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September 30, 2013 | By David Lauter
Much of the federal government will shut down as of midnight. What will be closing, why and what impact will it have? Question: Why a shutdown? Answer: Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agencies. The new budget year begins on Oct. 1, and Congress has failed to pass a single one of the appropriations. An effort to pass a stop-gap bill to provide temporary money has stalled in Congress: Republicans have insisted they will not approve the stop-gap measure unless Democrats agree to block money for President Obama's healthcare law, and Democrats have refused to do that.
September 20, 2013 | By David Ng
When plans commenced in 1987 to build Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A., architect Frank Gehry was a relatively youthful 58 years old. By the time the hall was completed, after a number of delays and setbacks - not to mention some acrimonious bickering among its key players - the architect had become a 74-year-old eminence grise . Gehry, now 84, recently sat down for a conversation at Disney Hall with Times music critic Mark Swed and...
September 20, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Times Architecture Critic
Architect Elizabeth Diller was in Los Angeles this week for a press event at the Broad, the new $140-million Bunker Hill museum her New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro is designing for philanthropists and art collectors Eli and Edythe Broad. Before she appeared   with Eli Broad, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the museum's founding director, Joanne Heyler, Diller took Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne on a tour of the building, which is under construction and expected to open next fall.
September 19, 2013 | By Nika Soon-Shiong
Throughout the Duchess of Cambridge's much-publicized pregnancy, her chic maternity wear was the subject of worldwide attention. Even after the birth of her son, George Alexander Louis, on July 22, the former Kate Middleton continued to wear maternity clothing that was both elegant and stylish. Her brand of choice, Seraphine , has been scrambling to restock the duchess' personal picks, which immediately sold out when she was photographed wearing them. Cecile Reinaud, head designer and owner of Seraphine, has a background in marketing and business, but her knack for fashion led her to make maternity clothing for her friends when they were pregnant.
August 19, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
Maybe it's the bald head, or perhaps it's the haunted-looking eyes, but British actor Mark Strong has a track record for playing baddies, from murderous aristocrat Lord Blackwood in "Sherlock Holmes" to the scheming antagonist Godfrey in "Robin Hood. " Now he's portraying a rather more complicated (though still imperfect) character, the anguished Detroit cop Frank Agnew, in AMC's new series "Low Winter Sun. " It's a role the British actor knows well: He also played Frank Agnew in the 2006 British miniseries upon which the drama is based.
August 6, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Brad Stone, a longtime Silicon Valley reporter, has been working for years on what he hopes will be the definitive account of Jeff Bezos and the rise of Amazon, the online retailing giant founded in 1994. His new book, “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” is slated to be published in October by Little, Brown. On Monday, he got handed fodder for a new chapter, when Bezos once again did something unexpected and risky: he bought a newspaper, the Washington Post.
August 6, 2013 | By Jason Wells
The high-pitched Amber Alert that hit cellphones across Southern California overnight may have confounded and annoyed, but the text message also prompted a fresh round of questions. Chief among them: Just what was that and how can I stop it from happening again? What is it? The Wireless Emergency Alert is a new program for cellphones that started Jan. 1, replacing the previous “opt-in” system. Cellphone owners now receive messages automatically , based on their proximity to the emergency, not based on their phone number.
July 29, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
RIO DE JANEIRO - First, the pope used the word "gay. " Then he used a phrase possibly never heard from a pope: "Who am I to judge?" His first overseas trip behind him, Pope Francis made surprisingly conciliatory remarks about the role of gay people in the Roman Catholic Church and his willingness to accept them uncritically, touching off a worldwide debate over how big a shift the new pontiff was endorsing. He also spoke of finding more roles for women in the church - though not priesthood - and of showing mercy to divorced Catholics.
July 18, 2013 | By Tracy Brown
Although music fans know him as the lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour, Corey Taylor cracked the bestseller list last year with his book “Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good.”  In his newly published second book, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process),”  Taylor tackles the world of the paranormal. “If religion were a lounge singer, then the paranormal would be a rock star,” he writes in the book's introduction.
July 13, 2013 | Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
Novelist Danielle Steel, 65, had a passion for fashion even before she got her hands on her first Hermes Kelly bag, a gift from her grandmother, at age 17. A regular on the bestseller list, with more than 600 million books sold since her first title published in 1972, Steel is adept at documenting the lifestyles of the rich and famous, perhaps because she has always had a front row seat. She grew up between New York and Europe, is a fixture on the San Francisco social scene and a regular at the Paris haute couture shows.
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