Paul Sakuma AP -- Students walk past a sign protesting violence near Richmond high School in Richmond, Calif. Some students say they are upset about how the school is being portrayed in the media.
Rachel Dornhelm of National Public Radio reports that police in Richmond, California, say perhaps 10 people may have participated in the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl while dozens or more watched without calling police.
'The victim was attacked in the Richmond High School courtyard after leaving a homecoming dance,' according to Dornhelm. 'So far, six men and teenagers have been arrested in connection with the assault and police say there will be more arrests. The crime has caused outrage across the country. Now, Richmond finds itself under the unwanted glare of a media spotlight. Meanwhile, students, teachers and parents in the city ... are mobilizing to try to heal their community.'
This week, students and teachers gathered for a community meeting in front of a painted sign that said: "We are against violence." The tone of the meeting was at times a tribute to the victim, and at times a call to action.
"Women are constantly degraded in our society," says Lorna McClellan, a teacher at the high school. "When are we going to step up, take the challenge and change it?"
Ker Than of the National Geographic News reports that the Internet turns 40 today and was born in California with a failure, more or less. The message that started it all consisted of two letters "lo."
'On October 29, 1969, that message became the first ever to travel between two computers connected via the ARPANET, the computer network that would become the Internet,' Than writes. 'The truncated transmission traveled about 400 miles (643 kilometers) between the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Stanford Research Institute.'
The electronic dispatch was supposed to be the word "login,' according to Than, but only the first two letters were successfully sent before the system crashed. Still, the humble greeting marked the start of a phenomenon that has become such an important part of modern life that many experts argue access to it should be a right rather than a privilege. In fact, earlier this month Finland became the first country in the world to declare broadband Internet access a legal right for all of its 5.2 million citizens.
"I don't think it's quite on the level of food and water yet, but it's pretty close," said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Annenberg School for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California.
For the last decade a team led by Cole has been tracking the effect of the Internet on societies around the world.
"When we started in 1999, it was already clear that the Internet was gong to transform communications," Cole said. "What we could never have imagined is that it would transform virtually every element of business and social activity."
Mike Reynolds pets his cat outside his home in 1992, the year his 18-year-old daughter, Kimber, was shot and killed by a repeat offender. Two years later, his ballot initiative for California's three strikes law passed overwhelmingly. John Storey/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Ina Jaffe of National Public Radio reports that 'fifteen years ago, California voters passed the strictest three strikes sentencing law in the nation. It doubled the penalties for second felonies that were serious or violent. The so-called third strike carries a mandatory prison sentence of 25 years to life.
'About two dozen states have similar laws,' according to Jaffe. 'But only California counts any felony as a third strike, not just a serious or violent one. The law was the result of a deathbed promise Mike Reynolds, of Fresno, Calif., made to his 18-year-old daughter, Kimber, after she was fatally shot.'
"It may have sounded like an idle promise at the time, but I promised her that if I could do anything to prevent this from happening to other kids, I would do everything I could," Reynolds says. "And I'm still trying to keep that promise today."
Oct. 25, 2009 -- Golden Gate Park, San Francisco: On the 40th anniversary of the year that the Woodstock festival made music history, thousands of people gathered in Speedway Meadows to be hippies for a day. They called it the West Fest.
The weather was warm, sunny and pleasant, so sharing the love was easy. There were lots of people dancing, eating, drinking, buying stuff and two stages with bands taking turns playing.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave a 90-minute speech on the Middle East at the Westin St. Francis Hotel yesterday and answered questions, while protesters interrupted him inside and shouted outside the building.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that at least 20 people interrupted his speech shouting “war criminal” and “mass murderer!” before they were hustled out of the room and taken into custody. A United Nations report has accused Israel and Palestinian militants of committing war crimes during the three-week operation last December aimed at halting years of Palestinian rocket fire.
Each side rejects the allegations.
About 1,400 Palestinians, including civilians, were killed, according to human rights organizations and the Palestinian government. Thirteen Israelies, including four civilians, also died.
Yesterday at dusk on the Powell Street side of the hotel, protestors supporting the Palestinian cause chanted political slogans and traded insults with a smaller but no less vocal group of demonstrators, who were also shouting slogans but defending and supporting Israel.
“Israel, together, with the USA forever!” shouted perhaps a dozen people as they waved U.S. and Israeli flags.
“Free Palestine! No justice! No peace!” the chant rang out from the Union Square side of the street. Standing in front of the hotel, a supporter of Israel responded to this by shouting through his bullhorn back across at them.
“Death worshipers! That’s what you all are! You should all become suicide bombers! Make this country a better place!” he said.
Supporters of Palestine responded to this by chanting “Intifada! Intifada! We support the Intifada!” and “Black, red, green and white, Palestine is gonna fight!”
Raj Rajaratnam, billionaire founder of the Galleon Group, a major hedge fund, is led in handcuffs from FBI headquarters in New York Friday. Rajaratnam was charged with insider trading in the stock of several companies including Hilton, Clearwire, and Google. Photo: Louis Lanzano / AP
Andrew S. Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that 'if you wanted to produce a TV show called "CSI: Silicon Valley," it's hard to think of a better plot line that the real-life saga surrounding the largest insider trading hedge fund case in history.'
The scheme, according to Ross, targeted some of the San Francisco Bay Area's biggest high-tech names. Two of the scheme's alleged drivers are from around here, as are the informants who reportedly ratted them out. And the feds say there is more to come.
James Temple of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that today the chief of an endangered Amazon tribe will unveil the product of an unusual partnership with Google Inc. that pairs high tech with Indigenous knowledge in an effort to rescue ancient rain forests and a dying culture.
According to Temple, Almir Surui will speak at the 20th annual Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California, and will showcase Google Earth images that throw into sharp relief the rapid encroachment of illegal mining and logging onto his people's 600,000-acre reserve.
The data-rich maps include layers of videos, pictures, text and historical markers gathered by tribe members. It promises to underscore the importance of the land and propel the Surui people's efforts to become self-sufficient.
"Right now, under current development models, a standing forest is always worth less than its extractable parts," Chief Almir, 35, a stocky man wearing a feathered Amazon headdress, said through an interpreter. "Forests are very important for the welfare of the indigenous people and for the world. We want to show concretely, practically that you can have quality of life and economic development, with and intact forest."
The Google Earth updates will become viewable later this week.
Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that a 'federal judge in San Francisco refused Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging California's Propostion 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, and ordered a trial on whether the measure denies fundamental rights to gays and lesbians.
'Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has said repeatedly that a trial is needed to resolve disputes that may determine the measure's constitutionality, so Wednesday's ruling did not surprise either side. But the breath of his decision was a boost for gay rights advocates, who argue that Prop. 8 unconstitutionally discriminates against gays, is rooted in anti-homosexual bias and violates that right to marry the partner of one's choice.
'Walker left all those issues on the table, rejecting arguments by Prop. 8's sponsors that higher courts had already resolved them. Among the questions to be answered, he said from the bench, is "whether Prop. 8 was passed with discriminatory intent."'
For those who were there or are familiar with the LA Punk Rock scene of the late 1970s, Brendan Mullen's name is honored. Without him, who knows if there would have been a Punk Rock scene in Los Angeles? The founder of the very first such club in that megalopolis died yesterday of a massive stroke.
RIP, Brendan Mullen. You contributed to the city's culture in ways that most Angelinos are probably not aware of but it's time that this changed.