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Dec 15, 2014

Longshore union, shippers see slow progress in U.S. West Coast port talks

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The union for 20,000 dockworkers and a group of their employers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports say they are making slow but steady progress in months-long contract talks seen by the shipping industry as a contributing factor in chronic cargo backups.

However, neither side has ventured to say how much longer it might take to reach a settlement, and both parties continued to abide by a news blackout on the details of their talks and the issues that divide them.

Dec 12, 2014

Pacific storm triggers mudslides, floods in Southern California,

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Pacific storm lashed Southern California with heavy rains and wind on Friday, triggering flash floods and mudslides that prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes, damaged more than a dozen dwellings and disrupted passenger rail service along the coast.

One person was found dead on Friday in a rain-swollen flood-control channel in the Orange County town of Garden Grove, which could mark the third storm-related fatality on the West Coast since Thursday.

Dec 12, 2014

U.S. West Coast port backups delay apparel, bobbleheads, french fries

LOS ANGELES, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Crippling cargo backups at
U.S. West Coast ports stretched into a third month amid industry
reports on Thursday of prolonged shipment delays for goods
ranging from yoga apparel and rice to NBA bobblehead
collectibles and frozen french fries.

The congestion crisis has been most pronounced at the twin
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s two busiest
cargo hubs, where marine officials reported 11 ships anchored on
Thursday waiting for berths to open.

Dec 10, 2014

Comedian Bill Cosby sued for defamation by sexual assault accuser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comedian Bill Cosby was sued for defamation on Wednesday in Massachusetts by a sexual assault accuser who said he branded her a liar in public statements made through his representatives denying her allegations of abuse.

The eight-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, is believed to be the second lawsuit arising from a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against Cosby, 77, by more than a dozen women since October.

Dec 9, 2014

Investigators treat massive L.A. construction blaze as ‘criminal fire’

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A fierce blaze that destroyed a downtown Los Angeles apartment complex under construction next to a fire house and damaged three nearby buildings on Monday is being examined by arson investigators as a “criminal fire,” authorities said.

Commuter traffic into the nation’s second-largest city was snarled through the morning rush as authorities shut down a major nearby freeway because of the blaze, which fire officials said erupted overnight and took three hours to bring under control. No injuries were reported.

Dec 8, 2014

Los Angeles freeways jammed after huge construction site fire

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fire destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction in downtown Los Angeles and spread to a neighboring high-rise early Monday before flames were largely extinguished, forcing a major freeway shutdown through rush hour.

The blaze erupted at about 1:30 a.m. and took about three hours to bring under control, but no injuries were reported, said Katherine Main, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Dec 3, 2014

Comedian Bill Cosby accused in lawsuit of molesting girl in 1974

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Bill Cosby was sued on Tuesday by a woman alleging he molested her in 1974 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 15, in what is believed to be the first court case arising from a recent wave of sexual misconduct accusations against the comedian.

The five-page complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, charged that Cosby sexually abused plaintiff Judy Huth by putting his hand down her pants, and then “taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without her consent.”

Dec 2, 2014

Nazi hunter says Adolf Eichmann’s top aide presumed dead in Syria

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – One of the world’s most wanted war criminals, the reputed top lieutenant of Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann, is presumed to have died at least four years ago in Syria, where he lived under government protection, a leading Nazi hunter said on Monday.

Alois Brunner, an Austrian SS officer found responsible for the World War Two deportation of 125,500 European Jews to Nazi death camps, escaped at the war’s end from Germany to Egypt and arrived in Syria in 1954, said Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office.

Nov 21, 2014

AT&T to pay California $52 million in hazardous waste disposal settlement

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – AT&T Inc will pay $52 million in civil penalties and environmental compliance as part of a settlement with California over illegal dumping of hazardous waste but won’t be required to clean up the resulting contamination, state officials said on Thursday.

State officials said it marked the first enforcement action in California against a telecommunications company for mishandling of electronic waste. The settlement must still be approved by the Alameda County Superior Court, where it was filed.

Nov 15, 2014

L.A. school district claimed girl consented to sex with teacher

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Unified School District has come under fire from legal experts for asserting in court that a 14-year-old girl had consented to sex with her teacher and for introducing her sexual history in response to a lawsuit brought by the student.

A number of legal scholars and attorneys specializing in sex abuse cases said the argument that the girl bore some responsibility for the affair was at odds with the minimum age of consent – 18 – established in criminal law.

    • 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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