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Wednesday
Jun122019

You can stay at in Tony Stark's 'Avengers: Endgame' cabin, thanks to Airbnb

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) -- WARNING: "AVENGERS: ENDGAME" SPOILERS AHEAD.

What better way to say goodbye to Tony Stark than in the very place his superpowered friends did?

Eagle-eyed fans on Reddit thought there was something familiar about a rustic lakeside cabin in Georgia that was listed on Airbnb, and they were right.

The cabin, located in Fulton County -- home to the Bouckaert Farm and the Chattahoochee Hills Eventing horse show -- is the picturesque spot where Tony Stark and Pepper Potts raised their daughter Morgan in "Avengers: Endgame," in the years after the horror of Thanos' genocidal snap.

Bouckaert Farm and Chattahoochee Hills Eventing

It's also the place where the Avengers and their friends and family members gathered en masse to pay tribute to Stark at the movie's end, after he sacrificed himself to reverse Thanos' terrible deed and save all the living things in the universe that the Mad Titan had vanished.

In reality, renting the cabin means you'll get a chance to visit ground trod upon by everyone from Robert Downey Jr. and Chrises Evans, Pratt and Hemsworth, to Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rocket Raccoon.

OK, Rocket was computer generated -- but all the rest of the stars were real, and all gathered on the site for a scene that was disguised, even to them, as "The Wedding," right up until shooting day.

The property, which is listed on Airbnb for $800 a night, is part of a breathtaking 8,000-acre farm on the Chattahoochee River. Its owners tell ABC News they've had it listed on the website for three years and previously only rented it occasionally to officials linked to the farm's premier horse-eventing facilities.

While the listing initially made no reference to the blockbuster film, it now does, noting, "Do you want to stay in Tony Stark's cabin? This is the iconic cabin in the movie!"

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Marvel and ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun122019

Nevada becomes first state to ban most pre-employment pot tests

UrosPoteko/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Even as 11 states, plus Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational cannabis, lawmakers have struggled to find consensus on the question of whether employers could reject an applicant over their pot use. Now Nevada has become the first to push through that protection.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 132 making it illegal for employers to rebuff job applicants based on the results of a marijuana test. The law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The law, however, will not apply to people up for jobs as firefighters and public safety positions, including emergency medical technicians, according to the legislation.

When the Nevada Trucking Association objected to the proposal, the legislation was rewritten to allow pre-hiring testing for operators of motor vehicles or other positions that “in the determination of the employer, could adversely affect the safety of others," according to the law.

"As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to ensure that the door of economic opportunity remains open for all Nevadans. That’s why I was proud to sign AB 132 into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals," Sisolak, a Democrat elected governor in November 2018, said in a statement.

Sisolak signed the legislation on June 5.

Nevadans voted in 2016 to make adult recreational use of cannabis legal in the state. The law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Nevada Assemblywoman Nina Neal, D-Las Vegas, said that despite the popularity of legal weed in the state, there had been no policy in place until now to prevent employers from discriminating against legal pot users.

Neal said she opposed the ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in Nevada, but once it passed she said it quickly became clear that a new policy had to be developed for employers.

"I was driving around my district and I realized that the [legal weed] dispensaries were like nightclubs and I was worried, and I was just like, 'This is going to have a negative effect,'" Neal told ABC News on Wednesday.

She said that when she proposed the legislation in February, tax revenue from the first year of legal marijuana sales topped $42 million.

"I felt like we needed to have a policy to deal with it because we had a significant amount of people using on the weekends," Neal said.

Because pre-employment urine tests can detect marijuana in a user's system for several weeks after consuming weed, Neal said she was concerned that her constituents would miss out on employment opportunities.

"I hope that employers actually try to not discriminate against recreational users because once we made it lawful through the ballot, the ballot question said it needed to be treated the same as alcohol," Neal said.

Other states where marijuana is legal have struggled to forge similar policy for pre-employment testing for weed.

In Maine, where voters approved legal recreational cannabis in 2016, employers are prohibited from discriminating against people who have used pot, but there is still no specific policy to regulate drug testing.

While New York is among the states that have yet to legalized marijuana, the New York York City Council approved a city law last month to prohibit employers from pre-hiring weed testing.

“It’s clear that we cannot wait until legalization on the state level before moving to reduce the impact that marijuana prohibition has had on individuals and communities,” New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said in a statement.

“Testing isn’t a deterrent to using marijuana, it’s an impediment to opportunity that dates back to the Reagan era -- a war on drugs measure that’s now a war on workers," Williams added. "We need to be creating more access points for employment, not less -- and if prospective employers aren’t testing for past alcohol usage, marijuana should be no different.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun122019

NYU Langone no longer accepting donations from the Sacklers, the family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma

Darwin Brandis/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Add New York University's medical center to the list of educational and cultural institutions that says it will no longer take money from the Sacklers, the family that owns OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

Purdue Pharma faces thousands of lawsuits for its role in the opioid crisis, which the Centers for Disease Control says claims 130 American lives a day. Dozens of the cases also include the Sackler family members who served as executives and board members.

NYU Langone Health now says it is no longer taking money from the family -- and says it is "evaluating" whether its Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences will hold on to its name.

"We have not taken a donation from the Sackler family since 2010, and we will not be accepting new donations from the Sackler family or any Sackler-related entities," a spokeswoman for NYU Langone told ABC News in a statement.

"In light of the recent discoveries about the Sackler family and opioid crisis, we are continuing to evaluate the situation,” a spokeswoman said when asked about the name of the graduate institute, which was established in 1980 with a gift from the Sackler family.

The Sackler Trust is a major benefactor to the world's most vaunted cultural icons, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, some of which are now reviewing or refusing Sackler donations in light of the civil cases against Purdue Pharma.

Earlier this year, the Sackler Trust and Britain’s National Portrait Gallery said they would not go forward with a $1.3 million pledge. In addition the Tate museums in London and New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim also said they would no longer accept donations from their Sackler benefactors.

In March, the family's philanthropic arm, the Sackler Trust, said it was suspending all donations as leading museums around the world turned down donations because of the family's association with the opioid epidemic.

The same month, Purdue Pharma settled its first significant lawsuit related to its aggressive marketing of OxyContin.

Representatives of the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler families did not comment for this story. Arthur Sackler died in 1987, and his heirs sold his share of the company to his brothers. The company presently known as Purdue Pharma was incorporated in 1991.

"My late husband, Arthur M. Sackler, was never involved in Purdue Pharma, a company owned by his brothers Mortimer and Raymond and their families," Arthur's widow, Jillian Sackler, told ABC News in a statement.

"He had nothing to do with OxyContin, which came onto the market nearly a decade after Arthur’s death in 1987. He never profited from it, nor is his estate named in any of the lawsuits. Not a penny of his philanthropy derived from the sale of OxyContin," she said. "Arthur would be horrified to see how this drug has been misused and would be working to find solutions."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun122019

Ford recalls over a million Explorer SUVs over potential suspension failure issues

fredrocko/iStock(DETROIT) -- Ford Motor Company has issued safety recalls for more than a million cars.

The model most affected by the series of recalls are Ford Explorer SUVs that were made between 2011 and 2017 due to an issue with suspension toe link fractures, which can diminish steering control, the company announced Wednesday. The toe link issue led to one customer hitting a curb when it broke, Ford said.

The recall will affect more than 1.2 million vehicles.

Customers can bring their vehicles to a dealership, where mechanics will replace the left- and right-hand rear suspension toe links with new, forged ones, and align the rear suspension.

The reference number for the recall of Ford Explorers is 19S17.

About 123,000 Ford F-150 pickup trucks have also been recalled. Select 2013 Ford F-150 vehicles equipped with 5-liter and 6.2-liter gasoline engines that had the powertrain control module software reprogrammed as part of the 19S07 recall are affected.

The software used to service the recall was incomplete and did not have the updates necessary to prevent a potential unintended downshift into first gear or the updates necessary to ensure illumination of the malfunction indicator, Ford said.

Vehicles that did not undergo the 19S07 reprogramming are not affected by the current recall and will receive updated software under the existing 19S07 program, Ford said.

Affected vehicles were built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant from May 7, 2012 to Oct. 27, 2013, and the Kansas City Assembly Plant, April 18, 2012 to Nov. 18, 2013.

The reference number for the Ford F-150 recall is 19S19.

Ford also recalled about 4,300 Ford Econoline vehicles built between 2009 and 2016 with 5.4-liter engines for an issue related to the loss of motive power.

In Canada, Ford has recalled more vehicles due to the toe link suspension issue, including select Ford Tuarus models from 2010 to 2017, Ford Flex models from 2009 to 2017, Lincoln MKS models from 2009 to 2015 and Lincoln MKT models from 2010 to 2017.

For more information on the recalls, check the Ford website.

Last month, Ford recalled 1.3 million Ford Focus sedans over a risk of stalling due to a faulty part.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun122019

Mom invents freezer-friendly sandwiches that thaw just in time to eat at school

Heather Stouffer/Mom Made Foods(NEW YORK) -- A Virginia mother has created a clever solution for time-crunched parents who want to send their kids to school with a healthy lunch.

Heather Stouffer, founder of Mom Made Foods, has created the Lunchwich -- an already-made, frozen sandwich that thaws just in time to eat.

