iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Aetna announced on Friday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Humana to buy the health insurance competitor for $37 billion.
If it goes through, the deal would create the nation's second largest insurer, behind United Health.
“The acquisition of Humana aligns two great companies and will significantly advance our strategy of more effectively serving members in a rapidly changing health care industry,” Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement. “This combination will allow us to continue to invest in excellent service for our members and strengthen our partnerships with providers to deliver high quality care at an affordable price."
The deal would give Aetna Humana's big Medicare Advantage business, which is getting more lucrative as the U.S. population ages. Bigger health care companies also have more leverage setting rates, now that all Americans are required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The transaction is still subject to approval by shareholders and regulators. Once completed, Bertolini will serve as the CEO of the combined company.
ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Some high-end developers are giving up on the McMansions for the new “giga-mansions” in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, but many residents are upset over the construction of these enormous, extravagant homes.
Luxury mansions soaring above 20,000 square feet are popping up on street after street in these areas, some reaching a staggering 90,000 square feet -- bigger than the Taj Mahal and the White House combined. Nearby residents, including Jennifer Aniston, whose house is roughly 8,500 square feet, have been voicing outrage to city officials over these giant homes, claiming they are ruining their neighborhoods.
Mega real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, who is the ex-husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Yolanda Foster and father to model Gigi Hadid, has made a career building luxury hotels and homes for the uber-rich. He lives in a 50,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills that has a 300-seat ballroom, a Turkish bath, a large infinity pool, a wine cellar, a home theater and a 5,000-square-foot guest suite.
Mohamed Hadid said there is a new generation of global billionaires driving this construction boom.
“There is a need for it,” Hadid said. “And there are customers asking for it… they want to have a splash, to have 200-300 people at a party, they need to have several bar areas, an outdoor area, something specific about the house that is different than anyone else.”
But to some, this giga-construction feels more like a giga-invasion. Just yards from entertainment attorney Joe Horacek’s front door, Hadid is developing a 30,000-square-foot home made of glass, steel and cement.
“I feel the privacy is completely and totally gone,” Horacek said.
Horacek said for 15 years he lived a quiet life tucked away in the hills until Hadid bought the house above him, tore it down, and began excavating thousands of cubic yards of soil from the hillside. Once finished, the home will have two wine sellers, a movable bar and a wrap-around infinity pool.
“Personally I see the Starship Enterprise,” Horacek said. “I get very angry.”
Horacek is worried the mansion above him could crumble on top of his house.
“[My] biggest concern is a combination of the total invasion of privacy, the total disregard which I believe Mohamed Hadid has for the building code… and for the safety of living beneath it,” he said.
The city of Los Angeles investigated and issued a stop work order after building inspectors found that Hadid added several unapproved features to the home. Since then, Hadid went back to the approved building plans. His attorney Benjamin Reznik told ABC News' Nightline that “it’s going to be simpler to remove those add-ons now and have the house comply with the original set of plans so that our client can finish the project.”
Hadid said the order came “because neighbors had complained to the city and they decided to look into [the permits].”
“We had our permits correctly,” he added.
Real estate expert David Kramer said this high-end real estate boom started with the sale of famed TV producer Aaron Spelling’s 56,000-square-foot home.
“People saw the reality of, we have buyers here,” he said.
Kramer sold the Spelling home for $85 million, and says it opened the flood gates for larger, luxurious homes.
“Everyone thinks it’s foreign buyers, it’s everybody,” Kramer said. “It’s local, it’s entertainment, it’s hedge fund, banking, computer, definitely, technology people, and then a lot of foreign buyers. Probably 30-40 percent are foreign buyers.”
Fred Rosen, who created Ticketmaster, recently started the Bel-Air Homeowners Alliance. He cringes at every large construction truck that drives through his neighborhood. Rosen says over one million cubic yards of dirt has been dug out of the hills around Bel-Air for new mansion construction and the City of Los Angeles is letting it happen.
