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J. Crew apologizes after photo of black model with messy hair sparks controversy

J. Crew is facing criticism after a photo of one of its models and her seemingly unkempt hair surfaced online.

>> On MyAJC.com: Bad makeover of black woman's hair on Today Show points to bigger issues in haircare industry

The black woman, dressed in a Madewell dress, was photographed with her natural hair messily pulled back in a ponytail. But everyone wasn’t impressed with the look.

>> Read more trending news 

One Twitter user took to the platform to express her disapproval. She uploaded the picture of the model with the caption, “J. Crew..... girl.... y’all wrong.”

Many seemed to agree with her sentiment, because the post soon went viral, racking up more than 11,000 retweets and 20,000 likes. 

>> See the tweet here

Several chimed in, accusing the fashion brand of prepping the model for the shoot without using the proper practices needed to style African-American hair. 

>> Shea Moisture commercial: Ad receives backlash from black women

Others, including the model, Marihenny Pasible, thought the look was in line with J. Crew’s relaxed and natural campaign.

Some challenged the critics, asking them to embrace the care-free look for all cultures.

>> On AJC.com: #BlackHairChallenge: A celebration of black hair on Twitter

After the barrage of comments, J. Crew released a statement on Twitter.

“J.Crew strives to represent every race, gender, and background. We sincerely apologize for the styling of this model and the offense that was caused,” the company wrote. 

>> Read the full response here

Papa John's CEO apologizes for comments on NFL anthem protest controversy

The Papa John’s pizza CEO Twitter account issued an apology on Tuesday night for comments made about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

>> Read more trending news

The chain’s CEO, John Schnatter, had blamed slow pizza sales on the national anthem protests, saying in a Nov. 1 earnings call that “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders” and that the protests “should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

>> Related: Papa John’s says 'the NFL has hurt us,' cites declining sales

In a tweet, Papa John’s issued a statement Tuesday saying, “The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive. That definitely was not our intention.”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the anthem last year to protest police violence against minorities. The protest got mixed reactions, but other NFL players -- and players in other sports -- have since followed Kaepernick’s lead to protest inequality.

President Donald Trump in September suggested that NFL team owners should fire players who refuse to stand during the anthem, telling a crowd in Alabama that “that’s a total disrespect for our heritage.”

Walmart responds after video shows carts of food thrown out after tornado

Walmart responded Monday after a man accused the chain of wasting cartloads of food in a video that went viral on Facebook.

>> Read more trending news

Gary Joe Ahrns posted a video on Facebook last week showing dozens of shopping carts filled with deli meat, milk, butter, cakes and other foods sitting outside a Walmart in Celina, Ohio.

“They don’t let employees have it,” Ahrns says in the video. “They won’t sell it to anybody else. They’re throwing it away.”

(Warning: The below video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. Discretion is advised.)

“People starving to death in the world… and they’re going to throw it all away,” Ahrns says in the video. “Good old U.S. of A, we’ve got so much stuff we can throw it away. … This is wrong, and you all know that this is wrong. This is terrible.”

The video was taken on Nov. 6, one day after a tornado knocked out power to the area for hours.

Walmart officials said in a post on the store’s Facebook page that the food wasn’t safe to eat, despite the fact that none of the foods had reached their expiration dates.

“The food being disposed of was unsafe for consumption after the store lost power for 14 hours,” officials said. “Per internal and health department policies, we followed proper procedures by disposing of the food.”

Eight people were injured when a pair of EF-2 tornadoes swept through Celina on Nov. 5, prompting the city’s mayor to declare a state of emergency, according to WHIO.

The storm caused heavy damage to buildings in the area.

“I’ve seen a lot of hard hit areas with storms, even as far as having relatives down in the hurricanes,” Mayor Jeffrey Hazel told WHIO. “I can say this is pretty tremendous damage in this area.”

Celina is about 120 miles north of Cincinnati.

Target debuts first 'next-gen' store

It’s a first for Target: The red-themed retailer recently unveiled its first “next-gen” store in Richmond, Texas, near Houston.

>> Read more trending news 

The 124,000-square-foot store opened last week. It’s the first of hundreds of stores the retailer plans to open in the next two years.

“With our next generation of store design, we’re investing to take the Target shopping experience to the next level by offering more elevated product presentations and a number of time-saving features,” Target’s chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said earlier this year. “The new design for this Houston store will provide the vision for the 500 reimagined stores planned for 2018 and 2019, with the goal of taking a customized approach to creating an enhanced shopping experience.”

One of the differences shoppers may notice between the new Target design and other locations is how the “next-gen” store is two concepts within one.

According to Target spokespersons, for the convenience of the on-the-go-shopper, one side of the store comes with grocery items and pick-up for those who prefer to order online.

The other side of the Target store is similar to a virtual department store, according to Target representatives. Shoppers can find items from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new “Hearth & Hand” collection in that section of the store.

RELATED: 'Fixer Upper' couple criticized over new home decor line at Target

“We wanted to tailor the experience to what shoppers are looking for,” store manager Shannon Wolford said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

RELATED: Fans rush in early to make sure they don’t miss Chip and Joanna’s Target line

The in-store Starbucks is even next-gen, complete with patio seating.

Read more at Houston Chronicle and Target

RELATED: Target is making some big changes that will lead to better, faster shopping

World’s biggest shopping day tops $20 billion 

The biggest shopping day of the season has been a record-setter, CNN reported Saturday.

>> Read more trending news

But it’s not Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said Saturday that sales topped $20 billion of sales on Singles Day, topping the $17.8 billion collected during last year’s sale.

Singles Day has for years racked up more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, CNN reported. 

By comparison, American shoppers last year spent more than $5 billion shopping online on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, according to Adobe, which tracks such data. Shoppers also spent $3.39 billion on Cyber Monday last year, the largest single online shopping day in the U.S., Adobe said.

Earlier Saturday, Alibaba said shoppers spent $1 billion in just 2 minutes and $18 billion in 13 hours. 

Singles Day started out as an informal holiday in China celebrating single people on a day that epitomizes not being paired off: 11/11. Alibaba turned it into a festival of discount deals in 2009.

Jury awards man $7.5M after being injured by Walmart watermelon display

An Alabama man has been awarded $7.5 million by a jury after he said he tripped and broke his hip while shopping for a watermelon at Walmart.The verdict was rendered Wednesday in a Phenix City courtroom, The Associated Press reported. The jury awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. 

>> Read more trending news

Henry Walker, 61, sued Walmart for the 2015 incident in which he claimed the store was negligent for failing to cover a pallet beneath the watermelon display. His foot became tangled in the pallet, causing him to trip and break his hip, according to court documents.Walmart officials insist that the watermelon displays are safe, and its stores continue to use the pre-packaged displays from producers.Walmart plans on appealing the decision, The Associated Press reported.

Dream job alert: Get paid $10,000 per month to 'experience' Cancun

Love to travel? Looking for a new job? 

A new job posting by Cancun.com might be just what you’re looking for. 

>> Read more trending news 

The travel site is seeking a social media savvy CEO, or a “Cancun Experience Officer.”

A description of the position online notes that the company is looking for “an outgoing, authentic and dynamic individual (or team) to represent the amazing destination of Cancun.”

The CEO will live in Cancun between March and August 2018, developing video of the vacation, capturing photos and creating written content. The CEO will be the face of the Cancun.com brand and its newly launched website.

Salary is listed at $10,000 per month -- and that doesn’t include the housing costs that will be completely paid for during the six-month period.

“You’ll get paid to dive into the culture, charm and wonder of Cancun and share your experiences with a worldwide audience,” the posting reads. 

“We can’t wait to get started on our search for a CEO to be the face and personality of Cancun. Getting paid to live and travel around Mexico is a once in a lifetime experience,” Chad Meyerson, general manager at Cancun.com, said in a press release. “It’s truly one of the most remarkable travel destinations, and we want to make sure we find the right person to help us show the rest of the world everything Cancun has to offer, from the culture and community to its beautiful hotels and pristine beaches.”

According to the press release, other perks include: 

  • Sleeping in luxurious beds overlooking the most pristine beaches
  • Scaling 3,000-year-old pyramids followed by a swim with a 40,000-pound whale shark
  • Sipping an ice-cold beverage before teeing off 200 yards down an ocean fairway
  • Mingling with locals and tourists at your VIP table in the hottest clubs
  • Coordinating charitable projects with local organizations to support education, health and well-being 
  • Having the most enviable job on the planet

Interested job seekers have until Dec. 17 to apply. A minute-long video describing why you’d be the perfect fit for the position is required.

The top five finalists will travel to Cancun in January, and the winner or winners will be announced Jan. 31. 

Apply here

Coupon scam: Aldi continues to warn customers of fake offers on Facebook

Aldi continues to battle fake coupon scams on Facebook.

WNEM reported that the latest fake coupon has a link to an illegitimate website and claims to give out a $40 coupon to customers who complete a survey.

>> Read more trending news

“Hey ALDI fans! Looks like another fake ALDI coupon is making its way around the internet,” the low-cost grocery store said in a Monday Facebook post. “We’re sorry for any confusion, but we don’t offer electronic coupons and they won’t be accepted at our stores. We’re currently working on fixing the situation, but we’d love your help. Feel free to share this post to help us spread the word.”

The November scam is the latest in a string of fake coupons claiming to be from the retailer.

Related: If you see this Publix coupon, it's a fake

In June,  WTHR reported that another bogus coupon was circulating that claimed to offer $75 off an $80 purchase. 

“This was not authorized by ALDI. ALDI does not issue electronic coupons. Sorry for the confusion,” the grocery chain said on Twitter.

