SEARCH

Tuesday
Dec042018

Police chased the 'unresponsive' driver of a Tesla S that was on Autopilot for 7 miles in California. How can that happen?

Tesla(NEW YORK) -- In the early morning hours, California Highway Patrol chased a grey Tesla Model S for an unfathomable seven miles down Highway 101 as the driver slept, police said.

Redwood City Area CHP officers said they observed Alexander Joseph Samek, a local Los Altos politician, driving at around 3:30 a.m. PST on Nov. 30. Police followed Samek with lights and siren on, but he remained “unresponsive,” and “appeared to be asleep at the wheel,” according to the arrest report.

Assuming that the car was on Autopilot, police drove in front of Samek and "began slowing directly in front of the Tesla in hopes that the ‘driver assist’ feature had been activated and the Tesla would slow to a stop as the patrol vehicle came to a stop," the arrest report said. Samek was charged on suspicion of driving under the influence.

But what is befuddling transportation analysts and Tesla watchers is that the chase could even go on for that long. Tesla's "Autopilot" feature requires a driver to touch the steering wheel every minute, or the system alerts the driver and gradually brings the car to a stop. It seems that in this case, Autopilot may not have worked, or the driver somehow subverted the process, experts say.

Tesla declined to comment on the accident or confirm the car was in Autopilot mode. But on Sunday night, Musk tweeted: "Default Autopilot behavior, if there’s no driver input, is to slow gradually to a stop & turn on hazard lights. Tesla service then contacts the owner. Looking into what happened here."

In a follow-up tweet, Musk said that Autopilot could not distinguish between different types of emergency vehicles, but that it would be able to in the near future. "We’re adding police car, fire truck & ambulance to the Tesla neural net in coming months," he wrote.

Redwood City CHP is familiar with the Tesla Autopilot feature in part because of a fatal crash the agency investigated in March. A 38-year old engineer at Apple died after he did not place his hands on the wheel in time when the car was in Autopilot mode, Tesla said.

The March crash is being investigated by the National Transportation and Safety Board.

Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing at Edmunds, an automotive research firm, has been reviewing partially automated vehicles, and called Tesla’s Autopilot a misleading term for an "overhyped automated cruise control system." He said it was difficult to come up with an explanation for such a long car chase, and it underscored shortcomings with Tesla's safety features.

"Certainly somebody could defeat the one minute timeout that allows you to put your hands on the wheel and the car could go longer,” Edmunds told ABC News. “Cadillac's Super Cruise system would not have allowed you to behave this way because Super Cruise does something that Tesla doesn't do and should do. It has sensors look at your head to see which way it's pointed to make sure your chin's up and not down against your shirt, and also looks at your eyeballs to see where they're looking. So even if you're head's up, and you look off to the side, it will warn you and eventually disengage."

"The fact that it doesn't monitor the driver's head position and line of sight is really a major shortcoming," Edmunds said. "Just because somebody has their hands on the wheel, maybe the guy's leaning on it, passed out, with just enough force to make it think that he's got his hands on the wheel. The car isn't really sure what the driver's looking at. It doesn't matter if you have your hands on the wheel or not, it matters if you're looking out the windshield at the cars ahead."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec042018

Venture capitalist behind Glossier, Warby Parker, on how to pitch your company

Taylor Dunn/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Kirsten Green is the venture capitalist behind Jet.com, Glossier, Warby Parker, Outdoor Voices, Birchbox, Away, and many more well-known companies. As the head of Forerunner Ventures, a venture capital firm, her job is to spot ambitious entrepreneurs who are seeking to be a part of the next generation of commerce.

Numbers and practicality always came easy to Green, but her passion for people and relationships was the driving force behind her decision to start Forerunner. After being laid off during the banking industry consolidation of the early 2000s, Kirsten was at a loss of how to move forward.

“On a practical level, I said, ‘Geez, no matter how good of a job I'm doing, my opportunity here changed. It got taken away from me for one reason or another, I'm not going to put myself in that situation again,’ and I think that really unearthed the entrepreneurial side of me, which was taking things into my own hands,” Green told ABC News’ Chief Business, Technology and Economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.

Green began her career immediately after graduating from college. She accepted an auditor position at Deloitte & Touche, a major accounting firm, while many of her friends opted to take the year off and explore the world.

