Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
WSAR
WSAR Listen Live
The Financial Planning Hour with Richard Bassett Monday at 1pm
The WSAR Newsroom Weekdays at Noon
Everything Auto Sundays at Noon brought to you by Mike's Auto Body
Ray Mitchell at 11am Monday through Thursday on WSAR
The Third Degree with Chris Carreiro at 3pm - Mondays
Red Sox and Toronto Tuesday at 6:20pm on WSAR
Red Sox and Jays From Toronto Wednesday at 6:20 on WSAR
Red Sox and Jays from Toronto Thursday on WSAR; Herb Chambers Pregame at 6:20pm
Lars Larson Weeknights at 6pm on WSAR
Red Sox and Rays from Fenway Friday at 6:25 on WSAR
Red Sox and Rays from Fenway Saturday at 3:20pm on WSAR
Red Sox and Rays Sunday from Fenway on WSAR at 12:20pm
The Will Flanagan Show Monday through Friday at 4pm
Fox Sports Radio every weekend on WSAR
Tony From the Right Saturdays at 11am on WSAR
''Sense and Nonsense'' With Wayne Rego Friday at 11am on WSAR
The Bishop's Morning Devotional at 4:40am Daily on WSAR
Friday on WSAR Ask Your Pharmacist at 1pm
Right Thoughts with Jim DuPont at 3pm, Tuesday through Friday
The Real Side Monday through Friday at 9pm
The Tom Shillue Show - Tuesday through Saturday at 12am
Straight Up with Laura - Monday through Thursday at 9 am
Sports Talk on WSAR with Nick Friar Friday at 9am
Total Life Conditioning with Dr Ross Thursday at 1 pm
All About Cars Saturday at 9 am
Law Talk - Tuesday at 1 pm
Crusin with Bill - Tuesday at 2 pm
Voice of Business Wednesday at 1 pm
C U Wednesdays Wednesday at 2 pm
Business
Subscribe To This Feed

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Amazon's latest delivery service will let customers receive packages inside their parked cars, the company announced Tuesday, giving ABC's "Good Morning America" an exclusive first look.

The latest iteration of Amazon Key -- the service launched last November that allows a delivery person to drop a package off inside customers' homes -- will let delivery people have access to someone's parked car, as long as the vehicle is parked in a publicly accessible place.

The in-car delivery service comes at no extra cost for Prime members, who pay an annual subscription fee. To use the new service, customers simply have to download the Amazon Key App, link it to their connected car and then place an order.

In-car delivery service is available starting Tuesday in 37 U.S. cities, and is compatible with many 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Volvo models.

"This is just one more step to make it easy for that Amazon customer to get their product," Hitha Herzog, a consumer expert and the chief research officer of H Squared Research, told ABC News' chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.

"Since launching Amazon Key last November, we've safely delivered everything from cameras to collectible coins inside the home. Customers have also told us they love features like keyless guest access and being able to monitor their front door from anywhere with the Amazon Key App," Peter Larsen, Amazon's vice president of delivery technology, said in a statement.

"In-car delivery gives customers that same peace of mind and allows them to take the Amazon experience with them," Larsen added.

When Amazon launched in-home delivery service last November, it was immediately met with many safety questions associated with allowing a stranger access to one's home.

Despite initial concerns, Amazon told ABC News in a statement that, "Customers are rating their in-home deliveries positively," and that in Amazon's Key App it has an "an average of 4.78 out of 5 stars."

"Security is one of the things that has been most important to us as we ... build this service," Larsen told Jarvis, adding that the service has been run through a "rigorous security review."

In addition, customers receive notifications each step of the way when a package is en route to their car, and can choose to block a delivery up until the package is in the car.

On top of a notification in the morning saying that a package is going to be delivered, "Right before the delivery driver shows up at your house, you get another notification that says, 'Your vehicle is in the correct delivery area. And we're going be arriving soon,'" Larsen told ABC News.

"You can click through to the Amazon Key app, and you see that ... a green circle, which is the area in which your car needs to be," Larsen said. "After it has been delivered, you get a final notification."

Once the package is in the car, the Amazon driver must swipe on the delivery app to lock the trunk before moving onto their next stop. If a customers wants, Larsen said, he or she can see on the app "exactly what time the car was unlocked and what time the car was re-locked."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Korean beauty products -- otherwise known as K-Beauty -- have taken the internet by storm, popping up on social media posts by celebrities.

These viral products and regimen are not only limited to celebrities and beauty bloggers. The latest Korean craze has lined up beauty aisles of big stores like Walmart and Target – a slice of the estimated $7.1 billion K-Beauty market in 2016.

"Nightline" traveled to the source of some of the more exotic ingredients in South Korea to understand the reason behind the popularity of these products.

Thirty miles outside Seoul, the fortune of Farmer Lee's donkey farm turned around when the animal’s milk became an important source of a core K-Beauty ingredient – milk.

Historically, donkeys were the preferred means of transport for Korean aristocrats because of their slow pace, but today the entire farm is dedicated to producing milk that ends up in beauty products.

On this particular farm, donkeys are milked manually after which the milk is immediately frozen. Rumor has it that the milk has so many benefits that even Cleopatra bathed in it.

And, donkeys are not alone.

Snails, which were traditionally used as food, have also made a comeback with Korean beauty companies using snail mucus as an ingredient in some of their most popular products.

Yongho Kim owns a farm with around 300,000 snails whose mucus is extracted very carefully.

“For two to three days, you don't feed the snail and you clean it - you can't have any waste,” Yongho Kim told “Nightline.” “And then you gently tickle the snail. Then the snail gets mad and it creates mucin.”

Once collected, the ingredients are taken to the laboratory to be made into products.

“Donkey's milk has much more protein than cow's milk, and it is known for its properties for immunity,” a chemist for the Korean beauty company Soo Ae explained to “Nightline.” “Snail mucin is also a very sticky mucus, so it helps create a barrier on your skin to prevent your skin from drying out.”

Some skeptics believe that the craze isn't about the purported benefits of Korean beauty products - rather, it's a successful concerted marketing effort by the Korean government to advertise their products cool and desirable.

"The Korean cool concept started out kind of on a lark but it became a government priority and government necessity after the Asian financial crisis," Euny Hong, author of "The Birth of Korean Cool," told "Nightline."

According to Hong, the South Korean government realized after the Asian financial crisis in 1997 that by depending on just a few mega-conglomerates like Samsung for the GDP, they were leaving themselves at risk for major economic crises.

