CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO Two engineers who say their safety concerns about the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge were suppressed by Caltrans higher-ups told a state Senate committee Friday that they nevertheless believe the new eastern span of the structure is safe. California Department of Transportation director Malcolm Dougherty, meanwhile, reluctantly conceded that "there has to have been mistakes made," but insisted that no coercion had occurred and that "if we had any concerns about safety on the bridge, we would not have opened it in September.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court became the first in the nation to rule that prospective jurors may not be excluded because of their sexual orientation, a decision that expands juror protections beyond race and gender and provides legal ammunition to challenge laws that limit gay rights. The sweeping, unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a mixed jury verdict in an antitrust case involving an AIDS drug. The 9th Circuit said the case would have to be retried because an obviously gay juror was unjustifiably excluded from the jury.
January 20, 2014 |
The Supreme Court will hear a 1st Amendment case this week involving Chicago-area in-home care providers that could end up dealing a major blow to public-sector labor unions. Illinois, California, Maryland, Connecticut and other states have long used Medicaid funds to pay salaries for in-home care workers to assist disabled adults who otherwise might have to be put in state institutions. The jobs were poorly paid and turnover was high. Over the last decade, more than 20,000 of these workers in Illinois voted to organize and won wage increases by joining the Service Employees International Union.
January 19, 2014 |
The big television networks have faced all number of challenges in recent years. But they could be done in by something called Aereo. Most people probably haven't heard of Aereo, which has been rolling out its video service for just over a year and still serves only 10 cities, none further west than Salt Lake. But millions will be hearing about it now, because on Jan. 10, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the broadcasters' complaints that Aereo's business dramatically breaches telecommunications and copyright law. The New York start-up offers its subscribers signals from their local over-the-air broadcasters in a way that is either a minor tweak of how they can get those signals on their own (that's Aereo's version)
January 16, 2014 |
RENTON, Wash. - For Seattle fullback Derrick Coleman, the Seahawks' home field is the loudest stadium he's never heard. Coleman is legally deaf, and has been since he was 3, so he won't have need for earplugs Sunday when the Seahawks play host to San Francisco in the NFC championship game. "I feel it, I don't exactly hear it," he said of the noise at CenturyLink Field, where twice this season the Seahawks "12th Man" set Guinness Book records for being the world's loudest crowd at a sporting event.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 |
The California bullet train agency is continuing to meet its financial obligations under federal grants that are providing $3.2 billion to the project, but the state has not indicated how it will pay $180 million in required matching funds by April 1, a senior federal official told a congressional panel Wednesday. Karen Hedlund, deputy chief at the Federal Railroad Administration, said her agency has a legal obligation to continue funding the project because the state hasn't defaulted on its financial agreements with Washington.
January 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats on Monday called for a hearing into "regulatory gaps" highlighted by a chemical spill that has contaminated the water supply to 300,000 West Virginia residents. "As we begin to consider ideas to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, it is critically important that we understand how the law allowed a potentially harmful chemical to remain virtually untested for nearly 40 years," Reps. Henry A. Waxman of Beverly Hills, top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.)
January 11, 2014 |
The U.S. Supreme Court could settle the fate of a new technology company that television broadcasters fear would destroy their business. On Friday, the high court said it would hear arguments that Aereo Inc., a start-up firm, violates copyright law by enabling its customers to stream local television stations over the Internet and that it should be shut down. The major media companies seeking the court's review include CBS Corp., 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp. FACES TO WATCH 2014: Digital media Launched in 2012 and backed by media mogul Barry Diller, Aereo is currently available in 10 cities, including New York, where it is based.
January 9, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - A former bodyguard for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the first in a series of review hearings that the Obama administration is holding to speed up the eventual closure of the U.S. military prison for terrorist detainees, the Pentagon announced Thursday. Mahmoud Abd Al Aziz Al Mujahid, who allegedly underwent militant training at a secret camp in Afghanistan, is no longer a "significant threat" to the United States and is eligible for transfer from the prison at some point, the review board members decided.