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Angel Di Bilio/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for Boeing to redesign the engine covers on all of their Boeing 737 NG aircrafts following its investigation into a Southwest plane's engine failure that resulted in the death of a passenger.

Southwest Flight 1380 was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia in April 2018 after it experienced an engine failure about 20 minutes after takeoff from New York City's LaGuardia International Airport. There were 144 passengers and five crew members on board.

When engine fan blades break, the debris is supposed to be contained and eject out the rear of the engine. However, during Flight 1380, the blade pierced through the engine cover, or cowling, hitting the fuselage of the aircraft near a window. The window shattered, which led to rapid depressurization and passenger Jennifer Riordan being partially sucked out of the cabin.

Other passengers pulled the New Mexico mother back into the cabin and tried unsuccessfully to perform CPR. At the time, Riordan was the first passenger killed in the U.S. on a commercial airplane in nine years.

"Jennifer's family would like to thank the NTSB for the investigation and hope that these recommendations are taken seriously to ensure no other family has to go through this type of tragedy ever again," the Riordan family said in a statement to ABC News. "In honor of Jennifer, please remember to be kind, loving, caring and sharing."

Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, 58, was in the cockpit -- a pilot with Southwest Airlines and one of the Navy's first women pilots trained to fly fighter aircraft.

"My first thoughts were actually, 'Oh, here we go.' Just because it seems like a, a flashback to some of the Navy flying that we had done," Shults said in a 2018 interview with ABC News' Martha Raddatz. "We had to use hand signals because it was loud. And, there was, it was just hard to communicate for a lot of different reasons."

NTSB members praised Shults during their board meeting Tuesday afternoon for the quick thinking that led the plane to land safely in Philadelphia.

"She used airmanship," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. "She used judgment because she felt that that was the safest thing to do."

The NTSB's recommended redesign, which could take months, impacts 6,800 737 NGs in service. However, it is ultimately up to the Federal Aviation Administration to decide whether or not Boeing must implement the NTSB's recommendations and issue an Air Worthiness directive. In 2018, the FAA issued an Air Worthiness directive that required more rigorous inspections of engine fan blades. After the NTSB meeting, the FAA issued a statement saying it will carefully review and respond to the NTSB recommendations.

Boeing told ABC News that they are committed to implementing enhancements, including strengthening the engine covering.

"Enhancements are being introduced into the inlet and fan cowl designs to enhance their ability to withstand an engine fan blade out event as well as to increase the overall capability of these structures," Boeing said in a statement.

Southwest Airlines is currently operating an all-Boeing 737 NG fleet since the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

"The safety of our fleet and the well-being of our employees and customers are paramount in importance," Southwest said in a statement. "We look forward to reviewing the recommendations of the NTSB and continuing our ongoing work with the manufacturers to prevent a similar event from ever happening again."

The NTSB issued seven recommendations in total related to Southwest Flight 1380. Five of them were directed at the FAA, one at Southwest and one at the European Aviation Safety Agency.

"The recommendations, as we've adopted today, are a reminder that it is not enough to just prevent the failure," Sumwalt said. "We must also actively work to identify ways to minimize the effects of a failure if one does occur."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Josie_Desmarais/iStock(NEW YORK) -- New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a lawsuit against Juul, the e-cigarette company, because of its marketing practices, which she says were geared toward youth.

"Juul basically took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook," James said Tuesday during a news briefing in New York.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, alleges that Juul engaged in deceptive marketing practices and illegally sold e-cigarettes to minors on its website and through third-party retail stores. The suit further alleges Juul advertising campaigns failed to warn consumers that Juul e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and falsely marketed them as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.

In at least one instance, Juul engaged in direct outreach to high school students in New York City, the lawsuit alleges.

At present, Juul holds 70% of the e-cigarette market, according to James. There are currently 4.1 million high school students and 1.2 million middle school students who use e-cigarette products.

The lawsuit also pointed to Juul's pervasive social media marketing, including popularizing hashtags like #Vaporized, #JUUL, #LightsCameraVapor and #JUULvapor.

A study published this summer in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that 45% of the Twitters users following the account @JUULvapor were between the ages of 13 and 17. Only 20% of @JUULvapor's followers were 21 years old or older.

James said the death of a 17-year-old boy in the Bronx, which was linked to vaping, cemented her decision to move forward with the lawsuit. It's not clear whether the teenager used Juul products.

Still, James said, "As a result of all of their advertising, a significant number of young people thought that e-cigarettes were safe."

"Juul has to take responsibility for their actions," she added.

New York is the third state to file a lawsuit against Juul for marketing to youth. California's attorney general filed a similar suit on Monday, and North Carolina filed a suit in May. Several other states, including Illinois and Massachusetts, are currently investigating the e-cigarette company.

