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NEWS (LAST 200)
Brisbane train line reopens after emerge...
Wallabies will respond to hardest loss, ...
Gurriel homers twice as Astros punch pla...
Man who threatened to shoot Trump caught...
Gurriel drives in 7 as Astros rout Angel...
Bellew says Joshua should not be fightin...
China cancels trade talks with US as tar...
Camargo, Braves rally in 7th to top Phil...
Red Sox tie team record with 105th win; ...
Pushback may scuttle Auckland Council wa...
Queensland government boosts funding for...
Tyra Banks sells her contemporary luxury...
Home And Aways Jackson Gallagher reveals...
Astros top Angels 11-3, clinch a postsea...
Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty de...
Man gets 20 years for bat attack on Spec...
Worlds list of heaviest drinkers reveale...
Cambodias pardon of Australian filmmaker...
Gurriels are 1st brothers with multiple ...
The Latest: Faculty ask donor to remove ...
Report Finds Faster Response Might Have ...
MLB Astros vs Angels Box score
Person dies after becoming trapped under...
Mueller Probe's Fate Hinges On Rod ...
Red Sox tie franchise wins record with 7...
Pompeo threatens Iran, slams John Kerry...
Animal rights group PETA condemns Texas ...
Chinas Liaoning vows to eradicate bad in...
We believed, says Scott Pendlebury...
Ferrari 308GTSi Once Owned by Miles Davi...
Yuzuru Hanyu in first place after short ...
Cafe utilizing robot waiters remotely co...
Move to change Waiheke freight services ...
England look to move on from Alastair Co...
Red Sox tie team record with 105th win; ...
Kavanaugh accuser, Republicans in stando...
Belkin AP21100-12 PureAV Power Condition...
‘100 Kegs or Bust’: Kavanaugh friend...
Justice moves to 4-0 for the first time ...
Urbeats Wireless earbuds (Red, Blue, Gol...
Christopher Bell wins Xfinity Series rac...
Irobot Roomba (Astoria) $30...
Sony CMTBX5BT CMT Micro Component System...
Dark Souls Remastered Switch Beta Gamepl...
Hamilton Beach deep fryer 3qt (ASTORIA) ...
USC vs. Washington State: Trojans 7, Cou...
EPSON EMP-TW1000 1080P HD LCD HDMI PROJE...
electronics lot, speakers, xbox, rotel &...
Rosie DiManno: Gurriel blasts silver lin...
In the ‘evaluation’ part of their sc...
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig gets rare...
AudioSource Center Channel Speaker...
SOL REPUBLIC Bluetooth Headphones (Astor...
How USC and Washington State match up...
arcam fmj p7 Power Amplifier
USC scores touchdown on opening drive wi...
JBL HTPS 400 Subwoofer
Plantronics DISCOVERY 975 Bluetooth Head...
Haier Air Conditioner/ AC (ASTORIA) �...
This is an extraordinary moment’: Yale...
Pioneer PDP-S40U Stereo speaker Sound Ba...
No. 14 Bullis takes down No. 7 Quince Or...
John Tavares scores two as Leafs beat Sa...
Sunfire Theater Grand II Pre-Amp
Logitech Speakers with 30-pin Connector ...
Video Diary: Kurt Brunton has his T-Cell...
Airport Express Base Station (Midtown Ea...
Braves move to brink of division title, ...
Best of college football Week 4
Mets 4, Nationals 2: Jacob deGrom’s Qu...
Two Kiwis, one town, and their 2260km jo...
Pair face court over car chase that ende...
Pardoned Australian filmmaker to be depo...
Ben Carson calls Kavanaughs opponents de...
At Missouri Rally, Trump Casts Midterm E...
A family watch their son grow bigger tha...
Savage US ad: Biggest wow moment ever se...
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Superc...
Afternoon trivia quiz: September 22...
How fire could unlock suburbias hidden t...
MLB Yankees vs Orioles Box score
Key allies want FBI docs blocked: Trump...
Should A Sexual Assault Follow You For L...
Elie Tahari sues UES building over penth...
Top justice official denies discussing r...
Marines run to save seniors trapped in a...
Kavanaugh sex assault accuser and Republ...
Japanese publisher admits magazine’s a...
Mom of MS-13 victim mourned as ‘hero...
Top NRL referee to earn $315k if pay dem...
Harvard beats Brown 31-17 in 118th meeti...
Yankees survive late rally to fend off w...
A real fighter: Missing meerkat back in ...
Kavanaugh accuser in testimony stand-off...
John Paulson teams up with investors to ...
Milton accounts for 6 TDs, No. 16 UCF ro...
Family: Man killed under Santa Monica Pi...
Man dies after being trapped under a car...
MLB Indians vs Red Sox Box score
Fake Uber driver ‘sexually assaulted t...
Republicans and Kavanaugh accuser in sta...
Sabathia helps Yanks beat Orioles 10-8, ...
Bethenny Frankel says shes been on a gri...
Selena Gomez meets a mystery man for bre...
Yanks flex home run muscle in outscoring...
Venezuelan grandfather mocks Salt Bae af...
Emmy Awards 2018: Emilia Clarke braless ...
Outrage as article questions legitimacy ...
LEADING OFF: Victor Martinez wraps up, W...
Hefty Arconic price tag could scare off ...
Troy's win over Nebraska is the lat...
Jacob deGrom strengthens Cy Young case a...
Storm star Billy Slater charged, faces N...
Meadows drives in 3, Rays stay alive by ...
15-hit output leads Rays over Jays, 11-3...
De Blasio allies blast mayor over plot t...
Couple in court over car chase that ende...
Time to give Jacob deGrom the NL Cy Youn...
Retailers warn of price hikes due to Tru...
Former Home and Away star Isabel Lucas c...
Vin Scully makes rare public appearance ...
Trump administration has doled out $25.8...
Newspaper in southern Mexico says report...
Royals Kennedy wins 2nd straight, beats ...
Fantasy running back scramble presents o...
Rita Ora channels Pamela Anderson in per...
Galloway hits walk-off double in 10th, M...
Person trapped under car in Highland Par...
Adorable one-month-old baby meerkat that...
Liga MX Top Scorers
DeGrom shines again as Mets top Nats...
Old rivals Rabbitohs and Roosters square...
Autumn equinox is upon us
Fearing auto tariffs, Japan to cave on T...
Brett Kavanaughs alleged victim seeks ne...
Maldives police remove anti-Islamic idol...
NASCAR XFINITY-Go Bowling 250 Results...
Trump turns on Supreme Court nominees ac...
Celebrity stylist reveals the five items...
Turkey’s currency crisis is a banking ...
Ford requests another day before Kavanau...
Kavanaugh accuser needs another day to d...
Memory's frailty may be playing role...
Gwen Stefani dresses down for a family d...
Liga MX Standings
Liga MX Summaries
Super Kewell kicks Hall of Fame goal...
Galloways clutch hit in 10th gives Marli...
FEMA administrator will reimburse govern...
Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke Clash Over ...
Michael Saudino, a New Jersey Sheriff, R...
Kiwi surfer Paige Hareb into world games...
Quebec election: Philippe Couillard susp...
Helping Cy shot, deGrom drops ERA to 1.7...
Kavanaugh Accuser Rejects Arbitrary Ulti...
Driver who killed Colts Jackson sentence...
Pauly D spotted with mystery blonde in W...
MS-13 gang member admits he killed to ...
The best bargain at Apple can be yours f...
Photo of schoolchildren taking down US f...
Billy Slater set to miss NRL grand final...
Brexit compromise still possible, Donald...
Kennedy charity’s bail plan will likel...
Bid critics underwhelmed by citys Olympi...
De Blasio: No bailout for Staten Island ...
Burt Reynolds memorial: Actor's ex-...
SAMSUNG GEAR VR WITH CONTROLLER (NASSAU ...
iPhone 7 (128gb) Rose Gold UNLOCKED (Mur...
'AGT' finalist Michael Kettere...
Trump on Twitter (Sept 21) - Kavanaugh, ...
Pulock's power-play goal pushes Isl...
Louis Vuitton the most-counterfeited for...
Halogen Photography light bulbs (Greenpo...
Black iPhone 7 256gb (Unlocked & JailBro...
$105 TV 32 INCH (medford) $105...
Calum Henderson: Forever is your new fav...
Royals beat Tigers 4-3, stop 5-game slid...
Apple ipod shuffle 2nd generation 1GB SE...
Bang & Olufson Retro Art Deco Turntable ...
HappyLight Deluxe (LONG ISLAND CITY) &#x...
Seoul shares to seek upturn on eased tra...
NETGEAR AC1200 Smart WiFi Router with Ex...
‘We have far more bullets’: Trump th...
Bruce Arthur: Ujiri’s indelible summer...
KLH 56 SPEAKERS (NASSAU COUNTY) $...
DJI ronin s (forest hills)
Two Data-Linc Ethernet Modems SRM-6200 E...
What is EXIF Data?
Bose Wave II radio w/ CD & remote ...
Galloway hits walk-off double in 10th, M...
Brockhampton bring chaos to Auckland: A ...
Red Wings defenseman Mike Green will mis...
Helping Cy shot, deGrom drops ERA to 1.7...
Trump praises Kavanaugh and says, ‘We ...
Oppo PM-2 PLANAR MAGNETIC HEADPHONES &#x...
APPLE IPAD PRO WIFI + 4G LTE SPACE GRAY ...
Google C.E.O. Denies Allegations of Poli...
Bell wins Xfinity race at Richmond; Earn...
Toshiba 32C120U 32-Inch 720p 60Hz LCD HD...
NBA commissioner defends decision to not...

