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NEWS
April 23, 2014 | By Jon Healey, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Moments after news leaked about a new "Net neutrality" plan from the Federal Communications Commission's chairman, consumer advocates in Washington began proclaiming their distaste. "With this proposal, the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet," intoned Craig Aaron of Free Press. "The FCC is inviting ISPs to pick winners and losers online," declared Michael Weinberg of Public Knowledge. At issue is a proposal developed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to protect the status quo online in the wake of an appeals court ruling that threw out most of the FCC's previous Net neutrality rules.
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BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Netflix Inc. and other Internet companies may soon be able to pay for a faster road online for streaming movies and other content into customers' homes, raising concerns about who ultimately may end up with the bill. The nation's top telecommunications regulator, breaking with his agency's long-standing position, will propose new rules that would allow broadband network owners to sell a high-speed toll road for content providers, the Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday.
NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Victims of child pornography whose images of sexual abuse have circulated on the Internet may demand compensation from every person caught downloading and possessing the illegal images, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. But justices set aside a $3.4-million restitution order handed down against a Texas man on behalf of one victim, ruling that a single defendant who possesses the pornography may not be forced to pay the full amount of damages due the victim. The 5-4 decision upholds part of the Violence Against Women Act and opens a new chapter in compensating victims who say the online circulation of their images has forced them to relive the sexual abuse they experienced as children.
SPORTS
April 22, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
Lots of parents have viewed lacrosse as a safe alternative to playing football, but it remains a contact sport. In fact, Max Schneider, a lacrosse player from Santa Ana Mater Dei, broke his collarbone and was unconscious for a brief period after a late hit last month. That experience has caused his father, Greg, to question the rules and whether athletes are being adequately protected from late hits because the only penalty assessed was a three-minute penalty. There was no ejection.
OPINION
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
"Supreme Court rules against affirmative action. " That is likely to be a common shorthand description of Tuesday's decision upholding the constitutionality of Michigan's ban on the use of racial preferences in admission to state universities. But it's misleading. The 6-2 decision leaves undisturbed previous rulings in which the justices said that state universities may take race into account in admissions policies without violating the U.S. Constitution. But the court now has made it clear that although such preferences are permissible, voters may opt to prohibit them.
OPINION
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Comprehensive immigration reform is probably dead for yet another year, the victim - once again - of a dysfunctional Congress that can't even reach agreement on the things it agrees on. There is nothing President Obama can do about that, although if therapy were available for political relationships, there'd be a referral waiting to be made. In the meantime, the president still has to administer immigration laws as they exist, and he reportedly is considering dropping his opposition to bond hearings for detained undocumented immigrants.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Confronting a case that could reshape the television broadcast industry, Supreme Court justices sounded conflicted Tuesday over whether an upstart streaming service is violating copyright laws by enabling subscribers to record programs captured over the air and view them later on the Internet. The court's ruling, due by June, could either shut down New York-based Aereo or clear the way for the growing company to continue providing subscribers with a convenient, low-cost way to watch local broadcast channels without paying for cable or satellite service or putting an antenna on a roof.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - A raft of bills to set tougher ethics rules for California politicians cleared their first legislative hurdle Tuesday as the state Senate prepared for a daylong refresher course on standards of conduct. Lawmakers say better adherence to existing rules and tougher restrictions in the future are needed to win back the public's trust after three state senators were charged with crimes. Eleven proposals approved by a Senate committee included a ban on fundraising during the end of legislative sessions, when decisions on many key issues are made; a reduction in the value of gifts that officials may accept; and a prohibition on such items as spa treatments, golf games, concert and professional sports tickets, theme park admissions and gift cards.
NATIONAL
April 22, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A divided Oklahoma Supreme Court has granted two death row inmates a reprieve, while throwing the state's legal system into a tizzy on how to administer the death penalty. In a 5-4 ruling, the state Supreme Court ordered a stay in Tuesday's planned execution of Clayton Lockett, convicted in the 1999 shooting of a 19-year-old woman. The court also ordered a stay in the April 29 scheduled execution of Charles Warner, convicted in the 1997 death of an 11-month-old girl. In both cases, the court acted after lawyers for the inmates said they needed more information on the drugs the state planned to use to execute the prisoners.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
California air quality officials are again moving to relax tough rules to clean up aging diesel trucks that are among the state's worst remaining sources of air pollution. The changes being considered this week by the state Air Resources Board come in response to pressure from small trucking firms and owner-operators, required to install costly diesel particulate filters or upgrade to cleaner models for the first time this year, who have pleaded for more time to comply. "We're all struggling," said Allen Forsyth of Los Angeles, who operates a three-truck fleet that hauls local freight near LAX. "I used everything I had to buy a 2012 truck.
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