Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor
Mary's Feed
Apr 18, 2011
via Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Cattle prod


.As market maven Mohamed El-Erian told us today “The medium term has a way of creeping up on you.” That’s why everyone needs a cattle prod from time to time and today it was Washington’s turn to get a goading.

It came in the form of Standard & Poor’s decision to slap a negative outlook on America’s top-notch credit rating because of Washington’s plodding pace on deficit reduction. The White House and Congress need to get in gear and start making meaningful plans to cut the deficit or else be responsible for a dreaded downgrade in debt. The chances? One-in-three over two years.

Apr 13, 2011

Fired workers say Chipotle was soft on immigration

MINNEAPOLIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The hundreds of illegal immigrants recently fired from fast-growing burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc had a pretty good run when it came to job security.

Not only did some get jobs with fake Social Security numbers and few questions about their immigration status, in some cases they actually told managers point-blank their papers were no good. And they often stayed on for years.

Apr 8, 2011

Washington Extra – This just might stink

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress cannot
ignore the political losses that might run into the 2012
elections from failing to get a budget deal tonight. A running
poll of readers on reuters.com shows 60 percent would blame
Republicans more for a government shutdown, 22 percent would
blame Democrats and 18 percent say both parties, equally.

In the blame game, however, Republicans have a powerful
point: when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress just
months ago, they could have approved the current year budget.
The Democrats started this mess, they say. President Barack
Obama will lose face if he can’t stop it.

Mar 17, 2011

West Coast radiation risk low, but fears persist

LOS ANGELES/VANCOUVER (Reuters) – North America is at little risk of receiving harmful levels of radiation from Japan’s nuclear crisis, officials said on Thursday, but that has not stopped a scramble on the West Coast for items like potassium iodide and Geiger counters.

Low concentrations of radioactive particles from Japan’s stricken nuclear plants are expected to drift over the Pacific Ocean, but nothing has been detected by U.S. or Canadian monitoring stations, officials said.

Mar 11, 2011

Washington Extra – Wake-up call

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) – There is nothing quite
like a horrific natural disaster to put things into
perspective, and Japan’s 8.9 earthquake and devastating tsunami
Friday were no different. Before getting down to business, we
paused this morning to consider our own fragility, including
President Barack Obama, who said he was “heartbroken” by
Japan’s heavy loss of life.

Against such a stark backdrop, America’s high gas prices
might seem like a frivolous topic. But, in fact, it is serious
– for Americans whose lifestyle dictates heavy gas consumption
and for a president who is under pressure to deliver his people
some relief at the gas pumps.

Mar 1, 2011

Analysis: Chipotle immigration probe could wide implications

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An investigation by U.S. immigration officials into illegal unemployment at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is making some investors nervous and could have implications for the fast food industry as a whole.

Chipotle, based in Denver, Colorado, is one of the highest-profile employers to come under the scrutiny of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in recent years. And the investigation into its hiring practices has served as a wake-up call for the nation’s nearly 580,000 restaurants.

Feb 28, 2011

Financial meltdown documentary wins Oscar

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Inside Job,” a film blaming financial institutions for triggering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, won the Academy Award for best documentary on Sunday.

Director Charles Ferguson started off his acceptance speech lamenting that “not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that is wrong,” drawing applause from the Hollywood celebrity audience.

Feb 27, 2011

Foreign films navigate rough waters to reach Oscars

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – Acclaimed Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu knew he was in a bad way when the film critics who loved his drama “Biutiful” kept calling it bleak, dark and depressing.

Those adjectives scared off distributors, particularly in the United States, where the director said “everyone was really afraid of the film” about a dying man played by Javier Bardem.

Feb 11, 2011

Herbie Hancock plays musical envoy to a tense world

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Jazz giant Herbie Hancock played last month for Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House state dinner and might have done a little something to smooth those tense U.S.-China relations.

While he and other artists performed their program, including Hancock’s famous 1962 piece “Watermelon Man,” the atmosphere warmed up.

Feb 10, 2011

Chipotle ‘navigating’ through immigrant worker woes

LOS ANGELES, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Fast-growing burrito chain
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday it was too
early to tell if it would change its hiring practices after a
federal immigration crackdown forced it to fire hundreds of
employees in Minnesota.

But as the company faces a widening probe into restaurants
in Virginia and Washington D.C., executives said they are
trying to head off the kind of disruption that occurred in
Minnesota, where new hiring and training added 20 percent to 30
percent in restaurant crew hours.

    • About Mary

      "Mary Milliken is Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor for the Americas since July 2013, based in Los Angeles. In 15 years with Reuters, she been bureau chief in Washington DC, the West Coast and South America and has organized news teams covering everything from presidential elections to economic crises to natural disasters. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese."
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