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NEWS (LAST 200)
Top Asian News 1:37 p.m. GMT
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Officers told no more car chases
Donald Trump doubles down on 35% tax for...
Sniper shoots dead council official and ...
‘I wasn’t tuned in to look for a bod...
Faulty tumble dryers that caused huge to...
Renzi tight-lipped but Eurozone poised f...
A-G ‘defying’ court over diary...
My date with Prince Harry and Rihanna in...
Accused toolbox killer feared for life...
Finland shooting: Three women killed out...
A doctor with a bad knee runs into one-s...
News24.com | 3 arrested for Limpopo cash...
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Prescot warehouse fire: Blaze at hazardo...
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Will Austria elect far-right leader?...
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Turkey charges 4 over deadly schoolgirl ...
Trump-Taiwan Call Signals Trade Implicat...
Europe watches as Austrians vote for the...
Court to rule on Palm Island riot action...
Fidel Castro funeral: Crowds line street...
Mook: Clintons deplorables comment defin...
Olympic gold medal-winning rower cant ge...
Newman’s singing Labor’s praise...
Fidel Castros ashes interred at funeral ...
Italians cast ballots in historic refere...
Why Italians are so angry ahead of Europ...
Child hit by stray bullet at Centurion m...
Less than half of U.S. hotels have Bible...
When teammates collide: Five infamous fi...
Trump faces pushback from base, allies o...
Three women shot dead by gunman in Finla...
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Mummers seek inclusive tone after racial...
Turkey wants trade with China, Russia an...
Sydney man sends letter of apology and $...
Mahmud Abbass Fatah to announce results ...
Christian Refugees Fleeing ISIS Grounds ...
Italian referendum: Who is Beppe Grillo?...
Four dead in head-on crash in Free State...
Obesity link to cancer deaths
Suu Kyi urged to stop ‘genocide’...
ATARs are irrelevant: how life panned ou...
Steve Smith admits foxing in Black Caps ...
Oakland Fire At Warehouse Party Kills At...
Im not doing a pub quiz! Boris flees a S...
Ironman dies after knee surgery complica...
Ivy League student has defended his cla...
Egypt brings in tougher penalties agains...
3998736 Justin Bieber works up a sweat w...
KZN builders fight back against mob-styl...
Im bisexual - when I date women, we dont...
The Latest: Hofer tells Austrians he’s...
Philippine vice president to quit Cabine...
MH370 aid offer renewed
Fierce fighting in Syrias Aleppo as army...
Highway reopened after serious crash...
Whos conning whom in Donald Trumps Ameri...
Carers falling through the cracks under ...
BBC presenter forced off the air by a Ch...
Julian McMahon on working alongside Kyli...
David Luiz plays down Sergio Agueros hor...
Mel B wears low-cut top and sexy thigh-h...
Perth schoolboy Tyreez Mundroina died du...
Pigs fly as they jump off a diving board...
Christian Wilkins jokes about being a la...
8 people killed in road collision in Rus...
Wife of Chapecoense player reveals heart...
Bored to death pensioner Joe Bartley sta...
Stone cruises to comfortable Alfred Dunh...
Local politician, 2 reporters killed in ...
Majority oppose plan to extend NSW bottl...
Lessons from Cuba about combating residu...
Employers are underpaying 2.4m workers s...
Distressed debt specialists Anchorage Ca...
Top Asian News 1:20 p.m. GMT
Hospitals, housing and dental services r...
19 killed in Syrian countryside attack...
Finding a way through PTSD that doesn’...
Vince Cable claims hard Brexit can be ST...
Shes not giving up yet: Jill Stein conti...
UK immigration policy is INSANE – UKIP...
MH370 families want investigation to foc...
Authorities to conditionally move from b...
Supreme Court Gets Involved In Redistric...
You dont understand Brexit! Andrew Neil ...
Thousands cheering at Castro memorial...
10 minutes that could change US-China hi...
Italys referendum; Senate hearing on Tim...
Fidel Castros ashes interred in private ...
"I was spat on by a customer": retail ab...
Donald Trump warns companies in series o...
Snowfall warning issued for areas around...
Florida man made Pulse-style massacre th...
Indonesians rally for tolerance
Fidel Castro’s ashes interred in a pri...
Sofia Richie opts for low-key cool in sw...
Steve Kerr admits hes experimented with ...
Local politician, 2 journalists the vict...
SNL mocks Trumps Twitter use
Bournemouth v Liverpool: Adam Lallana na...
Donald Trumps cabinet takes shape
Alan Shearer slammed on Twitter for refu...
SNL makes fun of Trump’s tweets, and T...
The look at me narcissistic politics of ...
SNL makes fun of Trumps tweets, and Trum...
Jurgen Klopp delivers Liverpool title cr...
Apple Watch (East Harlem) $225...
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Dogs’ embarrassment of riches
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The supposed rebirth of Watts makes Jord...
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Huawei P9 Review
Fujifilm X-E2S Review
2016 Roundup: 4K action cameras
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review
Nikon D3400 Review
Youve got mail: Five photo postcard apps...
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
Winter Bird Photography Tips
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 Review
Dragon Quest Builders Review
Cause of deadly Oakland warehouse fire u...
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Nonfiction: Women of Thrones
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Someday, when they get it open again, you’ll want to take a tour of Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park. In the meantime, big things are planned at Furnace Creek. 

