9 Ways To Makeover Your Online Dating Profile In 2017

If 2016 was as bleak for your love life as it was for our country, then we’re here to help. 

In 2017, singles’ metaphorical dating slates will be wiped clean. Leave the rejections and heartache behind and log into Tinder (or Bumble or Hinge or whatever other app you pour your soul into) with renewed enthusiasm.

Here are some sure-fire ways to ramp up your dating app game in 2017:

1. Revamp your profile with new photos and information.

Got a photo from 2014 or earlier on your profile? Delete it. We don’t care if it’s you looking really adorable as a baby in a pirate costume. People aren’t looking to date baby you. They’re looking to date current you.

Also, put information on your profile that will encourage people to actually message you. Having specifics like what book you’re currently reading or what your personality is like will boost the amount of messages you get. 

2. Delete your damn selfies.

We don’t care how hot your selfie is. Selfies don’t belong on dating apps.

3. Make the effort to meet the people you’re talking to.

It’s really easy to fall into a rabbit hole of off-and-on messaging the stranger on the other side without actually trying to plan a date. It’s less intimidating to have a pen pal than it is to meet someone in real life. 

This year, if you haven’t discussed meeting up soon after you meet someone online, don’t stick around, New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini told Bustle. 

“If they haven’t asked you out or didn’t respond to your suggestion to meet, it’s probably not going to happen, and if it does, there’s no sense of urgency on their part,” she said.

4. Be honest about what you want.

If someone’s profile says “just looking for a hookup” or a person tells you that’s all they want but that’s not what you want move on. The same goes for you if you’re looking for just a hookup: be clear about your intentions. It’ll make the process less stressful for all parties involved. 

5. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Neely Steinberg, dating coach and personal image consultant, told The Huffington Post that daters need to remember that profiles are just profiles. 

“I’ve worked with so many women who were on the fence about a guy who emailed them, judging every little thing about their emails and/or profile, but ended up falling for those very men after meeting them in person. You just never know, so try to rein in your assumptions and judgements if you find yourself becoming overly picky about who you’re open to connecting with.”

6. That said, try to make your profile stand out. 

Steinberg emphasized that creativity is key.

“Spend some time crafting something playful, unique, and creative… You want a prospective match to think: ‘Wow, great pictures, imaginative profile. I just have to meet this person.’”

7. Include elements of spontaneity and adventure.

Incorporating some aspect of your proclivity for spontaneity will up your match probability by 139%, according to Hinge. Some examples: “Next vacation I want to go on” and “On my bucket list.”

8. Say something memorable.

Alex Williamson, Bumble’s director of creative marketing and brand copywriter, told Refinery29 that memorable anecdotes are great conversation starters.

“I remember seeing one guy’s bio where he had a list of three things he enjoyed and one of those things was watching dogs back up. I still think about that — it’s hilarious! If you say something quirky, it can lead to conversation.”  

9. Try a dating app you haven’t been on before.

Not a fan of the apps you’re currently on? Here’s a list of 35 of ‘em.

Alright friends. Let’s do this thing, shall we? Happy swiping!

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/here-are-the-dating-app-resolutions-you-should-make-for-2017_us_585d4c78e4b0d9a594580d41

Purple Heart spotted on airport baggage claim belt finds its family

The Purple Heart spotted at the baggage claim.  (Fox 2)

A Purple Heart spinning around on a baggage claim at a California airport caught the attention of a veteran, sparking a social media campaign that finally got the medal to the hero’s family on Tuesday.

The medal wasn’t in a case, but a name was inscribed: Army Infantryman Miguel A. Perez Loubriel.


“He passed away at 23 years old in the line of duty, Korean War, in 1952,” Sonoma County Airport Marketing Specialist Gina Stocker told Fox 2.

“The person who found it is a veteran, and we have two other veterans who work for us,” Airport Operations Supervisor Matt Yeager said. “That person served our country and being a veteran, I understand and appreciate that importance.” 


Airport staff got to work right away tracking down the soldier’s family after spotting the medal two weeks ago. Stocker put out the word on social media, getting more than 100,000 hits on Facebook.

Finally, the soldier’s relatives stepped forward. His daughter, Leyda Aviles, said she’d keep the medal with her every day, KGO reported.

“I am grateful all the way to the sky because you do not find things like that every day,” Aviles said. She said she did not know how the Purple Heart got out of a box with other medals.

Aviles also said her father died on the day she was born. He had been enlisted for only 10 months, Fox 2 added.

