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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- A new poll released Thursday shows the Legislature's approval rating has taken a hit in the wake of the corruption scandal involving Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). According to the Field Poll, 46% of voters approved of the Legislature's job performance and 40% disapproved in mid-March. But after news broke of the federal corruption and arms trafficking charges against Yee, the Legislature's approval rating dropped to 43% and disapproval ticked up to 46%. In all, voter opinion of the Legislature moved negatively a net nine percentage points after the arrest of Yee, one of three state senators in recent months to be convicted or charged with a crime.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Nineteen-eighties musical nostalgia on Fox couldn't beat CBS.   It was '80s night on "American Idol" as the remaining eight contestants performed classics of the bygone decade and the aging show's ratings changed little from last week, pulling in 8.8 million viewers total. "Idol" registered a 2.0 in the key 18-to 49-year-old demographic, down 5% from last week, though the series' figures tend to increase slightly in the final counts.   RELATED: Gave up on 'American Idol'?
BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
Lenders were offering 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at an average of 4.34% this week compared with 4.41% a week ago, according to the widely watched survey from home finance giant Freddie Mac.  The decline in rates, reflecting a belief that overall inflation remains at bay, was also seen in 15-year fixed loans, which dropped from an average 3.47% to 3.38%. Start rates for adjustable-rate loans also fell, according to Freddie Mac. QUIZ: Test your knowledge of home lending Freddie Mac asks lenders across the nation about the terms they are offering on popular loan types to borrowers considered low risk and with 20% down payments or equivalent home equity in the case of refinance loans.
OPINION
April 10, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
How's this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren't insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level. Federal jobless benefits, which are provided only in times of high unemployment, kick in after people have exhausted their state benefits, which typically last for six months.
BUSINESS
April 9, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - An account of the Federal Reserve's last meeting suggests that policymakers aren't as eager to take away the punch bowl as the market thought. The minutes of the March 18-19 meeting state that Fed officials worried that their individual projections for when the central bank would start raising interest rates "could be misconstrued" as indicating a shift by the Fed committee to tighter monetary policy. The average projections released after the March meeting showed a slight move forward in the anticipated timing of a Fed rate increase, and Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen herself gave the impression in a news conference that day that a rate hike could be made by mid-2015, earlier than what the market had been expecting.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
A "Voice"-driven NBC had a slight edge over drama-powered CBS among key 18-to-49-year-old viewers Tuesday night, according to early numbers from Nielsen.   "The Voice" was the highest-rated show of the night in the advertiser-desired demographic, earning a 2.8 where a ratings point equals about 1.3-million viewers, though it was the singing contest's lowest number yet this season.  The network's new comedies "About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher" were both down a bit week-to-week to a 1.8 and a 1.5, respectively, while "Chicago Fire" continued to hold strong at a 1.9. PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV For the night, NBC scored a 2.1 in 18-to-49, a tenth of a point better than CBS, which had the biggest overall prime-time audience on average (13.2 million)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- Nearly 60% of registered voters approve of Gov. Jerry Brown's job performance, according to a poll released Wednesday. The Field Poll found that Brown has a 59% approval rating among registered voters -- the highest marks the poll has found for the governor in this current term. Of those surveyed, 32% disapproved of the governor, while 9% of respondents had no opinion. The poll provides good news for Brown's reelection bid: 57% of voters said they would support the governor if the June primary election were held now. Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks came in second with 17%. Among other Republican contenders, Laguna Hills Mayor Andrew Blount and former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari received the support of 3% and 2%, respectively, of the voters.  Overall, 20% of voters are undecided in the June primary; that is even more pronounced among Republicans, 38% of whom have no opinion on the four main candidates.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. That approach just worked for Cameron Diaz, who represented her upcoming movie "The Other Woman" and successfully appealed the MPAA's Classification and Rating Appeals Board to overturn its initial R rating. The film is now rated PG-13 for "mature thematic material, sexual references and language," CARA announced Wednesday. Emma Watts, president of production at 20th Century Fox, represented the film with Diaz in the appeal process.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
CBS dunked over its rival networks in the ratings Monday night with the NCAA men's basketball championship. Early numbers for live sports are not adjusted for time zones and can be unreliable, but it appears the face-off between Kentucky and Connecticut was a predictably big draw for CBS, bringing in an average of 17.8-million viewers. Though that's down 14% from the preliminary numbers for last year's NCAA men's basketball final, it was comfortably the night's most-watched telecast.  Up against college sports, NBC's "The Voice" held steady week-to-week among key 18-to-49-year-olds, scoring a rating of 3.4 in the advertiser-coveted demographic.
OPINION
April 8, 2014
Re "Yelp's tactics feel 'nefarious,' even if they're legal," Column, April 4 David Lazarus seems to have a point about ads on Yelp.com, but my question is why would anybody rely on reviews posted on the site anyway? Reviews signed by random "critics" like Johnny B. from San Clemente and Sandy Z. from Agoura Hills have about as much merit as a note on the boys' locker room wall that says, "For a good time, call Peggy Sue B. " You want to know if a restaurant is good? Ask some friends who have been there.
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