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November 9, 2011 | By Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times
The presiding judge of Los Angeles County's Juvenile Court is preparing to open child dependency proceedings to the public in an effort to improve accountability and transparency in child abuse, neglect and foster care placement cases. Currently, members of the media and the public are barred from entering dependency courtrooms without court permission. But Judge Michael Nash is proposing a blanket order that would make the hearings open unless someone objects and a judge decides to close the proceeding.
August 25, 2011 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he would consider taking further steps to help the local movie and TV industry, including lowering permit fees and speeding up the film permitting process. Speaking to a small group of Hollywood producers, location managers and film industry executives Wednesday, Villaraigosa outlined a series of steps the city has taken to assist the entertainment business, including offering free parking on city lots and working with the Department of Water and Power to install more electrical power nodes downtown.
July 23, 2011
The Federal Election Commission has ruled unanimously that members of Congress, candidates and party leaders may not solicit unlimited funds for so-called super PACs. Officially known as "independent expenditure-only political committees," super PACs are independent organizations that collect funds — including from unions and corporations — for election-related advocacy. As the 2012 presidential campaign approaches, a negative ad about President Obama or some Republican candidate is as likely to be mounted by a super PAC as by a candidate's official campaign.
June 30, 2011 | By Melanie Mason
A certain comedian's visit to the Federal Election Commission brought crowds and television cameras to the agency, but campaign finance experts say a more important decision by the FEC on Thursday had no mention of the name Stephen Colbert. The commission voted unanimously that federal officeholders and candidates cannot raise unlimited money for independent expenditure-only committees, more commonly known as “super PACs.” That was the declared approach of the Republican Super PAC, a committee formed by Indiana attorney James Bopp, a strenuous opponent of campaign finance restrictions.
June 10, 2011 | By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
Alabama set a new national standard for get-tough immigration policy Thursday with Gov. Robert J. Bentley's signing of a law that surpasses Arizona's SB 1070, with provisions affecting law enforcement, transportation, apartment rentals, employment and education. The new law, combined with legislation passed in May by neighboring Georgia, has arguably made this swath of the Deep South the nation's hottest immigration battleground, with the region's troubled racial history fueling the fire.
May 28, 2011 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A Los Angeles police officer convicted of sexually assaulting one young woman and soliciting sex from another while on duty has been sentenced to 8 1/2 years in state prison. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry also ordered 10-year-veteran Russell Mecano to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Before sentencing Mecano on Thursday, Perry heard about the pain and anguish Mecano inflicted on a woman who was 18 at the time she was assaulted. She told the judge she had been the victim of a "senseless and heartless" crime that would affect her the rest of her life.
May 11, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Usually, potential presidential aspirants seek cash before waging a campaign. Mike Huckabee wants your prayers. To that end, a new website has been launched seeking divine inspiration for the former Arkansas governor, called . "As many of you know, I am prayerfully considering an important decision about seeking the office of president in the 2012 election. I am asking for God's guidance now, and I humbly ask that you would join me in prayer as I seek to discern His will for my life," Huckabee writes on the page.
March 31, 2011 | By Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times
Con artists are soliciting cash and other valuables in Japan under the guise of collecting funds for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, prompting Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano on Thursday to condemn such "opportunistic crimes" and urge the nation to pull together. "At a time we must overcome a disaster, it's extremely important that people trust each other," Edano said. "Also, for the people who were affected by the quake and tsunami and who are living in extremely tough conditions, such heartless acts add insult to injury.
January 18, 2011 | By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has abandoned a widely criticized plan to privately sell as much as $1.5 billion in Facebook Inc. shares to wealthy U.S. clients of the Wall Street firm and instead will offer the stock only to foreign investors. The offering came to light about two weeks ago when Goldman agreed to invest $450 million of its own money in Facebook in a separate transaction that valued the fast-growing Internet company at $50 billion. At the time, some commentators condemned the plan for a private offering because it limited the opportunity to invest in Facebook, whose shares aren't publicly traded, to people rich enough to be customers of Goldman's wealth management service.
January 17, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Not easy being green ? The Federal Trade Commission said it reached a settlement with Tested Green, a company that issued "green" environmental certifications to businesses for as much as $550. According to the FTC, from February 2009 to April 2010, the company sold certifications that were "worthless" because Tested Green never examined the businesses. The FTC said Tested Green also deceived customers by citing endorsements from the National Green Business Assn.
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