McDonald’s is reportedly running out of burgers because of the popularity of the Travis Scott meal that launched last week, according to a report.
The rapper’s favorite meal consists of a Quarter Pounder With Cheese, fries with BBQ sauce and Sprite, and franchisees are running out of some of these common ingredients, according to Business Insider, which first confirmed the shortages with McDonald’s.
Franchisees are specifically running out of fresh beef, bacon, slivered onions and shredded lettuce, according to BI.
“We’re working closely with our suppliers, distributors, and franchisees to resupply impacted restaurants as quickly as possible,’ McDonald’s said in a statement. “Stay tuned and don’t worry, we’ve got more surprises from Cactus Jack coming soon.”
Cactus Jack is the name of Scott’s record label, which also has a deal to sell exclusive merchandise with McDonald’s, including a T-shirt, a jeans shorts and hoodie sold at shop.travisscott.com, which does not appear to be live yet.
“No doubt, Cactus Jack sent you…A LOT of you. SO many of you,” McDonald’s said in a statement to BI. “In fact, it’s been so lit, some of our restaurants have temporarily sold out of some of the ingredients in the meal.”
McDonald’s brass sent out a memo to franchisees about the shortages, according to the report.
The Chicago-based fast food company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump supports proposed deal to keep TikTok operating in US
President Donald Trump said Saturday he’s given his “blessing” to a proposed deal that would see the popular video-sharing app TikTok partner with Oracle and Walmart and form a U.S. company.
Trump has targeted Chinese-owned TikTok for national security and data privacy concerns in the latest flashpoint in the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. president’s support for a deal comes just a day after the Commerce Department announced restrictions that if put in place could eventually make it nearly impossible for TikTok’s legions of younger fans to use the app.
Trump said if completed the deal would create a new company likely to be based in Texas.
“I have given the deal my blessing,” he said. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too.”
Trump said the new company will be hiring at least 25,000 people and making a $5 billion contribution to a fund dedicated to education for Americans. “That’s their contribution that I’ve been asking for,” he said.
TikTok said Oracle and Walmart could acquire up to a cumulative 20% stake in the new company in a financing round to be held before an initial public offering of stock, which Walmart said could happen within the next year. Oracle’s stake would be 12.5%, and Walmart’s would be 7.5%, the companies said in separate statements.
The deal will make Oracle responsible for hosting all TikTok’s U.S. user data and securing computer systems to ensure U.S. national security requirements are satisfied. Walmart said it will provide its eCommerce, fulfillment, payments and other services to the new company.
“We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the U.S. administration and settle questions around TikTok’s future in the U.S.,” TikTok said in a statement.
Trump has been demanding that the U.S. operations of TikTok be sold to a U.S. company or else be shut down. He’s also been targeting WeChat, another Chinese-owned app.
The administration contends that the user data collected by the two apps could be shared with the Chinese government. On Saturday, Trump said the U.S.-based TikTok “will have nothing to do with China.” TikTok says it has 100 million U.S. users.
On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department said it would bar TikTok from U.S. app stores as of late Sunday. Further restrictions that would prevent TikTok from accessing essential internet services in the country would go into effect on Nov. 12. Commerce said Saturday that it will delay the barring of TikTok from U.S. app stores until Sept. 27 at 11:59 p.m.
Commerce is imposing similar restrictions on WeChat, although all of the restrictions on that app are set to go into effect Sunday night at 11:59 p.m.
Earlier Saturday, WeChat users asked a U.S. judge to block the government’s actions, saying they would restrict free speech. WeChat is an all-in-one app with instant messaging, social media and other communication tools. The U.S. government argued that it is not restricting free speech because WeChat users still “are free to speak on alternative platforms that do not pose a national security threat.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler asked lawyers for the government and WeChat users whether the prohibitions would cripple WeChat as soon as the clock ticked from Sunday night into Monday morning without a resolution. An attorney for the government said they would likely lead to a “degradation” of WeChat over time.
Judge Beeler did not rule immediately on the motion.
WeChat has millions of U.S. users who rely on the app to stay in touch and conduct business with people and companies in China and around the world. In court filings, the founder of the Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities, who is a U.S. citizen in California, said that the group’s primary tool to reach out and provide services to Chinese Americans is WeChat.
“Since many of the Chinese community members we serve are not fluent in English, WeChat is the only online tool that they rely on,” Elaine Peng said.
The Trump administration’s aggressive tactics are part of its latest attempt to counter the influence of China, a rising economic superpower. Since taking office in 2017, Trump has waged a trade war with China, blocked mergers involving Chinese companies and stifled the business of Chinese firms like Huawei, a maker of phones and telecom equipment.
China-backed hackers, meanwhile, have been blamed for data breaches of U.S. federal databases and the credit agency Equifax, and the Chinese government strictly limits what U.S. tech companies can do in China.
China’s ministry of commerce condemned the U.S. moves and urged it to stop what it called bullying behavior. It also said China may take “necessary measures” to protect Chinese companies.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Saturday that TikTok’s deal still needs to close with Oracle and Walmart, and it also needs documentation and conditions to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
That, of course, also leaves the potential for more roller coasters of emotion for TikTok users, such as Haley Hoffman Smith, a 24-year-old who moved to Manhattan this year to pursue her dream of becoming a talk-show host. She said she had just hit 100,000 followers on TikTok and was crushed on Friday to hear it may be headed for a shutdown.
