The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST: Aug. 22—CBS, CVS, HIV, DWP, Bradley is Chelsea, Filner's future, freeway bus crash, gang injunction function

The L.A. County Fair Ferris wheel at sunset.
The L.A. County Fair Ferris wheel at sunset.
L.A. County Fair

1. Rim Fire triples in size overnight, 53,866 acres burned (KPCC)

The "Rim Fire" outside Yosemite National Park more than tripled in size overnight. Fire officials said Thursday the fire had grown to more than 84 square miles and was down to 2 percent containment. It threatens about 2,500 homes, hotels and camp buildings.

The fire destroyed two homes, seven outbuildings, led to the voluntary evacuations of the gated summer community of Pine Mountain Lake and caused a 4-mile closure of State Route 120. The park remains open and can be accessed via state Routes 140 and 4.

2. Bradley Manning says he's a woman named Chelsea (KPCC)

"I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible," reads a statement from 25-year-old Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to NBC-TV's Today show.

"Starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility)," the statement continued. Manning, the former intelligence analyst who was responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison.

3. 18 going on 21—LA city councilman wants to raise legal age to buy cigarettes (KPCC)

A Los Angeles city councilman wants to prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing cigarettes, though it's unclear whether the city has the authority to approve such a law.

Councilman Paul Koretz's motion asks that the legal age for cigarettes be raised from 18 to 21 in the City of Los Angeles. A report from the City Attorney's Office will be considered by the Public Safety and Arts committees.

4. Positive HIV test prompts call for porn moratorium (KPCC)

The adult film industry's trade association is calling for a moratorium on filming after an actor tested positive for HIV. The Free Speech Coalition said Wednesday the actor's sex partners are in the process of being tested.

The coalition's executive director did not identify the actor or say when he tested positive.

5. Unemployment rises after 5-year low (KPCC)

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week after reaching the lowest level in 5 ½ years. But the broader trend suggests companies are laying off fewer workers and could step up hiring in the months ahead.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for first-time benefits rose 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 in the week ending Aug. 17. That's up from 323,000 in the previous week, which was the lowest since Jan. 2008.

6. Operation Mountain Top' finds 92 pounds of meth (KPCC)

Federal authorities have indicted more than two dozen people linked to Southern California drug rings after a 20-month investigation of transportation networks that were used by drug suppliers in Mexico to transport methamphetamine and cocaine in hidden compartments into the United States.

Agents confiscated 92 pounds of meth and 50 kilograms of cocaine. Authorities have already arrested seven of the 30 people indicted in the case.

7. The looming gang injunction in Echo Park sparks resident debate (KPCC)

L.A. City Attorney's office announced in June it was requesting a gang injunction, or a so-called "safety zone," that would include 3.8 square miles of Echo Park, including parts of Silver Lake and Elysian Valley. A judge Wednesday allowed the city to move forward and set another hearing for October.

The injunction — which prohibits gang members from associating in public, wearing gang colors, or using gang hand signs — is aimed at six rival gangs: Big Top Locos, Crazys, Echo Park, Frogtown, and Head Hunters. It also lists 300 unnamed gang members and 10 associates as "JOHN DOES."

8. CBS announces deal with Verizon; Time Warner announces antennas (KPCC)

Nearly three weeks into the CBS blackout on Time Warner Cable, CBS inked a new three-year deal with Verizon. CBS says Time Warner was offered almost exactly the same deal as Verizon.

Meanwhile, TWC plans to provide free antennas. A spokesman said a limited supply would be available at service stores starting on Friday, and that $20 vouchers would available at participating Best Buy stores.

9. Casino-bound bus overturns on freeway injuring more than 50 people (KPCC)

52 people were injured after a charter bus headed to a casino overturned Thursday morning on the eastbound 210 Freeway near the 605.

Eight injuries were deemed "immediate," and five of those individuals — three females and two males — were taken to L.A. County/USC Medical Center. Those injured ranged in age from 60 to 80 years old.

10. San Diego MayorFilner's fate unknown after settlement proposal (KPCC)

A tentative deal has been reached involving the sexual harassment lawsuit against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, but it's unclear whether the agreement includes his resignation.

The agreement was announced after three days of mediation. Details are being held until the proposal is approved by the City Council, which could happen Friday.

11. Garcetti approves of tentative deal with DWP labor union (KPCC)

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti claimed victory Thursday in his battle to squeeze more contract concessions from the powerful union that represents Department of Water and Power workers.

"Today, the balance of power at the DWP shifts to the people," said Garcetti at a late morning news conference.  The mayor credited voters, in part, saying his May election over union-backed candidate Wendy Greuel paved the way for a tentative deal.

12. Glitch halts trading on Nasdaq for 3 hours (KPCC)

Trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange resumed Thursday after a three-hour halt caused by a technical glitch in a quote dissemination system.

The disruption sent brokers scurrying to figure out what went wrong and raised new questions about computer-driven stock trading. Nasdaq said it wouldn't be canceling any open orders, but that customers could cancel orders if they wanted to.

13. A funny thing happened on the way to the register (KPCC)

Bucking the trend toward digital receipts, CVS has instead been handing its "ExtraCare" customers comically long strips of paper at the checkout. How long are they? Long enough to become a meme.

Granted, coupons are attached, but the size of the receipt is still staggering. "In the time it takes for my receipt to print at CVS I'm able to regret every life decision I've ever made. Twice.," says Twitter user @lessbutmaur.

14. Obama proposes new system for rating colleges by 2015 (KPCC)

Calling higher education an "economic imperative," President Barack Obama is pushing for an ambitious new government rating system for colleges.

The rating system — which the president wants implemented before the 2015 school year — would judge schools on affordability and performance and ultimately determine how federal financial aid is distributed.