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New York: ‘captain Phillips’ Kicks Off Fest With Standing Ovation

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(Photo: Andrew Burton, AP) SHARE 11 CONNECT 76 TWEET 2 COMMENTEMAILMORE UNITED NATIONS (AP) A meeting of the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers in New York this weekend is a fresh chance for one leader to push for peace on the subcontinent and likely the last chance for the other. Three-time Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif and India’s Manmohan Singh are due to meet Sunday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. It is their first face-to-face since Sharif’s election victory in May. Singh will step down next year. Sharif calls the meeting a chance for a “new beginning,” and Singh on Saturday told the General Assembly that “I reciprocate his sentiments.” But Singh has tamped down expectations for the talks, which take place amid an upsurge in militant attacks in disputed Kashmir. Speaking Friday after a White House meeting with President Barack Obama, Singh said, “the epicenter of terror still remains focused in Pakistan.” In Saturday’s speech, Singh said India is committed to resolving all issues with Pakistan, but he again expressed his concerns about terror attacks and repeated his government’s view that Kashmir “is an integral part of India.” The need for peace between the South Asian nuclear rivals has rarely been greater. They have been at odds since Britain granted independence and carved up the subcontinent in 1947, but the impending U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, where India and Pakistan have competing interests, adds new uncertainty to a region increasingly threatened by Islamic militancy. “It’s timely for them to meet,” said Karl Inderfurth, a former top U.S. diplomat for South Asia and now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington. “It’s Nawaz Sharif’s first chance as the new prime minister to reach across to his Indian counterpart and it’s maybe Manmohan Singh’s last chance to do what he has repeatedly said he wants to do, which is open up a new relationship with Pakistan.” Both men are familiar with the pitfalls of seeking to improve ties between India and Pakistan a relationship scarred by three wars and deep mutual suspicion. Sharif was in power when Pakistan first tested a nuclear bomb in 1998. But he also presided over one of the more upbeat episodes in recent relations with India. He hosted then-Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee for a summit in Lahore in February 1999, where they signed a landmark declaration on avoiding nuclear conflict and opened a cross-border bus service.

New York Mets induct former slugger Mike Piazza into team’s Hall of Fame

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 29: Israeli President Shimon Peres places a tulip on the wall during his visit to the Dutch Theatre (Hollandsche Schouwburg) on September 29, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The theatre was used as a location to deport Jews in the second World War and is now a monument. Peres is on an official four day visit to the Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

our editor recommends New York Film Festival 2013: 13 Movies to Know The intense film, which stars Tom Hanks as the titular captain of a U.S. container ship that was hijacked off the Somali coast in 2009, was introduced with great fanfare — highlighted by the attendance of not only Greengrass, Hanks and the film’s principal Somali actors, but also Capt. Richard Phillips himself (before whom Hanks knelt to kiss his hand), a number of the men who worked alongside him on the MV Maersk Alabama and several uniformed U.S. Navy personnel who came to his rescue aboard the USS Bainbridge. FILM REVIEW: Captain Phillips At its conclusion, the film received a prolonged ovation — which turned into a standing ovation once a spotlight was placed on Greengrass and the Somali actors in a box above the rest of the audience (Hanks had to leave early) — from a crowd that included Sony Classics co-chiefs Michael Barker and Tom Bernard; the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Argo Chris Terrio, who’s writing a script for Greengrass now; and the Oscar-nominated actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who starred in Greengrass’ 1999 TV film The Murder of Stephen Lawrence; and writer-director James Toback. The general sentiment among New Yorkers at the screening and the Harvard Club after-party — at which Greengrass and particularly the Somali actors were the center of attention — was that the film has a strong shot at scoring a best picture Oscar nomination and an even stronger shot at bringing Hanks his first acting Oscar nom in 13 years, particular for his work during the final minutes of the film, which left much of the audience in tears. Rose Kuo, the executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, noted during her pre-screening remarks that the fest seems to have a thing for movies about men experiencing problems aboard boats: last year’s edition opened with the world premiere of Life of Pi and this year’s, in addition to opening with Captain Phillips, will include a screening of All Is Lost, another example of the sub-genre. This was also the second New York Film Festival opening night screening in the last four years to come courtesy of Sony Pictures and producers Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael DeLuca, whose last collaboration was the 2010 film The Social Network, which went on to be nominated for eight Oscars and won three. Other recent openers have included About Schmidt (2002), Mystic River (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) and The Queen (2006), which all went on to receive major Academy recognition, as well. This is the first New York Film Festival in 26 years that was not coordinated by Richard Pena. He was succeeded at the end of last year’s fest by Kent Jones.

You run the gauntlet here. This is not easy, Piazza said. To play here and to do well here and to win here is something really special. Perhaps his most memorable moment was a majestic home run at Shea Stadium on Sept. 21, 2001, in the first major New York City sporting event after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Piazzas go-ahead drive in the eighth inning against Atlanta sent the crowd into a frenzy on an emotional night, with cameras capturing the poignant joy on faces of firefighters, police officers and other uniformed rescue workers throughout the stands. Whenever that game was mentioned Sunday, it drew some of the biggest cheers at Citi Field. When I think about that day, I really think for me it was just that we were all together, Piazza said. Introduced to a standing ovation, a clean-shaven Piazza waved to the crowd and stepped on a ceremonial home plate adorned with a logo that featured his old No. 31. Moments later he dabbed at tears, and a montage of his Mets highlights played on the large video board. Piazzas wife, Alicia, and two daughters sat nearby in shallow center field, along with his parents and two brothers. Famously drafted in the 62nd round by the Dodgers as a favor to his fathers friend, Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, Piazza got choked up at the podium behind second base while addressing his family.

Captain Phillips

Those costs included debt-service and fringe benefits. Experts note that New Yorks high annual price tag is deceiving because it reflects considerable pensions and salary responsibilities, debt service and the expensive fixed costs. The DOC says 86 per cent of its operating costs go for staff wages. New Yorks system differs from other cities in some other costly ways it employs 9,000 relatively well-paid, unionised correction officers, for example, and is required by law to provide certain services to inmates, including high quality medical care within 24 hours of incarceration. Cost savings Nick Freudenberg, a public health professor at Hunter College, said the latest city figures show that declining incarceration rates havent translated into cost savings. In 2001, when the city had 14,490 inmates, the full cost of incarcerating one inmate at Rikers Island for a year was $92,500, or about $122,155 adjusted for todays dollars that means the city spent $45,576 more in 2012 than it did 11 years ago. To my mind, the main policy question is: How could we be spending this money better? Freudenberg said. What would be a better return on that investment? Another contributing factor to the inmate price tag is the length of stay for prisoners in New Yorks criminal justice system. Some inmates have waited years in city jails to see trial. The DOC said in 2012 that the average length of stay for detainees was 53 days and 38.6 days for sentenced inmates. Not only is that a miscarriage of justice, it affects your operations, Michael Jacobson, a former commissioner of the citys Department of Correction and probation who serves as director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, said.