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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.