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Nike Drops Contract with Oscar Pistorius After Guilty Ruling


Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Multinational corporation Nike terminated its endorsement contract with South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius following a guilty verdict in the murder trial of the athlete's girlfriend.

The company originally suspended Pistorius' contract in February 2013 when he was charged in the case, but subsequently terminated the deal after he was found guilty of culpable homicide on Sept. 12, a Nike spokesman confirmed to ESPN.com.

The decision comes days after Nike ended its contract with former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was cut from the football team and suspended by the NFL after video surfaced of him assaulting his then-fiancée, now wife, inside an elevator.

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Pop-Tarts Celebrates 50th Birthday: Five Decades of Flavor Hits and Misses


Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Just like Brad Pitt, Pop-Tarts are 50 and they're still fabulous after all these years.

The breakfast treat from Kellogg's is celebrating 50 years Sunday -- and over that time it has created a series of bestselling, tried-and-true fruit-fillings snacks as well as several flavor mishaps that now belong to a bygone era.

Among those flavors Pop-Tarts should try to forget: "Chocolate Peppermint," "Wild Water Mellon," "Cherry Chip" and "Raspberry Apple." But fans still forgive Pop-Tarts. They have been able to charm millions of hungry kids and adults, especially with their vintage 1973 "Milton the toaster" ad.

Despite a company-wide drop in profits, Pop-Tarts are the tasty silver lining in Kellogg's repertoire of food products. In fact, the food's sales have increased consecutively for the past 32 years.

In August, Kellogg’s reported earnings dropped 16 percent in the second quarter, while sales in North America fell 3.7 percent. Many consumers are turning away from old-school packaged goods with preservatives to opt for healthier, protein-laden alternatives, like yogurt.

Sure, Pop-Tarts are about 30 percent sugar and made with filling that is 10 percent fruit. And yes, the Children's Advertising Review Unit didn't like that Pop-Tarts used to have the marketing phrase "made with real fruit." (Now the company says they are "baked with real fruit.")

Somehow, in spite of apple slices in Happy Meals and kale chip snacks that fill lunch boxes these days, Pop-Tarts remain the sweet shield that protects America's taste for sugary nostalgia.

The most popular Pop-Tarts flavor are Frosted Strawberry, followed by Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon, according to a spokesman for Kellogg's.

And the company continues to experiment with new flavors despite past mistakes: "Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter" and "Gone Nutty! Chocolate Peanut Butter" are the most successful new varieties, the company says.

To celebrate the big 5-0, Kellogg's recently introduced a sprinkled "Birthday Edition" Chocolate Vanilla Crème Pop-Tart with frosting.

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Atlanta Hawks CEO Apologizes to Fans and City for Controversial Remarks


Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Atlanta Hawks Chief Executive Officer Steve Koonin issued an apology Saturday to the NBA team's fans and home city in light of the recent scandal surrounding a controversial email from co-owner Bruce Levenson.

Levenson announced he would be selling controlling interest of the basketball team last week after admitting to writing an "inappropriate and offensive" message with racial comments.

"We know enough today, based on investigations conducted by the league, by external legal counsel on behalf of the team, and information that has appeared in the media, that our shortcomings are beyond a single email, a single person, or a single event," Koonin said in a statement.

"To the contrary, over a period of years, we have found that there have been inflammatory words, phrases, inferences, and innuendos about race," he added. "We as an organization did not correct these failures. We did not do the right thing."

On Friday, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry took an indefinite leave of absence, also coming under fire for racial comments about Miami Heat forward Luol Deng.

"To be clear, I am angry that this has happened," Koonin said of the recent incidents. "I am deeply saddened and embarrassed that this has put a blemish on our team and our city, which has always been a diverse community with a history of coming together as one. We should build bridges through basketball, not divide our community or serve as a source of pain."

The CEO also addressed steps being taken to facilitate change, including work with a diversity consultant, the hiring of a Chief Diversity Officer, and a new owner.

