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March 30, 2014 | By Glen Johnson
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party appeared headed toward a sizable victory in the country's municipal elections Sunday, despite a corruption scandal that continues to swirl around Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle. With 85% of the vote counted, the party, known as the AKP, had secured between 44% and 47% of municipal posts, while the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, garnered between 27% and 29%, according to Turkish media reports early Monday.
March 29, 2014 | By Ellen Olivier
The event: Following Thursday's official opening night for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, the cast took the opportunity to unwind at a party in their honor at the nearby South Coast Plaza. The scene: Surrounded by upscale jewelers and boutiques near the shopping center's Jewel Court, Quattro Caffé served up salmon-topped salads, three-cheese ravioli and raspberry cocktails and desserts at stations, while servers passed hors d'oeuvres.
March 28, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
The big guy in the water pitcher-filter market has practically become a common name, like Kleenex. But even Brita's most ardent fans might agree that those plastic containers aren't dinner party elegant. There's a new player hoping to fill that spot: Soma, a glass carafe with a plastic filter that sits inside it. The filter, which lasts two months, is biodegradable, made of coconut shell, silk and food-based plastic, the company says. It costs $49 with one filter; additional filters, automatically mailed to subscribers, cost $12.99.
March 28, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
SÃO PAULO, Brazil - This mega city 270 miles southwest of Rio is the largest in South America and Brazil's main destination for culture, night life and cosmopolitan gastronomy. Where you'll see soccer: The action kicks off at the new Arena Corinthians, where Brazil takes on Croatia on June 12 in the opening match. This temple to soccer in the Itaquera district, a bit outside São Paulo proper, also hosts the semifinals on July 7. FIFA, soccer's world governing body, is setting up a giant outdoor screen at Vale do Anhangabaú, a big public square in a beautiful but often sketchy part of downtown, where fans and festivities should be plentiful and rowdy.
March 27, 2014 | By August Brown
After the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival expanded to two weekends a couple of years ago, many bands capitalized on the gap days by playing extra shows around L.A. and Indio, Calif. Now, EDM promoters LED are getting some of the fest's marquee dance artists in on the act too. The San Diego promotion firm (now partners with Goldenvoice) has booked Coachella dance headliners including Skrillex, Martin Garrix and Disclosure for daytime dates at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs.
March 23, 2014 | Patrick McGreevy
A cherry farmer from the San Joaquin Valley holds the key to California Republicans' hopes of loosening Democrats' grip on the state Legislature. Andy Vidak, a Republican who owns an orchard in Kings County, stunned both parties last year with an upset victory in a Senate district where Democrats have a 22-point advantage in voter registration. He ran largely on the basics, promising to cure a shortage of both jobs and water in the agricultural district and oppose the costly bullet train proposed to split the Central Valley.
March 19, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Members of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party voted Wednesday to endorse former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl in the race for two open seats on the county Board of Supervisors in June's primary election. They also threw their support behind Jeffrey Prang, a West Hollywood City Council member and special assistant in the county assessor's office, in the race for assessor. But controversy arose over which candidate to back in an upcoming special election to fill the Los Angeles Unified School District board seat formerly held by Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died in December.
March 19, 2014 | By Richard Winton and Samantha Schaefer, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
Fourteen teens accused of throwing a clandestine party at an unoccupied La Habra Heights mansion -- and then looting it of everything from  collectible medieval armor to a mounted snow leopard -- are due in court Wedesday to face trespassing and burglary charges. The 9,000-square-foot home sustained more than than $1 million in losses and damage in the November incident, authorities said. Among the looted items were  collectible medieval armor, scuba gear, designer suits and the snow leopard, valued at $250,000.
March 19, 2014 | By Johanna Neuman
Robert S. Strauss, a one-time chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a Washington insider who combined earthy Texas charm with raw political power, died Wednesday. He was 95. A spokesman for Strauss' Washington law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, confirmed his death but would release no other details. A U.S. trade representative in the Carter administration, Strauss was a poker-playing, cigar-chomping, power-lunch-eating rainmaker who was so successful at recruiting mega-clients that he stopped billing by the hour in the 1970s.
March 19, 2014 | By Jean Merl
It will be months before the campaign arms of the major parties will decide which races to spend heavily on in their efforts to pick up House seats this fall. But both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, already are taking jabs at opponents in several California "swing" districts. On Wednesday, Democrats launched an online ad slamming Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell of Camarillo, who is challenging Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village)
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