LOS ANGELES — The self-help expert who led a spiritual retreat in Arizona where two people were overcome in a sweat lodge and later died has spoken out about the tragedy, saying it has left him "frustrated and confused."
At a seminar outside Los Angeles, James Arthur Ray broke down in tears as he addressed the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee.
Authorities say Brown, Shore and more than 50 other people attending the retreat near Sedona, Ariz., were crowded into a 415-square-foot sweat lodge during a two-hour period Thursday.
Brown and Shore died, and 19 others people were hurt. One remains in critical condition.
"This is the most difficult time I've ever faced," Ray told a crowd of about 200 at a hotel in Marina del Rey Tuesday. "I don't know how to deal with it really."
With the soap-opera biz mortally wounded, the L.A.-bound cast is lucky to still have a show. Their NYC crew, not so much. ...
Nissan's marketing tour of the Nissan Leaf kicked off in Los Angeles. The tour, which will bring the Leaf to 22 cities in advance of its release da...
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Conan O'Brien says he's rejecting NBC's attempt to move "The Tonight Show" to a post-midnight slot to accommodate Jay Leno'...
— Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by The Nielsen Co. for Oct. 5-11. Listings include the week's ranking, with viewership for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses. An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation.
1. (1) "NCIS," CBS, 20.7 million viewers.
2. (5) "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 16.35 million viewers.
3. (3) "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 16.31 million viewers.
4. (2) "Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis at Tennessee," NBC, 16.02 million viewers.
A ‘Page Six’ item highlights a linguistic disparity between the coasts....
PHOENIX — A bankruptcy judge has rejected both bids to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.
Judge Redfield T. Baum turned down the offers of Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie and the NHL in a 31-page ruling on Wednesday.
However, he left the door open for the NHL to buy the team if it amends its offer.
The ruling comes on the eve of the start of the NHL season after nearly five months of often bitter legal wrangling between Balsillie and the league.
Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes took the team into Chapter 11 on May 5 with a plan to sell to Balsillie, contingent on moving the franchise to Hamilton, Ontario, over the NHL's vehement objections.
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department says two large investment funds have raised the minimum amounts needed to begin purchasing toxic assets from banks, finally launching this part of the government's financial rescue effort.
Treasury says Invesco Ltd. and the TCW Group Inc. both cleared the $500 million target to begin operations to purchase toxic assets.
They are among nine firms that received initial approval to participate in the program earlier this year. Treasury said it expected more firms would be cleared to begin operations soon.
The goal of the program is to rid banks of bad loans so they can resume more normal lending, which is key for sustaining any economic recovery.
LOS ANGELES — Lifeguards have given the all-clear for visitors to return to Los Angeles County beaches following a magnitude-8 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean near Samoa that prompted a tsunami advisory.
Los Angeles County lifeguard Capt. Terry Harvey said Wednesday morning that crews found no dangerous currents or other hazards during their night patrols.
The National Weather Service allowed its tsunami warning to expire early Wednesday.
Harvey says the tide was not higher than normal and a few Boogie boarders and surfers at Venice Beach disregarded the advisory. There were no injuries.
The massive tsunami flattened Samoan villages and swept cars and people out to sea, killing at least 99 people.
LOS ANGELES — A judge has granted a three-year restraining order against a man accused of stalking Audrina Patridge.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cunningham III issued the order Wednesday prohibiting any contact by Zachary Loring with "The Hills" star. Patridge sought protection from Loring after he showed up at her house several times. He was arrested on Aug. 30 after Patridge spotted him outside her home.
The 24-year-old actress testified during Wednesday's hearing, calmly recounting how Loring presented her with beer, wine, poetry and drawings.
Patridge said she was afraid of Loring, who was not in court.
A Los Angeles police detective testified that the 24-year-old Northern California man was exhibiting stalking behavior.
The NBA has truly gone global.
Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov reached an agreement Wednesday to buy 80 percent of the financially strapped New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.
The only thing that stands in the way is a nyet from the league's board of governors, and that doesn't seem likely with NBA commissioner David Stern already giving the deal his initial blessing.
The proposed blockbuster deal would give the Nets' current principal owner, Bruce Ratner, the needed cash to move forward with the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of his Atlantic Yards development, which includes plans for retail and residential projects.
It would make Prokhorov, a billionaire and former amateur basketball player, the NBA's first non-North American owner.
Celebrity birthdays for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3:
Sept. 27: Director Arthur Penn is 87. Actress Sada Thompson is 80. Actress Kathleen Nolan is 76. Actor Wilford Brimley is 75. Producer Don Cornelius ("Soul Train") is 73. Singer-guitarist Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive is 66. Singer-actor Meat Loaf is 62. Actress Liz Torres is 62. Actor A Martinez ("LA Law," "Santa Barbara") is 61. Sax player Greg Ham of Men at Work is 56. Singer-actor-director Shaun Cassidy is 51. Singer-guitarist Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind is 45. Actor Patrick Muldoon ("Melrose Place") is 41. Singer Mark Calderon of Color Me Badd is 39. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is 37. Singer Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down is 31. Bassist Grant Brandell of Underoath is 28. Rapper Lil' Wayne is 27. Singer Avril Lavigne is 25.
Sept. 28: Actor William Windom ("Murder, She Wrote") is 86. Actor Arnold Stang is 84. Actress Brigitte Bardot is 75. Singer Ben E. King is 71. Actor Joel Higgins ("Silver Spoons") is 66. Actor Jeffrey Jones is 63. Writer-director-actor John Sayles is 59. Actress Sylvia Kristel ("Emmanuelle," "Private Lessons") is 57. Actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo is 45. Country singer Matt King is 43. Actress Mira Sorvino is 42. TV personality Moon Zappa is 42. Actress Naomi Watts is 41. Country singer Mandy Barnett is 34. Rapper Young Jeezy is 32. Actor Peter Cambor ("NCIS: Los Angeles") is 31. TV personality Bam Margera ("Jackass") is 30. Actress Hilary Duff is 22.
Sept. 29: Actor Steve Forrest is 85. Actress Anita Ekberg is 78. Singer Jerry Lee Lewis is 74. Actor Ian McShane is 67. Jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty is 67. TV theme composer Mike Post is 65. Actress Patricia Hodge is 63. Guitarist Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly is 61. Singer-guitarist Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad is 61. TV personality Bryant Gumbel is 61. Country singer Alvin Crow is 59. Actor Drake Hogestyn ("Days of Our Lives") is 56. PBS newswoman Gwen Ifill is 54. Child actor Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley on "The Addams Family") is 54. Singer Suzzy Roche of The Roches is 53. Comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay is 52. Singer-bassist Les Claypool of Primus is 46. Actress Jill Whelan ("Love Boat") is 43. Bassist Brad Smith of Blind Melon is 41. Singer Devante Swing of Jodeci is 40. Actress Emily Lloyd is 39. Actress Natasha Gregson Wagner is 39. Actress Rachel Cronin ("Ed") is 38. Guitarist Josh Farro of Paramore is 22.
Sept. 30: Actress Angie Dickinson is 78. Singer Cissy Houston is 76. Singer Johnny Mathis is 74. Actor Len Cariou ("The Four Seasons") is 70. Singer Marilyn McCoo is 66. Singer Sylvia Peterson of The Chiffons is 63. Actor John Finn ("Cold Case") is 57. Guitarist John Lombardo (10,000 Maniacs) is 57. Country singer Deborah Allen is 56. Jazz singer Patrice Rushen is 55. Actor Barry Williams ("The Brady Bunch") is 55. Actress Fran Drescher is 52. Country singer Marty Stuart is 51. Actress Crystal Bernard ("Wings") is 48. Actor Eric Stoltz is 48. Rapper-producer Marley Marl is 47. Country singer Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry is 46. Singer Trey Anastasio of Phish is 45. Bassist Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls is 45. Actress Monica Bellucci ("The Passion of the Christ," "The Matrix Reloaded") is 45. Actor Tony Hale ("Arrested Development") is 39. Actress Jenna Elfman ("Dharma and Greg") is 38. Actor Ashley Hamilton is 35. Actress Lacey Chabert ("Mean Girls," "Party of Five") is 27. Actor Kieran Culkin is 27. Rapper T-Pain is 25.
Prosecutors have filed five more murder charges against an accused serial killer police say may be responsible for the deaths of as many as 30 women in Los Angeles.
District attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison says 73-year-old John Floyd Thomas was charged Wednesday with the murder of five women in the 1970s and '80s.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Thomas was already in custody, charged with murdering two other women. Cold case detectives believe him responsible for the deaths of as many as 30 women, which would make him the most prolific killer in city history.
Calls to his court-appointed lawyers were not immediately returned.
Citigroup Inc., one of the biggest recipients of government bailout funds, is looking to scale back its U.S. retail footprint to just six major metropolitan areas and limit most lending to wealthy customers, according to a published report.
Citi's management is looking to reduce the bank's U.S. consumer lending to mainly credit cards and "jumbo" mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.
