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BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
If you're still hoping that Apple will one day release a TV set, you might not want to hold your breath. Former Wall Street Journal reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane is set to release a book titled "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs," this week. In it, she recounts a moment during one of Steve Jobs' final months where the late Apple chief executive directly told his top executives that the company would not be entering the TV business, according to a Business Insider report . At Jobs' last Top 100 meeting, which is an annual summit for Apple's top executives, Jobs told his staff to ask him anything they wanted.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Kim Christensen
Scores of small businesses burned in a payroll-tax scam got some welcome news late last week when an insurance company said it would cover $3 million of their total losses. "We won't get all of our money back, but at least it looks like we will get a good chunk," said Melissa Meltzer, who with her husband, Robert, owns a Los Angeles children's fitness franchise that lost about $55,000. The Meltzers are among about 150 mostly Southern California restaurateurs, dentists, hairstylists and others who learned around Christmas that money they had deposited with LA Payroll for state and federal taxes had disappeared - as had the company's owner, Tovmas Grigoryan.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | By Shan Li
Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it plans to spin off its oil field services division into a separate publicly traded company. The news came weeks after the the oil and natural gas producer said it was pursuing strategic alternatives for the division, including a possible sale. The Oklahoma City company, which is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S., has been moving to cut costs after a year of upheaval that included the ouster of Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
With business travel spending expected to rise this year, American Express Co. announced plans to sell half its business travel division and create a separate venture. American Express will give up 50% ownership of its global business travel division in exchange for an investment of $900 million from a group led by New York investment firm Certares. The ownership will be shared with Certares, Qatar Investment Authority, BlackRock and Macquarie Capital, according to American Express.
OPINION
March 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Last week President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise regulations determining which workers qualify for federal overtime protections, a move that was presented as a way to increase income for some lower-wage workers. It's not. In reality, it's a matter of basic fairness. The issue begins with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established the national minimum wage for most workers and guaranteed overtime pay for more than 40 hours of work a week. But the law also allowed overtime exemptions to be set by the Labor Department.
WORLD
March 15, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Alexandra Sandels and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN - The room at the Iranian Chamber of Commerce offices was packed and noisy. At the lectern, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi encouraged dozens of merchants and manufacturers to "seize the opportunity" that could result from an easing of international sanctions. Businessmen who for years have been largely excluded from the global marketplace debated over ways to reach out to prospective investors. "Why not send a delegation of businessmen to the U.S. Congress?" proposed Mahmoud Daneshmand, a veteran import-export man. The deputy foreign minister, grasping the impracticality of that suggestion, responded in diplomat-speak: "Well, for the time being, the conditions are not right.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Susan King
Robert Wagner is in a reflective mood. "Movies last forever," noted the veteran actor ("Broken Lance," "The Pink Panther," the "Austin Powers" series),  but the Hollywood he once knew has all but disappeared. "I turned around, and it was all gone," Wagner, 84, said recently in Beverly Hills. Known as R.J. to his friends and colleagues, he's dapper, charming, handsome and very much cut from the same cloth as the suave characters he played in the TV series "It Takes a Thief" and "Hart to Hart," in which he and Stefanie Powers played a wealthy crime-solving couple.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
Bill Elwell doesn't want any more customers, but they just keep coming. "Is McDonald's closed today?" he likes to grunt to those lined up outside his tiny burger stand in an industrial pocket of the San Fernando Valley. "Why is everyone here? Go down the street!" Elwell is 87 and cranky, and folks can't seem to get enough of him. It's been 49 years since Elwell took to the grill of his 10-by-20-foot burger stand on Oxnard Street where Van Nuys meets Sherman Oaks. He once flipped a burger from grill to floor to shush a customer complaining about too much mayonnaise.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2014 | By James Rainey
At just 21, a kid from the San Fernando Valley named Jim Berk began work as a music teacher at Carson High School. Within a couple of years, the teacher, not much older than some of his students, had turned a woebegone marching band into one of the best in Southern California. Then Berk moved to struggling Hamilton High School to launch a music magnet program. It gained national acclaim and so many new students that officials reversed their threat to close the Westside campus. "The Wunderkind of education" the Times dubbed him in 1992.
SPORTS
March 13, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
Herbalife Ltd. said Thursday a new U.S. probe of the nutritional products maker would not affect its sponsorship of the Galaxy and other teams and athletes. The company, whose business practices have been publicly attacked by a Wall Street investment manager, said Wednesday it now was the subject of a civil probe by the Federal Trade Commission but provided no other details. Money manager Bill Ackman has alleged Herbalife, whose nutrition and weight-management products are sold by independent salespeople, is effectively a pyramid scheme.
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