Two business groups on Thursday announced competing endorsements in a closely watched race for the 7th District seat on the Los Angeles City Council. The downtown Central City Association announced its support for Assemblyman Richard Alarcón, D-Van Nuys, who is running to return to the council. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, endorsed businesswoman Monica Rodriguez. The two are among four candidates seeking to fill out the term of Alex Padilla, who was elected in November to the state Senate. Both business organizations also endorsed Tamar Galatzan in her campaign for the District 3 seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District board. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
eThe fire was east of the freeway in dried brush north of Templin Highway. It was was spreading uphill toward a ridge marked by fire roads and natural breaks that firefighters eyed as possible containment lines. On Wednesday, the U.S. Forest Service imposed restrictions on campfires and other activities that could spark fires in the Angeles National Forest, which borders the scene of Friday’s fire. Car fires often spread and spark forest fires in the area, a Forest Service official said. CASTAIC – Flames spread into brush Friday along Interstate 5 near Castaic after a car caught fire on the side of the road. Because of the high fire danger, an army of about 150 firefighters descended on the fire by ground and air, Los Angeles County Fire officials said. Flames were spotted about 2:30 p.m. and reported by passing motorists. Crews held the blaze to about 25 acres and were starting to get a line around it by 4 p.m., Fire Inspector Sam Padilla said. No buildings were threatened, but one inmate crew member suffered heat exhaustion and was being treated on scene, Padilla said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Tehran has denied U.S. allegations that it is fueling the violence in Iraq and the military claims come as the Americans and the Iranians have agreed to set up a committee to deal with Iraqi security issues. Odierno’s comments hinted at the difficulty Iraqi and U.S. security forces face in keeping the peace once U.S. troops have successfully ousted mostly Sunni al-Qaida-linked fighters from any particular spot. “We knew this was coming, but there’s been a shift,” Odierno told The Associated Press in an interview after touring a mainly Shiite area of southeastern Baghdad. “Because of the effect we’ve had on al-Qaida in Iraq and the success against them and the Sunni insurgency, it’s now shifted.” Gates sees little political progress WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged Sunday that political stability in Iraq won’t likely happen before the Bush administration makes its critical September assessment on whether its war strategy is working. BAGHDAD – Rogue Shiite militiamen with Iranian weapons and training launched three-quarters of the attacks that killed or wounded American forces last month in Baghdad, stepping into the void left as Sunni insurgents have been dislodged, a top U.S commander said Sunday. Attacks against U.S. forces were down sharply last month nationwide, and military officials have expressed cautious optimism that a security crackdown is working. At the same time, the number of attacks launched by breakaway factions of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia has increased, said Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the U.S. second-in-command. He did not provide a total number of militia attacks. But he said 73 percent of the attacks that wounded or killed U.S. troops last month in Baghdad were launched by Shiite militiamen, nearly double the figure six months earlier. Odierno said Iran has sharply increased its support for the fighters ahead of a September report to Congress on progress in Iraq, leading to the surge in rogue militia action. But Gates declined to predict that a drawdown of U.S. military forces in such a scenario would happen by year’s end. He cited some progress in reducing violence locally in regions such as Anbar Province, a former base of al-Qaida’s activities in Iraq. “There is a possibility,” Gates hedged, when asked in broadcast interviews if he considered a troop drawdown this year a “good possibility” or would bet on it. He explained that Gen. David Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker in September would have to weigh some of the local successes against continuing problems in Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s national government. “We’re doing contingency planning on a lot of different possibilities,” Gates said. Gates’ comments came as al-Maliki struggled to unite rival factions over the weekend. On Sunday, al-Maliki rejected the resignation of Cabinet ministers from the country’s largest Sunni Arab bloc and asked the six ministers to rejoin his government. Ministers from the Iraqi Accordance Front, which also holds 44 of parliament’s 275 seats, quit al-Maliki’s government on Wednesday. The move left only two Sunnis in the 40-member body, casting doubt on the government’s “national unity” status and undermining the prime minister’s efforts to pass laws the U.S. considers benchmarks that could lead to sectarian reconciliation. – Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
That’s a big “if.” Supporters need an estimated $2 million to gather the 434,000 valid signatures by Feb. 5 to qualify the measure for the June ballot. Marty Wilson, a GOP consultant in charge of raising money for the campaign, decided that wasn’t going to happen, saying there wasn’t much major donor interest in the measure. Republican Party officials, who heartily endorsed the initiative at their state convention, will meet soon to determine if the campaign can be salvaged. “Sometimes the players end up changing and the campaign continues to live on,” said Hector Barajas, spokesman for the state GOP. “The first determination is to see if a new set of individuals will step up and take charge. The next step is to see if they can go out and get support of donors. It’s too early to say this is a dead initiative.