About the author  ⁄ WFIN

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Labor released a strong jobs report Friday morning. Payrolls expanded by 178,000 jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent — lower than it has been since August 2007.

This is the last Jobs Report of the year and it reinforces what investors already expect: that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates, for the second time in 10 years when it meets, on Dec. 14.

There were new jobs created in construction, health care and business services, with the economy now creating ample work to absorb all the new entrants into the labor force.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(KALISZ, Poland) — A pedestrian in the central Polish city of Kalisz can credit a lamp pole with saving her life.

Surveillance cameras captured the tense moment when a woman narrowly escaped catastrophe. She was walking along a sidewalk next to a building situated at a busy intersection in Kalisz, Poland.

At the same time, a white car was attempting to make a left turn adjacent to the building. Suddenly, a black sedan enters the frame and hits the white car, causing the sedan to careen toward the building, with the pedestrian in its path.

The sedan instead crashes into a lamp post on the sidewalk, just inches away from the woman, bringing the out-of-control vehicle to a stop and saving the pedestrian’s life.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) — Adult coloring books are a hot craze that has grownups hiding crayons from their kids, and now we’re learning the duchess of Cambridge is yet another convert to the trend.

Prince William revealed the secret pastime of his wife, Kate, to illustrator and author Johanna Basford at an investiture at Buckingham Palace this week. William said Kate likes to color in Secret Garden, Basford’s first coloring book that has sold more than one million copies.

“I’m working on a new book just now and it’s set in a castle, funnily enough, so I will definitely try to remember everything,” Basford told reporters after the ceremony. “I’m sure little snippets of today will feature in the book.”

William awarded Basford the Order of the British Empire for services to art and entrepreneurship.

“I think people are just craving a digital detox,” Basford said of the appeal of adult coloring, or “color therapy” as it is sometimes called.

Kate, 34, received her degree in art history with honors from St. Andrews, where she and William met and fell in love. She is a big supporter of the arts and has made arts education and art therapy for struggling children one of the cornerstones of her charitable work.

Kate is also patron of the National Portrait Gallery.

The duchess met last week with a group of children at London’s Natural History Museum. Kate joined the children as they decorated “dinosaur” eggs.

She revealed that Prince George, her 3-year-old son with William, is obsessed with dinosaurs, particularly the Tyrannosaurus rex because “it’s the noisiest and the scariest.”

William on Wednesday also revealed another of Prince George’s fascinations — planes and trains. William was visiting Derby, where he tried his hand at conducting a train.

William later remarked how Prince George would “love it” and would be excited about seeing his father drive a train.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

The Ford Motor Company (DEARBORN, Mich.) — Ford is recalling close to 650,000 vehicles in North America over a seat belt issue.

The recall affects certain 2013-2016 Ford Fusion and 2013-2015 Lincoln MKZ sedans. Ford says the seat belt anchor pretensioners in these vehicles need to be insulated.

“In the affected vehicles, increased temperatures generated during deployment of the seat belt anchor pretensioner could cause pretensioner cables to separate, which may inadequately restrain an occupant in a crash, increasing risk of injury,” the automaker explained in a press release.

So far, Ford has been notified of two accidents and two injuries related to this issue.

Customers who are affected by the recall will be able to go to their local Ford dealer, where a coating will be injected into the seat belt anchor pretensioners at no cost.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Amid growing concerns about how Donald Trump can distance himself from his vast business enterprise, the president-elect tweeted Friday that “legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.” Trump said he will elaborate on his plans at a press conference with his children on Dec. 15.

Ethics experts tell ABC News that merely taking himself out of “operations” — without selling businesses, creating blind trusts and establishing firewalls — would be inadequate to prevent potential ethical conflicts, if not legal ones.

Here are some of Trump’s options for separating from his business interests, from most ethically sound to least, according to experts:

Sell everything and place all proceeds in a blind trust or equivalent.

Trump could sell his entire business empire — that is, his ownership stakes in 564 companies worldwide — and place all proceeds in savings accounts, U.S. treasury bonds, or blind trusts administered by an independent person or group who does not communicate with Trump about business or investments.

Experts say that while this is the most ethical course of action, Trump would likely take a huge financial hit, since he would have to quickly sell off illiquid assets in a “fire sale.” However, some financial pain could be alleviated if the Office of Government Ethics offered him special incentives, like a one-time exemption from paying capital gains tax on those sales.

Keep the company running, but put it in a blind trust.

Alternatively, Trump could place the Trump Organization and all other business interests into a blind trust, which would be managed by an independent party who has no financial ties or business communication with Trump or his family.

Sell some businesses and pass others onto to his children.

A middle ground might be to sell some of his businesses -– perhaps all foreign companies or those located in countries with diplomatic controversies -– to third parties, and then sell or give control of the rest of his company to his children. The money from the sales could go into a blind trust run by an independent person or group.

To separate himself from the business, “he could enact a ‘firewall’ policy that would prohibit him and his White House staff from discussing business matters with anyone running his former businesses and then keep his children out of any formal or informal adviser positions,” said Matthew Sanderson, a Republican lawyer with Caplin & Drysdale.

Also, the Trump Organization should “prohibit all its personnel from making any reference to the Administration in any sales pitches to prevent instances like the meetings that recently occurred at the Trump International Hotel in DC,” added Sanderson.

Pass everything to his children.

In the Jan. 14 Republican primary debate, Trump suggested that his children could run the Trump Organization if he wins. “I would probably have my children run it with my executives and I wouldn’t ever be involved because I wouldn’t care about anything but our country, anything,” he said.

Ethics experts who spoke to ABC News all said that simply passing the business to his children will probably not prevent potential conflicts-of-interest. There is no “blind trust” if his kids tell him anything about his businesses, if he discusses his job with them or gives them any access to his Administration. They could pledge in writing not to communicate about off-limit topics, but “this would be exceedingly difficult to police,” said Paul Rothstein, Georgetown University Law Center.

Do nothing.

While Trump has indicated that he is in the process of distancing himself from his company, he has also said that legally he does not have to.

“The law is totally on my side,” Trump told the New York Times in an interview. “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

“He could legally manage his business while in the White House. I don’t think he can do that politically, but he can do that legally,” said Trevor Potter, an attorney and a former Republican Federal Election Commission chairman.

While Trump is correct that as president he is exempt from a conflict-of-interest law that prohibits other federal officials from working on government matters in which they or their family members have a financial stake, he is still subject to bribery laws, nepotism laws and the Emolument Clause of the Constitution which prohibits him from accepting “gifts” from foreign powers.

Still, every ethics expert who spoke to ABC News said that continuing to run his businesses while president — even if potentially legal — would be highly unethical.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Nike, Inc.(NEW YORK) — If you’ve always wanted to own a pair of self-lacing sneakers like Marty McFly in Back to the Future, now’s your chance.

Nike has released its Hyperadapt sneakers. The shoes feature buttons on the side that allow you to tighten and loosen the laces. It also has a blue light in the middle of the sole that indicates battery life.

But the high-tech kicks will cost you — they have a retail price of $720.

You can snag a pair exclusively at two Nike store locations in New York City, and some Nike+ app users will have the chance to purchase the shoes through the app.

Later this month, Nike says the sneakers will be available to all Nike+ app users and at select Nike stores across the U.S.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Labor released a strong jobs report Friday morning. Payrolls expanded by 178,000 jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent — lower than it has been since August 2007.

This is the last Jobs Report of the year and it reinforces what investors already expect: that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates, for the second time in 10 years when it meets, on Dec. 14.

There were new jobs created in construction, health care and business services, with the economy now creating ample work to absorb all the new entrants into the labor force.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) — President-elect Donald Trump touted his job-saving prowess in Indianapolis Thursday at a manufacturing plant, but a portion of the 1,100 jobs he says will now remain stateside may never have been intended to go to Mexico in the first place.

Sources familiar with the deal announced late Wednesday confirmed to ABC News that 800 jobs at the Carrier facility in Indianapolis would remain, but that 600 would still be outsourced to Mexico. The company had announced in February that the factory, which employs 1,400 workers to produce furnaces and furnace parts, would shut down operations over the next three years.

Carrier intends to retain 300 white-collar positions — such as research and headquarters operations — in Indianapolis, but those jobs were never going to Mexico.

Trump and company officials on Thursday celebrated the preservation of 1,100 Carrier jobs in Indiana thanks to the agreement.

“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences,” Trump told workers at the Carrier plant. “These companies aren’t going to be leaving anymore. They aren’t going to be taking people’s hearts out.”

Trump added, “I will tell you that United Technologies and Carrier stepped it up and now they’re keeping — actually the number’s over 1,100 people, which is so great.”

Also at the Carrier plant event, United Technologies chairman Gregory Hayes, said, “Today we can talk about 1,100 jobs in Indiana going forward. So I’m pleased to announce that we have decided to keep Carrier [in] Indianapolis.”

Other nearby factories are still shuttering and sending jobs to Mexico. The United Technologies Electronic Controls factory in Huntington, Indiana, which is owned by the same parent company as Carrier, is sending 700 jobs to Mexico. The Rexnord Corporation ball bearings factory in Indianapolis, one mile away from the Carrier factory, is moving 350 jobs south of the border.

Trump has put other companies considering a move out of the U.S. on notice. During the campaign trail, he threatened to levy a 35 percent tax against Carrier imports if the company moved production to Mexico. At Thursday’s rally, Trump said he called the CEO of Carrier after he saw a piece on an evening news broadcast that reported the company was moving jobs out of the country.

“We won’t need so much flexibility for other companies because we are going to have a situation where they’re going to know, number one we’ll treat them well, and number two there will be consequences,” Trump said. “Meaning, they’ll be taxed very heavily at the border if they want leave, to fire their people, leave, make product in different countries and then think they’ll sell that product over the border.”

Carrier said the agreement with Trump is due in part to the incoming administration’s EFFORTS as well as state tax incentives, which Trump’s transition team has refused to disclose the full details of. Carrier company officials said in a statement Thursday that the state of Indiana, where Vice President-elect Pence is governor, offered the company a $7 million package over multiple years, contingent on factors including employment, job retention and capital investment.

