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Ambassador Kelly Craft: UN Security Council will focus on 'credibility' and make a Kentucky retreat

Tasos Katopodis(NEW YORK) -- As the U.S. assumes the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council for December, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said Friday she would focus members on "credibility through assessment and resolution."

"We do face a credibility problem in the eyes of the world when we're talking without acting, ...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/06/2019

Russian opposition celebrates after anti-Putin blogger given lenient sentence

(Kirill Kudryavtsevia/AFP/Getty Images)(MOSCOW) -- Russian liberal society on Monday celebrated after a Moscow court handed a student YouTube blogger an unusually lenient suspended sentence instead of prison for posting anti-Kremlin videos, a ruling they cheered as rare victory amid a crackdown by authorities following protests this summer.

Yegor...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/06/2019

Russia detains conman who built fake border with Finland to trick migrants

pawel.gaul/iStock(MOSCOW) -- Russian authorities have detained a man accused of building a fake fence in the woods close to the country’s border with Finland in order to trick a group of migrants into believing he had smuggled them across into the European Union.

The man set up fake border posts and persuaded four men from South Asia that he coul...

Author: Louis Milman
Posted: 12/05/2019

Giuliani in Ukraine with conservative news outlet in effort to discredit impeachment probe

Oleksii Liskonih/iStock(WASHINGTON) --  As impeachment drama marches forward in Washington, D.C., focusing on a call between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani traveled to Kyiv.

The president's personal attorney is meeting with current and former Ukrainian officials who have served as key sources for his questionab...

Author: Leighton Schneider
Posted: 12/05/2019

Thousands more US troops could be headed to Middle East

omersukrugoksu/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A top Pentagon official confirmed on Thursday that the U.S. is considering sending additional American troops to the Middle East due to concerns about the threat stream emanating from Iran.

"The [defense] secretary, if he chooses to, can make a decision to deploy additional forces," John Rood, under secretary ...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Mass strikes across France against pension reforms have brought the country to a near standstill

Cineberg/iStock(PARIS) -- Mass strikes taking place across the whole of France against proposed pension reforms have severely impacted transportation services and brought Paris to a near standstill on Thursday.

Nearly 6,000 police officers have been mobilized in the French capital to deal with the strike which is expected to be the largest the co...

Author: CJC
Posted: 12/05/2019

$820M worth of methamphetamine seized in massive drug bust in Australia

Australian Federal Police(MELBOURNE, Australia) -- Australian authorities have seized the country's largest methamphetamine lot, which had a price tag of $820 million and weighed nearly 3,200 pounds, officials said.

The Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force made the bust on Wednesday, the two agencies said in a joint statement. Th...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Duchess Kate sharing reindeer food, picking out Christmas trees with kids is a full holiday mood

Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Duchess Kate made a quick change from mingling with world leaders Tuesday to wearing boots and jeans Wednesday to help ring in the holiday season with kids.

The Duchess of Cambridge, a mom of three, joined kids at a Christmas tree farm outside of London to help them pick out trees to take back to th...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/04/2019

US destroyer seizes Iranian weapons and missile parts headed to Yemen in northern Arabian Sea

iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. military seized a "cache of weapons and advanced missile components" believed to be of Iranian origin in the northern Arabian Sea, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The small vessel carrying the weapons, referred to as a dhow, was believed to be headed to Yemen, a U.S. official told ABC News, where the missile parts w...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/04/2019

Social media sounds off over queen's interaction with Princess Anne, President Trump at royal reception

Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A video shot inside Buckingham Palace at the NATO reception on Tuesday has garnered mass attention on social media after people called into question a gesture between the queen and her daughter.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump shook hands and spoke with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philli...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/04/2019

More than 100 graves defaced with swastikas in a French Jewish cemetery

EyeJoy/iStock(PARIS) --  Hateful tags that were found in the town hall of Schaffhouse-sur-Zorn, France, lead investigators to a Jewish cemetery 12 miles away where 107 graves were sprawled with anti-Semitic symbols, officials said.

Officials reported to the municipality on Tuesday where anti-Semitic tags and the word "Westhoffen" were displayed. ...

Author: Leighton Schneider
Posted: 12/04/2019

Dog starts house fire after accidentally turning on microwave

tunaly/iStock(LONDON) -- A dog in the United Kingdom inadvertently started a kitchen fire when it somehow managed to turn on a microwave in its owner’s home.

The husky who was home alone at the time of the incident turned on the microwave, which was positioned off the floor on the kitchen counter, which then ignited a bag of bread rolls that wer...

Author: Leighton Schneider
Posted: 12/04/2019

'The L Word: Generation Q' builds on the barriers broken by the original, says Jennifer Beals

ABC/Paula Lobo(NEW YORK) -- Fifteen years after the groundbreaking original show began, Showtime's sequel series The L Word: Generation Q, debuts Sunday. To show how much things have changed in this country in the years since the show first aired, gay marriage wasn't even legal at that time, and now, queer representation on TV is no longer out of the mainstream.  

The show's original cast is back, including Jennifer Beals, who plays Bette. She tells ABC Audio that she and co-stars Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey are friends who, "see each other all the time," but she adds, "we don't see each other as 'Bette', 'Shane' and 'Alice', right? So that first day on set was truly surreal."

Beals adds, "[I]t really wasn't until I put my cufflinks on that I really kind of could feel Bette come back."

So what's Bette been up to? "Masking disaster," the former Flashdance actress jokes. "She's had a really challenging past two and a half years."

As the series begins, Bette decides to run for mayor of Los Angeles.

Beals adds that while the original show opened doors, it continues to break down barriers.

"I really love how inclusive the cast is...And, you know, there is a wider embrace to the trans characters and trans characters are played by trans actors," says Beals. "There are some trans actors who play cis characters. And so that's interesting...to me because it makes us all really rethink gender identity."

She comments about the show's return: "While...I'm very, very excited that [the show] gives visibility...to an entire community, I'm also really excited that those people who aren't part of that community get to experience the beauty of that community."

The L Word: Generation Q debuts Sunday at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/06/2019

Felicity Jones rises to new heights -- and gains a fear of heights -- in 'The Aeronauts'

Todd Williamson/January Images(NEW YORK) -- Felicity Jones is rising to new heights in the new inspired-by-true-events film, The Aeronauts.

The Oscar-nominated actress plays 19th century balloon pilot Amelia Wren opposite her Theory of Everything co-star Eddie Redmayne, who plays meteorologist James Glaisher. Together, they embark on a dangerous journey to fly higher than anyone in history.

Most of the film takes place within the confines of a gas balloon during its ascent into the clouds. Jones and Redmayne even filmed some scenes thousands of feet in the air in a real balloon, while director Tom Harper watched from a nearby helicopter.

“I was fine before the film and then afterwards... Now I'm not so good with heights,” Jones tells ABC Audio.  “It's quite a gradual ascent as you go up…so it doesn't strike you. It's actually coming down in the landing where it…can be a bit more rocky.”

While Amelia is a fictionalized character, she was heavily based on real-life pioneering aeronaut Sophie Blanchard and serves as a role model for young women.

“She was a massive inspiration for Amelia Wren,” Jones says. “It’s so important to have those characters when you're growing up and watching films and go, ‘These things that I'm told might be impossible to do, I can do them if I put my mind to it.’”

Now, Jones is onto her next adventure. Earlier this week, People confirmed that the actress is expecting her first child with husband Charles Guard.

The Aeronauts hits theaters today and will be available on Amazon Prime Video starting December 20.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Music News Group
Posted: 12/06/2019

'Spies' in real lives: Will Smith says he and his 'Spies in Disguise' co-star Tom Holland dominated an escape room

20th Century Fox/Eric Charbonneau(LOS ANGELES) -- Maybe it's not surprising considering one of them is Spider-Man, and the other's been an action hero since the Spidey star's been in Underoos, but Tom Holland and Will Smith reportedly crushed an escape room.

The pair can be heard as unlikely partners in the upcoming animated movie Spies in Disguise, but they never met until recently, when they decided to bond in one of those interactive environments.

"We were wanting to figure out if we really could do the stuff that we did as spies," Smith explained to Entertainment Weekly at the premiere of the film. "We got out. It was a 1-hour escape room, and we were out in 24 minutes."

"I think Will got the majority of the clues," Holland confessed to EW. "I've never actually escaped an escape room so the secret of escaping an escape room is do it with Will Smith because he’s really good at it."

In Spies in Disguise, Smith plays a 007-like character who accidentally gets turned into a pigeon while looking for a disguise from his gadget man, voiced by Holland.  

For Holland, who in real life is an accomplished acrobat who does most of his Spider-Man flips and falls, voicing an animated character presented him with a challenge.

"[Y]ou can't move from the mark that you're on," he explains. "So Walter will be falling off a building after he’s tried to do some parkour, and I'll be doing all the moves but just not moving. ...[I]t is one of the most tiring things I've ever done. But it's so rewarding and I'm so proud of the movie."

Spies in Disguise, also featuring the voices of Rashida Jones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Rachel Brosnahan, and Avengers and Jumanji veteran Karen Gillan, opens December 25.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/06/2019

Paula Abdul, Green Day to perform on 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020'

ABC/Jeff Niera(NEW YORK) -- Paula Abdul and Green Day are among the artists who'll be ringing in the New Year on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020.

Both acts are performing on the West Coast portion of the annual December 31 special, which will be hosted from Hollywood by pop and R&B star Ciara.

The West Coast celebration also will feature performances from pop singer Dua Lipa, country artists Dan + Shay and Kelsea Ballerini, indie-pop group SHAED and rappers Salt-N-Pepa and Megan Thee Stallion, among others. The fun gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Ryan Seacrest will host additional performances from New York City's Times Square with co-host Lucy Hale, and lead the traditional countdown to the New Year, while Billy Porter will host from New Orleans, and lead the countdown in the Central Time Zone.

Performers for New York and New Orleans will be announced soon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/06/2019

"Anything is possible!" A very pregnant Ashley Graham talks about her "almost" solo Vogue cover

Annie Leibovitz/ Vogue(NEW YORK) -- Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model and body positivity advocate Ashley Graham is celebrating the new year by appearing on the latest cover of Vogue, cradling her very prominent baby bump in a shimmering copper Oscar de la Renta caftan.

Her January issue cover, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, is the second powerful female to be featured as part of the magazine's "Vogue Values" issue: Fashion designer Stella McCartney was the first cover revealed, and Little Women director Greta Gerwig will also be featured.

Graham first appeared on American Vogue in 2017, sharing the splash with Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and other top fashion models.

For her part, Graham tells ABC Audio she's stoked she's got the cover to herself...sort of. "It's almost my first solo Vogue cover," she said, laughing heartily -- considering her unborn son with Justin Ervin is also sharing the spotlight.

The honor reminds her, "...anything is possible for those who work hard and ask to get to where they are."

Graham explains that even as someone who knocked down doors for body acceptance, being pregnant meant an attitude shift. "Oh, my gosh, it's so ridiculous. I know, my kid isn't even here yet and I'm already thinking about like, 'What's my body supposed to look like?'" 

She adds, "I've been so thankful for the [mommy] community online because...this has not been an easy process for me, watching my body change. And the...mommy community has embraced me so much and I'm so thankful for them, because the tears that I have cried watching new stretch marks form, back fat form....But every mommy has said, 'It's OK, everything's gonna be fine.'" 

As for the photos, Ashley admits she's lucky: "I know, my first baby pictures, Annie Liebowitz shot me!"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/06/2019

'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' takes her comedy dreams on the road for season three

Amazon Prime(NEW YORK) -- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is taking the show on the road for its third season, as Miriam “Midge” Maisel embarks on her very first comedy tour.

The former housewife, played by Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan, is continuing to make her stand-up comedy splash -- and is inspiring those around her in the process.

This season, set in the ‘60s, we’ll see Midge's conservative Jewish mother, Rose, played by Marin Hinkle, assert her independence and begin to stand up for herself.

“I feel like we all as audience can go, ‘Look at Rose, following her daughter!’” Hinkle tells ABC Audio. “And then of course, Rose herself would never be able to admit it…I think it's very hard for her at times to admit that she even has vulnerability or that she even learns from others.”

Seeing Midge follow her dreams is even pushing her ex-husband Joel -- played by Michael Zegen -- to be better. This season, he decides to open his own comedy club.

“He has to find a purpose, he has to find a path and clearly comedy wasn't it,” Zegen says. “And then he was working at a plastics company. That wasn't it. He worked for his father. That's not it either. But now with this club, I think he has a purpose and he has this path that will hopefully make him happy.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel -- also starring Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub -- is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/06/2019

Felicity Jones expecting her first child

Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Felicity Jones is taking on a new role: Mom.

The Aeronauts star is expecting a child with her husband, British film director Charles Guard, a rep for the actress tells People magazine.

The news comes a day after the Rogue One veteran showed an ever-so-slight baby bump on the red carpet for The Aeronauts in New York City on Wednesday night.

It'll be the first child Jones, 36, and Guard, 43, who tied the knot in 2018 after three years of dating.

The Aeronauts opens in limited release on Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/06/2019

Jennifer Garner reveals how she accidentally bought an "aggressive" Christmas tree

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- While the Rockefeller tree lit up the New York City skyline on Wednesday, another large Christmas tree headed to a blissfully unaware Jennifer Garner on the other side of the country.

Garner, who revealed Thursday on Instagram, found out that she made a mistake when she allowed her kids get a bigger Christmas tree this year.  It caused quite the shock when the prodigious pine arrived.

"So I told my kids we can go bigger because we're in a rental house and it has a really big foyer," explains Garner in the close up video as she stands next to her tree, as to not give away the surprise.  She then holds back a laugh and continues, "But then it was delivered and I'm not sure this was the tree we picked out."

The camera then slowly pans away to show off the colossal tree that dwarfs the 5'8" actress, which could easily be twice her size.

Garner nervously grins up at the new festive addition to the house and marvels, "It's a little aggressive" before the video abruptly ends.

In the caption, the 13 Going on 30 actress writes "Go big or go home," and throws in the telling hashtag "#aggressivechristmas."

Obviously, Garner's celebrity friends found her misfortune a complete riot.  Best friend Reese Witherspoon simply wrote "Whoa!!" while Katie Couric joked "OH EM GEE that tree has some serious BTE (big tree energy.)"

As to how the Garner family will decorate their personal Rockefeller-sized tree, or if they even have enough tinsel and ornaments to do it justice, has yet to be seen.

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Music News Group
Posted: 12/06/2019

Lifetime gives a first look at Niecy Nash in 'The Kamiyah Mobley Story'

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) -- Lifetime has released the first trailer for the upcoming film, Robin Roberts Presents: Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story.

The film, produced by Roberts' movie and documentary production company, is based on the true story of a young woman who learns at age 18 that she was abducted as a baby and that the family she lives with is not her own.

Nash plays Gloria Williams, the woman who abducts Mosley at a South Carolina hospital shortly after her birth.

Stolen by My Mother premieres on January 18 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

"I got something I need to tell you," says Nash as Williams in the promo. "A long time ago I took you."

The new film is a part of Lifetime's Ripped from the Headlines slate, which are all based on real-life crime stories. It also stars Rayven Symone Ferrell and Ta’Rhonda Jones, and will be followed by a documentary featuring the real-life people depicted in the movie.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/06/2019

'Playmobil: The Movie' among this week's new releases

STXfilms(NEW YORK) -- Opening nationwide on Friday:

Playmobil: The Movie -- This animation/live-action film, based on the German toy line stars Gabriel Bateman as Charlie, who gets lost in the animated Playmobil universe.  His sister Marla, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, then has to go on a quest to find him and bring him home.  Along the way, she gets help from a food truck driver, a secret agent and a fairy godmother -- voiced respectively by Jim Gaffigan, Daniel Radcliffe and Meghan Trainor.  Adam Lambert provides the voice of the villainous Emperor Maximus.  Rated PG.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

The Aeronauts -- This thriller, inspired by true events, follows fictional daredevil pilot Amelia Wren and meteorologist James Glaisher, played by Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, respectively, who find themselves in an epic fight for survival while attempting to make discoveries in a gas balloon.  Rated PG-13

The Wolf Hour – Set during 1977’s “Son of Sam” murders, a once well-known counter-culture figure, played by Naomi Watts, tries to escape the chaos by shutting herself in her grandmother’s New York City apartment.  As fear and paranoia take hold, a parade of visitors arrive at her door, and she must figure out whom she can trust and whether she can find a path back to her former self.  Rated R.

Dark Light – Following her mother’s death and a painful divorce, a woman and her daughter, played by Jessica Madsen and Opal Littleton, return to her family home and discover it’s inhabited by monsters.  Not rated.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Music News Group
Posted: 12/06/2019

"What the hell is 'gender fluid'?" Billy Dee Williams says he was "misunderstood" in 'Esquire' interview

Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE CONTENT) For the record, Billy Dee Williams is not "gender fluid." He identifies as a man. A very cute man, he specifies to The Undefeated

Let's rewind.

Whether it be wooing Diana Ross in Mahogany, trying to sweet talk Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back or implying the skirt-dropping properties of Colt .45 malt liquor on TV, Billy Dee has always been seen as the quintessential ladies' man.

Which is probably why a recent interview with Esquire in which he seemed to imply he was gender fluid went immediately viral. "...And you see I say 'himself' and 'herself,' because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine," he said.

However, in an interview with The Undefeated, Williams claims to have been misunderstood.

"What the hell is 'gender fluid'?" Williams recalled asking. "What I was talking about was about men getting...in touch with [their] female side...I wasn't talking about sex, I wasn't talking about being gay or straight."

Billy Dee adds, "I'm not gay -- by any stretch of the imagination. Not that I have anything against gay people."

For the record, gender fluidity isn't the same thing as sexuality.

Williams' unintentional "revelation" to Esquire ironically intermingled with Solo: A Star Wars Story screenwriter Jon Kasdan's opinion that Williams' Star Wars character Lando Calrissian was pansexual.

That, too, made headlines, though apart from having a special bond with his droid co-pilot, there was no overt proof of that in Donald Glover's portrayal of the young Lando in the film.

Glover, however, later joked, "How can you not be pansexual in space? There's so many things to have sex with."

Williams will be seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when it debuts December 20 from Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/05/2019

"I will bring honor to us all!" Watch the first full-length trailer for live-action Mulan

© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- After first releasing a teaser-trailer in July, Disney has now released the first full trailer for the live-action Mulan film, which is set to premiere March 27, 2020.

