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Sunday
Jan072018

Winning ticket sold in New Hampshire for $560M Powerball jackpot

iStock/Thinkstock(MERRIMACK, N.H.) -- The winning ticket for Saturday's $560 million Powerball jackpot drawing was sold in New Hampshire, lottery officials said early Sunday morning.

"We are excited to announce that a single ticket sold in New Hampshire won the estimated $559.7 million jackpot.” said Charlie McIntyre, Powerball product group chairman and executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery. "Whether the winner(s) choose to take the annuity or lump sum, which is estimated at $352 million, we offer our congratulations and encouragement to take some time to process this life-changing prize."

The ticket was sold at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack.

The numbers drawn Saturday night were 12, 29, 30, 33, 61. The Powerball was 26.

It is the second-largest jackpot in Powerball game history, the first being last year's $758.7 million windfall claimed by a 53-year-old Massachusetts mother.

The lump-sum cash option for Saturday's drawing is $358.5 million.

The odds of winning the Powerball are one in 292.2 million. That's actually better than Mega Millions, which are one in 302.5 million

On Friday night, somebody beat those odds and struck the $450 million sum, hitting all the winning numbers (28, 30, 39, 59, 70) and the Mega Ball 10.

The lucky ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven in Port Richey, Florida.

So far, the owner of it has remained a mystery and hasn’t come forward to collect the winnings.

According to the rules, the winner has 180 days after the drawing to claim an annuity sum.

But to obtain the one-time, lump-sum cash option -- which, for the Mega Millions ticketholder, comes to $281.2 million -- the claim must be filed within 60 days of the drawing.

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Saturday
Jan062018

Punta Cana-bound JetBlue flight returns to Boston after 'unusual odor'

JetBlue(BOSTON) -- A JetBlue flight bound for Punta Cana on Saturday had to turn back to Boston Logan International Airport after an "unusual odor" was detected, according to the airline.

The crew on JetBlue Flight 1095 "reported an unusual odor and customers and crewmembers feeling unwell" shortly after takeoff, JetBlue spokesperson Sharon Jones said in a statement.

"In an abundance of caution, the crew elected to return to Boston and was met by medical personal," the statement said. "The aircraft will be inspected."

JetBlue Flight 1095 took off at 5:08 p.m. and returned around 6:30 p.m., Boston Logan spokesperson Kelly Smith said, and all passengers on board were safe and evacuated.

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Saturday
Jan062018

Mega Millions winning ticket sold in Florida for $450 million

iStock/Thinkstock(PORT RICHEY, Fla.) -- There's a Mega Millions ticket holder in Florida who's starting the new year on a very prosperous note. The unidentified individual is the winner of Friday night's drawing for the $450 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials announced Saturday.

The winning ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven in Port Richey, about 40 miles northwest of Tampa, the Florida lottery said.

The winning ticket matched all six numbers drawn Friday night. The numbers were 28 , 30, 39, 59 and 70, and the Mega Ball was 10.

Port Richey resident Yuna Catania told ABC News she was "in shock" to learn the winning ticket was in her own town. "Of all the places in the United States -- Port Richey."

Catania said she played the lottery, but didn't buy her ticket at the winning 7-Eleven.

The jackpot winner has 180 days after the drawing to claim the money. But to obtain the one-time, lump-sum cash option -- which comes to $281.2 million -- the claim must be filed within 60 days of the drawing.

The retailer will also get $100,000 for selling the ticket.

The Mega Millions jackpot resets to its new starting value of $40 million ($25 million cash) for the next drawing on Tuesday.

"Congratulations to Florida on their big jackpot win," Mega Millions lead director and Maryland Lottery chief Gordon Medenica said in a statement. "This has been an exciting run for Mega Millions players and a great way to start off the new year! But it’s not over yet. We’re looking forward to Saturday’s $570 million Powerball jackpot."

The Powerball jackpot surpassed the half-billion mark after no winning tickets were sold before Wednesday night's drawing. At $570 million, it is the fifth-largest in the game's history and seventh-largest in United States history.

The Powerball winning numbers will be drawn on Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET.

