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February 19, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
The Metrolink passenger railroad Thursday will become the first commuter service in the nation to roll out a sophisticated collision avoidance system designed to overcome human error. Had so-called positive train control been in place five years ago, experts say, it would have prevented Metrolink's deadly Chatsworth crash. In that accident, an engineer missed a red stop signal while text-messaging on his cellphone and struck a Union Pacific freight train head-on. Twenty-five people died and 135 were injured.
February 18, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Personal information collected from credit card shoppers would be better protected by upgrading the country's entire payment system to technology that has dramatically reduced fraud in Europe. That was the consensus of a group of retailers, bankers, credit card companies and consumer advocates at a legislative hearing Tuesday. Legislators delved into the causes of a recent hacking of about 70 million computerized customer records at Target Corp. and a smaller incident involving about 1.1 million customers at Neiman Marcus department stores.
February 16, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - Kris Warren, a Marine veteran with combat duty in Iraq, remembers the disorientation and other problems that kept him from reentering civilian life. Finally he mustered the courage to ask for help from the Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles. With that help over months, he was able to reunite with his wife and children and avoid slipping into homelessness. Now, Warren, 36, is part of an innovative VA program set to begin in San Diego: a residential treatment facility exclusively for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in danger of becoming homeless.
February 15, 2014 | By Martha Groves
The Culver City Ice Arena, which closed earlier this month after losing its lease, might reopen after the rock-climbing company that had planned to take over the space revealed last week that it would not. But City Manager John Nachbar said the city and the rink employees would first have to resolve many issues, including whether the facility's refrigeration system was safe. The unexpected news of Planet Granite's lease cancellation was a relief to the Takahashi family, longtime employees of the rink who hope to operate it for at least six months.
February 3, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
The Department of Transportation will push the development of a short-range radio system aimed at stopping crashes by allowing cars to exchange basic facts about speed and direction to other vehicles as fast at 10 times a second. Called vehicle-to-vehicle communications, such a system would give vehicles the ability to warn drivers of potential dangers as far as 300 yards away.  The technology could be linked to safety systems already in some vehicles that automatically trigger the brakes or make steering adjustments to stop collisions.  “This is just the beginning of a revolution in roadway safety,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday.
January 19, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin said Russian authorities will "do our best" to prevent terrorist attacks at the Sochi Winter Olympics, which will take place in the shadow of an Islamist insurgency in the restive Caucasus region. "We have a perfect understanding of the scope of the threat and how to deal with it and how to prevent it," Putin said in an interview broadcast Sunday. "I hope that our law enforcement agencies will deal with it with honor and dignity, the way it was during other major sports and political events.
January 15, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - The deadly 2012 assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was caused by the failure of the State Department to adequately protect the facility and poor intelligence-gathering by the CIA and other agencies, according to a harsh assessment by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel's findings, contained in a declassified 78-page report released Wednesday, criticize the State Department for failing to increase security at the isolated, undermanned compound.
January 13, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - Many of President Obama's closest advisors have embraced a controversial assessment of one of the National Security Agency's major data collection programs - the belief that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks could have been prevented had government then possessed the sort of vast trove of Americans' telephone records it holds now. Critics of the NSA program, and some scholars of America's deadliest terrorist attack, strenuously dispute the view that the collection of phone data would necessarily have made a difference or that the possibility justifies the program now. The presidential task force that reviewed surveillance operations concluded last month that the program "was not essential" to preventing terrorist attacks.
January 10, 2014 | By Thomas Curwen
Tony Brake had seen tunnel fires before, and given the tower of black smoke and what he could see of the flames, he feared this one was going to be bad. On a Saturday morning in July, a tanker truck carrying 8,700 gallons of gasoline flipped over, and the two-lane underpass connecting the northbound Glendale Freeway with the northbound 5 Freeway turned into a blast furnace. If the tunnel - which supports the 5 Freeway - were to fail, the freeway would collapse. Traffic would be snarled for months, and for a region just emerging from a recession, the economic impact could be severe.
December 29, 2013 | By Jason Song
Yaneth Palencia wrote a petition to the city's transportation department in 2005, urging officials to install a traffic signal or stop sign at the crosswalk near Normandie Avenue and 42 n d Street in her neighborhood, south of downtown. "We note that cars driving on that street, often, exceed the legal posted speed limit and that accidents have occurred in the past," wrote Palencia, who was worried that someone would eventually get killed trying to cross the busy street. "I never thought it would be my nephew," she said.
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