Tesla(NEW YORK) -- The Tesla Model S P100D, with its new 100 kWh battery, is the “world’s fastest production car,” CEO Elon Musk announced Tuesday.
The electric car -- which can now travel an estimated 315 miles on just one charge, farther than any other electric vehicle -- can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 2.5 seconds, according to Tesla. That acceleration rate puts it third in line behind the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder -- 2 million-dollar vehicles that are no longer being manufactured, Musk pointed out.
“It’s really quite a stark milestone,” the billionaire CEO told reporters Tuesday. “The fastest [production] car in the world of any kind is electric.”
“In the future, people are really going to look at gasoline cars the same way we look at steam engines today: like, they’re quaint, but it’s not really how you get around,” he said.
Despite the Model S's heart-stopping acceleration, some analysts weren't entirely enthusiastic.
"The performance of the 100D line is truly remarkable, and kudos should be given to Tesla for that. With that said, the Model 3 and Gigafactory are still the most relevant items for Tesla's long-term viability," Kelley Blue Book analyst Akshay Anand said in a statement, referring to Musk's gargantuan battery plant in Nevada. "The 100D will still be out of buying range for the majority of consumers, so Tesla will need to figure out how to 'upgrade’ current owners."
“This recent announcement from Tesla is eye-opening, but nothing more than headline-grabbing showmanship," added fellow Kelley Blue Book analyst Michael Harley. "True sports cars are not only capable in the sprint, but are adept in handling and braking as well -- his sedan and crossover lack both of those skills. With limited top speeds, and the inability to circle a complete racing circuit without overheating, they are nothing more than a pair of one-trick ponies. Tesla needs to focus on building a quality product, taking care of its customers, and profitability -- not accelerating away from its issues at breakneck velocities."
Current owners can upgrade their batteries for $20,000, which also covers recycling of their old battery packs. New customers can upgrade for $10,000.
The 100 kWh battery will also be available in the Model X, which will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and travel an estimated 289 miles on a single charge.
“That’s nuts,” Musk said. “I think this is really going to send a great message to the public that sustainable transport is the future.”
Tesla has been under fire in recent months following a series of accidents involving Autopilot, its driver-assist feature. The next software update will include “material improvement to autonomy of the car," according to Musk.
Despite the setbacks, Musk asserted that “electric is the future.”
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Small gains for Wall Street after a boost in new-home sales, but investors continue to fret over Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech at the end of the week.
The Dow moved 17.88 ( 0.10 percent) to finish at 18,547.30.
The Nasdaq gained 15.47 ( 0.30 percent) to close at 5,260.08, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,186.90, up 4.26 ( 0.20 percent) from its open.
Crude oil jumped over 1 percent with prices hitting under $48 a barrel.
Home Sales: New-home sales in the U.S. reached their highest level in almost nine years, according to figures from the Commerce Department on Tuesday. New single-family houses were up 12.4 percent from June for an annualized rate of 654,000, its highest level since October 2007, helped by low interest rates and low unemployment.
Federal Reserve: Fed Chair Janet Yellen is expected to speak at Jackson Hole at the end of the week and investors will tune in for hints on how soon an interest rate hike could be coming. Several Fed presidents have already mentioned a possible September raise in interest rates, with Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer saying over the weekend that the economy had reached the central bank's goals for unemployment and inflation.
Tesla: Shares in Tesla closed about 1 percent higher Tuesday after Elon Musk announced a new 100 kWh battery for Model X and Model S that increases the Model S's range to an estimated 315 miles and the Model X's to 289 miles. The latest update makes the Model S the quickest production car in the world.
Cristina Arias/Cover/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the world’s most recognizable clothing brands is in the limelight, not for a new fashion line but because of a lawsuit alleging it has engaged in deceptive pricing tactics.
Zara has denied claims made in a class action lawsuit filed last week that alleges the Spain-based clothing giant has been deceiving customers by listing prices in euros, then cheating them at the register with artificial exchange rates.
The suit, brought by Los Angeles resident Devin Rose, makes two distinct allegations against the company.
