Letter Writing Campaign Targets Last Coastal Sand Mine in the Nation

Last March the California Coastal Commission told CEMEX that its sand mine in Marina violates the Coastal Act. A year later, the plant is still up and running while drawn out talks between the two continue. The mine is the last remaining coastal sand mine in the nation and it sits on the beach in the southern Monterey Bay – an area with the highest coastal erosion in the state. Non-profit Save Our Shores wants to keep pressure on agencies that could potentially close the mine. I spoke with Save Our Shores Executive Director Katherine O’Dea about a letter writing campaign they’re launching today.

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Thirteen members of a church choir were killed when their bus collided head-on with a pickup truck Wednesday afternoon in Texas. The crash happened about 75 miles west of San Antonio, outside Garner State Park in Uvalde County.

Chicago illustrator Emil Ferris has always be fascinated by monsters. As a kid, she would watch werewolf movies and find herself sympathizing with the wolf. Now 55, she's recently published her first graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.

"I always felt like [monsters] were kind of heroic because they were facing something," Ferris tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Becoming a monster sometimes isn't a choice that you have. We're all that; we're all 'the other' in one way or another."

Hearing From #BlackWomenAtWork

3 hours ago

When Sean Spicer said “stop shaking your head” to a black female reporter, it struck a wider nerve. We’ll listen to #BlackWomenAtWork.

In February of last year, Alaskan Gov. Bill Walker signed an administrative order to help jumpstart mariculture, or sea farming, in the state. One Juneau couple is whipping up a recipe to make local kelp an enticing business and snack. They're part of a growing number of startups that see Alaska seaweed as a marketable food.

Kelp has become a big part of Matt Kern and Lia Heifetz's relationship.

Updated: 5:13 p.m.

The vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee accused Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday of ordering a "deliberate campaign carefully constructed to undermine" last year's presidential election.

On the afternoon of April 14, 2016, Yu Huan, 22, and his mother were working at their brake disc company in eastern China's Shandong Province, when 11 men arrived and blocked the company's entrance, set up a grill and started drinking alcohol and barbecuing outside. It was the second day in a row that they'd been harassing the family.

Since the murder of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother in Malaysia last month, the two countries have been embroiled in a diplomatic spat over his body.

Malaysia's prime minister says his country is prepared to release the body of Kim Jong Nam and allow an unspecified number of North Koreans to depart, in exchange for the return of nine Malaysians who had been blocked from leaving North Korea. He said a plane carrying the Malaysians had already taken off from Pyongyang.

A Mexican state's top law enforcement official has been accused of conspiring to smuggle and sell heroin, cocaine and other drugs, after he was arrested by U.S. agents this week in San Diego. According to an arrest warrant, Nayarit state Attorney General Edgar Veytia used the name "Diablo" and other aliases.

U.S. prosecutors say they'll seek to compel Veytia to forfeit some $250 million if he's convicted.

During his first trip to Turkey as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson said the U.S. and its NATO ally were struggling with "difficult choices" on a strategy to defeat the Islamic State in Syria.

The U.S. has been trying to balance its reliance on Turkey in the fight against ISIS with its support for Kurdish fighters in northern Syria — which infuriates Turkey. Tillerson said he and Turkish leaders discussed options for how to clear the extremist group from its remaining strongholds, such as Raqqa, and stabilize those areas.

While the political world continues to focus on the machinations of congressional investigations about Russia (which won't have conclusions drawn for months, if not longer) and where health care goes from here, there's another, arguably more important story going on — ramped-up military engagement.

Here's the New York Times Thursday:

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