ABC - Top Stories
Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump has repeatedly sparked outrage among women since he entered the political fray in the 2016 race.

On one hand, he has garnered praise from some corners for promoting women to top positions within his company and to certain positions within his Cabinet, and can count women such as Kellyanne Conway, his former campaign manager, among his closest advisers.

On the other, he has drawn fire for his comments over the years, including a tape that surfaced just before the election that showed him bragging about groping women, for which he later apologized.

He also faced criticism for a lack of women in key positions in his administration, taking actions during his presidency that some say are detrimental to women's interests and appearing in pictures surrounded by men at forums and executive order signings.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer praised the work that Trump has done for women before his appearance at an event focused on women's empowerment this afternoon.

"Women's History Month is coming to an end, but the Trump administration is committed to empowering women in the workplace. The work that we started this month will not end at the end of this month, but will continue," Spicer said.

Here is a review of the clearest actions affecting women that have been taken by the Trump administration during the first 69 days of his presidency.

Taking action on abortion and women's health

On what Trump considered the first full day of work, Jan. 24, the president issued an executive memorandum reinstating the Mexico City policy, which bars federal funding for overseas groups that provide access to or counseling about abortions.

Introduced by President Ronald Reagan at a United Nations conference in Mexico City in 1984, the policy was dubbed the "Global Gag Rule" by abortion-rights groups.

The policy, which has been heavily criticized by Democrats, has been rescinded and reinstated multiple times since its inception.

Aside from the executive memorandum, the other ways in which the Trump administration would change health care for women were stalled with the decision not to vote on the American Health Care Act last week.

If the health care plan had been adopted, Planned Parenthood effectively would have been stripped of Medicaid clients and largely defunded, and individuals would have been banned from using their federal tax credits on plans that covered abortions, an incentive to insurance companies to stop offering the procedure.

Also, over the next few years, certain "essential health benefits," which currently include maternity care, would no longer be covered by Medicaid.

Photos showing Trump during signings and appearances related to women's issues have raised some eyebrows.

When he signed the Mexico City policy and when Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Republican leaders about the health care plan on March 23, pictures showed Trump surrounded only by men. One photo that was tweeted by Cliff Sims, a special assistant to Trump, from the March 23 meeting shows that Conway was in the room, but the photo that Pence chose to share from the same meeting showed 25 men and no women.

Focus on working women

Trump has participated in several roundtable discussions about female entrepreneurs and women-run businesses. The issue is one known to be close to his daughter Ivanka's heart as well.

The topic was discussed at a meeting with women entrepreneurs with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Feb. 13 and earlier this week, Trump hosted a roundtable with women small business owners on Monday March 27.

"Empowering and promoting women in business is an absolute priority in the Trump administration because I know how crucial women are as job creators, role models, and leaders all throughout our communities," he said at the event.

He has also spoken about other issues that directly relate to women at various points in his presidency -- including his joint address to Congress on Feb. 28 -- though he has yet to take action on all of the issues in question.

"My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make childcare accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave to invest in women's health, and to promote clean air and clean water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure," he said.

Paid family leave, women's health issues and the promotion of clean air and water are issues that Ivanka Trump addressed during the campaign or met with experts about during the transition.

During her address to the Republican National Convention, Ivanka Trump said: "As President, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce. And he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all."

Women in the White House

Conway, who became the first female campaign manager of a winning presidential campaign when Trump won, touted Trump's "natural affinity" for "promoting and elevating women."

"I believe that Donald Trump is someone who is not fully understood for how compassionate and what a great boss he is to women. He has been promoting -- he has been promoting and elevating women in the Trump Corporation -- in the Trump campaign, in the Trump Cabinet, certainly in the Trump White House. It's just a very natural affinity for him," she said.

While she is arguably the most prominent woman advising the president now, Conway and Ivanka Trump are the female figures who appear with Trump the most.

Until now, Ivanka Trump did not have a formal title in the administration but did recently have security clearance approved, received a government-issued communication device and an office on the second floor of the West Wing.

