Archive Monthly Archives: May 2018

Trump Tweets Happy Labor Day, But Twitter Is So Not Having It

While many were busy enjoying their holiday weekends (or pretending not to panic about North Korea), President Donald Trump tweeted about Labor Day. His tweet came just hours after he reportedly decided to pull the plug on DACA, a program that protects immigrants who arrived illegally as children. Unsurprisingly, Twitter isn’t having it.

The Obama-era policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allows those who arrived in the country as children, also known as “Dreamers,” to continue working and avoid deportation via two-year authorization periods. There are a host of eligibility requirements for DACA, including military service and education level. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 800,000 individuals have benefitted from DACA since the policy went into effect in August 2012. Among the estimated 230,000 who are eligible for DACA, many are students or workers, or both. Pew Research estimates some 8 million undocumented immigrants help comprise the US labor force.

While an official decision on DACA has yet to be announced, Trump’s tweet on Labor Day was still naturally seen by many as a slap in the face to the labor force.

We are building our future with American hands, American labor, American iron, aluminum and steel. Happy !

Last week, the president was allegedly weighing whether or not to scrap DACA. While the president is under no obligation to uphold the policy, many people read the president’s alleged decision to dismantle it while simultaneously celebrating laborers on social media as hypocritical.

Other tweets targeted his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her personal brand, which has come under fire for the factory conditions laborers there have been reported to endure.

Still other people cited Trump’s own business empire and reports that he had a history of not paying employees for their work.

Many people tweeted about Labor Day in celebration of immigrants and Dreamers and contrasted it to the president’s actions.

While not explicitly in response to Trump’s Monday tweet, the message that they opposed his alleged DACA decision was pretty clear.

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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Quintessentially “British” Village Traces Their Genetic Ancestry

The village of Bledington is like the archetypal view of Britain, complete with cute cottages, a 12th-century church, Morris dancing poles, and pubs full of warm beer. Therefore, a new genetic test has decided to test just how “British” they are by looking at their DNA.

First thing’s first, as any British person will tell you, the idea of “Britishness” is a confusing thing (even without getting genetics involved). The first settlers on the British Isles obviously came from somewhere outside of Britain. Then over the following millennia, Britain spent a lot of its time being invaded by other parts of the world, including the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Normans. Around the 19th century, Britain started invading huge parts of the world. This means this little island has always been mixing with other parts of the world, both genetically and culturally.

Therefore, there’s no set thing that defines Britishness. As this genetic study also highlights, even this quintessentially British village is a great mish-mash of ancestry. 

The study by genealogy company Ancestry collected saliva samples from 120 people in the village and asked them a few questions about their heritage. Population data says that 94 percent of the village deem themselves as “White British” and 56 percent of the study group didn’t expect to find results outside of the UK.

Nevertheless, the analysis of the DNA results revealed that the average resident was 42 percent Anglo-Saxon. This was the dominant culture of Britain from the 5th century CE, consisting of northern Germanic tribes who migrated from continental Europe and indigenous British groups who took up parts of their culture. A further 20.61 percent were from Western Europe, 17.03 percent Irish, 10.06 percent Scandinavian, and 2.8 percent Iberian (the peninsula of Spain and Portugal). Many others found traces of genetic heritage from Native America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Melanesia.

A fair few of the village’s residents were pretty shocked by their results. Local resident Guy Chittenden, 24, said he always strongly believed he was “100 percent British.”  

“All I know is English people in my family – and as far as I am aware I don’t know any relatives outside of Britain,” he said in a statement.

When he received his results, however, he was shocked to find out that he was just 3 percent Anglo-Saxon, with the rest of his genetic ancestry being from Western Europe, Ireland, and Scandinavia.

Commenting on the study, AncestryDNA spokesman Russell James said: “Despite the majority of residents assuming they were British through and through, this fascinating process uncovered some incredibly diverse heritage and allowed us to take a broader look at the genetic history of the village as a whole.

“It seems that Bledington‘s picturesque and arguably ‘typical England’ look and feel is deceiving as, on average, less than half of the villagers’ DNA (42 percent) was identified as Great British.”

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Should Companies Let Employees Use Social Media at Work? – Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal

Should Companies Let Employees Use Social Media at Work?
Wall Street Journal
While social media is certainly a valuable marketing and customer-service tool, encouraging employees to use their private socialmedia accounts at work—whether for professional or personal reasons—can present material risks to an organization's
Report: Small businesses plan to double-down on FacebookPR Daily
Become a Social Media Sensation With These Pro Skills – 97% Off Right Now!Us Weekly
How to Keep Your Company's Social Media Presence SafeBusiness 2 Community –FLARE
all 36 news articles »

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Controversial social media situations around the NBA –

Controversial social media situations around the NBA
Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo had his social media use questioned on Tuesday after a bombshell report from The Ringer. Per the story, Colangelo had as many as five accounts that he secretly used to criticize players, leak …
76ers investigating Colangelo's social media useKRDO
76ers launch investigation into team president Bryan Colangelo's social media useYahoo Sports
Sixers investigate reported Colangelo accountsESPN

all 145 news articles »

