Noah Smith

Multimedia Journalist

Los Angeles, CA



CGTN America
Chemical weapons inspectors in Damascus after US-led strikes on Syria

Published April 15, 2018 at 7:56 PM Updated April 15, 2018 at 8:40 PM President Donald Trump has informed Congress in writing of his decision to order a U.S. missile strike against Syria. Under the War Powers Resolution, the president must keep Congress informed of such actions.

Washington Post
The quest to put the Talmud online

September 18 The Internet of 2010 contained many things, and free of charge. It had the full works of Shakespeare. It had robust English translations of classical Greek philosophy. It had just about every Miley Cyrus lyric.

Washington Post
The world's best surfers head inland to catch a wave

LEMOORE, Calif. - The wave shouldn't be here, surrounded by boundless fields of nuts, vegetables and cotton. It's an exotic crest of water six feet high, one that would be at home in Bali or the east coast of Australia. But not here, well over 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

The Guardian
+PHOTOS Pot entrepreneur and ex-felon fights for black role in California's budding industry

When his medical cannabis operation was raided in 2008, Virgil Grant wound up in prison. Now he's back in business, and determined to make space for people of color in an industry that's fast being whitewashed hey were two sides of California's cannabis industry, ambitious operators who prepared for the day this state would become the world's biggest legal market.

Washington Post
+PHOTOS Sudden appearance of electric scooters irks Santa Monica officials

Black, electric-powered scooters suddenly began appearing on the downtown streets, suburban sidewalks and beachside a few months ago in this urban coastal city. The dockless shared scooters took Santa Monica by surprise, including the mayor, who says he received a LinkedIn message from Bird chief executive Travis VanderZanden, offering to introduce him to the company's "exciting new mobility strategy for Santa Monica" - after they landed in town.

The New York Times
An Economic Recovery, Brimming With Industrial Complexes, in Southern California

LOS ANGELES - The Inland Empire could be considered Southern California 's backlot, with its vast warehouse complexes and staging areas. Typically defined as the region east of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and encompassing San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, this area of industrial development has been on a long march to recovery since the 2008 financial crisis.

The Guardian
VIDEO & PHOTOS California gold miners seek a different type of glitter: celebrity

In the original California gold rush, thousands of prospectors scoured the San Gabriel mountains for nuggets, a scramble marked by rivalry and secrecy: see a gleam, keep shtum. Two centuries later, a handful of descendants use similar equipment to pan in the same crystal cold river, surrounded by the same wilderness, lured by an additional, different type of glitter: celebrity.

Meet the $3 Billion Realtor Who Couldn't Pronounce His Own Name

As he gallivants through estates worth tens of millions of dollars on CNBC's Secret Lives of the Super Rich, it is hard to imagine Aaron Kirman as anything other than the highly driven, supremely confident real estate agent we see on the show.

The Guardian
Why can't pop culture get surfing right?

At SXSW in Austin, Texas this year, US television studio TNT brought in a surfing simulator and created a "pop-up beach" to help promote their surfing-meets-crime-family show Animal Kingdom, the second season of which premiered on Tuesday. It's just the latest attempt from the worlds of television and film to embrace surfing with some form of gimmickry.

How a Tiny Israeli TV Company Became an International Media Player

The media production and distribution company Keshet International did not even exist four years ago. Since then, its rise has been meteoric. Last year, the company-a subsidiary of Israel-based Keshet Media Group-had six shows on TV in the U.S.-including Dig, Homeland, and Tyrant -and has sold programs in more than 50 territories.

The New York Times
CONTRIB ONLY Is Britney Spears Ready to Stand on Her Own?

LAS VEGAS - The disturbing images seem so distant now: the pop-star-turned-cautionary tabloid tale - head shorn, face twisted, umbrella gripped like a police baton as she bashed a paparazzi S.U.V. window. More than eight years after her meltdown, Britney Spears, at 34, appears to be thriving.

