Shijiazhuang, July 4 (Xinhu/UNB) -- Residents have been advised to guard against the heat wave as north China's Hebei Province issued a red alert for high temperatures Wednesday.
Temperatures could rise to 37 to 40 degrees Celsius in central and southern parts of the province on Thursday, according to the provincial observatory.
As of 11 a.m. on Thursday, 17 cities and counties in the province have issued a red alert for high temperatures.
The observatory advised said workers exposed to high temperatures should take protective measures.
China has a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
Yokohama, Jul 4 (AP/UNB) — Japan's culture of cute makes no exceptions for poop. It gets a pop twist at the Unko Museum in Yokohama near Tokyo.
Here, the poop is artificial, nothing like what would be in a toilet, and comes in twisty ice cream and cupcake shapes, in all colors and sizes.
"The poops are colorful and come out nicely in photos," said Haruka Okubo, a student visiting part of the museum devoted to all-important selfies. "The shape is so round and cute."
In Japan, little poop-shaped erasers with faces and other small items have long been popular items collected by children, and sometimes older folks. As elsewhere, scatological jokes are popular and bodily functions discussed openly: a recent morning variety show by public broadcaster NHK featured tips on how to deal with farts.
Visitors to the museum get a short video introduction and then are asked to sit on one of seven colorful, non-functional toilets lined up against the wall.
Music plays as a user pretends to poop, then a brightly colored souvenir "poop" can be collected from inside the toilet bowl, to be taken home after the tour.
A ceiling-high poop sculpture in the main hall erupts every 30 minutes, spitting out little foam poops.
The "Unstagenic" area of Instagram-worthy installations includes pastel-hued flying poops and a neon sign with the word "poop" written in different languages.
In another room, players use a projection-mapping game like "whack-a-mole" to stamp on and squash the most poops they can. In another game, participants compete to make the biggest "poop" by shouting the word in Japanese, "unko," as loudly as possible.
A soccer video game involves using a controller to "kick" a poop into a goal.
Toshifumi Okuya, a system engineer, was amused to see adults having fun. "It's funny because there are adults running around screaming 'poop, poop,'" he said.
At the end of the tour, visitors get a bag to carry home their souvenir poop. If they want still more, the museum's gift shop abounds with more poop-themed souvenirs.
The museum attracted more than 100,000 visitors in the first month after its opening in March. It will remain open until September.
Topeka, Jul 4 (AP/UNB) — A zookeeper who spent two months recovering from a tiger attack at a Kansas zoo is now back to work.
Topeka zoo director Brenden Wiley told KSNT-TV that Hayden-Ortega returned to work Tuesday.
She was seriously injured in the April 20 attack by a 7-year-old Sumatran tiger named Sanjiv.
The zoo released a lengthy report last month that said "multiple" protocols and procedures concerning spaces occupied by tigers had prevented any similar attack at the zoo for decades. Its report says protocol was not followed when the keeper entered the tiger's outdoor habitat without ensuring that the animal was locked inside.
Other zoo employees lured the animal away with meat so emergency responders could treat Hayden-Ortega.
Sacramento, Jul 4 (AP/UNB) — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Wednesday a bill making California the first state to ban workplace and school discrimination against black people for wearing hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.
The law by Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, a black woman who wears her hair in locks, makes California the first state to explicitly say that those hairstyles are associated with race and therefore protected against discrimination in the workplace and in schools.
"We are changing the course of history, hopefully, across this country by acknowledging that what has been defined as professional hair styles and attire in the work place has historically been based on a Euro-centric model — based on straight hair," Mitchell said.
Stephanie Hunter-Ray, who works at a makeup counter, says she typically wears her hair braided or in an afro, but one day she showed up to work with it straightened and styled in a bob. Her manager told Hunter-Ray her hair had never looked so normal.
"It bothered me," Hunter-Ray said in an interview at the hair salon she owns in Sacramento that specializes in natural hair styles. "What do you mean by 'normal?' Your normal is not my normal. My normal is my 'fro or my braids."
Alikah Hatchett-Fall, who runs Sacred Crowns Salon in Sacramento, said she's had black men come into her salon asking to have their hair cut off because they can't find jobs.
The law, she said, "means that psychologically and mentally people can be at ease and be able to get the jobs they want, keep the jobs they want, and get promoted at the jobs they want."
California's new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, is significant because federal courts have historically held that hair is a characteristic that can be changed, meaning there's no basis for discrimination complaints based on hairstyle. The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case of an Alabama woman who said she didn't get a job because she refused to change her hair.
The issue burst into public view last December, when a black high school wrestler in New Jersey was told by a referee that he had to cut off his dreadlocks if he wanted to compete. California's Democratic governor said the video was a clear example of the discrimination black Americans face.
"His decision whether or not to lose an athletic competition or lose his identity came into, I think, stark terms for millions of Americans," Newsom said before signing the bill alongside Mitchell and half a dozen advocates. "That is played out in workplaces, it's played out in schools — not just athletic competitions and settings — every single day all across America in ways subtle and overt."
Though California is the first state with such a law, New York City earlier this year issued legal guidance banning discrimination against someone based on their hairstyle. The beauty company Dove is part of a coalition pushing for more hairstyle protections, and Mitchell said she hopes other states follow California.
Mitchell's bill adds language to the state's discrimination laws to say that "race" also includes "traits historically associated with race," including hair texture and protective hairstyles. It further defines protective hairstyles as braids, twists and locks.
The term locks, or "locs," is the preferred term to dreadlocks, which has a derogatory connotation.
At Hunter-Ray's studio, Exquisite U, on Wednesday, her stylists and customers reflected on the new law.
Shereen Africa, who was having her hair re-braided by Elicia Drayton, said she used to work at a television station in Mississippi where a black anchor quit after facing resistance to wearing her hair in locks. Africa said she did not wear her hair in braids at the job, even though she wasn't on air, because the environment wasn't supportive of it.
"If I'm in a professional setting, I won't wear my hair in certain ways," she said.
An anchor at a different Mississippi TV station made national news when she said she was fired after she stopped straightening her hair.
"You want to go to work and feel free," Drayton said. "You don't want to have to feel like you have to put on a wig or you have to have your hair straight to please someone else."
Okemos, Jul 3 (AP/UNB) — From Meghan the Duchess of Sussex's recent maternity clothing to Kate the Duchess of Cambridge's love of L.K. Bennett wedges, the women continue to be trendsetters when it comes to their fashion choices. So much so that bloggers have made careers out of tracking who and what they wear.
Susan E. Kelley founded the website What Kate Wore in 2011, when Britain's Prince William got engaged to marry Kate Middleton.
"I had another blog, and anytime I wrote about Kate, there was this huge boost in readership. And so I talked about it with my husband. I said, 'You know, do you think people would really be interested in reading about what Kate Middleton wears?'"
The site really took off when the royal couple took a tour of Canada and the United States a few months after their wedding.
"She's changing outfits multiple times a day, and people loved it. There was this enormous interest in it, and it exploded on Twitter and on Facebook and it kind of rolled on from there," Kelley said during an interview at her home in Okemos, Michigan, near Lansing.
Christine Ross of Lovettsville, Virginia, is co-editor of a website that follows the Duchess of Sussex's style, called Meghan's Mirror . The site actually launched before Meghan started dating Prince Harry, because Ross' co-editor, Amanda Dishaw of Toronto, was a fan of Markle's TV series "Suits."
Once Harry and Meghan were spotted together in public, the actress' profile went up. And so did visits to their site.
"When Meghan was seen at the Invictus Games with Prince Harry in Toronto, it just exploded, and all of a sudden it was like, 'OK, this is serious. This is real. This is happening,'" said Ross. "People were so interested in what she wore and the charities that she worked with and the messages that she was sending, and the site just really took off from there."
So, how exactly do these bloggers figure out who the duchesses are wearing?
Kelley says for official engagements, the Palace provides a minimal amount of information about the clothing worn.
"Kensington Palace will tell reporters at the scene the primary designer she's wearing," said Kelley, adding that the Palace doesn't reveal who made Kate's accessories.
But it also comes down to a study in repetition.
"Kate has designers that she goes to again and again," Kelley said.
For Meghan's Mirror, Ross says she and her team have studied fashion and will examine the Duchess of Sussex's wardrobe down to the tiniest of details to get it right.
"Every time there's a new picture of Meghan, whether it's a paparazzi photo or an official event, there's a mad rush to our computers, and we really just start Googling," she said. "It comes down to a really unique knowledge of the brands that she loves. Meghan tends to stick to the same designers over and over again, and we sit down and analyze things like stitching or buttons. ... We've become very good at (it) as we've learned more about her style."
Ross says Meghan's Mirror considers itself an ultimate resource for fashion info on Meghan, including an archive of anything she's worn in public.
"We've worked really hard to curate our archives where you can find exactly what she's worn and all the details about it, and you can also get mirror Meg styles at a fraction of the cost. So every time she steps out, we really work hard to add everything she's wearing, from the earrings to the shoes to the jacket, all on to our archive so our readers can go on there, click and shop those styles."
They also sell Meghan's Mirror-inspired items, including jewelry on Etsy.com.
What Kate Wore also links to clothing Kelley calls "repliKates," shoppable items similar to something the Duchess of Cambridge has worn.
Tracking the duchesses can be time consuming, especially with the time difference from the U.S. and London. "There are a lot of very early mornings for me," Kelley said. "But the real crunch comes when they go on tour, because multiple tours have been in time zones that were 12, 14, 16-hour time differences. I just know I'm not going to see my husband. We'll pass each other in the hallway."
All in all, it's still fun work.
"We have readers in places where I never thought people would be interested," Kelley said. "There's like 200 countries who have read the blog."
She's also launched sister sites What Meghan Wore and What Kate's Kids Wore .