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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2013 | Steve Lopez
Liza Bercovici suspected something was up when a student at Gabriella Charter School approached her last week and said, "Happy birthday tomorrow, Miss Liza. " So it was not a surprise the next day when the school's 400-plus students sang "Happy Birthday" to her at morning assembly. Bercovici sighed in appreciation, and when urged to make a speech, she stood humbly before the small sea of students gathered on the playground of the Echo Park school she'd founded. "I think everybody here knows that this school was started out of my love for my daughter, whose name was Gabriella," Bercovici said.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
If there was any doubt that this year's Oscars will have a dance-y quality with Ellen DeGeneres on the stage, it was quelled Thursday afternoon. The Motion Picture Academy has released a trailer for the March 2 ceremony on ABC, and it gets its “Singin' In the Rain On.” The spot features the Oscar host walking down city streets/studio backlot lipsynching to the Fitz and the Tantrum song “The Walker,” particularly its maverick-ish lyrics “(I walk to the sound of my own drum”)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2013 | By Inkoo Kang
There's something dispiritingly familiar about "Dancing on a Dry Salt Lake," writer-director-star Dominique De Fazio's tale of a white man's journey into Native American mysticism. De Fazio plays Warner, a 40-something astronomer who heads out to the Californian desert after his live-in girlfriend dumps him for being too selfish. Warner crashes his car on the outskirts of San Bernardino County and ends up in a small community of European expats, among whom he develops a whole new personality (as a result of inconsistent writing, not as plot development)
WORLD
December 5, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Some came in what they were wearing when they heard that Nelson Mandela had died -- their pajamas. Some draped themselves in South African flags. Others brought candles, flowers and pictures of him. Hundreds of people gathered outside his house in the early morning Friday, in a gathering striking for the absence of weeping and tears. It was more of a spontaneous celebration of the man's life and the gifts he left South Africa. A few vuvuzelas -- the South African trumpet normally found at football matches and celebrations -- blasted into the night.
OPINION
December 1, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Don't look now, but auditions for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination are already underway in Washington. And the flavor of the moment is - governors. First came Chris Christie, the pugnacious governor of New Jersey, who won reelection by a landslide last month and almost immediately headed to the nation's capital for a burst of speeches and television appearances. Days later, a less pyrotechnic (but equally combative) chief executive arrived to do the Washington media rounds: Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
OPINION
November 27, 2013 | Doyle McManus
If economic sanctions were key to forcing Iran to accept limits on its nuclear program, wouldn't more sanctions have an even greater effect? Critics of last week's interim nuclear deal with Tehran certainly think so. It didn't take long for them to denounce the agreement. "This is a bad deal - a very, very bad deal," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "A surrender," agreed former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich - "the Munich of the Middle East. " In the view of the Obama administration as well as the naysayers, the effectiveness of sanctions brought Iran to the table.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 26, 2013 | By Allyssa Lee
So much more sparkle! “Dancing With the Stars” is turning it up to 11 -- Week 11, that is. The first night of Season 17's two-part finale extravaganza saw the final four perform three dances: A judges' choice, a samba relay danced to a live performance of “No Scrubs” by TLC (featuring Lil Mama), and the always unpredictable, ever entertaining freestyle routine. It also bid adieu to one of the final four couples. Although he held on for longer than anyone (including himself)
BUSINESS
November 25, 2013 | By Lauren Beale
Karina Smirnoff of “Dancing With the Stars” has bought a home in Hollywood Hills for $1.25 million. The Mediterranean-style house, built in 2004, has views of the Hollywood sign from its 1,914 square feet of living space. There's an eight-person spa for soaking in after a hard episode of "Dancing" and a bar to belly up to in the game  room. Other amenities at the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home include a rock waterfall, redwood decking and a multi-camera security system.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2013 | By Allyssa Lee
It's like what's old is new again: The “Dancing With the Stars” Season 17 semifinals had each of the remaining five couples performing two dances to two versions of the same song. It also marked the return of the Maks. Bad boy of the ballroom Maksim Chmerkovskiy came back buttoned up and in a bow tie, sat between Len Goodman and a thrilled Bruno Tonioli, and offered up his two cents as a guest judge and an unabashed supporter of the Pros. Too bad Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were voted off last week or we would have had the pleasure of witnessing another Brothers Chmerkovskiy interaction (though Maks adorably held up a 10 paddle after his little brother danced with Witney Carson after a commercial break)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2013 | By Allyssa Lee
And the stars just keep on falling. In another shocking “Dancing With the Stars” Season 17 elimination, actress Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were ejected from the glitterverse in the quarterfinal round of competition. This unexpected result landed about as well as Nomi pushing Cristal down the stairs. The “Saved By the Bell” actress just came off a perfect 30 score. A routine the judges thought was her best ever. They all joked about “ab envy.” She had just danced with a shirtless Gleb Savchenko.
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