There have been 2,172 lung injuries and 42 deaths linked to vaping, according to the latest count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


JonGorr/iStock(NEW YORK) -- If Snoop Dogg's hit song "Smoke Weed Everyday" perpetually plays in your head and you have a budding interest in reporting on a range of marijuana products, then this medical marijuana company may have the job opportunity of your dreams.

American Marijuana, an online medical marijuana resource, will likely see a high number of interested applicants for a new role that can earn up to $36,000 a year to review an array of cannabis products.

The company posted information seeking a new cannabis product reviewer who will be responsible for sharing "honest and reliable insights" in the form of a written blog and on-camera videos.

"This job is 100% for real and it’s an important job that includes more than just getting paid to smoke weed," American Marijuana explained in a release about the job listing. "If you think that’s the entire scope of the job, then this might not be for you."

The reviewer must live in a state in America or Canada where medical marijuana is legal and have "extensive knowledge of marijuana to educate our readers."

"The applicant needs to be physically fit and healthy in general to carry out cannabis product reviews regularly," the job description explained.

The job will include creating videos of how each cannabis product performs and differs from each other, as well as identify the more notable products in the category.

A successful cannabis reviewer will share in-depth explanations of the different cannabis experiences with the products both during and after use to help educate readers and viewers on its effectiveness.

The company, which was founded in 2014, is composed of cannabis advocates, specialists and experienced cannabis writers responsible for fresh content on the site that attracts tens of thousands of monthly visitors.

The individual contractor role will be paid up to $3,000 a month or $36,000 a year in salary, which will depend on the persons experience and capabilities, according to the job posting. The reviewer role will also receive free cannabis products, that will be sent on a monthly basis for testing.

All applicants must be 18 or older and are required to send the following to be considered:

A bio or resume, headshot or link to a 60-second introduction video talking about their passion for the position, which the company said is preferred to the headshot. The applicant must also attach links to current social media accounts and at least six street names, slang terms, or nicknames of marijuana, "so we know you’re taking this seriously."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


subjug/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Thousands of cases of cottage cheese are being voluntarily recalled over fears they may contain metal and plastic.

Kraft Heinz Foods Company announced the voluntary recall of Breakstone's Cottage Cheese last week after a consumer complained about finding a piece of red plastic in one container, according to a statement from the company.

There have been no injuries reported, but six complaints in total.

"We deeply regret this situation and apologize to any consumers we have disappointed," a statement from the company read.

The recalled products are 16oz Breakstone's 2 percent Milkfat Large Curd Cottage Cheese, 24 oz Breakstone's 4 percent Milkfat Large Curd Cottage Cheese, and 24 oz Breakstone's 4 percent Milkfat Small Curd Cottage Cheese.

In all, 9,500 cases were affected.

The company urged anyone who purchased the product not to eat it and return it to the store where purchased for an exchange or full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-866-572-3805.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


DragonAir Aviation(NEW YORK) -- Three years ago, Mariah Cain was teaching extreme water sports to tourists in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and working part-time as stewardess on yachts.

Now, the 24-year-old is the president and project manager for a new invention she believes will change the world.

"I’m a pilot for an experimental ultralight, fully electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. That means it lifts straight up and down from any location," Cain explained. "You basically plug it in like your phone and when the light turns green you can take off and go fly."

Cain flies in a standing position and controls the Airboard using her body movements to control it.

"Humans have dreamed of flying like birds forever…. but I never dreamed I’d be one of the first women to bring this new style of transportation to the world," she added.

The Federal Aviation Administration is still developing the best way to certify these aircraft. Cain said the Airboard, which is battery powered, allows for easy transportation and doesn't use fuel.

It also offers a unique advantage for many industries in the future, such as search-and-rescue operations.

"Most small aircraft and helicopters have at least a 15-minute pre-flight before take-off. Since our system checks are done by computers, we can do those pre-flight checks in a fraction of the time," she told ABC News' Good Morning America. "We plan to integrate all the technology we created while building the Airboard into a multi-copter that can we use for search-and-rescue. Until then, we will use it for sport and entertainment as a means of getting these devices out in front of people and showing safety."

The invention is up for a $1 million prize in an international contest called the "Go Fly Challenge" to make human flight a reality by building the world’s first personal flying device. The personal flying device must be safe, quiet, compact and capable of carrying a single person for a distance of 20 miles without refueling or recharging, according to its rules.

Falling in love with flight

As a child, Cain says she imagined gliding through the air and traveling wherever she wanted to go.

"The feeling I had during my dreams is surprisingly close to what it feels like to fly my Airboard now," she said. "Weightless, limitless and without the bounds."

A chance meeting with Jeff Elkins, an inventor/drone pilot who was making LED light suits for SeaWorld trainers, would help make her dream come true. Cain initially wanted Elkins to create an LED suit for her HydroFlight exhibitions, but when he told her he was building a battery-operated air-board that would fly on its own -- untethered -- she was intrigued.

