August 28, 2013 |
A Montana judge has come under fire after handing down a 30-day sentence to a former high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old student and for making statements in court that the victim was "older than her chronological age" and "as much in control of the situation" as her teacher. Outrage is particularly sharp in Billings, where the crime took place, because the girl committed suicide in 2010, just shy of her 17th birthday, as the criminal case was pending. A protest was planned for Thursday, and organizers have called on Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh to resign.
August 23, 2013 |
In Edwidge Danticat's fiercely beautiful new novel, "Claire of the Sea Light," a rose comes to life on the edge of the water. Ville Rose is a fictional seaside town in Haiti, home to 11,000 people some 20 miles outside the country's teeming capital city, Port-au-Prince. Seen from the mountains that rise above it, the town's shape is that of a flower, "like the unfurling petals of a massive tropical rose," Danticat writes. The main road in Ville Rose is Avenue Pied Rose, or Stem Rose Avenue, and the many alleys are called épines , or thorns, an apt metaphor for the complex relationships among the town's residents.
August 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency improperly collected the emails of tens of thousands of Americans for three years before acknowledging the problem in 2011 and bringing it to the attention of the secret intelligence court, which ordered the program overhauled. Officials disclosed the history of that unlawful surveillance Wednesday, releasing three partially redacted opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that detailed the judges' concerns about how the NSA had been siphoning data from the Internet in an effort to collect foreign intelligence.
August 19, 2013 |
On Aug. 9, the Obama administration released a previously secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that it used to justify the bulk collection of every American's phone records. The strained reasoning in the 22-page memo won't survive long in public light, which is itself one of the strongest arguments for transparency in government. As the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. " Recent revelations by the Washington Post emphasize the need for greater transparency.
August 16, 2013 |
Back in 2000, when John Updike assembled "The Best American Short Stories of the Century," he included "Death of a Favorite," by J.F. Powers. Interviewing Updike at the time, I mentioned how pleased I was to see Powers in the collection. "He was once, you might know, a fixture at the New Yorker," Updike replied. "Now Powers is almost totally forgotten, but I thought he deserved a place. " He did, he does. Yet James Farl Powers has always been a hard sell for the American reading public, despite a cadre of distinguished fans (Robert Lowell, Evelyn Waugh, Katherine Anne Porter)
August 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Waad Ramadan Alwan was a talker. To an undercover FBI informant, he described planting improvised explosive devices to harm American soldiers in Iraq. He told about how he recruited a friend to help smuggle arms and cash overseas. He said he hoped to return to Iraq to fight again. Instead, in January he got 40 years in prison. Mohanad Shareef Hammadi did his talking in court, where he admitted helping in a dozen IED attacks in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. "After 2003," he said, "I saw people that were dying on the streets - numerous, numerous people being killed and for no reason.
August 14, 2013 |
This irresistible effort has just become this year's top-grossing documentary, and if you haven't seen it yet, this might be a good time to catch up before the deluge of fall films hits. Veteran director Morgan Neville has made a moving and joyous behind-the-scenes film about the world of rock 'n' roll backup singers. It's a universe filled with big, bold personalities and the music they make: When you say names like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer, you are conjuring up entire universes of sound.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 |
Eight years ago, real estate developer David Jordon bought the former site of the KFWB radio studios in the heart of Hollywood with plans to build a 16-story residential and office complex. Los Angeles city officials reviewed his plans and approved the project without requiring seismic studies even though the property sat close to the Hollywood Fault. It was only recently, after homeowners appealed the city's approval, that Jordon became aware of the the potential dangers of the fault, which experts say is capable of producing a devastating earthquake.
August 12, 2013 |
Where to go Christmas shopping in Paris? Travelers can spend time -- and not a fortune -- finding out with a four-night package from Adventure Vacations Inc. The La Jolla-based travel company makes the shopping trip quick and flexible. Participants fly from Los Angeles to the French capital and stay at a centrally located hotel. From there, they can visit the big department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps decorated for the season or shop at the Christmas Markets with traditional crafts, food and candy in little wooden booths that pop up at several locations, the largest one along the Champs Elysees . The lowest rate applies to trips before mid-December and after the first week of January.
August 4, 2013
Regarding "Packing to Avoid Extra Fees" by Ellise Pierce (More for Your Money, July 21): Ridiculous article that makes a simple subject far too complicated. Below is my time-honored list of what a well-dressed woman needs for a month in a temperate climate. I always travel in early spring or late fall when the leaves are off the trees, thus affording an excellent view of the architecture. Only coat required is a raincoat with an attached hood. Then you need one pair of slacks, one skirt, one jumper or dress, one vest, five tops (one matches the skirt and the slacks and the others are turtlenecks or mock turtles in optional colors or stripes)