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Tuesday
Jun302015

Donna Karan Steps Down as Chief Designer for DKNY

Photo by Chance Yeh/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Fashion designer Donna Karan has made a personal decision to step down as chief designer for Donna Karen New York (DKYN), the New York-based international fashion house announced Tuesday.

Karan, who spent the last three decades revolutionizing "the working woman's wardrobe" for DKNY, will now be taking on an advisory role to focus on her Urban Zen Company and foundation, which she founded in 2007, DKNY announced on social media.

Urban Zen, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the healing and treatment experience for patients and families, was founded after Karan said she was disappointed by the health care her husband received while undergoing treatment for lung cancer, she said in a previous interview with Stand Up to Cancer.

"Over the past three decades, Donna Karan has inspired women around the world to embrace their power and sensuality," DKNY said. "Donna Karan is an icon, visionary designer and a passionate philanthropist. She believes in dressing and addressing women. Her impact on American fashion has been extraordinary and she will continue to influence and inspire for years to come."

"We honor Donna today and always," DKNY added. "We look forward to celebrating her past, present and future in her memoir, which is due out in October 2015."

Karan, 66, co-founded the company with her late husband, Stephen Weiss, and Takiyho Inc. in 1984. It went public in 1996, and in 2001, LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton invested and helped grow DKNY into Donna Karan International.

It was not immediately clear who would be replacing Karan as chief designer for DKNY.

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Tuesday
Jun302015

Nike Chairman Phil Knight Announces Plans to Step Down

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nike Chairman Phil Knight announced that he will step down from that role, perhaps as soon as next year.

Knight and the company also announced a succession plan, including Knight's recommendation that Nike President and CEO Mark Parker succeed him. "For me, Nike has always been more than just a company," Knight said in a statement, "it has been my life's passion."

Knight, 77, said that the plan announced Tuesday "will continue to promote Nike's long-term growth."

"I have long felt a great responsibility to provide clarity and certainty for the long-term governance and leadership of Nike and for my ultimate transition as Chairman," Knight said Tuesday.

Parker noted in a statement that Knight's "vision and inspiration continues to drive [the company's] success today around the world."

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Tuesday
Jun302015

Wall Street Bounces Back with Small Gains

JaysonPhotography/iStock/thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street posted slight gains on Tuesday, bouncing back from an ugly session on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 22.82, climbing back to 17619.17.

The Nasdaq jumped 28.4 to a close of 4986.87, while the S&P 500 ended the day at 2063.10, up 5.46 from its open.

The markets fell on Monday in part due to concerns about the Greek debt situation. Greece has until midnight Wednesday morning to come up with 1.6 billion euros it owes.

President Obama said Tuesday that the Greek debt will not have a serious impact on the U.S. financial system.

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Tuesday
Jun302015

United Airlines Announces Investment in Alternative Fuel Company

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- United Airlines plans to use fuel made from farm waste and animal fat oil to fly its planes after announcing the single largest investment by a U.S. airline in alternative fuels.

The airline announced in a press release that it had invested $30 million in Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. United's Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brett Hart said in a statement that "alternative fuels is an emerging industry that is vital to the future of aviation." The investment, he says, "is just one of our intiiatives to help make these fuels saleable and scalable."

"Investing in alternative fuels is not only good for the environment," Hart continued, "it's a smart move for our company as biofuels have the potential to hedge against future oil price volatility and carbon regulations."

As part of the investment, United will also have the opportunity to purchase up to 90 million gallons of sustainable fuel from Fulcrum for a minimum of 10 years. Fulcrum's first alternative fuels plant is expected to begin commercial operation in 2017.

Fulcrum expects that its renewable fuel can reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent when compared to conventional jet fuel.

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Tuesday
Jun302015

Obama: Greek Debt Crisis Won't Have 'Major Shock' on US Financial System 

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama said the Greek debt crisis will not have a “major shock” to the U.S. financial system but noted his administration is closely monitoring the situation developing in Greece.

“In layman's terms, for the American people, this is not something that we believe will have a major shock to the system, but obviously it's very painful for the Greek people and it can have a significant effect on growth rates in Europe,” the president said in a press conference with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Tuesday. “If Europe's not growing the way it needs to grow, that has an impact on us; it has an impact on Brazil. Those are major export markets and that can have a dampening effect on the entire world economy.”

“It’s something that we take seriously but it’s not something that I think should prompt overreactions,” he added. “And so far I think the markets have properly factored in the risks involved.”

The president has discussed the Greek debt crisis with his European counterparts German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President Francois Hollande this week, “encouraging them to find a path towards resolution.”

“It is also important for us to make sure that we plan for any contingency and that we work with the European Central Bank and other international and -- institutions to make sure that some of the bumps that may occur in the financial markets and that have already occurred are smoothed out,” the president said.

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Tuesday
Jun302015

JetBlue Begins to Roll Out New Checked Bag Fees

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Say goodbye to the days of free checked bags on JetBlue flights.

After first announcing its plans to eliminate free checked bags last November, the airliner began rolling out the changes on Tuesday.

The move leaves Southwest as the only domestic airline to let all fliers check at least one bag free of charge.

