SEARCH

Friday
Jul212017

Coffee recalled for containing Viagra-like ingredient

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Good to the last drop or the best part of waking up?

KXAS-TV reports that a Food and Drug Administration lab analysis detected a drug that is structurally similar to the active ingredient in Viagra in a coffee product made by a north Texas company.

Bestherbs Coffee LLC, in Grand Prairie, issued a voluntary nationwide recall of its "New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Herbs Coffee" after the FDA notice.

The ingredient in question, desmethyl carbodenafil, may react with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, dangerously lowering blood pressure, and poses a risk to men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease.

The coffee was sold online. Anyone who purchased the coffee can return it to the Bestherbs office for a full refund.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

Mixed results on Wall Street as S&P 500 retreats from record highs

tarabird/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thursday saw mixed results on Wall Street after consecutive record-setting days for the Nasdaq and S&P 500.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 28.97 on Thursday, closing at 21,611.78.

The Nasdaq inched upwards to 6,390.00, gaining 4.96 and setting a new record close for the third straight day. The S&P 500, however, dipped 0.38 to a finish of 2,473.45, ending consecutive days of record closes.

The price of crude oil dipped on Thursday, with a barrel going for $46.73 -- nearly one percent less than the day before.

Shares of home improvement stores, including Home Depot, suffered Thursday, following news that Amazon plans to break into the field -- selling Sears' Kenmore-branded appliances.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

Elon Musk says he received verbal approval to build underground hyperloop, local governments caught off guard

Photo: Hyperloop One/Tesla(NEW YORK) -- Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday that his Boring Company has received verbal approval to build an hyperloop connecting a number of major cities along the East Coast of the United States.

Musk and the company have touted the possibility of untrafast travel via hyperloop system for years. On Thursday, Musk said that a trip from New York City to Washington, D.C. could be made in just 29 minutes if his vision comes to life.



Musk later clarified that there remains much work before formal approval is given to build the hyperloop, but that he remained optimistic that it would happen in the near future.

Local governments were apparently caught off guard by Elon Musk's announcement.

The New York City mayor's office and spokespeople from the D.C. and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation all told ABC News they were not aware of any ongoing projects involving Musk.

The U.S. Department of Transportation referred ABC News' inquiry to the White House.

“We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects, and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector," a White House spokesperson told ABC News.

Musk, also the CEO of rocket manufacturer SpaceX and electric auto giant Tesla and a co-founder of PayPal, served on the administration's advisory council until Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords.

His tunnel-digging operation, "The Boring Company" (pun intended), has already broken ground on an underground shaft near his rocket company in California to circumvent gridlock in Los Angeles.

"I find holes in the ground exciting," Musk quipped at an engineering competition in January. "We’ll see how far we can get, we’re just sort of muddling along."

The inimitable entrepreneur first revealed his design for the Hyperloop -- a travel pod designed to speed through an underground pneumatic tube at around 800 miles per hour -- in 2013.

After completing Hyperloop tunnels in Los Angeles and the Northeastern corridor, he plans to continue digging, with tunnels connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco and a network inside Texas, he suggested on Twitter.

"Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly," Musk clarified a few hours after posting his first tweet.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

Exxon slapped with $2M fine for violating Russia sanctions while Tillerson was CEO

James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Treasury Department has fined Exxon Mobil $2 million for violating Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia -- while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO.

According to a penalty filed today by the Treasury Department, the presidents of Exxon’s U.S. subsidiaries in 2014 signed eight agreements for oil and gas projects with Igor Sechin, the president of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft and a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Sechin was among those sanctioned by the U.S. after Russia’s occupation of Crimea and incursion into eastern Ukraine.

Exxon signed the agreements between May 14 and 23, 2014.

Tillerson served as CEO from 2006 to 2016 before retiring and joining the Trump administration, and the filing by Treasury makes clear: “ExxonMobil’s senior-most executives knew of Sechin’s status” on the sanction list when they made the deals.

Exxon’s defense was that the documents were signed with Sechin in his “personal” capacity, but Treasury said Thursday that no such distinction exists and that Exxon should know that.

“ExxonMobil demonstrated reckless disregard for U.S. sanctions requirements,” the filing says, calling this “an egregious case” and adding, “ExxonMobil caused significant harm to the Ukraine-related sanctions program objectives.”

Exxon applied for a waiver from these same sanctions in April, but the Treasury Department denied them. Tillerson has recused himself from any decisions regarding his former employer for his first two years as Secretary, according to the State Department.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

Farming startup raises $200M from major investors

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A California startup that turns farming on its head has raised $200 million dollars from big-name investors such as Amazon chief Jeff Bezos.

Plenty, a vertical farming startup based in San Francisco, has also garnered funding from Japanese media giant Soft Bank and Alphabet's Eric Schmidt, according to the BBC.

Founded in 2013, the company has an indoor growing system that utilizes less water and space than conventional farms. It plans on offering its self-grown vegetables and herbs for sale this fall.  

The company, which employs 100 people in San Francisco and Wyoming, has already signed agreements with online and brick-and-mortar distributors.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

'Dark web' marketplaces shut down after global investigation

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two of the world's largest "dark web" marketplaces have been shut down after a global investigation, according to the BBC.

The AlphaBay and Hansa sites had been connected to the trade of illicit products such as weapons, drugs and stolen data.

On AlphaBay, there were more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals, according to Europol.

The FBI, DEA and Dutch National Police led the investigation.

The site AlphaBay went dark in early July after an alleged administrator of the site, 26-year-old Canadian Alexandre Cazes, was arrested in Thailand. Police seized millions of dollars in assets, four luxury cars and three properties.

He reportedly committed suicide while in custody, according to the Department of Justice.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

UK watchdog cracking down on ads with 'harmful' gender stereotypes

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The United Kingdom advertising industry's self-regulatory group is cracking down on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles, after releasing a report this week that found such ads may cause people to "restrict how they see themselves and how others see them."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is calling on its sister organization, the Committees of Advertising Practice, to develop new guidelines that ban ads from featuring stereotypical gender roles or characteristics.

“Our review shows that specific forms of gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to harm for adults and children," Ella Smillie, the lead author of the report, released Tuesday, said in a statement. "Such portrayals can limit how people see themselves, how others see them, and limit the life decisions they take."

Smillie adds that she hopes the new standards will help "ensure that modern society is better represented."

The ASA noted that their research found that ads that were problematic included ones that depict a woman having the sole responsibility for cleaning up a mess made by he family members, portrayed a man attempting and failing a parental task, or suggested something is inappropriate for boys because it is stereo-typically associated with girls, and vice-versa.

Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA, noted that advertisements that reinforce stereotypical gender roles can play in gender inequality within society as a whole.

"Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can play their part in driving unfair outcomes for people," Parker said in a statement.

"While advertising is only one of many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

IBM stock falls after another quarter of declining revenue, Wall Street sets new records

JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Another record setting day for two of Wall Street's indices, as tech stocks and drug company Vertex Pharmaceuticals led the way.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked upwards 66.02 to a close of 21,640.75.

The Nasdaq set a record at the close for the second straight day, finishing at 6,385.04, 40.73 higher than it opened. The S&P 500 also set another record, gaining 13.22 to end the session at 2,473.83.

Crude Oil was 1.5 percent higher Wednesday, with the cost of a barrel climbing to $47.12.

Winner and Losers: Vertex Pharmaceuticals saw its stock jump nearly 21 percent after a study showed its drug cocktails improved lung function in patients with cycstic fibrosis.

A tough day for IBM, whose stock dropped more than four percent to $147.53.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

McCormick to acquire French's, Frank's RedHot brands for $4.2 billion 

Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a sale worth more than $4 billion, McCormick & Company is expected to purchase the food business of the company that owns French's, Frank's RedHot and Cattlemen's brands.

In a press release from Reckitt Benckiser Group, which owned the condiments, the company's CEO, Rakesh Kapoor, says that he is "pleased to be selling to owners who can provide the necessary resources, market expertise and global platform, whilst being a good home for our people."

In its own press release, McCormick said that acquiring the "beloved products enables McCormick to become a one-stop shop for condiment, spice and seasoning needs."

Reckitt Benckiser has shifted its focus away from the food division in recent years, the New York Times notes. The company has instead focused its business on health products, such as Durex condoms, Dr. Scholl foot care and Nurofen pain relievers.

The sale is expected to be completed later in the year and is subject to regulatory approval.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

Brides-to-be offered free wedding gowns after dress chain closes

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Brides are stepping up to help brides-to-be after the sudden bankruptcy of a national bridal dress chain left many without wedding dresses.

Women are using the hashtags #AlfredAngelo and #dressmatchmaker to find strangers who may have purchased wedding gowns from Alfred Angelo Bridal, the chain that suddenly closed its stores last week after nearly 80 years in business.

The bridal chain, which said on its website that it had more than 60 stores, informed customers via the website and messages on closed storefronts that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 14 and advised them to contact the chain’s bankruptcy trustee via email.

"We will post additional information regarding the status of pending orders on this website as it becomes available or otherwise contact you as we receive more information regarding your purchase," reads the statement, in part, on Alfred Angelo's website. "We apologize for the inconvenience and hardship resulting from this event. We appreciate your patience. Thank you."

Amber McGraw, 27, said she paid $995 to purchase her wedding dress and accessories at an Alfred Angelo store near Columbus, Ohio, the same week the chain declared bankruptcy.

McGraw, a student who is also in the National Guard, took to Twitter to express her shock and fear that she wouldn’t have a dress for her September wedding to Derek Pack.

"When the news first broke I panicked because we’ve been engaged for seven years and I’ve been saving up this whole time," McGraw told ABC News. "Not only am I out my wedding dress, but I’m out almost $1,000."

Hundreds of miles away in Chicago, a stranger, Aly Porter, saw McGraw’s story online and wanted to help. Porter, who works in the technology industry, has for the past four years purchased new wedding dresses at discounted prices and donated them to a charity that provides the gowns to brides-to-be in the military.

"I had about 25 gowns in my basement getting ready to ship off to this organization," Porter, a mother of two, told ABC News. "I had five dresses that happened to be in Amber’s size and so I offered them to her."

Pryor sent photos of the dresses over Facebook to McGraw, who chose an Ian Stuart gown and veil that Pryor estimates would retail for over $7,500.

"I just knew that’s my dress," McGraw said. "It’s the kind of dress you rip the pages out of the magazine for."

She added, "I’ve got a Cinderella story. That’s for sure."

Porter mailed the dress and accessories to McGraw on Monday.

"Truly, I dropped the box off at Fed Ex and my heart was full," she said.

Cassandra Duck wore a dress she purchased from Alfred Angelo at her wedding three years ago. When the 33-year-old from Malden, Massachusetts, saw the chain had closed, she immediately posted an offer on Twitter to donate her dress to any bride-to-be in need.

"I put myself in these women's shoes. This could have easily happened to me, too," Duck told ABC News. "I took a loan out of my 401(k) to get my wedding dress. Who has an extra $1,000-plus laying around to get another one?"

She continued, "Then I thought about what I could do to help and my dress, although sentimental of course, was just sitting in the closet. I haven't touched it since our wedding day.”

Duck said she has received positive feedback on Twitter, even from a dry cleaner owner in Michigan who offered to clean the dress for free.

Jennifer Gable, of Riverside, California, started a Twitter account for herself just to be able to offer the dress she wore at her own wedding to another future bride.

"I got married five years ago this month [and] I remember how exciting and stressful it was," Gable, 29, told ABC News. "I would be devastated if I was in a situation where my dress was ripped out [from] under me with no warning."

She added, "I love my dress but it's literally just sitting my my closet so why not let another bride enjoy it."

Retailers and wedding brands have also stepped-up to help brides-to-be left without wedding dresses.

The Knot has set up a dedicated email address, dress911@theknot.com, for brides affected by the Alfred Angelo closing.

"Our team at The Knot has been getting a lot of heartfelt messages from brides affected by this news and are working hard to help these brides find other options," The Knot executive editor, Kristen Maxwell Cooper, said in a statement to ABC News. "While the details of each bride's gown dilemma varies slightly, overall, these women are looking for an expert to speak with to ease their fears and find solutions, that's where our team comes in. In addition to our dedicated email address where brides can reach members of our team, our editorial team at TheKnot.com is continuing to update our coverage with new details from Alfred Angelo as they become available, as well as new offerings from retailers across the nation."

David’s Bridal is offering brides-to-be with receipts for Alfred Angelo dresses a discount of 30 percent off to purchase new bridal dresses, according to the chain's website.

Alfred Angelo declined to provide a comment on its bankruptcy filing. Patricia Redmond, a lawyer for the company, described the outpouring of support for brides who have Alfred Angelo dresses on order as "truly inspiring" in an email to ABC News.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio