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October 25, 2013 | By Stephen Oliner
For months it was a matter of intense speculation: Who would President Obama nominate to chair the Federal Reserve? Now that he has named Janet Yellen, currently the Fed's vice chair and an exceptionally well-qualified candidate, maybe we can move on to discussing a more important issue: the challenges facing the nation's central bank. After having taken extraordinary steps to support the economy since the financial crisis hit in 2008, the Fed must now engineer a return to more normal policies, and that could prove quite difficult.
October 24, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON - Two Americans were taken hostage by pirates who attacked their ship off the coast of Nigeria, U.S. officials said Thursday. The captain and chief engineer of the C-Retriever, a U.S.-flagged oil supply ship, were kidnapped in the attack early Wednesday in the Gulf of Guinea, according to news reports. The ship is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, a maritime company based in Cut Off, La. A company spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The identities of the hostages weren't released.
October 21, 2013 | By James Rainey
After twin setbacks in their bid to take control of a local union, dissident building engineers pledged to keep pressing their case -- asking for reconsideration of a judge's ruling and appealing for a re-do of a union election that they lost in August. Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 501 contend that they lost the election because some workers were intimidated and hundreds of others did not receive ballots. They said they have brought those concerns to the attention of the U.S. Department of Labor, but have been told that the agency would not follow up. Ed Oquendo, a Department of Labor official in Los Angeles, referred questions to a press officer, who said she did not have enough information to comment.
October 10, 2013 | By James Rainey
A federal judge has thrown out allegations by labor activists in Los Angeles against the leaders of their local and international union, finding that the dissidents did not have legal standing to bring racketeering and corruption allegations. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson dismissed the bulk of a lawsuit brought by 16 members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 501, alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The judge's ruling, issued Wednesday, gives the plaintiffs the opportunity to press other claims against the union, but is a second significant setback for the workers, who call themselves "The Resistance.
September 27, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Tech soothsayers have long predicted the demise of computers as we know them today, as their shrinking sizes approach the limits of silicon's ability to take the heat. Now, researchers at Stanford University - in the heart of Silicon Valley - have tossed the essential element aside and built a basic computer out of carbon nanotubes. The engineering feat, described this week in the journal Nature, could herald the birth of a whole new generation of carbon-based computing devices, experts said.
September 27, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
The gig: Richard Plump is chief executive of Plump Engineering Inc., an Anaheim architectural engineering firm with 38 employees. Plump helped oversee the transportation of the space shuttle Endeavour from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center in Exposition Park last year. He made sure the spacecraft did not damage streets or underground pipes as it wound through a 12-mile stretch of Inglewood and Los Angeles. He had previously overseen the movement of the huge rock that's now at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Troubled childhood: Plump, 51, overcame a difficult childhood.
September 25, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Look out M3 fans: a turbo is coming. Confirming what had long been rumored, BMW announced Wednesday the next generation of its venerated M3 sedan (and M4 coupe) would indeed use a turbocharged engine for the first time in the model's history. The duo are mechanically identical. However, for the first time, BMW is positioning the 4-Series coupes as slightly more upmarket from their 3-Series sedan brethren, similar to what it's done with the 5-Series sedans and 6-Series coupe models.
September 18, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
While Los Angeles moves through the 21st century, much of its landscape remains locked up in 1940s concrete. The storm drain and flood channel that was and will again be the Los Angeles River is a case in point. The good folks at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were heroes to the Los Angeles of the mid-20th century for controlling the river's periodic rages. It's hard to remember, when looking at the high concrete walls of the channel today, that the trickle of water in the bottom can go so wild so suddenly that in times past the river jumped its banks and emptied in various places along the shore - in what is now Marina del Rey or Seal Beach, for example - as often as at its now-fixed mouth at the Port of Long Beach.
September 18, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
A study released by the Motion Picture Assn. of America is taking aim at Google, alleging the Internet giant and other search engines are making it too easy for consumers to find pirated content online -- even when they're not looking for it. A study released Wednesday by the MPAA, the trade group representing the major Hollywood studios, concludes that search is a major gateway to the initial discovery of pirated movies and TV shows. The survey found that 74% of consumers surveyed cited using a search engine as a navigational tool the first time they arrived at a site with infringing content, even when the consumer was not looking for pirated movies or TV shows.
September 15, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
As state air pollution officials step up inspections of diesel exhaust from big rigs, some of their best allies are truckers themselves. They are pushing the Air Resources Board to enforce pollution rules more aggressively for trucks in advance of a Jan. 1 deadline. Truckers are also the No.1 tipsters, placing anonymous calls and sending emails to finger competitors they say are gaining an unfair advantage by not upgrading their engines or installing expensive filters that capture harmful diesel particulates before they are released into the air. Diesel exhaust is the worst remaining pollution source on roadways.
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