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Obama defends moves on immigration

Ventura County Star Top Stories - 2 hours 7 min ago
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — President Barack Obama is shrugging off Republican criticism of his actions to lift the threat of deportation from millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States.   In an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Obama said it was important that he act unilaterally to prioritize the deportation of criminals and recent arrivals and spare those who have lived here illegally for at least five years and have roots, including children who are American citizens.   "Why we would prefer a system in which they're in the shadows, potentially taking advantage of living here but not contributing?" Obama said in the interview, which was taped Friday in Las Vegas after Obama delivered an immigration speech there.   The president pointed to executive orders issued by Democratic and Republican predecessors and said presidents exercise "prosecutorial discretion all the time."   Obama's executive actions, which he announced Thursday, have drawn a withering response from Republicans, but also has laid bare divisions within the GOP over how to deal with immigration.   Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, rejected Obama's claim of prosecutorial discretion. "Essentially he's gotten in the job of counterfeiting immigration papers, because there's no legal authority to do what he's doing," Cruz said on "Fox News Sunday."   A second Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said his party shares the blame for failing to get an immigration bill through the House of Representatives.   "Shame on us as Republicans for having a body that cannot generate a solution to an issue that is national security, it's cultural and it's economic. The Senate has done this three times," Graham said on CNN's "State of the Union."   Indeed, Obama cast his decision as the result of the Republican-led House's failure to act on a comprehensive immigration bill the Senate passed with bipartisan support in June 2013, or advance legislation of its own.   He said Republicans still could pass an immigration bill.   Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said he had pressed the Republican leadership to start passing legislation two weeks ago on the immigration issue.   "We are going to pass legislation, but it is not going to be the legislation the president is asking for," Labrador said. "We as Republicans don't believe you should give amnesty first and talk about security later, which is what the Senate bill did." Labrador spoke on "Face the Nation" on CBS.   Obama spent the weekend in Nevada, mostly playing golf, after the speech and returned to the White House on Sunday evening.  

Katy Perry lands Super Bowl Halftime Show gig

Ventura County Star Top Stories - 2 hours 29 min ago

The roar of the crowd at this season's NFL Super Bowl will be matched by the roar of Katy Perry's pipes.

The NFL confirmed Sunday the 30-year-old pop superstar will be the main attraction at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show in Glendale, Arizona this February. (Video via Capitol Records / Katy Perry)

The announcement was made during NBC's "Sunday Night Football" matchup between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

And Perry says she's already got a few ideas on how to kick the show up a notch, as she revealed in her new Pepsi commercial. (Video via BBC)

"What if we covered the stadium in glitter? ... I said Pegasus not unicorn! ... Kittens! Oh, this is great! But we're going to need like a thousand of them," Katy Perry said in a Pepsi commercial.

Now, while some of those killer ideas might not make the final cut, one thing's for sure: there'll be plenty of eyeballs watching her take the stage with whatever she comes up with.

Last year, the Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring Bruno Mars pulled in more than 115 million viewers — the largest audience ever to watch the mid-game spectacle.

And with her Katy Cats chomping at the bit for this performance, Perry has a shot at eclipsing that number for sure.

The multi-platinum artist has been all over the Billboard Top 100 since her second album, "One of the Boys" hit the charts in 2008. (Video via Scared Goose Productions)

In fact, Perry's third album, "Teenage Dream," became the first by a female artist to have five singles break into those coveted Top 100 slots. (Video via Capitol Records / Katy Perry)

Making her the first artist overall to do so since this one guy by the name of Michael Jackson did it with his "Bad" album in 1987.

Speaking of the battle of the sexes, Perry's performance will also fall right in line with a recent trend for halftime shows: that is, female dominance.

Perry becomes the third female pop star in four years to nab the halftime spotlight after Beyonce and Madonna headlined in 2012 and 2011, respectively. 

Whereas, the later half of the last decade saw a string of male artists headline the event such as Bruce Springsteen, Prince and The Rolling Stones. 

Perry's performance at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show will get underway at the University of Phoenix Stadium Feb. 1 and will be televised on NBC. 

This video includes images from Getty images.

The top three firsts of the 2014 AMAs

Ventura County Star Top Stories - 2 hours 30 min ago

There were a lot of big firsts for some big names in the music industry during the 2014 American Music Awards. Here are our top three favorites of the night.

First on our list of AMA firsts —  rapper Iggy Azalea took home her very first music award ever.

"This award is the first award I've ever won in my entire life," Iggy Azalea said during her acceptance speech at the 2014 American Music Awards.

Azalea picked up the award for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album, beating out Drake and Eminem in the process.

And she mentioned how humbling it was to win against Eminem in her touching acceptance speech, even though he seemingly threatened to sexually assault her in his new song, "Vegas." (Video via Aftermath Records / Interscope Records / Eminem)

And to top it all off, Azalea also won the award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist later in the night. Not too bad for a music award newbie.

