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July 2, 2007 | Sam Enriquez, Times Staff Writer
A year after losing Mexico's presidential election, leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proved he can still draw a crowd, filling the capital's central square Sunday with tens of thousands of supporters eager for his message of relief and justice for the country's poor. "The people of Mexico have a heart that is collectivist, free and progressive," Lopez Obrador, 53, said to cheering supporters who waited hours for his 1 p.m. arrival at the city's sprawling Zocalo.
June 27, 2007 | Tiffany Hsu, Times Staff Writer
Three groups representing local public transit riders and conservation interests united Tuesday in an effort to require the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to hold off on fare increases until their environmental effects can be measured.
June 27, 2007 | Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
The exchange between judge and defendant happens many times every court day. "You got a lawyer? Can you afford one?" Judge Arthur L. Hunter Jr. will say in his customarily affable way, which often puts the person standing in front of him at ease. "OK, I'm going to appoint you a public defender." But the number of times Hunter has said those words and then seen the defendant receive subpar representation spurred him to take on the city's indigent-defense program.
June 15, 2007 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
Last month, when plans for a 38-unit apartment building of low-cost housing for seniors came before the San Juan Capistrano City Council, there was no opposition. After some minor tinkering, the council unanimously approved the project. Three years earlier, though, the city was not so accommodating when a developer proposed building 60 rental units for poor working families.
June 7, 2007 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
The federal government has been urging people to sock away money for their retirement, but many low-income families would be foolish to take that advice, according to a report released Wednesday by a Washington think tank. Low-income households face "astronomical" penalties for saving, according to the report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. For example, each $1 saved by a single mother earning $15,000 a year could cost her $2.60 in higher taxes and lost government benefits.
May 28, 2007 | Janet Hook, Times Staff Writer
When Elaine Ellis began her rounds as a New York nursing assistant one morning this spring, she had an improbable companion: John Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidate, who had accepted a union invitation to spend the day with a low-wage worker. When Ohio steelworkers went on strike last fall to protest a plant closing, who joined their rally? John Edwards. Next month, low-income survivors of Hurricane Katrina will have another visit from former Sen. Edwards (D-N.C.
May 25, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A state appeals court has struck down a San Diego County program that offers free healthcare to those who make $1,078 a month or less but provides no subsidies for those who make more. The decision Wednesday by a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court's decision in favor of the county's all-or-nothing plan. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said Wednesday's decision could bring lifesaving care for thousands.
May 16, 2007 | Jennifer Delson, Times Staff Writer
At the urging of a nonprofit health organization, Santa Ana officials are considering a proposal to limit liquor licenses in poor neighborhoods. Although the number of businesses licensed to sell liquor in Santa Ana has dropped in the last decade, residents and community activists say impoverished neighborhoods are still swamped with bars and with stores selling alcohol.
May 8, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A state judge suspended the criminal cases against 98 defendants in New Orleans over concerns they could not get adequate representation from the city's office for defending the indigent. Judge Arthur Hunter Jr. also ordered the release of 20 prisoners. The charges are not being dropped, he told dozens of defendants in his court, but until they get lawyers they won't be prosecuted.
April 27, 2007 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County supervisors are urgently lobbying Congress this week to block a Bush administration proposal that some fear would strip millions of dollars from the five public hospitals that treat the county's poorest residents. County officials say the nation's second-largest public health system is in danger of losing $200 million a year in federal money under the president's cost-saving plan.
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