Posts Tagged ‘ wife ’

Gay Army Veteran Sues Federal Government for Denying Military Benefits to Her Wife

February 2, 2012
Gay Army Veteran Sues Federal Government for Denying Military Benefits to Her Wife

A gay U.S. Army veteran in Pasadena has filed a suit against the federal government for denying military benefits to her wife. In her suit, Cooper-Harris says that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is still denying benefits to same-sex couples that it offers to heterosexual couples in violation of her constitutional rights, according to City News Service. more › Read the original post: Gay Army Veteran Sues Federal Government for Denying Military Benefits to Her Wife

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CP3 Outshines Kobe As Clippers Win Battle Of LA

January 15, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul scored 33 points, Blake Griffin had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in beating the Lakers 102-94 on Saturday night despite 42 points by Kobe Bryant. Chauncey Billups added 19 points, former Laker Caron Butler had 13 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 rebounds in the Clippers’ second win in four days over one of the NBA’s elite teams. The Clippers beat Miami 95-89 in overtime on Wednesday and have won five of their last six. Paul limped off after hitting a jumper in the final minutes. Bryant notched his fourth straight game of 40 or more points but the Lakers had their five-game winning streak snapped by their Staples Center co-tenants, who beat them twice in the preseason. The Lakers got no closer than five points early in the fourth quarter as the visiting team. Bryant broke out for 21 points in the third, but he was limited to 10 in the fourth against the Clippers’ double teams. Billups and Paul hit consecutive 3-pointers to help the Clippers extend their lead to 67-53 midway through the third. Bryant took over from there, scoring 17 of the Lakers’ final 19 points of the quarter to close to 76-72. He began and ended the spurt with 3-pointers and in between hit 7 of 8 free throws while the Clippers were held to nine points over the final 5 minutes. The Clippers’ biggest first-half lead was 55-42 at the break. They outshot and outrebounded the Lakers, who were better in the paint. The Lakers twice closed within three points in the second quarter, but the Clippers outscored them 16-6 to end the period, with Billups, Paul and Griffin combining for 14 points. The Clippers opened the game on a 13-4 run, then outscored the Lakers 13-9 to lead after the first quarter. Things got chippy in the final 12 seconds when Darius Morris went up for a basket after Paul was whistled for a foul and Griffin pushed off him with both hands as Morris came down. Lakers coach Mike Brown got incensed and was called for a technical, while nothing was called on Griffin. Morris had the last word, though, when he sank a jumper from before the half-court line at the buzzer as Paul tried to cut him off. Metta World Peace and Grififin also had technicals. Notes: Clippers F Brian Cook left midway through the second quarter with a sprained left ankle. … The Clippers improved to 5-1 at home and 6-0 this season when taking a lead into the fourth. … The Clippers have sold out all six of their home games. … The Lakers were playing their fifth game of the week and their 14th of the season, tying Chicago for most games played. … The Clippers have played just nine games, fewest in the league. … Clippers backup G Mo Williams missed the game because of an injured right foot that he hurt on Tuesday at Portland. … Lakers G Jason Kapono is adjusting to sleepless nights after his wife gave birth to premature twin girls named Campbell and Isla earlier in the week. “Thirty minutes is like three hours. It’s all been a blur,” he said. See the original post here: CP3 Outshines Kobe As Clippers Win Battle Of LA

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Yikes! Bed, Bath & Beyond Recalls Possibly Radioactive Tissue Boxes

January 14, 2012
Yikes! Bed, Bath & Beyond Recalls Possibly Radioactive Tissue Boxes

If you bought a metal tissue box cover from Bed, Bath & Beyond recently, you should check to make sure that you didn’t buy a model that could possibly contain radioactive materials. more › Read the original: Yikes! Bed, Bath & Beyond Recalls Possibly Radioactive Tissue Boxes

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Nancy Reagan Mourns Ambassador Price

January 14, 2012
Nancy Reagan Mourns Ambassador Price

The death of Ambassador Charles Price , a U.S. ambassador in Europe under President Ronald Reagan , has prompted a global outpouring of tributes to the esteemed diplomat who has died in California. During his diplomatic career, Charles H. Price II hosted such dignitaries as Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, who is mourning the loss of a 33-year friendship. Nancy Reagan personally contacted Californiality , requesting the publication of her heartfelt eulogy for Ambassador Price with condolences for his wife and family.

