September 13, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - An Indian court sentenced four men to death Friday in the December rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, one of most closely watched legal decisions in the country's recent history. Judge Yogesh Khanna announced the sentence in a one-paragraph order, in contrast to his 237-page verdict a few days ago. "In these times when crime against women is on the rise, courts cannot turn a blind eye," he said. The victim, who died of massive internal injuries two weeks after the assault on a moving bus, has not been named under Indian law. The four death row convicts, ages 19 to 35, were among six apprehended after an attack that struck a deep nerve in India.
September 12, 2013 |
The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming! Directors Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah and a lineup of fellow Muslim American comedians hit the road in this documentary that follows their stand-up tour throughout the American Southeast and West. When they're not performing some actually pretty edgy material, they're setting up public stunts like "Ask a Muslim," "Name That Religion" and "Hug a Muslim. " Their goal is to introduce "Muzzies" - real American Muzzies, not just the scary, hateful, jihadist versions you see on TV - and help tone down some of the Islamophobic rhetoric they encounter every day. Along the way, "The Muslims Are Coming!"
September 12, 2013 |
Julie Chen of "The Talk" shared a big secret Wednesday on the show: She had plastic surgery done on her eyes in the hope of advancing her career. The reason? She'd been told she'd never make the anchor desk in Dayton, Ohio, because she was Chinese. Then a top-notch agent in no uncertain terms told her basically the same thing - she needed to Westernize her look. "He said, 'I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger.' ... and I did it," Chen revealed during what has been a week of the show's hosts each unveiling a major secret from her past.
September 9, 2013 |
The only thing I wanted from the final season of “Breaking Bad” was for Walter White to have the scales fall from his eyes, to see what he had truly become, then see whether that repulsed him or made him even more monstrous. It's easy to proclaim your own power when you're riding high -- and we'd never seen Walter riding so high as he was in the fifth season's first few episodes -- but it's quite another to realize just how terrible you've become in pursuit of that power. Walter has always held grand delusions about himself, and seeing those delusions fall away seemed to me to be an important part of whatever end game the series came up with.
September 4, 2013 |
"Earthflight," which premieres Wednesday on PBS, is a six-part documentary about birds. As often happens with big nature films, it is a rebranded BBC production (nearly 2 years old), presented domestically under the flag of the series "Nature," with rerecorded narration. Oddly, a two-hour version was broadcast here by Discovery Channel last October as "Winged Planet," its title surely meant to evoke memories of Discovery's earlier "Planet Earth" and "Frozen Planet" (also acquired from the BBC)
September 2, 2013 |
- Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" isn't easy to watch. And that's part of the point. Not far into the "Sexy Beast" filmmaker's new drama about an alien in human form, which had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, you see a couple with an 18-month-old child picnicking on a Scottish beach. When their dog is swept out to sea by stormy waves, the parents and a nearby swimmer try to rescue the pet, but it all ends badly. Into the frame enters a young woman named Laura (played by Scarlett Johansson)
August 30, 2013 |
John Brown, the white abolitionist who sought to free black slaves with the barrel of a gun, is a recurring character in American literature. He's one of the ghosts that haunt Marilynne Robinson's "Gilead," and he's the messianic, brooding prophet at the heart of Russell Banks' epic "Cloudsplitter. " In the post-Civil War memoir of his contemporary, Frederick Douglass, Brown is a brave, principled man, with a plan to start a slave uprising that's plainly suicidal. In James McBride's new novel, "The Good Lord Bird," Brown is a comic figure, given to making religious speeches at strangely inappropriate moments.
August 29, 2013 |
Why is America so intent on killing affirmative action? Randall Kennedy's clear-eyed new book, "For Discrimination," offers many reasons, among them: As a remedy for racial injustice, albeit a modest one, affirmative action invokes slavery and, therefore, rattles the philosophical foundation of democracy and fairness upon which much of America believes the country was built. Another reason is that affirmative action is seen as increasingly incompatible with the aims of the so-called post-racial age in which a first black president would seem to argue against any more need for racial redress.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2013 |
A drone the size of a small Cessna plane buzzing over the massive Rim fire has become a valuable tool as commanders use its real-time imagery to strategize their next move. The remotely piloted plane began flying Wednesday morning after Incident Cmdr. Mike Wilkins requested the MQ-1 aircraft belonging to the California Air National Guard. It has since been giving fire commanders a bird's-eye view of the 300-square-mile blaze in and around Yosemite National Park, which is now the sixth largest fire in state history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2013 |
This post has been corrected and updated. See the notes below for details. SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown is negotiating a deal that would staff a private prison in Kern County with state guards and give California its 35th lockup. "It's a win-win," said Joe Baumann, finance director for the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn., the state's powerful union for prison guards. Under the arrangement, the state would lease a medium-security prison in California City, in the Mojave Desert, owned by Corrections Corp.