Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
ABC Business News
Subscribe To This Feed

Chesnot/Getty Images(MENLO PARK, Calif.) -- Facebook removed over 1.6 billion fake accounts between April and September of this year, the company disclosed on Thursday.

"We also took down more fake accounts in Q2 and Q3 than in previous quarters, 800 million and 754 million respectively. Most of these fake accounts were the result of commercially motivated spam attacks trying to create fake accounts in bulk," Guy Rosen, vice president of product management wrote in a post on the company's website on Thursday.

"Because we are able to remove most of these accounts within minutes of registration, the prevalence of fake accounts on Facebook remained steady at 3% to 4% of monthly active users as reported in our Q3 earnings," Rosen added.

The company revealed information about its efforts to crack down on fake accounts, hate speech, terrorist propaganda and child pornography ahead of a conference call with reporters that is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Go green or go big?

Or both.

Automakers are flooding the market today with hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric battery-powered cars, with more models on the horizon.

Even as production of green cars ramp up, automakers are unveiling a dizzying number of vehicles with larger and ever more powerful engines.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee with 707 horsepower. A Lamborghini SUV that can whip laps like its supercar siblings. A Rolls-Royce truck built with a twin-turbo 6.7-liter V-12 engine that averages 14 miles per gallon on city roads and highways. SUVs account for 70 percent of the U.S. market versus 1.5 percent for electric vehicles. Automakers are happy to give customers what they want: sport-utility vehicles have higher margins and generate more revenue.

With more gas guzzlers on the road, can automakers still tout their carbon-cutting credentials?

“In the industry today there is such a disconnect between today and tomorrow,” Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis for Edmunds, told ABC News. “Automakers have set their sights on the future, which include autonomous and electrified vehicles. But automakers are selling high-profit SUVs in record numbers.”

The average new vehicle transaction price in October was $37,007, according to Kelley Blue Book, which tracks monthly sales. Sales of SUVs and CUVs, which have a higher sticker price than traditional sedans, are helping to push that number to new records.

“The bulk of America speaks with its wallet,” said Acevedo.

Last month an electric vehicle sold for an average of $63,366, according to Kelley Blue Book data. Compare that to the price of a full-size SUV/crossover ($62,833), mid-size car ($25,548) and luxury car ($56,234).

“In order to become a mainstream, practical option, the overall cost and range of an electric car must be on par with a traditional ICE [internal combustion engine] vehicle,” Brandon Mason, an automotive analyst at PwC, told ABC News.

He estimates that will happen by at least 2027.

“Right now they’re not cost competitive,” he explained. “But everyone agrees -- electric cars are the future.”

Ford Motors said it will offer 16 electric vehicles (EVs) and 24 plug-in hybrids and regular hybrids by 2022 -- an investment of $11 billion. The Detroit automaker currently sells five electrified vehicles, including an electric battery-powered Focus. Even its iconic Mustang sports car will go green; a V8-engine hybrid version debuts in 2021. General Motors said it was increasing production of its Bolt electric car by 20 percent to meet global demand. Sales of the Bolt are up more than 15 percent this year, though the majority of sales are outside the U.S.

German automaker Porsche, which started the luxury SUV craze, boasts seven “E-hybrid” vehicles, including six plug-in Panameras and one plug-in Cayenne SUV, which got a full redesign for 2019. Porsche still leads the competition in terms of performance vehicles with environmentally friendly cred. In Europe, for example, 63 percent of Panamera sales have the hybrid powertrain, which allows the vehicle to go short distances on the electric battery. A fully electric Porsche “Taycan” will begin production next year.

Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker by sales, said on Wednesday it would convert three factories in Germany to build electric cars. The rise of the electric car can be credited to two factors: Tesla and government regulations.

“Even though it’s a smaller player, Tesla casts a large shadow on the industry,” Acevedo explained.

The Model S, Tesla’s $70,000 sedan, was not an instant sales success, he noted. But it “hit its stride” over the years and regularly outsells its gasoline-engine luxury sedan competitors.

“A lot of Tesla’s market promise came from the Model S,” he said.

Ferrari has been quietly testing its gasoline-electric hybrid car. Aston Martin joined the electric car club with its Rapide E sedan. Not to be outdone, Italian sports car maker Maserati recently announced hybrids are in its future even as it rolls out two high-performance versions of its Levante SUV: the GTS with 550 hp and the 590-hp Trofeo.

