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April 2, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
President Obama says he remains confident that the Supreme Court will uphold his healthcare reform law, warning Monday that overturning it would be an "unprecedented, extraordinary step. " In his first public comments on the matter since the court heard arguments over the constitutionality of the law last week, Obama said that experts across the ideological spectrum, including conservative appellate court judges, shared his view that precedent supported the measure. Beyond a legal justification for his administration's signature accomplishment, Obama also detailed the benefits of the law in arguing that there was a "human element" at play.
March 9, 2012 | By Joel Rubin and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
A jury found former Los Angeles Police Det. Stephanie Lazarus guilty of murdering the wife of a man who had spurned her, bringing an end to a remarkable case in which a new generation of the LAPD redeemed the failures of a past one. On Thursday, after little more than a day of deliberation, the panel of eight women and four men concluded that Lazarus brutally beat and then shot Sherri Rasmussen three times in the chest on Feb. 24, 1986. Three months before the attack, Rasmussen, a 29-year-old hospital nursing director, had married John Ruetten, who dated Lazarus casually for a few years leading up to the wedding.
November 13, 2011 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Hanalei, Hawaii — It was precisely the kind of day that drives Hawaii's $10-billion vacation business. The sun sliced through the clouds along the coast of Kauai, a windward breeze blowing across the bay as children played in the warm ocean waters. Alexander Payne couldn't help but notice the spectacular setting, but as he directed a key scene in "The Descendants" in spring 2010, his cameras were aimed on a far less idyllic sight: a man looking for redemption.
October 10, 2011 | By Patrick Pacheco, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Reporting from New York — There are two portraits prominently displayed in the Memphis, Tenn., living room of Emma "Big Mama" Leake, the grandmother of Katori Hall. One is of Jesus, the other of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall says it was King's portrait that haunted her. "I didn't want him to be on the wall," says the 30-year-old playwright. "I wanted him to be flesh and blood to me and to others. " Her play "The Mountaintop," which opens Thursday on Broadway, directed by Kenny Leon, is the result of that ambition.
September 11, 2011
As I ponder the most beautiful places I've visited in America, my head fills with visions of the rocky Maine coast in summer, when long days ease into evenings of buttery soft-shelled lobster and chilled white wine. My mind sees the Northwest in winter, when wild Pacific storms lash century-old pines that cling tenaciously to basalt bluffs - and I get to watch the show from a window seat by a blazing hearth. But when I think of America, my beautiful, there's another place that captures my heart and soul: Delancey Street Restaurant in San Francisco.
July 31, 2011 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
Each year, when the holy month of Ramadan arrives, Ibrahim Shwehdi is gripped by ineffable sadness. A month of reflection and mercy is, for him, an occasion of grief and loss. It was during Ramadan in 1984, just before Libyans sat down at sunset to break the daily fast, that Shwehdi's brother Sadiq Hamed Shwehdi was hanged before a crowd at a Benghazi basketball arena. The execution was televised live, and people across eastern Libya watched in horror as thousands in the arena cheered.
July 31, 2011 | Ellie Herman, Ellie Herman is a teacher at Animo Pat Brown Charter High School in South Los Angeles
The kid in the back wants me to define "logic. " The girl next to him looks bewildered. The boy in front of me dutifully takes notes even though he has severe auditory processing issues and doesn't understand a word I'm saying. Eight kids forgot their essays, but one has a good excuse because she had another epileptic seizure last night. The shy, quiet girl next to me hasn't done homework for weeks, ever since she was jumped by a knife-wielding gangbanger as she walked to school. The boy next to her is asleep with his head on the desk because he works nights at a factory to support his family.
July 19, 2011 | T.J. Simers
Let's begin with what we know. They don't come more likable or approachable than Mark Gubicza, Gooby to his friends, the Angels broadcaster and former pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. As carefree as anyone might appear, he was bubbling over with excitement Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. Big game with Texas, all right, but Gooby is already looking forward to Monday, every mom and dad in the place probably jumping for joy as well if they only knew. "Off the medication Monday," he says, and Gooby's beaming.
June 24, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Director Chris Weitz's new drama, "A Better Life," should be a much better movie than it is, but emotions get in the way. It's a quintessential L.A. story of a hard-pressed illegal immigrant family — in this case a father and son — living with the constant fear of deportation. Rather than being compelling, though, the film is weighted down by clichés. A pity, since the issues could hardly be more timely. Weitz, working from a screenplay by Eric Eason ("Manito"), wears his heart on his sleeve in every scene.
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