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Virgin America(SEATTLE) -- The Virgin America name is embarking on its final voyage.

The parent company of Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday that it would be phasing out Virgin’s name following the merger of the two companies last December.

“After careful consideration, the combined company will adopt Alaska's name and logo, retiring the Virgin America name likely sometime in 2019,” a statement said. However, the combined airline
will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love about their favorite airline, including enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire
to make flying a different experience for guests. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.”

Vice President of Marketing Sangita Woerner,said they wanted one name for their airline in order to be more consistent and efficient.

The combined forces of the Alaska Air Group make up the fifth-largest carrier in the nation.

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Starbucks(NEW YORK) -- If you already feel like there's a Starbucks on every street corner, get ready to see a whole lot more of the coffee chain's stores.

The company announced on Wednesday plans to open 12,000 new stores globally by 2021, 3,400 of which will be in the U.S.

The new locations will amount to more than 240,000 jobs around the world, including 68,000 positions in the U.S. alone.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- General Mills' heart was definitely in the right place when it took its Honey Nut Cheerios spokes-insect “BuzzBee” off its boxes, to raise awareness of declining bee populations.

However, botanists are decrying a "bring the bees back" campaign that had consumers sending away for free packs of wildflowers to plant because some of the seeds will grow into invasive plants that aren't bee-friendly.  

The company reportedly gave away some 1.5 billion seeds as part of the campaign, which actually began in Canada.

"At worst these things can potentially introduce weedy plants where they might not currently exist," said Eric Mader, a native plant specialist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "At best … I don’t know if there is a best."

Experts agree private planting of the seeds wouldn't necessarily be harmful but doing so on public land -- either deliberately or accidentally -- could lead them to spread in an uncontrolled manner.

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Grace Wong/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Ease and affordability make pasta a perennial favorite, but today artisans have turned this humble pantry staple into nouvelle cuisine.

By using ingredients like spring water, quality semolina flour and pushing the dough through a bronze extruder, a pound of gourmet spaghetti could cost 10 times more than the average price of supermarket spaghetti. But does pricier mean tastier?

ABC News' Good Morning America asked Luca Donofrio, head pasta maker at Eataly in New York City, to create a blind taste test comparing dried spaghetti at three different price points: $1, $2.50 and $10 a pound.

Donofrio cooked the pasta and dressed it simply with olive oil and garlic, and we invited three experts, or "nonnas" (that’s Italian for grandmother), to take our taste test. The "nonnas" were asked to pick their favorite and which one they thought was the most expensive.

It was a three-way split vote for favorite, and a split vote again for the most expensive, but Nonna Romana Sciddurlo chose the pasta labeled “C” as her favorite and the most expensive.

Sciddurlo, like the other grandmothers who took the test, considers herself a pasta connoisseur -- she makes her own pasta and has had her recipes featured in her granddaughter’s cookbook called Cooking with Nonna.

The pasta Sciddurlo chose? The pasta that cost $1 a pound, showing tasty doesn’t have to be expensive.

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iStock/ThinkstockA lot of people are doing the side hustle these days, working a second job -- or more -- in addition to their full-time career. But when it comes time to file your taxes, that extra money may cost you.

"We saw a lot of independent contractors -- they either drove for Uber or they listed a property on Airbnb, and they're getting for the first time income into their household outside of their W-2," says certified public accountant Richard Lavina. "Little did they know at the time that they've got to pay a tax bill because there are no withholdings."

Lavina says that means big changes to the way you file your taxes. And while you may have to pay more this year than you'd hoped to, you can plan ahead for next year.

"Organization's key. If you know you're going to be moonlighting throughout the year, it's best to get with an adviser and estimate how much you're going to be making off that contracting job and set up at least quarterly payments," he says.

You can also find the forms for this kind of payment on the Internal Revenue Service's website, IRS.gov.

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iStock/Thinkstock(UVALDE, Texas) -- Deep in the heart of South Texas, visitors are getting the chance to fire a real-life war machine.

DriveTanks.com has set up shop at an 18,000-acre ranch in Uvalde, Texas, about two hours west of San Antonio, where people can take control of real tanks on battlefield courses set up with special effects to recreate scenes that seem right out of “Saving Private Ryan.”

Watch the full story on ABC News "Nightline" tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET.

The company is the brainchild of Todd DeGidio, a former Houston police officer and Green Beret.

