Artist Creates NYC Bodega Completely Out Of Felt

Lucy Sparrow?s art installation in New York is definitely heartfelt ? with an emphasis on the felt.

The British artist has created an authentic bodega, complete with hot dogs, sodas and vegetables. The whole thing is made from felt ? even the bodega cats.

?I wanted to create this all-encompassing art experience of a bodega, which is completely disappearing in New York City,? Sparrow says in the video above. ?And I?ve recreated this in felt.?

The felt bodega display is officially called ?8 ?Til Late,? and is located on the ground floor of The Standard hotel, High Line, in Manhattan.

Sparrow and her assistants made all 9,000 parts of the creation in London from wool pressed and rolled into felt. Then she shipped 9 tons of felt goodies to the U.S. in four planes.

The idea is to remind people of the world that existed before everything went online.

?The convenience store and bodega is where you would go and see your neighbors and have a chat and see if everything was still okay,? Sparrow says. ?I think we are all leading such narrow lives that we are living online rather than actually living in the present.?

Like a real bodega, everything in the felt one is for sale. A felt cigarette pack costs $20, while a box of felt candy is $35, according to The New York Times.

That?s more expensive than the real items at a real bodega, but Sparrow says they have lasting value.

?So you can get an original piece of art for as little as $15, and you know that?s incredible, that?s accessibility to the max,? she says in the video.

Of course, if you?ve felt the appeal of the project, you can buy the whole ?store? for $500,000.

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‘Juice’ Director Says We Can’t Let Future Generations Sleep On Classic Black Films

Twenty-five years since the release of ?Juice,? Ernest R. Dickerson is proud that his directorial debut has stood as a cultural staple in America.

This month, Paramount Home Media Distribution will commemorate the film?s anniversary with a special release of a Blu-ray disc. Starring Tupac Shakur, Omar Epps, Khalil Kain and Jermaine Hopkins ? with cameos by Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah ? the powerful drama follows the lives of four teenage friends in pursuit of power and respect in their Harlem neighborhood as they grapple with the trials of inner-city life.

Inspired by his adolescent years growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Dickerson ? who broke into the industry as Spike Lee?s cinematographer ? tells HuffPost that he wanted the drama to accurately portray the obstacles young black men and boys face living in America.

?It took about nine years to get the film made. But it grew from out of several places,? he said. ?I wanted to talk about how kids were growing up in society and we were horrified by that. And so, in wanting to craft a thriller and a film noir around 16-, 17-year-old antagonists, it just felt like that was the way to go and the best story to tell. Peer pressure was always gonna be a part of it.?

The commemorative release will feature new and vintage interviews with members of the cast and crew, never-before-released footage and the original film?s alternate ending.

?Juice? marked Shakur?s first major starring film role. He beat out the likes of actor Donald Faison and fellow rapper Treach for the role of the troubled, gun-toting teen Bishop. Shakur?s seminal performance was applauded by fans and film critics.

?He understood the pain inside Bishop and could express that in his acting,? Dickerson recalled. ?He made Bishop a more four-dimensional character in that he knew that this anger came from someplace. The anger came from a deep hurt.?

?Part of it was the experience of having to see [Bishop?s] father brutalized and traumatized in prison; that?s one of the things that we end at in the film. That?s the thing that Pac brought, too. When he came to the audition, people believed he was Bishop. And he believed he was Bishop, too,? he said.

The filmmaker added that prior to Shakur?s untimely death in 1996, he was ?hoping to find another project? to work on with the rapper-actor.

With its January 1992 opening, the film debuted at No. 2 at the box office. It earned over $8 million in its opening weekend and has grossed $20.1 million domestically to date, according to Box Office Mojo.

Despite its relatively low earnings, Dickerson says it?s imperative to reintroduce black cult classic films ? such as ?Juice,? ?Boyz n the Hood? and ?Menace II Society? ? to enlighten a new generation of viewers. 

?These films are a part of our cultural heritage,? the filmmaker said. ?And we have to make sure that they?re there for future generations to experience, and to enjoy and learn from. These are not throwaway films, this is the cultural heritage of America, and we need to make sure that we preserve that.?

?Not just these films, but all films. Films are important,? he continued. ?It?s one of the greatest art forms of the 20th and 21st century. People need to take film much more seriously and the preservation of film much more serious.?

The special 25th anniversary edition of ?Juice? is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. It will also be released on Digital HD on June 13.

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Jared Kushner Is Becoming More Well-Known And More Disliked

The number of people who say they don?t know who Jared Kushner is has decreased, and the number of people who dislike him has increased since April, according to a new poll.

