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April 3, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Rhys Darby, who played personal manager (and New Zealand deputy cultural attache) Murray Hewitt on HBO's "Flight of the Conchords," has created a series in which to star. "Short Poppies" gets a U.S. premiere Thursday via Netflix, all eight episodes at once, only a couple of days after it bows in its native New Zealand. The title plays off "tall poppies," a common Commonwealth phrase, borrowed from the Greeks to describe persons of accomplishment or quality whose distinction can also make them targets.
March 17, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Chris Pine of "Star Trek Into Darkness" pleaded guilty Monday to driving drunk in New Zealand.  The actor, who had been charged following an arrest at a sobriety checkpoint after leaving a Feb. 28 wrap party for his film "Z for Zachariah," appeared in Ashburton District Court for a hearing Monday. The "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" star was fined $79 ($93 in New Zealand) and had his New Zealand driver's license suspended for six months, according to the Associated Press. The 33-year-old Angeleno reportedly stood silently with his hands behind his back during the hearing and his attorney entered his plea.
March 12, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Chris Pine has been charged with drunk driving following a March 1 arrest at a sobriety checkpoint in New Zealand, according to reports out Wednesday.  Court documents revealed that the star of the "Star Trek" reboot movies and "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" is due in court Monday regarding the case, according to the Associated Press.  Though Pine was unnamed in the police statement, officials said that a 33-year-old American was stopped during...
February 19, 2014 | By Don Lee
As President Obama travels to Mexico on Wednesday to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the one-day summit is expected to focus partly on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious 12-nation trade pact being negotiated between North American and Asian countries. Here is a primer on the talks: Q: What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership? A: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a free-trade pact being negotiated among 12 Pacific Rim countries.
February 13, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
L.A. rap collective Odd Future will have to unpack: Authorities in New Zealand have refused to allow the group into the country for a scheduled appearance Saturday opening for Eminem after deeming it a threat to public order. "It's not a decision we take lightly and not one that happens often,” Border Operations Manager Karen Urwin told reporters after announcing that the government would not approve visas for six members of the group. Odd Future member Tyler, the Creator tweeted “OF is banned from New Zealand, again.
February 13, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
SOCHI, Russia -- Joss Christensen wanted to make his father proud of him. Those were among the last words he said last year to his dying father, James Dale “JD” Christensen, who was fighting a congenital heart condition. And those were among the words coming from Joss Christensen not long after he stunned the men's slopestyle skiing field to win an Olympic gold medal on Thursday. Despite his failing health, the father encouraged his son to push forward with his plans to compete in a World Cup event in New Zealand.
February 1, 2014 | By Lewis Segal
Classic ballets change over time---sometimes radically. Take "Giselle," the antique, tragic two-act dance drama about a peasant girl driven mad by a nobleman but who rises from her grave to save his life.   In the 1841 French original, Albrecht (her betrayer) ended up in the arms of someone else he'd betrayed: the noblewoman Bathilde. But in the revisions created in Russia by Marius Petipa in 1860, and then in the 1880s, Albrecht remained alone after his brush with death, suffering hopelessly.
January 19, 2014
Contact information for rental car agencies, here and abroad: Ace (800) 243-3443 Advantage (800) 777-5500 Airport Van Rental Solutions (877) 826-4680 Alamo (877) 222-9075 Apex Car Rentals, New Zealand No U.S. central booking number Auto Europe (888)
January 18, 2014 | By Susan Reiter
NEW YORK - Between them, Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg have performed in dozens of "Giselle" productions over the years. Kobborg alone estimates he's danced in 25 versions of the beloved Romantic classic, created in 1841. So when these stellar danseurs and longtime friends joined forces to create a new "Giselle" production in late 2012, the three dozen dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet were benefiting from considerable combined experience and insight. FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of this article said that the Royal New Zealand Ballet was performing "Giselle" only in Los Angeles.
January 17, 2014 | By a Times staff writer
One of the best times to see London is when winter is waning. The crowds are smaller, the weather is generally mild and the prices are better. Those better prices include a $798 round-trip airfare from LAX to London's Heathrow, including all taxes and fees, on Air Zealand. The big caveat: You will need to buy your ticket by Wednesday, Jan 22. It is, of course, subject to availability; it must be purchased 14 days in advance, which isn't much of an issue considering how quickly you need to buy; and it is for travel between Feb. 9 and March 29. The minimum stay for this airfare is seven days and the maximum is 12 months.
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