July 11 - 17

Universal Update: Vivendi Universal SA rejected an $11.5 billion offer from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. because it was too low, several news services reported. Los Angeles-based MGM, which is controlled by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, had raised its offer by $300 million. The decision doesn't preclude Los Angeles-based MGM from making a higher offer. MGM is bidding against Liberty Media Corp., a group led by Seagram Co. Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr., Viacom Inc. and General Electric Co.'s NBC unit.

Napster Backlash: Traffic fell among Internet file-sharing programs such as Sharman Networks Ltd.'s Kazaa, after the recording industry threatened to sue people who make music available for others to copy. The visitors to Sydney-based Kazaa's site fell 15 percent to 5.6 million from June 29 to July 6, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Visitors using StreamCast Networks Inc.'s Morpheus application also fell 15 percent to 231,000. IMesh declined 16 percent to 214,000. Nielsen tracks home Internet use of about 50,000 people.

More Probes: Tenet Healthcare Corp., under investigation by at least three government agencies, expects its Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego to be indicted in a probe into possible violations of anti-kickback laws. The U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles, which issued new subpoenas to the Santa Barbara-based company, is scrutinizing recruitment at all Tenet hospitals, including agreements to pay some relocation costs for doctors, the company said in a statement.

Earnings Reports: City National Corp., parent of City National Bank, reported second-quarter net income of $46.1 million, compared with $45.8 million for the like period a year ago. Hughes Electronics Corp. reported second-quarter net income of $21.6 million, compared with a net loss of $177.9 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the El Segundo-based parent of DirecTV rose 8.1 percent, to $2.37 billion.

Overture Sale: Yahoo Inc. agreed to acquire Pasadena-based Overture Services Inc. for $1.6 billion in stock and cash. The deal with Overture, an Internet search firm that had been competing with Google Inc., was the latest in a series of acquisitions that Yahoo has made. The deal had been rumored for weeks.

Emmy Picks: The HBO series "Six Feet Under" received 16 Emmy Award nominations, more than any other television show, while NBC's "The West Wing" received 15 nominations. HBO received the most nominations, with 109, followed by NBC with 77, CBS 59, Fox 37 and ABC 33. The 55th annual awards ceremony will be broadcast from the Shrine Auditorium on Sept. 21.

Strike Out: Baseball's All-Star Game on Fox had record-low ratings as viewers apparently weren't swayed by a one-run contest and home-field advantage in the World Series being at stake. The 7-6 American League victory at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago drew a national rating of 9.5 percent of the 106.7 million American homes with televisions. That matched last year's record-low rating, also on Fox.

Power Decision: Enron Corp. violated federal rules concerning electricity trading during California's energy crisis and should repay $32.5 million, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge ruled. The state of California has alleged that Enron earned about $3 billion on wholesale power trading between 1997 and 2001. An Enron spokesman said the company was studying the ruling.

July 21 - 27

Big Mixer: More than 30 business organizations, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting what's being billed as "L.A.'s Largest Mixer" on Thursday (24th) at the Los Angeles Center Studios. For information: 323-860-9999.

Sports Beat: The Dodgers are home for a four-game series (21st-24th) against the Colorado Rockies. The Sparks are home on Tuesday (22nd) against Washington and Thursday (24th) against Phoenix.

More Economics: This week's lineup includes June's Leading Indicators on Monday (21st) and on Friday (25th), June numbers for durable goods orders, and new and existing home sales. Also expect a slew of earnings results.

LACMA Opening?: Post-impressionist pieces represented by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin are scheduled to be among the highlights of an exhibit of French masterworks from Moscow's State Pushkin Museum opening Sunday (27th) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. However, the heir of a Russian art collector filed suit last week against the museum in U.S. District Court demanding a part of the revenue to be received from the collection. The heir, Andre Marc Delocque-Fourcaud, claims the exhibit includes paintings that were appropriated by the Bolsheviks from his grandfather in 1918. All of which suggests there might be a delay until the matter is resolved. For information: 323-857-6522.

Rail Start: Builder-designer Kiewit/Washington will hand over the keys to the MTA's Metro Gold Line Construction Authority during a special event Monday (21st) at 1:30 p.m. at the Chinatown Station. The 13.7-mile project, which was completed on time and on budget, is scheduled to open to the public Saturday and Sunday (26th and 27th) with two free days of ridership.

Book Talk: Former LA Weekly writer Donnell Alexander reads from his memoir "Ghetto Celebrity" at Book Soup on Monday (21st) at 7 p.m. Alexander follows his rise as a Los Angeles journalist, as well his search for his father. For information: 310-659-3110.

Jazz Festival: The Central Avenue Jazz Festival (between 42nd and 43rd Streets across from the historic Dunbar Hotel) on Saturday and Sunday (26th-27th) features local jazz and blues in tribute to "the Avenue," as Central Avenue was known during its renaissance years from the 1920s through the 1950s. The event also features ethnic cuisine, arts and crafts and educational booths. For information: 213-485-2437.

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