February 7, 2014 |
MOUNTAIN PINE RIDGE FOREST RESERVE, Belize - As Hummingbird Highway carves away from Belize's resort-laden sands, pavement dissolves into rutted dirt tracks and the dense jungle canopy starts to press in from all sides. The tallest buildings pushing through the foliage are Maya ruins, and howler monkeys and macaws lurk in the ceiba trees. Late at night, distant thunderstorms ring the horizon, broad sheets of lightning illuminating the mountains. Before I brought my family to Belize for 10 days last summer, I packed a copy of "Heart of Darkness," knowing that although traveling through Central America wouldn't precisely parallel a trip up the Congo River, Joseph Conrad's novel would remind me that the book was the indirect inspiration for our itinerary.
January 27, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - California's egg law survived a congressional effort to scramble it as key lawmakers from both parties announced an agreement Monday on a multiyear farm bill. That means beginning next year, all eggs sold in California will have been laid by hens that had plenty of room to flap their wings. The compromise farm bill, which could come up for a House vote Wednesday, would avert deep cuts sought by Republicans in the federal food stamp program and end direct payments to farmers - a controversial provision under the previous farm bill in which farmers received federal subsidies regardless of their output.
January 18, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Dianne Feinstein got out of her chair, grabbed a 54-page federal court opinion and poked her finger at the bullet points buried inside, insisting a visitor read each carefully as the busy senator watched and waited. The opinion described terrorist bombing plots - aimed at New York's subways and stock exchange and at a newspaper office in Denmark - that, according to the judge, had been foiled by the government's collection of data on billions of American phone calls.
January 13, 2014 |
A group of foundations has pledged to give Detroit $330 million, a contribution designed to prevent the sale of the city's art, freeing that money to help ease threatened cuts in benefits for retired municipal workers. The charitable effort, announced Monday by mediators in Detroit's bankruptcy proceeding, aims to keep artwork in the prestigious Detroit Institute of Arts from being sold. Officials have asked the museum to raise $500 million to help the city, which could then use the money to deal with other expected cuts as it seeks to work its way back from the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2014 |
Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Paul Conrad's "Chain Reaction" sculpture in Santa Monica, the subject of a grass-roots preservation campaign, might well survive to remind future generations of the horrors of nuclear war. Now that activists have raised funds to pay for some of the needed upgrades, the city manager said he plans to recommend that the city cover the remaining costs. A City Council vote is scheduled for Feb. 25. Conrad, a three-time Pulitzer winner who died at 86 in 2010, was paid $250,000 by a private donor to sculpt the work.
January 2, 2014 |
The 100th Rose Bowl came down to a fourth down and the most predictable play call in Pasadena on Jan. 1 since they resumed football in 1916 after years of chariot and ostrich races. "Everyone in the building knew it was coming," Stanford tailback Tyler Gaffney said. Two bullheaded teams that refused to give an inch put everything on the line over 12 inches of territory at the Stanford 34-yard line in the Rose Bowl's north end. Stanford rolled out its "elephant" backfield package and Michigan State's defense rolled up its green sleeves.