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February 18, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
United Airlines' computer systems shut down briefly Tuesday, delaying takeoffs and frustrating passengers. The system problems that began in the morning represented the latest malfunction for the nation's third-largest carrier since United switched over to the computer systems of merger partner Continental Airlines starting in 2012. In a statement, the airline said: "This morning we experienced intermittent issues with our passenger service computer system, causing some flight delays.
February 15, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Let's say you suffered an intensely personal tragedy. And let's say you also happened to have an incredible professional triumph at an Olympics, coming back from retirement and beating the odds at well past athletes' average age, in a sport that requires a level of kamikaze spirit found traditionally among the very young. And you not only competed but medaled. Should you then, in taking a broadcast victory lap the day of your win, have to discuss that personal tragedy in front of a national audience?
February 13, 2014 | By Michael McGough
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist crusade has a new objective: preventing “a corporate capture of the federal courts.” The Massachusetts Democrat and progressive heroine graciously concedes that “there are some really talented judges who came from the private sector.” But she insists that “it matters that someone has represented people other than corporate clients, that they've had real experience with people who can't afford lawyers, that...
February 12, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The House Republican leadership did the right thing Tuesday, allowing the chamber to approve a bill that would raise the debt ceiling for one year unconditionally. The move doesn't end the fight over federal budget deficits and the growing national debt. It just allows the debate to continue without causing needless damage to the economy. Congress committed itself in December to borrow more than the current $17-trillion limit when it adopted a bipartisan budget that included more than half a trillion in deficit spending.
February 12, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
In December, Ben Villarreal graduated with a bachelor's degree from Samuel Merritt University's nursing program in Oakland. In short order, he received two job offers at UC hospitals with programs for new graduates. But with less than a month to go before his start dates, the 22-year-old said he is concerned that he could lose both promising opportunities. As of mid-February, California's Board of Registered Nursing still hadn't given him the go-ahead to take the nursing exam needed to get his license and start a new job. "I've been told my application is on my evaluator's desk with hundreds of others," he said.
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
After years of improving car reliability, automakers have shifted into reverse while attempting to exact better fuel economy and add in-dash technology, J.D. Power & Associates reported in its 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. Owners of 3-year-old vehicles reported more problems than in the same study from the prior year, the automotive research firm said Wednesday. It was the first increase in problems reported since 1998. The slip in quality might be the first sign in a trend toward declining reliability in cars, according to the firm, whose research identified transmissions and infotainment systems as key trouble spots.
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday announced a massive global recall of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall. The Japanese automaker also launched a recall of about 260,000 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue. The Prius recall includes 1.9 million vehicles sold from 2010 through 2014 model years. It involves about 1 million cars in Japan, some 700,000 in North America and the rest from Europe and other regions.
February 7, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Citing "unacceptable levels of of payment delays and unanswered calls," Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has ordered the Employment Development Department to hire additional staff, overhaul its phone system and add IT staff to fix problems with its unemployment insurance program.  In a letter to the EDD's chief deputy director Sharon Hilliard, Labor Secretary David Lanier said that despite the EDD's best efforts, technical problems with a...
February 7, 2014 | By Meg James
The lighting of the Olympic flame in Russia will launch a nearly $900-million bet by U.S. advertisers that this year's Winter Games will become a feel-good event for television audiences. Leading up to Friday's official opening of the XXII Olympic Winter Games, most of the attention has centered on difficulties - and not the athletes. The Sochi athletic competitions will be unfolding against a backdrop of threats of terrorist attacks, allegations of corruption, tense U.S.-Russia relations and protests over Russia's controversial anti-gay laws.
February 6, 2014 | Meghan Daum
Several months ago, I watched Woody Allen's 1979 film "Manhattan" for the first time since I was in my 20s and for perhaps the 10th time total. "He adored New York City," Allen's character, Isaac Davis, says in voice-over in the opening lines. "He idolized it all out of proportion. " Once upon a time, I idolized this movie all out of proportion. Though I was too young to see it when it was first released, I became obsessed with its Gershwin soundtrack and black-and-white, wide-screen cinematography in high school, right around the time I began romanticizing some mythic notion of becoming a New York sophisticate.
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