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David Tran/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Facebook took down more than three billion fake accounts between September 2018 and March 2019, the company said on Thursday.

The news came as the company released its annual "Community Standards Enforcement Report" on Thursday, an accounting of its efforts to police problematic content, including violence, hate speech and child pornography.

"The amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time," Facebook's vice president of integrity Guy Rosen wrote in a blog post. "We disabled 1.2 billion accounts in Q4 2018 and 2.19 billion in Q1 2019."

"We estimated that 5% of monthly active accounts are fake," Rosen wrote. That's one in every 20 accounts.

The report follows several recent measures to fight problems that have continued to plague the platform, including fake accounts meant to influence elections in Europe, Africa and Asia. It has also recently announced an increased effort to fight white supremacy after fielding criticism on that front, especially after the terror attack in New Zealand that killed 51 people and was livestreamed on Facebook.

Facebook also broke down the community standards violations into nine categories: adult nudity and sexual activity, bullying and harassment, child nudity and sexual exploitation of children, fake accounts, hate speech, regulated goods, spam, global terrorist propaganda and violence and graphic content.

Violent content appeared much more frequently than sexually inappropriate activity, according to the company.

"We estimated for every 10,000 times people viewed content on Facebook, 11 to 14 views contained content that violated our adult nudity and sexual activity policy," Rosen wrote. "We estimated for every 10,000 times people viewed content on Facebook, 25 views contained content that violated our violence and graphic content policy."

There were no metrics available yet for the prevalence or views of content in the other categories.

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Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Striking workers for fast food giant McDonald's joined a handful of Democratic presidential candidates on Thursday in their push to expand union rights and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The strike coincides with McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting in Dallas, Texas. McDonald’s cooks and cashiers are striking in major cities around the country including Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Orlando, St. Louis and Tampa.

Former Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Sen. Bernie Sanders are joining and hosting various events around the country to support McDonald's employees and cast themselves as the true defender of workers' rights amidst a crowded Democratic primary field. More broadly, 2020 Democrats are courting organized labor as the unions bide their time on endorsements – which will be crucial to clinching the Democratic nomination.

Sanders, who had to remain in Washington, D.C. in order to vote for an upcoming disaster relief bill, joined striking workers via a live town hall and touted legislation that he would prioritize as President to raise the minimum wage and protect workers.

Last year, Sanders wrote a letter to McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook urging him to raise the minimum wage and respect the right of his workers to form a union.

“Today, we live in the wealthiest country in the history of the world. But tens of millions of workers don't know that, because they're working longer hours for low wages,” Sanders said during the town hall. “Does anybody think that that is moral, or that is right?”

Asked by a Fight for $15 advocate how he would make sure McDonald’s workers have a seat at the table when negotiating with the company, Sanders praised companies that are partially owned by its workers. He added that America “has a lot to learn from countries like Germany” where in some cases 40 percent of the boards that control companies are composed of workers.

“Let me tell you, if 40 percent of McDonald's board was composed not of CEOs of other large corporations, but of working people trust me, you would be making today at least $15 an hour. There would be vigorous efforts to protect workers from sexual harassment and violence because workers would be reflecting the needs not just of stockholders who want stock buybacks, but representing the needs of workers who want decent wages and decent working conditions,” he said.

McDonald's says that most of its restaurants pay more than $10 an hour.

“McDonald’s Corporation does not control the wages franchisees pay in their own restaurants. The average starting wage at corporate-owned restaurants exceeds $10 per hour, and we believe the average starting wage offered by those independent business owners is likely similar," Lauren Altmin, a spokesperson for McDonald's told ABC News in a statement. "Separately, McDonald’s recognizes the rights under the law of individual employees to choose to join – or choose not to join – labor organizations.”

Castro, whose campaign, along with Sanders, is unionized, joined striking workers in Durham, N.C. to decry companies like McDonald's for not paying their workers a living wage.

 

I’m proud to march alongside @McDonalds workers in Durham, NC this morning striking for fairer wages, better conditions, and the right to unionize. I'm going to join workers anywhere they're fighting for a living wage and safe working conditions. pic.twitter.com/Lox3bhq7dt

— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) May 23, 2019

 

“Companies across the United States are making more and more profit without passing that down to the people who made that profit for them," Castro said. "We’re here today to tell McDonald’s that it’s not acceptable to pay your workers a wage you can’t live on.”