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Friday
Jan052018

United Airlines flight almost crosses into path of landing JetBlue flight at Boston Logan Airport

United Airlines(BOSTON) -- Authorities are investigating an incident where a United Airlines flight failed to stop and hold short of an active runway and almost crossed into the path of a landing JetBlue flight at Boston Logan International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Friday evening, United Airlines flight 1946, was returning to the gate due to a maintenance issue. According to a Boston Logan spokesman, the Boeing 737 entered a “safety area” of the tarmac before the runway, which triggered a sensor that set off an alarm in the control tower.

GD Pennington, a passenger on the plane, tweeted, “Close call with our pilot slamming the brakes.”

Air traffic controllers told United Airlines flight 1946 at least five times to “hold short of runway 27.”

The pilot of the United flight responded, “We’re short.”

As a precaution air traffic controllers told the approaching Jet Blue flight to execute a “go around” according to the airport spokesman. “The United Airlines aircraft never actually got onto the runway,” the airport spokesman said. “This was an example of the system working perfectly.”

A United Airlines spokesman said the pilot of the Boeing 737 stopped the aircraft to avoid snow on the tarmac, and the JetBlue flight’s execution of a “go around” was “completely unrelated” and “coincidental.”

A similar incident occurred last October at San Francisco International Airport when an Air Canada flight failed to respond to six separate calls from air traffic control tower to abort its landing because an aircraft was already on the ground. The FAA said they are investigating that incident as well.

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Friday
Jan052018

Searches of travelers' electronic devices up nearly 60 percent

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Customs officials searched more travelers’ electronic devices in 2017 than any previous year.

In fiscal year 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducted 30,200 searches, up nearly 60 percent from 19,051 in 2016.

The number of searches of cellphones, laptops, tablets and other electronic data spiked from 2015 to 2016 and the upward trend continued last year.

The record month was in August, with 3,133 searches of electronic devices.

CBP is authorized to search any device of any international traveler -- both U.S. citizen and non-citizen -- as they leave or enter the United States, similar to a bag search.

About 80 percent of searches are of non-U.S. citizens. Only diplomats are exempt.

Just a fraction of travelers have their electronics searched. Approximately 0.007 percent of arriving international travelers processed by CBP officers in 2017 had their devices searched.

The number of searches has gone up over the past few years because travel has increased, more people carry devices and CBP has trained more officers in the search process, according to a senior CBP official.

CBP also released an updated policy directive this week, which provided clarified guidance and standard operating procedures for searching, reviewing and retaining information found on these devices.

The bureau issued the new directive to clarify public questions over the issue, as well as give “crystal clear” guidance to officers conducting the searches in the field, according to the senior CBP official.

The directive clarifies that only data found on the physical device at the time of travel can be reviewed by customs officials. Information stored on the cloud that’s not already downloaded cannot be viewed.

In addition, officials are instructed to ask travelers to turn off their data transmission capability, such as putting a phone in airplane mode, before an officer looks at the phone, so that cloud data won’t inadvertently be viewed.

Officers are instructed to document passwords only for the purposes of opening a phone or other device, according to the directive. CBP officers must destroy the password once the device is opened.

The directive also distinguishes “basic” and “advanced” searches. A basic search is a review of the content on the phone. An advanced search is when CBP is required to conduct further forensic testing to retrieve the data.

In order to do an advanced search, it must be based on “reasonable suspicion” of a violation of the law or a “national security concern” and requires approval by a higher-level officer.

The majority of searches are basic searches, said CBP.

If someone refuses to unlock a device, the device can be detained by CBP.

U.S. citizens will always be allowed to enter the U.S., but their phones could be held back -- generally for no more than five days.

For non-citizens, refusal to open a device could lead to denied entry. If incriminating information is found, CBP officers could refer the case to an investigative agency, like the FBI, or for non-citizens, deny them entry into the U.S.

People are selected for an electronic search based on a number of factors, including travel pattern, prior intelligence and answers to interview questions.

CBP has policies against racial profiling but said that country of origin can play a part in whether someone is searched, according to the CBP official.

