iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A mixed finish for the markets on Thursday, as energy stocks dropped.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Thursday at 18,214.42, down 10.15 from its open.
The Nasdaq, however, rose by 20.75 to close at 4,987.89. The S&P 500 fell by 3.12 points to close at 2,110.74.
The auto industry has hired a Virignia company that makes spacecraft, to find out why air bags can explode with too much force. The airbags, made by the Japanese company Takata, can injure or even kill drivers and passengers.
Lawmakers in California are watching the bottom line when it comes to covering babies’ bottoms. Both Republicans and Democrats are supporting a move to exempt diapers from sales taxes, arguing that it could save families $100 a year per child.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Verizon is so worked up over net neutrality that the company has fired off a scathing statement written in type-writer font to protest the Federal Communications Commission imposing "1930s Rules on the Internet."
The FCC Thursday voted 3-2 to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.
Thursday's decision is unlikely to change your daily Internet habits and instead helps preserve the status quo, which some companies were pushing to change by offering tiered subscription plans.
Verizon called the vote a "throwback Thursday" for the FCC and said passing "badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors."
Challengers of net neutrality have expressed worry that regulating the Internet could impact what has become an important part of the economy.
"We've got a free and Internet Thursday and it has been a tremendous success," Bret Swanson, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told ABC News. "The question is why we want to impose 80-year-old regulations on perhaps the most thriving part of our economy."
Pete Souza / The White House / Amazon.com(SEATTLE) -- Amazon confirms that former White House press secretary Jay Carney is joining the tech company.
Carney will be Amazon's senior vice president leading the company's newly-created "Global Corporate Affairs" department, which includes the existing public relations and public policy teams.
Carney will split his time between the Seattle headquarters of Amazon.com Inc. and its office in Washington, D.C., where Amazon veteran Paul Misener will continue to run the company's lobbying efforts.
Carney, who resigned in May from the White House, will report directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. After three years as President Obama's chief spokesman, he went on to become a senior political analyst for CNN.
Twitter/Dunkin' Donuts(CANTON, Mass.) -- Dunkin' Donuts is apologizing Thursday for "insensitivity" in a tweet that enraged many English soccer fans.
The food chain, based in Canton, Massachusetts and a sponsor of Liverpool Football Club, tweeted from the company's official account on Wednesday night with a re-design of the Liverpool crest. Their design used doughnuts and cups of coffee in place of flames that are in memory of 96 fans killed in what's described as Britain's worst sporting disaster.
The original tweet, which was later deleted, stated: "Love the LFC crest? Tweet us what you'd want on your personal crest & we might surprise you w/ your own! #LFCReDDs"
Liverpool fans were not pleased.
On April 15, 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death and hundreds were injured at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, which was hosting the FA Cup semifinal.
"We apologize for any insensitivity regarding our tweet supporting an LFC-themed promotion featuring the LFC Crest," read a statement from Dunkin Donuts, provided to ABC News. "As a proud partner of LFC, we did not intend any offense, particularly to the Club’s supporters. We have removed the tweet and halted the campaign immediately."
bizoo_n/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced on Wednesday that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration had issued an order requiring Takata Corporation to preserve air bag inflators replaced as part of the recall process for the company's faulty air bags.
Foxx's statement said the inflators would be kept "as evidence for both NHTSA's investigation and private litigation cases."
NHTSA also plans to upgrade its investigation into the faulty airbags to an engineering analysis, which the DOT described as "an important step in determining the actual cause of the air bag failures and the appropriateness of remedies, as well as determining whether Takata's refusal to notify the agency of a safety defect violates federal safety laws or regulations."
More than 17 million vehicles with Takata air bags have been recalled due to the risk of those air bags rupturing when they deploy.
Under the NHTSA order, Takata may not destroy or damage any air bag inflators except as necessary to test them, and 10 percent of the inflators must be set aside and made available to NHTSA and the DOT.
CheapAir.com(NEW YORK) -- CheapAir.com announced Thursday that it is now selling flights to Cuba to American travelers on its web site.
