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  1. A department store in Japan is reportedly "rethinking" a new policy of having female employees wear a badge with a cartoon character dubbed “Miss Period” that signifies they're menstruating. The Daimaru department store in Osaka introduced the voluntary badges in October following an employee's suggestion, BBC News reported. "It was never the intention to share the menstrual information with their customers," Daimaru spokesperson Yoko Higuchi told the BBC. Higuchi said the so-called "period badges" were supposed to create empathy among coworkers, including allowing longer breaks and extra help for employees on their period. Higuchi told the BBC that reactions to the badges were mixed. "If you saw a colleague was having her period, you could offer to carry heavy things for her, or suggest she takes longer breaks, and this support would be mutual,” she said. She added that the company will reconsider how to keep the information within the staff without revealing it to customers. The controversy comes at the same time local media has reported that some Japanese companies are banning female employees from wearing eyeglasses, with some saying they make women look "cold" or don't allow people to see their makeup. In another controversy this year, Japan's foreign minister ignored a 20,000-signature petition, saying mandating high heels at work is "socially accepted as something that falls within the realm of being occupationally necessary and appropriate."
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  14. Michael Sweet says that STRYPER is "the most logical choice" to open the rumored MÖTLEY CRÜE tour with DEF LEPPARD and POISON. Less than two weeks ago, MÖTLEY CRÜE announced that it was coming out of retirement, nearly four years after playing what was billed as the band's final concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The same day, Rolling Stone reported that CRÜE will embark on a stadium tour with DEF LEPPARD and POISON in 2020, but that has yet to be officially confirmed. Earlier today, Sweet took to his social media to argue that STRYPER should be added to CRÜE's upcoming trek, explaining that his openly Christian band's addition to the package "would work perfectly." He wrote: "4 reasons @Stryper is the most logical choice to be the 1st of 4 on the MÖTLEY CRÜE tour: "1. Because MÖTLEY CRÜE has never done things 'by the book'. They've always surprised people, and adding STRYPER to the tour would definitely raise some eyebrows. "2. Musically it works. It just does. I look at our audiences every night and see MÖTLEY CRÜE and DEF LEPPARD & POISON T-shirts. Whether we all want to admit it or not, we have the same fan bases for the most part. Albeit their fan base is much larger than ours, but musically I think it would work perfectly. STRYPER is at the top of our game musically right now. And I think the entire tour will be performing at its best. "3. The encore could be an epic mash-up of 'Shout At The Devil' and 'To Hell With The Devil' "4. More than ever in the history of music we need someone to make a bold statement that says "No matter how different we may seem, as human beings we're really all the same." This is MÖTLEY CRÜE's chance to unite a very divided world right now. For them to say 'Yeah, we may (or may not) believe the same thing as STRYPER, but we're all human beings and we should all get along with one another, no matter what we believe' "Whatever happens, this scenario would be epic. And certainly the most unique. MÖTLEY CRÜE DEF LEP POISON STRYPER "#motleycrue #music #metal #tour" Formed 36 years ago, STRYPER's name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen" and the band's latest effort, "God Damn Evil".
  15. Savvy shoppers know that Black Friday presents some of the best deals of the year on pricey electronics like TVs. Overall, the National Retail Federation expects Americans will spend about $730 billion this holiday season. But new owners of internet-connected smart TVs might not be as good at spotting hackers as they are at spotting deals. The FBI’s Portland, Oregon, field office shared some tips this week for anyone who needs to secure a smart TV. Some models of smart TVs include built-in cameras. They can be used for video chatting with friends and family, and some can let the TV recognize who is watching and suggest programming based on their past preferences. But hackers may be able to access those TVs through the internet, allowing them to spy through the camera and microphone, or change channels, adjust the volume and play “inappropriate videos,” the FBI warned. Hackers could even potentially use an unsecured TV as a backdoor to a router, potentially allowing them to access a computer or other device connected to the Wi-Fi, according to the FBI. Here’s what the FBI recommends to keep hackers out of smart TVs: Because each smart TV is different, owners should search for the exact model number online and words like “microphone,” “camera” and “privacy” to learn how to control those features. Don’t leave security settings on the default option and chance passwords if possible. It’s also a good idea to check how to turn off microphones, cameras and personal data collection ahead of making a purchase, and considering a different model if they can’t be turned off. A piece of black tape can help when a camera can’t be turned off. Check whether the manufacturer can and whether it does update the device with security patches. Also check the privacy policy for the manufacturer and any streaming services, including what data they collect, how they store it and what they do with it.
