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Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Lyft said that riders who tamper with surge pricing face being deactivated after a report revealed that ridehsare drivers at a Washington D.C. airport coordinated to boost fares.

The statement came after a report from ABC affiliate WJLA alleging that Lyft and Uber drivers at Reagan National Airport organized to turn off their apps until the prices for rides surged enough to deem the fares worthwhile.

"All the airplanes, we know when they land. So five minutes before, we turn all our apps off — all of us at the same time," one driver, who did not want to identified, told WJLA on camera. "All of us, we turn our apps off. They surge $10, $12, sometimes $19. Then we turn our app on. Everyone will get the surge.”

The drivers who spoke to WJLA said they hack surge pricing because their pay has gotten so low they can't cover expenses.

"Uber doesn’t pay us enough. What the company is doing is defrauding all these people by taking 35% to 40%," one driver, who did not want to identified, told WJLA. On camera, the other drivers agreed.

“They are taking all this money because there’s no system of accountability,” another unidentified driver said.

Last week, Lyft and Uber drivers around the world went "on strike" by turning off their apps for part or all of the day on May 8 to protest low pay, lack of employee status and benefits, and other working conditions that varied from city to city. Two days later, the company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.

The practice of manipulating surge pricing is not necessarily new, said Lior Zalmanson, a professor at the University of Haifa in Israel who researches the ridesharing economy. His team studied rideshare drivers from 2016 to 2017.

"Back then, we found some incidents where drivers attempted to coordinate online and create surges by avoiding certain areas, thus creating a shortage of drivers, which leads to an increase in prices," Zalmanson told ABC News.

Interestingly, the surge hacking was not denied by Drive United, an ad hoc union for rideshare drivers.

"For years, our wages have been declining, resulting in many drivers being unable to afford health insurance or to feed their families. Just last week, drivers in Washington D.C. and around the world protested to demand a living wage from rideshare corporations," Drive United told ABC News in a statement.

"With that demand still unanswered, it should surprise no one that drivers are finding ways to work together within Uber and Lyft’s terms to make enough money to cover their basic needs. We encourage the media to look deeper into Uber and Lyft’s unsustainable business model and the difficulties drivers face every day," Drive United continued.

In a statement, Lyft told ABC News, "Lyft takes any allegations of fraudulent behavior very seriously as it violates our community guidelines and can lead to deactivation from the Lyft platform."

Lyft also took issue with complaints of low pay, saying most drivers make on average $20 per hour.

Uber told ABC News that “this behavior is neither widespread or permissible on the Uber platform, and we have technical safeguards in place to help prevent it from happening.”

Zalmanson agreed, saying "only the Uber company can detect these patterns for (something close to) certain. Given their machine learning capabilities, I would have to assume they might know when a surge feels produced and when it isn't."

He added that there are reasons that drivers may feel compelled to take matters into their own hands

"When drivers feel isolated from both company and peers, when they feel the company calls them 'partners' but keeps increasing their [company] commission. When they feel the system is an opaque black box whose choices they can’t understand, and they interpret it as if it tries to hurt their wages — it sometimes ends up in them regaining a sense of control by attempting to game the system for their benefit," Zalmanson said. "It’s not always the case of course, and with Uber’s strict surveillance, there’s not a lot they can do... but they do try."

 

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Pruvo(NEW YORK) -- Memorial Day is fast approaching and with it, the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

If you haven't booked your summer vacation yet, here are three sites worth checking out.

Pruvo

Pruvo turns hotel booking on its head by saving the consumer money after they've already booked their room. According to the site, hotel prices drop, on average, 40 percent after a person has already booked.

But who has the time to keep checking back, cancelling and rebooking the same hotel room? That's where Pruvo comes in.

After you've made your free cancellation/fully refundable hotel reservation on any web site, email the confirmation to save@pruvo.com.

If the price drops, the customer receives an email. The company helps them rebook their exact same room at a cheaper rate.

The savings for the customer is the difference between the original price and the new price Pruvo found them. The company claims more then $2 million in savings so far.

One recent example included a hotel reservation at the Courtyard Daytona Speedway. Originally booked on Booking.com, Pruvo was able to find the customer the exact same room for $125 less.

Under Canvas

If you love the idea of camping but hate the ideas of, you know, actually camping, Under Canvas is for you. The company runs luxury campsites around national parks.

Each luxury campsite is made up of safari-inspired canvas lodging tents, which can hold up to seven people and are furnished with plush mattresses, luxe linens and a wood burning stove.

