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October 29, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON - An independent watchdog agency warned Congress on Tuesday that the American military withdrawal from Afghanistan would hinder efforts to monitor dozens of U.S.-financed reconstruction projects, including a hydroelectric dam and health clinics, that cost billions of dollars. U.S. civilian oversight personnel will be able to visit only one-fifth of Afghanistan after the scheduled departure of most American troops by the end of 2014, John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, told a House oversight committee.
October 29, 2013 | Patt Morrison
When the sky became the limit for most political spending after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the skywatchers like Ann Ravel had to readjust their telescopes. As head of California's Fair Political Practices Commission, she policed the money spent on candidates and initiatives, like a last-minute $11 million that showed up late in the game in 2012 from a shadowy Arizona nonprofit. Last week, the FPPC levied $16 million in penalties on "dark money" players - including that Arizona group - that circumvented state reporting rules.
October 27, 2013 | By Jack Leonard
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has for years tried to reduce jail overcrowding and the early release of inmates by placing low-level offenders into home detention and work-release programs. But these programs have largely failed to make a dent, forcing the department to consider more expensive ways to address the problem, such as contracting with other detention facilities to house L.A. County inmates. The most high-profile program required some inmates to serve out their sentences at home wearing electronic monitors.
October 16, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
A federal judge has appointed a former U.S. prosecutor as the monitor who ensures that Apple Inc. complies with a ruling from the e-book antitrust case the company lost this year. Michael Bromwich, a lawyer who previously worked in President Obama's administration, was picked over a second candidate, whose name was not released. WATCH: 5 videos to introduce new Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts Last summer, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple had colluded with five U.S. publishers to fix e-book prices.
October 8, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan and Ben Welsh
Since the day he took office in July, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged heightened accountability at City Hall. For better or worse, facts began tumbling forth in the new " performance" section of the mayor's website Tuesday, Garcetti's 100th day in office. Los Angeles sewers overflowed 125 times last year, up from 116 the year before. Police reported more than 104,000 serious property and violent crimes last year, a drop from nearly 144,000 in 2005. And a little more than 5.1 million shipping containers full of goods flowed through Los Angeles Harbor, a drop from 5.4 million the year before.
October 2, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
For years to come, Sheriff Joe Arpaio can expect to have a federal judge looking over his shoulder, watching almost his every move and those of his deputies. A federal judge Wednesday approved a plan to place an independent monitor inside the Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff's Office to ensure the department is not racial profiling. Maricopa County deputies - once described by a Justice Department expert as conducting "the most egregious racial profiling in the United States" - will have every traffic stop monitored statistically and with video cameras, with strict orders to ignore suspects' race.
September 26, 2013 | David Lazarus
Holders of Chase bank's popular Sapphire credit card may be wondering why they'll soon be on their own when it comes to keeping fraudsters at bay. "Please note that ID Theft Coverage will be canceled," Chase has notified Sapphire cardholders. "All changes are effective Nov. 1, 2013. " That's a pretty significant reversal considering that identity-related fraud affected 12.6 million U.S. consumers last year and caused $21 billion in losses, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.
September 24, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
Thanks to abundant short sales, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have exceeded by 50% the amount of help they pledged to struggling California homeowners when they settled foreclosure-abuse allegations 20 months ago. The three banks had promised to reduce the amount Californians owed on mortgages by $12 billion; they have provided more than $18.4 billion in relief, according to the monitor, UC Irvine law professor Katherine M....
September 18, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Glendale school officials have hired a firm to monitor the social media postings of their students, apparently in an effort to learn about potentially dangerous behavior such as cyberbullying, suicidal thoughts, sexual harassment or drug use. The firm might turn up some troubling stuff, and even if it doesn't, knowing that Big Schoolmarm is watching might persuade some teenagers to show a little more caution about what they broadcast online, which would...
September 14, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
Hoover High School junior Christopher Chung learned while scrolling through Facebook that his school was monitoring students' online activities. Christopher saw an article posted by a friend about the Glendale Unified School District hiring a company to screen students' social media posts. The school district had been doing so for about a year. "I heard rumors that GUSD was doing a little bit of monitoring - but nothing as official as this," he said. "The only way students were finding out about it was through social media.
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