Rupert Murdoch Getting Into Wine Business
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Another celebrity to be bitten with the winemaking bug
Murdoch closed on the Moraga Vineyards winery and estate for a cool $28.8 million, says the WSJ.
Well, someone had to follow in Donald Trump's footsteps. New reports from the Wall Street Journal say that the business mogul has bought himself a winery.
Murdoch closed on the Moraga Vineyards winery and estate for a cool $28.8 million, says the WSJ. The winery, located in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles (really? Not Napa?) produces about 1,500 cases per year. The 2,300-square-foot winery also includes a wine cave and a tasting room, and the estate was built by the Hollywood director Victor Fleming, who directed The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. The deal has been in motion since April, but hasn't closed until now because Murdoch needed to procure liquor licenses first.
The WSJ says Murdoch will be continuing the winemaking tradition as the past owners have. Let's start the guessing games: what's Murdoch's favorite wine?
Rupert Murdoch: The media mogul says goodbye to much of the company he built
It all started with a few glasses of wine and two media titans talking about how hard life is.
Rupert Murdoch, the 87-year-old founder and co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and News Corp., and Bob Iger, the 67-year-old chief executive of the Walt Disney Co., met last August at Murdoch's Moraga vineyard in the Bel Air hills of Los Angeles and discussed the myriad challenges their multibillion-dollar corporations faced, according to two people familiar with the discussion.
Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google were dwarfing their old-media conglomerates. As much as Murdoch liked positioning himself as the underdog and outsider, these new digital competitors were turning out to be too much.
Not long after Iger drove away from that conversation (and after other meetings Murdoch and his sons held with Verizon and Comcast), the two men sketched out a deal that involves Murdoch selling the bulk of the company to Disney, but retaining a large stake in the combined entity. The proposed $70 billion agreement requires Iger to remain as CEO.
Aside from the big payday, it is a seminal moment for Murdoch, who is turning over the power to run the company he has spent his career building. The media mogul is saying goodbye to his life's work.
Murdoch's decision to sell part of his empire is the end of an era. It could be viewed as a surrender, a sign that he's given up trying to match the might of digital companies that are able to pay top dollar to churn out television series, movies and comedy specials like candy. But it might turn out to be Rupert Murdoch's most deft move yet, the one where he saves his company, and fortifies his family fortune.
"Rupert is in the best of all possible worlds here," media and telecom billionaire John Malone, a longtime rival and confidant of Murdoch's, said in an interview.
The value of 21st Century Fox has risen by roughly $40 billion, to $91 billion, since CNBC first broke the story of Disney's interest. To those who know Murdoch, the sale represents a point of personal evolution - a shift from building voraciously to cementing his legacy.
Murdoch created one of the world's most powerful and influential media conglomerates out of two modest Australian newspapers he inherited from his father. But that company, under his leadership, also has survived a series of near disasters: the threat of bankruptcy in 1990 criminal investigations into its British papers hacking into people's voice mails possible misuse of company funds to cover up sexual harassment allegations at Fox News and antsy investors who worried that Murdoch was concerned more with empire-building than with their immediate financial gain.
More recently, his sons, James and Lachlan, who are the CEO and co-executive chairman of the 21st Century Fox, respectively, disagreed over the pace and manner of change required to survive in a digital era. And, increasingly, Murdoch came to grips with a future where the media behemoth he created just wasn't big enough to compete.
The decision to sell also comes as Murdoch has flexed other muscles. With President Donald Trump's election, he's at the height of his political influence in the United States, a position he has long sought.
Murdoch has a direct line to Trump and close relationships with several Fox News personalities who act as unofficial advisers to the White House.
Trump and Murdoch talk weekly and sometimes daily, according to people close to both men. The morning Disney announced the agreement with Fox, Trump, who had sought assurances from Murdoch that he wasn't going to sell Fox News, called Murdoch to congratulate him on the deal. That approach contrasts the public opposition Trump voiced to the AT&T purchase of Time Warner, which owns CNN.
In addition, former Fox News executive and Sean Hannity confidant Bill Shine is expected to take the job of White House deputy chief of staff in charge of communications, a role that only adds to the personal connections between Trump and the Murdoch-controlled news network.
Under the terms of the proposed deals Murdoch is entertaining, he will hold on to Fox News and Fox Sports 1, the Fox broadcast network and its television stations. The smaller company will allow him to focus on the parts of the business that he is passionate about and that he sees as unique. Friends and associates describe that decision as well thought out on Murdoch's part.
