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Burger King Apologizes for an Ad Offering Burgers to Russian Women Who Get Pregnant by World Cup Players

News Round-up -

(MOSCOW) — Burger King has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant by World Cup players.

Critics assailed the offer, announced on Russian social media, as sexist and demeaning.

The now deleted promotion pic.twitter.com/mg7xETHfQW

— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) June 20, 2018

The announcement was removed Tuesday from Burger King’s social media accounts but was still circulating among Russian social network users. It promised a reward of free burgers to women who get “the best football genes” and “ensure the success of the Russian team for generations to come.”

In a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press, Burger King said, “We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online.” It said the offer “does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”

Ads in Russia often play on sexist stereotypes, notably ads around sporting events like the World Cup. Women’s rights activists have been increasingly speaking out against them.

Seth Meyers Tears Into Trump For Playing the Hero With Executive Order

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NBC

Over the course of his 10-minute “A Closer Look” segment Wednesday night, Seth Meyers set out to prove why President Donald Trump’s constant lying is so pernicious.

“Trump’s only political skill is his total and complete lack of shame,” the Late Night host began. “His malignant narcissism allows him to confidently and brazenly lie in the way that most other politicians would be too embarrassed to even try.”

Sometimes, these blatant lies are relatively victimless. But that is not the case this week as Trump attempts to take credit for ending a “cruel” policy of separating immigrant families at the border that he himself implemented.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘Help My Sisters.’ Chilling 911 Call From Teenage Girl Who Escaped the Turpin Family Details Abuse

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(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) — In a plea to a police dispatcher to “help my sisters,” a 17-year-old girl in a childlike, quivering voice detailed years of abuse she and 12 siblings suffered in a squalid house where she said they were shackled to beds, choked and the stench was suffocating.

The 911 call was played in a California court Wednesday during a hearing to determine if her mother and father should face trial on child abuse charges in a case that attracted worldwide attention following their arrests last winter.

The girl is heard on the recording saying two younger sisters and a brother were chained to their beds and she couldn’t take it any longer.

“They will wake up at night and they will start crying and they wanted me to call somebody,” she said in a high-pitched voice. “I wanted to call y’all so y’all can help my sisters.”

David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse and other charges. They are being held on $12 million bail each. Louise Turpin dabbed her eyes with a tissue as the recording of her daughter was played.

The 911 call in January marked a new start for the 13 Turpin offspring — ages 2 to 29 — who lived in such isolation that some didn’t even understand the role of the police when they arrived at the house in Perris, 70 miles (113 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.

Two girls, 11 and 14, had been hastily released from their chains when police showed up, but a 22-year-old son remained shackled.

The young man said he and his siblings had been suspected of stealing food and being disrespectful, Det. Thomas Salisbury said. The man said he had been tied up with ropes at first and then, after learning to wriggle free, restrained with increasingly larger chains on and off over six years.

Children were deprived food and things other kids take for granted, such as toys and games, authorities said. They were allowed to do little except write in journals that may corroborate the horrific stories they told investigators.

Some suffered from severe malnutrition and muscle wasting, said investigator Patrick Morris. An 11-year-old girl who was shackled to a bed had arms the size of an infant, he said; a 12-year-old girl couldn’t recite the alphabet.

The 17-year-old, who said she hadn’t finished first grade, had difficulty pronouncing some words and spoke like a much younger child.

The girl planned her escape for two years and was terrified as she climbed out a window to freedom, Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Manuel Campos testified.

“She couldn’t even dial 911 because she was so scared that she was shaking,” he said.

She didn’t know the neighborhood and had to read her address to the dispatcher off a piece of paper. The kids were rarely allowed outside, though they went out on Halloween and traveled as a family to Disneyland and Las Vegas, they said.

“Sometimes I wake up and I can’t breathe because of how dirty the house is,” the girl told the woman dispatcher.

She said she hadn’t bathed in a year and Campos observed dirt caked on her skin and a stink from being unbathed.

The girl referred to her parents as “mother” and “father” because she said it was “more like the Bible days,” he said.

She reported that her father pulled down her pants and put her on his clothed lap in a recliner chair in the TV room when she was 12. When she said she didn’t like it and pulled up her pants, he told her not tell anyone, Campos said.

The children spent most of their time locked in their rooms except for limited meals or using the bathroom.

If they didn’t obey strict rules, they were slapped in the face or had their hair pulled, the girl told Campos.

About two years ago, the mother found out the girl had been watching a Justin Bieber video, and started choking her and asked, “do you want to die?” Campos said.

The girl said she didn’t want to die, but she feared she was about to as the choking continued.

“Yes you do, yes you do, you do, you want to die,” the mother said, according to Campos. “You want to die and go to hell.”

The hearing is scheduled to resume Thursday.

Marijuana Will Be Legal in Canada on Oct. 17, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Says

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(TORONTO) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country’s youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on Tuesday, legislation that will make Canada only the second country in the world to make pot legal across the country.

Trudeau said provincial and territorial governments need the time to prepare for retail sales.

“It is our hope as of October 17 there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion,” Trudeau said.

The prime minister said at a news conference that the goal is to take a significant part of the market share away from organized crime.

“Over the following months and indeed years we will completely replace or almost completely replace the organized crime market on that,” he said.

Canada is following the lead of Uruguay in allowing a nationwide, legal marijuana market, although each Canadian province is working up its own rules for pot sales. The federal government and the provinces also still need to publish regulations that will govern the cannabis trade.

“The legislation is transformative,” said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, adding it “marks a wholesale shift in how our country approaches cannabis, leaving behind a failed model of prohibition.”

She urged Canadians to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force.

“The law still remains the law,” Wilson-Raybould said.

Many questions remain unanswered, including how police will test motorists suspected of driving under the influence, what to do about those with prior marijuana convictions and just how the rules governing home cultivation will work.

The Canadian provinces of Quebec and Manitoba have already decided to ban home-grown pot, even though the federal bill specifies that individuals can grow up to four plants per dwelling.

“Provinces can set their own laws. If individuals are challenging that law, they can challenge it,” Wilson-Raybould said.

Trudeau said the government won’t discuss pardons of past convictions until legalization is in effect.

“There’s no point looking at pardons while the old law is in the books,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau said they are going to treat it like wine and tobacco, noting that few people will cultivate it at home, but it’s necessary to fight organized crime.

Trudeau promised to legalize it during the 2015 election and had set a goal of July 1 for it. The provinces pleaded for more time.

Canadian marijuana stocks have rallied in anticipation of legalization and jumped again on Wednesday.

In the neighboring U.S., nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana. California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States’ biggest legal marijuana marketplace on Jan. 1.

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by marijuana advocates in the U.S.

Don Hartleben, who manages Dank of America, a retail cannabis store just south of the border in Blaine, Washington, said Canada’s legalization was not only politically exciting, but a potential business boon for him.

Many of his customers are Canadian tourists who are terrified of trying to bring pot across the border, he said. If more use marijuana when they’re in Canada, more will use when they’re on vacation in the states.

“People ask me all the time, ‘Isn’t legalization in Canada going to hurt your business?'” he said. “I tell them, ‘No! The more it’s legal, the more people are going to feel safe to buy my product.'”

Ex-CIA Contractor Makes Millions Flying Immigrant Kids to Shelters

News Round-up -

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

The Trump administration has been paying an intelligence contractor millions of dollars to to fly immigrant children to shelters across the United States.

MVM, Inc has a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to provide "unaccompanied alien children (UAC) transportation services" worth $162 million, according to records reviewed by The Daily Beast. MVM’s recent job postings show it sought to hire people to escort immigrant children from the border on commercial airlines. MVM is one of a number of defense contractors cashing in on the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of locking up immigrant families.

The policy was implemented in early April and soon after MVM posted several of job advertisements looking for employees to escort immigrant children in cities like Phoenix, Arizona, San Antonio and McAllen, Texas, home of the infamous “Ursula” facility seen in photographs of separated children housed in chain-link cages. In a posting for a “Bilingual Travel Youth Care Worker,” MVM sought escorts for “unaccompanied children and teens.” The job would entail “accompanying them on domestic flights and via ground transportation to shelters all over the country.”  

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Are Engaged

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(LOS ANGELES) — It’s true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged.

The “Saturday Night Live” cast member confirmed their rumored engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn’t have to get engaged to the pop star to come on the talk show.

Replied Davidson: “But I did.”

When Fallon congratulated him and shook his hand, Davidson said he felt like he’d won a contest.

He’s getting nods of approval on the street from other men, the comedian said, with one telling him, “Whoa, man, you gave me hope.”

