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BUSINESS
February 10, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Here's how Toyota Motor Corp. plans to finally put the sudden-acceleration issue to rest: Pull out the checkbook. The automaker is reportedly close to paying a $1-billion fine to settle a four-year federal criminal investigation into whether it properly reported safety complaints to regulators. Meanwhile, Toyota's lawyers are in settlement talks over hundreds of civil lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths or injuries, potentially adding hundreds of millions to the tab. Previously, Toyota agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle a class-action case brought by thousands of Toyota owners who contended that sudden-acceleration problems damaged the value of their vehicles.
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SPORTS
February 10, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
SOCHI, Russia - Improvements were made to the much-maligned halfpipe at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park but not enough to satisfy the leading Olympic snowboarders. The high-profile extreme sports stars had extreme reactions after a practice session scheduled for earlier in the day was moved to Monday night with the hope that conditions would improve. Sloppy snow and edgy riders were not an ideal combination. The men's event starts Tuesday and the women's on Wednesday. FRAMEWORK: Best images from the Sochi Olympics Two-time gold-medal winner Shaun White said that he had a "frustrating" practice.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Got problems with the company that services your home mortgage - the one that collects your payments, keeps track of your escrow account and lets you know when you're late? So your monthly numbers don't look right? You got blown off by servicing personnel when you tried to get inaccuracies in your account corrected? Well, move over. You've got lots of grumpy company. As of Jan. 31, just under half of the 187,818 complaints filed with the federal watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau concerned mortgage foul-ups, and the vast majority of these involved servicing, loan modification and foreclosure activities by servicers.
NATIONAL
February 4, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Remember the Montana judge who said a 14-year-old rape victim was "older than her chronological age" and "as much in control of the situation" as her rapist when he sentenced the offender to 31 days in prison? His comments, which sparked national outrage, have prompted a formal judicial complaint against him. A prosecutor for the state's judicial oversight board has accused Judge G. Todd Baugh of imposing an “overly lenient and unlawful sentence” that “eroded public confidence in the judiciary.” The Montana Judicial Standard Commission's formal charge against Baugh of Yellowstone County was announced Tuesday after the panel received hundreds of complaints about him, including eight that were formally filed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2014 | By Anh Do
An immigration officer who demanded that a Vietnamese immigrant pick up hundreds of egg rolls and deliver them for an office party will stand trial later this year on bribery charges. Mai Nhu Nguyen, an Irvine resident, allegedly took thousands of dollars from three applicants seeking citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, authorities contend. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employee was indicted last summer has been ordered to stand trial in June at U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Authorities arrested Nguyen, 47, last June after she allegedly accepted a $2,200 bribe from an immigrant awaiting citizenship.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc and Ruben Vives
The city of Long Beach will pay $380,000 to a man who was Tasered and beaten with flashlights by police when he asked for a badge number. A jury found that officers had arrested Perry Grays without probable cause and used excessive and unreasonable force against him, and awarded him $441,000. On Tuesday, the City Council approved the negotiated settlement amount and said it would not appeal the verdict. Grays, a married father of three who worked as a security guard, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and five officers who responded to a noise complaint at his home on Feb. 6, 2011.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - Just as this city is recovering from the scandal that drove Bob Filner from the mayor's office, along comes another political firestorm. But instead of sexual harassment, it involves allegations of illegal contributions flowing into mayoral campaigns. A retired San Diego police officer, the owner of a Washington, D.C.-based election services business and another man have been charged with conspiring to funnel more than $500,000 in illegal contributions from an unidentified Mexican businessman into recent political campaigns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A retired San Diego police officer and the owner of a Washington, D.C.-based election services business have been charged with conspiring to funnel more than $500,000 of illegal contributions from a Mexican businessman into San Diego campaigns, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday. Ravneet Singh, 41, owner of ElectionMall Inc., and retired police detective Ernesto Encinas, 57, conspired to funnel the money into independent committees supporting candidates in the mayoral elections of 2012 and 2013, among other elections, according to the complaint.
NATIONAL
January 21, 2014 | By Manya Brachear Pashman, Christy Gutowski and Todd Lighty
Thousands of pages of secret church documents released Tuesday as part of a court settlement provide an unprecedented look at how the Archdiocese of Chicago for years failed to protect children from abusive priests. The documents provide new details and insights into how the nation's third-largest archdiocese quietly shuttled accused priests from parish to parish and failed to notify police of child abuse allegations. The paper trail, going back decades, also portrays painfully slow progress toward reform, accountability and openness.
BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
The big television networks have faced all number of challenges in recent years. But they could be done in by something called Aereo. Most people probably haven't heard of Aereo, which has been rolling out its video service for just over a year and still serves only 10 cities, none further west than Salt Lake. But millions will be hearing about it now, because on Jan. 10, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the broadcasters' complaints that Aereo's business dramatically breaches telecommunications and copyright law. The New York start-up offers its subscribers signals from their local over-the-air broadcasters in a way that is either a minor tweak of how they can get those signals on their own (that's Aereo's version)
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