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January 24, 2012 | By Henry Chu and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
Europe slapped a boycott on Iranian oil Monday, signaling that the Islamic Republic's second-largest market is likely to dry up as part of a U.S.-led sanctions campaign that has already inflicted serious damage on Iran's economy and sharply increased tensions. The value of Iran's currency is falling dramatically, prices are rising and Iranians are stocking up on supplies in fear of worse to come. Iran, which receives an estimated 70% of its revenue from oil sales, has threatened to retaliate by choking off the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz at the southern end of the Persian Gulf.
January 22, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
There is a great deal of music in the world, and no one knows exactly why. But it does have its ready uses. The music business can make you rich and famous. The pianist Christopher O'Riley admitted in The Times last week what a lot of classical musicians won't: He learned the piano, at least in part, to attract the attention of girls. As I write this, a sparkling new recording of Tod Machover's "Sparkler," an infectious overture for orchestra and live electronics, is playing on my stereo and making itself useful.
November 7, 2011 | By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
United Nations nuclear inspectors have concluded that Iran has acquired the technical means to design a nuclear weapon and would require about six months to enrich uranium to the quality needed for a bomb if it decided to do so, according to officials familiar with the evidence. Evidence of advances in Iran's research is expected to emerge this week in a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s Vienna-based nuclear watchdog. The IAEA report provides no "smoking gun" proof that Iran's government intends to build a nuclear weapon, said a European diplomat.
October 12, 2011 | By James M. Acton
It's time to call Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bluff. Over the last few weeks, the Iranian president has stated on a number of occasions that his country will cease domestic efforts to manufacture fuel for one of its nuclear reactors if it is able to purchase the fuel from abroad. The United States should accept this proposal — publicly, immediately and unconditionally. Iran's enrichment program has been the focus of international concern for almost a decade. Its first efforts were geared toward enriching uranium to 5% — suitable for use in a power reactor.
September 5, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times
Iran offered on Monday to open its nuclear program to five years of "full supervision" by the U.N. atomic energy agency if the world body lifts its sanctions, but made clear that it would forge ahead with its programs for uranium enrichment regardless. The offer from Fereydoun Abbasi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, came amid a new increase in warnings internationally over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. That was led by a report Friday in which the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency said it was "increasingly concerned" that Tehran may be developing its uranium-enrichment program to produce nuclear payloads for missiles.
April 3, 2011 | By Cyndia Zwahlen
For the first eight years that she was building her company, Carmen Rad didn't pay much attention to events put on by business networking groups. Now Rad, who is president of the CR&A Custom digital printing company, goes to at least one a week. "There is a tremendous advantage to joining, and you can't just join one. You need to join more than one because each organization will have a different added value," said Rad, who is on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Assn.
March 26, 2011 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
The two playwrights most often invoked to describe Lanford Wilson's style are Anton Chekhov and Tennessee Williams. From Chekhov, Wilson learned the compositional possibilities of ensemble pieces and the way the inner life is thrown into relief when the outer life slows down. From Williams, Wilson learned the power of the poetry of longing and the importance of fleshing out a world on stage. No American dramatist has been able to match Williams' gift for lyrical realism, but Wilson, hailing from Lebanon, Mo., rather than the Deep South, came closest.
March 14, 2011 | T.J. Simers
If you have been following spring training, you know the Dodgers can't buy a hit. Of course, that's what you would expect these days from a team owned by Frank McCourt . The Dodgers' offense ranks 30th among 30 teams in practice hitting. Ordinarily I wouldn't give it another thought as the daughter and I prepare for our annual jaunt to Las Vegas to wager on the NCAA tournament and advertise her availability. By the way, she's bringing along a friend on this trip. A boy. And Mandalay Bay has a beautiful wedding chapel.
March 10, 2011 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
A Los Angeles County prosecutor on Wednesday accused Bell's former city administrator, Robert Rizzo, of stealing more than $5 million from the city treasury and lending city money to buy the loyalty of employees so they wouldn't object to his bloated paychecks. "Money is power, and Mr. Rizzo used the city's money to gain power for himself," Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Hassett said during closing arguments in a preliminary hearing to determine if Rizzo and others will stand trial for misappropriation of public funds.
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