These searches help detect evidence relating to terrorism and other national security matters, human and bulk cash smuggling, contraband, and child pornography, as well as financial and commercial crimes, according to CBP.

A “good number” of the searches that lead to inadmissibility involve national security-related content, said a senior CBP official.

Images of terror groups, like ISIS and images of torture have been found during these searches, according to CBP.

“In this digital age, border searches of electronic devices are essential to enforcing the law at the U.S. border and to protecting the American people,” said deputy executive assistant commissioner, Office of Field Operations, John Wagner in a statement.

Electronic searches have been under scrutiny from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which said that despite improvement, the updated policy still "falls far short of what the Constitution requires -- a search warrant based on probable cause."

“The policy would still enable officers at the border to manually sift through a traveler’s photos, emails, documents, and other information stored on a device without individualized suspicion of any kind. Additionally, it fails to make clear that travelers should not be under any obligation to provide passcodes or other assistance to officers seeking to access their private information. Congress should continue to press CBP to improve its policy," said Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement.

In September, the ACLU, along with Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the administration, challenging searches of smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices at the border as unconstitutional.

The lawsuit represents 10 U.S. citizens and one green card holder, which the ACLU says had their rights violated when border officials searched their smartphones or other electronic devices when they were returning from travel abroad. Officials confiscated and held several of their devices for weeks or months, according to the lawsuit.

In December, the government filed a motion, asking the court to dismiss the case.

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Friday
Jan052018

Twitter clarifies stance on blocking 'world leaders' as critics call for Trump's suspension

Twitter(NEW YORK) -- Social media giant Twitter published an explanation of its policies about the content posted by "world leaders" Friday, as a growing chorus of President Donald Trump's critics has urged the company to suspend the leader.

In a blog post titled "World Leaders on Twitter," the company wrote that updates from the accounts of persons who have an "outsized impact on our society" are reviewed "within the political context that defines them."

"Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate," the post reads. "It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions."

While the explanation from Twitter made no reference to Trump or any other particular leader, it came three days after the president posted a message addressing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, referencing the United States' and North Korea's respective nuclear arsenals.

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,'" wrote Trump. "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

Critics of the president were quick to note that the tweet could have been in violation of Twitter's rules and policies, which prohibit threats of violence, targeted harassment and the promotion of hateful conduct, among other restrictions.

Similar claims have been made over the course of Trump's political career as he used his account to identify individual journalists, politicians and other figures with whom he took issue. Twitter claims the right to enforce its rules by requiring the deletion of offensive content and temporarily or permanently suspending accounts.

"All individuals accessing or using Twitter’s services must adhere to the policies set forth in the Twitter Rules," the company states on its rules page.

In Friday's post, the company noted that "no one person's account drives Twitter’s growth, or influences [its] decisions."

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Friday
Jan052018

US stocks continue winning streak; 148000 jobs added in December

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street continued its winning streak on Friday and the Labor Department released its monthly jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 220.74 (+0.88 percent), finishing the session at 25,295.87.

The Nasdaq jumped 58.64 (+0.83 percent) to close at 7,136.56, while the S&P 500 finished trading at 2,743.15, up 19.16 (+0.70 percent) for the day.

Crude oil prices were 0.73 percent lower at about $61.50 per barrel.

Jobs Report: The U.S. added 148,000 jobs in December, according to the Bureau of Labor, less than what was expected for the busy holiday retail month and less than the 250,000 jobs added in November. Unemployment held at 4.1 percent.

Winners and Losers:  Tech stocks continued to rally-- Apple was up 1.14 percent, Microsoft jumped 1.24 percent, and Amazon climbed 1.62 percent.

Shares of Barnes & Noble sunk 14.18 percent on Friday after reporting disappointing holiday sale numbers. Retail sales fell 6.4 percent compared to 2016 and online sales tumbled 4.5 percent.

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Friday
Jan052018

Four tips to stand out on one of the busiest days for online dating

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The actual Super Bowl is next month, but this Sunday is what at least one online dating site calls the “Super Bowl Sunday for love.”

