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BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways would cut competition on more routes than previously thought, impacting more than 53 million fliers, according to a new federal study. Proponents of the merger have said in the past that the two airlines overlap on only 12 non-stop routes. But in the first detailed study of the merger's impacts, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said competition would be cut on 1,665 other routes with at least one stop. By comparison, the GAO study said the merger of United with Continental in 2010 eliminated a key competitor in 1,135 routes.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Thursday urged more transparency in the debit card system used to electronically disburse college students' financial aid, and said that transaction fees for the cards quickly add up.   In a report , the GAO said that the use of debit cards has risen over the last decade. Though only 11% of schools in the U.S. have contracts with companies to offer the debit cards, the 852 schools that do are disproportionately large, accounting for 40% of U.S. college enrollment, according to the GAO.  Congressional investigators said that though fees on the debit cards are comparable to conventional bank-issued cards, two large companies charge fees for purchases made using a personal identification number, or PIN. Those charges can quickly accumulate.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2010 | By Robert Faggen
In Search of My Homeland A Memoir of a Chinese Labor Camp Er Tai Gao Translated by Robert Dorsett and David Pollard Ecco: 272 pp., $24.99 Painter and philosopher Er Tai Gao's story of his experiences as an artist and political prisoner in Mao Tse-tung's China bears the somewhat incongruous title "In Search of My Homeland: A Memoir of a Chinese Labor Camp." Perhaps Gao is being ironic or perhaps something has been lost in translation. The homeland Gao brings so vividly to life is the annihilating Gobi Desert, where he was interred first from 1957 to '59 as a slave laborer among the "monsters and demons" of the regime.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways would cut competition on more routes than previously thought, impacting more than 53 million fliers, according to a new federal study. Proponents of the merger have said in the past that the two airlines overlap on only 12 non-stop routes. But in the first detailed study of the merger's impacts, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said competition would be cut on 1,665 other routes with at least one stop. By comparison, the GAO study said the merger of United with Continental in 2010 eliminated a key competitor in 1,135 routes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2010 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
Acting on a request by California lawmakers, the investigative arm of Congress has agreed to conduct a broad inquiry into the U.S. Forest Service's handling of last year's devastating Station fire, officials said Wednesday. The state's two U.S. senators and several House members last month urged the Government Accountability Office to examine the Forest Service's decisions and tactics in the fire fight, including its use of aircraft and whether enough was done to protect homes that burned in Big Tujunga Canyon.
NEWS
July 31, 1985
The General Accounting Office has agreed to pay $3.5 million to more than 300 current and former black workers who accused the investigative arm of Congress of racial discrimination, lawyers in the case and the GAO announced in Washington. The agreement ends two class-action complaints filed with the GAO and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The settlement affects blacks who were denied equal opportunities for promotion to upper-level positions from 1976 to the present.
NATIONAL
November 11, 2008 | Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management needs to consider euthanizing wild horses or selling many of them to reduce spiraling costs of keeping them in long-term holding pens, the Government Accountability Office reported. The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, said costs of caring for the horses likely will account for 74% of the program's overall budget this year. There are about 33,000 wild horses on the range and another 30,000 in holding facilities.
NATIONAL
July 15, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
The nation is taking too long to secure radioactive materials nationwide that could get into terrorists' hands, the Government Accountability Office reported. Radioactive material used for legitimate purposes in medical equipment and food, for instance, could be used to create an explosive device known as a dirty bomb. Experts think such an attack would be confined to a small area but could have a significant psychological effect and serious economic consequences because of cleanup problems.
OPINION
June 14, 2002
So the government spent "hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars" to discover that the Clinton transition team cost $15,000 in damage ("Clinton Transition Left $15,000 Damage, GAO Says," June 12). I wonder if anyone is looking into how to prop up our stock market, which is costing Americans hundreds of millions of dollars a day. Or isn't that political enough, since Clinton can't be blamed for that? Kurt Sipolski Palm Desert Your story failed to mention that the General Accounting Office itself was unable to conclude whether the 2001 transition was worse than previous ones, and that similar pranks occurred in the 1993 transition from President Bush to President Clinton.
NEWS
February 13, 1985 | Associated Press
Medicaid is paying from $500 million to more than $1 billion a year for medical bills that should be paid by private insurers, the General Accounting Office said today. In 1984, the report said, the federal government spent $21 billion and the states $17 billion to finance health care for 22 million low-income people. By law, it noted, all other available resources, such as private insurance, must be exhausted before Medicaid pays claims.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The California bullet train project has reasonable ridership and revenue forecasts, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office, but it could be doing a better job at producing cost estimates. The report, which was leaked Thursday to the news media, appears to run counter to widespread criticism of the state rail authority's ridership revenue estimates and is likely to provide a dose of good news to the controversial project. But at the same time, the 90-page report renews concerns about future funding for the $68.4-billion venture.
