Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray

December 29, 2010
The judge approved a plan to allow defense lawyers to test residue from syringes and an intravenous drip found in Jackson's home. Deputy DA David Walgren said in court that his office has shared everything and never objected to testing the syringes or intravenous drip as long as the coroner followed proper procedures. "The theory that they're running with is Michael Jackson killed himself," said prosecutor Walgren.

Next: The preliminary hearing for Murray is set to begin Tuesday January 4, 2011 and is expected to last about two weeks.

Michael Jackson died June 25, 2009
-Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
-He faces up to four years in prison if convicted
-The Los Angeles County coroner ruled death was from an overdose of propofol, a powerful anesthetic used to put surgical patients to sleep, in combination with benzodiazepine, a sedative.
-Conrad Murray remains free on $75,000 bond.
-Prosecution team: Deputy District Attorney David Walgren
-Defense team: J. Michael Flanagan

Earlier stories:

Dr Conrad Murray hanging-on-by-thread says lawyer
Dr Conrad Murray charged
Dr Conrad Murray arrives in court

Radio returns to Venice, California

89 years after the last radio station to grace the airwaves in Venice closed down, KVB.FM launches on Jan 1, via the Internet. As the economic crunch continues to challenge traditional broadcasters, with AM and FM radio stations struggling to survive, veteran LA radio man Michael Linder is embracing technology to try to buck the trend.

Next week (Monday at 2030PST/Tuesday 0430GMT) I'll be broadcasting LIVE from Venice to find out more about KVB.FM

Plus, on the day California's new governor starts work, we'll talk about the gigantic task ahead for Jerry Brown as he wrestles with the state's financial crisis.

-- listen to my weekly wrap of California news on BBC 5 Live's Up All Night at 2030PST Monday/0430GMT Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

California: Worse than the depression

If anyone in California was under the impression that the worst of the recession could be over, Gov.-elect Jerry Brown's latest comments on the economy will make grim reading. Schwarzenegger's successor will announce his budget plan on Jan 10 - a plan that will have to deal with a $28b hole in the state's coffers.

The veteran Democrat, who last ran the state in the late 70s/early 80s, had some choice phrases to describe California's predicament.

Speaking at UCLA he said:

"Please sit down if you're reading the stories on the budget on Jan. 10. If you're driving, fasten your seat belt because it's going to be a rough ride."

He said gaps between the wealthy and the middle class were widening and the current era was "a very difficult period. We've never had it before. It may be worse than the Depression in terms of political pressures, the tearing of the social fabric."

"...what we are facing is not only a budget deficit. We're facing a societal crisis, and we will only resolve it as we understand it and we work not only to exercise a discipline, which has been sadly lacking, but also a fairness that enables everybody to feel they have an honest stake in the whole society. That's the larger picture here."

The detail is still to come on how Brown will make saving and implement his austerity measures - but it's going to an extremely rough ride for the less-than-golden state.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The X Factor comes to America

Well, not yet. It'll be almost a year before Simon Cowell's latest import hits US TV - but the Fox network is already hyping the show.

In the best traditions of building the buzz early and slowly, with Cowell in the driving seat, the show is almost failure-proof. Not that America will grind to a standstill every weekend like the UK appears to do. Just watch Twitter when its on. Few events galvanize a nation these days - and there's certainly no concept of Saturday night telly in the US. But Idols days are certainly numbered.

Michael Jackson civil lawsuit

December 1, 2010
Michael Jackson's father re-filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 in state court. The case accuses Dr. Conrad Murray of negligence in administering the anesthetic propofol to Jackson. The lawsuit adds a Las Vegas pharmacy as a defendant. Joseph Jackson originally filed the suit in federal court, but a judge declined to hear the case and said it should be handled in Los Angeles Superior Court.

June 25, 2010
At the beginning of what will be a long weekend of events to mark the 1st anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, dad Joe Jackson is filing a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Dr Conrad Murray. He is asking for unspecified damages. It guarantees MJ court action for a few more years.

Today I'm going to revisit some of the key locations in LA where fans will gather to pay their respects. Expect the usual MJ circus-like atmosphere.

Will post pics, video and a few words later...