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BUSINESS
August 12, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
Democrats and Republicans hope their next nominating conventions will set the stage for a big victory in November. But the hotels at the cities hosting the conventions can already claim victory. Occupancy rates and nightly hotel rates have shot up in Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention on Aug. 27 to 30 and in Charlotte, N.C., which is hosting the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 3 to 6. As of this week, 87% of Tampa's hotel rooms are booked for the Republican convention while 89% of the rooms in Charlotte are booked for the Democratic convention, according to TravelClick, a New York company that provides e-commerce products and services to the hotel industry.
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NATIONAL
August 10, 2012 | By Amy Hubbard
A just-released video shows the June crash of a small plane not only from inside the aircraft but also from two different views -- the cockpit and the backseat.  Trees seem to explode as the aircraft heads to earth. The crash occurred in Idaho in June. The video of the incident, taken by its occupants, was nearing 350,000 views on YouTube on Friday morning. The whole incident is eerily quiet. Slow motion is included, as well as the backseat view.  Bloody injuries to the pilot are also carefully recorded on camera.
NEWS
July 29, 2012 | By Roger Vincent
After decades of silence and neglect, the renovated former office of aviation mogul Howard Hughes in Playa Vista will finally have a new occupant - design and advertising agency 72andSunny. The company has agreed to rent 58,000 square feet in two buildings that were once part of Hughes Aircraft Co. headquarters. The space includes the "Mahogany Row" offices that were home to top executives, including the brilliant but mercurial inventor and airman. Who will get the corner suite that Hughes himself once occupied?
NATIONAL
July 19, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson, This post has been corrected. See note below.
An Islamic congregation in central Tennessee will not be able to move into a new mosque before Ramadan begins at sundown Thursday, despite winning a legal battle that cleared the way for occupancy. The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is awaiting inspections from additional agencies and congregants can't begin worshiping there until the inspections are complete, lawyers for the mosque said Thursday. That could take up to 10 days. “It's a matter of dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's,” Hannah Smith, a lawyer with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told the Los Angeles Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
The City Hall park that was used - and some would say abused - byOccupy L.A.protesters last year reopened Thursday after a $1-million rehabilitation. With a smaller lawn and native succulents and salvias, the park will need one-third less water than it did before the demonstration, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, making it a "symbol of sustainability. " The mayor marked the reopening with a ceremony on the south lawn. But not everyone was invited. PHOTOS: City Hall park reopens A dozen Occupy protesters, who had been barred from entering by police, stood unhappily on the other side of a concrete and chain-link fence.
BUSINESS
July 16, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
London has never been a travel destination for the budget-minded. During the Summer Olympics, visiting the English capital will be even more expensive. The rates for hotel rooms during the summer games have increased an average of 69%, to about $292 per night, compared with the same time last year, according to a study by TravelClick, a New York company that provides e-commerce products and services to the hotel industry. The occupancy rate across the city for the entire Olympics (July 27 to Aug. 12)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
High-profile developer Rick Caruso got his long-standing wish Tuesday: a tax break that could be worth more than $15 million for knocking down Montecito's dilapidated Miramar Hotel and building a luxury resort on the star-crossed site. An eyesore whose boarded-up cottages and weedy lots have irritated neighbors for years, the Miramar was a chic destination in its day. Its last guests left 12 years ago; but even a string of celebrity owners, such as hotel mogul Ian Schrager and Beanie Baby billionaire Ty Warner failed to revive it. Caruso, developer of The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles and a possible mayoral candidate, has owned the property since 2007, shelving his development plans when the economy soured.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2012 | By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times
To the man suing the city of Los Angeles over how its zoo treats elephants, Billy endures a miserable existence. The Asian elephant has spent much of his 27 years at the zoo in Griffith Park. He's now overweight and plagued by cracked toes and weary joints, plaintiff Aaron Leider alleged in court documents. Billy bobs his head for hours, which some experts say is a sign of emotional turmoil, and he's sexually frustrated for months at a time. Billy's maladies - and what may have caused them - will be debated at length this week in a trial that began Monday in downtown Los Angeles.
NEWS
May 11, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Summer in Bhutan means red, white and pink poppies are blooming in the Himalaya's high passes. What better time for a walk in the flower fields? Amanresorts offers two poppy treks that combine hiking and tent camping with stays in their luxury resorts. Participants on poppy treks walk three to five hours each day at elevations ranging from 9,800 feet to almost 15,000 feet. Trails to the poppies (no, they're not the opiate kind) wind through pastures as well as pine, cypress and rhododendron forests, and up to mountain passes.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2012 | By Roger Vincent
Office landlords can expect to see gradual improvement in tenant demand for space this year, but employers will continue to be cautious about expanding, a real estate brokerage said. The office sector of real estate will be bolstered by the improving economy, which should drive more purchases of buildings by investors, Marcus & Millichap reported. Based on its research, the brokerage expects office-using employers to create about 720,000 jobs in the U.S in 2012, a 30% increase over last year.
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