October 25, 2012 |
L.A. rapper Omar Offendum came of age in a hip-hop era filled with violent tales by artists like Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. But last year, the 30-year-old Syrian American discovered how truly dangerous hip-hop could be. "I had to hold my tongue for a long time," Offendum said of his song "#Syria," a furious riposte to Syrian President Bashar Assad that he released in March. Although Offendum (he prefers not to use his real name to protect family) is hardly a superstar, the underground track still could have had devastating implications for family members still in Syria.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2012 |
"Some time the hating has to stop," reads the last line of "The Railway Man," a moving tale of wartime torture and forgiveness by former British prisoner of war Eric Lomax. Lomax was a British army officer when he was captured by Japanese forces during the fall of Singapore in 1942. The Scotsman endured horrific conditions and savage beatings as he and thousands of others were forced to build the infamous Burma-to-Siam railroad, which formed the basis of the 1957 film "The Bridge on the River Kwai.
September 24, 2012 |
SEATTLE - He was a child prodigy, taking computer classes at Seattle Pacific University at the age of 13 and finishing in the top third of the Junior Olympics in fencing. But Dinh Bowman was earning a different kind of recognition over the weekend, appearing before a judge Saturday in Seattle on suspicion of killing a 42-year-old local man in what detectives believe was a case of road rage. Bowman, now 29, was arrested after an anonymous tipster suggested he was the man driving a silver BMW convertible who opened fire with deadly precision on a fellow motorist Aug. 31 in Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood, inflicting fatal wounds before driving off. The victim, Yancy Noll, a popular supermarket wine steward, was stopped at a red light in a line of traffic when the silver BMW pulled alongside his car, came to a halt, and its driver fired several shots, three of which struck Noll in the head.
September 17, 2012 |
Newsweek is at it again: The magazine's newest controversial cover, blaring the headline “Muslim Rage,” has readers in an uproar and social media in a tizzy. Whether any of it will boost the publication's sales remains to be seen. The magazine's story , penned by feminist and atheist activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is teased on the cover with the blurb “How I Survived It. How We Can End It.” The news peg? The riots spreading across the Middle East in response to an anti-Islam video.
September 6, 2012 |
Are Chipotle and Forever 21 - which have been accused in recent days of fleecing their patrons out of pennies - money-grubbing Scrooges or high-volume companies focused on efficiency? After Chipotle was accused of rounding bills to the nearest 5-cent amount, the Mexican-style chain said the tactic was a time-saving measure used in especially busy stores. Because totals were adjusted both up and down, the company said it wasn't making a profit off the practice. But late last month, a class-action complaint was filed against Chipotle in federal court in California alleging that the chain “routinely overcharged” its customers.
September 6, 2012 |
Google "childbirth video," and hundreds of videos pop up, some with millions of views. "The Unassisted Birth of Jason Shawn II," a YouTube video which shows a woman grunting and shrieking in an inflatable pool before giving birth on her own, has 3.5 million views, with a lot of opinionated strangers weighing in on this intensely personal moment. Some videos are so graphic you want to turn away, and so vivid that it can trigger memories women might rather forget. Nonetheless, documenting every minute has become a form of 21st century scrapbooking.
August 27, 2012 |
ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- With control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs in the November election, you'd think that big issues like the the country's massive fiscal problems would be center stage in the relative handful of contests that will decide whether Republicans take away the Democrats' majority. Of course, you'd probably be wrong. True, the issue of Medicare is a growing focus of attention in campaigns, from the presidential race on down. That's been the case all year in the hotly contested Senate race in Florida, home to the nation's largest proportion of seniors (though both sides are mainly using "Mediscare" tactics to try to influence voters)
August 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Bottled water or tap? Call it the capital's latest political debate. The head of the District of Columbia's water agency is calling on planners of next year's presidential inauguration to serve local tap water, saying it is a way to show support for the nation's drinking water systems. The effort comes after Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, selected home-state Saratoga Spring bottled water to be served, saying it would enable guests to "enjoy this special taste of New York.
August 17, 2012 |
First New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was rebuffed by The Boss . Now another well-know liberal musician has spurned the advances of a right-wing politician-fan. In a brutal Rolling Stone editorial , Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello calls Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's recent vice presidential pick, the "embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. " The 42-year-old Ryan has touted his Rage fandom in the past, a curious choice given the band's ferocious advocacy for unions, immigrants and social justice. Morello is clearly amused and perplexed at how deeply, in his opinion, Ryan has missed the point of his band.
August 16, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Whether serious or a bluff,Israel'spublic threats to attackIran'snuclear development program are widely credited for bringing U.S. pressure and international sanctions against Tehran this year. But as speculation about a potential unilateral Israeli strike reignited this week, fueled by public comments and leaks by proponents and opponents both in Israel and the U.S., some here are wondering whether the unusually public campaign is starting to take a toll on the credibility of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.