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April 4, 2013 | By Robert Abele
The hypnotic pull of Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho's remarkable, award-winning "Neighboring Sounds" - one of the strongest feature debuts of the last decade - is in its mysterious density of techniques. Set in seaside Recife on street of high-rises occupied by wealthy owners, well-off renters and the underclass that cleans for them, the film dips in and out of their lives and gender, race and socio-economic issues. There's the dissatisfied housewife who smokes pot, the sugar magnate's grandson who amiably oversees the patriarch's properties, the maid who likes to tryst in a day-vacated condo.
March 27, 2013 | Patt Morrison
Soldier, Megan P. Tatu has your back. And just about anything else you might need. The two-star Army Reserve general has just taken charge of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, the modern iteration of an Army logistics branch that is a year older than the Declaration of Independence. The 79th is headquartered in Los Alamitos, not far from Tatu's Laguna Niguel home. Reservists are part-timers who, as Tatu says, give taxpayers 19% of the Army's strength for 4% of its budget. She's the highest-ranking woman commander in the reserves on the West Coast, at a moment when women in the military is a trending topic.
February 24, 2013 | By Eric J. Segall
Over the next three months, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to end affirmative action, whether to overturn part of one of the most important civil rights laws in our country's history (the Voting Rights Act) and whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to the same marriage benefits as heterosexual couples. In almost every term, the justices exercise veto power over fundamental policy questions such as abortion, gun control and freedom of speech and religion.
January 25, 2013 | By Elena Howe
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday afternoon that it will split costume designers out of the broader designers branch and into their own branch.The academy's Board of Governors also noted that two new governors will soon join Jeffrey Kurland, who will transfer to newly created branch. "History was made at the Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday night with the formation of a Costume Designers Branch," said Kurland in a release. "Costume designers have waited a long time for recognition with branch status.
January 24, 2013 | By Marc Tucker
In December, California's application for a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act was denied by the U.S. Department of Education. This, we were told, was because California had failed to embrace the federal department's reform agenda, especially on issues of evaluating teachers. The denial is disturbing for what it reveals: namely, that the American education system is being reshaped in a truly fundamental way, and with little debate. National policymakers now behave as if they believe their role in making education policy ought to be much the same as that of the states in setting goals and standards, creating accountability systems, defining teacher quality, determining strategies for producing high-quality teachers and improving low-performing schools.
January 22, 2013 | Doyle McManus
On the eve of Inauguration Day, White House political strategist David Plouffe promised that President Obama's inaugural address would include a call for bipartisan cooperation. "He is going to say that our political system does not require us to resolve all of our differences or settle all of our disputes, but it is absolutely imperative that our leaders try and seek common ground," Plouffe said on ABC. But it was hard to find that outstretched hand in the inaugural speech Obama gave Monday.
January 20, 2013 | By Anthee Carassava, Los Angeles Times
ATHENS - Two security guards were injured in a bomb blast at a shopping center a few miles north of the Greek capital Sunday, stoking new fears of escalating violence and extremism in the economically stumbling nation. The attack on a state bank branch in a massive shopping mall came less than a week after masked men opened fire with an AK-47 and a revolver on the headquarters of the governing New Democracy party, targeting the office of its leader, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
December 16, 2012 | By Wesley Lowery, Los Angeles Times
Most afternoons, the 12 branches of the Long Beach Public Library are packed. Library officials say they've struggled - like other public libraries nationwide - to keep patrons' interest and stay relevant to residents in a digital world. But the library's literacy program has been especially popular since its implementation two years ago. The program dedicates computers, work space and assistance specifically to families looking to hunt for jobs, take English as a Second Language courses or work on homework.
November 30, 2012 | By Dan Turner
Your recycling bin is filled twice as high as your garbage bin. You buy carbon offsets to make up for the climate havoc caused by your jet-setting ways. You would no more be caught buying non-organic produce than taking it home in a plastic bag from the checkout counter. You are, in short, a magnificent green god(dess). But where are you going to find an environmentally friendly Christmas tree? Like the paper vs. plastic conundrum, the question of what kind of Christmas tree is greener -- real or artificial?
November 20, 2012 | By Sandra Hernandez
War-weary Colombians got some good news Monday when that country's largest rebel group, known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, announced a two-month unilateral cease fire on its website. (Yes, the group has a website.) The FARC's decision comes as peace talks between the Marxist rebel group and Colombia's government got underway in Cuba this week. But not everyone is optimistic about the negotiations. Some analysts suggest the rebels' decision to enter into negotiations is really intended to buy the FARC time to regroup, just as it did a decade ago when then-President Andres Pastrana ceded a swath of territory during negotiations.
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