But because the sale of direct flights to Cuba from the United States is still not possible, the trip will involve a stop in another country.
The site sells tickets to Havana and requires American travelers to purchase separate tickets, one from the U.S. to Mexico and another from Mexico to Havana. American travelers will need to purchase a Visa in Mexico City.
Relaxed restrictions on travel to Cuba announced earlier this year have resulted in a renewed interest in a nation that's largely a mystery to the vast majority of travelers.
“Since the rule change, we have seen a surge in search volumes for travel to Cuba,” said Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com. “Arranging flights to Cuba is a little complicated, but it’s the kind of thing we’re good at and our technology platform is flexible enough to make it possible. Our team did a great job building it out in just a few weeks’ time.”
But there are still rules in place and criteria that needs to be met for any American who wishes to travel to Cuba.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote Thursday on net neutrality after a decade-long debate over whether the Internet should be regulated in the same way as public utilities.
After millions of public comments, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this month came out in support for the strongest-ever open Internet protections, which would reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers and impose utility-style regulations.
FCC received more than 4 million comments on #OpenInternet during past year that helped shape proposal. It’s time to act.
Here's a quick breakdown of what net neutrality means for cable companies and consumers:
While many Internet service providers say they're committed to a free Internet, what they want from the FCC is more leeway for how they package and sell various Internet plans. Activists have rallied against the idea over the fear it could create toll roads on the so-called "information superhighway."
Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the former chairman of the FCC, has previously said that over-regulation will not foster an even more open Internet. What It Means for Consumers
Classifying the consumer broadband service as a public utility under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act would help control what consumers are charged and their access to Internet service, which would be deemed something critical to society.
In everyday terms, think of it this way: There won't be any uneven service, so everyone can stream their Netflix queue more or less at the same speeds. Supporters of net neutrality have also said that without regulation, a greater socio-economic digital divide could develop, creating a class of information "haves" and "have nots." The President Weighs In
Since the FCC is an independent body, President Obama has no direct oversight. However, it didn't stop the commander-in-chief from weighing in on the matter of net neutrality last year.
Among the four basic points of the president's plan are no blocking websites for certain users, no throttling (creating a fast and slow lane), more transparency between consumers and Internet service providers, and no paid prioritization to move to the front of the line.
Fuse/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Communications Commission is expected to meet on Thursday morning to vote on the principle of "net neutrality."
The FCC uses the term "Open Internet," which it explains uses "free, publicly available standards that anyone can access and build to, and it treats all traffic that flows across the network in roughly the same way."
At Thursday's meeting, which begins at 10:30 a.m., the commission is scheduled to vote on a proposal aimed at preventing Internet providers from pushing some content through the web faster in return for additional fees.
The FCC says that favoring "net neutrality," or the largely equal treatment of all content by Internet providers, would "ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an open Internet today and into the future."
ShipSnowYo.com(MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, Mass.) -- The entrepreneur who's shipping snow from Massachusetts expects his venture to last beyond this record-breaking winter, he said Wednesday.
Kyle Waring, 27, of Manchester-by-the-Sea, about 30 miles outside Boston, said he anticipates to deliver snow at least until July by shipping "snow" from ice rinks. And when that runs cold, he's turning his attention to another website he launched this week: ShipFoliage.com.
Waring, a product manager that started ShipSnowYo.com last month, said he has sold about 150 orders of snow so far, shipping as far away as Florida and California.
From what began as a joke amid the record-breaking snowfall, he first sold an empty Poland Springs bottle of snow for about $20, warning customers that the snow could turn to water by the time it arrives. But now, he is focusing on his 6-pound and 10-pound products, starting at $89, that are packaged to maintain a cold temperature. The packaging cost is about $15 to $20, he said.
His friends and family think he's "extremely creative," he said.
"My friends and family are really proud of me for coming up with a simple idea. My colleagues are really thrilled about it,” he said. “They think I’m completely crazy in a good way. It works well for me because I have to be fairly creative at work.”
Using insulated packaging similar to what's used for Omaha steaks, Waring will ship to anyone who wants the snow, even residents of Connecticut and New York. The only exception: Massachusetts.
