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Aug 14, 2013

California man behind anti-Islam film released to halfway house

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The man behind a film that stoked anti-U.S. protests across the Muslim world has been moved from prison to a halfway house to serve the remaining weeks of his sentence for probation violations stemming from his role in making the video, federal officials said on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, whose real name is Mark Basseley Youssef, previously served time for a 2010 bank fraud conviction and was sent back to prison last year after admitting to breaching the terms of his probation.

Aug 10, 2013

Fire crews tighten grip on California blaze as evacuations lifted

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters tightened their grip around a wind-driven blaze roaring for a third day through dry brush east of Los Angeles as evacuation orders were lifted on Friday for hundreds of homes, but the tally of property losses climbed higher.

The so-called Silver Fire erupted south of the Riverside County town of Banning and by Friday evening had charred some 17,500 acres on the rugged northern and eastern slopes of Jan Jacinto Mountain, authorities said.

Aug 9, 2013

Fire crews tighten grip on California blaze as property toll grows

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters tightened their grip around a wind-driven blaze roaring for a third day through dry brush east of Los Angeles, even as property losses climbed on Friday to more than two dozen homes while hundreds more remained threatened.

The so-called Silver Fire erupted on Wednesday south of the Riverside County town of Banning and by early Friday had charred some 16,000 acres on the rugged northern and eastern slopes of Jan Jacinto Mountain, authorities said.

Aug 8, 2013

Child-abduction alert issued in Nevada for missing California youths

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A child-abduction alert was issued in Nevada on Thursday in the search for two Southern California siblings missing since their mother was found slain in the burned out home of a family friend suspected of killing her.

The notice in Nevada, following similar alerts issued earlier this week in California, Oregon and Washington state, came as authorities escalated their manhunt for the suspect, 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio.

Aug 2, 2013

Supreme court backs order that California reduce prison crowding

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Supreme Court refused on Friday to excuse California from a lower-court order demanding that the nation’s largest state prison system reduce its inmate population by about 10,000 convicts this year to ease crowding.

The state’s petition to the high court, denied by the majority without comment, said conditions had improved in the 33-prison system in recent years despite federal court rulings that overcrowding caused problems with mental health and medical care for inmates.

Jul 28, 2013

California prisons, hunger-strike backers clash over inmate death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Supporters of California prison inmates staging a prolonged hunger strike said on Saturday that one of the prisoners who had been refusing meals has died, but state corrections officials said the death was under investigation as a suicide.

The inmate, identified by mediators for protesting inmates as Billy Sell, died on Monday at the Corcoran State Prison in central California, where he was serving time in a “security housing unit” for prisoners held in solitary confinement, according to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.

Jul 26, 2013

Massive California wildfire sparked by faulty electrical gear

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Faulty electrical equipment sparked the 10-day-old forest fire that had threatened the scenic mountain resort of Idyllwild in Southern California before cooler, rainy weather helped crews largely subdue the blaze, fire authorities said on Thursday.

The so-called Mountain Fire charred 27,000 acres in mountains near Palm Springs, forcing the evacuation of several communities and destroying seven homes.

Jul 19, 2013

Thunderstorms could hamper efforts to subdue California wildfire

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters raced against time on Friday to buttress defensive lines against a fierce blaze threatening the scenic mountain resort of Idyllwild in Southern California, as wind and storms threatened to hamper efforts to subdue the flames.

The so-called Mountain Fire has already burned across more than 24,800 acres of dry brush and timber and forced the evacuation of Idyllwild in the rugged San Jacinto range after destroying seven homes and other property, authorities said.

Jul 19, 2013

Firefighters hold line against Southern California wildfire

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Firefighters on Thursday held back a wildfire in the mountains of Southern California that forced the evacuation of the resort community of Idyllwild after flames engulfed seven homes and numerous other buildings.

The so-called Mountain Fire has charred more than 22,800 acres of drought-parched chaparral and timber, much of it in steep, remote wilderness terrain inside the San Bernardino National Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Jul 18, 2013

Mountain fire in Southern California forces 6,000 to flee

LOS ANGELES, July 18 (Reuters) – A wildfire that chased some
6,000 people from homes, vacation cabins and campgrounds in the
mountains of Southern California roared through dry brush and
timber for a fourth day on Thursday as crews battled to keep
flames away from popular resort areas.

The blaze erupted on Monday afternoon about 100 miles (161
km) east of Los Angeles in the scenic but rugged San Jacinto
Mountains overlooking Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and several
smaller low-lying desert towns.

    • 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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