FROM Roy Simon
Peter Thiel, Revenge and Litigation Finance Peter Thiel is a man of many interests. He made billions of dollars as a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook. Lately he’s been spreading the wealth in interesting ways. Thiel gives fellowships to teenagers who drop out of school to start companies; he co-founded the Seasteading Institute, an organization that wants to create cities at sea, out of the reach of any government; he’s a pledged delegate for Donald Trump. And news surfaced this week that he’s bankrolling a legal campaign to destroy Gawker Media. As it turns out, Thiel secretly funded Hulk Hogan’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker after the site posted a sex tape of Hogan. A jury awarded Hogan $140 million dollars. According to the New York Times, Thiel is also supporting other cases, though he won’t disclose what they are. He’s not the only person to secretly back a lawsuit like this, though. The practice of litigation finance is becoming more common.
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?