Inslee joined striking workers in Chicago Thursday afternoon, while de Blasio, the latest Democrat to enter the 2020 race, attended an event later Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.

"Today, I'm proud to be on the strike line with McDonald's workers in Chicago as they demand the right to a union, safe working conditions, and fair pay. Because that's what every one of us deserves. #FightFor15," Inslee tweeted from the picket lines.

"I think it's so critically important at a moment like this, when presidential politics is heating up and all of us have an opportunity to stand for workers, that we support the workers who are coming together to fight for a union and a fair wage," Buttigieg said in a video posted on Twitter.

"Today, I stand in solidarity with McDonald's workers and all Americans who work day in and day out to provide a better life for their families," Gillibrand wrote in an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News. "Thank you to the union organizers supporting these workers. Thank you to the workers who were brave enough to tell their stories. I see you, I hear you, and I'm ready to fight with you."

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Ron and Patty Thomas/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration unveiled a $16 billion aid package for farmers hurt by the ongoing trade war with China, the second such deal intended to help limit the losses from Chinese tariffs on American goods.

The assistance is designed to offset the estimated impact to American farmers from Chinese tariffs on American goods levied in retaliation for tariffs against Chinese products.

Similar to the aid package announced last year, farmers can apply for direct payments for crops impacted by the tariffs and USDA will buy surplus products like milk and meat to distribute to food banks around the country. USDA says it will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments calculated based on the estimated impact to each country, as well as spend $1.4 billion to purchase goods and $100 million to develop other markets for U.S. goods.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the money will come from tariffs against Chinese goods that go into the Treasury and then back into programs to distribute the money to farmers.

"China is going to pay for these this 16 billion dollars through tariffs coming in a transfer coming in, and we are doing again through the (Civilian Conservation Corps) program which was authorized as we used last year," Perdue said on Fox Business on Thursday morning. "But actually the tariff money that we are receiving the revenue we are receiving is what the president has intended to fund, the farmers who are being hurt by retaliatory tariffs."

But countries don't directly pay tariffs, economists say it's more complicated and that the additional cost is more likely to be paid by American companies or consumers.

The funds will ultimately come from the taxpayers because it is federal money that is being used for the bailouts, said Bill Reinsch, the Scholl Chair and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"The reality becomes very very complicated, do the Chinese pay some of the tariff? Yes, probably in specific cases. Do they pay most of it? No, the consumer pays most of it ultimately," Reinsch said.

Perdue said the leadership in China is trying to make the trade dispute hurt Trump's base the most and that they're trying to outlast the Trump administration to get a better deal.

"We feel like farmers have been hurt disproportionately, that China knows they've gone right at President Trump's base politically to make farmers feel pain and he's not letting them bear the brunt of that," Perdue said.

Reinsch said that's normal in a trade war where each country wants to hurt the other politically as well as economically.

"Trump has a bigger problem than most because a lot of their suffering right now is directly and clearly related to his policies, so it's kind of on him to deal with that," Reinsch told ABC News.

Groups that represent farmers like the American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers' Union said that while they appreciate the assistance for farmers, it's a short-term solution and they would rather have a long-term trade deal with China.

President Trump said on Monday he wanted an aid package that would help farmers do well and "make the same kind of money," though USDA said the aid is intended more to help with additional costs such as storing excess product rather than make up for lost revenue.

“We're going to take the highest year, the biggest purchase that China has ever made with our farmers, which is about $15 billion, and do something reciprocal to our farmers so our farmers can do well. They'll be planting. They'll be able to sell for less, and they'll make the same kind of money until such time as it's all straightened out,” Trump said Monday.

This would be the second time the Trump administration has provided aid to mitigate the impact to farmers losing money because of the escalating trade war with China.

In 2018, the administration announced it would provide up to $12 billion in aid for farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs from China through direct payments and purchasing billions of dollars of goods.

Trump is scheduled to speak about the aid package at the White House on Thursday afternoon.

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AGCreativeLab/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Universal Standard is on a mission to become the world's most inclusive fashion platform, and with the launch of their 00 - 40 size range, they are well on their way.