Cain volunteered to help work on the project, and started commuting 18 hours round-trip to Elkin's workshop in Panama City on weekends and days off. Then Elkins approached her to start flying it.

“The next thing I knew I was flying in the air,” Cain said. “I fell in love with flight and had to turn it into my life. I had no choice.”

Initially Cain could only remain airborne for 30 seconds at a time before the batteries needed recharging. But by July 2017, she was able to fly for a full 7 minutes, 100 feet in the air on the device, which she nicknamed "The Dragon."

“We always joked it was my dragon,” Cain said. “Jeff tried for so long to get it flying, and once I started flying it was doing things it never did before.”

That month, Cain climbed on the Airboard and lifted off. The video later went viral, racking up 30 million views across social media.

"I did a phenomenal flight over the water,” she recalled. "Huge big turns. I felt like I was on a motorcycle, but it was super peaceful … like sliding on ice. When I landed everyone was amazed."

Taking on the 'Go Fly Challenge'

In 2018, Cain moved to Panama City to work full-time on the project -- and raise much-needed cash for parts. She had heard about an international competition called the "Go Fly Challenge," which awards $1 million to create the best human flying machine.

She said she submitted in the nick of time.

"They had just reopened entries for Phase II and I had just enough time to get signed up," Cain said. "It felt like fate."

Partnering with Elkins, Cain immediately registered DragonAir Aviation, Inc., ordered new parts and started collecting extensive testing data to prove they could satisfy the competition guidelines and build an Airboard 2.0 that was reliable and quiet.

Ten days later, they put the finishing touches on their design report just moments before the deadline, she said.

The competition included 850 teams from 103 counties. DragonAir was named one of five finalists in Phase II of the challenge, from which they scored $50,000 in prize money, and the opportunity for potential sponsorships.

Now, Cain and her team will work on the design to ensure that DragonAir can complete a course of six miles going at least 30 mph, perform a touch and go, and hover for a total flight time of 20 minutes before sticking a controlled vertical descent within a landing zone.

The Final Fly-off will take place on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2020, at NASA Ames Research Center’s Moffett Air Field in Mountain View, California.

"Winning the GoFly prize would be such an incredible feat,” she said. "To take our project to that level in front of the world would be amazing for my personal mission. To inspire others to follow their passions and not let anything hold them back."

Cain is an example of how determination and hard work can lead to success.

"I look at my life every day. How did I get here? I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she continued. "But [I've learned] you are absolutely capable of anything and everything you dream of. Anything you envision in your mind you can create in your life."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Timothy White/E!(NEW YORK) -- After four years of owning 100% of the brand, Kylie Jenner has agreed to sell a little more than half of her business to Coty.

For $600 million, 51% of Kylie Cosmetics is reportedly being sold to the beauty giant, which also houses big name brand CoverGirl and Clairol.

"I'm excited to partner with Coty to continue to reach even more fans of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin around the world," said Jenner in a statement. "I look forward to continuing the creativity and ingenuity for each collection that consumers have come to expect and engaging with my fans across social media."

She continued, "This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse."

According to a press release from the brand, this new acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2020.

"We are pleased to welcome Kylie into our organization and family," said Coty CEO Pierre Laubies in a press release. "Combining Kylie's creative vision and unparalleled consumer interest with Coty’s expertise and leadership in prestige beauty products is an exciting next step in our transformation and will leverage our core strengths around fragrances, cosmetics, and skincare, allowing Kylie's brands to reach their full potential."

The brand most recently announced an upcoming holiday collection launching on Nov. 19 that will be available exclusively at Ulta. The line will include new eyeshadow palettes, lip kits and more.

In March, Forbes named Jenner the world's youngest "self-made" billionaire, and the company has continued to expand.

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domnicky/iStock(LONDON) -- Fans of Princess Diana have an opportunity to own one of the most famous dresses from her wardrobe.

The blue velvet gown by Victor Edelstein that she wore to a state dinner at the White House in 1985 will be up for auction next month in London; it is estimated to sell for £250,000 to £350,000, or about $324,121 to $453,770.

The gown must have been one of Diana's favorites; she wore it again several times, including for her last portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1997.

This isn't the first time the dress has gone up for grabs: Diana auctioned it off shortly before her death in 1997, and it was most recently for sale in 2013, when it sold for about $360,000.

John Travolta once said that his dance with Diana came at the suggestion of hostess first lady Nancy Reagan, who told him, "It is [Diana's] wish."

