iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Small gains and losses, a calm end for Wall Street after five wild days of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 11.76 to finish the session at 16643.01.

The Nasdaq gained 15.62, ending at 4828.32, while the S&P 500 was up 1.21 to finish the week at 1988.87.

When will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? That’s been the big question these past few weeks, but now many are wondering “if” the Fed will raise interest rates. Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Stanley Fischer said it was now too early to decide to raise rates, especially after the crazy week for the markets and China’s devaluation of its currency.

According to the University of Michigan, consumer confidence has fallen slightly from 93.1 in July to 91.2 in August. However, the change is still nearly 11.5 percent higher than a year ago. University of Michigan Survey of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin says, “The data suggest that real personal consumption expenditures will expand by a still healthy 2.9 percent in 2015, with the pace of growth rising to 3.0 percent in 2016. Needless to say, consumer sentiment must be carefully monitored in the months ahead.”

World markets had their own issues this week with volatility and sell-offs, but Asia’s markets ended mostly higher with Japan’s Nikkei 225 gaining 2.9 percent and the Shanghai composite index up 4.8 percent. Europe’s were mixed with London’s FTSE 100 up 0.9 percent and Germany’s DAX down 0.2 percent.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(AURORA, Colo.) — Customers at a McDonald’s in Colorado who want to order a Big Mac may be surprised when the restaurant offers them customized options.

A McDonald’s location in Aurora, Colorado, is testing the burger chain’s fast-casual “Create Your Taste” platform. With the test, customers use touch-screen kiosks to customize their orders, including choosing from 25 ingredients on their sandwiches. Choices include guacamole, parmesan, Sriracha mayo, jalapeños, grilled mushrooms and a buttered, toasted ciabatta or artisan roll. The customer’s food is eventually delivered to your table.

Juan Samour, owner-operator of that location and seven others in Colorado, told ABC News that the new menu concept was designed “with the customer experience at the forefront.”

“Right now, we’re switching people. They’re walking in the door, and they want a Big Mac. We have to try to convince them to try this new product,” owner-operator of that location Jeff Heidrick told the Denver Post. “It’s working, but we want to become a destination.”

McDonald’s has said it plans to expand “Create Your Taste” to 2,000 locations.

After a customer orders at the Aurora location, a staff member delivers your open-faced sandwich in a metal basket, “basket designed to showcase each quality ingredient,” Samour said.

Other options for customers’ burgers include Applewood smoked bacon, crisp red onion, caramelized grilled onions, chili lime tortilla strips and crinkle cut pickles, Samour said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. military says it had killed Junaid Hussain, a senior ISIS recruiter and cyber specialist during a drone strike in Syria.

Hussain’s death was confirmed in a tweet from Brett McGurk, the Deputy Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

Hussain is believed to be a computer expert and propagandist for terror group, which is known for its effective use of online recruitment. Hussain was tied to the Garland, Texas cartoon contest shooting this past May. Prior to the attack one of the gunmen posted a statement on social media urging others to follow Hussain on Twitter.

Hussain is also believed to be responsible for producing ISIS “kill lists,” calling on people to target specific Americans.

Hussain’s death marks one of a number of the ISIS leaders recently killed by US airstrikes. The group’s most senior leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, remains at large.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — Apple’s special Sept. 9 event will be live-streamed online — and this time, Windows 10 users will also be able to join in the excitement.

A website for the event — where it’s widely expected Apple will show off a new iPhone 6S — says Apple will support live streaming for Windows 10 devices using the new Edge browser, in addition to the usual line-up of Apple devices.

The event is scheduled to start at 1 pm. ET/10 a.m. PT and will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

Apple is remaining tight-lipped about the agenda for the event and in a characteristically coy invitation teased, “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”

For those who take the invitation literally, Apple is even having a little fun with Siri. Ask the virtual personal assistant “Siri, give me a hint,” and she will fire back: “Why don’t you check a rumors blog? That’s what I do.”

Among the biggest updates expected for the possible new iPhone release are an even sharper camera, faster processor and force-touch technology, allowing users to press parts of the screen the same way they would a button, according to reports.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Antonio Melita/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Hundreds of people are feared dead off the coast of Libya in the latest shipwreck of migrants desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

“We are still waiting for more details, but we have learned there were 400 migrants on one of two boats; 100 have already been rescued,” the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Chief of Mission for Libya, Othman Belbeisi, said in a news release Friday.

