Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Sep. 27)—Watchdogs, grandstanders, LA's first film czar, 16,000 fakes, Barilla backlash, whales and sonar

1. Study suggests Hollywood is less gay-friendly in real life (AP)

A report release Friday suggests the proliferation of gay and transgender characters in films and television shows has not prevented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors from experiencing discrimination in Hollywood.

 The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists commissioned the survey which found that more than half of the actors who identify as gay, bisexual and transgender think directors and producers are biased against them.

2. 9 shipments, 5 importers, 3 months, THIS many fake purses (U.S. Customs & Border Protection)

16,053 counterfeit Hermes handbags were seized by CBP officers and import specialists at the LA/Long Beach Seaport complex in nine shipments from June 6 through September 17.

The combined domestic value was $295,665; manufacturer suggested retail price, had they been real, would have been $210,785,475. Eight of the shipments came from China, and all but one were destined for surrounding areas of Los Angeles.

3. Senate dislodges language to defund Obamacare, then passes bill (KPCC)

The Democratic-run Senate approved legislation aimed at preventing a Tuesday federal shutdown, at the same time blocking an effort to strip money from the president's health care law.

Conservatives have been trying to use the must-pass bill as a way to kill or weaken Obama's 2010 health care law. On Friday, President Obama accused the GOP of "political grandstanding" over the budget.

4. Navy sonar poses serious harm to whales and dolphins off West Coast (L.A. Times)

The National Marine Fisheries Service "abused its discretion" in approving the U.S. Navy's use of sonar in anti-submarine warfare training off the West Coast, a judge has ruled. The court found the federal wildlife agency was not using the best available science, and "probably underestimated" the harm posed to protected and endangered whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and other marine mammals.

Environmental groups want the Navy's permits reassessed, and the use of sonar to be restricted during whale migration periods and in marine sanctuaries.

5. Barilla anti-gay comments have cooked up a boycott (KPCC)

Guido Barilla, chairman of the Italy-based pasta brand Barilla, stated in an Italian radio interview that the company would never display gay families in their ads. This led to a firestorm on Twitter by gay rights activists sounding the call to boycott Barilla productions, including pastas, cookies and bread.

Barilla apologized if the comments offended anyone but stands by his statement. He also stated that he personally supports gay marriage but opposes gay adoption because women play a “central role” in a family.

6. Meet Tom Sherak, Los Angeles’ first film czar (KPCC)

Appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the city’s first film czar, Tom Sherak will head up L.A.'s Entertainment Industry and Production Office. It's goal—to stop ‘runaway’ film production from leaving California, to make it easier to film movies and television shows in the city, and to lobby for money to boost the state’s film incentive program.

Previously, Sherak headed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, held numerous roles at Twentieth Century Fox and was a partner with Revolution Studios.

7. Captive audience: Law enforcement explains prison realignment struggles to state watchdog (KPCC)

Addressing the Little Hoover Commission at a hearing on Assembly Bill 109, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said, "there are 12 major cities in California that have a population of a quarter of a million or more...one of them had a crime decrease, every other one had a crime increase. Many of the chiefs of police in those cities claim realignment was the cause."

The exception has been L.A. The decline he attributes to law enforcement taking early action toward the new probation and jail responsibilities that came with the 2011 realignment.

8. Syrian arsenal inspections to begin by Tuesday (KPCC)

The inspectors responsible for tracking down Syria's chemical arms stockpile and verifying its destruction plan to start in Syria by Tuesday. They will face their tightest deadlines ever and work right in the heart of a war zone, according to a draft decision obtained Friday.

The decision is the key to any U.N. resolution on Syria's chemical weapons program.

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