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January 15, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
¡Feliz cumpleaños, Susan Sontag! The great critic, novelist and iconoclast was born Jan. 16, 1933. Today would've been her 81st birthday. Many readers associate Sontag with New York: She was born in the Big Apple and first made her name there as a critic in her late 20s. But we Angelenos know that Sontag, the author of 17 books that have been translated into 32 languages, is also one of our own. Long before she wrote her hugely influential "On...
January 13, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Happy birthday, A.A. Milne! The author of "Winnie-the-Pooh" was born 132 years ago today. Milne brought us Pooh, that silly old bear, and his child companion, Christopher Robin, along with children's rhymes, and plays, essays and fiction for grown-ups. Alan Alexander Milne was brought up in England and, as a boy, took classes from a young teacher who was a mentor to him -- the writer H.G. Wells. Milne went to Cambridge, married his wife Daphne, and in 1920 the two of them had a son: Christopher Robin.
January 9, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
The place to be tonight, Jan. 9, for hot country guitar picking -- and singing -- is the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills , where British guitar ace Albert Lee is celebrating his 70th birthday with help from a lot of his friends. As one of the most expressive and technically dazzling players of the last 40 years, Lee has collaborated with plenty of country's elite musicians, and for his birthday show the onstage guest list is scheduled to include Emmylou Harris (whose celebrated Hot Band once featured Lee)
January 8, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Dennis Rodman helped Kim Jong Un mark his 31st birthday Wednesday with sport and song, serenading the North Korean dictator with a warbly rendition of “Happy Birthday” in a Pyongyang gymnasium and then leading fellow ex-NBA players in a game against a local squad. Spectators were not allowed to bring cameras into the modestly appointed arena, but video posted later online showed Rodman in sunglasses leading the crowd - many of them in sport coats and dress shirts - in a singing tribute to “The Marshal.” Then the Americans, in blue and white uniforms, faced off against the North Koreans, or the “Torch Team,” in red. Simon Cockerell, a tour guide with Beijing-based Koryo tours who is traveling with Rodman's group, described the event as a “bizarre and unusual occasion.” In a video dispatch from Pyongyang posted to Koryo's Facebook page, he said the teams played two 10-minute halves, with the North Koreans prevailing at the final buzzer (by a score of 47-39, according to Associated Press)
January 1, 2014 | By Jay Jones
The 70 th anniversary of the launch of USS Missouri will be celebrated Feb. 1 at Pearl Harbor, where the famed battleship is berthed as a museum. The ship was christened Jan. 29, 1944, as World War II raged in the Pacific. On the Missouri's deck on Sept. 2, 1945, as it was anchored in Tokyo Bay, the Japanese signed the documents of surrender that ended the war. Actors portraying wartime heroes, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester Nimitz, both of whom signed the historic documents for the United States, will participate in “living history” activities at the Oahu landmark.
December 26, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- China marked the 120th anniversary of Mao Tse-tung's birth Thursday, feting the communist revolutionary with concerts of patriotic songs, visits to his mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, broadcasts of TV docudramas and exhibits of calligraphy and photography. President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and other senior leaders paid respects at Mao's mausoleum, where his body first went on view in 1977, a year after his death. Xi, who has been championing an anti-corruption campaign, said that this year's Mao commemorations should be “solemn, austere and practical,” but some of the commemorations have been extravagant.
December 19, 2013 | By Jung-yoon Choi
SEOUL -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to help train the country's national basketball team and prepare an exhibition game celebrating leader Kim Jong Un's birthday. Rodman's trip, his third this year to the reclusive nation, comes just a week after North Korea announced the execution of Kim's uncle by marriage, Jang Song Taek. The dramatic purge of a man believed to have been a mentor to the young Kim and his second-in-command raised questions about the stability of the North Korean regime.
December 17, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Dennis Rodman is going through with his plans to return to North Korea this week to train the national basketball team and help celebrate leader Kim Jong Un's birthday, despite the recent execution of Kim's uncle . Rodman has already visited the insular country considered to be one of the world's most repressive regimes twice this year. He has famously declared the dictator a friend for life and still insists that his own basketball diplomacy can help ease the tensions between North Korea and the U.S. “Yes, I'm going to North Korea to train the basketball team,” the flamboyant former NBA star told the Associated Press by phone.
December 17, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Pope Francis boosted his down-to-earth image by inviting a group of homeless men to his Vatican residence to help him celebrate his 77th birthday. The group of men - four, according to some Vatican reports, three according to the Vatican's newspaper - joined Francis on Tuesday as he gave his morning Mass and then ate breakfast with him. The Vatican paper, L'Osservatore Romano, said the men, a Pole, a Slovak and a Czech, were sleeping under the portico outside the Vatican's press center when they were approached by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who distributes charitable contributions for the pope.
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