On the same day Americans are due to make sure they are square with the government on income taxes, some businesses try to soften the blow.
Regardless of whether you’re getting money back or paying it in, there are free treats, discounted drinks and free paper shredding being offered at spots across the country.
For example, maybe you need a massage – Hydromassage and Planet Fitness are partnering for the 11th annual Free Massage During Tax Week through April 20. There are $1 strawberry margarits at participating Applebee’s restaurants.
President Trump plans a trip to Minnesota on tax day to tout his tax bill that he and his advisers claim has strengthened the economy.
Rep. Ilhan Omar says she’s faced increased death threats since President Donald Trump spread around a video that purports to show her being dismissive of the 2001 terrorist attacks. “This is endangering lives,” she said, accusing Trump of fomenting right-wing extremism. “It has to stop.”
Her statement late Sunday followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she has taken steps to ensure the safety of the Minnesota Democrat and the speaker’s call for Trump to take down the video.
Soon after Pelosi’s statement, the video disappeared as a pinned tweet at the top of Trump’s Twitter feed, but it was not deleted.
Pelosi was among Democrats who had criticized Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence against the Muslim lawmaker. An upstate New York man recently was charged with making death threats against her.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Trump earlier Sunday, saying the president has a duty to highlight Omar’s history of making comments that others deem anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive and that he wished no “ill will” upon the first-term lawmaker.
But Omar said that since Trump retweeted the video Friday night, she’s received many threats on her life that referred or replied to the posted video.
“Violent crimes and other acts of hate by right-wing extremists and white nationalists are on the rise in this country and around the world,” she said. “We can no longer ignore that they are being encouraged by the occupant of the highest office in the land.” She said: “We are all Americans.”
Earlier, Pelosi issued a statement while traveling in London saying she had spoken with congressional authorities “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.”
Pelosi said officials will continue to monitor and assess threats against Omar, and called on Trump to discourage such behavior.
“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger,” Pelosi said. “President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”
The video in Trump’s tweet included a snippet from a recent speech Omar gave to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in which she described the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center as “some people did something,” along with news footage of the hijacked airplanes hitting the Twin Towers. Trump captioned his tweet with: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
Critics accuse Omar of being flippant in describing the perpetrators of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. She later sought to defend herself by tweeting a quote from President George W. Bush, in which the Republican president referred to the attackers as “people” just days after 9/11.
Neither Trump’s tweet nor the video included Omar’s full quote or the context of her comments, which were about Muslims feeling that their civil liberties had eroded after the attacks. The tweet was posted atop Trump’s Twitter feed for much of Sunday, with more than 9 million views. It remained lower in the feed after Pelosi requested that the video be pulled.
MIAMI ‚ÄĘ A captive cassowary, the large flightless animal considered the most dangerous of birds, killed a man Friday near Gainesville, Fla.
The Alachua County Sheriff‚Äôs Office is conducting a death investigation, spokesman Lt. Brett Rhodenizer said Saturday.
About 10:30 a.m., authorities received a call from a witness stating the man fell and had been attacked by the bird at a property off Alachua County Road 235 ‚ÄĒ northwest of the University of Florida in Gainesville ‚ÄĒ where the cassowary and other captive wildlife are housed.
The man, whose name was not released, had sustained ‚Äúserious injuries‚ÄĚ and was transported to a local hospital, said Alachua County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor in an email. He later died.
It is unclear if the man was the owner of the property or an employee.
Cassowary diets consist exclusively of fruit, but each of the birds‚Äô three-toed feet hides a ‚Äúdaggerlike‚ÄĚ claw on the inner toe that can grow up to 4 inches long, according to information published online by the San Diego Zoo. The birds are native to New Guinea and parts of Australia. A cassowary can also jump 7 feet into the air and run up to 31 mph.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission classifies the cassowary among Class II wildlife, meaning they pose a threat to humans but can be owned with a permit.