"You have 1980s rules for 2015 technology,” Rosen said. “There’s always somebody with more, so that’s not the issue, we just want them building safely."
Maureen Levinson, a Bel-Air mother of two, is a member of the alliance who lives down the road from a 90,000-square-foot home under construction. She claims she often videotapes workers from around the neighborhood when cement trucks block streets or when their work starts earlier than the permits allow.
“There’s wildlife here, and that’s the way Bel Air used to be, very peaceful and quiet,” Levinson said. “[Now, the construction trucks] would come down in conveys, they were like a freight train.”
Levinson’s neighbors’ 8,000 and 10,000 square-foot homes are considered “tear downs” when there’s a multi-million dollar view to be had in a new giga-mansion. Now, some are just waiting for this ultra-rich real estate bubble to burst.
Levinson said she believes there won’t be peace and quiet again for “many, many, many years.”
Watch the full story Friday night on ABC News' Nightline at 12:35 a.m. ET.
The "Humm Dog" is a bacon wrapped hot dog with truffle mayonnaise, Gruyere, truffle celery relish and celery leaves. (Angel Canales)(NEW YORK) -- The hot dog is a staple of American summer. As the country celebrates the Fourth of July this weekend, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates Americans will eat approximately 150 million hot dogs.
Most people are used to having a hot dog served with mustard or ketchup. But one New York City restaurant is taking hot dogs to the next level. At $16 apiece, The NoMad Bar is giving this American classic a high-end twist.
“Our idea here was kind of to take a riff off traditional American bar food and really make it our own,” said Executive Chef of The NoMad, James Kent.
The hot dog is named the “Humm Dog” after its creator, chef/co-owner of The NoMad, Daniel Humm. The award-winning chef is a restaurateur whose first eatery, Eleven Madison Park, earned him numerous accolades, including three Michelin stars.
Since its opening, The NoMad has received three stars from the New York Times, one Michelin Star and a James Beard Foundation Award.
“We have been open at The NoMad Bar for a year and we have sold over 18,000 Humm Dogs," Kent said.
He explained that the challenge to serving classic food on the menu is the customer already has an expectation of what the dish should taste like.
“I think our goal is to really exceed that and show them why this is special and elegant and delicious," he said.
So what makes The NoMad’s dog so unique?
Kent starts by wrapping a kosher beef hot dog in bacon and lets it crisp up in the deep fryer. The hot dog is then tucked into a buttery, toasted brioche bun that has been filled with truffle mayonnaise. A layer of Gruyere cheese is added to the top and it is popped in the oven to toast. The dog emerges with a layer of melted Gruyere and the dish is topped with truffle celery relish and a sprinkle of celery leaves.
This extreme attention to detail is what separates ‘The Humm Dog’ apart from your average ballpark frank.
And, Kent said, that’s the point -- to give the customer food that makes them nostalgic, but give it to them in a whole new way.
“It’s really what we do often with our food. We try to find unique ways to bring you back," he said.
StephanieFrey/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Happy Fourth of July!
Whether you're hitting the road, planning an all-American cookout or looking for some fun in the sun, these five apps can help you enjoy the holiday weekend to its fullest. The Revolution: Interactive Guide
First things first, let's not forget why we're celebrating the Fourth of July. This free app for the iPad highlights all of the key moments in American history and makes for some great patriotic beach reading.
Even masters of the grill will love this app, which evaluates your meat on a variety of factors and then recommends the ideal time it should stay on the grill. Think of it as a grilling sidekick, allowing the chef to step away from the grill without a worry.
GrillTime is $1.99 for iOS users. Musical Fireworks 2
Who says you have to be outside to enjoy the fireworks? Musical Fireworks 2 is a fun, free, festive game perfect for passing the time on a Fourth of July road trip. Tap along to the music and create vibrant digital fireworks displays. Waze
Waze can help make sure your road trip goes as smooth as possible. The app, which relies on community input, lets users outsmart traffic by providing information about construction, accidents and other hindrances.
