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Thanks to the fashion world's enthusiastic embrace of surf/skate culture over the decades, the Vans-style slip-on sneaker -- a simple, unadorned, lace-free upper attached to a rubber sole -- has become an instantly recognizable Southern California silhouette and an uncluttered canvas for self-expression, not only...

Lower-priced gasoline allowed Americans to step up their spending at retailers in April, from cars and clothes to electronics and appliances. The rebound from a weak March suggests that consumers remain resilient in the face of higher taxes and could continue to drive economic growth...