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Burberry apologizes for hoodie with noose around neck: 'We made a mistake'

Another fashion house has come under fire for a design many are calling racist. 

During its recent show at London Fashion Week, Burberry showcased a hoodie with a rope around the neck that resembled a noose. Now the company is apologizing.

>> On AJC.com: From Gucci to Prada, fashion fails evoke racist imagery

“We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection” Marco Gobbetti, Burberry chief executive officer, said in a statement to CNN. “Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake.”

The show's designer, Burberry Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci, added, “I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show on Sunday.”

>> Read more trending news 

“While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive. It was never my intention to upset anyone,” he continued. “It does not reflect my values nor Burberry's and we have removed it from the collection. I will make sure that this does not happen again.”

Despite the apology, many criticized the piece online, calling it insensitive and ignorant.

One of Burberry’s models, Liz Kennedy, even slammed the brand on social media. Although she was featured in the show that debuted the controversial garment, she said her concerns about the noose were dismissed.

>> See the post here

“Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote on Instagram. “It is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway.”

She said the imagery was triggering, because she has dealt with suicide within her family. She also mentioned the “horrifying history of lynching.”

“A massive brand like Burberry who is typically considered commercial and classy should not have overlooked such an obvious resemblance,” Kennedy continued. “I am ashamed to have been apart of the show.”

>> On AJC.com: ‘Apology not accepted’: T.I. calls for Gucci boycott over ‘blackface’ sweater 

The controversy comes about two weeks after Gucci was condemned for a turtleneck sweater many said looked like blackface. While the company issued an apology, many celebrities, including T.I., Soulja Boy and Waka Flocka, called for a boycott.

Papa John's offering free college tuition to corporate employees

Papa John's is tossing a new benefit to employees of the pizza chain.

>> See the tweet here

In a news release last week, the company announced that it has partnered with Purdue University Global, an online university, to offer free tuition for its 20,000 corporate workers under a program dubbed Dough & Degrees.

>> Embattled Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter resigns amid backlash over racial slur

"The new program allows eligible employees to expand their skill set, build leadership and management expertise, and prepare to advance their careers by selecting an online degree program that matches their career goals," the news release said. "Papa John’s team members can enroll in any of Purdue Global’s online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, including business, information technology, cybersecurity, accounting and finance."

>> Read more trending news 

To participate, employees must have been with the company for more than 90 days and work at least 20 hours a week, WJW-TV reported

The company also said its 70,000 franchise employees can receive "significant tuition and fee reductions" through "an additional education program through the alliance with Purdue Global."

Papa John's is just the latest of several companies that have introduced tuition benefits for employees, including Walmart, Starbucks, Chipotle and McDonald's, according to USA Today.

Read more here or here.

Wells Fargo reports outages to online, mobile banking apps

Customers attempting to access their Wells Fargo accounts online remained frustrated Friday as the banking giant continued to experience outages in online and mobile app services, KPIX reported.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the bank’s social media accounts, the outage was reported just after 6 a.m. PT Thursday, the television station reported.

According to a tweet, Wells Fargo attributed the outage to a “power shutdown at one of our facilities, initiated after smoke was detected following routine maintenance.”

The bank apologized to customers on its social media platforms but service had still not been restored by Friday afternoon.

In another tweet, Wells Fargo said the glitch was not caused by “any cybersecurity event.”

A similar issue to the bank’s online services occurred Feb. 1, with Wells Fargo blaming “system issues,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

BB&T, SunTrust join in $66B deal; headquarters to be based in Charlotte

Southern regional banks BB&T and SunTrust announced Thursday morning they will merge, creating the sixth-largest bank in the country.

The merger is worth about $66 billion in stocks.

>> On WSOCTV.com: Wells Fargo to cut jobs in Charlotte

WSOC-TV has learned the combined company will operate under a new name and be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The new company will still maintain significant operations and investment in Winston-Salem and Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

The board of directors of both banks unanimously approved the deal, which is subject to regulators’ approval. If all goes well, it should close by the end of the year.

Read more here.

David 'Big Papi' Ortiz selling Massachusetts mansion for $6.3 million

Big Papi is putting his Massachusetts mansion up for sale, and you can buy it – for a price tag of $6.3 million. 

>> On BigPapisPlace.com: See the listing and photos here

Former Red Sox star David Ortiz recently put his extravagant 8,586-square-foot home on the market, which sits on 2 acres in Weston. 

If you have the means, it would be an opportunity to live in the home of one of Boston's most-loved sports figures

The mansion has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and what used to be Big Papi's personal dressing room. 

One bedroom is a mock-up of Fenway Park, complete with the Green Monster on the wall. The Fenway theme is probably the biggest selling point; the three-car garage has a trophy room and the basement was built with the help of the Fenway architects themselves. 