The movie, which stars Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei, is about a young woman who disguises herself as a man so that she can take the place of her elderly father when he's drafted to join the Chinese military.

The original animated movie, with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Ming-Na Wen voicing Mulan, premiered in 1998 and grossed $304 million worldwide.

Disney released a first look at Mulan, the latest live-action "reimagining" of one of its animated classics, last year, when it revealed Liu had been cast following a year-long search.

Other cast members include Jet Li, Gong Li and Donnie Yen.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Stephen Iervolino
Posted: 12/05/2019

US added 266K jobs in November, unemployment remains at 50-year low

wingedwolf/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. economy added a solid 266,000 jobs in November, exceeding economists' exceptions, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.

Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents to $28.29 and unemployment remained at a 50-year low of 3.5%.

Employers added the most jobs in the health care and professional and technical services industries, the data showed.

November also saw a rise in manufacturing jobs, though this was likely due to unionized autoworkers returning to work after the strike at General Motors.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

Uber reveals nearly 6,000 incidents of sexual assaults in new safety report

Uber(NEW YORK) -- Uber says it received nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assault from both riders and drivers across the United States in 2017 and 2018.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company voluntarily released the information, among other data, in its first-ever safety report on Thursday.

In 2017, Uber recorded 2,936 reports of sexual assault during a total of one billion trips throughout the United States. There were 3,045 reported sexual assaults the following year during 1.3 billion total trips.

Overall, riders accounted for 45% of the accused parties. The report noted that some assaults occurred between riders.

Among the sexual assault incidents, the company counted 464 reports of rape in 2017 and 2018. About 92% of the victims were riders and roughly 7% were drivers. Women and female-identifying individuals comprised 89% of the victims, while men and male-identifying individuals made up about 8%.

Uber said it saw a decrease of approximately 16% in the average incident rate of sexual assaults reported from 2017 to 2018. However, as its report noted, sexual assaults are often not reported, so the actual numbers could be much higher.

"I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said of the new report via Twitter. "Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right."

During 2017 and 2018, 19 people died in physical assaults that occurred in Uber-related incidents. There were also 107 motor vehicle fatalities from Uber-related crashes in the same time frame.

"Most companies don’t talk about these hard issues, and they don’t share data about serious safety incidents. We believe it’s time for a new approach," Uber said in a statement announcing the report. "Keeping this information in the dark doesn’t make anyone safer."

The 84-page report comes as Uber faces scrutiny regarding safety concerns. Last week, London's transit authority refused to renew the company's license to operate in the British capital, citing "a pattern of failures by the company" that "placed passengers and their safety at risk." Uber said it plans to appeal the decision.

Over the past year, Uber has partnered with sexual assault prevention networks and other safety groups. Uber has also added new safety features, including more rigorous background checks, an in-app emergency button, and technology that allows the company to check in with customers if it detects a potential crash or an unexpected long stop during a trip.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

Hybrid-powered cruise ship could be key to lessening emissions from ocean travel

Hurtigruten AS(NEW YORK) -- Cruise ships conjure up images of fun in the sun, beautiful vistas and crystal-blue waters.

But along with cargo and other large ships, they are also increasingly being scrutinized as polluters -- both in terms of sewage and greenhouse gas emissions.

With the number of passengers exploding -- nearly doubling from just a decade ago to around 30 million this year, according to industry estimates -- and the number of ships around 300, some are looking to a more environmentally friendly solution.

Norway-based transport company Hurtigruten AS, which offers expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, has constructed the first hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the marine transport industry.

The technology on the ship, named the MS Roald Amundsen after the famous Norwegian explorer who sailed the polar regions, will allow it to reduce emissions by 20%, Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten AS, claimed.

"Picture a Prius but at the scale of a 530-passenger cruise ship," Skjeldam said while aboard the vessel's 18-day maiden voyage that sailed from Valparaiso, Chile and through the Chilean fjords and Antarctica.

According to the company, the ship's two large battery packs allow the vessel's engines to operate optimally, reducing emissions "substantially," and also run solely on battery power "for limited periods of time."

Efforts like this are "critically important" to the environment, Jaimie Levin, director of West Coast operations for the non-profit Center for Transportation and the Environment, told ABC News.

"Some of the worst emissions come from large ships and cargo movement," Levin said.

The maritime industry accounts for a fraction of all climate change emissions in the world -- about 3-4%, according to Jason Hanlin, CTE's director of technology development, told ABC News.

But the impacts from each vessel can be large. The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, an environmental association, claimed in 2017 that the emissions from a medium-sized cruise ship, which burned 150 tons of fuel a day, was equal to that of one million cars. The United Nations estimates that a single large shipping vessel produces as much sulfur as 50 million cars.

In Alaska, which is a stop for many cruise ships, concerns about emissions increased markedly in 2017 and 2018, according to the state's government and an air quality monitoring program is in place in the capital of Juneau.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents more than 95% of the industry, says 68% of its ships have exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), which reduce sulfur and carbon emissions, and 75% of new ships not relying on liquefied natural gas (LNG) will have EGCS installed. The association says 26 of its ships run on LNG and 44% of new ships plan to rely on LNG for propulsion.

On its website, CLIA says the cruise industry is "at the forefront in developing responsible environmental practices and innovative technologies that lead in environmental stewardship" including EGCS and LNG fuel. "Energy efficient design standards will reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2025," the group says.

The construction of the MS Roald Amundsen falls in line with the Center's goals, which include making marine vessels "much cleaner" with fuel cells and batteries, Levin said.

The company says it was inspired to make their ships more environment-friendly after spending more than 125 years sailing Polar waters and witnessing first-hand the rapid melting of glaciers, the reduction of wildlife and the amount of plastic polluting the ocean.

"Our staff have seen with their own eyes that nature has changed," Skjeldam said.

Hurtigruten AS plans to confront the travel industry as a whole and "completely" refurbish its entire fleet to be hybrid-powered or run on LNG or bio-oil, Skjeldam said. The MS Fridtjof Nansen, a sister ship to the MS Roald Amundsen, which will also be hybrid powered, is expected to be delivered from the shipyard by the end of the year, and the company aims to eventually install as many battery packs on its ships that will allow them to sail for longer periods without releasing any emissions at all.

The company has also become the first cruise line to ban single-use plastics in all its ships and hotels, Skjeldam said.

While the company has noble environmental goals, the MS Roald Amundsen, which counts Alaska and the Antarctic among its destinations, features all the on-board amenities and luxuries travelers would expect from a modern cruise ship, including large state rooms, pool, gym, sauna, spa, lounge and bar and three restaurants.

"This is a very, very comfortable ship," Skjeldam said. "Our guests will be outside a lot of the day to experience nature and animal life. It's very, very nice to come back to a comfortable ship and relax between the experiences."

In addition, the vessel features a science center on board, where passengers can learn about the challenges the environment is currently facing and how they can make a positive impact, and takes tourists on unique expeditions that include sampling surrounding waters to see how much plankton or microplastics are in it.

The guests have responded enthusiastically to the adding the science-based ventures into their vacation time, Skjeldam said.

"If you can also change people's minds, when they go back home, they do major change," he said. "People feel good. It's a great way to vacation, and they're active, and they learn."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

What will driving be like in 2030? Experts offer a few clues

baona/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Your car, unfortunately, will not fly a la The Jetsons in the next decade.

It will, however, likely be a crossover SUV that still requires a human driver. That Uber or Lyft ride? Expect an autonomous vehicle to pick you up in certain cities. Keys, like manual transmissions, will fade into oblivion. Gasoline refineries will still be in business but charging stations for electric vehicles will become more prevalent, experts say.

The next 10 years for the automobile could look very similar to the decade we're about to close out -- or radically different, depending on tech innovations, government regulations and new players in the highly competitive industry.

Here's what some longtime experts are predicting for drivers and automakers alike:

Mobility

Cellphones are expected to supplant the key fob and be able to remotely start a vehicle, lock it and locate its parked location, similar to what can be found now in Lincolns and Hyundais. This technology will go from niche to ubiquitous, according to Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Cox Automotive.

"The industry is on the cusp of incredibly exciting things," he said. "Drivers will have the ability to connect to the car even when they're not near it. The car will be a rolling piece of information."

Electrification

Electric vehicles will still face challenges in the market but they’ll become more common on the road than they are now.

"They won't be the majority of vehicles sold in the U.S. in 10 years," said Brauer. "Electric vehicles do not make sense in a lot of areas. But we will see viable options for driving a longer distance in these cars."

Brandon Mason, director and U.S. mobility leader at PwC, expects mass adoption of electric vehicles will take place before driverless cars go mainstream. Pure EVs account for 1% of the U.S. market now. That number could rise to 10% in the next decade, he said.

"Automakers are making big bets on EVs," he explained. "There's a significant amount of capital in EVs now. But we won't see an inflection point until the middle of the next decade. Battery packs are still cost-prohibitive."

China and Europe will continue to lead the way in electrification from a regulatory standpoint, according to Mark Wakefield, automotive analyst and managing director at Alix Partners.

Like Mason, Wakefield forecasts EVs to account for 10% of the U.S. auto market by 2030.

"No one is doubting this is the future, but the question is how long" before EVs are widespread, he said.

Hybrids will no longer be "special" but rather the status quo in the coming decade, said Eric Tingwall, print director at Car and Driver magazine.

"Some form of electric propulsion will be in all new vehicles sold," he noted, adding that EVs could make up an even bigger portion of the market -- 20% -- by the end of 2030.

Autonomous vehicles

Self-driving cars could replace taxis and ride-sharing vehicles in urban cities, Brauer said.

Like electric vehicles, high costs are another hurdle for automakers to overcome with autonomous vehicles, Mason pointed out. Vehicles with level four and five autonomy will arrive by 2030 at the earliest, he said.

"There's several hundred thousand dollars of technology in each of these vehicles," he said. "I don't see private ownership of self-driving cars happening for the foreseeable future."

Steering wheels and pedals are not going away in the next decade and young people will still be required to pass driving tests, according to Tingwall. But autonomous systems will be more "capable and confident," he said.

"Change is happening very quickly in the auto industry," he said. The timelines for a lot of this technology, however, are "ambitious," he added.

Newer systems will allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road -- but only in certain conditions, like highway driving, he said.

"There will be some type of advanced cruise control," he said. "You can watch YouTube videos and check social media."

Wakefield said he cannot wait for the day when cars will be able to drive themselves to dealers for maintenance or be summoned by owners in a parking lot.

"A car in 2030 will be able to do so many more things for you," he said. "2020 cars will look like relics."

A shrinking industry?

Brauer anticipates smaller, independent marques will be acquired by industry giants. China will likely continue its buying streak, adding to its portfolio of brands.

"Could China own General Motors in 10 years? It's not out of the question," he said.

Consolidation in the automotive market could accelerate, Mason agreed. But the impact on drivers may be modest.

"If the number of nameplates is reduced, it's not necessarily a bad thing for consumers," he said. "There will still be plenty of options for consumers."

He added, "I see a lot of disruption in the industry over the next decade."

Sales slowdown

Tingwall expects new car sales to dip as transaction prices rise.

"Anybody looking for an affordable vehicle will be in a crossover," he said. "We'll see a middle class that doesn't have the purchasing power to buy a new car. The market will shrink for new vehicles."

Subscription services will also gain in popularity as fewer new cars are purchased.

"They'll be like a lease, but for a shorter term," he explained.

Automakers, in an effort to cut costs, will team up to share vehicle platforms and powertrains, partnerships that exist currently between Ford and Volkswagen and Ford and Rivian, Tingwall said. Third parties in Asia will build these platforms, homogenizing the parts under the car's hood. But not all automakers may survive the next decade.

"If there is an economic downturn, the industry will be squeezed," he said. "We will certainly lose a few niche, high-end automakers."

Wakefield forecasts auto sales to stay strong in the coming years, but a downturn in the market "will come."

The market "is cyclical," he explained, noting that sales could drop to 15 million annual units from the recent trend of 17 million units.

"We won't stay at 15 million for years. It will recover," he said.

Crossovers will be the vehicle du jour for drivers in the next decade, further cementing the demise of the sedan.

"CUVs will be dominant and what everyone will be driving," Wakefield said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

Signs show separate bathrooms for Uber employees and drivers at Rhode Island hub

jetcityimage/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A viral tweet reveals an Uber business place in Rhode Island had separate bathrooms for employees and drivers, at a time when tensions between the two groups at the ride-share company are already running high.

"I’ve just always wondered why Uber viewed us as two separate classes," Erika Betts, who snapped the photo and shared it on Twitter, told ABC News Thursday.

"These signs are commercially made, somebody made them, somebody ordered them, somebody paid for them," she added.

Betts, 28, said she has been an Uber driver for over two years and was at the Uber Greenlight Hub office in Providence seeking help after finding out via a notification that her account had been deactivated after she says a passenger complained about a surge fare.

"I was waiting to be seen by a representative and I was just noticing the bathroom signs on the door," she said. "It’s always made me a little uncomfortable, I'm not sure what prompted me to tweet about it now."

Even if drivers wanted to use the employee restroom, Betts says it was always locked and "you need a key to get in there."

Uber responded to ABC News' request for comment by pointing to a response to Bett's tweet from Andrew Macdonald, a senior vice president at the company, who said he "looked into this."

"This is not our policy and it's absolutely unacceptable," Macdonald wrote. "The signs are coming down today."

Macdonald added in a follow-up tweet that the "bathroom was also being used for employee storage, but that's not an excuse. I don't believe this is the case anywhere else (and it's certainly not our design policy) but we're doing a full review now."

An Uber spokesperson told ABC News Thursday that the Providence Greenlight Hub was the only location with this signage and that the signs have been taken down.

The signs still sparked outrage on social media, and even caught the eye of a lawmaker.

New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted a link to a news story of the separate bathrooms at the Providence office.

"Siri, show me what classicism looks like," she wrote.

In September, California passed a bill that would extend new protections to employees of so-called "gig economy" companies including Lyft and Uber, essentially forcing companies to recognize formerly contract workers as employees.

Uber said at the time that the California bill, which is set to go into effect in January, "does not automatically reclassify any rideshare drivers from independent contractors to employees" and that it will "respond to claims of misclassification in arbitration and in court as necessary."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Louis Milman
Posted: 12/05/2019

Tufts University removes Sackler name from buildings, citing 'toll of the opioid epidemic'

DenisTangneyJr/iStock(BOSTON) -- Tufts University announced plans to sever ties with the Sacklers on Thursday, saying it would remove the billionaire family's name from buildings and medical programs due to concerns over their reported role in the opioid crisis.

University officials said the school would end its decades-long relationship with the family that owns OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma, citing concerns from students and staff about "the negative impact the Sackler name has on them each day."

"Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others have shared with us the negative impact the Sackler name has on them each day, noting the human toll of the opioid epidemic in which members of the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, are associated," school officials said Thursday. "We are grateful to those who have shared their thoughts with us. It is clear that the Sackler name, with its link to the current health crisis, runs counter to the school's mission."

Daniel Connolly, an attorney for members of the Sackler family, said they're seeking to have the "improper decision reversed."

"Tufts acknowledges their extraordinary decision about removal of the family name from campus is not based on the findings of their report, but rather is based on unproven allegations about the Sackler family and Purdue," Connolly said in a statement Thursday. "We will be seeking to have this improper decision reversed and are currently reviewing all options available to us."

Purdue is currently facing more than 1,000 lawsuits for alleged deceptive marketing and contributing to the current U.S. opioid crisis. Individual members of the Sackler family who were involved in the businesses are being sued in a small fraction of these cases.

The Massachusetts university, which has held a relationship with the family since the 1980s, announced its decision in a letter co-signed by the board of trustees’ chairman, Peter Dolan, and university President Anthony Monaco.

The school acknowledged the family's many contributions, noting that the Sacklers would be "part of this institution forever" and that the university wasn't "seeking to erase this chapter of Tufts' history."

"It is part of this institution forever, and we are committed to appropriately recognizing and contextualizing the involvement of family members over the years," the letter said. "In taking these actions, we will more fully enable our university and medical school to move forward in support of their missions and to help the countless individuals and families who have suffered as a result of the opioid crisis."

The school also announced a $3 million endowment to support to support education, research and programs aimed at addiction treatment prevention.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Louis Milman
Posted: 12/05/2019

Huawei calls FCC's order 'unlawful,' takes new legal action

Dafinchi/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Chinese tech giant Huawei is not backing down from an ongoing battle with U.S. regulators by taking new legal action on Thursday against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over an order it calls "unlawful."

Huawei filed a court petition to overturn an FCC order from November that bans wireless carriers in rural America from purchasing Huawei equipment through a government subsidy fund known as the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The FCC has previously argued the order was imposed because Huawei poses a potential national security threat.

Huawei fought back, saying in a new statement that the FCC's order is "unlawful on the grounds that it fails to offer Huawei required due process protections in labelling Huawei as a national security threat."

"Banning a company like Huawei, just because we started in China -- this does not solve cyber security challenges,” Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal officer said at a news conference.

"Huawei also submitted 21 rounds of detailed comments, explaining how the order will harm people and businesses in remote areas," he added. "The FCC ignored them all."

Liuping accused the FCC of shutting down "joint efforts to connect rural communities in the U.S."

Glen Nager, an attorney for Huawei, added that the FCC has "has no national security expertise," and it is not in their authority to label Huawei as a threat.

"The designation is simply shameful prejudgment of the worst kind,” said Nager at the news conference.

The FCC did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Thursday.

Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, wrote in an October blog post announcing the order to block USF funds from being used to purchase Huawei equipment that "we simply can't take a risk" when it comes to national security.

"I’m circulating an order that would prohibit the use of Universal Service Fund dollars to purchase equipment or services from any company -- like Huawei -- that poses a national security threat," Pai said. "Going forward, we simply can’t take a risk when it comes to our networks and hope for the best."

In November, after the order was adopted, Pai said the agency took these actions based on "longstanding concerns from the executive and legislative branches about the national security threats posed by certain foreign communications equipment manufacturers," he said in a statement.

Pai added that Huawei has "close ties to China’s Communist government and military apparatus" and is "subject to Chinese laws broadly obligating them to cooperate with any request from the country’s intelligence services and to keep those requests secret."

"Moreover, we know that hidden 'backdoors' to our networks in routers, switches, and other network equipment can allow a hostile adversary to inject viruses and other malware, steal Americans’ private data, spy on U.S. companies, and more," Pai wrote.   

