Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST PM (Sep. 23)—Buffer zone, chromosome, mobile phone and what happens if the government shuts down

1. Bicycle buffer zone: New law defines safe passing distance between cyclists and vehicles (KPCC)

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Monday a measure that defines the space required between bicycles and vehicles on public streets as three feet. Previous legislation stated that drivers could pass cyclists at a safe, but undefined, distance.

2. How a pregnant woman's choices could shape a child's health (NPR)

There's growing evidence that epigenetics — which involves the mechanisms that turn individual genes on and off in a cell — is critical in determining a child's risk of developing problems ranging from autism to diabetes, according to new research.

3. Unauthorized immigration may be rising, but not in California (KPCC)

After nearly two decades of decline, the nation's unauthorized immigrant population may be rising, but a newly released report by the Pew Hispanic Center shows no evidence of an increase in California. According to the report, the estimated number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. was 11.7 million in March 2012.

4. Getty Center preview: Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister (KPCC)

900 years ago, if you were a European peasant or serf, you were almost certainly unable to read. But if you were expected to be a good Christian anyway—which meant knowing the basic stories and scriptures and characters of the bible—how did you manage?  The answer has a lot to do with the art of the European Middle Ages.

5. Apple sells 9 million new iPhones in opening weekend (KPCC)

Sales of its new iPhone 5s and 5c models have surpassed other iPhone releases and exceeded initial supply. The phones went on sale Friday in the U.S. as well as in many parts of Europe and Asia, including China. That was a departure from previous releases, in which American consumers were able to buy their smartphones weeks or even months ahead of the international market.

6. Brown signs bill creating 'eraser button' for online posts (KPCC)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law Monday that requires websites, mobile apps, and online services aimed at minors, and which collect their information, to offer young web users an option to delete or remove the information they post. Critics say it's hard to regulate the Internet.

7. $4.7 Billion Deal Would Take BlackBerry Private (NPR)

A consortium of investors lead by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered BlackBerry a $4.7 billion buyout, pending "due diligence," the company said on Monday. The deal — which comes just days after BlackBerry announced a nearly $1 billion quarterly loss and that it was shedding about 40 percent of its workforce — would take the struggling telecommunications firm into the private market, paying investors about $9 per share in cash.

8. Hollywood convinces LA to repaint Spring Street bike lanes (KPCC)

The city is in the midst of scraping and repainting bright green lanes on Spring Street to appease a coalition from the film industry who say the distinct color is ruining their film shoots claiming the modern lanes make the street less flexible as a backdrop for different decades. Cyclists say safety should outweigh Hollywood's concerns.

9. 8 things to know about a government shutdown (NPR)

In seven days, the federal government runs out of money. While the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution Friday that keeps the government funded through Dec. 15, the measure also defunded President Obama's signature health care law — which means it has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate. If a budget resolution doesn't hit President Obama's desk before Oct. 1, the government will be forced to close its doors.

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