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Nation in brief: Talks break down in writers strike

Talks between Hollywood writers and studios imploded Friday, dashing hopes of an imminent resolution to a five-week-old strike that has upended the entertainment industry.

The impasse is the latest turn in what has become one of the most tumultuous and vitriolic labor disputes in Hollywood history. It comes after eight days of contentious negotiations that yielded very little progress.

The sides remain deeply divided on how to divide new media revenues as digital technology and the Internet transform the way entertainment is delivered and consumed.

Both sides blamed the other for the breakdown of the talks, which fell apart amid disputes over how much writers should be paid for streaming of shows online and whether writers who work in reality TV and feature animation should covered under the Writer’s Guild of America contract.

Fort Collins, Colo.

Seven hurricanes predicted for 2008

Unbowed by recent setbacks, a team of university forecasters Friday predicted that next year’s hurricane season – still nearly six months away – would produce slightly above-average storm activity.

The team from Colorado State University is expecting 13 named storms that grow into seven hurricanes, including three intense hurricanes, with winds above 110 mph.

The long-term averages are 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two intense hurricanes. The season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

For the past three years, the full-season forecasts issued by the CSU team and by a separate group of government forecasters have been well off the mark.


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