Waze is free and available for iOS, Android and Windows devices.
EPA's SunWise UV Index
Don't get burned this Independence Day.
This handy free app from the Environmental Protection Agency provides hourly and daily forecasts of the ultraviolet radiation levels in your area to help make sure you aren't overexposed.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The CEOs and founder of Whole Foods are apologizing for overcharging customers and offering free food to people in return.
"Straight up, we made some mistakes. We want to own that and tell you what we’re doing about it,” Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, said in a video published on Wednesday.
Investigators found Whole Foods locations in New York City "routinely overstated" the weight of pre-packaged contents and overcharged customers, according to an announcement by the city's Department of Consumer Affairs last week. The investigation also found the company undercharged customers.
John Mackey, who is founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, said, "These mistakes have to do with the things that we do in the store with mostly our fresh product, whether we're making sandwiches, or we're squeezing fresh juices or having cut fruit. In these areas, there is a very, very small percentage that there are mis-weighing errors."
"And we know they're unintentional because the mistakes are both in the customers' favors and sometimes not in the customers' favors," Robb said. "It's understandable sometimes mistakes are made. They're inadvertent. They do happen, because it's a hands-on approach to bringing you the fresh food."
Mackey said the company is increasing training around the country, including New York City. The company is also implementing a third-party auditing system that will report on the company's progress in 45 days. The company is implementing a 100 percent guarantee to customers, where if there is a mistake in a customer's favor, they can have the item for free.
Beginning last fall, New York City tested 80 types of pre-packaged products, including meats, dairy and baked goods, and found they all had mislabeled weights. The overcharges ranged from 80 cents for a package of pecan panko to $14.84 for a package of coconut shrimp, the agency said. Whole Foods denied the allegations last week, saying the company disagreed with the city's "overreaching allegations."
In California, Whole Foods agreed to pay close to $800,000 in penalties after an investigation that began in 2012 found pricing irregularities in Whole Foods stores in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and San Diego, New York officials said.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Beverage brand SoBe is apologizing for a joke message under its bottle caps that has caused some alarm among drinkers.
Some customers say the message under some SoBe caps with the words, "Help me trapped in SoBe factory," is no joking matter.
"It's tasteless and mocks people who actually do work in slave like conditions ... major mistake," one Facebook user posted on the company's page.
The company responded on social media, saying: "Hi there, we're sorry that our cap slogan caused you concern, that was certainly not our intention. These sayings are intended to give our consumers a little smile or pause for thought, not offense, while they enjoy their favorite SoBe beverage."
"We are planning on removing this cap slogan from our current rotation, however, it will take a while for existing stock to run through the market," the company's Facebook response states.
A spokeswoman for SoBe, which is owned by PepsiCo, told ABC News the company hasn't received a large volume of complaints from customers expressing concern and that the responses on social media are mostly people who understand that the message is a joke.
SoBe said the message was part of a contest program in 2013, "Message in a Bottle," that invited consumers to submit fun messages for bottle caps.
The spokeswoman said it is not clear if that message was submitted by a member of the public.
Elvis Presley featured on a U.S. postage stamp in 1993. (iStock Editorial/Thinkstock)(NEW YORK) -- Just like his previous postage stamp from 1993, a new stamp featuring Elvis Presley shows the King of Rock and Roll in his youthful glory.
The United States Postal Service released the artwork Thursday for the upcoming Presley stamp that will be issued on Aug. 12 as part of the agency's Music Icons series. The stamp will be dedicated on that day at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee as part of the Elvis Week festivities.
The stamp artwork is a black and white photo of Presley from 1955 by William Speer, according to the USPS. There's also a gold crown on the bottom left of the stamp that pays homage to his nickname.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — BP and federal officials Thursday announced an $18.7 billion settlement reached between the company, the U.S. government and the five Gulf Coast states most affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
A federal judge has ruled that BP acted with “gross negligence” in the spill that dumped more than 130 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and caused billions of dollars in damage and the rig explosion that killed 11 workers.
