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."
Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.
For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?
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.
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.
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."
Melissa Block talks with David Chipman, a retired agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, about the process set in motion when a buyer attempts to purchase a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer.
Boquillas, Mexico, a riverside hamlet of 90 people, sits a minute by foot across the Rio Grande from Big Bend National Park in Texas, a boundless tapestry of rock and high desert. Mexicans used to cross to work, buy supplies in the park or visit family. Americans would wade across the river to savor Mexico for a few hours. The border, at least here, was an abstract one that people on either side ignored. But that was before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Afterward, this part of the border was sealed.
A strange green rock discovered in Morocco last year was hailed by the press as the first meteorite from Mercury. But scientists who've been puzzling over the stone ever since say the accumulating evidence may point in a different direction. Maybe, just maybe, they say, the 4.56-billion-year-old rock fell to Earth from the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.
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.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 4:38 pm
For years, undercover videos documenting animal cruelty at farms and slaughterhouses have cast the nation's meat and dairy farmers in a grim light.
In response, the livestock industry supported legislative efforts in multiple states designed to keep cameras from recording without permission in livestock plants. The Salt reported on these efforts, which activists call "ag gag" bills, last year.