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In the solitary world of video poker, Stephen Paddock knew how to win. Until he didn't

Stephen Paddock wanted to win and, like any savvy video poker player, knew which machine to lock down at Mandalay Bay. There was only one in the casino — a Jacks-or-better 9-6 machine, meaning it paid 9-to-1 credits on the full house and 6-1 on the flush and offered the casino only a slim advantage....
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Ghost of Justice Scalia looms as Supreme Court debates religion and civil rights law
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0100
The ghost of Justice Antonin Scalia often hangs over the Supreme Court, perhaps never more so than as the justices struggle with the case of the Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. Scalia often spoke of his strong...
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For tenants on the edge, paying the rent often takes more than half their income
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 16:00:00 +0100
Even before their latest rent increase, Barbie Thompson and her husband, Juan, could barely afford the Rancho Santa Margarita apartment where they raised two children. The company that paid her around $13 an hour to distribute samples at Costco often...
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From a 911 call, a friendship bloomed between Baltimore cop and widow, 98: 'All she wanted was somebody to talk to'
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0100
She was born in the segregated South, and over 98 years outlived those old ways, three husbands and many friends in Baltimore. In the end, few remained to visit Hazel Reed-Oden. There was a devoted handyman. A nurse. A pastor. Happenstance brought Reed-Oden...
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Ask Farmer: What are centers saying at the line of scrimmage?
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0100
Have a question about the NFL? Ask Times NFL writer Sam Farmer, and he will answer as many as he can online and in the Sunday editions of the newspaper throughout the season. Email questions to: sam.farmer@latimes.com What are centers saying and doing...
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Government paying private firm $297 million to help hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:45:00 +0100
With a mandate from President Trump to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, Customs and Border Protection awarded a $297-million contract to a private company to help recruit and hire the new agents and other workers. The contract with a division of Accenture,...
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A Florida city tried to shut it down, but a massive Christmas display is back
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:30:00 +0100
The sparkle is back in Mark Hyatt’s yard, and it’s brighter than ever. His family’s massive Christmas display lights the night with a seemingly infinite number of bulbs. The Plantation attraction — one of South Florida’s most controversial —...
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Retirement can bring some complex tax questions
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0100
Dear Liz: I was in the twilight of my career when the Roth became available, and I contributed the maximum for those few years before retirement. After retirement, I dropped to the 15% tax bracket, so I did Roth conversions of my regular IRA to fill out...
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What the Fed rate hike means for consumers
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0100
The Federal Reserve vote last week to increase a key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point will eventually affect consumers, and the next step depends on which side of the saving-borrowing divide they stand. The federal funds rate, the rate...
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Suit in New York asks, is graffiti art protected by law? Graffiti 'writers' seek damages for destroyed works
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0100
For more than a decade, they came from across New York City and around the world to leave their mark at the place they called 5Pointz. Armed with cans of spray paint, they left bubble-lettered tags, outlined buxom cartoon women and undertook elaborate...
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Bakeman's Restaurant is closing after 47 years, and patrons are already missing this slice of pre-digital Seattle
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0100
In digital-drunk Seattle these days, everything’s rising — rents, buildings, eyeballs, salaries, stock holdings. Even the Space Needle, a World’s Fair antiquity from the hippie era, is getting a posh face lift. Downtown, a phalanx of cranes towers...
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Mater Dei leaves no doubt, wins Open Division title in rout of De La Salle
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:20:00 +0100
Bruce Rollinson, the football coach at Santa Ana Mater Dei since 1989, was joking about what would happen on the bus ride home from Sacramento on Saturday night if his team’s 14-game win streak came to an end against Concord De La Salle in the CIF state...
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Crenshaw intercepts pass in the end zone with no time left to secure first state bowl title
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 07:30:00 +0100
Star receiver Rayshawn Williams got most of the headlines for Crenshaw this fall, but it was his brother, Joseph, who made the biggest play of the season. He intercepted a pass in the end zone with no time remaining to seal the Cougars’ first CIF state...
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Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward fell victim to Tyreek Hill's signature celebration
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 07:10:00 +0100
Casey Hayward is actually a fan of Tyreek Hill’s touchdown celebration, in which the Kansas City Chiefs receiver, while burning an opponent for a long scoring play, flashes a peace sign over his shoulder, as if to say “peace-out” to the defense,...
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Middle Tennessee tops Arkansas State 35-30 in Camellia Bowl
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 06:30:00 +0100
Brent Stockstill passed for 232 yards and two touchdowns and Middle Tennessee came up with some key stops to hold off Arkansas State 35-30 in the Camellia Bowl on Saturday night. The Blue Raiders (7-6) ran out most of the final five minutes with a series...
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Clippers cry foul after 90-85 loss at Miami
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 05:55:00 +0100
Lou Williams sat in the locker room, his frustrations clear as he described the defining play that eventually sent the Clippers to an agonizing 90-85 loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday night. Both Williams and Clippers coach Doc Rivers directed their...
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