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Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to partner on U.S. employee health care

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced they will create a health care company for their U.S. employees that is "free from profit-making incentives."

The companies say they are partnering on health care to increase employee satisfaction and reduce costs. 

The trio of companies will work with an independent company that is free from the constraints of profit-making incentives. 

>> Read more trending news 

The initial focus of the new company will be on technology that will provide their employees with high-quality, reasonably priced health care.

“The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes,” said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.

“The health care system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Hard as it might be, reducing health care’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”

The company is in the initial planning stages.

– The Associated Press contributed to this story.

California bill suggests fine, jail for giving plastic straws to restaurant patrons unless asked

A California lawmaker’s proposed bill that would greatly affect the food industry is facing heavy criticism.

California State Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, sought to address pollution by focusing on plastic – specifically, plastic straws, KGTV reported.

>> On Rare.us: Organizers arrested in California for allegedly feeding the homeless

According to Calderon’s bill, a server who offered a plastic straw to a restaurant patron without first being asked would face a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

“We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways and oceans,” Calderon argued in a press release. “AB 1884 is not ban on plastic straws. It is a small step towards curbing our reliance on these convenience products, which will hopefully contribute to a change in consumer attitudes and usage.”

>> Read more trending news 

The bill reportedly would apply only to waiters in sit-down restaurants, not bars or fast food establishments. Calderon also expressed his intention to dump the bill’s harsh penalties, according to Reason.

Despite the reasoning, several have criticized the proposed legislation as an example of government overreach.

Some even offered their own suggestions.

Others have accused the bill of being inspired by unreliable data on the number of plastic straws the public uses.

Keurig Buys Snapple, Dr. Pepper Creating Beverage Behemoth

Keurig Buys Snapple, Dr. Pepper Creating Beverage Behemoth

Panera Bread recalls cream cheese products over listeria fears

Panera Bread has issued a recall of all cream cheese products from its U.S. bakery cafes over fears of listeria contamination.

The chain said the recall was out of "an abundance of caution" after samples of one product from a single production day showed positive for listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Exposure to the bacteria can cause fever and diarrhea, with particularly dangerous symptoms for pregnant women and unborn children. 

>> Read more trending news 

Products recalled have an expiration date on or before April 2, 2018. 

The recall includes all 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products

The associated facility stopped production, as well. 

According to the CDC, about 1,600 people become infected with listeria each year, killing about 260. 

If you have these products, discard them immediately and contact Panera Bread Customer Service at 1-855-6-PANERA from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST Monday through Sunday or visit panera.custhelp.com for a full refund.

New petition aims to expand food stamps to include pet food

new petition aims to convince the federal government to modify food stamp rules so that low-income people are allowed to use them to purchase food for their pets, WGN-TV reports.

So far, the petition has garnered the signatures of more than 80,000 people and has gained the support of several animal welfare organizations, according to the Sacramento Bee. Advocates say expanding food stamps in such a way could keep thousands of animals out of shelters and make them the only government program that helps low-income people care for their pets.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s potentially game-changing,” Matt Bershadker, the president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Bee. “I think we should get behind this in a big way.”

Once the petition reaches 90,000 signatures, it will be presented to the USDA. However, it appears to have little chance of succeeding given the political and logistical challenges of changing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Since 1964, the program has specifically excluded pet food by defining “food” as “any food or food product for human consumption.” Altering that definition would require Congressional action. Additionally, there are several administrative challenges to overcome in actually implementing such a policy.

“I can’t imagine how the government would decide on, say, how much more money a family should get if they have a Bernese mountain dog,” Craig Gundersen, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois and an expert on the food-stamp program, told the Bee. “Would this be more than for, say, a Sheltie?”

In the meantime, several charities and nonprofit organizations are attempting to fill the void by launching programs that distribute donated pet food to those in need. While their efforts are truly appreciated, these organizations are not currently able to provide for all families struggling to feed their pets.

“Being poor is hard enough without being expected to give up your companion,” said Edward Johnston Jr., the creator of the petition.

Hand-me-down toys could pose serious health risks for kids, study says

Do you accept second-hand toys? Beware, because they could pose serious health risks for children, according to a new report. 

Researchers from the University of Plymouth recently conducted an experiment, published in Environmental Science and Technology, to determine the dangers of passed-down toys. 

>> Toys 'R' Us to close up to 182 stores nationwide; see the full list

To do so, they used X-ray fluorescence technology to examine 200 plastic toys, such as cars, trains, figures and puzzles, which were found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England. They were inspecting the items for nine hazardous elements, including antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium.

