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Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Federal authorities have subpoenaed the social media company Snap Inc in an inquiry that appears to focus on Snap’s March, 2017 initial public offering, the company confirmed to ABC News Wednesday.

Both the Justice Department (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) have subpoenaed the company, which own the popular messaging app Snapchat.

The revelation about the subpoenas comes in the wake of a 2017 shareholder lawsuit alleging that Snap underplayed how competition from Instagram weighed on the growth of Snapchat.

“Snap has been responding to subpoenas and requests for information made by staff from the DOJ and the SEC,” a spokesman said in a statement. “It is our understanding that these regulators are investigating issues related to the previously disclosed allegations asserted in the class action about our IPO disclosures,” the spokesman said, referring to the company's initial public offering.

In May of last year shareholders sued Snap, alleging the company made “material misrepresentations and omissions concerning Snap’s user growth” and issued “materially false and/or misleading statements in Snap’s registration statement for its IPO.”

“While we do not have complete visibility into these investigations, our understanding is that the DOJ is likely focused on IPO disclosures relating to competition from Instagram," the Snap spokesman said in the statement.

"We continue to believe the class action's claims are meritless and our IPO disclosures were accurate and complete,” the Snap spokesman said.

After Snap’s $3.4 billion IPO its signature messaging app has disappointed investors and the stock price has dropped from its initial offering price of $17 per share to $6.71 on Tuesday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The makers of e-cigarettes are facing new government restrictions on how the popular liquid nicotine products can be advertised and sold, with a top federal regulator making clear that industry hasn't done enough to keep vaping devices away from young people.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration already bans the sales of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to those under 18. And some states have gone farther, restricting sales to customers over 21. But FDA has made clear that it doesn't think enough has been done to prevent a new generation of Americans growing up addicted to nicotine. The agency has called out what it calls an "epidemic" of e-cigarette use among minors and has announced a Dec. 5 public hearing on the subject.

"We will take additional actions in the coming months to address the public health concern of youth e-cigarette and other tobacco product use with the goal of slowing and ultimately reversing these troubling trends," the FDA said earlier this month.

Juul, the nation's leading producer of e-cigarettes, tried to fend off additional regulation this week when it announced it would stop selling flavored vaping devices popular with younger consumers, including mango, fruit, creme and cucumber.

The company says it will only sell those flavors online and is setting up a system that would independently verify a person's age before allowing the sale.

"We don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use JUUL products," according to a company statement posted online. "We certainly don’t want youth using the product. It is bad for public health, and it is bad for our mission."

But Scott Gottlieb, head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said the actions by Juul wouldn't be enough.

"We're deeply concerned about the epidemic of youth use of e-cigs," he tweeted. "Voluntary action is no substitute for regulatory steps #FDA will soon take."

Last month, the FDA raided the San Francisco headquarters of Juul Labs, looking for documents related to the company's marketing practices. The federal regulator had been investigating whether Juul violated the law by targeting minors through its advertising and flavored products.

Gottlieb said he still supports policies that would help adult smokers quit, including the encouragement of adults addicted to traditional cigarettes to transition to e-cigarettes. But, he adds, "I won’t allow policy accommodation we take to promote innovation to come at the expense of an epidemic of use of tobacco products by children. We are now witnessing that epidemic."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it plans to set new rules about pollution from heavy-duty trucks, which release more than 20 percent of pollution from transportation that contributes to smog.

The "cleaner trucks initiative" aims to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, a group of gases that contribute to global warming and form smog. The EPA doesn't have a specific goal for the reduction, but officials said they will be looking at new technologies that could reduce and more accurately test emissions from trucks.

EPA sets different regulations for different kinds of vehicles. Heavy-duty trucks include semi trucks and other large pickup trucks, buses and recreational vehicles, according to the EPA definition.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told reporters the move will especially help cities and areas with heavy stop-and-go traffic to meet requirements to reduce ozone and other pollutants.

The agency could take a page from California for this rule. The state has been implementing new requirements for heavy-duty trucks and buses to be replaced with updated engines and technology to reduce pollution by 2023.

The head of EPA's air office Bill Wehrum said Monday night the agency will be working with California on the new rule, though they might not agree with all of California's approach.

While the agency is working on new rules for larger trucks, Wehrum said they consider this effort completely separate from efforts to reduce fuel-efficiency standards for smaller cars and trucks, which is at odds with California's higher standards.

The EPA will begin the process of writing a proposed rule, according to the announcement Tuesday. It would still need to be made available for public comment before anything is final.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has still not come forward to claim the prize.

In late October, the winning ticket was purchased at KC Mart #7 in Simpsonville, South Carolina, making it the state's first Mega Millions jackpot win, according to lottery officials.

The winning ticket's numbers matched all six numbers drawn (5-28-62-65-70, and Megaball 5). But the ticket owner has still not come forward to claim the prize some three weeks later.

"We have not heard that the winner in South Carolina has come forward," Seth Elkin, a spokesperson for Maryland Lottery and Gaming, told ABC News.

Along with Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas, South Carolina law allows a winner to stay anonymous if he or she wishes, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

The winner has 180 days since the day the ticket was purchased to come forward to claim the prize.

Tony Cooper, the chief operating officer with the South Carolina Education Lottery, advised the winner to sign the back of the lottery ticket, keep it in a safe place and seek a reliable financial advisor.

The winner can take either a cash-out option and receive a lump sum of approximately $878 million, or choose the annuity and receive $1.586 billion over the course of 30 years.

The $1.5 Mega Millions jackpot caused lottery fever across the country last month as individuals and groups snapped up tickets in the hopes of scoring the ultimate prize.

The owner of the shop where the ticket was purchased and the state will also receive a windfall from the lucky ticket as well.

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Amazon.com(NEW YORK) -- When Amazon builds its new Queens headquarters in Long Island City, the development will bring thousands of jobs, new construction, and, apparently, a helipad.

Government officials in New York agreed to let the Seattle-based retailer include a helicopter landing pad at the new facility as part of the deal.

But if the helipad can't be built on the actual site, the New York State Urban Development Corporation and New York City Economic Development Corporation said they would "assist the company in securing access to a helipad in an alternative location in reasonable proximity to the development sites," according to the agreement.

New York State Urban Development Corporation

The agreement states that Amazon alone will pay for any construction and "limit flights and landings to corporate use by the company," select "the least disruptive feasible location," "restrict landings to no more than 120 per year" and require that all flights be exclusively over water or the development sites."

It's not clear if the helicopter would be for Jeff Bezos' use. The Amazon CEO was injured in a helicopter crash in 2003.

A year later, Bezos told Fast Company, "I have to say, nothing extremely profound flashed through my head in those few seconds. My main thought was, This is such a silly way to die... It wasn’t life-changing in any major way. I’ve learned a fairly tactical lesson from it, I’m afraid. The biggest takeaway is: Avoid helicopters whenever possible! They’re not as reliable as fixed-wing aircraft."

Amazon did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. A spokesman for the New York City mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When built, the helipad may stand in contrast to its surroundings. The future Amazon HQ neighbors the Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in the Western Hemisphere.

Starting in 2020, Amazon "will hold or participate in events on a semi-annual basis at Queensbridge Houses such as job fairs and resume workshops in order to promote employment opportunities to NYCHA tenants for at least the initial three years of the project," according to the deal.

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Amazon.com(NEW YORK) -- Amazon on Tuesday said it chose New York City and a suburb of Washington, D.C., as the locations for its new headquarters.

The Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, just across the East River from Manhattan, and Crystal City in northern Virginia, about a mile from the Pentagon, were selected by the retail giant after an extensive search.

Amazon will invest $5 billion in the new sites, which will create 50,000 new jobs, the company said in a statement.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, in a statement. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

Amazon is calling the area where it's building in northern Virginia "National Landing." Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam confirmed the renaming of Crystal City in an interview Tuesday on CNBC.

Nashville was also picked as Amazon's new "Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities." Five thousand jobs will be added there.

Hiring at these new locations will begin in 2019.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

CEO Jeff Bezos said last year he was seeking a metropolitan location with at least 1 million residents for the so-called HQ2, which sparked fierce competition among potential suitors. Amazon said it had narrowed its list of potential locations to 20 in January.

"We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs -- it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle," Amazon said in a press release announcing the project. "In addition to Amazon's direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."

