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March 9, 2014
Crying foul over baseball issue A whole Travel section (March 2) devoted to baseball is just not right. Many have no interest in sports whatsoever. There is already another whole section devoted to sports every day in the Los Angeles Times. You have really disappointed me and many others, I'm sure. Leslie Daniels Palm Springs Local vs. longer trips The reader letter on Feb. 23 expressing great disappointment at The Times' selection of featured locations was perplexing.
March 7, 2014 | By Karthick Ramakrishnan
Is the debate on affirmative action versus race-blind policies mainly about principle, or mostly about preserving narrow group interests? We are beginning to find out in California. A bill passed by the state Senate and pending in the Assembly would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would overturn portions of Proposition 209 to exempt public college and university admissions from the ban on racial, ethnic and gender preferences. There are principled reasons to support as well as to oppose affirmative action in higher education.
March 6, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - An ambitious bill seeking to stem the rise of sexual assaults in the military died Thursday after senators from both parties refused to limit the role of commanding officers in deciding whether to prosecute such cases. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) pushed the issue to prominence during this congressional session, arguing on behalf of victims who testified that they feared retaliation for pressing assault allegations up the military chain of command. Her bill - which won support from 17 of the 20 women in the Senate - would have shifted sexual assault investigations to military prosecutors.
March 5, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Marisa Gerber
Frustrated by the lack of federal data on electronic cigarettes, the debate among Los Angeles City Council members Tuesday over whether to restrict their use quickly turned personal. Members of the council -- which ultimately voted to treat e-cigarettes just the same as regular cigarettes, banning their use in parks, restaurants and most workplaces -- recounted their own experiences and struggles with smoking, adding to a passionate debate at the hearing. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who pushed for the new restrictions, recalled his days breathing secondhand smoke as a waiter in a downtown restaurant.
March 2, 2014 | Lalita Clozel
Federal Prohibition agent Eliot Ness' legendary campaign against Chicago mob boss Al Capone inspired the 1960s TV series "The Untouchables," a blockbuster Hollywood movie, countless books and perhaps even the comic-strip hero Dick Tracy. But a recent move in the Senate to name the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' glassy new Washington headquarters after the 1930s lawman has sparked an acrimonious debate over whether the storied crime fighter really deserves the honor.
February 27, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
At a closed-door debate in front of rank-and-file deputies, the candidates for Los Angeles County Sheriff acknowledged that the department must be reformed, but blamed management for the problems plaguing the agency. In a recording of the members-only union event obtained by The Times, the candidates mostly took a diplomatic tone with the deputies, and at times served up the kind of red meat not often heard in front of general audiences. Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who has been criticized for helping foster a culture of abuse inside the jails, criticized the department's inmate education program.
February 25, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- After years of wrangling, delay and study, the City Council on Tuesday approved a zoning plan that will allow less than three dozen medical marijuana dispensaries within the city. The plan will allow no more than four dispensaries in each council district. With one of nine districts already off-limits because of the density of its housing, that would allow a maximum of 32 dispensaries for a city of more than 1.3 million. The plan presented to the council, developed after months of meetings, would have allowed 131 dispensaries spread throughout the city, according to a study by the San Diego Assn.
February 20, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
You're invited to a party. It's going to be fun, because it's being thrown by writer Chad Harbach, an editor of the literary magazine n+1, where he has been lightheartedly provocative. You're excited, because "MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction" - in the form of 18 essays divided into five sections - is debating one of the more contentious issues in literary America: whether getting an a master of fine arts degree in creative writing is a good idea, for the individual writer and book culture at large.
February 19, 2014 | By Alexandra Sandels and Ramin Mostaghim
BEIRUT - A new, lesbian-themed music video by expatriate Iranian pop star Googoosh has sparked sharp debate among Iranians and controversy on social media forums in the Islamic Republic. It started on Valentine's Day when the video for Googoosh's latest song, "Behesht," or Heaven, dropped like a bombshell on the singer´s official Facebook page , which boasts more than 1,5 million followers. The video features a lesbian couple and seems to champion gay rights.  “I am scared of this doubt, I am scared of this blind alley,” Googoosh, 64, croons to the backdrop of a video showing a couple played by two well-known Iranian actresses.
February 18, 2014 | By Carla Rivera
A debate at Cal State L.A. over an ethnic studies requirement turned heated Tuesday as several students tried to shout down faculty members who responded by chanting "Let her speak, let her speak. " Dozens of students crowded into a meeting of the Academic Senate, which was considering a motion that at least one of two required general education diversity classes be in Asian/Asian American studies, Chicano studies, Latin American studies or Pan-African studies, or in related courses in some other departments.
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