Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST PM (Sep. 12)—Twitter going public, NASA going beyond the solar system, farmers on climate, wage hike, the blobfish


1. Twitter tweets its intention to go public (NPR)

After much speculation, Twitter has announced its intention to be traded as a public company. The 200-million-user microblogging service made the announcement, naturally, through a tweet:

"We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale."

2. Voyager 1 boldy goes beyond the solar system (KPCC)

Voyager 1 has crossed a new frontier — it's the first spacecraft ever to leave the solar system, NASA said Thursday.

Thirty-six years after it was launched from Earth, the plutonium-powered probe plowed through the hot plasma bubble surrounding the planets, and escaped the sun's influence. It's now cruising through what scientists call interstellar space — the vast, cold emptiness between the stars.

3. Over-served: LA health department brings restaurants into the obesity fight (KPCC)

A new program launched today by the L.A. County Department of Public Health aims at fighting obesity by getting restaurants to offer smaller versions of entrees and healthier kids' meal options.

Department director Dr. Jonathan Fielding says on average Angelenos eat out four times a week,  spending more than 40 percent of our food budget on meals away from home.

4. Farmers have a crop of climate change complaints (KPCC)

America's farmers are experiencing climate change in the fields. That's the message they delivered to Washington on Thursday.

They're asking for Congressional action on global warming, "robust" crop insurance to cope with weather-related losses and federal investment in research. Currently, a drought in the Midwest is affecting California's dairy farmers.

5. CREE creates LED lightbulb to compete with incandescents (KPCC)

There are roughly 500 million light bulbs in California, Incandescent bulbs account for 80 percent those in use.  The bulbs give off a lovely warm light, but they're not the most energy efficient.

Makers of the new CREE LED bulb say their product provides natural-looking light while using just a fraction of the energy of traditional bulbs.

6. The blobfish wins 'Ugliest Animal' by popular vote (NPR)

A British comedy and science organization called the Ugly Animal Preservation Society held an online vote to choose a mascot. The blobfish — a real creature that bobs around in the waters off Australi — won by almost 10,000 votes beating out bats, beetles and the proboscis monkey for the unusual honor.

In its Weird Fins podcast for kids, NOAA described the pouty, puffy animal as a "floppy water balloon," calling it a "mass of pale, jelly-like flesh."

7. Brown promises to sign minimum wage hike (KPCC)

California's minimum wage would go up next year for the first time since 2008 under an agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders announced Wednesday.

Under the deal, the state's $8-an-hour minimum wage would rise to $9 next July, and $10 in January 2016. That's faster than the original bill, but does not include automatic inflation adjustments as previously proposed.

8. More homes burned by Northern Calif. blaze (KPCC)

Crews assessing the damage from Shasta County's Clover Fire have determined that 68 homes were destroyed, up from the earlier tally of 37, a fire official said on Thursday. The count of outbuildings destroyed by the blaze also went up from 74 to 128.

The fire began Monday afternoon in the community of Happy Valley, about 150 miles north of Sacramento, and winds sent it spreading at 500 acres an hour.

9. 'This is not a game' says Kerry in meeting with Russian counterparts (AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his team met with Russian counterparts on Thursday, hoping to emerge with the outlines of a plan for securing and destroying stockpiles of Syrian chemical weapons in the midst of a brutal and unpredictable conflict.

Kerry bluntly rejected a Syrian pledge to begin a "standard process" by turning over information rather than weapons — and nothing immediately. "This is not a game," Kerry said, adding that nothing was standard about the process.

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