July 16, 2013 |
MOSCOW -- Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden officially applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday, his attorney and the Wikileaks organization announced. The application is for temporary refuge, not permanent political asylum, according to human rights activists familiar with his case. “It is a compromise step as Russia doesn't want to utterly spoil its relations with the United States as tense as they are,” said Olga Kostina, head of the rights organization Soprotivleniye.
July 13, 2013 |
MOSCOW --As of Saturday, Edward Snowden had not yet formally applied for political asylum in Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We are not in contact with Edward Snowden,” Lavrov said in televised remarks during a visit to Kyrgyzstan, a post-Soviet Central Asian republic. “Russian legislation provides for a certain procedure the first step in which is an official application to the Federal Migration Service.” On Friday, Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency who revealed Washington's secret efforts to track international communications, summoned Russian human rights activists and lawyers to Sheremetyevo International Airport here to render him assistance in gaining asylum in Russia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court once again is delving into the heated battle over gay marriage as it considers a request filed Friday by the backers of Proposition 8 to stop same-sex weddings. ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of the 2008 ballot measure, asked the state high court to stop the weddings immediately on the grounds that Gov. Jerry Brown lacked the authority to order county clerks to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In a 50-page petition, ProtectMarriage contended that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker's 2010 federal injunction against Proposition 8 did not apply statewide.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 7, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Evan Kim was 2 years old when he was diagnosed as autistic last year, and his parents searched for some way to curb his head-banging tantrums. Using a state-financed healthcare program for low-income families, they found therapists who could provide a specific kind of autism treatment aimed at analyzing and improving behavior. The therapists spent 40 hours a week with Evan at the family's home in the Los Angeles area, coaxing him to stop the tantrums and improving his communication skills.
June 20, 2013 |
Major banks will soon be seeing better enforcement of last year's big settlement of foreclosure-abuse complaints, according to a monitor for the agreement and a group of state and federal officials who negotiated it. The officials said the banks appear to have exceeded the $25 billion in relief they promised 16 months ago for troubled borrowers. And a monitor's report Wednesday showed that certain egregious practices -- such as "robo-signing" court documents and charging borrowers fees to consider modifying loans -- had been eliminated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2013 |
Nearly three weeks after a statewide ban on plastic bags was rejected in Sacramento, the Los Angeles City Council is moving ahead with a similar measure to regulate carryout bags at supermarkets, pharmacies and some big retail chains. Council members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on the final draft of its grocery bag ordinance, which would impose fines of up to $500 for those who repeatedly distribute "single-use" plastic bags to customers. The proposed law, in the works for years, would apply to convenience stores, food marts and any large retailer that sells groceries, such as Target and Wal-Mart.
May 22, 2013 |
Pushed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Obama administration may ask Congress for the power to snoop on more types of communication online. The timing couldn't be worse, given the outcry over the Justice Department secretly grabbing journalists' phone records and emails in its pursuit of government leakers. The bigger issue with what the FBI is seeking, though, is that it applies 20th century assumptions about surveillance to 21st century technologies. Congress passed the Wiretap Act in 1968 to give federal investigators the power to listen in on suspects' phone calls if they obtained a federal court's permission.
May 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In a contentious climax Wednesday to a series of congressional hearings, Lois Lerner, a key IRS manager, invoked her right to not testify about the agency's targeting of conservative groups, igniting howls from Republicans and sparking a threat to bring her back for another round. Deprived of a crucial witness, members of Congress from both parties alternately grilled and scolded former Commissioner Douglas Shulman about the Internal Revenue Service's improper screening of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
May 19, 2013 |
We have once again entered the college commencement season, which means we'll soon be reading about uplifting graduation speeches delivered by prominent Americans. Or at least by prominent liberal Americans. It's becoming increasingly apparent that conservative speakers aren't welcome on college and university campuses. Last month, in the span of a few days, student protests disrupted a presentation by Karl Rove at the University of Massachusetts and one by Rand Paul at Howard University.
May 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A senior Pentagon official told a Senate committee Thursday that the U.S. would be at war with Al Qaeda for 15 to 20 more years and said the military could target terrorists anywhere under a law passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of Defense in charge of special operations, said America's battle with terrorist groups spanned the globe "from Boston to the FATA," meaning Pakistan's tribal areas. He did not explain why he believes the effort could last another generation.