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Nation / World

Exec, Former FBI Agent, Qataris Sought to Free Peter Theo Curtis

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Washington — Last month, an American media executive arrived in Doha with a retired FBI agent known for his extensive contacts within the government of Qatar. The two men had come to meet with Ghanim Khalifa al-Kubaisi, the chief of Qatar’s intelligence service, to discuss the whereabouts of an American journalist, Peter Theo Curtis, who had been missing in Syria for nearly two years. After the pair had waited for …

How Kids’ Livestock Shows Became a Cutthroat Business

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tiffany LaRue, 17, had not been lucky with her pigs this year. One had its placenta detach, killing the embryos. Another was supposed to have been pregnant when they bought her, but wasn’t. Another, LaRue said, simply didn’t take. That left LaRue with one option if she wanted to show a pig at the West Virginia State Fair: Buy one from the pig …

Fracking Link to Birth Defects Probed

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New York — The first research into the effects of oil and gas development on babies born near wells has found potential health risks. Government officials, industry advocates and the researchers themselves say more studies are needed before drawing conclusions. While the findings are still preliminary, any documented hazards threaten to cast a shadow over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the process of …

Canada Having Second Thoughts About Buying F-35

Sunday, August 24, 2014

O Canada, land of “peace, order and good government.” Land of compromise and polite politics. Land of turmoil over whether to buy the F-35. As in the United States, the fighter plane has become a rancorous political issue. …

McDonald’s Tries to Change Its Food Image

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New York — At a dinner McDonald’s hosted for reporters and bloggers, waiters served cuisine prepared by celebrity chefs using ingredients from the chain’s menu. A Kung Pao chicken appetizer was made with Chicken McNuggets doused in sweet and sour sauce and garnished with parsley. Slow-cooked beef was …

Smokey and Friends

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Los Angeles — After five decades in show business, the man who shaped Motown with instantly recognizable hits like My Girl and Tears of a Clown said he can’t stop writing. Smokey Robinson said he scribbles down lyrics …

Wilder Memoir: Gritty View of Prairie Life

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pierre, S.D. — Laura Ingalls Wilder penned one of the most beloved children’s series of the 20th century, but her forthcoming autobiography will show devoted Little House on the Prairie fans a more realistic, grittier view of frontier …

Around the Remote: Television Picks for Aug. 24-30

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Don’t Miss The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards — Welcome to television’s game of thrones — minus the gruesome carnage. Late-night funny guy Seth Meyers is our host for the annual gala that celebrates the medium’s artistic achievements while conveniently overlooking the awful fare like Naked Dating. He promises …

To Your Good Health: Elevated White Blood Cells Sometimes Misleading

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: My husband had his regular blood work done in 2012, and it showed that his monocytes were elevated (15 percent) and his HCT was low (39 percent). When we asked his doctor what this meant, she said, “Cancer somewhere,” and we just have to find …

Miss Manners: Let Your Guests Know Beforehand When Dinner Will Be Served

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dear Miss Manners: My mother was from the South, and accordingly she impressed upon me the fine art of entertaining guests in one’s home. I love to cook, and I truly prefer to cook dinner for friends over meeting at a restaurant. My problem is that, invariably, every …

At MTV Video Music Awards, Expect Surprise Performances

Sunday, August 24, 2014

With a legacy that includes Madonna tongue-kissing Britney Spears, Beyonce announcing her pregnancy and Howard Stern’s bare behind, the MTV Video Music Awards has never had trouble generating buzz. But this year’s ceremony, which will be shown Sunday …

Who Should Win — And Will Win — Top Awards

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The MTV Video Music Awards have always been less about the awards and more about the performances. (What got more attention last year? Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors winning video of the year or Miley Cyrus’ twerking? Case closed.) However, …

Money Talk: When the In-Laws Can’t Pay Their Mortgage

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Question: My in-laws just informed us that they have gone through their retirement fund and soon won’t be able to pay their mortgage. They borrowed against the house they’ve lived in for 30 years and currently owe $325,000. They are devastated, so I am trying to figure out …