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pennsylvania court orders new election map for its 18 house seats in a boost for democrats – la times

the pennsylvania supreme court on monday struck down the state's congressional map, which was drawn to give republicans a 13-5 majority, a ruling that could shift two or three seats to democrats this fall.the decision is the third in a year to strike down a state election map as a partisan gerrymander. unlike the others, however, it cannot be easily blocked or voided by an appeal in federal court because it's based solely on the state constitution.advertisementthe state justices ordered the map to be redrawn for this year's races, giving the state legislature just a few weeks to develop a new map.in a brief unsigned opinion, the high court said the 2011 election map "clearly, plainly and palpably" violates the pennsylvania constitution , and "its further use in elections for pennsylvania seats in the u.s. house of representatives … is hereby enjoined." the justices in the majority said they would issue a more complete opinion spelling out the reasons for their decision.election law experts said the ruling could have an impact on this year's midterm election and the battle for control of the house."this is a huge decision. it means the state's map will be redrawn, and we could see two or three additional democratic seats," said michael li, a redistricting expert with the brennan center for justice in new york. "it also opens a second front in the fight against partisan gerrymanders. many state constitutions have stronger provisions for fair elections than the fed...





rams quarterback jared goff named to pro bowl, replacing eagles' carson wentz – la times

goff, voted the nfl's most improved player by the pro football writers of america, helped lead the rams to the nfc west title and their first playoff appearance since 2004. he completed 62% of his passes for 3,804 yards and 28 touchdowns, with seven interceptions.





moses brown commits to play basketball for ucla – la times

moses brown, a 7-foot-1, 241-pound center from briarwood (n.y.) archbishop molloy high who is considered one of the nation's most highly coveted prospects, told slam magazine on monday that he had committed to ucla.





five california house democrats cross party lines to reopen government – los angeles times

california sens. dianne feinstein, left, and kamala harris. (bill clark / cq roll call) california sens. dianne feinstein and kamala harris voted no on an effort to end the government shutdown monday, saying they don’t have the assurances they need that a legislative fix for the so-called dreamers will happen.the funding measure, which needed 60 votes and allows the senate to move forward to reopen the government, passed monday by a 81-18 vote, signaling the three-day government shutdown will end soon. the house already passed a stop-gap spending bill with nearly party-line support and is expected to quickly bring up the senate measure and give it final approval.an agreement to end the shut down came together with an assurance from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell that the senate will vote on a legislative fix for dreamers by feb. 8, the day the stop-gap funding runs out.





trump's shifting stance on daca deal vexed both parties as lawmakers sought to resolve shutdown crisis – la times

president trump stood in the east room of the white house last february and haltingly addressed what he called "a very, very difficult subject for me" — the hundreds of thousands of immigrants known as dreamers, who came to this country illegally as children."we're going to show great heart," he vowed, gesturing with both hands during a news conference. "you have these incredible kids, in many cases — not in all cases. in some of the cases they're having daca and they're gang members and they're drug dealers too. but you have some absolutely incredible kids — i would say mostly — they were brought here in such a way — it's a very, very tough subject."advertisementnearly a year later, trump is still finding it difficult to talk about how to handle about 700,000 immigrants who are set to lose protections from deportation. last september he ordered an end to an obama administration directive, the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, which allowed dreamers to legally work, go to school or serve in the military after being vetted and paying a fee. but he also asked congress to devise alternative protections by march.his inconsistencies on what to do about the daca beneficiaries since then have vexed both parties and helped fuel the first government shutdown in five years.after the senate agreed on monday to reopen the government with a fourth stopgap spending measure — on the promise of a daca vote soon — a broader immigration deal remains as el...





suspect surrenders in shooting death of 3-year-old boy in compton – la times

dozens of mourners, including the boy's cousins and the alleged shooter's father, gathered at the crime scene sunday evening for a candlelight vigil, said najee ali, director of project islamic hope, who organized the event. a makeshift memorial of candles and a teddy bear was left at the scene.





