Archives
  • studioEAST/Getty Images(BEIJING) -- Tencent Holdings has become the first Asian tech firm to surpass the $500 billion valuation mark.Earlier this week, shares of Tencent touched a record high of 439.6 Hong Kong dollars, giving it a market capitalization of $534.5 billion.The Chinese firm is now the fifth most valuable company in the world, edging Facebook out of the Top 5 ranking.Tencent is composed of a slew of internet-based platforms and super apps, ranging from social media and gaming to artificial intelligence and information.The company has a news app, a blogging platform, personalization services, internet browsers, online payment systems, email and a popular video streaming service similar to YouTube. It also recently ventured into artificial intelligence and machine learning.Its largest social media network, Weixin/WeChat, has 938 million monthly active user accounts as of the first quarter, and is actively growing.Started in 2011, Weixin/WeChat has become a “mobile digital lifestyle,” according to Tencent’s website.The platform allows users to message text, photo and video, and share their own photos by posting them on their “moments.”Users also have access to gaming, stickers and easy-to-use friend-adding features.Tencent's other social networks include QQ, an instant messaging platform aimed at youngsters, and Qzone, a platform that allows users to create their own space with blog posts, diaries, photos, videos, games and live streaming.Tencent Games is recognized as China’s largest online gaming community. China Reading Limited, also known as Tencent Literature, offers almost a million works of literature for PC and mobile platform reading.Tencent Comics is a huge platform for online animation, and the company's Tencent Pictures is an interactive entertainment service that connects celebrities to their fans.The internet giant continues to find ways to grow internationally, acquiring a 12 percent stake in Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat. Earlier this year, it bought a 5 percent stake in Tesla Inc.Although Tencent now has a larger market value than Facebook, Facebook still has the most monthly active users, with 2 billion unique accounts.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • ABC News(HOUSTON) -- Houston’s hometown hero who opened his furniture stores’ doors after Hurricane Harvey is now preparing nearly 100,000 pounds of food to serve at a free Thanksgiving dinner.“We’re planning on feeding between 15,000 and 20,000 people here tomorrow,” Jim McIngvale, better known as "Mattress Mack," said Wednesday on Good Morning America. “It’s going to be a beautiful, sunny day in Houston.”He added of the dinner, which is open to anyone, “The only requirement to come in is you’ve got to have a good appetite.”The Thanksgiving dinner hosted by McIngvale, 66, comes several months after Hurricane Harvey dumped devastating rainfall and powerful winds on southeastern Texas this summer, leaving much of the Houston area flooded.McIngvale opened his Gallery Furniture stores during and after Harvey to provide shelter to displaced residents. He also sent Harvey first responders to watch the Houston Texans play in the World Series and has been donating free furniture to residents affected by Harvey.He said he wanted to host a Thanksgiving dinner to "give thanks that we’ve all made it through Hurricane Harvey."“It’s been a tremendous growth period for Houston and we had a lot of hardships with the hurricane, but now we’re coming back,” McIngvale said. “And we want to say 'thank you' to the citizens as we get together tomorrow and share Thanksgiving dinner together.”McIngvale, who will also join Houston’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, has invited 6,000 children in the foster care system to the dinner.While the dinner is being funded out of McIngvale's own pocket, he has said previously that some local food vendors have offered to help out with the cooking, and scores of volunteers have also come forward offering to help out with their time.McIngvale hopes the Thanksgiving meal allows participants a chance to not just give thanks, but also “share relationships.”“I think people getting together -- not on the cellphone, but talking to each other, sharing relationships, meeting new friends -- is great,” he said.The Thanksgiving meal will be held at a Gallery Mart store in Houston and will include food trucks and a separate vendor serving Mexican food.Here is a breakdown of the food McIngvale and his team are preparing to serve to as many as 20,000 people:Turkey: 6,000 poundsHam: 6,000 poundsSweet potatoes: 1,500 poundsCornbread dressing: 1,600 poundsCranberry sauce: 1,000 poundsMashed potatoes: 2,500 poundsGreen beans: 2,500 poundsPies: 1,500 pies Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- With Thanksgiving just a few days away, La Brea Bakery is selling more than 20 million pounds of bread, just in time for sopping up gravy and making sandwiches out of leftover turkey.According to La Brea, it's the busiest time of the year."Over 2,000 of our employees are gearing up for this time of the year, making our baguettes, our rolls -- you know, all of those favorite things we look forward to," said Allison Liebovich, an associate brand manager for La Brea. "I just can't wait to break bread with my own family."La Brea Bakery started in Los Angeles and has been making breads and foods for more than 28 years. Last year, La Brea introduced its first "nationally available" farm-to-table bread, including sourdough and French demi baguettes, using Fortuna wheat from a family-owned farm in Montana."When you talk about Montana," said farmer Dean Folkvord of Wheat Montana Farms, "it's a special place because of this fresh air and all these wide-open spaces. ... It's the best-tasting bread in the world."Liebovich, whose grandparents were farmers, said it was tremendously important to La Brea that its wheat come from U.S. farmers."To know that there are families that I can relate to -- that are in Montana, North Dakota, across the U.S. -- that are working diligently every day of the year tirelessly, you know, putting their backs on the line, it means so much to me," she said. "We want to support the American farmer, and when we gather around the Thanksgiving table this season, we know that we're supporting our local friends, family and neighbors."And this holiday season, La Brea