March 14, 2014 |
LONDON - The top U.S. and Russian diplomats tried but failed Friday to avert escalation of the conflict over the Crimean peninsula, leaving Moscow and Washington badly divided over the legality and consequences of a Sunday referendum on whether Crimea should secede from Ukraine. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Western nations would not recognize the vote and that if the vote goes forward they would swiftly begin imposing sanctions on Moscow, whose proxies in Ukraine are driving the secession bid. He also warned that any move by the Russian government or lawmakers to ratify the outcome of the referendum, almost certain to endorse secession, would amount to an illegal "backdoor annexation" of Crimea.
March 13, 2014 |
CAIRO - Egypt's presidential election, previously set for this spring, could be pushed back to midsummer, state media reported. The office of interim President Adly Mansour was quoted as saying Wednesday that the new deadline for the vote was July 17. Previously, it had been mid-April. Political parties have been arguing over a contentious new election law that rules out legal challenges to the results as determined by the country's main electoral body. Critics call the measure unconstitutional, and the only declared candidate in the presidential race so far, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, says it casts doubt on the integrity of any vote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO -- The Assembly will hold a vote next Monday to determine its new leader, the office of Speaker John A. Pérez confirmed Wednesday. Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who has already locked up the unanimous approval of Assembly Democrats, is poised to assume the title of Speaker-elect. Atkins, a former San Diego City Council member, was first elected to the Legislature in 2010. She currently serves as Majority Floor Leader. She would be the first lesbian to serve as speaker.
March 11, 2014 |
CAIRO -- Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was ousted Tuesday in a parliamentary vote of no confidence on the heels of a confrontation with a breakaway militia that sought to bypass the weak government and sell oil on its own. Lawmakers named the defense minister to act as prime minister until a replacement for Zeidan is found. Zeidan had been struggling for months to keep control of a fractured and impotent central administration in the North African state, which faces growing chaos in the wake of Moammar Kadafi's overthrow three years ago. Rebel commanders have struck out on their own, with armed groups -- sometimes loosely affiliated with the government and drawing pay for that nominal alliance -- wielding far more power than the state.
March 6, 2014 |
KIEV, Ukraine -- The Russian-controlled parliament of Ukraine's Crimea area voted Thursday to secede and join Russia, and set a March 16 public vote on the latest move aimed at wresting the strategic peninsula from Ukraine. Officials in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev said such a vote would be meaningless as the Ukrainian constitution requires that any changes to national borders or territory be voted on by the entire country. The referendum on Crimea's future, announced by the region's first deputy prime minister, Rustam Temirgaliev, moved up the date for the controversial vote by two weeks.
March 5, 2014 |
The most polarizing proposal in recent college football history was tabled Wednesday, as in shelved, one day before a NCAA rules committee was going to vote on the controversial pace-of-play issue. The rule would have penalized a team for snapping the ball in the first 10 seconds of the 40 second clock. The irony is the penalty would have been for delay of game. There is nothing inherently wrong with studying whether or not up-tempo offenses pose a player safety concern.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 |
The L.A. City Council is expected vote Tuesday on a proposal to treat e-cigarettes like conventional cigarettes and prohibit them in nearly every workplace and many outdoor spaces. Lobbyists for the e-cigarette industry have been pushing back, and want to secure exemptions for establishments where "vaping" -- taking a drag of flavored nicotine vapor from an e-cigarette -- is increasingly popular. Backers of the battery-powered e-cigarettes portray them as a godsend for those looking to quit conventional smoking.
March 4, 2014 |
USC's Cassie Harberts and UCLA's Atonye Nyingifa and Nirra Fields were voted to the Pac-12 Conference women's basketball all-conference team by conference coaches. The team included 15 players. Harberts, a senior forward from San Clemente, has averaged 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Trojans, who are 18-12 and seeded fifth in the Pac-12 tournament that begins Thursday at KeyArena in Seattle. The Trojans play Arizona (5-24) in a first-round game. Harberts also was all-conference last season.
March 1, 2014 |
MOSCOW - The international conflict over Russia's military moves in Crimea escalated precariously Saturday as lawmakers in Moscow authorized the use of armed forces to protect their nation's interests and ethnic Russians in Ukraine and President Obama pressed President Vladimir Putin during a 90-minute phone call to back down. The unanimous vote in the upper house of the parliament came after Russian troops had already taken up positions in Crimea, the Ukrainian region that is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet, and in spite of Obama's warning Friday that "there will be costs" if Moscow intervenes in its neighbor's political upheaval.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2014 |
A Los Angeles citizen commission launched a three-month effort Thursday to find ways of improving voter turnout in the city, where fewer than 1 out of 4 voters has been casting ballots in recent municipal elections. The nine-member Municipal Elections Reform Commission has been asked to come up with a series of recommendations by mid-May, a schedule that is designed to give the City Council enough time to put proposals on the November election ballot. Turnout in last May's election -- which included contests for mayor, city attorney, city controller and a handful of City Council and school board seats -- was 23.3%.