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Columns

A Christmas from the heart

Out of my three children, two of them have October birthdays. I remember each of the dates just fine but sometimes forget that they both have them within two weeks of each other, therefore dad needs to plan a bit better for gifts.My mother's birthday is on the 23rd of December and my aunt's is ...

Cast reflects on challenge of adapting Sondheim

NEW YORK (AP) - "Into the Woods, who knows what may be lurking on the journey?" goes a lyric from the beloved 1987 Stephen Sondheim musical. It also sums up the fears many ardent Sondheim fans had when they learned a movie version was coming.Who knew, indeed, what dangers might be lurking on ...

Court denies Polanski sex case dismissal

LOS ANGELES - Roman Polanski lost his latest bid to have a California court dismiss his 1977 sex case when a judge rejected a motion for a new hearing.A nine-page order issued Tuesday by Superior Court Judge James Brandlin states that Polanski's claims of judicial misconduct cannot be addressed ...

Streaming release of ‘Interview’ test for industry

ATLANTA (AP) - Sony's "The Interview" has been a hacking target, a punchline and a political lightning rod. Now, with its release online at the same time it debuts in theaters, it has a new role: a test for a new kind of movie release."The Interview" stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as ...

The government problem

Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They're wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.Consider the new spending bill Congress and the President agreed to a few weeks ago.It's not especially large by historic standards. Under the $1.1 ...

The rape on campus epidemic

The total discrediting of Rolling Stone's story on rape at the University of Virginia has shined a light on one of the least palatable features of American life: the so-called epidemic of rape on campus.Authorities from Barack Obama on down have cited the phony statistic that one in five ...

Up-Lyft-ing Xmas Tale

On Christmas Eve, if you saw a fat man in a sleigh distributing presents, you could have told him he was in violation of several government regulations.The Federal Aviation Administration is upset about his secret flight path, and his gift bag violates charity tax rules.In real life, ...

When does cybercrime become cyberwar

No consensus exists between the U.S. government and cyber security experts as to whether North Korea is responsible for the online dumping of Sony Pictures Entertainment's confidential business data and emails. Even if it could be proven beyond any doubt with uncontestable forensic evidence ...

‘The Hobbit’ ends on a high note

By JESSE?PICKENSThe Daily Mining Gazette"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" is the final chapter in the "Hobbit" trilogy, and though it doesn't bring the trilogy out of "The Lord of the Rings" shadow, it is still a worthy ending, and a fun movie in its own right."Five Armies" starts ...

Inferno a mockery of judicial process

First there's the spark, then the conflagration, followed by the litigation and then, surely, the movie.Call it "Moonlight Fire," and prepare to suspend disbelief.The story is a doozy - a tale of corruption, prosecutorial abuse, alleged fraud upon the court, and possible government cover-ups in ...

Black progression and retrogression

There is no question, though it's not acknowledged enough, that black Americans have made greater gains, over some of the highest hurdles and in a very short span of time, than any other racial group in mankind's history. What's the evidence? If black Americans were thought of as a nation with ...

Executing mentally ill is a moral crime

So what does "cruel and unusual" mean?I once asked that of a law professor. The Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual" punishment, but I figured there had to be some technical definition I, as a layperson, was missing. I mean, from where I sit, it's pretty "cruel and unusual" to execute ...

Work still needed on health care sign-ups

WASHINGTON (AP) - The second sign-up season under President Barack Obama's health care law is off to a good start but there is a way to go to make it a success, administration officials said Tuesday.Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said 1.9 million new customers have picked ...

NYC congressman to plead guilty

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm was expected to plead guilty to a federal tax evasion charge Tuesday, people familiar with the plea negotiations said, but it was unclear what would become of his congressional career.Grimm was due in a Brooklyn federal court Tuesday on the tax fraud ...

Ex-US Marine held in Iran suspends hunger strike

DETROIT - The family of an ex-U.S. Marine imprisoned in Iran says he's temporarily suspending a hunger strike after authorities agreed to re-examine his case.Amir Hekmati, 31, told his Michigan family by phone Dec. 16 that he was beginning the hunger strike, and dictated a letter asking ...

Dismemberment suspect found guilty

MONTREAL (AP) - A jury found a Canadian man guilty on Tuesday of killing and dismembering his Chinese lover and mailing the body parts to schools and political parties around the country.Luka Magnotta was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2012 slaying of Jun Lin after eight days of jury ...

As recession looms, Russia acts to support ruble

MOSCOW (AP) - With its economy spiraling toward recession following Western sanctions and a dramatic fall in the price of oil, Russia took another step Tuesday to shore up the value of the ruble, which has been one of the world's worst-performing currencies this year.Russia's energy-dependent ...

No superheroes in ‘The Interview’

The first issue of Captain America came out on December 20, 1940. It shows Cap slugging Adolph Hitler in the mouth.Good stuff, but note the date. America wouldn't enter World War II for about another year. At the time, many Americans wanted to stay out of another European war. And here was an ...

Cold War replay: This time we lose

Has there ever been a president more eager to make concessions to vicious regimes than Barack Obama? The opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba is the latest and, one fears, not the last in a string of preemptive concessions.Obama, with his blend of hard-left prejudices and vaulting ...

Ho-ho-hold on — I’m not Santa

The other day something happened to me that I believe has never happened before. I was profiled. That's right, blanket assumptions were made about me based solely on my appearance. Now before you call Rev. Sharpton and start organizing marches, relax. I was not shot, tasered, arrested or ...