In Brief -- History buzz at Academy Awards; inflation rate up

Staff Reports
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave.
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave.

    OSCAR NOMINATIONS: Academy Award nominations announced Jan. 16 featured films based on historic events.

     Notably, 12 Years A Slave, based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free African-American kidnapped and sold into slavery, was nominated for several top awards, including best picture and best director. Chiwetel Ejiofor was nominated for his performance in the lead role. Michael Fassbender was nominated for best supporting actor for his riveting performance as a plantation owner.   
     Also nominated: American Hustle, based on the 1970s Abscam scandal. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper all were nominated for performances in the film. Captain Phillips, based on the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, was nominated for best picture, (although the Academy overlooked the performance of Tom Hanks), along with The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the memoir of a former stockbroker. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were nominated for their performances.
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INFLATION UP, BUT STILL LOW:  Consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in December, the largest increase in six months, although still a low rate of inflation, the U.S. Labor Department reported in its latest consumer price index, released Jan. 16.
     For 2013 as a whole, prices rose 1.5 percent, a smaller increase than the 1.7 percent rate in 2012.
     The December increase, following a flat November and a 0.1 percent decline in October, was driven by high gasoline prices. The gasoline section of the index jumped 3.1 percent. Additionally, the price of fuel oil climbed 2.4 percent.
     Other increases—much smaller than the energy sector increases—occurred in food, apparel, rent, tobacco, personal care and medical services, although prescription drug prices declined. There also were decreases in airline fares, recreation, household furnishings, and used cars and trucks. Prices for new vehicles were flat.


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