A source close to the negotiations told ABC News last week that when Amazon executives visited New York, "Long Island City made a real impression. It's an actual neighborhood. It looks a little like Seattle, with bars and restaurants. It's clearly what the company is looking for."

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Dave Simpson/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Celine Dion is working on something so good it might be … illegal?

The singer on Tuesday teased a “grand unveiling” of her latest endeavor by posting a clip of herself being taken to the ground and handcuffed by police officers.

“It’s OK, it’s OK. I’m Celine Dion,” she says with a smile. The name Célinununu then flashes on the screen, along with a website that reveals her new project: a line of gender-neutral children’s clothes.

Grand unveiling tomorrow… 🙌🏻 😉 // Grand dévoilement demain…🙌🏻 😉 - Team Céline pic.twitter.com/owBWWa025e

— Celine Dion (@celinedion) November 12, 2018

The website features a collection that includes a leather jacket, a skull sweatshirt, leggings, slippers and more.

"CELINUNUNU liberates children from the traditional roles of boy/girl, and enables younger people to grow on values of equality with the freedom strengthen their own power of personality based on mutual respect," the brand states on its website.

As for how Dion's “arrest” video relates to the brand, that remains to be seen.

The iconic singer previously launched a lifestyle brand, the Celine Dion Collection, at Nordstrom last year, featuring handbags, luggage and other accessories.

Dion seems to be exploring new avenues as she prepares to end her long-running Las Vegas residency next year. She’ll say "au revoir" to the show on June 8, 2019.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If Samsung engineers get this right, you may never have to dive into your couch cushions for a lost TV remote again -- because you won't need one.

The Sun reports the South Korean tech company is working on TVs you control with your mind.

The paper notes Samsung is partnering with a Swiss company that provides technology solutions for the disabled to develop TVs that could use brain-monitoring and eye movement sensors to let users flip the channels, control the volume, and the like, all without even stressing their button-pushing fingers.

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Uber(NEW YORK) -- Uber announced a new system to identify sexual misconduct on its platform -- introducing 21 categories from staring and leering to non-consensual sexual penetration -- in a step toward transparency with customers and rehabilitating its public image.

"You've probably heard 'Do the right thing,' which we've really made an organizing principal for everything in the company," Uber's chief legal officer Tony West told a handful of reporters at a private event on Monday in New York City. "I've talked about the importance of acting with transparency, integrity and accountability in everything that we do."

"We believe if we improve the safety of the platform for women, we can do it for everybody," West said.

The company is preparing a "transparency report" for 2019, in which it will publicly detail incidents of sexual assault and harassment for riders and drivers.

The move deals with one pervasive problem with preventing sexual misconduct: data collection can be tricky because bad behavior is under-reported and can be loosely defined.

"People want to go down the rabbit hole of which statistics are accurate, if you don't have the same definitions to use, it can be challenge," said Kristen Houser, the chief public affairs officer for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, who, along with the Urban Institute, worked with Uber to create the new taxonomy, or classification system.

"When we talk about sexual assault, words really matter. This is based in descriptive behavior," Houser said.

"Differences in definitions and methodology make statistics about sexual violence from different sources even harder to compare. There is no common definition of criminal sexual assault across the 50 states or in federal crime statistics, and there is no shared understanding of misconduct that may not be criminal in nature," West wrote in a Medium post with Houser.

The 21 categories range from the "non-criminal, non-touch behavior such as leering or flirting or inappropriate comments, all the way up to things that fall under state statutes for criminal sexual assault," Houser added.

Uber has faced a spate of bad publicity in the past few years, leading to the resignation of its founder Travis Kalanick from the CEO position last year. Former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was brought in to turn the company's culture around, and West is part of that effort.

In joining Uber, West, a former Obama administration associate attorney general, rejoined former Attorney General Eric Holder and Obama campaign manager David Plouffe in Uber's upper executive ranks. As the company looks to recast its image, it has taken initiatives to confront its critics and present a sustainable corporate culture.

In May, Uber became one of the first companies to drop forced arbitration and confidentiality requirements for sexual harassment and assault cases. Last week, Google and Facebook also announced they would drop forced arbitration and allow victims to file lawsuits that become part of the public record.

Monday's Uber announcement was met with mixed responses by victims' advocates.

