Amazon Studios President Roy Price resigns amid harassment allegation

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Amazon Studios President Roy Price has resigned, ABC News has confirmed.

Price was put on leave last week, following an allegation of sexual harassment involving Isa Hackett, an executive producer on the network’s series “The Man in the High Castle.”

Hackett told The Hollywood Reporter last week that in 2015, Prince allegedly propositioned her in a cab on the way to an Amazon party, but she told him she has a wife and children.

She said that Price did not give up and that she later reported the incident to Amazon executives.

“We take seriously any questions about the conduct of our employees,” an Amazon spokesperson told THR. “We expect people to set high standards for themselves; we encourage people to raise any concerns and we make it a priority to investigate and address them. Accordingly, we looked closely at this specific concern and addressed it directly with those involved.”

After the incident, Hackett said she hasn’t seen Roy.

“I don’t feel afraid of him, but it’s difficult after you report something because you’re carrying this anxiety about how to interact with somebody if and when you do see them. You’re aware that other people may or may not know about it,” she said.

She added that after dozens of women spoke out against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein over the past few weeks, she felt empowered to go public. Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

“I think women inspire each other. I feel inspired by the other women who have been far braver than I am, who have come forward. I hope we all continue to inspire each other and ultimately create change,” she added.

In addition to Price, Weinstein himself was fired from The Weinstein Company a week ago Sunday and officially resigned from the company’s board on Tuesday.

In response to the assault allegations against Weinstein, a spokesperson for the movie executive said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual,” according to the full statement from Weinstein’s spokesperson. “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

ABC News has reached out to Price’s attorney for comment but did not immediately hear back.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Harvey Weinstein resigns from the board of the Weinstein Co.

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Harvey Weinstein resigned from the board of the Weinstein Co. during a conference call with the remaining board members, ABC News has confirmed.

He is still pursuing a claim he was wrongfully fired from the company.

The company has been under pressure since sexual assault and harassment allegations against Weinstein were first reported by The New York Times and The New Yorker nearly two weeks ago.

The disgraced movie mogul has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for the movie executive said, “Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Co. days after reports surfaced and was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the academy,” the organization said in a statement on Saturday.

In a statement, the Weinstein Co. board of directors said, “The board today ratified its decision to terminate Harvey Weinstein’s employment with the Weinstein Co. Harvey Weinstein resigned from the board.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dow hits 23,000-milestone

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 23,000 on Tuesday morning, but fell just below the milestone at the close.

The Dow climbed 40.48 (+0.18 percent) to finish at 22,997.44, a new record.

The Nasdaq slid 0.35 (-0.01 percent) to close at 6,623.66, while the S&P 500 finished at a record 2,559.36, up 1.72 (+0.07 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 0.25 percent higher with prices at $52 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Freeport-McMoRan sunk 2.23 percent after Deutsche Bank downgraded the mining company’s stock to “Sell.”

UnitedHealth Group Inc beat investors’ expectations in its third-quarter earnings report.  Shares of the American health care company soared 5.58 percent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Donald Trump drops to bottom half of Forbes 400 list of richest people in America

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is not as wealthy as he was last year, according to Forbes magazine, which dropped him 92 spots on its annual list of the 400 wealthiest people in America.

Trump, ranked No. 156 in 2016, is now tied with 15 others — including casino magnate Steve Wynn and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel — for No. 248.

The drop comes from a decline in Trump’s net worth, according to Forbes. The magazine estimated that his net worth has dropped by $600,000 to $3.1 billion from $3.7 billion since last year.

His highest net worth valuation by the magazine came in 2015 at $4.5 billion.

While the overall wealth of Trump’s presidential Cabinet has been noted in the past, he is the only member of the group to be included on the Forbes list.

That said, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ father-in-law, Richard DeVos, the co-founder of marketing company Amway, is included on the list. Richard DeVos’ net worth is valued at $5.1 billion and is ranked No. 107 on this year’s list.

This year’s Forbes 400 list was the most discerning of all, as the magazine reported that the minimum net worth required to be included hit a record high of $2 billion. In the past two years, the minimum was $1.7 billion.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates topped the list for the 24th consecutive year ($89 billion) and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos held on to the No. 2 spot ($81.5 billion) that he had taken from Warren Buffett in 2016. Buffett came in at No. 3 this year, at $78 billion.

Trump has been watching his spot on the list for years.

In an interview with Trump published in Forbes Oct. 10, the article’s author alluded to the president’s lengthy history and fixation with the list.

“Numbers offer Trump validation. They determine the winner or loser of any deal and establish an industry hierarchy. It’s why Trump, more than any of the 1,600 or so people who’ve been on The Forbes 400, has spent more time lobbying and cajoling Forbes to get a higher valuation—and validation,” the Oct. 10 article, written by Forbes staffer Randall Lane, reads.

Trump has tweeted about the Forbes 400 list before, including once in 2014 when he retweeted and commented on a person’s tweet that claimed that Forbes underestimates Trump’s actual net worth.

“That’s true, and they do it knowingly – who cares!” Trump added.

In answering another Twitter user who asked why Forbes had him listed as being worth $3 billion in 2013, Trump wrote: “They know nothing about me or my numbers.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Makeup artist turns herself into horrifying monsters

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Sammy Staines/@sammylovesfossas(DORSET, England) — Meet Sammy Staines of Dorset, England.

The Instagram star said she loves doing them because “there is no limit to what you can create.”

Staines, 31, said she started out doing “just beauty makeup” but then began “to get more and more creative from there.”

“I’ve always loved art and since applying art to my face, I no longer paint or draw on paper,” she wrote to ABC News. “I especially love doing illusion and monster paint.”

She said her terrifying monster makeovers, which take her about two hours to complete, are not just a Halloween specialty, however.

“All year … I’m watching horror films and painting weird things on my face so I don’t really get that excited for Halloween,” she said, adding that might change when she has kids. “But I’m sure I will be having a horror movie night on Halloween and giving my face a rest.”