HBO's 'Silicon Valley': Art imitates tech life imitates art

Unlike so many of the characters on their show, the team behind HBO's "Silicon Valley" does not profess a desire to change the world. "I'm just happy anybody is watching the show and enjoying it," said Alec Berg, a co-showrunner, executive producer, writer and director on the series.

Are patent trolls taking over the fashion industry?

Shar Simantob and his Los Angeles-based textile company, United Fabric International, are used to following trends in the fashion industry. The company works as a middleman between mills and labels to develop fabrics and prints in line with what tastemakers say will be hot in the coming seasons.

The Washington Post
CONTRIB California fires rage into second week as massive blazes are 'expected to spread'

VENTURA, Calif. - Raging wildfires continued to burn through Southern California on Sunday, stretching into a second week as authorities warned that the blazes could still spread and pose new dangers. The fires have been blamed for one death, and the flames have destroyed more than 800 buildings and threatened thousands more.

The Guardian
PHOTOS In the Californian desert, UK and US forces crave 'a crack at the headcutters'

It was a victory foretold and started soon after dawn, just as the sun began to bake the desert. Two American F-16 jets roared out of a clear blue sky and dropped heavy payloads on enemy bunkers in the distant foothills. British artillery unleashed a barrage which boomed across the plain, sending grey plumes curling over the targets.

The New York Times
In Downtown Los Angeles, a Potential Anchor for Offices

LOS ANGELES - Wilshire Grand Center, an estimated $1.2 billion mixed-use project in downtown Los Angeles, promises many things upon its 2017 completion date. At 1,100 feet, it will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi, with technology features like those to protect against earthquakes.

The Guardian
PHOTOS Sod it: Californians turn back to grass lawns as drought shaming ebbs

Yumi Wong adores the latest addition to her southern California home: a lush, emerald lawn. "It just looks much nicer with all the green. It feels clean and peaceful," she said on Tuesday, padding across the 2,800-sq-foot grass expanse. "I thought about artificial turf but I just wanted the real stuff back."

The New York Times
Judge Approves Orange County Register Sale to Digital First

SANTA ANA, Calif. - Last week, Tribune Publishing won an auction for a coveted asset - Freedom Communications, the parent company of The Orange County Register and The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif. On Monday, however, the company could only watch as the sale of Freedom to Digital First Media was approved by a judge.

The New York Times
Sumner Redstone Won't Have to Give Deposition in Competency Suit

The ailing media mogul Sumner M. Redstone will not be required to sit for a deposition in the legal battle over his mental competency, a California judge ruled during a brief hearing on Thursday. Whether or not Mr. Redstone, 92, is competent is the subject of a lawsuit filed in November by Manuela Herzer, his former companion and onetime romantic partner, who challenged his mental capacity.

The Guardian
PHOTOS Erin Brockovich lends star power to legal fight over huge California methane leak

Erin Brockovich sat in an empty hall, awaiting hundreds of people who would soon stream in from a cold California night seeking answers and reassurance, and gave a sigh of familiarity. "I've been doing this for 20-plus years and I've learned that it won't get better - it'll get worse, and they'll need to know that Superman is not coming to rescue them."

The New York Times
Los Angeles, With New Star, Far Eclipses City F.C.

CARSON, Calif. - M.L.S. has long relied on former European club stars to promote its game. Two of them, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, graced the cover of the program in Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York City F.C.

The New York Times
Metrolink Train Headed to Los Angeles Crashes Into Truck, Injuring Dozens

OXNARD, Calif. - Rail cars skidded onto their sides, a fireball lit up the dark, and nearly 30 people were injured early Tuesday when a commuter train slammed into a truck that had turned onto the railroad tracks and gotten stuck here about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The Guardian
PHOTOS Welcome to the fire lab: California researchers re-create forest blazes

The doors clang shut, casting the laboratory into gloom, and the scientists don goggles, yellow helmets and flame-resistant jackets. Two crouch behind computers, readying measurements. Another picks up a blowtorch. The rest stand back. Wood shavings and dry chaparral, which resembles hay, line the bed of a 30ft wind tunnel.