"I love what Uber is doing and saying here. We have to move beyond the usual employer 'training' about sexual harassment having to be 'severe or pervasive,'" Nancy Erika Smith, an employment lawyer who represented Gretchen Carlson and other women in their sexual harassment suits against Fox News Channel's Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, wrote ABC News in an email. "That phrase was made up by judges who effectively amended the law to say that 'some' sexual harassment is okay. We haven’t lessened harassment in the workplace by what we’ve been doing so far –- so I appreciate this effort to improve on the communication regarding unacceptable workplace behavior."

But the others say taxonomy is not enough.

"While classifying and ultimately reporting types of sexual misconduct is important, taking strong steps to prevent sexual misconduct ought to be the primary focus," said Doug Wigdor, a lawyer who represented women who had been raped by their Uber driver. "There are steps they could be taking to eradicate any definition of sexual misconduct that would be far more worthwhile -- panic buttons in cars, tamper-proof video cameras in cars, better background checks, interviews before hiring drivers."

"We all know when a woman is raped or touched inappropriately, it's a bad thing," Wigdor added. "The effort should be preventing these things in the first place, instead of focusing on what bucket it goes into."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 22 this year, which means Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- often thought of as two of the biggest shopping days of the year -- may be even sooner than you realized.

For years on Black Friday, retailers have opened their doors before the crack of dawn so that consumers can take advantage of some of the year's most notable sales. But now online shopping has become a welcome alternative.

In fact, more money was spent on Cyber Monday than Black Friday last year, according to ComScore.

To help you navigate the myriad door-busters and online sales available throughout the shopping season, "Good Morning America" will compile all the deals here. This list will be updated regularly, so check back often.

Black Friday deals

Best Buy: The electronics retailer offers free shipping until Dec. 25. On Black Friday, deals include $200 off the Toshiba 43-inch 4K Smart TV and the Samsung 65-inch 4K Smart TV, $130 off the Samsung 11.6" Chromebook and $100 off the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch. There will be up to 40 percent off major appliances, too.

Kohl's: Some of Kohl's biggest deals include 60 to 70 percent off luggage, buy-one-get-one 50 percent off on top toy brands, and Chelsea Square three-piece bedding sets starting at $29.99. Some deals also include Kohl's cash incentives, including the Samsung 55-inch 4K TV for $549.99, the LG 49-inch 4K TV for $329.99, and the Nest Thermostat for $179.99.

Macy's: Stores open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with door-busters until 1 p.m. Some of the best deals include up to 65 percent off select bedding collections, 40 percent off women's shoes and boots and 60 percent off designer coats. Apple Watch Series 3 will be $80 off, the Shark Ion Robot vacuum will be $250 off and there will be free gifts with select purchases, including Hugo Boss Weekender Bag or a Jimmy Choo duffel with specific fragrance purchases.

Target: Stores open at 7 a.m., and for online shoppers, there will be free two-day shipping until Dec. 22. Some of the best deals include the Element 55" Smart 4K UHD TV for $199.99, the Samsung 65" 4K HDR UHD Smart TV for $799.99, and Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe bundle for $299. The Instant Pot Duo 6 qt., 7 in one pressure cooker will sell for $69.96, Hatchimals Surprise will go for $34.99, and the Amazon Echo will sell for $69. Some of the door busters will also include a free Target gift card with purchase, including the iPhone XS, which comes with a $250 Target gift card, pending activation.

Walmart: The retailer will offer big markdowns on a number items, particularly in toys and tech. Some examples include a 65" Class 4K Roku Smart TV for $398, an Apple iPad (6th generation) for $249 and Ryan's World Giant Golden Egg for $34.82. Walmart gift cards, worth $300 and $400, are also offered for select phone purchases.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- "Sixty seconds, name as many pastas as you possibly can."

If you ever have an interview with Outdoor Voices founder and CEO Tyler Haney, there’s a good chance she might quiz your pasta knowledge.

It's her go-to question.

"It's actually the most weird question, but people can run with it ... it's the reaction that I'm really looking for with that question," Haney told ABC News’ chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.

Her recreational activewear company isn’t exactly in the food space, but she said that the way a person reacts is often a good indicator of their mindset, which is the of the utmost importance when she is hiring.

"It's this nimbleness, this fluidity and this ability to kind of react to change and not be rigid," she said."

In only four years, the 30-year-old CEO has made an impression in the fashion industry, raising more than $56 million from investors like Google Ventures and attracting former J.Crew CEO and venture capitalist Mickey Drexler as chairman of the board.

She said her goal isn't creating fashion but rather creating a product meant to be sweat in, something inspired by her active childhood in Boulder, Colorado.

She described herself growing up as the "ultimate tomboy," playing an array of sports and following college basketball. She cheers for the Kansas Jayhawks, her parents' alma mater.

"I played every sport imaginable," she said. "I had a bowl cut. I might bring that look back -- I was kind of into it. But I've always wanted to own a sports team. I'm obsessed with sports."

As a child, she had dreams of going to the Olympics, and for awhile was very serious about track and horseback riding, even serving as the groom for the U.S. Equestrian Team at the World Cup in Germany. But as she got older, her focus shifted.

"I took a year off after high school ... that was the moment that I was like, 'I'm not going to pursue either hurdles or horses more seriously,'" she added.

Instead, she decided to do something new and move to New York City.

"My family is mostly on the West Coast, and they were like, 'Are you crazy, going to the East Coast?'" she said. "But I made it happen and worked in restaurants actually for my first year off here."

After her year off, she decided to pursue a business degree at Parsons School of Design.

While Haney didn't necessarily have an interest in apparel, both of her parents were designers and she had a lifelong love of building and creating. It was there where she first had the idea for Outdoor Voices.

"I'm on the West Side Highway running a very recreational jog, and I look down and I'm wearing these macho clothes like muscle mapping and neon brights," she said, "and I think, 'I feel like an imposter,' and I said, 'I want to build an outfit for this type of exercise, casual exercise, exercise I'm doing on a daily basis.'"

Her first step was learning how to make the product.

Haney said she had "no idea how to make clothing" but spent countless hours in the garment district of Midtown Manhattan and on Google to find pattern makers and specific materials for prototypes.

"I took the first shelf of the bunk bed out, and I kept my rolls of fabric underneath," she said. "I would do mockups just so that I would have something to bring to the pattern makers and be like, 'Hey, this is kind of the cut that I want.' But, ultimately, I worked with pattern makers in Midtown to make the first samples."

With an initial investment from friends and family, plus her own savings, Haney was able to launch Outdoor Voices in 2014.

Today the company has eight retail locations and three more in the works and a growing roster of employees, all of whom were interviewed by Haney herself.

When it comes to that process of interviewing and hiring, she recalled the worst advice she's received along the way: "Hire for experience."

Instead, Haney looks for a certain "mindset" -- someone who's willing to be dynamic and not only has the technical capabilities but also understands the company's culture.

"When you're changing the conversation and creating a new company that doesn't exist, experience doesn’t always translate," she said. "While experience is important, I've put mindset ahead of it as a criterion I look for when I'm hiring."

Hear more from Outdoor Voices founder and CEO Tyler Haney on Episode 93 of the "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis" podcast.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- The gas company that serves thousands of Massachusetts residents who were displaced from their homes as a result of a string of gas explosions is making sure those customers have a hot meal to gobble up on Thanksgiving Day.

Columbia Gas announced Sunday on Twitter that it plans to serve Thanksgiving dinner to communities in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.

Customers can either pick up the meal or sit down to enjoy it with fellow members of the community, but must reserve the meals beforehand.

As of Sunday, 3,700 meals had been reserved, according to Columbia Gas. The utility company plans to provide up to 20,000 meals, ABC Boston affiliate WCVB reported. The meals will be served at a temporary trailer park where some residents are being housed, as well as a hall in Lawrence, according to the local station.

In September, dozens of homes caught fire -- some from explosions -- killing one person and injuring 12 more.

The explosions were caused by overpressurized gas lines, officials said at the time. At least 12 homes were destroyed and about 100 more sustained damage.

More than 7,500 people are currently living in temporary housing, WCVB reported.

The state has fined Columbia Gas over the past seven years for safety violations such as improper pressure testing, according to WCVB.

Columbia Gas hopes to have gas fully restored in all structures by mid-December, WCVB reported.

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Beimeng Fu/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Nov. 11 marks Singles' Day in China, a day when sales have nearly doubled those from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. -- combined!

So what's next for one of the most popular days in the country? Now that the world’s biggest shopping spree has arrived, the message is clear: brick-and-mortar retail isn’t old school, but rather a new battlefield for the e-commerce giants.

Alibaba, the undoubted front-runner that invented the consumerism extravaganza 10 years ago, is focusing on translating its online success offline across some 200,000 smart stores in more than 400 cities with more than 20 business units, including Ele.me, Alibaba’s food delivery platform.

It also has partnerships with local and international brands such as L’Oréal, Starbucks, McDonald's, Marriott and Hilton, all with promotional in-store or home-delivery events on Sunday and its run-ups.

If 2017 was a year for testing the water, this year is about bringing the game up to the next level.

JD.com, Alibaba's biggest rival -- despite reported scandals of a rape case by its owner, Richard Liu, and a controversial marketing campaign -- is showing no sign of retreat.

It extended the length of its “Singles’ Day Period” to 27 days. That's up from 12 days last year, when it revealed for the first time its sales figure of $19.14 billion, a fraction of Alibaba’s.

Pinduoduo, China’s newest force in e-commerce, which just had its Nasdaq debut in July, is also expected to threaten Alibaba’s online dominance.

However, online success risks getting lost in translation into physical retail. At Hema, Alibaba’s cashless supermarket chain and critical offline venture, posters and fliers detailing special promotions can be found during the days leading up to the big day, but the scene is relatively quiet.

“How special can a supermarket promotion event get?” asked a shopper who was buying grocery in a Beijing branch Thursday.

The chain is ahead of its U.S. counterparts with features such as free 30-minute deliveries and facial-recognition payment. A look into the future, too: online orders are being carried in a shopping bag placed on a conveyor belt on the ceiling toward the back area for delivery.

At a pilot branch in Shanghai, it even made robot restaurant a reality, Business Insider reported. Within just a few clicks on its app, seafood and other fresh produce are offered without the necessity to interact with a waiter.

Alibaba has invested more than $10 billion in traditional brick-and-mortar retailing since 2016, before Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, according to the New York Times.

Its diverse assets range from supermarkets, department stores, furniture stores, as well as numerous digitized convenient stores, among others. On Singles’ Day, two new Hema branches will open in Beijing, joining the quickly expanding family of almost 100 stores in over a dozen cities from Beijing to Shanghai to provincial capitals such as Haikou and Guiyang.

As online retail in major Chinese cities reaches a saturation point, businesses share a common view on the strategy behind online and offline integration, which may be a credit to Alibaba’s recently posted 54 percent quarterly revenue growth, according to the South China Morning Post.

“Together with our merchant partners, we have elevated our capability to serve our customers and the shopping festival has become a leader in creating the kind of lifestyle our consumers want,” Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s new chief, said at a Singles’ Day kick-off press conference in Beijing last month.

The company has yet to reveal numbers involving results from efforts for the online/offline conversion in the past two years, but the line hasn’t been particularly distinctive, especially for the country’s youth.

After all, making up 85 percent of all retail sales in China is physical retail, according to data released by Boston Consulting Group, which will witness the real fight in the long run.

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Zhang Yuanyuan/VCG via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson complained to then-CEO Roger Ailes about hazing from her male co-workers, he replied with even more harassment, according to a lawsuit she filed.

“I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better. Sometimes problems are easier to solve,” he said, according to a complaint she filed in New Jersey Superior Court in 2016.

The high-profile case eventually caused Ailes' to be ousted as CEO and chairman of Fox News after 20 years.

The only reason anyone outside of Fox knows about it? Carlson filed a lawsuit, instead of going through the secret process of arbitration.

"We wouldn't know anything at all" about Ailes' behavior and subsequent harassment cases at Fox if Carlson had been forced into arbitration, her lawyer Nancy Erika Smith told ABC News. Smith made the risky move of filing suit against Ailes personally, rather than the company.

On Thursday, one week after a global walkout of 20,000 Google employees, vendors, contractors and temp workers protesting the company's handling of sexual harassment and general equity cases, the tech company became the latest to reverse course and eliminate forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment and assault — fulfilling one of their demands.

