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April 9, 2014 | By Anne Colby
Some garden advice can be heeded no matter where you live. But much in gardening and landscaping revolves around the specifics of location - weather, terrain, soil type and design preferences. That's where the redesigned and updated "Sunset Western Garden Book of Landscaping," edited by Sunset magazine's Kathleen Norris Brenzel (Oxmoor House, $29.95, paper), has an edge over a more general guide. A section on plants, for example, includes chapters on palms, ornamental grasses, tropicals, succulents, cactus and natives.
April 5, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I am in a new relationship with a great woman. I've talked a little bit about money and retirement with her (she's 30). I am trying to let her know that it would be wise to contribute at least enough to her company's retirement program to get the full match. What are some books or articles that would show her the importance of saving for retirement? I like her, but this can be a deal breaker for me. What is the best way to introduce her to personal finances without scaring her?
April 3, 2014 | By Michael Finnegan
It was just short of a year ago that former President Bill Clinton joined Wendy Greuel at Langer's Deli in Los Angeles to assume his role as surrogate in chief for her campaign against mayoral rival Eric Garcetti. What a difference a year makes. On Thursday, Clinton joined Mayor Garcetti on a dais in the council chambers at City Hall for a public event that suggested all was forgiven. By the end, when Clinton appeared to misspeak by saying Garcetti had been elected president instead of mayor, Clinton was joking, “You may become president, too, some day.” The occasion was a Clinton Global Initiative forum on public infrastructure.
April 3, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
"In the Blood" casts mixed martial artist Gina Carano as Ava, who has overcome a particularly parlous upbringing to turn her life around and marry up the social ladder. While on their Dominican honeymoon, husband Derek (Cam Gigandet) vanishes, apparently in an elaborate abduction plot. When local police offer no help, Ava takes matters into her own hands. The self-defense chops she learned the hard way come in very handy, of course. Though lacking marquee names, the film measures up to the typical Hollywood action-thriller in just about every other bailiwick.
April 3, 2014 | By Jay Jones
Want to use your tax refund to do some traveling? Booking engine Expedia has come up with a tool that it claims can offer inspiration, although with limitations. The “ Take a Trip ” feature allows people to plug in the amount of their refund (or the part of it they want to spend), enter a few other parameters and then get some suitably priced air-plus-hotel packages. The average refund so far this year, according to the IRS , is $3,034. I figured that was a good amount to use in giving the website a test drive.
March 31, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court sounded ready Monday to curtail the use of certain business patents in a case involving a patent for a computerized risk analysis of international financial transactions. Use of such business-method patents has soared in recent decades. Once granted, they can give a firm or a person a monopoly for up to 20 years to profit from the patented process. Critics say many of the recent computer-related patents are vague and stifle innovation by giving exclusive rights to commonly used methods or formulas.
March 26, 2014 | By Jean Merl
Most candidates talk about what they would do if elected and many of those seeking a coveted office need to ask for campaign money. Matt Miller, a Democrat and one of 21 candidates vying to replace Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), has killed two birds with one campaign stone: He offers his solutions to spiraling healthcare costs and asks for contributions to help him get across his ideas. Miller, a journalist and public radio talk show co-host, released a YouTube video this week that shows him wearing a neck brace to illustrate his point about out-of-control healthcare costs.
March 26, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
BRUSSELS -- The dispute over Crimea is not another Cold War but a “contest of ideas,” pitting an outmoded nationalism against the progress of democratic ideals, President Obama declared Wednesday as he sought to explain the Western response to Russia's seizure of the peninsula from Ukraine. Speaking in the capital of Europe, Obama cast the crisis as a fight between “the old way of doing things” and “a young century.” He also drew a contrast between the “bully” behavior of Russia and that of the Ukrainian protesters, whom he called the “voices for human dignity.” “The contest of ideas continues for your generation.
March 26, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
BRUSSELS - The crisis over Crimea has not restarted the Cold War but has revived a "contest of ideas" between belief in powerful leaders and in democratic ideals, President Obama declared Wednesday as he laid out his case for firm opposition to Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula. Speaking in this European capital as two decades of diplomacy on the continent unraveled, Obama cast the crisis as a fight between "the old way of doing things" and "a young century. " Obama dismissed as "absurd" Russian President Vladimir Putin's justifications for annexing Crimea and sought to gird Europe for a drawn-out dispute.
March 20, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
The creator of a pancake-catching game app says IHOP's parent company stole his idea and put a similar game on the chain's website. Michael Levinson sued DineEquity Inc. this week, accusing the IHOP franchiser of creating its own version of his "Pancake Pile" app after first negotiating to put his game on its website. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accused DineEquity of violating an "implied contract" with Levinson to use his "Pancake Pile" game. DineEquity spokesman Craig Hoffman declined to comment, saying the company does not publicly discuss pending litigation.
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