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March 6, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- An ambitious proposal to stem the rising number of sexual assaults in the military was rejected Thursday after senators from both parties balked at limiting the role of commanding officers in deciding whether to prosecute. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) pushed the issue to prominence this session, arguing on behalf of victims within the military ranks. Many have testified that they feared retaliation if they took assault allegations up the chain of command. Her bill would have shifted investigations to military prosecutors.
March 6, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - An ambitious bill seeking to stem the rise of sexual assaults in the military died Thursday after senators from both parties refused to limit the role of commanding officers in deciding whether to prosecute such cases. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) pushed the issue to prominence during this congressional session, arguing on behalf of victims who testified that they feared retaliation for pressing assault allegations up the military chain of command. Her bill - which won support from 17 of the 20 women in the Senate - would have shifted sexual assault investigations to military prosecutors.
March 6, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
The next U.S. presidential election isn't until 2016, but many in the media are speculating heavily that Hillary Rodham Clinton has a real shot at the Oval Office. A woman as president? Is there a downside? That's what Stephen Colbert and his "papa bear" Bill O'Reilly want to know. During a recent segment on his Fox News program, "The O'Reilly Factor," O'Reilly wondered aloud, "There's got to be some downside to having a woman president, right?" Crickets from his two female panelists.
March 6, 2014 | David Lazarus
How much should public entities spend trying to collect a charge that runs only a few cents? Lawmakers might want to sit up and take note. Maybe, just maybe, it would make sense to waive charges any time collection of cash costs more than the amount of cash being collected. Bruce and Pat West were driving recently on the 110 Freeway near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. They merged into the express lane, for which they didn't have a FasTrak transponder in their car to pay the requisite toll.
March 6, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Trying to counter ethics scandals in which lawmakers stand accused of voter fraud, bribery, money laundering and other misdeeds, Democratic leaders Thursday proposed sweeping changes to state political laws aimed at restoring public confidence in the Legislature. The proposals, which Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to embrace, would ban lawmakers and other state officials from accepting such gifts as spa treatments, golf games and tickets to Lakers games. Officials could take other gifts, but only if their worth totaled $200 or less annually from any source - down from the $440 now allowed.
March 5, 2014 | By Chuck Schilken
The Buffalo Bills will be playing all eight of their home games at home this year. That may sound redundant, but it's not for a team that has played one "home" game a season in Toronto the last several years. The Bills and Toronto partner Rogers Communications announced Wednesday that they were suspending the series, which is supposed to run through 2017, for the upcoming season to allow both sides to figure out ways to enhance future games. For the Bills, that means figuring out how to actually win games in Canada.
March 5, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
As more of our children's education moves online, there are increased opportunities for abusing the collection of their personal data. Last month, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) introduced a bill that would help close a loophole in federal regulations - at least in California - in an effort to safeguard personal information of public school students. The potential privacy violations could be significant, and it makes sense for the Legislature to act now. Under the federal Family and Educational Rights Protection Act, schools that receive federal funding are rightly barred from making disclosures about students' education records without permission.
March 4, 2014 | By Anh Do
Nearly 120,000 letters and bills went up in flames early Tuesday when a pair of big rigs collided along the 57 Freeway in Brea. One was from a U.S. Postal Service facility in Santa Ana, where workers process about 1 million pieces of mail daily, according to officials. The letters that were burned had originated from Orange County and parts of the San Gabriel Valley and were being trucked to Ontario Airport at the time of the crash. The mail that caught fire had been marked first class, but because it was not certified, officials say they cannot track whose mail burned.
March 4, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington. Ships that spew salt into the air to block sunlight. Mirrored satellites designed to bounce solar rays back into space. Massive "reverse" power plants that would suck carbon from the atmosphere. These are among the ideas the National Academy of Sciences has charged a panel of some of the nation's top climate thinkers to investigate.
March 3, 2014 | By Michael McGough
SB 1062 , the Arizona bill that would have made it easier to discriminate against gays and lesbians (and other people), was vetoed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer. But some social conservatives won't let the subject go. They're making two (related) arguments: that critics of the bill who denounced it as “anti-gay” hadn't really read the legislation and that, if they had, they would have realized that it was simply a state variation on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 1993 and signed by President Clinton.
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