Every Burger King in the country will have meatless Whoppers by the end of the year – Sigal Samuel Apr 29, 2019, 2:30pm EDT


The alternative meat movement is having a watershed moment.

A cross-section of an Impossible Burger.
Sarah Lawrence for Vox

If you’ve been hankering to try one of the cutting-edge meatless burgers people are talking about but haven’t been able to get your hands on one yet, you’re in luck: Burger King’s Impossible Whopper — a patty made with 0 percent meat — will soon be available nationwide.

It’s been barely a month since the fast-food chain announced it was giving the new Impossible Whopper a trial run in 59 restaurants in the St. Louis area. Already, the results are so promising that Burger King now plans to make the product available in all its 7,200 branches across the US by the end of this year.

“The Impossible Whopper test in St. Louis went exceedingly well and as a result there are plans to extend testing into additional markets in the very near future,” the company said in a statement. “Burger King restaurants in St. Louis are showing encouraging results and Impossible Whopper sales are complementing traditional Whopper purchases.”

The beefless burger is a partnership with the startup company Impossible Foods, which supplies patties made with heme, a protein cultivated from soybean roots that mimics the texture of meat.

The plan for nationwide distribution is further evidence of plant-based meat going mainstream — a huge deal for those who want to see meat alternatives replace actual meat because of concerns over animal cruelty or climate change. If this keeps scaling up, it could help save hundreds of thousands of animals from suffering on factory farms, and it could fight global warming by reducing the number of methane-producing cattle. It could also combat other problems related to our factory-farming system, like antibiotic resistance.

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Rent-to-own furniture is being rebranded for millennials – Gaby Del Valle Apr 29, 2019, 4:00pm EDT


Furniture rental startups tout their flexibility — but they’re a sign of how precarious millennial living can be.

A West Elm living room set that can be rented through Feather, a furniture subscription service.
Feather

When I moved into my current apartment last summer, I had to figure out how to rearrange my furniture — mostly things I had bought off Craigslist or inherited from friends — to fit a completely new space. I had to toss a bunch of stuff that was either damaged beyond repair or just not going to fit in my bigger, weirdly shaped living room: a futon, some end tables, a shelf. I also had to buy new versions of the things I got rid of, something I still haven’t done because I’m hesitant to spend hundreds of dollars furnishing an apartment I might only live in for a year or two.

I’ve been in New York City for seven years and have lived in just as many apartments. I’m in my 20s, have some disposable income — though not enough to, say, buy a house — and am intimidated by the cost of furnishing a home. I am, in other words, the ideal customer for a crop of new startups that are trying to convince people to rent their furniture instead of buying it.

Two such companies, Fernish and Feather, both promote themselves as flexible, affordable alternatives to furniture ownership. Both let customers pay to rent pricey furniture in monthly installments and give them the option to buy whatever they rented once the lease is up. The prices vary depending on the brand of the item and how long the lease lasts.

An $899 West Elm couch rented through Feather, for example, starts at $52 a month — but if the customer were to rent it for two months instead of 12, they’d be paying $201 a month instead. And if I were to pay $52 a month to rent that $899 West Elm couch for a year before deciding I wanted to buy it, I’d only have to pay Feather the difference, or $275. Fernish uses a similar payment structure, with monthly payments decreasing as the lease term increases.

For now, the services are only available to customers in select cities: Fernish rents in Los Angeles and Seattle, while Feather is available in New York City, the Bay Area, and certain parts of New Jersey. More established companies have also gotten into the housewares rental game. Earlier this year, Rent the Runway and West Elm announced a partnership, though as of now they only rent linens and pillows. And in February, Ikea announced it would also offer furniture rentals, though it’s unclear how Ikea-quality furniture will last long enough to move from apartment to apartment.

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FBI Says It Thwarted A Planned Terrorist Attack By A Man In Los Angeles Area – Richard Gonzales April 29, 20197:04 PM ET


U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna stands next to photos of Mark Steven Domingo during a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday. Federal prosecutors said Domingo had planned to bomb a white supremacist rally as retribution for the New Zealand mosque attacks but was thwarted.
Richard Vogel/AP

xxA U.S. Army veteran with experience fighting in Afghanistan conspired to stage a terrorist attack on a planned white supremacist rally with the intent of inflicting mass casualties in the Los Angeles area, according to federal prosecutors.

Mark Steven Domingo, 26, was arrested last Friday after he received what he believed was a live bomb that he intended to detonate at a Long Beach rally scheduled for Sunday. In fact, the supposed improvised explosive device was delivered to Domingo by an undercover law enforcement officer.

Domingo is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

According to an affidavit, Domingo actively discussed with an FBI informant the possibility of attacking several possible sites, targeting Jews, police officers, churches and a National Guard armory before settling on the Long Beach rally.

In online posts, Domingo expressed his support for violent jihad. “America needs another vegas event … something to kick off civil unrest,” he wrote on March 3. That was an apparent reference to the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which the perpetrator killed 58 people before killing himself.

Domingo also expressed a desire to avenge the March 15 mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 people were killed. “There must be retribution,” he wrote, according to the affidavit.

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Samantha Bee’s brutal Trump taunts: Why her Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is necessary – SOPHIA A. MCCLENNEN APRIL 29, 2019 12:30PM (UTC)


Samantha Bee (AP/Evan Agostini)

“Once a year the current president should face someone who calls them out,” Bee said at her Not the WHCAD event

This past weekend marks the third year in a row Donald Trump has refused to attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner (WHCAD), which honors the First Amendment, especially a free press, and typically includes a comedic roast of the president. Instead, Trump followed his own tradition of holding a rally where he took the opportunity to bash the press on the exact same night that our nation honors it. This year was different, though, because the WHCAD chose to feature a historian rather than a comedian as the main speaker, and because the administration announced days before the event it would completely boycott the celebration. There was reason to wonder whether these shifts might affect our longstanding tradition of roasting the president while celebrating the First Amendment.

Historically, making jokes about our sitting president while honoring our free press was an important reminder that our nation has one of the strongest free speech protections in the world. Not only did the event honor the way that the First Amendment protects journalists; but it also served to underscore the ways that it protects comedians. The fact that a comedian would roast the president to his face proved that our nation had an exceedingly strong commitment to free speech. So, the decision to remove a comedian from the event was cause for concern. Was Trump dismantling our ability to mock him without fear of reprisal? Had the Trump administration succeeded in chilling comedic free speech?

The decision to move away from having a comedian as a featured speaker came in the wake of fallout over Michelle Wolf’s appearance at it last year. While some of us found her roast to be sharp and ironic, for many in the mainstream media her comments targeting the appearance of Sarah Huckabee Sanders crossed a line. Chris Cillizza of CNN found this line about Sanders from Wolf’s speech to be an example of bullying: “I think she’s very resourceful, like she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies.” The crack led many to say that “going after [Sanders’] looks” was too much, even though it isn’t clear that reading of the joke even makes sense.

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John Singleton: maverick director with a radical edge – Peter Bradshaw Mon 29 Apr 2019 16.45 EDT


John Singleton: Boyz N the Hood director dies aged 51 – video

Boyz N the Hood sent audiences reeling and marked the start of an uneven career for a writer-director whose films were rooted in lived experience

John Singleton: Boyz N the Hood director dies aged 51 – video

Hollywood wasn’t ready for John Singleton when he exploded on to the movie scene at the age of 23 – and maybe it’s been unready ever since. When Singleton was nominated for the best director Oscar for his sensational 1991 debut Boyz N the Hood (for which he also wrote the original screenplay), he was the first African American film-maker to have been entered for the category – and the youngest person ever.

He didn’t win. But as Singleton sent audiences reeling out of theatres with Ice Cube’s How to Survive in South Central over the closing credits, it seemed to many that here was a young master, with a compelling film about young men growing up in South Central Los Angeles, something to be compared to Scorsese’s Mean Streets or Fellini’s I Vitelloni. Yet despite the respect and affection for him, despite a strong professional work rate, despite continued creativity and focus – resulting most recently in a new TV crime series Snowfall– Singleton arguably did not have the fully realised directorial career that others had.

Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood.
Imperious debut … Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood. Photograph: Allstar/Columbia

But most other directors couldn’t boast of anything approaching the ferocity of his Boyz N the Hood, a masterpiece that seems to thump, judder and pulse with police helicopter rotor blades, or semiautomatic gunfire, or music in the streets. Cuba Gooding Jr plays Tre; Ice Cube is his troubled friend Doughboy and Morris Chestnut is Doughboy’s brother Ricky. Tyra Ferrell is superb in the role of their mother and Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne play Tre’s estranged parents.

One of the film’s most riveting set pieces is Fishburne’s enraged aria on the subject of gentrification: it points out a property ad billboard to a couple of kids on a street corner and gathers a crowd with his ensuing speech: “I’m talking about the message. What it stands for. It’s called ‘gentrification’. It’s what happens when the property value of a certain area is brought down … They can buy the land at a lower price. Then they move the people out, raise the value and sell it at a profit. What we need to do is we need to keep everything in our neighbourhood, everything, black.”

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HOMELAND SECURITY USED A PRIVATE INTELLIGENCE FIRM TO MONITOR FAMILY SEPARATION PROTESTS – Ryan Devereaux April 29 2019


Demonstrators march past the Department of Justice building during a protest against the Trump administration’s policy on separating immigrant families in Washington, D.C., on June 30, 2018. Photo: Toya Sarno Jordan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

THE CALLS FOR action were mounting. It was mid-June, and the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which saw thousands of migrant children separated from their parents, was producing waves of outrage. By the end of the month, hundreds of protests were planned in towns and cities across the country. As the plans moved forward, others took notice.

In the days leading up to the protests, a private intelligence company that works with the Department of Homeland Security was monitoring the activity on the ground. Documents shared with The Intercept by the American Immigration Council, obtained through a freedom of information request, show that LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, a Virginia-based firm, gathered information on more than 600 demonstrations across the country, information that was then shared with DHS and state-level law enforcement agencies.

Tracking Facebook accounts affiliated with the protests and disseminating the intelligence to law enforcement fusion centers nationwide, the operation drilled down on physical locations where demonstrations were planned: a high school in Sebring, Florida; a church in Carbondale, Illinois; the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City; a Denny’s in Carlsbad, California; and “the old Kmart parking lot” in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. All were logged by street address and the time of the planned demonstrations.

A “Threat Analyst” in Reston, Virginia, sent the finished intelligence to a “LookingGlass Shared Services” address on June 28, two days before the protests were set to begin.

“LookingGlass has compiled a spreadsheet for State Fusion Centers detailing over 600 planned ‘Family Separation Day Protests’ across the US on June 30,” the analyst’s email read. “These originated from Cyber Threat Center (CTC) and are broken out by City and State; they provide physical location and the Facebook event ID.”

The following morning, the headquarters of DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis disseminated the information to its staff, which was later circulated among Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel.

In a statement, LookingGlass Chief Marketing Officer Joy Nemitz told The Intercept, “As a matter of company policy and confidentiality, we do not comment on matters pertaining to clients or work performed and refer all queries to the company in question.” A DHS official, speaking on background, described the information LookingGlass collected as “unsolicited.”

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Mattis ignored orders from Trump, White House on North Korea, Iran: report – Ellen Mitchell 04/29/19 05:48 PM EDT


Former Defense Secretary James Mattis declined to carry out orders from President Trump or otherwise limited his options in various attempts to prevent tensions with North Korea, Iran and Syria from escalating, The New Yorker reported Monday, the latest account of Trump’s own officials trying to check his worst instincts.

“The president thinks out loud. Do you treat it like an order? Or do you treat it as part of a longer conversation? We treated it as part of a longer conversation,” a former senior national security official told The New Yorker.

“We prevented a lot of bad things from happening.”

In 2017, following a series of North Korean ballistic missile tests, Trump ordered the Pentagon to begin removing the spouses and children of military personnel from South Korea, where the U.S. military has a base. An administration official told the magazine that “Mattis just ignored” the order.

In another instance in the fall of 2017, as White House officials were planning a private meeting at Camp David to develop military options for a possible conflict with North Korea, Mattis allegedly stopped the gathering from happening. He ignored a request from then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster to send officers and planners, according to a former senior administration official.

The accounts, included in a profile of national security adviser John Bolton, reveal that the former Marine Corps general routinely sought to downplay any potential conflicts across the globe.

Mattis resigned from his Pentagon position last December, one day after Trump announced that he would withdraw troops from Syria, a decision Mattis opposed.

The defense chief also sought to ward off possible conflicts in the Middle East.

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