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February 18, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Personal information collected from credit card shoppers would be better protected by upgrading the country's entire payment system to technology that has dramatically reduced fraud in Europe. That was the consensus of a group of retailers, bankers, credit card companies and consumer advocates at a legislative hearing Tuesday. Legislators delved into the causes of a recent hacking of about 70 million computerized customer records at Target Corp. and a smaller incident involving about 1.1 million customers at Neiman Marcus department stores.
February 14, 2014 | By Melanie Mason, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details
SACRAMENTO -- Two Assembly panels will convene next week to examine consumer data safety, but lawmakers won't be hearing from two companies that have been hit with recent high-profile security breaches. Lawmakers invited representatives of Target and Neiman Marcus to testify at Tuesday's joint hearing of the Judiciary and Banking and Finance committees, after the retailers experienced massive security breaches that compromised millions of consumers' personal data. But the two companies declined to participate, said the legislators chairing the hearing.
February 11, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
PHOENIX - Shortly after he avoided an arbitration hearing with the Dodgers and agreed to a $4.3-million salary for the upcoming season, Kenley Jansen reflected on how he went from a light-hitting catching prospect to the closer of baseball's most expensive team. "It's unbelievable how stuff works that quick," Jansen said. "Now, a million-dollar contract. That's pretty awesome. " Jansen, 26, was paid $512,000 last season. When he and the Dodgers exchanged salary figures last month, he asked for $5.05 million and the team offered $3.5 million.
February 10, 2014 | By Anh Do and Adolfo Flores
A Santa Ana detective testified Monday that she posed as an inmate, going undercover into the jail cell of a defendant in a high-profile beating case after the woman refused to talk with police and demanded an attorney. Det. Patricia Navarro said she never identified herself to Vanesa Tapia Zavala when she secretly recorded their conversation in a jail cell, trying to get her to share details about the fight outside a downtown Santa Ana nightclub that left a recent college graduate comatose, and then dead days later.
February 5, 2014 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Want to hear as well as Stevie Wonder or the late Ray Charles? A blindfold not only might help, it could re-wire your brain in the process, a new study suggests. The study , in mice, was the first to show evidence on a cellular level of a phenomenon that has been relatively well chronicled behaviorally - damage to one sense can be compensated with strength in another. And that compensation can happen later in life, when the brain is generally less susceptible to rewiring, the study found.
February 4, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Two women charged with killing a woman outside a Santa Ana nightclub were in court Tuesday, but the hearing to determine whether there's enough evidence to prosecute them was postponed to Monday. Candace Marie Brito, 27, and Vanesa Tapia Zavala, 25, have been charged with murder in the death of Kim Pham. The 23-year-old was taken off life support days after she was pronounced brain-dead following the Jan. 18 melee outside The Crosby nightclub. PHOTOS: Woman killed outside nightclub Video of the incident and testimony from five Santa Ana police officers are expected to be presented at Monday's preliminary hearing in Westminster.
February 4, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - President Obama's choice to become the next surgeon general spent much of his confirmation hearing Tuesday deflecting criticism from Republicans, who attacked him for his political activism, ties to the president and relative inexperience. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, who at 36 would be one of the youngest surgeon generals, was chided for advocating gun control in the aftermath of the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and for backing the Affordable Care Act as a co-founder of Doctors for America, formerly Doctors for Obama.
January 31, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Below are a few tips on new releases of note, as published in Sunday's Times.  Lo-Fang, “Blue Film” (4AD) Lo-Fang is the pseudonym of Matthew Hemerlein, a singer and pop composer who wrote, recorded and played all the instruments on this debut. Drawing on digital R&B, modern pop, “Kid A”-era Radiohead and electronic music, he presents three- and four-minute song bursts that are tightly structured but labyrinthine in detail. “When We're Fine” floats on a digital loop, a tiny-but-mighty rhythm, backward-spinning bleeps and bloops and a catchy chorus.
January 28, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
See orcas up close and listen to them chatter underwater during a sea kayaking tour off the waters of Canada's Vancouver Island. The six-day trip to British Columbia is in part inspired by the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which highlights the plight of orcas kept in captivity. ROW Sea Kayak Adventures based in Idaho invites kayakers on a guided "Blackfish" tour to the Johnstone Strait, Vancouver's inside passage and home to a sanctuary for the big black-and-white orcas, also known as killer whales.
January 25, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Laura McKindles was standing at a booth selling time shares in the Mall in Columbia on Saturday, talking to a customer and thinking about grabbing breakfast, when she heard banging. “I thought somebody was just doing construction,” she said. Then the sound registered. McKindles knows how to fire a gun and thought she recognized the crack of a shotgun. She had heard 8 to 10 shots. The sound came from about 60 yards down the hall on the mall's lower level - in the food court.
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