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KFC patrons in China can pay with just a smile

Patrons in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou now have an easy way to pay for their meal at KFC.

>> Read more trending news

Simply smile.

Customers will be able to use a “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system at the store, Reuters reported. It is part of a drive by Yum China Holdings to attract a younger clientele.

Yum is still the largest fast food chain in the market, where it has more than 7,685 outlets, Reuters reported. Sales have been rising in part due to KFC’s strong showing during the second quarter of the year.

Joey Wat, Yum China’s president, said the store was aimed at “young, tech-savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations.”

The Hangzhou store uses technology from Ant Financial, which is behind the facial recognition software. 

Diners can pay by scanning their faces at an ordering kiosk and entering a phone number -- which is meant to guard against people cheating the system, Reuters reported.

“Combined with a 3D camera and liveness detection algorithm, Smile to Pay can effectively block spoofing attempts using other people’s photos or video recordings and ensure account safety,” Jidong Chen, Ant’s director of biometric identification technology, said in a statement.

 

Wells Fargo uncovers up to 1.4 million more fake accounts

Wells Fargo announced Thursday it has uncovered up to 1.4 million more fake accounts, nearly a year after its fraudulent account scandal first emerged, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending newsThe findings brought the number of potentially unauthorized accounts to 3.5 million — a nearly 70 percent increase over the bank’s initial estimate, the New York Times reported.The additional fake accounts were discovered by a previously announced analysis dated to January 2009 and that further reviewed the original May 2011 to mid-2015 period.Approximately 190,000 accounts were hit with unnecessary fees for these accounts, Wells Fargo said. That's up from 130,000, CNN reported. Also, thousands of customers were enrolled in online bill pay without their authorization. The review put that number at 528,000, CNN reported.“We apologize to everyone who was harmed by unacceptable sales practices that occurred in our retail bank,” Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said in a statement.Wells Fargo said it will now refund customers $6.1 million for unauthorized bank and credit card accounts, up from $3.3 million previously. The bank also promised to pay $910,000 to refund customers for the improper online bill pay enrollments. The review of online bill pay was required by the September 2016 settlement, CNN reported.Wells Fargo agreed in September 2016 to pay $185 million to settle three government lawsuits over the bank’s creation of fake accounts, the Times reported. Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the discovery of more fake accounts "unbelievable" on Twitter. The Democrat renewed her calls for Congress to hold more Wells Fargo hearings and for the Federal Reserve to remove board members who served during the scandal."I don't know what they're waiting for," Warren said.

Wells Fargo said that customers who believe accounts were opened in their name should call a dedicated hotline: 1-877-924-8697.

Disney workers' union calls for 37 percent pay increase; company offers 2.5 percent

Nearly 40,000 unionized Disney workers have called for a massive 37 percent increase in pay just to make ends meet – what they’re calling a “living wage.”

>> Watch the news report here

Disney, Orlando’s largest employer with about 74,000 employees, has offered a much smaller 2.5 percent wage increase.

“The average wage under our proposal will increase from $11.28 to $15.71,” said Unite Here Local 737 President Jeremy Haicken. 

>> Disney Hollywood Studios could be getting a name change

Disney representatives say the average employee already makes more than $13 an hour when overtime and premiums are taken into account.

Entry-level employees also make nearly $2 an hour more than the Florida minimum wage, the company argued.

Disney cast members were not thrilled with the company’s 2.5 percent offer.

“It’s disappointing,” Magic Kingdom parking hostess Susie Easton said. “And I speak on behalf of all my fellow cast members when I say we deserve more.”

>> Read more trending news

Bus driver Steven Brainard argued that Disney makes enough money to give employees a sizable bump in pay.

“It’s sickening how they make millions and they give us little pennies here and there,” he said.

Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said she was confident that the two sides can find common ground when negotiations continue on Sept. 19.

“We’re going to continue to negotiate in good faith with the union to reach a fair and reasonable agreement,” she said.

Best Buy apologizes after photo of $43 water cases during Hurricane Harvey goes viral

Best Buy has apologized after a viral photo appeared to show a Houston-area store selling cases of bottled water for as much as $43 during Hurricane Harvey.

>> Houston flooding: Texas records most rainfall ever in continental US (live updates)

A photo submitted to GritPost appeared to show a Best Buy offering $29.98 and $42.96 cases of water, prompting outrage and allegations of price gouging on social media.

>> See the post here

A Best Buy spokesman issued the following statement about the photo to CNBC on Tuesday:

>> Hurricane Harvey evacuees haven't forgotten about their pets

"This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday. As a company, we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We're sorry and it won't happen again. Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don't typically sell cases of water. The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case."

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

The Texas Attorney General’s Office confirmed to GritPost that reports of price gouging have been flowing in, including more than 550 complaints and 225 emails. And officials expect even more once the waters go down.