His collection has tanks from various countries, including the United States, Germany and Russia, as well as “big guns,” such as anti-tank guns, a Howitzer and a few mortars, and machine guns all from different wartime periods, including World War II and the Korean War.

“We have all kinds of guns from around the world from every period,” he said.

The company’s crown jewel is the 1944 Sherman tank, the same model that Brad Pitt drove in the movie “Fury.” It’s a working tank that shoots live ammunition, meaning participants can launch a solid steel, 14.5-pound projectile at over 2,500 feet per second.

DeGidio gives new participants a quick run-through of how to drive the tanks -- they are stick-shift -- and then guides them through the courses.

John and Patti Albritton brought their tank-buff son Josh and his pal Ethan, both 12 years old.

“[Josh] loves tanks. He loves World War II history, any kind of history, so here we are,” said his mother Patti Albritton.

DirveTanks.com offers various packages, none of which are cheap. Shooting the Flamethrower is $300, but driving a tank over an old car runs about $1,000. Firing the Sherman tank costs about $3,000. DeGidio said one group spent a full day and over $30,000 on the experience.

“That’s everything we had and shooting everything we had,” he said. “It was even hard for us to keep up with them.”

Frank Wong and his family came from Katy, Texas, about three hours away, for the opportunity to drive a British Chieftan tank, and got a chance to roll over the top of an old Audi sedan.

DeGidio said they have hired security to make sure no one comes in and tries to steal their machines.

“We have armed guards that are within 30 seconds from the building [where the tanks are parked],” he said. “We make sure that this stuff is all secure and approved magazines, explosive bunkers, stuff like that ... we do an over and beyond on that department.”

DriveTanks.com says they have “no set age limit” on who can drive or shoot on their courses, leaving that decision “entirely up to the parents and the capability of the kids to follow instruction,” according to the website. They say they have had kids as young as 8 years old shoot and as young as 12 years old drive.

Josh got his chance to pull the Sherman’s trigger -- slicing right through an old minivan. Both he and his friend Ethan cheered when they hit their target.

“I’ve seen amusement parks and roller coasters and stuff, but this is nothing compared to that,” Ethan said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Uber has pledged to improve service to its drivers on Tuesday amid increased negative publicity about driver experience, according to BBC News.

The announcement also follows the departure of the company's former president Jeff Jones, who said Uber's company values were "inconsistent" with his own.

The company admitted policies are "stacked against drivers" and going forward, drivers will have more ability to defend themselves against rider complaints.

Rachel Holt, the manager of Uber's operations in the US and Canada, says the company is undergoing a fundamental re-examination of "everything we do."

Holt adds, ""We need to bring more humanity to the way we interact with drivers."

Last month, the company's CEO Travis Kalanick was recorded arguing with a driver. He was publicly chastised, and soon after conceded a need for "leadership help." The company responded by saying it would hire a COO.

Uber also announced it is continuing to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and an alleged "toxic" working environment.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Google promises to “take a tougher stance on hateful, offensive, and derogatory content” in response to major companies pulling online advertising from the Google-owned YouTube, according to a BBC News report.

Marks and Spencer, Audi, RBS, and L’Oreal are just some of the major companies that have gone forward with removing advertising.

The move also comes after an investigation revealed advertisements from high profile companies appeared alongside content from extremist group supporters on YouTube.

Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler wrote in a blog post:

 "We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world - from emerging creators to established publishers - even when we don't always agree with the views being expressed... Recently, we had a number of cases where brands' ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values... For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us. "


Schindler outlined how the company looks to increase brand safety levels and controls for advertisers.

The CBO adds that Google will higher "significant numbers" of people "to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising."
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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- New aviation security measures restricting electronic devices on flights from certain overseas airports were prompted by new threat intelligence obtained earlier this year indicating that ISIS associates were working on smuggling explosives-laden electronics onto U.S.-bound flights, ABC News has learned.

The U.S. government has deemed the threat information “substantiated” and “credible,” according to one source familiar with the intelligence.

Sources said that the airports – in eight Middle Eastern and African countries – affected by the restrictions were not directly named in the most recent threat intelligence gathered by authorities, but determined through intelligence analysis paired with other government information.

The Department of Homeland Security banned all electronics bigger than a cellphone from the cabins of some direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries.

During an interview today, ABC News' Pierre Thomas asked a member of the House Intelligence Committee about the new DHS measures.

