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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
Hoping to make Los Angeles a national leader in steering trash away from landfills, the City Council is poised to approve a sweeping and controversial transformation of garbage collection for tens of thousands of businesses and apartment buildings. The new system, which tightens city control over the commercial trash-hauling market, is expected to win approval Tuesday. Proponents say that the changes, backed by environmental and labor organizations, will keep more garbage out of landfills, cut down on truck traffic and make the industry safer for workers.
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OPINION
March 30, 2014 | By Peter Dreier and Harold Meyerson
Many cities are pricey places to live. Acknowledging that reality, a growing number of cities have adopted higher minimum-wage standards than those set by the federal and state governments. San Francisco is on that list, as are San Jose, Seattle (where efforts are underway to raise the hourly minimum to $15), Washington (and two adjacent Maryland counties), Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M. Even in San Diego, no bastion of liberalism, the City Council is moving to put a wage hike before local voters.
NATIONAL
March 29, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
RIDGELAND, Miss. - Over the bass beat coming from the band, the Rev. Charles Miller is leading his congregation in boisterous prayer. As his voice rings out, blessing the community and the oppressed, the congregation affirming each line, he names a new group that he says deserves God's attention. "We pray for the employees who are working at Nissan," Miller says, and the dozens of women and men in the pews say amen to that, too. "We pray you wake up the conscience of those that are oppressing them," he says.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | By Laura J. Nelson
During a packed and sometimes tense four-hour public hearing Saturday, Los Angeles County transportation officials heard a litany of complaints from transit riders who said a proposed Metro fare hike would strain the budgets of students and working-class families. A crowd of more than 500 activists, students and low-wage workers packed Metro's downtown boardroom and spilled into the cafeteria as speaker after speaker pressed elected officials to avoid fare increases or service cutbacks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | Richard Winton, Kate Mather and Dan Weikel
As the sea of luggage twists and turns down rollers from terminals at Los Angeles International Airport, the bags stop briefly at large platforms where workers separate them for flights across the world. It is there, police said, that a group of baggage handlers pulled off one of the largest property heists in airport history. For months, detectives said, workers rifled through bags looking for items to steal. "Basically everything of value -- be it electronics, jewelry and items -- that could be stolen in seconds would be removed from bags," LAX Police Chief Pat Gannon said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Jason Wells, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Anaheim firefighters were dispatched to Disneyland on Friday after six people reportedly complained of an odor and being sick. The Anaheim Fire Department tweeted around 1:30 p.m. that firefighters were at the scene, but said it was not being treated as a hazardous materials spill. "Complaint of an odor. We're investigating. More to follow," the tweet said. It was not known if the incident was ride- or food-related, Anaheim Police Lt. Tim Schmidt told KTLA-TV. Disneyland had not provided information to police, Schmidt added.
WORLD
March 28, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- A Siberian dairy plant was temporarily closed Friday after its workers had been found bathing in milk, a Russian consumer oversight agency reported. Trade House Cheeses, a dairy producer in Omsk, about 1,600 miles east of Moscow, was closed for 90 days by regional authorities for an urgent inspection after complaints resulting from photographs and a video posted by one of its employees on a Russian social network. In the photographs and video clips posted on New Year's Eve by worker Artyom Romanov, a group of undressed employees relax in a container of milk as part of their celebration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Carla Rivera
Two members of Congress sent a letter this week to the owners of a closed South Gate trade school demanding that former employees be properly compensated. The for-profit Career Colleges of America closed suddenly in January after its accreditation and eligibility to provide federal financial aid was withdrawn amid ongoing financial problems. The school provided medical training to about 800 students at three campuses.  Nearly 400 employees who were working at the time the school closed have not been paid since November of last year, according to the letter written by  U.S. Reps.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
About 150 employees at rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne in Canoga Park were told Wednesday that they would be laid off as part of a companywide reduction that the company says is related to last year's merger. Aerojet Rocketdyne was created by the sale of Rocketdyne to GenCorp Inc. for $550 million, a deal that was finalized last summer. It brought together two major California rocket companies - and longtime competitors. GenCorp already owned Aerojet, the Sacramento aerospace firm founded in 1942.
SPORTS
March 25, 2014 | By Chuck Schilken
Shaquille O'Neal is being investigated by Atlanta police in connection with the alleged assault of a co-worker at Turner Studios last year. The "NBA on TNT" analyst, who won three championships with the Lakers and another with the Miami Heat, has been accused of tackle-punching Robert Williams at the studio on May 9, 2013, according to the police report. "Shaquille O'Neal ran out of a room and hit me with a tackle punch to the back knocking me down and falling on top of me injuring my neck and back," Williams told police, according to the report.
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