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Artist places Harriet Tubman on $20 bills, despite Trump's ambivalence

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CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — There’s a familiar face in town and it’s covering America’s seventh president’s face on a number of $20 bills: Harriet Tubman. New York artist Dano Wall said he has decided to take matters into his own hands with an unofficial revision of the bill since the Trump administration has indicated they are in no rush to put the noted abolitionist and Union spy onto currency. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a congressional panel this week that the administration is looking at 2028 as a possible date. “We’ll see about that,” Wall tweeted shortly after news broke of the secretary’s decision. We’ll see about that https://t.co/Scg8TZtmih — tubmanstamp (@tubmanstamp) May 22, 2019 Wall’s recrafted bills have sold out. The U.S. Department of Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing, states that “any mutilation, cuts, disfigurements or perforation is defamation of currency — a prohibition of law.” Advocates have long sought to have Tubman — a woman born into slavery on a plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland and would later escape to guide over 300 other slaves to

Hedge fund manager owes college friend of Trump Jr. millions of dollars, jury finds

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iStock/Pattanaphong Khuankaew(NEW YORK) — Hedge fund star Paul Touradji bilked a pair of employees, including a fundraiser for the Trump campaign, out of nearly $50 million, a Manhattan jury decided late Thursday. Touradji had refused to pay Robert Vollero and Gentry Beach for three years’ worth of work and the jury awarded them a combined $45.7 million following a three-week trial. Beach is a Dallas-based investor and college friend of Donald Trump Jr. who helped raise money for the Trump presidential campaign. He and Vollero were portfolio managers at Touradji Capital Management. The jury found Touradji in breach of contract for an oral compensation agreement. “This has been an 11 year battle for Vollero and Beach against what was once the largest commodities hedge fund in the world,” said Mike Stolper of Stolper Group, who represented the two men along with David Greenberger of Bailey Duquette. “The jury’s verdict is justice for our clients,” Greenberger said. “It has now been proven that Touradji Capital failed to honor its compensation agreements with Gentry and Rob, and that they engaged in no

CrossFit quits Facebook and Instagram, citing privacy concerns

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iStock/South_agency(NEW YORK) — CrossFit, the popular fitness and lifestyle program with a cult-like following, broke up with Facebook and Instagram on Friday, citing security and privacy concerns. CrossFit, Inc., which boasts 15,000 affiliates and millions of followers, said it was investigating alleged security problems and opposed what it called Facebook’s overwhelming influence on”the marketplace of public thought,” the fitness company said in a statement. “All activity on CrossFit, Inc.’s Facebook and Instagram accounts was suspended as of May 22, 2019, as CrossFit investigates the circumstances pertaining to Facebook’s deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan and other well-known public complaints about the social-media company that may adversely impact the security and privacy of our global CrossFit community,” CrossFit said in a statement. The breakup story began when Facebook, which owns Instagram, deleted “without warning or explanation” the Banting7DayMealPlan group, CrossFit claimed. The group had 1.65 million users who post testimonials and shared information supporting low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets, the fitness company said. Even though the group has since been reinstated on the platform, “Facebook’s action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially

40% of Americans don’t have $400 in the bank for emergency expenses: Federal Reserve

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iStock/Hydromet(NEW YORK) — Almost 40% of American adults wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency with cash, savings or a credit-card charge that they could quickly pay off, a Federal Reserve survey finds. About 27% of those surveyed would need to borrow the money or sell something to come up with the $400 and an additional 12% would not be able to cover it at all, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2018 report on the economic well-being of U.S. households released on Thursday. In addition, 12% of adults said they wouldn’t be able to pay their current monthly bills if faced with the unexpected $400 expense, the survey found. The 2018 results are very similar to those from the Federal Reserve’s 2017 survey. Overall, the number of people who said they are able to handle unexpected expenses is on the rise since the Federal Reserve began the survey in 2013. However, 17% of adults in the U.S. said they are not able to fully pay off all of their current month’s bills. Meanwhile, medical costs yielded other hurdles. One

Harvey Weinstein comes to tentative $44 million settlement agreement with sexual misconduct accusers

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DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Disgraced Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his former studio have come to a tentative agreement in bankruptcy court to resolve lawsuits filed by several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. The deal would be worth $44 million, sources told ABC News. “We now have an economic agreement in principle that is supported by the plaintiffs, the AG’s office, the defendants and all the insurers,” Adam Harris, an attorney for Weinstein, told a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware on Thursday. The agreement has not been finalized. The Wall Street Journal was first to report the news. The agreement, when finalized, would provide about $30 million to the plaintiffs, which includes not only those who have sued over sexual misconduct, but also former employees of the now-defunct Weinstein Company. The company filed for bankruptcy in March 2018. The company was purchased by Lantern Capital in May 2018 and renamed Lantern Entertainment. The other $14 million would be for legal fees accrued by Weinstein’s associates also named in lawsuits. The money would come from the

Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter ride to feature a free-fall vertical drop

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Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, opening at Universal Orlando on June 13. (Credit: Universal Orlando)(ORLANDO, Fla.) — The most anticipated roller coaster of the summer is being billed as a “story coaster.” Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, opening at Universal Orlando on June 13, takes guests into one of the “most mysterious places in the Wizarding World – the Forbidden Forest,” Universal Orlando said. With 7 total launches, it has the most of any roller coaster in the world. It is the first US-coaster to feature a free-fall vertical drop, which totals 17 feet. Guests will be catapulted 65 feet in the air at a more than 70 degree angle and then immediately drop backward in one movement. It will be the longest roller coaster in Florida, measuring 5,053 feet or nearly a mile in length. The park released new photos and video this week that show what the coaster will be like from the perspective of the person riding. “Aboard magical motorbikes, guests will actually feel the freedom of flight as they journey to the edge of the forest

Gas prices dropping as Americans head into Memorial Day weekend

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jaboo2foto/iStock(NEW YORK) — There’s good news for some Americans hitting the road to catch rays at the beach and fire up the grill with distant family and friends this Memorial Day weekend. Get pumped! Gas prices are dropping, according to AAA. “For the 37.6 million motorists hitting the road for Memorial Day, they can expect gas prices to be cheaper than last year with the exception of a few states in the West Coast and Rockies region,” said AAA on Thursday. The national gas average fell to $2.845 per gallon for unleaded regular gas this week. Around the same time last year leading up to Memorial Day weekend, regular gasoline in the U.S. on May 21 cost an average of 2.923 cents per gallon, compared with 2.873 cents per gallon on May 14, according to the Energy Information Administration. These are the cheapest and most expensive states to get regular unleaded gas as of Thursday, according to AAA. Cheapest1. Alabama: $2.4542. Louisiana: $2.4563. Mississippi: $2.4594. South Carolina: $2.4805. Arkansas: $2.5026. Tennessee: $2.5427. Missouri: $2.5448. Texas: $2.5629. Oklahoma: $2.57010. Virginia: $2.582

Facebook takes down more than 3 billion fake accounts in 6 months

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David Tran/iStock(NEW YORK) — Facebook took down more than three billion fake accounts between September 2018 and March 2019, the company said on Thursday. The news came as the company released its annual “Community Standards Enforcement Report” on Thursday, an accounting of its efforts to police problematic content, including violence, hate speech and child pornography. “The amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time,” Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen wrote in a blog post. “We disabled 1.2 billion accounts in Q4 2018 and 2.19 billion in Q1 2019.” “We estimated that 5% of monthly active accounts are fake,” Rosen wrote. That’s one in every 20 accounts. The report follows several recent measures to fight problems that have continued to plague the platform, including fake accounts meant to influence elections in Europe, Africa and Asia. It has also recently announced an increased effort to fight white supremacy after fielding criticism on that front, especially after the terror attack in New Zealand

2020 Democrats join McDonald's workers on strike to push for union rights, minimum wage hike

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Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Striking workers for fast food giant McDonald’s joined a handful of Democratic presidential candidates on Thursday in their push to expand union rights and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The strike coincides with McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting in Dallas, Texas. McDonald’s cooks and cashiers are striking in major cities around the country including Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Orlando, St. Louis and Tampa. Former Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Sen. Bernie Sanders are joining and hosting various events around the country to support McDonald’s employees and cast themselves as the true defender of workers’ rights amidst a crowded Democratic primary field. More broadly, 2020 Democrats are courting organized labor as the unions bide their time on endorsements – which will be crucial to clinching the Democratic nomination. Sanders, who had to remain in Washington, D.C. in order to vote for an upcoming disaster relief bill, joined striking workers via a

Trump administration announces $16 billion bailout for farmers hit by trade war with China

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Ron and Patty Thomas/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Trump administration unveiled a $16 billion aid package for farmers hurt by the ongoing trade war with China, the second such deal intended to help limit the losses from Chinese tariffs on American goods. The assistance is designed to offset the estimated impact to American farmers from Chinese tariffs on American goods levied in retaliation for tariffs against Chinese products. Similar to the aid package announced last year, farmers can apply for direct payments for crops impacted by the tariffs and USDA will buy surplus products like milk and meat to distribute to food banks around the country. USDA says it will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments calculated based on the estimated impact to each country, as well as spend $1.4 billion to purchase goods and $100 million to develop other markets for U.S. goods. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the money will come from tariffs against Chinese goods that go into the Treasury and then back into programs to distribute the money to farmers. “China is going to pay for these this

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