Now click here to look at her terrifying monster makeovers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

California becomes first state to require pet stores to sell rescue animals

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — California will soon implement a new statewide ban on sales of animals commercially raised in puppy mills.

Gov. Jerry Brown last Friday signed into law bill A.B. 485, making it illegal for pet stores to sell dogs, cats and rabbits from any source other than a shelter or rescue group.

As #FirstDog I’m proud to announce dad just signed #AB485 to help more furry friends in need find a fur-ever home! https://t.co/3jeYFozn9F pic.twitter.com/Lm8AZpuNXM

— Colusa Brown (@ColusaBrown) October 13, 2017

The law will go into effect in 2019 and supporters have praised the move.

“The problem is puppy mills, and this law is specifically targeting shutting down and not supporting puppies being manufactured in unsafe, unsociable, and horrific conditions,” Elena Bicker, executive director at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, told ABC News.

Private breeders can still sell animals independently.

The American Kennel Club is standing up against the first-of-its-kind statewide ban and released a statement directly opposing the new law.

“It not only interferes with individual freedoms, it also increases the likelihood that a person will obtain a pet that is not a good match for their lifestyle and the likelihood that that animal will end up in a shelter,” the organization said in a statement.

Pet advocates have helped increase protections for puppy mill dogs in over 200 cities and counties across the country that already have ordinances similar to this one, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Thirty-six cities in California, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, already had bans on mass breeding operations.

“This is a great law. California is setting the standard and elevating the status of pets in society by targeting the puppy mills and elevating shelter pets as a place in homes,” Bicker said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Woman tests the limits of hotel’s pet policy by bringing in her horse

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Lindsey Partridge/Harmony Horsemanship(LEXINGTON, Ky.) — One horse lover wanted to test a hotel’s pet policy after discovering one receptionist said it didn’t discriminate.

Lindsey Partridge, who in 2015 created Harmony Horsemanship, an organization that helps riders better understand their horses, told ABC News she was driving down from Pontypool, Ontario, to Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, when she decided to check into her hotel.

The riding coach was there to compete in Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, in which hundreds of retired racehorses compete in categories such as field hunter, polo, ranch work and trail, among others.

“We left at like 3 in the morning and when we got down there, the hotel is before you get to the horse park,” Patridge, 31, recalled. “We figured, we may as well stop and unload our luggage.”

That’s when she spotted a dog in the lobby of the Supreme 8 in Georgetown, Kentucky. She said she remarked to the receptionist that she didn’t realize the hotel had a pet policy and joked she had a few horses outside.

“The receptionist said, ‘Oh, I don’t care. Sure, bring them in!'”

Astonished, Partridge figured she would, taking a few funny photos that have since earned attention on Facebook with more than 2,000 reactions. She unloaded her 5-year-old thoroughbred named Blizz, noting that “she was the easiest to get off the trailer.”

Some hotel guests “were pretty surprised, but they all knew it was fun,” the horse owner recalled. “I hope that this shows people that horses really can be quiet, calm and nice.”

The owners of Supreme 8 confirmed the incident to ABC News.

Still, they clarified their pet policy in a statement, “We did not know she was going to bring the horse into the facility. We are pet-friendly and it is [for pets] 25 pounds and under. We had no knowledge of it being in the room.”

Still, the funny incident seemed to be good luck for Blizz, who earned third place in the trail competition and sixth in the field hunter competition.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hollywood continues to sever ties with Harvey Weinstein

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Chance Yeh/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Hollywood is up in arms over the allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein and the company he co-founded, The Weinstein Company.

The Producers Guild of America’s national board of directors and officers voted on Monday to expel Weinstein after numerous women claimed the movie mogul and producer sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them.

“This morning, the PGA’s National Board of Directors and Officers decided by unanimous vote to institute termination proceedings concerning Harvey Weinstein’s membership,” co-presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary said in a statement on behalf of the board. “As required by the PGA’s Constitution, Mr. Weinstein will be given the opportunity to respond before the Guild makes its final determination on November 6, 2017.”

“Sexual harassment of any type is completely unacceptable. This is a systemic and pervasive problem requiring immediate industry-wide action,” the statement continued.

The co-presidents also announced a new task force in the wake of Weinstein’s allegations.

“Today, the PGA’s National Board and Officers – composed of 20 women and 18 men — created the Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force specifically charged with researching and proposing substantive and effective solutions to sexual harassment in the entertainment industry,” the statement said. “The PGA calls on leaders throughout the entertainment community to work together to ensure that sexual abuse and harassment are eradicated from the industry.”

Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex in a statement to The New Yorker.

However, in addition to the PGA, here are the other organizations and companies that have severed ties with the disgraced producer.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The preeminent organization honoring the best in film said in a statement Saturday that it’s voted to expel Weinstein.

It did so “to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”

Weinstein and the academy had a pretty long history, dating back to 1990 when he launched an Oscars campaign for an independent film, “My Left Foot.” The film went on to win two Oscars for its stars — Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker — and began Weinstein’s long career in earning the golden trophies.

During his tenure at Miramax and later The Weinstein Company, which he founded in 2005 with his brother, Bob Weinstein, the producer racked up 341 Academy Award nominations, winning 81 of them.

The Weinstein Company

Weinstein’s own film company terminated him last week after The New York Times and The New Yorker reported the stories of several women, including actress Ashley Judd, who claimed that the producer had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them.

“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” according to a statement from the company’s board.

By Monday, private equity firm Colony Capital announced that it had “entered into a preliminary agreement” with Weinstein’s former film company to potentially acquire all or part of it.

Tarak Ben Ammar, a Weinstein Company board member, praised the move, saying in part: “We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the Company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world.”

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

BAFTA announced in a statement last Wednesday that Weinstein’s membership had been revoked.

Previously, the producer was a fixture on the BAFTA awards circuit, hosting several events around the awards itself, including a pre-dinner and an after party.

“Whilst BAFTA has previously been a beneficiary of Mr. Weinstein’s support for its charitable work, it considers the reported alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values,” the statement from BAFTA said. “This has led to Mr. Weinstein’s suspension, and it will be followed by a formal process as laid out in BAFTA’s constitution.”

