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March 26, 2013 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama on Tuesday named a high-ranking career employee of the U.S. Secret Service to become its first female director. Julia A. Pierson, a veteran of the agency's Miami and Orlando, Fla., field offices, serves as chief of staff of the law enforcement agency that is best known for protecting the U.S. president. As Obama puts together his team for the second term, Pierson is the first woman he has appointed to head a national security agency. Obama faced some criticism when he named men to head three of the most high-profile departments:  the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA. PHOTOS: Supreme Court considers gay marriage He has, however, named a number of new female appointees, including Sally Jewell to head Interior, Gina McCarthy to be the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Mary Jo White to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission and Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.
March 3, 2013 | By Christine Mai-Duc, Los Angeles Times
Rex Scouten, whose 48-year career in the White House began with the Trumans and ended with the Clintons, and whose duties included helping first families transition to their oversized new home, died Feb. 20 at a hospital near his home in Fairfax, Va. He was 88. The cause was complications from hip surgery, said his daughter Carol Scouten. Scouten started as a Secret Service agent and ended his career as curator of the White House's art and furnishings. Most of his years were spent as chief usher of the White House, primarily managing the 132-room mansion.
January 31, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
City of Angels Or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud A Novel Christa Wolf Translated from the German by Damion Searls Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 316 pp., $27 Christa Wolf's final book, "City of Angels, or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud," is a work about betrayal - or more accurately, our inability to know ourselves. Set in Southern California between mid-1992 and mid-1993, it was inspired by the year Wolf, who died in 2011, spent as a Getty fellow. Although it comes labeled as a novel, it is more a public act of self-reflection, intensely autobiographical and vividly imagined at once.
January 28, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
NEW ORLEANS -- A Secret Service dog fell to its death in New Orleans this past weekend while performing a security sweep of a six-story parking garage next to the Ritz-Carlton where Vice President Joe Biden was speaking. The dog, a bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois, was working in the Premier Parking garage on Iberville Street near the French Quarter hotel when it fell off the roof around 6 p.m. Saturday night, New Orleans police told local reporters, including WWL-TV . It was a busy weekend in New Orleans, as the city prepared to host next weekend's Super Bowl and saw several Mardi Gras parades, including the Krewe of Barkus parade Sunday that drew plenty of dog owners and their pets to the French Quarter.
December 5, 2012 | By Danielle Ryan
WASHINGTON -- The House has voted to give lifelong Secret Service protection to former presidents and their wives, due to increased national security threats posed post-Sept. 11. The bill passed Wednesday morning by voice vote. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), said in a statement that “the increased mobility and youth” of still-living former presidents added to the necessity of the extension. The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would reverse a 1994 law limiting Secret Service protection to 10 years after a president leaves office.
November 16, 2012 | Sandy Banks
It seemed at first like a welcome break from political overload. There's nothing like a juicy sex scandal to relieve election fatigue. But this one, it turns out, brims with suggestions of military misconduct and questions of national security that have talking heads droning about matters of policy while most of us just want the dope on disgraced generals, the West Point vixen and Kardashian-esque identical twins. By now, we are all caught up on the basics of the scandal that brought down C.I.A.
October 24, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
Colorado resident Lee Mulcahy discovered that there are limits to the discussion when it comes to political signage outside your home in this presidential election year. The phrase “Fire Obama” is permissible and such placards adorn some yards. But “Kill Obama” is not, and Mulcahy, of Aspen, received a visit the other day from both local police and the U.S. Secret Service. “We felt this was pretty serious -- anything that has to do with the president of the United States is serious, so we immediately contacted the Secret Service,” Blair Dweyer, a community relations specialist for Aspen police, told the Los Angeles Times.
October 24, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
Twitter users sent more than 6.5 million Tweets during the third presidential debate Monday - and a few of them were death threats against President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Less than 24 hours later, the Secret Service took to Twitter in what the department calls a new tactic to gather information on potential threats against the people they protect. “To report a tweet that concerns you,” @SecretService wrote Tuesday in its first such Tweet , “call the nearest field office in your state.” The agency posted a similar message Wednesday morning.
September 3, 2012 | By Patt Morrison
It might be all my fault. Again. Something I wrote years ago about the goings-on in Clint Eastwood's beloved Carmel evidently helped to influence him to run for mayor of that town.That office brought him into a higher profile political orbit, and that ultimately leveraged him onto the stage in Tampa, Fla., last week, costarring with an empty chair in the train-wreck schtick at the Republican National Convention. VIDEO: Watch the RNC speeches Carmel, in the mid-1980s, was a jewel box of a town - quaint, lovely, a longtime artists' Eden.
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