Attached to the medal was a photograph of a list showing other Puerto Ricans who died fighting in the Korean War for the U.S.

Click for more from Fox 2.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2016/12/28/purple-heart-spotted-on-airport-baggage-claim-belt-finds-its-family.html

18,000 physical attacks on hospital staff in Wales – BBC News

Image copyright CVUHB
Image caption Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales has the busiest Welsh A&E unit

Hospital staff in Wales were physically attacked more than 18,000 times while at work, figures for the last five years have revealed.

The Freedom of Information data showed there were also 11,000 verbal assaults.

But, by comparison, there were fewer than 4,000 physical and verbal attacks on all other emergency service workers combined over the same period.

Groups representing doctors and nurses said the figures were unacceptable and a matter of concern.

Peter Meredith-Smith, associate director for employment relations at Royal College of Nursing in Wales (RCN), said: “The issue of aggression towards frontline NHS staff is longstanding.

“It may not necessarily mean its getting worse, it may be the reaction of the system is getting better, it may be the reporting is better, staff are being supported more to report these issues and address them.

“But it’s clearly a matter of concern that frontline clinical staff are being subjected to this sort of behaviour on a regular basis.”

‘I don’t come to work to be abused’

A nurse working in a south Wales emergency department, who was throttled by a patient, believes more needs to be done.

“I have been threatened a couple of times,” said the nurse, who did not want to be identified.

“We know if the police are attacked, then it’s zero tolerance, there is automatic prosecution.

“The posters go up saying ‘zero tolerance’ but I don’t think there is. I think there has to be a concerted effort across the health boards across Wales.

“It can happen on a weekly basis, it can happen on a daily basis, it varies.

“I don’t come to work to be abused, I come to work to care for the patients – the sick and ill.”

Mr Meredith-Smith said there was a joint memorandum of understanding in place with the Welsh Government, Association of Chief Police Officers and NHS on how to help frontline staff and to deal with perpetrators.

He said there was evidence of improvements in protecting staff, but accepted there was “always more to do”.

But Dr Phil Banfield, chairman of the BMA said the figures needed to be put into context.

“The misuse of alcohol has a significant impact on violence within emergency departments and it is clear that more needs to be done, outside of medical settings, to reduce rates of alcohol abuse,” he said.

Dr Banfield added: “Additionally, assaults can occur when treating frail, older dementia patients or in those with severe mental health conditions.

“These incidents may be attributed to these patients being inappropriately admitted to acute settings because of bed shortages and gaps in social care provision, aggravated by staff shortages and resource shortfall.”

He said: “We must move away from only blaming patients and look again at how the health and social care system may contribute to the reasons behind why assaults occur.”

The Welsh Government said “significant progress” has been made to encourage reporting incidents so prosecutions can be brought as attacks “will not be tolerated”.

Health boards’ reaction

All health boards said staff are encouraged to report assaults and had received appropriate training.

  • Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board said, unlike other health boards, it provides forensic mental health services for south Wales, along with regional learning disabilities services and have patients with “behaviours or conditions which can result in increased episodes of violence or aggression”
  • Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said as well as working with the police, a marketing campaign is taking place “to educate the public that abuse to staff is not acceptable”
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said a “significant number” of incidents were not gratuitous and can come following anaesthesia or when suffering “an acute episode of a chronic illness”
  • Cwm Taf University Health Board said a “very high proportion” of the incidents involved patients with a medical or mental health condition but it added that it is working with the police to address malicious violence and had “taken forward a number of prosecutions” in the last few months
  • Hywel Dda University Health Board noted an improvement in figures since 2013/14 and said it encourages staff to report violence so prosecutions can be pursued if appropriate
  • Powys Teaching Health Board recognised services such as A&E and mental health services are provided by neighbouring areas resulting in lower figures but said the majority of physical assaults it recorded were “unintentional acts by patients who may be vulnerable, confused or agitated”
  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board did not provide a response

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-38030302

Costa little more: Spain questions its tourism strategy

Its sun and beaches attract millions, but what they spend is falling, prompting a push for wealthier visitors attracted by its food and culture

For more than half a century, Spains tourist fame has rested mainly on its sandy beaches, warm waters and dependable weather. But despite record-breaking visitor numbers over the past 12 months, there are fears the sun could slowly be setting on the countrys traditional approach to attracting foreign holidaymakers.

