End of an Era
October 8, 2018

Over the last 16 years, The Fresno Bee has endorsed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in all of his elections, but that streak has ended.

This weekend, the newspaper's editorial board announced it is not recommending Nunes for California's 22nd Congressional District, but rather his Democratic opponent, deputy district attorney Andrew Janz. The 34-year-old "offers the best chance to both lead the district by attending to its issues and then striving for bipartisanship in Washington, D.C., which is the only answer to the poison of gridlock politics that is stifling debate and action at nearly all levels."

The Bee invited both men to interviews, but only Janz responded, RSVPing yes. Nunes not only ignores the newspaper, but also his constituents, the editorial board said, avoiding town hall meetings and alienating people who are working to develop a new source of water for local farms. District voters "have a chance to become a model for the nation," the editorial concludes. A vote for Janz is a vote for someone who will "help them with their needs, listen to their concerns and invite them into the process, and chart a bipartisan course that the nation must find if it is to meet the challenges of the future."

With Nunes, voters are "stuck with the damaging partisanship he practices, the party-above-country mode that motivates him to protect President Trump from the investigation into Russian meddling more than meet his constitutional obligations as an independent arm of government." Read the entire op-ed at The Fresno Bee.
 Catherine Garcia

September 13, 2018

Volkswagen announced Thursday that the Beetle will be retired in 2019.

"The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle's many devoted fans," Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen's president, said in a statement. The Beetle debuted in 1938 in Germany, but it didn't go into mass production until after World War II, making its North American debut in 1949.

Volkswagen, which introduced new generations of the Beetle in 1998 and 2012, ended production of the original version in 2003. The retirement is coming at a time when consumers are more interested in larger cars like SUVs, but Woebcken said it's possible the Beetle could come back in the future. Volkswagen will produce a "Final Edition" series, CNN Money reports, with hardtops running $23,045 and up and convertibles starting at $27,045. Those vehicles will end production in Mexico in July 2019. Catherine Garcia

August 1, 2018

Prior to Anthony Bourdain's death in June, enough footage was shot to create a final season of his hit CNN show Parts Unknown, the network announced Wednesday.

The episodes will premiere in the fall. The acclaimed chef, author, and television host finished one full episode before he died by suicide, traveling to Kenya with United Shades of America host W. Kamau Bell. This will be the last episode to have Bourdain's narration. One of the show's final episodes will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Parts Unknown, and the last hour will focus on the effect Bourdain had on the world, according to Amy Entelis, CNN's executive vice president of talent and content.

To finish the other episodes — set in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Texas, Spain, and Indonesia — producers are using audio of Bourdain captured while on location, and conducting follow-up interviews. "Each one will feel slightly different depending on what's gathered in the field," Entelis told the Los Angeles Times. "They will have the full presence of Tony because you'll see him, you'll hear him, you'll watch him. That layer of his narration will be missing, but it will be replaced by other voices of people who are in the episodes." Parts Unknown, launched in 2013, is one of CNN's most successful programs. Catherine Garcia

June 1, 2018

Facebook announced Friday it will shut down the "trending" section of its newsfeed, which uses an algorithm to show users a selection of timely headlines.

Introduced in 2014 with human curation in its first version, the feature has become increasingly unpopular among users following accusations of anti-conservative bias and accidental promotion of fake news stories. Use has declined over time, particularly because the section was not easy to find on mobile. Tragically, "trending" reported its own death.

In place of "trending," Facebook is testing new features, including a "breaking news" label some 80 news outlets will be able to apply to some posts to highlight them for readers, perhaps with push notifications. Local news stories will receive more attention in a feature called "Today In," as will news videos hosted within the Facebook network. Bonnie Kristian

May 21, 2018

Interview magazine, founded by Andy Warhol in 1969, is shutting down, several staff members confirmed Monday.

The magazine featured celebrities interviewing one another, and covered art, entertainment, pop culture, and fashion. Editor Ezra Marcus told CNNMoney that the magazine is "folding both web and print effective immediately," and employees found out during a meeting that the company is filing for bankruptcy. In 1989, billionaire Peter Brant purchased Interview from Warhol's estate.

The past several months were tumultuous for the magazine, with its former editorial director suing for back pay and the fashion director resigning after being accused of sexual misconduct. Catherine Garcia

April 26, 2018

If you live in the United States or Canada and have been eyeing a new Ford Fusion, get one while you can.

The company announced Wednesday that by 2020, "almost 90 percent of the Ford portfolio in North America will be trucks, utilities, and commercial vehicles." Hatchbacks and sedans don't sell as well as those vehicles, and only two models will remain on the market: the Mustang and Focus Active, a new crossover-like hatchback that will debut next year.

While the Taurus and Fiesta will soon be gone, Ford said it's "exploring new 'white space' vehicle silhouettes that combine the best attributes of cars and utilities, such as higher ride height, space, and versatility." A "white space" vehicle is one that doesn't quite fit into already established categories. Catherine Garcia

March 14, 2018

Six months after filing for bankruptcy, Toys "R" Us plans on selling or closing its 800 stores in the United States, a person with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post.

The company announced Wednesday that it will shut down all 100 of its stores in the United Kingdom. The toy retailer has had difficulty competing with Amazon and Walmart, and in January, it announced it was closing 182 U.S. stores. Toys "R" Us was founded six decades ago, and employs about 33,000 people. The closures are not expected to happen all at once, the Post reports. Catherine Garcia

March 8, 2018

The Cranberries announced Wednesday they will release a new album early next year, the band's last record to feature late singer Dolores O'Riordan.

"After much consideration, we have decided to finish what we started," the group said in a statement. "We thought about it and decided that as this is something that we started as a band, with Dolores, we should push ahead and finish it." O'Riordan, who died in January at age 46, completed her vocals last year.

The band said it hopes to have the new album out early next year, and also plans on releasing a 25th anniversary reissue of its debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We. Last week, Cranberries guitarist Noel Hogan told Rolling Stone that O'Riordan's legacy "will be her music. She was so passionate about it. There are songs I hear today that we wrote over 20 year ago, and I see and hear people singing along with them. There are only a few artists who get to have maybe one song they are remembered by. Dolores has so many." Catherine Garcia

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