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February 25, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The state ethics agency on Tuesday made public a warning letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, 10 days after it was provided to the chief executive as a caution for accepting improper contributions from a lobbyist. The state Fair Political Practices Commission sent warning letters to 37 politicians indicating the expenses covered at fundraisers by lobbyist Kevin Sloat violated the ban on contributions from lobbyists. Brown was warned about two fundraisers organized by the California Democratic Party and held at Sloat's house in 2012 to benefit the Brown for Governor 2014 campaign and committees supporting his Proposition 30. "At those fundraisers, he (Sloat)
February 25, 2014 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - An advisor to the Kremlin warned Tuesday that aggressive action by western Ukraine toward the country's pro-Russian southern and eastern regions could provoke a military reaction from Russia. Andranik Migranyan, head of a pro-Kremlin think tank in New York, said in an appearance at a Washington research organization that Russia believes that the country's pro-European west is deeply antagonistic toward Russia, even teaching its young people a hatred of Russia. If moves by the pro-European forces in the west threaten the eastern provinces, “I can't guarantee that the [Russian]
February 21, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
On March 18, 2011, an official from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission named Chuck Casto called together the NRC delegation on assignment with him in Tokyo. "We're in never-never land," he told them. Seven days earlier, a magnitude 9 earthquake had rattled a complex of six nuclear power plants known as Fukushima Daiichi, roughly 150 miles northeast of Tokyo. Then came nature's second, more devastating blow: a tsunami that swamped the complex, flooding its electrical generators and putting its three operating reactors out of commission.
February 20, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
The new head of Homeland Security played down a recent warning that terrorists might try to sneak explosives onto commercial planes in passenger shoes, saying the threat has been around "for years. " In a press conference at Los Angeles International Airport, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the advisory was "the type that we routinely issue in response to the latest intelligence. " Law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously, said the alert was based on new intelligence indicating that a shoe bomb may be used to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner.
February 20, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams, This post has been updated. See the notes below for details
MOSCOW -- Russian officials and Kremlin-influenced media stepped up their accusations Thursday that Western countries were fomenting the violence in Ukraine and warned that sanctions imposed by the United States and under consideration by the European Union were tantamount to “blackmail.” A truce between the Ukrainian government and opposition protest leaders fell apart hours after it was reached late Wednesday. Renewed fighting between police and protesters took at least 22 lives Thursday, bringing the death toll from three days of fiery clashes in Kiev to about 50 and possibly more, opposition sources reported.
February 19, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - California's campaign finance watchdog agency on Wednesday rescinded warning letters that had been sent to state Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) regarding disclosure of political spending. The state Fair Political Practices Commission had issued the warning letters based on information provided by the secretary of State that some campaign reports in 2012 had not been filed on time by the two candidates. But both campaigns have since provided proof that the political spending reports had been filed, according Gary Winuk, the chief of enforcement for the FPPC.
February 19, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
TOLUCA, Mexico -- President Obama warned all sides in the deadly Ukrainian conflict Wednesday that “there will be consequences if people step over the line,” but said he holds the government “primarily responsible” for showing restraint in dealing with the opposition. “I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we're going to be watching closely, and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters,” Obama said.
February 19, 2014 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security warned airlines Wednesday to watch for explosives hidden in the shoes of passengers flying into the United States from overseas, officials said. The alert was based on new intelligence indicating that a shoe bomb may be used to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner, said two law enforcement officials who described the bulletin on the condition of anonymity. Officials said the threat was not specific to a particular airline, flight, country or time.
February 19, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Winds gusts of up to 60 mph are expected to hit Southern California throughout Wednesday, potentially knocking down power lines or creating other dangerous conditions, forecaster warned. The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning for Santa Barbara County's south coast and for the Santa Barbara Mountains. A wind advisory has also been issued for the Santa Clarita Valley, several parts of Ventura County, and mountains in Los Angeles County. Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the weather serivce, said a high-pressure system from the north was pushing wind south from Santa Barbara down into Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
February 18, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) disputed  warning letters by the state campaign watchdog group that alleged they did not meet all campaign finance reporting requirements. Representatives of both officials said they had complied and are challenging the warning letters.   One letter from Gary Winuk, chief of enforcement for the Fair Political Practices Commission, said De Leon failed to file a semiannual campaign report for a two-month period in 2012 as required by the state Political Reform Act. But a spokesman for the Senator said the finance information was made available to the public in an electronic and paper filing done on time, but the state may have labeled the filing wrongly.
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