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Feb 20, 2014

Archdiocese of Los Angeles to pay $13 million in sex abuse settlement

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Seventeen people who brought sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles have won a $13 million legal settlement, with most of the allegations involving a priest who left the country as an investigation got under way, attorneys said on Wednesday.

The settlement, reached last week, averted a trial that would have centered largely on abuse allegations against Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera, who in 1988 left his Los Angeles parish for Mexico as a probe was being mounted against him. His whereabouts are unknown.

Feb 14, 2014

Ex NFL player Darren Sharper accused of drugging, raping women

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former professional football player Darren Sharper, a star defensive back turned television sports analyst, was charged on Friday with drugging four women and raping two of them in the Los Angeles area, prosecutors said.

Sharper, 38, was scheduled to appear for arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday in connection with the alleged incidents, which prosecutors said occurred in October and January.

Feb 13, 2014

Comic great Sid Caesar of “Your Show of Shows’ dies at 91

LOS ANGELES, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Sid Caesar, who pioneered TV
sketch comedy during the 1950s as the star and creative force of
“Your Show of Shows,” a launch pad for the likes of Mel Brooks,
Carl Reiner and Woody Allen and an inspiration to generations of
comedians, died on Wednesday. He was 91.

Caesar, in failing health for at least a year, died at his
home in Beverly Hills, where he had continued to receive
visitors, reminisce and tell jokes, according to friends and
collaborators, including Reiner.

Feb 12, 2014

Comic legend Sid Caesar dead at age 91, says friend Carl Reiner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comic showman Sid Caesar, a pioneer of American television sketch comedy as the star and creative force of “Your Show of Shows” during the 1950s, died on Wednesday at age 91, according to his friend and former collaborator Carl Reiner.

Reiner told Reuters he learned of Caesar’s death from a mutual friend, actor and writer Rudy De Luca, who had recently visited Caesar at his Los Angeles-area home. He said the veteran entertainer had been ill for at least a year.

Feb 7, 2014

U.S. missionary said moved back to North Korean labor camp

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. missionary being held in North Korea was moved from a hospital back to a labor camp last month on the same day he made a public appeal for Washington to help get him home, a U.S. State Department official said on Friday, citing a Swedish diplomat who met with the prisoner.

Kenneth Bae, 45, has been held for more than a year in North Korea after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to overthrow the state. From last summer until January, he had been kept at Friendship Hospital in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, his family said.

Feb 5, 2014

Four U.S. congressmen urge North Korea to free missionary Bae

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The last surviving members of the U.S. Congress to have served in the Korean War have sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un asking him to release imprisoned American missionary Kenneth Bae.

North Korea in December released 85-year-old Korean War veteran Merrill E. Newman, a former U.S. special forces soldier who had been held since October after visiting the country as a tourist, and the members of Congress mentioned that case in seeking Bae’s freedom.

Feb 3, 2014

Abuse allegations against Woody Allen prompt new legal questions

LOS ANGELES, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Woody Allen contends that
renewed accusations by the filmmaker’s adopted daughter that he
sexually abused her at age 7 are “untrue and disgraceful,” a
spokeswoman for the director said on Sunday, a day after her
letter detailing the allegations shook up Hollywood.

Dylan Farrow, 28, the daughter of Allen’s former girlfriend,
actress Mia Farrow, challenged the acclaim the 78-year-old
Oscar-winner has received in recent years, as she told her side
of the decades-old case in an open letter published by New York
Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a friend of the Farrows.

Jan 29, 2014

U.S. border officials ground fleet of drones after crash at sea

LOS ANGELES, Jan 28 (Reuters) – U.S. Customs and Border
Protection has indefinitely grounded its remaining fleet of nine
drones after operators were forced to crash a pilotless aircraft
off the Southern California coast because of a mechanical
problem, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

The mishap on Monday marked the second crash of one of the
agency’s drones since it began using the unnamed aerial
surveillance technology in 2006.

Jan 18, 2014

Firefighters hold line against southern California wildfire

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters sought to prevent a wildfire in the foothills near Los Angeles from flaring up on Saturday, as they put out embers from a blaze that has destroyed five homes, officials said.

The so-called Colby Fire, which officials said started from a campfire early on Thursday, has blackened nearly 1,900 acres of drought-parched chaparral and is 30 percent contained, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Robert Brady.

Jan 17, 2014

Wildfire destroys homes near Los Angeles, three arrested

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A fast-moving California wildfire, started accidentally by three campers, roared out of control in foothills above Los Angeles on Thursday, destroying at least two homes and forcing more than 1,000 residents to flee, fire and law enforcement officials said.

The wind-whipped blaze erupted before dawn in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.