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Evident

NEWS
March 3, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
Can a piece of paper be a smoking gun? A decade ago, the state of Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham after a trial in which an arson investigation and a jailhouse snitch named Johnny Webb seemed to prove Willingham had set a 1991 house fire, killing his three children. Yet even before the trial began, doubts surfaced about the veracity of the arson report, which ultimately was discredited as abjectly incompetent. As for the witness Webb, the prosecutor at the time, John Jackson, insisted he had made no deal in return for Webb's testimony, the kind of detail jurors need to know to weigh the veracity of a witness.
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OPINION
February 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The state of California issued an advisory on measles last week. Though only about a dozen cases have been reported so far, many more people have been exposed to the virus. In the Bay Area, thousands were warned to watch for signs of the disease after a man who'd been infected on a trip to Asia rode a BART train. In Los Angeles, far more people than necessary were exposed to measles because doctors failed to report two patients' cases immediately. One had traveled to Asia; the other had been exposed to a recently infected traveler.
OPINION
February 7, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
For some children in Syria, the civil war is a particular kind of hell. The details of a United Nations report released last week are chilling and gut-wrenching, and go far beyond the kind of civilian slaughter that accompanies shelling of residential neighborhoods - a reproachable hallmark of the fighting in that country. Despite encountering significant hurdles in reaching witnesses, U.N. investigators documented cases in which children as young as 11 were subjected to sexual attacks, their fingernails being pulled, electric shocks to genitalia and beatings.
SCIENCE
February 6, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Long before a woman hits middle age, she and her doctor should be thinking about her risk of stroke and taking steps to reduce it, according to the first set of stroke guidelines aimed at women. The overall stroke risk for women is higher than it is for men, in part because women live longer. But the new guidelines from the American Heart Assn. underscore that many other factors may increase their risk as well, and many of them are evident when a woman is in her 20s and 30s. Some, like complications of pregnancy and menopause, are unique to women.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Already under fire for siphoning money into a secret fund, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been ordered to pay more than $32 million in legal bills for those it blamed for starting a 65,000-acre forest fire. In a scathing order, Superior Court Judge Leslie C. Nichols, sitting on assignment in Plumas County, accused the agency of covering up, lying and engaging in "egregious and reprehensible conduct. " "The court finds that Cal Fire's actions initiating, maintaining and prosecuting this action, to the present time, is corrupt and tainted," the judge wrote.
OPINION
January 24, 2014 | By Colleen Graffy
We don't know their names but we know their numbers, and we can see the evidence of their torture, thanks to a former crime-scene photographer who says he became a reluctant documenter of murder "on an industrial scale" committed by Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. The photographer, code-named Caesar to protect his identity after his defection from Syria, says he worked in the military police for 13 years documenting crime scenes and accidents. But after the civil war began, Caesar says, Assad's government put his skill-set to a different use: photographing the bodies of detainees who had been killed by the regime.
WORLD
January 21, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
With peace talks due to begin this week in Switzerland, a report lays out new evidence that the Syrian government engaged in the “systematic torture and killing” of detainees that it says could support charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A team of legal and forensics experts, including three lawyers with experience prosecuting war crimes in Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, was asked by a London law firm acting on behalf of Qatar to review about 55,000 images said to show bodies of people who died in Syrian custody.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Authorities say they were able to use DNA evidence to track down a man who they say brutally beat and raped a 29-year-old woman in her apartment in 2012. The woman, who has not been identified, woke up at 6 a.m. Oct. 27 in her Rowland Heights apartment as Pablo Reyes Bautista, 26, attacked her, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The break in the case came when DNA recently entered by the suspect resulted in a match from a national database. Bautista was arrested "after an extensive manhunt" in Atwater Village, the department said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel and Robert J. Lopez
The FBI said Monday that it would examine evidence in the Kelly Thomas police beating death trial to "see if further investigation is warranted. " The bureau launched an investigation in 2011 to determine whether Thomas' civil rights were violated when he was beaten by officers after being stopped for questioning at a Fullerton transit depot.  Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic homeless man who was a fixture in downtown Fullerton, died...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 | By Thomas Curwen
Tony Brake had seen tunnel fires before, and given the tower of black smoke and what he could see of the flames, he feared this one was going to be bad. On a Saturday morning in July, a tanker truck carrying 8,700 gallons of gasoline flipped over, and the two-lane underpass connecting the northbound Glendale Freeway with the northbound 5 Freeway turned into a blast furnace. If the tunnel - which supports the 5 Freeway - were to fail, the freeway would collapse. Traffic would be snarled for months, and for a region just emerging from a recession, the economic impact could be severe.
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