The threat of a strikehas now been added to the mix in deadlocked wage talks between clerks and administrators in San Francisco Superior Court.

     Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails must remain under court supervision, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, to ensure that pretrial detainees have access to medical care. 

     The Houston oncologist convicted of poisoning her lover was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

     One good thing happened in Week 38.
     Attorney General Eric Holder resigned.
     He was described as "a champion of civil rights if not civil liberties" -- naively I thought they were the same. He attacked racial inequality while eroding the rest of the Bill of Rights by approving mass surveillance of Americans and subpoenaing more journalists than any past administration.
     The rest of the news was mostly bleak.
     The environment continued to get worse, with carbon emissions hitting new records that included a 2.9% increase in the U.S. last year. President Obama urged the countries of the United Nations to combat global warming but the Republicans have stopped any effort to do something about it.
     Ebola continued to spread, with the World Health Organization saying last week that the contagion was far worse than previously thought. A look at a map of the affliction shows hot spots in Sierra Leone and huge zones where the disease has started to spread.
     And in the Middle East, the U.S. continued its turn back into the theatre we just left.
     Islamic State, described by UN monitors as committing "acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale," was making headway across an enormous front from the north of Syria to the towns around Baghdad. While Iraq Army units were left short of ammunition and support.
     All of it was bleak but not surprising.
     One story, however, turned my head around.
     Our man in Iraq, the new president Haider al-Abadi, told a group of journalists that he supports the bombing of IS forces in Syria, with a condition.
     I figured the condition was the same as that expressed by our president who says he does not want the bombing of IS positions to help the Syrian government which we oppose. Iraq's president would therefore be echoing the position of his benefactor and bomber in chief.
     I was part way through the story and realized I had better go back and start over.
     It turned out that, no, the Iraqi president took the opposite position. He wants to make sure the bombing does not hurt the Syrian government. Because he supports the murderous Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
     In the British Parliament, which unlike our Congress debated the decision, one parliamentarian heatedly compared bombing to an attack on a barbarian to aid a butcher.
     But our man in Iraq wants us to be careful on how we go about attacking the barbarian at his gate because he supports the butcher next door. He prevaricates. He dithers, as his army loses battles.
     And the butcher of Damascus, it turns out, has had a working relationship with the barbarian of the north, refraining from bombing his positions and paying him to keep oil pipelines intact while also refining some of the oil shipped from the wells he controls.
     Meanwhile, our president snubs our natural ally in the region, Iran, which opposes the barbarian of the north but also supports the butcher of Damascus, as does the fool of Baghdad.
     Into that hot mess along comes our government with drones and warplanes dropping bombs.
     As the admiral in the movie Hunt for Red October says, "This business will get out of control."

     Voting rights proponents suffered a close defeat Tuesday as half of the 7th Circuit explained why it upheld Wisconsin's voter ID law, while the other half blasted the decision as disenfranchising 300,000 mostly minority voters. 

     Texas and federal officials are urging calm as a patient in a Dallas hospital, recently returned from Liberia, was confirmed as the first domestic case of Ebola.

     Even if there were evidence that a domestic spying program was unconstitutional, interference by the courts could cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security, the government told a federal judge. 

     Actor Tracy Morgan's injuries from a June accident involving a Wal-Mart truck could have been reduced if he'd worn a seat belt, Wal-Mart said Monday in an answer to Morgan's lawsuit. 

     A "business coach" defrauded a woman of $92,000 for what turned out to be a Scientology recruitment scheme, she claims in court. 

     Pennsylvania prison guards forced an inmate into a "Retard Olympics," which included being choked to unconsciousness for guards' amusement, the man claims in court. 

     Chicago's ordinance banning sales of flavored cigarettes, including menthols, within 500 feet of a school will force gas stations to close throughout the city, a trade association claims in court. 

     A so-called Bitcoin-mining company in Orange County defrauded investors of $385,000, six people claim in court. 

     The SEC on Tuesday accused two men of inside trading on Herbalife stock.

     The trial of a former Highway Patrolman accused of trying to commit a lewd act on a child was tainted by a prosecutor's misstatements and failure to support a finding of intent, the 9th Circuit ruled. 

     A loan purchaser claims in court that it bought $22.8 million of purported USDA-guaranteed rural development loans from First Farmers Financial, but the loans were shams and the borrowers did not exist. 

     Washington state prison officials faked results of an inmate violence reduction project to reap millions in taxpayer dollars, two whistleblowers claim in court. 

     Colorado's Supreme Court is considering whether its is lawful to fire someone who uses medical marijuana off the job when medicinal pot use is legal in the state, but still illegal federally.

     A former St. Louis mayor saw his law license indefinitely suspended by Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday.

     Prosecutors wasted little time on Monday establishing a human dimension to the harm caused by an allegedly widespread and "cleverly disguised" conspiracy through which teachers and administrators fixed grades to protect their jobs.

