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State news briefs
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UC DAVIS CHANCELLOR FACES FACULTY CONFIDENCE VOTE:DAVIS (AP) — The chancellor of the University of California, Davis faces a faculty vote Friday on her ability to lead the campus following the widely condemned pepper-spraying of student protesters.

Members of the UC Davis Academic Senate are voting on a motion of "non-confidence" in Chancellor Linda Katehi's leadership, citing her handling of campus Occupy protests in November.

A competing motion condemns the police use of excessive force and pepper-spray on student demonstrators, but accepts Katehi's "good faith apology" and expresses confidence in her leadership.

Results are expected after the two-week voting period ends at 5 p.m. Friday.

The motions are nonbinding but could influence UC leaders as they consider the future of the 57-year-old Katehi, who became chancellor of the 32,000-student campus in 2009.

The faculty vote comes three months after a campus police officer doused pepper-spray on sitting students who had set up an Occupy encampment on campus. Widely circulated videos of the Nov. 18 incident sparked national outrage and the debate over the use of police force in responding to Occupy protests.

BROWN SAYS CALIF. WILL OPEN TRADE OFFICES IN CHINA: SACRAMENTO . (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says California will open a trade office in China to promote investment between the two economies.

Brown announced plans Friday for the California-China Trade and Investment Office, saying it will encourage "existing ties between the world's second- and ninth-largest economies."

He is hosting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Los Angeles during Xi's last stop in a weeklong U.S. tour.

Brown's office says two branches will be set up, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai. Financing will be provided by private partners through the Governor's Office Of Business and Economic Development.

California has not had a formal presence in China since the previous foreign trade office closed in 2003.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier are asking federal authorities to investigate whether error-riddled foreclosures in San Francisco violated federal law.

The San Francisco Democrats sent a letter Friday to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that Justice Department fraud investigators look into the issue.

The San Francisco assessor's office released a report this week that found more than 80 percent of foreclosures examined were missing documents or signatures or otherwise violated state law.

The report ordered by Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting said homeowners may have been accused of defaulting on loans that they had never agreed to in the first place.

The congresswomen called the report's findings troubling and said it raised questions about whether homeowners were denied due process.

TRIAL DATE SET IN NURSING STUDENT MURDER TRIAL: OAKLAND AP) — The trial of Giselle Esteban, accused of stalking and killing her former friend Michelle Le, is set for Sept. 17.

That will be one year to the day that the nursing student's remains were found after she'd been missing for months.

The San Jose Mercury News reported (Friday that 28-year-old Esteban appeared in an Oakland courthouse for the motion to set the trial date.

She has entered a not-guilty plea to the murder charge. According to grand jury testimony, Esteban had grown increasingly enraged at a friendship between 26-year-old Le and Scott Marasigan, who has a young daughter with Esteban.

MAN PLEADS INSANITY IN BEATINGS OF GRANDPARENTS: SALINAS  (AP) — A California man charged with using a lamp, golf club and chair to beat his grandparents has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Prosecutors say 26-year-old John Knowlton Hougham III attacked the couple after his grandmother refused to loan him money to buy a car.

The Monterey Herald says the Salinas man entered the insanity plea of Thursday. A judge ordered psychiatric examinations.

His lawyer says Hougham is schizophrenic and is bipolar.

If it's determined he was insane at the time of the September 2011 attacks, he could be ordered to a state mental hospital for life.

Prosecutors say Hougham attacked his 81-year-old grandfather with a chair as he slept, and he then used a lamp and golf club to attack his 78-year-old grandmother.

The elderly couple recovered.

EX-WIFE PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN FATAL BOILING ATTACK: DALY CITY (AP) — A woman accused of poured boiling water over her sleeping ex-husband has pleaded not guilty to murder and torture charges.

The San Mateo Daily Journal reports that 39-year-old Jesusa Tatad of Daly City entered the plea Thursday in San Mateo County Superior Court.

Prosecutors say the defendant attacked her ex-husband, 36-year-old Ronie Tatad, on Nov. 26 because she apparently believed he was seeing another woman. The couple was divorced but still living together.

Authorities say after pouring a pot of boiling water on his face and upper body she clubbed his head with a baseball bat. He died from second- and third- degree burns about two weeks after the attack.

Jesusa Tatad is being held without bail. She is scheduled back in court on March 26.

EX-MICHAEL JACKSON MANAGER SUES FOR ESTATE SHARE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson's former manager is suing the singer's estate claiming he is owed millions and is responsible for some of the successes of the singer's estate.

Tohme R. Tohme's lawsuit was filed Friday in Santa Monica, Calif., the same day lawyers for Jackson's estate asked a judge to rule the former adviser had no rights to any of Jackson's post-death earnings.

Tohme's case claims Jackson's estate would not be as successful if not for his efforts and that he should be paid 15 percent of Jackson's post-death earnings.

Jackson's estate claims Tohme used undue influence to get Jackson to sign agreements, but the former adviser's case states he worked diligently to create "a financial and career strategy that would provide stability for Michael Jackson and his children."

GIFTED MAN' MARKS NEW TIME WITH TWEET FEST: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The stars of "A Gifted Man" know how they're spending their evening: tweeting about the CBS show as it airs.

Cast members Patrick Wilson, Margo Martindale and Rachelle LeFevre will take to Twitter to answer viewers' questions during the show's new time slot, 9 p.m. EST Friday. They'll be joined by Executive Producer Neal Baer.

Baer says the back-and-forth tweeting doesn't detract from the TV experience, but enhances it. He says it's a "wonderful" way to link viewers with writers and actors, and it reflects conversations people have when watching TV.

"A Gifted Man" stars Wilson as a brilliant, wealthy surgeon whose life changes when he's visited by the spirit of his late ex-wife, who was an idealistic, free-clinic doctor. His