The Daily Need

Tuesday morning roundup

Culture

Cinephiles and celebrities converge in Italy for the 67th Venice Film Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday. The shortlist of films in the running for top prizes includes Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” and Julian Schnabel’s “Miral.” Coincidentally, Schnabel’s movie about a Palestinian orphan in war-torn Jerusalem is set to premiere on Sept. 2, the same day that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are scheduled to resume in Washington, D.C.

Security

Two men who were detained in Amsterdam after deplaning a flight from Chicago yesterday remain in Dutch custody for a second day of questioning. The two Yemeni nationals, Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi and Hezam al Murisi, were arrested on charges of preparing for a terrorist attack after suspicious items including a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, boxcutter and knife were found in their luggage.

Environment

Hurricane Earl continues its path toward the East Coast of the United States, after barreling through the northern Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Anguilla. The U.S. National Hurricane Center has advised residents from North Carolina to Maine to watch the storm closely. The Category 4 storm is expected to hit the Carolina coastline on Thursday.

Health

Teetotalers, take note: A recent study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that abstaining from alcohol may actually increase your risk of dying. The study, which involved 1,824 participants over a 20-year span, showed that moderate drinkers (those who enjoy one to three drinks a day) enjoyed the lowest mortality rates.

Economy

Today is the last day for South Florida homeowners facing foreclosure to seek mortgage modification relief from the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America. NACA, which began hosting round-the-clock counseling sessions in the Palm Beach Convention Center last Friday, estimates that approximately 13,000 people (representing 8,200 families) have sought help so far.

Last Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors announced that sales of existing homes plunged 27.2 percent in July compared to the previous month, prompting many to ask if the soft housing market will kill the nascent recovery that already shows signs of stalling.

 
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