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February 6, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
There's junk mail, and then there's nasty mail: San Francisco writer Lisa McIntire says Bank of America sent her a credit card offer addressed to "Lisa Is a Slut McIntire," and she posted photos of it Thursday on Twitter. The bank tweeted her an apology and pledged to investigate, but the problem apparently originated with an academic society that was marketing jointly with the bank. McIntire, 32, said in a phone interview that she learned about the mail in a text exchange with her mother, a screen grab of which she also posted on Twitter.
February 5, 2014 | By Richard Winton
The fathers of two USC graduate students who were shot to death in April 2012 stood before a judge Wednesday and asked for the most severe penalty for their children's killer, whom they described as a "ruthless murderer" and "cold-blooded criminal. " "In China, where I come from, it is only a matter of course that a killer pays a life for a life," XiYong Wu said. But Bryan Barnes, 21, escaped the death penalty by agreeing to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances in exchange for two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.
January 31, 2014 | By David Wharton
A week before the opening ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, President Obama said that Russian authorities know what's at stake in keeping the Games safe. "We've looked at their plans," Obama told CNN on Friday. "I think we have a good sense of the security that they are putting in place to protect not only the athletes themselves, but also visitors there. " First Lady Michelle Obama, who attended the 2012 London Olympics, will not go to Russia. Neither will the president's children.
January 30, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times staff
Calabasas Mayor  Fred Gaines this week addressed rumblings that Justin Bieber may be considering moving out of his gated community amid a litany of charges the pop star faces between Florida and Toronto. Add to that Bieber's unpopularity in his own neighborhood, where residents have accused the teen of speeding, spitting, holding loud parties and even egging neighbors. Gaines told The Times that, despite the celebrity rumor mill, he had "no information about Mr. Bieber's intentions to remain in Calabasas or to move.
January 29, 2014 | Jean Merl
A Los Angeles jury Tuesday found state Sen. Roderick D. Wright, a fixture in area Democratic politics, guilty on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud. Prosecutors said Wright, the first member of the Legislature to be convicted of a felony since the Shrimpscam sting of the 1990s, could face more than eight years behind bars and be banned for life from holding other elective office. It is unclear whether he must forfeit his Senate seat. The lawmaker, who sat with his head bowed as a criminal courts clerk read the verdicts, had no comment.
January 29, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union spotlighted many issues, but more than anything it illuminated the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a "dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" in the U.S. as the "the defining challenge of our time," a theme he repeated Tuesday night. "After four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better," he said, "but average wages have barely budged.
January 28, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- In his State of the Union address, President Obama pointed to a resurgence of the nation's industrial sector as a prime example of the successes of the last few years and the economic promise of America. He praised "a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s," hitting on a favorite Democratic theme, blue-collar America.  It's true that factory payrolls, after a long and steep decline, have grown again -- by about 570,000 since early 2010 as manufacturing led the recovery in jobs coming out of the Great Recession.
January 27, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton and James Barragan
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama will try to recharge his presidency by discussing the expansive divide between rich and poor in America. It's a crucial issue, and one with no easy solutions. Obama is expected to focus on the twin themes of income inequality and social mobility, which is the ability to move up the economic ladder. Wealth disparity has drawn enormous attention with the U.S. income gap at its highest level since the Great Depression.
January 26, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - A year ago, when President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech before Congress and imagined providing preschool for all 4-year-olds, he followed his expansive vision with a bit of candor. "That's something we should be able to do," he said. The president's tone - more aspirational than expectant - was a nod to the reality of this annual Washington ritual. Little of what the president proposes in his most high-profile speech of the year is likely to get done, at least not any time soon.
January 24, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn and Chris O'Brien
SAN FRANCISCO - It's the kind of backlash that Marc Benioff could never have imagined when he started the city's largest technology company 15 years ago in a Telegraph Hill apartment, some 30 miles north of Silicon Valley. By starting a business software firm that would create jobs in the city and donate 1% of its profit to charity, Benioff believed he was building a company that reflected San Francisco's progressive ideals. And he says he's proud to have been a catalyst for the city's tech economy that has since grown to 2,000 companies.
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