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June 21, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
With summer in California officially under way Thursday, employers in the state's leisure and hospitality industry have beefed up their payrolls ahead of the busy tourism season.  That was evidenced Friday, when U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures showed that the leisure and hospitality sector led hiring in California for the month of May. The industry's payrolls in the state grew by 9,000 jobs last month. A boost in hiring by hospitality and travel businesses is a sign that the economy continues to improve, said Ernest Wooden, chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
April 29, 2013 | By Jane Engle
The 436-passenger American Queen, a steam-powered paddle wheeler built in 1995 for the now-defunct Delta Steamboat Co., was relaunched last year after a four-year absence. Designed to evoke the Mississippi floating palaces of the late 19th century, it offers a full schedule of trips on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers. If you crave culture, history and old-time entertainment, this may be your boat. Among its many themed itineraries are the nine-day “Age of Steam,” a roll up the river from New Orleans to Memphis, Tenn., focusing on cities and towns that flourished in the golden age of steamboats.
April 25, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
The W Hotels chain , famous for its coolness factor, is known for targeting tech-savvy, globe-trotting travelers who are plugged into what's new and now.  It's hoping that formula works in China, where the chain just opened W Guangzhou , the first W Hotel in mainland China.  The new hotel, W's 44th, is part of a rapid Asian expansion for the chain, which has plans to more than double its current footprint of nine hotels to nearly 20...
April 4, 2013 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
Opponents of UCLA's proposed 250-room hotel and conference center on campus have filed a lawsuit that challenges the project's tax exemptions and contends it would not be financially viable if it paid all the federal and local taxes required of commercial hotels. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court late Wednesday by the Save Westwood Village organization and others, also says that existing UCLA guesthouses and visitor centers already break laws by not charging overnight guests occupancy taxes.
April 4, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
Opponents of UCLA's proposed conference center and 250-room hotel on campus have filed a lawsuit that challenges the project's tax exemptions and contends it would not be financially viable if it had to pay all the federal and local taxes that nearby commercial hotels do. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court late Wednesday by the Save Westwood Village organization and others, claims that existing UCLA guest houses and campus visitor centers...
February 22, 2013 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
LAS VEGAS - The Strip's busiest intersection was back in business Friday as police continued their search in four states for a black Range Rover whose occupants opened fire on a Maserati, causing a fiery crash that left three people dead. The incident erupted about 4:20 a.m. Thursday after an argument at a valet stand outside the Aria resort and hotel. The Maserati crashed into several cars at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, including a taxi that burst into flames, killing the driver and his passenger as well as the driver of the Maserati.
February 18, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
TIMBUKTU, Mali - It didn't matter that Timbuktu had been occupied by Islamist militias notorious for meting out 100 lashes to young women who flirted with, or even talked to, men. When Mamou Maiga encountered a dazzling young man while out for a walk, her world turned upside down. "He had beautiful eyes and a gentle smile," recalls Maiga, 21, smiling shyly as she remembered that day in mid-September. "He asked me if he could drop me at my house. I saw no problems. " His name was Adama.
February 11, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
TIMBUKTU, Mali - There were public protests and whispers of secret love affairs. Heroes of resistance everywhere: the female fishmonger who angrily knocked down one of the occupiers, the imam who sent them away from his mosque, the elderly sheep trader beaten for complaining about their ill treatment of others. Residents of this legendary caravan crossing are free of the violent militants who tried for nine months to impose their extreme version of Islam. French and African forces are continuing to chase them farther north into the Sahara.
February 2, 2013 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
BILIN, West Bank - Like many Palestinians, West Bank farmer Emad Burnat punctuates his life story with events from the Israeli occupation of his village. His first son was born amid the optimism that followed the 1993 Oslo peace accords, and another came just as the 2000 Palestinian uprising erupted. His youngest, Gibreel, was born the same week that Israel began constructing a separation barrier through his hometown of Bilin. That's when Burnat got his first camera, initially to capture his newborn, but later to document his village's fight against the Israeli military and nearby settlers.
January 20, 2013 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Office vacancy in Los Angeles County decreased in the fourth quarter in the first year-over-year drop since the economic boom year of 2006. The drop in vacancy to 18.4% was barely measurable at less than half of 1 percentage point, but it's a further sign that the office rental market has reached an even keel and is poised for modest improvement, industry observers said. "We are at the point where we want to be. We are stabilized and going in the right direction," said Joe Vargas, regional manager of real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.
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