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Invasion

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 21, 2013 | By Kate Mather
Los Angeles police are looking for a 22-year-old man who disappeared Tuesday night while walking his dog, which returned to his South L.A. home dragging a bloody leash, the man's fiance said. Darwin Vela, 22, left his home in the 2900 block of South Redondo Boulevard about 9 p.m., police said. His fiance, Kelly McLaren, said she skipped their usual walk so she could shower. "When I came out, I heard the dog crying," McLaren said. "He was outside alone and Darwin wasn't there.
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SPORTS
November 10, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Restaurants in Westlake Village might be smart to offer promotions for any Orange County fans who come to the area on Friday night for Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoff action. There should be plenty. Santa Ana Mater Dei is playing at Oaks Christian and Anaheim Servite is playing at Westlake. Mater Dei quarterback Chase Forrest is the nephew of Oaks Christian volleyball Coach Chris Forrest, so he can offer some suggestions.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
WORLD
October 15, 2013 | By Monte Morin
New research on the human cost of the war in Iraq estimates that roughly half a million men, women and children died between 2003 and 2011 as a direct result of violence or the associated collapse of civil infrastructure. In a study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers concluded that at least 461,000 "excess" Iraqi deaths occurred in the troubled nation after the U.S.-led invasion that resulted in the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. Those were defined as fatalities that would not have occurred in the absence of an invasion and occupation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
High-diving seabirds known as blue-footed boobies   have been popping up all over Southern California and as far north as Marin County in recent weeks.  Bird-watchers are intrigued and delighted by the boobies,  which rarely venture north of Imperial County's Salton Sea, but some experts wonder what it might mean, environmentally. Members of the large bluish-gray species with a long serrated beak, absurdly short legs and bright blue webbed feet have been spotted more than 30 times recently.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
A man and a woman were beaten and robbed in their San Pedro home early Wednesday, authorities said. Two people entered the home in the 300 block of N. Mesa Street at about 2 a.m. and stole money and other items, according to Los Angeles police officials. The victims suffered injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. A description of the robbers was not immediately available, with the investigation still in its early stages. It was L.A.'s second home-invasion robbery in as many days.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
Maybe it's the bald head, or perhaps it's the haunted-looking eyes, but British actor Mark Strong has a track record for playing baddies, from murderous aristocrat Lord Blackwood in "Sherlock Holmes" to the scheming antagonist Godfrey in "Robin Hood. " Now he's portraying a rather more complicated (though still imperfect) character, the anguished Detroit cop Frank Agnew, in AMC's new series "Low Winter Sun. " It's a role the British actor knows well: He also played Frank Agnew in the 2006 British miniseries upon which the drama is based.
SCIENCE
July 11, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
“Speedy” might sound like an odd adjective to describe a sponge, but researchers have discovered a fast-growing community of marine sponges off the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Their findings, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, challenge the hypothesis that Antarctic life responds slowly to climate change. Severe cold and scarce food in the Antarctic led many scientists to believe that its inhabitants responded to climate change at a glacial pace, said Laura Fillinger, a biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, and the study's lead author.
NATIONAL
July 5, 2013 | By David Fleshler
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Aboard the submersible Antipodes, cruising 250 feet beneath the surface off Fort Lauderdale, scientists peered through violet water and saw exactly what they hoped not to see. About 15 lionfish - venomous, flamboyantly striped invaders from half a world away - swam around the starboard bow of a freighter that was sunk as an artificial reef. When the submersible drifted toward the wreck's stern, they counted 11 more. The dive last month was one of a series to gauge the extent of the infestation of the nonnative fish on the region's reefs, using a vessel donated by OceanGate, which operates submersibles for oil and gas exploration, scientific research, marine engineering and other uses.
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