El Paso filmmakers explain why Texas is not Hollywood

El Paso — Lights, cameras, but not much action in this nascent filmmaking community far from Los Angeles, the epicenter of global entertainment. There is no filmmaking infrastructure in this high desert community to entice venture capitalists and support movie producers, directors, actors and ancillary businesses that contribute mightily to the economic engines driving film industry friendly states like New York, Georgia, Louisiana and neighboring New Mexico, local officials and filmmakers said. There are several reasons why Texas is not Hollywood, local industry insiders said. In the last decade, the state has slashed the financial incentives it offers to filmmakers who want to make movies here. Currently, Texas incentives range from 5 percent to 20 percent based on the amount of money a film company is projected to spend before it wraps production in the state.

The Tax Dodgers, the Corporate Loophole cheerleaders and "Mitt" the dancing baseball glove greet Ann Romney at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan in 2012 and join the march.

Top U.S. companies stash over a trillion dollars in offshore tax havens

By Erick Payne, SHFWire.com

WASHINGTON – The 50 biggest U.S. companies relied on a secretive network of more than 1,600 disclosed subsidiaries in tax havens to stash more than a trillion dollars offshore, according to an Oxfam America report released Thursday. The analysis shows how large U.S. companies use tax havens and other loopholes to dodge paying their fair share of taxes, according to Oxfam. The actions by multinational corporations cost the U.S. about $111 billion each year. “The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America’s infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas or the Cayman Islands,” Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, said. Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization with the goal of creating solutions for poverty, hunger and injustice.

States favoring gun owners tend to do more background checks

By Erick Payne, SHFWire.com

WASHINGTON – States considered the most favorable toward gun owners tend to perform more federal background checks for people who want to get gun permits and buy firearms.

States that were among the least favorable to gun owners usually recorded fewer federal checks for firearm purchases and gun permits. The Scripps Howard Foundation Wire compared 2015 FBI records of the number of background checks with the list of the best states for gun owners in 2015 compiled by Guns and Ammo magazine and found there was a pattern. Guns and Ammo is published by the Outdoor Sportsman Group Network. The magazine ranked each state on five categories, including the right to carry a gun and the right to purchase certain types of rifles. State laws may differ from federal laws regarding access to firearms.

The FBI does background checks for 30 states, five territories and the District of Columbia.

Fired IT staffer tells Senate H-1B visa program betrays U.S. workers

By Luke Torrance, SHFWire.com

WASHINGTON – In November 2014, the Walt Disney Company reported record $48.8 billion in sales. It was the fourth straight year of record profits. The theme parks – Walt Disney Land, Walt Disney World — generated $2.7 billion in profits, a 20 percent increase. It was a small piece of Disney’s enormous pie, but these profits alone will be more than “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will gross worldwide. With such an optimistic financial outlook, Leo Perrero was expecting good things when he was called to a meeting with Disney executives in late 2014.

Latinos at Yale have banded together over the years to succeed

By Annika Darling, CTLatinoNews.com

Yale University was founded in 1701. Over 250 years later, in the early 1970s, the first Latinos stepped foot on the prestigious campus. For these Latinos, Yale was a Sisyphean challenge — a sea of unfamiliar affluence never before traversed by Latinos.  They soon realized the only way to survive the resulting ostracism and isolation would be to ban together.  As a result of their determination to succeed,  today, there are approximately 5,000 Yale Latino Alumni. The Early Years

Former Yale Associate Dean, Rosalinda Garcia, explained, “Most of the first Latinos who went to Yale had a very hard time. One, it was a racist climate, and two, these students were brought onto campus and they weren’t given any resources to succeed.”

Garcia describes the first “big” class of Latinos – it had a total of five (in a class of thousands), and it was common for them to be called derogatory names around campus.

The U.S. and immigration: Where are we now?

By Amanda Guillen, SHFwire.com

WASHINGTON – The United States has long thought of itself as a melting pot, mixing cultures and customs from countries around the world. But it has often resisted adding more ingredients to the stew. The history of immigration laws dates to the first in 1790 that allowed free white immigrants to become citizens after two years of living in the U.S. With comprehensive immigration reform still a matter of political and social debates, an important turning point in the history of how the United States arrived to its current deadlock can be found a half century ago. Oct. 3 marked the 50th anniversary of the Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965, the historic law that changed the cultural makeup of the United States.

El frágil milagro de Juárez

La historia del milagro de Juárez se ha contado muchas veces: cómo descendieron sus infames índices de homicidios, cómo fueron purificados sus cuerpos policiacos y cómo las autoridades terminaron cantando victoria. Pero, ¿durará esta historia? La atracción que sigue generando el multimillonario negocio de las drogas en Juárez y las persistentes disparidades sociales que vive su gente son razones suficientes para nublar el optimismo. Una investigación de la Fundación MEPI. La siguiente investigación tomo seis meses y fue realizada por Carlos Huerta, Hericka Martínez y Beatriz Corral de Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. El reportaje y elementos gráficos fueron publicados originalmente en El Daily Post y Animal Políitico. 
La editora y coordinadora del equipo fue Ana Arana de Fundación MEPI.