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ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
Are you Parker Sithole? The question served as the original title for "Of Good Report," which screens Thursday as the opening night film of the 22nd Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. Set in the South African countryside, the film follows a troubled teacher named Parker Sithole (Mothusi Magano), who begins an illicit relationship with the beautiful student Nolitha (Petronella Tshuma) - a relationship that takes a brutal turn and forces Parker to battle past demons. More subtly, the film noir explores the lies that people tell and the morals that they bend to justify actions, at any expense.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2014 | By Chris Lee
SANTA BARBARA - Hollywood's unique awards calculus wouldn't seem to take a film festival at this posh coastal enclave into account. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, after all, is not a prestige movie launching pad such as the Toronto International Film Festival or an indie acquisitions bazaar like Utah's Sundance. But over the last decade, the Central Coast festival has carved an important niche in the movie ecosystem. Arriving exactly two weeks after Academy Awards nominations were announced, the Santa Barbara festival is distinguished as a tactical pit stop on the way to the Oscars.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2014 | By Margaret Gray
If you've ever left a Cole Porter musical feeling that you haven't heard quite enough Cole Porter songs, then Long Beach's International City Theatre may have the antidote: “Let's Misbehave: A New Cole Porter Musical,” in its lushly executed California premiere. That subtitle is coy: The songs are old, and Karin Bowersock's book, about a love triangle among three friends, is a not so much a musical as a sequence of clever pretexts for working in those songs: 34 in all, newly arranged by Patrick Young.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | By Chris Lee
Come late January, drive up the Pacific Coast Highway about 90 miles north of Hollywood and there it is: the last stop on the awards season trail before the Oscars. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival , which kicks off Thursday night wi th the premiere of director Fisher Stevens' deep-sea documentary “ Mission Blue ,” provides a showcase for nearly 200 movies (including 24 world premieres) and star-studded tributes expected to draw about 70,000 attendees over the festival's 11-day run. On Friday, “American Hustle” director David O. Russell is to receive the festival's outstanding director award, his latest accolade after collecting a Golden Globe for best motion picture musical or comedy and receiving an Oscar nod for best director.
WORLD
January 29, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - Insiders like Edward Snowden who leak secrets about sensitive U.S. intelligence programs pose a potentially greater danger to national security than terrorists, America's spy chiefs warned Wednesday in their annual report to Congress on global security risks. For the first time, the risk of unauthorized disclosures of classified material and state-sponsored theft of data was listed as the second-greatest potential threat to America in a review of global perils prepared by the U.S. intelligence community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 | By Howard Blume
The nation's second-largest school district is woefully unprepared to administer new state standardized tests by computer, a survey of Los Angeles Unified schools has found. An internal district report, obtained by The Times through a California Public Records Act request, indicates that fewer than a third of Los Angeles schools said they were ready for this spring's tests, which for the first time will be given online. The survey comes amid a $1-billion effort to provide every student, teacher and administrator with an iPad or other computer.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
The nation's biggest domestic carrier is going international. Southwest Airlines announced Monday plans to leave U.S. airspace in July with flights to three Caribbean beach cities in time for the summer travel season. The move by the Dallas-based airline was expected since Southwest acquired AirTran Airways in 2011. AirTran already serves destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Southwest's first flights to Aruba, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Nassau, Bahamas, will depart from Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington D.C. and Orlando.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Bolstered by an improving economy, Los Angeles International Airport handled more than 17.8 million foreign travelers in 2013, a record for the West Coast gateway that struggled for years to recover that portion of its market. The previous peak for the nation's third-busiest airport was about 17.5 million international passengers in 2005, but a global economic slowdown triggered a steep decline in air travel and hampered further growth. Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX that announced the passenger figures, attributed the record to an improving worldwide economy, especially in Asia, and a modest strengthening of the Southern California economy.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2014 | By August Brown
Pussy Riot may no longer be a formal band , but the activists will still make a high-profile appearance at a Brooklyn music venue next month. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will appear alongside the Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragons, Ms. Lauryn Hill and many others for Amnesty International's  Bringing Human Rights Home event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Feb. 5. "We are happy to support Amnesty International's work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners," Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County probation officials have made substantial strides in reducing criminal misconduct committed by department employees, according to a report released Tuesday. Officials said the improvement - with cases falling from 74 in 2011 to 32 last year - was the result of an expanded internal investigations team and the imposition of more stringent professional standards for the department's roughly 5,000 employees. "We've come light-years from where we were to where we are today," probation Chief Jerry Powers said.
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