“We hope this announcement sends a clear message that such behaviour has absolutely no place in our industry,” the statement continued. “BAFTA will continue to work with the film, games and television industries to improve access to rewarding and fulfilling careers in safe, professional working environments.”

Legion of Honor Award

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he’s taken steps to “remove” the Legion of Honor Award from Weinstein, who was presented with the award in 2012. It is the nation’s highest honor, established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte.

Other honorees include fashion designer Giorgio Armani, cosmetics mogul Elizabeth Arden, singer Bono and actor Tom Hanks.

Amazon Studios

The streaming company completely cut ties with The Weinstein Company last week following the allegations.

Amazon had been working with the company on two projects — an untitled mafia drama series Weinstein was producing with David O. Russell, and a series titled “The Romanoffs,” an eight-episode series from “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner.

The mafia show, which The Hollywood Reporter noted was a deal estimated at $160 million, had already been greenlit to run for two seasons.

“Amazon Studios no longer plans on moving forward with the David O. Russell project. As for ‘The Romanoffs,’ Amazon intends to move forward without the involvement of The Weinstein Co.,” Amazon Studios told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Friday.

Russell, along with the show’s stars Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, agreed with the decision.

“We support Amazon’s decision and in light of recent news and out of respect for all those affected we have decided together that it is best to not move forward with this show,” they said in a joint statement.

“In the Heights”

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara A. Hudes, the creators of the hit Broadway musical, announced they want the musical’s movie adaption rights back from The Weinstein Company.

The company snatched up the film’s rights after Miranda’s other hit musical, “Hamilton,” became a Broadway success. Now, the creators don’t want anything to do with the disgraced producer’s company.

“As a woman, I can no longer do business with The Weinstein Company,” Hudes wrote in a lengthy post on Twitter last week. “To those women who suffered directly at Harvey’s hands, I extend my sincerest compassion and support. Unfortunately, my musical ‘In the Heights’ is tied up in the company…I hope The Weinstein Company has enough grace, in the wake of these revelations, to respect my stand as a woman, and allow us to extricate ‘In the Heights’ from them.”

Hudes added, “He thrived on this. He built an empire on this. It’s been hard for me to sleep at night. My stomach is in knots.”

Miranda threw his support behind Hudes, writing on Twitter, “As usual, Quiara does the prose best. She speaks for us both.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Inside Johnny Carson’s $81.5M Malibu mansion

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Mary E. Nichols/TopTenRealEstateDeals.com(MALIBU, Calif.) — It’s no secret the late Johnny Carson loved California, and his beloved Malibu beach home is now on the market for $81.5 million.

The former “Tonight Show” host famously moved the late night series from New York to California in 1972. Soon after, in the mid-1980s, Carson himself made California his home, buying a property overlooking Point Dume Beach, according to Top Ten Real Estate Deals.

Carson lived there until his death in 2005. He was 79.

The home, which also features a guest house and sits on four acres, was designed by architect Ed Niles.

The main two-bedroom home measures at 7,083 square feet. It features an entertaining lounge space that boasts 30-feet-high glass windows along with an indoor arboretum perfect for any nature lover. The home also has an ocean terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The master suite sits on the home’s upper level and has his-and-hers bathrooms and closets, complete with onyx fixtures.

Along with a guest home that has two bedrooms of its own, the mansion features a sun deck, pool, waterfall, koi pond, tennis courts, gym and locker room, along with a wine and tasting room.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Financials lead US stocks to hit new records

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The major indexes closed at record highs on Monday with large gains in financials.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 85.24 (+0.37 percent) to finish at 22,956.96.

The Nasdaq gained 18.20 (+0.28 percent) to close at 6,624.00, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,557.64, up 4.47 (+0.18 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 0.76 percent higher with prices at about $52 per barrel.

Winners and Losers: Shares of JPMorgan Chase jumped 2.07 percent.  The financial services company announced Monday it would use blockchain technology in a new global payments process.

News of Sears investor Bruce Berkowitz’s departure from the board caused shares of Sears Holdings Corp to tumble 11.52 percent.

Apple’s stock climbed 1.84 percent after getting an upgrade from KeyBanc Capital.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man builds massive King Kong display in yard for Halloween

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — A Utah man has created a gigantic King Kong statue to sit centerstage in his front yard for Halloween.

Ammon Smith, 33, has impressed his Salt Lake City neighborhood in the past, but this year he expects his 39-foot display to attract thousands of trick-or-treaters.

In 2014, Smith created a pirate ship, followed be a skeleton train in 2015 and a giant dragon prop complete with Viking ship in 2016.

“People thank me a lot for building the community and that’s the biggest compliment they can give me,” Smith told ABC News.

This year, with help from his wife, Tera, Smith said he decided to go with a monster theme and build King Kong.

“[King Kong] is big, burly and scary but he’s not gorey,” he said. “We want people to not feel scared when they come and ask us for candy.”

Smith said he built the $140 structure in about 100 hours.

The Empire State Building in the piece is made from wood and Styrofoam.

King Kong was built from pool noodles, wood, chicken wire and fabric. King Kong’s chest is made from a black trash bag while his teeth were made from wood and egg cartons. His eyes are made from little pumpkins.

A fog machine was added to simulate clouds above the Empire State Building.

Smith’s neighbor of six years, Johnny-Mack Barlow, 44, said he helped lift the King Kong up onto the building. In 2016, he helped place the dragon on top of the roof.

“It’s really cool to be able to help him out and be a tiny part of it,” Barlow told ABC News. “Everybody that walks by is talking about it. It definitely creates a vibrancy for the area.”

Smith also said his first 200 or so visitors will receive the large, full-size candy bars before he switches to the smaller, fun-size candy bars.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy

Posted on: October 14th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to expell Harvey Weinstein, following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against the former movie mogul and producer, the film academy announced on Saturday in a statement.

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy,” the statement read.

“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over,” it continued. “What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”

The 54-member board followed in the footsteps of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, known as BAFTA, which earlier this week also revoked the membership of Weinstein.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie. He was fired Sunday night from The Weinstein Co. he helped to found.

