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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night to slam the union leader who has been criticizing his Carrier job-saving deal.

Trump tweeted, "Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!"

And about an hour later, Trump tweeted, "If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues."

 

Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016

 

 

If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016



While speaking to CNN's Erin Burnett Wednesday night, Jones responded to Trump's tweet, saying, "Well, first of all, that wasn't very damn nice. But with Donald Trump saying that, that must mean I'm doing a good job. Because these people are making a decent wage at Carrier. And I feel like I'm somewhat involved in making that happen. And he does everything he can to keep unions out of his hotels and casinos here in this country, depriving them of making a living wage. So I don't put a whole hell of a lot of faith in whatever he says."

Last week, sources familiar with the deal told ABC news that approximately 800 jobs would stay at the Carrier furnace factory in Indianapolis, but approximately 600 jobs would still move to Mexico. The company would also keep 300 other white-collar jobs, such as research and headquarters positions, in Indianapolis, but those jobs were never slated to move to Mexico.

Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, also plans to move 700 jobs from the United Technologies Electronic Controls factory in Huntington, Indiana to Mexico.

During Wednesday's interview with Burnett, Jones took direct aim at Trump's claim of saving 1,100 Carrier jobs.

"When Carrier announced the close down the whole facility in February, they announced at that point in time the research and development jobs, about 350 of them were going to remain here in Indianapolis," Jones explained. "Then when Mr. Trump got involved what the actual number of jobs saved is 730 bargaining unit jobs, the workers, the union members. And another 70 office, supervisory clerical workers from management. And what they are doing is counting in 350 some odd more that were never leaving this country at all. And I think he's did a lot of negotiations and I have likewise. And if you are dealing with people's livelihoods you sure in the world ought to know what the numbers are."

And during an interview with CNNMoney earlier in the day, Jones was more pointed: "He's lying his a-- off," Jones said about Trump's claim of saving 1,100 jobs. "That's not just my feeling. The numbers prove he's lying his a-- off. It's a damn shame when you come in and make a false statement like that."

Jones said that Trump should be working to prevent the relocation to Mexico from Indianapolis of a plant owned by another company, Rexnord.

"Trump said no companies would be allowed to go to Mexico," Jones said. "There are more than 300 people over there at Rexnord. He needs to deliver for them as well."


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iStock/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) — The Better Business Bureau issued a warning alerting consumers of an illegal "Secret Sister Gift Exchange" scam that has been making the rounds on the internet this holiday season.

"The Secret Sister Gift Exchange" invites participants to purchase a gift valued at $10 for a stranger, and claims that the participant will receive as many as 36 gifts from strangers in return. It also encourages people to invite friends to join.

"Of course, starting this gift exchange comes with a catch," the BBB said in a statement, "you need to disclose your personal information, such as your home address."

The BBB called this a "typical pyramid scheme," but added that it has been able to gain a lot of traction on social media during this season of goodwill. The BBB also said that gift chains like this are not only a scam, but are also illegal, and those who participate could be subject to penalties for mail fraud.

The BBB recommended consumers to check with their group before becoming involved in suspicious activity.

"To avoid this scam, the best thing to do is completely ignore it altogether," the BBB said. "Do not give personal information to anyone."

Many local authorities have also issued warnings to their citizens to not fall for this scheme. Some, such as the Cookeville Police Department in Cookeville, Tenn., even shared warnings on social media, the place where many people will originally see an invitation for the holiday scam. "Don’t fall for the post popping up on your news feed about a secret sister gift exchange – it’s a scam and illegal," the police department wrote.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims jumped last week, increasing by 10,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Dec. 3, the number of people filing for benefits fell from an unrevised level of 268,000 the previous week to 258,000.

The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.

The four-week moving average increased by 1,000 to 252,000.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Donald Trump is known for airing his grievances and musings on Twitter, but now his opinions seem to be directly impacting the U.S. stock market and investors.

The most recent example came this morning after the president-elect said that he wants to reduce drug prices in his interview with Time magazine, which named him "Person of the Year."

Trump was asked about the rise in biotech stocks following his electoral victory. “I’m going to bring down drug prices. I don’t like what has happened with drug prices," he told Time.

Investors were not pleased with those comments. Shares of Pfizer fell 2.6 percent while Merck stock lost 1.9 percent this morning, The Associated Press reported.

Trump also appears to have embraced the power of the tweet as his latest negotiation tactic.

