Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Probing international adoption," Nov. 16, 2013

Fixing a bug

Many Toyota owners may get a recall notice soon, but they may not want to know why. Spider infestations have caused carmaker Toyota to recall 870,000 late-model Camrys, Venzas, and Avalons. Toyota executives say air-conditioning drainage tubes in each of the three models have become a prime biome for tiny spiders to set up shop. According to company officials, infesting spiders that build webs inside the small tube could cause a blockage that in turn would force water to drip elsewhere in the car—the airbag control module, for instance. The company has been dealing with complaints of spontaneously firing airbags, and subsequent investigation has fingered spiders as the culprit.

Paw power

A controversial proposal by Los Angeles officials has some Angelinos wondering whether they will ever get rid of their feral cat problems. New rules proposed by L.A. Animal Services director Brenda Barnette, would give feral cats some semblance of property rights. Under current law, homeowners have the right to remove from their property any animal that uses the yard as a bathroom or causes damages. Under Barnette’s proposal, the City of Los Angeles would strip homeowners of that power, recognizing a cat’s right to do its business with impunity wherever it likes.

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