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March 9, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angles Times
GAZIANTEP, Turkey - On the banquet hall stage, a young girl with a Syrian opposition flag painted on her left cheek sang antigovernment songs, a sort of greatest hits of the Syrian revolution. Behind her, several men with their arms slung over one another's shoulders danced in rhythm. But few others at the election conference paid much attention to the impromptu display. Huddled in the lobby or in secret meetings, small groups of men representing the spectrum of Syria's opposition plotted and lobbied on behalf of competing interests.
March 4, 2013 | By Patrick Pacheco
NEW YORK - Holland Taylor has something in her closet she never dreamed she'd own: four pairs of expensive fine-grain cowboy boots. "You feel tall, you feel strong, you feel like you could get a snakebite on the ankle and live," she says. "I'm now an old lady wearing cowboy boots!" Even at 70, the Philadelphia Main Line native doesn't come off like one during a lunch just before a rehearsal of the play that has taken her deep into mesquite country: "Ann," the one-person show about Ann Richards, the ebullient liberal Texas governor, that Taylor has also written.
February 27, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Shortly after he settled into a patio chair outside USC's McKay Center on Wednesday, Max Browne was spied by a group of campus visitors who walked past. "Hi, new quarterback," one shouted, before another jogged over to shake Browne's hand and wish him luck. Browne, the Gatorade national high school player of the year, is the most high-profile player in USC's football recruiting class. And the recognition factor will begin to increase exponentially next week when the Trojans open spring practice.
February 21, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
Bryan Buckley is known as "King of the Super Bowl" - he's a prolific commercial director who frequently helms many of the big game's highest-profile spots for companies including Coca-Cola and Best Buy. But this year he'll be at the Oscars, hopefully with some unusual companions. Buckley directed the Oscar-nominated short fiction film "Asad," a coming-of-age fable about a young Somali boy living in a war-torn fishing village. The project originated as Buckley's tribute to Somalis he met at the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya in 2010, when he was filming a documentary for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.
January 27, 2013 | By Karl Zimmermann
ISTANBUL, Turkey - As we sat on the Breeza, the open aft deck of the Azamara Quest, we watched the shadow line of the sunset climb the sheer, volcanic cliff above Skala, the tender landing area on the island of Santorini in the southern Aegean. It wasn't this iconic Greek island with dazzling white villas and churches that had lured my wife, Laurel, and me aboard this 10-night cruise from Istanbul to Athens. Rather, it was the chance to visit Black Sea ports in countries that were terrae incognitae to us, thus adding pages to our personal atlas.
January 22, 2013 | By Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times
During World War II, Nazis and Hungarian collaborators looted major artworks from the vast collection of Jewish banker Baron Mór Lipót Herzog. His great-grandson David de Csepel is on a quest to get them back. De Csepel first saw some of these paintings almost two decades ago in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, where Herzog had lived. Plaques identified works by El Greco and Zurbarán as "from the Herzog Collection. " "It was very strange seeing paintings that were stolen from my family hanging in the museum with my great-grandfather's name on these plaques - unsettling, to say the least," said De Csepel , a 46-year-old real estate developer who lives in Altadena.
January 20, 2013 | By Nora Zelevansky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Hayley Starr is a modern-day flower child. The artist and designer (whose given last name is Keenan but who describes "Hayley Starr" as her "highest self and inner superhero") may not wear fringe and flash peace signs. But a desire to promote creativity and self-confidence prompted her last fall to open the Quest by Hayley Starr, her one-stop boutique, art gallery, New Age refuge, classroom, studio and event space in Venice. The shop, which is clean and feminine but decidedly offbeat, is like a three-dimensional Pinterest page, communicating Starr's whimsical outlook via an eclectic collage of her favorite things.
January 11, 2013
Re "Statehood for Kurds?," Opinion, Jan. 4 David Hirst offers the Kurdish question the visibility it is often denied. He stresses the role of external forces in reshaping the Middle East. However, regional and international politics and policies are portrayed primarily as causes rather than manifestations of the colonial division of the Middle East, a division that has impeded democratization and the attainment of minority rights. The Arab Spring, albeit promising initially, is now leading to a growing Islamization of the region.
December 20, 2012 | By Chris O'Brien
Apple has decided to appeal a federal judge's ruling that denied the company's request to ban 26 Samsung products.  In August, a jury ruled that the Samsung products had infringed a handful of Apple patents and ordered the South Korean tech giant to pay $1.05 billion in damages to the maker of the iPhone.  Apple then sought a potentially more devastating punishment against Samsung by requesting a permanent injunction against those products....
December 18, 2012 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Hours before showtime at UCLA's Royce Hall, Teri Meredyth leaned into a new Steinway & Sons concert grand piano. Behind her, stagehands hammered together a stage extension. In front, workers shoved into place wooden panels for a backdrop. Stage left, an electrician shouted to a colleague aiming spotlights. Meredyth, the hall's longtime piano technician, pounded the keys of the 9-foot-long grand, listening for off-kilter harmonics. She tweaked tuning pins and pricked felt hammers with a needle to soften them and thus warm the tone that would be produced when they hit the strings.
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