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May 7, 2011 | Sandy Banks
I've grown accustomed to the bugs that flit around my desk at home while I write. They're the buddies of my office mate, a puppy who naps straddling the doggy door, with his head propping open the plastic flap to outside. That's an open invitation to insects sweltering in our Valley backyard. Rio spends entire afternoons chasing down the flies that venture inside. But Rio didn't know what to make of the buzzing that greeted us on the hottest afternoon of the year last week.
February 18, 2011 | By Dan Hinkel and Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
Wisconsin was in political limbo, if not chaos, on Thursday as more than 20,000 protesters swarmed the state Capitol to denounce the new Republican governor's plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public-sector unions, and Democratic lawmakers fled the state, denying the GOP majority the quorum it needed to pass the bill. Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill has sparked days of demonstrations and is one of a number of attempts by newly elected Republicans to strike at public-sector unions, one of the pillars of the Democratic Party.
January 11, 2011 | By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times
The house on Soledad Avenue is comfortably in sync with the Sonoran desert, landscaped with cholla, nopal and saguaro cactus and mesquite. But since Saturday, the family home of Arizona shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner has been swarmed by investigators and news media. Loughner's parents, Randy and Amy Loughner, have kept out of the public eye since their son was apprehended at the scene and even skipped their son's first court appearance on Monday. In their first public comments, the Loughner family released a one-paragraph statement Tuesday distributed by aides to their son's public defender, Judy Clarke.
November 27, 2010 | By Andrea Chang and Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Armed with store floor plans, stacks of coupons and money to spend, hordes of shoppers hit the malls early, late and every moment in between on Black Friday. Most important, they said they were buying more this holiday season than last. Even so, shoppers said they had no intention of spending wildly this weekend and were still determined to score the best deals out there. "We are in it to win it," said Ilene Agan, 27, who arrived at a Toys R Us in Torrance two hours before the store opened, hoping to score Barbie dolls for her daughters.
November 25, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Black Friday came early this year for many bargain hunters as several major retailers opened their doors on a day usually reserved for sleeping in and crowding around the turkey. With big chains such as Sears joining Wal-Mart and Kmart in opening on Thanksgiving, swarms of shoppers hit stores in numbers normally not seen until Friday, the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season. In Baldwin Park, a line of cars had to wait up to 10 minutes to turn into the packed parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter.
November 18, 2010 | By Gary Klein
USC's Chris Galippo knows that his third consecutive start at middle linebacker will be his toughest. Oregon State junior Jacquizz Rodgers is the Pacific 10 Conference's third-leading rusher. "Being the middle linebacker, you take it upon yourself to really shut down the run game," Galippo said Thursday. USC failed to slow Rodgers in two previous games. As a freshman in 2008, Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns in 37 carries as the Beavers upset the top-ranked Trojans, 27-21, at Corvallis, Ore. Last season, he gained 113 yards and scored twice in a 42-36 USC victory at the Coliseum.
October 31, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
As security forces swarmed Tehran on Saturday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepared his country in a live television interview for deep cuts in subsidies that have kept the price of everything from bread to gasoline artificially low. Iranian leaders have sought for decades to remove heavy government subsidies on fuel and food. Ahmadinejad has been struggling for months to implement a so-called targeted subsidies law that redirects cash toward infrastructure and the needy and away from middle-class consumers.
September 25, 2010 | By Chris Foster
A month ago, UCLA's defense was powder-blue pylons that Kansas State ran around, and over, for 313 yards. On Saturday, the Bruins messed with Texas. A 34-12 victory over the seventh-ranked Longhorns was rooted in the Bruins defense, which forced four turnovers and gang tackled Texas into submission. Texas finished with only 85 yards rushing, averaging 3.7 yards per carry. Linebacker Akeem Ayers forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. Linebacker Sean Westgate , 5 feet 11 and 220 pounds, made 11 tackles, seven solo.
September 4, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Above ground, the scene is alternately somber and surreal: Anxious loved ones, fingering crucifixes blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. Four scientists from NASA, warning that light deprivation is their greatest worry. A Mexican norteno band in black suits and cowboy hats, offering a USB flash drive with its songs for the men. And now, giving advice on keeping spirits up, survivors of the 1972 Andean plane crash that inspired the movie "Alive. " Below ground, a stomach-dropping 2,300 feet down, almost as deep as two Empire State Buildings laid end to end, are the men. They cannot see the floodlights that illuminate TV reporters from as far away as Japan and France as they interview family members.
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