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McDonald’s Hits All-Time High as Wall Street Cheers Replacement of Cashiers with Kiosks

Cowen believes McDonald’s digital ordering upgrades will drive the fast-food chain’s sales higher.

McDonald’s shares hit an all-time high on Tuesday as Wall Street expects sales to increase from new digital ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in 2,500 restaurants.

Cowen raised its rating on McDonald’s shares to outperform from market perform because of the technology upgrades, which are slated for the fast-food chain’s restaurants this year.

McDonald’s shares rallied 26 percent this year through Monday compared to the S&P 500’s 10 percent return.

Andrew Charles from Cowen cited plans for the restaurant chain to roll out mobile ordering across 14,000 U.S. locations by the end of 2017. The technology upgrades, part of what McDonald’s calls “Experience of the Future,” includes digital ordering kiosks that will be offered in 2,500 restaurants by the end of the year and table delivery.

“MCD is cultivating a digital platform through mobile ordering and Experience of the Future (EOTF), an in-store technological overhaul most conspicuous through kiosk ordering and table delivery,” Charles wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. “Our analysis suggests efforts should bear fruit in 2018 with a combined 130 bps [basis points] contribution to U.S. comps [comparable sales].” Read the rest of this entry »

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BREAKING: American Swimmers Pulled Off Plane in Rio

Rio-swimmers-NYT

A judge had issued an order to seize passports as doubts emerged over reports United States swimmers had been robbed.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Two American swimmers were pulled off their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities, Olympic officials said Wednesday night, the latest indication that the police are skeptical of the swimmers’ claims that they were held up at gunpoint during the Rio Games.

“The idea that such prominent athletes could be robbed by officers during the Olympics was a huge embarrassment for Brazil, underscoring longstanding concerns about holding the Games in a crime-plagued city like Rio de Janeiro.”

“We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities,” a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee said. “We are gathering further information.”

“We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities. We are gathering further information.”

— Spokesman for U.S. Olympic Committee

In a case that has grabbed headlines around the world, the gold medalist Ryan Lochte said that after leaving a party early Sunday, he and three other Olympic swimmers from the United States were robbed at gunpoint by men who identified themselves as police officers.

“We have seen media reports that two U.S. citizen athletes were detained. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”

— John Kirby, a State Department spokesman

The idea that such prominent athletes could be robbed by officers during the Olympics was a huge embarrassment for Brazil, underscoring longstanding concerns about holding the Games in a crime-plagued city like Rio de Janeiro.

But questions about the Americans’ testimony to the police are turning that embarrassment into anger, with many Brazilians wondering whether the athletes lied about the episode and smeared their country’s reputation.

American officials in Brazil and Washington were scrambling on Wednesday night to figure out what was occurring in Rio de Janeiro, according to senior American officials. Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese Craftsman Ji Zhenshan Frames Olympians in Woodwork

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Ji Zhenshan has spent the past week drawing portraits of Chinese medalists on wooden eggs using an electric iron.

There’s a Chinese saying that the true masters of art live among the ordinary people – and that aptly describes Ji Zhenshan.

The middle-aged artist in eastern China’s Chiping county, Shandong Province, has spent the past week drawing portraits of Chinese medalists on wooden eggs using an electric iron. He has recorded the cheerful moments of the athletes winning medals in the Rio Games with his pyrography artworks.

Ji’s works include Sun Yang, gold medal winner of men’s 200m freestyle, female shooter Zhang Mengxue, China’s first gold medal winner at the ongoing Games, and China’s longtime diving queen Wu Minxia, among others. Read the rest of this entry »


Israeli Athletes at Rio Olympics Endure ‘Shocking’ Hostility, Taunting by Muslim Nations 

The confrontations with delegations of nations traditionally hostile to Israel have marred an otherwise successful Olympics for Israel. Two days ago, judo fighter Yarden Gerbi won the bronze medal, making her the nation’s first medal winner since the 2008 Olympics.

 reports: The 2016 Olympic Games have been billed as an opportunity to put politics aside in the spirit of international camaraderie, but that’s not necessarily how it’s working out for Israeli athletes.

“Shocking but not surprisingly, the Lebanese and Saudi delegations obviously have the wrong idea about the Olympic Games.”

Animosity toward the 47-member delegation has triggered a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee and alarm from Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, which issued a statement this week decrying anti-Israel “hostility” in Rio de Janeiro.

“Instead of using the events to forget animosity and promote peace between people, they have brought their brainwashed minds to Rio.”

“Shocking but not surprisingly, the Lebanese and Saudi delegations obviously have the wrong idea about the Olympic Games,” said a statement Wednesday by Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel group Stand With Us.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Times]

“Instead of using the events to forget animosity and promote peace between people, they have brought their brainwashed minds to Rio,” she said. “How unfortunate that they could not implement the good, peaceful intentions of the Olympics, and instead have used it as a forum to spread hate and continued rejection of peace.”

“How unfortunate that they could not implement the good, peaceful intentions of the Olympics, and instead have used it as a forum to spread hate and continued rejection of peace.”

The confrontations with delegations of nations traditionally hostile to Israel have marred an otherwise successful Olympics for Israel. Two days ago, judo fighter Yarden Gerbi won the bronze medal, making her the nation’s first medal winner since the 2008 Olympics. Read the rest of this entry »


American Shooter Wins First Gold of the Olympics

Stacy Dash writes:

I love to see strong American women with guns. Way to go, Team USA!

American teenager Virginia Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Saturday, holding her nerve against two Chinese Olympic champions to clinch the women’s 10m air rifle event.