Bakery is one of many companies showing love to the U.S. worker, on the farm and in the factory.Three hours outside of Chicago, the small town of Morton, Illinois, is responsible for 80 percent of the canned pumpkins that Americans eat, according to Libby's canning company.Libby's, which started as a family business around 1868, is still going strong. According to the company, "Libby’s contains 100 percent Dickinson pumpkins. We do not add any salt, sugar, flavor or preservatives to our canned pumpkin."Brian Tanner, a fourth-generation farmer, said his pumpkins are harvested, prepped and shipped across Morton to Libby's canning company."We're all very proud of the fact that we're from the 'pumpkin capital of the world,' " said Brian Tanner, a fourth-generation pumpkin farmer. "No matter where I go in this country and meet people all over, they can always relate back to eating pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving."Lastly, longtime fans of Cutco knives shared with ABC News how they planned to use the brand's cutlery for Thanksgiving."This Thanksgiving, I will be using my Cutco knives to prepare all of the vegetables that we need for dinner," said Rachel Hutchens of Leigh, Utah."I also love the spatula spreader for frosting and serving our Thanksgiving desserts," said Erin Birch of Orchard, New York.Cutco knives, a company of about 500 factory workers in Olean, New York, told ABC News that it is hiring and that the average year of service for its workers was 18 years. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When Evette Plata moved out of her Florida rental home, she was determined to recoup her $1,175 security deposit. She called the rental office and got their move-out instructions. She hired her cousin’s cleaning company and said she “Chloroxed everything,” so the house was “spotless.” Her husband even filled in every nail hole in the walls.The rental company’s inspector told her the house looked fine, Evette said, but her landlords decided to keep her security deposit anyway. “When I got the letter, I was astounded,” she said.Unfortunately, like many tenants, Evette didn’t obtain written documentation during the move-out inspection and never thought to take “before” and “after” photos of the house’s condition. She told ABC News she just didn’t expect to have trouble getting the money back. “I’m an honest person,” she said.Complaints from renters about problems with security deposits, poor maintenance and rushed evictions are all too common nationwide.Tenants’ rights vary from state to state and city to city, with some places like Boston and New York City offering broad protections for consumers. So it’s good to know what your specific rights are in your community.But, regardless of where you live, here are eight steps you can take to protect yourself as a renter:1. Check out your landlord. Before signing a lease, look up the rental company’s complaint record with BBB.org or other online complaint sources. And remember, federal law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or familial status such as having young children or being pregnant.2. Read the entire lease carefully before you sign. This seems obvious, yet many renters fail to do it. You don’t want to find out later that your lease includes excessive late fees or a ban on your pet. Make sure you understand exactly what the lease states about returning your security deposit when you move out.3. Document any existing damages to the property when you move in on paper and in photos, and provide copies of them to your landlord. When you move out, make sure you thoroughly clean the place and take photos again. Attend the landlord’s exit inspection and get his or her findings in writing.4. Know when your landlord has the right to access to your rental home -- and when he or she does not.5. Speak up about maintenance issues and document your attempts to get them fixed. You have the right to habitable housing. And consult local laws; depending on where you live, you may be able to withhold part of your rent until the problem is fixed, or pay for the repair and deduct it from your rent, or just move out with no penalties.6. Buy renter’s insurance. Everyone should have it.7. Know your state and local laws regarding evictions. Landlords can’t just suddenly lock you out without serving you legal notice first. Depending on why they’re terminating your lease, you will have a set period of days to pay up or comply with the rules -- unless you’re deemed a serial offender, in which case you may get an unconditional quit notice with no chance to pay late rent. And if the landlord wants to terminate the lease without cause, they must give you more time to move out -- usually 30 or 60 days, depending on the state.8. Give your landlord the required notice listed in your lease -- 30 days in most states -- if you’re planning to move out. Send them a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep copies of everything.Even after doing all those things, according to Aimee Inglis of Tenants Together, a tenants’ rights organization in California, renters need to stay strong and be willing to go to small-claims court if necessary.Some landlords “are relying on tenants to not push back and not to ask for their deposit back,” Inglis
    Read more...
  • Southwest Airlines(ST. LOUIS) -- A 51-year-old first officer for Southwest Airlines was arrested Wednesday morning around 5 a.m. at St. Louis Lambert International Airport for unlawful use of a weapon after Transportation Security Administration officers discovered a 9mm pistol in his carry-on bag, according to an airport spokesperson.The pilot did not have the authorization to carry a firearm, the spokesperson said.It's unclear if he is facing any charges."We are aware of a situation involving a Southwest Pilot at St. Louis Airport. We are currently working alongside the appropriate authorities to gather more information. We have no further information to share at this time," Southwest Airlines said in a statement.The pilot was said to be scheduled to fly on Flight 1106 to Las Vegas.Southwest Airlines did not respond to ABC News' question about the status of the flight.A TSA official confirmed the arrest of a pilot at the airport and said a spokesperson would be releasing more information soon.This is a developing story. Check back for updates.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...