April 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Business Briefs

• The Labor Department reports that consumer prices rose by 0.6 percent in June, the biggest monthly increase since November 2007. To no one’s surprise, much of the increase is attributed to a rise in gasoline prices (5.7 percent).

• Internet access may soon get more expensive, or possibly cheaper, depending on how you use it. Currently, if you’re just checking e-mails and looking up movie times, you pay the same monthly amount as those who are continually online. Now, some service providers are threatening monthly limits or higher fees. A test program by Time Warner Cable has customers selecting a monthly plan and paying a surcharge if they exceed their bandwidth limit.

• Yahoo! has agreed to let Google sell some of the ads it runs alongside Internet search results, seeking to shore up sales after ending talks with Microsoft.

• NBC Universal is negotiating to buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications. NBC is working on the bid together with private equity investment firms.   

• The proposed merger of the nation’s two satellite radio broadcasters cleared a major hurdle last month. The Federal Communications Commission has recommended approving the $5 billion deal. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin made his recommendation in exchange for a number of concessions, including dedicating 24 channels to noncommercial and minority programming. A final vote is pending.

• The Vatican has banned the makers of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons from filming in the Vatican or for that matter, in any Catholic church in Rome, on the grounds that it is offensive and “wounds common religious feelings.†Father Marco Fibbi, spokesman for the diocese of Rome, said: “Normally we read the script, but this time it was not necessary. The name Dan Brown was enough.†  Tom Hanks stars in Angels & Demons which, like the earlier The Da Vinci Code, is also directed by Ron Howard. Its plot involves a sinister group trying to seize control of the papacy.

• And in further movie news, Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations with DreamWorks/Universal to star in Cowboys & Aliens, says The Hollywood Reporter. As might be guessed from the title, the film combines elements of Sci-fi and Western.

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