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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
A California congresswoman announced plans Tuesday to introduce federal legislation to toughen laws against what she called an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. In an appearance at UC Berkeley, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) said she would press for more aggressive action against sexual assault with increased funding for federal investigators, annual campus surveys and more comprehensive data on the outcomes of cases. She also said she would seek to require universities to interview students who file complaints of sexual misconduct, addressing widespread concerns about inadequate investigations.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
The investigation into what caused a FedEx freight truck to cross a median and slam into a charter bus in Northern California, killing 10 people, is shifting to Los Angeles. On the itinerary for investigators: meeting with Silverado Stages, the company that owned and operated the bus involved in the collision, and interviewing student survivors of the accident, mainly in the Los Angeles area. Investigators continue to examine the scene of the crash, which occurred at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Interstate 5 in Orland.
WORLD
April 14, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Investigators looking for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have put away their towed pinger locator and are about to call off searches for surface debris. Now, it's all up to a little yellow robotic submarine to find the missing Boeing 777 in an area bigger than the city of Los Angeles. Technicians aboard the Australian ship Ocean Shield on Monday afternoon deployed the Bluefin-21 underwater autonomous vehicle in the Indian Ocean, sending it almost three miles down to the seabed and using its side-scanning sonar arrays to look for wreckage from the plane.  “It is time to go underwater,” retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search from Perth, Australia, said in announcing the new phase of operations.  Unless the robot sub gets lucky, the process could take a while: The U.S. Navy, which lent the Bluefin-21 to the search team, said mapping the area where the plane most likely disappeared could take six weeks to two months.  The 16-foot, 1,650-pound sub moves at a walking pace and will be searching an area of about 600 square miles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Diana Marcum
A nearly yearlong investigation has led to the dismantling of a drug organization that distributed narcotics from Mexico to the Central Valley, and from there all over the country, authorities said Monday. At a Fresno news conference, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said that a task force led by the Department of Justice had arrested 11 people and seized 56 pounds of methamphetamine, four kilograms of cocaine, 942 marijuana plants, one vehicle and nearly $269,000 in cash. The alleged network was known as the Magana organization and Harris said it was based in Tulare County.
NATIONAL
April 14, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Michael Muskal, This post has been updated.
AURORA, Mo. - The killings of three people on the eve of Passover outside two Jewish facilities in a Kansas City suburb are being treated as hate crimes, law enforcement officials said Monday. Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass and others confirmed that the evidence gathered in Sunday's shootings supports a hate crime presentation to a federal grand jury. State charges could also be sought, state and federal prosecutors said at a televised news conference. Meanwhile, as President Obama led a shocked nation in prayer after the deadly shootings, officials searched for clues about the 73-year-old man, believed to be a white supremacist and an anti-Semite, who is in jail in connection with the killings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
ORLAND, Calif. - Investigators found no physical evidence that a FedEx freight truck was on fire before it collided with a charter tour bus in Northern California last week, killing 10 people, authorities said Sunday. "Our fire expert reviewed the median and the highway, and found no physical evidence of fire before the impact," said Mark Rosekind, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board. Fire engulfed both vehicles after the crash. Those findings contradict the eyewitness accounts of a couple whose Nissan Altima was sideswiped by the truck.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2014 | By Kate Mather
Homicide investigators remained at the scene of a home near Benedict Canyon on Saturday evening, hours after a man with multiple gunshot wounds was found dead inside, Los Angeles police said. Few details were immediately available, but LAPD Officer Raymond Barron said the man's body was discovered by a business associate about 4 p.m. in the 10000 block of Westwanda Drive in Los Angeles' Beverly Crest neighborhood. Barron said it was not yet known how long the victim had been dead.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is cooperating with the FBI in a civil rights investigation over allegations that inmates have been mistreated at a jail facility, sheriff's officials said Friday evening. The alleged abuse took place at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. According to a statement, on March 5 members of the department's command staff "received information regarding possible misconduct by department personnel ... and immediately launched an investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian
State and federal investigators probing the cause of the fiery collision between a FedEx big rig and a charter bus in Northern California will delve into a wide range of factors from the health and rest of the truck driver to emergency exits and fire protection for bus passengers. "This is a very significant and unfortunate tragedy," said Jim Hall, a transportation safety consultant and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "The NTSB is going to have its hands full on this one. " Although the cause of the accident has yet to be determined, Hall and other safety advocates say it could focus new attention on the NTSB's efforts to improve bus safety and the behind-the-scenes battle over safety standards for motor coaches and other commercial vehicles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Paige St. John and Kate Mather
WILLOWS, Calif. -- Federal traffic safety investigators will be paying special attention to fire safety issues as well as whether crash victims were able to escape from the burning motor coach, both important concerns for the federal agency. Students in the bus have said riders broke windows in order to escape the fire. “The worst thing for the NTSB is to show up, know that we've issued recommendations from a previous accident where lives have been los t … and find out if those recommendations had been closed and enacted, lives could have been saved,” said Michael Rosekind, an NTSB board member who traveled with the investigation team to Orland.
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