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Ash Warren, MBA, ARM, CFI promoted to Senior Manager of Safety for Burlington Stores

Ash has been with Burlington Stores for nearly eight years, starting with the company in 2013 as a Loss Prevention Supervisor. Before his promotion to Senior Manager of Safety, he spent six years as Corporate Risk & Safety Manager. He also served as District Loss Prevention Manager and Shortage Control Trainer for the company. Earlier in his career, he held AP roles with Target. Congratulations, Ash!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position






Violence, Crime & Protests

ORC is a Global Problem - Auror is Helping Stores Fight It
Shoplifting in New Zealand: The lengths some go to for a 'five-finger discount'

Shoplifters donning elaborate disguises and sophisticated crime rings stealing to order are just some daily crime struggles faced by Christchurch retailers.

When a shoplifter disguised as a butcher recently stole meat from a Christchurch supermarket and, later the same day, donned a wig to steal electronics, nearby retailers shared the person's movements via Auror.

Phil Thomson, co-founder and co-chief executive of Auror, a platform used by retailers internationally to identify and share information about thefts in real-time with police, said shoplifters pocketed "more than $2 million" worth of products every day in New Zealand.

Instead of a "wall of shame", retailers were sharing shoplifters' details and photos on the online platform, with neighbouring stores issuing a warning when a known shoplifter had been spotted in the area.

More retailers were also training their staff to deal with anti-social behaviour from customers, as increasing number of shoplifters were using aggression as a "tactic", Thomson said.

Sophisticated crime rings were "stealing to order" and sending stolen goods overseas.

"These people, this is their day job, their intention is to go out and steal. Normally repeat offenders have particular products they steal because they have a market for that product online," Thomson said.

"We are even seeing things being stolen and then shipped out of the country. Baby formula is a big one, that's the same in Australia and China, a lot goes to China. In New Zealand a few years ago there was a big honey heist ring, mānuka honey was targeted and being shipped off to Saudi Arabia and China."

"There is an organised element to some shoplifting where items can be stolen to order."

Auror had partnered with a "leading supermarket" and police and now serviced more than 80 per cent of the retail enterprise market in New Zealand. Each region on the site had a "top 10" list of offenders.

"It's about prevention, if retailers know the top people in their area they have a chance to deter them so that there isn't necessarily an altercation," Thomson said.

A police spokesperson said Auror enabled retailers to provide information to police, which helped police be more efficient in their investigations and evidence collection.  stuff.co.nz

ORC Activity is Surging
Organized Retail Crime Is Rising - How Lawmakers Are Fighting Back

It's a 'multi-billion dollar problem' affecting retailers of every size

Retailers are reporting an increase in organized theft rings, and lawmakers in at least one state are working to bring them down, AZFamily.com reports.

Organized retail crime is loosely defined as the online selling of merchandise that's stolen from businesses. Sometimes, theft rings will recruit individuals to do the stealing. A theft ring in North Carolina was recently busted when authorities charged its participants with pilfering goods from local retailers and flipping them via Facebook and Snapchat.

The Home Depot is one such retailer that is being impacted by this kind of criminal activity. The article quotes Mike Combs, the company's director of investigations, who has observed the most brazen kind of theft.

"What we focus on is the people that come in and take shopping carts full, thousands of dollars worth of product, and many times they're aggressive," he said.

For their part, lawmakers in Arizona are working on a bill that would create a specialized task force that is dedicated to organize retail theft.

"It's a multi-billion dollar problem," a spokesperson for the Retail Industry Leaders Association told the news outlet. "With the anonymity of the internet, it's hard to track who these people are. They hide behind bogus business information and fake screen names, and so it's just a growing threat that's impacting retailers of all sizes." instoremag.com

Ending Traffic Stops for Low-Level Offenses in Minneapolis
Frey releases public safety proposals for Minneapolis, says city must make a turn

Mayor says it's time for Mpls. to "mark a turning point" against violence.

After another weekend of shocking violence, Mayor Jacob Frey convened city leaders Monday on a north Minneapolis street corner to assure residents he's got a plan to keep them safe - even though he apparently lacks the support of several City Council members.

As cars and buses buzzed loudly through the busy intersection of Penn Avenue and W. Broadway, Frey released a 14-page "model for community safety and accountability" that includes short-, mid- and long-term goals that are both broad and specific.

Frey said he's working to end traffic stops for low-level offenses such as small objects hanging from rearview mirrors and inoperable license plate lights. He said he's working with the state to stop making expired tabs a primary reason for police to stop a driver.

The mayor said that he and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo would work with county, state and federal partners to "crack down" on violent offenders. The chief is trying to bring in additional state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators to help with gun crimes.

Frey said he wants to increase funding for police overtime and for the Office of Violence Prevention. The mayor and his staff noted that the city recently received $271 million in federal American Rescue Plan money, though most of that can be spent only with council approval. Frey said he would push for $2 million immediately for a community safety apprenticeship pilot program run by the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council.

Among the city officials who spoke, most pleaded for a community effort to end the violence. "Gun violence in our city is our biggest nemesis right now," Arradondo said, while his department's staffing is down by a third.

The chief delivered a specific message to Hennepin County judges, urging them not to go easy on first- and second-time offenders. "When you are releasing violent individuals back to our community, there is a price we pay," he said. startribune.com

Could This Announcement Lead to More Protests?
N. Carolina Prosecutor Says Shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. Was 'Justified'

Andrew Brown Jr. was fatally shot in Elizabeth City, N.C., by police in April.

A North Carolina prosecutor Tuesday said that the fatal shooting of a Black man in Elizabeth City, N.C., by local sheriff's deputies was justified.