Next, Diana Ross presented the first-ever Dick Clark Award for Excellence. And the winner is... 

"Ladies and gentlemen, Taylor Swift!" said Diana Ross at the 2014 American Music Awards.

Yes, pop sensation Taylor Swift incredibly nabbed a lifetime achievement award at the ripe old age of 24. (Video via Big Machine Records / Taylor Swift)

But all anyone could talk about after the presentation was Swift's attempt to defend albums as art during her acceptance speech.

"Music is valuable and music should be consumed in albums and albums should be consumed as art and appreciated," said Taylor Swift at the 2014 American Music Awards.

And finally, amazing first performances of new hit singles from some big artists.

Taylor Swift opened the show with a, um, crazy performance of her song "Blank Space" for the first time on television.

"Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane, but you know I love the players, and you love the game," Taylor Swift sang at the 2014 American Music Awards.

Selena Gomez's debut performance of "The Heart Wants What It Wants," a ballad supposedly about her on-again-off-again love Justin Bieber, was dubbed emotional and dramatic by viewers.

"The heart wants what it wants," Selena Gomez sang at the 2014 American Music Awards.

And for the first time on American television, Lorde performed her single "Yellow Flicker Beat," which is featured on the soundtrack of the newest "Hunger Games" movie.

"And my necklace is a rope, I tie it and untie it," Lorde sang at the 2014 American Music Awards.

There were plenty of other amazing moments at this year's AMAs, including a rare performance from Garth Brooks, an epic celebrity dance party led by Jessie J and even Ariana Grande sans her trademark ponytail. GASP.

Head to ABC's website to check it all out.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

No Iran Deal Seen by Deadline

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - 2 hours 55 min ago
The U.S. and other world powers said it will be virtually impossible to reach a comprehensive deal to curb Iran’s nuclear activities by the Monday night deadline.

Drone Flights Face FAA Hit

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - 4 hours 21 min ago
Highly anticipated federal rules on commercial drones are expected to require operators to have a license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls.

What Big Economies Got Right, Wrong After Crisis

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - 6 hours 50 min ago
The Outlook: Divergent policy paths taken by the world’s advanced economies provide lessons for global leaders.

Going it Alone Has Its Risks For Obama

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - November 23, 2014 - 11:59pm
With time ticking down on his second term, President Barack Obama has escalated his efforts to accomplish his policy goals without winning approval from Congress, a strategy that may produce results quickly but with the risk that they may be undone by lawmakers or a future president.

Franchisees Buck Minimum-Wage Push

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - November 23, 2014 - 11:50pm
Owners of fast-food restaurants and other franchises are mobilizing to counter the spread of union-backed worker strikes and protests seeking higher wages.

Pedestrian seriously hurt

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 23, 2014 - 11:00pm

A pedestrian was seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle around West Wooley Road and South G Street in Oxnard late Sunday afternoon.

The accident was reported at 5:50 p.m., Oxnard police said.

Police said they would release more information on the accident later Sunday or Monday.

Small brush fire reported

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 23, 2014 - 9:12pm

A small brush fire was reported near Highway 101 along the Conejo Grade between Camarillo and Newbury Park Sunday night.

The fire was reported at 8:38 p.m.

Investigators searched but were unable to find any fire in the area.

Small brush fire reported

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 23, 2014 - 9:12pm

A small brush fire was reported near Highway 101 along the Conejo Grade between Camarillo and Newbury Park Sunday night.

The fire was reported at 8:38 p.m.

Investigators searched but were unable to find any fire in the area.

A Power Plant in California Goes Quiet, but the Stacks Still Tower

New York Times - California News - November 23, 2014 - 9:00pm
In Morro Bay, three smokestacks from a power plant share the scenery with a mountain of volcanic rock, and will probably not be going anywhere soon.

Ad Agency and Charity Take Relationship to New Level

New York Times - California News - November 23, 2014 - 9:00pm
Sid Lee, an ad agency, and Movember Foundation, a men’s health charity that is one of its clients, are moving in together, taking their relationship to a new level.

Cancer-Risk Debate Didn't Halt Surgeries

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - November 23, 2014 - 8:37pm
Doctors at a prominent Boston hospital continued to use a surgical tool during hysterectomies for two years after compiling data in 2011 that questioned the safety of the device and discussing its risks, said hospital officials and doctors.

MC, VC get volleyball SoCal playoff berths

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 23, 2014 - 7:21pm

For the first time since 2007, both local community college women’s volleyball teams have qualified for the postseason.

Moorpark College will play its first CCCAA Southern California regional playoff match in three years Tuesday when the No. 12-seeded Raiders (12-10) visit No. 5 Golden West (18-5) in Huntington Beach.

