National briefs: More PG-13 gun violence

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NEW YORK -- Gun violence in PG-13 rated movies has increased considerably in recent decades, to the point that it sometimes exceeds gun violence in even R-rated films, according to a study released Monday.

Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed gun violence in top-grossing movies, finding that the frequency of gun violence had more than tripled in PG-13 films since 1985. The PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984.

Gun violence in PG-13 movies has rivaled the frequency of gun violence in R-rated movies since 2009, and actually surpassed it in 2012, according to the study.

Researchers examined a total of 945 films, drawing from the 30 top-grossing movies from 1950 through 2012. The study focuses on sequences involving "the firing of hand-held guns with the intent to harm or kill a living being."

The study, which included animated films, did not judge whether the representations of gun violence were cautionary in message or not. It also analyzed only a snapshot of the most popular films at the box office, suggesting it said as much about audience tastes as Hollywood's output.

Foreign students a record

NEW YORK -- The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities rose to a record high last year, according to a new study.

The private University of Southern California was their most popular destination, with 9,840 international students, according to the survey conducted by the New York nonprofit Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. State Department. USC has had the largest number of foreign students for a dozen years in a row.

Overall, the number of international students in U.S. institutions increased by about 7 percent last year, to nearly 820,000. The largest group came from China, which sent about 236,000 students, nearly double the number of students from India, the second-largest group.

Musician tied to killings

NEW YORK -- A gunman who killed three Iranian indie rock musicians and injured a fourth person inside a Brooklyn apartment Monday before killing himself was upset because he had been kicked out of another band last year, police said.

Ali Akbar Mahammadi Rafie, 29, killed himself on the roof after struggling with a member of his former band, the Free Keys, police said. Investigators believe a guitar case found on an adjoining roof may have been used to carry the assault rifle used in the attack. Police also suspect the shooter and his former Free Keys bandmates may have had an argument over money.

Two victims were brothers and members of the Yellow Dogs, a band that came to the U.S. from Iran three years ago after appearing in a film about the underground music scene there, according to band manager Ali Salehezadeh. The third person killed was a musician but not in the Yellow Dogs band.

Texas shooting arrests

HOUSTON -- Two men were arrested Monday in the shootings at a birthday party that left two dead and 19 hurt.

Willie Young, 21, and Randy Stewart, 18, were charged in the shootings in suburban Cypress, Texas, according to Harris County sheriff's officials.

The shootings were reported shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday at an 18th birthday party in Cypress, about 30 miles northwest of Houston. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said more than 100 people showed up after the party was advertised on social media, and that the two suspects eluded a bouncer, entered the home and started shooting, apparently unprovoked.

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