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April 23, 2010 | Robert Abele, Special to The Los Angeles Times
The quirk-laden indie "Paper Man" brings together a novelist who won't grow up with a sullen teenage girl for mutual wallowing, eccentric high jinks and life lessons but, unfortunately, little reason to care. Richard Dunn ( Jeff Daniels) gets dropped off at a Montauk, Long Island, rental house for the winter by his high-strung surgeon wife, Claire ( Lisa Kudrow), so he can finish a second book, except he's distracted by an ugly couch, debilitating writer's block and an imaginary superhero friend ( Ryan Reynolds)
December 30, 2009 | By Tracy Wilkinson and Ken Ellingwood
Reporting from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico -- The mayor had good news: A notorious thug from one of the drug cartels had been found killed. Hector "El Negro" Saldana would no longer menace the people of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico. Trouble was, Saldana's body hadn't yet been discovered when Mayor Mauricio Fernandez made the announcement with a flourish at his swearing-in ceremony in October. How did Fernandez know about Saldana's demise hours before investigators found the body stuffed in a car hundreds of miles away in Mexico City?
July 11, 2009 | Shane Goldmacher
As the hours ticked away on a budget solution that was about to slip from the Legislature's grasp, some lawmakers urged their online supporters to action. "36 hours until the deadline," said an e-mail from one. "16 Hours Left!" blared a missive from another. Except they weren't talking about the budget. They were begging for campaign cash as a deadline for reporting donations neared. That was last week, when lawmakers missed a chance to save $3 billion from an expiring fiscal year.
July 3, 2009 | Ken Ellingwood
Mexicans vote Sunday, but the biggest story may be how many don't bother. At stake are all 500 seats in the lower house of Congress, six governorships and scores of local posts. But apathy and disgust with politics are rampant. Many voters plan to deface their ballots in protest. Every campaign, however, offers moments that are memorable, incongruous, weird. Here are a few tidbits from Mexico, the 2009 edition. The name says green, but the stance is pure red meat.
October 5, 2008 | Noha El-Hennawy, Times Staff Writer
Wagih Aziz's sharp voice echoed recently through an old theater in the heart of the city, striking a nerve with an audience of hundreds of Egyptians who face an uncertain future in a country overwhelmed by poverty and political disillusionment. "Speak out loudly and ask seriously with me," he sang, accompanied by his lute. "Are we alive or dead . . . ?"
April 10, 2008 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
A small bonus awaited South Koreans who voted in Wednesday's parliamentary elections at polling stations like the Jae Dong Elementary School in downtown Seoul. Before voters could leave the classroom-turned-polling station, election worker Lee Jae-gwang would spring to his feet and press a colorful $2 voucher into their hands, a discount for entry to government-run museums, parks and even parking lots.
December 15, 2007
If the votes at seven Los Angeles campuses are an indication, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will have his work cut out for him as he attempts to revamp a group of low-performing schools. A strong majority of the teachers and parents who voted Tuesday favored having the mayor and his partnership run the three high schools and four middle schools.
October 28, 2007 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
As Argentines go to the polls today to elect a new president, the only question appears to be whether First Lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will win by a wide enough margin to avoid a runoff. She would be the first woman elected president of Argentina and the second sitting female chief of state in South America, joining Chile's Michelle Bachelet.
June 5, 2006 | Mike Penner, Times Staff Writer
Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike. Take off your tattered Arsenal cap and your cracked shin guards and No. 6 jersey for Scribes FC (proud runners-up in the Los Alamitos Park and Rec Men's 30-and-Over Division) and return to a place you used to roam with feet firmly planted and head not blunted by too many headers. That place is called Earth. Welcome back. Not much has really changed since you left.
June 4, 2006
Re "Oh no, another election already!" Current, May 28 I disagree with the premise of Tony Quinn's commentary, which predicts a record low number of voters in the June primary. Citing Quinn's own figures, attendance at three of the last four elections has ranged from 34.6% in the 2002 primary to 60% in the recall election that turned Gray Davis out of office. Only the 2004 presidential election attracted a greater number of voters: about 75%. These percentages do not begin to justify his theory that we are suffering from a bad case of ballot burnout.
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