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January 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Lying by and about politicians is a regrettable and probably permanent feature of American democracy. But should it also be a criminal offense? The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an argument by an antiabortion group challenging an Ohio law that criminalizes false statements about candidates for public office. The justices should allow the group's claim to proceed. Using criminal law to police truth in political debate is unnecessary and invites abuse. The Ohio law prohibits false statements about a candidate if they are made knowingly or with reckless disregard of whether they might be false.
January 15, 2014 | By Mike James
Magic Johnson has never been reluctant to give his opinion on how the Lakers are playing, and Wednesday he said the problems on the court can be traced to the owner's office. Johnson, whose Hall of Fame playing career included five NBA titles in his 13 seasons with the Lakers, says owner Jim Buss needs to take a few pages from the book written by his father Jerry Buss, who made the Lakers one of the most successful and entertaining franchises in professional sports. “This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving Steve Nash that deal, it's backfired,” Johnson said during a meeting at The Times between Dodgers officials and Times writers and editors.
January 15, 2014 | By Yvonne Villarreal
Established CBS drama "The Good Wife" managed to do something few shows well into their run can do: It got people talking. Viewers spent four seasons following one firm, Lockhart/Gardner, and then, to quote the buzzy episode that gave the series a jolt in its current fifth season, things hit the fan. Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) broke free from the central law firm to start her own enterprise with Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry), ditching the partnership she had secured alongside her onetime flame Will Gardner (Josh Charles)
January 13, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
"Octomom" Nadya Suleman, who drew international attention in 2009 when she gave birth to octuplets, could face years in jail for allegedly failing to disclose nearly $30,000 in earnings when she applied for welfare last year, prosecutors announced Monday. Suleman, 38, is only the second U.S. woman to deliver a healthy set of octuplets. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said prosecutors recently charged her with one count of aid by misrepresentation and two counts of perjury by false application for aid. Suleman, who has a total of 14 children, filed for welfare in Lancaster in January and February of last year, but in the following months didn't report all of her income from personal appearances and video royalties, Deputy Dist.
January 9, 2014 | By Jean Merl
State Sen. Roderick D. Wright deliberately misled voters and broke the law when he took steps to run for an Inglewood-area seat several years ago, a Los Angeles County prosecutor said Thursday. He spoke during opening statements in Wright's trial on perjury and voter fraud charges. Wright's lead defense attorney countered that the veteran Democratic lawmaker acted properly and was the victim of a "murky" law governing residency rules for candidates and officeholders. Wright has pleaded not guilty.
January 9, 2014 | By Lance Pugmire
Ronda Rousey posted a video of her first staredown this week with Feb. 22 challenger Sara McMann, and the scowl that seemed painted on the UFC women's bantamweight champion's face for the last year was replaced by shared laughter with her opponent, even joking. McMann, 33, wore a T-shirt reading, “Making People Smile.” After the pressure of starring in the UFC's first women's fight last February and the months-long angst of filming “The Ultimate Fighter,” before finally getting a third-round armbar victory over her hated rival Miesha Tate on Dec. 28, Rousey is in an interesting situation.
January 6, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
One of the hoariest misrepresentations in the anti-Social Security arsenal reappeared over the weekend, in the hands of Cato Institute tax analyst Daniel J. Mitchell. The claim is that Social Security hurts black workers.  Mitchell's piece was published by under the headline " Government-Run Social Security Is Bad News for Blacks and Other Minorities. " Since the evidence is strong that Social Security has helped keep millions of black families -- among millions of other Americans -- out of poverty, it's worthwhile to examine where Mitchell goes wrong.
January 2, 2014 | By Robert Zaretsky
For food, fashion and fast trains, few labels are more sought after, and rightly so, than "Made in France. " But when it comes to the making and unmaking of empires, not so much. Take the case of the Central African Republic. Three weeks ago, as bloody mayhem engulfed the CAR, François Hollande did what French presidents do best: He sent in the paratroops. With the blessing, and precious little else, of his European neighbors, Hollande declared his intention to protect 100 or so French nationals in Bangui, the capital, and to disarm both the outlawed Seleka fighters, overwhelmingly Muslim, and the vigilante anti-balaka (or "machete")
December 13, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa - Huge queues of people waited, some of them for two days, to see the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela lying in state in Pretoria. But thousands more were turned away disappointed as viewing ended Friday. Tempers frayed and scuffles broke out in front of the Union Buildings, the seat of government, where the casket spent three days, and at locations where people lined up to take shuttle buses to the site. Police were deployed to control the crowds, with some people trying to break through police barricades at the Union Buildings to get to see the body.
December 11, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
PRETORIA, South Africa -- Draped in a South African flag and carried by eight warrant officers representing the armed forces, Nelson Mandela's coffin was taken up the steps of the Union Buildings on Wednesday to lie in state. Thin crowds lined the road as the coffin passed on its journey to the seat of government. The way was led by a phalanx of motorcycle police with their headlights on, many of them moved to tears, underscoring the somber reality of Mandela's death. The mood was a departure from the joyful celebrations of recent days, which have marked the anti-apartheid hero's contributions as a freedom fighter and peacemaker.
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