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BUSINESS
March 25, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Spending by international travelers visiting the U.S. remains on record pace, according to new federal statistics. International visitors spent $14.4 billion in January, an 11% increase from the same month in 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Monday. Since the Great Recession, the travel and tourism industries have rebounded at a much faster pace than many other areas of the economy, according to government statistics. In 2012, spending by international visitors reached a record $168.1 billion, an increase of nearly 10% compared with the previous year, according to the Department of Commerce.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2013 | By David Zahniser and James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel backed away Tuesday from her call for a new round of negotiations over employee pension cuts, saying she wants only to meet with labor leaders to discuss ways of avoiding a lawsuit over the reductions. Greuel, the city controller, has been attacking City Councilman Eric Garcetti, her opponent, for weeks over his vote to roll back retirement benefits for new hires, saying he and his colleagues failed to properly negotiate the changes. On Friday, she told The Times that she wanted to begin new talks with labor leaders to "make sure we get that pension reform that they agree with.
BUSINESS
March 18, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, who has held the job since John Bryson resigned for medical reasons in June, is stepping down to become chancellor of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, she said Monday. Blank told her staff in an email that she would leave sometime before July, when her new job begins. "I expect to welcome a new secretary of Commerce before I leave," wrote Blank, a former dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google's senior ranks continue to shuffle with Jeff Huber stepping down as head of mapping and commerce. Huber will move to Google X, the lab run by Google co-founder Sergey Brin that is working on experimental projects such as the wearable computer Google Glass and self-driving cars, a person familiar with the situation said. The move was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. With Huber's departure, the mapping division will join the Google search team led by Alan Eustace and the commerce division will move under the advertising group led by Susan Wojcicki.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2013 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
An 85-year-old Beverly Hills building erected in the golden age of Hollywood by movie mogul Jack Warner has been sold for $11.75 million to a local investor. The two-story structure that curves along Little Santa Monica Boulevard downtown at North Beverly Drive is one of the oldest commercial properties in the city, real estate broker Mark Esses said. Warner built the 11,000-square-foot building in 1928 to house the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce. The young city had yet to open a public library, The Times reported early in 1929, but one was being planned.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2013 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Lawyer-turned-serial-entrepreneur Brian Lee, 41, is pulling double duty as the chief executive of two celebrity-backed e-commerce websites: ShoeDazzle, co-founded with Kim Kardashian, and Honest Co., co-founded with Jessica Alba. The companies are headquartered in Santa Monica and offer customers monthly subscription plans in addition to typical a la carte shopping for shoes and baby products, respectively. ShoeDazzle has more than 15 million registered users and last year posted $100 million in revenue, up 80% from 2011; it has raised $66 million from investors including venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2013 | By Anh Do, Los Angeles Times
A Fountain Valley councilman is leading the charge to block a delegation of business and government officials from Vietnam, saying it will unleash a storm of protesters in the increasingly immigrant city. Mayor Pro Tem Michael Vo said an official visit from a country "without human rights and respect for freedom will not be accepted by the Vietnamese community, many who live here. " Vo said it would be fiscally irresponsible to pay for police services for a likely protest, which he predicted could draw hundreds.
IMAGE
December 23, 2012 | Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
Toms Shoes has opened its first retail store and community space, in Venice, barely an alpargata's toss from the apartment living room where Blake Mycoskie started building his buy-one-give-one, commerce-meets-cause shoe empire six years ago. Inhabiting a Craftsman-style cottage on Abbot Kinney, the 2,200-square-foot indoor-outdoor space feels like a college coffee house in all the right ways. Created in collaboration with L.A.'s Commune Design, it boasts rough-hewn wooden walls and floors inside.
BUSINESS
December 21, 2012 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew faster in the third quarter than previously thought, but the last three months of the year are looking much weaker. And many analysts see a sharper pullback early next year if the government's fiscal problems aren't resolved soon. In its latest revision of economic growth data for the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday that the nation's gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3.1% in the three-month period. That was up from its earlier estimates of 2.7% and 2%. The revision was encouraging, in one way, because U.S. exports and consumer spending were a little stronger than estimated.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California environmental officials moved ahead with a first-ever auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits despite a last-minute lawsuit filed by the state Chamber of Commerce to invalidate the sale. On Wednesday state Air Resources Board technicians worked at computer terminals to take bids from some major industrial facilities such as cement plants, steel mills, refineries and food processors. Many companies that emit carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that contribute to global warming were expected to participate in the three-hour sale of so-called cap-and-trade credits.
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