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December 1, 2012 | By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times
British novelist and screenwriter William Boyd doesn't buy the conventional wisdom that a writer should never adapt his own books. His long list of industry credits includes scripts based on his own work (the miniseries "Any Human Heart"), novels by the likes of Evelyn Waugh ("Scoop") and biographies ("Chaplin"). "Restless," the two-part miniseries Boyd wrote from his 2006 novel of the same name, premieres Dec. 7 on Sundance Channel. It stars "Downton Abbey's" Michelle Dockery as Ruth Gilmartin, a young woman who discovers that her mother (Charlotte Rampling)
November 16, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
While the lion's share of youth anti-smoking efforts has focused on cigarettes, a new report in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease suggests more needs to be done to reduce the number of teens smoking flavored tobacco from hookahs. According to a recent survey cited in the report, 18.5% of 12th-grade students admitted to using a hookah in the previous year. And what's particularly concerning to the study authors, led by Daniel Morris of the Oregon Health Authority's public health division, is that many young people don't seem to recognize that hookah use carries serious health risks: Hookah smoke contains many of the same toxins as cigarettes and has been associated with a similar laundry list of diseases such as lung cancer and respiratory illness.
November 6, 2012
There is no appetite among the American people - or on the part of the two men competing for the U.S. presidency in Tuesday's election - for U.S. military intervention in Syria. That reluctance is sensible. Painful as it is to observe the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrians in the war between President Bashar Assad and insurgents inspired by the Arab Spring, the deployment of U.S. troops or a campaign of airstrikes under the rubric of a no-fly zone would enmesh the United States in an unpredictable conflict with a heavily armed ally of Iran on behalf of a fractious and fragmented rebel army.
September 5, 2012
Dismay over the continued violence in Syria is understandable and should impel the United States, other "friends of Syria" and the United Nations to support relief measures including, if necessary, the creation of safe havens for refugees. But the Obama administration is right to stop short of either arming Syrian rebels - who, according to U.S. intelligence officials, have been infiltrated by Islamic extremists from outside the country - or engaging in direct military intervention. Advocates of military involvement exaggerate the ease with which the U.S. could shape events in Syria and underestimate the dangers.
August 30, 2012 | By Shannon P. Meehan
July saw a record number of suicides in the Army and among recent veterans. I was nearly one of them. I suffer from both traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the two most common conditions of suicidal veterans. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming. This summer, as has happened often before, I experienced severe depression, which leads to isolation. Then, when I was feeling most hopeless, I also started feeling tremendously reckless. I found myself feeling aggressive and impulsive, feelings that fuel erratic behavior.
August 12, 2012 | By Kavita Daswani, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Summer can play havoc on the hair with prolonged exposure to the sun, seawater and chlorine as well as the inevitable perspiration and humidity that accompany the season. "It's important to always keep the hair hydrated; deep condition at least weekly," says Marco Pelusi, owner of the namesake West Hollywood salon. He recommends using a leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture and guard against color fading, both in the pool and while lounging in the sun. This summer, there's a profusion of new products designed to make hair care easy and effective.
August 10, 2012 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - President Obama's vow to limit U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war is being criticized from a usually sympathetic quarter: the Democratic foreign policy establishment. Senior Democratic foreign policy figures, along with diplomats who have worked for Democratic administrations, are saying the administration needs to do more to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and preserve U.S. influence in a key Mideast state. The views of these figures, including former Clinton administration Defense Secretary William Perry and former Obama administration officials Ann-Marie Slaughter and Dennis Ross, add to pressure on the White House from regional allies and Republican rivals as the Syrian conflict has intensified.
July 4, 2012 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
White abalone, the endangered shellfish that once numbered in the millions off the Southern California coast, have declined precipitously over the last decade and are on the brink of extinction, a study has found. In research published this week, scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported "a dramatic and continued decline" in the population of hard-shelled sea snails, a trend that has only worsened since they were protected from overfishing in the 1990s.
June 11, 2012
Devine Intervention A Novel Martha Brockenbrough Arthur A. Levine Books: 304 pp.: $17.99, ages 12 and older
June 11, 2012 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
In Martha Brockenbrough's heaven, old people show too much leg playing leap frog, and the church choir covers classic rock. Clearly, Brockenbrough is not a follower of the New Testament. That's good news for heathen readers who will delight in the author's absurdist take on the after life in her devilishly riotous young adult debut, "Devine Intervention. " Steeped in the heavenly tropes of guardian angels and lost souls, "Devine Intervention" is a satire in the vein of Libba Bray's "Beauty Queens," only with a decidedly sacrilegious twist.
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