Health Audit Raises Pulse
Facing deficits after a federal bailout ends June 30, Los Angeles County hospitals need to take stronger measures and cut back sharply on medical care for illegal immigrants, according to a new state audit that triggered debate among county supervisors Tuesday. The supervisors disputed how critical the audit was and tensions rose when they discussed the recommendation to limit nonemergency care to illegal immigrants, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The audit found that 53 percent of the 800,000 annual users of the county's system are uninsured and receive care even though state law does not mandate it. The county health system will have a $435 million shortfall by July 2006, growing to $1.4 billion by July 2008, according to county estimates.

New Ads Feature Widows of LAPD Officers
The Los Angeles Police Protective League plans to launch a radio campaign today featuring widows of police officers slain in the line of duty who criticize Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to reform the public-pension system, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The widows slam the governor's plan for eliminating death and disability benefits for future police officers and firefighters. The effort is aimed at preventing the governor's supporters from collecting enough signatures to place his pension measure on a special-election ballot.

Firms Settle Suit Filed by Freelance Writers
A group of companies that operate electronic databases have agreed to pay freelance writers as much as $18 million to settle copyright infringement claims brought under a class-action lawsuit, the Associated Press reported. The settlement covers claims brought against the companies by the National Writers Union, the Authors Guild and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Defendants included Tribune Co.'s Newsday, ProQuest Co., Reed Elsevier's LexisNexis database, The New York Times and Dow Jones & Co.

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