Intelligence chief chosen

WASHINGTON — James R. Clapper Jr., the Pentagon's chief official for intelligence, counterintelligence and security matters, has been chosen to become the next director of national intelligence, a position the White House described as the second toughest in Washington, U.S. officials said Friday.

If confirmed, Clapper, a retired Air Force general, would replace Dennis C. Blair, who resigned last month. Clapper was an early favorite for the post, and would become the fourth director and the third to have a military background.

Created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the national intelligence director coordinates 16 intelligence agencies and is supposed to smooth out areas of conflict. The director also is in charge of the president's daily intelligence briefing, putting him in close contact with the president and sometimes, according to critics, a convenient target for presidential wrath.

LA medical marijuana clinics may shut down

LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries must close by Monday or face possible civil fines or criminal charges because they don't comply with a new ordinance in Los Angeles.

Last-minute legal challenges from pot shop owners and patients seeking temporary restraining orders were denied Friday by Superior Court Judge James Chalfant, paving the way for officials to enforce the long-awaited law that will slash the number of dispensaries to somewhere between 70 and 130.

It remains to be seen whether dispensary owners will comply.

Last month, the city attorney's office mailed more than 430 letters to pot collectives, saying the operations must close by June 7.