REVIEWS & PREVIEWS (LAST 60)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic says return to Galaxy...
Leader Cartoon: Revenge
Letter of support for CalPERS CEO Marcie...
Yes, California has a full-on fall. And ...
See a glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix in his ...
Fendi to release Mania capsule collectio...
Worried about Googles political bias? Do...
Will a larger Adidas Yeezy boost release...
Telltale Confirms Studio Shutdown; Walki...
More than a dozen women and a man among ...
Saturday Night Live adds L.A.s Ego Nwodi...
TV listings: Here are the feature and TV...
A sexy Handmaids Tale costume is pulled ...
Nonfiction: Is America’s Most Popular ...
Junked cranes, empty barrels, spilled ch...
A vote for Proposition 11 is a sensible ...
When fake news kills: Lynchings in Mexic...
5 people, 3 of them infants, stabbed at ...
Millionaires visas give the wealthy an u...
Alex Padilla is the clear choice for Cal...
Neighborhood disputes turn into little w...
Kids skip school in alarm-bell numbers. ...
Review: Maniac is a riot of conflicting ...
The burden of being the first black man ...
In Maniac, Cary Fukunaga goes on a journ...
87 days of smog: Southern California jus...
Kicking EV drivers out of carpool lanes ...
Sam Farmers NFL Week 3 picks
From the Archives: Munchkins at premiere...
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang dies...
Week 5 High School Football Preview: Los...
Lakers Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka rev...
Forrest Lamp keeps his guard up as he sl...
The Times college football experts make ...
California professor accusing Kavanaugh ...
Review: Documentary Antonio Lopez 1970: ...
Hedi Slimane unveils venue for Céline d...
Over four decades, an inexorable epidemi...
Review: Rashida Jones composes a loving ...
A doctor defends her use of bioidentical...
Star Control: Origins Review - Space Odd...
Colin Kaepernicks lawyer drops hints abo...
Broken Sword 5: The Serpents Curse Revie...
For Sherman Oaks Notre Dames Tommy Beres...
Rockstar Will Stagger Red Dead Redemptio...
Why Red Dead Redemption 2s Online Mode R...
How Stranger Things Became Halloween Hor...
The Joker Movie Casts A New Thomas Wayne...
Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Season 1 ...
New Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Video...
What Are Captain Marvels Powers? The Mov...
Final Fantasy Composer Taking Leave Of A...
Rams tight ends are starting to catch up...
Thursday’s TV highlights: Beat Bobby F...
2 L.A. deputies shot at East L.A. park; ...
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is betting ...
Antelope Valley looking strong in Divisi...
How Mayans M.C. Connects With Sons Of An...
The Gardens Between Review - Dance Among...
Christina Tosi is opening her L.A. Milk ...


CalPERS leadership has expressed its support for CEO Marcie Frost in a letter.

Michael Hiltzik: CalPERS needs to come clean about its CEO's educational background »

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:50:00 PDT )

Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, frustrated by a seven-game winless streak that has the team’s playoff hopes on life support, won’t commit to returning next season.

“I don’t know. This I have to discuss,” he said after training on Friday. “This is not the moment to talk about that. It’s something...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:00:00 PDT )
The sneaker industry reacts to Adidas and Kanye West reportedly releasing 1 million pairs of the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 sneakers. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:50:00 PDT )

Welcome to fall, California style, which officially starts with the equinox on Saturday, but has been dressing for the occasion for weeks.

In upper altitudes, near peak fall color has already been reported by the state’s grand marshal of leaf-peeping, John Poimiroo, and his crew of more than 100...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:30:00 PDT )

Picking up from a few looks teased in February on the fall runway, Fendi is rolling out a capsule collection based on the Fendi/Fila logo created by Instagram artist @hey_reilly. Called Fendi Mania, the capsule will hit stores on Oct. 16 with special events planned for New York, Beverly Hills,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:40:00 PDT )

Update: Telltale has issued a statement in which it confirms fears that the studio will indeed shut down. It does not address the specific fate of its games, only saying more details will be shared in the coming weeks, but reaffirming that only 25 people remain with the studio for the time being. The full statement follows.

Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company's employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company's obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement:

"It's been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.

Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.

Original Story: Telltale Games, the studio behind several acclaimed episodic adventure games based on a range of popular licenses, including The Walking Dead and Batman, has been hit with another huge wave of layoffs. News of the layoffs emerged via social media as former developers announced they were no longer employed at the company.

It is currently unclear if Telltale has shut down completely or will remain operational with a reduced workforce, but it appears a significant number of developers have been let go from the company. Telltale itself has yet to publicly comment on the layoffs. GameSpot has reached out to the studio and will report back with a response.

According to a report by Gamasutra, Telltale has released all but 25 employees (out of about 250), who will remain at the company to finish the remaining episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. The outlet also reports that all of the studio's other projects, such as the second season of The Wolf Among Us, have been canceled.

Kevin Bruner, a co-founder and former CEO of Telltale (who sued the company earlier this year after being forced out), has published a blog post commenting on the news. "Today, I'm mostly saddened for the people who are losing their jobs at a studio they love," he wrote. "And I'm also saddened at the loss of a studio that green-lit crazy ideas that no one else would consider. I'm comforted a bit knowing there are now so many new talented people and studios creating games in the evolving narrative genre. While I look forward to those games and new developments, and continuing to contribute, I will always find 'A Telltale Game' to have been a unique offering."

This isn't the first massive wave of layoffs to hit the company. In November 2017, Telltale laid off 25% of its workforce, which then amounted to 90 people. According to a press release the company released, this reduction was done in order to make the studio "more competitive as a developer and publisher of groundbreaking story-driven gaming experiences with an emphasis on high quality in the years ahead."

