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December 15, 2011 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Rome dominated the ancient world. Paris starred as the cultural diva of the 1800s. And New York soared as the steel-and-glass incarnation of the American Century. So what metropolis best defines our restless, rickety present age — Shanghai; Mumbai, India; São Paulo, Brazil? In his first book, "Instant City," Steve Inskeep , co-host of NPR's "Morning Edition," constructs a compelling case for bestowing the title on Karachi, Pakistan, a destination that usually rates higher among battle-hardened news correspondents than pleasure-hunting tourists.
October 30, 2011 | Jim Newton
John Pérez and I have been talking about the government and politics of California for 13 years. Some aspects of that conversation have changed: In our early conversations, he was the executive director of the United Food and Commercial Workers States' Council; now, he's the Speaker of the Assembly. Our first discussion was over bagels at a Silver Lake coffee shop. Last week, it was in the back room of the Pacific Dining Car, which Pérez says he appreciates for the privacy. A 28-year-old outsider when we met in 1998, he's now in his 40s, and he's at the center of what he once observed from a distance.
October 26, 2011 | By Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the next provision up for a vote from President Obama's jobs package was urgently needed but gave it long odds for passage in the Senate next week, citing Congress' highly polarized atmosphere. The measure, which would provide money for hiring workers to repair aging bridges and roads, is not likely to get the 60 votes needed to end debate and pass it, Feinstein said during a wide-ranging luncheon appearance at Town Hall Los Angeles.
October 16, 2011 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
Gov. Jerry Brown says President Obama should embark on an FDR-type public works program to stimulate the economy. Excellent idea. And Brown should follow his own advice in Sacramento. The Brown administration is sitting on $9.1 billion in infrastructure bonds that have been sold and are costing the state a ton in debt payments. A rough estimate is $630 million a year. But the borrowed money is stashed in various drawers throughout the bureaucracy instead of circulating around California creating jobs.
September 29, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
China's flashy new airports, rail lines and highways are often cited as symbols of the country's inexorable rise. But a pair of violent rail incidents are changing that narrative as more Chinese question the value of economic development that some say is coming at the expense of safety. About 270 people were injured Tuesday when two subway trains collided in Shanghai, paralyzing parts of the country's financial capital. The accident came just two months after 40 people were killed when two high-speed trains collided on a viaduct in a rural section of the southeastern city of Wenzhou.
September 19, 2011 | By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
On her visit to a traffic-signal plant Monday, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called it an example of how President Obama's policies are "continuing to dig us deeper into the hole toward another recession. " Standing before a row of shiny orange trailers carrying portable solar-powered traffic lights, she said her plans for a smaller government with fewer rules and lower spending would help OMJC Signal Inc. "grow, grow, grow, grow, grow. " "That's my goal — to see you succeed wildly," the Minnesota congresswoman told a gathering of OMJC workers on the plant floor here in the central Iowa town where she grew up. But OMJC thrives on the kind of road and bridge spending that Obama has promoted as a key remedy to the nation's economic slowdown.
September 9, 2011 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
For a lot of businesses in California and the rest of the nation, there didn't seem to be much that President Obama could have said to sway them that Washington was able to help foster new jobs, but some liked his proposed $447-billion package of tax cuts and infrastructure spending — with reservations. Primarily, they doubted that he stood a realistic chance of getting the program through Republican opposition in Congress. They also worried about what the stimulus he unveiled Thursday would mean for the nation's deficit.
August 31, 2011 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Colombia's defense minister abruptly resigned Wednesday amid a resurgence of violence by rebel and criminal gangs that has reversed some of the security gains made over the last decade. Recent attacks on the country's energy infrastructure and kidnappings of oil company personnel are especially worrisome to business interests concerned that continued deterioration could jeopardize an ongoing oil boom. In a letter to President Juan Manuel Santos, outgoing Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said it was time to "put an end to this chapter of my life and explore other opportunities.
August 17, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
Here's the good news about the pageant of economic fecklessness staged this summer by Congress and the White House: The widespread voter disgust it generated improves the chances for President Obama to reset the debate by proposing a set of bold initiatives. Obama is wrapping up a three-day bus tour of the Midwest to promote a jobs package. Thus far his program's ambitions are meager indeed, encompassing a $30-billion infrastructure improvement bank and $160 billion from unemployment and payroll tax extensions.
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