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American man faces prison for bad review of Thailand resort – New York Daily News

An American man who complained about the “unfriendly” staff at a Thailand resort in an online review faces up to two years in prison after being accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel.”

Wesley Barnes, who works in the Southeast Asian country, recently vacationed to Koh Chang Island, where he stayed at the Sea View Resort, according to Agence France-Presse.

But the accommodations weren’t to Barnes’ liking, according to a July review he wrote on TripAdvisor, claiming the staff “act like they don’t want anyone here.”

The Sea View Resort owner filed a formal complaint against Barnes, accusing him of “unfair reviews,” Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP Saturday.

Barnes was arrested by immigration police and detained in Koh Chang before being released on bail.

If convicted of defamation, Barnes faces a prison sentence and a fine of up to about $6,300.

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American faces two years in prison for posting unflattering TripAdvisor review of Thailand island resort – Telegraph.co.uk

An American could face up to two years in prison after leaving a negative review for a hotel in Thailand on TripAdvisor.

The Sea View Resort on Koh Chang island claims Wesley Barnes launched a barrage of complaints against them after his stay, forcing them to take legal action.

“The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website,” Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP.

Mr Barnes is accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel”, as well as arguing with them during his stay about a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel.

He was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang for a brief detention, but is now out on bail.  

Mr Barnes, who works in Thailand, had penned multiple reviews on different sites over the past few weeks, the hotel alleges.

In one posted in July, he claimed to have encountered “unfriendly staff” who “act like they don’t want anyone here”.

Another post, which accused the hotel of “modern day slavery”, was removed by TripAdvisor for violating its guidelines.

The Sea View Hotel said they only took legal action to discourage further reviews from being posted, and had attempted to contact Mr Barnes beforehand.

“We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future,” the hotel said.

Thailand has notorious anti-defamation laws that have faced condemnation from human rights organisations in the past. They argue the laws can be used to stifle free expression.

If found guilty for defamation, offenders can face two years imprisonment and a 200,000 baht (£4,965) fine.

In December 2019, a Thai journalist was handed a two year sentence for libelling a chicken farm on Twitter.

Suchanee Cloitre was convicted for a post she made about a legal dispute over working conditions at the Thammakaset farm.

“I’m shocked and did not think the sentence would be so harsh,” Ms Suchanee told Reuters after the sentencing.

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McDonald’s Faces $1 Billion Discrimination Lawsuit From Dozens Of Black Ex-Franchise Owners – Forbes

TOPLINE

McDonald’s is being sued for up to $1 billion by dozens of Black former franchise owners who claim that the fast food giant systematically placed them in “substandard locations” that hinder profitability and growth, saddling them with high insurance costs and leaving their restaurants performing below the national norm, according to the plaintiffs.

Chris Kempczinski

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski


ASSOCIATED PRESS

KEY FACTS

The lawsuit comes weeks after the world’s biggest fast food chain was among dozens of corporations to release a statement in support of Black Lives Matter and condemn racism following George Floyd’s death and nationwide anti-racism protests.

In June, new CEO Chris Kempczinski acknowledged McDonald’s had more work to do to improve racial equality and diversity within the company, after two executives filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly pushing out Black managers and franchisees.

Despite this, Kempczinski claimed that the chain had created more millionaires in the Black community than any other company.

But the latest lawsuit, filed by 52 Black former franchise owners in a Chicago federal court, says their average sales of $2 million a year between 2011 and 2016 were $700,000 below the national average, often leading them to bankruptcy, Reuters reports.

Jim Ferraro, representing the plaintiffs, told Reuters that the number of Black franchise owners has halved to 186 over the past two decades, while a lawsuit earlier this year claims that almost a third of Black franchisees left under ex-CEO Steve Easterbrook’s tenure between 2015 and 2019.

McDonald’s said in a statement to Forbes: “Not only do we categorically deny the allegations that these franchisees were unable to succeed because of any form of discrimination by McDonald’s, we are confident that the facts will show how committed we are to the diversity and equal opportunity of the McDonald’s System, including across our franchisees, suppliers and employees.”

Crucial comment

Ferraro said in an interview with Reuters: “It’s systematic placement in substandard locations, because they’re Black. Revenue at McDonald’s is governed by one thing only: location.”

Big number

20%. That’s how much of the chain’s revenue Black customers account for in the U.S., CNBC reports

Key background

The lawsuit is the latest turn in McDonalds’ controversial history within the Black community and Black franchise owners. In her book Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America author and Georgetown professor Marcia Chatelain explores how fast food expanded economic opportunity within the Black community amid a backdrop of racial inequality, and the role McDonald’s played by franchising in communities it had previously overlooked and helped to create wealthy Black franchise owners that in turn empowered their communities. But that legacy becomes complex when considering the bigger impact that the company has left within those communities: “The low wages, the health disparities or the access to fresh food in communities of colour,” Chatelain told Marketplace in July. “Race has always been at the core of McDonald’s and its ability to expand,” Chatelain said. The effects of that legacy, and questions about the company’s commitment to Black employees came to a head earlier this year when Black senior executives Vicki Guster-Hines and Domineca Neal named Easterbrook, President Charles Strong and Kempczinski in a lawsuit alleging that they were victims of racial discrimination and a hostile work environment “in both words and deeds.” The lawsuit also alleged that Black franchise owners were driven “out of the system in record numbers,” and that the firm stopped advertising to Black customers.

