Whole Foods workers say conditions declined after Amazon takeover

Employees described increasing pressure to push Amazon Prime deals and memberships, understaffing and increased workloads Since being bought by Amazon two years ago, employees at Whole Foods say their working conditions have declined markedly amid pressure to push Amazon Prime deals and memberships, plus widespread understaffing, increased workloads and buy Whole Foods. In interviews with 24 Whole Foods employees across the US, workers described an increasingly pressured environment and the erosion of Whole Foods corporate culture. Workers interviewed were reluctant to speak on the record for fear of retaliation. Amazon has mass email sent to Whole Foods employees by over a dozen current and former workers with Whole Worker on 21 June, the group characterized Whole Foods relationship with Amazon …

1MDB: Wolf of Wall Street producer charged with embezzling millions

Riza Aziz, stepson of former Malaysian PM Najib Razak, accused of receiving $248m into Swiss bank accounts The Wolf of Wall Street producer Riza Aziz, who is the stepson of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, has been charged with embezzling millions of dollars from the Malaysian government. Riza, who ran a Hollywood production company 1MDB, which was controlled by Najib. Each charge carries a five-year jail sentence. Riza is now the third member of the former first family of Malaysia to face multiple charges linked to misappropriated 1MDB funds. Najib, who was toppled from power in May 2018, is facing 42 corruption charges and his first trial of at least three is ongoing. Najibs wife and Rizas mother, Rosmah …

‘May God bless you’: evangelical pastors’ hidden role in human smuggling’s boom

As trusted individuals in a Guatemalan culture rooted in religion, pastors and priests play a role in the booming business behind immigration Early in the morning, Antonio knelt before an altar with white candles and a small statue of the Virgin Mary and prayed for a miracle. It was still dark when he piled into a blue van with his six-year-old son, Gaspar, and a group of other farmers and their family members hoping to reach the United States. They set out from their home town in the highlands of Guatemala and rode for hours before pulling down a narrow dirt road which ended in a clearing near the Mexican border. The migrants bowed their head as their guide an …

Chicago’s democratic socialists promise change as they take office

Democratic socialists now make up more than 10% of Chicagos city council, potentially wielding considerable influence On a recent sunny evening, residents of Chicagos 33rd ward packed a small office on the citys north-west side to meet their new alderman: democratic socialist Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez. She had narrowly defeated her opponent, an incumbent from one of Chicagos most prominent political families, to become one of six democratic socialists on the 50-member city council. It was a remarkable showing in Americas third-largest city that paralleled the rise of socialist political figures nationally, such as the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Now Rodriguez-Sanchez was opening her ward office to the community for the first time. She was looking …

Critics seek to stop Great Lakes pipeline run by company with poor safety habits

Environmental groups say Line 5 poses a major threat and is run by Canadas Enbridge which has a long record of mismanagement A coalition of environmental groups and newly elected Democrats in Michigan are seeking to shut a controversial pipeline through the Great Lakes they say represents a major environmental threat and is being run by a company with a long record of mismanagement, poor safety habits and deception. Canadian oil giant Enbridge wants to replace an ageing pipeline called Line 5 that pervasive organizational failure. One incident in particular occurred in 2010 when a pipeline belonging to Enbridge ruptured and began pumping heavy crude into Michigans Kalamazoo River. A warning system alerted operators, but the employees misread the signals, …

Pepe the Frog creator wins $15,000 settlement against Infowars

Victory is latest in a string of legal actions by Matt Furie, who is seeking to halt the co-option of his cartoon by the far right Matt Furie, the cartoonist behind the character and online meme Pepe the Frog, has won a $15,000 (12,000) settlement against website Infowars and its creator, the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, over use of the anthropomorphic frog in far-right imagery. Pepe first appeared as a character in 2005 in Furies comic Boys Club, in which the peaceful frog-dude and his animal housemates got up to various college hijinks. His image quickly became a meme on MySpace, and later the anonymous message board 4chan, before it was co-opted by the US alt-right in the early 2010s. …

Mira Sorvino says she was date raped and calls for ‘justice’ for survivors

Oscar winner at forefront of #MeToo movement says she felt ashamed and that incident was somehow her fault The Oscar-winning actor Mira Sorvino has said she is a survivor of date rape, saying she was talking about it publicly to lend her voice to a push for stronger sexual assault laws in New York. Sorvino, who was one of the first women to accuse the film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, spoke during a news conference with New Yorks governor, Andrew Cuomo, in support of the push to drop the statute of limitations on rape allegations. Sorvino acknowledged that talking publicly about Weinsteins alleged misconduct had been traumatic, saying: I had not really sought out the help I needed, …

‘I’ve paid a huge personal cost:’ Google walkout organizer resigns over alleged retaliation

Longtime employee who helped organize global protest alleges Googles response was designed to have a chilling effect on growing workplace activism A prominent internal organizer against Googles handling of sexual harassment cases has resigned from the company, alleging she was the target of a campaign of retaliation designed to intimidate and dissuade other employees from speaking out about workplace issues. Claire Stapleton, a longtime marketing manager at Google and its subsidiary YouTube, said she decided to leave the company after 12 years when it became clear that her trajectory at the company was effectively over. I made the choice after the heads of my department branded me with a kind of scarlet letter that makes it difficult to do my …