Locations include: Yellowstone and Glacier in Montana; Moab and Zion in Utah; Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee; the Grand Canyon; and Tucson, Arizona.

Rates starting from $189 per night.

Under Canvas has launched a #paywhatyoucan social campaign to make travel more accessible and affordable this summer. Anyone can apply on the Under Canvas site and the company said all applications will be considered for a reduced-price "glamping" vacation.

Applications are due June 4. Follow @undercanvasofficial for more details.

Cruisesheet

Cruising is unlike any other form of travel and, for the novice, the pricing structure and add-ons can be hard to untangle. That's where Cruisesheet comes in.

The site claims to be the only cruise agency that shows the actual, total price, including tax and port fees, avoiding surprises at checkout.

For those looking for the lowest possible prices, Cruisesheet is the only cruise agency that lets you sort by cost per day, including taxes and fees. The site currently has cruises from $32 per day.

A current list of the best deals can be found here.

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Facebook(NEW YORK) -- Facebook has banned an Israeli company and taken down hundreds of its accounts that were aimed at manipulating elections in Africa and southeast Asia, the company announced on Thursday.

The social media company said that the Israeli company, Archimedes Group, tried to conceal its identity in setting up fake accounts with false information. In all, 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, Facebook Pages, Groups and events "involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior" were taken down, Facebook said.

"This activity originated in Israel and focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in Latin America and Southeast Asia," Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, wrote on the company's site Thursday.

Archimedes Group "has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and other policies, including by engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior," Gleicher wrote. "This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter."

One example of activity by these inauthentic accounts showed that one of them had posted an incendiary statement about a critic of the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Facebook said.

"Faithful to only himself, Martin Fayulu criticizes and rejects the results of the presidential election, which has unfolded transparently and in an exemplary calmness. It is time for him to admit his defeat to president Tshisekedi who has been elected in a democratic way."

A representative for Archimedes Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

Archimedes Group operated 65 Facebook accounts, 161 Pages, 23 Groups, 12 events and four Instagram accounts, Facebook said, with 2.8 million accounts following at least one of the Pages, 5,500 accounts joining at least one of the Groups and about 920 people following one or more of the Instagram accounts.

Gleicher said the Israeli firm spent approximately $812,000 for ads on Facebook paid in Brazilian reals, Israeli shekesl, and U.S. dollars from December 2012 to April 2019.

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Ford(CONCORD, N.C.) -- Learning to drive a car with manual transmission is intimidating no matter what the circumstances.

I was about to get a lesson in driving stick from Joey Logano, the reigning NASCAR champion.

We were parked in an empty lot on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in Concord, North Carolina, a few miles away from NASCAR's offices. Our test car? A Ford Mustang Bullitt.

“This is perfect. The only thing you can hit are these lights,” Joey said, pointing to the parking lot's metal lamp posts.

Being able to drive a manual car is a challenging skill that very few people learn. In fact, the overwhelming majority of vehicles manufactured today are built with two pedals -- not three.

As a journalist who writes about cars, it was imperative to learn all the tricks of the trade. But who was going to be my coach, my patient guide?

Joey, who races for NASCAR's Team Penske, has been competing professionally since he was 15. His father, Tom Logano, taught him how to drive stick at the age of 7 on an old Honda Civic, taping blocks to the pedals and placing a stack of pillows behind young Joey as he mastered the footwork.

Joey said he would spend hours cruising and shifting in that Civic, blasting an AM station that played back the static of the engine. He was in heaven.

When I learned that Joey had agreed to be my driving instructor, I was floored. A bit intimidated, too. And definitely nervous.

 

 

I asked Joey before our lesson if he had taught others to drive stick. His wife, Brittany, was a former student. But, he cautioned, “I kind of run out of patience sometimes."

“I wasn’t the best teacher,” he acknowledged with a shy grin. “But I am going to do my best today.”

I laughed out loud. Oh boy, this was going to be an adventure.

I took a deep breath, visualized my feet on the pedals and carefully watched the RPM (revolutions per minute) on the tachometer increase.

“Lift your foot off the brake. Give it just a little bit of gas," Joey told me. "Now let out the clutch slowly. A little more, a little quicker.”

 My hands were tightly coiled around the wheel, my brow furrowed.

“Let out the clutch slowly. Just a little bit of gas,” I repeated back to Joey.