  16. Evanston aldermen on Monday approved directing all sales tax revenue collected from recreational marijuana purchases to a fund that will establish a local reparations program. Officials say the program will help the city’s black population stay in Evanston while also providing training for jobs and other benefits. “We can implement funding to directly invest in black Evanston,” said Ald. Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, who proposed the reparations bill. While Evanston officials have voted to permit, tax and appropriate money from recreational marijuana sales, many other suburbs have voted not to allow recreational marijuana dispensaries to open when the businesses become legal next year under state law. Evanston leaders say they see the dispensaries as an opportunity to pay for a local reparations program that would address the lingering institutional effects of slavery and discrimination. The proposal passed 8-1, with Ald. Tom Suffredin, 6th Ward, voting against it. [Most read] One month to go until recreational weed becomes legal in Illinois. Here’s what you need to know. » Simmons said the source of the money was especially appropriate, as many black residents were victims of the “war on drugs” and spent time in jail for smoking marijuana, a substance that in specific quantities will now be permitted in Illinois. The tax on marijuana will “be invested in the community it unfairly policed and damaged,” Simmons said. A committee of residents is currently examining ways to spend the money and how to best support the black community through housing, education and economic incentives. The fund will be capped at $10 million, according to city of Evanston staff reports. City estimates project the marijuana tax could generate $500,000 to $750,000 per year. “This is a really special moment in the city of Evanston and also in the country,” said Ald. Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward. Community members attending the meeting praised the effort and thanked the council for investing in residents who were harmed by discriminatory housing and other past policies. “I support the approval of the ordinance for the city of Evanston to commit all of the anticipated tax revenue from the recreational marijuana businesses, to support work aimed at intentionally repairing harms done to the black community from policies and practices in so many different areas,” said Oliver Ruff, a retired teacher and Evanston resident. Simmons’ proposal came as Evanston’s black population decreased from 22.5% of the population in 2000 to 16.9% in 2017, according to U.S. Census data. The idea that the United States should make reparations to the descendants of slaves has been part of the national conversation since the slave trade ended, but there has been little formal action and much debate. Questions include what form reparations should take, and what institutions or individuals should make them. Frustrated by the lack of action at the national level, Rue Simmons has said she believed a local reparations program could gain traction quickly and have a more immediate impact. Aldermen Monday praised their local effort, which no one spoke against at the meeting, as a good start. “We are on the right track,” said Ald. Ann Rainey, 8th Ward.
  17. If you’re like tens of millions of other Americans today, you’ll be scouring online Black Friday deals. However, while the prices you find will be legit, many of the reviews for those products may not be. That’s according to Fakespot, which monitors fake reviews online. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Fakespot says that more than a third of reviews found on Amazon’s, Walmart’s, and Sephora’s online shopping sites are fake. Here Fakespot means “fake” as in a person was paid to write a biased review—or a bot was used to write the review. However, the WSJ says that some online shopping giants have taken issue with Fakespot’s report. Amazon told the Journal that 99% of the reviews on its site were authentic and says Fakespot can’t tell this because they don’t have access to Amazon’s proprietary data. The authenticity and accuracy of online reviews have become something of an issue with major online stores as of late. Earlier this month, Apple pulled all online reviews from its website, though Apple did not give a reason for doing away with reviews. While it’s almost impossible to determine if an online review is legit, there are some things to keep in mind when reading them: Reviews that say it is from a “verified purchase” are likely to be more accurate as the person leaving the review is confirmed to have actually bought the item. While reviews of third-party, generic products (such as USB thumb drives) can be legit, be on the lookout for a slew of five-star reviews being left on the product over the course of a few days. This could be a sign some of the reviews are fake. Reviews that are overly generic in their praise should be a warning sign. Authentic reviews, be they positive or negative, are usually detailed and specific. Still worried whether the reviews of a product you are thinking of buying may be fake? Fakespot offers a free online tool that will analyze how likely it is that the reviews of the product are legitimate.
