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Monday
May142018

African woman removed from United flight after white passenger complained she smelled 'pungent': Lawsuit

United Airlines(HOUSTON) -- An African woman has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against United Airlines charging she and her two young children were removed from a flight and publicly humiliated after she had a confrontation with a white passenger.

The Nigerian woman, Queen Obioma, said she and her children suffered unnecessary embarrassment when a flight crew ordered them off a plane in Houston, Texas, in 2016 after the passenger complained to a pilot that she was "pungent" and he was uncomfortable flying on the same plane as her, according to the lawsuit.

The suit was filed on Friday in federal court in Houston and asks for damages of more than $75,000.

Obioma says she was taking her two children to Ontario, Canada, to enroll in a school and had boarded the second-leg of a three-plane flight to their destination when they were forced off the jet, according to the suit.

"United has no legitimate reason or justification to remove [Obioma] from the flight but for racial prejudice and insulted [her] by stating that Ms. Obioma stank," according to the lawsuit.

In a statement to ABC News on Sunday, the airline said, "United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will investigate this matter."

"We have not yet been served with this suit and due to the pending litigation involved, we’re unable to provide further comment," a spokeswoman for the airline told ABC News.

In a statement to ABC News on Monday, Obioma's lawyer, Nwadi Nwogu, said the "lawsuit speaks for itself."

"For now we will decline further comment except to say that we have a responsibility to our client to seek redress for the unfair, undeserving and [inhumane] treatment she and her children received from United Airlines," Nwogu's statement reads.

According to court papers, Obioma says the incident occurred on March 4, 2016, about two hours after she and her children arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston part way into a 16-hour flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to Ontario.

She said when she boarded United Flight 404 from Houston to San Francisco, she found a man sitting in her business-class seat and refusing to budge.

"She politely informed the white male that he was occupying her assigned seat but he ignored her," according to the suit.

Obioma told a member of the flight crew, who asked the man to move to his assigned seat, the suit says. But when he refused to move, Obioma was asked to take another seat in business class and she complied.

As she placed her carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment, she noticed the man who was in her original seat go into the cockpit, according to the suit.

Obioma said she went to the restroom while people were still boarding and when she came back, she found the same man blocking the aisle.

She said she asked the man, who was not identified, to let her get by, saying "excuse me" three times before he finally gave her enough room to squeeze by him, the suit claims.

As soon as she took her seat, a flight attendant "ordered her out of the aircraft stating that her attention was required because someone was waiting to speak with her outside the aircraft," the lawsuit reads.

Once outside, Obioma was told she was being removed from the flight. She protested and showed the flight attendant her boarding pass, the suit says.

The flight attendant told her "the pilot personally requested that Ms. Obioma be ejected from the aircraft because the white man sitting around her in the business class cabin was not comfortable flying with her because she was 'pungent,'" the suit says.

"Ms. Obioma asked [the flight attendant] what 'pungent' meant and he answered that she smelled," the suit states.

"At that point, Ms. Obioma was lost, confused and disoriented. Her mind went blank and she was utterly befuddled," according to the suit.

She argued that she had to make a connecting flight in San Francisco to Ontario, and had a meeting at her children's school that they would miss if not allowed to take the flight.

The suit claims Obioma wasn't allowed back on the plane to get her children seated in economy class or to retrieve her carry-on luggage.

A flight attendant, instead, escorted Obioma's two children off the plane.

"Ms. Obioma watched her minor children marched out of the aircraft like criminals, confused and perplexed and she slumped," according to the legal papers. "She sobbed uncontrollably for a long time."

Obioma and her children were delayed five hours before they could catch another flight, the papers say.

The delay caused Obioma to miss the scheduled appointment at her children's school. She had to reschedule and extend her stay, adding additional expenses to her trip, the suit claims.

Obioma alleges United "wrongfully" singled her and her children out because of their race and "punished them publicly because a white man did not want them on the plane," according to the suit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
May142018

Entrepreneur discusses how her serious illness led to her starting her own women's health business

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) - Before age 16, Suzie Welsh did not envision she would be working in healthcare, business, or a combination of the two.

