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United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
Back issue only

in this issue

2 min.
comic amy schumer, sen. schumer call for better gun control

Comedian Amy Schumer spoke tearfully of two women who were shot to death during a screening of her movie, “Trainwreck,” and asked lawmakers Monday to support a gun control bill sponsored by her second cousin, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. “I’ve thought about these victims each day since the tragedy,” she said at a news conference at the senator’s office in New York. “People say, `Well, you’re never going to be able to stop crazy people from doing crazy things,’ but they’re wrong. There is a way to stop them,” she said. The legislation would try to improve a flawed background check system by creating monetary incentives for states that submit a robust amount of information to the federal database used to block sales to people with criminal records or a history of serious…

4 min.
tax filing problems could jeopardize health law aid for 1.8m

About 1.8 million households that got financial help for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s law now have issues with their tax returns that could jeopardize their subsidies next year. Administration officials say those taxpayers will have to act quickly. “There’s still time, but people need to take action soon,” said Lori Lodes, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs HealthCare.gov. The health care law provides tax credits to help people afford private insurance. Nationally, that aid averages $272 a month, covering roughly three-fourths of the premium. By funneling the aid through the income tax system, Democrats were able to call the overhaul the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history. But they also spliced together two really complicated areas for consumers: health insurance and…

2 min.
filmmakers respond to criticism of lego ‘brickumentary’

The filmmakers behind a documentary on the toy powerhouse Lego say critics who see the film as a 92-minute commercial for the tiny building blocks are missing the point. “A Lego Brickumentary” opened Friday in limited theatrical release to mixed reviews, with some reviewers complaining the film took an uncritical eye to the toy that captivates children and adults alike. “If there is anyone out there that’s looking for a hardcore controversial film they are looking at this film through the wrong lens,” Kief Davidson, the film’s co-director, said in an interview Friday. His co-director, Daniel Junge, said the film was guided by a genuine affection for the bricks, not any input from the Dutch toymaker. “Lego had no editorial control over the film,” Junge said. “The love that you see in the…

6 min.
“bigger. badder. burdier.” but is this enough for angry birds 2?

On 30 July, Rovio Entertainment launched Angry Birds 2, the first direct sequel to the original Angry Birds - a puzzle game which developed from what initially seemed an amusing, if addictive, distraction into a world-conquering cultural phenomenon, encompassing not only games, but also cartoons, foods and even theme parks. However, since the franchise's peak of popularity in 2012, more and more cracks have been forming. With Angry Birds 2, has Rovio Entertainment just - ahem - hatched the remedy for a franchise in danger of fading into irrelevance? FROM TINY ACORNS... BLOB-SHAPED CARTOON BIRDS GROW All of this started with just one game: a modest-looking puzzler called Angry Birds released as a cheap iOS game, available in an App Store that was then not yet two years old, in December 2009.…

1 min.
u2 welcomes the clintons, springsteen at new york show

For its last of eight shows at Madison Square Garden, U2 welcomed some very famous guests. On Friday night, lead singer Bono gave a shout out to former President Bill Clinton for helping to negotiate peace in the 1990s in the band’s native Ireland. Bono later praised the former president and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is running for president, for their efforts in fighting AIDS. U2 performed for more than two hours, including such favorites as “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Beautiful Day.” For their encore they brought an old friend on stage, Bruce Springsteen, who joined them for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and the Ben E. King hit “Stand By Me.” The New York shows were part of U2’s “Innocence & Experience” tour.…

1 min.
jolie, suu kyi visit myanmar female factory workers

Angelina Jolie has joined Myanmar’s opposition leader and democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, in sitting down with female workers to learn more about their dire conditions. Jolie, who is a special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, is on a four-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation. During her meeting with the factory workers on the outskirts of an industrial zone in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, Jolie and Suu Kyi witnessed first-hand the conditions the women live in, mostly low-cost hostels. Jolie also toured inside the factory. She traveled to Kachin state earlier this week, home to more than 10,000 displaced people since a cease-fire between Myanmar’s government and ethnic rebels has broken down in 2011. According to her trip details, it is unlikely that Jolie will be able to travel…