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February 22, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Anthony Navarro worked with solemn purpose and a box of tools, stripping the old discarded bicycle of its gear shifts, brakes and chain. He cut his finger, wiped a drop of blood on his pants and kept going. "It helps me with my anger when I'm doing it," said Navarro. "It brings me some kind of inner peace. " On Thanksgiving Day 2011, Navarro's 6-year-old son, Anthony, was riding his bicycle in front of the family's Oxnard home when he was struck by a pickup truck. "The moment I saw him, I knew he was gone," said Navarro, who reeled under the weight of sudden, unbearable loss.
February 22, 2014 | By David Colker
For extraordinary acts of courage during the D-day invasion of World War II, Walter Ehlers received the nation's highest military award - the Medal of Honor. And it changed his life. "I didn't have a life before the medal," Ehlers said in a 2004 Washington Post interview. A self-described "farmer boy" who not only took out enemy gun nests single handedly during the D-day operation, but also drew fire to himself so other soldiers could withdraw, Ehlers was invited to every presidential inauguration from Eisenhower on. He spoke all over the world to student, military and other groups.
February 21, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- The secretary of defense announced Friday that he would not reconsider the Medal of Honor nomination of a Marine from San Diego who was killed in Iraq. Secretary Chuck Hagel agreed with his two predecessors that the nomination of Sgt. Rafael Peralta does not meet the "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" standard required for the nation's highest award for combat bravery. Peralta, an immigrant from Mexico who enlisted the day he received his green card, was killed in November 2004 while Marines were clearing houses in Fallouja of barricaded insurgents.
February 21, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - President Obama will seek to right a historical wrong next month when he awards two dozen veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam - including 17 Latinos - the Medal of Honor after a lengthy Pentagon review into racial and ethnic discrimination in the awarding of the nation's commendation for combat valor. Obama will present the medals to three Vietnam War veterans, and to family members of the 21 veterans who are receiving it posthumously, the White House said late Friday.
February 21, 2014 | By Daniel Rothberg
WASHINGTON -- Seeking to correct a historic injustice, President Obama will award the nation's highest combat honor to two dozen veterans -- mostly Latino and Jewish -- who fought as far back as World War II but were denied the coveted Medal of Honor because of discrimination. Only three of the recipients are still alive. The campaign to issue the awards began in 2002 when Congress passed the Defense Authorization Act, which prompted a review of Latino and Jewish service members who had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second-highest honor, but not the Medal of Honor.
February 20, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - This was the dog writers' biggest night. The only things missing were the red carpet and interminable speeches. And the dogs. But they were there in spirit at the recent awards ceremony of the Dog Writers Assn. of America, which each year honors the men and women who write about man's best friend. "This is our version of the Emmys, the Grammys and the Academy Awards," member and past award-winner Mary R. Burch said as she opened the evening at the Hotel Pennsylvania.
February 17, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - For the second straight year, a story taken from the pages of American history triumphed at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, with "12 Years a Slave" winning prizes for best film and for leading actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. In a mild upset, Alfonso Cuarón, director of the space odyssey "Gravity," beat out "12 Years a Slave's" Steve McQueen as best director. Cate Blanchett took lead actress honors for "Blue Jasmine" and promptly dedicated her award to the memory of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died this month of an apparent drug overdose.
February 16, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
From a miniature helicopter camera system to a pneumatic car-flipping device, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the people behind the scenes who make special effects come to life at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards banquet. Hundreds gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday evening to honor 52 individual recipients for 19 scientific and technical achievements in the industry. For the first time in the event's history, the Academy Award of Merit -- presented by director Christopher Nolan -- was given to a group of people who built and operated film laboratories for more than a century of service to the motion picture industry.
February 15, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
To help transform Matthew McConaughey into a man dying of AIDS, Robin Mathews used grits to simulate a flaky rash in "Dallas Buyers Club. " For a pivotal comb-over scene in "American Hustle," Kathrine Gordon shaved and thinned part of Christian Bale's bushy mane, leaving a patch of hair known as "the island. " And to create the poisonous-fog-induced blisters that break out on Jennifer Lawrence's character in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Ve Neill and her team spent several hours fashioning the boils out of a membrane-thin silicone - in the middle of a Hawaiian jungle.  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll    The three artists and their colleagues will be feted Saturday night at a dinner and awards show their guild is throwing for its members for the first time in a decade.
February 14, 2014 | By Melissa Rohlin
Ron Artest's fighting days apparently died with his birth name. Meet Metta World Peace, a man who prefers teaching children about love over punching players and fans. In honor of Valentine's Day, the former Laker and current New York Knicks forward has released his second children's book, "Metta's World Peace and Love Stories. " "This book is a simple way to interact with your child, nephew, niece, younger siblings and instill at a young age the importance of love and family togetherness," World Peace said in a statement.  The book can be purchsed at and is also available on Amazon Kindle for $3.99.
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