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Luxuries

AUTOS
November 20, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Names like Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln bring to mind flashy cars with formidable pedigrees and even more formidable price tags. But for the first time, all these storied luxury brands are focused on - of all things - compact crossover vehicles. Each is rolling out a new one at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens this week. It's not hard to figure out why: The segment's market share has quadrupled in the last five years and is forecast to keep growing for the next five years.
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AUTOS
November 20, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Using a city known for luxury living as a backdrop, Kia took a bold step into the world of full-size - and full-priced - cars at today's Los Angeles Auto Show. The Korean automaker unveiled the all-new K900, a large sedan that will offer the space and trappings of German land yachts, while undercutting their prices by tens of thousands of dollars. "This is our boldest statement yet," said Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales for Kia. "It's a true flagship sedan that symbolizes how far we've come, and we believe it will make you question everything you thought you knew about Kia. "  PHOTOS: L.A. Auto Show model debuts The K900's strategy will largely mirror the car on which it's based: the full-size Equus from Kia's corporate cousin Hyundai.
TRAVEL
November 17, 2013 | By Marc Stirdivant
For years our family made an annual pilgrimage to Yosemite, driving through the tiny town of Oakhurst, Calif., about 14 miles from the entrance to the national park. We didn't stop, unless it was at Raley's market or to say hello to the talking bear in front of Ditton Realty, which, with a push of button, would (and still will) recite "'Twas the Night Before Christmas. " But Oakhurst, as it happens, is worth more than a passing glance as you head up Highway 41. It has, in no particular order, a world-class inn, at least one superb French restaurant, some intriguing shops and what must be the largest collection of life-size, chain saw-carved wooden bears to be found, well, anywhere.
SPORTS
November 13, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Dodgers are expecting to exceed the luxury-tax threshold again, team President Stan Kasten said Wednesday. This should come as a surprise to no one. The luxury-tax threshold for 2014 will be $189 million. The Dodgers had a payroll of more than $230 million this year. They already have more than $160 million in salary commitments to their 12 players under contract -- that doesn't include Clayton Kershaw or any of the players who are eligible for salary arbitration or are under club control.
OPINION
November 13, 2013 | Patt Morrison
Most bio-pics are made about somebodies - warriors, kings, artists. This was a bio-pic about a nobody who became a somebody during the Rwandan genocide, a bloody crossroads for a country with deep-seated ethnic frictions. In April 1994, Paul Rusesabagina was brevetted as general manager of the luxury hotel where he worked, and where more than 1,000 people had fled from the killing rampage. For more than two months, he managed to protect them from being slaughtered. Ten years later, the world saw "Hotel Rwanda.
AUTOS
November 12, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
When Lincoln pulls the wraps off its 2014 MKC crossover in New York on Wednesday morning, most observers will pay little mind to the two simple knobs controlling stereo volume and tuning. But such seemingly insignificant details may say more about the direction at Ford's luxury brand than the fact that this is an all-new model, or the first Lincoln fitted with a new turbocharged engine. The old-school knobs - replacing touch-screen controls that many owners hated in other Lincolns - signal that the brand is listening intently to customers.
IMAGE
November 10, 2013 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
After 16 years at the helm of Coach, Reed Krakoff left the American heritage brand this fall to chart a solo course with his own label, which is starting to really gain momentum. In the three years since launching his namesake brand, Krakoff has dressed Lena Dunham, Julianne Moore and First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore his cobalt blue dress on the March 2013 cover of Vogue. He has a robust accessories business (the Boxer and Atlantique bags have been big hits), which accounts for about 70% of sales, and his ready-to-wear clothing is gaining momentum among women looking for something intellectual, modern and American.
WORLD
October 30, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI - At least 44 people were burned to death early Wednesday when the luxury bus they were traveling on lost control and ignited in southeastern Andhra Pradesh state, underscoring the dangerous state of Indian roads. Five passengers out of the 51 people aboard the air-conditioned luxury Volvo bus managed to escape by breaking windows, said Pradeep Reddy, additional police superintendent in the state's Mahabubnagar district. The driver and his assistant fled through the door even as the rest perished in the rapidly spreading blaze.
NEWS
October 28, 2013 | By Anne Harnagel
Cyclists searching for a more sybaritic approach to bike touring might want to check out this offering from Trek Tours. Its five-night, six-day California Wine Luxury tour will have you pedaling through the Napa and Sonoma valleys, with stops at noteworthy vineyards, fine restaurants and luxe accommodations. The average daily distance is 40 miles, but there are options for shorter and longer rides. Day one begins at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, where your biking group will assemble and then be shuttled to the Benzinger Family Winery for a gourmet picnic lunch, tour and tasting.
AUTOS
October 19, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Acura made its name on upscale sedans and coupes, but its MDX crossover has quietly become the meal ticket for Honda's luxury division. Last year, the MDX made up about a third of Acura's sales in the U.S., and it has been the brand's biggest seller since 2010. So the automaker took the task of redesigning the upscale mid-size hauler quite seriously. It shows. The 2014 version is a ground-up reboot that balances luxury, utility, safety and value better than most of its peers.
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