 He sent out a tweet slamming “out of control” costs from Boeing for a new Air Force One plane on Tuesday, which led to a quick but fleeting plunge in the aerospace company’s stock.

It also led to a phone conversation between Trump and the company’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

“Muilenburg congratulated Mr. Trump on his election win and committed to working with the new administration to control costs as they establish requirements for the new Air Force One to keep the program as affordable as possible and deliver the best value to American taxpayers,” Boeing said in a statement released this morning.

On Tuesday, shares of Sprint jumped after Trump announced that Japan's SoftBank had committed to investing $50 billion in the United States, which could lead to 50,000 new jobs in the country. SoftBank has a majority ownership in Sprint.

Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody's Analytics, told ABC News that it should be expected that the markets would respond to Trump's tweets because "investors think words matter."

"I think when the president-elect names names, when he points out specific companies, it's not at all surprising that their stock prices respond to that," Zandi said.

Investors have pushed stocks to record highs after Trump's surprise victory, but Zandi said investors should brace for turbulence.

"I can't recall another president singling out companies for public comment -- certainly not on a regular basis -- but he seems to be willing to do that on an almost daily basis," he noted. "If his words have consequences and he acts on it, then investors are going to respond and I’d buckle in. There's going to be a lot of volatility in markets."

Investors aren't the only ones listening to Trump's public declarations and acting accordingly. Greg Hayes, the CEO of United Technologies, which owns the air conditioner manufacturer Carrier, told CNBC's Jim Cramer that his company agreed to keep jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana because of UTC's significant contracts with the federal government.

"There was a cost as we thought about keeping the Indiana plant open. At the same time... I was born at night but not last night. I also know that about 10 percent of our revenue comes from the U.S. government," Hayes told CNBC.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  President-elect Donald Trump named former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon as his pick to lead the Small Business Administration.

"My America First agenda is going to bring back our jobs and roll back the burdensome regulations that are hurting our middle-class workers and small businesses. To help push our agenda forward, I am pleased to nominate Linda McMahon as the head of the Small Business Administration," Trump said in a statement announcing the pick. "Linda has a tremendous background and is widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives advising businesses around the globe."

 McMahon, who met with the president-elect at Trump Tower last week, was the co-founder and former chief executive officer of the WWE franchise. She unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012.

Linda McMahon, along with her husband, Vince McMahon, the chairman and CEO of WWE, was among the most prolific donors in the 2016 election cycle, according the Center for Responsive Politics. The couple gave more than $9 million to candidates, parties, and political action committees and outside groups this year.

Trump has appeared on WWE programming in the past and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

In an interview with Yahoo News in May, Linda McMahon, who initially supported Gov. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, for president, criticized Trump for making disparaging comments about women but still expressed faith in his ability to lead the country should he become president, saying "he will hire good people for advice."

“Those [comments] were just over the top; they were deplorable, objectionable absolutely,” Linda McMahon said. “He’s not helping, certainly, to put women in the best light. Maybe he regrets them, maybe he doesn’t. I realize he punches hard when he punches back, but that’s just over the top. I wish that no candidate would make those comments.”

“He is the front-runner, and I think he surprised a lot of people,” Linda McMahon said. “He really is a vessel of this angst and unrest in this country. He said it straight out, didn’t worry about being politically correct. ... I think that really is a seed of a great deal of his popularity. I think Donald has proven himself in a lot of areas to be an astute businessman. ... I think that he will hire good people for advice.”

The administrator of the Small Business Administration is a position of Cabinet-status rank. The post will require Senate confirmation.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A group of consumer advocacy groups has accused the makers of interactive toys "Cayla" and "i-Que" of failing to provide protections to prevent spying on young children, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The complaint was jointly filed Tuesday by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the Consumers Union.

The groups allege in the complaint that talking toys "Cayla" and "i-Que" "record and collect the private conversations of young children without any limitations on collection, use or disclosure of this personal information."

"The toys subject young children to ongoing surveillance and are deployed in homes across the United Sates without any meaningful data protection standards," the groups said in the complaint. "They pose an imminent and immediate threat to the safety and security of children in the United States."

 The groups are calling on the FTC to investigate and take action against Genesis Toys, which manufactures "Cayla" and "i-Que," and Nuance Communications, which provides third-party voice recognition software for the toys.

"Cayla" is a doll that can talk and interact with children, and can answer questions when the doll is on-line, according to the toy's website. "i-Que" is a robot that can similarly answer questions when it is on-line, according to its website.