  18. JACKSON, MISS. (AP) — The flu season is off and running in the Deep South. The most recent weekly flu report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds high levels of flu-like illness in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas. The highest level in that report for the week ended Nov. 16 was in Mississippi. Doctors in the Magnolia State say they’re already seeing lots of patients. Dr. Darren Scoggin of Children’s Medical Group in Jackson tells WLBT-TV that travel and family gatherings can help contribute to the flu’s spread. CDC officials say it’s not too late to get vaccinated. They say the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu and its complications. So far in the 2019-2020 flu season, CDC has reported four flu-associated deaths among children.
  19. Kid Rock was recently escorted off stage in Nashville after a rant centered on Oprah Winfrey. The singer, 48, is heard yelling “F–k Oprah” from the stage of the Honky Tonk Bar, which he owns, in footage obtained by TMZ. “Oprah Winfrey is like, ‘Hey, I just want women to believe in this s–t,’” he said in the video. “F–k her, she can suck d–k sideways.” The “All Summer Long” musician went on to say that he knows many will label him “racist” for attacking Winfrey, 65, to which he claims he would respond, “OK fine, f–k off!” To bolster his claim that he isn’t racist, Rock points out that he has a similar distaste for “The View” host Joy Behar, whom he previously called a “bitch” on live television. “I’m not a bad guy, I’m just an honest guy, saying I don’t like Oprah Winfrey or Joy Behar. They can suck d–k sideways,” said the rocker while making lewd gestures. “He’s racist. Look at him, he’s blacked out, drunk as fuck,” a patron is heard claiming on camera. Several others then began to boo and scream over his ranting. The video then jumps to Rock sitting as a security team member lifts him off the floor and escorts him off the stage. Page Six has reached out to Rock’s camp for comment. “Oprah Winfrey is like, ‘Hey, I just want women to believe in this s–t,’” he said in the video. “F–k her, she can suck d–k sideways.”
  20. Disgraced comic Louis C.K. made a Holocaust joke — to an Israeli audience in Tel Aviv. “I’d rather be in Auschwitz than New York City,” he said during a Thanksgiving night performance, eliciting startled laughter and applause. “I mean now, not when it was open,” added the 52-year-old, whose paternal grandfather was Jewish. The off-color comment came as C.K. continues an international comedy tour, meant to bring him back into the mainstream after he was booted from stages for admittedly masturbating in front of women. He’s booked to perform a pair of shows in Slovakia on Saturday, before appearing on stage in Hungary next week. While it remains unclear when C.K. plans to return to New York, he also has a series of domestic performances booked in New Orleans, Houston, Akron, Ohio and Detroit through February. C.K.’s Tel Aviv stand up also included his own commentary on the accusations of sexual misconduct level against him, advising the audience against following in his perverted footsteps. “If they say ‘yes,’ then still don’t do it, because it’s not popular,” he quipped. C.K. has previously admitted to “showing my d–k” to his accusers.
  21. https://news.yahoo.com/black-friday-becoming-shadow-former-self-us-165854513.html New York (AFP) - The US holiday shopping season officially opened with a deluge of "Black Friday" promotions but the frenzied crowds of the past have thinned out with the rise of e-commerce. Companies in the retail, entertainment and tourism industries once again tried to entice shoppers after Thanksgiving with a bevy of offers on a day synonymous with American consumer culture and notorious "doorbuster" sales that start at the crack of dawn. But US consumers aren't buying Black Friday the way they once did. Only 36 percent of US consumers plan to shop this year on Black Friday, down one percent from last year and a decline of 23 percent from 2015, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. "Just a few years ago, Black Friday had the aura of a FOMO (fear of missing out) event," PWC said. "Now it seems more symbolic than significant in the pantheon of retail holidays." Black Friday will be followed in three days by "Cyber Monday," a second highpoint of spending early in the season. Friday's sales have prompted copycat versions throughout Europe, an effort that has generated no small amount of friction. This year's events prompted protest in parts of France, Germany and the Netherlands that included environmentalist rallies outside Amazon distribution centers and human chains blocking malls. There has been little sign of that sort of subversiveness in the United States. Rather, the bigger emerging challenge for Black Friday has been shifting consumer patterns. The PWC survey said that for the first time in 2019 more consumers (54 percent) said they'll do more of their shopping online than in stores. - Higher sales expected - Economists and retail industry insiders are broadly confident about the outlook for the 2019 season, owing to a strong labor market. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of US economic growth and has stayed strong throughout 2019 even as manufacturing has stagnated and business investment has been lackluster. "Consumers are in good financial shape and willing to spend a little more on gifts for the special people in their lives this holiday season," said Matthew Shay, Chief Executive of the National Retail Federation. The NRF has projected that US consumers will spend an average of $1,048 this year, up about four percent they said they would spend last year. But increasingly more of those sales are migrating online. This trend includes Amazon of course, but also traditional brick-and-mortar chains like Walmart and Macy's that have evolved into "multichannel" retailers, as well as companies and organizations hawking everything from pet food to hotel stays to political merchandise. President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" merchandise was being once again discounted on the US president's political website at 35 percent off. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was offering 25 percent off merchandise orders of $75 or more. Due to the lateness of Thanksgiving, this year's holiday shopping season is about six days shorter than last year, prompting more retailers to push up promotions even earlier in the season than usual, according to analysts. Online consumer spending on Thanksgiving day came in this year at $4.2 billion, up 14.5 percent from a year ago and the first time above $4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Jason Woosley, a vice president with Adobe, said preliminary data showed Black Friday was also on track to top its performance from last year by almost 19 percent, with promotions for sporting goods and appliances especially popular. The data suggested the Thanksgiving day shopping spree hasn't "stolen any traffic from Black Friday," he said, adding that about 20 percent of the overall online sales for the season are expected between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
  22. Shopping ’til you drop just isn’t the same from your couch. Online retailers continued to swallow up more of the market from brick and mortar stores this Black Friday — but many Big Apple bargain-hunters still turned up in person to buy the old-fashioned way. “Online it’s never the same,” Jamaica resident Miriam Frischeisen, 50, told The Post as she shopped at the Queens Center Mall with her son. “The models look different than me. Their body is different from mine.” Her son, 17-year-old college student Ruben Frischeisen, added, “It’s an experience finding something new every time, something I really like. “It’s like Christmas. It makes me happy. And it’s fun shopping with mom,” he said. Unlike the in-store frenzies of yesteryear, consumers are increasingly choosing to forgo the fisticuffs and buy big online during the annual festival of discounts. For the first time ever, the majority of US consumers this year said they planned to do their holiday shopping online rather than in physical stores, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ annual Holiday Outlook. The report said online shopping and an “Amazon effect” had converged to “diminish Black Friday’s importance as a retail holiday.” Nationwide, consumers spent a record $4.2 billion online on Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Thursday alone — up 14.5% from last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics, CNBC reported. By 9 a.m. Friday, they had already splashed another $600 million online — with Black Friday digital sales on track to hit $7.4 billion, an 18.9% increase from last year, the report said. “Most people are doing their shopping online, especially the younger generation,” said a clerk at the Queens Center JCPenney. “They don’t want to come in the store. They don’t have to get dressed. They roll over [in bed], get their laptop and start shopping.” At Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, workers noted that the Black Friday shopping hordes have also gone down because the emporium, like many others, now opens for door-buster sales the day ­before. “Opening on Thanksgiving is good for us because the Black Friday rush isn’t so crazy,” said Erin McDonnell, 54, a freelancer who works for Ralph Lauren and helps with events at Macy’s. But some shopaholics still wanted to experience the real thing firsthand. One British family at Macy’s said they had come all the way from London specifically to personally experience the consumer bonanza. “We just came out shopping and we’ve spent all our money already!” said Donna Lee, 30. “We got some Christmas presents and we will keep some for ourselves.” The family of eight women and their kids were weighed down by several bags from Victoria’s Secret. “We bought so much, we have to take it back to the hotel room and drop it off,” added her cousin Kristy Lee, 30. “Then we will come back and shop some more.”
