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October 23, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Angela Spaccia, the former second-in-command in the scandal-plagued city of Bell, went on trial Wednesday in a case that could establish who was the mastermind of the wrongdoing that made the working-poor city a symbol for municipal graft. In opening statements, Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman told jurors that the extreme salaries in Bell were based on a "secret formula the public could never find out. " Spaccia has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of public corruption. FULL COVERAGE: Corruption in Bell The former administrator is the last of eight onetime city leaders and elected officials in Bell to go on trial in the sweeping corruption case, which exploded in 2010 when the city's huge salaries and generous benefit packages were exposed Spaccia has said that her former boss, Robert Rizzo, was behind the wrongdoing in the Los Angeles County city.
October 11, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton simply put into words what a good number of Formula One fans probably are feeling about Sebastian Vettel's dominance of the sport: It's boring. After Vettel won his fourth consecutive race last weekend in South Korea, putting the Red Bull driver on a likely path to his fourth consecutive Formula One championship, Hamilton was quoted as saying "I feel for the fans. " Hamilton -- himself the 2008 Formula One champion who now drives for Mercedes -- then went on Twitter this week to "clarify" his remarks.
October 11, 2013 | By Lauren Frayer
MADRID -- The Spanish race car driver Maria de Villota, famous for pushing the Formula One gender barrier and for the velvet patch she wore after losing her right eye in a crash last year, was found dead Friday in her hotel room in southern Spain. She was 33. Police said there were no signs of foul play or drug use, and that it appeared that De Villota died of natural causes. An autopsy will be conducted in the coming days, they said. Spanish media quoted unidentified police sources as saying the cause of death was a heart attack, possibly related to trauma from the crash in July 2012.
September 27, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Formula E, a proposed racing series featuring electric-powered cars, unveiled a provisional 10-race schedule Friday that includes a race in Los Angeles in February 2015. The series previously had said Los Angeles would be included in its global schedule of street races, and it held a press conference with city officials in April to promote the sport. The cars would be true race cars, roughly similar in size and shape to those in the IndyCar series. Formula E also is sanctioned by the FIA, the governing body of the Formula One racing series.
September 26, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
Peter Morgan wouldn't be the first screenwriter you'd think of to tell the story of the 1976 Formula One rivalry between the uptight clinician Niki Lauda and the seat-of-his pants swashbuckler James Hunt. Known for upscale real-life stories about presidents and royals ("Frost/Nixon," "The Queen"), the screenwriter would be far down the list among people putting pen to paper on two hyper-competitive auto jocks. But Morgan - who wrote the script for this weekend's wide Ron Howard release “Rush” starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl  - found himself stirred by the idea when it first struck him on a Spanish beach.
September 20, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Formula One changes things up a bit this weekend with a night race in Singapore, but that's unlikely to alter Sebastian Vettel's title march. The 26-year-old Red Bull driver, in seeking his fourth consecutive Formula One championship, also is looking to capture his third consecutive Singapore Grand Prix. The German driver holds a 53-point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso heading into Sunday's race. And to no one's surprise, Vettel posted the fastest lap in Friday's two practice sessions on the 3.15-mile Marina Bay Street Circuit, followed by his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.
September 11, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Ferrari's Formula One team said Wednesday that former champion Kimi Raikkonen would rejoin the team next year to replace the departing Felipe Massa. In a two-sentence announcement on its website headlined, "Welcome back, Kimi!" Ferrari said Raikkonen signed a two-year deal to join the Italian team. Its other driver is two-time world champion Fernando Alonso. Raikkonen, a taciturn, 33-year-old Finnish driver nicknamed "The Iceman," drove for Ferrari in 2007-09, and he won the Formula One world championship with the team in 2007.
September 9, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Looking back at the weekend's motor-racing action, including the controversial NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Richmond, Va.; new Cup driver Kyle Larson and Formula One's Italian Grand Prix, five things come to mind: 1. The Chase field likely won't be changed ... but still. NASCAR Nation is in a lather about whether Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers of Michael Waltrip Racing intentionally made self-harming moves late in Saturday's race in Richmond to vault teammate Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase for the Cup, costing Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon spots in the title playoff.
September 9, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
TORONTO -- Ron Howard and Jay Z aren't names you'd expect to find in the same sentence, much less people you'd figure would one day work together. But 10 days before the hip-hop artist's two-day Made in America music festival in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend last year, Howard's longtime Imagine Entertainment partner, Brian Grazer, approached him, asking Howard if he'd be interested in making a documentary of the event. "I was very open that A) I've never made a documentary and B)
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