The New York Times
'Blurred Lines' Infringed on Marvin Gaye Copyright, Jury Rules

For the last year and a half, the music industry has been gripped by a lawsuit over whether Robin Thicke's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" was merely reminiscent of a song by Marvin Gaye, or had crossed the line into plagiarism.

The New York Times
CONTRIB Sumner Redstone Competency Case Will Go Forward

The lawsuit challenging the mental competence of the ailing 92-year-old media mogul Sumner M. Redstone will go to trial in May because of a "plethora of disputed factual issues" over his capacity and current medical care, a California judge ruled on Monday.

Washington Post
PHOTO Arizona will offer high school esports, including a state championship

Arizona high school students will be able to compete for a state championship in video games starting this winter, the state announced this week. The Arizona Interscholastic Association, the governing body for high school athletics and activities, will sanction three-on-three competitions in "Rocket League," a game of vehicular soccer, and five-on-five competitions in "League of Legends," a multiplayer battle game.

The New York Times
Plants That Won't Drain You

Californians who want to replace their water-guzzling lawns can choose plants that thrive in the state's dry climate. Here are some popular options.

The New York Times
CONTRIB Sumner Redstone Trial Could Be Lurid and Spark Power Struggle

Those questions will set the backdrop for the trial, as the court is expected to hear video testimony from Mr. Redstone, as well as from his daughter, doctors and nurses, Ms. Herzer and Philippe Dauman, the chief executive of Viacom. "Mr. Redstone is a media titan and deserves all the respect he can get," said Pierce O'Donnell, Ms. Herzer's lawyer.

The New York Times
Pharrell Williams Acknowledges Similarity to Gaye Song in 'Blurred Lines' Case

LOS ANGELES - How closely does Robin Thicke's hit "Blurred Lines" resemble a classic by Marvin Gaye? That question is central to a closely watched copyright case here, and on Wednesday, Pharrell Williams, the producer behind "Blurred Lines," acknowledged a similarity to Gaye's 1977 song "Got to Give It Up" but denied that there had been any intention to copy it.

The New York Times
CONTRIB Californians Who Conserved Wonder if State Can Overcome Those Who Didn't

LOS ANGELES - Some Californians are already showering just once a week, with buckets at their feet to catch every errant drop. They are building rainwater tanks in their backyards and replacing their lawns with mesquite and desert sage. They glare at water-wasting neighbors, and post photographs online to "drought shame" businesses that spray down their sidewalks.

The New York Times
Restroom Ordinance Is Just One More Sign of a City's Acceptance

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - This city was one of the first in the nation to pass a same-sex marriage law. It was one of the first communities viewed as a haven for gay people: When the city was incorporated in 1984, a majority of the City Council members were openly gay, helping earn West Hollywood the nickname the "Gay Camelot."

The New York Times
CONTRIB Deaths of Irish Students in Berkeley Balcony Collapse Cast Pall on Program

BERKELEY, Calif. - They come by the thousands - Irish students on work visas, many flocking to the West Coast to work in summer jobs by day and to enjoy the often raucous life in a college town at night. It was, for many, a rite of passage, one last summer to enjoy travel abroad before beginning a career.

The New York Times
CONTRIB Uncertainty on Whether Cosby Revelations Could Hurt Him in Court

New revelations about the sexual behavior of Bill Cosby have been greeted as a vindication to many of the women who have accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting them. The disclosures, from a deposition he provided in a 2005 civil suit, have also further altered the public perception of Mr. Cosby.

Starting Up and Starting Over: LA Tech Day reveals why everyone wants to be in tech

Henry Luc studied landscape architecture at UC Davis and graduated in 2008, just in time for the economic meltdown. Then the drought happened. Then he decided to take a part-time user experience and design course. And then Luc was hired by Hello Tech, an L.A.-based on-demand tech support startup, and is now riding high on the wave of hi-tech startups in this town.

