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Renewed Spotlight on Why the NFL Is a Nonprofit Group


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Attention over the National Football League's domestic abuse policy and the league's leadership has drawn renewed scrutiny of a fact that may surprise many people: the NFL is a nonprofit group.The National Basketball Association has always been a for-profit business, and Major League Baseball gave up its nonprofit status back in 2007. So the NFL should no longer be nonprofit, some sports fans fume. This week, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., called for increasing funding for domestic violence prevention by $100 million over 10 years by taxing the dues professional sports leagues pay to support leagues' front offices.The NFL league office has been a tax-exempt 501(c)6 trade association since the 1940s. The Professional Golfers Association and National Hockey League are also nonprofit trade organizations, though neither comes close to the wealth of the NFL.That doesn't mean the individual NFL teams aren't making money or paying taxes for their $10 billion in annual revenue. The NFL's 32 clubs pay taxes on all revenues on tickets, television rights and jersey sales.Though the potential taxes owed if these sports leagues were classified as a for-profit entity are estimated at a modest $10 million, the fact that the NFL league office is tax exempt at all is rubbing some people the wrong way anew because of the recent scandals, including the controversial player concussion issue.The NFL contends that the league office is an administrative office that writes the rules of the game, hires referees, negotiates collective bargaining agreements and more.A spokesman for the NFL offered to ABC News as comment an op-ed by Jeremy Spector, the NFL's outside tax counsel and partner with Covington and Burling LLP."The league office acts as a trade association for the NFL clubs," Spector wrote in November. "It establishes rules and standard practices for its members, develops programs to help them run their operations more efficiently and profitably, and promotes the business in the broader community. Trade associations are nonprofit organizations. They don’t engage in any business activity. As a result, they are exempt from being taxed under section 501(c)(6) of the federal tax code."Spector wrote an op-ed for the Nov. 29, 2013, issue of U.S. News and World Report in response to questions about the league's nonprofit status. That's when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., introduced the "PRO Sports Act" to repeal tax-exempt status for certain professional sports leagues after 2013. While Coburn has said he still wants to move this bill forward, the bill has not moved out of committee.The league's Form 990 filed with the IRS for 2012, the most recent document available, shows the NFL lost more than $304 million in 2012. But that doesn't mean the NFL is underwater and it's not making a ton of money in royalties and licensing. The NFL commissioner since 2006, Roger Goodell, earned $44.1 million in 2012, according to the Form 990. The highest paid player in 2012, according to Forbes, Drew Brees, earned $44.4 million on the field that year and $5 million off the field in endorsements and other deals.Goodell made a total of $85 million from 2010-2012, the last three years for which information is available. Though the other major sports leagues don't publish executive pay, Goodell is widely thought to be the highest-paid sports commissioner, according to industry experts.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Facebook Says 17 Million Ice Bucket Challenge Videos Shared This Summer


mactrunk/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Facebook confirmed what we all knew on Tuesday, that the Ice Bucket Challenge was ubiquitous this summer, with millions of Internet users posting videos of themselves as they got soaked in the name of charity.According to the social networking site, between June 1 and September 1, more than 17 million videos related to the challenge were shared. Those figures include celebrities such as Bill Gates, Will Smith, and Taylor Swift, and millions of others.Facebook says those videos were viewed by over 440 million people and received a total of 10 billion views.The ALS Association, the organization for which the Ice Bucket Challenge aimed to raise money, said late last month that the efforts had raised $100.9 million in donations just between July 29 and August 29. During that timeframe in 2013, the charity brought in $2.8 million.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UPS to Hire Nearly 100,000 Temporary Employees for Holiday Season


Viktor Lugovskoy/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- UPS announced on Tuesday that it will higher nearly 100,000 seasonal employees to help handle the seasonal surge in shipping from October through January."We have initial volume forecasts from our customers and are starting the hiring process for our temporary peak season jobs," Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations John McDevitt said. In total, the company anticipates hiring 90,000 to 95,000 individuals for seasonal positions.A company statement notes that, "seasonal positions as package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers and drivers have long been an entry point for permanent employment, training and career opportunity after the company re-assesses its needs following the holiday period."The company will only accept online applications, and direct prospective employees to their website, UPSjobs.com.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wall Street Posts Gains as Federal Reserve Considers Raising Interest Rates


tarabird/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street got back on track Tuesday with all three major indices posting gains as Federal Reserve policymakers consider raising interest rates.The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a gain of 100.83, finishing the day at 17131.97.The Nasdaq climbed 33.86 to 4552.76, while the S&P 500 closed at 1998.98, jumping 14.85.Policymakers began two days of meetings on Tuesday, with raising interest rates as a possible course of action.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Scottish Secession a Sobering Prospect for Scotch Whiskey Drinkers


