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The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group filed the lawsuit Tuesday, claiming that the department is eight years late in setting the hexavalent chromium standard and has made no progress toward the goal.

The Legislature directed public health agencies to set the standard by 2004.

Officials said the delay was caused by a scientific dispute over whether hexavalent chromium is carcinogenic when ingested in water. Federal scientists eventually confirmed that it is.

Water quality testing by state officials shows that thousands of drinking water sources throughout California are contaminated with the chemical at unsafe levels.

MASSACHUSETTS

Man who killed wife, baby loses appeal

BOSTON — The highest court in Massachusetts rejected the appeal of a British man convicted of killing his wife and baby daughter in their rented home, saying in its decision released Tuesday that warrantless searches of the home were justified because those inside might have been in danger.

In arguing for a new trial, attorneys for Neil Entwistle said evidence obtained during the warrantless searches of the Hopkinton home while police were looking for the missing family should have been dismissed at trial. They also argued that media coverage made it impossible to get an impartial jury.

The court rejected the arguments, concluding that Entwistle “received a fair trial that was ably tried and judged.”

Entwistle was convicted of the 2006 shootings of his wife, Rachel, and their daughter, 9-month-old Lillian.

He is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for their murders.

CALIFORNIA

Computers stolen from Jobs’ home

PALO ALTO — Several computers and personal items worth more than $60,000 were stolen from the Northern California home of the late Steve Jobs in what authorities insist was a run-of-the-mill burglary.

“I’ve never gotten this many calls from people,” Scott Tsui, supervising Santa Clara County deputy district attorney, said of the July 17 theft in Palo Alto. “Other than the fact it involves Mr. Jobs, it’s a pretty standard burglary case.”

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