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January 19, 2014 | By Catharine Hamm
Europe in summer? What, are you crazy? Everybody knows it's expensive -- but that may not be the case everywhere. If you visit the Europe panel at 4 p.m. Sunday the L.A. Times Travel Show, you'll find out some of the secrets of getting the most value for your dollar and find ideas and inspiration for your next trip. On Sunday, representatives from Flanders (Belgium), Britain and Switzerland will tell audiences about what's new for 2014 (a new visitor center at Stonehenge, the new Red Star Line Museum  in Antwerp)
January 16, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - State authorities have yet to receive $15 million in penalties they imposed on campaign groups after a headline-making investigation into secret political donations. The money is owed to California's general fund, where it could support government programs. Two Arizona nonprofits paid $1 million in fines for their role in hiding the source of political cash sent to California in 2012. But the two campaign groups that received and spent the money were ordered to pay $15 million and have sent nothing - seven weeks after the Nov. 30 deadline.
January 15, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Birds discovered V-formation flight long before fighter pilots did, but the exact reasons why they make these distinctive shapes in the sky has remained a mystery. Now scientists working with a critically endangered bird have discovered the avians' remarkable secret: They surf on one another's air currents by synchronizing their wing beats with the bird in front of them. The findings, described in the journal Nature, reveal an exquisite in-flight precision in the northern bald ibis that could potentially prove useful for flying commercial aircraft and building bioinspired flying robots.
January 14, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - Judges on the federal government's secret surveillance court have strongly rejected any proposed changes to their review process, putting unexpected pressure on the White House on Tuesday as President Obama prepares a speech aimed at bolstering public confidence in how the government collects intelligence. In a blunt letter to the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates made it clear that the 11 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are united in opposition to key recommendations by a presidential task force last month aimed at increasing transparency and judicial oversight, including at least one that Obama has tentatively endorsed.
January 13, 2014 | By Christopher Reynolds
What secrets lurk behind the buttes of Monument Valley, the cable cars of San Francisco and the pandas of San Diego? Uranium, rats and pumpkin-scented scat, to start with. This weekend, photographer Mark Boster and I will explain these discoveries and other surprises from our series “Postcards From the West”   at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show at the L.A. Convention Center. This 92-second video offers a high-velocity, cubicle-friendly glimpse of L.A.'s Union Station, the streets of San Francisco and the dirt roads of Monument Valley.
January 13, 2014 | By Paul Richter, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
WASHINGTON - Key elements of a new nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers are contained in an informal, 30-page text not yet publicly acknowledged by Western officials, Iran's chief negotiator said Monday. Abbas Araqchi disclosed the existence of the document in a Persian-language interview with the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency. The new agreement, announced over the weekend, sets out a timetable for how Iran and the six nations, led by the United States, will implement a deal reached in November that is aimed at restraining Iran's nuclear ambitions.
January 9, 2014 | By Jack Dolan and Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant stared in disbelief Tuesday at a list of hundreds of Department of Water and Power employees who have asked that their names and salaries be withheld from the public, citing safety concerns. On the list were mechanics, typists and meter readers. "This is frivolous on its face; I mean, these are DWP employees," Chalfant said, noting that the names of government employees are public and even undercover police officers have a hard time demonstrating they would be in danger if their names appeared on a list of department employees.
January 8, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Scientists have discovered more than 180 species of biofluorescent fish that glow in neon shades of blue, red, orange and green -- most of them hiding out in tropical coral reefs. Some of the fish glow just around their eyes. Others have intricate fluorescent patterns on their bellies or backs. And some of the fish glow all the way through their bodies. If you slice a false moray eel like a salami and shine a blue light on it, the entire cross-section would illuminate. And it turns out that reef fish that are the most mottled and brown and difficult to see are the ones that tend to fluoresce the most.
January 3, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama is preparing a package of intelligence reforms that will probably put a public advocate for the first time in the secret court that approves surveillance practices and remove a controversial telephone records database from direct government control, aides said. With plans to unveil the changes days before the State of the Union address on Jan. 28, key presidential advisors are looking skeptically at a separate proposal to require a federal judge to approve each use of a "national security letter" except in emergencies, however.
January 3, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Lacey Chabert just designated herself a party of two: The "Party of Five" alum has gotten married.  Though she excitedly announced the news of her secret nuptials on Twitter on Friday, the "Mean Girls" actress did not name her groom.   "Just wanted to share some personal news with you guys... " the 31-year-old tweeted Friday, adding , "I'm starting off 2014 as a Mrs! Over the holidays, my best friend & love of my life...we became husband & wife! #soblessed #love" She of "fetch" fame also shared a photo of herself with her maid of honor, Crissy.
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