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Top Celebrities call for an end to gun violence in U.S. Featured

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Ricky Gervais doesn’t care if he’s ever asked back to host the Golden Awards Featured

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Benfica Striker Ola John has his mind on the clash with the Catalans Featured

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2012 Formula 1 season was one of the most exciting and eventful in history Featured

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Oscar Pistorius has never baulked at a hard challenge Featured

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Portuguese exports rose by 13.7 percent in August from a year ago Featured

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In Filing, News Corp. Says Publishing Business Showed $2.1 Billion Loss Featured

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U.S. economy grew faster in third quarter of 2012 Featured

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After losing to Obama, what should Mitt Romney do next? Featured

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EU’s new banking union will break the link between banks and public debt Featured

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AN ORIGINAL GENIUS: Stan Lee, co-founder of Marvel Comics, dies

LOS ANGELES — Stan Lee, the co-founder of Marvel Comics and the man behind Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Black Panther, died Nov. 12 after being rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from his Hollywood Hills home.

He was 95.

Paramedics where dispatched at 8:34 a.m. to a Hollywood Hills home in the 9100 block of West Oriole Way, on a medical response call for a 95-year-old man, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Lee had suffered several illnesses over the last year, which included a bout of pneumonia and vision issues.

Social media was quick to offer reactions from both coasts.

“There will never be another Stan Lee,” tweeted actor Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. “For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!”

“Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special,” actor Seth Rogan tweeted.

“Rest in peace, Stan Lee. The many worlds of imagination & delight you created for humanity will last forever,” tweeted Elon Musk, founder of Hawthorne’s SpaceX.

“Original and genius are two very overused words in the world today, but Stan was both,” tweeted Tom Rothman, Motion Pictures Group chairman for Sony Pictures. “Add irrepressible and irreplaceable, and you begin to describe the man. We have all lost a true superhero. We will greatly miss our friendly neighborhood Stan Lee.”

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” tweeted Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company in Burbank. “A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain and to connect.”

“Stan Lee created some of the most incredible and enduring characters of our time, and he chose New York City as the place to tell their stories,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted. “On behalf of his hometown, I want to express our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

“I seem to be spending my life with ordinary people who are the best people in the world,” Lee said at a 2017 ceremony in which he sank his hands and feet into cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre. “I’ve been the luckiest man in the world because I’ve had friends. And to have the right friends is everything. People you can depend on. People who tell you the truth if you ask for something. I’ve been lucky in that area.

“And lucky to have a wonderful wife,” he added, referring to his wife of nearly 70 years, Joan, who died July 6, 2017 at age 93.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber on Dec. 28, 1922, in New York City, Lee began his career in 1939 as an assistant at Timely Comics with such duties as getting lunch, filling inkwells and proofreading.

His first published work was as a text filler for Captain America No. 3, published in 1941. He wrote under the name Stan Lee, which would later become his legal name, writing in his autobiography that he intended to save his given name for more literary work.

Lee was named interim editor of Timely Comics in 1941, and would be editor-in-chief for what would evolve into Marvel Comics in 1961 until 1972 when he became publisher.

He was credited with giving his superheroes a more nuanced humanity than other comics typically written for preteens in the post-World War II era.

Together with artist Jack Kirby, Lee created the Fantastic Four, based on previous comics Kirby had published in DC Comics. The team’s immediate popularity led Lee and Marvel’s illustrators to produce more popular characters such as Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the X-Men, Daredevil, Doctor Strange and — Marvel’s most successful character — Spider-Man.

Lee was also known for making several cameo appearances in Marvel Cinematic Universe films, as well as Comic-Con conventions and other events for fans.

More than 2 million of Lee’s comic books have been published in 75 nations and in 25 languages. His characters have been featured in 24 animated television series and several live-action movies.

In August, Lee was granted a three-year extension of a temporary restraining order against his partner and business manager.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Laura Hymowitz ordered Keya Morgan to stay at least 100 yards away from Lee; Lee’s daughter, 68-year-old Joan Celia Lee; and Lee’s brother, 86-year-old Larry Lee, through Aug. 17, 2021. Lee alleged Morgan embezzled about $5 million in assets, including autograph proceeds and artwork.

Lee was not present at the hearing, but his attorney, Jonathan Freund, said afterward his client will be pleased with the ruling.

“Stan has been doing pretty well, he’s working again and his health is generally improving,” said Freund, who added that Lee had been creating new comic book characters.

 

Columbus statue removed from Grand Park

LOS ANGELES — A statue of explorer Christopher Columbus that has stood for 45 years in downtown’s Grand Park was ceremoniously removed Nov. 10.

“The statue of Christopher Columbus rewrites a stained chapter of history that romanticizes expansions of European empires and exploitations of natural resources and of human beings,” said County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who authored the motion to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. “We have all inherited this complex, difficult history. Minimizing — or worse, ignoring — the pain of Los Angeles’ original inhabitants is a disservice to the truth.