First, about Scotty’s. The castle was hit in late 2015 by the most severe flooding since it was built in the 1920s. The National...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

Two agents from U.S. Homeland Security’s ICE unit arrived at my door in September looking for a Polish lady — not a person, but a painting: Melchior Geldorp’s “Portrait of a Lady.” She had, they informed me, been looted by the Nazis from the National Museum in Warsaw.

Unsure if these gentlemen...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

Arizona Cardinals: David Johnson has 11 consecutive games with 100 yards rushing. Bruce Arians-coached teams are 5-1 versus the NFC East.

Atlanta Falcons: Last week, Matt Ryan became first player to pass for at least 200 yards in 50 consecutive games. Julio Jones leads the league with 1,140 yards...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

At a ceremonial groundbreaking three months ago in Watts, elected officials, housing authority bureaucrats and residents all took turns swinging sledgehammers at a 1950s cinder-block structure to mark the demolition of Jordan Downs. The event marked the first phase in the remaking of this public...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

Baltimore Ravens: Justin Tucker is 27 for 27 on field-goal tries. His run of 34 in a row over two seasons is tied for the sixth best in NFL history.

Buffalo Bills: Tyrod Taylor leads all quarterbacks with 439 yards rushing. He has run for a touchdown in four of the last five games and has a career-high...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

Remember when China was the climate-action outcast, the obstacle standing in the way of progress in the global fight against a warming planet? What a difference a few years — and an election — can make.

Over the past few weeks, world leaders, delegates to the climate change conference in Marrakech and...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 04:00:00 PST )

When President-elect Donald Trump announced that James N. Mattis was his choice to lead the Department of Defense, what seemed to delight him most was the retired general’s Iraq war nickname: “Mad Dog.”

“Mad Dog Mattis!” Trump told a post-election rally. “Mad Dog. He is great, he is great…. They...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 04:00:00 PST )

The differences between how Donald Trump and Barack Obama express themselves are vast and obvious. Trump is sometimes funny and cheerful, but more often cruel, barbarous, vindictive and vulgar. Obama is none of these things. He is too earnest to be genuinely funny, and it would never occur to him...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 04:00:00 PST )

Have a question about the NFL? Ask Times NFL writer Sam Farmer, and he will answer as many as he can online and in the Sunday editions of the newspaper throughout the season. Email questions to: sam.farmer@latimes.com

What’s up with the voices of quarterbacks? With all that yelling at the line...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 04:00:00 PST )

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Defense secretary, will need more than the usual Senate confirmation before being able to take office. 

U.S. law states that a nominee for Defense secretary must have been out of the active-duty military for seven years. 

... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

When the ultra-hip Moxy Hotel opens in San Diego next year, the rooms will be stocked with the usual amenities — an alarm clock, hair dryer, writing desk and flat-screen TV.

But you won’t find a Bible in the bedside nightstand.

Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company, supplies...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

When Skechers started building a colossal distribution center in Moreno Valley six years ago, backers promised a wave of new jobs.

Instead, by the time the company moved operations to the Moreno Valley, the company had closed five facilities in Ontario that employed 1,200 people and cut its workforce...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

Dear Liz: Are federal student loans turned over to a collection agency still collectible after 20 years?

Answer: Yes. Very much so. There is no statute of limitations on federal student loans, which means collectors can come after you until you pay or die, whichever comes first. Statutes of limitations...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

California lawmakers next year will make it a top priority to reform the system through which judges award criminal offenders bail, saying courts across the state are punishing “the poor for being poor.”

Assemblyman Rob Bonta and Sen. Bob Hertzberg said they plan to fire the first salvo Monday,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

RAMS WHO MUST DELIVER…

Left tackle Greg Robinson. After 35 consecutive starts, the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft was made inactive last week against the Saints. Rodger Saffold, who started in his place, suffered a hand injury that could limit or keep him out against the Patriots. The Rams need Robinson...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

Rams pass offense vs. Patriots defense: Rookie Jared Goff made big strides in his second NFL start, completing 17 of 31 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns last week at New Orleans. He also demonstrated poise after losing a fumble and having a pass intercepted. Kenny Britt has a team-best...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 03:15:00 PST )

The first week of December after every election sparks a policy and political awakening in California’s state Capitol for the three houses of the legislative branch of government. Yes, three.

