Your Weekly News Round-Up for April 7, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
TGIF: Don’t be the person who has to chug champagne at brunch when someone mentions what’s going on in the world. Here’s your weekly news roundup to #staywoke.
Monday, we learned that the retail apocalypse is happening.
More than 3,500 stores could close this year as consumers shift spending to e-commerce sites. These closures will affect thousands of people and impact job markets across the country. While online shopping is undeniably convenient, the increase in shipping methods and packaging means its not as environmentally friendly as you might think.
Sweden, however, has a totally different approach to retail, and just opened the world’s first mall with only recycled and reclaimed goods. ReTuna Återbruksgalleria is located around 75 miles west of Stockholm, and has been thriving since 2015. The founder says the goal is the help people “achieve more with what we already have.”
Tuesday was Equal Pay Day:
It’s a day to remember that women rarely earn as much as men, even if they’re doing the exact same job. Today, the pay gap is around 20 cents, meaning women earn 80 cents to a man's dollar.
This year, Sheryl Sandberg created a national retail campaign that offered discounts to women on Equal Pay Day. The concept behind the #20PercentCounts campaign is simple: if a woman makes 20 percent less than a man, she should pay 20 percent less on purchases. Three hundred businesses in 25 cities took part in the campaign. While the discounts were made available to men as well as women, no word on whether Hispanic women could claim a 46 percent discount and Black women a 37 percent discount concurrent with how much less most women of color make on average compared to white males.
One thing that could help accelerate closing the gender gap (which some reports estimate won't close until 2059) is to stop trading job flexibility for a lower salary. Employees increasingly demand this benefit, which is inexpensive for most companies to implement, anyway.
Climate Change Check-In:
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) climate change isn’t only real—it’s causing depression and anxiety.
Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires linked to the changing climate can have sudden and severe mental health consequences for victims, which can increase risk of other health problems and suicide.
Oftentimes people with low incomes, people of color, and indigenous people are affected first when it comes to environmental problems, and have the most at risk if the “protection” part of the EPA’s mission continues to be scaled back.
Question of the week: Would you get microchip implants?
A firm in Sweden offered to inject their staff with microchips that would let them access doors, photocopiers, and pay for their coffee with just a wave of their hand. The chip would also monitor employees' health and let their bosses know where they are and how often they take bathroom breaks.
What do you think? Worth it?
On Wednesday, Pepsi pulled their really bad video campaign.
It was up less than 24 hours. The almost three-minute-long ad featured Kendall Jenner with a blonde wig and red lipstick getting ready to perform while protesters march the streets. It ends with her taking off the wig, wiping off the lipstick, and joining the protest. She grabs a can of Pepsi and offers it to a cop, who pops it open and takes a drink. Critics say the ad trivialized Black Lives Matter protests and hinted that a can of Pepsi could solve social issues like police brutality and racism.
Pepsi apologized, saying the ad “missed the mark.” They even apologized to Kendall Jenner (even though no one forced her to do it).
What do you think?
On Wednesday Evening and Thursday, there was a NoDAPL protest in NYC.
Protestors, including members of several indigenous rights organizations as well as feminist icon Gloria Steinem, asked the city to divest its business from banks that finance the Dakota Access Pipeline and similar oil conveyance projects. Thursday night protesters camped outside the Wells Fargo branch at Grand Street and Broadway in Manhattan, and marched to City Hall the following morning to issue a “moral call” to Mayor Bill de Blasio and comptroller Scott Stringer.
Also, the March Jobs Report was released on Friday.
It was a bit of a letdown: Only 98,000 new jobs were added, and economists had expected around 180,000. The unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, which is the lowest level in almost 10 years, and the average hourly rate grew by .2 percent.
You Probably Need Some Good News Now, Right?
On Tuesday afternoon, in an 8-3 ruling, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made a huge decision for gay rights. The court decided in favor of a woman claiming her employer discriminated against her because of her sexual orientation (she's a lesbian) and that such action is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the ruling currently only applies to the Seventh Circuit's jurisdiction, and could be overturned by the Supreme Court on appeal, LGBT advocates are celebrating this "gamechanger for lesbian and gay employees."
Meanwhile, across the world in India’s biggest state, Uttar Pradesh, the government just announced they will forgive debts for small farmers who own less than five acres of land. This will help over 700,000 farmers struggling to make ends meet.
Happy Friday, y'all!