BC-CA--California News Digest, CA

The supervisor in Los Angeles will be Chris Weber. If you have a news tip or questions about the report, call 213-626-1200. The supervisor in San Francisco will be Sudhin Thanawala. He can be reached at 415-495-1708.

Richard Vogel in Los Angeles photos can be reached at 213-626-2500. Stephanie Mullen in San Francisco photos can be reached at 415-495-1192.

AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk at 877-836-9477 or your local AP bureau. All times Pacific.



SEOUL, South Korea — An 85-year-old U.S. veteran being held in North Korea spent his war years there in one of the Army's first special forces units, helping a clandestine group of Korean partisans who were fighting and spying well behind enemy lines. Now South Koreans who served with Merrill Newman, who is beginning his sixth week in detention, say their unit was perhaps the most hated and feared by the North and his association with them may be the reason he's being held. By Hyung-Jin Kim And Foster Klug. SENT: 1180 words, photos.


RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — An unemployed motorcycle mechanic charged with killing a Transportation Security Administration officer and wounding three others during a rampage at Los Angeles International Airport last month is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday. By Linda Deutsch. SENT: 280 words.



SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Democrat won a special election Tuesday for a vacant Southern California legislative seat, bolstering the party's supermajority in the state Assembly. Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, an aide to Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price Jr., defeated former Culver City mayor and city clerk Christopher Armenta, 60 percent to 36 percent. He will fill the Assembly District 54 seat vacated this summer when then-Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, a Democrat, resigned after she was elected to the state Senate. SENT: 325 words.



OAKLAND — San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit's two largest unions filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the agency, claiming its board of directors broke state law when it approved a contract without a key provision. Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 filed the suit in Alameda County Superior Court less than two weeks after BART's board approved a new labor deal but stripped a Family Medical Leave Act provision that the unions and the agency's top negotiators signed off on during contentious talks to end a strike in October. By Terry Collins. SENT: 535 words.


MERCED — A man and two of his children died early Tuesday in an apartment fire in California's Central Valley, authorities said. The blaze in Merced broke out around 12:30 a.m., and crews arrived to find the apartment fully engulfed in flames, Merced Fire Chief Michael McLaughlin said. He told KFSN-TV in Fresno that a family of five lived in the apartment. SENT: 200 words.


—HGTV HOST KILLED — Bill Beckwith, a co-host of the HGTV show "Curb Appeal" has been killed in a motorcycle accident in San Francisco.

—RIM FIRE-FEMA AID — California Gov. Jerry Brown has filed an appeal to President Obama in a renewed effort to obtain federal aid in the wake of a Rim Fire that raged for months.

— OBIT-JUDY RODGERS — Judy Rodgers, the award-winning chef-owner of San Francisco's Zuni Cafe, has died. She was 57.



LOS ANGELES — Authorities are expected to release Wednesday the results of autopsies on the two bodies recovered from the fiery crash that killed "Fast & Furious" actor Paul Walker and his friend. SENT: 190 words, photos, video and audios.


LOS ANGELES — A California woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to what is believed to be the first traffic citation alleging a motorist was using Google's computer-in-an-eyeglass. The device, known as Google Glass, features a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye. By Justin Pritchard. SENT: 435 words, photos.


LOS ANGELES — Jurors in the corruption trial of former Bell city official Angela Spaccia complained Tuesday that one juror is frustrating their deliberations. In a note to Judge Kathleen Kennedy, the jury foreperson said the juror seemed to have a language problem and couldn't understand the evidence. By Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch. SENT: 370 words.


— BOY SHOT — Police say a 7-year-old boy has died of injuries sustained in a drive-by shooting in West Los Angeles.

— ROCKET LAUNCH — A new communications satellite that has both public and government applications has been launched into space aboard a private rocket. California-based SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Tuesday evening, carrying the 7,000-pound satellite.

— CHILD MOLESTER DIES — A convicted child molester who vanished before a court hearing has been found dead in San Diego County.

— CUL-DE-SAC BODIES — Police say two people found dead in a Simi Valley cul-de-sac were neighbors and they're calling it an apparent murder-suicide.

— TOYS"R''US-SETTLEMENT — Toys"R''Us has agreed to pay nearly $180,000 to settle a consumer protection lawsuit alleging that the retailer overcharged customers in Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

— DER WIENERSCHNITZEL LANDMARK — The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday declared Der Wienerschnitzel's very first stand in the Wilmington area as a city landmark — adding it to the list of city historic-cultural monuments.

— CHRISTMAS LIGHTS OUT — Homeowners in Orange County have been told to take down their elaborate Christmas lights or risk trading red and green for jail orange.



WASHINGTON — Hollywood studios have won a copyright case against Hotfile Corp. after a Florida judge on Tuesday ordered the file-hosting website to pay $80 million in damages. The court also ordered Hotfile to shut down within 20 days unless the website uses "state-of-the-art content identification and filtering technology" to weed out pirated copies of movies and other material that users upload. SENT: 150 words.



UNDATED — Production on "Fast & Furious 7" is on hold following the death of star Paul Walker. Shooting on the film had been scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta but was canceled Monday and Tuesday. A spokesman for Universal Pictures declined to say when shooting will resume. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. SENT: 495 words, photos.

AP Photos LA110, CAET630, CAET629.



LOS ANGELES — Steve Sarkisian confidently strode into the John McKay Center on Tuesday and immediately embraced both the lofty standards set by past Southern California coaches and the sky-high hopes of all Trojans football fans. "We will not shy away from the expectations here," USC's new head coach said. "We're here to win championships. I wouldn't have taken this job just to come home. ... Rebuilding is not a word around here. Coach O proved that." By Sports Writer Greg Beacham. SENT: 785 words, photos.


SAN DIEGO — Tony Clark said he's "blown away" that he is the first former major leaguer to become head of the baseball players' union. The executive board of the Major League Baseball Players Association voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Clark to replace Michael Weiner, who died Nov. 21 of brain cancer. The decision is pending a vote of the general membership. By Sports Writer Bernie Wilson. SENT: 760 words, photos.


OAKLAND — Billy Beane is busy dealing in December once again. In one whirlwind stretch of less than 24 hours, the Oakland general manager pulled off a trio of trades with three different clubs and upgraded Oakland's bullpen in the process. Beane believes his overall roster might be even better heading into 2014, with the front office determined to keep the low-budget club a contender after consecutive AL West crowns. By Baseball Writer Janie McCauley. SENT: 900 words, photos.


SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers are ready for some serious chatter coming from that brash, big-talking Seattle secondary. And 49ers fullback Bruce Miller insists cornerback Richard Sherman and the playoff-bound Seahawks (11-1) have more than earned the right to speak up on the field. By Sports Writer Janie McCauley. SENT: 695 words.


OAKLAND — Keeping active in the trade market, the Oakland Athletics acquired right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson from the San Diego Padres for outfielder Seth Smith. It marked the second swap of the day for the two-time defending AL West champion A's and third in two days. SENT: 365 words.

See also:

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, which moves weekdays at 1 p.m.

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, ADD, which moves weekdays at 4 p.m.

—NEVADA NEWS DIGEST, which moves daily at 1:30 p.m.

Technical problems may be reported to 213-626-5833 in Los Angeles or 415-495-1124 in San Francisco.

Send Southern California stories by fax 213-346-0200 or email losangeles@ap.org. Send Northern California stories by fax 415-495-4967 or email sanfrancisco@ap.org.