"I had to tap her own the shoulder and I had to say, 'Would you care to dance?'" he recalled. "She turned around and she dipped her head in that Lady Diana way and we were off for 15 minutes dancing. I'll never forget it. I was so honored."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Wolterk/iStock(NEW YORK) -- After courting controversy for years, the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A will no longer fund two organizations that have historically opposed same-sex marriage.

The Atlanta-based restaurant chain has come under fire from LGBTQ activists for reportedly donating millions of dollars to two Christian charities: The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The company told ABC News Monday that it was refocusing its donations to groups centered on "hunger, homelessness and education" beginning in the new year.

“Beginning in 2020 the Chick-fil-A Foundation will introduce a more focused giving approach, donating to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education," Chick-fil-A said in a statement Monday.

"We have also proactively disclosed our 2018 tax filing and a preview of 2019 gifts to date on," the statement added. "The intent of charitable giving from the Chick-fil-A Foundation is to nourish the potential in every child.” 

Tim Tassopoulos, the president and COO of Chick-fil-A, added that "no organization will be excluded from future consideration -- faith-based or non-faith-based."

“Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger," Tassopoulos said in a statement.

The chain currently boasts more than 2,400 restaurants across the country. Its stance on LGBTQ rights has been the subject of boycotts, anti-boycotts and more for years, since CEO Dan Cathy first drew condemnation from activists in 2012 when he said he supported "the biblical definition of the family unit" -- marriage only between a man and woman.

A Chick-fil-A spokesperson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which first reported the story, that "We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018."

The spokesperson declined to comment to Reuters on whether the protests influenced the decision to change donations.

The Salvation Army told ABC News in a statement that it is "saddened" to learn Chick-fil-A is diverting funding and slammed the "misinformation," reiterating its support for the LGBTQ community.

"We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations -- areas in which The Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed," the organization said. "We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ population."

The statement continued: "When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk. We urge the public to seek the truth before rushing to ill-informed judgment and greatly appreciate those partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable to come through our doors."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


iStock/WoodyAlec(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Monday it will extend a license for 90 days for certain U.S. companies to continue working with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

The extension of the Temporary General License has a very narrow range and allows "specific, limited engagements in transactions" involving U.S. businesses and Huawei, which has been blacklisted for national security reasons after critics said its equipment could be used by China for spying.

“The Temporary General License extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement Monday.

“The Department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security,” the statement added.

The Trump administration added Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, to the Commerce Department's Entity List in May, to "prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” Ross said at the time.

The Entity List is for organizations "engaging in or enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States," according to the Commerce Department.

Monday's extension is the second time the Temporary General License, granted in May on a handful of Huawei products, has been renewed.

The original license intended to "allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks," according to Ross, and allow operators time to make arrangements for Americans that "currently rely on Huawei equipment for critical services."

Huawei did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Monday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


iStock/artisteer(NEW YORK) -- A vast majority of Americans want access to local news, but only one in five people are willing to pay for it, a new report found.

86% of Americans think that people should have access to local news, and 76% say they need local news organizations to stay informed, according to a report released Sunday by the Knight Foundation and Gallup. Moreover, 59% of people view their local newspaper as a symbol of pride, the report found.

Just 20% of Americans, however, are willing to pay for it through subscriptions or donations to local news organizations, according to the report.

"Americans see local news as the consummate public good -- but they are deeply divided on how to address the financial challenges local news organizations face," Sam Gill, the vice president for communities and impact at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said in a statement announcing the findings.

"It’s time to ask searching questions of ourselves as a society about how much we value local news, and what we’re prepared to do to ensure its future," Gill added.

While Americans are unwilling to pay for it, many also don't think that governments should fund local news either -- 66% oppose federal government subsidies and 60% oppose support from the local government for news organizations.

Instead of public funding, the study found that most people want financial support for local news from residents, philanthropic organizations, tech companies and individual investors.

"While the study’s results are sobering, the research did uncover potential solutions," according to a statement announcing the study's findings. "Educating the public on the benefits of local news for American democracy, and its current financial straits, increased Americans’ likelihood of financially supporting local news, the study found."

The decline of local news has been something the industry has been grappling with for years. In 2018, U.S. newspaper circulation reached its lowest level since 1940, the first year of record-keeping, according to Pew Research Center data released earlier this year. In addition, newsroom employment in the country dropped by 25% from 2008 to 2018.

While digital ad revenue has grown, the Pew data found that a "majority goes to Facebook and Google rather than to publishers."

In October, tech giant Facebook announced it was launching a test run of its news service, confirming it will pay some publishers for content with the new feature and make an effort to showcase local news from publications in metro areas across the country. Facebook declined to say, however, who was getting paid and how much for content, according to The Associated Press.

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MattGush/iStock(NEW YORK) -- When Chip Britting celebrated the first Earth Day in April 1970, the then-teenager saw recycling as a promising industry and went on to create a community-led recycling center in Phelps, New York with his teacher. Now, 50 years later, some are calling the efficacy of recycling into question as landfills keep growing with items people put into blue and green bins.