A trip to Malawi during her teenage years, however, set her on a unique path towards medicine and entrepreneurship.

"Women's health has needed some innovation for quite some time," she told ABC News in a recent interview, going on to say she hopes "to change health outcomes for women in the United States and then globally."
 
Welsh is the founder of BINTO, a young Pennsylvania-based company working to transform women's healthcare with clinically-backed, over-the-counter products. She spoke with ABC News about running her own company and how she made the transition from nurse to entrepreneur.
 
On a volunteer trip to Malawi, Welsh contracted malaria, and through that experience realized the importance of effective and easily accessible healthcare. She pursued nursing in college, and after working nearly a decade in the industry, took an interest in the business of healthcare. It was through her interactions with patients that she discovered many women she was treating found it difficult to get access to personalized healthcare.
 
"I would get sort of the same questions over confusion in the marketplace when it came to women's over the counter products and then lack of access to a health professional to figure out what they even needed," she explains, reflecting on her time working as a fertility nurse after college.
 
It was after this experience that Welsh founded BINTO, a "digitally native lifestyle company" with the mission of helping women get the safe and effective products they need to support their unique health journeys."
 
The service surveys users and matches them with specific over-the-counter to address each woman's individual health needs. The supplements are then delivered to the user.
 
Welsh hopes BINTO will eventually become "a top service in digital health for women," setting out on a path with ambitions to grow BINTO into a global company.
 
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
May142018

Picasso painting worth $70 million 'accidentally damaged' before auction

George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It sounds like something out of a hidden-camera prank show, but someone made a very expensive mistake while preparing for an auction at Christie's this week.

The New York auction house announced on Sunday that someone had "accidentally damaged" a painting by Pablo Picasso as final preparations were being made for an exhibition of the work set to be sold on May 15. The estimated price of the painting, titled "Le Marin," according to Christie's: a cool $70 million.

The painting, owned by casino magnate Steve Wynn, has been pulled from the auction as conservators try to make a fix.

"Two outside conservators have now been consulted and have made recommendations for the successful restoration of the painting," Christie's said in a statement. "After consultation with the consignor today, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie's May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin.

"Christie's has a very high standard of care for the objects entrusted to us and we have taken immediate measures to remedy the matter in partnership with our client," the statement continued. "No further information is available at this time."

The oil on canvas painting was dated Oct. 28, 1943 and purchased by art publisher Harry N. Abrams, the Samuel M. Kootz Gallery and Galerie Louise Leiris in 1952 for just $11,000, according to Christie's. They made a tidy profit when it was auctioned off by Christie's for $8.8 million in November 1997. Wynn later bought the work in a private sale.

Oddly, this isn't the first time a Picasso owned by Wynn has been damaged. The late author Nora Ephron wrote a story for The Huffington Post in 2006 about a weekend spent in Las Vegas, staying at The Wynn, in which she described Steve Wynn accidentally sticking his elbow through Picasso's "Le Reve." The accident apparently tore a 6-inch hole in the work. Wynn later sold "Le Reve" -- all patched up -- to billionaire financier Steven A. Cohen for $155 million in 2013.

Wynn had bought "Le Reve" from banker Wolfgang Flottl, who also once owned "Le Marin," according to Christie's.

Wynn recently sold his stake in his casino business following reports of a dozen instances of sexual misconduct by The Wall Street Journal in January. Wynn sold all of his 12.1 million shares over two days in late March for a total value of $2.138 billion, according to The Associated Press.

"Le Marin" was set to be the second Picasso work auctioned off by Christie's in less than a week.

Christie's auctioned off Picasso's painting "Young Girl with a Flower Basket" for $115 million last week. The painting was part of a large collection owned by Peggy and David Rockefeller. The couple's family decided to auction off the painting after David's death in March 2017. His wife Peggy died in 1996.



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Saturday
May122018

Be careful of pop-up ads for computer help as tech-support fraud is growing

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You know those pesky pop-ups advertising tech support for your computer? Be careful. The FBI highlights tech-support fraud as a growing trend in the agency's latest report on cybercrime.

The most common type of online crime stems from internet transactions -- the failure to either deliver goods or services ordered or to pay for them, according to the FBI's 2017 Internet Crime Report released this week.

Another cybercrime that continues to be prevalent is what the FBI calls "confidence or romance fraud," when perpetrators build trust with victims, then persuade them to send money or personal and financial information.

Tech-support fraud is a widespread scam, with criminals constantly changing their tactics to continue the fraud, the FBI report said. The perpetrators may use anything from pop-up ads, phone calls and search-engine advertising to lure victims, and may pose as security, customer service or technical support personnel offering help with issues ranging from software-license renewal to computer viruses.

"Some recent complaints involve criminals posing as technical support representatives for income tax assistance, GPS, printer, or cable companies, or support for virtual currency exchanges," the FBI report said.

The FBI received nearly 11,000 complaints related to tech-support fraud in 2017 with claimed losses of nearly $15 million, a 90 percent increase in losses over 2016.

The most common cybercrime is failure to either deliver or pay for goods or services purchased online. More than 84,000 such crimes were logged by the FBI in 2017.

For cybercrime overall, the states of California, Florida and Texas had the highest number of victims and losses in 2017. Older Americans were the most common victims, with those over 60 losing $342 million to cybercrimes last year, the FBI report said.

The United States is not alone with this problem. Canada, India and the United Kingdom also reported significant levels of cybercrime.

Overall, internet crime in the U.S. alone caused losses of $1.4 billion dollars, but one security expert said such crimes are likely underreported.

"There's probably another percentage of people who've never reported the incident because they didn't know that there was an outlet that they could go to," Sam Kassoumeh, CEO and co-founder of security ratings firm SecurityScorecard, told ABC News.

Confidence fraud and romance scams caused victims to lose about $211 million in 2017 alone, the FBI report said. One version of this is when a criminal romances someone online, asks for money and then never talks to that person again. Think the MTV reality show Catfish, but with a monetary loss.

Kassoumeh told ABC News about an international scam like this in which a network of perpetrators would go online, befriend women and start online relationships with them. The scammers would tell the women they want to buy an item that can't be shipped to wherever they supposedly are, and then manipulate their victims into unwittingly serving as intermediaries for theft and fraud through the use of prepaid shipping labels and stolen credit cards.

The FBI also highlights a practice called business email compromise, which led to the highest amount of losses -- over $600 million -- in 2017.

In these cases, scammers target businesses, often through customer support.

Kassoumeh said such fraud is up now because more businesses are working with outside vendors, creating greater opportunities for cybercriminals.

"That creates a larger surface area to manipulate the people inside of a company. There are more companies to take advantage of," he said. "Third-party providers store some of the most sensitive, critical information. Think about how many companies in the U.S. use Amazon -- or Microsoft or Google as hosting providers."

The FBI reported that it receives more than 800 complaints a day for cyber-related incidents and more than 250,000 complaints each year -- a number that is growing every year.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
May112018

Oprah Winfrey dishes out life advice in her USC commencement speech

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- In her address to the graduating students of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Friday morning, Oprah Winfrey delivered a speech that rivaled the one she made at the Golden Globes back in January.

Winfrey, whose "daughter-girl" Thando Dlomo was among the graduates, stressed the importance of being honest, especially in today's culture of "fake news," and implored the future journalists in the room to "challenge the left, to challenge the right, and the center."

She also explained how enriching it is to tell the stories of others.

"If you could just capture the humanity of the people and the stories that you're telling, you can get that much closer to your own humanity and you can confront your bias and you can build your credibility and hone your instincts and compound your compassion," she said. "You can use your gifts -- that's what you're here to do -- to illuminate the darkness in our world."

However, much of the advice she dispensed was more general and could be applied to anybody, regardless of their chosen career path:

1. Be the truth: Winfrey asked her audience to "make the choice every single day to exemplify honesty." "The truth exonerates and it convicts. It disinfects and it galvanizes. The truth has always been and will always be our shield against corruption, our shield against greed and despair. The truth is our saving grace," she said. "Be the truth. Be. The. Truth."

2. Stay hopeful: The talk show host acknowledged that there are a litany of issues that need to be addressed today, and listed a few of the problems at the top of her list: "There's gun violence and climate change and systemic racism. Economic inequality, media bias. The homeless need opportunity, the addicted need treatment, the Dreamers need protection, the prison system needs reforming, the LGBTQ community needs acceptance, the social safety net needs saving and the misogyny needs to stop." Of course, she added, nobody can fix everything. However, "you have to declare war on one of our most dangerous enemies and that's cynicism," she said. "It'll lower your standards, it'll choke your empathy and sooner than later, cynicism shatters your faith. When you hear yourself saying, 'It doesn't matter what one person says, oh well. So what? It's not gonna make any difference what I do, who cares?' When you hear yourself saying that, know that you're on a collision course for our culture.

"These times are here to let us know that we need to take a stand for our right to have hope," she added. "The question is: What are you willing to stand for?"

3. Be good to everyone: After Winfrey founded a school for girls in Africa, she told her mentor Maya Angelou that she was sure that that would be her legacy. Angelou wasn't so sure. "She said, 'You have no idea what your legacy will be because your legacy is every life you touch.' Every life you touch. That changed me," she said. "Pick a problem, any problem, and do something about it. Because to somebody who's hurting, something is everything."

4. Vote: With a wink and a nod to the rumors that she might be considering a run for the presidency (she's not!), Winfrey encouraged her audience to always make it to the polls. "Pay attention to what the people who claim to represent you are doing and saying in your name and on your behalf," she said. "They represent you and if they've not done right by you, if their policies are at odds with your core beliefs, then you have a responsibility to send them packing.

"People died for that right," she continued. "I think about it every time I cast a vote, so don't let their sacrifice be in vain."

5. Live responsibly: "Eat a good breakfast. It really pays off. Pay your bills on time. Recycle. Make your bed. Aim high. Say thank you to people and actually really mean it. Ask for help when you need it and put your phone away at the dinner table. Just sit on it!" she said. "Know what you tweet and post and Instagram today might be asked about in a job interview tomorrow or 20 years from tomorrow."

6. Be kind: Winfrey stressed the importance of compassion. "Be nice to little kids, be nice to your elders, be nice to animals and know that it's better to be interested than interesting," she said. "And if you're fighting with someone you really love, for God's sake, find your way back to them because life is short even on our longest days."

7. Splurge on the right things: Winfrey may be one of the wealthiest people in America, but the two things she suggested are worth the splurge are a quality mattress ("I'm telling you, your back will thank you later," she said) and well-made shoes.

8. Be upstanding: "Don't ever confuse what is legal with what is moral because they are entirely different animals. You see, in a court of law there are loopholes and technicalities and bargains to be struck, but in life, you're either principled or you're not," she said. "So do the right thing, especially when nobody's looking.

"And while I'm at it, do not confuse money and fame with accomplishment and character," she continued. "Because I can assure you based on the thousands of people I've interviewed, one does not automatically follow the other."

9. Your job is what you do, not who you are: And, she added, work will not always be fulfilling. "There will be some days that you just might be bored. Other days, you may not feel like going to work at all. Go anyway," she said. "Remember that your job is not who you are, it's just what you're doing on the way to who you will become.

"Every remedial chore, every boss who takes credit for your ideas -- that is going to happen -- look for the lessons because the lessons are always there," she added. "And the No. 1 lesson I can offer you where your work is concerned is this: Become so skilled, so vigilant, so flat-out fantastic at what you do that your talent cannot be dismissed."

10. Be yourself:
Winfrey promised that one of her last pieces of advice "will save you": "Stop comparing yourself to other people," she said, to applause.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May102018

Tennessee and New York feud over Long Island iced tea's origin

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Kingsport, Tennessee, is staking a claim on the Long Island iced tea.

The city of Kingsport claims the popular cocktail was created in 1920s Prohibition-era Long Island, an island in the Holston River in Kingsport, by the likes of a man named Charlie “Old Man” Bishop, an illegal liquor distiller.

In a video from Visit Kingsport, a man acting as Ransom Bishop, Charlie’s son, describes Charlie making one of his “special batches” with rum, vodka, tequila, whiskey, gin and a little bit of maple syrup.

The video adds that Ransom tweaked the recipe in the 1940s, adding lemon, lime juice, and cola or soda water. It concludes with Ransom saying, “And remember, don’t mess with the original!”

But New York isn't going down with a fight. Maggie Lacasse, director of communications at New York's Discover Long Island, told ABC News that Robert "Rosebud" Butt invented the Long Island iced tea on Long Island, New York in the '70s. Lacasse said he created the cocktail as part of a contest while working at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island.

Lacasse didn't dispute the story of Charlie Bishop’s cocktail but insisted it's a different drink from New York's Long Island iced tea, which contains triple sec. Bishop’s concoction excludes this ingredient and adds whiskey and maple syrup.

Visit Kingsport Marketing Manager Amy Margaret McColl disagrees.

“Our claim is that Charlie Bishop developed the Long Island iced tea in 1920, nearly 50 years before Mr. Butt claimed that he was the inventor of the beverage,” McColl told ABC News.

And while she isn’t sure if Bishop himself coined the name "Long Island iced tea," McColl added with a laugh, “We’ve been doing this for 50 years before you all even thought about it.”

But, McColl said, Kingsport has a plan in place to respond to the New York Long Islanders. She said she's heard a that a bartender in Long Island, New York, will challenge bartenders from Kingsport in a competition for the best Long Island iced tea.

“We plan on accepting the challenge,” she said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May102018

Spotify scraps R. Kelly music from its playlists

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET(NEW YORK) -- Thanks to a new "public hate content and hateful conduct policy," Spotify has decided to remove all traces of R. Kelly's music from its playlist offerings, reported Billboard.

Fans won't hear the R&B singer's tracks on any Spotify flagship playlist, such as New Music Friday and RapCaviar.

In a statement, Spotify explained to Billboard, "We are removing R. Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations," adding, "His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it."

The statement continued: "We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."

Over the years, R. Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct many times, including 21 counts of child pornography. R. Kelly, whose birth name is Robert Kelly, was acquitted on those pornography charges back in 2008, ending a six-year investigation.

Still, an online campaign titled #MuteRKelly, which began last month, continues to gain momentum. The campaign was created by a subgroup of the Time's Up movement called Women of Color and lists a number of allegations made against the singer, including a 2017 Buzzfeed report that he held several young women in a "cult," and asks companies to stop doing business with him.

"R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals -- and in this case, it is unjust and off-target," his representative told ABC News at the time. "We fully support the rights of women to be empowered to make their own choices. Time’s Up has neglected to speak with any of the women who welcome R. Kelly’s support, and it has rushed to judgment without the facts. Soon it will become clear Mr. Kelly is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time."

Lifetime is also developing an investigative documentary series and movie about the artist. As of now, there are few details about the untitled movie, but the yet-to-be-titled doc series will feature survivors and people from Kelly's "inner circle" to share their personal stories about Kelly.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May102018

Federal agency to investigate Tesla crash, fire that killed two Florida teens

iStock/Thinkstock(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate a deadly Tesla crash and fire that killed two Florida high school students, the agency said.

Barrett Riley and Edgar Monserratt, both seniors, were traveling near an area known as “dead man's curve” in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday night when their all-electric Tesla Model S hit a wall and burst into flames, authorities said.

The boys, 18, died while trapped inside the burning vehicle, according to witnesses. One onlooker said he saw the victims moving, struggling to escape from the flames, but no one could help them break free.

A backseat passenger, identified as 18-year-old Alexander Berry of Fort Lauderdale, was thrown from the car and taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries, according to ABC Miami affiliate WPLG-TV.

Speed may have been a factor in the crash, the NTSB said Wednesday. Its investigation will primarily focus on the emergency response in relation to the electric vehicle battery fire, the agency said, adding that it had plans to have a team of four investigators in South Florida by Wednesday night.

“The goal of these investigations is to understand the impact of these emerging transportation technologies when they are part of a transportation accident,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in a statement Wednesday.

Tesla released a statement Wednesday, saying it was “working to establish the facts of the incident” and offered its “full cooperation” to local authorities. The car’s autopilot feature was not engaged at the time, Tesla said.