“In retrospect, I think I should’ve done that because I think there's so much to be had for being open-minded about what your path and your journey looks like and embracing experiences,” Green said.

While many would have jumped at the opportunity to ski snow-covered mountains or sunbathe in the Greek islands, Green was too overwhelmed with the excitement of having a business card to think about much else.

After three years with Deloitte and getting her accounting license, Kirsten decided to try her luck in the world of investing. She ended up at Montgomery Securities, which later merged with Bank of America. The team Kirsten was working on was eventually dismantled, leaving her feeling completely upended. However, it was also during this time that Green was able to take a step back and discover who she was outside of her career.

“It made me step back and reflect on what does a career journey look like, and not to be so caught up in climbing a ladder, but thinking a little bit more open-ended about what each step could lead you to,” Kirsten explains. “I'd been heads-down in a particular job and I needed to poke my head up and explore a little bit.”

Instead of looking for a set and structured plan, Kirsten spent the next five to six years seeking a variety of opportunities and taking things along the way that she felt were fostering her development. She worked on consulting projects, helped different investment firms, made her own investments and took time to enjoy writing, photography and painting classes for her own personal growth, something she had never made time for in her previous roles.

Throughout her years of internal exploration, Kirsten was able to pinpoint exactly what it was she was passionate about, aside from numbers and strategy.

“I loved the opportunity to engage with people and learn from people, and have relationships be a big part of whatever I was doing.”

She realized investing in private companies was a way she could combine her strategic side with her personal side to create a business that allowed her to engage with others and form relationships while also allowing using spreadsheets.

And that’s how Forerunner Ventures began.

Of course, there were people along the way who voiced their doubts, but Kirsten chose to ignore the negatives and focus on the people giving her good advice instead.

“There were plenty of people that told me along the way, ‘you can't start your own venture firm when you haven't been in venture.’ Good thing I didn't listen to them,” she said.

You could say Kirsten has come full circle from raising capital to start a business she was passionate about, to now funding others who also have aspirations of becoming their own boss.

And if you’re wondering what matters most to Kirsten when pitching an idea, it’s to just be yourself.

“Don't try to come in with just a formula. Be informed. Do your homework. Know the things that are important, but also be you. Show up and let me know why you're excited about what you're doing.”

Hear more from Kirsten Green on episode #113 of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec042018

Woman sues Hilton for $100 million, alleging employee filmed her in the shower

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A woman says she was secretly recorded by a hotel employee while showering at a Hampton Inn & Suites three years ago. Now, she has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Hilton, the hotel's parent company.

The woman, who has not been named, says the employee, whom she does not know, filmed her in order to blackmail and extort her. The incident happened at the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Albany, New York in 2015.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, the woman says she fears for her safety.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec042018

Trump claims 'BIG leap forward' in China trade talks, but details unclear

Hogogo/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted optimistically that relations between the United States and China “have taken a BIG leap forward!” and predicted that “very good things will happen” after he reached a temporary truce with China’s President Xi Jinping in the ongoing trade war over the course of a three-hour-long dinner on the sidelines of the G-20 summit this weekend.

The president tweeted directly to U.S. farmers, some of whom have suffered as a result of Chinese counter-tariffs, to say “Farmers, I LOVE YOU!”

The president’s Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told reporters Monday that there will be “specific changes right away" to help the agricultural industry, even as the majority of the tentative agreement remains to be worked out over a 90-day-period agreed upon between the U.S. and China.

The president also declared in a tweet late Sunday night that China has “agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars,” though he didn't offer any further details.

Despite the president's detailed claim, the president's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Monday that there is no "specific" agreement on what level Chinese auto tariffs will drop to, while Mnuchin said the two leaders had “specific discussions on where auto tariffs will come down to” but said he wasn’t in a position to publicly reveal what the numbers in the tentative agreement are, nor did he clarify whether tariffs will be completely removed or reduced.

Mnuchin cast the weekend dinner as a breakthrough in the trade standoff with China and said there were “very, very specific” items that the two leaders agreed to have incorporated into a broader agreement that has yet to be finalized.

