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November 25, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - From presidential candidates to grocers and spice merchants, many Afghans threw up their hands in frustration and exasperation with their elected president on Monday. They had watched Hamid Karzai on TV the day before, and many were baffled by what they saw. Karzai had brusquely rejected the recommendations of a special grand council he had personally convened to vote on whether Afghanistan should sign a security agreement with the United States. After the council, or loya jirga , enthusiastically endorsed the pact, Karzai refused to sign and launched an angry diatribe against the United States.
November 23, 2013 | By David Pierson
With millions of turkeys thawing and piles of stuffing waiting to be prepared, Thanksgiving is one of the riskiest times of year for food safety. Bacteria can be lurking anywhere in crowded holiday kitchens, spread by cross contamination or undercooked food. That's why epidemiologists see a spike in food-borne illness in November and December. Companies such as poultry producer Butterball join government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in stepping up efforts to educate consumers about the potential dangers of the annual fall feast.
November 23, 2013 | By David Willman
WASHINGTON - Despite intense pressure to hold down federal spending, the Defense Department is launching a high-priced effort to create its own production pipeline for vaccines and biodefense drugs - an initiative that defies the advice of government-hired experts and duplicates what another agency is doing. Construction began in late October on a plant in north Florida that will produce flu vaccine and specialized medicines for the Pentagon to protect military personnel against germ warfare agents.
November 19, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
Before Mary and Liz Cheney, there were Newt and Candace Gingrich. Starting in the '90s, the Gingrich siblings -- one a straight, conservative politician and the other a married, gay activist -- played out the same family drama over gay marriage that is now roiling the Cheney clan. “The struggle that the Cheney family is going through is one that lots and lots of families go through when it comes to LGBT family members,” Candace Gingrich told me Monday from her home in Hyattsville, Md. “I feel for them, because it's magnified about 8,000 times, but the bottom line is that one sister does not accept the basic right of her other sister.
October 24, 2013 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON--As Washington tries to find a way past the political dysfunction that triggered the shutdown of the federal government, Gov. Jerry Brown came to town Thursday to suggest it look for inspiration in California. Brown told a ballroom of liberals celebrating the anniversary of the Center for American Progress, one of the left's favorite think tanks, that it was only a few years ago California had been written off by the pundits as a lost cause. “Three years ago California was called a failed state,” he said.
October 19, 2013 | By Jean Merl
Linda Griego and Wendy Greuel, former candidates for Los Angeles mayor, had this advice for women attending a training session Saturday on running for political office: Raise plenty of money - you're going to need it. "Ask for money.... Don't take 'no' for an answer," Griego, a businesswoman and former deputy mayor who ran in the 1993 primary, told a workshop organized by Emily's List, a group that helps Democratic women who support abortion rights seek elected office. "The most important thing is raising money," said Greuel, a former city controller and councilwoman who lost last year's hard-fought, costly race to then-Councilman Eric Garcetti.
October 13, 2013 | Diane Pucin
On the first day Ed Orgeron became interim head coach of the USC football team, another coach, a former USC coach who had some success at the school, asked Orgeron if he wanted to chat and perhaps listen to some advice. Orgeron looked at John Robinson -- 78 years old, with eyes as clear as the sky after Santa Ana winds and a back as straight as a ruler -- and told him, "Of course. " Though Robinson would never say it, previous coach Lane Kiffin wasn't as eager to listen to Robinson, who comes to practice occasionally and does fundraising for the Trojans more often.
October 4, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
God bless Sinead O'Connor, the prickly Irish rock singer who once ripped a photograph of the pope on live TV to protest the Catholic Church's child sex abuse scandal, for trying to school Miley Cyrus on the pitfalls of female sexual exploitation in the music business. It's not going to work. You simply can't tell a 20-year-old music phenomenon to stop doing the very thing that has brought her even more fame and fortune than she already earned as a tween TV star.
October 4, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- In a closed strategy session of House Republicans, Speaker John A. Boehner on Friday shared letters of encouragement he received from schoolchildren who urged him to withstand shutdown stress by taking a nap, listening to music - Lady Gaga was suggested - and other tips, according to those in the room. The light moment quickly faded to Boehner's denial of media reports that he was willing to “roll over” in coming negotiations to raise the the nation's debt limit.
September 30, 2013 | Robin Abcarian
Newt Gingrich can't be serious. Of all the people in the world who ought to be wary of a federal government shutdown, it should be former House Speaker Gingrich, whose political career flamed out spectacularly after he orchestrated two federal shutdowns over a budget impasse with then-President Clinton.  In an essay published Monday , the co-host of CNN's “Crossfire,” has urged House Republicans to stick to their guns and allow the federal government to close down in order to teach the president a (flawed)
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