Monday, June 22, 2020

The Egyptian government is encouraging families to take care of abandoned children and raise them as their own

This follows the introduction of a series of legal amendments that have eased many of the restrictions of Kafala. This initiative, entitled “A family for every child”, is aimed at reducing the number of children living in the country’s 400 orphanages. “We have 12,500 abandoned children who are now living with 12,000 families. Some families choose to obtain the custody of more than one child. We have another 10,000 children who still live in care homes. We hope that we can provide a family to each one of those children and get rid of all care institutions in the long term”, he said. In almost all other Muslim countries, including the Middle East, orphans are mostly taken in informally by their extended family, without any legal provisions. However, the child cannot take on the surname of the guardian and has no inheritance rights. Prior to 2018, orphaned children in Egypt could only be entrusted to guardians if they were over two years of age. This threshold has now been reduced to three months. (African News)


Man takes his own life after seeing $730K negative balance on investment app

When a 20-year-old man opened his trading app on his phone, it showed him close to a million dollars in the red. Soon after, the man took his own life, but his family says he actually didn’t lose the money at all. The man was home from college from the University of Nebraska when he became interested in investing. His family said he downloaded the Robinhood app and began making trades. Last week, the 20-year-old opened his app and looked at his account. That’s when he saw that he had a negative $730,000 balance. His family said he took a screenshot and wrote a suicide note. His body was found the next day. He had thrown himself in front of a train. Family members said the issue on the app needs to be fixed and said the company needs to address the potential harm that the glitch can create. Robinhood issued the following statement: “All of us at Robinhood are deeply saddened to hear this terrible news and we reached out to share our condolences with the family. We will not share any details regarding the account to respect privacy and confidentiality.” Family members called Robinhood’s response “canned” and said he is still reaching out to contacts he has in the financial world to find out why the account would show a negative balance. (WGN 9)


Jobless claims high amid reopenings

New U.S. jobless figures show that continuing claims remain stubbornly high at 20.5 million for the week ended June 6, down only slightly from 20.6 million a week earlier. The relatively stable number, which reflects the total number of people receiving unemployment, suggests many people have not been being called back to work as states start to reopen. In some cases, job losses thought to be temporary may be permanent. The same report also shows 1.5 million Americans filed new jobless claims for the week ended June 13, slightly lower than 1.6 million the week before. (U.S. Department of Labor)


AMC Theatres Will Allow Mask-Less Customers

The AMC Theatres chain announced its July 15 reopening plans. Although it’s taking measures to ensure that employees are wearing masks and being tested regularly for the coronavirus, the company won’t enforce mask-wearing among customers. AMC will use a series of health and sanitation protocols it calls “AMC Safe & Clean” to protect moviegoers from COVID-19. The protocols were developed in partnership with faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health and advisors from Clorox. This includes masks and other personal protection equipment for employees while customers will be strongly encouraged but not required to wear masks unless mandated by state or local regulations. (The Wrap)


Time to stop salary history queries?

As companies look to address pay disparities in their workforce, does banning questions about salary history work? Banning companies from asking what someone earns now or has earned in the past tends to help women and minorities more than others, by making it more difficult for a company to perpetuate past pay inequities, according to new research at Boston University. The researchers found that after some states introduced salary history bans, pay for job switchers went up 5% on average compared to areas without a ban, but that climbed to a 13% jump for African-Americans and 8% for women. (The Wall Street Journal)


Colleges reveal their plans for fall

Universities and colleges across the country are beginning to unveil their reopening plans for fall, but uncertainty still looms over how to bring thousands, and even tens of thousands, of students together safely. MIT, for one, will allow some students back on campus, while keeping classes online as much as possible and giving on-campus residents their own rooms. The decision echoes similar plans from institutions keen on reopening amid the pandemic. But skeptics warn such expectations may be too optimistic, and that colleges have no way of truly halting risky behavior. (Forbes)



‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ will be using blow-up dolls to film sex scenes due to coronavirus risk

“The Bold and the Beautiful” filmmakers are getting creative when it comes to meeting new production guidelines as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The soap opera, which temporarily resumed production on Wednesday, will be making use of one of its old blow-up dolls on set to film sex scenes moving forward, one of the producers has revealed. The executive producer and head writer of the long-running soap series, said the decision was made with social distancing measures in mind. The production team gave it a shot and it resulted in a “very convincing” take. “It’s a great doll and we’ll be using her with hair and makeup as a stand-in to match some of our leading ladies,” he added. There’s just one catch: there is only one doll that currently exists on the set. (The New York Post)


More than 7 in 10 Americans won’t use contact-tracing apps, data shows

 Survey data revealed fewer than 3 in 10 Americans intend to use contact-tracing apps. The data was gathered from an online survey of just over 2,000 people in the United States, collected on June 1 by polling company Opinion Matters on behalf of the security company Avira. When asked if they planned to download a contact-tracing app, an overwhelming majority, 71 percent answered no. Not only is that bad, it appears to be a deterioration from earlier this year; in April, we covered a poll that found 1 in 2 Americans would probably or definitely not use a contact-tracing app. Most of the resistance to downloading a contact-tracing app came from people over the age of 55. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that people aged 55 and over account for almost 80 percent of US COVID-19 deaths to date. Survey respondents who replied “no” to the first question were then asked to explain that decision with a multiple-choice poll. The most common reason cited was a concern about privacy; in all, 44 percent of those who said “no” to a contact-tracing app said they would not trust the technology to protect their digital privacy. But nearly as many (39 percent) also said they thought the apps created a false sense of security, and 37 percent said they believed the apps would not work to slow the spread of the pandemic. Thirty-five percent also indicated a lack of trust in the app providers. (Arstechnica)


