March 22, 2013 |
Barack Obama's first trip to Israel as president seems to have thawed his frosty relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at least for public consumption. But it appears to have done little to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, curb illegal Jewish settlement-building or craft a unified strategy to keep nuclear weapons out of Iranian hands. It was a diplomatic mission with a strikingly unambitious agenda, Middle East experts say, and one that failed to exceed low expectations.
March 6, 2013 |
Foreign auteurs tend to enjoy a good metaphoric image or three. And few like them more than Chan-wook Park, the South Korean filmmaker behind violent cult hits such as "Oldboy. " In "Stoker," Park's English-language debut starring Nicole Kidman that opened in Los Angeles last weekend, there are a number of memorable images. They're all there for a reason. "Stoker" centers on the loner India (Mia Wasikowska), her aloof and at times rivalrous mother (Kidman) and India's affectionate but mysterious uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode)
February 15, 2013 |
HOUSTON - The gulf between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard became literal Friday, with NBA officials placing the Lakers stars on opposite sides of a giant hotel ballroom for All-Star media interviews. There was no underlying message, subtle or otherwise. Bryant and Howard were stationed in those spots because that's where league officials had set up streaming video feeds. The teammates were also on different ends of the emotional spectrum, Bryant remaining upbeat as he discussed the Lakers' struggles while a dour Howard conceded he wasn't enjoying himself on the court as much as he had earlier in his career.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2013 |
Does mayoral candidate Jan Perry think that current Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a really good guy to have in her corner? Or maybe she thinks hizzoner's support marks the recipient as another hapless representative of the City Hall status quo. It's hard to tell where Perry stands from a pair of recent mailers delivered by her campaign. The Los Angeles city councilwoman came out with a bulk-mail pitch Tuesday that shows her side by side with Mayor V. Both are grinning.
February 9, 2013 |
CHICAGO - The funeral for Hadiya Pendleton on Saturday was a celebration of her life, just as her parents had wanted. But along with those moments of joyful remembrance, there was bitter awareness of the street violence that took her away. Hadiya, a high school honor student whose majorette squad performed in inaugural festivities for President Obama last month, was fatally shot Jan. 29 at a park about a mile from Obama's family home. The killing of the bright 15-year-old incited public outrage that made its way from the streets of the South Side to the White House.
February 8, 2013 |
It is certainly not what he hoped or intended, but one of President Obama's biggest legacies in foreign affairs may prove to be the proliferation of drones as tools of war, assassination and terror. Obama is not the first to use drones to strike enemy targets, but the 300 attacks that have occurred on his watch are six times the number carried out under President George W. Bush. A new set of guidelines that give the president broad discretion in approving execution by drones, coupled with the current congressional hearings on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director, have brought the drone debate front and center. Civil libertarians and activists on the left see the use of missile-firing drones to take out suspected terrorists as a threat to the rule of law. They are particularly concerned that American citizens, such as Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar Awlaki, have been killed in drone strikes without a finding of guilt and sentencing in a U.S. court.
February 8, 2013 |
Ambitious South Korean enterprises continue to make noise on the global economic stage. Electronics giant Samsung is giving Apple fits in markets across the globe with its hot-selling smartphones and tablets. Seoul-based Hyundai and Kia have been among the world's fastest-growing automakers in recent years. Portly singer Psy put South Korea on the pop culture map with his monster hit “Gangnam Style,” which has become the most popular video of all time on YouTube with nearly 1.3 billion views.
January 22, 2013 |
For the first time in more than two decades, Sandy Koufax is officially a Dodger. The Dodgers made one of their most symbolically powerful moves in what has already been an eventful off-season, announcing on Tuesday that Koufax will be a special advisor to Chairman Mark Walter. The Hall of Fame member will attend a portion of spring training to work with pitchers and consult with the team throughout the year. Koufax last had a formal role with the Dodgers in 1989, the final of his 11 seasons as the organization's minor league pitching instructor.
January 15, 2013 |
With "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown's news Tuesday morning that he would be releasing a new Robert Langdon adventure in May, we thought it wise to check in with the movie prospects for Brown's last Langdon tale, "The Lost Symbol," which resided on the New York Times hard-cover fiction bestseller list for 29 weeks and has 30 million copies in print worldwide. Sony's Columbia Pictures, which released the previous two films, "The DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons," owns the option to all of Brown's future projects involving Langdon, including "The Lost Symbol" and the upcoming "Inferno.
January 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As dean of Yale Law School, Harold Hongju Koh was among the fiercest critics of President George W. Bush's "war on terror," arguing that his administration had trampled the Constitution and tarnished America's international standing by claiming the power to capture "enemy combatants" abroad and hold them without charges at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The next administration must "restore the rule of law in the national security arena," end "excessive government secrecy" and set aside the "claims of unfettered executive power," Koh told a House panel in 2008.