CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - It has come to this: California politics have become so one-sided that the only half-way intriguing statewide races this spring are for two largely ministerial jobs. One is secretary of state. The other is state controller. Both are pretty mundane. The secretary of state oversees elections and maintains public databases on campaign contributions and lobbyists' spending. The office also processes a lot of business-related stuff. Sounds simple. But under termed-out Democrat Debra Bowen, few things seemingly have been simple.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 |
City officials are starting to pore over thousands of signatures to determine whether a proposal for a Los Angeles city health commission could make it to the ballot -- the latest step in a battle by AIDS activists who argue Angelenos need more leverage over services provided by the county. The petition calls for a 15-member commission, appointed by members of the Los Angeles City Council, to monitor how county departments provide health services to the city. It would also examine whether the city should keep contracting with the county or create a health department of its own. The proposal emerged after a court struck down an earlier bid by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to create a city health department, an idea that was vehemently opposed by city and county officials.
April 21, 2014 |
DAMASCUS, Syria - Presidential elections will be held in Syria on June 3, the government announced Monday, even as a mortar barrage on the capital highlighted the relentless violence in the country. President Bashar Assad is expected to run and handily win a third seven-year term, though new laws mean he could face a challenger for the first time. Assad has yet to officially declare his candidacy. The United States and allies calling for Assad to step down denounced the planned balloting as “absurd” and a “parody of democracy,” in the words of a tweet from Edgar Vasquez, a State Department spokesman.
April 19, 2014 |
Amid low expectations, it came as a surprise to Western diplomats when Russia signed off on an agreement calling for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine to lay down their weapons and surrender the public buildings they have been occupying for weeks. What hasn't been surprising in the days since is Russia's apparent unwillingness to ensure that those terms are quickly and cleanly enforced. Russian President Vladimir Putin has two objectives in what the Ukrainian and Western governments say is his thinly disguised backing of the separatists.
April 18, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Friday delayed a decision on the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, citing a Nebraska state court decision that invalidated part of the project's route. The latest hold-up in the unusually lengthy review of the $5.3-billion oil pipeline almost certainly will push any decision until after the November midterm election, getting President Obama off a political hook. The White House has been pressed on one side by environmentalists who have turned opposition to the pipeline into a touchstone issue and on the other by conservative Democrats from energy-producing states who say approving Keystone XL would show the administration's commitment to job creation.
April 17, 2014 |
In the circus of speculation that surrounds Hillary Rodham Clinton and her presidential prospects, Chelsea Clinton dropped a bombshell Thursday with her announcement that she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting a child. The former secretary of State has made no secret of her desire to be a grandmother, and sources close to her have said she would have serious reservations about diving into the grueling schedule of a presidential campaign if those demands coincide with her daughter's pregnancy.