"We're in the business of expunging snow," his website states.
If or when the snow runs out in Massachusetts, he will likely have to charge more for the potential product from ice rinks, he said.
"I’m not as concerned but the best snow is fresh snow," he said.
His wife has been busy helping him during the day while he's at work, but he also has a simple system to collect snow.
"I just leave Styrofoam boxes outside and let snow fall into the boxes," he said.
Waring says what he's doing is perfectly legal, after consulting with a lawyer.
His customers vary.
"Most of my orders come from Bostonians right now and they ship to friends and family, mostly kids. I’m thinking this might be the first time they’ve ever seen snow," he said, gleaning basic information from customers' personal messages.
Raghu_Ramaswamy/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court heard a case on Wednesday about a Muslim woman who was denied a job at Abercrombie and Fitch because she wore a headscarf.
Samantha Elauf was 17 years old in 2008 when she says the retail company Abercrombie and Fitch denied her a job because she wore a headscarf, telling her she violated their "Look Policy."
Seven years later, her case is before the Supreme Court, where her lawyers argued she was a victim of job discrimination.
Abercrombie's legal team said that the hiring employee could have granted Elauf an exception to the "Look Policy," but that Elauf did not explicitly say she wore the scarf for religious purposes.
Both liberal and conservative justices reportedly questioned the Abercrombie lawyers aggressively on that point.
Elauf's team says an employee should not have the responsibility to disclose his or her religious beliefs, and that the hiring employee should have volunteered that they could accommodate Elauf's religious needs.
This isn't the first time Abercrombie has come under fire for allegedly discriminating against employees wearing headscarves.
In 2013, the company changed its policy and paid a cash settlement to two plaintiffs who said they were discriminated against because they said they needed to cover their heads for religious purposes.
Girl Scouts of America / ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Everyone’s obsessed with Girl Scout cookies -- and unless you have superhuman restraint, most of the year you can’t feed the craving.
That’s all about to change this fall with the introduction of the first-ever Girl Scouts Cookie Oven, finally making it possible for avid Thin Mint and Samoa lovers to recreate their favorite cookies at home.
The oven will retail for $59.99 and come with one box of Thin Mint mix. Other flavors, like Trefoils, Coconut Caramel (Samoas), PB Sandwich (Do-si-dos), Chocolate Peanut Butter (Tagalongs) and more, are available for $6.99 per mix.
The idea is 17 years in the making, when Wicked Cool Toys co-president Michael Rinzler was an MBA student and wrote a school project business plan for the oven.
“It’s not the most original idea in the world -- it’s a no-brainer -- but it was just something that personally I was always very passionate about,” Rinzler told ABC News. “But the Girl Scouts always said no to everyone that pitched it.”
That all changed with new management recently, and Rinzler saw an opening. He got the cookie company to agree to a partnership and plans were set in motion this past July. Wicked Cool Toys developed their own patent-pending toy oven – which Rinzler is very quick to say is better than the Easy Bake with an all-new ceramic heating element – and worked with food scientists to create the cookie mixes.
“We’re not meant as a replacement for selling Girl Scout cookies; we’re meant as a way for girls and boys to have fun and recreate them in their homes,” Rinzler said. “Now you can do it all year long because cookie selling is only January to March.”
In other words, no need to hide those boxes from yourself so you can get a late-year treat.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks were little changed on Wednesday, but the blue chip average remains at a record high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Wednesday at 18,224.57, up 15.38 from its open.
The Nasdaq, however, fell by 0.98 to close at 4,967.14. The S&P 500 also fell by 1.62 points to close at 2,113.86.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen was back for more grilling on Wednesday by a House committee as optimism remains high that interest rates won’t be raised soon.
New home sales were basically flat in January, evidence that recent job gains have yet to spur the real estate market, according to analysts.
TJX Companies, the owner of T.J Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods stores, said on Wednesday it will boost pay for its U.S. workers. The announcement came a week after Wal-Mart said it would increase wages for some of its employees.