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March 1, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Public opinion on marriage for gay and lesbian couples has shifted with almost unprecedented speed since California voters banned such unions in 2008. That shift could influence the Supreme Court, in particular Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and possibly Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., as it decides whether to uphold Proposition 8 in coming months. Throughout his long career, Kennedy has been willing to make major changes in the law on issues including the death penalty, gun rights and gay rights.
February 27, 2013
No doubt most Angelenos were as surprised as we were to learn Monday that Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca had been selected as "sheriff of the year" by the National Sheriff's Assn. After all, most of the news about the sheriff during the last 12 months has been of the sort that doesn't lend itself to awards. He has been accused, for instance, of improperly doling out favors to friends and campaign contributors. Federal officials have been probing allegations of inmate abuse in the jails he runs.
February 12, 2013 | SANDY BANKS
A Christopher Dorner sighting was reported Sunday in my Northridge neighborhood. Helicopters swarmed, patrol cars roared up. The hardware store was evacuated and my favorite bakery roped off. It turned out to be a false alarm -- just some random big black guy trying to shop at Lowe's, not the rogue ex-cop sought in the killings of three people. The mistake didn't surprise me. The $1-million bounty now on Dorner's head has prompted hundreds of recent "sightings. " I imagine street vendors are already peddling "I'M NOT DORNER" T-shirts, in XXL. What did surprise me was the response of locals to the prospect of Dorner nearby.
January 30, 2013 | Richard Marosi, Cindy Chang and Christopher Goffard
Vincent Gazzara wants gun towers along the border and guards with orders to shoot. "The point is some would have to lose their lives," said the 70-year-old retired administrator, who sings in his church choir. "But when they realized that they can't cross without being shot, they would stop. " Talk about boosting border security, albeit with less extreme measures, is common in Escondido, a working-class city in northern San Diego County, 40 miles from Mexico. But the decades-long patchwork of remedies to halt the flow of illegal immigrants has proved so frustrating that residents like Gazzara expressed qualified support for broad reforms such as those championed by President Obama in his immigration policy speech Tuesday.
December 23, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON — In the congressional and White House negotiations on tax reform — including the mortgage interest and property tax deductions — who has the crucial political advantage of counting documented public opinion on their side? Is it the real estate and building lobbies who argue that maintaining long-standing federal tax benefits are essential, given housing's key role in job creation, household wealth and the fact that real estate is still in a fragile state coming out of the recession and mortgage bust?
December 21, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik and Rebecca Keegan
"Zero Dark Thirty" is a hit with critics and early audiences, but a bipartisan thumbs-down from Washington may dim the once-bright Oscar chances for Kathryn Bigelow's fact-based thriller about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The film, which arrived in theaters in New York and L.A. Wednesday, has come under fire for misrepresenting the role of torture in tracking down the Al Qaeda leader. On Thursday, the battle took to the airwaves, as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) went on radio and television to decry the Sony Pictures release.
December 17, 2012 | By Paul West
Public attitudes toward guns -- and the views of some prominent Washington politicians -- are changing in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre. But it's too early to know how far the shifts may go, how long they might last or whether they could alter the prospects for approval of additional gun control measures. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll, released Monday, found that a majority of Americans (54%) support stricter gun control laws, while 43% are opposed.  That's the highest support for greater gun control in the ABC/Post survey since 2007.
December 1, 2012 | By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times
British novelist and screenwriter William Boyd doesn't buy the conventional wisdom that a writer should never adapt his own books. His long list of industry credits includes scripts based on his own work (the miniseries "Any Human Heart"), novels by the likes of Evelyn Waugh ("Scoop") and biographies ("Chaplin"). "Restless," the two-part miniseries Boyd wrote from his 2006 novel of the same name, premieres Dec. 7 on Sundance Channel. It stars "Downton Abbey's" Michelle Dockery as Ruth Gilmartin, a young woman who discovers that her mother (Charlotte Rampling)
November 13, 2012 | By Kim Willsher and Devorah Lauter
PARIS - French President Francois Hollande attempted to halt his diving popularity by portraying himself Tuesday as a man on a mission to combat France's lack of competitiveness, halt soaring unemployment and slash public spending. He also announced that France would be the first Western power to recognize the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. He said the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces would be a “future government of a democratic Syria ... allowing it to bring an end to the regime of [President]
November 7, 2012 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
CLEVELAND - Maine and Maryland became the first states to back same-sex marriage at the ballot box Tuesday night, buoying gay rights advocates and breaking a years-long losing streak. The controversial issue had been before voters 32 times and had been rejected every time. But activists said public opinion had shifted since 2008, when California passed a constitutional amendment reserving marriage for heterosexual couples. A 2010 poll showed that, for the first time, more Americans supported gay marriage than opposed it, and in May, President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage.
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