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LeBron’s Late Blunders Open Door For Clippers

January 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers couldn’t hit a basket in the final four minutes of regulation. The Miami Heat could barely make free throws. Two tired teams coming off road losses the night before staggered into overtime. Then the Clippers took over. They outscored Miami 9-3 in the extra session and earned the biggest win of their young season, 95-89 Wednesday night. “It’s good to get a win and get it by grinding it out,” said Blake Griffin, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Their next test against one of the league’s power teams comes Saturday against the Lakers. Chris Paul had 27 points, 11 assists and one turnover in nearly 45 minutes, Caron Butler added 20 points, and Chauncey Billups had 12 for the Clippers, 9-2 against Miami at home since 2001-02. DeAndre Jordan had 11 rebounds and six blocked shots to set the tone defensively. “They didn’t surprise us,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who got ejected with 5 seconds left. “We have great respect for them. “That was great compelling playoff basketball in early January.” LeBron James had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the 200th double-double of his career, Mario Chalmers added 18 points, Dwyane Wade 17 and Chris Bosh had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat, who have lost their last four games against the Clippers at Staples Center. “They are a good team, they are a really good team,” Bosh said. “They are going to have some battles and adversity is going to come. We’ll see how they handle it and just keep playing.” The Heat were coming off an overtime loss to Golden State, while the Clippers had lost at Portland a night earlier. In overtime, James, Bosh and Wade missed on a combined seven shots. Miami’s Big Three struggled in the fourth quarter, as well, combining to go 3 for 8. James missed three consecutive baskets in overtime and he was 6 of 10 from the line in the final 5:49 of regulation. Chalmers hit a 3-pointer for Miami’s only points in the extra session. The Heat were 20 of 34 from the line, with James accounting for eight of their 14 misses. “I’ve been shooting the ball particularly well from the free throw line, but tonight I didn’t make enough. So I put our free throw shooting on me,” he said. “It’s kind of a rhythm when it trickles down to everybody else, so I’ve got to concentrate a little more and knock them down when I get fouled.” Wade added, “We haven’t missed this many free throws on this team, probably ever.” The Clippers’ shooting nearly let them down in the final 4 minutes of regulation when they missed on seven straight possessions, but were bailed out by Miami’s own problems. The Clippers led by two with 27 seconds left in regulation before James tied it 86 on a free throw. The Clippers called their final timeout and Paul dribbled around with James hounding him before putting up a shot that missed as time expired, forcing the Heat to the third overtime of their trip. “We defended and gave ourselves a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for,” James said. “So we can be satisfied. I mean, you don’t like to lose, but we’re not going to hang our heads about this one.” With the Clippers trailing 84-83, Billups got fouled by James on a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left in regulation and made all three free throws. The Clippers finished 17 of 23 from the line. The Heat won two video reviews in the final 16 seconds of regulation, but they failed to make a field goal in the final 7:32. “A lot of times we were able to get LeBron to the rim and that’s what we wanted,” Wade said. “It’s not always going to go in, but we can leave here with our heads up high, knowing that we stuck to our game plan. We just didn’t get the win.” Neither team led by more than three points in a physical fourth quarter that featured Wade knocking Paul to the court and Norris Cole and Mo Williams colliding. “There’s a lot of guys out there that, if you look at them, they like to lift a lot of weights, so it is going to be physical,” James said. “These are two teams that have high hopes, so when that kind of clash happens, it’s going to be physical.” Notes: The Clippers went 1-1 in their first back-to-back of the shortened season. … The Heat are 5-3 in four back-to-back sets. … Paul evened his career rivalry with good friend James at six wins apiece. “We hate to lose to each other,” Paul said. … The game drew a standing room only crowd of 19,341. The Clippers have sold out all five of their home games and 17 straight dating to last season. … Celebs attending included Rihanna, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Sinbad, Gabrielle Union, and former Los Angeles Angels teammates Jered Weaver and John Lackey. Union is Wade’s girlfriend. Here is the original post: LeBron’s Late Blunders Open Door For Clippers

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Kobe Needs Another Big Night To Lift Lakers Past Jazz In OT

