LOS ANGELES FIRE
Man pleads no contest to arson in 2014 Los Angeles inferno
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A 58-year-old man has pleaded no contest to igniting a huge inferno in downtown Los Angeles that destroyed a block of apartments under construction and heavily damaged nearby office buildings.
Dawud Abdulwali entered the plea Monday to a charge of arson of a structure, and he was immediately sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Deputy District Attorney Joy Roberts says the plea was negotiated.
The December 2014, blaze gutted the seven-story Da Vinci apartment complex and blew out windows in adjacent towers. Damage was estimated at $100 million.
A witness testified at a preliminary hearing that a week later, Abdulwali said he set the fire because he was angry about the August 2014 killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Trump recalls killing of Armenians, doesn’t call it genocide
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is recalling the death and suffering of more than 1 million Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, without describing it as genocide.
Such a declaration would anger Turkey, whose cooperation Trump seeks in Syria.
Trump says in a statement that the World War I-era killing of Armenians represents one of the 20th century’s worst mass atrocities, and a "dark chapter" in history.
He adds that remembering will "prevent them from occurring again."
The issue also confronted Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, and other presidents.
Obama promised as a candidate to describe the killing as genocide, if elected. But he repeatedly stopped short of doing so once in office.
Samantha Power, Obama’s U.N. ambassador, however, did describe it as genocide during a speech in late 2016.
PAGEANT WINNER-CHILD PORN
California beauty pageant winner pleads guilty to child porn
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A former winner of California’s Mrs. Orange County beauty pageant has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and lewd acts with a child.
County court records say 27-year-old Meghan Alt entered the pleas last Friday and was sentenced to 300 days in jail and three years of probation.
Prosecutors dismissed two additional charges of lewd acts with a child.
Alt was ordered to serve the jail sentence starting Friday.
Alt’s lawyer did not immediately respond to an emailed message seeking comment.
She was arrested in 2015. Prosecutors said she sold images of a 4-year-old relative to a marine.
Alt is from the Southern California City of Irvine and has three children.
She was crowned Mrs. Orange County in 2014 and competed in the Mrs. California contest the same year.
Pilot killed in crash of replica WWI-era plane in California
PASO ROBLES, Calif. (AP) – A Los Angeles man has been identified as the pilot of a replica World War I-era biplane that crashed in a field on California’s central coast
The San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s office says Javier Fernando Arango, 54, died when the single-engine, open-cockpit plane went down shortly after takeoff from a private airfield Sunday. He was the only person aboard.
Sheriff’s photos show the plane on its side with broken wings and a crumpled front near Paso Robles, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.
Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration says it’s a replica Appleby Nieuport 28 from 1976.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reports that Arango was a board member emeritus of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
The crash is under investigation.
Man punched repeatedly by Sacramento officer files lawsuit
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A lawyer for a Sacramento man hurled to the ground and punched repeatedly in the face by a police officer has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and county of Sacramento.
The lawsuit alleges he was also abused in jail after his arrest.
Nandi Cain was walking home April 10 when an officer told him to stop because he had jaywalked.
He refused and challenged the officer to a fight.
Video from a police dash camera showed the officer throwing Cain to the ground and punching him while he was down.
The lawsuit claims jail workers repeatedly kneed Cain in the ribs and used their knees to pin him down while stripping off his clothes.
Sacramento police did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
California police search for 5-year-old boy; father arrested
SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Authorities in Southern California are searching for a missing 5-year-old boy whose father was arrested after being found passed out at a park.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Lisa Jansen says searchers will fan out again Monday to try and find Aramazd Andressian Jr. Investigators are asking anyone with information to come forward.
The child’s father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., was arrested Saturday on suspicion of child endangerment and child abduction after paramedics found him unconscious. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney.
South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller said Sunday that investigators have had a difficult time getting answers from the father, who is divorcing the boy’s mother.
The mother says her estranged husband had failed to drop the boy off at a pre-arranged meeting place.
HIGH SCHOOL-POLICE STANDOFF
Man surrenders after police standoff at school in Orange
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – Police say a standoff with an employee at a Southern California high school who threatened to kill himself with a gun has ended peacefully after hours of mediation.
The Orange County Register reports police responded Sunday to El Modena High School in Orange after the employee’s brother reported that his brother was suicidal and refused to leave the school.
Officers surrounded the building and closed nearby streets as the man barricaded himself inside a room. Police say the building was evacuated and students and adults on campus were escorted off school property.
Police Sgt. Jennifer Amat says the man eventually surrendered and exited the building.
She says police are still working to determine what charges will be filed in the case.
The man has not yet been identified.
LAUGHING GAS ARREST
Woman arrested for inhaling laughing gas in front of police
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) – A California woman has been arrested for inhaling shots of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, while speaking with police.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports officers responded to a call Saturday about a woman who had a pistol in her car in the parking lot of a Santa Rosa hospital.
An officer began speaking with the woman, who then proceeded to inhale the nitrous oxide from a canister.
The woman was removed from the vehicle and police say they found a semi-automatic pistol inside the car.
The suspect was arrested for inhaling nitrous oxide with intent to get high and carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
Her bail was set at $10,000 and she is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Caitlyn Jenner tells all in new memoir
NEW YORK (AP) – Caitlyn Jenner opened up Monday in an Associated Press interview about her rocky road to transition and why she wrote a tell-all memoir, "The Secrets of My Life."
Jenner says she just needed to get it all out, from thoughts of suicide as she was pursued by paparazzi to the women she loved, married and shared certain aspects of her gender dysphoria with.
The goal, she says, is to remain a strong voice for others in the LGBTQ community without massive, media platforms like her own.
Two years into her life as a trans woman, Jenner said life is good. The book has already brought on tears from Jenner’s last ex-wife, Kris Jenner, on her family’s reality show, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."
The two haven’t spoken about the book.
Man, woman fatally shot on street in South Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Authorities are searching for a suspect the shooting deaths of a man and a woman on a street in South Los Angeles.
Police say the gunfire erupted Sunday night in a residential neighborhood about 10 miles south of downtown L.A.
Officials say the woman died at the scene and the man died a short time later at a hospital.
The shooter fled the scene. Investigators have not named a motive or released a suspect description.
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