March 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Border Patrol has restricted border agents' authority to shoot at moving vehicles or at people throwing rocks, changing a controversial policy that has contributed to at least 19 deaths since 2010. In a memo released Friday, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher directed border agents not to step in front of moving vehicles, nor to use their bodies to block them, in order to open fire at drivers. He also barred shooting at vehicles whose occupants are fleeing from agents.
March 4, 2014 |
After a five-year hiring freeze, the Los Angeles Fire Department is beginning to select its next generation of firefighters, and it is finding that there is tremendous demand for the jobs. Last year, 70 open slots at the fire academy drew 13,000 applications. Some 6,500 candidates passed the written exam and were invited to submit paperwork showing they had passed the physical fitness test. With such a huge pool of applicants, the LAFD should have picked the very best - those with the highest test scores and the most training, and experience in emergency medical response, which has become a significant part of a firefighter's job. But that didn't happen.
March 2, 2014 |
Secretary of State John F. Kerry is right: Russia's deployment of troops in Crimea is an "incredible act of aggression" that violates express promises Russia made two decades ago to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity. If Russia doesn't reverse course, the United States and countries in Europe should impose economic sanctions. But even as they weigh such measures, the United States and its allies must be willing to show Russia that its concerns can be resolved, in Kerry's words, "according to the standards of the 21st century.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2014 |
Two top commanders who oversaw hiring and training at the Los Angeles Fire Department have been reassigned after officials learned their sons advanced during a recruitment process that has come under scrutiny at City Hall. Interim Fire Chief James G. Featherstone learned about the situation after being appointed last November and concluded that it posed a potential conflict of interest, his spokesman said Friday. "He immediately recognized this was not appropriate," spokesman Peter Sanders said.
February 27, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths. The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for "lack of diligence" in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency "consistently and thoroughly reviews" use-of-deadly-force incidents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 |
For thousands of people seeking coveted spots at the Los Angeles Fire Department last year, it all came down to April 22. They had passed a written exam and a grueling physical agility test and now had to turn in their paperwork, which officials would use to help determine who got jobs. The applicants were told certificates showing they'd passed the physical fitness test "would be processed in the order it was received" beginning at 8 a.m. that day. The onslaught of records came via email and fax, but also from those who had lined up at the city's downtown personnel office to get their forms stamped.