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Manson follower Leslie Van Houten denied parole by governor

LOS ANGELES — The governor of California once again denied parole Friday for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest follower of murderous cult leader Charles Manson who blamed herself at her parole hearing for letting him control her life. Gov. Jerry Brown said in his decision that Van Houten still lays too much of the blame …

California’s Montecito has drawn celebrities since Chaplin

Montecito, the California coastal enclave devastated by this week’s deadly mudslides, is known as Oprah’s hometown. But it was Charlie Chaplin, the biggest star of another era, who helped make it a haven for celebrities. At the height of his fame in 1928, Chaplin led a small group of investors who built the Montecito Inn, …

Victim search expands as California storm, mudslides kill 13

MONTECITO, Calif. — A storm that slammed a California coastal community is over. The search for its victims is not. Authorities in Santa Barbara County were still trying to reach new areas and dig into the destruction to find dead, injured or trapped people after a powerful mud flow swept away dozens of homes. At …

Germany’s ‘In the Fade’ wins Golden Globe for foreign film

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “In the Fade,” a German film that tackles terrorism from multiple, and multicultural, perspectives won the Golden Globe on Sunday for best foreign language film. “How’d that happen?” said a stunned Fatih Akin as he accepted the award. “Thank you for elevating this movie even though it’s in a foreign language.” …

Michael Jackson sex abuse lawsuit dismissed

LOS ANGELES — A judge on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit brought by a choreographer who alleged Michael Jackson molested him as a child, resolving one of the last major claims against the late singer’s holdings. Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff’s summary judgment ruling against the now-35-year-old Wade Robson found that the two Jackson-owned corporations, which were …

‘Endless Summer’ surf film director Bruce Brown dies at 80

LOS ANGELES— Bruce Brown, who moulded the modern image of surfer as seeker and transformed the sport with his 1966 surfing documentary “The Endless Summer,” has died He was 80. Alex Mecl, general manager of Bruce Brown Films, said Brown died of natural causes in Santa Barbara, California on Sunday. Along with the music of …

California wind, and fire danger, hits unprecedented high

VENTURA, Calif.—Southern California has felt yellow wind, orange wind, and red wind. But never purple wind. Until now. The colour-coded system showing the expected strength of the winds driving the region’s fierce wildfires has reached uncharted territory, pushing past red, which means “high” into the colour that means “extreme.” “The forecast for tomorrow is purple,” …

Death and destruction, hope and heroism in California fires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Even as an unprecedented toll of death and destruction kept mounting, California communities were getting glimpses of heroism, humanity and hope as wildfires burned around them. Firefighters made major gains against most of the blazes on Friday, a lucky few of the nearly 100,000 people who fled their homes got to …

Families use Facebook to search for loved ones after fires

SAN FRANCISCO — Desperate to find her mother after hearing her say “I’m going to die” over the phone as her mobile home caught fire, Jessica Tunis thought she should put her mom’s name and picture on Facebook with a plea for help, a now common and constant move for concerned loved ones in disasters …

Hugh Hefner, leader of the sexual revolution, dies at 91

LOS ANGELES—Hugh Hefner turned silk pyjamas into a work uniform, women into centerfolds and sexual desire into a worldwide multimedia empire that spanned several generations of American life. With Playboy, he helped slip sex out of the confines of plain brown wrappers and into mainstream conversation. In 1953, a time when states could legally ban …

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