We'll begin with some disturbing new out of the US. The first CONFIRMED case of Ebola in North America, has been diagnosed in Texas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a Texas man has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus. The unidentified patient left Liberia on September 19th, arriving in the US the next day. However officials say he was not showing any symptoms when leaving West Africa. It's unknown whether he spread the disease to any others, and health officials are feverishly working to track down the people he was in contact with. The patient has been isolated in a Dallas hospital since his symptoms were recognized. The CDC says there's no risk of a widespread outbreak in the US like the one seen in Africa.
It was a rough day for the head of the Secret Service on Capitol Hill. Director Julia Pierson was on the hot seat before a House committee, where she faced harsh criticism for last week's highly-publicized security breach of the White House. Pierson told the committee that the breach was quote "unacceptable and will never happen again". Angry legislators stopped just short of calling for Pierson's resignation. Instead, they are demanding an independent review of the Secret Service by an outside body.
And California has become the first state in the US to impose a ban on single-use plastic bags. The new law, which will take effect at larger stores in July 2015, is aimed at cutting down on waste throughout the state. Grocery and convenience stores will be able to sell recyclable PAPER bags to customers for 10 cents a bag. It's estimated that California uses about 13 BILLION single-use plastic bags a year. Plastic manufacturers lobbied to keep the bill from passing, saying it would threaten thousands of jobs and hurt customers by putting more money in the pockets of grocery chains. Chalk one up for the environment.
Everyone's talking about 18-time Olympic gold medallist, Michael Phelps. He was arrested for DUI early Tuesday morning. On top of his DUI, the 29-year-old Phelps was also charged with excessive speed and crossing double lane lines on a Baltimore highway. Phelps released a statement saying he's deeply sorry to everyone he let down. It's not his first run-in with the law. In 2004, Phelps was arrested for drunken driving. And in 2009, he was photographed at a party with a marijuana pipe.
The Golden State Warriors are planning to build a new arena in San Francisco. But they may want to rethink the design! Early renderings have been released, and - let's just come right out and say it - the stadium looks like a TOILET! A spokesperson for the Warriors said the team released the drawings to get community feedback. Well, I think the message is pretty clear - FLUSH this design and try again!
Speaking of stadiums - Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City is the LOUDEST in the world! During the second quarter of Monday night's game between the Chiefs and the New England Patriots, the noise level reached 142 point two decibels. That beat the record set by Seattle's CenturyLink Field last year. Arrowhead is well known for its deafening crowd noise. Dropping 41 points on the Pats would make me scream too!
Major League Soccer is SHUTTING down Chivas USA. The league will suspend team operations at the end of the season. The suburban Los Angeles club struggled both on the field and at the turnstiles, failing to compete with rival LA Galaxy. The team will go dark for at least two years and then be rebranded with a new name and a new arena in South Los Angeles.
And last weekend's Australian Football League Grand Final in Melbourne was QUITE a spectacle. But NOT because of the game! Scottish model Heather McCartney was kicked out of the stadium for stripping COMPLETELY NUDE in a corporate box. She reportedly kicked, punched and BIT police officers as they removed her. McCartney claims she got naked on a bet, but several sources said she was a paid stripper. Either way, it's a GREAT story!
Could this be the world's most EXPENSIVE apartment? This 35-thousand square foot "Sky Penthouse", in the nearly-completed Odeon Tower is situated along the French Riviera in Monaco. It consists of 5 stories, and includes a 24/7 concierge, a gym, private pools, spas, a home theatre and views to die for. The expected asking price? Close to 400 MILLION dollars!
But when it comes to true decadence, the Sky Penthouse is nothing compared to this mega-mansion being built in Broward County Florida! The 42-thousand square foot Palais Royal is filled with 22 karat gold leaf finishes. The outdoor area features a putting green and a NUMBER of pools, including a 45-hundred square foot INFINITY pool! Of course you'll need some space for your toys, so the 30-car underground garage is a real plus. Not to mention a large dock for your mega yacht! The asking price of 139 million makes it the most expensive home in the US!
Have a look at Miami's response to the Eiffel Tower! It's called "SkyRise Miami", and it's set to become an iconic part of the city's skyline. The 430 million dollar project will be at the center of Miami's famous nightlife scene. It'll have a top-notch restaurant and nightclub sitting a thousand feet above ground level, and will also feature two TERRIFYING tourist attactions! The SkyRise Drop will allow people to base jump off the tower while attached to a controlled wire, and the SkyPlunge will see people strapped into a harness before taking a heart-stopping 50 story freefall! Officials are aiming for a 2018 completion date.
A desperate homeowner is SO eager to sell his Philadelphia mansion that he's put it on the market for 15 million dollars LESS than it cost him to build it! The property is set on a 100-acre plot of land called "Harmony Mountain". Some of the features include, an outdoor amphitheater, a 100-gallon waterfall shower, a meditation room, and a two million dollar art collection! The owner spent nearly 25 million on the 16-thousand square foot house and now he's selling it for just under ten million, along with a 50-thousand dollar bonus to anyone
who can find a buyer!
And at the complete OPPOSITE end of the spectrum, is this "Quaint", floating cottage on Perry Creek in Maine! Foy and Louisa Brown spend May to November living in this cozy 240 square foot getaway. It has no TV, no annoying neighbors, and best of all no property taxes! Both of them ride boats to get to their jobs in the morning, and enjoy relaxing evenings on the water! They say the only thing they DON'T love about it is the outdoor shower, which can get a wee bit chilly on cooler days. Either way, this kind of serenity, is PRICELESS.
Saturday Night Live's FORTIETH season kicked off on a positive note. Last weekend's premiere was hosted by Guardian of the Galaxy slash dreamboat Chris Pratt. He and the SNL crew poked a little fun at Marvel and its INCREDIBLE run of big blockbusters. Marvel could even sell a PEANUT GALLERY movie! Just kidding! Once again, just anonymous voiceovers – let's not get a big head here.
What's the WORST part of any actor's job? It's gotta be the COUNTLESS rounds of repetitive movie publicity. But I think Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader had some FUN with local Denver reporter Chris Parente - who CLEARLY hadn't seen their new film The Skeleton Twins. BUSTED! If you need tips on being NAKED in front of the camera, Chris, just call me! I “PROMISE” I won't laugh at you and hang up.
Let's be honest – most sports shows are pretty TEDIOUS nowadays. But ESPN personalities Keyshawn Johnson and Adam Schefter decided to LIVEN things up a little with a SUMO WRESTLING contest – complete with a cameo from Mike Ditka! Gotta love Ditka. He's like rock – NOTHING beats rock. NOTHING. BEATS. ROCK. Never question me again!
And finally, what do you get when you cross Jimmy Fallon, legendary rocker Robert Plant, and an iPad app that LOOPS vocals? You get TV magic! That app would be a LOT of fun at karaoke. What do you say Peanuts – wanna do a number together? Please, like I'd ever hang out with you outside of work. That's all for the Boob Tube – see you next time!
In other news today, Microsoft has previewed Windows 10, it's next generation of software. The new version of the iconic program focuses on personalization, and offers plenty of customization options so users can arrange things just the way they like them. And yes, in case you're wondering, the company DID skip the "Windows 9" moniker. Windows 10 won't be released until some time next year, BUT, if you can't stand the wait, you can get your hands on an early version by signing up for the Windows Insider Program.
Apple could be forced to pay back BILLIONS of dollars for allegedly exploiting tax loopholes in Ireland. A probe by the European Commission has found that Apple was funneling most of its international profits through subsidiaries in Ireland, where the company receives extremely favorable tax rates. The commission believes the special treatment constitutes state aid, which would violate EU laws. Investigators are asking for further documents from the Irish government, and will then make a decision on whether or not Apple will have to give back a chunk of its earnings.
And it's been announced that PayPal will be breaking away from eBay and becoming its own separately traded company. It marks the end of a twelve year partnership between the massive online merchant and the payment processor. Despite promising growth over the past few years, the road ahead could be a rough one for PayPal. It faces stiff competition from Apple Pay - which has already partnered with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Splitting from eBay should trigger a rise in PayPal's stock value, giving the company more financial resources to try and fend off competition.
In Travel news, would you like a FREE stay in the Italian Alps, with a three hundred and sixty degree view of the gorgeous mountain range? All you have to do is climb eight thousand three hundred feet to the top of Foronon Buinz Mountain. There you will find a simple tent-shaped structure with nine beds, and no luxuries. But the VIEW simply cannot be beat!
Most travelers have been dinged with overweight baggage fees, but the TUL suitcase could put an end to that. The hard-shell suitcase has built-in sensors that weigh the contents WHILE you're packing, and display the weight on a LCD screen. It's currently just a Kickstarter project, but could become reality if it meets its ninety-five thousand dollar goal.
It looks like it's going to be another bad year for the "red tide" in Florida. The toxic algae - technically known as Karenia brevis - is blooming in an area roughly sixty miles wide and a HUNDRED miles long, off St. Petersburg. In addition to killing off marine life and causing unpleasant smells, the algae can also affect people who inhale its toxins when they're aerosolized in seaspray.
A new proposal wants New York City to build a series of GONDOLAS connecting points in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. The "East River Skyway" would operate high-speed gondolas carrying five thousand people per hour, moving users from Brooklyn to Manhattan in four minutes. It's the brainchild of Daniel Levy, CEO of real estate search site CityRealty - and president of East River Skyway. The City Transit Authority hasn't commented yet.
And Boeing's new proposal to develop a "space taxi" to shuttle NASA astronauts to the International Space Station could include seats for TOURISTS! They plan to transport clients of Space Adventures, a space tourism company that organizes trips on Russia's Soyuz capsules. If a vacation to the ISS sounds up your alley, you'll want to start saving your pennies. A ten-day trip is predicted to cost about fifty million dollars
Eila Adams and Peyton Priestly discuss some of today's stories, including the first American Ebola diagnosis, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson being grilled about security breaches, and California's ban on single-use plastic bags. They also have a new survey and the results of yesterday's survey.
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