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March 28, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Even before the disappearance of its Boeing 777, Malaysia Airlines faced financial turbulence and stiff competition from low-cost carriers in Asia. Still, airline experts say Malaysia's flagship carrier could survive the economic blow of the disaster by responding with new management and a safety campaign, among other changes. "The airline needs to show it is committed to safety, security and reliability," said Henry H. Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst for advisory firm Hudson Crossing.
March 27, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
For every dollar earned by men working in Los Angeles city government, female workers earn 83 cents, according to an infographic "snapshot" released Thursday by City Controller Ron Galperin. The numbers, highlighted in honor of Women's History Month, underscore that local government isn't immune to the gender gap in wages that pervades other fields. Across the United States, that pay gap has narrowed but not closed, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released late last year.
March 27, 2014 | By Howard Blume
A groundbreaking, two-month trial challenging teacher job protections in California concluded Thursday with both sides asserting that the interests of students are at stake. The case, Vergara vs. California, seeks to overturn a set of laws that affect how teachers are fired, laid off and granted tenure. The Silicon Valley-based group Students Matter brought the lawsuit on behalf of nine plaintiffs, contending that the regulations hinder the removal of ineffective teachers. The result is a workforce with thousands of "grossly ineffective" teachers, which disproportionately hurts low-income and minority students, attorneys said.
March 27, 2014 | By Glen Johnson
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Turkey blocked access to YouTube on Thursday, hours after a recording of a sensitive national security meeting was leaked by an anonymous user on the video sharing site. Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency confirmed the ban as an "administrative decision" by the Turkish Telecommunications Authority, while the Foreign Ministry issued a statement promising the "heaviest punishment possible" against the source of the leaks. "Eavesdropping on a top secret meeting and leaking recordings is a wretched attack and a grave offense on national security," the statement read, according to Anadolu.
March 27, 2014 | By Henry Chu and Batsheva Sobelman
TOLEDO, Spain - The Jews who flock to the two medieval synagogues in this walled city are tourists, not worshipers. No one of their faith has practiced it in the temples' exquisitely decorated precincts since 1492. That was the year King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, besides dispatching Christopher Columbus to look for a passage to India, decreed that the Jews of Spain had to either convert to Christianity or quit the country. Many fled - and were robbed, beaten or raped on the way out. Those who stayed faced possible torture and a gruesome death in the Spanish Inquisition.
March 26, 2014 | By Glen Johnson
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A Turkish court on Wednesday suspended a controversial ban on Twitter following an appeal even as the site's lawyers pursue separate legal action against the government's shutdown order, local media reports. Senior members of Turkey's ruling party said they would abide by the court's decision, which the state-run Anadolu news agency labeled a "temporary injunction. " The Turkish telecommunications authority blocked Twitter on Friday, just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hounded by corruption allegations leaked to social media platforms, vowed to “eradicate” it. The blockage prompted global outrage and widespread mockery, while Twitter use initially took off throughout the country, which has an estimated 12 million users.
March 26, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - The head of the Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday that it would take years to turn over all the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in its investigation of the IRS' alleged targeting of conservative groups. During a confrontational hearing, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said he needed more time to comply with the committee's request for the email correspondence of Lois Lerner, a former IRS official in charge of the agency's nonprofit division.
March 26, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON -- As utilities scramble to secure the nation's power grid against terrorist attack, some in Congress are skeptical that electric companies are up to the job. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) renewed their push Wednesday to create an expanded role for government in policing the industry. Legislation they introduced, the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act, or GRID Act, would give federal regulators power to order utilities to fix gaps in security.
March 22, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell
IRBID, Jordan - The Free Syrian Army commander, head of a moderate rebel force fighting just across the border in southern Syria, watched helplessly for months as better-funded Islamist militant groups peeled off half the 2,000 fighters from his brigade. That changed in February when an intelligence operative from a country he refuses to name handed him an envelope full of cash - salaries for his remaining combatants. "It's a good amount of money; I can keep my fighters," the commander said, as scented smoke from his arghileh [water pipe]
March 22, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In a Louisiana swamp several miles upriver from the Gulf of Mexico, about 3,000 construction workers are building a massive industrial facility to liquefy natural gas, preparing for a new era when the U.S. will begin exporting energy around the globe. The $12-billion project is one of the largest single industrial investments in the nation, part of a massive transformation of the energy sector that has led to a boom in drilling, transportation and refining from coast to coast. Five years ago, the idea of exporting U.S. gas and oil was not only unheard of, but, in the case of most U.S. crude oil, illegal.
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