Although Spain is predicted to have welcomed 75 million tourists by the end of this month up from 68 million last year the surge is not quite what it seems.

The increased numbers are due less to any particular Spanish strategy than to the fact that terrorism and instability have driven millions of holidaymakers from Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and France.

According to the Confederation of Spanish Travel Agencies (CEAV), almost 10% of this years tourists are borrowed from competing destinations around the Mediterranean.

The other problem is that although the overall tourist numbers are up, the average amount they are spending is down, falling 2.2% among European visitors between January and July this year.

Add to that fears that some popular destinations are becoming saturated with low-spending tourists whose numbers and behaviour are raising local hackles, and questions are once again being asked about the efficacy of Spains decades-old sol y playa (sun and beach) tourism model.

A recent report from Ernst & Young noted the declining average spend and recommended that Spain reorientate its strategy to attract higher spending premium tourists from Europe and beyond rather than continuing to rely on those looking for a cheap break.

Philip Moscoso of Spains IESE business school discerns a few shadows lurking among the good news and says it is time to rethink Spains approach to tourism.

In some places, such as the Balearics and Barcelona, were starting to see a saturation point where the parts of society begin to feel a little overrun by the tourist hordes.

Although we all know that tourism is our number one industry and that we owe it considerable thanks economically over the past few years a lot of people are fed up with so much tourism, especially in summer.

He points to anger at tourists who cram into tiny rented apartments and spend little money on anything but alcohol and going out, or those who head to Ibiza and stay up for three days without booking into hotels.

Its not all black-and-white, but in places like Barcelona, things will definitely change because in some neighbourhoods, people are taking to the streets to protest, he said. When voters do that, [politicians] tend to react.

Moscoso argues that although Spain is working to attract higher spending visitors by sprucing up some of its more dilapidated destinations, it also needs to invest more in promoting its interior and culture.

Obviously, theres the kilometres of coastline, but theres also an artistic heritage that needs to be valued and promoted more. Lots of Chinese people visit Paris, Rome and London; they need to know that there are things to visit in Spain, too, and that its not just sun and beaches. We need to push that.

Josep Valls, a professor in the marketing department of the Esade business school in Barcelona, said that moves to overhaul the Spanish tourism sector should have begun two decades ago, but were stymied by the influx of holidaymakers abandoning the former Yugoslavia for Spain during the 1990s, and further thwarted by terror attacks on tourist resorts and the uncertainty brought by the Arab spring.

However, he said that the concept of innovation is now working its way into the DNA of the Spanish tourist industry as it increasingly embraces gastronomy, sport, culture and wine to draw overseas visitors.

People are now realising that the Spanish coast isnt just useful for two or three months a year: it can be a far less seasonal business, he said. Its about looking beyond beaches as the only places for Europeans on holidays; its about using land and heritage in different ways.

Rafael Gallego, president of the CEAV, agrees that more needs to be done to attract tourists with deeper pockets and to promote the countrys wider charms, but insists that the costas will remain the engine of the Spanish tourist economy for a long time.

I dont think that the sol y playa model is obsolete. Its obvious that this kind of [holiday] isnt going to go away, he said. Spains been growing in borrowed tourism since the Arab spring. But weve been missing a great opportunity to take advantage of this by selling everything that Spain has to offer in terms of culture and gastronomy and the countryside of the interior.

Moscoso says that Spain simply cannot afford to take its sunny, sandy allure for granted. With so many guests borrowed from other destinations and Brexit raising questions about the future of Spains single greatest source of foreign visitors, urgent thought needs to be given to the tourist sector, which accounted for more than 11% of Spains GDP in 2015 and which is predicted to grow by 4.4% this year.

Its a bit like the situation is with peoples health. As long as you dont notice any symptoms, you dont go to the doctor. You know that you should stop smoking, take more exercise and eat more healthily but you only go to the doctor when the problems start.

As long as the numbers look good and the problems arent obvious, people wont react. But when the spend per tourist goes down and the number of tourists also goes down and the sector starts to contract, the big players will start to worry and thats when the real work will begin.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/25/costa-little-more-spain-questions-its-tourism-strategy

The holiday shopping season is losing some of its power

Shoppers careen through the main floor at Macy’s department store in New York on November 28, the official start of the holiday shopping season. Retailers dub the day “Black Friday” in hope that sales will turn into the black ink of profits for the all-important retail season. – RTXH3SJ

The holiday shopping season is losing some of its power in the year’s sales.

