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December 5, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
World leaders and human rights activists from around the globe mourned the death of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela on Thursday, praising the long-ailing 95-year-old as an inspiration to the abused and downtrodden worldwide. "We've lost our greatest son," South African President Jacob Zuma said in announcing Mandela's death, which occurred at 8:50 p.m. at Mandela's home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. At the White House, President Obama praised Mandela as an inspiration and a paragon of moral strength "that all of humanity should aspire to. " PHOTOS: Nelson Mandela through the years "Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set. And so long as I live, I will do what I can to learn from him," Obama said of the man whom he met only once, in Washington in 2005.
December 2, 2013 | By Kate Mather, James Rainey and Richard Winton
On weekends or late at night, the whine of high-performance engines echoes across an industrial park and nearby hills in Santa Clarita. In daylight, dramatic skid marks on the mostly unlined roadway are evidence of racing and burnouts. Speed aficionados know the spot well, on the far side of the 5 Freeway from the Magic Mountain theme park. They come to try their hand at "drifting," over-steering so that the tail ends of their Nissans and Mitsubishis slide and shimmy through a spot called Hercules Curve.
November 22, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
DALLAS - It was, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, as if the sky were weeping too. On a cold and rainy day, thousands gathered in downtown Dallas' Dealey Plaza to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The weather reminded those who were in Dallas 50 years ago of that day, also a Friday, which had dawned overcast but cleared to gleaming sunshine in time for Kennedy's arrival. On Friday, the skies never cleared. Rawlings unveiled a monument honoring Kennedy, engraved with words taken from the speech he was to have delivered at the Trade Mart.
November 21, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
The Los Angeles Rams huddled inside the Dew Drop Inn Tavern. Though less than 48 hours remained until kickoff, the group of about 20 quietly agreed that it didn't want to play. The pictures on the television in the bar were more captivating than the potential thrill of ramming Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas into the Coliseum grass. Plus, the live programming had no end in sight. Surely, CBS wouldn't even televise the game. No point in playing. The players had reached the bar soon after Coach Harland Svare whistled together the team - 37 active players - on its San Fernando Valley practice field.
November 21, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Last week, the British style magazine Dazed & Confused quoted Devonté Hynes as saying that none of the songs he'd apparently been asked to write for Britney Spears' upcoming album had made the cut. Too bad. As demonstrated by his recent work with Sky Ferreira, Solange and the English girl group MKS -- all of whom have moved through a number of styles on their way to music they present as truth -- Hynes the collaborator specializes in facilitating self-discovery...
November 10, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Alonzo Mourning and President Obama made for half of a foursome Saturday morning at the South Florida golf course made famous in "Caddyshack. " That's kind of cool. I wish I could tell you Chevy Chase and Bill Murray (or the late, great Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight -- now that would be newsworthy) rounded out the group at the Grande Oaks Golf Club in Fort Lauderdale. But, alas, completing the foursome was U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, a frequent Obama golf partner, and Cyrus Walker, the cousin of senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett.
October 28, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
More than 1,000 people attended a service Sunday for a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy. The youth was walking with a pellet gun in Santa Rosa at the time. Andy Lopez, an eighth-grader, was shot seven times last week by a sheriff's deputy who mistook his pellet gun for an authentic assault rifle.  The boy's father, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat , at the service cried: "My son, my beautiful son. " Hundreds of the mourners wore white, which had been requested by Lopez's mother to "represent the angel that he is and was. " On Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement authorities said deputies responded to a report of a "suspicious person" in a southwest Santa Rosa neighborhood.  "The deputy's mind-set was that he was fearful that he was going to be shot," said Santa Rosa police Lt. Paul Henry.
October 26, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
As a Massachusetts community paused Saturday to remember a young teacher killed at her high school this week, the mother of the 14-year-old suspect in the death said Saturday that she was “struggling to understand” the case. Fourteen-year-old Philip Chism, who is being tried as an adult, was charged with murder in the killing of 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer, his math teacher at Danvers High School. Ritzer's body was found in the woods near the school this week. Chism's lawyer on Saturday released a statement on behalf of the boy's mother, Diana Chism: “On Oct. 22, 2013, two families were unexpectedly and inconceivably changed forever,” read the statement, published in the Boston Globe . “Ms.
October 23, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SPARKS, Nev. -- Shocked students gathered at a makeshift memorial Tuesday night to mourn and try to make sense of the shootings at Sparks Middle School that left a teacher dead and two boys wounded.  Desiree Zepeda, an eighth-grader, cried as she recalled how slain teacher Michael Landsberry had given her after-school math support last year. "He helped me even though I wasn't in his class," Desiree said, adding that she passed her test the next day. PHOTOS: Sparks Middle School shooting She tearfully embraced her friend Margielle Stewart, another eighth-grader, who said she was a friend of the shooter, a 12-year-old boy who killed Landsberry and wounded the others, both 12, before turning the gun on himself.
October 23, 2013 | Fox 40 Sacramento, This post has been corrected. Please see note below for details
Students at schools attended by three siblings killed in a Lodi car crash -- in which three others also died, including a pregnant woman -- mourned the loss of their classmates Wednesday. Stephanie Miranda, 4, Jose Miranda, 5, and Irving Miranda, 11, were killed in the Tuesday night crash in Lodi, about 15 miles north of Stockton, along with Luis Miranda, 30, and Vivian Rodriguez, 31, who was pregnant, according to the Lodi News-Sentinel. Irving Miranda attended Lodi Middle School, where he participated in an after-school program and played on the school's soccer team, said Lodi Unified Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Catherine Pennington.
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