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NATIONAL
April 19, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
  Portland's now-infamous teenager who was caught on camera urinating into a reservoir there apparently told an online news site that he was relieving himself on a wall. Although tests on the open-air reservoir came back clean, the ick factor was enough for officials to go ahead with their plan to drain all 38 million gallons of drinking water and send it into the sea. Amid the controversy over that decision, the incident spotlights a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that goes into effect next April, requiring that all reservoirs holding drinkable water are either covered or pass water to a retreatment plant before being sent to taps.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Visibility was 10 miles and the morning sun had pushed the temperature close to 90 as Danny Joe Hall guided his mile-long Union Pacific freight train east through the grasslands of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Near the farming town of Goodwell, federal investigators said, the 56-year-old engineer sped through a series of yellow and red signals warning him to slow down and stop for a Los Angeles-bound train moving slowly onto a side track. The 83-mph collision killed Hall and two crewmen.
SPORTS
April 18, 2014 | By Chris Dufresne
The NCAA president railed against the past Friday by uttering the contracted sentence many have been waiting to hear. “That's absurd,” Mark Emmert said on ESPN's “Mike & Mike” Show. The words didn't cover the gamut of inane NCAA practices but, hey, one absurdity at a time. Emmert, the NCAA's embattled leader, was only speaking to a ridiculous rule that defined when a bagel changed from a snack to a meal. Thank goodness that issue has finally been resolved -- too bad it only took 23 years.
NATIONAL
April 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - This spring marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan, its most important pronouncement on the freedom of the press, but the ruling has not won the acceptance of Justice Antonin Scalia. “It was wrong,” he said Thursday evening at the National Press Club in a joint appearance with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I think the Framers would have been appalled. … It was revising the Constitution.” The 9-0 ruling handed down in March 1964 threw out a libel suit brought by police commissioner L.B. Sullivan from Montgomery, Ala. He claimed he had been defamed by a paid ad in the New York Times, even though it did not mention him by name.
NATIONAL
April 16, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
North Dakota's law banning abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, striking down what critics had called the nation's most extreme limit on the procedure. The law, which was approved last year but never took effect, made it a crime for a woman to abort a fetus with a detectable heartbeat. Offending doctors faced up to five years in prison. An exception was allowed for medical emergencies. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland said the law was “in direct contradiction” of the Supreme Court's 40-year-old decision in Roe vs. Wade, which established “viability” as the critical point at which states could begin restricting abortions.
NATIONAL
April 16, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A federal judge in Boston ruled Wednesday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may view autopsy photographs of three people who died in the Boston Marathon bombings and indicated that he might ease some of the restrictions on the defendant to allow him unmonitored visits with his family. Tsarnaev, 20, has been held in federal custody since his arrest last year in the April 15 explosions at the finish line area of the marathon. He faces the death penalty if convicted of 30 counts, including detonating a weapon of mass destruction resulting in deaths.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
A decision by a federal appeals court Wednesday could allow for changes in water deliveries to irrigation districts that hold senior rights to Sacramento River supplies. The unanimous opinion by an 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned two previous rulings that found the federal government lacked discretion to alter water contracts with senior irrigators in the Sacramento Valley. The new decision sends the matter back to a district court for further consideration, leaving both sides in the nearly decade-old case unsure of the ultimate outcome.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials are revisiting the department's policy governing when and how deputies can use physical force, in light of a court ruling last year that officers can be held liable even for actions that led up to a shooting. The daughter of Shane Hayes, a mentally ill man who was shot and killed in his home by San Diego County sheriff's deputies after brandishing a knife, filed a wrongful death suit against the department. She argued that the deputies provoked the confrontation that led to the shooting.
SPORTS
April 15, 2014 | By Ben Bolch
Blake Griffin might have made one decision unnecessary for Clippers Coach Doc Rivers. Griffin picked up his 16th technical foul late in the second quarter of a 117-105 win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday when he aggressively swiped at Timofey Mozgov, hitting the center in the head as he drove toward the basket. NBA rules stipulate that players are suspended for one game after collecting 16 technical fouls, meaning that Griffin would be forced to sit out the Clippers' regular-season finale against Portland on Wednesday unless his latest technical is rescinded.
OPINION
April 15, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
New technology often challenges society's long-standing assumptions and standards, but sometimes courts - and others - lose sight of common sense as they grapple with the changes. That's the case in a recent decision of California's 6th Appellate District, which found that text messages and emails between public officials are beyond the reach of the Public Records Act if they are sent on private devices rather than ones owned by public agencies. The three-judge panel said that electronic communications between council members and the mayor of San Jose, even those regarding city business, should not be considered "public" records if they are not "used" or "retained" by the city government (the language cited comes from California's Public Records Act, written long before smartphones existed)
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