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Actress says Roman Polanski raped her

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – For Roman Polanski, these may be the best of times, and these may be the worst of times.

His new film, “An Officer and a Spy,” finished first for the week ended Wednesday — despite calls for a boycott following a fresh rape accusation from actress Valentine Monnier, and despite Frances’ guild for directors, writers and producers proposing new rules for members under investigation or convicted of sexual crimes, which would lead to Polanski’s suspension.

“An Officer and a Spy,” starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, Louis Garrel and Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner, had the strongest opening for Polanski in France in years with 501,000 tickets sold across 545 screens for the week ended Wednesday. His 2003 Oscar winner The Pianist sold 1.8 million tickets during its release, but recent films haven’t fared as well with 2013’s “Venus in Fur” topping out at 264,000 tickets and 2017’s “Based on a True Story” selling just 110,000.

Spy finished ahead of James Mangold’s “Ford v Ferrari,” which filled 403,000 seats over the week in France.

The strong first-week performance comes as the country’s writers, producers and directors guild ARP has moved to suspend Polanski and feminist groups have called for a boycott of the film, according to the Hollywood reporter. The new accusations have sparked a fiery debate in France, where the film industry has long held that one should separate a director’s personal actions from his body of work.

Polanski, who’s now 86, pleaded guilty to the statutory rape of a 13- year-old-girl in Los Angeles in 1977 as part of a plea bargain to avoid more serious charges and served 42 days in jail. He fled the U.S. before his final sentencing and remains a fugitive.

Government ministers have been weighing in on the issue of Polanski’s new film. Equality minister Marlene Schiappa said publicly that she would not see the film, a sentiment seconded by president Emmanuel Macron’s spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye. Culture minister Franck Riester said that Polanski’s past actions should be taken into account moving forward.

“A work, however great it is, does not excuse the possible mistakes of its author,” Riester said. “Talent is not a mitigating circumstance; genius, not a guarantee of impunity.”

However, prime minister Edouard Philippe said he would go see the film with his children as it touches on an important event in France’s history.

Monnier’s charges were revealed Nov. 8, when she told newspaper Le Parisien that Polanski violently raped her in 1975 in Switzerland when she was 18. The story was corroborated by contemporary sources, according to the Hollywood Reporter.him out of the Academy in 2018.

Southland rainstorm amounts to little, though clouds remain

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – High surf will again pound the Southland coast today, and rip currents will threaten swimmers and surfers while winter weather conditions linger in the San Gabriel Mountains, thanks to the first snow of the season.

The storm that slid into the Southland Wednesday has largely departed and is traveling across the region’s eastern deserts early this morning, having dropped between a quarter-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rain in L.A. County Wednesday, including 63 hundredths of an inch in downtown L.A., said NWS meteorologist Rich Thompson in a telephone interview from his monitoring station in Oxnard in Ventura County. He said, though, that there is still a slight chance of scattered showers through this afternoon and evening on what he expects will be an “unsettled sort of day.”

At the L.A. County coast, surf of between 4 and 7 feet is expected through this morning at west-facing beaches, according to the National Weather Service.

“There is an increased risk for ocean drowning,” warned an NWS statement. “Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks, and capsize small boats near shore.

“Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”

In Orange County, a less serious beach hazards statement was in effect this morning, with forecasters expecting surf of 3 to 6 feet. Dangerous swimming conditions were also forecast in Orange County.

“A beach hazards statement is issued when threats such as strong rip currents, elevated surf heights, minor tidal overflow or lightning are possible at local beaches,” warned a statement issued by the NWS in San Diego. “Obey posted warning signs and flags and talk to a lifeguard before swimming. Use caution when in or near the water and always swim near a lifeguard.”

In the San Gabriels, the first snowfall of the season is expected to continue into this morning, according to NWS forecasters. The winter weather advisory issued by the NWS Wednesday will remain in effect until 7 tonight.

Snow levels will be around 5,500 to 6,000 feet through today, with an additional couple of inches of snow possible, especially in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains, according to an NWS statement, which said snow showers would continue between 5,500 and 6,000 feet.

Accumulation of 8 inches of snow, including Wednesday’s snowfall, is possible, forecasters said.

“Slow down and use caution while traveling,” urged the statement.

Mostly cloudy skies were forecast in L.A. County today, along with highs of 44 degrees on Mount Wilson; 56 in Palmdale; 57 in Lancaster; 58 in Avalon; 60 in Saugus;61 in Burbank; 62 in Pasadena, San Gabriel and Woodland Hills; 64 in Long Beach; and 65 at LAX and in Downtown L.A. Friday’s temperatures will be around five degrees higher, and Saturday’s up to another five degrees more.

The NWS forecast partly cloudy skies in Orange County today, along with highs of 42 on Santiago Peak; 52 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 59 in Treabuco Canyon; 60 at Fremont Canyon; 62 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 63 in Newport Beach, Yorba Linda and Mission Viejo; and 66 in Fullerton and Anaheim. Amid partly cloudy skies, Orange County temperatures will be up to 10 degrees higher Friday and up to another 5 degrees higher on Saturday.

Man convicted of killing supervisor at pizza restaurant

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POMONA (CNS) – A man convicted of fatally stabbing his supervisor at a Domino’s pizzeria in La Puente is facing up to 26 years to life in state prison.

Jurors found Rafael Sanchez, 32, guilty of first-degree murder for the March 10, 2018, killing of his boss, Daniel Anthony Sanchez, 21, to whom he was not related.

The jury on Tuesday also found true an allegation that the defendant used a knife in the commission of the crime.

Sanchez snuck up behind his supervisor and stabbed him in the neck and back, said Deputy District Attorney Eric Neff.

The defendant attacked the victim after being told to do his work, according to evidence presented in court.

He was arrested that day by and has remained in jail since then.

Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 15 at the Pomona courthouse.

Second girl dies following vehicle crash near Stevenson Ranch

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STEVENSON RANCH (CNS) – A second girl died today of injuries she suffered when a vehicle driven by her mother crashed and caught fire in the Stevenson Ranch area, authorities said.

The crash was reported about 9:30 a.m. Monday near the intersection of The Old Road and Pico Canyon Road, just west of the Golden State (5) Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 31-year-old mother of the 2- and 6-year-old girls ran naked from the fiery wreckage and was hospitalized in stable condition, according to Officer Michael Gubelli of the CHP’s Newhall office.

A representative of the Newhall office confirmed the younger girl’s death. Her sister, identified by the coroner’s office as Kathleen Lopez, died on Monday.

The vehicle was being driven at high speed northbound on The Old Road when it struck a curb, a sign and a traffic signal, according to the CHP.

The 2019 Subaru then traveled out of control across the intersection of Pico Canyon Road before striking a traffic signal, a tree and an electrical box and catching fire.

Gubelli said the motorist blew through a red light at the intersection.

The victims, residents of Bakersfield, were pulled from the wreckage by witnesses, the CHP reported.

Video from the scene showed workers at a nearby oil change business using extinguishers in an effort to put out the flames.

A CHP spokesperson said no charges are being pursued at this time, but that the investigation is continuing.

TAP cards to replace tokens on L.A. Metro

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Frequent Metro riders should search their couches, pockets and spare change stashes. Officials with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Tuesday tokens won’t be accepted on Metro past Nov. 29.

The transition to universal use of TAP cards has been planned over the past 18 months. As of Nov. 30, tokens will no longer be accepted as fare payment on Metro buses and trains, and unused tokens are not refundable.

Tokens have been unavailable for purchase since May 2018, but tokens can still be used to load one-way trips onto TAP cards, either onboard buses or at TAP machines located at all Metro Rail, Silver Line and Orange Line stations.

Metro officials said they are working closely with nonprofit and social service agencies to transition individuals and families in need to TAP cards.

California Air Resources Board boycott L.A. Auto Show over fuel standards

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California’s pollution watchdogs announced Tuesday they would boycott the L.A. Auto Show over several automakers’ support of the Trump administration lawsuit with California over fuel economy standards.

The Hill reported that members of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced Tuesday they are boycotting the Los Angeles Auto Show over

“For the first time in more than 50 years the California Air Resources Board will not be attending the LA Auto Show. Each year, top CARB officials have taken a company-by-company tour led by the Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to see new vehicles and meet with company executives. This year CARB will not take that annual tour,” CARB said in a statement.

“The decision not to attend the LA Auto Show is a direct response to the action taken last month by 15 automakers, including GM and Toyota, and the National Automobile Dealers Association, to side with the Trump administration in its effort to eviscerate California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set its own vehicle emissions standards.”

The Hill reported CARB name-checked several high-profile automakers, including Toyota, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler, Hyundai, Isuzu, KIA, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and more.

The boycott is in response to the car manufacturers’ decision last month to support the Trump administration in a lawsuit brought by California and 22 other states in September that challenges the federal government’s authority to revoke a pollution waiver that allowed the state to set more stringent tailpipe emissions standards than those established federally.

The Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation, a group that backed several leading car manufacturers, argued that while it supported California and the other states in their desire for emissions standards to increase “year over year,” it also supported the Trump administration in its desire to keep one national emissions standard, which it argued California was moving to end.

The lawsuit was sparked in September when the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was revoking California’s waiver entirely.

CARB Chair Mary Nichols is set to address reporters Wednesday to explain the group’s decision to boycott the auto show.

Students return to Saugus High to retrieve belongings only

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SANTA CLARITA (CNS) – Saugus High School students were allowed back on campus today for the first time since a mass shooting Thursday in which a 16-year-old student shot five classmates, killing two of them, before fatally wounding himself with a shot to the head.

“Students are welcome to come on to campus to retrieve belongings from 10 a.m. (to) noon,” according to a statement from William S. Hart Union High School District Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman posted on the district’s website.

On Wednesday and Thursday, activities are planned for Saugus High students “that involve helping them process, heal and move forward,” according to Kuhlman.

Classes will resume for students Dec. 2, after the Thanksgiving break.

“On behalf of the Saugus family, we want to thank everyone for the countless acts of kindness and compassion that have been extended by friends, neighbors, local churches, community groups, local, state and national leaders,” Kuhlman said. “Let us take courage in knowing that we are stronger as we stand together to face this crisis.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors opened its meeting Tuesday with a moment of silence to remember the victims. Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she planned to adjourn the meeting in honor of 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell, who were killed in the attack.

Barger noted that the gunman opened fire for only 16 seconds.

“These 16 seconds brought terror close to home,” Barger said.

However, Barger was optimistic about the resilience of local residents.

“This community will heal because we are all in this together,” she said. “To our Saugus community, we mourn with you, but more importantly, we stand with you.”

Pastor John Richard of Santa Clarita’s Castaic Community Church — whose daughter attends Saugus High School but was home sick the day of the shooting — led the invocation at the Tuesday meeting and offered prayers for the families of the victims.
“They’re trying to be strong together,” Richard said of the families and community members who attended a Sunday night vigil.

All other district schools opened Monday.

Counseling was also made available to students and staff at the district’s other 15 schools.

Man killed in LAPD officer-involved shooting in South Los Angeles area

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A shirtless man allegedly wielding a knife was killed today in an LAPD officer-involved shooting in the south Los Angeles area.

The shooting occurred about 8 a.m. on Central Avenue near 29th Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which reported that the officers “observed the suspect confront a citizen with a knife, causing that citizen to run away in fear,” just before the deadly confrontation.

The man, who was not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. No officers were injured.

According to an LAPD statement, a Newton Area sergeant “was notified by a citizen who said a man with a knife was walking northbound Central Avenue from 34th Street. The sergeant drove northbound on Central Avenue and observed a man with no shirt, armed with a knife.”

The sergeant requested backup, “and several officers and detectives responded on foot from Newton Station,” according to the statement. “Upon arrival, the officers and detectives observed the suspect confront a citizen with the knife, causing that citizen to run away in fear. The officers and detectives made contact with the armed suspect, and an officer-involved shooting occurred.”

Los Angeles pot program to see audit

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Los Angeles’ Department of Cannabis Regulation could soon be the target of an independent review of its Social Equity Program application process, Executive Director Cat Packer said Monday. Packer also said the department won’t continue licensing until the audit is complete.

The Social Equity Program is open to people who are considered low-income and/or have a low-level criminal history related to cannabis, and operate in an area with high rates of arrest, convictions and incarcerations related to cannabis. Most of these “disproportionately-impacted areas” are located in South Los Angeles and Hollywood.

“The department is extremely empathetic to the concerns of the community and is working actively with city leaders and community stakeholders to seek, consider and recommend any legislative changes and policy amendments that may be necessary to ensure the fidelity of the nation’s largest cannabis licensing regime,” Packer said in a prepared statement late Monday afternoon.

Dozens of program applicants who attended a meeting of the Los Angeles Cannabis Regulation Commission last month complained about the process. Some suggested that their applications were not fairly processed, while others said the website wouldn’t work with their internet speeds. Some said they believed certain people were given priority in the system.

The Department of Cannabis Regulation reported that in total, during the third phase of the 14-day application period that started Sept. 3, it received 802 applications for about 100 available licenses from verified applicants, and each of them had already made investments associated with the licensing process.

A recent report from City Controller Ron Galperin earlier this month noted that the city collected more than $70 million in cannabis business and sales taxes last fiscal year.

Shooting hoax prompts Lockdown and search at San Dimas High School

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SAN DIMAS (CNS) – An apparent hoax call reporting a person with a gun led to a lockdown and search at San Dimas High School this afternoon.

The call was phoned in to 911 about 1:45 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Although it “appears to be a prank call,” the school, at 800 W. Covina Blvd., was searched out of an abundance of caution, according to the sheriff’s department.

The search was concluded and the all-clear announced about 2:20 p.m., at which point the lockdown was lifted. Nearby Lone Hill Middle School was also locked down while the search was conducted.

Bonita Unified School District Superintendent Carl Coles said in a statement that investigators “determined this call was a prank made by a student from another school.”

“The safety of our students and staff will continue to be our highest priority,” Coles said. “We appreciate the quick response from our first responders in keeping our students and staff safe.”