The Washington Post
CONTRIB First fatality confirmed as raging wildfires spread across Southern California

VENTURA, Calif. - Firefighters continued to battle blazes across a large swath of Southern California on Saturday, and state officials warned that continued high winds into Sunday could create erratic fire conditions, leaving residents with little chance of a reprieve from the flames and smoke that have lasted nearly a week.

The Washington Post
CONTRIB First fire-related death confirmed as raging wildfires cloaked Southern California in...

OJAI, Calif. - The Golden State kept burning on Friday, with raging wildfires cloaking Southern California in nightmarish flame and towering smoke while authorities reported the first fire-related death. The Ventura Medical Examiner Office said a body found on Wednesday has been identified as Virginia Pesola, 70, from Santa Paula, the "only confirmed fire-related death in Ventura County to date."

The New York Times
CONTRIB The Path to Charlie Sheen's H.I.V. Disclosure

It was a secret that had finally become too burdensome to keep. "I'm here to admit that I am in fact H.I.V.-positive," Charlie Sheen told Matt Lauer during the "Today" show on Nov. 17. "I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of subtruths."

The New York Times
CONTRIB Sumner Redstone's Medical Records to Stay Private, Judge Rules

The medical records of the media mogul Sumner M. Redstone will remain confidential, but some other court documents, including emails written by his nurses and a letter from Mr. Redstone to his daughter, Shari, will be made public, a California judge ruled on Friday. A total of 15 documents will be unsealed, Judge David J.

Kowabunga! Chosen People also ride waves

Every so often, passersby shoot Shaun Tomson a sideways glance. It's a foggy, Santa Monica weekday morning, and Tomson - about six feet tall with tousled dark hair and a deep tan - walks down the street in jeans and a casual button-down shirt.

The New York Times
CONTRIB Power Struggle at Viacom as New Leader Is Named

With the ailing 92-year-old Sumner M. Redstone in his final act as a media titan, the two rivals jousting over the future of his $40 billion entertainment empire repeatedly crisscrossed the country in the last several months to visit his mansion in a gated Beverly Hills enclave.

The Forward
L.A.'s Eric Garcetti Dons Kippah for Instagram - Forward Thinking

Getty Images After a year on the job, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, 43, has enjoyed mostly positive reviews from Angelenos and from observers of City Hall, who have credited his low-key governance style with helping reform the daily operations of the city's government as well as with moving his "back to basics" initiatives forward in sectors such as job creation, traffic and public safety.

The New York Times
CONTRIB Clinton 'First Brother' Is Wary, Chatty and Still Occasionally Attracting Attention

TORRANCE, Calif. - At the height of Roger Clinton's fame, the struggling rock singer stood accused of taking cash and a gold Rolex to lobby for pardons as his half brother Bill Clinton's presidency was ending. Fifteen years later, with Hillary Rodham Clinton seeking to navigate a return to the White House, the self-described "first brother" is keeping a lower profile.

The Guardian
PHOTOS Whisper: the facts

On Thursday the Guardian published three stories detailing how Whisper, the social media app that claims to be "the safest place on the internet", is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.

The New York Times
CONTRIB Simmering Labor Fight Brings Crippling Delays to West Coast Seaports

LOS ANGELES - The container ships arrive here filled with appliances, toys, apparel, auto parts, computer components and untold other products from Asia, to head out to stores and factories across America. But a simmering labor dispute between the longshoremen's union and shipowners has brought crippling delays here and to other West Coast seaports.

The New York Times
The Pen

Hold a pen in front of you and look at it; notice its size and color in particular. Now, slowly move it away until you have your arm fully extended. Notice anything different? Probably not, and that is how it should be.

Max Steinberg's Jewish Journey From Los Angeles Suburb to Death in Gaza

courtesy of steinberg family (Haaretz) - The death of a 24-year-old Birthright graduate from L.A. has brought the battles taking place in the Middle East home for many in this Southern California community in a tangible and direct way - a rarity in a conflict that has been fought by proxy here via rallies and divestment votes.