November and December now account for less than 21 percent of annual retail sales at physical stores, down from a peak of over 25 percent, and experts believe it’ll keep dropping. Those extra percentage points would have translated into an extra $70 billion more in buying for last year, says Michael Niemira, principal at The Retail Economist.

The season had steadily gained in importance and peaked in the early ’80s, before the dominance of big discounters like Wal-Mart stalled its growth as shoppers began moving away from department stores. Still, the two-month period held its own through the mid-’90s, when online shopping for deals took hold.

“There was a mindset even before online shopping,” said Niemira, whose data goes back to 1967. “But this just accelerated it.”

In general, many people are shopping for the holidays all year long now, mirroring the trend for back-to-school items. Heavy discounting has diluted sales, and with big promotions throughout the year, shoppers no longer hold off making their biggest purchases until the holidays.

This year, the contentious presidential election delayed some shoppers, and with Christmas falling on a Sunday, stores are expecting a bigger number of last-minute buyers. At a busy Target store in Brick, New Jersey on Saturday morning, many shoppers seemed to be picking up small items to use as stocking stuffers. Others were hoping to find a last-minute deal.

“I’m pretty much set for Christmas, so I thought I would come down and see what I could find on sale, like maybe a TV,” Terry Kreft said as she strolled through the store. She has spent about $600 on gifts this year, taking advantage of discounts during the traditional holiday-season shopping days right after Thanksgiving, called “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

“I was pretty much done with my shopping before December got rolling,” Kreft said.

But a late rush isn’t expected to make up the difference.

“It’s no longer a seasonal business,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at consumer research firm NPD Group Inc. “It’s a yearlong investment for the consumer. And retailers need to change. They have to excite shoppers early in the season and later in the season and all year long.”

Here’s what’s behind the shift:

SHOPPERS DON’T WAIT TO BUY BIG-TICKET ITEMS: Stores now offer good deals throughout the year on products like TVs and appliances, making waiting until the end of the year less appealing. Deloitte LLP found 30 percent of shoppers planned to wait for holiday sales to buy large gifts, down from 35 percent a year ago.

“People are not holding back and waiting because they find a good price for all the things they are looking for,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte.

Christopher Rogers, a research analyst at Panjiva, which looks at imports, says he has seen a smoothing out of imports during the pre-holiday shopping season from July to November on key items like apparel, toys and furniture.

The shift complicates matters for retailers, which could usually concentrate their efforts on capturing shoppers during the holiday window.

HEAVY DISOUNTING: With fierce competition online, particularly from Amazon, stores are constantly trying to outdo each other and even undercutting themselves on prices from the previous year. Shoppers have been trained to demand deals, and won’t break the habit.

“The heightened competition being driven by the influence of e-commerce largely is driving prices down on popular holiday items,” said Traci Gregorski, senior vice president of marketing at Market Track. “Retailers know consumers frequently compare prices on these categories online and are discounting more heavily to drive traffic and sales.”

One example: The average price for a TV from Oct. 1 through Tuesday was $829.52, down from $1,009.41 during the same time last year, according to Market Track, which tracked promoted prices across 40 major retailers on over 19,000 TVs.

THE RISE OF GIFT CARDS: Shoppers are giving more gift cards as presents, which skews holiday sales figures since they aren’t booked as sales until they’re redeemed. And most cards no longer have an expiration date.

This holiday season, gift cards were ranked second as a top gift, behind only clothing, according to NPD. Gift cards sales accounted for about 25.4 percent of holiday expenditures last year, up from 13.5 percent in 2003, according to Goldman Sachs and The Retail Economist.

SHOPPERS WANT EXPERIENCES: Major department stores like Macy’s have been seeing shoppers shifting their spending away from traditional merchandise like clothing and more toward gifts that offer experiences like beauty treatments and other services.

NPD found 10 percent of holiday shoppers said they planned to give fewer tangible gifts than last year, and 8 percent said they would not give any tangible gifts. Some 14 percent said they will give more experiences as gifts this year than last year, the research group said.


Associated Press writer Bruce Shipkowski in Brick, New Jersey contributed to this report.


Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/12/24/holiday-shopping-season-is-losing-some-its-power.html

This Hummus Has A Secret Ingredient Supermarkets Don’t Want To Sell

This article is part of HuffPost’s Reclaim campaign, an ongoing project spotlighting the world’s waste crisis and how we can begin to solve it.

The ingredients Hannah McCollum gets most excited about are those destined for the trash.

