ABC News Blogs
  • E-Cigarette Crackdown Coming?

    Morning Money Memo:

    Pressure is growing for federal regulation of the booming e-cigarette industry. Supporters say e-cigs help people quit the habit, giving them the nicotine they crave without the unhealthy smoke of traditional cigarettes. But a new congressional report written largely by staffers for Democratic senators and House members says concerns about electronic cigarettes underscore the need for regulation. Industry critics say an array of flavors and marketing might appeal to young people. There are no age restrictions and no uniform warning labels. Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a nicotine solution and create vapor that's inhaled. A 2009 law gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products. The agency first said it planned to assert authority over e-cigarettes in 2011 but has yet to do so.

    Google wants retailers to know exactly what they're getting when spending large amounts of money on Internet

    Read More »from E-Cigarette Crackdown Coming?
  • ABC News' Claire Shipman reports:

    We all know those familiar, frustrating feelings. We're afraid to speak up at a meeting because we aren't sure what we have to say is perfect. And then a few minutes later, a male colleague says exactly what we had in mind.

    Perhaps we've contemplated taking a larger step - a run for local office or a change of career - but we opt for caution over risk. For most women, such feelings are so commonplace we've discount them. But, in truth, they represent a profound confidence gap between men and women, especially in the workplace.

    My co-author on " The Confidence Code," Katty Kay, and I have come to believe that gap is in large measure why we have failed to reach the highest levels in the workplace.

    Think about the damaging consequences of these common habits.

    Scroll down to take the Confidence Quiz and See 5 Common Confidence Mistakes Women Make

    - Women won't seek promotions unless they feel they have close to 100 percent of the

    Read More »from 5 Common Confidence Mistakes Women Make, and the Confidence Quiz
  • The viral ad that has made mothers everywhere cry and children everywhere remember they need to buy their mom a Mother's Day card had an unlikely start.

    The advertising agency writer who came up with the idea to present being a mom as a thankless job that few people would apply for came from a woman who is not a mother herself.

    "Our writer went home over the Christmas break and spent time with her brother and sister-in-law and saw her that her sister-in-law never stopped going 24/7 with her kids," said Jon Ruby, vice president and creative director at Mullen advertising agency. "She realized being a mom is really a job and probably the world's toughest job."

    The result of the writer's Christmas break with her family is a four-minute YouTube video that has garnered nearly 1.5 million views since it was posted Monday.

    The video shows a handful of people being interviewed for a "Director of Operations" position that includes demands like standing up almost all the time, constantly exerting

    Read More »from The Inspiration Behind the Viral Ad for #WorldsToughestJob
  • No Time to Waste on Tax Returns

    Morning Money Memo:

    The clock is ticking down on the deadline to file your 2013 tax returns. You must file something by midnight or face a penalty. April 15 is when the bill is due for any taxes owed. "The late payment penalties that accrue when your file late can be substantial." Eric Smith of the IRS said. And the charge for filing late can be even worse. But you can easily get more time to fill in the forms. Using form 4868 "you can file the extension and give yourself piece of mind," tax accountant Janice Hayman says. You get an additional six months to do the paper work. "It gives people the chance to do things properly," she says.

    Your chances of facing an audit are small unless you are a high income earner. The IRS audited less than 1 percent of income tax returns last year. The audit rate is 0.88 percent for incomes less than $200,000. But wealthy taxpayers are much more likely to face questions about their returns. The audit rate last year was 11 percent for people

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  • Barbie Sales Slump, Soda Loses Fizz, Google Stumbles

    Morning Money Memo:

    The corporate earnings season is still young, but the latest reports are already revealing some striking trends. Troubles in toyland are among them.

    Mattel's report reveals that weak Barbie sales are one reason for its unexpected first-quarter loss. Toymakers are facing problems globally, largely because of fierce competition from tablets and other electronic gadgets.

    Mattel, the largest U.S. toymaker, says it lost $11.2 million in the first quarter of this year. Sales dropped 5 percent. Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels cars and Disney Princess dolls are among the best known of hundreds of Mattel toy brands.

    Americans are drinking less soda, but PepsiCo Inc. reported a stronger-than-expected, first-quarter profit. The company slashed costs and sold more snacks, energy drinks and orange juice. Earnings rose more than 10 percent compared with the previous year.

