Southern California breaking news and trends

NBCLA tweets the 1992 LA riots in real-time


Real Time LA Riots Twitter account by NBCLA

While the LA Times went fishing with Rodney King, NBC Los Angeles has decided to do something equally unique to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 riots.

The television news station is tweeting the past. 

From the controversial verdict to the tragic aftermath, NBCLA is tweeting the events, the photos, and the quotes as they happened (sometimes to the minute) 20 years ago.

The Twitter account @RealTimeLARiots launched Friday while the historic trial was underway. "Court Update: 4 LAPD officers opt for all-or-nothing verdict.#RodneyKing #Trial", it tweeted. Over the last few days they have quoted LAPD Chief Daryl Gates as well as lawyers of the defendants. 

As fascinating as it is to have a virtual real-time account of the drama in one's Twitter feed, only 254 people have chosen to follow it thus far.


'Obama is Muslim' trends on Twitter thanks to poll of likely Republican primary voters

President And Mrs. Obama Attend Sunday Church Services

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

File: President Barack Obama speaks at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church January 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama spoke during a service in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Talk about the long-debunked rumors that Obama is a Muslim is once again in the cultural zeitgeist, thanks to a new poll showing the majority of likely Republican primary voters in Albamaa and Mississippi don't believe Obama is a Christian. It led to "Obama is Muslim" hitting the top trending topics nationwide, including right here in Los Angeles.

The survey by Public Policy Polling shows that only 14 percent of Albama voters believe Obama is a Christian, while 45 percent believe he's a Muslim and 41 percent aren't sure.

In Mississippi, those numbers are similar but more pronounced, with only 12 percent saying he's a Christian, a 52 percent majority saying he's a Muslim and 36 percent not sure.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently attacked Obama as having "some phony theology," but Santorum later added that he was speaking specifically about Obama's environmental policies not coming from Christian theology, not questioning Obama's religion overall.


Another brick in the 'membership program': L.A. Times readers cry 'paywall'

Kevork Djansezian/AP

The Los Angeles Times building.

The L.A. Times is charging ahead with a fee-based model for its online content beginning March 5. 

A trend in reaction shows readers seemingly dissatisfied with the terminology of calling the pricing structure a "membership program" instead of the straightforward use of the word "paywall."

The newspaper attempts to explain the label distinction by saying, "although digital payment plans are commonly known as 'paywalls,' The Times is billing its plan as a 'membership program' that will include retail discounts, deals and giveaways, as well as access to digital news."

Are you planning to pay for Times "membership?"


Susan G Komen reversal of Planned Parenthood funding finds mixed reviews on Twitter

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

In the wake of sharp criticism and widespread backlash over the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for clinic breast-health programs, earlier today the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation reversed its decision on Friday to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

CEO Nancy Brinker released a statement saying the controversial move was not meant to penalize or single out Planned Parenthood, however many believe the situation has been was influenced by abortion-related politics and pressure:

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.  The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen.  We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood.  They were not.


Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation.  We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.


Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer.  Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process.  We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.


It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women.  We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue.  We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.


Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work.  We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.


We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.


Sad face: U.S. accused of detaining and turning away two European travelers for Twitter joke

marilyn monroe

Photo by The Horror via Flickr Creative Commons

Marilyn Monroe's crypt at Westwood Village Memorial Park.

Two European travelers, Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting, claim they were detained overnight after landing at Los Angeles International Airport last week, questioned by Department of Homeland Security agents, and then refused entry to the U.S. because of apparent jokes made by Bryan on Twitter.

The 26-year-old Irish citizen was reportedly flagged for tweeting that he was going to "destroy America"and dig up Marilyn Monroe during his visit, the Daily Mail reports:

Bar manager Leigh, from Coventry, and Emily, 24, from Birmingham, were then quizzed for five hours at LAX before they were handcuffed and put into a van with illegal immigrants and locked up overnight.

Federal agents even searched his suitcase looking for spades and shovels, claiming Emily was planning to act as Leigh's 'look out' while he raided Marilyn's tomb.

They spent 12 hours in separate holding cells before being driven back to the airport where they were put on a plane home via Paris.

Emily said: "The officials told us we were not allowed in to the country because of Leigh's tweet. They wanted to know what we were going to do. They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party. I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh's lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe. I couldn't believe it because it was a quote from the comedy Family Guy which is an American show."