As much as McCollum, a gourmet chef based in the U.K., loves cooking and thinking up unexpected food combinations, she’s equally passionate about keeping perfectly edible products out of the garbage. If she sees a friend throw out a half-full bag of chips, she’s been known to unabashedly retrieve it and eat the remaining contents.

But when it comes to making dishes for others, McCollum, 36, won’t actually rifle through the trash. She just seeks out produce that retailers know won’t sell well otherwise. That mostly includes vegetables and fruits that are misshapen and deemed too “ugly” for supermarket shoppers to buy.

moisseyev via Getty Images
In the U.S., half of all produce grown is thrown out because its bruised or misshapen. It is, however, still perfectly edible.

She then uses those fruits and vegetables to make ChicP, her signature line of sweet and savory hummus dips that are almost too pretty to eat.

McCollum sources her ingredients from New Spitalfields Market, a wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market based in London. There’s such a “huge” amount of unwanted ingredients that McCollum always has a steady stream of items coming in. 

Hannah McCollum gets her ingredients from New Spitalfields Market, a wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market based in London.

The resourceful chef’s hummus line has hit shelves at a time when farmers and retailers are discarding edible produce at an alarming rate.

In the U.S., half of all produce grown is thrown out because it’s bruised, misshapen or discolored, or because it has some other kind of cosmetic deformity. The U.K. has a similar waste issue. There, 20 to 40 percent of produce is rejected because it’s not up to par aesthetically, according to the Telegraph. 

Some of the ChicP flavors include Herby Hummus and Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage Hummus.

McCollum can count on getting certain vegetables regularly, like giant beetroots and funky-looking carrots. In an almost literal case of turning lemons into lemonade, she’s put these ingredients into blends like her Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric Hummus and her Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage Hummus.

But McCollum gets most fired up about using sweet ingredients, like bananas and avocado, which she’ll mix with cocoa. The final product is a “fantastic guilt-free chocolate-y” breakfast to be paired with yogurt, berries or pancakes, she said. 

McCollum said she particularly likes working with sweet ingredients, like bananas, which led to Banana & Cocoa Hummus.

Her products retail for 2.49 British pounds (about $3) and sell at a number of locations in London, including Whole Foods stores and Fortnum & Mason. They’re slated to hit shelves soon at Selfridges and Harrods.

Currently, ChicP is a one-woman operation. McCollum is hoping to raise funds through a campaign backed by the U.K. grocer Tesco to bring on more employees, reach out to more farmers and ramp up the company’s marketing strategies. 

ChicP products retail for 2.49 British pounds (about $3).

Besides saving food from landfills, McCollum hopes her products will help consumers develop a better understanding of just how much every item tossed in the trash actually affects the overall well-being of the environment.

“Every single tiny bit adds up,” McCollum said. “If you think that throwing one banana away is OK, try to think about every house in your area, then town, city and as a country [that banana pile] would be stadiums tall.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hummus-made-from-ugly-fruits_us_585822d5e4b08debb78a249c

Workers describe rampant abuse at Alabama chicken processing plant

Janitors at Farm Fresh Foods say they were forced to breathe bleach fumes and race each other across floors slick with fat and faced retaliation for complaints

Diego and Rogelio said working as third-shift janitors at the Farm Fresh Foods chicken processing plant meant breathing bleach fumes for so long they couldnt sleep afterwards for the headaches. Then there was the chicken itself.

The pair, who asked that their real names be withheld, told the Guardian their story by phone through a translator provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which filed a complaint earlier this year on behalf of the men with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) over the conditions at the Guntersville, Alabama, facility, owned by a local accountant named Eddie Hill.

Osha fined the company $30,000 last week for mistreating its employees and referred their complaints about having to handle raw chicken after cleaning the bathrooms to the US Department of Agriculture. Experts say worker abuse pervades the poultry industry, but the monitoring situation is likely to get worse under Donald Trumps administration.

Trump has picked Charles Herbster, who runs a large multi-level marketing agricultural supply business called Conklin, to run his agriculture advisory committee. Andy Puzder, the Hardees and Carls Jr executive who has campaigned against minimum wage rises, is Trumps nominee for labor secretary. Workplace reforms in the agriculture business seem unlikely to come from regulators under Trump, to put it mildly.

The Farm Fresh Foods workers described retaliation from their supervisors when they complained, unsanitary conditions and being forced to race each other on a floor covered in standing water and chicken fat. And while the particulars may differ across processing plants, the chicken industry is rife with mistreatment.

