February 23, 2011 |
With the price of oil flirting with the $100-a-barrel level for the first time in more than two years, stock investors increasingly fear that Mideast turmoil could put the brakes on U.S. economic growth. Financial markets were spooked Wednesday by signs that the confrontation between Libyan strongman Moammar Kadafi and anti-government protesters was intensifying. Protesters said they seized control of a major city in the western part of the country, while the government was said to be massing fighters around Tripoli, the nation's capital, in preparation for potential clashes in coming days.
February 16, 2011 |
Consumers are hoping to cash in on last week's state Supreme Court ruling that it's illegal for retailers to ask customers for their ZIP Codes during credit card transactions, except in limited cases. More than a dozen new lawsuits have been filed against major chains that do business in California, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Crate & Barrel and Victoria's Secret. More filings are expected in the coming weeks. The flurry of litigation stems from a decision last week against Williams-Sonoma Inc. in which the state high court ruled unanimously that ZIP Codes were "personal identification information" that merchants can't demand from customers under a California consumer privacy law. That decision sparked lawsuits, mostly in San Francisco and Los Angeles courts, that seek class-action status and compensation for affected shoppers.
January 4, 2011 |
Oil and gasoline prices began the new year on the same rising course that closed out 2010. Crude oil for February delivery jumped to $92.66 a barrel, a 26-month high, before settling at $91.55, up 17 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil last settled above $92 a barrel Oct. 3, 2008, when it closed at $93.88. Higher crude oil costs have been pushing up pump prices since early December. On Monday, the average U.S. pump price climbed 1.8 cents to $3.07 a gallon, according to the Energy Department's weekly survey of service stations around the U.S. California's average gained 2.1 cents to $3.308 a gallon.
December 2, 2010 |
Republicans rolled out a confrontational, no-compromise strategy this week that may carry long-term risks, but has put them in position to dominate the lame-duck session of Congress and marginalize President Obama's agenda. Among congressional Republicans, confidence levels are so high that they are barreling over what might be considered standard political traps. As they fight to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers, for instance, they are prepared to let unemployment insurance benefits run out for 2 million jobless Americans unless offsetting spending cuts can be found.
November 24, 2010 |
NEW YORK/SINGAPORE - An oil glut that has weighed on prices for two years is dissipating, with U.S. stockpiles falling their fastest in over a decade this autumn, crude being whisked ashore from storage at sea, and China running refineries near full bore to replenish diesel supplies. Oil stocks are still well above levels that preceded a 2008 price surge to $147 a barrel, but a massive oil surplus accrued during the global economic downturn is being burned off. That could leave oil prices -- now trading near $81 a barrel after they fell from two-year highs above $88 this month -- more vulnerable to upward surges.
November 17, 2010 |
It was just after 7:30 last Saturday morning when anyone following Buzz Bissinger's Twitter feed might have sensed the first pop and hiss of another gathering eruption. The initial message from Bissinger promised, "No ranting today. " But the acclaimed author of the book "Friday Night Lights" followed with a potshot at "that judge in England [who] should be shot (gently and without permanent damage) for convicting guy of bad Tweet. " Seconds later, another message derided all "dangerous judges.
November 2, 2010
Forty-five years after Smokey Robinson found himself "Going to a Go-Go," he is now headed into Cracker Barrel restaurants ? a sign of change not just in music but for the roadside diners too. The former lead singer of Motown sensations the Miracles on Monday released his latest album not through record outlets, but via a program offered by the chain of nearly 600 diners known for home-style cooking and selling folksy merchandise. The album, called "Smokey Robinson Now & Then," mixes live performances of six classic Miracles' hits such as "Going to a Go-Go," "The Tears of a Clown" and "The Tracks of My Tears," with six studio-recorded tunes from Robinson's recent CD, "Time Flies When You Are Having Fun. " ?
HOME & GARDEN
October 16, 2010
:: WORTH IT :: Gray water Value ranking: 1 Gray water is the waste generated from faucets, showers and laundry machines ? water that accounts for 54.2% of all water used inside a home, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. With California deep into a drought, in August 2008 I retrofitted the plumbing on my laundry machine to send its gray water into my landscape. Over the past two years, that simple switch has sent 9,720 gallons of laundry water to passion fruit vines instead of the sewer, and it required only one change to my usual routine.
September 11, 2010 |
Work on the ultimate seal of BP's troubled gulf oil well will begin this weekend, sooner than expected, officials said Friday. Thad Allen, the federal spill response chief, indicated earlier this week that the "bottom kill" procedure to plug the well for good might not take place until late September or early October if experts decided engineers must apply a new cement seal on top of the well. The cement job, he said, would serve as "insurance" against any surge in pressure during the bottom kill, which involves penetrating the original well deep underground and jamming it with mud and cement.
September 7, 2010 |
U.S. oil prices slipped below $74 a barrel Monday as the end of the U.S. driving season and high levels of unemployment in the world's biggest oil consumer raised concerns over the outlook for demand. The Labor Day holiday, which marks the traditional end of American summer holidays when gasoline demand peaks, kept volume low in many markets. The New York Mercantile Exchange, home to benchmark U.S. crude futures also known as West Texas Intermediate, will combine trades from Sunday, Monday and Tuesday into one trading session, with a single settlement at Tuesday's close.