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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A former civilian supervisor on construction projects at Camp Pendleton pleaded guilty Tuesday to a bribery scheme to extort money from contractors doing work on the sprawling base. Natividad Lara Cervantes, 65, pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Cervantes was arrested last year in an FBI sting after accepting $10,000 as a down payment on a $40,000 bribe in exchange for helping a contractor receive a $4-million flooring contract at the base, according to court documents.
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SPORTS
January 21, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Top prospects Joc Pederson and Zach Lee will be in the Dodgers' major league spring training camp for the first time, the team announced Tuesday. The list of non-roster players who will be in camp will include catcher Miguel Olivo, a 12-year major league veteran who signed a minor league contract. Olivo, 35, batted .203 with four home runs and nine runs batted in in 33 games last season with the Miami Marlins. He figures to add depth behind starter A.J. Ellis and projected backup Tim Federowicz.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The surprise visit to Alberto Ruiz's house was swift. Dress quickly, he was told. You're going to boot camp. His parents, worried about his drug use and habit of skipping school, had followed a friend's advice and called Kelvin McFarland. Ruiz's behavior had earned him a spot in McFarland's Family First Growth Camp in Pasadena, a place with a reputation for breaking gang-bangers and drug addicts and turning them into law-abiding teens. A former Marine who likes to be called "Sgt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
A man who operated a youth boot camp in Pasadena was sentenced to state prison Friday for charges including sexual assault, kidnapping and extortion stemming from two cases, prosecutors said. Kelvin Bernard McFarland, 43, was sentenced to four years and four months in state prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender, according to the Los Angeles district attorney's office. McFarland pleaded no contest last year to child abuse, kidnapping, false imprisonment, extortion and unlawful use of a badge, a misdemeanor.
WORLD
January 18, 2014 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - A food convoy was allowed into the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Syria for the first time in months on Saturday after an agreement was worked out with the Syrian government and leaders in the camp. The food was brought in by the Palestinian Authority after many previous failed attempts. Ahmad Majdalani, a Palestinian emissary to Damascus, told reporters in Ramallah that after a Palestinian team had talked to faction leaders in the camp on Friday, it was agreed that they would guarantee a safe passage into the camp to bring in badly needed food and medicine.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
California is bracing for what officials fear could be an unprecedented winter fire season fueled by record dry conditions that show no signs of letting up. January is typically a time when forest fire camps and air bases are closed and seasonal firefighters go home. But not this year. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to 150 wildfires so far. During the same period last January, there were none, and the historic average is 25. Fire officials pointed to coastal blazes in Humboldt and San Mateo counties in the last two weeks as examples of the conditions they're facing.
WORLD
January 18, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - In August, Ma Liangfu and the more than 100 other inmates at the Tumuji Reeducation Through Labor Camp in Inner Mongolia received good news: China was abolishing its much-criticized network of detention facilities, known as laojiao , where people have been imprisoned without trial for up to four years. Police sent Ma to the camp in April 2012 and he was forced to work long hours growing tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage. His offenses? Establishing an anticorruption group, handing out fliers at a Beijing railway station, and helping others to petition the government over grievances such as land disputes.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It is, Kristen Stewart agrees, just like falling in love. "It's just a very familiar, necessary feeling when you read a script you want to do," the actress says, coming alive at just the memory. "I've gone with my gut, taken a lot of the thinking away, and been very lucky. "As an artist," she continues, her energy rising, "If you view what you do as product, you'll never do anything true to yourself, never do anything you're proud of. I've never thought, 'My career should go in this direction.' There's no way to be tactical for me. " PHOTOS: Sundance Film Festival 2014 | The Scene Stewart got that familiar feeling when she read writer-director Peter Sattler's script for "Camp X-Ray," which has its debut Friday as part of the Sundance Film Festival's dramatic competition.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The Sundance Film Festival, which opens Thursday, does not have an annual motto, but if it did the one this year might be "We Hear You. " Understanding that its frigid Park City, Utah, location makes standing in the festival's endless lines something only Sgt. Preston of the Yukon might enjoy, Sundance has come up with an electronic system this year that, at least in theory, "allows you to sign up for a wait list number from virtually anywhere....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2014 | By Tony Perry
A Marine staff sergeant at Camp Pendleton has received a Silver Star for bravery and leadership in Afghanistan during an ambush by Taliban fighters. After his squad leader was downed by enemy fire, Timothy Williams took command, leading a counterattack, killing five Taliban and rescuing the wounded squad leader. Williams dashed 60 meters to Jason Pennock and then "exposed himself to accurate enemy fire yet again when he carried the wounded Marine over 300 yards of uneven terrain to the medical evacuation platform.
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