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April 28, 2012 | By Victoria Kim and Aida Ahmad, Los Angeles Times
Five years after he was first indicted and after two prosecutions ended in mistrials, a Los Angeles-based maker and distributor of niche fetish films was convicted Friday of federal obscenity charges. Ira Isaacs, who produced, sold and sometimes acted in films depicting scatology and bestiality, was convicted on five counts of selling and distributing obscene material, based on films he sold through a site he advertised as "the Web's largest fetish VHS, DVD superstore. " The seven-woman, five-man jury deliberated for less than two hours Friday after a weeklong trial, the bulk of which was made up of the screening of four films, two of them Isaacs' own creations.
March 7, 2012 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
The federal obscenity prosecution of Los Angeles fetish film producer and distributor Ira Isaacs ended in a mistrial Tuesday after jurors deadlocked on charges that the filmmaker produced, sold and transported obscene material. The panel deliberated for about a day after watching four films created or distributed by Isaacs, whose Internet-based business specialized in a niche of the pornography industry that included scatology and bestiality. The films, two of which Isaacs directed and appeared in, made up the bulk of the three-day trial last week.
February 12, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I am a 20-year-old college student with a stable, part-time job. I haven't contributed to a 401(k) with this company because I don't plan to be working for it for two years, which is how long I'd have to wait for my contributions and earnings to be 100% mine. I'd like to open a Roth IRA, but I'm not sure I'm eligible. I'm listed as a dependent and our household adjusted gross income is between $145,000 and $155,000. Can I open a Roth? Answer: The short answer is yes, although you may want to reconsider contributing to your workplace 401(k)
January 4, 2012 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
The records that brothers Ira and Charlie Louvin made in the 1950s and early '60s are some of the most revered and influential in the history of country music. The songs, many of them written by the Alabama-born siblings, have been widely recorded by succeeding generations of singers; their distinctive harmonies on songs such as "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby," "When I Stop Dreaming," "If I Could Only Win Your Love," "Every Time You Leave" and "Don't Laugh" created a template that strongly affected groups from the Everly Brothers to the Beatles and the Byrds, to the Judds and forward to Lady Antebellum.
November 22, 2011 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Ira Michael Heyman, a champion of affirmative action who led UC Berkeley as its chancellor during the 1980s and later became the first non-scientist to lead the Smithsonian Institution, has died. He was 81. Heyman died at his Berkeley home Saturday after a long battle with emphysema. The Smithsonian and the university announced his death Monday. During 10 years as UC Berkeley chancellor, Heyman increased minority representation in the student body and on the faculty, efforts that stirred considerable debate and controversy.
October 30, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: After nine months of unemployment I finally landed a new job, but at half my former $100,000 salary. In this economy I was happy to get it. I always contributed the maximum to my 401(k) and employee stock purchase plan, but my new company does not offer either of these options. I made it through my period of unemployment on severance, savings and belt tightening. Other than a mortgage, I have no debt. I realize I need to both catch up on missed contributions and continue to put away money for retirement.
June 5, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I am 22, single, work full time and have no outstanding debts. I have $18,000 in a savings account and am contributing 15% of my paycheck to a 401(k). How do I invest my savings to get a better return? I've been looking into certificates of deposit, money market accounts, IRAs and Roth IRAs, but don't know enough to start. Answer: Let's first get clear on some terminology. CDs and money markets are types of investments, while IRAs and Roth IRAs are types of accounts — specifically, they're retirement accounts.
May 15, 2011 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
If you're self employed and yearning to shelter some of your income from taxes, you probably know all about SEP-IRAs, the retirement plan for small-business owners. But do you know about so-called solo 401(k)s? Probably not, unless you can afford to put a substantial amount of your income into tax-sheltered accounts. If you do, solo 401(k)s can offer some advantages. "They give you a lot more options," said Stuart Robertson, head of ShareBuilder 401k, a subsidiary of ING Direct.
April 10, 2011 | By Gerald E. Scorse
The day after Congress passed the new healthcare law, an opponent called it "a fiscal Frankenstein. " In fact, those are fitting words for Roth individual retirement accounts, or IRAs. Roths drive up the federal deficit and cause other pain. They're great for holders but grim for America. It's time to retire them. Retirement accounts were designed by Congress to spur saving by Americans for their golden years. Let's compare a Roth IRA to other accounts, such as traditional IRAs, 401(k)
January 27, 2011 | Randy Lewis
Charlie Louvin, the country singer whose scintillating harmonizing with his brother Ira created a distinctive template for duet singing that strongly influenced the Everly Brothers, the Beatles, the Byrds and successive generations of singers including Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Beck and Jack White, died Wednesday in Nashville of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 83. The Louvin Brothers' sound, with Ira's pure high tenor typically floating atop Charlie's strong tenor-baritone melodies but often switching mid-song, derived from church-based "shape-note" singing, an a cappella style they picked up while growing up in their musically inclined family in rural Alabama.
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