Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Defund-Police Minneapolis Ordered by Court to Hire More Police; CA Sex Abuse Damages Ruled Unconstitutional; OSHA Sues LA Court System Over Covid Violations and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo

The press may surreptitiously film a near-naked woman and broadcast it, says judge; CA to pay compensation for involuntary human sterilizations; State officials banned from official travel to 17 states because of alleged LGBTQ discrimination

Courts & Rulings

Thomas slams 'One-Size-Fits-All' immunity approach

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas used a college campus First Amendment case to sound off Friday about jurisprudence that affords school officials the same immunity give to police officers. "But why should university officers, who have time to make calculated choices about enacting or enforcing unconstitutional policies, receive the same protection as a police officer who makes a split-second decision to use force in a dangerous setting?" Thomas wrote. "We have never offered a satisfactory explanation to this question."

Courthouse News Service

Police lieutenant properly fired for 'sexting' 18-year-old, once having sex with her

Div. One of the First District Court of Appeal has affirmed the denial of a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus sought by man who was fired as a police lieutenant by the city manager, in the course of a publicized scandal involving several officers, based on having engaged in "sexting," mostly on his own time, with an 18-year-old, and having sex with the woman once, while off duty.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judge orders Minneapolis to hire more police officers after residents sue city

A judge ordered Minneapolis to hire more police officers Thursday after residents banned together and sued the city in August 2020. Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson mandated local leaders employ 730 sworn officers by June 30, 2022, after it was found that the projected number of police officers for June 1, 2022, 669, was in violation of the city's charter, which stipulates the area must have 0.0017 licensed peace officers per resident.


L.A. courts end remote audio program after illicit Britney Spears hearing recording surfaces

It didn't take long for audio from Britney Spears' June 23 conservatorship hearing to make the rounds on the internet, despite a clear and emphatic warning from the L.A. County Judge Brenda Penny that recording wasn't allowed. Whether the person, or people, who did it will face any penalty remains to be seen, but the court has taken another action in response: It shut down its remote audio attendance program entirely.

Hollywood Reporter

Summons need not be published in county of residence

The Court of Appeal for this district has affirmed an order denying a motion to set aside a default judgment for more than $1 million against a man who was served by publication of a summons in a Los Angeles newspaper notwithstanding that the plaintiff knew that he resides in Orange County. That publication, Presiding Justice Dennis Perluss of Div. Seven said, in an opinion rendered on Wednesday, was effective because the defendant "has not pointed to anything in the judgment roll to support his contention the newspaper did not circulate in Orange County."

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

LA judge rules Childhood Sex Abuse Statute allowing triple damages for cover up unconstitutional

The judge handling the coordinated Clergy childhood sex abuse cases in Los Angeles and Orange Counties ruled on June 11, 2021 that California Statute, CCP 340.1(b)(1) is unconstitutionally vague and that it violates the ex post facto clauses of the state and federal constitutions. The ruling let stand the core of CCP 340.1 which provides a window in the Statute of Limitations for survivors of childhood sex abuse to bring cases from ears or decades ago that would have otherwise been time barred.

Los Angeles Injury Law News

Videotaping woman in dressing room broadcasting footage is 'protected'

Photographing a woman in a dressing room without her knowledge or consent and airing shots of her near-naked body on television is protected conduct, Div. Eight of the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday. "It has long been accepted that the 'creation of a television show is an exercise of free speech'" Justice Maria E. Stratton wrote, quoting the 2011 opinion from this district's Div. Four in Tamkin v. CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judge questions withheld records on US social media surveillance programs

A federal judge on Friday questioned whether the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can legally withhold records on its use of social media surveillance tools to monitor citizens and immigrants. "I have no idea what it is," U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said, referring to the context surrounding a blacked-out piece of text in a 12-page document from 2015 on social media surveillance rules for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Courthouse News Service

Koch brothers win legal duel with California

After numerous battles in lower courts, the Supreme Court, by a 6-3 margin that reflected its ideological division, sided with Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit organization founded by industrialists David and Charles Koch, and other non-profit organizations. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, declared that California's regulation violated donors' 1st Amendment rights and did not serve a narrowly tailored government interest.


