February 19, 2013 |
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is among the first group of billionaires from outside the U.S. who have signed up to donate at least half of their wealth to charitable causes as part of the Giving Pledge initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. The 12 foreign billionaires who have signed on to the pledge bring the total of signatures to 105 families, according to Bloomberg News. The initiative asking billionaires to pledge at least half of their fortune to philanthropy has largely been focused on the wealthy in the U.S. “As a young man, I never set out to make money,” Branson wrote in his pledge letter.
February 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Top finance officials of the world's 20 largest economies sought Saturday to allay fear of a currency war, pledging not to target exchange rates to gain a competitive advantage in trade. But the joint statement, issued at the end of a meeting in Moscow of the so-called Group of 20, or G-20, did not single out any country, essentially giving a pass to Japan to keep pursuing its economic policies despite a significant slide in the value of the yen since November. Japan's new government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will meet with President Obama this week in Washington, had been talking down the yen and has pressed its central bank for more expansive monetary stimulus to break out of its deflationary trap and boost the nation's stagnant economy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2013 |
Erika Glazer came of age at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, listening to the preachings of the late Edgar Magnin -- the "rabbi to the stars" who envisioned a grand sanctuary west of downtown Los Angeles and persuaded Hollywood notables to help fund it. "He was always speeding things up," said Glazer, the daughter of shopping mall developer Guilford Glazer. "I remember as a kid he would skip [Torah] pages. " Now it's Glazer's turn to move things along. The philanthropist has pledged $30 million over the next 15 years toward the synagogue's ongoing restoration and redevelopment.
February 4, 2013 |
Developer Tom Gilmore has made a $1-million planned gift to the Southern California Institute of Architecture to support the school's first endowed chair. Gilmore, a member of the SCI-Arc board of trustees since 2001 and a key player in the renaissance of downtown L.A. over the last two decades, has pledged $1 million from his estate to help create the Gilmore City Chair, a faculty position dedicated to urban studies. Planned gifts aren't realized until the death of the donor.
January 30, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- Amid dire warnings that funds are running low to care for victims of the Syrian conflict, the United Nations said Wednesday that donors had pledged about $1.5 billion to help war-battered Syrians, exceeding the U.N.'s target appeal. “The situation in Syria is catastrophic and getting worse by the day,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a major donor conference in Kuwait. The cash is meant to assist Syrian civilians during the next six months, but officials say much of it could be used up before then if the humanitarian scenario in the country continues to decline.
January 25, 2013 |
No more missing inches: Subway says that never again will a Footlong sandwich meet a ruler it can't match. In the company's own words: “We regret any instance where we did not fully deliver on our promise to our customers. We freshly bake our bread throughout the day in our more than 38,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide, and we have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve. Our commitment remains steadfast to ensure that every Subway Footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each location worldwide.” This after an outcry when an Australian customer posted a photo of a Footlong sub on Subway's Facebook page.
January 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry pledged at his confirmation hearing Thursday that as secretary of State he would emphasize “the extraordinary good” America does abroad and not just the less popular U.S. foreign policy of “deployments and drones.” Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which he has sat for 28 years, the Massachusetts Democrat stressed the peaceful side of America's foreign presence, including its...
January 23, 2013 |
LONDON -- In a long-awaited speech, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged Wednesday to hold a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether Britain should stay in the European Union, saying it was time to renegotiate a relationship that has become too strained to continue as is. In Britain today, "public disillusionment with the EU is at an all-time high," Cameron said, citing regulations and directives out of Brussels that many Britons consider onerous...
January 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In unveiling a new stimulus plan, Japan's central bank for the first time set an ambitious inflation target aimed at breaking the nation out of its long deflationary trap and economic stagnation. But many analysts and investors were disappointed with Tuesday's action. They said the moves by the Bank of Japan, in response to relentless nagging by Japan's new prime minister to be more aggressive, fell far short of what was needed to put the world's third-largest economy on a path of sustained growth - offering little hope that Japan would provide a boost to the fragile global economy any time soon.