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BUSINESS
October 13, 2011 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
If a mid-size luxury SUV is in your fall wardrobe, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 may be the cable-knit sweater. Its hardy construction is conservatively stylish, its practicality infused with elegance. This is a vehicle that is equally suited to shuttling five people to a rowing regatta or delivering them to opening night at the opera. And if you've ever glanced at the price tag of a cable-knit sweater spun from cashmere or angora, you know there's always a way to spend entirely too much on something that is, after all, just a sweater.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
With the actors that we follow for a lifetime, there is always that one movie that you go back to, the one that represented the moment of discovery, when you knew as you left the theater, you wanted to know what they would do next. For me, with Ryan Gosling, it was "Half Nelson" in 2006, his inner-city junior high teacher idealism clashing with his drug addiction in ways that were both incredibly complex and intimate. With Jessica Chastain, it was more recent, "The Tree of Life" last spring.
BUSINESS
July 14, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Shuddering in anticipation of increasing federal fuel economy standards, luxury car manufacturers that traditionally paid little attention to gas consumption are finally paying heed. Take Nissan's up-market marque, Infiniti, which for 2012 introduced its first-ever hybrid, the M. Few green-leaning people of means want to swap their prime rib for soy patties, so it follows that Infiniti would design its hybrid luxury sport sedan for drivers who want better fuel economy and performance too. Let the less financially endowed downsize with Nissan's low-budget Versa.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 2011 | By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
The lone Assembly Democrat who voted against the state budget last month says his party's leaders are now punishing him for his opposition. Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) said the chamber's Rules Committee informed him Friday that his office budget had been slashed and his Capitol and district staff could be placed on unpaid leave for more than a month in the fall. "This bizarre and unprecedented action is clearly intended to punish me for my vote and to discourage other Assembly members from performing their duties in a conscientious manner," Portantino said in a statement.
WORLD
June 19, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
An apartment building in the middle of a densely populated Tripoli neighborhood was obliterated early Sunday, and Libyan officials blamed the explosion on a bombing raid by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Several witnesses among the angry crowd gathered outside the semi-collapsed building said they heard aircraft before the post-midnight blast. The blast occurred in the Arada Street neighborhood of the Souk Juma district, a sprawling community that is one of Tripoli's most populous.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2011 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
When Leonard Kastle's debut movie as a writer and director, "The Honeymoon Killers," was released in 1970, critics raved over the grimly realistic, low-budget, black-and-white crime drama about a lowlife lothario and his overweight nurse lover whose partnership in conning lonely women leads to murder. French director Francois Truffaut called it his "favorite American film. " Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni considered it "one of the purest movies I've ever seen. " Kastle, whose first film was destined to be his last, died May 18 at his home in Westerlo, N.Y., after a brief illness, said Tina Sisson, a friend.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2011 | By Mona Shadia and Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times
They call Villa Park "The Hidden Jewel. " Bound on all sides by the city of Orange, this 2.1-square-mile city is something of a well-kept Orange County secret, residents say: affluent, welcoming, conservative, and quiet. In recent weeks, it's also been the center of heated controversy after video of a protest at an Islamic charity event captured a city councilwoman's angry words. Speaking outside a community center in nearby Yorba Linda during the February event, Councilwoman Deborah Pauly pointed at the center and said, "What's going on over there right now ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2011 | By Kurt Streeter, Los Angeles Times
After slowly but steadily working his way through a 26.2-mile course drenched by driving rain, mammoth distance runner Kelly Gneiting finished Sunday's Los Angeles Marathon in nine hours, 48 minutes and 52 seconds, probably establishing a Guinness world record for someone his size. "I did it, but it was hell," Gneiting, 40, said, shortly after crossing the finish line in Santa Monica. "Pure hell. " Featured in a Times profile last week , Gneiting is a former national champion sumo wrestler with a 60-inch waist who weighed in just before the race at 400 pounds.
FOOD
March 2, 2011
  Chickpea puree with crisp croutons (Crema de garbanzos con pan frito) Total time: 1 hour Servings: 6 Note: Use 1 cup dry chickpeas to make 2¾ cups cooked. Soak them in water for 8 hours. Put them to cook in hot water and simmer until tender, about 3 hours. Sieving the soup after it is pureed eliminates the chickpea hulls and makes for a smoother soup. Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try any of the L.A. Times Test Kitchen recipes from this week's Food section, please share it with us: Click here to upload pictures of the finished dish.
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