congress agrees to reopen government with push from unusual bipartisan caucus – la times

in the end, it was neither the self-proclaimed dealmaking president trump nor seasoned congressional leaders who found the path to end the three-day government shutdown.rather, the agreement emerged from a fledgling caucus of impassioned moderates from both political parties who – if they aren't sidelined in days ahead by a partisan resurgence – could grow into a new power center in the senate.advertisementthe house and senate both approved a compromise monday to extend government spending until feb. 8, clearing the way for government offices to reopen tuesday.the deal was hammered out by a gang of 30 or so senators calling themselves the common sense caucus, which grew in numbers over the weekend during frantic negotiations to end the standoff.now many lawmakers in both parties are hoping the moderate group will continue to exert its influence to break the logjam, even as a few ideological factions were plotting how to stamp out it out.democrats, in particular, need to hold the center together to quickly craft an immigration deal to protect "dreamers," as the party comes under criticism from its progressive wing. liberals complained monday that senate minority leader charles e. schumer (d-n.y.) and others folded by agreeing to reopen government without extracting a firm commitment that republicans would keep their promise to consider a bipartisan bill to help the immigrants.the senate voted overwhelmingly, 81-18, to pass the three-week spending bill. in the house, spe...





president trump finally gets his wish to slap tariffs on china, american consumers be damned – la times

this is what protectionism looks like: "on january 22, 2018, u.s. trade representative robert lighthizer announced that president trump has approved recommendations to provide relief to u.s. manufacturers and impose safeguard tariffs on imported residential washing machines and solar cells and modules, based on the investigations, findings, and recommendations of the independent, bipartisan u.s. international trade commission."those words come from a news release issued monday by lighthizer's office, announcing tariffs of up to 30% on imported solar cells and a stunning 50% on imported washing machines, regardless of where they were made outside the united states. the sanctions were based on a u.s. law designed to protect domestic manufacturers whose sales go down sharply in the face of foreign competition.advertisementhere's the problem. contrary to international trade agreements, the law doesn't require domestic manufacturers to show that their competitors were competing unfairly, or even that the threat to domestic production could harm national security. it merely requires them to show that the imports were a substantial cause of serious injury.if the president wants to undermine u.s. growth, he should keep slapping blanket tariffs on imports and making americans pay more for the goods they buy. share quote & link appliance giant whirlpool, which brought the washing machine case, and suniva and solarworld, the struggling companies behind the solar cell complaint, arg...





scientists smash thousands of proteins to find four ‘legos of life' – la times

by "smashing" proteins and looking at the broken bits, scientists at rutgers university say they've discovered four basic building blocks that can be stacked like legos to build all kinds of different proteins.the results described in proceedings of the national academy of sciences could help researchers better understand the origins of life and design new biomolecules with special industrial and medical uses.advertisement"we've developed methods for really looking at the deep-time evolution of proteins," said senior author vikas nanda, a biochemist at rutgers university.many scientists think that some of the earliest forms of life would have hung out where natural electric currents exist — at the bottom of the sea floor, for example, where hydrothermal vents spew material into the ocean.ancient microbes would have needed special proteins to take advantage of those energy sources. these metal-bearing "metalloproteins" would have been able to carry and move electrons around in specific ways. but what exactly did such proteins look like, some 4 billion years ago?it's hard to judge by what's in modern-day microbes because their proteins are pretty complex, nanda said. he pointed to proteins like nitrogenase, an essential enzyme that takes nitrogen and makes ammonia, which is then used to make dna and amino acids."you couldn't imagine that complex nanomachine just emerging out of the primordial soup and just coming into existence," nanda said. "there had to have b...





sharks on the rise – la times

san jose has won five of its last six games, including back-to-back victories over the defending champion pittsburgh penguins at home saturday and over the ducks at anaheim on sunday. that surge has lifted the sharks into second in the pacific division, behind the still-remarkable vegas golden knights. aaron dell has stepped in to provide steady goaltending — while martin jones recovers from a lower-body injury — and has a 2.17 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 20 appearances. "when you're going good, every night, you don't know who's going to be big line or the big player," joe thornton told the san jose mercury news after his goal and assist led a balanced attack against the ducks. "we rely on everybody to contribute every night." thornton has moved into 16th place in nhl career scoring, with 397 goals and 1,426 points.





netflix saw record subscriber growth in fourth quarter, fueled by new content – la times

netflix easily blew past subscription expectations for the fourth quarter of 2017 on the back of solid earnings and revenue, sending shares of the streaming entertainment giant up more than 8% in after-hours trading monday.los gatos, calif.-based netflix added 8.3 million subscribers globally during the period, beating its own guidance of 6.3 million. the company met its earnings forecast of 41 cents per share on slightly higher-than-expected revenue of $3.29 billion.advertisementwall street had expected earnings of 41 cents per share on revenue of $3.28 billion, according to analysts polled by factset.for the year, netflix said it added 24 million new memberships, compared with 19 million in 2016. the company reported full-year 2017 revenue of $11.69 billion, up from $8.83 billion in the previous year. net income jumped to $558.9 million, up from $186.7 million.netflix said that the 8.3 million new subscribers was a quarterly high for the company. subscriber growth was fueled largely by original content as well as wider adoption of streaming tv overseas.the quarter saw the dec. 22 release of netflix's highly touted movie "bright," starring will smith as a cop living in a dystopian los angeles where humans work side by side with fantasy creatures like orcs and fairies. the film, which reportedly cost at least $90 million, has been a popular draw among subscribers despite scathing reviews from critics. netflix has already ordered a sequel.netflix also debuted the second sea...





sherman oaks notre dame is loaded with top young baseball players – los angeles times

charisma osborne leads win over sierra canyon in southern california girls’ basketball, there’s little doubt who is the best player. that’s l.a. windward junior charisma osborne, who can score, pass, rebound and defend like few others.the big question, though, is whether windward’s supporting cast is good enough to carry the wildcats to a championship. on friday night, facing no. 3 sierra canyon, the no. 1 wildcats broke open a one-point game at the outset of the third quarter and cruised to a 66-42 victory at sierra canyon.osborne finished with 17 points, but it was the contributions of teammates that helped windward turn a 20-19 halftime edge into a 43-30 edge through three quarters.





skydiver dies after falling onto roof of perris home – la times

shortly before 3 p.m., authorities were called to the 200 block of caldera street, where the skydiver had crashed, according to the riverside county fire department.





san francisco finds a spiritual glow in bernstein's music – la times

in the annals of leonard bernstein, it is common to dismiss the west coast. the composer was a native bostonian and a new york icon who didn't have all that much to do with us.though a media maven, bernstein showed little love for hollywood, scoring only a single film, "on the waterfront," compelling though that soundtrack is. he seldom conducted the san francisco symphony, and his handful of notable los angeles philharmonic performances were confined to the hollywood bowl. he came out west every so often with the new york philharmonic, the israel symphony or the vienna philharmonic. his attempt to create a teaching institute at ucla, a sort of tanglewood west, in the 1980s proved short-lived.advertisementnot so fast, though. at the moment, california is no bernstein quiet place. playing our part in bernstein's 100th birthday celebrations this year, the san francisco symphony just presented four concert performances of bernstein's operetta, "candide," the last on sunday afternoon with michael tilson thomas as the radiant conductor.this week, bernstein moves to the music center. los angeles opera's new production of "candide" opens saturday night; the los angeles philharmonic mounts a production of bernstein's "mass" the following week.as for san francisco, a small exhibit in davies symphony hall revealed something seldom noticed. bernstein may have shaped the new york philharmonic while music director from 1958 to 1969, but since then, the san francisco symphony ...





o.c. homeless evicted from camps, but with nowhere to go – la times

ray huey bounced around from north carolina to washington state, oregon, idaho and nevada before landing at the homeless camp on the side of the santa ana river in anaheim.in anaheim, he found an unlikely collection of homeless people, including many couples. for years, this growing camp has become not just a place to sleep but a community for hundreds, complete with makeshift dwellings and a scattering of dogs.advertisementbut on monday, orange county officials began clearing out the camp, the final stage in a months-long effort to remove camps along the river that had become a much-debated symbol of the affluent county's spiraling homeless problem."i just love this country, so it's hard to pick one place to stay," huey said. "i guess i have to respect what they're doing — but no, i haven't made up my mind where to go next."and that is the central problem facing river-dwelling and thousands of other homeless people in orange county. while housing prices and rents are skyrocketing, the county has a chronic shortage of beds for those with nowhere else to live.the river camps had become a stopgap measure, and officials acknowledge they don't know where many of those being evicted will end up.for every two homeless people in the county, there is just one shelter program space for them to go, according to an estimate from eve garrow of the american civil liberties union.an estimated 4,800 homeless people are in the county. officials have responded to the rising homeles...





