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WORLD
February 6, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
For seven long years, Song Byeok performed the soulless work of drawing idyllic North Korean propaganda posters for Kim Jong Il's totalitarian regime. The intricate images he produced were dictated by the state. Song was handed a sketch, always of people happy and smiling, which the young artist dutifully brought to life with brush and paint. "You had to do exactly what they wanted," he recalled. "If you did one little thing differently, your whole family could be imprisoned as enemies of the state.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By Joe Flint
"Five wins and a very light power reese know" sounds more like gibberish than a weather forecast. But that was the closed caption that hearing-impaired people got during a report from the WeatherNation channel last month. What the caption was supposed to say was, "high winds and a very light, powdery snow. " Closed captioning is designed to help the deaf and hearing-impaired enjoy television and receive important news and weather reports. Unfortunately, captions are often riddled with typos and incomplete sentences that leave viewers struggling to make sense of what is being said.
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WORLD
January 13, 2012 | By a Special Correspondent, Los Angeles Times
Only a crack of light from a tiny window high up the back wall of the room gave away that it was daylight. But it didn't really matter to the four young men who sat close together on thin foam mattresses, staring intently at their laptop screens, their sleeping patterns dictated more by the needs of news channels than by day and night. A bare bulb hung overhead, and a small electric heater glowed orange-red. Small video cameras and empty cardboard boxes for satellite modems were entangled with stray wires in the corner.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By David Horsey
On Jimmy Fallon's first night as host of NBC's "Tonight Show," his first musical guests, the legendary Irish rock band U2, performed their first song perched precariously on the roof of Rockefeller Center with the New York City skyline and a golden dusk shimmering in the background. That moment served dramatic notice that the show had left Burbank far behind. More than four decades ago, when Johnny Carson moved the show west, the Big Apple was looking rotten while Los Angeles had become the entertainment capital of the country.
WORLD
August 9, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Syria's neighbors have turned decisively against President Bashar Assad, launching a diplomatic campaign against his crackdown on the country's pro-democracy movement that analysts say could have a major effect on important pillars of Assad's support. Even as Syrian armed forces pushed Monday against several opposition strongholds, international action against the government mushroomed. The diplomatic pressure marked a significant change from the largely cautious international response for most of the last five months.
WORLD
April 24, 2011 | By Alexandra Sandels and Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Syrian security forces opened fire Saturday on protesters mourning the scores of demonstrators killed a day earlier in a deadly repeat of violence against an increasingly bold antigovernment movement. "Stop! Stop!" a voice from a mosque loudspeaker is heard calling out in a video on the Internet as security forces in a white pickup spray gunfire on mourners in the Damascus suburb of Barze. Witnesses reported that 12 people died in Saturday's violence. A compilation of names of the dead by human rights activists showed that at least 107 people were killed Friday in the suburbs of Damascus and smaller cities and towns around the country as forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad attempted to crush a democracy movement inspired by revolutions and uprisings sweeping the Arab world.
OPINION
June 10, 2010 | Timothy Garton Ash
Do not forget Iran. Remember Neda. If there are green-clad protests in Tehran this weekend — to mark the first anniversary of the election that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole — they will doubtless again be crushed with casual brutality by the thugs of the Basij militia, the secret police and the Revolutionary Guard. Faced with violent repression, the green movement is a long way down — but not out. Iran will never again be the country it was before the election of June 12, 2009.
WORLD
July 15, 2010 | By Ned Parker and Nadeem Hamid, Los Angeles Times
The United States has handed over 29 members of Saddam Hussein's government to Iraqi custody in recent weeks, including Tariq Aziz, the urbane, cigar-chomping official who served as the regime's global spokesman, Iraqi officials and Aziz's relatives said Wednesday. The U.S. military confirmed that it transferred 26 former regime officials Monday and three others last month. It added that it continued to hold eight high-ranking members of Hussein's government and his ruling Baath Party.
OPINION
December 18, 2006
Re "Soccer in a house of death," Opinion, Dec. 12 As I read Dave Zirin's article, I could not help but think of the millions of people who suffered under the regime of Salvador Allende in Chile before Augusto Pinochet's military coup in 1973. I am from Chile and lived there until 1977; I experienced both regimes. I do agree that torture and murder of innocent people are wrong and that and there is no excuse for it. However, let's not forget the millions of people who did not have enough to eat during Allende's regime.
OPINION
March 29, 2003
Having spent time in Iraq (on an archeological survey), I have strong feelings about the current war. The oppressed people of Iraq have been desperately awaiting liberation for years. Those antiwar demonstrators who so smugly believe they have the high moral ground are actually giving aid and comfort to one of the most ruthlessly oppressive regimes in history. The brutality of Saddam Hussein's Big Brother regime would impress even George Orwell. I have spoken to beaten, tortured, maimed and bereaved citizens of Iraq who want nothing more than the complete annihilation of every vestige of Hussein's criminal rule.
OPINION
December 24, 2013 | By Sarah Leah Whitson
Egyptians say the mood is different now. Gone is the call of the revolution demanding justice for the brutal torture and killing of a young man and an end to the police abuse his case exemplified. In its place is a weary, national shrug toward brutal attacks, now that they're directed against the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters. There is little popular demand for justice and little prospect for accountability. If Egypt's military-backed government can get away with killing more than 1,000 protesters in broad daylight in 2013, what has really changed since the days of Hosni Mubarak?
OPINION
October 21, 2013 | By Mike Gifford
Pyongyang, North Korea - I became British ambassador to North Korea a year ago, and since then I have seen firsthand the nature of the regime. Its human rights record is appalling; it continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and to sell its military know-how to other states. And yet, I've also seen that it is possible to engage with the regime constructively. The United Kingdom is one of just a handful of Western countries that have diplomatic relations with North Korea (known formally as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
Christopher Koch, one of Australia's most acclaimed novelists, whose 1978 thriller "The Year of Living Dangerously" illuminated the political and cultural turmoil in Indonesia after World War II, died of cancer Monday in Hobart, Australia. He was 81. His death was confirmed to Australian news media by his agent, Margaret Connolly. During a 55-year career, Koch wrote at least eight novels, which often explored Australians' engagement with their near-neighbors in Asia. "Highways to War" (1995)
WORLD
September 9, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - The Syrian government said Monday that it backed a Russian proposal calling for Damascus to hand over its arsenal of chemical weapons to international authorities in a bid to avoid a U.S. attack. “We, for the sake of protecting our people and children and country and due to our trust in the Russian efforts, will cooperate fully with Russia in this regard so as to take away the excuses of this aggression,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said in a statement. Russia has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
OPINION
August 29, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The Obama administration is telegraphing that it will likely take military action to punish the Syrian government, which it accuses of using chemical weapons against civilians. But it won't inflict the damage necessary to drive President Bashar Assad from power. That calibrated response has come in for criticism, but it's preferable to the alternatives of either ignoring an atrocity or embarking on what could be a costly intervention in a civil war. There is no guarantee that the sort of operation the administration is contemplating - the launching of cruise missiles from ships or submarines - will deter Assad from resorting to chemical warfare in the future, though proponents of this response obviously hope that proves to be the case.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
A report from a Canadian research organization has again raised the uncomfortable question of whether Silicon Valley's technology is being used by so-called terrorist states to repress their citizens.  On Tuesday, the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab  released a report that focused on Blue Coat Systems  and how its technology apparently is still part of Syria's state-sponsored telecommunications networks and is being used in Sudan...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 1989
Yes, Manuel Noriega is a smarmy drug dealer. So was George Bush in the smarmy Iran-Contra affair. Yes, Noriega is ruthless, corrupt and treacherous. He's a boy scout compared to the monstrous, priest-killing regime in El Salvador, and Bush considers them worthy of being lavishly supported with our taxes. Yes, there was the incident where Noriega may have said he was at "war" with the U.S. and an American soldier was murdered. News accounts have reported that invasion preparations were well under way before these incidents took place.
OPINION
June 7, 2005 | David Hirst, David Hirst, the Guardian's Middle East correspondent from 1963 to 1997, is the author of "The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East" (Nation Books, 2003).
It could be that the Baath Party congress in Syria will turn out to be just an ordinary ritual of the Soviet-style, single-party government that has ruled that country for the last 42 years. But the congress is attracting more than ordinary interest because of the anything-but-ordinary conditions in the region, as well as in Syria itself. Indeed, these conditions present such a challenge to President Bashar Assad's regime that few outside it would dispute the judgment that it must reform or die.
OPINION
June 28, 2013 | By Dalibor Rohac
As Mohamed Morsi prepares to mark his first anniversary as president Sunday, Egypt is bracing for a fresh wave of protests. The Tamarod (or Rebel) campaign has reportedly collected more than 15 million signatures demanding Morsi's resignation and an early presidential election. In response, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated ruling Freedom and Justice Party is organizing rallies in support of the government. Last week, tens of thousands of FJP supporters were brought in on buses from rural areas to Cairo's Nasr City neighborhood, where they chanted slogans such as "Islam is the solution" and "The Koran is the constitution.
WORLD
June 14, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Britain on Friday welcomed the U.S. statement that Syrian President Bashar Assad had deployed chemical weapons against the rebels battling his regime, a conclusion that prompted a pledge from President Obama to send arms to the opposition fighters for the first time. The European Union took a more cautious approach, citing its “great concern” over the reports of chemical attacks and calling for United Nations inspectors to be allowed in to Syria to verify the allegations.
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