The first Sunday of the year has also been called "Dating Sunday" because of a spike in people logging online on that day to find romance, according to dating sites.

Match.com, for example, is predicting a 42 percent increase in signups by new singles coming to the platform Sunday to find a partner. On the first Sunday of 2017, 2.75 million messages were sent via Match, the site said.

On Tinder, the dating app on which you swipe left or right to show interest, more than 44 million matches were made on "Dating Sunday" last year, the company told ABC News. In comparison, a typical day on Tinder has around 26 million matches.

In addition, nearly 10 percent of all swipes in January typically happen on that first Sunday in January, according to Tinder.

"People have resolved to be more adventurous and try something new, so we’ve noticed that more and more people sign on to Tinder during the first Sunday of the month," said Rosette Pambakian, Tinder's vice president of brand marketing and communications. "Sunday is traditionally the busiest day of the week for Tinder use, and the 'try something new' mindset [with the new year] really amplifies this."

ABC News also reached out to dating site Plenty of Fish but did not hear back as of this writing.

Kristie Jorfald, a 31-year-old celebrity stylist and one of the more than 100 million single people in the U.S., told ABC News she is turning to online dating this year in her search for a romantic partner.

"I would love to find someone that is independent, self-motivated," Jorfald said.

What are some tips for helping singles like Jorfald find success in online dating?

Dating expert Bela Gandhi said one thing to remember is that trying to find love on a dating site requires commitment and patience.

“Dating is a marathon and not a sprint so you have to get up and do something on a daily basis,” she said.

Gandhi also said to be cautious if you feel butterflies when meeting someone new as that could be a sign of underlying concern about the person you're meeting rather than excitement.

When looking for a partner, Gandhi said to focus on important qualities like kindness, reliability, loyalty, integrity and supportiveness.

Gandhi, the founder of Smart Dating Academy, offered four more tips for Jorfald and others trying to find love as the “Super Bowl Sunday for love” approaches.

Tip 1: Stick to 1 or 2 age-appropriate sites.

"If you're in your 20s, Bumble is my favorite at this point," she said. "When you're in your 30s and 40s, Match is my favorite site.

"Our Time is dedicated to singles over 50 and EHarmony is also great for those age brackets," she added.

Tip 2: Choose a dynamic photo.

Ninety percent of online dating success is based on photos, experts say.

Gandhi recommends choosing a photo that shows you doing things that you enjoy doing.

Tip 3: Don't move too fast.


Speak by phone before you meet your online match in person, Gandhi suggests.

For safety reasons, Gandhi also recommends keeping your number private with Google Voice. The service creates an alternate phone number and can be erased at any time.

"You can tell so much about someone. You can separate their cyber-personality from their real personality," Gandhi said.

Tip 4: Don't be too much of a skeptic.

Gandhi said to look at love with what she calls "psychotic optimism."

"It means love will come to me," she said. "It's a 'when.' It's not an 'if.' 'I am in it to win it.'"

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Friday
Jan052018

Gretchen Carlson wants to rebuild Miss America Organization to empower women: 'It's a form of justice'

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- Gretchen Carlson said she sees her new role with the Miss America Organization, which came amid the #MeToo movement, as a “form of justice” and predicts a “tsunami” of change.

“When I jumped off my cliff on the whole sexual harassment story 18 months ago, that was a lonely experience,” said Carlson, who settled a lawsuit in 2016 against former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. “But look at what happened when that gift of courage kept being passed on to one woman, to another, to another.”

She continued, “We formed a collective voice and look where we are today, in a tsunami. The same thing will happen with the Miss America Organization.”

Carlson, who was crowned Miss America in 1989, was named chairwoman of the Miss America Organization on Jan. 1, just days after the organization's former CEO, Sam Haskell, resigned. Leaked internal emails showed Haskell and others demeaning the appearance, intellect and personal lives of former pageant winners, including Carlson.

"I was shocked," Carlson told ABC News' Amy Robach of the emails. "I mean, it was appalling. But part of me also knows, after my life over the last 18 months, that this kind of behavior is prevalent unfortunately."