Chief critic

Chatelain added in her interview with Marketplace: “One of the things that I think a lot of these companies don’t understand is that when you declare that Black Lives matter, you shift the terrain of the debate. Now people are going to say: ‘well, prove it. Don’t just say it in terms of donations to organizations. How are you treating Black workers? How are you making sure that what you’re doing can actually enrich Black communities, instead of just exploit them?’”

What to watch for

How McDonald’s responds, and how the dispute unfolds. Pizza chain Papa Johns took a major hit after former CEO John Schnatter, who was at one point the face of the brand, used the n-word during a call with investors. He eventually stepped down, but the controversy wound up costing the chain $51 million in 2018.

Tangent

The fast food giant is suing Easterbrook, over claims that he lied about the extent of his sexual relationship with three employees—claims that Easterbrook denies. McDonald’s is asking Easterbrook to return his $42 million in severance pay. That package was agreed as part of his exit deal last year, after the executive was fired for breaching company policy by entering into a relationship with an employee.

Further reading

McDonald’s CEO says the chain has ‘probably’ created more Black millionaires than any other corporation (CNBC)

McDonald’s faces lawsuit from executives alleging racial discrimination (CNBC)

The complicated history of McDonald’s and Black America (Marketplace)

The Inside Story Of Pap

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faces Trump

Trump faces criticism from former military leaders and prominent Republicans – CBS News











Published on 8 Jun 2020

President Trump is facing criticism from former military leaders and prominent Republicans over his handling of nationwide protests. CBS News White House correspondent Ben Tracy joins CBSN to talk about the latest from Washington.

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J.K. Rowling Faces Backlash Over Tweets Considered Transphobic – E! NEWS

J.K. Rowling, JK Rowling

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is facing backlash after being accused of making transphobic comments on social media. 

On Saturday afternoon, the 54-year-old author shared an opinion article from a global health website titled “Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate” and shared her confusion with the phrase “people who menstruate.” 

“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out,” she went on in her initial tweet. “Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The DevEx article outlined the “many gendered aspects of the pandemic, including increased vulnerabilities to gender-based violence during lockdowns, and the risks faced by primary caretakers.” The article stated that an estimated 1.8 billion girls, women and gender non-binary persons menstruate, adding that this “has not stopped because of the pandemic” and still require the necessary “menstrual materials, safe access to toilets, soap, water and private spaces in the face of lockdown living conditions that have eliminated privacy for many populations.” 

Quickly thereafter, the author became a trending topic on Twitter as many followers and people on social media began calling her out for her comments. 

Survivor‘s Zeke Smith, replied to the author writing, “Hi! I’m a man! I menstruate! Stop being an a–hole!”

Smith appeared in the 34th season of CBS’ Survivor: Game Changers and was outed as transgender by a fellow contestant. Following his reply, a Twitter user asked Smith why he was “politicizing” how he identifies as. To which Smith responded, “[J.K. Rowling] is the one who is politicizing it by both denying that trans men exist and that all women menstruate! I do talk to my doctor about it! I have nothing to gain from it! My body just insists on doing it! I am not a woman!”

Despite the backlash she received for her initial comments, Rowling continued to express her viewpoint.

In a follow-up tweet, the author wrote, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.” 

“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she wrote, referring to the backlash she was receiving online

The Fantastic Beasts author then tweeted, “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.” 

Singer and music producer Brad Walsh also responded to the author’s claims on Twitter, writing, “You’re a smart person. How do you not yet understand the difference between sex and gender? The only way I can possibly explain your ignorance at this point is willfulness. It’s incredibly disappointing.”

He added, “Ok muting now because the TERFs are out.”

TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist, is a term that the author has been referred to as before. In December of last year, the author became a trending topic once again on Twitter after publicizing her support for British researcher Maya Forstater who has also been criticized as being transphobic. According to NBC News at the time, in tweets and Slack messages from 2018, Forstater criticized proposed changes to the United Kingdom’s Gender Recognition Act of 2004 that allowed people to self-identify their gender. 

Rent alum Anthony Rapp also took to Twitter this afternoon to express his frustration over Rowling’s tweets, “She has such a powerful voice. Why is she using that voice to die on a hill of transphobia? It is damaging and sad and makes zero sense. Is it really her belief that trans women somehow threaten her own selfhood? What is she so f-cking afraid of?”

Actress Patti Harrison shared on social media that the author’s choice to tweet about “trans women not being real women RIGHT NOW during BLM uproar really shows her depth of thought about trans people AND black people… I am gettin flu-like symptoms trying to imagine her thoughts (or lack-there-of) on… the intersection.”

Singer, songwriter and model Kim Petras replied to Rowling and also criticized her for how she was utilizing her platform on Twitter, where the author has amassed over 14 million followers.  “maam … read the room and post about BLM ! how is this the right time to go off on this ?” Petras wrote

LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD also took to Twitter to speak out against Rowling’s comments. “If you want to direct your rightful anger over JK Rowling’s latest anti-trans comments into something positive, support orgs that help Black trans people like @MBJInstitute, @blacktransusa, @TransJusticeFP, @Genderintell and @ukblackpride.” 

In another tweeted, the organization wrote, “JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.” 

Despite the controversy Rowling’s tweets stirred, she went on to write, “I’ve spent much of the last three years reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists. I know exactly what the distinction is. Never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge.” 

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De Blasio faces backlach over message to Jewish community – Fox News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is receiving backlash for his response to a large Jewish Orthodox funeral in Brooklyn; reaction and analysis on ‘Outnumbered.’

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