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February 1, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
The stereotypical Sundance movie is thought of as something capital-Q quirky, typically a story of family dysfunction or coming-of-age. This year's festival, across its numerous sections, featured a newfound immersion in genre storytelling that pushed the films to places that were familiar but with unexpected and most welcome twists. Gareth Evans' "The Raid 2," for instance, does for the blood-soaked Asian action film what "The Dark Knight" did for the superhero film, injecting it with a seriousness, a depth of characterization and a scope of storytelling that raises it to a new level of legitimacy.
January 26, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
GENEVA - Hundreds of women, children and other trapped civilians could leave the rebel-held center of the Syrian city of Homs -- and aid convoys would be allowed access to the besieged district -- in what appears to be the first concrete accomplishment of peace talks here, the United Nations said Sunday. “Hopefully, starting tomorrow, women and children will be able to leave the Old City of Homs,” Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. special envoy who is mediating the negotiations, told reporters here after a negotiating session with both sides.
January 20, 2014 | By Michael Muskal and Matt Pearce
An Omaha plant that produces animal nutritional supplements partially collapsed after an explosion Monday, injuring several employees and perhaps trapping others. In a tweet, local police said: “#OPD praying for workers and families of all involved in this industrial accident.” Local media reported that there was an industrial explosion and fire at International Nutrition near South 76th and F streets around 10 a.m. local time. Television images showed smoke rising from the building.
January 4, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Coast Guard was dispatching a special ice-breaking cutter to help free two ships lodged in the Antarctic, officials announced Saturday. The Polar Star, the Coast Guard's only active heavy polar ice breaker, was being sent to help free the Russian and Chinese vessels from thick bands of ice, officials said. According to a Coast Guard statement, the Polar Star left its home port of Seattle in early December on one of its primary missions, Operation Deep Freeze.
December 6, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Wildlife experts said Friday that most of the 50 pilot whales caught in shallow waters of the Florida Everglades this week had disappeared, a sign that they have likely swam off to their deep-water home.  A rescue team on Wednesday found dozens of short-finned pilot whales swimming in very shallow water inside the western boundary of Everglades National Park. Seven beached themselves and died; four others were euthanized. The rescue team tried to herd the other whales away, but the highly social whales did not want to break away from their pod. Also, the whales had to traverse sandbars and shallow water.
December 4, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Ten short-finned pilot whales were dead and more than 40 marooned in shallow water in a remote area of Everglades National Park in Florida, and officials warned Wednesday they were not likely to survive. "Most of these mass strandings that occur do not have a successful outcome, and we're lucky if we're able to even save a couple," said Blair Mase, southeast marine mammal stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The whales are at the western boundary of the park, more than 20 miles from their deep-water habitat and about two hours from the nearest boat ramp.
December 4, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
R. Kelly's “Trapped in the Closet” is back, again. The singer's campy hip-hopera will return to IFC  next year with additional installments, the cable network said Tuesday. Although a premiere date or number of episodes hasn't been announced, the network is already celebrating with a marathon of the previous 33 chapters of the series set for Saturday ( episodes are also available for streaming ). The hip-hopera originally began as a five-video series to accompany the melodramatic segment of songs on his 2005 disc, “TP.3 Reloaded.” A bizarre and complex storyline featuring sexual exploits, little people, gossipy drama and Kelly playing multiple characters, "Trapped in the Closet" became a cult hit after it was released.
November 21, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- A supermarket roof collapsed and killed at least four people Thursday night in Riga, the capital of Latvia, the RIA Novosti news agency reported. Three bodies of customers were discovered by rescue workers, one of whom was also killed, authorities said. At least 30 people are injured, and as many as 70 more people may be under the debris, according to the mayor of Riga, Nil Ushakov. The BBC reported that the dead rescue worker was a firefighter. The store, Maxima XX, collapsed "like a house of cards," said Deputy Mayor Andris Ameriks.
November 20, 2013 | By Daniel Rothberg
It could be many years before history will judge the decisions former President George W. Bush made in the White House, the 43rd president told Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" Tuesday night. For now, though, he'll paint. In a rare TV appearance, the former president shared his new hobby with the late-night personality, even presenting Leno with a portrait of himself. In the past, Bush has painted everything from cats and dogs to a scene of himself taking a shower . Bush, 67, explained to Leno that the artistic streak began after reading "Painting as a Pastime," an essay by Winston Churchill, who himself produced several portraits and landscape pieces.
October 15, 2013 | By a Times Staff Writer
Three bears -- apparently on the hunt for food -- have become trapped in cars in Truckee, Calif., in the last two weeks, police say. The most recent case occurred late Sunday night when officers could not find the owners of a car where a bear was trapped. They had to smash in a window to let the animal out, Truckee police told Fox40 in Sacramento . Another bear found itself stuck in a car last week. It was let out by the car's owner, police said. “At one point, the dome light was flashing on and off, the horn was honking,” said Scott Williamson, a neighbor who investigated the commotion and called 911. "The headlights were going on and off. “Right as I approached the driver's-side door, the bear head-butted the window, and the window came out about that far," Williamson continued.
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