September 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A top Federal Reserve policymaker said Monday that the economy still wasn't strong enough in two key areas to begin tapering the central bank's bond-buying stimulus program, particularly with budget and debt-limit fights looming. "In my view, the economy is slowly healing," William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech at Fordham University. "But, while significant progress has been made since the end of the recession, there remain a number of headwinds that have offset the improvement in the underlying fundamentals," he said. "In my view, the economy still needs the support of a very accommodative monetary policy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 2013 |
Growing up, Evelyn Martinez's mother didn't want her to ride a bike. "She thinks it's not safe for women to be riding late at night, and cars are dangerous too," Martinez said. Moreover, her mother told her: "Bicycles are for men. " But after a chance meeting last year, Martinez joined an all-female, predominantly Latino cycling group that is both an answer and a challenge to the aggressive male biking culture. Like men's bike crews, it defies L.A.'s monolithic car culture with an in-your-face ethic, reflected in its name: the Ovarian Psyco Cycles Brigade.
September 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Signaling that the recovery is still fragile, the Federal Reserve stunned financial markets and many experts by delaying a pullback in its massive stimulus program and then downgrading its outlook for economic growth. Citing worries about the looming budget showdown in Washington and the recent boost in long-term interest rates, Fed officials said they would keep buying $85 billion worth of bonds a month in a bid to drive rates back down and give a little more support to the sluggish economy and, especially, the weak job market.
September 3, 2013 |
Is it that time again? Syria will be foremost on Congress' mind when it returns from vacation next week, but lurking on the horizon like an ever-present cloud bank will be the debt limit. Treasury officials say the limit, currently set at $16.7 trillion, will have to be raised by mid-October if the U.S. is to avoid a government bond default. Under George W. Bush the limit was raised seven times by a total of $5.4 trillion, almost always without tendentious debate. In the first two years of the Obama administration it was raised three times, totaling $3.4 trillion, also without kicking and screaming.
May 25, 2013 |
ATHENS - Costas Papanicolaou is stuffing his souvenir shop with extra merchandise and stringing his store entrance with welcome flags from umpteen countries. He's also slashing his prices by as much as 50%, and in a scheme that bears a whiff of desperation, he's even thinking of throwing a Greek toga on a Chinese employee to help lure Asian tourists. A painful but relatively peaceful year after Greece was beset by grim headlines of political pandemonium and violent protests, tourism experts and the government are expecting a surge in vacationers, and with it a boost to Greece's struggling economy.
March 28, 2013 |
Writer-director P.J. Hogan may have based "Mental" on an actual incident from his childhood, but the crazy quilt of a movie that resulted feels anything but real. This strained, shrill effort, set in small-town Australia, revolves around the über-quirky Moochmore clan: "Sound of Music"-obsessed mother Shirley (Rebecca Gibney), absentee dad - and local mayor - Barry (Anthony LaPaglia) and their five off-kilter daughters. When Shirley has a colorful nervous breakdown, Barry sticks her in a mental hospital, then randomly hires screwy, knife-wielding hitchhiker Shaz (Hogan's "Muriel's Wedding" star Toni Collette)
January 31, 2013
Federal statisticians issued unexpectedly bad news Wednesday, saying the economy contracted in the last three months of 2012 - the first downturn since the recovery began in mid-2009. The sour numbers weren't as bad as they seemed at first, yet they still sent a clear signal that the economy is too fragile to withstand a sudden shift to fiscal austerity. Unfortunately, Congress doesn't seem to be getting the message. The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that U.S. gross domestic product shrank by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, after growing 3.1% in the third quarter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2013 |
When the Taliban used dynamite, artillery shells and rocket launchers to destroy two ancient Buddhas in Afghanistan, there was an unanticipated bit of blowback. The 2001 attack on the Buddhas of Bamiyan also launched an Oakland-based effort to digitally preserve world historic sites, including, most recently, the missions of California. Using cutting-edge 3D scanning technology, crews from a nonprofit called CyArk have wedged themselves into seldom-seen spaces in four of the state's 21 missions, bouncing 50,000 laser beams a second off centuries-old timbers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2012 |
State scientists, grappling with an explosion of marijuana growing on the North Coast, recently studied aerial imagery of a small tributary of the Eel River, spawning grounds for endangered coho salmon and other threatened fish. In the remote, 37-square-mile patch of forest, they counted 281 outdoor pot farms and 286 greenhouses, containing an estimated 20,000 plants -- mostly fed by water diverted from creeks or a fork of the Eel. The scientists determined the farms were siphoning roughly 18 million gallons from the watershed every year, largely at the time when the salmon most need it. "That is just one small watershed," said Scott Bauer, the state scientist in charge of the coho recovery on the North Coast for the Department of Fish and Game.
September 20, 2012 |
An experimental drug can improve sociability in patients with fragile X syndrome and may be helpful as a treatment for autism, according to the authors of a new study. Fragile X is a rare genetic disorder that affects about 1 in 4,000 boys and 1 in 8,000 girls, according to the National Institutes of Health. It usually results in mental retardation and - in about half of cases - some form of autism. In fragile X, which accounts for 2% of autism cases, a mutation in a gene on the X chromosome turns off production of a regulatory protein known as FMRP.