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March 14, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - As indications mounted that Syrian President Bashar Assad will seek reelection, the government lashed out Friday at a United Nations mediator who said an election could doom U.N.-sponsored peace talks meant to end the 3-year-old civil war. Syria's top official spokesman charged that Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. and Arab League peace envoy, had "overstepped" his duties by saying that Syria's apparent plans to forge ahead with an election despite...
March 14, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
James Franco has played a rapping gangster in "Spring Breakers," created an art project about "Three's Company" and taken a recurring role on "General Hospital. " But “Veronica Mars” creator Rob Thomas still wasn't certain the actor would consider a cameo in his feature-film version of the cult television series. In fact, he wasn't even sure of the best way to get him the script. Spoiler alert: Key plot details follow. if you'd rather not know, please stop reading here.
March 13, 2014 | By Susan King
Director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi were on a worldwide promotional tour for "Venus," the 2006 film that earned Peter O'Toole his last Oscar nomination, when the two collaborators' seemingly nonstop travel schedule hatched the concept for a new film. "We had lots of airplane flights and came up with this idea of a couple going to Paris for 48 hours as a very easy and beautiful structure," Michell said. He and Kureishi decided to take their own 48-hour trip to Paris to outline the characters and the plot.
March 13, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film critic
"Le Week-End" is a sour and misanthropic film masquerading as an honest and sensitive romance. A painful and unremittingly bleak look at a difficult marriage, it wants us to sit through a range of domestic horrors without offering much of anything as a reward. This is especially disheartening because on an abstract level the film's participants on both sides of the camera are talented individuals with strong resumes. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, who star as the unhappy couple, are two of Britain's top actors.
March 12, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
In late January, Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson declared a cease-fire on the Lakers, deciding to halt his public criticism of the team. Johnson has been critical of owner/executive Jim Buss, and the decision to hire Mike D'Antoni to coach the team over Phil Jackson. On Wednesday, Johnson couldn't hold his tongue. I love Jim & Jeanie Buss, but we need Phil Jackson to be the face of our great organization, the Los Angeles Lakers. - Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson)
March 11, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
This triumphant shot came at the end of Wolfpack Hustle's Marathon Crash Ride early Sunday morning at Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. The size of the ride was smaller this year, after the race portion of the event was canceled, but more than a thousand riders still biked from L.A. to Santa Monica along the marathon route at a "spicy pace," said Rob Rovira . "Thanks to the hard work put in by Don Ward from Wolfpack Hustle along with the...
March 11, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Amid allegations of overbilling, environmental hazards and spiraling costs at the Belmont Learning Center in downtown L.A. in the late 1990s, the state Legislature created a separate investigative office within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The new inspector general was authorized to issue subpoenas, and charged with examining operations in the district with a piercing and unimpeded eye. But the position was authorized for only 15 years, until the end of 2014. The first inspector general reported on serious shortfalls in accountability and oversight at Belmont.
March 10, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
At first blush, “300: Rise of an Empire” managed a nice success this weekend. It took in $45 million, enough for the top spot at the box office and a plethora of “conquering” puns that inevitably followed. The Noam Murro movie, starring Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green, is also conforming to the Hollywood formula of built-for-international product of tallying two-thirds of its sales overseas (pretty much exactly at 66%-34%). But things may not be nearly as rosy for the swords-and-sandals sequel or the genre it represents.
March 10, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
It was supposed to be the grand finale of the Red and Gold show, a decades-long tradition for the students of Rosary High School, an all-girls Catholic school in Fullerton. Instead, the raucous and creative performance showcasing school spirit ended in a blur when the stage collapsed Saturday night, sending two dozen students to the hospital with minor and moderate injuries. Investigators are now reviewing building permits to determine what restrictions applied to the stage. The performance took place at Servite High School, an all-boys Catholic school in Anaheim.
March 9, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - After a 5-hour standoff Sunday, a man who had climbed to the top of a building at FBI headquarters was taken into custody, officials said. The man, whose motive was unknown, had climbed a 7-foot-tall security fence at the FBI headquarters in the Sorrento Valley neighborhood about noon. He may have injured himself in the process of scaling the fence. Unable to get into the main FBI building, he instead went to an adjacent parking structure and from there to the roof of a one-story annex building, officials said.
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