The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Sep. 12)—Painting brain tumors, super hybird salamanders, national hydration, wetland excavation

A dry, cracked river bed in San Joaquin County, California, circa 1950.
A dry, cracked river bed in San Joaquin County, California, circa 1950.
Boury/Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1. Hydration nation: First lady wants people to drink more water (AP)

Michelle Obama has pushed Americans to eat healthier and to exercise more. Now she says we should increase our water intake, saying it's the best thing people can do for their health.

"It's really that simple," she said in a White House statement. "Drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, your energy and the way you feel. So 'drink up' and see for yourself."

2. Native American artifacts destroyed in Bolsa Chica wetlands development (KPCC)

The California Coastal Commission Wednesday fined the owners of two parcels within the Bolsa Chica Wetlands $600,000 for digging on lands without a permit. Part of the order to restore the parcels includes the creation of a Native American cultural center.

The Commission ruled the properties within the wetlands were excavated without permits. A report said the un-permitted work destroyed buried Native American artifacts.

3. Sony, Universal, Warner sue SiriusXM for royalties (AP)

The music industry's largest record companies are suing SiriusXM Radio for royalties it says the satellite radio company didn't pay for recordings from before 1972.

Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group Recordings Inc., Warner Music Group Corp., and ABKCO a music rights management company for the Rolling Stones, The Animals and others, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday.

4. Playgrounds for everyone (NPR)

NPR launched a national guide to accessible playgrounds two weeks ago after realizing there was no official, comprehensive database of parks with components designed for kids with special needs. The community-edited guide has identified over 1,700 locations so far.

Submissions were received from 41 states and hundreds of cities. Parks in the Buckeye State received the most updates from users, followed closely by Texas, California and Missouri.

5. Tracking California's 'Super Salamanders' (KPCC)

The endangered California Tiger Salamander and the invasive Barred Tiger Salamander began inter-breeding years ago creating generations of hybrids that are aggressive, larger and are often better hunters than either parent.

Dangerous to the pond ecosystem, UCLA researchers now are trying to figure out how to handle the hybrids. It's unclear territory since part of its gene pool is a protected species.

6. Painting tumors could make brain surgeons better (NPR)

"Tumor Paint" is a molecule that consists of two parts — one is a chlorotoxin, a kind of protein that can attach itself to chloride channels on a cell surface; the other is a dye that will fluoresce when you shine a light on it.

The "paint" injected into a cancer patient's bloodstream will attach to the tumor and can be made to glow during surgery, making it easier to find and remove. It should also make less invasive surgery possible.

7. Forecast calls for Calif. to outpace nation in job growth (KPCC)

California will continue to outpace the nation in job growth over the next few years, narrowing an unemployment rate gap in a slow but uneven economic recovery that will leave unskilled workers behind, according to theUCLA Anderson Forecast released Thursday.

Economists said coastal areas like Orange County and San Diego are leading the state to a healthier economy.