Civics books list only the state Senate and Assembly, but then there are the professional lobbyists who...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 00:00:00 PST )

If you have the best football player on the field and he stands 6 feet 5, weighs 310 pounds and is headed to Ohio State, you find a way get him involved. And that’s what Bellflower St. John Bosco Coach Jason Negro did on Saturday night in the Southern Section Division 1 championship game against...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 3 Dec 2016 23:00:00 PST )
Enter ePHOTOzine's Christmas Prize Draw for the chance to win 1 of 10 32GB Micro SDHC PRO Plus memory cards with an SD Adapter.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 07:00:06 GMT )
Officials preparing for up to 40 fatalities in Oakland warehouse fire Dec. 3, 2016, 5:48 p.m. At least nine people died when a fire raced through an Oakland warehouse crowded with people attending a Friday night concert, officials said. But officials said they are preparing for up to 40 fatalities,Oakland... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 3 Dec 2016 16:23:00 PST )
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Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:00:00 Z)
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Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:28:00 Z)
Winter days leave us with a shortage of daylight hours for photography but you don't have to venture far to photograph birds during this season, making them a perfect subject choice.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - Photography Techniques (Sun, 4 Dec 2016 00:10:03 GMT )

Dragon Quest Builders serves as the jumping-off point for a new tale in a new period using an old setting--the storied land of Alefgard from the first Dragon Quest. It's an alternate reality that begins where the original game ends, but with a twist: the hero from the first game didn't defeat the Dragonlord. No prior knowledge of the series is required, but having a familiarity with the its jingles and diverse bestiary helps to invoke a strong sense of nostalgia

Given that the world-crafting genre is uncharted territory for Dragon Quest, Square Enix was wise to make the tutorial equal parts concise and informative. This allows you to start building within minutes of launching the game, and it's satisfying to get the hang of building complete houses, crafting items, and surviving the Alefgardian wilderness. A seemingly menial task like bricklaying is made easy when it only takes one button to set the brick above, below, or at head level. Moreover, the process of upgrading a wall with higher-quality bricks works in one convenient, single-input motion.

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It's almost as easy as adapting to Dragon Quest Builders' combat, which isn't as frenetic as fighting in Dragon Quest Heroes--but it moves more quickly than the main series' turn-based battles. This orientation period also showcases the game's heavy emphasis on RPG-inspired questing. Building a bathhouse feels less like a chore when there's a checkmark, a congratulatory jingle, and a grateful NPC who has a reward for you.

Supporting Dragon Quest Builders' story and its objective-intensive draw is a foundation built on 30 years of franchise nostalgia. No, you can't explore settings in later mainstream installments like Zenithia (seen in Dragon Quest IV, V, and VI) or Dragon Quest VIII’s Trodain. Still, coming across familiar monsters, such as metal slimes, and well-known items like chimaera wings, will make any Dragon Quest fan smile. It's surprising how well all these elements--running the gamut from the music to the bestiary--have been adapted to this malleable world. Enemies drop crafting ingredients rather than experience. Energy from digging is replenished by eating food. The overworld, as revealed by the camera positioned way up high, won't show the original 1986 map, but the blocky art style will resonate with old-school JRPG enthusiasts.

It's not Alefgard as we've known it, but it's no less inviting--thanks to the familiar aesthetics and the classic low-level enemies who litter the land near your town. Exploring simply for the sake of it isn't time wasted here. Going off in one direction can yield a wealth of resources for crafting items. The only variable that would devalue any free-roaming excursion is when you’ve maxed out your capacity for an item type--a tough task, since you can carry 99 of something.

Even though the world’s terrain is open to manipulation, the maps remain faithful to classic JRPG world design. For example, the farther you venture from civilization, the more likely you'll run into tougher enemies. The journey to a quest destination is seldom a straight line, as Alefgard presents myriad distractions, often with worthwhile rewards. The forests, deserts, and towers have their share of obscured secrets--the kind you often reveal by swiveling the camera. It's doubly rewarding when using visual clues to hunt for treasure underground and inside mountains. A missing block or a brick that looks out of place can be a hint to a nearby prize, such as a useful set of 25 windows for your future buildings.

Advance through the story enough, and all manner of slime and golem will turn the tables and perform a siege operation against your town. You and your comrades work to protect all four sides of your base while you reinforce the perimeter with barriers and automated fire-breathing gargoyle statues. In other words, Dragon Quest Builders plays like a tower defense game at times, putting a delightful twist on the popular genre. You're defending a square area rather than a winding route, and not all of your support options are stationary; this only enhances the diversity of activities in a game that throws plenty of goals at you.

Invasions can do significant damage to your towns, and even if the resources to rebuild are plentiful, repairing your inns and workhouses can be time-consuming; but you can avoid this process altogether if you wish. Dragon Quest Builders' Free-Play mode saves you the grief of hostile monsters and offers more peaceful islands where you can get your architectural juices flowing.

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Dragon Quest Builders is full of opportunities to take breaks from questing and defending your town. The franchise's endearing aesthetic, defined by Akira Toriyama's character designs, can make the simple process of building and designing rooms around town fly by. To customize an inn, you need simply place a torch, and get to work laying out beds and other furniture as you wish. Although you can share your personalized building creations, it’s not possible to visit your friends’ worlds. It's also disappointing that there's no cross-save support between the PS4 and Vita versions, despite the fact that they feature the same content.

