|SCIENTOLOGY BUYS HOLLYWOOD STUDIO|
Whether or not you want to see more movies based on L. Ron Hubbard's writings—and most critics who saw Battlefield: Earth would sooner go blind—Scientologists now have the facilities to make them. The controversial organization has bought a landmark movie studio in Hollywood from a struggling public television station, reports the Telegraph. The 5-acre site on Sunset Boulevard has been owned by Monogram Pictures and Allied Artists, and has produced blockbusters like El Cid, starring Charlton Heston, and John Ford's The Hurricane. The site adds to Scientology's already large capacity to create films and television. The organization says it plans to use the studio as a media hub connecting its thousands of centers worldwide.
|HOMELESS MOM FACES JAIL FOR SENDING SON TO SCHOOL|
A homeless mother who sent her child to the wrong Connecticut public school could be jailed for up to 20 years for stealing $15,686—the cost of a year's education in Norwalk. Tanya McDowell was charged with grand larceny after authorities discovered that she sent her 6-year-old son to a school in Norwalk using a fake address, reports the New York Daily News. Authorities say she should have sent him to a school in Bridgeport, where she sometimes slept at a friend's apartment. The Connecticut Parents Union is backing McDowell in her battle with authorities. "I'm very disappointed in the mayor's leadership," said a spokeswoman. "He's responsible not only for adult taxpayers but future taxpayers. To be so callous on this issue and victimize the mom. Nobody is focusing on this child." The mayor, who stresses that McDowell has a criminal record and is not a "poor, picked-upon homeless person," says penalties must be enforced for stealing the city's services.
|SAN FRANCISCO MAY VOTE TO END CIRCUMCISION|
Is San Francisco about to cut out circumcision? A group of "intactivists" hope so; they’ve submitted 12,265 signatures to the city’s Department of Elections in a bid to get a ban on the practice placed on the ballot this November, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. If even 7,168 of the signatures check out, voters will be able to weigh in on the ban, which would apply to everyone under age 18. Proponents gathered outside city hall yesterday to hand in the signatures, wearing pins reading, “May the foreskin be with you.” Some said they’d been circumcised as infants, and weren’t happy about it. “I discovered my sexuality and body had been impacted by this—for no reason and without my consent,” said one man who’d collected 300 signatures. “To cut any body part off somebody who can’t consent, to me is just madness.”
|SETI GIVES UP SEARCH FOR ALIENS|
Budget cuts have forced the SETI Institute in California to shut down its famous search for extraterrestrial life, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The institute can no longer afford to operate its Allen Telescope Array, which has been scanning outer space for sign of communication since 2007. As a result, it's been in what the institute calls "hibernation" since April 15. "There is a huge irony that a time when we discover so many planets to look at, we don't have the operating funds to listen," said SETI's director, referring to the dozens of new planets spotted by the Kepler telescope. Billionaire Paul Allen provided much of the money to build the system in the first place, but the costs of day-to-day operations are proving too much now that the National Science Foundation and the state of California have slashed contributions, notes Live Science.