CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 18, 2013 |
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, will be grand marshal of the 2013 Hollywood Christmas Parade, organizers announced Friday. Aldrin, who followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon on July 20, 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission, said in a statement that he was “extremely honored” to be chosen to lead the 82nd annual staging of the parade, calling it a “treasured American tradition.” “Come celebrate the holidays with me...
October 16, 2013 |
The gift-giving season may be muted this year, as Americans, spooked by the government stalemate and ongoing economic weakness, plan to spend less on presents and other holiday preparations, according to the National Retail Federation. More than 6,000 consumers told the trade group that they will likely spend $737.95 each on gifts, decor and greeting cards -- 2% less than the $752.24 they shelled out last year. Nearly 80% of shoppers said they intend to spend less overall during the season.
October 16, 2013 |
Mattel Inc., the nation's largest toy company, and Barbie, likely its best-known product, are heading into Christmas looking up. The El Segundo-based company reported net income of $422.8 million, or $1.21 a share, for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That's a 16% increase from the year-earlier period, when profit was $365.9 million, or $1.04 a share. Mattel's revenue also surged 6% to $2.2 billion, from $2.1 billion. Both the sales and profit measures beat Wall Street expectations.
October 11, 2013 |
The 2013 edition of “A Very Special Christmas” albums benefiting the Special Olympics puts the focus on superstar names, with a roundup of holiday songs from John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Sting and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers among the collection's 11 tracks. The album, “A Very Special Christmas: Icon,” is to be released on Oct. 15, and also includes recordings from Jon Bon Jovi, Josh Groban, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Cro, Wham! and Carrie Underwood.
October 7, 2013 |
After months of stalled negotiations over salaries, workers at Amazon's German warehouses are threatening to walk out for the Christmas shopping season. It would not be the first time German workers walked out on Amazon . Verdi, the Services and Trade Union, has organized short strikes in Leipzig, Saxony and Bad Hersfeld this year. Workers represented by Verdi in Amazon's distribution centers have been trying to force Amazon to recognize collective bargaining agreements in the mail order and retail industry as wage benchmarks for workers in the distribution centers.
October 4, 2013 |
"All is Bright" - "All Is Bright" is a bit of holiday melancholy masquerading as black comedy. Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd and Sally Hawkins star in this sweet, sad tale of thieves and other lost causes tangled up in a Brooklyn Christmas tree lot one very cold December. Love of the same good woman, Therese (Amy Landecker), has both trying to go almost straight, selling bootleg Christmas trees in the big city. The film is rather rough and seedy as holiday fables go, and quite often the ideas and characters are only half baked.
October 1, 2013 |
Amazon.com Inc. said it will hire 70,000 full-time seasonal workers for the holiday rush, a 40% boost from last year. The Seattle company, which runs the world's largest e-commerce operation, said the fulfillment center employees will join the more than 5,000 hires it announced in July. Thousands of holiday workers will likely stay on as permanent employees down the line, Amazon said. This year, more than 7,000 temporary workers have made the switch, the company said. Until they do, they'll earn 94% of the starting wages of regular fulfillment center workers and will be eligible for healthcare benefits, Amazon said.
October 1, 2013 |
At wintertime in a Jewish home in the United States, you're more likely to find a Christmas tree than a kosher kitchen. That's one of the findings in a sweeping new study of Jewish Americans from the Pew Research Center, which polled nearly 3,500 Jewish Americans about their beliefs and practices. Nearly one out of three Jewish Americans - 32% - said they had a Christmas tree in their home last year, Pew found. In comparison, only 22% said they kept kosher at home. The survey focused chiefly on nearly 3,500 Jewish Americans, including both religious and nonreligious Jews.
September 30, 2013 |
National gas prices fell 19 cents in September, the largest drop since October 2012, AAA said Monday, and if the downward trend continues, gas prices could drop an additional 30 cents by Christmas. The U.S. average gas price is now at $3.40 a gallon, the lowest price since January. “Most drivers are paying the lowest gas prices in more than eight months due to abundant gasoline supplies, the end of the summer driving season, lower oil costs and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman, in a statement. Looking ahead, AAA said it expects further drops in the price through the fall and winter.
September 23, 2013 |
Retailers this season won't hire more holiday workers than they did last year, when the number of temporary workers brought onboard reached a 12-year high, according to a new forecast. Instead, the Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. consultancy said stores and distribution centers will probably add roughly 665,800 workers to their headcounts, with the bulk of hires being made in October. At best, companies can hope to match their hiring levels from 2012, when 751,800 workers joined their ranks between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, the consultancy said.