LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Oscars gave the online community a lot to talk about on Sunday, as the number of social media comments about Hollywood’s biggest night more than tripled from last year in a sign that viewers connected with the show.
This year’s Academy Awards had the Web buzzing about Meryl Streep’s first Oscar victory since 1983, the dangerously cut neckline of singer-actress Jennifer Lopez’s dress and the striking resemblance that French producer Thomas Langmann was said to bear to the late actor Peter Lorre.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius won the Oscar for best directing on Sunday for “The Artist,” a homage to Hollywood’s silent era that starred the filmmaker’s wife.
The silent, black-and-white movie which also took the best picture award focuses on a fading star who finds redemption through the love of a woman just as silent movies are being taken over by talkies.
(Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday threw out an animal rights group’s lawsuit accusing SeaWorld of enslaving captive killer whales, ruling that orcas had no standing to seek the same constitutional rights as people.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, had accused the chain of aquatic theme parks of violating the rights of whales under the 13th Amendent of the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In an attempt to regain parents’ trust, educational officials said on Monday they are replacing all staff at a Los Angeles school where two instructors are accused of having sexually abused children.
Police on January 30 arrested Miramonte Elementary instructor Mark Berndt, who they say placed cockroaches on students’ faces and offered them spoonfuls of a substance found to be semen. Four days later they arrested another teacher, Martin Springer, on suspicion of molesting two students.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Bill Hinzman, who was cast on-the-spot as a zombie in 1968 cult film “Night of the Living Dead” in a role that earned him the longlasting admiration of horror fans, has died at age 75, his daughter said.
Hinzman died of cancer on Sunday evening at his home in Darlington, Pennsylvania, his daughter Heidi Hinzman told Reuters.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Police arrested a second teacher at a Los Angeles-area elementary school on Friday where one instructor is accused of taking bondage-style photos of students with cockroaches on their faces, officials said.
School official removed the second teacher from the classroom on Thursday after receiving “allegations of possible inappropriate behavior” involving the instructor, the Los Angeles Unified School District said in a statement.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A second teacher has been removed from a Los Angeles-area elementary school where one instructor is accused of having taken bondage-style photos of students with cockroaches on their faces, school and police officials said on Friday.
The second teacher was removed from the classroom on Thursday after school officials received “allegations of possible inappropriate behavior” involving the instructor, the Los Angeles Unified School District said in a statement.
(Reuters) – Efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use are gaining momentum in Washington state and Colorado, despite fierce opposition from the federal government and a decades-long cultural battle over America’s most commonly used illicit drug.
Officials in Washington state on Friday said an initiative to legalize pot has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. In Colorado, officials are likely this week to make a similar determination about an initiative there.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee on Monday pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, stemming from a confrontation with a panhandler that police say ended with Lee hitting the man with a tire iron.
In another development at the court hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder Kalra allowed Young to return to his native South Korea later this month for a visit, but required him to turn in his passport after his return.
(Reuters) – Supporters of legalizing marijuana for recreational use have submitted enough signatures to put the matter to voters in Washington state in a bold move that, if successful, could put Olympia on a collision course with the federal government.
The group New Approach Washington submitted nearly 278,000 valid signatures for the measure, more than required to put it on the November ballot, David Ammons, a spokesman for the Washington Secretary of State’s office, said in a statement.