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March 12, 2014 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela - Government forces used water cannons and tear gas Wednesday to turn back opposition marches in the capital, where borough mayors defied a Supreme Court order that they clear street barricades. Clouds of gas hovered near the entrance to the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas and at the adjoining Botanical Garden, where protesters had converged to join a march headed to the public defender's office. "It was horrible. I had to run a long way," said Maria Alfonzo, a 22-year-old science student who was leaving the campus when she was overcome by the gas. "The National Guard is supposed to protect us, not threaten and mistreat us. We should have the right to protest.
March 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Warning that truancy has reached a crisis level in California elementary schools, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and half a dozen lawmakers proposed a raft of bills Monday aimed at keeping kids in school. Harris said 30% of elementary school students were truant in the 2012-13 school year. "California's Constitution guarantees our children the right to an education, yet our elementary schools face a truancy crisis," Harris said. "When children in kindergarten through sixth grade miss school, they fall behind and too many never catch up. " A child is considered truant after missing school or being tardy by more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on three occasions during a school year.
March 10, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
At first blush, “300: Rise of an Empire” managed a nice success this weekend. It took in $45 million, enough for the top spot at the box office and a plethora of “conquering” puns that inevitably followed. The Noam Murro movie, starring Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green, is also conforming to the Hollywood formula of built-for-international product of tallying two-thirds of its sales overseas (pretty much exactly at 66%-34%). But things may not be nearly as rosy for the swords-and-sandals sequel or the genre it represents.
March 10, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In the rings of ancient and gnarled trees, a team of scientists has found evidence of a period of consistent warmth and wetness in Mongolia between the years 1211 and 1225 -- the exact time that Genghis Khan first rose to power.  Coincidence? They think not. This unusual stretch of mild temperatures and unprecedented rain in an area traditionally known for its cold and arid climate would have increased the productivity of grasslands in the Mongolian steppe, the researchers say. The abundant grass would in turn increase the number of grazing animals that could live off it. Members of Khan's army reportedly had five horses apiece, which allowed them to swiftly conquer an enormous area that stretched from eastern Asia to eastern Europe, as well as parts of northern India and the Mideast.
March 10, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
For all the chiseled abs and testosterone-fueled bloodletting of the new sword-and-sandals movie "300: Rise of an Empire," the person making the strongest impression with critics and audiences is French actress Eva Green, who plays the vengeful naval commander Artemisia. Here are five things to know about Green. Where she comes from: Green, 33, was born in Paris to an actress, Marlene Jobert, and a dentist, Walter Green. Her twin sister, Joy, was born minutes later. Green took an interest in acting as a teenager, graduated from the American University of Paris, and went on to study drama in Paris and London.
March 9, 2014 | By David Ng
The bloodthirsty forces of "300: Rise of an Empire" proved victorious at the box office on its opening weekend, easily surpassing the family-friendly animated movie "Mr. Peabody and Sherman. " "Rise of an Empire," a 3-D sequel to the 2007 movie "300," grossed an estimated $45.1 million in ticket sales across the U.S. and Canada to take the No. 1 spot at the box office. The film, based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and directed by Noam Murro, follows the battle between ancient Greek warriors and their Persian foes.
March 8, 2014 | By Chris Barton
The sequel "300: Rise of an Empire" is proving unstoppable at the box office on its opening weekend, earning more than $17 million on Friday, according to estimates. The number adds to an already strong start for the 3-D Greco-Persian epic, which earned $3.3 million in its Thursday night screenings across the U.S. and Canada. The film is expected to earn $45 million this weekend, which would place it well behind the first "300. " That film opened in 2007 with nearly $71 million in sales and eventually took home $456 million worldwide.
March 8, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
Playing tough defense, hustling for loose balls and displaying the unselfishness always present in a championship team, Santa Ana Mater Dei won its 31st consecutive game Saturday night, holding off scrappy Chino Hills, 48-44, in the Southern Section Open Division final at the Honda Center. It was a wild fourth quarter, but in the end, Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei rose up and lifted his team to victory. He finished with 28 points and clinched the victory by making two free throws with 4.9 seconds left, giving him eight in a row in the fourth quarter.
March 7, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before confessing that I invented Bitcoin. The Skinny: My Sunday TV viewing is going to get more complicated. I'm already juggling "The Walking Dead," "Girls," "True Detective" and "The Good Wife. " Now ABC is adding "Resurrection" to the mix. I really liked the pilot and hope the series can deliver. Today's roundup includes the weekend box office preview. Also the FCC is working on new rules for local TV, and Disney makes big cuts at its interactive unit.
March 7, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Much like the brave but ultimately doomed Spartan soldiers of "300," Eva Green might have been up against insurmountable odds in her role as Artemisia in "300: Rise of an Empire," Noam Murro's sequel to Zack Snyder's 2007 hit. Film critics agree that Green's performance as the villainess Artemisia is the best part of the sword-and-sandal spectacle, but they said even she can't save it from mediocrity. The Times' Betsy Sharkey wrote , "The one to watch is Artemisia, and not just because Green gets the best costumes -- leather and chainmail has rarely been as fetching -- but because her character is as tactical a warrior as Themistokles [ Sullivan Stapleton,  the movie's hero]
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