iStock/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- Sunday evening's Providence, R.I. show will mark the end of an era as it is the final time elephants will appear in the show.
The event will be streamed out to fans via Facebook.
Last March, the company said it was retiring its herd of elephants in 2018, but Stephen Payne, of Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the circus said in January that the date had been moved up to May 2016.
The early retirement comes on the heels of legislation that makes it harder for the company to travel with the elephants. Many cities, such as Asheville, North Carolina, have recently passed laws meant to protect elephants or remove exotic animals, including elephants, from city-owned facilities.
“Animal rights groups are going to say what animal rights groups are going to say,” Payne said.
Despite the criticism the circus has received in the past, Payne says the elephants are treated humanely when they retire. The 11 elephants will retire to the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation, located in central Florida.
There, the elephants will “enjoy time in the sun and mingle with their friends,” Payne said. They will also take part in medical research, such as why cancer is much less common in elephants than it is in humans.
“Our company and our family’s commitment to save the majestic Asian elephant will continue through our breeding program, research and conservation efforts at the Center,” said Alana Feld, executive vice president of Feld Entertainment.
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)(ATLANTA) -- A social media app is now the center of a lawsuit after a teen driver's car crash left another driver with severe injuries.
Christal McGee is accused of trying to capture her alleged 100 mile-per-hour speed for a Snapchat post while gunning her father's Mercedes C230 in Atlanta last December. McGee, who was 18 at the time, crashed into another driver, Wentworth Maynard, whose lawyers say suffered permanent brain damage because of the incident.
Maynard's lawyers are not only suing McGee for negligence, they are also suing Snapchat for allegedly encouraging McGee to drive at high speed.
In a statement to ABC News, Snapchat said, "We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a 'Do NOT Snap and Drive' warning message in the app itself."
After the crash, McGee snapped a photo taken in an ambulance after she crashed where she's seen in a head brace with the caption, "Lucky to be alive."
According to ABC News affiliate WSB-TV, two passengers in McGee's car say she was on the app before the crash. Heather McCarty told WSB-TV, "She said, ''Well I'm just gonna hit 100, and then I'm gonna slow down.'"
A third passenger claims McGee was not on Snapchat.
Since the crash, Snapchat has added a warning on its filter telling users not to speed. It appears the first time the user uses the app, and then every time they go at least 15 miles per hour.
David Fazekas/ABC News(SHORELINE, Wash.) -- For over 40 years, some of music’s most iconic figures have stepped into Robert Lang’s one-of-a-kind subterranean recording studio, seeking its unique acoustics for their music.
“This is the place where Kurt Cobain and Nirvana did their last recording,” Lang said. “Then, of course, the Foo Fighters, Peter Frampton, Heart and Soundgarden. I recorded some great stuff here.”
Robert Lang Studios is nestled deep inside a hillside in Shoreline, Washington, just 15 minutes north of Seattle. Lang bought the little cottage house, with a small double-cement garage on the hill, with the purpose of opening a recording studio.
“We're built on about 8,500-square feet here, it's basically 10-feet below the backyard ground,” Lang said. “I've done a lot of this in here myself. Never had plans for anything down here. I just started digging, going to the property lines as much as I could get. At first I was doing all the excavation with a conveyor belt, with my great friends that believed in my vision here. I would...trade their labor time for studio time. It was musicians that were helping me with a shovel. It's just something here that makes the chemistry right. This room sounds amazing for what it does.”
Robert Lang Studios opened for business in 1974, recording the local high school’s jazz band, which featured a young prodigy on saxophone.
“I started recording Franklin High School jazz lab, which was very well known for a fellow by the name of Kenny Gorelick, who is Kenny G,” Lang said. “We were recording him when he was 15 years old with the jazz lab. I did a lot of funk bands and some blues bands from south Seattle. I had a really super good knack for engineering and working with a lot of people here.”
As Seattle’s music scene began growing in the 1990s, so did business for Lang, as bands like Soundgarden and Nirvana heard about Lang’s unique underground setup.
David Fazekas/ABC News
“I got a call from Soundgarden. They came in, looked at the room, and were just basically, ‘God, we'd love to record 'Super Unknown' here doing our drum tracks,’” Lang said. “Quickly after that, I had Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic in here wanting to use my room for the last Nirvana song. Then from there it just started snowballing.”
Business today is not quite as robust as it was back in the ‘90s. Record labels, hit hard by the struggling music industry, are not spending the big bucks for a recording studio like they used to in previous years.
“Everybody now can make records in their homes, their basements, their closets,” Lang said. “A studio like this suffers a little bit because the big budget for the studios aren't the way they were back in the early 90s, mid 90s, late 90s. I was in a foreclosure here a few years back.”
Lang has slowly transitioned his recording studio into an academy where aspiring recording engineers can go and learn.
“We've branched from the recording into education which is now paying the bills,” Lang said. “It's the history of this studio that really enlightens the young adults to want to come here and want to take my education program. In 10, 20 years, I see this being more of an academy, an education academy.”
ABC News(WICHITA, Kan.) -- Charles and David Koch are among the richest men in the world, amassing a multi-billion dollar empire and running the largest privately held company in America while largely staying out of the public eye.
When ABC News met Charles Koch at his company's headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, last week, he opened up to offer a rare glimpse into his personal story and the values that have informed his business career and political activities.
Koch, the author of the book "Good Profit," talked through a framed letter in his office left for him by his father, which outlined the approach he and his brothers should take when managing the family fortune left to them.
Koch reflected on how the letter has guided him in his business, and in a rare admission, Koch admitted his father would be "horrified" at the resulting feud that split most of his siblings apart.
Watch the ABC News digital original video above to hear Koch's story in his own words.
Sophie Mumper(DECATUR, Ga.) -- A Georgia high school student is making it easier for moms in her local community to breastfeed.
As part of her senior project at Decatur High School, Sophie Mumper is encouraging local restaurants and businesses in Decatur, Georgia to post signs that read: "Breastfeeding Welcome Here." She hopes the effort will help moms ease their fears of being humiliated or stigmatized while breastfeeding.
Mumper, 17, told ABC News the idea came when she was traveling with her mother in Portugal.
"I saw women able to breastfeed without the same stigma that we see in the south. It didn't seem fair that women were being treated with shame for trying to sustain their child the best way possible," she said. "In Georgia, while it's legal to breastfeed, there are no enforcement provisions. So if a restaurant says, 'You have to leave.' Then there's no repercussions."
"These stickers go the extra mile to say this is a safe environment," she added.
Recently, mother of two Stephanie Rhodus was kicked out of a Henderson County, North Carolina, courtroom for breastfeeding her 8-month-old boy, Archer, during a child custody hearing -- although it's legal to breastfeed in public in North Carolina.
Still, breastfeeding laws vary across state lines. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 49 states including Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands allow mothers to breastfeed in public.
Last month, Mumper reached out to the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, an advocacy group for families in the state. They gave her the breastfeeding signs to post. She then drafted emails to businesses in her local community to tell them more about her initiative.
"At first I didn't get a lot of responses, which is pretty discouraging," Mumper admitted. But, a month later, Mumper said she now has 13 businesses in Decatur who have agreed to post the signs "and the number is still growing," she added.
Revolution Donuts is one of the businesses who signed onto Mumper's project.
"We live in a community that is very family oriented," owner Maria Moore Riggs told ABC News. "So a big portion of our clientele are young moms out with their babies for the first time and I just wanted them to feel comfortable that they wouldn't be shamed out of the business."
"I have a son that I breastfed and I know the feeling of being out in public and feeling self conscious and not knowing how people are going to react to your feeding your child," she added, noting that she's received a warm response from customers who have seen the sign.
Sumper said she's received messages from many local moms, some tearful, thanking her for her efforts.
The senior plans to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City this fall, but says she will continue her project even after she graduates from high school.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Losses in the tech sector, despite positive earnings from Facebook and Amazon.com, pushed U.S. stocks to close the week off in the red.
The Dow dropped 56.57 (0.32 percent) to close at 17,774.19.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq pushed down 29.93 (0.62 percent) to finish at 4,775.36, logging 2 percent losses for the month. The S&P fell 10.51(0.51 percent) to close at 2,065.30.
Crude oil closed flat with prices remaining around $46 a barrel.
Tech Earnings: A tech sell-off continued Friday, led by disappointing earnings from Apple and Microsoft this week. Not even Facebook and Amazon.com's quarter one reports that defeated investors' estimates could save the tech sector from having its worst weekly loss since February.
Facebook and Amazon boasted stronger-than-expected growth and profits this week with Amazon doubling investors' net income estimates of 58 cents per share, by posting $1.07 for the quarter. Both stocks finished in the green on Friday with Amazon soaring nearly 10 percent at the close.
Apple: Apple continued its slide after billionaire investor Carl Icahn said Thursday he had sold his entire stake in the company because of worries about China sales. In its fiscal second quarter report, Apple said sales sunk 26 percent in China as the iPhone 6s failed to achieve the success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. In an interview with CNBC, Icahn said he "no longer [had] a position in Apple" because of China's attitude toward the company.
