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Thursday
Jul182019

Former NASA engineer reflects on her historic Apollo 11 role

NASA(NEW YORK) -- This year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the NASA space mission that led to the first men walking on the moon.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made the historic journey in 1969, with Armstrong becoming the first to set foot on the moon and speaking the now-famous words, "That's one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind."

But it wasn't just men who were important to the history-making mission.

Thanks to Judy Sullivan, the first female engineer in NASA's Spacecraft Operations, it was also a big leap for womankind.

'Goodbye, Judy'

Sullivan was a biomedical engineer in 1969, and one of her most memorable experiences was working with Neil Armstrong in preparation for the historic Apollo 11 mission as lead engineer for the biomedical system.

She studied their breathing rates and depths through sensors that were placed on their sides.

"I would monitor the equipment as a surgeon tested the astronauts to make sure they were healthy enough to go into space," Sullivan said.

"I'm monitoring [Armstrong's] heart rate and breathing rate, but all of a sudden there was a disturbance when he put his gloves on. I had to write that," she shared.

Before he left, he said goodbye to the room of technicians, and then he said, "Goodbye, Judy."

"Then he left for the moon. Hard to believe," she said.

From interest to career path

Sullivan always liked science but didn't realize it would play a bigger role in her life -- and in history, as with her encounter with Armstrong -- until she learned about the first launch space launch in 1957.

"[It became apparent that this could be an] adventure that I'd like to be part of someday," Sullivan said.

She decided to major in biology at Jacksonville State College in Alabama when she heard President John F. Kennedy's speech encouraging students to study science, math and engineering.

Sullivan was one of only two women in her chemistry classes.

"Girls in that period of time usually became one of three things: nurses, teachers or secretaries, and nobody thought beyond that mindset," she said.

Reaching for the sky at NASA

After a few years of working as a teacher after graduation, Sullivan applied for a summer job at NASA at Cape Canaveral, Florida, when she was 26.

She had no idea it would become a bigger part of her future.

Her interviewer -- a woman -- told her, "They'll give you every reason in the world why they can't have a woman over there. They'll even tell you there [are] no female bathrooms.”

But NASA took a chance and hired Sullivan because of her high test results. She qualified as an aerospace technologist when she applied for the job.

"A lot of women became homemakers [at the time], which is also positive," Sullivan told ABC News' Good Morning America. "But I think I have a strong sense of adventure and I wanted to do something more."

"I was very fortunate," she said. "Fate, God's plan for me -- I was in the right place at the right time."

She started doing checks of engines for NASA by testing them to make sure they were safe, but she wanted to land a permanent position at NASA.

She joined the biomedical group for Gemini 12 and became the first woman hired in Spacecraft Operations.

While she worked on a team of all men who supported her, her experience at NASA didn't come without its challenges.

"I heard a section chief say [to someone], 'What do they expect of me? I've got a woman,'" she shared. "When you're in a position like that, it made me more determined to be good, to do a good job and fit in. That's how you get accepted."

Encouraging young women to pursue science

Now 76, Sullivan feels "blessed" to be part of history. She is also passionate about encouraging young women today to pursue careers in the math and science industries.

"Be adventurous, don't let anyone convince you, you can't make your goals," she said. "Talk to your guidance counselors and get to know your science teachers because they're gonna make you believe in yourself."

She also encouraged girls who have interests in these fields to travel to the Space Coast in Florida where they can see a rocket launch and learn about the history of NASA.

"Realize that a lot of jobs are down there and they're not just for guys," she said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul182019

Horchata, unicorn are among top trending ice cream flavors of the year

udra/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here's the scoop: July is National Ice Cream Month and July 21 is National Ice Cream Day, which means you have even more reason to cool down with two scoops of your favorite flavor.

Square just released data about America's iconic dessert, and there's nothing too vanilla about this year's trendiest ice cream flavors.

According to the report, the five flavors that saw the most year-over-year growth in sales between 2018 and 2019 were horchata, "unicorn," sesame, salted caramel and whiskey.

