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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:35 am 
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New York Times’s Global Edition Is Ending Daily Political Cartoons

The offending Antonio Antunes cartoon that lost a job for Patrick Chappatte, crushed a syndicate, and lost a top venue for all editorial cartooning.
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their story here :arrow: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/business/international-new-york-times-political-cartoons.html

Joep Bertrams
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Kevin Siers
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Nikola Listes
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Last edited by Mr. Nice Guy on Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:52 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:14 am 
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There was a time, not too long ago, when we could say "Je suis Charlie".
There ain't such a time right now when we could say "I am NYT".

:P

Yeah, blame the Press, Mr. Stupid President ! Day after day.
There will always be someone who will shit in their pants.

:P :P :P

There goes Democracy in the Land of the Free. . .

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:56 am 
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^^^^^ A sad day..... ^^^^^

give them an inch and they'll take your freedom.....


Young Hong Kong protesters hide their identities, fear Chinese retaliation
CHRISTOPHER BODEEN·15:04, June 14th 2019

Young Hong Kong residents protesting a proposed extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to China for trial are seeking to safeguard their identities from potential retaliation by authorities employing mass data collection and sophisticated facial recognition technology.

Agnes, a second-year college student who declined to give her surname, said she donned a face mask as soon as she left a subway train in the downtown Admiralty district to join an overnight protest by pro-democracy demonstrators.

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Kin Cheung/AP
A protester reacts as she tackled by riot police during a massive demonstration outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

"Everybody coming out is wearing masks because you don't know what people will do with the information," Agnes said as friends nodded in agreement.

None of them would give their names, saying they worried about how school authorities would react if Hong Kong or China's central government asked for information about them.

To further protect their privacy, the group was buying single-trip train tickets with cash rather than using their stored-value electronic cash cards that forward information on travel and locations to a central repository.

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Vincent Yu/AP
Thousands of protesters gather outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

The semi-autonomous Chinese territory has installed thousands of security cameras but the data is mostly kept private.

In mainland China, the government openly uses the technology to track down people considered politically unreliable, particularly among Muslim Uighurs, Tibetans and other minority groups.

In addition to closed-circuit television cameras spaced throughout the city, dozens of television stations and other news outlets have been broadcasting and publishing images of protesters.

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Vincent Yu/Ap
A protester moves a barricade to build a makeshift blockade near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

Attitudes among younger Hong Kong residents such as Agnes reflect a growing sophistication among government critics since massive 2014 protests that shut down much of the downtown area in a demand for universal suffrage but ultimately fizzled without achieving their goals.

Since then, the government has sentenced many of the leaders of what has become known as "Occupy Central" or the "Umbrella Movement" to prison on vague charges of causing public disturbances or inciting other people to do so.

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Vincent Yu/AP
Riot police try to disperse protesters with fire tear gas outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong. Hong Kong police have resorted to harsher-than-usual tactics to suppress protesters this week in the city's most violent turmoil in decades. Police fired rubber bullets and beanbag rounds at the crowds, weapons that have not been widely used in recent history.

Hong Kong police officials said they made 11 arrests among Thursday's protesters and defended their right to track down those who had been sent to hospitals for treatment of injuries.

Chinese authorities were recently discovered to be maintaining real-time data on more than 2.5 million people in western China, updated constantly with GPS coordinates of their precise whereabouts.

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Andy Wong/AP
The website of the Telegram messaging app is seen on a computer's screen in Beijing. Encrypted messaging app Telegram has said that it was hit by a powerful cyberattack from China while massive protests were unfolding in Hong Kong.

Alongside their names, birthdates and places of employment, there were notes on the places that they had most recently visited, including mosques, hotels and restaurants.

The database appeared to have been recording people's movements tracked by facial recognition technology, logging more than 6.7 million coordinates in a span of 24 hours.

It illustrated how far China has taken facial recognition and served as a reminder of how easily technology companies can leave supposedly private records exposed to global snoopers.

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Kin Cheung/AP
Protesters gather near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

Chinese authorities have also begun deploying a new surveillance tool that uses people's body shapes and how they walk to identify them, even when their faces are hidden from cameras.

Already used by police on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, "gait recognition" is part of a push across China to develop artificial intelligence and data-driven surveillance that is raising concern about how far the technology will go.

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Kin Cheung/Ap
Thousands of protesters gather near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

Older protesters professed less concern about being caught on video at Thursday's demonstration, saying they were already secure in their lives and careers.

"I don't give it too much thought," said Andy Lau, an engineering professor at a Hong Kong polytechnic who was passing out leaflets calling for an end to police attacks and the resignation of the current Hong Kong government amid a crowd of protesters on a pedestrian bridge opposite the Legislative Council.

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Kin Cheung/AP
Protesters react to a cloud of tear gas near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.

However, Lau said younger protesters were well advised to guard their identities and personal data if they want to join the demonstrations.

"It's not just a problem after you cross the border into China. Even here in Hong Kong the police or school leaders can come tracking you down and knocking on your door at night," Lau said.

AAP

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/1134 ... etaliation

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:40 am 
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^^^^^^^^^^^
Thanks Gray Ghost.

And,
Before it starts, I want to be clear.
I'm against war with Iran.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:54 pm 
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^^^^^ I hear you ^^^^^


Tsunami warning for NZ after magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Kermadecs
11:46, June 16th, 2019

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magnitude 7.4 earthquake has struck the Kermadec Islands, northeast of New Zealand.

A tsunami warning has been issued for New Zealand after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck in the Kermadec Islands region in the Pacific Ocean.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management issued the warning just after 11.35am Sunday.

"Unusually strong and hazardous currents and unpredictable surges" were expected near the shore, Civil Defence said.


"This means a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities."


Flooding of land areas, near the shore, was not expected, but that could change, Civil Defence said.

"The first tsunami activity may not be the most significant. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is cancelled."

People in coastal areas should stay out of the water, including the sea, rivers and estuaries, and off the beaches and shore areas.

People were advised not to go sightseeing and to listen to the radio for updates from Civil Defence.

The quake struck just after 11am Sunday, NZ time.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Hawaii, said a tsunami threat also existed for parts of the Pacific located closer to the earthquake.

The Kermadec Islands are about 800-1000km northeast of the North Island.

They are uninhabited apart from Raoul Island Station, where there is a meteorological station and a hostel for Department of Conservation workers and volunteers.

MORE TO COME.


Stuff

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-pac ... ami-threat

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:17 pm 
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You'd better fill up the Chilli Bin


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:30 pm 
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Mr. Nice Guy wrote:
New York Times’s Global Edition Is Ending Daily Political Cartoons

The offending Antonio Antunes cartoon that lost a job for Patrick Chappatte, crushed a syndicate, and lost a top venue for all editorial cartooning.
Image

their story here :arrow: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/business/international-new-york-times-political-cartoons.html

Rick McKee
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:57 pm 
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Tsunami warning lifted for NZ after magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Kermadecs

She'll be right mateeeee.....

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:26 am 
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Good one Cobber


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:19 pm 
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Argentina and Uruguay reel after massive power outage

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Power has been restored to much of Argentina and Uruguay after a massive electrical failure left tens of millions of people in the dark.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri has promised a full investigation.

Rachel Gold

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:37 pm 
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FILE UNDER: HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Feds seize more than 16 tons of cocaine at Philadelphia terminal

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(CNN) Federal authorities seized about 16½ tons of cocaine Tuesday from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, prosecutors said.

Members of the ship's crew were arrested and federally charged. The investigation is ongoing, said a tweet form US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

It's the largest seizure in the district's history, the office said.

The drugs were found inside eight containers on a cargo ship, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.

A kilogram of cocaine sells for about $28,000, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime's 2016 estimate. At that price, sold by the kilo, the drugs would be worth more than $419 million.

The US Attorney's Office estimates the street value at more than $1 billion.

The seizure comes on the heels of several major busts at the Port of Philadelphia, located about 8 miles up the Delaware River from the Packer Marine Terminal.

Among them were seizures of 450 kilograms of cocaine in May, 538 kilos of cocaine in March and 50 kilos of the powerful opioid, fentanyl, in July, WPVI reported.

The Port of Philadelphia said the situation was still developing and that it had no comment.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:05 pm 
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^^^
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:46 am 
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David Gilmour’s Guitars Sell for Millions at Charity Auction
Former Pink Floyd frontman to donate earnings to charity that combats climate change
By Kory Grow

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David Gilmour's guitars, including the iconic Black Strat, sold for millions at a charity auction in New York.
Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

If you’re one of the well-heeled bidders who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at a guitar auction today, it’s time to have a cigar.

David Gilmour’s guitar collection set several auction records when nearly 130 instruments went up for bid at Christie’s in New York today. The former Pink Floyd frontman’s most iconic instrument, the so-called Black Strat, fetched $3,975,000, well above the estimated range of $100,000 to $150,000. Other big-ticket items included a 1954 Fender Stratocaster with the serial number 0001, which was used on the recording of “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” went for over $1.8 million, a 1958 Gretsch White Penguin went for $447,000, and a 1955 Gibson Goldtop Les Paul, also used on “Another Brick” sold for $447,000. Christie’s declared all to be “world auction records.”

An acoustic 1969 Martin D-35, which Gilmour has used as his main acoustic in the studio since 1971, went for a little over $1 million, surpassing a record set by a Martin owned by Eric Clapton. A 1974 Electric Console stele guitar that Gilmour used on live performances of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” went for $300,000 (it was estimated at $2,000). The 1976 Ovation Custom Legend he used to demo “Comfortably Numb” on went for $399,000. The guitar Gilmour played at Live Aid, a 1983 Fender Strat, went for $187,500. A 1984 Fender Stratocaster that George Harrison once played went for $212,500, while a 1986 Strat that Ringo Starr played went for $100,000. And Gilmour’s primary guitar for recording and performing between 1988 and 2005, the “Red Strat,” went for $615,000.

The auction’s final total was $21,490,750. It lasted eight hours, and bidders from 66 countries around the world participated.

“I’m both sad with losing some of the instruments and relieved to get this thing dealt with and that it will be doing some good,” Gilmour told Rolling Stone in January. “If I need a particular guitar, I’ll go out and buy another one. They are the tools of my trade. They have given me music, but in the end, they are the tools that I use.”

Interest in the auction was so high that online viewing maxed out early. The instruments had been shown at the auction house’s showrooms in London and Los Angeles earlier in the year before heading to New York. Before the auction was half over, Christie’s had logged over $10 million in total sales.

The auction’s centerpiece, the Black Strat, has a unique history, which is why it was so desirable. Gilmour purchased it at the instrument shop Manny’s in New York in May 1970 to replace another Strat that was stolen. Over the years, he made many modifications to it, changing its pickups, switches, inputs, tuners, and neck in the quest for the perfect sound. He played the instrument on nearly all of Pink Floyd’s iconic recordings from 1970 to 1983, including Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. In the mid Eighties, Fender introduced a new line of Stratocasters and Gilmour picked up the Red Strat, retiring the Black Strat and loaning it to the Hard Rock Cafe. It was displayed in the restaurant chain’s Dallas location until 1997. Gilmour started using it again live for Pink Floyd’s reunion with Roger Waters in 2005 at Live 8. He continued to record with it on his solo albums, but Fender wound up making a replica of it in 2006 that he liked.

“You know something? For me, I can let go of it,” Gilmour told Rolling Stone. “It’s going to bring a lot of people to have a look at this sale, and it’s going to do that job. It’s a lovely guitar. … I did my ‘Comfortably Numb’ solo on it. The notes for the beginning of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ fell out of it one day. It’s on so much stuff, but Fender have made replica ones that they sell, and I have two or three of those that are absolutely perfect. One of those might be my future guitar of choice or even, horror of horror, maybe I’ll even change the color.”

A day before the auction, Gilmour revealed that the money from the auction would benefit ClientEarth, which funds environmental lawyers and experts in the fight against climate change. “The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible,” he said in a statement. “We need a civilized world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone at the time the auction was announced, Gilmour underscored that the sale should not be interpreted as a step toward retirement. Instead, he said, he was merely cleaning house. “Retiring is not a hard and fast thing for me in my life,” he said. “I don’t really have to retire. I don’t have to say those words. I don’t have to state that have retired or anything like that. If I retire, it will be a quiet, unnoticeable process at some point. But I’m not at that moment.”

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... on-850597/

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:15 am 
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Doubts From Both Parties on Trump’s Authority to Attack Iran

FULL STORY HERE ON ANTIWAR.COM

My comment is, What the hell, Obama up and started illegally and immorally bombing and killing and maiming and destroying in Libya without any authorization...President after President after President OF BOTH ELITE PARTIES have attacked multiple nations and we keep voting for them, (or failing to vote, which is a vote of "I'm good with what everybody else decides")...

...why bitch all of a sudden now, about something one was fine with before?

Yes it's wrong, and so have the other dickhead rulers we elected before been wrong...

But if one votes for bombing cuz they (erroneously) think they're gonna get health insurance out of it...why bitch when they get the bombing they voted for?

Don't want bombing and permanent war? Refuse to vote for it and see how long the oligarchy lasts :)
(Hint: 1 election...once the D's and R's realize the billions they spend on advertising dickheads failed, they'll stop spending it...hit 'em in the pocketbook).

IMO, that is.

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Last edited by baddy on Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:45 am 
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Mr. Nice Guy wrote:
FILE UNDER: HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Feds seize more than 16 tons of cocaine at Philadelphia terminal

Image

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Quote:
You move 16 tons and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt.
:mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:55 am 
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A war against Iran ?
Makes me think of Bush in 2003 and his "weapons of mass destruction"...

What a coincidence !!!
Like Trump , just a bit more than a year before re-election.
Don't you feel a pattern here ? Or are tou too dumb to see it ?
Curious, dumb rhymes with Trump. Coincidence ? :roll:

Baddy is right.
Let's face it. USA is the nation of perpetual wars.
What's saving Americans is that USA is isolated from other countries.
Pray that Mexico never become too dangerous

And since Americans don't change president when in war, I fear Trump will be re-elected easily.
There is more stupidity than hydrogen . . .
:P

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:09 am 
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Maarten van der Weijden, Olympic champion in marathon swimming in Beijing 2008, has just successfully completed his Elfstedentocht swim marathon. Over 200km, 4 days in the water, all to collect money for cancer research. Respect.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:40 am 
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^^^That's a feel good story... :!:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:44 am 
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He kept cheery, and he kept up the good fight to the very end.

One of the key leaders for justice in the war of the rich on the rest of us...

Justin Raimondo, RIP (1951-2019)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:37 am 
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Only in America!
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... shae-jones

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:51 am 
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BBP wrote:

There's is some fucked off folks in USA.
Common sense has gone.
I blame Trump mostly.
This is the kind of "greatness" he loves.

USA will be laughed at worldwide...again.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:13 am 
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Tonight in the all important Pizza News

Scorned Hell Pizza customers bitter over fake burger meat
Maddison Northcott·20:53, Jun 28 2019



Hell Pizza recently added a burger pizza, but the catch is they didn't tell anyone it was actually fake meat.

The people have spoken and they are not happy.

Duped Hell Pizza customers say they feel deceived and betrayed after being sold plant-based patties under the ruse of beef burgers.

The New Zealand-owned chain jumped on the meat-free trend last week, launching a pizza with ingredients including "medium-rare burger patty".

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CAMERON BURNELL/STUFF
Hell Pizza General Manager Ben Cumming stirred controversy when the fast food chain brought out a rabbit pizza to coincide with Easter.

On Friday, they revealed the patties crumbled on top of their pizzas, served with honey mustard, onion rings and gherkins, were in fact a plant-based creation from US company Beyond Meat.

Christchurch woman Benna Jackson said failing to disclose what the burger was made from was "so wrong".

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HELL PIZZA
In 2017, the company posted pictures on social media of crunchy, edible insects sitting perkily on top of the popular snack to test customer reaction.

She was pleased she decided to stick with her usual order instead of branching out to try the novelty flavour but said because of the stunt, she would never order from Hell Pizza again.

"I would like to know what I am eating. I personally choose to eat real meat ... if I wanted vegan options I would order it."

Hundreds of others agreed with her, with reactions ranging from mild irritation to full outrage.

Commenters on the announcement in the Hell Pizza Facebook page said the meat alternative was "terrible", and they picked it off and fed it to their dog. Others said tricking people into trying vegan food was "unethical and potentially dangerous".

The stunt was "dishonest" and "didn't allow customers to make an informed choice", Trinity Jackson said.

Jackson said the reason for their choice was not relevant, just that all the information was available to make an informed one.

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Hell Pizza names include Mischief, Mayhem, and Wrath.

However, she said the meat-free burger was a great idea for a pizza topping and was pleased vegans would have more choice.

"[I have] no problem with them making a meat free pizza, but I have a big problem with the deception and non disclosure."

Hell said it had sold 3000 of the pizzas since last Friday and only one customer had guessed that the patties were plant-based.

According to a survey done by Hell, 80 percent of eaters said they were pleasantly surprised or unfazed to find out it was plant-based, and more than 70 percent would buy it again.

Concerns were raised that the meat-free alternative would include unexpended ingredients and put those with allergies at risk, but Beyond Meat products are soy, dairy and gluten-free. An information tab on the website included a full ingredient list.

Sarah Schaap said the advertising "didn't bother" her and she would usually check what a patty contained before ordering.

"Given that my son has coeliac disease I'm very wary of ingredients," she said.

Others came to Hell's defence, calling the pizza "progressive".

"You don't really miss not having meat in the pizza. I mean, I can eat this and not complain," one woman said after tasting the pizza for the first time.

Another said they "don't really mind whether it's meat or not to be honest. I mean, food is food".

Becca Herman said plant-blased products had the potential to significantly reduce the damage caused to the environment by animal agriculture.

Using meat-like substitutes seemed like a "great alternative" for those seeking to reduce the harm, she said.

"I so far haven't had a chance to try them, but I love the idea of them."


Stuff

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113867 ... -meat?rm=m

Ghost Note:
I've been a Hell Pizza customer for well over a decade, I don't know what happens in Christchurch but locally they we're advertising the "burger" topping with "meat as fake as the Donald's wall". Most of their advertising is humorous hell/devil related and topical, and can be a little close to the bone for some, particularly the god botherers that infest our little slice of paradise. They appear to be totally transparent about the source and contents of the ingredients in their food as far as the ge free gm free glutin free free range and of course, like the world, may contain nuts.....

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:55 am 
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Followed by the all important geotherma wonderland News



Geothermal mudpool that burst into Rotorua woman's backyard could become permanent garden feature

Benn Bathgate·15:38, Jun 26th, 2019

Susan Gedye might have to get used to having a steaming hole to a sulphurous underworld in her backyard.

The Rotorua woman awoke on Tuesday morning to what she thought was an earthquake but later discovered a mudpool had opened behind her house.

"There was mud flying everywhere, it was shaking everything."

Image
BENN BATHGATE/STUFF
Susan Gedye said she was alerted to the new mudpool outside her home when everything started shaking on Tuesday morning.

Gedye's garden, on Rotorua's Meade St close to the Whakarewarewa Living Māori Village, was welcoming the region's latest mudpool.

GNS volcanologist Brad Scott, who visited the site on Tuesday morning, said it had been the location of geothermal activity before, but "this time round it's a little bit different".

Image
Supplied
GNS staff have been in site investigating and monitoring the new mud pool.

He said there were three scenarios for the site.

"The normal behaviour is for it to cool down and go away," he said.

The other two options were for it to remain active, or the least likely option was for the site to expand.

Image
SUPPLIED
GNS Science volcanologist Brad Scott said the eruption was 'part and parcel of living in Rotorua.'

He said given the amount of heat being given off, "it looks like it wants to stay there".

He said GNS would continue to monitor the site, but said Meade St residents had little to fear.

"I don't think there's an issue. It's part and parcel of living in Rotorua."

Image
BENN BATHGATE/STUFF
Rotorua Lakes Council said the region is no stranger to geothermal activity.

On Tuesday, when her house started rattling at 2am, Susan Gedye thought it was an earthquake, a big one too.

"After about two minutes I went to the kitchen and thought shoot, something's not right here."

Then she had a look outside to see hot mud flying from the ground.


She said she alerted Rotorua Lakes Council to the eruption of mud and steam billowing out of the bank in her garden, and they initially told her she would be safe to stay the night.

It wasn't a good night's sleep.

"It was shaking the bed all night so it was hard to sleep. It was a long night."

She said that by morning the advice had changed.

"There was mud flying everywhere and they said it might be time to go."

Gedye spoke to Stuff outside her property as steam poured into the sky and the odd spurt of mud was flung upwards, with a loud bubbling noise.

She was relaxed about her situation however, at one point joking she should start charging the curious sightseers.

She also said she was able to move her and her two children in with her father, so she's "houseless but not homeless".

'I'm just thankful no one was hurt."

She said the area had seen geothermal activity before, with steam bursting from the bank in 2017.

"It just came out of the bank and stopped, but it's worse this time."

A council spokesperson said their geothermal inspector had checked the sight and observed venting under pressure from a hole in the lip of the bank with wet mud also being thrown out of the hole.

"There was some ground collapse later in the morning and later in the day the occupant of the property where the activity was occurring was advised to move out as a safety precaution."


Stuff

https://www.stuff.co.nz/bay-of-plenty/1 ... s-backyard

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:41 pm 
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This just in from the tourism awards


Springfield Store and Cafe: Come for the award-winning pies, stay for the abuse
Blair Ensor·08:17, June 30th, 2019

A rural Canterbury cafe has attracted dozens of terrible reviews and a visit from police offering customer service advice. Its owner has been described as the rudest woman in New Zealand. BLAIR ENSOR reports.

Springfield, about 65 kilometres west of Christchurch, is the last petrol stop on State Highway 73 before the road snakes through the Southern Alps via Arthur's Pass to the West Coast.

The rural town, which has about 500 residents, is best known for its large pink doughnut sculpture, a nod to cartoon character Homer Simpson who lives in a town of the same name and loves doughnuts.

In more recent times, conversations about the town have turned to the Springfield Store and Cafe – dubbed the "F… Off Shop" - which has attracted some of the worst feedback of any cafe in New Zealand.

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STUFF
Karyn Cullingford and her husband Donald own the Springfield Cafe and Store. She's been called the "Wicked Witch of Springfield" by a reviewer.

Since February 2014, the cafe has been the subject of 101 reviews on TripAdvisor, including 71 "terrible" ratings, the most recent of which was posted in the past fortnight.

Customers have likened it to Fawlty Towers, a British sitcom about a badly run hotel, and say the owners are grumpy, rude, abusive and a disgrace to hospitality.

There are mixed reviews about the cafe's food and coffee. It's twice won national awards for its pies. A flat white will cost you $5.30.

"The best part of this place was the salt on the average chips. Worst service I've ever experienced and the … rudest," a February review says.

"Horrible customer service. I don't like saying anything bad about a place, but I couldn't help myself here. Rude. Unfriendly. The food isn't even good. Do yourself a favour and keep driving," another review posted a fortnight later says.

Among the three five star reviews the cafe has received is one from a customer last August who says the food is good but "we generally stop purely for the entertainment". "The lady is so grumpy . . . but she can cook. We recommend stopping by. If you're feeling brave, make a complaint."

Police say they have received complaints from people who've visited the cafe. They've spoken to the owners and provided "customer service advice".

Stuff has been told of people being chased from the cafe by the owners. Others have left in tears.

Some Springfield locals boycott the cafe, which they believe has tarnished the town's reputation.

"It's an embarrassment to our community," resident Graeme Dawson told Stuff. "I want them gone – the whole town wants them gone."

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STUFF
Springfield, about 65km west of Christchurch, is known for its pink doughnut, a nod to cartoon character Homer Simpson who loves doughnuts and lives in a town of the same name.

'AN UTTER DISGRACE'

Chloe Tipple and several friends visited the Springfield Store and Cafe in early January and watched as a woman was abused by a staff member and left in tears.

The woman, an Australian tourist, was with her partner eating lunch at the cafe and politely asked the barista when their coffees would be ready.

After some confusion about the sort of coffee the woman had ordered, the man "proceeded to humiliate her", Tipple says. He yelled that he'd give her money back, then got inches from her face and insulted her, telling her she was rude.

The woman "burst into tears" and left with her partner without finishing their food.

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STUFF
The Springfield Store and Cafe has been a mainstay of the Springfield community for more than 50 years.

Tipple, from Christchurch, had never visited the cafe and was unaware of its reputation.

"It was like he [the staff member] flicked a switch. I think he was probably under pressure but even if you're busy you don't snap at a customer like that."

Appalled at what she'd seen, Tipple felt compelled to write a review on TripAdvisor. She was amazed to find dozens of posts from people who'd also had terrible experiences.

"How embarrassing for us as a nation to have a cafe renowned for bad customer service. What an utter disgrace."

Locals in the town are reluctant to talk publicly about the cafe, but say there have been several incidents where customers have left in tears. The busier the cafe is, the angrier the couple who own it seems to get.

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STUFF
Springfield, population about 500, is a tight knit community, home to three cafes and service station.

Dawson, who's chairman of the Springfield township committee, says the cafe is run by a "bunch of lunatics who hate serving people".

"You don't have to talk to too many people before you come across somebody who's had a bad experience there."

Springfield is a "natural stopping place" for people heading east or west on State Highway 73 and the cafe "does nothing for this township's reputation", he says.

"It's become known for the F… Off Shop because that's what you get told [when you go there]. If you stop there you won't be treated like a human - you're more than likely to get abused."

Dawson, who's lived in the town since 1997, says many in the "tight knit" community want the cafe shut down, but they're powerless to do anything other than pull their support.

The Springfield Store and Cafe has been a mainstay of the Springfield community for more than 50 years. It's one of three cafes in the town. The next place you can get coffee en route to the West Coast is Arthur's Pass, an hour's drive away.

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STUFF
Springfield farmer Graeme Dawson believes the cafe has tarnished the town's reputation and he wants the owners gone.

Former Selwyn mayor Bill Woods bought the business and the building that houses it in 1983.

He and his wife ran the store and cafe for several years before selling up and leasing the building to the new owner.

The business has passed through several hands since then. Karyn and Donald Cullingford, the current owners, took on the lease nearly a decade ago several years after they moved south from Auckland.

Woods says he and his wife find it "a little disturbing that they [the Cullingfords] are not treating their customers the way we did".

"There's nothing I can do because they comply with the lease. Of course we don't have it in the lease that they have to be nice to their customers because that's a given. People won't come back if you're not nice to them."

He acknowledges that he could choose not to renew their lease, but says that's not an option.

"The present lessees invested a lot of money in buying the business off the previous owner. If I was not to renew the lease that would mean that I would ruin their investment. Bill Woods doesn't do that sort of thing, he wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

"The best way to help the community if they don't like the business and the people themselves is to give [the Cullingfords] a lease with a reasonable period so they can sell the business and recoup their investment, and that's what I've done."

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STUFF
Former Selwyn mayor Bill Woods owns the building that houses the Springfield Store and Cafe. He says he wouldn't be able to sleep at night if he didn't renew the lease.

NEW ZEALAND'S NASTIEST WOMAN?

Karyn Cullingford was the only person working at the Springfield Store and Cafe when Stuff visited earlier this month. Her husband was at home.

If you read the reviews, Cullingford is apparently the "rudest woman in New Zealand", known for being blunt, unfriendly, and seemingly disinterested in her job.

