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Tuesday Briefing

April 04, 2006|Brian Hanrahan and Mike Anton | Times Staff Writers

Undiplomatic language

Americans just seem to have an aversion to paying tolls to the British (see "Tea Party, Boston"), so when traffic managers in downtown London began charging drivers a "congestion fee," the U.S. Embassy decided the fee was really a tax, and staffers started waving their diplomatic immunity at the tollbooth.

That doesn't sit well with the feisty mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. He says the U.S. ambassador is behaving like a "chiseling little crook" in refusing to pay traffic charges. Now a local traffic issue is reverberating across the Pond and back, where some think the mayor's hand was badly played. Page A21

An architect's towering legacy

Albert C. Martin Jr., part of a three-generation Los Angeles architectural firm that shaped the city's skyline over the past century, has died at age 92.

Among the notable buildings designed during Martin's tenure is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Building on Hope Street. Page B10

Final chapter for

a good read

A fixture on Laurel Canyon Boulevard (and in the hearts of many book lovers) since 1961, Dutton's Books and Art will soon be nothing more than a memory. Owner Davis "Dave" Dutton is closing the North Hollywood store and moving to Washington state, and bargain-hunting readers are clearing out the once-crowded shelves. "It has been like a months-long going-away party," Dutton says. Page B1

Who will rebuild

New Orleans?

New Orleans needs some work. And some workers. People in Mexico and Central America want jobs. Call it a match made in the Gulf of Mexico.

Thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of immigrant workers are in the region now, hauling away debris, installing new roofs and painting walls. As the immigration debate continues, it's another reminder of the country's reliance on undocumented labor from Latin America. And what does it mean for a city that usually defines itself in terms of black and white? Page A10

Putting a focus on

higher education

The statistics aren't encouraging. Figures culled from the 2000 census show that slightly more than 50% of Latino students finish high school, 10% graduate from college and 4% obtain an advanced degree -- numbers far lower than those for white students.

At a conference at UCLA on the issue, a couple of points were made repeatedly: The importance of higher education must be stressed to younger students, and more counseling needs to be available so they can navigate the process of preparing for, and applying for, college. Page B2

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Nature's wrath

Small towns across the Midwest and the South are recovering after being pummeled by thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail the size of grapefruits. At least 27 people were killed and thousands of homes were destroyed, leaving people such as Joe Freeman, outside his home in Dyer, Tenn., wondering what to do next. Page A4

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T.J. SIMERS: 'Dodger GM Ned Colletti, a.k.a. The Schmoozer, who helped assemble the Giants' aging roster and then watched it collapse, decided to do the same thing here. He apparently doesn't live by the adage, "I never make the same mistake twice." ' Sports, Page D2

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CALENDAR

Property vs. propriety

The Nazis stole them in 1938. Now, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has them -- for three months, at least. Five of Gustav Klimt's paintings, looted during World War II and repatriated from an Austrian museum to their rightful Cheviot Hills owner after a legal battle, go on display at LACMA today. The showing, which includes "Adele Bloch-Bauer II," right, comes at a time of multiplying disputes over stolen art and antiquities.

It also raises questions about the cultural patrimony of such treasures and what obligations owners have in determining a piece's fate. Page E1

From no-show to no show? Heck no

The show must go on -- unless, of course, the pianist breaks his wrist.

For the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other such organizations nationwide this has been a season of substitutions and cancellations brought on by illness and injury to star performers. Whether it's a gallbladder operation or pneumonia, when an artist goes down, a scramble ensues to find a suitable replacement for discerning audiences. Page E1

Hillary's true

Hollywood story

Hillary Rodham Clinton is being critiqued, but this time the scrutiny is coming not from the right but from Hollywood celebrities who vote Democratic.

As the U.S. senator from New York and former first lady edges closer to a run for president, some long knives have emerged. Opinions abound -- from George Clooney to Sharon Stone to Madonna -- and they're not always flattering. Depending on who's asked, Clinton is either too conservative, too famous, too stiff or even too sexy to be president. Page E1

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ON LATIMES.COM

Rushing to save the wounded

Deeper into the lifeline: The final installment in our series following the lives of soldiers wounded in Iraq. Interactive galleries deliver the sights and sounds of the rush to treat the injured, and a discussion forum welcomes your thoughts on the series. latimes.com/wounded

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