The system is complicated by a number of issues the recycling public may not be aware of.

As a current volunteer at the nonprofit Ravalli County Recycling in Hamilton, Montana, Britting has seen the industry evolve from a small localized effort into a massive corporate endeavor -- and one heavily dependent on global markets.

With this transformation has come a new set of challenges -- namely, increased doubt in the system by citizens who recycle. But the distrust does not come out of the blue, Britting said.

“Back when it first started, people were optimistic about recycling. It was a catalyst for change,” he remarked. “Today, people are putting things in bins, and the materials disappear. Everyone thinks they’re being recycled, but recycling is a market-driven industry.”

Recycling grew from just 6% of the waste stream in the 1960s to 35% in 2017, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA touts the benefits of recycling including reducing waste, conserving energy as well as creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. And municipalities like Cincinnati, Allentown, Pennsylvania and Omaha, Nebraska have increased their commitment to recycling.

But if there is no market for the recyclable goods, said Britting, then those materials go to landfills.

In January 2018, global markets and commodity pricing of all scrap materials were severely disrupted by China’s National Sword policy, which banned plastics and other material from entering the country. Up until then, China had been the world’s main importer of global waste for nearly 30 years.

Before the policy was implemented, the United States exported about 31% of its scrap to China, per the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

With China’s new policy in place, U.S. recycling facilities now struggle to find markets for paper, cardboard and plastic -- three staples of the recycling industry that continue to rise in usage.

As a result, some industry officials, like David Biderman, the executive director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), believe landfill rates are rising.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, after starting to decrease in 1990, landfills began to increase once again in 2010 to 139 million tons in 2017, the latest year for which data is available. And the amount of materials recycled also started decreasing after 2016, from nearly 69 million tons to 67 million tons the next year.

“There’s always been recyclable materials that end up in landfills,” Biderman said. “But over the last several years, more materials that have been separated curbside by residents are going to landfills because there’s not a market for them anymore.”

Some industry officials believe the problem is representative of America's lack of infrastructure needed to properly collect, sort and process their own recyclable materials.

The majority of curbside recycling in the United States is single stream, said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. Recyclables go into one bin, get collected and then transported to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF). The items are then sorted by commodity type and processed for future use.

Problems occur when items such as plastic bags, batteries and materials with food are placed into the recycling bin, contaminating the entire load.

“15-25% of what American people throw away in single stream can’t be recycled,” Biderman said. “They aren’t paying attention to what can go into the bin, and it’s a major problem.”

Facilities continue to see large amounts of scrap like cardboard, glass and plastics accumulate. To deal with increased volumes of cardboard, in particular, many centers have resorted to stockpiling, which limits facility space and can be troublesome when weather conditions like rain, snow and sun rays damage the quality of the material, resulting in it being landfilled.

In addition, the price to recycle glass often trumps market value, leading to lost profits for recycling centers. In Hamilton, Montana, facilities no longer accept the material.

The EPA reports that in 2017, 11.3 million tons of glass were generated in the U.S., yet only 3 million tons were recycled and more than twice that amount -- nearly 7 million tons -- sent to landfills. The amount of glass recycled rose from 100,000 tons in 1960 to more than 3 million tons in 2015, but that amount has been slowly declining, the data shows.

The number grows monumentally with plastics, with 35 million tons generated in 2017 (a number that is still on the rise), and nearly 27 million tons of that total going to landfills. The amount of plastic rose dramatically from 20,000 tons in 1980 to over 3 million tons in 2016 before starting to decline.

With global plastic production reaching an outstanding 335 million tons each year and expected to triple by 2050, industry officials told ABC News that the public’s understanding of what goods are accepted by recycling facilities is a driving force of landfill usage.

“If people get the wrong plastic in the bin, that material becomes trash,” Dianna Robinson, a materials manager at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality said.

Plastic is a particularly difficult challenge for facilities across the U.S., as film plastic and certain other plastics no longer have a market and cannot be accepted. As a result, flexible film plastic as well as plastic bags and packaging that are brought to recycling centers end up in landfills.

Lack of consumer knowledge isn’t the only factor leading to landfilling.

In recent years, closing recycling centers have been a mounting problem within the U.S. In August, California’s largest scrap facility, RePlanet, closed over 300 of its centers.

Joyce Levesque of Hancock, Maine, experienced a similar fate when her center, Coastal Recycling, closed down in April. Problems for Coastal began five years ago when single stream recycling flooded the market and led to a drop in revenue. After 25 years of business, the center, which serviced five towns, was forced to close its doors.

“What’s happening now is that there’s no place for recyclables to go,” said Levesque. “They're getting put in the trash. The new recycling station in Hampton, Maine, accepts both trash and recycling, so now people pay to have their recycling go in landfills when they think it’s being recycled.”

Closing recycling centers are particularly problematic in rural areas where facilities can be broadly spread out.

“In Hamilton, Montana, the next town with a recycling center is 65 miles away one-way, and the price for fuel can be expensive,” said Montana Congressman Dusty Johnson.

“Facilities are small here - they’re at the back of a church or a grocery store and community led by volunteers. When it starts to cost money to recycle that material, it’s going to bankrupt the program, and the program’s going to get shut down," Johnson said.

Heather Church, the Eastern Washington Recycling Specialist at the Washington State Department of Ecology, believes that the public is unaware of the complex issues facing recycling.

Church fears that the distrust between recyclers and the industry will hinder recycling efforts. Despite this fear, she still has confidence in the advantages that come with recycling.

“Citizens that engage in curbside recycling want their materials to be recycled,” Church says. "If they’re being landfilled it can create a distrust between the public and the recycling industry."

"The challenges have gotten harder, but that doesn’t refute environmental benefits recycling brings like conserving our natural resources and protecting our environment," she said. "Real change will happen when we reduce waste all together by shifting consumerism and stop reverting to single use. We need to be doing more to be sustainable."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Taylor Dunn/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Jessica Pels is responsible for overseeing and managing the content of one of the world’s largest young women’s media brands.

At 33, Pels has navigated her career to the top role relatively quickly, but the path she took wasn’t traditional.

“I don't know that I could have imagined that I would ever land here," Pels told ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast. "I knew that I wanted to be successful and to be good at what I did. And I think my entire life up until now has been trying on different skills and trying to find where I am most effective and where my talents come together in the best combination.”

The through-line in her career she said has always been storytelling.

She grew up doing ballet and found her way to New York City dancing with the American Ballet Theater for a summer, but eventually gave up dance when she knew she “wasn't good enough to be a star.”

“It was really hard to be mature enough with myself to acknowledge that I wouldn't be able to get what I wanted out of it. I guess that was my first moment of thinking about return on my investment, and I felt like if I couldn't be the best, I would be frustrated forever,” Pels said.

She didn’t give up New York, though. Pels attended film school at New York University and as a sophomore, got her first internship at The New Yorker. It was there she “fell in love” with the magazine world. Her next internship would be at Vogue, but upon graduation, in December of 2008 (right in the heart of the Great Recession), many brands were in a hiring freeze.

But Pels was not deterred. She stayed in touch with the human resources department from her internships at Conde Nast, checking in regularly, and in the meantime, got a job doing communications for a charity.

“I tell every intern...Go and meet with H.R. and tell them how much you love the company. This is something that not enough candidates do anywhere. I think it's so rare that I have a job candidate who says, ‘I love what you do. I love this place.' Be passionate. That's really why I think I am where I am now,” Pels said.

Six months into her first job, her persistence paid off, and when a position became available at Glamour Magazine to work for then Editor-in-Chief Cindy Levy, Pels was top of mind as a candidate and got the job.

She would turn this first assistant role into her career, moving up at Glamour and eventually on to other publications like Teen Vogue and Marie Claire before finding her way to Cosmopolitan, where she became the youngest editor-in-chief in the magazine’s history.

Reflecting on her career and the worst advice she’s ever received, Pels said it was “to say yes to everything.” It was a habit she had to learn to break, as someone who overloaded herself for most of her life. And while she acknowledges the importance of seizing opportunities, she doesn’t think that strategically saying “no” would have been a detriment to her career.

“I would have been more sane through the process. I am a very driven, ambitious person. I work insanely hard. That's why I'm here, but I do think that there were things that I committed to that I didn't need to. I tortured myself for a long time,” she said.

She remembers a conversation with her boss Kate Lewis, chief content officer at Hearst Magazines, that changed her perspective on overcommitting.

“I had just started at Marie Claire as the digital director, and she [Kate Lewis] said, ‘I worry you're going to burn out because you're saying yes to everything and you are hustling so hard, and you need to take a step back and prioritize.’ And that really changed my life. I thought that was an incredible career moment,” Pels said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pineapple Studio/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has reclaimed the title of richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Gates had been the second wealthiest individual in the world for more than two years, trailing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. As of Friday, Bloomberg's data shows Gates is worth $110 billion, while Bezos is just behind at $109 billion.

Bloomberg updates its rankings each day after the U.S. markets close.

Gates' worth has climbed in recent weeks, following the Pentagon's decision to award a cloud-computing contract to Microsoft over Amazon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nod Hill Brewery(Ridgefield, Conn.) -- Nod Hill Brewery in Ridgefield, Connecticut is the state's first and only 100 percent solar powered brewery.