The Mustang lurched forward and bucked. I glanced nervously at Joey.

“There you go,” he said with a laugh.

“But we’re jumping,” I replied, mostly relieved the car had not stalled yet incredulous with how it was responding.

“Push the clutch in when the car is bucking,” he instructed.

We tried again. Same result. More bucking.

“Just go a little slower on the clutch,” he said. “So when you were letting the clutch out, you were going really, really slow and then you went fast. So you kinda want to ease it out slowly, the same speed all the way out.”

The car crawled to a stop, my feet synchronous in action as I stepped on the brake and clutch simultaneously.

“You got the stopping part figured out good,” he teased.

 I regained focus, staring intensely at the black asphalt in front of me.

“Just a little bit of throttle,” Joey explained. “Then just sloooooowly roll out.”

The car inched forward and bucked slightly. I stepped a little harder on the accelerator. Shift to second gear, Joey coached. The car seemed to be struggling.

“It’s revving out, right?” he noted. “You don’t want to go on the highway in 5,000 RPM.”

“Go to third, let the clutch out, now back to the gas,” he said. “That was perfect.”

We did it again and again. My lack of clutch control was frustrating.

“You don’t have any patience, do you?” Joey said with a laugh. “You’re like, ‘I just want to let the clutch out.’ That’s funny.”

Joey couldn't stop laughing. At that point I was happy he hadn't walked out on me. I worried that the bucking was making him sick, but he reassured me that he was feeling fine. Then he spotted my problem.

“You know what I think is happening?” he said. “You’re letting the first part of the clutch out with your ankle.”

“And then you’re running out of range on your ankle,” he continued. “You’re moving your leg and you’ve got no control. Try letting the clutch out the whole time with your foot, with your heel not on the ground.”

With the car in neutral and the emergency parking brake on, I practiced releasing the clutch, this time with my heel inches off the floor.

“See how smooth you were?” Joey said, watching as I moved my ankle. “Because you’re using the same muscle the whole time.”

We decided to take the lesson to the next level: Going in reverse.

I pointed to the concrete wall a few feet away.

“I am not going to hit it, I promise,” I said.

“Famous last words,” Joey quipped.

Turns out I am a pro at reverse.

“Oh, that was money,” he said with a laugh. “Why can’t you do that all the time?”

The conversation veered to braking. He then made a confession.

“I’ve rolled a car down a ditch before without me in it,” he said sheepishly. “And it’s a bad feeling. I learned the hard way. Always put it in gear even if you think the parking brake is on. The car rolled down the hill and into a tree. We fixed the car but it was pretty bad. It was a bad moment in my life.”

I burst out laughing. Even Joey Logano – race car driver, NASCAR trophy winner, driving god – has made mistakes.

 With my confidence starting to rebound, I shifted to first gear and did exactly as Joey told me.

A smoother start.

“See, you started to go fast and you stopped yourself. That was perfect, that was good. We’re making progress,” Joey hollered, encouraging me to pick up the speed.

He waved to our small audience -- PR handlers, my father -- in the parking lot, a big grin on his face.

“We’re doing good!” he yelled out the window.

But we weren’t done. There was still one key lesson to learn: launch control.

“So this is really simple, you’re going to be really good at this, I promise,” he said in jest. “This is going to be the easiest thing you’ve done all day.”

We switched seats and showed me how to rev the engine in first gear. He released the clutch and the car took off like a rocket.

I let out a small scream.

Now it was my turn.

“This is the moment I regret everything,” he said as we exchanged laughs.

 I buckled the seat belt.

“You’re just going to push the clutch in, hold it all the way down, just dump the clutch,” he instructed. “No finesse.”

The Mustang squealed. The tachometer moved closer to the dangerous red line. Four tires spun ferociously.

“All the way down, all the down, dump the clutch, OH YEAH,” he exclaimed as the Mustang galloped at full speed.

With my hair flying in the wind, I shifted to second, then third gear. I was in control. The rush was exhilarating.

Joey was smiling. “It’s pretty fun, isn’t it?” he said.

I looked at him and shook my head in agreement, forgetting for a brief moment that he’s a celebrity race car driver.

The lesson concluded with a burnout. The smoke and fumes from the burning tires were overwhelming; I asked how he could tolerate the repugnant stench.

“What, you don’t like the smell of burning rubber?” he jabbed.

I looked down at the shreds of rubber that were strewn on the pavement.

“No,” I said with a laugh.

