April 23, 2014 |
GAZA CITY - Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas on Wednesday announced a reconciliation deal to end their seven-year schism, in a further blow to U.S.-led efforts to broker a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis. Leaders of the groups said they will form a unity government within five weeks, solicit a vote of confidence from the Palestinian parliament, then schedule elections in six months. "This is good news to tell our people: The era of division is over," Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Hamas, declared at a news conference here.
April 23, 2014 |
Even as the United States continues its historic move toward fairness and equity for gay people, antiquated anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in a dozen states. Theoretically, these laws were rendered unenforceable by the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, but apparently not everyone has received that message. In the Lawrence case, the court declared that state laws banning consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional. Yet somehow, between 2011 and 2014, 12 men were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana under the state's remaining anti-sodomy laws.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2014 |
Along with its manicured greenbelts and meticulously neat neighborhoods, Irvine suddenly has something else on its hands: an international incident. Members of its vast Chinese American community are fighting a city decision to bow to the demands of Vietnamese Americans, who arrived by the hundreds this month to demand that Irvine abandon its plans to formalize a relationship with a tourist town in coastal Vietnam. A parade of speakers spent hours pleading with council members to reject the proposal, saying it would be insulting for the city to forge a "friendship" with a country they'd fled to escape a brutal communist regime.
April 19, 2014 |
BEIJING - On the first Sunday of March, China awoke to sickening news: Black-clad attackers with knives had hacked through crowds at the train station in the southern city of Kunming, killing 29 and injuring more than 140. Reporters leaped into action, gathering details from victims in their hospital beds. President Xi Jinping urged all-out efforts to investigate the slaughter. The incident was quickly dubbed "China's 9/11. " But by nightfall Monday, the state-run New China News Agency signaled that it was time to move on. "Kunming railway station serious violent terror case is successfully solved," its headline said.
April 19, 2014 |
SEOUL - The official death toll in South Korea's ferry disaster rose to 49 early Sunday after divers gained access to the submerged vessel and recovered more than a dozen bodies. Government officials reported that divers had retrieved the bodies by breaking a window on the vessel, but it was unclear whether they had gained entry to the ship. In a sign that hope had run out for the survival of any of the 256 listed as missing, officials asked relatives of those aboard to provide DNA samples to expedite the identification of bodies.
April 16, 2014 |
Socked by mortgage-related legal expenses, Bank of America Corp. lost $276 million during the first quarter, sending its stock down sharply. The quarterly loss, its first in 2½ years, came despite lower loan losses and better than expected results in fixed-income trading, a slowing business that hurt rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. during the quarter. The results included $6 billion in litigation expense, much of it related to toxic bonds backed by housing-boom mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp., the aggressive Calabasas lender that nearly collapsed before being acquired by Bank of America in 2008.