Started in 2017 by Rob and David Kaye, a father-son team, Nod Hill Brewery powers their equipment with a 287 kilowatt, 700 panel photovoltaic array on the roof of their building.

The array went online on April 4th and off-sets 100 percent of the brewery's electrical usage, along with the usage of two other businesses in the building.

"One of the reasons that we wanted to do it from the beginning is because we actually brew on an electric system, which is somewhat unusual. It's fully electric. We don't use natural gas, steam power, propane or anything," says co-founder David Kaye. "Usually electric brewing systems, they're a little bit more uncommon. You find them in smaller breweries. We're a ten barrel brewery, which is not enormous, but it's on the larger side for an electric set up. That's part of the reason that kind of got us thinking about that."

When setting up the system Eversource, Connecticut's energy provider, limited the array to a 287 kilowatt size based on the buildings past energy usage. This way Eversource would not be paying Nod Hill for a large amount's of excess energy.

On lower usage days, the brewery sends excess energy back to the grid. In addition, there are times during the year that the brewery will have to pull energy from the grid, such as cloudy days and during the winter.

"Whatever we're producing and [when] our consumption is kind of in the same area, then we aren't sending anything back," says Rob Kaye. "Sometimes we're even taking as well. Certain times of the year we'll be taking in some from the grid, but our footprint has gone down, our usage has gone down, probably about ninety percent from using the solar panels."

Rob Kaye purchased the building where the brewery is located for another business he owns. When he and Rob decided to start the brewery they realized it was possible to put up solar panels based on the roof size and shape, along with the buildings past life as a manufacturer of airplane parts.

"We have an immense amount of electricity coming into this building and a lot of buildings do not have that," says Rob Kaye. "Part of the idea in putting this brewery together, we wanted to be as green as possible. It had always been in our plan to go solar, we just didn't know when and [what] the timing of what that would be."

Surprisingly, the costs to set up it up were not overwhelming due to national and state solar programs.

"The government programs that are involved make this very, very worthwhile to do. There are tax credits, there are accelerated depreciation, there's also in the state what's called ZREC, in which we are paid by Eversource to have this," says Rob Kaye. "And then the actual savings is really on top of all those things. When you start to add up all the costs of a tax credit, in monies paid over fifteen years, just on those alone it pays for this and that doesn't include the actual cost savings of the electric."

When the idea for the brewery came together the pair thought they would have a few years before it became a reality, but when they found out there were already 35 brewery applications ahead of them in the state they accelerated their time table.

Since opening in October of 2017, Nod Hill has brewed 70 beers, representing close to 25 different styles.

They produce the typical assortment of beers, including pale ales, IPA's, and Belgian-style's. Since they array has gone up, they have focused on brewing one style of beer based on its color. 

"We've been doing a number of different German style lagers because, generally speaking, a lot of those styles of beer are more light and crisp and easy drinking," says David Kaye. "We've kind of gone with a solar theme with a lot of the names, so we have a beer called Beam, which is our German pilsner, we have a beer called stellar rays, sun runner. It just gives us kind of fodder for coming up with creative names."

They also advertise on all their cans and packaging that they are 100 percent solar powered.

Nod Hill Brewery was the first in Connecticut to go with 100 percent solar power, but there are several other breweries that use solar in the state, including Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, Kent Falls Brewery in Kent, and Brewport in Bridgeport.

Solar power is not just for small breweries, brewing giants like Heineken, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors have also started bringing solar and other renewable power into their supply chain to become more sustainable.

Rob thinks solar power will become the industry norm in the coming years.

"I think anybody can benefit from it and I think you'll see more and more people doing this because, even though we're a little guy we do use a lot of electricity. Now think of that on a larger scale and their economies of scale can be much more than mine because, their usage will be much higher."

As for the future of Nod Hill Brewery, Rob believes they may be able to go completely off the grid with batteries.

"I think the next step here is if they can bring the batteries down to a reasonable price, then we'll be off and that I think would be huge. I think the technology is starting to come through. I don't think it's gonna happen tomorrow, but I think maybe 5-10 years from now that's where we'll all be. And that would even make us feel a lot better. We really don't have to really use anything [non-green energy] at the end of the day.

The brewery has a page where you can see how much energy the system is bringing in and the environmental impact of the system.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


RomanOkopny/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Twitter unveiled its new wide-reaching policy regarding political ads ahead of 2020, after co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced the platform would ban political advertising as social media giants grapple with the veracity and influence of online ads.

The policy outlines how the changes will apply to the political sphere and defines political content as content that references candidates, political parties, elected or appointed government officials, elections, referendums, ballot measures, legislation, regulation, directive, judicial outcome or fundraising. The ban also explicitly blocks super PACs and 501(c)(4)s.

Twitter announced will no longer allow political ad on the platform last month.