Because employees at chicken processing plants are often undocumented, theyre less likely to complain about wage theft and illegal restrictions on bathrooms a favorite tactic of processors trying to make their facilities more efficient, according to the SPLC.

An Oxfam America report issued in May called No Relief focused entirely on workers not being allowed to go to the toilet. It includes stories of laborers who said they were forced to wear diapers on the job because the penalties for taking too long in the bathroom were so severe. An SPLC report focused specifically on Alabama noted that nearly 80% of 300 workers surveyed said they had been denied bathroom breaks.

Because the facility did not have adequate drainage to disperse what the SPLCs Isabel Otero described as an enormous amount of Clorox and no ventilation for its fumes, Diego and Rogelios eyes watered, their chests hurt, and they went for a full night and sometimes the rest of the following day without rest from the pain after the weekend cleanings, they said. They also said their supervisors would often wait outside while bleach fumes filled the room.

Minor Sinclair, head of Oxfam America, said he believes the chicken industry puts public opinion and working conditions last and simply focuses on maximizing profit. In some ways its a backward-looking industry, he said. Poultry companies tend not to care about brand identity, and they carefully guard their connections to suppliers who do. In general, they are run by animal science guys, Sinclair said. They think about protein, the price of feed and bird weight.

Labor unionization in the US south lags behind every other area of the country, and poultry producers tend to have very little to do with the public Farm Fresh has no corporate website, only a Facebook page with the phrase Yo Cresta En Esta Familia (I believe in this family) written on a red heart as its cover photo, in English and Spanish Spanish first. There are many photos of smiling Hispanic men and women celebrating birthdays and holidays, more like a church or a community center than a workplace. Recruitment information is posted in English and Spanish. Diego and Rogelio did not disclose their immigration status.

But labor advocates can bring pressure to bear on large and public outfits such as Tyson and Perdue, Oxfams Sinclair said, especially when government procurement is involved, and when those advocates arent hobbled by right-to-work laws like Alabamas, which prevent unions from functioning. The Los Angeles County school district turned down a $20m contract to Tyson, Sinclair said. They didnt renew from Tyson, they went with another company [Canadas Gold Star Foods], Sinclair said. Tyson and Perdue are both cited in Oxfams report on the industrys grim bathroom facilities, though neither company was accused of adulterating its product.

Producers similar in size to Farm Fresh are sometimes asked to help fulfill contracts for the bigger players when the latter need to overproduce. Our hope is that Tyson is going to raise the floor for everybody; right on the eve of our report they raised wages for 34,000 [workers] to $10 an hour, Sinclair said. These are tough jobs its like The Jungle! Its still not fair compensation. But its a hell of a lot better than $8 an hour. Thats about a $100m payroll rise.

When the men were done cleaning the floor of the plant and what they described as inadequate toilet facilities four toilets in total for the hundreds who worked there the complaint states that their supervisor made them race each other across a floor slick with standing water accumulated and mixed with chicken fat to perform their final duty of the midnight-to-7am shift: cutting raw chicken to size.

The workers tried to tell their bosses that they had been hired to clean the floors, not cut the chicken, but were rebuffed. The company would tell us that this was the rule, he said, that we had to deal with the chicken, and that we had no choice but to do this job. Several workers complained, said Rogelio, and their supervisor suspended them.

We always would tell the manager that we should not be handling the chicken after doing this work with the same hands, Diego said.

Their story might never have come to light if the company had not initially refused to pay them their final checks, prompting the initial complaint, the pair told the Guardian. They were paid after the SPLC intervened on their behalf, they said. Wage theft is common in the poultry industry, wrote the authors of another Oxfam America report on chicken processing.

The Guardian attempted to contact several people associated with Farm Fresh Foods, including Mark Welborne, general manager of the facility. Welborne did not return calls for comment.

The Guardian was able to reach Hill himself through the office of his accounting firm, prior to the $30,000 fine. Hill was aware of the complaint. He advised the Guardian to trust the judgment of the regulator: Wait till the Osha investigation comes out, he said. The Osha investigation either will [fine] us or it will clear us.

Pressed on the specific complaints, Hill said: Youre not going to get an answer out of me.

I have a sense of whats right and wrong, Hill said. Asked what that sense told him, he said: Im going to let Osha decide. Hill hung up.

The Guardian called Hill again after the fine had been levied to ask for further comment; he said, I have no comment. The line was disconnected before the Guardian could ask further questions.

  • This article was amended on 22 December 2016. A previous version incorrectly quoted Oxfams Minor Sinclair as saying Tyson raised wages for 34 million workers; it was 34,000.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/dec/22/farm-fresh-foods-alabama-workers-rights-abuse

ISIS social media accounts promoted use of trucks as weapons more than a month before Berlin attack

More than a month before Monday’s deadly terror attack at a Berlin Christmas market, social media sites tied to ISIS were flooded with links to an article in the groups magazine touting the deadly and destructive capability of the motor vehicle.

In Facebook and Twitter posts dated Nov. 11 and 12, ISIS promoted the latest edition of their propaganda magazine, Rumiyah, alongside screenshots of an article entitled Just Terror Tactics and hashtags like Jihad, KhalifaDE and Rumiyah4.

Though being an essential part of modern life, very few actually comprehend the deadly and destructive capability of the motor vehicle and its capacity of reaping large numbers of casualties if used in a premeditated manner, the article in Rumiyah stated, before going on to praise Bastille Day terror attack where a Tunisian-born terrorist drove a cargo truck into a crowd of people in Nice.

The article continued: The method of such an attack is that a vehicle is plunged at a high speed into a large congregation of kuffar (an Arabic term for unbeliever), smashing their bodies with the vehicles strong outer frame, while advancing forward crushing their heads, torsos, and limbs under the vehicles wheels and chassis and leaving behind a trail of carnage.

Terrorism experts and social media monitors say these postings are a sign of ISIS expanding use of social media to recruit and radicalize followers and of the difficulties faced by both governments and private companies to properly combat accounts maintained by terror groups.

Its a marketing tool and a trending tool, Eric Feinberg of the cyber security and intelligence firm GIPEC told FoxNews.com. ISIS is a brand and they are selling their brand on social media to people who sympathize with them.

Terror groups have used the Internet to spread their message almost since the inception of the World Wide Web, but ISIS emerged as a major presence on social media shortly after the group begin seizing major swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq back in 2014.

As a recruiting tool for foreign fighters and an outlet for the groups messages, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter proved much more appealing and effective to ISIS than traditional websites.

They didnt have to build a platform. Its all there for you, it has no cost to maintain and it has a global reach, David Fidler, an adjunct senior fellow for cybersecurity at the Council of Foreign Relations, told FoxNews.com. There is also a little bit of giving a sting in the tale by using this platform that was invented in the West against the West.

Efforts by the U.S. government to combat ISIS social media presence have focused on a combination of military force and online counterinsurgency work. The counterinsurgency work which includes tactics like working with social media companies to delete ISIS accounts and pushing out counter messages on these platforms has been deemed less effective than military strikes, at least in terms of concrete gains against the terror group.

U.S. and British forces last year carried out a series of drone strikes that killed roughly a dozen members of an ISIS cell called the Legion, a group of computer specialists who became the megaphone for the terror group online. The FBI has arrested nearly 1,000 people in connection with the group over the last two years.

The military has really had an impact on the effectiveness of ISIS social media accounts, Fidler said. Theyre going after the underlying source rather than a symptom of the problem.

Companies like Twitter and Facebook, experts say, are caught between a rock and hard place when it comes to the issue as they have voiced willingness to aid in the fight but have been less than transparent when it comes to sharing proprietary information like their algorithms.

The lack of transparency and the delay in taking down posts from terror groups has led to widespread criticism both in the U.S. and abroad.

These posts were there from Nov. 11 and 12, Feinberg said of the Rumiyah article. What we need here is to have these things blocked.Why arent the same rules that apply to traditional media applied here.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company polices accounts aggressively.

Facebook has zero tolerance for terrorists, terror propaganda, or the praising of terror activity, and we work aggressively to remove such content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it, the spokesperson said.

Twitter responded by forwarding a number of blog posts in which the company says it suspended 235,000 accounts between February and August of this year for violating our policies related to promotion of terrorism.

[T]here is no one magic algorithm for identifying terrorist content on the Internet, one of Twitters blog posts stated. But we continue to utilize other forms of technology, like proprietary spam-fighting tools, to supplement reports from our users and help identify repeat account abuse.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/12/20/isis-social-media-accounts-promoted-use-trucks-as-weapons-more-than-month-before-berlin-attack.html

Winter weather: Rest of December won’t be so cold

(CNN)America, you can take off that extra scarf soon.

After shivering through a brutally cold December, two-thirds of the United States will feel temperatures rise above normal this week.
    For people in many states, the warming can’t come soon enough. Monday was still chilly, with almost everyone east of the Mississippi 10 to 20 degrees below their normal high temperature for the afternoon.
    Oklahoma City was expected to see a high temperature of 15 on Monday — 9 degrees colder than Anchorage, Alaska’s forecast high of 24.

    But that’s nothing compared to Sunday, when it was so cold people even noticed in places where bundling up is a winter way of life.
    In Chicago, fans and players alike endured the sixth-coldest NFL game ever, with the kickoff temp reaching only 11 degrees. It was minus 4 with windchill taken into account. (For context, the coldest NFL game ever was the December 31, 1967, Packers-Cowboys playoff contest in Green Bay, Wisconsin, when it was minus 13 degrees.)
    In the Dakotas on Sunday, the low temperature was minus 37 in Aberdeen, South Dakota and minus 31 in Bismarck, North Dakota. Charlyne Kemmesat, manager of Boneshaker Coffee Company in Bismarck, said it was so cold her hot beverage business actually slowed down.

    These federal government resources have maps you can use to check weather conditions, flight delays, traffic and road closures in your area:



    Flight delays


    Traffic and road closures


    “I see people less aggressive to be out,” she said.
    The low hit minus 20 in Minneapolis — so cold that Holidazzle, the city’s annual winter festival, was closed for the day. That only happens every few years, said Leah Wong, vice president of events and marketing for the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “Minnesotans,” she said, “are hardy people.”
    In Seattle, they’re still thawing out from a record low temperature of 24 on Saturday.
    The Pacific Northwest got socked with unusually cold weather in December, with Portland experiencing an early snowfall, and it may not be over. The National Weather Service says an approaching low-pressure system will produce another round of rain and snow this week.
    The good news: Warmer air is on the way. By Wednesday, the day when winter officially starts at 5:44 a.m. ET, two-thirds of the United States will be basking in warmer temperatures.
    This trend will continue right through Christmas Day, with many places expected to be 30 to 40 degrees warmer than Sunday.

    The National Weather Service predicts these Christmas Day highs: 60 in Atlanta, 47 in New York City, 50 in Washington, DC, 62 in Dallas and 64 in Los Angeles. Miami will suffer through 79 degrees.
    But the Plains states may end up with snow and severe storms for Christmas. Minneapolis will deal with a high temperature of 18 degrees, Bismarck 14. The snow-rain line will be further north, meaning places that were in a deep freeze this past weekend, like Chicago, might see rain instead of snow.
    In case you’re wondering, yes, it has been a lot colder than a year ago. December 2015 was the warmest December on record for the Lower 48.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/19/us/weather-cold-december/index.html

    Very merry seventeenth century punch recipe found in Yorkshire

    The recipe, written by Benedictine monks in exile and found at Ampleforth Abbey, starts with ten pints of brandy

    A recipe for a very merry Christmas drink for 17th century monks, beginning with ten pints of brandy, has been rediscovered by a Durham university academic, in the archives of Ampleforth Abbey in north Yorkshire.

    The recipes there were two similar versions, one for a punch, one for a drink known as shrub were written down for English Benedictine monks who were in exile in France after the dissolution of the monasteries. Both were flavoured with orange and lemon peel, with added sugar and water, and involved days of steeping and mixing the ingredients.

    Although monastic communities commonly drank alcohol because the quality of drinking water was so unreliable, these recipes were clearly not an everyday tipple. Dr James Kelly, from the department of theology and religion at Durham University, said the volume of the ingredients and the care that went into them were significant.

    The quantity, and the time taken to make the drink, suggests that this was something to be enjoyed on special occasions by the whole monastic community not a quick drink for cocktail hour.

    He discovered the recipes as part of his Monks in Motion project, which looked into the travels and influence of the English Benedictine Monks after they were forced into exile.

    Ampleforth was founded when the monks had to move again after the French Revolution, and returned to England as the anti-Catholic laws were gradually relaxed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. As the archives prove, they brought their favourite recipes back with them.

    The name of the monastic order is still associated with the sweet herbal liqueur Benedictine, which was claimed to have been created by them at the great abbey in Fcamp in France . But it was in fact a brilliant marketing wheeze by the 19th century entrepreneur who invented it.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/19/very-merry-seventeenth-century-punch-recipe-found-in-yorkshire