FROM Terry Francke
Child Welfare Records: The Latest LA Confidential Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said yesterday, " The obsession with leaks … exceeds the obsession with child deaths." He was the lone dissenter in a 4-to-1 vote to investigate what was called the "inappropriate disclosure of confidential child welfare information." At issue is a series in the LA Times on the deaths of children in families that are supposed to be under the scrutiny of the County's child welfare officials. Dissenter Zev Yaroslavsky said after the vote, "all the energy that is spent on that is energy that is not spent on trying to figure out what's going wrong in the Department of Children and Family Services." We hear from a Times reporter , Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who voted for the investigation, and an advocate of open government.
Did the Sheriff's Department Illegally Search Reporter's Records? When actor Mel Gibson was arrested in 2006, the LA County Sheriff's Department played it as a routine stop for drunk driving. Then TMZ, the website renowned for celebrity gossip, reported that Gibson had attempted to escape and made statements that were loudly profane and anti-Semitic. Moreover, the arresting officer had been ordered to lie. That all turned out to be accurate and, two weeks ago, The LA Times revealed that the Sheriff's department tried to find the source of the leak by obtaining a search warrant for the telephone records of TMZ founder Harvey Levin. Media law experts and reporters' groups accused the Sheriff of violating state and federal laws protecting journalists and their sources. Levin himself wasn't talking, until last night at a meeting of the Radio & Television News Association.
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."