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February 12, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - - By the late 1980s, Depression-era child actress Shirley Temple Black had been retired from Hollywood for some 40 years and was nearing the end of her second career as a U.S. diplomat. But in China, her star was enjoying an improbable -- and meteoric -- rise.   After decades of isolation from the West, China had begun to open up, and on Sunday nights, families were tuning into state-run television for two special programs featuring foreign films: “Upright Theater” and “Translated Movies for TV.” Programmers, though, insisted on family-friendly fare, sans anything scandalous or political.
February 9, 2014 | By Jean Merl
In an early test of candidate strength in the race for a Westside/South Bay congressional seat, state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) won decisive support from local Democratic activists Sunday. Lieu took 73% of the vote at a pre-endorsement conference, giving him strong odds of winning the California Democratic Party's backing at its convention next month. Lieu is vying in an already crowded field to replace Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who recently announced his retirement. Former L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel, viewed by many as Lieu's main competition, received seven votes to Lieu's 59. Fourteen delegates voted for "no endorsement.
February 9, 2014 | Cary Schneider
Today, the Beatles hold an exalted place in the history of rock 'n' roll. But 50 years ago, when they first crossed the Atlantic to perform in the United States, the reaction was decidedly mixed. Here is a sampling of what the critics were saying. Los Angeles Times Feb. 11, 1964 With their bizarre shrubbery, the Beatles are obviously a press agent's dream combo. Not even their mothers would claim that they sing well. But the hirsute thickets they affect make them rememberable, and they project a certain kittenish charm which drives the immature, shall we say, ape. - William F. Buckley Jr. Boston Globe Sept.
February 8, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna and James Barragan
The Lakers were down to five healthy and eligible players Wednesday night when center Robert Sacre picked up his sixth personal foul, fueling hope for a struggling Cleveland team that it would play the final 31/2 minutes with a man advantage. It was merely a Sacre-tease. An obscure NBA rule requiring each team to have five players on the floor nullified a Cavaliers power play. Sacre, though penalized with a technical foul, was allowed to remain in the game, and the Lakers won, 119-108.
January 16, 2014 | By Glenn Whipp
We won't have to wait long to see what kind of final decisions Oscar voters will be making out of Thursday's Oscar nominations. This weekend brings the Screen Actors Guild and Producers Guild awards, with the Directors Guild following on Jan. 25. Those awards will give us plenty of concrete clues about where the most contentious contests -- picture, actor, supporting actress, director -- might be headed. Meanwhile, Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto can likely work on some new material for their anticipated acceptance speeches.
January 14, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Comedic actor Jack Black and his Electric Dynamite production company have acquired the rights to remake "Wizard's Way," a low-budget British movie about two nerds obsessed with an aging online fantasy video game. Black will also serve as an executive producer on the original "Wizard's Way," which is written and directed by Joe Stretch, Socrates Adams and Chris Killen and makes its North American premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, this weekend. In many ways, "Wizard's Way" calls to mind the 2007 documentary "The King of Kong.
January 9, 2014 | By Jack Dolan and Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant stared in disbelief Tuesday at a list of hundreds of Department of Water and Power employees who have asked that their names and salaries be withheld from the public, citing safety concerns. On the list were mechanics, typists and meter readers. "This is frivolous on its face; I mean, these are DWP employees," Chalfant said, noting that the names of government employees are public and even undercover police officers have a hard time demonstrating they would be in danger if their names appeared on a list of department employees.
December 16, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The estimated jackpot for Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing has reached $550 million, making it the second-largest prize for the game and the fourth-largest overall in the United States. The $550 million prize has a cash payout option of $295 million. The highest jackpot, shared by winning ticket holders in three states, was $656 million in March 2012. The odds of winning the jackpot used to be 1 in 176 million, but as of Oct. 22 the odds changed to 1 in 259 million. Players had been able to pick six numbers 1 through 56; now it's 1 through 75 and the Mega numbers have decreased from 46 to 15. The game is played in 43 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
December 16, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
The Mega Millions jackpot Tuesday: $586 million. The odds of winning: 1 in 259 million. Sounds good; count me in. Yes, lottery fever is sweeping the nation - or at least that part of the nation that takes part in the Mega Millions game (the game is played in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wouldn't want to leave the Virgins out, right?). Somehow, I can't help but think that if the Obama administration had modeled the roll-out of Obamacare after the lottery, everyone in the country would've signed up by now - many more than once.
December 15, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
Despite a hole in the infield and a depleted bench, the Dodgers already have the makeup of a playoff team. And with pitching a key factor in postseason success, it's not surprising that bookies are listing the Clayton Kershaw-led Dodgers as favorites to win next year's World Series. But to be champions, the Dodgers would have to become the first team in at least 13 years to win the World Series after opening with the best odds, according to the online sports book TopBet. The odds boards at Las Vegas Hotel & Casino have cast similar droughts since the New York Yankees reigned as expected three times in a row from 1998-2000 and won again as favorites in 2009.
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