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April 14, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Skilled in tracking foreign terrorists, Jarret Brachman once was a sought-after expert on Al Qaeda, advising several federal agencies and speaking regularly around the country. Now the former research director of the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has turned his focus away from Islamic militants. He spends most of his time consulting with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies about threats from domestic extremists and antigovernment militias.
November 27, 2012 | By Bill Shaikin
Barry Bonds owns the most cherished record in baseball, and more than twice as many most-valuable-player awards as anyone else. No pitcher has as many Cy Young awards as Roger Clemens. Under ordinary circumstances, the Hall of Fame debate would involve whether Bonds or Clemens might become the first player to get 99% of the votes in his election. However, with the residue of the steroid era sprinkled over ballots on their way this week to about 650 voting members of the Baseball Writers' Assn.
November 23, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
GAZA CITY - The Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah are intense rivals that control different turf and employ contrary strategies against Israel, but they have managed in their separate ways to put the Palestinian drive for statehood back on the international agenda. The eight-day conflict between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip raised the profile of the Palestinian issue, bringing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a stream of Arab diplomats rushing to the region to help negotiate a cease-fire.
November 9, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad predicted a global catastrophe should the West invade his country, and representatives of Syria's notoriously divided opposition struggled Thursday to form a united government in exile against Assad's beleaguered rule. The International Committee of the Red Cross, meanwhile, said it could no longer cope with the fast-expanding humanitarian crisis in Syria, where a raging civil conflict has left millions in need of shelter, medical aid, food and other necessities.
September 27, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - Mexican authorities working closely with their U.S. counterparts scored big in the fight against drug cartels with the capture of a top leader of Mexico's most vicious criminal gang, the Zetas paramilitary force. Ivan Velazquez Caballero, who used aliases that included "Zeta-50" and "El Taliban," was presented to reporters Thursday in Mexico City by masked naval special forces. Navy spokesman Vice Adm. Jose Luis Vergara said Velazquez was captured a day earlier when the marines surrounded one of his residences in the eastern city of San Luis Potosi.
September 16, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday called on Christians and Muslims to forge a common front against warfare, even as battles raged in neighboring Syria and the new U.N. peace envoy to that country conceded that the situation there was deteriorating. "It is time for Muslims and Christians to come together so as to put an end to violence and war," Benedict, 85, told an enthusiastic youth gathering on the second day of his three-day visit to Lebanon. The pontiff spoke directly to young Syrians who were in attendance, singling them out for praise.
August 22, 2012 | By David Horsey
Missouri congressman Todd Akin's outrageously weird assertion that a woman cannot get pregnant from “forcible rape" exposes three predicaments facing the Republican Party. First, Akin has made himself so toxic that he may lose his race against Missouri's Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and thereby kill any chance Republicans have of taking control of the U.S. Senate . Second, Akin's sudden notoriety is bringing to public attention the fact that his absolutist stance on abortion is fully shared by a guy named Paul Ryan, the chap who will be nominated for the vice presidency at the Republican convention next week.
July 15, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
ALONG THE SYRIA-TURKEY BORDER - The bomb maker was displaying his homemade mortar launcher, crafted from a tube and bits of metal. "Whatever we need to produce, we Google it," said the factory worker turned rebel commander and arms procurer in a border village where goats and insurgents walk along steep mountain paths. Most of the time, the weapon remains stashed under a bed in the rented home where the insurgent leader lives with his wife and five children, including two teenage boys who have joined his rebel band.
July 2, 2012 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - On election night 12 years ago, the headquarters ofMexico's main conservative party buzzed with the electric thrill of history as voters ousted the country's longtime rulers. This time, though, the cavernous hall echoed with defeat. On tables near the door, badges for guests sat in piles, unclaimed by no-shows. The National Action Party, or PAN, woke up Monday wondering how to pick up the pieces from its worst drubbing in a generation. PHOTOS: Mexico election The PAN, which made history by toppling the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in 2000, finished a dismal third in Sunday's presidential vote.
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