National / International News

Dancer's death sparks Rio clashes

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:40
Weeks before the World Cup, deadly clashes break out in the Brazilian city of Rio after the body of a young man is found, allegedly beaten by police.

Dirty Money: A Microbial Jungle Thrives In Your Wallet

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:40

A look at the critters that live on money finds about 3,000 types of bacteria. Most are harmless. But researchers found traces of DNA from anthrax and drug-resistant pathogens, too.

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In Illinois, A Town That's Half-Destroyed But Filled With Hope

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:38

Washington, Ill., lost half of its assessed property value to a tornado in November, but residents who lost everything are eager to reclaim their hometown.

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Stowaway Teen May Have Been Trying To Reunite With His Mom

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:35

News reports indicate the 15-year-old was hoping to eventually get to Somalia, where his mother lives. He crawled into the wheel well of a jet that flew from California to Hawaii.

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NYPD Twitter campaign 'backfires'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:28
Twitter users bombard the New York Police department with images depicting police aggression in the latest social media campaign to go awry.

Bail-out for troubled Hull theatre

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:27
The Hull Truck theatre receives £400,000 in emergency grants from Arts Council England and Hull City Council to help it out of financial crisis.

Madeleine police probe 18 break-ins

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:11
UK police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are looking at 18 potentially linked cases involving a lone intruder breaking into holiday villas in the Algarve, Portugal.

Barcelona transfer ban put on hold

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:00
Barcelona will be able to buy and sell players this summer after Fifa suspended its transfer ban on the club.

Hospice boss cleared of misconduct

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:56
The director of care at a children's hospice is cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.

Snowden installed as uni rector

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:54
Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden is installed as rector at Glasgow University despite not being allowed into the UK.

Scholes returns to help coach Man Utd

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:54
Paul Scholes will assist former team-mate Ryan Giggs at Manchester United following the sacking of David Moyes.

No UN action on Iran envoy visa ban

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:54
A UN committee takes no action against the US refusal to grant a visa to Iran's newly appointed permanent representative in New York.

Complaints mount over Jamaica Inn

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:51
The number of viewer complaints over the audibility of BBC One drama Jamaica Inn escalates, with the second episode seeing a decline in ratings following Monday's debut instalment.

'Object Of Interest' Found In Search For Malaysian Jet

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:50

Investigators are studying a piece of metal discovered on a beach in western Australia to see if it might be debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

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AUDIO: Norgay son calls for Sherpa equality

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:40
The son of Tenzing Norgay, who scaled Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary, says climbers should treat Sherpas more equally.

Bieber upsets with war shrine image

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:35
Justin Bieber has caused social media upset after posting a picture of a Japanese war shrine on Instagram.

Why the lights have dimmed on LA's film industry

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:31

Hollywood is no longer the go-to place for shooting feature films and TV shows.

Just eight percent of big budget Hollywood films were made in LA in 2013, down from 65 percent in 1997. And from 2005 to 2013, California's share of one-hour TV series dropped from 64 percent to 28 percent. 

Why the big exodus? States like Georgia, New York and Louisiana -- and countries like the UK and Canada -- are offering attractive tax subsidies to lure filmmakers.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a "state of emergency" in the local film and TV production industry.

The Association of Film Commissioners International held their convention in March at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Century City. It’s been called “The Poacher’s Convention.” Dozens of booths lined a big hotel banquet hall. Each one promoted the natural beauty of their state or country -- and their generous tax incentives.

(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

A sign atThe Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Tradeshow in West Hollywood, California. 

“The show is called ‘Locations Trade Show’ but it’s really not about locations anymore, it’s about incentives, and North Carolina is a 25 percent fully-funded rebate,” said Aaron Syrett, the North Carolina Film Commissioner.

The movies “Iron Man 3” and “The Hunger Games” and the TV shows “Homeland” and “Sleepy Hollow” were all shot in North Carolina. The state spends $80 million a year on those rebates.

But, Syrett said, his state isn’t really competing with California. “We’re competing with Georgia and Louisiana,” he said.

States like Utah also offers filmmakers a 25 percent discount. To drive the point home, the wallpaper in Utah’s booth was just the number “25%” repeated in a huge font.

“The business is here in Hollywood. We want to keep it here. Everyone here wants to take it away,” said Art Yoon with Film LA, the group that issues permits to shoot in Los Angeles. “I mean, we have a $100 million tax credit, that’s not nearly enough. We’re going to have to up that if we want to be serious about keeping the industry here.”

California, by all accounts, hasn’t kept up. The state has a lot else going for it: local talent, sunny weather, and a support system, like caterers and electricians.

But documentary filmmaker Deborah Rankin said it ultimately comes down to dollars and cents: “Especially as an independent filmmaker, it’s really, it’s hard. It’s hard raising the money, and you’ve gotta make it go as far as it can,” Rankin said.

Filmmaker Dan Gagliasso is working on a Bosnia-Kosovo war film, and plans to shoot it in Minnesota, largely because of generous tax credits – especially if you shoot in the northern part of the state. And, he said, the red tape in Los Angeles makes shooting there more difficult.

“You know, if you say the wrong word, suddenly you have to have a study because you’re crossing a stream with a horse. It’s like, ‘Well gee, it’s a private horse ranch, that horse crosses that stream every day!’ They don’t care. It’s bureaucracy,” Gagliasso said.

Hollywood filmmakers are hoping California lawmakers will pass a bill that would extend the state's current $100 million a year film production tax credit. The bill would also expand the range of films eligible to apply for tax credits, and would open the credits to television pilot production. Its main opponents are education groups who are lobbying for more school funding rather than increasing production incentives.

Primark to open its first US stores

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:26
Clothing retailer Primark is to open its first US stores, beginning with a 70,000 sq-ft shop in Boston.

Violent crime 'continues to fall'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:23
Violent crime is continuing a long-term fall in England and Wales, according to annual figures from NHS hospitals.

Danger of London's 'hidden homes'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:21
Thousands of people in London are living in hidden homes

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