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Parents of slain Chinese USC student in US

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) - The parents of a University of Southern California graduate student from China who was beaten to death near campus have arrived in the U.S.

City News Service says they broke down in tears Thursday after viewing the body of 24-year-old Xinran (SHING'-rahn) Ji at a funeral home in Alhambra.

Problems obtaining visas delayed their U.S. entry by nearly a week.

Authorities say robbers beat Ji with a baseball bat on July 24 as he walked to his apartment. Four teenagers are charged with murder.

Ji was an only child.

Two other Chinese grad students were shot in a robbery near campus in 2012.

In a statement, Ji's parents, Songbo Ji and Jinhui Du, say they're concerned about the safety of other USC students, adding: "no parents should have to bear this pain."


Attorneys wrap up jailhouse informants hearing

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A lengthy court hearing over allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and misuse of jailhouse informants in Orange County has come to an end.

Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff for the Orange County District Attorney's office, said attorneys gave closing arguments Thursday to end the monthslong hearing that stemmed from the case of a man who killed eight people at a hair salon.

She says the judge will rule Monday on a defense request to recuse the district attorney's office and take the death penalty off the table for Scott Dekraai, who pleaded guilty to the shootings.

Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders says prosecutors and law enforcement used jailhouse informants to glean information from Dekraai and other suspects in violation of their constitutional rights and didn't release required evidence to their lawyers.

Prosecutors have acknowledged some missteps but have said the allegations are unfounded.


Former Bell mayor sentenced in corruption case

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former mayor of the scandal-ridden city of Bell has been sentenced to serve a year in Los Angeles County jail and five years of probation.

Oscar Hernandez was also ordered Thursday to pay $241,000 in restitution to the city that was driven close to bankruptcy by a scheme to vastly inflate official salaries.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy also ordered Hernandez to perform 1,000 hours of community service but suspended a four-year prison term.

Kennedy lectured the former official who she said should never have even run for office since he couldn't read English and wound up rubber-stamping documents for a corrupt city manager.

Hernandez is the latest in a series of former officials of the small, blue-collar city to be sentenced for corruption-related offenses involving misappropriation of funds.


Cal State to pay $2.5 million over student death

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - The California State University system will pay $2.5 million to the family of a mentally ill man who was shot to death in a struggle with San Bernardino campus police.

Lawyers for the parents of Bartholomew Williams announced Thursday that Cal State trustees agreed to settle a federal wrongful death suit. The university denied any fault or liability.

The settlement also calls for campus police to undergo crisis intervention training.

Williams, who had bipolar disorder, was shot five times during a confrontation in 2012.

Authorities say the 6-foot-2, 205-pound graduate student was off of his medication and appeared irrational when he fought with three officers who tried to take him away from his dorm room for a mental evaluation.

His parents claimed officers used unreasonable deadly force.


Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Repair crews are shoring up a giant hole on Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured water main, as officials at the University of California, Los Angeles, continue to assess damage from a 20 million-gallon flood that hit the campus.

The Department of Water and Power's Mike Miller says workers are reinforcing the site Thursday and making the 56-by-41 foot crater safe for crews. Meanwhile workers off-site are fashioning new valves and a replacement for the burst section of the century-old steel main line.

The DWP says repairs along normally busy Sunset Boulevard likely won't be completed until the weekend.

UCLA says six facilities were damaged Tuesday and about 960 vehicles remained trapped in garages, with many below water left behind by the roiling flood.


Phelps to compete in 4 events at US nationals

Michael Phelps has entered four events at next week's U.S. national championships.

Less than four months after coming out of retirement, Phelps will compete in the 100-meter freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley at the meet in Irvine, California.

The national championships, along with the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia a couple of weeks later, will determine the American team for next year's world championships.

The 29-year-old Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete with 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall. He retired after the London Games, having accomplished all his goals and saying he had no desire to swim into his 30s.

But he began plotting a comeback less than a year later. Since returning, he has competed in four meets.

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