"It can be in a school lunchbox, [or] mom throws it in her purse when she takes the kids to the pool," Stouffer told ABC News' Good Morning America. "We are not saying making sandwiches is difficult. There are many moments as a parent when you need something really quick and so to have these in the freezer makes life easier, whatever that moment is."

Stouffer wasn't always in the business of creating kid-healthy foods. The mom of two, Emory, 14 and Audrey, 9, worked previously in the technology industry.

"It wasn't until I was working and had my first child and realized, gosh, this is really hard, making mealtime healthy -- three meals, 365 days," Stouffer said. "I was coming home to a child who wanted dinner immediately, and since I hadn't seen him all day, the last thing I wanted to do was cook in the kitchen and not be with him."

"Just because I'm busy doesn't mean my child shouldn't have really healthy foods available," she remembers thinking at the time.

In 2006, Stouffer founded Mom Made Foods in Alexandria, Virginia, and began putting out healthy and organic meals. The brand currently has a line of frozen entrees that can be heated in the microwave, or oven and meatballs that can be microwaved or heated via stove top.

Stouffer said the ingredients in all her company's foods are clean. The Lunchwich in particular has no artificial additives, artificial colors, bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives or monoglycerides and diglycerides -- often found in processed foods.

The Lunchwich is Mom Made's latest creation. A Kickstarter campaign was launched to raise $10,000 to get the product into grocery store freezers. Backers who pledge $50 will receive first the shipments to stock their freezer.

The crustless, frozen sandwiches are bagged and ready to go in four, kid-tested and approved flavors: peanut butter-grape, cheddar, cheddar-mozzarella and cheddar-turkey.

Allyson Trail, Stouffer's former neighbor, said her three boys have eaten Mom Made Organic Cheesy Mac with peas, the meatballs, burrito pockets and the Lunchwich.

Trail's kids do bring the sandwiches for lunch, but Trail especially loves them as an after-school snack, she said.

"It's really convenient and it's tasty," Trail told GMA. "My older son is more finicky so if he likes it, that's a pretty good indication that everyone will like."

The Lunchwich will be available to purchase in some stores and online August 2019, just in time for back-to-school season.

Stouffer hopes her meals appeal to parents wanting quicker, healthier options -- not only to encourage healthy habits, but to preserve time for family togetherness.

As for outside corporations, Kellogg's Special K creates freezer-friendly breakfast sandwiches as does Tyson Foods with their brand, Jimmy Dean. These companies do not market health-conscious ingredients in these particular products.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

Nike's 'plus size' mannequins generate debate

Nike(NEW YORK) -- When Nike rolled out its "plus size" mannequins for the launch of the new "Women by Nike" floor in NikeTown London last week, many cheered that the athletic company was promoting a more realistic body type.

Others, however, decried the move as dangerous, saying that Nike was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

A spokesperson for Nike, however, told "Good Morning America" that their mission is to "serve all athletes" regardless of size.

"We launched the Nike Plus Size collection in 2017 – a collection crafted to ensure the perfect fit at every size. To showcase inclusivity and inspire the female consumer, we launched Nike Plus Size mannequins in select stores in North America in 2018 and as part of the recent launch of the new 'Women by Nike' floor in NikeTown London," the spokeswoman said in a statement. "We continue to listen to the voice of the athlete and know that the female consumer wants to see a diverse and inclusive range of product to serve her sporting needs."

Last year, Racked reported that the average American woman is 5 ft., 3 in. tall, weights 168.5 lbs., and wears a size 16 or 18. The website also noted that in the United States, sizes 14 and up are considered "plus size," though the term is often considered to be antiquated.

Still, some people, including a writer who wrote an article for the Guardian newspaper entitled, "Obese Mannequins Are Selling Women A Dangerous Lie," believe that the more typical mannequin is actually promoting "obesity."

"The fat-acceptance movement, which says that any weight is healthy if it is yours, is no friend to women, even if it does seem to have found a friend in Nike. It may, instead, kill them, and that is rather worse than feeling sad," the article read. "Fat-acceptance is an artifice of denial – they are fat because they do not accept themselves – and a typically modern solution to a problem, if you are a narcissist. It says: there is no problem. Or if there is, it’s yours, not mine. As soothing as that may be to hear, your organs and your skeleton will not agree."

The response to the article and those who shared the author's belief was immediate. Actress Jameela Jamil slammed it as "fatphobic, pointless, bigoted abuse," and Latoya Shauntay Snell, who writes the Running Fat Chef blog, called it "an abomination."

Added another user on Twitter: "Wow @Telegraph - nice job with the Tanya Gold click bait. I look like that @nike mannequin, and I’ve done a 10k, a half, & a marathon this year. And there’s another 10k & a half coming up. If you think obese women can’t run you’ve clearly been living under a rock."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

Opioid maker Insys to be delisted from NASDAQ following bankruptcy filing

Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Image(WASHINGTON) -- Shares from opioid maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. will be delisted from the Nasdaq on June 19, the company said in a government filing on Tuesday.