The consumer groups said in the complaint that the information gathered from children through their interactions with the toys is stored in a server "in the cloud," and that information could be sold to the military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The consumer groups also expressed concern that those toys could be hacked, allowing a potential hacker to listen to the children through the toys.

Nuance responded to the complaint in a blog post on its website on Tuesday.

"Nuance takes data privacy seriously," the company wrote in the blog post. "We have not received an inquiry from the FTC or any other privacy authority regarding this matter, but will respond appropriately to any official inquiry we may receive."

The company said that after it learned "of the consumer advocacy groups' concerns through media," it validated that it has adhered to its policy "with respect to the voice data collected through the toys referred to in the complaint."

"Our policy is that we don’t use or sell voice data for marketing or advertising purposes," Nuance said. The company added that it "does not share voice data collected from or on behalf of any of our customers with any of our other customers."

Genesis Toys did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment on the complaint.

Here are some of the key issues the consumer groups identified in the complaint:

Inadequate Security Measures Could Allow the Toys to Be Used for Spying

The consumer groups said in the complaint that neither "Cayla" nor "i-Que" are equipped with the adequate security measures needed "to prevent unauthorized Bluetooth pairing."

"Researchers discovered that by connecting one phone to the doll through the insecure Bluetooth connection and calling that phone with a second phone, they were able to both converse with and covertly listen to conversations collected through [the toys]," the groups said in the complaint.

Collected Speech Data Could Be Used by Military, Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies

The groups also noted in the complaint that the terms of service for both "Cayla" and "i-Que" state that when you ask a question to the toys' companion apps, this information request is stored on a server "in the cloud."

In addition, according to the complaint, Nuance's privacy policy states that the company uses the collected speech data "to develop, tune, enhance, and improve Nuance services and products." The complaint also notes that Nuance's services include biometric solutions sold to military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The consumer groups allege that this "creates a substantial risk of harm because children may be unfairly targeted by these organizations if their voices are inaccurately matched to recordings obtained by these organizations."

The complaint also notes that Genesis Toys' privacy policies for "Cayla" and "i-Que" state that it permits users to request deletion of personal information the company holds about them, but also says that "we may need to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes."

'Deceptive Failure' to Disclose Product Placement

The consumer groups said Genesis Toys "pre-programs" both "Cayla" and "i-Que" with "dozens of phrases endorsing Disney products" and that Genesis "does not disclose this advertising practice."

"This misrepresentation is misleading to users about the commercial nature of these endorsements," the groups write, "particularly ... for young children who have not yet developed the cognitive ability to scrutinize and understand such product placement."

Disney told ABC News in a statement that it "does not have an agreement with Genesis and we were unaware that mentions of our theme parks and films were part of the Cayla doll’s script."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Failure to Obtain Parental Consent Prior to Collecting Children's Voice Recordings and Personal Data

The consumer groups said that Genesis Toys "purports to obtain parental consent to the collection of children's personal information when users download the Cayla and/or i-Que application and agree to the terms of service presented upon first accessing the app."

However, "Genesis makes no effort to verify or ensure that the person providing consent is the parent of a child," the groups said in the complaint.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday as oil prices fell.

The Dow jumped 297.84 ( 1.55 percent) to finish at 19,549.62.

The Nasdaq gained 60.76 ( 1.14 percent) to close at 5,393.76, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,241.35, up 29.12 ( 1.32 percent) from its open.

Crude oil lost almost 2 percent with prices hitting under $51 a barrel.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  President-elect Donald Trump triggered another media firestorm after he tweeted on Tuesday that "costs are out of control" on Boeing's Air Force One project and calling for the contract with the Seattle-based company to be canceled.

"We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money," Trump told reporters later that day at Trump Tower in New York City.

According to Trump, the cost of a new Air Force One plane is $4 billion. But how true is that exactly?

A History of Boeing's Air Force One

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first American president to fly aboard a Boeing Air Force One aircraft, and the tradition has continued for more than 70 years.

While technically any plane carrying the American president is referred to as "Air Force One," multiple presidents have traveled for the last 50-plus years on aircraft that are specifically designed to transport them across the country and around the world.

These designs include the ability to refuel in midair, on-board electronics that "are hardened to protect against an electromagnetic pulse ... and advanced secure communications equipment [which] allow the aircraft to function as a mobile command center in the event of an attack on the United States," according to the White House.

Any current Air Force One is also required to have four engines, which allows for the extra weight of the Boeing 747's sensor equipment, power units and self-defense, among other requirements necessary to carry the commander-in-chief through the skies.

The Current Fleet of Air Force One

Two aircraft currently operate as the official Air Force One jets -- both are Boeing 747-200B series and were delivered under President George H. W. Bush in 1990. By the time the current fleet retires in 2024 (the date the new fleet is expected to enter service), the aircraft will be more than 30 years old.

And while that doesn't sound like much, one Air Force official with knowledge of the matter told ABC News that keeping an aircraft beyond its 30-year cycle can mean that some of the technology aboard becomes dated and increasingly hard to maintain, and that any delay in replacing the current aircraft could lead to significant problems.

The New Contract

In January 2015, the Air Force chose the Boeing 747-800 series as the next aircraft to fly the president. Then, in May of this year, the Air Force issued a "Request for Proposals," the first step toward an eventual contract. That proposal was for two planes, but could ultimately increase to three planes during negotiations. Once Boeing responds to this proposal, the full contract will be ratified and design work will begin.

According to Boeing, the new 747-8 series will be more fuel efficient and able to carry more weight -- 157,000 more pounds, to be exact -- than its 200B series counterpart. It would also fly farther and faster than any other Air Force One jet, with the ability to travel 1,000 more nautical miles and at a top speed of Mach 0.855, making it the fastest presidential jet ever.

Breaking Down the Cost

The U.S. government has currently spent $170 million on the project, according to Boeing, despite the $4 billion that has been reported by the Trump team. The Air Force said it has awarded three contracts to Boeing this year totaling $170 million to help bring down design costs for the future program.

In February, the Air Force projected a five-year estimated total cost of the Air Force One program of $2.778 billion, according to budget documents released at the time. While this is only for the cost of research, testing and development of the future Air Force One fleet, additional costs would likely be incurred for the actual purchase of the aircraft.

However, the Air Force confirmed to ABC News it intends to pay for the new aircraft out of the research money.

The five-year breakdown for the program includes:

$351.2 million in Fiscal Year 2017 $625.6 million in Fiscal Year 2018 $741 million in Fiscal Year 2019 $573.7 million in Fiscal Year 2020 $487.3 million in Fiscal Year 2021

So Where Does the $4 Billion Figure Come From?

According to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Trump found the $4 billion number from a Government Accountability Office report. And while published in March of this year, the report estimated a total cost for research and procurement of two presidential aircraft at $3.2 billion.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff David told ABC News that while that may sound like a lot of money, taxpayers have to remember this is a "system of systems."

"It’s multiple aircraft. And it’s not all Boeing. This a system that is going to have many different companies that are providing the systems that go on it," David said.

"We simply don’t know the exact figure. I know there are figures being thrown around, but we still have to get to the point of understanding fully what the requirement is before we can put a price tag on it," David added.

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KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Some business and legal experts have voiced skepticism about the motivations behind Tuesday's announcement that Japanese telecom and Internet company SoftBank will invest billions of dollars in the U.S.

"We are going to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and commit to make, to create 50,000 new jobs," SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said alongside President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday, adding that he plans to do this by investing in new startup companies in the United States.

“I said I would like to celebrate his presidential job and commit because he will do a lot of deregulation,” said Son, who added that he had initiated the meeting with Trump. “I said, ‘This is great, United States, U.S. will become great again.’”

John Hasnas, a professor of business ethics and law at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, said: “On the surface, a foreign business person saying that ‘I’m going to invest in the U.S. because an administration’s policies will favor my company’ is unobjectionable -- it’s just a P.R. matter.”

“The reason why it could be an issue is that if it looks like he’s doing this to get a favorable ruling from the DOJ [Department of Justice] on mergers, then it looks like it’s a potential bribe, or conflict of interest," Hasnas added.

Details of the investment plan and whether the funding pledge was new were not immediately clear. SoftBank and the Trump transition team would not offer specifics on the plan or how the meeting between Son and Trump came about.

In October, SoftBank announced it was forming a $100 billion investment fund to invest in the global tech sector. It would draw funding from a series of global partners, including Saudi Arabia’s government-owned investment fund.

SoftBank pledged to invest at least $25 billion over five years while the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would potentially invest up to $45 billion in the fund over a five-year period, according to a release announcing the creation of the fund.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Tuesday, Son said the $50 billion investment he pledged with Trump would come from the already established global investment fund. A spokesman for SoftBank would not confirm that the money would be drawn from that fund.

