Local News

  • US ready to strike back against China cyberattacks

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As public evidence mounts that the Chinese military is responsible for stealing massive amounts of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets, the Obama administration is eyeing fines and other trade actions it may take against Beijing or any other country guilty of cyberespionage.

    According to officials familiar with the plans, the White House will lay out a new report Wednesday that suggests initial, more-aggressive steps the U.S. would take in response to what top authorities say has been an unrelenting campaign of cyberstealing linked to the Chinese government. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the threatened action.

    The White House plans come after a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm released a torrent of details Monday that tied a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai to years of cyberattacks against U.S. companies. After analyzing breaches that compromised more than 140 companies, Mandiant has concluded that they can be linked to the People's Liberation Army's Unit 61398.

  • Official: Kansas City blast cause unclear, 14 hurt--Video Extra

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An official says 14 people have been confirmed as injured in a massive gas explosion in an upscale Kansas City shopping district.

    Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte says officials don't yet know if anyone was killed in the explosion, which destroyed JJ's restaurant.

    Authorities also are still trying to determine the full cause of the blast. Schulte says they do know there was a gas leak followed by an explosion. At this point, he says authorities believe it may have stemmed from an accident involving a utility contractor.

    Earlier police spokeswoman Rhonda Flores said it appeared that a car crashed into a gas main near JJ's just after 6 p.m.

    People have been cleared from the area around the restaurant.

  • Civil Air Patrol exercises
  • Public gets a look at Comprehensive Plan maps

     For some time now, the Planning and Zoning Commission, with the help of the Community and Economic Development Department, has been updating sections of Los Alamos County’s Comprehensive Plan, with a goal of updating the entire plan by the end of this year.

    With that target in mind, CEDD Senior Planner Gary Leikness began soliciting public input on new land use maps this week. Leikness presented the plan at a White Rock Master Plan and Implementation Advisory Committee Monday and at a public meeting in Los Alamos Wednesday.

    Leikness explained the difference between zoning maps and Comprehensive Plan maps.

    “The zoning map establishes people’s property rights: how high they can build, how close to the property line they can build, what they can build, what they can operate, whether it’s residential or commercial,” Leikness said.

    “The comp plan map is a visioning tool. It allows the county to say this is how we want to grow and the land uses we desire in these areas. The comp plan maps will steer decisions such as rezoning requests. The zoning and the comp plan map aren’t going to be that different.”

  • Rookie legislator comes out swinging

    Stephanie Garcia Richard has been busy during her first term as a legislator.

    Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba) has sponsored 11 different bills during her first session in the state legislature.

    Some probably will not make it through committees, but others surely will.

    Garcia Richard said one of the bills —House Joint Memorial Bill10, Renewable Energy Storage Initiatives — could make it to the house floor as soon as this Tuesday.

    “It basically asked the Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural resources, to develop a task force focused on developing energy storage,” Garcia Richard said.

    While New Mexico has shown much potential in producing alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar, the problem has always been practical use. Energy experts say storing the energy (usually in the form electricity) is the key to making it practical.

    “We have the technology, it’s just we don’t have the mechanism to incentivize the process,” Garcia Richard said.

  • Today in History for Tuesday, February 19th
  • 10 things to know for Tuesday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:


    House lawmakers in the state approve new ammunition limits, universal background checks. The Senate still needs to consider the proposals.

    2. "HE'S BACK!"

    Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela, but questions remain about the president's health following cancer treatment in Cuba.


    Oakley and Nike won't be using Oscar Pistorius in any new ads, in light of the murder charge he faces.


    A leak in a fuel oil return line caused the engine-room blaze that disabled the vessel at sea, the Coast Guard says.

  • Slew of animal protection bills pending

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Coming off years of drought and recession that have taken a toll on animals as well as humans, New Mexico lawmakers are considering more than two dozen animal protection bills that propose everything from raising money for starving horses to increasing penalties for neglecting pets.

    Elizabeth Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection New Mexico, and Dawn Glass, marketing manager for Animal Humane, agree the number of bills aimed at helping animals is higher than usual this year. One reason, they say, is the increased awareness of the link between cruelty to animals and abuse of people.

    "It's a chronic problem," Glass said, "and recent studies have shown that animal cruelty is so closely linked with domestic abuse and child abuse that it shouldn't just be an issue with animal lovers, it should be an issue to everyone in our community."

    Jennings said that awareness has spread throughout the law enforcement community, which is helping the cause.

  • 'Houdini Horse' Gets Attention for Escape Antics
  • Round-the-world UK cyclists killed in Thailand

    LONDON (AP) — A British couple's round-the-world cycling odyssey ended in tragedy when both of them were killed in a road accident in Thailand.

    Peter Root and Mary Thompson, who had been chronicling their journey in a blog, died Wednesday when they were hit by a pickup truck in a province east of Bangkok, Thai police said Monday.

    The couple, both 34 and from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, left Britain in July 2011 and had cycled through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China.

    The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the couple, who met in art school and spent six years saving money and planning their journey, Peter's father Jerry Root told the Associated Press in an interview.

    "They were both inspirational," Jerry Root said. "They didn't just talk about it, they did it. I couldn't be prouder of them."