Horchata, which includes rice milk infused and hints of sweet cinnamon, a popular drink in Latin America, has evolved into a popular flavor in the U.S. It's seen 257% sales growth over the past year, becoming the number one trending flavor, according to Square. The growth seems to be tied to the awareness and how the Mexican culture has been embraced in the U.S.

"I think it's because of increased awareness of it and it's a favorite amongst Mexicans, so it makes sense that now more people are aware and exposed embrace it," said Fany Gerson, owner and founder of the popular New York City ice cream shop La Newyorkina. Plus, "It's delicious."

Unicorn-flavored ice cream -- which often includes heavy whipped cream, condensed milk, gel food coloring colors and vanilla extract -- has grown since Starbucks announced back in 2017 it was bringing a Unicorn Frappuccino to the menu. And Bronies -- superfans of My Little Pony -- could also be influencing the 100% growth in the U.S. for unicorn ice cream.

In the state of Nevada, per the report, unicorn has become the favorite flavor. Creamberry, a popular Las Vegas ice cream shop, has become an Instagram sensation with people from all across the world trying its unicorn/cotton candy-inspired ice cream. Creamberry has more than 60,000 followers on Instagram and has become one of those ice cream destinations that goes outside the ordinary.

"The cotton candy has become our most popular flavor. Customers like the cotton candy because of the presentation and looks over the taste of the ice cream from what we've noticed and heard," said Minira, who identified herself as an owner of Creamberry.

Among the other trending flavors, sesame saw 86% increase over the past year, while salted caramel saw a 77% increase and a 58% jump for whiskey, according to the report.

On the flip side, a few flavors are getting a colder reception: hazelnut, bacon and honey are all trending downward, according to the report.

When buying flavors besides the ordinary "classics" such as vanilla and chocolate, customers tend to shy away from the condiments. The cone has come back to life as well, as more people tend to pick the cone over the cup when eating ice cream.

Vegan ice cream has become a trendy pick over the past couple of years with the increase in health awareness. The sales have increased over 220% from 2015 to 2018 and look to continue to grow, according to the Square report. The vegan category includes options such as ice cream made of coconut milk, almond milk and soy milk, as well as sorbet.

And it's not just treats for humans seeing an uptick. Our four-legged friends are also partaking in more frozen treats, with the report noting dog ice cream steadily climbing from 2017-2018 with 55% more purchases.

During the yearly sales peak in July, chances are Vermont -- the home of Ben & Jerry's -- will enjoy the most ice cream, as it ranks the highest for when adjusted for consumption by population. Behind the Green Mountain State are Oregon, Hawaii, Montana and then Washington, D.C.

And the most popular times to indulge in ice cream? According to the report, lines form the longest during the weekends, and at 2 and 7 p.m. during the day.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul182019

American workers could face legal jeopardy for using racist 'go back' insult

DNY59/iStock(NEW YORK) -- "Go back to Africa."

That was the insult that Ebrima Jallow said he heard repeatedly from his supervisor and fellow co-workers while working at the Walmart in Landover Hills, Maryland.

Despite his recent promotion to the position of Asset Protection Coordinator, overseeing security and theft prevention efforts at the facility, Jallow said the attacks he faced were relentless, according to a lawsuit filed on his behalf by the federal government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2013.

Jallow, a Muslim who was born in Gambia, accused his store manager and fellow co-workers of repeated instances of harassment and intimidation based on his national origin and religion.

In meetings and day-to-day interactions with fellow employees, Jallow said he was mocked for his accent and told that "all Muslims do is blow up buildings and people."

Employees also allegedly told him he should "go back to Africa."

After reporting the harassment, Jallow alleged he was retaliated against and put on a one-year "coaching period" where other employees were told not to work with him.

Following a nearly two-year court battle, Jallow was paid $75,000 in damages from Walmart, and in a settlement the company committed to providing anti-discrimination and harassment training to employees.

Some Republican leaders have rushed to President Donald Trump's defense following his use of an age-old racist trope to attack four minority Congresswomen -- saying they should "go back" to their countries of origin. And in interviews with several of Trump's supporters planning to attend his campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday, many said they took no issue with the president's comments.

