Four of the top five US defense firms to be led by women

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At the start of 2019, four of America's top defense companies will be led by women.

On Thursday, the chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman, Wes Bush, announced that he was stepping down and would be succeeded by Kathy Warden, Northrop's current president and chief operating officer who has been with the company since 2008.

Warden held leadership roles at General Dynamics and the Veridian Corporation prior to joining Northrup.

As CEO, she will join three other high profile women leading the U.S. defense industry: Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin; Phebe Novakovic, the CEO of General Dynamics; and Leanne Caret, the CEO of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security.

Hewson, Novakovic, and Caret were all named in Fortune's 2017 "Most Powerful Women" ranking, listed as 3, 9, and 30, respectively. Hewson was named “2018 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive Magazine.

Over the last two years of the Trump administration, Hewson specifically has found herself in the national spotlight.

There were very public negotiations between Hewson and President Donald Trump over the cost of the F-35 fighter jet. Last year, she personally committed to lower the cost of the stealth plane.

Hewson also promised to remain on Trump's short-lived manufacturing council, as other executives bailed due to the president's refusal to condemn neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan in the wake of the violent Charlottesville rally. She did condemn white supremacist groups, saying her decision to stay on the council had nothing to do with the events in Charlottesville.

Then, last month, Hewson attended a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House when Trump announced the creation of a separate "Space Force" for the armed services. The president called out Hewson by name, saying she has done a "fantastic job" with Lockheed. (He accidentally referred to her publicly as "Marillyn Lockheed" in March.)

As for Warden, she takes over at Northrop on January 1, 2019.

“I am delighted that Kathy will become our company’s next CEO,” Bush said in a company press release on Thursday. “She has demonstrated exceptional leadership in her roles leading the operations of our company, and she brings the vision and values to lead Northrop Grumman into the future.”

Bush will stay on as chairman of Northrop through July 2019.

While women are dominating the defense landscape, fewer than five percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. As of May 2018, there were only 24 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, down from a high of 32 in 2017.

But for those women who are serving in the top position, the female defense executives stand out. For instance, Novakovic and Hewson, who both assumed their roles in 2013, are two of the highest paid female CEOs.

Novakovic, who started her career at the Central Intelligence Agency, grossed $21.2 million in 2018, according to Equilar. Hewson, who joined Lockheed over 30 years ago, made $20.2 million.

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Elon Musk pledges to fix Flint water in homes with contamination

iStock/Thinkstock(FLINT, Mich.) -- Elon Musk says he is redoubling his efforts to help Flint residents affected by the ongoing water crisis by pledging to fix the pipes in any Flint house with contaminated water.

The 47-year-old billionaire and Tesla founder tweeted this week that he will also organize a weekend in Flint to add filters for residents still concerned with their water quality in an effort to improve public perception of water quality.

The efforts attracted the attention of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who reached out to Musk on Twitter to set up a conversation originally scheduled for Friday.

Weaver told ABC News Friday afternoon that while she and Musk have not spoken yet, she did have a conversation with Musk’s team that gave her hope that Musk could help with improving local confidence in water quality.

"We felt it was so important for us to start putting new pipes in the ground and that was the first step in rebuilding that trust. When you get a call from someone like Mr. Musk it gives residents great confidence," Weaver said.

Weaver said she used the call to lay out ideas for how Musk and his team could be of help, but that ultimately they will take whatever help he thinks would be most useful.

"We’ll take our direction from him and see how he feels he can be best helpful to Flint moving forward," she said.

Musk previously offered to provide solar electricity options to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and volunteered to send his own equipment and staff to assist in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand.

But the efforts to persuade Musk to help Flint stem from a source that’s more directly connected to the Flint community.

Mari Copeny, a 10-year-old local activist known as "Little Miss Flint," tweeted she has been working with Musk’s team for over a week on coming up with a solution for Flint that he could fund.

Musk worked with Copeny earlier this month, donating at least 500 bikes meant for children in the Flint area as a way of helping a community event she had organized.

Musk's tweets come as Flint residents still grapple with the continued after-effects of the crisis. Local residents have sued local government authorities, contractors and companies tasked with maintaining the city’s water supply seeking damages. The residents’ class-action lawsuit had a hearing in federal court earlier this week.

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Ice cream shop creates 'bouquets' featuring up to 21 scoops on a single cone

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- You've probably seen these massive, teetering towers of ice cream scoops balancing atop a single cone on your Instagram feed.

Stuffed Ice Cream, nestled in New York City's East Village, rose to social media fame for its over-the-top, massive ice cream "bouquets," which can feature up to 21 scoops of ice cream each.

Some may be surprised to know that these bouquets "came up by accident," according to Jackie Luu, one of the co-founders of the ice cream shop.

"One day I was playing around, trying to put nine scoops on a cone, and it got to a point where we knew we were going to make 20 flavors, so we wanted to throw 20 scoops on a cone," he said. "And we ended up throwing 21 scoops."

As impractical to eat as it may seemed, they soon realized the stunning balancing act of scoops on the cone could be a big hit in the age of the "extra"-ness and Instagram, or if you are looking for a treat to share with friends.

"It was very Instagram-worthy, and it's great for people to share," he added. "So we decided to make the bouquets happen."

If you are trying to cut back (slightly) on your ice cream consumption, you can also get a bouquet featuring a mere seven scoops.

Balancing a stack of ice cream scoops on a cone takes some skills, Luu said.

"You got to really round out your scoops perfectly. You got to really compact them and make them really tight," he said. "And then, when you scoop them, you have to kind of precisely put them in the angle that it will just keep stacking on top and not fall over."

Cones can't always carry the weight of so much ice cream, he added, saying he's observed that cones "can start cracking around 18 scoops."

"But we keep going anyway. We like the challenge," he said.

How is it possible to eat an ice cream bouquet?

"Either bring a bunch of friends to eat it with," Luu said. "Or just eat it quickly and don't get brain freeze."

Another star attraction of the tiny ice cream shop is their "cruff" -- a doughnut ice cream sandwich.

The sandwich, which comes in a variety of flavors, features a housemade doughnut -- either glazed or unglazed -- stuffed with ice cream and topped with everything from crushed almonds to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

"At the end of the day, we make everything here, we're open to all suggestions, we're pretty proud of what we make," Luu said. "If you have any ice cream flavors you want to throw our way, we can try to make it happen."

If you are itching for an excuse to blow your diet and try these summer sweets, this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day.

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Build-A-Bear closes lines nationwide over safety concerns for 'Pay Your Age' day

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Build-A-Bear Workshop has closed the lines to its stores nationwide and in Canada after receiving an "overwhelming response" to its first-ever "Pay Your Age" day promotion.

The popular children's store announced Monday the sale, which would allow kids to pay a price that matched their age for any bear.

Frenzied parents and children in search of a deal flocked to malls to take advantage, prompting the store to stop allowing additional guests due to "safety concerns," it said in a statement. The move was made at the request of local authorities, Build-A-Bear wrote on Twitter.

"We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event," the statement read. "We understand that many Guests were turned away as, due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores and, in other locations, we were forced to limit the line."

Stuffed animals from the shop typically range from $16 to $75.

Vouchers were given to guests who were present in lines to be redeemed at a later time, and vouchers have been available online to Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada who log on to their accounts by midnight, the store said. The vouchers will be honored through Aug. 31.

In New York City, the Build-A-Bear Workshop on 34th Street near Herald Square stretched for blocks. Jackie Kelso, a manager of the Manhattan Build-A-Bear, told ABC News that “well over 1,500 people” showed up to the store. People began arriving at the store around 6 a.m., and some customers expressed frustration due to the long waits, she said.

"I think it's great," Kelso said of the unexpected response to the promotion, which she said was meant to highlight the store's new "Count Your Candles" birthday program. "I think we had a great outcome, and a lot of people are really excited about it."

At the Richland Mall in Waco, Texas, hundreds of people were seen standing outside of the store, waiting for a turn to create the perfect stuffed companion.

One shopper in Wesley Chapel, Florida, recorded the madness outside the Shops at Wiregrass shopping center, writing, "My heart goes out to all the @buildabear employees. May you find rest tonight."

Another shopper at the Northpark Mall in Davenport, Iowa, advised others not to come because the line stretched from one end of the mall to the other.

Parents and children braved the heat at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, California, to snag a discounted bear as well.

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Bulletproof clothing designers say US demand is on the rise

ABC News(Fla.) -- A Florida husband and wife duo who developed a fashion line of bulletproof clothing say they have seen the demand for their products in the U.S. increase exponentially -- and amid growing security concerns, they believe the market still has untapped potential.

Miguel Caballero created MC Armor, a branch of his Colombian based company that focuses on ballistic-resistant clothing that includes items from jackets and accessories to children’s apparel. Leading the U.S. market efforts is his wife, Carolina Ballesteros.

“It’s fashion,” Ballesteros told ABC News. “But it’s fashion with protection.”

Since starting the business in 1992, Ballesteros said the profile of MC Armor's customers has already changed. “Now we get a lot more celebrities and politicians,” she explained.

