general news correspondent
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Jul 7, 2012

Justin Bieber cited for speeding on L.A. freeway

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pop star Justin Bieber was pulled over for speeding down a Los Angeles freeway in his flashy but environmentally friendly sports car on Friday, and police said they were investigating reports that he was being chased by paparazzi photographers.

The 18-year-old singer was driving his chrome-bodied Fisker Karma, a luxury hybrid-electric roadster, west of downtown Los Angeles, when he was stopped by California Highway Patrol officers at about 10:45 a.m. pdt (1:45 p.m. edt/1745 GMT).

Jul 6, 2012

Former Oakland Raiders defensive end charged in four slayings

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former Oakland Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith, whose murder trial stemming from a 2008 shooting death ended in a hung jury, was charged this week with three more Los Angeles County slayings from several years earlier.

The new criminal complaint, filed on Monday, charges Smith, 43, with a total of four counts of first-degree murder, incorporating the original case against him and the kidnap-killings of three other men – one in 1999 and two in 2001.

Jun 26, 2012

Michael Jackson’s convicted doctor wishes he testified: lawyers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The physician convicted of killing Michael Jackson regrets not testifying on his own behalf while on trial last year, two defense lawyers said on Monday after visiting the jailed doctor on the third anniversary of the pop star’s death.

Dr. Conrad Murray, hired as the “Thriller” singer’s personal physician in 2009, began serving a four-year jail term in November after a jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Jun 22, 2012

“Chowchilla” kidnapper released from California prison

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – One of three men who kidnapped a busload of school children in California more than three decades ago and buried them alive in a moving van has been released on parole, state prison officials said on Thursday.

Richard Schoenfeld, 57, was freed on Wednesday after serving more than 34 years in prison for his role in the 1976 abduction of 26 children and their bus driver in the town of Chowchilla in central California.

Jun 20, 2012

Tape of 911 call sheds little light on Rodney King death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Police released a recording on Tuesday of the frantic emergency 911 call placed by Rodney King’s fiancĂ©e after she found him submerged at the bottom of his swimming pool, but the tape shed little if any light on the circumstances of his death.

King, 47, whose videotaped beating at the hands of Los Angeles police led to racially charged riots two decades ago and sweeping law enforcement reforms in the city, was pulled from his backyard pool early on Sunday, the victim of an apparent drowning.

Jun 18, 2012

Autopsy conducted as California police probe Rodney King drowning

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Police and medical examiners pressed their investigation on Monday into the drowning of Rodney King, an avid swimmer in the years since his videotaped beating made him a symbol of police brutality and led to riots in Los Angeles.

King, 47, was found submerged at the deep end of a swimming pool at about 5 a.m. local time Sunday in the back yard of his home in Rialto, a suburb about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.

Jun 11, 2012

US Commerce secretary probed in car crashes, seizure cited

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES, June 11 (Reuters) – U.S. Commerce
Secretary John Bryson is being investigated for his role in two
car crashes – including a hit-and-run accident – near his Los
Angeles-area home over the weekend that department officials
linked to a seizure that left him unconscious behind the wheel.

Bryson, who as commerce secretary oversees several agencies
and focuses on business issues, was hospitalized in California
but has returned to Washington, Commerce Department spokeswoman
Jennifer Friedman said in a statement on Monday. The
investigation into the crashes is ongoing, she added.

Jun 9, 2012

California tobacco tax initiative backers still hope for narrow win

LOS ANGELES, June 8 (Reuters) – Campaigns for and against a
proposed dollar-per-pack cigarette tax hike in California held
their breath on Friday, each hoping to eke out a slim victory by
the time voters’ final ballots are tallied in a race still too
close to call.

Voters were widely reported to have narrowly rejected the
ballot question, known as Proposition 29, on Tuesday, a result
observers largely attributed to a $47 million advertising blitz
mounted against the measure by big tobacco companies.

May 17, 2012

Defeated Ohio Democrat Kucinich declines run in Washington state

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Veteran Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a liberal stalwart who lost his primary race after redistricting forced him to run against another Democratic incumbent, said on Wednesday he had ruled out a congressional bid in Washington state.

Kucinich, 65, had said after he was defeated in March by Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House of Representatives, that he was considering the possibility of relocating to Washington state to run for Congress anew.

May 14, 2012

Booker T. & the MGs bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn dies at 70

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, a member of Booker T. & the MGs whose thick bottom grooves anchored many of the classic soul hits from the 1960s, has died on tour in Japan, his friend and bandmate Steve Cropper said on Sunday. Dunn was 70.

Dunn, an integral part of the Memphis soul sound as bassist for the MGs, the house band for Stax and Volt records, died Sunday morning after finishing two shows at the Blue Note Night Club in Tokyo, Cropper said in a posting on his Facebook page.

    • 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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