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SPORTS
March 26, 2014 | By Gary Klein
Northwestern University football players have the right to form a union, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday, setting the stage for potential dramatic change to the college sports landscape. Peter Sung Ohr, in Chicago, ruled that "players receiving scholarships from the employer are 'employees'" and ordered that an election be conducted to determine whether Northwestern players wanted representation by the College Athletes Players Assn. for the purposes of collective bargaining.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Gale Holland
The city of Los Angeles is dropping an appeal of a court ruling banning the seizure and destruction of property that homeless people leave unattended on public sidewalks, Rob Wilcox, spokesman for City Atty. Mike Feuer, said Monday. Feuer's decision ends three years of legal wrangling over health and safety on skid row. Eight skid row residents filed suit in 2011, accusing city workers, accompanied by police, of confiscating and dumping their personal possessions -- medication, identification, cellphones and toiletries.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
A Federal Reserve rule allowing banks to charge retailers 21 cents to process debit-card transactions has been upheld by a federal appeals panel, a blow to big merchants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. A lower court judge invalidated the fee cap in July, ruling that the Fed's formula included costs that weren't allowed under the Dodd-Frank regulatory reforms that Congress passed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. But in a ruling Friday for a three-judge panel, Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said the central bank's rules “generally rest on reasonable constructions of the statute.” GAS: See latest prices in Southland, nation Merchants, who had argued that they were entitled to a lower cap, expressed disappointment, while financial firms said they were relieved.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Law enforcement in California may continue to collect DNA from people arrested for felonies - even if they are never formally charged - and store the genetic profiles in a criminal database, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. An 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court decision that refused to shut down the state's practice of swabbing individuals for DNA upon arrest. The 9th Circuit said California's practice was "clearly" constitutional under a Supreme Court decision last year that upheld a similar, but narrower, program in Maryland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Gale Holland
The developer of a skid row apartment building that houses recovering alcoholics and drug addicts said Friday he would appeal a zoning decision that denied a beer and wine permit for a restaurant planned for the ground floor of the complex. Mike Alvidrez, executive director of Skid Row Housing Trust, said the planned restaurant, a former food truck called Great Balls on Tires, could not open with its present business plan unless it gets the permit to operate on the ground floor of the six-story New Genesis Apartments.
SCIENCE
March 14, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
A California appeals court has sided with landowners fighting the state over test drilling for a proposed water tunnel system in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In a 2-1 decision, an appeals panel ruled Thursday that the state needed to go through the eminent domain process to gain access to private property on which it wanted to take soil samples and conduct environmental surveys. The testing is necessary for the design and construction of two 30-mile tunnels that the state proposes to build as part of a delta replumbing project.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
In a big win for a little fish, a federal appeals court Thursday upheld delta smelt protections that have cut deliveries of Northern California water to the Southland and the San Joaquin Valley. A panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in a 2-1 decision that a number of environmental provisions that federal and state water contractors have disputed as ill-founded were in fact justified. In effect, the court backed pumping limits. Written by Judge Jay S. Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, the opinion is a major blow to the agricultural and urban agencies that have spent years challenging endangered species protections that have curbed water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Bradley Zint
An attorney representing a group of Muslim students found guilty of disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador said she will appeal the case, which she said tests whether “peaceful, measured student protests” should be a crime. "We are confident that a higher court will overturn the convictions and protect this important right for every individual," said Jacqueline Goodman, who represents some members of a group of students who became known as the “Irvine 11.” Ten of the 11 students were convicted in 2011 of disrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech at UC Irvine on American-Israeli relations.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
With less than a month left for enrollment in Obamacare, California's insurance exchange is applying a major dose of peer pressure. In a new TV ad blitz, recent enrollees extol the benefits of having coverage for checkups or a serious illness. A man plays soccer with his sons, a musician carries his guitar down the street. "I'm in," young, fit-looking people say. "Are you in?" the announcer asks. This new marketing marks a more direct appeal to millions of uninsured Californians before open enrollment ends March 31. After March 31, people can't enroll in most health plans again until late fall.
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