January 25, 2016

It's estimated that the natural gas leak in Porter Ranch, California, has released the equivalent of 2.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide since it was reported in October.

That's more greenhouse gas than 44,000 cars emit in one year, the Los Angeles Times reports. The leak is from a failed well at the Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon storage facility, and has caused thousands of Porter Ranch residents to move. In November, Stephen Conley, a scientist at UC Davis, flew over Porter Ranch for the first time, finding methane levels at 50 parts per million, an amount so high, he told the Times, he had to double-check his instruments. "This is probably 20 times bigger than anything else we've measured," he said.

So much methane is being released that it's expected to boost global warming, experts say, and it will remain in the atmosphere even after the leak is stopped. The longer the leak stays open, the more difficult it will be for the state to reach its goal of reducing emissions of methane and other pollutants by 40 percent or more by 2030. "It's really moving us in the wrong direction," said John Herner of California's Air Resources Board. A spokesperson for SoCal Gas told the Times the reservoir has gone from being 90 percent full before the leak to at most 37 percent full on Jan. 10. The company does not have an estimate of the amount of gas released and won't be able to get one until the leak is stopped; it's believed that a relief well being dug now to seal off the damaged one will be completed by late February. Catherine Garcia

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Authorities in Montana are searching for a grizzly bear they say attacked and killed a bicyclist Wednesday afternoon as he rode through the Flathead National Forest outside of Glacier National Park.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said the person was killed about a mile from a West Glacier campground run by KOA, The Associated Press reports. Their name has not been released, pending family notifications. It's rare for a bear to attack in the area, and since Glacier National Park was established in 1910, park officials say there have been 10 bear-related human deaths. Catherine Garcia

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Even though he lost the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney says his family wants him to give the White House another shot this year.

"My wife and kids wanted me to run again this time," he told CBS News anchor John Dickerson Wednesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival. "I got an email from one of my sons yesterday, saying, 'You gotta get in, Dad. You gotta get in.'" He won't run, he said, as he doesn't think an independent candidate can win, and he wants to spare the feelings of his wife and children. "It's hard on family," Romney said. "It's hard on your spouse sitting there in debates agonizing over what you're going to say next or what your kids go through and your grandkids go through." Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2016
An Everest University campus.

The U.S. Department of Education will forgive $171 million of debt owed by more than 11,000 former students of the for-profit school Corinthian Colleges Inc., which declared bankruptcy in 2015.

The government is forgiving the loans under a federal law known as the "borrower defense," the Los Angeles Times reports, which relieves the debt of people able to prove they've been defrauded. The now-defunct Corinthian ran several colleges, including Heald, Everest, and WyoTech, which had high tuition rates and few admission requirements. In March, a judge in San Francisco County found that Corinthian made false or misleading statements about job placement rates for graduates, and the company was ordered to pay $820 million to students. When it claimed bankruptcy, Corinthian claimed to have $143 million in liabilities and only $19 million in assets.

The government is only looking at claims of students who took out loans in 2010 or later, and the average amount of debt relief per student is $15,280, the Times reports. Since 2010, nearly 350,000 Corinthian students have taken out about $3.5 billion in federal loans. Former student Tasha Rincon, 34, told the Times she owes more than$46,000 in loans for classes she took at an Everest campus in Ontario, California. She said she studied to become a probation officer, and was told by Corinthian that 93 percent of students in the program would get well-paying jobs. She could only find a minimum wage job as a security guard, and now works three hours a day serving lunch at a high school. Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2016
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An estimated 250 Islamic State militants were killed Wednesday after a series of U.S.-led airstrikes hit a convoy south of Fallujah, Iraq, U.S. officials told Reuters.

The strikes also destroyed at least 40 vehicles, and if the figures are confirmed, this would be one of the deadliest operations against the group. The airstrikes came one day after suicide bombers attacked an airport in Istanbul, killing 42 people. No organization has claimed responsibility, but ISIS is the prime suspect. Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2016
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On Wednesday, Michael Phelps became the first American male swimmer to qualify for five Olympic teams over the course of his career.

During the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, the 22-time Olympic medalist finished first in the men's 200-meter butterfly, at 1:54.84, automatically qualifying for the 2016 games in Rio. The 31-year-old will likely swim in multiple events. "Just being able to finish how I want to is so important to me," he said. "Getting on this team is what I wanted to do." Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2016
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CIA Director John Brennan is warning Americans that a deadly attack like the one Tuesday at an airport in Istanbul could soon happen in the United States.

No group has claimed responsibility yet for the attack, which left 42 people dead, but it has the hallmarks of an Islamic State operation. "I am worried from the standpoint of an intelligence professional who looks at the capabilities of Daesh…and their determination to kill as many people as possible and to carry out attacks abroad," he told Yahoo! News, using an acronym for ISIS. "I'd be surprised if Daesh is not trying to carry out that kind of attack in the United States." While the terrorists in San Bernardino and Orlando were inspired by ISIS, the group did not direct them to attack inside the U.S., and Brennan credits effective homeland security from preventing attacks plotted by ISIS.

Brennan said one reason why it looks like ISIS was behind the Istanbul attack is the fact the group often uses suicide vests during operations. "It's not that difficult to actually construct and fabricate a suicide vest…so if you have a determined enemy and individuals who are not concerned about escape, that they are going into it with a sense that they are going to die, that really does complicate your strategy in terms of preventing attacks," he said. Read more about why Brennan believes ISIS is targeting Turkey and how setbacks on the battlefield are driving militants to more attacks at Yahoo! News. Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2016
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Donald Trump's campaign has dramatically improved — mostly because the presumptive Republican nominee listened to his advice.

One change McConnell suggested was for Trump to stop making his usual freewheeling speeches, and instead come prepared to events with a script on a teleprompter. Trump has "made a lot of progress toward passing what I would consider sort of the credibility threshold that you need to pass in order to be considered for the most important political job in the country," McConnell told The Associated Press.

He also shared that he's not afraid that Trump's candidacy will usher in a new Democratic majority in the Senate, and thinks the GOP has a "great shot" at holding its place. Next week, McConnell will meet with Trump when he heads to Capitol Hill to visit House Republicans. Catherine Garcia

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