"If one big company defaults in Korea, everyone is kind of in trouble," Hong said. "And they realized we need other industries. We can't just have these heavy industries, we can't just do semiconductors."

The South Korean government's solution? Investing into pop culture as a major focus in economic diversification.

“One of the ideas floated was, why don’t we focus on popular culture because you don’t need a big infrastructure to enter this business? You don’t have to build factories, you just need time and talent,” Hong said.

That sparked a national effort by the South Korean government to export culture as an attractive selling point to an outside audience.

"They financed the translation of all the dramas at the beginning, and even now they pay for translation into all sorts of obscure languages," said Hong.

The investment has paid off in not just popularizing Korean dramas, K-Pop, a South Korean music genre and K-Beauty, but in also creating symbiotic relationships between them.

According to Hong, K-Pop stars have frequently become brand ambassadors for K-beauty products, which in turn reap benefits for the farmers producing the raw materials in South Korea and beauty companies like Soo Ae, which ships around 10 million face masks a day around the world.

The beauty industry has been a form of high interest to South Koreans. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, about one in five South Korean women undergo plastic surgery. With the streets of Seoul lined with hundreds of clinics, the country has emerged as one of the world’s foremost beauty destinations, attracting people from around the globe all flocking to get procedures done.

Whether it’s pure marketing or the lure of exotic ingredients, people are cashing in, as the K-beauty industry has more than doubled in size between 2014 and 2016 - all contributing to the legend of K-Beauty and its benefits.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian arrived on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Tuesday morning to make a push for safer personal care products.

Kardashian is holding meetings with lawmakers, aides and reporters on Tuesday to express her support for legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to investigate and prevent the sales of dangerous cosmetics. The proposed legislation is expected to suggest that facilities be registered to the FDA and could be subject to suspension if they distribute such harmful personal care products.

Kardashian's interest in promoting safer, nontoxic cosmetics grew after the birth of her first child in 2009, she told Capitol Hill reporters Tuesday morning.

"It all kind of snowballed," she described. Research prompted by her mother's friends led her to the Environmental Working Group, whose representatives have accompanied Kardashian during much of her visit to Washington.

"It would be nice if we didn't have to guess as much," she said. "If there were regulations to know that the products that we're using are safe."

Following a morning press event with the Environmental Working Group, the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" co-star was set to hold a closed briefing with Congressional aides at 4 p.m.

Lawmakers including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. and Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. banged the cosmetics safety drum during the last Congress, but the bills never reached a vote.

A congressional aide told ABC News House and Senate bills are being worked on, but the timeline is unclear.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Roku Inc. Tuesday announced that The Roku Channel will be the launch destination for ABC News Live, a new 24/7 live and linear news stream from anchor partner ABC News.

It will utilize the worldwide resources of ABC News and their people in the field to deliver news in a modern package, and take users live, on location to show – not tell them – what’s happening in the world.

“We built The Roku Channel so it’s easy to navigate, offers great content and brings real value to our customers,” said Rob Holmes, Vice President of Programming, Roku.

“Today, we’re working with some of the industry’s most forward-looking news organizations such as ABC News, Cheddar, People TV, and others, to deliver yet another customer-requested feature to The Roku Channel – live and linear news. ABC News has been at the forefront of producing and delivering live news for OTT viewing and we're excited to have them on-board as one of our anchor news partners.”

James Goldston, ABC News division president, sent the following memo to staff on Tuesday:

Team,                                                                                                                       

I have terrific news to share. Today we’re announcing an exciting new partnership with Roku, the fastest-growing over-the-top service, to deliver live news 24/7 to their viewers nationwide. It’s a big step into our future.

Colby Smith and his team have spent the last 3½ years experimenting with how best to deliver news to audiences on new platforms, delivering thousands of live streams from every event and breaking news story imaginable.

After analyzing the mountains of data, we’ve seen time and again viewers want to be shown what’s happening right now, up close and on location whenever possible, live, every minute of every day.

The result is a 24/7 live stream we’re calling ABC News Live, powered by the unmatched worldwide resources of ABC News and our brilliant journalists in the field to deliver the most compelling events happening around the world.

From breaking news and confirmation hearings to midterm campaign rallies, student walkouts and the royal wedding, ABC News will be there, live. You’ll also see new programs being introduced over time like The Briefing Room, which airs live immediately after the daily White House press briefing, for more context and to be on the ground with our exceptional team of journalists.

ABC News Live will help us connect with our viewers in a whole new way. It will also change how we approach news gathering and reporting around the world.

We will be looking to every one of you in the News Division to help support and grow this important new initiative. This is just the first step, but I view this as the beginning of a journey that will redefine what ABC News means to our audience. By matching our world class reporting with groundbreaking technology, we will make our journalism and storytelling even more vital and powerful.

David Reiter will lead our ABC News Live daily news programming as we gear up for the public launch on Roku in May. Katie Nelson will oversee our live stream strategy. Thanks to the tireless work of Cat McKenzie, Josh Ascher, Ryan Amelio and countless others, we’ve already built an excellent foundation. Now we’re counting on all of you to take us even further.

Please join me in congratulating the team.

James

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(DETROIT) -- Drivers in Detroit got to see a rare phenomenon this winter: Corvettes trudging through the snowy and wet city streets alongside SUVs and trucks. The engineers behind the new ZR1 -- billed as the fastest and most powerful Corvette ever built -- were required to drive the 755 horsepower sports car to and from the office every day, on the weekend and wherever they needed to go. The idea was to demonstrate that the car was as easy to handle on the road as it was on the track.

“It was a riot to drive in the winter,” Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer of Corvette, told reporters last week in Atlanta who assembled in the Peach State to get a first look at the ZR1. “No one got stuck at all.”

Engineers proudly showed off photos of the ZR1 buried under heaps of snow, regaling this reporter with stories of how the rear-wheel-drive car perfectly maneuvered in the treacherous weather conditions. (Yes, these cars were equipped with snow tires).

The $120,000 ZR1 can conquer winter. It performs in all seasons and moonlights as a daily driver. It sets production-car lap records on professional racetracks. And “you can teach a 16-year-old how to drive a stick on this car. It’s a piece of cake,” Juechter noted.

Yet Corvette, the longest-running nameplate in automobile history, still feels that it has to prove itself after 65 years.

