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Mar 24, 2015

Ex-NFL star Sharper admits to sexual assaults in California, Arizona

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former NFL star Darren Sharper admitted in court on Monday to drugging and raping women in California and Arizona and was expected to plead guilty in similar Nevada and Louisiana cases in plea deals prosecutors say will land him in prison for at least nine years.

Appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sharper entered a plea of no-contest, the legal equivalent of guilty, to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance, the prescription sleep medication Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien.

Mar 23, 2015

Ex-NFL star Darren Sharper pleads guilty to sexual assault

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former National Football League star Darren Sharper pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges filed in Arizona on Monday and was sentenced to nine years in prison shortly before facing more sex crime charges in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Sharper, 39, was accused of raping two women after spiking their drinks at a Tempe, Arizona, apartment in November 2013. A grand jury in Maricopa County indicted him last March on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs in connection the allegations.

Mar 11, 2015

‘Blurred Lines’ duo to contest $7.4 million plagiarism verdict

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Recording stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams will contest the $7.4 million jury verdict that found they plagiarized Motown soul great Marvin Gaye in creating their hit single “Blurred Lines,” the duo’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

A day after the judgment, attorney Howard King said Thicke and Williams remained adamant that “Blurred Lines” was an original song created solely by them, adding that jurors were apparently convinced otherwise by expert testimony which should have been inadmissible.

Mar 6, 2015

California ‘maternity hotel’ operators may face heat from guests

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – At least some of the pregnant women
from China caught up in raids this week on so-called maternity
hotels, catering to foreign mothers-to-be seeking U.S.
citizenship for their babies, are still likely to remain long
enough in California to give birth on American soil.

That’s because U.S. immigration officials investigating
“Chinese birthing houses” for alleged visa fraud, tax evasion
and money laundering hope to coax their clients into providing
testimony and evidence against operators of those businesses.

Mar 5, 2015

Prosthetic leg stolen from California blade-runner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A leading U.S. amputee athlete seeking to compete in next year’s Paralympic Games in Brazil has been sidelined from training after his $30,000 prosthetic running leg was stolen from his car in San Francisco, he said on Thursday.

The prosthesis, consisting of a carbon fiber blade and titanium, hydraulic-operated knee socket, had been specially designed to allow Ranjit Steiner to bend his right leg with human-like mechanics when he runs, he said.

Mar 4, 2015

Second Los Angeles hospital identifies ‘superbug’ infections

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Four patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were infected with a drug-resistant “superbug” bacteria during endoscopic procedures that may have exposed 64 others since last August, the hospital said on Wednesday.

One of the four infected patients later died from “an underlying disease,” not from the bacteria, as the infection had by then been cleared, Cedars-Sinai said in its statement.

Mar 4, 2015

Homeless man shot dead by LAPD had served time for bank robbery

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A homeless man whose fatal shooting by Los Angeles police outraged civil rights activists and fellow skid row residents was a convicted bank robber who was released from federal prison last year, according to a law-enforcement source and records.

Authorities have yet to publicly name the man they say was shot to death on Sunday when he grabbed for an officer’s holstered gun during a scuffle as police sought to take him into custody as a suspect in a reported robbery.

Mar 3, 2015

Homeless man shot dead by LAPD had served time for bank robbery: source

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The homeless man shot dead by Los Angeles policemen on Sunday during a skid-row scuffle in which police say he grabbed at an officer’s gun had previously served time in federal prison for armed bank robbery, a law-enforcement source said on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times, citing records and its own sources, said the man was identified as Charley Saturmin Robinet, 39, a French national, who was accused of pistol-whipping a bank teller during the 2000 holdup of a Wells Fargo Bank branch.

Mar 3, 2015

Federal agents raid 20 suspected ‘maternity hotels’ in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Federal agents raided about 20 Southern California locations on Tuesday suspected of involvement in “maternity tourism” schemes offering travel and lodging services to pregnant foreign women seeking to give birth in the United States, U.S. immigration officials said.

Authorities say the so-called maternity hotels targeted in the sweep catered largely to women from China who paid $15,000 to $50,000, depending on services provided, in hopes of obtaining U.S. citizenship for their children.

Mar 3, 2015

Video shows fatal Los Angeles police shooting of homeless man

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles police shot and killed a homeless man who grabbed at an officer’s gun during a videotaped scuffle, authorities said on Monday, in an incident highlighting the often volatile interactions between law enforcement and mentally ill residents of the city’s skid row.

The man, known by the street name Africa, had been living for weeks in a tent outside the Union Rescue Mission building where Sunday’s shooting occurred and had a history of violent, erratic behavior, the mission’s director said.

    • 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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