Telltale announced a number of projects in July 2017, including the aforementioned Wolf Among Us 2. That was originally planned for release in 2018 but was eventually delayed to 2019 following the November layoffs. The studio had also announced it was developing a game based on Stranger Things, but it appears those projects have now been shelved.

News of these layoffs comes shortly before the release of the second episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which is scheduled to launch for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on September 25. Two additional episodes are still planned for the series. We don't yet know what this news means for its previously announced release schedule; the same is true of the games it's responsible for publishing, such as Stranded Deep, which it just yesterday announced would launch for PS4 and Xbox One in October.

We'll report back as we learn more.

Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:39:00 -0700)

More than a dozen women and one man have come forward to accuse a Newport Beach surgeon, who already had been charged with drugging and raping two women, of additional sexual assaults, with at least one dating back two decades. Several of the new accusers also alleged the surgeon’s girlfriend participated...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:35:00 PDT )
As Mark Leibovich demonstrates in “Big Game,” his book about the N.F.L., the Lords of the League can’t cope with minor embarrassments, much less serious scandals. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Thu, 06 Sep 2018 19:00:04 GMT )

There was a time when a job at the Amuay refinery — the crown jewel of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company — was a ticket to the good life.

Petroleos de Venezuela, at its height, was the fifth largest oil company in the world. Salaries at the plant were high, benefits generous, and workers basked...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 03:00:00 PDT )

While the Trump administration has been dramatically limiting the number of immigrant visas the U.S. will issue, it has been quietly accepting more applicants in one particular category than any other administration over the last decade: the EB-5 Regional Center program, reserved for those who...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

No need for a big wind-up here: Democratic incumbent Alex Padilla has by and large done a solid job in his first four-year term as California’s secretary of state and he should be returned to Sacramento for a second term.

Padilla, a former Los Angeles City Council member and state senator, won...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

At a cocktail party I attended, a guy railed about how “stupid” it is that the Israelis and the Palestinians can’t seem to resolve their differences. This was actually his second subject of the evening — the first being his ugly, decade-long battle with his neighbor over the leaves his tree drops...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

Proposition 11 on the Nov. 6 ballot would make clear that emergency medical technicians and paramedics working for private ambulance services must remain reachable during paid work breaks so that they can respond immediately when needed. It’s a sensible proposal that would maintain the status quo...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

Talented teachers keep students glued to their seats, and even kids who regard school as deadly dull make it a point of going to their classes. But while the quality of teaching can be improved, we won’t make every teacher a pedagogical wonder — someone like the character played by Robin Williams...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

"Maniac," whose ten episodes begin streaming Friday on Netflix, is a big, weird, tightly controlled mess of a show. It swings for the bleachers and doesn't always connect — and when it does, it can seem to skip some bases or run them out of order. But it does keep swinging and running.

Starring...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: The story of USC football great C.R. Roberts and his game against the University of Texas in 1956 reflects those of other men who had to endure being among the first to perform a job that had customarily been done by white males.

As the first black male promoted to expediter at a...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

Southern Californians might remember the summer of 2018 for its sweltering heat waves, record ocean temperatures and destructive wildfires. But it also claimed another distinction: the summer we went nearly three months without a day of clean air.

The region violated federal smog standards for...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

Police in New York say at least five people, including three infants, were stabbed at an overnight day care center in Queens.

NBC New York reports that authorities say the stabbings happened just before 4 a.m. Friday. One of the infants, a girl, is in serious condition, but none of the injuries...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: If up to 25% of drivers in the carpool lanes are scofflaws, and a mere 8% are driving clean cars, then the only reason California is invalidating the decals of more than 200,000 clean-car motorists is that it is easier than targeting the drivers who should not be in the lanes.

The...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 8-7-1 (.533); season 16-14-2 (.533). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-10 (.375);...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

On a morning last October, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone were having an intense conversation about globular clusters.

Neither a brand of granola nor an exciting new indie band, globular clusters are a crucial (if mysterious) element of “Maniac,” an inventive series directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, in...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )
Two lynchings in Mexico highlight how false rumors circulated on social media and messaging platforms contribute to vigilante justice. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

The Aug. 15, 1939, premiere of “The Wizard of Oz” in Los Angeles was complete with Munchkins at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Actor Wallace Beery, kneeling, was joined by his daughter Carol Ann, center, “Wizard of Oz” producer Mervyn LeRoy, far right, and several actors dressed in Munchkin costumes...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 01:00:00 PDT )

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang has died. He was 61.

The official Vietnam News Agency says Quang died at the 108 Military Hospital in Hanoi on Friday due to a serious illness. It did not elaborate.

Quang hosted President Donald Trump during his first state visit to the communist country last...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 22:45:00 PDT )

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Garden Grove High

Key Lobos: Sr. QB Brandon Tinoco (40 of 74 passing for 648 yards, nine TDs and three INTs); Jr. RB/DB Brian Pacheco (65 carries for 506 yards and three TDs; 17 catches for 330 yards and two TDs); Jr. WR Adolfo Chavez (10 catches for 212 yards and six...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 20:45:00 PDT )

By no means were either Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations, or general manager Rob Pelinka afraid to be bold when they put together this collection of free-agent talent for the Lakers.

They claim to have been undaunted when adding the strong personalities and diverse characteristics...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 19:40:00 PDT )

Forrest Lamp was drafted by the Chargers in April of 2017.

He has yet to make his NFL debut, and there’s a good reason why.

“There are certain plays in practice where you feel really good,” Lamp said Thursday. “Like, ‘Oh, dang, this kind of felt like it used to.’ Then there are plays that are really...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 18:45:00 PDT )

Each week, the Los Angeles Times’ college football experts — it’s how they refer to themselves — will make choices on a variety of games. Warning: If they could accurately predict results, they wouldn’t be reporters or editors.

Ben Bolch

Washington State at USC: USC 31-24

Georgia at Missouri: Georgia...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 15:15:00 PDT )

Negotiations for a high-stakes public hearing about the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh gained steam Thursday when his accuser, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee offering to testify next week.

... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 12:20:00 PDT )

In the documentary “Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco,” filmmaker James Crump shines a light on one of the lesser-known, but nonetheless influential figures from the wild fashion, art and media revolution of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

A flamboyant Nuyorican who collaborated with art director...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Movie Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 12:50:00 PDT )

For his debut show for Celine on Sept. 28, Hedi Slimane has chosen a powerful symbol of Paris: the Hôtel des Invalides, home to Napoleon’s tomb.

The designer posted an image on Instagram of a metallic structure being erected under the building’s gilded dome, which sits a stone’s throw from the...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:55:00 PDT )

Americans have long construed drugs of abuse as choices. Poor choices that can cost users their lives, to be sure, but choices nonetheless.

But what if drugs of abuse are more like predators atop a nationwide ecosystem of potential prey? Or like shape-shifting viruses that seek defenseless people...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:50:00 PDT )

Musician Quincy Jones has accomplished enough for three lifetimes … and he’s not done yet. An EGOT-winning arranger, producer and performer, Jones broke down showbiz doors previously closed to African Americans and along the way helped popularize and legitimize the sounds of jazz, R&B and hip-hop.

... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:40:00 PDT )

To the editor: As a physician I have devoted my entire career to helping patients achieve optimal health and wellness regardless of gender or celebrity. I was disappointed that the L.A. Times would pick up an article about me earlier published by People Magazine. This report contained unfair and...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:45:00 PDT )

At 11 p.m. on a Friday night last February, with his mother at his side and his father asleep, Tommy Beres clicked on his computer to find out what score he had attained on the ACT.

“I really didn’t think I did that well,” he said. “I thought I scored 32, 33.”

When he saw 36 — a perfect score —...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:45:00 PDT )

Remember when Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer predicted his client would have a job in the NFL “within the next 10 days?”

That was 327 days ago. And the one-time San Francisco 49ers quarterback still hasn’t landed with a team.

