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Los Angeles abuzz about push for urban beekeeping PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 07:19

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For the past three years, Rob McFarland has kept a beehive filled with 25,000 bees on the roof of his house smack in the middle of West Los Angeles.

The bees occupy some prime real estate — they even have a view of the Hollywood sign — but for now, they are illegal squatters in the trendy neighborhood of bars and eateries near Santa Monica.

On Wednesday, the City Council will vote on whether to begin the process of granting bees like McFarland's legal status in LA's residential areas after a lengthy lobbying effort from bee lovers of all stripes.

"LA has an ideal climate and a ton for bees to forage on and is emerging as a real epicenter of urban beekeeping, but ironically, it's not legal here," said McFarland, who formed a group called HoneyLove.org to advocate for backyard beekeeping.

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Panel votes down heart safety claim for naproxen PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Health Writer   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 15:14

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — A majority of federal health experts said Tuesday that new research is not strong enough to conclude that naproxen, the pain reliever in Aleve and many other medications, is safer on the heart than rival drugs used by millions of Americans to treat arthritis and everyday aches and pains.

The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted 16-9 against the conclusion that naproxen has a lower risk of heart attack and stroke than similar anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, sold as Advil and in other generic formulations.

The drugs, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, include over-the-counter medications like Aleve and Motrin as well as more high-powered prescription drugs like Celebrex, marketed by Pfizer to treat arthritis. Uniform labeling across all the drugs warns that they can increase the risk of heart attack and other life-threatening cardiovascular events. But debate over whether one drug in the class is actually safer than others has waged for more than a decade without a clear answer.

The FDA convened a two-day meeting this week to review the latest evidence, including a massive analysis published last year suggesting naproxen does not increase the risk of heart problems as much as its peers. Despite an apparent "drift" toward fewer heart problems with naproxen, a majority of panelists said the evidence was not conclusive and did not warrant changing the drug's label.

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Late-payment rate on mortgages falls in 4Q PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ALEX VEIGA, AP Business Writer   
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 07:18

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. homeowners are doing a better job of keeping up with mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the rate of late payment on home loans to the lowest level in more than five years.

The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell in the October-December quarter to 3.85 percent from 5.08 percent a year earlier, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday.

The last time the mortgage delinquency rate was lower was 3.61 percent in the second quarter of 2008. The firm's data go back to the second quarter of 2007.

The latest rate also declined from 4.09 percent in the third quarter, the firm said.

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Colorado mulls lessons from first month of pot sales PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 07:27

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's marijuana experiment is going well, but there's a lot of work to do regulating the newly legal drug, state regulators and lawmakers said Monday in a panel reviewing successes and failures of the nation's first retail pot industry.

Colorado's top marijuana regulator, Department of Revenue head Barbara Brohl, said it's too soon to know how much tax revenue legal weed is going to produce, but that Colorado appears to have avoided major public safety problems, at least in the six weeks since marijuana sales began.

On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow legal retail sales of recreational marijuana. Washington state, where voters also legalized the drug in 2012, is expected to launch its marketplace in the coming months.

Brohl said other states and nations have asked how Colorado is regulating marijuana, from product safety to rules on how retailers market and sell pot.

"We've had to kind of duplicate a lot of the things the federal government does when it comes to regulation," Brohl said.

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