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December 13, 2011 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
In a new effort to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, the Obama administration and its European allies are asking Saudi Arabia to help them squeeze Iran's vital oil sector without driving up world energy prices and damaging the global economy. Officials in the United States, France, Britain and other countries have been lobbying the Saudis in recent weeks to produce billions more barrels of oil to provide an alternative source for buyers of Iranian oil. The goal is to keep global prices stable while cutting Iran's ability to sell oil on world markets.
December 4, 2011
The Affair A Reacher Novel Lee Child Delacorte Press, $28 Knuckle-busting crime-solver Jack Reacher returns with a story from his early years involving a murder near a military base and how he became a maverick hero. After the Apocalypse Stories Maureen F. McHugh Small Beer Press, $16, paper McHugh pins down the wildest of disasters - the devastation of plague, zombies, the end of the world - by using a subdued, matter-of-fact narrative voice that makes these scenarios seem eerily real.
October 16, 2011 | By Lisa Napoli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
If you want to travel to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, you will need two days, minimum, travel time on several planes and thousands of dollars. Or you can come to El Paso. Since 1917, structures on the campus of the former Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy have been built in the unique style of Bhutan's majestic dzongs, fortresses constructed with sloping 8-foot-thick walls and red-colored roofs. The school, now known as the University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP, has grown to 77 buildings, all constructed or retrofitted around the theme.
July 7, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The Monkey Kingdom theme park, expected to open in 2014 outside Beijing, is based on an ancient folk tale as common to China's residents as Santa Claus is to Americans. Based on the 16th century " Journey to the West " folk tale, the project presented a daunting task for Thinkwell , the Burbank-based company charged with designing the theme park, said Chief Executive Joe Zenas. "There's nothing like it in Western literature," Zenas said. Photos : Concept art of China's Monkey Kingdom theme park Thinkwell creative director Dave Cobb immediately seized on the seemingly endless storytelling possibilities that could be told through the universal languages of spectacle, thrill and emotion.
June 18, 2011 | By Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times
She got her driver's license in Indiana. She likes to drive fast. And on Friday, Maha Qahtani, 39, in a face-covering niqab , raced through the streets of Riyadh in her family's blue Hummer H3, defying Saudi Arabia's religion-inspired bans on female motorists. In all, nearly three dozen Saudi women got behind the wheels of various vehicles Friday, human rights activists said, in what was billed on social networking websites as a day of defiance against the ultra-conservative kingdom's longstanding driving decrees.
June 11, 2011 | By Kevin Van Valkenburg
Five story lines to watch in the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday: 1. How will Animal Kingdom handle the sandy track at Belmont Park? It seemed as if Animal Kingdom had put to rest any questions about how comfortable he is running on dirt after his impressive win at the Kentucky Derby. When he fell well back going around the first turn in the Preakness, though, it was clear that having a considerable amount of dirt and mud kicked in his face bothered him. Trainer Graham Motion said this week that he didn't blame jockey John Velazquez for putting the colt in that position.
June 8, 2011 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
President Obama pressed Bahrain's crown prince to ease the Persian Gulf state's brutal crackdown on its political opposition and urged him to "hold accountable" those responsible for human-rights abuses against unarmed demonstrators. In an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with Salman bin Hamad Khalifa, Obama welcomed the kingdom's decision to lift emergency security measures that were imposed to quell the protests, as well as its announcement that the government and its opponents would begin talks on political reform, the White House said in a statement.
May 21, 2011 | By Kevin Van Valkenburg, Preakness Stakes 2011: Shackleford edges Animal Kingdom to win the Preakness Stakes
BALTIMORE -- Shackleford's clean run allowed him to hold off a late charge from Animal Kingdom to win the 136th running of the Preakness Saturday at Pimlico Race Course . Shackleford, trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Jesus Castanon, led most of the Kentucky Derby but was caught by a group that included Animal Kingdom and finished fourth. Many expected him to jump to an early lead but fade at the Preakness. He thrived running the shorter distance, though, and the early 12-1 shot won by about half a length.
May 21, 2011 | Bill Dwyre
From Baltimore The sport of great expectations had to make do, yet again, with an exciting race and an excited audience Saturday. Hope springs eternal in horse racing, and then they run the Preakness. There will be no Triple Crown in 2011. But then, there hasn't been one since 1978, when Affirmed held off Alydar three times in what amounted to three match races. Hearts pounded for each leg of that competition and the thirst for more was reasonable, because Affirmed's Triple was the third of the 1970s.
May 20, 2011 | Bill Dwyre
From Baltimore The race that exists to further the drama of a Triple Crown pursuit will load 14 horses into the starting gate shortly before 3:30 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. They will break, under partly cloudy skies, and all eyes in the 136th Preakness will be on No. 11, Animal Kingdom. The Kentucky Derby winner, trained by Graham Motion and ridden by John Velazquez, can make lots of people in the sport happy. Nothing short of Zenyatta stirs the public pot over horse racing like a Triple Crown contender.
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