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October 18, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
KARACHI, Pakistan - The first Pakistani film up for Oscar consideration in half a century faces 75 foreign-language rivals from around the world, many made with much larger budgets and far slicker marketing campaigns. It must survive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's winnowing process that narrows the field to five before the envelope opens at the Dolby Theatre on March 2. For the filmmakers of the low-budget "Zinda Bhaag" set in the back alleys of Lahore, however, getting the film into Pakistan's few cinemas and showing the world a different side of their country is in itself a big win. The movie opens Friday in Los Angeles "Just seeing something positive come out of Pakistan beyond war and terror, when there are so many problems, something beyond guns and jihadis , is an achievement," producer Mazhar Zaidi said.
October 2, 2013 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
My high school cross-country T-shirt from my senior year had the word "Slow" monogrammed across the sleeve. I'd finished more than my share of races in dead last. And I'd been photographed more than once with medal-toting teammates while I held up a participant ribbon. So why I ran seven years for my little school - and why I continue a love-hate relationship with running to this day - baffles me. I took up the sport in the sixth grade for no better reason than this: I wanted to get a medal to show off to my little brother, the baseball star who laughed at my only trophy, earned for selling Girl Scout cookies.
September 30, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - Three and a half years after President Obama signed his landmark healthcare law, his administration made its final preparations Monday to begin enrolling millions of Americans in health insurance amid persistent anxiety over possible technical problems and intense opposition from Republican critics. Administration officials emphasized that a government shutdown would not prevent the federal website for enrolling in health coverage - - from going live at 8 a.m Eastern time Tuesday, allowing consumers to begin signing up for plans.
September 27, 2013 | Chris Dufresne
It's time to get ready-set-hut for two of Saturday's marquee games: Oklahoma at Notre Dame and Mississippi at Alabama. Both are intriguing and consequential, with all four schools dripping with pedigree. The teams enter with an average Associated Press ranking of 14.5 and a combined 12-1 record. You just can't call either game a "rivalry," because that implies competition that goes back and forth. This is not Ali versus Frazier. There's a chance historical momentum can get shifted between now and Saturday's sunset, but for now the story lines all lean toward lopsided.
September 9, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Adrian Peterson has a long way to go if he wants to reach his goal of an unprecedented 2,500 yards rushing this season. The Minnesota running back's 93 yards with two touchdowns in the Vikings' 34-24 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday weren't bad, but they fell short of our expectations for the reigning NFL MVP. At this rate, Peterson will finish the season with 1,488 yards rushing -- a great number but a far cry from last year's near-record 2,097...
August 30, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Like the American kid who returns from study abroad with a German accent, Chevrolet's latest Cruze sedan will come with a decidedly European flair. Starting in September, Chevy will offer the compact sedan with a diesel engine. It joins the two gas engines that have been available in the car since the Cruze began selling in 2010. Built in Germany, the turbo diesel engine gives Chevy a compelling fuel-efficiency play in the U.S. in the popular compact segment. The Cruze diesel is rated at 27 miles per gallon in the city and 46 on the highway.
August 27, 2013 | By Jason Wells, Samantha Schaefer and Diana Marcum
The cost of fighting the massive Rim fire - which on Tuesday became the seventh-largest wildfire in California's recorded history - has topped a reported $27 million. That means the fire, which on Tuesday grew to roughly 280 square miles, has burned through 15% of the $172 million the California Legislature set aside for the wildfire season. And with the Rim fire just 20% contained, the $27-million price tag reported by the San Jose Mercury News was sure to go higher. More than 3,700 personnel had been assigned to fight the blaze, along with six air tankers and more than a dozen water-dropping helicopters, according to Dick Fleishman, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.
August 16, 2013 | By Tom Hayden
At least 300 inmates are now several weeks into a fast that could soon lead to organ failure and death for many of them. Events are moving rapidly, but as I write, nothing has been resolved. And, as California corrections chief Jeffrey Beard made clear recently in an Op-Ed for this newspaper, the sides are far apart. Beard, presumably reflecting Gov. Jerry Brown's views, paints the strike leaders as dangerous gang leaders who are pressuring inmates into a hunger strike to "restore their ability to terrorize fellow prisoners, prison staff and communities throughout California.
August 14, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Who said a little band drama would hurt record sales? Despite not touring -- or even speaking to one another -- the Civil Wars have earned their first No. 1 album. The Grammy-winning folk duo's self-titled sophomore album sold 116,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The follow-up to 2011's “Barton Hollow,” which debuted at No. 10, might be a hit for Nashville singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White, but the album's success comes at time when tensions between the duo are so high they aren't promoting the album together, let alone speaking to each other, according to Williams.
July 20, 2013 | By Gregory Pratt
For a long time, John Loerop just wanted revenge. After he had heard the screams, after he had tried to revive his daughter with CPR, after he had attended her funeral, he wanted the boy who had hit her with his car to pay. But eventually, Loerop's heart changed. DeAndre Wolfe, then 16, was driving home after picking up a Mother's Day present in 2011 when his car struck 4-year-old Annabella Loerop, who had gone into the street in her Tinley Park neighborhood to recover a wayward basketball.
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