There's also a custom-built bar and theater in the basement with actual materials from Fenway.

>> Read more trending news 

Ortiz said his family had a great time in the house, and he swears the place was his good luck charm.

The Driftwood Lane house was completed in 2008 after it was bought by Ortiz in 2007 for $4.5 million.

According to the listing, the house is an "Adirondack-style home fit for an All Star." 

Read more here.

Super Bowl commercials 2019: 10 must-see ads from the big game

Super Bowl ads tend to come in two flavors: inspirational and humorous. With so many eyeballs watching, the advertisers want to evoke an emotion, be it warm or chortle-worthy.

>> On AJC.com: Ranking the best and worst Super Bowl ads 2019

No matter which approach they took, here are 10 ads that made a mark:

>> Read more trending news 

1. Hyundai Shopper Assurance, 'The Elevator'

Jason Bateman plays an old-time elevator operator taking people to unpleasant situations like “root canal,” a middle seat on a plane and “the talk” about the birds and the bees. At the bottom: car shopping at a dealership. Once the customers point out they used Hyundai Shopper Assurance, he shoots them to the top. 

>> Click here to watch

2. Pepsi, 'More Than OK'

A woman asks for a Coke. The waiter says, “Is a Pepsi OK?” Steve Carell shows up, indignant, saying it’s more than OK. This gives Lil Jon the excuse to say his trademark, “OK,” followed by Cardi B’s trilled version. 

>> Watch the 60-second version here

3. Verizon, 'The Coach Who Wouldn't Be Here'

Verizon brought Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn to a firehouse to talk about his experience after a drunken driver hit his vehicle and almost killed him. He extols the first responders who saved him, then finds out they are actually there and tears up. 

>> Watch the ad here

4. Microsoft, 'We All Win'

Microsoft profiles several kids who have disabilities that limit their abilities to use a traditional video game controller. The company unveils a special adaptive controller to help make it easier for them to play because, as one parent tearfully says, “He’s not different when he plays.” 

>> Click here to watch

5. Planters, 'Crunch Time'

The Planters Nutmobile flies through the streets and passes Charlie Sheen, who says, “People think I’m nuts.” Alex Rodriguez is about to eat kale chips, and Mr. Peanut subs it out with nuts – just in time.

>> Watch the ad here

6. Skechers, 'Easy Life'

Tony Romo exudes easy-going charm in this ad for Skechers slip-on shoes where he seeks an “easy life,” meaning his Roomba picks up his dropped popcorn, a cannon shoots tennis balls for his dog to retrieve, a huge golf hole makes putting easier and a “hover tray” keeps drinks handy. 

>> Click here to watch

7. Bubly, 'Can I Have a Bublé?'

Crooner Michael Bublé makes fun of his name and its confluence to the sound of Pepsi Co.’s Bubly drink by insisting that it’s pronounced like his last name, not like “bubbly.”

>> Watch the commercial here

8. Michelob Ultra, 'Robots'

Robots are superior to humans when it comes to jogging, hitting golf balls, boxing and spin class. But they can’t enjoy a Michelob Ultra. Take that, robots!

>> Click here to watch

9. Mercedes-Benz, 'Say the Word' 

Whatever a man says, it happens, be it making a putt, changing a traffic light, making money burst out of an ATM, turning an opera singer into Ludacris or willing Wile E. Coyote to ride on a rocket. At the end, he’s in his Mercedes, turning on his music, changing the console color and making it cooler. 

>> Watch the ad here

10. Bud Light/'Game of Thrones,' 'Joust'

This ad starts as a fun Bud Light bit focused on jousting, but then the Bud Light jouster loses, and a huge dragon starts sending hellfire onto the field. Then “Game of Thrones: Final Season” pops up. That was a twist!

>> Click here to watch

Read the full recap of Super Bowl ads here.

America’s 10 best jobs for 2019, according to Glassdoor

When it comes down to job satisfaction, earning potential and available opportunities, some careers fare better than others.

>> On AJC.com: Atlanta named one of 2019’s best cities for jobs

To determine America’s 50 best jobs for 2019, researchers with online job and recruitment marketplace Glassdoor analyzed the three aforementioned factors using internal data on the past year’s median base salary; the number of active U.S. job openings on the site as of Jan. 2; and employee satisfaction ratings.

To be eligible, a job title must have at least 100 salary reports on Glassdoor and at least 100 job satisfaction ratings from employees. Intern-level jobs were not included in the report.

>> On AJC.com: These are the most promising jobs of 2019, according to LinkedIn

With a median base salary of $108,000, an average job satisfaction rating of 4.3/5 and more than 6,500 job openings, data scientist earned the No. 1 spot for the fourth year in a row. Other notable tech roles among the top 10 were product manager, devops engineer, data engineer and software engineer.

Health care jobs also made a splash, with nursing manager at No. 2 and occupational therapist at No. 4.

>> On AJC.com: Atlanta named 7th best city for STEM professionals

According to Glassdoor, nursing managers have a median base salary of $83,000 and an average job satisfaction score of 4/5. Occupational therapists share the same score, but offer a median base salary of $74,000. Both titles had more than 13,000 job openings listed as of Jan. 2. The industry is ripe for growth as baby boomers continue to leave the workforce.

>> Read more trending news 

“Similar to tech jobs, professional services roles have experienced tremendous growth in recent years, as the demand for skilled ‘knowledge workers’ continues to increase,” analysts wrote in the report. “Several of these roles are manager-level positions, highlighting the need for talent with many years of experience and the ability to work with teams. This is great news for job seekers who want to build their careers in fields such as operations and strategy.”

>> On AJC.com: These metro Atlanta companies are making big hires this January

The 10 best jobs in America for 2019, according to Glassdoor:
  1. Data scientist
  2. Nursing manager
  3. Marketing manager
  4. Occupational therapist
  5. Product manager
  6. Devops engineer
  7. Program manager
  8. Data engineer
  9. HR manager
  10. Software engineer

See the full list at glassdoor.com.

Disabled Walmart greeter says she was fired after public transit delays led to too many late days

Brandi Hanvold has been a greeter at the Walmart in Bonney Lake, Washington, for more than 10 years.

>> Watch the news report here

But Seattle's KIRO-TV reports that she was fired last week, and now she is heartbroken. 

>> Read more trending news 

Hanvold suffered a traumatic brain injury 28 years ago when she was ejected in a car crash, the station reported. Her speech, processing and mobility are a challenge, and she relies on an electric wheelchair to get around.

Public transportation is limited in the rural area where she lives, and the van that picks her up isn't always on time, KIRO reported.

Hanvold said she sometimes resorts to driving her electric wheelchair 4 miles on a treacherous stretch of road, without sidewalks, to get to work at Walmart. 

>> Read more trending news 

Despite her transportation challenges, Hanvold said that last week, she was told she had missed too many days and was being terminated. Hanvold told KIRO reporter Dave Wagner that she simply wants to return to the job and the customers she loves at Walmart.

“When she got hired at Walmart, we were thrilled to death,” Hanvold’s mother, Val, told KIRO. “I am still thrilled with Walmart. The fact that they hire people like Brandi, for a mom, is a wonderful, wonderful thing ... so I sing their praises. But to terminate her like they did without any warning — they’ve taken away her life.”

Despite her brain injury, Walmart maintains that Hanvold understands and knows what is going on. The company said Hanvold was made aware of the attendance policy multiple times and failed to comply.

Reports: Gymboree expected to file for bankruptcy, close 900 stores

Gymboree is expected to close all 900 stores under its various brands as part of filing for bankruptcy this week, according to reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported the news Sunday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

>> Read more trending news 

One person told CNBC that Gymboree Group, which operates stores under Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 brands, is trying to sell its high-end brand, Janie and Jack. That brand has about 139 stores, the person said.

The CNBC source asked to remain anonymous as the information is confidential.

The bankruptcy would be its second in recent years. Gymboree announced a bankruptcy filing  in 2017, in which it said it would close up to 450 of its stores as it reorganized. At the time, the San Francisco-based company had 1,281 stores. 

Gymboree has not commented on the latest bankruptcy reports.

Waffle House employees fired after pouring food on passed-out customer, sharing video online

Two employees at a Waffle House in DeKalb County, Georgia have been fired after they were seen on video pouring food on a passed-out customer and making him appear to dance. >> Watch the news report here

“We have been in contact with the customer and have apologized,” company spokesman Pat Warner said in a statement. “When we learned of this event, we launched an investigation, and have terminated the employees involved. Their actions in no way represent our company or our thousands of associates who strive to provide our customers with a positive experience daily.” 

The victim’s fianceé, who asked not to be identified, told WSB-TV the man did not know he had been humiliated until the video was shared to a now private Instagram page featuring similar videos of other customers at a location in Lithonia. 

"As soon as I saw it, I was in awe, and I busted out crying,” she told the news station in an exclusive interview. 

In the video shared with WSB-TV, the employees were seen pouring salt on the man’s head as he rested it on a counter. They topped the salt with a slice of cheese and a squirt of ketchup. 

While there were others working that night, only two were directly involved, Warner said. 

At another point in the video, a male employee was seen taking hold of the customer’s arms and making him dance. He told the news station he was unaware of the entire incident. He went to the Waffle House that night to sober up.

– Visit WSBTV.com for more on this developing story.

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