The $18.7 billion agreement goes beyond the $28 billion that BP has already spent on cleanup and compensation.
After the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida sued BP for damages not covered by the company’s earlier settlements.
“You know, unfortunately, BP set out that quick-pay deal and a lot of people just didn’t get what they deserved, and then, some people got more than they deserved,” Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said Thursday.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said the agreement will bring an additional $1.5 billion dollars to Mississippi over the next 15 years.
Speaking from Tampa, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi called it a historic day.
“These monies will benefit the areas of our state most devastated by an environmental threat they could not have foreseen, creating threatening damage from which they might not recover,” she said.
Florida will receive $3.25 billion in the settlement.
A BP release says the company will pay just over $7 billion in total to the U.S. government and the five Gulf states over 15 years for “natural resource damages.” Another $4.9 billion will be paid over 18 years “to settle economic and other claims made by the five Gulf Coast states,” BP said.
The total $18.7 billion will also cover claims made by more than 400 local government entities.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) —The employment picture is healing, though some weakness remains. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent as employers add 223,000 jobs in June -- a seven year low.
The large drop in the unemployment rate is likely to due to the amount of Americans who have given up on on their job searches and were no longer counted as unemployed.
Meanwhile, last week's jobless claims climbed to a five-week high, increasing by 10,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.
For the week ending June 27, the number of people filing for benefits jumped to 281,000. The previous week, claims stood at 271,000.
The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures. The level of applications, however, is still low and points to an improving job market. It also indicates companies are confident enough in the economy to retain their workers.
The four-week moving average for unemployment claims increased by 1,000 to 274,750.
iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mark Zuckerberg gave the world its first look at a laser communications system being developed by Facebook's Connectivity Lab as a way to quickly beam data into communities.
"This will dramatically increase the speed of sending data over long distances," Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook wall.
While a network of lasers could help efficiently beam information over long distances, Zuckerberg said the beams seen in the photos he shared are just for show and normally would not be visible.
Zuckerberg has made it his mission to expand Internet access in developing countries through his Internet.org initiative, which has been rolled out to 14 countries since its launch in 2013.
In March, he revealed Facebook had completed its first test of an unmanned aircraft that could be used to bring Internet connectivity to the most remote parts of the world.
It's expected the final design will produce an airplane with the wingspan of a Boeing 737 but lighter than a car.
Running on solar power, Zuckerberg said it's expected the plane could fly at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet for months at a time.
Image Courtesy Mary Ellen Matthews/Universal(NEW YORK) — Janet Jackson glowed during her appearance Sunday at the 2015 BET Awards, but she also had an extra sparkle thanks to the expensive accessories she wore, which are from her newly launched jewelry collection.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the singer has partnered with Paul Raps New York and is coming out with her own diamond jewelry line called the Janet Jackson Unbreakable Diamonds collection. Janet actually had some of her pricey jewels on display while giving her acceptance speech; she rocked a heart-shaped necklace made with twenty-five carats of Fancy Intense Yellow diamonds, which retails at $2 million. She also wore a thirteen-carat Fancy Intense Yellow diamond ring, retailing at $500K.
Perhaps you'll get to see more of Janet's show-stopping jewelry during her upcoming Unbreakable World Tour, beginning in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Aug. 31.
iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the wake of Donald Trump's controversial comments about Mexican immigrants, another one of his business deals has gone south.
Macy's department stores, which carried the billionaire presidential candidate's menswear collection, will no longer do so. In a statement, the store says, "Macy’s is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion. We have no tolerance for discrimination in any form. We welcome all customers, and respect for the dignity of all people is a cornerstone of our culture. We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico."
The statement continues, "In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase-out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.”
Trump, meanwhile, claims that it was his idea to terminate his relationship with the retailer.
"I have decided to terminate my relationship with Macy’s because of the pressure being put on them by outside sources. While selling Trump ties and shirts at Macy’s is a small business in terms of dollar volume, my principles are far more important and therefore much more valuable," the reality show star says in his own statement.
He adds, in part, "I have always said that if you are successful, it is very hard to run for office, especially the office of President. I have also continually stated that I am not beholden to anyone and this includes NBC and Macy’s. Clearly, NBC and Macy’s support illegal immigration, which is totally detrimental to the fabric of our once great country."
NBC decided to terminate its relationship with Trump earlier this week.
Trump then went on to say of both companies, "[They] caved at the first sight of potential difficulty with special interest groups who are nothing more than professional agitators, who are not looking out for the people they purport to represent, but only for themselves." Trump also promised to stop illegal immigration and bring jobs back to the U.S., finishing by saying, "I will make America great again!"
"Nightline" went on the job with HGTV superstars Jonathan (left) and Drew (right) Scott, better known as the "Property Brothers." (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- Twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott, better known as the Property Brothers, have turned their combined expertise in home improvement and real estate into do-it-yourself TV gold.
The HGTV superstars now have four highly successful shows on the network, including Property Brothers, Buying & Selling, Brother vs. Brother and Property Brothers at Home.
“Drew is the most competitive man alive,” Jonathan said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re just running to the car … he has got to win everything.”
On their show Buying & Selling -- the new season premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. on HGTV -- the brothers work with homeowners who are having problems selling houses that have sat on the market for a while. On Property Brothers, the pair helps homebuyers who can’t afford their dream home to instead buy and renovate a cheaper fixer-upper.
Jonathan is a contractor and designer, whereas Drew is a real estate agent who prefers the power suit to the power tool.
“I have about 180 shoes. I have probably close to 1,000 ties,” Drew said.
“I have four pairs of boots and maybe three plaid shirts,” Jonathan quipped.
Their home improvement projects, good looks and cheerful sibling banter have turned the Scott brothers into big celebrities for the DIY crowd, with legions of fans from around the world. They even have been on People Magazine’s "Sexiest Man Alive" list.
“It’s their 50 sexiest people on the planet and there are 51 people on that list because the two of us are considered one,” Drew said.
Nightline went behind the scenes with the Scott brothers as they were helping a family in New York fix up their home for sale. Here are a few tips the brothers said homeowners can follow to avoid seller pitfalls: DON’T Leave Clutter Lying Around
“Declutter, depersonalize, that would be one of the biggest tips because it does make a difference,” Drew said. “If someone walks in and they can picture them self in the space, if they’re not overwhelmed by all the clutter and the hoarding that you have, they will actually pay more money for the place.”
Homeowners should remember that when people come to visit a house for sale for the first time, they have no emotional connection to the house, Jonathan added.
“If they walk in and they go ‘ugh,’ they’ll turn and walk back out,” he said. “People will get thousands more for the home if they just cleaned it.” DON’T Use Bold, Bright Colors
When preparing a house for sale, both Drew and Jonathan suggested homeowners paint the walls in light, neutral colors.
Even a bright yellow, which a homeowner might think looks “sunny and fun,” can turn people away, Drew said, “You want to have a space that feels light and fresh, brighter and fresh.”
The same principle can be said for installing new flooring, Jonathan said.
“People don’t want to see stained wood that’s either too red or too honey,” he added. “Look for slightly more contemporary colors that buyers will just know that you’ve put some money in.”
DON’T Spend a Fortune on New Features that Look Dated
Don’t waste money on trying to install original fixtures that may not look new, Drew said.
Instead, homeowners should make it obvious to potential buyers that they spent some money to fix up the home, Jonathan added.
“When you do a renovation or a makeover, when you walk into the house, buyers should instantly know that you have renovated,” Jonathan said. “If you’re choosing flooring that looks a lot like a dated floor, if you’re choosing paint colors that, 'Oh is that a fresh, new paint color?’ if you’re not choosing something that looks freshly renovated, buyers will not give you extra money for that."
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Jonathan and Drew Scott on the job on Nightline at 12:35 a.m. ET on Tuesday.