"You worry a little bit — and maybe more than a little — about China's attitude," Icahn told CNBC, saying China's government could "come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there."
According to FactSet, Icahn's investment firm owned 45.8 million Apple shares at the end of December.
Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Vans(NEW YORK) -- Damn, Daniel.
The viral video "Damn, Daniel" from earlier this year helped boost white Vans sales in the first-quarter as the brand celebrated its 50th anniversary.
In the video, we see different candid shots of "Daniel" wearing Vans shoes, particularly a pair of white vans which the narrator takes note of: "Damn, Daniel. Back at it again with the white Vans."
In an earnings call Friday for Vans parent company VF Corp., Chief Operating Officer Steven Rendle said according to MarketWatch that white Vans sales “saw 100 percent sell-through in retail, direct-to-consumer and wholesale channels.”
“The national media attention the brand received is a wild demonstration of how creative expression, youth culture and loyalty can conspire to cause a phenomenon,” he said.
Although Vans total revenue was down 1 percent in quarter one, there was a mid-single digit percentage increase in the Americas.
The two California teens who created the video, Josh Holz and Daniel Lara, were featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where they received a lifetime supply of Vans sneakers.
Family Handouts/U.S. Coast Guard (WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Apple will analyze the recovered iPhone that may hold the key to what happened last summer when two Florida teens disappeared on a boating trip, according to an agreement reached by the teens' parents in court Friday.
The recovered iPhone belonged to 14-year-old Austin Stephanos, who went missing while on a boat trip with Perry Cohen, also 14, in July. The Coast Guard led an eight-day search in the Atlantic, covering 50,000 nautical miles. The boys' bodies were never found.
But Austin's iPhone was on board when the boys' boat was recovered last month about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission gave the recovered iPhone to Austin’s father, Blu Stephanos, but Perry's mother, Pam Cohen, took the issue to court, fighting to hand the phone over to experts.
At Friday's emergency hearing, an attorney for the Stephanos family said, "Apple has already agreed to take in the phone" and analyze it for answers.
The phone will be sent to Apple to be analyzed and all evidence will be sealed and sent back to court, according to the agreement reached this afternoon. Apple declined to comment.
Cohen called for today's emergency hearing after filing a civil lawsuit, demanding to know why Florida Fish and Wildlife officers gave the phone to Austin's father instead of experts, according to ABC News affiliate WPBF-TV.
An injunction signed by Cohen Sunday said: "the Plaintiff believes the information on Austin’s iPhone must be collected by technology experts who have the expertise required to extract such data without unnecessary risks of losing such information inadvertently or due to inexperience in such highly technical matters."
Cohen's lawyer said at the hearing Friday that "a mother has the legal right ... to exhaust all legal possibilities," and that Cohen is entitled to information about what happened on the boat.
Stephanos' attorney stressed Friday that his client was "going to take every means necessary to have that phone forensically analyzed."
Rolls-Royce(NEW YORK) -- Rolls-Royce owners now have the luxury of matching their luggage with their vehicle.
The automaker has unveiled the Wraith Luggage Collection, a nearly $46,000 luggage set meant to "complement" the Rolls-Royce Wraith.
"As the world leader in the art of true luxury conveyance, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has extended its expertise to design a suite of elegant luggage to complement Wraith, the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever created," the automaker said in a statement.
The six-piece collection, designed by Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Studio, includes a "Garment Carrier," two "Grand Tourer" valises, and three "Long Weekender" bags.
According to Rolls-Royce, experts "accustomed to handling discerning individuals’ luggage" were brought in to assist the design team.
"The design team conversed with Head Butlers from some of the world’s most illustrious hotels, who offered insight into the interaction between guests and their belongings," Rolls-Royce said. "Luggage is not only seen as an expression of style, but also as a wardrobe from home, increasingly important as entrepreneurs and captains of industry adopt a more transient lifestyle."
Buyers can choose between a mono or two-tone leather finish, hand-stitched "using the same colour thread as featured in the owner's motor car and lined with a monogrammed lining discreetly featuring the Rolls-Royce emblem."
The Wraith Luggage Collection can be yours for $45,854, but if you're not in love with the set, you can purchase pieces separately.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Governments are asking Facebook for more data than ever before, according to the company's bi-annual Global Government Requests report.
"Overall, we continue to see an increase globally in government requests for user data and content restrictions pursuant to local law," Chris Sonderby, Facebook's deputy general counsel said in a blog post.
Global government requests for account data increased by 12 percent in the second half of 2015 -- from 41,214 requests to 46,763. Facebook is also including non-disclosure orders in the report and said approximately 60 percent of the requests the company received from law enforcement in the United States contained provisions that prohibited Facebook from notifying a user.
"As we have emphasized many times, Facebook does not provide any government with 'back doors' or direct access to people’s data," Sonderby wrote. "We scrutinize each request for user data we receive for legal sufficiency, no matter which country is making the request. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back hard and will fight in court, if necessary."
Facebook received "0 to 499" requests relating to national security in the United States, according to the report, which adds the company is bound to report this data in bands of 500. They received 19,235 total requests in the United States.
Facebook produced at least some user data in more than 81 percent of the cases where the U.S. government made a request.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Starbucks has opened its first store in Ferguson, Missouri, as part of a national push to help lower-income communities.
In a statement, Starbucks said it was planning "to provide local jobs, create training opportunities for youth, and support efforts to rebuild and revitalize communities" in at least 15 other new locations in low-to-medium-income communities in the U.S. by 2018.
“We have always seen investments in the communities where Starbucks partners live and serve as investments in our business and brand," said Rodney Hines, Starbucks director of Community Investments for U.S. Retail Operations, in a statement. "As we got to know the Ferguson community over the last year, we heard incredible stories of strength, empathy and understanding. We also heard loud and clear the need for business leadership and investment in the form of new jobs and training opportunities, particularly for young people."
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said the city was "grateful to Starbucks."
"The City of Ferguson and the greater North County region have both obstacles to overcome, but also great potential," he said. "Starbucks has shown their commitment to this region by helping our young people with much needed job training, as well as their commitment to the greater business community by partnering with local entrepreneurs to deliver great services and products to our citizens."
The new store will be located at West Florissant and Somerset in Ferguson, and will feature both a café and drive-thru. According to Starbucks, 30 employees have been hired with most being from the Ferguson or greater St. Louis areas.
In 2014, Ferguson made headlines after the police shooting death of Michael Brown, which sparked tensions between the community and police, and led to mass protests.
Google(NEW YORK) -- Google will once again live-stream the Republican National Convention and provide a host of services, despite pressure from activists to pull out of the convention.
Representatives from groups such as CREDO Action and UltraViolet Action are running petitions urging Google to end its participation.
"Plain and simple - Donald Trump, the prospective Republican Party nominee, has lobbed racist, sexist and xenophobic attacks against entire groups of people, encouraged violence and vitriol against his political enemies and perpetuated a culture of violence against women throughout his campaign," said Karin Roland, chief campaigns officer for UltraViolet action, a women's activist group. "We are saddened to see Google not only eagerly align themselves with these values, but to actively work to promote them via their live-stream capabilities."
Google will live-stream the July 18-21 convention as it did four years ago. Google's participation is said to be nonpartisan and similar to that of a media partner. The search giant will also provide information, such as Google Trends and real-time updates, as the convention takes place. It was not immediately known whether Google will do the same at the Democratic convention, although the company has had a presence there in years past.
Other companies have also been under fire for their role in supporting the GOP convention. Companies typically partner with conventions to provide support or to publicize their brand. The New York Times reported in March that Coca-Cola had scaled back its support of the convention compared to the company's contribution in 2012.
moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- American consumers dipped into their pockets a bit more last month.
Consumer spending rose 0.1 percent in March, the Commerce Department reported on Friday, following a recent string of lackluster months. Americans mostly bought nondurable items, like clothing and food, offsetting a drop in spending on cars and other long-lasting goods.
Incomes, meanwhile, shot up 0.4 percent last month.
The increase in income and small gain in spending led to a jump in the rate of personal saving to its highest level in a year. Economists hope consumers will put those savings to work in coming months.
Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images(NORWALK, Conn.) -- The Chief Executive Officer of the Priceline Group Darren Huston has resigned from the company.
A statement released by Priceline Thursday says Huston resigned after an investigation conducted by independent members of the Board of Directors into a personal relationship that Huston had with an employee of the company who did not work directly under him.
The outcome of the invstigation showed that Huston had not followed the company's code of conduct. Huston acknowledged his actions and expressed his deepest regret.
"I am satisfied with the Board's thorough review of this issue," James M. Guyette, Lead Independent Director, said. "The performance of the business under Darren has been strong, and the company is very well-positioned to continue executing on its strategy for growth. Jeff is deeply familiar with the company's strategy and leadership team, which consists of highly accomplished entrepreneurs and seasoned professional executives with long-tenure in the business. We are confident the company is in strong hands while we conduct a search for a new CEO."
According to the statement, Priceline appointed former CEO and current chariman Jeffery H. Boyd as Huston's temporary replacement while the board works to find Huston's successor.