• iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Two top Senate Democrats called Tuesday for the U.S. Senate to terminate its contract with the company that runs the dining services there after a Department of Labor investigation found that the company avoided paying employees more than $1 million that they deserved.“Let’s call it what it is -- stealing,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who was joined by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, said in a statement.Their comments come after the DOL announced it found Restaurant Associates and its subcontractor, Personnel Plus, owed 674 workers $1,008,302 in back taxes that it avoided paying by improperly classifying workers in order to pay them for lower-paying jobs than they actually performed, and requiring employees to work before their scheduled starting times without compensation.“The actions taken by Restaurant Associates are despicable and their contract should be terminated," Reid said. "The Senate must refuse to do business with any unscrupulous vendors who flout the law and put profits above the rights and economic security of their employees. We should take steps immediately to audit this company’s contracts throughout the federal government to ensure that this isn’t happening anywhere else."The agency also found that Restaurant Associates failed to pay for their employees’ required benefits, and said it is reviewing its findings to determine whether it will seek to prevent the companies from obtaining contracts with the federal government in the future.“Enforcement of the prevailing wage laws levels the playing field for all contractors and protects the wages of hard-working employees,” said Mark Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Northeast. “These contractors’ actions put vulnerable, low-wage workers and their families in jeopardy.”The Senate Rules Committee is in charge of negotiating contracts with the employers.Restaurant Associates did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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  • (LOS ANGELES) — Kim Kardashian West may be a master at leveraging social media and nurturing her own enduring brand, but news that she is a keynote speaker at next month's BlogHer conference was met with both cheers and jeers from fellow bloggers.Kardashian West is scheduled to speak Aug. 5 at BlogHer, considered the year's biggest conference for women bloggers. The annual conference is expected to draw some 5,000 bloggers to this year's site, Los Angeles.For conference organizers, the choice announced last week seemed obvious."Kardashian West is one of the most influential women on social media in the world. She has parlayed her influence into a huge media, commerce and mobile app empire, including making tens of millions on her app alone. And it’s an empire with women in the driver’s seat," Elisa Camahort Page, a co-founder of BlogHer told ABC News in a statement. "Moreover, both her huge fan/customer base and her critics are largely women. So she’s completely relevant for what is, after all, a women’s social media conference."But, the selection had many bloggers scratching their heads and more."I get on Facebook and all of a sudden I kept seeing commentary about Kim Kardashian and it was all negative," New Jersey-based writer Kim Bongiorno, author of the blog "Let Me Start By Saying,” told ABC News. "There were people trash-talking BlogHer, saying, 'Now I'm glad I'm not going,'...just really talking negative about the decision and Kim Kardashian as a person."Some of the negativity Bongiorno even had a name for: "slut shaming."Chicago-based writer Chrissy Woj, who blogs at Quirky Chrissy, was among those who initially had a negative reaction to the announcement."I don't look to her as a role model and I think that's where my initial visceral reaction was," she told ABC News. "I don't watch reality TV. All I see is her making the headlines and her husband making headlines. Initially, I was not sure what was going on with their (BlogHer's) thought process."Meanwhile, Bongiorno, who doesn't exactly count herself as a fan of the reality star, figured the conference organizers had good reasons for picking Kardashian West.Tired of hearing all the trash-talking, she wrote a Facebook post that drew hundreds of likes and comments."The people talking trash were only hurting themselves," she said about her initial reaction. "Given the status of what going on in the world, this us vs. them, there are a lot of people refusing to hear each other." What surprised Bongiorno is that the blogger community couldn't see that they were doing the same thing."Why is her voice any less valid than yours?" Bongiorno pointedly asked her Facebook followers.In her lengthy post, she pointed out that conference attendees had a similar reaction to last year's keynote speaker, Gwyneth Paltrow."I got some really great nuggets from her talk," Bongiorno recalled. "A lot of naysayers had the same experience. A lot of people came out of that saying she wasn't as bad as I thought she was."Bongiorno believes attendees could have the same experience with Kardashian West, who she thinks is "way more than the nude pictures."Not only is her brand and business "very woman-centric" but Bongiorno is impressed by how she has managed to maintain success over the years despite being such a polarizing figure.After reading Bongiorno's post, Woj began to feel differently about wanting to hear Kardashian speak. And although she had already planned not to attend the conference, she said, "I'm a little disappointed that I won't be there to hear what she has to say."For the conference organizers, the kind of discussion generated by their announcement was what they were hoping for."Any time someone engenders such strong reaction from women I’m going to want the women in our community to hear from such a figure directly," Camahort Page said in her statement, "and in a more intimate, in-real-time setting."As for Kardashian herself, she's savi
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) — Pressure washers can help homeowners blast through many summer cleaning projects, but with the power of a pressure washer also comes potential danger.Ben Skidell makes a living working with outdoor tools but it was a pressure washer that the New York man said almost took off part of his knuckle.“Pressure washers can cause a lot of damage,” he said.After using pressure washers, an estimated 6,000 people went to the emergency room in 2014 alone, with a portion of those injuries attributed to the tool’s powerful spray, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.Most consumer pressure washers come with different nozzles for increased water pressure. A red nozzle is the most powerful at zero degrees.The nozzle is so powerful that Consumer Reports issued a safety alert in March to warn consumers.“We don't think power washer manufacturers should even be including a zero degree nozzle and we are asking that the industry actually take them out,” Dr. Urvashi Rangan, director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group for Consumer Reports, told ABC News.Consumer Reports' Dave Trezza said the power of a red nozzle could “definitely” slice through the skin of a user’s hand and it can also cut through a shoe.Manufacturers warn consumers purchasing new pressure washers about the power of the tool’s nozzle. Good Morning America went undercover to three tool rental stores in New Jersey to see if renters also receive a warning about the potential danger of a red nozzle on a pressure washer.All three of the stores GMA visited gave a demonstration on how to use the pressure washer prior to the rental. But, although all three pressure washers GMA rented came with the ability to spray zero degrees, only one of the rental stores warned about the nozzle's potential danger.Two of the pressure washers GMA rented came with warnings that said they could cause severe injury.The Cleaning Equipment Trade Association told ABC News in a statement that the wand lengths on pressure washers help to prevent injuries."The wand lengths make it difficult to direct the discharge stream at yourself," the statement read. "And the warning instructions state to wear eye protection, hold the spray gun with both hands and do not direct discharge stream at people, along with other warnings."Consumer Reports recommends that pressure washer users wear closed-toe shoes and treat the tool with the same precaution as you would any another piece of heavy-duty outdoor equipment, like a lawn mower.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- First Lady Michelle Obama was the belle of the ball at the Democratic National Convention Monday night -- and not just because of her rousing words.Heads turned when she took to the stage in an elegant A-line silhouette, crepe silk dress with cap sleeves and a fitted bodice -- in the Democratic party's signature shade of blue, of course -- by designer Christian Siriano.She paired the dress with dangling earrings and metallic, pointed-toe Jimmy Choo pumps.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed as Wall Street reacted to earnings reports Tuesday.
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  • ABCNews.com(CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- The North Carolina teenager who was struck by lightning while playing Pokemon Go on the beach with a friend said “everything went black” right before the strike.Cameron Poimboeuf, 15, was with a friend on Sand Key Beach, near Clearwater, on July 19, when a storm rolled in as the pair were engrossed in Pokemon Go, the location-based game app.“It was just really dark, I was on my phone and everything went black,” Poimboeuf, of Charlotte, North Carolina, told Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS-TV.Poimboeuf said he was told he was struck by lightning in his back and through his leg.“Everyone was standing there looking at me,” Poimboeuf told WFTS-TV. “I was trying to figure out if I was hurting or anything, but my body was pretty much numb.”The teenager was unresponsive for three days after the lightning strike and spent nearly one week in the ICU at a local hospital, reports WFTS-TV. He was discharged from the hospital on Sunday.“I am still a little bit dizzy, but it is a lot better," he said.Poimboeuf’s mother, Karen Poimboeuf, told WFTS-TV her son’s prognosis was initially bleak. She said three Good Samaritans on the beach and the rescue crew helped save her son’s life.“We were also told from the cardiologist it was the level of expert CPR that he got that made the difference,” she said. “They did not give up after minutes of CPR, that they kept working and kept working and kept working.”
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