April 25, 2013 |
Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum, one of the largest crude oil producers in the country, said its first-quarter profit fell but beat expectations as the company tried to cut costs and manage lower prices for natural gas. The earnings report comes just a week before its annual shareholder meeting, where a vote is expected to determine whether to oust its longtime chairman, Ray Irani. The company said that profit fell to $1.36 billion, or $1.68 a share, in the three months ended March 31. That was a 13% drop from the $1.56 billion, or $1.92 a share, from the same quarter a year ago. Sales fell 6% to $5.87 billion.
April 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Orders for long-lasting goods, such as aircraft and computers, unexpectedly plunged 5.7% in March -- the largest drop in seven months -- in a new sign of a spring economic slowdown. New orders for so-called durable goods were down $13.1 billion in March to $216.3 billion compared to February, the second drop in the last three months, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The government also revised down February's increase, to 4.3% from the initially reported 5.7%.
April 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The richest 7% of American families saw their average wealth soar 28% from 2009 to 2011, while the remaining households lost 4% of their net worth over the same period, according to a new report. The analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center draws on the most recent statistics on wealth. The findings throw into stark relief the dramatically uneven nature of the recovery. The economy officially emerged from recession in mid-2009, and since then, affluent families have benefited handsomely from recovering stock prices and surging gains in bonds.
April 19, 2013 |
In his new biography, "Farther and Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson," Blake Bailey explores the tormented life of the author of "The Lost Weekend" - the once-celebrated 1944 novel that led to the Oscar-winning film - and his plunge into literary obscurity. The Portsmouth, Va.-based biographer has also written extensive books about John Cheever, winning a National Book Critics Circle Award, and of Richard Yates, for which Bailey was a finalist for the honor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2013 |
A group of Occidental College students and alumni -- including several who say they were raped -- filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday alleging that the school failed to protect women from sexual assaults. Flanked by six current and former students who say they were raped, attorney Gloria Allred said the complaint outlines violations of Title IX, which bars sex discrimination at schools. In the complaint, Allred alleges that 37 students were “raped, sexually assaulted, battered, harassed or retaliated against for speaking out against sexual violence.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2013 |
The chances of in-state high school seniors gaining admission to the University of California worsened this year, as more of them applied and the number accepted dropped 2.2%, according to data released Thursday. Meanwhile, the ranks of out-of-staters and international students who were offered a UC spot continued to increase. A record 99,132 Californians sought to become UC freshmen in the fall and 60,089, or 60.6%, were admitted by at least one of the system's nine undergraduate campuses.
April 15, 2013 |
Military spending fell last year in the United States and across western and central Europe, but surged in Russia, China, the Middle East and North Africa, according to new figures released by a research group based in Sweden. The changes “may be the beginning of a shift in the balance of world military spending from the rich Western countries to emerging nations,” Sam Perlo-Freeman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a statement announcing the report Monday.
April 1, 2013 |
Global television shipments declined last year for the first time in more than a decade as demand for flat-panel TVs cooled among consumers, reflecting saturation in the market. Television shipments in 2012 totaled 238.5 million units, down 6.3% from 254.6 million in 2011, according to a report Monday by IHS iSuppli. Shipments aren't expected to return to 2011 levels until 2015, when they are estimated to reach 253.1 million units, the market research firm said. Top 10 must-have apps for smartphone Tom Morrod, TV systems analyst at IHS, said the 2012 numbers sounded "the coda for the flat-panel replacement wave that deluged the business throughout the 2000s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2013 |
A minority of voters living in a daisy chain of small, suburban and relatively upscale enclaves around the county's outer rim were largely responsible for last fall's razor thin defeat of a $90-billion transit tax that received lopsided ballot box support, a Times analysis shows. The review comes as several of Los Angeles' senior politicians have joined state lawmakers to push for a reduction of the threshold for passage of such measures, arguing that the current two-thirds requirement is undemocratic and hinders the region's growth.
March 27, 2013 |
China's three major state-owned airlines reported steep drops in annual profit last year, citing the weak global economy, higher jet fuel prices and smaller foreign currency gains. China Southern, the country's largest carrier, said Wednesday that last year's profit was about 50% lower than the previous year, the Associated Press reported. Rivals Air China and China Eastern reported earnings were about one-third lower. “Demand in the aviation industry in 2012 continued to be weak as a result of the slow recovery of the U.S. economy, the ongoing European debt crisis and the global recession,” Beijing-based Air China said.