    Is Google starting to stumble? After years of roaring success with rapidly rising profits and sales,

    Read More »from Barbie Sales Slump, Soda Loses Fizz, Google Stumbles
  • 'Heartbleed' Hackers Hit Two Websites

    Morning Money Memo…

    Canadian taxpayers and British parents may be among the first victims of the Heartbleed bug. Canada's tax agency says 900 social insurance numbers were stolen by hackers exploiting the bug. A popular British website for parents, Mumsnet, says cyber thieves may have obtained passwords and personal messages before its site was patched.

    The Heartbleed bug was first revealed earlier this month, causing widespread concern about Internet security. Many sites using OpenSSL to digitally encrypt data as it passes between a user's device and an online service could be vulnerable to Heartbleed.

    Troubled Bitcoin exchange Mount Gox has apparently given up attempts to rebuild its business. The Tokyo-based virtual currency company asked a court to allow it to be liquidated, reports The Wall Street Journal. Mount Gox, once the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, collapsed in February.

    Yahoo shares jumped nearly 9 percent after a better-than-expected quarterly report. There

    Read More »from 'Heartbleed' Hackers Hit Two Websites
  • Dangers of Vaccine Hesitancy Explained in 10 Tweets

    By Dr. Alok Patel, ABC News Medical Unit

    Parental decisions are the bedrock of childhood vaccination rates. While most parents turn to their pediatricians for help making decisions about immunization there's also a lot of conflicting information for them to sift through. Worry over whether it's safe to allow their child to have 24 shots before the age of two and up to five pokes per visit has left many parents on the fence about if and when they should stick to the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Vaccine hesitancy and outright refusal to vaccinate are now helping to drive the resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases including measles, mumps and chicken pox. Recently, for example, there have been measles clusters cropping up in parts of California with lower vaccination rates and new cases of mumps appearing in Ohio.

    As more parents switch to alternative schedules or delay shots, experts say we are losing the "heard immunity"

    Read More »from Dangers of Vaccine Hesitancy Explained in 10 Tweets
  • Recipe fatigue is a common epidemic that infects every kitchen from time to time. Luckily, Emeril Lagasse has just the cure. We reached out to readers to #AskEmeril for upgrades to their go-to meals and leftovers, challenging the celebrity chef to make them into something entirely new and even better. Here's what he came up with.

    Roast Beef Sandwich with French Onion Dip and Crispy Shallots

    Facebook fan Michael DjStrapz Banks sent us a snap of plain filet mignon straight off the grill, challenging Emeril to kick it up a notch. Emeril responded with a French dip sandwich with crispy shallots.

    Roasted Asparagus and Penne Pasta Salad


    Twitter follower ?@Amanda83557982 sent in her simple roasted asparagus and garlic penne dinner. Emeril spun that into next-day pasta salad with added veggies and meat.

    Kicked-Up Sausage Macaroni and Cheese with Jalapeño Corn Muffins


    Facebook fan Victoria George's go-to meal for Emeril to kick up a notch was Southern mac and cheese with cornbread muffins

    Read More »from Emeril Kicks 'Good Morning America' Viewers' Recipes Up a Notch
  • This is not a drill: KFC plans to bring back its infamous Double Down starting April 21, reports USA Today. In case you forgot what this glorious creation includes, it's a bunless "sandwich" that uses breaded and fried chicken breasts instead of bread, which enclose melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses, two slices of bacon and the Colonel's sauce.

    "The Double Down launched originally in April 2010. It was a huge hit with fans, with more than 10 million sold in the first month, so it stayed on the menu past its original late May 2010 promotion-end date," the company told Eater. "Many restaurants continued selling Double Downs throughout 2010. It has not been nationally promoted in four years."

    READ: KFC Debuts 'Chicken Corsage'

    The company will reportedly be rolling out a media campaign for the official announcement called the "Double Down Dare." Stay tuned for details on that one.

    Read More »from KFC Bringing Back the Popular 'Double Down'
  • Dominos is covering fried chicken with traditional pie toppings for a new take on “pizza.” In a world of over-the-top fast food creations, Dominos has officially entered the arena. Let us introduce what the brand calls its new "specialty chicken," which is fried chicken covered with traditional pie toppings for a new take on "pizza."

    The the new chicken comes in four varieties: Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Spicy Jalapeno-Pineapple, Classic Hot Buffalo and Sweet BBQ Bacon. The toppings come over 12 pieces of breaded and fried boneless white meat chicken for $5.99.

    "The CEO said they sell almost as much chicken as they do pizza - more than anything else - so this is a way of combining. They say they already have all the pizza ingredients in the stores," Lara Spencer reported on "Good Morning America." "So why not? Starts on Monday and they say if it goes well, they'll do more."

    Read More »from Dominos Debuts New Crazy Chicken Pizza Crusts


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