January 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A failure by Congress to raise the debt limit "in a timely manner" could lead to a downgrade of the nation's AAA credit rating, Fitch Ratings said Tuesday. Republicans want major government spending cuts in exchange for a debt-limit increase. But Fitch, one of three major credit-rating companies, said the debt ceiling should not be used to force a deficit-reduction plan. "In Fitch's opinion, the debt ceiling is an ineffective and potentially dangerous mechanism for enforcing fiscal discipline," the company said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2013
David R. Ellis, 60, a journeyman director and former stuntman whose credits include the 2006 thriller "Snakes on a Plane," died Monday morning in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was in pre-production on the upcoming film "Kite" with Samuel L. Jackson. The cause of death was unknown, said his agent, David Boxerbaum. Ellis most recently served as the second unit director on several upcoming high-profile films including "47 Ronin," starring Keanu Reeves; "R.I.P.D. " with Ryan Reynolds; and the adaptation of Mark Helprin's novel "Winter's Tale.
January 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Moody's Investors Service warned Wednesday that the "fiscal cliff" tax deal was not enough to remove the risk of a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. The company, one of three major credit rating firms, said the deal approved Tuesday night to raise about $620 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years was "a further step in clarifying the medium-term deficit and debt trajectory of the federal government. " But the package, which averted income tax increases on most Americans, did not produce "meaningful improvement" in the ratio of the federal government's debt to its economic output.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2013 |
People have an intrinsic right to know their ancestry - at least Reuben Pannor thought so. A Los Angeles social worker and trailblazer for the open-adoption movement, Pannor co-wrote "The Adoption Triangle," a 1978 book that served as the movement's bellwether. His work paved the way for a paradigm shift in adoption culture. Before his published argument, the idea that a birth parent would maintain any contact with a child given up for adoption was almost unheard of. Experts feared that including an active role for birth parents would inevitably damage the bond between adoptive parents and child.
December 28, 2012 |
As many investors had feared, the "fiscal cliff" drama in Washington is keeping Wall Street on edge as the year ends. Word that no deal appeared imminent knocked the Dow Jones industrial average down 158.20 points, or 1.2%, to a one-month low of 12,938.11 on Friday. But once the cliff is resolved - one way or another - four big economic and market stories of 2012 are likely to remain dominant themes of the new year. The four: • The housing market's rebound. As recoveries go, the turnaround in housing this year doesn't look like much on the charts, certainly not compared with the bubble years of the mid-2000s.
December 26, 2012 |
Our live Google+ Hangout today featured Times Lakers reporter Mike Bresnahan and Clippers reporter Brad Turner discussing their respective teams, including the role reversal this season of the Clippers being a better team than the Lakers. The Lakers have won five in a row through the Christmas Day win over the Knicks, however, and if there is one person to credit for the Lakers' recent resurgence, it's Steve Nash. As Kobe Bryant said the Tuesday victory: "You're talking about one of the greatest point guards ever.
December 26, 2012
Mitt Romney, who opposed government subsidies for clean power and thought all energy production technologies should compete equally in the free market, did not win the election. That's the good news. The bad news is that his backward policies are still popular among many congressional Republicans, posing a threat to a wind-energy tax credit that is creating jobs and helping to wean the country off fossil fuels. Unless it is extended, the tax credit will expire at the end of the year.
December 24, 2012
Irwin Allen's universe The producer-director was behind these famous disaster flicks and TV series: " Lost in Space" Allen created this 1965-68 CBS series about a stranded space colony family. "The Towering Inferno" This 1974 thriller with Paul Newman and Steve McQueen was a best picture Oscar nominee. "The Swarm" Allen directed this 1978 action-packed monster flick about African bees on the attack.
December 23, 2012 |
The critical acclaim for the new Kathryn Bigelow movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has renewed the debate on the efficacy of torture. The movie dramatizes the decade-long effort to find and eventually kill Osama bin Laden. In a riveting opening section, the film obliquely credits the discovery of the key piece of information in the search for Bin Laden to the torture of an Al Qaeda prisoner held by the CIA. This is at odds with the facts as they have been recounted by journalists reporting on the manhunt, by Obama administration intelligence officials and by legislative leaders.