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March 21, 2014 | By Nathan Fenno
The slew of early NCAA tournament upsets hasn't helped those clinging to the elusive hope of completing a perfect bracket. Just 16 perfect brackets remained in the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge through Stanford's upset of New Mexico on Friday, according to the company. Quicken Loans wouldn't disclose how many entries were received, but contest rules capped the number at 15 million, one per person. The going wasn't much better in ESPN's contest. Sixty-six perfect brackets of 11.01 million entries remained.
March 20, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Law enforcement in California may continue to collect DNA from people arrested for felonies - even if they are never formally charged - and store the genetic profiles in a criminal database, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. An 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court decision that refused to shut down the state's practice of swabbing individuals for DNA upon arrest. The 9th Circuit said California's practice was "clearly" constitutional under a Supreme Court decision last year that upheld a similar, but narrower, program in Maryland.
March 18, 2014 | By Chris Foster
This is Tucson's Mt. Rushmore, where two heads are better than four. An enlarged head shot of former Arizona coach Lute Olson was waved by a fan during Pac-12 Conference tournament games in Las Vegas last week. The guy next to him held aloft a similar-sized mug of current Wildcats Coach Sean Miller. A picture says 1,000 words? These two said job security. Miller came to Tucson in 2009 to find a program that had been in disrepair since Olson retired. The Wildcats were 40-29 in the two previous season and made the NCAA tournament both years, but that was not good enough for Arizona basketball.
March 16, 2014 | By Rosanna Xia
Authorities are asking for the public's help as they search for four children who were allegedly abducted from their grandmother's house in Boyle Heights on Friday. The children's parents, Enrique Felix and Rosa Chairez, both 28, who had been ordered to stay away from the kids, took them from their grandmother's home in Boyle Heights on Friday, Los Angeles police said. The children were identified as Enrique Felix, 7, his brother Justin, 5, and 1-year-old twin sisters Veronica and Janet.
March 16, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
New coach, new freedoms, new fun ... all of it dancing toward the same old crushing chomp. The good news for UCLA fans is that their freshly minted Pac-12 tournament champions will open the NCAA tournament next weekend down the street in San Diego with a winnable bracket against upstart Tulsa, overhyped Virginia Commonwealth, and hot-but-untested Stephen F. Austin. The bad news is that, if they survive to advance to the Sweet 16, waiting for them will be the familiar bite of Florida.
March 14, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
The stock market closed out its worst week since January, weighed down early by doubts about China's economic growth, uninspiring economic data in the U.S. and finally geopolitical tension in Russia. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 2.4% for the week, saddling it with a 3.1% loss so far this year. The index was off 43.22 points Friday, at 16,065.67, after skidding 231.19 points Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2% for the week, leaving it down 0.4% for the year.
March 14, 2014 | By James Rainey
At just 21, a kid from the San Fernando Valley named Jim Berk began work as a music teacher at Carson High School. Within a couple of years, the teacher, not much older than some of his students, had turned a woebegone marching band into one of the best in Southern California. Then Berk moved to struggling Hamilton High School to launch a music magnet program. It gained national acclaim and so many new students that officials reversed their threat to close the Westside campus. "The Wunderkind of education" the Times dubbed him in 1992.
March 13, 2014 | By Gary Klein
The NFL draft will be held May 8-10, giving former USC receiver Marqise Lee about eight more weeks to prepare for the next stage of his career. Lee, projected as a possible first-round draft pick, participated in USC's pro day workout on Tuesday but did not run the 40-yard dash. The 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner was timed in 4.52 seconds at the NFL scouting combine last month in Indianapolis. After he completed his workout Tuesday, Lee said there was some “stage fright” at the combine.
March 13, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman and Maher Abukhater
JERUSALEM - An Islamist militant group said Thursday that it had agreed to a cease-fire after an intense round of rocket attacks on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip and retaliatory airstrikes by Israel's military. But several more rockets fell on Israel, according to Israeli media reports. Islamic Jihad spokesman Daud Shihab said a cease-fire had been reached through Egyptian mediation and that both sides were committed to it. Israeli officials denied any dialogue with the militants but said calm would be met with calm.
March 13, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - The caller who reported a gas smell minutes before a deadly explosion that destroyed two Manhattan buildings had noticed the same odor the night before but did not report it at the time, officials said Thursday, indicating the catastrophe could have been averted if utility crews had been alerted earlier. At least eight people were killed in Wednesday morning's blast on Park Avenue, between 116th and 117th streets in East Harlem. In a biting wind and temperatures in the 20s, rescue workers continued searching for more people possibly buried beneath the rubble.
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