SEARCH

Friday
Jul132018

Ice cream shop creates 'bouquets' featuring up to 21 scoops on a single cone

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- You've probably seen these massive, teetering towers of ice cream scoops balancing atop a single cone on your Instagram feed.

Stuffed Ice Cream, nestled in New York City's East Village, rose to social media fame for its over-the-top, massive ice cream "bouquets," which can feature up to 21 scoops of ice cream each.

Some may be surprised to know that these bouquets "came up by accident," according to Jackie Luu, one of the co-founders of the ice cream shop.

"One day I was playing around, trying to put nine scoops on a cone, and it got to a point where we knew we were going to make 20 flavors, so we wanted to throw 20 scoops on a cone," he said. "And we ended up throwing 21 scoops."

As impractical to eat as it may seemed, they soon realized the stunning balancing act of scoops on the cone could be a big hit in the age of the "extra"-ness and Instagram, or if you are looking for a treat to share with friends.

"It was very Instagram-worthy, and it's great for people to share," he added. "So we decided to make the bouquets happen."

If you are trying to cut back (slightly) on your ice cream consumption, you can also get a bouquet featuring a mere seven scoops.

Balancing a stack of ice cream scoops on a cone takes some skills, Luu said.

"You got to really round out your scoops perfectly. You got to really compact them and make them really tight," he said. "And then, when you scoop them, you have to kind of precisely put them in the angle that it will just keep stacking on top and not fall over."

Cones can't always carry the weight of so much ice cream, he added, saying he's observed that cones "can start cracking around 18 scoops."

"But we keep going anyway. We like the challenge," he said.

How is it possible to eat an ice cream bouquet?

"Either bring a bunch of friends to eat it with," Luu said. "Or just eat it quickly and don't get brain freeze."

Another star attraction of the tiny ice cream shop is their "cruff" -- a doughnut ice cream sandwich.

The sandwich, which comes in a variety of flavors, features a housemade doughnut -- either glazed or unglazed -- stuffed with ice cream and topped with everything from crushed almonds to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

"At the end of the day, we make everything here, we're open to all suggestions, we're pretty proud of what we make," Luu said. "If you have any ice cream flavors you want to throw our way, we can try to make it happen."

If you are itching for an excuse to blow your diet and try these summer sweets, this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul122018

Build-A-Bear closes lines nationwide over safety concerns for 'Pay Your Age' day

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Build-A-Bear Workshop has closed the lines to its stores nationwide and in Canada after receiving an "overwhelming response" to its first-ever "Pay Your Age" day promotion.

The popular children's store announced Monday the sale, which would allow kids to pay a price that matched their age for any bear.

Frenzied parents and children in search of a deal flocked to malls to take advantage, prompting the store to stop allowing additional guests due to "safety concerns," it said in a statement. The move was made at the request of local authorities, Build-A-Bear wrote on Twitter.

"We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event," the statement read. "We understand that many Guests were turned away as, due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores and, in other locations, we were forced to limit the line."

Stuffed animals from the shop typically range from $16 to $75.

Vouchers were given to guests who were present in lines to be redeemed at a later time, and vouchers have been available online to Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada who log on to their accounts by midnight, the store said. The vouchers will be honored through Aug. 31.

In New York City, the Build-A-Bear Workshop on 34th Street near Herald Square stretched for blocks. Jackie Kelso, a manager of the Manhattan Build-A-Bear, told ABC News that “well over 1,500 people” showed up to the store. People began arriving at the store around 6 a.m., and some customers expressed frustration due to the long waits, she said.

"I think it's great," Kelso said of the unexpected response to the promotion, which she said was meant to highlight the store's new "Count Your Candles" birthday program. "I think we had a great outcome, and a lot of people are really excited about it."

At the Richland Mall in Waco, Texas, hundreds of people were seen standing outside of the store, waiting for a turn to create the perfect stuffed companion.

One shopper in Wesley Chapel, Florida, recorded the madness outside the Shops at Wiregrass shopping center, writing, "My heart goes out to all the @buildabear employees. May you find rest tonight."

Another shopper at the Northpark Mall in Davenport, Iowa, advised others not to come because the line stretched from one end of the mall to the other.

Parents and children braved the heat at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, California, to snag a discounted bear as well.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul122018

Bulletproof clothing designers say US demand is on the rise

ABC News(Fla.) -- A Florida husband and wife duo who developed a fashion line of bulletproof clothing say they have seen the demand for their products in the U.S. increase exponentially -- and amid growing security concerns, they believe the market still has untapped potential.

