Walmart imposes new employee dress code, suggests where to shop for it

Effective September 29, Walmart retail workers, or sales “associates,” will have to put some of their meager hourly pay toward new clothes.
Gawker first reported that the Walton family-owned conglomerate, valued at nearly $250 billion and under increasing criticism for paying low wages and scant benefits to its employees, issued a cheery edict on its internal server requiring “associates to wear white or navy blue collared shirts with khaki or black pants, capris, or skirts and closed toe shoes in any color,” complemented by a navy blue Walmart vest provided by the company. The point, wrote human resources manager Barbara Simone, a “single mom, from a small town” who climbed the Walmart ranks, is to “help customers easily find us” and “help drive teamwork, customer service, and sales.”

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Photo: Walmart.com

Walmart imposes new employee dress code, suggests where to shop for it

Effective September 29, Walmart retail workers, or sales “associates,” will have to put some of their meager hourly pay toward new clothes.

Gawker first reported that the Walton family-owned conglomerate, valued at nearly $250 billion and under increasing criticism for paying low wages and scant benefits to its employees, issued a cheery edict on its internal server requiring “associates to wear white or navy blue collared shirts with khaki or black pants, capris, or skirts and closed toe shoes in any color,” complemented by a navy blue Walmart vest provided by the company. The point, wrote human resources manager Barbara Simone, a “single mom, from a small town” who climbed the Walmart ranks, is to “help customers easily find us” and “help drive teamwork, customer service, and sales.”

Continue reading.

Photo: Walmart.com

With US youth losing religion, evangelicals struggle to spread ‘good news’

“I have been given the task of sharing the gospel,” said Brandon McCauley, an 18-year-old who just finished his senior year at Lebanon High School in Ohio, where he ran a lunchtime Bible study program. “I am offering you the opportunity to experience Jesus Christ,” McCauley exhorted fellow students, as he debated whether to pursue the ministry instead of higher education.
“I like being different,” said McCauley, explaining his motivation to tell classmates that they will end up in hell if they aren’t saved. “If you sin, you deserve death,” McCauley yelled, before getting choked up and concluding, “I’m the reason that He had to die … I am accepting that You died on the cross for me.”

American adults under 30 increasingly identify with no religion whatsoever, but some teenagers on the edge of this demographic are enthusiastically embracing faith. As the fraction of unaffiliated, agnostic, and atheist surpasses one-third of young people, proselytizing denominations are trying to win over the so-called “nones.”

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Photo: Steven Turville for Al Jazeera America

With US youth losing religion, evangelicals struggle to spread ‘good news’

“I have been given the task of sharing the gospel,” said Brandon McCauley, an 18-year-old who just finished his senior year at Lebanon High School in Ohio, where he ran a lunchtime Bible study program. “I am offering you the opportunity to experience Jesus Christ,” McCauley exhorted fellow students, as he debated whether to pursue the ministry instead of higher education.

“I like being different,” said McCauley, explaining his motivation to tell classmates that they will end up in hell if they aren’t saved. “If you sin, you deserve death,” McCauley yelled, before getting choked up and concluding, “I’m the reason that He had to die … I am accepting that You died on the cross for me.”

American adults under 30 increasingly identify with no religion whatsoever, but some teenagers on the edge of this demographic are enthusiastically embracing faith. As the fraction of unaffiliated, agnostic, and atheist surpasses one-third of young people, proselytizing denominations are trying to win over the so-called “nones.”

Continue reading.

Photo: Steven Turville for Al Jazeera America

More than 70 percent of women around the world have reported experiencing some sort of street harassment in their lifetime, according to Hollaback, an organization dedicated to ending street harassment.

For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, that harassment is often linked to the threat of violence. A 2013 Hollaback Boston survey showed that 90 percent of LGBT people experienced some kind of street harassment. And it’s a problem that crosses borders. A May 2013 poll of 93,000 LGBT people living in the European Union revealed half of respondents avoided certain public spaces after experiencing street harassment.

Kenyan film tells stories of LGBT lives

A man arranges a sexual liaison with another man and sits in a hotel room, waiting for a knock on the door. Teenage girlfriends face an awkward reunion after being pulled apart by school officials. A woman and her female partner dream up an escape plan as angry mobs threaten to evict gays from their homes.

These and other real-life stories, drawn from a collaborative project to document the lives of members of Kenya’s LGBT community, were the inspiration for “Stories Of Our Lives,” a collection of five fictional vignettes that will have its world premiere tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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Photos: Dan Muchina / Jim Chuchu / NEST Collective

What do you think?

OPINION: Is it time to quit Facebook?

Each time we use Facebook, we perform labor, which is to say that we create value. There is no material product,but what we do produces cultural knowledge, shapes opinion and ultimately directs the flow of capital. Facebook has taken our relationships with one another and monetized it, turning our interactions into advertising opportunities. It relies on us to provide content, in the form of videos we shoot, articles we like, screeds we write, places where we check in and comments we post. Without our labor, it has no value; nor would it make any money (hence why Facebook includes the number of new and active users in each quarterly report). Which leads to the great deception of Web 2.0: We aren’t Facebook’s clients; corporations are. 

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Is it time to quit Facebook? Leave your comments below.

China aims to win Uighur ‘hearts and minds’ with concubine cartoon

China’s efforts to quell unrest among its predominantly Muslim ethnic Uighurs have included cracking down on both beards and traditional snacks, forcing mosques to display flags and charging a prominent economics professor with separatism— a crime punishable by death. Now Beijing is trying something more whimsical — a TV cartoonabout a disputed historical figure called the “Fragrant Concubine” in Chinese, or “Iparhan” in the Uighur language.
The quasi-historical figure of Iparhan was a Uighur noble who became a consort of an emperor during the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty in the late 1700s. The point of the animated program, according to Chinese media, is to celebrate a marriage of cultures.
But rights activists say the soon-to-be-released “Princess Fragrant”cartoon series — a joint venture between local authorities in the Uighurs’ native region of Xinjiang in western China and a production company based in the faraway southeastern metropolis of Shenzhen — will only further anger the embattled Uighurs, many of who say Beijing’s policies and a growing influx of China’s majority ethnic Han people into the region threaten their livelihood and culture.

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Photo: 天香公主 / Youku

China aims to win Uighur ‘hearts and minds’ with concubine cartoon

China’s efforts to quell unrest among its predominantly Muslim ethnic Uighurs have included cracking down on both beards and traditional snacksforcing mosques to display flags and charging a prominent economics professor with separatism— a crime punishable by death. Now Beijing is trying something more whimsical — a TV cartoonabout a disputed historical figure called the “Fragrant Concubine” in Chinese, or “Iparhan” in the Uighur language.

The quasi-historical figure of Iparhan was a Uighur noble who became a consort of an emperor during the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty in the late 1700s. The point of the animated program, according to Chinese media, is to celebrate a marriage of cultures.

But rights activists say the soon-to-be-released “Princess Fragrant”cartoon series — a joint venture between local authorities in the Uighurs’ native region of Xinjiang in western China and a production company based in the faraway southeastern metropolis of Shenzhen — will only further anger the embattled Uighurs, many of who say Beijing’s policies and a growing influx of China’s majority ethnic Han people into the region threaten their livelihood and culture.

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Photo: 天香公主 / Youku

New-school riders follow in tracks of the American hobo

BRITT, Iowa — Veteran hobo Gerard “Frog” Fortin hopped his first freight train in 1970 in Florida, riding an open-topped gondola car through the night to New Orleans. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair.
“I remember that entire night. I didn’t fall asleep because I was just so mesmerized by the wide-open skies and the stars shining in on me. I was just so thrilled. I just felt that exhilarated. That wanderlust in me was finally filled,” he recalled, beaming at the memory. “It was total and absolute freedom.”
After 31 years traveling the United States and working as an itinerant laborer, cook and sometime oil rig worker in the Gulf of Mexico, Fortin, 64, joined a growing number of aging hobos who have retired and settled down.

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Photo: Eli Hiller

New-school riders follow in tracks of the American hobo

BRITT, Iowa — Veteran hobo Gerard “Frog” Fortin hopped his first freight train in 1970 in Florida, riding an open-topped gondola car through the night to New Orleans. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair.

“I remember that entire night. I didn’t fall asleep because I was just so mesmerized by the wide-open skies and the stars shining in on me. I was just so thrilled. I just felt that exhilarated. That wanderlust in me was finally filled,” he recalled, beaming at the memory. “It was total and absolute freedom.”

After 31 years traveling the United States and working as an itinerant laborer, cook and sometime oil rig worker in the Gulf of Mexico, Fortin, 64, joined a growing number of aging hobos who have retired and settled down.

Continue reading.

Photo: Eli Hiller

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