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April 23, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Scores of people who suffered damage when the Powerhouse fire scorched stretches of northern Los Angeles County are suing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, alleging the utility started the massive blaze and failed to properly maintain power lines and equipment. The fire destroyed dozens of homes and burned more than 30,000 acres over the course of several days last year. U.S. Forest Service officials have estimated the cost of battling the blaze at more than $16 million.
April 22, 2014 | By Zulfiqar Ali, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A week after Pakistani militants refused to extend a cease-fire with the government, at least nine people, including five police officers, were killed and more than 30 wounded in two attacks in the country's restive northwest, officials said Tuesday. Officials said militants ambushed a police patrol in Bhadbare, on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Peshawar, late Monday night. Two police officials were wounded in the attack, and when other officers arrived at the site to retrieve the wounded, the attackers struck again, authorities said.
April 22, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Russia's space for free speech suffered two further blows Tuesday when a Moscow court convicted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny of slander and a social network founder who provided a platform for dissent was fired and fled abroad. Pavel Durov, founder of the Russian Facebook equivalent VKontakte, said via the social media website that he had run afoul of Russian officials for his refusal to block posts  critical of the Kremlin or to pass on to Russian security services the personal data of Ukrainian VKontakte users under surveillance for their participation in the rebellion that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich in February.
April 21, 2014 | By Todd Martens
At about 10:20 p.m. Sunday, a panic swept through the grounds of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. On one stage was Motorhead, with L emmy  Kilmister's aged growl calling to the desert wild. On another was Disclosure, whose crowd was swelling by the minute, lured by the act's ability to use a beat-driven sound to hit a range of emotions.  And then what was shaping up to a relatively pleasant end to Coachella's two weekends was upended.  Just as the Arcade Fire's set was to start, leader Win Butler introduced two special guests, only the two special guests were men in robot masks that happened to look an awful lot like those of Daft Punk, albeit their outfits were a little more unkempt.
April 21, 2014 | By Hannah Fry
A 5-year-old boy was treated for second- and third-degree burns after he fell into a fire ring near the Balboa Pier on Sunday afternoon, authorities said Monday. The boy was taken by ambulance to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana at about 4 p.m. for treatment of burns on both feet and one arm, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella. Newport Beach police are investigating how the boy fell into the ring, Manzella said. Fry writes for Times Community News . ALSO: Baby died in SUV while neighbors worked just a few feet away FBI: Man suspected of brutally killing his family may be in L.A. area Box of newborn kittens accidentally shipped from L.A. to San Diego
April 21, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Was it an act of altruism or a scam? That's the big question behind media executive Darlene Tipton's efforts to raise money for the family and girlfriend of Philip Wood, a passenger who was on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Tipton, a vice president at Fox Cable Networks, was fired April 9 after using her work email to contact Wood's girlfriend, Sarah Bajc. The cable executive said in the email that she wanted to discuss a plan to raise $22 million for Bajc and Wood's family via the website GoFundMe.
April 21, 2014 | By Chuck Schilken
Phil Jackson made his first big move since becoming president of the New York Knicks last month -- he fired coach Mike Woodson and the rest of the coaching staff. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said in a news release Monday announcing the move. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.
April 21, 2014 | Sandy Banks
Brandon Spencer ought to be considered an object lesson by wannabe gangsters carrying guns. The 21-year-old was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison for shooting into a crowd waiting in line for a Halloween party on the USC campus in 2012. He wounded four people - including his target - but seems to think he ought to get leniency because nobody died. Spencer threw a tantrum in the courtroom when the judge announced his sentence, crying and banging his head on a table, like a 2-year-old sentenced to time-out.
April 21, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Faced with the threat of a ballot initiative on teacher firings that could have placed it in the awkward position of publicly defending child molesters, the California Teachers Assn. agreed to a compromise: legislation to streamline the appeals process for teachers who are accused of such egregious misconduct. The procedures outlined in the bill strike the right balance of providing teachers with due process to ensure that they have not been fired unfairly, while speeding up the process and making it far simpler and less expensive.
April 21, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Blake Shelton have been added to the bill at the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards. Clear Media and Entertainment announced the first slate of acts for the three-hour, fan-voted show early Monday. Also slated to hit the stage? Ariana Grande, Pitbull, Shakira, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Luke Bryan, Ed Sheeran and Arcade Fire, which just closed out the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival over the weekend. Acknowledging the array of music-centric award shows that vie to be the viral, more fun alternative to the prestigious Grammys, Clear Channel's telecast is promising a groundbreaking approach to the format.
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