At least 100 bodies were taken to a hospital in Libya, the IOM said.

Libyan authorities “are expecting to receive another 150 survivors Friday. The rest of the people are still missing in the sea,” Belbeisi said.

Here is what you need to know about the latest victims in the ongoing European migrant crisis:

Who are they?

Of the 100 people already saved, nine were women and two were girls, Belbeisi said.

The bodies recovered included five children, ages between 1 and 3, according to the IOM.

Where are they from?

The IOM said, “according to media reports from Libya, victims included migrants from Syria, Bangladesh and several sub-Saharan African countries, although he explained the information could not be independently verified.”

Zuwara, on the coast of Libya, is a major launch pad for the thousands of people fleeing poverty and persecution. Zuwara’s coastline spans 120 kilometers.

Why are more people dying overall?

“Smugglers are becoming increasingly violent and cruel,” Federico Soda, director of IOM’s Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, said in a release by IOM. “Migrants are forced to stay in the hold, where they asphyxiate.”

Migrants in the Mediterranean, by the numbers:

This was just the latest in many unsuccessful attempts for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean in hopes of reaching Europe.

This year so far, about 2,432 migrants have died while traveling to Europe, according to IOM.

Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean region account for about 72 percent of global migrant deaths so far in 2015, according to the Missing Migrants Project.

ABC News Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, right, and Dustin Moscovitz, co-founder have their photo taken at Harvard Yard in 2004 in Cambridge, Mass. (Justine Hunt/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)(MENLO PARK, Calif.) — When Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room in 2004, his audience was college students.

Eleven years later, the Facebook CEO celebrated a milestone: One billion people — that’s 1 in 7 people on Earth — logged onto the site in a single day this week.

“When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. He said the record moment happened on Monday.

Starting out with an ambitious vision, even Zuckerberg didn’t foresee the force Facebook would become in connecting the world.

“People often ask if I always knew that Facebook would become what it is today. No way,” he reflected on Facebook’s 10th anniversary on Feb. 4, 2014. “I remember getting pizza with my friends one night in college shortly after opening Facebook. I told them I was excited to help connect our school community, but one day someone needed to connect the whole world.”

And he was the one who did. Here’s a look at some of the key moments and milestones that helped Facebook build its user base.

2004: The site was intended as a directory of Harvard students only, but within months, thousands of students from elite colleges across the country had joined the network.

2006: Open registration launches, letting anyone who wants to make a profile join the social network. The newsfeed feature also launched this year, letting people stay more engaged to their friends’ updates — and kept them coming back for more.

2008: The Facebook app makes its debut, giving users even quicker access to checking in on their friends’ updates.

2012: Facebook goes public with a $5 billion IPO.

2015:
Facebook continues to innovate with new ways for people to engage with the world. Among them are video calling in the Messenger app, easy-to-read instant articles and a live-streaming feature giving users a front row seat to the latest happenings from their favorite celebrities and news makers.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

(NEW YORK) — Top Democrats are gathering in Minneapolis for their summer meeting Friday, where they will hear from their presidential hopefuls.

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Lincoln Chafee will join the attendees in the late morning, while Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley will address the members in the afternoon.

Vice President Joe Biden, who will not be attending the convention Friday, did call DNC members about the Iran deal on Wednesday.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is off the trail Friday, while stablishment favorite Jeb Bush will stump with his most recent fan — former Majority Leader Eric Cantor — in the pivotal swing state of Virginia.

Meanwhile, second tier contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker are campaigning in South Carolina Friday.

Carly Fiorina stumps in Iowa, while Rand Paul continues his western tour in Wyoming.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Carl Court/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Noel Biderman, the CEO of Avid Life Media, is stepping down from the company in the wake of an unprecedented hack that left 37 million customers exposed.

“This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees. We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base,” a statement posted on Avid Life Media’s website said. “We are actively adjusting to the attack on our business and members’ privacy by criminals.”

Avid Life Media plans to continue to operate its dating websites and will be led by its senior management team until a new CEO is appointed, the statement said. The company also reiterated its commitment to protecting its customer base while also working with law enforcement to find the person or group responsible for the massive data breach.

