The first two seasons of Veep are enough to make anyone seriously skeptical of U.S. politics, but star Tony Hale says the show's material doesn't make him less hopeful about the country's future.
In a recent interview with Daniel D'Addario at Salon, Hale explains his political optimism:
It doesn't make me cynical at all. I have massive respect for whoever wants to step into that position. The decisions you're making have huge consequences. My hope is that the motivation is to make change, is to bring about positive things. A lot of people want power — anyone that actually wants to make a difference, my hat goes off to her. [Salon]
Hale also describes his character, Gary, as "a little close to a serial killer" in his obsession with Vice President Selina Meyer (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Read the full interview over at Salon — for someone who rose to fame as the childlike Buster Bluth, Hale has certainly come a long way. Meghan DeMaria
If you're a Billy Corgan fan who also enjoys wrestling, then today is the greatest day you'll ever know: The Smashing Pumpkins leader will now serve as the senior producer of creative and talent development at TNA Impact Wrestling.
Corgan's ideas will come to life on the Destination America network's Impact Wrestling starting in May, and they won't include any tired tropes. "There is a tremendous opportunity to go into really fresh, new directions," he told Variety. Later, the longtime wrestling fan added: "I think there's an endless supply of things in our culture where people are dealing with race or with gender, etc., and you can get into these things in a way that is both revelatory and enlightening. Treated the right way, ultimately, the good guy wins. The right ideas win." This actually isn't the first time Corgan has been part of the wrestling world — in recent years, he did some promotion work around the Chicago area. Catherine Garcia
With 799,000 hectares — or 1.97 million acres — of land set aside for vineyards, China is now the No. 2 wine-growing area in the world.
Spain remains in first place with 1.02 million hectares, but China pushed France down to third place, the BBC reports. The International Organization of Vine and Wine said France still produces the most wine, 4.67 million hectoliters (mhl) a year, and brings in the most money from selling wine abroad (more than $8.4 billion).
The U.S. continues to consume the most wine in the world — 30.7 mhl, or 13 percent of all global wine produced in 2014 — followed by France and Italy. Overall, global wine consumption was down in 2014 by 2.4 mhl, to 240 mhl (6.34 billion gallons). Catherine Garcia
When Stevie Wonder asked, through an intermediary, if he could take a ride in Cedric the Entertainer's Tesla, Cedric said yes, of course, he told Conan O'Brien on Monday's Conan. But after a very fast spin around the block, Wonder had another request: "This is so cool, you should let me drive." That's where Cedric drew the line, as would any owner of a fancy automobile with a blind passenger: "Stevie, Stevie, the car's electric, not magic." Presumably he will be more generous with his first self-driving sedan. —Peter Weber
On the streets of Baltimore Monday night, several people — including Vietnam veteran Robert Valentine — stood between rioters and police officers, urging those who took to the streets to go home and not take part in the violence.
In an interview with CNN, Valentine said that he felt it was his duty to defend his neighborhood, and that he wasn't afraid of being hit by bottles and rocks. He spent 30 years in the military, he said, leaving as a master sergeant, and has seen "more than all this. I've been through the riots already. This here is not relevant." Noting that many of the rioters he saw were young people, he added: "They need to have their butts at home. They need to be in their home units with their families studying and doing something with their life. Not out here protesting about something that is not really about nothing. They do not respect this young man's death."
Valentine said he never thought twice about standing up against the rioters. "I love my country, I love my Charm City, and I'm an American," he said. "I'm not black, white, red, yellow, or nothing. I am American." Watch the video below. —Catherine Garcia
On Monday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) met with about 30 Orthodox Jewish leaders at the Brooklyn, New York, headquarters of the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, and he raised some eyebrows with his thoughts on foreign policy. He criticized the decision by George W. Bush to invade Iraq, arguing that Iran has become more powerful without Saddam Hussein, and declared President Obama's topping of Moammar Qadhafi an "utter disaster," The New York Times reports.
"It was a mistake to topple Hussein," Paul told the largely Democratic gathering, adding that along with strengthening Iran, "each time we topple a secular dictator, I think we wind up with chaos, and radical Islam seems to rise." He insisted he is "not an isolationist," and gave partial backing to Obama's nuclear deal with Iran: "The interim agreement that we are under now, while not perfect, is better than no agreement and no inspections."
Paul's meeting with the Jewish leaders was generally positive, even very positive, but not everybody was impressed. "Clearly Sen. Paul does not pander," Michael Fragin, a Republican radio host, tells The Times. "Telling this audience that the Middle East was better off with Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qadhafi in power shocked me. It was a rambling and incoherent expression of foreign policy that puts him closer to Bernie Sanders than anyone in the GOP." Peter Weber
In the days since a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday and killed more than 4,300 people, dozens of aftershocks of 4.5 magnitude and greater have hit as well, and the U.S. Geological Survey warns that there is a better than 50-50 chance of another 6.0 quake or higher taking place in the next week and the next month.
The USGS forecast is based on where the earthquake took place — in this case, a deep boundary between colliding continental plates, NPR reports. It released stress that had been building up for 150 years, triggering smaller quakes near the epicenter. "What's happening, particularly for these more remote aftershocks, is they are striking on the neighboring faults," Ross Stein, scientist emeritus at the USGS, told NPR, "and those neighboring faults could rupture in subsequent large earthquakes."
There is a 1-2 percent chance that in the next few years an aftershock more powerful than than Saturday's quake could strike the area. "It's kind of a cruel part of aftershocks that we cannot depend on them getting smaller," Stein said. "They just get less and less frequent with time." Catherine Garcia
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said during a news conference late Monday night that 15 police officers were injured, six seriously, earlier in the day, although their injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.
The officers were hit by flying debris, including rocks, bottles, and sticks. "This is not protesting, this is not your First Amendment rights," he said. "This is criminal acts." He added he was "disappointed in the fact the damage has been done to these communities" and "disappointed we cannot be more responsible." He said the violence is embarrassing to the "beautiful" city of Baltimore, and asked that parents "take control of your kids." Catherine Garcia