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June 30, 2010
Spies of the Balkans A Novel Alan Furst Random House: 288 pp., $26
April 27, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
The recent revelation that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department secretly conducted aerial surveillance of the entire city of Compton for nine days in 2012 prompted outrage from the city's mayor, its residents and civil liberties groups. The Sheriff's Department justified the surveillance by saying it was only a brief test of a program provided by a private security company. A small, manned Cessna plane equipped with an array of cameras flew six hours a day and only in daylight, beaming video information back to the local sheriff's station.
July 24, 2010
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he had met with Russian spies swapped in an exchange with the United States earlier this month, and promised them a bright future in Russia. "I have no doubts they will have interesting, bright lives," Putin, a former KGB agent, told reporters during a working visit to Ukraine. Ten people pleaded guilty this month to being agents for Russia while living undercover in the United States in one of the biggest spy scandals since the Cold War. They were deported to Russia, which in turn agreed to release four people imprisoned for suspected contact with Western intelligence agencies.
April 26, 2014 | By Susan King
There's never been a TV series quite like "The Prisoner," which premiered in England in 1967 and debuted in the U.S. the summer of 1968 on CBS. Best described as James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka, the cult series revolved around a British secret agent (Patrick McGoohan) who wants to resign from the service. Deemed too dangerous to retire, they kidnap him and send him to an idyllic, though completely isolated, seaside resort called the Village. There residents are assigned numbers instead of names and their every movement is followed by monitoring systems and security forces.
March 3, 2011 | By Terry Gardner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
If your knowledge of spies and terrorists is limited to the names of Benedict Arnold, Timothy McVeigh and Osama bin Laden, visit Philadelphia this spring and learn about anarchists and traitors that have haunted America since its birth. On March 4, “ Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America ” opens in the National Constitution Center ’s new exhibition space in the Center’s lower level. Created by the International Spy Museum in Washington, the exhibition combines artifacts, multimedia elements and interactive exhibits to reveal tales of espionage, treason and deception in the U.S. from 1776 to today.
December 18, 2012 | By Sharon Mizota
Walking into Mark Swope's exhibition of photographs at Craig Krull Gallery is to be greeted by a surprisingly expressive juniper. Like an onion left too long in the produce bin, it is rounded and full at the base, erupting into a burst of tempestuous, flame-like tendrils up top. This exuberant flourish seems wholly out of proportion with the modest stucco home behind it, creating an appealing tension between the wild and the mundane. In progress for about a decade, Swope's series “Foliage” provides a humorous, sometimes startling glimpse into the hidden life of domestic shrubbery.
June 23, 2010
Alan Furst discusses 'Spies of the Balkans' with film and TV writer Dick Clement When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday Where: The Writer's Guild Theatre, 135 South Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. Tickets: The event is hosted by Los Angeles literary group Writers Bloc and tickets are available for $20 from
January 28, 1993 | Associated Press
Russia's Security Ministry, the successor to the KGB, admitted Wednesday that the country's spies are defecting to the West in growing numbers.
March 6, 2014 | By Alan Eyerly
The brutal slaying of a KGB spy couple and their teenage daughter sends a shockwave through the Soviet espionage network and alarms the public in Episode 2 (“Cardinal”) of “The Americans,” the Cold War drama on FX. Investigators have yet to discover the true identities of the dead parents, Emmett (Jeremy Davidson) and Leanne (Natalie Gold). For now they're regarded as typical Virginia residents tragically gunned down in their hotel room. Russian spies Elizabeth (Keri Russell)
October 24, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim
ALEPPO, Syria - Rebel Col. Abduljabbar Aqidi was at his desk in a repurposed school when an assistant came in and slipped him a piece of paper about his plans for the evening. "Should we go to this operations room, or this one?" the assistant asked cryptically. Aqidi, who heads the Aleppo Military Council, was planning a dinner with a group of Syrian rebels on the front lines that night. But even here, in the heart of opposition territory, he and his aides were wary of discussing their movements aloud.
April 24, 2014 | By Alan Eyerly
Wracked with guilt over murders he commits as a KGB agent, Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) falls into a deep, angry depression on “Martial Eagle,” Episode 9 of “The Americans” on FX. His latest killings occur at a camp where Navy SEALs covertly train Contra field commanders intent on overthrowing Nicaragua's Sandinista government. Philip and spy wife Elizabeth (Keri Russell) assassinate the Contras, but innocent lives are lost. “You didn't have a choice,” Elizabeth says, trying to ease her husband's pain.