R. Andrew Womble, the district attorney for North Carolina's First Judicial District, made the announcement in a news conference on Tuesday, during which he described Pasquotank County sheriff's deputies' efforts to serve a drug-related warrant on Andrew Brown, Jr.

Three deputies opened fire on Mr. Brown as he tried to get away in his car on April 21. A private autopsy paid for by Mr. Brown's family showed that he was hit by five bullets and killed by a shot to the back of the head.

Mr. Brown's family and their lawyers have said that the shooting was an "execution." Mr. Womble said that Mr. Brown, at one point, drove his car "directly at" one deputy, after which the first shot was fired.

The death of Mr. Brown, 42, at his house on a quiet residential street, came just days after a jury found a Minneapolis police officer guilty of murdering another Black man, George Floyd, sparked multiple days and nights of intense but peaceful protest in Elizabeth City, as well as national attention. nytimes.com

'This is a huge step for law enforcement'
Police unions shift stance on protecting bad officers
In response to the police killing George Floyd, 15 unions that represent law enforcement officers across the US have endorsed a blueprint for policing that includes an unprecedented shift in the way unions protect bad police officers, according to a copy of the plan obtained by CNN ahead of its release this week.

Floyd's death last May brought renewed attention to the idea of "active bystanders," a relatively new concept in law enforcement which calls for officers to intervene when they see wrongdoing. Other industries and trade unions have developed industry- or union-specific programs aimed at achieving the same goal: teaching colleagues to intervene when they see another worker behaving poorly or making mistakes.

A committee convened by the AFL-CIO, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Service Employees International Union Friday approved the plan that calls on more than 250,000 law enforcement members and more than 100,000 members in police-adjacent professions to intervene when another union member is doing something wrong.

Unions still have a responsibility to represent members they believe are wrongfully accused, but the framework challenges local unions to look at the merits of an officer's actions when considering whether to defend them.

The program will "empower local union members to speak up and take action if fellow members are violating their professional oath or abusing their power, and ultimately helps the union weed out wrong-doers from union membership," according to the document. cnn.com

Commission to Investigate Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
House Democrats press forward with a bipartisan proposal to create a commission on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
House Democrats are pressing forward with a bipartisan proposal to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, after reaching agreement with a key Republican to drop his party's demand to look into left-wing violence at racial justice protests.

The deal announced on Friday between Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and Representative John Katko of New York, the panel's senior Republican, could break a partisan logjam that has persisted for months around the commission.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Tuesday voiced opposition to legislation to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. nytimes.com nbcnews.com

Federal trial for 3 other ex-officers charged in George Floyd's killing set for August

NC judge accused of nearly hitting BLM activists with car at May protest

New South Carolina law makes Death row inmates choose Electric Chair or Firing Squad

COVID Update

274.4M Vaccinations Given

US: 33.7M Cases - 600.5K Dead - 27.2M Recovered
Worldwide: 164.3M Cases - 3.4M Dead - 143.1M Recovered

Former Senior Loss Prevention Executive
Know of any fallen LP exec? Let's remember & recognize.

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 299
*Red indicates change in total deaths

COVID-19 Case Trend Since Feb. 2020

Retail Mask Wars
As stores update COVID mask policies for vaccinated customers, are more conflicts on the horizon?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may say fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear face masks, but the mask conflict at stores isn't going away.

As vaccinated Americans begin to take off their masks and retailers update their masking policies, the debates and outbursts related to mask wearing (or lack thereof) are expected to continue, experts told USA TODAY.

Retailers that have dropped mask rules for vaccinated people have said they don't plan to interrogate people or request their vaccination cards at the door and will instead rely on the honor system. The growing list includes Walmart, Home Depot, Sam's Club, Costco, Starbucks, Target and CVS.

But what adds to the confusion - and could fuel a new round of mask battles - is that in some cases, state and local mask mandates conflict with retailers' revamped policies, which they say are based on new mask guidelines released by the CDC Thursday. The guidance says fully vaccinated people, for the most part, no longer need to wear masks indoors and don't need to wear masks outdoors, even in crowded spaces.

Brian Dodge, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said the guidance and a "patchwork of state and local rules" about masks have created confusion. He said store employees have been at risk by trying to enforce mask policies, and the new guidelines create another level of risk.

"Retail employees should never have been the mask police, and they cannot be the vaccine police," Dodge said. "It is impossible to confirm the vaccination status of guests, ... so businesses are looking at those orders and trying to understand what they can do appropriately in order to comply and keep everyone in their stores safe." news.yahoo.com

Not All Retailers are Lifting Mask Mandates
Which stores are still requiring masks for visitors?
Where do you need to mask up? Here's a look at national chains that are still requiring visitors to wear a mask, whether or not they are vaccinated.

Kroger: Kroger operates nearly 3,000 grocery stores around the country under brands like Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Roundy's, Ralph's, and Smith's.

Simon Property Group: The company operates dozens of shopping centers and malls in 37 states including many Premium Outlets locations.

Uber and Lyft: The ride-sharing companies are still requiring both drivers and riders to wear masks.

Walgreens: The pharmacy chain still lists facial coverings as required for visitors older than 2.

Whole Foods: The health foods grocery store chain is still requiring masks for visitors "to protect the health and safety of our Team Members and communities." thedenverchannel.com

Retail Workers React to Mask Policy Changes
Some Starbucks employees are angry over mask mandates lifting, while others are eager to end customer confrontations
The new rules put retail workers in a bind. For some, ending confrontations with customers over masks is a welcome respite after a difficult year, but others remain worried about contracting COVID-19 and low vaccination rates.

Starbucks pointed Insider to the company's updated COVID-19 response page, which says that face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated customers beginning Monday, May 17. Employees will continue to be required to wear double masks.

A Starbucks worker in Connecticut told Insider that she is concerned as a "chronically ill and high-risk barista," and is considering leaving her job over mask mandates lifting. The worker and others cited in this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly on the topic, and their employment was confirmed by Insider.

