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February 24, 2013 | By Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times
The Uchinaaguchi class opened with a "good morning. " " Ukimi soo chii ," said the teacher, Chogi Higa. " Ukimi soo chii ," the students repeated. For student Tokie Koyama, the greeting was a bittersweet echo of her childhood on Okinawa. "It makes me cry," she told the class. "I miss home. " Famous for its military bases and World War II battlefields, the Japanese island chain of Okinawa is also home to a language as different from Japanese as English is from German.
February 15, 2013 | by Walter Hamilton
Consumer sentiment rebounded solidly early in February after a disappointing showing the previous two months, according to a survey released Friday. The monthly Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 76.3, up from 73.8 in January. Quiz: How much do you know about looming federal budget cuts? The readings in December and January were weighed down by Americans' concerns about the potential drag from the so-called fiscal cliff, which federal lawmakers averted with a last-minute deal.
January 31, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
It's not surprising that the good folks at NBC decided to give a modernized Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde serial a go. Having made their way through vampires, zombies, werewolves and the occasional ghost/T. rex/space invader, network execs and television writers are banging up against the back wall of the monster cupboard these days, and Robert Louis Stevenson's "case study" of a physician who fatally attempts to isolate the good and bad portions of his personality remains a classic, regularly reprised in a variety of ways.
December 24, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The people who put "Les Misérables" on screen dreamed a mighty dream, they really did. They dreamed of filming one of the most popular of modern theatrical musicals - 60 million tickets sold in 42 countries and 21 languages since its 1980 Paris debut - in a way that had not been done before, enhancing the emotion of what was already a hugely emotional piece. And, despite some built-in obstacles, they succeeded to a surprising extent. The biggest obstacle to their success, paradoxically, was the show itself, a whopper of a tale wrestled from Victor Hugo's massive novel.
December 17, 2012 | By Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
— The files are crammed into boxes, stacks upon stacks of boxes, shoved to the side of the room. This is prime real estate, a rectangular conference room on the 25th floor of a Manhattan office building. No one uses the room these days. This is the retirement office of Donald Fehr. Fehr led the baseball players' union for 26 years and three work stoppages. He retired in 2009, and the union provided him with a room to write his memoirs, keep his files, conduct his business, or just come in and say hello every now and then.
December 11, 2012 | By Ricardo Lopez
Consumer confidence in California weakened slightly in the fourth quarter of this year, according to a Chapman University index released Tuesday. The California Composite Index of Consumer Confidence decreased to 92.7 from a revised third-quarter reading of 93.4, which was its highest level since the recession, according to the university. Despite the latest decline, the index shows consumer confidence has been steadily rising as the labor market has improved. Quiz: The year in business The gauge is based on a survey of consumers about their outlook on current and future economic conditions and their spending plans.
November 3, 2012 | By Seema Mehta and Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Soaring music filled the air and a gleaming white plane with "Believe in America" painted along its length - and a stylized "R" on its tail - rolled into view of more than 1,000 people gathered in an airplane hangar. The crowd roared as Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, left the plane, and the Republican nominee told them that he could feel growing momentum as the campaign drew to a close. "Now I know that across America people have watched as our campaign has grown into a movement.
October 24, 2012 | By Philip Brandes
For a floundering screenwriter and deadbeat dad, the unexpected appearance of the daughter he abandoned 16 years earlier spells screwball trouble - albeit fewer surprises than one might hope for - in Neil Simon's “I Ought to Be in Pictures” at the Falcon Theatre. This revival of Simon's 1980 comedy-drama features Robert Wuhl as Herb Tucker, one of the playwright's prototypical protagonists: an acerbic, narcissistic man-child and transplanted New Yorker who waxes poetic about the scarcity of good deli food in L.A. Having successfully evaded commitment to his undemanding and level-headed girlfriend (Kelly Hare)
October 5, 2012 | By Kim Murphy, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
SEATTLE -- If a chair hangs in a tree, does it represent murder? The debate on whether lawn chairs with the president's name on them and hanging from trees are innocent references to Clint Eastwood's famous "empty chair" rant at the Republican National Convention -- or symbolic lynchings of America's first African American president -- now spans the country. A white plastic chair suspended above a yard in Camas, Wash., is the latest exhibit. Like the others before it, including in Austin, Texas, and Centreville, Va ., the chair is marked "No-Bama.
September 28, 2012 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
For the growing fan base of period drama, the BBC's "Call the Midwife," which debuts Sunday on PBS, fits in chronologically and somewhat thematically between "Downton Abbey" and "Mad Men. " Set in London's very pre-revitalized East End during the late 1950s and based on the memoir of Jennifer Worth, it chronicles the adventures of a group of midwives working at the Nonnatus House, a nursing convent named for the early cesarean-surviving patron saint...
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