“There’s a specific understanding that we’re going to now turn the agreement the presidents have into a real agreement over the 90 days,” Mnuchin told reporters during a gaggle outside the West Wing, while the president was busy tweeting on the topic and said he has a “very strong and personal relationship” with President Xi.

The negotiations for a final agreement have already begun, Kudlow said.

“Stuff is happening today,” Kudlow said. “We want to move ... much of the credibility of this discussion will hinge on rapid movement and implementation of the Chinese commitments and they know that and this is something we specifically talked about.”

While Mnuchin said the president reserves the right to escalate tariffs should negotiations not pan out as planned, he cast the weekend’s talks as a breakthrough in the administration’s efforts to check China and said the discussion included everything from purchasing more U.S. goods to intellectual property, to currency manipulation.

“This is the first time there was a commitment for an agreement from China that the agreement will contain specific dates, specific action items,” Mnuchin told reporters. “This is not going to be just kicking the can down the road.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Dec032018

Waitress carries son on her back during shift

Kelly Gentry(GREENBACK, Tenn.) -- It's a situation every working mom faces at one time or another: you need to get to work, but you have no one to watch your child. What can you do?

If you're Kori Dotson, the answer is simple. You strap your toddler to your back and you go work your shift.

Kelly Gentry happened to be dining at the Greenback Drugstore and Diner in Greenback, Tennessee, last month when she spotted Dotson. She snapped a photo of the waitress and shared it on Facebook.

"I came in and she was waiting my table and I was in shock. But it was amazing. She was working with her 2-year-old son on her back because she had no sitter that morning," Gentry told Good Morning America.

Eventually, the woman in the photo was identified as Kori Dotson. She told GMA that she works primarily as a respiratory therapist and also picks up shifts at the diner.

"It was Election Day and a strong storm had come through the night before and wiped out power til about 10 a.m. that day," Dotson said. "Tammy [the owner of the Greenback Drugstore and Diner] had called me and asked me to come in because we had gotten a huge rush once power had been restored."

"I told her I could be there in about 15 minutes but my babysitter wasn’t home and I would have to bring my son, Rhody. He had come once before and she knew that he would behave himself. So I got him up from his nap and off we went," Dotson continued. "He was still groggy when we got to the Greenback Diner, so I did what I have done his whole life, I threw him on my back and did what I needed to. I just stepped in where they needed me refilling drinks, taking orders, and washing dishes. Just a normal day at the diner for me."

Gentry said she was not only impressed by Dotson's work ethic, but also how she was instilling it into her son.

"She let him help roll silverware and everything. She was one of the best waitresses I've ever had even with a baby strapped to her," said Gentry. "Kudos to her for doing what it takes to make ends meet."

Dotson said that when she brings Rhody into the diner, he pretends to take orders and "scribbles diligently on his note pad."

"He’ll go get the broom and sweep the floors and hand out menus to customers who just sat down," said Dotson. "The diner has become one of his favorite places and I enjoy watching him find joy in working."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov302018

Feds accuse Fugees founder and former DOJ official of ties to Malaysian financial conspiracy

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  A founding member of the Fugees music group and a former Justice Department official took part in a conspiracy to funnel tens of millions of dollars into the United States to help a Malaysian fugitive try to influence a series of Justice Department investigations and anti-crime efforts, prosecutors allege in court documents filed in federal district court in Washington D.C. Friday.

The conspiracy, allegedly with help from musician Prakazrel "Pras" Michel and then-Justice Department official George Higginbotham, also allegedly sought help from an unidentified candidate running for federal office, according to prosecutors and others.

Last week, federal authorities charged Higginbotham with one felony count of "conspiracy to make false statements" to a bank. In court on Friday, he pleaded guilty to the charge.

No charges have been publicly filed against Michel.

Asked why Michel has not been publicly charged, a Justice Department spokeswoman said, “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

A message sent direct to Michel by ABC News on Twitter seeking comment was not immediately returned. Other efforts to reach representatives for Michel were not successful.

The alleged conspiracy is tied to a major international scandal that has been unfolding for several years, the documents indicate.

At the heart of the scandal is an investment company created by the Malaysian government “to promote long-term economic development for the benefit of the Malaysian people,” as then-attorney general Jeff Sessions put it last year.