WORLD
February 8, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military checkpoint outside the northern Mali city of Gao on Friday, in the first sign that Al Qaeda-linked militias may be adopting new tactics since being driven back by a French-led invasion. A man on a motorcycle approached a group of soldiers at a military checkpoint and detonated explosives, according to a military officer contacted by The Times. The attack was confirmed by Gao Mayor Sadou Diallo in a telephone interview.
WORLD
January 30, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
SEGOU, Mali - French forces seized control of the town of Kidal in northeastern Mali, the last remaining urban stronghold in the country for Islamic militants, officials said Wednesday. The overnight offensive was the latest success in advances that have seen Al Qaeda-linked militants ousted from two major cities, Gao and Timbuktu, since Saturday, officials said. Unlike the previous operations, Malian soldiers were not involved in Kidal, according to French news reports, after a rebel group said it would not accept the Malian army in the town.
WORLD
January 26, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
SEGOU, Mali - French and Malian forces on Saturday drove Al Qaeda-linked Islamists out of a key city in northern Mali, a major advance in France's campaign against insurgents in the West African nation. The French military in Paris announced the capture of Gao, according to news agency reports. Gao is the largest city in the north and the most important Islamist stronghold to fall since French forces arrived this month. The fall of Gao followed an operation involving French special forces, who took control of the airport and a bridge outside the city.
NATIONAL
December 12, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Because of a law passed during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, the federal government does not collect royalties from gold, silver, copper and other minerals extracted from public land, a source of revenue that could potentially generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the federal budget, government auditors reported Wednesday. Although the government collects billions of dollars in royalties from fossil fuels extracted from federal lands and waters, it does not even collect information from hard-rock mine operators about the amount or value of the minerals they take from public land because there are no royalty requirements, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office.
NEWS
December 6, 2012 | By Joseph Serna
Would you be less likely to spend a dollar if it were a coin instead of a bill? The Government Accountability Office is counting on it. According to a November report on the benefits of permanently replacing the $1 bill with a $1 coin, the GAO estimated the government could save up to $4.4 billion over 30 years because of consumers' habit of reaching for their wallets instead of into their pockets. “What we found is that people use coins differently,” said Lorelei St. James of the GAO. “You're more likely to have dollar coins and hold those … those are going to go into your coin jar. With dollar bills you typically don't do that.” It costs about 5 1/2 cents to make a $1 bill and about 18 cents to produce a $1 coin, according to the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Mint . So where are the savings?
NEWS
May 13, 1986 | ROBERT L. JACKSON and RONALD J. OSTROW, Times Staff Writers
Michael K. Deaver took part in at least 15 meetings on the subject of acid rain before leaving his White House post to become the Canadian government's lobbyist on resolving that problem and other issues, the General Accounting Office told a congressional subcommittee Monday. In submitting their report on the lobbying activities of President Reagan's former aide and confidant, GAO officials said that Deaver might have violated three provisions of federal law involving conflicts of interest.
NEWS
May 26, 1989 | ROBERT W. STEWART, Times Staff Writer
Three years after it first described serious flaws in the nation's air traffic control system, a congressional watchdog agency said Thursday that the country's 14,400 air controllers are still seriously overworked, undertrained and demoralized. And there apparently are particular problems among the controllers who manage air traffic in and out of airports in Orange County and Long Beach in California, according to testimony at a congressional hearing on the study. El Toro Criticized Conditions at the air traffic control facility at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, which handles flights in Orange County, Long Beach and much of the rest of the busy air corridor between Los Angeles and San Diego, "are poor, and I would go so far as to say very poor," said Randy Moore, who heads the local branch of the controllers' union.
WORLD
November 16, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
Rebels who took over northern Mali this year clashed Friday with Islamists who had ejected them from major cities, spokesmen for both sides told reporters. A Tuareg rebel spokesman said the clashes near Ansango were part of an offensive to recapture the Gao region, Agence France-Presse reported . Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman for the Islamist group MUJAO, told the Associated Press the Tuareg started the fray by kidnapping a dozen of its members. “The fighting began this morning,” Hamaha said.
NATIONAL
September 14, 2012 | By David Willman, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee and a senior Republican colleague voiced grave doubts Thursday about the viability of BioWatch, the nation's system for detecting biological attacks that has been plagued by false alarms. Committee members endorsed a new report from the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, that bluntly faulted the Department of Homeland Security's management of BioWatch and recommended that contracting for a multibillion-dollar overhaul be halted while plans are reevaluated.
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