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March 4, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, few dare to speak the name of the evil Lord Voldemort. Lately, Chinese politics has had its own "He Who Must Not Be Named" or "You Know Who": the former domestic security czar, Zhou Yongkang. Zhou retired in the fall of 2012 from the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest body in the Communist Party, and rumors soon began to swirl that he was the subject of a corruption inquiry (or some high-stakes political score-settling, depending on one's point of view)
March 3, 2014 | By Michael McGough
SB 1062 , the Arizona bill that would have made it easier to discriminate against gays and lesbians (and other people), was vetoed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer. But some social conservatives won't let the subject go. They're making two (related) arguments: that critics of the bill who denounced it as “anti-gay” hadn't really read the legislation and that, if they had, they would have realized that it was simply a state variation on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 1993 and signed by President Clinton.
March 1, 2014 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
PARIS --  Jean Paul Gaultier likes himself a Hollywood-worthy production all right. And that's exactly what he gave guests at his fall 2014 fashion show on Saturday night. The venue was the sleek-and-modern 1972 Oscar Niemeyer-designed French Communist Party Headquarters. The glowing green dome in front beckoned us inside to board Gaultier's latest wild ride, a cosmic tour of...Johnny Rotten's London? If the two themes seem like they are out of orbit, it's because they were.
February 28, 2014 | Robin Abcarian
Good news for Wazers: On Thursday, a California appellate court ruled that looking at a smartphone map while driving is not against the law. A three-judge panel of California's 5th District Court of Appeal threw out the distracted driving ticket Steven Spriggs got two years ago for looking at his cellphone map while stuck in highway traffic in Fresno. The court unanimously concluded that the state Legislature meant only to prohibit “talking and listening” - and not any other cellphone activity - when it passed a distracted driver law in 2006.
February 26, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
A month after he was convicted of voter fraud and perjury, state Sen. Roderick Wright requested and was granted Tuesday a paid leave of absence until he is sentenced on May 16 or granted an appeal. It's about time Wright made an exit from the Legislature - he is, after all, a convicted felon. But a paid leave of absence? The only reason Wright still has a job is because his Senate colleagues decided to go easy on him and wait until the judge affirms his conviction and decides the sentence.
February 25, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
That was fast. Less than three months after a state law requiring chefs and bartenders to wear gloves took effect, one of its sponsors wants a do-over. Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) has introduced emergency legislation to replace the prohibition of bare-hand contact with food with directions to “minimize bare hand and arm contact with exposed food.” The bill, AB 2130, is expected to pass. Pan is wisely responding to an outcry from chefs and other professional food handlers who saw the law as a sledgehammer approach to reducing food-borne illnesses.
February 24, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
If you ever been to a Los Angeles City Council meeting, you'll remember them. They're the gadflies who fill out speaker cards to opine as many agenda items as possible, usually as an excuse to rail against whatever injustice they feel the city has imposed on them. They're obnoxious time wasters who infuriate those who want the council meetings to move more efficiently. Yet time and time again, a court has, rightly, side with the gadflies and ruled the City Council has violated the 1st Amendment by cutting off or ejecting two particular activists from meetings.
February 23, 2014
Stunning photos and report on the Anasazi ruins of Cedar Mesa, Utah ["Rock of Ages" by David Kelly, Feb. 16]. Thank you. I went to Natural Bridges National Monument; now I'll go back and explore more ruins. The drive on Highway 261 south off the edge of Cedar Mesa into Mexican Hat is not for the faint of heart. They're not kidding when they recommend 5 mph. Anne Eggebroten Santa Monica Trust your map, or your spouse? Regarding the Letters column ["Women Can Read Maps Just Fine," Feb. 16]
February 8, 2014 | By Chris Foster
There was nothing like a little lip service to wake up UCLA's basketball team. The Bruins appeared in a daze against USC in the first half Saturday night. It had the hangover look from their last effort, a loss to Oregon State. So Steve Alford took a page from the coaching handbook at halftime. BOX SCORE: UCLA 83, USC 73 "We got chewed out," guard Jordan Adams said. Maybe Alford should have done that with his pregame speech. The Bruins found another gear in the second half - at least for seven minutes - and carved out an 83-73 victory over USC in the Galen Center.
February 4, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO - If you want to get a glimpse of Facebook's future, download Paper, the social network's new mobile news reader. The app for the iPhone is part of what Facebook says is its big push to deliver "the best personalized newspaper in the world. " But it's more than just an app for reading news. It's Facebook reimagined for the smaller screen. Paper doesn't just help users discover news on dozens of topics. It can also be used by users to browse their News Feed, get messages and notifications and search Facebook.
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