"With Rupert there is a constant, restless mulling and introspection," said Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp., the Murdoch-controlled company that consists largely of newspapers and real estate websites, including the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and the New York Post. "That endless reflection means that he has an understanding of the context of the moment." Thomson added that Murdoch is as vigorous in his pursuit of new projects as he has ever been.
Earlier in his life, Murdoch would have resisted the sale of his company, said Chase Carey, who worked for him for decades, is the former chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox and remains a board member. "But life is never what you would have envisioned. People change and the world changes."
He added that Murdoch's strength is "to look both at where the world is today and what is the right path for the future. . That would have been a different set of answers 10 years ago. . You can't wish away Google and Amazon, but you can respond to the market realities of the moment."
To compete with the big digital players, a media company either needs massive scale or unique and defendable properties, Carey said.
Murdoch attempted scale when the company tried to acquire Time Warner a few years ago, but was rebuffed. Then, larger players such as Netflix started poaching major creative talent - for example Ryan Murphy, who had been at Fox's FX, in a reported $300 million deal.
It was then that Murdoch began to realize that Fox could no longer compete without changing drastically.
In late June, Murdoch and his sons had a celebratory dinner with Disney's Iger at the River Café in West London, overlooking the Thames. Iger had agreed to substantially increase Disney's offer. Investors and executives expect Comcast might yet make another, better offer to Murdoch, which could force Disney's hand yet again. But that possibility seemed less likely after the Justice Department announced its approval of the Disney transaction, with certain conditions.
Left over after a deal will be what is provisionally named "new Fox." That company will still have what Malone called the crown jewel of the company, Fox News. Lachlan and Rupert, who are both center-right politically, will oversee the news channel. James, who is center-left politically, will no longer be associated with it.
Murdoch has always said he wanted one of his children to succeed him, and over the years, his three adult children from his second marriage have jockeyed for that position. Lachlan, the elder son, has always been something of an heir apparent, even though Elisabeth, who is three years older than Lachlan, is viewed as the child most like her father.
She publicly clashed with her father and her brother James over their handling of the phone-hacking crisis in London - cementing her distance from the family business. Though relationships have mended, neither James nor Elisabeth are expected to take a role at new Fox.
"Rupert has some smart kids," said Malone. The two men have spoken about once a week since the proposed deal with Disney was announced. "They may not always get along with each other, but they are smart kids."
Murdoch's daughter from his first marriage, Prudence, has never been involved in the family business. His two daughters with his third wife are still not of age.
Two years ago he married his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, the former longtime companion to Mick Jagger. Her children live primarily in London, and Murdoch has been spending considerable time there recently.
His move into what is presumably the last stage of his career mirrors a shift in the industry where he has made his mark.
Carey says that the media industry is in its fourth great revolution of the past century. First came film in the 1920s, then broadcast television in the '50s, then cable TV in the '80s, and now the digital revolution, which has laid waste to the fortunes of many traditional media players. Murdoch - it seems - is intent on avoiding that fate.
About four months after that glass of wine with Iger, his vineyard narrowly avoided destruction in a California wildfire. With his latest move, Murdoch may have engineered the same kind of escape for his company.
In Murdoch's Career, A Hand on the News
As Rupert Murdoch advances in his bid to buy The Wall Street Journal and its parent, Dow Jones & Co., a central issue is whether he will preserve the independence of its news operations -- and keep his own views and commercial interests from coloring what appears in the paper's news pages.
Since his $5 billion offer became public last month, some members of the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones, have expressed skepticism about his promise to preserve the paper's independence. Another big shareholder, James Ottaway Jr., declared that Mr. Murdoch has long "expressed his personal, political and business biases through his newspapers and television stations." Even as the family shifted last week from opposing the bid and met with Mr. Murdoch yesterday to discuss his offer, it began talking about ways to set up a mechanism for safeguarding the paper's editorial independence. (See related story.)
A detailed examination of Mr. Murdoch's half-century career as a journalist and businessman shows that his newspapers and other media outlets have made coverage decisions that advanced the interests of his sprawling media conglomerate, News Corp . In the process, Mr. Murdoch has blurred a line that exists at many other U.S. media companies between business and news sides -- a line intended to keep the business and political interests of owners from influencing the presentation of news.
Mr. Murdoch's focus on News Corp.'s bottom line has often allowed market considerations to influence editorial moves, and different markets have led to starkly different approaches. In the U.S., Fox News has thrived by tilting to the right, filling a niche left open by its network and cable rivals. In Italy, a 24-hour television news channel launched by Mr. Murdoch in 2003 has positioned itself as a relatively reliable and objective source of news -- in contrast to the political bias of Italy's more-established channels.