"We can't verify if the people coming in without a mask have been vaccinated or not, and we're outside of a hospital so people with compromised immunities have to share spaces with people who have no mask on," the worker said. "I'm worried we're going to end up with another spike in cases."

At the same time, many Starbucks workers have shared in interviews and on social media message boards that they are ready to end uncomfortable confrontations with customers over masks. businessinsider.com

Patchwork of State Requirements
New York lifts mask requirements for the vaccinated, California waits
New York state this week will drop face mask requirements in most public spaces for people vaccinated against COVID-19, conforming with the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom said his state would keep its mask order in place for another month, despite the CDC's new recommendations. Cuomo and Newsom, both Democrats, have drawn criticism for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Newsom faces a Republican-led recall election.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, also a Democrat, said he would lift mask restrictions outdoors but keep in place a mandate to wear them indoors. Murphy said schools would be required to provide full-time, in-person classroom instruction again in the fall.

Cuomo said New York health officials decided to lift the mask order after reviewing the CDC's new guidance. Some 52 percent of New York adults have been fully inoculated and 61.8 percent had received at least one shot as of Monday.

Cuomo, speaking to reporters at Radio City Music Hall, said it would be up to each business or venue how they should determine vaccination status. reuters.com

No More COVID Inspections at Ohio Stores
Ohio stops enforcing COVID-19 mask mandate at retail businesses
State investigators will no longer inspect retail businesses for compliance with the Ohio's mask mandate, which will be revised Monday to allow fully vaccinated Ohioans to drop their masks in most indoor locations.

Inspectors have no way to know whether people without masks have been vaccinated or not, Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday. "We're not going to enforce these rules as far as masking in a retail establishment," he said.

The revised order will still require face coverings for health care settings, public transportation, schools and child care providers and congregate settings such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Businesses and schools can still require masks and implement other policies to protect workers and customers.

Separate rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people aligns with Thursday's guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Once this CDC new guidance came out, the signal to everybody was you can take your mask off," DeWine said. "We don't want to be in a position where we're telling people in the state of Ohio one thing and they're hearing something else from the federal government." cincinnati.com

Some Suffering Trauma-Like Response to Reentering Society
As restrictions loosen, some are hesitant about returning to pre-COVID life
Now that life is slowly returning to normal, Trasatti said she's nervous about transitioning to life post-pandemic, especially as mask requirements loosen.

"Almost going out without a mask on, you just feel so exposed and so vulnerable. And COVID's not gone, so it makes it difficult," Trasatti said. "You want to trust that they're doing this for a reason, and they've done their research, but I feel like masks have almost become a security blanket, and it just makes you anxious because you could get sick. Your risks of getting sick are a lot higher being around people, and you don't have that shield."

"I'm not too sure we're handling the relaxations very well," Walker said. "I personally - as much as I hate wearing this mask, and trust me, I hate wearing this mask - I would rather wear this mask until (COVID-19) is completely gone."

Rachel Miller, mental health supervisor at the Family & Intercultural Resource Center, said she primarily sees individuals who are struggling with one of two responses: in some instances, Miller said individuals experience physical symptoms of anxiety and might be having a trauma-like response when reentering society. In other instances, individuals are trying to forge ahead and are questioning what normal looks like for them. aspentimes.com

Growing Number of Businesses Announce Employee Vaccine Mandates
Employers announce COVID-19 vaccine requirements as workplaces reopen

Delta's mandate that all new employees be vaccinated went into effect Monday.

A growing number of businesses -- from airline giant Delta to Broadway production "Hamilton" -- have announced new workplace requirements surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.

The announcements come as the pandemic eases in the U.S., and offices around the country commence reopening plans. Even as vaccination rates rise across the U.S., however, many business leaders have mulled over the tripwire of potential legal or PR issues related to requiring the vaccine in the workplace.

In its most-recent guidance updated last December, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that employers can legally require workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, with exceptions for those who have a medical or religious accommodation.

Delta Airlines' mandate that all new hires in the U.S. be vaccinated, unless they qualify for an accommodation, officially went into effect on Monday. With some 91,000 full-time workers, the Atlanta-headquartered airliner became the largest U.S. employer to date that has announced a vaccine mandate for new employees. abcnews.go.com

Certain restaurant workers wearing vaccinated wristbands for customers
As more people start to remove their masks, restaurants are using special wristbands to show customers that employees have their vaccinations. The wristbands include a QR code that links to a person's proof of vaccination.

NJ decision to maintain mask mandates is applauded by food, retail workers union

Pennsylvania loosens restrictions for indoor & outdoors events

Massachusetts to lift nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on May 29

Retailers Moving to 'Reskill' Workers
Not Qualified for a Job? These Companies Will 'Reskill' You

Some companies teach their own data scientists after Covid-19 pandemic accelerated shift to e-commerce; Levi's offers boot camp

Levi's is confronting a problem faced by companies in a range of industries from finance to retail to technology. Many of their workers lack the necessary skills to address modern business challenges. For retailing, artificial intelligence and machine learning are playing an outsize role as more shopping shifts online.

Walmart Inc., Macy's Inc. and Target Corp. are among the big retailers that will update investors on their operations this week, giving a snapshot not just on how much consumers are spending this spring but also on how they are finding workers in a revamped labor market.

U.S. job openings reached a record level of 8.1 million at the end of March, and hiring slowed in April. Last week Amazon.com Inc. said it was offering $1,000 signing bonuses, while McDonald's Corp. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said they were raising wages.

There were 342,000 more retail job openings in March than in the same month a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While some of that is due to the need for businesses to rehire as the pandemic eases, the job openings are the second-highest for March over the past decade and well above the five-year average for the month, according to the National Retail Federation.

