Nation in Brief

May 2, 2013 Updated: May 2, 2013

Monster Beverage Sues San Francisco

The Monster Beverage Co., which produces a line of energy drinks, is suing San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera for allegedly treating the company unfairly. Last year, Herrera asked Corona, Calif.-based Monster to produce documentation showing that its products are safe. Since then, Herrera has asked the company to redesign its drinks and change the printed labels and marketing materials.

Russians Charging NASA $71 Million Per Seat on Space Trip

Since the Space Shuttle was decommissioned, NASA has hired Russia to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station at $70.6 million per seat. The total cost of six astronauts, including training for 2016 and 2017 voyages, comes to about $424 million. NASA blames Congress for the $424 million cost as a result of a failed funding approval for their commercial space initiatives.

11 Billion Gallons of Sewage Blamed on Superstorm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy caused 11 billion gallons of mostly untreated sewage to spill into neighboring bodies of fresh water. The science group Climate Central analyzed the findings and stated that rising sea levels could cause more sewage overflows in the future. The bacteria in sewage can spread disease and causes contamination problems in shellfish.

Internet Gambling Legal in Nevada

Internet gambling, specifically poker, is now officially legal in the state of Nevada. All Internet gambling was declared illegal by the Department of Justice in 2011. A website run by Ultimate Gaming, a Las Vegas-based casino subsidiary, officially launched their fully legal poker site on Tuesday, April 30.

Famous Parachute Packer Found Dead

Earl Cossey, 71, the man who packed the parachutes for the mysterious skyjacker D.B. Cooper was found dead in his home from blunt force trauma to the head on Friday, April 26. His death is being ruled a homicide, which was most likely committed April 23. Authorities believe that the death of Cossey is not linked to the unsolved D.B. Cooper case.

Fidel Castro’s Niece to Receive Gay Rights Award in Philadelphia

Mariela Castro, daughter of current Cuban President Raul Castro and niece to former longtime Cuban President Fidel Castro, will be allowed to travel to Philadelphia to accept an award at the Equality Forum’s annual conference. She is being given the award for her stance on gay rights.

Meatpacking Town Sees Influx of Refugees

Columbus Junction, Iowa, home of Tyson Foods’ pork processing facility, has seen its share of immigrants. From Mexicans to El Salvadorans, the town of 2000 has accommodated many ethnicities. More recently, Chin Burmese have been slowly trickling in to escape religious persecution in their former homeland. The mostly Christian group now number about 400.

JFK Eternal Flame Undergoes Repairs

Monday, April 29, a torch was used to carry the flame from the eternal flame at JFK’s gravesite to a temporary location while workers repair the eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery. The work should be completed in late May and will include new gas lines and a more efficient burner.

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