January 12, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY — Andrew Bynum wasn’t on the court the first time the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Utah Jazz. He made his presence felt Wednesday night, with five blocked shots, including a game-saver on Al Jefferson’s short jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime as the Lakers held on for a 90-87 victory. Kobe Bryant scored 40 points to lead the Lakers, including a pair of free throws with 0.7 seconds remaining for the final margin. “Andrew kind of made of his own coverage on Al and we tried to keep telling him to get out of it,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. “But he didn’t listen to us and whatever he did, worked. So I’m going to add it to my defensive package.” Jefferson, who was coming off a season-high 30-point effort against Cleveland on Tuesday, was held to 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting. Paul Millsap led the Jazz with a season-high 29 points, hitting 14 of 24 shots. The loss was the first at home for the Jazz this season and halted their five-game winning streak. The Lakers embarrassed the Jazz in Utah’s season-opener, winning by 25 even without Bynum on Dec. 27. This one was close throughout, with Millsap’s tip-in tying it at 78 with 21 seconds left in regulation. Bryant, coming of a 48-point game Tuesday night at home against Phoenix, missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won it in regulation for Los Angeles. Millsap then scored the first four points of overtime, but the Lakers fought back, with 3-pointers by Bryant and Pau Gasol. “Pau’s got a green light to shoot the 3,” Brown said. “As you can tell, guys trust him. Kobe made a pass to him late in the game at a crucial point. To see him step and knock it down was huge for us.” Seven-foot Bynum came up even bigger. He made just 5 of 13 shots, but his tip-in with 51 seconds left in OT put the Lakers ahead 88-87. Millsap brought the Jazz within one, then after Bryant’s miss, the Jazz found themselves with a chance to win. Gordon Hayward had the ball and started toward the lane, only to pass it to Jefferson underneath. Bynum was there. “It was just a reaction,” Bynum said about his block. “I’m lucky he went for the quick flip.” Hayward said he thought about shooting it himself. “The clock’s winding down, a final scramble and we didn’t know what was going on,” Hayward said. “There were 8 seconds left, so I got to make a play. Maybe I could have shot a 1-2 pullup, but I thought it was the right play, the right pass. We got a good look. Bynum just made a good play.” Bryant would block a long 3-point attempt by Devin Harris as the Jazz inbounded with 0.7 seconds remaining in OT. The win was the first on the road for the Lakers (8-4), while Utah (6-4) is 5-1 at home. “It felt good to get a road win here,” Bryant said. “It’s a very tough place to play and it was a huge test for us.” But even he wasn’t so sure Gasol could knock down the 22-footer from the corner. “Pau’s been shooting them well in practice and coach has been urging me to trust him at the 3-point line,” Bryant said. “I thought about passing it to him, it seemed like an eternity. But I said, `What the hell.’ “You think Tebow prays? When that ball left his hand, I must have said 30 Hail Mary’s.” Gasol finished with 14 points. He was just 5 of 14 overall, but hit his only 3-point attempt – his first of the season. “Tonight was not a very effective game on our part, for the most part,” Gasol said. “But we continued to fight through it. We forgot about everything else and we made two big plays down the stretch with the put-back and the block and I was able to make a couple plays. Hopefully we’ll get the bodies that we have injured right now and it will give us a deeper rotation.” If the Lakers were celebrating a little more than usual, they say they earned the right. “It was a tough game. It’s hard to get a win here. Back to back, getting in here late last night, going to bed late. It’s something to be proud of as a team,” Gasol said. “Hopefully, we’ll get some sleep and get ready for another back-to-back.” The Jazz also left feeling pretty good despite the loss, saying they are a different team than the one that faced the Lakers in the opener. “We kept playing hard, didn’t give up,” Jefferson said. “It’s one of those games at the end of the day we wish we could have won, but we could walk out with our head up. We played hard until the end. We just got to get ready for New Jersey.” The Jazz face the Nets on Saturday in a game that marks the return of Deron Williams for the first time since he was traded away last February. “We’re coming, we’re getting better,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We played against a good team tonight. They were a little bit better but our effort was great.” NOTES: Lakers forward Jason Kapono missed his second game so he could be with his wife, who gave birth Tuesday to twin girls. … Josh McRoberts (sprained toe/thumb) and Troy Murphy (stomach ailment) also did not suit up for L.A. … Jazz guard Raja Bell was assessed a first-quarter technical after giving Bryant a quick shove then having a few words with him. … Both teams were a combined 1-10 from 3-point range in the first half… Lakers guard Steve Blake suffered a rib contusion in the fourth quarter. Read more: Kobe Needs Another Big Night To Lift Lakers Past Jazz In OT

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No More Fear On The Road For Undocumented Immigrants

