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SCIENCE
December 20, 2013 | By Alan Zarembo
In most discussions of suicide and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - including the online buzz that followed publication of a Times analysis on how young California veterans die - one statistic gets repeated most: 22 veterans kill themselves each day. That number comes from a study published in early 2013 by researchers at the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. But the recent wars were not the study's primary focus. In fact, they play a minor role in veteran suicides overall.
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SPORTS
April 26, 2014 | By Steve Dilbeck
What's up with all the strikeouts? The Dodgers are whiffing at an alarming rate early this season. They've already struck out 215 times, just four below the major league-high marks of the Mets and White Sox. By comparison, the Tigers have only 119 strikeouts in four fewer games. You can't get a hit if you don't put the ball in play, which partially explains why the Dodgers have a dismal .301 team on-base percentage mark and are an unexpected 18th in runs scored. This team is supposed to be an offensive juggernaut, but it's shown only flashes of its potential thus far. Few Dodgers have been able to free themselves of this unforeseen malaise.
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BUSINESS
June 12, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
In California's new state-run health insurance market, Kaiser Permanente will cost you. The healthcare giant has the highest rates in Southern California and some other areas of the state, surpassing rivals such as Anthem Blue Cross and other smaller competitors. The relatively high premiums from such a strong supporter of the federal healthcare law surprised industry analysts, and it has sparked considerable debate about the company's motives. Some experts say Kaiser intentionally bid high to avoid drawing too many customers next year who are sick or who have been uninsured for years and may be costlier to treat.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Fewer home sales and rising interest rates have led to the nation's lowest level of mortgage lending in 14 years. Just $235 billion in home loans were started in the first three months of the year, the lowest figure recorded in a quarter since 2000, according to data from trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. That's down nearly a quarter from the end of 2013 and more than half from the same period last year, when the housing market was heating up, especially in Southern California.
OPINION
August 31, 2012
Re "PUC dithers as consumers keep paying for San Onofre," Column, Aug. 29 There is no "welfare" in the system governed by the California Public Utilities Commission that oversees the delivery of electricity to 12 million customers in California. Here's how it works: Southern California Edison, an investor-owned utility, is the majority owner of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. As a regulated utility, we receive cost reimbursement and a fair investment return over a long period of time on capital that shareholders and creditors advanced up front, as they did for the steam generators - all as part of the costs required to provide emission-free electricity for 1.4 million homes.
SCIENCE
September 16, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
It's little more than a glimmer of hope, but a comprehensive new report suggests that a trend toward healthier habits may have halted the rise of obesity among the nation's teens. In 2009 and 2010, American adolescents exercised more, watched less TV, ate more fruits and vegetables and drank fewer sugar-sweetened beverages than did children of the same age in 2001 and 2002, the national study found. The research was published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Despite steady improvements in behaviors linked to excess weight, rates of overweight and obesity among children in grades six through 10 continued to rise until 2005.
NEWS
October 29, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog
Still nipping out of your workplace or a restaurant to cop a cigarette out on the sidewalk? You are public health hero, and a grateful nation salutes you. Workplaces and eating and drinking establishments that are free of second-hand smoke have shored up Americans' health even in the face of rising levels of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, says a new study. Published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the latest research focused on Olmsted County in Minnesota, and tracked the rate of heart attacks and sudden heart attack deaths in the wake of smoking bans that cleared Olmsted County's restaurants, bars and workplaces of tobacco smoke.
