Pernod Ricard staff allege firm’s ‘drinking culture’ made them ill

French company denies accusations after employees complain about alcohol intake Staff at the French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard claim they were under constant pressure to drink at work to the point of damaging their health. One former salesman told how he felt obliged to knock back up to 12 glasses of the aniseed-flavoured drink a day and drove his car while drunk. Another spoke of three-day binges. The accusations, denied by Pernod Ricard, come after a member of the firms sales team took the company to a labour court in September claiming he had been made ill by excessive drinking. Since then other employees, one who still works at the company, have come forward to describe a culture …

America’s milk industry is struggling. Don’t blame oat milk

New York (CNN Business)Milk is falling out of fashion. From April 2018 to April of 2019, sales of oat milk jumped 222%, according to GFI. The beverage is certainly buzzy: High-end coffee shops now sell pricey almond-, oat- and coconut-milk lattes. In 2018, Gothamist ran a story titled “Don’t Panic: Reports of ‘Oat Milk Shortage’ are greatly exaggerated” after a New Yorker piece raised the alarm. But the plant-based sector is still small, and can’t explain such a big drop in milk sales. Other factors are making an impact. Health-conscious consumers, increasingly seeking low-calorie drinks with a nutritional boost or jolt of caffeine, may be swapping dairy milk out for sports drinks, tea, coffee or bottled water, a growing category. …

Jeremy Corbyn urges public to vote for ‘manifesto of hope’

Investment blitz promised as experts taken aback by scale of Labours tax and spend plans Jeremy Corbyn has urged the public to vote for his manifesto of hope as he unveiled plans for the most dramatic increase in tax and spending in more than half a century if Labour wins power next months general election. In an upbeat launch event at Birmingham City University, the Labour leader said he welcomed the hostility of the billionaires, bad bosses and dodgy landlords who would lose out from his policies. Experts were taken aback by the scale of Labours spending plans, which dwarfed the substantial increase in the size of the state envisaged in the partys 2017 manifesto. Universal free broadband, delivered by …

Google to offer checking accounts in partnership with Citigroup

News of product, Cache, comes day after whistleblower revealed alarm over secret transfer of personal medical data to company Google is to offer personal checking accounts to consumers in a partnership with Citigroup bank as the search giant pushes deeper in its quest to harvest the personal data of consumers. The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year. News of the project comes a day after a whistle-blower revealed the existence of Project Nightingale a hook-up with the healthcare giant Ascendant that could give Google access to personal medical data of up to 50 million Americans. The existence of Project Cache, which was Apple has introduced a credit card and Amazon has been in talks with banks to …

‘I live on the street now’: how Americans fall into medical bankruptcy

Having health insurance is often not enough to save Americans from massive debts when serious illness strikes Its been over a dozen years since Susanne LeClair of West Palm Beach, Florida was first diagnosed with cancer and shes been fighting ever since. Now she, like many other Americans facing life-threatening illness, is bankrupt despite having health insurance. Before her first cancer-related surgery, LeClair was told by the hospital they accepted her employer-based health insurance. Susanne LeClaire. Photograph: Courtesy the family I paid my $300 copay. After the surgery, I started receiving all these invoices and came to find out the only thing covered was my bed because the hospital was out of network, said LeClair. My bills were hundreds of …

Monopolies cost Americans $300 a month. We’re no longer the land of free markets | Thomas Philippon

In a reversal from a few decades ago, American consumers are facing oligopolies while Europeans benefit from competition When I landed in Boston in 1999, the United States was the land of free markets. Many goods and services were cheaper here than in Europe. Twenty years later, American free markets are becoming a myth. Internet service, cellphone plans, and plane tickets are now cheaper in Europe and Asia than in the US. In 2018, the twice as much on cellphone services as households in France or the UK. This is a result of policy choices. In 1999, the US had free and competitive markets while European markets were dominated by oligopolies. The airline industry is a prime example. Over the …

Christine Romans: The economy is not as supercharged as Trump promised. But it might not matter

New York (CNN Business)When the economy under President Barack Obama posted quarterly growth of just 1.9% in 2012, Citizen Donald Trump tweeted, “The economy is in deep trouble.” Central to the Trump re-election argument is the message the economy is strong, stocks are near record highs and the trade war won’t hurt at home. But fact is, growth below 2% looks a lot like the slow-burn expansion in stretches of the Obama administration. GDP is the broadest measure of the health of the economy. Third-quarter GDP at 1.9% was better than economists had feared but the second weakest of the Trump administration. Growth has slowed now for two quarters in a row. Business investment cratered in the quarter, raising concerns …

Goliath review: Wall Street, Main Street and Warren as McGovern 2.0?

Matt Stollers look at the 100-year war between monopoly and democracy is highly relevant to the primary race Wall Street is scared. Elizabeth Warren has surged to the front of the Democratic pack and some of the partys biggest donors are ponders jumping into a race against her. Mark Zuckerberg vows to is understandably unpopular. But her calls for big tech be broken up parallels several conservatives, and Can you give me any reason why you should not be in the penitentiary? Stoller, a former staffer to Bernie Sanders on the Senate budget committee and sometime fellow at the Open Markets Institute, Frederick Dutton, Robert Kennedys campaign manager who set the template for the Democrats upstairs-downstairs playbook and was later …

Melinda Gates has pledged $1 billion to achieving gender equality

(CNN)It’ll take more than 200 years before gender eqality is a reality in the US. “That diversity remains something companies talk about instead of prioritizing. That all of this energy and attention has amounted to a temporary swell instead of a sea change.” Over the next 10 years, Gates says, her company Pivotal Ventures will distribute that hefty sum to its partners who are implementing innovative strategies to advance women’s power and leadership. Gates is a vocal advocate for increased opportunities for women in tech, global health investment and technology as a pathway out of poverty. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she co-chairs with her husband, she has awarded over $50 billion in grant funding. She identifies …

Drug maker ‘will make $21bn from treating cystic fibrosis’

Vertex is accused of raking in vast profits while making Orkambi unaffordable to NHS A US company, which is refusing to drop its price for the life-changing cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi to make it affordable to NHS England, is set to make $21bn (17bn) in profit from that and a sister medicine, according to research. Countries around the world are struggling to pay for Orkambi, made by Vertex, which has a list price of 104,000 per patient per year and is not a cure. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in England has said effective. On Monday, the Scottish Medicines Consortium will decide whether to approve the drug for children. Parents in England have campaigned, demonstrated on …

Facebook Knows More About You Than the CIA

The titans of social media are trapped, and we’re all suffering for it. As free services, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube monetize you by keeping you engaged, so they can show you more ads. The services are designed to exploit our brain chemistry, flashing us notifications and giving us one more hit of algorithm-recommended video. If they didn’t, their revenue would dwindle and shareholders would be unhappy. This is not a mutually beneficial relationship, as the platforms like to say; it’s a parasitic one. Social media hoovers up our energy and most intimate data, and in return we get anxiety and the destabilization of democracy. It’s gotten to the point where the tech giants know more about you than the government …

Dunkin’ is launching a breakfast sandwich with Beyond Meat sausage

New York (CNN Business)Dunkin’ is expanding its breakfast menu with a trendy new item: a meatless sausage sandwich. Barclays predicts the alternative meat sector could reach about $140 billion over the next decade, capturing about 10% of the global meat industry. People who are embracing plant-based foods aren’t necessarily abandoning meat altogether, and fast food chains aren’t trying to attract strict vegans. For example, the new Dunkin’ sandwich is served with American cheese and eggs and therefore is not a vegan product unless modified. The Little Caesars Impossible pizza is also made with cheese. Both Beyond Meat (BYND) and Impossible Foods make plant-based proteins designed to taste and cook like real meat. Dunkin’ is “looking at” a fully vegan sandwich, …

This App Lets Your Instagram Followers Track Your Location

A new app knows what your Instagram-loving friends did last summer. Called Who’s in Town, the iOS and Android app is ostensibly designed to show you, well … who’s in town. But it does much more than that. Users who download the app and grant it access to their Instagram account are presented with an eerie interactive map of every place the people they follow have visited and shared online since they created their profile. The map updates in real time and is sourced from the wealth of location data the average Instagram user willingly uploads to the platform each time they opt to use its popular geotag feature in a story or post. This information is nominally public already, …

The Hard-Luck Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoinand Lost

In 1952, The Saturday Evening Post christened Rockdale, Texas, “The Town Where It Rains Money.” An estimated 100 million tons of lignite coal lay buried a few miles south of the city limits, and Alcoa had just swooped in to build a $100 million smelter that would use the cheap energy source to produce aluminum for fighter planes, skyscrapers, auto­mobiles, and more. “At the mere mention of somebody blowing into town with $100,000,000 to spend, many citi­zens were seized by attacks of vertigo,” wrote local author George Sessions-Perry. “Others merely went off and lay down in an effort to regain their composure. Then things began to happen.” Seemingly overnight, Rockdale’s population doubled to 5,000. A photo accompanying the Post story …

Wellness Startup’s Generic Viagra Ads Flout Facebook Rules

On television and radio, the ads are fairly innocuous: “Hey guy,” a female narrator says playfully in one TV spot for Hims, a men’s wellness brand that sells prescription drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, oral herpes, social anxiety, hair loss, and other conditions. “Hi there. Welcome to Hims.” The ad invites viewers to “get ED treatment started for only $5,” next to a close-up of a young man pressing a white pill seductively to his lips. What appear to be customer reviews are superimposed over the image: “Should have done it years ago and I feel like the young stud that I always imagined I was," says one. "Outstanding product, works above and beyond our expectations," reads another. Much like …

The One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack

In May 2019, WIRED joined the One Free Press Coalition, a united group of preeminent editors and publishers using their global reach and social platforms to spotlight journalists under attack worldwide. Today, the coalition is issuing its fifth monthly “10 Most Urgent” list of journalists whose press freedoms are being suppressed or whose cases demand justice. Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered columnist for The Wash­ington Post, remains atop the list following a UN report that blames Saudi Arabia for his murder. Norma Sarabia is on the list now too. So far in 2019, Mexico is the deadliest country for journalists: At least three journalists have been confirmed killed in connection with their work, and the Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating …