Elite Yelpers, be warned: A hotel in Hudson, New York, will fine you for posting a negative review of your stay anywhere online.
Here's how the Union Street Guest House, a historic inn in the Catskill mountains and popular lodging choice for wedding parties, describes its policy for online reviews:
Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our Inn, your friends and families may not. This is due to the fact that your guests may not understand what we offer — therefore we expect you to explain that to them. USGH & Hudson are historic. The buildings here are old (but restored). Our bathrooms and kitchens are designed to look old in an artistic "vintage" way. Our furniture is mostly hip, period furniture that you would see in many design magazines (although comfortable and functional — obviously all beds are brand new). If your guests are looking for a Marriott type hotel they may not like it here."
Since the New York Post's Page Six picked up on the policy in a post this morning, USGH has quietly removed a portion of their "Reviews Policy," which read as such:
Therefore: If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event.
Page Six readers, many of whom were never guests of the hotel, have since flooded the inn's Yelp page to defiantly write negative reviews. "Well that kinda backfired, didn't it?" wrote one Yelper. "You are charging $500 for bad reviews. Do you consider offering a reward of $500 for good reviews?" wrote another.
While the flood of frantic poor reviews may eventually be scrubbed from Union Street Guest House's Yelp page (Yelp, Fast Company notes, is pretty good about removing fake and/or troll-y reviews), it may still be hard for the business to recover. Thankfully, though, one Yelper is optimistic. --Samantha Rollins
On Monday, more than 100 rescuers in Japan frantically searched for a missing seven-year-old boy, who was left behind in the woods as a form of punishment.
Matt talks about the parents of Yamato Tanooka, who left their 7 y/o in the woods alone, as a form of punishment. pic.twitter.com/iPpCIJYOLn
— Today FM (@todayfm) May 30, 2016
The boy, Yamato Tanooka, has been missing for two days on northern Hokkaido island, in an area known to have bears. A police spokesperson told NBC News his parents first said they became separated from their son while foraging in the woods for plants, but later a family member told police the boy was left as a "form of discipline." The police did not say why Tanooka was being punished or how long he was left alone, but local media reports he was disciplined for throwing rocks at cars and was out of sight for five minutes.
In an appearance on Japanese television, Tanooka's father, whose name is being withheld, said he wanted to "apologize to my son, also for causing trouble for so many people. I'm just filled with the feeling hoping that he comes back safely." Catherine Garcia
Donald Trump spent his Memorial Day weekend the same way he spent every other day this year: Fighting on Twitter.
Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate--an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 29, 2016
This time, his target was The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol. The kerfuffle started Sunday, when Kristol tweeted, "Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance." Trump wasted no time responding with an insult for Kristol wrapped in a piece of advice for Republicans. "Bill Kristol has been wrong for 2yrs — an embarrassed loser, but if the GOP can't control their own, then they are not a party. Be tough, R's!" He later tweeted, "The Republican Party has to be smart & strong if it wants to win in November. Can't allow lightweights to set up a spoiler Indie candidate!" and "If dummy Bill Kristol actually does get a spoiler to run as an Independent, say good bye to the Supreme Court!"
If dummy Bill Kristol actually does get a spoiler to run as an Independent, say good bye to the Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2016
Kristol is a leader of the #NeverTrump movement, and told CNN on Monday morning he couldn't spill any more details on the alleged independent candidate because there are "still lots of I's to dot and T's to cross." On Monday evening, a clearly pleased with himself Kristol tweeted, "I'm traveling, so hadn't realized I'd so upset @realDonaldTrump. I'm sorry the mere mention of an independent candidate has so unnerved him." He then got in one more jab: "I hope my mention of an independent candidate didn't distract him while paying respects during whichever Memorial Day ceremony he attended." Trump hasn't responded to Kristol's latest tweets, having already moved on to a new opponent: Judge Gonzalo Curiel, "the totally biased" judge in his Trump University case. Catherine Garcia
The former president of Chad, Hissene Habre, was sentenced to life in prison Monday for war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape, forced sexual slavery and kidnapping.
He served as president from 1982 to 1990, and during that time 40,000 people were killed and thousands more kidnapped, raped, and tortured. The 73-year-old's case was heard by a special tribunal organized by the African Union, under a deal with Senegal, and it was the first time a country prosecuted a former head of another country for rights abuses, Agence France-Presse reports. Over the course of the 10-month trial, Hasse refused to address the court, and never recognized its authority. He has two weeks to appeal the sentence.
Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam said Habre presided over "a system where impunity and terror were the law," and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the verdict proved "nobody is above the law." In 1990, after he was ousted by current president Idriss Deby, Habre and his wife and children fled to Senegal. Human Rights Watch says his conviction for raping a woman is a first by an international court trying an ex-world leader, and lawyers for the victims are planning on filing civil suits to obtain compensation. Catherine Garcia
On Monday, President Obama marked his last Memorial Day in office with a White House breakfast reception for veterans groups and families of service members killed in combat, followed by a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. At Arlington, Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, commemorating the members of the U.S. military who died in service of their country.
Obama spoke of the duty the rest of the country has to care for the loved ones of fallen soldiers and veterans. "We need to be there not just when we need them, but when they need us," Obama said. He noted that 20 service members have died in combat in the past year, a reminder that the U.S. is fighting in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. You can watch Obama lay the wreath and hear the military band play the Star Spangled Banner in the video below. Peter Weber
Mass bleaching caused by global warming and El Niño has killed 35 percent of the coral in the northern and central parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef in just the past few months, scientists said Monday. The southern section of the 1,400-mile reef has seen only minor damage. Warming waters have been causing bleaching in reefs around the world for two years, but the damage in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's east coast has occurred over just two months. Bleached coral that hasn't died can recover if the water temperature drops. You can learn more, including how the report is affecting Australian politics, in the Associated Press report below. Harold Mass
Mexican police rescued international soccer star Alan Pulido hours after he was kidnapped in northeast Mexico. Pulido, 25, appeared at a brief news conference on Monday and told reporters he was "very well." He had a bandage on his right hand. Pulido, a striker who has played for Mexico's national team several times, was leaving a party with his girlfriend on Saturday night in Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state when their car was surrounded by several trucks. Pulido was taken away, and his girlfriend was left unharmed. You can watch Pulido's news conference below. Harold Mass
An estimated 700 Libyan migrants died last week as their boats capsized in the Mediterranean during an attempted crossing to Italy, adding to a swelling death toll of more than 8,000 migrants to Europe since 2014. In September 2015, those deaths were encapsulated in a photo of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian boy whose drowned body washed up on the coast of Greece.
Another such photo came out of a rescue effort off the coast of Libya on Sunday organized by a German humanitarian organization called Sea-Watch. It shows a German rescue volunteer named Martin cradling a drowned baby who appears to be sleeping.
Seeing the child's body floating in the water, "I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive," Martin said. "I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heart-rending moment. Just six hours ago this child was alive."