“There was a little bit of a stigma around the Corvette that maybe it was not as sophisticated, maybe a little cruder than some of the imported cars,” Juechter told ABC News. “Even though we advanced the car quite a bit and have gotten a lot of credit globally for how sophisticated the car is, the impression, especially on the coasts and in urban areas, really hadn’t caught up with the car.”

Jerry Burton, a Corvette historian who has written three books on the brand, said the Corvette, a sports car “cobbled together” by Chevrolet in 1953, had become a “symbol of American ingenuity” over the years. It may not have the same pedigree as a Lamborghini or a Ferrari but the Corvette can still compete with these cars, he told ABC News.

“Corvettes had developed bad baggage in the 1970s. People thought of gold chains and divorced men and it was very uncool to be in a Corvette back then,” he explained. “Today, the car is very sophisticated. Even the most begrudging car enthusiast will respect the Corvette. It has shown itself to be a better car.”

Terry Popkin, a master ambassador to the National Corvette Museum and the Corvette Club of America, has driven a Corvette every day for the last 54 years, including a 1991 ZR1.

Early Corvettes “were by no means refined,” he admitted. “The car would sometimes leak, it was noisy. The door hatches would break.”

That changed by 1984, when the handling improved remarkably and the Corvette “really came into its own,” he said. In the early 1990s the ZR1 was crowned “King of the Hill” for being the fastest production car in the world and breaking every “standing endurance speed record,” he said.

Corvettes “are the best bang for the buck,” Popkin added. “It’s an amazingly fast supercar that rides like a Cadillac.”

Few gear heads will question the ZR1’s scary fast acceleration – zero to 60 mph in 2.85 seconds – and power. Corvette claims the ZR1’s top speed is 212 mph (208 mph for the convertible version) and delivers 715 lb-ft of torque thanks to its hand-built LT5 small block Gen 5 6.2L supercharged V8 engine. I never got to truly experience that speed with the ZR1, but that was intentional. Corvette engineers repeatedly warned journalists to take it easy on Road Atlanta, one of the most challenging and tricky racetracks in the world and one where some have died testing their limits.

“755 hp will kill you,” Popkin, who has trained with pro drivers, cautioned. “Don’t stab the throttle, never look at the current curve. Come into the turn slower than you think you might.”

Juechter said it takes the ZR1 eight seconds to slow down from 212 mph. I hit a max speed of 139 mph and experienced 167 mph with Alex MacDonald, Chevrolet’s vehicle performance manager.

The ZR1 certainly lived up to its reputation. It expertly hugged the curves, blasted off like a rocket ship when the throttle was squeezed and never hesitated when the brakes were tapped. I yearned for more each time I unbuckled the seat belt.

The ZR1 was hardwired to go fast even off the track. At one point I caught myself going 80 mph in a 40 mph speed zone just as a Georgia cop car passed by. The Corvette gods must have been watching from above that day.

“This is a pure track machine for some people,” Juechter said. “Or it could be fully loaded with all the luxury appointments. The ZR1 doesn’t demand a lot from you. It’s not a high-strung car.”

It is, however, the first time one has been made in automatic. There’s more carbon fiber on this model than any other previous Corvette. The iconic Corvette sound got its own makeover too.

“We really wanted to take this one over the top,” Charlie Rusher, the lead noise and vibration engineer on the ZR1, told ABC News. “We have new acceleration sounds in the ZR1, like patented muffler technology inside the rear of the car, making it sound more aggressive and very race-car like. You can’t have performance without sound, and keeping the balance between performance and acoustics is very important.”

The hardest part for Juechter and his team may be getting young people to buy it. The average age of a Corvette buyer is 59 and 90 percent of buyers are men.

Harlan Charles, marketing manager for Chevrolet Performance Cars, said cutting-edge technology, superior materials and “loads” of customization were put in place to appeal to a younger demographic. Fewer than 2,000 ZR1s will be produced worldwide this year compared to the 40,000 Corvette Stingrays, Grand Sports and Z06 models that are sold annually.

“We want to compete with any car,” he told ABC News. “With the seventh generation Corvette, we have a new buyer that traditionally bought German cars.”

Gone are the classic four-round taillights in the ZR1. The adventurous design “pissed off” some longtime Corvette customers, Juechter said.

“The design language of the car got more expressive and we realized we had to make it very different,” he said. “We want to keep pushing because our customers are getting older and we really want to get more young people interested in the car. It takes 20 years, a generation, to really change one’s impression, so you imprint on people when they’re young. We really want to impress the youth of today and then 20 years from now when they can afford it, they can buy their dream car and it’s going to be a Corvette.”

Chris Harris, co-host of the BBC’s “Top Gear,” assigns the lack of interest to the ubiquity of Corvettes.

“This is a higher volume car and one that’s more ordinary,” he told ABC News. “More of them means less special. And it has a slightly cheaper feeling. You can’t make a really expensive seat covering in the finest Italian leather cheaply.”

But Harris, who has yet to get behind the wheel of the latest ZR1, said Corvette celebrates its “everyday price point.”

“Corvette isn’t ashamed of this. They’re giving you the performance of a $400,000 sports car for $100,000. I am very impressed with what Corvette has done with the ZR1. I don’t understand how they can make a profit on the vehicle,” he said.

Fred Gallasch, a former researcher with General Motors and inductee in the Corvette Hall of Fame, said all carmakers are being challenged to attract young buyers.

The Corvette tends to be the second car for most people and “buyers in their 20s and early 30s probably can’t afford a Corvette as a second car. The real question for all manufacturers is to what extent our current young generation is interested in cars,” he told ABC News.

Harris said car enthusiasts must enjoy the ZR1 and other supercars now because “this may be the last time we’re seeing these vehicles.”

Changes are coming rapidly in transportation and automakers are eager to show what they can do with the internal combustion engine before that’s no longer in vogue, he pointed out.

“If you told me 10 years ago we’d have cars with 700 hp, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “There’s a narrow window to do these cars.”

For now, Juechter is focused on getting the ZR1 to customers who pre-ordered the vehicle months ago. Then the design and engineering process begins again.

“When we brought out the Z06 so many people said how are you going to top this?” he said. “But that’s our job. We live four years in the future.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University researcher who collected information on millions of Americans through Facebook, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to lawmakers on Capitol Hill was "misleading."

In a live interview with ABC's chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, Kogan responded to Zuckerberg's accusation that he violated Facebook policy by sharing data with a third party, Cambridge Analytica.

