Top News & Analysis California

  • KINGSTON, Ontario-- Former Broadway theater mogul Garth Drabinsky has been granted day parole and will be released to a Toronto halfway house to serve the remainder of his sentence for fraud following an emotional hearing on Wednesday where he denied guilt and said he never should have been CEO.

  • LEESBURG, Va.-- In many ways, it's an odd topic to make a central campaign issue: sequestration. Many voters greet the word with a blank stare or slightly glazed eyes, and when Republican George Allen brings up the issue in his Senate campaign, he first has to explain what he's talking about.

  • CHICAGO-- People who collapse from cardiac arrest in poor black neighborhoods are half as likely to get CPR from family members at home or bystanders on the street as those in better-off white neighborhoods, according to a study that found the reasons go beyond race. The findings suggest a big need for more knowledge and training, the researchers said.

  • NEW YORK-- Prescription drug distributor McKesson Corp. is expanding its medical supplies business by buying PSS World Medical Inc. for about $1.46 billion. McKesson said Thursday it will pay $29 per share for PSS World, a 34.3 percent premium over Wednesday's closing price.

  • LOS ANGELES-- Britney Spears' ex-manager described from the witness stand Wednesday a scene of domestic warfare, saying the superstar's father chased him around a kitchen, punched him and threatened his life. Sam Lutfi, who is suing Spears' parents for defamation, testified while they watched from across the courtroom.

  • WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits likely stabilized last week after seasonal factors distorted the previous two weeks. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday. The Labor Department cautioned that the two weeks were affected by technical factors.

  • *Pension fund says San Bernardino has no plan. Oct 24- America's biggest public pension system filed a formal objection on Wednesday to a quest by San Bernardino to seek bankruptcy protection, citing the ``disarray'' in the Californian city's finances. San Bernardino, a city of 210,000 people 60 miles east of Los Angeles, declared bankruptcy on Aug. 1.

  • LAS VEGAS-- The Las Vegas area is getting further away from its dubious title as foreclosure capital of the country. Realtytrac reports one in every 139 housing units in Las Vegas saw some sort of foreclosure filing in the third quarter.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Amid the fanfare accompanying the noisy launch of the iPad mini this week, Apple Inc also took the wraps off new Mac computers.

  • SINGAPORE-- Singapore Airlines has ordered 25 Airbus planes worth $7.5 billion including five superjumbo A380s. It also said it will cease nonstop flights to Los Angeles and New York. That will end of nonstop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and Newark.

  • Equity Residential, whose chairman is Sam Zell, and AvalonBay Communities Inc on Wednesday both reported an increase in rents, but they were the smallest increases in at least three quarters.

  • Oct 24- St. Jude Medical Inc said it received a Form 483 n otice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about its Sylmar, California, manufacturing plant, where it makes cardiac rhythm management products. A Form 483 from the FDA is a notice that lists its concerns after conducting a quality inspection.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Zynga Inc raised the lower end of its 2012 earnings outlook after quarterly revenue beat Wall Street's rock-bottom expectations, driving its shares 13 percent higher.

  • SEATTLE, Oct 24- Firm sales numbers for Microsoft Corp's Windows 8 and its new Surface tablet will not be available for three months, but it may be clear long before then if it has a hit on its hands.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 24- Biofuels made from algae, promoted by President Barack Obama as a possible way to help wean Americans off foreign oil, cannot be made now on a large scale without using unsustainable amounts of energy, water and fertilizer, the U.S. National Research Council reported on Wednesday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 24- South Korea's Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of smartphones, infringed Apple patents to make its smartphones and tablets, a U.S. trade panel judge said in a preliminary decision issued on W edn esday. The full International Trade Commission will decide in February whether to uphold or reject the judge's decision.

  • Oct 24- Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz chided U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for not seriously addressing the troubled U.S. housing market during the recent series of presidential debates.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Zynga Inc raised the lower end of its 2012 earnings outlook after quarterly revenue beat Wall Street's rock-bottom expectations, driving its shares 12 percent higher. The news proved a rare bright spot for Zynga, which is trying to stave off user losses that prompted it to slash its 2012 outlook twice in recent months.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 24- Barnes& Noble Inc said on Wednesday that customers who shopped at 63 of its stores as recently as last month may have had their credit or debit card information stolen in what the U.S. bookstore chain called a ``sophisticated criminal effort.''.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24- Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer says he will focus on pushing California toward an alternative energy future when he steps down from the company he founded, Farallon Capital.