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WORLD
March 1, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW - The international conflict over Russia's military moves in Crimea escalated precariously Saturday as lawmakers in Moscow authorized the use of armed forces to protect their nation's interests and ethnic Russians in Ukraine and President Obama pressed President Vladimir Putin during a 90-minute phone call to back down. The unanimous vote in the upper house of the parliament came after Russian troops had already taken up positions in Crimea, the Ukrainian region that is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet, and in spite of Obama's warning Friday that "there will be costs" if Moscow intervenes in its neighbor's political upheaval.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- After years of wrangling, delay and study, the City Council on Tuesday approved a zoning plan that will allow less than three dozen medical marijuana dispensaries within the city. The plan will allow no more than four dispensaries in each council district. With one of nine districts already off-limits because of the density of its housing, that would allow a maximum of 32 dispensaries for a city of more than 1.3 million. The plan presented to the council, developed after months of meetings, would have allowed 131 dispensaries spread throughout the city, according to a study by the San Diego Assn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors approved a deal with the county's largest public employee union Tuesday, putting the cap on an unusually contentious period in county labor relations. The new contracts between the county and Service Employees International Union Local 721 include a 6% raise over three years and an additional $200,000 to be contributed by the county to a ride-share subsidy program. The county will also increase its contribution to employee healthcare plans by 7.2% to cover rising premiums, and will contribute an extra $500 to each worker's flexible benefits plan over the next year.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Meg James
The landmark deal between Comcast Corp. and Netflix Inc. resolves a simmering dispute over who will support America's growing Internet video habit. Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for a direct connection to the cable operator's broadband networks to ensure that Netflix customers receive an uninterrupted viewing experience when streaming movies and TV shows. The agreement, which was confirmed this weekend, comes after Netflix customers complained about deteriorating service, as videos they tried to watch stuttered and stalled in midstream.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | By Carla Rivera
The Academic Senate at Cal State Los Angeles on Tuesday approved a graduation requirement that students take at least one course focusing on race and ethnicity, after weeks of sometimes acrimonious debate that divided students and faculty. Students would have to take two diversity courses, one of them on race and ethnicity, to complete general education requirements needed for graduation. The motion won on a vote of 33 to 18. For supporters of an ethnic studies requirement the vote was only a partial victory; the 55-member senate previously had rejected a motion that one of the two diversity classes be specifically in an ethnic studies department -- Asian/Asian American studies, Chicano studies, Latin American studies and Pan African studies or in related courses in some other departments.
WORLD
February 22, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - The United Nations on Saturday called for improved humanitarian access for millions of needy Syrians as Syrian government forces pounded rebel positions and the latest car bomb apparently linked to the civil war exploded in neighboring Lebanon. The U.N. Security Council resolution, passed unanimously in New York, demanded that "all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered access" for humanitarian assistance, including aid across conflict zones and via international borders.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
The Los Angeles City Council confirmed Marcie Edwards as the new general manager of the Department of Water and Power on Friday, tapping the Anaheim city manager to take the helm of the municipal utility as it grapples with multiple controversies. Edwards, who was recommended for the $345,000-a-year job last month by Mayor Eric Garcetti, previously ran Anaheim's utility and worked at the DWP for more than two decades before that -- beginning with the job of clerk typist, which she took at the age of 19.   She will be the first woman to head the agency, the largest municipally owned utility in the country.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
The first airline fare hike of the year is modest and will primarily affect business travelers who book flights at the last minute. Delta Air Lines, one of the nation's largest carriers, initiated the hike earlier this week by raising domestic tickets $10 per round-trip flight but only for high-priced tickets booked at the last minute. United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways matched the Delta hike the following day, according to the fare-tracking site Farecompare.com.
WORLD
February 20, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
KIEV, Ukraine - The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday passed a measure calling for a halt to a day-old "anti-terrorism operation" and ordering all law enforcement officers to cease fire and return to their barracks, the UNIAN news service reported. If the steps are carried out, they could ease the political crisis that has cost scores of lives this week in clashes between protesters and security forces in Kiev, the capital. Even if the move is not successful, the ability of opposition lawmakers to push through the measure in a parliament dominated by the ruling Party of Regions was widely seen by them and many others as an important victory for their cause.
NATIONAL
February 19, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Neela Banerjee
A Nebraska court ruling Wednesday left the long-troubled Keystone XL pipeline with no approved route through the state, dealing the project a legal setback that could delay it at least a year. Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie F. Stacy struck down a 2012 law that gave Republican Gov. Dave Heineman authority to approve the pipeline's route, bypassing the state's Public Service Commission. Her decision came in a lawsuit filed by three property owners whose land was in the pipeline's path.
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