But that’s not stopping attorney Mark Geragos from peering into the future...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:50:00 PDT )

Editor's note: Almost five years after its PC debut, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse has come to the Nintendo Switch, bringing its challenging variety of point-and-click adventure puzzles and complex but compelling narrative to the portable system. With it comes some elegant touch screen controls that make poking around the beautifully drawn and detailed environments feel more natural, though you can jump back to using the Joy-Con at any time, switching between the two methods without opening a menu.

As you progress through the familiar but still fascinating story you'll also unlock Switch-exclusive bonus movies from a making-of documentary about the game's development, including some great looking concept art. Even now, Broken Sword 5 still looks gorgeous, and although its murder-turned-conspiracy story feels somewhat rote these days, its characters and dialogue are still great fun to watch as the drama unfolds. The pick-up-and-put-down nature of a point-and-click adventure works especially well on Switch, and the excellent use of touch screen controls enhances the experience even more. -- James Swinbanks, 9/20/18 [We have updated the score to reflect our experience with the Nintendo Switch version. The original review follows below.]

You mainly play as George, but you switch between him and Nico while investigating.
You mainly play as George, but you switch between him and Nico while investigating.

A murdered art gallery owner, a helmeted assassin, and a missing painting. It's just another beautiful day in Paris, and for George Stobbart and Nico Collard, a brand-new case to be solved. After a seven-year hiatus and a successful Kickstarter campaign, the best-selling Broken Sword series has reemerged. Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse ushers the return of the franchise's protagonists, along with a host of favorites.

It has been quite a while since George and Nico have joined up to solve a case, and in that stretch of time, the two seem to have pursued their own ventures: George has become an agent for an insurance company, and Nico is continuing her career as a globetrotting journalist. But a tragedy strikes, leaving a man murdered for a painting that was worth considerably less than others in the gallery. Since it was George's company that insured the showcase, he feels obligated to uncover the reason behind the theft and find out what makes this painting important enough to kill for. The crime-solving duo are soon reunited and thrust into a murderous conspiracy, armed only with George's astute problem-solving skills and Nico's feminine charm and sharp wit.

The story weaves a smart, fascinating, and often humorous tale. George and Nico's latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair, with just enough room for an ex-Russian mobster and an assassin or two to be thrown into the mix. You switch between the two characters as they follow a trail that has them trekking through France and London chasing down leads. As you progress, the plot begins to revolve around an age-old conflict between Gnostic and Dominican Christians, and at its epicenter is the painting: La Malediccio. The painting hides more secrets than what can be seen on the surface, and may be the key to an impending epidemic that threatens all life.

Broken Sword 5 follows the series' roots as a point-and-click adventure; you use the mouse cursor to control movement as well as to manipulate objects in an area, speak with people, or use items in your inventory to solve a puzzle. Like in many games in the genre, you pick up items and bits of evidence and store them. You use evidence to drag the truth out of people or suspects, while other items, even the most miniscule, such as a paper clip, 1970s cologne, or nail clippers, can be used or combined to solve puzzles down the line.

The two sleuths hop back and forth between Paris and London.
The two sleuths hop back and forth between Paris and London.

The order in which you procure these items is up to you. At times, you may only have a few clues, leaving you to scour the environment for more evidence necessary to drag information out of your target. Typically, all the evidence required to move the plot along is in your vicinity, if not already on hand. Any and all items in your inventory can be used in a conversation, sometimes to humorous results.

The puzzles in Broken Sword 5 are not too strenuous. Most of the time you already have everything in your inventory needed to complete a puzzle; otherwise, a quick hunt around the area yields what you need. The game plays a musical note when you're making progress in a puzzle or in your interrogation, cluing you in on when you're on the right path. The plot doesn't advance until you find every item or piece of evidence in the area, press the right series of switches, or receive an answer to all questions available. But if you do find yourself stumped, there's an optional hint system. The first hint or two gently nudge you in the right direction. If you still come up empty, the final hint presents the puzzle's full solution.

The various settings are designed with colorful, hand-painted graphics, and the cel-shaded characters blend effortlessly into the gorgeous scenic backdrops. Though Broken Sword 5 is aesthetically pleasing, it's hard not to notice the stiff and somewhat primitive animations, which are distracting compared to the game's overall beauty. Broken Sword 5's rich and vibrant world is complemented by characters who are interesting, entertaining, and often hilarious. The subtle nuances of their personalities shine through every conversation, and a great vocal cast makes each character believable and memorable.

George and Nico's latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair.

Some of the standout characters include the returning Sergeant Moue, who plays lapdog to the bumbling Inspector Navet. There is also a stereotypically snooty Frenchman who stands guard at an empty cafe while quoting philosophical advice. Also starring are a lecherous art critic and a young man who needs presentation advice for his mobile shop of trinkets and collectibles. The many varied and unique characters reinforce the depth of the game's narrative, and the two protagonists demonstrate a particular chemistry that makes their longtime history feel convincing.

You are provided with an in-game map, but Broken Sword 5 keeps aimless wandering down to a minimum. There was never a moment when I stared at the map screen not knowing my next destination. Even when you choose the wrong direction, the game comes up with a reason for you to turn back and try the opposite route. Some adventure game fans may be turned off by the linear focus, but I felt the design allowed the narrative to move with a strong pace and clear direction.

George Stobbart is back with a new mystery to solve
George Stobbart is back with a new mystery to solve

Just how deep the rabbit hole goes is the one mystery Broken Sword 5 doesn't shed light on. After about six hours, the game abruptly ends just as things start heating up for our stalwart heroes, leaving more lingering questions and theories than hard answers. The game is the first episode of a two-part adventure, meaning we won't get to the bottom of the conspiracy until sometime early next year.

Smart, occasionally funny, and immediately charming, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is easy to recommend based on its strong narrative, memorable characters, and artistic merit. The game is a vibrant return to form for the series, and should easily please the series' and point-and-click adventure game fans alike. The answers to the most pivotal questions remain on the horizon, but it's still good to see George and Nico back in action--they have been missed.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:48:00 -0700)

Star Control II was released in 1992 and remains notable for its bold amalgam of seemingly disparate ideas. It combined space exploration, arcade combat, resource management, trading, questing and chatting with aliens in a way that suggested its creators were still eagerly discovering what a game could be. This reboot, from strategy game developer Stardock, is a mostly faithful adaptation. It delivers an expansive galaxy steeped in mystery, knowing sci-fi winks and modern interface convenience, but as a genre mashup it can at times feel shallow and the overall experience is uneven.

Star Control: Origins begins with the human race donning its crisp and immaculately tailored Star Control uniform and making first contact with alien life. Within moments you find yourself appointed captain of the only ship in the human fleet equipped with a hyperdrive and thus entrusted with representing your species in the fledgling field of galactic diplomacy. This is no lavish 3D space sim a la Elite Dangerous, it should be noted. Most of the time you'll be looking at a flat 2D starfield as your ship putters around the galaxy. In combat, it looks much the same, and all conversations are shown as cartoonishly animated 2D scenes with plenty of text. Elsewhere, there are sector maps to analyze and ship upgrade blueprints to pore over--even a hyperlinked captain's log that records all your discoveries. The presentation definitely leans heavily into the strategy portion of its genre mashup.

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It quickly transpires that there are a lot of aliens in the galaxy, many of whom are well aware of the existence of humans and, let's be honest, seem surprised we're capable of rubbing two sticks together, let alone piloting a vessel between stars. Some of the aliens you meet will be friendly and keen to support your endeavors with advice, extra ships, and fuel top-ups. Others will be less friendly, interested in either taking advantage of your interstellar naivety by sending you on errands in exchange for their favor or shooting you on sight.

Aliens are painted in broad strokes, each species distinguished by their physical appearance and one or two glaring personality traits. The Mu'Kay are squid who are good-natured but really hate (and eat) fish, for example, while the Tywom are hapless but well-meaning slugs who have resigned themselves to being the most boring species in the galaxy. There's little nuance to the way each alien species is portrayed--they're all glib sketches with one element exaggerated for comic effect. Despite this, the writing is consistently excellent, regardless of whether you're hearing from an important quest-giver or generic NPC. A nice line about quirky details, good comedic timing, and the odd genuinely good joke elevates each alien beyond mere caricature. Encounters, even those that end in violence, are always played for laughs, resulting in a lighthearted, almost jovial tone that belies the starcharts and spreadsheet-style presentation elsewhere.

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When you're not chinwagging with your new extraterrestrial friends, you're probably being pelted with laser fire by the Skryve or the Drenkend or one of the other new enemies you've offended by poking your helmet beyond the Milky Way. Combat plays out on a discrete 2D arena where you battle one-on-one with an enemy ship. There's some strategy here as you weigh up the odds of your weaker ships winning versus the likelihood you might need to save your better ships for the next fight. And there's some skill required to make effective use of each ship's weapon loadout and handling, as well as managing the power-ups scattered around the arena.

But for the most part, as a top-down shoot ‘em up duel where you only control one ship with two weapons, combat feels too slight, too simplistic, a deficiency exacerbated by the frustratingly erratic AI behavior that sees it veer between unerring accuracy and blundering idiocy for no discernible reason. It's as infuriating when a weaker enemy ship hits you with every single missile as it is hilarious when the next enemy ship blows itself up by repeatedly crashing into asteroids. You can't skip combat if it's not to your taste, though you can outfit your ship with an upgrade that leaves combat to the AI--and leaves you to suffer through watching it. I spent an hour or so saving up to buy the AI-controlled fleet upgrade, only to disable it immediately after despairing at how its idea of an effective combat maneuver was to follow the enemy ship in a circle and hurl itself at every proximity mine the enemy dropped.

Throughout, Star Control: Origins is at its weakest when trying its hand at arcade-style action. When you reach a new planet or moon, you can launch a lander to explore its surface, quite literally dropping you into a mini-game where you have to guide your vehicle through the atmosphere to the target landing zone. It's all over in a matter of seconds, and the only challenge is that sometimes a strong wind will blow you off course--a hazard that can be mitigated through lander upgrades.

Once on the surface, you drive across the dinky sphere, collecting resources and avoiding or shooting hostile droids and creatures. Much like the combat, it's a simple affair, but there's a certain fastidious pleasure to be had from strip-mining every last trace of neutronium from the earth. Yet it can also become tedious as the limited cargo capacities of your lander and your ship conspire to force frequent (and lengthy) trips back to the nearest spaceport to sell your loot in order to maintain the grind.

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Soon, however, you'll stumble upon a point of interest on one of these spherical excursions and find yourself triggering a new quest to investigate a crashed ship or a mysterious distress call or pick up a lead as to the whereabouts of a post-human sect known as the Lexites. Before you know it, you're charting a course to a new system, filled with optimism about what you'll find on the next planet, what ship upgrades you'll soon be able to afford, what adventures the next alien you meet will inspire.

At its best, Star Control: Origins urges you to poke and prod into every corner of its intimidatingly vast galaxy, searching out ancient secrets and pun-filled absurdities. At its worst, it drags you through mediocre arcade sequences and generic grind. Genre mashups are far more common today than they were in 1992, but striking the right balance between adventure, role-playing and arcade action remains as tricky as ever.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:00:00 -0700)

Red Dead Online, the new "online connected experience" for Red Dead Redemption 2 will not be available at launch. Players will have to wait until sometime in November to try it out.

But why? Design director Imran Sarwar said in a new interview that Rockstar sees the single-player and the multiplayer elements as "separate products." Each will "grow and evolve independently of each other," he told IGN.

Sarwar added that Rockstar learned from previous releases that launching big online games is a tricky task. "There are bound to be a few issues and we want to ensure that we have time to gradually roll out the game and make the experience as smooth as we possibly can for everyone," he explained. "We believe this way of rolling out will give people the best overall experiences with both single player and multiplayer."

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The launch of Red Dead Online comes in the form of a public beta, so players can expect the experience to be a work in progress. Rockstar is expecting some "turbulence" at launch, adding that the studio looks forward to working with the community to make Red Dead Online everything it can be.

Rockstar's last big release, Grand Theft Auto V, also saw its single-player and multiplayer modes released separately. GTA Online launched about a month after GTA V came out back in 2013. It had numerous serious and significant issues, for which Rockstar apologised. GTA Online went on to become a massive hit for Rockstar, bringing in mountains of money from its microtransactions. Rockstar will be looking to replicate that success with Red Dead Online, which will also get numerous and frequent updates.

In the wake of the news about Red Dead Online launching after Red Dead Redemption 2, Take-Two's stock dropped today, though only slightly.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on October 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more on the ambitious open-world western.

Red Dead Redemption 2 News And Details

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:07:00 -0700)

Like Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar's next big open-world adventure, Red Dead Redemption 2, will feature a sprawling online component titled Red Dead Online. The mode will launch as a public beta this fall, and judging by the level of support GTA Online has enjoyed, it will likely receive a regular stream of updates for a long time to come. With a second open-world multiplayer game to support now, fans may wonder if GTA Online's updates will slow down, but Rockstar assures this won't be the case.

In an interview with IGN, Rockstar North director of design Imran Sarwar said the developer still intends to support GTA V's online mode after Red Dead Online arrives. "We still have big plans for Grand Theft Auto Online and we will continue to roll out updates for the foreseeable future," Sarwar said.

To avoid competition between its two big online games, Sarwar says Rockstar hopes to "stagger" updates for each one out so that players will be able to keep up with both, but there may be some overlap. "We vaguely plan to stagger the updates of both games so that players can switch between the two, but our development plans may not always allow this!" Sarwar said.

Rockstar still hasn't revealed many details about Red Dead Online. According to the studio, the mode is "an evolution of the classic multiplayer experience in the original Red Dead Redemption, blending narrative with competitive and cooperative gameplay in fun new ways." The public beta will go live sometime this November; those who own Red Dead Redemption 2 will be able to jump in for free, although the studio warns "there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch" given the scale of the endeavor.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches for PS4 and Xbox One next month, on October 26. Rockstar recently shared some new screenshots of the game, as well as some new details about its sprawling world. You can read more about the title in our roundup of everything we know about Red Dead Redemption 2 so far.

Red Dead Redemption 2 News And Details

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:08:00 -0700)

Sure, Chris Pratt might be the highest-billed star in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and he finds himself in the middle of several big action scenes featuring dinosaurs, villains, rain, guns, and quite a few more wrinkles that make things difficult. As it turns out, though, he's not the true action star of that movie.

As you can see in a special video from the movie's Blu-ray release, which is debuting exclusively on GameSpot, it's actually young Isabella Sermon, who plays Maisie Lockwood, who's the real hero. In the clip, the young actress is preparing for what is likely her most impressive moment in the film. "I've rehearsed for the big stunt, which is Maisie sliding down a massive glass roof," she says. "This morning we practiced actually on the set, where Maisie's climbing along the roof and the Indoraptor smashes out of a window."

In the finished film, this particular moment is pretty thrilling as the stormy night creates complications. As shown in the video, though, things were much more controlled on set, as the mansion was actually built inside of a soundstage, with production creating the rain.

Still, this scene sees Maisie and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) take quite a few tumbles, where a stunt person could have easily stepped in for the hard work. Sermon wasn't about to let that happen, though. "I'm just working with Izzy, who's earned the name 'the kid rock,' because she does all of her own stunts."

