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June 18, 2011 | By Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times
On Dec. 16, 1944, 21-year-old Army Cpl. Gordon Hearne found himself in an hours-long gun battle with German soldiers in the Belgium countryside — one of countless such stories that marked the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, Germany's last major offensive and a turning point in World War II. On Saturday, Hearne, now 87, was formally thanked by King Albert II of Belgium for his service. In a ceremony at Taix French Restaurant in Echo Park, Hearne was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Crown by Belgium's consul general in Los Angeles.
February 21, 2011 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
If a government falls and practically nobody hears it, does it make a sound? Unable ? or unwilling ? to work together, bickering politicians have left unassuming Belgium without a fully functioning government for eight months, the longest for any nation in Europe since World War II. Through most of that time, few Belgians, let alone the outside world, even seemed to notice. Trains continue to run, waffles are still being grilled on street corners, and people window-shop along centuries-old arcades.
February 6, 2011 | Staff and wire reports
Just as he has in some of his games, Tom Brady got a perfect rating for the season. On Sunday, the New England Patriots quarterback became the first unanimous choice as the NFL's most valuable player since the Associated Press began using a nationwide panel of media members who cover the league. It was Brady's second MVP award. His first came in 2007 ? the year the Patriots went 16-0 ? when Brady received 49 votes (one went to Brett Favre .) "It is always flattering to be chosen for such a prestigious award," Brady told reporters.
February 6, 2011 | By Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times
The men filed in slowly, one wearing a vintage green uniform emblazoned with a Purple Heart. Another rolled in on a chair, his head held high with a Veterans of Foreign Wars hat laden with medals. Some had lost frozen fingers, others toes. All had left behind friends 66 years ago in one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of World War II. These men are the last of a kind, the surviving veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. "Soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge led the free world to victory," said Geert Criel, Belgium's consul general in Los Angeles, who hosted 50 members of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge on Saturday.
February 5, 2011 | Wire reports
Phil Mickelson thrilled the huge crowd on the par-three 16th hole with a 30-foot birdie putt Saturday and closed within four strokes of leader Tommy Gainey halfway through the frost-delayed Phoenix Open at Scottsdale, Ariz. Mickelson, who won in 1996 and 2005 at TPC Scottsdale, birdied six of the last 11 holes for a six-under 65. He was 10 under for two rounds in the event, which will end Monday because of long delays on Thursday and Friday. Gainey played nine holes Saturday, finishing off a 65 after shooting a career-best 63 on Friday.
January 8, 2011 | Wire reports
Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner beat Belgium's Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans , 6-1, 6-3, in mixed doubles Saturday to give the United States its sixth team tennis title in the Hopman Cup at Perth, Australia. Isner evened the title contest 1-1 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Bemelmans after Henin won the final five games of her match against Mattek-Sands, 7-6 (6), 6-3. Belgium advanced as a surprise finalist from Group A when first-place finisher Serbia could not play the final due to an abdominal injury to Ana Ivanovic . Isner's booming serve and all-court cover put the Americans in control in the mixed doubles decider.
August 31, 2010 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
The former head of Belgium's Roman Catholic Church acknowledged Monday that he was wrong to have urged a sexual abuse victim to stay quiet until after the bishop who repeatedly molested him over a span of 13 years could retire. The statement by Cardinal Godfried Danneels came after transcripts of secret tapes of a meeting between him and the now-grown victim were published over the weekend in two newspapers, causing an outcry in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. "The whole approach … was not the right one," Danneels' spokesman, Toon Osaer, told the Associated Press on Monday.
August 29, 2010 | By Dinah Eng
This 2-year-old house inspired by the historic homes of Belgium feels as if it could be sitting in the countryside rather than in a Santa Monica neighborhood just blocks from the boutiques on Montana Avenue. The house, completed in 2008, is constructed with 17th century limestone floors, Belgian bluestone details, elaborate ironwork and refitted antique doors. The living room, which features a fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling stone face, has twin sets of iron doors that open to a cobblestone courtyard and fountain.
August 24, 2010
POP MUSIC Norah Jones In support of her fourth album, "The Fall," Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones presents an evening of rootsy torch songs. British singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae, who in the past few years has become almost as much of a concert draw as Jones, will be opening. Santa Barbara Bowl , 1122 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara. 7 p.m. $48.50-$73.50. (805) 962-7411. . EVENTS The Art of Surfboard Shaping For the dedicated, surfing is more than a sport — it's a spiritual pursuit, and that means surfboard shapers like Scott Anderson are akin to shamans.
August 22, 2010 | Claire Noland, Los Angeles Times
Michael Been, a singer, songwriter, guitarist and founding member of the Northern California modern rock band the Call, which broke out with the 1983 MTV hit "The Walls Came Down," has died. He was 60. Been (pronounced Bean) died Thursday after suffering a heart attack at the Pukkelpop festival in Hasselt, Belgium, where he had been serving as a sound engineer for his son Robert's band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. His death was announced in a statement from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's publicist, Juliana Plotkin.
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