In doing so, Google joins Microsoft, Uber and Lyft in waiving forced arbitration in sexual harassment and assault cases, despite a Supreme Court ruling in favor of mandatory arbitration earlier this year. Many employee advocates argue that ending forced arbitration, which usually imposes confidentiality on the parties involved, is the first step toward ending sexual harassment in workplaces.

"It's literally mindblowing," said Smith, who currently represents two women who were paid sexual harassment settlements by former Fox News star Bill O'Reilly. "It's unbelievably important to ending sexual harassment."

Arbitration is a process outside of the court system that is common in American corporations. Instead of filing documents in court — which become part of the public record — and moving toward a jury trial, the outcome is decided behind closed doors and often included as a term for employment.

Employers favor arbitration because it often limits bad publicity and the amount of money in awards an employee will receive. Also, because the employer often wins.

"There’s a lot more ways to keep what happens in an arbitration secret," University of Michigan law professor Julian Davis Mortenson said. "Ligitation usually has much wider-ranging discovery, as in, 'Hey give me all the emails that relate to my claims,' 'Give me all the embarrassing stuff.'"

"Once you find the embarrassing stuff, it’s not bound by the same confidentiality requirements that arbitration has. As a rule, it's way easier to disclose stuff happening in trial than in arbitration," Mortenson said. "A lot of these trials play out in the court of public opinion."

Another thing that tilts the playing field toward employers is numbers. Arbitrators are staffed by companies, whose clients are corporations. Out of, say, 10 potential arbitrators, each side can nix a few and then rank the remaining to oversee their dispute.

"Employers are repeat players in the way that individual employees never can be. They get to know lots and lots about arbitrators. If you’re an arbitrator that rules for me this time, probably I’m going to nominate you next time. Employers can structure the agreements to make it likely the pool of arbitrators selected are employer-friendly — it’s like picking your jury," Mortenson said.

In harassment and discrimination cases, there's another factor: demographics.

"Arbitrators tend to be white men over 40 who come from a corporate or management background," said Doug Wigdor, a labor lawyer and arbitrator. He represented women who were sexually assaulted by their Uber driver.

Though Wigdor and Smith noted the progress made by allowing employees to sue for sexual harassment and assault, they also said it's just the beginning of a longer process.

"With sexual assault victims — that they have control of the forum to air their grievances is important," Wigdor said, commending the Google decision. "For an employer to tell an employee they can't work at this company unless they agree to arbitrate matters is cruel in this day and age. But why not the same for racial or disability or age discrimination or harassment?"



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WMUR(FARMINGTON, N.H. ) -- Authorities in New Hampshire are hopeful a smart speaker will be smart enough to convict a double murderer.

Amazon was ordered by a judge on Friday to hand over recordings taken by an Echo device in the Farmington, New Hampshire, home where Christine Sullivan lived with her boyfriend. Sullivan was found murdered in the backyard of the home on Jan. 29, 2017, along with Jenna Pellegrini, who was staying at the home.

The bodies were left in the backyard, under a tarp, and a knife was buried nearby, police said.

Pellegrini, 32, had been stabbed 43 times and Sullivan, 48, was stabbed eight times and had her skull fractured, according to authorities.

Timothy Verrill, 34, was charged with first-degree murder for both women's deaths. He pleaded not guilty in February 2017.

Police testified at a bail hearing in August 2017 that Verrill knew Sullivan's boyfriend, Dean Smoronk, who owned the house, and that Verrill had access to the home's security code. Verrill was also seen on home surveillance video with both women before their deaths, according to Manchester ABC affiliate WMUR.

The ruling was handed down by Strafford County Superior Court Presiding Justice Steven M. Houran on Friday.

"Accordingly, the State's motion to search in lieu of a search warrant is granted," the ruling by Houran states. "The court directs Amazon.com to produce forthwith to the court any recordings made by an Echo smart speaker with Alexa voice command capability, FCC ID number ZWJ-0823, from the period of January 27, 2017 to January 29, 2017, as well as any information identifying cellular devices that were paired to that smart speaker during that time period."

The Amazon Echo device was seized by police from the home, according to court documents.

It's unclear whether there is any audio evidence on the device, but the court found probable cause that the speaker could have recorded "evidence of crimes committed against Ms. Sullivan, including the attack and possible removal of the body from the kitchen."

An Amazon spokesperson told The Associated Press it would not release the recordings "without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us."

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