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Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Morning Headlines

L.A. Mayor in Pursuit of Federal Aid for City

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa started a two-day visit to the nation’s capital Wednesday, lobbying lawmakers on homeland security and transportation issues. As Congress takes up spending bills and other legislation on those issues, Villaraigosa said he was focused on efforts to relieve congestion on the San Diego (405) Freeway and to tie the distribution of money for homeland security to a region’s risk factors, Copley News Service reported. Villaraigosa met with Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., the top Democrat on the House Transportation Committee, to discuss the region’s transportation priorities as Congress attempts to pass a major highway funding bill.

One-Day Strike by UC Nurses Averted

A Superior Court judge in Sacramento barred 9,000 registered nurses at the University of California from holding a one-day strike today at UC hospitals and student health centers, heightening tensions between the nurses union and the Schwarzenegger administration, the Los Angeles Times reported. The California Nurses Assn. called the strike this month because its negotiators were unable to reach agreement on a new contract with the UC system. But the state Public Employment Relations Board convinced Judge Loren E. McMaster on Wednesday that the strike would probably be illegal because negotiations had not reached an impasse.

Gemstar-TV Guide May Cut Circulation Guarantee

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. may cut the circulation guarantees it gives advertisers by at least a third, The Wall Street Journal reported. TV Guide guarantees advertisers a circulation of 9 million, the paper said. The reduced guarantee follows a decline in TV Guide’s circulation over recent years as consumers turn to electronic and newspaper listings. “We are considering a number of different concepts and options for the magazine,” Christine Levesque, a spokeswoman for Gemstar-TV Guide, told the Journal.

New Scanners Add Security to Port of Los Angeles, Region

Touting another layer of security in the fight against terrorism, the country’s top border enforcement official Wednesday unveiled scanning devices at the Port of Los Angeles that can detect minuscule amounts of radiation emanating from cargo containers, the Daily Breeze reported. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner said the machines will keep people from smuggling materials into the country that can be used in nuclear bombs. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced plans to install the monitors during a visit to the port complex last month.

Audit: Still Room for Improvement by Airport Staff

L.A.’s airports have made progress in revamping contracting procedures after a review two years ago, but there’s room for improvement, the auditor told a city panel Wednesday. City Controller Laura Chick’s 2003 audit of Los Angeles World Airports accused the department’s contracting system of being fraught with opportunities for abuse and conflicts of interest. The consultant hired by Chick told the city’s Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee that a follow-up review conducted this summer found that the airports department added more objectivity and competition to its process for selecting contracts. However, the department still ought to develop a contracting policy that lays out the responsibilities of staff members.

American Funds Takes a Big Shine to Google

When Google Inc. reports quarterly earnings today, it will probably have the attention of a mutual fund firm that usually looks askance at such stocks: L.A.-based American Funds. The funds’ parent, Capital Group Cos., has become the third-largest institutional shareholder of Google, with nearly 8 percent of the stock as of March 31, according to filings with the SEC, the Los Angeles Times reported. Google’s stock has become the No. 1 holding in Growth Fund of America, the biggest fund in the American Funds family and also the nation’s largest equity fund, with $105 billion in assets.


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