December 9, 2012 |
BEIJING - Yang Jin shot his first film, "The Black and White Milk Cow," in his hometown in 2004 for $1,600. He asked villagers to be his actors, paying them only in cigarettes, and his main expense was $320 spent renting the titular cow. The tale of poor, rural China won him a $5,000 prize at Switzerland's Fribourg International Film Festival, but it had no chance of being seen or making money in his homeland. Because it touched on the subjects of AIDS and Chinese Christians, Yang knew it wouldn't get past the censors, and thus could never play in Chinese theaters, on TV, or even be sold legally on DVD. Yang's second film was a similarly shoestring, underground affair.
December 7, 2012 |
The board of California's stem cell funding agency is rife with conflicts of interest and should be restructured to improve the integrity of its grant-making process, according to a new report from independent experts convened by the national Institute of Medicine. The committee found that "far too many" of the board members are from organizations that stand to benefit from the $3 billion the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is supposed to dole out to researchers over 10 years.
November 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has temporarily banned the energy giant BP from new federal contracts, citing the company's "lack of business integrity as demonstrated" by the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. The Environmental Protection Agency's decision Wednesday comes two weeks after BP entered into a wide-ranging settlement agreement with the Justice Department over criminal charges in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 men, spewed nearly 200 million gallons of oil into the ocean and turned into the country's worst offshore environmental catastrophe.
November 20, 2012 |
Mozilla's latest update of its Firefox Web browser, released Tuesday, includes a new feature that allows users to access Facebook directly from the browser. The feature is called Facebook Messenger for Firefox, and it brings two key Facebook features into the Mozilla browser: notifications and instant messaging. If you decide to turn the feature on, which you can do by going here , four Facebook icons appear at the top right of your browser. They include the buttons for friend requests, message alerts and notifications.
November 2, 2012 |
After 39 years of working in the Los Angeles Unified School District as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator, Barbara Fiege says she will retire on June 30, 2013. The Los Angeles high school sports scene won't be the same. She is the second-longest-serving commissioner of the City Section and the only woman to head the sports program of the nation's second-largest school district. Fiege took over from Hal Harkness in 1993, when there were 49 LAUSD high schools. Now there are more than 130. She's the one who has been the enforcer of rules and regulations at a time of growing pressure to win. So it comes as no surprise that as the breaking of rules has increased, her role has become more controversial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2012 |
John Greenwood, a political moderate who headed the Los Angeles Board of Education in the mid-1980s and later served as president of the Southern California branch of the nonprofit Coro organization, has died. He was 67. Greenwood died of a heart attack Oct. 11 in San Pedro, where he and his family had lived for many years, said his sister-in-law Peg Greenwood. First elected to the school board in 1979, Greenwood saw his eight-year tenure begin at a time of deep contention among trustees and in the sprawling district over court-ordered mandatory school busing for integration, which had been launched the previous year.
October 18, 2012 |
DETROIT - The New York Yankees survived another day in the postseason Wednesday, thanks to help from Major League Baseball and Mother Nature. MLB decided to delay the start of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series because of a threat of rain, and then postponed it a little more than an hour later because of a forecast of inclement weather. A statement from MLB said the postponement was decided upon "in an effort to preserve the integrity of an uninterrupted full nine-inning game.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2012 |
Andrew Brimmer, the son of a Louisiana sharecropper who in 1966 became the first black member of the Federal Reserve Board, has died. He was 86. Brimmer died Oct. 7 at a Washington hospital after a lengthy illness, said his daughter, Esther Brimmer. An economist, Brimmer held a doctorate from Harvard Business School and several high-ranking positions in Washington. He worked as a staff economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as an economics professor before being named a deputy assistant secretary of commerce under President John F. Kennedy.
September 26, 2012 |
CINCINNATI - Lori Monroe, a 40-year-old Democrat who lives in central Ohio, was startled a few weeks ago to open a letter that said a stranger was challenging her right to vote in the presidential election. Monroe, who was recovering from cancer surgery, called the local election board to protest. A local tea party leader was trying to strike Monroe from the voter rolls for a reason that made no sense: Her apartment building in Lancaster was listed as a commercial property. "I'm like, really?
September 20, 2012 |
When it comes to apologies, some people are like scent hounds: They can sniff them out anywhere. This is especially true when it comes to the supposed regrets and self-hatred of President Obama. Though he began his term with a series of speeches in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East in which, according to several fact-checking sources, the words "apology" or "I'm sorry" were never once uttered, his opponents nonetheless decided to construe the trips as some sort of mea culpa (make that Americana culpa)