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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2014 | By Richard Winton, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
A Montebello hospital accused of dumping a homeless patient on skid row will pay a $250,000 fine and face new protocols rather than face civil and criminal charges, according to the Los Angeles city attorney's office. Officials at the 224-bed Beverly Hospital in Montebello last year allegedly had the patient driven to skid row -- long a magnet for the region's most vulnerable citizens -- without any prearrangement with a shelter to take the patient in. The settlement, announced Friday, marks the first time in several years that a hospital has been caught dumping a patient without adequate medical care illegally on skid row. [Updated 9:40 a.m. PDT Jan. 3: The hospital agreed to pay $200,000 in civil penalties and $50,000 in legal fees.]
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NATIONAL
December 31, 2013 | By David G. Savage and Maeve Reston
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary exemption late Tuesday to a small group of Catholic nuns that shields it from having to comply with a part of President Obama's healthcare law that requires it to provide contraceptive coverage in its insurance plans. She acted on an emergency appeal from lawyers for the group who said the nuns faced "draconian fines" beginning on New Year's Day if they failed to comply with the law widely known as Obamacare. Sotomayor gave the government until Friday to file a response in the case.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Chinese film director Zhang Yimou and his wife could face a fine up to $1.2 million for violating the nation's one-child policy, the official Xinhua news agency reported Sunday, now that the couple has admitted bearing three children before they married in 2011.  Zhang, 62, who has directed such films as “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers” and who oversaw the 2008 Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing, had been dogged by rumors...
SPORTS
December 27, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
The 2013 NFL season has become an expensive one for Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson, who was fined $60,000 by the league Friday for a helmet-to-helmet hit against St. Louis Rams receiver Stedman Bailey on Sunday. It's the fourth time Goldson has been penalized for an illegal hit. His fines have totaled $190,000 plus a one-game suspension without pay that cost him another $264,705. Goldson's first offense this season came in the opening game for a hit on New York Jets wide receiver Jeff Cumberland.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday said it fined Barclays Capital Inc. almost $4 million for what it called "systemic failures" in records retention. FINRA, the largest independent regulator for securities firms doing business in the U.S., fined the London-based bank $3.75 million after an investigation found that the firm failed to preserve electronic records, emails and instant messages for the required minimum time of 10 years.  The group said that from 2002 to 2012, Barclays failed to save many of these electronic records - including order and trade ticket data, trade confirmations, account records and other items - in the proper format.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 2013 | By David Karp
On a recent Saturday morning, Ed Williams stood off to the side at Santa Monica's downtown farmers market, scrutinizing a bright red mango like a detective trying to solve a mystery. "It looks damaged by hot water treatment, which is only used on imported mangoes," Williams said to market supervisor Laura Avery. Pointing to tiny white specks on the fruit, he added, "I think these are dead scale insects. " Williams is deputy director of the Los Angeles County agricultural commissioner's office.
SPORTS
December 24, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
Matt Barnes said he is “frustrated” that, although his flagrant-two foul was downgraded to a flagrant one,  he was still fined $25,000 by the NBA on Monday for not leaving the court in a timely manner. Barnes had been called for the flagrant two for fouling Minnesota's Kevin Love during the Clippers' victory over the Timberwolves on Sunday night at Staples Center. Officials looked at  the tape at halfcourt and ruled that Barnes would be called for a flagrant two and would be ejected from the game.
SPORTS
December 23, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
The NBA fined Clippers forward Matt Barnes $25,000 for failing to leave the court in a “timely manner” after he was ejected from a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night at Staples Center. Barnes was called for a flagrant foul two when he tried to block a shot by Kevin Love. The NBA downgraded it to a flagrant one after reviewing the foul. The play took place with 56.8 seconds left in the third quarter of the Clippers' overtime victory over the Timberwolves . Barnes had to be restrained by teammates Stephen Jackson and Willie Green from going after referee Marc Davis.
WORLD
December 22, 2013 | By Laura King and Amro Hassan
CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced three prominent activists to three-year prison terms and heavy fines, in what was seen as the latest worrying sign of the military-backed government's determination to suppress political dissent. The three - Ahmed Maher, Mohammed Adel and Ahmed Douma - are best known for leading roles in the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic President Hosni Mubarak. They were arrested for demonstrating in late November against a new law that in essence criminalizes street protests, and their sentences, the maximum penalty allowed, were the first ones levied under it. The unexpectedly long jail terms provoked dismay among rights advocates, who have been feeling increasingly under siege at the hands of the government, despite its promises to set the country on the path to democracy.
TRAVEL
December 22, 2013 | Los Angeles Times
Why couldn't I have read Catharine Hamm's On the Spot column titled "Car Rentals and the Honor System" (Dec. 15) before I ventured to North Carolina? Perhaps then I would have been spared a lot of grief. My brother lives in Durham, so in November I met him there, and we rented a car that we drove to Asheville for a delightful weekend at the historic Grove Park Inn. But my experience with one car rental agency in Durham was anything but. Here are lessons learned from my costly ordeal: - Go over the fine print before you initial the rental car agreement.
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