Miguel Caballero created MC Armor, a branch of his Colombian based company that focuses on ballistic-resistant clothing that includes items from jackets and accessories to children’s apparel. Leading the U.S. market efforts is his wife, Carolina Ballesteros.

“It’s fashion,” Ballesteros told ABC News. “But it’s fashion with protection.”

Since starting the business in 1992, Ballesteros said the profile of MC Armor's customers has already changed. “Now we get a lot more celebrities and politicians,” she explained.

Ballesteros, who bravely showed off the effectiveness of their clothing by taking a bullet to her chest, said she and her husband decided to expand their Mexico and Colombia-based boutiques to the U.S. because “we felt it was the moment.”

“The U.S. has a lot of guns, and it's part of the culture,” Ballesteros said. “But we participate in the defense and security industry and we want to save lives. So as soon as we see something as a shooting, a massive shooting, we need to be there.”

The U.S. market alone has proven highly lucrative for the couple. With an estimated 3 million American gun owners, it is one of the largest markets for gun accessories.

One South Florida gun store owner, David Johnson, said he has been selling ballistic accessories to a wide array of customers recently.

“We have a full spectrum: lawyers, doctors, we have a lot of realtors that go into bad neighborhoods, landlords that have to collect rent,” he said. “Also this is South Florida -- the home of road rage -- a lot of people like to keep this in the back of the car, just in case.”

MC Armor's bulletproof clothing and backpacks were originally developed in the early 1990s when Colombia was ravaged by crime, prompting a demand for products to help people feel safe.

Ballesteros said they even developed a bulletproof version of the Bible for priests.

"So he has a Bible all the time in front [of him] so he can use it as a shield," she explained.

Now, she said the company's products have become part of a new safety trend that includes bulletproof backpacks, especially in schools.

Ballesteros said her company’s first bulletproof children’s backpacks were specifically designed for students in the United States after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The design includes a bulletproof material sewn inside the backpack which allows students to use the book bag as a shield.

“It’s the same as you’d teach [children] different things, like how to go to the bathroom in school,” Ballesteros explained.

"As mothers, we have to teach kids," she added.

More recently, Ballesteros said the bulletproof backpacks sold out within minutes of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February.

But she defended the company against criticism that they are making money off of fear explaining, “it's not about fear, it's about protection."

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action who is the mom of a high school student, argues that she shouldn't have to buy a bulletproof product in order for her and her family to feel safe.

"We should be asking ourselves if this is truly an effective way to stop injury by gunfire," Watts said. "Not saying that the technology is bad, the real problem is that civilians want these products because lawmakers aren't taking action to curve gun violence.

My lawmakers should be the ones taking action to prevent people from causing harm in their communities," she continued. "We're doing a lot of things in America that are desperate attempts to protect our families from gun violence... If you compare America to other countries, our rate of violence is off the charts and ballistic clothing should not be the line of defense for those who want an education."

According to an August 2017 report from Market Research, body armor manufacturing is a $465 million-a-year industry and a Grandview Research 2016 study projects that the industry could reach over $5 billion globally by 2024.

Abbas Haider and Robert Davis are another duo who have launched their careers in the ballistic resistant retail industry. The pair founded Aspetto Inc., the first U.S. based company to offer high-end and couture suits and shirts for an elite clientele.

Haider said the unique area between Washington D.C. near Quantico has changed the profile of their customers. “Now we get a lot more celebrities and politicians,” he explained.

The bespoke suits can range in price anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000 and are made of the same fabrics used by other luxury designers, he explained.

"Our product is 100 percent made in America. Our ballistics are government approved. So if you're going to put your life behind ballistics it should be us," Haider told ABC News.

The factory is based in south Florida “where all the magic happens,” he added. In addition to manufacturing the suit patterns, he says their space is also used to test the fabric with various guns to ensure it measures up to the level of protection advertised.

"This is the product that saves lives. This creates the best chance for their life being saved," Davis, his partner, told ABC News.

Davis showed off a suit that can withstand the blast from a 9-millimeter bullet but said it would still feel like taking a punch.

“With the government standards, it can only be a certain amount of depth,” he explained. “So this still falls in line with the government standard.”

Although Aspetto has traditionally had a list of high-profile clients, Davis and Haider said more and more Americans are willing to splurge on protective clothing.

Henry Ross, a former U.S. Marine who works in the security industry, said that despite his experience and training in the military, he sees this type of clothing as a backup form of protection against the unexpected, "the same reason you buy a first-aid kit."

"You don't buy because you want to use it, right? You buy because if you don't have it when you need it, you're kind of out of luck," Ross told ABC News.

Distributors and designers like Davis, Haider and the Ballesteros all claim to take the legal selling requirements very seriously and conduct background checks on all customers. While background checks are not required by law to purchase ballistic clothing, the U.S. has a federal ban on convicted felons illegally possessing armored clothing.

Ballesteros said she and her team hope untapped clientele in the U.S. could make the country MC Armor's biggest market very soon. And she has plans to specifically focus on women like herself.

"Women are learning about guns and safety and security and they want to know how to care for their family, the ones they love," she added.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul122018

Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur

John Raedel/Getty Images (LOUISVILLE, Kentucky) -- The founder of Papa John's resigned from his position as chairman of the pizza chain's board of directors, just hours after he apologized for using a racial slur during a company conference call earlier this year.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company announced late-Wednesday night it had accepted John Schnatter’s resignation, saying it planned to replace him in the coming weeks.

Schnatter, 56, also resigned from his position on the University of Louisville’s board of trustees, effective immediately, according to the school. He had served on the board for two years.

His resignations came after Forbes reported that he used the N-word during a May conference call while discussing the national anthem protests in the NFL.

“Colonel Sanders called blacks n------,” Schnatter said, referring to Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Harland Sanders, according to the Forbes report.

He also reportedly complained that Sanders never faced public backlash for using the slur.

Schnatter confirmed the allegations in a statement Wednesday and apologized for his use of “inappropriate and hurtful language.”

"News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," he said. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."

Schnatter stepped down from his role as CEO late last year after saying NFL players should stand for the national anthem and that their protests had hurt the company’s sales.

Shares of Papa John's, one of the country's largest pizza delivery chains, fell about 5 percent in premarket trading Thursday in the wake of Schnatter's resignation from the board.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul112018

Disruptive passenger forced to reimburse Delta for emergency landing

iStock/Thinkstock(TULSA, Okla.) -- Before causing a disruption on a flight, remember that there could be a hefty price to pay.

Delta Air Lines passenger Bolutife Olorunda was screaming and acting erratically recently on a flight, at which point he was approached by a flight attendant, according to court documents.

Olorunda verbally threatened the flight attendant by saying: "Don't touch me and if you touch me again you will regret it."

Among the 178 people onboard the Boeing 737 aircraft on May 30 were two federal air marshals, according to the complaint. One air marshal protected the cockpit while the other sat next to Olorunda to keep him calm. The captain declared an emergency and diverted the flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Olorunda was arrested.

Diversions are often costly to airlines. The additional fuel, rebooking of passengers, fees at the airport and swapping of crews can cause that price to reach in the thousands. Delta Air Lines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As part of the guilty plea reached with the U.S. attorney's office in Oklahoma, Olorunda has been ordered to pay Delta Air Lines $9,118 for the cost of the emergency landing, according to court documents. An attorney listed for Olorunda did not respond to a message left at his office by ABC News.

The Washington state man is also facing up to six months in prison, a fine up to $5,000 and additional penalties from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA declined to comment and the FAA did not immediately respond to ABC News' inquiry.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul112018

China promises ‘firm and forceful’ measures in response to new U.S. tariffs

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- China promised to take “firm and forceful” measures Wednesday in response to the United States’ proposed levy of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

The American announcement came Tuesday – days after the U.S. began adding 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods.

"We will take firm and forceful measures,” Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said of the latest round of tariffs but gave no other details of what exactly Beijing plans to do in response.

"It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tat in a way that is accelerating and escalating,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement, adding that the Chinese government “will be forced” to respond with “necessary countermeasures” to protect its “core interests.”

The White House did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

While the first round of U.S. tariffs focused on Chinese industrial products, which have less of a direct impact on American consumers, the most recent list of tariffs includes fish, apples, and furniture.

Because China imports fewer goods from the U.S. than the U.S. imports from China, it is unable to match U.S. tariffs in value, according to a report from Mizuho Bank.

Both governments have already levied $34 billion in tariffs on each other’s goods, and are considering imposing tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of one another’s goods.

The escalation of U.S. tariffs on China comes in the wake of American trade battles with Europe, Canada, and Mexico and amid President Donald Trump’s visit to Brussels for a NATO summit.

“Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying [farmers’] businesses. I will open things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Republican senators expressed concern over the escalation of U.S. tariffs.

"I'm not in great favor of tariffs either way....let's hope we can balance this out so it's not detrimental to our interests. I don't want it to be detrimental to other people's interest either but certainly our interests are important," Senate Finance chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told reporters Wednesday morning.

Hatch said he’s “mostly concerned about some of the things the president is maybe planning to do.”

“Our international trade is extremely important and we have to start off on the right track and I'm not sure we are right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the effects of the tariffs have been “very, very detrimental” and that he’s “very, very nervous about it.”

"First of all, I'm a free trader. If we can get a level playing field...who wouldn't want the president to accomplish that?” he said on CNN's News Day. “But if [Trump] goes over the brink it's going to be catastrophic. And right now with the soybeans and corn in my state it is catastrophic, with the drop in prices that we've had.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul112018

Kylie Jenner on her way to being the youngest self-made billionaire, Forbes says

Forbes(NEW YORK) -- Kylie Jenner, who made a fortune with her popular cosmetics line, is poised to become the youngest self-made billionaire, according to Forbes magazine, which named her one of America's richest self-made women in 2018.

In an interview with the magazine, Jenner, 20, credited her social media following for the giant business she has built.

"I have such easy access to my fans and my customers," she said.

It's been merely two years since the star launched Kylie Cosmetics with her $29 lip kit. Jenner owns 100 percent of the company, which has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup, according to Forbes.

Forbes values Jenner's brand at nearly $800 million.

"Add to that the millions she's earned from TV programs and endorsing products like Puma shoes and PacSun clothing, and $60 million in estimated after-tax dividends she's taken from her company, and she's conservatively worth $900 million..." Forbes writes.

Kylie Cosmetics has already generated an estimated $230 million in net profit and Forbes predicts that sometime later this year, Jenner will likely become the youngest self-made billionaire in the world -- a title that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg once held.

“The most successful women entrepreneurs in the country are increasingly taking advantage of technology including social media to help them launch and grow businesses,” said Luisa Kroll, Forbes’ assistant managing editor, wealth. “That’s one reason why we’ve seen a notable influx of Instagram-savvy moguls like 20-year-old Kylie Jenner in the ranks of America’s richest self-made women.”

In a 2017 episode of the E! reality show, "Life of Kylie," the makeup mogul spoke out about becoming a CEO in her teens.

“I had the opportunity to make like the coolest makeup line that I’ve always dreamed of," Jenner said, according to People magazine. "It’s really my only passion. I learned a lot though and just have experienced things that people my age do not even know how to handle. I do feel like people don’t take me seriously as a businesswoman because of my age and my reputation. But I do think they’re starting to."

Jenner went on, "I like to prove people wrong.”

Forbes estimates that Jenner's half sister, 37-year-old Kim Kardashian West, is worth $350 million.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul112018

Air Force's $10,000 toilet seat covers now 3-D printed for much less

aviation-images.com/UIG via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Following requests for an investigation from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Air Force has clarified that it is no longer spending $10,000 for a toilet seat cover used on military planes.

Instead, according to Air Force officials,, 3-D printing now allows the Air Force to produce the spare part for just $300.

The $10,000 cover came to light during an interview that Will Roper, the assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, did with Defense One in May.

In the interview, Roper explained that the Air Force occasionally needs parts that are no longer produced by the manufacturers that once signed licensing agreements with the Pentagon. Even if the company no longer makes a specific part, the Air Force still had to go through that company because of intellectual property rights.

To illustrate the problem, Roper said that a 3-D printer can make a toilet seat cover for a military plane for just $300. A new one from the manufacturer, however, costs $10,000.

“You’ll think, there’s no way it costs that,” Roper told Defense One. “No, it doesn’t, but you’re asking a company to produce it and they’re producing something else. And for them to produce this part for us, they have to quit producing” what they’re making now.

He continued, “They’re losing revenue and profit. So although it looks like it’s a certain price in the GSA [Government Services Administration] catalog, the business case is what drives it up. I don’t think that company wants to stop building what they’re building” and restart the toilet seat line.

The plane is question is a C-5 transport aircraft. The manufacturer of the plane's toilet seat cover stopped producing the part in 2001, the Air Force told ABC News.

Grassley began pushing for the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General (OIG) to investigate the $10,000 purchases more than a month ago, but he said in a letter on Tuesday that the OIG had yet to respond.

Grassley said he had sought information on the toilet seat cover purchases along with "other possible examples of egregious and wasteful spending."

The cover isn't the only spare part that the Air Force is 3-D printing for less. At Travis Air Force Base, a team is working to 3-D print a handle for a hot cup, that would otherwise cost $1,220, according to the 60th Air Mobility Wing.

In a statement, Kathie Scarrah, OIG's Director of Legislative Affairs & Communications, said their office "has performed a large volume of oversight work associated with waste, fraud, and abuse related to spare parts pricing and has made numerous recommendations for corrective actions," including criminal investigations related to pricing.

"In addition, we have issued 44 audit reports related to spare-parts pricing," Scarrah said. "In the majority of those reports, we determined that the DoD did not receive fair and reasonable prices for spare parts and that the DoD did not perform adequate cost or price analysis when it purchased commercial and non-commercial spare parts."

Scarrah told ABC News that the office has ongoing work related to pricing, and OIG is preparing a response to Grassley that will address their office's work in this area.

She added that they have contacted the Air Force, which also intends to provide a response to OIG, as well as Grassley, regarding the cost of the toilet seat cover specifically.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul102018

In a nod to passenger allergies, Southwest Airlines to end its signature, free in-flight peanuts 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Southwest Airlines, which for years has marketed its free in-flight peanuts as a perk, announced Tuesday that beginning on August 1, its flight attendants will no longer serve the salty snacks in deference to passengers with peanut allergies.

“We've made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights,” Southwest said in a statement. “Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest's history and DNA.”

Many airlines have been phasing out peanuts recently due to passenger allergies, but until now, Southwest has held out.

Peanuts have been a part of Southwest’s culture for 47 years, the airline said in a tweet.

They even created a blog for flyers to learn more about the company, called “Nuts About Southwest.”

One of the airlines' most memorable ad campaigns pitched the notion that its airfares are so low that passengers could fly for peanuts.

Known for their salty, honey-roasted nuts in bright red and blue bags, Southwest Airlines says they want to ensure the best and safest on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies.

The airlines will continue to serve pretzels and other free snacks for longer flights.

“Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers -- including those with peanut-related allergies -- feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight,” Southwest officials said in a statement.

While peanut-free Southwest flights may seem like the end to an era, airline officials insisted that the decision won’t affect in-flight service.

“We'll miss the peanuts, but, at the end of the day, it's our Southwest Employees and the Hospitality they deliver that set us apart, far more than peanuts ever could.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul102018

J. Crew is now offering sizes up to 5X

J Crew/ Instagram(NEW YORK) -- More women than ever are now able to shop at J. Crew.

The clothing brand announced Tuesday that it had launched a new line of tops, pants, skirts and dresses that range from XXS to 5X.

Universal Standard, a label that specializes in inclusive fashion, collaborated on the collection. Lisa Greenwald, J.Crew's chief merchandising officer, said that Universal Standard helped with everything from the designs to manufacturing.

This new line, which ranges in price from $50 to $150, comes more than a year after J. Crew and its sister brand, Madewell, expanded the sizes of their denim offerings.

"We recognize our platform as a mainstream American brand and feel proud to have the responsibility and the privilege to do more for our customers," Greenwald said, according to Glamour. "We’re excited to continue working toward more inclusivity and making J.Crew available to everyone. This has been a long process, throughout which we’ve worked very closely with Universal Standard to make sure we’re doing this thoughtfully."

According to a June, 2018 report from Racked, Plunkett Research estimated that an estimated 68 percent of American women wear a size 14 or above, though many retailers do not offer clothing that would fit them. Racked also reported that the numbers are especially rough for high-end brands. Of the 300 or so labels that showed at New York Fashion Week last season, the fashion website reported that only 32 offer up to at least a size 16, and just 14 produce sizes 22 and above.

To make their Universal Standard collaboration more inclusive, J. Crew also plans to group all of the sizes together rather than putting larger pieces on their own. Alexandra Waldman, cofounder and creative director of Universal Standard said, according to Glamour, that this could be "a big step forward in unifying fashion and removing, once and for all, the 'us' and 'them' barrier that has always separated women."

"This is the beginning of a true change in the apparel industry and the start of true inclusivity," Waldman said. "It’s important because it’s not a separate subcategory of a brand, or a quick grab for the larger-sized consumer. It's a dedicated strategy to bring millions of American women into the fold and make them feel part of the style enjoyed only by the smaller women until now."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio