Company behind ‘Fearless Girl’ statue settles gender dispute

Published: Saturday, October 07, 2017 @ 12:56 AM

The Fearless Girl statue stands in New York's financial district.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
The Fearless Girl statue stands in New York's financial district.(DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

She’s a symbol of strength and gender equality for women. Since the “Fearless Girl” statue was placed in front of the Wall Street bull in March, she has drawn crowds for selfie shots and praise for exuding empowerment for women.

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It is not a small irony that State Street Corporation, the company that sponsored the statue, has agreed to pay $5 million to settle allegations that it underpaid female and black employees, CNN reported.

A Department of Labor probe in 2012 found that State Street paid 305 women who held the executive positions of senior vice president, managing director or vice president less than their male counterparts. The investigation showed that the women earned smaller base salaries, bonuses and total compensation than men.

The findings from the audit were filed in Boston, where State Street is located, on Wednesday, along with the settlement agreement, the New York Post reported. State Street will pay the affected parties about $4.5 million in back pay and approximately $500,000 in interest, CNN reported. 

The firm has denied any wrongdoing.

"State Street is committed to equal pay practices and evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programs are nondiscriminatory," the company said in a statement.

“While we disagreed with the [Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs]'s analysis and findings, we have cooperated fully with them, and made a decision to bring this six year-old matter to resolution and move forward.”

State Street Global Advisors, the corporation's investment management division, installed "Fearless Girl" across from the "Charging Bull" statue in March to call attention to its efforts to increase the number of women on its clients' corporate boards, CNN reported.

The bronze statue was immediately popular, with people visiting and snapping photographs next to it. The statue was originally slated to stay for a week, but it became so popular that thousands signed a petition to make it a permanent fixture in New York’s financial district.

Air Force may recall up to 1,000 retired pilots

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 12:24 AM

Up to 1,000 Retired Air Force Pilots May Be Recalled

The U.S. Air Force may recall as many as 1,000 retired military pilots to active duty because of an executive order signed Friday by President Donald Trump,  ABC News reported.

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By law, only 25 retired pilots can be recalled through voluntary programs to serve in any one branch of military service, but Trump’s executive order removes that limit, ABC News reported. The order expands the national state of emergency declared in 2001 by President George W. Bush in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as part of an effort “to mitigate the Air Force’s acute shortage of pilots,” said Navy Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman.

Secretary of Air Force Heather Wilson said the service was short by 1,555 pilots -- including 1,211 fighter pilots -- at the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," Ross said in a statement Friday. "The pilot supply shortage is a national level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come."

Teacher duct tapes 5th graders mouths shut to keep them quiet

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 11:08 AM

An elementary school student raises a hand in class. A substitute teacher in Texas was banned from a school in Killeen after she allegedly duct-taped students’ mouths shut.
Ulrich Baumgarten/U. Baumgarten via Getty Images
An elementary school student raises a hand in class. A substitute teacher in Texas was banned from a school in Killeen after she allegedly duct-taped students’ mouths shut.(Ulrich Baumgarten/U. Baumgarten via Getty Images)

A substitute teacher at an elementary school in Killeen, Texas, has lost her job after allegedly duct-taping fifth-graders mouths shut to keep them quiet, according to news outlets.

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The incident, which lasted for several minutes, involved 10 students at Maxdale Elementary SchoolABC News reported. Three additional students also placed duct tape over their own mouths after their classmates mouth were duct-taped.

“She had an idea where some kids would line up in a line and she would duct tape their mouths,” fifth-grader Andy Hernandez told KRON.

The students were checked out by a school nurse and school officials later called child protective services.

The students were not injured by the tape, but the Killeen Independent School District launched an investigation and later banned the teacher from campus.

“The substitute teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and barred from the campus as a result of this outrageous and unconscionable behavior,” the district said in a statement, KRON reported.

“The school leadership notified child protective services of the event, and we will work closely in support of any additional investigation by law enforcement as needed,” district officials said.

>> Related: Teacher strapped special needs child to chair with masking tape

The school’s principal called the parents of the children involved to inform them of the incident, KRON reported.

Pizza shop owners remove bathroom signs after protests

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 1:45 PM

Restaurant Owners Remove Controversial Bathroom Signs

The owners of a Colorado pizza shop are reluctantly removing the controversial bathroom signs at their restaurant after receiving backlash.

The signs depict a man trying to lift up a woman's skirt, The Durango Herald reported. While the restroom signs have been up since HomeSlice Pizza opened four years ago, the complaints skyrocketed after images of the signs were shared on social media. Some found the signs to be in poor taste and making light of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

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Lynn Kitch and her husband own the restaurant. Kitch submitted a statement to the Herald, in which she said that she was removing the signs not because they are offensive, but because she didn't want her employees subjected to "adverse working conditions." Kitch said in the statement that she is a sexual assault survivor and would have welcomed a meaningful conversation about the signs, but instead, protesters were making harassing calls to the restaurant and cyberbullying the business by leaving bad reviews online.

Some HomeSlice Pizza customers supported the owners, saying the sign was meant to be humorous.

Kitch said at least one of the signs will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to a local organization who supports sexual assault victims.

Mariah Carey’s ex-fiance James Packer calls relationship a ‘mistake’

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 10:14 AM

Singer Mariah Carey and billionaire James Packer in happier times on vacation in Portofino, Italy on June 26, 2015.
Photopix/GC Images
Singer Mariah Carey and billionaire James Packer in happier times on vacation in Portofino, Italy on June 26, 2015.(Photopix/GC Images)

A year after calling off their engagement, James Packer is talking about his breakup with Mariah Carey for the first time.

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“I was at a low point in my personal life,” Packer said about his time with Carey.

“She was kind, exciting and fun. Mariah is a woman of substance. But, it was a mistake for her and a mistake for me.”

The couple first got together in 2015 and had plans to get married. Nine months after getting engaged, however, they called everything off in October 2016 while they were vacationing in Greece.

Carey, who was reportedly “blindsided” by the breakup, famously went on to burn her wedding gown in her “I Don’t” music video by tossing it into a fire.

>> Related: Mariah Carey is asking for much more than cash in her settlement with ex-fiancé James Packer

Mariah was totally blindsided by James. She read the news in Woman’s Day Australia that said he dumped her,” a source told Us Weekly. “Mariah knew they were having problems, but all relationships have issues — it wasn’t the kind of thing where she thought she’d read in the paper that she got dumped. She was devastated; she was shocked.”

A representative for the singer later confirmed the news in a statement that read, “Mariah and James had a fight in Greece, and have not seen each other since. The fight was not because of any cheating allegations or excessive spending by Mariah. James is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. They are trying to work it out. Right now, they’re not sure if they will stay together.”