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BUSINESS
January 7, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday cracked down on Sensa Products, an El Segundo company that sells a weight-loss powder that users sprinkle on food to help curb their appetite. The powder, which is marketed as activating the part of the brain that helps control appetite, is said to make users feel fuller faster so they eat less. Federal regulators, however, weren't buying the pitch. Sensa Products now has to return $26.5 million to consumers who bought its product because the company used faulty science in its marketing to mislead consumers, the FTC said.
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OPINION
April 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
No one should have expected that putting more vegetables in front of elementary school students would instantly turn them into an army of broccoli fans. Plenty of food has been thrown out since new federal rules took effect in 2011 requiring students in the subsidized school lunch program to choose a fruit or vegetable each day. Nevertheless, studies find that continued exposure to produce is resulting in more children eating at least some of it. That's worth a certain amount of wasted food.
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BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard, This article has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
Sounding alarm over an especially sinister new wave of cybercrime, regulators are warning bankers that hackers have succeeded in changing the controls on automated teller machines to allow thieves to make nearly unlimited withdrawals. The hackers often schedule the withdrawals for holidays and weekends, when extra dollars are loaded into ATMs and monitoring by the banks drops off, an umbrella group for financial regulators said Wednesday. The U.S. Secret Service is calling the scam Unlimited Operations because it circumvents the usual caps on ATM withdrawals, enabling the criminals at times to extract far more than depositors have in their accounts.
SPORTS
April 5, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
VANCOUVER, Canada - This had the feel of a nicely paced scrimmage between the Kings and the Canucks with not much on the line. Then came the third period and an intense hockey game suddenly erupted on Saturday night at Rogers Arena. Kings defenseman Matt Greene got hit with a puck and his skate was soon bloodied. He left the game, came back to play and watched his team lose it with 1:23 remaining as Brad Richardson, the former King, gave the Canucks a 2-1 win and helped Vancouver avoid official playoff elimination.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2010
Here are some examples of recent lobbyist meetings with federal regulators, as reported on the agency websites: Citigroup: Aug 18 meeting at the Federal Reserve: Four Citi employees "raised concerns" with new derivatives legislation and explained "the importance of retaining their ability to hedge across markets. " Center on Executive Compensation: Aug 19 meeting at the Securities and Exchange Commission: The head of the industry-sponsored center presented material indicating that a new rule forcing companies to release information on executive pay "imposes substantial, costly and counterproductive regulatory burdens on employers at a time when growing the economy and encouraging job growth are top priorities.
BUSINESS
March 8, 2013 | By Shan Li
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to know: How much money do banks have to launder to get charged with a crime? In a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday, Warren asked financial regulators why officials from banks weren't prosecuted even after confessing to extensive money laundering. Specifically, she asked why British bank HSBC -- which was fined $1.92 billion after admitting to moving millions of dollars around for drug cartels, terrorist organizations and regimes such as Iran -- avoided prosecution.
SCIENCE
April 11, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
California needs to strengthen regulation of hydraulic fracturing, according to a UC Berkeley Law School report that identified a number of shortcomings in state oversight of the controversial practice.    Known as fracking, the technique involves the high-pressure injection of chemical-laced fluids into the ground to crack rock formations and extract oil and gas. Although not new to California, the practice has come under increasing scrutiny recently...
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel and Jim Puzzanghera
Three of the nation's top regulatory agencies adopted the final version of a rule aimed at preventing banks from taking risky bets that supporters argued could endanger the financial system. The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Securities and Exchange Commission voted Tuesday to approve the Volcker Rule, the centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul. The goal of the rule is to prevent the nation's largest lending institutions from taking speculative bets with their own money and taxpayer-backed deposits.
BUSINESS
April 27, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
Palm Desert National Bank was seized by regulators Friday and sold to Pacific Premier Bank of Costa Mesa, which promised to be open for business as usual Monday.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said depositors of the one-branch bank would be unaffected because Pacific Premier agreed to take all $123 million in Palm Desert deposits. Pacific Premier President Stephen Gardner said customers of the Palm Desert bank "will continue to conduct business as normal with the employees with whom they have built a solid long-term relationship.
BUSINESS
January 7, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
In two of the biggest civil settlements since the financial crisis, the nation's biggest banks agreed Monday to cough up nearly $19 billion to resolve federal allegations of mortgage misdeeds. Bankers saw the settlements as a major step in providing more certainty for their balance sheets and possibly foreshadowing an end to the era of billion-dollar mea culpas and open-ended regulatory probes. In one case, 10 banks settled with regulators for $8.5 billion. In the second, Bank of America Corp.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard, This article has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
Sounding alarm over an especially sinister new wave of cybercrime, regulators are warning bankers that hackers have succeeded in changing the controls on automated teller machines to allow thieves to make nearly unlimited withdrawals. The hackers often schedule the withdrawals for holidays and weekends, when extra dollars are loaded into ATMs and monitoring by the banks drops off, an umbrella group for financial regulators said Wednesday. The U.S. Secret Service is calling the scam Unlimited Operations because it circumvents the usual caps on ATM withdrawals, enabling the criminals at times to extract far more than depositors have in their accounts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | E. Scott Reckard
Willful and self-assured, Charles H. Keating Jr. strode through a life of outsized public roles -- anti-pornography crusader, luxury hotel developer, political kingmaker -- on his way to becoming one of the nation's most notorious corporate rogues. The harshest spotlight arrived in 1989 when regulators seized his Lincoln Savings & Loan after years of battles. The failure of the Irvine thrift, which had bankrolled Keating's high-rolling investments, cost the government $3.1 billion, then the costliest bank collapse in U.S. history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | Jessica Garrison and Jill Cowan
A metal-finishing facility in Newport Beach poses an "unacceptably high" cancer risk to its neighbors and should curtail its emissions as soon as possible, state air quality officials said Tuesday. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said it would ask its independent hearing board to order Hixson Metal Finishing to reduce its emissions of chromium 6 "on an expedited schedule. " The plant is next to an apartment building in a neighborhood with a mix of homes and businesses near the border with Costa Mesa.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Jerry Hirsch
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators twice declined to investigate faulty ignition switches in General Motors Co. cars that led to 13 deaths - even though one official found "a pattern" of problems, according to a new congressional report. The report, released Sunday, added fresh details to a controversy that has shaken the revitalized automaker. Already under fire for lengthy delays in recalling the vehicles, GM also was accused in the report of allowing the defective part to be installed in millions of vehicles after testing showed it did not meet the company's own specifications.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - In an effort to deliver on President Obama's pledge last summer to tackle emissions that drive climate change, the White House announced a strategy to limit releases of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. The methane strategy, disclosed Friday, is the most recent in a string of climate change initiatives that the White House has unveiled at a rapid pace in recent weeks. It lays the groundwork for regulations that could affect agriculture and the oil, gas and coal industries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler under fire for contaminating nearby homes with lead and threatening the health of more than 100,000 people with its arsenic emissions is in trouble once again for emitting more than the permitted level of lead, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. As a result, the agency will order Exide to curtail its operations by 15%. On March 22 and 23, an air monitor on the northeast side of the Exide Technologies plant, near the Los Angeles River, picked up lead levels that were high enough to cause the outdoor air concentration to exceed 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter based on a 30-day average - a violation of rules designed to protect public health.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2011 | By Ronald D. Orol
Major U.S. banks are about to get penalized for "critical deficiencies" and shortcomings in how they handled foreclosures, a top federal regulator said Thursday at a Senate Banking Committee hearing examining the Dodd-Frank Act six months after its congressional approval. "These deficiencies have resulted in violations of state and local foreclosure laws, regulations or rules," said John Walsh, acting comptroller of the currency. Banking regulators are preparing sanctions and "remedial requirements," he said.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel and Jim Puzzanghera
NEW YORK -- Securities regulators are amping up their interest in Facebook's lackluster initial public offering. Morgan Stanley may have shared an analyst's negative reports with some institutional investors but not others ahead of the social networking firm's high-profile IPO last week, according to news reports. "If true, the allegations are a matter of regulatory concern to FINRA and the SEC," Rick Ketchum, chairman and chief executive officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, said in an emailed statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari unveiled a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for corporate tax breaks, hydraulic fracturing of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business and increased spending on water storage. The 10-point plan, focused on manufacturing, water, energy and the business climate, is the first policy Kashkari has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. The former U.S. Treasury official said his plan would "unleash" the private sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
OPINION
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
There's no clearer sign that state environmental regulators have failed to protect public health than the warning issued this month to parents living in the shadow of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon: Don't let children play in the dirt in your backyard. Tests of 39 homes and one preschool within two miles of the plant revealed that all had levels of lead in the soil that should trigger health evaluations. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause children to develop learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
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