At all newspapers, owners have a say in broad editorial direction. Mr. Murdoch has a long history of being unusually aggressive, reflecting his roots as an old-fashioned press baron. From his earliest days, like some other newspaper proprietors of the last century, he ran his companies with his hands directly on the daily product, peppering reporters and editors with suggestions and criticisms.
Rupert Murdoch (pictured center with his son Lachlan and Lachlan's wife Sarah) has afforded his family 'great privilege' from his wealth
Who is Charlotte Freud?
Charlotte Freud is the 21-year-old daughter of Elisabeth Murdoch, second daughter of media mogul Rupert, and PR guru Matthew Freud.
She comes from a long line of successful and highly educated descendants, and is the great-great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud - a neurologist famous for founding psychoanalysis.
She is one of Rupert Murdoch's 13 grandchildren and is an aspiring singer and songwriter gearing up to release several new singles.
Murdoch is the head of the global News Corp empire and worth an estimated $22billion USD ($28billion AUD), while her father is worth an estimated $170million.
During her addiction, Charlotte also struggled with an eating disorder, revealing she wound often vomit when she found herself upset over something.
At 17, she checked into a treatment facility to help manage the disorder, and realised she used it as a coping mechanism to 'turn her brain off, even for a second'.
While at the treatment facility, she initially struggled because so many of the other youths there were dealing with anorexia, and she worried the treatment wouldn't cater to her differing needs.
'I learned it almost has nothing to do with food. In group therapy [food] never came up. It was all the same stuff, just a coping mechanism.'
Now seven months sober, Charlotte can't imagine getting so low again.
'I can't describe the feeling of being trusted and having people that love you,' she said.
Charlotte has long been a somewhat unexpected figure in her rich and privileged family.
Back in 2019, she told her Instagram followers her mother was worried about her fashion choices leading up to a family wedding.
She said her mother even hired her a personal shopper to ensure the frock she chose wouldn't show too much cleavage.
'My grandma's getting married, so mum's sending me to a personal shopper to make sure I cover my t**s up for the ceremony,' the then 18-year-old told her 6,548 followers.
She later shared some of the looks, with comments such as: 'If I must look ridiculous in exchange for free champagne, so be it' and 'the s*** I do for this family, gawd.'
Charlotte is planning to release a series of songs she wrote at the height of her addiction in the coming year.
Charlotte is planning to release a series of songs she wrote at the height of her addiction in the coming year
3. Descriptions of Murdoch’s character
The late writer Dennis Potter: “I call my cancer Rupert . There is no one person more responsible for the pollution of what was already a fairly polluted press and the pollution of the British press is an important part of the pollution of British political life.”
The former Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger: “It’s difficult to think of a prime minister in the last 40 years who has won against the Murdoch instinct.”
The former editor of the Sun David Yelland: “To speak objectively about him even so many years after I’ve worked for him is difficult.”
The actor and phone hacking victim Hugh Grant: “I don’t believe that David Cameron or Tony Blair really dared cough without first getting permission from Rupert Murdoch.”
Paul Keating’s advice, according to Tony Blair’s adviser Alastair Campbell, on handling Rupert: “Two things you need to know about Rupert Murdoch, he’s a really hard bastard and the only way to deal with him is to be a really hard bastard or he’ll have no respect for you at all.” The second was that his only priority is himself and his business interests.
Very short list
We told you in November how the Morrison government handpicked unsuccessful Liberal candidate Warren Mundine to sit on the SBS board for five years, overlooking the recommendations of the independent nominations panel.
Now we can reveal the government didn’t even advertise the position when it became vacant, denying prospective candidates the opportunity to be considered. Weekly Beast has confirmed the shortlist of candidates was compiled from an earlier application process in 2020 for the vacant chairperson position.
“The vacancy to which Warren Mundine was appointed arose following the appointment of an existing non-executive director, George Savvides, to the position of chair,” a spokesman for communications minister Paul Fletcher told Weekly Beast.
“Under the SBS Act, in these circumstances the nomination panel can revisit the applications for the chair vacancy and provide the minister with a shortlist of candidates for him to consider when filling the non-executive director vacancy. Expressions of interest in the vacant SBS chairperson position were called for in a range of print and online sources between 20 February and 8 March 2020.”
Watch Media Mogul, Owner of Fox, Whine About ‘Wave of Censorship’ and ‘Awful Woke Orthodoxy’
Rupert Murdoch attends the WSJ. Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in New York.
