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    Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons shows the U.S. may know what it's doing after all

    Disparate, simultaneous crises around the world have put the Obama administration's foreign policy on trial in recent weeks. The forward march of Islamic State insurgents in Iraq has led to renewed military action in the very country the president so vehemently sought to leave when he...

  • Clean skid row's streets, but then house the homeless
    Clean skid row's streets, but then house the homeless

    The organizers of Operation Healthy Streets, a newly revamped version of an existing Los Angeles city program, vow that filthy skid row streets will be scoured every other month (and spot-cleaned in between) and that city and county outreach workers will be dispatched on a more regular basis...

  • How to boost voter turnout in L.A. -- and it isn't offering prizes
    How to boost voter turnout in L.A. -- and it isn't offering prizes

    In a wondrous proposal that says more about the decline of civilization than its authors surely intended, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission has come up with a way to boost voter turnout in L.A. city elections: Make voters eligible for cash prizes. The recommendation may fail to persuade the...

  • L.A's water ruler, DWP chief Marcie Edwards, on keeping the city hydrated
    L.A's water ruler, DWP chief Marcie Edwards, on keeping the city hydrated

    The Department of Water and Power began 107 years ago, after Los Angeles bought back the civic water system from a group of privateers. Like its top man, William Mulholland, who began as a ditch-digger, the new DWP chief, Marcie Edwards, also started at the bottom, as a clerk. Now she's...

  • U.S. still has time to stake out a position of strength on Ukraine
    U.S. still has time to stake out a position of strength on Ukraine

    American and European stock markets have been jumpy for weeks as they contemplate possible armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Inside Ukraine, certainly, Kiev's forces have been pushing back separatists supported by Moscow , and they've been surprisingly successful in the...

  • It's summertime. Why aren't you on vacation?
    It's summertime. Why aren't you on vacation?

    My wife and I returned Friday from two weeks of vacation in China, hanging out with one of our sons (posted there with the Peace Corps) and his girlfriend. We were mostly unplugged, wandered miles every day, traipsed the Great Wall and watched pandas, among other exotic (to us) exploits. And...

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