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December 2, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
At first glance, sure, it seems USC is outrageously placing its wobbly football program in the hands of a guy who was part of the regime which sent it staggering. How could the Trojans hire Steve Sarkisian when he is so closely tied to a coach they just fired two months ago, his former coaching buddy, Lane Kiffin? How could they hire Sarkisian just four seasons after USC was punished by the NCAA for infractions that occurred while he worked as a top assistant to coach Pete Carroll?
November 15, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The weight loss that follows a successful bariatric surgery makes most patients feel younger. But a new study suggests that following bariatric surgery, some patients show signs of being biologically younger, as well. At Stanford University, researchers looked for evidence of change in bariatric surgery patients by measuring their telomeres -- regions of repeating DNA sequences at the end of a chromosome that grow a little shorter with age and chronic illness. Telomeres are considered a biomarker of the aging process.
November 10, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
It's understandable that there is skepticism about whether Iran would abide by an interim agreement to suspend most of its nuclear activities in exchange for some relief from economic sanctions. But the United States and the other nations that have been negotiating with the new government in Tehran are right to pursue such an arrangement as a way to test Iran's insistence that it's willing to forswear the development of nuclear weapons over the long run. Members of Congress inclined to oppose this initiative should allow it time to succeed or fail.
November 7, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Nobu, the boutique hotel-within-a-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, is about to get even more stylish -- if that's possible -- when Nobu Villa opens atop it next year. The 10,300-square-foot Nobu Villa will crown the 181-room Nobu hotel, which is housed inside Caesar's Palace . The views from Nobu Villa will include Las Vegas ' various resorts and the High Roller, one of the world's tallest Ferris wheels that's being built directly across Las Vegas Boulevard. Unlike other ultra-private villas in Vegas designated for high rollers and other invited guests, Nobu Villa will be available to anyone whose pockets are deep enough (prices haven't been announced)
November 6, 2013 | Doyle McManus
After years of fruitless negotiations, the United States may soon face an unfamiliar problem in its long confrontation with Iran: Are we willing to take yes for an answer? Negotiators are scheduled to meet again in Geneva this week to try to move toward an agreement that would put reliable limits on Iran's nuclear program - limits strong enough to reassure other countries that the mullahs cannot build a nuclear weapon. Officials on both sides say they are still a long way from a deal, but they also describe the talks as an important moment of opportunity.
November 6, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
Whether the country music stars who'll be front and center at the CMA Awards show from Nashville are coming up with the songs that make the whole world sing could be debated, but they're certainly some of the most trusted celebrities around. That's the finding of Repucom's latest Celebrity Davie Brown Index, or Celebrity DBI, a seven-year old measure of consumer perceptions of celebs. As it turns out, the most effective celebrity musician endorser in the country at the moment is Blake Shelton, who is in the running Wednesday night for entertainer of the year, the CMA's top award.
November 5, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. " That admission on Tuesday by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had city leaders calling for his ouster. But the controversial city official is not quitting. Ford, red-faced and appearing deeply emotional, held a news conference a few hours after his startling impromptu announcement on his previous drug use . PHOTOS: Political figures, personal indiscretion Here's what he said: "With today's announcement, I know I embarrassed everyone in this city, and I will be forever sorry.  There is only one person to blame for this, and that is myself.
November 1, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Anti-Obamacare conservatives are chuckling over an exchange from the House's grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday morning, in which Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) challenged Sebelius to explain why men should have to pay for maternity coverage in their health insurance plans. "To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?" Ellmers asked. Ellmers and her cheering section seem to think this was hilarious , a conclusive, slam-dunk, let-me-hear-a-rimshot punchline.
November 1, 2013 | By Mike Morris
You never know what you might see in Reno. On our first night in town, my wife and 6-year-old daughter called me to look out the window of our 27th-story hotel room. There, in the center of town, was a brilliant fireworks display - an appropriate welcome to this Nevada town full of flash and color. Although there is a plethora of casinos and night life, we found this mini-Vegas to be offbeat and kid-friendly. It's also affordable: two nights at Circus Circus cost about $175, a buffet dinner for two at the Silver Legacy was $50 and the Discovery Museum cost $24 for two adults and one child.
October 29, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Downtown Los Angeles has been transformed with restaurants and shops, lofts and parks, and the idea of adding a streetcar to the mix is appealing. Though modern in design, the proposed streetcar would be an homage of sorts to the trolley system that once spanned Los Angeles. As conceived by a nonprofit group and the now-defunct Community Redevelopment Agency and championed by City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the area, the streetcar would glide along a four-mile path through the heart of downtown, a chunk of that route down Broadway.
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