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January 30, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Even with the first significant storm in nearly two months dropping snow on the Sierra Nevada, Thursday's mountain snowpack measurements were the lowest for the date in more than a half-century of record keeping. At 12% of average for this time of year, the dismal statewide snowpack underscored the severity of a drought that is threatening community water supplies and leaving farm fields in many parts of California barren. As snow survey crews worked, Gov. Jerry Brown met with Southern California water leaders as part of a series of drought meetings he is holding around the state.
January 30, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Californians routinely use their credit cards to buy songs and videos on the Internet, so a worried state Senate on Thursday approved a measure to protect consumers' information from being misused. Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) proposed SB 383 in response to cases in which hackers have been able to steal the personal financial information of millions of credit card users. Her measure would limit online merchants to collecting personal information from consumers only if it is necessary to combat identity theft.
January 27, 2014 | By Richard Simon and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - California's egg law survived a congressional effort to scramble it as key lawmakers from both parties announced an agreement Monday on a multiyear farm bill. That means beginning next year, all eggs sold in California will have been laid by hens that had plenty of room to flap their wings. The compromise farm bill, which could come up for a House vote Wednesday, would avert deep cuts sought by Republicans in the federal food stamp program and end direct payments to farmers - a controversial provision under the previous farm bill in which farmers received federal subsidies regardless of their output.
January 24, 2014 | By Broderick Turner
CHICAGO - Now that Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has become the NBA's leading rebounder, he has noticed teams playing him differently in an effort to keep him off the glass. "I see a lot of face-guarding," Jordan said. "Or I may get an offensive rebound and the coach would take that person out and put somebody else in. He'll be like, 'Coach said you can't get any rebounds.' So I'm like, 'Cool.' Then I want to try to get all of them. But sometimes there are two, three people trying to box me out, but that'll just free somebody else up. " Jordan had 12 rebounds Friday in a 112-95 victory over Chicago and is averaging a league-best 13.9 per game.
January 24, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
A judge has struck down a ballot measure that would force the city of Los Angeles to launch its own health department separate from the county's. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael P. Linfield ruled Friday that the measure slated for the June ballot would conflict with state law if passed and would "impermissibly interfere with essential government functions. " The measure was spearheaded by the nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is a major provider of AIDS- and HIV-related health services for the county's health department, but has also frequently butted heads with county leaders.
January 23, 2014 | By Phil Willon
SACRAMENTO - Gun maker Smith & Wesson announced Thursday that it would stop selling newly designed semiautomatic pistols in California because of a state law requiring those firearms to imprint a unique, identifying "microstamp" on bullet casings. The law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 but not implemented until May 2013, is intended to help police investigators link shell casings found at crime scenes to a specific gun. Smith & Wesson joins gun maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. in halting the sales.
January 18, 2014 | By Dan Weikel and Richard Simon
For years, residents across Los Angeles County have complained about noise from low-flying helicopters, some of them carrying sightseers, paparazzi and even real estate agents. But new legislation, tucked into the massive federal spending bill approved by Congress last week, could offer relief. The legislation requires the Federal Aviation Administration, within a year, to begin writing flight regulations to reduce the noise unless it can show that voluntary efforts are working. The anti-noise measure, which applies only to the Los Angeles area, was included in a $1-trillion bill that funds federal agencies and programs through Sept.
January 15, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Call it the proposed Spoiled Brat Law. Last month, after a 16-year-old Texas boy said to be suffering from “affluenza” was sentenced to rehab instead of prison for killing four people and maiming two others in a drunk-driving crash, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto wondered whether an attorney could raise the same kind of defense in this state. As he discovered, there was nothing to prevent it. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Democrat introduced a bill -- possibly the first in the country -- that would prohibit attorneys from invoking “affluenza” as a defense at trial or as a mitigating factor for sentencing.
January 14, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - A $1-trillion spending bill was headed for swift approval in the House by Wednesday, but legislation to extend unemployment insurance stalled in the Senate amid partisan bickering, dashing hopes for a quick deal to resume jobless benefits. Though negotiations continue, it appears increasingly unlikely that a compromise will be reached quickly to help the more than 1.4 million Americans who have been cut off from their unemployment benefits. An additional 72,000 Americans lose their insurance every week.
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