"Avoid this place," a post on TripAdvisor in September last year says. "The lady behind the counter had zero manners and zero respect for her paying customers."

Stuff sat and ate lunch at the cafe - an overcooked steak pie and a lacklustre flat white – before approaching Cullingford for comment.

During that time, there was nothing about the way she acted to suggest she was the "Wicked Witch of Springfield", as one reviewer wrote in 2017. She was pleasant to the handful of customers who came into the store, and even managed a couple of jokes.

In between serving people and making coffees, Cullingford tells Stuff that she refuses to read the online reviews about the cafe, most of which are written by "keyboard warriors". The 60-year-old laughs when she's told some of the words used to describe her.

"A lot of people that read [the reviews] come in here to get bitten. Do I seem like New Zealand's nastiest woman?"

Cullingford, who placed fifth and second respectively in the cafe boutique section of the 2012 and 2013 Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards, acknowledges that on occasion, particularly when she's worked a lengthy stretch without a day off, she can be "a tad grumpy".

"I know I make damn good food and ... when people diss my food I do get a bit upset."

She doesn't buy into the idea that the customer is always right. In short, they're not, and people's expectations when it comes to the service they receive from cafe staff are too high.

"People should come for the food, not my wonderful personality," Cullingford says.

Those who leave their manners at the door are a particular bugbear.

"As far as I'm concerned, we don't have a class system in this country. You're just as worthy as I am regardless of your creed, your colour, your religion or your age. Everybody deserves some form of manners.

"If you come in here and treat me like a bit of s..., you're going to get it back."

Cullingford says she's been called some "really nasty names by people on the other side of the counter".

Over the years, she's been threatened with knives, and rape, and "I've had customers hold me over the counter and hit me in the face".

Cullingford says that she has a habit of talking to herself, so she doesn't forget what she's doing. On occasion that's got her in trouble. She recalls an incident where she was muttering caramel milkshake repeatedly and a customer said to her "are you calling me a b....?". That resulted in a negative review, she says.

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STUFF
Donald Cullingford and his wife Karyn have owned the Springfield Store and Cafe for nearly a decade.

Cullingford and her husband have seen a lawyer about the online reviews, which she believes have deterred some people from visiting the cafe. She also acknowledges that people stop by to see what all the fuss is about.

"If I'm prepared to go further with it she [the lawyer] is sitting there waiting … but I don't want the stress. A lot of it I've brought on myself – I'll totally say that, hands up."

Cullingford says she and her husband shifted to Canterbury for a change of scenery and a better lifestyle.

"We didn't think we were moving to a different country."

Telling people they were from Auckland was the "biggest mistake of our lives".

Cantabrians are "nasty", she says. "I get people who come in here and say 'don't give me any of that f...ing Auckland coffee'. Do you not understand how people [in Canterbury] hate Aucklanders? Man, it just blows me away."

Cullingford says that when she and her husband first bought the business locals came to them wanting discounts and favours.

"We had no loyalties to anyone in this town. I said 'no, I'm not here to make friends – I'm here to make money'."

Locals say the couple didn't involve themselves in community activities and became isolated.

"People in this town don't like me and I acknowledge that," Cullingford says.

There's some good news for those who want the Springfield Store and Cafe shut down. It's on the market and people – "the type … who don't care about reviews" – have shown an interest in buying it, she says.

Stuff

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113722 ... -the-abuse

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:07 pm 
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Location: Over there! (last)
FILE UNDER: HERE WE GO, AGAIN

Canadian cartoonist loses job after illustration of Trump went viral

Michael de Adder
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New York (CNN) A Canadian cartoonist's illustration of President Donald Trump playing golf over the bodies of two drowned migrants went viral Wednesday. Two days later, Michael de Adder said on Twitter that he had been let go by a publishing company in New Brunswick, Canada.

De Adder's illustration depicted Trump asking the two dead migrants, "Do you mind if I play through?"

The cartoon refers to the image of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, lying face down in water surrounded by reeds. The two drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande River to get into the United States.

more here :arrow: https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/30/media/canadian-cartoon-trump/index.html

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