FROM Tom Philpott
California's Hottest Winemaker: Harvard? Harvard University has been quietly snapping up swaths of farmland along California's central coast, turning the school into one of the top -- and most unlikely -- wine producers in the region. And Harvard's not alone in picking up thousands of acres of California farmland. Investment banks, pension funds, and insurance companies have all become some of the biggest farmers in the state. Turns out farmland is a stable and lucrative investment for those with a lot of money to spend. Not even the historic drought has put a damper on the farm fever. How did this come about, and what does it mean for the future of California's farm industry?
Almonds Are Sucking California Dry California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, now producing 2.1 billion pounds a year—three times more than it did just 14 years ago. But there’s a hidden cost. Each individual nut requires 1.1 gallons of water. New groves of almond trees are still being added—despite years of drought, which we all know is likely to continue. Tom Philpott is Food and Agriculture reporter for Mother Jones magazine.
North Korea tests more missiles, Turkey's president gains more power Early Tuesday morning, North Korea tested another intercontinental ballistic missile. It blew up shortly after take-off. But North Korea keeps working on a nuclear missile that could reach the U.S. Also in Turkey, a close vote has given sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey is an important Western ally in the region, but its leader is becoming increasingly authoritarian.
With first DREAMer deported, what's the future of DACA? The first DREAMer has been deported since Donald Trump took office. That’s according to a lawsuit filed in San Diego on behalf of Juan Manuel Montes, who has DACA status. Border agents picked him up in Calexico in February. He was deported after he wasn’t able to produce an I.D.
What's at stake if Hollywood writers strike? Writers in Hollywood just finished voting yay or nay to go on strike. The vote is expected to be in favor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll walk off the job. We get the details and look at the effects of the last strike.
In 'Free Fire,' Ben Wheatley wants to "meet the audience halfway" British filmmaker Ben Wheatley has built up a cult following with his hyper-violent, darkly funny movies. His newest film Free Fire is an action comedy starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and a whole lot of guns. The movie has the broadest commercial appeal of any of his work to date, but it's still a Ben Wheatley film, which means, spoiler alert...a lot of people die.