Entries in Ban (8)


Starbucks to Ban Smoking Within 25 Feet of Cafes

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Starting on Saturday, smoking will be banned with 25 feet of any company-owned Starbucks cafes in the United States and Canada.

In order to create a more healthy and comfortable environment, the chainis attempting to keep cigarette smoke away from its outdoor seating areas. According to the Wall Street Journal, many states and cities already have laws preventing smoking within 20 feet of building entrances, but that does not necessarily protect outdoor seating areas.

The new policy will only cover property owned by Starbucks, says the Wall Street Journal, so if the cafe's property ends less than 25 feet from its door, they will not police smoking beyond its boundaries.

Approximately 7,000 Starbucks stores will be impacted by the new policy, according to the Huffington Post.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Apple Seeks a Ban on Eight Samsung Smartphones

PARK JI-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- After its big court win on Friday, Apple, as anticipated, is seeking an injunction on the sale of eight Samsung smartphones.  In a court filing, Apple requested a ban on the sale of eight of the 28 Samsung phones and tablets that were discussed in the trial.

The products include the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 (AT&T), Galaxy S2 (Skyrocket), Galaxy S2 (T-Mobile), Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Prevail.

Since the law moves slowly, though, some of the products in question aren’t on the market anymore. The Galaxy S 2 is still on shelves at some stores, but it has primarily been replaced by the Galaxy S 3 and Galaxy Nexus. Those two phones  hadn’t been released yet when the suit was filed, and were not considered in the case.

The verdict “will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices,” said Samsung in a statement on Friday. “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”

A hearing on the request for injunction is set for Sept. 20.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Big Soda Ban Riles Industry, Bores New Yorkers

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Judging by the print ads, radio spots, plane-flown banners, and a protest held at city hall on Monday, New Yorkers may think that their fellow citizens are angrily rallying against Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposed ban of soft drinks over 16 ounces at certain stores.

Radio ads featuring thick New York accents tell listeners: “No one tells us what neighborhood to live in, what team to root for, or what deli to eat at,” the ad says. “Are we going to let out mayor tell us what size beverage to buy?”

“It’s unbelievable!” a male voice yells.

The radio spot complements other ads against the proposed rule, including a sign that flew over New York and New Jersey beaches during the July 4 holiday that read “No Drink 4 U: New Yorkers for Beverage Choices,” a play on the New York-centric Seinfeld episode in which the “Soup Nazi” tells customers “No Soup For You!”

The ads are produced by a group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choice, a coalition of restaurant and business owners against the ban, which the mayor is touting as a way to cut obesity.  The group’s website features a list of more than 400 such members, but each of the ads features the name of the American Beverage Association.

The ABA, an industry lobby for makers of non-alcoholic beverages (including sodas and sports drinks),  has paid for the creation and execution of the ad campaigns. The NYC Beverage Choices website is registered to the Washington, D.C., public relations firm that represents the ABA, Goddard Gunster. Calls to the ABA, New Yorkers for Beverage Choice, and Goddard Gunster were not returned.

Whether New Yorkers who are not part of the ABA actually care about the proposed beverage ban remains to be seen. The city’s Board of Health will hold a public hearing on the matter on July 24, and then decide on whether to endorse the ban.

Meanwhile, a rally held Monday in front of New York’s City Hall touted as the “Million Big Gulp March” drew only a few dozen actual New Yorkers to complain about Bloomberg’s tactics, according to news reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


California's Foie Gras Ban Goes Into Effect

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) -- California restaurant owners had until midnight to legally sell foie gras to customers seeking the French delicacy. Sunday, a state law signed in 2004 that bans producing or selling the fatty goose or duck liver achieved by force feeding goes into effect, and violators will be slapped with a $1,000 fine.

As the days counted down to the ban, restaurant owners said they saw an increase in sales from customers looking to enjoy their last legal taste.

"We have people asking for fois gras on their French fries, on their eggs on their sushi," said Pedro Lorencillo, general manager at Chaya Brasserie in San Francisco.

The Los Angeles Times even reported residents going on "foie gras crawls" in the last month before the ban took effect.

The law, signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, postponed the ban eight years so the state's main producer, Artisan Sonoma Foie Gras, could amend its business practices.

This is the only current ban of its kind in the United States, though Chicago had a ban for a few years before reversing it, and many countries in Europe consider its production inhumane and made it illegal.

Jennifer Fearing of the Humane Society said she supports the California ban because force feeding the animals with a tube to enlarge their livers is "fundamentally inhumane."

Bev Morse, a California diner, said she supports the ban as well.

"They are force-feeding these young animals until they practically explode and then using those organs to feed human beings," Morse said. "It's gruesome."

PETA posted a list on Friday of the top five reasons to ban foie gras nationwide with several graphic photos.

Sean Chaney, who owns Hot's Grill in Hermosa Beach, said he thinks graphic photos often come from unregulated farms in Europe.

"They're taken care of better than some people," he said. "They're pampered ducks."

According to Artisan Sonoma Foie Gras' website, the farm aims to be humane, and "ducks are never individually caged and roam free range for most of their lives."

Many California chefs call the ban "absurd," and pledge to use loopholes to serve the dish anyway.

One loophole restaurants have figured out is a BYOF policy, meaning Bring Your Own Foie. If you supply the foie gras, they'll cook it for free -- and maybe charge you $20 for the toast it's served on.

"People are calling that 'foikage,' said Dan Scherotter, chef at Palio d'Asti in San Francisco. "So instead of corkage, we'd charge 'foikage' to cook your fois gras for you."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


California Bidding Au Revoir to Foie Gras

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The French delicacy known as foie gras will disappear off California menus and plates Sunday.  Restaurants caught serving the buttery treat can be fined up to $1,000.

Made from the fattened livers of ducks and geese, foie gras is primarily produced in France.  The birds are force-fed corn through a process called gavage and then slaughtered for their organs.

Chef Wolfgang Puck sent a letter to 5,000 California restaurants in May to show his support for the law, the only state to do so.  The city of Chicago banned foie gras in 2006, only to reverse the decision two years later.

“Cramming pipes down ducks’ throats is both physically painful and psychologically terrifying for these poor ducks,” Bruce Friedrich, Farm Sanctuary senior director, said on the ASPCA website.

Chefs and foie lovers have been bulking up on the delicacy before the looming end date, buying large quantities of the product as well as hosting dinners based on the treat.

The industry had almost eight years to work on keeping its foie.  Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill in 2004 that granted farmers a grace period to find alternative ways to produce it.

With no other humane methods found, the ban stands to begin Sunday.  Most of the small farms and shops that the ban affects have already moved out of the state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texas City Weighs Hiring Ban on Smokers

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- In times past, discriminatory employers posted signs saying: “Irish [or fill in the blank] Need Not Apply.” Now the city of Ft. Worth is considering saying that same thing to smokers.

Though 29 states have enacted legal protections for smokers, Texas isn’t one of them, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. State and city governments looking to fill jobs can legally tell smokers to get lost.

Already, a variety of private sector employers, including Texas’ Baylor Health Care System, ban the hiring of smokers. As justification, they say smokers claim more sick days and incur higher health insurance costs.  The Centers for Disease Control have estimated that smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke is responsible annually for $193 billion worth of medical costs and lost productivity.

Still, no municipality – in Texas or anywhere else – has yet gone as far as Ft. Worth is thinking of going. No final decision will be made until after May 8, when the city’s Human Resources Department will report further on the issue to the City Council.

“I think it’s an infringement on the public’s rights to live their life the way they choose to,” Vince Chasteen, president of the city’s employee association, told ABC affiliate WFAA.

Mayor Betsy Price told the station that the ban is worth looking into.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Congress Defunds Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Incandescent light bulbs are back. A last-minute rider attached to the omnibus government spending bill defanged the 2007 energy standards for light bulbs that would have rendered the good ol’ incandescent all but obsolete starting Jan. 1, by stripping funding for enforcing the ban.

Beginning next year, the federal government had planned to start banning cheap, energy-guzzling light bulbs and instead requiring more energy-efficient bulbs be manufactured and sold.

It was a bipartisan idea, but conservatives have come to hate it. It wasn’t just that the new bulbs are uglier, dimmer and more expensive, but that the federal government was dictating what kind of light bulb consumers could buy.

“The American people want less government intrusion into their lives, not more, and that includes staying out of their personal light bulb choices,” said GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who, as a member of the House, introduced a bill to roll back the incandescent ban.

So Friday Congress took the teeth out of the incandescent ban by eliminating the funds the Department of Energy would need to enforce it.

But what many Republicans are celebrating as a win for individuals’ light-bulb-choosing freedom will probably not save the energy-guzzling bulbs from disappearing off store shelves.

“The industry has moved on,” said Larry Lauck, a spokesman for the American Lighting Association.

Lauck said U.S. light bulb manufacturers have already “retooled” their production lines to build more efficient bulbs, he said.

Joseph Higbee, a spokesman for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which represents 95 percent of U.S. light bulb manufacturers, said even if the Department of Energy does not have the funding to enforce the energy efficiency standards, manufacturers are not going to retro-fit their assembly lines to produce the traditional, less-efficient bulbs.

“The manufacturers have invested millions into the transitions and a delay in enforcement undermines those investments and creates regulatory uncertainty,” Higbee said. “Without [federal] enforcement, it does allow bad actors to sell noncompliant products without fear of enforcement and that creates a competitive disadvantage for law-abiding companies.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Malaysia Airlines to Ban Babies from First Class

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Malaysia Airlines has banned babies in first class sections of its Boeing 747-400 jets. The airline also plans to implement the "no-babies" policy on its newer Airbus A380s, its chief executive told Australian Busines Traveller via Twitter.

CEO Tengku Azmil says the decision stems from complaints from passangers that they spend money on first class, yet are unable to sleep due to crying infants.

The carrier's new A380s are expected to take flight next June.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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