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Scarlett Johansson steps down as Oxfam ambassador after Super Bowl ad

Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with a humanitarian group after being criticized over her support for an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank.

A statement released by Johansson’s spokesman Wednesday said the 29-year-old actress has “a fundamental difference of opinion” with Oxfam International because the humanitarian group opposes all trade from Israeli settlements, saying they are illegal and deny Palestinian rights.

“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” the statement said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”

Earlier this month, the Avengers and Her actress signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International Ltd., and she’s set to appear in an ad for the at-home soda maker during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

SodaStream has come under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for maintaining a large factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians.
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Kid Darth Vader actor released from hospital after heart operation

The 7-year-old actor who plays a pint-sized Darth Vader in a popular car commercial is out of the hospital after open-heart surgery. A spokesman for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles said Max Page was released Monday, four days after his pulmonary valve was replaced in a two-hour operation. Max headed home with his parents and younger brother.

Max, who plays Reed on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, was born with a congenital heart defect and has undergone multiple surgeries. He rallied quickly after last week’s operation, giving a thumbs-up the next day and telling his parents, “I am happy” the day after that, said his mother, Jennifer Page.

The valve used for Max will last about 15 years and won’t require invasive surgery to replace it, according to the hospital. He faces six to eight weeks of recovery.

Maria Arena Bell, executive producer for The Young and the Restless, said she and others with the show were “thrilled” Max was doing well, and look forward to his return when he recovers.

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