“TikTok is an inextricable part of my dream chasing story,” she said, “and to lose it forever would not only be an inconvenient setback but an absolute heartbreak.”
BlackRock ‘intrudes’ on office romances
If you work for Larry Fink, he really wants to know who you’re hooking up with.
Fink, the voluble chief executive of BlackRock — the world’s largest money manager — recently “updated” his company’s dating policy. In the past, employees were on notice to tell HR anytime they had a romantic relationship with another employee, an understandable but intrusive part of corporate life in the era of #MeToo.
But last week, Fink and his management team went overboard, with a policy that was euphemistically titled “updated relationships at work.”
“Employees are required to disclose all Personal Relationships with other BlackRock employees or contingent workers; as well as Personal Relationships with employees of a service provider, vendor, or other third party (including a client), if the non-BlackRock employee is within a group that interacts with BlackRock,” read a portion of the policy obtained by yours truly.
OK, let’s digest that for a moment. We know that men in powerful positions have abused their power, and many are rightfully being held accountable for it. A degree of oversight is necessary.
We also know people are human; they work long hours and often find a mate while at work. But the BlackRock policy goes beyond normal monitoring of employee-to-employee behavior to such an Orwellian degree that, at least on its face, it could force the firm’s HR department to impose judgments any time one of the company’s employees goes on a date.
Consider: BlackRock employs more than 16,000 people worldwide; its employees include everyone from C-suite executives to money managers to marketing folks, technicians and computer programmers across the globe (the firm’s presence in India, for instance, has expanded rapidly in recent years as a way to cut labor costs), not to mention people who work as assistants, secretaries and the janitorial crew.
The firm manages $7.4 trillion in money for individuals, big companies, sovereign wealth funds . . . and I’m sure I’m leaving out some. BlackRock isn’t just big, it’s massive. The firm’s tentacles touch every major bank in the world in some fashion, and many nonbanks — from companies that provide computer programming, to vendors operating coffee carts in its offices all over the world.
You see what I mean. Taken literally, we are talking (conservatively) thousands of people who interact with BlackRock in one way or another and might be affected here. Does this mean every time any of Larry’s employees goes on a date with a person who has a job in finance (and many other professions), they’re supposed to check for any connections to BlackRock and report the matter to HR or face firing?
I asked BlackRock to put Larry on the phone to tell me if I’m missing anything here, but a spokesman demurred. A senior BlackRock executive who spoke on background did, however, confirm the contents of the firm’s new policy and conceded it may be the broadest dating disclosure requirement in the financial business, if not Corporate America.
The executive defended the policy, and said its purpose — to prevent conflicts — is in line with other big companies. It’s also designed to make life easier for employees, he insisted.
“It takes the assessment of what is or is not a conflict out of the employees’ hands and puts it in to the hands of HR and lawyers — which makes it eminently enforceable,” the executive said.
He added that the “real focus” isn’t innocent, casual relationships that might occur between people at BlackRock and people at other companies that do business with the firm (i.e., friendships), but what he referred to as “inter-team relationships” that are romantic in nature. He noted that the policy puts the disclosure emphasis on relationships with a “non-BlackRock employee … within a group that interacts with BlackRock.”
The executive, however, also conceded that there’s a degree of interpretation in the rule. Some more innocent relationships could fall under the policy depending on facts and circumstances, which is why HR wants to be involved.
The bigger question I have is why is BlackRock — which is supposed to be in the business of managing money — has become such a hotbed for progressive Corporate Puritanism that goes far beyond #MeToo concerns?
You can point to a couple of recent scandals involving in-house dating at BlackRock that captured headlines. One involved Mark Wiseman, its global head of equities (and once a possible Fink successor), who late last year left the firm after it was disclosed that he had a consensual relationship with a colleague who worked under him. Adding to the drama, Wiseman’s wife worked at BlackRock while all this was going on.
Fink, meanwhile, relishes his role as maybe the most woke chief executive in Corporate America, and has been angling, I am told, to become treasury secretary if Joe Biden wins in November.
See his comments on corporate governance, climate change, actions he’s taken in response to the recent civil unrest, and you might conclude that Fink’s real goal is getting his name on the dollar bill.
TikTok files complaint in attempt to block US ban
Time is ticking away for the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, which filed an 11th-hour complaint to a Washington federal court in an attempt to stay a looming US ban from the Trump administration.
TikTok and parent company ByteDance say they are being targeted for political reasons and efforts to keep them off US phones is a violation of their first amendment rights, Reuters reported.
After weeks of rumor and speculation, the Commerce Department Friday issued an order that will block further downloads of the service from Google and Apple app stores. The order will also apply to the Chinese messenger service WeChat.
The order won’t affect people who already have the apps downloaded on their phones, but it will prevent users from receiving updates.
TikTok has roughly 100 million active users in the United States and has raised eyebrows among US officials who worry about user data falling into the hands of the Chinese government.
A compromise deal to allow Microsoft to purchase TikTok’s platforms in the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand later fell through when the companies could not agree to terms.
“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft,” the company said in a statement last week.
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