Ventura College has ended its seven-year postseason drought. The Pirates (12-10) were seeded No. 15 and will visit No. 2 seed Grossmont (25-0) Tuesday night.

“It’s nice for our conference to get back to some sort of prominence when it comes to the overall quality of the league,” Moorpark coach Steve Burkhart said. “The (Orange Empire Conference) got five teams in and we were next (with four). I totally respect the job that a lot of our coaches do.”

Tuesday’s quarterfinal winners advance to Saturday’s regional semifinals.

Moorpark’s record may not seem impressive, but the Raiders were prepared for the postseason by playing the toughest schedule in the region, including a pair of losses to 17-time state champion Golden West.

“When you look at the two times we played them, we were right there both times,” Burkhart said. “It’s going to be tough, but I’m sure our girls are looking forward to it.”

Ventura clinched its first winning season in seven years Wednesday by sweeping Los Angeles Mission. Afterward, Ventura coach Brad Lyans told the team there was a slight chance of a postseason bid.

“I was thinking it was a 10 percent chance,” Lyans said.

VC was in the final group of seven teams vying for the last four seeds. Its four-set win over Santa Monica, which did not get in, proved to be decisive, according to Lyans.

After hearing the news, the Pirates immediately gathered for an impromptu practice. Lyans said there was a festive atmosphere.

“I like playing the underdog,” Lyans said. “The girls know there’s not a whole lot of pressure. We’re flying high.”

Authors Sign Up to Raise Barnes & Noble’s Sales

NY Times Books - November 23, 2014 - 6:59pm
The struggling chain recruited 100 prominent authors, including Donna Tartt, David Mitchell and Dan Brown, to each autograph about 5,000 copies of their latest books, which will be on sale at its stores nationwide.






Toy drives, classes and other events planned

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 23, 2014 - 6:18pm

Oxnard

Auto center to hold holiday toy drive

The Oxnard Auto Center will have a toy drive from Monday through Dec. 11 at each of its 11 dealerships.

All collected gifts will be donated to the 11th annual Santa to the Sea toy giveaway Dec. 20 at Santa Park, 2801 Ventura Blvd.

For more information, visit http://www.santatothesea.com or call Mike Barber at 485-7233.

Thousand Oaks

Assistance League shop to offer décor

The Assistance League of Conejo Valley’s Thrift Shop will begin “A Happy Holiday Happening” shopping event on Dec. 2 at 783 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.

The shop will feature holiday décor, including centerpieces, wreaths, ornaments, trim and linens.

For more information, visit http://www.alcv.net.

Ventura

Service will help honor loved ones

Cypress Place Senior Living will have a candlelight memorial service Dec. 3 at 1200 Cypress Point Lane.

There will be speakers and music. Attendees can light a candle in honor of loved ones.

Call 650-8000 to reserve a seat.

Tai Chi class will be open to the public

There will be a new intermediate Tai Chi class from 9 to 10 a.m. Fridays starting Dec. 5 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3290 Loma Vista Road.

Cost is $3 per class. Call Katherine at 642-9058 for more information.

Library will offer various programs

E.P. Foster Library will have a variety of upcoming programs at 651 E. Main St.

There will be a program titled “Laser-Cut Holiday Decorations” from 5 to 6 p.m. Dec. 2, where guests can witness a demonstration of a laser cutter and engraver.

“Beginning Meditation: Silence, Stillness and Comfort” will run from 6 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3.

Cunningham Legal will give a free hourlong seminar titled “Medi-Cal for Long-Term Health Care” from 10 to 11 a.m. Dec. 5. The seminar will share information about common mistakes made during the qualification process for Medi-Cal.

Call 648-2716 for more information.

Event at The Collection welcomes holiday season

Ventura County Star - Local News - November 23, 2014 - 6:17pm

With an explosion of colorful choreographed fireworks and fake snow blowing in the breeze Saturday night, the crowd packed into the main park at The Collection at Riverpark in Oxnard and welcomed the holiday season during the annual tree-lighting celebration.

According to Collection Marketing Director Erica Dixon the 7,000 parking spaces were all taken, and almost all of those cars carried families coming to enjoy the celebration.

“It’s going very well,” Dixon said between taping segments for radio coverage and giving directions to Fundi Legohn, director of the Oxnard High School marching band, which played after Santa Claus made his big entrance.

“Last year’s tree lighting was bigger, but it was held over two days. This is a close second,” she said.

Vicki Zellman, of Oxnard, said she and husband Larry met their friends Nancy and Dave Szany, of Camarillo, early for dinner at the Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, which is at the other end of Parkview Court from the park.

The two couples then strolled down the street. “I love coming here. I like the atmosphere,” Nancy Szany said, adding that braving the crowds for the tree lighting is “absolutely worth it.”

