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BOXER-ISLAMIC STATE

Sen. Boxer: Group behind beheading must be stopped

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Days after an Islamic extremist group beheaded an American journalist, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is calling the murder of James Foley barbaric and the Islamic State group a worldwide threat that must be stopped.

The California Democrat said Friday in Los Angeles that the U.S. will continue to not pay ransoms to rescue citizens held by militant groups because it encourages more hostage-taking.

Boxer, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the U.S. must partner with the international community, including NATO and the U.N., to oppose the Islamic State group. She also has reaffirmed support for President Barack Obama's decision to authorize airstrikes in Iraq.

Boxer says deploying troops isn't an option and backed away from specifics on how the U.S. should counter Islamic State strongholds in Syria.

MARIACHI RACE POSTPONED

Mariachi 5K postponed after receiving criticism

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Southern California mariachi-themed fun run scheduled for this weekend has been postponed indefinitely after facing backlash from those who say it makes a mockery of mariachi.

Organizers of the Mariachi 5K said Friday that they had received resistance from the Boyle Heights area and were unable to hold the race.

Promoter Carlos Gaspar told the Los Angeles Times that the pushback had more to do with politics than his theme. He says only people with power can hold events in the city.

The race was scheduled to begin and end at the historic Mariachi Plaza and organizers hoped to bring attention and business to the city.

Most of the criticism of the race has been from the mariachi musicians who perform at the plaza.

FAKE BABIES-HOSPITAL

Police: Woman with fake baby cited for trespassing

MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Police say they're investigating why a woman tried to enter the maternity ward at a Central California hospital carrying a doll that looked like a living baby.

Capt. Tom Trindad of the Merced Police Department said Friday that 41-year-old Tonya Whitney has been cited with misdemeanor trespassing.

Trindad says Whitney and a man first went to the hospital Saturday, each carrying a doll, and security officials became suspicious, telling them to leave.

They returned Monday, and police say Whitney, wearing nurse's scrubs, tried again to enter the maternity ward.

Police say they were concerned that Whitney might have wanted to take a living baby. But Trindad said she told them she makes the dolls and only sought to ask nurses there if anybody wanted to buy one for training purposes.

CALIFORNIA-SEPT 11 PLATES

9/11 relatives to get second shot at scholarships

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Relatives of Californians who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will get a second chance to apply for college scholarships under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown on Friday announced signing the bill by Democratic Sen. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord and Republican Sen. Ted Gaines of Roseville. It gives relatives of California victims until July 2016 to apply for a scholarship program funded through the sale of specialty memorial license plates.

The legislation arose after an investigation by The Associated Press found that just $21,381 was distributed to the children and spouses of the victims, out of more than $2 million intended for the scholarships.

The bill requires the state to renew efforts to notify eligible candidates. A state audit found that officials failed to notify many of them.

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

Lawmakers pass firearm safety, ammunition bills

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers have acted on bills that tackle firearm safety and add rules for ammunition sales.

The Senate on Friday unanimously passed The bill by Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara. It would require officers to search the state's database of gun purchases when checking on whether someone may be a danger to themselves or others.

Jackson says searching the gun database could help prevent tragedies such as the May shooting rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her bill now goes to the governor.

The Assembly approved a bill creating a way to better track ammunition. A bill by Democratic Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles requires ammunition vendors to be licensed and people buying ammunition to pass background checks.

It passed 42-26 and returns to the Senate.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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