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1,200 California chickens to retire on the East Coast

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Their egg-laying days behind them, some 1,200 Northern California chickens are heading for a cozy retirement on the East Coast, where they will live outside of cages and have plenty of room to spread their wings.

The Sacramento Bee reported that an anonymous $50,000 donation is funding Operation Chicken Airlift, which will send the hens on a cross-country cargo flight to upstate New York on Wednesday evening.

From there the white Leghorn chickens will be ferried to different sanctuaries. Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York, where 200 of the birds will end up, is providing perches, grass and even a wooded area where they can roam.

Laying hens are generally too lean for human consumption and are usually slaughtered after they stop providing eggs.

Farmworker movement’s early woman leader Cruz dies

FRESNO, Calif. – Jessie Lopez De La Cruz, a longtime leader in the national farmworker movement, has died. She was 93.

The United Farmworkers of America said De La Cruz died in Kingsburg, Calif., on Labor Day. She was one of the union’s first female members and organizers.

De La Cruz organized workers in the fields, participated in grape boycotts and testified on outlawing the short-handled hoe.

Born in Anaheim, Calif., she joined the UFW in her 40s, after Cesar Chavez visited her Parlier home to speak with farmworkers about forming a union.

Friends and family say De La Cruz was known for her humility and devotion to improving the lives of farmworkers.

Her life has been documented in books, news articles and a 1998 miniseries titled “A Will of Their Own.”

Ex-NASA engineer pleads guilty, gets probation for piracy

WILMINGTON, Del. – A former NASA engineer who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a copyright infringement scheme led by two Chinese nationals was sentenced to probation Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark credited Cosburn Wedderburn, 40, for his substantial assistance to federal authorities investigating the website called “Crack 99,” which sold pirated, industrial-level software in which the access control mechanisms had been “cracked,” or circumvented.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed McAndrew agreed with the judge that Wedderburn, of Windsor Mill, Md., did not deserve prison time and said Wedderburn now understands that software piracy is not a victimless crime.

“I think his prosecution sends a message,” McAndrew told the judge.

Authorities said Wedderburn made 12 purchases of pirated software, paying $1,800 for goods valued at more than $1 million from Xiang Li, a Chinese national who was sentenced in June to 12 years in prison.

Defense attorney Dennis Boyle said Wedderburn, who worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and also ran his own computer engineering business on the side, did not try to profit from the pirated software but “just wanted to do his job better.”


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