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November 4, 2013 | By John Horn
Movies occasionally grow a little more topical due to current events -- earlier this year, coverage of Trayvon Martin's killing and the George Zimmerman trial made conversations about  “Fruitvale,” a drama about the fatal shooting of a black man,  even more relevant. But rarely does such news date back 70 years. Over the weekend, the upcoming George Clooney film “The Monuments Men,” a drama about the ragtag team of academics, historians and museum curators charged with saving thousands of art masterpieces looted by the Nazis, was the beneficiary of some startling new information tied to World War II. PHOTOS: Movie Sneaks 2013 On Sunday, a German magazine reported that a raid on a Munich apartment two years ago had yielded artwork suspected of having been looted by Nazis.
October 30, 2013 | By Rebecca Keegan
With this year's high-profile movies "The Butler," "42" and "12 Years a Slave" prominently featuring black actors, it may seem as though the multiplex is enjoying new levels of diversity. But popular films still under-represent minority characters and directors, and reflect certain biases in their portrayals, according to a study being released Wednesday by USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Researchers evaluated 500 top-grossing movies released at the U.S. box office between 2007 and 2012 and 20,000 speaking characters, finding patterns in the way different races, ethnicities and genders are depicted.
October 16, 2013 | By Jonathan Zimmerman
In 1942, the popular detective fiction writer Rex Stout published a book about Congress featuring "the silliest, stupidest and most dangerous statements that have ever been made by men laying claim to being leaders of the American people. " The book's title told the whole story: "The Illustrious Dunderheads. " I've been thinking about Stout during the government shutdown, which has triggered a fresh round of ridiculing Congress. But the joke is on us, as comedian Jimmy Kimmel recently noted.
October 11, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
It's tough to be a writer of crime fiction. Not because of the genre but because of the expectations: A book a year, preferably part of a series, the same character over and over again. This is why, say, Walter Mosley and Michael Connelly have branched out; Mosley set aside his hero, Easy Rawlins, for six years before bringing him back in 2013. The same is true of George Pelecanos, the Washington-based author of the "D.C. Quartet" and a dozen other novels who has written about a variety of detectives as well as for television ("The Wire," "Treme")
September 25, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO -- A federal court order for California to entertain alternative options to reduce prison crowding echoes a set of solutions proposed just one day earlier by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. In a letter sent to federal judges Monday, Steinberg (D-Sacramento) provided a framework for following Gov. Jerry Brown's plan, suggesting California be required to reduce prison crowding by Dec. 31 to 145% of what the prisons were designed to hold -- a goal the state has said it can reach by moving 2,500 prisoners into private facilities.
August 23, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Technicians on Saturday will fire up a furnace in Arizona to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit to pour glass to fabricate a mirror 27 feet in diameter that will be part of a giant telescope with 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The mirror, which will weigh about 20 tons, will take a full year to polish to within 1/20 the wavelength of light, a tolerance on the scale of about 1 in 10 billion. “Let's imagine you took this mirror and you enlarged it to the physical size of the United States.
August 20, 2013 | By Janet Stobart
LONDON - British prosecutors on Tuesday charged four journalists from the Sun and Daily Mirror newspapers and five public officials with bribery offenses, in the latest legal action stemming from an ongoing investigation into media misconduct. The Crown Prosecution Service  said the Sun's former managing editor, Graham Dudman, and two journalists, John Troup and Vince Soodin, were accused of making thousands of dollars' worth of illegal payments to public officials in return for sensitive information.
August 20, 2013 | By Andrew J. Bacevich
When it comes to Egypt, the U.S. has little leverage and therefore no real options. That's according to the prevailing wisdom, at least. Yet this analysis - endlessly reiterated in mainstream commentary - is misleading. The absence of leverage does not preclude options. It certainly does not require the Obama administration to debase itself by pretending that the military overthrow of a freely elected government is not a coup or by accepting the Egyptian army's slaughter of civilians with no more than a tsk-tsk.
July 22, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch and Ken Bensinger
Toyota has spent well over $1 billion settling lawsuits involving unintended acceleration, but the world's largest automaker still faces hundreds of other cases awaiting trial. First up is a suit filed by the heirs of Noriko Uno, a 66-year-old bookkeeper who was killed when her Toyota Camry unexpectedly sped to 100 mph on a city street in Upland in 2009. Jury selection started Monday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court lawsuit that argues Toyota Motor Corp. should have had a fail-safe system that enables the brakes to override the accelerator.
July 20, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
CONTINUING TO SET THE PACE 1. ST. LOUIS Division-leading Cardinals have 14 games left with second-place Pirates. (2) 2. BOSTON Red Sox need pitching help but lead MLB in 6 offensive categories. (1) 3. TAMPA BAY Rays are 20-6 since calling up rookie Wil Myers. (3) 4. OAKLAND With AL's top home mark, schedule favors A's, who have 36 game left there. (6) 5. ATLANTA Braves - up by 6 1/2 games - have led NL East for all but 1 day this season. (10) 6. PITTSBURGH Pirates are 37 games under .500 after All-Star break the last 2 seasons.
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