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BUSINESS
January 5, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
After Dan Williamson unexpectedly landed in the hospital a year and a half ago and underwent heart surgery, his doctor told him that if he wanted to live a healthier life, he was going to have to lose weight. So the 58-year-old chief executive of Aspen Medical Products Inc., an Irvine company that makes therapeutic braces for the spine, vowed to change. "I made a commitment to lose the weight," he says. "Not just to drop it off, but to systematically lose it and keep it off. " He lost 45 pounds and now exercises four days a week, he says.
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BUSINESS
December 13, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday that it would decide whether employees who suffer big losses in retirement accounts can sue their company if it encouraged them to invest in the company's shaky stock. The justices will try to clarify who is legally responsible for investment losses in an era when most workers manage their own retirement accounts but do it through a plan sponsored by their employer. Federal law says that administrators of an employee retirement fund have a duty to act as "prudent" trustees.
BUSINESS
December 7, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - A surprisingly robust gain in new jobs last month helped drop the unemployment rate to a five-year low, fueling optimism about the nation's economic recovery and raising the prospect that the government may finally start to ease a key stimulus effort this month. In its report Friday, the Labor Department said that the nation's employers added 203,000 non-farm jobs in November and that a large part of them were higher-paying positions. The unemployment rate fell to 7%, the lowest since November 2008.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Theater Critic
These days it seems as though every time I turn around there's another installment of the Peter Pan story. Next stop for that flighty green-garbed spotlight-chaser: his own reality TV series, "The Real Lost Boys of Neverland," followed by a special edition of "Celebrity Rehab" for perennial pubescents. In the meantime, there's "Peter and the Starcatcher" at the Ahmanson Theatre to satisfy our co-dependent need for the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Try as I did to resist this touring Broadway production - story theater for adults about a character as overexposed as Kim Kardashian?
NEWS
December 2, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court will not reconsider the part of President Obama's healthcare law that requires employers to provide basic health insurance for their workers or pay a tax penalty. The justices on Monday dismissed an appeal brought by a conservative Christian college in Virginia that contended the “employer mandate” is unconstitutional. Last year, the court in a 5-4 decision upheld the “individual mandate,” deciding that people may be required to either obtain insurance or pay a tax penalty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
The savory smell of nutmeg and cinnamon wafts through the Azusa bakery, where dozens of workers in blue gloves and hairnets cook up L.A. Unified's newest star product. The "Glorious Morning" muffin is chewy and moist, packed with whole wheat, raisins and carrots - along with flaxseed for heart health and brain development. The muffin is good for children but also for the bakery's business. The Los Angeles Unified School District's order with Buena Vista Food Products Inc. to bake 4 million servings of muffins, coffeecake and corn bread every month has doubled the firm's business and created 100 jobs this year.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2013 | By Rebecca Keegan
In the 1937 promotional film "How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made," an announcer describes some of the intricate work going into the studio's first feature-length film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," in a department called Inking and Painting. "Here, hundreds of pretty girls in a comfortable building all their own, well-lighted, air-conditioned throughout, cover the drawings with sheets of transparent celluloid," the announcer says, over images of white-gloved young women preparing male animators' drawings for the screen.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2013 | By Don Lee
  WASHINGTON -- U.S. labor costs grew at a slightly more subdued pace in the third quarter, as employers continued to hold the line on payment to workers -- a trend that doesn't bode well for consumer spending. Overall, employer compensation costs, which include wages, salaries and benefits, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in the July-September period compared with the second quarter, when those costs increased 0.5%, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Third-quarter labor costs were up 1.9% from a year earlier, unchanged from the prior four quarters and just a tick above the annual rate of increase in the core consumer price index in recent months.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Late payments, glitch-prone computers and swamped call centers aren't the only problems bedeviling California's unemployment insurance program. The insurance fund that pays state jobless benefits - run by the Employment Development Department - owes nearly $10 billion to the federal government. That's because the state has been paying far more in jobless benefits than it receives in employer-paid taxes, and the feds make up the difference. "The whole system is really whacked out right now and needs a fix," said Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills)
BUSINESS
November 8, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- The American job market showed a burst of life in October as employers added a healthy 204,000 jobs over the month, far exceeding analysts' expectations that had been lowered in part by the partial federal government shutdown. The Labor Department said Friday, however, that the unemployment rate last month edged up to 7.3% from a five-year low of 7.2% in September. Officials said there was an unusually large drop in the so-called labor force, those working or actively looking for jobs.
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