FROM Arnold Schwartzman
Those Old Time Oscars The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is playing up nostalgia in its ads for Sunday's Oscar Awards , "celebrate the movies in all of us." Some call that an excuse for a weak field of pictures chosen by mostly aging white men, out of touch with contemporary audiences. The identity of the 5765 voting members of AMPAS has been a carefully guarded secret, but extensive research by the Los Angeles Times revealed that 94 percent are Caucasian; 77 percent are male; and the median age is 62. But films about the past — and the way movies used to be made — may also reflect real anxiety in a film industry besieged by technical change in the digital age. Can Billy Crystal jack up this year's TV ratings? After all the preliminaries, are there any surprises left?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.