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March 6, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
This post has been corrected, as indicated below. Environmentalists took a new step Thursday in a decades-long dispute by filing a lawsuit against federal agencies that gave permission for construction of a community of 60,000 residents along the last wild river in Southern California. The lawsuit claims the Clean Water Act permit approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 failed to accurately assess the effect the Newhall Ranch project would have on water quality, Native American cultural sites, and endangered plants and animals along the Santa Clara River.
March 5, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON -- Abortion providers have filed suit against Arizona to block a new rule that limits the use of medications to induce abortions. The rule is part of state-mandated abortion regulations that are scheduled to take effect April 1. On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood of Arizona and the Tucson's Women's Center announced they had filed a lawsuit challenging the new rule. The groups claim the rule is unconstitutional. Restrictions on similar medication-induced abortions have been enacted in other states and made their way through the courts with mixed results.
March 5, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
Dismayed at how German authorities have handled a ballyhooed seizure of suspected Nazi-looted art, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor from New York City is suing them for the return of a painting he says was stolen in the late 1930s from his great uncle in Germany. David Toren's suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleges that the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free State of Bavaria have "perpetuate[d] the persecution of Nazi victims" by not expeditiously returning artworks they seized in 2012 from Cornelius Gurlitt, the elderly son of an art expert who was known for acquiring looted art for Adolf Hitler.
March 4, 2014 | By Howard Blume
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to limit teacher job protections in California. The case, Vergara vs. California, is about halfway through trial. So far, advocates for nine families have presented their evidence that job protections for teachers are so stringent that they work against the best interests of students. Poor and minority students suffer disproportionate harm, attorneys argued. They are seeking to nullify laws that provide for teachers to earn tenure after 18 months as well as rules that rely on seniority rather than merit to determine which teachers are laid off. Lastly, the suit targets the teacher dismissal process as too lengthy and expensive.
March 1, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
Mike Garson obviously takes the piano very seriously, but he can chuckle over some of the contradictory paths that a versatile mastery of the keys has led him down. Maybe the unlikeliest of all is the one he's embarking on Saturday at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, where he'll lead 44 instrumentalists, augmented by a 55-voice children's choir, in the premiere of his "Symphonic Suite for Healing. " Even an accomplished musician like Garson, who's best known as a key sideman during David Bowie's 1970s rise to superstardom but who usually plays jazz or a jazz-classical fusion when left to his own devices, can laughingly confess that what he's doing isn't brain surgery or as important as finding a cure for cancer.
February 28, 2014 | By August Brown
Back in 2010, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig gave a lecture on copyright law. Speaking at a conference for the organization Creative Commons, he used YouTube clips of fans dancing to Phoenix's song " Lisztomania" as an example of proper "fair use" principles. He later uploaded the full lecture, which included the clips, to YouTube.   Liberation Music, the firm that licenses the Phoenix song in Australia and New Zealand, disagreed with Lessig's take. The firm issued a YouTube takedown order , asking that the lecture video be removed, and later threatened their own lawsuit against Lessig.
February 26, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
I hope ABC has learned its lesson. You can't just cast a hot dude with an accent to be “The Bachelor” and think it's a done deal. Even we of “Bachelor” nation can only stand for a baseline level of vapidness. Otherwise, we shall revolt. And revolt, we have. I mean, is there literally anyone out there still rooting for Juan Pablo to find love at the end of this season? If so, please raise your hand. Seriously. I want to know you. PHOTOS: Celebrity weddings and engagements of 2014 If it isn't obvious already -- duh, the fantasy suites were a total disaster.
February 26, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
One of the two friends who discovered Philip Seymour Hoffman's body in his apartment has withdrawn a lawsuit against the National Enquirer after reaching a settlement with the tabloid. David Bar Katz has come to an agreement with the Enquirer over a story that falsely claimed he and Hoffman were gay lovers who had  free-based cocaine the night before the actor died. Katz, a playwright,  told the New York Times  he will use the settlement to set up the  American Playwriting Foundation, which will give out an annual prize of $45,000 for an unproduced play. It will be called the Relentless Award, in Hoffman's honor.
February 25, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
In "Mind Games," a new ABC drama-with-comedy premiering Tuesday, Steve Zahn and Christian Slater play brothers setting themselves up in the manipulation business. "We change people's minds without them knowing we did it," is how brother Clark Edwards (Zahn) describes their work, which takes "little observations" about human behavior "that had just been lying around in academic journals" and turns them into "powerful tools" to achieve desired outcomes. There is reference also to Jedi mind tricks.
February 23, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
SOCHI, Russia -- The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed appeals from Canada and Slovenia regarding the legality of the suits worn by the three French athletes who swept the medals in men's ski cross. CAS heard the appeals in the early morning hours and issued a one-paragraph ruling on Sunday afternoon. It said that additional details would follow. The respective sports organizations alleged that just before the four-man final that "French support staff changed the shaping of the lower-leg suits of the riders, creating an aerodynamic effect.
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