>> 8 tips when donating to Hurricane Harvey

“We expect more complaints in the wake of the storm regarding home repair and construction fraud/price gouging,” said Kayleigh Lovvorn, who works in media relations in the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

>> Bass Pro Shops donating dozens of boats to aid Harvey rescue efforts

“Unfortunately, price gouging like this can be common following natural disasters,” she continued. Lovvorn added that they office has seen complaints from “hotels, grocers, fuel providers and (most frequently) fresh water.”

>> Read more trending news

Businesses found guilty of price gouging can face fines of $20,000, according to GritPost. The site also noted that “anyone who overcharges a senior citizen on necessary goods will be fined $250,000.”

Bass Pro Shops donating dozens of boats to aid Harvey rescue efforts

Bass Pro Shops announced in a press release Monday that it would donate more than 80 boats for immediate Hurricane Harvey relief.

>> Houston flooding: Texas records most rainfall ever in continental US (live updates)

The outdoor company said it was donating $40,000 in protein-rich food, such as jerky and peanuts, and more than 80 Tracker boats to assist in rescue efforts as Hurricane Harvey flooding challenges communities.

>> Read more trending news

Bass Pro Shops, which has seven stores in Texas, is also helping employees affected by the storm with the Bass Pro Care Fund, which “provides support for critical living expenses in times of devastating need.”

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

The boat help comes at a critical momentFox Business reported that 3,000 people have already been rescued, and residents with boats have been recruited to help.

Amazon to lower prices at Whole Foods after acquisition approved by shareholders

Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Austin-based Whole Foods Market will officially close on Monday, the companies said Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

News of the closing date comes a day after Whole Foods shareholders voted to approve the deal, and the Federal Trade Commission said it would no longer be investigating the merger, which essentially cleared it to be closed.

Amazon’s impact will be immediately seen at Whole Foods, as the company said it will lower prices at the stores and integrate its Amazon Prime program.

"We're determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. “Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality - we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards.”

Beginning Monday, prices for some of Whole Foods best-selling items, such as the Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados and organic eggs, will be lowered, the companies said.

Amazon Prime will also become Whole Foods’ customer rewards program sometime in the future, the companies said, showing that the e-commerce giant is looking to quickly integrate one of its most popular products into Whole Foods.

Beyond that, the companies said that “Amazon lockers” will be available in select Whole Foods stores, where customers will be able to have products shipped from Amazon.com to their local Whole Foods store.

“This is just the beginning,” the companies said in the announcement. “Amazon and Whole Foods Market plan to offer more in-store benefits and lower prices for customers over time as the two companies integrate logistics and point-of-sale and merchandising systems.”

Amazon and Whole Foods announced the agreement on June 16. The two companies began talks about two months before then after Whole Foods representatives first contacted Amazon.

Whole Foods shareholders are set to receive $42 per share in the sale. Amazon.com will gain ownership of Whole Foods’ more than 460 stores, as well as add the grocer’s roughly 87,000 employees to its workforce. Amazon has said it will keep the Whole Foods name on stores and retain CEO John Mackey.

"It's been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest quality food to our customers," Mackey said. "By working together with Amazon and integrating in several key areas, we can lower prices and double down on that mission and reach more people with Whole Foods Market's high-quality, natural and organic food. As part of our commitment to quality, we'll continue to expand our efforts to support and promote local products and suppliers. We can't wait to start showing customers what's possible when Whole Foods Market and Amazon innovate together."

Looking for dream nanny job? Gig offers $129,000 salary and access to life of luxury

Looking for a gig that incorporates your love for children and traveling? One family is on the hunt for a nanny who can keep an eye on their children and four homes, including one in Atlanta and three international locations.

>> Read more trending news 

This month, a London couple posted an opening on childcare.co.uk for a full-time, live-in nanny who would be responsible for caring for four kids ages 2 to 15 for six days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

“I feel it is best to be upfront – the role is demanding,” the ad reads. But if you fit the bill, the job comes with some incredible perks.

It pays nearly $129,000 a year and requires the person to maintain the family’s four houses - located in London, Barbados, Cape Town and Atlanta. Additionally, the candidate must participate in the children’s home-school sessions; eat with them at every meal, which will be cooked by a Michelin star chef; and take them to various daily appointments. 

To do so, the nanny will have access to the family’s cars including a Porsche, Range Rover and Maserati, so a clean U.K. driving record is a must. 

» RELATED: Family seeks live-in nanny for their 'haunted' house

But the couple isn’t seeking the average babysitter. They need a nanny with no children. They must also have a child psychology degree, self-defense training and a minimum of 15 years of nanny experience. The kids must also like the applicant. 

They also noted that binge drinking or drug taking “will not be tolerated.” 

So far the couple has received more than 300 applications and are encouraging people to apply only if they are qualified. 

