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BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
China could surpass the U.S. as early as next year as the world's biggest spender in business travel, a year sooner than business travel experts had previously forecast. With China's gross domestic product growing at a slow but steady pace, the world's most populous country is expected to increase spending on business travel by 16.5% in 2014 to $262.1 billion and 17.8% in 2015 to $309 billion, according to the Global Business Travel Assn. Foundation. The foundation--the education arm for the world's business traveler managers--had previously predicted that China would overtake the U.S. as the top spender on business travel by 2016.
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BUSINESS
March 26, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The World Trade Organization on Wednesday said that China's restrictions on the exports of rare earths -- raw materials commonly used in the manufacturing of electronics -- violate trade rules. China had argued that the restrictions, which included export duties and quotas, were in place to conserve exhaustible natural resources, but other countries disagreed. The United States two years ago complained to the World Trade Organization about the restrictions, arguing that they artificially raised the prices of rare earths for other countries and gave preferable pricing to Chinese manufacturers.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Propelled by a string of hit family movies, global movie ticket sales set a record last year, climbing to $35.9 billion in box office revenue, according to a new report. International markets accounted for $25 billion in ticket sales last year, up 5% from 2012 and 33% from just five years ago. Hollywood's growing success overseas was one of the principal findings in the annual state-of-industry report released Tuesday at the annual CinemaCon trade show in Las Vegas, which drew 900 delegates from 69 countries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Michelle Obama, who has been an effective if tamped-down first lady, took her daughters and mother to China this week. The seven-day trip, which ends Wednesday, is not much different from other most traditional first lady trips, where highly choreographed appearances and interactions centering on the importance of education unfurl predictably. Obama's conversations and statements are friendly, inspirational and anodyne. The Obamas have also taken in the sights, and if you'd like to see what they have seen, you can read her official blog . Their itinerary includes the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall and the Chengu Panda Base, home to dozens of the magical creatures.
WORLD
March 23, 2014 | By Cindy Chang, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- As students occupied Taiwan's legislative chamber Sunday for a sixth day to protest a free-trade agreement with China, President Ma Ying-jeou denounced the takeover as a threat to democracy. Government officials have pledged not to use force to remove the protesters, who fear the agreement will hurt Taiwan's small businesses and give China too much influence. [Updated at 3:45 p.m., March 23: While the standoff continued at the legislature, a group broke into the government's main executive building Sunday night, reaching Premier Jiang Yi-huah's office.
WORLD
March 22, 2014 | By Don Lee
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - China said Saturday that its satellite spotted a large object floating in the south Indian Ocean area that has become a focal point in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. A Chinese defense agency said on its website that satellite pictures taken around noon Tuesday showed an object measuring 74 feet by 43 feet, about 75 miles southwest of where Australia two days earlier captured images of two indistinct objects, one of them estimated at 79 feet long.
WORLD
March 22, 2014 | By Don Lee
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - In a new development in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Chinese satellite has spotted a large object floating in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia's defense minister said Saturday. The minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, reading from a piece of paper handed to him during a regular press briefing, said that the debris in the satellite imagery measured 74 feet by 43 feet. He said the Chinese would be sending ships to that area to verify.
WORLD
March 22, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING - Michelle Obama strayed into taboo territory during a speech Saturday at China's Peking University in which she called the rights of free speech and worship "the birthright of every person on this planet. " The first lady dropped her remarks toward the end of an otherwise uncontroversial speech to Chinese and U.S. students about overseas exchange programs. "We respect the uniqueness of other cultures and societies," Obama said with a caveat nodding to Beijing's frequent protestations that Westerners don't understand their system.
WORLD
March 22, 2014 | By Don Lee
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Spurred by additional satellite leads, Australian officials on Sunday ramped up a multinational effort to comb a vast stretch of the south Indian Ocean for traces of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said eight military and civilian aircraft carrying 20 volunteer spotters - double the number used Saturday - would look for objects that were shown floating about 1,500 miles off...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2014 | Ryan Faughnder
Beverly Hills-based RealD Inc. has signed an agreement with China's Wanda Cinemas that would double RealD's screen count in one of the world's biggest film markets.  Wanda Cinemas, a subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group, said Friday it would install 780 sets of  RealD's 3-D cinema equipment over the next three years. Wanda has already installed about 800 RealD 3-D sets in its theaters. Shares of RealD increased 41 cents, or about 3.7%, to $11.54 in midsession trading on the New York Stock Exchange.  FULL COVERAGE: Reel China China's rapidly growing film business last year hit $3.6 billion in box-office revenue, up about 27% from 2012.
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