“I just like walking around and going to dinner,” Dave Szany added.

Dixon explained that business at The Collection is booming, with new restaurants and shops being added all the time. Among the new businesses opening before the end of the year are a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop, Larsen’s Grill restaurant, M. Frederick boutique and a 24-Hour Fitness club.

Dan Taphorn, of Ventura, said he enjoys coming to The Collection with his wife, Misty, and son, Jackson, 2. “I hope it continues to grow. It seems as though it’s at the tipping point, it could go one way or the other.”

Jackson said he was excited about seeing the big Christmas tree lit up, and said he wants a bulldozer for Christmas. His mom explained that Christmas this year will be low-key because she is scheduled to deliver Jackson’s little brother on Dec. 16.

After a fun-packed evening with performances on the main stage by All-American Ballet and a stilt-walker circus, Deedee Savala of Ventura said she enjoyed braving the crowds to start off the holiday season. “It was great. We were here for the last one. Last year was amazing, but this was fun too,” she said.

Her friend Tracy Fischer, of Ventura, agreed. “The fireworks were awesome.”

For the Peterson family of Ventura the “snow was magical,” said Fawn Peterson.

Brighton Peterson, 9, wasn’t sure what she liked the best until mom Fawn said, “You loved the snow. I almost lost you then.”

Dixon said The Collection has a full schedule of upcoming holiday events, including the “CAN-tree” event Dec. 5-7 where teams will build trees made of cans of food that will be donated to FOOD Share. On Dec. 20, there will be a menorah-lighting ceremony. Throughout the season carolers will be singing on the streets and Santa will be available to hear the wishes of little ones.

For information about The Collection, call 988-7527 or go online to http://www.thecollectionrp.com/

Event at The Collection welcomes holiday season

Ventura County Star Top Stories - November 23, 2014 - 6:17pm

With an explosion of colorful choreographed fireworks and fake snow blowing in the breeze Saturday night, the crowd packed into the main park at The Collection at Riverpark in Oxnard and welcomed the holiday season during the annual tree-lighting celebration.

According to Collection Marketing Director Erica Dixon the 7,000 parking spaces were all taken, and almost all of those cars carried families coming to enjoy the celebration.

“It’s going very well,” Dixon said between taping segments for radio coverage and giving directions to Fundi Legohn, director of the Oxnard High School marching band, which played after Santa Claus made his big entrance.

“Last year’s tree lighting was bigger, but it was held over two days. This is a close second,” she said.

Vicki Zellman, of Oxnard, said she and husband Larry met their friends Nancy and Dave Szany, of Camarillo, early for dinner at the Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, which is at the other end of Parkview Court from the park.

The two couples then strolled down the street. “I love coming here. I like the atmosphere,” Nancy Szany said, adding that braving the crowds for the tree lighting is “absolutely worth it.”

“I just like walking around and going to dinner,” Dave Szany added.

Dixon explained that business at The Collection is booming, with new restaurants and shops being added all the time. Among the new businesses opening before the end of the year are a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop, Larsen’s Grill restaurant, M. Frederick boutique and a 24-Hour Fitness club.

Dan Taphorn, of Ventura, said he enjoys coming to The Collection with his wife, Misty, and son, Jackson, 2. “I hope it continues to grow. It seems as though it’s at the tipping point, it could go one way or the other.”

Jackson said he was excited about seeing the big Christmas tree lit up, and said he wants a bulldozer for Christmas. His mom explained that Christmas this year will be low-key because she is scheduled to deliver Jackson’s little brother on Dec. 16.

After a fun-packed evening with performances on the main stage by All-American Ballet and a stilt-walker circus, Deedee Savala of Ventura said she enjoyed braving the crowds to start off the holiday season. “It was great. We were here for the last one. Last year was amazing, but this was fun too,” she said.

Her friend Tracy Fischer, of Ventura, agreed. “The fireworks were awesome.”

For the Peterson family of Ventura the “snow was magical,” said Fawn Peterson.

Brighton Peterson, 9, wasn’t sure what she liked the best until mom Fawn said, “You loved the snow. I almost lost you then.”

Dixon said The Collection has a full schedule of upcoming holiday events, including the “CAN-tree” event Dec. 5-7 where teams will build trees made of cans of food that will be donated to FOOD Share. On Dec. 20, there will be a menorah-lighting ceremony. Throughout the season carolers will be singing on the streets and Santa will be available to hear the wishes of little ones.

For information about The Collection, call 988-7527 or go online to http://www.thecollectionrp.com/

Republicans Resist Obama Plan for Undocumented Immigrants

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - November 23, 2014 - 6:13pm
Republicans on Sunday vowed to stop President Barack Obama’s plan to shelter millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, calling it an abusive executive overreach.
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