general news correspondent
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Oct 1, 2013

Four bodies recovered from wreckage of Calif. plane crash

LOS ANGELES, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Medical examiners recovered
four bodies on Tuesday from the wreckage of a small jet that
crash-landed into a hangar and burst into flames at the Santa
Monica airport near Los Angeles over the weekend, the coroner’s
office operations chief said.

The four dead from Sunday’s crash – two men and two women -
have yet to be positively identified. That effort, and autopsies
of the victims, will likely take another day or two to complete,
said Chief Craig Harvey of the Los Angeles County Department of
Coroner.

Sep 26, 2013

California man behind anti-Islam film freed from federal custody

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The man behind an anti-Islam film that stoked angry protests against the United States across the Muslim world was released from federal custody in California on Thursday after serving time for probation violations stemming from his role in making the video.

Mark Basseley Youssef, a 56-year-old, Egyptian-born Coptic Christian who was paroled from a 2010 bank fraud conviction before producing the now-notorious film clip, was sent back to prison last November for failing to abide by the terms of his supervised release.

Sep 26, 2013

California man behind anti-Islam film to be freed from federal custody

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The man behind a film that stoked anti-U.S. protests across the Muslim world was due for release from federal custody in California on Thursday after serving time for probation violations stemming from his role in making the video.

The 56-year-old Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, Mark Basseley Youssef, gained public notice for the crudely made 13-minute anti-Islam video he produced in Southern California that portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant.

Sep 26, 2013

Escaped California prison inmate recaptured after 36 years on the run

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California prison inmate who escaped 36 years ago while serving time for armed robbery has been recaptured in Arkansas, becoming California’s longest-sought fugitive inmate to be caught, a prisons spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Michael Morrow, 70, was taken into custody without incident on Monday by FBI agents and sheriff’s deputies at his residence in Jessieville, Arkansas, where he had been living under an assumed name, said Terry Thornton of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Sep 20, 2013

ACLU faults ‘suspicious activity’ reporting by law enforcement

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A newly disclosed trove of “suspicious activity reports” filed by police under a federal domestic intelligence network shows a program rife with ethnic profiling and useless tips that subject innocent Americans to counterterrorism scrutiny, a civil liberties group said on Thursday.

The suspicious activity reports, or SARs, and the dozens of state and regional surveillance-collection hubs, called fusion centers, where those reports are submitted and analyzed, was established by Congress in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on America.

Aug 23, 2013

San Diego mayor to resign over sexual harassment: reports

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will resign as part of a deal he reached with municipal officials over a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him and the city by a former aide, the Los Angeles Times and other media reported on Thursday.

But a high-profile attorney representing the plaintiff in the case said her client was not a party to the deal and that she opposed reported terms of a settlement calling for Filner to leave office in exchange for city assistance with his legal expenses.

Aug 21, 2013

Last installment of Nixon’s once-secret White House tapes released

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. National Archives released on Wednesday its last installment of White House conversations that were secretly recorded by President Richard Nixon in the 1970s, a batch of tapes mainly highlighting domestic and foreign policy issues.

The 340 hours of conversations cover a three-month period from April 9 to July 12, 1973, the day before the existence of Nixon’s taping system was revealed by presidential aide Alexander Butterfield in testimony before a U.S. Senate Select Committee investigating the Watergate scandal.

Aug 20, 2013

Actor Dick Van Dyke escapes unhurt from car fire on Los Angeles freeway

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke, best known for his hit television comedy of the 1960s, survived a car fire unscathed on Monday when a passerby pulled him from the smoldering vehicle before it burst into flames on the side of a Los Angeles-area freeway.

A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol confirmed that the 87-year-old performer was the driver seen slumped over the steering wheel of a Jaguar that was reported to be on fire on the shoulder of the Ventura Freeway.

Aug 19, 2013

Shark bites teenage surfer along Hawaii’s Big Island

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – A 16-year-old boy surfing along the eastern shore of Hawaii’s Big Island was bitten in the legs by a shark over the weekend in the second such attack in the state in less than a week, authorities said on Monday.

The boy was flown by helicopter on Sunday to the Hilo Medical Center, in the island’s largest city, and was listed in satisfactory condition on Sunday night, said William Aila, chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Aug 17, 2013

CIA acknowledges its mysterious Area 51 test site for first time

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – National security scholars at George Washington University have some good news and bad news for UFO buffs – the U.S. government has finally confirmed the existence of Area 51 in Nevada, but it makes no mention of little green men or alien spaceships.

The government acknowledged the existence of the mysterious aviation test site known as Area 51, a remote installation about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas, in a newly declassified CIA history of its U-2 spy plane program.

    • 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."
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