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Two Russian nationals indicted in alleged massive hacking, bank fraud scheme

sestovic/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Two Russian nationals have been indicted on bank fraud and international computer hacking charges over an alleged decade-long scheme that “deployed two of the most dangerous financial malware ever used and resulted in tens of millions of dollars of losses to victims worldwide," according to the Department of Justice.

Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev, described by prosecutors as leaders of “one of the most sophisticated transnational cybercrime syndicates in the world,” are accused in the 10-count indictment of deploying a malware system designed to steal personal and financial information, including online bank information, from infected computers.

The FBI on Thursday issued a wanted bulletin for both individuals, and the State Department announced a $5 million award for the arrest of Yakubets specifically.

"These two cases demonstrate our commitment to unmasking the perpetrators behind the world's most egregious cyberattacks," Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said.

According to an indictment unsealed Thursday, the malware deployed by Yakubets and Turashev infected tens of thousands of computers across North America and Europe, including two banks, a school district, four Pennsylvania companies and a firearm manufacturer.

The indictment said the malware was delivered to victims via "phishing emails," which Yakubets and Turashev would draft to appear as if they were coming from legitimate companies and organizations. Once victims would click on a link in the phishing emails, it would infect the computer and allow hackers to "hijack" a computer session and pull up a prompt requesting the user's bank account information.

Once the hackers were in possession of the bank credentials, they would use "money mules" to funnel the funds into foreign bank accounts. In one case, an employee of a Pennsylvania school district clicked on a graphic in a phishing email sent by Yakubets and Turashev, and the two later attempted to transfer nearly $1 million from the district's bank account to a bank in Ukraine.

The DOJ has connected Yakubets and Turashev to cyberattacks as recently as March of this year, according to the indictment. As a part of its investigation, the U.S. in 2010 transmitted a mutual legal assistance treaty request to Russia, and according to Bowdich, the Russian government was "helpful to a point."

Since that exchange, however, there is believed to have been no further communication between the two countries regarding Yakubets and Turashev.

Speaking to reporters at the Justice Department, Bowdich said the case stresses the need for all Americans to practice "good cyber hygiene," such as regularly updating online passwords, implementing two-factor authentication on sensitive accounts, and heightened awareness and suspicion regarding links sent over email.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

US Postal Service creates new stamp to raise money for veterans with PTSD

US Postal Service (NEW YORK) -- A new stamp with a cause has sprouted up thanks to the U.S. Postal Service.

The USPS announced Monday that it has issued a semipostal stamp that will help raise funds for people who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The stamp features a photographic illustration of a green plant sprouting from the ground covered in fallen leaves, intended to symbolize the PTSD healing process.

Greg Breeding designed the bright green bud set on a black background with the words "Healing PTSD" and the original art was done by Mark Laita.

"The Postal Service is honored to issue this semipostal stamp as a powerful symbol of the healing process, growth and hope for tens of millions of Americans who experience PTSD," David C. Williams, vice chairman, Board of Governors of USPS, said in a statement.

Williams served as the dedicating official for the new stamp and said that with its issuance "the nation renews its commitment to raise funds to help treat soldiers, veterans, first responders, health care providers and other individuals dealing with this condition."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Oscar Munoz to step down as CEO of United Airlines

Meinzahn/iStock(CHICAGO) -- Oscar Munoz will step down from his role as CEO of United Airlines, the company announced Thursday.

Munoz will be leaving the position in May 2020 but will stay on with the company as executive chairman of the board of directors.

"With United in a stronger position than ever, now is the right time to begin the process of passing the baton to a new leader," Munoz said in a statement.

Scott Kirby, the current president, will take over as the new CEO in the spring, the company said.

"One of my goals as CEO was to put in place a successful leadership transition for United Airlines," Munoz said. "I brought Scott to United three years ago, and I am confident that there is no one in the world better equipped to lead United to even greater heights.

Munoz has been chief of United since September 2015, and led the company as it navigated through a series of high-profile incidents in recent years -- including the viral public relations nightmare in 2017 when video of a bloodied passenger, later identified as Dr. David Dao, being dragged down the aisle of a United jet emerged on social media.

In the wake of the scandal, Munoz appeared on television programs and faced lawmakers to assure the public that the incident will never happen again on his airlines.

Approximately a month after becoming CEO in 2015, Munoz also suffered a heart attack and later underwent a heart transplant.

In a statement Monday, Munoz called his work leading United "the honor of my career."

"It has been the honor of my career to lead the 95,000 dedicated professionals who serve United's customers every day," he said. "I look forward to continuing to work closely with Scott in the months ahead and supporting the company's ongoing success in my new role."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: CJC
Posted: 12/05/2019

After a decade of explosive growth, Silicon Valley grapples with 'unintended consequences' and 'responsibility'

monkeybusinessimages/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The technology that connects us has revolutionized the world over the past decade -- at times moving faster than we could keep up with, irrevocably changing how people interact and in many ways changing our lives for the better.

But as the decade comes to a close, some say the most significant development in tech was its unintended consequences -- including impinging on privacy and presenting new opportunities for criminals and those who wish to sow political chaos and discord and at times taking a toll on health and relationships.

Robert Scoble, a longtime tech evangelist at Microsoft who currently works as the chief strategy officer at the spatial computing agency Infinite Retina, said that those largely unanticipated consequences have manifested themselves in a variety of ways, like weaponizing a social media platform that had innocuous beginnings for political purposes.

"There are always unintended consequences of technology, I didn't see that the presidential campaigns or Russia would use Facebook, for instance, to advertise to people," Scoble said. "I didn't even think about that, and I don't think most people thought about that."

Another example of this experts cite was the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential elections, the since-dissolved data firm Cambridge Analytica allegedly improperly accessed the personal data of 87 million Facebook users through a third-party quiz app. A whistleblower said the company, which was working with the Trump campaign, used the information to build psychological profiles in an effort to target voters with political ads.

Heading into the election year, some experts are demanding more "social responsibility" from Silicon Valley as the world grapples with the real-life consequences of a new digital world.

The promise and pitfalls of the ‘internet of everything’


Scoble said that the "biggest change over the last decade is how technology has wormed its way into almost every part of our lives."

The past decade brought the promise of an “internet of everything" prognosticated in the 2000s, to full realization.

A 2010 whitepaper from Cisco, a technology conglomerate, called the internet of everything, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT) “the first real evolution of the Internet -- a leap that will lead to revolutionary applications that have the potential to dramatically improve the way people live, learn, work, and entertain themselves."

That year, China fully turned its attention to IoT as one of the nation’s key industries and four years later, tech titans including AT&T, IBM and Intel held a consortium to develop a set of standards.

Since then, everything from smartphones to TVs to more mundane items like barbecue grills and garden sprinklers have become available as internet-connected nodes.

And yet, with many of our devices “always on” – a certain mistrust of technology has emerged amid outrage over data tracking and concerns about eavesdropping on intimate conversations. The FBI just issued a warning about smart TVs saying not only is there the potential that "TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you" via an internet-connected TV, but these that TV also are ports of entry for hackers onto your home network.

The iPhone was still an infant at the start of the decade, and many gadgets such as Amazon's Alexa smart speaker that fill our homes now didn't even exist. Scoble recalls in 2009, he and friends "were just trying to figure out what our iPhones were good for."

Joel Santo Domingo, a longtime technology reporter who is currently the senior staff writer for The Wirecutter's technology guides, said the biggest change since 2009 is that we are "always reachable now" and no matter where you go, a majority of people are glued to their phones.

"For folks in Gen Z, who were raised on it, the internet being everywhere, it's a natural extension of their arm at this point," he said. "It will hurt them if you take it away from them."

New research, however, linked increased screen time among Gen Z-ers, or those born after 1995, with increased feelings of loneliness and depression.

The same researchers at San Diego State University said that teens spent an average of 8-10 hours a day on their devices and that in 2019 and that the percentage of teens with smartphones also exploded over the past decade. In 2019, 95 percent of teens have smartphones, compared to just 23 percent in 2011.

Santo Domingo reiterated that even tech experts at the time couldn't have imagined the force that Facebook has become.

"Ten years ago, we wouldn’t have predicted that a pet project that someone came up with in his Harvard dorm room so we could meet people face-to-face would turn into this behemoth that is in our thoughts 24/7," Santo Domingo told ABC News.

Call for ‘responsibility’


And as technology and social media have changed so radically to become both intrinsic to people's daily lives and incredibly powerful forces of information dissemination, Scoble says the "free for all" mindset Silicon Valley developed during the early part of the decade has to change.

"Ten years ago, nobody would have talked about social responsibility," Scoble said. "If there is anybody in Silicon Valley that doesn't think there is regulation coming for these things, I think that's not a rational thinking pattern."

"Silicon Valley companies built themselves as free-for-alls," he said. "Partly because they didn't want to pay the human to censor or edit content, and partly because they knew that would be very addictive ... Putting content through some sort of editorial process keeps the noise level down."

The argument "ten, fifteen years ago" was that "we don't want to police content," Scoble said. Now, "there is a deeper responsibility because of the sheer scale of these things."

As we enter a new decade, "Silicon Valley has a responsibility to clean up society," Scoble contends.

Some big tech companies have started to make changes after being faced with criticism, although some critics say it is still not enough, including lawmakers who excoriated Mark Zuckerberg at a recent hearing for Facebook’s political ad policy.

