April 5, 2011 |
When the soldiers left their battle positions and the guns fell silent Tuesday morning in the Cocody neighborhood of Abidjan around Ivory Coast's presidential palace, terrified residents didn't feel safe enough to go outside. Bands of uniformed soldiers and militias in civvies roamed the city, the nation's commercial capital. It was anyone's guess whose side they were on and how dangerous they might be. The uniforms of the rival forces in the fierce fight for power are identical — and the allegiances of ragtag armed youth militias rampaging and looting shops and houses are equally unclear.
February 20, 2011 |
Molotov's Magic Lantern Travels in Russian History Rachel Polonsky Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 390 pp. $28 To say that Rachel Polonsky is a lifelong Russophile probably still understates the level of her engagement with the country that has so captured her imagination, heart and soul. This British journalist has written about its culture and experienced its realities, first when it was synonymous with the Soviet behemoth and then in the two decades of its more recent transformation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2011 |
Pirates off the coast of Somalia have hijacked the yacht of a couple on a worldwide voyage distributing Bibles, according to Somalia's U.N. Mission. Jean and Scott Adam have been sailing around the world for six years on their sailboat, the S/V Quest. They have raced with the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, which has been their mail drop during their global odyssey. Omar Jamal, first secretary at the Somali mission, said Friday that pirates in the Indian Ocean had taken four U.S. citizens captive when they hijacked the S/V Quest, according to the Associated Press.
February 3, 2011 |
The morning after in Tahrir Square resembled the aftermath of a hurricane: a desolate landscape of walking wounded, husks of wrecked vehicles and a scatter of random debris. Here, a rubber sandal, there a bloodied scarf, and on the periphery, a very small, very dirty kitten. Anti-government protesters held their ground in the sprawling plaza through a violent night in which firebombs rained down and automatic weapons fire rattled. As it grew light Thursday morning, some of the square's defenders collapsed into sleep on traffic medians or on mats spread on the filthy concrete.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2010 |
Billy the elephant is living large. Excuse the pun, but I think in this case it's more than apt. The Los Angeles Zoo pachyderm has been freed from his relatively cramped enclosure into one that's more than 10 times bigger. Teams of workers have built Billy a waterfall to bathe in, a rolling hillside to climb and a serpentine corridor to walk through. For rest and relaxation, he's got a new, hangar-sized paddock. With heated floors and hanging catwalks for his keepers, the entire structure looks like something out of a Spielberg epic.
October 31, 2010 |
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck spent five years making his first film, "The Lives of Others," a dark, independently financed, German-language political thriller with no instantly recognizable stars that he wrote, directed and produced and went on to win the foreign film Oscar. For his follow-up, he chose "The Tourist," a romantic caper from Sony Pictures pairing two of Hollywood's most famous faces: Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. The film, due in theaters Dec. 10, was shot in glamorous locales including Paris and Venice, but to accommodate Depp's busy filming schedule, Von Donnersmarck had to complete the movie in less than a year.
October 1, 2010 |
Hollywood is awash in recently opened bars and clubs right now, but two brand new destinations near Hollywood & Highland are using a fresh approach to woo night owls: experiential entertainment. At new clubs Premiere Supper Club and Supperclub Los Angeles at the Vogue , guests interact with friendly staffers (who are sometimes in character) and take in light theater-inspired entertainment. It's the latest bid for your club dollar. "The two things I'm best at [are]
August 6, 2010 |
Summertime … and the roamin' is easy. Navy ROTC Midshipman John Preis went on a nifty training mission last month, traveling from Okinawa to Guam via nuclear-powered submarine. After he returned to Los Angeles, he got a welcome-home gift from Verizon Wireless: a bill for nearly $1,300. Sky-high cellphone bills are all too common at this time of year, as people head overseas on trips and overlook roaming charges that can run in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2010 |
On a Monday morning in the spring of 2007, a prosecutor named Truc Do stood to tell a jury about the world in which Chester Turner had killed — and to offer a requiem for a dark chapter in the heart of Los Angeles. Turner lived with his mom on Century Boulevard, drank fortified wine and made a sporadic living delivering pizzas and selling crack. His murderous binge, which took the lives of 10 women, began in 1987, a perilous time in South Los Angeles. Jobs had vanished.
July 26, 2010 |
In 1908, a travel guide described Camp Roosevelt in Yellowstone National Park as a place that offered "the pleasures of the outdoor life with the little inconveniences reduced to a minimum." More than a century later, our family of four certainly found this to be true of the same site, which today is known as Roosevelt Lodge. Perhaps we were most grateful for the simple way our Roughrider cabin — so named for its minimalist comforts, consisting of four hard walls, two double beds, electricity, minimal heat and no bathroom — successfully kept out the inconvenience of a black bear roaming between the various cabins at night.