U.S. Supreme Court allows further voting restrictions, voting along party lines in Arizona case

Two Arizona voting restrictions Friday were found to not be racially discriminatory nor in violation of Voting Rights Act of 1965 Section Two, following a current furthering of racially discriminatory voting restrictions. Section Two specifically prevents racial determinization within voting laws and regulations. This is not the first time the VRA has been threatened or weakened.

Davis Vanguard

C.A. justices differ on degree of deference to accord trial court determinations

A judge erred in declaring unconscionable an arbitration agreement that a woman signed in retaining services of a law firm, the majority of a Court of Appeal division in this district held Friday, saying that the ruling was based on supposition, and not evidence produced by the former client.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Hearsay witness testimony can't be used to prove gang enhancements: California Supreme Court

The state's highest court, in reviewing a Kern County case, has ruled prosecutors can't use hearsay testimony from an expert witness to prove a requirement necessary for gang enhancements. "We hold that the commission of such crimes...must be proven by independently admissible evidence," the California Supreme Court said in its ruling filed July 1. San Francisco

New California Supreme Court rule grants governor more secrecy. Newsom shouldn't follow it

It's not easy to close court proceedings to the public or seal court records in California. The California Supreme Court has made sure of that. So why is that court allowing the governor to do something other litigants in California are generally prohibited from doing - automatically filing records completely under seal?

Sacramento Bee

Judge rejects bid to overturn rules that speed up release of California prisoners

A judge in Sacramento tentatively rejected a request Tuesday by 44 California district attorneys who were seeking an order halting the state's early release of thousands of inmates, but says there is a "likelihood" that the prosecutors ultimately will prevail. In a tentative ruling denying a preliminary injunction against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shama H. Mesiwala denied the request for an injunction that would have stopped emergency rules that sped up how quickly inmates accrue good conduct credits to win early release.

Sacramento Bee


Can progressive prosecutors survive America's crime wave?

Two months after Sheria Musyoka was killed in San Francisco, his family buried him in the Kenyan village where he had been born and raised. Musyoka's sisters "wept uncontrollably" during the ceremony, a local outlet reported. Some "fainted as they eulogized their brother." The 26-year-old Musyoka had come to the United States to study at Dartmouth College. After graduating at the very top of his class, he married an American woman and settled with her in Connecticut. In late 2020, after a year of pandemic lockdowns, they decided to move across the country, to San Francisco.


Three L.A. relatives charged in immigration services scam

Three South Los Angeles relatives have been charged with scamming dozens of immigrants by unlawfully providing legal services for residency or work permits, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón announced Friday. "The immigrant community should not be preyed upon and swindled out of their money from unscrupulous scammers," Gascón said in a statement released Friday morning.

Prosecutors in Pop Smoke murder case won't seek death penalty

Prosecutors won't seek the death penalty in the senseless slaying of Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney revealed Tuesday. Corey Walker, 20, the only adult suspect among a group of teens charged with the murder, appeared in court for re-arraignment but didn't enter a new plea because a system glitch prevented prosecutors from filing the special paperwork confirming their decision.

New York Daily News

California attorney general launches teams to investigate fatal police shootings

The state Department of Justice has opened field offices throughout California to investigate police shootings that kill unarmed civilians, and has told law enforcement agencies that they must notify the state whenever such incidents occur, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said Wednesday. The actions, including the opening of investigative offices in Los Angeles and Riverside, were in response to a new law that took effect July 1 requiring Bonta's office to independently probe all fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against officers.

Los Angeles Times

District attorney Todd Spitzer slams California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Orange County

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer issued a statement slamming the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for allowing felons convicted of violent felonies to be assigned to minimum-security inmate firefighting crews, an assignment that allows them to shave off as much as 60 percent of their sentence and have their crimes immediately erased from their record upon release from prison.


Santa Maria man accused of human trafficking arrested in Los Angeles

A Santa Maria man was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking charges Wednesday in Los Angeles after an investigation lasting more than two years. Raymond Carnell Crandell, 31, was taken into custody on a warrant after Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Special Investigation Bureau detectives uncovered multiple victims trafficked by the suspect, according to spokeswoman Raquel Zick.

Santa Maria Times

Policy/Legal Issues

Most public health restrictions ending at County courthouses Tuesday

Most limits on public access to Riverside County Superior Court buildings will be lifted Tuesday based on recent state changes in public health restrictions, but the court will continue masking requirements, depending on a visitor's vaccination status. "Our orders are enforcing the regulations and guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health and the emergency temporary standards issued by Cal-OSHA," Superior Court Executive Office spokeswoman Marita Ford told City News Service.

