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March 3, 2014 | By Anthony York
Gov. Jerry Brown received more than $11,000 in gifts last year, according to a new financial disclosure statement he filed with the state this week. Most of the money came in the form of an $8,400 gift from the San Francisco-based Bay Area Council, which sponsored the governor's trade mission to China and paid the governor's way on the weeklong trip. Other gifts included private flights to attend a State Sheriffs Assn. meeting in Lake Tahoe and a flight from Palm Springs to Bakersfield paid for by the California Assn.
February 23, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: All owners in my association received a letter from the board's vice president along with photos showing everything that's wrong in our building. Some things that were listed as "wrong" have been dormant for dozens of years, and still this high-rise has not fallen down and his issues do not pose a liability. Some things have been deliberately tampered with by the vice president so he could say that they are "wrong. " Now that he has sent this list to all owners, what are the ramifications if we want to sell our units?
February 20, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO-The Assembly approved a measure Thursday that would ramp up disclosure requirements for nonprofit groups and other organizations that spend money in California campaigns, a response to a infamous multimillion-dollar anonymous donation in 2012. The measure, by Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) would establish thresholds under which organizations would have to disclose their donors, such as when an organization receives $1,000 or more from donors for the purpose of making expenditures or contributions.
February 2, 2014 | Ken Dilanian
Early last year, as Edward Snowden was preparing to disclose classified documents he had purloined from National Security Agency computers in Hawaii, the NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, was gearing up to sell Congress and the public on a proposal for the NSA to defend private U.S. computer networks against cyber attacks. Alexander wanted to use the NSA's powerful tools to scan Internet traffic for malicious software code. He said the NSA could kill the viruses and other digital threats without reading consumers' private emails, texts and Web searches.
January 10, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
The dirty little secret of those eye-popping fines and penalties the government has been extracting from banks and Wall Street firms for financial wrongdoing is that they cost the firms only a fraction of the top-line numbers. Now Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are demanding that the top and bottom lines be disclosed -- not only what the government and the banks claim the settlements are worth, but what they're really worth. As my colleague Jim Puzzanghera reported , they've introduced the Truth in Settlements Act to do that job.  For any federal agency settlement larger than $1 million -- and you have to be engaged in some pretty trivial wrongdoing to fall below that threshold -- the act would require public disclosure of how much of the settlement is tax-deductible, and how much involves "credits" for routine conduct.
January 8, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tom Coburn on Wednesday introduced legislation requiring federal agencies to disclose more information about settlements that end government investigations, such as whether the money paid by companies is tax-deductible. The bipartisan bill -- Warren is a Massachusetts Democrat and Coburn an Oklahoma Republican -- reflects widespread concern on Capitol Hill that banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other companies often cut deals to avoid potentially steeper penalties and court costs for violating federal laws.
November 24, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Remember Edward Snowden? For a while, the National Security Agency's renegade contractor seemed like the most influential man in American intelligence, even though he's been hiding out in Moscow. Snowden's disclosures touched off a wave of enthusiasm in Congress for reforming the NSA's surveillance practices - and anger overseas when he revealed that American spies were listening to foreign leaders' cellphone calls. But now, as Congress counts only a few working days remaining in its year, the momentum toward intelligence reform has slowed.
November 19, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The federal government's consumer financial watchdog will require lenders to issue shorter, easier-to-understand mortgage disclosure forms to home buyers that more clearly show the costs and terms of the loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to issue the rule Wednesday, following through on what was an initiative launched in 2011 as the then-fledgling agency's first major action. The early Know Before You Owe forms were welcomed by consumer and industry groups as an improvement over the more complex disclosures required under federal law for more than 30 years.
November 16, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
The young British dance duo Disclosure drew nearly universal acclaim this year with their exuberant debut album, "Settle. " But if there's one guy right now with more club-scene mojo than Guy and Howard Lawrence, it's Nile Rodgers, the influential Chic guitarist whose guest turn in Daft Punk's summer smash " Get Lucky " has introduced him to a fresh generation of groove-seekers. So it makes all kinds of sense that the Lawrence brothers would enlist Rodgers for a new single on their label Method Records.
November 3, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and Jessica Guynn
WASHINGTON - After decades of pushing the boundaries of electronic espionage, the National Security Agency finds itself exposed as never before, and the anything-goes ethos of secret surveillance may never be the same. New limits on America's global surveillance operations are almost certain thanks to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showing that the spy agency eavesdropped on dozens of foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other close allies.
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