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Tuesday
Sep122017

What you need to know about the iPhone 8, iPhone X

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the release of the newest models of iPhones on Tuesday from the tech giant's new state-of-the-art campus in Cupertino, California.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus -- which some may consider the natural evolution from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus -- will be joined by the rumored "anniversary" model: the higher-end iPhone X, Cook announced at the official opening of the Steve Jobs Theater.

Here's what you need to know about the latest iPhones.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is a "huge step forward" for the iPhone, Cook said. The phone's new design includes glass on both the front and back, allowing it to be charged wirelessly.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will come in three colors: silver, space gray and a "beautiful new gold finish," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

The phone will also feature the new A11 Bionic chip, which Schiller described as "the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone."

The improved camera will include a 12-megapixel sensor and take in over 80 percent more light for better photos in dim settings. A new feature called portrait lighting will allow users to select lighting effects in portrait mode. The new phones will also have the highest-quality video capture in a smartphone, Schiller said.

In addition, the iPhone 8 is the first smartphone designed for augmented reality, Schiller said.

The iPhone 8 will start at $699, and the iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799. Preorders for the iPhone start Sept. 18 and will be available Sept. 22. Both are available with 64GB and 256GB.

iPhone X

Cook described the iPhone X (pronounced "ten") as a "new generation of the iPhone" and a "biggest leap forward since the original iPhone."

More than 10 years after the first iPhone was introduced, Cook and Schiller showcased a brand new product: an iPhone featuring edge-to-edge screen.

Like the iPhone 8, both the front and back of the phone will be made of glass, but the iPhone X will also include a case made of stainless steel.

The high-end model does not have a home button. To wake up the phone, users can simply tap the screen. To get to the home screen, users will will use the "simple" and "intuitive" move of swiping up from the bottom, Schiller said.

The iPhone X’s true depth camera will allow users to take selfies with portrait mode, and also comes with a portrait lighting feature.

Face ID technology will be used to unlock the phone, Schiller said. Users will simply have to look at the phone to unlock it.

The chance of a random person unlocking the iPhone X with Face ID is 1 in 1 million, Schiller said. The same chance with Touch ID is 1 in 50,000, he said.

The closer someone is genetically to the user, the more likely it is that the person will be able to unlock the user's phone, Schiller said, so there is an optional passcode feature to lock out an "evil twin."

"It adapts to your face over time," Schiller said.

Face ID will work with Apple Pay and third party apps in the same capacity that Touch ID is used.

Another new feature with the iPhone X is Animoji, which are animated emojis that mimic the user’s facial expressions.

The iPhone X has been engineered to be water and dust resistant at the microscopic level, Schiller said. It has a Super Retina display, which uses OLED technology and has the highest pixel density yet in iPhones, Schiller said.

The iPhone X will come in two colors: silver and space gray. It is priced at $999. Preorders will begin on Oct. 27, and the phone will start shipping on Nov. 3.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Sep122017

Tesla's semiautonomous system contributed to fatal crash: Feds

NTSB(NEW YORK) -- Federal investigators announced Tuesday that the design of Tesla's semiautonomous driving system allowed the driver of a Tesla Model S in a fatal 2016 crash with a semi-truck to rely too heavily on the car's automation.

"Tesla allowed the driver to use the system outside of the environment for which it was designed," said National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt. "The system gave far too much leeway to the driver to divert his attention."

The board's report declares the primary probable cause of the collision as the truck driver's failure to yield, as well as the Tesla driver's overreliance on his car's automation — or Autopilot, as Tesla calls the system. Tesla's system design was declared a contributing factor.

In May 2016, Joshua Brown was driving his Tesla on a Florida highway when the vehicle collided with the side of a truck making a left turn from an oncoming lane. Investigators said they do not know if the truck driver saw the approaching car, because the driver refused requests to be interviewed. Brown was killed in the crash.

An NTSB analysis of a toxicology test found the truck driver used marijuana before the crash, but NTSB investigators could not conclude his level of impairment, if any.

The NTSB said Green's vehicle performed as designed but could be improved to deter drivers from diverting their attention from the road.

"While automation in highway transportation has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives, until that potential is fully realized, people still need to safely drive their vehicles," Sumwalt said.

Tesla made updates to its Autopilot design after the crash, warning drivers earlier after they remove their hands from the steering wheel.

A Tesla spokesperson provided a statement to ABC News that read, "We appreciate the NTSB's analysis of last year's tragic accident, and we will evaluate their recommendations as we continue to evolve our technology. We will also continue to be extremely clear with current and potential customers that Autopilot is not a fully self-driving technology and drivers need to remain attentive at all times."

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on the crash can be found here. The NTSB has yet not published its full report; a synopsis of it can be found here.

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Tuesday
Sep122017

US stocks close higher as banks climb

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street was in the green on Tuesday with bank stocks rising.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 61.49 (+0.28 percent) to finish at 22,118.86.

The Nasdaq gained 22.02 (+0.34 percent) to close at 6,454.28, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,496.48, up 8.37 (+0.34 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 0.46 percent higher with prices at $48 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Bank stocks were up with higher bond yields; shares of Bank of America climbed 2.53 percent and Wells Fargo jumped 1.80 percent.

Apple's stock fell sharply after the new iPhones were announced, but finished the day 0.42 percent lower.

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Tuesday
Sep122017

CDC investigating multi-state infection outbreak it links to puppies from Petland

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating an outbreak of infections affecting people across seven states that they say may be linked to puppies sold through the national pet store chain Petland.

As of Monday, there were 39 cases of human Campylobacter infections linked to puppies sold through Petland, the CDC said in a statement. The 39 cases are found in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Of those cases 12 people are Petland employees in four states, and the remaining 27 people afflicted with the infection either recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited a Petland, or visited or live in a home with a puppy through Petland, the CDC said on its website.

"The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland's operating system that would lead to any campylobacter infection," Petland said in a statement today. "Petland reinforces proper hand sanitization before and after playing with any of our puppies with the many sanitation stations in each store and has strict kennel sanitation procedures and protocols put in place by consulting veterinarians."

The pet store also emphasized that any puppy or dog may carry the Campylobacter germs, regardless of where it came from. Petland also said in a statement that the questionnaires the CDC used to link the infection cases to Petland, "were not consistent and didn't ask the same questions related to type of food the dogs ate or other contact with dogs." The pet store chain added that they are closely cooperating with the CDC.

Campylobacter can be spread through contact with dog feces, according to the CDC, and usually does not spread from person to person. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever, and the disease typically lasts about one week. Almost all people infected with Campyobacter recover without any specific treatment, according to the CDC.

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Tuesday
Sep122017

Experts warn of the potential increase in flood-damaged cars hitting the market after Irma, Harvey

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The deluge of floodwaters from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that recently inundated parts of Texas and Florida did not spare cars, and now experts are warning of a potential rise in flood-damaged vehicles, full of hidden dangers, hitting the market.

"This could be an unprecedented year for the number of flood cars that are damaged, as well as could be cleaned up, and put back on the road," Christopher Basso, a spokesperson for Carfax, a vehicle-history provider, told ABC News.

Basso said that even before these recent monster storms, there had been a 20-percent increase in so-called "flood cars" hitting the roads again.

Harvey and Irma may have flooded an estimated half-a-million to one million cars, according to the firm Cox Automotive.

Basso emphasized that cars that have been previously flooded can potentially hold many hidden dangers.

"It's like putting a computer into a bathtub," Basso said. "It’s really impossible to tell when it’s going to break those systems down, but sooner or later the mechanical, the electrical, and the safety systems could be compromised which puts you and your family in danger."

Some car owners may try to hide the signs of flood damage to their car before trying to resell them. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Carmax showed ABC News how in just five hours they could give a makeover to a so-called flood car and make it look presentable, outwardly hiding signs of the damage.

Experts advised that before buying a used car to get a full vehicle history report on the vehicle and take it to a mechanic who can look at it closely for hidden signs of trouble.

"Flooded cars can look great they can run perfectly for the short term but the long term and probably sooner than later those cars are going to break down because they are literally rotting from the inside out," Basso said.

The National Automobile Dealers Association posted a list of ten inspection tips to detect flood-damaged vehicles on their website, which includes among other things, to check for rust on screws in the console and other areas where water would not normally reach unless the vehicle was submerged, check under the dash for dried mud and residue, and inspect electrical wiring for rusted components or suspicious corrosion.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Sep122017

Muslim scholar Jihad Turk makes educating America on Islam his full-time job

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Growing up in Arizona in the 1970s, Jihad Turk, now a Muslim scholar, doesn't remember many other kids who shared his Palestinian-American identity.

"There wasn't a lot of diversity. You were either Black, white or Mexican," said Turk. "So people just assumed I was Mexican."

Jihad, a traditional Muslim name, was always shortened to "Jay" while he was growing up. It was even printed that way in his youth soccer league program -- until the day Turk's father attended a game. His father saw the roster and corrected it -- passing out the amended version to parents at the next game.

An embarrassed Turk protested.

"He goes, 'No, your name has a great meaning and I chose it for a reason,'" Turk remembered his father replying. "[He said], 'It means the struggle to do the right thing. And it might be unusual or unfamiliar for people, but it's worth that extra effort.'"

Decades later, Turk has devoted himself to educating people on his faith. He spent years studying Islam, first independently at home in America, and later in Saudi Arabia and Iran. The lack of centers for higher study of Islam in the U.S. forced him overseas.

"There wasn't really any institution. There wasn't really any pathway to really growing my faith," Turk recalled. "And so people who wanted to do that had to go to Syria, had to go to Egypt, had to go to Islamic University in Medina [Saudi Arabia] or Malaysia or Pakistan or somewhere else."

But he found a disconnect between the narrow version of the religion as it was often taught in other countries, and the way in which he had been raised. The faith, he found, was always presented in the context of its culture -- a practice Turk found not only foreign, but contradictory to the roots of his religion.

"Islam came, quite frankly, as a feminist movement, empowering women in ways that was uncomfortable for the people of their time," Turk said. "In fact, culture trumps religion. And even though they nominally adopted Islam, as a culture, they disregard Islam when it comes to important cultural practices.

"Whatever is just traditionally done, or historically done, they just kind of lump it all under religion."

Today, Turk is working to fix that in America. He has established and now runs Bayan Claremont -- the first graduate school for Islamic study in the United States. The goal is to educate the next generation of Muslim scholars and religious leaders, who can serve their communities in the same spirit of cultural pluralism in which they were raised, rather than with an imported, foreign education.

"I have four kids, my oldest is 16," said Turk. "It's an important part of what I'm doing as a Muslim parent, my wife and I. You know, how to have a well-adjusted American-Muslim identity, and what role community plays."

Muslim-Americans comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. And the communities, like Christian and Jewish communities, are diverse. There are disagreements over interpretation, tradition and the rights of women. Turk believes the faith will grow to fit the community it serves.

"In order for Islam to be sustained in the United States, and be meaningful and have a positive impact; and be meaningful to young people, to be passed from generation to generation, it has to be relevant, it has to be relevant to them," he said. "You can't just be in a bubble, right? You have to want to be part of the fabric of the community in which you live."

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Monday
Sep112017

Florida airports making plans to reopen after Hurricane Irma, Georgia facing increased issues

Miami International Airport(MIAMI) -- Major airports in Florida are starting to target reopenings, but flight cancellations were extending north late Monday as Hurricane Irma moved through Georgia, home of the busiest airport in the world.

More than 14,000 flights have been canceled to and from airports in the Caribbean and Florida, including 10,000 in Florida, according to a tracking service FlightAware.

The worst appears to be over, however, with Miami International Airport and Orlando International Airport both starting the cleanup process, and targeting Tuesday for reopening.

“MIA’s airlines are gradually resuming their schedules tomorrow, September 12,” Miami International Airport tweeted Monday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, the airport tweeted they would resume Tuesday after teams assessed the damages.

Emilio Gonzalez, Miami International’s chief executive, said the airport experienced gusts of 100 mph and sustained “significant” water damage.

