TIME toxins

Jeni’s Ice Cream Recalls All Products Because of Listeria Contamination

A pint of a Jeni's ice cream tested positive for Listeria

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is recalling all its ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet after a sample tested positive for the deadly bacteria Listeria.

Once the contamination was discovered in a randomly selected pint of Jeni’s ice cream, the company “made the swift decision to cease all ice cream production and sales” until “all products are ensured to be 100% safe,” the company announced on its website Thursday.

“We have called in experts to help us find the root cause. We will be working with our suppliers to determine if the bacteria was introduced by one of the ingredients we use. We will not reopen the kitchen until we can ensure the safety of our customers,” a statement from Jeni’s CEO John Lowe reads.

The company is not aware of anyone getting sick from the contamination, but the recall announcement comes in the wake of an expanded recall of Blue Bell Ice Cream products, which have been linked to three Listeria-related deaths and several illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Blue Bell Listeria case dates back to 2010.

Listeria causes nausea, headaches, abdominal pain and diarrhea in healthy people. Listeria can be fatal to the very young, very old, and those with weak immune systems. It can also cause pregnant women to miscarry.

Read next: How Ice Cream Gets Contaminated—and Sometimes Kills

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Military

Army Launches Review Into Whether ROTC Cadets Were Forced to Wear Heels

For a sexual assault awareness event

The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that ROTC cadets on college campuses were told to wear high heels to an event marking Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

The review by the U.S Army Cadet Command comes after an anonymous poster on Reddit claimed that ROTC cadets at Arizona State University would have faced disciplinary action if they didn’t attend an event on Monday called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” during which students donned red high heels to “stomp out” sexual assault on campuses. The post quickly garnered attention online and pointed critics of the alleged policy to other ROTC campus units that held similar events.

In a statement shared with TIME, the U.S. Army Cadet Command said they did not direct the ROTC units on exactly how the cadets should participate in the sexual assault awareness events.

“After receiving some comments about uniforms, we are currently gathering facts in order to review how local ROTC units implemented their participation in these events designed to raise awareness on the issue of sexual assault,” the statement said.

A video posted by ASU’s student nhttps://vimeo.com/125515628ewspaper shows the event at the Phoenix university. Maj. Michelle Bravo, a military science professor at Arizona State, says in the video that the cadets “planned and decided” to host the walk, where they mostly wore khakis and polo shirts with their heels.

The Temple University ROTC hosted a similar event earlier this month, and cadets there wore their uniforms with heels as they walked.

The U.S. Army Cadet Command also noted units could have participated in other events including “JROTC/ROTC 5K Run/Walk,” which doesn’t explicitly mention wearing high heels.

TIME cities

This Los Angeles Neighborhood Is Fighting to Allow Topless Sunbathing on Its Beaches

The council voted on a measure to OK topless sunbathing on Tuesday

A neighborhood council in California wants to let women sunbathe topless. After a vote on Tuesday, Venice Beach became one step closer to giving topless tanning the green light.

The charge to bring nearly nude sunbathing to Venice Beach is being led by a community officer who’s calling it an equality issue, according to the Los Angeles Times. The council also says topless sunbathing will bring the beach more in step with the Italian city it’s styled after.

“Venice Beach was founded and designed around the European culture of Venice, Italy…topless [sun]bathing is commonplace throughout Europe, much of the world, and many places within the U.S.,” the council argues. In Los Angeles, however, it’s illegal to bask in the sun in one’s birthday suit.

Though the vast majority of the Venice Beach Council voted for the measure, the city council member who represents Venice says he’s got more important issues on his plate. “Right now my priorities for Venice are increasing public safety, housing the homeless, and protecting affordable housing,” Mike Bonin said, according to the LA Times.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

TIME Sports

This NFL Player Wants to Moonlight as an Uber Driver

A.J. Francis playing for the Maryland Terrapins in 2012.
G Fiume—Getty Images A.J. Francis playing for the Maryland Terrapins in 2012.

His reasoning? "The only thing better than NFL money is more money"

A.J. Francis is a defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, but is he also a defensive driver? We only ask because the Miami Dolphins player is on the hunt for an off-season job where that skill will come in handy.

The 24-year-old former University of Maryland Terp wants to be an Uber driver.

The tweet generated some buzz with handfuls of Francis’s 8,000 followers wondering, understandably, why a NFL player would need the extra cash. Francis’s response: the only thing better than money is more money.

Washington Post sports columnist Des Bieler also says given the fickle nature of the NFL, Francis may need the cash soon, too. He was cut from the Patriots in 2013 before the Dolphins picked him up and reportedly spent the 2014 season on injured reserve.

TIME Marijuana

Marijuana Reform Activists Push for Change with DEA Head

DEA administrator Michele Leonhart testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a hearing on sexual harassment and misconduct allegations at the DEA and FBI in Washington on April 14, 2015.
James Lawler Duggan—Reuters DEA administrator Michele Leonhart testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a hearing on sexual harassment and misconduct allegations at the DEA and FBI in Washington on April 14, 2015.

And the resignation of Chief of Administration Michele Leonhart offers the chance for change

Marijuana legalization advocates are excited about the departure of Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, whom they long considered an obstruction in their goal of reforming the nation’s drug laws.

“We are happy to see her go,” says Dan Riffle, the director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project. “She’s a career drug warrior at a time when we’ve decided the ‘War on Drugs’ is an abject failure.”

Leonhart has been at the DEA for 35 years and served as the top dog since 2007. Though the recent scandal involving agents soliciting sex from prostitutes is what will likely most clearly tarnish her reputation, her position on drug policy has led marijuana reform activists to call for her resignation, says says Neill Franklin of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Franklin, a veteran of the Maryland state police, calls her position on marijuana reform “archaic.”

Leonhart has been a major hurdle in the effort to reconsider marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, which could pave the way for more research into the health benefits of the drug. In 2011, the agency again rejected a petition to reschedule marijuana. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, the agency spent about $100 million in 2012 alone on enforcement regarding medical marijuana laws.

“Leonhart opposed medical marijuana, she opposed sentencing reform, she opposed pretty much everything that Obama was doing and for that matter everything Congress was doing,” says Bill Piper, the director of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance.

The Drug Policy Alliance is one of several drug and marijuana policy organizations that have previously called for Leonhart’s removal. Following a speech in which Leonhart was critical of Obama’s assertion that smoking marijuana was no more harmful that drinking alcohol, the Marijuana Policy Project and over 47,000 citizens called for her to resign. A Drug Policy Alliance petition called for her removal following revelations that the DEA had been tracking citizens’ phone calls for decades. Organizations including Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws have also called for her resignation.

Though who will be filling in for Leonhart isn’t yet clear, activists say her replacement should be more supportive of ongoing reform initiatives, including reducing mass incarceration and taking the health impact of drugs into consideration when formulating policy. What’s more, Piper says, her removal could lead the Obama administration to reschedule marijuana before the President leaves office.

“This offers a good opportunity for marijuana reform to move forward quicker than it has been moving,” Piper says.

More than that, though, it could signal and even steeper change to policy regarding the enforcement of drug laws. As more states consider legalizing marijuana in some form—23 states have legalized medical use and four have given the green light to toking up recreationally. Six additional states could consider legalization during the 2016 election. As the nation’s stance on that shifts, so too should its approach to drug enforcement, advocates say.

“Within the next 10 years, I see massive drug policy reform and therefore really an end to the DEA,” Franklin says. The new leader, he says, should approach the role as if he or she is “dismantling a decommissioned battleship and selling the pieces for scrap metal.”

“For most part, the DEA exists because they’re enforcing prohibition,” he adds. “I believe we’re moving away from prohibition and more toward health.”

TIME intelligence

The CIA’s Latest Mission: Improving Diversity

CIA Headquarters
David Burnett—Pool/Getty Images

A weapons analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, Lisa was sorting resumes with a colleague when something shocking happened.

Lisa, who is black, was helping her white coworker find the best applicants for overseas posts, which are considered prestigious within the agency and can lead to more important jobs down the line. Lisa was midway through her own overseas posting and had already seen how it helped her career.

But looking at the resumes, her coworker casually said that she would not hire a black man.

“She told me that if there is a white man — doesn’t matter how capable the black man is — I’m picking the white man,” recalled Lisa. (At the request of the CIA, TIME agreed to withhold last names of agency employees, many of whom work undercover.) “As a minority, you know that, but to have someone tell you that? It’s telling.”

Like workplaces across the country, the CIA is striving to improve the diversity of its staff. And just like other companies, the agency nicknamed The Company has found that progress comes in fits and starts.

In interviews with more than a dozen black officers, TIME found that while the CIA has made diversity a top priority, it still struggles to recruit African-Americans and promote them to higher positions.

Diversity is not just important for its own sake. As an intelligence agency, the CIA lives and dies on its ability to interpret complex data about foreign countries. Black agents noted multiple times when their unique perspective as a minority within the United States led them to a breakthrough in understanding a foreign conflict.

The agency’s top leaders agree.

“Diversity is critical to the success of CIA’s mission. We need a workforce as diverse as the world we cover,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a statement to TIME. “CIA has come a long way in broadening the demographic of its senior ranks, but we still have significant work to do.”

To that end, Brennan launched the Diversity in Leadership Study to examine the current demographics of the agency’s senior ranks. A similar study on women, who make up 46% of the CIA workforce, was released in 2013.

A key part of the study, which is being directed by famed lawyer and civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, will be recommendations on how to better foster an environment where people from all backgrounds can rise to the top.

That was not always a priority. According to Milo Jones and Philippe Silberzahn’s book Constructing Cassandra, in 1967 “there were fewer than 20 African Americans among the approximately 12,000 non-clerical CIA employees.”

Spenser, a black officer who oversees the Africa division, said that when he started in the 1990s, there was “not a single non-white division chief,” one of the highest-ranking positions in the agency.

The CIA would not disclose the size of its workforce nor its demographic makeup to TIME. But Spenser said that times have changed.

“We now have division chiefs that are Hispanic, that are Asian. That are black, women,” he said. “It’s completely different.”

As with other companies, a central part of the CIA’s efforts is recruiting. Intelligence experts say that the agency still has ground to make up on its reputation in the African-American community.

“The negative reputation has lingered on despite everyone’s best efforts,” says Mark Lowenthal, a former CIA officer and intelligence expert.

As the African-American community outreach manager for the CIA, Tiffany spends most of her time talking with black professional organizations about the agency. She said that she’s heard all kinds of misconceptions about the agency’s past and present, some of which she even believed herself in the past.

“When I was offered an opportunity to work for the agency, my initial response was, ‘oh hell no,’” Tiffany says. Now, she uses her story to get audiences comfortable with the idea of letting their friends and family members join the CIA.

Lowenthal remembers asking some young recruits — three black men — at their training graduation ceremony to get involved in recruiting as soon as possible.

“I said, go back to your schools and become mentors and recruiters,” Lowenthall recalls. “You’ll be much more effective than I can ever be.”

While not all officers participate in recruitment efforts, many black officers see it as part of their job. Reginald, a deputy chief of European analysis and a graduate of two historically black colleges — Howard University in Washington and Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. — makes it a point to recruit as often as possible, particularly at black schools.

Kim, who at 35 is already the chief of Africa analysis, recognizes the importance of recruiting.

“I actually went to a school not too long ago,” she says. “I saw their eyes get big when they noticed I was a young, African-American woman doing well at CIA. And I told them, you can come here and do this, too. I’m not that special.”

But recruiting is not enough. Within the agency, there are well-traveled paths to upper management that recruits need to navigate.

Lisa says she feels part of the problem is that white agents have done a better job of networking with higher ups that can recommend or “sponsor” junior officers for better positions. “They go to a different length to get positions than we do,” she said. “Often, they have an inside scoop, someone on the inside who can vouch for them.”

Michael, a 40-year veteran of the agency’s clandestine service, says a lot of black officers have felt that they have to prove they can do the work on their own. “We didn’t network,” he says.

He worked to change that, meeting with a handful of other black officers in the CIA cafeteria regularly to decompress and share advice.

“Even if we did a tour and came back three years or five years later, that roundtable was still there,” Michael says. It was important for black officers to have that space, and it’s something they continue today, gathering outside of Langley for social events and one-on-one chats.

“We made that a point of pride,” he says. “It was a thing of, ‘I may not get there, but we want to position you to get to the top.’”

TIME White House

President Obama on Loretta Lynch Delay: ‘This is Embarrassing’

Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder
Susan Walsh—AP The top U.S. prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn, Lynch was one of the few names on President Obama’s short list without close ties to the White House. If confirmed, she would be the first ­female African-American Attorney General.

"It's gone too far," Obama said Friday. "Enough."

President Obama got impatient as he expressed his disappointment with Senate Republicans’ delay of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s confirmation.

“It’s gone too far,” Obama said during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. “Enough. Enough.”

Obama blasted the Senate’s “dysfunction” in failing to confirm Lynch, who is set to become the first black female Attorney General in the nation’s history. A career prosecutor from New York, Lynch has now waited twice as long for her confirmation as the last seven attorney general nominees combined.