The pandemic exposed a shortage of digital skills in retailing. Tens of thousands of retail workers were laid off a year ago as Covid-19-related restrictions required chains to close stores temporarily. Many have been rehired, but the jobs they are returning to aren't always the jobs they left.

A tight labor market has made it harder for many chains to attract hourly staffers, while rising demand for computer scientists and engineers is leading to a shortage of workers with that expertise, executives said. wsj.com

Business Insider Rips Retailers & Restaurants - Again
Low Hanging Fruit as Retailers Struggle to Get Workers

OPINION: Stop treating workers like garbage or stop having workers at all
Over and over again, the people I talked to told me that while the aid provided security and support at a crucial time, they weren't passing up work just to sit around. Rather, they were looking at other options because of the service industry's terrible working conditions and low pay.

"There's no reason for workers to come back to their old jobs earning the same poverty wages, especially since more than 100 million Americans remain unvaccinated, and there's still a stable safety net in place until autumn," writer and former restaurant worker Carl Gibson wrote for Insider on May 2. "It's not that unemployed restaurant workers don't want jobs - we just have more options now."

The time off prompted a reevaluation of not only their role in the business but industry practices in general. The service industry is a notoriously harsh and unforgiving business that makes intense demands on staff for low pay and anarchic schedules.

But now that many of these workers have been able to step back from an industry where low pay and abusive practices were the norm these businesses face a challenge: improve working conditions or shut down.

As the country has begun to reopen, some politicians and pundits are claiming that staff are uninterested in returning to work because they're lazy. Signs on windows of shuttered businesses or temporarily closed outlets claim that people aren't willing to come back because they'd rather sit back and do nothing.

The reality is different, Lucas, a former Uber Eats driver, told me. "We're sick of being called lazy bums because we're sick of thankless, s----paying jobs," Lucas said.

Rather, Lucas and other workers I spoke to said they are finally asserting themselves after years of mistreatment and becoming more selective and holding out for incentives-or even considering leaving altogether if things don't change. businessinsider.com

Same Worker Shortage Across the Pond
UK 'faces labour shortage' as Covid and Brexit fuel exodus of overseas workers

Experts say recovery at risk amid sharp fall in EU workers and dwindling interest in UK jobs from abroad

Britain's employers are struggling to hire staff as lockdown lifts amid an exodus of overseas workers caused by the Covid pandemic and Brexit, industry figures reveal.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the recruitment firm Adecco, employers plan to hire at the fastest rate in eight years, led by the reopening of the hospitality and retail sectors as pandemic restrictions are relaxed in England and Wales on Monday.

However, in a sign of growing pressures in the jobs market amid rapid growth in consumer spending, the professional body for HR and people development said there had been a sharp decline in the numbers of EU workers, fuelling the risk of labour shortages.

t said the decline was being led in particular by overseas interest in typically lower-paid service-led sectors, while some towns and cities have up to 20 jobs on offer per jobseeker. According to the research, Maidstone in Kent is the hardest place to hire, followed by Manchester, Cambridge and Oxford. theguardian.com

Price Hikes Are Coming as Production Costs Increase
Companies sounding alarm on price hikes for products like trash bags, breakfast cereal, and household appliances
Americans are likely to experience some sticker shock as prices for key products spike due to rising demand and supply chain snags.

The Wall Street Journal recently cited leaders from companies like Clorox, General Mills, and Whirlpool sounding the alarm on price spikes for products like breakfast cereal, trash bags, and household appliances. Reasons for rising prices run from pent-up demand due to rising vaccination rates, pandemic-related delays, manufacturing issues around key components like computer chips, and logistical tangles.

The Consumer Price Index spiked 0.8% in April, signalling a 4.2% year-over-year surge in prices. That means that Americans could feel a pinch when paying for meats like bacon and hot dogs, imported foods like cheese and wine, and fuel - also thanks in part to a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline in the southeast.

And skyrocketing prices are affecting a number of aspects of consumer's lives, outside of trips to the grocery store and the gas station. businessinsider.com

Amazon rebrands Amazon Go Grocery to Amazon Fresh, closes Seattle-area store near Microsoft HQ

Labor shortage could hamper Biden's recovery plans

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By: Grant Cowan, Director of National Accounts at Salient Systems

If you had asked retailers in December 2019 to define an enterprise video system and then asked them the same question in December 2020, I would suspect each respondent would have two highly different answers. As a video management software (VMS) manufacturer in 2020, end users came to us and the main question we received was how do we make all of this work together.

Now a lot of retailers do have fully enterprise video solutions. However, many of the customers we talked to have some stores on an enterprise VMS, but they have hundreds if not thousands of stores on various DVRs from the past 15 years. Our job was to figure out how we could help these manufacturers quickly grow their video system to an enterprise solution without having a major outlay of capital expenditures.

First Step: DVR Integration

One of Salient's biggest undertakings in 2020 was to ramp up its integrations to third-party DVRs to help support this migration while keeping the budget in mind. Salient could now offer an umbrella of integrations for a retailer so all of the employees viewing video could connect through one enterprise software and have access to a store regardless of what type of DVR was in that store. Users can still access the live and recorded video, but now the LP team only has to maintain one viewing software and train its users to use one system.

Second Step: Subscription Pricing

Enterprise softwares in the IT space have embraced the idea of subscription pricing for a long time, and outside of cloud-based VMS companies, this trend has waltzed its way past the traditional VMS companies with little fanfare. Salient has adopted a subscription model to sit alongside its perpetual license business. The idea of a subscription model really fits well with the new DVR integrations Salient is deploying.

Read the full article here






Apple Has to Answer to China Now
Censorship, Surveillance and Profits: A Hard Bargain for Apple in China

Apple built the world's most valuable business on top of China. Now it has to answer to the Chinese government.

Internal Apple documents reviewed by The New York Times, interviews with 17 current and former Apple employees and four security experts, and new filings made in a court case in the United States last week provide rare insight into the compromises Mr. Cook has made to do business in China. They offer an extensive inside look - many aspects of which have never been reported before - at how Apple has given in to escalating demands from the Chinese authorities.

Two decades ago, as Apple's operations chief, Mr. Cook spearheaded the company's entrance into China, a move that helped make Apple the most valuable company in the world and made him the heir apparent to Steve Jobs. Apple now assembles nearly all of its products and earns a fifth of its revenue in the China region. But just as Mr. Cook figured out how to make China work for Apple, China is making Apple work for the Chinese government.

Mr. Cook often talks about Apple's commitment to civil liberties and privacy. But to stay on the right side of Chinese regulators, his company has put the data of its Chinese customers at risk and has aided government censorship in the Chinese version of its App Store. After Chinese employees complained, it even dropped the "Designed by Apple in California" slogan from the backs of iPhones.

China's leader, Xi Jinping, is increasing his demands on Western companies, and Mr. Cook has resisted those demands on a number of occasions. But he ultimately approved the plans to store customer data on Chinese servers and to aggressively censor apps, according to interviews with current and former Apple employees.

"Apple has become a cog in the censorship machine that presents a government-controlled version of the internet," said Nicholas Bequelin, Asia director for Amnesty International, the human rights group. "If you look at the behavior of the Chinese government, you don't see any resistance from Apple - no history of standing up for the principles that Apple claims to be so attached to."

Chinese officials say their cybersecurity law is intended to protect Chinese residents' data from foreign governments. People close to Apple suggested that the Chinese authorities often don't need Apple's data, and thus demand it less often, because they already surveil their citizens in myriad other ways.

But the iCloud data in China is vulnerable to the Chinese government because Apple made a series of compromises to meet the authorities' demands, according to dozens of pages of internal Apple documents on the planned design and security of the Chinese iCloud system, which were reviewed for The Times by an Apple engineer and four independent security researchers.

While both the Trump and Biden administrations have taken a tougher line toward China, Apple's courtship of the Chinese government shows a disconnect between politicians in Washington and America's wealthiest company. nytimes.com

Darkside Pipeline Attack is the 'Straw that Broke the Camel's Back'

RaaS gangs go "private" after stirring a hornet's nest
After a decade or so of ransomware attacks against sometimes very prominent targets, the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack by the Darkside gang has been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, as the attack was followed by a temporary shut down of the pipeline, which then led to widespread fuel shortages in the Southeast United States and the government issuing a state of emergency for 18 states.

The Darkside gang, which operates a Ransomware-as-a-Service, realized they had stirred up a hornet's nest and tried to ameliorate the situation by stating they are not politically motivated and that they will, in the future, check each company that their partners want to encrypt "to avoid social consequences."

Soon after, the gang said that they lost access to the public part of their infrastructure and that they will be releasing decryption tools for all of the companies that have been hit but haven't paid the ransom. Also, that the funds they stashed on the payment servers have been "withdrawn to an unknown address."

According to Intel 471 researchers, other ransomware gangs reacted with changes to their RaaS programs. Some said they will be going "private" - a decision that must have been partly made because several Russian-language hacking forums (XSS, Exploit.in, Raid) banned ransomware-related ads and activity. Some, like the Avaddon RaaS group, said that they will be barring affiliates from targeting government, healthcare, educational and charity organizations.

In the meantime, various ransomware gangs hit and disrupted the Irish health service, four European subsidiaries of Toshiba, a German chemical distribution company (Brenntag SE), several branches of insurance giant AXA (after the company recently announced that it will stop writing cyber-insurance policies in France that reimburse customers for extortion payments made to ransomware criminals), and likely many other less prominent targets.

I think that no-one is under the illusion that the threat is going away soon. helpnetsecurity.com

'National Security Threat'
Double-extortion ransomware attacks on the rise
"Over the last few years, the ransomware threat has become increasingly dangerous, with new methods like double-extortion and DDoS attacks making it easy for cybercriminals to sabotage organizations and do long-term damage to their reputation," said Deepen Desai, CISO and VP of Security Research at Zscaler.

"Our team expects ransomware attacks to become increasingly targeted in nature where the cybercriminals hit organizations with a higher likelihood of ransom payout. We analyzed recent ransomware attacks where cybercriminals had the knowledge of things like the victim's cyber insurance coverage as well as critical supply-chain vendors bringing them in the crosshairs of these attacks.

"As such, it is critical for businesses to better understand the risk ransomware represents and take proper precautions to avoid an attack. Always patch vulnerabilities, educate employees on spotting suspicious emails, back up data regularly, implement data loss prevention strategy, and use zero trust architecture to minimize the attack surface and prevent lateral movement."
According to the World Economic Forum 2020 Global Risk Report, ransomware was the third most common, and second most damaging type of malware attack recorded in 2020. With payouts averaging $1.45M per incident, it's not difficult to see why cybercriminals are increasingly flocking to this new style of high-tech extortion. As the rewards that result from this type of crime increase, risks to government entities, company bottom lines, reputation, data integrity, customer confidence, and business continuity also grow.

Zscaler's research supports the narrative recently established by the U.S. federal government, which classifies ransomware a national security threat; underscoring the need to prioritize mitigation and contingency measures when protecting against these ongoing threats. helpnetsecurity.com

New Ransomware Behavior Discovered
DarkSide Ransomware Variant Targets Disk Partitions

A newly discovered DarkSide ransomware variant can detect and compromise partitioned hard drives, researchers report.

Researchers have discovered a DarkSide variant capable of seeking out partition information and compromising multiple disk partitions, a behavior they have not yet seen in ransomware.

