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December 11, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel, Jim Puzzanghera and E. Scott Reckard
WASHINGTON - Government regulators approved a sweeping new set of rules for the nation's biggest banks that ban them from the kind of ultra-high-risk trading that nearly collapsed the world's financial system. Despite a fierce lobbying effort to prevent the new measure, five of the nation's top regulatory agencies on Tuesday approved the final version of a key component of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law. The so-called Volcker rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, prohibits banks from trading for their own profit rather than on behalf of customers.
December 10, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Patricia Millett for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the first nominees approved since the filibuster rules were changed. Millett and Watt were among several high-profile nominees whose confirmation had been delayed for months because of Republican threats to filibuster, meaning their supporters needed 60 votes rather than a mere majority.
December 4, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Would you like a $5,000 raise this year? Certainly members of the Legislature would. The difference between them and the vast majority of Californians is that they are actually going to get one. And that's OK. The higher salaries are a result of a 1990 ballot measure that wisely stripped lawmakers of the power to set their own pay. Proposition 112 established the California Citizens Compensation Commission, which sets salaries for state elected officials,...
December 4, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
TUCSON - The Arizona State Forestry Division could face $559,000 in fines after a state safety commission found fire officials had committed two serious workplace violations during the Yarnell Hill fire that killed 19 firefighters in June. Forestry officials managing the blaze prioritized protection of “non-defensible” structures and pastureland over firefighter safety,  officials wrote in a report released Wednesday by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as ADOSH.
December 4, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
The bad news for the Detroit Institute of Arts today is that a bankruptcy judge has authorized the city that owns the museum to declare bankruptcy, giving its creditors a legal forum for insisting that the most valuable masterpieces from the DIA's admired collection be sold to help pay the city's debts. The good news is that, in clearing the way Tuesday for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing, the judge made a point of questioning whether it makes any sense to sell the art. Noting the proposal that the DIA's walls be stripped of their most admired paintings to help pay off $18 billion in municipal debt, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes suggested that the point of a bankruptcy proceeding is not to liquidate assets needed to sustain a city or organization that's trying to reorganize its finances, but to give it a new lease on economic life.
November 25, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers likes the idea of his second unit playing well enough so the first team can get more rest. But Rivers also said he doesn't think his starters are playing too many minutes. In fact, Rivers said it “doesn't bother me” the amount of minutes his starters are playing. Blake Griffin leads the team in minutes played, averaging 36.9 per game. Chris Paul is second (35.6), DeAndre Jordan third (35.2), J.J. Redick fourth (29.3) and Jared Dudley is fifth (27.1)
November 12, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it has reached a settlement agreement to allow the merger of American Airlines and US Airways to form the nation's largest air carrier. The department, which sued in August to stop the merger, said that as part of the deal, it will require the airlines to give up landing slots and passenger gates at airports where the combined carrier would dominate its competition. The two airlines said they will abide by the Justice Department's demands to allow the merger.
November 12, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Hawaii's state Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill Tuesday, sending it to the governor.  Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he will sign the bill, which passed the Senate 19 to 4. It had already passed the state House.  Now, same-sex marriage bills are awaiting the governor's signature in both Hawaii and Illinois. If both chief executives sign the measures, as expected, the total number of states permitting gay marriage would rise to 16. The District of Columbia also permits gay marriage.
November 5, 2013 | By Laura E. Davis
The Illinois Legislature sent a bill to the governor Tuesday that would make the state the largest in the heartland to legalize gay marriage. And Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged to sign it. The House passed the bill Tuesday, 61 to 54, according to the Associated Press. The bill first passed the Senate in February and passed in the upper chamber again Tuesday after it was amended. Under the measure, gay couples could begin getting married in Illinois in June. PHOTOS: Californians celebrate gay marriage ruling In the Midwest, Minnesota and Iowa already allow gay marriage.  The 12 other states in the U.S. that have OKd same-sex unions are California, Connecticut, Delaware,  Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
November 3, 2013 | By Steve Marble
Lucky for Neil he lives up by the foothills, and not down by the seashore. The corpulent Sierra Madre resident recently escaped eviction when the tiny town's police chief decided that Neil was actually a potbellied pig, not a hog. Which was a good thing for Neil, because hogs are illegal in town. Any of Neil's relatives enjoying the good life down in Seal Beach, however, may be in for a different fate. The Orange County beach city this week adopted an anti-pig law, adding it to the list of animals that are illegal to keep.
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