The couple reportedly began dating in May after Grande’s breakup with Mac Miller. Davidson and girlfriend Cazzie David also split around the same time.

NBC released a pre-air clip of the “Tonight Show” exchange between Davidson and Fallon.

Jeff Sessions Cited the Bible to Separate Families. Moderate Christian Republicans Should Condemn That Extremism.

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Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

“Dear moderate Christian Republicans, as a Muslim always asked to defend my alleged moderation for the past 16 years, here's a sincere opportunity for you to step up and reclaim the Bible, Jesus and your religion from men and women using it to separate kids from their parents.”

I tweeted this invitation and request upon hearing Attorney General Jeff Sessions cite the Bible, Romans 13, to defend the administration’s zero tolerance, deterrence policy that detains and separates undocumented minors from their parents at the U.S. border. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders supported his biblical justification by saying: “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law...It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.”

On an ordinary day in America, it would be a great scandal when the nation’s top lawyer and the president’s liaison to the press both seem to be blissfully unaware that the United States is a pluralistic democracy that advocates separation of church and state and is bound by the Constitution which features the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that prohibits the establishment of religion by the government. But in the ever decaying, deepening, moral abyss that is the Trump administration, this is just another forgettable warm up act before the new horror show of the week.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Stephen Colbert Rips Heartless Trump for Leaving Migrant Families Separated

News Round-up -

CBS

“Our long national nightmare is… different.”

That’s how Stephen Colbert opened The Late Show on Wednesday after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that supposedly ends his own policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border.

“Because after weeks of tearing families apart at the border and then falsely insisting that only Congress could solve the problem,” the host continued, “this afternoon the president looked deep into his heart and realized it was not there.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Pete Davidson Confirms Engagement to Ariana Grande: ‘I Feel Like I Won a Contest’

News Round-up -

NBC

In case there were still any doubts, Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson made his engagement to pop star Ariana Grande official on Wednesday night during a sit-down with Jimmy Fallon.

“Now you know you didn’t have to get engaged to Ariana Grande to come on our show,” Fallon told his guest, by way of breaking the ice.

“But I did though,” Davidson replied to wild cheers from The Tonight Show audience. “I feel like I won a contest. It’s so sick,” he added. Asked how he’s been handling the increased scrutiny from Grande’s army of fans, he said, “It’s fucking lit, Jimmy.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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For Trump Supporters, the End of Unlawful Immigration Justifies ‘Zero Tolerance’s’ Means

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(CINCINNATI) — Cincinnati resident Andrew Pappas supported President Trump’s decision to separate children from parents who crossed the border illegally because, he said, it got Congress talking about immigration reform.

Niurka Lopez of Michigan said Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy made sense because her family came to the U.S. legally from Cuba and everyone else should, too.

Die-hard Trump supporters remained steadfast even as heart-rending photos of children held in cages and audio of terrified children crying out for their parents stoked outrage among Democrats and Republicans alike. They said they believed Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen when they falsely claimed that they had no choice but to enforce an existing law.

When Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end forced separations on his own, they shrugged. The end, they suggested, justified the means. And it was the fault of Congress rather than Trump.

“The optics of what’s happening here directly at the border isn’t something that he wants to have on his watch, but at the end of the day, he still wants to focus the attention of Congress on the fundamental need for immigration reform in the United States and I think he’s gonna hold firm on that,” said Pappas, 53.

“His goal was not to rip families apart, I think his goal was to make Congress act on immigration reform,” Pappas added. “And now …everyone’s talking about immigration reform and I think President Trump is getting exactly what he wants.”

Sixty-five-year-old Richard Klabechek of Oak Grove, Minnesota, who attended the president’s rally Wednesday evening in Duluth, Minnesota, said he was unmoved by the audio of crying children, saying it was “the media playing the heartstrings of the public.” And he said Trump was simply being Trump.

“I think Trump takes issues on in his own direct way, but it doesn’t fit the politically correct narrative of the media or the Democrats,” said Klabecheck, who is retired.

Lopez, 54, said Trump, “really cares for the United States of America and the people of the United States of America and to protect us from people that want to hurt us.”

Others shared her assessment.

John Trandem, 42, who owns an automotive services company near Fargo, North Dakota, said he has supported all of Trump’s decisions during the border controversy.

“He’s certainly not a man without compassion. He’s not a monster as he’s being framed by the media and by the left,” said Trandem, who was the delegate at the 2016 Republican convention where Trump clinched the nomination for president.

“He recognizes that it’s a very challenging issue. … Nobody wants to see parents and children separated, but … the blame should be put squarely back on the shoulders of the people who broke the law in the first place.”

Trump voter Terry Welch of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, said he blames Congress and its GOP leadership for not reforming immigration laws, though he admits he doesn’t like Trump as a person.

“It’s a terrible situation,” Welch, 43, said of the distraught children. “I think everybody believes that.”

Still, he said the president’s dramatic reversal on separating children won’t solve anything: “I see that as placating people.”

AMC Theaters Announces Monthly Subscription Plan to Rival MoviePass. Which Plan Is Best for You?

News Round-up -


AMC Theaters has announced that it will add a subscription service to its already existing rewards program that will allow people to go to the movies up to three times a week for $19.95 per month.

The service, called AMC Stubs A-List, is an extension to AMC’s Stubs rewards program and will kick off on June 26, AMC said in a press release. AMC Stubs A-List members can get discounts on food and drinks, earn rewards points for each dollar spent.

The move by AMC Theaters draws immediate comparisons to MoviePass, the startup that lets customers watch one movie per day for $9.95 a month. AMC Theaters and MoviePass have a contentious relationship — MoviePass at one point pulled out of some AMC theaters earlier this year and AMC threatened legal action against MoviePass after the service shifted its pricing model.

Under the subscription plan AMC offers, moviegoers can watch three movies a week at an AMC theater, and even see all three in the same day, with a two-hour buffer in between each showtime, the theater chain said. The rule differs from MoviePass, which only allows customers to see one movie per day. However, MoviePass holders have no limit on how many movies they can watch in a week.

Both services also differ in how people can access the movies they want to see. MoviePass customers can only book tickets through their mobile apps at specific movie theaters and are limited to tickets available on that day. AMC’s forthcoming program allows subscribers to reserve tickets in advance and select seating.

MoviePass said its aim is to make movies more accessible while claiming AMC Theaters wants to turn a profit in tweets responding to the chain’s announcement.

Heard AMC Theaters jumped on board the movie subscription train. Twice the price for 1/4 the theater network and 60% fewer movies. Thanks for making us look good AMC!

— MoviePass (@MoviePass) June 20, 2018

AMC has repeatedly disparaged our model as a way to discourage our growth because all along they wanted to launch their own, more expensive plan. We want to make movies more accessible, they want more profit.

— MoviePass (@MoviePass) June 20, 2018

 

Twitter Suspends Reporters and Others Sharing Article With Stephen Miller’s Phone Number

News Round-up -

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Twitter locked a number of accounts for tweeting White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s phone number or even linking to a news article that contained it on Wednesday, representing the latest change in Twitter’s ever-evolving rules for what does and doesn’t merit punishment on the platform.

On Wednesday, Splinter News published Miller’s phone number in a piece with no byline suggesting readers might “like to call him about” his role in the Trump administration’s family separation policy, and noting Trump’s own penchant for publicly sharing his enemies’ private phone numbers.

Twitter responded to accounts sharing the number with temporary locks. While posting Miller’s phone number could be a violation of Twitter’s rules on posting private information, Twitter also took the surprising step of temporarily locking accounts that linked to just linked to the Splinter article — including a number of journalists and Splinter’s own Twitter account.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Kanye West Ripped Off Her Work. Then Came the ‘Hateful Messages.’

News Round-up -

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

On June 12, the always and increasingly controversial Kanye West tweeted out a series of striking images—bodies dressed in neutral colors, hoodies and bicycle shorts or nothing at all, standing in front of white walls and entangled on the smooth cement.

He then clarified to his 28.5 million followers that we were looking at a new Yeezy campaign showcasing the Supermoon Yellow Yeezy 500, shot by Eli Linnetz. But although unmistakably Yeezy, the aesthetic of the NSFW shoot also brought to mind another artist. Diet Prada, the Instagram account that calls out fashion world knockoffs, shared photos of the new campaign side-by-side with artist Rita Minissi’s work. Diet Prada captioned the post: “Another day, another Kanye rip.”

Minissi herself called out the similarities between the campaign and a 2015 photo series in an Instagram story titled “why meezy?” The story includes pictures of the original work next to pictures from the Yeezy campaign, as well as some context.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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