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images
Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire executive chair of News Corp. and founder of Fox News, continued the absurd conservative trend of complaining about being silenced while at the same time having access to some of the world&rsquos largest media platforms.
According to the New York Times, Murdoch took the opportunity to complain about what he called &ldquoawful woke orthodoxy&rdquo while accepting a lifetime achievement award from the Australia Day Foundation. The video of Murdoch standing next to a bottle of Australian red wine and wearing a medal was posted by The Herald Sun, one of the many newspapers owned by Murdoch.
After thanking the nonprofit for the honor, Murdoch, 89, signaled that he&rsquos not going away, saying, &ldquoI&rsquom far from done.&rdquo But then he veered into victim mode.
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&ldquoFor those of us in media, there&rsquos a real challenge to confront: a wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate, and ultimately stop individuals and societies from realizing their potential,&rdquo Murdoch said.
The billionaire then blasted social media companies for stifling &ldquofreedom of speech,&rdquo a constitutional restriction that applies to the government, not to private companies.
&ldquoThis rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media is a straitjacket on sensibility,” Murdoch added. &ldquoToo many people have fought too hard in too many places for freedom of speech to be suppressed by this awful woke orthodoxy.&rdquo
It&rsquos almost satirical when you hear the rich and powerful cry about not being heard when their opportunities to do so are endless. Fellow non-victim of the &ldquoawful woke orthodoxy&rdquo is insurrection inciter Senator Josh Hawley. Murdoch&rsquos own New York Post gave the senator front-page treatment on Monday for his op-ed, laughable titled &ldquoThe muzzling of America.&rdquo And newly-elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green added herself to the non-victim list when she donned a facemask with the word “censored” embroidered on it while giving a nationally-broadcast speech from the House floor.
Can Rupert Murdoch Make a Profit on His Tiny Bel Air Winery?
Of the many amazing things you see at Los Angeles’s J. Paul Getty Museum, one of the most stunning is the view from the roof: Across the highway in Bel Air𠅊 neighborhood that claims the highest-priced house in the U.S.—you can see that someone is growing grapes.
That someone is Rupert Murdoch, who bought the 16-acre Moraga Estate winery in 2013 for $28.8 million from Northrop Grumman Corp.’s longtime chief executive officer, Thomas Jones. Jones planted grapes there in 1978, on land once owned by Gone With the Wind director Victor Fleming, and started selling bottles in 1989. Murdoch now offers a Moraga Bordeaux-style red for $175 and a sauvignon blanc for $110, and the wines are poured at California hot spots such as Nobu Malibu and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. When Murdoch is in L.A., he and his wife, Jerry Hall, reside in a 7,500-square-foot house at the vineyard, surrounded by olive trees and chickens.
Joel Stein: You bought the property after reading about it in the mansion section of the Wall Street Journal.
Rupert Murdoch: It was the fifth issue of that.
Did you know you wanted to continue to make wine?
It was one of the conditions of buying it. It wasn’t written in the contract it was a handshake with Tom Jones. He put the last 25 or 30 years of his life in it. I loved going there. I wanted to hear about Tom’s career in designing aircraft. He wanted to teach me about wine. We had a great relationship for about nine months before he died.
How quickly into meeting someone do you tell him you own a winery in Bel Air?
They don’t believe me at first. Then they’re fascinated. When they’re in town, I ask them over.
It’s almost a parody of a rich person, to have a vineyard in Bel Air.
It’s a small one. The house is all one floor. There’s a lovely rose garden and vegetable garden. Everything is small and modest but perfect.
As a businessman, it obviously can’t make sense to grow wine in Bel Air, can it?
I think we can get there. The land is what kills you. The taxes.
Did you get any advice from Jacob Rothschild or any of your winery-owner friends on how to run it?
Not really. But I gave some to Jacob to drink, and he said it was a serious wine, so I was quite pleased. Then he gave me some 1956 Latour, which is the year of my wife’s birth. They’re pretty good. Very different.
Did you consider changing the name of the vineyard from Moraga to Murdoch?
No. [Moraga] is very well thought of. I’m very happy as long as the wine keeps improving. This year we’ll be back to normal quantities. We had two or three gray years, where we had 25 percent less wine.
I had that dessert wine you used to make. It’s amazing. You should make it again.
It’s wildly expensive to make. They were charging a couple hundred dollars for a half-bottle. You use infinitely more grapes for that. Much as I love it, it’s just pure calories. It’s all sugar.
Do you remember the first wine that made an impression on you?
I’m an Australian. I drank Penfolds. Hill of Grace. I don’t drink much other than Moraga these days. I’m giving a dinner party in 10 minutes for 20 people, and there will be Moraga wine.
