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August 11, 2011 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Beneath an old diving helmet straight out of Jules Verne, a couple seated at a corner of the raw bar feed each other oysters, clams, bites of lobster. They eat slowly, luxuriously, between sips of wine. He whispers in her ear. She laughs and pops a shrimp in her mouth. Behind the bar, a cook deftly shucks oysters, tucks a little more ice around a lipstick-red lobster and slides a plate of peel 'n' eat shrimp over to a guy at the other end of the bar. This is Hungry Cat Santa Monica Canyon, the third iteration of David Lentz's wildly popular Hollywood seafood restaurant (the second is in Santa Barbara)
June 2, 2012 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
CHICAGO - President Obama zipped around his hometown Friday - hitting a string of fundraisers, visiting friends and checking his long-unoccupied house. But he did not stop by his campaign headquarters. He doesn't have to. As he juggles foreign visitors, ceremonial duties and the usual tasks of sitting in the Oval Office, Obama remains in close contact with his reelection effort. He spends many Sunday nights huddled with a small circle of advisors at the White House, going over strategy, ads and polling.
November 7, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
It's not the first time Israel has hinted it might strike Iran's nuclear facilities. Whisper campaigns about a possible surprise attack have leaked out before and sometimes appear timed to help U.S. efforts to rally international support for sanctions against Tehran. But the current round of speculation about an airstrike - fueled by recent statements by anonymous Israeli officials and some high-profile missile and military flight tests last week - sparked an unusually public debate here about whether Israel should take such a step at this time.
May 15, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
AGA, Egypt - After an unfriendly journalist was tossed off, Amr Moussa's campaign bus headed north to the Nile Delta, where barefoot boys and peasants greeted him with horns, drums and two dancing horses. Moussa arrived as both novelty and sensation, a front-runner in Egypt's first freely contested presidential election. The former diplomat who once negotiated with world leaders walked roads strewn with hay and spotted with manure, giving speeches on dignity and chatting with elders near herds of sheep and sheds full of broken farm equipment.
August 14, 2011 | By Robin Abcarian
Rep. Steve King, an influential religious conservative in Iowa, said Sunday that one of the reasons that Tim Pawlenty didn't receive more support from voters in his state is because he's part of an establishment wing of the party that is struggling in the wake of widespread discontent with Washington. “I feel bad for [Pawlenty]. It has to be a kick in the stomach,”  said King, who thought Michele Bachmann got the better of Pawlenty at Thursday's debate. “He put in a good effort and had a good organization, but he just didn't connect.” Many of Pawlenty's supporters backed Mitt Romney four years ago, and this year both men have seemed to have trouble exciting the Iowa Republican base, King said.
August 14, 2011 | By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, will end his bid for the GOP nomination after a disapppointing third place finish in the Ames Iowa Straw Poll. In a conference call with supporters, Pawlenty explained how his campaign needed a boost in the Ames poll, which it had failed to get. Pawlenty finished a distant third, behind Reps. Michele Bachman and Ron Paul of Texas. Pawlenty had pitched his canidacy as the one which could unite the GOP's different conservative streams.
June 22, 2011 | By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times
It was the ancient Athenian philosopher Plato who argued that the world of ideas had greater value than the physical world known through sensation, but it took Newt Gingrich to try to make that argument in 21st century America. Gingrich, whose campaign for the GOP nomination for president has been hit by staff resignations, funding problems and, most recently, a Washington Post report that he had two lines of credit at a glitzy jewelry emporium, took on the press Wednesday, sort of a Daniel in the lion’s den moment, to insist his campaign was still alive.
August 3, 2011 | By Maeve Reston
Jon Huntsman toured Manchester's Elm Street with Mayor Ted Gatsas -- trying some old-fashioned retail politicking in his campaign to be the Republican presidential nominee. After seeing drums in the window of a music store, Huntsman popped in and tried his hand on the keyboard. There were only a handful of voters but nearly a dozen reporters. He took over from a man who was trying out a keyboard toward the front of the store. "How are you? I'm Jon Huntsman. I'm running for president," Huntsman said.
October 27, 2011 | By Timothy Garton Ash
Untangle this knot if you can. In the next days and months, the future of the Eurozone will be decided by the verdict of financial markets on complex measures that are all the various European countries will allow their governments to agree on. Country after country, parliament after parliament is raising its voice and saying thus far and no further. But Germany's "must" is Greece's "can't"; Nicolas Sarkozy's "essential" is Angela Merkel's "impossible"; Slovakia's red line is Spain's indispensable minimum.
September 8, 2011 | Doyle McManus
We already know the outlines of what President Obama plans to say in his long-awaited jobs speech before Congress on Thursday night. He will propose a list of job-creation measures — tax cuts, infrastructure spending, aid to state governments, training for the unemployed — that will probably add up to about $300 billion worth of economic stimulus. Obama is unlikely to use the now-discredited word "stimulus," of course; instead, he'll cast his proposals as "job creation. " Even so, Republicans in Congress are unlikely to embrace most of them.