On Tuesday, the brand announced its expansion along with new pieces including overalls, hi-low button-down shirts, cropped boyfriend denim and more across the entire brand.

On Instagram, Universal Standard posted a text graphic that reads, "Today, we're committing to create the change we want to see in the world, so that access for all doesn't end with US."

"We will work to empower the industry to embrace inclusion. We will work to build the future with partners who see it like we do. We will be catalysts that spark the next fashion revolution," the brand said.

Another function on Universal Standard's retail website is the "See It In Your Size" feature. This pull-down menu allows you to see a model in every size listed wearing the garment being shopped for. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of imagining how something will fit on your specific body type.

There is also a "Fit Library" service that encourages women to shop for who they currently see in the mirror without hesitation. With that, the brand allows customers to exchange any piece purchased for up to one year should you go up or down in a size for free.

Aside from modeling true size inclusivity on their own platforms, Universal Standard is also pushing to help other industries do the same.

In April, the brand collaborated with high-end designer Rodarte to launch a capsule collection that includes a variety of beautiful blouses and dresses.

"We believe size should be an irrelevant consideration for women when making fashion choices," said Polina Veksler, Universal Standard co-founder, and CEO previously said in a statement.

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glegorly/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Jobless claims took a slight dip last week, falling by 1,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending May 18, the number of people filing for benefits dropped from an unrevised level of 212,000 the previous week to 211,000.

The four-week average also went down, decreasing by 4,750 to 220,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 225,000.

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MoreISO/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A New York federal judge on Wednesday declined to block Congressional subpoenas seeking financial information about President Donald Trump and his family from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.

Attorneys for the president, his children and his namesake company argued in court Wednesday that the subpoenas lacked legislative purpose and sought a court order preventing the banks from complying.

Trump's attorney Patrick Strawbridge said that the subpoenas, which ask for financial information dating back to 2010 relating to Trump and his company, children, grandchildren and in-laws, "transgress the limits" of Congress’ power of investigation and violate their privacy rights.

The subpoenas were issued to harass the president and "rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family" to cause him political damage, Trump’s lawyers wrote in court papers.

Arguing on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives, which issued the subpoenas, attorney Douglas Letter said that Congress is not just examining Trump, but is conducting a wide-ranging investigation of the entire banking industry. This investigation will help Congress potentially write new laws to combat bank fraud, money laundering, foreign influence in the U.S. political process and security risks from foreign powers with financial leverage, House lawyers argued.

"This is a massive, fundamental misunderstanding Mr. Trump has with Congress," said Letter.

One question the House hopes to answer: "why were you [Deutsche Bank] lending to Trump when no other bank would touch him," Letter queried.

The House also wants to know about money coming into the U.S. from Russian oligarchs and if the Russians are influencing our government "at the highest level" because of possible financial leverage, said Letter in court.

Letter defended the broad reach of the subpoenas to Trump’s children, in-laws and grandchildren by noting the practice of criminals, including drug lords, of "hiding assets... in the names of children and grandchildren."

Also, "we’re not talking about Ford Motor Company, we’re talking about a family business," Letter said when referring to Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

While the House cannot prosecute any possible criminal activity found during their investigation, they could potentially turn over evidence to a prosecuting agency, said Letter.

The House could also vote to impeach Trump.

Judge Edgardo Ramos sided with Congressional lawyers and ruled that the subpoenas are "in furtherance of a facially legitimate government purpose," even though they are "undeniably broad."

Trump’s lawyers indicated that they will appeal Wednesday’s ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and ask that court for an immediate stay.

Both Deutsche Bank and Capital One wrote in court filings that they take "no position" on the subpoenas and that the dispute is between Trump and the House.

A representative from Deutsche bank told ABC News on Wednesday: "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations."

A representative from Capital One declined to comment.

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bhofack2/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Vienna Beef is recalling approximately 2,030 pounds of frankfurters over concerns they could be contaminated with metal, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The hot dogs in question are "skinless beef frankfurters" that came in 10-pound cases and were produced on May 2, 2019. They were shipped to restaurants in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

So far, there haven't been any "confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products," according to the USDA.

