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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 227)

Cooking Eggs in the Morning and Shucking Oysters at Night, Thanks to an App

As he wrapped up a brunch shift at the Australian cafe Two Hands in the Little Italy section of Manhattan, Christopher Mortenson saw his phone light up. All afternoon, he had been waiting for the notification: ABC Cocina, an upscale Latin American restaurant in the Flatiron district, needed a line cook. He had an hour to get there.

When the shift ended, Mr. Mortenson started sprinting uptown. On his way to the restaurant, he ducked into a supply store to pick up a white chef’s jacket, which he threw over his T-shirt. He arrived at ABC Cocina just before 5 and spent the evening charring peppers with a blowtorch and stuffing pork into pillowy tortillas.

In December, Mr. Mortenson, tired of working 50 hours a week for low pay, quit his job as a cook at a vegetarian restaurant in Manhattan and became a full-time member of the gig economy. Now he races around New York, working shifts at a rotating cast of restaurants that use the hospitality staffing app Pared. So far, he has cooked in more than 70 kitchens, including Osteria Morini in Soho and Riverpark in Kips Bay.

“I have to turn the notifications off at night — I can’t sleep,” said Mr. Mortenson, 51, who has worked full time at restaurants in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Austin, Tex. “They send me so many jobs I can’t even look at my app right now without 10 jobs being on there.”

Gig workers are nothing new in the restaurant world. Every day, contractors on bikes and scooters deliver food for Uber Eats and DoorDash. But in a growing number of kitchens, contract workers now make the food, too.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159560073_901734b3-4327-48e0-83a6-3a95bafe09c2-articleLarge Cooking Eggs in the Morning and Shucking Oysters at Night, Thanks to an App Wages and Salaries restaurants Mobile Applications Labor and Jobs Freelancing, Self-Employment and Independent Contracting Cooking and Cookbooks Brainin, Gregory (1969- )

Gerardo Fernandez, sous chef at Osteria Morini, shows Mr. Mortenson, left, how to prepare tagliatelle bolognese.CreditElizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

With the restaurant industry facing its worst labor shortage in decades, Pared and a rival app, Instawork, are filling a growing void, as managers who have struggled to recruit permanent employees turn to the on-demand services for workers trained as dishwashers, servers, line cooks and even oyster shuckers.

As the apps become more established, some workers are exchanging the stability of traditional hospitality jobs for the flexibility of temporary employment. Others are using the apps to make a quick buck on the side. The development has raised concerns among some labor advocates, who argue that the same pay and equity problems that have emerged in other parts of the gig economy, like ride-hailing and delivery, could come to the restaurant kitchen.

“The workers don’t have access to a union. They don’t have access to collective bargaining,” said Ifeoma Ajunwa, a labor and employment law expert at Cornell University. “They basically are powerless to whatever the platform decides are the rules.”

Founded in San Francisco in 2015, Pared has more than 100,000 people signed up on its platform, along with several thousand restaurants in the Bay Area and New York. The company said it planned to expand to Washington, Boston and Philadelphia in the coming months.

Mr. Mortenson said that he prefers to walk between shifts, if possible, to get exercise. So far, he has cooked in more than 70 kitchens through Pared. CreditElizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

Instawork, also founded in San Francisco, operates in 11 markets. A little under half a million people have signed up with Instawork. Pared has raised $13 million in venture capital, while Instawork has raised $28 million.

“The times are changing,” said Will Pacio, a co-founder of Pared. “Businesses need to evolve with the culture of the work force.”

Restaurants pay the apps for a worker’s completed shift. The apps then deduct a portion of that fee for themselves and give the worker the rest. Neither service would reveal revenue figures or its valuation.

Hourly wages vary based on a range of factors, including the location of a gig (a high-end restaurant in the Hamptons would pay more than a mom-and-pop eatery in Queens) and when the posting appears on the app (workers earn more for taking shifts that become available at the last minute).

In 2018, Pared’s gig workers made an average of $19.66 an hour, the company said. Instawork contractors earn an average of $22.77 an hour in the Bay Area and $19.37 in greater Los Angeles, according to Sumir Meghani, one of the company’s founders.

