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Daily News Roundup for Wednesday July 15, 2015

photo credit: Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft as it passes Pluto and Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, in July 2015 / NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/Steve Gribben";s:3:

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Ex-husband describes bitterness in fight over frozen embryos // S.F. Gate

A man fighting his ex-wife’s attempt to bear children with the couple’s frozen embryos testified Tuesday that in the bitterness of their breakup, she suggested that he should pay millions for the embryos if she couldn’t use them, and later threatened to poison the children’s minds against him.

Stephen Findley is seeking to enforce a contract he signed with his wife, Mimi Lee, shortly after their marriage in September 2010. Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer just before the wedding, and the couple, fearing her treatment would cause infertility, used in vitro fertilization to produce five frozen embryos.


UC Berkeley’s persistent lack of faculty diversity prompts efforts to address issue // The Daily Californian

In 1989, a group of graduate students exposed what they called the “Zero Club” — the 28 departments at UC Berkeley with no underrepresented minority faculty.

In 2015, 20 of those 28 departments are still in existence, and despite efforts to increase diversity, 16 of the 20 still have no black or Latino faculty.

Recently, both the Graduate Assembly and the ASUC have addressed this issue by passing resolutions targeting faculty diversity. With the idea of tackling the issue directly, the assembly passed a bill in April endorsing the election of graduate students to participate in the hiring process as full voting members of the faculty search committee.


Pluto's New Horizons probe holds hopes, dreams of Bay Area scientists // San Jose Mercury News

As the New Horizons spacecraft hurtles past Pluto on Tuesday -- the farthest destination of any mission in human history -- it holds the hopes and dreams of Bay Area scientists who have devoted years to a stunningly intricate machine no larger than a grand piano.


California's distracted drivers more common this year, state says // Contra Costa Times

What many drivers notice every day became an official concern Tuesday, as a new study revealed that many more drivers are using their cell phones while driving -- up by 39 percent over last year.


S.F. Zoo’s missing snake mystery solved // SF Gate

A snake that had supposedly escaped from its cage at the San Francisco Zoo last week has been found — in its cage.

The now-famous 13-inch baron’s racer emerged at 3 p.m. Tuesday after zookeepers coaxed it out of its hiding spot. The snake, which lives in the new South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary exhibit, had presumably escaped and, possibly, been eaten by a bird.

“It never escaped at all, from what we can tell,” said zoo spokeswoman Nancy Crowley. “It was in the tank that it was always in. The snakes can camouflage themselves when they don’t want to be found. We coaxed it out by placing large plants inside the space.”