December 25, 2011

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Delfino Aldama was fixing a customer’s brakes this month when his smartphone chimed with a text message that tipped him to a police checkpoint more than an hour before officers began stopping motorists. The self-employed auto mechanic frantically called friends with the location and drove an alternate route home. The Mexico native had reason to be alarmed: He does not have a driver’s license because he is in the United States illegally, and it would cost about $1,400 to get his Nissan Frontier pickup back from the towing company. He has breathed a little easier since he began getting blast text messages two years ago from activists who scour streets to find checkpoints as they are being set up. The cat-and-mouse game ends Jan. 1 when a new law takes effect in California to prohibit police from impounding cars at sobriety checkpoints if a motorist’s only offense is being an unlicensed driver. Thousands of cars are towed each year in the state under those circumstances, hitting pocketbooks of illegal immigrants especially hard. When Aldama’s 1992 Honda Civic was towed from a checkpoint years ago, he quit his job frying chickens at a fast-food restaurant because he had no way to make the 40-mile round trip to work. He abandoned the car rather than pay about $1,200 in fees. “A car is a necessity, it’s not a luxury,” said the 35-year-old Aldama, who lives in Escondido with his wife, who is a legal resident, and their 5-year-old son, a U.S. citizen. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, a Los Angeles Democrat who tried unsuccessfully to restore driver licenses to illegal immigrants after California revoked the privilege in 1993, said he introduced the bill to ban towing after learning the notoriously corrupt city of Bell raked in big fees from unlicensed drivers at checkpoints. A sharp increase in federally funded sobriety checkpoints in California has fueled controversy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration paid for 2,553 checkpoints last year, which authorities say helps explain why deaths caused by drunken drivers dropped to an all-time low in the state. Police also ask for drivers’ licenses at the sobriety checkpoints. Supporters of the vehicle impounds say unlicensed drivers are also a roadside hazard and that the new law is misguided. “It’s a terrible law, really disappointing,” said Jim Maher, who sharply expanded checkpoints in Escondido after being named police chief in 2006. All but three U.S. states – New Mexico, Utah and Washington – deny driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants but controversy over checkpoints has been strongest in California. Cedillo believes that’s because a 1995 state law has allowed police to impound vehicles from unlicensed drivers for 30 days, resulting in fees that can easily top $1,000. Towing practices vary widely across the state. San Francisco allows 20 minutes to find a licensed driver to claim a vehicle at a checkpoint. The Los Angeles Police Department eased rules on 30-day impounds in March. Checkpoints have divided Escondido, a city of 144,000 people near San Diego whose Latino population has surged in the last 30 years. Latinos moved into aging neighborhoods near downtown as newer subdivisions gradually spread to avocado orchards, vineyards and citrus groves. Nearly half the signs at a big strip mall near City Hall are in Spanish. Like Hazleton, Pa., and Farmers Branch, Texas, authorities in Escondido have tackled illegal immigration on their own. In 2006, the City Council voted to require landlords to check tenants’ immigration status but a federal judge blocked the ordinance and it never took effect. Last year, Escondido police forged an unusually close alliance with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has four agents at police headquarters to check the immigration status of people who are questioned at checkpoints or elsewhere. “It’s a never-ending battle,” said Concilman Ed Gallo, a New Jersey transplant who blames illegal immigration for overcrowded homes and schools. “We didn’t pay attention to it for 25 years and look what happened. It was a long, slow process.” Several residents and a labor union sued Escondido in state court this month to create City Council districts, a bid to increase Latino representation. The lawsuit says the council has pursued “aggressive anti-immigrant policies that have inflamed racial tensions.” Maher (pronounced mah-HAR’) said the partnership with ICE is aimed only at rooting out illegal immigrants who commit crimes after arriving in the United States, including being previously deported. Those whose only offense is being in the country illegally won’t be bothered by his officers, nor will any crime victims or witnesses. Police say they have turned over 670 people to ICE for immigration proceedings since the joint effort began in May 2010. Their most common offenses were previous convictions for driving under the influence and drugs, with lower numbers for theft and assault. “We certainly have enough of our own criminals. We don’t need someone else’s here,” Maher said. Escondido has impounded more than 3,200 vehicles since 2006, mostly at the federally funded sobriety checkpoints. The city had towed about 1,000 at driver-license-only checkpoints until the American Civil Liberties Union and El Grupo, a Latino advocacy group, threatened a lawsuit in 2009, contending they violated the state vehicle code. Maher insists he is targeting unlicensed drivers, not illegal immigrants or Latinos. Six towing companies each pay the city $75,000 a year to take turns at checkpoints, keeping impound fees for themselves. About one-third of the cars towed are believed to be abandoned, allowing the towing companies to auction them. “It was kind of like letting them steal cars,” said Olga Diaz, the only Hispanic on the City Council. Websites that have sprung up in the last two years quickly alert motorists to checkpoints through social media networks and smartphones, severely undermining their effectiveness. A few years ago, Escondido police impounded 50 or 60 vehicles a night. Now they typically get about 20. One of the final checkpoints before the new law takes effect was one of the slowest in memory for many of the 15 officers who stood under bright lights and encountered a December chill. Activists waved signs several blocks away, giving motorist an opportunity to turn away. Police impounded six vehicles – three for driving without a license and three for driving under the influence. Aldama, who paid a smuggler $1,300 to lead him through the mountains east of San Diego on a weeklong trek 13 years ago, was able to reach all his friends before the checkpoint began. One he didn’t call had his 1997 Ford Explorer towed at an Escondido checkpoint a few weeks earlier. The unemployed construction worker surrendered the SUV to the towing company because he couldn’t afford the fees. Link: No More Fear On The Road For Undocumented Immigrants