The agency is concerned that the recalled franks may be in some restaurant refrigerators or freezers and advises they be thrown out or returned to where they were purchased.

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AndreyPopov/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The nearly 400 graduates of Morehouse College who received a life-changing surprise Sunday when their commencement speaker promised to pay off their student loans recognize how lucky they are.

"Even graduating from Morehouse was a tremendous blessing," said graduate John Jacob Burns, who said he had $35,000 in student loans. "To get all my debt paid off after that ... that was like something I couldn't even imagine."

The pledge from billionaire Robert F. Smith to the graduates of the historically black, all-male college in Atlanta is estimated to cost him $40 million.

The pledge from Smith reverberated far beyond Morehouse’s graduation and went viral on social media, with people applauding him for his generosity.

Smith’s donation, though generous, also shows the scope of the student debt crisis in the U.S. The estimated $40 million pledge would erase the debt from just one graduating class of 396 students.

There are around 18 million college students in the U.S. attending more than 4,000 colleges and universities, according to U.S. Census data.

America’s total student loan debt is now around $1.5 trillion.

Two-thirds of college seniors who graduated from public and private nonprofit colleges in 2017 had student loan debt and they borrowed an average of nearly $29,000, according to the Institute for College Access & Success, a non-profit that works to make higher education more available and affordable.

The average Morehouse College student leaves the college around $30,000 or more in debt, Morehouse President David Anthony Thomas told reporters after the graduation.

If you're not one of the lucky Morehouse graduates to have that debt erased, here are three tips for paying it off from ABC News chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis:

1. Consider your future salary

It’s really important to think about what the job is you might hold in the future and to think about the salary and income realistically and say, "Is this truly something that will allow me to pay off my student loans?"

If your debt at graduation is less than your first year’s salary, then you have a pretty good shot at paying it off over the next 10 years, or even less.

But, if your debt at graduation is greater than that first year's salary, it could take you upwards of 20 years to pay it off.

2. Use tax write-offs

It's not some massive benefit that you get, but you can deduct some of your student loan payments.

You should talk to an accountant or look at your tax software and see how you can make those deductions because if you're not taking them, and you're making massive loan payments, you're probably leaving some money on the table that you could be getting back.

3. Plan for retirement

One of the biggest mistakes young people make is putting too much toward their debt repayment and not enough toward their retirement savings account.

If you start putting $100 a month into your retirement account when you're 22 and keep that up for the next 10 years until you're 32, you should have saved about $174,000 by the time you retire.

But if you wait until you're 32 to start putting money into the retirement account and you put in $100 every month until you're 65, which means you put in three times as much money as if you had started early, you would have only have saved about $155,000.

So ultimately, you could put in three times as much money, start later and still have less money in that retirement account when you retire than if you start early.

It really does pay to start earlier and it really does pay not to focus only on your [student] debt, and to make sure, especially if you work at a company that has a matching program, to put in the minimum amount to at least get that money.

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Tero Vesalainen/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Americans are finally starting to reach across the aisle again -- at least when it comes to dating.

Many Americans have traditionally dated people with a different political affiliation, but that changed right after the 2016 election, according to data from the Match Group, a company that includes dating apps Tinder, Hinge, Match, PlentyOfFish, Meetic, OkCupid, OurTime, and Pairs.

In fact, in 2016, there was a period when Americans seemed less interested in dating in general.

"For a couple weeks after the election, our traffic went down significantly," Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg said at The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival in New York City on Tuesday. "Looking at a bunch of our different apps, we actually saw our female traffic going down."

"I don't know if people were just distracted, I don't know what was going on. It was actually a little bit worrisome because you need women on the apps," Ginsberg said.

"The good news is over time things have gone back to normal. So literally, love Trumps everything."

Ginsberg said that in general, people tend to date over political, socioeconomic, racial and educational divides.

However, different apps within the Match empire tend to attract people with certain political leanings.

Ginsberg called OKCupid a "blue state app." Participants can filter out people who supported Trump -- it can do the same for other candidates -- the app lets potential soulmates to add a Planned Parenthood sticker to their profiles.

OkCupid, which was started by four math Ph.D.s at Harvard, is known for exhaustive questionnaires, has always been more of a "left-of-center, irreverent brand" which "attacked political issues pretty early on," Ginsberg said. It also has more potential matches for people with higher education degrees than any other app.

Tinder, on the other hand, doesn't ask for any political affiliation information.

PlentyOfFish, is considered more "red state" app, according to Ginsberg, who explained that its users are older and often located in southern cities like Atlanta and Dallas.

The dating app market seems to show no sign of slowing down, as online dating has shed most of its social stigma. Later this year, Facebook is expected to roll out Facebook Dating and Secret Crush in the U.S.

People under 30 use about four dating apps at a time, according to Ginsberg.

Thirteen years ago, when Ginsberg started at Match, about 3 percent of U.S. marriages started online. Now the number is over 30 percent, she said.

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Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The CEO of the company that processes background checks for Uber and Lyft called the alleged Somali war criminal who drove for the companies an "edge case."

Checkr co-founder and chief executive, Daniel Yanisse, said that Yusuf Abdi Ali, a former driver, cleared the company's background checks because he has no criminal record in the U.S.

Ali has not been criminally charged in the U.S., but was found liable for torture in his native Somalia in a U.S. court on Tuesday, concluding a 15-year-long civil suit.

"This is really an edge case. This individual does not have a criminal history in the U.S. or is on any international sanctions list," Yanisse said at the Wall Street Journal’s Future Of Everything Festival in New York City on Tuesday. "He was screened by the FBI and the TSA and the federal government, and also passed those tests, so there's really no criminal data we can report on that individual."

"We've done our job as the first pass, but background checks are not a silver bullet -- it's really all of the data that is available to make decisions. We continuously integrate and improve our systems," Yanisse added.

Hours after Yanisse's statement, a federal jury in northern Virginia ruled that Ali, as then-commander of the Fifth Brigade of the Somali National Army, was liable for torturing a farmer, Farhan Mohamoud Tani Warfaa, from 1987 to 1988, according to court documents. It also awarded Warfaa $500,000 in damages.

Warfaa's suit claims Ali ordered soldiers to repeatedly chain and detain him in a tiny space, ordering the beatings at least nine times. He also said Ali shot at him under the belief he was a member of an opposition group and left him for dead, ordering his guards to dispose of Warfaa's body, the suit claims.

Ali's lawyer, Joseph Peter Drennan, told ABC News that Ali could not pay the damages and has been fired from Uber and Lyft since his work as a ride-share driver was revealed by an undercover CNN investigation published on May 15.

The story of Ali, who has not been criminally charged, highlights a blind spot in background searches frequently used by companies in the hiring process, particularly by ride share companies like Uber and Lyft.

While speaking with undercover CNN reporters, Ali said that he preferred to drive for Uber, and that the background check process had been easy. His Uber profile on the app had been active for 18 months, and he had a 4.89 rating.

"If you apply tonight maybe after two days it will come, you know, everything," Ali said in the video, referring to the approval.

Uber said that Ali's access to the app had been "permanently removed."

"All drivers must undergo a driving and criminal history background check reviewing local, state and national records, and we evaluate eligibility in accordance with criteria set by local laws," the company said in a statement to ABC News.

After the CNN report, Ali was permanently banned from Lyft, for which he drove from August 2017 to September 2018, for a total of 76 rides.

“The safety of our community is our top priority and we are horrified by the allegations described," a Lyft spokeswoman told ABC News. "Before giving a ride on the Lyft platform, all driver-applicants are screened for criminal offenses and driving incidents in the United States. We have permanently banned this driver from our community.”

Ali also worked as a private security guard at Dulles International Airport in 2016, until CNN revealed his employment in light of Warfaa's civil lawsuit.

In 2016, Master Security, a contractor that provides security guards to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), told ABC News the company had not been aware of the pending civil litigation against Ali, but later launched an investigation after CNN published its report.

"Master Security’s employees are subject to the full, federally mandated vetting process in order to be approved for an airport badge, including a criminal history record check by the FBI and a security threat assessment by the TSA,” the company told ABC News at the time. “In addition, the contract with Master Security requires that all employees be licensed security guards by the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have verified that all of these processes were followed and approved in this instance."

Checkr's Yanisse said that the company’s background checks rely on government records which are verified, and not other search methods.

"A lot of things on the internet can be very subjective and unverifiable," Yanisse said, adding that the company’s role is to provide maximum accuracy and only to share facts. "Really the standard of safety is getting higher and higher."

Checkr also completes the background checks for the companies Instacart and Zillow. Yanisse said balancing fairness is difficult because 30% of Americans have some sort of criminal record.

"We want to provide safety but we want to make sure our background checks are not so limiting they block millions of people from getting jobs," he said.

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US Treasury Department(WASHINGTON) -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that he isn't planning on putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill next year and that a redesign of the currency won't be issued until 2028.

President Donald Trump has called the effort, initiated by the Obama administration, to put an image of Tubman -- an African American woman celebrated for her work freeing slaves during the Civil War -- on the $20 bill as "pure political correctness."

Questioned by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Mnuchin said that he is focused on issuing a $20 bill next year with improved security features that would prevent the bill from being reproduced as counterfeit.

But the imagery won't likely be addressed until 2026 and a new bill issued in 2028, Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee. The secretary declined to say whether he would support Tubman's image on the bill.

"The ultimate decision on a redesign will most likely be another secretary later down the road," he said.

In 2016, President Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced plans for Tubman to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, as part of an effort to get more women on U.S. currency. The plan was set to go into effect in 2020.

However, the Trump administration has held off on implementing the plan. At a 2016 town hall on NBC's The Today Show, Trump called the move "pure political correctness" and suggested putting Tubman on the $2 bill.

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cbarnesphotography/iStock(BEIJING) -- For most Game of Thrones fans around the world, to quote the show, their watch has ended. But in China, the divisive series finale hasn't been made available.

A hour before the show was due to stream Monday morning in Beijing, as it aired simultaneously throughout much of the rest of the world, HBO's content partner in China wrote on its Weibo account: "Dear users, we are sorry to inform you that because a media transmission problem the sixth episode of the eighth season of 'Game of Thrones' cannot be uploaded, we will notify you of the broadcast time."

In China, the truth is opaque and full of euphemisms.

Westeros may have survived an invasion of White Walkers, but HBO's worldwide hit may have fallen victim to the current trade war between the U.S. and China.

An unnamed HBO spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that China restricted Tencent from airing Game of Thrones due to the trade dispute, telling the news outlet HBO "didn't experience any trouble with the program's transmission."

Han Chaowei, a spokesman for Tencent, told ABC News that the company has no further comment on the issue and that any update will come from their official social media accounts.

Since the weekend, there has been growing Chinese media chatter about a Xian Mei Ling or "Limit/Boycott America Order" coming into effect in the wake of the failed trade talks, with Game of Thrones appearing to be just the latest example.

China previously had an unofficial "Boycott Korea Order" when South Korea deployed a U.S. missile system in 2016. No major K-pop stars, massively popular in China, have been able to perform in Mainland China since then.

Online media outlets in China are questioning whether this is the American version of what happened to South Korea's K-pop stars, as official Chinese propaganda has begun turning up nationalist rhetorical heat after President Donald Trump's most recent tariff increase.

Entgroup, which tracks Chinese box office receipts, reported that Avengers: Endgame, released by ABC News' parent company The Walt Disney Co., has been denied a routine theatrical extension despite being a record-breaking hit in China, earning more than $611 million in less a month.

A China Film Distribution Company employee who would only give his surname, Chen, confirmed to ABC News that no extension will be given to the highest-grossing American film in Chinese box office history and that no reason has been given.

Films are usually given a 30-day release window in China and extended based on performances. The three previous Avengers films all were given extensions.

In 2018, prior to the trade war, Infinity War was extended for three months. Endgame, which already has earned almost twice as much at the box office as the entire run of Infinity War, was within striking distance of Wandering Earth, the highest-grossing movie released this year in China. Endgame is scheduled to be pulled from Chinese theaters after Friday.

Other Chinese productions with American connections also have been affected.

A heavily promoted Chinese drama called Over the Sea, I Come to You or Taking My Dad Along to Study Abroad, about a father who tags along with his son when he attends college in America, was due to premiere over the weekend on Zhejiang Satellite TV, one of the most popular channels in China. It was suddenly pulled and replaced without notice.

An employee at Zhejiang Satellite TV's programming department, who would only be identified by his surname, Zhang, told ABC News his company received an order over the weekend from China's Radio and Television Administration in Beijing to pull the show -- no reason was given.

Despite this, a source inside the Chinese Propaganda bureau denied the existence of a "Limit America Order" to ABC News and said that environment has not yet deteriorated to that extent.

Although some fans of the show in China found and shared pirated clips, as of early Wednesday, a 30-second preview still sat as a placeholder for the Game of Thrones series finale on Tencent's website.

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Hannah Ketring-Brown(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- An educator who publicly shared her frustrations regarding the schooling system is speaking out on why she's leaving her teaching job and becoming a lawyer instead.

Hannah Ketring-Brown posted her thoughts on Facebook earlier this month in hopes her words would spark change within Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Ketring-Brown taught for five years -- four of which she spent at Cole Elementary School in Tennessee.

The 27-year-old third grade ESL teacher's official resignation date is July 31, when summer school is over.

"I'm going to miss it so much. I'll miss getting 50 hugs a day," Ketring-Brown told ABC News' Good Morning America. "With law, I want to go into immigration law so I can work with the same population but in a way that allows me to better provide for my family."

Ketring-Brown said her disappointment with low pay, a lack of resources and political officials' "obsession" of testing within the schools were three reasons why she chose to leave the classroom.

"I work with a lot of children where it's their first year in American schools and to hold them to the same standards is not a realistic expectation," Ketring-Brown said. "It typically takes them six to eight years to learn academic language ... it doesn't count towards anything so they're wasting [learning] time."

Like many other teachers, Ketring-Brown said she would dip into her own pocket for classroom expenses that weren't covered under a $200 stipend she'd receive.

In her Facebook post, Ketring-Brown admitted that she had "a little more freedom to speak than some of my colleagues" about her teaching experience.

"For the most part, we’re not sick of the kids. We’re not sick of teaching. For me, welcoming a kid on their first day of American schools never gets old," she wrote in part. "Seeing a student 'get it' after struggling a lot with a concept never gets old."

She went on: "I’m sick of getting dinged for test scores every year when some my students don’t have food at home or clothes that fit. I’m sick of all the good things that happen day after day in Metro schools being drowned out in the 'failing schools' narrative. I’m sick of higher and higher expectations for teachers without accompanying pay increases. I’m sick of my colleagues’ care for students being manipulated to get more work out of them with less pay. I’m sick of the teacher martyr trope."

She concluded, "Teachers deserve better. Kids deserve better. Do the right thing, Metro. Thanks for listening."

Ketring-Brown isn't the first to publicly post her reasons for resigning from a teaching job.

On April 16, The Washington Post published a copy of Sariah McCall's 905-word resignation letter addressed to South Carolina's Charleston County School District superintendent.

McCall was approaching her fifth year of elementary teaching when the job's demands took a toll on her. She resigned and opted to wait tables instead.

Nearly 1,000 people commented on Ketring-Brown's post, many of whom claim to be fellow frustrated educators. Some even said that they too are leaving the teaching profession.

"There were many who said, 'I left the field too.' That was really sad to me," Ketring-Brown said. "But I was encouraged to see there were teachers who are sticking with it and saying, 'Yes, these are problems but we want to stay and improve the system.'"

On May 16, more than 1,000 teachers at Metro Nashville Public Schools rallied in a "sick out" after an expected 10 percent salary raise dropped to 3 percent due to increased insurance rates.

Although she's leaving her job this summer, Ketring-Brown continues to participate in those rallies and advocate for Nashville schools.

"I deeply care about public education in Nashville, and I'm going to have a daughter in public school in a few years," she said. "A 10% raise sounds small, but for morale it will make teachers in Nashville feel valued or listened to."

Ketring-Brown will begin her first semester at Belmont University College of Law in August. She hopes to keep working with international families, as she did when she was an ESL teacher.

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Niall_Majury/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Airlines are again expecting a record high number of passengers to fly this summer, according to a trade group, despite the worldwide groundings of the Boeing 737 MAX after two fatal crashes.

Airlines for America told reporters on Tuesday that 257.4 million passengers — an average of 2.8 million per day — will travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2019.

That would be the 10th consecutive summer to see an increase in the number of U.S. airline passengers. To handle that increase of 3.4 % from last summer’s record 248.8 million passengers, airlines are expected to add 111,000 seats per day through larger aircraft and more frequent service.

Contributing to the expected record number of travelers is a strong economy and ticket prices that are down 15.9% from 2014. Americans have the lowest average inflation-adjusted fares since the agency began collecting such records in 1995. The average domestic fare is now $350, including government-imposed fees and taxes, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In anticipation of the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to be extended into the the summer season, airlines have already taken the high-selling aircraft out of its schedules. Southwest, with 34 in its fleet, and American, with 24, cancelled those flights into August. United, with 14, cancelled them into early July.

Boeing is working on a software upgrade designed to make it more difficult for the anti-stall system to misfire and easier for the pilots to regain control after it is activated. The system -- called MCAS, for Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System -- is suspected in the two crashes of the 737 MAXs in the last year in which the jet's nose rose and sank drastically before losing control.

Boeing has not yet submitted the software upgrade and training revisions for approval from the FAA. That step is expected to be taken in the coming weeks and the process of reinstating the jet would extend well beyond that.

To cope with the temporary loss of 72 aircraft between them, Southwest, American and United are expected to trim some planned growth, use spare aircraft and defer discretionary upgrades like painting and wifi upgrades.

Additionally, airlines, if necessary, could reduce frequency on lesser-used routes, hold off on retiring older aircraft and temporarily suspend routes. Southwest launched its new service to Hawaii earlier this year, but suspended those routes from San Diego and Sacramento entirely after of the MAX groundings.

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jetcityimage/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Twenty-five lawsuits and federal complaints were filed Tuesday in 20 cities across the U.S. accusing the fast-food company McDonald’s of sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination and subsequent retaliation.

The new cases are being pushed by the labor group Fight for $15 and funded by the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, which was founded in the aftermath of sexual assault allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. The cases also have legal support from the ACLU.

In a letter addressed to Padma Lakshmi, an actress and TV host active in the Time's Up initiative, and shared with ABC News, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said the company "is committed to ensuring a harassment and bias-free workplace."

In the letter to Lakshmi, Easterbrook wrote that the company had started working with RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization, to provide employee-centered education, and rolled out "third-party facilitated and interactive training" last autumn to create a better workplace environment. Easterbrook added that the company is also "implementing new educational training modules on harassment, unconscious bias and workplace safety," and will offer franchise operators "a new third-party managed hotline for reporting complaints."

Lawsuits and complaints against McDonald's reflect “the brutal reality” of sexual harassment facing low-wage workers generally and at that fast-food chain in particular, according to a press release by the groups pursuing charges of misconduct. They allege that despite sexual harassment complaints in previous years, "the company has failed to address the pervasive problem of sexual harassment across its restaurant chain."

Examples given of misconduct by McDonald's include a single mother in Missouri who was allegedly forced to quit her job after accusing her area manager of "repeated sexual harassment," and a woman in Florida who allegedly experienced repeated assault by her male coworker which resulted in her hours being cut, according to the release.

 "[At] least one in four workers -- especially women of color working low-wage jobs -- experience sexual harassment as a routine part of their job,” said Sharyn Tejani, director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. "Few women working low-wage jobs have the financial security to challenge their harassment. By funding the legal representation of several workers at McDonald’s, we see potential for these charges to be a catalyst for significant change.”

The median annual pay for food and beverage serving and related work in 2018 was $21,750 per year, and $10.45 hourly, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Faced with low wages, uncertain scheduling practices, and minimal benefits across the fast food landscape, it should be no surprise that women workers are at such high risk for sexual harassment,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center, which is taking part in legal action against McDonald's. "We won’t stop fighting until all people can have safe and respectful workplaces, and women and girls can live with dignity, safety and equality.”

Lakshmi spoke to a crowd of McDonald's workers on Tuesday at the company's headquarters in Chicago about sexual harassment.

"We would like to see a program that doesn't just have training and a hotline," Lakshmi said, "but a zero tolerance disciplinary plan put in place immediately with accountability an lasting consequences for sexual harassment in the work place."

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