“We try our best not to talk about money in front of other employees that are employed full time at the restaurant,” said Zia Sheikh, a New York chef who picks up gigs through Pared. “You don’t want to go up to a line cook making $17 an hour and say, ‘Hey, I’m here doing a shift for $25.’ That’s not good for them.”

Mr. Mortenson, right, prepares for dinner service at Riverpark in Kips Bay with Guo Pang, center, an event chef at the restaurant, and the executive chef, Andrew Smith.CreditElizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

One frequent Pared customer is Jean-Georges Management, an upscale restaurant group based in New York that includes ABC Cocina. On July 4, more than 600 people gathered for a waterfront dinner party at the company’s new seafood location, the Fulton, where the guests dined on sashimi, caviar, and fish and chips.

“Hundreds and hundreds of pounds of fish were butchered that day,” said Gregory Brainin, the director of culinary development at Jean-Georges Management.

A few days before the event, Mr. Brainin had realized he didn’t have enough cooks to prepare all that fish. So he called Dave Lu, one of Pared’s founders.

“I told him, ‘I need eight guys for the Fourth of July, and these are the levels I need, and these are the specialists I need,’” Mr. Brainin said. “And he got it done.”

Though Pared and Instawork feel akin to the ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft, or a platform like Wonolo, used by gig workers in various industries like retailing, manufacturing and hospitality, Mr. Lu likens it to the social platform LinkedIn.

“As they work on our platform, they gain skills and experience,” he said. “They get exposed to better and nicer and nicer restaurants, different environments and different cuisines.”

For chefs hoping to advance their careers, however, short stints through Instawork and Pared may not provide the kind of sustained experience they will ultimately need.

Mr. Mortenson said he could not imagine going back to a full-time restaurant job. “I’m making more money than I have ever made in this industry,” he said. “This is crazy.”CreditElizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

“I worry about hireability and the accumulation of skills over time,” said Mr. Brainin, the Jean-Georges director. “The person that temps for two years as their job — I don’t know how hirable that person then becomes when they do want to buckle down and get serious.”

Career development is not the only issue. Like Uber drivers, workers who use the hospitality apps are classified as independent contractors rather than employees, meaning they’re not entitled to benefits like health care, paid time off or unemployment insurance. Gig workers can buy occupational accident insurance through Pared and Instawork in exchange for a small slice of their wages.

“These apps are attractive in that they present a quick fix to finding work and finding labor,” said Ms. Ajunwa, the law professor at Cornell University. “But they’re also dangerous in that they can doom workers who use them to a lifetime of precarious work.”

Still, with unemployment low and restaurants struggling, the apps seem poised to grow, potentially exacerbating the shortage of full-time employees. A recent report by the research firm TDn2K found that 93 percent of restaurant chains said their kitchens were often understaffed. Across the country, restaurants have tried a variety of strategies to recruit new employees, including quarterly bonuses and a partnership with AARP.

“Not only is turnover high,” said Victor Fernandez, an industry analyst at TDn2K, “but employees are quickly deciding that there are better options somewhere else and taking those options.”

Among them is Mr. Mortenson, who said he could not imagine going back to a full-time restaurant job. “I’m making more money than I have ever made in this industry,” he said. “This is crazy.”

Mr. Mortenson finishing his shift at Riverpark. In a change from when he was a full-time restaurant employee, he no longer gets sucked into working after his shift ends, he said.CreditElizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

Part of the appeal, he said, is that the app exposes him to new experiences, whether icing gingerbread cookies at Bouchon Bakery or cooking short ribs for Twitter employees at the cafe in the company’s New York office.

“It doesn’t make me a better cook,” he said. “But it’s so amazing to go into a new restaurant every day.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Family discovers unusual source behind boy’s lead poisoning

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6080450688001_6080435109001-vs Family discovers unusual source behind boy's lead poisoning Manny Alvarez fox news fnc/health fnc article 5d09713e-a32c-50ce-86a0-306c37f37c23

For over two years, an 8-year-old boy from Australia baffled doctors with high concentrations of lead in his body. It started when the unnamed boy complained of a stomachache severe enough to warrant a doctor visit.

Doctors then found over 50 lead pellets trapped inside the boy’s appendix—with no explanation for how the pellets got there from the digestive tract.

WOMAN’S CHEST PAIN DIAGNOSED AS SPIRALING ESOPHAGUS: WHAT’S THAT?

