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December 24, 2013 | By Anthony York
Gov. Jerry Brown announced pardons for 127 convicted felons Tuesday, keeping with a Christmas Eve tradition he has followed since retaking the governor's office in 2011. All of those pardoned by Brown have long since completed their sentences and have a record of at least a decade without any further criminal activity, according to a statement from the governor's office. Most were convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. "Pardons are not granted unless they are earned," the statement said.
December 24, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Nearly 60 years after his death, Alan Turing, the British scientist whose code-breaking work helped the Allies beat Hitler and whom many consider the father of artificial intelligence, received a royal pardon Tuesday for the crime of having had sex with another man. Turing was convicted in 1952 of “gross indecency,” the charge used against gay men in an age when homosexual relations were illegal in Britain. He underwent chemical castration and had his government security clearance confiscated, then took his own life in 1954 at age 41, prematurely ending a distinguished career that pioneered today's computer era. In recent years, a campaign to have Turing's name cleared has built momentum, resulting in an official apology in 2009 and culminating in the announcement Tuesday that Queen Elizabeth II, exercising her royal “prerogative of mercy,” had pardoned Turing at the request of the government.
December 23, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
HONOLULU - President Obama issued an executive order Monday granting civilian and military employees a 1% pay raise in 2014. Military employees have received a raise each year that Obama has been in the White House, but civilian pay has been flat over the last three years as members of Congress have tangled over the budget and the federal deficit. On the campaign trail in 2010 and 2012, some Republicans targeted the pay scale of federal employees, suggesting that inflated government employment was contributing to the nation's fiscal problems, although their salaries make up a small portion of the overall budget.
December 20, 2013 | Wire reports
The Baltimore Orioles won't be closing a deal for All-Star closer Grant Balfour . Days after reaching a preliminary agreement with the free agent pending a physical, the Orioles said Friday that they weren't satisfied with the results of Balfour's exam. "This is a deal that's not going to come together," Dan Duquette , Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations, said on a conference call. Duquette declined to say what specifically concerned him about Balfour, who turns 36 later this month.
December 19, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - He was once Russia's richest man and, by some measures, President Vladimir Putin's most potent foe. By Thursday, when Putin said he was likely to grant clemency to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, that was all long in the past. Both Khodorkovsky's power and the source of his wealth have been lost over the course of a decade in prison, and Putin's position as Russia's leader is more secure than ever. Khodorkovsky's release would signal an end to a remarkable saga that has been one of the hallmarks of Putin's tenure, and has led to international condemnation of what many view as a high-profile violation of human rights.
December 19, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said Thursday that he will seek to restore a state program that funded county services for mentally ill people who run afoul of the law. After a decade of state funding, the Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grants ceased in 2008 due to budget cuts. Steinberg wants to restore funding, starting with $50 million in the next budget year. But that money is contingent on whether Gov. Jerry Brown receives a delay in a federal court order to reduce state prison crowding.
December 18, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
Christian charity will be hitting the small screen in the middle of next year when "It Takes a Church" is to debut on GSN. The network announced Tuesday that it has greenlighted the new original series, which features 2014 Grammy Award nominee Natalie Grant as host. The hourlong reality show is to visit a different congregation at churches across the U.S. in order to find the perfect romantic partner for a preselected single person. The church's pastor will then ask his or her congregation to try to find a match.
December 16, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Though still-itinerant while waiting for a planned new home in Culver City, the Jazz Bakery was awarded an NEA Art Works Grant of $15,000, which will be put toward staging three shows with ensembles led by Ron Carter, Kenny Barron and Toshiko Akioshi. Scheduled for 2014, the concerts will also include a master class and a pre-concert lecture from the three NEA Jazz Masters.  The shows will be presented as part of the bakery's ongoing Movable Feast concert series, and dates and times for the concerts have yet to be finalized.
December 13, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
Saturday will bring one more ripple to Betfair Hollywood Park's mostly quiet waters. So, you ask Richard Warren for a crowd prediction. It will be CashCall Futurity day, the last outing of the year for 2-year-old thoroughbreds aiming at the Triple Crown races. That's a legitimate attraction. PHOTOS:The lights go out at Hollywood Park Warren grimaces, then wrinkles his brow. You prompt him a bit. Maybe 15,000 fans? He finally shrugs and says, "Yes, maybe. It sure won't be like the old days.
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