December 27, 2013 |
BEIRUT - The assassination by car bomb on Friday of a prominent Lebanese political figure who was critical of the Shiite militia Hezbollah has raised the specter of greater instability in Lebanon, fueled by the war across the frontier in Syria. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the enormous blast in Beirut targeting Mohamad Chatah, a former Lebanese ambassador to the United States. But the Syrian conflict has already left a lasting mark on its politically fragile neighbor.
December 21, 2013 |
Tom Steyer is standing upright near the corner of a small, beige meeting room at Georgetown University, arms at his sides, eyes shut intently. Half a dozen ministers and priests surround him, laying hands on his torso. Together, the pastors begin to pray, asking for divine help in shaping public opinion: "Soften them.... Open them to you … for your purpose.... Claim the promise made to Moses. " It is a curious warmup for a technical conference about an oil pipeline. But like many other environmentalists concerned that America is dawdling as the world burns, these ministers, each a leader in efforts to mobilize churchgoers against climate change, see Steyer as, quite literally, a godsend.
December 20, 2013 |
The revolution is no longer a fragile or tentative one. When I arrived in Los Angeles nine years ago, the city had just begun to turn away from a largely private urbanism and toward a new embrace of the public realm. The first phase of the Gold Line light-rail route, from downtown to Pasadena, had recently opened; construction on the Expo Line had yet to begin. James Hahn was nearing the end of a largely uneventful single term as mayor. Measure R, the transit tax that would help remake the city, was four years away.
December 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The number of immigrants deported from the country decreased this year for the first time since President Obama came into office, reflecting the impact of new policies intended to focus enforcement on immigrants with criminal backgrounds. Both sides in the highly contentious debate over immigration policy seized on the annual figures released Thursday by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Advocates for immigrants, who have repeatedly criticized the administration for the high levels of deportations under Obama's tenure, said the approximately 369,000 immigrants deported in the 12 months ending Sept.
December 19, 2013 |
As millions of bargain-crazed customers swarmed through Target stores on Black Friday, one of the most audacious heists in retail history was quietly underway. A band of cyberthieves pilfered credit and debit card information from the giant retailer's customers with pinpoint efficiency as shoppers bought discounted sweaters and electronic gear on the unofficial launch of the holiday shopping season. By the time the scheme was discovered, the unidentified hackers had made off with financial data of 40 million Target customers over a 21/2-week period.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2013 |
Imagine what a buck could do! Millions considered the Lottery's motto Tuesday as they waited for the Mega Millions drawing with a jackpot of about $636 million. Many lined up outside stores to buy what they hoped would be the winning ticket. California Lottery officials say the prize could grow even more because of last-minute ticket buyers who hope to beat 7:45 p.m. deadline. And all day, millions have been pondering what they would do if they won. Among them is Michael Phan. “I'm going to pay off my debt and all my parents' debt,” he said. The 33-year-old resident of La Mirada said he also plans to start a college fund for his 10-month-old daughter, Mikayla.
December 16, 2013 |
A makeshift bucket brigade hauled 14 pails of mud and slush from the tent that Um Mahmoud shares with a dozen other Syrian refugees in a ramshackle settlement here in the Bekaa Valley, now blanketed with snow that lends an alpine sheen to the rugged stretch that extends to the Syrian border. While holiday-makers from Beirut hastened to the hills with sleds and toboggans, piling souvenir snow onto their vehicles for the drive home, there was nothing merry about the weekend blizzard for the multitudes of Syrians living rough in makeshift camps scattered throughout the region.
December 13, 2013 |
When President Obama marched into the White House briefing room with his Hawaiian birth certificate in April 2011, he said: "I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. " How right he was. The release of his long-form birth certificate did not eliminate the "birther" movement, which contends that Obama was born in Kenya is therefore ineligible to be president. Although conspiracists had demanded its release, once he made public the document it merely shifted the debate.
December 12, 2013 |
America's cars, trucks and SUVs took a record step in 2012 toward a cleaner future, with the average fuel economy for new vehicles hitting an all-time high of 23.6 miles per gallon, according to a new report released by the EPA. That average is a 1.2 mpg increase over 2011 vehicles, a jump that is the second highest in the last 30 years. Fuel economy has increased in seven of the last eight years, the agency announced in Thursday's report. "Today's new vehicles are cleaner and more fuel efficient than ever, saving American families money at the gas pump and helping to keep the air that we breathe cleaner," Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement.
December 1, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A simmering dispute between the U.S. and Afghan governments spilled over Sunday into a spat about whether U.S. and coalition forces have deliberately withheld fuel supplies from Afghan army and police units. A statement posted Sunday night on the website of Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused the United States of "applying pressure and creating dependency" by cutting off fuel supplies to two or three army and police units. It quoted Afghan National Security Council officials as saying the alleged cutoff of "fuel and support services" had hampered security force operations.