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January 13, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - Diplomats on Monday pushed for a limited cease-fire in Syria, a prisoner exchange and better access for aid efforts before a peace conference scheduled to begin next week in Switzerland. At a news conference in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said that he and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, had discussed measures to "set the stage for success. " One potential area for a cessation of hostilities, Kerry said, was the embattled northern city of Aleppo, divided for 18 months between government and opposition forces and also the site of recent rebel infighting.
January 9, 2014 | Helene Elliott
Less than a month ago, there were many reasons to highlight Friday's schedule on the NBA calendar and look forward to the Lakers facing the Clippers. Kobe Bryant was nearing full stride after returning from an Achilles' tendon injury. Chris Paul was his usual magical self and Blake Griffin was playing at an All-Star level. The Lakers, despite being short-handed, were hovering around .500. The Clippers were cruising. And then Bryant's left knee went CRACK and Paul's right shoulder went POP and there went the headliners of what should have been a marquee matchup.
January 9, 2014 | By Jonathan Zimmerman
In 1975, Nebraska Sen. Roman Hruska warned a congressional hearing that college football was in mortal danger. The threat came from Title IX, the 1972 measure that outlawed sex discrimination in educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance. To comply with the law, Hruska feared, colleges would have to equalize athletic budgets for male and female sports, and the only way to do that would be to raid the football budget. "Are we going to let Title IX kill the goose that lays the golden eggs in those colleges and universities with a major revenue-producing sport?"
January 9, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The lawyer for the family of Jahi McMath said this week the 13-year-old girl's body had deteriorated badly since she was declared brain-dead at an Oakland hospital. But it's an inevitable end, according to a physician's declaration filed in court during the battle to keep her on a ventilator. The deterioration of Jahi's body is now the only possible course and "became inevitable the moment she died," according to a court declaration from Dr. Heidi Flori, a critical care physician at  C hildren's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, which had sought to remove the teen from the ventilator after she was declared brain dead Dec. 12. PHOTOS: Grief, determination in Jahi McMath case "The medical team and I believe that additional and more dramatic signs of the body's deterioration will continue to manifest over time, regardless of any procedures and regardless of any heroic measures that any facility in the country might attempt," Flori said in the declaration filed in U.S. District Court.
January 5, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Congress comes back to session this week with leaders of both parties planning a war of words in 2014 - dueling agendas that promise little substantive legislation but lots of messages aimed at establishing clear contrasts for voters heading toward the midterm election. After they dispatch a few must-pass fiscal measures early in the year, legislators seem unlikely to put together major accomplishments. Rather, the Republican-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate will essentially become something like sound stages for the advertising wars that will unfold in the handful of states and districts that could decide partisan control of the next Congress.
January 4, 2014 | By Chris Megerian and Anthony York
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown will join the push for a new ballot measure to help California stockpile cash as a buffer against future recessions, according to two Capitol officials. The proposed measure, which would need approval from two-thirds of the Legislature before it could be presented to voters in November, would siphon off some tax revenue and channel it into a special savings account. If successful, the account could mitigate the need for deep spending cuts during economic downturns and help California shed its reputation as a financial roller coaster.
December 27, 2013 | By Maria L. La Ganga
SEATTLE - A closely watched ballot measure that would set the minimum wage at $15 an hour for certain workers in the small city of SeaTac was dealt another setback late Friday, when a superior court judge ruled that the proposition would not affect employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Proposition 1, which passed Nov. 5 with a 77-vote margin and survived a recount, would have given more than 6,000 workers at big hotels, airport concessions, airport parking lots and large rental car companies a 63% raise and granted them paid sick leave.
December 26, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Californians could be faced in November with a proposal to dramatically alter the pension and benefit system for public employees. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has submitted a statewide ballot initiative that would allow government agencies to negotiate changes to current employees' future retirement benefits, reversing the long-standing principle that once a public employee is hired, his or her retirement benefits cannot be reduced. Public employee unions are already gearing up for a major fight over Reed's initiative, which he could put on the ballot as soon as 2014 (or as late as 2016)
December 24, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson
Transportation officials in Los Angeles County plan to offer a ballot measure next fall or in 2016 that would raise the county's sales tax by half a cent or extend the life of Measure R, the levy voters approved in 2008. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and multiple advocacy groups say more transportation money would help expand the region's fledgling rail network, improve complementary service on bus lines, and speed construction and repairs on rail lines and highways.
December 20, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Paul Richter
TEHRAN - Iranian lawmakers Friday threatened retaliation for a Senate bill that proposes tough new sanctions on Iran if the Islamic Republic fails to cooperate in upcoming negotiations aimed at curbing its nuclear program. Mehdi Moussavinejad, a senior member of the Iranian parliament's energy committee, said lawmakers were considering a measure that would hike Iran's uranium enrichment for the current top concentration of 20% to more than 60%, substantially closer to the 90% needed for nuclear weapons fuel.
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