September 24, 2013 |
The Jackson family attorneys were presenting their final argument Tuesday in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case. Widespread attention was focused on the downtown Los Angeles courtroom where the action was taking place. The trial, being live-streamed, below, will determine whether powerful entertainment conglomerate AEG is liable in Jackson's death. The pop star died in June 2009. Five months of testimony have focused on Jackson's drug use and his physical deterioration and fears over his comeback tour -- 50 concerts in London plus a possible worldwide tour.
September 24, 2013
Re "Gun laws for mentally ill not so easy," Sept. 22 The instant background check on Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis is no replacement for an in-depth universal background check. If the media were able so quickly to uncover information about Alexis' troubled history, an in-depth background check would have also. Gun advocates use the fact that the shooter purchased his gun legally with a background check to show that additional laws would be ineffective. In fact, the instant, inadequate background check that Alexis passed is a result of the gun lobby's efforts to limit gun restrictions.
September 18, 2013 |
A federal appeals court affirmed California's right to impose low carbon fuel standards aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rejecting an industry argument that the regulations penalized out-of-state fuel producers. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 Wednesday to reverse a lower-court ruling from 2011 that temporarily halted California's ability to enforce rules in AB 32, the state's landmark global warming law. The decision allows the California Air Resources Board to begin implementing the law and restores the state's ability to punish fuel wholesalers and refineries that sell gasoline or biofuels with carbon footprints that exceed California's guidelines.
September 17, 2013 |
A little philosophy can be a dangerous thing. A heated conversation between two men about the seminal 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant first came to blows, then one man shot the other. The Kant shooting incident took place in southern Russia in a beer line, Reuters reports, and the bullets were rubber. The 28-year-old victim is expected to recover. The 26-year-old alleged shooter has been apprehended by the police and charged with “intentional infliction of serious harm.” He could serve up to 15 years in prison for not living in accordance with the first, or indeed second, formulation of Kant's categorical imperative: using a gun to win an argument would not work as a universal strategy, and there is no rational end to getting into a fistfight about “The Critique of Pure Reason” or any of Kant's other works.
September 12, 2013 |
About 150,000 spectators squeezed into Soldier Field in Chicago that night in September, 1927, and many left convinced they'd witnessed the fight of the century. The drama's high point came in Round 7 when former champion Jack Dempsey stung Gene Tunney with a savage left hook to the jaw, part of a six-punch flurry that dumped the heavyweight champ on the canvas. Tunney, his arm grabbing a ring rope, seemed glassy-eyed as he sat for 14 seconds while the referee delayed starting a count till Dempsey moved to a neutral corner.
September 8, 2013 |
After two weeks of furious debate about whether the United States should attack Syria, the arguments on both sides are now clear. Haven't been paying attention? Still undecided? Here are the most cogent arguments for and against a military strike. First, the case for intervention. The most basic reason to attack is the one advanced from the beginning by President Obama and his aides: to deter Syrian leader Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons again. If he doesn't pay a heavy price for the Aug. 21 incident that killed hundreds of civilians, he's likely to use more sarin.
September 5, 2013 |
What's striking about the debate over President Obama's plan for a punitive strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad is the extent to which it centers on countries other than Syria. There's a reason for this. A concept that has had a long, significant though subtle influence on U.S. foreign policy is at work again: credibility. The foundational assumption - certainly the subtext - of many arguments for hitting Assad is that America's reputation is on the line. It's said that many bad things will happen if Obama folds: Various friends and allies will doubt America's pledges to protect them; adversaries (Iran, North Korea, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and others)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - California may enforce a new law that prohibits mental health professionals from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation, a federal appeals court decided unanimously Thursday. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the law does not violate the free speech rights of patients or professionals or the fundamental rights of parents. The state may prohibit treatment it deems harmful, the court said. "Without a doubt, protecting the well-being of minors is a legitimate state interest," wrote Judge Susan P. Graber, a President Clinton appointee.
August 28, 2013 |
FT. HOOD, Texas -- Closing arguments are expected Wednesday in the sentencing of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the convicted gunman in the deadliest attack on a domestic U.S. military base. Hasan, 42, was convicted of of premeditated murder last week in connection with the Nov. 5, 2009, shootings here that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30. He faces a potential death sentence. The Army psychiatrist has defended himself at sentencing, as he did at his trial. However, he has refused to make a statement, call witnesses or submit evidence during about four weeks of testimony . Prosecutors, by contrast, called more than 100 witnesses and submitted more than 700 pieces of evidence.
August 26, 2013 |
BEIJING - The trial of a fallen comrade, Bo Xilai, was supposed to be a morality play hyping the Chinese Communist Party's determination to fight political corruption. Somewhere the proceedings veered off script, potentially backfiring for President Xi Jinping, who was elevated to the party leadership last year after a power struggle with Bo's faction. Bo's tenacious defense in the trial caught Chinese prosecutors and the state media off-guard. In the closing arguments Monday, he upstaged the prosecution by dropping a bombshell, saying the key government witness, whistle-blower and former Police Chief Wang Lijun, had been secretly in love with Bo's wife.