Home Sales Tumble to 9-Year Low

Southern California home sales fell to their lowest level in nine years last month as price appreciation continued to decelerate, data released Tuesday showed, the Los Angeles Times reports. In July, 22,712 homes closed escrow in the six-county region, a 27% drop from a year earlier. Ventura and Orange counties posted the biggest declines, at 36.9% and 36%, respectively. It was the fewest sales in a July since 1997, according to La Jolla-based research firm DataQuick Information Systems.

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Report Says Port Nuclear Attack Would Squeeze Economy Worldwide
A cataclysmic terrorist attack near the Port of Los Angeles would not only kill tens of thousands of people, but have devastating economic impacts across the globe, according to a report released Tuesday by the RAND Corp., the Daily Breeze reports The study by the corporation's Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy imagines what would happen if a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb were detonated at the Port of Long Beach. That port, combined with its Los Angeles neighbor, is the largest port complex in the country.

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Judge OKs 1,100-Home Development in Santa Clarita
In a defeat for slow-growth forces in booming northern Los Angeles County, a judge Tuesday approved a 1,100-home development in Santa Clarita that had been challenged by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, the Los Angeles Times reports. The groups tried to block the project by arguing that there was not enough water to support the homes. But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs concluded that local officials and the developer, Newhall Land and Farming Co., had sufficiently studied the development's impact.

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Strike Threat Looms Over port, LAX
Los Angeles' airports and harbor are bracing for a labor action after the City Council voted Tuesday to impose a contract on an employee union after a long-standing impasse, Copley News Service reports in the Daily Breeze. Leaders of the Engineers and Architects Association said the move assured that members will go on strike, likely beginning Tuesday. EAA chief Bob Aquino said his approximately 8,000 members are prepared for such a confrontation.

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Toyota Rules Road in California
If you've ever wondered as Toyota after Toyota after Honda rolled by on the freeway just how big a lead those automakers had in California, the numbers are in, the Los Angeles times reports. And they're big. In its first published look at new-vehicle registrations in the state, the California Motor Car Dealers Assn. found that in the second quarter, Toyota-brand cars and trucks accounted for 23.4% of all sales, followed by Honda at 12.4%.

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