Fast-food workers and labor organizers are marching, waving signs and chanting in cities across the country Thursday amid a push for higher wages.
The industry competes aggressively on value offerings and companies have warned that they would need to raise prices if wages were hiked. Most fast-food locations are also owned and operated by franchisees, which lets companies such as McDonald’s Corp., Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Yum Brands Inc. say that they don’t control worker pay.
Fast-food workers have historically been seen as difficult to unionize, given the industry’s high turnover rates. But the Service Employees International Union, which represents more than 2 million workers in health care, janitorial and other industries, has been providing considerable organizational and financial support to the push for higher pay over the past year.
In a statement, McDonald’s said it respects the right to voice an opinion. But it also said that “outside groups are traveling to McDonald’s and other outlets to stage rallies.”
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of the nation, died on December 5 2013 at the age of 95.
President Jacob Zuma made the announcement from the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday night. He said Mandela passed away at 20:50 in his Houghton home surrounded by his wife, Graça Machel and members of his family.
Mandela became the symbol of the struggle against apartheid after he was convicted in the Rivonia Trial of charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island.
At the end of his trial, Mandela gave a now iconic speech in which he said: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Mandela, a key figure in the African National Congress, who helped found the party’s youth league and armed wing,Umkhonto We Sizwe, was imprisoned for 27 years before he was finally released in 1990 at the age of 71.
Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, together with former president FW De Klerk, for the ‘peaceful termination of the apartheid regime and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”. A year later, he was elected president in the country’s first democratic election.
He stepped down from the presidency in 1999 after one term in office but continued with a busy public schedule. He brokered negotiations for peace in Rwanda, established the Mandela-Rhodes Foundation for educational scholarship, and launched the 46664 Aids fundraising foundation.
Unresolved technical problems on HealthCare.gov could lead to a rude surprise at the doctor’s office next month for patients who think they successfully used the website to sign up for health insurance. They may find they’re not insured after all.
…insurance companies are still getting information on their would-be customers that is garbled and incomplete, and in some cases they are getting no information at all. President Barack Obama’s administration is scrambling to repair the faulty system, but scant time remains until the Dec. 23 deadline for consumers to choose a health plan that will be in place Jan. 1.
The result could be an untold number of consumers remaining uninsured despite completing the enrollment process — another embarrassing chapter in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature health care reform law.
“If consumers are not sure if they are enrolled, they should call our customer call center or the insurer of their choice so that they can be sure they’re covered by Jan. 1,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
This is crazy.
In September, the final month of the fiscal year, the State Department spent about $180,000 — and racked up a total of more than $400,000 for the whole year, three times the entire liquor tab for all of 2008.
U.S. embassies have long served alcohol at diplomatic events under Democratic and Republican administrations alike — and in good economic times as well as bad.
But the booze bill has risen sharply each year since 2008,…
The department went on a buying binge just before the partial federal government shutdown and in the final days of the fiscal year, when many federal agencies try to spend all of the money in their budgets or risk exposing areas for congressional cuts.
“This is what taxpayers don’t understand,” Mr. Williams said. “You have a looming government shutdown but then you have a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ mentality where someone is spending tens of thousands of dollars because they have to.
Not all embassies opted for booze as a diplomatic gesture. The embassy in Athens spent $7,300 on books by photographer Ansel Adams for Christmas gratuities, while the Tokyo embassy spent more than $50,000 on boxes of chocolates for holiday gratuities, records show. Then again, the Tokyo embassy also spent more than $22,000 on wine about a week before the shutdown began.
I underlined a section of text above. Taxpayers understand it – and it doesn’t make sense to continually spend money you don’t have – simply because you won’t get more. It’s government that doesn’t get it.
At the end of September, the federal government’s fiscal year was drawing to a close, the threat of a shut down was increasing, and the State Department was shopping for art. Four contracts were awarded in the last two weeks of September, including $1,000,000 for a granite sculpture by Irish-born artist Sean Scully to be installed at the new U.S. Embassy in London.
The State Department’s 2013 budget request included $2.5M for the Art in Embassies program.
This is what the government does despite being $17 trillion + in debt.
Investigators believe the motorman at the controls in the deadly Metro-North Railroad derailment in the Bronx Sunday dozed off for a few fateful moments and woke up too late to stop the speeding train from hurtling off the tracks, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Veteran engineer William Rockefeller all but admitted he was falling asleep as the train came roaring to a curved section of track north of Spuyten Duyvil in statements made shortly after four people were killed and dozens were injured in the wreck, sources said.
He apparently woke up just as the train, traveling at 82 mph, was heading into a precarious curve that called for the train’s speed to be reduced to just 30 mph.
As the train entered the curve, sources said, Rockefeller was jolted from his sleep and hit the brake, but not in time.
Original story here…