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Top News & Analysis California

  • Feb 19- The chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc has ordered an "urgent investigation" into claims of sexual harassment at the ride-hailing service made by a former employee. Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said on Sunday he instructed his chief human resources officer to investigate the accusations described in a blog post by Susan Fowler, who worked as...

  • Traffic analytics firm Inrix has calculated how much time drivers spend stuck in traffic during peak travel times last year in 1,064 cities in 38 countries worldwide. Source: Inrix Inc., 2016 Global Traffic Scorecard. Does not include cities in Japan or China, where Inrix does not collect its own data.

  • DETROIT— When it comes to getting stuck in traffic on the way to and from work, Los Angeles leads the world. That topped second-place Moscow at 91 hours and third-place New York at 89, according to a traffic scorecard compiled by Inrix, a transportation analytics firm. San Francisco was the fourth-most congested city, while Bogota, Colombia, was fifth, Sao Paulo...

  • DETROIT, Feb 20- Traffic jams cost U.S. drivers an average of $1,200 a year in wasted fuel and time, and much more in Los Angeles, the city with the world's biggest rush hour traffic delays, according to a study by INRIX Inc released on Monday. While Thailand was the world's most congested country in 2016, according to the study, the United States had the worst traffic...

  • WELLINGTON, New Zealand— A New Zealand judge on Monday upheld an earlier court ruling that flamboyant internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges. Dotcom, who lives in New Zealand, has been fighting extradition in a case which has moved with glacial slowness at times. The New Zealand district...

  • LOS ANGELES, Feb 19- "The Lego Batman Movie" is dominating the North American box office with an estimated $44 million this President's Day weekend-- nearly matching the combined haul of "Fifty Shades Darker" and "The Great Wall." New Line's opening of high school comedy "Fist Fight" showed only a modest punch in fifth with around $14 million at 3,185 locations.

  • NEW YORK— "The Great Wall" was a hit in China. The most expensive film ever made in China and with a budget of $150 million, "The Great Wall" was intended to prove that the world's no. 2 movie marketplace could produce Hollywood- sized blockbusters of its own. Though it ran up $171 million in ticket sales in China, "The Great Wall" pulled in $18.1 million in its North American...

  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.— A SpaceX rocket soared from NASA's long-idled moonshot pad Sunday, sending up space station supplies from the exact spot where astronauts embarked on the lunar landings nearly a half-century ago. It was the first flight from NASA's legendary Launch Complex 39 A since the shuttle program ended almost six years ago, and SpaceX's first...

  • *Ford's sales in Russia up 10 pct last year, beating rivals. *U.S. rival General Motors quit Russia in 2015. MOSCOW, Feb 19- Ford has become the first major foreign carmaker in Russia to see sales grow after three bad years, potentially vindicating its decision to double down on a notoriously volatile market when rivals decided to cut and run.

  • Feb 18- An explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Torrance, California, on Saturday forced the partial shutdown of the plant, leading oil traders to expect a spike this week in West Coast gasoline prices. Two years ago, a fire at the same plant led to its closure for several months and a sustained increase in West Coast gasoline prices for more than a year.

  • While the fact that the FBI is investigating had been reported previously by the New York Times and other media, these officials shed new light on both the precise number of inquires and their focus. The FBI's Pittsburgh field office, which runs many cyber security investigations, is trying to identify the people behind breaches of the Democratic National...

  • TORRANCE, Calif.— An explosion and fire erupted Saturday at a California oil refinery, exactly two years after a blast that crippled the plant and led to higher gasoline prices, authorities said. No injuries were reported from the Torrance Refining Co. near Los Angeles, and there were no evacuations or damage to any buildings outside the refinery, Assistant Fire...

  • MILWAUKEE— "Pokemon Go" monsters can roam virtually wherever they please, but they'll need a permit to get into Milwaukee County parks. "We're prepared for all of them now," said County Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman, who wrote the proposal setting up a permitting process that County Executive Chris Abele signed on Feb. 10. The bill pending in the Illinois Legislature...

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— A mortgage services company signed a $225 million settlement with California regulators on Friday to settle allegations it overcharged active-duty military members, was late in providing key information for some civilian borrowers seeking to modify their loans and violated other laws. Florida- based Ocwen Loan Servicing agreed to pay...

  • *Major Wall Street indexes hit fresh record. NEW YORK, Feb 17- Stocks on major world markets slipped on Friday in the wake of back-to-back sessions of record highs, as investors awaited clarity on U.S. Despite the decline, the MSCI All-Country World index was higher for a fourth straight week, its longest winning streak in a nearly a year, after rising to a record high...

  • FREMONT, Calif. _ Ardelyx Inc. on Friday reported a loss of $31.3 million in its fourth quarter. On a per-share basis, the Fremont, California- based company said it had a loss of 66 cents. Ardelyx shares have dropped 8 percent since the beginning of the year.

  • Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 597 rigs sought oil and 153 explored for natural gas this week. Louisiana lost three rigs, New Mexico declined by two and Alaska, North Dakota and Oklahoma each lost one. Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged.

  • DETROIT, Feb 17- General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automakers plans said this week. It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several...

  • *Bank, energy stocks weigh on Wall Street. NEW YORK, Feb 17- Stocks on major world markets retreated on Friday in the wake of consecutive sessions of record highs, as investors awaited clarity on U.S. Wall Street was lower for a second straight day as financial stocks, down 0.3 percent, and the energy sector, off 0.8 percent, weighed on equities.

  • Personetics, which has offices in New York, London and Tel Aviv, creates "chatbots" that can respond to customer questions through popular messaging platforms like Facebook Inc's Messenger. The division was initially allocated $100 million to invest but was given an extra $100 million in July. It has backed more than a dozen companies so far, including automated...