  23. Protesters around the world disrupted Black Friday shopping in order to draw attention to climate change days before the United Nations met to discuss the issue in Madrid. The retail holiday saw protests in a long list of countries -- including France, Germany, the United States -- with some activists entering stores and others holding mock funerals. Near Paris, climate demonstrators blocked a shopping mall and gathered in from of Amazon’s headquarters to protest over-production they say is killing the planet. "We are living in a system of endless consumerism," the group Extinction Rebellion NYC tweeted on Friday. "Earth cannot sustain that, especially as we accelerate towards climate and ecological catastrophe." The group posted photos and videos purportedly showing activists protesting the holiday. 1,437 people are talking about this Protesters also reportedly shut down streets in Vancouver, Canada for a mock funeral procession. 248 people are talking about this The Sunrise Movement, a group that's helped promote the Green New Deal, swarmed the large Water Tower Place shopping mall in Chicago. In Washington, D.C., actress Jane Fonda led yet another protest as part of a series called "Fire Drill Fridays." In a post retweeted by Fonda, the group cliamed that "38 people were arrested demanding food justice." Activists also reportedly planned to hold a "Black Friday Funeral for the Future" on Capitol Hill in order to "eulogize and mourn all that has been lost and all that is threatened by the climate crisis. 446 people are talking about this Climate change protests seemed to intensify in the fall with thousands skipping school during September's climate strike. Activist Greta Thunberg also appeared at a United Nations meeting where she vehemently denounced politicians for inaction on climate change. And last week, nearly 260 groups sent a letter requesting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Ill., pursue policies like the Green New Deal instead of "incremental or isolated policy tweaks." According to The Washington Post, the group Extinction Rebellion held a hunger strike in an attempt to force the speaker into a video-recorded meeting. When they realized she was planning to leave D.C., the protesters attempted to storm past her office's entrance and into a broader room where her chief of staff sat. Also last week, climate protesters delayed a Harvard-Yale football game when they occupied the field and demanded the Ivy League schools divest from the fossil fuel industry. The disruptions will likely continue as the United Nations meets to discuss the issue in Madrid on Monday. The United Nations offered what it called "bleak" findings Tuesday as it warned that the world was headed toward global "extinction" and would need to increase its efforts "fivefold" if nations wanted to reach the temperature reduction goal outlined in the Paris climate agreement. The United States recently filed paperwork to officially remove itself from the multilateral agreement. Conservatives, meanwhile, have warned about economic consequences of large-scale reform and pointed to failed, historical climate predictions as reasons for avoiding drastic change. According to AP, Quang Paasch of the activist group Fridays for Future said governments attending next week’s annual climate conference should keep in mind the goals of the 2015 Paris accord, which set a target of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). “We need to keep taking to the streets, we need to defend Paris.” In Berlin, about two dozen environmental activists jumped into the chilly waters of the Spree river in front of parliament to protest a government-backed package of measures they say won’t be enough to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The package was blocked Friday by Germany’s upper house, which represents the country’s 16 states. Later, tens of thousands of students rallied in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
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