Protests in Johannesburg over ‘racist’ ad

Swedish clothing giant H&M on Jan. 8 said it had withdrawn from sale a green hoodie with the inscription "coolest monkey in the jungle" after an ad featuring a black child triggered racism accusations. (AFP)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Protests in Johannesburg over ‘racist’ ad

JOHANNESBURG: South African police Saturday intervened to clear protesters trashing outlets of Swedish clothing giant Hennes and Mauritz in Johannesburg over a controversial advertisement of a black child.
A photo on the company’s online website of a black boy wearing a green hoodie with the inscription “coolest monkey in the jungle” had triggered outrage on social media and among observers worldwide.
The company has pulled the photograph but the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) — a radical group set up by the expelled head of the youth wing of the ruling African National Congress — organized protests at several H&M outlets in and around Johannesburg.
Video footage showed activists trashing displays, kicking over and pulling down clothes rails as well as pushing over mannequins.
“Several incidents of protests at H&M stores around the province have been reported,” South African police (SAPS) said in a tweet.
“At the East Rand Mall the protesters managed to enter the shop & stole several items. #SAPS members had to intervene and dispersed the group of protesters by firing rubber bullets.”
Floyd Shivambu from EFF said: ‘That @hm nonsense of a clothing store is now facing consequences for its racism. All rational people should agree that the store should not be allowed to continue operating in South Africa.”
H&M is not the only major company to be hit by an advertisement scandal in recent years.
Spanish clothing brand Zara in 2014 removed striped pyjamas with a yellow star after facing outrage over its resemblance to clothes worn by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps.
And in October last year, personal care brand Dove apologized after it was accused of racism for airing a commercial showing a black woman turning into a white woman after removing her top.


Sheriff: 8 people dead after Missouri tourist boat accident

Updated 2 min 53 sec ago
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Sheriff: 8 people dead after Missouri tourist boat accident

BRANSON: An amphibious vehicle capsized on a lake in Missouri with more than 20 people on board, leading to a “mass casualty incident,” the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District said on Thursday.
Several people were taken to hospital following the incident on the “Ride the Ducks” amphibious vehicle on Table Rock Lake, Stone County, near Branson, Missouri, the fire district said in posts on Twitter.
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said there were fatalities when the boat carrying 31 people, some of them children, capsized and sank, television station KY3 News reported.
Rader said he did not know how many people were killed and divers were on the scene searching for passengers, KY3 News reported.
The Stone County Sheriff’s Office could not immediately confirm the report.
Ride The Ducks, a company in Branson, Missouri, that operates amphibious duck vehicles in the area, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Duck amphibious vehicles have been involved in a number fatal accidents around the world in the past two decades, with some sinking or being swamped or others colliding with vehicles.