On Thursday, she released a statement announcing that she will have the title of special assistant to the president but will not receive a salary.

First lady Melania Trump decided to stay in New York through their son Barron Trump's school year, and she has only spoken at a handful of events since her husband took office including this morning, when she spoke about women's empowerment at the State Department.

The first lady also hosted the International Women's Day Luncheon on March 8.

Trump also counts among his close advisers Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, Katie Walsh, the deputy chief of staff, Hope Hicks, director of strategic communications and Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser.

Trump was criticized earlier in his term for what some said was a lack of diversity among his Cabinet. Trump picked four women for cabinet-level positions -- Betsy DeVos (Education), Nikki Haley (U.N. Ambassador), Linda McMahon (Small Business Administration) and Elaine Chao (Transportation) -- which is the lowest number of women since George W. Bush's first cabinet, though he went on to appoint Condoleezza Rice as his secretary of State in his second term.

By contrast, Barack Obama had seven women in Cabinet-level positions at the start of his presidency and Bill Clinton had six; George H.W. Bush had two and Ronald Reagan had one.

For his part, Trump is proud of the women on his team.

“My Cabinet is full of really incredible women leaders,” Trump said Wednesday.

“I’m so proud that the White House and our administration is filled with so many women of such incredible talent,” he said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

Qld Fire & Emergency(QUEENSLAND, Australia) — The calm after the storm wasn't so calm after emergency crews on Thursday found an unexpected shark out of water on a flooded road in Queensland, Australia.

Residents of Queensland were warned to stay out of the floodwaters after Cyclone Debbie left an almost five-foot long bull shark washed up on an inland road.

Think it's safe to go back in the water? Think again! A bull shark washed up in Ayr. Stay out of floodwater. #TCDebbie #ifitsfloodedforgetit

— Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) March 30, 2017

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crew spotted the aquatic predator while doing checks of flooded roads in the Queensland town, Ayr, just north of where Debbie made landfall.

The ex-tropical cyclone slammed into Australia's northeast coast as a fierce Category 4 storm on Tuesday and caused widespread damage from extreme wind, rains and flooding.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

FOX/Jordan Althaus(NEW YORK) -- Adam Pally, best known for his roles as Peter Prentice on Hulu's The Mindy Project and Max Blum in the ABC comedy series Happy Endings, reportedly was arrested for alleged marijuana and cocaine possession in New York City on Tuesday night.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department told People magazine on Wednesday, that officers observed the 35-year-old actor smoking marijuana in public from an e-cigarette, confirming a story first reported by TMZ.

The officers reportedly placed Pally under arrest and conducted a search, during which they say they found he also was in possession of a small amount of cocaine.

Adam, who currently stars on the Fox comedy Making History, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance for the cocaine, and criminal possession of marijuana -- both misdemeanors, according to the spokesman.

Pally received a desk appearance ticket and subsequently released, but must return to court in June, adds the spokesman.

The news comes the same day as Pally's upcoming big screen comedy Most Likely to Murder began filming.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Two children died in Texas on Wednesday after they were electrocuted by power lines downed in a severe overnight storm.

The boys, ages 11 and 12, were brothers, ABC affiliate WFAA reported, citing a first responder on the scene.

The incident happened in a heavily wooded area in East Fort Worth, Texas, according to the report. The area was still recovering from a powerful overnight storm that knocked out power and damaged multiple properties.

CAUTION is the word for downed power lines. Tragic reminder of that, up next live at 10 @wfaachannel8 #wfaaweather

— Todd Unger (@ToddWFAA8) March 30, 2017

"This is never something we want to have to respond to. We can never talk about it enough, the need for safety around downed power lines. We're just starting storm season," Fort Worth Fire Department's Lt. Kyle Falkner told WFAA on Wednesday.

A grass fire had also been ignited as a result of the fallen lines, which were still energized when fire officials arrived on the scene.

Oncor, the local electricity provider in the area, said it was working with authorities to determine the cause of the accident.

"Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers go out to the family," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement Wednesday. "We urge all our customers to treat every power line as if it’s energized."