The variant was written by the DarkSide group connected to the attack on Colonial Pipeline, though FortiGuard Labs researchers who found it say it was not used in the pipeline attack. This attack currently appears to be limited to targeted organizations, they say, and it is not the result of "widespread wormlike activity."

At the time they found it, researchers believed this ransomware was "seeking out partitions to find possible hidden partitions setup by systems administrators to hide backup files," they state in a blog post. Further analysis revealed attackers have a more sophisticated technique: This DarkSide variant seeks out partitions on a multiboot system to find additional files to encrypt. As a result, it can cause more damage and put pressure on organizations to pay the ransom.

The DarkSide ransomware is "efficient and well-constructed," the researchers wrote, which signifies the organization includes experienced software engineers. Given the sophistication of the malware, they believe this is not the work of one person but a group with significant resources and time.  darkreading.com

Enterprise leaders now see cybersecurity as a business advantage

Hiring remote software developers: How to spot the cheaters




Amazon's 'Hire to Fire' Scheme
Some Amazon managers say they hire people they intend to fire later just to meet their turnover goal
Amazon has a goal to get rid of a certain percentage of employees every year, and three managers told Insider they felt so much pressure to meet the goal that they hired people to fire them.

"We might hire people that we know we're going to fire, just to protect the rest of the team," one manager told Insider.

The practice is informally called "hire to fire," in which managers hire people, internally or externally, they intend to fire within a year, just to help meet their annual turnover target, called unregretted attrition (URA). A manager's URA target is the percentage of employees the company wouldn't regret seeing leave, one way or the other.

In a statement to Insider, Amazon's spokesperson denied that the company hired employees with the intention of firing them and said it did not use the phrase "hire to fire."

But the existence of the practice in at least some parts of the company shows how Amazon's system of requiring managers to hit a target attrition goal every year can foster controversial norms and practices. businessinsider.com

From The White House to the Top of Amazon's 'Influence Machine'
Former Obama Staffer Jay Carney Is Amazon's Top Flack

PR is only part of his job - his larger mission is to help Amazon ruthlessly exploit its workforce so it can expand endlessly.

Amazon's founder was determined to bring Carney on board. The company needed to ramp up its lobbying operations, and fast. Once a money-losing book-selling operation, by 2015, Amazon was on its way to becoming the behemoth we all know - this was the year it would make public the numbers on its lucrative Amazon Web Services (AWS) arm and begin reporting profits instead of losses.

Amazon's business model is predicated on the ruthless exploitation of its workforce, surveilling workers down to the second and doing all it can to annihilate their humanity through control and domination. But it also relies on the non-enforcement of US antitrust laws, as well as the country's corrupt, lax regulation more generally. As the company "got big fast," per Amazon's old slogan, it needed someone out front, leveraging their political connections to ensure the path toward Amazon's expansion remained clear.

That person is Carney. The position Bezos created for him combines policy influence and press strategy, melding Amazon's offensives by having the heads of AWS policy, public policy, and global innovation report to Carney, alongside directors of PR, publicity, and communications (to name only some of Carney's direct reports). Bezos added Carney to the S-team, as Amazon's top-level executive group is called.

The title for the position Carney started in 2015 is senior vice president of global corporate affairs. Carney quickly got to work proving his value to Bezos, and the deleterious effect of the revolving door between the public and private sector in the United States to the rest of us. The company spent $5 million on lobbying in 2014, before Carney was hired. In 2020, it spent $18 million on what former secretary of labor Robert Reich recently called "platoons of lobbyists," DC schmoozers whose efforts are directed at a growing number of government agencies and issues. This influence machine now eclipses Amazon's tech-industry rivals. jacobinmag.com

Five ways stores are evolving as e-commerce takes off







Police say convicted shoplifter 'foiled' in repeat shoplifting attempt at Dillard's
A woman who is banned from Dillard's after a shoplifting conviction is foiled in a new attempt to take clothes, according to a police report. Ann Marie Dake, 47, is charged with theft over $100 and under $750 for attempting to take four shirts worth a total of about $170. Dake is also charged with criminal trespass. Dake's bonds total $1,000. According to authorities, on Thursday, May 13 just after 6 p.m. an off-duty deputy working security was told by store security that Dake had gone into a dressing room with multiple shirts and came out without them. The deputy said he found Dake leaving the store and detained her. The deputy asked and was given permission to look in Dake's bag, which he discovered to be lined with foil. Inside the foil lining, the deputy said he found four shirts valued at $168 total, all with the price tags still attached. Dake was banned by Dillard's in 2018 for a shoplifting arrest in which clothing was taken. Dake was given 12 days in jail in that case. texomashomepage.com

Hollywood, FL: Store owner roughed up after tackling thief; 2 at large
Two thieves ran out of a family-owned store in Hollywood with sound equipment worth thousands of dollars, but the owner ensured they didn't get away without a fight, tackling one of the men involved. Michael Dixon has owned Audio Logic on Hollywood Boulevard since 1982. Dixon said one of the men entered first. "He's just scoping where everybody is at, where everything is at, and then he leaves," he said. He wasn't gone for long. When he came back, Dixon said, he brought a friend. Surveillance video captured the thieves inside the store. The business owner said he knew exactly what they thieves were after: $6,500 worth of speakers. Dixon said they grabbed the boxes and made a break for it. "I wasn't going to let them go without a fight," he said. Security cameras recorded what happened next. "I pursued them. First gentleman gets through the door first, but I was able to catch and tackle the second gentleman," said Dixon. That's when things turned violent. "A bit of a scrum happened, and there were some punches received and some kicks to my face," said Dixon, "but at the end of the day, they ended up getting most of what they stole." If you have any information on this theft or the subjects' whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.  wsvn.com