     Liberty Industries and Unifirst Corp. dba Uniclean Cleanroom Services contributed to the fatal fungal meningitis outbreak traced to New England Compounding Co. by poorly designing and cleaning the cleanrooms where the contaminated drugs were made, 18 people claim in Federal Court.  

     The Hidalgo County (N.M.) Board of Commissioners threatened the life of the county manager for stopping county purchases of gasoline from a commissioner's company at inflated prices, Jose J. Salazar claims in Federal Court. 

     Tribal court convictions cannot necessarily be used to charge someone as a habitual offender in state or federal courts, the 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday. 

     Alameda County, Calif., can act to keep old and unwanted prescription drugs off its streets, the 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday. 

     The family of a pedestrian killed by a red-light runner who tried to flee police across two New Jersey towns does not have a case for municipal liability, a federal judge ruled. 

     Dow Chemical owes a class of industrial purchasers of polyurethane products more than $1 billion for fixing prices, the 10th Circuit ruled. 

     A Baltimore man cleared by DNA after 20 years in prison for a 1987 rape and murder may show that police officers withheld evidence, the 4th Circuit ruled. 

     Online music supplier Grooveshark infringed on at least 6,000 copyrighted songs by making them available for download, a federal judge ruled. 

     References to the pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled a neighborhood will remain in an indictment against Pacific Gas and Electric, a federal judge ruled Monday. 

     California inmates can sue Monterey County for deplorable conditions and dangerous overcrowding, despite the county's argument that the case is moot because many plaintiffs are no longer prisoners there, a federal judge ruled.  

     The host of the Kentucky Derby horse race failed to show that an in-person betting requirement that effectively bans online betting in Texas hurts out-of-state tracks, the 5th Circuit ruled. 

     A Dallas-area school district will change its system of electing trustees to settle claims that the process discriminated against Latino voters.

     A federal judge has preliminarily approved a settlement that requires the Coca-Cola Co. and Glaceau to change Vitaminwater labeling and marketing. 

     Universal Technologies, a high-tech defense contractor, claims employees embezzled more than $2 million through "forgery, fraud, bank fraud [and] forged powers of attorney," in Federal Court. 

     The Consumers Council of Missouri sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a federal FOIA complaint demanding information about medical insurance rates under the Affordable Care Act. 

     Directors are selling Concur Technologies too cheaply through an unfair process to SAP America, for $129 a share or $8.3 billion, shareholders claim in King County Court. 

     The nation's largest Arab American group filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court challenging the petition of a Jerusalem-born American citizen who wants to put as his birthplace "Israel" on his U.S. passport.

     A Muslim convert "openly admitted" beheading a coworker and trying to behead a second one last week after he was suspended from work, Oklahoma said Tuesday. 

     A plea deal by an Egyptian lawyer who voiced threats regarding the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings satisfied a federal judge Tuesday to drop his initial reservations. 

     Amazon rainforest residents plan to seize the $106 million in Chevron's assets in Ecuador, their lawyers said Tuesday, turning a corner in the decades-old pollution fight.

     Tennessee Supreme Court changes this month include a newcomer to the court and a new chief justice.

     Making good on a debate promise earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that bans single-use plastic grocery bags statewide.

     Enzymotec achieved a $57.4 million IPO by concealing operations issues with its baby formula business in China, a class claims.


     U.S. agencies properly considered the threatened bull trout in the Little Lost River watershed while approving cattle-grazing plans, a federal judge ruled. 

     A federal judge dismissed claims from fishing organizations that wanted an Atlantic Mackerel fishery to stock the declining river with herring and shad. 

     Two Indian tribes cannot enjoin New York's regulation of their online sales of short-term, high-interest loans, the 2nd Circuit ruled. 

     The widower of a woman killed in the crosswalk by a driver delivering a package from the Swiss Embassy to the World Bank does not have a case for negligence. 

     Parents paid Narconon Fresh Start dba Rainbow Canyon Retreat $33,500 for drug treatment for their son, only to find out that the program "is comprised entirely of the study and practice of Scientology," the family claims in Federal Court. 

     The operator of Kindgom Flight Ranch, which runs a foster home in Pinedale, Ariz., on a state contract, sexually abused five girls in his care, the kids' legal guardians claim in Maricopa County Court. 

     Stockbroker and insurance salesmen Dennis F. Wright, 68, of Lewiston, Pa., "lied to and stole over $1.5 million" from his customers, the SEC claims in Federal Court.  

     International Monetary Metals, of Hollywood, Fla., and Martin Sommers, of Cooper City, took millions of dollars from investors for leveraged, "illegal, off-exchange financed precious metals transactions," the CFTC claims in Federal Court. 

     Hayward, Calif. police shot Donny Gene Simmons Jr. to death in front of his wife and child as he lay on the floor in his own home, the family claims in Alameda County Court.  

     Vizio violates the "Razor" trademark to sell televisions, Razor USA claims in Federal Court.