However, the physicians didn’t suspect this unusual location right away, according to a LiveScience report. 

After identifying foreign objects inside what looked like the boy’s stomach, doctors flushed his digestive system out—but the objects remained unchanged.

The doctors then surgically removed the appendix, finding dozens of lead pellets trapped inside.

TEEN ALIVE AND WELL AFTER CAR LANDED ON TOP OF HIM IN MEDICAL MIRACLE

The high amounts of lead trapped inside the boy’s body led to symptoms of lead poisoning, including uncharacteristic hyperactivity and lead concentrations of over 5 times more than normal.

The boy’s family regularly ate geese that they killed with shotguns, which could lead to high lead concentrations in itself. However, the boy had swallowed lead pellets while he and his siblings were playing a game with them.

This case was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, a more common source of lead poisoning occurs when children swallow chipped paint from old houses. The U.S. banned lead-based paint in 1978, but some old houses still have this type of paint on the walls.

Other sources of exposure include canned goods, toys or candy from other countries. These countries may not regulate chemicals and products for the lead as heavily as in the U/S. Adults can also be exposed if they work in heavy metals, home improvement or car repair industries.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6080450688001_6080435109001-vs Family discovers unusual source behind boy's lead poisoning Manny Alvarez fox news fnc/health fnc article 5d09713e-a32c-50ce-86a0-306c37f37c23   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6080450688001_6080435109001-vs Family discovers unusual source behind boy's lead poisoning Manny Alvarez fox news fnc/health fnc article 5d09713e-a32c-50ce-86a0-306c37f37c23

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Mobile, Ala., mayor promises tougher security at high school sports events after shooting

Westlake Legal Group ladd-peebles-stadium Mobile, Ala., mayor promises tougher security at high school sports events after shooting fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 6b5650e2-8d1c-5fa4-99c0-e2d9c6249017

Tougher security measures will soon be in place at public-school sports events in Mobile, Ala., following a shooting Friday that left nine people injured after a high school football game.

“Our children and their families deserve to enjoy a high school football game or any public event without the thought of gun violence,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a statement Saturday. “As a community, we will heal. As a community, we have to get the guns out of the hands of our youth.”

GUNFIRE AT ALABAMA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME LEAVES AT LEAST 6 SHOT: REPORTS

Teen suspect arrested

A 17-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with nine counts of attempted murder Saturday in connection with the gunfire at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile’s FOX 10 reported.

The suspect was clearly seen firing shots in footage captured by surveillance cameras, Mobile police Chief Lawrence Battiste said, according to the Associated Press.

Police believe the teen was the only shooter, but believe some adults were aware the attack might be coming, Battiste said, urging those people to speak with police.

The shooting occurred after a game between LeFlore High School and Williamson High School. Police said the suspect was a LeFlore student. Fox News is withholding the suspect’s name because he is a minor.

Expected to survive

The chief said six people were shot “directly.” It was unclear if the other three victims suffered gunshot wounds or other injuries. Six of the nine people injured had been released from the hospital by Saturday, Battiste told AL.com.

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All nine victims, ranging in age from 15 to 18, were expected to survive, the chief said.

A 10th injury was attributed to a seizure that one person suffered during the commotion caused by the shooting, the newspaper reported.

Westlake Legal Group ladd-peebles-stadium Mobile, Ala., mayor promises tougher security at high school sports events after shooting fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 6b5650e2-8d1c-5fa4-99c0-e2d9c6249017   Westlake Legal Group ladd-peebles-stadium Mobile, Ala., mayor promises tougher security at high school sports events after shooting fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 6b5650e2-8d1c-5fa4-99c0-e2d9c6249017

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Bumbershoot fest barricade collapse in Seattle leaves about 25 injured

About 25 people were hurt – with four hospitalized – after a metal barricade collapsed Saturday night at the Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle, according to reports.

About 3,000 were at the Seattle Center for an evening of live music featuring Jai Wolf and other performers when the collapse occurred, Seattle’s Q13 FOX reported.

