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  • ABC News(DETROIT) -- Drivers in Detroit got to see a rare phenomenon this winter: Corvettes trudging through the snowy and wet city streets alongside SUVs and trucks. The engineers behind the new ZR1 -- billed as the fastest and most powerful Corvette ever built -- were required to drive the 755 horsepower sports car to and from the office every day, on the weekend and wherever they needed to go. The idea was to demonstrate that the car was as easy to handle on the road as it was on the track.“It was a riot to drive in the winter,” Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer of Corvette, told reporters last week in Atlanta who assembled in the Peach State to get a first look at the ZR1. “No one got stuck at all.”Engineers proudly showed off photos of the ZR1 buried under heaps of snow, regaling this reporter with stories of how the rear-wheel-drive car perfectly maneuvered in the treacherous weather conditions. (Yes, these cars were equipped with snow tires).The $120,000 ZR1 can conquer winter. It performs in all seasons and moonlights as a daily driver. It sets production-car lap records on professional racetracks. And “you can teach a 16-year-old how to drive a stick on this car. It’s a piece of cake,” Juechter noted.Yet Corvette, the longest-running nameplate in automobile history, still feels that it has to prove itself after 65 years.“There was a little bit of a stigma around the Corvette that maybe it was not as sophisticated, maybe a little cruder than some of the imported cars,” Juechter told ABC News. “Even though we advanced the car quite a bit and have gotten a lot of credit globally for how sophisticated the car is, the impression, especially on the coasts and in urban areas, really hadn’t caught up with the car.”Jerry Burton, a Corvette historian who has written three books on the brand, said the Corvette, a sports car “cobbled together” by Chevrolet in 1953, had become a “symbol of American ingenuity” over the years. It may not have the same pedigree as a Lamborghini or a Ferrari but the Corvette can still compete with these cars, he told ABC News.“Corvettes had developed bad baggage in the 1970s. People thought of gold chains and divorced men and it was very uncool to be in a Corvette back then,” he explained. “Today, the car is very sophisticated. Even the most begrudging car enthusiast will respect the Corvette. It has shown itself to be a better car.”Terry Popkin, a master ambassador to the National Corvette Museum and the Corvette Club of America, has driven a Corvette every day for the last 54 years, including a 1991 ZR1.Early Corvettes “were by no means refined,” he admitted. “The car would sometimes leak, it was noisy. The door hatches would break.”That changed by 1984, when the handling improved remarkably and the Corvette “really came into its own,” he said. In the early 1990s the ZR1 was crowned “King of the Hill” for being the fastest production car in the world and breaking every “standing endurance speed record,” he said.Corvettes “are the best bang for the buck,” Popkin added. “It’s an amazingly fast supercar that rides like a Cadillac.”Few gear heads will question the ZR1’s scary fast acceleration – zero to 60 mph in 2.85 seconds – and power. Corvette claims the ZR1’s top speed is 212 mph (208 mph for the convertible version) and delivers 715 lb-ft of torque thanks to its hand-built LT5 small block Gen 5 6.2L supercharged V8 engine. I never got to truly experience that speed with the ZR1, but that was intentional. Corvette engineers repeatedly warned journalists to take it easy on Road Atlanta, one of the most challenging and tricky racetracks in the world and one where some have died testing their limits.“755 hp will kill you,” Popkin, who has trained with p
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University researcher who collected information on millions of Americans through Facebook, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to lawmakers on Capitol Hill was "misleading."In a live interview with ABC's chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, Kogan responded to Zuckerberg's accusation that he violated Facebook policy by sharing data with a third party, Cambridge Analytica."I think they're being a little misleading," Kogan told Stephanopoulos on Monday. "The idea that this was a hack is flat-out wrong."He continued, "Imagine a warehouse: we didn't break in -- we went on Amazon and ordered the data, and they delivered it to us. This is a key feature of their system."In March, Kogan found himself at the center of a burgeoning scandal after former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie told The New York Times that Kogan shared data he had harvested through an app with the controversial political research firm in 2014 without users’ knowledge.In an interview last month with ABC News, Wylie suggested he was suspicious of Kogan's work because of the researcher's Russian roots and connections."I think that it's really concerning that...the head psychologist that we were using, Aleksandr Kogan, was working on a Russian funded project in Russia on psychological profiling of people," Wylie said.Kogan denied allegations that he was acting on behalf of Russia, saying, "I think a lot of that is xenophobic nonsense to me, to be frank. I had a loose affiliation with a university there and went and gave a few talks there, but nothing more.""Most Russians, just like most Americans, are normal, decent folk [and] have nothing to do with spycraft," Kogan added.Kogan, 31, was born in Moldova – then a Soviet state — and immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 7 years old, ultimately settling in New Jersey. He graduated with honors from UC Berkley in 2008 with a degree in psychology, the university confirmed to ABC News. Later, he held an honorary associate professorship from the St. Petersburg State University in Russia, which he said entailed two or three trips to the university.When asked if he had anything to do with Russian interference in the U.S. election, he replied, "I think it's honestly a preposterous claim that has no backing and absolutely not."Facebook and Cambridge Analytica both face investigations from federal authorities in the U.S. and U.K. and have been called to appear before both Congress and Parliament to answer questions from government officials.When asked if people have a right to be angry about the breach, Kogan said, "Oh absolutely, but I think it has nothing to do wit this transfer of data idea.""I think it has everything to do with how tech companies have been running for a long time in terms of using data," Kogan argued, "because the fundamental business model here is we're going to take your data and use it for whichever way we want to try to sell you things and that's just the business norm and I think that's what's really upsetting."According to Kogan, Wylie approached him in 2014 about adapting his app -- originally designed for academic research -- to give Cambridge Analytica access to the data from millions of Facebook users. Kogan said Wylie and lawyers for Cambridge Analytica's parent company SCL assured him that the app could be adapted for commercial use without violating Facebook's rules.Cambridge Analytica was retained by the Trump campaign ahead of the 2016 election, and scrutiny of that relationship led to the revelations that have put Kogan and Wylie back in the spotlight.Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and Kogan from the platform pending an investigation into the breach of millions of user profiles. Cambridge Analytica has denied any wrongdoing and blamed Kogan for violating Facebook's privacy terms, while Kogan has claimed both companies are treating him “unfairly.”
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  • ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity rallied at a Starbucks in Philadelphia on Sunday after their fraternity brother, Rashon Nelson, was arrested there earlier this month in an incident the city’s mayor called an example of racial profiling.More than 100 fraternity members and supporters attended the “Rally Against Racial Injustice” on Sunday afternoon, held near the downtown Philadelphia Starbucks where Nelson and his friend, Donte Robinson, were arrested on April 12 after the store’s manager asked them to leave because they hadn’t purchased anything.Starbucks apologized to the men in a statement last week, saying it was learning more about what it “did wrong” and was willing to take the necessary steps “to fix it,” according to a statement.The company said it would close all of its U.S. stores and corporate offices on May 29 to train employees against racial bias in the wake of the incident, but city officials at Sunday’s rally said that’s not enough.“The actions of the Starbucks corporation are totally unacceptable,” Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson told protesters Sunday. “We know they said they’re going to move forward and specifically focus on a training that deals with unconscious bias, but that’s a one-day training.“We want to see how they’re going to change their culture as it relates to racial insensitivity and also diversity and inclusion as it relates to making sure that everyone who comes to a Starbucks store that lives in the city of Philadelphia should feel welcome,” he added.He said the the men, who were waiting for a third person to arrive for a business meeting, were “in the right place focusing on doing the right things with their lives,” but they were still seen as a threat.They should not have been subjected to "racial profiling," Johnson said. He thanked the Omega Psi Phi fraternity “for stepping up to the plate and making sure the world sees that African-American men are not are not a threat to society.”Grand Basileus Antonio Knox, Omega Psi Phi’s national leader, applauded the company for its apology, but he said it's time for Starbucks, and other major companies, to realize discrimination is wrong.“Now is the time. It’s no longer acceptable to allow and to be comfortable to discriminate against our young men and women,” Knox said. “The strength of this country depends on us being able to work together as one.”Knox, who said the goal of the event was to mobilize supporters, urged minorities and disadvantaged people to use their voting and economic power to affect change.“It must be known that we will not invest in companies that will not treat us as they treat everybody else,” Knox said. “Starbucks has an opportunity, and so far it appears that they are going to do the right thing, but it won’t stop with one-day training. They know that.“But what we’re asking is that Starbucks joins us and allow us to work together to create this change all over because it’s not just that one corporation.”Nelson and Robinson, both 23, told ABC News' "Good Morning America" last week that the white manager of the Starbucks called the police on them two minutes after they arrived at the store and Nelson was denied the access code for the restroom because he hadn't made a purchase. The men said that when police arrived they were told they had to leave the store. When they refused to leave, they were arrested.Starbucks apologized for the ordeal and agreed to engage in mediation with Nelson and Robinson, according to their lawyer, Stewart Cohen."Starbucks holds itself open as a place for people to meet and to have public conversations; those are words from their website," Cohen told ABC News. "The apologies are fine, but what we need to do is have some action by Starbu
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- The city of Atlanta was under attack.Not by terrorists with guns or knives or vehicles as weapons -- but instead by hackers who in March disabled the city's public services with ransomware. The cyber offensive left Atlantans unable to pay bills online, and visitors to the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, unable to connect to WiFi.And around the same time yet nearly 700 miles away in Baltimore, in a seemingly unrelated attack, hackers disabled the computer system supporting emergency calls in that city.Both incidents underscored the vulnerability of many public computing networks -- and the damage that hackers in the dark corners of the internet can inflict on vital services.Cyberattacks have typically been carried out by criminals and organized gangs –- but many fear public infrastructure will be an increasing target in traditional warfare.“I believe we are on the cusp of a fundamental change in the character of war,” said Gen. Mark Milley, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff to the AUSA in 2016. “The significantly increased speed and global reach of information (and misinformation) likewise will have unprecedented effects of forces and how they fight.”In the attacks on Atlanta and Baltimore, for which no one has been arrested, ransomware seemed to be the weapon of choice. An increasingly prevalent form of cybercrime, ransomware penetrates and disables systems and data to users, and essentially hijacks their personal information. Hackers literally demand a ransom to release the victim's files back to them.Ransomware is not limited to the United States, of course. Hackers have struck banks, hospitals, businesses and schools around the world, including the United Kingdom's National Health Service.Beyond ransomware and the vulnerabilities of online infrastructure at the municipal level, experts fear cyberattacks on national security. Suzanne Spaulding, the former undersecretary for cyber protection at the Department of Homeland Security, told ABC News there is a "coming wave" of cyber incidents that will affect databases. And those networks include data on individuals of interest to national security that are integral to the country's security network.The rules of engagement in cyber warfare are ever-changing and have yet to be defined."We do not have a strategy for dealing with that war," Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month.Weaponizing everyday technologyWhen the fitness app Strava released data in November on more than 1 billion activities -- through GPS exercise devices like Fitbit -- keen observers noticed unusual activities in sensitive locations around the world. The 13 trillion data points seemed to reveal locations of military bases where soldiers or Marines were wearing devices to measure their running.As sophisticated devices become increasingly accessible to everyday consumers, our lifestyles are adapting to live with more in tandem with them. Experts say we are becoming increasingly comfortable in surrendering more of our personal data to increasingly powerful corporate firms -- in exchange for convenience.That, experts say, is a perfect example of how the seemingly mundane use of technology could pose national security risks.“We are going to start seeing a lot more of this,” says Robert Schifreen, a cybersecurity analyst for ABC News. “As we move more and more online and live more of our lives connected to the internet out of ease and convenience, we are going to come across vulnerabilities we hadn’t even considered to be sensitive."People will be ready to exploit them where they can,” Schifreen added.Brian Lord, the former deputy director for the Intelligence and Cyber Operations at the Government Communications Headquarters in Britain, said security will be difficult to negotiate in an age where the general public is almost entirely reliant o
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  • Mark Makela/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The manager who called police on two black men who had refused to leave a Philadelphia Starbucks no longer works there, a company spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News on Monday.The news follows Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson’s comments on Monday morning that he will order managers of the coffee giant's stores to undergo training on how to spot "unconscious bias" after witnesses said the men were arrested at a Philadelphia shop for doing nothing but sitting at a table."I'll say the circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome at our store on Thursday were reprehensible," Johnson said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ "Good Morning America" on Monday. "They were wrong, and for that, I personally apologize to the gentlemen that visited our store."A Starbucks spokesman told The Inquirer and Daily News of Philadelphia that the manager left the downtown store at 18th and Spruce Streets in what the company called a “mutual” decision.Johnson, the chief executive officer, was in Philadelphia this morning, a day after protesters rallied Sunday at a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks, where the two black men, who have yet to be identified, were led out in handcuffs Thursday by police and accused of trespassing.The demonstrators had demanded Starbucks fire the manager of the store for calling the police.As Johnson was being interviewed on “GMA” this morning, about two dozen protesters were at the downtown Philadelphia Starbucks chanting, "A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black."The protesters later held a sit-in inside the Starbucks shop.In response, the company’s CEO said this morning, Starbucks will conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and he hopes to ask the two men who were arrested to "join me in finding a constructive way to solve this issue."Protesters rally at Philadelphia Starbucks where two black men were handcuffed and arrested for 'trespassing'Johnson said he has yet to speak to the men, who have retained an attorney."Clearly, there's an opportunity for us to provide clarity and in addition to that I'd say there's training, more training that we're going to do with our store managers, not only around the guidelines but training around unconscious bias," Johnson said.The 28,000 Starbucks store across the nation may have slightly different regional guidelines on how to handle situations that warrant police intervention, he added."Now, there are some scenarios where the police should be called. If there's threats or disturbance, those may be appropriate times," Johnson said. "In this case, none of that occurred. It was completely inappropriate to engage the police."The arrests of the men were captured on video and tweeted by Melissa DePino, a 50-year-old mother of two who told ABC News she has vowed not to patronize Starbucks again. The video has since been viewed more than 9 million times."It was humiliating for those guys," DePino said. "They were completely minding their own business."Both men were later released and the charges they were facing -- trespassing and disturbance -- were dropped Thursday night.Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also refused to prosecute after Starbucks asked to not press charges.Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. said in a video testimonial released by the police department Saturday that his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong.""I can tell you candidly these officers did a service they were called to do," he said.Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney slammed Starbucks for the incident, saying it "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018."Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, also condemned the incident, saying in a statement Monday that "it shows that black people can't even 'wait while black.'""Starbucks failed these men and all of its customers by treating them in this unfair and demeaning wa
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