Then it was time for Joey to be Joey. He got behind the wheel of the Mustang and I braced for what was about to come: spinning circles of donuts, the Mustang tearing up the parking lot as I hung on for dear life.

Our time together was running out. So how’d I do? I asked. Joey didn’t hold back.

“You went from not knowing how to let the clutch out to doing a big, bad burnout by the end of the day, so I mean, that’s great improvement in my eyes,” he said, clearly proud of my progress.

“Would you feel comfortable with me driving you around on the roads here?” I asked eagerly.

“Yeah. You only stalled it a couple of times,” he said. “You got a lot smoother letting the pedal out. We know you’ve got a lead foot. And we know you want to go fast. It’s just hammer. That’s OK.”

I waved goodbye to Joey as he climbed into his 1991 Mustang, revving the engine and doing a few more circles of donuts before racing off to his next appointment.

Was I pro now at driving stick? Not quite. Was I more determined than ever to perfect my skills? Absolutely.

Will I forever be grateful to a NASCAR champion for giving me the confidence to achieve what I always thought was the impossible?

Always.

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Courtesy Hamblin family(NEW YORK) -- A lawsuit against football helmet manufacturer Riddell, filed by the family of a 22-year-old who suffered a seizure and drowned while fishing, will go forward, a judge in Ohio has ruled. The family claims their son's death was a result of brain damage suffered due to years of playing football.

Cody Hamblin was on a fishing boat on May 29, 2016, when the freak accident occurred -- four years after he stopped playing football. But medical tests after his death showed he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head, according to the lawsuit.

CTE has gained nationwide prominence due to the diagnosis of the disease in prominent football-related deaths, including Aaron Hernandez, Junior Seau and Jovan Belcher.

"The complainant alleges Decedent wore Defendants' helmets while playing football, believing the helmets would keep Decedent safe from long-term effects of repeat brain injuries, sub-concussive hit, and cumulative brain trauma," the lawsuit, originally filed in November 2018 in Montgomery County, Ohio, civil court, states. "In sum, as a result of Decedent's belief in the helmet's safety, Decedent continued to play football, and ultimately suffered long-term brain damage that led to his untimely drowning death."

Judge Steven Dankof ruled Tuesday that five of the six claims against Riddell will be allowed to proceed: wrongful death, strict liability for design defect, strict liability for manufacturing defect, defects in warning or instructions and defect by failure to conform to representation.

The sixth claim, for fraud, was dismissed, with Dankof ruling it was "masquerad[ing]" as a product liability claim.

Hamblin played football from the time he was 8 until he was 18, including starring for Miamisburg High School, in Miamisburg, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton.

"We actually did a lot of research and talked to some doctors and felt like it would be very safe with all the equipment and protection that the children were wearing -- helmets and all that," Cody's father, Darren, who filed the suit, told ABC News' Good Morning America in an interview airing Friday. "And so we let him play, and he really loved football from that point on. Football was the No. 1 thing in his life."

Riddell has faced a number of similar lawsuits in the past, with varying outcomes.

A jury ruled in favor of a Colorado family in a lawsuit against the equipment maker in April 2013, determining it must pay over $3 million to the family of Rhett Ridolfi, who suffers from severe brain damage as a result of a football injury. Months earlier, a jury in Mississippi found Riddell not liable for a high school player's stroke.

The family of Hernandez, the former star tight end for the New England Patriots who was convicted of killing a friend in 2015 and later committed suicide in prison, filed suit in an ongoing case against Riddell.

Riddell said it will fight against claims from the Hamblin family, as it has done consistently in the other cases.

"Riddell has a decades-long history of designing, manufacturing and selling industry-leading, state-of-the-art football helmets," the company said in a statement provided to ABC News about the Hamblin case. "Plaintiff’s allegations are unproven and vigorously contested. The Court’s ruling dismissed plaintiff’s fraud claim while simply allowing others to proceed past this very initial pleadings stage."

"The plaintiff’s allegations face many other challenges before they could ever reach a trial, and Riddell is confident in its defense to these meritless claims," the statement continued.

Riddell has provided gear to the NFL since 1989 and signed a five-year deal with the NFL that lasts through 2019. The helmet brand announced just last December it had entered into a new deal with Pop Warner Little Scholars, a nationwide organization of youth football teams and leagues.

The lawsuit is personal for the Hamblin family.

Darren Hamblin said he filed the lawsuit so "no other parent has to do what I’m doing right now."

