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November 29, 2013 | By Becca Clemons
WASHINGTON - On the website for Jim Fulner's U.S. Senate campaign, 34 letters and numbers appear in a string above the "Donate Now!" button. They are the code for his campaign's bitcoin wallet, where holders of the so-called digital currency can send it to the Libertarian from Michigan - without a bank acting as an intermediary. "It's an exciting new technology," said Jeff Wood, the campaign treasurer and a self-described early adopter of bitcoin. But as with any budding technology, federal agencies must examine how its use fits in with the law, including rules for campaign donations.
November 26, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II
Los Angeles city building officials have concluded that it would take inspectors more than a year to identify all the apartment buildings in the city that have a certain type of wood frame vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake. City staffers developed a plan to winnow out these so-called "soft" story wood-frame buildings among the 29,000 apartment buildings across the city that were built before 1978, Ifa Kashefi, chief of the engineering bureau at the building and safety department, wrote in a report submitted to a City Council planning committee.
November 24, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
The Dodgers are close to signing former All-Star Dan Haren, who could add depth to the battered back end of their rotation. Haren agreed to a one-year, $10-million contract that includes a vesting option for 2015, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical examination. The contract could be finalized as early as Monday. Haren is coming off the two worst seasons of his career. He was 12-13 with a 4.33 earned-run average with the Angels in 2012 and 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA with the Washington Nationals this year.
November 22, 2013 | By Kate Mather
Los Angeles police said Friday they are examining the bloody leash of a dog who returned home from a walk this week without his owner, who mysteriously disappeared earlier this week.  Darwin Vela, 22, was last seen about 9 p.m. Tuesday when he left his home in the 2900 block of South Redondo Boulevard to walk his dog, police said. The 90-pound chocolate Labrador retriever came back alone, Vela's fiancee told The Times, and had blood on his leash. LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese cautioned that even though the blood on the leash "sounds suspicious," it is too early to draw conclusions "until we know more about the totality of the circumstances surrounding the leash.
November 21, 2013 | By Annlee Ellingson
On the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, "JFK: A President Betrayed" doesn't revisit what happened on that fateful day in Dallas. Instead, Cory Taylor's documentary examines the 35th president's failures and successes on the Cold War front with a wistfulness for what might have been had Lee Harvey Oswald (whose name isn't even mentioned) never taken aim. The film, narrated by velvet-voiced Morgan Freeman, weaves a suspenseful narrative from eyewitnesses, including the English and Russian translators present at JFK's Vienna summit with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev; academic experts; and the children of key players, revealing an empathetic, humanist side to the president's navigation of the Communist threat.
November 20, 2013 | By David Colker
The more than 70 children's books by Charlotte Zolotow are not, in many cases, escapist, fantasy fare. "My Grandson Lew" is about a boy struggling with the death of his grandfather; "The Old Dog" concerns the loss of a beloved pet; "The Hating Book" deals with anger toward a friend; and "William's Doll" is about a boy who is bullied because he wants a doll. Zolotow approached these topics and many more in a gentle, reassuring manner. But the author, who had a difficult, troubled upbringing, firmly believed that it was unhealthy for children's feelings toward sadness to be discounted or, even worse, ignored.
November 14, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
As prosecutors began their cross-examination of Bell's former second in command Thursday, Angela Spaccia clung to her story that Robert Rizzo was to blame for hiding annual raises of more than 40% for the two of them at the same time the city was struggling to fund its pension plan. The contracts that called for the pay raises were not included in any City Council agenda and the council never approved them, Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Hassett said. "I had no involvement in the agenda," Spaccia repeated over and over.
November 8, 2013 | By Paul Pringle
A union leader whose members helped construct Disney Hall, Staples Center and other signature Southern California buildings is under investigation over allegations that he let employers skip payments to workers' health and pension funds, spent dues money on an extramarital affair and retaliated against whistle-blowers. Scott Brain represents about 1,650 workers as head of Cement Masons Union Local 600, based in Bell Gardens. The union is a force in local and state politics as a regular donor to election campaigns.
November 5, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
Panicked Californians inundated the state's unemployment agency with 20 times the normal volume of phone calls after a botched computer upgrade delayed jobless checks and crippled parts of the department's website. Call attempts surged after the Labor Day launch of a new system to process ongoing benefits claims. At its peak, nearly 6 million calls were made in just one week. The crush of calls was so heavy that people had to dial an average of 40 times just to get through to a recorded message.
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