JetBlue will now offer passengers three different fare options -- Blue, Blue Plus or Blue Flex. There is also another fare option -- Mint -- for those traveling coast to coast.

Customers who opt for the "Blue" option will pay the cheapest fare but will have to fork over $25 for their first checked bag at the check-in counter. The fee drops to $20 if they pay to check the bag online or at a check-in kiosk.

A second checked bag will be an additional $35.

Customers who pay a little more for "Blue Plus" will get one checked bag included in their fares, and those who select the "Blue Flex" and "Mint" options will get two checked bags.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun302015

Apple Music Launch: Hands on with Apple's New Streaming Service

Apple(NEW YORK) -- Apple is continuing to change the landscape of the music industry with its launch Tuesday of Apple Music, a streaming service offering members access to tens of millions of songs in the iTunes collection.

While Apple is late to the music streaming game, it enters the market with one huge advantage: With more than 800 million iTunes accounts, Apple Music has the opportunity to quickly amass a following.

Introducing the service at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Jimmy Iovine, co-founder of Beats, which is owned by Apple, emphasized the carefully tailored playlists won't be grouped by genre or beats -- and instead will be curated by a team of music experts.

How to Get Apple Music

In order to check out Apple Music, users will need to first upgrade their phones to iOS 8.4, which can be downloaded by going to settings, general and then software update. From there, users will need tp download the latest operating system, which will allow them to check out Apple Music.

Apple Music will first be available on iOS, watchOS, Mac and Windows, with an Android version coming in the fall.

What to Expect

Your existing iTunes music library will live alongside the tens of millions of songs in Apple's catalog. Apple Music members will be able to add to their collection and save songs for offline listening or quickly share favorite music with friends on social media.

Apple Music users can get a three-month free membership, after which a $9.99 per month subscription fee will apply. There will also be a family plan providing service for up to six family members available for $14.99 per month.

Play with Siri

Once you're all set up with a trial membership, try asking Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant, to be your DJ. As her questions such as "play me the best songs from 2000" or "What was the No. 1 song in January 1988?"

What Else Is New in iOS 8.4

Aside from Apple Music, expect iOS 8.4 to also fix that pesky bug making the rounds last month that caused some iPhones to reboot after receiving a specific string of unicode characters. Also expect iBooks improvements and a fix to an issue where some deleted Apple Watch apps could re-install.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun302015

Leap Second: How Companies Are Preparing for Extra Second

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If Tuesday feels a bit longer, there's a reason for it.

A leap second will be added to the clock to account for a discrepancy between Earth's rotation and the atomic clock.

While there have been more than two dozen instances of a leap second being added since 1972, companies relying on their computer systems aren't taking any chances.

When the last leap second was added on June 30, 2012, it caused issues with a number of websites, including Qantas, LinkedIn and Yelp.

The extra second will be added as the clock strikes midnight universal time, meaning the extra second will come for people in the United States at 8 p.m. EDT -- making it the first leap second to be added during trading hours since active 1997.

Clocks synchronized to standard civil time will show the extra second as 0:60, however it's possible that programs not equipped to handle the extra second could have an issue.

As a safeguard, U.S. stock markets are ending some after-hours trading early. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission requested plans of action last month from exchanges, according to NASDAQ.

Google explained its approach for handling the leap second in a 2011 blog post. The company has adopted an approach they call the "leap smear," which gradually adds a few milliseconds to every update to ensure when the leap second comes around, all of the systems are caught up and not disrupted.

"Our systems are engineered for data integrity, and some will refuse to work if their time is sufficiently 'wrong,'" a company blog post said. "We saw some of our clustered systems stop accepting work on a small scale during the leap second in 2005, and while it didn't affect the site or any of our data, we wanted to fix such issues once and for all."

Amazon Web Services said last month it would spread out the leap second over the course of many hours to ensure all of its systems are caught up by midnight and unaffected by the change.

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Tuesday
Jun302015

Incomes for Bottom 99 Percent Jumped 3.3% in 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The 99 percent of Americans who aren't among the country's richest saw their incomes rise more than 3 percent last year, marking the biggest annual gain for that group since the Great Recession.

Incomes rose 3.3 percent to a household average of $47,213, according to economist Emmanuel Saez.

But despite the gains, the gap between the 99 percent and the top 1 percent got worse. The richest Americans saw their incomes go up 10.8 percent to a household average of $1.3 million.

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Tuesday
Jun302015

Obama to Overhaul Overtime Rule, Boosting Pay for 5 Million Workers

The White House(WASHINGTON) — Millions of more Americans may soon see a boost in their wages as President Obama prepares to announce a new regulation for overtime pay.

Later this week, President Obama will unveil a plan to increase the threshold for which employers are required to pay employees, a senior administration official says.

Under the new rule, employees earning under $50,440 will be able to earn time-and-a-half when their work week exceeds 40 hours, up from the current threshold of $23,660.  

The proposal would affect 5 million American workers.

"That's good for workers who want fair pay, and it's good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve — since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren't,” the president wrote in a Huffington Post op-Ed touting the new plan. “That's how America should do business. In this country, a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay. That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.”

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