los contrabandistas usan piedras para atacar a los agentes de la patrulla fronteriza – la times

en una neblinosa noche de sábado a fines de diciembre, un agente de la patrulla fronteriza conducía un vehículo todoterreno cerca de la cerca fronteriza entre san diego y tijuana, en busca de huellas.a su izquierda, una barrera de metal de 7 pies hecha de láminas de acero de la guerra de irak lo separaba de colonia libertad, un vecindario que desde hace tiempo se conoce por su actividad de contrabando.advertisementa su derecha, las rocas, la tierra y la arena se extendían hacia el norte hasta llegar a una carretera interna utilizada por la patrulla fronteriza. más allá de la carretera, otra valla, una barricada de malla de acero de 18 pies coronada con alambre de púas.mientras viajaba a unas 20 millas por hora, una piedra del tamaño de una pelota le golpeó en el pecho.el agente se cayó, y el atv volcó sobre él.el día que el agente fue atacado, la patrulla fronteriza arrestó a 108 personas que cruzaban ilegalmente en el tramo de seis millas donde ocurrió el asalto, según michael scappechio, vocero de la patrulla fronteriza en el sector de san diego.eso no es raro en la niebla, dijo scappechio.mientras el congreso y la casa blanca debaten si deben agregarse medidas de seguridad a lo largo de la frontera sudoeste y dónde agregarlas, los agentes de la patrulla fronteriza en san diego esperan que el resultado ayude a mitigar las complicaciones causadas por la niebla.los contrabandistas saben que las cámaras de vigilancia de la patrulla fronteriza no funcionan bi...





hot takes from the new usc/lat national poll – los angeles times

california sens. dianne feinstein, left, and kamala harris. (bill clark / cq roll call) california sens. dianne feinstein and kamala harris voted no on an effort to end the government shutdown monday, saying they don’t have the assurances they need that a legislative fix for the so-called dreamers will happen.the funding measure, which needed 60 votes and allows the senate to move forward to reopen the government, passed monday by a 81-18 vote, signaling the three-day government shutdown will end soon. the house already passed a stop-gap spending bill with nearly party-line support and is expected to quickly bring up the senate measure and give it final approval.an agreement to end the shut down came together with an assurance from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell that the senate will vote on a legislative fix for dreamers by feb. 8, the day the stop-gap funding runs out.





california is trying to bring back net neutrality, but the debate is complicated – la times

california state lawmakers are angling for another fight with the trump administration, this time to revive federal net neutrality rules that they say are crucial to a fair, open and free internet.senate president pro tem kevin de león (d-los angeles) has introduced legislation that would task a state agency with establishing new regulations, making it unlawful for broadband companies to block or limit access to internet services in california. through his own bill, state sen. scott wiener (d-san francisco) is working with a coalition of lawmakers and tech advocates to craft new net neutrality rules of their own.advertisementdespite the dueling approaches, the two prominent democrats have pledged to work together. their proposals face heavy opposition from the telecom industry. and supporters say neither effort will be enough if the state does not also resuscitate federal rules to protect the privacy of internet customers."if the idea is, 'i want people to go wherever they want on the internet in california,' they won't do that if they think their information is being monetized and privatized by visiting certain sites," said ernesto falcon, legal counsel for the electronic frontier foundation.california politics news feed jan 02, 2018 | 2:13 pm the net neutrality rules, put in place under then-president obama in february 2015, barred broadband and wireless companies such as at&t inc., charter communications inc. and verizon communications from selling faster delivery of...





steven manfro turned in his ucla football uniform for an lapd uniform – la times

the los angeles police department has a rookie cop you shouldn't even try to run away from. he used to run 40 yards in 4.41 seconds as a running back on the ucla football team.steven manfro begins his lapd career tuesday, his 25th birthday. working in law enforcement is in his blood.advertisementhis grandfather was a new york police department captain. his father spent 17 years working as an nypd transit officer, until an illness caused by exposure at the world trade center after 9-11 forced him to retire."he's very proud," steven said of his father. "i keep following in his footsteps. originally, he didn't want me to because of the struggles he's faced and all the things he's seen. the more and more i pushed, the more and more he was going to support me."on friday, for the first time since dec. 31, 2002, marc manfro put on his nypd uniform — to celebrate his son's graduation from the lapd academy. he watched steven receive the william h. parker award for being the no. 1 recruit in his class.steven retired from football in april 2016 because of a shoulder injury that required three surgeries. he also suffered a torn knee ligament.those setbacks didn't stop him from contributing to the football team or graduating from ucla with a double major in political science and history.he believes playing football at valencia high and ucla helped prepare him for being a police officer."you never know what to expect," he said of his new job. "that's what i liked about foo...





three usa gymnastics leaders resign as more abuse victims speak out in court – la times

"as the board identifies its next chair and fills the vacant board positions, we remain focused on working every day to ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve," perry said.