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February 6, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
SOCHI, Russia - From the gently rolling Black Sea to the jagged Caucasus Mountains, from gleaming modern stadiums to colorfully ancient Matryoshka dolls, the Sochi Olympics open Friday with every conceivable natural wonder except one. There is a visible lack of joy. The strong-armed dream of Russian President Vladimir Putin has thus far succeeded not in embellishing the Olympic motto, but altering it, from "swifter, higher, stronger" to, "unfinished,...
January 31, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Friday is the first day of Chinese New Year, a multi-day celebration marked by money-stuffed red envelopes, dragon imagery and, in the Southland, a flood of tourists from Asia. For the first time, many local shopping centers are greeting the surge in potential customers with fanfare and parades dedicated to the Year of the Horse, festooning their courtyards with paper lanterns and hiring experts in traditional Chinese arts. The hullabaloo over the holiday - also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year - is a calculated move at many of those retail properties, designed to attract the region's vast and growing Asian presence into stores after a lackluster year for retail sales.
January 31, 2014 | Chris Dufresne
Bode Miller can't get his toddler to sit still. The 9-month-old boy is squirming around the hotel room as if he's ready to jump in the start gate of the Sochi Olympic downhill. If you tell the kid to do one thing, Bode explains, he does the opposite. The kid is determined to have his own way. "He's like a salmon," Miller said, "he wants to swim against the stream. " Right on cue, as if directed by Martin Scorsese, Miller's wife, Morgan, looks up and says what everyone is thinking: "I wonder where he gets that from?"
January 30, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
California doesn't require that much of its candidates for state and local office. One of the few rules is that they must live in the district they seek to represent. How hard is that? Apparently too hard for some politicians. State Sen. Roderick D. Wright, a Democrat, was convicted this week on perjury and voter fraud charges. Prosecutors said he lied on his voter registration and candidacy filings by saying he made his home in an apartment in working-class Inglewood. In fact, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, Wright was really living with his Maserati, artwork and three guns in a swanky 11-room home in Baldwin Hills, outside the district.
January 29, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
The passing of a Hollywood executive is often greeted with pleasant industry remembrances and kind emails. But the death of Tom Sherak at the age of 68 set off a round of intensely warm reactions not just from fellow Hollywood players but also from personalities as wide-ranging as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. Their depth of feeling and the breadth of people expressing them underscore a legacy that goes well beyond movies. Sherak, who died Tuesday at his home in Calabasas after a fierce battle with prostate cancer, served as a long-running executive at 20th Century Fox and then Revolution Studios, as an advisor to Marvel Studios and as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
January 25, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Student sections keep coming up with ideas on how to inspire players, and at San Marcos High, the student section, known as The Pride, offered its own flashy way of firing up the basketball team in pregame player introductions. Above is video from Friday's game.  
January 11, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
It might be a little early in the year to hear the phrase “…and the winners are…” But those words rung throughout BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood on Saturday -- a happy day for a handful of fimmakers. Film Independent, which produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, held a brunch at which it announced the three winners of its Spirit Awards filmmaker grants. For “creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films” amid challenging circumstances with limited resources, Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston received a $25,000 unrestricted grant for the Piaget Producers Award.
January 5, 2014 | CHRIS DUFRESNE
In December 2006, Bobby Bowden blew off an interview with a Los Angeles reporter who was in Tallahassee, Fla., to preview Florida State's upcoming Emerald Bowl game with UCLA. The reporter was me. Bowden had no time to explain as he rushed out of Doak Campbell Stadium on his way to a waiting plane. He said he'd give me all the time I wanted if I could stay an extra day (and he graciously did), but this was a pressing issue concerning the future of the program. Neither of us could have imagined that trip would lead to Florida State playing Auburn on Monday night in the last Bowl Championship Series title game.
January 2, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Former First Lady Barbara Bush remained hospitalized Thursday after being admitted  earlier this week for early signs of pneumonia. Bush, 88, was being treated at Methodist Hospital in Houston's Texas Medical Center for treatment of a respiratory-related issue, a family spokesman said. “She's still doing great, still in great spirits. We have not heard any plans for discharge just yet -- we're still in a wait-and-see mode,” spokesman Jim McGrath told The Times on Thursday.
December 25, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia
Outside a Subway restaurant in West Hollywood, Michael Hope adjusted his Santa hat, stuffed a festive Christmas bag with cellophane-wrapped cookies and prepared to make his first delivery. "OK, let's see who's working," said Hope, 36, as he walked into the Subway. Andrew Neal, 29, peered through the window. Like Hope and Neal in Los Angeles, volunteers around the country spent Christmas delivering homemade cookies to gas station attendants, baristas, grocery store clerks and others who had pulled the holiday shift.
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