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February 15, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
A California appeals court on Friday put on hold a potentially crippling legal order by a Superior Court judge against the California high-speed rail project and said it would hold a review of the matter. The lower court's decision had essentially prevented rail officials from issuing any bonds to pay for the project, forcing them to rely on federal grants just as they are preparing to start construction of a line that would eventually run from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The action by the 3rd District Court of Appeal does not reverse the lower court decision, but it could give rail officials some hope that they can escape a legal situation that could jeopardize the project.
February 13, 2014 | By Tom Zoellner
Who doesn't love a train? Who cannot fail to be seduced by the most appealing vehicle in human history - the rail-induced sensuality of "Brief Encounter," the desperate heroism of engineer Casey Jones, the creative muscle of the Big Four railroad barons, the plucky fortitude of Thomas the Tank Engine and the Little Engine That Could, all wrapped up in gleaming, rocking steel, punctuated by a high, lonesome whistle? And yet California voters have been expressing morning-after regrets since they voted for Proposition 1A, which promised them a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
February 7, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A man was found on a South Los Angeles sidewalk early Friday morning with a single gunshot wound to the head, police said, marking the first homicide of the year for Vermont Square. The body was found near the intersection of West 53rd Street and South Budlong Avenue at about 2 a.m. after Los Angeles police officers responded to calls of shots fired. He was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. HOMICIDE REPORT: A story for every victim An official with the Los Angeles County coroner's office said the man has not been identified.  The man was approximately 25 years old, said LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman.
February 7, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Construction costs and revenue estimates for the California bullet train are headed downward while operating costs and ridership for the proposed statewide system are expected to increase above earlier forecasts, according to the project's latest business plan unveiled Friday. The draft plan summarizes the work of the California High-Speed Rail Authority during the past two years, contains revisions of ridership and cost estimates made in the 2012 business plan and describes the project's future goals, including the possibility of attracting private sector partners.
February 4, 2014 | By David Ng
Timing is everything in showbiz. And so it is with public controversies too. The resurrection of the 20-year-old Woody Allen controversy surrounding his adopted daughter Dylan (also known as Malone) Farrow comes as the prolific writer-director is riding a surge of critical and commercial success, capped off with his Academy Award nomination this year for "Blue Jasmine," the 24th nod of his career. It also comes as Allen is nearing the opening of one his most significant projects yet - his first-ever Broadway musical.
January 30, 2014 | Ralph Vartabedian and Maura Dolan
With the state's bullet train project in a legal bind, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered an appeals court to conduct a fast-track review of lower court rulings that have blocked the state's access to $9 billion in public funds needed for the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco line. The order granted Gov. Jerry Brown's administration the expedited legal review it sought. But the high court declined to take up the matter on its own, potentially slowing down the resolution of crucial legal and financial issues for the $68-billion construction project, according to attorneys involved in the case.
January 24, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Jerry Brown's administration Friday asked the California Supreme Court to block two trial court rulings that could indefinitely delay construction of a high-speed rail line linking Los Angeles and San Francisco. The California High-Speed Rail Authority asked the state high court to block by March 1 two rulings by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny that would impede the state's ability to finance the bullet train in the near future. Unless the state Supreme Court intervenes, "the future of the rail system may effectively be determined by two Superior Court rulings untethered from the law approved by the Legislature and the voters to build it," lawyers for the state wrote.
January 22, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Under a little-noticed item in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, the state would lend California's bullet train agency $29 million to keep the project moving ahead amid increased uncertainty about the availability of future funding for the massive project. The proposed loan follows a similar $26-million advance last year from general government revenues that prompted some lawmakers to voice concern about the possibility that such lending would take money away from other high-priority projects.
January 17, 2014 | By David Horsey
The Senate Intelligence Committee has delivered a damning report about the catastrophe at the American mission in Benghazi, Libya, casting the blame widely -- at the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department and even at one of the victims of the attack, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. But despite an addendum tacked on by Republican members of the committee that took a hard swipe at Hillary Rodham Clinton, not much damage was done to the former secretary of State's prospects as a presidential candidate.  Thursday on the Senate floor, Republican Sens.
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