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Harvey Weinstein Ousted From Motion Picture Academy

Mr. Weinstein, who was fired by the movie and television studio he co-founded, the Weinstein Company, has denied rape allegations while acknowledging that his behavior “caused a lot of pain.”Although largely symbolic, the ouster of Mr. Weinstein from the roughly 8,400-member academy is stunning because the organization is not known to have taken such action before — not when Roman Polanski, a member, pleaded guilty in a sex crime case involving a 13-year-old girl; not when women came forward to accuse Bill Cosby, a member, of sexual assault; and not when Mel Gibson went on anti-Semitic tirade during a drunken-driving arrest in 2006 or pleaded no contest to a charge of battery against an old girlfriend in 2011.Now, the academy may be forced to contend with other problem members.Scott Feinberg, the longtime awards columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, said, “This may well be the beginning of a very tough chapter for the academy. The next thing that is going to happen, rightly or wrongly, is that a wide variety of constituencies are going to demand that the academy similarly address other problematic members.”Mr. Feinberg added that he was speaking of academy members like Mr. Polanski and Stephen Collins, the “7th Heaven” actor who admitted in 2014 that he molested teenage girls in past decades, which resulted in police investigations in New York and Los Angeles but no charges.Before Mr. Weinstein — who built two studios on the back of the Academy Awards, securing more than 300 nominations for his movies — only one person was known to have been permanently expelled from the academy. Carmine Caridi, a character actor, had his membership revoked in 2004 for violating an academy rule involving Oscar voting. He got caught lending DVD screeners of contending films; copies ended up online […]

The rise and fall of America’s favorite foods

Some preferences have fluctuated greatly from the 1970s till now, while others have stayed the same. […]

O.J. Simpson Wins Parole, Claiming He Has Led a ‘Conflict-Free Life’

Watching the parole hearing, streamed live on countless networks and websites, it is hard now to remember that in the mid-1990s, there was just one cable news channel, and social media did not exist. The internet, reality television and the media ecosystem of wall-to-wall coverage of anything sensational were in their infancy.Yet an entire nation stopped what it was doing in 1994 as Mr. […]

Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O.

Taking a start-up chief executive to task so publicly is relatively unusual in Silicon Valley, where investors often praise entrepreneurs and their aggressiveness, especially if their companies are growing fast. It is only when those start-ups are in a precarious position or are declining that shareholders move to protect their investment. Continue reading the main story In the case of Uber — one of the most highly valued private companies in the world — investors could lose billions of dollars if the company were to be marked down in valuation […]

The USDA’s Senseless Obstacles To A More Humane ‘Organic’

Every day, millions of Americans visit their grocery stores, relying on a range of food labels – some more meaningful than others – to help them make healthy, humane, and cost-efficient purchases. One of these labels is “USDA Organic,” a certification that presumably represents humane farm animal welfare standards. But sadly, that assumption is untrue, and has been for years. What’s even more reprehensible is that the federal agency directly responsible for ensuring that farmed food products are truthfully labeled – the USDA – is now acting in direct opposition to that mission. Origins of the USDA “Organic” Label The USDA began regulating organic agriculture in 2000 with the creation of the National Organic Program. For years, the ASPCA and other animal welfare organizations have pushed to include meaningful animal welfare standards in the definition of organic – including minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for chickens, required enrichment for certain species, and a prohibition on certain kinds of painful physical alterations like cattle tail docking. In January 2017, we celebrated when the USDA National Organic Program announced it would adopt a comprehensive set of federal regulations governing the treatment of animals on USDA Organic-certified farms, based on the recommendation of the National Organics Standards Board. This decision was influenced by tens of thousands of supportive comments from consumers, farmers, companies and public interest groups, all submitted during an official open comment period. The regulations were set to go into effect in March. Enter Politics When the new Administration postponed implementation of the organics rule to May, one could argue this was the consequence of a government in transition, including the late appointment of Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture. […]

The U.S. Auto Industry Needs Fuel-Efficiency Gains To Remain Globally Competitive

Last month, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that directed his administration to bury its head in the sand when it comes to climate science and clean electricity. He tried to sell this plan as a way to increase energy independence. But when it comes to electricity, America is already essentially independent. It’s our transportation demands that require imports of five million barrels of oil per day, including three million from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations. If President Trump wants to increase America’s energy independence, he needs to put fuel efficiency first. Instead, at the bidding of the auto industry, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA would withdraw its determination that the fuel economy emissions standards for the years 2022 through 2025 were economically feasible and technologically achievable for the auto industry. The experts from the EPA, the Department of Transportation and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had spent years collecting data and conducting the analysis that Administrator Pruitt—after less than one month on the job—decided was inadequate […]

Tiny chip supersizes battery life of electronics

Smartphone batteries could get a major boost from the pin head-sized device. […]