Severe thunderstorms and damaging winds hit parts of Texas overnight, leaving as many as 200,000 people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area without power at one point.

The poor weather shifted east on Wednesday with severe weather warnings spanning from the area surrounding Kansas City, Missouri, to the Gulf Coast.

Worse storms are expected in parts of Mississippi and Tennessee on Thursday.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:


Miami 5, Houston 5
Philadelphia 8, Detroit 2
L.A. Angels 8, Milwaukee 6
Cleveland 9, Cincinnati 6
San Diego 9, Chi White Sox 9
Chi Cubs 15, Oakland 11
L.-A. Dodgers 3, Seattle 3


Tampa Bay 15, Baltimore 6
Minnesota 5, Boston 3
N.-Y. Yankees 3, Toronto 1
Texas 0, Kansas City 0


St. Louis 6, Washington 2
Philadelphia 8, Pittsburgh 2
N.-Y. Mets 2, Atlanta 2


OT/Oklahoma City 114, Orlando 106
Atlanta 99, Philadelphia 92
Charlotte 110, Toronto 106
Miami 105, N.-Y. Knicks 88
Milwaukee 103, Boston 100
Memphis 110, Indiana 97
New Orleans 121, Dallas 118
Golden State 110, San Antonio 98
Utah 112, Sacramento  82
L.-A. Clippers 133, Washington 124


Chicago 5, Pittsburgh 1
L.A. Kings 4, Calgary 1
Washington 5, Colorado 3
St. Louis 3, Arizona 1

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

luchschen/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From late nights out to early mornings on the job, 30-year-old entrepreneur Erin Finnegan says she has a secret boost that keeps her going.

She uses “nootropics,” also called “smart drugs,” or supplements claiming to boost brain function, helping to improve memory, focus and maybe even make you brilliant.

“I’m bicoastal, I’m in New York and I’m here [in Los Angeles], and a lot of times traveling,” Finnegan said.

Much like how actor Bradley Cooper played a character who took a pill and his focus went from zero to 100 in the movie “Limitless,” there are some saying the effects of these supplements are nonfiction. Countless users on Reddit swear by these pills, heralding benefits from “increased focus” to “mental stimulation.”

Finnegan said nootropics is one of the keys to her success.

“I would not give them up willingly,” she said. “The additional focus that I can have with them, yes, it does sustain the speed I am going at now and the many things, I would have to take a couple things off my plate if I wanted to keep going without them.”

And she takes a pill every day.

“It’s not like press a button and all of a sudden turbo charge and switch into ‘nootropics mode,’” she said. “I found that it helped lessen the time it took me to switch gears, if that makes sense.”

But some doctors are questioning if the claims are too good to be true.

“The lack of controlled trials the lack of rigorous scientific research and the lack of studies that actually try to study all of these different types of nootropics in certain combinations altogether,” said Dr. Richard Isaacson, a neuroscientist and Alzheimer’s expert.

Nootropics stacks, or pills, are mixes of different components and can include different ingredients from caffeine and L-Theanine -- a type of amino acid -- to herbal supplements to the brain-boosting supplement, piracetam.

Although they claim to alter brain function, nootropics are marketed not as a drug but as a type of dietary supplement, which means they don’t need FDA approval.

Geoff Woo, 29-year-old co-founder of nootropics company Nootrobox, said he got interested in the supplement because he “wanted to be smarter.”

“I grew up very competitive and wanting to be the best version of myself possible,” Woo said. “If there's one really smart person in the world, great we have another Einstein, but if everyone was super smart there's like an exponential amount of information and innovation.”

Four years ago, Woo was working at a venture capital firm when he started digging around the internet and experimenting.

“We were tinkering with things from laboratories from China, from off-label compounds, everything,” he said.

Today, it’s become much more than a hobby for Woo. He says business is booming, and he caught the attention and financial backing of top Silicon Valley titans like early Facebook investor Andreesen Horowitz and Yahoo’s Marisa Mayer. He even made his pitch on an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” but didn’t get any bites.

