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SPORTS
November 3, 2012 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers have the worst record in the NBA at 0-3, slightly below four other teams at 0-2 (Detroit, Boston, Sacramento and Denver). Of course, the Lakers are the only team to have played in three games over the four nights of this season, a difficult task given the team's injuries. Coach Mike Brown is working in a new offense.  As a group, the Lakers have spent less time going over defense. In comparison to the rest of the league, the Lakers are 18th in points per game at 97.3 but third in field-goal percentage (49.8%)
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SPORTS
October 30, 2012 | Los Angeles Times
The monopoly USC has enjoyed over UCLA at the quarterback position for the last decade - with the Trojans capitalizing on the talents of Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley - may be coming to an end. Brett Hundley, UCLA's quarterback, has numbers that stack up favorably to Barkley's this season. And better still for Bruins fans, Hundley has more time left. He's a redshirt freshman; Barkley is a senior. A look at both quarterbacks by the numbers: CategoryBarkleyHundley Yards passing 2,266 2,190 Touchdowns 25 18 Interceptions 8 8 Yards rushing -56 267 TDs rushing 0 5 Total offense 2,210 2,457 Team record 6-2 6-2
NATIONAL
October 17, 2012 | By Danielle Ryan, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The number of violent crimes in the United States rose by 17% in 2011, the first year-to-year increase since 1993, according to a report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. But the report said that the jump was more a matter of returning to the norm after historically low numbers in 2010. In 2010, incidents of violent crime experienced an unexpected double-digit drop of 13%. The National Crime Victimization Survey measures rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault.
SCIENCE
October 12, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
The worst drought in half a century has plagued two-thirds of the nation, devastating farms and stoking wildfires that scorched almost 9 million acres this year. Withering heat blanketed the East Coast and Midwest, killing scores of people and making July the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S. And in the Arctic this summer, polar snow and ice melted away to the smallest size ever observed by man. Extreme events like drought, heat waves, intense rainfall, flooding and fires have prompted many people to reconsider the connection between the weather and the changing climate.
SPORTS
October 3, 2012 | By Mike DiGiovanna
SEATTLE -- When Torii Hunter reflects on Mike Trout's historic rookie season, it's not the .326 average, .399 on-base percentage, .564 slugging percentage, 30 home runs, 129 runs, 49 stolen bases, the highlight-reel catches and All-Star selection that jump out the most. "It's how humble he is," Hunter said. "He never got caught up in the limelight. It's unbelievable. It's going to help him a lot in the future because he won't expect things from people, or expect somebody to say this about him. He's just going to work and have fun and treat people the way he wants to be treated.
SPORTS
September 30, 2012 | By Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times
WAR. What is it good for? Absolutely something if you think Angels rookie Mike Trout should win the American League most valuable player award over Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera based solely on this advanced metric, which stands for Wins Above Replacement. But what is WAR, exactly? It attempts to quantify a player's overall contribution - hitting, baserunning and defense, for position players - and is expressed as the number of wins a player adds to his team by comparing his performance with that of a fictitious "replacement player," assumed to be an average triple-A call-up.
SPORTS
September 29, 2012 | By Bill Shaikin
ARLINGTON, Texas - The most valuable player ballot is a rather plain document, delivered not by fancy envelope but by email. Fill in the blank spaces, return to sender. The ballot is accompanied by a letter. This is how that letter starts: "Dear Voter: There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide. " Keep that in mind, as perhaps the most polarizing MVP debate ever reaches its crescendo. The polls close Wednesday, the final day of the regular season.
SPORTS
September 26, 2012 | By Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times
Matt Barkley has been less than perfect. But USC's senior quarterback, who's had four passes intercepted in the last two games, says he's "perfectly happy" if the Trojans win, regardless of his statistics. "This is not a year for me to start complaining about stats or anything like that," Barkley said Tuesday after practice. "Because if we're winning, then I'm perfectly happy. If we're running the ball for 300 yards, than I'm perfectly happy. " The No. 13 Trojans have an open date this week before playing at Utah on Oct. 4. Barkley's statistics through the first third of the season are comparable to what they were at this stage a year ago. After four games last season, he had completed 68.5% of his passes for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns with three interceptions.
SCIENCE
September 24, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
Widespread ballot-box stuffing and fraud likely occurred in the 2012 Russian presidential election that returned Vladimir Putin to the office, according to a new statistical model. The analysis, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also identifies Uganda as a site of widespread election tampering. There have been rumors of election fraud in Russia for the past several elections, and they reached a fever pitch this year. But election fraud is difficult to prove.
SPORTS
September 22, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
For decades many soccer coaches viewed statistics other than goals and saves as nothing more than meaningless curiosities. But now, inspired in part by the "Moneyball"-fueled rush to break every game down to the sum of its parts, the sport is taking a new look at numbers. And while it has found value in some of those figures, it's clear not all of the numbers are adding up. On the plus side, Major League Soccer has experimented with a lightweight wireless data-tracking system that fits under a player's jersey and blends information from a GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer into real-time measurements of effort, speed and the distance each player has covered.
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