SEARCH

Wednesday
Apr192017

Bill O'Reilly out at Fox News amid sexual misconduct allegations

Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage(NEW YORK ) -- Bill O'Reilly is leaving Fox News Channel, the network's parent company has said.

The star host has been dogged by misconduct claims -- some sexual in nature -- since an April 1 story in The New York Times detailed alleged settlements made between the host and five women who accused him of harassment and sexual misconduct.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement on Wednesday.

Scores of advertisers pulled their spots from his show in the days following the Times' story.

ABC News has not been able to independently verify claims made in the Times story.

After the Times investigation, O’Reilly wrote on his website that "like other prominent and controversial people," he is "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.”

O'Reilly also wrote that the time that he was "a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way" and therefore he had to "put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”

The host is on vacation in Italy, where Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed to ABC News that he met with Pope Francis Wednesday. O'Reilly was due back on the air Monday.

Not a even a vote of confidence from the president could save O’Reilly's job.

Sitting in the Oval Office on April 5, President Donald Trump told the New York Times that O’Reilly was "a person I know well" and "a good person," and that he didn't think "Bill did anything wrong.”

O’Reilly is not the first high-ranking Fox News employee to exit the network amid sexual misconduct claims.

Last summer, network chief Roger Ailes was pressured into resigning amid similar claims.

Ailes has denied wrongdoing.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for the latest updates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr192017

Emirates Airlines to reduce US service due to decreased demand following travel regulations

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Emirates Airlines will reduce service to the United States after recent travel regulations instituted by the Trump administration.

According to a statement put out on Wednesday, the airline has seen "a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our U.S. routes" since the implementation of a ban on laptops and tablets on certain flights. The statement also alludes to President Trump's travel bans that would have barred citizens of a number of majority-Muslim countries.

"This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to [the] U.S.," the statement said. "The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions of electonic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the U.S."

Emirates says that the airline had seen "healthy growth and performance" in their operations in the U.S. until the start of the calendar year.

The company adds, "we will closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate and grow our U.S. flight operations as soon as viable."

Emirates serves 12 American gateways -- New York; Newark; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr192017

Bill O'Reilly accusers 'not going to stop until' he's fired, lawyer says

ABC News(NEW YORK) --  Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is facing a new accusation of misconduct, with lawyer Lisa Bloom saying this morning that she and her clients are “not going to stop until Bill O’Reilly is fired.”

“This is about equality for women in the workplace,” Bloom said today on ABC News’ Good Morning America.

O’Reilly is on vacation – a trip he said was long-planned when he left the air April 11 – as he continues to be dogged by accusations of misconduct that were given new life by an April 1 story in The New York Times that detailed alleged settlements made between the host and five women who accused him of harassment and sexual misconduct.

Out of the spotlight, the negative publicity died down for a bit, but surged back with a report in New York Magazine on Tuesday that said — citing three unnamed sources — that Fox News owners, the Murdoch family, were “leaning toward announcing that O’Reilly will not return to the air.”

On the same day, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) published a story saying that another woman had come forward to make misconduct allegations against O’Reilly.

Bloom, who is representing the woman in the THR story, appeared today on GMA without the new accuser and without identifying her, but reiterated the African-American woman’s allegation that O’Reilly called her client “hot chocolate.”

Meanwhile, the host is due back on the air Monday.

Late Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal – which shares the same ownership as Fox News’ parent company – reported that “A final resolution on the fate of Mr. O’Reilly … could come as early as the next several days,” citing “people close to the situation.”

“21st Century Fox, which will hold a board meeting Thursday, hasn’t finalized an exit agreement with Mr. O’Reilly,” The Journal reported.

Attorneys for O’Reilly told ABC News this morning that they “categorically deny” being involved in discussions about his possible departure from the network, but noted that they can’t speak to what’s being discussed internally at Fox News.

ABC News has not been able to independently verify reporting in the Times, New York Magazine, Hollywood Reporter or Wall Street Journal stories.

Fox News did not respond to a request for comment and 21st Century Fox declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

O’Reilly’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz said that his client “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”

He said in a statement Tuesday that his firm, “has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly and Fox News for political and financial reasons,” and that the “evidence will be put forth shortly and it is irrefutable.”

Regarding the allegation in the THR report, Kasowitz said: “It is outrageous that an allegation from an anonymous person about something that purportedly happened almost a decade ago is being treated as fact, especially where there is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O’Reilly and enrich themselves through publicity driven donations.”