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Ex-Ford CEO May Be Mulling Presidential Bid


Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The former president and CEO of Ford Motors may be eyeing an even more impressive title: President of the United States.

Asked by ABC News’ Dan Harris if he would ever make a bid for the White House, Alan Mulally pointedly did not rule it out.

“I really think it’s important that we all pull together … around a compelling vision for our country and a comprehensive strategy to do it and work together,” Mulally said with a laugh at a radio industry conference in Indianapolis on Thursday.

“With all of you as my witness, he did not say no,” Harris told the audience.

An audience member also posed the question to Mulally of whether he would run for office and again his reply was not a refusal to the idea.

“This is our country,” Mulally said. “And we all got to get really, really engaged with what we think is really important to get our wonderful country going again.”

The ABC News anchor also asked Mulally what he plans on doing now that he has retired and his five children have all grown up. The 68-year-old, who rebuilt Ford Motors and now serves on Google’s board of directors, did not have an answer.

“I can’t give you a definitive answer for that now,” he said. “I have my health and my energy and I love, I absolutely love serving.”

He has not publicly discussed his party affiliation, and he has donated to both the Republican and Democratic parties. According to campaignmoney.com, Mulally contributed at least $6,500 in 2010 to two Democratic congressional campaigns: Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow and John Dingell. And in 2012, Mulally contributed to campaigns for House candidates Fred Upton, a Republican, and Dingell.

In interviews, Mulally has praised government bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler, even while using corporate language normally associated with conservative views. But he has called himself a capitalist and a market-driven person.

Mulally served as Ford Motor’s president and CEO from September 2006 to July 2014. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Kansas, and a master’s in management from MIT.

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Ford Recalls over 70,000 SUVs for Coolant Pump Issue


Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ford is recalling more than 70,000 of its hybrid electric vehicles over an issue with coolant pumps.

The recall affects model year 2005-2008 Ford Escapes made between Oct. 13, 2003 and June 20, 2008, and 2006-2008 Mercury Mariners made between June 10, 2005 and June 20, 2008.

According to documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, the coolant pump in the SUVs may fail, which can cause the hybrid electronics system to overheat.

"If the hybrid electronics system overheats, it may shut down the powertrain, resulting in a stall-like condition, increasing the risk of a crash," the NHTSA says.

The agency says the recall is expected to begin next month, at which time Ford dealerships will replace the coolant pump for free.

So far, no accidents or injuries have been reported stemming from the issue.

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Apple's iPhone 6 Plus on Back-Order After Pre-Order Frenzy?


Apple(NEW YORK) -- The digital flood gates opened at midnight Friday as Apple fanatics placed their orders for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

People who didn't stay up late or set their alarms to order the iPhone 6 Plus may have to hang onto their old devices a little longer.

As of Friday morning, it appeared the iPhone 6 Plus was on back-order. The device, which boasts a 5.5-inch screen, is expected to ship in three to four weeks, according to the Apple Store.

The plus-sized phone was also in high demand from mobile carriers. AT&T lists the shipping time as five to six weeks, while the Verizon website quoted delivery dates in October. Sprint projected delays ranging from three to six weeks.

Aside from the voracious demand, the morning didn't go off without a hitch.

Customers who visited the online Apple Store early this morning were briefly met with a message: "We're busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon."

Apple fanatics are also able to place their orders in-store at big-box retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart and Target.

The first shipment of the new iPhones is expected to reach consumers on Sept. 19.

In addition to a larger screen size, the devices are also packed with new features, including "reachability." With a double-touch, the display can slide down so users can reach "anything" at the top of the phone, an ideal feature for multi-tasking.

Apple Pay, the company's digital wallet that is aiming to be a credit card killer, will also be supported on the new iPhones.

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Markets Record Weekly Loss for First Time Since August Despite Positive Reports


tarabird/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The markets dropped on Friday, closing a week of losses for the first time since the beginning of August.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 61.49, to a Friday close of 16987.51.

