(Reuters) – Voters in three western U.S. states go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use in a move that could spur a showdown with the federal government, with polls showing legalization ahead in Washington and Colorado.
If voters approve the measures, the states could become the first in the country to legalize the recreational use of pot. Each of the initiatives would see marijuana taxed and would regulate its sale in special stores to adults age 21 and older.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two rival Democratic congressmen are proving that similar politics does not guarantee amity in a hard-fought California race on the edge of Hollywood that has at times resembled reality television more than a congressional campaign.
The contest pits U.S. Representative Howard Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, against Representative Brad Sherman, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee first elected in 1996.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The chairman of the California Republican Party will not seek another term as leader of the organization in the country’s most populous state, where rival Democrats increasingly dominate the state Legislature, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Tom Del Beccaro, who took over last year as chairman of the state Republican Party, said in a statement this week to supporters and provided to Reuters on Thursday that it was time “to pause from party politics.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire outside a large Halloween party at the University of Southern California and wounded four people in the second major shooting incident involving the urban Los Angeles institution this year, police said on Thursday.
The gunfire erupted late on Wednesday outside a party at the Tutor Campus Center, the university said in a statement, although the people wounded in the incident were not students, faculty or staff at the school.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A trio of former California governors urged voters on Tuesday to preserve the death penalty in the state by defeating a ballot initiative seeking to abolish capital punishment on cost grounds, and a recent poll showed the measure gaining support but falling short of passing.
The initiative, if passed by voters next week, would automatically commute the sentences of 725 death row inmates in California, which has nearly a quarter of the nation’s condemned prisoners but has executed none in the last six years.
(Reuters) – Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the eastern United States with freakish power as it meets a cold front during a rare convergence of weather factors that is expected to steer the storm inland and widen the reach of its lashing winds.
Here is a look at some of the reasons why the event dubbed “Frankenstorm” by some weather watchers is so unusual and why it could be one of the most destructive U.S. storms in decades.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A top Justice Department official has told “60 Minutes” the federal government is ready to combat any “dangers” of state-sanctioned recreational pot, amid criticism of the Obama administration for its relative silence on legalization drives in three states.
Voters in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon are set to vote on November 6 on whether to legalize and tax marijuana sales, raising the possibility of a showdown with the federal government, which views pot as an illegal narcotic.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles County tax assessor John Noguez was arrested on Wednesday and charged with accepting $185,000 in bribes from a tax consultant whose clients he allegedly aided by slashing their property values to save them millions of dollars in taxes, prosecutors said.
Noguez, who went on leave in June after it was revealed he was under investigation, was led out of his house in handcuffs by investigators with the local District Attorney’s Office.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The retired space shuttle Endeavour was getting set on Thursday for a road trip unlike any of its previous journeys, one that will see it crawl through the streets of Los Angeles instead of hurtling through the solitary reaches of space.
Endeavour will nose out of Los Angeles International Airport at about 2 a.m. on Friday as it begins a two-day ground journey atop a massive wheeled transporter to its final resting place at the California Science Center on the edge of downtown.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California man behind an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests in the Muslim world was due in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday for a hearing on whether he violated his probation on a bank fraud conviction and should be sent back to prison.
The Egyptian-born man, known publicly as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has been in federal custody since late last month and was due to appear before a U.S. district court judge under his legal name, Mark Basseley Youssef, court papers showed.