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May 24, 2013 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
California's health insurance rates for a new state-run marketplace came in lower than expected this week, but one downside for many consumers will be far fewer doctors and hospitals to choose from. People who want UCLA Medical Center and its doctors in their health plan network next year, for instance, may have only one choice in California's exchange: Anthem Blue Cross. Another major insurer in the state-run market, Blue Shield of California, said its exchange customers will be restricted to 36% of its regular physician network statewide.
May 15, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
When the government obstructs the ability of a news organization to do its job, the most important victims are not journalists but readers. That's why long-standing guidelines set clear limits on how Justice Department prosecutors are expected to behave when interacting with the news media. "In recognition of the importance of freedom of the press to a free and democratic society," the government's own rules say, subpoenas for reporter's records or notes must be personally authorized by the attorney general, may be issued only after other sources are exhausted and are expected to be limited in scope to avoid gratuitous invasion into news gathering.
May 12, 2013 | By Don Lee
SHANGHAI - China is investigating a senior economic policymaker for alleged "serious disciplinary violations" - the highest-ranking central government official to be targeted in the new Chinese president's anti-corruption crackdown. The investigation of Liu Tienan, a deputy director of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission, was reported Sunday by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, according to China's official news agency. Although the commission provided no details, the terse statement came five months after accusations were made by a prominent Chinese investigative journalist that Liu had misrepresented his academic credentials and colluded with a private business for personal gain.
April 18, 2013
WASHINGTON - In the early-morning hours before he was arrested on suspicion of sending a poison-laced letter to the president of the United States, Paul Kevin Curtis was typing messages on his Facebook profile. Over the previous few days, the 45-year-old part-time singer had posted photos of fellow Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison impersonators, snapshots of buxom women and a certificate welcoming him to Mensa, a society for people with high IQs. At 5 a.m. Wednesday, about 12 hours before his arrest, he wrote, "I'm on the hidden front lines of a secret war. A war that is making Billions of dollars for corrupt mafia related organizations and people.
April 17, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's leading newsmagazine says one of its investigative reporters has been threatened with kidnapping and possible death by government officials in the coastal state of Veracruz. Proceso magazine, in a statement posted on its website, said journalist Jorge Carrasco was in Veracruz this week reporting on the killing of another Proceso reporter there when he learned of the threats. (link in Spanish) “We have received information over the presumed intention of officials and former officials of the Veracruz state government to attack the physical integrity of the journalist,” the magazine said.
April 11, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
When the government came for his land, Doan Van Vuon fought back --  first with the law, then with a shotgun. The fish farmer used rifles and explosives to battle police and soldiers seizing his converted swampland, injuring several officers in the clash. His resistance made him a hero to dispossessed peasants fed up with losing property in Vietnam, where the government can confiscate farms and give little in return. Street protests erupted in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City over his case.
January 30, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
An American democracy activist accused of trying to overthrow the Vietnamese government was freed Wednesday and sent home to Southern California to rejoin his family, more than nine months after he was first detained in Saigon. The unexpected decision comes amid a recent rash of charges against dissidents in Vietnam that have triggered global condemnation and raised concerns about the country's increased strategic engagement with the United States. U.S. citizen Nguyen Quoc Quan was arrested last April and faced subversion charges tied to his activism with the banned political party and democracy group Viet Tan. Though the United Nations human rights office and other watchdogs say the banned party is a peaceful organization, Vietnam deems it a terrorist group.
January 23, 2013 | By Anh Do, Los Angeles Times
A Fountain Valley councilman is leading the charge to block a delegation of business and government officials from Vietnam, saying it will unleash a storm of protesters in the increasingly immigrant city. Mayor Pro Tem Michael Vo said an official visit from a country "without human rights and respect for freedom will not be accepted by the Vietnamese community, many who live here. " Vo said it would be fiscally irresponsible to pay for police services for a likely protest, which he predicted could draw hundreds.
December 28, 2012 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times
TEHRAN - As rebel forces advance and longtime allies in Moscow distance themselves, Syria's most faithful friend is recalculating as well: Iranian officials and analysts say the Islamic Republic has launched a vigorous internal debate about how firmly it will continue to support Syrian President Bashar Assad. On the surface, Iranian officials stick to the view that Assad remains in control, and they welcome his emissaries. In Friday sermons, clerics close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, accuse Israel and Western powers of plotting to bring Assad down.
December 27, 2012 | By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - Recent pronouncements by the Taliban have raised the possibility that the insurgents may be softening their stance on what a future without U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan might look like. But even among those who are most optimistic about reviving a stalled peace process, there is hesitation about prospects for reaching a political settlement before the bulk of NATO forces pull out in 2014. And others dismiss the Taliban's overtures as propaganda designed to build the group's political profile among Afghans and the international community.
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