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Inspiring: Content Marketers Want to Buy Gawker and Make It Nice – Gizmodo


Inspiring: Content Marketers Want to Buy Gawker and Make It Nice
According to the Wall Street Journal, content marketing and communications firm Didit has formally placed a bid of $1.13 million for Gawker Media, which includes the rights to the domain, 200,000 archived articles, and its associated social
Marketing firm Didit makes bid to buy GawkerThe Drum

all 11 news articles »

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Zaras Recipe for Success: More Data, Fewer Bosses

Deep inside a sprawling glass-and-cement edifice the size of an airplane hangar in the Spanish town of Arteixo, 10 designers swarm around a model dressed in cropped gray trousers and a double-breasted navy blazer. Sweaters, shirts, and suits are spread out on the white-tile floor, while seamstresses in white labcoats stitch prototypes nearby. Its classic, but its new at the same time, says a woman from China. Im not sure about the bold patterns, counters a British woman, dressed in white sneakers and a flowing skirt. Others nod their assent or express doubt.

This international tribe of thirtysomethings is a big part of the success of Zara, the brand that over the past four decades has grown from a single store in the Spanish city of La Corua into the biggest fashion retailer on earth. As the team debates whether the collection is too plain or too daring, it becomes clear no one is in charge. Juan Mendivil, a menswear buyer, fields opinions, but the decision doesnt rest with him, and everyone has a say. They finally agree on solid colors and traditional cuts for Europe and bold patterns for China, where sales data indicate such styles are popular.

Unlike rivals such as Gap, H&M, and Primark, Zara has no chief designer, and theres little discernible hierarchy. Its 350 designers are given unparalleled independence in approving products and campaigns, shipping fresh styles to stores twice a week. Guided by daily data feeds showing whats selling and whats stalling, the teams develop fashions for the coming weeks. Every morning, staff in Arteixo divine whats popular by monitoring sales figures and thousands of comments from customers, store managers, and country directors in cities as far-flung as Taipei, Moscow, and New York.

Zaras culture isnt as easily copied as the latest fashion trends, and that partly explains why Inditex, its parent company, is a breakaway success while most global clothing retailers are struggling. American Apparel filed for bankruptcy in November for a second time, sales have fallen at Gap stores, and profit is down at H&M. In contrast, Inditex powered ahead with an 11 percent rise in revenue in the first half of the year. There isnt a magic formula, says Pablo Isla, Inditexs chairman and chief executive officer. There are no stars. We are able to react to data during the season, but in the end, what we offer our customers is fashion, and theres a human element to that.

Controlled by Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, who this year briefly surpassed Bill Gates to become the worlds richest man before falling back to second place, Inditex posted 20.9 billion ($22.2 billion) in sales last year, from 7,100 stores in 93 countries. Other Inditex brands such as Bershka, Massimo Dutti, and Pull & Bear are growing, but Zara still accounts for two-thirds of sales. Ortega hired Isla, a bespectacled former Banco Popular Espaol executive, as CEO in 2005, but he hasnt retired. At 80, he still comes to work most days, often sitting in the Zara womens department, where his 32-year-old daughter Marta works on the commercial team after a stint at Bershka. While he can sometimes be seen walking his dog Pepe in the town square of nearby La Corua, Ortega remains one of the worlds most secretive billionaires, leaving Isla to oversee Inditex.

One concern for Zara is managing its growth, says Andy Hughes, a retail analyst at UBS. With Inditexs sales almost doubling since 2009, Isla is adding stores at a slower pace, concentrating instead on a smaller number of flagship locations and its online business. Another concern is that rivals might figure out how to match Zaras quick turnarounds. Everyone in the industry is trying to replicate its design prowess, Hughes says. No one could match Inditex, but the gap might close.

Source: Inditex

Isla rejects the fast-fashion label for Zara, saying it doesnt reflect the time and detail that goes into designing each garment. And he says analysts place too much emphasis on Inditexs much-vaunted supply chain, a network of factories in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco that produces 60 percent of its merchandise. With production nearby, Inditex can quickly switch gears if weather or fashion trends change, getting designs into stores in as little as two or three weeks, while rivals orders slowly make their way across the ocean on container ships.

Just as important is the way Inditex pulls ideas from consumers, Isla says, rather than designing collections months in advance and pushing goods on shoppers with ads. While analysts say H&M spends as much as 4 percent of sales on advertising, Inditex has virtually no ad budget apart from social media marketing. Since 2010, the data on what customers want has been augmented with information from online sales. Those are fueled by twice-weekly releases of new designs on Zaras website, highlighted with photos from rapid-fire shoots in Arteixo. On a rainy November day, buyers, analysts, and commercial managers sift through information on computers in a space the size of 22 football fields, engaging in a lively exchange of ideas with designers. Without the design, there would be nothing, Isla says, sitting at a pale-wood conference table in the companys minimalist headquarters. Its not a formula.

