This week, Oxfam launches “I Hear You”, a project designed to amplify the personal stories of the world’s most vulnerable refugees with some of Hollywood’s leading voices.The video series features Margot Robbie, John Cho, Gael García Bernal, Minnie Driver, and more reading the real life stories of refugees from around the world who have been forced from their homes as they flee conflict, disaster, poverty, inequality, and the effects of climate change, in the hopes that you might hear their stories and join the campaign.In partnership with Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ), six of the videos, featuring Margot Robbie, John Cho, Gael García Bernal, Anna Camp, Minnie Driver, and Al Madrigal will debut on Vanity Fair’s website, along with CNÉ’s The Scene, here.In addition, “I Hear You” features Melissa Leo, Oliver Platt, Erik Griffin, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Ari Graynor, Jordana Brewster, Yasmine Al Massri, and Andrea Riseborough. The creator of the project, Julie Anne Robinson, is a BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated theatre, TV and film director/producer.“I came up with the idea for this project because I wanted to find a way to communicate the human stories of displaced people,” said Julie Anne Robinson. “These are people we tend to fear and reject, but I found they are driven by the same things as all of us- love of their children and a desire to work.”“I don’t believe we can become numb to the pain and suffering of so many people in the world when there are actually real things we can do,” said Minnie Driver, actor and Oxfam celebrity ambassador. “We can share and we can be available to help other each other, and it feels like we’ve forgotten that. I hope that this project helps to remind people of their fundamental humanity and the kindness and love we can and must extend to one another. Love is better than anything.”The full series of videos, including information on how to take action, can be found on Oxfam’s site www.oxfamamerica.org/ihearyou. There, visitors can hear the real life stories of refugees, read more about the refugee crisis, and learn what they can do to help. Viewers can text “I Hear You” to 977-79 to join the campaign.“More than 65 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes because of violence, persecution and war. These are not just numbers. These are people, with individual stories just like every one of us. Now is a time for solidarity and compassion, not a time to close our minds, our hearts, or our borders.” said Raymond Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “Oxfam is pleased to join together with Vanity Fair to shine a spotlight on the millions of individuals who have endured unimaginable loss and hardship. Together we can bring an end to the worst refugee crisis of our time.”Oxfam is calling for people to stand together in support of refugees by signing on to a pledge to act with compassion towards all people who have been forced to flee their homes and to advocate for displaced people to be welcomed to the U.S. and other countries regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion or sexual preference. Oxfam is currently working in 20 countries affected by the refugee crisis to help people who have fled their homes because of violence, conflict or persecution. Oxfam is providing food and clean water and building much-needed toilets to prevent the spread of disease, while also making sure people have the information they need to stay safe and obtain access to legal aid. You can sign the pledge at www.oxfamamerica.org/i-hear-you-pledge.
“[It’s] the brand coming to life in a fashion realm,” says Susan Schulz, Cosmo’s editorial brand director. “The process has been very smooth. Everybody, I think, in the beginning was a little nervous. I don’t know that it’s ever really been done before that a magazine would have this much input.”Cosmo will play a role in marketing and promotion of the line through traditional ad placements, as well as content integration.A slideshow featured on the Cosmopolitan.com front page Thursday allows readers to link to a story about the product launch and includes an option to purchase the clothing from jcp.com.“One of my main jobs as we move forward is finding ways to integrate the product,” Schulz says. “How to promote the product in an organic way that makes sense for our reader. We know she doesn’t want to be clobbered with it, she doesn’t want to be getting a message about the Cosmo Collection every five seconds.”“But where it does make sense to her, we want to be able to tell her, ‘Look at these new shoes. They’re in store now. We think you’re going to love them.’ “The product launch is the first of its kind for Cosmopolitan, which attracts more than 18 million print readers and 8.5 unique monthly visitors. The company has participated in collaborative media projects with Sterling Books and YouTube, however.jcpenney also signed a licensing deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia [MSLO] in December of 2011. That agreement calls for a line of MSLO products to be sold online and in retail outlets that will be constructed within most jcpenney stores by February 2013. jcpenney also invested $38.5 million in MSLO in the deal. You can now get your Cosmo at jcpenney—not the magazine though, the clothing line.The Cosmopolitan Collection, a new brand of lingerie, sleepwear and accessories inspired by the world’s top-selling women’s magazine, went on sale this weekend at jcpenney’s 600-plus retailers across the country and on jcp.com.The launch culminates a two-year collaborative process between the companies that began with discussions between recently-departed Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Kate White and former jcpenney CEO Mike Ullman in November of 2010.
