August 26, 2012 |
"The Arab World Unbound: Tapping Into the Power of 350 Million Consumers" opens in a Hezbollah-controlled grocery shop in south Beirut, where people are drinking Red Bull. From there on, it just gets better and better. Most of us know the Middle East and North Africa only from what we see on our television screens and read in the newspapers. The daily tale of riots and protests, bombs and bullets can leave us feeling profoundly depressed about the entire region and its prospects.
August 15, 2012 |
Shoppers lent a helping hand to the economy in July as retail sales grew by the largest amount in five months, bolstering hope that consumers will continue to buy despite worries over a stubbornly high unemployment rate. The Commerce Department said sales rose 0.8% last month, beating economist expectations of a more modest 0.3% jump. The positive sign follows three previous months of declines that included a 0.7% drop in June. "The consumers are coming back," said Sung Won Sohn, economics professor at Cal State Channel Islands.
August 15, 2012 |
BEIJING - China and North Korea are speeding development of two special economic zones in a bid to shore up North Korea's crumbling economy. Chinese state media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Taek met with Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming this week to sign agreements over development of the trade zones, which are on the border with China. China is North Korea's chief ally, providing aid and anchoring a $5.7-billion trade relationship. North Korea, which is under United Nations sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program, has an economy valued at about $40 billion.
August 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Earlier this year, top national security officials held a classified briefing in the Capitol for about half the Senate, warning that the country's crucial infrastructure was highly vulnerable to a major cyber attack and urging Congress to move swiftly to require new safeguards. Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were among those who pressed for a White House-backed cyber-security bill to regulate privately owned crucial infrastructure, such as electric utilities, chemical plants and water systems.
July 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the Republican candidate in the Maine Senate race, throwing its clout behind the lesser known conservative rather than former Gov. Angus King, a popular independent candidate. Polls have given King a wide lead in the three-way contest, but Republican Charlie Summers, the secretary of state, has been counting on outside support to keep the seat opening up with the retirement of Republican Sen....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2012 |
In the weeks after former Commerce Secretary John Bryson's bizarre series of hit-and-run collisions in the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said his blood tests would be pivotal in deciding whether to file criminal charges. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County prosecutors revealed that Bryson tested positive for a small amount of Ambien, a popular sleep aid, after he was found alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his Lexus last month. But authorities concluded the accidents were caused by a seizure Bryson suffered and said he should not face criminal charges in connection with them.
July 1, 2012 |
Supporters of the healthcare reform act upheld by the Supreme Court last week should stop celebrating and take a deep breath. Nestled within the multiple opinions issued by the justices are some disquieting hints that the high court's hostility toward government control over corporate power hasn't changed. To put it bluntly: The court's four conservative horsemen are still in the saddle. The original Four Horsemen were a conservative bloc that worked to overturn a string of PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal initiatives in the 1930s.
June 24, 2012 |
Wouldn't it be nice to forget your wallet — permanently? That day is coming sooner than you think. In the walletless future there will be no credit cards to lose, no cash to carry and no concert tickets to leave at home. Already, with a few taps on the screen of your smartphone, you can order a meal at a restaurant, loan your friend 20 bucks or even unlock the door to your house (so you can lose the keys too). Nearly half of U.S. consumers own smartphones, and as they have gained popularity the devices have grown to resemble pocket mini-malls, with rows of virtual storefronts where consumers can buy video games, music, books and TV shows.
June 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Commerce Secretary John Bryson has resigned, saying the seizure that he suffered on June 9 that led to two San Gabriel Valley hit-and-run accidents could be a distraction in the job. "I have concluded that the seizure I suffered on June 9th could be a distraction from my performance as Secretary and that our country would be better served by a change in leadership of the Department," Bryson wrote to President Obama in a letter dated...
June 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama phoned Commerce Secretary John Bryson Tuesday morning and encouraged him to "focus his thoughts on his own health, on his own family," a White House spokesman said. The brief conversation was the first between Obama and his cabinet secretary after Bryson was allegedly involved in a series of auto accidents Saturday that apparently resulted from a seizure. Police found Bryson unconscious at the wheel of his Lexus after allegedly hitting two vehicles in the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said.