A web of corrupt Malaysian officials and overseas businessmen then misused more than $4.5 billion from the company – 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or “1MDB” – and laundered it through shell companies with bank accounts in the United States and elsewhere, according to Justice Department officials. By last year, the U.S. government had $3.5 billion of those funds frozen, Sessions said.

The Justice Department has sought to seize the allegedly misused funds. And four weeks ago, the Justice Department charged Malaysian financier Jho Low for allegedly taking part in the scheme, including efforts to bribe officials overseas to help make it happen. Authorities say he is still at-large.

In court papers filed Friday, prosecutors say Low found a “longtime political fundraiser” to lobby the U.S. government on his behalf, seeking to have the Justice Department pull away from its efforts in the 1MDB affair. According to court documents and prosecutors, Michel then allegedly recruited Higginbotham, a longtime associate of his, to help hide the lobbying campaign’s connections to Low.

But when the U.S. government failed to turn away from the 1MDB matter, Low — with help from Michel and Higginbotham — then asked the politically-connected fundraiser to start pushing for the U.S. government to deport a foreign national who had been critical of his home government, according to the court filings and officials. And to accomplish that, prosecutors said, the fundraiser agreed to approach a specific candidate running at that time for federal office, but prosecutors wouldn’t identify the candidate, only saying the candidate was not elected.

At one point, Higginbotham even went to the embassy representing the foreign national to tell officials there that the U.S. government was working on removing the dissident, prosecutors allege.

While looking to help Michel get paid by Low for his services, prosecutors say Higginbotham helped funnel tens of millions of dollars through shell companies, and he even helped generate fake documents to make certain fraudulent transactions appear legitimate.

Last November, allegedly at Michel’s behest, Higginbotham sent an email to a major bank insisting that certain funds were being transferred from a legitimate company overseas for the purpose of an entertainment venture. However, Higginbotham knew that was false, as the funds were intended to support Low’s lobbying efforts, Higginbotham admitted in court on Friday.

In fact, Higginbotham admitted to all of the prosecutors’ allegations against him.

Before it was taken down, Higginbotham's LinkedIn page said he began working as a "Senior Congressional Liaison/Oversight Counsel" in July 2016, and he left the Justice Department just three months ago. A Justice Department website indicates he worked for the department's Office of Justice Programs, which provides grants and training to law enforcement across the country.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov302018

Marriott's data breach is large, but it's not the largest

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Marriott International data breach on Friday affected up to 500 million customers — larger than the entire U.S. population — but it's not the latest large-scale hack to hit a corporation.

That distinction goes to Yahoo — now owned by Verizon — which experienced the largest data breach in history in 2013.

"[Marriott] is not the largest breach in terms of number of records and was not the worst in terms of identity theft potential, but it is easily in the top five for worst hacks that directly impact the general public," Jim McCoy, creator of the Vektor home cybersecurity device and former tech lead of security tools and operations at Facebook, told ABC News.

The top five largest corporate hacks

1. Yahoo: 3 billion accounts in 2013

Yahoo, which is now owned by Verizon, admitted in 2017 that the previously reported data breach in 2013 actually affected all three billion accounts on its server, exposing the names, birth dates, phone numbers and passwords of users whose accounts were encrypted with what was ultimately weak security.

On Dec. 14, 2016, "Yahoo disclosed that more than one billion of the approximately three billion accounts existing in 2013 had likely been affected," the company said in a 2017 press release. "The company recently obtained new intelligence and now believes, following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts, that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft."

The hackers also obtained the security questions and backup email addresses used to reset lost passwords, which are key to hacking into government computers.

2. Yahoo: 500 million accounts in 2014

It's a tie between this separate Yahoo breach and Marriott. Yahoo suffered a previous attack in December 2014 affecting at least 500 million users whose data included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, encrypted passwords and, in some cases, security questions. The U.S. charged four Russians, including two Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers with the crime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

News of this breach was not revealed for two years, until, again, the company was in the process of a sale to Verizon. In 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined Yahoo for its failure to disclose the news, according to an SEC press release.

3. Marriott/Starwood: 500 million guests in 2018

Marriott said in a statement Friday that an investigation recently revealed "unauthorized access" since 2014 to information relating to reservations at Marriott's Starwood properties, and that a hacker had "copied and encrypted information."

The compromised data includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, gender, Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program account information, arrival and departure times, and reservation dates.

4. Friend Finder Networks: 412 million accounts in 2016

The adult dating and entertainment company Friend Finder Network had a data breach of more than 412 million accounts, according to ZDNet.

Data was hacked from 339 million of the accounts from AdultFriendFinder.com, which the company boasted as the "world's largest sex and swinger community." The information gathered included usernames, e-mails, and passwords, according to ZDNet.

That breach also affected over 15 million "deleted" accounts that had not been purged from the databases. LeakedSource obtained the data, and said it included 20 years of information from the company's sites. An additional 62 million accounts from Cams.com and seven million from Penthouse.com (the company was owned by Penthouse at the time) were stolen.

5. Equifax: 146 million accounts in 2017

Equifax revealed in a press release that a hack on its networks exposed names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and some driver's license numbers.

The company added that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were exposed. Earlier this year, Equifax found an additional 2.4 million U.S. consumers whose names and partial driver’s license information were stolen.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov302018

Marriott says data breach may affect up to 500M Starwood hotel guests

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Marriott International, the world's largest hotel chain, said personal information for as many as 500 million guests may have been compromised in a security breach of its Starwood reservation database.

The Maryland-based hospitality company said in a statement Friday that an investigation recently revealed there had been "unauthorized access" since 2014 to the database, which contains guest information relating to reservations at Marriott's Starwood properties, and that a hacker had "copied and encrypted information."

"The company has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but believes it contains information on up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property," Marriott said in its statement.

The information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date as well as communication preferences.

The company said it is working with law enforcement as well as leading security experts to investigate and address the breach.

"We deeply regret this incident happened," Marriott's president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, said in a statement. "We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov302018

What's in Trump's new trade deal with Mexico and Canada?

iStock/Thinkstock(BUENO AIRES, Argentina) -- When President Donald Trump signs the revised North American trade agreement Friday at the G-20 summit in Argentina, he will get a step closer to delivering on a campaign promise -- to replace NAFTA or terminate it -- after a week fraught with negative economic headlines.

Just Tuesday, General Motors announced that, in light of the new deal, it was laying off 15 percent of its workers and shuttering five plants in the U.S. and Canada.

The president had boasted that the renegotiated and renamed USMCA deal -- the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement -- would have just the opposite effect.

"He believes -- as, frankly, the prime minister of Canada, Trudeau, believes -- that the USMCA deal was a great help to the automobile industry and to autoworkers," Trump's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said, reacting to GM's decision.

Once the deal that Trump announced Oct. 1 with great fanfare is signed, it still needs to be approved by the legislatures in all three countries. Because it is unclear -- even unlikely -- that Congress will vote on it before the current session ends in December, the deal could face new challenges in 2019. If approved, it would likely take effect around Jan. 1, 2020.

Nafta 2.0?

Renegotiating NAFTA was a centerpiece of Trump's presidential campaign. Campaigning in New Hampshire in 2016 he called it "the worst trade deal ever made in the history of the world" vowing to "totally renegotiate NAFTA."

After 14 months of tense negotiations and repeated threats, the president in October said: "We have kept that promise." Touting the USMCA at a Rose Garden ceremony, he vowed it would be the "most modern, up-to-date and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country."

"This is a much different deal than NAFTA," Trump said.

But Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and a self-described free trader, said the biggest difference between this deal and NAFTA is the name. In terms of substance, he said about 90 percent of the original NAFTA agreement stays in place under the USMCA.

"If you really believe that NAFTA was the worst trade deal in American history, you can't reconcile yourself to say that this new USMCA is a very good deal or represents a breakthrough," Hufbauer said. "It wades deep into the land of fiction."

Trump has talked about the new name repeatedly. As the deal was being negotiated, he called the new name "elegant" at an Oval Office event in August -- at the time, the deal only included Mexico. "I think NAFTA has a lot of bad connotations," he said. At his October Rose Garden event he said calling it USMCA "sort of just works ... has a good ring to it."

Industry impact

Hufbauer said the substantive changes that do exist are consistent.

"This is a tip-toe back into the realm of protectionism," Hufbauer said. "There's a big sigh of relief, not just from industry in the country, but also Canada and Mexico that it didn't go further in terms of protectionism."

The Trump administration's signature changes are concentrated on the auto industry. The USMCA requires that cars and trucks have 75 percent of their parts made in North America, tightening NAFTA's "rules of origin." Under NAFTA, 62.5 percent of the parts were required to be sourced from North America.

A potentially more controversial change demands that a minimum amount -- 40-45 percent -- of a car must be produced by high-wage labor, workers making the equivalent of $16 per hour. The AFL-CIO reports that the average auto worker in Mexico makes $2-$2.50 an hour. The move is meant to incentivize production in the U.S. and Canada.

Some analysts have warned this could lead to higher costs.

"What it spells out for consumers is that they'll be paying more. It's the opposite of what NAFTA stood for,” Edmunds analyst Ivan Drury told ABC News in October.

While the imposition of new tariffs falls outside the text of the deal, it's another piece of the administration’s protectionist agenda putting pressure on the industry. General Motors has said tariffs on imported steel cost the company $1 billion.

Under the deal, Canada agrees to open its dairy market, an issue Trump has stressed repeatedly, calling it a potential "deal breaker." Similar provisions were offered in the Obama-era Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump exited.

Canadian farmers have protested the increase in quotas on U.S. products including milk, yogurt, milk powder and formula. The deal also gives U.S. exporters of chicken, eggs, turkeys and American wheat more access to the Canadian market.

Going forward, the deal limits the countries from making any deal with China, and it allows any country to withdraw from the USMCA without cause by providing at least six months written notice.

Finally, the entire deal "sunsets" in 16 years unless extended after a formal review. There was no such provision in the NAFTA deal. Mexico, Canada, business interests, and Republicans in Congress have opposed the concept, contending it may create uncertainty for businesses.

What's next?

When Congress eventually gets to vote, the measure will be eligible for what's known as "fast track" passage. "Fast track" expedites a final up or down vote by prohibiting amendments and filibusters.

But some Republicans are worried that, even with that, the process might not move quickly enough for the deal to pass before a new Congress convenes in January.

"We are concerned that if the Administration waits until next year to send to Congress a draft implementing the bill, passage of the USMCA as negotiated will become significantly more difficult," a dozen Republican senators wrote in a letter to Trump.

The letter is signed by GOP Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Steve Daines of Montana, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jon Kyl of Arizona, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Ted Cruz of Texas.

But Toomey would like Trump to make some last-minute changes. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed the same day, the self-described free trader called it a "mixed bag of trade-enhancing and trade-restricting changes to the current North American Free Trade Agreement. He requested "pro-trade modifications," including revisiting the sunset provision and changing the wage requirements on auto and auto parts production.

But Democrats and unions, including the United Auto Workers, have expressed cautious optimism about the parts of the deal aimed at protecting worker wages. In a statement, UAW President Gary Jones called them a "step in the right direction." Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said at the time the deal was announced that “the president deserves praise” for his efforts.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov302018

Payless dupes fashion influencers into paying hundreds for $20 shoes in ad campaign

Payless (LOS ANGELES) -- A handful of fashion influencers paid hundreds of dollars for shoes from the budget retailer Payless after the company rebranded as the high-end "Palessi" for a day in an ad campaign.

The campaign, created by the advertising agency DCX Growth Accelerator, shows how Payless took over a boutique in Los Angeles and created the fake luxury brand "Palessi."

The store was filled with Payless shoes that retail between $19.99 and $39.99, according to a press release from the company. Fashion insiders in Los Angeles were then filmed paying up to $640 for the "Palessi" shoes, as was their shock and reactions after learning that the shoes were actually from Payless.

"I would pay like $400, $500," one woman said. "People are going to be like, 'Huh, where did you get those? Those are amazing.'"

When she found out the shoes were from Payless, she seemed shocked, saying, "Shut up! Are you serious?"

Doug Cameron, chief creative officer at DCX Growth Accelerator, said they "wanted to push the social experiment genre to new extremes, while simultaneously using it to make a cultural statement.”

“Payless customers share a pragmatist point of view, and we thought it would be provocative to use this ideology to challenge today’s image-conscious fashion influencer culture," he added.

Payless chief marketing officer Sara Couch added in a statement that the "perceptions of the brand lag far behind" the "great lengths" the company has gone to "create a portfolio of fashionable and high-quality shoes."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio