April 24, 2012 |
He was the heir to a fabulous fortune, who grew up in his father's Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach surrounded by glitz and glamor; she was his wife, who prosecutors say was enraged over his alleged affair with a stripper and accused him of tricking her into getting breast implants she did not want. On Monday, the woman, Narcy Novack, 54, went on trial in a White Plains, N.Y., courtroom on federal charges stemming from the July 2009 death of her 53-year-old husband, Ben Novack Jr. He was beaten to death with dumbbells and stabbed in the eyes in a Rye Brook, N.Y., hotel room where he was attending an Amway convention.
April 23, 2012 |
With Mitt Romney all but officially anointed the Republican presidential nominee, the national political narrative now turns to the "Veepstakes": who Romney will choose for his running mate. From a policy point of view, this is arguably the most important decision Romney will make in his presidential race. The importance of the vice president is not for electoral reasons - even the most disastrous choices have been found to have a negligible impact on the electorates' voting decision.
April 19, 2012 |
U.S. officials this week turned over a nearly 500-year-old Italian painting that had been stolen during World War II to the descendants of its Jewish owner. The painting, titled "Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged By A Rascal," was created by Italian artist Girolamo Romani around 1538. The painting was confiscated by U.S. officials in 2011 while it was on loan to the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee, Fla. The work of art had resided at the Pinacoteca di Brera museum in Milan, Italy.
March 25, 2012 |
In the Land of Blood and Honey Sony Blu-ray, $40.99 Writer-director-producer Angelina Jolie's earnest Bosnian war film received more attention than it otherwise might've because of the presence of her name above its title, but it was subject to undue skepticism as well. This is a well-crafted drama, following the tricky relationship between a Serbian soldier played by Goran Kostic and a Muslim prisoner of war played by Zana Marjanovic. Given the grimness of the subject matter, Jolie drains the film of nearly all lightness and thrills, but as with a lot of actors turned directors, she helps her cast find the emotional truth in every scene and builds a compelling story.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2012 |
As Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping makes his way across the U.S. in a five-day tour, Chinese American community leaders in Southern California are putting the finishing touches on their high-profile welcome banquet. Many Chinese American business leaders, professors and residents have been trying to score a ticket to the invitation-only event Thursday night. "My phone has not stopped ringing," said Sue Zhang, president of the Roundtable of Chinese American Organizations and the head of the 15-person welcome committee formed to prepare the banquet.
January 29, 2012 |
Newt Gingrich, trying to claw his way back into contention before Florida holds its crucial primary in two days, railed Sunday against rival Mitt Romney's claim that Gingrich did not work as closely with President Reagan as the former House speaker asserts. “I am, in fact, the legitimate heir to the Reagan movement, not some liberal from Massachusetts,” Gingrich said on Sunday. He noted that Reagan's son Michael will be campaigning with him on Monday, “which should tell you how false the ads were earlier this week by Romney that suggested I wasn't a Reagan Republican.” He made the remarks to thousands of seniors gathered at the Villages, a massive retirement community in Central Florida that is a GOP enclave and a common stop for presidential hopefuls.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2012 |
Gale-force winds were whipping whitecaps and spray across Mono Lake when Robert Hanna spotted a distant hiker. It was a crummy day to chat up a stranger in a state park, but Hanna was upbeat, as usual. He stepped hurriedly along a trail to introduce himself. "Hello there!" Hanna said, flashing a toothy smile. "Do you know that California wants to shut this place down? Would you like to sign our petition to keep it open?" "Yeah, I guess so," the man said. "Wow! That's great," Hanna said, reaching to shake his hand.
November 27, 2011 |
Plot outline for a Philip K. Dick story: Hollywood buys film rights to obscure short story by famous author. Makes movie. Movie makes money. Producers then claim they never needed to buy rights in the first place. Demand their money back. Emblematic Philip K. Dick story elements: Attempt to turn back time and murkiness of reality. Extra mind-bending plot twist: Author of original story is named Philip K. Dick. As Laura Dick Coelho, one of the late author's daughters, told me: "Everything in the Philip K. Dick world is complicated.
November 19, 2011 |
He was the reformist face of the Moammar Kadafi regime, a cosmopolitan intellectual who fraternized with London high society, rehabilitated Libyan dissidents and pledged to bring democracy to his father's long-repressed domain. But he was also an ambitious heir apparent and fierce defender of his father's rule, vowing that "rivers of blood" would flow when "Arab Spring"-inspired protesters took to Libya's streets early this year. Now Seif Islam Kadafi finds himself in the hands of those protesters-turned-rulers, and they will probably show no mercy for this contradictory figure who both embraced and rejected his father's dictatorial ways.
November 18, 2011
Young adults are caught between Old World tradition and personal fulfillment in "Dog Sweat," a multistrand feature set in Tehran and shot there surreptitiously. Whatever personal risks first-time director Hossein Keshavarz took to make the film, there's little sense of danger in the finished product, which offers snapshots of middle-class Iran but falls flat on the dramatic front. Rebellion takes various forms for the characters. Three pals seek black-market alcohol, or "dog sweat.