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November 21, 2013 | By Gale Holland
A jump in the number of Los Angeles County residents who became homeless in the last two years defied the national trend of a modest decline in the overall homeless population, according to federal estimates released Thursday. Los Angeles County's homeless population rose 15% from 2011 to 2013, to  57,737, a total second only to New York City. By contrast, the number of homeless Americans declined 6% since 2010, to 610,042, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
November 18, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - The share of Americans moving to a new home fell this year, underscoring the lingering effects of the Great Recession and a drag on the housing market. The main factor was an unexpectedly large drop in the mobility of young adults, who account for the largest moves among age groups and the bulk of starter-home purchases. The Census Bureau reported Monday that the annual domestic migration rate - the share of the nation's population that moved - declined to 11.7% after rising to 12% last year.
November 13, 2013 | Don Lee
Michal Ruminski was 6 when his father took him through a local supermarket here. The store shelves were empty, except for some bottles of vinegar, but that was precisely the point. His father wanted the young boy never to forget the deprivations of living in a backward communist state. Today, streets once patrolled by soldiers and armored vehicles now teem with trendy cafes and tony boutiques, not to mention grocery stores filled to bursting. And Ruminski, now 39, as managing partner of a venture capital firm, can provide his wife and his own 6-year-old son all the comforts of life.
November 4, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Starfish up and down the West Coast are suffering from a strange disease known as "seastar wasting syndrome," and scientists are unsure why it is happening. Pockets of starfish decimation have been found from Southern California to Alaska. In some places the entire seastar population has been wiped out. (And before you get confused, seastar and starfish are two names for the same animal and I'll be using them interchangably.) PHOTOS: Weird sea creatures and strange fish The seastar wasting disease begins as a small sore somewhere along the seastar's body.
November 3, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
Never mind the conventional speculation about whether the resolution of some political standoff in Washington favors Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, "entitlement" fans or skeptics. The more fundamental question, says Benjamin Radcliff, is this: Does it make people happier or not? Radcliff is a political scientist at Notre Dame whose work places him in the forefront of what might be labeled happiness studies. His particular corner of the field looks at social policies and political outcomes.
November 3, 2013 | By Lew Sichelman
Why do houses in Vancouver neighborhoods with a high percentage of Chinese residents tend to sell for more when the house number ends in eight? And why do they sell for less when the house number ends in four? According to a study from the University of British Columbia, when the number on the house ended in four, houses sold at a 2.2% discount. The reason, according to the study: In Mandarin, Cantonese and several other Chinese dialects, the pronunciation of the number four sounds very similar to the word for "death.
October 31, 2013 | By John Horn
LAS VEGAS - From the 34th floor of the Aria Resort & Casino, a colossal hotel complex with more than 4,000 rooms and a 150,000-square-foot gambling floor, Robert De Niro surveyed what remained of the Las Vegas he once knew. "I don't even recognize the place," the 70-year-old actor said, peering out the vertiginous, floor-to-ceiling windows in his suite. "I can't even imagine how much this city has changed. When you fly in here, it just goes on and on. " Asked to point out some of the locations where he and Martin Scorsese made "Casino" nearly two decades ago - specifically, the Riviera Hotel & Casino - De Niro was stumped and shook his head.
October 22, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
The Los Angeles Zoo is trying to raise the population of female Komodo dragons, a giant and endangered lizard, by using a DNA test originally devised to identify the gender of bird eggs. Swelling the female ranks would help close a gender gap in captive dragons in North America, which is home to 71 males, 46 females and six of the giant lizards whose sex remains unknown. It would also move the species closer to a self-sustaining and genetically diverse population, which scientists believe they would reach with 75 males and 75 females.
October 15, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear Gov. Jerry Brown's appeal of an order to reduce prison crowding, further narrowing the governor's options in his quest to end what he characterizes as an arbitrary cap on the inmate population. The cap was ordered by three federal judges in California, and Brown had asked the high court to remove it. Having lost that bid, he will continue to pursue a request to the lower court for more time to comply, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman.
October 10, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Far more people are lesbian, gay or bisexual - and more people are biased against them - than say so on typical surveys, a new study suggests. The study, conducted by researchers from Ohio State University and Boston University and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research , found that even when filling out a private, anonymous survey, some people do not truthfully reveal their sexuality. At the same time, researchers found that some people who believe employers should be able to discriminate against hiring gay, lesbian or bisexual people, or who dislike the idea of having a gay manager, also shy from revealing those attitudes on surveys.
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