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Robert De Niro welcomes new baby girl

December 25, 2011

Actor Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower arrive at the 68th annual Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills, California on January 16, 2011. Read more from the original source: Robert De Niro welcomes new baby girl

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Marshall Fine: Movie Review: We Bought a Zoo

December 24, 2011

Matt Damon has had a strong career playing hard-edged, serious guys like Jason Bourne or the title character in Good Will Hunting . So you forget his aptitude for comedy. He brought it to 30 Rock , just as he did for the Farrelly brothers in Stuck on You . Still, I don’t know if I was ready to see Matt Damon play a Fred MacMurray role, as he does in We Bought A Zoo . Not that that’s a bad thing — Damon still summons a boyish energy with little effort and it works for him here, in Cameron Crowe’s new film. Based on a true story, Zoo casts Damon as Benjamin Mee, adventure journalist (from those golden days when newspapers actually paid for that sort of thing) who has lost his enthusiasm for his work since the death of his wife. He’s also distracted by problems with his 15-year-old son Dylan (Colin Ford) who is about to be expelled from school for drawing disturbing pictures — and, most recently, for stealing. Ben decides the only thing that can keep him involved in his kids’ lives is to move them someplace less menacing than suburban Los Angeles, less full of distractions. So he is looking in the San Fernando Valley (or so it appears) and falls for a great old house, only to discover two crucial things: The house is part of a larger property — and that larger property includes an actual zoo with exotic animals. If Ben wants a distraction from his own life, here it is — complete with a mean zoo inspector (a very funny John Michael Higgins) a sadly aging tiger — and a hot zookeeper (Scarlett Johansson). It’s perfect for his 5-year-old daughter, Rosie, played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones, who is, perhaps, the cutest tot since Shirley Temple (even if her adorability is milked too extensively by Crowe, a la Jonathan Lipnicki in Jerry Maguire ). The mug at Damon’s elbow is Ben’s brother, Duncan (Thomas Haden Church) who has lived vicariously through his little brother but can’t countenance him blowing everything he has on an actual zoo. And Ben learns that he needs more than a positive attitude to finesse his way past challenging zoological duties, including head zookeeper Johansson. Crowe’s story-telling is straightforward, even a little retro. But he understands that stories like these, about people working their way through painful feelings they don’t understand, have their own specific gravity and their own pace. The conclusion is foregone, but Crowe still makes the journey emotionally satisfying by being judicious with the schmaltz. Well, judicious is a relative term. Jones is an engagingly natural young actress who has been encouraged to mug like one of the Little Rascals. And yet she makes it work. Johansson has to play something of a hard-ass as the divorced zookeeper who just wants to keep her wildlife sanctuary viable and her animals healthy. The romantic aspects are more about developing chemistry than anything else. Damon has always had a sincere nature, even as a cold-blooded killer. He’s a natural playing a concerned father trying to keep his dream afloat, even as it threatens to bankrupt him. He’s a nice guy in a challenging spot, trying to maintain his sense of grace — and doing it. We Bought a Zoo is one of what is becoming a crowded seasonal field of movies with something to appeal to each of several generations. The bottom line, of course, is that it has to be a confident, entertaining movie — and this one is. Find more reviews, interviews and commentary on my website . Excerpt from: Marshall Fine: Movie Review: We Bought a Zoo

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YouTube Threat Forces Local High School to Cancel Classes Today

December 12, 2011
YouTube Threat Forces Local High School to Cancel Classes Today

A Catholic High School in Torrance is closed for the day as authorities investigate an unspecified threat made late last week, according to City News Service. All classes at Bishop Montgomery High School are canceled today due to the threat, which was reportedly made on YouTube. more › View original post here: YouTube Threat Forces Local High School to Cancel Classes Today

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Raw Police Video