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WORLD
March 4, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa -- A neighbor of Olympian Oscar Pistorius testified in his murder trial Tuesday that she thought she heard a woman loudly arguing with someone the night the athlete shot and killed his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. Estelle Van der Merwe, who lives less than 100 yards from Pistorius' house, said she was was awoken by the sound at 1:06 a.m. on Valentine's Day last year. She said she was irritated by the loud voice, and tried to get to sleep by putting a pillow on her head.
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SPORTS
March 3, 2014 | By Chuck Schilken
June Steenkamp told a British newspaper that she was hoping to see Oscar Pistorius face to face as he goes on trial for allegedly murdering her daughter, Reeva Steenkamp. “I want to look at Oscar, really look him in the eyes, and see for myself the truth about what he did to Reeva,” she said, according to the Pretoria News. “Whatever the court decides at the end of his trial, I will be ready to forgive him.… But first I want to force him to look at me, Reeva's mother, and see the pain and anguish he has inflicted on me. I feel I need that.” She may have gotten her chance as Pistorius' murder trial began Monday morning in Pretoria, South Africa, as the double-amputee Olympic runner was seated very close to June Steenkamp and other family members.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court upheld a death sentence Monday for a man who was forced to wear a stun belt during his trial, rejecting arguments that the prospect of being electrically shocked adversely affected his demeanor before jurors. In a 6-1 decision ,  the majority noted that the prosecution had conceded the court erred in requiring the stun belt, but the justices concluded it did not affect the outcome of the trial. The ruling came in an appeal by Jonathan Keith Jackson,  who was convicted of murdering a woman during an attempted drug-related robbery in Riverside County and sentenced to death.
NATIONAL
March 1, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - Weeks after he took office, President Obama met privately with 40 grieving Americans, many clutching photographs of loved ones lost in terrorist attacks. The new president told them he would be closing Guantanamo Bay military prison within the year and putting many of the detainees there on trial in the U.S., where justice would be swifter. Five years later, the first and probably only federal court trial of a Sept. 11-related case will start with jury selection on Monday at a U.S. District courthouse in Lower Manhattan, blocks from ground zero, where the World Trade Center once stood.
NATIONAL
February 28, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON -- A federal judge Friday refused to halt or dismiss the case against Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, saying that suggestions the government had charged the wrong man were “utterly meritless” and ruling that the first Sept. 11-related trial to be held in New York will open with jury selection on Monday. Defense lawyers for Sulaiman abu Ghaith had filed a last-minute request for a delay in the trial or dismissal of the case altogether, claiming they had uncovered evidence that another man, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, is the actual person who was the top Al Qaeda propagandist and warned of more airplane attacks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
An alleged drug supplier went on trial in Orange County on Thursday  on charges that he killed a man he believed had stolen drugs from his dealers. Jose Felix Zepeda, 41, is charged with felony special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery, felony kidnapping and felony conspiracy to commit a crime. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without parole. Zepeda has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Prosecutors say that in April 2012, Zepeda supplied three pounds of methamphetamine to two men who were supposed to sell the drugs to a buyer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
A psychology professor accused of setting up the 1995 slaying of a man she said had raped her has been ordered to stand trial in Orange County. Norma Patricia Esparza , who grew up in Santa Ana and went on to become a respected professor in Europe, was arrested in the 19-year-old case in 2012 but had been free on bail and living in Europe where she was teaching in Geneva, when a judge revoked the bail last year. Esparza is accused of helping set up the slaying of a man she said raped her when she was a college sophomore.
WORLD
February 25, 2014 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday lost a bid to prevent the live broadcast of his murder trial next week in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Under a High Court ruling Tuesday, the bulk of the athlete's trial can be televised and audio from all the proceedings can be broadcast. However, Judge Dunstan Mlambo ruled that there would be no television coverage of Pistorius' testimony nor that of his defense witnesses. Evidence provided by expert witnesses will be televised, but the court could refuse to allow other testimony to be filmed, if requested.
WORLD
February 25, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
KIEV, Ukraine - Hoping to reach a consensus that would heal some of Ukraine's wounds, the country's acting president on Tuesday delayed the seating of an interim government for at least two days, even as opposition colleagues appealed to the Hague criminal tribunal to try fugitive ex-President Viktor Yanukovich on charges of crimes against humanity. Reports of mounting discord among ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine and gunshot wounds suffered by a top aide to Yanukovich further heightened a sense that Ukraine's stability is threatened as politicians jockey for position before the May 25 presidential election.
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