In Brief | Big Island & State 8-29-13

Fast-food workers to stage nationwide walkouts

NEW YORK — Fast-food customers in search of burgers and fries on Thursday might run into striking workers instead.

Organizers said thousands of fast-food workers are set to stage walkouts in dozens of cities around the country, part of a push to get chains such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s to pay workers higher wages.

It’s expected be the largest nationwide strike by fast-food workers, according to organizers. The biggest effort so far was over the summer when about 2,200 of the nation’s millions of fast-food workers staged a one-day strike in seven cities.

Thursday’s planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That’s more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast-food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year.

Federal agency orders armored-car service to stop serving legal marijuana sellers

DENVER — Steve DeAngelo’s staff may need to carry cash in personal vehicles to pay Harborside Health Center’s bills after his armored car provider told his co- founder that a federal agency ordered it to stop serving cannabis businesses.

DeAngelo, executive director of the medicinal marijuana collective based in Oakland, Calif., with 128,000 patients, isn’t alone. Several large marijuana dispensaries in California and Colorado received similar notices from their armored vehicle services, said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Washington-based National Cannabis Industry Association.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment on the matter. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration referred questions to the Justice Department, its parent agency.

The end of armored-car service to some marijuana dispensaries underscores ongoing tension between federal law, under which cannabis remains illegal, and laws in 20 states and the District of Columbia that legalized medical marijuana consumption, plus measures in Colorado and Washington that allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of pot.

Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t provided a federal response to the laws.

Oceans become storage for Earth’s excess heat in leaked UN study

LONDON — The oceans are becoming a repository for almost all the Earth’s excess heat, driving up sea levels and threatening coastlines, according to a leaked draft of the most comprehensive United Nations report addressing climate science.

Temperatures in the shallowest waters rose by more than 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit a decade for the 40 years through 2010, the study found. Average sea levels have increased worldwide by about 7.5 inches since 1901 and researchers said it’s “very likely” the system of ocean currents that includes the Gulf Stream will slow in the coming decades.

The findings are detailed in a 2,200-page report that will guide U.N. envoys as they devise a new treaty to fight climate change by 2015. It was obtained by Bloomberg from a person with official access to the report who declined to be further identified because it hasn’t been published. The U.N. declined to comment.

The report, entitled “The Physical Science Basis,” is the first of three parts that will make up the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth Assessment Report, or AR5, into climate science. The research includes a 31-page “Summary for Policymakers” that condenses the main findings of the first part into a single document that ministers may consult when devising a global policy.

By wire sources