The Nasdaq dipped 24.21 to 4567.60, while the S&P 500 slipped 11.91 to finish the day at 1985.54.

The poor day on Wall Street came despite positive figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a report released Friday, the Census Bureau said that retail sales met expectations, while a separate report from the BLS indicated that import prices were down in August on the back of lower fuel costs.

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Campbell Soup Co. Issues Statement on NFL's Handling of Ray Rice Situation


Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One day after National Football League sponsor PepsiCo released a statement condemning domestic violence in the wake of the Ray Rice situation, a second league sponsor issued strong words regarding the NFL's handling of the incident.

"Domestic violence is abhorrent," the statement categorically reads. "We are watching developments closely and look forward to the findings of the independent investigation underway. Upon completion of the investigation, we expect the NFL to take appropriate action." The statement went on to say that the company has shared its views with the league.

Rice was initially suspended for two games for striking his then-fiancée in the elevator at an Atlantic City hotel. Earlier this week, after TMZ posted video from inside the elevator that showed Rice knocking Janay Palmer-Rice unconscious, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell opted to make Rice's suspension indefinite.

Multiple sources told ESPN's Outside the Lines that Rice made it clear to Goodell that he had punched his then-fiancee, though Goodell has said that the details of the situation were "ambiguous." The National Organization for Women, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and others have called for Goodell's resignation based on the initial lenient punishment and the ensuing controversy.

The NFL said earlier this week that former FBI Director Robert Mueller would lead an independent probe into the entire matter, including the NFL's handling of the investigation. That probe will be overseen by NFL owners John Mara of the New York Giants and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Department of Justice Files Motion Against Bayer Corporation


Image author: Bayer HealthCare AG(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a motion to hold Bayer Corporation in civil contempt for making false claims about its product, Phillips' Colon Health.

Bayer is accused of claiming that its product can "defend against" occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating in print and television advertisements, as well as on the product's packaging -- claims that the Department of Justice say imply that it cures or treats those conditions. The company, however, "lacks competent and reliable scientific evidence for those claims," according to the Justice Department's complaint.

A court order involving the DOJ and Bayer in 2007 prohibited the company from making fraudulent claims about any dietary supplement that it produces. The DOJ claims that Bayer has violated the court order and should be held in civil contempt.

"The Department of Justice will not tolerate companies that seek to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors by promoting to consumers unsubstantiated claim about the health benefits of their products," Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery said in a statement.

The original court order was entered after Bayer allegedly claimed that its One-A-Day WeightSmart multivitamin and dietary supplement helped prevent weight gain associated with slowed metabolism in adults over 30. Following a Department of Justice complaint in that case, Bayer agreed to pay $3.2 million and avoid making unsubstantiated claims about its products.

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Lower Fuel Costs Push Import Prices Down


hxdbzxy/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. import prices dropped for the second consecutive month in August, largely on the back of lower fuel prices.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, import prices were 0.9 percent lower in August than in July, while export prices dipped by 0.5 percent. The lower import prices represented the largest single-month decline since November 2013.

The cost of fuel imports dropped by 4.6 percent since July. Over the last year, fuel import prices have dipped by 4.5 percent, that following a 4.1 percent increase in the preceding 12 months.

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How this Mom Travels the World with Her Family for Almost Nothing


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer Hull just got back from a weekend with her family in Denver where she stayed at a five-star hotel for free. Before that, she planned a trip to Ireland that also cost next to nothing.

Hull is not an extreme coupon clipper or a super saver, but she and her family are full-time frequent flyers always on the lookout for the best deals.

Hull’s secret is raking up those travel points by using different credit cards for various purchases. She spends most of her time taking care of her 4-year-old daughter and managing her own company from home. She documents her travel tricks and successes on her blog, Mommy Points, which has opened doors to VIP experiences and even earned her extra income because she uses it to advertise travel-related services and deals.

“I write every day, a lot of it is about what we do to earn these points and just kind of a chronicle of what we do and everywhere we’ve gone and then also sharing other deals that come up,” she said.

