US stocks rebound, Facebook continues to tumble

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks rebounded after Monday's tech sell-off, but Facebook continued to tumble amid a data scandal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 116.36 (+0.47 percent) to finish the session at 24,727.27.

The Nasdaq gained 20.06 (+0.27 percent) to close at 7,364.30, while the S&P 500 finished trading at 2,716.94, up 4.02 (+0.15 percent) for the day.

Crude oil prices jumped more than 2 percent to $63 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Facebook fell 2.56 percent as the social media company battles accusations that Cambridge Analytica, a private data firm, obtained information on 50 million users without permission.

The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly looking into Facebook's use of personal data. climbed 2.69 percent, topping Google-parent Alphabet Inc. in market value, and becoming the second most valuable company in the U.S.

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Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy, cancels non-disclosure agreements

Mark Von Holden/Getty Images for Dimension Films(NEW YORK) -- The Weinstein Company announced that it has filed for bankruptcy and is ending all non-disclosure agreements that have prevented victims of alleged sexual misconduct by disgraced co-founder Harvey Weinstein from speaking out publicly.

On Monday, the company behind such Academy Award-winning films as "The Artist" and "The King's Speech," announced that it had entered into a "stalking horse" agreement with Lantern Capital Partners, a Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm, to purchase all the company's assets.

"The Board selected Lantern in part due to Lantern’s commitment to maintain the assets and employees as a going concern," a press release stated.

The company also announced that it was releasing Weinstein's alleged victims from the confidentiality provisions of their non-disclosure agreements.

"Since October, it has been reported that Harvey Weinstein used non-disclosure agreements as a secret weapon to silence his accusers. Effective immediately, those 'agreements' end," the release read.

"No one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet," the statement continued. "The Company thanks the courageous individuals who have already come forward. Your voices have inspired a movement for change across the country and around the world."

The New York Attorney General's Office, which filed a lawsuit against the company last month, praised the cancelation of the agreements as a "watershed moment."

"The Weinstein Company’s agreement to release victims of and witnesses to sexual misconduct from non-disclosure agreements -- which my office has sought throughout this investigation and litigation -- will finally enable voices that have for too long been muzzled to be heard," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

He added that the lawsuit against The Weinstein Company and co-founders Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob Weinstein, is ongoing and that his office will ensure that "victims are compensated, employees are protected moving forward, and perpetrators and enablers of abuse are not unjustly enriched."

In its statement, the board of The Weinstein Company thanked Schneiderman for helping them reach the agreement with Lantern.

"While we had hoped to reach a sale out of court, the Board is pleased to have a plan for maximizing the value of its assets, preserving as many jobs as possible and pursuing justice for any victims," Bob Weinstein, who is also chairman of the board, said in the statement.

Lantern co-founders Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic said in the statement that they plan to reposition the company as a "preeminent content provider, while cultivating a positive presence in the industry."

They also stated that they are committed to promoting "a diverse and transparent [work] environment."

In its bankruptcy filings, the company listed its creditors between 200 and 1,000 and assets between $600 million and $1 billion. Among the top creditors listed is the law firm of Boies Schiller, which is owed millions for "professional services." The firm reportedly helped with some of the legal arrangements for Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims.

In its statement, the company said it "regrets that it cannot undo the damage Harvey Weinstein caused, but hopes that today’s events will mark a new beginning."

Though Harvey Weinstein has apologized for his behavior and sought professional help, his spokeswoman has said that "any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

Following the claims and news reports, Weinstein was fired from the company that bears his name, banned from the Producer's Guild of America and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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'The Crown' producers apologize for pay gap between male and female leads 

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LONDON) -- News broke last week that Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth in Netflix's "The Crown," was making a less-than-queenly salary when compared to her co-star Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip.

The outrage led to a petition for Smith and the streaming giant to pony up the difference. Now, the disparity has also led to an apology from producers of the series, Left Bank Pictures.

The actors "have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own," the lengthy mea culpa sent to ABC News reads in part, adding, "We at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues."

The producers' statement also said they "understand and appreciate the conversation" about wage parity and are "absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes."

The statement concludes: "As company policy, we are engaged in conversations with [equality groups] ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Time's Up U.K.; organizations which are working to ensure all women have a voice."

"The Crown" executive producer Suzanne Mackie had suggested last week that Smith was paid more because the former "Doctor Who" star had more acting experience, but then said that no longer will apply, adding, "It’s really important for the queen to be paid more."

Foy was nominated for an Emmy last year for her work on the show.

Tuesday's statement still does not directly say that the Foy-Smith wage disparity has been addressed.

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United Airlines suspends program for pets flying in cargo compartments

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A week after a string of incidents involving pets aboard its planes, United Airlines announced Tuesday that it will stop taking new reservations for pets required to fly in aircraft cargo compartments.

PetSafe, United’s program for flying pets in cargo compartments, will be suspended indefinitely as the airline reviews its procedures to “ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets,” according to the announcement.

Even as United was dealing with outrage after a dog died last Monday from being placed in an overhead bin, two others dogs in cargo compartments were placed on the wrong flights.

Last Tuesday, a Kansas-bound German Shepherd wound up in Japan before reuniting with its family two days later.

And last Thursday, a flight destined for St. Louis took a detour to drop off a pet flying in the cargo bay after the airline discovered it was supposed to arrive in Akron, Ohio. United said it compensated the passengers on that flight for the diversion, although it’s unclear how they were compensated.

 The review is expected to conclude May 1 but there's no firm word on when the program might resume.

The program’s suspension does not apply to travelers eligible to bring their pets into passenger cabins.

United said they will honor existing PetSafe reservations made up to March 20.

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Congress turns up heat on Facebook after allegations of data harvesting

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Congress is ratcheting up political pressure on Facebook after reports that a political data analytics firm employed by President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign received personal data and information from up to 50 million profiles on the popular social networking site.

Lawmakers involved in congressional investigations into Russian election interference have renewed interest in the platform, calling for top company leaders to testify on Capitol Hill and more scrutiny of safeguards meant to protect user data.

“I think it’s time for the CEO, Mr. [Mark] Zuckerberg, and other top officials to come and testify and not tell part of the story, but tell the whole story of their involvement -- not only with the Trump campaign but their ability to have their platform misused by the Russians,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told ABC News.

“These tech platforms .... need to be more forthcoming or Washington is going to start imposing rules and regulations that may not fit,” he warned.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Kennedy, R-La., members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to chairman Chuck Grassley requesting a hearing with social media company CEO’s, including Zuckerberg.

Facebook letter from Senate Judiciary Committee 3.19.2018 by ABC News Politics on Scribd

On Saturday, The New York Times and The Observer of London reported that the data firm, Cambridge Analytica, mined data from millions of Facebook users -- largely without permission -- through an app created by a Russian-American psychologist, with the goal of using the data to create voter profiles and craft political messages.

Facebook did not publicly acknowledge the possible data breach until the report surfaced over the weekend, and did not notify users that their information had been obtained by a third party.

Cambridge Analytica has denied improperly obtaining any data, said they destroyed the unauthorized data as soon as they learned of it and said none of the information was used in its work 2016 presidential campaign work.

On Monday, Facebook announced that it had hired a digital forensics firm, Stroz Friedberg, to audit Cambridge Analytica and sweep the firm’s servers and systems to confirm that the tranche of Facebook data had been destroyed after acknowledging reports that the data may still exist.

“We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims. We remain committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information,” the company said in a statement.

Facebook has turned over records to investigators with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and the company has said it is cooperating.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has invited Christopher Wylie, the former Cambridge Analytica contractor who first spoke with The Times and The Observer, to appear for an interview with his staff. He said Democrats have also invited the Russian-American researcher Alexandr Kogan, to appear for an interview.

Cambridge Analytica provided documents to the House Intelligence Committee about its work with the Trump campaign last year. The panel also interviewed CEO Alexander Nix over video conference from a Washington law office instead of in person at the Capitol, a move that frustrated committee Democrats. Nix was questioned about the firm’s work with the Trump campaign.

“We need to bring [Nix] back. I also think we need to bring in the other witnesses from Cambridge Analytica that we had asked the majority to previously [agree to],” Schiff said, referencing Democrats’ calls for interviews with other Cambridge Analytica executives and GOP donor Rebekah Mercer, whose father Robert helped create the political data firm.

Facebook has already faced scrutiny and calls for regulation in Washington amid investigations into Russian efforts to disrupt the election using fake news and political ads disseminated on the platform and other social media sites.

Lawmakers, including Warner and Klobuchar, have called for tighter regulations of online political ads and greater disclosure requirements, which Facebook and other tech companies have resisted.

The company has also worked to improve its image in Washington in recent months: Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg traveled to Washington last fall to meet with congressional leaders in October amid the House and Senate Intelligence Committee investigations into Russian election meddling.

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Trump bans Americans from investing in Venezuelan cryptocurrency

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits Americans from dealing in any form of digital currency from Venezuela on Monday, a day before that country's launch of a state-owned cryptocurrency called the "petro."

The executive order prohibits "all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9, 2018."

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's administration introduced the oil-backed digital currency in February with his nation's economy in crisis and the bolivar experiencing hyperinflation.

In the order, Trump characterized the Maduro administration's actions as an "attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency in a process that Venezuela’s democratically elected National Assembly has denounced as unlawful."

Monday's executive order builds upon a body of existing sanctions directed at Venezuela, including those stemming from another executive order Trump signed in August that put restrictions on dealing in Venezuelan bonds or new debt, and one signed by President Barack Obama in 2015 that cited Venezuela's "erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations" as justification.

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Harvey Weinstein probe may have been mishandled by prosecutor, Time's Up claims, calling for action

J. Countess/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Time's Up, an advocacy and legal-defense group fighting sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond, wants New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to investigate why a prominent prosecutor decided against prosecuting Harvey Weinstein in 2015, two years before dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against the producer became public.

The open letter, which was exclusively obtained and published by New York magazine's The Cut, calls on Cuomo to "launch an independent investigation of the New York County District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, and the office of the District Attorney to determine the facts related to the decision not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein for sexual abuse crimes against one of his accusers, Ambra Battilana [Gutierrez]."

Gutierrez, a Filipina-Italian model, got Weinstein on audio in March 2015 allegedly admitting to groping her, according to a New York magazine article referenced in the Time's Up letter. The audio recording was part of a sting operation led by the New York Police Department.

On the tape, Weinstein tries to convince her to come into his room, and only after almost two minutes of back-and-forth in the hallway does Weinstein finally end his efforts to get her to stay, New York magazine reported.

Time's Up's open letter to the New York governor focuses on a New York magazine's report suggesting that the district attorney's office may have mishandled the case against Weinstein at the time.

"Reports that District Attorney Cyrus Vance could have been improperly influenced by Mr. Weinstein and/or his representatives, and that senior officials within the DA’s office may have sought to intimidate Battilana are particularly disturbing and merit investigation," the letter said.

"Similarly, reports that the New York Police Department chose to isolate Battilana from Vance’s staff because they feared his office was actively working to discredit her story demand immediate scrutiny," the letter continued.

Gutierrez said previously about her experience with Weinstein, “There were two years where I lost a lot in my life, but I wanted to help others. I’m happy now no one will suffer anymore.”

ABC News reached out to Gutierrez today, but didn't immediately hear back.

The district attorney’s office told ABC News that the New York magazine article “bears little resemblance to the facts.”

“The Manhattan DA's pioneering sex crimes unit -- the first of its kind in the country -- has been a national leader in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults committed by perpetrators of all backgrounds since the 1970s,” the statement continued. “The idea that our office would shrink from the challenge of prosecuting a powerful man is belied by our daily work and unparalleled record of success on behalf of sexual assault survivors.”

In a second statement later on Monday, the district attorney's office said: "The NYPD and Manhattan DA’s Office are fully committed partners in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault. Survivors of sexual violence and all who stand with them should know that this account does not accurately represent the strong partnership between the NYPD and Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s Office, and our unparalleled track record of holding sexual predators from all backgrounds accountable in thousands of sex crimes cases that we have successfully brought together.

“The Manhattan DA and the NYPD share the common mission of presenting the strongest evidence at trial and enhancing all cases after arrests are made in sex-crime and all other cases, while at the same time treating all sex-crime victims with the highest degree of respect and sensitivity. Those two goals do not conflict with each other.

“We will continue working collaboratively and professionally to deliver justice to victims of crime in Manhattan. From time to time we'll have our disagreements, but we will never allow them to undermine this shared endeavor."

Cuomo said in a statement Monday evening: "It is of great concern that sexual assault cases have not been pursued with full vigor by our criminal justice system. Specifically, there are questions about the handling of the 2015 sexual assault case of Ms. Ambra Battilana against Harvey Weinstein. The Manhattan District Attorney is currently in the midst of a separate investigation, which involves witnesses and facts from the 2015 case. The Manhattan District Attorney at this point believes this current investigation will be completed within approximately 45 days.

"It is critical not only that these cases are given the utmost attention but also that there is public confidence in the handling of these cases. Therefore, I have directed the Attorney General to begin a review of the 2015 case in a way that does not interfere with the current investigation and, at the conclusion of the Manhattan District Attorney's current investigation, to review the entire matter and report to me on its findings. Based on these findings we will decide what further actions may be necessary.

"The recent revelations about sexual assault and harassment pervasive in our society are most disturbing. We are leading the way forward with the nation's most comprehensive reform package. This behavior must end."

ABC News also reached out to representatives for the NYPD but didn’t immediately hear back.

Weinstein's lawyer, Ben Brafman, in a statement to ABC News slammed the New York magazine report on Gutierrez.

"We are stunned that NY Magazine chose to report on the claim" by Gutierrez against Weinstein without noting that in a sworn affidavit she 'stated in substance that her complaint against Harvey was the result of a misunderstanding and that her decision to report the incident to the police, was attributed by her to 'bad advice' she received," Brafman said in his statement.

The NYPD said the 2015 case against Weinstein was never prosecuted, New York magazine reported.

And according to The New Yorker magazine, after the district attorney’s office decided not to press charges, Gutierrez "signed a highly restrictive nondisclosure agreement" with Weinstein in addition to the affidavit.

Time's Up's letter said that if Weinstein had been successfully prosecuted in 2015, other women might have been spared his alleged sexual misconduct.

"Arguably his continued victimization of others could have been avoided," the letter said.

Weinstein, 66, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct, including rape. Though the former movie mogul has apologized for his behavior and sought professional help, a spokeswoman for him has told ABC News that "any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

Following publicity on the allegations, Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company, banned from the Producer's Guild of America and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Delta apologizes after 8-week-old puppy sent to wrong location

Delta Airlines(NEW YORK) -- Delta is the latest airline to experience a snafu involving the transport of a pet.

In a post on Delta’s Facebook page, customer Josh Schlaich wrote about his experience with the airline after his new puppy was not delivered to him Saturday night.

“Hey Delta, was supposed to receive my 8-week old pup this evening,” Schlaich wrote on the company's Facebook page. He went on to say that he received a call from “an inconsiderate and uninformed person” from Detroit’s airport saying that the new puppy was going to an unknown location due to a delayed flight.

The puppy was supposed to be flown to Boise, Idaho.

Schlaich said he tried multiple phone numbers to try to connect with someone to find the new addition to his family, but said a rep yelled at him and hung up.

Delta replied to his Facebook post multiple times, apologizing for the incident and giving him a number to call to speak with a supervisor.

In a statement to ABC News, Delta admitted the puppy was sent to another place. “We know pets are important members of the family and apologize for the delayed shipment of a dog, which is now in the hands of its owner, after it was routed to the wrong destination.”

Delta said it reimbursed Schlaich for all the shipping costs associated with the puppy getting delivered to Boise. The airline also launched a review of the procedures to see what caused the puppy to end up in another location, the statement added.

Schlaich updated his Facebook post to Delta, saying the dog was delivered safely and thanking the Delta team in Boise for their helpfulness.

ABC News has reached out to Schlaich for comment but did not immediately hear back.

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Woman killed by self-driving Uber car identified, as company suspends testing

Uber(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- A self-driving Uber car hit and killed a pedestrian Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona, police said, in what appears to be the first case of a pedestrian death caused by an autonomous vehicle.

The vehicle was in "autonomous mode at the time of the collision, with a vehicle operator behind the wheel," Tempe police said in a statement.

The female pedestrian, identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was walking her bicycle across the street outside the crosswalk when she was struck, police said, adding that an investigation is ongoing.

She died of her injuries at a hospital.

There were no passengers in the Uber vehicle.

In a briefing on Monday afternoon, police said the car was equipped with multiple cameras -- one looking forward and one facing the human driver.

Police added that the driver showed no signs of impairment and that prosecutors will be looking at the case for possible charged.

The vehicle was going 40 mph when it hit the pedestrian. There was no indication the car attempted to slow itself before the collision.

In a statement to ABC News, Uber said, "Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident."

In the wake of the crash, Uber has suspended its self-driving operations in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Toronto, the ridesharing service said.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misidentified the women. She was walking her bike across the street when hit, police said.

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Tech losses lead US stocks lower

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Losses in tech companies, including Facebook, led Wall Street in the red on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 335.60 (-1.35 percent) to finish the session at 24,610.91.

The Nasdaq fell 137.74 (-1.84 percent) to close at 7,344.24, while the S&P 500 finished trading at 2,712.92, down 39.09 (-1.42 percent) for the day.

Crude oil prices dipped 0.24 percent to $62 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Facebook sunk 6.77 percent as the stock continues to suffer from accusations that Cambridge Analytica mishandled the personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook on Saturday announced it had suspended the data firm.

An activist investor with Sherborne Investors acquired a 5.16 percent stake in Barclays, sending shares 4.85 percent higher.

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