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LAPD: CSUN student killed after trying to sell car on Craigslist

Los Angeles police alleged Monday that a 28-year-old man fatally stabbed a Cal State Northridge student who went missing more than a month ago after trying to sell his luxury car on Craigslist.

Agustin Fernandez of Long Beach, was charged Monday with one count of murder in the death of Abdullah Alkadi, a 23-year-old electrical engineering student who disappeared from his Northridge home Sept. 17. Prosecutors filed special circumstances -- alleging that the slaying occurred during a robbery and carjacking -- that make him eligible for the death penalty. 

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Fernandez went to Alkadi's home on the day he disappeared in response to a Craiglist ad Alkadi had posted for his Audi A6, which he was trying to sell for more than $30,000. When Alkadi didn't return home that evening, Beck said, his family reported him missing. 

"The detectives were very, very concerned with the purchasers of the vehicle from the onset of this investigation, and their initial instincts were...

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Trade group lifts production hold on adult film industry

A trade association for the adult film industry on Monday lifted a production hold that had been prompted by concerns that a performer had been exposed to HIV on an out-of-state film set.

The Free Speech Coalition said tests revealed that the "performer pool has not been compromised." The group had called for a three-day hold Wednesday, but later extended it to Monday.

The performer who was thought to have been exposed, as well as anyone that person had performed with, were tested, Dian Duke, executive director of the coalition, said in a statement.

Duke acknowledged that production holds and moratoriums are difficult for the industry, but they are integral to the safety of the performers.

"We also realize that the lack of information in these situations can also be frustrating" Duke said. "However, it’s crucial that we maintain medical privacy for the performers involved.”

The Free Speech Coalition did not name the state where the film set was located or the production company....

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Ban on GMO plants advances at L.A. City Hall

Citing environmental and health concerns, a panel of Los Angeles lawmakers Monday threw their support behind a citywide ban on growing genetically modified crops.

The ban would be "largely symbolic," said Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who co-authored the proposal, because there's limited agriculture in the city. But it would send a "clear signal that in Los Angeles we want to return to GMO-free food," he said in an interview.

The proposal by O'Farrell and Councilman Paul Koretz seeks to ban the sale and planting of genetically modified crop seeds, in addition to the sale of genetically modified fruit trees and plants. A City Council committee agreed to draft an ordinance imposing the ban. The full council will consider the matter Tuesday. 

Genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, are plants or animals whose genetic material has been altered. Unlike crops grown through selective breeding to be bigger or firmer, the DNA of GMOs has been altered in a laboratory. 

Opponents of GMOs say...

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Business leaders say labor is pushing rail car plant from L.A. County

Los Angeles County officials and business leaders rose to the defense of a Japanese company Monday that has all but given up plans to build a $60-million manufacturing facility in the Antelope Valley because of a dispute with local labor leaders.

Two years ago, Osaka-based Kinkisharyo International won an $890-million contract to build 175 light-rail cars for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Most of the parts will be built in Japan, but the firm agreed to perform final assembly, including painting and wiring the cars, in Los Angeles County. It has been doing that from a temporary facility in Palmdale.

Kinkisharyo leaders said they hoped to build a permanent plant that would allow them to also move some heavy rail car manufacturing from Japan to the United States.

The 60-acre Palmdale site that Kinkisharyo chose, however, came under fire this summer when local activists—including members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11—presented the city with a ...

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Bell Gardens mayor killed by wife 'in cold blood,' his brother alleges

The shooting of Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo by his wife three weeks ago was not an act of self-defense but a premeditated killing "with malice and in cold blood," Crespo’s brother alleged in a lawsuit filed Monday.

The suit was filed on behalf of Crespo’s mother, Otilia Santos, and demands more than $53 million in damages. The mayor's brother, William Crespo, is acting as her guardian for the suit.

The filing comes as detectives continue their investigation into the mayor's death last month at his Gage Avenue home in Bell Gardens. No charges have been filed.

Allegations in the lawsuit counter assertions by Lyvette Crespo’s attorney that his client was a years-long victim of domestic violence who was trying to protect her son.

"A reasonable person would have first called 911," an attorney for Santos and William Crespo wrote in the lawsuit. "Lyvette Crespo is a cold-blooded killer."

The lawsuit alleged that the conflict between the couple arose because Lyvette refused to let her...

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Murrieta mayor resigns after DUI arrest in crash that injured 4 students

The mayor of Murrieta resigned Monday after being arrested Thursday on suspicion of seriously injuring four high school students while driving drunk.

Alan Long's attorney, Virginia Blumenthal, insisted, though, that the former mayor's blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit at the time of the accident, adding that his resignation was “not an admission of guilt.”

“Every place he goes, this comes up, and it casts aspersions upon the city,” Blumenthal said in a phone interview.

“Anytime you have a public official, you will always have cries for resignation. Because he’s mayor, you go out to ceremonial occasions. And you’d rather focus on the event at hand than be asked personal questions – and that’s what would happen."

Long, 44, of Murrieta, was driving south on Jefferson Avenue toward Lily Avenue in a full-sized truck about 8:18 p.m. when he crashed into the rear of the students' vehicle, according to a police statement.

Police said Long, who is also a battalion chief with the...

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