The former movie mogul and producer who has two Oscar nominations personally has had a long history with the Academy. During his tenure first at Miramax and then at The Weinstein Co., the companies’ films were nominated for 341 Academy Awards and won 81.

The Academy’s rare meeting on Saturday came after Amazon halted a mafia drama series Weinstein was producing with David O. Russell. The show had already won approvals to run for two seasons. Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara A. Hudes publicly announced that they want The Weinstein Co. to release the movie adaptation rights to their hit musical, “In the Heights.”

Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s younger brother and co-chairman of their company, told ABC News in a statement Friday that the studio will survive the scandal.

“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company,” Weinstein said. “Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.”

A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein told The New Yorker: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual,” according to the full statement from Weinstein’s spokesperson. “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Following criticism, Twitter CEO says ‘new rules’ on abusive tweets coming soon

Posted on: October 14th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — Twitter has come under fire in recent days for what some critics claim is a permissive attitude toward abusive content on the social media platform.

But on Friday night, CEO Jack Dorsey said change is coming.

In a series of tweets, Dorsey acknowledged that Twitter is “still not doing enough” to restrict abusive or harassing content.

“We’ve been working intensely over the past few months and focused today on making some critical decisions,” he tweeted.

“We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them,” he wrote. “New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups and tweets that glorifies violence. These changes will start rolling out in the next few weeks. More to share next week.”

Twitter was hit Friday with an online boycott, using the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter, after actress Rose McGowan’s account was suspended temporarily for posting another person’s phone number. Critics drew a correlation between Twitter’s silencing of McGowan and her accusing movie producer Harvey Weinstein of alleged sexual misconduct. (A rep for Weinstein has denied that any non-consensual sexual activity took place between him and any of his accusers.)

“We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan’s team,” Twitter said in a statement. “We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which violates our Terms of Service. The tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bob Weinstein insists ‘business is continuing’ amid brother’s scandal

Posted on: October 13th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Mathew Imaging/WireImage via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, told ABC News in a statement Friday that the studio remains unaffected by the scandal involving his older brother, Harvey Weinstein.

Though the Wall Street Journal reported that the production company was likely to be shuttered or sold, Bob Weinstein insists that that information is false.

Their current focus is on three upcoming films: “Polaroid,” which will be released Nov. 22; “Paddington 2,” which comes out Jan. 12; and “War With Grandpa,” which is scheduled for Feb. 23, he added.

“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company,” Weinstein said. “Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.”

The Weinstein Company has been under increased scrutiny for the past week or so, as numerous women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie, have come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Last weekend, Harvey Weinstein was terminated by the board of his eponymous company, which he and his brother founded in 2005.

“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” his spokeswoman told The New Yorker magazine. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US stocks close slightly higher, Nasdaq hits new record

Posted on: October 13th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Nasdaq Composite reached a new record on Friday as U.S. stocks closed slightly higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 30.71 (+0.13 percent) to finish at 22,871.72.

The Nasdaq gained 14.29 (+0.22 percent) to close at 6,605.80, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,553.17, up 2.24 (+0.09 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 1.46 percent higher with prices at $51 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  After President Donald Trump announced the government would end subsidies to insurers under the Affordable Care Act, health care stocks took a hit including Tenet Healthcare (down 5.10 percent).

Hostess Brands Inc sunk 11.09 percent on news that the Twinkee-maker’s chief executive officer would retire.

Sears Holdings Corp. soared 9.19 percent on Friday. Sears Canada was granted court approval to liquidate its remaining stores, leaving 12,000 jobless.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Flight 666 to ‘HEL’ on Friday the 13th to end

Posted on: October 13th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Friday the 13th may spark dread for the superstitious. And for many people, the number 666 is associated with the devil based on the book of Revelation in the Bible.

But for 11 years some airline passengers have flown in the face of any such fearful associations — taking Finnair’s flight AY 666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki, which has the airport abbreviation “HEL” — on Friday the 13th.

The airline tweeted on Friday that the flight landed safely in HEL.

✈️️ @Finnair flight 666 on #FridayThe13th has landed safely in HELhttps://t.co/tIc4fFWjgq pic.twitter.com/iae4qnHF4X

— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 13, 2017

Finnair also announced that Friday would be the last time a flight of that number would fly on Friday the 13th. Asked why by a customer on Twitter, the company said it was retiring the “666” flight number because the airline is growing and adding more numbers. Finnair also noted that it still has a flight from SIN (the code for Singapore’s airport) to HEL.

Partly sunny weather at #HEL welcomed our flight AY666 from Copenhagen. pic.twitter.com/40XiUpV9fm

— Finnair (@Finnair) October 13, 2017

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Taco Bell launches limited edition clothing line with Forever 21

Posted on: October 12th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — In a rare kind of collaboration, a fast food chain now has a complete fashion line.

The “hot” new clothing collaboration between Taco Bell and Forever 21 has fans of the two chains drooling.

The “fast-fashion” clothing retailer and fast-food brand introduced the new limited-edition collection inspired by iconic graphics of the taco chain.

Super fans and influencers flaunted the fun food clothing line — “Forever Taco Bell” — on the catwalk at a runway show and launch event in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The clothing items feature bold and playful prints ranging from Taco Bell’s pink-and-purple bell logo to their variety of hot sauce packets.

The line was designed for men, women and kids and will be available online and in around the world in physical stores.

A pop-up shop at the launch of the Forever 21 Taco Bell line sold was pieces ahead of their in-store availability — and tacos, of course.

Customers are sharing their looks on social media with the hashtag #F21xTacoBell.

Taco Bell has already been selling clothing at the retail shop of its flagship Las Vegas cantina and through a 2014 collection of taco-themed socks with brand The Hundreds.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Financial psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz discusses emotions and savings ahead of National Savings Day

Posted on: October 12th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — October 12 marks National Savings Day, founded by Capital One with the hopes of helping people save their money and learn new strategies for doing so. It was announced at the beginning of 2017 by The Registrar at National Day Calendar and can be observed annually. 

