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Crackdown

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant
For 90 minutes Monday, City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, accompanied by Los Angeles street officials and a scrum of TV cameras, informed Hollywood tour bus operators that they can no longer sell tickets from sidewalk kiosks. The mood seemed to be one of disbelief. "I never thought this day would come," said "Melrose" Larry Green, who sells tickets for Openbustours.com outside a T-shirt shop on Hollywood Boulevard. "We have to make a living and this will make it tougher. " O'Farrell's team handed out dozens of letters informing tour vendors that a city ordinance that took effect Sunday makes it illegal to sell tickets from the public right-of-way.
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NEWS
October 17, 2013 | By Ted Rall
Santa Monica's City Council has ordered a crackdown on yogis, trainers and other athletically inclined users of the city's parks because some residents believe there are too many of them. ALSO: Wilshire Boulevard is no place for cyclists Redskins: No harm, no foul, Mr. Costas Tea party backlash: Protest signs to cheer you up Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall
WORLD
October 6, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING - If you want a full-time teaching job, but you're stuck in a temporary gig without health benefits, Luo Chunlei advises that you buy the school principal a box of mooncakes and follow up with an envelope of dough. Having an operation? Better slip the surgeon some cash. And don't forget the anesthesiologist. "I'm absolutely disgusted by it, but this is how our system works," said Luo, a 32-year-old math teacher turned activist who is campaigning against what he sees as Chinese society's pervasive culture of corruption.
WORLD
October 2, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
A crackdown on Greece's neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, including the arrest of six lawmakers, has set off a frenzied debate about whether Athens authorities are persecuting political opponents. Condemnation of the racist and nationalist ideology of the party has emanated from human rights advocates for years. Golden Dawn thugs on motorcycles are notorious for sweeping through immigrant neighborhoods to beat dark-skinned people with clubs and smash their market stalls. But it took the slaying of a white Greek rap musician to spur the government to investigate the group and charge its leaders with belonging to a criminal organization.
NATIONAL
September 24, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - An Arizona city that led the nation in its aggressive stance on panhandling reversed course Tuesday night, setting in motion the apparent demise of a century-old state law that criminalized begging. The Flagstaff City Council voted to settle a lawsuit launched this summer by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested after asking an undercover police officer for bus fare. The ACLU argued that the state law and Flagstaff's enforcement of it were unconstitutional.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2013 | By KTLA
Drivers in Los Angeles County were warned this week to be on the lookout for scam artists who stage collisions to collect insurance money. The so-called “swoop-and-squat” crashes, in which two vehicles work together to force a rear-end collision, endanger motorists and lead to millions of dollars in insurance rate increases each year, according to Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey. Lacey joined California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to announce nearly $7 million in grant money to be earmarked for additional staff dedicated to cracking down on the phony claims, KTLA-TV reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
As state air pollution officials step up inspections of diesel exhaust from big rigs, some of their best allies are truckers themselves. They are pushing the Air Resources Board to enforce pollution rules more aggressively for trucks in advance of a Jan. 1 deadline. Truckers are also the No.1 tipsters, placing anonymous calls and sending emails to finger competitors they say are gaining an unfair advantage by not upgrading their engines or installing expensive filters that capture harmful diesel particulates before they are released into the air. Diesel exhaust is the worst remaining pollution source on roadways.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2013 | By Jason Wells
An 18-day crackdown on drunk driving across Los Angeles County resulted in 2,313 arrests, authorities said. That total was up compared with the same period last year, when 2,098 DUI-related arrests were made, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The latest crackdown saw increased DUI patrols and a ramped-up schedule of checkpoints in cities across the county starting Aug. 16 and ending on Labor Day, officials said. Beefed up anti-DUI efforts are also planned for the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
More than 150 people were arrested and 25 weapons were seized in a three-week operation against gang violence in Pomona, authorities said Tuesday. The weapons confiscated during "Operation Triple Beam" included assault rifles and handguns, the Pomona Police Department said. Officers working with the U.S. Marshal's Service arrested 165 people, some of them wanted on warrants for violent felonies, according to police. The crackdown focused on several locations in the city about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, police said.
BUSINESS
September 2, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
Despite working 18-hour days, including part time as a waitress at a strip club, Hope Arnold was on the verge of losing her Silver Lake home. Then she discovered Airbnb, a website that links vacationers seeking an alternative to hotels and homeowners with rooms to rent. Billing her place as an "artsy and rustic 1927 treehouse," she started renting out her master bedroom, while she slept in the den. It paid off. Arnold has made $39,000 on Airbnb in the last 12 months, and the site now accounts for as much as 70% of her monthly income.
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