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October 15, 2012 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - The people of Scotland will decide in 2014 whether to stay yoked to England and Wales or become an independent nation after more than 300 years of sometimes resentful marriage. With a handshake and their signatures, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond sealed a deal Monday on a referendum that could see the biggest political shake-up in the British Isles since Ireland threw off British rule nearly a century ago. Under the agreement, Scottish voters will get their chance to say yes or no to remaining part of the United Kingdom in a ballot most likely to be held in the autumn of 2014.
October 6, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California voters may feel overwhelmed by the loud battles being waged over measures on next month's state ballot, but the discussion about Proposition 40 is quietly one-sided. After spending $2 million to put the proposition on the ballot in hopes of tossing out newly drawn state Senate districts, Republican lawmakers and activists have dropped their campaign for it. The Republicans, who are at risk of losing seats in the new voting districts, had alleged the boundaries were drafted improperly when an independent remapping commission took over the process last year.
August 18, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
Outside a Trader Joe's in Silver Lake, a man in sunglasses and flip-flops called out questions to bag-toting shoppers. "Do you support medical marijuana?" he asked. "Well did you hear what City Hall just did?" An army of signature-gatherers has hit Los Angeles streets in recent weeks in a drive to repeal a recent ban on marijuana dispensaries. If activists can collect the roughly 27,400 names required within the next three weeks, a referendum to overturn the ban would go before voters in March.
June 17, 2012 | Doyle McManus
Is November's presidential election a referendum on President Obama's record or a choice between two different approaches to government? How voters answer that question could well determine the outcome. If voters think their job is to pass judgment on Obama's performance during his first four years, the president is in trouble. Polls show his job approval rating stuck at a notch below 50%, and for good reason. Unemployment is still high, the economy is struggling and Congress remains gridlocked.
June 14, 2012 | By Anthee Carassava, Los Angeles Times
ATHENS - Last month, Greeks went to the polls in anger. On Sunday, they return in fear. In an election widely viewed as a referendum on the country's membership in the Eurozone, voters here are choosing between the guaranteed pain of continued austerity and the uncertain danger of trying to break free of those brutal cuts. The first option, as protest parties such as the far-left Syriza group argue, would mire Greece in deep recession for years, if not decades. The second, as the conservative New Democracy party warns, would mean the "kiss of death" that forces Greece's European peers to push the country out of the shared currency.
June 1, 2012 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - Irish voters went to the polls Thursday to decide whether to ratify a treaty aimed at controlling the runaway deficits of European Union countries. The referendum, whose results are expected Friday night, comes as worry about Spain's economy continued to roil markets worldwide. Spanish stocks recovered some of their losses Thursday after slumping to nine-year lows a day earlier. The euro lost ground against the dollar, and oil prices fell, all on fear that Madrid will need international help to rescue its ailing banks.
March 1, 2012 | By Ian Duncan, Washington Bureau
Cheers rang out in the marble hallway of the Maryland State House as Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a gay marriage law, before handing off the pens to gay members of the General Assembly gathered around him. "For a free and diverse people, for a people of many faiths, for a people committed to the principle of religious freedom, the way forward is always found for the greater respect of the equal rights of all, for the human dignity of all," the...
February 26, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
Aid agencies were unable to evacuate any people Saturday from a battle-scarred neighborhood in the central Syrian city of Homs, one day after the United States and other nations demanded that President Bashar Assad allow humanitarian aid into strife-ridden Syria. Among the injured still stranded in Homs' Baba Amr district were a pair of Western journalists, Edith Bouvier of the French daily Le Figaro and Paul Conroy of the Sunday Times of London. Both suffered leg injuries in a shelling attack Wednesday that killed two other Western journalists.
February 25, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy and Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento and Los Angeles -- California voters will decide in November whether to repeal new voting districts for the state Senate, drawn last year by a citizens panel they created. Republican activists on Friday qualified a referendum on the issue. Elections officials determined that the group Fairness and Accountability In Redistricting (FAIR) turned in 511,457 valid signatures of registered voters, about 6,000 more than needed to put the question on the Nov. 6 ballot.
February 23, 2012 | By Ian Duncan, Washington Bureau
A chance shake-up of Maryland House of Delegates seating assignments brought Republican Wade Kach face to face with gay couples who had come to make the case for a gay marriage law, and might have proved decisive in its final passage through the state's General Assembly on Thursday. In an effort to get the bill onto the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.
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