November 10, 2012 |
The Oct. 30th announcement that the Walt Disney Co. had purchased Lucasfilm, the home of "Star Wars," for just over $4 billion was met with raptures in the business press about synergies and merchandising and potential growth - all the things routinely expressed when one corporate behemoth gobbles up another. But in this case the effusions may actually be instructive and not just hyperbolic. Long ago Joan Didion lamented that in Hollywood the art of the deal had replaced the art of the movies, but at least she was talking about deals to make movies.
October 9, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday downgraded its economic projections and warned of an "alarmingly high" risk of a serious global slowdown because of fiscal problems in the U.S. and Europe. The organization said world economic growth would be 3.3% this year, down from a projected 3.5% in July, and would improve to just 3.6% in 2013, down from a forecast of 3.9% made three months ago. Similarly, projections for growth in advanced economies slipped to 1.3% this year, compared to 1.4% in the July forecast, and 1.5% next year, down from 1.8%.
October 9, 2012 |
Financial woes are only worsening for middle-income Americans living in the West, according to an index calculated by Consumer Reports. Problems such as job loss and high prices have especially plagued households earning between $50,000 and $99,000 a year, which reports of difficulties jumping 12.4% last month. High-income families said they suffered a 2.4% increase in such money-related hurdles. While the so-called Trouble Tracker index declined in the Northeast and South, financial problems increased 8.4% in the North Central region and a whopping 27.9% in the West.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2012 |
More homes face high risk of being destroyed in a wildfire in densely populated Los Angeles County than in any other county in the state, according to new insurance industry research that underscores that fire danger is not confined to rural areas. The analysis, released Wednesday by the Insurance Information Network of California, places more than 2 million homes in the high-risk category statewide. Slightly more than half of them are in Southern California, where huge, wind-driven fires have charred thousands of houses in the last decade.
August 24, 2012
Re "Ryan plan may hurt disabled the most," Column, Aug. 21 Without Medicare, those of us who have pre-existing conditions will have difficulty getting health insurance. After we lost coverage because of a layoff, Blue Shield, which was at the time one of the three companies in California's program for high-risk patients, would not insure my husband because he has acid reflux and takes medication for it. I was turned down because I was a six-year cancer survivor. Apparently, Blue Shield forgot it was part of the high-risk program.
July 10, 2012 |
Though American employers advertised slightly more job openings in May, economists continued to predict high unemployment in advanced economies through 2013. A total of 3.6 million available positions were posted last month - up about 200,000 from April and the second-highest level in nearly four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With 12.7 million people unemployed in May, that's about 3.5 job-seekers for each open spot. The government report, known as JOLTS , showed more open jobs in the manufacturing and government sectors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2012 |
Michael J. Ybarra, a former Times reporter who had recently chronicled his extreme-sports adventures for the Wall Street Journal, was killed in a mountain-climbing fall over the weekend on the edge of Yosemite National Park. He was 45. A veteran mountaineer, he had set out alone to cross the craggy Sawtooth Ridge in the Eastern Sierra and summited the 12,280-foot Matterhorn Peak before he fell about 200 feet to his death, said his sister, Suzanne Ybarra. His family reported him missing Sunday, and a rescue crew spotted his body Tuesday in a rugged area difficult to reach on foot, according to Kari Cobb, a park ranger.
June 1, 2012 |
Most efforts to combat childhood obesity focus on children and adolescents - but perhaps those efforts should start much earlier, even before conception, researchers say. With 10% of U.S. preschoolers obese and another 10% overweight, obesity clearly begins early - in fact, before pregnancy, the researchers say in the June issue of Childhood Obesity. Markers for later heart disease appear in 3-year-olds, they say. A multidisciplinary approach to break the cycle of obesity moving from generation to generation is needed, say the researchers, six experts from institutions across the country who conducted a review of more than 1,000 studies and discussions about efforts underway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2012 |
California will test an HIV-prevention pill in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease in the state, researchers announced Tuesday. The pill, which is already used to treat HIV patients, will be prescribed to 700 gay and bisexual men and transgender women in Los Angeles, San Diego and Long Beach who are high-risk but not infected. "With this new prevention pill, we have another intervention to put in the arsenal to try and impact this epidemic," said George Lemp, director of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program with the UC president's office.
February 23, 2012 |
Children whose behavior doesn't conform to gender expectations -- girls who swing swords and play with trucks, boys who tend to dolls and are drawn to high heels and frilly dresses -- are only rarely tipping their hand about their future sexual orientation. But such behavior does predict that a kid is more likely to experience psychological, physical or sexual abuse during childhood, and will go on to suffer post-traumatic stress. Behavior that defies gender stereotypes is remarkably common, reports an editorial published alongside two studies on gender-defying kids in the journal Pediatrics this week.