"If one kid can be saved from going through this, from his family going through this, from keeping their family from having to go on and live with the guilt and the anguish," he said. "That's what I want to stop. And that's what my son would have wanted to stop."

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Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II -- who made headlines earlier this year when she published her first Instagram post -- is now looking for someone to bring her even more into the digital age.

The Royal Household has posted a job for a digital communications officer, a job that requires "finding new ways to maintain The Queen's presence in the public eye and on the world stage," according to the online listing.

"Whether you're covering a state visit, award ceremony or Royal engagement, you'll make sure our digital channels consistently spark interest and reach a range of audiences," the listing says. "With an eye to the future, you'll help hone and shape our digital communications through analytics, monitoring and exploring new technologies."

The Monday to Friday job is based at Buckingham Palace with a pay starting at around $38,000.

The work done in promoting the queen around the world though is advertised as priceless.

"The reaction to our work is always high-profile, and so reputation and impact will be at the forefront of all you do. And having your work shared around the world will be the biggest reward," the listing says.

Queen Elizabeth can look no further than her own grandchildren for viral success.

New parents Prince Harry and Meghan broke a world record for the fastest time to gain one million followers on Instagram when they launched their @SussexRoyal acocunt last month.

The account now has eight million followers.

Harry's brother, Prince William, and his wife, Kate, have more than 10 million followers combined on their @KensingtonRoyal Instagram and Twitter accounts.

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Instants/iStock(LONDON) -- We've all made mistakes at work, though some are more costly than others.

The next time you mess up, however, you'll be hoping your boss is just as forgiving as the owners of Hawksmoor Manchester steakhouse in the U.K., who said, "We love you anyway" to the employee who mistakenly served to an unsuspecting customer a $5,700 bottle of wine -- a bottle roughly 20 times as expensive than the one that was ordered.

"To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 on our menu, last night - hope you enjoyed your evening!" Hawksmoor Manchester posted to Twitter. "To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway."

After the tweet went viral on Thursday, with over 8,000 retweets and 50,000 likes, the restaurant posted a follow-up message addressing the bottles in question.

"The look pretty similar OK!?" they posted, although it has to be said that for the wine lovers at ABC News, the difference is fairly obvious.

THEY LOOK PRETTY SIMILAR OK?! 😉 pic.twitter.com/JWFW81cbe8

— Hawksmoor Manchester (@HawksmoorMCR) May 16, 2019

In an interview with The Washington Post, co-owner Will Beckett said that it was an "expensive mistake" but was pleased to run a restaurant with such a forgiving atmosphere. He added that although his staffer was horrified at her mistake, he continues to rib her with "the most gentle teasing."

"When they told me about it," he told the Post in a phone interview. "I thought, 'Oooh, that is an expensive mistake.' At the same time, I thought it's the same kind of I'm-not-concentrating thing I would do. It's just an unfortunate human error."

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anouchka/iStock(LAS VEGAS) -- MGM Resorts said on Thursday it may pay as much as $800 million in liabilities tied to the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured more than 800.

The company, which owns Mandalay Bay, from which Stephen Paddock fired on a crowd of thousands, said in a regulatory filing that it "believes it is reasonably possible that a settlement will be reached" by next May and that it had $751 million in insurance to assist in paying settlements.

The plaintiffs, citing physical and psychological harm from the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, have alleged that MGM is liable because Paddock stockpiled an arsenal of weapons over several days in his two-room suite at Mandalay Bay.

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undefined undefined/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The College Board has announced it’s going to start giving more context about a student's background that will accompany their SAT exam score during the college admissions process based on various factors – including some outside of the classroom – in an effort to increase diversity.

The new tool, according to College Board, is called the Environmental Context Dashboard and will give more information about a student’s background based on where they attended high school, like average family income, family structure and crime in the area.

“The Environmental Context Dashboard shines a light on students who have demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness to overcome challenges and achieve more with less,” David Coleman, the CEO of College Board, said in a statement.

“It enables colleges to witness the strength of students in a huge swath of America who would otherwise be overlooked,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report on this initiative.

Fifty schools took part in a pilot program, including Yale University and Florida State University, according to College Board.

College Board said that those who were involved in reading applications with the new standard included said it resulted in more students from a disadvantaged background being admitted.

The Environmental Context Dashboard will be offered to more schools next year, according to the College Board, and will be free for those colleges to utilize.

The move comes as the college admissions process as a whole has been under intense scrutiny following a scandal that revealed several individuals were involved in a college admissions cheating scam. On Monday, Academy Award-nominated actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to a charge that spurred from the massive bribery scam.

The scam involved dozens of parents who allegedly lied and bribed in exchange for their children getting admitted into various elite universities, which raised questions about the fairness of the college admissions process.

"There is talent and potential waiting to be discovered in every community – the children of poor rural families, kids navigating the challenges of life in the inner city, and military dependents who face the daily difficulties of low income and frequent deployments as part of their family’s service to our country. No single test score should ever be examined without paying attention to this critical context," Coleman's statement said.

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Wolterk/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Walmart topped Fortune's list of the United States' 500 largest corporations by revenue for the seventh year in a row, as online rival Amazon cracked the top five for the first time.

The annual list ranked companies by their revenue in the 2018 fiscal year.

"FORTUNE 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with $13.7 trillion in revenues, $1.1 trillion in profits, $22.6 trillion in market value, and employ 28.7 million people worldwide," the company said in a statement.

The second-largest company was oil giant Exxon Mobil, with Apple moving up one spot to third.

In a shift of corporate wealth westward, California-based FORTUNE 500 companies "generated the most aggregate revenue ($1.6 trillion), earned the most aggregate profits ($256 billion), and are valued the most in market cap ($5.5 trillion)," the statement said.

In fact, five of the six most valuable companies were tech giants, with Microsoft, Apple and Amazon each reaching valuations of $1 trillion in the past year.

Also, for the first time, there were 33 female-led companies on the list -- the highest number of women CEOs ever. Last year there were 24 on the list.

Here are the top 10 companies ranked by Fortune. For the complete list, click here.

  1. Walmart
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Apple
  4. Berkshire Hathaway
  5. Amazon.com
  6. UnitedHealth Group
  7. McKesson
  8. CVS Health
  9. AT&T
  10. AmerisourceBergen

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Taco Bell(NEW YORK) -- Billing itself as a "Taco-asis of resort, food, and all things Taco Bell," The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort will launch in Palm Springs, California on Aug. 9.

The "immersive" experience based on the popular fast food chain will feature "Bell" hops, fire sauce packet-shaped floaties for the pool and other eatery-themed amenities.

"Everything from guest rooms, breakfast, poolside cocktails and an on-site gift shop will be infused with a Taco Bell twist," notes the company copy. "Even the salon will offer unique Taco Bell-inspired nail art, fades and a braid bar."

The limited hotel experience based on the Mexican-inspired eateries boasts to do no less than make Taco Bell "fans' dreams come true."

According to the company, "From check-in to check-out, The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort reimagines what a hotel stay can be, unveiling a destination inspired by tacos and fueled by fans."

Taco Bell's Chief Global Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg says in a statement, "The Bell stands to be the biggest expression of the Taco Bell lifestyle to date. It will be fun, colorful, flavorful and filled with more than what our fans might expect. Also, just like some of our most sought-after food innovation, this hotel brings something entirely new for lucky fans to experience and enjoy."

Reservations will open in June; those eager to learn more about how to score a room at this "tacoasis" in the desert can stay up to date on the hotel's developments here.

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David Tran/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Facebook officials, who have admitted their systems failed to prevent the broadcast of the New Zealand mosque massacre on their platform, have announced a new policy for livestreaming.

"We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to [Facebook] Live, in connection with a broader range of offenses," Facebook's vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, wrote in a post on the company's site late Tuesday. "From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offense."

Previously, the company took down posts that violated community standards. If a user continued to post content that violated the standards, Facebook temporarily blocked the user's account, removing the ability to broadcast live. More extreme posters – of terror propaganda or violations of children – would be banned altogether, Rosen wrote.

But now, violators are penalized starting with their first offense.

"For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time," Rosen said, adding that the company will also work to ban those users from placing ads in the coming weeks.

The move was praised by cybersecurity experts who often critique social media platforms for lack of action regarding hate speech.

"It’s a positive step toward curbing abuse of live streaming, and Facebook has been taking real steps on curbing hate content over the last few months," Chad Loder, CEO and founder of cybersecurity firm Habitu8, told ABC News.

The video of the Christchurch mass shooting, in which 51 people at two mosques were killed, was viewed at least 200 times live, Facebook said shortly after the attacks.

"This particular video did not trigger our automatic detection systems," Rosen wrote in the days following the attacks. The video was then viewed about 4,000 times before being taken down. The video and images of the attack were disseminated across all major social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

In the 24 hours after the attacks, Facebook removed at least 1.2 million videos of the massacre as they were uploaded, but before they were viewed, according to Rosen.

"Approximately 300,000 additional copies were removed after they were posted," Rosen wrote.

Part of the difficulty in detecting violent content is that videos are edited, making them harder to spot. The company said it would devote $7.5 million to partner with the University of Maryland, Cornell University and the University of California, Berkeley, to research better ways to "detect manipulated media across images, video and audio" and distinguish unwitting posters from those deliberately trying to manipulate content.

"This work will be critical for our broader efforts against manipulated media, including deepfakes (videos intentionally manipulated to depict events that never occurred). We hope it will also help us to more effectively fight organized bad actors who try to outwit our systems as we saw happen after the Christchurch attack," Rosen said.

Facebook officials announced the change as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron met Wednesday on the sidelines of the G-7 gathering in Paris. The two leaders were signing the "Christchurch Call," a demand for the world's tech giants to take action to stop extremism on their platforms.

The U.S. declined to sign the international accord.

"While the United States is not currently in a position to join the endorsement, we continue to support the overall goals reflected in the Call," Trump Administration officials said in a statement. "The best tool to defeat terrorist speech is productive speech, and thus we emphasize the importance of promoting credible, alternative narratives as the primary means by which we can defeat terrorist messaging."

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Kativ/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Harriet Tubman, noted abolitionist and celebrated Civil War spy, might be closer to getting on the $20 bill if renewed congressional efforts are successful.

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., made the case to use the image of the woman who helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom via the "Underground Railroad" rather than that of former President Andrew Jackson, who owned slaves and who supported policies that led to the forcible removal of Native Americans from their homes.

Katko on Tuesday highlighted the importance of the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act.

"It should not even be an issue, in my mind," he told WKRN-TV. "When the Trump administration came in, it fell by the wayside."

Former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced plans for Tubman to replace President Jackson on the $20 bill in 2016 as part of an effort to get more women on U.S. currency. The plan was set to go into effect in 2020.

However, the Trump administration has held off on implementing the plan. At a 2016 town hall on NBC's The Today Show, President Donald Trump called the move "pure political correctness" and suggested putting Tubman on the $2 bill.

In 2017, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC, "Ultimately, we will be looking at this issue. It's not something I'm focused on at the moment."

Katko and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., reintroduced the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act this February after the initial bill died in committee in 2017.

In a press release earlier this year, Cummings said, "Placing Harriet Tubman on our U.S. currency would be a fitting tribute to a woman who fought to make the values enshrined in our Constitution a reality for all Americans."

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., introduced the measure in the Senate this March and the bill is before the Financial Services Committee in the House.

Tubman was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation in 1822 as Araminta Ross and changed her name after marrying her first husband. She escaped slavery in 1849, and, as a key figure in the Underground Railroad, returned to the South at least 13 times to help free others.

During the Civil War she was a nurse and a spy for the Union Army. After the war, she petitioned the government to have her widow's pension increased given her additional wartime service.

In 1899, 34 years after the end of the war, Congress passed a bill raising her pension to $20 a month.

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chemistkane/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A Georgetown University student facing possible expulsion over his father's involvement in a college admissions bribery scheme is taking the school to court.

Adam Semprevivo filed a lawsuit Wednesday morning against the private university in Washington, D.C., demanding that a district court judge block the school from taking disciplinary action against him that could include revoking his earned academic credits and subjecting him to academic discipline after his father, California sales executive Stephen Semprevivo, admitted paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get him accepted.

Stephen Semprevivo had hired a college admissions consultant, William "Rick" Singer, to help with his son's applications several years ago. But Adam Semprevivo, who just completed his junior year at the university, alleges that his father, without his knowledge, made an agreement with Singer "to take specific steps" to get him into Georgetown, according to the complaint.

Adam Semprevivo alleges in the lawsuit he was informed by Singer that Georgetown's then-tennis coach, Gordon Ernst, was a friend and would provide him a recommendation, when in fact Ernst used one of his assigned admission slots as if he was recruiting Adam Semprevivo to play tennis for the university.

Singer also wrote Adam Semprevivo's admissions essay, which contained "falsified information" that "solely discussed Adam's love for tennis," and submitted his application into Georgetown, typing in Adam Semprevivo's name in the signature block. Yet high school transcripts, which were supplied to Georgetown, "made no reference to Adam ever having played tennis," according to the complaint.

