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Jan 15, 2015

Actor’s Kim Jong Un role turns more bizarre in TV news coverage

By Alex Dobuzinskis

PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) – In the midst of the international imbroglio over his role as North Korea’s leader in the screwball comedy “The Interview,” nothing was quite so jarring for Randall Park as seeing his face on television as newscasters talked about Kim Jong Un.

“It was crazy to turn on the news and to see my face, yeah on CNN,” said Park in his first public remarks since the film’s release at the Television Critics Association gathering on Wednesday.

Jan 15, 2015

Yosemite climbers reach top of El Capitan in historic ascent

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two climbers completed a historic 19-day ascent to the summit of Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan in California on Wednesday after scaling the rock formation’s 3,000-foot (900-metre) sheer granite face without climbing tools, a spokeswoman said.

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made it to the top of El Capitan at 3:30 p.m. (2330 GMT), spokeswoman Jess Clayton said in an email. They were the first to climb El Capitan’s so-called Dawn Wall without bolts or climbing tools, she said.

Jan 11, 2015

Former Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa shows interest in Senate seat

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat known for championing public transportation projects, indicated on Saturday he is considering a run to succeed U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, who has ruled out seeking re-election in 2016.

Villaraigosa had been seen as a possible candidate, and he is the most high profile politician to express interest in running since Boxer, a leading liberal voice in the Senate, announced on Thursday she would not campaign for another term.

Jan 9, 2015

L.A. police chief meets with activists over fatal shooting of unarmed man

LOS ANGELES – (Reuters) – The Los Angeles police chief met on Friday with African-American activists as he sought to defuse growing tensions over the fatal August police shooting of an unarmed black man, but declined their request to fire the two officers involved as a probe continues.

Four activists with the Black Lives Matter movement, which began as a response to the 2012 shooting of a teenager by a Florida neighborhood watchman, won a meeting with Chief Charlie Beck after dozens of participants in the group stood out front of the Los Angeles police headquarters for more than a week.

Jan 8, 2015

Rainbow boa causes panic by slithering out of toilet at San Diego office

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A boa constrictor caused panic at a downtown San Diego office when it crawled out of a toilet after apparently slithering down a pipe from an upstairs apartment, an official said on Thursday.

Stephanie Lasca, co-founder of the firm Vertical PR + Marketing, went to use the facilities at her second-floor office on Tuesday and noticed the water level in the toilet was high, so she took a plunger to it, said her co-worker Holly Wells.

Jan 7, 2015

Arizona signals plan to appeal decision on human smuggling law

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The Arizona attorney general’s office plans to
appeal a federal judge’s ruling that struck down a 2005 law
against human smuggling, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a
Republican elected to the position in November, filed the notice
of intent to appeal on Tuesday, which was the deadline, said his
spokeswoman Kristen Keogh.

Jan 7, 2015

Charges dropped for California doctor who shot man after road clash

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – A California judge has dismissed attempted manslaughter and assault charges against a 71-year-old physician who shot a man who followed him to his driveway after a road-rage clash, a spokesman for prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Marin County Judge Kelly V. Simmons found on Tuesday that Dr. James Simon acted within the bounds of reason when he shot the man twice in the torso last July 17, said Barry Borden, a spokesman for the local District Attorney’s Office.

Jan 5, 2015

Bess Myerson, first Jewish Miss America, dead at age 90

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Bess Myerson, 90, the first Jewish Miss America and a frequent companion of the late New York Mayor Ed Koch who later fell from grace in a city scandal, has died after a long battle with dementia.

The Bronx-born Myerson, who served as Koch’s commissioner of cultural affairs and often appeared with him holding his hand, died on Dec. 14 at her Santa Monica, California, residence, Los Angeles County assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said on Monday.

Jan 2, 2015

Unauthorized immigrants line up for California driver’s licenses

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Thousands of immigrants lined up to apply for driver’s licenses in California under a law that went into effect on Friday, making the most populous U.S. state the latest to expand the privilege to people in the country illegally.

To handle the crush of new applicants, the Department of Motor Vehicles created special processing centers at four former businesses: a grocery store, a large dry cleaner, a movie theater and a restaurant.

Dec 27, 2014

Oregon mother calls daughter’s East Timor release ‘Christmas present’

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The mother of an Oregon woman newly freed from two months of imprisonment in East Timor said on Friday that news of her daughter’s release was a “fantastic Christmas present,” but it remained uncertain how soon she could return to the United States.

Bernadette Kero, 64, of Klamath Falls, Oregon, said she last spoke to her daughter, Dr. Stacey Addison, two nights earlier, just after she was let out of prison in Dili, the capital of the Southeast Asian country also known as Timor-Leste.