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By Mary Papenfuss SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The head of San Francisco?s Erotic Service Providers Union has been a sex worker for 24 years ? and "I hope to be doing it for another 24," says Maxine Doogan. Sex workers argue that decriminalizing prostitution would be the best way to fight trafficking by ending the black market, and giving women the ability to report crimes against them.
By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling can proceed with the record $2 billion sale of the NBA team despite her husband's objections, a judge ruled on Monday, in a likely coda to a case of lingering racism in American sports. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas said the deal struck by Shelly Sterling with former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer was permissible and could be consummated even if Sterling, who has been banned for life from the National Basketball Association for racist remarks, chose to appeal. "She had every good reason to believe that Donald agreed to the sale of the team," said Levanas, who added that he found Donald Sterling's combative testimony at the emotionally charged nine-day trial "often evasive and inconsistent." The ruling was a major victory for an embarrassed NBA and Shelly Sterling, who had asked the probate judge to confirm her as the trustee of the family trust that owns the Clippers.
By Terry Wade and Supriya Kurane HOUSTON (Reuters) - Acting on a request from the central government in Iraq, a U.S. judge has signed an order telling the U.S. Marshals Service to seize a cargo of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan aboard a tanker off the Texas coast, court filings showed on Tuesday. The United Kalavrvta tanker, carrying some 1 million barrels of crude worth about $100 million, arrived near Galveston Bay on Saturday but has yet to unload its disputed cargo. The ship, which is too large to enter ports near Houston and dock, was given clearance by the U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday to transfer its cargo offshore to smaller boats that would deliver it to the U.S. mainland.
LAS VEGAS (AP) ? The long parade of tourists who regularly stop by the downtown Las Vegas shop featured on the History Channel reality show "Pawn Stars" could soon have something better to do while waiting in line.
(Reuters) - CVR Refining shut its 115,000-barrel-per-day Coffeyville refinery in Kansas after a fire broke out at an isomerization unit early on Tuesday, hurting four employees, the company said in a statement. Coffeyville police and fire officials were not immediately available for comment.
By Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Patrick Leahy will introduce legislation on Tuesday to ban the U.S. government's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records and Internet data and narrow how much information it can seek in any particular search. The bill, which has White House backing, goes further than a version passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in reducing bulk collection and may be more acceptable to critics who have dismissed other versions as too weak. Revelations last year by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden prompted President Barack Obama to ask Congress in January to rein in the bulk collection and storage of records of millions of U.S. domestic telephone calls. The legislation is not expected to come up for a vote in the Senate before Congress leaves for a five-week break on Friday.
SHINGLE SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) ? Fire officials say crews found six more homes destroyed by a Northern California wildfire that led to evacuation orders for about 1,200 people before it was brought under control.