"Despite the fact that these misrepresentations could have been easily verified and debunked before Georgetown formally admitted Semprevivo in April 2016, no one at Georgetown did so," the complaint states. "From 2017 until April 3, 2019, no one from Georgetown questioned Semprevivo, met with Semprevivo, sought an explanation from Semprevivo, or attempted to discipline Semprevivo in relation to issues concerning his admission."

Adam Semprevivo claims in the lawsuit that his acceptance into Georgetown "was not conditioned on playing or participating on the tennis team," and that his SAT score and high school GPA, for which he "received no assistance from Singer with either," were both within the university's academic standards.

While attending the university, Adam Semprevivo maintained a 3.18 grade point average, according to the lawsuit, which contents that he offered to withdraw from the university with his earned credits intact so that he could transfer to another school, and the university refused his request.

While Georgetown would not comment on the pending litigation, a spokesperson for the university told ABC News in a statement that in 2018 they "discovered irregularities in the athletic credentials of two students who were being recruited to play tennis. Neither student was admitted."

An internal investigation was launched and Ernst was asked to resign, the university said, adding that they "established a new policy concerning the recruitment of student athletes" and "implemented audits to check whether recruited student athletes are on team rosters."

“The University was not aware of any alleged criminal activity or acceptance of bribes by Mr. Ernst until it was later contacted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office," university spokesperson Meghan Dubyak said.

Georgetown said following the March indictments, they began contacting current students who may have been involved to give them a chance to respond. The university noted that "knowingly misrepresenting or falsifying credentials in an application can be cause for rescinding the admission of the student and dismissal from Georgetown."

As a result of their internal inquiry, the university said they "informed two students of our intent to rescind their admission and dismiss them from Georgetown. Each student case was addressed individually and each student was given multiple opportunities to respond and provide information to the University.”

The complaint claims that by taking action in this way, Georgetown has "flagrantly violated" its own Honor Council System Procedures in relation to its investigation of Adam Semprevivo and has failed to provide him with appropriate due process in subjecting him to disciplinary proceedings that could lead to the rescission of his admission and his expulsion.

The lawsuit contends that the university's Honor Council System Procedures requires that a full investigation be conducted and a report presented to the executive board, with the student given a right to present evidence before a decision is made.

When questioned about why this process did not take place for Adam Semprevivo's case, the university, through their attorney, said the honor system did not apply because the issue concerns Adam Semprevivo's submissions to the university before he was enrolled as a student, according to the lawsuit.

After his son was accepted into Georgetown, Stephen Semprevivo paid "a charity" of Singer's $400,000, according to the complaint. Federal prosecutors say Singer then paid off Ernst for pretending Adam Semprevivo was a team recruit.

Singer has been identified as the ringleader of a nationwide college admissions scam. Parents allegedly paid bribes of up to $6.5 million to Singer to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford and Georgetown universities, and the University of Southern California, according to federal prosecutors.

Last week, Stephen Semprevivo became the third parent to plead guilty in the vast scam. Meanwhile, Ernst has pleaded not guilty to accepting $2.7 million in bribes to designate at least 12 Georgetown applicants as team recruits.

While this appears to be the first lawsuit involving a student whose parents were accused of being involved in the scheme, it is not the first civil lawsuit stemming from the scheme itself.

In March, Stanford University students Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods filed a class-action lawsuit against eight colleges including USC, Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown.

Olsen and Woods both claim that they have been negatively impacted by the alleged cheating scheme and requested more than $5 million in damages, arguing that "unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission."

They also alleged their degrees are diminished because of the alleged scandal.

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SteveLagreca/iStock(DETROIT) -- Ford Motor Company issued a recall for 270,000 Fusions on Wednesday, citing a potential for the cars to roll away, the company said.

The recall affects select Fusions made from 2013 to 2016 with 2.5-liter engines. A faulty transmission could cause the cars to incorrectly shift gears.

"A shifter cable that detaches from the transmission may allow the transmission to be in a gear state different from the gearshift position selected by the driver," the company said in a statement.

"The condition could allow the driver to move the shift lever to park and remove the ignition key while the transmission may not be in park, with no warning message or audible chime. If the parking brake is not applied, a shifter cable that detaches from the transmission could result in unintended vehicle movement, increasing the risk of injury or crash," the company said.

Ford also said it was recalling 2,500 Ranger pickups built in 2019.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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