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Law makes bison official national mammal of the U.S.

Rare passage across the sun Mercury passed between Earth and the sun Monday in a 7 1/2-hour transit that happens only about 13 times a century. The transit is seen here in a photo taken in St. Petersburg, Russia, through a hydrogen-alpha narrow spectrum solar telescope. The next transit will occur in 2019, then it won’t happen again until 2032.  

Associated Press

Rare passage across the sun Mercury passed between Earth and the sun Monday in a 7 1/2-hour transit that happens only about 13 times a century. The transit is seen here in a photo taken in St. Petersburg, Russia, through a hydrogen-alpha narrow spectrum solar telescope. The next transit will occur in 2019, then it won’t happen again until 2032. 

Bison now official national mammal

The bison has become the official national mammal of the United States under legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama on Monday. Lawmakers spearheading the effort say the once-nearly extinct icon deserves the elevated stature because of its significance in the nation's history. Millions of bison once roamed the Great Plains. About 500,000 now live in the United States, but most of those have been crossbred with cattle. Supporters say the recognition will elevate the stature of the bison to that of the bald eagle, long the national emblem.

Fake psychic scam is shut down

Federal prosecutors in New York said Monday they have shut down a fake psychic scam that lured gullible Americans to part with $180 million. The defendants, including two alleged psychics from France, a Canadian direct-marketing company called Infogest and Hong Kong-based Destiny Research Center Ltd., have signed a consent decree barring them from using the U.S. mail to send letters claiming they can boost people's chances of inheriting money or winning the lottery, U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said. Prosecutors said the defendants sent letters urging the victims to buy various products to ensure good fortune came to pass. More than 1 million Americans took the bait.

el chapo closer to extradition

A federal judge in Mexico City has ruled that the extradition of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States can move ahead, Mexico's Judicial Council said Monday, but the Foreign Relations Department must still approve it and the defense can appeal. The council, which oversees Mexico's federal judges and tribunals, said the judge, who was not identified, had agreed that the legal requirements laid out in the extradition treaty between the two countries had been met.

By the Numbers

18.5 Maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the United States, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

6.1 Maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Japan and the United Kingdom.

Times wires

Law makes bison official national mammal of the U.S. 05/09/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 9, 2016 9:26pm]
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    Times Staff Writer

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