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July 30, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, Garrett Therolf and Seema Mehta
In an unusually swift and aggressive response, Los Angeles County officials have moved to fire four child welfare workers they say were responsible for serious lapses in the case of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy who died after allegedly being tortured by his mother and her boyfriend. The May death of Gabriel Fernandez, whom paramedics found with a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns, came after the county's Department of Children and Family Services received and discounted a long series of complaints of abuse.
July 26, 2013 | By Marina Villeneuve and Carol J. Williams
WASHINGTON - In an effort to break the international standoff over fugitive Edward Snowden, the Obama administration has assured Russian authorities that the American on the lam after revealing top-secret U.S. intelligence operations won't face the death penalty or torture if he returns to the United States. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. wrote to his Russian counterpart to say that Snowden's claim to need political asylum in Russia for fear of abuse or execution if returned to the United States was "entirely without merit," the Justice Department disclosed Friday.
July 14, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
All you need to know about the British Open is that you don't dare call it that when you are at one. You can get away with typing it in stories back to the States, but don't say it to the guy eating fish and chips at the next table. It is The Open Championship, and if that sounds like it is meant to brand itself as the only one, then you are catching on. This year's Open Championship will start Thursday and continue through 72 holes and four grueling days of its usual golf misery and weather wonders.
July 12, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said its deputies will be cleared of wrongdoing in a lawsuit accusing them of shooting and shocking a family's pit bull then leaving it for dead in a squad car. Steve Whitmore, a department spokesman, said Thursday that deputies did nothing wrong in the December incident in Pico Rivera. "We look forward to telling the whole story," Whitmore said. "As we move forward and people see actually what occurred, we will be vindicated. " In a lawsuit filed Wednesday at the Norwalk courthouse, the owner of a 5-year-old pit bull named Chico Blue said deputies in Pico Rivera threw a chair at the dog, fired Tasers at its face, shot it twice with a gun and let it bleed to death.
July 11, 2013 | By Robert Abele
The pretentious, preposterous, dueling-dialect flameout called "Killing Season" has to stand as one of the biggest missed opportunities in iconic matchups. Robert De Niro plays a loner American military vet whose Appalachian retreat for wood-chopping and elk-gazing is disturbed by John Travolta's black-clad, chin-curtained Bosnian war criminal, a motormouth Serb bearing a bottle of Jagermeister, a bow and arrows, and a score-settling scenario. Neither kills the other after repeated chances in screenwriter Evan Daugherty's mano-a-mano set-up, however, because then we wouldn't get long, tedious "we're the same, you and I" war philosophizing, the side helpings of torture (salty lemonade waterboarding!
June 26, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
She was a mother of three, going to the market to pick up food for a neighbor. They were "stupid drunk," a witness would later tell police: loud, rowdy and obnoxious. And when they met by chance late at night on Dec. 29, 1998, the first words they uttered seemed to fit the season. "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year," the three men shouted from across the road. "Yeah, Merry Christmas. Happy New Year," she yelled back. The men's boisterous greeting, prosecutors say, was followed up with a grisly murder in which 43-year-old Penny Keprta of Long Beach was sexually assaulted, tortured and beaten to death.
June 23, 2013 | By Souleymane Guengueng
When President Obama visits Senegal this week, he will have the opportunity to show his support for a bold initiative to bring to justice the dictator responsible for torturing me and thousands of my countrymen. On Dec. 1, 1990, when Hissen Habre's rule in Chad came to an end and he fled to Senegal, I emerged from almost three years of mistreatment in detention for a crime I did not commit - being a rebel fighter against Habre. My body was weak and my bones were frail, but my resolve to seek justice was strong.
June 20, 2013 | By David Wharton
The numbers say it all. Last weekend, Ernie Els limped away from the U.S. with a hard-fought 5-over. On Thursday, he started the BMW International Open in Munich with a 9-under par 63, one stroke shy of the course record. "Today was like walking out of the torture chamber that was last week's U.S. Open," he said, "and walking onto a nice parkland golf course. " Els wasn't the only one to enjoy the surroundings at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried. While par would have won at Merion, Craig Lee shot that score in Germany on Thursday and found himself tied for 100th place.
June 20, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
MIAMI -- A Game 7 in the NBA Finals comes around only once in a while, so Gregg Popovich must be thoroughly enjoying himself. "It's torture," the curmudgeonly San Antonio coach said an hour before Thursday's tip-off against Miami. "It's hard to appreciate or enjoy torture. " The typically tight-lipped Popovich was highly transparent, even insightful, in his pregame interview with reporters, acknowledging that the Spurs needed to get back up after their stunning 103-100 overtime loss in Game 6. "Just filling the cup up again, basically," he said.
June 17, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
A Riverside County woman was convicted Monday of torturing and killing her 3-year-old daughter, who had been found beaten and burned, prosecutors said. Yolanda Guadalupe Pena was found guilty by a jury of one count each of murder, torture and assault on a child resulting in death, according to a statement from the Riverside County district attorney's office. Pena, a resident of La Quinta, was also convicted of one count of inflicting injury on a child, relating to another daughter, who was 12 years old at the time of the crime, prosecutors said.
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