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June 23, 2012 | By William D'Urso, Los Angeles Times
General Motors is recalling more than 475,000 of its Chevrolet Cruze autos because of reported engine fires that destroyed two of the vehicles. In March, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary investigation into the two fires, both of which occurred with 2011 Cruze models. The carmaker said there were no crashes or injuries caused by the problem it traced to engine shields on the undersides of the cars. GM said fires could start or spread if oil or other flammable liquids dripped on to the shields.
May 23, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Mariano Rajoy, Spain's prime minister, has found a new ally in his quest for lower borrowing rates and liquidity in his recession-racked country: France's new President Francoise Hollande. A week after his inauguration, Hollande met with Rajoy at the Elysee Palace to talk policy before heading to a European Union summit in Brussels later in the day. There, they'll likely present a unified front against Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has resisted Hollande's growth proposals in favor of deficit and debt cuts.
April 25, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
In preparation for the start of demolition this summer of the now-closed 936-room Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, the hotel will reopen its doors Thursday for the start of a massive sale of its furniture, plates, towels and television sets, among thousands of items in the building. Everything must go, including the kitchen sinks, which are priced at $350. "But our kitchen sinks are a little bigger than most," said Frank Long, president of International Content Liquidations Inc., the Ohio firm that is running what is expected to be a $2-million liquidation sale starting at 9 a.m. Long lines are expected.
April 22, 2012 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Lather, rinse, repeat. We all do it — usually with a liquid shampoo. But a handful of manufacturers are getting rid of the plastic bottles and the liquid and offering shampoos in solid bars that look like traditional hand soap. Canadian cosmetic company Lush makes nine formulas of solid shampoos, as well as a solid conditioner. J.R. Liggett's, in New Hampshire, makes six. And countless artisan soap makers also are capitalizing on growing customer demand for a concentrated product that has all the performance of a regular shampoo but with less packaging and fewer chemicals.
April 18, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Ailing Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc. is going toe-to-toe with its workers' unions in a courtroom clash that the company said may lead to its liquidation. Hostess is trying to persuade a federal bankruptcy judge in New York to allow it to reject existing collective bargaining agreements with the Teamsters and bakers' unions. The maker of Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, three years after emerging from its last bankruptcy.
February 24, 2012 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Acer's Liquid Glow smartphone, announced Friday, is bringing Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and a bit of an odd name to market this summer. The Liquid Glow smartphone will be detailed at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain, next week, but for now, Acer says that the new handset will bring a "balance between style, performance and affordability -- ideal for today's fun-seeking, social-networking youth. " With a pitch like that, it's likely that the Liquid Glow will be a lower-cost, entry-level handset.
February 3, 2012 | Bloomberg News
Shares of video game maker THQ Inc. tumbled 30% after an analyst said the Agoura Hills company might need to draw on a revolving line of credit. THQ declined to 53 cents, its lowest close since July 1995, and on a day the stock market rose strongly. The company has a $50-million revolving credit facility, according to a Nov. 9 regulatory filing. Todd Mitchell, an analyst with Brean Murray Carret & Co. in New York, said the cancellation of the uDraw game tablet has created "a liquidity crisis for the company that puts its viability in question.
December 31, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
A federal judge has approved a plan to liquidate the estate of Alfred J.R. Villalobos, former board member of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the state's biggest public pension fund. The action by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Reno, Nev., ended an 18-month bankruptcy proceeding and cleared the way for the state to pursue a fraud lawsuit against Villalobos, who the state alleges plied pension fund officials with luxury trips and gifts to influence investment decisions.
December 19, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Saab no more. Saab Automobile, the quirky Swedish automaker that liked to advertise its heritage as a fighter jet producer, filed for bankruptcy Monday, ending a two-year effort to revive the business after it was spun off by General Motors Co. "Some enthusiasts in the U.S. will lament its end," said Aaron Bragman, an analyst with IHS Automotive. "Back in the 1970s and 1980s it was an innovative brand with some unusual power trains. They did turbocharging of small engines long before others did. The cars also had all-weather, good-handling capability.
October 23, 2011 | By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Question: Please clarify the Transportation Security Administration's limitations on volume of fluids allowed in a single container to be carried onboard in the 1-quart plastic bag, which raised the issue of 3-1-1 (3 ounces, 1-quart bag, 1 bag per person). I was in Italy and wanted to bring back a vial of Modena's famed balsamic vinegar. In Europe, volume is expressed in metric, and the smallest container I could find was 100 milliliters, which is 3.3 ounces. I chose not to bring anything back.
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