“I’ve spoken a couple times in the last week with the Department of Homeland Security about a new aviation threat," explained Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California. "We know that our adversaries, terrorist groups in the United States and outside the United States, seek to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner. That’s one of their highest value targets. And we’re doing everything we can right now to prevent that from happening.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gunshot wounds are costing the U.S. hundreds of millions every year, much of it falling on government health insurance and the poor, according to a new study of firearm injuries in the American Journal of Public Health.

The U.S. has the highest rates of gun homicides in the developed world, approximately 25 times more firearm deaths than other high-income countries, according to the study.

Every year, the cost for treating people with gunshots wounds reaches approximately $734 million in initial hospital costs, racking up more than $6.6 billion between 2006 and 2014.

"This is a signal that this is not simply an issue for the justice system, this is very much a medical issue," Dr. Charlie Branas, the chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health told ABC News. He said the study could help show policy makers that trauma centers need more help and funding to treat these patients effectively.

According to the study, the government shoulders approximately 40 percent of the initial hospitalizations for firearm injuries through Medicaid and Medicare and more than 80 percent of those who self-paid had incomes below the 50th percentile.

"The responsibility for payment falls primarily on government payers and the uninsured," the authors wrote.

To understand the financial burden of treating these injuries, researchers from Stanford University looked at national data, between 2006 and 2014, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

More than 267,000 people in that time were admitted for firearm injuries to hospitals, which reported statistics, nationwide. The highest proportion of injuries -- 43 percent -- were reported in the South. The Midwest and West each accounted for 20 percent of the injury locations. The Northeast accounted for approximately 16 percent of where the injuries took place.

The study found that 29.1 percent of the firearm injury patients paid via Medicaid, 29.4 percent self-paid, 21.4 percent used private insurance and 6 percent of those injured paid via Medicare. In total, the government is estimated to have covered 2.7 billion or approximately 41 percent of the overall costs to treat gunshot wounds during the study period.

Medicaid patients had the highest per-incident cost at an average of about $30,000. Privately insured patients had a per-incident cost of approximately $23,000 on average.

But these numbers likely underestimate the overall cost for treating gunshot wound victims, since they do not take into account long-term health care, rehabilitation and lost work income. Additionally, the study authors point out the government may have spent more via federal funding initiatives for hospitals dedicated to trauma and firearm treatment.

The true cost to patients, hospitals and the government are likely much higher.

"What is hard to interpret from this work is how big the cost of firearm injuries is or isn't," Dr. Ted Miller, a Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on conducting research on health and social issues, and criminal justice, told ABC News.

Another hidden cost to the government for gunshot wounds, Miller said, is the many patients who come into the hospital uninsured and are put on Medicaid. So the government may actually be covering more than the 41 percent of initial hospitalization cost noted in the study.

His group's research, which was not affiliated with the study, points to much higher costs over time for "lifetime hospital payments."

Branas said this number doesn't even include the long term effects on communities, families, and people affected by violence.

"I think that hospitalizations are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of cost of firearm injuries," Branas said. "There is a much bigger portion of this that is underwater."

In addition to medical costs, he said, gunshot wounds and the care they require come with "legal cost and pain and suffering cost."

The study authors said more research is needed to fully understand the comprehensive costs of firearm injuries. This data was intended to help policy makers allocate funds appropriately to the trauma and treatment centers that care for these patients.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Passengers flying directly to the United States from several airports in the Middle East will have to stow their laptops, tablets and other large electronics in their checked luggage as a result of a new rule handed down from the Department of Homeland Security.

Senior U.S. administration officials said Monday evening that nine foreign air carriers would have until Saturday morning to implement the new rule or risk losing their license to operate in the United States.

The directive has sparked many questions from the public. Here's a breakdown of the new security measures:

Which airports are affected?

The rule only affects passengers flying directly from the nine airports mentioned in the directive. These airports are: Queen Alia International Airport (Jordan), Cairo International Airport (Egypt), Ataturk International Airport (Turkey), King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (Saudi Arabia), King Khalid International Airport (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait International Airport, Mohammed V Airport (Morocco), Hamad International Airport (Qatar), Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates), and Abu Dhabi International Airport (United Arab Emirates). All flights originating from other airports are unaffected by the new security measures.

Which devices have to be stowed?


Among the list of restricted items on the DHS website are laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a smartphone and travel printers or scanners.

Crew members will still be allowed to bring their laptops, tablets and larger electronic devices in a carry-on bag.

When will the new rule take effect?

Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines and Etihad will have until Saturday morning to fully adhere to the new rule. DHS is implementing the security measure via an Emergency Amendment/Security Directive (EA/SD), which informs the airline of the required result, not how it should be implemented. It is up to the airline to ensure that the rule is being enforced.

If an airline does not comply, the Department of Homeland Security will work with the Federal Aviation Administration to revoke the carrier's privilege of operating in the United States.

Why was it implemented?

Senior U.S. administration officials told reporters Monday night "evaluated intelligence" indicated terrorists continue to attempt to hide explosives in electronic devices.

“Based on this information, secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, and Transportation Security Administration acting administrator, Huban Gowadia, have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last-point-of-departure airports to the United States,” the officials said.

Senior officials specifically cited a February 2016 incident when a man smuggled a bomb, hidden in a laptop, on to a Daallo Airlines jet in Somalia.

How long will the rule be in effect?

While senior administration officials told reporters Monday night that the ban was indefinite, an Emirates Airlines spokesperson told ABC News the directive is valid through Oct. 14, 2017. A DHS spokesman told The Washington Post the directive runs through Oct. 14, but could be extended.

Are other countries implementing a similar rule?

Downing Street released a statement Tuesday afternoon announcing passengers on U.K.-bound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia must place any devices larger than a "normal-sized mobile or smart phone" in checked luggage. In contrast with the U.S. directive, the U.K.'s new rule includes its domestic carriers: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gas prices are staying steady for the first time in a long time.

In the past week, the average price of regular unleaded gas has not moved, according to the latest numbers from the Energy Department. Nationwide, the price is sitting right at $2.32 a gallon.

What's unusual is that no area of the country has seen much movement in recent days.

The cheapest gas remains along the Gulf Coast at $2.07 a gallon, while the most expensive is in California at $3 a gallon.

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iStock/ThinkstockMore people are e-filing their income taxes but some still want to do it old school and use paper forms.

"When you do a return on paper, the opportunity to make mistakes really mushrooms," says IRS spokesman Eric Smith.

If you opt to file your taxes the old-fashioned way, Smith says you should make sure you "check your math on the return, that you attach all required documents, such as the W-2, your supplemental schedules if you're itemizing deductions."

"If you send in a return and it's incomplete, we'll just have to send it back or request the supplemental documents," he adds.

Anthony Burke with the IRS suggests trying the agency's free fillable forms.

"Anyone can use it," Burke says. "There's no income limitation, as there are on the other programs for free file."

"You're presented something that looks like an electronic 1040. You work through the form, just like you would through a normal form. It does do some math, and as soon as you're done, you e-file it," he explains.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are selling their Montecito, California estate for $45 million, according to the Sotheby's listing, posted on Monday.

Located in Santa Barbara County and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the estate includes 16.88 acres and features a 10,500 sq. ft. home built by architect Wallace Frost in 1934.

The home, which the couple purchased in 2012, features six bedrooms, six bathrooms and nine fireplaces. Also on the grounds: a swimming pool, a tennis court and an entertainment pavilion.

"The house is always surprising. It reveals itself to you in new ways every day," DeGeneres said in a Sothebys press release. "It's not overly manicured or tidy. It's not overly precious or perfect. And it's a home that manages to be both spacious and cozy at once."

DeGeneres, 49, is known for her love of real estate and featured her Montecito estate in her 2015 book Home. Around the time of the book's release, DeGeneres told the Los Angeles Times that she never buys a new house thinking that she'll re-sell it.

Though she's been known to sell homes fully-furnished, she doesn't include items that are "sentimental or personal."

"I learned as I went along that selling them furnished is lucrative," she explained to the newspaper. "I also just think it can be really fun to move in somewhere that’s completely furnished."

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Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller, the youngest of John D. Rockefeller Jr.'s five sons, died Monday at 101. According to his spokesperson, Rockefeller died in his sleep at his home in Poncantico Hills, New York.

According to BBC News, he served in the army in World War II, then became president, chairman, and chief executive at JP Morgan Chase. He expanded the company abroad before retiring in 1981.

Former President George HW Bush and his wife, Barbara, released a statement on Rockefeller, who was a close friend:

"So many knew him as one of the most generous philanthropists - and brightest Points of Light - whose caring and commitment to the widest range of worthy causes touched and lifted innumerable lives. David was also very active in national and international affairs, and his connections and keen aptitude for issues made him a valuable advisor to Presidents of both parties - yours truly certainly included."

Rockefeller's philanthropic efforts earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

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