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Stories for July 24, 2009

Dexter Panel at Comic-Con: Michael C. Hall, John Lithgow and Baby

July 24
By Angela Carone
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The cast of Showtime's "Dexter" was at Comic-Con talking about Season 4. There are two new members joining the cast, John Lithgow and a baby!

U.S. and Mexican Authorities Seach for Gunman Who Killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent

July 24
By Amy Isackson

Mexican federal authorities say they have a man in custody in connection with the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent in Campo Thursday night. Mexican authorities say they arrested the man early Friday morning in Tecate and are testing the gun he was carrying to see if the bullets match the spent casings at the scene of the shooting. Meanwhile, as KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains, authorities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border continue to search for more suspects.

Tim Burton at Comic-Con: "9" is Visually Stunning

July 24
By Angela Carone
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I was completely charmed by the characters in producer Tim Burton's new animated film "9", directed by Shane Acker. They both attended the panel for "9" in Comic-Con's Hall H, where they were joined by voice talent Jennifer Connelly and Elijah Wood.

Pension Watchdog says City Should Pay What It Owes

July 24
By Katie Orr

A former pension watchdog says changes that would lower the city of San Diego’s pension payment next year are misguided. KPBS reporter Katie Orr says April Boling wants to the city to pay what it owes, no matter the cost.

Rare Habitat in Ocean Beach Thrives on Volunteers

July 24
By Ed Joyce
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About 50 volunteers will be working Saturday to maintain a stretch of coastal dunes at the mouth of the San Diego River. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce tells us the area along the river at Dog Beach is one of the last remaining habitats of its kind in California.

Calif. Assembly Passes Budget Plan

July 24
San Diego Week
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Lawmakers on Friday approved a complex package of spending cuts, local government raids and accounting maneuvers to fill California's gigantic budget deficit, providing hope that the state might begin a slow climb out of a deep financial hole.

INSIDE: Rio Carnival

July 24
INSIDE: Rio Carnival  Tease photo

At the center of the world famous Rio Carnival is the Samba Parade — a fierce competition of vast scale among 13 neighborhood samba schools. Watching them are a panel of expert judges, more than 60,000 spectators and a TV audience of nearly half a billion. The unexpected is always expected during one of the largest parties on earth, and INSIDE is right there to find out how Rio survives and Carnival continues to thrive.

Ascent of Money: Planet Finance

July 24
Ascent of Money: Planet Finance  Tease photo

By the beginning of the 21st century, the systems of credit, insurance, bond trading and stock markets had transcended all national boundaries to create a truly global economic system, opening the door to unprecedented growth, but also worldwide instability in the event of one nation’s downturn. In an effort to establish more stability following the Great Depression, the U.S. government’s New Deal created a “property owning Democracy,” a system of federally backed savings and loans that allowed more people than ever before to buy homes by offering low interest rates and long-term mortgages. Rampant inflation in the 1970s, however, led the government to remove regulations on interest rates and opened the door to a massive scandal in the 1980s and one of the country’s worst economic crises. The vulnerabilities of America’s property-based economy would be felt again 20 years later, in the current economic crisis that has shaken the world.

Comic-Con's Economic Impact on San Diego

July 24
San Diego Week
Editors Roundtable
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According to the latest estimates, Comic-Con annually brings more than $40 million to the local economy. What's the greatest benefit Comic-Con brings to our city? And, should the Convention Center be expanded to insure that Comic-Con stays in San Diego for years to come?

In the "Dexter" Line at Comic-Con

July 24
By Angela Carone
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Long, mind-boggling lines are one of the downsides of life at Comic-Con and, so far, the lines this year have been record-setting. And I'm not even talking about the Twilight Moms; they are in a line stratosphere all their own. I waited in line for the "Dexter" panel and survived, leaving casualties behind.

La Jolla Seal Saga Continues

July 24
San Diego Week
Editors Roundtable

The long saga of the seals at the Children's Pool in La Jolla will last for at least three more months. That's following a Superior Court judge's decision to delay a ruling on the fate of the seals until October. What factors played into the judge's decision to delay his ruling? And, why has this story captivated San Diego over the last decade?

State Budget Deal Reached

July 24
San Diego Week
Editors Roundtable

California legislative leaders reached an agreement to close the state's $26.3 billion budget gap earlier this week. How will the budget deal impact city and county governments in the state? And, will the new budget deal create any long-term changes in California government?

Friday Highlights

July 24
By Beth Accomando
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Okay I completely forgot to highlight the films that played yesterday at the Comic-Con International Film Festival. And I was even a judge. The bad news is you missed three great films: "Alice is Dead" (with Adrienne Barbeau in a zombie tale), "Al's Beef" (a cleverly written revenge saga), and the brilliant doc "Died Young, Stayed Pretty" (about punk rock posters in 70s Seattle). The good news is that there are three more days of great films.

Johnny Depp Makes Surprise Appearance at Comic-Con

July 24
By Beth Accomando
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The Twilight Moms got their wish. They said Johnny Depp would make a surprise appearance in Hall H for Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" panel just like Hugh Jackman had made a surprise appearance last year.

Comic-Con Virgin: Terry Gilliam

July 24
By Beth Accomando
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Terry Gilliam – ex-Pythonite and visionary filmmaker – made his first Comic-Con appearance Thursday in Hall H and presented clips from his latest film, “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.” The film has gained attention for being the last one to feature Heath Ledger, who died during the shoot. In order to finish the film, Gilliam got Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp to play variations on Ledger’s character. But Gilliam gently but firmly pointed out that this is not a Heath Ledger film but a film about Dr. Parnassus, a man who strikes a deal with the devil for immortality.