After analyzing the results, they found that 20 toys had traces of all nine elements, which can be chronically toxic if children are exposed to them at low levels. If the kids put the products in their mouths, they can be introduced to the toxins faster.

>> Consumer safety group W.A.T.C.H. unveils 'most dangerous' toys list

"Consumers should be made more aware of the potential risks associated with small, mouthable and brightly coloured old plastic toys or components,” coauthor Andrew Turner told BBC. "Without that, the attractive cost, convenience and recyclability of previously used toys has the potential to create a legacy of chemical contamination for younger children."

Furthermore, a few of the toys didn’t comply with standards set by the European Council's Toy Safety Directive. In fact, red, yellow or black plastics were the worst, because they had too much too much bromine, cadmium or lead.

>> Read more trending news 

While scientists said second-hand toys “are an attractive option,” parents should use with caution. They also believe risky toys should be taken off the market altogether. 

Toddler puts dad’s efforts to keep her in room to shame

Two gates are no match for a determined girl who must get out of her room.

Wesley Quilty thought he beat his daughter at her own game by installing two baby gates to block her from leaving her room, The Sun reported

>> Read more trending news 

But she had something to prove when she threw something and had to go get it.

Quilty set up a camera to capture what could happen and now is going viral with his climbing kid as she thwarts his security plan.

The little girl’s mother tells Quilty that “This is all your fault,” as she follows after their child, The Daily Mail reported.

HGS Exhibitor Resource Center

SHOW FEATURES:

* FREE parking and FREE admission - It’s the largest FREE winter-time Home & Garden show in Northeast Oklahoma!

* Now in its 15th year - the show features nearly 170 unique exhibitors with numerous displays highlighting home decorating and design ideas for inside and outside, plus so much more! 

* Tens of thousands of homeowners who are seeking experts, services and products.

* A live radio broadcast of KRMG’s “The Gardening Show” with Allan Storjohann from 9am-noon on Saturday morning, January 27, 2018.

* Multimedia promotional plan includes live and recorded promotional announcements and live-on-location broadcasts on 4 of the top 6 adult-oriented radio stations in the market, plus TV spots on the Cox cable system and on KOKI-Fox 23, through social media and by newspaper coverage in the Tulsa World.

JANUARY 26-28, 2018 The Exchange Center at Expo Square 4145 East 21st Street Tulsa, OK 74112

SHOW HOURS: Friday: 12pm-8pm Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 11am-5pm

The Green Country Home & Garden Show is brought to you by A-Best RoofingEden’s Structural SolutionsDolphin Pools and Amini’s Galleria.

IMPORTANT LINKS FOR  EXHIBITORS:

Do you know of someone who owns their own company or works for a business that would benefit from being in front of THOUSANDS of prospective customers in only 3 days? Have them call Steve McDonald at (918) 523-2067 or email him at Steve.McDonald@CoxInc.com.

SHOW OFFICE: Green Country Home & Garden ShowC/o Cox Media Group, Inc. 2625 S. Memorial DrTulsa, OK 74129(918) 523-2067 - show office(918) 493-5357 - show fax line

Apple wants to store your health records on iPhone, Apple Watch

Apple is taking a new step to bring your life into one location. The tech giant has updated its Health app so users can upload their health records onto their phones and have them accessible on both phones and Apple Watches.

The Health Records section of the app is currently in beta, or test, form released this week and is part of the iOS 11.3 beta, CNBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Apple worked with hospitals to use Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR, to transfer electronic records to the devices and to keep them secure.

Apple Health will combine information and update it with the latest medical records. In the past, patients had to download their records and manually upload them into the program, The Washington Post reported.

Many medical systems offer their own web portals, but the new app can combine the information into one source, according to The Washington Post.

The app will show users their allergies, immunizations, lab results and medications in an easy-to-follow, timeline format that is encrypted and must be accessed by a passcode.

A handful of hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai and Penn Medicine, are allowing their patients to use the app as a portal to their records as part of the program’s introduction.

Hospitals taking part :

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine - Baltimore, Maryland
  • Cedars-Sinai - Los Angeles, California
  • Penn Medicine - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Geisinger Health System - Danville, Pennsylvania
  • UC San Diego Health - San Diego, California
  • UNC Health Care - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Rush University Medical Center - Chicago, Illinois
  • Dignity Health - Arizona, California and Nevada
  • Ochsner Health System - Jefferson Parish, Louisiana 
  • MedStar Health - Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
  • OhioHealth - Columbus, Ohio
  • Cerner Healthe Clinic - Kansas City, Missouri

For more information, click here.

Photos: Super Bowl LII cheerleaders

Take a look at the cheerleaders from the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.

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