March 31, 2012 | From a Times staff writer
BEIRUT -- Clashes and shelling were reported across Syria on Friday, even as the former secretary-general of the United Nations said he expected an immediate cease-fire by President Bashar Assad's forces. At least 45 people were killed nationwide in the violence, according to the Local Coordination Committees, a coalition of opposition activist groups. The killings, including 14 in the northeast city of Dair Alzour and 12 in the central city of Homs, took place amid large protests across the country by activists demanding action in the Arab world in support of their cause.
January 18, 2012 | Sam Farmer
Reporting from Santa Clara, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers didn't wear their heart on their sleeve this season. They wore it on their cover. At the start of training camp, defensive players received binders with Justin Smith on the cover along with the numbers 0-1. The 11-year defensive end had played in one postseason game in his career, a loss when he was playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. Explained Vic Fangio, San Francisco's defensive coordinator: "Our main goal from the first day of training camp was to get him back in the playoffs and get that goose egg off the board.
January 9, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
Mitt Romney may be getting a dose of his own medicine. Just hours before the first votes are cast in New Hampshire's primary, the front-running Republican's campaign is in damage-control mode. At issue are comments Romney made while speaking to the Nashua Chamber of Commerce Monday morning. Discussing healthcare, Romney said that allowing individuals to choose their own insurance companies would give them the flexibility to fire them if they didn't perform. "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say, you know, I'm going to go get someone else to provide that service to me," Romney said.
January 5, 2012 | By Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times
When his opponents were pinned down in Iowa in a mad scramble for survival, Mitt Romney hopscotched to New Hampshire. Now that the presidential contest has moved to New Hampshire, Romney has leaped ahead to South Carolina. His moves are a daily demonstration of the advantages that money and organization have given the Republican front-runner, as his champagne-and-caviar operation takes on his caffeine-and-chips challengers. On Thursday, five days before the New Hampshire primary, Romney campaigned for votes both from the frigid north and, late in the day, South Carolina.
January 3, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
It was a day of fortunes turned inside out: The Muslim Brotherhood, persecuted for decades by then-President Hosni Mubarak, moved closer Tuesday to winning Egypt's parliamentary elections while the disgraced former leader listened from a defendant's cage as a federal prosecutor demanded the "harshest penalty" for him. More than 14 million Egyptians were eligible to cast ballots Tuesday for 150 seats in nine governorates, with the Brotherhood having...
December 27, 2011 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
After more than three weeks of public protests over fraud allegations in Russia's parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he will not accede to one of the principal demands of demonstrators. There will be no revote, he said Tuesday in televised remarks. "The elections are over … and the Duma [the parliament's lower house] is functioning," Putin declared. "All talks about any revision [of the election results] are impossible. " Putin, who is seeking a return to the presidency in March elections, also lashed out at leaders of the ongoing protests, saying they "display their weakness by resorting to insults.
September 2, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested Friday that Sarah Palin lacked the "thick skin" needed to serve even in the nation's No. 2 role, the latest critique of a would-be GOP president as part of his book tour. In an interview with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, Cheney said he's "never gotten around the question" of why Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in the middle of her first and only term. "I've never heard that adequately explained so that I could understand [it]
August 8, 2011 | By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau
House leaders announced Monday the end of an era: The House page program will be no more. Citing the $5-million cost of the program and the dwindling need for young pages to run papers and messages between congressional offices and the House floor, the historic program will be discontinued. "This decision was not easy," House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), the minority leader, said in a joint statement, "but it is necessary due to the prohibitive cost of the program and advances in technology that have rendered most page-provided services no longer essential to the smooth functioning of the House.
December 19, 2011 | By Seema Mehta and Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
Facing slipping poll numbers, an angry Newt Gingrich lashed out at his Republican presidential rivals Monday, calling their criticism of him "reprehensible" and helpful only to President Obama's reelection. Voters in Iowa have been swamped by nonstop television attack ads, robocalls and mailers from the campaigns and independent supporters of candidates Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Perry. Among the claims in the ads: that Gingrich is a serial hypocrite and flip-flopper on issues such as a health insurance mandate, and that he made $1.6 million working for Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant blamed by many Republicans for the economic collapse.
December 14, 2011 | By Kim Geiger
The Iowa political director for Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign resigned Tuesday after he suggested that evangelical pastors would oppose Mitt Romney as a candidate for president to “expose the cult of Mormon.” Craig Bergman made the remarks at a focus group last week, before he had joined Gingrich's campaign. “There is a national pastor who is very much on the anti-Romney bandwagon,” Bergman said at the focus group , which was hosted by McClatchy Newspapers and
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