The New York-based bank's executives are expected in October to present plans to the board of directors to pare Citi's retail branch network and concentrate mainly on the New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, the paper said.
Most of Citi's branch locations are located internationally. Citi currently operates about 1,000 U.S. branches, much fewer than the 5,000-plus run by Bank of America Corp. and JP Morgan Chase & Co., which expanded its network with the takeover of Washington Mutual last year. While the moves would be designed to help the bank work "smaller-but-smarter," the paper said some Citi executives are concerned that the U.S. government, which owns a 34 percent stake in Citi, could balk at branch closings.
Citi is looking to sell its 120 branches in Texas and is mulling whether it should continue to maintain a large footprint in cities like Boston and Philadelphia, the paper said. Citi holds few deposits in those locations compared with competitors.
The CEO of National Lampoon Inc. has pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia say CEO Daniel Laikin was part of a plot to artificially inflate the company's stock price by paying people to buy shares. The 47-year-old man, who lives in Indianapolis and Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to conspiracy Wednesday. Prosecutors dropped a count of securities fraud in exchange.
Prosecutors say Laikin and others hoped to push the price of the shares from $2 to $5 to boost its attractiveness in a strategic partnership or acquisition. The shares were trading on the American Stock Exchange at the time but prosecutors say they've since become an over-the-counter penny stock.
Defense lawyer Joseph Poluka did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Court records show Joe Francis has agreed to plead guilty to filing false tax returns and will avoid further jail time.
Records filed Wednesday in Los Angeles show the "Girls Gone Wild" founder will plead guilty to two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of bribing Nevada jail workers in exchange for food.
The plea agreement states Francis will pay $250,000 in restitution and receive credit for jail time served. Francis was indicted by a federal grand jury on tax evasion charges in 2007 and has spent 301 days in jail.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday afternoon. A trial had been scheduled for October.
The agreement calls for any tax liabilities of Francis or his companies from 2002 to 2008 to be handled in civil or administrative arenas.
Crews planned heavy air attacks Thursday at daybreak to halt the spread of a Southern California wildfire that has chewed through more than 25 square miles of bone dry brush, threatening hundreds of homes as well as a multimillion dollar agriculture industry and valuable oil production fields.
Firefighters focused Thursday on the fire's eastern and western flanks just north of Moorpark, about 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The fire was 40 percent contained late Wednesday.
Helicopters on Wednesday dumped water on flames moving toward orchards. Ground crews doused burning shrubbery at the edges of avocado and citrus groves. County fire Capt. Ron Oatman said the fire likely burned some trees but could not confirm any orchard damage.
"A lot of the ranchers would rather see their homes burn down than their orchards, because that's their livelihood," he said.
Firefighters were also concerned about five major electrical transmission lines, a 36-inch natural gas pipeline and oil production fields at the top of a ridge, Oatman said.
Prosecutors have brought more charges against the lawyer-boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith.
The district attorney's office filed an amended complaint Wednesday in Los Angeles against Howard K. Stern, who is billed as an aider and abettor of two doctors charged with prescribing drugs that killed the former Playboy model in 2007.
The physicians and Stern pleaded not guilty in May to conspiring to illegally provide her with controlled substances.
The new charges against Stern include accusations he helped obtain prescriptions for opiates by using a false name. The doctors already face those charges.
Search warrant affidavits suggest Stern put his name on the prescriptions for drugs.
The mother of a Northern California woman found alive 18 years after she was kidnapped says people should never stop looking for missing children.
Terry Probyn was reunited with her daughter Jaycee Dugard last month.
Probyn said in a statement Wednesday that she hopes her family's story will focus attention on all missing children. She said her daughter's story proves that "miracles can happen."
Dugard was 11 when police say Phillip and Nancy Garrido kidnapped her, then allegedly held her captive. Police say the couple raped Dugard, now 29, and Phillip Garrido fathered her two children. They have pleaded not guilty.
Probyn has been in seclusion with Dugard and Dugard's daughters since their reunification Aug. 27. She says they are doing very well under the circumstances.
The federal government is considering raising fees on applications for immigration-related services to help offset a shortage in revenue.
Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told reporters Wednesday in Los Angeles the agency is considering cutting costs or raising fees in the next two years to alleviate the problem.
Agency officials have blamed the revenue shortfall on an overall drop in immigration-related applications being filed amid an economic slump.
The decline also comes after the agency increased its fees in 2007. The cost of applying for citizenship, including a fingerprinting fee, is now $675, up from $400.
Mayorkas would not say how much the fees might be raised or which services might be affected.