“The V8 is predominantly focused on the U.S. market,” Matt McAlear, head of product marketing for Maserati North America, told ABC News.

The two V8 models will make up 10 percent of this year’s sales, he said. But by 2022 the Levante can brag that its driving dynamics and performance come without the help of a conventional engine.

“The Levante is still in its infancy,” McAlear said. “It’s being developed as a global vehicle.”

China, the world’s largest car market, also ranks as the No. 1 market for electrified vehicles. Chinese officials have declared their intentions of putting more electrified vehicles on the road, and sales, unsurprisingly, are up.

“There’s a huge national investment and generous rebates for the production of electric cars,” Acevedo said.

Lawmakers in France, India, Norway and Britain are also toying with banning sales of new gasoline and diesel cars. The dichotomy between government and consumer demands are forcing automakers to hedge their bets, Mason pointed out.

“They need to have a global portfolio,” he said.

Particularly confusing for automakers are efforts by the Trump administration to weaken the fuel economy standards established by former President Obama. In August, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed freezing CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards at 37 miles per gallon for new cars and trucks manufactured for sale in the U.S. for model years 2021 through 2026. The Obama administration in 2012 put in place rules that raised CAFE standards for new cars and trucks to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have filed lawsuits against the rollback by President Trump.

Regardless of the upcoming legal battles, electric cars and hybrids are not going anywhere. Automakers have also learned that design is just as important as range.

Electric cars are not as “quirky” and “polarizing” in their looks, Acevedo said, adding that some models, like the Jaguar I-PACE SUV and Audi e-tron, are beautifully designed and “more in touch with what shoppers want.” But don’t write off the gas-guzzling SUV just yet.

“There is a willingness” to build these larger and faster vehicles, Mason said. “People are buying them.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Royal Caribbean(NEW YORK) -- From a 10-story slide to a high-energy boardwalk on the deck, Symphony of the Seas is changing the family vacation game.

The newest ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet includes activities that dare its guests to take on their boldest adventures yet, from glow-in-the-dark laser tag to a zip line spanning more than 80 feet.

"Actually doing these activities is really fun, but also watching it!" Mark Tamis, senior vice president of hotel operations for Royal Caribbean International, told ABC News' Good Morning America. "Grandma and grandpa can be watching their kids or their grand kids actually climbing the rock wall, doing the zip line that goes right over ... There's so much to do and so much to watch people doing, it's really an incredible vacation!"

Guests of all ages will also enjoy the on board entertainment -- from the acrobatic performances in the AquaTheater to the live production of the Broadway hit, Hairspray.

"Royal Caribbean is very much a family brand," Michael Bayley, CEO and president of Royal Caribbean International, told GMA. "Whether you're a baby, a 2-year-old, a 5-year-old, into your 90s, or 100, we have experiences and activities that really work for you."

If you’re in the mood for something more relaxing, the cruise has its very own “Central Park” -- a green sanctuary with more than 20,000 plants. This is just one of the options that Symphony of the Seas has on board.

Symphony of the Seas is an evolution of the other ships in its class: Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas. Each ship in the fleet is an evolution of the next, and Symphony of the Seas features a bit of everything from its sister cruises.

The biggest difference of all is the size of Symphony of the Seas.

The ship measures 238 feet tall and 1,188 feet in length, with over 2,700 state rooms, which is more than the next largest in the fleet: Harmony of the Seas. Symphony of the Seas can hold 5,518 guests and 2,200 crew.

Royal Caribbean International's (RCI) latest ship is serving up some unique dining options, as well.

The Wonderland restaurant experience might you make go mad -- but only in the best of ways.

Guests are served surprise, innovative dishes based on six elements: sea, earth, wind, fire, ice and dreams. To top it all off, the Symphony of the Seas is RCI's first fleet to feature a Mad Hatter on staff in their Wonderland restaurant.

Some of the new restaurants include a taste of the seas with Hooked Seafood, and Mexican "street fare" dishes at El Loco Fresh.

Symphony of the Seas will sail for seven-night trips from Miami, starting on Nov. 17, and it will add trips to Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CoCo, opening in May 2019.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Courtesy Christies(NEW YORK) -- One of the most iconic paintings of the 20th century is poised to shatter the world record for the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.

David Hockney's "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" will be offered Thursday at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York City, where it is expected to sell for upwards of $80 million, which would smash the $58.4 million record set by Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog" in 2013.

Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's, described the acrylic painting as "one of the great masterpieces of the modern era."

"David Hockney’s brilliance as an artist is on full display with this monumental canvas, which encapsulates the essence of the idealized poolside landscape, and the tremendous complexity that exists within human relationships," Rotter said in a statement. "With this painting, Hockney cemented his placement within the realm of history’s most venerated artists, and come November, it is poised to become the most valuable work of art by a living artist ever sold at auction."

Hockney, who is revered as one of Great Britain's most influential artists and a pioneer of the 1960s pop art movement, conceived the composition for the double portrait by chance, after seeing the juxtaposition of two photographs on the floor of his studio in London -- one of a figure swimming underwater in a pool and the other of a boy staring at something on the ground.

He began painting in October 1971 but abandoned the first version of the canvas months later amid the end of his five-year relationship with Peter Schlesinger, a much younger American artist who was Hockney's original muse for the standing figure, according to Christie's.

Hockney started over in early April 1972, hoping to finish the piece for a planned exhibition in New York City the following month. He traveled to English filmmaker Tony Richardson's villa in the South of France, Le Nid du Duc, which became the backdrop for a number of Hockney's works.

There, he took hundreds of photographs of the villa's pool and breathtaking view in preparation for the painting, using his studio assistant as a stand-in for Schlesinger and a young photographer as the swimmer, according to Christie's.

Upon returning to London with the images, which soon covered the walls of his studio, Hockney worked on the painting 18 hours a day for two weeks straight, completing the piece the night before it was to be shipped to the U.S., according to Christie's.

The painting is lauded as a culmination of two of Hockney's most iconic motifs: a pool and a double portrait. The privately-owned work will go under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York City Thursday night.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

The Ford Motor Company(NEW YORK) -- Ford is getting into the food and diaper business.

The carmaker announced a partnership with Walmart and Postmates on Wednesday, that would use self-driving cars to deliver grocery items using Postmates' infrastructure.

The move highlights the challenges facing Ford as ride-share and tech companies cut into the need for individual car ownership, and gives Walmart something to compete with Amazon's vast logistics operation to deliver consumer items in the traditional retail "last mile" journey home.

"We are exploring how self-driving vehicles can deliver many everyday goods such as groceries, diapers, pet food and personal care items. Enabled by Postmates delivery as a service, we were able to quickly set up a pilot program that explores how our self-driving vehicles can complement Walmart’s existing delivery offerings," Ford Autonomous Vehicles director of business development Brian Wolf wrote in a Medium post.

Walmart has been using Postmates to deliver grocery items picked by the retailer's personal shoppers, which will be available in 800 stores in 100 metro areas in the U.S., Wolf wrote. By next year, the number of stores offering delivery is expected to double.

The partnership to use self-driving cars for delivery, ahead of, say, commuting, was a good way for Ford to get into the autonomous game without too much risk, experts said.

"Doubling down on the commercial side of self-driving technology is a safer bet for Ford, but could be one that pays off well in the end. Solving commercial challenges is far easier than solving commuter ones, and is most likely the area where self-driving technology will take off first," Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds manager of industry analysis, said in a statement.

"People may not be willing to trust a self-driving car to take them somewhere, but if the car is going to bring things to them and make their lives a little easier, suddenly the technology is a lot less scary," Acevedo added.

The Ford grocery delivery program will launch in Miami, where the company has already completed 1,000 deliveries, Wolf wrote. Ford launched its autonomous driving experiment in the beach city earlier this year, partnering with Domino's and Postmates. The Domino's cars have a human driver.

"A self-driving vehicle won’t need to be tipped and it won’t park illegally," Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification, wrote in a Medium post at the time.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(GENEVA) -- A nearly 19-carat rare pink diamond jewel once known as "Fancy Vivid Pink" sold this week at a Christie's auction house in Geneva for a record-breaking, bank account-busting $50 million.

"The saturation, the intensity of this stone is as good as it gets in a colored diamond," Rahul Kadakia, Christie's international Head of Jewelry, said in the statement.

"To find a diamond of this size with this color is pretty much unreal," Kadakia said in the statement. "You may see this color in a pink diamond of less than one carat. But this is almost 19 carats and it’s as pink as can be. It’s unbelievable."

The pink diamond, an 18.96 carat Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond, was auctioned off during the Magnificent Jewels auction in Switzerland this week.

"Pink diamonds of any size and depth of color have always had a special allure," Tom Moses, executive vice president of Gemological Institute of America said in a statement. "This 18.96 carat emerald cut pink diamond is amongst the rarest of all gemstones."

The "Fancy Vivid Pink" diamond was sold to jeweler Harry Winston, who re-named it "The Winston Pink Legacy" diamond.

Gemologists categorize diamonds into two types: Type I and Type II, with Type II being rarer -- with a homogeneous color.

"Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type II a category of diamonds," Kadakia said. "These are stones that have little if any trace of nitrogen, and make up less than two percent of all gem diamonds. Type IIa stones are some of the most chemically pure diamonds often with exceptional transparency and brilliance."

“Only one in 100,000 diamonds possess a color deep enough to qualify as ‘Fancy Vivid’, and the Winston Legacy set a new record price per carat for a pink diamond,” according to Christie’s.

Only about 10 percent of pink diamonds weigh more than one-fifth of a carat, and Fancy Vivid Pink diamonds are rarely bigger than five or six carats.

Fancy Vivid Pink diamonds which weigh more than 10 carats are "virtually unheard of," according to a Christie's statement, which notes that only four times in the auction house's 250-year history have such precious gems appeared for sale.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(HORTONVILLE, Wis.) -- A family-owned business in Wisconsin that makes whiskey, beer and shot glasses with a decorative bullet built into them that they describe as “bulletproof” gave its company employees an unusual gift -- $500 to purchase the gun of their choice.

The announcement came late last month during a company meeting.

"We wanted to give a gift they could use for personal protection and we thought it would be fun," Ben Wolfgram, co-owner of BenShot, the glassware design company in Hortonville, Wisconsin, told ABC News.

The staff of 16 was allowed to pick a firearm at any local gun shop, and use any remaining money to purchase firearm accessories. The staff is a mixture of veterans, experienced gun owners, and first-time gun buyers, according to Wolfgram.

Firearm purchases are usual in this town, where hunting is common, and the company’s decision raised no red flags with local law enforcement.

"Every business has to make a policy on what they want to do. It’s not mandated. If the owners feels uncomfortable [purchasing firearms] there is no problem with that," Hortonville Village Police Chief Kristine Brownson told ABC News.

Training isn’t required to carry a firearm, but Wolfgram said the employees at BenShot were trained on gun safety.

With a seemingly constant stream of mass shootings in the U.S., BenShot is receiving backlash on social media, with some Twitter users vowing to boycott the business.

"We try to respectfully listen to their opinion and respectfully disagree," Wolfgram told ABC News.

The company said it supports the NRA and the 2nd amendment.

"Our Company is based on ammunition. We put bullets in drinking glasses," he said.

Wolfgram said the purchasing of firearms has been great for team building.

"I purchased a Smith & Wesson. I got a revolver, that’s a 38 special. It’s awesome to be a part of something like this," Chelsea Priest, marketing manager at BenShot, told ABC News.

Only two employees chose not to purchase a firearm.

"I decided not to get a gun. My husband isn’t into guns and I didn’t need one at this time," glass technician Jan Westby told ABC News, but added that her decision was not a political one.

So far, Wolfgram said no employee has brought their firearm to work.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Federal authorities have subpoenaed the social media company Snap Inc in an inquiry that appears to focus on Snap’s March, 2017 initial public offering, the company confirmed to ABC News Wednesday.

Both the Justice Department (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) have subpoenaed the company, which own the popular messaging app Snapchat.

The revelation about the subpoenas comes in the wake of a 2017 shareholder lawsuit alleging that Snap underplayed how competition from Instagram weighed on the growth of Snapchat.

“Snap has been responding to subpoenas and requests for information made by staff from the DOJ and the SEC,” a spokesman said in a statement. “It is our understanding that these regulators are investigating issues related to the previously disclosed allegations asserted in the class action about our IPO disclosures,” the spokesman said, referring to the company's initial public offering.

In May of last year shareholders sued Snap, alleging the company made “material misrepresentations and omissions concerning Snap’s user growth” and issued “materially false and/or misleading statements in Snap’s registration statement for its IPO.”

“While we do not have complete visibility into these investigations, our understanding is that the DOJ is likely focused on IPO disclosures relating to competition from Instagram," the Snap spokesman said in the statement.

"We continue to believe the class action's claims are meritless and our IPO disclosures were accurate and complete,” the Snap spokesman said.

After Snap’s $3.4 billion IPO its signature messaging app has disappointed investors and the stock price has dropped from its initial offering price of $17 per share to $6.71 on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The makers of e-cigarettes are facing new government restrictions on how the popular liquid nicotine products can be advertised and sold, with a top federal regulator making clear that industry hasn't done enough to keep vaping devices away from young people.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration already bans the sales of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to those under 18. And some states have gone farther, restricting sales to customers over 21. But FDA has made clear that it doesn't think enough has been done to prevent a new generation of Americans growing up addicted to nicotine. The agency has called out what it calls an "epidemic" of e-cigarette use among minors and has announced a Dec. 5 public hearing on the subject.

"We will take additional actions in the coming months to address the public health concern of youth e-cigarette and other tobacco product use with the goal of slowing and ultimately reversing these troubling trends," the FDA said earlier this month.

Juul, the nation's leading producer of e-cigarettes, tried to fend off additional regulation this week when it announced it would stop selling flavored vaping devices popular with younger consumers, including mango, fruit, creme and cucumber.

The company says it will only sell those flavors online and is setting up a system that would independently verify a person's age before allowing the sale.

"We don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use JUUL products," according to a company statement posted online. "We certainly don’t want youth using the product. It is bad for public health, and it is bad for our mission."

But Scott Gottlieb, head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said the actions by Juul wouldn't be enough.

"We're deeply concerned about the epidemic of youth use of e-cigs," he tweeted. "Voluntary action is no substitute for regulatory steps #FDA will soon take."

Last month, the FDA raided the San Francisco headquarters of Juul Labs, looking for documents related to the company's marketing practices. The federal regulator had been investigating whether Juul violated the law by targeting minors through its advertising and flavored products.

Gottlieb said he still supports policies that would help adult smokers quit, including the encouragement of adults addicted to traditional cigarettes to transition to e-cigarettes. But, he adds, "I won’t allow policy accommodation we take to promote innovation to come at the expense of an epidemic of use of tobacco products by children. We are now witnessing that epidemic."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it plans to set new rules about pollution from heavy-duty trucks, which release more than 20 percent of pollution from transportation that contributes to smog.

The "cleaner trucks initiative" aims to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, a group of gases that contribute to global warming and form smog. The EPA doesn't have a specific goal for the reduction, but officials said they will be looking at new technologies that could reduce and more accurately test emissions from trucks.

EPA sets different regulations for different kinds of vehicles. Heavy-duty trucks include semi trucks and other large pickup trucks, buses and recreational vehicles, according to the EPA definition.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told reporters the move will especially help cities and areas with heavy stop-and-go traffic to meet requirements to reduce ozone and other pollutants.

The agency could take a page from California for this rule. The state has been implementing new requirements for heavy-duty trucks and buses to be replaced with updated engines and technology to reduce pollution by 2023.

The head of EPA's air office Bill Wehrum said Monday night the agency will be working with California on the new rule, though they might not agree with all of California's approach.

While the agency is working on new rules for larger trucks, Wehrum said they consider this effort completely separate from efforts to reduce fuel-efficiency standards for smaller cars and trucks, which is at odds with California's higher standards.

The EPA will begin the process of writing a proposed rule, according to the announcement Tuesday. It would still need to be made available for public comment before anything is final.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has still not come forward to claim the prize.

In late October, the winning ticket was purchased at KC Mart #7 in Simpsonville, South Carolina, making it the state's first Mega Millions jackpot win, according to lottery officials.

The winning ticket's numbers matched all six numbers drawn (5-28-62-65-70, and Megaball 5). But the ticket owner has still not come forward to claim the prize some three weeks later.

"We have not heard that the winner in South Carolina has come forward," Seth Elkin, a spokesperson for Maryland Lottery and Gaming, told ABC News.

Along with Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas, South Carolina law allows a winner to stay anonymous if he or she wishes, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

The winner has 180 days since the day the ticket was purchased to come forward to claim the prize.

Tony Cooper, the chief operating officer with the South Carolina Education Lottery, advised the winner to sign the back of the lottery ticket, keep it in a safe place and seek a reliable financial advisor.

The winner can take either a cash-out option and receive a lump sum of approximately $878 million, or choose the annuity and receive $1.586 billion over the course of 30 years.

The $1.5 Mega Millions jackpot caused lottery fever across the country last month as individuals and groups snapped up tickets in the hopes of scoring the ultimate prize.

The owner of the shop where the ticket was purchased and the state will also receive a windfall from the lucky ticket as well.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Amazon.com(NEW YORK) -- When Amazon builds its new Queens headquarters in Long Island City, the development will bring thousands of jobs, new construction, and, apparently, a helipad.