Murders of three trans women in Texas underline increasing dangers across US

Three black trans women have been killed in Texas since October, and activists believe that attacks are on the rise due to a hostile political climate The transgender community in Dallas was still had been found in a lake, making her the second black trans woman murdered in the city in the space of a fortnight. Three black trans women in their 20s have now been said during the ceremony, standing at the altar next to a blue coffin adorned with flowers. Her back has been against the wall so many times and thats one of the reasons I didnt want her to be who she was, because its already hard for a black man. Then a black gay man …

Biden and Trump are just two sides of the same misogynistic coin | Arwa Mahdawi

Donald Trumps disdain for women manifests itself in crass braggadocio, while Joe Bidens is in the form of patronizing paternalism Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday. other Democratic candidates, Biden announced he 2016 report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion organization, asserts that since 1976 the amendment is responsible for over two million births. The Hyde amendment hasnt just compelled women to give birth against their wishes; it has killed them. Bidens blithe avowal that there were sufficient monies and circumstances to help poor women access abortions in the past insults the memory of women like tried to prevent rape and incest exceptions from being added to it.) But …

Court battles and cash hassles: Woodstock 50 loses its stardust

Organisers are still upbeat but the future of festival to mark events anniversary is increasingly uncertain It was billed as the pulled the plug on $30m of backing in April. A series of subsequent court orders first found that Dentsu Aegis did not have the right to cancel the event, and subsequently that festival organisers could not stop their former financial backer from being involved in the planning the event. If nothing else, the legal dramas played out in court are in the spirit of Woodstocks previous incarnations in 1969, 1994 and 1999, marked respectively by love, mud and violence. But Marc Kasowitz, lawyer for Woodstock 50s organiser Michael Lang, Poughkeepsie Journal last week: Woodstock will prevail. Theres little certainty …

‘I wouldn’t be the refugee, I’d be the girl who kicked ass’: how taekwondo made me

The long read: When she arrived in the US as a 10-year-old refugee, Dina Nayeri found it hard to fit in. But that all changed when she hatched a plan to get into Harvard by becoming a taekwondo champion When I was 13, three years after arriving in the US with my mother and brother, I devised a plan to get into the Ivy League. I was a refugee kid with no money and I lived in Iran, she had done horse-riding and tennis. But then the revolution happened, and her sporty body was draped and forgotten. Banned from public exercise, she took to pounding her ass against walls to get that chic, saddle-flattened effect of the late 70s. Sometimes …

Kevin Spacey in surprise appearance at sexual assault case hearing

Spacey, 59, accused of groping young man in Nantucket bar in 2016 and faces up to two and a half years in jail if convicted Wearing a gray suit and glasses, Kevin Spacey appeared on Monday at a Massachusetts courthouse where a judge was set to hold a hearing in the case accusing the disgraced actor of groping a young man at a Nantucket bar in 2016. Spaceys appearance was a surprise as he was not required to attend the hearing and has stayed away from the courthouse except for a brief hearing in January, which he also tried to avoid. The 59-year-old former House of Cards actor, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of indecent assault and …

Extreme abortion laws shine light on Trump’s courting of religious right

Evangelical backing for a thrice-married celebrity is not as odd as it seems: on abortion, the supreme court and more, the president has delivered win after win After bowing his head in prayer, King Cyrus, deeply flawed men who nevertheless carried out Gods will. David Barker, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, suggests Christian evangelicals start with an assumption of human depravity that sets expectations low, so Trumps lying and philandering and Twitter rage and can be overlooked. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, Barker also noted the parallel between Christian nationalism and white nationalism over Trumps 2016 election slogan, Make America great again. He said: While it is certainly true, …

Why we are addicted to conspiracy theories

The long read: Outsiders and the disenfranchised have always embraced the existence of wild plots and cover-ups. But now the biggest conspiracy-mongers are in charge In January 2015, I spent the longest, queasiest week of my life on a cruise ship filled with conspiracy theorists. As our boat rattled toward Mexico and back, I heard about every wild plot, secret plan and dark cover-up imaginable. It was mostly fascinating, occasionally exasperating and the cause of a headache that took months to fade. To my pleasant surprise, given that I was a reporter travelling among a group of deeply suspicious people, I was accused of working for the CIA only once. The unshakeable certainty possessed by many of the conspiracy theorists …

Boyz N the Hood director John Singleton dies aged 51

Singleton, who was the first African-American to be nominated for the best director Oscar, led a resurgence in mainstream black film-making in the 1990s John Singleton, who became both the first African American and the youngest-ever film-maker to be nominated for the best director Oscar, has died aged 51. Deadline. This was an agonising decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of Johns doctors. Born in Los Angeles in 1968, Singleton released the incendiary Boyz n the Hood in 1991 and its portrayal of gang violence and the drug epidemic made an immediate impact. It was a commercial success, made stars out of lead actors Ice Cube (who was already well-known for …