Only in America
May 1, 2013

A New Hampshire man lost his life savings on a carnival game as he tried in vain to win the grand prize, an Xbox Kinect. Henry Gribbohm, 30, was playing a game called "Tubs of Fun," in which you throw balls into tubs. He quickly lost $300, then went home to get the rest of his life savings — which he subsequently lost. All told, Gribbohm lost $2,600 and left with only a stuffed banana. Samantha Rollins

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Retired Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen Jr., the first black Marine Corps aviator and officer promoted to brigadier general, died Tuesday. He was 83.

Petersen was born March 2, 1932, in Topeka, Kansas. After serving two years in the Navy, Petersen was commissioned in the Marine Corps. He flew more than 350 combat missions and more than 4,000 military aircraft hours, and received the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Petersen's wife, Alicia, said that her husband didn't see himself as a trailblazer, but he did work toward equality in the Marine Corps. "He was a man who had very strong character, strong goals, and a lot of determination to achieve what he wanted to do," she told the Topeka Capital-Journal. "And very early on he decided that he wanted to be a pilot." In 1979, he was promoted to brigadier general, and in 2010, was appointed by President Obama to the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy. Petersen is survived by his wife, five children, one grandson, and three great-grandchildren. In the video below, Petersen describes what it was like to be in the military during the 1950s, and the obstacles he faced. Catherine Garcia

fighting the drought
August 27, 2015
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In July, California cut its water use by 31.3 percent, exceeding a goal of 25 percent set by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in April.

Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco were among the cities that saved the most, and Beverly Hills was at the bottom of the list. "San Francisco is achieving 17 percent of cumulative savings, and that's a real success story," said Max Gomberg, climate and conservation manager at the State Water Board Office of Research, Planning, and Performance. He told Al Jazeera other cities should take a look at its "edgy, some might even call R-rated" public awareness campaign, with slogans that include "Nozzle Your Hose: Limit outdoor watering" and "Gardens Gone Wild: Use native, water-efficient plants."

Education about the drought is one factor in the push to conserve water, and peer pressure is another. When people see their neighbors letting their lawns go brown, it shows that they are "taking action," says Jon Christensen of the UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability. "It really makes a difference." Catherine Garcia

fight against ISIS
August 27, 2015
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The United States has asked Uzbekistan to join the coalition against Islamic State, a U.S. official said Thursday.

Daniel Rosenblum, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia, told reporters the country can choose how it would like to contribute to the fight against ISIS, Reuters reports. The coalition's mission has a military component and five or six other "lines of effort," Rosenblum said.

Uzbekistan is home to 31 million people, mostly Muslims. The country has been a NATO partner and assisted in the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan's president, Islam Karimov, has been criticized by Western governments and human rights organizations for suppressing dissent, but officials say they have to take a tough stance in order to keep militants like ISIS at bay. Catherine Garcia

Mars or Bust
August 27, 2015
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If Buzz Aldrin has his way, Mars will be colonized by 2039.

The second man to walk on the moon has partnered with the Florida Institute of Technology to open the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute this fall. Aldrin, who has a doctorate in science from MIT, will serve as a senior faculty adviser and research professor of aeronautics, The Associated Press reports. Aldrin, 85, said he wants to develop a "master plan" to get Mars colonized, with international input and approval from NASA. NASA is working on building rockets and spacecrafts to transport astronauts to Mars by the mid-2030s.

Aldrin set 2039 as a target date because that will be the 70th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He's already thinking that two of the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, will be the first stops for astronauts, and he thinks it makes sense for people to live there for 10 years. "The Pilgrims on the Mayflower came here to live and stay," he said. "They didn't wait around Plymouth Rock for the return trip, and neither will people building up a population and a settlement [on Mars]." Catherine Garcia

29th time's a charm?
August 27, 2015

After 28 unsuccessful bids for freedom, Manson Family member Bruce Davis was found eligible for parole on Thursday, California state corrections officials said.

The 72-year-old was convicted in 1972 for the murders of aspiring musician Gary Hinman and Donald "Shorty" Shea, a stuntman who worked at a ranch where Charles Manson and his followers once lived. Hinman's body was found at Davis' home, alongside the words "political piggy" written in blood on the wall, the Los Angeles Times reports. Davis said he had nothing to do with the Manson Family's infamous 1969 murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

The finding is now under a 120-day review, and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) could block Davis' release. He has been found eligible for parole previously, but all motions were reversed by the governors at the time, with Brown saying in 2014 that Davis is "still dodging responsibility" for his role in the murders. During his 40 years in prison, Davis has earned his doctoral degree in religion, married, and fathered a child. Catherine Garcia

campaign 2016
August 27, 2015
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Univision anchor Jorge Ramos is calling on his fellow reporters to start asking Donald Trump tougher questions, especially concerning his immigration policy.

"He hasn't been challenged enough," Ramos told Time. "He hates to be challenged and it is time that we start doing it." Ramos had a run-in with the GOP presidential frontrunner Tuesday in Iowa, when he asked him a question about immigration and deportation. Trump told Ramos he hadn't called on him and he needed to sit down, and added, "Go back to Univision." Ramos was escorted out of the room by security, and although he returned a few minutes later, his question went unanswered. Ramos said he's particularly bothered by the fact that Trump had not explained how he will implement deportations or the building of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. When Time asked Trump how he would deport undocumented immigrants, he replied, "It's called management."

Ramos said that response isn't helpful. "If he wants to do it in the short term, he would need to use the army, use stadiums, public places," he said. "The only way to do that would be to use trains and buses and airports to deport millions of people. It's in a scale never seen before in the world. And it is incredibly dangerous." Ramos, who reaches an audience of 2 million viewers nightly, hopes Trump will agree to an interview soon. "If it happens, it will be an uncomfortable interview for him for sure," Ramos said. "He can't and he should not get away with empty promises. At stake is the future of this country." Catherine Garcia

August 27, 2015
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

In a 3-2 ruling split down party lines, the National Labor Relations Board revised its "joint employer" standard, a decision that could have huge ramifications for franchise businesses like McDonald's.

The board decided that the waste management company Browning Ferris Industries is a joint employer alongside one of its subcontractors, the staffing firm Leadpoint Business Services. The Teamsters wanted Browning Ferris to be named a joint employer so it would have to join Leadpoint at the bargaining table.

The ruling makes it difficult for a company like McDonald's to stay one step removed from the workers employed at its franchises. About 90 percent of the fast food chain's locations are run by franchisees, and each franchise is considered the employer of its workers, not McDonald's, The Huffington Post reports. Under these new loosened standards, McDonald's could end up having to bargain with workers employed by a franchisee.

The Democratic members of the board wrote in their decision that it is "not the goal of joint-employer law to guarantee the freedom of employers to insulate themselves from their legal responsibility to workers, while maintaining control of the workplace. Such an approach has no basis in the [National Labor Relations] Act or in federal labor policy." Labor unions say it only makes sense for a parent company to be legally responsible for employees who represent their company, even if they don't necessarily sign their paychecks. Franchisers argue it will give the parent company too much control over their business. Catherine Garcia

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