This year, Hull and her family have trotted the globe on over 16 vacations spanning 100,000 miles. Most of the time, they are traveling for nearly nothing.

Personal finance expert and author of When She Makes More Farnoosh Torabi cautioned, "certainly, there are people out there trying to gain in the system and certainly, there are benefits to having multiple 'reward' credit cards, and while there are short-term benefits sometimes to opening up all these 'reward' cards, you have to think long-term. Is it smart for me to have all these credit cards at my fingertips? Depending on your personality, depending your tendency, this could be a disaster."

Hull said she also tries to save money whenever she can, such as buying snacks at the grocery store instead of the airport before getting on a flight, and having her parents watch the family dog when they go away.

But for the most part, Hull said that over time she and her family just got smart about managing their credit cards and purchases.

Below are some of Hull’s travel tricks, and tune into Nightline Friday night at 12:35 a.m. ET to watch her story and get more of her tips, including how she earns travel points at the grocery store:

1. Maximize Rewards by Choosing the Best Credit Card for Each Purchase

Hull said she has a dozen active credit cards that she swaps out for different purchases, such as airline cards for flights.

“A big part of our strategy is credit card sign-up bonuses," Hull said. “These banks want you to have their cards and I’m happy to get their card and take their miles and points and use them and travel the world."

2. Use the 'Stacking' Strategy

"Stacking is when you’re adding a deal on top of a deal on top of a deal," Hull explained. "So with the fuel points, I’m getting credit card points for shopping at a grocery store, and then I’m also getting money off my gas I’ll be getting anyways by buying gift cards that earn extra fuel points.”

3. Shop Online Through Airline 'Shopping Portals'

For example, Hull said, United Airlines has an online shopping portal called United Mileage Plus shopping, which rewards users with a certain amount of miles when they purchase items through them.

“If you need to buy a $100 worth of make-up you do it when Sephora has ten times online, you can earn a 1,000 United miles for your $100 Sephora purchase,” Hull explained.

4. Sign Up for Dining Rewards

“You can register your card with different dining reward networks and earn miles when you eat out without even trying,” Hull said. “It’s something that has no membership card, no paperwork, register your card, eat out and sometimes miles will magically show up in your account.”

5. Aim for Elite Status

Hull is constantly looking for opportunities to earn elite status with hotel stays. Although it’s not ideal, she will ask her husband, who travels a lot for work, to stay in three different hotels for a three-night business trip.

“You can earn like hotel elite status based on nights or stays,” she said. “So it’ll earn you three nights but for example with Hyatt, you need 50 nights in a year to reach top tier diamond or 25 stays. So if you can change hotels every night, you can get there in 25 nights instead of 50.”

6. Plan One Vacation at a Time

Hull says it helps to have one trip goal in mind.

“I have usually no more than one big trip at a time we’re planning on,” Hull said. “Sometimes little stuff pops up but it helps me to have a big goal in mind that I know I’m earning toward and that way I don’t waste my miles on other things, I make sure we have enough for what we really want.”

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How Auto Mechanics Can Rip You Off


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Have you ever gone to an auto repair shop for an oil change, only to have the mechanic say your car needs a new transmission? Has the “check engine” light come on, and suddenly the mechanic says you need expensive new engine parts?

One seasoned auto mechanic is warning consumers to be well-versed in how a car works to avoid being ripped off at the auto repair shop.

“Joe,” who has been a mechanic for 40 years, agreed to reveal the secrets of his trade to ABC News' 20/20 on the condition that his identity would remain concealed.

He said some mechanics may try to squeeze more money out of customers by doing unnecessary repairs. What drives mechanics to cheat or push unnecessary repairs, Joe said, is the tiny profit margin at many repair shops. Most mechanics are honest, he said, but many are pressured by their bosses to perform unnecessary work.

“The shop has to stay in business,” Joe said. “There are pressures to do things that maybe you wouldn’t do normally.”

