• Empojipedia(NEW YORK) -- From a microbe to a mango, 2018 will see the release of dozens of new emojis, according to a statement from Unicode, the organization in charge of emoji data and development. Unicode finalized the list on Wednesday.“Emoji 11.0 has been released, with 157 new emojis such as hot face, red-haired woman, mosquito and pirate flag,” reads the statement.Now that Unicode has released the data for each emoji, individual smartphone vendors will develop the emojis for their devices. According to Unicode, smartphone users can expect the new emojis to be released in August or September of this year.Emojipedia, a database for all things emoji, created mock-ups of what the emojis would look like on an Apple iPhone.Unicode is taking proposals from anyone for emoji 12.0, which must be submitted before the end of March 2018.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Political candidates may be watching the ups and downs of bitcoin a little more now, because it could be the new frontier for increasing campaign contributions.Missouri Republican Austin Petersen's campaign for Senate received 24 bitcoin donations, valued at a total of $9,700, the campaign said in a statement released on Jan. 11 -- and one of them was the largest single bitcoin donation in federal election history.That donation -- 0.284 of a bitcoin -- was instantly converted to dollars by a bitcoin processor when it was received on Dec. 20, 2017. Because of bitcoin's market value at that time, it was worth $4,500."I think it goes without saying we're going to see a lot more of this in terms of campaign contributions and campaign financing," Jeff Carson, the campaign manager for Petersen's Senate bid, told ABC News.Accepting partial bitcoins as campaign contributions, he added, lines up with Petersen's political philosophy."Austin is personally a fan of competition in the marketplace, even when it comes to our currency," Carson said. "With the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it was a no brainer for us to use those."This isn't the first campaign in which people have supported candidates using cryptocurrency.Rand Paul accepted bitcoin campaign contributions during his 2016 presidential bid, according to The New York Times, and before that, Jared Polis accepted bitcoin donations in his 2014 congressional campaign.The same year, the Federal Election Commission announced that it would allow individuals to contribute to political campaigns using the virtual currency.Now four years later, bitcoin as campaign currency has become less of a novelty. Campaigns on both sides of the aisle have accepted bitcoins.Experts say the increase in bitcoin campaign contributions is a natural progression that follows the popularity of cryptocurrencies.Shone Anstey, the executive chairman of Blockchain Intelligence Group, a risk analytics company for bitcoin encrypted currencies, told ABC News it was “inevitable.”“It certainly has taken off aggressively with the dramatic rise in price [of bitcoin],” Antsey said. “It’s also taken off aggressively with millennials, who are glued to their phones and have taken to crypto currencies very naturally.”There is another crop of campaign donors who are likely to use bitcoin: the newly rich."There are a number of people who have become very crypto-rich," he said, calling them "a whole new class of investors who have made a lot of money."Campaigns on both sides of the aisle have now accepted bitcoins.Kelli Ward, a Republican running for Senate in Arizona, has a page on her campaign website dedicated to accepting bitcoin donations.Patrick Nelson, a Democrat running in the 21st congressional race in New York, has been doing the same, announcing the move on Twitter in August and writing that "we're a 21st Century campaign as such we embrace new technologies like #bitcoin."Nelson's press secretary Paul Paterakis told ABC News that their campaign accepted bitcoin donations from August until October of last year until BitPay, the company they were using to process the bitcoin donations, suspended operations pending a New York state licensing issue. BitPay did not respond to ABC News’ requests for clarifications about the suspension in New York, but did confirm that they have supported bitcoin contribution operations for several political campaigns.When Nelson's campaign was still able to accept bitcoin, Paterakis told ABC News that they raised about $400 worth of bitcoin from "less than half a dozen" individual donors. The campaign "definitely" plans to accept bitcoin donations as soon as BitPay is back online in New York, he added."It's just another form of payment," Paterakis said.In 2014, the FEC determined it was acceptable for campaigns to accept bitcoin in case involving the Make Your Laws PAC, a non-affiliated political action
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- A Southwest Airlines plane apparently skidded off the taxiway during takeoff Wenesday at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Maryland.Southwest Airlines flight 906, bound for Jamaica's Montego Bay, "turned and stopped near the taxiway pavement edge" as it was preparing to take off Wednesday morning shortly after 10 a.m. Eastern Time, according to an airport spokesperson. There were no reported injuries.
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  • Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Embattled casino kingpin Steve Wynn has stepped down from his position as CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Wynn Resorts, following multiple allegations against him of sexual misconduct, which he has vehemently denied.The company's new CEO is Matt Maddox, Wynn said."In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity," Wynn, 76, said in a statement. "As I have reflected upon the environment this has created -- one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts -- I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles. Therefore, effective immediately, I have decided to step down as CEO and chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts, a company I founded and that I love."Wynn continued, "The succession plan laid out by the board of directors and which I wholeheartedly endorse now places Matt Maddox in the CEO seat. With Matt, Wynn Resorts is in good hands. He and his team are well-positioned to carry on the plans and vision for the company I created."Wynn is reportedly worth $3.4 billion, according to Forbes.Non-executive director of the Wynn board, Boone Wayson, said in a statement, "It is with a collective heavy heart that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn.”Wayson added, "He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today."In an initial statement, following the allegations, Wynn said any claim that he "ever assaulted any woman is preposterous."He added, "We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multiyear lawsuits," Wynn said in the original statement. "It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation."As ABC News reported, Wynn stepped down late last month as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee just over 24 hours after publication of the allegations in The Wall Street Journal."Effective today, I am resigning as finance chairman of the RNC," the 76-year-old said in a statement to ABC News as pressure mounted on the RNC to address the allegations against him.Last week, the University of Pennsylvania announced that it will remove Wynn's name from a campus plaza and revoke an honorary degree given to him.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • @Ellie.Deshaies (CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- Large crowds gathered and big cheers erupted as the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX's most powerful rocket yet, blasted off Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A, where Apollo 11 launched for the moon nearly 50 years ago.Named after Star Wars' "Millennium Falcon," Falcon Heavy is currently hurtling through space towards Mars, with CEO Elon Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster on board, along with a spacesuit-clad dummy in tow.
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  • Amazon(NEW YORK) -- It's a question not even Amazon's Alexa has the answer to: Just where does the online retailer plan to build its second headquarters?But the company's Super Bowl commercial Sunday had some viewers' tongues wagging -- and not because of the featured celebrities.In the Amazon ad, the device apparently loses its voice as it is giving a woman the temperature in Austin, Texas. Thankfully, the company has a backup plan and several stars -- from rapper Cardi B to actor Anthony Hopkins -- rush to the rescue, lending their distinct voices as "replacements" till the problem is fixed.Viewers, however, found themselves scratching their heads after the first few seconds of the commercial. Of all the cities in these United States, why would Amazon pick Austin, Texas?Amazon has already acknowledged Austin is one of 20 cities on the short list being considered for its second headquarters.In September 2017, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos laid out the terms of the project called HQ2. In the plan, Amazon said it wanted a metropolitan location that had at least 1 million residents.Bezos also promised that the company would invest $5 billion in the new location and that 50,000 people would be hired to work at the new site. The location of HQ2 is expected to be announced this year.As for the rumors, Amazon told ABC News on Tuesday: "The Alexa Super Bowl commercial and HQ2 are completely unrelated."
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