Los Angeles

Reddit Says Russians Leaked Confidential U.K. Documents on Brexit Just Before Election

The prospect of Russian interference in Britain’s election flared anew Saturday after the social media platform Reddit concluded that people from Russia leaked confidential British government documents on Brexit trade talks just days before the general U.K. vote. Reddit said in a statement that it has banned 61 accounts suspected of violating policies against vote manipulation. It said the suspect accounts shared the same pattern of activity as a Russian interference operation dubbed “Secondary Infektion” that was uncovered earlier this year. Reddit investigated the leak after the documents became public during the campaign for Thursday’s election, which will determine the country’s future relationship with the European Union. All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs. Reddit said it believed the documents were leaked as “part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia.” “We were able to confirm that they did indeed show a pattern of coordination,” Reddit said. The British government has not challenged the authenticity of the documents. Britain’s main opposition party has argued the documents prove that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is seeking a deal…

FBI Says Deadly Shooting at Pensacola Naval Base Presumed to Be Act of Terror

The Saudi gunman who killed three people at the Pensacola naval base had apparently gone on Twitter shortly before the shooting to blast U.S. support of Israel and accuse America of being anti-Muslim, a U.S. official said Sunday as the FBI confirmed it is operating on the assumption the attack was an act of terrorism. Investigators are also trying to establish whether the killer, identified as 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, of the Royal Saudi Air Force, acted alone. Alshamrani, who was killed in the attack at a classroom building Friday, was undergoing flight training at Pensacola, where members of foreign militaries routinely receive instruction. “We are, as we do in most active-shooter investigations, work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism,” said Rachel L. Rojas, FBI agent in charge. Authorities believe the gunman made social media posts criticizing the U.S. under a user handle similar to his name, but federal law enforcement officials are investigating whether he authored the words or just posted them, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated…

Man Shot and Killed While Walking in Downtown L.A.

An investigation was underway Sunday after a man was shot and killed while walking in downtown Los Angeles, authorities said. Officers responded to the area of 14th and Hill streets at about 5:51 a.m. to find the man unconscious on the sidewalk, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, LAPD Capt. Stacey Spell said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators believe the victim was walking alone in the area when a car drove by, and he was struck by gunfire, LAPD Officer Rosario Cervantes  said. No description of the car or driver were available and it’s unclear whether it was a drive-by shooting or if the gunman had gotten out of the vehicle, authorities said. “We’re not clear as to why the victim was here,” Spell said at the scene of the shooting. “This is a very quiet area of the city.” LAPD said they’re investigating whether the shooting was gang-related. Authorities did not identify the victim and no further details were available. The case remains under investigation and anyone with information was asked to call LAPD homicide detectives.

Boil-Water Advisory Lifted in Poway After Testing Found Water Is Safe to Drink

The Southern California city of Poway has lifted a week-long boil-water advisory after tests determined the water is safe to drink. Residents and businesses reported discolored tap water starting Nov. 30 after a storm drain backed up into a water treatment facility’s reservoir during heavy rain. The state’s Water Resources Control Board lifted the advisory Friday evening, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The action allows all restaurants, bars and other food-handling businesses in the city of about 50,000 people to reopen. Following the state advisory, the county’s Department of Environmental Health ordered them closed for public safety reasons, which was unprecedented in Poway’s history, the newspaper reported Saturday. A few reopened over the last few days after obtaining temporary permits from the county that limited what and how food could be served. But most had remained dark for six days, leaving hundreds if not thousands of employees without a source of income, according to the Union-Tribune. Starting immediately, the county said, businesses can reopen after following some disinfecting and cleansing guidelines that include flushing their water lines for several minutes. “I’m thankful we’re back in business,” Mayor Steve Vaus…

CBS Stations Face Harassment and Misogyny Claims a Year After Leslie Moonves Exit

Jill Arrington was a star in TV sports. Then, four years ago, the former NFL sideline reporter traded national exposure for what she thought would be a more stable job at CBS’ television stations in Los Angeles. Arrington loved chronicling the Rams and other pro teams, and eventually took on additional duties as the weekend sports anchor for KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9. But one thing about her job galled her: She was earning nearly $60,000 less a year than the male anchor she replaced. When her contract came up for renewal, Arrington told the station’s top managers that it was unacceptable to pay a woman so much less than a man. “Oooh, isn’t she tough,” Arrington recalls the former general manager of CBS’ L.A. stations, Steve Mauldin, saying during a March 2018 meeting. She said Mauldin turned to his lieutenant and said: “This one talks more than my wife.” Read the full story at LATimes.com.

Caroll Spinney, the ‘Sesame Street’ Puppeteer Behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Dies at 85

Caroll Spinney, who gave Big Bird his warmth and Oscar the Grouch his growl for nearly 50 years on “Sesame Street,” died Sunday at the age of 85 at his home in Connecticut, according to the Sesame Workshop. The Sesame Workshop said in a statement that the legendary puppeteer lived for some time with dystonia, which causes involuntary muscle contractions. Spinney voiced and operated the two major Muppets from their inception in 1969 when he was 36, and performed them almost exclusively into his 80s on the PBS kids’ television show that later moved to HBO. “Before I came to ‘Sesame Street,’ I didn’t feel like what I was doing was very important,” Spinney said when he announced his retirement in 2018. “Big Bird helped me find my purpose.” Through his two characters, Spinney gained huge fame that brought international tours, books, record albums, movie roles, and visits to the White House. “Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades, and his legacy here at Sesame Workshop…

