Ramin Talaie/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted a moving Mother's Day essay on life as a single mom after her husband's sudden passing just over a year ago.
"For me, this is still a new and unfamiliar world," she wrote. "Before, I did not quite get it. I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home. I did not understand how often I would look at my son’s or daughter’s crying face and not know how to stop the tears. How often situations would come up that Dave and I had never talked about and that I did not know how to handle on my own. What would Dave do if he were here?"
She noted that she was "extremely fortunate" that she did not have to face the financial burdens and other challenges many other single moms face.
"Poverty is one of the hidden and devastating aftereffects of loss for women," she said. "By the time they are sixty-five, about one in five widows in the United States lives in poverty."
Sandberg, who also co-wrote Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, said she still believed that having a "loving and supporting partner" can help women in their personal and professional lives, which she wrote about in Lean In. But now, she recognized what critics meant when she didn't spend enough time on women without a partner.
"Some people felt that I did not spend enough time writing about the difficulties women face when they have an unsupportive partner or no partner at all. They were right," she said.
Sandberg called on companies to "rethink our public and corporate workforce policies and broaden our understanding of what a family is and looks like" for Mother's Day.
"We need to build a world where families are embraced and supported and loved no matter how they fit together," she wrote. "We need to understand that it takes a community to raise children and that so many of our single mothers need and deserve a much more supportive community than we give them. We owe it to them and to their children to do better. We must do more as leaders, as coworkers, as neighbors, and as friends."
Darren McCollester/Newsmakers via Getty Images(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Harvard University is tackling gender discrimination among its undergraduates by putting restrictions on those who join unrecognized single-gender organizations on campus, including finals clubs and Greek organizations.
Fraternities, sororities and finals clubs -- which get their name as the so-called last of the social organizations an undergraduate student joins before graduation -- are unrecognized on campus, but still exist unofficially. However, starting in the fall of 2017, new students who join single-gender social clubs won't be permitted to hold leadership positions in recognized student organizations and athletic teams, the university said Friday. Current students are not affected.
Harvard University president Drew Gilpin Faust say the finals clubs "play an unmistakable and growing role in student life, in many cases enacting forms of privilege and exclusion at odds with our deepest values."
A report in March by the school's Task Force on Sexual Assault Prevention criticized finals clubs for "deeply misogynistic attitudes" and “a strong sense of sexual entitlement.”
Faust also pointed out the concerns that "unsupervised social spaces can present for sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse."
In 1984, Harvard stopped recognizing all-male finals clubs for discriminating against women.
Now there are six unofficial all-male clubs, five all-female clubs, and two that used to be restricted to men but opened their doors to women last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported. Some of the club members are "gatekeepers to parties at well-appointed mansions," the Journal reported.
While Faust said the groups encourage "self-segregation," leaders of some all-female clubs are criticizing the announcement.
“The support systems, safe spaces, and alumnae networks the women’s clubs have been striving to build will disappear. That strikes us as a tremendous waste, and an ironic one, given Harvard’s stated goals," female student leaders wrote in an op-ed for The Harvard Crimson student newspaper.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street finished the week higher despite a reported decline in jobs growth last month.
The Dow gained 79.92 (0.45 percent) to close at 17,740.63.
The Nasdaq climbed 19.06 (0.40 percent) to finish at 4,763.16, while the S&P pushed up 6.51 (0.32 percent) to close at 2,057.14.
Crude oil gained nearly 1 percent with prices hitting about $44 a barrel.
April Jobs: The American economy added 160,000 jobs in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lower than the roughly 200,000 new jobs the U.S. has been seeing in recent months. Investors now believe a possible June interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve is off the table.
The good news from the report is that wages went up for the month and average hourly earnings are now up 2.5 percent for the year.
Yelp: Shares in Yelp Inc soared nearly 24 percent at the close after unexpectedly beating Wall Street expectations in the first-quarter. While analysts anticipated the business review site to report a 16 cents per share loss and revenue at $156 million, while Yelp posted an 8 cents EPS and $158.6 million in revenue.
“We had a great start to the year with local revenue growth accelerating to 40 percent year over year,” said Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in a statement. “We hit a major milestone in the first quarter, surpassing 100 million cumulative reviews."
Square: Mobile payment company Square, Inc. saw shares tumble nearly 22 percent for its worst day ever after posting wider-than-expected losses in its first quarter. The San Francisco-based company, whose CEO is Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, reported a net loss of $96.7 million and a loss of 14 cents a share compared to the expected 9-cent loss.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The source who leaked confidential information included in the so-called Panama Papers has come forward to explain why the documents were released and that more information could come.
