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July 10, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Top Senate Democrats tried again Wednesday to push through a bill to extend for one year the just-expired 3.4% interest rate on some federal student loans. And predictably, the bill was blocked by a filibuster, with one Democrat and one Independent joining all 46 Republicans in opposition. The two camps are divided over whether to adopt a stopgap solution or a long-term one that shifts from fixed to adjustable rates. That divide seems too wide to be bridged before low- and moderate-income students start having to take out loans at the new interest rate.
June 26, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Television Critic
Did no one pay attention when David Letterman, forced by a blackmailer to make an adulterous affair public, revealed the secret to handling a personal scandal? You show up, own up and shut up. Unfortunately, celebrity chef Paula Deen opted for the Richard Nixon approach Wednesday morning on "Today. " There finally, after bailing last minute last week, the 66-year-old chef was defensive, self-pitying and more than a little paranoid as she tried to explain herself to Matt Lauer in wake of revelations that she used racial slurs in the past.
June 26, 2013 | By Carla Hall
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis' valiant effort to prevent a vote on an overly restrictive state abortion bill apparently succeeded only in blocking the vote Tuesday night.  Republican Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that he would call another special session of the legislature for  Monday. Davis, a Democrat, managed to filibuster for 13 straight hours on the Texas Senate floor Tuesday night, eating up precious minutes as the clock wound down on the legislature's special session, which expired at midnight.  Davis, in a dress, long jacket and pink gym shoes, stood for hours to thwart the Republican-dominated state Senate from passing the bill, which would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a woman has a right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is usually about 24 weeks.
June 22, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Howie Kendrick isn't superstitious. Or even particularly modest. But he knows better than to mess with success, so don't bother asking about his hitting. "I don't want to talk about it," Kendrick says. Too bad, because there's a lot to talk about. Kendrick's .325 batting average and 92 hits before Saturday ranked fifth in the American League. And though much of that success stems from the fact that 23 of Kendrick's hit have gone to right field, the Angels would like to see him use the whole field more often.
June 21, 2013 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
He's one of the hottest architects in Hollywood: The houses designed by Paul Revere Williams have attracted generations of stars - Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington. Actress Debra Messing recently sold a home he designed in Bel-Air for $11.4 million in less than a month - a rapid exchange for a transaction at that price. She had bought the traditional two-story house from film star Renee Zellweger a decade earlier. Williams' homes caught the imagination of the entertainment elite starting in the late 1920s and are still sought-after today, more than three decades after his death.
June 19, 2013 | By Gary Goldstein
For all the talking that occurs in the tedious drama "Between Us," little of substance is actually said. What's left is an unpleasant visit with a pair of hateful married couples who, in due time, prove mirror images of one another. Symmetry has rarely been so dispiriting. Although producer-director Dan Mirvish, who co-wrote with Joe Hortua (based on Hortua's play), tries to open up the film with sporadic flashbacks and outdoor moments, it remains a stagey chamber piece with "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
June 5, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Despite the apparent suicide attempt by Michael Jackson's daughter, testimony resumed Wednesday in a wrongful death case brought by the pop singer's children and mother against entertainment titan AEG. Paris Jackson, one of the plaintiffs in the case, was rushed to the hospital early Wednesday morning, according to sources. The L.A. County Fire Department described the medical emergency call it received as a "possible overdose. " Jackson's former wife and Paris' mother, Debbie Rowe, told Entertainment Tonight that Paris Jackson tried to commit suicide.
May 28, 2013 | By David Horsey
First, members of Congress set a trap that would bite hard if they failed to break the political gridlock and come up with a grand bargain on the budget. Then, having failed, they let the trap spring shut. And now, they continue to blunder and bluster as the country remains locked in the vise grip of the so-called sequester. It is not in the news much anymore, but the automatic across-the-board cuts - the spur to legislative action that resulted in no action - continue to kick in. In the aftermath of the monster tornado that struck Oklahoma last week, a detail that went largely unnoticed was that federal money for emergency relief had been slashed by $1 billion because of the sequester.
May 3, 2013 | By David Wharton
The Lance Armstrong doping scandal continues to reverberate through Spain, where authorities have launched an investigation into several figures allegedly linked to the American cyclist. Prosecutors are looking at Spanish citizens mentioned in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that led Armstrong to confess that he used performance-enhancing drugs to help him win seven Tour de France titles. The report mentions doctors Luis Garcia del Moral and Pedro Celaya, and trainer Pepe Marti.
April 16, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - Operation Cleanup was a showcase effort to stamp out corruption within Mexico's elite organized-crime bureau. Twenty-five top law-enforcement officials were arrested in the weeks after the operation was launched in 2008, most accused of acting as highly paid moles for a leading drug cartel, the very villains the officials were supposed to be chasing. Today, the cases against them are a shambles, yet another example of Mexico's systemic corruption and a weak judiciary unable to fix it. The operation is also the most high-profile prosecution among the many that fell apart under the government of President Felipe Calderon, which ended nearly five months ago. This week, a federal judge freed the highest-ranking of those ensnared by Operation Cleanup.
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