CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 2013
Tony Musante, 77, a versatile actor who worked on stage and in film and television but was best known for his starring role on the 1973 TV police drama "Toma," died Tuesday of complications from surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, according to his wife of 51 years, Jane. When Musante was approached to play a New Jersey detective in "Toma," he agreed - but only for one season. So despite good reviews and ratings, in 1974 he walked away from a regular TV job. "I didn't want to play the same character for five years," he told the Associated Press a few years later.
November 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When the Supreme Court confronted the case of Native Americans who were fired for smoking an illegal drug during a religious ceremony, Justice Antonin Scalia called a halt to granting religious exemptions under the Constitution's protection for the "free exercise" of religion. It "would be courting anarchy" to permit "religious objectors" to ignore the law, he said. But Democrats in Congress rose up to overturn his decision and to bolster religious freedom. Backed by a broad coalition, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Christian Legal Society, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law 20 years ago this month.
November 24, 2013 |
TEHRAN - As world powers in Geneva negotiate the future of Iran's nuclear development program, Islamist hard-liners here continue to warn of a deceitful, perfidious West scheming to enfeeble the Islamic Republic. Yet in the trendy, smoke-filled cafes of this busy capital city, ritualistic denunciations of the United States are as passe as instant coffee among the mostly young, jeans-clad set. "In art, in fashion, in cinema and in our daily lifestyle, we copycat American culture," said Sarah, proprietor of a cozy cafe in the basement of a high-rise in northwest Tehran.
November 22, 2013 |
Amid all the dissection of John F. Kennedy's legacy this week, one achievement has gone largely unnoticed: his role in kick-starting the modern women's movement. Admittedly, JFK's record on women (particularly in his personal life) was mixed, and his Cabinet and policy staff were overwhelmingly male. Nonetheless, in December 1961, Kennedy acted decisively in the interest of women, establishing a national Commission on the Status of Women and appointing Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair.
November 21, 2013 |
The Rubik's Cube that is healthcare reform might have become even more puzzling for some people Thursday after the operator of California's online insurance exchange rejected President Obama's call for extending the life of canceled policies. Covered California said it'll stick with its Dec. 31 deadline. All plans that don't comply with the requirements of Obamacare must go adios by that day. Unless, that is, they've been grandfathered in. Color June Maguire confused. The 88-year-old Mission Viejo resident was among numerous people who have contacted me in recent days to ask what's what with the Affordable Care Act and what's this grandfathering thing all about anyhow?
November 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law, struggling to survive its botched rollout, now depends more than ever on insurance companies, doctor groups and hospitals - major forces in the industry that are committed to the law's success despite persistent tensions with the White House. Many healthcare industry leaders are increasingly frustrated with the Obama administration's clumsy implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nearly all harbor reservations about parts of the sweeping law. Some played key roles in killing previous Democratic efforts to widen healthcare coverage.