The tax code is full of complicated loopholes and deductions that require professional translation. So I called a bunch of accountants and tax lawyers and asked them: What are your favorite, most confusingly named deductions — and what do they actually mean?
Intangible Drilling Costs
"The government will pay you to dig a hole in the ground," says Howard Rosen, a CPA in St. Louis. "You can write it all off immediately."
Reducing illegal immigration — a key requirement for any immigration overhaul — is largely up to the U.S. Border Patrol. That agency has doubled in size over the past decade. It's now the largest law enforcement agency in the country.
Critics say the agency has become overly zealous in its mission and faces little accountability. In the past three years, agents have killed nearly 20 people along the Southwest border — and few of those cases have been resolved.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. A stunning revelation today from a member of Congress. It came from Republican Doug Lamborn, of Colorado, during an exchange on Capitol Hill with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lamborn cited a Defense Intelligence Agency report on North Korea's military capability, one that had not yet been released. Here's what Rep. Lamborn said.
The televised public forum featured a panel of experts and leaders. (l-r) Dr. Preston Wiles, Medical Director of the UT Southwestern/Children's Medical Autism Center; Texas State Rep. Garnet Coleman; Lee Cullum, KERA host and panel moderator; Vanita Halliburton, President and CEO of the Grant Halliburton Foundation; and Matt Roberts, President of Mental Health America of Dallas.
Credit Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News
Audience members wait in the Dallas City Performance Hall for the public forum, "<a href="http://www.kera.org/erasingthestigma/">Erasing the Stigma: Mental Illness and the Search for Solutions</a>," to begin.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:59 pm
During and after national tragedies like the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., journalists in newsrooms across the country search for new ways to cover national issues at a local level. Prompted by a challenge from the Dallas mayor, NPR Member Station KERA found a new area of the debate untouched by the majority of the media in their area.
Passersby watch share prices spike in Tokyo on April 4, the day Japan's central bank announced a massive purchase of government bonds. The bank hopes the scale of the effort will boost Japan's slow-moving economy.
Currency traders were stunned last week by aggressive action from Japan's central bank. The Bank of Japan embarked on a bond-buying program that, by one measure, is twice the size of the extraordinary moves by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve in the United States. The BOJ's move is an effort to shock the Japanese economy out of more than a decade of sluggish growth and deflation.
"A man of genius makes no mistakes," James Joyce wrote in Ulysses. "His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." Looks like Ireland's Central Bank has taken that message to heart.
The bank announced Wednesday the launch of a limited-edition coin to honor the Irish writer. The coin features a portrait of Joyce and a quotation from Ulysses, arguably his most famous novel. Trouble is Joyce was misquoted.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:13 am
The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.
NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:40 pm
A Democrat on the committee of the Jefferson County (Kentucky) Democratic Party says a liberal SuperPAC was responsible for surreptitiously recording a strategy session between Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides.
As Mark reported on Tuesday, a McConnell aide is heard saying that actress Ashley Judd, who mulled a run against McConnell, was "emotionally unbalanced."
For all his success as a stand-up comic, as one half of the brilliant HBO sketch comedy Mr. Show With Bob & David and as the hapless Tobias on Arrested Development, David Cross has struggled to find his footing in the movies, remaining relegated mainly to forgettable character roles. (The controversy within the comedy world over his mercenary appearances in the Chipmunks movies has overshadowed the rest of his long cinematic resume.)
Jane (Rachel McAdams) rekindles an old affair with the taciturn Neil (Ben Affleck), an environmental investigator whose work takes him to a remote Oklahoma town in the enigmatic new film <em>To the Wonder</em>.
Credit Mary Cybulski / Magnolia Pictures
Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a mysterious French-Ukrainian woman, functions as a kind of embodiment of feminine grace in Terrence Malick's film.
Pretty but inert, To the Wonder is a vaporous mystery wrapped in a gauzy enigma — a cinematic riddle that'll appeal principally to those eager for another piece, however tiny, of the puzzle that is Terrence Malick.
To the Wonder continues in the lyrical-to-a-fault mode of the writer-director's The Tree of Life; in fact, this film includes some footage originally shot for that one. But it excludes Rachel Weisz, Amanda Peet, Barry Pepper, Jessica Chastain and Michael Sheen, who all reportedly played roles that vanished from the final cut.
Responding to the death of Margaret Thatcher earlier this week, film director Ken Loach told The Guardian: "Mass unemployment, factory closures, communities destroyed — this is her legacy. She was a fighter, and her enemy was the British working class."
Have mercy on any famous filmmaker's son who hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. The comparisons will be inevitable.
How can fils possibly live up to pere? Maybe it's not such a problem if dad is, say, churn-'em-out schlockmeister Uwe Boll. But do you really want to smear the name of Pops Cronenberg by turning out a pile of junk?
Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) acknowledges the crowd in <em>42</em>.
Credit Warner Bros
A heavily made-up Harrison Ford plays Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey in <em>42</em>. The real-life Rickey helped convince a wary Robinson that the time was right for a racially integrated major league.
This Monday, every player in Major League Baseball will wear the same number on his jersey: 42, which was Jackie Robinson's number when, in 1947, he became the first black player in the majors, playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Today, baseball celebrates April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day. But 66 years ago, not everyone saw his hiring as cause for celebration — and the earnestly grandiose biopic 42 means to illuminate that history-making moment, in which racial vitriol met its match in a ballplayer who let his talent do the talking.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
More than three million cars and trucks worldwide are being recalled. Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Nissan, and Pontiac all say some of their vehicles made between 2001 and 2003 could potentially have faulty airbags.
Audie Cornish talks to Steve Inskeep of Morning Edition from Venezuela about the country's presidential election. Thursday is the last day for the candidates to campaign. Venezuelans will choose a new president, replacing the late Hugo Chavez, on Sunday.
Animal-rights activists are hoping for change in Pennsylvania, where they're fighting to end a tradition: live pigeon shoots. At the events, shooters compete to hit birds that are launched into the air.
Elissa Katz remembers feeling helpless at the site of a pigeon shoot, with feathers flying through the air and wounded birds falling to the ground. "They flutter up in the air as they are sprung from boxes. Shooters have shotguns, they are at fairly close range, and they blast away at the birds," she says.