American Idol Will End After the Next Season


The fat lady is preparing to sing for American Idol.

Fox announced Monday the show would end after its next, 15th season, with the current judges roster of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., as well as host Ryan Seacrest, staying on for one last round.

The show, once a behemoth in American entertainment and a cultural touchstone, no longer occupies the same position in the television firmament. Its ratings have dropped and it is watched by 10.7 million viewers on Wednesday nights, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

American Idol has served as something of a drive-thru restaurant for executive producers, judges and celebrities, including Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Paula Abdul and Ellen DeGeneres, who have joined the show for several high-profile seasons at a time before leaving. And the show boosted many of its early contestants to stardom, including Kelly Clarkson, Clay…

View original post 9 more words


New York Governor Acts to Protect Exploited Nail Salon Workers


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled emergency measures on Sunday to protect thousands of workers in his state’s nail salon industry from wage theft and health hazards.

A new multiagency task force will immediately conduct salon-by-salon investigations, protect manicurists from chemicals in nail products, and educate workers on their rights, Cuomo said in a statement.

The measures come days after the New York Timespublished online an indepth investigation into the exploitation of nail manicurists, many of whom are severely underpaid and regularly exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals.

“We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights,” Cuomo said in a statement, according to the New York Times.

Nail salons that do not comply with orders to pay workers back wages will be shut down, according to the new rules.


View original post

Morning Must Reads: May 11


Texas Storm Wreaks Havoc

About two dozen people were injured and some homes were destroyed after a severe storm struck the small town of Van in northeast Texas, an emergency management official said. The storm was part of severe weather that stretched across north Texas on Sunday

Conservative Battle on the Horizon

Despite winning a majority in the British election, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives aren’t guaranteed smooth sailing

Castro Thanks Pope Francis

Cuba’s President received a warm Vatican welcome on Sunday from the Pope, who played a key role in the breakthrough between Havana and Washington

Suspects Charged in Cop Killings

Two Mississippi police officers were shot to death during an evening traffic stop that turned violent on Saturday night, marking the first deaths in the line of duty in Hattiesburg in three decades. Two of three suspects in custody are charged with capital murder

Swedish Court Rejects Assange…

View original post 390 more words

China Has Become the World’s Biggest Crude Oil Importer for the First Time


China is now the largest importer of crude oil in the world. In April, it surpassed the U.S., which has traditionally held the slot, with imports of 7.4 million barrels per day (bpd) or 200,000 more than the U.S., according to the Financial Times.

The news comes as a surprise because the Chinese economy has been slowing and just this weekend, in an effort to stimulate growth, the People’s Bank of China cut interest rates for the third time in 6 months.

Over the next few months, the U.S. and China may be in and out of the top spot, but because American imports dropped by about 3 million bpd in the last decade (thanks in large part to shale extractions) and because China’s purchases have boosted seven-fold, the Chinese should be the top crude oil importer on a long term basis.

China overtook the United States as the…

View original post 24 more words

Game of Thrones Watch: Fear and Mistakes


Spoilers for Game of Thrones, “Kill the Boy,” follow:

“… And then they weren’t.”

After the bloody events of last week, “Kill the Boy” was bound to be a more measured hour of Game of Thrones — well, so long as you weren’t the unfortunate Meereenese leader who was burned alive, ripped clean in half and devoured by a pair of ornery teenage dragons. Instead, the episode began by dealing with the aftermath of “Sons of the Harpy,” revealing the fate of Grey Worm (alive) and Ser Barristan the Bold (dead). Though it was a shame the audience never got an extensive look at the finer works of an artist who was said to have only used red, the outcome makes sense. Barristan was old and had little that connected him to anyone else on the entire continent other than Daenerys. Grey Worm, on the other hand, still has an…

View original post 1,460 more words

Bruce Jenner ‘Is in Seventh Heaven’ About Sharing His Transition Story


Everyone was buzzing about Bruce Jenner‘s recent revelation that he’s transitioning from male to female at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City Saturday.

“That was a culture-changing moment,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tells PEOPLE of the soul-baring 20/20 interview Jenner, 65, did with Diane Sawyer last month.

“It was a tectonic shift for the trans community. For the first time, about 20 million people in America met somebody who’s transgender. You can’t really do that in any other way or with somebody who’s even better suited for it because Bruce has always been a champion in the past and is now a new kind of champion.”

Jenner will also be starring in his own docuseries on E! to detail his transition, About Bruce, which is set to debut on July 26.

Jennifer Finney Boylan, an out trans advocate and author (and also…

View original post 201 more words