"I've been saying it for years," Michael Audette, a resident from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, told ABC News.

But the insult has been referred to in numerous court cases brought by the government over the past decade as a textbook definition of illegal harassment in the workplace.

Eric Bachman, a former Department of Justice Civil Rights Division prosecutor who specializes in anti-discrimination cases, told ABC News that the president's tweets would be "as close to a slam-dunk discriminatory claim as you can get" if he had uttered them as the head of a private company rather than as chief executive of the United States.

"Frankly, if there was a board of directors, they would be taking action to fire him if he were the president of a company," Bachman said. "This would almost certainty violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and a host of other civil rights-related laws."

"Just his statements alone, would be really strong evidence of a hostile work environment that he treats employees who are not white differently than he would treat white employees," Bachman added.

In the days since the president's tweet, civil rights groups have pointed out the sordid history of the "go back to where you came from" racial epithet and its expansion as an insult beyond immigrant groups to anyone who may be a person of color.

"National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not)," EEOC spokesperson Kimberly Smith-Brown said in a statement, emailed to ABC News on Wednesday.

The EEOC, which declined to comment directly on the president's tweets, is the federal entity tasked with carrying out enforcement of the nation’s workplace anti-discrimination laws.

Below are just a few examples of cases that the EEOC has pursued in the last 15 years in which alleged harassment from employees mirrored the language from the president's tweets. Except where identified, the cases primarily resulted in settlements where the companies were not compelled to admit to any wrongdoing.

1) California hospital settled lawsuit in 2012 for nearly $1 million after Filipino-Americans said they were told to go back to the Philippines, among other instances of harassment

The EEOC brought a lawsuit on behalf of nearly 70 Filipino-American hospital workers at California's Delano Regional Medical Center who reported that they were subject to harassment and discrimination based on their national origin. The workers alleged that fellow staffers "constantly made fun of their accents," and some "were told to go back to the Philippines."

The EEOC argued that the employees' conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the hospital settled the case for $975,000, distributed between the approximately 70 employees, while committing to develop stronger anti-harassment rules in the hospital.

2) Nevada U-Haul company sued in 2006 after Hispanic workers were told "go back to Mexico"

In 2006, the EEOC brought a lawsuit against a U-Haul company in Nevada where it charged that Hispanic and Asian/Filipino employees were being subject to bigoted harassment based on their race and/or national origin. The Hispanic employees reported that they were told by some of their fellow employees to "go back to Mexico."

The Nevada U-Haul company settled the case for $153,000 and agreed to provide discrimination prevention training to its employees.

3) Car dealership sued in 2004 by a Muslim immigrant from India who said he was told by his coworkers that he should "just go back where [he] came from"

The Houston office of the EEOC brought a lawsuit in 2004 against a car dealership, accused by a former Muslim immigrant employee of subjecting him to a hostile work environment. The man, Mohammad Rafiq, said he was fired for complaining about his supervisors and fellow employees' behavior, alleging that they had told him, "This is not your Islamic state or your India, where you came from," and that a separate colleague had specifically asked him, "Why don't you go back to where you came from since you believe what you believe?"

The company eventually settled the lawsuit as it started to move its way up through the appeals process. They signed a consent decree that required them to make annual compliance reports, apologize and pay $13,500 in damages to Rafiq and provide training to employees.

4) In 2011, New York University settled a lawsuit for $210,000 after African employee called "monkey" and told to "go back to the jungle"

The EEOC announced in 2011 that it had settled a lawsuit with New York University over complaints from an employee, who was a native of Ghana, that said he had been called a "monkey," and told to "go back to the jungle" by a mailroom supervisor. The university agreed to pay the employee $210,000 in lost wages and compensation for the moral distress from the harassment, and also committed to initiating "university-wide enhanced policies and compliant procedures" intended to prevent further, similar harassment from taking place.

"Harassment based on national origin and race is still all too common in today’s workplace," Elizabeth Grossman, regional attorney of the EEOC New York District Office said in a statement announcing the settlement. "EEOC will continue to aggressively expose and remedy such conduct, no matter where it occurs. No employer is above the law."

