Today we start with the news that former Los Angeles undersheriff Paul Tanaka turned himself in to federal authorities this morning. He’s been charged with obstruction of justice. We get an update on the case. Then, a look at the fight over the Brazilian Bahia Emerald, a giant gem currently stored at an undisclosed sheriff’s department facility here in L.A. Next, we turn to the fight over raising L.A.’s minimum wage from $9 to $15. Restaurant owners want tips to count towards the minimum wage, but labor activists oppose that. Then, a look at the state of documentary film and how it’s changed since the 1960s. And finally, it looks like Harry Shearer is leaving The Simpsons after voicing hundreds of characters for nearly three decades.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Former Los Angeles undersheriff Paul Tanaka turned himself in to authorities this morning. The FBI and Justice Department charged Tanaka with obstruction of justice, alleging that he repeatedly sabotaged an investigation by the federal authorities into civil rights violations in Men’s Central Jail. We get an update on the case.
Weighing in at a staggering 840 pounds, the Brazilian Bahia Emerald is thought to be the biggest uncut emerald in the world. It’s being held in an evidence locker at an undisclosed sheriff’s department facility here in Los Angeles, and today the Brazilian government and an Idaho businessman are in court arguing over who owns the giant gem. Before the Bahia emerald ended up in LA, it went on a globe-trotting adventure that spanned eight years. We trace its journey and the big fight over it.
L.A. is one step closer today to raising the city’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour. Yesterday, a city council committee approved the increase, and the full city council is expected to vote on it next week. If the measure passes, L.A.’s restaurants are likely to feel some of the biggest impacts. And owners in the industry are asking city officials to reconsider their proposal. They want tips to be counted toward the minimum wage for waiters, waitresses and bartenders. L.A.’s labor activists, on the other hand, say that would create all kinds of new problems. We hear arguments from both sides.
The new documentary Iris paints a portrait of 93-year-old fashion maven Iris Apfel. It’s a film about an icon, made by another icon, Albert Maysles. It’s also one of his last films; Maysles died on March 5th at the age of 88. Albert and his brother David, who died in 1987, were documentary legends known for their “fly on the wall” style. They made films like Salesman, Gimme Shelter, and Grey Gardens. These days, documentaries often rival fiction films for pure entertainment value. With the recent death of Albert Maysles, we take a look at his legacy and the state of documentary films in 2015.
Since the beginning of The Simpsons, actor and comedian Harry Shearer has voiced more than a hundred characters on the show: the evil tycoon, Mr Burns; the butler Smithers; principal Skinner… the list goes on. But, after 26 seasons with the show, it looks like Harry Shearer will not be returning as any of those voices for seasons 27 and 28. We look at what his departure will mean.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Does copyright law cover graffiti? Clothing company H&M did a fashion shoot in Brooklyn featuring models standing against a gray wall painted with black waving lines. The graffiti was the work of an LA-based street artist, who wanted compensation. H&M responded by filing a lawsuit against him, then dropped it a few days later.
Taylor Mac takes on U.S. history in 246 songs, two dozen costume changes Taylor Mac will perform his “24-Decade History of Popular Music” starting Thursday in LA. It’s divided into four shows on four separate nights. It’s about this history of oppression and activism in the U.S. -- from 1776 to present day.
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