The teens, both students at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, were a few weeks away from graduation. Riley, the driver, was set to attend Indiana’s Purdue University in the fall, while Monserratt was headed to Boston College in Massachusetts.

"These two members of our senior class should be finishing their [advanced placement] exams, celebrating things like prom and their upcoming graduation," Pine Crest President Dana Markham said in a statement Wednesday. "Instead, we are mourning their passing. There really are no words to express how deeply this has affected our entire community."

Larry Groshart, who said he witnessed the crash, told WPLG-TV the car appeared to traveling between 50 mph and 60 mph.

"I saw the car coming too fast quietly, but I could hear the tire roar,” Groshart said, adding that it "bounced off the first wall, sideswiped it, then hit that corner and immediately burst into flames and moved that way, burning all the way, and it never stopped burning until it was burned up."

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Thursday
May102018

This Toy Story plane is to infinity and beyond 

Disney(ORLANDO) -- This Toy Story plane is #familytravelgoals.

As we hold our collective breath waiting for Toy Story Land to open at Walt Disney World Resort -- which opens June 30 -- fans of the movie can imagine themselves soaring to infinity and beyond on this Toy Story plane, a partnership between Disney and China Eastern Airlines.

You could also take the kids to China to fly on the plane, topped off by a visit to Disney-Pixar Toy Story Land at Shanghai Disney Resort.  

Larger-than-life images of Buzz and Woody grace the plane's exterior, while inside passengers will find many more of their favorite characters on seat backs, overheads and the ceiling.

Reach for the sky!

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
May092018

US exit from Iran nuclear deal rattles EU companies doing business there

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --Germany, France and the U.K. vowed to maintain the Iran nuclear deal after America announced its intention to pull out Tuesday, but President Donald Trump’s plan to reimpose sanctions has already created economic uncertainty for European businesses operating there.

Shortly after Trump’s news conference, the new U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, tweeted that any renewed U.S. sanctions would target “critical sectors of Iran’s economy” and that German companies doing business in Iran should “wind down operations” immediately.

The confrontational tone from the ambassador, who had taken the job only hours beforehand, is unlikely to sit well with America’s strongest allies.

Carl Bildt, co-chairman of the European Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted Tuesday that the sanctions will “hardly hit US companies” but will primarily affect European businesses.

Since sanctions on Iran were lifted in 2016, European Union companies have exported about $10.8 billion in goods to Iran, according to the European Commission.

Before the 2006 sanctions, the E.U. was Iran’s strongest trade partner. While it’s now only the fifth largest, trade has been steadily increasing. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, saw a 16 percent increase last year in goods exported to Iran, according to the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DiHK).

The new sanctions are almost certain to stunt such growth.

Because the United States decided to walk out of the agreement, “it is incomprehensible that German companies should suffer,” the association’s president, Eric Schweitzer, said.

He called on the German government and the E.U. to look after its businesses operating in Iran.

Similarly, the president of Germany’s Federation of German Industries (BDI), Dieter Kempf, said the group “deeply regretted” the U.S. decision and urged Russia, China and European countries to stick with the deal.

“This is about maintaining credibility in foreign, security and economic policy,” he said.

Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, promised that his government would analyze potential effects on German companies.

In the U.K., the foreign office issued a statement saying the government “continues to fully support expanding our trade relationship with Iran,” but warned that new sanctions may have repercussions for U.K. businesses, and urged them to refer to the U.S. Treasury Department website and legal experts for guidance.

In France, companies have been aggressively investing and signing deals in Iran since the international sanctions were lifted in 2016. Carmakers Renault and PSA, oil company Total and aircraft manufacturer Airbus have invested millions of dollars in Iran in recent years.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that licenses for Airbus and Boeing Co to sell passenger jets to Iran would be revoked.

An Airbus spokesman said in a statement that the company is “carefully analyzing the announcement and will be evaluating next steps consistent with our internal policies and in full compliance with sanctions and export control regulations.”

The French president's Elysee Palace told ABC News that it will “obviously do everything, in conjunction with our businesses, to protect their interests.”



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