Though Lynch received bipartisan support following her confirmation hearings earlier this year, the Senate has failed to bring a vote on her new position. In recent weeks, Senate Republicans have delayed a vote over an unrelated fight on abortion provisions in a bill aimed at providing aid to survivors of human trafficking.

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid threatened to force a vote on the Lynch nomination.

On Friday, the President said he was outraged. “Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Let her do her job,” Obama said. “This is embarrassing, a process like this.”

TIME poverty

Homelessness Costs Los Angeles $100 Million a Year, Report Finds

Report finds there is a lack of coordination and guidelines among city departments

Los Angeles spends at least $100 million every year to manage the city’s homeless population, according to a new report, which finds that departments diverting a large portion of their resources to related issues may not be using the best approaches.

The 21-page report, dated April 16, takes a deep look at how much the thousands of homeless people and the services to provide for them—from librarians to paramedics to park rangers—cost the city. Many city departments don’t respond to issues with the broad intention of ending the city’s homelessness problem, but instead focus on a certain dilemma.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana recommended changes including more collaboration between city departments, better use of tools to track and manage data related to homelessness and an increase in funding for homelessness response and case management.

Read the full report at the Los Angeles Times.

TIME White House

White House Calls Delay of Attorney General Confirmation ‘Unconscionable’

Josh Earnest focused his strong words against Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest spent several minutes of Thursday’s news briefing lamenting the delayed confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, via a scathing critique of an Iowa Senator.

Earnest called out veteran Republican Senator Chuck Grassley as “exhibit A in why it is very challenging to work with Congressional Republicans,” citing Grassley’s reversal on when Lynch’s nomination should have been pushed through the Senate. Earnest said the previous seven nominees for the post waited a total 24 days between them to move from the committee to a vote on the Senate floor, and that as of Thursday, she had waited 49 days. He called it an “unconscionable delay.”

In September, the Iowan said the Attorney General vote shouldn’t be rushed through a lame duck Congress. On Thursday, however, Grassley criticized Democrats for not pushing the vote through when they still maintained control of the Senate.

“That in my mind is an astounding display of duplicity,” Earnest said. “The sad part I think, is that Senator Grassley, particularly in his home state of Iowa, has cultivated a reputation as somebody who is true to his word. And I think the only conclusion I can draw from this astounding exchange is that it’s possible that Senator Grassley has been in Washington for too long.”

TIME White House

Meet the White House’s New Social Secretary

Deesha Dyer
Carolyn Kaster—AP In this photo taken April 15, 2015, Deesha Dyer walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington to attend the seventh annual White House Kitchen Garden Planting with first lady Michelle Obama.

She worked her way up from a White House internship

The White House has a new social secretary, or the person whose job it is to make sure events at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue go off without a hitch. Deesha Dyer, 37, was named the new head of the East Wing office on Thursday, and becomes the second black woman to hold the position. She takes the reins from Jeremy Bernard, the office’s first male and openly gay social secretary, who announced he would step down at the end of the month.

Dyer currently serves as the second-in-command in the Social Office, having worked her way up from an internship when she joined the White House staff in 2009. In a statement, First Lady Michelle Obama said she’s been impressed by Dyer’s “passion, creativity, public-mindedness, and relentless competence.”

“Whether helping flawlessly execute state dinners, or going the extra mile to open the White House to people who never dreamed they would walk through these doors, Deesha has worked tirelessly to truly make the White House the ‘People’s House,’” Obama said. “I am thrilled that she has agreed to continue her service as our Social Secretary.”

Dyer’s path to the White House is a bit atypical. According to the statement, she didn’t go to college immediately after high school, opting instead to work as a freelance hip-hop writer and at several companies in her hometown, Philadelphia. At 29, Dyer went back to school to obtain an associates degree from the Community College of Philadelphia, around the same time Barack Obama, then an Illinois Senator, announced he was running for President. In an interview with Refinery 29, Dyer said she hung a picture of Obama on her desk, telling herself that one day she would end up working for him, even though she didn’t quite know how she’d make it work.

But at 31, she did. She applied for an internship at the White House and was hired to work in the Office of Scheduling and Advance. In 2010, she was brought onboard for a full-time position in the scheduling office and later became the Deputy Director and Hotel Program Director. Two years ago, she was promoted again to become the Social Office’s deputy director.

Dyer said in a statement that she is “honored” to serve in the new role.

“I am constantly inspired by the openness, diversity, and traditions of this Administration,” she said, “and I look forward to leading the talented Social Office team as we further the goals and priorities of the President and First Lady throughout these last two exciting years in office.”

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