The excellence of Dragon Quest Builders illustrates the versatility of this 30-year-old franchise as much as it speaks to the engrossing appeal of Minecraft-inspired creation. The story-advancing draw of quests goes hand-in-hand with the depth of a crafting system that cleverly uses monster drops as some of the game's building tools. Whether you want to focus on completing assignments or build with no specific purpose, the game is feature-rich enough to suck up untold hours, even if this happens to be your first Dragon Quest experience.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:27:00 -0800)

I have to hand it to Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for tapping into the latent dreams of people who spent their teenage years drawing Goku on their notebooks. A lot of games offer the ability to create an original character and take part in an established fictional universe, but most of them don’t allow you to feel like what you’re doing impacts the already pre-determined narrative world in any way.

Xenoverse 2, meanwhile, allows you to participate directly in some of the series’ most crucial battles, “fixing” anomalies in time to set the stories of the Z Fighters on the correct path. It’s like somebody at Bandai Namco realized how fulfilling it would be to be able to play out that one fanfiction you wrote when you were 13 involving your favorite character's long-lost twin brother.

OK, maybe Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 doesn’t go quite that far, but it’s still a pretty fantastic concept: You get to make a custom Dragon Ball character in one of five of the series’ main races (Human, Saiyan, Namekian, Frieza’s race, and Majin) and join the Time Patrol, a collection of colorful heroes who gather in Conton City and are dedicated to the preservation of the Dragon Ball Z timeline. Under the guidance of the Supreme Kai of Time, your characters will travel across the sprawling timeline of the anime and manga series, looking for things that a set of time-traveling villains have meddled with and setting them right. Generally, this involves a lot of the energy-amassing, ki-blasting, and high-flying fights for which the series is known--though not always.

The adventure encompasses a single-player story campaign that takes you through most of the DBZ saga (with a few extra twists, thanks to a crew of shady villains and resurrected classic foes), a whole mess of optional Parallel Quests that can be taken on either single-player or online, or a different set of single-player side quests. The latter has you doing things like fighting for a faction in Frieza’s army or training to be the next Great Saiyaman,and training sessions with DBZ heroes and villains that can teach you new skills. To round things out, you can play multiplayer fights versus the CPU, local friends, or online opponents. Suffice to say, Xenoverse 2 is jam-packed with both on and offline content.

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Of course, it doesn’t really matter how much content there is if the game isn’t fun to play. Fortunately, Xenoverse 2 has a solid--if not particularly deep--fighting engine that provides a good foundation for the rest of the game to build upon. The controls feel solid and responsive, and the default button layout allows easy access to all your normal and special attacks, as well as crucial guarding and dodging maneuvers when necessary. You can customize your warrior with special gear, helpful consumable items, and a set of combat skills you purchase, acquire in quests, or learn through personal training. By equipping a custom loadout and using the special abilities innate to each individual race, you’ll develop a fighter that both looks and fights the way you like in a way that feels fun and rewarding.

By equipping a custom loadout and using the special abilities innate to each individual race, you’ll develop a fighter that both looks and fights the way you like in a way that feels fun and rewarding.

One of the game’s big selling points is the size and feel of its hub city, Conton. Here, you can go shopping for gear at a bevy of stores, interact with online players and NPCs, and see a bunch of favorite Dragon Ball faces. You can get around town on foot, with Capsule Corporation machines, or--eventually--via flight. However, a lot of times, the hub’s massive size feels like a detriment. It’s a chore to go from place to place when they all seem so far away from each other; at least there's a fast travel option.

Conton City is just a small part of the copious fanservice this game delivers to fans of the franchise, however. Xenoverse 2’s visuals are stunning, particularly in the in-engine cutscenes during story sequences. Characters are rendered to an uncanny resemblance, and the attention to detail seen in the various locales is equally impressive. The action runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, making the fights feel fast and dynamic.

Beyond the visuals, however, the games includes a lot of fun little jokes and exchanges between various characters that fans will appreciate. Bringing certain characters to specific Parallel Quest battles can result in some funny dialogue that reference events in the anime or amusing “what if” scenarios. It helps add to the feeling of being an active part of a big, fictional universe that the game captures well--even if, for some bizarre reason, the English voiceover varies from the subtitles shown on-screen, which happens peculiarly often.

Eventually, though, the game’s overall grind will start to wear on you. The lack of depth in combat can make things feel repetitive, and while changing up your loadout can help freshen things up a bit, it doesn’t change up the base gameplay significantly. The game will sometimes try to shake things up by giving you missions with different objectives beyond just beating up your opponents, such as finding the Dragon Balls in a level and keeping them away from pursuing enemies.

Lag can be a bit of an issue if you want to battle with or against online fighters, though it’s seen some improvement with a recent patch.