"We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought," Dorsey tweeted, along with a number of additional tweets explaining the reasons why.

"While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions," Dorsey wrote. "Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale."

"We considered stopping only candidate ads, but issue ads present a way to circumvent. Additionally, it isn’t fair for everyone but candidates to buy ads for issues they want to push. So we're stopping these too," Dorsey added.

Among the 2020 Democratic field, former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign was one of the first to applaud the move.

"We appreciate that Twitter recognizes that they should not permit disproven smears, like those from the Trump campaign, to appear in advertisements on their platform," said Bill Russo, the Biden campaign's deputy communications director in a statement. "It would be unfortunate to suggest that the only option available to social media companies to do so is the full withdrawal of political advertising, but when faced with a choice between ad dollars and the integrity of our democracy, it is encouraging that, for once, revenue did not win out."

Another Democratic hopeful, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, turned the attention to another social media giant, tweeting, "Good. Your turn, Facebook."

Trump campaign manager, Brad Parscale, slammed Twitter's decision, saying in a statement, "Twitter just walked away from hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, a very dumb decision for their stockholders. Will Twitter also be stopping ads from biased liberal media outlets who will now run unchecked as they buy obvious political content meant to attack Republicans? This is yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known."

But the effect of Twitter's move might not be as impactful as if Facebook followed suit. For example, while the Trump campaign is spending $15.6 million on Facebook ads and $9.1 million on Google ads since January, they have only spent $6,300 on Twitter ads.

Trump campaign communications director, Tim Murtaugh, told ABC News that the campaign planned to spend "many" millions over the next 12 months on the platform, after shutting down their Twitter ads back in August.

Twitter CFO Ned Segal also acknowledged on on Twitter, "political ad spend for the 2018 US midterms was <$3M."

The final policy will be shared on Nov. 15 and will go into effect on Nov. 22, Dorsey said, noting there will be a "few exceptions" including ads that support voter registration.

"This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address," Dorsey concluded.

Dorsey's announcement is a striking contrast from Facebook's standing policy, which virtually gives advertisers free reign on the platform to spread disinformation in political ads, amid rising concerns over the influence of social media on voters ahead of the 2020 election.

Not long after Dorsey made the announcement about political ads. Zuckerberg posted about Facebook's political ad policy.

"Right now, the content debate is about political ads. Should we block political ads with false statements? Should we block all political ads? Google, YouTube and most internet platforms run these same ads, most cable networks run these same ads, and of course national broadcasters are required by law to run them by FCC regulations," he wrote on Facebook.

"I don't think it's right for private companies to censor politicians or the news ... And it's hard to define where to draw the line. Would we really block ads for important political issues like climate change or women's empowerment? Instead, I believe the better approach is to work to increase transparency. Ads on Facebook are already more transparent than anywhere else. We have a political ads archive so anyone can scrutinize every ad that's run -- you can see every message, who saw it, how much was spent -- something that no TV or print media does," he continued.

He also denied that Facebook's political ad policy was about making money. "Some people accuse us of allowing this speech because they think all we care about is making money. That's wrong. I can assure you, from a business perspective, the controversy this creates far outweighs the very small percent of our business that these political ads make up. We estimate these ads from politicians will be less than 0.5% of our revenue next year. That's not why we're doing this," he wrote.

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled on Capitol Hill as he defended the social media giant's controversial policy about not fact-checking most political ads before lawmakers.

In his congressional testimony, Zuckerberg said his company would not engage in any censorship or fact-checking of political ads - and when pressed by several Democratic committee members, the tech-giant founder argued, "We believe in a democracy, it is important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying."

One of the tensest exchanges for Zuckerberg came when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., questioned him about Facebook's fact-checking policy, and underscored a key flaw in their stance on Freedom of Speech.

"I just want to know how far I can push this in the next year," Ocasio-Cortez said. "Under your policy using census data as well, could I pay to target black zip codes and advertise them the incorrect election date?"

Zuckerberg said, "No."

"Could I run ads targeting Republicans in primaries saying they voted for the Green New Deal?" she asked. In the hearing room, he replied that he did not know the answer.

But the tension between Facebook and Washington goes beyond the halls of Congress -- as several 2020 presidential candidates have scolded the social network site for their policies.

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., intentionally ran a paid Facebook ad with a completely false claim about Zuckerberg endorsing Trump for president, in order to show how an individual can exploit Facebook's policy and lie to a universe of social media users.

In early October, the Biden campaign sent a letter to Facebook asking to remove a false ad, run and paid for by President Trump's campaign, but Facebook denied their request because the company said it does not violate company policies.

"Our approach is grounded in Facebook's fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is. Thus, when a politician speaks or makes an ad, we do not send it to third-party fact checkers," Katie Harbath, public policy director, Global Elections for Facebook wrote.

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