The news follows the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Monday, which was filed one week after it agreed to pay $225 million to settle the federal government's criminal and civil investigations into the company's illegal marketing scheme of its highly addictive under-the-tongue fentanyl spray, Subsys.

It's another blow to a company that was the best performing initial public offering of 2013.

As a result of Monday's bankruptcy filing, "Nasdaq has determined that the Company’s securities will be delisted from Nasdaq. Accordingly, unless the Company requests an appeal of this determination, trading of the Company’s securities will be suspended at the opening of business on June 19, 2019," Insys wrote in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released on Tuesday.

"The Company does not intend to appeal the determination and, therefore, it is expected that the Company’s securities will be delisted," Insys officials wrote. "The Company cautions that trading in the Company’s securities during the pendency of the Chapter 11 Cases is highly speculative and poses substantial risks."

Monday's bankruptcy filing marks the first time an opioid manufacturer has filed for Chapter 11.

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Subsys to treat cancer patients. It's off-label use to treat pain made it a blockbuster drug — and its founder, John Kapoor, a billionaire.

In May, a Boston jury found Kapoor and four other former executives guilty of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy to get doctors to oversubscribe Subsys.

The convicted former Insys execs each face up to 20 years in jail. Kapoor is the first head of a drug company to face prison time for his role in the nationwide opioid crisis, which kills 130 Americans a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid considered 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun112019

Miami has a 7-acre hidden lagoon no one knows about

Zoltan Present(MIAMI) -- Laguna Sole is a 7-acre man-made lagoon hidden in North Miami.

The lagoon is part of a 184-acre, $4 billion development called Sole Mia.

It was developed by two real estate families, the LeFranks and the Soffers.

Laguna Sole has crystal-clear water that mimics that color of the water in the Caribbean.

It is the size of 21 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and it's 12 feet deep in the center.

The lagoon even has its own man-made island.

Amenities at the lagoon include paddle boards, kayaks and luxury loungers.

Laguna Sole uses 30 times less water than an 18-hole golf course and uses 100 times fewer chemicals than a pool, according to the developers.

The lagoon is available to the residents of the Shoreline at Sole Mia and their guests.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun102019

Lyft driver arrested after police find 17 suspensions on his license

iStock/jetcityimage(NEW YORK) -- Police on Long Island, New York, arrested a former Lyft driver who had been driving with 17 suspensions on his license.

Officials with the Suffolk County Police Department said they found Leith Crossen, 57, sitting in a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta near the Cold Spring Harbor train station on the night of June 8 while officers were responding to a 911 call for a “possible intoxicated driver.”

"Safety is fundamental to Lyft and we take these allegations extremely seriously,” a Lyft spokeswoman told ABC News. “The driver's license this individual provided when applying to drive with Lyft did not show any disqualifying driving records. He has not driven on the Lyft platform since April and is permanently banned from driving with Lyft."

Lyft officials also said Crossen had passed background and DMV checks in March.

Sheila Kelly, the director of communications for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, told ABC News that Crossen is charged with first degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a felony, third degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and operating a motor vehicle without inspection.

Kelly said that Crossen was arraigned Sunday and due back in court Tuesday, with bail set at $5,000.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun102019

Ad against abortion bans signed by dozens of businesses including MAC, Bloomberg, Yelp

iStock/Shidlovski(NEW YORK) -- Movie executives aren't the only ones warning of how abortion bans could hinder business.

Executives from top companies including Bloomberg, H&M, Yelp and Square were among 80 companies listed on a full-page ad in The New York Times calling to stop "policies that hinder people's health, independence and ability to succeed in the workplace."

An additional 109 companies are included on the initiative's website, bringing the total to 189 companies co-signed on the effort.

"Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers. Simply put, it goes against our values, and is bad for business," the ad reads.

The businesses involve a range of industries, from technology to banking, beauty to media.

Diane von Furstenberg, Eileen Fisher, Rebecca Minkoff and Kenneth Cole were signatories for their eponymous clothing brands, and they were joined by other clothing retailers like Everlane, M.M. LaFleur, Rag & Bone and Outdoor Voices.

Some of the other top names include Slack, Postmates, Warby Parker, Tinder, BaubleBar, MAC Cosmetics, The Body Shop U.S., Birchbox and Glossier.

The ad states that the companies who signed the list employ more than 108,000 workers.

The ad does not address one specific state or abortion restriction.

Other business leaders, including Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney which is the parent company of ABC News, have suggested that business in Georgia would have to be re-evaluated if the state's law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected goes into effect.

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