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Zika virus prompts travel alerts to Latin America

My family traveled to the Caribbean, Columbia and Panama over the New Year’s holiday. Our carefree trip might not be so carefree today. Several islands in the Caribbean, as well as Columbia and Panama, are listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel alerts, prompted by the outbreak of Zika virus infection. While we […]

Project’s completion a wish fulfilled

I’ve probably told some of this story before, but when wishes become reality, the story is worth telling again. The wish? Getting school supplies to Liberia where many children don’t have schools to go to. A year ago Tools of Learning for Children, the nonprofit I work with, received an email, out of the blue. […]

Instagrams of ‘Dog Named Jimmy’ turned owner’s life around

LOS ANGELES — Rafael Mantesso turned 30 in an empty Brazilian apartment after divorce left every wall, floor, closet and shelf bare. The only things he had left were his cellphone and a pit bull named Jimmy Choo that his neighbors went out of their way to avoid. When he turned 33 on Jan. 14, Mantesso […]

Republicans now have no anti-Trump strategy

Even though everyone has expected for weeks that Donald Trump would win the New Hampshire primary, the scale of that win should unsettle both his rivals and the pundits. Trump won big: He swept nearly every demographic category. He won young and old, men and women, independents and Republicans, first-time voters and returning ones, moderates […]

Sanders, Trump sell magic to entice voters

The New Hampshire results have solidified the reigning cliche that the 2016 campaign is an anti-establishment revolt of both the left and the right. Largely overlooked, however, is the role played in setting the national mood by the seven-year legacy of the Obama presidency. Yes, you hear constant denunciations of institutions, parties, leaders, donors, lobbyists, […]

Cruz supporter shows anti-Semitic side

I recently mentioned a certain uneasiness about Sen. Ted Cruz announcing his candidacy at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, but, believe it or not, I remained open-minded about the senator’s strong fusion of religion and politics. Now there is no doubt in my mind that politics is religion, and religion is politics. Let me […]

Scorched-earth campaign may cost next president

There is a red and blue political divide in the U.S. that this election is only exacerbating, with consequences for governing. Presidential campaigns are about choices, differences, especially between the parties. The 2016 divide between Republicans and Democrats is more intense and polarizing than usual. Two of the leading contenders, Sen. Ted Cruz, on the […]

Obama’s proposed oil tax is running on empty

President Barack Obama’s proposal to levy a $10-a-barrel tax on oil reminds me of an eternal truth that applies to almost all working humans: Once you know you are on short time, about to be transferred or discharged, a certain puckish insouciance seeps into the performance of your daily duties. Presidential budgets are always more […]

Using Israel as an example

The Baltic States need to start thinking a little more like Israel. A new report from the Rand Corporation, funded by the U.S. Army, has published evidence for a truth long known: A Russian invasion of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania would quickly succeed – within 60 hours, to be precise. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization […]

Question of the week: Should women have to register for the military draft?

The top Army and Marine Corps generals told senators Tuesday since women should be eligible for combat jobs they also should have to register for the draft. Do you agree? Take part in our poll. Last week’s question: Would you support a state ballot initiative to free certain felons earlier? Yes: 12 percent No: 88 […]

Question of the week: Should women have to register for the military draft?

The top Army and Marine Corps generals told senators Tuesday since women should be eligible for combat jobs they also should have to register for the draft. Do you agree? Take part in our poll. Last week’s question: Would you support a state ballot initiative to free certain felons earlier? Yes: 12 percent No: 88 […]

Austrian police: 5 skiers killed in ‘massive’ avalanche

BERLIN — Five people were killed Saturday when a “massive” avalanche in the Austrian Alps struck skiers from the Czech Republic taking part in a freeriding camp, police said. Two other skiers were injured and ten were rescued unharmed, Tirol police spokesman Helmut Schuetz said. He said the skiers were moving in two separate groups […]

Turkey under pressure as Syrians mass at border

BEIRUT — Turkey came under mounting pressure to open its border Saturday as tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing a government onslaught sought entry and the European Union called on Ankara to grant them refuge. As many as 35,000 Syrians have massed along the closed border, according to Suleyman Tapsiz, governor of the Turkish border […]

Somali officials: Suicide bomber may have blown hole in jet

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A suicide bomber is suspected to have set off the explosive that blew a hole in a jetliner, sucked the man out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing on Tuesday in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, Somali officials said Saturday. “Experts who were investigating the cause of the […]

Colombia: 3,177 pregnant women with Zika; no microcephaly

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday that there’s no evidence Zika has caused any cases of the birth defect known as microcephaly in his country, though it has diagnosed 3,177 pregnant women with the virus. Santos also announced that a U.S. medical-scientific team will arrive in Colombia to help investigate the […]

Romance on the Big Sur Coast

CARMEL HIGHLANDS — The memory of the Hyatt Carmel Highlands has stayed with us all these years since our first visit to the romantic hotel 35 years ago. Perched on a hillside overlooking California’s magnificent Big Sur coastline, it’s the perfect getaway: crashing waves, pristine solitude, the charming village of Carmel just 4 miles down the road […]

A little of this, a little of that

This column is about several topics. A follow-up on the Kaiser Pharmacy column, “Obamacare” at Kaiser, food and the passing of a friend. Let’s start with the passing of Roger Williams. Roger was one of the founders of the Sunset McDonald’s Morning Coffee Group some 20 years ago. He was a good human being. He was […]

February 06, 2016 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Official: Massive LA-area gas leak could be capped in a week

LOS ANGELES — A California official outlined a plan Thursday to cap the massive Los Angeles-area gas leak by the end of next week. Wade Crowfoot, an adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, told residents of Porter Ranch that the final phase to intercept the ruptured well should start Monday. It is then expected to take […]

First research links California quakes to oil operations

SAN FRANCISCO — A 2005 spate of quakes in California’s Central Valley almost certainly was triggered by oilfield injection underground, a study published Thursday said in the first such link in California between oil and gas operations and earthquakes. Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Southern California and two […]

Fairfield police log: Feb. 3, 2016

5:14 a.m. — Drunken driver, CLAY BANK ROAD 6:51 a.m. — Vandalism, 1300 block of JEFFERSON STREET 8:20 a.m. — Residential burglary, 1500 block of KENTUCKY STREET 9:07 a.m. — Forgery, 1000 block of WEBSTER STREET 9:34 a.m. — Forgery, 1000 block of WEBSTER STREET 10:51 a.m. — Vehicle theft, 700 block of TRAVIS BOULEVARD 10:56 a.m. — Forgery, 1000 block of WEBSTER STREET 11:14 a.m. — Embezzlement, 3300 block of NORTH TEXAS […]

No one submits verified claim for $63 million lotto jackpot

LOS ANGELES — Luck may have run out for the winner of a California Lottery jackpot: The person has apparently let $63 million slip away. Nobody showed up at a state lottery office by 5 p.m. Thursday with the ticket or submitted a verified claim for the prize, lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said. A lawsuit […]

A German lesson for Clinton’s email scandal

The more threatening Hillary Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified information becomes to her chances at the presidency the more I think the story has a relevant precedent. In 1974, 12 days after it was revealed that his personal assistant had been an East German spy, Willy Brandt, the chancellor of West Germany, announced his resignation. […]

Japan resorts to interest rates of less than zero

By now, financial markets have absorbed the news that the Bank of Japan has decided to implement negative interest rates. In doing so, the Bank of Japan follows Europe, which sent rates slightly below zero in 2014. Presumably, the new target of minus 0.1 percent will be achieved through more purchases of assets such as exchange traded […]

Boosters get to settle a player’s rape case

Florida State University has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a federal Title IX lawsuit brought by a former student who accused quarterback Jameis Winston of sexually assaulting her in 2012. The school is on the hook for around another $1.7 million in legal fees. According to the Tampa Bay Times’s Matt Baker, the state […]

February 03, 2016 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

In latest fad, Thais treat ‘child angel’ dolls like progeny

BANGKOK — Mix one part superstition, two parts fashion, a dab of celebrity idolatry and a heap of media frenzy, and what do you get? “Child angel” dolls, the latest craze in Thailand. The dolls occupy a niche somewhere between Buddhist amulets, beloved by gamblers, gangsters and policemen for their reputed magical protective powers, and Furby […]

Turkish police recover painting resembling Picasso’s work

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish police and media say police have recovered an oil painting that looks like a Picasso in a sting operation in Istanbul. The state-run Anadolu Agency said Saturday that police posed as buyers for the painting, detaining two suspects who tried to sell it for $8 million. Anadolu said the painting, which […]

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2016

12:13 a.m. — Drunken driver, EASTBOUND INTERSTATE 80 12:42 a.m. — Reckless driver, LOCH LOMOND WAY 1:27 a.m. — Battery, TABOR AVENUE 6:42 a.m. — Residential burglary, 800 block of INVERNESS COURT 7:30 a.m. — Battery, 100 block of STEPHEN STREET 8:47 a.m. — Hit-and-run property damage, 2200 block of NORTH TEXAS STREET 8:52 a.m. — Reckless driver, NORTH TEXAS STREET 9:04 a.m. — Commercial burglary, 1900 block […]

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