Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Maskless woman flips off pizza shop employees, runs over cop’s foot

Authorities have taken a Michigan woman into custody after she allegedly made a scene inside of a pizza shop. According to reports, after being asked to wear a mask, the suspect made obscene gestures at employees and then attempted to leave the scene. At that point, she reportedly ran over a police officer’s foot with her pickup truck. The incident occurred at Jet’s Pizza in Grand Haven, Michigan. The suspect allegedly became upset after one of the restaurant’s workers asked her to wear a mask. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a mandate on July 10 that requires residents to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. The woman allegedly responded to the face mask request by sticking her hands underneath the plexiglass barrier at the counter and flipping off employees. She also reportedly kicked another customer that attempted to intervene. By the time Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Officer arrived, she was getting into her pickup truck after he ordered her to stop. At this point, the woman drove back over the officer’s foot with her truck, police said. The officer was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to fully recover. The woman was later taken into custody and has been charged with fleeing and eluding police, resisting and obstructing, and disturbing the peace. (Fox News)


South Korea Fines TikTok For Selling Children’s Data

Amid growing concerns about user privacy, the Korea Communications Commission has imposed a fine of $154,752.00 on the video-sharing app Tiktok, which makes three percent of their annual income. During an investigation initiated last year, regulators found that Tiktok’s users’ data had been used illegally and that children were among the victims. The investigation found that Tiktok’s activities violated local privacy laws and did not inform users that their data was being sent to other countries. On the other hand, Tiktok said it is deeply committed to fulfill the obligations as per the law. The credibility crisis has erupted after South Korea imposed penalty just days after India, the world’s largest users of the app, banned TikTok. The United States has also signaled a ban on Chinese social media, including Tiktok. (DGS Media)


Residents of a Kenyan village awarded $12 million in a lawsuit over lead poisoning

A Kenyan community whose children and residents were sickened by lead from a battery smelting plant has been awarded $12 million following a civil lawsuit. The court ordered the government to clean up Owino Uhuru, a village on the outskirts of Mombosa, within four months and gave the relevant agencies 90 days to pay out the compensation money. The ruling comes after years of grassroots work by an environmental activist who launched a legal challenge against the government and the smelting plant owners, accusing them of violating of Kenyan environmental and human rights law and exposing the community to lead poisoning. (CNN)


Open valve leads to crude oil spill in western North Dakota

An open valve led to a crude oil spill on a well pad in western North Dakota, state environmental officials said. The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality was notified Wednesday of the spill that happened Tuesday northeast of Fairfield in Billings County. Operator Scout Energy Management, LLC estimates about 7,560 gallons of oil were released, impacting rangeland. Officials said a valve was left open on a recirculation pump due to human error. Personnel from the agency are inspecting the site and will continue to monitor the investigation and remediation. (AP News)


A bank is paying people to bring in their spare change to help local businesses amid the coin shortage

A Wisconsin bank is bringing change to their community by helping local businesses struggling because of the nationwide shortage of coins caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Community State Bank launched a Coin Buy Back Program which offers a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins turned in to any of its seven locations. Anyone who brings by coins, whether they’re a bank customer or not, can receive up to a maximum coin bonus of $500. Just days after launching the program, hundreds of people have dropped off their spare change, already resulting in an “incredible impact” on local businesses that were struggling because of the shortage, according to the banks spokesperson. (Yahoo News)


UK to change extradition deal with Hong Kong

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is expected to suspend an extradition deal with the territory later. It comes after Beijing imposed a controversial national security law on the ex-British colony, introducing new crimes with severe penalties. China has accused the UK of “brutal meddling” in its affairs. The UK has already offered residency rights and a path to UK citizenship to around three million Hong Kongers in response to the law’s imposition. Beijing has insisted it is committed to upholding international law, and has promised a “resolute response” if the UK withdraws from extradition arrangements. The extradition treaty means that, if someone in Hong Kong is suspected of a crime in the UK, then the British authorities can ask Hong Kong to hand them over to face justice – and vice versa. The UK fears the arrangement – which has been in place for more than 30 years – could see anyone it extradites to Hong Kong being sent on to China. Hong Kong has extradition agreements with 19 other countries apart from the UK, including Canada and Australia, which have already suspended theirs following the imposition there of China’s new security law – which makes acts of subversion punishable by life sentences. (BBC)


AP Says It Will Capitalize Black But Not White

After changing its usage rules last month to capitalize the word “Black” when used in the context of race and culture, The Associated Press said it would not do the same for “white.” The AP said white people in general have much less shared history and culture, and don’t have the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color. Protests following the death of George Floyd, which led to discussions of policing and Confederate symbols, also prompted many news organizations to examine their own practices and staffing. The Associated Press, whose Stylebook is widely influential in the industry, announced June 19 it would make Black uppercase. In some ways, the decision over “white” has been more ticklish. The National Association of Black Journalists and some Black scholars have said white should be capitalized, too. “We agree that white people’s skin color plays into systemic inequalities and injustices, and we want our journalism to robustly explore these problems,” said the AP’s vice president for standards. “But capitalizing the term white, as is done by white supremacists, risks subtly conveying legitimacy to such beliefs.” Columbia Journalism Review, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, NBC News and Chicago Tribune are among the organizations that have recently said they would capitalize Black but have not done so for white. CNN, Fox News and The San Diego Union-Tribune said they will give white the uppercase, noting it was consistent with Black, Asian, Latino and other ethnic groups. CBS News said it would capitalize white, although not when referring to white supremacists, white nationalists or white privilege. Some proponents believe that keeping white lowercase is actually anti-Black, saying it perpetuates the idea that whites are the default race. (ABC News)


FDA further expands list of hand sanitizers to avoid due to methanol risk with more added to ‘import alert’

The Food and Drug Administration has added to its list of hand sanitizers to avoid because they may contain methanol, a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested. The FDA’s updated chart now includes 75 varieties of hand sanitizer that should be avoided, some which have already been recalled, and other products being recommended for recalls as they may contain the potentially fatal ingredient. The federal agency also included many of the hand sanitizers on an updated import alert. All of the products appear to have been produced in Mexico and according to the alert should be detained because they pose a health risk. The FDA says it has “seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination.” (USA Today)


Chevron has agreed to buy Noble energy for $5 Billion

The acquisition bolsters Chevron’s presence in the shale gas sector. It gives the company control of shale gas fields in the DJ Basin of Colorado and the Permian Basin across West Texas and New Mexico, as well as the Leviathan field, the largest natural gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean. Chevron was able to grab Noble at a discount because low oil prices have made energy assets cheaper. Seven months ago, Noble was valued at around $12b. Noble shares were up around 9% in premarket trading, while Chevron’s were flat. The deal gives Noble shareholders a 3% stake in the combined company. (Reuters)


This app may not be so private, after all

Germany, Switzerland and other countries used the free “privacy preserving” software code from Google and Apple to develop apps to help alert people of their possible exposure to the coronavirus. But for the apps to work on a phone with Google’s Android operating system, users must first turn on their device’s location setting, which may allow Google to determine users’ locations. The national virus alert apps have been downloaded more than 20 million times. Above, a Swiss tracing app. Denmark’s Health Ministry intends to look into how Google in general uses location data, while Switzerland said it had pushed Google for weeks to alter the location setting requirement. (The New York Times)


Coronavirus vaccine trial at Oxford University shows ‘robust’ immune system response

The early results of Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine trial showed “robust” immune system responses, according to the pharmaceutical firm. “COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222 showed robust immune responses in all participants in phase I/II trial,” said AstraZeneca in an emailed statement. Some 1,077 people took part in the study of AZD1222, which is also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. About half of the participants received the experimental vaccine. In the research, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55. The director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University said neutralizing antibodies were produced by the vaccine candidate. In addition, the vaccine also causes a reaction in the body’s T-cells, which help to fight off the coronavirus. Reported side effects from the trial include feeling tired, headaches, muscle aches, chills and fever. No serious side effects were noted. (Fox News)


Online petition demands Eskimo Joe’s to change its name, logo

An online petition has called Eskimo Joe’s in Stillwater to change its name, citing that the restaurant’s name involves a racial slur. “Eskimo Joe’s has been a beloved but racially insensitive Oklahoma brand since it was established in Stillwater in 1975,” said the lady who started the petition. “Everyone in Oklahoma knows Eskimo Joe’s, but few question the restaurant’s name or branded mascot as offensive or racist, or even know the term ‘Eskimo’ is considered a racial slur. People of color shouldn’t be seen as caricatures or used as mascots. It’s damaging for children to see themselves depicted as ugly or dehumanized. These depictions parallel the racist ads, mascots, and cartoons of Native Americans, Asians, and Africans,” she added. “The Inuit and Mexican people are not to be exploited for these restaurants’ branding.” She said they are not trying to make Eskimo Joe’s and Mexico Joe’s go away. Instead, they’re asking for the owner to rebrand the two with something “that removes this dehumanizing imagery and the slur ‘Eskimo.’” (



Anti-mask customer drops her pants and pees on Verizon store floor in protest

A woman who didn’t care for Verizon’s company policy requiring that masks be worn in all its stores decided to drop trou and relieve herself on the floor of her local Verizon store in Roseville, California. In a 911 dispatch call, a dispatch officer can be heard telling cops that three customers at the Roseville Verizon store were told to put on masks or leave, but they would do neither. And apparently one woman in particular was a real problem. In the call, the dispatcher said the people would not mask up or leave the property and that the woman gathering the most attention was “refusing to leave, not wearing a mask.” “They’ve asked several times, and she refuses,” the dispatcher added. Then things got weird. The store called 911 again when the unidentified woman reportedly decided to pull down her pants and urinate on the floor. Just about three minutes after the initial call, the dispatcher contacted police in the area again, this time with much less pleasant news. “They’re calling back and advising that that female is pulling down her pants and is now urinating inside the business,” the dispatcher said. Members of the Roseville Police arrived on scene. Authorities arrested the woman and said they also found several stolen items from a local Dick’s Sporting Goods in her car. However, a Verizon spokeswoman later admitted that the incident was not just about the mask policy but declined to add what else was involved. (KOVR)


Wednesday Crunches Down With:

  • Casual Pi Day
  • Fragile X Awareness Day
  • Hammock Day
  • Hot Dog Day
  • Rat-catchers Day
  • Penuche Fudge Day
  • Spooners (Spoonerism) Day

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