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June 2, 2013 | By Jung-yoon Choi
SEOUL - Laos is coming under increasing international criticism for its unusual decision to turn over to the North Korean government nine defectors, most of them homeless teenagers. The young North Koreans were arrested by Laotian authorities May 10 just across the border from southwestern China, in Laos' Oudomxay province. Also arrested were two South Korean missionaries who had been helping the North Koreans in an attempt to reach South Korea. "We have received credible information that the nine young North Korean defectors were subsequently returned to [North Korea]
May 22, 2013 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - As bystanders watched in horror, a man was hacked to death in broad daylight on a London street Wednesday and two suspects were shot and wounded by police, who are investigating the incident as a likely terrorist attack. The two assailants, who reportedly shouted "God is great!" in Arabic as they mounted their assault, set upon a young man near a military barracks in the southeast London neighborhood of Woolwich, police said. The attackers slashed their victim to death with knives or machete-like weapons, then advanced menacingly on officers, who shot them, according to witness accounts.
May 13, 2013 | By Seema Mehta, Maeve Reston and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
A new mailer sent out by Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel's allies to Latino voters that strongly suggests voting for her will result in an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour drew sharp criticism from her rival Monday. In addition to the mailer, labor members supporting Greuel drove through Latino neighborhoods over the weekend broadcasting a song, "La Wendy," with the same message. Greuel's opponent, Councilman Eric Garcetti, called the efforts a "cynical attempt to buy votes" and "give false hope to people who are struggling to make ends meet.
May 8, 2013 | By Hector Becerra
In the last year, Mike Judge, a Simi Valley councilman and Los Angeles Police Department officer, has been scrutinized for posting links on his Facebook page to racy and suggestive websites. When the Simi Valley Acorn asked him in February about the links to sites such as Hot Mirror Shots  - which features topless and nearly naked women  - and Hot Chicks with Abs, Judge told the local newspaper that he didn't consider anything on his Facebook page inappropriate. “There's no porn on my Facebook,” he said.
April 16, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
The explosives used in the Boston Marathon bombs were crudely designed, leading some federal investigators to hypothesize that they were domestic rather than international in origin, three federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday. But while unsophisticated, the devices did show signs of having been constructed by someone with at least some experience in explosives, said the officials, who would not speak publicly because the investigation was in its early stages. “It's somebody with some basic rudimentary skills in circuitry,” said one official.
February 13, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Three people have been arrested in New Jersey in connection with a video showing a young man being stripped and whipped because his father owed $20 -- the latest example of a recording that raises troubling questions about the role of bystanders during a crime. The video, which went viral in recent weeks, shows a 21-year-old man being forced to strip naked and then whipped with a belt, supposedly because his father owed $20. The cameraman splashes water on the victim, who shivers against a handrail in the 2 1/2-minute clip.
January 11, 2013 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
A Taft Union High School student targeted and shot by a classmate was on life support and in intensive care Friday but is expected to recover, hospital officials said, as law enforcement authorities sought to discern a motive for the attack. The 16-year-old boy, whom authorities have not identified, suffered injuries to the lungs and liver after shotgun pellets hit his chest and abdomen, officials at Kern County Medical Center said. "He's in … an induced coma to protect him," said Paul Hensler, chief executive officer of the Bakersfield-based facility, which is a trauma center.
January 10, 2013 | By Ann M. Simmons and Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
TAFT, Calif. - A 16-year-old was in critical condition Thursday night after a fellow student interrupted a first-period class at Taft Union High School southwest of Bakersfield, confronted him by name and fired a round from a 12-gauge shotgun into his upper body. The assailant, also 16, tried to shoot a second student and missed before a science teacher was able to talk him down, apparently taking the shotgun as the other students fled from the classroom through a door. Police officers arrived after the teacher had disarmed the assailant and took the teenager into custody.
December 11, 2012 | By Matt Pearce and Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times
A masked gunman stormed into a crowded Portland, Ore.-area mall Tuesday, shouting, "I am the shooter!" and opened fire, killing two people and seriously injuring a third before killing himself, authorities and a witness said. Christmas music was playing in the Clackamas Town Center when gunfire erupted, one witness told local media. Another said the mall Santa had to drop to the floor to take cover. More than 10,000 shoppers were in the 185-store mall at the time, officials said. Some witnesses said the gunman used a rifle, but authorities did not confirm what kind of firearm was used or whether the assailant had more than one. Responding officers fired no shots, authorities said.
November 25, 2012
By now, it should be apparent that charter schools have been the spark to the education reform flame in the Los Angeles Unified School District. At first, applicants hoping to open publicly funded but independently operated charter schools had to fight for every new campus, opposed by school board members who were strong union allies. But as charters showed remarkable progress with disadvantaged and minority students who had been failing in regular public schools, appreciation for them increased.
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