"I’ve tried nootropics, that’s what people use to go on 48-hour coding binges," Shark Chris Sacca told Woo when he appeared in a "Shark Tank" episode that aired in December. "But at the end of the day, you’re left with a headache, lack of recall, sometimes. I’m worried about the long term consequences so I’m out."

Inside Woo’s tightly controlled lab, located an hour outside of Los Angeles, his team pumps out thousands of little pills every day.

“For our company, we have four different pills, or four different types of stacks,” he said.

Woo claims his pills to do everything from boosting “immediate clarity, energy and flow” to enhancing "memory, stamina and resilience.”

“The whole notion is approaching the human body as if we were from an engineer's perspective. So optimizing shortcuts to being better, more productive versions of ourselves,” he said. “I think we all want to be better versions of ourselves. I think that's one of the distinguishing factors of being human.”

Nootrobox’s products are supplements so they are not FDA approved, but Woo said everything his company produces is “generally regarded as safe” by the FDA, which he said, “is the highest level of safety that the FDA gives for all things that one can consume.”

“It's based on understanding of biological mechanisms,” Woo said. “Our science team, which consists of actually practicing doctors and M.D. Ph.D.s, walk through that and actually validate any cross indications.”

But some experts caution that this temporary boost could have side effects, with many citing the lack of studies about long-term impacts.

“You may have several ingredients on the label and there may be one of the many ingredients on there that may interact with your blood pressure medicines or it may interact with something else,” Dr. Isaacson said. “While these drugs by itself may be generally safe, it's hard to generalize. They may interact with other things ... so that's why we always recommend discussion of approval by a treating physician.”

Despite potential side effects, there are some who are taking multiple nootropic pills a day. Megan Klimen is a self-proclaimed “bio-hacker” who has been experimenting with nootropics for years. On a stressful day, she said she’ll take about eight to 10 pills.

“So on a daily basis, I take ‘The Rise,’ I take the KADO 3, which is this mix of the vitamins that you need, it’s got vitamin D, it’s got K, it’s got Omega 3, it’s got DHA,” she said. “Before I found the Nootrobox, I had 12 different ones that I was taking, but those 12 different ones are summed up in these really well.”

Eric Matzner created his company Nootroo after becoming fascinating in reading about the supplements online. He said he takes over 40 supplements each day.

“I get most of my energy from the ingredients in Nootroo,” he said. “There’s a form of caffeine, a really advanced form of caffeine called Purenergy. That’s a caffeine crystal ... I love ubiquinol I take a ton of it ... I’ll take like 300 or more milligrams a day.”

Matzner said nootropics are a whole new take on science and health care, and some users believe they could be the future.

“We’re talking about ... a new type of biology where we’re taking these things into our own hands but also to try and proactively go from baseline to above,” said Matzner.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Subscribe To This Feed

ipopba/iStockThinkstock(WASHINGTON) – President Trump's travel ban and perceived hostility towards foreigners could cost the U.S. tourism sector more than $18 billion over the next two years ($7.4 billion this year $10.8 billion in 2018), according to analysts at Tourism Economics.

"On multiple fronts--diplomacy, trade, border control, visa policy—international markets are receiving a message that America is no longer a welcoming destination," Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks explained to ABC News.

The U.S. will likely lose 10.6 million international visitors over that time period ($4.3 million this year, $6.3 million in 2018). That includes 4.48 million lost visits from Mexico, 1.95 million lost visits from Canada, and 4.18 lost visits from overseas, the group says.  

Many cities have already begun trying to woo travelers back with a more inclusive message. New York City's marketing team, for example, has released a new $3 million campaign, Welcoming the World, to "reassure international travelers" from the UK, Mexico, Germany, Spain and other countries.

And losing international travelers isn't the only issue here, Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group, tells ABC News.  The tourism sector may also lose potential domestic tourists, who decide to move business conferences overseas due to concerns over problems their international attendees may face.

However, Harteveldt points out, there are other factors contributing to the potential decline -- including the stronger U.S. dollar.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Find Us On Facebook