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Scotch drinkers might want to brace themselves if Scots vote to secede from the United Kingdom and, consequently, the European Union Thursday.Among the likely outcomes would be higher prices for Americans and others who import the brown elixir from secession-saddled producers with rising costs.Scotch whiskey, commonly referred to as Scotch and spelled without the "e" in Great Britain, is a tightly regulated spirit that can only come from oak casks that have matured for at least three years in Scotland. Exports are a giant piece of business for the Scotch industry, which says it ships 40 bottles overseas each second, while Scotch accounts for a quarter of U.K.'s food and drink exports.The prospect of a Scotch trade interruption alone is enough to rattle the industry.David Frost, the chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association in Edinburgh, said "any regulatory divergence between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. may increase costs to business," according to his group's annual review in May.And Frost isn't just bluffing. In the European Union, Scotch producers can export the stuff tariff-free to the region, and the geographical indication of "Scotch Whisky" is protected by E.U. law. Only 109 distilleries are licensed to produce Scotch, according to the association."But even a temporary interruption of E.U. membership involving exclusion from the single market or the customs union, if this were a consequence of independence, would be damaging and difficult to manage," Frost wrote in the annual review.In a statement provided by a spokeswoman to ABC News Tuesday, the association said it is "committed" to working with the government no matter what transpires Thursday. Through consultation of its members, the association detailed what it values from the government: "a supportive business environment, continuity of EU membership, and support for our exports."The group is understandably nervous, citing 35,000 jobs it says depend on the Scotch industry."We see potential risks to these from an independent Scotland,” the statement from the trade group read, “and we look for reassurance that any future arrangements would be at least as supportive as the current ones.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

What You Need to Know About Apple iOS8 Release


Apple(NEW YORK) -- Months after Apple first teased iOS 8, the software refresh will be released to iPhone and iPad users on Wednesday.Apple's iOS 8 is being hailed as the biggest operating system release ever because it comes with updates to popular apps, such as messages, photos and the keyboard.While Apple's new gadgets sucked up much of the attention last week, the company also revealed it would release the shiny new iOS update on Wednesday. The update was first unveiled at the Worldwide Developer's Conference in June.The operating system update will come on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, which will be released to the public on Friday. However, if you're not planning on upgrading to a new iPhone just yet, here's what you need to know about how to get iOS 8 on your iPad and current iPhone:Eligible DevicesThe iOS 8 is only compatible with the iPhone 4S and later models. It will also work on the iPad 2 and later models and the iPod Touch 5th generation.How to UpdateFirst, make sure you've recently completed a backup to iTunes or your iCloud. You'll also want to make sure you have at least 1 GB free. In order to delete items you don't need, go to settings and usage.Once you're satisfied that your information is secure and you have plenty of space, it's time to get moving. Plug in your device and turn on WiFi. Next, go to settings and choose software update to begin the download.Once it's complete, restart your iPhone and you should be good to go with a brand new iOS.What to Expect from iOS 8Apple's new Health app will "talk" to your other fitness apps and will serve as a one-stop shop for all of your health and fitness data, providing metrics on one screen.The Family Sharing app will allow up to six people in a household to share each other's iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases. It will also allow families to keep up with each others' photos, calendars and locations.A "smart keyboard" that can suggest "contextually appropriate words" to complete your messages will be rolled out, along with the ability to seamlessly send video and audio iMessages, among other updates.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Congressman Fights to Protect Yelpers


Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., is proposing legislation that would protect amateur reviewers nationwide from legal or financial retaliation.Swalwell’s bill was inspired by what happened to a couple in Utah after they posted a bad review, according to The National Journal. The two were said to have been fined $3,500 for “unwittingly violating a retailer’s terms-of-sale contract.” The bill is similar to a new Yelp law in California that fines restaurants and other businesses that write “disparagement clauses” into their terms of service contracts, allowing them to charge reviewers with fees. “It’s un-American for any consumer to be penalized for writing an honest review,” Swalwell says.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Markets on Edge as Fed Meeting Kicks Off


