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Tag Archives: hollywood
By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) – For the past three years, Rob McFarland has kept a beehive filled with 25,000 bees on the roof of his house smack in the middle of West Los Angeles. The bees occupy some prime real estate – they even have a view of the Hollywood sign – but for now, they are illegal squatters in the trendy neighborhood of bars and eateries near Santa Monica. On Wednesday, the City Council will vote on whether to begin the process of granting bees like McFarland’s legal status in LA’s residential areas after a lengthy lobbying effort from bee lovers of all stripes
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Published on February 12, 2014 Los Angeles abuzz about push for urban beekeeping LOS ANGELES, Calif. – For the past three years, Rob McFarland has kept a beehive filled with 25,000 bees on the roof of his house smack in the middle of West Los Angeles
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Jacob Rudolph, a high school student in New Jersey, comes out as LGBT during a school assembly in January.
Six-year-old Coy Mathis, a transgender girl whose Colorado school refused to let her use the girls’ bathroom, has helped shed light on transgender youth issues and helped ignite a debate over anti-discrimination laws.
Leo Washington, a Hollywood Hills High School football captain, was inspired by NBA center Jason Collins to come out and tell his story.
Katy Butler, an openly lesbian Michigan teen, started a campaign to get the Motion Picture Association of America to change the R rating of the film “Bully” to PG-13 so that teens could view it.
Jazz, a 12-year-old transgender girl, makes a speech on behalf of trans youth at the GLAAD Media Awards in April.
In May, Ted Chalfen, a high school student at Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado, publicly discussed being gay and thanked his class for its support during high school graduation speech.
Tony Zamazal, a Texas transgender teen, won the right to wear a dress and heels to prom in April.
Devon, a 19-year-old trans girl who was voted homecoming queen, speaks out on the Katie Couric show in February.
Analouisa Valencia, an out lesbian teen beauty queen ran for Miss South Carolina.
US actress Scarlett Johansson has ended her role as Oxfam ambassador following a dispute over her ad campaign for a firm operating in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Johansson’s departure was welcomed by Palestinian activists, although some criticised Oxfam for not acting itself to sever ties with the Hollywood star they branded the ‘new poster girl for Israeli occupation’.
In a statement, Oxfam confirmed accepting Johansson’s decision to step down, saying her promotion of drinks firm SodaStream, which has a factory in a settlement east of Jerusalem, was ‘incompatible’ with her role at the international aid agency.
‘Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements, further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support,’ it said.
The 29-year-old actress, who has worked with Oxfam since 2005 and was recently crowned the ‘sexiest woman alive’ by Esquire magazine, came under scrutiny earlier this month after she was named global brand ambassador for SodaStream.
She insisted the company was committed to ‘building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine’, sparking a firestorm of criticism.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement demanding Oxfam immediately sever ties with the Hollywood star over her ‘vocal support for illegal Israeli settlements’.
Following Johansson’s announcement that she was leaving Oxfam, the movement accused her of abandoning her principles to become ‘the new face of Israeli apartheid’.
‘Scarlett Johansson has consciously decided to be the new poster girl for Israeli occupation and apartheid,’ co-founder Omar Barghouti told AFP.
Barghouti also had a few choice words for Oxfam, describing its failure to take its own action to end the relationship with Johansson as an ‘astounding moral failure’.
America, we have a bullying epidemic. No, not the school bullying issues that get constant attention from Hollywood, the White House and the media. No, not the fat-shaming and body-shaming outbreaks on Facebook.The problem is wealth-shaming.
Actor Scarlett Johansson has quit her role has Oxfam ambassador following her endorsement of SodaStream fizzy drinks company who have a factory in Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Photograph: Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Actor Scarlett Johansson has quit her role as an ambassador for Oxfam, the charity said today, after she fell out with the group for endorsing an Israeli firm operating in the occupied West Bank.
The Hollywood star has become the public face for soda-maker SodaStream and is due to appear in an advert for the company that is set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday. However, the multi-million dollar deal has caused a backlash amongst activists and humanitarian groups because SodaStreams largest factory is based in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.
The company employs both Palestinian and Israeli workers and says its plant offers a model of peaceful cooperation, but settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam. After consultations with Johansson earlier in the week, the actor informed the charity that she would end her relationship with them.
Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johanssons decision to step down, the group said in a statement. Ms. Johanssons role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.
Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream that operate in settlements, further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.
In a statement reported in the American media, Johanssons spokesman wrote that she and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. International rights groups such as Oxfam discourage trade with Israeli firms located on land in the occupied West Bank.
The very existence of (Israeli settlements) amounts to a serious violation of international law, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Wednesday. It is impossible to ignore the Israeli system of unlawful discrimination, land confiscation, natural resource theft, and forced displacement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, where SodaStream is located, said the group.
Johansson was named as an Oxfam ambassador in 2007 and has taken part in a number of its global campaigns.
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JERUSALEM It’s a rare thing when a Hollywood actress and a kitchen appliance spark a debate about policies in the Middle East.
But that’s what happened after Scarlett Johansson filmed a Super Bowl advertisement for a company that employs Palestinians to produce seltzer-making machines in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The company, SodaStream International Ltd., is a target of a growing boycott movement of products made on land seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War and claimed by Palestinians for a future independent state.
Activists with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement barraged Johansson with editorials and tweets, demanding she sever ties with the company. When she refused, they took the campaign to a humanitarian group she is associated with, urging an end to their relationship.
Their efforts paid off Thursday when the charity, Oxfam International, announced that Johansson had stepped down as one of its ambassadors. In a statement, the group said Johansson’s endorsement deal was “incompatible” with her work for Oxfam.
It is the latest in a string of victories for the boycott movement, which supporters praise for its nonviolent methods and critics accuse of unfairly targeting Israel and seeking to undermine the nation’s right to exist.
In recent months, activists have persuaded a number of European businesses to limit trade with Israeli firms involved in West Bank settlements and helped win several high-profile boycotts by U.S. academic groups of Israeli academic institutions. The boycotts have generated a backlash from some educational leaders, including Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, who said they “subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas.”
The movement has also won divestments in Israeli companies, with the Norwegian Finance Ministry announcing Thursday that it will exclude two Israeli firms from a government pension portfolio.
The boycott efforts have raised alarm among Israel’s leadership, with Finance Minister Yair Lapid warning this week that the country will become more isolated and lose markets in Europe if it fails to strike a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The two sides are in talks to negotiate a framework for a peace deal.
“If negotiations with the Palestinians stall or blow up and we enter the reality of a European boycott, even a very partial one, the Israeli economy will retreat, the cost of living will rise, budgets for education, health, welfare and security will be cut and many international markets will be closed to us,” Lapid said at a security conference in Tel Aviv.
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Artist Domingo Zapata loves his Gramercy Park triplex so much that he sometimes doesnt step out of it for weeks at a time. When Im in the midst of my creative process, I dont leave the house, says Zapata, enjoying a cigarette in his cozy living room beneath a Patrick McMullan paparazzi shot of Andy Warhol. From the moment of entry, its easy to see why.
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Artist Domingo Zapata loves his Gramercy Park triplex so much that he sometimes doesnt step out of it for weeks at a time.
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Tony Milner, left, Matthew Barraza, center, are shown with their son Jesse. The couple and their son attended a reception Saturday 18, 2014, in celebration of the HBO Documentary “The Case Against 8.” The reception also feted several Utah couples like Milner and Barraza who got married late last year after a federal court ruled the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.
Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Associated Press
PARK CITY – Advocates of same-sex marriage came to the Sundance Film Festival Saturday afternoon in support of the estimated 1,300 gay and lesbian couples married in Utah, and to fete a film that promotes their cause.
In one of the many receptions on the crowded main street of this city swamped by the Sundance Film Festival, these supporters found a welcome audience advocating one perspective of a hotly contested national issue. In the same-sex marriage debate, culture, law and democracy are each having their impact.
At Saturday’s gathering, billed as a wedding reception for those gay couples newly married and sponsored by HBO and by the Human Rights Campaign, a group which advocates for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals, the message was: same-sex marriage is a fundamental right.
“This is what we are about as Americans, said Ted Olson, the solicitor general under George W. Bush, one of the legal team to challenge Californias Proposition 8 in court. He spoke on the stage with co-counsel David Boies, also part of the team to challenge the California law.
We have the same aspirations, the same fears, the same right to be treated decently and with respect in our neighborhoods and our jobs, he said, to sustained applause from more than a hundred individuals in the packed bistro.
Hollywood may be contributing to a change in national attitudes toward gays, lesbians and marriage. Yet according to other national legal experts not present here at Sundance, neither law nor democracy currently favor the same-sex marriage cause.
“States have always had the primary role on families and on matters concerning husbands and wives,” said Ed Meese, the Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, in a telephone interview. “In no way do I think Proposition 8 violates the Constitution.”
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