5) California restaurant paid $165,000 to a dining room manager who was told to "go back to your country"

In 2007, the EEOC sued the California restaurant Albion River Inn after an Arab restaurant manager was fired for refusing to apologize to a customer who had told him to "go back to [his] country." The dining manager said in the suit he was sticking up for a waiter from Tunisia who the customer had physically pushed and was berating for his limited English-speaking abilities. When the customer returned to the restaurant the next evening, the manager asked him not to continue his harassment of his employees -- but the customer allegedly responded by attacking the manager's national origin, saying among other insults, "I fought two wars to get rid of people like you!"

After firing the manager for refusing to write an apology note to the customer, the restaurant agreed to pay $165,000 in relief and committed to give employees non-discrimination training.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul172019

The Purple Campaign partners with Uber, Amazon to crack down on workplace sexual harassment

Josie_Desmarais/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A year ago, Ally Coll was working as a lawyer when her news feed began to fill up with #metoo posts.

She was surprised both by the volume of the posts and the fact that so many of them reminded her of her own experience when she was an 18-year old intern in the U.S. Senate.

"I was mostly struck by the stories that were being told, that they were speaking so publicly about experiences that I have had, that I know many of us have had, that have really remained in the shadows for so long," Coll told a handful of reporters at a private event on Tuesday in New York City. "I started thinking about my own experiences with sexual misconduct."

Coll would later recount her story of being sexually assaulted by her then boss, a 70-year old senator, to reporters from the Washington Post.

She said she identified with the lack of options for people who suffer workplace harassment right as she found herself close to the epicenter of the #metoo movement. David Boies, the head of her law fim, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, represented Harvey Weinstein, a longtime friend and client of his.

"I found myself in an unexpected #MeToo moment in my workplace. The New Yorker reported that my law firm had retained private investigators who targeted, lied to and secretly recorded conversations with women coming forward with allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein," Coll wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post, on The Purple Campaign's origins.

After working internally to create better workplace policies regarding sexual harassment and assault at the firm, she decided to commit herself full-time to the effort. She left the firm and co-founded The Purple Campaign.

Boies Schiller did not respond to request for comment from ABC News.

Thus, the Purple Campaign was launched a year ago with the ambitious goal of putting an end to "the systemic problem of workplace sexual harassment that exists across every industry in the United States."

On Tuesday, the campaign said it has partnered with Uber, Amazon, Airbnb and Expedia to develop a certification program for corporations to establish a policy regarding workplace harassment.

The companies will provide data, and some funding, to help develop a set of policies on normative behavior, effective employee training, internal reporting systems, fair investigation and adjudication procedures, measuring success and the intersectionality of workplace harassment.

The certification would be a third party check along the same lines as the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index that assesses companies' corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.

The Purple Campaign announcement was met with cautious optimism by experts.

"I’ve been in discussions with companies on how to show their bona fides. I think it’s a good effort towards that," civil rights lawyer Debra Katz, who represented Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at the time of her sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh told ABC News. "You can have a good policy, but if there’s a concern about retaliation," the policy is not enough.

"One would want to know what the reporting rate it is," Katz said, and "to see if people feel safe reporting."

Labor expert Harley Shaiken of the University of California, Berkeley, called it "an impressive first step," but said the biggest challenge to confronting harassment is to make sure that employees have "a voice and enough power to give that voice meaning."

The partnership with a company like Uber, which has tried to shed what has been described as its frat boy image of a company that runs outside the reach of regulators, also underscores the challenges.

In 2017, after Uber commissioned a workplace culture report by former attorney general Eric Holder, it ousted its co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick per the report's recommendations. The report also recommended an overhaul of the company's diversity and inclusion practices including creating the office of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, a role that is currently filled by Bo Young Lee.

Since the time, the company has tried to change its culture and its image as it prepared for an initial public offering earlier this year.

University of Michigan Law School professor and labor expert Kate Andrias told ABC News that sexual harassment policies cannot succeed in a vacuum.

"Any effort to combat sexual harassment in the workplace is a step in the right direction and these sorts of programs have, in other contexts, helped somewhat to improve labor practices and to reduce discrimination," she said.

