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Dec 19, 2012

After Newtown, California pushes for tighter gun controls

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California lawmakers, seizing on new calls for gun controls following the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school, rolled out proposals on Tuesday to close loopholes in the state’s assault weapons ban and restrict ammunition sales.

The moves quickly put California at the forefront of what was expected to be a new wave of proposed firearm restrictions at the state and federal levels in the wake of the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dec 18, 2012

School massacre spurs California push for tighter gun control

LOS ANGELES, Dec 18 (Reuters) – California lawmakers,
spurred to action by the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut
elementary school last week, are opening a campaign for stricter
gun control in the state with plans for legislation to make it
tougher to get ammunition.

California state Senator Kevin De Leon, a Democrat from Los
Angeles, said on Tuesday he would introduce a bill requiring
buyers of ammunition in the nation’s most populous state to
obtain a permit issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dec 11, 2012

Marijuana smokers get nod to light up in Colorado as pot legalized

Dec 10 (Reuters) – Pot smokers formally gained the right to
light up in Colorado on Monday as Governor John Hickenlooper
signed into effect a controversial ballot measure legalizing
marijuana for adult recreational use in what proponents hailed
as a “historic day.”

Hickenlooper’s signature, largely a formality, made Colorado
the second U.S. state after Washington to legalize recreational
pot use, and put it on a possible collision course with the
federal government – which calls marijuana an illegal drug.

Dec 6, 2012

Prosecutors say daughter of jailed Mexican Mafia kingpin ran U.S. gang

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The daughter of an imprisoned Mexican Mafia kingpin who prosecutors say carried out her father’s orders in running a brutal Los Angeles street gang, the Harpys, was arrested on Thursday along with her husband and 16 other accused gang members.

Vianna Roman, 37, was taken into custody on a federal grand jury racketeering indictment that accuses her of being the day-to-day leader of the Harpys, acting on instructions from her father, Danny Roman, despite his incarceration in Northern California’s super-maximum-security Pelican Bay State Prison.

Dec 5, 2012

Los Angeles ports reopen to normal freight traffic after strike

LOS ANGELES, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The largest U.S. cargo
shipping complex resumed full operations on Wednesday after
harbor clerks and management settled an eight-day strike that
left two Southern California ports mostly idle, sapping the
region’s economy of an estimated $8 billion.

The strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ended
when clerks in the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers
Local 63 reached a tentative contract deal with a group of
shippers and terminal operators late Tuesday. Los Angeles Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa, a onetime labor activist, had joined in to
prod the two sides into an agreement.

Dec 5, 2012

Strike settlement to reopen Los Angeles ports to normal freight traffic

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The United States’ largest cargo shipping complex was set to resume full operations on Wednesday after harbor clerks and management settled an eight-day strike that left the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach mostly idle, sapping the region’s economy of an estimated $8 billion.

The striking clerks reached a tentative contract deal with a group of shippers and terminal operators late Tuesday, with prodding from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a onetime labor activist.

Dec 4, 2012

Ex-baseball star Lenny Dykstra sentenced in bankruptcy fraud case

LOS ANGELES, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Lenny Dykstra, the 1980s
World Series hero who pleaded guilty earlier this year to
bankruptcy fraud, was sentenced on Monday to six months in
federal prison and ordered to perform 500 hours of community
service.

The 49-year-old former ballplayer – who is already serving
time in state prison for grand theft auto, lewd conduct and
assault with a deadly weapon – was also ordered to pay $200,000
in restitution.

Dec 4, 2012

Two Mexican men charged in death of U.S. Coast Guard officer

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two Mexican nationals were charged on Monday in the death of a U.S. Coast Guard petty officer who was thrown from his search vessel when it was rammed by a suspected drug-smuggling boat off the California coast.

Jose Meija-Leyva and Manuel Beltran-Higuera were each charged in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles with killing an officer of the United States, U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

Nov 30, 2012

Prosecutors drop murder charges against U.S. Open tennis official

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles judge dismissed murder charges on Friday against a 70-year-old tennis lineswoman who was accused of beating her husband to death with a coffee mug, and arrested in August as she prepared to officiate at the U.S. Open.

The dismissal was granted following a request from prosecutors who said they were unable to proceed with the case against Lois Goodman. A Los Angeles County District Attorney’s spokeswoman said in a terse statement only that “additional information” had come forward.

Nov 20, 2012

Ancient petroglyphs ripped from stone at California rock art site

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Four petroglyphs carved into volcanic rock more than 3,500 years ago have been hacked out and stolen by thieves who also damaged other engravings at a historic site in California, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.

The petroglyphs in the Volcanic Tablelands east of Yosemite represented a “pristine example of Great Basin rock art” that portrayed the daily hunter-gatherer activities that took place in the area, the Bureau of Land Management said.