Bloom told GMA this morning that her client had a right to anonymity, saying “imagine if you’re a low level clerical worker and you’re going up against Bill O’Reilly.”

After the Times’ investigation, O’Reilly wrote on his website that he, "like other prominent and controversial people," is "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.” And said that he was "a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way" and therefore he had "put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr182017

In business dealings, Donald Trump has ignored 'Buy American' ethos

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump signed an executive order to tighten requirements that federal agencies "Buy American" on Tuesday, but it’s a concept that Donald Trump regularly ignored as a businessman.

The executive order, signed before cheering crowds at a rally at Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wisconsin, mandates that the government "fully monitor, uphold and enforce" laws requiring federal agencies to favor American-made goods and services.

"We're going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words, 'Made in the USA,'" Trump declared.

During a December visit to the recently opened Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., however, ABC News found several foreign-made items from at least six foreign countries scattered throughout a fourth-floor "King Deluxe" suite, contrary to the spirit of Trump's latest push toward economic nationalism.

In the marble and gold bathroom, the fixtures were made by Kohler, an American company based in Wisconsin, but there was soap made in Canada, towels made in India and bathrobes made in China. Several additional products in the suite arrived in the United States via Europe, specifically Italy, France and the United Kingdom.

When reached for comment by phone, Patricia Tang, director of marketing for the hotel, offered only a brief comment before abruptly hanging up.

“Nothing has changed," she said. "We have nothing to do with the [Trump] administration.”

As he laid the foundation for his presidential run, Trump tried to laugh off the fact that so many of his branded products were not made in America. In an appearance on the Late Show in 2012, David Letterman pointed out that even as Trump was railing against U.S. companies outsourcing manufacturing overseas, Trump's own line of dress shirts were being produced in Bangladesh.

"Well, that’s good," Trump replied. "We employ people in Bangladesh."

Even several years later, in the heat of the campaign, it became clear that the Trump Organization's policies on overseas production had not changed. In an interview with ABC News' David Muir, then-candidate Trump confirmed that he sold Trump-branded products manufactured in China, Mexico, Turkey and Slovenia.

"It's true," Trump said. "And you know why? Because they devalue their currency and they make it impossible for companies to compete."

First-daughter and official White House adviser Ivanka Trump has also reportedly profited from overseas manufacturing. Ivanka says she is no longer involved in her company’s business strategy, but last week, as she sat next to the Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, the Chinese government granted her company three new trademarks, raising questions from ethics experts concerned about potential conflicts of interest.

When reached for comment, Ivanka's lawyer Jamie Gorelick dismissed any suggestions of impropriety.

“Since she resigned her position, Ivanka has had no involvement with trademark applications submitted by the business," Gorelick said. "The federal ethics rules do not require you to recuse from any matter concerning a foreign country just because a business that you have an ownership interest in has a trademark application pending there. Ivanka will recuse from particular matters where she has a conflict of interest or where the White House Counsel determines her participation would present appearance or impartiality concerns.”

Abigail Klem, President of Ivanka Trump, told ABC News that those filings were merely a routine part of protecting the company's overseas business.

"The brand has filed, updated, and rigorously protected its international trademarks over the past several years in the normal course of business, especially in regions where trademark infringement is rampant," said Klem. "We have recently seen a surge in trademark filings by unrelated third parties trying to capitalize on the name and it is our responsibility to diligently protect our trademark."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Murder on Facebook spotlights rise of 'performance crime' phenomenon on social media 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A video posted to Facebook that shows the killing of an elderly man in Cleveland has sparked both fear and outrage. Fear because the victim, Robert Godwin Sr., appears to have been chosen at random by his alleged assailant, and outrage because Godwin's last terrifying moments could be watched over and over again on social media.

Steve Stephens uploaded a video of himself allegedly killing Goodwin in Cleveland. Police then launched a nationwide manhunt for Stephens, who ended his life by shooting himself on Tuesday after being pursued by police, according to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams. The video of Godwin's murder was up for about two hours before being taken down by Facebook, the company said, prompting the tech giant to reexamine how it flags such content.

Stephens’ alleged crime has also drawn attention to a number of other incidents that have been documented on social media. In recent years, sexual assaults, random attacks and murders have been uploaded to social media platforms, sometimes drawing a large audience.

