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March 24, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times
PHOENIX  - If the Dodgers have a lead heading into the ninth inning on opening day, Manager Don Mattingly knows to whom he will turn: Brandon League. Mattingly also knows Kenley Jansen or Ronald Belisario will pitch the seventh inning if starter Clayton Kershaw doesn't make it that far. The hard-throwing reliever who doesn't pitch the seventh will pitch the eighth. The relative certainty is something new for Mattingly. In his first year as manager, in 2011, his closer on opening day, Jonathan Broxton, was coming back from a miserable season in which he lost his job. The other back-end options, Hong-Chih Kuo and Vicente Padilla, had disconcerting medical histories.
March 23, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - A day after announcing his resignation as prime minister, Najib Mikati on Saturday called for a "salvation" government to run deeply divided Lebanon amid grave concerns about ongoing instability and increasing spillover effects from the war in neighboring Syria. President Michel Suleiman accepted Mikati's resignation Saturday, and the outgoing prime minister agreed to head a caretaker government until his replacement is named. Mikati, 57, stepped down as lawmakers remained deadlocked about a long-debated election law and the future of the nation's internal security forces chief.
March 22, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - Flights from snow-covered Russia to sunny Cyprus may be packed, but these days many of the passengers are bank account owners looking to pull their money out of the financially crippled island, not vacationers. Russians own about a third of the $88 billion in deposits in Cyprus, which on Friday was operating under a European Central Bank warning to come up with $7.5 billion by Monday to qualify for a financial bailout. The financial mess has spooked many Russians - one proposal called for levies of up to 10% on bank deposits - at a time when Cyprus hopes Moscow will come through with financial assistance to help keep the country from falling into default.
March 21, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
TUCSON - While General Manager Ned Colletti tried to downplay the anticipated eight-week absence of Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly acknowledged he was concerned about the left side of the  infield. “To be honest with you, I'm not comfortable with anything that's going on at short right now,” Mattingly said. Luis Cruz or Dee Gordon will replace Ramirez at shortstop. Gordon is viewed as having a higher ceiling but also a lower floor. If the inexperienced Gordon is chosen, Cruz can play his more natural position at third base.
March 16, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
They share the same stadium but the Galaxy faces an unfamiliar Chivas USA on Sunday. "We're not sure what to expect," Galaxy forward Mike Magee said of Chivas USA, which overhauled its roster and named a new coach in the off-season. The 2 p.m. game at Home Depot Center is the first of three matches this season between the two Major League Soccer teams in what's known as the "SuperClasico" series. The Galaxy won two of the three games last year. "Always good to play in these games, always a good atmosphere and bragging rights for the fans," Galaxy forward Robbie Keane said.
March 14, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
One thing stood out in the pile of documents released Thursday detailing state plans to replumb California's water hub: Construction could start on the massive project before water managers know whether it will work as intended. The still-evolving proposal, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration and the federal government, is designed to partially restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta environment and halt reductions in delta water exports. But uncertainty over the volume of future water deliveries is likely to linger for years as government scientists try to nail down how much water imperiled salmon and smelt need in the delta.
February 3, 2013 | By Matt Stevens, Hailey Branson-Potts and Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Msgr. Robert J. Gallagher stood before parishioners at St. Charles Borromeo Church on Sunday, searching for the right words to reassure them after a tumultuous week that saw the release of previously secret personnel files on priests who molested children, the public rebuke of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and the resignation of a Santa Barbara bishop. "Everybody has to face sin and God's grace in their own life," Gallagher told members of the North Hollywood parish that Mahony has called home since he retired two years ago. "And we do it as a community when we try to bring things into the light.
January 23, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - Russian evacuees from war-torn Syria, mostly worried-looking women and children, emerged from two government airplanes Wednesday into the predawn chill of the Moscow winter. Several of the evacuees spoke of the mounting hardships in their adopted country, and of an uncertain fate in a motherland they have not known for years. Many of them left Russia a decade or more ago after marrying Syrian men who had come to Russia to study or work. Now their families were escaping danger in a Syria they had come to love.
January 10, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - After five years of crippling deficits, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday that the state is in the black as he proposed a $97.7-billion budget that would increase funds for education and healthcare while still leaving money on the table. The governor's optimism followed an unanticipated leap in revenue that helped cancel the $1.9-billion deficit estimated only months ago, according to the administration. And the state this year will begin to reap the benefits of tax increases he championed last year.
January 2, 2013 | By Don Lee and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Despite the huge relief rally on Wall Street, the incomplete resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff will do little to boost the economy but assures an intense budget battle that is expected to weigh on spending and hiring at least over the next few months. The New Year's Day deal let payroll taxes for all workers revert to their previous higher rate, though it avoided the worst of the "fiscal cliff" issues by blocking tax-rate increases on all but the wealthiest Americans and postponing federal spending cuts.
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