City News Service

Cuomo declares gun violence a state disaster emergency

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Tuesday declaring a disaster emergency on gun violence in New York state. "Gun violence is a public health crisis, and we must treat it like one. This declaration will allow us to give this crisis the full attention & resources it deserves," Cuomo said on Twitter. The governor touted the order as the first of its kind in the nation, and said it allows the state to quickly free up money and programs for communities so they can begin targeting gun violence.

7 News New York

Los Angeles County/City

Biden nominates L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti as U.S. ambassador to India

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has led the city during a period of booming development, a worsening homelessness crisis and a devastating pandemic, is President Biden's nominee to become ambassador to India, the White House announced Friday. If confirmed by the Senate, Garcetti would be the first L.A. mayor in more than a century to voluntarily leave office before the end of his term. He had been scheduled to step down in December 2022, when he would have finished a second term that was extended by 18 months after the city changed its election calendar.

Los Angeles Times

Venice Beach violence reaches boiling point in L.A. as new viral video emerges

On any given day, video footage documenting violent incidents in the famed Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles - involving the homeless who have erected tents there - are uploaded online. A video posted online Friday appears to show a homeless man being attacked by an unidentified man and woman as he sits on the ground near the boardwalk - while other people walk past without intervening.

Fox News

'South Central was bombed by the Los Angeles Police Department: Residents demand accountability after South LA fireworks explosion

Protesters confronted police in front of the Los Angeles Police Department's Newton Station two days after a bomb squad truck exploded in a South Los Angeles neighborhood during a botched detonation of illegal fireworks seized from a nearby home. "We have to make it clear: South Central was bombed by the Los Angeles Police Department," Alfredo Gama, president of the Central Alameda Neighborhood Council, said during the Friday night demonstration. "We want to know, who made that call."

CBS Los Angeles

LAPD officer cleared of wrongdoing over George Floyd valentine meme

The only LAPD officer formally accused of violating Department policy by allegedly circulating around Valentine's Day a social media meme that ridiculed the killing of George was found not guilty by an administrative trial board. The decision means the officer, a sergeant who works at the LAPD's air support division, will not face termination, suspension, or other discipline, as was suggested would happen by Chief Michel Moore when word of the meme investigation became public earlier this year.

NBC 4 Los Angeles

LA County wins dismissal of sheriff's bid to quash OIG subpoena

Sheriff Alex Villanueva's legal bid to avoid meeting with county Inspector General Max Huntsman to discuss deputy "secret societies" that many criminal justice advocates characterize as gangs was dismissed Tuesday by a judge who nonetheless said there is another avenue the sheriff can take to block a subpoena. The legal option chosen by Villanueva - known as a writ of mandate - "is not available to compel the Inspector General to set aside his subpoena," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant wrote.

More than a dozen people were killed during a deadly July 4 weekend in L.A.

Between Friday and Monday, the Los Angeles Police Department recorded 12 murders and the Sheriff's Department another four, while across the country at least 180 people were reported killed in shootings alone over one of the most violent Independence Day holidays in recent memory. Police could not immediately determine whether this weekend's murder toll was higher than previous holidays, but as of June 26 shootings in L.A. were up 50 percent over the same time last year, with murders up by about 25 percent.

Los Angeles Magazine

Officials urged to take precautionary steps to audit agencies responsible for multi-story LA buildings following Florida condo collapse

Los Angeles city officials are being called on to take precautionary steps to assess the safety of high-rise buildings following the collapse of a condo in Florida on June 24 that left more than 100 people missing. There was no indication that any L.A. buildings are at risk. Rob Wilcox, L.A. city attorney spokesman and a candidate for L.A. City Controller, released a statement calling on the current City Controller Ron Galperin to lead the charge.

CBSN Los Angeles

State fines L.A. County Superior Court for safety violations during COVID-19 pandemic

After COVID-19 outbreaks and the deaths of at least four people who worked in Los Angeles County courthouses, California's workplace safety agency plans to fine the local court system more than $25,000 for multiple violations. In a notice Wednesday to L.A. County Superior Court, the state Division of Occupational Health and Safety, known as Cal/OSHA, identified at least three health and safety violations, two of which it deemed serious.

Los Angeles Times

LA County seizes $1.2B of illegal marijuana

Los Angeles County authorities said Wednesday they seized more than $1 billion in illegal marijuana in an historic operation spanning 10 days. Authorities seized 373,000 marijuana plants and 33,480 pounds of harvested marijuana worth an estimated $1.2 billion in the raid, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The operation reportedly led to 167 arrests and 91 firearms seizures.

The Hill

LA appeal of order to house homeless lands at ninth circuit

A Los Angeles city attorney told a Ninth Circuit panel Wednesday a federal judge's far-reaching injunction in a lawsuit over homelessness in the region is impeding elected officials' efforts to address the complex crisis. The city and county of Los Angeles are the targets of a lawsuit by an association of property owners, developers and homeless people seeking a court-mandated plan to place homeless people in some form of shelter by the fall.

Courthouse News Service

Supes to consider plan to move violent youth offenders to Santa Clarita

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is scheduled Tuesday to consider supporting the creation of a permanent juvenile detention facility at Camp Joseph Scott or Camp Kenyon Scudder, which are both in Saugus. If approved, the board motion - submitted by county Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl - would have the county adopt a state subcommittee's recommendations to move violent youth offenders to the Santa Clarita facilities, which were originally designed to host non-violent youth offenders.

The Signal


Amazon faces lawsuit alleging price gouging during pandemic

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Amazon over the company's alleged price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawyers with the Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman said Friday that the suit could include all Amazon shoppers who purchased items with prices that were believed to be artificially inflated. A list of affected items includes products like face masks, disinfectant wipes, toilet paper and flour.


This banking app closed accounts without warning and kept people's money

In recent years, online-only financial companies have been springing up at a rapid pace. There are many pros and cons to using an online service to replace your bank. On one hand, they lack many of the fees of traditional banks. On the other hand, they also lack physical locations. At the end of the day, some consumers will get more out of banking apps than others. But Chime's banking app - which is one of the biggest - is starting to sound like more trouble than it's worth.


Public Safety/Crime

Target, Walgreens make drastic changes due to increase in San Francisco thefts

According to the California Retailer's Association three cities in our state are among the top 10 in the country when it comes to organized retail crime - Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. Already we are seeing the negative impact it is having in San Francisco with stores permanently shutting down or closing early. It has become one of the most pressing issues in our city today.

Target has now acknowledged that San Francisco is the only city in America where they have decided to close some stores early because of the escalating retail crime.

ABC 7 News Bay Area

NYC crime wave triggers rethink of racial-justice policing changes: 'They made a mistake'

Stray bullets in Times Square and widespread violence in the city are evoking New York's bleakest days, forcing leaders to fine-tune recent changes to policing and rethink revolving-door policies that send prisoners back to the ZIP codes where they committed crimes. The debate is playing out amid a mayoral race that could pit a retired police captain against a GOP nominee who's been a public safety advocate for decades.

Washington Times

Hate crimes in California at an all-time high

Hate crimes in California hit an all-time high in more than a decade from 2019 to 2020, according to a new report from the state's Department of Justice, with the Blacks being 30 percent of the victims. The report, released Wednesday after a news conference held by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, also found that hate crimes targeting Asian Americans saw a 107 percent increase in that same period, from 43 in 2019 to 89 in 2020.


Man threatens to sexually assault woman in Santa Monica parking garage, steals vehicle: Police

A couple was leaving a Santa Monica parking garage early Friday morning, when a man allegedly attacked them and took off with their SUV, officials said. Just before 1:30 a.m., the couple was about to leave a parking garage on the 1500 block of 2nd Street, when a man approached them as they sat in a Jeep with the top down. The man, later identified as 30-year-old Preston B. Rochon, allegedly grabbed the woman and threatened to sexually assault her, according to a news release from the Santa Monica Police Department.

KTLA 5 Los Angeles

Two bodies found off Angeles Crest Highway in car tied to missing teens

The bodies of two people have been found inside a vehicle off the Angeles Crest Highway that has been connected to the case of two missing teenagers. The car was located about 2 p.m. Tuesday near mile marker 71.5 of the Angeles Crest Highway, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader. Schrader said that a coroner would have to identify the bodies and that she could not provide information on the victims' ages or cause of death.

Los Angeles Times

Woman's body found inside burning car in La Habra Heights after shooting

Detectives are searching for answers in La Habra Heights after a woman's body was found inside a burning car after an apparent shooting. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators say she was found around 10 a.m. Monday near North Cypress Street and Nabal Road. They were responding to a car fire and found a woman dead inside. In addition to the fire, investigators found evidence of a shooting.

ABC 7 Los Angeles


Hackers behind holiday crime spree demand $70 million, say they locked 1 million devices

The hacker gang behind an international crime spree that played out over the Fourth of July weekend says it has locked more than a million individual devices and is demanding $70 million in bitcoin to set them all free in one swoop. The gang, the Russia-connected REvil, is best known for previously having hacked JBS, one of the world's largest meat suppliers, briefly halting its operations across much of North America. But this attack's potential scope is unprecedented, some cybersecurity experts said.

NBC News

Bay Area arsons surged in 2020, despite COVID-19 shutdowns

Bay Area arsons spiked last year to a level not seen in the past decade, new state data shows, led by a major jump in the number of structures set ablaze in a year marked by extreme turmoil and record wildfire destruction. There were 1,970 reported arsons in the nine-county Bay Area in 2020, up 37% from the number of fires set the year prior and more than any other year since at least 2011, according to new crime data from the California Department of Justice.

San Francisco Chronicle

New California gun law limits purchases of semi-automatic rifles

A law that went into effect Thursday aims to curb gun violence after newly released data shows a rise in murders across California in 2020. Homicides were up 31%, and in most cases, the killer used a gun. The rules on who and how often guns can be purchased in California have changed with Senate Bill 61. According to the author, SB 61 has two key provisions. "Right now, if you're under 21, as of today you can no longer purchase these centerfire semi-automatic rifles in California. That's very significant," said Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from California's 25th District.

KCRA 3 News

Justice Department issues federal execution moratorium

The Justice Department on Thursday night issued a moratorium on federal executions and ordered reviews by various department entities. In July 2019, then-Attorney General William Barr authorized executions after a hiatus starting in March 2003. Currently, 23 states, plus the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty and there is a moratorium on executions in California, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Government Executive

De Blasio doubles down on decision not to hire more cops amid crime surge

Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down Friday on his controversial decision not to hire more cops even amid the Big Apple's surging crime wave and after President Biden provided federal funds for the move. When asked about The Post's coverage of his decision not to bring on more police officers after receiving $6 billion in federal COVID-19 relief - which President Biden explicitly said could be used for tackling crime issues - the mayor told WNYC radio's Brian Lehrer, "That's not the whole reality."

New York Post

Louisiana sheriff's deputy charged with malfeasance in arrested man's death

A Louisiana sheriff's deputy has been charged with malfeasance in connection with the death of a man he and other deputies had arrested while they were trying to conduct a search. Deputy Ryan Chapman is accused of handcuffing William Walls without reasonable suspicion of a crime, his attorney, Ronald Miciotto, told The Associated Press on Friday.


California extended its eviction moratorium, but the housing crisis is getting worse

As Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators address a particularly urgent housing problem by extending eviction protections for renters who fell behind during the pandemic, here is something worth remembering: California's broader housing crisis isn't going anywhere. In fact, it is getting worse. So, as our government in Sacramento contemplates using bigger guns in a large-scale battle to generate enough lodging for an underhoused state, California continues to lose ground.

Capital & Main

California poised to pay compensation to victims of forced sterilization

California is poised to approve reparations of up to $25,000 to people who decades ago were among the thousands of residents - some as young as 13 - sterilized by the state because officials deemed them unfit to have children. The payments, part of the $262.6-billion state operating budget that awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom's signature, would make California at least the third state after Virginia and North Carolina to pay victims of the pernicious eugenics movement that peaked in the 1930s.

Los Angeles Times

California bans state travel to Florida, 4 other states due to discriminatory LGBTQ+ laws

San Francisco-California has added five more states, including Florida, to the list of places where state-funded travel is prohibited due to laws discriminating against members of the LGBTQ community, the State Attorney General announced on Monday. Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta has added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia to the list. There are 17 states on this list that are banned from traveling by state officials, except in limited circumstances.

California News Times

Corrections & Parole

California's prison boom saved this town. Now, plans to close its lockup are sparking anger and fear

California's inmate population has tumbled from its peak of 173,000 in 2006. The pandemic hastened that decline as the state released early thousands of inmates, including those serving time for violent offenses, because of the health crisis. As of May 31, there were 97,200 inmates in custody, a 21% decrease since January 2020.

Los Angeles Times

Inmate firefighter takes fire engine on joyride in Shingle Springs

A state prison inmate firefighter stole a fire engine in Shingle Springs overnight and drove it into a ditch. Cal Fire spokesperson Alisha Herring said the Amador-El Dorado Unit, which included an inmate crew based in Georgetown, was responding to a grass fire Sunday night before the incident occurred. The suspect led California Highway Patrol units on a slow-speed chase through the dirt before the engine ripped out 100 feet of fencing. It then ran into the yard of a truck rack company where inventory was stacked up, leaving behind a trail of twisted steel.

Fox 40 Sacramento


Woman who falsely accused Black teen of taking phone pleads not guilty to hate crime charge

A California woman who wrongly accused a Black teen of taking her phone at a New York City hotel late last year and grabbed at him as he tried to leave is now charged with a hate crime. Miya Ponsetto was arraigned in court in Manhattan via videoconference Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges including unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.

NBC 4 Los Angeles

Life in prison for shooter in 1993 La Verne double murders

A 46-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday, July 6, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting two former Target co-workers as they sat in a car in the La Verne store's parking lot in 1993, authorities said. Sergio Dujuan Nelson killed Robin Shirley, who got the promotion that he had wanted, and Lee Thompson, who had defended Shirley when Nelson harassed her about the promotion, according to court documents.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Sex attack on teen 'catastrophic and devastating': Capistrano rapist gets 156 years to life

A 45-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to 156 years to life in state prison for sexual assaults on a 16-year-old girl in a garage in San Juan Capistrano and a young woman in her car at an Irvine gas station within a five-week period in 2016. Alejandro Hernandez Garcia of San Juan Capistrano was convicted March 18 in a non-jury trial by Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett.

Defendant in 2018 adult bookstore stabbing in Midway District pleads guilty

Almost three years ago, a man accused of fatally stabbing a clerk at an adult bookstore in the Midway district pleaded guilty to a first-class murder on Tuesday. Sean Ward, 42, was charged with the death of Diane Spagnuro, 65, whose body was found on October 29, 2018 at the X-Spot Adult Bookstore on Midway Drive near Kemper Street. Ward faced allegations of murder committed during robbery and torture murders and in special circumstances, both of which subject him to death.

California News Times

Trump antagonist Michael Avenatti gets 2½ years in prison in Nike extortion case

A New York judge sentenced the combative California lawyer Michael Avenatti to 2½ years in prison Thursday for trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to use his popularity to damage the company's reputation. U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe announced the sentence in Manhattan, where a jury in early 2020 convicted Avenatti of charges including attempted extortion and honest services fraud for his dealings with the company.

Los Angeles Times

Articles of Interest

Troubling sexual assault allegations leveled at Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer

It was scheduled to be one of the showcase events for Major League Baseball on the Fourth of July: the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers playing in the nation's capital with the club's $102 million pitcher, Trevor Bauer, on the mound. Instead, Garrett Cleavinger started for the Dodgers Sunday against the Washington Nationals, while Bauer remains on a seven-day administrative leave issued by baseball commissioner Rob Manfred last week.


Canada's new border rules have kicked in. Here's what to know

Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated are now able to enter the country without having to quarantine - provided they have proof of inoculation and have submitted a negative COVID-19 test. This is the first phase of loosening the Canada-U.S. border restrictions that have been in place since March 2020. But the first phase has been met with some confusion, including the rules around quarantining with children, digital proof of vaccination and whether non-essential travel is now allowed.

Global News

Adams wins Democratic primary in NYC mayor's race

New York-Brooklyn President Eric Adams appeals to the Political Center and promises to strike the right balance between the fight against crime and the end of police racial injustice. Former police captain Adams will be the city's second black mayor if elected. He won the big Democratic territory in New York's first major race using ranked preferential voting.


Trump announces suits against Facebook, Twitter and Google

Former President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is filing suits against three of the country's biggest tech companies: Facebook, Twitter and Google, as well as their CEOs. Trump said he was serving as lead plaintiff in the class-action suits, claiming he has been wrongfully censored by the companies. "We're demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well," Trump said at a news conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course.



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