If you make only 10,000 bottles, I𠆝 think you could use all of it entertaining and giving as gifts.
I don’t entertain that much,000 is a lot of bottles. Me and my wife can never drink that much. She likes the white.
Do you bring Moraga to restaurants in New York and London?
No. I should get the sommeliers in New York to try it, so I can get on their lists.
Have you not brought it to restaurants because it’s a pain to carry it, or because it’s embarrassing to bring your own wine?
I’m a bit modest, that’s all. Also, I work so hard I don’t go out that much.
A Visit to Rupert Murdoch's Wine Cave
It’s not every day that I get an invitation from Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall to visit their penthouse in New York. Although I met Mrs. Murdoch many years ago, when she was Mrs. Jagger (more or less), we had not kept up the acquaintance, and as for her current husband, let’s just say we don’t travel in the same circles and we have probably never supported the same political candidate.
I was invited in my capacity as a wine critic—Murdoch having bought, in 2013, a vineyard in Bel Air called Moraga. One of only a handful of incorporated wineries in Los Angeles County, Moraga is the legacy of the late Tom Jones, an aerospace executive who decided in the 1970s to plant vines in one of the most expensive zip codes in the country.
After responding yes, I received the address: a skinny new tower in the Flatiron district. I established my bona fides with the doorman and was rocketed up some 60 floors. The penthouse was dazzling, literally—a glass box full of sunlight and exquisitely tasteful contemporary furniture (courtesy of decorators Jay Johnson and Tom Cashin), with panoramic views of the city. The pyramidal roof of the old Metropolitan Life tower seemed close enough to touch.
Several employees introduced themselves before introducing me to Mrs. Murdoch, tall and svelte as ever, in a colorful print dress that looked more society doyenne than ex-model she said she was delighted to meet me. I was surprised at how sparsely populated the room was. I recognized two sommeliers standing beside a table full of wine bottles, but Mr. Murdoch was sitting alone at the far end, dressed in a slim-fitting dark suit, an open white shirt, and black sneakers. He didn’t look like Darth Vader, but I still felt a tingle of dread—partially attributable to having seen the season finale of Succession the night before—which I confronted by crossing the room and introducing myself. Groping for small talk, I complimented the apartment and the views.
“Thank you, we like it. Please, sit,” he said, indicating the chair next to him. After we agreed that we both love New York City, I asked him about his favorite restaurants. “Eleven Madison Park,” he said—Daniel Humm’s Michelin three-star just a few blocks away. The restaurant conversation having run its course, I asked, “What inspired you to buy Moraga?”
“I met Tom Jones at a dinner with Ronald Reagan in the ’80s,” he said. “Brilliant guy.” He proceeded to tell me about Jones’s stellar career in aerospace, including the development of the F-5 fighter jet and the B-2 stealth bomber. I was starting to wonder if Murdoch bought the winery out of admiration for Jones—who was also a big wheel in Republican politics—rather than for his wine, though he eventually mentioned the beauty of the 14-acre property, which he purchased for $28.8 million in 2013. (Jones was 93 at the time and was scaling back.)
“I visited about 10 years ago,” I said. “On your dime, actually.”
“Not long after you bought the Wall Street Journal I was hired as a wine writer, and one of my first columns was about Moraga.”
Ten years ago, when I appeared at Tom Jones’s door in the company of a sommelier who had an appointment, Jones was reluctant to talk to me because I was a journalist. (Eventually he warmed up, to the point that he would sometimes call me in the evening to chat.) Jones, who died in 2014, was ruggedly handsome and seemed very involved with the winery’s day-to-day operations.
Chickens pecked at the dirt around his feet. It was hard to believe Rodeo Drive was 20 minutes away. If not for the tennis court cantilevered out from the hillside on a neighboring property, or the Getty Center across the canyon, you could easily imagine you were in an older, wilder California. The property was once a horse ranch owned by Victor Fleming, the director of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.
Jones attended the Paris Air Show every year, and he used those occasions to visit some of the great vineyards of France. He noticed a similarity between his Bel Air soils and those of Bordeaux. Research revealed that his canyon enjoyed a grape-friendly microclimate with an average annual rainfall nine inches higher than the surrounding locale, and cooler nighttime temperatures.
In 1978 he began planting vines, including sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. His early vintages were praised by Jancis Robinson and Robert Parker, and Moraga became one of the first California wines offered at Alain Ducasse’s three-star restaurant in Paris. (Winemaker Scott Rich has made the wines since the 1996 vintage.)
