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July 2, 2013 | David Lazarus
The healthcare system, like the government, is easy to criticize until you need it. And then it's indispensable. I've devoted my fair share of ink and digital bits to talking about what's wrong with healthcare in the United States. I wrote last week about yet another example of loony billing practices. Today, let's appreciate some of the things that make our system extraordinary - maybe not the best in the world, as conservatives are fond of gushing, but pretty darn impressive.
July 1, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
Resolving a lingering headache from the housing bust, Citigroup Inc. agreed to pay nearly $1 billion to Fannie Mae to cover Citi's liability for potential flaws in 3.7 million mortgages it sold to the housing-finance giant from 2000 through 2012. Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer and guarantor of home loans, had previously announced similar but far bigger settlements with Bank of America -- $1.52 billion in January 2011 and a whopping $10.35 billion this past January. The Citi settlement is for $968 million.
June 18, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
A new front is opening in the education wars as a report released Tuesday derides California's teacher training schools as among the worst in a nation full of substandard programs. The study by a controversial Washington, D.C.-based policy group singles out UCLA and Loyola Marymount University, among others, as hardly worth attending. Both have strong reputations within the field. The report, issued by the National Council on Teacher Quality, is getting attention as a new annual offering among the education ratings published by U.S. News & World Report.
June 13, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
Kevin Bacon's character on the crime drama "The Following," former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, doesn't have it easy. Season 1 found him matching wits with an old nemesis - the serial killer who left him with a nasty scar and a pacemaker - while grappling with alcoholism and personal demons. And Bacon wouldn't have it any other way. At a recent Emmy Envelope Round Table featuring five of TV's top dramatic actors, Bacon said of his character, "I knew that I wanted to be heroic on some level.
May 14, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
President Obama was asked about the metastasizing Benghazi scandal in a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday. Referring to the Americans who died in Benghazi, the president said, "We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus. " He added that "the whole issue of talking points, throughout this process, frankly, has been a sideshow.… There's no there there. " He's half right. The talking points drafted by the State Department, the CIA and the White House and given to congressional Republicans and, most famously, to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice are not the center of this story.
May 7, 2013 | By Michael Muskal and Alana Semuels
CLEVELAND - Ariel Castro, the former school bus driver who is a suspect in the kidnapping of three women who escaped years of incarceration, was a friendly man who befriended area children and gave no hint of what was happening behind the locked doors of his Seymour Avenue house, his neighbors say. “If a kid didn't have a father, they would look up to him. There was no flaw,” said Juan Perez, 27, who lives two doors down from the house from where...
May 7, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Sections of a new $40.6-million bridge near Oceanside that will serve one of the busiest rail corridors in the nation are being torn out and rebuilt due to flaws in the concrete. Officials for the San Diego Assn. of Governments, which is funding the project, said the contractors are replacing about 500 feet of the 755-foot span over the Santa Margarita River and a nearby tidal marsh. David Hicks, an association spokesman, said the work will cost about $3 million and delay the opening of the bridge by about a year.
May 5, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - Recent Israeli strikes inside Syria may have exposed weaknesses in the regime's air defenses and could embolden the U.S. and its allies to take more steps to aid rebels fighting the regime there, said lawmakers on Sunday. “The Russian-supplied air defense systems are not as good as said,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said on NBC's "Meet the Press. " Leahy, who heads the appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, said the Israeli defense forces were using American-made F-16 Fighting Falcon jets to launch the missiles against Syrian targets.
April 26, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Honda said Friday that it will recall almost 44,000 of its tiny Fit Sport compacts to fix a problem with its stability assist software that crops up when the vehicle is equipped with certain tires. On some of the 2012 and 2013 model year cars, the yaw rate -- a force that can change the direction of the vehicle -- exceeds federal safety standards. Honda discovered the problem during testing for compliance with federal regulations.It is not aware of any crashes or injuries resulting from the problem.
April 25, 2013 | By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Federal authorities intend to remove endangered species protections for all gray wolves in the Lower 48 states, carving out an a exception for a small pocket of about 75 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, according to a draft document obtained by The Times. The sweeping rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would eliminate protection for wolves 18 years after the government reestablished the predators in the West, where they had been hunted to extinction. Their reintroduction was a success, with the population growing to the thousands.
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