Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Macy's Need To Have A Seminar For Its Employees

Macy's faces another discrimination lawsuit

A number of shoppers say they have experienced racial profiling at the department store chain.

By Benzinga 4 hours ago

In a discrimination lawsuit filed Friday, an African-American shopper said Macy's (M +0.23%) security personnel stopped him after he bought a $2,400 Louis Vuitton bag and an alarm went off as he tried to exit the store.

Club promoter Halim Sharif said he was detained, and his bag searched, even as a half-dozen white customers left the store without being detained. Sharif said those customers also set off alarms at the store's 34th Street exit.

Sharif said he was the only person stopped and that he had cellphone audio and video to prove his claim.

The incident happened at Macy's historic flagship store on April 19, 2013.

Sharif told The New York Daily News, "It was as clear as black and white. There was no gray area. I saw people exit before me and after me -- and none of them looked like me. They lacked pigmentation."

The 37-year-old promoter, who indicated he was suing Macy's for unspecified damages, said he decided to speak up after reading accounts of four alleged instances of racial profiling at Macy's and another retailer, privately ownedBarney's New York.

Brooklyn resident Kayla Phillips, who alleged she was racially profiled at Barney's in February, also filed a discrimination lawsuit Friday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, according to The Daily News.

Macy's, through a representative, said the company was looking into Sharif's allegation, but would have no comment due to the fact litigation was pending.

According to the representative, "Macy's has a zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. If Macy's policies have not been upheld, we will take swift and immediate action."

The two stores named in the lawsuits said New York Police Department officers were the culprits in earlier incidents, targeting black shoppers, including Phillips, Trayon Christian, Rob Brown, and Art Palmer.

The department said its officers were merely acting on information provided by store employees.

Meanwhile, Macy's was among several retailers that signed a customer 'bill of rights' earlier in December. Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, met with retailer representatives to draft the document, which is to be posted on participating department store websites.

In addition to Macy's, other signatories include Barneys New York, Macy's-owned Bloomingdale's, and Hudson's Bay Company subsidiaries Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

Read more from Benzinga

He Appears To Have Been A Nice Guy

Booty Call Director Jeff Pollack Found Dead

12/26/2013 at 03:45 PM EST
Booty Call Director Jeff Pollack Found Dead
Jeff Pollack
Jennifer Lopez
Will Smith
Subscribe for instant access to PEOPLE
Jeff Pollack, who directed Booty Call and was a producer on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died at age 54.

Pollack collapsed early Monday morning in the Greenbelt jogging area of Hermosa Beach, Calif., about 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles.

Authorities said Thursday they do not suspect foul play. Pollack was wearing jogging clothes and carrying an iPod when a passer-by discovered him and contacted police.

Pollack produced several seasons of the Will Smith show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, as well as the TV documentary Jennifer Lopezin Concert. Besides Booty Call starring Jamie Foxx, Pollack directed the films Above the Rim and Lost & Found.
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Should This Make Us Feel Good?

Brangelina and the kids made a pre-Christmas Target run
The Jolie-Pitt clan is just like us! They finish up their Christmas shopping at Target! Oh, wait. But they're still worth a combined $345 million. Anyway, Brad Pitt, his fiancee Angelina Jolie and their kids hit up the Target in Robina, a suburb of Queensland, Australia, over themore

He Cannot Even Make A Visit....

PM Abe's surprise Yasukuni Shrine visit draws strong reactions

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, arrives at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Dec. 26, 2013. (Mainichi)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, arrives at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Dec. 26, 2013. (Mainichi)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni Shrine on the first anniversary of his administration came as a surprise even to government insiders who assumed rocky ties with China and South Korea would stop the prime minister from visiting the shrine this year, and drew strong reactions from the public.
Around 10 a.m., soon after news of Abe's planned visit was released, members of the press began to gather at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. By 11 a.m. the crowd had grown to over 100, including reporters and cameramen from foreign media organizations.
Cars with tinted windows carrying security personnel from the Metropolitan Police Department slid into the area of the shrine where Abe was expected to arrive by car, and uniformed police officers took up position. By the time the prime minister arrived at 11:32 a.m., around 15 helicopters circled the air above the shrine.
Members of the general public who were visiting the shrine appeared shocked by the presence of reporters and heavy security.
"I was wondering what was going on because there were so many police officers. I didn't know (Abe was visiting) today," said Takako Kondo, 70, who lives nearby and pays her respects at the shrine every day. As for the visit itself, she said, "It's the prime minister's own decision. Japan doesn't have very good relationships with China and South Korea right now, but I think Abe should visit the shrine without being swayed by their views."
At 11:56, Abe emerged from Yasukuni's inner shrine and raised his hand at the approximately 300 members of the media who had gathered before getting into a waiting car. Shrine visitors holding the Japanese flag applauded, with some yelling out "Good job. Thank you."
Yoshikatsu Ueda, 72, the secretary general of "Heiwa o negai senso ni hantai suru senbotsusha izoku no kai" (Association of bereaved families of the war dead who wish for peace and oppose war), argued that the prime minister's visit was inappropriate.
"Yasukuni Shrine not only enshrines Class A war criminals, it also glamorizes and rationalizes a war that claimed the lives of many people. Individuals have the right to freedom of religion and thought, but the prime minister of a country with a constitution that promises lasting peace based on reflections from war should not visit the shrine. There is also the issue of separation of religion and government, so the prime minister's visit is problematic on numerous levels.
"I can't help but be suspicious that the prime minister's visit to Yasukuni Shrine at this point in time, ahead of the ordinary session of the Diet that is set to take place next year, is an indication of his intention to overturn the government's constitutional interpretation that bans the right to collective self-defense."
Tomoyoshi Aoyagi, 74, who taught Abe when he was a student at Seikei Senior High School, also wondered about the prime minister's intentions.
"He did something that should not have been done," Aoyagi said. "I didn't think he was this unappreciative of the spirit of post-war democracy and the Constitution. Is he effectively trying to revive state-sanctioned Shintoism?"
Ikuhiko Hata, a modern history lecturer at Nihon University, meanwhile, criticized the general timing of Abe's actions.
"If he was aiming to reap any benefits from sensationalism, then his move is long overdue. All of Prime Minister Abe's initiatives are off in terms of timing. This past year probably went by with him worrying constantly about Japan's relationships with China and South Korea. And perhaps he thought that since South Korea is currently preoccupied with its deepening conflict with North Korea, it wouldn't really bother with Japan.
"A visit to the shrine soon after he became prime minister would have probably led to improved approval ratings, but visiting at this point is awkward and will lead to a public backlash, canceling out any positive effects. Even if the prime minister decided to make the visit with significant resolve, it lacks impact

No Excuses, Should Have Rented More Airplanes and Workers

ABC News Blogs

UPS Overload Leaves Miffed Customers Short of Presents, Meals

By  | ABC News Blogs – 2 hours 27 minutes ago
If your gifts didn't arrive on time to place under the tree this year, United Parcel Service might be to blame. The nation's largest package carrier failed to deliver all packages to consumers by Christmas Eve, deflating the holiday spirit for some irate customers.
In a statement, UPS said it simply could not keep up with last-minute shipments as "the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network."
The company spokeswoman called it "a perfect storm" of problems, blaming the delays on the normal surge in deliveries this time of year, the compressed shopping season, and the growth of e-commerce that increased demand for shipping right before the holiday. An ice storm that backed up air travel in Dallas also didn't help matters.
Although UPS said only a small percentage of packages didn't make it to their destinations on time, consumers are not pleased. They took to social media, creating a series of hashtags including #UPSdelays and #UPSfail.
@JeremyEich You didn't deliver mine and now my 10 year old doesn't get his present. #upsfail
- The Mac (@themacinator) December 25, 2013
Thanks @UPS for ruining Xmas. Does a promised delivery date not mean anything to you? #upsfail
- Tejas Mehta (@tpmehta) December 25, 2013
@UPS@UPSHelp @UPS_News sadly the clock has struck midnight and you failed to deliver my package by 12/24. #UPSFail
- Laura London (@laurallondon) December 25, 2013
Some said they would be without presents this year and even their Christmas dinner.
@CoreySNews My Christmas ham from Honeybaked didn't make it due to #upsfail. Looks like we're having sushi tonight.
— Andrea Novick (@Andrea_Novick) December 25, 2013
Online retail giant was forced to apologize to customers and in some cases offered refunds on shipping and gift certificates for future purchases.
The UPS statement said there would be no deliveries today but that employees are on the job, working to ensure packages are ready to go out the door the moment drivers arrive in the morning.
Peak shipping season is not over until after the Christmas returns are in, so UPS will likely wait until January to do a postmortem and figure why projections missed the mark, a spokeswoman said. In the meantime, she said, UPS is "focused on delivering on our holiday and service commitments."
UPS might consider upping its staffing and capacity projections for next year. Statistics show on that holiday e-shopping is on the rise. More than half of consumers now do at least some of their holiday shopping on line, according to a recent National Retail Federation survey.
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I Don't Know What To Feel

Company pulls popular Jesus toaster from Amazon

You'll have to buy your novelty toasters directly from the source after a dispute with the giant online retailer.

By InvestorPlace Tue 2:18 PM
The 'Jesus Toaster' made by Burnt Impressions © Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Christopher Freeburn

The Vermont Novelty Toaster Corporation is annoyed with e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN). Sufficiently irked, in fact, that it is yanking its popular toasters — including the best-selling Jesus toaster — from the online retailer.

Vermont Novelty says that its Jesus toaster — which toasts an image of Jesus into bread slices — was ranked as the 32nd top-selling toaster on Amazon this holiday season. But now, the Jesus toaster, along with the company's other novelty toasters that produce toasty images of President Obama, the Virgin Mary, Sarah Palin and assorted other icons, won't be sold on Amazon any longer.

The company alleges that Amazon has refused to cough up half of the revenue from two weeks of sales because those sales have exceeded the "limited velocity amount."

By exceeding that amount, Vermont Novelty incurs an account review. The company's CEO notes that the delay — which has happened at the end of two consecutive years — damages its cash flow. The company also complains that Amazon pockets nearly $8 out of each toaster sale.InvestorPlace on MSN Money

After pulling the Jesus toaster from Amazon, Vermont Novelty says it will concentrate on promoting its products through its own website.

Amazon sank almost 1 percent in Tuesday's short trading session.