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El Niño seems to have smashed 1997 record in past three months

A key index used to rank anomalies in sea surface temperatures suggests the El Niño we are now experiencing is truly a record-breaker

Today: Battle of New Hampshire. Super Ads.

I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today. TOP STORIES Tough Immigration Talk in … New Hampshire? New Hampshire shares a border with Canada stretching about 58 miles, but it's the border a couple of thousand miles away that is consuming...

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders sparred in New Hampshire debate

More from Trail Guide Feb. 4 Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders sparred in New Hampshire debate Feb. 3 Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton participate in New Hampshire town hall Feb. 2 With the Iowa caucus results in, Hillary Clinton is belatedly declared the winner Feb. 1 Iowa caucus results: Clinton...

Japanese volcano erupts, nearby nuclear plant unaffected

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese volcano about 50 km (30 miles) from a nuclear plant erupted on Friday, shooting ash nearly 2 km into the night sky along with fountains of lava, but there were no immediate report of damage and operations at the power station were not affected.

The Multi-Ethnic Coalition calls for diversity in Hollywood

A group of activists has called on the major Hollywood studios to do a better job of representing America's diversity. The Multi-Ethnic Coalition, which has previously pressured TV networks to boost their representation of minorities, on Thursday shifted its attention to the film studios. At a...

With embargo under the rug, Persian carpets can roll into U.S. again

The call came in to the rug store at 10:30 on Wednesday morning: After five days in U.S. customs, the first batch of carpets imported from Iran were ready for pickup. Years of waiting finally ended for Alex Helmi, owner of Damoka, a Persian rug store in Westwood. He quickly gathered his employees...

Clinton and Sanders vigorously spar in New Hampshire debate, a sign of things to come

Another night, another quarrel. Democrats may as well get used to it, as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wage an increasingly pitched fight for the party's presidential nomination. Clashing one-on-one for the first time, in a Thursday night debate a day after a New Hampshire town hall, the more...

China's shutdown for Chinese New Year celebration hits local businesses

Lia Sagehorn couldn't tell you if the upcoming Chinese spring festival marked the Year of the Monkey or the Year of the Woolly Mammoth. What the director of production at a local clothing brand does know is that for a few weeks her factories in China will be incommunicado. That means no shipments,...

Extreme weather fluctuations trigger wild price swings for popular vegetables

Produce seller Rich Uchida is sitting pretty for the Super Bowl right about now. Because it turns out California not only has the 50th edition of the game, it has the Buffalo wings and veggie platters cornered, too. Uchida's employer, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, is the king of celery sticks, and isn't...

The L.A. Phil's mesmerizing Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla leaps to the Birmingham orchestra

The announcement Thursday that a 29-year-old assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will become the next music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is a very big deal for the cause of female conductors and for the ever-expanding influence of the L.A. Phil. Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla...

2016 Prius Four is a smarter, sleeker version of Toyota's aging hybrid

Back in the dark days of automotive history, fuel was cheap and plentiful and Detroit dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Then the Prius came along, offering the first practical hybrid solution, and became the bestselling car in California. Almost a decade later, fuel is cheap and plentiful again, and a...

What's ahead for volatile stocks?

Investors pondering where the stock market is headed after its January drubbing might consider the words of Stanley Fischer. Fischer is vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and in a speech earlier this week, he addressed the question of what steps the Fed might take next regarding monetary...

U.N. panel backs freeing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be allowed to walk free from the Ecuadorian embassy where he has been “arbitrarily detained” by the British and Swedish governments, a UN panel has ruled. In a report published Friday morning, the Geneva-based Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said the...

Classic Hollywood: Saucy Oscar fare. Bob Elliott, R.I.P.

This is Susan King, veteran movie writer for the Los Angeles Times and guardian of the Golden Age of Hollywood galaxy. Every Friday in my Classic Hollywood newsletter, I talk about notable births and deaths, famous denizens of Tinseltown, fun vintage events around town, milestones, TV must-sees...

Zimbabwe's Mugabe declares disaster in drought-stricken areas

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has declared a state of disaster in most rural parts of the country severely hit by a drought, with 26 percent of the population said to be in need of food aid, the government has said in a statement.

Kobe Bryant steals the show again in Lakers' win over the Pelicans

It was a fun day with plenty of parades, sunshine and good times during Mardi Gras. The French Quarter was happily rolling toward Fat Tuesday, the locals and tourists ready for a weekend of gumbo, hurricane drinks and everything in between. Only in a little corner of the city was there a lack of...

Why did so many California kids get whooping cough despite being vaccinated?

When California had its biggest pertussis outbreak in more than half a century in 2010, the kids who fell sick most were 10- and 11-year-olds. That struck public health experts as odd. Children receive five doses of the vaccine that protects against the illness — also known as whooping cough —...

Public Prosecutors Zero In on SoCal Gas, Porter Ranch Disaster

The massive leak from Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon natural gas field in northwestern Los Angeles County was discovered on October 26th of last year and, more than three months later, shows no sign of abating.  Public prosecutors have pretty clearly lost patience with SoCal gas and its ineffective remediation efforts to date.  This […]

With Earth, Wind & Fire on hiatus in the '80s, Maurice White turned to solo and production work

Earth Wind & Fire founder Maurice White died Feb. 3, 2016, at the age of 74. The following is from a 1986 interview with The Times' Dennis Hunt.When Earth, Wind & Fire singer Philip Bailey was making the national media rounds promoting his first solo album and his No. 1 single, "Easy Lover," he...

U.S. aid to Colombia will shift from war to peace, Obama says

The United States, after helping to finance Colombia's war against guerrillas for 15 years, on Thursday announced plans to boost aid for the South American nation's historic peace pact. President Obama, speaking at the White House and with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at his side, said...

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