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December 11, 2013 | Christi Parsons
With his popularity flagging and his healthcare law at risk, President Obama has uncharacteristically reached outside his tightknit core of advisors to bring into the White House a veteran Democratic strategist who helped guide President Clinton through the darkest days of his presidency. The appointment of John Podesta, who was the White House chief of staff during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment proceedings in Congress, is an acknowledgment by Obama of the extent of the problems that have dogged the first year of his second term.
December 5, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
California's health exchange is struggling to keep pace with a surge of applicants who are encountering long waits and website problems as they try to meet a Dec. 23 deadline. In response to higher-than-expected demand, the Covered California exchange said it is adding staff and expanding its capacity to answer consumer calls. It received 17,000 calls in less than an hour Wednesday, more than it received in an entire day in recent weeks. The exchange is also trying to dig through a backlog of 25,000 paper applications filed in October and November.
December 4, 2013 | By Chris Foster
Kennedy Polamalu is expected to be hired as UCLA's running back coach. Polamalu, 50, has been an assistant in college and the NFL for 21 seasons, starting as a graduate assistant at UCLA at 1992. He was offensive coordinator at USC from 2010-12, his second stint with the Trojans. He spent six seasons as an NFL assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. Polamalu was a running back at USC, helping the Trojans reach the 1985 Rose Bowl. ALSO: U.S. faces tough draw in World Cup U.S. Olympic officials visit potential bid cities MLB players appoint Tony Clark leader, discuss tougher drug penalties
December 1, 2013 | Staff and wire reports
Florida football Coach Will Muschamp didn't wait long to start making changes. The school confirmed Sunday that Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis less than 24 hours after the Gators (4-8) completed their first losing season since 1979. Muschamp dismissed Pease and Davis a day after a humbling 37-7 loss to rival Florida State. The moves had been expected for weeks, as the losses mounted and it became clear Muschamp would revamp his offense.
November 25, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Sharon Pullard sat in her car last August and watched her oldest son walk away. She had just dropped him off at school, and as parents often do on their children's first day of kindergarten or college, she let her gaze linger on his receding figure. Suddenly, she burst into tears. "I started getting flashbacks," she said. Her son was no longer a child. He was 21 years old. In his fourth year at USC. It didn't matter. Sharon thought about the young man who stoically endured in high school after his father's death.
November 19, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
The Angels hired former Washington Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein as their major league player information coach, a newly created position that will combine elements of scouting and on-field coaching. In a team-issued release, Manager Mike Scioscia said Eckstein, 40, “will integrate scouting reports and have input on the defensive side of our team.” Eckstein will also be involved with “pre-game preparation,” though his role was not specified. Eckstein, the brother of former Angels shortstop David Eckstein, spent almost five years as Washington's hitting coach before being fired last July.
November 13, 2013 | By Mike Boehm and Kate Linthicum
This post has been corrected. Please see below for details. Has the Autry National Center of the American West given taxpayers their money's worth on $10.5-million in federal and state grants received for its venerable Southwest Museum of the American Indian site in Mt. Washington? Not in the eyes of about two dozen protesters who gathered on the Southwest's doorstep Tuesday morning, chanting “Open these doors!” and holding signs with slogans such as  “Where's our millions?
November 8, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Students and staff at a small Bay Area high school donned sarongs and skirts Friday to show support for their classmate whose skirt was set on fire as he slept on an Oakland bus. Luke "Sasha" Fleischman, 18, was asleep on the bus Monday when another teenager allegedly set his skirt on fire, authorities said. Fleischman suffered major second- and third-degree burns. "Within the last couple of days, the students got the idea to don skirts in support of Sasha," said Trevor Cralle, school director at Maybeck High School in Berkeley.
November 6, 2013 | Staff and Wire reports
The Chicago Cubs are set to hire San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as their manager, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Wednesday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the hiring has not been announced. The team was expected to make it official on Thursday. The move ends a long search that began with the last-place Cubs targeting New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, only to be denied a shot when he decided to stay put. Instead, the Cubs are hoping Renteria can help develop their young players and lead them to their first championship since 1908.
November 5, 2013 | By Nita Lelyveld
The L.A. Opera invited the press in to talk turkey. Not figuratively, as in shop talk about contraltos and coloratura. Turkey as in the cooked bird - which has a part to play in "Falstaff. " The opera is staging six performances of Verdi's comic masterpiece to celebrate his 200th birthday. For each one, it turns out, prop master Allen Tate will cook a turkey. Each bird will roast in the backstage oven for five hours before making its debut in Act II, Scene I. News of the "Falstaff" turkeys gave opera staff an idea: Why not hold their first food-centric press event?
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