Taking a break from conquering Broadway, making movies and writing books, Lin-Manuel Miranda tromped up a muddy slope in Puerto Rico's highlands on Wednesday assessing his next challenge: helping revive the island's ailing coffee industry.
Miranda is the public face of a multimillion-dollar, five-year effort that's being spearheaded by the Hispanic Federation and includes heavy-hitters like Starbucks, Nespresso and the Rockefeller Foundation.
"These are the 'Avengers' of coffee," he said of the group, likening them to a pack of superheroes. "And you don't call in the Avengers when things are easy. You call in the Avengers when things are difficult."
The island's estimated 4,200 coffee farmers certainly need the help. Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed about 80 percent of the harvest last year.
Under this initiative, the Hispanic Federation — which was founded by Miranda's father, Luis — and Nespresso are each investing $1 million into the project. Starbucks will invest $475,000 and donate 2 million climate-resistant seeds. The Rockefeller Foundation is investing $500,000, and TechnoServe, an international nonprofit, will help implement the project.
Miranda — the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy — has been a vocal advocate for the island and its post-hurricane recovery. There's a frequently repeated saying on the island that Puerto Rican coffee used to be served to the pope at the Vatican. "We'll get there again," Miranda said.
Megyn Kelly absent from show
Megyn Kelly is absent from her NBC morning show with questions swirling about whether her time at the network is coming to an end after her comments that it was appropriate for white people to dress in blackface as part of their Halloween costumes. Kelly has apologized, but it seemed to do little to improve her standing. Andrew Lack, the chairman of the news division, told NBC News staff: "I condemn those remarks." Anchor Craig Melvin called her comments "racist and ignorant." Kelly and her talent agency, Creative Artists Agency, have also parted ways.
Suspicious minds: British police are hunting a shoplifter who bears a striking resemblance to Ross Geller, the character played by David Schwimmer on TV's "Friends." Facebook users noticed the similarity when police posted footage of a man carrying a carton of cans from a restaurant in Blackpool, England. The actor responded with a Twitter video that showed him scuttling through a convenience store, and said: "As you can see, I was in New York." Police confirmed that "David Schwimmer was in America on this date."
Recovering: Justin Timberlake is postponing another concert, this one in Buffalo, N.Y., as he recovers his bruised vocal cords. Earlier this week, he had rescheduled his concert at New York's Madison Square Garden to Jan. 31.