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March 1, 2010 | By Joe Simitian
California's hands-free cellphone law has been a lifesaver. According to California Highway Patrol statistics, the law has helped reduce the number of annual fatalities on our roads by 700 and collisions by between 75,000 and 100,000. CHP data also show that traffic fatalities and crashes in California were each down by roughly 20% in the first six months since the law took effect on July 1, 2008, compared with the same six-month periods of previous years. These statistics are all the more compelling when you consider the steady increase in the number of licensed drivers in California over the last several years, and the fact that there are more than double the number of cellphones out there today than there were just a decade ago. Although compliance with the new law has been good, it certainly could be better.
March 1, 2010 | By Susan King
Three major Oscar-contending movies -- "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker" and "The White Ribbon" -- were big winners over the weekend as the awards' season enters the final stretch. Christian Berger won the top feature film honor for "The White Ribbon" on Saturday evening at the 24th annual American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards. The much-lauded German film, which is Oscar-nominated for best cinematography and foreign language film, was the only black-and-white film among the five nominees.
February 28, 2010 | By Susan King
Christian Berger won the top feature film honor for "The White Ribbon" Saturday evening at the 24th Annual American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards. The German film, which is Oscar-nominated for best cinematography and foreign language film, was the only black-and-white film among the five nominees. The last time the ASC gave its feature film award to a black-and-white production was eight years ago for Roger Deakins for "The Man Who Wasn't There." The ASC winners were announced Saturday during a gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Place Hotel.
February 26, 2010 | By Susan King
"The Young Victoria," "Crazy Heart" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" won the top feature prizes Thursday evening at the 12th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. Sandy Powell won for excellence in period film for "Victoria," Doug Hall earned the honor in contemporary film for "Crazy Heart" and Monique Prudhomme took home the fantasy award for "Doctor Parnassus." On the television side, Lou Eyrich won for contemporary television series for "Glee," Janie Bryant won for period/fantasy series for "Mad Men" and Catherine Marie Thomas was the recipient for TV movie or miniseries for "Grey Gardens."
February 25, 2010
'Idol' reclaims its crown All is normal in the world again as Fox's "American Idol" beat NBC's Olympics coverage Tuesday night in the ratings race. After losing to the Olympics last Wednesday, the first time in six years that "American Idol" hadn't won its time slot, the talent show made a strong comeback. From 8 to 10 p.m., Fox averaged almost 24 million viewers, compared with 20.8 million for NBC. " 'American Idol' deserves applause. It's an absolute juggernaut that went undefeated for six years and is now 223-1; we are just happy to be the 1," said NBC Sports Senior Vice President Mike McCarley.
February 24, 2010 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama will nominate UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, The Times has learned. Liu carries credentials that some conservatives love to hate -- including a leadership position in a progressive legal group and a record of opposing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. But he has conservative admirers too. Liu has supported school choice as a solution to...
February 23, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams
Ramona Ripston has never been one to back away from a fight. As the driving force behind the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California for 38 years, she's battled police over the treatment of prisoners and the homeless. She's marched against segregation and sued for better inner-city schools. She's taken authorities to court for withholding public housing and medical care from those she believes need them most. But with the recession taking a deep bite out of government budgets and philanthropy, Ripston has wearied of the setbacks dealt the causes she holds dear.
February 22, 2010 | By Mark LeVine
The 11 students who each briefly disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech last week at UC Irvine have no 1st Amendment protection for their actions and deserve to be punished, writes my colleague, law school Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, in his Feb. 17 Times Op-Ed article. Reading Chemerinsky's piece, you'd think a group of hysterically angry Muslim men prevented Oren from speaking at all. But the situation, as a look at a video recording of the event makes clear, was much more complicated.
February 21, 2010
The Israeli government has a long history of hunting down its enemies, as it did, famously, with members of Black September, the Palestinian terrorist group that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Because of this, most Israelis and much of the world assume that Israel's Mossad spy agency was responsible for the Jan. 19 slaying of Mahmoud Mabhouh, founder of Hamas' military wing, in his Dubai hotel room. United Arab Emirates police have released details of the killing, including that the hit squad members carried fake British, Irish and German passports, some in the names of Israeli citizens who apparently were unaware that their identities had been usurped.
February 20, 2010 | By Reed Johnson
Jennifer Ferro, assistant general manager of public radio station KCRW-FM (89.9), is expected to be named the influential station's new general manager Saturday, succeeding Ruth Seymour, who is retiring after 32 years in the position. The board of trustees of Santa Monica College, which owns KCRW's license, was expected to approve the appointment of Ferro, who will begin her new job March 1. FOR THE RECORD: An article in Saturday's Calendar section about the expected succession of Jennifer Ferro as general manager of public radio station KCRW incorrectly identified another public radio station, KPCC, as KPPC.
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