general news correspondent
Steve's Feed
Mar 30, 2015

California’s death row faces no-vacancy situation

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s death row, the largest in the nation with newly condemned inmates added to the system every month but no one executed in almost a decade, has filled virtually to capacity as the state seeks money to build more cells for them.

As of last week, a total of 708 male inmates were confined to death row at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco, the only penitentiary authorized under state law to house men who are sentenced to death.

Mar 28, 2015

Conflicting portraits of NBA ex-owner Donald Sterling emerge as trial ends

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The woman behind the downfall of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling painted conflicting portraits of him in court on Friday, calling him a kind, generous mentor and father figure to her but a mean-spirited “con artist” and bigot toward others.

V. Stiviano, 32, also testified that the 80-year-old billionaire real estate mogul spent far more time with her and her relatives during her 2-1/2 years as his personal assistant, driver and confidante than he did with his own wife and children.

Mar 27, 2015

Woman behind NBA ex-owner Donald Sterling’s downfall paints two portraits of him

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The woman behind the downfall of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling painted two conflicting portraits of him in court on Friday, saying he was a kind, generous mentor and father figure to her but was mean-spirited to others.

V. Stiviano, 32, also testified that the 80-year-old billionaire real estate mogul spent far more time with her and members of her family during the two and a half years she spent as his personal assistant, driver and confidante than he did with his own wife and children.

Mar 27, 2015

Woman behind NBA ex-owner Donald Sterling’s downfall denies they had romance

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The woman whose recording of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks that cost him his NBA franchise testified in court on Thursday that she loved him but insisted again that they never had a romantic relationship.

V. Stiviano, 32, described herself instead as a onetime confidante, personal assistant and platonic companion of the 80-year-old billionaire real estate mogul, who she said chose to give her large sums of money and expensive gifts as gestures of his love and appreciation.

Mar 25, 2015

Missing Bay Area woman turns up safe in Southern California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A missing San Francisco Bay Area woman reported kidnapped earlier this week turned up safe on Wednesday in Southern California, and authorities were still investigating the circumstances of her disappearance, the FBI said.

Denise Huskins, 30, was reported to have been forcibly taken from her boyfriend’s home in the East Bay city of Vallejo on Monday, and her boyfriend told authorities there had been a demand for ransom, police said on Tuesday.

Mar 25, 2015

Jury clears Greyhound of negligence in California crash that killed 6

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California civil court jury on
Tuesday cleared the Greyhound bus company of negligence in a
lawsuit brought by families of three of the six people killed
when a motor coach plowed into an overturned SUV near Fresno,
the Fresno Bee reported.

The bus driver, two Greyhound passengers and the three
occupants of the sport utility vehicle, including a woman who
police said was drunk behind the wheel of the Chevrolet
Trailblazer, were killed in the predawn July 22, 2010, wreck on
Highway 99.

Mar 24, 2015

Ex-NFL star Sharper admits to sexual assaults in California, Arizona

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former NFL star Darren Sharper admitted in court on Monday to drugging and raping women in California and Arizona and was expected to plead guilty in similar Nevada and Louisiana cases in plea deals prosecutors say will land him in prison for at least nine years.

Appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sharper entered a plea of no-contest, the legal equivalent of guilty, to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance, the prescription sleep medication Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien.

Mar 23, 2015

Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper pleads guilty to sexual assault

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former National Football League star Darren Sharper pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges filed in Arizona on Monday and was sentenced to nine years in prison shortly before facing more sex crime charges in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Sharper, 39, was accused of raping two women after spiking their drinks at a Tempe, Arizona, apartment in November 2013. A grand jury in Maricopa County indicted him last March on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs in connection the allegations.

Mar 11, 2015

‘Blurred Lines’ duo to contest $7.4 million plagiarism verdict

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Recording stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams will contest the $7.4 million jury verdict that found they plagiarized Motown soul great Marvin Gaye in creating their hit single “Blurred Lines,” the duo’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

A day after the judgment, attorney Howard King said Thicke and Williams remained adamant that “Blurred Lines” was an original song created solely by them, adding that jurors were apparently convinced otherwise by expert testimony which should have been inadmissible.

Mar 6, 2015

California ‘maternity hotel’ operators may face heat from guests

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – At least some of the pregnant women
from China caught up in raids this week on so-called maternity
hotels, catering to foreign mothers-to-be seeking U.S.
citizenship for their babies, are still likely to remain long
enough in California to give birth on American soil.

That’s because U.S. immigration officials investigating
“Chinese birthing houses” for alleged visa fraud, tax evasion
and money laundering hope to coax their clients into providing
testimony and evidence against operators of those businesses.

    • About Steve

      "Joining Reuters in 1994 as a member of the broadcast/online desk in Washington, Steve later moved to Los Angeles, where he spent 10 years covering the entertainment industry, and the past two years as a general news correspondent. Steve began his career at United Press International in Washington. He also spent three years on Capitol Hill as editor of a weekly news journal published by a congressional caucus, the Environmental and Energy Study Conference."
    • Follow Steve