Top 5 Live – Friday February 20
Written by Solomon Jones on February 20, 2015
1. Walmart Boosts Minimum Wage to $9/Hour
Wal-Mart Stores’ Doug McMillon, a home-grown chief executive who got his start as a store employee, has made his most radical change yet at the world’s biggest retailer.
He’s raising wages for 500,000 employees—both full-time and part-time. They’ll get at least $9 an hour starting this April, and at least $10 an hour starting next February. Wal-Mart is also responding to labor critics by telling employees they’ll have their schedules at least 2½ weeks in advance, and some workers will get fixed shifts.
Wal-Mart has long been viewed as the Evil Empire of retail, and that image has only deepened in the past several years. There have been reports of stores in disarray and crummy customer service. A fledgling employee union, Our Walmart, has held strikes and demonstrations and kept up a drumbeat of sad tales of workers who fell victim to low pay, irregular hours, and an uncaring bureaucracy. This has all taken a toll on the company’s numbers. Prior to a rebound the past two quarters, Wal-Mart’s U.S. comparable sales were flat or down for six straight quarters.
2. Sixers trade Michael Carter-Williams, McDaniels
The 76ers decided it was time to part ways with Michael Carter-Williams and KJ. McDaniels.
The franchise sent Carter-Williams, last season’s rookie of the year, to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-way deal. The Sixers will receive the Los Angeles Lakers top-5 protected first round pick in this year’s draft.
Carter-Williams responded via Twitter Thursday afternoon: “I can’t lie I’m shocked. I love this city thank you for everything. I can honestly say I gave it my all. I wish Philly nothing but the best.”
Meanwhile, the Sixers shipped rookie K.J. McDaniels to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Isaiah Canaan and a second-rounder.
3.Eric Garner’s Family Has Yet to Receive Thousands of Dollars Raised Online
Online fundraisers are pulling in big bucks in the name of Eric Garner, but family members say they haven’t seen any of the cash.
At least 19 crowd-funding projects that claim to raise money for Garner’s family have been posted on various websites — and one has raised nearly $75,000. Yet Garner’s mother Gwen Carr, who is the administrator of his estate, and one of his daughters, Erica Garner, said with the exception of a few fundraisers, they don’t know where the money is going.
“I feel like people are trying to use my father’s name for their own gain,” said Erica Garner, 24, who said she’s looking into legal action against the various campaigns not affiliated with the family. “It’s unfortunately a sad situation.”
Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, died July 17 on Staten Island after police used an apparent chokehold as they tried to place him under arrest on charges of selling untaxed cigarettes.
Other fundraising campaigns claiming to raise funds on the family’s behalf appear on websites such as Indiegogo, Fundly, GoFundMe and others.
4. Sources: Bobbi Kristina Brown’s breathing tube removed
Almost three weeks after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub, Bobbi Kristina Brown is still fighting for her life.
Doctors have removed her breathing tube, sources told CNN on Thursday.
Brown, daughter of the late Whitney Houston, will now be ventilated through a hole in her throat.
“This is an indication that the patient will need this for weeks and months to come, as opposed to hours and days,” said CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
He said the move lowers the risk of infection and is standard.
Brown, 21, remains in a medically induced coma at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Doctors are attempting to slowly lift her coma, sources said.
The extent of her injuries is not known.
Police have said they’re treating Brown’s case as a criminal investigation. She was found in a bathtub full of water on January 31 at her Roswell, Georgia, residence.
Her mother, who died in 2012, was similarly found in a bathtub, just hours before a pre-Grammy Awards party. A coroner ruled Houston’s death an accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors.
5. Eddie Murphy refuses to play Bill Cosby in ‘SNL 40’ sketch
This past weekend, Saturday Night Live managed to slip a Bill Cosby jab into the “Celebrity Jeopardy!” portion of its SNL 40 special — one that, according to alum Norm Macdonald, was supposed to be much bigger.
In a 110-tweet, 1900-word tale told across more than two hours on Twitter Wednesday night, Macdonald, a cast member from 1993 to 1998, relayed the story of how Eddie Murphy refused to play Cosby in the sketch. Ultimately, Macdonald says, Murphy decided that “the laughs are not worth it” and refuses to “kick a man when he is down.” Instead, the part went to resident Cosby impersonator Kenan Thompson.
Given Murphy’s brief, mostly straight appearance Sunday night, in which he thanked the audience after a long intro from Chris Rock, that’s a bit of a shame. The joke, of course, goes all the way back to Murphy’s 1987 special, Raw, in which he tells a story about a feud the comedian had with Cosby over Murphy’s use of foul language. In that sense, it very well could have been a show-ender.
Or, at least that’s how MacDonald tells it.