SCIENCE
April 17, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Infant mortality in the U.S. has declined 12% since 2005 after holding steady for many years, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The infant mortality rate in 2011 was 6.05 deaths per every 1,000 live births, down from 6.87 in 2005, according to the report from the National Center for Health Statistics. Some of the biggest gains were seen in Southern states, though the region still has the highest infant mortality rates overall.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard
Applications for home loans jumped 9% last week as interest rates declined for all types of mortgages, falling back to 5% for 30-year fixed loans, the industry trade association reported Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Assn.'s weekly survey is showing an increase in applications for both purchase and refinance loans. The typical rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.13% the week before last, the group says. Points paid to lenders (including the origination fee) also fell on 30-year loans, from an average 1.17% of the loan amount to 1.05%.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- An 8% cut in homeowner insurance rates for customers of Mercury General Corp. is back in play, now that a judge has denied a stay request by the Los Angeles insurer. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in March ordered the rate decrease, totaling $16.5 million for 270,000 policyholders. But Mercury lawyers asked for a stay in Sacramento Superior Court. Expensive homes | Southern California sales get outrageous The lower rates are now in force and should show up on coming bills for new policies and renewals.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
The mortgage industry's output of new loans is at the lowest point in 14 years, according to estimates from a trade publication.  Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday that even in the depths of the financial crisis, mortgage lenders were busier than during the first quarter of 2014. One factor is the end of a refinance boom as interest rates have risen well off their record lows. But though the rates are still great by historical measures, mortgages written for home purchases have been weak as well, as sales of new and previously owned homes have slowed.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
"American Idol" rose in the ratings Wednesday according to early numbers from Nielsen, orchestrating a weeknight win for Fox.  The veteran singing contest, Fox's only program for the night, earned a 2.1 average rating among key 18-to-49-year-old viewers, up 11% from a week ago.  The second-place network among young adults, ABC, was the one with the highest-rated show in the key demo: "Modern Family. " The sitcom scored a 3.4 in 18-to-49, up slightly from its most recent episode, while "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" each fell a bit. The new comedy "Mixology" rose 25% to a 1.5.  CBS' "Survivor" was the night's most-watched show, with 9.3 million viewers overall and a 2.2 in 18-to-49, down 4%.  NBC showed only reruns.  ALSO: William Hurt pulls out of 'Midnight Rider' 'Last Comic Standing' editors return to work FX Network brews up sponsorship deal with MillerCoors ryan.faughnder@latimes.com Twitter: @rfaughnder MORE ON LOCATION: People and places behind what's onscreen PHOTOS: Biggest box office flops of 2013 PHOTOS: Celebrity production companies  
BUSINESS
April 24, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
Fixed mortgage rates edged higher this week, with Freddie Mac reporting that lenders were offering 30-year loans to solid borrowers at an average of 4.33%, up from 4.27% a week ago. The average for a 15-year fixed loan rose from 3.33% to 3.39%, the McLean, Va.-based home finance company said Thursday .   Start rates for variable-rate loans were unchanged.   Helped by stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve, the 30-year rate dropped below 3.5% in late 2012, but as recovery set in it rose back above 4.5% by the middle of last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
The Los Angeles Unified School District does not need to release the names of teachers in connection with their performance ratings, according to a tentative court ruling issued Thursday. A three-judge state appellate court panel tentatively found a stronger public interest in keeping the names confidential than publicly releasing them. Disclosure would not serve the public interest in monitoring the district's performance as much as it would affect the recruitment and retention of good instructors and other issues, the ruling said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
The Los Angeles Unified School District does not need to release the names of teachers in connection with their performance ratings, according to a tentative court ruling issued Thursday. A three-judge state appellate court panel tentatively found a stronger public interest in keeping the names confidential than in publicly releasing them. Disclosure would not serve the public interest in monitoring the district's performance as much as it would affect the recruitment and retention of good instructors and other issues, the ruling said.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
NBC's new comedy "About A Boy" rose week-to-week in the ratings, even with a diminished showing from its big lead-in, "The Voice. "  According to early numbers from Nielsen, "About A Boy" earned a rating of 1.9 among key 18-to-49-year-old viewers, up 6% from the last episode, marking the second week in a row that the show has grown. Singing contest "The Voice," Tuesday night's highest-rated show, fell 10% to a 2.7, its lowest ever, not counting specials. "Growing Up Fisher" was flat at a 1.5. NBC was the top network, turning in an average of 1.8 in the 18-49 demographic, where a ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers.  PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV CBS showed only reruns but was still the most-watched network, averaging 9.4 million viewers, versus NBC's 7.3 million.  On ABC, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
NEWS
December 19, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Every year on Dec. 21, Vancouver, Canada explodes with light during the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival . Lantern labyrinths and light-centric processions with drummers are set to take place around the city Wednesday evening. For those who want a front-row seat, check out this holiday special at the Opus Hotel that starts around $125 a night. The deal: Opus Celebrates the Season features low rates at the 96-room boutique hotel in Yaletown, which gets high marks on TripAdvisor . To find the deal, go to the website and click on "special offers" or call.
TRAVEL
July 8, 1990
I suggest you obtain your weekly monetary exchange rates from Bank of America rather than Deak International. Deak's rates appear to be discounted about 5% in its favor, in addition to its usual transaction fee. JOHN P. TAYLOR Mission Viejo
OPINION
April 23, 2014 | By Edward J. Pinto and Stephen D. Oliner
Even though the recent financial crisis is barely in the rearview mirror, risk is starting to build once again in both the U.S. mortgage and housing markets. Contrary to the prevailing view that only borrowers with pristine credit records can get a mortgage these days, many risky loans are still being made. A new index published by the International Center on Housing Risk at the American Enterprise Institute measures this risk month by month, based on about three-quarters of all home-purchase loans extended across the country.
SPORTS
April 22, 2014 | By Helene Elliott
Every San Jose forward recorded at least two points in the team's two playoff victories over the Kings, a testament to the depth the Sharks have developed after years of featuring two strong lines and a bunch of moving parts. While top-six forward Joe Pavelski led the Sharks in scoring in the first two games with one goal and four points, the performances of the third and fourth lines were instrumental in helping San Jose win those first two games before the series shifts to Staples Center for Game 3 Tuesday night.
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