Most of this year's Academy Award attendees are already familiar with "screen tests"--just not the kind they'll experience on March 24. As they near the Kodak Theater, stars, guests and fans alike will be subjected to the most intensive security screenings to ever take place on Hollywood's biggest night.
They smoke lots of marijuana. They're gravely ill and dying. And they've got a lot on their minds besides politics. But California proponents of medical marijuana also have plenty of fight in them, particularly when authorities threaten to take away their painkiller of choice.
When he was director of the National Science Foundation, Richard Atkinson had a mountain in Antarctica named after him. Now that he's president of the University of California, high-school students in the state might want to rechristen the capitol--or at least dedicate their yearbooks to him.
Former police officer Rafael Perez began talking last September, and by the time he finished, he was using the language of horror movies to describe his years in the LAPD. "Whoever chases monsters," a tearful Perez, 32, told a Los Angeles courtroom last week, "should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself." Perez pleaded guilty to stealing three kilos of cocaine from a police-evidence locker in March 1998.
IF RAGE, AS EXPECTED, WILL BE THE pivotal factor in the O. J. Simpson civil trial, then the plaintiffs are off to a very good start indeed. The jury selected last week is a typical Santa Monica, Calif., panel and exactly what the plaintiffs wanted: mostly whites, well educated, middle class.
IT'S THE OPEN SECRET OF THE FIRST O. J. Simpson trial: the case was won--and lost--before the first word of opening arguments. Most observers agree that once Marcia Clark ignored the advice of high-priced consultants and let the court seat a largely pro-defense jury, there was no way to win a conviction of a living icon in the black community--especially when the distrusted LAPD was central to the prosecution's case.
FOR THE PLAINTIFFS IN THE O. J. Simpson wrongful-death civil trial, it was as smooth a week as they could expect. In the time that Judge Lance Ito would have consumed in just one sidebar conference, Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki sharply reined in the smorgasbord defense of police conspiracies and corruption that served Simpson so well in the criminal trial.