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THE NOONER for December 26, 2013
TOP TEN: What were your top NOONERific moments of 2013? Let me know for next week's roundup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KEEPIN' IT BRIEF:
TIVO ALERT: Ira Glass will be interviewed on "Talk to Al Jazeera" on Al Jazeera America on Sunday at 4 p.m. For those of us in Davis, that's 107 on Comcast.
Here are the county-by-county numbers of Californians losing unemployment benefits Saturday, according to Democrats on the House Committee on Ways and Means.
AB 1266 REFERENDUM UPDATE:
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Attorney General Harris has power to influence pension-change efforts
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
AG Kamala Harris has been accused of politicizing the initiative title and summary process to kill a public pension measure. Another measure is on her desk.
Letter from Washington: Appointing Political Friends to Be Ambassadors
In few democracies could someone go from political fund-raiser and media honcho to ambassador to assistant secretary of state, as Charles Rivkin might.
What Would Six Californias Look Like?
Anthony York @ latimes.com
Since California's inception, its residents have been trying to break it apart. Wikipedia notes 220 such proposals since statehood in 1850.
Delta tunnels plan's true price tag: As much as $67 billion
Paul Rogers @ mercurynews.com
Jerry Brown's landmark plan to build two massive tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has been advertised at $25 billion, but new documents show financing costs will more than double it
Californians to watch in 2014: Holly Mitchell could make history in the California Senate
Laurel Rosenhall @ sacbee.com
Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat who moved from the Assembly to the state Senate following a special election in September, joins the Senate at a time of distress and transition.
Washington, D.C.'s Strict Medical Marijuana Law Keeps Demand Low
Becca Clemons @ latimes.com
Washington, D.C.'s medical pot dispensaries have served just 111 patients since opening. But the restrictive laws may be changing.
Plans For Skid Row Restaurant Concern Some Residents
Gale Holland @ latimes.com
The new restaurant's request to serve alcohol has some skid row residents, many recovering addicts, worried about nearby temptation.
Fake Knee Surgery As Good As Real Procedure, Study Finds
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U.S. Contractor Kidnapped In Pakistan Pleads For Obama's Help
Carol J. Williams @ latimes.com
Al Qaeda video shows kidnapped American asks Obama to negotiate for his release, prisoner swap proposed
Pension ruling delays day of reckoning
Pension overspending can't go on -- so eventually it won't.
The Buzz: Legislative analyst suggests changes to for-profit schools’ oversight
California’s process of regulating hundreds of private colleges has been a decades-long saga, at one point earning the state a reputation as the “diploma mill capital of the world.” A 2009 state law overhauled the system, but there should be additional improvements, the Legislative Analyst’s Office recommends in a recent report.
Obamacare: California extends grace period for health insurance sign-ups to Friday
Friday will be the end of the grace period to get health insurance starting Jan. 1 for consumers who were frustrated in their attempts to sign up by Monday's deadline -- with a chance the grace period for considering those applications could be extend again.
Calif. schools prepare for transgender rights law
JULIE WATSON and LISA LEFF @ sacbee.com
With a law that spells out the rights of transgender students in grades K-12 set to take effect in California, school districts are reviewing locker room layouts, scheduling sensitivity training for coaches, assessing who will sleep where during overnight field trips and reconsidering senior portrait dress codes.
U.S. Embassy In Afghanistan Attacked; No Casualties Reported
Hashmat Baktash @ latimes.com
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul came under attack on Christmas morning, and the Taliban later claimed responsibility, saying it had fired four rockets at the American compound.
Jesse Jackson: 'duck Dynasty' Star 'white Privilege'
POLITICO MAGAZINE @ politico.com
Jackson and his civil rights group have demanded a meeting with A&E. | AP Photo
Hollywood's New Financiers Make Deals With State Tax Credits
Richard Verrier @ latimes.com
Brokers take the state tax credits given to studios for location filming and sell them to people and companies looking to shave their tax bills.
State Sen. Ted Gaines is moving back to Roseville, which is outside Senate district
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
State Sen. Ted Gaines is going home but leaving his 1st Senate District constituents behind, at least temporarily.
Peninsula school superintendents receive raises
Bonnie Eslinger @ mercurynews.com
It was a green Christmas for superintendents of the Sequoia Union High and Menlo Park City school districts.
Russian Firm Signs 25-year Energy Deal With Syria
Nabih Bulos @ latimes.com
AMMAN, Jordan -- The Syrian government has signed a joint development agreement with a Russian energy company to explore for oil in the Middle Eastern country's territorial waters off the Mediterranean coast, according to SANA, the Syrian state news agency.
Kathleen Parker: Reality isn’t so ducky
Kathleen Parker @ sacbee.com
Our nation is consumed anew with impassioned debate about nearly every foundational principle – freedom of speech, religious freedom, civil rights and same-sex marriage.
Tonight's TV picks: 'Millionaire Matchmaker' same-sex matches; behind real Downton Abbey
Chuck Barney @ mercurynews.com
Rosie Pierri features on 'Millionaire Matchmaker.' Two-hour special looks at English castle that inspired 'Downton Abbey.'