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Starbucks CEO says arrests of two black men ‘reprehensible’

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) Chief Executive Kevin Johnson hopes to meet with the two black men arrested at one of its Philadelphia cafes last week to apologize for the incident, which has sparked accusations of racial profiling at the coffee chain.

The men, who had not made a purchase, were handcuffed and arrested for trespassing on Thursday after a store manager called 911 and reported them for refusing to leave. Witnesses said the men were calmly sitting in the cafe and in a widely viewed video, some patrons asked police whether they were targeted because they are black.

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Police released the men, who were not charged.

“The circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome in our store on Thursday were reprehensible … they were wrong,” Johnson told ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday, amid protests and calls for a boycott on social media.

The female manager who reported the men to police has left the company, a Starbucks representative said.

The incident came at a time when the company is grappling with flat traffic and lackluster sales growth at its more than 14,000 U.S. cafes. It is a high-profile public relations test for Johnson, a former technology executive who took the helm at Starbucks roughly a year ago.

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Johnson, who was interviewed from Philadelphia, said it was “completely inappropriate to engage the police.” He added that Starbucks would conduct training to prevent unconscious bias.

Representatives for the two men could not immediately be reached.

Protesters crowded the store that was the scene of the arrest on Monday morning. It was closed at around midday. More protests and a news conference are expected in the afternoon.

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The Reverend Mark Tyler, part of an interfaith group organizing a protest on Monday afternoon, said he had not heard reports of similar issues at other area Starbucks. Still, he said, “the idea of black people being unwanted in downtown Philadelphia is not new … this is the underbelly of gentrification.”


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Trump has figured out how to get taxpayers to renovate one of his golf courses: MSNBC panel

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President Donald Trump has figured out how to have taxpayers pay to renovate his Trump National Doral Miami golf course, according to an analysis by MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

"Before setting himself on fire on Ukraine yesterday, Mick Mulvaney came into the White House briefing room to break to the nation the fact the that the Trump Doral golf resort turns out to be -- in his estimation, organically, just sitting there -- the best possible place to have a G-7 Summit of world leaders," MSNBC's Brian Williams reported. "That was provision number one. There’s no better place that we can find. Number two was, the president will not profit from said G-7."

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Bill Maher reveals plan to ‘bribe’ Trump with one billion dollars — for him to leave office

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The Constitution has two mechanisms to remove President Donald Trump from office prior to his term ending on January 20, 2021: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher noted that Trump could also choose to resign.

Maher waved around a $1 million check that he said he would give to Trump to quit.

He said he also knew 1,000 people who would do the same -- which would land Trump over $1 billion.

Maher said even poor people would pawn their wedding rings to add to the pot.

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Trump can’t fire Mulvaney because nobody else wants to be his chief of staff: report

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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will likely stay on at the White House despite his public confession of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine scandal at the center of the impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reported Friday.

"But Mr. Mulvaney’s job has been anything but normal since the news conference on Thursday at which he seemingly undermined the Trump administration’s strategy for avoiding impeachment by acknowledging that Mr. Trump had sought a quid pro quo for providing Ukraine with American aid," the newspaper reported. "In the chaotic aftermath, the president’s Republican allies are questioning Mr. Mulvaney’s savvy and intelligence even as the Trump campaign is defiantly turning one of his lines from the news conference into a T-shirt."

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