"I think they're being a little misleading," Kogan told Stephanopoulos on Monday. "The idea that this was a hack is flat-out wrong."

He continued, "Imagine a warehouse: we didn't break in -- we went on Amazon and ordered the data, and they delivered it to us. This is a key feature of their system."

In March, Kogan found himself at the center of a burgeoning scandal after former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie told The New York Times that Kogan shared data he had harvested through an app with the controversial political research firm in 2014 without users’ knowledge.

In an interview last month with ABC News, Wylie suggested he was suspicious of Kogan's work because of the researcher's Russian roots and connections.

"I think that it's really concerning that...the head psychologist that we were using, Aleksandr Kogan, was working on a Russian funded project in Russia on psychological profiling of people," Wylie said.

Kogan denied allegations that he was acting on behalf of Russia, saying, "I think a lot of that is xenophobic nonsense to me, to be frank. I had a loose affiliation with a university there and went and gave a few talks there, but nothing more."

"Most Russians, just like most Americans, are normal, decent folk [and] have nothing to do with spycraft," Kogan added.

Kogan, 31, was born in Moldova – then a Soviet state — and immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 7 years old, ultimately settling in New Jersey. He graduated with honors from UC Berkley in 2008 with a degree in psychology, the university confirmed to ABC News. Later, he held an honorary associate professorship from the St. Petersburg State University in Russia, which he said entailed two or three trips to the university.

When asked if he had anything to do with Russian interference in the U.S. election, he replied, "I think it's honestly a preposterous claim that has no backing and absolutely not."

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica both face investigations from federal authorities in the U.S. and U.K. and have been called to appear before both Congress and Parliament to answer questions from government officials.

When asked if people have a right to be angry about the breach, Kogan said, "Oh absolutely, but I think it has nothing to do wit this transfer of data idea."

"I think it has everything to do with how tech companies have been running for a long time in terms of using data," Kogan argued, "because the fundamental business model here is we're going to take your data and use it for whichever way we want to try to sell you things and that's just the business norm and I think that's what's really upsetting."

According to Kogan, Wylie approached him in 2014 about adapting his app -- originally designed for academic research -- to give Cambridge Analytica access to the data from millions of Facebook users. Kogan said Wylie and lawyers for Cambridge Analytica's parent company SCL assured him that the app could be adapted for commercial use without violating Facebook's rules.

Cambridge Analytica was retained by the Trump campaign ahead of the 2016 election, and scrutiny of that relationship led to the revelations that have put Kogan and Wylie back in the spotlight.

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and Kogan from the platform pending an investigation into the breach of millions of user profiles. Cambridge Analytica has denied any wrongdoing and blamed Kogan for violating Facebook's privacy terms, while Kogan has claimed both companies are treating him “unfairly.”

Both Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign have said the Facebook data obtained at that time was not used as part of that work the data firm did on behalf of the campaign. In a statement released ahead of an interview with Kogan on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, the company said it deleted the data at Facebook’s request and never shared it with any other party.

Facebook's Zuckerberg already spent two days answering questions from lawmakers earlier this month on Facebook's user data policy that failed to stop the breach.

Now, it’s Kogan’s turn. He will face questions from members of Parliament in a hearing on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity rallied at a Starbucks in Philadelphia on Sunday after their fraternity brother, Rashon Nelson, was arrested there earlier this month in an incident the city’s mayor called an example of racial profiling.

More than 100 fraternity members and supporters attended the “Rally Against Racial Injustice” on Sunday afternoon, held near the downtown Philadelphia Starbucks where Nelson and his friend, Donte Robinson, were arrested on April 12 after the store’s manager asked them to leave because they hadn’t purchased anything.

Starbucks apologized to the men in a statement last week, saying it was learning more about what it “did wrong” and was willing to take the necessary steps “to fix it,” according to a statement.

The company said it would close all of its U.S. stores and corporate offices on May 29 to train employees against racial bias in the wake of the incident, but city officials at Sunday’s rally said that’s not enough.

“The actions of the Starbucks corporation are totally unacceptable,” Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson told protesters Sunday. “We know they said they’re going to move forward and specifically focus on a training that deals with unconscious bias, but that’s a one-day training.

“We want to see how they’re going to change their culture as it relates to racial insensitivity and also diversity and inclusion as it relates to making sure that everyone who comes to a Starbucks store that lives in the city of Philadelphia should feel welcome,” he added.

He said the the men, who were waiting for a third person to arrive for a business meeting, were “in the right place focusing on doing the right things with their lives,” but they were still seen as a threat.

They should not have been subjected to "racial profiling," Johnson said. He thanked the Omega Psi Phi fraternity “for stepping up to the plate and making sure the world sees that African-American men are not are not a threat to society.”

Grand Basileus Antonio Knox, Omega Psi Phi’s national leader, applauded the company for its apology, but he said it's time for Starbucks, and other major companies, to realize discrimination is wrong.

“Now is the time. It’s no longer acceptable to allow and to be comfortable to discriminate against our young men and women,” Knox said. “The strength of this country depends on us being able to work together as one.”

Knox, who said the goal of the event was to mobilize supporters, urged minorities and disadvantaged people to use their voting and economic power to affect change.

“It must be known that we will not invest in companies that will not treat us as they treat everybody else,” Knox said. “Starbucks has an opportunity, and so far it appears that they are going to do the right thing, but it won’t stop with one-day training. They know that.

“But what we’re asking is that Starbucks joins us and allow us to work together to create this change all over because it’s not just that one corporation.”

Nelson and Robinson, both 23, told ABC News' "Good Morning America" last week that the white manager of the Starbucks called the police on them two minutes after they arrived at the store and Nelson was denied the access code for the restroom because he hadn't made a purchase. The men said that when police arrived they were told they had to leave the store. When they refused to leave, they were arrested.

Starbucks apologized for the ordeal and agreed to engage in mediation with Nelson and Robinson, according to their lawyer, Stewart Cohen.

"Starbucks holds itself open as a place for people to meet and to have public conversations; those are words from their website," Cohen told ABC News. "The apologies are fine, but what we need to do is have some action by Starbucks with respect to this situation. There has to be real and meaningful discussions."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- The city of Atlanta was under attack.

Not by terrorists with guns or knives or vehicles as weapons -- but instead by hackers who in March disabled the city's public services with ransomware. The cyber offensive left Atlantans unable to pay bills online, and visitors to the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, unable to connect to WiFi.

And around the same time yet nearly 700 miles away in Baltimore, in a seemingly unrelated attack, hackers disabled the computer system supporting emergency calls in that city.

Both incidents underscored the vulnerability of many public computing networks -- and the damage that hackers in the dark corners of the internet can inflict on vital services.

Cyberattacks have typically been carried out by criminals and organized gangs –- but many fear public infrastructure will be an increasing target in traditional warfare.

“I believe we are on the cusp of a fundamental change in the character of war,” said Gen. Mark Milley, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff to the AUSA in 2016. “The significantly increased speed and global reach of information (and misinformation) likewise will have unprecedented effects of forces and how they fight.”

In the attacks on Atlanta and Baltimore, for which no one has been arrested, ransomware seemed to be the weapon of choice. An increasingly prevalent form of cybercrime, ransomware penetrates and disables systems and data to users, and essentially hijacks their personal information. Hackers literally demand a ransom to release the victim's files back to them.

Ransomware is not limited to the United States, of course. Hackers have struck banks, hospitals, businesses and schools around the world, including the United Kingdom's National Health Service.

Beyond ransomware and the vulnerabilities of online infrastructure at the municipal level, experts fear cyberattacks on national security. Suzanne Spaulding, the former undersecretary for cyber protection at the Department of Homeland Security, told ABC News there is a "coming wave" of cyber incidents that will affect databases. And those networks include data on individuals of interest to national security that are integral to the country's security network.

The rules of engagement in cyber warfare are ever-changing and have yet to be defined.

"We do not have a strategy for dealing with that war," Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month.

Weaponizing everyday technology

When the fitness app Strava released data in November on more than 1 billion activities -- through GPS exercise devices like Fitbit -- keen observers noticed unusual activities in sensitive locations around the world. The 13 trillion data points seemed to reveal locations of military bases where soldiers or Marines were wearing devices to measure their running.

As sophisticated devices become increasingly accessible to everyday consumers, our lifestyles are adapting to live with more in tandem with them. Experts say we are becoming increasingly comfortable in surrendering more of our personal data to increasingly powerful corporate firms -- in exchange for convenience.

That, experts say, is a perfect example of how the seemingly mundane use of technology could pose national security risks.

“We are going to start seeing a lot more of this,” says Robert Schifreen, a cybersecurity analyst for ABC News. “As we move more and more online and live more of our lives connected to the internet out of ease and convenience, we are going to come across vulnerabilities we hadn’t even considered to be sensitive.

"People will be ready to exploit them where they can,” Schifreen added.

Brian Lord, the former deputy director for the Intelligence and Cyber Operations at the Government Communications Headquarters in Britain, said security will be difficult to negotiate in an age where the general public is almost entirely reliant on services online.

“Data is a foundation on which everything relies. If you take away the access to data or the integrity to data that you’re looking at then everything collapses because everything depends on it,” said Lord, who is now managing director of cyber at Protection Group International, which specializes in cybersecurity.

“Our dependence on IT systems and the internet is absolute, and if it’s taken away or denied, then we cannot function,” he told ABC News.

Combatting cyber warfare

As the digital ecosystem expands -- and people increasingly do everything from finances to shopping online -- so, too, do the risks, according to experts and recent research.

Northeastern University estimates that by 2020 the total amount of data in the world will be 44 zettabytes. To put that into perspective –- one zettabyte is equivalent to 44 trillion gigabytes.

And that infinite trove of data can be weaponized, experts warn. One instance of a rising tool in the cyber warfare arsenal is Kompromat -- the Russian term for the gathering of compromising and embarrassing personal information.

Lord says all of the risks we are increasingly becoming aware of -- to municipal infrastructure, national security and even elections -- are difficult to protect against because of the vast openness of the internet.

“What bothers me more is that the internet itself is ungoverned by its very nature," he said. "It isn’t owned by anyone and it was never designed for this kind of purpose.

“How long is it reasonable to expect the connectivity provided by the internet to be ungoverned when it is providing absolutely critical services?" he added. "I just do not feel that any state or any democratic state has got its head around that.”

President Trump’s first federal budget proposed $1.5 billion allocated to the Department of Homeland Security for cybersecurity, protecting both federal networks as well as critical national infrastructure from attack.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the elections, recently indicted 13 Russians and three companies for their role in the plot.

And earlier this month, members of Congress grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for two days in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The data firm, which had ties to Donald Trump, accessed information from 87 million Facebook users.

Still, Lord says despite government's best efforts, the law may be behind the curve on protecting online users, the cities and countries they live in, and the institutions they live by from cyber warfare. Worst yet, he warns, the risks may increase in the near future.

“My biggest fear is that we are inherently reliant on an ungoverned structure where our understanding of its capacity is still a long way away," he said, "and it’s going to come home to roost in the next five or 10 years.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Starbucks(PHILADELPHIA) -- Hoping to quell calls for a national boycott, Starbucks stands to lose millions of dollars by shutting down thousands of stores for one afternoon in May to train employees on how to avoid racial bias after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia shop for doing nothing more than sitting at a table.

While the coffee giant has just started working to create a curriculum for the mass training of more than 170,000 employees, one of the advisers Starbucks has brought in to help said the coffee giant must swiftly show the world it's serious.

"I can tell you that it is a very consequential decision to call all of those stores and provide all of those employees with training. There's expense both in terms of the lost revenue and the resources required to train everyone," Jonathan Greenblatt, director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told ABC News.

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks' CEO, announced last week that the company will close more than 8,000 company-owned stores across the nation for several hours on the afternoon of May 29 to train 170,000 employees on how to prevent discrimination.

Given that Starbucks' company-owned U.S. stores earned $17.6 billion in 2017, shutting down stores down for several hours in one afternoon will cost the company millions of dollars in lost revenue. But the company, which boasts of being one of the most progressive in the United States, stood to lose much more had it not acted so quickly.

In the wake the April 12 arrests of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson at a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks, protesters called for a national boycott of the company, which quickly spread across social media.

Nelson and Robinson told ABC News' Good Morning America that the white manager of the Starbucks called the police on them two minutes after they arrived at the store and Nelson was denied the access code for the restroom because he hadn't made a purchase. The men said that, when police arrived, they were told they had to leave the store. When they refused to leave, they were arrested.

The unidentified manager who called police in the first place is no longer with the company.

