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September 11, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher and Tiffany Hsu
SACRAMENTO - In a rare effort to move legislation more quickly, Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed a bill that would raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2016. The governor and labor union leaders said the increase is needed, given that the last hike - of 50 cents an hour to $8 - took effect at the start of 2008. "The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs," the governor said in a statement Wednesday as lobbyists from both sides worked the 40 Senate members.
September 4, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO --A state Senate panel Wednesday approved a plan to reduce prison crowding by spending more on rehabilitation and mental illness and drug treatment. The Senate Budget Committee's action sets the stage for a possible showdown with a competing proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to find alternative housing for inmates. The committee's 11-5, party-line vote came just days after the Assembly Budget Committee endorsed the governor's plan as the best way to comply with a federal court order to reduce the population in current state prisons by 9,600 inmates by the end of the year.
September 2, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - The White House appealed Monday to two of Congress' most powerful interests - protecting Israel and challenging Iran - as President Obama and his aides scrambled to win lawmakers' support for a resolution authorizing punitive missile strikes in Syria. Obama led the full-throttle Labor Day lobbying campaign by dialing up congressional leaders and huddling for an hour with two Republican hawks, Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who now may prove pivotal to the president's aims.
August 11, 2013
Chris Erskine's story ["Roll on By," July 28] brought back remembrances of a trip my husband and I shared 10 years ago. Our train was filled with Australians as well. On Day 2 one jumped up, pointing in the distance and yelling "BARR!" Their cameras followed. Their enthusiasm was wild. I whispered to my husband, "That's a tree stump; bears do not lie still on the ground for that long!" They didn't hear it from me. When we picked up our rental car for the drive to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, we were warned that bears do graze along the roadside.
July 26, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Lane Kiffin finally made the call. Throughout the off-season and spring practice, USC's football coach evaluated whether he should keep or relinquish play-calling responsibilities for the 2013 season. With training camp set to open Aug. 3, Kiffin ultimately chose not to audible. "It's in the best interest of our football team for me to continue to call plays," Kiffin told reporters Friday at Pac-12 Conference media day. USC fans angry about last season's 7-6 finish might not agree.
July 25, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Less than a month after taking office, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is facing a major test of his power: A union leader who ran a brutal campaign against him in the May election is trying to line up City Council support for a new salary agreement for Department of Water and Power workers. The high-stakes political drama has been building for weeks in private conversations and closed-door meetings at City Hall. It has prompted Garcetti to risk an early and potentially ugly public fight with a powerful critic, DWP union leader Brian D'Arcy.
July 18, 2013 | By Edmund Sanders
JERUSALEM - Dimming hope for an imminent breakthrough in Mideast peace talks, Palestinian leaders on Thursday declined to endorse a U.S. proposal to restart direct negotiations with Israel. After an urgent meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian leaders from the major political factions expressed doubt that the new initiative would be enough to entice them back to the negotiating table. After a late-night meeting, Palestinians were preparing Friday to demand stronger, clearer assurances from Israel, particularly concerning the proposed borders of a future state of Palestine.
July 17, 2013 | By Paul Richter
AMMAN, Jordan - The Obama administration's efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks won the blessing of an influential Arab group Wednesday, but faced a dangerous new complication in the controversy stirred by a European Union sanction of the Jewish settlement movement. After a meeting Wednesday with Secretary of State John F. Kerry in Amman, a committee of the Arab League said the U.S. effort was "a good ground and a suitable environment for restarting the negotiations" between the Israeli and Palestinian governments.
June 29, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN - Bolstering his centrist image, Iranian President-elect Hassan Rowhani on Saturday vowed "moderation" in foreign and domestic affairs in his first major nationally televised address since his surprising election victory this month. In an almost hourlong speech from the state broadcaster's headquarters, Rowhani used some variant of the word "moderate" at least 10 times, signaling his intention to repair Iran's fractured relations with the international community, while not compromising the Islamic Republic's independence.
June 26, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court took a major step toward legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide Wednesday as it struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California. In this country, there is an "evolving understanding of the meaning of equality," said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a growing recognition that the public now believes it is unjust to deny equal rights to "same-sex couples who wished to be married. " Kennedy's ruling struck down, by a 5-to-4 vote, the federal marriage law, which had denied legal recognition of same-sex marriages, even in states where such marriages are legal.
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