In 2015, Vester Lee Flanagan, aka Bryce Williams, recorded video of himself shooting two former coworkers and then put the video on Twitter.

Earlier this year, Chicago police arrested four people for allegedly torturing a teen and livestreaming the incident on Facebook Live.

Ray Surette, professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida, has called some of these incidents “performance crimes” in which a perpetrator is essentially committing violent acts as if they were “playing” to an audience for attention.

Surette told ABC News that there have “always been people committing crimes with an audience in mind," although those crimes were not publicized as much before the rise of social media.

The tactic had previously been more commonly used by terrorist groups or political protesters to try and publicize dangerous events, Surette explained, but now there are a growing number of people posting violent acts online who are not affiliated with larger political or armed groups.

“My reaction was, ‘Oh geez, there's been another one,’’ Surette recalled after learning of Godwin's death.

Surette said he also worries that media coverage of crimes like this one, as well as mass shootings, can contribute to a rise in copycat crimes. Past research on mass shootings has found that a desire for attention and recognition can motivate some attackers. In a 2015 study, researchers looked at mass shooting data and found that one mass shooting incident made it more likely there was would be another within the next 13 days.

During a 2016 presentation at the American Psychological Association meeting, researchers from Western New Mexico University outlined similar findings. The researchers from New Mexico found that when there were more tweets, or mentions on Twitter, about a mass shooting, the chance of another incidence of gun violence increased. Additionally, the authors reviewed published material and found that "most shooters desired fame and wished to emulate a previous mass shooter."

But understanding the motives behind committing a horrific murder and then uploading it to the web is difficult. Such crimes are often the result of multiple factors, some of which may never be known.

Dr. Naftali Berrill, director of the New York Center for Neuropsychology and Forensic Behavioral Science, told ABC News that the decision to upload video footage of a crime to social media may stem from a perpetrator's desire to take control of a situation. Berrill said perpetrators who commit random acts of violence, in general, may be doing so to fight their own feelings of powerlessness.

“One of the things that you're communicating is that you're powerless,” Berrill said. “One of the surefire ways of trying to enhance one’s sense of power and efficacy is to do something as brazen ... as commit a random murder online.”

Berrill said by sharing the crime online, a perpetrator is also aiming to reach a sort of "celebrity" status or notoriety, even if it is for the worst possible reason.

“It elevates you for a moment,” Berrill said. “You have let the world know that you have not only the power but the wherewithal to take someone's life and to take someone's life in the most absurd nonsensical [way possible.]”

Cleveland Police said they are still investigating what prompted Stevens to allegedly attack Godwin.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the killing in comments he made during a conference on Tuesday.

"We have a lot more to do here and we’re reminded of this, this week by the tragedy in Cleveland," Zuckerberg said. "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin Sr. ... we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Weak earnings reports pull US stocks lower

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the red on Tuesday as investors digested several weak earnings reports.

The Dow Jones fell 113.64 (-0.55 percent) to finish at 20,523.28.

The Nasdaq slid 7.32 (-0.12 percent) to close at 5,849.47, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,342.19, down 6.82 (-0.29 percent) from its open.

Crude oil prices were flat at under $53 a barrel.

Winners and Losers: Shares of Goldman Sachs slumped nearly 5 percent after missing investors' expectations for profit and revenue in the first-quarter.

Johnson & Johnson was also a disappointment for investors, reporting a drop in sales in its quarterly report. Shares in the pharmaceutical company sunk over 3 percent.

In its first-quarter report Monday, Netflix revealed it added fewer dometic and international subscribers than estimated. The streaming service's stock fell under 3 percent.

Health and nutrition retailer GNC Holdings Inc. beat expectations for both revenue and earnings, sending shares to soar nearly 25 percent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Tax refund vacations: 7 exotic trips

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Are you getting a tax refund this year and are eager to spend that newfound cash? According to the IRS, the average individual income tax refund for 2016 was $3,050.

Depending on where you start, that money can take you far, far away ... on a vacation. Here are seven destinations where airfare and a hotel stay will cost less than the average refund.

Island-hopping in the Aegean Sea

Spend nearly two weeks soaking up the sun on some of Greece's most beautiful islands for just $1,499. This trip from Go-Today begins with two nights in Athens, where travelers can visit the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon. The next nine nights are spread across the relaxing islands of Mykonos, Crete and Santorini. The cost includes airfare, hotel accommodations and daily breakfast.

A taste of Ireland

Get the full Irish experience with this two-week trip from Friendly Planet, starting at $2,699, which features visits to classic Ireland destinations like Dublin, Killarney, Galway and Belfast. The cost includes round-trip flights, all ground transportation and transfers, hotel and meal accommodations, and a guide to help get the the most out of the charming country.

Experience Ecuador

This eight-day trip from LivingSocial takes travelers to exotic Ecuador and Galapagos Islands for just $1,399. The fee includes round-trip international and local flights, six breakfasts, and hotel accommodations. For even more adventure, activities like snorkling with sea lions and observing giant sea turtles are available for a small extra fee.

Mamma mia!

Also from Go-Today is the so-called “Italian Adventure” package, priced from $1,099. The cheapest prices are found in October; plan to pay between $100 -- $1,000 more for high season departures in July. The trip includes round-trip airfare from New York (other gateways available), accommodations in Rome, Florence and Venice with rail transfers in between. The 10-day trip is a good option for someone who wants the ease of a fully-booked tour but wants to primarily explore on their own. Breakfast, as well as hotel taxes and surcharges, are also included in the price.

Get there before the crowds

Yes, we’re talking about Cuba. The hottest hotspot is tops on every travelers’ radar, so do yourself a favor and get there before everyone else does. Included in the price of $2,818 from Apple Vacations is a four-night Havana Tour with multiple summer departure dates. Round-trip airfare from Miami, hotel accommodations, tours, private workshops, a salsa lesson, antique car rides and more are included in the price.

Get away from it all

Dreaming of white-sand beaches, a tropical drink and nothing on the agenda but rest and relaxation? Consider the Cook Islands, an island nation in the South Pacific roughly halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. A trip from Pleasant Holidays will cost $1,165 for a five-night vacation depending on hotel class and departure city. Round-trip airfare on Air New Zealand is included, as are hotel accommodations and taxes.

Asia “taxperience”

STA Travel, famous for catering to student travelers, has created two “taxperience” vacations for those interested in Asia. An 8-day trip to northern Thailand is priced from $1,296 per person with New York and Los Angeles departures and includes flight and hotel with travel from Bangkok to Chang Mei. There’s also a Vietnam and Cambodia trip priced from $1,653 from New York (slightly less from Los Angeles) and takes in Angor Wat and Ho Chi Min City. The 9-day trip touches down in Bangkok, so you’ll get three countries for one price.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Luxurious New York City mansion on the market for $84.5 million

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A luxurious mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is on the market for $84.5 million. It was recently featured on Trulia's list of the 20 most expensive homes for sale in America.

For sale by the Modlin Group, the home is approximately 15,000-square-feet and has six floors, according to its listing.

The house was originally constructed in 1903 by legendary architect John H. Duncan, the listing says.

The kitchen has marble countertops and backsplashes, a breakfast room and a wood burning fireplace. The living and dining rooms have 17-foot-tall ceilings, mahogany pocket doors and skylights -- and the stunning atmosphere doesn't stop there.

A custom library sits on the third floor, and his-and-her bathrooms include features like heated floors, steam resistant mirrors and a cosmetics refrigerator.

The owners can also enjoy a media room with a full wet bar, a billiard room and a full outdoor kitchen on the rooftop terrace, which also offers views of Central Park.

"The most unique feature of the John Duncan Mansion is [that] the entire southern facade is completely open and [has an] unobstructed view for an entire city block," Adam Modlin, founder and CEO of the Modlin Group, told ABC News.

From the terrace, a private elevator sinks to the lower-level spa, the listing says, which includes a massage room, sauna, cold plunge pool, a gym and wine cellar.

"A townhouse of this caliber costs tens of millions of dollars to refurbish and years to execute," Modlin said. "As the high-end townhouse market has heated up recently, this is a very smart purchase."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Experts share top picks for rain gear

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The popular product review site the Wirecutter has released their top picks for rain gear, just in time for those looking for footwear and umbrellas that keep you dry even when you're trekking through spring showers.

Boot testers at The Wirecutter spent 100 hours in rainy northern California and Colorado locations, wearing the boots while trudging through the woods, along the shoreline and even driving with them to test comfort.

ABC News' Adrienne Bankert simulated some of the Wirecutter's methods on "Good Morning America," by creating a man-made puddle and checking if any of the recommended boots leaked water during extreme circumstances.

"We’re trying to make our own puddle to see if any of these boots leaked," Bankert said on "GMA" today.

Along with the Wirecutter's Liz Thomas, the pair filled a kiddie pool filled with water and food coloring, and then stuffed the boots with paper towels and let them soak in the dyed water for 24 hours.

"None of them leaked, which was really great," Thomas said at the end of the challenge.

The Wirecutter's Top Picks for Winter Boots


While the boots soaked, Bankert recreated what was dubbed "our wettest sidewalk scenario" by soaping and flooding a kitchen floor to see how the boots performed in slippery conditions. She found that the Wirecutter's top pick did not let her down.

"It's much more weighted," Bankert said of the top pick while strolling along the soapy kitchen floor. "It doesn't feel like you're losing control."

The Wirecutter's overall top picks for rain boots:

The overall top pick for women was the Xtratuf Salmon Sister Legacy boot, which retails for $134.99.

The overall top pick for men was the Xtratuf Legacy boot, which also retails for $134.99.

The Wirecutter's top budget pick was the Target Merona Kalista boot, which retails for only $29.99 and performed slightly better during the slick surfaces challenge than the $150 Hunter Tall Wellington boots. The Hunter Wellingtons, however, also performed well during the slick surfaces challenge and were named the most stylish rain boots.

The Wirecutter's overall top picks for umbrellas:

After doing 50 hours of research and testing 33 umbrellas, the Wirecutter selected these two umbrellas mostly for how well they were able to hold up during windy conditions.

The overall top pick for umbrellas was the Repel Dupont Travel Umbrella, which is a compact umbrella that retails for $21.95. The best stick-style umbrella, which tend to be a little heavier but offer more protection, was the Totes Auto Wooden Umbrella, which retails for $20.

The Wirecutter gets a percentage of money from retailers for products sold through the links in their articles.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Celebrate Tax Day 2017 with these deals and freebies

Creatas/Thinktsock(NEW YORK) -- The deadline for filing taxes has been extended this year to today, April 18, but that doesn't eliminate the stress. To alleviate the pain from meeting this dreaded deadline, some companies are offering deals that everyone can enjoy.

Whether you are expecting a refund from Uncle Sam or not, Tax Day is now synonymous with deep discounts across the U.S. on products from food to flights.

Check out the list below for some fun Tax Day deals and treats.

Tax Day deals: Food and drinks

Bertucci's: Small pizzas will cost just $4.18 at lunch time, and for dinner the Italian restaurant chain offers cheese, margherita or pepperoni pizzas for just $10.40 each.

Bruegger's Bagels: The popular bagel chain is offering a deal it claims is "better than a refund." Customers can buy the big bagel bundle for $10.40 -- a discount of $3.50.

Capriotti's: The sandwich shop will offer its medium-size sandwiches for the same price as small ones on April, 18.

Firehouse Subs: Enjoy a free medium sub when you buy a medium or large sub, chips and a drink, valid April, 18 to April, 20.

Great American Cookies: Pick up a free birthday cake cookie on Tax Day -- no purchase necessary.

Hungry Howie's: The famed flavored-crust pizza joint is offering anyone who buys a large one-topping pizza at full price the deal of getting a medium single-topping pizza for only 18 cents. Use the promo code TAXDAY, which is valid for online and carryout purchases April, 17 to April, 19 at participating locations.

Kona Ice: The company is celebrating April 18 with its fourth annual "Chill Out" day by offer free shaved ice with the slogan, "No taxation without relaxation."

Schlotzsky's: Get a free small "The Original" sandwich on Tuesday with the purchase of chips and a medium drink.

World of Beer: Enjoy $5 off your check or a free select draught on Tax Day at participating venues, where legal.

Nonfood deals

Jet Blue: If you owe taxes to "the man" this year the airline is offering entry to its contest for a free return flight. By clicking "yes" on the company's online form, customers will be entered to win one of 1,000 flights. Entries are allowed once per day before April 25. For more rules and discounts, see the website.

Planet Fitness: Relax with a free HydroMassage at participating gyms with coupon available online. Offer is good through April 22.

New York Yankees: Fans can snag tickets for $4.18 and $10.40 with offer code TAXDAY when you purchase seats online before April 19.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 







ABC News Radio