Kushner, the husband of President Donald Trump?s daughter Ivanka, has enjoyed relative anonymity in the White House despite the fact that the 36-year-old has been given an outsized role advising the president on everything from Middle East peace to criminal justice reform.

In April, a Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 47 percent of respondents had never heard of Kushner or didn?t have an opinion about him. Only 30 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him.

But in a new Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday, 37 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Kushner, and 38 percent said they either haven?t heard of him or don?t have any opinion about him. Only 26 percent of voters reported a favorable opinion of him. 

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents viewed the president unfavorably with 45 percent responding favorably. HuffPost Pollster?s average of polls shows Trump with a rating of 54 percent unfavorable and 40 percent favorable. Although Kushner is relatively unknown compared with his father-in-law, quite a few people dislike him. 

This likely reflects the fact that Kushner?s name has been in the news recently, as it came to light that he may have been in contact with two Russian officials in December. And James Comey, whom Trump fired last month as head of the FBI, is set to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election.

Trump joked on Tuesday that Kushner has ?become more famous than me? ? which Trump also said about Comey earlier this year.

The Morning Consult poll found respondents mostly split on how much they have seen, read or heard about ?senior White House advisor Jared Kushner allegedly meeting with people associated with the Russian government.? Twenty-eight percent of voters said ?a lot,? 39 percent said ?some,? 20 percent said ?not much,? and 14 percent said ?nothing at all.?

However, 51 percent of respondents said they agree that such behavior would be inappropriate. Only a quarter said they think Kushner?s alleged meeting with a Russian banker in order to ?establish a direct line of contact with Russian officials? was appropriate, while the remaining 24 percent don?t know or have no opinion.

Republicans and those who voted for Trump in 2016 were the most likely to say that the meeting was fine ? 42 and 46 percent, respectively ? while Democrats and Hillary Clinton voters were the most likely to say it was inappropriate ? 74 and 79 percent.

The Morning Consult/Politico poll was conducted June 1-2 from a national sample of 1,999 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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Donald Trump To Nominate Christopher A. Wray For FBI Director

President Donald Trump will nominate Christopher A. Wray to be the next director of the FBI, he announced on Wednesday.

Wray served as assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush from 2003 to 2005. The Yale Law School graduate now works as an attorney in private practice.

Wray represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) in the wake of the so-called Bridgegate scandal. Christie told NorthJersey.com that he had ?the utmost confidence in Chris.?

?He?s an outstanding lawyer,? Christie said. ?He has absolute integrity and honesty, and I think that the president certainly would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI director.?

Wray?s name came up in a 2008 Justice Department Inspector General report on allegations of politicized hiring in the Attorney General?s Honors Program and Summer Law Intern Program. The hiring process, the report concluded, was ?fundamentally changed? to give political appointees more input. Data showed that applicants with Democratic or liberal affiliations were ?deselected at a significantly higher rate? than candidates with conservative or neutral affiliations. Wray told the IG that politics and ideology only came up as part of an effort to make the programs more inclusive.

From the report:

He said there was a perception that in past administrations the career employees doing the screening may have weeded out candidates because the selecting officials were not ?comfortable with their political persuasion.? He said the political persuasion he was referring to pertained to candidates who had been in the military or law enforcement, ?whether you call that conservative or not.?

Wray was interviewed for the job last week, the White House said. Trump was also said to have considered politicians including Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and, mostly notably, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). He appeared to reverse course following pushback from Democrats.

The president fired former FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading an investigation into the Trump campaign?s ties to Russia, last month. Andrew McCabe, who started with the FBI in 1996 and served as deputy director under Comey, was named the acting director at the time.

Comey is set to testify in front of the Senate on Thursday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Calls Out Donald Trump: Stop Scapegoating. You Are The Problem.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto devoted a segment on his Tuesday show to giving some ?common sense? advice to President Donald Trump.

Following days of Twitter outbursts about ?fake news? and London Mayor Sadiq Khan?s handling of the weekend?s deadly terrorist attack, Cavuto spoke directly to Trump. ?Mr. President, it is not the fake news media that?s your problem. It?s you,? he said.

The host continued to call out the president for ?scapegoating,? ?feeding [his own] beast,? and ?acting beastly with [his] own guys.? Cavuto criticized Trump for alienating members of his own party and creating the very distractions he blames for derailing his presidential agenda. He then urged the president to listen to his once-friendly allies.

?Use these critiques you?re now hearing from usually friendly and supportive allies as sort of like an intervention,? Cavuto suggested. ?Because firing off these angry missives and tweets risk your political destruction.?

Trump has emerged on the international scene with skepticism toward longstanding U.S. diplomatic relationships. In a matter of weeks, the president has refused to reaffirm his commitment to aiding NATO allies under attack, withdrawn the U.S. from the landmark Paris Agreement and made rash comments about London?s mayor and Qatar ? moves that have all been met with backlash.

Cavuto summed up his comments by telling the president that his critics are not the issue. ?They?re not the problem, Mr. President,? he said. ?Like I said, these days, you are.?

Watch the full segment in the video above.

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Edward Snowden: Prosecuting NSA Leaker Threatens The Free Press

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is speaking out in support of Reality Winner, who was arrested by the FBI on Saturday on charges of violating the Espionage Act.

Winner, 25, a federal contractor with Pluribus International Corp. in Augusta, Georgia, is accused of ?removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet,? according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  

The arrest came after The Intercept released a classified National Security Agency report about Russian military intelligence officers? alleged attempt to carry out a cyberattack on a voting software company and on local election officials days before the 2016 U.S. election.

Snowden can relate to Winner?s experience, as he was charged in 2013 with stealing government property and violating the Espionage Act. The former Central Intelligence Agency employee and NSA contractor has been living under asylum in Russia ever since he fled the United States that year.

Winner is currently being held in a federal detention center in Lincolnton, Georgia. Her attorney Titus Nichols fears she?s being questioned when he?s not present.

Snowden, who is president of the board for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, described the Espionage Act as ?a fundamental threat to the free press? in a statement on Tuesday.

He wrote that the ?World War I era law meant for spies? explicitly forbids the jury from ?hearing why the defendant acted, and bars them from deciding whether the outcome was to the public?s benefit.?

Snowden says that?s especially chilling because Winner was allegedly a journalistic source ?for a leading American news outlet about a matter of critical public importance,? and not a spy.

According to Snowden:

?This often-condemned law provides no space to distinguish the extraordinary disclosure of inappropriately classified information in the public interest?whistleblowing ? from the malicious disclosure of secrets to foreign governments by those motivated by a specific intent to harm to their countrymen.?

Snowden said that if America truly values free trials, Winner deserves to be released on bail.

He added:

?No matter one?s opinions on the propriety of the charges against her, we should all agree Winner should be released on bail pending trial. Even if you take all the government allegations as true, it?s clear she is neither a threat to public safety nor a flight risk. To hold a citizen incommunicado and indefinitely while awaiting trial for the alleged crime of serving as a journalistic source should outrage us all.?

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Donald Trump May Find Time To Live-Tweet James Comey’s Testimony

President Donald Trump may live-tweet fired FBI Director James Comey?s highly anticipated Senate testimony on Thursday, pursuing a habit that frequently causes trouble for his administration.

Trump will weigh in ?if he feels the need to respond? to anything Comey says, The Washington Post?s Robert Costa reported on Tuesday.

?I was just talking to some White House officials this morning and their view is that the president himself wants to be the messenger, his own warrior, his own lawyer, his own spokesman,? Costa said on MSNBC. ?The president is expected to be tweeting on Thursday in response to Comey, not to stay quiet during the testimony, because he himself wants to be the one driving the process.?

When asked if Trump would be watching the hearing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who frequently defends his boss? unhinged ramblings, demurred.

?It?s going to be a very busy day, as all of his days are,? Spicer said during the daily White House press briefing.

Trump will give a speech at a conservative conference in Washington on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ? during Comey?s hearing. But it would be unsurprising for him to tune in to Comey?s testimony before or after the speech with unfiltered commentary on Twitter.

The president regularly watches cable news shows, and often cites them in his early-morning Twitter rants. He seems to follow Trump-friendly ?Fox and Friends? closely, often tweeting arguments made on the program almost verbatim and re-tweeting from the show?s Twitter account.

The White House has had difficulty defending Trump?s Twitter activity. At times, his aides claim the tweets are ?official statements? that allow the president to be ?an effective messenger for his agenda.? But they also distance themselves by dismissing the meanderings as just ?social media.? 

Spicer on Tuesday said the tweets ?are considered official statements by the president of the United States.? 

A day earlier, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Twitter gives Trump a ?communications tool that isn?t filtered through media bias.? In the same sentence, she claimed that ?the media obsesses over every period, dot.?

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday criticized the media for ?this obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little what he does as president.? 

Trump?s regularly uses Twitter to lash out at lawmakers, the courts, the media and diplomatic allies, among others.

Sometimes, his tweets land him in legal and political trouble. His rants this week promoting his executive order banning travel and immigration from six majority-Muslim countries could hurt him in the ongoing legal proceedings against the order, as several courts have already used his statements as evidence to halt the ban. 

If Trump does end up tweeting during Comey?s testimony on Thursday, creating more trouble for his administration, expect Spicer to offer this defense: The ?tweet speaks for itself.? 

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