“This is a great day for Indiana and it’s a great day for working people all across the United States of America,” Pence said at the rally before introducing Trump. He added that the Trump team was “grateful” that Carrier will now be able to “stay and grow right here in America.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Melania Trump has hired the well-respected law firm Pirc Musar & Partnerji in her native Slovenia to warn people against profiting off her name and image.

Honey jars “from Melania’s home garden,” pancakes with golden dust and a special breakfast with strawberries — these are just a few of the many products that Slovenian entrepreneurs have been offering for sale since her husband, Donald Trump, became president-elect of the United States.

“We just want to draw public attention to the fact that the names Trump or Melania Trump are protected as a trademark,” Natasa Pirc Musar, director of the law firm, told ABC News. “We issued a press release and sent it to all Slovenian media. Now we count on people’s prudence to stop the practice.”

She added that Melania Trump does not want to sue anyone.

“Of course, my client does not want any legal proceedings, no lawsuits. That’s out of the question,” said Pirc Musar. “We are closely monitoring the situation and I am in contact with my client on a weekly basis.”

In the tiny factory town of Sevnica, where the future first lady, then known as Melanija Knavs, grew up, a cottage industry hawking Melania Trump-associated products from quintessential Slovenian honey to pastries has sprung up.

Bruno Lojze Vedmar, a local Sevnica entrepreneur and a pizzeria owner, was the first to produce a breakfast dessert made of yogurt, strawberries, mascarpone, cream, cookie base and silver or gold sugar pearls — and he called it Melanija, with a “j.”

“It is a best-seller at my place, and since I don’t use a picture of Melania, I am not worried about copyright infringement,” he told ABC News.

Franc Krasovec, a Slovenian pancake master who has created a Melania Trump-themed pancake, says he’s not worried about copyright infringement either. “I don’t really know what copyright infringement is so I shall not worry about it,” he told ABC News.

He said that he has had 20 different kinds of pancakes on the menu for decades and that people from all over Europe have come to taste them. “Only now that the White House is so close to Sevnica, I invented a 21st pancake with the finest ingredients: wild blueberries picked around the cottage, the finest bourbon vanilla filling and ice cream with edible gold dust to spice it up,” he said.

Pirc Musar said that it’s items using her client’s photo or last name that concern her. “[It’s] not a problem. No photo or last name is attached to it,” said Pirc Musar of Vedmar’s breakfast dessert. “We personally tasted it and it’s very good.” She said that she doesn’t mind that a giant Christmas tree in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana is called Melania either.

Pirc Musar pointed instead to a billboard advertisement erected in Sevnica featuring the future first lady without her consent. “A huge billboard in Sevnica with Melania’s picture, erected by a private web company for commercial purposes, is problematic,” as are “honey jars from ‘Melania’s home garden’ with Melania’s image and Slovenian and American flags,” she said. “That is Slovenian copyright infringement.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS says 54 more civilians were inadvertently killed in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that took place between March 31 and October 22. Since they began in August of 2014, the coalition has reported 173 civilians killed by coalition airstrikes and another 37 injured.

“We regret the unintentional loss of civilian lives resulting from Coalition efforts to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria and express our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes,” said a statement released Thursday by Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).

The coalition investigates reports of civilian casualties to determine if they are credible and periodically releases updates about its investigations.

As of November 17, U.S. and coalition aircraft have conducted a total of 16,291 airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, with 12,633 conducted by American aircraft.

The coalition statement said their team “investigates all reports of possible civilian casualties using traditional investigative methods, such as interviewing witnesses and examining the site, the Coalition interviews pilots, reviews strike video when available, and analyzes information provided by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, partner forces and traditional and social media.”

“In addition, we consider new information when it becomes available in order to promote a thorough and continuous review process,” they continued.

In this recent investigation, 276 allegations of civilian casualties were investigated; they found 83 of them to be credible.

They described 7 incidents between March 31 and October 22 that resulted in 54 civilian fatalities, two of which resulted in 39 of the 54 civilian deaths detailed in the coalition’s statement.

Airstrikes on July 18, 2016, near the northern city of Manbij, Syria, killed nearly 100 ISIS fighters, destroyed 13 fighting positions and 10 vehicles, according to the report. But the coalition’s investigation determined that up to 24 civilians “interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed in a known ISIL staging area where no civilians had been seen in the 24 hours prior to the attack.”

According to the statement, the ISIS fighters were preparing for a large counterattack against Syrian rebel forces who were fighting to retake the ISIS-held city.

“Unknown to Coalition planners, civilians were moving around within the military staging area, even as other civilians in the nearby village had departed over the previous days,” the Centcom statement said.

Another 15 civilians were killed in an airstrike on July 28, 2016 near Arghanndorh, Syria that targeted a moving ISIS vehicle. “15 civilians were inadvertently killed when the munition struck the vehicle after it slowed in a populated area after the munition was released,” said the statement.

Investigations determined that twelve alleged reports of civilian casualties between September, 2015 and October, 2016 were not found to be credible. Three additional allegations remain under investigation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →