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October 5, 2012 | By Paul West, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A large drop in the nation's jobless rate gave President Obama an unexpected boost Friday in his increasingly competitive contest with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The decline to 7.8% brought the unemployment rate below 8% for the first time since the first full month of Obama's presidency and cheered the president's partisans. Based on the reactions to past reports, it's unlikely to change voters' overall sense of how the country is doing economically. Still, the announcement did have one big benefit for Obama: shifting attention away from his lackluster performance in the first presidential debate less than 36 hours earlier.
July 19, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It's a small painting as paintings go, quite demure by the salacious standards of its artist, but, oh, the fuss it caused. As detailed in Andrew Shea's fascinating documentary "Portrait of Wally,"Egon Schiele's haunting 1912 painting of his mistress and favorite model Wally Neuzil had a complicated, extremely dramatic history as well as a legal and cultural significance that can't be overestimated. The battle to return this heartfelt painting - half of a de facto artist and model double portrait - to the family of the woman who originally owned it jump-started the current international art restitution movement that reunites misappropriated objects with their original owners.
September 8, 2011 | By Melanie Mason
A nuclear power plant in central Virginia may have experienced twice as much shaking as it was designed to withstand during last month's rare East Coast earthquake, according to federal nuclear regulators, although no major damage has been found. Dominion Virginia Power, operator of the North Anna plant, confirmed that ground motion from the Aug. 23 quake exceeded the plant's design. But the company contended that the shaking was not as severe as federal regulators claimed. The data, as well as new details of the damage revealed at a Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing Thursday, paint the clearest picture yet of how the magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked a nuclear plant only a dozen miles from the epicenter in Mineral, Va. North Anna is the first nuclear power plant in the country to undergo ground motion that exceeded its design.
Third Street is on its way to becoming the latest restaurant row with a slew of openings slated for the next few months. Already open, a second restaurant from Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal in the old Cynthia's space just east of Orlando Avenue. It's called Son of a Gun and like Animal, their meat-centric first restaurant, you're not going to forget the name or wonder how to spell it. Right now it has a stealth presence on the street, the facade painted gray and no sign.
December 28, 2010 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Long before she became an '80s funk-pop infanta , or Rick James' protégé and lover, Teena Marie was a Motown-enamored schoolgirl in one of L.A.'s last historic black enclaves. The singer-songwriter, who died Sunday at her Pasadena home at age 54, grew up in Oakwood, a working-class wedge of Venice sandwiched between the 405 and the tonier beach areas. With an African American population that peaked at 45% in 1970, a substantial Latino presence and a small white minority, Oakwood was a "stable, close-knit community" where different ethnic groups lived side by side and the barriers between private homes and public spaces (parks, churches)
August 15, 2010 | By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times
Haitian President Rene Preval peers off and rubs his beard when he thinks about those 35 seconds when the earth convulsed. Preval was feeding his 8-month-old granddaughter dinner in the courtyard of the presidential mansion. They were thrown to the ground as the house collapsed. Unable to reach anyone on the phone, Preval jumped on the back of a motorcycle taxi and directed the driver toward downtown. Wending through the rubble in the dark, he couldn't comprehend the scope of death and ruin.
May 22, 2010 | By Monte Morin
A 4.8-magnitude earthquake shook Baja Mexico at 10:33 a.m. Saturday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was located 71 miles east of Tijuana and 22 miles south-southwest of Seeley, Calif. The quake was felt as far north as San Diego but there were no reports of damage there, authorities said. The quake was one of a cluster of four seismic events located very close to one another just south of the border, according to the USGS. The first was a magnitude 4.9 quake that occurred at 10:30 a.m.; the second was the 4.8 magnitude quake at 10:33 a.m.; the third was a 1.9 magnitude quake at 10:52 a.m. and the fourth was a 3.6 magnitude quake at 10:59 a.m.
April 3, 2010 | By Kim Murphy
Four workers were killed and three others critically burned Friday when an explosion tore through a Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes, Wash., the latest in a series of troubling refinery accidents that have touched off a nationwide inquiry. "We're very concerned," said Daniel Horowitz, spokesman for the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which is dispatching an investigative team to the scene of the accident 70 miles north of Seattle. "Our agency investigates only the most serious oil and chemical accidents across the country.
February 13, 2010 | By David Pierson and Don Lee
Amid growing fears of a real estate bubble, Chinese officials moved Friday to restrain bank lending and put a lid on incipient inflation, a surprise action that shook financial markets around the world on concern that the leading engine of the global economic recovery could be slowing. China's action will require banks to set aside more reserves with the nation's central bank, instead of lending the money to businesses and consumers. It was the second such step in a little more than a month and is aimed at curbing excessive borrowing, which has stoked government worries that China's economic gains could be undone by an overheated real estate market.
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