A 500,000 Canadian dollar reward (approximately $376,000) is being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.

Personal data believed to have been stolen from the adultery website Ashley Madison was posted on the dark Web a little more than a week ago, apparently exposing names, email addresses and phone numbers for some of the website’s 37 million members, among other information.

The data dump came one month after Avid Life Media confirmed a “criminal intrusion” into its system.

Going by the name “The Impact Team,” the hacker or hackers said the breach was spurred by a disagreement with Avid Life Media’s business practices, specifically a “full delete” feature. For $19, the company allows repentant cheaters to scrub their information from the website.

“Full Delete netted ALM $1.7mm in revenue in 2014. It’s also a complete lie,” the Impact Team wrote after the hack last month. “Users almost always pay with credit card; their purchase details are not removed as promised, and include real name and address, which is of course the most important information the users want removed.”

Business practices aside, the hacker or hackers also had another message:

“Too bad for those men, they’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion…Too bad for ALM, you promised secrecy but didn’t deliver.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — U.S. serviceman Alek Skarlatos, who helped stop a gunman on a Paris-bound train last week, said his first thought was “just trying not to die.”

Recalling on ABC News’ Good Morning America Friday what ran though his mind when he first saw the gunman and realized his life was in danger, Skarlatos said, “I immediately recognized what was happening, and I just thought, ‘There is just no way. There is no way this is happening right now.’”

“Then we just acted, and I didn’t have another conscious thought for the next two minutes,” he continued.

Skarlatos, 22, an Army National Guardsman assigned to an infantry unit in Roseburg, Oregon, was on vacation in Europe with his friends after a tour in Afghanistan. Skarlatos, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, 23, of Carmichael, California, and Anthony Sadler, 23, a senior at Sacramento State University in California, were among the train passengers last Friday when they helped stop a man armed with guns and a box cutter who had started firing.

Skarlatos said as he, Salder, Stone and British businessman Chris Norman worked together to subdue the gunman, “Everybody behind the terrorist just ran back about two or three cars. And then everybody in our train car either helped out in some way or just kind of sat there in shock.”

Skarlatos described his initial decision to jump in and help as a “gut reaction,” noting that his military training didn’t kick in until later.

“We were just acting on adrenaline and doing what we had to do to survive,” he said. “Once we were able to think again, that was kind of when training kicked in, but before that, we were just trying not to die.”

After the train was stopped and the gunman was in custody, he said the magnitude of the event still hadn’t hit him.

“I thought they would just question us and then put us on the next train to Paris,” Skarlatos said. “I didn’t think it was going to be this big at all.”

And when Skarlatos finally returned to the United States this week, he was shocked to see law enforcement officers at the airport lining up to shake his hand.

“I was so grateful to everybody that showed up for that. That was just amazing,” he said. “That many law enforcement officers showing up … it meant a lot to me.”

While Skarlatos and Sadler escaped the attack without injury, their friend Stone underwent surgery to reattach his thumb after the gunman slashed him with the box cutter. Stone was released from a French hospital then taken to Germany for further medical treatment.

“He’s still stuck in Ramstein, but he’s doing great,” Skarlatos said on Friday of Stone. “He’s in high spirits. He just couldn’t be here today, unfortunately.”

Skarlatos doesn’t know what’s next for him, but said, “I’m probably going to go back to Germany and hang out with Spencer.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Smithsonian’s National Zoo(WASHINGTON) — The Washington National Zoo revealed the gender of Mei Xiang’s baby panda cub on Friday, and it’s a boy.

Veterinarians at the Giant Panda Habitat performed genetic testing from swabs taken from inside the panda’s mouths.

Genetic testing also revealed the father of the baby panda. Tian Tian, a giant panda from China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong in China, sired the panda.

“I’m happy to say the results were very clear,” said Dr. Robert Fleischer, the head of the Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics who performed the genetic testing to determine the sex.

The cub was born last Saturday with a twin sibling, who died Wednesday after struggling with respiratory issues from feeding complications. Results from a necropsy performed on the deceased male cub have not been shared, but zoo veterinarian Dr. Don Neiffer believes the cub died after food material entered the respiratory system.

Giant male pandas can eventually reach a weight of 250 pounds.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →