Central Africa coup — Rebels entered Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, on Sunday morning, seizing control of the city in the culmination of a lengthy uprising in one of the world’s most impoverished states. The country’s president was reported to have fled. The rebels met little opposition, either from the country’s military or troops from the region who had been sent to bolster the government.
Musharraf returns — Pakistan’s onetime military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, ended four years of self-imposed exile Sunday and returned to Pakistan, aiming to carve out a political future, but he received an unremarkable welcome as he landed at the airport in Karachi. Musharraf resigned as president in August 2008 under threat of impeachment and left the country in April 2009.
Immigration poll — California voters now see undocumented workers as a positive economic force in the state — and they overwhelmingly favor allowing a path to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants in the country, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. About two-thirds said illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay with eventual citizenship rights.
Gun control — Two of the loudest voices in the gun debate say it’s up to voters now to make their position known to Congress. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and National Rifle Associate Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre claim their opposing views on guns have the support of the overwhelming number of Americans. They are looking at the next two weeks as critical to the debate, when lawmakers head home to hear from constituents ahead of next month’s anticipated Senate vote on gun control.
Airport sign accident — As airport officials tried to figure out how a 300-pound arrival-departure panel fell off the wall and onto a family, the mother of a boy who was killed by the sign lay in a hospital with her own injuries, still unaware of what happened. Heather Bresette and two of her other sons were seriously hurt when the panel fell Friday at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama.
BRICS meeting — South Africa hosts a summit of the BRICS bloc of emerging powers this week, where it will stress its role as the economic gateway to the continent. The BRICS group — short for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — represent almost 3 billion people and much of the world’s newly industrialized economic muscle. China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, whose country has multiplied its business activities across Africa, will attend the two-day summit, which begins Tuesday.
Newtown tragedy — Differing views are emerging over what exactly should be done with the roughly $15 million raised by more than 40 organizations after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., three months ago. The bulk of the money, $10.2 million, was donated to the United Way of Western Connecticut. But this weekend, 50 parents and family members issued a statement saying that, unless donated for specific purposes, funds raised for Newtown should be sent directly to victims and victims’ families.
Box-office troubles — Hollywood finally lured moviegoers out of their caves. For the first time this year two movies — “The Croods,” about a prehistoric family’s road trip; and action-thriller “Olympus Has Fallen” — arrived to $30 million or more in ticket sales in North America, giving studios hope that a dismal box-office stretch was behind them. Ticket sales for the year to date total $2.06 billion, a 13 percent decline from the same period a year ago, according to Paul Dergarabedian, a box-office analyst for Hollywood.com .
The holiest plant of the Christmas season may be a raggedy shrub with peeling bark that seems to grow best in a dusty backyard in Tempe, Ariz. This is Boswellia sacra, better known as the frankincense tree. The shrub’s gum resin is one of the three biblical gifts that the wise men bestowed on the infant Jesus. Until recently, Americans who wished to cultivate their…
FRESNO, Calif. — Federal law now allows visitors to carry guns in national parks, but you can’t just slip a loaded pistol into your backpack and take a hike. Pay attention, because this is a little complicated. You will need a concealed weapons permit to carry the loaded gun in the backpack. But you don’t need any kind of permit if you just want to…
Move over, large lap pools. Smaller swimming holes are making a big splash. Sure, the economy is playing a role in making this luxury littler: Smaller pool equals smaller budget. But it's more than that, says Brett Berry, owner of Landscape Renderings, a Missouri business that designs and builds outdoor living environments. “You can create a fantastic sense of intimacy and atmosphere with a small…
A few weeks ago, a reader sent me an eloquent email complaining about a story in which I'd suggested paddling on the northern branch of Sparks Lake as an alternative to more crowded portions of the popular lake. The writer said that over the decades, he'd seen Central Oregon “loved to death. ” Now, powder is tracked out in 30 minutes, Sparks Lake is always…
A barred owl that drew crowds of onlookers while swooping around at Farewell Bend Park earlier this year may well be dead. The owl was seen from mid-January into last month, regularly hunting for mice and voles along the Deschutes River just upstream of the Old Mill District. It then disappeared about a month ago. Two photographers found a dead owl March 3 about 10…