Ballesteros, who bravely showed off the effectiveness of their clothing by taking a bullet to her chest, said she and her husband decided to expand their Mexico and Colombia-based boutiques to the U.S. because “we felt it was the moment.”

“The U.S. has a lot of guns, and it's part of the culture,” Ballesteros said. “But we participate in the defense and security industry and we want to save lives. So as soon as we see something as a shooting, a massive shooting, we need to be there.”

The U.S. market alone has proven highly lucrative for the couple. With an estimated 3 million American gun owners, it is one of the largest markets for gun accessories.

One South Florida gun store owner, David Johnson, said he has been selling ballistic accessories to a wide array of customers recently.

“We have a full spectrum: lawyers, doctors, we have a lot of realtors that go into bad neighborhoods, landlords that have to collect rent,” he said. “Also this is South Florida -- the home of road rage -- a lot of people like to keep this in the back of the car, just in case.”

MC Armor's bulletproof clothing and backpacks were originally developed in the early 1990s when Colombia was ravaged by crime, prompting a demand for products to help people feel safe.

Ballesteros said they even developed a bulletproof version of the Bible for priests.

"So he has a Bible all the time in front [of him] so he can use it as a shield," she explained.

Now, she said the company's products have become part of a new safety trend that includes bulletproof backpacks, especially in schools.

Ballesteros said her company’s first bulletproof children’s backpacks were specifically designed for students in the United States after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The design includes a bulletproof material sewn inside the backpack which allows students to use the book bag as a shield.

“It’s the same as you’d teach [children] different things, like how to go to the bathroom in school,” Ballesteros explained.

"As mothers, we have to teach kids," she added.

More recently, Ballesteros said the bulletproof backpacks sold out within minutes of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February.

But she defended the company against criticism that they are making money off of fear explaining, “it's not about fear, it's about protection."

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action who is the mom of a high school student, argues that she shouldn't have to buy a bulletproof product in order for her and her family to feel safe.

"We should be asking ourselves if this is truly an effective way to stop injury by gunfire," Watts said. "Not saying that the technology is bad, the real problem is that civilians want these products because lawmakers aren't taking action to curve gun violence.

My lawmakers should be the ones taking action to prevent people from causing harm in their communities," she continued. "We're doing a lot of things in America that are desperate attempts to protect our families from gun violence... If you compare America to other countries, our rate of violence is off the charts and ballistic clothing should not be the line of defense for those who want an education."

According to an August 2017 report from Market Research, body armor manufacturing is a $465 million-a-year industry and a Grandview Research 2016 study projects that the industry could reach over $5 billion globally by 2024.

Abbas Haider and Robert Davis are another duo who have launched their careers in the ballistic resistant retail industry. The pair founded Aspetto Inc., the first U.S. based company to offer high-end and couture suits and shirts for an elite clientele.

Haider said the unique area between Washington D.C. near Quantico has changed the profile of their customers. “Now we get a lot more celebrities and politicians,” he explained.

The bespoke suits can range in price anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000 and are made of the same fabrics used by other luxury designers, he explained.

"Our product is 100 percent made in America. Our ballistics are government approved. So if you're going to put your life behind ballistics it should be us," Haider told ABC News.

The factory is based in south Florida “where all the magic happens,” he added. In addition to manufacturing the suit patterns, he says their space is also used to test the fabric with various guns to ensure it measures up to the level of protection advertised.

"This is the product that saves lives. This creates the best chance for their life being saved," Davis, his partner, told ABC News.

Davis showed off a suit that can withstand the blast from a 9-millimeter bullet but said it would still feel like taking a punch.

“With the government standards, it can only be a certain amount of depth,” he explained. “So this still falls in line with the government standard.”

Although Aspetto has traditionally had a list of high-profile clients, Davis and Haider said more and more Americans are willing to splurge on protective clothing.

Henry Ross, a former U.S. Marine who works in the security industry, said that despite his experience and training in the military, he sees this type of clothing as a backup form of protection against the unexpected, "the same reason you buy a first-aid kit."

"You don't buy because you want to use it, right? You buy because if you don't have it when you need it, you're kind of out of luck," Ross told ABC News.

Distributors and designers like Davis, Haider and the Ballesteros all claim to take the legal selling requirements very seriously and conduct background checks on all customers. While background checks are not required by law to purchase ballistic clothing, the U.S. has a federal ban on convicted felons illegally possessing armored clothing.

Ballesteros said she and her team hope untapped clientele in the U.S. could make the country MC Armor's biggest market very soon. And she has plans to specifically focus on women like herself.

"Women are learning about guns and safety and security and they want to know how to care for their family, the ones they love," she added.