Who could blame her, though? Getting chased by dinosaurs, sliding down roofs, and saving the day is all anyone could ask for when starring in a Jurassic World movie, right? "It's quite fun," Sermon says with a smile.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is out on digital now and will be released on Blu-ray and 4K September 18. For more from the home release, take a look at this shocking revelation from Jeff Goldblum. Also make sure to check out our Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom pre-order guide.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:08:00 -0700)


Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina won't bring its brand of scares until closer to Halloween. If you just can't wait, though, a big batch of photos from the new series has arrived, and they are positively spellbinding.

The images are the first introduction the world is being given to a majority of the main characters on Chilling Adventures. While Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) and her journey are obviously front-and-center on the series, the world of Greendale is populated with some very interesting--and peculiar--people that make up her family, friends, and foes. Whether it's her aunts Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis), the trio of Weird Sisters that look down on Sabrina, or her boyfriend Harvey (Ross Lynch)--who is somehow completely oblivious to the teen witch's magical antics--there are a number of new faces fans will get to know when the series debuts.

Perhaps the most exciting and intriguing piece of the puzzle is Sabrina's cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo). After being placed under house arrest by the Witches Council at some point in his life, he's forbidden to leave their shared home. That won't stop him from getting into whatever trouble his cousin is causing, though.

Rounding out the cast are Michelle Gomez, Richard Coyle, Jaz Sinclair, and Bronson Pinchot. The first season of the series will consist of 10 episodes, with Netflix having already ordered a second season. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina debuts on the streaming service on October 26, just in time for a Halloween binge.

Don't forget to check out the first official teaser for the new series, as well as the 9 shows we think you need to be watching this fall.



Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka)



Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch)



The Weird Sisters (Adeline Rudolph, Tati Gabrielle, and Abigail Cowen)



Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto)



Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis)



Mary Wardell/Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez)



Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka)



Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis), and Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto)



Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle)



Ambrose Spellman (Chance Perdomo)



Susie Putnam (Lachlan Watson) and Rosalind Walker (Jaz SInclair)



Nicholas Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood)



Susie Putnam (Lachlan Watson), (Jaz Sinclair), Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), and Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch)


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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:07:00 -0700)

Batman finally has a dad… again. After Alec Baldwin dropped out of the role of Thomas Wayne in the upcoming Joker standalone movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, director Todd Phillips had a tall order ahead of him. Who would they find that could play the patriarch of the Wayne family?

According to ComicBook.com, that person is none other than former Devious Maids and Person of Interest star Brett Cullen. Interestingly, this won't be the actor's first time in a Batman universe film. He previously played a congressman in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. Additionally, he had the role of Barton Blaze--father to Nicolas Cage's Johnny--in Ghost Rider.

Baldwin cited scheduling issues when he announced he was no longer playing the role, days after it was reported that he had been cast. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that this movie's version of Thomas would somewhat resemble Donald Trump in the 1980s, casting the Wayne Enterprises head honcho as a "cheesy and tanned businessman."

The news of Cullen's casting comes on the heels of Phillips sharing the first look at Phoenix's titular character before he goes full-on psychotic clown. It's been rumored that the character's name is Arthur Fleck, with the movie telling the origin story of the clown prince of crime.

Joining Phoenix and Cullen in the film are Deadpool 2 breakout star Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Marc Maron, and Frances Conroy. The standalone Joker movie currently has no release date, though production is underway.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:09:00 -0700)

The first trailer for Captain Marvel has finally arrived after what seems like forever. At long last, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have gotten a look at Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in action as the superhero--along with a peek at the aliens she'll be fighting.

For who that don't follow the comics closely, though, you might be wondering what kind of powers Captain Marvel has. As can be seen in the opening seconds of the trailer, she is clearly impervious to most damage. Falling from space through a Blockbuster Video would kill any normal human.

In the comics, Carol has not only superhuman durability, but the strength and stamina to match--think Captain America, but even more powerful. As for weaponry, she has the ability to fire photon blasts from her hands, which can be seen in the trailer. She's also capable of absorbing massive amounts of energy.

One power from the comics not seen in the trailer is flight. Given that Carol Danvers was a highly-regarded pilot before becoming Captain Marvel, there's something wonderful about flight being one of her powers. Since the movie has given her a similar backstory, chances are that particular power will be on display in the film.

Whatever the case, it's clear that Captain Marvel is one of the most exciting additions to the MCU yet. It's no wonder she's who Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) paged at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.

Captain Marvel is in theaters on March 8, 2019. For more about the movie, check out our scene-by-scene breakdown of the first trailer and the fun Easter egg found in the poster.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:10:00 -0700)


Sure, you can watch Stranger Things at home. Chances are you've done that countless times and loved it. What if you could visit the Upside Down in real-life, though? Yes, an actual Upside Down--some kind of dark dimension filled with slime and dead trees and monsters--might not be your idea of a good vacation. But what if you could take a stroll through a replica that probably won't kill you?

That's what Universal Studios has built with its Stranger Things attraction at Halloween Horror Nights in the Hollywood and Orlando parks. The haunted maze pulls visitors into the first season of the Netflix series, retracing the steps of Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) as she searches for her missing son.

GameSpot was one of a few outlets to visit Universal Studios Hollywood for a tour of its Stranger Things maze while under construction. During the tour, Universal Studios Hollywood creative director John Murdy spilled many secrets about the new maze and how his team managed to translate a show as spooky and otherworldly as Stranger Things into a live experience. We were also able to snap some photos of the maze--and get our hands on some others for your viewing pleasure.

Halloween Horror Nights opens at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Orlando on Friday, September 14 and runs through November 3. It runs on select nights through Halloween. Make sure to check out our coverage of the other TV and movie-based mazes the event is pulling off this year.


Why they needed a soundstage


Though mazes for the event are typically built in massive tents constructed around the park, Stranger Things required something more. When a soundstage on the lot became available, Murdy knew he had his solution. "Only about two months ago Family Feud was filmed in here," he said. "And now we're in."

As for why this particular maze demanded a different type of space, there were a couple of reasons. First and foremost, lighting was a concern. "There's a lot of the Upside Down where you needed to have complete control, even though we build mazes in tents and everything," Murdy explained. "Having complete control of the lighting was really important." The other chief reason was a soundstage offers a much higher ceiling than the tents, which leads to some of the biggest sets ever seen in a Horror Nights maze--including a massive scene set in the Hawkins National Laboratory.


Working with the Duffer brothers on the maze


When it comes to creating a maze based on a known property, it always starts with a pitch to the creative teams behind the movie or show. Luckily for Murdy, Stranger Things co-creators the Duffer brothers are fans of Halloween Horror Nights.

"I pitched it to Netflix initially," he said. "I didn't personally pitch it to Duffer brothers, [Netflix was] going to present it to them. And so I said, 'Well I'll send you my treatment.' And that's usually about a hundred pages. And they called me as soon as they had the meeting with the Duffer brothers and [were] like, 'You won't believe this, there's no notes.'"

While Murdy and his team have been doing this long enough that it's not often that he would get a long list of notes back, "it's rare that you get none."

"They agreed 100% with our approach," he said. "They couldn't have agreed more." That approach is to solely focus on Season 1 of the series, rather than a mix of both installments.


Integrating the kids without having them throughout the maze


While Horror Nights mazes are typically filled with actors in costume, Stranger Things presented an odd dilemma. "What to do with the kids was a big decision we had to make because obviously on the show they're all 12," Murdy explained. "We just quickly realized that's not going to work, we got to figure out how to deliver the kids in a different way."

The answer was to use audio from the first season--the voices of the kids. "There's 5.1 surround sound system throughout this sequence and multi-channel audio everywhere," he said. "So all throughout the maze, you're hearing the kids on the walkie-talkies calling to each other looking for their friend who's missing."