Ahead of National Savings Day, Capital One psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz, who is also a financial psychologist for Creighton University, spoke with ABC News about the emotions tied to savings and a new study uncovering an effective way people can save.

He tells ABC News that, after conducting interviews with Americans in major cities, he found positive memories tied to sentimental items could be harnessed to improve financial decision-making more effectively than a “standard lecture on the importance of savings.”

He says participants were divided into two groups. One group was presented a standard lecture on saving money, and the other was required to bring “a sentimental item from their past,” such as a teddy bear or necklace from their grandmother, to their meeting.

He then asked those with the sentimental item to think about why it was valuable to them, uncovering the reasons why a person would save a specific item. The group proceeded to turn the conversation towards money and why they would save their money in the same way they were preserving a sentimental item. Each person in the group discussed specific saving goals.

For instance, a person would not just save money for a “vacation,” but a trip to a narrower, more meaningful destination, such as a place where their ancestors were born.

The results of the study showed people in the sentimental item group were saving three times more per month over the course of three weeks than those who took a standard lecture.

The study found by incorporating personal nostalgia and savings experiences into financial planning, it presents a strong opportunity to harness emotions in order to facilitate better and healthier financial decision-making.

Full results of his study can be found here.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Online shopping hasn’t killed brick-and-mortar retailers

Posted on: October 12th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) — Reports of the death of bricks-and-mortar retailers, as Mark Twain famously said, are greatly exaggerated.

Some people are doubling down on this pronouncement after some big chains, including Macy’s, said they were hiring fewer seasonal workers. But those who read closer will see that other retailers are doing just the opposite. Target, for example, plans to increase total holiday hiring by 43 percent — its first increase in five years.

Target is emblematic of the reality that gets lost in the eagerness of the mass media to declare the death of shopping malls: Though some retailers are withering, many retail chains are actually quite healthy.

The notion that bricks-and-mortar stores are moribund is fed by these three myths:

All major retailers are suffering. Online sales are growing for all retailers, but nearly 85 percent of retail sales still take place in stores. And major retailers, including Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Burlington Stores, T.J. Maxx and Target, are undertaking significant expansions this year.

Lines between traditional and online retailing are blurring. The two actually work in tandem. Nordstrom is opening smaller stores with limited inventory to support its growing online operation. (You’ve probably been told in a clothing store that you can get the color you want online.) Shoppers can now go into Target to buy Casper mattresses, formerly sold only online. According to marketing expert Allan Haims, shoppers have come to view online and in-store retailing through “a single lens.”

Millennials shun traditional shopping, and seldom visit retail stores. Actually, they’re leaving home to shop in droves, visiting multiple locations in one outing to find what they want — an important vital sign for the future health of bricks and mortar.

“The retail industry has been operating on the outdated assumption that boomers are shopping for deals primarily in-store and millennials are searching for deals mostly online,” says Greg Petro, an online analyst with First Insight. “But the behavior of these two generations is evolving.”

Instead of fixating on the next sexy online enterprise, investors will likely see new allure in retail chains based on something that’s been forgotten amid the digital fever: capital. Big chains have better resources than purely online enterprises to pay for warehouse space, giving them a leg up. And retailers that execute online sales adroitly and burnish their brands in cyberspace stand to do well against purely digital disrupters. Meanwhile, as physical stores become viewed as essential to compete, purely online enterprises will face new capital and management challenges that are old hat to bricks-and-mortar chains.

No, real stores aren’t dying—they’re just changing. They’re taking a page from online retailers’ book, and vice-versa.

Dave Sheaff Gilreath is a founding principal of Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. Neither he nor members of his family own shares of retail stocks. Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.
 
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz: Cutting the corporate tax rate would be ‘a mistake’ without complete reform

Posted on: October 11th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Starbucks’ executive chairman, Howard Schultz, said lowering the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent would “a mistake” without overhauling the entire tax system.

“You can’t have a corporate tax cut without having a transformation in complete tax reform. And if there’s going to be a corporate tax cut that is going to add to the national debt … then I think it’s a mistake,” he told ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis.

Starbucks paid an effective tax rate of 34.3 percent in the company’s fiscal third quarter.

In addition to cutting corporate tax rates, President Trump’s proposed tax plan would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to three and nearly double the standard deduction for individuals and married couples. In an effort to promote his tax overhaul, Trump will give a speech today in Pennsylvania to an audience consisting mostly of truckers, whom the president said the proposed changes would benefit.
If the proposed corporate tax cuts take effect, Schultz said, employees should be the ones to benefit.

“I would hope that [businesses] would use it in ways that would advance their employees, to work what we need to do at our communities and building a better society,” he noted.

He said this is what Starbucks would do.

He also argued that corporate profits as a result of tax cuts will not “advance the economic issues of inequality in America” and cautioned that “the current level of enthusiasm and optimism that exists in the stock market today, in my view, is not a proxy for the U.S. economy.”

Schultz, who was the first in his family to graduate college, stepped down as Starbucks’ CEO earlier this year, with many speculating that he would pursue a career in politics.

“I think about politics, but I have no intention of running for public office. I think about politics because I’m concerned about the need that we have for true, authentic leadership in the country,” Schultz told Jarvis.

He continued, “I feel like I’m in the best possible position right now to do the things I’m doing.”

Right now he’s focused on content. His latest project is “Upstanders,” a Starbucks original series that features “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” he explained. Schultz produced and wrote the series with Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a senior vice president of Starbucks and a former Washington Post senior editor.

Season 2 features 11 stories of people displaying acts of “courage and humanity.” Schultz believes viewers are drawn to the compassion and authenticity of the people featured in the series.

“There’s no Starbucks advertising. There’s no Starbucks placement. It’s not about marketing. It’s not about selling more coffee. It’s really about just telling the American story,” Schultz said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Harvey Weinstein scandal illustrates why some women remain silent after workplace harassment

Posted on: October 11th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News (NEW YORK) — The mounting sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have raised questions about why at least 17 women who are speaking out now remained silent for so many years.

Actresses including Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino and Gwyneth Paltrow have recently come forward, sharing their own personal accounts of the alleged harassment they said they faced while working with Weinstein.

The accusations of sexual harassment, unwanted touching and even alleged rape made against Weinstein by actresses, writers, assistants and more date back decades, which he has vehemently denied.

“These allegations are so extreme and they’ve been circulating for decades in Hollywood,” Marisa Guthrie, TV editor for the Hollywood Reporter, said on “Good Morning America” today. “So I think this is a wake-up call and there are other shoes to drop here.”

When asked whether she believes the revelations will help to end the infamous Hollywood “casting couch,” the term for demanding sexual favors in exchange for career advancement, Guthrie replied, “I hope so. I think everybody hopes so.”

Weinstein, through a spokeswoman, has denied claims of any nonconsensual sexual relations. His wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced Tuesday she is leaving Weinstein after 10 years of marriage.

‘Not an easy thing to do’ Ashley Cullins, a staff writer for the Hollywood Reporter who has covered the Weinstein scandal, told ABC News that his outsized power in the movie industry likely affected how long women stayed silent about his alleged misconduct.

“When you’re just starting out in this industry, you know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who want your job,” Cullins said. “Coming forward about sexual harassment and sexual assault is not an easy thing to do, especially if your entire career is on the line.”

Sexual harassment in the workplace, however, is an issue that extends far beyond Hollywood.

ABC News’ chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, citing 2016 data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), said sexual harassment allegations are not discussed as much as 94 percent of the time.

“They don’t file a complaint and part of the issue is the imbalance of power and the fear that many women face, and men who are in the situation, in that imbalance of power,” Jarvis said on “GMA.”

“We’ve heard of EEOC research that 75 percent of the time those who do complain face retaliation.”

While the Weinstein scandal has thrust the issue into the national spotlight, an ABC News interview late last year with 10 women from 10 different industries found that sexual harassment knows no occupational boundaries.

When asked how many of the participants had been sexually harassed over the course of their career, all 10 women raised their hands.

Of the 10 women who said they were sexually harassed, only two said they ever filed a human resources complaint against their harasser.

Dr. Janet Taylor, a New York City-based psychiatrist, said women may not feel comfortable going to the human resources department because often the harassers are in a position of power and the women may feel they could lose their jobs.

Typically, the women are younger, they may be in a socioeconomic status that means they’re very dependent upon their job,” she said. “And the perpetrators know this and in fact prey on them and count on their silence.”

Amanda, a participant who wished to only go by her first name, told ABC News that speaking out about sexual harassment “always feels like an uncomfortable choice.”

“I really have to think about my values and what’s important to me and weigh them against my career,”she added.

‘Strength in numbers’

ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams noted that one issue with women’s silence on sexual assault or harassment violations is they often run up against statute of limitations and their alleged harasser can avoid charges.

“The statute of limitations is a real problem in cases like this. Why? Because women are afraid to come forward. They don’t want to come forward,” he said. “They don’t know what the impact will be on their lives, et cetera, which is why you see more and more states trying to change the statute of limitations.”

Weinstein, 65, was investigated by the New York Police Department in 2015. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office decided not to file charges after a two-week investigation and Weinstein was never prosecuted.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told ABC News in statement Tuesday, “If we could have prosecuted Harvey Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, we would have. Mr. Weinstein’s pattern of mistreating women, as recounted in recent reports, is disgraceful and shocks the conscience.”

It continued, “While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent.

Subsequent investigative steps undertaken in order to establish intent were not successful. This, coupled with other proof issues, meant that there was no choice but to conclude the investigation without criminal charges.”

At least one Weinstein accuser, Louisette Geiss, has hired discrimination attorney Gloria Allred, who is asking Weinstein to agree to arbitration.

“We could agree on a retired judge and let’s let the alleged victims come in, present their evidence against Mr. Weinstein,” she said on “GMA.” “Mr. Weinstein can present his defenses. If the judge finds in favor of the alleged victims, the judge can order damages, according to proof at trial.”

Jarvis said she believes the fallout from the Weinstein scandal could have a real impact on how sexual harassment violations are treated in workplaces across all industries.

“I think there is strength in numbers and I think the outcome here is really going to ultimately dictate how other women perceive this,” she said. “If Harvey Weinstein, for example, goes back to his career, if there are not ultimately issues and the women who are coming out face issues and retaliation in their careers, there are going to be women who are fearful to do the same.”

She continued, “If the opposite happens, if justice is served, if the women who have come forward go on to flourish in their careers and this isn’t an issue or a stain on their reputation, then you’re going to see more women feel comfortable.”

Guthrie echoed that the more women speak out, the greater the impact.

“It can’t be the girls, the sisterhood against the old boys club,” he said. “It has to be everybody speaking out about this and raising their hand and saying, ‘I saw this and we can’t tolerate this.’”

She said of Weinstein, “That’s part of the reason … he could keep doing this for so long because everybody kept quiet about it and people who knew about it kept quiet about it. I think we’re going to hear from more people coming forward or being outed as having known.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to meet with Russia investigators on Capitol Hill

Posted on: October 11th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images for Cannes Lions(WASHINGTON) — Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, is scheduled to meet with top lawmakers investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election at the Capitol on Wednesday, ABC News has learned.

The meeting with Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Mike Conaway, R-Texas, comes as congressional investigators review thousands of Facebook ads linked to Russia that sought to sow division among U.S. voters ahead of the election.

Facebook turned over the ads and related data to congressional investigators and the special counsel’s office. The social media giant, along with Twitter and Alphabet (Google), has been invited to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees about Russian efforts to impact the election using social media on Nov. 1.

Sandberg is also slated to meet this week with members of the Congressional Black Caucus regarding race-related Facebook ads that were linked to Russia, according to a committee aide.

Those ads, which were also turned over to congressional investigators, were aimed at inflaming racial tensions, according to a source who has reviewed the advertisements.

A representative for Facebook declined a request for comment.