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Until now, the Federal Reserve has reassured stock market investors, saying it will keep official short-term interest rates near zero for a “considerable time.” But those two words might be dropped from the next Fed statement, scheduled for Wednesday. Policymakers begin a two-day meeting Tuesday morning, and markets are on edge. On Tuesday, stock futures were down ahead of the opening bell. The day before, the averages closed mixed.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Surge Soda Returns


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The sugary, lemon-lime soda you loved in the 1990s is back -- at least temporarily.Coca-Cola reintroduced Surge, which was discontinued in 2003, in 12-packs on Amazon.com, with the same retro packaging.Unfortunately for fans who heard the news too late, it's already sold out.But Coke said it's interested in further exploration of digital media and online sales.“If expectations are met, this may be only the first of a variety of efforts we explore to launch niche products through e-commerce relationships” said Wendy Clark of Coca-Cola North America in a blog post.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

A Company You've Never Heard of Might Have the Biggest IPO Ever


Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The largest initial public offering of a company ever, which is expected to happen this week through the New York Stock Exchange, will likely raise more than $24 billion. But many Americans have likely never used or even heard of the firm.It's an Internet company, not surprisingly, and it's called Alibaba. The company has four main areas of revenue, according to Santosh Rao, head of research of Manhattan Venture Partners. And here's what they are:1. Retail E-CommerceThe first and main category is Alibaba's retail marketplaces, which comprised 81.6 percent of the firm's revenue in its fiscal 2014 year, which ended in March.This includes:    Taobao, described as China's largest consumer-to-consumer shopping site, similar to eBay.    Tmall, China's largest third-party business-to-consumer platform.    Juhuasuan, China's most popular group buying marketplace.Through these sites, Alibaba takes a cut when there's a transaction, plus there's the business of advertising and search results when people are looking for an item. Some vendors can pay more to be listed first in search results.2. Alibaba's Wholesale MarketplaceAlibaba's second biggest way to make money is its wholesale selling and buying business, which allows manufacturers to supply retail merchants. The website 1688.com is Alibaba's local wholesale business while Alibaba.com is involved in international commerce.Alibaba's local wholesale business last comprised about 4.4 percent of revenue in 2014, while international commerce provided 9.2 percent.3. PaymentsAs the folks at Apple can attest to, with its introduction of Apple Pay last week, the online and mobile payments industry is only getting started. Alibaba previously spun off Alipay, which describes itself as the "China's leading third-party online payment solution," and is similar to PayPal. But it's still in the Alibaba ecosystem, facilitating business in both the retail and wholesale marketplaces."These guys facilitate the transactions," Rao said of Alipay, which is a big and an essential business in China, because "there is a big slice of unbanked and underbanked population there," especially in the non-urban areas.4. Alibaba's Ancillary ServicesAlibaba has its hand in a number of other services, such as cloud computing and online marketing, which comprise 3.3 percent of the company's revenue."Alibaba is getting into a number of other businesses, such as gaming, taxi service, ticketing, movie studios, among others," Rao said. "They first take a small minority position in these emerging growth areas before acquiring them fully or take a major position."But other times, the company just takes a bite of the apple. Alibaba has invested in other companies with no sign of total domination yet, including the American ride-sharing firm Lyft and member shopping site ShopRunner.com.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Meet the Vine Stars Who Turn 6 Seconds of Fame into Big Bucks


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Spending the afternoon making short funny Vine videos with friends may seem like a total slacker thing to do, but for a select few, it’s a pathway to fame and fortune.Cody Johns, Brent Rivera and Greg Davis, Jr., who goes by the username "Klarity," are top Vine influencers, rising stars on the six-second-video app. All three say they pull down six-figure salaries with their Vine videos.These guys are the new Don Drapers, creative guys who have figured out how to connect with consumers -- which is worth big money.Johns, a 24-year-old from Florida, said they were making Vines for a year before they gained traction on the app, and now they have caught the attention of major companies like Coca-Cola, willing to pay these Viners a lot of money to make Vine videos with their products and share it with their followers.“Vine's average audience are…13 and 15 year olds,” Davis said. “We have the ability to affect an audience in any way simply by saying go do it. They come to us because we can reach an audience that they can't.”Davis, 30, also from Florida, has two million followers on Vine -- more than Miley Cyrus' 1.4 million. Johns has 2.4 million -- 300,000 more than Justin Bieber. Los Angeles native Brent Rivera, just 16 years old, has five million followers.In addition to all those followers, the three Vine stars have something else going for them: a squeaky clean image.“I'm clean. I'm very kid friendly I guess,” Rivera said. “My mom is a fourth grade teacher and the kids in her class watch my videos. I get a young audience 8 to 20…It's pretty crazy. I can't believe it's happening."One six-second ad on Vine can be worth anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, according to according to Rob Fishman, the co-founder of Niche, a combination advertising and talent agency for the digital age. The Vine ads don’t look anything like the traditional 30-second TV spots. They’re shorter, grittier, and often wittier.Coca Cola is one of many big corporations reaching out this way. Procter and Gamble, Hewlett Packard and Warner Brothers, among others have also used top Vine influencers to reach new audiences.This sort of home-grown, user-generated ad style is called “native advertising,” and industry analysts say corporate America is forecast to spend $4 billion this year alone on it -- probably twice that much by the end of the decade.Fishman said connecting big corporate brands with social media stars is the best position to influence target audiences because fans can relate to them."We see tons of people on the site who see better engagement on their social channels than Miley Cyrus, and yet Miley Cyrus is a world famous recording artist,” Fishman said. “Vine stars and Instagram photographers are more influential, more popular, and more relevant with audiences.”But, Fishman cautioned, social media stars have to think carefully about turning their personal accounts into an advertising mechanism."These creators can do whatever they want on their channels,” Fishman said, but noted that Fortune 500 companies comb through the videos on the lookout for anything that could hurt their brand image.“It's not so different from a political candidate who has to think about not what am I saying on the campaign trail, but what am I doing in my private life,” he said.The Viners also have to be choosey. They don’t want their videos to seem like they’ve been sanitized by the corporate PR team, potentially diminishing the authenticity that made them popular in the first place.“We don't want them to think, yeah we're just using them,’” Davis said, sensitive to being called a sell-out. “So it makes us think about doing brand deals, it makes us think about doing stuff for any other advertisers.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Apple Gives Instructions on How to Delete Free U2 Album


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- There's a way to remove that free U2 album you didn't ask for.Apple's event last Tuesday was like a holiday for fanatics, as the company unveiled two new iPhones, the Apple Watch, Apple Pay and iOS 8. The banner event was capped off when CEO Tim Cook and U2 frontman Bono revealed that 500 million iTunes users would automatically be gifted the band's new album, Songs of Innocence.Plenty of people have said "thanks but no thanks" to the gift -- which has shown up anyway in users' cloud-based iTunes accounts.In response, Apple unveiled a website Monday to make it easier for users to rid their accounts of the album, if they so choose.Check out the website here. Then click "remove album." Sign in with your Apple ID and password and you should be good to go.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ride-Sharing Company Sidecar Says It Raised $15 Million, Richard Branson Is New


Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ride-sharing company Sidecar plans to continue towards its goal of nationwide expansion -- with Virgin founder Richard Branson joining as a new investor.According to a post on the Sidecar blog, the company has raised $15 million towards this proposed growth. In the post, Branson says that the transportation industry, "has been ripe for disruption for decades," and that Sidecar, "can take on the big guys with innovation and ideas, not just big bank accounts."Sidecar connects drivers with people in need of rides nearby. Earlier this year, the company introduced "Shared Rides," in which drivers are matched with nearby riders going in the same direction. The company currently operates in 10 markets across the U.S.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gas Prices Drop Significantly


FeelPic/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gas prices dropped by almost five cents in the last week, an impressively large dip, bringing the average price of a dollar of unleaded gas to $3.41.That figure, released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is nearly 14 cents lower than this date one year ago. California was once again the state with the highest average price for gas, with one gallon costing $3.79 on average. The most notable drop occurred in the Midwest region, where the average gas price dropped by slightly more than eight cents per gallon from last week.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Mixed Day on Wall Street, US Manufacturing Output Down


stu99/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After the first week of losses in nearly a month, Wall Street was mixed on Monday, with two of the major indices posting losses.The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 43.63, finishing back above 17000 at 17031.14.The Nasdaq dropped 48.7 to a close of 4518.90, while the S&P 500 slipped 1.41 to 1984.13. Last month, the S&P 500 had reached 2000 for the first time.For the first time since January, manufacturing output in the U.S. dropped in August, and the gains for July were revised lower. Still, overall industrial production was 4.1 percent higher than at the same time last year.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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