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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | Paige St. John
A federal judge Thursday called California's use of large amounts of pepper spray on mentally ill prisoners a "horrific violation" of their constitutional rights and ordered restrictions on the use of the chemical agent. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton's order requires California to continue revising disciplinary actions used on mentally ill inmates in state prisons, including solitary confinement. The judge found that isolating such prisoners "can and does cause serious psychological harm" and must be limited.
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WORLD
April 9, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM - Relations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders continued a downward spiral Wednesday with a new Israeli directive to its ministers to halt cooperation with their Palestinian counterparts. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered government ministries to stop high-level communications with corresponding Palestinians, halting assorted economic and civilian cooperation efforts. Netanyahu's directive was an Israeli response to the “Palestinian abrogation of their commitments and violation of understandings,” said an Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity.
NATIONAL
April 8, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - President Obama used his executive power and a hot-button issue to try to stoke support from a key election-year constituency Tuesday, as he issued two directives aimed at ensuring federal contractors pay women as much as men for equal work. Surrounding himself with female supporters at the White House, Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about how much money they make. Advocates say secrecy about salaries is a major contributor to the gap in average pay between male and female workers in the United States, which the White House says means women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The president also ordered contractors to report data to the government showing the compensation paid to employees by gender and race.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | Steve Lopez
In Los Angeles, patrol officers are caught disabling recording equipment that was in place to keep them honest. In Santa Monica, a high school student demonstrates why the wrestling coach is the last faculty member to mess with. And in Glendale, a young woman challenges the definition of "hands-free" driving after getting a ticket for talking on a phone tucked into her head scarf. These three police blotter tales have little in common, except that I've assembled them in a nice spring bouquet, along with a prickly observation or two. First the LAPD.
WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - A key leader of the vigilante “self-defense” movement in Mexico's Michoacan state said Monday that he was refusing a government order to disarm, and roadblocks to keep out federal forces charged with taking away the vigilantes' weapons were reported in numerous cities. Vigilante leader Jose Manuel Mireles said in a radio interview that the government had not sufficiently pacified the state. “Armed and masked” drug cartel members began appearing in the streets just hours after the government's announcement last week declaring it was time for the vigilantes to disarm, he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
A homeless man convicted of trespassing at Selena Gomez's home was charged Monday with stalking and violating a court order to stay away from the former Disney star. The charges filed against Che Cruz come just days after he pleaded no contest to trespassing at Gomez's home, after which he was sentenced to 45 days in Los Angeles County jail and ordered to stay away from the star's home. Cruz, 20, was arrested March 30 inside a bathroom of a guest house on the property being purchased by Gomez, 21, authorities said.
WORLD
April 5, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - The former interim governor of Mexico's troubled Michoacan state, who has been accused by a vigilante “self-defense” group leader of having drug cartel ties, has been ordered to appear before federal prosecutors for questioning, officials said. Jose Jesus Reyna Garcia, who served as the appointed governor of the western state from April to October of last year, was ordered to the attorney general's headquarters in Mexico City on Friday afternoon to give testimony as part of a federal investigation, according to a government statement released late Friday night.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2014 | By Jessica Wohl
CHICAGO — Investors filled up on shares of GrubHub in the company's first day of trading. GrubHub shares rose as high as $40.80 on Friday and ended up 31%, at $34. The Chicago company's gains came even as the overall stock market fell, with the Dow Jones industrial average, the Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite all posting declines. At $34 a share, the online food ordering service is worth about $2.67 billion, or roughly half as much as Groupon Inc., the Chicago daily deals company.
WORLD
April 3, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
The Turkish government late Thursday ordered Internet service providers to restore access to Twitter, lifting a two-week ban on the microblogging site a day after the nation's highest court ruled it illegal and an infringement on free speech. An official from the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that "the decision to block access to Twitter has been rescinded," the Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website. Erdogan's government blocked access to Twitter on March 20 after the San Francisco-based social media company refused to remove tweets that included YouTube video links showing what appeared to be Turkish government ministers and members of Erdogan's inner circle engaged in corrupt practices.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | Jessica Garrison and Jill Cowan
A metal-finishing facility in Newport Beach poses an "unacceptably high" cancer risk to its neighbors and should curtail its emissions as soon as possible, state air quality officials said Tuesday. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said it would ask its independent hearing board to order Hixson Metal Finishing to reduce its emissions of chromium 6 "on an expedited schedule. " The plant is next to an apartment building in a neighborhood with a mix of homes and businesses near the border with Costa Mesa.
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