An aide to Conaway did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Couple finds hidden camera in their Florida Airbnb

Posted on: October 11th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(LONGBOAT KEY, Fla.) — A couple said they are “distressed” after discovering a hidden camera, directly pointed at their bed, in a room they rented from the popular site Airbnb.

“My wife and I are distressed by this situation. I hope more victims will come forward,” Derek Starnes told ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV of Tampa Bay, Florida, after he said he found a camera hidden in the smoke detector of the room he rented through Airbnb in Longboat Key, Florida.

Starnes said he was only able to notice the obscured pinhole camera because he works in the information-technology sector.

Wayne Natt, 56, who posted the room on Airbnb, was arrested for video voyeurism and is currently out on bond. His arraignment is scheduled for next month. Neither Natt nor his attorney immediately responded to ABC News’ request for comment on Wednesday.

Airbnb told ABC News that Natt had an account on their website for two years, and had at least 40 reviews. The company said they have permanently banned him from the site.

“We are outraged at the reports of what happened; as soon as we were made aware, we permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the affected guests,” Benjamin Breit, a spokesperson for Airbnb, told ABC News in a statement.

“Our team has reached out to local law enforcement to aid them with their investigation of this egregious offense, and we hope justice is served. We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against this behavior,” Breit added.

Local authorities said they found two cameras hidden in smoke detectors at the property.

Lieutenant Bob Bourque of the Longboat Key Police Department told WFTS-TV that they seized “a lot of computer storage data devices, hard drives, computers, laptops, S.D. cards, anything that would store data” from Natt’s home.

While Starnes said he was able to spot the pinhole camera because of his background in IT, to the untrained eye, experts recommend using the camera light on your phone to spot the reflections on a lens if you are looking for hidden cameras. There are also certain apps that claim they can detect hidden cameras. In addition, if you are extremely concerned about your privacy, you can also purchase an RF detector, which checks for wireless signals and may be able to detect hidden cameras.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dow hits new record as Wal-Mart posts gains

Posted on: October 10th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street closed in the green on Tuesday with gains from Wal-Mart and energy stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 69.61 (+0.31 percent) to finish at 22,830.68, a new record.

The Nasdaq gained 7.52 (+0.11 percent) to close at 6,587.25, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,550.64, up 5.91 (+0.23 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 2.76 percent higher with prices at $50.95 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:
  Shares of Wal-Mart soared 4.47 percent after the retail giant projected online sales would climb 40 percent next year.

Sears Canada is seeking court approval to liquidate all of its remaining stores and assets. Sears Holdings Corporation sunk 5.37 percent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New York Times reporter who broke Harvey Weinstein story believes it will continue ‘for weeks to come’

Posted on: October 10th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Megan Twohey, a New York Times reporter who co-authored the story on the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations, is speaking out.

The piece detailed decades of alleged sexual harassment or unwanted physical contact from several women, including actress Ashley Judd, against the Hollywood mogul.

“I would say that this was probably the hardest stories I’ve ever reported,” Twohey said Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “I was working with an extremely talented partner, Jodi Kantor, and we had the support all the way through the top of the New York Times and it was still really hard.”

She went on, “There was a code of silence. A lot of women were locked in confidentiality clauses and settlements and so, at the end of the day, we were able to obtain some on-the-record interviews, but we were also able to obtain internal company memos and other things in which these allegations were made, stretching back decades.”

Weinstein’s attorney Charles Harder stated to ABC News earlier this month that The Times article was “saturated with false and defamatory statements,” and as a result, he was preparing a lawsuit against the newspaper. Any proceeds from the lawsuit would be donated to women’s charities, Harder added.

The New York Times told ABC News that it is “confident in the accuracy” of the reporting.

Although Weinstein, 64, apologized for misconduct, he was fired from the company he co-founded shortly after the report was published.

“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company … have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” according to a statement from the company’s board of directors to ABC News on Sunday.

Stars like Meryl Streep who worked with Weinstein in the past are speaking out against him. Streep said she was unaware of his alleged behavior and called the women who shared their experiences “heroes.”

“If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it,” Streep said in a statement to the Huffington Post on Monday. “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”

Even though Weinstein has been fired, Twohey said she believes the story will continue “for weeks to come, if not longer.”

“Right now, there have been allegations that we’ve been able to document going back decades and settlements,” she said. “At least we were able to specify five settlements that were paid to women who had stepped forward after making complaints of unwanted touching or sexual harassment, but there’s still questions about who knew what and when — not just within the company, but within Hollywood in general.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NYPD investigated sex assault complaint against Harvey Weinstein in 2015

Posted on: October 10th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Multiple women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in a new report from The New Yorker magazine.

Reporter Ronan Farrow said he was told by 13 women of alleged assault or harassment during the magazine’s 10-month investigation. Others, including actresses Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, told the magazine they believe they were removed from projects and their careers suffered after rejecting Weinstein’s advances.

A spokesperson for the beleaguered movie executive told The New Yorker: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual,” according to the full statement from Weinstein’s spokesperson. “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Farrow’s reporting in the magazine is also supported with a recording obtained from a New York Police Department sting operation from 2015 involving Weinstein and Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.

In the recording, the model asked Weinstein why he had groped her breasts the day before. He replied, “Oh, please, I’m sorry, just come on in. I’m used to that. Come on. Please,” according to the magazine.

As the recording continues, Weinstein tries to convince her to come into his hotel room while he showers, despite her protests. After a nearly 2-minute encounter, he agrees to let Gutierrez leave.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office decided not to file charges after a two-week investigation and Weinstein was never prosecuted. Gutierrez subsequently signed a highly-restrictive nondisclosure agreement with Weinstein, The New Yorker reported, including an “affidavit stating that the acts Weinstein admits to in the recording never happened.”

A representative for the NYPD confirmed to ABC News the authenticity of the tape and is now looking into how it became public.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told ABC News in statement on Tuesday, “If we could have prosecuted Harvey Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, we would have. Mr. Weinstein’s pattern of mistreating women, as recounted in recent reports, is disgraceful and shocks the conscience.”

