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February 12, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Call them the even-if Olympics. Shaun White's bid to land a third consecutive halfpipe gold was going to be one of the most anticipated events of the Sochi Games even if he hadn't hit the deck in his first run of the finals like Tom Hanks' co-stars in "Captain Phillips. " Even if his friend and admirer Iouri Podladtchikov - a Switzerland-residing Russian native known, with Jobs-ian flair, as I-Pod - hadn't staged the run of his life and come down with a stratospheric score. PHOTOS: Faces of the Sochi Olympics Even if someone else besides White had stood atop the halfpipe podium some other time since 2002.
February 9, 2014 | By Jonathan Gruber
The recent Congressional Budget Office report on healthcare reform has lots of good news. Insurance premiums are lower than anticipated, the Affordable Care Act will cost $9 billion less than previously estimated and the provision designed to buffer insurance companies from risk will actually raise revenue, not function as any sort of federal government bailout. But the good news has not gotten much attention because the CBO also projected that, within the next several years, healthcare reform may reduce employment and worker hours by the equivalent of about 2 million full-time positions.
February 6, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
General Motors Co. posted a small increase in fourth-quarter profit but its results for the period disappointed Wall Street as business deteriorated in Asia and South America and the costs of restructuring operations in Europe mounted. The nation's biggest automaker said its fourth-quarter net income edged up to $913 million, or 57 cents a share, from $892 million, or 54 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter rose 3% to $40.5 billion. Earnings also were hurt by a higher-than-expected tax rate, said Chuck Stevens, GM's chief financial officer.
February 3, 2014 | By Jean Merl
The list of would-be successors to longtime Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) continued to grow on Monday. Attorney Barbara Mulvaney, a fomer senior trial attorney for the United International Tribunal for Rwanda and on the staff of the State Department in Iraq until just recently, said she is running and has already begun raising money. Mulvaney, 62, whose mother, the late Julie Mulvaney, worked for  longtime local elected official Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and then-Los Angeles City Councilwoman Pat Russell, grew up in the area and said she plans to settle in Venice.
February 2, 2014 | By Gary Klein and Sam Farmer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin sat out most of the season after having hip surgery. Then he suffered a concussion and was not allowed to play in the NFC championship game. So how the Seahawks might deploy the speedy Harvin was something of a mystery going into Sunday's Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos. Harvin made an immediate impact by carrying the ball twice for impressive gains and catching two passes in the first half.
February 2, 2014 | By Chris Foster
CORVALLIS, Ore.  - What is said in the locker room, stays in the locker room … as a rule. But when the angry words seem to burst through brick and mortar, there was no way to ignore the significance. UCLA flat-out stunk Sunday. BOX SCORE: Oregon State 71, UCLA 67 Coach Steve Alford made that clear during a verbose 10-minute instant-review to his team following a 71-67 loss to Oregon State that denied the Bruins a chance to move closer to first-place Arizona in the Pac-12 Conference standings.
February 1, 2014 | By Zulfiqar Ali and Aoun Sahi, This post has been corrected. See note below for details
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - The Pakistani government's efforts to open peace talks with Islamist insurgents gathered steam Saturday when Taliban leaders nominated a five-member committee to represent them at the negotiating table. One of the five, however, was Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan, who signaled late Saturday that he would decline the nomination. The other four nominees, all conservative Muslim clerics, appeared willing to represent the Pakistani Taliban in talks. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif surprised many observers last week by naming a four-man government commission to start negotiations with the Taliban despite insurgents' recent attacks aimed mainly at military installations.
January 30, 2014 | By Meg James
Media company Viacom Inc. reported 16% higher profit in its fiscal first quarter but revenue dipped -- raising worries on Wall Street about a slow-down in domestic advertising sales. But blame Paramount Pictures, the Los Angeles-based movie studio, for  Viacom's lower revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Studio revenue plunged 30% to $681 million because of fewer movie releases compared to the year-earlier period. TIMELINE: Best Super Bowl commercials Paramount lost $74 million in the quarter, which was an improvement over the previous year period when the studio lost $139 million.
January 21, 2014 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - With the state's finances in the black and a probable reelection bid to come, Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address Wednesday is expected to hew to a familiar theme: Stay the course. As with the budget blueprint that Brown introduced recently, his address to a joint session of the Legislature is likely to highlight the state's improving financial health and his accomplishments of the last three years. "That's his reelection message: progress," predicted Bill Whalen, a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution who was a speechwriter for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.
January 18, 2014 | By Andrew Tangel
The stock market shined last year with an epic rally. Now it's time for corporate America - and the economy - to catch up. Stocks ballooned 30% last year, as measured by the Standard & Poor's 500 index. But the average company in the broad index only increased annual earnings - the key driver of stock values - an estimated 5.2% as the economy grew sluggishly. For stocks to maintain their gains, market observers say, American companies will need to eke out solid, if not better, earnings growth this year.
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