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December 28, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - U.S. diplomats evacuated from the capital of the Central African Republic on Friday, the State Department reported, after a coalition of rebel groups swept across the country in recent days, seizing towns and diamond mining areas and threatening to oust the government. Residents of Bangui also fled by car, or by boat across the Ubangi River to the Democratic Republic of Congo, while others scoured markets stocking up on food in case war comes to the capital, according to news agencies.
December 21, 2012 | By Russ Parsons
It was almost 25 years ago that Jean Louis DeMori and Antonio Tomassi opened an unprepossessing little Italian restaurant on a strip of no-man's land across from Cedars-Sinai Hospital. It was called Locanda Veneta and it kicked off the first round of terrific, small, very specific Italian restaurants in Southern California. Today, they're trying to repeat the magic in another part of town. This week the two opened Maccheroni Republic on a formerly bedraggled strip of Broadway downtown, almost across the street from the Grand Central Market.
December 7, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - A journalist with Russian state television was killed and a government official was injured in separate attacks in the country's violence-ridden North Caucasus region, authorities said Thursday. Kazbek Gekkiyev, a 28-year-old anchor for the Russia-1 state television channel, was gunned down late Wednesday in downtown Nalchik, capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian republic, officials said. The journalist was allegedly approached by two men who asked whether he was Gekkiyev. When he confirmed his identity, the assailants reportedly shot him several times and fled.
November 19, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
Reports of escalating clashes in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo raised renewed fears of outright war Monday, as rebels again neared the provincial capital of Goma. The M23 rebels had pledged to halt their push toward Goma in order to negotiate, but government officials shot down the idea of talks, saying they were useless because Rwanda was pulling the strings behind the scenes. New violence erupted on the outskirts of Goma only hours after rebels made their pledge, the Associated Press reported.
November 9, 2012 | Rob Spillman, Special to the Los Angeles Times
There Was a Country A Personal History of Biafra Chinua Achebe Penguin Press: 352 pp., $27.95 Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author of the groundbreaking 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," is widely considered the most influential African writer of the 20th century. A staple in school curricula worldwide and with more than 10 million copies in print, Achebe's novel is an African story told in an African manner by an African - remarkable for colonial times. While Achebe identifies himself as a Nigerian author, he is also Igbo, one of the three most dominant tribes in the vast country of more than 200 million people.
October 20, 2012 | By Shan Li
-- Banana Republic will launch a third capsule collection inspired by the hit television show "Mad Men" in March. The previous two collections, both popular among shoppers, were based on the early '60s "Camelot" era and crafted in collaboration with the show's costume designer Janie Bryant. They featured the floral frocks, blouses with scarf details and slim-cut suits. Now the collection will evolve with the show by transitioning into late-1960s mod fashions. Look for bold prints and colors, shift dresses with short hemlines and plaid sport coats.
October 6, 2012 | By Baxter Holmes
LAS VEGAS - China, a world leader on the cusp of global domination, fancies itself as a nation of basketball lovers, and it's hosting a little get-together there this week. The invite-list has a few accolades. Just a few. Nine players who have been official All-Stars. Five who have had Olympic gold draped around their neck. Three who have been named Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals. The list goes on, but in toto, some of Uncle Sam's top-shelf hoopsters are heading to the People's Republic for a pair of preseason games between the Clippers and Miami Heat.
August 29, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Imagine the heart of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson beating within the body of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and you'll have a sense of Danish documentarian Mads Brügger. In his 2009 film, "The Red Chapel," he invented a cross-cultural comedy troupe as subterfuge to enter North Korea and examine conditions there. In his latest, "The Ambassador," opening Friday in Los Angeles, Brügger travels to Liberia and the Central African Republic, where, posing as a businessman with a penchant for safari jackets and riding boots, he exposes widespread government corruption and complicity in diamond smuggling.
August 26, 2012 | By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times
When Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) billowed onto the national political stage in Norfolk, Va., as Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate this month, the reaction was swift and unanimous - at least among the fashion-focused. Press pundits, fashion critics and men's magazines bemoaned sartorial missteps such as a suit jacket so voluminous and ill-fitting it could have been inspired by David Byrne's "Stop Making Sense" suit. Kurt Soller, writing for Esquire, described Ryan's get-up as "a trash-bag black suit with a silhouette that would be great - if you were Herman Munster.
August 17, 2012 | By Amanda Natividad
Bouchon turns 1: Until the end of the week, pastry chef Alen Ramos is offering signature items at Bouchon Bakery to commemorate its 1st birthday. The goodies include birthday cake macaron; tomato-brie summer sandwich; farmers market strawberry lemonade; and vanilla bean canele. Patrons can toast on the actual birthday, Friday, with a $1 glass of lemonade. Until Sunday. 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 271-9910 x621 . . Georgian feast with Satellite Republic: Satellite Republic will cook a four-course dinner at Jancar Jones Gallery on Aug. 24. Guests can enjoy wine from the suggested cash donation bar at 6:30 p.m. and promptly afterward, dinner of elderberry tonic, tonis puri bread with fresh herbs; roasted eggplant satzivi ; khinkali dumplings filled with lamb and adjika sauce; grilled sturgeon with pickled green beans and plum sauce; and walnut baklava.
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