In October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new plan to crack down on election interference ahead of the 2020 presidential elections, promising: "Facebook has changed."

"We have a big responsibility to secure our platforms and stay ahead of these sophisticated new threats," Zuckerberg added, claiming that it is "one of my top priorities for the company."

Executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter also all pledged their commitment to combat the spread of hate and extremism after its online spread was linked real-life incidents of violence at a Senate committee hearing in September.

Most of the major tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter have also bolstered their security and content moderation teams in recent years and do more to collaborate with each other about threats than they did before.

Apple and other app makers also unveiled new tools to help you spend less time on your phone, or monitor the amount of screen time you spend in each app.

Resistance


As more people become aware of not only the benefits but also the threats of emerging technologies, Scoble said he has noticed "there's a lot of resistance to new technology now."

One example is the resistance many are putting up to facial recognition technology. In May, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to block the use of facial recognition tech by all police and city agencies.

Santo Domingo said that one of the issues when it comes to regulation is that technology has moved "way too fast for that."

At the same time, over the past decade, a new social contract of sorts has emerged that remains almost impossible to escape: if you participate in most of the online world, your activity and data will most likely be monitored and stored somewhere, by someone.

"It is a fact of life, it is a fact of our digital life now, that everything we do online now is monitored and someone will find a way to capitalize on it," Santo Domingo told ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: CJC
Posted: 12/05/2019

Restaurant serving only in-flight meals opens in Asia

FILE photo - DeSid/iStock(LONDON) — Have you ever had airline food that was so good that you wished you could get it all the time? Well, now you can.

AirAsia has opened a fast-food restaurant that will -- get this -- only serve airline meals.

The airline and its in-flight menu brand, Santan and T&CO, have partnered to launch what is thought to be the world’s first restaurant based on in-flight meals. The venue opened at the Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Monday.

“We have seen a significant appetite for our in-flight menu offerings beyond our flights across the region and this is our answer to that demand,” said Catherine Goh, general manager of Santan Restaurant and T&CO Cafe. “We are very proud to extend what started out as an in-flight menu into new markets.”

AirAsia is so confident that its unique establishment will be a massive hit that it already has plans for rapid expansion.

“By the end of 2020, we aim to have five owned Santan restaurants and 100 franchisee-operated restaurants and cafes within the next three to five years with expansions in global markets,” said Goh.

Not only will the food be quick and available on land, but it will be cheap. For just 12 Malayasian Ringgits – or $2.88 – you can get pineapple fish noodles from Cambodia, chicken inasal with garlic rice from the Philippines, as well as locally-inspired dishes like the nasi lemak quinoa wrap and onde-onde cake.

“What started as 'AirAsia Cafe,' simply serving sandwiches and snacks in the sky, Santan was born in 2015 with the vision to create a unique dining experience in the sky,” according to Santan’s website. “Today, many of our meals have become household names in Malaysia and beyond … In 2019, our wildest dreams are finally coming true and we're so happy to have a home right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.”

The restaurant also plans to enhance the dining experiencing by bringing the establishment into the digital age and offering customers “a personal digital journey.”

“The restaurant and cafe features a smart menu equipped with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, which is able to recommend popular dishes based on time, past ordering patterns as well as demographic taste,” said Goh.

The question remains whether or not people will end up choosing airline food on the ground over the other options available to consumers.

The CEO and co-founder of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, said in a recent interview that the ultimate goal is to open a location in New York's Times Square.

“When I was 5 years old, I had two dreams … a vision of having an airline and a fast food restaurant. I have an airline. Now finally a restaurant,” Fernandes said in a post on his LinkedIn page. “People laughed at us when we only had 2 planes. Hey whatever. It’s a worldwide first. First airline to open a quick service restaurant based on airline food.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: CJC
Posted: 12/05/2019

Caroline Wozniacki announces she's retiring from tennis

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- After nearly 15 years as a professional tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki is retiring from the sport.

"I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life," Wozniacki, 29, said Friday on ABC News' Good Morning America. "Australian Open 2020 is going to be my last tournament."

Wozniacki, currently ranked number 37 in the world, won her lone Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open, defeating top seed Simona Halep.

After turning pro in 2005, Wozniacki went on to win 30 Women’s Tennis Association singles titles and was the runner-up at the 2009 US Open and the 2010 WTA Tour Championships.

Wozniacki has also faced good friend Serena Williams numerous times, including at the 2014 US Open, where she lost to Williams in the final.

She and Williams also attended each other's weddings, with Williams serving as a bridesmaid in Wozniacki’s wedding earlier this year.

Wozniacki married former NBA star Daniel Lee in June in Italy.

In addition to being a newlywed, Wozniacki is also pursuing other interests off the tennis court, including studying at Harvard Business School.

She said she also hopes to continue to be an advocate for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Wozniacki revealed in 2018 that she had been diagnosed with RA, an autoimmune disease that causes swelling and pain in and around the joints, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

Top sports stories of the decade: From Simone Biles to Usain Bolt

haizon/iStock(NEW YORK) -- From Usain Bolt burning up the track to Odell Beckham Jr. defying physics to the U.S. women's soccer team in Paris, there were plenty of sports moments to remember as the decade draws to a close.

Here are some of the biggest sports stories from 2010 to 2019:

1. Usain Bolt, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics -- Bolt, a sprinter from Jamaica, changed the sport of sprinting throughout the decade. Never was his dominance more evident than in London when he walked into the Olympics as something of an underdog -- despite becoming a worldwide celebrity following the 2008 games. He had lost in his country's qualifiers to up-and-coming star Yohan Blake before heading to London. But big-time stars come up big in big-time situations. The fastest man on the planet came out of the gates slow -- not unusual -- before passing American Justin Gatlin and Blake and shattering the Olympic record. Bolt cruised -- literally, taking a chance to peek at his rival Blake before the line -- to gold in the 200-meter final and then earned a three-event sweep with a gold in the 4x100-meter relay. After the 100-meter final, he called himself the "greatest athlete to live." Four years later, it was pretty impossible to argue he wasn't at least in the discussion. Bolt completed another three-event sweep in 2016 at the Rio Olympics just two days before his 30th birthday. By 2017, he'd won every 100-meter race he'd entered for four years. And while he lost at the 2017 world championships, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics will go down in history forever.

2. Chicago Cubs win the World Series -- finally! -- After Bartman, black cats, billy goats and 108 years, the Chicago Cubs finally won a World Series title in 2016. Back in 1908 -- the last time they'd won a title -- Ford's Model T went on sale for a mere $825, pistol duels were in the London Olympics and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" (now performed at every Cubs game) was officially released. Suffice to say, a lot changed. General manager Theo Epstein was in his fifth year at the helm of the Cubs and had brought in manager Joe Maddon one year prior. The pair led the Cubs to a 103-win season, an NLCS title and a spot in the World Series. But they'd done that in 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945. Chicago faced the Cleveland Indians and fell behind 3-1 through the first four games. But Jon Lester and Aroldis Chapman -- acquired from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline -- stepped up in Game 5; Addison Russell drove in six runs in Game 6; and eventual MVP Ben Zobrist drove in the winning run in extra innings to give the Cubs a title in seven games.

3. Simone Biles owns the 2016 Rio Olympics -- Can you count to 25? Simone Biles dominated most of the decade of gymnastics -- hence the record 25 world championship medals attained by 2019 -- but finally got a chance to break out in prime time at the Rio Olympics. All she did was win four golds, including the individual and team all-around. Her performance on the floor, also a gold, introduced the world to her eponymous "Biles" -- a double layout salto with a half twist. The 4-foot-11 Biles has achieved something just as rare in gymnastics: sustained dominance. In a sport often-dominated by one-Olympic wonders, she's an overwhelming favorite entering the next decade at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

4. Malcolm Butler seals Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX win
-- The Seattle Seahawks trailed, 28-24, with 27 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX. It was second-and-goal from the 1-yard line. So, of course, they handed the ball off to running back Marshawn Lynch and capped a brilliant, game-winning drive. Right? Well, no, not if you're head coach Pete Carroll. Instead, Russell Wilson dropped back to pass and looked for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette on a slant. He found Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler instead. The pick sealed the Super Bowl win to cap the 2014-15 season and earned Patriots quarterback Tom Brady his fourth ring (but first of the decade). He'd go on to win two more.

5. Odell Beckham breaks physics -- The catch didn't mean much in the end, but on Nov. 23, 2014, we got one of the most lasting images of the decade in sports. The New York Giants drafted Odell Beckham Jr. in the first round in 2014, hoping to inject some life into an aging offense. On a Sunday night, in front of a massive TV audience, the rookie receiver scored his second touchdown of the game against the rival Dallas Cowboys in the most spectacular fashion imaginable. He somehow contorted his body backward, while being flagrantly held by Cowboys corner Brandon Carr, and extended his right arm behind his head to snag a 43-yard pass out of the sky by just the tips of his fingers. The Giants went on to lose the game (despite 146 receiving yards from OBJ), but some moments are bigger than wins and losses. Beckham's legacy in the league has yet to be fully written, but this catch will be replayed forever.