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Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur

John Raedel/Getty Images (LOUISVILLE, Kentucky) -- The founder of Papa John's resigned from his position as chairman of the pizza chain's board of directors, just hours after he apologized for using a racial slur during a company conference call earlier this year.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company announced late-Wednesday night it had accepted John Schnatter’s resignation, saying it planned to replace him in the coming weeks.

Schnatter, 56, also resigned from his position on the University of Louisville’s board of trustees, effective immediately, according to the school. He had served on the board for two years.

His resignations came after Forbes reported that he used the N-word during a May conference call while discussing the national anthem protests in the NFL.

“Colonel Sanders called blacks n------,” Schnatter said, referring to Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Harland Sanders, according to the Forbes report.

He also reportedly complained that Sanders never faced public backlash for using the slur.

Schnatter confirmed the allegations in a statement Wednesday and apologized for his use of “inappropriate and hurtful language.”

"News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," he said. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."

Schnatter stepped down from his role as CEO late last year after saying NFL players should stand for the national anthem and that their protests had hurt the company’s sales.

Shares of Papa John's, one of the country's largest pizza delivery chains, fell about 5 percent in premarket trading Thursday in the wake of Schnatter's resignation from the board.

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Disruptive passenger forced to reimburse Delta for emergency landing

iStock/Thinkstock(TULSA, Okla.) -- Before causing a disruption on a flight, remember that there could be a hefty price to pay.

Delta Air Lines passenger Bolutife Olorunda was screaming and acting erratically recently on a flight, at which point he was approached by a flight attendant, according to court documents.

Olorunda verbally threatened the flight attendant by saying: "Don't touch me and if you touch me again you will regret it."

Among the 178 people onboard the Boeing 737 aircraft on May 30 were two federal air marshals, according to the complaint. One air marshal protected the cockpit while the other sat next to Olorunda to keep him calm. The captain declared an emergency and diverted the flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Olorunda was arrested.

Diversions are often costly to airlines. The additional fuel, rebooking of passengers, fees at the airport and swapping of crews can cause that price to reach in the thousands. Delta Air Lines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As part of the guilty plea reached with the U.S. attorney's office in Oklahoma, Olorunda has been ordered to pay Delta Air Lines $9,118 for the cost of the emergency landing, according to court documents. An attorney listed for Olorunda did not respond to a message left at his office by ABC News.

The Washington state man is also facing up to six months in prison, a fine up to $5,000 and additional penalties from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA declined to comment and the FAA did not immediately respond to ABC News' inquiry.

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China promises ‘firm and forceful’ measures in response to new U.S. tariffs

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- China promised to take “firm and forceful” measures Wednesday in response to the United States’ proposed levy of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

The American announcement came Tuesday – days after the U.S. began adding 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods.

"We will take firm and forceful measures,” Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said of the latest round of tariffs but gave no other details of what exactly Beijing plans to do in response.

"It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tat in a way that is accelerating and escalating,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement, adding that the Chinese government “will be forced” to respond with “necessary countermeasures” to protect its “core interests.”

The White House did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

While the first round of U.S. tariffs focused on Chinese industrial products, which have less of a direct impact on American consumers, the most recent list of tariffs includes fish, apples, and furniture.

Because China imports fewer goods from the U.S. than the U.S. imports from China, it is unable to match U.S. tariffs in value, according to a report from Mizuho Bank.

Both governments have already levied $34 billion in tariffs on each other’s goods, and are considering imposing tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of one another’s goods.

The escalation of U.S. tariffs on China comes in the wake of American trade battles with Europe, Canada, and Mexico and amid President Donald Trump’s visit to Brussels for a NATO summit.

“Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying [farmers’] businesses. I will open things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Republican senators expressed concern over the escalation of U.S. tariffs.

"I'm not in great favor of tariffs either way....let's hope we can balance this out so it's not detrimental to our interests. I don't want it to be detrimental to other people's interest either but certainly our interests are important," Senate Finance chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told reporters Wednesday morning.

Hatch said he’s “mostly concerned about some of the things the president is maybe planning to do.”

“Our international trade is extremely important and we have to start off on the right track and I'm not sure we are right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the effects of the tariffs have been “very, very detrimental” and that he’s “very, very nervous about it.”

"First of all, I'm a free trader. If we can get a level playing field...who wouldn't want the president to accomplish that?” he said on CNN's News Day. “But if [Trump] goes over the brink it's going to be catastrophic. And right now with the soybeans and corn in my state it is catastrophic, with the drop in prices that we've had.”

