Ex-California state senator sentenced to only five years in racketeering case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge sentenced former California state senator Leland Yee on Wednesday to five years in prison after he acknowledged in a plea deal that he accepted thousands of dollars in bribes and discussed helping an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons from the Philippines. Senior District Court Judge Charles Breyer […]

Damning study finds a ‘whitewashed’ Hollywood

NEW YORK (AP) — In one of the most exhaustive and damning reports on diversity in Hollywood, a new study finds that the films and television produced by major media companies are “whitewashed,” and that an “epidemic of invisibility” runs top to bottom through the industry for women, minorities and LGBT people. A study to […]

SPLC notes uptick in hate, extremist groups in 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The number of hate groups and anti-government organizations in the United States jumped sharply in 2015 as political speech became more divisive, violent encounters between police and black men were increasingly publicized, and attacks in Paris and California spurred widespread fears of terrorism, a civil rights advocacy group said Wednesday. In […]

Should high school punishments go on college applications?

(AP) – They are basic yes-no questions that ask whether a college applicant ever got into trouble in high school. Yet they’re anything but simple, say some who want run-ins at school or with the law taken out of the college admissions equation. Advocates, school districts and even some colleges share concerns about youthful mistakes […]

California AG Kamala Harris: No interest in Supreme Court

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s attorney general made it clear Tuesday that she doesn’t want to be considered to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. “I’m not putting my name in for consideration. I do not wish to be considered. I am running for the United States […]

Senate GOP to Obama: Don’t bother nominating to Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans united behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in insisting that President Barack Obama’s successor fill the Supreme Court vacancy after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Democrats looking to reclaim the Senate majority immediately accused them of putting politics ahead of their constitutional responsibility. Vulnerable GOP incumbents in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New […]

Supreme Court vacancy highlights stakes in presidential race

WASHINGTON (AP) — The presidential election just got real. The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — and the immediate declaration from Republicans that the next president should nominate his replacement — adds even more weight to the decision voters will make in November’s general election. For months, the candidates have espoused theoretical, […]

John Lewis on Sanders’ civil rights work: ‘Never saw him’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Civil rights leader John Lewis on Thursday dismissed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ 1960s work on racial equality, saying, “I never saw him. I never met him.” The Georgia congressman — a stalwart of the Freedom Rides through the South, lunch counter sit-ins and the 1963 March on Washington — raised questions […]

Clinton, Sanders clash over minorities, money and Obama

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battled for the crucial backing of Black and Hispanic voters in Thursday night’s Democratic debate and clashed heatedly over their support for Barack Obama as the presidential race shifted toward states with more minority voters. Clinton, who has cast herself as the rightful heir to Obama’s legacy, […]

Why is gas so expensive in California? Taxes, regulations & possibly price gouging

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gouging by oil companies could be one reason California drivers pay about 76 cents more for a gallon of regular gas than motorists elsewhere in the nation, a state government panel was told Monday. Fuel experts and consumer advocates also told the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee that a high state gas […]