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May 22, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Dharun Ravi, facing years in prison after being convicted of using a webcam to watch his roommate kiss another man, refused to follow in the footsteps of a disgraced New Jersey governor, of a U.S. president, of numerous celebrities or even of a genius like Socrates. Instead, the 20-year-old former Rutgers student held his own in an emotionally charged courtroom Monday and refused to apologize. Ravi broke with a centuries-old tradition in which a miscreant extends an apology to those he or she hurt.
April 13, 2012
In announcing that she was charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, special prosecutor Angela B. Corey insisted that "we do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. " That's an important assurance; the government shouldn't bring a case except when allegations are backed up by facts and evidence. On the other hand, Corey wouldn't even have been in a position to assess the case against the neighborhood watch volunteer had there not been a public outcry about his release the night of the killing after what looked like a slipshod police investigation.
March 5, 2012 | MICHELLE MALTAIS
The California desert sun can be relentlessly unforgiving. So too, it seems, can the tennis powerhouse Williams sisters. Eleven years have passed since Serena Williams was greeted with a booming chorus of boos in the women's finals and left for good. Venus did the same. And with the two-week BNP Paribas Open underway this week at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, still no sisters. "Even now, all these years later, we continue to boycott the event," Serena wrote in her 2009 autobiography.
February 24, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
So much for the dust-up over National League most valuable player Ryan Braun's testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs and potentially forfeiting the award to the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, who finished second in the voting. Braun's positive test result and the 50-game suspension that went with it were thrown out Thursday by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, clearing the former Granada Hills High standout to play for the Milwaukee Brewers on opening day in April. It marked the first time a baseball player has successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance.
February 3, 2012 | Sergei L. Loiko
With his stocky frame, broad face, blue overalls and red helmet, Andrei Smirnov looks as though he just stepped from a Soviet-style postcard of the ideal working-class figure. The 45-year-old factory worker came to the Yaroslavl Engine Plant as a young man, getting a job at the same foundry where his father and mother worked, and where he and his younger sister continue the family tradition today. There was a time when the four of them worked together and he was happy, as he is happy now. But that has not always been the case.
January 18, 2012 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
A clear majority of likely voters in Los Angeles favor transferring control of struggling LA/Ontario International Airport from the city to a municipality in the Inland Empire, a new public opinion survey shows. The poll, which is part of a political strategy by the city of Ontario to wrest ownership of the facility from Los Angeles World Airports, is largely directed at Los Angeles City Council members and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who have resisted the idea in the past.
December 4, 2011 | Sergei L. Loiko
When Russian leader Vladimir Putin climbed into the martial arts ring in the Olimpiysky Palace in downtown Moscow recently to congratulate a Russian wrestler who had quite convincingly beaten his American opponent, he was greeted by an unfamiliar sound. The crowd, which, given the high ticket price, consisted mostly of wealthy and middle-class Russians, booed, with some shouting, "Go away!" The prime minister's press service later hurried to explain that it was a misunderstanding and that the audience last month was booing not Putin but American fighter Jeff Monson, who was being led away from the hall at the same time.
November 28, 2011 | Jim Newton
There's a shocking disconnect at work these days in the relationship between the public and government workers: The public is demanding greater accountability, and public employees — social workers, police, teachers, even state legislators — are finding ways to avoid it. Legislators contend that they should be allowed to conduct budget deliberations in private. Police unions are fighting forcefully to protect the names of officers involved in shootings or other uses of force.
October 21, 2011 | By David S. Cloud and Patrick McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
By declaring that the last American troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year, President Obama signaled the official close to one of the longest, most politically contentious wars in U.S. history — and the end to an American attempt to transform the Middle East with military might. The soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will leave behind a stumbling young democracy, still beset by sectarian violence and tilting closer to its neighbor, Iran, a bitter U.S. foe. They will return home to a country that has largely turned inward to face its own economic problems, and which long ago lost heart in a war fought in the name of protecting the world from weapons of mass destruction that were never found.
October 4, 2011 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Those shocked by the inclusion of Chaz Bono on this season's "Dancing With the Stars" would do well to check out the ESPN documentary "Renée" — there is nothing new under the sun, not even transgender individuals taking center stage in a national competition of athletic prowess. From childhood, Dr. Renée Richards, born Richard Raskind, seemed destined for an extraordinary life, though none could guess it would include competing on the women's professional tennis circuit after having gender reassignment surgery at age 40. Raskind was an accomplished athlete all his life, playing tennis throughout his college career at Yale and while serving in the Navy.
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