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November 22, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
The big story in the NFL this weekend is Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady. Or is it? The matchup of two of the premier quarterbacks in the history of the game, the Denver Broncos' Manning and the New England Patriots' Brady, is where the NFL wants our goose bumps. There is no denying the attraction. Both teams are very good. Manning is chasing Brady's single-season touchdown passing record of 50. The game is in the prime-time Sunday night spot, where the best in the business, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, broadcast and analyze the action.
November 21, 2013 | By Martin Tsai
Writer-director Eric England's "Contracted" can best be described as "Contagion" meets "Blue Is the Warmest Color," without all those explicit sex scenes. After falling out with her girlfriend, the distraught Samantha (Najarra Townsend of "Me and You and Everyone We Know") spirals into self-destruction, albeit somewhat unintentionally. She goes to a party and very hesitantly gets wasted. Much like the heroine in that NC-17-rated French lesbian sex spectacle, Samantha switches teams and takes up with a stranger to alleviate her domestic ennui.
November 19, 2013 | By Austin Knoblauch
Tom Brady might have not liked the call, but in the end, the New England Patriots quarterback blamed himself for not making a "better throw" on the final play of the team's controversial 24-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. Brady's attempt at a game-winning touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski was intercepted in the end zone as time expired, but a flag was thrown on the play in what appeared to be a pass-interference call. The referees then decided a foul was not committed by the Panthers, ending the game.
November 15, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Robert Stone has long been a big-picture novelist. "Dog Soldiers," which won a 1975 National Book Award, involves a "journalist of sorts" who tries to smuggle three kilos of heroin to Northern California from Saigon; the magnificent "Damascus Gate" (1998), meanwhile, offers a kaleidoscopic look at Jerusalem as millennial proving ground. And yet over the last 15 years or so Stone appears to have lost his way a bit, pulling back from these epic landscapes to offer stories that are narrower, even small.
November 6, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Britain, once the world's mightiest seafaring power, announced Wednesday that it will shut down the last naval shipyard in England, eliminating nearly 1,000 jobs and closing a chapter of history stretching back hundreds of years. Workers in the southern city of Portsmouth have been building warships since the reign of King Henry VIII, including the famous Mary Rose. But citing dwindling demand, the government and defense contractor BAE Systems have agreed to cease construction there.
November 4, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II
Two Los Angeles City Council members are calling for their colleagues to back a statewide ballot measure that provides funding to cities for "earthquake safety improvements," including helping property owners strengthen potentially dangerous buildings that could collapse in a major temblor. The resolution, proposed Friday by Tom LaBonge and seconded by Mitch Englander, asks the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to support or sponsor state legislation that would help fund local seismic safety efforts.
October 31, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer and Bill Dwyre
Jockey Ryan Moore might be overqualified if he ever wants to be a contestant on the TV series "The Amazing Race," based on his travel itinerary for the next two months. He was in Toronto on Sunday riding Joshua Tree to victory in the Canadian International. On Friday and Saturday, he'll be at Santa Anita riding six European-trained horses in the Breeders' Cup World Championships. He has a flight booked on Saturday night to Australia, where he'll be riding in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
October 19, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
There is something nicely unexpected about "Dancing on the Edge," writer-director Stephen Poliakoff's seductive drama of jazz and England in the early 1930s. The series, which begins Saturday on Starz (it has already aired on the BBC), forms a kind of "Upstairs/Backstage" story with a mystery attached and comes in five parts, plus an epilogue - appendix might be the better word - in the form of interviews. To be sure, jazz has often lurked at the background of British period pieces - Lord Peter Wimsey dragged to some Soho cellar, Bertie Wooster knocking out a chorus of "Minnie the Moocher.
October 18, 2013 | By David Zahniser
A former staffer to Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the city, alleging that one of the lawmaker's top aides repeatedly made inappropriate sexual comments to her. The staffer, identified as Jane Doe in the filing, claimed that sexual comments were "rampant" in Englander's office, which encouraged other staff members to "engage in similar inappropriate behavior. " In her lawsuit, the unnamed staffer accused Englander chief of staff John Lee of questioning her about her sex life and making crude remarks about her older boyfriend's sexual abilities.
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