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Republican activists insisted Friday they will not give up on an effort to change the way California allocates its electoral college votes – a day after key players bolted from the ballot measure campaign. The activists questioned whether GOP attorney Tom Hiltachk, the author of the initiative, had underestimated the intensity of grass-roots support and failed to tap into it before he quit. “The issue is so hot, it’s going to continue on,” said Tony Andrade, a Sacramento Republican who had actually submitted his own electoral vote initiative, but then deferred to Hiltachk’s effort. “People are lining up signing these petitions. There’s a lot of enthusiasm for this from a political point of view.” Hiltachk’s resignation, along with consultant Kevin Eckery’s, dealt a severe blow to the campaign, which already had drawn concerted attacks from national Democrats, who accused Republicans of trying to steal the 2008 presidential election and vowed to spend millions to defeat it. If approved by voters, the measure would overturn the winner-take-all system and divide electoral votes based on who won each of the state’s 53 congressional districts. Two votes would be given to the statewide winner. Under that scenario, President George W. Bush would have won 22 electoral votes – the rough equivalent of another Ohio – in 2004. Hiltachk resigned, he said, over a Missouri donor’s refusal to disclose who was behind his $175,000 contribution to the campaign. Friday, the New York Daily News reported that hedge fund giant Paul Singer, who has raised $500,000 for presidential candidate Rudolph Giuiliani, revealed himself as the sole financial backer of the ballot drive. But consultants also blamed the campaign’s weak fundraising effort, saying there were few willing to underwrite what was looking to be a costly venture. Eckery, who served as the campaign’s spokesman before resigning Thursday night, said he wouldn’t be surprised if someone else tries to revive it. “The fact that we’re leaving doesn’t mean the campaign will stop collecting signatures,” he said. “There’s still plenty of time if there’s enough money.”
1 Steve Bruce: The 55-year-old is battling with friend Sam Allardyce for the Three Lions job Steve Bruce says he has been interviewed about the vacant England manager’s job, despite Hull City saying otherwise.The Premier League newcomers had earlier described the contact as ‘informal discussions’, but the former Manchester United defender revealed it was an interview, which he hoped ‘went okay’.The Tigers echoed Sunderland, whose manager Sam Allardyce remains the front-runner despite developments, in calling for a swift decision.And if Bruce, who is still manning Hull’s pre-season preparations, gets his wish it will be him who gets the nod later this week.“I never quite made it as a player, who wouldn’t (want it)?” he said on Sky Sports News ahead of the Tigers’ friendly at Mansfield.“If you’re English and it means something to you, who wouldn’t?.“It has to be the prime job that any Englishman would want to have. Yes it’s difficult, we know that, but there’s something in you.“I am highly flattered to be even considered and extremely grateful to be considered. If anything happens, let’s see what the rest of the week brings and if it does then happy days.“In an interview you never know, I hope it went okay, I got my point across and let’s hope it was successful.“But then again I am up against a big pal of mine in Sam, who has always had a good job over the years. Apparently there are some other candidates who are there too and to be in the mix I am highly flattered because any Englishman worth their salt would be extremely, extremely proud to be England manager.“What I said to them in the interview has to remain there. But we have to take away the fear in tournaments, somehow. We have only won one of our last seven games in tournaments and we have got some good players…that has to be the main thing.”
1 Could Antoine Griezmann move to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window? Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone ha admitted he does not know Antoine Griezmann’s next move amid serious interest from Manchester United.Griezmann, who has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer, enhanced his reputation as one of the best forwards in the game with a crucial strike against fierce rivals Real Madrid this weekend. The Frenchman – who has 15 goals in 30 LaLiga outings this season – struck in the 85th minute of the Madrid derby to rescue a 1-1 draw on Sunday –VIDEO: Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid: Watch Antoine Griezmann’s late derby strike HERE!It has been reported that Man United manager Jose Mourinho has made the 26-year-old his number summer transfer target, but Atleti won’t let him leave without a fight.They are said to be lining up a lucrative new contract in a bid to convince Griezmann to stay, but even manager Simeone is uncertain on the striker’s future.After the draw with Real Madrid, he told reporters: “I don’t know where he’s going to go, but I’m thrilled with how he plays, with his enthusiasm.“It’s a pleasure to watch him turn in performances like he does.“I was discussing his position with a lot of people. This lad is sharp, he heads well, he turns well with the ball … What’s happening to him right now makes me happy.”
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court plunged on Monday into the acrimonious debate over global warming and whether the government should regulate “greenhouse” gases, especially carbon dioxide from cars. The ruling could be one of the court’s most important ever on the environment. Spurred by states in a pollution battle with the Bush administration, the court said it would decide whether the Environmental Protection Agency is required under the federal clean air law to treat carbon dioxide from automobiles as a pollutant harmful to health. The decision could determine how the nation addresses global warming. President George W. Bush has rejected calls by environmentalists and some lawmakers in Congress to regulate carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping “greenhouse” gas going into the atmosphere. Bush favors voluntary actions and development of new technologies to curtail such emissions. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2But a dozen states argued that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping chemicals from automobile tailpipes should be treated as unhealthy pollutants. They filed a lawsuit in an effort to force the EPA to curtail such emissions.