SoftBank is a majority stakeholder in Sprint. In 2014, Sprint reportedly abandoned its efforts to acquire competitor T-Mobile after federal regulators expressed concerns about a potential merger.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — President Elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — will now oversee one of the largest federally-subsidized affordable housing projects in the country — and it is part owned by his new boss.

The development is called Starrett City — a massive low-income mini-city in Brooklyn that has generated millions in rental income for Trump, who inherited an ownership stake in the project from his father Fred Trump.

With 46 buildings and more than 5,000 apartments, Starrett City is the beneficiary of substantial federal aid through rental support programs overseen by HUD. And it will soon be one more item on the list of financial entanglements that Trump will bring with him to the White House in January.

“This appears to be yet another clear conflict of interest that President-Elect Trump will have on the first day he walks into the Oval Office unless he takes action now to avert it,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat who heads the House committee charged with investigating government operations, told ABC News. “Mr. Trump and his business partners could reap huge financial windfalls based on the actions of the individual that he chooses to lead HUD or the proposals he makes to Congress.”

Speaking broadly about Trump’s many potential business conflicts, the congressman said, “I see all of this as a major, major problem.”

“The question is financial benefit. And so, that's what we're looking at. All you have to do is follow the money. And if you follow the money, it leads right back to Donald Trump's pockets.”

Cummings has already raised question about Trump’s deal with another federal agency, the General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees the multi-year lease between the federal government and the Post Office Pavilion that houses the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. Decisions about that lease will be made by the person Trump appoints to oversee the GSA.

Trump is expected to address his plans to disentangle himself from his business holdings next week, when he says he will announce details of his plan to step away from his massive global business. He told The New York Times “in theory I could run my business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly. And there’s never been a case like this where somebody’s had, like, if you look at other people of wealth, they didn’t have this kind of asset and this kind of wealth, frankly. It’s just a different thing.”

But, Trump said that while “in theory I don’t have to do anything” he “would like to do something. I would like to try and formalize something, because I don’t care about my business.”

To date, much of the attention about Trump’s business dealings have focused on his extensive foreign holdings — and whether foreign governments will seek to curry favor with the new American president by channeling money or easing regulations on his overseas projects. But he also has wide-ranging interests inside the U.S. And Trump’s appointees could face decisions that would benefit — or harm — their boss.

“With his children in charge, he still benefits,” Cummings said. “He may not benefit this moment, but he will benefit.”

Trump’s financial disclosure report values his 4 percent share of the Starrett City development at between $5 million and $25 million, and Trump reported that it generated between $1 million and $5 million in income for him last year.

Of the 5,881 units in the Starrett City, HUD officials told ABC News that those living in 3,569 receive support from a HUD assistance program. The development also operates under a federal “Use Restriction” which requires it remain affordable, and prevents it from being converted into the kind of upscale residential properties that have blossomed in Brooklyn. That restriction is supposed to remain in place until the year 2039.

The property also benefits from a federal interest rate reduction on its debt through a HUD program that is scheduled to expire during the final year of Trump’s term.

A spokesman for the property’s ownership group, George Artz, said any action that could benefit the ownership group would have to involve buy-in from New York officials, too — not just the Trump administration.

“Starrett City, like similar housing developments, has long been regulated by laws and procedures that have been put in place by two levels of government,” Artz said.

How Carson plans to approach federal housing programs remains unclear, but Carson has a long history of public writings and remarks of decrying federal public assistance programs. “It really is not compassionate to pat people on the head and say, ‘There, there you poor little thing, I’m going to take care of all your needs, your healthcare, your food, and your housing, don’t you worry about anything,’” he said during a 2015 speech.

“My stance is that, we the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society. It's not the government's job. You can read the constitution all you want, it never says that it is the government's job and I think that’s where we've gotten confused.”

A Carson spokesman said late Tuesday: "Dr. Carson looks forward to answering detailed questions from Congress during the confirmation process."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who has long fought for federal support for the Starrett City project, expressed concern about Carson’s past statement about public assistance.

“Someone who is as anti-government as him is a strange fit for Housing Secretary, to say the least,” Schumer said in a statement.

Schumer aides told ABC News that the senator plans to discuss the future support for Starrett City with Carson when the two meet ahead of the nominee’s senate confirmation hearings.