‚ÄúThe cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick,‚ÄĚ states information from the San Diego Zoo. ‚ÄúThe cassowary is rightfully considered the most dangerous bird in the world!‚ÄĚ
Southern cassowaries, the most well-known of the three cassowary species, can measure between 4 and 5.6 feet tall, with females weighing in at up to 167 pounds, according to the San Diego Zoo. Their head, neck and throat areas are featherless, which reveal bright blue skin. Keratin casques, or helmets, cover the heads of all three species.
The southern cassowary is considered endangered under Australia law and ‚Äúvulnerable‚ÄĚ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
The Alachua County Sheriff‚Äôs Office is coordinating with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as it investigates the property.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre looking to confirm our suspicions that this is a horrible accident for the man and his family,‚ÄĚ Rhodenizer said.
Erik Brunetti’s four-letter fashion brand starts with an “F” and rhymes with “duct.” The federal government calls it “scandalous” and “immoral” and has refused to register the trademark. Brunetti has a different word for his brand and designs: “thought-provoking.”
“We wanted the viewer to question it: Like, is that pronounced the way I think it’s pronounced?” he said of his streetwear brand “FUCT,” which began selling clothing in 1991.
On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear Brunetti’s challenge to a part of federal law that says officials should refuse to register trademarks that are “scandalous” or “immoral.” Brunetti says it should be struck down as an unconstitutional restriction on speech.
The government is defending the century-old provision. The Trump administration says in court papers that the law encourages trademarks that are appropriate for all audiences. It argues it isn’t restricting speech but rather declining to promote it.
Brunetti and others like him who are denied trademark registration under the “scandalous” provision can still use the words they wanted to register for their business, nonprofit or brand. They just don’t get the benefits that come with registering a trademark. For Brunetti, that would largely mean a better ability to go after counterfeiters who knock off his designs.
Brunetti would seem to have a strong argument. Two years ago, the justices unanimously invalidated a related provision of federal law that told officials not to register disparaging trademarks. In that case, an Asian-American rock band sued after the government refused to register its band name, “The Slants,” because it was seen as offensive to Asians.
In court, the justices had no trouble saying the band’s name, but Brunetti’s brand may be different. His lawyer, John R. Sommer, says he plans to say the individual letters of the name, “F-U-C-T,” which Brunetti sometimes does too. Another possible workaround: explaining the brand is something of an acronym for “Friends U Can’t Trust.”
Part of Sommer’s argument is what he sees as the arbitrary nature of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s decisions about what gets tagged as scandalous or immoral. A lawyer working for the office who is from the South might find something “not nice” that wouldn’t faze a lawyer from the Bronx, Sommer said. That means “you can register profanity if you’re lucky” and you get assigned a lawyer who allows it, Sommer said.
Two New York University professors gave that argument substantial support in a brief they filed in the case. They showed that the office routinely refuses to register trademarks both by saying something is scandalous and, ironically, too confusingly similar to something that is already registered. For example, the office refused to register “FUK!T” for being scandalous and immoral but also confusingly similar to the already-registered “PHUKIT.” ”MIDDLEFINGER” was denied after “JONNY MIDDLEFINGER” was registered, and “Ko Kane” was rejected after “Kokanee” was registered. And those are just some printable examples.
Brunetti said the trademark office has registered trademarks “far more offensive than my mark.”
The trademark office declined to comment on the case.
Mainstream retailers are leaping into the world of products like skin creams and oils that tout such benefits as reducing anxiety and helping you sleep.
The key ingredient? CBD, or cannabidiol, a compound derived from hemp and marijuana that doesn’t cause a high.
Retailers are taking advantage of the booming industry even as its legal status and health benefits remain murky. And the flood of products is only testing how federal regulators can police it.
Retail sales of CBD consumer products in 2018 were estimated to reach as much as $2 billion, according to Cowen & Co. By 2025, that figure could hit $16 billion in retail sales, the investment firm predicts.
CBD has been cropping up in everything from dog treats to bath balms in the past few months. Domestic diva Martha Stewart is working with Canada’s Canopy Growth Corp. to develop new CBD products. And the nation’s largest mall owner Simon Property Group has hooked up with a cannabis goods maker to open roughly 100 kiosks at its U.S. malls by mid-summer.