Traders work at the post where shares of Patheon NV is traded on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeReutersAsian shares edged higher on Friday after comments from a Federal Reserve official ebbed concerns that the central bank might raise rates faster-than-expected this year.St Louis Fed President James Bullard tried to tamp down of expectations of four rate hikes in 2018, instead of the widely anticipated three increases, Reuters reported.His comments come after Fed officials on Thursday agreed that “the strengthening in the near-term economic outlook increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate.”Three rate rises are now almost fully priced in for this year, compared to two as recently as December.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.4 percent, but was still on track to end the week barely changed.Overnight, the Dow added 0.7 percent while the S&P 500 ended a tad firmer.Back home, SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50’s trend in India, signals a positive start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex lost 25 points or 0.07 percent to close at 33,819 on Thursday.The partially convertible rupee ended down 0.42 percent at 65.05 per dollar on Thursday from its previous close of 64.77 per dollar.So far this year, the rupee has fallen 1.9 percent against the U.S. dollar, while overseas investors have bought $1.1 billion in local equity and $1.8 billion in debt markets.Crude check: Brent crude declined 0.20 percent at $66.26 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.16 percent to $62.67 a barrel.Fed meeting: Data released after the meeting showed the unemployment rate holding at 4.1 percent in January, while the consumer price index, excluding food and energy, was 1.8 percent for the 12 month period.
A Ventura County Sheriffs officer stands near a vehicle near the Borderline Bar and Grill, where a mass shooting occurred on 8 November 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. Photo: AFPA gunman killed 12 people including a sheriff’s deputy after he walked into a Southern California bar and started shooting late on Wednesday night, police said.The gunman was also killed, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference early on Thursday, though it was not immediately clear by whom.An unknown number of people were wounded during the attack at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a country & western venue in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks.“It’s a horrific scene in there,” Dean said. “There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”Officials said shots were still being fired when the first officers arrived at the scene.The dead officer was identified as Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, Dean told reporters. Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the bar and went inside just before 11:30 p.m. PST (0730 GMT).After a lull of about 15 minutes, more officers went inside and found the suspected gunman dead of a gunshot wound. It was not clear whether he killed himself or was killed by officers, Dean said.It was the latest mass shooting to rock the United States, six days after the death of two women at a yoga class in Tallahassee, Florida and 12 days after an anti-Semitic gunman entered a synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 worshippers.President Donald Trump, who has resisted a surge in calls for tougher gun controls since 17 students were shot dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, said on Twitter that he had been “fully briefed on the terrible shooting in California.”Witness John Hedge told ABC News he was near the front door of the California bar when the shooting began. “I just started hearing these big pops. Pop pop pop,” he said. “There was probably three or four. I hit the ground. I look up. The security guard … was shot, he was down. The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place. I saw him point to the back at the cash register and he just kept firing.”Dean estimated that 10 to 15 people, including one with a gunshot wound, had gone to area hospitals. He said he thought their injuries were minor, and that most of them were likely injured as they escaped, some by breaking windows.“There were people hiding in restrooms, people hiding in attics,” Dean said.Dean said that the shooter had a handgun and that at this early stage in the investigation he believed he had only one gun. Witnesses described a rapid sequence of shots that it made them think he was using a semi-automatic weapon.Thousand Oaks was named the third-safest city in the United States for 2018 by the website Niche.“I’ve learned it doesn’t matter what community you’re in,” Dean told reporters when asked if he was surprised this happened in Thousand Oaks. “It doesn’t matter how safe your community is. It can happen anywhere.”Taylor Von Molt, 21, told CNN that the shooter was wearing what looked like a bandana and a hoodie and was a burly man.She said she was part of a group of line dancers that met at the bar for a college night every Wednesday.None of the civilian victims were identified. Helus died while being treated at an area hospital several hours after he was shot, Dean said.