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January 18, 2014 | By Glenn Whipp
Emma Thompson shimmied. Rita Moreno sang. Matthew McConaughey traveled to Neptune. And SAG voters did pretty much as expected. Since the actors branch comprises nearly 20% of the Motion Picture Academy's membership, is it safe to assume the SAG Awards winners will need to make additional room on their mantels come March 2? The academy hasn't always followed SAG's lead, but this year we're guessing Oscar voters will add their stamp of approval across the board. Let's look at the SAG winners and size up their Oscar prospects in the new light: SAG Awards 2014: Red carpet arrivals | Show highlights | Quotes from the stars FILM ENSEMBLE The winner: "American Hustle" History: The movie that won this award went on to win the best picture Oscar nine of 18 years.
January 17, 2014 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is set to announce a series of changes to the nation's surveillance programs in a speech at 8 a.m. PST. The White House has stood firm in its defense of much of the National Security Agency's work over the past several years. But Obama has been under pressure to respond to the continued revelations about the scale and breadth of the NSA's surveillance practices at home and abroad. The program that has drawn the most attention following Snowden's leaks, the large-scale collection of American phone records, will be largely left alone, according to White House aides.
January 17, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - President Obama proposed new safeguards for the government's vast surveillance of communications in the U.S. and abroad, adding more judicial review and disclosure requirements, but largely leaving in place programs that he said were needed to "remain vigilant in the face of threats. " In a speech Friday meant to quell concerns about U.S. spy practices, Obama said he recognized the unease many Americans have felt in the seven months since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden began to reveal details about the NSA's activities.
January 16, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
Hoping to get back to business as usual, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie met with victims of Hurricane Sandy on Thursday morning to talk about rebuilding efforts, pledging that “nothing will distract me from getting that job done.” The speech at a fire station in the coastal community of Manahawkin had originally been scheduled for last week, but the governor canceled that appearance after news broke that a top staffer had sent emails ordering access...
January 15, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - In a case pitting free speech against abortion rights, Supreme Court justices signaled Wednesday they were inclined to strike down a Massachusetts law that sets a 35-foot buffer zone to prevent protesters from approaching clinics that offer the procedure. Opponents called the law a violation of free speech and complained it prohibits "peaceful conversation on a public sidewalk," said Mark Rienzi, the attorney representing antiabortion activist Eleanor McCullen, 77, from Boston.
December 28, 2013
Re "'Duck' and a free society," Opinion, Dec. 24 Like many conservatives chiming in on the "Duck Dynasty" controversy, Jonah Goldberg appears to hold a fundamental misunderstanding of free speech: It is the freedom to say what you want without fear of government persecution, which is different from freedom from criticism. "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson exercised his free-speech rights when he uttered offensive comments about gay men and women. His critics then used their free-speech rights.
December 24, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
Normally at this time of year, the culture war fight is over a guy with a white beard. That's true again this year. What's different is that Phil Robertson has taken Santa's place, and instead of a war on Christmas, we have a war on "Duck Dynasty. " The patriarch of the popular A&E reality show said some crude things about homosexuals to GQ magazine. A&E was sufficiently offended that it suspended him from a show about his own family. So far, the controversy understandably has been framed as a fight over free speech.
December 20, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
For those of you who think that insensitive speech is just an issue for reality television and “Duck Dynasty,” consider Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has quietly signed a bill that will make it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames. The measure, pushed by GOP lawmakers and signed by the Republican governor on Thursday, makes it more difficult to get a state review on whether a school or team nickname is offensive to some groups. The measure also eliminates pending state orders to drop racially or ethnically based mascots.
December 6, 2013 | By Thomas Curwen
In the summer of 1990, Nelson Mandela stood on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, eager to greet a city that had joined the worldwide celebration accompanying his release from prison. Shouting his name and the Zulu word for power, amandla , the crowd embraced the man who had so quickly become a hero. In New York, he had been showered in ticker tape. In Atlanta, he placed a wreath on the tomb of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and in Washington, he spoke to Congress about the meaning of his long exile.
December 5, 2013 | David G. Savage
Veteran peace activist Dennis Apel says he was exercising his 1st Amendment rights when he was arrested after marking the start of the 2003 Iraq war by throwing some of his blood at a Vandenberg Air Force Base sign north of Santa Barbara. But after a second trespassing arrest at Vandenberg four years later, the military banned Apel from protesting in the area, including in a space across from the base's main gate along Highway 1, which had been specifically set aside for peaceful public protests.
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