BC-CA--California News Digest,1st Add, CA

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The enclosures at a Central California wild animal park where a lion killed an intern were working properly at the time of her death, federal officials said. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that the agency's investigation on the day after the mauling in March found no violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at Project Survival's Cat Haven. USDA investigators looked at whether proper enclosures were in place, and whether they were in good working order, among other things. By Tracie Cone.


SAN JOSE, Calif. — Federal prosecutors say a Northern California marine biologist has pleaded guilty to illegally feeding killer whales in the wild.

Nancy Black entered pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Prosecutors say the law protects marine animals by prohibiting the feeding of mammals in the wild. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors say Black admitted that when she was on her boat in Monterey Bay in April 2004, she and her crew tied rope to pieces of gray whale blubber that was floating in the water to facilitate their viewing of orcas eating the blubber. .


DAVIS, Calif. — A Northern California man who was lost in the wilderness for more than a week survived on runoff and pine nuts, his father said. Daniel Thompson, 25, of Davis turned up around a campground in Lake County on Sunday, the Davis Enterprise reported. His father, Brian Thompson, told the newspaper he had been missing since April 13 after leaving on a camping trip. He lost control of his car and went off a road in a rural area northwest of Clear Lake.


NEW YORK — Apple is opening the doors to its bank vault, saying it will distribute $100 billion in cash to its shareholders by the end of 2015. At the same time, the company said revenue for the current quarter could fall from the year before, which would be the first decline in many years. Apple Inc. on Tuesday said it will expand its share buyback program to $60 billion — the largest buyback authorization in history. It is also raising its dividend by 15 percent from $2.65 to $3.05 per share. The dividend yield will be about 3 percent at current stock prices. The average yield for the top 20 dividend-paying companies in the U.S. is 3.1 percent, according to Standard & Poor's. Investors have been clamoring for Apple to give them access to its cash hoard, which ended March at an unprecedented $145 billion. By Peter Svensson.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON — Tax credits helped biotech giant Amgen report first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations, but sales growth disappointed investors. Thousand Oaks Calif.-based Amgen Inc. benefited from an overall tax gain of $13 million for the latest quarter, as it booked a federal research and development credit for 2012 and resolved an audit for fiscal 2007 to 2009, which cut its tax rate considerably. That compared with paying out over $200 million in income taxes in the prior-year period. By Matthew Perrone.

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