Amazon warehouse workers in US, 40 other countries strike on Black Friday – National & International News – FRI 25Nov2022

Workers at a dozen Amazon warehouses in the US protested on Black Friday.

 

 

Amazon warehouse workers strike on Black Friday. Trump rape accuser files upgraded lawsuit under new law. Australia: Much-maligned bird may be key to controlling even more hated invasive toad.

NATIONAL NEWS

Amazon warehouse workers in US, 40 other countries strike on Black Friday

Workers at Amazon fulfilment facilities in the US, UK and 40 other countries planned walkouts, strikes protests and other actions today on Black Friday. Social media groups helping to organize the strikes have dubbed it #MakeAmazonPay day. Activists are also staging protests outside the New York home of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos is no longer Amazon’s CEO but retains significant financial interest in the company. 

The strikers are demanding that the company address unsafe working conditions at many of its warehouses and fulfilment centers across the globe. Workers are also concerned about Amazon’s use of computers to monitor and enforce brutal productivity quotas. These automated enforcement mechanisms dock workers’ pay or even fire them for failing to meet the quotas, regardless of workers’ ages or mobility problems.

The pressure to fulfill these quotas contributes to an unsafe working environment in the warehouses. In 2021, Amazon warehouse workers made up only 1/3 of all US warehouse workers but accounted for nearly half of all recorded injuries recorded in US warehouses, according to the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC). 

Today’s demonstrators are also demanding that Amazon negotiate with unionized workers. An Amazon warehouse in Staten Island became the first in the US to join a union, but the company has yet to acknowledge the union or meet them at the negotiating table. Other Amazon warehouses have tried and failed to unionize, but more votes are coming next year.

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Trump rape accuser files upgraded lawsuit under new law

Columnist E. Jean Carroll has filed a new lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of sexual battery after New York passed a law allowing victims to sue their perpetrators for crimes decades in the past. Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in the changing room of a Manhattan department store in the mid-90s.

When the accusation first came to light during Trump’s presidency, Trump called her a liar and said she’s “not my type”. Carroll then filed a defamation suit against Trump. Then-Attorney General Bill Barr sought to make the federal government the defendant in the case, claiming that Trump’s denial was an official act in his capacity as a federal employee. This would have killed the lawsuit, as the federal government cannot be sued for defamation. A judge recently rejected this ploy and allowed Carroll’s initial suit to go ahead with Trump as the defendant.

As part of the initial lawsuit, Carroll has been trying to obtain a DNA sample from Trump to compare with evidence from her assault.

New York’s new Adult Survivors law allows victims of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits against perpetrators and those who facilitated the abuse. Facilitators can include institutions like churches, banks and other organizations. For example, victims of deceased billionaire child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein filed a suit today against banking institutions. The victims say JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and others ignored Epstein’s “red flags” to continue benefitting from his sex-trafficking operations.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Australia: Much-maligned bird may be key to controlling even more hated invasive toad

Foreigners love to marvel from afar at Australia’s weird and wonderful wildlife. But for many Aussies, these animals are little more than an everyday nuisance. From unwanted scraps with marauding kangaroos to close encounters with enormous spiders at inopportune moments, these critters are a, sometimes unwelcome, fact of life.

A white ibis with a cane toad in its beak.

One such example is the majestic-looking white ibis. Aussies have bestowed the inglorious title of “bin chicken” upon the stork-like bird, thanks to its habit of rooting through urban and rural garbage bins in search of food. However, scientists have just uncovered the bin chicken’s saving grace- its valiant efforts to bring down the numbers of the invasive cane toad.

Cane toads were introduced to Australia in the 1930s and have become a very difficult to control pest. The toad emits a powerful and deadly toxin when stressed. As a result, Australia’s typical predators like crocodiles and dingoes have learned to avoid it. Decades of unchecked breeding have brought the Australian cane toad population to around 2 billion. The toad’s habit of eating small native animals means it’s had a devastating effect on native wildlife.

But the ibis has found an ingenious way to ingest the cane toad while avoiding the effects of its toxins. Scientists have recently observed ibises “playing” with the toads, picking them up, tossing them in the air and even playing “catch” with them. The ibis then either scrubs the toad on the grass or rinses it off in a pond, cleaning off the toxic secretions. The bird then swallows the toad whole.

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