November 30, 2013 |
When an elderly woman showed up at a small law firm several years ago and asked for help managing her estate, an attorney asked her what she thought it was worth. Kathleen Magowan said she didn't really know. She thought maybe about $40,000. The real answer? $6 million. A quiet, unassuming woman who never made headlines during her 87 years, Magowan taught first grade in the northern Connecticut town of Simsbury for 35 years and never brought attention to herself. She wasn't much of a philanthropist during her life, but Magowan, who died in 2011, is now surprising many with huge donations through her estate to her favorite causes - including nearly $480,000 to her beloved Simsbury public schools, more than $400,000 to the nursing home where she died, and nearly $375,000 to her local parish, St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church.
November 25, 2013 |
BEIRUT - The interim accord hammered out between Iran and global powers focuses narrowly on Tehran's nuclear ambitions but the reaction across the Middle East points to a broader significance: the prospect of a geopolitical shift with repercussions across the region. The process is still embryonic and may go nowhere. But the Middle East is already abuzz with speculation about a thaw between Washington and Tehran emerging from the Geneva talks. Some analysts say it may turn out to be a "hinge" moment that - however gradually - alters the political landscape of the highly volatile region.
November 22, 2013 |
It's no surprise that Republicans in the Senate are unhappy with the Democrats' historic decision Thursday to eliminate the filibuster for most confirmations of presidential nominees. But if the GOP were to retaliate by finding other ways to slow or sabotage action on nominations or legislation, it would be not only irresponsible but self-defeating. Even Republicans who in the past have cooperated with Democrats are warning that Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to trigger the so-called nuclear option will poison the atmosphere in the Senate and replace collegiality with the sort of hyper-polarization that has paralyzed the House.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 |
It was kind of like "American Idol," without the singing and the snarky remarks. After weeks of coaching and rehearsals, 10 contestants had three minutes each on stage to pitch their dreams to a panel of judges and an audience of 600 high-minded donors. The contestants included a man who endured sexual abuse, promoting an app to reach out to male victims; a young filmmaker trying to raise money to equip struggling children to share their stories; a former investment banker who wants to create a 51-mile-long public park along the Los Angeles River.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 21, 2013 |
The U.S. Postal Service wanted to honor slain President John F. Kennedy, but first it needed Jackie Kennedy's stamp of approval. That's how a Los Angeles Times photo came to be chosen for the first commemorative postage stamp honoring the fallen president following his Nov. 22, 1963, assassination in Dallas. The 5-cent stamp issued on May 29, 1964, was based on a photo of then-Sen. Kennedy during a visit to the Santa Monica beachfront home of his brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford, by Times staff photographer William S. Murphy.
November 21, 2013 |
Academic and author Noam Chomsky is a creative but very structural thinker, stringing ideas together like dominoes. One thought progresses to the next, carefully placed with a logic and precision born of years of linguistics analysis shoring up each one. Filmmaker Michel Gondry is a creative thinker as well, though he's more deconstructive in his methods. Enthralled by the process of pulling ideas apart, he's not content with tipping a single domino, but crashing the entire pile, then setting about to make sense of the jumble.
November 19, 2013 |
Federal safety regulators opened a probe into a series of fires in Tesla Motors Inc. electric cars following crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that it would investigate why two of the expensive Tesla Model S sporty hatchbacks have caught fire this year following accidents in which the battery casing that serves as the undercarriage of the car cracked open. LATEST: From the L.A Auto Show A third fire, which took place in Mexico, won't be part of the investigation because it is outside the agency's jurisdiction.
November 18, 2013 |
A woman who wants to travel but doesn't have a travel mate asked what she might do to avoid paying the singles supplement. She doesn't especially want to room with a stranger, but she doesn't want to pay the surcharge that solo travelers often are assessed either. What can she do? The On the Spot column of Nov. 10, "Opportunities Grow for Solo Travelers" ( www.lat.ms/19dEOYu ), focused on finding a travel companion or learning to make the acquaintance of strangers, whether you're paired with them by a tour company or you find them on your own. Readers had some good suggestions, as they always do. Marlene Frierson wrote: "Thank goodness for Grand Circle Travel/Overseas Travel [ www.lat.ms/1gE4iHh ]
November 13, 2013 |
CBS boss Leslie Moonves has some big plans for TV commercials -- plans that could change how much advertisers pay for a 30-second spot, what kinds of ads viewers will see and even what kinds of shows stay on the air. At the moment, advertisers pay for viewers who watch TV programs within three days of the original airdate. But Moonves is pushing for a much longer window -- up to a month, in fact. Why? Because the more time-delayed viewing on DVRs that is thrown into the mix, the higher the overall viewership is -- and the more the network can charge advertisers.
November 10, 2013 |
French fashion house Chloé brought its singular brand of laid-back chic to Los Angeles recently, hosting a fashion show and dinner at the Midcentury Modern Brody House. Tastemakers including Zoe Saldana, January Jones, Jessica Paré, Nicole Richie and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley were treated to a presentation of the spring/summer 2014 collection first shown during Paris Fashion Week. Chloé was founded by Gaby Aghion in 1952 as a more relaxed alternative to the formal, haute couture clothing of the day. Under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld, it became an iconic 1970s brand known for feminine blouses and fluid boho dresses.