Cigarettes sold in the U.S. and Europe are made using tobacco that is increasingly produced via child labor in poorer nations, an investigation by The Guardian published Monday found.
In places like Malawi, Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, Zimbabwe, and India, rising numbers of children work in harsh conditions on tobacco fields instead of attending school. Because families working on tobacco plots are often indebted to landowners, they are forced to bring their children into the fields as unpaid labor, continuing the cycle of generational poverty, reports The Guardian.
About 1.3 million children were working in tobacco fields in 2011, the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control said. Child labor has decreased in many places, but the U.N.'s International Labor Organization says wealthier nations have shrugged the practice off onto poorer countries. "Although there are no estimates of the number of child laborers in tobacco globally," an ILO report read, "surveys indicate that in impoverished tobacco growing communities, child labor is rampant."
Major tobacco companies told The Guardian that they are doing everything they can to combat the use of child labor. Company officials say they tell suppliers not to employ children and work with outside organizations to keep children in school and away from tobacco fields. Despite the commitment and efforts, WHO expert Vera Da Costa e Silva said the circumstances that lead to child labor continue to cycle. "No effective actions have been taken to reverse this scenario," said Silva. Read more at The Guardian. Summer Meza
During the opening monologue of the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, comedian Colin Jost quipped that the audience watching at home consisted of merely "hundreds" of people. He was exaggerating — but not by as much as host network NBC would have hoped.
Per Nielsen, the company that measures television ratings, approximately 10.2 million people watched the 2018 Emmys, Deadline reports. That's over 1 million fewer viewers than watched in 2017, when 11.4 million people tuned in, per Variety. Indeed, 10.2 million is yet another new low for the television awards show; the 2016 ceremony drew what was then the smallest audience of all time with 11.3 million viewers, Variety reports, but that seems downright massive compared to 2018's dismal showing.
Lest one assume the ratings drop was simply because the show was on a Monday this year rather than a Sunday, the Emmys were also held on a Monday in 2014 — and that show scored 15.6 million viewers, Deadline reported at the time.
Instead, television ratings have just been in steady decline across the board as consumers cut cable and grow disinterested in live events like awards shows. But as The Wrap points out, there's a silver lining: By dropping about 11 percent, this year's Emmys at least didn't see as sharp a ratings dip as the 2018 Oscars, which experienced a decline of 16 percent in 2018. So that's something. Brendan Morrow
For companies looking for flexible office space in Manhattan, WeWork just seems to work.
The coworking company now officially occupies the most space in Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal reports, surpassing JPMorgan Chase for the record. WeWork now rents 5.3 million square feet throughout the borough, edging out JPMorgan Chase's occupation of 5.2 million square feet — a development that reveals how flexible leases are undermining traditional real estate.
Because WeWork rents out large office blocks and divides them up among tenants, it can offer smaller spaces and shorter leases than a normal landlord. These flexible plans, paired with attractive amenities like lounges and beer on tap, originally attracted small startups. But even big firms such as Amazon and Verizon have hopped on the coworking train, driving WeWork's recent growth, the Journal points out.
This freedom comes with a price. Square footage in a coworking spot often costs double or triple what a traditional office does, and flex-space companies pack about three desks into the space typical offices usually reserve for one, the Journal says.
Still, growing interest in flex-space spots has led WeWork and its peers to dominate 9.7 percent of new Manhattan leases so far in 2018. The same companies only made up 3.3 percent of leases in 2017, per the Journal. WeWork has grown even more dramatically than its coworking peers, boosting its total space around the world from 19.5 million square feet in 2017 to 36.4 million so far in 2018. And with larger companies starting to pour in, the Journal expects WeWork and pals to start slinging a lot more cucumber water in the next few years.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not having a great week.
Shortly after being hit with a lawsuit by the Thai cave diver who he accused of being a pedophile, Musk's company is now facing a Justice Department investigation, Bloomberg reports. This is over Musk's now infamous tweet from August in which he said that he was "considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured." The New York Times subsequently reported that despite what Musk said, he actually had not secured funding and that his tweet was more of a "flip remark."
That remark resulted in Tesla receiving a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had already been investigating the company over concerns that Musk had misled investors, per the Times. Musk announced at the end of August that Tesla would stay public after all.
CNBC reports that immediately following Bloomberg's report of the Justice Department probe Tuesday, Tesla stock dropped, just as it did after Musk conducted a bizarre earnings call in May, got subpoenaed by the SEC in August, and smoked pot with Joe Rogan in September. Brendan Morrow
Just like the president lamented to reporter Bob Woodward ahead of the publication of his book Fear, Trump has "another bad book coming out."
