Brian Watt Business and Economics Reporter

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Brian Watt is a Business and Economics Reporter for KPCC. He joined the KPCC news team in 2007. Prior to that, he worked as a producer at "Marketplace," where he filed a number of his own stories and even filled in some mornings as host.

Brian holds degrees in Theater from Yale University and the Sorbonne, and has worked as an actor in France, Italy, Brazil, Hungary and Hollywood. He appeared in a few television shows, including "The West Wing," "Judging Amy," and "The District."

Stories by Brian Watt

California's jobless rate edges up slightly in August

New data from the state out today show the unemployment rate in California climbed a hair last month. It was 12.3 percent in July and 12.4 percent in August.

NASA shows off next Mars rover

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena satisfied some folks’ curiosity on Thursday by showing off the next rover it plans to send to the planet Mars. It’s called the Mars Science Laboratory, or “Curiosity,” and it’s about the size of a Mini Cooper, with six wheels instead of four.

Judge rules LAX can ban cash solicitations

A federal appeals court has given Los Angeles International Airport clearance to stop solicitors from asking travelers for cash.

Slow growth and high unemployment for California as US economy recovers

Forecasters at UCLA’s Anderson School see slow, sluggish growth and high unemployment as the U.S. economy recovers from a recession.

Liability cap has Metrolink, crash survivors at odds

Attorneys for Metrolink and transportation contractor Connex appeared before a federal judge today in Los Angeles with victims of the 2008 Chatsworth commuter rail crash. The judge and attorneys began scheduling the legal proceedings necessary for a payout to the victims and their families.

Federal judge, attorneys set schedule for settlement in Chatsworth Metrolink crash

A federal judge has ordered Metrolink commuter rail and Connex Railroad to deposit with the court $200 million that would compensate victims of a crash in Chatsworth two years ago. Judge George Wu didn’t approve the amount of compensation, but he did set a schedule for the necessary legal proceedings.

Two years after Chatsworth crash, Metrolink tries to look forward

Sunday marks two years since a Metrolink commuter train collided with a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth. The crash killed 25 people and injured 135. The deadliest crash in the 18 years since Metrolink trains have been running has led to a lot of changes at the commuter rail service. One of them is new Chief Executive Officer John Fenton.

HempCon attendees split on Proposition 19

HempCon got underway today at the downtown Los Angeles Convention Center. The medical marijuana expo features more than a hundred vendors of hemp products, fancy pipes and bongs, and in home pot-cultivation systems.

Salvation Army helps students pay for back-to-school clothing

On 16-year-old Khalfani Jones' back-to-school clothes list - cargo shorts, sweaters, socks and underwear. Jones, who has lived in the Westwood Transitional Village since February, is going back to school in style, thanks to the Salvation Army's back-to-school clothes program. Jones was one of 12,000 homeless kids nationwide who got an $80 gift card for clothes at Target under the program.

LA sheriff downplays cash cut, response time link

Response times to 911 emergency calls have lengthened for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Lee Baca is monitoring the effects of recent budget cuts at the department.

ABM Industries settles sexual harassment suit with female janitorial workers

Maintenance contractor ABM Industries has agreed to pay a settlement of close to $6 million to 21 Latina janitorial workers in California. The workers had filed a class action lawsuit against the company for what they described as egregious sexual harassment.

Suspect in West Hollywood triple homicide confesses to murder

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives say Harold Yong Park has confessed to fatally shooting three men in West Hollywood last Thursday night after a drug deal gone bad.

Calif. lawmaker questions liability cap on Metrolink train crash

A group of victims and relatives of victims from Metrolink’s Chatsworth crash two years ago met privately today in Simi Valley with Congressman Elton Gallegly to discuss the proposed $200 million settlement from Metrolink and Connex.

Rave promoter Insomniac sues Los Angeles over Tiesto concert cancelation

Insomniac, Inc. – the promoter for raves and other music shows - is suing the city of Los Angeles for cancelling an October concert at the L.A. Convention Center. Insomniac staged the Electric Daisy Carnival rave event at the Coliseum in June where a 15-year-old girl died of a suspected drug overdose.

Residents pushing for overnight parking restrictions in Venice

People who live in Venice have long complained about the recreational vehicles, campers and other big vehicles often parked in front of their homes. Now, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl is offering an opportunity for some relief.