“If you do not have ALL the necessary qualifications, skills and experience for the role then we would politely request that you do not even bother making an application as it is a waste of our time and yours,” they wrote

Think you’re the perfect person for the job? Submit your application here.

Dozens of Joe's Crab Shack restaurants abruptly close

Dozens of Joe’s Crab Shack locations across the United States abruptly closed without warning amidst its parent company’s bankruptcy proceedings.

>> Read more trending news

Calls to a location in Duluth, Georgia, went unanswered Thursday afternoon, and restaurant review site Yelp deemed it closed based on user feedback. The Gwinnett site is also not listed on the company’s website.

>> Related: Applebee’s, IHOP to close up to 160 restaurants

The Duluth location was included in a list of the 41 locations that closed without advance warning to employees, originally reported by Consumerist. The list included restaurants in nearly 20 states, including Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.

Joe’s Crab Shack’s parent company, Ignite Restaurant Group, did not return a request for comment. Ignite filed for bankruptcy in June. Landry’s, Inc. won an auction this month to acquire Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern and Tap brands from Ignite for $57 million.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk and WSBTV.com contributed to this report.

3 more executives leave Trump's manufacturing council in aftermath of Charlottesville

President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters that the CEOs who have resigned from the White House manufacturing council in the days since the president blamed “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, have done so “out of embarrassment” on the same day that a pair of executives announced their exits from the group.

>> Read more trending news

“They’re not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country,” Trump said during a fiery news conference at Trump Tower.

He claimed that four business leaders who announced their resignations on Monday and Tuesday were trying to avoid pressure from him to make their products in the U.S.

>> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville

“I’ve been lecturing them about … (how) you have to bring it back to this country,” Trump said.

A fifth business leader, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, announced his departure from the council and the departure of AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee shortly after Trump made his comments.

Earlier Tuesday, Scott Paul, president of the nonprofit American Alliance for Manufacturing, announced his exit, “because it’s the right thing for me to do.”

>> Related: Intel CEO is 3rd executive to resign from Trump's Manufacturing Council 

Trumka said in a statement that he and Lee were resigning and placed the blame squarely on the president’s rhetoric.

"We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism," the statement said in part. "President Trump's remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups."

Trump earlier Tuesday called the CEOs leaving the manufacturing council “grandstanders” and boasted that he had “many to take their place.”

Paul was the fourth business leader to announce his resignation, after the departures of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier.

>> Related: Merck CEO quits Trump manufacturing council after Charlottesville

Frazier, who was the first to resign, wrote in a statement that he felt “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

Krzanich said he was resigning "to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing."

Plank said on Monday night that Under Armour "engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”

The resignations came after critics questioned Trump’s decision not to call out white supremacists in a statement condemning the violence that erupted Saturday. Police said Heather Heyer, 32, died after she was struck by a vehicle when a man, identified by police as 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr., slammed a car into protesters and two other vehicles.

In a second statement made on Monday, Trump condemned "the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups," who incite violence based on race.

>> Related: Trump condemns KKK, white supremacists days after deadly Charlottesville attack

Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Here's why you might want to stop using smiley faces in emails

Think you’re being nice when you add a smiley face to the end of your email? According to one study, you could be conveying something else. 

>> Read more trending news 

The new study, titled the “The Dark Side of a Smiley,” examines the “effects of smiling emoticons on virtual first impressions.”

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that, contrary to popular belief, virtual smiley faces are not a suitable replacement for an in-person smile.

In fact, “smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,” the researchers found. 

The study, which involved 549 participants from 29 countries, tested three experiments to gather findings. 

One experiment revealed that when the gender of the email sender was unknown, recipients assumed it was a woman if the sender used a smiley face. This finding did not correlate with participants’ conclusions with friendliness or competence.

Another experiment found that not only do recipients of professional emails with smiley faces generally view senders as less competent, they’re also less willing to share important information with the sender. When considering two emails that are exactly the same with the only difference being that one includes a smiley face, the one without the emoticon is more commonly effective.

“The study ... found that when the participants were asked to respond to emails on formal matters, their answers were more detailed and they included more content-related information when the email did not include a smiley,” said Dr. Ella Glikson, a post-doctorate fellow at the BGU Department of Management, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management. “We found that the perceptions of low competence if a smiley is included in turn undermined information sharing.”

Although using smiley faces in professional emails could hinder communication in the workplace with new or unknown contacts and coworkers, the practice is more acceptable and less harmful when used with workplace buddies.

“People tend to assume that a smiley is a virtual smile, but the findings of this study show that in the case of the workplace, at least as far as initial ‘encounters’ are concerned, this is incorrect,” Glikson said.  “For now, at least, a smiley can only replace a smile when you already know the other person. In initial interactions, it is better to avoid using smileys, regardless of age or gender.”

The concise conclusion? 

“In formal business emails, a smiley is not a smile,” Glikson said.

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