The Moraga estate has a 7,500-square-foot ranch house, built by Jones and his wife Ruth, which is now one of the Murdochs’ residences. Last August, Rupert and Jerry held a party there to celebrate Moraga’s 30th anniversary. Mick was there with his and Jerry’s children, James and Elizabeth Jagger. Rupert’s son Lachlan attended as well.
“Would you call yourself a wine buff?” I asked Murdoch. “I’m no expert,” he said, “but I’ve always loved a good, rich cabernet.” (Moraga’s red is a Bordeaux blend dominated by cabernet sauvignon.) His wife mainly drinks white.
I asked about his favorite wines it was a short list and it included some from his homeland, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace. Both are world-renowned syrahs, probably Australia’s best. “I’m not much for French wines,” he told me, although he enjoyed a Latour from 1956 (Hall’s birth year) given to him by his friend Jacob Rothschild. When I asked about Napa, he averred a fondness for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.
“Is this a hobby or are you aiming to make a profit?” I asked.
“I think we can,” he said. “Although, obviously, our expenses are high, with the land and taxes.” After thanking him for his time, I spent the next 15 minutes tasting vintages of the wine back to ’98. I tried the 2003 red and the 2006 sauvignon blanc, both of which I tasted in their youth on my visit to the winery. I was impressed by how well they had aged and developed since then.
While I probably wouldn’t agree with the new proprietor on much, I can’t fault his taste in wineries. The whites are both crisp and rich, the reds complex, earthy, and ageworthy—much more classical and restrained than the typical modern Napa Valley cabernet. To put it in journalistic terms, more Wall Street Journal than New York Post.
This story appears in the March 2020 issue of Town & Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW
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"I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m…"
Kylie Jenner Wore a Plunging Jumpsuit to Sister Kendall's 818 Tequila Launch Party
Kim and Khloé Kardashian also made a stylish appearance.
Glamour, Mayhem, and Baked Potatoes: What It Was Like to Party at Halston's
The late designer's close friends remember parties at Studio 54, the designer's infamous townhouse, and beyond.
163 People Sick in 43 States From Contact With This, CDC Warns
We've probably all been washing our hands a little extra this past year, but unfortunately not always when it's most necessary. That's according to an advisory this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, who are pointing to one single source as the cause of a massive, nationwide outbreak of Salmonella. This is super important information going into the season of farmers markets and shopping for fresh groceries.If you've been following us, you understand that food poisoning can come from some of the least expected foods (we're linking to a recent list of stories below). Now, just as we reported around Easter to enlighten families about the dangers of putting baby chicks or ducklings inside kids' Easter baskets (don't do it!), the CDC has published an advisory that a nationwide Salmonella outbreak has been linked to outdoor poultry.RELATED: Costco Foods You Should Always Avoid, According To NutritionistsThe outdoor poultry Salmonella incidents have affected 163 people, with a reported 35 hospitalized as of this past Thursday. Those individuals live in the following U.S. states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.North Carolina had the highest incidence rate, with 13 individuals sick, with Iowa, Virginia, and California each having around 10. Important to note is that the CDC states: "These outbreaks may not be limited to the states listed [above]. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella."To avoid getting Salmonella from outdoor poultry or their eggs, the CDC recommends individuals wash your hands (and ensure children do the same) after handling backyard poultry, their eggs, or spending time anywhere they live and roam. Among other recommendations (which you should view if you work with these animals), they also advise not to snuggle or nuzzle backyard poultry, however sweet they may be, and refrigerate their eggs immediately.So be sure to pack that hand sanitizer in your farmers market tote this season! And for all consumers, no matter where you shop: If you purchase eggs and discover that one in the carton is cracked, the CDC says you should toss it immediately: "Germs on the shell can more easily enter the egg though a cracked shell." Also be sure to cook eggs and chicken thoroughly, and follow these two steps to sanitize your kitchen, from one of our Eat This, Not That! Medical Board Experts.Get the Eat This, Not That! newsletter for the important stay-healthy tips you need. Also, don't miss important news ahead of the season:Doing This With Pasta May Actually Make It Deadly, Science SaysUsing This Appliance To Cook Beans Can Cause Food Poisoning, Says Science1.6 Million Cases of Beans Are Being Recalled in These 22 States, FDA SaysThe 5 Most Alarming Grocery Store Food Poisoning Risks, Warns the FDA15 Things You Should Only Buy at the Farmer's Market
Instant Ways to Reduce Your Inflammation, According to a Doctor
As an Emergency Department doctor, I know from my own experience that inflammation is a common complaint that brings people to the ER. Inflammation usually causes pain and is the reason that people feel pain from broken bones or even infections. Inflammation is much more concerning than just the nagging pain or discomfort, however as it can lead to very serious medical conditions such as cancers and heart disease. Although you should need to seek medical attention for the cause of the inflammation, knowing how to treat inflammation at home is also important. Here are a few anti-inflammatory tips that could help—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It. Use Over the Counter Medications (Responsibly)NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are very common medications that are mostly sold over the counter, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These medications are used to reduce fever and pain due to inflammation by turning off an enzyme, cyclooxygenase or COX, that is needed in the body's inflammatory response.COX is used to create substances that cause inflammation as well as change the normal temperature within the body. Since the COX enzyme is turned off, the products are not made which will keep fever and inflammation from occurring.NSAIDs can be dangerous, however, when not taken appropriately. The COX enzyme is found in the stomach and small intestine and is responsible for much of the lining of these organs. Since NSAIDs turn off the COX enzymes, they can cause the lining of the gastrointestinal system to be reduced which can lead to bleeding in the stomach and small intestine. These medications can also cause kidney injuries in some patients. The COX enzymes are used to form certain substances which keep blood flowing to the kidneys. Turning off the enzymes causes these substances to not be produced, which will reduce blood flow to the kidneys sometimes leading to damage of the kidney cells. RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say ExpertsDiscuss Steroids With Your DoctorCorticosteroids, or steroids as they are better known, are compounds that are normally produced within the body by the adrenal gland. All tissues within the body are affected by steroids which can cause a variety of different responses such as increasing blood sugar levels, or increasing the amount of the red blood cells within the body. The anti-inflammatory effects of steroids are also very diverse. For instance, if you suffer a cut on your leg that becomes infected the area can become very inflamed. Inflammation occurs because the blood vessels in the area become leaky which allows for the body's immune cells to migrate to the area. The leaking blood vessels also cause fluid to build up in the area worsening the inflammation. Steroids work by reducing the build-up of the fluid and immune cells thereby reducing the inflammation. They are very helpful to reduce inflammation within the brain and lungs as well and are a common medication given to patients with chronic inflammation such as asthma, as well as rheumatologic conditions. Steroids can be problematic for some patients causing weight gain, elevated blood sugars as well as ulcers in the stomach, and small intestine. In some cases of chronic steroid treatment, the adrenal gland can stop producing its own steroids, which may require life long supplemental steroids. RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.Eat These FoodsThe connection between inflammation and chronic diseases is ever increasing. Asthma, cancer, heart disease, Crohn's disease and even diabetes are linked to chronic inflammation. Although medications can be used to treat much of the inflammation that is caused by these conditions, there is increasing evidence that food and lifestyle changes can help minimize the effects of these conditions. Foods that are high in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation. Foods such as:berriesavocadosfishspices (garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper)are known to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. These foods can help naturally reduce inflammation making medications less necessary. RELATED: The #1 Cause of Heart Attack, According to ScienceAvoid These FoodsSome foods are also known to be moderately pro-inflammatory and may cause worsening of underlying medical conditions:processed meatssugartrans fatsexcess alcoholsome processed carbohydrates can promote inflammation within the body. For any person, consumption of these should be reduced but especially for patients who have a known condition that is affected by inflammation, they should be completely avoided. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say.
A trip to the dump is one of my great pleasures in life – and I’m not alone
A trip to the dump is one of my great pleasures in life – and I’m not aloneEverything has its place at the dump, no matter how abject or broken. No wonder there were queues when it reopened after lockdown ‘The gruff camaraderie, the clang of rubble against metal’: Richard Godwin, locked and loaded. Photograph: Pål Hansen/The Observer
It's Business as Usual for Queen Elizabeth as She Visits a Ship in Portsmouth
The visit signaled the ongoing return to public engagements following a year in which the royal family has primarily been seen working digitally.
Why Rupert Murdoch Will Survive And Thrive Again
It will be of little solace to Rupert Murdoch, but every great leader faces a supreme crisis that can destroy everything he has built and for which there is no playbook. This humbling fact of life came glaringly through in a book I coauthored with John Prevas, Power Ambition Glory: The Stunning Parallels between Great Leaders of The Ancient World and Today . and The Lessons You Can Learn (Crown Business, 2009). No matter how smart and capable an individual is, no matter how on top of his game, he or she will be hit with a sudden disaster for which he must draw upon his own internal resources, making judgments for which there often is no precedent. A great crisis can come from a leader's own mistakes, from circumstances beyond his control or from a mixture of both.