The 19-year-old American edged out China’s Du Li, gold in Athens in 2004, with an Olympic-record score of 208. Defending Olympic champion Yi Siling, also of China, took the bronze medal… Read the rest of this entry »


The American Bar Association Mumbles as Beijing Arrests Lawyers

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Not Such Good American Friends.

Every foreign business or nonprofit in China has to balance its principles with the realities of operating in a dictatorship. But what’s the point of claiming to promote the rule of law in China if your presence and silence serve as political cover for the worst legal abuses?

China’s recent arrests of human-rights lawyers have drawn protests from around the world, but there’s a notable, mumbling exception: the American Bar Association.

“ABA leaders acknowledge that the development of a just rule of law is a continuing struggle in every nation, including the United States.”

— ABA President William Hubbard

State security agents rounded up some 235 lawyers and other legal activists around the country last month, some of them grabbed, hooded and not heard from since. Beijing officials have railed against a “major criminal gang” of lawyers “plotting to stir up sensitive cases.”

Activists protest outside the Chinese embassy in Bangkok on August 6, 2015. Amnesty International staged a protest outside the Chinese embassy to demand the release of over 200 human rights lawyers and activists in China. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI

Amnesty International staged a protest outside the Chinese embassy to demand the release of over 200 human rights lawyers and activists in China. AFP/ Nicolas ASFOURI

Some brave voices inside China have spoken up for these political prisoners, as have legal groups in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The New York City Bar Association expressed “grave concern” and called on Beijing to “immediately release” those lawlessly detained, more than 20 of whom it cited by name. Read the rest of this entry »


That’s a Lot of Yen! Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium to Cost Over $2 Billion

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Jun Hongo reports: Japan’s sports minister on Monday said the government will stick to its original construction plan for a new national stadium for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, noting the project will now cost about $2 billion.

Designed by U.K.-based architect Zaha Hadid, the new stadium will feature two arches on its top and a retractable roof that won’t be completed in time for the Games. Construction is scheduled to finish before the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which Japan will also host. Read the rest of this entry »


Big in Japan: How Tokyo is Gearing Up for the 2020 Olympics


Olympic Coverage: Soviet Horrors are Being Swept Under the Rug

From Russia with Euphemisms

Russia-With-Euphemisms

In a similar vein as John Fund‘s Whitewashing Communism, Jonah Goldberg  writes:

Hannah Arendt coined the term “the banality of evil” to describe the galling normalcy of Nazi mass-murderer Adolf Eichmann. Covering his trial in Jerusalem, she described Eichmann as less a cartoonish villain than a dull, remorseless, paper-pushing functionary just “doing his job.”

The phrase “banality of evil” was instantly controversial, largely because it was misunderstood. Arendt soviet-gameswas not trying to minimize Nazism’s evil but to capture its enormity. The staggering moral horror of the Holocaust was that it made complicity “normal.” Liquidating the Jews was not just the stuff of mobs and demagogues but of bureaucracies and bureaucrats.

“To read Anne Applebaum’s magisterial Gulag: A History is to subject yourself to relentless tales of unimaginable barbarity…”

Now consider the stunted and ritualistic conversation (“controversy” is too vibrant a word for the mundane Internet chatter) about the Soviet Union sparked by the Winter Olympics. The humdrum shrugging at the overwhelming evil of Soviet Communism leaves me nostalgic for the Eichmann controversy. At least Arendt and her critics agreed that evil itself was in the dock; they merely haggled over the best words to put in the indictment.

[Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History at Amazon]

What to say of the gormless press-agent twaddle conjured up to describe the Soviet Union?

Read the rest of this entry »


Celebrating a Century of Murder and Suffering: Soviet Communist Nostalgia at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics


Toilets of Sochi

Tumblr has a page dedicated to Toilets of Sochi. We admire dedication.

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Note: punditfromanotherplanet has a tumblr page, too. (the links lead back to here) Visit our Tumblr Chop Shop for a kaleidoscopic archive of cross-posts.


Olympic Games Comedy Gold: ‘No Fishing Allowed in Olympic Toilets’

Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant arrived in Russia before the Olympic Games to find a list of rules posted in the bathrooms.  Among forbidden activities is… fishing.

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Correction: Toilet fishing is not permitted for guests.

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Breitbart.com


Sochi Olympics: Deathrap Elevators, Stray Dogs, Unexpected Visitors

Photo by Brian Costa

Photo by Brian Costa

WSJ reporter Brian Costa, stationed in Sochi, gets an unexpected late-night visitor…

…During my first night in Sochi, I got a visit from the one who doesn’t.

The only sound I heard was a key going into the lock and, at around 4 a.m. Wednesday, the door to my hotel room opening. Half asleep, I looked up and saw the light shining in from the hall. But by the time I sat up to see who was there, the door had been shut again. The one who doesn’t knock scurried away without uttering a word.

Do housekeepers work graveyard shifts here? Was it a construction worker, assuming something wasn’t quite finished in the room? Who else would both have a key and be using it at 4 a.m.?

In Sochi, those are questions better left unasked. Read the rest of this entry »


The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium Has a Glass Roof and Seats 80,000

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium has been given the green light now that Japan has officially won the games. The new stadium is set to be built by Zaha Hadid Architects and is quite an impressive sight. It will function as the country’s new national stadium and will be able to seat 80,000 people and will come with a retractable roof. (GALLERY)

Read the rest of this entry »


Tokyo to Host 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Tokyo to Host 2020 Summer Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee has selected Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Games.

The Japanese city, considered a favorite to be chosen as host, prevailed over Istanbul in a second-round vote Saturday among IOC members gathered in Buenos Aires. Read the rest of this entry »