Government officials in New York agreed to let the Seattle-based retailer include a helicopter landing pad at the new facility as part of the deal.

But if the helipad can't be built on the actual site, the New York State Urban Development Corporation and New York City Economic Development Corporation said they would "assist the company in securing access to a helipad in an alternative location in reasonable proximity to the development sites," according to the agreement.

New York State Urban Development Corporation

The agreement states that Amazon alone will pay for any construction and "limit flights and landings to corporate use by the company," select "the least disruptive feasible location," "restrict landings to no more than 120 per year" and require that all flights be exclusively over water or the development sites."

It's not clear if the helicopter would be for Jeff Bezos' use. The Amazon CEO was injured in a helicopter crash in 2003.

A year later, Bezos told Fast Company, "I have to say, nothing extremely profound flashed through my head in those few seconds. My main thought was, This is such a silly way to die... It wasn’t life-changing in any major way. I’ve learned a fairly tactical lesson from it, I’m afraid. The biggest takeaway is: Avoid helicopters whenever possible! They’re not as reliable as fixed-wing aircraft."

Amazon did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. A spokesman for the New York City mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When built, the helipad may stand in contrast to its surroundings. The future Amazon HQ neighbors the Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in the Western Hemisphere.

Starting in 2020, Amazon "will hold or participate in events on a semi-annual basis at Queensbridge Houses such as job fairs and resume workshops in order to promote employment opportunities to NYCHA tenants for at least the initial three years of the project," according to the deal.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Amazon.com(NEW YORK) -- Amazon on Tuesday said it chose New York City and a suburb of Washington, D.C., as the locations for its new headquarters.

The Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, just across the East River from Manhattan, and Crystal City in northern Virginia, about a mile from the Pentagon, were selected by the retail giant after an extensive search.

Amazon will invest $5 billion in the new sites, which will create 50,000 new jobs, the company said in a statement.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, in a statement. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

Amazon is calling the area where it's building in northern Virginia "National Landing." Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam confirmed the renaming of Crystal City in an interview Tuesday on CNBC.

Nashville was also picked as Amazon's new "Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities." Five thousand jobs will be added there.

Hiring at these new locations will begin in 2019.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

CEO Jeff Bezos said last year he was seeking a metropolitan location with at least 1 million residents for the so-called HQ2, which sparked fierce competition among potential suitors. Amazon said it had narrowed its list of potential locations to 20 in January.

"We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs -- it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle," Amazon said in a press release announcing the project. "In addition to Amazon's direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."

A source close to the negotiations told ABC News last week that when Amazon executives visited New York, "Long Island City made a real impression. It's an actual neighborhood. It looks a little like Seattle, with bars and restaurants. It's clearly what the company is looking for."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Dave Simpson/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Celine Dion is working on something so good it might be … illegal?

The singer on Tuesday teased a “grand unveiling” of her latest endeavor by posting a clip of herself being taken to the ground and handcuffed by police officers.

“It’s OK, it’s OK. I’m Celine Dion,” she says with a smile. The name Célinununu then flashes on the screen, along with a website that reveals her new project: a line of gender-neutral children’s clothes.

Grand unveiling tomorrow… 🙌🏻 😉 // Grand dévoilement demain…🙌🏻 😉 - Team Céline pic.twitter.com/owBWWa025e

— Celine Dion (@celinedion) November 12, 2018

The website features a collection that includes a leather jacket, a skull sweatshirt, leggings, slippers and more.

"CELINUNUNU liberates children from the traditional roles of boy/girl, and enables younger people to grow on values of equality with the freedom strengthen their own power of personality based on mutual respect," the brand states on its website.

As for how Dion's “arrest” video relates to the brand, that remains to be seen.

The iconic singer previously launched a lifestyle brand, the Celine Dion Collection, at Nordstrom last year, featuring handbags, luggage and other accessories.

Dion seems to be exploring new avenues as she prepares to end her long-running Las Vegas residency next year. She’ll say "au revoir" to the show on June 8, 2019.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If Samsung engineers get this right, you may never have to dive into your couch cushions for a lost TV remote again -- because you won't need one.

The Sun reports the South Korean tech company is working on TVs you control with your mind.

The paper notes Samsung is partnering with a Swiss company that provides technology solutions for the disabled to develop TVs that could use brain-monitoring and eye movement sensors to let users flip the channels, control the volume, and the like, all without even stressing their button-pushing fingers.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services