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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Anh Do
A San Gabriel Valley couple who moved to Qatar to help the tiny country ready itself for hosting the 2020 World Cup games were sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for the death of their adopted daughter, a verdict that stunned those who have followed the case. Matthew and Grace Huang have been detained in the country's capital, Doha, for nearly a year on charges they murdered the girl - one of three children they adopted from Africa. The couple contend Gloria, 8, died from an eating disorder.
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BUSINESS
March 26, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
About 150 employees at rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne in Canoga Park were told Wednesday that they would be laid off as part of a companywide reduction that the company says is related to last year's merger. Aerojet Rocketdyne was created by the sale of Rocketdyne to GenCorp Inc. for $550 million, a deal that was finalized last summer. It brought together two major California rocket companies - and longtime competitors. GenCorp already owned Aerojet, the Sacramento aerospace firm founded in 1942.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera and E. Scott Reckard
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators rejected plans by Citigroup Inc. and four other large U.S. banks for dividend payments and stock buybacks after the latest round of stress tests. The results raised concerns about weaknesses in the risk-planning processes of Citi and three of the banks, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. It was the second time in three years that Citi failed a federal stress test. Citi's chief executive, Michael Corbat, said he was "deeply disappointed" by the Fed's findings, asserting that the nation's third-largest bank by assets was "one of the best-capitalized financial institutions in the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
The Santa Monica City Council this week launched an effort to close all or part of the city's airport after July 2015 - a move that could result in years of additional court battles with the federal government. Council members voted 6 to 0 late Tuesday to develop and evaluate a strategy to scale back flight operations, cut the 5,000-foot runway by 2,000 feet and reduce aviation-related services, such as fuel sales and flight schools. The decision also calls for the city to consider converting airport land to low-impact non-aviation uses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Spencer Davis was chatting up tourists on the Venice boardwalk when police officers pulled up in front of his display of plastic alien heads. Had Davis seen a man threatening people with a chain saw, they asked? "Not today," he quipped with a smile, assuming that the officers were joking. Then he turned around and saw police officers, their guns drawn, with a man holding a chain saw. "Just when you think you've seen it all…" Davis said. For all the gentrification, designer homes and tourist attractions, Venice is still that kind of place - where artists, the homeless, Silicon Beach hipsters, surfers, inline skaters and tourists come together along a circus-like boardwalk.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari unveiled a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for corporate tax breaks, hydraulic fracturing of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business and increased spending on water storage. The 10-point plan, focused on manufacturing, water, energy and the business climate, is the first policy Kashkari has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. The former U.S. Treasury official said his plan would "unleash" the private sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
NEWS
March 25, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency would lose its authority to collect and hold years' worth of telephone calling records but gain access to cellphone information it currently lacks under an Obama administration proposal aimed at quieting controversy over the spy agency's data archive. The plan, which would need congressional approval, would significantly curb what has been the most controversial secret program revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Currently, the NSA collects most landline calling records and stores them for five years in a database that it periodically searches using telephone numbers connected to terrorists abroad.  T he new proposal would end the NSA's practice of holding the massive amounts of calling data.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari plans to unveil a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for tax breaks for job creators, fracking of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business, increased spending on water storage and capping certain legal payouts. The plan, to be released in San Diego, is the first policy the candidate has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. He faces a test, arguing against a popular incumbent in a Democratic-leaning state where unemployment has dropped 4.1 percentage points since Gov. Jerry Brown took office three years ago, dipping to 8% in February.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2014 | By Shan Li
Conflict roiling the Middle East will hamper efforts by Occidental Petroleum to unload as much as $8 billion of its assets in the region, according to a report. Speaking at an energy conference in New Orleans on Tuesday, Occidental Chief Executive Steve Chazen said the oil and gas giant may have to sell its Middle East stake to individual buyers rather than to a consortium made up of Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, according to Bloomberg. Chazen told investors that that the likelihood of the three countries cooperating on the deal is "difficult at best right now," the report said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
An aggressive plan to shut down all or part of embattled Santa Monica Airport after July 2015 is set to go before the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday evening. If approved, the city would set in motion a so-called starvation strategy to dramatically scale back aircraft operations, cut the 5,000-foot runway almost in half and eliminate aviation-related services such as fuel sales and flight schools. Recommended by the city's airport commission, the plan also calls for the city to rezone airport land to non-aviation uses and continue its effort to gain control of the 227-acre facility, which is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and subject to various federal agreements.
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