This means the designers are constantly tinkering. When military jackets turned out to be big sellers this autumn, the commercial team asked the designers to keep tweaking them with new fabrics and cuts. In May, a blue-and-white collarless womens coat for 69.99 (about $102 at the time) generated so much buzz that two fans created an Instagram account@thatcoatto document the craze. But instead of churning out more identical coats, design teams came up with different fabrics and prints using a similar cut, ranging in price from $69 to $189. The root of Inditexs success is its predominantly short lead time, which gives a greater level of newness to its collections, says Anne Critchlow, a retail analyst at Socit Gnrale.

About two-thirds of Inditexs products are generated under short lead times, vs. 20 percent for most retailers, she says. Small production runs mean Zara can test designs in various markets without building up unwanted stock that it might need to unload at a deep discount. That gives Inditex among the lowest yearend inventories in the industry, says Richard Hyman, an independent analyst in London. This is a business that really breaks the rules, Hyman says. They dont really have seasons in the way a normal fashion retailer would.

The bottom line: A unique management formula may be why Inditexs revenue growthup 11 percent in the first half of 2016far outpaces its rivals.

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North Korean nuclear test unites Republicans – against Barack Obama

Presidential candidates took to social media and TV to condemn the presidents weakness, which they see as facilitating North Koreas nuclear ambitions

North Koreas self-proclaimed successful testing of a hydrogen bomb has succeeded in uniting the bifurcated field of Republican presidential candidates against a common enemy: Barack Obama.

By the time the worlds great powers joined together in universal condemnation of the hermit kingdoms latest nuclear provocation at a UN security council meeting on Wednesday morning, more than half a dozen contenders for the Republican nomination had issued statements decrying Obamas weakness, which they see as facilitating North Koreas nuclear ambitions.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida led the charge with a late-night tweetstorm following news of the test, calling the detonation just the latest example of the failed Obama-Clinton foreign policy.

I have been warning throughout this campaign that North Korea is run by a lunatic who has been expanding his nuclear arsenal while President Obama has stood idly by, Rubio said in a statement. Our enemies around the world are taking advantage of Obamas weakness. We need new leadership that will stand up to people like Kim Jong-un and ensure our country has the capabilities necessary to keep America safe.

Rubios critique was echoed by New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who decried Obamas weak response to North Korean nuclear aggressions under his watch. Three out of the four nuclear detonations that the North Koreans have done have happened under Barack Obama and Hillary Clintons watch, Christie said during an appearance onFox and Friends. They have just not acted strongly at all around the world. This is just another example, piled on top of Iran, on top of Syria, on top Crimea and Ukraine … this is what weak American leadership gets you.

On CNN, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, who has been labelled a committed isolationist on foreign policy by Rubio and other rivals for the Republican nomination, redirected the question of North Korean nuclear aggression to a criticism of the comprehensive deal on Irans nuclear programme.

I would say that there are many parallels to the Iran agreement, Paul said. Many of us said that thats the danger of the Iran agreement once they get nuclear weapons, its hard to know what to do and how you will respond.

The test, North Koreas fourth since first detonating a fizzled atomic weapon in October 2006, prompted other candidates to join the coalition of the willing on social media:

Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 6, 2016

North Korean nuke test shows danger of continuing feckless Obama/Clinton foreign policy.

Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) January 6, 2016

North Korea is yet another Hillary Clinton foreign policy failure. America cannot lead from behind.

Largely missing from the condemnation of Obamas perceived lack of action on North Korea was condemnation of North Korea itself: beyond Paul, who on CNN criticized the norths failed economic system as indicative of the superiority of capitalism over socialism, no would-be nominee has directed much ire in the direction of the repressive communist autocracy responsible for the test itself.

Part of this may be rooted in the Republican fields general lack of coherent policy on North Korea, which has taken a back seat to the Islamic State, Russia and the Syrian civil war in most discussions of foreign policy this cycle.

When asked for their candidates positions on increased sanctions, boosting US troop presence on the 38th parallel or other possible responses to North Korean aggression, for example, press representatives for candidate Carly Fiorina provided the Guardian with a copy of a speech she gave on China in July. (The word Korea never appears in the transcript.)

Obama has repeatedly imposed economic sanctions on North Korea as part of a policy of strategic patience. Yet the universality of Republican condemnation of Obamas perceived weakness on North Korea was almost absolute, with the notable exception of billionaire frontrunner Donald Trump. The real estate tycoon, whose foreign policy bona fides is largely limited to his ownership of a golf course in Scotland, declined to pin the thermonuclear test on Obama, instead putting the lions share of the blame on China.

China has total control, believe me, Trump told Fox and Friends on Wednesday. They have total control over North Korea. Without China, they wouldnt eat, he said.

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