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February 6, 2014 | By Patt Morrison
Does Sochi have a Yelp rating yet? If so, the place that Russia promised would be a state-of-the-art Olympics city, the place that would grow into a Slavic Aspen, the Gstaad of the Russian Riviera, would be starless right now. Reporters arriving ahead of the Olympic Games have found unfinished roads and hotel rooms, and provisions that make combat rations look enticing: a packet of honey with a real honeybee still in it, perhaps like the worm in...
February 5, 2014 | Patt Morrison
When you've been working since you were 8, as Alyssa Milano has, it takes a special kind of role to get you really excited. Using your birthday to raise money for clean water in Ethiopia, for instance. Or hunkering down with the beleaguered in Kosovo and Angola, as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Or getting help for African women and children with AIDS. Or her latest - creating "Hacktivist," a four-issue graphic novel/comic book whose heroes run a world-beating social media company by day and practice world-beating social activism by night.
February 4, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - He loves sushi, AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. He could be killed at any moment but vows to marry "a beautiful, righteous Muslim girl" as soon as he finds one. He proclaims a "love for justice" but defends beheadings, battlefield executions and sectarian killing. He scorns democracy and extols a fundamentalist interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law. Welcome to the virtual world of Chechclearr, the Internet handle of a self-described Islamic militant who says he is fighting as an Islamist rebel in Syria but also has time to post a copious amount of pictures and comments on the Internet.
February 4, 2014 | By Joe Flint
There may be 500 channels and almost $80 billion in advertising and subscriber revenue in the television industry, but most of that content and cash is controlled by a handful of companies. In a new report on the U.S. media industry, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger notes that a handful of media giants control the advertising and subscription pies. According to Juenger, fees that pay-TV distributors pay for content is now about $40 billion while advertising is an additional $37 billion.
January 30, 2014 | Meghan Daum
More than 15 years after fabricating some 42 articles for the New Republic, Rolling Stone and other magazines, Stephen Glass was back in the news this week. On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that Glass, 41, does not have the moral character "critical to the practice of law. " He has been trying for a decade to overcome that hurdle. He's certainly qualified otherwise. Glass graduated from Georgetown Law School in 2000, passed bar exams in New York and California, and has worked for years as a paralegal at a Beverly Hills firm.
January 29, 2014 | By Sam Farmer
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Denver quarterback Peyton Manning knows this about Seattle Coach Pete Carroll : The coach is a gracious host. Several years ago, Manning was in Los Angeles in June and wanted to get a workout in, specifically to throw the football. So he called the USC football office and reached Carroll, then coach of the Trojans. "I asked if his receivers and quarterbacks were throwing that day, and could I come over and join the throwing session because I was getting ready for training camp," Manning recalled Wednesday, saying he intended to throw whatever routes the team had been planning to throw.
January 29, 2014 | By Nico Lang, guest blogger
Earlier this month, the sports website Grantland  ignited controversy  over a story on Essay Anne Vanderbilt, also known as Dr. V, the inventor of a “scientifically superior” golf club dubbed “The Oracle.” In writing  the article , titled “Dr. V's Magical Putter,” reporter Caleb Hannan discovered something he didn't expect about his subject: She was a transgender woman. In October, Hannan writes, Dr. V killed herself before his article was even finished. Responding to her suicide within his piece, Hannan wrote:  “Writing a eulogy for a person who by all accounts despised you is an odd experience....
January 29, 2014 | By Robert W. Welkos
As a reporter covering Hollywood for the New York Times, Bernard Weinraub was amused whenever producers or studio executives were unable to remember the names of the screenwriters of their latest films. "They would actually say, 'I'm not sure,' or 'A couple of people.' Very few of them actually knew who wrote the movie," Weinraub said. "It always cracked me up. It's such a collaborative process. Obviously, that never happens in the theater. " So when Weinraub retired from journalism in 2005 and began a second career as a playwright, he thought he would wield more clout than Hollywood screenwriters.
January 29, 2014 | By Meg James and Richard Verrier
The project took five months of planning, 11 days to film and a specially rigged SUV to conceal six puppeteers. A crew of 100 people shot some scenes in Malibu, Pico Canyon, Stevenson Ranch, Playa del Rey and Universal City. This wasn't for a movie or television episode, but a Muppet commercial for Toyota that will air during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The 60-second "Joyride" advertisement - created by Saatchi & Saatchi LA for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. of Torrance - promotes the launch of the 2014 Toyota Highlander and the upcoming Disney movie "Muppets Most Wanted.
January 28, 2014 | By Sam Farmer and Gary Klein
NEWARK, N.J. - Beast Mode was in Least Mode. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, who this season was fined $50,000 by the NFL for refusing to speak to reporters, did the bare minimum Tuesday at Super Bowl media day, answering questions for 61/2 minutes of the Seahawks' hourlong session at the Prudential Center. "I won't be satisfied with all this until it's all over," said Lynch, who didn't clarify whether he was talking about the media day circus or Sunday's game against Denver.
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