“Senator Schumer is deeply committed to keeping Starrett City an oasis of affordability for hard-working New York families and seniors. And that requires full-fledged support from HUD,” said Angelo Roefaro, Schumer’s spokesman.

Whether Carson will adopt that viewpoint under a Trump administration remains to be seen.
 
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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks closed mostly higher Tuesday despite a retreat in oil prices.

The Dow gained 35.54 ( 0.18 percent) to finish at 19,251.78.

The Nasdaq jumped 24.11 ( 0.45 percent) to close at 5,333.00, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,212.23, up 7.52 ( 0.34 percent) from its open.

Crude oil lost 2 percent with prices hitting under $51 a barrel.

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PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- IKEA announced a new parental leave policy for its employees on Tuesday, giving its 13,000 workers in the U.S. up to four months of paid parental leave.

The new policy covers all employees -- both salaried and hourly workers, mothers and fathers, and adoptive and foster parents.

"At IKEA, we believe time with family and friends is so important for a healthy work-life balance and a happy and productive workforce," IKEA US President Lars Petersson said in a statement. "This benefit, which applies to all parents, will give our co-workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families when welcoming a child."

"Our co-workers are our most important resource, which is why we continue to invest in helping them reach their dream," Petersson added.

The policy goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017 and is based on a sliding scale depending on how long employees have been with the company.

Those who have worked for the Swedish retailer for more than a year "can take up to three months of paid leave to be with their family, receiving 100% of their base wage for the first six weeks of parental leave and 50% for an additional six weeks," IKEA explains.

"Co-workers with three or more years’ tenure can take up to four months of paid leave, receiving 100% of their base wage for the first eight weeks and 50% for an additional eight weeks," the company adds.

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Amazon(SEATTLE) — Amazon could revolutionize the way we shop for groceries by making the process faster than ever. On Monday, the online retailer unveiled its Amazon Go store that promises no lines and no checkout.

The new-age grocery store will allow customers to walk in by scanning an app at the entrance, grabbing what they want and simply walking out. The system uses sensors to detect what customers have pulled off the shelves -- and even what they’ve put back -- and automatically charges the items to customers’ Amazon accounts via the smartphone app.

The prototype store is being tested in Seattle by Amazon employees, but the store could be open to the public by next year.


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moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- No one knows toys like kids and that's why Walmart turned to kids to play with and pick out the top toys for the holiday season.

After polling hundreds of children aged 18 months to 12 years, Walmart, a sponsor of ABC News' Good Morning America, unveiled its list of 25 top holiday toy picks, chosen by children for their wish lists.

Toy expert Jordan Hembrough, who is also the host of the television show Holiday Heroes, appeared live in Times Square Tuesday to explain how each of the following toys work, and why they are so popular among children.

Here is the list of top picks as seen on GMA:

My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Castle, $34.44

This revamped classic My Little Pony toy remains popular with both young and old collectors.

Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall, 52.99

This toy can say over 150 phrases and perform over 80 missions.

Fur Real Friends Blazin Dragon, $59.00

These dolls seem to come alive with their life-like features, including eyes that blink and ears that twitch.

Vtech® Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure, $38.49

This toy, aimed at younger children aged 12 months to 5 years, lets a child turn on a motorized freight train and watch as it travels around a track.

Hasbro Smart R2-D2 Droid, $88.00

This is sold exclusively at Walmart, and is perfect for a Star Wars fan of any age. The droid is compatible with an iPad or phone and can play all sorts of games.

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Zillow Listing(NEW YORK) -- Children around the world can now tour Santa Claus' North Pole home.

Valued on Zillow at $656,957, the Kringle residence boasts a river rock fireplace and gourmet kitchen, and one of the guest suites even has its own wood-burning stove.

The property also features a sleigh parking garage, reindeer stables and Santa's famous toy workshop.

Built in 1822, the three-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot dwelling was last remodeled in 2013.

And in pure Santa fashion, the gourmet kitchen is described as "a baker's dream," with an oven that has 12 different cookie settings.

“Santa’s home in the North Pole is one of the most famous homes in the world, so we’re thrilled it’s now on Zillow,” said Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman. “Millions of kids are looking forward to a visit from Santa this year, and now they have the opportunity to virtually visit Santa’s house themselves.”

Santa's house is not for sale, but kids can begin following his journey delivering presents by using the NORAD Santa Tracker from the home's detail page on Zillow.

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