These stages are usually a miserable experience, though, since the game’s engine doesn’t seem built for much beyond combat and very basic exploration. (The camera isn’t exactly your friend when you need to find small objects in big, open combat arenas, either.) It’s more fun to play quests online with a group of other warriors, though not all quests can be tackled this way--story mode is strictly single-player only. Lag can be a bit of an issue if you want to battle with or against online fighters, though it’s seen some improvement with a recent patch.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is among the best games to emerge from this beloved franchise. It looks stunning, has a solid gameplay base, and gives people who love the series a way to feel like they’re a part of this big, beautiful universe. Though it has its share of problems, I was really surprised at how much fun I had with it. I might not be the die-hard Dragon Ball fan that many others are, but I can tell through the exquisite attention to detail and the wealth of content that the folks behind Xenoverse cherished the series every bit as much as the fans they’re selling it to.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:04:00 -0800)
Officials preparing for up to 40 fatalities in Oakland warehouse fire Dec. 3, 2016, 1:28 p.m. At least nine people died when a fire raced through an Oakland warehouse crowded with people attending a Friday night concert, officials said. But officials said they are preparing for up to 40 fatalities,Oakland... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Sat, 3 Dec 2016 12:32:00 PST )
Officials preparing for up to 40 fatalities in Oakland warehouse fire Dec. 3, 2016, 1:28 p.m. At least nine people died when a fire raced through an Oakland warehouse crowded with people attending a Friday night concert, officials said. But officials said they are preparing for up to 40 fatalities,Oakland... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Sat, 3 Dec 2016 11:56:00 PST )

Authorities said they were preparing to deal with dozens of fatalities after a fire raced through a converted warehouse crowded with people attending a Friday night concert, officials said.

Nine bodies have been recovered, but Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said officials were prepared...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Sat, 3 Dec 2016 12:25:00 PST )
Mike and Justin discuss what they would like to see in the new Uncharted standalone downloadable game. Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Sat, 03 Dec 2016 13:09:00 -0800)
We review the Vtech Kidizoom Duo, an ideal camera and entertainment system for younger kids.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Sat, 3 Dec 2016 10:00:01 GMT )
Here's our roundup of the best content on site this week.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Sat, 3 Dec 2016 09:00:01 GMT )
Enter today's free Christmas Prize Draw for the chance to win a Pentax K-70 DSLR.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Sat, 3 Dec 2016 07:00:01 GMT )
In the waning seconds of USC's 21-17 win over Colorado earlier this season, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster made a crucial third-down reception and had nothing ahead of him but the end zone. He could've walked in for the score. Instead, he took a knee at the 14-yard line. It was the right decision,... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 22:05:00 PST )
Mourning and memories one year after San Bernardino terrorist attack Dec. 2, 2016, 8 p.m. San Bernardino on Friday marked the first anniversary of a terrorist attack that left 14 dead with a variety of services and remembrances.The city is sponsoring a "Night of Remembrance" at 6:30 p.m. at Cal... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Fri, 2 Dec 2016 20:00:00 PST )

Curious Cameras is a visual journey through the evolution of the camera, from the earliest daguerreotype camera through to novelty toy cameras.

If you have an interest in cameras through...
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Source: ePHOTOzine - Book Reviews (Wed, 3 Feb 2016 12:47:40 GMT )
Pick up some tips on photographing snowy landscapes this winter.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - Photography Techniques (Sat, 3 Dec 2016 00:10:03 GMT )
Review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
Looking for some good wireless headphones? Who isn't? The post Review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Tue, 15 Nov 2016 11:37:45 +0000 )
Review: Acer Swift 7
This laptop is thinner than the Apple MacBook Air and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. That's pretty thin! The post Review: Acer Swift 7 appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Tue, 15 Nov 2016 11:44:01 +0000 )

A real-life fairy tale several times over, "Lion" is blessed with a Ripley's Believe It or Not story line that would warm the heart of a stone. But as the Brothers Grimm knew, fairy tales present obstacles along with blessings, and that is the case here as well.

The problem "Lion" has to deal with...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Movie Reviews (Thu, 24 Nov 2016 03:00:00 PST )

Madeline Elizabeth Sloane, the brilliant, high-powered lobbyist at the center of John Madden’s timely new movie, does not suffer fools gladly. A barracuda in a business suit who rarely sleeps and never loses, she has a well-earned reputation for being cold, calculating and monstrously aloof. She...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Movie Reviews (Thu, 24 Nov 2016 09:00:00 PST )

“Daughters of the Dust,” Julie Dash’s magical 1991 debut feature, captures a sad, thrilling moment of transformation for a community of Gullahs, who are the descendants of African slaves who lived on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. On an August day in 1902, several...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Movie Reviews (Thu, 24 Nov 2016 06:00:00 PST )

Anyone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area will feel right at home in Watch Dogs 2. The important landmarks are there, even odd intersections that may only stand out to residents. But I don't think you need to be familiar with the real Bay Area to appreciate how Watch Dogs 2's mix of nature and urban sprawl makes for a picturesque, playful open world. Its people and places are colorful and over the top, kind of like the real thing.

And whether or not you understand the references that drive Watch Dogs 2's twisted take on Silicon Valley shouldn't matter either: This outing errs on the side of irreverence and unapologetic fun, trading in the original Watch Dogs' rain-soaked trenchcoat and drab demeanor for a neon-colored assault rifles and a pair of skinny jeans. The new attitude and setting are a great combination that allow you to experience the dream--rather than the nightmare--of living in the digital age.

That doesn't mean the world of Watch Dogs 2 is all peace and love. Its gleeful exterior masks a troubled society in the throes of gang violence, political corruption, and rampant hacking. Our antihero Marcus is, to an extent, part of the problem, but he's mostly on the side of good. With his hacking skills under your control, you spend a lot of time thwarting nefarious jerks by tapping into their networks to hit them where it hurts--whether that means dismantling their criminal enterprises or airing their dirty laundry in public. And when digital attacks fail, Marcus knows how to handle a gun. He's a walking contradiction that hates corruption yet murders without flinching, but his actions are so entertaining that you probably won't care for long, if at all.

