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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.
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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 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 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.
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.
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.
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)
NATIONAL
December 30, 2013 | By David S. Cloud
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Shortly after he arrived at Ramstein Air Base in Germany in March 2012, Air Force security guard Trent Smith was at an off-base apartment when, he says, a male sergeant touched him and pressed him to go into the bedroom for sex. "I said, 'No, I don't want to spend the night,'" Smith recalled. But Smith, 20, says he felt he had no choice. "I went along with it. " For Smith, the encounter - which he reported up the chain of command three days later - began an emotional ordeal.
SPORTS
December 13, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Every once in a while, Pau Gasol complains about not getting enough touches in the post. Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni had a suggestion for him -- and any other Lakers player who didn't like their role in his offense. "Everybody, to a man, we've just got to play harder and worry about things less," he said Friday. "That's one thing, if they just don't want to do it that way. Then you have to accept it or not. But there's no reason to not play hard. " Gasol told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that his poor play on the court -- averages of 14.4 points a game, 41.4% shooting -- was a result of being underutilized.
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