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Tuesday Briefing

August 21, 2007

Editors' choice: Some investors might be smart, but they can't read comic books. At least these comic books. A Florida company has created a sensation by authenticating, grading and then encasing

vintage issues and brand-new ones alike in stiff plastic sleeves. CALENDAR, E1

The World

EU cuts fuel payments to Gaza

Tens of thousands of Gaza Strip residents are without electri- city after the European Union stops paying to supply fuel to a power station. The move was meant to deny funding to the Hamas movement, which had reportedly planned a tax on electricity produced at the plant. Page A4

Turkish elections

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, the Islamist-influenced ruling party's candidate for president, fails to win a two-thirds majority in parliament's first-round voting. But he is expected to triumph next week in the final round. Page A6

The Nation

D.C. seeks to halt deluge of handbills

The District of Columbia is trying to rein in the proliferation of posters by levying fines against organizations that stick statements on lampposts, vacant buildings and even trees. One group has responded with a complaint alleging abridgment of free speech. Page A8

Who's hue?

Women's brains seem to be hard-wired for reddish tints; men's brains for blue-green, a study finds. A group of British neuroscientists say that there are universal color preferences and that culture doesn't seem to play a role in them. Page A8

California

Mayor names L.A. fire chief

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa scrapped his nationwide search for a new fire chief, hiring interim Fire Chief Douglas L. Barry to run a department buffeted by civil rights lawsuits and a budding federal employment discrimination investigation. Page B1

Arellano deported

U.S. immigration officials announced that Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant who symbolized inhumane treatment of migrants to some and brazen lawlessness to others, has been deported to Mexico as immigrant rights groups vowed to protest. Page B1

Business

HD DVD format gets a boost

Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. say they will offer movies exclusively in the HD DVD format rather than Blu-ray. The surprise move complicates the technology battle that Blu-ray had been clearly winning. Page C1

More loan layoffs

Calabasas-based home lender Countrywide Financial Corp., strained by the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market, announces the elimination of 500 jobs, while Capital One says it will close its GreenPoint lending unit, resulting in the loss of 1,900 jobs. Page C4

Sports

Big test for Big Ten with new network

The Big Ten Conference will launch its own network, showing 400 live events, including 38 football games. The venture, which kicks off Aug. 30, may bring in more than $220 million or it could fail. How well the network does is of interest to other conferences, including the Pacific 10. Page D1

Desperate times

The Dodgers trail Arizona by 6 1/2 games in the National League West and San Diego by 2 1/2 games for the wild-card lead and have only 38 games to change their fortune. They begin a six-game trip today. Page D5

Out at USC

Receiver Jamere Holland was dismissed from the USC football team, Coach Pete Carroll said, declining to say why. Tailback Emmanuel Moody decided last week to transfer before his sophomore year. Page D3

Calendar

No idle time for Ryan Seacrest

To his long list of hosting duties, Ryan Seacrest is adding the Emmy Awards on Sept. 16. Ken Ehrlich, the executive producer of the broadcast, invokes a familiar comparison: "What I see in Ryan is Dick Clark." Page E1

What a man

A DVD compilation of highlights from Johnny Cash's 1969-71 TV series gets an appreciative viewing by former Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn. Page E1

Obituaries

Leona Helmsley, hotelier, tax cheat

Leona Helmsley, the Manhattan hotel magnate who was derided as "the Queen of Mean" when she was on trial for tax evasion and was deemed the woman New Yorkers most love to hate, has died at 87 at her summer home in Greenwich, Conn. Page B8

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