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Your primary mission stems from Dedsec, a group of stereotypical, hyperactive hackers who target government and corporate entities that see private information as a commodity. With society networked and people rampantly sharing pieces of their lives with third parties, the critical mass of data has overflown into the pockets of evil in Watch Dogs 2, but you're the best digital Robin Hood around, which means almost nothing is out of reach. If you can't hack or shoot your way into a building, remote-controlled drones can get you into hard-to-reach places.

With the help of a botnet derived from Dedsec's social media followers--which you're responsible for cultivating by completing story missions and side quests--you can manipulate digital locks, computers, and security cameras to steal data and spy on unknowing targets. Your handy smartphone is capable of hacking into bigger equipment, too, including massive cranes that can lift you atop tall buildings. If you have a penchant for creating domino effects in games, look forward to repositioning explosive objects with forklifts to set up semi-elaborate traps--if not because you have no other choice, then perhaps for the satisfaction you get from watching your prey wander into harm's way.

Sneaking around guards requires critical thought and precise action, but the more you play, the more you discover ways to work around the heaviest hitters and enemy AI in general.

To survey a scene for potential hackables, enable Nethack mode, and you can peer deeper into your surroundings and pinpoint the location of vulnerable devices and human threats; hackable objects and other points of interest are brightly colored. It's easy to lose yourself in Nethack vision because it gives you a palpable advantage while hacking into hard-to-reach locations, but this trick can feel a little like cheating and ultimately robs you of experiencing the sights and sounds around you firsthand.

Even with Nethack mode enabled, sneaking around guards requires critical thought and precise action, but the more you play, the more you discover ways to work around the heaviest hitters and enemy AI in general. It starts early on when you learn how easy it is to distract a guard by sending a fake call to their cell phone, even when they’re searching for an intruder. Then there are quirks specific to unique events. In a later mission, you can use a quadcopter to unlock a prison cell; the two guards standing by won't bat an eye when a heavily locked door magically opens behind them, making your job far easier than it should be.

However, enemies are great at hugging corners and swarming your hiding place when your cover is blown. In numbers, a group of guards is difficult to manage, and a few missions will surprise you with tricky layouts and hidden variables that force you to consider a Plan B. Marcus is remarkably fit, capable of scaling small buildings provided there's a nearby dumpster-sized object to give him a boost. He can also run forever without a pesky stamina meter and has a habit of doing a backflip when jumping from ledges. He's less graceful when facing guards, unfortunately, due to sticky cover mechanics that don't always react as expected. It's not unusual to find yourself on the wrong side of an object because the game couldn't tell if you wanted to round a corner or snap to a different object altogether.

Resorting to guns to get into or out of buildings balances out time spent sneaking and hacking by adding some exciting moments, but it's shallow in isolation. The shooting feels fine, but plenty of other open-world action games offer more substantial, varied options--Grand Theft Auto V and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain come to mind. There's more emphasis on sneaking and acting silently in Watch Dogs 2; quiet melee takedowns often get you farther than an itchy trigger finger might, especially against armored enemies.

There's no shortage of wacky quests to break things up and offer light-hearted goals, such as rescuing a Tom Cruise-like celebrity from the clutches of a cult.

It also doesn't take long for the police to show up when gunfire breaks out. You can try to hold your ground by hacking and firing back, but even with a heavy arsenal, you’ll eventually have to flee. Driving, in mechanical terms, is all over the place, with only a few rides that offer a pleasing balance of performance and control. The rest are too slow to be useful--or too wild to steer with confidence under pressure.

Motorcycles feel great, on the other hand, offering both speed and easy handling. Exploring the map on a motorcycle--whether it’s searching for stunt ramps or to simply take in the sights--is a relaxing way to kill a few hours in Watch Dogs 2. Don't be surprised if you hop into the game just so you can ride a motorcycle down the Embarcadero at sunset or blow through the lush scenery of Golden Gate Park.

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Ubisoft does a great job of presenting the Bay Area in an attractive way that feeds intrepid tourists an impressive variety of sights. However, something’s definitely missing. You won't see a lot of pedestrians or cars on the street compared to similar games. This limits how much destruction you can create, but it also gives you space to drive fast in a city that's usually clogged with traffic. The latter is important not only for sightseeing, but also because it gives you a better chance of running into minigames. You can always check your map and fast travel to mission icons or curious events, but that deprives you of the rewarding sense of discovery Watch Dogs 2 affords. Eschewing fast travel also gives you the chance to get to know your fellow urbanites, either by working for an Uber-like car-sharing service to engage in chitchat and make extra cash, or by walking the streets and hacking into their phones to steal money and listen in on phone calls.

When you get tired of that, you're never far from a motorcycle or go-kart race, or a handful of small side missions. There's no shortage of wacky quests to break things up and offer light-hearted goals, such as rescuing a Tom Cruise-like celebrity from the clutches of a cult or hijacking a talking car--similar to KITT from Knight Rider--from its movie-set storage. You may wonder how a team of determined activists find themselves so readily distracted from their primary targets, but somehow, every mission connects back to the bigger picture. And, really, Watch Dogs 2 doesn't take its own story too seriously, so it pays to sit back and enjoy the ride when things get weird.

Even when playing solo, Watch Dogs 2 remains a fun, energetic game filled with possibilities.

Though the feature wasn't present at launch, Watch Dogs 2 now supports seamless player-versus-player hacking online. You are free to turn this off if you wish, but knowing that you may have to stop what you're doing at the drop of a hat to find the nearby stranger tapping into your phone adds a small but appreciable layer to the experience. The game also offers opportunities to join police chases and take down troublemaking players--don't be surprised when the tables are turned and you see another player on your tail, barreling down steep streets beside a fleet of SFPD vehicles. When you'd rather hack with, rather than against someone, you can take on small co-op missions, but they’re so close to single-player missions in structure that factoring in coordination can seem more like a chore than a benefit.

Even when playing solo, Watch Dogs 2 remains a fun, energetic game filled with possibilities. It's easy see-through enemy AI during missions that are supposed to be challenging, which holds back the game at large, but it's a chance to let loose, logic be damned. Watch Dogs 2's world is a step up from the first game's dreary rendition of Chicago, and even though Watch Dogs 2 can't go toe-to-toe with genre heavyweights, it's hard to walk away from its fun-loving attitude and exuberant cast.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:21:00 -0800)
Sarah Gristwood’s group portrait of the 16th century’s ruling women, “Game of Queens.” Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:10:39 GMT )
The Book Review’s Crime columnist chooses her favorite books from the past year. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:01:08 GMT )
Two space colonies fall into confrontation amid a refugee crisis; in an alternate steampunk history, King Leopold’s minions are driven from the Congo; and a vampire gang war rages in Mexico City. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:59:11 GMT )
“Jerusalem, 1000-1400,” edited by Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb, accompanies a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:45:13 GMT )
“Testimony,” a memoir by Robbie Robertson, ends where “The Last Waltz” ends, with the Band disbanding. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:45:11 GMT )
“Francis Picabia” attempts to chart a zigzag career that made up in energy what it lacked in depth of exploration. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:45:10 GMT )
This anthology, edited by Graydon Carter, collects some of the magazine’s best writing about notable authors. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:45:03 GMT )
In “How to See,” David Salle aims to help the reader make sense of the sometimes perplexing world of contemporary art. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:44:53 GMT )
A catalog of Hockney’s work and “A History of Pictures,” a lavishly illustrated dialogue between the artist and the art critic Martin Gayford. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:44:01 GMT )
Franny Moyle’s “Turner” provides a clear picture of the very unclear life of this inventive artist. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:18:03 GMT )
In “Love for Sale,” David Hajdu traces the history of pop music with the friendly authority of a favorite teacher. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:11:36 GMT )
The Game Awards were loaded with trailers and news, including the latest on Prey, Death Stranding, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and more. Here's the best stuff. Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 09:08:00 -0800)
“The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel,” Steven Fine’s richly illustrated academic study. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:16:52 GMT )
Jerry Brotton’s “The Sultan and the Queen” is about England’s first sustained interaction with the Muslim world. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:16:44 GMT )
In “Al Capone,” Deirdre Bair investigates Public Enemy No. 1 through the unexpected lens of home and family. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:16:28 GMT )
Karen Bowman’s “Corsets and Codpieces” is a brisk romp through a millennium of fashion’s victims. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:16:14 GMT )
In Marc Myers’s “Anatomy of a Song,” songwriters and performers speak in their own voices about one of their signature songs. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:16:09 GMT )
Richard Fortey’s “The Wood for the Trees” includes a striking, immensely detailed portrait of the flora and fauna contained in four acres. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:15:58 GMT )
Ronald H. Fritze’s wide-ranging “Egyptomania” is about the peculiar charm Egypt has exerted since ancient times. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:09:00 GMT )
A look at the international hair trade, and a handsome coffee table book by the celebrity hairdresser John Barrett. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:15:20 GMT )
Paul Staiti’s “Of Arms and Artists” and Jane Kamensky’s “A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley” focus on Revolutionary-era culture. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:09:14 GMT )
“By Women Possessed,” Arthur and Barbara Gelb’s third biographical volume about Eugene O’Neill, suggests that next to the horrors of his actual life, the plays are charming diversions. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:09:07 GMT )
“Kurosawa’s Rashomon,” by Paul Anderer, is part biography of Kurosawa, part cultural history of modern Japan and part film monograph. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:15:52 GMT )

When you make that road trip to Death Valley National Park, don’t just drive to Badwater, which is famed for being the lowest point in North America.

Try to get there at sunrise or sunset, when the dramatic light all but transforms the landscape into a sci-fi set. Then hike a few hundred yards...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

Crime fiction is always well represented on bestseller lists, but this year it's also found its way into the most exclusive chambers of literary prestige. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s “The Sympathizer” won the best first novel Edgar, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today, including our weekend recommendations and weekly look back into the archives.

TOP STORIES

The Golden State’s New Foil to Trump?

Alongside Gov. Jerry Brown, the state’s next attorney...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

Seven members of the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote to President Obama this week asking him to declassify and make public “additional information concerning the Russian government and the U.S. election” that committee members apparently have learned about in confidential briefings. The president...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )

Anti-abortion lawmakers and state officials across the country have gone to unusual lengths since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe vs. Wade to deter women from exercising that particular constitutional right. Lately, however, a handful of states have taken the effort to a bizarre extreme. Following...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 05:00:00 PST )
5 Stylish Snow-Ready Sneakers to Keep You Warm This Winter
When loaded with the right features and technology, sneakers can stand up to winter weather too. The post 5 Stylish Snow-Ready Sneakers to Keep You Warm This Winter appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:02:35 +0000 )
Review: Sphero Battle-Worn BB-8 with Force Band
With Sphero's new Force Band accessory, you can control your favorite rolling bot with a flick of the wrist. The post Review: Sphero Battle-Worn BB-8 with Force Band appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:12:25 +0000 )

During the George W. Bush administration, Americans abroad were advised to affix Canadian-flag patches to their backpacks or adopt a British accent to avoid the locals’ disgust with our elected leader. The warnings stuck with me, and as I packed my bags for a trip to Europe last month, I steeled...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 04:00:00 PST )

When Floridians narrowly voted for Donald Trump on Nov. 8, they might as well have elected to drown themselves. Rising seas and accelerating storms are inundating this low-lying state, but a majority of its citizens still chose a presidential candidate who calls climate change a hoax.

A disconnect...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 04:00:00 PST )

The corner of Market and 55th streets in Oakland is unremarkable in many ways. Rush hour traffic whizzes by modest homes that have become mostly unaffordable for the working class African-Americans who once defined the place.

But this intersection holds a unique place in California history.  It...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 04:00:00 PST )
We round-up the Top 15 best and highest rated Samyang lenses reviewed on ePHOTOzine.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 12:00:01 GMT )
Phase One has released the latest version of its raw conversion and image editing software.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 12:04:34 GMT )

Walk into any college dorm and you’ll find one of them — Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy. There, covering the cinder blocks, is almost always a black-and-white poster of a glamorous icon still recognized more for her beauty than anything else.

But in her freshman dorm room at Harvard...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

The sun had yet to rise over the northern Syrian village of Al Tokhar on July 19 when a U.S. airstrike obliterated much of the town, leveling adobe buildings and killing families as they slept.

Soon grisly photos of bloody corpses and grieving survivors began appearing on social media, alerting...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

Heather Spohr didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean she’s not interested in keeping up with what her soon-to-be president has been saying.

That hasn’t been so easy for the Thousand Oaks mother of two ever since she tweeted during a Republican primary debate last year that she found the...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

What you earn, how much you owe, where you went to college, what you do for a living — they’re all variables that online lenders and credit start-ups think are predictors of whether you will repay.

But Doug Ricket thinks there’s another, more powerful factor: the fear of missing out.

He’s the founder...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

Terry Hendricks supports Hillary Clinton — up to a point.

The Fullerton resident thinks that point was reached Nov. 8 when Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump. Hendricks, 69, reckons that her recurring $10 monthly contributions to the Hillary Victory Fund should have come to...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 11-5 (.688); season 116-59-2 (.663). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 9-6-1 (.600);...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

Your credit card may start winking at you soon in an effort to keep your data safe.

French digital security company Oberthur Technologies, which maintains a significant design and production operation in Los Angeles, has developed a digital display powered by a micro-thin battery. It will change...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

For most of her life, Natalia Jaramillo endured the abuses of living in a village controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The leftist guerrillas spied on her, told her when she could leave her house and forcibly recruited two cousins.

Her breaking point came one day in 2014 when...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST )

Ever since he was sidelined by illness from his role as Cuba’s leader in 2006, Fidel Castro loomed like a historical shadow. El barbudo (the bearded one), as he was known, was present in the occasional staged photograph or rambling newspaper editorial, but no longer a part of daily life in the...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 03:05:00 PST )

There’s the Lou Correa who many voters have met on the campaign trail: the self-described “homegrown” candidate who’s an affable but unapologetic, middle-of-the-road Democrat.

But there’s another Correa that few have ever heard of: a man who lived much of his early life in Mexico, learned English...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 00:05:00 PST )

Ondrej Kase scored his first NHL goal, John Gibson made 27 saves and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Thursday night. 

Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim (12-8-4), which has won three in a row. 

Henrik Sedin had Vancouver's only goal, and Ryan Miller...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 1 Dec 2016 22:55:00 PST )

Before his two-goal performance in the Kings’ wild 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, rugged winger Jordan Nolan hadn’t scored since April 9, 2015. That was long enough for him to forget exactly when he had last put one in the net, but not so long that he gave up on ever scoring...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 1 Dec 2016 20:55:00 PST )
Enter today's free Christmas Prize Draw for the chance to win a Tamron 16-300mm lens.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Fri, 2 Dec 2016 07:00:01 GMT )


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