchers may have found the answer, and it lies...

Cracks Found in 3 More Southwest Planes

Review of 79 other Boeing 737-300s to be completed tomorrow

(Newser) - If you were terrified by the story of the five-foot-long hole that opened up in a Southwest plane Friday, you may not want to read further: The airline found small, subsurface cracks in three more planes that are similar to the cracks that may have played a role in that...

Mexican Wolf Recovery Is Howling Flop

(Newser) - A US effort to relocate endangered wolves along the Arizona-New Mexico border is actually rendering them extinct, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials moved eleven Mexican gray wolves to the Gila National Forest in 1998, where managers are trapping, penning, and shooting the wolves to control their roaming and cattle-killing...

WHO Chief Sees 'Pandemic Potential'

(Newser) - The World Health Organization believes the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and the southwestern United States could grow into a pandemic, the Washington Post reports. “It has pandemic potential,” said WHO’s director-general. “It is infecting people.” Margaret Chan cautioned that the WHO is still...

Passengers Air a Record Number of Complaints

Skies unfriendlier than ever

(Newser) - Airline passengers on domestic flights are unhappier than they've been in years, with consumer complaints up 60%, according to the annual Airline Quality Rating survey. Long delays, cancellations, overbooking, late arrivals, and lost baggage accounted for most of the complaints, which haven't been this bad since 2000, reports the AP....

Shining Sun Belt Beckons to Rust Belt's Weary

Southern populations, particularly in Texas, continue to explode

(Newser) - Americans are continuing to flock to the Sun Belt, reports the AP. Almost all of the 50 fastest-growing metro areas in 2006 and 2007 were in the South and West, and four of the top 10 were in Texas. None were in the Northeast. Experts say the Sun Belt's strong...

FAA Orders Inspections of Boeing 737s

Hundreds of jets to be checked for loose nut that caused China Airlines fire

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered airlines to inspect hundreds of Boeing 737s after a loose bolt punctured a China Airlines jet last week, causing a fire that destroyed the aircraft. Southwest, Delta, Continental, AirTran, Alaska Air, ATA and Aloha Airlines have 24 days to check for loose nuts on...

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