“The removal of the Columbus statue in Grand Park is an act of restorative justice that honors and embraces the resilient spirit of our county’s original inhabitants. With its removal, we begin a new chapter of our history where we learn from past mistakes so we are no longer doomed to repeat them.”

The removal event featured a news conference and a Native American ceremonial dance.

“This is a natural next step in the progression to eliminate the false narrative that Christopher Columbus discovered America,” Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said earlier in the week. “Columbus himself was personally responsible for committing atrocities and his actions set in motion the greatest genocide in recorded history. His image should not be celebrated anywhere.”

The removal of the Columbus statue from the park in the Civic Center comes after both the L.A. City Council and County Board of Supervisors voted separately last year to cancel the October Christopher Columbus holiday they once observed and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day.

O’Farrell is a member of the Wyandotte Nation and led the City Council effort to make the holiday switch.

The new holiday was officially observed for the first time last month during a daylong celebration in Grand Park, and included a sunrise ceremony, 5K run, parade of nations, Native American powwow, panel sessions, a fashion show and live music with Redbone and the Black Eyed Peas.

During the new holiday last month, the Columbus statue was covered with a black box. Grand Park is managed by the county, and O’Farrell said he was working with Solis on the statue’s removal. The black box hiding the statue was taken down Nov. 9, and Columbus was on full display. The statue had previously been enclosed in a chain link fence just before Columbus Day in 2017.

By voting approval of the holiday switch, the City Council sided with critics who said the Italian explorer’s connection to brutality and slavery makes him unworthy of celebration, and it rejected pleas from leaders of the Italian-American community who argued the holiday was more to them than just a celebration of Columbus but is also a day of Italian pride and a recognition of their heritage.

Councilman Joe Buscaino, who is of Italian descent, expressed reservations about canceling Columbus Day and then in August 2017 made a late and unsuccessful push to have Indigenous Peoples Day take place on Aug. 9 and a second new holiday celebrating the diverse cultures of Los Angeles replace Columbus Day on the second Monday of October.

“With or without Columbus, Italians will continue to celebrate their sacrifices and contributions to this great country and our great city,” Buscaino said in August 2017 after the City Council approved the holiday switch.

The Columbus statue in Grand Park is just one of a handful of monuments or statues in the sprawling Grand Park, which stretches about four blocks from Spring Street in front of L.A. City Hall to Grand Avenue. It includes a statue of George Washington, a memorial plaque honoring the millions of Ukrainians who died of genocide by famine, a Court of Historic American Flags, a Vietnam veterans memorial and a few other monuments.

The Columbus statue was dedicated in 1973, and was a gift to the county by the United Lodges of Southern California, Order Sons of Italy in America.

The Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission is expected to make a recommendation on what will replace the Columbus statue. The Los Angeles County Arts Commission said the statue will be put into storage out of public view until a long-term solution can be found.

 

Sarah Silverman receives star on Walk of Fame

HOLLYWOOD — A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Nov. 9 honoring Emmy-winning comedian Sarah Silverman.

Silverman was joined in speaking at the late-morning ceremony in front of the Hollywood Toy & Costume Shop by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actor John C. Reilly.

Silverman and Reilly both supplied voices in the 2012 animated comedy and “Wreck-It Ralph,” and reprise their roles in the sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” to be released Nov. 21.

Silverman stars in the topical Hulu comedy “I Love You, America,” where she looks to connect with people who may not agree with her personal opinions.

Silverman portrayed a fictionalized version of herself in the 2007-10 Comedy Central series “The Sarah Silverman Program,” receiving an outstanding lead actress in a comedy series Emmy nomination in 2009.

Silverman won an outstanding guest actress in a comedy series in 2008 for her portrayal of the biggest fan of police homicide consultant Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub).

Silverman won her first Emmy in 2008 for outstanding original music and lyrics as one of the five composers for a song on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Silverman won her second Emmy in 2014 for outstanding writing for a variety special, “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles,” which also brought her a nomination as an executive producer as it was nominated for outstanding variety special.

Silverman also received writing and producing Emmy nominations for her 2017 Netflix special “Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust.”

In addition to her television comedy specials, Silverman starred in the 2005 concert film, “Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic.”

Silverman was born on Dec. 1, 1970 in Bedford, New Hampshire and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She dropped out of New York University after one year to concentrate on her stand-up comedy career.

Silverman was a writer and featured player on “Saturday Night Live” in the 1993-94 season. She made guest-starring appearances in episodes of “Seinfeld,” “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Star Trek: Voyager” and was a cast member of the 2002 Fox comedy “Greg the Bunny.”

Silverman portrayed Gladys Heldman, who helped found the women’s tennis circuit, in the 2017 film “Battle of the Sexes.”

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