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February 14, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - Nancy Sutley, the top White House environmental advisor, is a fan of Wallace and Gromit, the claymation movie stars. Wallace, a tinkerer, habitually gets in trouble with his elaborate inventions, and Gromit, his silent but hyper-intelligent dog, repeatedly saves him. In her five years as head of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, Sutley said she felt a lot like Gromit. “You know, in keeping things moving as chaos ensues,” she said. One of the longest-serving top officials in the Obama administration, Sutley winds up her tenure Friday to return to Los Angeles, where she had worked as deputy mayor for energy and environment under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
February 7, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
TripAdvisor this week rolled out a handy new feature to its flight search website that allows consumers to compare amenities such as legroom, Wi-Fi, power outlets and in-flight entertainment before buying a ticket. It also features traveler-generated photos of the airplane inside and out. Here's how it works: Enter your destination search on the Cheap Flights search page. Then filter on what amenities you want -- onboard Wi-Fi, television, power -- or just do a general airfare search and the information will pop up with the list of flights.
February 3, 2014 | By Paul Pringle and Abby Sewell
The FBI spoke with former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about her role in a 2012 fundraiser for President Obama, but the candidate for Los Angeles County supervisor believes she did nothing wrong and doesn't know if the inquiry is continuing, her campaign consultant said Monday. Steve Barkan, the campaign advisor, said in a statement that Solis had a "cordial" meeting with the FBI in November 2012 - about eight months after the fundraiser at the La Fonda supper club in Los Angeles.
January 29, 2014 | By Carla Rivera
California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White on Wednesday announced an ambitious agenda to move students more quickly to graduation by hiring more experienced faculty and advisors, increasing online courses and boosting other opportunities to help students succeed. The measures are part of a $50-million project that aims over the next decade to increase graduation rates by 10% for undergraduates and 5% for those who transfer from community colleges as well as to improve the overall learning environment for students, White said.
January 17, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani
Top members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration and political inner circle are among those receiving subpoenas for records of their emails, texts and phone calls related to the decision last year to redraw traffic lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge. Christie himself is not on the list of 20 people and organizations. Known recipients include the governor's office and his campaign organization; the deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly , whom Christie fired last week; Kevin O'Dowd, his outgoing chief of staff , recently nominated by Christie to be the state attorney general; his incoming chief of staff, Regina Egea ; Bill Baroni, Christie's top appointment at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who resigned last month; and Charles McKenna, the governor's chief counsel , according to a list released Friday afternoon by the two-day-old Assembly Select Committee on Investigations.
January 7, 2014 | By Meg James
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has joined Spanish-language broadcaster Estrella TV as a senior advisor to help the 4-year-old television network gain traction. The network, based in Burbank, is banking on Villaraigosa to give it greater visibility and pull in additional advertising dollars to better compete with established giants, including Univision Communications and NBCUniversal's Telemundo. Estrella TV becomes the latest employer of Villaraigosa since he departed City Hall last summer.
January 7, 2014 | By David S. Cloud, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - President Obama became progressively more pessimistic about prospects for a successful ending to the war in Afghanistan, goaded by inexperienced White House advisors and a dislike of Afghan President Hamid Karzai , according to his former Defense secretary, Robert M. Gates. In a forthcoming memoir that mixes strong praise with scathing criticism for Obama and his administration, Gates says Obama doubted his own policy after he decided to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan early in his first term.
December 27, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Carol J. Williams
TEHRAN -- The chief foreign policy advisor to Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for direct talks with the United States on nuclear issues, a possible sign from the supreme leader that he is amenable to ending the animosity that has defined relations with Washington for 34 years. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been the target of fierce criticism by political and religious hard-liners since he helped broker a deal with the United States and five other Western powers last month that will put Iranian high-level enrichment of uranium on hold for at least six months.
December 11, 2013 | Christi Parsons
With his popularity flagging and his healthcare law at risk, President Obama has uncharacteristically reached outside his tightknit core of advisors to bring into the White House a veteran Democratic strategist who helped guide President Clinton through the darkest days of his presidency. The appointment of John Podesta, who was the White House chief of staff during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment proceedings in Congress, is an acknowledgment by Obama of the extent of the problems that have dogged the first year of his second term.
November 20, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - California's finances are improving faster than expected and schools could receive billions in extra funds next year, according to the Legislature's budget advisors. "The state's budgetary condition is stronger than at any point in the past decade," a report released Wednesday says. Higher-than-expected revenue, driven by the economic recovery and stock market gains, could pump more than $4 billion in unanticipated funds into schools and community colleges starting next summer, the report says.
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