Lakewood, CO: Police Seek Public's Help Identifying $2000 Home Depot
Theft Suspect
On April 7 just before 3:30 p.m., a man entered the Home Depot at 6701 W. Alameda Ave and attempted to steal over $2,000 in merchandise. Home Depot staff were able to recover all of the merchandise, but when the man was told the police were being called, he ran away. patch.com

Menomonee Falls, WI: Suspect stole more than $1K in merchandise from Best Buy
Menomonee Falls police are investigating a retail theft from Best Buy that occurred on Thursday, May 13. Police say around 2:19 p.m., an unknown suspect stole $1,049.97 worth of merchandise, including a Dyson vacuum cleaner and multiple Nest products.  cbs58.com

Charlotte, NC: Hundreds of thefts reported at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport with few cases ever solved

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Shootings & Deaths

Memphis, TN: C-Store Security Guard shoots, kills alleged theft suspect
A store security guard is accused of shooting an unarmed man who was allegedly attempting to steal from the store. Robert Buie is charged with second-degree murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Memphis police say officers responded to a shooting at Scootie's One Stop Sunday where they found a man shot in the chest. He later died at the hospital. Investigators say the store owner saw the man try to run out of the store with $100 in merchandise but the door was locked. Buie, the stock person and store security guard, told officers he ordered the man down on the floor. The man did not comply and began walking toward Buie, according to the affidavit. Investigators say Buie admitted to firing his gun, shooting the man once in the chest. wmcactionnews5.com

Racine, WI: 'This is too painful' | Gas station cuts hours after second shooting
in 12 months
The man who died after being shot at the Marathon gas station has been identified as Deveon D. Robbins, 20, a father of one from Racine. The shooting occurred at about 1 a.m. Saturday at the gas station at 3024 Rapids Drive, according to the Racine Police Department. "He was just a good young kid, trying to navigate his way, trying to find his way," said Sean Herndon, Robbins' uncle. "He was a very good, laid back, cerebral kid ... never got in too much trouble." Herndon said that, after Robbins recently lost a job, he was considering enlisting in the Navy. Now he will never get that chance.

"This is too painful," Bala said of Saturday's shooting. It's the second time in less than 12 months a man has been shot and killed at the gas station she's worked at for over a decade. The last time someone was killed there, on July 19, 2020, Bala started thinking about reducing the store's hours in the hopes of keeping those who may be prone to fighting after being at the bars away. No suspect is in custody in connection to the shooting, according to police. The investigation remains ongoing. kenoshanews.com

Nashville, TN: Man wanted in deadly shooting outside South Nashville market
Metro Police are searching for a man wanted in connection to a deadly shooting that occurred last Wednesday outside a market at the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and Lafayette Street in South Nashville. According to investigators, 50-year-old Melvin R. Evans shot and killed 24-year-old Jashaun Cane-Germane after an argument inside the store. The fight continued after both men left the store. Evans is being charged with murder in Cane-Germane's death. wkrn.com

Cuyahoga Falls, OH Grand jury indicts Cuyahoga Falls McDonald's employee accused of Killing Coworker
The McDonald's employee who allegedly shot and killed a coworker was indicted by the Summit County Grand Jury. Christopher Riddick, 34, was indicted on the charge of aggravated murder for killing Shawn Fann, 30, of Akron. Cuyahoga Falls Police Sgt. Dan Randall said Riddick confronted Fann in the restaurant in the 400 block of Howe Avenue around 1:30 p.m. on April 8 and shot him in the chest. Riddick then allegedly fled the restaurant on foot, but was arrested a short time later in the area. Fann was pronounced dead at Akron City Hospital. Riddick is being held on a $1 million bond at the Summit County Jail and will be arraigned May 25. fox19.com

Stockton, CA: 'Amazing turnout' for Stockton McDonald's yields $50,000 check for Officer Jimmy Inn's memorial fund
A combined effort by 13 McDonald's restaurants in Stockton netted a $50,000 donation to slain officer Jimmy Inn's memorial fund. Inn was shot and killed on May 11 while responding to an alleged domestic violence situation. On May 14, Golden State Restaurant Group, a local franchise based in Stockton, stepped up to show their support.  abc10.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

San Francisco, CA: Chinatown shop owner says encounter with repeat shoplifter has escalated into violence
Fanly Chen, the owner of GoApple.co, was robbed and attacked Saturday at her store located on the 900 block of Grant Avenue in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown. She says it's a recurring problem and that she's seen the suspect who used pepper spray on her before. flipboard.com

Seguin, TX: Pharmacist robbed at gunpoint urges others to have a safety plan while suspects still at large
Seguin pharmacist is urging other pharmacies to increase their security measures after being robbed at gunpoint by a suspect connected to other robberies in the area. Merlin Tchawa Yinga, the manager of Seguin Pharmacy said the robbery started after a woman asked him for a few things. "It was Dec. 14, and about 10 minutes after I helped the lady, two men came in asking if I had any CBD product," Tchawa Yinga said. "I went back behind the counter, and as I was showing them the CBD product, they pulled the gun on me and started the robbery." Tchawa Yinga said the men demanded he give them cash and various narcotics. "They zip-tied me and left me in the pharmacy," Tchawa Yinga said. He was able to break free and call for help after the robbers got away.

"It was very scary," he said. "That is something that has never happened to me before. Now, I know what is going on, and I am a little bit more prepared." Similarly, the same kind of robbery took place May 8 at 10 Minute Pharmacy, not far from Seguin Pharmacy.

