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ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2014 | By Paula L. Woods
No advice is more confusing to writers than "write what you know. " Taken to its solipsistic extremes, it would mean novelists could not write characters outside of their own gender, race, geography or professional background. While the works of Susan Straight, Khaled Hosseini, Elizabeth George and others make clear the fallacy of that thinking, a writer's experiences and observations do play a significant role, along with research, in creating a believable universe for their characters and stories.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Rebecca Keegan
Oscar's animated feature race is a clash of the major Hollywood studios this year, with Disney, Fox/DreamWorks and Universal/Illumination all contending. But one movie in the mix -- a French-Belgian production about the unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear -- is the sort that is alien to the high-stakes U.S. animation industry. Made with hand-painted watercolor backgrounds and a modest $12-million price tag, "Ernest & Celestine," which U.S. distributor GKIDS will release in Los Angeles on Friday, is based on a whimsical series of children's books by reclusive Brussels-born author Gabrielle Vincent.
NATIONAL
February 20, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - This was the dog writers' biggest night. The only things missing were the red carpet and interminable speeches. And the dogs. But they were there in spirit at the recent awards ceremony of the Dog Writers Assn. of America, which each year honors the men and women who write about man's best friend. "This is our version of the Emmys, the Grammys and the Academy Awards," member and past award-winner Mary R. Burch said as she opened the evening at the Hotel Pennsylvania.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Dawn C. Chmielewski
WASHINGTON - Beaten back twice by the courts, the nation's top communications regulator will make a last-ditch attempt to craft rules aimed at ensuring the Internet remains open and free of interference from a rapidly consolidating broadband industry. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, moving quickly after a court tossed out most of the agency's so-called net neutrality rules last month, started a new effort Wednesday to recraft regulations that advocates say would form the cornerstone for future broadband and pay-TV service.
WORLD
February 17, 2014 | By Paul Richter
JAKARTA, Indonesia - U.S. diplomats preparing for a new round of nuclear negotiations with Iran this week are pondering an important question: How can they make the Iranians feel like the winners? The U.S. team and diplomats from five other nations sit down with Iran on Tuesday in Vienna to begin bargaining on what could be a historic agreement to prevent the Islamic Republic from gaining a bomb-making capability. An atmosphere of high anticipation surrounds the talks, which are expected to continue for six months to a year, and possibly longer.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
To help transform Matthew McConaughey into a man dying of AIDS, Robin Mathews used grits to simulate a flaky rash in "Dallas Buyers Club. " For a pivotal comb-over scene in "American Hustle," Kathrine Gordon shaved and thinned part of Christian Bale's bushy mane, leaving a patch of hair known as "the island. " And to create the poisonous-fog-induced blisters that break out on Jennifer Lawrence's character in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Ve Neill and her team spent several hours fashioning the boils out of a membrane-thin silicone - in the middle of a Hawaiian jungle.  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll    The three artists and their colleagues will be feted Saturday night at a dinner and awards show their guild is throwing for its members for the first time in a decade.
OPINION
February 9, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
If lawmakers could send voters a November bond measure that would guarantee 150 inches of winter snow in the Sierra every year, Californians would certainly pass it, even if it cost a few billion dollars. The snowpack feeds the reservoirs and aqueducts that slake the thirst of Northern and Southern California, water the crops that power the economy in the Central Valley, and sustain the state's essential but sensitive heart and lungs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. But our state senators and Assembly members can't write such a bond, so they're instead reworking a 2010 water measure that they keep polishing but pulling off the ballot in the quite reasonable belief that voters weathering a deep recession would reject a package larded with spending for pet projects.
BUSINESS
February 5, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The North American subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois, is moving into the craft beer business, announcing Wednesday it will buy Blue Point Brewing Co., a N.Y. craft brewery.  Anheuser-Busch, based in St. Louis, did not disclose terms of the deal, but the move is the latest in efforts to expand AB InBev's footprint. AB InBev, based in Belgium, last month said it will buy back Oriental Brewery, a South Korean company, for $5.8 billion.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2014 | By John Horn
Six years ago, Philip Seymour Hoffman was nominated for a supporting actor Academy Award for "Charlie Wilson's War. " He attended the nominees luncheon, a swank gathering at the Beverly Hilton, whose dress code is just one notch below that of the attire seen on the red carpet for the actual Oscars. But Hoffman, a consummate actor known for an unkempt look off-screen, wore a suit so rumpled it looked like he had slept in it. And smack in the middle of his dress shirt was a giant stain - and that was before he took a bite to eat. Fast-forward to last month's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where Hoffman was promoting two of his new films, "A Most Wanted Man" and "God's Pocket.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By Chris Lee
Chris Pine was well aware of his action-hero options. Accepting the lead role in "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" - the $60-million thriller that hits theaters Friday - the actor became the fourth man to portray novelist Tom Clancy's iconic CIA super-spy character over the course of a five-film franchise that has spanned nearly a quarter of a century and generated more than $787 million at the box office. As such, Pine's performance could have paid implicit homage to those who came before him. He might have channeled the brisk efficiency of Alec Baldwin's submarine-bound Ryan in "The Hunt for Red October," Harrison Ford's reluctant (and frequently grimacing)
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