It continued, “While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent. Subsequent investigative steps undertaken in order to establish intent were not successful. This, coupled with other proof issues, meant that there was no choice but to conclude the investigation without criminal charges.”

The New Yorker report was published two days after Weinstein was terminated by the company which bears his name.

Last Thursday, The New York Times alleged that the famed studio executive had reached at least eight settlements with several women over three decades of alleged abuse.

Though Weinstein admitted immediately that he had “caused a lot of pain” and apologized for his inappropriate behavior, his lawyer Charles Harder claimed The Times report “relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report” and was “saturated with false and defamatory statements.” Harder has said that he is preparing a lawsuit against the newspaper, and on Tuesday, referred all questions about Weinstein to the movie mogul’s publicist.

Weinstein’s representative did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment, nor did a spokeswoman for the Weinstein Company.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Walmart revamps its return service

Posted on: October 10th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News.(NEW YORK) — Walmart has unveiled a new process that the company says will significantly shorten the amount of time it takes to return an item, as part of the retail giant’s latest move to gain a foothold in their ongoing e-commerce war against Amazon.

Starting in December, Walmart is allowing customers to initiate the return process through the Walmart app and then simply scan a QR code at the store and hand over the product they want to return. In a statement on its website announcing the new service, Walmart said it hopes to make the returns process “fast, easy –- and maybe even a little enjoyable.”

“We know that returning an item and waiting for a refund, especially for a product purchased online, isn’t always seamless,” Daniel Eckert, the senior vice president of Walmart Services and Digital Acceleration, said in a statement.

Echert added that by using both “our physical stores and the Walmart app,” the retail giant is “changing the returns game in ways that only Walmart can do.”

Many see the latest move by Walmart as another way in which the company is trying to compete with Amazon. Earlier this year, Walmart announced that it was teaming up with Google to launch voice-activated shopping through Google Assistant.

Walmart also announced that it was offering online grocery pickup and free two-day shipping. Earlier this year, Amazon acquired the supermarket chain Whole Foods.

ABC News’ chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis said that everything these companies are doing today is about ways they can improve the customer experience, which is great news for consumers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US stocks close little changed ahead of earnings season

Posted on: October 9th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — U.S. stocks finished little changed on Monday ahead of the earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 12.60 (-0.06 percent) to finish at 22,761.07.

The Nasdaq gave up 10.45 (-0.16 percent) to close at 6,579.73, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,544.73, down 4.60 (-0.18 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 0.45 percent higher with prices at $49.50 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of General Electric sunk 3.94 percent after news that Trian Fund Management founding partner Ed Garden would join GE’s board. The company also announced on Friday that CFO Jeff Bornstein would be out by the end of the year.

In its ongoing battle with e-commerce competitor Amazon.com, Walmart revealed plans to simplify its process for returning online merchandise. The retail giant’s stock climbed 1.94 percent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bankrate.com survey shows ATM and overdraft fees are on the rise

Posted on: October 9th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Overdraft and ATM fees are getting more expensive, according to a study from Bankrate.com that collected data from July 2017 to August 2017.

Bankrate found ATM fees have hit record highs for 11 consecutive years, with the average cost of an out-of-network ATM withdrawal being $4.69 in 2017 (up 2.6 percent from 2016).

Chief Financial Analyst for Bankrate.com Greg McBride says people are less frequently making withdrawals from ATMs, contributing to boosting prices.

ATM fees are not the only charges consumers are confronting according to the study. Bankrate.com found overdraft fees, when a person withdraws more money from their account than the account holds, hit a new high of $33.38, up $0.34 from last year.

However, there are ways to avoid both of these fees. McBride tells ABC News when it comes to overdraft fees, monitoring available balance more frequently and planning in advance which ATM to make a withdrawal are precautionary steps that make it less likely that people will incur a charge.

If a person does incur an overdraft fee, McBride says there ways to get around getting charged in full. The bank could charge less if it is a client’s first offense, and they may not charge a full fee if it is only a few dollars over their available balance.

Another challenge people run in to is that they may move to an area without an available ATM machine from their bank in close proximity. In that case, McBride says customers can either plan ahead, or if they are a part of a smaller community bank, see if they are part of an ATM nationwide alliance that would allow them to withdraw from other ATMs without a fee.

The Bankrate survey group consisted of a total of 10 banks and thrifts in each of 25 large U.S. markets; 1 interest and 1 non-interest account, as well as their associated ATM and debit card fee policies were surveyed from 247 institutions offering checking accounts; 241 interest and 240 non-interest accounts were surveyed between July 27 – August 18, 2017.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dove says they ‘deeply regret’ ad that appears to show a black woman turning white

Posted on: October 8th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — The personal care brand Dove received widespread backlash this weekend over an ad posted on its Facebook page that shows a black woman pulling off her brown shirt and appearing to become a white woman in a white shirt. Next to the women is a bottle of Dove soap.

The post, which has since been removed, reportedly showed a woman of color in a brown T-shirt removing her shirt to become a white woman in a white t-shirt.

The ad quickly came under fire on social media, with many people immediately calling it “racist.”

Thought that Dove ad was fake until the apology happened. People actually sat at a table and said "Yeah post that picture"? 😒 pic.twitter.com/DZyj2jMned

— xoNecole (@xonecole) October 8, 2017

Dove told ABC News in a statement that they are “deeply sorry” for the offense caused by the ad, and said that the original post included three women, as opposed to the screenshots that went viral.

The original post included a video clip that also showed the white woman taking off her shirt to become a woman who appears to be of Asian decent.

“As part of a campaign for Dove Body Wash, a 3-second video clip was posted to our US Facebook page. It featured three women of different ethnicities, each removing a t-shirt in matching skin tones to reveal the next woman. The visual was intended to convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity, but we got it wrong and, as a result, offended many people. We are deeply sorry,” the company said.

The statement continued: “We have removed the post and have not published any related content. We do not condone any activity or imagery that insults any audience. We are reevaluating our internal processes for creating and reviewing content.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.