Robinson and Nelson said they had gone to the Starbucks for a meeting on a real estate deal they had been working on for months.

Since Johnson's announcement and his apology to Nelson and Robinson, talk of the boycott has calmed down. Starbucks also agreed to engage in mediation with Nelson and Robinson.

"Starbucks holds itself open as a place for people to meet and to have public conversations; those are words from their website," Stewart Cohen, a lawyer for Nelson and Robinson, told ABC News. "The apologies are fine, but what we need to do is have some action by Starbucks with respect to this situation. There has to be real and meaningful discussions."

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross apologized Thursday for initially defending the officers who arrested the men. He said he "failed miserably."

"I should have said the officers acted within the scope of the law and not that they didn’t do anything wrong," Ross said during a press conference Thursday. "Words are very important."

Greenblatt, a former White House adviser to President Barack Obama on social innovation and civic participation, said Starbucks has taken significant measures to address the controversy.

"No. 1, the company turned on a dime. This happened, and within 24 hours, the CEO was onsite in Philadelphia," said Greenblatt, who once worked for Starbucks as a vice president of global consumer products after he and his partners sold a company called Ethos Water to Starbucks in 2005.

"Within 72 hours, they'd announced this very ambitious program, where again they're doing something very consequential from a revenue perspective and a resource perspective -- about as consequential as you can get if you are in the retail business," he said.

Along with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP League Defense and Education Fund, Greenblatt is among a group of leaders providing guidance to Starbucks in developing its curriculum for the training, the company said.

"We have great reach, a lot of expertise and decades of experience" in combating hate, Greenblatt said.

He said the Anti-Defamation League provides anti-bias, anti-bullying and anti-hate training in schools throughout the nation and offers education to more than 15,000 law enforcement officers per year on how to deal with hate and hate crimes.

"Starbucks is in the early [stages] of putting together what they want," Greenblatt said. "But when we deliver anti-bias training, it's focused on helping people to understand the perspective of the other, recognizing implicit bias so that you can interrupt it before it happens, understanding stereotypes and why they're hurtful."

He said the potential training for Starbucks employees could include lectures, team-based activities and having employees re-enact scenarios on how to spot implicit bias.

"Each of us carries around certain bias views. So implicit bias is sort of the unconscious attribution of certain qualities to a person or maybe a group of people based on how you perceive the color of their skin, their religious faith, their gender," Greenblatt said.

"The question becomes, why would a patron whose black and asks to use a bathroom is denied the key when you allow a white person to do it just a few minutes earlier? Implicit bias training is intended to identify those unconscious perceptions so that you can interrupt them before they happen," he said.

Johnson said the company would require all new employees to go through the training as part of the onboarding process. Johnson also said the company will offer its racial-bias curriculum to other companies to use.

"I think more and more it is very constructive that companies recognize they have to model the kind of behaviors they want to see in the communities they serve and come forward as good corporate citizens," Greenblatt said. "I think, as a society, we're increasingly aware of these issues around -- how do you confront bias, how do you confront stereotypes?"

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Kelli Shultz(AUSTIN) -- When Kelli Schultz discovered that she'd be on the same flight as her newlywed sister en route to her honeymoon in New Zealand, she couldn't resist the opportunity to give her an extra special wedding gift.

With help from United Airlines' flight attendants, Schultz got the passengers on the 130-seat plane from Austin, Texas, to San Francisco to write well wishes to her sister, Briana DuPriest, and her now-husband, Robert, en route to New Zealand through a connecting flight.

When the two sisters discovered they were on the same flight leaving the DuPriest's wedding on April 14, Schultz, 28, took it as a sign.

"The universe gives you gifts," the maid of honor, who also officiated the ceremony, told ABC News. "And I thought, 'OK, this is clearly like a smoke signal from God or the universe or whatever it is. I knew I wanted to do something a little extra, but I thought, 'What can I do?'"

After consulting a friend who's also a flight attendant, Schultz decided to bring goodie bags onto the flight filled with a single card and chocolates. The goodie bags included a note that read in part: "Hello fellow passenger, my sister Bri and her new husband Robert are on this flight on their way to their honeymoon in New Zealand. If you can write a piece of marriage advice or life advice and pass it up to Bri & Robert DuPriest in seats 8A and 8B."

With help from flight attendants, who passed out the goodie bags and Sharpie pens for passengers to write messages, the surprise began to unfold.

A representative for United Airlines told ABC News in a statement that they were happy to aid in the heartwarming surprise.

"We know there is a special reason behind everyone’s journey with us, and we are happy to have done our part to make this trip that much more special for this couple," a statement read.

Alisha Johnson, who was on board that United flight last week, was leaving a work trip in Austin when she received the card in her seat.

"I was listening to music and tuning out as I do when I noticed everyone around me was smiling," Johnson told ABC News.

Johnson, 33, later caught on that there were newlyweds on the flight and was soon handed one of the goodie bags.

She said she is usually in a "bad mood and tired" when traveling, so it was "a nice moment of levity when everyone became human, writing and smiling and pensively thinking through what to write to the couple. Johnson said she advised the couple to let their New Zealand honeymoon be the first of a "lifelong series of adventures."

Briana DuPriest told ABC News she and her husband were caught "totally off-guard" by the surprise.

"It's so Kelli to find an incredibly personal and meaningful way to make us feel special," the bride continued.

"People were coming up and handing us their cards with well-wishes. A flight attendant brought us glasses of champagne," Briana DuPriest added. "Being in the middle of traveling, we were slightly overwhelmed by the attention, but so honored that so many people chose to contribute touching advice to us."

The couple is now completing their honeymoon in New Zealand after, thanks to Schultz, getting off to a festive start.

"I am so lucky to have her as my sister. Her quick wit and entertaining personality eliminate the possibility of there ever being a dull moment," Briana DuPriest said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Rachel Scott/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Weddings and events often have the most beautiful floral arrangements, but after the event is over, the arrangements can end up in the trash.

Former event planner Jennifer Grove is working to end that with her company Repeat Roses, which gives event and wedding flowers a second chance by donating them to local nonprofits.

"We get handwritten cards from all of our organizations across the country that say, 'You know what, we were taking flowers to someone who was getting ready for their cancer treatment. We brought flowers to a gentleman who hasn't had a visitor in three weeks,' and just knowing we made a small difference in someone's life, that's meaningful to us," Grove said.

Repeat Roses doesn't just donate floral arrangements to those in need, the company also makes sure the flowers are properly recycled. The company recollects the donated flowers and composts them locally.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Chesnot/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Facebook has taken the lion's share of scrutiny from Congress and the media for its data-handling practices that allow savvy marketers and political agents to target specific audiences, but it's far from alone.

YouTube, Google and Twitter also have giant platforms awash in more videos, posts and pages than any set of human eyes could ever check. Their methods of serving ads against this sea of content may come under the microscope next.

Advertising and privacy experts say a backlash is inevitable against a "Wild West" internet that has escaped scrutiny before. There continues to be a steady barrage of new examples where unsuspecting advertisers had their brands associated with extremist content on major platforms.

In the latest discovery, CNN reported that it found more than 300 retail brands, government agencies and technology companies had their ads run on YouTube channels that promoted white nationalists, Nazis, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda.

Child advocates have also raised alarms about the ease with which smartphone-equipped children are exposed to inappropriate videos and deceptive advertising.

"I absolutely think that Google is next and long overdue," said Josh Golin, director of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google-owned YouTube's advertising and data-collection practices earlier this month.

YouTube has repeatedly outlined the ways it attempts to flag and delete hateful, violent, sexually explicit or harmful videos, but its screening efforts have often missed the mark.

It also allows advertisers to avoid running ads on sensitive content — like news or politics — that don't violate YouTube guidelines but don't fit with a company's brand. Those methods appear to have failed.

"YouTube has once again failed to correctly filter channels out of our marketing buys," said a statement Friday from 20th Century Fox Film, which learned that its ads were running on videos posted by a self-described Nazi. YouTube has since deleted the offending channel, but the Hollywood studio says it has unanswered questions about how it happened in the first place.

"All of our filters were in place in order to ensure that this did not happen," Fox said, adding it has asked for a refund of any money shared with the "abhorrent channel."

YouTube said Friday that it has made "significant changes to how we approach monetization," citing "stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency." It noted it allows advertisers to exclude certain channels from ads. It also removes ads when it's notified they are running beside content that doesn't comply with its policies.

"We are committed to working with our advertisers and getting this right," YouTube said.

So far, just one major advertiser — Baltimore-based sports apparel company Under Armour — had said it had withdrawn its advertising in the wake of the CNN report, though the lull lasted only a few days last week when it was first notified of the problem. After its shoe commercial turned up on a channel known for espousing white nationalist beliefs, Under Armour worked with YouTube to expand its filters to exclude certain topics and keywords.

On the other hand, Procter & Gamble, which had kept its ads off of YouTube since March 2017, said it had come back to the platform but drastically pared back the channels it would advertise on to under 10,000. It has worked on its own, with third parties, and with YouTube to create its restrictive list.

That's just a fraction of the some 3 million YouTube channels in the U.S. that accept ads, and is even more stringent than YouTube's "Google Preferred" lineup that focuses on the most-popular 5 percent of videos.

The CNN report was "an illustration of exactly why we needed to go above and beyond just what YouTube's plans were and why we needed to take more control of where our ads were showing up," said P&G spokeswoman Tressie Rose.

The big problem, experts say, is that advertisers lured by the reach and targeting capability of online platforms can mistakenly expect that the same standards for decency on network TV will apply online. In the same way, broadcast TV rules that require transparency about political ad buyers are absent on the web.

"There have always been regulations regarding appropriate conduct in content," says Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys Inc., a New York customer research firm. Regulating content on the internet is one area "that has gotten away from everyone."

Also absent from the internet are many of the rules that govern children's programming on television sets. TV networks, for instance, are allowed to air commercial breaks but cannot use kid-oriented characters to advertise products. Such "host-selling" runs rampant on internet services such as YouTube.

Action to remove ads from inappropriate content is mostly reactive because of lack of upfront control of what gets uploaded, and it generally takes the mass threat of boycott to get advertisers to demand changes, according to BrandSimple consultant Allen Adamson.

"The social media backlash is what you're worried about," he said.

At the same time, politicians are having trouble keeping up with the changing landscape, evident by how ill-informed many members of Congress appeared during questioning of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month.

"We're in the early stages of trying to figure out what kind of regulation makes sense here," said Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at Pace University in New York. "It's going to take quite some time to sort that out."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

WPVI-TV(NEW YORK) -- The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order on Friday for airlines to inspect engines like the one involved in Tuesday's fatal incident involving Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, according to an FAA spokesperson.

Engines with more 30,000 total takeoffs and landings must be inspected within 20 days.

CFM International, the maker of the engines subject to the order, estimated 352 engines in the U.S. are affected and 681 worldwide.

The inspections will focus on the fan blades, the FAA said. The National Transportation Safety Board said an engine fan blade on Flight 1380 suffered metal fatigue before breaking.

The woman who died was sitting over the wing on the Boeing 737 when the engine failed and she was partially sucked out a broken window. Fellow passengers pulled the woman back in and attempted to revive her.

She later died.

Southwest already announced it was starting an “accelerated inspection” of its fleet after the deadly failure, and other airlines have announced their own inspection plans. American Airlines said it started additional inspections of its 737s before Tuesday's accident, while the directive was being debated.

In a letter to passengers obtained by ABC News, Southwest offered sincere apologies as well as a $5,000 check and the promise of a $1,000 travel voucher. The letter also states that the airline’s primary focus now is to assist the passengers who were aboard the flight in every way possible.

A Southwest Airlines official confirmed to ABC News that the letters were sent by the airline, but would not comment on the monetary compensation.

The NTSB investigation is expected to take 12 to 15 months.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TWC(NEW YORK) -- Harvey Weinstein asked a federal bankruptcy court Friday to force The Weinstein Company to give him access to his email accounts and personal files.

Without them, Weinstein said in court documents obtained by ABC News, he cannot “exonerate himself.”

Weinstein made “multiple requests” for these emails and for his personal files but TWC either refused or imposed “incredulous conditions,” according to court documents.

“[TWC’s] continued refusal to permit Mr. Weinstein to access these emails has significantly impinged his ability to effectively defend himself,” his attorney Scott Cousins wrote.

Weinstein conceded in court documents he is under criminal investigation in New York, Los Angeles and London, and is the subject of pending and threatened civil litigation, all involving allegations of rampant sexual misconduct first detailed publicly by The New York Times and The New Yorker.

“By denying him access to potentially exculpatory emails, [TWC is] depriving Mr. Weinstein of his due process rights and preventing him from properly defending against these allegations,” Cousins wrote.