Haskell was initially suspended from his role. At the time he denounced The Huffington Post article that revealed the internal emails as "unkind and untrue."

New role a 'call of duty'

Carlson, 51, said she "felt compelled" to take the chairwoman role, a volunteer position, and described it as a "call of duty."

Carlson had previously called on all board members who were aware of the emails to resign. The board is now made up of former Miss Americas.

"I find that incredibly empowering in this Me Too movement, that some of the women who were allegedly maligned in those appalling emails, are now running the place," Carlson said. "It's a form of justice."

Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, has also become an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual harassment.

Her lawsuit against Ailes, who stepped down from his role after mounting pressure from additional employees with similar accusations, is seen as one of the first sparks of the #MeToo movement that has led thousands of women to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment or assault.

The 21st Century Fox Corporation settled the lawsuit with Carlson for $20 million and issued a public apology. Ailes, who died in May 2017, strongly denied the allegations against him.

When asked if she is the "voice of the voiceless" given her leadership on the subject, Carlson replied, "I guess I am. I never intended to be, but I feel overwhelmed that I've been able to help so many other women."

'Empowering women'

Carlson is the first former pageant winner to lead the Miss America Organization in its nearly 100-year history. Her goal is to make the organization all about "empowering women."

"I have so many great ideas for this organization and I will be talking about all of those with all the other board members and the eventual CEO and staff of Miss America," she said. "So what I would love to say about that is please stay tuned because I plan to make this organization 100 percent about empowering women."

Some of the "potentially big changes" Carlson has in mind include a willingness to reevaluate some of the pageant's restrictions, like age, marital status and pregnancy.

"I'm open to looking at all of that," Carlson said. "Recently we had our first open lesbian contestant. Fantastic."

She continued, "You know, the lesbian, transgender community has already reached out to me. I mean, I am open to speaking to every single person who wants to have a voice."

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Friday
Jan052018

What lottery players should know if they win over $1B dueling jackpots

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One lucky winner could be hours away from taking home one of the largest jackpots in Mega Millions or Powerball history.

In more than two months without a winner, both the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots have rolled over to an estimated combined total of nearly $1 billion.

The Mega Millions jackpot stands at $450 million, with a $281.2 million lump-sum option. The Powerball jackpot has reached $570 million, which is a $358.5 million lump-sum payout.

If anyone hits both jackpots the haul would be a whopping $1.02 billion, the second-biggest payout in lotto history.

The best thing a winner can do is stay anonymous, financial adviser and CPA Kurt Panouses, who helped a Florida couple that won a portion of the largest jackpot ever, said.

"The initial concern of the ticket is probably the most important part of the planning aspect," Panouses told ABC News. "What the individual should do is protect the ticket, keep it safe, put it in a safe place, but do not sign the back of the ticket."

"Whoever signs the back of the ticket is the individual that has to claim the ticket and the proceeds," Panouses explained.

Panouses also suggested making a copy of the ticket and getting a tax professional and an attorney to help manage the funds and offer investment advice.

"The tax rate is the highest rate it's been at. In 2018 it's going to be 2.6 percent lower than in 2017. Again, if you're talking about $300 million, that could be seven to eight million dollars of finances that someone could actually have in their pocket by claiming it in 2018," he said of the payout under the new tax law.

A group of 20 co-workers from the North American Stamping Group who won a $420.9 million Powerball jackpot in 2016 split the winnings.

One of the women from the group has used the money to pay it forward to people in need, including her own family, she told ABC News.

"To see my family in better shape, it's a blessing," Amy O'Neal said.

If there is a winner, he or she could choose an annuity to receive 30 payments over 29 years or take a lump sum.

Experts suggest that players use the full range of numbers available and not limit their chances by playing just numbers such as birthdays because months have no more than 31 days and Powerball numbers go up to 69.

The biggest Powerball jackpot on record was a $1.586 billion prize in January 2016. People in California, Florida and Tennessee split the prize.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot in history was $656 million. Three winners from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland shared that record prize in March 2012.

Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The next Mega Millions drawing is Friday night at 11 p.m. ET. The next Powerball drawing is Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET.

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