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is writing a tell-all book, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. It will provide a "candid account of his career and an impassioned defense of the FBI's agents," his publisher said. Trump has frequently criticized McCabe, and he retroactively revoked his security clearance last month. McCabe was fired from the FBI in March just 26 hours before he could retire and receive a pension, reports the Post. The bureau's inspector general accused him of disclosing information to the media and lying about it.
"I wrote this book because the president's attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole," McCabe said in a statement of his book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump. The book will be published by St. Martin's Press and will come out on Dec. 4.
McCabe further said Trump is "undermining America's safety and security," adding that his book would illuminate the "clear and present danger" Trump poses to the country through a firsthand account of his time working directly with the president and other top administration officials. Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reconciles her traditional Christian beliefs with President Trump's sometimes-not-so-Christian tendencies by separating church and state. "I'm not going to my office expecting it to be my church," she told The New Yorker in an interview published Tuesday.
Sanders fell into the press secretary job last year when tumultuous staffing issues left the post open; as one former adviser said, "There wasn't anybody else." She was reportedly brought on to Team Trump as a way to link the president to evangelicals and suburban women.
Though she rarely hints at her personal views on Trump's policy decisions, she is steadfastly loyal to the president's message, functioning at once as "the wall" Trump built and the "battering ram" fighting through his myriad crises. Her views or style can sometimes diverge from what The New Yorker calls Trump's "immorality," by evangelical standards, but she focuses on the positive aspects of his "unconventionality." Someone close to her said that she views Trump's bombastic and uncompromising approach as effective, if unsavory.
During official press briefings, Sanders can't say anything "even somewhat nuanced" about Trump, a source said — praise only. However, behind the scenes, reporters say she is much less confrontational and is often quite helpful. The New Yorker reports that she stays aggressive on camera because it pleases Trump and helps him push his claims of "fake news." Sanders says she likes the "nervous adrenaline" that comes with the job. "The odds are stacked against you," she said of entering the briefing room to face upwards of 50 reporters. "I like it, though." Read more at The New Yorker. Summer Meza
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is really, really salty about a man turned meme.
The Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, better known as the internet-famous "Salt Bae" who artfully sprinkles seasoning on meat, served Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro at his Istanbul steakhouse and tweeted a video of it Monday. And because Gökçe has another restaurant in Miami, Rubio has decided it's worth slamming him in five separate tweets.
On Monday night, Rubio tweeted that he didn't even know who this "weirdo #Saltbae" was, and presumably wasn't aware Gökçe had a Florida restaurant. Still, he slammed Gökçe for feeding Maduro, the "overweight dictator of a nation where 30 percent of the people eat only once a day." Eater reports that Maduro's steak cost $275; meanwhile, 90 percent of his country lives in poverty.
Once Rubio realized Gökçe's local ties, he rubbed some more salt in the chef's wounds:
This guy @nusr_ett who admires dictator @NicolasMaduro so much actually owns a steakhouse in, of all places, #Miami. It’s called NUSR-ET STEAKHOUSE MIAMI located at 999 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131
The phone number is 1 305 415 9990 in case anyone wanted to call. https://t.co/7CDkgHVZWh
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 18, 2018
Gökçe deleted his dictator-serving video, but the Miami Herald has since reposted the footage of his over-the-top slicing skills. And Rubio, whose ire had been preserved for another day, encouraged his followers to watch it Tuesday morning.
Rubio, who is Cuban-American, probably wouldn't be pleased to know Gökçe also dressed up as Cuba's ex-dictator Fidel Castro last year. But for now, the senator has moved on to tweeting Bible verses scorning "those who seek to destroy my life." Kathryn Krawczyk
The mass shootings of the past few years may not have led to any major national gun policy changes. But gun control is playing a massively larger role in campaign advertising for the 2018 election than it did in the last midterm cycle.
While mentions of gun policy have increased across the board, a Wall Street Journal analysis published Tuesday shows, ad mentions supporting stricter gun control policies have spiked dramatically. In the entire 2014 election, the Journal's data counts just under 4,500 campaign ad mentions of pro-gun control messages. With more than a month to go in this year's race, those mentions have already topped 100,000 in 2018.
Guns are not only mentioned in far more ads now than they used to be, but the proportion of views represented has undergone a significant shift. In 2014, ads that mentioned guns were 600 percent more likely to oppose gun control policies as to endorse them. This year, they are about 50 percent more likely to call for more regulation instead of less.
This change has been particularly striking in states, like Nevada and Florida, where mass shootings have recently occurred. Those two states alone "went from zero pro-gun control ads in 2014 to more than 45,000 this year," the Journal reports. Bonnie Kristian