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  • iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Two Amazon customers are complaining that they were charged outrageous prices to ship everyday household paper products.Georgia resident Barabara Carroll told ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV that she was charged $7,000 after placing an order for toilet paper in March.Carroll is a building manager who takes care of janitorial needs, and she placed an order for three boxes of toilet paper to be delivered to her home, she told WSB-TV. When she checked her bank statement days later, she noticed a charged for more than $7,500, she said.Carroll then checked her order history on the site, which stated that the three cases of toilet paper cost $88.17, but the shipping was a whopping $7,455, she told WSB-TV.Though she was shocked, Carroll figured Amazon's customer service would take care of the mix-up."After I screamed, I thought, 'Oh this is not a problem, this is Amazon, and Amazon will take care of it,'" she said.However, Amazon did not refund her the money because Carroll purchased the toilet paper from a third-party seller, Carroll told WSB-TV."The hardest part is that Amazon doesn’t stand behind their third-party sellers," she said.A Tennessee couple told CBS Nashville affiliate WTVF that they bought paper plates just before Christmas for $24 and didn't notice until months later that they were charged more than $1,000 for expedited shipping.Lorie Galloway said she is an Amazon Prime member and doesn't "order anything unless it's free shipping."Galloway was charged $1,080 to ship one package of paper plates, she said.When Galloway called Amazon, the customer service representative was floored at the high charge for the plates, which were shipped to Tennessee from Atlanta.Amazon opened an investigation into the case, but later told Galloway that she was not overcharged for the transaction, WFTV reported."If it would have said a thousand and something dollars, I would have noticed that," Galloway told the station.Amazon told Galloway that the seller was dismissed after similarly charging other customers, according to WFTV. Galloway disputed the charge with her credit card company but said she recently received word that she would be refunded.Galloway said she's disappointed in the service she received from Amazon and will re-think whether to order from there again."If they are not going to take care of their customers, why should I order from them again?" she told WFTV.In a statement, Amazon said it "is constantly innovating and improving our customer experience. If customers have concerns or feedback, we encourage them to contact our Customer Service."
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  • Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night(WASHINGTON) -- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles recorded hits like Shop Around, I Second That Emotion, and Tears of a Clown. But those classic tunes don't enjoy the same copyright protections as songs recorded after 1972 and digital streaming services and stations aren't required pay royalties for playing the music."Those happen to be some of the biggest records I’ve ever been associated with and to not be paid because they were prior to 1972 is ludicrous as far as I’m concerned," Robinson told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. "A lot of work went into making those songs, not just from the artists, but from the musicians, the writers, the producers and people who were involved in making them and they deserve to be compensated."He said musicians that recorded before February 15, 1972, which is when federal copyright protections kick in, deserve the same compensation as those that recorded after that date.The 78-year-old Robinson was on Capitol Hill testifying in favor of the Music Modernization Act, a bill that would change music licensing rules to fit with the digital era.The bill would create a new system for digital music that would change how digital music companies obtain a license for songs and ensure songwriters are paid royalties, add copyright protection for recordings made prior to 1972, and establish a way for producers, mixers, and engineers who worked on recordings to apply for a share of the royalties. The House passed a similar measure last month.“I know a lot of musicians and producers and writers who are, who have fallen on hard times, and who could really use that money," Robinson told the committee.Legendary artists Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson and Darlene Love were also in the audience for the hearing.Senators on both sides of the aisle gushed over Robinson’s appearance – posting photos of themselves with him on social media.“Those Motown hits were literally the soundtrack of my life and they inspired me and lifted me up,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said. “The day we get to say I love you back and forth to Smokey Robinson in a Judiciary Committee hearing is a very good day.”
