October 31, 2013 |
Sony Corp.'s movie unit -- for months the focus of scrutiny from activist hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb -- posted an operating loss of $181 million for the company's fiscal second quarter, a major contributor to its overall poor performance. Sony, the Tokyo-based electronics giant, blamed its flop "White House Down," which starred Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx and was released in the U.S. on June 28. The expensive action picture, about an assault on the White House by a paramilitary group, grossed $205 million worldwide against a budget of about $150 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
October 31, 2013 |
The most memorable magic in Daniel Alarcon's engaging and illuminating new novel, "At Night We Walk in Circles," comes when his three main characters, all actors, perform on various stages in their impoverished but beautiful country. Nelson, Henry and Patalarga are actors in a guerrilla theater company, performing the same satirical play again and again on a journey through the provinces of an unnamed Latin American country. Their "tour" has no set itinerary and their "theater" might be the living room of a local resident one night or an open field on the outskirts of a village the next.
October 30, 2013 |
JPMorgan Chase is trying to reach a multibillion-dollar deal with the federal government to settle allegations of securities fraud - based largely on claims against two failing banks it rescued during the crisis at Washington's behest. The settlement apparently hinges on whether JPMorgan will be allowed to tap a government fund to cover some of the cost of the government's claims. If so, that would be a truly perverse outcome. The government's case stems from the sale of mortgage-backed securities - bundles of home loans that lenders didn't want to keep on their books - that failed spectacularly after the housing bubble burst.
October 28, 2013 |
Now that Suzanne Somers has your attention with claims about all the sex she's having, the former "Three's Company" star-turned-longevity-expert has turned her attention to Obamacare. And she doesn't like what she sees. "Boomers are smart," Somers wrote in a Monday opinion piece for the online version of the Wall Street Journal. "They see the train wreck coming… most I speak with think the Affordable Care Act is a greater Ponzi scheme than that pulled off by Bernie Madoff.
October 28, 2013 |
Tech companies have been pleading with Congress for years to crack down on abusive lawsuits by patent "trolls," or firms that use obscure patents to extract exorbitant licensing fees. The companies may finally get some real relief, thanks to an unintentional assist from the trolls themselves. These lawsuit-happy patent holders have made reform a Main Street business priority by threatening to sue scores of retailers and small businesses for selling or using off-the-shelf products that allegedly infringed their patents.
October 24, 2013 |
Mexico has blocked imports of Foster Farms chicken from three Central California processing facilities linked to an outbreak of salmonella. The Mexican government told the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday that it was removing from its list of approved exporters two Foster Farms plants in Fresno and one in Livingston, where the poultry company is headquartered. The blocked three plants were identified by the USDA as the likely origins of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 338 people across the U.S. since March.
October 24, 2013 |
Dozens of people have called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate multilevel marketing, a controversial industry that includes companies such as Herbalife Ltd., Amway, Avon and others. In a letter delivered to the FTC's Washington offices Thursday, the group, led by Massachusetts attorney Douglas M. Brooks, urged the agency to crack down on an industry it says preys on low-income and unemployed workers with false hopes of easy wealth. "The MLM industry has proved incapable of regulating itself, is rife with fraudulent and deceptive earnings claims and has caused -- and will continue to cause -- untold financial harm and misery to the poorest and most vulnerable of the consumers whom the commission was formed to protect," the group's letter said.
October 22, 2013 |
Los Angeles-based Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. continues to growth as an in-flight entertainment and connectivity giant with the purchase of a British company that specialized in emerging markets. Through its subsidiaries, including in-flight wireless Internet provider Row 44, Global Eagle offers in-flight entertainment on about 5,000 planes worldwide. Global Eagle announced this week that it has acquired Travel Entertainment Group Equity Limited, the UK-based parent company of IFE Services Limited, for $36 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2013 |
The Los Angeles City Council is weighing a challenge to the app-driven ride-sharing companies that have given residents new transportation options while drawing protests from the taxicab industry. Councilman Paul Koretz is pushing for his colleagues to appeal a recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission to allow companies such as Lyft and Sidecar to operate under regulation at the statewide level. The council is set to meet Tuesday behind closed doors to discuss the possible appeal with city lawyers.
October 19, 2013 |
Pushing herself across the floor in a slow crawl, her face in searching mode, back slightly arched, she resembles an Andrew Wyeth "Helga" painting. But this is no artist's model, nor a trained modern dancer. This is Melissa Barak, a Los Angeles native who made a name for herself with New York City Ballet first as a ballerina, then beginning in 2002 as a choreographer, with the New York Times writing, "Barak's gift is for exploring pure movement. " And though she hasn't been onstage in two years, Barak, 34, says she felt it "appropriate" to be part of Barak Ballet's inaugural performance at Santa Monica's Broad Stage on Oct. 24. Two years in the making (with a pre-launch performance last March)