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February 13, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
After months of contentious negotiations that culminated in a strike by county social workers in December, Los Angeles County employees represented by Service Employees International Union Local 721 voted to approve a new labor agreement. The union's members have been voting on the proposed deal over the past three weeks, and polling ended Wednesday evening. SEIU is the county's largest public employee union, representing about 55,000 county workers including nurses, social workers and public works staff.
February 13, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
The Los Angeles City Council approved a $50,000 reward Wednesday for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for killing a 40-year-old man in South Los Angeles. On the night of Oct. 11, 2012, Paul T. James was walking down the 9600 block of South Hoover Street when he was approached by a person wearing a hooded sweat shirt, according to the City Council motion that asks for the reward. The suspect then fired multiple rounds at James, who later was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to the Times' Homicide Report . HOMICIDE REPORT: A story for every victim The Vermont Vista neighborhood where the killing occurred has become deadlier since 2012, according to a Times analysis of homicide data.
February 12, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Reflecting concerns that government settlements with big banks haven't been tough enough, two Democratic lawmakers want the Federal Reserve board to approve all major enforcement actions. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland have written to new Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen urging her to "make it a top priority" to stop delegating enforcement responsibility to the central bank's staff. "While the board votes on every important decision the Fed makes on monetary policy, the board rarely votes on the Fed's important supervisory and enforcement policy decisions," the lawmakers wrote in a letter sent Tuesday.
February 12, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Congress gave final approval Wednesday to legislation allowing more federal borrowing to pay the nation's bills, but not without a dramatic scene in the Senate as Republican leaders scrambled to find enough votes to head off a filibuster attempt led by one of their colleagues. The House had swiftly approved the bill this week, and smooth passage was expected in the Senate, ending three years of partisan brinkmanship over the debt limit. But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
February 11, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation Tuesday to extend the nation's borrowing capacity for another year, all but ensuring that Congress' recent fiscal cease-fire extends through the summer. Republican leaders brought the measure quickly to the floor after the fractious majority failed to agree on what, if any, provisions to attach to the must-pass legislation. The chamber's Democratic minority provided most of the votes needed to approve the measure, with only 28 Republicans voting on the so-called clean debt limit measure.
February 6, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
On a straight party-line vote Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved civil rights lawyer Debo Adegbile's nomination to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Adegbile, a longtime voting-rights specialist for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, had drawn opposition, in particular from Philadelphia officials, because of his representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop-killer there. The Fraternal Order of Police called the nomination “a thumb in the eye of our nation's law enforcement officers.” Other law enforcement groups, the police officer's widow and, most recently, Philadelphia Dist.
February 6, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro and Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - Just a week after Republicans raised hopes for a bipartisan overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, House Speaker John A. Boehner all but abandoned the effort Thursday, saying it would be "difficult" to get any legislation approved this year by his GOP majority. Boehner's sudden shift, coming after his high-profile unveiling last week of Republican immigration principles that were partly embraced by the White House, left immigration advocates fuming and renewed speculation that the speaker's tenuous grip on a rebellious rank-and-file was slipping again.
February 6, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board unanimously approved a controversial set of regulations that will launch the first extensive pollution cleanup in Marina del Rey history , county officials said. At a meeting downtown Thursday night, the local board voted 6 to 0 to approve amendments to a pollution plan that that will force more than 4,000 boaters to strip copper paint off their boats at personal expense. Los Angeles County will also be given the task of cleaning or covering more than 200 acres of toxic sediment.
February 5, 2014 | By David Wharton
SOCHI, Russia - With the opening ceremony scheduled for Friday, it seems that Russians have mixed feelings about hosting the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The RIA Novosti news agency reported that only 53% of the people polled by the Levada Center in Moscow believe their country did the right thing by bidding for the Games. Those in favor of the idea believe the massive sports competition will help unite the populace and improve the country's image. But 26% did not want the Games here. "Opportunity for graft" was the most common reason given.
February 4, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - President Obama's choice to become the next surgeon general spent much of his confirmation hearing Tuesday deflecting criticism from Republicans, who attacked him for his political activism, ties to the president and relative inexperience. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, who at 36 would be one of the youngest surgeon generals, was chided for advocating gun control in the aftermath of the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and for backing the Affordable Care Act as a co-founder of Doctors for America, formerly Doctors for Obama.
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