Orlando International Airport said they will also "phase-in limited commercial operations" beginning on Tuesday. They began assessing damage to the airport once winds died down late on Monday and said areas needing attention included flooding in the Main Terminal, torn canopies on the arrival and departure curbs, and debris on roadways.

Orlando International Airport has asked passengers to contact airlines on their flight status.

Palm Beach International reopened Monday afternoon with “limited service.”

“At this time, Delta plans to resume service today,” Palm Beach International tweeted Monday. “Other airlines plan to resume Tuesday.”

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport announced they would remain closed.

Beyond Florida, nearly 1,000 flights have already been cancelled out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, and where it appears Irma will have major operations impact.

Delta has cancelled about 350 flights, their spokesperson told ABC News, with many coming Monday afternoon as crosswinds gusted over 40 mph, making it dangerous for smaller, regional jets to land.

Delta Air Lines has cancelled about 900 flights system-wide, reflecting the importance of the world’s busiest airport to their network.

According to FlightAware, a typical day in U.S. sees about 125 cancellations and 4,000 delays.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Sep112017

6-year-old student uses lemonade stands to help pay off fellow students' lunch debts

Rachel Van Hill(HAYDEN, Idaho) -- One second-grade student wanted to help erase school lunch debt for her fellow students, so she decided to create lemonade stands to raise funds.

Amiah Van Hill was inspired to raise funds to help pay off her classmates' lunch debt back in May after reading about Jeffery Lew. The father of three crowd-funded to cover the cost of unpaid lunches in the Seattle School District, where his 8-year-old son is enrolled.

"She's a really strong reader, so she read the story and said, 'Wow, this is great! I wonder if there's any kids at my school that need help paying their lunches,'" her mother, Rachel Van Hill, told ABC News.

The two discovered that at Hayden Meadows Elementary School in Idaho, the unpaid lunch debt was $40.55.

Amiah, 6, with the help of her younger sister, Aria, 4, set up a lemonade stand last month to raise the money. The wooden stand boasted a sign that read, "Lemonade 4 Lunch."

During their first set-up, the two met their goal within an hour.

And the school was very much appreciative.

Hayden Meadows Elementary Principal Lisa Pica told ABC News in a statement, "We are very proud of [Amiah] for the work she has done. Our school believes in giving back to the community and we work to instill that value in all of our students.

"We are thrilled that Amiah has embraced that value at such a young age and we are so very proud that she has taken it upon herself to find a way to help those in need," the statement continued. "She is a very special little lady."

Van Hill, 38, said after the girls discovered it was relatively "easy" to pay off a school's debt, they said, "Why don't we help more schools?"

So they set up another lemonade stand a week later to raise money to pay off lunch debts at two more local schools -- Ramsey Magnet School of Science and Bolton Elementary in Idaho. That time, the two girls raised more than $300.

It was then that the girls' decided to set their sights higher and raise funds for the entire Coeur d'Alene Public School district. That bill, however, is $23,000.

"I had to explain to her that this was a lot of money," Van Hill said, recommending that they finally take their efforts to GoFundMe to reach their goal. In 22 days, they've raised more than $2,700 toward their goal.

The school district is excited and grateful for Amiah's philanthropic efforts.

"We are so impressed with Amiah's big heart and her desire to help cover the unpaid tab from our school lunch program," Scott Maben, a spokesman for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools, told ABC News in a statement. "She heard about families who struggle to pay, and she took action, raising and donating over $530 through her lemonade stand. Amiah is an inspiration, and we are excited to recognize her for her good deed."

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Monday
Sep112017

Apple expected to unveil newest iPhone on Tuesday

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple fans don't have to wait much longer for the unveiling of the newest iPhone, expected to take place Tuesday at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The iPhone 8 -- nicknamed the 10-year "anniversary" model by tech experts -- is rumored to come with a hefty price tag of $1,000.

Apple has not confirmed that the introduction of the iPhone will take place Tuesday, only that it is holding an event that day at 10 a.m. PT.

The Apple event Tuesday will take place at the company's Steve Jobs Theater and will be the first product event at its new campus headquarters Apple Park.

Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007. It hit stores more than six months later, on June 29, 2007.

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Monday
Sep112017

Airbnb host waives cost for Jacksonville family that evacuated due to Irma

Brandon Thompson/The Millers (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- One family from Jacksonville, Florida is feeling “very grateful” to have a stranger’s shelter over their heads in New Albany, Indiana, after evacuating from the storm, despite driving more than 750 miles to get there.

Xeryus and Letroi Miller, along with their two children, two dogs and Xeryus Miller’s brother, were running out of options for a place to stay out of Irma’s path of destruction, until they came upon Brandon Thompson’s Airbnb listing much farther north than they ever imaged they’d have to travel.

“We were searching for days,” Letroi Miller, 28, told ABC News of the difficult time they had finding a place with room for them. “At first we were going to go to Atlanta because it’s not far from Jacksonville. We looked on Airbnb but we couldn’t find anything. Everything was gone and anything that was available, the prices were really, really high. It was also really hard because we have our two dogs with us, but we weren’t going to leave them behind.”

She said they continued to search for Airbnb listings in Alabama, Tennessee and even Kentucky, but “couldn’t find anything” so that’s how they ended up in Indiana. Now, they are thrilled with their decision.

Thompson, owner of the dance studio So IN 2 Dance, located below his condo where the Millers are staying, waived the cost of his Airbnb listing for the exhausted family.

“They said things were kind of tight with them not knowing what was going to happen, and he’s in the Navy, he’s military, so it just seemed like the right thing to do,” Thompson, 40, said. “I was in a position where I could do it easily, and I knew it would make a big difference for them. It just felt right.”

The fee for the three-night stay was supposed to be $692 for the Millers. They are overcome by Thompson’s generosity and said his two-bedroom condo has “been awesome,” especially for their young children who both have autism.

“We were so happy. I was speechless to be honest,” said Letroi Miller. “It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s very comfortable. He made our day. We are very grateful to be here. The kids love it, the dogs love it.”

The Millers said they are tentatively planning to drive home to Jacksonville on Tuesday, but are playing it by ear depending on the weather.

“Hopefully when we go back to Florida it won’t be that bad,” she said. “I’m praying. This is overwhelming.”

They’re also still recovering from the “terrible” drive trying to get out of Florida.

“It was very, very hard for us. I don’t know how we even made it. We were so tired,” she added. “Our kids are special needs so they were just over the whole thing. We had to keep constantly stopping at the packed gas stations. People were laying on tarps in the rest areas. It was crazy. The gas stations were shutting down and people were running out of gas, but luckily we made it.”

On Sept. 7, Airbnb activated their Disaster Response Program to aid people forced to evacuate their homes, as well as relief workers arriving to provide assistance, due to Hurricane Irma.

“Through our program, people in need of temporary accommodations can connect with hosts who are offering their homes free of charge from now through September 28,” Kim Rubey, Airbnb Director for Social Good, wrote in a press release. “We are proud to see the Airbnb community come together to help their neighbors in need.”

Since the program’s activation, it has been expanded from Florida to also include portions of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Miller family was unaware of the program while doing their search.

“Through Airbnb's Disaster Response Program and good Samaritans like these Indiana hosts, we're inspired by countless acts of generosity from our host community opening their homes and their hearts to those in need,” Ben Breit, spokesperson for Airbnb, wrote to ABC News about Thompson’s hospitality.

Other businesses such as hotels and RV parks have also opened their doors to evacuees trying to escape Irma’s devastation.

The Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, South Carolina has a flea market on site that they used for additional parking during the recent total solar eclipse, “so we figured we could easily do it again,” manager Christina Hunter told ABC News.

“I feel bad for them,” she said of the evacuees. “They’re desperate and they’re worried about their homes and stuff, but for the most part, they are very upbeat honestly, and taking it day by day.”

Hunter said opening the additional space for those affected by Irma was “what we wanted to do.”

“We didn’t want them to be left out in the rain,” she said. “Everything around here is full. We knew we could do what we wanted to help. We’re watching the news and it’s just sad. We wanted to help in any way that we could.”

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