About a week after the Trump Administration announced its plan to freeze federal fuel economy standards at 2020 levels, California announces it will keep its tougher emissions standards in place. Plus, Consumer Reports released its first-ever test-based rankings of peer-to-peer payment systems this week; we tell you which one's best. And we test a handful of air pollution masks to find out which are most effective.
USC President Nikias resigns
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For the last year and a half USC has been on a roller coaster of scandals — and the ride does not appear to be over. In May, professors revolted. They accused USC President C. L. Max Nikias of overseeing a campus administration that swept problems under the rug and publicly demanded his resignation. Three days later, he said he would. That was May. By the end of July, he had still not stepped down. In response, nearly 700 faculty wrote a letter saying the circumstances had created a "state of turmoil and uncertainty" on the campus. On Tuesday, Nikias appeared finally to relent.
- Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC education reporter
Air Resources Board releases plan to keep strict emissions standards in place
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Last week, the Trump administration proposed new regulations on car emissions that would also eliminate California's ability to set its own rules. Today, we talk with the California Air Resources Board about its own plan in response. In addition to setting our own stronger standards, car makers have to follow them if they want to sell in the state.
- Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board chair
South Bay air quality remains a problem
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Air quality and smog are a problem for many areas in Southern California, but a new report from the Southern California News Group shows Wilmington, San Pedro and Long Beach may bear the brunt of potentially harmful air pollutants. That's due to industrial plants and pollution from the port of L.A. and freeways.
- Sandy Mazza, Southern California News Group reporter
Air pollution masks that help you breathe easier when fires are burning nearby
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Due to the fires burning up and down the state and air quality taking a dive, we revisit a chat from October where we tested five different types of breathing masks to find out which ones work and which ones don't.
- Ed Avol, air pollution expert with the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California
California wildfire survivor details her ongoing struggles
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Some of the fires blazing across the state are pretty close to places that have recently burned, like Santa Rosa in Northern California. For people who survived last fall's massive firestorm there, it can be upsetting to smell smoke again, hear helicopters or even see flames light up their T.V. screens. The California Report's Lesley McClurg paid a visit to a woman in Santa Rosa who's been watching the hazy skies and feeling panicked.
LA's pro football teams are ready for kickoff
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Are you ready for some pre-season football? L.A.’s pair of NFL teams, the Rams and Chargers, get going this week and they’re expected to be playoff teams. With both getting ready to be in a new stadium two years from now, could they instead be on a collision course this season for the first ever all-Los Angeles Super Bowl?
- Andy and Brian Kamenetzky
Consumer Reports rates peer-to-peer digital payment systems
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About 80 million Americans use peer-to-peer digital payment systems. That's where you can send money from your bank account to friends and family just by using apps and web sites like Venmo, Apple Pay. Even Facebook. Consumer Reports released its first test-based ratings on peer-to-peer payments this week. The magazine judged them on things like how well they safeguard people's privacy and what happens if a person sends money to the wrong person by accident.
- Christina Tetreault, financial services expert at Consumer Reports magazine