April 23, 2014 | By Angel Jennings, Richard Winton and James Rainey
To the 96,000 residents of Compton, the little Cessna would have looked like scores of other small planes that flew over the city each day. But anyone paying close attention might have noticed the single-engine craft kept circling the city in a continuous loop. What they could not have known was that it packed unusual cargo - a bank of a dozen wide-angle industrial imaging cameras. They recorded low-resolution images of every corner of the 10.1-square-mile city. For nine days in early 2012, the small plane beamed the images to the local Sheriff's Department station, where deputies observed fender benders, necklace snatchings and a shooting.
April 22, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
In person, Welsh actor Matthew Rhys is charmingly evasive. Rather than offering long-winded answers about himself, Rhys is just as likely to respond to a question with another question, a tendency which makes it easier to understand how he effortlessly slips into so many disparate identities on FX's Cold War drama "The Americans. " Each week, Rhys plays a Soviet spy posing as a suburban American dad named "Philip Jennings. " In the line of duty, he assumes numerous other personas, relying on an impressive array of wigs, facial hair and eyewear to maintain his cover.
April 22, 2014 | By Ken Dilianian
WASHINGTON - A new policy bars employees of U.S. spy agencies from providing reporters with "intelligence information," even if it is unclassified, without first getting official permission. Employees who violate the directive, which was issued on March 20 by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, face disciplinary action or firing. Critics said the order adds to a climate in which intelligence agency employees face greater risk in trying to help the public understand what the government is doing.
April 20, 2014 | By Sherif Tarek
Prince Bandar bin Sultan's replacement last week as Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief has fueled speculation about a shift in the monarchy's shaky relations with the United States and its position toward the Syrian conflict - not to mention about the prince's political future. Yet many political experts and pundits believe Bandar's departure will barely affect Saudi foreign policies. And they say it's possible the prince could return to the political scene stronger than ever. “The last person to be relieved of his duties [in 2012]
April 14, 2014 | By Judi Dash
This is sneaky: What looks like a typical car remote is actually a spy camera. Swann's HD RemoteCam has a tiny lens and microphone at one end, a key chain at the other, and, on top, a power button and a record button masquerading as “remote control” buttons. Function lights flicker on to indicate you're recording but then quickly go off for stealth purposes. Two additional dummy buttons are part of the disguise. The RemoteCam captures full-color video files or still photos, with time and date stamping.
December 13, 2004
Re "The Loud Fight Over Reporters' Silence," Commentary, Dec. 7: New York Times reporter Judith Miller claims: "This is all about the public -- the public's right to know." To know what? The names of our spies? Absurd! This is not about the public's right to know; it is about the Bush administration's power to destroy anyone who gets in its way -- in this case, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose wife was a CIA undercover operative. Justice should protect those who serve the public interest, not those who serve as conduits for the cynical abuse of power.
November 12, 2010 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
A high-ranking intelligence officer betrayed Russia by exposing a secret spy ring operating in the United States until June and defecting, a newspaper reported Thursday. The officer, identified only as Col. Shcherbakov, was instrumental in the high-profile arrests of Russian spies in New York, Boston, Virginia, New Jersey and Cyprus, according to a cover story in the Moscow-based Kommersant daily. Shcherbakov, who the paper said handled the spy ring in the United States, reportedly left Russia shortly before U.S. officials announced the arrests in June.
April 14, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The Washington Post and the Guardian captured coveted Pulitzer Prizes for public service on Monday for their revelations about the U.S. government's massive surveillance programs. The newspapers' stories were based on thousands of secret documents obtained from Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who is living in Russia after fleeing the United States. The revelations set off a national debate about the scope of the U.S. government's collection of private information for security reasons.
April 13, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
A high-stakes battle is underway in Washington over launching the U.S. government's most sophisticated national security satellites. Space entrepreneur Elon Musk is pitted against the nation's two largest weapons makers, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., in a fight for military contracts worth as much as $70 billion through 2030. For eight years, the Pentagon has paid Boeing and Lockheed - operating jointly as United Launch Alliance - to launch the government's pricey spy satellites without seeking competitive bids.
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