Police say one of the suspects from the December robbery acted alone, robbing the pharmacist at gunpoint before tying them up with a rope. "That just means that those guys are just looking for the next pharmacy to target and that they'll come back," he said. "Each pharmacy has to be waiting and have to be ready." Since that December robbery, Tchawa Yinga said he has increased his security, and he suggests other pharmacies do the same. "I think other pharmacies have to devise a protocol," he said. "I also think we need more patrolling from law enforcement." He said he is happy that more attention is being brought to the suspects responsible, but he won't be fully happy until they are caught. ksat.com

Shrewsbury, PA: Robber held Rite Aid employees at gunpoint,
stole $35,000 in meds
A Baltimore man is accused of holding three employees of a Shrewsbury Rite Aid at gunpoint late last year before making off with nearly $36,000 in drugs. Jamal Alvin Lee Gwaltney, 30, of the 700 block of Villager Circle in Baltimore, Maryland, is charged with robbery, prohibited possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property, carrying a firearm without a license and theft by unlawful taking of movable property. All are felonies. He also faces three counts each of terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another and simple assault, both misdemeanors. yorkdispatch.com

Denver, CO: Businesses burglaries persist into 2021
Crime is up in Denver, particularly for businesses still struggling back out the depths of the pandemic's restrictions. The last year was an economic warhead for most Colorado businesses but in particular the dense, heavily populated capitol city. Retail and restaurants buckled under capacity restrictions. The business group Downtown Denver Partnership and Mayor Michael Hancock have launched a campaign asking citizens to return to their downtown offices so businesses can recover.

Crime is up in Denver, particularly for businesses still struggling back out the depths of the pandemic's restrictions. The last year was an economic warhead for most Colorado businesses but in particular the dense, heavily populated capitol city. Retail and restaurants buckled under capacity restrictions. The business group Downtown Denver Partnership and Mayor Michael Hancock have launched a campaign asking citizens to return to their downtown offices so businesses can recover. kdvr.com

Broward County, FL: Sheriff's Office Busts High End Auto Theft Ring, Recovers Car And Stolen Guns; Arrested Half Dozen People Including Several Juveniles

Hinsdale, IL: 2 arrested after Land Rover, Ferrari dealership break-ins



Auto Dealership - Hinsdale, IL - Burglary
Auto Dealership - Hinsdale, IL - Burglary
Burlington Coat - Rockford, IL - Burglary
C-Store - Shreveport, LA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Loudoun County, VA - Burglary
C-Store - Spokane, WA - Burglary
Car Wash - Bossier City, LA - Burglary
Computer - Denver, CO - Burglary
Cricket Wireless - San Diego, CA - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Memphis, TN - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Racine, WI - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Brandon, MS - Burglary
Gas Station - Visalia, CA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - St Louis, MO - Armed Robbery / Clerk wounded
Grocery - Loudoun County, VA - Burglary
Jewelry - Tampa, FL - Robbery
Jewelry - Victorville, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Kansas City, MO - Robbery
Jewelry- Springfield, PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Kennewick, WA - Robbery
Liquor - Naugatuck, CT - Burglary
Pharmacy - Loudoun County, VA - Burglary
Restaurant - Franklin, TN - Burglary (Baskin Robbins)
Shoe - Franklin, TN - Burglary
7-Eleven - Hampton, VA - Robbery
7-Eleven - Suffolk County, NY - Robbery
7-Eleven - Dorchester, MA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 14 robberies
• 13 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

Submit Your New Hires/Promotions or New Position








Featured Job Spotlights


Division Asset Protection - Herald Square & NYC
Brooklyn, NY - posted April 14
As Senior Director, Asset Protection you will serve as subject matter expert in the following areas: shortage, fraud, investigations, legal compliance, and training. Create and implement AP strategies in partnership with VP, Asset Protection. Manage, direct, & deploy District Managers of Investigations (DMIs) to support districts & stores...

LP Auditor & Fraud Detection Analyst
Greater Boston, MA - posted May 11
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

District Loss Prevention Manager
Chicago South / Illinois Central - posted April 27
The District Loss Prevention Manager develops and executes Loss Prevention vision and strategies for 15-45 selling locations. The DLPM is responsible for driving results through achievement of goals related to inventory shortage, budget lines, cash variance and operational compliance...

Regional Asset Protection Manager
Phoenix, Dallas, Denver and Houston - posted April 22
Victra is the leading exclusive, premium retailer for Verizon with a mission of connecting technology to life in the most trusting and profitable way. As the Regional Asset Protection Manager, you will be very logical, efficient, orderly, and organized in always safeguarding our company assets from losses due to theft or fraud...

Area Loss Prevention Manager
Pittsburgh, PA - posted May 11
Our Area Loss Prevention Managers ensure safe and secure stores through the objective identification of loss and risk opportunities. Our Area Loss Prevention Managers plan and prioritize to provide an optimal customer experience to their portfolio of stores. They thrive on supporting and building high performance teams that execute with excellence...

Area Loss Prevention Manager
Sacramento, CA - posted April 20
Our Area Loss Prevention Managers ensure safe and secure stores through the objective identification of loss and risk opportunities. Our Area Loss Prevention Managers plan and prioritize to provide an optimal customer experience to their portfolio of stores. They thrive on supporting and building high performance teams that execute with excellence...


Corporate Security Manager
Calabasas, CA - posted April 6
The Corporate Security Manager will, among other things, (a) be responsible for ensuring a safe and secure environment for our employees, vendors, and visitors, (b) develop, manage, execute and continuously improve corporate security processes and protocols, and (c) lead a team of security specialists at our corporate offices...


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"Speed Kills" As we all sprint virtually every day to accomplish our tasks, one must remember that, without stepping back and getting out of your box to see exactly where you're going or where you've been, you won't ever be able to see where you really need to go. And in that case speed really does kill and you may never even see it coming because you're moving too fast. That's why three-day-weekends are so great; they make you stop and listen. You've just got to make sure you hear it.

Just a Thought,

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