First, the suit alleges that Zara is confusing customers by tagging their clothing with prices quoted in euros.
"Since the euro is a larger unit of currency than the American dollar, these euro prices lead shoppers in the United States to believe that Zara’s products are less expensive than they actually are," the suit, which was filed by celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, claims. "Customers are lured in by the brand’s seemingly low prices, and it is only upon bringing the items they intend to purchase to the register that these customers discover their true costs."
It goes on to claim that the final sale price (which in the U.S. is, of course, in dollars), is "well in excess of the true converted amount if the euro price on the tag were properly converted to dollars."
Second and similarly, the suit alleges that when a U.S. dollar price is given on labels affixed to the clothing, the dollar price is given in a label stuck over the euro price that was already on the tag.
"In this context, the dollar amount similarly is far in excess of the true converted amount if the euro price printed on the tag were properly converted to dollars," the court documents state.
"Rather than converting an original euro price to an equivalent American dollar price," the documents add," Zara simply chooses a higher dollar amount that bears no relation to the relevant conversion rate."
Rose said he purchased three shirts, which he claimed were “€9.95” each, from one of the company’s stores in May.
"At the time that Mr. Rose made his purchases, the actual euro-dollar exchange rate would have resulted in his €9.95 shirts costing approximately $11.26," the suit claims. "However, Zara charged Mr. Rose $17.90 per garment, a markup of nearly 60%."
Zara has denied the allegations calling them "baseless."
"Zara USA vehemently denies any allegations that the company engages in deceptive pricing practices in the United States," a company spokesperson told ABC News in a statement. "While we have not yet been served the complaint containing these baseless claims, we pride ourselves in our fundamental commitment to transparency and honest, ethical conduct with our valued customers."
The suit seeks damages, to be determined at trial.
Courtesy is GM/Chevy(NEW YORK) -- Grim new numbers show traffic deaths are up nine percent so far this year, according to a new study released Tuesday by the National Safety Council -- and if trends continue, the United States may see its deadliest driving year since 2007. But Chevrolet is helping ease parents' minds with new tech added to 10 2017 models.
An estimated 19,100 people have been killed on U.S. roads since January -- enough to fill 382 school buses.
This month alone, more than 360,000 teens will receive their driver’s licenses. But for the 16-year-olds transferring off the school buses and into the driver's seat for the first time, distractions like music, friends and cell phones can be deadly.
That's where Chevy comes in.
New technology in 10 Chevrolet 2017 models is designed to keep teens safe.
Introduced in the 2016 Malibu, the technology is called "Teen Driver." The program essentially records teenage drivers' movements in a "in-vehicle report card," which keeps track of, among other options, whether the teen driver speeds, tailgates or uses the forward collision braking technology. Parents can then view the information later on the vehicle's computer screen.
“As a mother of two, it’s extremely important to find solutions that can help young drivers on the road,” said MaryAnn Beebe, a Chevrolet safety engineer who is expecting her third child later this year.
“Chevrolet developed this system so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids. It’s easier to give guidance to your teen when you have some information on what they’re doing behind the wheel. It also gives teens an opportunity to gain their parents' trust," Beebe added.
Additionally, the car models (which include the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, Camaro, Colorado, Cruze, Malibu, Silverado, Silverado HD, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt) even silence the radio until seat belts are buckled.
According to Chevrolet, the "Teen Driver" program is a non-subscription-based service that remains with the vehicle its entire life. Parents must register their teen’s key fob in the vehicle’s system settings to use it.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- "Cheap Flight Day" is here, which means it’s time to start planning that fall vacation.
Whether you’re looking to catch some rays, enjoy the fall foliage, or explore historic sites, we’ve compiled all the details you need to know to make the most of your vacation time.
Another Kind of Back-to-School Deal
Tuesday marks the day when airlines begin to slash prices after the summer high season. Airlines, facing decreased demand after Labor Day, are looking to fill empty seats.
“With kids back in school, you have a smaller pool of people traveling,” says Rick Seaney, the CEO of FareCompare, a website that tracks airline ticket prices.
