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March 13, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - The caller who reported a gas smell minutes before a deadly explosion that destroyed two Manhattan buildings had noticed the same odor the night before but did not report it at the time, officials said Thursday, indicating the catastrophe could have been averted if utility crews had been alerted earlier. At least eight people were killed in Wednesday morning's blast on Park Avenue, between 116th and 117th streets in East Harlem. In a biting wind and temperatures in the 20s, rescue workers continued searching for more people possibly buried beneath the rubble.
March 13, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
As many as 303 deaths could have been caused by a defect that recently prompted General Motors to recall 1.6 million cars, according to a new report commissioned by an independent consumer watchdog group. GM has acknowledged only 12 deaths linked to faulty ignition switches that can disable the cars' safety systems. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Center for Auto Safety on Thursday cited raw data pulled from accident reports connected to two of the six models GM has recalled.
March 12, 2014 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela - Government forces used water cannons and tear gas Wednesday to turn back opposition marches in the capital, where borough mayors defied a Supreme Court order that they clear street barricades. Clouds of gas hovered near the entrance to the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas and at the adjoining Botanical Garden, where protesters had converged to join a march headed to the public defender's office. "It was horrible. I had to run a long way," said Maria Alfonzo, a 22-year-old science student who was leaving the campus when she was overcome by the gas. "The National Guard is supposed to protect us, not threaten and mistreat us. We should have the right to protest.
March 12, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
It is an opera that like its choruses rouses recriminations and unsettled ghosts. "The Death of Klinghoffer" by composer John Adams sets the Israeli-Palestinian struggle on a ship sailing with the histories and opposing realities of two peoples bound by the rage and agony of an unreconciled land. The opera, based on the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro by Palestinian militants who killed Leon Klinghoffer, a disabled American Jew, is also a deeper meditation on nationalist passions that for ages have set alight the world's conflicts.
March 11, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
PHOENIX - Manager Don Mattingly will miss the Dodgers' exhibition games on Wednesday and Thursday because of his death in his family, according to a team spokesman. Bench coach Tim Wallach will manage the Dodgers in the absence of Mattingly, who returned to his home state of Indiana. Mattingly is expected to be back in time for the Dodgers' exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday. The Dodgers are scheduled to depart Sunday for Australia, where they will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in their season-opening series.
March 11, 2014 | By Michael Muskal, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Glenn Ford, one of the nation's longest-serving prisoners on death row, is scheduled to be freed from a Louisiana prison after he was exonerated of charges that he killed a man in 1983, his lawyers announced. A Louisiana court on Monday ordered that Ford, an African American who served 30 years on death row, be released after new information exonerated the former yard worker of killing a white man. Ford was expected to be released Tuesday. [Updated, 5:53 p.m.:  Ford walked free Tuesday afternoon.
March 10, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
Charles Bukowski was known for his drinking as much as his poetry. So maybe, the man Time magazine once described as "the laureate of lowlife," would have approved of a 20th-anniversary memorial held in his honor at the dimly lighted King Eddy Saloon on the edge of skid row. The dive bar, said to be a favorite haunt of the poet and his own idol, novelist John Fante, was filled with Bukowski fans Sunday, spilling out onto the street in a...
March 10, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Richard Winton
The head was discovered first, wrapped in a plastic 99 Cents Only Store bag along one of the hiking trails below the Hollywood sign. The right hand and feet were found a day later, this time in a Rite Aid bag buried in a 6-inch grave. The left hand was uncovered hours later. Now, more than two years after the grisly discovery in Griffith Park, Los Angeles police have announced an arrest in the slaying of 66-year-old Hervey Medellin: Medellin's boyfriend, who had long been a person of interest in the case.
March 9, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, among the nation's largest and most storied college fraternities, eliminated the controversial “pledging” process Sunday, saying new members once referred to as “pledges” immediately would be treated as fairly and equally as more senior brothers. In a practice common across many fraternities, new members often endure a ritual of back-breaking tasks, silly pranks and alcohol-fueled hijinks. Sometimes it rises to the level of hazing, when the welfare of pledges is put at risk.
March 8, 2014 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Beautiful and terrifying, the painting hangs in the foyer of Cheech Marin's oceanside home. It depicts a car crash on the upper deck of an L.A. freeway, an appallingly seductive vision of maimed metal erupting into fauvist-tinted fireballs. "That's the fascination, that fear-attraction simultaneously," says Marin, best known as the more antichalf of the comic duo Cheech and Chong. Three years from now, "Sunset Crash" will be among the big draws of the most comprehensive exhibition devoted to Carlos Almaraz, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Titled "Playing With Fire," it will be part of "Pacific Standard Time: L.A./L.A.," a Getty-funded, multi-venue initiative that will explore artistic connections between Los Angeles and Latin America.
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