The Forward
Anti-Defamation League Signals New Path as Jonathan Greenblatt Takes Helm

In its choice of a new leader, the century-old Anti-Defamation League has clearly signaled its determination to pursue a course of generational change that reflects the transformation of American Jewry itself. Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL's newly named national director, is different in age, background, experience and politics from its outgoing iconic leader, Abraham H.

The New York Times
CONTRIB ONLY 'Blurred Lines' Lawyer Rocks Music Industry Again

Ask Richard S. Busch, the lawyer who last week won a nearly $7.4 million copyright suit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, why he is so successful, and he will mention the 1997 film "The Devil's Advocate," in which Al Pacino plays Satan posing as a master lawyer.

Santa Barbara News-Press
Locals jumpy, on guard in Israel : Fight with Hamas has some hoping for best, prepping for worst

Monday, December 15, 2014 Santa Barbara News-Press : Locals jumpy, on guard in Israel : Fight with Hamas has some hoping for best, prepping for worst Locals jumpy, on guard in Israel : Fight with Hamas has some hoping for best, prepping for worst Share Story November 25, 2012 12:00 AM TEL AVIV - Of all the things to be concerned about in Santa Barbara, NPTV Content, Radio and Obituaries are free for all users.

The Guardian
PHOTOS ONLY How the 'safest place on the internet' tracks its users

In an elegant warehouse-style building on Venice Beach known locally as "the fortress", Michael Heyward, a tech entrepreneur, was struggling to control the remote-controlled drone hovering above the heads of his employees. The 27-year-old son of Andy Heyward, one of cartoon character Inspector Gadget's co-creators, giggled as the drone came crashing down to the floor, narrowly missing the head of a female developer.


Ann Arbor Journal
ANN ARBOR: Former U-M educator working on auto technology advancements overseas

Human Machine Interface Lab Group Manager, and U-M grad, Omer Tsimhoni. HERZILIYA PITUACH - On a single floor of an office building in tony Herzliya Pituach, a town just north of Tel Aviv, Israel, workers at GM's Advanced Technical Center are at the forefront of developing emerging automotive technologies.

The Oakland Press
Gov. Rick Snyder urges Israel to bring its business to Michigan

TEL AVIV -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as a host of other high-ranking Israeli officials and business leaders, during the initial days of his investment mission to Israel as he continues to try and build business ties between the Jewish state and Michigan.

The Guardian
PHOTOS Top senator demands explanation from Whisper after user tracking revelations

The chair of the Senate commerce committee has said revelations about how the "anonymous" social media app Whisper is tracking its users raise "serious questions" over privacy and demanded an explanation from the company. Senator Jay Rockefeller wrote to the chief executive of Whisper to ask for a detailed, in-person briefing for his committee staff.

The News Herald
WORLD: Car buffs gather to celebrate Israel's little-known auto industry

WORLD: Car buffs gather to celebrate Israel's little-known auto industry - TEL AVIV - In the shadow of Nokia Arena, home of 5-time European basketball champion Maccabi Tel Aviv, dozens of vintage American, European, Asian, and Israeli cars were on display last Friday to commemorate the little-known Israeli car industry.

The Oakland Press
Election day in Israel

Israelis will go to the polls today to vote for their next Prime Minister and members of parliament, or Knesset. Compared to the United States, the electoral system in Israel differs greatly, to say nothing of how campaigns are actually conducted. In Israel, the political party system is far more volatile than in the U.S.

Macomb Daily
Former MSU star Raymar Morgan adjusts to life in Israel

About 6,000 miles separate Netanya, Israel and East Lansing, Mich. Yet, for former Michigan State basketball star and current Barak Netanya star Raymar Morgan, the distance seems much shorter. "Adjusting wasn't really too hard. When I first got here, I was most surprised by just how Americanized it is, it's not too much different than America, looking at all aspects of it.

American Birthright graduate among IDF's Gaza fallen

LOS ANGELES - The death of a 24-year-old Birthright graduate from L.A. has brought the battles taking place in the Middle East home for many in this Southern California community in a tangible and direct way - a rarity in a conflict that has been fought by proxy here via rallies and divestment votes.