"But until these companies commit to respecting workers' rights more generally -- for example by ending the use mandatory arbitration agreements altogether; by no longer misclassifying workers as contractors, thereby leaving them unprotected by many employment laws; and by no longer opposing workers' rights to collective bargaining -- problems are likely to persist," she said. "When workers lack basic rights on the job, it is much harder to speak out against sexual harassment and to pursue remedies."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul172019

Boeing dedicates $50 million of pledged $100 million to the families of the victims of Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes

nycshooter/iStock(CHICAGO) -- Boeing on Wednesday announced that is will dedicate $50 million of pledged $100 million for relief to the families of the 346 people that were killed in the Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes.

"The tragic loss of life in both accidents continues to weigh heavily on all of us at Boeing, and we have the utmost sympathy for the loved ones of those on board," Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing CEO said in a statement. "Through our partnership with Feinberg and Biros, we hope affected families receive needed assistance as quickly and efficiently as possible."

This announcement came minutes before a husband and father testified before Congress about losing his wife and children in the Ethiopia crash.

Boeing's $100 million pledge came a week after U.S. Federal Aviation Administration pilots found a new potential issue with the 737 Max aircraft involved in both fatal crashes during a simulated flight last week, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The new flaw, traced to how data is being processed by the flight computer, affected pilots' abilities to quickly and easily follow the required recovery procedures for the runaway stabilizer, sources told ABC News. The problem is not related to reported problems with an anti-stall system, called MCAS, but connected to a broader anti-stall system called "speed trim."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul172019

LA home where Manson followers brutally killed the LaBiancas is now for sale

SondraP/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles home where Charles Manson's followers brutally killed a married couple is now for sale.

Grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary LaBianca were ambushed at their house on August 10, 1969. They were stabbed multiple times and the word "war" was carved on Leno LaBianca's stomach.

The killers also used their blood to scrawl on the couple's walls the words "Rise," "Death to Pigs" and "Helter Skelter" -- a reference to The Beatles' song and the phrase Manson wanted to use to ignite a race war.

The property listing on Redfin for the LaBianca's former home does not mention the gruesome double murder there, but does describe "breathtaking, unobstructed" views of downtown Los Angeles, Griffith Park and the San Gabriel Mountains.

The two-bedroom house was built in 1922 and sits on a .71 acre lot, the listing says.

"It's extremely peaceful, quiet and private," the Redfin listing agent, Robert Giambalvo, said in a statement released by the company to ABC News.

"The home is spectacular and its attributes far exceed an event that happened 50 years ago," Giambalvo said. "Nobody who has come to see it has asked about something that happened a long time ago. Someone came through yesterday who was born after 1969 and just kind of shrugged their shoulders over the past. It's ancient history for them."

The property was posted to Redfin on July 10 and is listed for $1,988,800.

The LaBianca murders came one day after the Manson followers carried out an attack at another Los Angeles home, killing pregnant actress Sharon Tate, hairstylist Jay Sebring, heiress Abigail Folger, writer Wojciech Frykowski and teenager Steven Parent.

The two days of grisly killings ignited fear throughout the city.

Manson and three of his followers were convicted in 1971 and sentenced to death, but the death sentences were commuted to life sentences when a California Supreme Court ruling abolished capital punishment in 1972. Manson died behind bars in 2017.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul172019

Hot dog fans can relish a stay in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile with Airbnb

joshuaraineyphotography/iStock(CHICAGO) -- A hot dog may not be considered a sandwich, but now it can be a home.

Oscar Mayer is opening the doors of its infamous Wienermobile for the first time ever to give hot dog lovers a chance to book an overnight stay in the 27-foot hot dog on wheels through Airbnb.

This summer guests can call the Wienermobile home for the ultimate camp-out from Aug. 1 to 4 in the Fulton Market neighborhood of Chicago.

According to the listing, which went live for bookings on National Hot Dog Day, the camper/RV has one bed, one bath and can sleep two guests.

Fans can request to book a one-night-only stay, which costs $136 per night.

Additional rules include: "Must love Oscar Mayer hot dogs, obviously. No mustard and definitely no ketchup on the furniture (but plenty on your dogs as you please)."

"Guests must be over the age of 12. Maximum of two guests for the overnight stay, and no gatherings of more than six people at the Wienermobile.

All Oscar Mayer and Airbnb ask of guests, "Be your best, not wurst, self" when enjoying a stay.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul172019

FaceApp goes viral with old-age filter, but spurs privacy concerns

damircudic/iStock(NEW YORK) -- FaceApp is the latest viral trend that has everyone doing a double-take over how they might look 50 years in the future -- but users might want to take a closer look at the privacy policy first.

The popular free mobile app that instantly alters the appearance of a person's face -- adding wrinkles, sun damage and grey hair -- has blown up on social media, shared by hundreds including a long list of celebrities.

FaceApp uses a type of artificial intelligence to "transform your face" according to the iTunes app store.

But while social media feeds fill up with the instantly aged pictures, new security concerns have risen for the recently top trending free mobile app -- especially in the wake of recent social media scandals, where other platforms have been taken to task for giving away users' private information.

Critics have cautioned that the app could collect more than just the photos that are uploaded. According to the policy, FaceApp "cannot ensure the security of any information you transmit to FaceApp or guarantee that information on the service may not be accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed."

"FaceApp's privacy page also says they may share user content and your information with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies," ABC News chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis explained.

"It's a Russian company, so once you grant access," she added, "you are granting access to all of those companies."

There are currently 80 million FaceApp users.

FaceApp was developed by a small team from St. Petersburg, Russia and has not updated its privacy policy since 2017, when the app previously went viral after criticism for what some considered to be racist filters that lightened users' skin tones.

"You're getting the access to your phone so all of your contacts, all of your pictures. Once you allow that you are giving away everything," Jarvis said. "That's how they're paying for it, free isn't actually free, they're giving away your information."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul172019

EU launches investigation into Amazon's use of 'sensitive data'

Amazon(LONDON) -- The executive body of the European Union has opened a formal investigation into whether Amazon's handling of data from independent sellers breaks anti-competition laws.

The European Commission will investigate Amazon's dual role as a retailer selling products and as a marketplace where independent sellers deal directly with customers.

The investigation will build on the commission's preliminary fact-finding mission, which found that "Amazon appears to use competitively sensitive information - about marketplace sellers, their products and transactions on the marketplace."

These practices could breach European antitrust and competition laws on anti-competitive policies.

"European consumers are increasingly shopping online," Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy, said in a statement. "E-commerce has boosted retail competition and brought more choice and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms don't eliminate these benefits through anti-competitive behavior. I have therefore decided to take a very close look at Amazon's business practices and its dual role as marketplace and retailer, to assess its compliance with EU competition rules."

The commission will investigate how Amazon uses the data of marketplace sellers and whether this breaches EU competition laws. They will in turn look at the "Buy Box" option, and whether this "sensitive data" is used to determine which sellers are chosen for the "Buy Box" option, which "seems key for marketplace sellers as a vast majority of transactions are done through it," the European Commission said.

If Amazon is proven to have broken EU competition laws, the company could face a significant fine.

Earlier this month, the EU fined Japanese company Hello Kitty $7 million for violating competition rules in the bloc.

In reaction to the news, an Amazon spokesperson said, "We will cooperate fully with the European Commission and continue working hard to support businesses of all sizes and help them grow."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul172019

Ford builds a pickup truck emoji

fredrocko/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Henry Ford rolled out the first factory-built half-ton pickup truck in 1925. Fast forward 94 years and his company wants to break new ground on your smartphone screen by introducing a truck emoji.

"When customers started demanding a truck emoji, we knew we had to help make it happen," Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of automotive, said in a statement.

So last year, Ford submitted a proposal to the organization that reviews and approves new emojis. The Unicode Consortium short-listed the pickup truck emoji. If it's chosen, it'll be out in early 2020 on all platforms.

The automaker has even created a tongue-in-cheek video about developing the emoji:

Billions of emojis are sent daily, with cars, scooters, boats and even spaceships among the 3,000 available.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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