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Dec 4, 2012

Opposing sides in L.A.-Long Beach port strike agree to federal mediation

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Union and management negotiators agreed on Tuesday to the intervention of a federal mediator in a bid to settle a week-old strike by clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that has idled most of America’s biggest container port complex.

The agreement to mediation, announced by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, came after an all-night bargaining session that a spokesman for the Harbor Employers Association, representing shippers and terminal operators, said had left the parties “still far apart.”

Dec 3, 2012

Cargo ships stack up as L.A. port strike in 7th day

LOS ANGELES, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Freighters with no place to
unload cargo lined up at anchorages off Los Angeles and Long
Beach for a seventh day on Monday as shippers and striking
clerks resumed talks to end a labor dispute that has idled most
of America’s biggest container port complex.

With mounting economic losses estimated at several billion
dollars, the strike marks the largest cargo traffic disruption
at the twin Southern California harbor facilities since a 10-day
lockout of longshoremen at several West Coast ports in 2002.

Dec 3, 2012

Cargo ships stack up as Los Angeles port strike in 7th day

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Freighters with no place to unload their cargo lined up at anchorages off Los Angeles and Long Beach for a seventh day on Monday as shippers and striking clerks resumed talks to end a labor dispute that has idled most of America’s biggest container port complex.

The two sides remained at loggerheads over the future of union representation for clerical jobs after individuals retire from those jobs, but the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 has so far resisted calls for outside mediation.

Dec 2, 2012

Los Angeles port strike triggers fears, lobbying by US businesses

Dec 2 (Reuters) – A national coalition of U.S. business
groups is urging an end to a strike at the twin California ports
of Los Angeles and Long Beach amid fears that a prolonged
stand-off will cost the American economy many billions of
dollars, and could even spread to the east coast.

Trade groups led by the National Retail Federation have sent
letters to U.S. President Barack Obama and leading members of
Congress asking them to intervene and help end the strike at
America’s two busiest container harbor facilities. Those
industry groups say the strike, which entered its sixth day on
Sunday, is already costing $1 billion a day.

Dec 2, 2012

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach idled for fifth day by strike

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A strike by clerical workers at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach idled most of the busiest U.S. cargo shipping complex for a fifth day on Saturday as container-laden vessels waited to be unloaded and marathon contract talks stretched into the night.

Some 10,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 were refusing to cross picket lines of some 500 striking clerical workers, effectively shutting down 10 of the two ports’ combined 14 container terminals.

Dec 1, 2012

U.S. judge refuses to order anti-Muslim film off YouTube

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An actress who said she was duped into appearing in an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests against the United States across the Muslim world on Friday lost her second legal bid to force the video off of YouTube.

Denying a request by actress Cindy Lee Garcia for a court order requiring the popular online video site to remove the crudely made 13-minute clip, a federal judge found she was unlikely to prevail on her claims of copyright infringement.

Nov 20, 2012

Four men charged in California with plot to join al Qaeda

LOS ANGELES, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Four men with California
ties accused of making arrangements to join up with al Qaeda and
Taliban militants for training in Afghanistan have been arrested
on U.S. charges of plotting to provide material support to
terrorists, the FBI said.

A criminal complaint unsealed by federal authorities late on
Monday accuses the four men of conspiring to take part in
activities they intended as preparation for deadly attacks on
Americans overseas, including U.S. military personnel.

Nov 20, 2012

Judge denies bid for nativity scene in California town

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal judge denied a bid by a group of Christian churches on Monday to force a California beachside town to reopen a park to a nearly 60-year-old Christmas-season nativity display it discontinued after atheists upstaged the event last year.

The court action grew out of a clash between sponsors of the nativity scenes and a group of atheist activists who competed with the churches for limited space in Santa Monica’s biggest public park and managed to dominate last year’s holiday displays with anti-religious messages.

Nov 13, 2012

‘Sesame Street’ Elmo puppeteer takes leave after sex allegations

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The puppeteer behind the “Sesame Street” character Elmo has taken a leave of absence from the children’s television show to contest allegations, disputed by the performer and producers, that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy, the show’s production company said on Monday.

New York-based Sesame Workshop said in a statement that its own inquiry, including interviews with the now 23-year-old accuser, concluded that claims of underage sexual conduct against puppeteer Kevin Clash were unsubstantiated.

Nov 7, 2012

Three U.S. states vote on legalizing recreational pot

By Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Voters in three Western U.S. states weighed ballot initiatives on Tuesday that will determine whether they become the first in the nation to legalize possession and sales of marijuana for recreational purposes, putting them at odds with federal law.

Early returns showed Colorado voter support for a proposed state constitutional amendment legalizing pot leading 52 percent to 48 percent, with roughly a third of all ballots tallied.

    • 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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