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Nature's Nightmares
March 31, 2014
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For years, experts have been saying "The Big One" — a high-magnitude earthquake that is bound to hit Southern California and cause a devastating amount of death and destruction — will likely occur on the San Andreas fault, which meanders its way through the fringes of the Los Angeles suburbs. But recent activity on the Puente Hills fault has scientists worried that The Big One could be even more catastrophic.

The U.S. Geological Survey and Southern California Earthquake Center have estimated that a large-scale quake on the Puente Hills fault — which runs from northern Orange County through downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood — could kill anywhere from 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damages, the Los Angeles Times reports. The intense destruction would be due to the vulnerability of older buildings in downtown L.A. and Hollywood, and the fact that Puente Hills is a horizontal fault, which means shaking is likely to be felt over a larger area.

By contrast, if a magnitude 8 were to strike on the San Andreas, the damage would still be terrible, but not as severe — the number of estimated deaths is 1,800. To further terrify all Southern California residents, experts think that the Puente Hills fault has a giant quake about every 2,500 years, and they aren't sure when the last one was; Puente Hills was an "invisible" fault until 1999, and was discovered only after scientists put sensors underground. Read more about the fault and the damage it could cause at the Los Angeles Times. Catherine Garcia

Immigration
12:51 p.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Presidential hopeful and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) spoke to a crowd in Laconia, New Hampshire, on Saturday about the need to crack down on legal immigration enforcement.

He rejected competitor Donald Trump's idea to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexican border, but suggested if he becomes president, he'd use FedEx's package tracking strategies to more closely track people entering the country:

The minute they come in, we lose track of them? So here's what I'm going to do as president: I'm going to ask Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express, to come work for the government for three months at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people. We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in, and then when your time is up... however long your visa is, then we go get you. We tap you on the shoulder and say, "Thanks for coming. Time to go." [The Star-Ledger]

This isn't the first time Republicans have used FedEx rhetoric to talk immigration policy, but it's also worth noting that Smith's daughter, Samantha, serves as Christie's campaign spokeswoman.

Christie also criticized President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers on Saturday, calling the U.S. under his oversight "a nation of lawlessness," The Star-Ledger reports. Julie Kliegman

findings
12:25 p.m. ET

Researchers at an archaeological site in Catalonia, Spain, discovered an inner part of a cave that may have been used for sleeping, the first such area linked to a Neanderthal site, Archaeology reports.

The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology archaeologists say the sleeping area found at Abric Romaní is distinctive from other parts of the cave because it features a lower density of artifacts. They also found a hole near a wall that may have been used to heat water 60,000 years ago.

The potential bedroom and water-heating system were found among 10,000 Neanderthal artifacts researchers found at the site in August. Julie Kliegman

Quotables
11:55 a.m. ET
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Tom Ford

In a tease Thursday for her upcoming Elle UK cover story, Miley Cyrus said she identifies as pansexual, which means she considers herself attracted to people of all gender identities.

"I'm very open about it — I'm pansexual," she said. "But I'm not in a relationship. I'm 22, I'm going on dates, but I change my style every two weeks, let alone who I'm with."

The pop star and upcoming VMAs host had described her fluid sexuality similarly, without using the word pansexual, in a June not-safe-for-work photoshoot with Paper Magazine.

"I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age," she said. "Everything that's legal, I'm down with. Yo, I'm down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me. I don't relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl."

You might say she's just being Miley. Julie Kliegman

Uber Empire
11:22 a.m. ET
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Uber hired the two men who gained notoriety after remotely hacking a moving Jeep Cherokee in July, the company said Friday. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will join the company's Pittsburgh-based Advanced Technologies Center, which has been upping its research on the technology behind self-driving cars, Reuters reports.

Miller and Valasek join the same center where Uber hired away dozens of Carnegie Mellon University's top scientists and researchers earlier in 2015. The company, valued at more than $50 billion, also announced Tuesday a partnership with University of Arizona focused on mapping research and safety technology for self-driving cars.

After Miller and Valasek exposed the vulnerability in a hardware chip that connects Fiat Chrysler cars to the internet, the company recalled 1.4 million vehicles. Julie Kliegman

drake isn't worthy
10:54 a.m. ET
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For what's believed to be the first time in history, the U.S. Open women's singles final sold out before the men's singles final, ESPN reports.

There's one reason why: Serena Williams. A victory for the tennis goddess and upcoming tournament's top seed would make history by completing her 2015 Grand Slam sweep, a feat no woman has accomplished since Steffi Graf in 1988. Williams has 21 Slam titles to her name, just three fewer than record holder Margaret Court.

Seats for the women's final, which doesn't even sell out some years, are trading at three times their usual value, according to the United States Tennis Association.

Open play begins Monday. Julie Kliegman

what a pair
10:34 a.m. ET

A ghost of Republican Party past sat down with its current presidential frontrunner Friday night. Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, both known for their colorful, unpredictable sound bites, were surprisingly tame throughout the One America News Network interview, which was more lovefest than hard-hitting policy chat.

"They need someone to fire all those political correct police," Palin said by way of introducing Trump. Trump later called Palin a "terrific person" and also praised her family. He's said before he'd love for Palin to join his administration should he win office.

In between compliments, the two criticized media coverage of conservative candidates, the country's tax code, and treatment of veterans. Watch the softball exchange below. Julie Kliegman

2016 Watch
8:47 a.m. ET
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addressed the Democratic National Committee in Minneapolis on Friday, taking the opportunity to criticize party leaders over the midterm elections and their hesitancy to take his candidacy seriously, Politico reports.

"Let me be very clear. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate, will not gain the House and will not be successful in dozens of governor's races unless we run a campaign which generates excitement and momentum and which produces a huge voter turnout," said Sanders, who is not a member of the party.

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who reportedly has a strong grip on party superdelegates, expressed frustration Friday at the continuing focus on her use of a personal email server while secretary of state. Long-shot candidates Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee also spoke, while Jim Webb skipped the meeting. Julie Kliegman

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