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January 5, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
AMMAN, Jordan - Infighting among Islamist antigovernment groups in northern Syria continued for a third day Sunday, as more moderate rebel factions engaged in a large-scale rout of an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda. The Mujahedin Army, a new coalition of ostensibly moderate Islamist groups, as well as factions affiliated with the Western-backed Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front, consolidated their gains against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in what activists hailed as a "second revolution.
January 5, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
The sardine fishing boat Eileen motored slowly through moonlit waters from San Pedro to Santa Catalina Island, its weary-eyed captain growing more desperate as the night wore on. After 12 hours and $1,000 worth of fuel, Corbin Hanson and his crew returned to port without a single fish. "Tonight's pretty reflective of how things have been going," Hanson said. "Not very well. " To blame is the biggest sardine crash in generations, which has made schools of the small, silvery fish a rarity on the West Coast.
December 30, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Population growth in Southern and Western states, led by Texas, California and Florida, accounted for more than 80% of new residents nationwide over the last three years, surpassing the Northeast and Midwest in the demographic contest that plays a key role in determining states' political clout, census data released Monday show. If states continue to grow at the same pace for the rest of the decade, Texas could gain three more congressional seats in 2020, according to a Times analysis of the Census Bureau figures.
December 25, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
Passing periods at Belmont High School used to mean pushing your way through a hall teeming with students. Now, it is a leisurely stroll. The storied campus perched on top of a hill on the fringe of downtown was once the largest high school in the state and one of the biggest in the country. It was also the most crowded. Built to hold 2,500 at most, it peaked at 5,500 students. But today, it could use a few more. Over the last decade, enrollment has plummeted with the construction of nearby schools by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
December 12, 2013 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
California's population grew by roughly 332,000 people in the last fiscal year - its biggest increase in nearly a decade, according to new California Department of Finance estimates. "It's a sign that our economy is recovering," said Hans Johnson, a Public Policy Institute of California demographer. "But it's still pretty slow growth. " The estimated population rose 0.88%, exceeding 38.2 million as of July. Most of that growth was "natural increase" - births minus deaths. But those numbers stayed roughly the same as in recent years, while immigration has increased.
December 1, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Treatment of prison inmates has finally begun to capture the attention of California's lawmakers and public, in large part because two lawsuits over constitutionally inadequate medical and mental health care resulted in a federal court order to reduce the inmate population by thousands. The Dec. 31 deadline has been pushed back to February as the state negotiates with plaintiffs in the consolidated suits, and lawmakers and the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown work through plans to devote more funding to treatment and alternative sentencing for mentally ill felons.
November 21, 2013 | By Gale Holland
A jump in the number of Los Angeles County residents who became homeless in the last two years defied the national trend of a modest decline in the overall homeless population, according to federal estimates released Thursday. Los Angeles County's homeless population rose 15% from 2011 to 2013, to  57,737, a total second only to New York City. By contrast, the number of homeless Americans declined 6% since 2010, to 610,042, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
November 18, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - The share of Americans moving to a new home fell this year, underscoring the lingering effects of the Great Recession and a drag on the housing market. The main factor was an unexpectedly large drop in the mobility of young adults, who account for the largest moves among age groups and the bulk of starter-home purchases. The Census Bureau reported Monday that the annual domestic migration rate - the share of the nation's population that moved - declined to 11.7% after rising to 12% last year.
November 13, 2013 | Don Lee
Michal Ruminski was 6 when his father took him through a local supermarket here. The store shelves were empty, except for some bottles of vinegar, but that was precisely the point. His father wanted the young boy never to forget the deprivations of living in a backward communist state. Today, streets once patrolled by soldiers and armored vehicles now teem with trendy cafes and tony boutiques, not to mention grocery stores filled to bursting. And Ruminski, now 39, as managing partner of a venture capital firm, can provide his wife and his own 6-year-old son all the comforts of life.
November 4, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Starfish up and down the West Coast are suffering from a strange disease known as "seastar wasting syndrome," and scientists are unsure why it is happening. Pockets of starfish decimation have been found from Southern California to Alaska. In some places the entire seastar population has been wiped out. (And before you get confused, seastar and starfish are two names for the same animal and I'll be using them interchangably.) PHOTOS: Weird sea creatures and strange fish The seastar wasting disease begins as a small sore somewhere along the seastar's body.
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