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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
August 19, 2011
For the last month, Syrian security forces under the command of President Bashar Assad have pummeled the suburbs of Damascus and Homs and, most recently, shelled the port city of Latakia, rounding up thousands of its residents as they fled naval bombardment. Meanwhile, to the west and south, Libyan forces loyal to Moammar Kadafi battled rebels in Zawiya, where an earlier uprising had been brutally put down by the regime. In Libya, the United States is part of a NATO coalition aiding the rebels as they attempt to overthrow Kadafi; in Syria, the United States had, until Thursday, refrained even from saying that Assad should go. The juxtaposition of the two conflicts in the Mediterranean frames the reach of American power in the region and serves as a useful reminder that force, though it has its place, also has its limits.
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.
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.
December 4, 2011 | By Abby Sewell and Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Utility repair crews took advantage of Sunday's relatively mild weather to restore power to many customers as weather forecasters warned of another blast of high winds expected early Monday. Meanwhile, thousands of residents who had remained without power after more than three days hunkered down for another chilly night without electricity to power their TVs and computers. Southern California Edison reported Sunday that about 38,445 customers remained without power, down from more than 200,000 on Thursday.
December 1, 2011 | By Paul West, Washington Bureau
With voting in the Republican presidential contest only a month away, Newt Gingrich's campaign was surging this week. But in his office in suburban Des Moines, something was missing. There were no workers, no phones. As of Thursday, when Gingrich spoke at a nearby hotel, the office lights had not been turned on. The disconnect was a telling example of the challenges he faces in turning his recently revived yet still disorganized candidacy into one capable of corralling the nomination.
October 18, 2011
Two years after Frank and Jamie McCourt began their long, ugly, record-breakingly expensive battle over their divorce and their holdings, they have finally reached a truce on the most contested issue: whether the Dodgers are community property. You can have them, Jamie says. Neither has talked about the details, but The Times has reported that Jamie agreed to relinquish her claim to the team for a settlement of $130 million. While that may put a stop to the McCourts' personal fight, it doesn't end the painful saga that Dodgers fans have had to endure, watching their team languish on the field and be put into bankruptcy.
August 13, 2011 | By Nathaniel Popper and Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
One of the wildest streaks in Wall Street history came to a tame close with blue-chip stocks not far from where they were when the week began. After four consecutive days of 400-point swings, the Dow Jones industrial average rose a relatively modest 125 points Friday to bring the blue-chip average only 1.5% lower for the week. At one point this week, the Dow was down a dizzying 7.3%. The subdued trading was a relief for investors who have been buffeted by a stream of bad news in recent weeks.
November 20, 2011
The city of Vernon was barely out from under the threat of disincorporation when it went back to its old bad-government ways. The City Council voted in October to promote its interim city attorney, Michael Montgomery, to a permanent job without first placing the matter on the agenda or conducting an open search process. After state Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) took the council to task, longtime Mayor Hilario Gonzalez announced his resignation; he had been on the council since 1974.
November 16, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
There might yet be another casualty in the real estate market: the Federal Housing Administration. With home prices still seeking their bottom, the federal agency that insures more than $1 trillion in mortgages faces a nearly 50% chance that it could need a taxpayer bailout next year, according to a government report released Tuesday. If the housing market fails to rebound next year, the FHA would need as much as $43 billion from the U.S. Treasury to stay afloat, the report said.
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