Countless examples abound. Alexander the Great, triumphant in so many seemingly impossible battles, made a fundamental error when he took his army from Persia to Afghanistan and India. His troops wanted to go home they had destroyed their traditional rival, Persia. Alexander ignored their complaints and then faced the ultimate insult to a commander: a mutiny, with his army forcing him to turn around.
A.P. Giannini, founder of Bank of America, was one of history's great, innovative bankers. He started in San Francisco, servicing two groups ignored by traditionalists--immigrants and merchant seaman. He played a decisive role in rebuilding San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. He financed Hollywood studios in the early days and financed California's nascent wine industry. Bank of America grew exponentially.
Then came 1933 and Giannini's stunning existential crisis. When Franklin Roosevelt took office he immediately shut all the banks in the U.S.--the famous Bank Holiday. The idea was to see which banks were solvent, which insolvent. Those allowed to reopen would thus have the full confidence of depositors. Giannini's competitors and enemies saw their opening and worked with the regulators, who didn't like Giannini's unconventional ways, to shutter his institution. It was nasty politics, pure and simple. Giannini rushed to Washington and had to fight a harrowing battle to stop this demolition coup. At great cost, emotionally and physically, he ultimately succeeded.
The lesson is clear: All great leaders at some point will go through the dark valley.
Rupert Murdoch's numerous foes are trying to use the phone-hacking scandal to destroy him. Once friendly politicians are scurrying for cover, like scared rabbits.
But those who think this is the end of Murdoch should recall his first great crisis 20 years ago, when his company was almost destroyed because of excessive debt. News Corp. expanded aggressively in the 1980s. Its ultimate acquisition was Triangle Communications, of which TV Guide was the crown jewel. But then came a recession in which advertising revenues were severely whacked. News Corp. was loaded with short-term bank loans. As William Rhodes, who worked for Citibank and was also the industry's renowned troubleshooter when countries or other big borrowers got into trouble, recounts in his memoir, Banker to the World: "The banks were worried about bankruptcy. They had serious concerns about Murdoch's capacity to run News Corp. because of the enormous amounts of debt he had taken on." Adding to Murdoch's woes was the fact that News Corp. owed money to hundreds of banks. Notes Rhodes, "So many banks were involved that even if one bank held out, it could push Murdoch into bankruptcy." So little faith did people have in Murdoch that News Corp.'s bonds were yielding 47%.
A lesser man would have buckled under such intense pressure. Murdoch began by convincing Rhodes himself that he would do whatever it took to restructure the company. Then began the hair-whitening negotiations to get all the banks to go along. There were those who thought they could get a better deal by holding out. Murdoch became personally involved in working with the banks' "workout" executives. "It was rare for CEOs to talk directly to banks. They usually left that task to their CFOs. But Murdoch got down in the trenches," observes Rhodes.
Before the crisis was over, Murdoch had to sell off a number of treasured assets. But against all odds, he saved his company. As Rhodes concludes, "It was his willingness to face reality, recognize his mistakes and to do what was necessary as CEO that demonstrated why and how he had built such a successful empire."
I remember seeing Murdoch at a 1991 event during the pit of the crisis. To use the adjectives "haggard" or "gaunt" to describe how he looked would have been a supreme understatement.
Obviously the particulars of today's crisis are different for Murdoch. But like great leaders, he is drawing on his own inner resources to deal with this threat. As in 1991 he has become intensely involved personally, visiting the family of the young girl who was abducted and whose cellphone was hacked. He has also had to make extremely painful personal and professional decisions in recent days.
Cooler heads should note a few facts: Murdoch is a genuine entrepreneur, who created News Corp. and did so in ways that no business school would teach. While News Corp.'s U.K. newspapers are at the center of the hacking scandal, shareholders should not forget that they constitute a relatively small part of this impressive empire.
Those who say News Corp. would be better off without Murdoch at the helm should think again. During this time of unprecedented media turmoil, thanks to the Web, News Corp.'s class B stock is down about 15%, its class A 10% from what they were at the beginning of the millennium. In comparison, the New York Times is down 82%, Gannett 83%, Sony 80% and Time Warner 77%.
As for Murdoch's stewardship of the Wall Street Journal, its greatest asset--the editorial page--is stronger than ever. The paper itself has become a full-fledged daily. It is livelier and more readable, and its circulation has actually gone up, in vivid contrast with the New York Times' circulation, which has slumped. The WSJ's website also has a successful pay wall.
Bottom line: As in 1991 Murdoch will survive to fight and thrive another day--and deservedly so.