YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsDebates


February 3, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM--The debate over Scarlett Johansson's Super Bowl ad has hit The Wall. The actress' ad for SodaStream, an Israeli company that does some of its manufacturing in the West Bank, has kicked off a rock 'n' roll battle pitting Israel's rock community against Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. The ad for SodaStream, whose kitchen appliances turn tap water into seltzer, drew the ire of activists who support a boycott of products made in Israeli-occupied territories. It prompted Waters to post an open letter to Johansson on Facebook, challenging her decision to endorse an Israeli company and posing a long list of questions about Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
January 31, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A California law that prohibits therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of children and adolescents survived another legal challenge this week. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced that an earlier decision by a three-judge panel upholding the law wouldn't be reconsidered by a larger group of 11 judges. That was the correct decision. But a judge who believes the law should be reconsidered on free-speech grounds raised an important question in his dissenting opinion.
January 26, 2014 | By Gary Klein and Sam Farmer
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks arrived Sunday night for a week of Super Bowl preparations, and the third-year cornerback was greeted by a six-deep crowd of dozens of reporters during a news conference at the team hotel. "I'm a little surprised by it," Sherman said of the massive reception. "But they told me to expect a little bit after last week. " Sherman, who played at Compton Dominguez High and Stanford, then laughed heartily. Sherman, of course, became one of the Super Bowl's main story lines after tipping away a potential game-winning pass against the San Francisco 49ers and then punctuating the play with his postgame comments about 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree . Sherman's comments and the emotional way he delivered them sparked an intense weeklong debate across all media platforms.
January 20, 2014 | By David Lauter
For all the attention generated by the controversy over Edward Snowden's disclosures of U.S. spying operations, much of the public has paid little attention to the details of the policy debate over government surveillance, polls have shown. The latest evidence comes from a new Pew Research Center poll showing that half the public said they had heard nothing at all about President Obama's speech Friday outlining new restrictions on the National Security Agency. Only 8% of those surveyed said they had "heard a lot" about Obama's plans.
January 19, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The Texas teenager who played the "affluenza" card to stay out of prison certainly sounds like a spoiled brat. In fact, he wouldn't deny it; that was his argument for a light sentence - that his overprivileged, under-disciplined life had led to a lack of judgment and concern for others, and therefore he shouldn't be punished severely for his crimes. And in the end, although he stole alcohol, drove far above the speed limit while exceedingly drunk, killed four people with his father's pickup and then fled the scene, he was sentenced to probation rather than jail time.
January 17, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - An Ohio inmate's drawn-out execution this week led to an outcry about the increased use of new lethal injection drugs by the country's 32 death penalty states, a practice that experts predict will lead to more problems. Dennis McGuire took more than 15 minutes to die Thursday, appearing to gasp and snort, according to witnesses. His lethal injection was a combination of two drugs never tried before in a U.S. execution, according to experts at the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. McGuire, 53, was sentenced to death for the 1989 rape and stabbing death of Joy Stewart, 22, who was seven months pregnant.
January 13, 2014 | By James Rainey
Los Angeles could soon take the national lead in dramatically raising the minimum wage - with members of the City Council expected to propose that large hotels be required to pay roughly $15 an hour to their workers. That rate would more than double the national minimum of $7.25 an hour and push far above California's rate of $8. Union leaders want the increase to apply at hotels with 100 rooms or more, saying such a hike would lift housekeepers, busboys and maintenance workers out of poverty and inject much-needed cash into a still languorous local economy.
January 10, 2014
Re "Snowden in shades of gray," Opinion, Jan. 8 Doyle McManus divides Edward Snowden as a whistle-blower (good) and a knave (bad). But what this country needs is a policy on secrecy. This will not be achieved by our Supreme Court ruling on two federal court decisions, one declaring the NSA's acts constitutional, the other the opposite. The government's "right" to secrecy should not be bounced around from one administration to the next. Nor should the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act "court" be the overseer for what is done in our name, again in secret.
January 8, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy, This post has been updated. See note below.
A religious group believes it has an idea that could "complement and contrast" the Ten Commandments monument located on Oklahoma state Capitol grounds: a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan, depicted as a Baphomet -- a goat-headed figure with wings and horns -- sitting on a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children at its side. On Monday, the New York-based religious group Satanic Temple formally submitted its application for the monument to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission , which oversees the Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City.
January 7, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
The Hall of Fame shut its doors to the living last year. That was a metaphor, or so we were told. No breathing inductees, and down the slippery slope to irrelevance. Nonsense then, absurdity now. One year after the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America didn't elect anyone, the Hall of Fame is poised to welcome what might be the largest induction class in its 75-year history. Greg Maddux will be elected when the tally of the votes is announced Wednesday, and he will challenge Tom Seaver's record 98.84% of the ballots.
Los Angeles Times Articles