Carlo Ancelotti has been confirmed as the new Everton manager – and he will have his work cut out at Goodison Park.The Toffees sit 16th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s visit of Arsenal – which is LIVE on talkSPORT. AFP or licensors Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network, including Everton vs Arsenal at 12:30pm 3 Everton have several injury problems at the moment with Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph expected to be out for some time. Morgan Schneiderlin will be back by January as will Theo Walcott.Meanwhile, Lucas Digne picked up a groin injury against Manchester United and there is no timetable on his return.If Everton do manage to get Ancelotti in before the transfer window reopens then there is no doubt he will be backed in January.Joining Everton in their current situation may not be very attractive and it would depend on how big a draw working with Carlo Ancelotti is.They have been linked to players like Wilfried Zaha and Jack Grealish in the past but they are in better situations at their respective clubs and also may cost too much money.Olivier Giroud could be a player Ancelotti would target as he has been urged to leave Chelsea in search of regular football. If he wants to get a place at Euro 2020 then he must leave Stamford Bridge.At Everton, Giroud would certainly play every week and could add some much needed goals alongside Richarlison, allowing the Brazilian more freedom to move across the frontline.The Merseyside club were heavily linked to Ajax winger David Neres in the summer and Richarlison reportedly urged him to join at Everton.Neres would add some much needed quality and pace from the left that would provide chances for the strikers, while Theo Walcott would provide the same from the right.In the absences of Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Fabian Delph is the most likely player to add some steel to the midfield area for the time being, while Iwobi can create further forward.It’s not the perfect solution but it might be a start. 3 How Everton could line-up right away under Carlo Ancelotti Buildlineup.com LIVE on talkSPORT Liverpool vs Monterrey (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Everton vs Leicester (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester United vs Colchester (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORTMiddlesbrough vs Stoke (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Everton vs Arsenal (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORTAston Villa vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Cardiff vs Preston (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester City vs Leicester (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORTSheffield Wednesday vs Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2 Buildlineup.com Marco Silva was sacked following their 5-2 derby defeat to Liverpool earlier this month and Duncan Ferguson has been in caretaker charge since.The fan favourite has brought a renewed sense of passion to the club and enjoyed a 3-1 win over Chelsea and a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.Ferguson will be in charge for the Carabao Cup clash with Leicester on Wednesday but Ancelotti looks set to join in time for the match with Arsenal on Saturday, which is live on talkSPORT.And it will be a massive coup for the club considering the other positions he was being linked to.One of Ancelotti’s first jobs will be to stop conceding so many goals. Only four teams have conceded more than them this season while only six teams have scored fewer goals.Ancelotti favoured a 4-4-2 formation at Napoli and, should he use this system at Everton, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin would likely be the two strikers through the middle.Everton’s injury ravaged midfield could be made up of Bernard, Tom Davies, Alex Iwobi and Gylfi Sigurdsson.The defence picks itself with Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as the centre-backs and Djibril Sidibe and Seamus Coleman at left and right-back respectively.Here is how Everton could line-up if the Italian were to take over before Christmas. How Everton could line-up under Carlo Ancelotti with January signings Check out all the live commentaries coming up across our network this week… Ancelotti has huge experience across Europe and it will needed to turn things around at Everton 3
According to a new survey of grandparents, 20% say they HATE their grandchild’s name. And here are the main reasons why . . . When you had a kid and you told your parents the name you picked, did they say, “Awww, we love it” . . . or did they kinda scrunch up their faces and say, “Hmm. Interesting”? 1. 32% say it’s too odd.2. 20% don’t like that their name suggestions were ignored.3. 15% think it sounds made up or is too unconventional.4. 11% think it will embarrass the child.5. 10% wish the kid had gotten a family name instead.6. And 5% think it’s too hard to pronounce. The survey also found that grandmothers had more issues with baby names than grandfathers. 44% of parents say their own mother had the worst reaction to the name they picked for their baby . . . and 42% say it was their mother-in-law.
Hey, we get a day off work … South African comedians, musicians, actors and ordinary working people have come together for a video campaign to urge everyone in the country, come Wednesday 7 May, to just get out and vote.To find out more about voting, see:Frequently asked questionsA guide to all the political partiesAn elections resource packThe campaign, driven by the Electoral Commission of South Africa, features celebrities such as Lira, Zolani Mahola and Joey Rasdien. It also gives voice to less famous South Africans. From what they say, voting in a democracy means a lot more than just a day off work.Watch a selection of videos from the campaign:Compiled by Mary Alexander