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NEWS
April 9, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - With sought-after women voters at stake, Senate Republicans blocked election-year legislation Wednesday aimed at ensuring that female workers receive equal pay for doing the same work as men. A high-profile campaign for the Paycheck Fairness Act, orchestrated by the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House, did little to motivate Republicans in a mid-term election year when both parties are seeking women voters. Republican senators blocked the bill on a party-line filibuster, 53-44, with many waging a protest vote over party leaders' refusal to allow amendments.
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OPINION
April 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The lives of captive killer whales are nothing like those of their wild counterparts. Instead of roaming for miles every day in close-knit family groups, captive whales perform for audiences in tanks that, though roomier than those of early marine parks, are far too small for such large ocean predators. In the wild, killer whales have not been known to kill humans or one another. The same cannot be said for the whales in amusement parks around the world, even though they represent only about a tenth of a percent of the numbers in the wild.
NEWS
April 7, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - As soon as the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a measure Monday to extend unemployment aid to jobless Americans, a beleaguered group of House Republicans from states with high unemployment rates called on Speaker John A. Boehner to follow suit. But the Republican lawmakers are fighting an uphill battle against their leaders, and Boehner has shown little interest in passing an unemployment insurance extension, panning the Senate bill as unworkable. With Congress about to leave town on a two-week recess, no further action is expected to assist the more than 2.2 million Americans who had their long-term benefits cut after aid expired in December.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Under pressure from lawmakers and flight attendants, the Transportation Security Administration backed off last year on a plan to allow knives on commercial planes. But flight attendants want to make sure that the ban that began after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks stays in place indefinitely. The Assn. of Flight Attendants is backing a bill to prevent the TSA from ever lifting the knife ban. “A permanent ban would ensure that we never again have to fight this common-sense issue,” said Corey Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the association, which represents about 60,000 flight attendants.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - The recent hacking of customer data from Target Corp. computers is roiling the California Legislature. Last week, two members of the Assembly touted a bill to strengthen consumer safeguards and limit the type of information collected and retained by retailers. The measure, AB 1710, may trigger one of the year's biggest disputes over business-related legislation. "It'll be a big fight, a tough fight," said Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Assn.
SPORTS
April 4, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Bill Bedgood, a former head coach at Alemany and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, has been hired as the new basketball coach at Saugus. Bedgood last coached at Notre Dame in 2012.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
NATIONAL
April 4, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Mississippi's governor signed into law Thursday a measure that allows individuals and organizations to sue the government over laws that they feel thwart their ability to practice religion. “I am proud to sign the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which will protect the individual religious freedom of Mississippians of all faiths from government interference,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement.  Civil rights groups and advocates of the gay community had opposed the measure and believe that when it takes effect in July it could lead to increased discrimination of gays and lesbians.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Suddenly, the selfie is everywhere. It's been around since forever, but Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar-night selfie has suddenly made it a pop culture "thing" for celebrities to do. Latest evidence: Bill Murray, Lady Gaga and David Letterman on Wednesday night's "Late Show. " Murray popped up continually on Letterman's show Wednesday night as he checked items off his personal bucket list. He asked, and was allowed, to deliver a joke during Letterman's monologue. And he got Letterman to air a clip from his movie, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and read nice things off a piece of paper.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
Lady Gaga, as you may have heard, is currently in the middle of a run of concerts at New York's Roseland Ballroom, the historic venue's final engagement before it closes its doors after half a century on West 52nd Street in Manhattan. Something else you may have heard: Lady Gaga is currently battling a perception -- one that began to creep up when sales of last year's "Artpop" didn't quite meet expectations -- that she no longer matters. So Wednesday night, the pop star dropped by "Late Show with David Letterman" to talk up the Roseland gigs -- and to remind everyone that she can still cause a stir.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - The state Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would reduce the maximum possible misdemeanor sentence from one year to 364 days,  to reduce deportations of legal residents for minor crimes. The bill addresses concern that federal law allows legal immigrants to be deported if they are convicted of a crime and given a one-year sentence. Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) said his bill would prevent families from being torn apart if one member commits a crime that is not a felony, such as writing a bad check.
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