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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 1989
I have read with interest the three articles (Nov. 5, Dec. 11 and Dec. 16 "Scandal Over Jail Informants Forces Retrial") on informants and the investigation into the conviction of Carlos Vargas, who is serving 29 years to life for the first-degree murder of Mary Ann Torres. The final result leaves me numb, because I see that justice is blind. Factually, defendant Vargas offered Mary Ann a ride home after entertaining her at a nightclub. He then went out of his way to drop his brother off at his house, at 2 a.m., so he could be alone with Mary Ann. Her beaten, strangled, and sexually assaulted body, with her throat cut, was found in an alley the next morning at 7:30 a.m., a few blocks away from the nightclub.
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BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
PCM Inc., an El Segundo company that sells information technology products and services, has attracted little attention in more than a quarter-century of business. But that soon may change. The owner of a competing company has starting snapping up PCM's stock, raising speculation of a possible takeover. Firoz Lalji, chairman of technology company Zones Inc. in Auburn, Wash., now owns about 5% of PCM, according to a regulatory filing. And he called PCM "one of the poorest-performing companies in its industry.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
A legal fight over the use of jailhouse informants has thrown the emotionally charged trial of the man accused of committing the deadliest shooting in Orange County history into jeopardy and will probably have repercussions in other high-profile cases. The battle has shifted the spotlight from the case against Seal Beach shooting suspect Scott Dekraai to prosecutors and informants, who have testified for weeks in hearings over allegations by the defense that jailhouse snitches were unconstitutionally deployed to gather information, and their work was then routinely concealed from defense attorneys.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 2014 | Carolyn Kellogg
"Police! Open Up!" is regularly heard at the door of the Chameleon Club, the fictional cabaret in Francine Prose's new novel set in 1930s Paris. Unconventional verging on illicit, the club's revue features sexually ambiguous performers who dance before a predominantly lesbian clientele - in an era when laws existed prohibiting a woman from dressing as a man. And yet the club is tolerated by authorities and celebrated by the city's artists, intellectuals and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2010 | By Andrew Becker
Ernesto Gamboa was a rare find -- the sort of informant who might come along once or twice in a cop's career. The 41-year-old Salvadoran auto mechanic assisted police in making hundreds of drug busts in the Pacific Northwest over 14 years. Armed only with a cellphone, he had a knack for posing as a drug buyer or seller, leading to harrowing transactions between heavily armed traffickers and narcotics agents. For about $10,000 a year, he risked his life time and again, according to those who worked with him. Undercover detectives came to trust him with their own lives.
WORLD
June 8, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. handed over its largest reward in the campaign to wipe out Al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Philippines, giving $10 million to Philippine informants in the killing of two top terrorism suspects. Four masked informants collected on promised $5-million rewards against Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadafi Abubakar Janjalani, who was slain in a September clash on southern Jolo island, and against his presumed successor, Abu Solaiman, who was killed on Jolo in January. More than 7,000 U.S.
NEWS
June 23, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Federal agents paid $3.5 million to informants in Pakistan and Afghanistan to help catch Mir Aimal Kansi, who was arrested in Pakistan four years after shootings outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., left two dead, a report in Newsweek said. Another report, in Time, said President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright personally contacted Pakistani President Farooq Leghari to win approval for the June 15 operation that resulted in Kansi's arrest at a hotel in Pakistan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 1988 | TED ROHRLICH, Times Staff Writer
The State Bar of California has opened an investigation into whether Los Angeles County prosecutors have used the testimony of jailhouse informants known to have been unreliable, officials said Tuesday. The law requires that an attorney call only witnesses he believes are telling the truth, officials said.
NEWS
February 3, 1987 | PHILIP HAGER, Times Staff Writer
A state prison inmate may be punished solely on evidence provided by secret informants who have not appeared for questioning before a disciplinary hearing officer, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday. The court unanimously upheld state regulations that permit prisoners to be disciplined on the basis of such information, provided that the hearing officer takes other steps to independently make sure that the informants are reliable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 1995
I am responding to the Jan. 22 Valley Commentary ("Turning Schoolchildren Into Informants Carries Risks") by Diana Beard-Williams. As a resident of the Antelope Valley, she pointed out a new and potentially hazardous trend in the school system there. This January, the board of the Antelope Valley Union High School District readopted a 2-month-old policy where school administrators would give cash rewards to students who informed them about other students breaking the law. In other words, administrators were encouraging school kids to tattle on each other.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
When a documentary interviewee says, "My dad has been collecting penises as long as I remember," you know you've entered some unusual film territory. Such is the case of "The Final Member," which revolves around the Icelandic Phallological Museum, an exhibit hall devoted to preserved male genitalia from a variety of mammalian species except one: human. And it's the quest for that holy grail of specimens that drives much - frankly too much - of co-directors Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math's decidedly quirky, at times unappetizing film.
WORLD
April 23, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
TOKYO -- President Obama arrived here Wednesday to begin an eight-day tour of Asian allies designed to assure leaders that they have a strong U.S. backup at a time of rising tensions in the region. Obama went directly to his task after landing in Tokyo, heading straight into a private dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the narrow wooden counter of a popular sushi restaurant in the busy Ginza shopping district. The leaders agreed in advance to put off their formal welcome ceremony and royal reception until after they had met one-on-one in a friendly, more casual setting.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Orange County prosecutors have ended their quest to use recorded conversations between the suspect in the Seal Beach mass killing and a jailhouse informant, which they had hoped could put the man on death row. Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Howard Gundy told the court Tuesday he would concede a defense motion arguing that tapes of Scott Dekraai and informant Fernando Perez were obtained in violation of Dekraai's 6th Amendment rights. The recordings spurred a wide-ranging defense investigation into the use of jailhouse informants in Orange County.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Orange County prosecutors have ended their quest to use recorded conversations between the alleged Seal Beach mass killer and a jailhouse informant, which they had hoped could put the man on death row. Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Howard Gundy told the court Tuesday he would concede a defense motion which argued that tapes of alleged gunman Scott Dekraai and informant Fernando Perez were obtained in violation of Dekraai's 6th amendment rights. The recordings spurred a wide-ranging defense investigation into the use of jailhouse informants in Orange County.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
A legal fight over the use of jailhouse informants has thrown the emotionally charged trial of the man accused of committing the deadliest shooting in Orange County history into jeopardy and will probably have repercussions in other high-profile cases. The battle has shifted the spotlight from the case against Seal Beach shooting suspect Scott Dekraai to prosecutors and informants, who have testified for weeks in hearings over allegations by the defense that jailhouse snitches were unconstitutionally deployed to gather information, and their work was then routinely concealed from defense attorneys.
TRAVEL
April 19, 2014
If you go THE BEST WAY TO KAILUA KONA, HAWAII From LAX, Delta, American and United offer non-stop service to Kailua Kona; and United, Hawaiian, American, United and Delta offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $725, including taxes and fees. WHERE TO EAT Annie's Island Fresh Burgers, 79-7460 Mamalahoa Highway, Suite 105, Kealakekua; (808) 324-6000, http://www.anniesislandfreshburgers.com . Da Poke Shack, 76-6246 Alii Drive, Kailua Kona; (808)
SPORTS
January 6, 1989
David Berst, director of enforcement for the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., took issue Thursday with statements made by Ron Watson, assistant athletic director at Oklahoma. Watson criticized the NCAA for giving Oklahoma State wide receiver Hart Lee Dykes immunity in exchange for information implicating four schools in recruiting violations. "If you want to find out what really happened, you have to have limited immunity," Berst told the Tulsa Tribune.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 2009 | Associated Press
FBI Director Robert Mueller says his agency will continue to use informants inside American mosques despite complaints from Muslim organizations. Mueller told reporters Monday in Los Angeles that investigations in places of worship will be respectful of 1st Amendment rights but will continue if warranted by evidence of possible wrongdoing. A Muslim organization has asked the Justice Department to investigate complaints that the FBI is asking followers of the faith to spy on Islamic leaders.
WORLD
April 19, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - On the first Sunday of March, China awoke to sickening news: Black-clad attackers with knives had hacked through crowds at the train station in the southern city of Kunming, killing 29 and injuring more than 140. Reporters leaped into action, gathering details from victims in their hospital beds. President Xi Jinping urged all-out efforts to investigate the slaughter. The incident was quickly dubbed "China's 9/11. " But by nightfall Monday, the state-run New China News Agency signaled that it was time to move on. "Kunming railway station serious violent terror case is successfully solved," its headline said.
TRAVEL
April 11, 2014
If you go THE BEST WAY TO CHARLESTON, S.C. From LAX , American, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways and Southwest offer connecting service (change of planes) to Charleston. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $327, including all taxes and fees. WHERE TO STAY Belmond Charleston Place, 205 Meeting St., (843) 722-4900, http://www.charlestonplace.com . Part of the luxury group once known as Orient Express and now known as Belmond (Santa Barbara's El Encanto is part of the group)
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