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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
County officials are exploring a plan to require more intensive training for foster parents and group home workers to help them recognize warning signs that children and teens under their care may be victims of sex trafficking. County supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe have pushed for a more aggressive response to the issue of minors being used in the sex trade. In November 2012, the supervisors created a task force focused on the issue of sex trafficking of youths in the foster care system.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Diana Marcum
FRESNO -- More than 1,000 farm workers are expected in Delano on Tuesday night to watch the first feature film about Cesar Chavez. The film, directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Pena as Chavez, is set in the 10 years surrounding the grape boycotts that began in the Kern County farm town in the 1960s. The film will screen outdoors at the Forty Acres , a parcel of land on Delano's outskirts that is now a National Historic Monument. It was here that Chavez's 1968 fast drew national attention to harsh working conditions in the fields.
NATIONAL
March 24, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga
ARLINGTON, Wash. - Fearing more moving earth at the site of Saturday's deadly mudslide, search-and-rescue workers were pulled back Monday afternoon from searching for the dead and missing, officials said. "There are concerns about additional slides in the same area affected Saturday," Snohomish County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Shari Ireton told reporters. "Ground crews have pulled back, and geologists are on the ground. " But there were still more than 100 responders in the field Monday afternoon, Ireton said, using search dogs, hovercraft, air support and sonar devices to look for survivors and victims in the square mile of deep debris about an hour north of Seattle.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
The film crew walked out on the old railroad trestle high above Georgia's Altamaha River, then placed a metal-frame bed on the tracks for actor William Hurt. The plan called for Hurt to lie on the bed in a dream sequence for the film "Midnight Rider," in which he plays rock singer Gregg Allman. Two trains had already crossed the bridge that day, and the crew was told no more were scheduled, hairstylist Joyce Gilliard recalled. Then a train came barreling toward them. "We all ran for our lives," Gilliard said.
OPINION
March 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Last week President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise regulations determining which workers qualify for federal overtime protections, a move that was presented as a way to increase income for some lower-wage workers. It's not. In reality, it's a matter of basic fairness. The issue begins with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established the national minimum wage for most workers and guaranteed overtime pay for more than 40 hours of work a week. But the law also allowed overtime exemptions to be set by the Labor Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Citing the recent death of a baggage handler at Los Angeles International Airport, state legislators on Friday called for committee hearings to assess worker safety at California airports. Although Cal/OSHA is looking into the death of Cesar A. Valenzuela on Feb. 21, a group of lawmakers announced at a news conference in downtown Los Angeles that they would conduct a wider investigation. "This is a horrible tragedy and we must find out if this could have been prevented," said state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance)
BUSINESS
March 14, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
A former Fannie Mae employee was convicted late Friday of soliciting kickbacks from a broker with promises to steer lucrative listings of foreclosed homes his way. The federal court jury in Santa Ana convicted Armando Granillo of three counts of fraud, rejecting his contention that he intended to cheat only the broker, not Fannie Mae, the nation's largest home-finance firm. At the end of a two-day trial, the jury took less than two hours to convict Granillo, who sat grimly as each of the jurors affirmed the guilty verdicts.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- Saying it's “just fair” for more Americans to earn overtime pay, President Obama on Thursday directed the Labor Department to come up with new rules to expand the number of workers eligible. Before sitting down to sign a presidential memorandum to “modernize” work rules, Obama told a crowd gathered at the White House that the current standards are no longer adequate. Many workers in the U.S. earn roughly an hourly wage but don't qualify for overtime because they're designated as management.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By James Rainey
A nonprofit that operates 10 health centers downtown, in South Los Angeles and in Compton will increase its employees' pay to a minimum of $15 an hour in what it deemed an anti-poverty measure intended to jump-start "living wage" efforts around the region. The wage hike by St. John's Well Child and Family Center, to be announced Thursday, will increase the pay of 137 workers, many of whom now make $11 to $12 an hour. The chief executive of the health provider said that as it celebrates its 50th year in existence, St. John's wants to honor its historic roots.
OPINION
March 10, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Income inequality, persistent poverty and the lack of economic mobility are not only some of the most salient political issues of 2014 but are fundamental challenges that affect the prosperity of the country and the stability of our communities. About 25% of families with children in the city of Los Angeles live in poverty, according to the Census Bureau. And even many people whose earnings exceed the federal poverty line struggle to make ends meet. Nearly half of all workers in Los Angeles earn less than $15 an hour, which some advocates for the poor believe is the minimum necessary to afford basic housing, food and transportation.
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