The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy after an attempt to sell the company to a group of investors that wanted to reconstitute it as a female-led studio failed.

Weinstein said the company has an interest in his “narrowly tailored request” since any successful civil lawsuit could devalue the remaining assets. If TWC does not grant access and Weinstein cannot use his emails to help refute factual allegations, Weinstein said it would be “to the detriment” of the estate and creditors.

Since last year, Weinstein, 65, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct, with several alleging sexual assault. Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. He is currently facing criminal investigations in several jurisdictions, as well as multiple lawsuits.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some of the nation's wealthiest donors are writing multimillion-dollar checks to support candidates during this midterm season in high stakes contests across the country.

While it's not unusual for uber-wealthy donors to gild the coffers of preferred candidates, the roster of rich donors often offers a glimpse of who is playing the role of kingmaker in elections and, sometimes, who might be interested in ensuring that their political interests are heard. By the end of 2014, just five donors poured nearly $135 million into federal elections, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Responsive Politics.

So far this election cycle, 17 megadonors have given more than $100 million to candidates, party committees, super PACs, and outside groups. And six people have spent nearly more than $67 million so far this cycle in the battle to control Congress.

Here are the top six contributors thus far.

1. Richard Uihlein: $25.3 million

The single biggest donor this election cycle, Richard “Dick” Uihlein, has quickly become a GOP power player in the past couple of years.

He and his wife Liz Uihlein, co-founders of Wisconsin-based shipping company Uline, together donated more than $25 million already so far this election cycle.

Uihlein’s biggest focus so far this cycle has been on supporting Republican Kevin Nicholson's bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin in the Wisconsin Senate race. He is involved in almost every single one of the top spending super PACs supporting Nicholson.

Pretty early on in the election cycle, Uihlein dropped seven-figure checks totaling $3.5 million to a single-candidate super PAC operating exclusively in support of Nicholson called Solutions for Wisconsin. Two of the biggest spenders in the race, Americas PAC and Restoration PAC, are also almost exclusively funded by Uihlein.

Outside groups funded by Uihlein together have spent more than $6.1 million in the Wisconsin Senate race so far this year and pro-Baldwin groups have ramped up their spending to try and compete.

The face-off has resulted in a pricey contest that has attracted the largest amount of spending from outside groups. The Wisconsin race has already seen nearly $10 million in outside money.

2. Tom Steyer: $16 million

California billionaire Tom Steyer, who topped individual contributions two consecutive election cycles in a row, is leading the charge from the Democratic side again.

So far this election cycle, Tom Steyer and his wife Kathryn Steyer together have donated nearly $16 million, and the number is expected to only go up. A leading voice in the “impeach Trump now” movement, Tom Steyer has pledged to pour an additional $30 million to flipping the lower chamber to a Democratic majority.

Steyer has been active in donating money directly to campaigns, but the vast majority of his big checks have gone to NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC he set up to push forward his political and environmentalist agendas. NextGen Climate Action has been active in organizing its own issue campaigns as well as donating to other liberal groups.

3. George Soros: $7.7 million

George Soros, a business magnate, and a long-time Democratic contributor recently started ramping up his political spending. He dropped a $3 million check in late March to a newly formed super PAC called Win Justice, which has not reported any activities as of yet.

He is the sole contributor to the super PAC so far.

He has also given millions to groups tied to the Democratic Party, including $1 million to the Senate Majority PAC and $380,000 to the American Bridge 21st Century. National Democratic Party committees also received a total of $537,100 from Soros.

George Soros' son, Alexander George Soros, has been following his father's steps to as a big contributor for the Democrats. He recently dropped a $2 million check to the Senate Majority PAC, and also has donated a total of $135,600 to the Democratic National Committee.

4. Donald Sussman: $8.2 million

Hedge-fund manager Donald Sussman, who donated more than $20 million to a pro-Clinton super PAC during the 2016 election cycle, has been a long-time fundraiser and generous benefactor for the Democratic side.

So far this election cycle, the Florida businessman has funneled $6.1 million to more than 150 Democratic campaigns, party committees, and outside groups. He donated $3.2 million to Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC, two super PACs with ties to the Democratic leadership in both the upper and the lower chambers.

5. Bernard Marcus: $5.5 million

Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus is the biggest financier for the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. So far this election cycle, he has donated a total of $4 million to the pro-GOP Senate group.

He has been a big contributor for other Republican groups as well, donating $754,600 to the House counterpart Congressional Leadership Fund, $247,700 to Team Ryan and $204,500 to the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and National Republican Senatorial Committee.

He also donated $300,000 to the John Bolton Super PAC and $250,000 to 35th, Inc., a super PAC that has been supporting Patrick Morrisey in a West Virginia House race.

Home Depot’s political action committee has also donated more than $1.7 million to party committees and candidates, the bulk of that has also gone to Democrats.

6. Fred Eychaner: $4.6 million

Media mogul Fred Eychaner has been exerting his political power mostly through donating to Democratic leadership groups.

He gave $2 million each to the Senate Majority PAC and the House Majority PAC towards the end of last year and has given a total of $474,600 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $237,300 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Some big political names are either far down the list or aren’t even on the list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t invested in the upcoming midterms.

Robert Mercer, who has donated about $3.7 million so far this cycle, has continued to boost his influence through his political group, Club for Growth, which has already reported spending more than $3.1 million this election cycle.

Likewise, the Koch network and its super PAC, Freedom Partners Action Fund, has stockpiled more than $13 million for the upcoming elections, including $3 million from the Charles G. Koch Trust. Americans for Prosperity, another conservative group funded by the Koch brothers, have also spent millions on ads though most of the expenditures have not been reported to the FEC as they don't fall under FEC reporting requirements.

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff under George W. Bush, Karl Rove, known for his political operations through American Crossroads, has also been funneling more than $15 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund in an effort keep the Republican majority in the lower chamber.

Some other megadonors simply seem to be staying put.

Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has donated only about $251,000 with his wife Miriam Adelson so far this election cycle, had poured more than $91 million and $82 million each during the 2012 and 2016 presidential election cycles, but only spent $6 million during the 2014 midterms.

Bloomberg L.P. CEO and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had donated $30 million during the 2014 midterms, has invested only about $508,000 so far this cycle.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Organization of the Month

BKs Beacon Tavern

 

 

 

 

 

     Copyright WSAR

LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services