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Kylie Jenner on her way to being the youngest self-made billionaire, Forbes says

Forbes(NEW YORK) -- Kylie Jenner, who made a fortune with her popular cosmetics line, is poised to become the youngest self-made billionaire, according to Forbes magazine, which named her one of America's richest self-made women in 2018.

In an interview with the magazine, Jenner, 20, credited her social media following for the giant business she has built.

"I have such easy access to my fans and my customers," she said.

It's been merely two years since the star launched Kylie Cosmetics with her $29 lip kit. Jenner owns 100 percent of the company, which has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup, according to Forbes.

Forbes values Jenner's brand at nearly $800 million.

"Add to that the millions she's earned from TV programs and endorsing products like Puma shoes and PacSun clothing, and $60 million in estimated after-tax dividends she's taken from her company, and she's conservatively worth $900 million..." Forbes writes.

Kylie Cosmetics has already generated an estimated $230 million in net profit and Forbes predicts that sometime later this year, Jenner will likely become the youngest self-made billionaire in the world -- a title that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg once held.

“The most successful women entrepreneurs in the country are increasingly taking advantage of technology including social media to help them launch and grow businesses,” said Luisa Kroll, Forbes’ assistant managing editor, wealth. “That’s one reason why we’ve seen a notable influx of Instagram-savvy moguls like 20-year-old Kylie Jenner in the ranks of America’s richest self-made women.”

In a 2017 episode of the E! reality show, "Life of Kylie," the makeup mogul spoke out about becoming a CEO in her teens.

“I had the opportunity to make like the coolest makeup line that I’ve always dreamed of," Jenner said, according to People magazine. "It’s really my only passion. I learned a lot though and just have experienced things that people my age do not even know how to handle. I do feel like people don’t take me seriously as a businesswoman because of my age and my reputation. But I do think they’re starting to."

Jenner went on, "I like to prove people wrong.”

Forbes estimates that Jenner's half sister, 37-year-old Kim Kardashian West, is worth $350 million.

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Air Force's $10,000 toilet seat covers now 3-D printed for much less via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Following requests for an investigation from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Air Force has clarified that it is no longer spending $10,000 for a toilet seat cover used on military planes.

Instead, according to Air Force officials,, 3-D printing now allows the Air Force to produce the spare part for just $300.

The $10,000 cover came to light during an interview that Will Roper, the assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, did with Defense One in May.

In the interview, Roper explained that the Air Force occasionally needs parts that are no longer produced by the manufacturers that once signed licensing agreements with the Pentagon. Even if the company no longer makes a specific part, the Air Force still had to go through that company because of intellectual property rights.

To illustrate the problem, Roper said that a 3-D printer can make a toilet seat cover for a military plane for just $300. A new one from the manufacturer, however, costs $10,000.

“You’ll think, there’s no way it costs that,” Roper told Defense One. “No, it doesn’t, but you’re asking a company to produce it and they’re producing something else. And for them to produce this part for us, they have to quit producing” what they’re making now.

He continued, “They’re losing revenue and profit. So although it looks like it’s a certain price in the GSA [Government Services Administration] catalog, the business case is what drives it up. I don’t think that company wants to stop building what they’re building” and restart the toilet seat line.

The plane is question is a C-5 transport aircraft. The manufacturer of the plane's toilet seat cover stopped producing the part in 2001, the Air Force told ABC News.

Grassley began pushing for the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General (OIG) to investigate the $10,000 purchases more than a month ago, but he said in a letter on Tuesday that the OIG had yet to respond.

Grassley said he had sought information on the toilet seat cover purchases along with "other possible examples of egregious and wasteful spending."

The cover isn't the only spare part that the Air Force is 3-D printing for less. At Travis Air Force Base, a team is working to 3-D print a handle for a hot cup, that would otherwise cost $1,220, according to the 60th Air Mobility Wing.

In a statement, Kathie Scarrah, OIG's Director of Legislative Affairs & Communications, said their office "has performed a large volume of oversight work associated with waste, fraud, and abuse related to spare parts pricing and has made numerous recommendations for corrective actions," including criminal investigations related to pricing.

"In addition, we have issued 44 audit reports related to spare-parts pricing," Scarrah said. "In the majority of those reports, we determined that the DoD did not receive fair and reasonable prices for spare parts and that the DoD did not perform adequate cost or price analysis when it purchased commercial and non-commercial spare parts."

Scarrah told ABC News that the office has ongoing work related to pricing, and OIG is preparing a response to Grassley that will address their office's work in this area.

She added that they have contacted the Air Force, which also intends to provide a response to OIG, as well as Grassley, regarding the cost of the toilet seat cover specifically.

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