Starbucks bathrooms in at least 25 markets will be fitted with new needle-disposal units, as thousands of workers express concern about drug use in their bathrooms.
In May of last year, Starbucks announced that their bathrooms would be open to everyone after a viral outrage mob came after them over an employee calling the police on loitering customers.
“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision 100% of the time and give people the key, because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than,” Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz said at the time. “We want you to be more than.”
Late last year, two Starbucks employees in Oregon were both struck by dirty needles while cleaning bathrooms in the same month, leading to a government investigation.
“The manager confirmed two employees had received needle stick injuries within the last month from hypodermic needles left uncapped in the bathroom, and stated needles and blood had been found in the bathroom at this location for over a year, but the frequency of needles being left in the bathrooms had increased significantly in recent months,” the Oregon OSHA inspection narrative states, according to a report from Business Insider.
Additionally, over 5,000 employees have signed a petition for the coffee giant to place needle disposal units in high risk bathrooms. Ironically, the author of the petition ended up also getting struck by a needle after it launched.
“The author of this petition ended up getting poked by a dirty needle themselves, after two other coworkers were poked in the same cafe, not long after starting this petition. Since then, the author went to local Seattle news crews, and only after their story aired did Starbucks put safe sharps disposals in six cafes in Seattle, but they were only the cafes that already had an L&I complaint and fine about this issue before. The author still has yet to hear directly from anyone at Starbucks Corporate. The author still fully intends on hand-delivering this petition to Starbucks HQ. The author is obnoxiously tenacious like that,” the petition author wrote in an update.
Currently, Starbucks workers are made to remove hypodermic needles themselves and place them in a disposal unit that is not located in the rest room. They are given regular rubber gloves or some times tongs to remove them. They are also told to double-bag trash cans so that the needles are less likely to poke through and stab them.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, D.C., March 15, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the length of new U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil industry will depend “solely on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s senior leaders.”
“The goal remains simple: to deprive the outlaw regime of the funds it has used to destabilize the Middle East for four decades and incentivize Iran to behave like a normal country,” Pompeo said at the State Department. He added that the sanctions will divert “well north of $10 billion” away from the Iranian regime.
Pompeo also announced an end to the temporary exemptions eight countries had been granted that allowed them to continue importing Iranian oil and gas.
“We’ll no longer grant any exemptions,” Pompeo said. “We are going to zero across the board. We’ll continue to enforce sanctions and monitor compliance and any nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution; the risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.”
“How long we’ll remain there at zero depends solely on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s senior leaders,” the secretary of state said.
The Trump administration pulled out of the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal in May and reimposed the rest of the sanctions lifted under the agreement in November.
“These demands are not just coming from the United States government and many of our allies and partners, they are similar to what we hear from the Iranian people themselves,” Pompeo said. “I want the Iranian people to know we are listening to them and stand with them. We will not appease their oppressors, as the last administration did. Our hopes are for a better life for them, and all people afflicted by the regime’s violence and destruction.”
Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin have previously said that the sanctions will not be lifted until Iran ends its nuclear program entirely, pulls its forces from Syria, and ends its sponsorship of terrorism.
Philadelphia Flyers Remove Kate Smith Statue Over Allegations Of Racism
Multiple professional sports franchises are distancing themselves from legendary 1930s singer Kate Smith due to her alleged history of singing racist songs.
Last week, the New York Yankees pulled Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” from the stadium’s 7th-inning stretch, which had been a tradition at Yankee Stadium for nearly two decades. Then, on Easter Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they had removed a statue of Smith from outside the team’s arena.
“The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with ‘God Bless America,’ as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation,” the Flyers said in a statement Sunday. “But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”
The decision to ditch Smith for racist songs that were recorded nearly 90 years ago was widely panned, with Smith’s family saying that they were “appalled” by the decision. Smith’s niece Suzy Andron said of the singer, “Aunt Katherine was probably one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She was certainly anything but a prejudice person. She loved everybody.”
Smith allegedly sang songs titled “Pickaninny Heaven” and “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” in the early 1930s, in which the lyrics read: “Someone had to pick the cotton/ Someone had to plant the corn/ Someone had to slave and be able to sing/ That’s why darkies were born.”
One Flyers’ season ticket holder posted notes on Smith’s covered statue with the words, “God Bless Kate Smith,” and “Happy Easter!”
Others pointed to her charitable endeavors, with Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis estimating that Smith raised $600 million to fight Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in World War II.
While some saw the situation as an example of political correctness gone awry:
Smith passed away in 1986 at the age of 79.
Read more: https://www.dailycaller.com/2019/04/22/flyers-kate-smith-yankees-racism/
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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
These days, whenever there’s a mass shooting, folks immediately offer up their sympathies. They take to social media, the broadest reaching platform they have access to, and say something to the effect of how their “thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
It’s the equivalent of telling someone you’re sorry to hear their loved one died. It shows that you’re sympathetic to what everyone is going through.
Lately, anti-gunners have started rebuffing these “thoughts and prayers,” mocking them outright. They think “thoughts and prayers” aren’t enough anymore.
On a July afternoon in 2012, Denton Dickerson logged onto Twitter to share his grief after getting notice that a dozen moviegoers had been murdered at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises – a movie he was planning to see later that day.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the Aurora Colorado shooting,” Dickerson, now 25, wrote. “There are some sick people in this world.”
Four years and dozens of mass shootings later, including one in his home state of South Carolina that left nine people dead during a Charleston prayer service, Dickerson’s tone on Twitter had shifted.
“Thoughts and Prayers are great but they are not enough,” he wrote in June 2016, hours after a shooting at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub killed 49 people.
Dickerson’s evolution reflects a dramatic change in how Americans use and react to faith-related language in response to mass shootings during a time when the nation has become staunchly polarised on gun policy.
The Washington Post analysed more than 600,000 tweets containing the phrase “thoughts and prayers” between 2012 and 2019 and found that the expression has become a political flash point on social media. Its usage often correlates with political views, faith affiliation and positions on gun policy, according to interviews with experts on religion and politics.
But what’s not discussed is that the anti-gunners have their own version of “thoughts and prayers.”
When people offer up that phrase, it’s typically from the heart, a statement that they’ll be praying for whatever those affected need and will be remembering those impacted by such a horrific event. It means something, even if it doesn’t mean what anti-gunners want it to represent.
You see, for anti-gunners, the only valid way to express sympathy is to immediately press for gun control, even before we know anything about what happened. It’s not uncommon to hear calls for banning “assault weapons” for hours and hours before we learn that the killer used a handgun. It’s not unusual to hear calls for universal background checks for days before finding out that the killer passed a background check at a gun store.
This is their version of “thoughts and prayers.”
However, the claim that anti-gunners somehow thoughts and prayers aren’t enough is also false. If it were, they’d be open to at least discussing non-gun control actions that could be taken regarding mass shootings. While I don’t think they’d stop advocating for gun control, they’d at least acknowledge that hardening schools or other steps might have an impact and be willing to talk about them.
For them, gun control is the talisman they hold up to “prove” they’re sympathetic to the victims. It’s their version of “thoughts and prayers” and is probably far less effective.
But this is also the world we live in, where calling for infringing on the rights of ordinary Americans is considered the best way to show you care in some demented and tortured minds.
Were the hacked e-mails from the DNC the moral equivalent of the Pentagon Papers? Did the American people have “a right to know” about the corruption in the Democratic primary process? Rudy Giuliani poses both questions — without necessarily fully buying into either premise — in a lively 18-minute interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday.
At least we know this much … everyone wants to wring as much entertainment value out of the anti-climactic Mueller report as possible:
Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, suggested Sunday that the American people had a “right to know” about the private Democratic emails released during a state-sponsored hack by the Russian government aimed at bolstering Trump’s 2016 election. …
He compared the hacked information to the Pentagon Papers, which shed light on controversy surrounding the Vietnam War.
“They shouldn’t have stolen it, but the American people were just given more information about how deceptive, how manipulative her campaign was,” Giuliani said. “I wonder if there isn’t an argument that the people had a right to know that about Hillary Clinton.”
This isn’t the most entertaining part of the interview, however, which we’ll get to in a moment. The difference between the Pentagon Papers and practically everything else Giuliani mentions is the fact that the Pentagon Papers came from … the Pentagon. They were a government work product, detailing falsehoods from the Lyndon Johnson administration about the US involvement in Vietnam, especially our actions in backing and then deposing Ngo Dinh Diem. Daniel Ellsberg exposed them illegally, but that information should have been disclosed all along, at least to Congress. Once the Washington Post published the material, it significantly changed the character of American support for the war.
By contrast, the DNC e-mails (and John Podesta’s at the Center for American Progress) were private communications. Only the most anarchic or most authoritarian arguments could be deployed in service to a “right to know” the contents of those communications. While both examples involve theft, as Giuliani points out, there is at least some moral difference between the two — as well as legal differences, although those play in the opposite direction. The penalties for stealing classified government information and exposing them are much harsher than the penalties for stealing private data.
That’s not the most entertaining exchange, however. It’s the debate between Giuliani and Todd over what happens after the theft — especially in the media:
CHUCK TODD: So it is now okay for political campaigns to work with material stolen by foreign adversaries?
RUDY GIULIANI: It depends on the stolen material. If the stolen material is — first of all, was it all right for The New York Times and The Washington Post to print against the objections of the president —
CHUCK TODD: You’re putting the Pentagon Papers and Vladimir Putin on the same level —
RUDY GIULIANI: No, the theft.
CHUCK TODD: — of morality?
RUDY GIULIANI: The theft. How often have newspapers and you covered stolen classified material?
CHUCK TODD: I hope not often.
RUDY GIULIANI: Well, you do. You do —
CHUCK TODD: I hope not often to be honest.
RUDY GIULIANI: You do, and you justify it. And actually, I don’t know if NBC was part of it, but the media went to court to defend doing that because it’s part of the public’s right to know. But I guess the public didn’t have a right to know how sneaky, how dishonest, and how dishonorable [crosstalk] Hillary and the people around her were and make your own conclusion about it.
This has been the moral debate all along. The issue isn’t theft, and it’s not Russian involvement either. The question is what do you do after the theft. If the material has already been disseminated, as Giuliani points out was done with the DNC and Podesta material, there’s not much point in being shy about using it.
Todd’s response that media outlets rarely report based on stolen classified material is outright laughable. Almost all internal government information worth repeating is at least covered by some kind of restricted status, and frequently is classified at least at low levels. Anonymous sources within government provide that information routinely, and media outlets report on it routinely, even when it rises to the level of interfering with legitimate national-security efforts. (Remember the New York Times’ exposure of the terror-finance tracking in the SWIFT network in 2006, which turned out to be perfectly legal?)
Media outlets can’t argue simultaneously that they don’t conduct reporting on the basis of stolen material and that they can’t operate without anonymous sources providing it to them. Giuliani’s correct in making that point. Sometimes they have good reason to do so, but other times not so much — and they get played by disgruntled sources more often than not.
For the most part, though, Giuliani and Todd argue past each other. That doesn’t make it worthless, although nothing really gets resolved except the skill in both men in dancing around the others’ arguments. That’s what makes it entertaining, far more so than Todd’s later interview with Jerrold Nadler, which resolved nothing either but provided nothing more than a reason to caffeinate heavily on an Easter Sunday morning.