Company ditching long-running branding for social justice

Uncle Ben’s parent company, Mars Inc., says it will remove “Uncle Ben” from its product packaging in order to recognize racial stereotypes in advertising. The rice has been sold in the United States under the Uncle Ben’s brand since 1947. Mars Inc. made the announcement, saying that the time was nigh to make such a decision about the brand’s evolution. “Racism has no place in society,” a portion of the company’s statement read. “We stand in solidarity with the Black community, or Associates, and our partners in the fight for social justice. We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us — individuals, communities, and organizations of all sizes around the world.” The company did not detail precisely what will happen to the look or the name of the brand.  (NBC News)


Two more big brands are dropping logos

Cream of Wheat is now considering making a logo change move, and removing its package branding, which features a black male chef. In a statement, Cream of Wheat’s parent company, B&G Foods, Inc., said that the company is conducting a review of the branding. “B&G Foods, Inc. announced that we are initiating an immediate review of the Cream of Wheat brand packaging,” the company said in a statement. “We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism.” Cream of Wheat isn’t the only one: Mrs. Butterworth’s breakfast syrup, which features a woman as its brand face, is also considering making a similar concession. Conagra Brands, the parent company of Mrs. Butterworth’s, made a statement about the brand’s future: “The Mrs. Butterworth’s brand, including its syrup packaging, is intended to evoke the images of a loving grandmother. We stand in solidarity with our Black and Brown communities and we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values. We understand that our actions help play an important role in eliminating racial bias and as a result, we have begun a complete brand and packaging review on Mrs. Butterworth’s. It’s heartbreaking and unacceptable that racism and racial injustices exist around the world. We will be part of the solution. Let’s work together to progress toward change.” (The Blaze)


Aunt Jemima’s Great-Grandson Upset That Family Legacy Is Being ‘Erased’

Larnell Evans Sr., a great-grandson of the woman who portrayed one of the earliest versions of Aunt Jemima, recently spoke about Quaker Foods decision to eliminate the Aunt Jemima brand in response to civil unrest and protests calling for racial equity. Needless to say, he is not happy with the move and had the following to say about it: “This is an injustice for me and my family. This is part of my history, sir. The racism they talk about, using images from slavery, that comes from the other side — white people. This company profits off images of our slavery. And their answer is to erase my great-grandmother’s history. A black female. … It hurts.” The company’s original Aunt Jemima was Nancy Green. She made her debut public appearance at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and played the role until her death in 1923. Evans says his great-grandmother, the late Anna Short Harrington, took over after being discovered by a Quaker rep at the New York State Fair in 1935. Quaker Oats used her likeness on products and advertising, and sent her around the country to serve pancakes at appearances as “Aunt Jemima.” Evans also claims that the company used his great-grandmother’s pancake recipe and has attempted to sue Quaker Oats in federal court. (Patch)


Atlanta Police Officers To Receive $500 Bonuses

A $500 bonus will be granted to every police officer in the Atlanta. According to the city’s Police Foundation, the bonus will serve as a thank you for officers who have been working amid the coronavirus and recent protests. Tensions rose within the department after former Officer Garrett Rolfe, who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, was charged with felony murder. This reportedly prompted an unusual number of “call outs” by police officers exhausted by anti-police sentiment the next day. Georgia’s governor released a video, which he captioned “Georgia backs the blue.” “Know this: we stand with you, we support you and we have your back,” said the Georgia Governor. “I don’t know what comes next, but know that you are not alone.” The bonuses will add up to $2 million total. The organization will purchase 20 new police cruisers to replace the ones destroyed during the George Floyd riots. They will also supply free meals for officers who work 12 hour shifts. (One America News Network)


Georgia city council asks mayor to resign over rant, saying ‘privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance’

The city council of Bloomingdale, Georgia, has asked the mayor to immediately resign over his comments on Facebook ripping those he believes possess “privilege,” including those who wear “$300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance” and those who wear “$200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job.” Mayor Ben Rozier’s now-deleted post in the Gossip Bloomingdale GA Facebook group appeared to be a response to the term “white privilege”. Bloomingdale’s city council asked for the mayor’s immediate resignation over his comments, according to a news release posted on the city’s Facebook page. The council said it doesn’t “condone or endorse any single or collective posts” from Rozier, and that it’s “unfortunate that Mayor Rozier’s [post] on Facebook has caused this set of circumstances and ill will in our beloved community. In no way does this reflect the ideals and values of the City of Bloomingdale or the Bloomingdale City Council.” (WJCL)


Monday Comes In With:

  • Chocolate Eclair Day
  • HVAC Technicians Day
  • Onion Rings Day
  • Positive Media Day
  • Stupid Guy Thing Day
  • World Rainforest Day
  • Worldwide VW Beetle Day


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