For travelers who are not tied down by a school schedule, now can be an opportune time to find an affordable flight to popular destinations.
Smart shoppers will search for the best fares on Tuesday afternoons, Seaney says, when airlines mark down their fares to try to beat competitors.
And when it comes to departure date, timing is also key.
“The three cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday; the most expensive are Monday, Friday and Sunday,” he said.
Low Airfares Will Be Around for a While
If you went over-budget this summer and don’t have the money to buy a ticket on Tuesday, don’t panic.
Seaney says that Tuesday is really the kick-off to “the fall deal zone,” and there’s no particular rush to purchase your ticket right now.
Prices will remain low through the next few weeks, he says. And if you can wait, mid-October should see another “bright point” for cost-conscious flyers, he adds.
However, he says, consumers should be aware of “airline Christmas” -- the last two weeks of December and the first week of January -- when ticket prices will be much higher. The week around Thanksgiving will see similarly higher prices. Location Is Key When Finding Deals
Consumers are likely to see better deals if they're headed to major cities, Seaney says.
“Smaller cities tend to have a less of a drop," he notes.
Those headed to Florida may find deeply discounted fares as fears about tropical storms and Zika could discourage some from traveling to the state, Seaney says.
Moreover, the fall is a great time to visit Europe, he explains.
With most European shopkeepers back from their summer holidays, tourists with a curious cultural eye will be able to experience the old world at its most authentic, he says. Plus, the lack of summer tourists could mean cheaper prices on things like food and lodging.
“Typically if you want to fly into Europe – the best month in my opinion is November,” he says. “It’s cheaper...and the weather is much cooler.”
It’s also a great time to visit the United Kingdom.
Traditionally, the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and British pound has made travel to Great Britain prohibitively expensive for many budget travelers.
But the recent Brexit vote has caused the pound to plummet in value. As of Tuesday morning, the conversion rate was approximately 10 percent better for Americans than it was before the late-June vote.
Other major geopolitical events are also making some destinations cheaper.
Travelers interested in South America should look to Brazil, Seaney says. Now that the Olympics are over, airfare will "certainly be less expensive," he says.
One place that likely won’t be seeing major discounts is Asia.
“It’s mostly business travel, you don’t see a lot of leisure travel, especially in the fall, so you shouldn’t see as big of a drop,” Seaney advises.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Good news for Sony gaming fans: new gaming consoles are on the way. The tech giant announced a slimmed-down version of its PlayStation 4, plus a new high-end console codenamed Project Neo.
Brian Bowen Smith/E!(NEW YORK) -- Are the Kardashians illegally bombarding you with advertising? One group says yes, and wants something done about it.
The consumer watchdog group Truth in Advertising says the clan is illegally advertising stuff on social media. It's documented over 100 Instagram posts that it says should have been marked sponsored or paid for.
It claims Kylie Jenner had the "most problem posts" among the family members.
It's given the family a week to take those posts down, or else it'll ask the Federal Trade Commission to open an investigation.
Since the Truth in Advertising letter to the family was posted, some of the offending Instagram pictures have been altered to make clear they are ads.
ABC News(TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.) — Along the shores of Lake Michigan in Traverse City the tart cherry is king. The area produces more tart cherries than anywhere in America, with 32,000 acres planted across the state.
The tart cherries love Lake Michigan, which acts like a blanket for the cherry blossoms. In spring, the sensitive fruit is extremely susceptible to frost and the lake adds cloud cover to insulate the bud from breaking too early.
“We're pretty far north, that's the thing, When you look at it, we're at the 45th parallel,” says Nikki Rothwell, coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Research Center, which studies tart cherries.
"People ask, 'How do you grow things like wine grapes or cherries?' It's because we have Lake Michigan that moderates our climate.”
But growing cherries in Michigan is a year-round job that comes with great risk. A farmer can have perfect weather all season and then a 15-minute hail storm in spring can destroy much of their crop.
“It's just one of those things that's part of farming and agriculture and people have accepted the risk over time,” says Jeff Andresen, a climatologist at Michigan State University.