NEW YORK CITY BUILDING COLLAPSE LEAVES AT LEAST 1 DEAD, OTHER INJURED

Some of the concertgoers had pressed up against the barricade, causing it to give way, David Cuerpo, public information officer for the city’s fire department, told the station.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-827293184-1 Bumbershoot fest barricade collapse in Seattle leaves about 25 injured fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/seattle fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Dom Calicchio article 092f37bc-1956-5c8d-9cb7-02483db55466

​​​​​​​Jai Wolf performs in San Bernardino, Calif., Aug. 6, 2017. (Getty Images)

Because of the size of the crowd, and initial uncertainty about how many people were hurt, the emergency response was larger than was ultimately required, Cuerpo said.

“We brought in more resources just to ensure that we had the proper ability to treat and serve our patients here,” he said.

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The four people treated at Harborview Medical Center were in stable condition with minor injuries, Cuerpo told the Seattle Times.

Wolf, who was onstage at the time, ended his set after the incident, the newspaper reported.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-827293184 Bumbershoot fest barricade collapse in Seattle leaves about 25 injured fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/seattle fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Dom Calicchio article 092f37bc-1956-5c8d-9cb7-02483db55466   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-827293184 Bumbershoot fest barricade collapse in Seattle leaves about 25 injured fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/seattle fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Dom Calicchio article 092f37bc-1956-5c8d-9cb7-02483db55466

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Harry Kazianis: World War II started exactly 80 years ago – Is World War III on the way?

Westlake Legal Group 09_GettyImages-88028547 Harry Kazianis: World War II started exactly 80 years ago – Is World War III on the way? Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 98df793b-5fd7-5a0c-ba5e-274e90435a5b

The deadliest conflict in human history began exactly 80 years ago. On Sept. 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France came to Poland’s defense, and suddenly World War II was underway. Estimates of civilian and military deaths in the war go as high as 85 million.

Could there be a World War III?

While there have been many wars since World War II ended in 1945,  the major powers have never launched all-out war against each other since then. Leaders know if they ever turned to nuclear weapons, the nightmarish death toll would make World War II look like a minor skirmish.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: LIES, BETRAYAL AND INCREDIBLE SURPRISES MARKED START OF WORLD WAR II 80 YEARS AGO

But no one can predict the future or say that World War III would be impossible. Regional wars and crises have the potential to explode, with actions and unanticipated reactions leading events to spin out of control.

More from Opinion

There are a number of global hotspots today.

China now seems determined to try to dominate Asia and create its own sphere of influence, while subjugating its own citizens to tyrannical rule, as we see with its efforts to crush demonstrators fighting for more freedom in Hong Kong.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin has mourned the breakup of the old Soviet Union. He has rebuilt Russia’s armed forces and started and stopped frozen conflicts in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – all formerly part of the Soviet Union. With NATO and Russian forces now probing each other’s air and naval spaces on a daily basis – and with both sides now likely arming with dangerous missile platforms that were once banned under an expired treaty – we don’t know what could happen if things get out of control.

The anniversary of the start of World War II should remind us of the sacrifices and heroism of the Greatest Generation. And it should serve as a reminder to leaders of all nations that the world remains a very dangerous place, where a spark can turn into a deadly conflagration in an instant.

Of course, we can’t forget about North Korea. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have held three historic meetings. But the North has not wound down its nuclear weapons and missile programs, and has now even gone back to testing short-range missiles. Kim has threatened by the end of the year to embrace a “new way” that could mean a return to nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missile testing, setting the stage for another round of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Unfortunately, the possibility of armed conflict involving the U.S. has not dissipated. In fact, in the years to come, I would argue there are three specific flashpoints that must be watched carefully in order to ensure that World War III never becomes a reality.

Cyberspace: World War III could very well begin in a domain that never existed during World War II.

No treaties or international bodies police the conduct of nations on the Internet. So cyberspace has become like a 21 century Wild West frontier town, with no rules to keep the gunslingers from battling it out for supremacy. In cyberspace hackers are working to steal intelligence, intellectual property and military technology. This could escalate into attacks that would disable a nation’s power grid, plunging it into darkness for weeks or even months, or other actions that would cause catastrophic damage.

We should never discount the possibility that a rogue nation or terrorist group could go too far or make a tragic mistake, accidentally employing a cyberweapon that leads to the death of innocent civilians or severe damage to the global economy.

That could cause the accidental or intended target to strike back with military force. In that case, the stage could be set for the very first cyberwar in history that could draw in nations from around the globe with terrible consequences in the physical world.

A U.S.-China Trade War Becomes a Shooting War: Imagine if the world’s two largest economies – worth around $32 trillion combined – started shooting at each other. Think that’s impossible? History tells us it’s entirely possible, and the spark could be today’s current trade war.

China has already declared its economic performance a “core interest” – meaning that Beijing would fight to ensure its continued success. If the U.S.-China trade war escalates to the point that Chinese leaders believe a recession is imminent, Beijing could gamble that a show of military force is necessary.

In that case, China could take an aggressive action in the South China Sea, demand to take control of Taiwan, or even an attack critical commercial Earth-orbiting satellites vital to our economy and military.

A U.S. counter-response – with China retaliating – could spark a war in Asia that would surely draw in most U.S. allies in the region and launch a global crisis of epic proportions.

A Korea Crisis: Imagine a situation where the current trend lines continue. Kim Jong Un could decide to break his verbal promise to President Trump and test the ultimate weapon – an ICBM with a fully developed warhead that drops down into the atmosphere and survives reentry.

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A test like this would prove once and for all that not only do Kim’s missiles have the range, but they can now deliver a nuclear payload to the United States. The stage would be set for a showdown, perhaps prompting President Trump to order an attack and end Kim’s weapons of mass destruction programs once and for all.

Should the U.S. and North Korea plunge into a nuclear conflict, millions of people could be killed, as I wrote about previously in a Fox News op-ed.

Other regional conflicts around the world could, of course, escalate out of control as well. That’s because global peace is a fragile commodity. One wrong move could start a chain reaction that – in the worst-case scenario – could culminate in the chain reaction of nuclear bombs.

Some people who lived through the horrible war that began exactly 80 years ago are still alive today. The rest of us have parents, grandparents or great-grandparents who lived through those terrible days or who died in World War II.

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The anniversary of the start of World War II should remind us of the sacrifices and heroism of the Greatest Generation. And it should serve as a reminder to leaders of all nations that the world remains a very dangerous place, where a spark can turn into a deadly conflagration in an instant.

Let us hope and pray that World War III remains just a nightmare that never becomes a reality, and that future generations do not have to mark the anniversary of the start of such a conflict.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY HARRY KAZIANIS

Westlake Legal Group 09_GettyImages-88028547 Harry Kazianis: World War II started exactly 80 years ago – Is World War III on the way? Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 98df793b-5fd7-5a0c-ba5e-274e90435a5b   Westlake Legal Group 09_GettyImages-88028547 Harry Kazianis: World War II started exactly 80 years ago – Is World War III on the way? Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 98df793b-5fd7-5a0c-ba5e-274e90435a5b

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Train to Hong Kong airport suspended after violent protests

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-4606b123a20645e7944e4ceacbfb0057 Train to Hong Kong airport suspended after violent protests fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7940e67a-8fc0-5b32-96b9-e12915ed9817

The operator of the express train to Hong Kong‘s airport has suspended service as pro-democracy protesters gathered there following a day of violent clashes with police.

MTR Corp. said Sunday trains from the airport on Chek Lap Kok island into the city still are running.

HONG KONG POLICE STORM SUBWAY WITH BATONS AS PROTESTS RAGE

Several hundred protesters have gathered at the airport following online calls to disrupt travel.

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That came after a day of clashes in which protesters threw gasoline bombs at government headquarters and police hit subway passengers with clubs and pepper spray.

Also Sunday, about 200 people gathered at the British Consulate.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-4606b123a20645e7944e4ceacbfb0057 Train to Hong Kong airport suspended after violent protests fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7940e67a-8fc0-5b32-96b9-e12915ed9817   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-4606b123a20645e7944e4ceacbfb0057 Train to Hong Kong airport suspended after violent protests fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7940e67a-8fc0-5b32-96b9-e12915ed9817

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Hong Kong police storm subway with batons as protests rage

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6082165512001_6082165785001-vs Hong Kong police storm subway with batons as protests rage Raf Wober KEN MORITSUGU fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a7b642e4-a398-50fb-a3b5-9f64f1e65b2f

Protesters in Hong Kong threw gasoline bombs at government headquarters and set fires in the streets, while police stormed a subway car and hit passengers with batons and pepper spray in scenes that seem certain to inflame tensions further in a city riven by nearly three months of pro-democracy demonstrations.

Police had denied permission for a march Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of a decision by China against fully democratic elections in Hong Kong, but protesters took to the streets anyway, as they have all summer. They provoked and obstructed police repeatedly but generally retreated once riot officers moved in, avoiding some of the direct clashes that characterized earlier protests.

Late at night, though, video from Hong Kong broadcaster TVB showed police on the platform of Prince Edward subway station swinging batons at passengers who backed into one end of a train car behind umbrellas. The video also shows pepper spray being shot through an open door at a group seated on the floor while one man holds up his hands.

HONG KONG PROTESTERS DEFY BAN TO CLASH WITH POLICE, HIT WITH TEAR GAS, WATER CANNON

It wasn’t clear whether all the passengers were protesters. Police said they entered the station to make arrests after protesters assaulted others and damaged property inside. The TVB video was widely shared on social media as another example of police brutality during the protests. Angry crowds gathered outside Prince Edward and nearby Mong Kok station, where police said they made arrests after protesters vandalized the customer service center and damaged ticket machines.

Also Saturday, two police officers fired two warning shots into the air “to protect their own safety” after being surrounded by protesters near Victoria Park, the government announced. It was the second time police fired warning shots following an incident the previous weekend.

Protests erupted in early June in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory of 7.4 million people. A now-shelved China extradition bill brought to the fore simmering concerns about what many in the city see as an erosion of the rights and freedoms that residents are supposed to have under a “one country, two systems” framework.

The mostly young, black-shirted protesters took over roads and major intersections in shopping districts on Saturday as they rallied and marched with no obvious destination in mind.

Authorities closed streets and a subway stop near the Chinese government office and parked water cannon trucks and erected additional barriers nearby, fearing protesters might target the building. The office would have been the endpoint of the march that police did not allow.

Instead, a group of hard-line protesters decided to take on police guarding government headquarters from behind large barriers that ring the building to keep demonstrators at bay.

While others marched back and forth nearby, a large crowd wearing helmets and gas masks gathered outside. They pointed laser beams at the officers’ heads and threw objects over the barriers and at them. Police responded with tear gas, and protesters threw gasoline bombs into the compound.

Then came the blue water. A water cannon truck fired regular water, followed by repeated bursts of colored water, staining protesters and nearby journalists and leaving blue puddles in the street.

The standoff continued for some time, but protesters started moving back as word spread that police were headed in their direction. A few front-line protesters hurled gasoline bombs at the officers in formation, but there were no major clashes as police cleared the area.

Protesters regrouped and blocked a major commercial street by piling up barricades and setting a large fire. Smoke billowed into the air as hundreds of protesters waited on the other side of the makeshift barrier, many pointing laser beams that streaked the night sky above them.

Firefighters made their way into the congested area on foot to put out the fire. Police in riot gear removed the barricades and moved in quickly. They could be seen detaining a few protesters, but by then, most had already left.

As police advanced east down Hennessey Road, protesters made another stand in the Causeway Bay shopping district. They threw gasoline bombs at police, who fired tear gas and water cannons.

Protesters built another fire, a smaller one, in front of Sogo department store. Police waited behind their riot shields while firefighters put out the smoldering fire with extinguishers. When police moved in, the protesters had again retreated.

Other groups crossed Hong Kong’s harbor to the Tsim Sha Tsui district, where police said they set fires and threw gasoline bombs on Nathan Road.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said Hong Kong citizens would keep fighting for their rights and freedoms despite the arrests of several prominent activists and lawmakers in the past two days, including activist Joshua Wong.

Protesters are demanding the full withdrawal of the extradition bill — which would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be sent to mainland China to stand trial — as well as democratic elections and an investigation into police use of force.

“I do believe the government deliberately arrested several leaders of the democratic camp to try to threaten Hong Kong people not to come out to fight against the evil law,” Lam said at what was advertised as a Christian march earlier Saturday.

“I do believe the government deliberately arrested several leaders of the democratic camp to try to threaten Hong Kong people not to come out to fight against the evil law.”

— Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting

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About 1,000 people marched to a Methodist church and police headquarters. They alternated between singing hymns and chanting slogans of the pro-democracy movement. An online flyer for the demonstration called it a “prayer for sinners” and featured images of a Christian cross and embattled Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who had proposed the extradition bill.

The Civil Human Rights Front, the organizer of pro-democracy marches that have drawn upward of a million people this summer, canceled its march after failing to win police approval. Police said that while previous marches have started peacefully, they have increasingly degenerated into violence.

The standing committee of China’s legislature ruled on Aug. 31, 2014, that Hong Kong residents could elect their leader directly, but that the candidates would have to be approved by a nominating committee. The decision failed to satisfy democracy advocates in Hong Kong and led to the 79-day long Occupy Central protests that fall, in which demonstrators camped out on major streets in the financial district and other parts of the city.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6082165512001_6082165785001-vs Hong Kong police storm subway with batons as protests rage Raf Wober KEN MORITSUGU fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a7b642e4-a398-50fb-a3b5-9f64f1e65b2f   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6082165512001_6082165785001-vs Hong Kong police storm subway with batons as protests rage Raf Wober KEN MORITSUGU fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a7b642e4-a398-50fb-a3b5-9f64f1e65b2f

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Kirsten Dunst more than ‘Spiderman’s girlfriend,’ social media users remind Reuters

After a backlash on social media Friday, Reuters deleted a tweet referring to actress Kirsten Dunst as “Spiderman’s [sic] girlfriend.”

Twitter users called the tweet “horrible,” “clueless” and “laughable,” while reminding the outlet of Dunst’s many other roles.

Reuters’ original tweet read: “Kirsten Dunst, best known for her role as Spiderman’s [sic] girlfriend, receives a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

KIRSTEN DUNST FEELS LIKE A ‘NOBODY’ IN HOLLYWOOD, SAYS SHE’S MORE THAN JUST THAT ‘BRING IT ON’ GIRL

Westlake Legal Group AP19241737481285 Kirsten Dunst more than 'Spiderman's girlfriend,' social media users remind Reuters fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 34c50f8e-de4f-5aaf-98bb-b48cdbd317fb

Actress Kirsten Dunst speaks during a ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

Dunst played Spider-Man’s girlfriend Mary Jane Watson in three movies between 2002 and 2007, but has also starred in many other films in her three-decade career, including “Marie Antoinette,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Little Women,” “Jumanji” and “The Virgin Suicides,” among others.

She is currently starring in Showtime’s “On Becoming a God in Central Florida.”

Dunst, 37, a native of New Jersey, was nominated for a Golden Globe for 1994’s “Interview with the Vampire,” in 2011, she won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for “Melancholia” and in 2015, she was nominated for an Emmy for the FX show “Fargo.”

Reuters’ tweet came on the heels of an interview Dunst did on SiriusXM in which she said she felt ignored by Hollywood.

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“Sometimes you’re like, it’d be nice to be recognized by your peers,” she said. “I always feel like nobody — I don’t know, maybe they just think I’m the girl from ‘Bring It On.”

“Of the things that people like, remember when ‘Marie Antoinette’ — y’all panned it? And now you all love it. ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’? Panned. Now you all love it,” she added. “I feel like a lot of things I do, people like later.”

Dunst received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday.

Westlake Legal Group AP19241737481285 Kirsten Dunst more than 'Spiderman's girlfriend,' social media users remind Reuters fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 34c50f8e-de4f-5aaf-98bb-b48cdbd317fb   Westlake Legal Group AP19241737481285 Kirsten Dunst more than 'Spiderman's girlfriend,' social media users remind Reuters fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/media fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 34c50f8e-de4f-5aaf-98bb-b48cdbd317fb

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San Jose hotel staff, patrons hospitalized after guest uses poisonous chemical in apparent suicide

Westlake Legal Group fairmont San Jose hotel staff, patrons hospitalized after guest uses poisonous chemical in apparent suicide fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/travel/general/hotels fox news fnc/us fnc dcf20a77-53ec-59d1-a60b-538197255246 Brie Stimson article

One woman died and nine others were sickened by an unidentified poisonous chemical Saturday morning at a hotel in San Jose, Calif., according to local reports.

Firefighters responded to a report of a suicide on the 19th floor of the Fairmont Hotel after a hotel employee found a woman dead in one of the rooms and smelled a strong chemical odor, according to The Mercury News.

The San Jose Fire Department described it as a “rotten egg smell,” the Bay Area’s FOX 2 reported.

DOZENS OF MIDWEST TEENS WHO REPORTED VAPING HOSPITALIZED WITH ‘SEVERE LUNG INJURY,’ BREATHING PROBLEMS

Seven employees and two guests were decontaminated and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening ailments, including lightheadedness and shortness of breath, San Jose Fire Department Capt. Mitch Matlow said, according to The Mercury News.

Nearly 80 rooms, accommodating some 120 guests, were evacuated, he told FOX 2. Surrounding streets were shut down for hours as authorities investigated.

Matlow said the “hazard” was confined to the room where the woman was found dead.

“It stinks now but it’s not toxic,” he added. The 19th floor remained closed as of Saturday afternoon, The Mercury News reported.

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The scene was “under control” by 4 p.m., the fire department said, SFGate reported.

Westlake Legal Group fairmont San Jose hotel staff, patrons hospitalized after guest uses poisonous chemical in apparent suicide fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/travel/general/hotels fox news fnc/us fnc dcf20a77-53ec-59d1-a60b-538197255246 Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group fairmont San Jose hotel staff, patrons hospitalized after guest uses poisonous chemical in apparent suicide fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/travel/general/hotels fox news fnc/us fnc dcf20a77-53ec-59d1-a60b-538197255246 Brie Stimson article

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Remarks against Antifa prompt FBI seizure of former Marine’s weapons under Oregon’s ‘red flag’ law: reports

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075249703001_6075241360001-vs Remarks against Antifa prompt FBI seizure of former Marine’s weapons under Oregon’s ‘red flag’ law: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/west/oregon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/us/crime/antifa fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 4660fea6-7df3-56f9-ae23-ec6ce4a1859e

A former Marine who said at a protest that he would “slaughter” Antifa members in self-defense, if attacked, recently had his five weapons confiscated by the FBI, according to reports.

The temporary seizure came through the use of Oregon’s “red flag” law, which allows law enforcement agencies and family members to seek a court order to have weapons taken away from an individual viewed as potentially violent. Such laws are often opposed by supporters of Second Amendment gun rights.

The former Marine, Shane Kohfield, 32, was not charged with any crime, but surrendered five guns, including an AR-15 rifle, according to Phil Lemman, Oregon’s acting deputy state court administrator, the Washington Examiner reported.

‘I AM ANTIFA’ PROFESSOR WHO POSTED DESIRE TO HIT TRUMP WITH BAT RESIGNS FROM POST

The action was reportedly prompted by remarks Kohfield made in public during a demonstration outside the home of Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler in August, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

“If Antifa gets to the point where they start killing us, I’m going to kill them next,” Kohfield told a crowd, according to the Oregonian. “I’d slaughter them, and I have a detailed plan on how I would wipe out Antifa.”

Kohfield previously wrote to U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a former Navy SEAL, to share his concern about Antifa and voice his support for having the group declared a terrorist organization, a step that President Trump has considered.

Portland has been the site of frequent violent clashes between members of far-left Antifa and supporters of conservative groups such as Proud Boys. The mayor and other city officials have faced criticism for their handling of such events.

Based on the court order, Kohfield – who served two tours of duty in Iraq — was committed to a veterans hospital for 20 days and was barred from participating in subsequent protests in Portland.

According to the Oregonian, Kohfield conceded that he probably appeared threatening to other people, but he never intended to cause harm.

“I looked unhinged,” he told the newspaper. “I looked dangerous and have the training to be dangerous.”

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The FBI would not comment about the case, the Oregonian reported. It was unclear when Kohfield’s weapons would be returned to him.

The Oregon Legislature narrowly passed the state’s red-flag law in 2017, with no Republican support in the House and backing from only one Republican in the Senate. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed the bill into law on Aug. 15 of that year and the law took effect Jan. 1, 2018.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075249703001_6075241360001-vs Remarks against Antifa prompt FBI seizure of former Marine’s weapons under Oregon’s ‘red flag’ law: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/west/oregon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/us/crime/antifa fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 4660fea6-7df3-56f9-ae23-ec6ce4a1859e   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075249703001_6075241360001-vs Remarks against Antifa prompt FBI seizure of former Marine’s weapons under Oregon’s ‘red flag’ law: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/west/oregon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/us/crime/antifa fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 4660fea6-7df3-56f9-ae23-ec6ce4a1859e

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