Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Regal to shut US theaters again

Movie theater giant Cineworld, which operates Regal Cinemas in North America, says it will temporarily close its 536 U.S. locations and 127 locations in the U.K. later this week as the pandemic delays major film releases. Some 40,000 staff in the U.S. are expected to be affected, the country’s second-largest cinema chain said. Operations are planned to resume when studios can bring back their major releases and there is more clarity on reopening of key markets. (Bloomberg)


NASA astronaut plans to cast her ballot from space station

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins said in an interview that she plans to cast her next vote from space, more than 200 miles above Earth. She is just outside Moscow in Star City, Russia, preparing with two cosmonauts for a mid-October launch and a six-month stay at the International Space Station. Most United States astronauts live in Houston, Texas, where the state law allows them to vote from space using a secure electronic ballot. Mission Control forwards the ballot to the space station and relays the completed ballot back to the county clerk. NASA astronauts have voted from space before. She and Shane Kimbrough cast their votes from the International Space Station. Kate Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space, plans to work on a cardiovascular experiment and conduct research using the space station’s Cold Atom Lab. While she’s there, she’ll celebrate the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence on the space station, and welcome the crew of the second SpaceX commercial crew mission, expected to arrive in late October. (CBS Austin)


Disabled veterans say they were kicked out of Port Orange restaurant because of service dogs

Three disabled veterans with ADA trained service dogs say they were kicked out of the same bar and restaurant in Port Orange twice. The owner has since apologized, but the veterans are angry and more than disappointed. One disabled veteran with PTSD and other health issues, and his service dog Major, said he was stunned when an employee at the Port Hole told him there were no dogs allowed. His dog was actually trained through the local nonprofit organization, K-9 line, by another disabled veteran. She and her fellow veteran friend decided to try Port Hole again, thinking what happened was a fluke. A friend was recording cellphone video when a reluctant server said they had to leave. Port Hole General Manager says the business has had a no dog policy but admits staff is not educated enough about service animals. “We plan to change the environment of the restaurant to where we will accommodate service animals,” the manager said, adding that he comes from a family of veterans and that the business would never deliberately disrespect them. He says he welcomes them. The veterans said though they appreciate Port Hole will welcome service dogs going forward and that the bar-restaurant regrets the incident. However, they say it doesn’t change how they felt when it happened to them. (WESH)


Disney bloggers raise nearly $40,000 for food bank to help park employees in need

Disney bloggers from Florida tapped into their online audience to raise nearly $40,000 for their local food bank. When the Central Florida couple heard that Disney would be laying off thousands of employees, they created a virtual fundraising drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, which has been helping to feed “miles long lines” of Floridians affected by the pandemic, the couple said on their blog. “Whether you live in Central Florida or not, we’re all part of the same community as Walt Disney World fans,” they said on their blog after donating $500 to the cause themselves. The food bank has doubled its daily distribution during pandemic relief efforts from 150,000 to 300,000 meals a day due to the heightened, sustained need, according to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Spokeswoman. (CNN)


Swiss city Geneva to introduce a minimum wage of over $4,000 a month

The Swiss city of Geneva is to introduce a minimum wage of 23 Swiss francs ($25) an hour, equal to roughly to $4,100 a month for a 41-hour working week. Nearly two-thirds of the canton of Geneva voted in favor of introducing the minimum wage, which is reported to be the highest in the world. It is set to be implemented this month. The measure had actually been rejected by voters twice in 2011 and 2014. However, the coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted Geneva’s poverty problem, with reports of thousands queuing for food. Geneva is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world. Geneva’s new minimum wage is more than triple that in the U.S., at $7.25 per hour and more than double the U.K.’s highest basic hourly rate of £8.72 ($11.20). (CNBC)


India’s new paper Covid-19 test could be a ‘game changer’

A team of scientists in India has developed an inexpensive paper-based test for coronavirus that could give fast results similar to a pregnancy test. The test, named after a famous Indian fictional detective, is based on a gene-editing technology called Crispr. Scientists estimate that the kit, called Feluda, would return results in under an hour and cost 500 rupees (about $6.75). Feluda will be made by a leading Indian conglomerate, Tata, and could be the world’s first paper-based Covid-19 test available in the market. Researchers tried out the test on samples from about 2,000 patients, including ones who had already tested positive for the coronavirus. They found that the new test had 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity. The accuracy of a test is based on these two proportions. A test that’s highly sensitive will detect almost everyone who has the disease; and a test that has high-specificity will correctly rule out almost everyone who doesn’t have the disease. (BBC)


Man shatters Portland police cruiser’s window and pepper sprays officer inside

A 41-year-old is facing several charges, accused of breaking out the window of a Portland Police cruiser Sunday morning and spraying pepper spray inside the vehicle. According to police, an officer was doing paperwork inside of their marked patrol vehicle when someone walked up to the SUV, shattered the glass of the rear hatch, and pepper sprayed the interior. The suspect then ran to a nearby car and drove away. The officer managed to broadcast the suspect’s description and the man was pulled over about six blocks away. The officer recognized the man’s vehicle as one that had been following him earlier, Portland Police said. When police searched the vehicle, they reportedly found a window punch tool, a laser pointer, a slingshot, rocks, and other items. The man is facing charges of assaulting a public safety officer, aggravated harassment, and first-degree criminal mischief. (KATU)


Man Seeks Bride “Not Addicted To Social Media”

A matrimonial ad seeking a bride who is “not addicted to social media” has created a huge buzz online. The ad was placed in a newspaper by a 37-year-old lawyer from West Bengal, India. In the ad, the man seeking a prospective bride states his own age, occupation and place of residence before writing: “With no demand groom seeks fair, beautiful, tall, slim bride. Bride must not be addicted in social media.” The tweet has garnered hundreds of ‘likes’ and comments on Twitter. Many Twitter users, in fact, wondered if the whole ad was a joke and dropped amused comments and reactions. Some wished the prospective groom good luck with his unrealistic demand. (Nitin Sangwan, IAS Twitter)


Tasmanian devils are coming back to Australia for first time in 3,000 years

For the first time in 3,000 years, Tasmanian devils have been introduced into the wild in Australia. Conservation groups released 26 of the endangered mammals into a large sanctuary north of Sydney in an effort to rebuild their population. “In 100 years, we are going to be looking back at this day as the day that set in motion the ecological restoration of an entire country,” said the president of Aussie Ark. Over the next two years, an additional 20 Tasmanian devils will be released into the wild, where there are believed to be less than 25,000 left. During the 1990s, there were as many as 150,000 of the high-pitched-screaming mammals in the wild, but deadly cancer drastically cut population numbers. It’s unclear why the Tasmanian devils were no longer present in Australia, but researchers have speculated that dingoes may have played a role. (BBC)


Georgia pastor shocks pregnant Waffle House waitress with $12G tip after learning special detail about baby

A Georgia pastor recently gave a Waffle House waitress the surprise of a lifetime after raising a $12,000 tip for the pregnant server, after learning that the woman’s unborn child will have the same name as his late son. “She was so nice over the telephone, and when I got there I paid for my food and I told her to keep the change,” he said. “And then when I looked at her, I asked if she was pregnant — she said yes so at that time I was just really urged to give her the rest of the money that I had in my wallet, which was around $40. And so I gave her the $40 and I told her that I just wanted to be able to bless her so she could buy something for the baby.” With just a few weeks to go until her due date, she revealed that she planned to name her unborn son the same as his son who died in Atlanta seven years ago, and the anniversary is coming up soon. The man felt that it was a divine sign. He went home and told his wife what happened. He said “listen I wanna raise a thousand dollars to give to her so she can buy whatever she needs for the baby.” He shared the mother’s story on Facebook and withing a day, supporters raised over $12,000. Hill, she had no idea it was coming. Soon after, she was surprised to be greeted by cheering customers and a check for the generous gratuity during what the man called “a surprise baby shower.” According to mom, the tremendous tip will be life-changing. Now, the money will help her fund a car and a new place to live with the child’s father. The Bishops said that his church will also cover the child care costs for both of the mom’s kids for one year. (WXIA)


Bearded dragons linked to salmonella outbreak across 8 states

Pet bearded dragons are linked to a salmonella outbreak across eight states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced. At least 13 people across eight states: Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington have been sickened by an outbreak of Salmonella Muenster, the CDC said. At least seven people have been hospitalized as a result, and five people who are sickened are younger than 5 years old. Salmonella is a bacteria that can infect humans when they consume contaminated water or food. However, bearded dragons “can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies, habitats, and anything in the area where they live,” the CDC said. “You can get sick from touching your bearded dragon or anything in its environment and then touching your mouth or face and swallowing Salmonella germs.” Symptoms of salmonella usually develop 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, with most people developing diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. (Fox News)


Domino’s investigating after pizza delivery driver caught rubbing ice cream container on crotch

The United Kingdom branch of Domino’s is investigating after a pizza delivery driver was caught on camera rubbing a customer’s food on his crotch and then handing over the order. A 31-year-old man in Buckinghamshire, England, recently ordered from the pizza chain during a night in with friends. The man was watching a movie with pals and digging into the tub of birthday cake-flavored Ben and Jerry’s from Domino’s when a call from his girlfriend stopped him cold in his tracks. “She said ‘I hope you haven’t eaten the ice cream that Domino’s have sent you.’ She then told me to go and look at the Ring doorbell footage,” she told him. Upon reviewing video from the home security camera, he was horrified to learn that the delivery driver had knocked on the door and rubbed the pint of ice cream on his crotch before handing it over to the unknowing customer. After complaining to Domino’s about the incident, the customer said he was offered complimentary coupons but refused the gesture, as he never wants to eat from the chain again. The Domino’s spokesperson said “we were extremely disappointed to see this film and our driver’s behavior is unacceptable. We expect high standards of behavior at all times and clearly this individual has breached the trust our customers rightly expect from Domino’s.” (Daily Mail)


Coca-Cola is discontinuing Zico, its coconut water brand

Zico is soon joining Odwalla in the beverage graveyard, as Coca-Cola announced plans to discontinue production of the coconut water in the coming months. The shuttering of Zico is part of Coca-Cola’s broader plans to slim down its sprawling beverage lineup. “This decision was not made lightly and comes at a time when we are focused on delivering on our consumers’ wants and needs while driving scaled growth across a total beverage portfolio,” a spokesperson said in a statement. Coca-Cola bought Zico in 2013 to bolster its lineup beyond colas, but it never caught on the way rivals have. Vita Coco, for example, has seen its sales spike during the pandemic. During the past few months, Coca-Cola has streamlined its product offerings and focused on its best-selling brands to help ease the strain on supply chains. (Yahoo News)


Tuesday Is Awesome With:

  • American Libraries Day
  • Coaches Day
  • Eat Fruit At Work Day (First Tuesday)
  • German-American Day
  • Jackie Mayer Rehab Day
  • Mad Hatter Day
  • National Night Out
  • Noodle Day
  • Orange Wine Day
  • Plus Size Appreciation Day

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