6. Villanova's Kris Jenkins hits a walk-off, title-clinching 3-pointer
-- Villanova's men's basketball team had been known for the better part of two decades as a scrappy, guard-driven team led by Jay Wright on the bench. They were also known as a team that underperformed when the NCAA tournament came around. All of that changed in the 2016 title game against North Carolina and its collection of McDonald's All-Americans. With 4.7 seconds left in a tied game, 74-74, the Wildcats inbounded the ball to Ryan Arcidiacono, who dribbled to midcourt and flipped it to teammate Kris Jenkins. Jenkins had 14 points in the game, but it was the last three that will be remembered for all time. He took the pass from Arcidiacono and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Tar Heels and win the team's first NCAA championship since 1985.

7. U.S. women's soccer wins the 2019 World Cup -- National pride and a fight for gender equality combined for a mic-drop performance as the U.S. women's soccer team ran through the competition at the women's World Cup in Paris in the summer of 2019. The team's eclectic mix -- including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz -- only made the U.S. like them more. The team opened with a 13-0 win over Thailand, but eventually had to run through European powerhouses Spain, France -- the home country -- and England to make the final. They wrapped it up with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands and a parade down the Canyon of Heroes in front of hundreds of thousands of fans -- many chanting "Equal pay! Equal pay!" -- in New York City.

8. Ray Allen saves the Heat's repeat titles -- LeBron James was the best player on the Miami Heat in 2012-13, and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh rounded out the Big 3. But it was the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history who saved the Heat's season and eventually earned the King his second straight title. It was Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. The San Antonio Spurs led the Heat three games to two. Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward in NBA history, posted 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the first half. The Spurs led by 10, 75-65, entering the fourth quarter. James took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 points, but the Heat still trailed by three with 19.4 seconds left. James, of course, took the shot to tie it up with under 10 seconds left -- but it ended up being Ray Allen who bailed out the Heat. Bosh grabbed the rebound off James' miss and handed it off to the veteran guard, who drilled the game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left. The shot forced overtime, led to a Heat win and -- after an easy Game 7 win -- an NBA title.

9. Steph, Klay and Kevin change NBA calculus -- It only takes until about kindergarten to learn that three is bigger than two. But it took the sure-shooting Golden State Warriors to make that math work in the NBA. Two lightly recruited college players -- Davidson's Stephen Curry and Washington State's Klay Thompson -- brought high-tempo, 3-point basketball to the Bay Area. Later joined by superstar Kevin Durant, the Warriors won three titles (2015, 2017, 2018), set a single-season record for wins in 2015-16 (73) and went to five straight NBA Finals. After a devastating, 3-games-to-1 choke against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, all they did was win 8-of-9 NBA Finals games the next two seasons. At just 31, Curry is already third all-time in NBA history in 3-pointers.

10. UConn women's basketball shoots 5-for-10 -- For pure dominance, it's hard to match the UConn women's basketball team, led by Hall of Famer Geno Auriemma, which won five championships in the decade (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). The streak includes four titles in a row for a team led by Breanna Stewart, who won every single year she was in college. She went 151-5 in her career and was the player of the year three times. The versatile, 6-foot-4 wing is now dominating the WNBA as a member of the Seattle Storm. She won the league MVP and a league title in 2018. UConn stars from this past decade dot the WNBA with Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Tiffany Hayes and Kia Nurse all leading their teams.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Michael Phelps continues racking up gold: For a guy who started his Olympics career in 2000, it's hard to believe he makes the list of the best of this decade three Olympic Games later. He didn't enter the 2012 Games expected to repeat his historic eight golds from Beijing, but he still added four golds and two silvers to his unmatched medal haul in London. He retired after those games, content to rest on his 22 Olympic medals and 18 golds. For, oh, two years. The greatest Olympian of all time returned to the 2016 Olympics and added five more gold medals and one silver when he was expected to take a much-earned victory lap simply.

Chicago Blackhawks win three Cups: In the NBA, NFL and NHL at least one franchise won three titles in the decade. In the NBA, it was the Golden State Warriors; in the NFL, it was the New England Patriots; and in the NHL, it was the Chicago Blackhawks. The most underrated coach in sports, Joel Quenneville, led Chicago to Stanley Cup titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith became household names leading a workman-like team, reflecting the city it calls home, to six-game series victories each time.

Ogunbowale drills back-to-back championship buckets: Just one game-winning shot in an NCAA tournament is rare enough. Arike Ogunbowale decided to do it twice -- in back-to-back games -- in the semifinal and final. The Notre Dame guard led her Fighting Irish to the school's second-ever championship in 2018 with a game-winning 3-pointer against Mississippi State with just 0.1 seconds on the clock. Two days earlier, she did the same against undefeated -- and allegedly unbeatable -- UConn by hitting a deep jumper in overtime with exactly 1 second on the clock.

Jeremy Lin phenomenon: Tabloid back pages in New York City screamed with one phrase in February 2012: Linsanity! The league, and in fact the most populous country in the world, were captivated by Harvard-product Jeremy Lin's out-of-nowhere emergence for the New York Knicks in the second half of the 2011-12 NBA season. Lin was a developmental league player and almost cut by the Knicks before injuries and dumb luck led to a star-making turn. It started on Feb. 4 with a 25-point, seven-assist performance in Brooklyn against the rival Nets. The legend of the point guard only grew from there. He scored 28 points in his next game -- his first career start -- as All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire missed the game. The Knicks continued winning and Lin continued his insanity. He scored 38 points against the Lakers on Feb. 10 and hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Toronto Raptors on Valentine's Day. Four days later, he had 28 points and 14 assists against the Dallas Mavericks. But cut off by the All-Star break, the firing of head coach Mike D'Antoni and a knee injury, his season ended early. He never reclaimed his magic, bouncing around the league for six more seasons.

Sid the Kid wins it on home ice: Three Winter Olympics ago, Vancouver kicked off the first huge worldwide sporting event of the decade. And of course, it being in Canada, the only gold medal that mattered for the host nation was ice hockey. So why not win it with a sudden death, overtime goal by the country's biggest star: Sidney Crosby? The final pitted the U.S. against Canada in an edge-of-your-seat matchup that saw the U.S. rally from down 2-0 to narrow the gap to 2-1 on a goal by Ryan Kesler entering the final period. Improbably, Zach Parise managed to squeeze a rebound goal past Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo with just 25 seconds left in regulation to force OT. But it was not to be for the Americans. Jerome Iginla fed Crosby for a goal seven minutes into the extra period and he was raising his arms in victory, bouncing off the boards, seconds later.

One out away for the Texas Rangers: Nelson Cruz will likely join the Baseball Hall of Fame once he retires (whenever that may be). But unfortunately for Texas Rangers fans, he'll always occupy a dark spot in their hearts for Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. With the team one out -- actually one strike -- away from a championship against the St. Louis Cardinals, the right fielder misplayed a David Freese line drive that allowed two runs to score. With it, a Game 6 win evaporated and the Rangers lost Game 7 by a score of 6-2 to give the franchise its 11th World Series title.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

Scoreboard roundup -- 12/5/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Thursday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Washington 119, Philadelphia 113
Denver 129, New York 92
Houston 119, Toronto 109
Phoenix 139, New Orleans 132 -- OT

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Chicago 4, Boston 3 -- OT
Carolina 3, San Jose 2 -- SO
NY Rangers 3, Columbus 2
Colorado 3, Montreal 2
NY Islanders 3, Vegas 2 -- OT
Arizona 3, Philadelphia 1
Minnesota 5, Tampa Bay 4
Dallas 3, Winnipeg 2 -- OT
Calgary 4, Buffalo 3

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Chicago 31, Dallas 24

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Auburn 81, Furman 78 -- OT

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

Oakland Raiders RB has been playing through fractured shoulder

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Oakland Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs has been playing through a fractured shoulder for the better part of two months, he revealed on Wednesday.

Jacobs is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards, with 1,061, posted on Snapchat that since Week Seven, "I just play on it."

He initially suffered the injury during a play in the team's October 20th game against the Green Bay Packers. He left that game and received a pain-killing injection before returning. Jacobs has not missed a game since, though ESPN reports his workload has been monitored and managed since.

"Josh is special," quarterback Derek Carr said Wednesday. "If Josh wasn't able to play, I would completely understand, with what he's dealing with. But the fact that he keeps suiting up and going out there and not only running, but running with the style that he runs with, I don't think enough can be said about that guy."

"He's tough, man, he's tough," Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Wednesday. "

Jacobs was the team's first-round draft pick -- 24th overall -- in April's NFL Draft.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Louis Milman
Posted: 12/05/2019

Tua Tagovailoa talks NFL Draft, recovery from hip injury

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) -- Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa says he would be likely to enter the NFL Draft if he gets assurances that he'd be chosen in the first half of the first round.

Tagovailoa was a Heisman Trophy contender and a potential first overall draft pick until he suffered a season-ending hip injury last month. That injury dropped him from second to thirteenth in ESPN's Todd McShay's latest draft rankings.

The NFL College Advisory Committee provides feedback to underclassmen interested in entering their names for the draft. They only provide three grades: potential first-round pick, second-round pick, or neither.

Tagovailoa could solicit feedback from other sources, however. And if he were told he'd be a top-15 pick, "that'd be tough to pass up," he said. "But there's a lot more to it than that in some aspects."

The junior says he has spoken to Alabama head coach Nick saban about his future. But, Tagovailoa adds, there is no timetable yet for his decision.

"It's something I still need to sit down and talk to my family about," he explained.

Tagovailoa says doctors have told him to expect 100 percent health as far as football activities go. But, he says, he won't be able to move the hip in certain directions -- specifically an inward motion that he says isn't key to running.

Alabama team orthopedic surgeon Lyle Cain told ESPN that he expects the quarterback to return to action within three months of surgery. Tagovailoa could be throwing a football again by Spring 2020.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Louis Milman
Posted: 12/05/2019

Scoreboard roundup -- 12/4/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Wednesday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Charlotte 106, Golden State 91
Milwaukee 127, Detroit 103
Orlando 128, Phoenix 114
Brooklyn 130, Atlanta 118
Boston 112, Miami 93
Chicago 106, Memphis 99
Indiana 107, Oklahoma City 100
Dallas 121, Minnesota 114
L.A. Lakers 121, Utah 96
Portland 127, Sacramento 116

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Colorado 3, Toronto 1
Pittsburgh 3, St. Louis 0
Ottawa 5, Edmonton 2
Washington 3, Los Angeles 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Maryland 72, Notre Dame 51
Purdue 69, Virginia 40
Ohio St. 74, North Carolina 49
Gonzaga 101, Texas Southern 62
Tennessee 72, Florida A&M 43
Washington 90, E. Washington 80
Villanova 80, Penn 69
Colorado 76, Loyola Marymount 64
Utah St. 71, San Jose St. 59

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

New Orleans Saints re-sign linebacker Manti Te'o

33ft/iStock(NEW ORLEANS) -- Manti Te'o is reportedly rejoining the New Orleans Saints.

A source confirms to ESPN that the team has re-signed the 28-year-old veteran linebacker.

The news comes after several Saints linebackers have suffered injuries this season. Middle linebacker Alex Anzalone injured his shoulder in Week 2, forcing him to be sidelined for the rest of the season, and, most recently, middle linebacker Kiko Alonso and strongside linebacker A.J. Klein both suffered injuries during last Thursday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Te'o began his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, and joined the Saints in 2017 when he signed a two-year deal with New Orleans. Last season, he was a healthy inactive, appearing in just five games, before his contract expired.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/04/2019

Scoreboard roundup -- 12/3/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Tuesday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Detroit 127, Cleveland 94
Orlando 127, Washington 120
Dallas 118, New Orleans 97
Miami 121, Toronto 110 -- OT
San Antonio 135 Houston 133 -- 2OT
L.A. Lakers 105, Denver 96
L.A. Clippers 117, Portland 97

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Boston 2, Carolina 0
Arizona 4, Columbus 2
Minnesota 4, Florida 2
Montreal 4, NY Islanders 2
Vegas 4, New Jersey 3
Philadelphia 6, Toronto 1
Tampa Bay 3, Nashville 2 -- OT
Winnipeg 5 Dallas 1
Vancouver 5, Ottawa 2
Washington 5, San Jose 2

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Louisville 58, Michigan 43
Indiana 80, Florida St. 64
Baylor 78, Md.-Eastern Shore 46
Dayton 99, Houston Baptist 68
Butler 67, Mississippi 58
Duke 87, Michigan St. 75
Memphis 71, Bradley 56

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/04/2019

Carolina Panthers fire head coach Ron Rivera

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera after nearly nine seasons with the team.

Rivera first joined the team in 2011, eventually leading them to 3 NFC South titles, 4 playoff appearances, and one Super Bowl appearance. The Panthers are currently third in the division with a 5-7 record, but are entering Week 14 on a 4-game losing streak.


In a statement, Panthers owner David Tepper said, "I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best."

Panthers’ owner David Tepper on the firing Ron Rivera: “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.”

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 3, 2019


Secondary coach Perry Fewell has been named Carolina's interim head coach, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will become a special assistant to the head coach, while quarterbacks coach Scott Turner will take over as offensive coordinator.


Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/03/2019

'We Deserve This': Megan Rapinoe named top women's soccer player of 2019

Marcus Millo/iStock(PARIS) -- U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe took home yet another award, winning the Women's Ballon d'Or as soccer's women player of the year.

Rapinoe, 34, was not present in Paris to accept the award Monday. She instead delivered a recorded message, calling the win "incredible" and saying, "I can't believe I'm the one winning in this field."

The World Cup-winning soccer star also took to Instagram to share a powerful message about being part of a team, one that goes beyond even her fellow players on the field.

"The TEAM shook the world, and continues to. Yes the 23 players on the field, yes the coaching staff, and extended staff for the team, but the TEAM I’m talking about goes far beyond those who are lucky enough to wear the crest," Rapinoe wrote. "The TEAM is our family, friends, girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands."

"The TEAM is the thousands of fans who cheered for a team that asked them to care more about just the game of soccer, more than just themselves, more than just people who looked like them, more than just winning," she wrote. "For that, I am forever grateful. I think this World Cup win, and all the subsequent wins, both personal and team, feel so special because for the first time in a long time, it feels like WE ALL WON."

"And while I am truly honored to win @francefootball Ballon D’Or, I’d like to accept this on behalf of us ALL. WE DESERVE THIS," Rapinoe concluded, adding a special thanks to her family, including her longtime girlfriend WNBA star Sue Bird.

Rapinoe co-captained the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) that won their second consecutive and fourth overall World Cup title this summer.

She was named Best FIFA Women's Player 2019 in September and earned the World Cup's Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer and the Golden Ball as the top player.

Rapinoe also stood out this past year for her role in high-profile issues that played out off the field.

She was a leader in the U.S. team's fight for equal pay from the U.S. Soccer Federation, telling "Good Morning America" in August, "We won't accept anything less than equal pay. We show up for a game, if we win the game if we lose the game if we tie the game, we want to be paid equally, period."

Rapinoe also took on President Donald Trump, saying she wouldn't visit the "[expletive] White House" if the U.S. won the World Cup. Her comments prompted Trump to write about her on Twitter, tweeting, "Megan should win first before she talks!"

Shortly after that tweet, Rapinoe and the U.S. women won the World Cup, and did not visit the White House.

Rapinoe, who went viral during the World Cup with a confidence-invoking pose, also scored a book deal this year to write about her life and her activism.

She used her acceptance speech at the Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 in Milan as a call to action to her fellow pro soccer players.

"We have a unique opportunity in football different to any other sport in the world to use this beautiful game to actually change the world for better," she said. "That’s my charge to everyone.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: CJC
Posted: 12/03/2019

Delilah opens up about son's 2017 suicide and her healing process

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Radio icon Delilah opens up about her life off-air and the inspiration behind her new book, "One Heart at a Time."

Delilah recently spoke out about embracing her faith following the death of her son two years ago.

The much-loved rad...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/06/2019

'Weaning parties' could be the next big thing in parenting

Ceneri/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Parents have all sorts of parties to celebrate, well, parenting.

When baby showers for any child beyond the first became taboo, then came the "sprinkle" -- a baby shower celebrating children born after the first child. T...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/06/2019

Babies born to mothers using WIC are 33% less likely to die in first year of life: Study

Adene Sanchez/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The children of low-income mothers who benefit from the federal government's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children are one-third less likely to die during their first year of life ...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Worldwide measles deaths surge, reversing years of progress

Hailshadow/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- More than 140,000 people around the world died of measles last year, most of them children under the age of 5, according to a report published by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Pr...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Seven die of flesh-eating bacteria linked to injecting black tar heroin

milanfoto/iStock()SAN DIEGO) -- Seven people in San Diego have died from a flesh-eating bacterial infection linked to black tar heroin use, according to local health officials.

Over the last two months, nine people were admitted to San Diego hospi...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Cellphone injuries have spiked dramatically, especially among young people

Chainarong Prasertthai/iStock(NEW YORK) -- As cellphones became an omnipresent part of life over the past two decades, head and neck injuries associated with the devices spiked dramatically, according to a new study.

Injuries were infrequent until ...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

More than 100 people sick from E.coli outbreak in romaine lettuce: Officials

whitemay/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- More than 100 people across the U.S. have been infected with E.coli linked to romaine lettuce, according to federal officials.

The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state he...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/05/2019

Woman makes powerful plea at House hearing on historic bill to regulate cosmetics, personal care products

iStock(WASHINGTON) -- For the first time in decades, the House of Representatives is shining a light on making cosmetics safer.

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled "Building Consu...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/04/2019

Trump administration unveils program to provide HIV prevention drugs for uninsured

iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration unveiled a new program to provide HIV prevention medication to people without prescription drug coverage as a part of the president's ambitious effort to eradicate the virus in America by 2030.

The gov...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/04/2019

What to know about a new study linking permanent hair dye, hair straighteners to breast cancer

MilosStankovic/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The use of hair dye and chemical hair straighteners may be associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.

The study, published Tuesday in the International Journal of Cancer, is making h...

Author: CJC
Posted: 12/04/2019

The introverts' guide to making it through the holiday season

Liliboas/iStock(NEW YORK) -- "Rockin' around the Christmas tree" or going to a "Christmas party hop" make for good holiday song lyrics but are the stuff of holiday nightmares for people who identify as introverts.

A night out making small talk at a...

Author: JTP
Posted: 12/04/2019

Cow cuddling, flying with miniature horses are part of rapidly expanding use of support animals

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Abrea Hensley and her miniature therapy horse, Flirty, are quite the sight. Whether at the grocery store or in the park, Flirty attracts a lot of attention.

"Going out with Flirty is definitely one of the most interesting parts of ...

Author: Anthony Ali
Posted: 12/04/2019
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