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January 9, 2014 | Times wire services
Longtime Northwestern University professor Dale T. Mortensen, who shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with two other Americans for their work explaining how unemployment can remain high despite a large number of job openings, has died. He was 74. Mortensen died Thursday at his home in Wilmette, Ill., said his personal assistant and close family friend, Sue Triforo. Northwestern President Morton Schapiro paid tribute to Mortensen, saying "his groundbreaking work is especially relevant to policymakers attempting to address unemployment today.
December 27, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Whatever you think of affirmative action programs at universities and graduate schools, it's important to know whether they're working - that is, whether they are preparing their beneficiaries for professional success. But for several years now, the California bar has resisted attempts by a critic of racial preferences to obtain information about the test scores and grades of graduates who take the state bar examination. Last week, the California Supreme Court wisely rejected the state bar's argument and ruled it must turn over the information to Richard Sander, a law professor at UCLA, and other researchers - provided that a way is found to protect the identities of individual test-takers.
December 20, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
When Jack Valenti , the president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, asked historian and public television host Richard Heffner to oversee the group's controversial movie ratings system, Heffner turned it down, saying his mother "did not raise me to count nipples. " But Heffner eventually reconsidered and became, by some accounts, "the least-known most powerful person in Hollywood. " Heffner, who for two decades helped parents decide which movies were suitable for children, died Tuesday at his New York City home of a cerebral hemorrhage, said his son, Daniel Heffner.
December 4, 2013 | Patt Morrison
Come New Year's Day, in Washington state and Colorado, marijuana will be legit, courtesy of two ballot initiatives. How do you create a legal business out of an illegal one? After 13 years of Prohibition, the country at least had an earlier legal liquor market to refer to. That's where Mark Kleiman comes in, the go-to expert on these matters. A UCLA professor of public policy and author and coauthor of books like "Marijuana Legalization," he's heard all the jokes about "hemperor" and "your serene high-ness.
November 21, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details. A European professor was taken into custody Thursday in an 18-year-old cold case in which she is accused of helping set up the murder of a man she claimed raped her while she was a college sophomore. Patricia Esparza, 39, was handcuffed and taken into custody immediately following a brief hearing in Orange County Superior Court. Prosecutor Scott Simmons said he offered Esparza a plea deal that would require her to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and be sentenced to three years in prison.
November 21, 2013 | Paloma Esquivel
One day late last year Norma Patricia Esparza, a respected professor of psychology in Geneva, got on a plane bound for an academic meeting in St. Louis. When the plane landed in Boston for a layover, police met her at the airport and arrested her -- for an 18-year-old slaying in Santa Ana. Esparza, 39, and three others are now facing trial in a homicide that has generated international attention. Prosecutors say that on a night in the spring of 1995, when she was a sophomore at Pomona College, Esparza went to a Santa Ana bar with a group and pointed out a man she said had raped her in her college dormitory.
November 21, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
In the spring of 1995, a man's body was found dumped alongside a road in Irvine. He had been beaten and hacked with a meat cleaver. His killing went unsolved for years. Now prosecutors say that Norma Patricia Esparza, who at the time was a  sophomore at Pomona College, went to a Santa Ana bar with a group and pointed out a man she said had raped her in her college dormitory -- setting in motion events that left him dead. Esparza, now a respected professor of  psychology  in Geneva,  says she was forced by an aggressive ex-boyfriend to identify her rapist and then conceal his crime for nearly two decades.
November 18, 2013 | By David Colker
Katherine Hagedorn was not your stereotypical priestess in the Cuba-based Santeria religion, known for its complex, ecstatic drumming that adherents believe can call forth deities. She grew up in New Jersey, was white, had a doctorate in music and was a longtime popular professor at Pomona College. But as a graduate student on a cold, rainy day at Brown University in 1988, she spotted a poster for an upcoming performance by an Afro-Cuban ensemble of drummers and dancers. The performance changed her life.
November 8, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - Political science professor Sergei Medvedev, a longtime lover and explorer of the Arctic, drew the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin when he recently called for international protection of the icy northern region in the face of economic development plans. Last month, Putin called Medvedev, who teaches at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, "a moron. " The incident prompted a nationwide discussion of the Arctic and coincided with the arrest of 30 Greenpeace activists protesting a Russian oil drilling project in the region.
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