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WORLD
February 17, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Torture, deliberate starvation and other abuses carried out by North Korean authorities -- possibly on the orders of supreme leader Kim Jong Un himself -- constitute crimes against humanity and should be referred to an international court or tribunal for prosecution, United Nations investigators said Monday. “These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” said a 400-page report unveiled in Geneva by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Pardon me if I haven't gotten all worked up about Sen. Rod Wright being convicted of lying about where he lives. A politician fudging his residency to make people think he lives in his district? Shock, shock! Happens a lot. But district attorneys seldom prosecute. Most feel there are much worse crimes to chase. Should these politicians get away with it? No, not in an ideal world. But district lines shift. They're redrawn every 10 years to fit population changes.
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | By Ben Welsh and Thomas Suh Lauder
Crime reports are up significantly for the latest week in seven L.A. neighborhoods, according to an analysis of LAPD data by the Los Angeles Times' Crime L.A. database . Five neighborhoods reported a significant increase in violent crime. Elysian Park (A) was the most unusual, recording three reports compared with a weekly average of zero over the last three months. Mission Hills (F) topped the list of two neighborhoods with property crime alerts.
WORLD
February 11, 2014 | By Tom Kington and Richard A. Serrano
ROME - The FBI and Italian police said they had broken up a global heroin and cocaine trafficking ring Tuesday after stumbling upon a fledgling alliance between a Calabrian Mafia group and associates of New York's notorious Gambino crime family. Twenty-four arrests were made in Italy and the United States after a two-year operation that relied on both wiretaps and an American undercover agent named by investigators as "Jimmy," who is said to have infiltrated the Gambinos and fooled Italians into believing he was a heroin dealer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors are considering an overhaul of the county's system for defending juveniles accused of crimes. Under-age criminal defendants who can't afford a lawyer are generally represented by someone from the county public defender's office. But when that office is already representing another defendant in the case or a special circumstance arises, lawyers from a separate panel step in to remove the potential conflict of interest. Advocates argue that the switch creates another problem: The private lawyers the county contracts with for these cases, known as panel attorneys, are paid less - a flat rate of $319 to $345 per case - and may not represent their clients as vigorously.
NATIONAL
February 8, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
Barely a month ago, Christopher Pengra became mayor of a bedroom community outside Salt Lake City, anticipating the usual headaches of a fast-growing area, such humdrum fare as traffic congestion and zoning disputes. But there was nothing in his newcomer's manual to handle this: A Utah County sheriff's deputy was killed late last month, gunned down on a lonely rural highway in Eagle Mountain after stopping to assist a stranded motorist. Sgt. Cory Wride, 44, a father of five whom friends knew as a "shy cowboy," had served the town for two decades.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
A cat-and-mouse thriller imported from Paraguay, "7 Boxes" evokes the developing-world amorality and senseless crime caper of "City of God," the 2002 Brazilian sensation that earned four Academy Award nominations, including one for Fernando Meirelles' slick, hyper-stylized direction. But whereas Meirelles seemed to apply absolutely every cinematic trick in the book, "7 Boxes" directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori aren't as hell-bent on making an impression. Their film boasts a rather universal premise: Teenager Victor (Celso Franco)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2014 | By David Ng
In 1989, actor Chazz Palminteri debuted his one-man show "A Bronx Tale" at a small theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The modest play would later catch the attention of Robert De Niro, who turned it into a movie, which in turn helped to propel Palminteri's screen career. In May, Palminteri is set to debut a new play at another small theater in L.A. "Unorganized Crime," written by Kenny D'Aquila, will open at the Elephant Theatre in Hollywood's Theatre Row on May 1 for a three-week run through May 25. Preview performances are scheduled to begin April 26. "Unorganized Crime," which will be directed by David Fofi, tells the story of Gino (D'Aquila)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Police officials in Manteca, Calif., said Tuesday that they had launched a hate-crime investigation after vandals defaced a mosque with vulgar graffiti and left strips of raw bacon strewn on the ground. Manteca police Sgt. Jodie Estarziau said officers responded to the Islamic Center of Manteca on Jan. 28 after receiving reports of "spray-painted vulgarities" and pieces of raw bacon that were found in a parking lot just inside the front gate of the property. Muslims do not eat pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslims, said officials with the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2014 | By David Zucchino
TAMPA, Fla. - As an Army sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gabriel Brown craved danger. Combat satisfied what he called his "adrenaline addiction. " When he returned home to Florida, nothing in civilian life provided the sense of invincibility that made combat so alluring and vital. The sniper was now a nursing student. There was a hole in his life, but he found a way to fill it: robbing banks. He robbed with a military flair. On Feb. 5, 2013, Brown whipped out a gun and tossed an M83 military smoke grenade during a robbery of a TD Bank branch in Auburndale, Fla., that netted $19,000.
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