In March, WSYR reported that Facebook user Melissa Sheriff noticed a post that claimed to offer a $100-off coupon at Aldi stores, and it seemed too good to be true.

"Next thing I know everyone is sharing it," Sheriff said. "People are sharing it on each other's pages and messaging the coupon to each other and tagging each other in posts saying, ‘Great deal, great deal, you have to print out this coupon.'"

Related: Kroger warns shoppers of fake ‘$60 off’ coupon

Aaron Sumida, vice president of Aldi’s Tully division, issued the following statement in response to the scam:

We understand the confusion that some customers have experienced with digital coupon scams affecting ALDI and other retailers. On Friday, we shared a post on our Facebook page to let our customers know that ALDI doesn't issue electronic coupons or gift cards. These offers weren't authorized or distributed by ALDI and will not be honored at ALDI locations. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this situation may cause our customers.

Aldi addressed the scam in a March 8 Facebook post.

“There’s a fake ALDI coupon making its way around the internet…again. We don’t offer electronic coupons and they won’t be accepted at our stores. We’re working on fixing the situation, so if you’d like to help us out and spread the news, feel free to share this post. We’re sorry for the confusion,” the company said.

Aldi is not the only retailer being used in fake coupon scams. Kroger and Publix grocery stores have also been victims of coupons claiming to offer $60 and $75 off of purchases.

The takeaway for many of these offers is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Hershey's to release 'Gold' bar

Hershey's is going for the gold, announcing its first new candy bar in more than two decades.Hershey's Gold is described as a "caramelized cream bar embedded with salty peanut and pretzel bits." The company told The Associated Press that the new offering is in response to the popularity of "crunchy multi-textured candy.”

>> Read more trending news

 

Hershey's Gold will go on sale Dec. 1.The last bar to be released by Hershey's was Cookies ’n’ Creme in 1995. 

Trump wins permission for 70 foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago

Like other Palm Beach County employers who staff their clubs with foreign workers, President Donald Trump is boosting the number of employees he’s bringing from overseas this winter.

Trump won permission to hire 70 maids, cooks and servers at the Mar-a-Lago Club for the 2017-18 tourist season, according to newly released data from the U.S. Labor Department. In 2016-17, Trump hired 64 foreign workers at the Palm Beach property.

>> Read more trending news

The trend is similar throughout Palm Beach County, Florida. Employers won permission to hire 2,159 workers for low-paying temporary gigs this winter, up from 1,844 in the 2016-17 tourist season, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of federal data.

A strong labor market seems to confirm employers’ claims that they can’t find the workers they need. Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate fell to just 3.6 percent in September, its lowest level in a decade.

Trump isn’t alone in looking overseas for low-wage workers through the federal government’s H-2B visa program. Nationwide, thousands of employers won permission to hire nearly 134,000 workers for 2017-18, up from 119,000 for 2016-17.

However, hiring workers from abroad seems to contradict Trump’s public pronouncements. The president has publicly shamed Carrier Corp., Ford Motor and others for moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

During a March 2016 presidential debate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio criticized Trump for bringing in workers from overseas, saying American citizens could fill the jobs. Trump defended his hiring of foreign workers.

“It’s very, very hard to get people,” Trump said. “Other hotels do the exact same thing.”

Boca West Country Club remains Palm Beach County’s most prolific employer of foreign workers. It plans to hire 367 employees on H-2B visas this year, up from 351 in 2016-2017. Wages range from $10.25 to $17.64, similar to last year’s pay scale.

The Breakers in Palm Beach will hire 162 workers this year, up from 142 in 2016-17. Pay at the historic resort seems to be rising — the highest wage is $14.13 an hour this year, up from $12.74 last year.

Pay is rising at Mar-a-Lago, too. The Department of Labor gave Trump permission to hire 20 cooks at $13.34 an hour, up from 12.74 an hour in 2016-17. Mar-a-Lago also plans to hire 35 waiters and waitresses at $11.88 an hour, up from $11.13 an hour last year, and 15 housekeepers at $10.33 an hour, up from $10.17 an hour last year.

CareerSource Palm Beach County, a nonprofit job placement agency, says it knows plenty of American citizens willing to work at Mar-a-Lago.

"We currently have 5,136 qualified candidates in Palm Beach County for various hospitality positions listed in the Employ Florida state jobs database," CareerSource spokesman Tom Veenstra said Friday.

While Mar-a-Lago asks the federal government for dozens of H-2B visas every tourist season, the private club rarely asks CareerSource for help finding a local employee, Veenstra said. Mar-a-Lago in 2015 put in a request for a single banquet server.

In addition to the 70 visas at Mar-a-Lago, Trump also won permission to hire foreign workers at other properties that bear his name. He landed visas for 10 waiters and waitresses and six cooks at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, plus eight waiters and waitresses at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York. 

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