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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.
April 13, 2013 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
The 2013 Shelby GT350 takes a standard Mustang GT and adds more than $40,000 in performance upgrades - bringing the whole package to about $74,000. That's a lot for a Mustang. But any doubts about spending Corvette money on the juiced-up Ford are erased after only moments in the GT350. This is a talented car. Key upgrades in the Shelby package include Wilwood brakes, a Ford Racing suspension, a short-throw shifter, Shelby 19-inch rims wrapped in ultra-sticky Goodyear tires and Borla exhaust, along with new front and rear bumpers and a new hood with a functional scoop.
April 12, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Like its title character, "Da Vinci's Demons" prefers to flaunt rather than follow, flagrantly borrowing from film, television and video games to create something new, inarguably flawed, possibly revolutionary and certainly fun to watch. For several years, Starz has been flailing around in search of a show that would satisfy the youthful proclivities of its "Spartacus" audience while lending the network a bit more artistic heft. With its "Assassin's Creed" overtones and "Game of Thrones" top notes, "Demons" should satisfy the former, and even a story that too often turns Leonardo da Vinci into a Florentine Sherlock Holmes can't diminish the artistic heft of the original Renaissance man. After a quasi-mystical "Leonardo liked to get stoned" opener, creator David S. Goyer flamboyantly uses "Downton Abbey's" Hugh Bonneville to quickly establish the show's premium cable status: Bonneville's Duke of Milan greets the morn by first urinating, naked and on-camera (when did this become the new hallmark of cable's hard R?
April 11, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
When British authorities the other day denied an export license for a 15th-century Flemish manuscript acquired last December by the J. Paul Getty Museum at a London auction, few could have been surprised. Stopping the export of exceptional works of art from the United Kingdom is business as usual for the government's catch-all Department for Culture, Media and Sport . Why? Often, as in this particular case, for no defensible reason. ART: Can you guess the high price?
April 7, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
California already had what were arguably the nation's toughest sex offender laws in 2006 when voters, spurred on nightly by fear-mongering television hosts such as Nancy Grace and Bill O'Reilly, adopted this state's version of Jessica's Law . Proposition 83 required all convicted sex felons, whether violent or not, whether still on parole or not, and whether at high or low risk of reoffending, to wear electronic monitoring devices for the rest...
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