The sensitivity to the weather has driven some farmers, including Brian Tennis, away from cherries and over to hops, the plant used to make beer.
“We started with organic sweet cherries and that was just a mess,” says Tennis, “You could do everything right with sweet cherries or cherries in general, and something would happen right before harvest.”
He adds: “Hops are, I mean, these guys are rock stars. It could snow tomorrow and they'd be fine.”
Once a major of producer of hops in the 19th century, Michigan is back on the hops map.
“There's over 1,000 acres in the state,” says Tennis. “That now puts us top four in the nation and top 10 in the world in growing hops. That's just within a decade.”
With 32,000 acres, the tart cherry isn’t about to be dethroned, but the hop is back in Michigan.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The cost to fill up the tank is getting a bit more expensive for U.S. drivers.
As oil prices have increased in recent weeks, it’s been expected that at some point gas prices would inch up as well -- and now they are. The average price of regular unleaded gas has moved up 4 cents in the past week to $2.19 a gallon, according to new numbers out from the U.S. Energy Department.
Drivers in Minnesota and Massachusetts have seen the most significant increases. The price nationwide, though, is still 44 cents below the price a year ago at this time.
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Four sponsors said Monday that they are ending or not renewing their relationships with embattled U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, after he admitted to "over-exaggerating" a story about being held up at gunpoint in the Rio de Janeiro.
Speedo USA, Ralph Lauren, Gentle Hair Removal, and mattress maker Airweave have all said that they will not be working with the swimmer going forward.
"Speedo USA today announces the decision to end its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte," the company said in a statement Monday. "As part of this decision, Speedo USA will donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte's fee to Save the Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA's parent company, for children in Brazil."
"While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for. We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience," the company added.
Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren, which also sponsored the disgraced swimmer during this year's Olympics, told ABC News that it would not be renewing his contract.
The company noted in its statement that it "continues to proudly sponsor the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic team and the values that its athletes embody."
"Ralph Lauren’s endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was specifically in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the company will not be renewing his contract," Ryan J. Lally, the vice president of global corporate communications for the company, said in a statement.
Similarly, Airweave, a mattress company, said it had "made the decision to end our partnership with Ryan Lochte," but would continue to support Team USA in the upcoming Paralympic Games.
Syneron-Candela, the parent of Gentle Hair Removal, also reportedly issued a statement ending their sponsorship of Lochte.
It wasn't immediately clear if the swimmer had responded to the companies' announcements.
The 12-time Olympic medalist and reality TV star recently admitted that he "over-exaggerated" when he claimed that he and three other U.S. swimmers were held up at gunpoint after leaving a party early in the morning while the games were on-going. Among his claims, he said that a gun was cocked and pointed at his forehead.
"That's why I'm taking full responsibility for it," he told NBC News in a clip posted online. "I over-exaggerated that story."
"That didn't happen," he said in the interview.
Instead, Brazilian police officials allege, the swimmers vandalized a bathroom at a gas station and were confronted by armed security guards.
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun announced in Rio on Sunday that further action would be coming in the case. At a daily media briefing, he did not specify what disciplinary action would be taken, but he was clearly displeased with Lochte and the other three swimmers.
"They let down the other athletes, they let down Americans, and they let down our hosts in Rio," Blackmun said. "We are going to have further action on this when we get back to the United States."
Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new deal for Pfizer Inc. is set to boost its oncology treatments.
The pharmaceutical giant announced Monday it would acquire cancer drug-maker Medivation Inc. for about $14 billion, or $81.50 per share in cash.
Medivation is known for its prostate cancer treatment, which has been used to treat 64,000 men in the U.S., generating $2.2 billion in worldwide net sales over the past four quarters.
Pfizer CEO Ian Read said in a statement the merger would "immediately accelerate revenue growth and drive overall earnings growth potential for Pfizer."
"The addition of Medivation will strengthen Pfizer’s Innovative Health business and accelerate its pathway to a leadership position in oncology, one of our key focus areas, which we believe will drive greater growth and scale of that business over the long-term," he said.
Medivation's shares soared 20 percent after news of the deal.
Last year, Pfizer announced it was joining forces with Allergan PLC in a $150 billion takeover deal, but backed out in April after new U.S. Treasury rules were issued under the Obama administration. The merger with Medivation will be Pfizer's largest deal since Allergan.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks closed mostly lower Monday as investors await a speech from Janet Yellen this week and after positive comments on the economy from the Fed vice chair Sunday.
The Dow slid 23.15 (-0.12 percent) to finish at 18,529.42.
The Nasdaq gained 6.22 ( 0.12 percent) to close at 5,244.60, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,182.64, down 1.23 (-0.06 percent) from its open.
Crude oil sunk about 4 percent with prices hitting under $47 a barrel.
Federal Reserve: Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer hinted at a nearing rate hike in a speech Sunday after saying the U.S. economy was nearing the U.S. central bank's goals for unemployment and inflation. Investors are laying low as they await a speech later this week from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the economy and monetary policy at the Economic Policy Symposium.
Ryan Lochte: Multiple sponsors have dropped U.S. swimmer and gold medalist Ryan Lochte after he apparently lied about being held at gun-point in Rio de Janeiro. Speedo USA said Monday it would donate $50,000 of the swimmer's fee to the charity Save the Children. Ralph Lauren also said they would not be renewing his contract and stated that it "continues to proudly sponsor the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team and the values that its athletes embody." Gentle Hair Removal was the third of four sponsors to drop Lochte. Airweave later ended their partnership with the swimmer Monday.
Pfizer: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. announced Monday it would acquire cancer drug-maker Medivation for about $14 billion, or $81.50 a share in cash. Medivation's shares soared 20 percent after the news.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 2016 Essence Festival(STANFORD, Calif.) -- Former supermodel and entrepreneur Tyra Banks is bringing her industry wisdom and "smize" expertise to Stanford University next spring.
Banks, 42, will be a guest lecturer for about 25 M.B.A. students in a class on personal brands, according to the Wall Street Journal. She will co-teach alongside Allison Kluger, a former producer of ABC's The View and Good Morning America, the report said.
Similar to her critiques on her hit reality show America's Next Top Model, Banks told WSJ she'll be tough in the classroom, but still engaging and fun: "If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."
Banks is the latest celebrity to teach at one of the country's top business schools. Oprah Winfrey co-taught “Dynamics of Leadership” for second-year M.B.A. students at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Benjamin Burgess for Street Sense(NEW YORK) -- Apps like Airbnb and Uber have revolutionized the way many of us find travel lodging and get around town, connecting us to others who are willing to rent a room or a ride at cut rates.
Now, a Washington, D.C., resident is hoping to bring some of society’s most vulnerable people into the sharing economy by creating a website to connect refugees and victims of domestic violence with people willing to offer a safe place to stay until they can get on their feet.
Kuwait-born Amr Arafa told ABC News that the idea came to him when he began seeing news reports last year about refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East.
“Clicking and sharing to spread the word is a bare minimum, donating money is a step up,” he told ABC News. “But dedicating your core competency, whatever it is, towards a cause really does make a difference.”
So, late last year, he began coding the site he now calls EmergencyBnB.
The site is still very much in its infancy, he said, and he is in the midst of redesigning it to make it more user-friendly.
The service connects users directly, so he said he has no way of monitoring how many connections have been made through the service. However, he said that he has personally hosted a handful of people in recent months that found him through the site.
Among them was a Syrian couple who stayed at his apartment for two weeks while he was travelling, he said. The couple, who were living in Texas, needed a place to stay while a court in the Washington-area determined their asylum status, Arafa said.
Arafa also said an eastern European woman and her child had stayed with him after fleeing what they claimed was violence at home.
“I started with refugees and domestic violence victims due to the exigent nature of their need,” he said. “I plan to expand to other vulnerable categories as the website scales.”
In the future, Arafa said he hopes that the service will be able to work with the government and nonprofit sector to help find placements for refugees when they first enter the U.S.