Keep your eyes open, though. You still might see a couple kids along the way.


Recreating the Byers home


When it came to the actual design of the maze, that's where the obsessive work of Murdy and his team began. They poured over the show countless times, studied photos, and tried to recreate everything as closely as possible to what was seen on the show. When it came to the Byers' home, that wasn't necessarily easy.

"It's set in the 1980s but really for the Byers that means the '70s because they're not a wealthy family," Murdy admitted. "Most everything they have in this house came from the '70s." That meant sourcing out furniture, recreating wallpaper patterns, and looking for appropriate touches to fill the house with, including rotary phones that the Horror Nights team had to have altered by a special effects company, in order for them to react to what's happening within the maze.


Building Castle Byers--twice


It also meant things outside of the house needed to be built, like Castle Byers--Will's fort that he uses to escape from the real world. To make sure it was accurate to what fans remember, the maze-building team received on-set photography to use as a reference. Murdy said he pulled around 30,000 pictures from the show for reference.

And when it comes to Castle Byers, that department has to do it all twice--once for our world and once for the Upside Down, which has its own fort.


How they created the Demogorgon suit


What's a Stranger Things maze without a Demogorgon scaring visitors? Or in the case of Horror Nights, several Demogorgons. If you're going to be stepping into the maze, don't freak out when the beast is suddenly standing in front of you. "This is a full-blown creature suit that our performers are going to be wearing," Murdy teased.

How does one create a Demogorgon in real life, though? While originally Murdy planned to use the same molds the show did, there was a problem. "Quickly, you realize how much is CGI," he admitted. "So like when they did the Demogorgon on set, they had a guy in a creature costume but his head inside the head petals was all a big green hood. So all of the teeth and the mouth and the movement was CGI."

Instead, the Universal team used an animated "hero" head--one used for certain shots in the series--and sculpted their own version of it for the costume. From the teeth to the head petals, the massive Demogorgon will be haunting the maze, thanks to the event's artists.


Bringing the Upside Down to life


Building the Upside Down created another challenge for the team, due to it being mostly CGI on the series. To recreate that, the Horror Nights team created a forest of trees that look rotten in a pitch-black room. From there, dozens of small fiber optic lights have been hung throughout the area, creating the creepy light orbs seen in the Upside Down. "And then we're projecting on top of all of it," Murdy said.

The process of creating this particular piece of the maze took multiple layers and steps, but should ultimately be one of the most impressive pieces of the maze.


And that includes a very dead Barb


Yes, we have all come to terms with the fact that Barb is dead. Still, you wouldn't expect a Stranger Things Season 1 maze to not shout out the untimely death of Nancy's best friend, right? Murdy and his team simply couldn't help themselves when they created this particular dead body to help decorate the Upside Down. Happy trails, Barb.


An Easter egg hunt


What's a fun haunted maze without Easter eggs to search for? Like most of the brand-based mazes that came before it, Stranger Things is filled with fun nods to the rest of the franchise. The only one we could get Murdy to point out takes place in the classroom scene of the maze, which comes near the end. In it, there's a Rube Goldberg device believed to be built by the boys in Season 1. It's the sort of thing where you won't see it if you're not looking too carefully, but noticing it helps to make the experience all the more exciting.


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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:11:00 -0700)

Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu is stepping away from the industry for a period of time so he can focus on improving his mental and physical health. In a blog post, Uematsu said he is taking an "extended leave of absence" to recover from what has been a hectic production schedule following the formation of his studio Dog Ear Records.

"Since the establishment of Dog Ear Records, I have found myself blessed with countless opportunities. From composing new works to holding concerts around the world, my days have been hectic, yet fulfilling," he said. "The resulting fatigue, however, has finally caught up with me, and I find it mentally and physically difficult to go on at my current pace. After giving serious consideration to all options, I have decided to take an extended leave of absence and give my mind and body the time they need to properly mend."

Uematsu said if he ever comes to back, he wants to do so "in full health." While he used the word "if," later in the blog post he said he expects to make a full recovery.

"Do not worry. Once I've made a full recovery, I'll be back doing what I do best," he explained. "My current plan is to rest for the remainder of the year, and while I cannot commit to a method or time frame for my return, I'm very hopeful."

Uematsu said he apologies for the "burden" that he believes his leave of absence puts on his fans and clients, adding that he hopes people understand that he has to do what's best for his health and well being. "I thank you all for your continued support and only ask that you are patient until I'm on my feet once again," he said.

Uematsu, who was born in 1959, is considered by some to be the John Williams of video games. For lots more, check out GameSpot's interview and profile of Uematsu from 2009.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 22:09:00 -0700)

Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were wounded by gunfire Wednesday night during a confrontation at an East L.A. park, authorities said.

The two deputies were shot shortly after 6:30 p.m. at Ruben F. Salazar Park, according to Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department.

... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 19:40:00 PDT )

The surprise addition to the Rams offense got somewhat lost among Todd Gurley’s rushing touchdowns, Jared Goff’s long pass to Brandin Cooks, and a trio of two-point conversions in Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

But a team that is averaging nearly 34 points per game will go into Sunday’s...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 19:55:00 PDT )
SERIES

Jay Leno’s Garage Leno takes a ride with rally driver Ken Block in the season finale. 7 and 10 p.m. CNBC

Bite Club Tyler Florence brings together five of the best chefs in Indianapolis to compete using a unique style of grill for the first time. 9 p.m. Food Network

Beat Bobby Flay “Chopped”...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 20:00:00 PDT )

The Dodgers summoned Kenta Maeda in the eighth inning Tuesday night with an unenviable task. The heart of the Colorado Rockies’ lineup waited in a tie game. One mistake could have cost the Dodgers first place. First up was Nolan Arenado, an MVP candidate. Three pitches, three strikes. . Next came...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:40:00 PDT )
FX's new spinoff series Mayans M.C. has it's roots deeply set in Sons of Anarchy. Find out which connections we've seen so far as Chris breaks down the origins of the Mayans Motorcycle Club and its relationship to SAMCRO. Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:02:00 -0700)

A game that can be completed in a single sitting is an opportunity to experience an idea from start to finish without external factors getting in the way. It could be a boss rush that's just a gauntlet of the meanest brutes around, or it could be a touching tale that makes the most of its brief runtime by getting to the heart of the matter. A short-format game risks wrapping up before its time has come, but paced properly, it can be the perfect fit when the right idea comes along. In the case of The Gardens Between, the heartfelt interactions that play out on-screen between two friends on a sentimental adventure make the game the definition of short but sweet.

It begins one dark and stormy night, when as if by magic the two friends are pulled into a strange world while hiding from the rain in their cozy treehouse. They materialize on a planet dominated by water, and the islands they sail between using their treehouse-turned-boat are manifestations of their memories, recreated with real-world objects. Supersized couches and knick-knacks function as structures and obstacles in the imaginary dimension, and sometimes as mechanisms used to solve puzzles. Your goal on each island is to reach the end of a path and deliver an orb of light--a process that solidifies the friends' memories as constellations in the night sky.

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Though you can influence each character's actions, you don't directly control their movement. Rather than move them to and fro, you can shift time forward and backwards, and the two characters will walk along a path in kind. They each possess a distinct ability--one can carry a lamp to transport orbs of light, and the other can activate switches that reconfigure puzzle-related elements in the environment.

The environmental puzzles run the gamut from simple cause-and-effect scenarios to unorthodox headscratchers that require the use of dreamlogic. In practically every case the necessary hints are right before your eyes; shifting time to and fro and paying close attention to the way things change is often all you need to deduce a solution. The trick is usually the manipulation of objects that are free from time's grasp in conjunction with finding the right moment in time to let them loose.