Joe admitted that he has used shady tactics, himself, in the past.

“I’m ashamed a bit to admit it, but when your boss tells you...'Either you do it here or the door’s right there,' what are you going to do?” he asked.

The Automotive Service Association says the majority of the service repair industry is ethical and only charges the consumer for necessary work.

20/20 went undercover at several auto repair shops in New York and New Jersey to see if mechanics would add unnecessary repairs and fees to service a 20/20 producer’s car, which had been given a clean bill of health by two licensed mechanics beforehand.

One of those licensed expert mechanics was Giuseppe Mendola, owner of AutoTech Diagnostic in College Point, New York.

“If they found a problem with this car, it would probably be a problem they invented or that didn’t exist at all,” Mendola said.

Watch the full story on ABC’s 20/20 Friday, Sept. 12, at 10 p.m. ET.

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Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Contributes $9 Million to Fight Ebola


Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen followed in the footsteps of his former partner and fellow billionaire Bill Gates on Thursday, donating millions of dollars to help battle the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday pledged $50 million to help fight the disease, and one day later Allen announced that his foundation would contribute $9 million to the CDC Foundation. The money will be used to "establish emergency operations centers in the most-impacted countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone."

"The tragedy of Ebola," Allen said in a post to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation's website, "is that we know how to tackle the disease, but the governments in West Africa are in dire need of more resources and solutions to treat and contain the virus."

Allen wrote that his contribution is, "just the beginning of an ongoing commitment to help the people of West Africa," though he acknowledged that, "money is only part of the answer." The situation, Allen noted, requires, "creative and practical solutions for the logistical, healthcare worker safety and in-country education challenges aid organizations are facing."

"A winnable battle should never be lost," Allen said, urging others to "be a part of the solution" by giving to the CDC Foundation as well.

At least 2,296 people have been killed by the disease, and 1,997 more have fallen ill, the World Health Organization said.

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New Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Available for Preorder Friday


Apple(NEW YORK) -- Ready, set ... go!

The hotly anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available Friday for preorder.

The phones officially went on sale at midnight on Apple.com and on the websites of various wireless carriers. Apple fanatics can also place their orders in-store at big-box retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart and Target.

Devices won't reach consumers until Sept. 19, according to Apple.

The most obvious physical difference among previous iPhones and the latest devices is the screen size. The iPhone 6 is 4.7 inches, while the iPhone 6 Plus measures 5.5 inches diagonally, giving Samsung, which has dominated the giant phone market, some competition.

The iPhones are also packed with new features, including "reachability." With a double touch, the display can slide down so users can reach "anything" at the top of the phone, an ideal feature for multitasking.

Apple Pay, the company's digital wallet that is aiming to be a credit card killer, will also be supported on the new iPhones.

Apple uses a new chip called the Secure Element, which is embedded in the new devices. The chip stores users' encrypted payment information and allows them to pay for items with a simple swipe.

McDonald’s, Subway, Whole Foods, and Apple retail stores are among the retailers that will accept Apple Pay when it launches next month. McDonald's said all U.S. locations will accept Apple Pay after it is live.

The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for a 16 GB configuration, $299 for 64 GB and $399 for a 128 GB configuration, with a two-year contract.

The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 (16 GB), $399 (64 GB) and $499 (128 GB). Both phones come in three colors: gold, silver, and "space gray."

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Royal Bank of Scotland Could Move Headquarters to London


AdrianHancu/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(GLASGOW, Scotland) -- The Royal Bank of Scotland Group confirmed on Thursday that if the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence passes, they will relocate their headquarters to London.

The bank says that it would "re-domicile the Bank's holding company and its primary rated operating entity" in order to "provide clarity to all our stakeholders and mitigate risks." The bank says the move would have no impact on its customers, as Scotland would remain part of the United Kingdom for at least 18 months following a "yes" vote.

The bank has been headquartered in Scotland since 1727 and "intends to retain a significant level of its operations and employment in Scotland" even if a move is undertaken.

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