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February 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar, flush with oil riches and seeking to push its way to the front of the international stage, is in the midst of an enormous, decade-long building boom to construct facilities and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament, the largest and most-viewed sporting event in the world. Unfortunately, Qatar is preparing for that moment of international cooperation and sport by grievously exploiting its foreign workers, subjecting them to dangerous conditions that should be drawing forceful condemnations from the world community.
February 22, 2014 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela - Opponents and supporters of President Nicolas Maduro held massive demonstrations Saturday in central Caracas and other Venezuelan cities as the unofficial death toll rose to 11 in more than a week of unrest. Leading the opposition demonstration in eastern Caracas was Liliana Tintori, wife of Leopoldo Lopez, the former Caracas borough mayor who was arrested this week and charged with inciting violence that has erupted during protests. Lopez and other opposition leaders say armed pro-government vigilantes have been responsible for the deaths and that the opposition has demonstrated peacefully to protest rising crime and shortages.
February 13, 2014 | By John Horn
Winning an Oscar - or just being nominated - can transform a Hollywood future. Yet just because some actors and filmmakers weren't shortlisted for an Academy Award doesn't mean their great work is going unrewarded. Critics have rightly pointed to 2013 as one of the best movie years in recent history. Consequently, the fields for top Oscars were impossibly crowded, with highly praised performances by Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Robert Redford and Oprah Winfrey left on the sidelines.
February 12, 2014 | By David Pierson
The developing world has largely usurped U.S. manufacturing, but emerging economies are increasingly big customers of American farmers. Between 2000 and 2013, American fruit, grain, meat and dairy sold overseas nearly tripled to $140.9 billion, making agricultural products one of the hottest exports in the last decade, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Wednesday. Developing countries with growing middle-class populations and strengthening currencies powered the binge on U.S. food, which has been a boon for California almond growers, Iowa soybean farmers and others.
February 9, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
The world's airline industry has rebounded from the recession and expects 2014 to be the most profitable year on record, thanks to stable fuel prices and growing travel demand. That's great news if you're an airline executive or shareholder. But don't expect the suddenly well-off airlines to pass along their good fortune to passengers by slashing fares. Industry experts do say the continued pressure from low-cost carriers should keep the big network carriers from imposing dramatic fare hikes.
February 9, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I've lived in my homeowner association nearly 20 years and still can't get the board to change my information for receiving notices of meetings to the proper address. They just keep ignoring me. I've called and left messages to no avail. What can I do to get them to recognize my calls? Answer: Beginning Jan. 1, titleholders were no longer able to orally request certain documents and/or other items from their association's board. The new Civil Code section 4035 details how documents must be delivered to an association for such requests to be effective.
February 8, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
Turns out that for Apple Inc., being one of the most innovative companies on the planet does have at least one big drawback. The Cupertino, Calif., company says it is the No. 1 target for so-called patent trolls. In court and regulatory filings, Apple provided a rare look at the amount of litigation it is facing from companies whose main business involves threatening to file patent lawsuits against other companies unless they agree to make royalty payments. Apple has faced nearly 100 such lawsuits in the last three years, according to the documents.
February 7, 2014 | By Anne Colby
Tuscan, provincial and country-rustic looks are fading in popularity in kitchens and baths, and contemporary designs with clean lines, minimal ornamentation and easy maintenance are rapidly taking their place, according to a style report released this week by the National Kitchen & Bath Assn. The industry group surveyed its members about trends in kitchen and bath design. Other findings include: • Gray color schemes are expected to increase sharply in kitchens and baths in 2014.
February 6, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
A shortage of natural gas triggered by the extreme cold weather across the nation prompted California's power grid operator to issue a statewide flex alert Thursday, officials said. The cold snap in the rest of the country and Canada has affected fuel supplies to Southern California power plants and reduced electricity generation, according to a statement from Cal ISO. The agency is asking residents to reduce their energy use between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday. Though the shortage only affects Southern California power plants, statewide conservation will free up electricity and gas supplies for the region, the agency said.
February 4, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
There's a new element in the debate over U.S. income inequality, and it's one that may actually get our political leadership talking about ways to address the issue: businesses are beginning to notice that their middle-class customers have disappeared. The consumer market is beginning to look like a sandwich without meat in the middle--there are enough wealthy customers to keep the luxury market humming along, and a growing demand for cheap no-name and other bargain products.  The phenomenon has been reported by Matthew Yglesias of and more recently by Nelson Schwartz of the New York Times.
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