Without these puzzles The Gardens Between would struggle to last an hour, yet despite being modestly challenging and inventive, they somehow feel unimportant in the grand scheme. There is no context for their existence as obstacles other than being opportunities for two friends to cooperate, but the tiny doses of narrative at the end of each island reflect the objects in the scene rather than the efforts used to pass through it. Puzzles are the "gameplay" that allows you to play a part in the two characters' journey and in a way make the realization of each memory feel earned, but they fall by the wayside when the spotlight is focused on the two teens.

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Though the world they venture through is full of creative touches and small magical moments, the two characters own every moment. From the way they subtly peep at one another while crossing paths, to the adorable gestures they use to point out helpful objects in the distance, their body language clues you in to their special bond. They say so much without ever uttering a word. Their cute and quirky selves are infectiously adorable, and before you know it, you've tumbled head over heels into their world and ultimately the formation of a new, unforgettable memory by the end of their journey.

It may only take two to three hours to see everything The Gardens Between has to offer, but the warm and fuzzy feelings from start to finish ensure that your memories of playing it will live on. The expressive faces of the two teens and the relatable memories they share will speak to anyone who's ever had a close childhood friend, and while the puzzles won't go down as the most ingenious or demanding, they nevertheless give you more time to spend frolicking in a nostalgic and heartwarming world where friendship is all that matters.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 08:00:00 -0700)

This Saturday , Angelenos who have long been waiting for pastry chef Christina Tosi to open her dessert shop Milk Bar will finally get their sugar fix. Milk Bar will open its doors to a retail store, dessert classroom, production kitchen and distribution center in Fairfax.

“It’s the whole wonderland,”...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 07:00:00 PDT )

A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, accusing him of sexual assault.

Court documents say the woman filed the suit in Arizona on Tuesday and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. She said Winston grabbed her crotch in the drive-thru of a Mexican...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 06:45:00 PDT )

Las Vegas became a passionate hockey town very quickly, thanks to the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run in their inaugural season. Although they fell to the Washington Capitals in the finals, their quick success seemed almost a magician’s trick and took the league by surprise.

After a short off-season,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:30:00 PDT )

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, Sept. 19, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

In 2016, California became the first state in the nation to allow family members, roommates and police officers to ask a judge to block individuals...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:30:00 PDT )

What will the Senate Judiciary Committee do now?

TOP STORIES

Supreme Disarray

The once highly orchestrated confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has fallen into further partisan disarray. Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who has accused him of sexual assault,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

One thing I never understood about Meg Shimatsu was how she kept her spirits up, given her health problems and her circumstances.

When I wrote about the former legal secretary a little over a year ago, she was living in a 1990 Toyota Corolla but figured things could be worse, given how many people...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

As director of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art from 2010-13, Jeffrey Deitch was responsible for some ambitious, populist and pop cultural exhibitions, including 2011’s “Art in the Streets,” a historical survey of graffiti and street art that drew record crowds at the time, and a James Franco-organized...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

Two weeks after a gunman in Parkland, Fla., zigzagged from one classroom to another in his former high school, killing 17 people, a Beverly Hills High employee dialed 911 to report a stranger mumbling to himself and following her as she left campus.

Police confiscated a loaded handgun in the man’s...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

As a new member of the civilian board that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department, Matt Johnson wanted to reduce the number of police shootings.

The fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014 had recently shaken the country, giving rise to the Black...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

Earlier this month, the New York Review of Books, arguably the foremost magazine of ideas in the United States, published a cover story online about Jian Ghomeshi, the Canadian broadcaster who was credibly accused of choking and punching non-consenting women during sexual encounters. Did I say...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: I remember when Stanford University changed its mascot’s name from the Indians to the Cardinal to maintain political correctness. It appears time to change again — to the Hypocrites.

The school’s leaders are planning “to strip prominent campus references to Junipero Serra” because...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

Instead of taking the Blue Line to Long Beach, how about the A Train? Or how about catching the No. 5 line to Santa Monica Pier?

With an unprecedented number of rail and bus projects planned — and a dwindling number of hues to choose from — Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are considering...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: Veronica Terriquez and Randy Villegas make a strong case about the correlation between young voters’ engagement and turnout. But I feel that more attention must be paid to external factors that prevent young people from voting.

Millennials are more likely that older voters to earn...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: The cry, “Who will do my hair when you’re not here?” said by Mayra Machado’s daughter Dyanara, is an expression of abandonment suffered from every angle of this 11-year-old girl.

The intimate connection of mother and daughter has been broken due to Mayra's past deportation and her...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

On Lauren Jauregui’s forearm, a crucial date — “6.6.18” – is etched in permanent black ink.

The date marks the first time the 22-year-old singer-songwriter performed an entire set as a solo artist, opening for collaborator Halsey on the Latin American leg of her Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour....

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: I do not always agree with the Times Editorial Board, but I have never been so hurt and deeply offended as I was by its editorial saying that it isn’t anti-Semitic to oppose Israel’s right to exist.

Whether or not someone is critical of the government or was hurt by the establishment...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

The Ducks lost their preseason opener at San Jose on Tuesday night as the Sharks scored twice in the final two minutes for a 4-1 victory.

The Ducks took a 1-0 lead on Anton Rodin’s goal at 4:29 of the second period, but that was all the offense Anaheim could muster.

Jared Coreau and Kevin Boyle...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 22:40:00 PDT )

Mauricio Bautista was eating a McChicken sandwich to the sound of jazz music at McDonald’s when more than 100 women stormed in with banners, bullhorns and red and yellow fliers, shouting “Keep your burgers, keep your fries, we don’t need your sexist lies.”

It was a dose of harsh #MeToo reality...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:35:00 PDT )

California’s insurance regulator has accused pharmaceutical giant AbbVie of using kickbacks and other illegal practices to boost sales of Humira, one of the best-selling prescription drugs in the world.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Tuesday sued the company in Alameda County, alleging that...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:55:00 PDT )

In Mexico, officials and citizens routinely announce the discoveries of clandestine graves baring skeletal remains from the gang violence that has convulsed the country for years.

The official count of the “disappeared” nationwide exceeds 30,000, and relatives of the legions of missing call that...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:00:00 PDT )

At 10 years and counting, the Palazzo has unveiled a renovation that updates its casino floor and suites.

The remodeling project has been underway for the last two years at the all-suite Palazzo, part of a large hotel, casino and convention complex on the Vegas Strip that includes the adjoining...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:35:00 PDT )

The U.S. Department of Labor said logistics firm California Cartage Co. will pay $3.5 million to nearly 1,500 warehouse workers, after investigators found the Long Beach company failed to pay wages and benefits required under federal law.

The penalty, announced last week, covers employees who from...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:40:00 PDT )

Rock out with Rolling Stone magazine and the Holland America Line in a new club that will debut on the cruise company's Konigsdam and Nieuw Statendam when it joins the fleet in December.

The Rolling Stone Rock Room, a classic rock club developed by Holland America in partnership with Rolling Stone...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:36:00 PDT )

In a scathing review of the state’s proliferating business improvement districts, a student project released Tuesday by the UC Berkeley law school accuses the nonprofit groups of systematically abusing homeless people.

The report by the Policy Advocacy Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law alleges...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:40:00 PDT )
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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:40:15 PDT )
Dutch taxidermists Jaap Sinke and Ferry van Tongeren are favorites of interior designers and British artist Damien Hirst, who in 2015 bought the pair's then-entire collection. Their tome "Our First Book" comes out this month. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:45:00 PDT )

UCLA coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday that he had no response to being disparaged on Twitter by the father of his starting quarterback.

Michael Robinson, the father of Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, wrote Sunday that the team suffered from “lousy coaching and play calling,” described...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:45:00 PDT )
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Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:00:00 Z)


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