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December 9, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
Horse racing has problems, which is like saying rain makes the grass wet. It is a sport in which the toothache never goes away. Conversely, it has its moments, its shots of adrenaline. On a glorious November day at Santa Anita, a huge horse trained by a tiny woman and ridden by a 50-year-old grandfather who had taken seven years off won the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic. It was such a good story that moviemakers must be scrambling to line up Kathy Ritvo and her aptly named horse, Mucho Macho Man. The jockey part is easy.
December 3, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
Veteran point guard Steve Nash briefly practiced with the Lakers on Tuesday but doesn't expect to play on Friday when the team visits the Sacramento Kings. "I don't know if it's out of the realm, but I would say it's probably very unlikely and very doubtful," Nash said. Nash has been sidelined since Nov. 10 with nerve issues in his back. "I don't know about a quick comeback, but I was encouraged to practice today some," Nash said.  "I have no doubt that I'll get back on the court.
December 3, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Leaks from test results French scientists had conducted on samples taken last year from the remains of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat added more confusion Tuesday to the debate over Arafat's death. According to the leaks, widely published by news agencies, the French results did not confirm that Arafat died from poison and suggested that he probably died of natural causes. "The report rules out the poisoning theory," Agence France-Presse quoted an unidentified source as saying.
November 30, 2013 | Ralph Vartabedian
On a wind-swept plateau, underground steel tanks that hold the nation's most deadly radioactive waste are slowly rotting. The soil deep under the desert brush is being fouled with plutonium, cesium and other material so toxic that it could deliver a lethal dose of radiation to a nearby person in minutes. The aging tanks at the former Hanford nuclear weapons complex contain 56 million gallons of sludge, the byproduct of several decades of nuclear weapons production, and they represent one of the nation's most treacherous environmental threats.
November 25, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In a major legal blow to the California bullet train, a Sacramento judge ruled that state officials cannot pursue their plan to tap billions of dollars in voter-approved bond funding for construction, a decision that could cause indefinite delays in the massive $68-billion project. Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny, ruling Monday in two closely watched cases, found the state officials made key errors and failed to comply with legal requirements as they moved the project toward a long-awaited groundbreaking.
November 24, 2013 | By Lance Pugmire
In the last major fight Bob Arum promoted in the Far East, he walked out of a Philippines arena to a burning sun, mourning the destruction Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier delivered to each other in their third bout, the "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975. Sunday, Arum looked outside to cloud coverage in Macao, China, and beamed with delight. Arum's fighter, Manny Pacquiao, is back. In Pacquiao's decisive victory over Brandon Rios on Saturday night Pacific time, the Filipino star buried thoughts of retirement, which his trainer, Freddie Roach, said he would have suggested had Pacquiao lost.
November 18, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Some of the nation's most influential cardiologists are challenging new recommendations that would greatly expand the number of Americans taking a statin medication to reduce their chances of a heart attack or stroke. The guidelines issued last week by the American Heart Assn. and the American College of Cardiology were accompanied by a "risk calculator" that was supposed to identify patients whose odds of suffering either a stroke or a heart attack over the next 10 years were judged to be at least 7.5%.
November 12, 2013 | By Robert Greene
California Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Dave Snyder looked out at a roomful of about 200 bicyclists and asked them if they knew someone who had been killed or seriously injured while riding. Roughly a third of those gathered raised their hands. His aspiration, Snyder said Saturday at last weekend's California by Bike summit in Oakland, was that in 20 years, no young riders would raise their hands. It's the right goal, of course, but the question and the answer were both sobering.
November 10, 2013 | By Andrew J. Bacevich
On the list of U.S. military priorities, Africa has always ranked right smack at the bottom. Now that appears to be changing. As Eric Schmitt recently reported in the New York Times, "thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa. " Before the gearing up proceeds much further, Americans might want to ask a few questions. Chief among them are these: Why the sudden shift in priorities? What's the aim? Who stands to benefit? What risks does the militarization of U.S. policy in Africa entail?
November 9, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Californians are more supportive of President Obama's healthcare law than the country at large, but they still worry it will raise healthcare costs and hurt the economy, a new poll of registered voters shows. Statewide, 50% said they backed the Affordable Care Act and 42% opposed it, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. That runs counter to national polls that show more people disapprove of Obamacare than support it. Latinos, who make up about half of California's uninsured population, were even more enthusiastic, supporting the healthcare law by a 2-1 margin.
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