Our front-page stories today:
• Military to lift ban on women in combat jobs: Women’s veterans groups applaud the change as long overdue. The reaction in Congress, which will review the move first, is mixed. http://lat.ms/YoPxQe
• In Bell, a struggle to emerge from scandal: Trial is set to begin for six former Bell council members.The city shows signs of changes for the better, but scandal-related lawsuits weigh on its future. http://lat.ms/VYx8GF
• Latinos lead the state’s union gains: Latino workers, demanding respect in a precarious job environment, helped boost the state’s unionized workforce by 100,000 in 2012. http://lat.ms/YpBKco
• Sharing a language and a challenge: Strangers gather in East L.A. each night at Grupo Serenidad, a chapter of the Latino version of the self-help program Neurotics Anonymous. http://lat.ms/Yoxdab
• Disney in fantasyland: In the new Philip Glass work, ‘The Perfect American,’ the visionary is a flawed, dying man who, even so, makes magic. http://lat.ms/148Yq0S
Our front-page stories today:
• Files show Mahony tried to conceal abuse: Documents from the late 1980s show that Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and another archdiocese official discussed strategies to keep police from discovering that children were being sexually abused by priests. http://lat.ms/Vi2KJW
• In Obama’s inaugural speech, a sweeping liberal vision: The president calls for action on climate change and equal rights for gays, but offers few specifics. Those may be outlined in next month’s State of the Union address. http://lat.ms/UhVpan
• Gay Californians take heart in Obama’s call for equality: He brought the issue of gay marriage ‘into everyone’s home, whether they like it or not,’ one man says. But despite the thrill, many note Obama didn’t risk doing so before his reelection. http://lat.ms/WkC8CU
• Congo’s chairmen of the boards: Owners of the wooden bicycle known as a chikudu couldn’t be much prouder of the primitive vehicles, which carry massive loads and put food on the table. http://lat.ms/UQcZkT
Our front-page stories today:
• Allies press GOP over immigration: Business, religious and other conservative groups are lobbing lawmakers to create a path to legal status. http://lat.ms/13VNW4K
• Latino donors find their voice: Democrats use the inauguration to seal ties with a rising class of fundraisers. The Futuro Fund brought in more than $30 million for the president’s reelection, and introduced a new group of donors into national politics. http://lat.ms/Xw1wVw
• Brown seeks to reshape California’s community colleges: The governor wants to limit the credits students can accrue at two-year schools and fund them based on courses completed. http://lat.ms/SoW2zp
• Disillusioned by Syria’s revolution: Many educated, middle-class Syrians who had embraced the opposition now feel alienated by its drift toward extremism — and are aligned with neither side. http://lat.ms/11KjFX2
• Unlikely pod-ners in a venture for assistance: A homeless inventor crossed paths with a generous doctor after being brutally beaten. They’ve teamed up to produce molded, durable survival pods. http://lat.ms/Xvw3CO
• Algeria raid puts a lawless region in the spotlight: Algiers says 45 hostages, including Americans, escaped the gas field seized by militants. But later reports paint a grimmer picture.http://lat.ms/11CTtxq
• Seeking to harness Obama’s campaign resources for a second term: An ambitious new political organization is being built out of the machine that propelled the president back into office, with the hope of supporting his policy objectives. http://lat.ms/XfzjSO
• Texas talk is losing its twang: Fewer Texans are speaking in the traditional dialect, as urbanization, pop culture and an influx of newcomers have conspired to displace the local language.http://lat.ms/Vbrgfx
• Pauline Friedman Phillips dies at 94; original ‘Dear Abby.’ Phillips, writing as Abigail Van Buren, dispensed wry, no-nonsense advice to newspaper readers around the world for over 40 years. Her identical twin also wrote an advice column, as Ann Landers. http://lat.ms/14g6Cvb
• L.A. mayoral candidate Jan Perry hopes her plain talk will resonate with voters: The councilwoman, ousted from her coveted downtown district because of a political feud, acknowledges that her frankness carries risks. http://lat.ms/XfkUWR
A ground invasion by Israel could seriously damage the U.S. influence in the region, experts say, still floundering after the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings.
For O.C. Republicans, party’s immigration stance is a millstone
Orange County, once a GOP stronghold, has faded from red to pink with the emergence of Latino voters, who are repelled by the party’s stand on immigration.
Great apes have midlife crises too, study finds
A study of 336 chimpanzees and 172 orangutans suggests that midlife crises might be driven by biological factors.
Women are increasingly ascending to top posts at aerospace firms
Female engineers, scientists and managers who joined aerospace firms during the Cold War are rising to prominence in an industry long dominated by men.
Column One: An ethics debate over embryos on the cheap
In the cutthroat field of fertility treatments, Dr. Ernest Zeringue sharply cuts costs by creating a single batch of embryos, then divvying it up among several patients. One “horrified” critic calls it the “commodification of children.”
Israel says it was targeting a Hamas militant as part of its campaign to stop the group from firing rockets at its cities. The dead included women and children.
Standing Up: Davien’s Story - PART 2: Making Peace
Davien Graham tried to do right in his rough Monrovia neighborhood. Paralyzed in a shooting, he knew what could happen if he snitched. He also knew that a Christian shouldn’t lie. ( Here’s an interactive map showing crimes between black and Latino gangs in the neighborhood— Ed.)
'Life of Pi' a huge gamble for 20th Century Fox
The movie is sophisticated, not based on a comic book and a tough sell. Still, the studio hopes to defy all odds with Ang Lee’s $120-million film about a boy, a tiger and a lifeboat.
Petroglyph thefts near Bishop stun federal authorities, Paiutes
At least four ancient petroglyphs were cut from cliffs at the Volcanic Tableland and dozens of others damaged in ‘the worst act of vandalism ever seen’ on federal lands in the area.
California works to get word out on health insurance exchange
The state faces a daunting task in getting enough people — healthy and unhealthy, uninsured and insured — to enroll in the crucial element of the national healthcare overhaul.
Israel attack on Gaza: Familiar tension, new circumstances
The changed political landscape in Egypt means Israel can’t count on support it once had.
Mitt Romney attributes loss to ‘gifts’ President Obama gave minorities
The former nominee says in a phone call to donors that the president gave ‘a lot of stuff’ to African Americans, Latinos and young people during his first term in order to secure their votes.
Jill Kelley, key figure in David Petraeus scandal, led lavish life
The Tampa, Fla., socialite cultivated ties with military leaders and obtained honorary titles. She also has had financial troubles.
Column One: Kenyan information minister leads an IT revolution
Since Bitange Ndemo got Kenya hooked up to high-speed Internet, there has been no stopping his cyber-progress. A ‘Silicon Savannah’ is now flourishing.
[And yep! That’s a “Twilight” ad there. Anyone watching that this week?]
The Los Angeles City Council’s vote to put a half-cent sales tax hike on the March 5 ballot draws criticism from those in and outside city government.
FHA gives those who defaulted on homes another chance
The FHA is a major source of cash for so-called rebound buyers, but the bankrolling of borrowers who contributed to the last housing bubble is raising concerns.
David Petraeus scandal hits White House at awkward time
Emails to a socialite link Gen. John Allen to the mess, causing his nomination to a key post to be put on hold.
If soldier killed Afghan civilians in rampage, did he act alone?
Shots reportedly heard long after the suspect’s return to an Afghanistan base are among the questions raised at a hearing for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.
Aboard the Bill of Rights, an amended life
A renovated tall ship becomes a learning lab for students and for crew members seeking a new perspective.
The 141-mile section from Bakersfield to L.A. will travel over two mountain ranges and more than half a dozen earthquake faults. Experts see it as the project of the century.
Noguez’s council account offers leads in corruption probe
L.A. business owners — who later received tax cuts — were the main donors to an account Noguez held as Huntington Park councilman, records show.
Anti-terrorism expert advises against BioWatch upgrade
A Homeland Security Department undersecretary has told Janet Napolitano she has doubts about a new version of the nation’s troubled system for detecting a biological attack.
Phil Jackson gets call from Lakers and it’s not what he expected
Jackson was physically ready to coach the Lakers again, but before he could give them an answer, he received a late night call saying the team had hired Mike D’Antoni. ‘It seemed slimy to be awoken with this kind of news,’ he said.
Column One: Bleakness only a child’s smile can lift
Raza Gul works backbreaking hours in a tiny Afghan bakery to provide for her children, her one source of joy. Without them, there’s only her husband’s opium addiction and worries about the Taliban.
California’s unstable tax base, debt and falling revenue are among the threats that could upend the budget despite the infusion from the passage of Proposition 30.
News Analysis: Republicans, beaten and angry, disagree on what to do next
Stung by a changing electorate, conservatives debate how to fix the GOP – or whether it needs fixing at all.
Members of Congress demand fuller explanation of Petraeus affair
A Florida woman is identified as the person who complained to the FBI about emails from CIA Director David Petraeus’ biographer, Paula Broadwell, exposing his affair and leading to his resignation.
For dentist with student debt, repaying is like pulling teeth
Opanin Gyaami, 71, expects to be repaying his student loan from the 1980s until he dies. About 2.2 million Americans over age 60 owe more than $43 billion.
'Twilight's' tent city: Hundreds of campers await L.A. premiere
Fans contend with chilly temperatures before world premiere of ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,’ last of a series with a heavily female audience.
The Democrats’ historic gains position them for unchecked power in the form of two-thirds majorities in both houses.
Latino role in election to fuel new immigration reform push
Latino voters’ crucial support for President Obama and other Democrats makes the immigration issue a high priority. But significant obstacles remain.
Gay marriage victories may signal larger shift
Before Tuesday’s gay marriage victories in four states, a majority of voters consistently rejected it. Is this a blip, or a monumental sea change that signals broader change?
Suspicion and resentment are rife amid the deadly attacks on U.S. troops from within the ranks of the Afghan security personnel they’re training.
Fan Jianchuan, an obsessive collector and wealthy developer, uses his massive museum cluster to carefully display objects related to touchy subjects.
The president prevails over Republican Mitt Romney by piecing together a diverse coalition reflecting the nation’s changing electorate.
With Republicans and Democrats again denied the mandate they seek, party leaders may decide their strategies have hit a wall and turn to compromise.
The party could get a two-thirds majority in Assembly and Senate.
A bid to soften the three-strikes law and an effort to toughen penalties for human trafficking lead in early returns. The electorate is divided on Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hike.
Romney and Obama make late campaign sprints through swing states. Polls give a slight edge to Obama.
Disclosure of Arizona group’s donors yields more mystery
Elections officials force a group that gave $11 million to a California campaign fund to reveal its backers. But the backers turn out to be other nonprofits. The attorney general vows to press on.
At Prince of Peace, worshiper dies trying to stop tagger
Andres Ordonez is shot to death and another parishioner is wounded when a confrontation over graffiti turns violent.
In Brooklyn project, residents wait for help in the cold and dark
A week after Sandy, lights and heat are still out in the Red Hook West housing complex. Residents, many of whom are elderly, start to worry that they’ve been forgotten.
Column One: Mothers from Central America search for missing kin in Mexico
This year’s bus caravan takes mothers, wives and sisters on a nearly 3,000-mile mission across Mexican states to look for missing Central American migrants.
The Obama-Romney race could be decided by the oldest tactic in the book – going door to door to get out the vote.
The high court orders a group that donated $11 million to a fund fighting Prop. 30 and supporting Prop. 32 to hand over records. The group is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In swing-state Ohio, party leaders in Cincinnati know each other well – and how vital it is to bring in the vote for their sides.
The Telegraph newspaper sets up shop in the small Ohio town of Dunkirk, where residents have been giving their views of the campaign. There’s culture shock in both directions.
Authorities charge Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales with murdering 16 villagers, but they have limited access to evidence and key witnesses won’t testify.
Hurricane Sandy images and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of Obama based on his climate change policies could bring attention to the issue of global warming, political observers say.
The more than 1.4 million new voters, almost half of whom registered online under a new state law, raise the total to more than 18 million. Democrats get a boost.
Public was not told that suspect critically wounded by officers was handcuffed and face down when shot.
The sun came out, the stock exchange reopened and the electricity crisis ebbed — but the rolls of the dead rose, and some areas were still coming to grips with Sandy’s staggering destruction.
The long-debated plan to ease nightmarish traffic commutes isn’t going anywhere if a veteran politician has his way. Outlying residents say the line is a matter of social equity.
Kay D’Arcy spent decades as a nurse, midwife and mother before jumping into Hollywood. Now she stars as an acrobatic assassin in the Web series ‘Agent 88,’ doing many of her own stunts.