Rains Continue Across L.A. County With Thunderstorms Possible

Meteorologists expect rains to continue to sprinkle across Los Angeles County on Sunday, with a chance of thunderstorms later in the day, before the weather dries up for the week. Later Sunday, “it’s possible we could get some thunderstorms down in the beach areas,” said meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie of the National Weather Service. But all in all, it “should be more blue skies than showers” by late afternoon, Hoxsie said. As of Sunday morning, the heaviest rain in Los Angeles County was in the mountains and foothills. The recent rains have also fallen hard on parts of San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County, including the San Marcos Pass in the Santa Ynez Mountains, according to rainfall totals provided by the National Weather Service. Read the full story on LATimes.com. Flood Advisory issued for northeast Ventura/northern LA counties until 2 pm. Strongest line of storms extending along Hwy 126 corridor from Fillmore into Santa Clarita Valley and western Angeles NF. Roadway flooding/rockslides will be likely.. #LArain #LAWeather #cawx pic.twitter.com/if7YB7Vof3 — NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) December 8, 2019 High surf advisories remain in effect through 5 pm…

California Firefighters’ Overtime Costs Surge 65%, Straining Budgets and Those on Fire Lines

Following an unprecedented series of wildfires across California, overtime costs for firefighters surged by 65% over the past decade, pushing annual wages to nearly $5 billion, according to a newspaper analysis published Sunday. With overtime, firefighters are among the best-paid workers in California government, in some cases earning sums that rival their commanders, according to state payroll records cited by the Los Angeles Times. For example, in the city and county fire departments in Los Angeles, the number of firefighters earning more than $100,000 in overtime alone surged from 41 in 2011 to 1,085 last year. Eight years ago, only one fire official in Los Angeles earned a $300,000 salary, The Times’ analysis found. Last year, overtime fueled more than 200 salaries above that amount, and the premium pay now represents a third of the payroll for Los Angeles firefighters. Despite the large paychecks, fire commanders and experts across the state argue that it’s often cheaper to pay the overtime than to hire more firefighters, once the cost of training and benefits for new employees are taken into account. But with increasing numbers of workers spending…

Mojave Desert Man Arrested After Making More Than 10K Harassing Calls to Government Officials, Feds Say

A Southern California man has been arrested on suspicion of making more than 10,000 harassing phone calls to government offices, including some that included death threats against those answering the phone, federal prosecutors said. Robert Stahlnecker, 48, was arrested at his home in the Mojave Desert town of Twentynine Palms on Friday and held in federal custody after making an initial court appearance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He was charged with threatening federal officers and employees, making interstate communications with the threat to injure a person and anonymous telecommunications harassment. There his no listing for his home phone number and it couldn’t immediately be determined if he has an attorney. His arraignment was scheduled for Dec. 26. According to a 20-page complaint filed in federal court, the calls included three he made within five minutes on Aug. 28 to a congresswoman’s office in San Mateo. Prosecutors said he threatened to come to the office and kill the staffer who answered the phone. On Sept. 28, he allegedly made eight calls in seven minutes to the Washington office of a U.S. senator from Ohio. During…

Therapists Say CA Law on Reporting Patients for Child Porn Affects Those Who Don’t Pose Threat

For years, California law required psychotherapists to report any patient who admitted developing, duplicating, printing or exchanging material depicting an obscene act involving a child. The therapists accepted that requirement. They regarded it as an obligation to report producers and distributors of child pornography. But when the Legislature amended the law in 2014 to reflect new technology, many therapists balked, complaining the new wording required them to inform on patients who posed no threat to others. The amendment requires therapists to tell police of patients who have admitted streaming or downloading sexually explicit material involving minors. Read the full story at LATimes.com.

Sesame Street Puppeteer Caroll Spinney Dies At Age 85

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Caroll Spinney, who gave Big Bird his warmth and Oscar the Grouch his growl for nearly 50 years on “Sesame Street,” died Sunday at the age of 85 at his home in Connecticut, according to the Sesame Workshop. The Sesame Workshop said in a statement that the legendary puppeteer lived for some time with dystonia, which causes involuntary muscle contractions. Spinney voiced and operated the two major Muppets from their inception in 1969 when he was 36, and performed them almost exclusively into his 80s on the PBS kids’ television show that later moved to HBO. “Before I came to ‘Sesame Street,’ I didn’t feel like what I was doing was very important,” Spinney said when he announced his retirement in 2018. “Big Bird helped me find my purpose.” Through his two characters, Spinney gained huge fame that brought international tours, books, record albums, movie roles, and visits to the White House. “Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades, and…

Rapper and Singer Juice Wrld Dies at 21 in Chicago

Rapper and singer Juice Wrld has died in Chicago, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday. Juice, who was born Jarad Anthony Higgins, turned 21 on December 2. Chicago police could only confirm a 21-year-old male suffered a medical emergency at Chicago’s Midway Airport and later died at a nearby hospital. An autopsy hasn’t been performed and no cause of death has been determined, Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office spokeswoman Natalia Derevyanny said. Juice was signed to Interscope Records in March 2018 after scoring hits on SoundCloud with “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls Are the Same,” according to Billboard magazine, which profiled the artist in March. SoundCloud says Juice was the most streamed, liked, and reposted artist on its platform in 2018 and “Lucid Dreams” notched the most plays of any song last year. Juice Wrld was named Top New Artist at the Billboard Music Awards in May.

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