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The thrill of the impending royal wedding extends far beyond the United Kingdom, as travelers are eager to join in on the pomp and circumstance.From themed flights and royal walking tours, the masses of tourists who are expected to make the trek to London and then Windsor Castle ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding this weekend will give a boost to the British economy.According to British-based strategic consulting company Brand Finance, the upcoming royal wedding could lead to a £300 million (roughly $405 million) increase in tourism.The company also estimates that there would be hundreds of millions of pounds accrued through spending in restaurants, in fashion based on the clothes Markle wears to public events both before and after the wedding, as well as merchandise and overall public relations value for the country as a whole.British Airways announced Tuesday that the airline’s regularly scheduled flight between London and Toronto (which, the airline points out, is “the city where their relationship took off” because Markle lived there while she worked on a television show at the time) on the wedding day will be staffed by a crew made up of two people named Harry, seven people named Megan and one person named Meghan.The name-checking honors are not limited to staff, as any customer flying out of their main terminal hub in London’s Heathrow Airport on that day who is named Harry or Meghan will get to use the first-class lounge for free ahead of their flight.And for those looking for a keepsake, famed British ceramics manufacturer Emma Bridgewater has a commemorative mug for sale, which extolls the betrothed as “game changers, free spirits, big hearts & well suited.”While the whimsy of a royal wedding may seem like lighthearted fun, tourism is big business in the United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.VisitBritain, the U.K.'s tourism board, reports that tourism accounts for £127 billion annually, or approximately $171.5 billion.More than 100,000 people are expected to flock to Windsor for the wedding, according to the Thames Valley Police.Airbnb, the home-share company, said that its hosts will be taking in an estimated 42,000 guests in London between Friday, May 18 and Sunday, May 20.While the company did not provide the exact number of properties that will be taking in guests, the total host income from that period is expected to be more than $16.9 million.Americans are the biggest population using the company to find their British digs, followed by visitors from France, Germany and Australia.London isn't the only beneficiary of the increased tourist traffic, however. Airbnb reports that the town of Slough, which is just a 10-minute drive from Windsor Castle, is seeing a 1,438 percent spike in guest arrivals over the wedding weekend, as are nearby Maidenhead, with a 362 percent increase, and Windsor itself, with 194 percent increase, as compared to the same time last year.VisitBritain reports that their overall expectations for the year are up 4 percent as compared to 2017, which was a record-breaking year itself with 38.9 million visitors. The company expects 2018 to hit 41.7 million visitors.While Harry and Meghan are the big draws this weekend, the monarchy always serves as a draw throughout the year. There were more than 10 million visits to a castle historic house in the U.K. in 2016 and those visits added up to more than roughly $10.8 billion, VisitBritain reports.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent more than seven years fighting for legalized sports betting in his state. Now the former governor and ABC News contributor anticipates sports betting will begin in New Jersey in just a few weeks.He told ABC News' Brad Mielke on the "Start Here" podcast that Monmouth Park, a horse racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey, had always pledged to be ready within two weeks after a SCOTUS decision on sports gambling."It seems to me by Memorial Day weekend or very soon thereafter, you'll be able to place bets on your favorite sports teams," he said.New Jersey, home to several casinos along the Atlantic City boardwalk, has largely treated gambling as a bipartisan issue. Several attempts by the state to legalize sports betting were struck down in lower courts over the years.The Supreme Court heard the case after Christie and the state of the New Jersey appealed a decision from the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upholding the federal ban. When Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy took office earlier this year, he replaced Christie as lead plaintiff.On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which barred most states from taking sports bets, violated the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.Christie said he always knew the Supreme Court would make the right decision because "nobody challenged it before.""No one had the guts to challenge it before," he said on "Start Here." "It felt like the federal government had spoken on this and that we had to defer. I just didn't believe that was the case."The NCAA and major U.S. professional sports leagues have argued that sports betting could undermine the integrity of the games. According to Christie, the argument that government regulation could lead to crooked athletes is "silliness.""Somehow they're saying that when it's run legally and through government regulation, it risks the integrity of the game, but when betting has been run by mobsters and criminals, it doesn't. I mean it's ridiculous."On college athletes who aren't getting paid and could be influenced, Christie argued: "Who do you think is more likely to try to bribe a kid; a state government or the mob?"Dennis Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development, LLC, operators of Monmouth Park, said in a press conference Monday he is planning to have sports betting “up and running in two weeks,” unless Murphy or the state legislature tell him otherwise.Christie is a Dallas Cowboys fan, but he wouldn't say if his first sports bet would be on the team. He did confirm he would be at Monmouth Park whenever the racetrack is ready to take bets."I don't know who I'm going to place a bet on," he said on "Start Here. "But I have promised the folks at Monmouth Park that on the first day that they're taking sports betting, I will be there to place a bet, and I'm going to keep my promise."Listen to the full interview with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday’s edition of ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast.
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  • United Airlines(HOUSTON) -- An African woman has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against United Airlines charging she and her two young children were removed from a flight and publicly humiliated after she had a confrontation with a white passenger.The Nigerian woman, Queen Obioma, said she and her children suffered unnecessary embarrassment when a flight crew ordered them off a plane in Houston, Texas, in 2016 after the passenger complained to a pilot that she was "pungent" and he was uncomfortable flying on the same plane as her, according to the lawsuit.The suit was filed on Friday in federal court in Houston and asks for damages of more than $75,000.Obioma says she was taking her two children to Ontario, Canada, to enroll in a school and had boarded the second-leg of a three-plane flight to their destination when they were forced off the jet, according to the suit."United has no legitimate reason or justification to remove [Obioma] from the flight but for racial prejudice and insulted [her] by stating that Ms. Obioma stank," according to the lawsuit.In a statement to ABC News on Sunday, the airline said, "United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will investigate this matter.""We have not yet been served with this suit and due to the pending litigation involved, we’re unable to provide further comment," a spokeswoman for the airline told ABC News.In a statement to ABC News on Monday, Obioma's lawyer, Nwadi Nwogu, said the "lawsuit speaks for itself.""For now we will decline further comment except to say that we have a responsibility to our client to seek redress for the unfair, undeserving and [inhumane] treatment she and her children received from United Airlines," Nwogu's statement reads.According to court papers, Obioma says the incident occurred on March 4, 2016, about two hours after she and her children arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston part way into a 16-hour flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to Ontario.She said when she boarded United Flight 404 from Houston to San Francisco, she found a man sitting in her business-class seat and refusing to budge."She politely informed the white male that he was occupying her assigned seat but he ignored her," according to the suit.Obioma told a member of the flight crew, who asked the man to move to his assigned seat, the suit says. But when he refused to move, Obioma was asked to take another seat in business class and she complied.As she placed her carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment, she noticed the man who was in her original seat go into the cockpit, according to the suit.Obioma said she went to the restroom while people were still boarding and when she came back, she found the same man blocking the aisle.She said she asked the man, who was not identified, to let her get by, saying "excuse me" three times before he finally gave her enough room to squeeze by him, the suit claims.As soon as she took her seat, a flight attendant "ordered her out of the aircraft stating that her attention was required because someone was waiting to speak with her outside the aircraft," the lawsuit reads.Once outside, Obioma was told she was being removed from the flight. She protested and showed the flight attendant her boarding pass, the suit says.The flight attendant told her "the pilot personally requested that Ms. Obioma be ejected from the aircraft because the white man sitting around her in the business class cabin was not comfortable flying with her because she was 'pungent,'" the suit says."Ms. Obioma asked [the flight attendant] what 'pungent' meant and he answered that she smelled," the suit states."At that point, Ms. Obioma was lost, confused and disoriented. Her mind went blank and she was utterly befuddled," according to the suit.She argued that she had to make a connecting flight in San Francisco to Ontario, and had a meeting at her children's school that they would miss if not allowed to take the flight.The suit claims Obioma w
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