Authentic Fitness is planning to sell CBD foot creams, oils and soaps under the Nine West brand starting this fall. And CVS Health is beginning to sell CBD-infused creams, sprays, lotions and salves at more than 800 stores in seven states; drug store rivals Walgreens and Rite Aid are now following suit.
Even high-end retailers are getting in on the action, charging anywhere from $12 to $150 an ounce. Barneys New York has opened a shop in Beverly Hills, California, that sells CBD-infused creams along with hand blown glass bongs and other accessories, while Neiman Marcus is now offering an array of CBD-infused beauty products from balms, lotions soaps and masks in five of its stores.
“There’s definitely a huge opportunity for expansion,” said Matthew Mazzucca, creative director at Barneys New York.
He acknowledged, however, the legal hurdles are still hard to navigate and companies should take it slow.
Indeed, some are doing just that. Walmart says it doesn’t have plans to carry CBD-infused products at this time and Target, which in 2017 sold hemp extract products on its website but then quickly yanked them, said it’s monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, online behemoth Amazon is staying clear of the stuff. Spokeswoman Cecilia Fan says the company prohibits the sale of products that contain CBD and will remove them from its site if it sees them.
CBD’s ubiquity persists despite very little evidence for all the health claims the industry touts. If you believe in the hype, CBD treats pain, reduces anxiety and helps you sleep and keeps you focused. But most claims are based on studies in rats, mice or in test tubes. Human research has been done but on small numbers of people.
Only drugs that have been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective can make claims that they treat or prevent diseases or medical conditions. Many CBD producers try to get around that by using vague language about general health and well-being.
Tiger Woods made one of the greatest comebacks in sports when he won the Masters on Sunday.
It’s been more than a decade since the golf legend won his last championship at the 2008 US Open, but those 11 years feel like a lifetime. (And if you had somehow missed word about Woods’ win, your media-avoidance is at the master level.)¬†
Here are some of the ways the world has changed since then.
ISIS declared a caliphate. Now it’s fallen. In 2014, ISIS captured global attention when it announced the creation of a so-called caliphate — an Islamic state led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that would span Iraq, Syria and beyond. The terror group attracted thousands of would-be jihadists from around the world with its social media recruiting tactics. At the height of its power, it reigned over an area the size of Portugal, with nearly 8 million people under its rule.
Last month, ISIS lost its final physical stronghold in Syria, bringing an end to the caliphate — though experts argue the terror group is still a threat.
A black man was elected president. Twice. On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States — the first African-American ever to hold the office.
The #MeToo movement happened. In October 2017, the New York Times published a story detailing numerous accusations of sexual harassment against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The accounts of the women who came forward kicked off an important conversation about the mistreatment of women. Soon, it had snowballed into a movement spanning industries around the globe.
A major humanitarian crisis unfolded.¬†The Syrian civil war began in 2011, quickly becoming one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed and millions have been displaced from their homes and are now living in refugee camps.
Scientists successfully cloned human stem cells. Ever since Dolly the sheep was cloned from an adult cell in 1996, scientists had been asking whether humans could be cloned in the same way. In 2013, scientists successfully used the technique to make the first embryonic stem cell lines from human skin cells — which could develop into muscle, nerve, or other cells that make up the body’s tissues.
Julian Assange was arrested after years in exile. In 2012, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He was granted asylum as he attempted to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was facing allegations of sexual assault. He spent seven years there until he was arrested last week on a US extradition warrant.
We started swiping left and right. Yes, there was Match.com and OkCupid in 2008. But after apps like Grindr and Tinder launched, dating was never the same. Now people have more options than ever before, and “swipe right” and “swipe left” are a part of the lexicon.
‘Game of Thrones’ premiered. Now it’s coming to an end. The fantasy drama based on the novels by George R.R. Martin became a global phenomenon. The series first premiered on HBO on April 17, 2011. After eight years, seven seasons and 67 episodes, the eighth and final season of the HBO blockbuster is here.