The source used the name John Doe last year when contacting German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. John Doe's 1,800-word statement was released Friday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a worldwide network of reporters who team up on in-depth investigative stories.
"Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time," the statement begins, asking why its "sudden acceleration" has many people "helpless to stop its steady growth."
"The Panama Papers provide a compelling answer to these questions: massive, pervasive corruption," John Doe writes.
The 11.5 million leaked files exposed the alleged dealings of a law firm in Panama called Mossack Fonseca, according to the journalists’ group, which published the Panama Papers last month.
The files reportedly show that Mossack Fonseca, which facilitates the incorporation of offshore entities, worked with more than 14,000 banks, law firms and companies from 1977 through 2015 to create tax havens for the rich and powerful. The law firm has denied that it has acted illegally.
The source denies working for any government or intelligence agency, directly or as a contractor and "never have."
"My viewpoint is entirely my own, as was my decision to share the documents with Süddeutsche Zeitung and the [investigative journalists’ group], not for any specific political purpose, but simply because I understood enough about their contents to realize the scale of the injustices they described," John Doe writes.
"ICIJ and its partner publications have rightly stated that they will not provide them to law enforcement agencies," the source said in the statement. "I, however, would be willing to cooperate with law enforcement to the extent that I am able."
President Obama announced Friday steps to combat money laundering and tax evasion. The U.S. Treasury Department finalized its “customer due diligence” rule, which requires financial institutions to find out and verify who actually owns the companies that use banking services.
"In recent months, we've seen just how big a problem corruption and tax evasion have become around the globe," Obama said Friday. "We saw what happened with the release of the Panama Papers and we've seen the degree to which both legal practices of tax avoidance that are still unfair and bad for the economy as well as illegal practices that in some cases involve nefarious activities continue to exist and spread."
Offshore bank accounts are not inherently illegal, and they can have many legitimate uses. But they have also been known to be used by both legitimate and criminal enterprises to hide money and avoid paying taxes.
The leaked documents "show that banks, law firms and other offshore players have often failed to follow legal requirements that they make sure their clients are not involved in criminal enterprises, tax dodging or political corruption," according to the investigative journalists’ group.
As a result of the leak, authorities around the world have launched investigations into possible illegal activity among various companies and public figures. Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resigned last month amid accusations that he and his wife created a shell company in the British Virgin Islands that created a conflict of interest.
Mossack Fonseca did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
But the Panamanian law firm Thursday said it sent a cease-and-desist letter to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists regarding the group’s announcement that it will make public additional information Monday.
"The letter urges the ICIJ to abstain from this action taking into consideration that it is based on the theft of confidential information and is a violation of the confidentiality agreement between attorney and client, which we must protect," Mossack Fonseca said in a statement Thursday.
"It is important for us to make clear that we operate, in all jurisdictions, under strict compliance with the law and regulations of the industry in all services provided, respecting strong client identification norms."
jnut731/Imgur (NEW YORK) -- Sean Fitzsimons takes making "special" or "additional" requests on hotel reservation forms to a whole new level.
The 28-year-old businessman from Denver has traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah every other week for the past four years, he told ABC News. So recently, to mix things up, Fitzsimons said he started making the "weird, bizarre hotel requests."
"I got bored doing the routine checking-in and checking-out, so I thought, why not try a random request?" he said.
Surprisingly, hotel staff almost always deliver what he asks -- everything from a pillow fort to a printed photo of Grandma Winslow from "Family Matters" placed on his bed.
Fitzsimons said he's only been denied a request once so far.
"It was the first time I asked for someone to draw a picture of what I look like," he laughed. "When I checked in, the lady at the front desk looked at me so weird, and it got so awkward. I'm pretty sure I weirded her out. So, I was like, 'I can't ever come back here again.'"
Fitzsimons' other successfully fulfilled requests have gone viral on the Internet after his friend Janet Fortener posted them to Reddit and Imgur.
Several commenters on social media sites have criticized Fitzsimons for being a "nuisance" to hotel staff. But, Fitzsimons said he actually gets to know the staff at hotels where he stays and most have told him that they love the requests.
"Many people at the front desk have told me they they thought my request was hilarious and that they had so much fun doing it," he said. "It makes them laugh and it helps take their mind off the daily grind."
Fitzsimons said he doesn't make requests often and the staff at hotels he regularly visits often ask him when the next one is coming.
"I'm like, 'Don't worry! I'm working on it, I'm working on it,'" he laughed. "It's all in good fun."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Hiring in the U.S. slowed last month as employers added significantly fewer jobs than expected in April, but college grads are still about to enter the best job market in a decade.
While the report, showing only 160,000 added jobs in April may worry some economists, college grads entering the labor force can still remain optimistic. The unemployment rate for college graduates ages 25 and over as of April was 2.4 percent, the lowest level since June 2008.
"This year’s graduating college seniors aren’t looking at the monthly numbers so much, or the story of the day," said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst.
The addition of an average of 224,000 jobs per month over the past year is "far above" what is needed to keep up with normal growth in the labor force, said Gus Faucher, PNC deputy chief economist. Wage growth is also picking up as the job market tightens, which means higher starting pay, he explained.
Students graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering or business, should fare even better in the job market, Hamrick said.
Labor force participation in April edged down a bit to 62.8 percent.
"That’s not what we want to see, but also not a huge surprise," Hamrick said.
On the positive side, there was a modest rise in wage growth with average hourly earnings up 2.5 percent over the past year.
"That’s not a jackpot for American workers, but it is progress," he said.
PNC chief economist Stuart Hoffman pointed out that there has been noteworthy job increases in nearly every sector but energy-related ones. He is upbeat on graduates entering the financial services industries, such as accounting, as well as those with science and engineering degrees.
"If your major is engineering in mining, obviously it's not a good time, but still those skills are applicable in a lot of industries," Hoffman said.
Health care fields are another bright spot for graduating seniors.
"Four or five yeas ago, that was really tough job market particularly for younger people out of school. It's a much more hospitable, but not to say easy job market for recent or soon-to-be graduates," Hoffman said. "I wouldn't take the April jobs report to be a bummer."
Hoffman also expects the number of job listings to reach a record high.
He added, "I would say for graduating college and technical high school seniors, this is a promising job market to get started on their career."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A brewery owner's literal pipe dream -- to transport beer at breakneck speeds via a sophisticated pipeline -- is nearing completion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Xavier Vanneste, the owner of De Halve Maan brewery in Belgium admits he came up with the idea as a joke, but soon realized the pipeline could prevent traffic slowdowns and wear and tear on his delivery trucks.
What's more, Vanneste successfully created a crowdfunding campaign for his pet project last year, and thanks to lifetime supplies of beer, and various other perks, he was able to pony up some 300 thousand bucks to offset the pipeline's $4.5 million budget.
Once operational -- within weeks, he estimates -- the pipeline will be able to transport around 1,500 gallons of beer at 12 miles per hour.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The American economy added 160,000 jobs in April — lower than the roughly 200,000 news jobs we’ve been seeing in recent months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment was unchanged at 5.0 percent.
One piece of good news, however, is that wages went up in April. Average hourly earnings are now up 2.5 percent for the year. Americans working for a living have been looking for a raise since the end of the recession.
The not so good news is that the labor force participation rate was essentially flat in this latest report. This is important because the more people there are looking for work, the better the outlook for the economy.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Beer is the latest victim of Venezuela's economic crisis after the country's largest brewer was forced to halt production late last week.
Empresas Polar produces about 80 percent of the beer brewed in the country, as well as various snacks and soft drinks.
The shutdown of Empresas Polar's breweries began in July 2015, when the corporation was forced to suspend operations at two of its six plants amid a shortage of barley. Empresas Polar officially shuttered the doors of its breweries entirely on April 29 after a request by the company for the U.S. dollars needed to import barley was declined by President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist-led government.
President Maduro has been the subject of intense scrutiny since succeeding Hugo Chavez in April 2013, largely because of the country's faltering economy and food shortages such as this one. Opposition lawmakers declared a “food emergency” in February due to a paucity of milk, meat, sugar, bread and other staples.
One reason for Venezuela’s stark economic decline has been the overall weakness of the global oil industry. Oil has long been the engine of the country’s economy, and its oil reserves are considered to be the largest in the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Netflix users are showing how important a movie or television title's photo is when it comes to attracting viewers on the streaming website.
The company said its research has shown that Netflix users are drawn to certain photos or artwork when choosing a show or film.
Netflix said it already knew that if the company doesn't capture a viewer's attention within 90 seconds, that person will lose interest and move on to another activity, Nick Nelson, Netflix's global manager of creative services, explained in a company blog post this week.
Nelson explained that the company conducted research in early 2014 that found artwork was "not only the biggest influencer" for a user's decision about what to watch, it also constituted over 82 percent of their focus while browsing Netflix.
"We also saw that users spent an average of 1.8 seconds considering each title they were presented with while on Netflix," Nelson wrote. "We were surprised by how much impact an image had on a member finding great content, and how little time we had to capture their interest."
The company tested various artwork for the same title and found images with faces yielded the most engagement by users. One case in which this was true was for Netflix's test of six images for the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
"It's well known that humans are hardwired to respond to faces -- we have seen this to be consistent across all mediums," Nelson said. "But it is important to note that faces with complex emotions outperform stoic or benign expressions -- seeing a range of emotions actually compels people to watch a story more. This is likely due to the fact that complex emotions convey a wealth of information to members regarding the tone or feel of the content, but it is interesting to see how much members actually respond this way in testing."
Nelson shared other findings, including that regional differences influenced which images were more popular in some countries.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A U.S. government watchdog consumer group is inviting public comment on a rule it proposed Thursday that would give consumers the right to file class action lawsuits against banks and other financial firms.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency created after the 2008 financial crisis, proposed a rule limiting forced arbitration clauses that typically state that disputes between the company and the consumer must be resolved by privately appointed individuals, or arbitrators. These are often found in the fine print of banks' terms.
Congress already prohibits arbitration agreements in the residential mortgage market, but this proposed rule would apply to “core” consumer businesses that lend, store or exchange money, the CFPB said, including contracts for banks, credit cards and student loans.
Consumer groups like the National Consumer Law Center applauded the CFPB's proposal.
“Forced arbitration is a get-out-of-jail-free card that lets banks, payday lenders, and debt relief scammers avoid accountability when they violate the law,” Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center, said in a statement.
The American Bankers Association (ABA), a trade group, expressed its disapproval of the proposed rule.
“Consumers will get less and pay more if the CFPB’s proposal to sideline arbitration and promote class actions is ultimately adopted," Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO, said in a statement. "Banks resolve the overwhelming majority of disputes quickly and amicably. When needed, arbitration is an efficient, fair and low-cost method of resolving disputes in a fraction of the time — and at a fraction of the cost — of expensive litigation."
Individuals have 90 days to submit a comment on the CFPB website. If the CFPB issues the final rule in consultation with the White House Office of Management and Budget, it would be effective in 210 days from the date it’s published by the Office of the Federal Register.
The CFPB was created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to shield consumers from unfair or abusive practices.
While the proposal prohibits banning class action lawsuits, companies can still force arbitration in individual cases. But the proposed rule requires companies to notify the CFPB of any arbitration claims as well as any awards issued in arbitration so that the CFPB can study their impact.
The proposal only applies to consumer financial services in the CFPB's jurisdiction. Saunders urged Congress to pass the Arbitration Fairness Act, which Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, introduced last year and would give consumers the right to sue in other areas.
ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- John Foley, the co-founder and CEO of Peloton, launched the company in 2012 with a corporate mission to create a “world-class indoor cycling studio experience on your time, and in the comfort of your own home."
Foley founded Peloton with his wife, Jill, when they both saw the need to find a workout that fit consistently into their schedules, and that was also challenging and engaging. Out of necessity, the idea for Peloton was born.
Foley was no stranger to the business world when the duo began kicking around the idea of Peloton. In 1990, he began his career as an engineer for Mars Inc., and he then made the switch to the technology world in 1997 when he helped to build CitySearch.com. He then went on to become CEO of Evite.com in 2002, and later co-founder and CEO of Pronto.com, as well as president of the Barnes & Noble e-commerce division in 2010.
Foley and his wife began a Kickstarter campaign, asking people to commit $1,500 in exchange for the potential of getting a Peloton bike in the future, if the company did, in fact, succeed. While the Kickstarter campaign didn’t end up being a financial success, it did raise awareness about Peloton. It caught the attention of multiple investors, notably, the private equity firm Catterton, which invested $75 million in growth capital enabling Peloton to become a competitor in the indoor cycling market.
The company, headquartered in Manhattan's Silicon Alley, boasts that it represents the evolution of the at-home fitness market. This includes a stationary bike equipped with a 22-inch high-definition, sweat proof touchscreen that connects riders to on-demand classes taught by instructors. It claims to be the first and only fitness bike to fully “integrate a home workout machine with live group cycling classes, allowing for interaction and competition with fellow riders across the country and real-time instructor feedback, while monitoring an array of output metrics," according to a company news release.
Foley recently sat down with Rebecca Jarvis on Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis for a conversation about Peloton and disrupting the fitness market. Below are excerpts from the conversation. For more of Foley’s interview with Jarvis, watch the video below. Rebecca Jarvis: In your Kickstarter campaign you raised $300,000. But what you actually raised was awareness about the product?
John Foley: Exactly. It was unsuccessful from a financing perspective but I would say you’re absolutely right.
Rebecca Jarvis: What type of company do you think would do really well with a Kickstarter campaign?
John Foley: Certainly the as-seen-on-TV style products that are unique and interesting and in a category that everyone can relate to. The lower price point products are going to do better on Kickstarter because you don’t want to give $10,000 and be the turkey that gave your money away and the company folded six months later.
Rebecca Jarvis: What do you do to motivate your employees?
John Foley: I try to lead from the front with the can-do attitude, the hard work, the team, team-iness, if that’s a word, because I think if you can get the best people, you can build the best products and you can have the best brand and it’s just a virtuous cycle right? What I do to motivate is just surround myself with fantastic people that are better than me, that are smarter than me. I think I’m an OK leader and I think I’m a not a very good manager because I don’t like to manage. I like to hire fantastic, hardworking, self-managed people and get out of their way.
Tesla Motors(NEW YORK) -- Once production is up and running, CEO Elon Musk anticipates Tesla will be able to produce 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3 cars in 2017.
Tesla has hundreds of thousands of people waiting to get behind the wheel of its mass-market Model 3, but meeting that demand won't be a small feat for a company that expects to deliver no more than 90,000 vehicles this year.
With more than 325,000 pre-orders placed in the first week after the $35,000 Model 3 was unveiled, Musk said in a Wednesday earnings call he has set a production date for July 2017. But he admitted that date was likely "impossible."
Musk explained that setting the deadline keeps pressure on suppliers to try to stay close to schedule.
"We are on track to achieve volume Model 3 production and deliveries in late 2017,” Musk wrote in a letter to shareholders. “Of course, in order to meet that time frame, we will be holding both ourselves and our suppliers accountable to be ready for volume production in advance of that timing.”
Musk said he expects the company will produce 100,000 to 200,000 cars by the end of next year, allowing Tesla to deliver to the first customers who put a $1,000 deposit down for the mid-sized sedan. While the specifics of how Tesla plans to ramp up production are unclear, Musk said in the letter to shareholders it "will likely require some additional capital."
Excitement around the affordable Tesla has been so huge, the company said more than 115,000 pre-orders were placed for the Model 3 even before people first set eyes on the vehicle the evening of March 31.
The March unveiling was part one of the reveal, Musk has said, noting that he plans to reveal "part two" at a later date.
On the design front, the Model 3 fits into the Tesla family with sleek lines and boasts a roof area with a continuous pane of glass, giving the five adults it can seat extra headroom and the feeling of having more space, Musk said.
The key metric many people were waiting for was range per charge. The Model 3 can go 215 miles on a single charge. Musk also committed to doubling the number of Tesla's public charging stations from 3,600 to 7,200.
It also includes semi-autonomous driving features, including automatic lane changing and lane keeping, and can accelerate from zero to 60 in less than 6 seconds.
Falcon 9 Rocket, Photo Credit — SpaceX(NEW YORK) -- SpaceX has already shown it has the ability to recycle a rocket but the company expects its next attempt to land a Falcon 9 at sea will be unsuccessful.
Launching from Cape Canaveral at 1:21 a.m. EDT on Friday, Elon Musk's private space company will deliver a Japanese commercial communications satellite into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit high above the Earth's surface.
Getting the JCSAT-14 into that orbit will require higher speeds and more fuel.
As a result, the first stage of the Falcon 9, which SpaceX still plans to attempt to land on its drone ship "will be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing unlikely," the company said in a statement.
SpaceX pulled off the elusive drone ship landing last month when the company smoothly landed its Falcon 9 rocket at sea after it had been used to launch a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.
Regardless of the outcome of Friday's attempt, it's possible we'll still be treated to some incredible footage of the Falcon 9 as it barrels toward the ocean platform.
Recycling rockets has been one of the key goals for Musk, who says it will greatly reduce the cost of space travel.
The first Falcon 9 the company landed on the ground last year has been re-certified to fly but will remain on Earth. The second rocket, which landed last month, could fly again as early as June, according to Musk, making it the first time the company launches a payload into space using a recycled booster.