April 10, 2014 |
All night long there were footsteps in the corridor, as girls from the nearby bars slipped in and out of rooms. I could hear bottles being smashed in the streets, the whining of an air conditioner that never quite took the edge off the tropical heat. When I walked out after dark, it was to see long lines of broken storefronts - "WANTED: Sexy Karaoke Singers" - and dozens of people lining up to apply for jobs in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Money-changers' shacks, a folk club staffed only by dwarfs, mothers clutching babies in the rain.
April 1, 2014 |
Many Californians are outraged that state Sens. Leland Yee, Ronald S. Calderon and Roderick D. Wright, all of whom have been either accused or convicted of crimes, will continue to collect their $95,291 annual salaries while they're suspended from their jobs. It's a paid vacation, critics complain. On the public dime. In response, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg introduced an amendment to the state Constitution on Friday - the same day he and his fellow senators suspended their colleagues - that would allow the Senate or Assembly to withhold compensation in the future when a legislator is suspended.
March 28, 2014 |
Should society punish people based on the severity of the allegations against them, or only on the severity of the crimes for which they are convicted? The answer should be pretty clear in an innocent-until-proven-guilty nation, but that's not how things unfolded this week when state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) was arrested for alleged corruption and conspiracy to aid in a supposed gun-running scheme that was actually an FBI sting. That very day, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)
March 4, 2014 |
"Does it stay on all the time or does it come off?" Ahmed asked from his hospital bed, frowning at the thought of a prosthetic leg. "I want one that doesn't come off. " These are the words of a 12-year-old boy, an innocent victim of a brutal regime and an international system that has in too many ways failed the people of Syria. My own 13-year-old, reading these words in the newspaper, asks whether there is something that can be done to help. I begin my usual "It's complicated" - there are legal constraints, there is the lack of political will - but seeing the look in my son's eyes, I say instead, "Yes there is. " The U.N. Security Council, and its permanent members in particular, could take bolder action, working in good faith toward delivering on the promise of the U.N. Charter: "To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, [and]
March 1, 2014 |
This post has been updated. While Hollywood executives and film stars chatter about who's going to win Oscars, the buzz in geekier circles is focused on a low-budget film that, despite being at the other end of the quality scale from "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave," could set a worrisome legal precedent. The 13-minute trailer for "Innocence of Muslims," a crude piece of anti-Islamic agit-prop, is best known for triggering outraged protests across the Middle East and northern Africa.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - In a ruling that a dissenting judge called "unprecedented," a federal appeals court ordered Google Inc. on Wednesday to take down an anti-Muslim video that an actress said forced her to leave her home because of death threats. Google said it would appeal the ruling, but removed the video, "Innocence of Muslims," from YouTube and other platforms. The video has incited violent Muslim protests and has been banned by several Muslim countries. The 2 to 1 decision by the 9 t h U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the actress who appeared in the film never consented to being in it and her performance may be protected by copyright law. "While answering a casting call for a low-budget amateur film doesn't often lead to stardom, it also rarely turns an aspiring actress into the subject of a fatwa ," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the majority.