In some respects, it’s not a good idea to draw conclusions from the record-setting performance of “Harry Potter” this weekend, which took $169 million at the North American box office and $476 million globally. “ ‘Harry Potter’ is a franchise that does not come along often,” says Paul Dergarabedian, Hollywood.com box office analyst. “It took more than a decade to develop, and it reaches across wide segments of the moviegoing public.” Still, a few important trends are emerging from the eye-popping weekend. Here are three:
Carmageddon that wasn't: Los Angeles rose to the occasion and avoided apocalyptic traffic jams. What led to the weekend of highway harmony, and will it happen again in 11 months?
House Republicans will vote on a plan Tuesday that would link raising the debt ceiling to passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. It has virtually no chance of passing the Senate and President Obama has said he would veto it.
The sweeping financial reform legislation passed by Congress a year ago created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Obama nominated its first director Sunday, but Republicans are against the structure of the entire agency.
Michele Bachmann is on the GOP presidential campaign trail in South Carolina Monday. Michele Bachmann's campaign says she will sign the 'cut, cap, and balance' pledge.
A Perry candidacy for the 2012 GOP nomination could be devastating for conservative rival Michele Bachmann. Rick Perry would also be a bigger threat than Bachmann to moderate Mitt Romney.
A 'heat dome' has settled over 17 states in the central US, where it is likely to stay for several days. Temperatures will feel hotter than 110 degrees F. in some places.
Abby Wambach became the US women's soccer scoring leader during the just-completed World Cup. Despite the championship loss to Japan, Abby Wambach and her teammates remain optimistic about future matches.
Obama put Social Security on the table as part of his bid to resolve the national debt crisis. He hasn't specified what the changes might entail, and Democrats in Congress oppose any cut in benefits. But the talks signify that politicians know reforms must come, eventually, to keep Social Security solvent.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, is 'optimistic' about the economy and sees unemployment trending down toward 8 percent by the end of 2012 as cyclical forces such as higher oil and food prices, as well as effects from the Japanese earthquake, begin to ease.
Japan beat the US in penalty kicks after the Women's World Cup final ended 2-2. The US dominated much of the game, but Japan's resiliency led it to the historic victory.
Carmageddon – warnings about traffic mayhem when Los Angeles had to close I-405 for a weekend – turns out to have been not such a big deal. Most Angelenos just stayed home.
The political dance over the US debt ceiling crisis continued Sunday with the possibility that top lawmakers could be summoned to the White House, although no meeting had been scheduled.
For the US, the Women's World Cup final Sunday could be similar to the last two matches. Like Brazil and France, Japan could put the US on the back foot. But the US has Abby Wambach.
Will Casey Anthony's notoriety over the death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, bring some measure of wealth and security, or will it, instead, condemn her to a different kind of prison?
The Sarah Palin documentary 'The Undefeated' was never going to beat 'Harry Potter' at the box office. But at one theater in conservative Orange County, Calif., only the reviewer showed up.
Allegations that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed US arms to flow to Mexican cartels are now facing congressional scrutiny, including questions about whether that may have contributed to the deaths of a US law enforcement officer and numerous Mexicans.
In London Saturday, Rupert Murdoch issued full-page apologies for the phone-hacking scandal that has hit his media empire. Critics say his free-wheeling and politically conservative approach may have affected US journalism as well.
“Carmageddon” is upon us! The 53-hour shutdown of a 10-mile segment of the 405 freeway, Los Angeles’s busiest traffic corridor, began at 7 p.m., Friday evening. For months, bulb-lit billboards have warned the city of severe traffic delays, while newspapers and TV stations ask whether apocalyptic congestion will keep 500,000 travelers from getting where they need to go for nearly three days. How are Los Angelenos coping? Here are five ways: