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iStock/Thinkstock(DUBLIN) -- Around 50,000 passengers across Europe are expected to be affected this weekend as Ryanair is forced to cancel almost 400 flights due to a 24-hour walkout by staff in five European countries over a dispute about pay and working conditions.

Ryanair employees are on strike in Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, forcing the firm to cancel 394 flights.

The Irish airline, which last year carried its one billionth passenger, is Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier.

It said in a statement that the action was “unjustified” and “regrettable”, but said that 85 percent of its flights would still be operated, and said that it had done all that it could to prevent the dispute escalating into industrial action, adding that the “majority of customers affected have already been re-accommodated on another Ryanair flight.”

But some people took to Twitter to complain at how Ryanair handled the debacle after their flights were canceled.

Unions representing Ryanair staff said they want work rules to be governed by the laws of countries where employees are based, not the laws in Ireland where Ryanair is headquartered.

The action is the latest in a series of disagreements between Ryanair management and staff after the firm recognized its employee unions in late 2017 and entered into negotiations.

In July, around 300 flights were cancelled in similar strikes in Portugal, Spain and Belgium.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two moms whose genius idea was born beside a kiddie pool are now changing the game with an innovative swimsuit design that makes bathroom breaks a breeze.

In 2014, Jill Slater and Alexis Castellano ran into the very real struggle that mothers of daughters know all too well: the dreaded one-piece bathing suit debacle.

"My older daughter Avery was 2 at the time," Castellano, a mom of two, told "Good Morning America." "She went [to the bathroom] and trying to get that swimsuit up was harder than it was to get down. I said [to Slater] 'that wasn't a fun experience' and 'there must be a better swimsuit out there.'"  Two moms whose genius idea was born beside a kiddie pool are now changing the game with an innovative swimsuit design that makes bathroom breaks a breeze.

In 2014, Jill Slater and Alexis Castellano ran into the very real struggle that mothers of daughters know all too well: the dreaded one-piece bathing suit debacle.

"My older daughter Avery was 2 at the time," Castellano, a mom of two, told "Good Morning America." "She went [to the bathroom] and trying to get that swimsuit up was harder than it was to get down. I said [to Slater] 'that wasn't a fun experience' and 'there must be a better swimsuit out there.'"

 The gal pals, who met during a mommy-and-me playgroup session, had an epiphany: Why don't swimsuits look like baby onesies with the snaps? With that, their New Jersey-based company, FASTEN was born.

The website, fastenswim.com, which launched in 2015, offers bathing suits that are designed like onesies, only they snap near the waist. For older girls, there is a magnet on the back to hold the flap in place so it won't fall into the potty.

In 2017, Slater and Castellano's idea won a one-year mentorship from theSkimm's "Get Off The Couch" female entrepreneur challenge. Within the last two weeks, FASTEN's online shop has sold 85 percent of inventory and in the last year, has grown 130 percent with new customers in sales.

 "We hear, 'This has been a game changer' and, 'Why didn't I think of this before?'" Slater, also a mother of two, said of parents' feedback.

Both Slater and Castellano feel the most rewarding thanks has been from parents of children with special needs, who have said that the suits make potty time easier for kids who may have an insulin pump, feeding pump, or a catheter.

"And for children who are older, but not yet potty-trained -- they're kids who are at the age where they want to look like every child, but they're still in diapers," Slater explained. "We have been so excited that something we created to make our lives easier is now truly making girls' lives easier -- all girls, everywhere, and that's something we're really proud of."

In addition to swimwear, which is normally priced from $34 to $36, FASTEN currently sells leotards, beach coverups and other accessories.

Slater, who previously worked as nurse practitioner, and Castellano, a former event planner and freelance writer, now co-own their brand and operating alongside a technical designer and a financial specialist.

This fall, Slater, and Castellano will be releasing two new swimsuit designs: a halter and a tank. Eventually, they hope to expand to adult sizes, they said.

 In addition to swimwear, which is normally priced from $34 to $36, FASTEN currently sells leotards, beach coverups and other accessories.

Slater, who previously worked as nurse practitioner, and Castellano, a former event planner and freelance writer, now co-own their brand and operating alongside a technical designer and a financial specialist.

This fall, Slater, and Castellano will be releasing two new swimsuit designs: a halter and a tank. Eventually, they hope to expand to adult sizes, they said.

"We are really proud of the fact that we've built this company of talented women we're working with," she added. "This day in age, female-founded companies are important. We're making a name for ourselves and showing our kids what we can do.

"We want to keep going and take it as far as we can."

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Airbnb(WASHINGTON) -- Protesters planning to participate in the "Unite the Right" rally in Washington, D.C., this weekend may have some trouble finding a place to stay.

Airbnb is warning users that if they are found to be in violation of the company's policies, they could have their reservations canceled and their accounts removed from the home sharing service.

The company is citing its community values as grounds to cut ties with participants of the rallies, which stemmed from a protest last year to protect Confederate statues -- which included neo-Nazi groups -- but exploded in violence.

"When we identify and determine that there are those who would be pursuing behavior on the Airbnb platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we seek to take appropriate action, which may include removing them from the platform," according to a statement from Airbnb.

The company says all Airbnb users must agree to its Community Commitment, which states that the user agrees "to treat everyone in the Airbnb community — regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age — with respect, and without judgment or bias."

This isn't the first time Airbnb has singled out people supporting the white nationalist and alt-right rally.

The company canceled accounts and bookings ahead of the original "Unite the Right" rally, which occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017.

"We acted in advance of last year's horrific event in Charlottesville and if we become aware of similar information we won’t hesitate to do so again," according to the company's statement.

Airbnb has not released any data on the numbers of accounts or bookings that were canceled ahead of and after the Charlottesville rally in 2017.

On Aug. 7, 2017, "Unite the Right" organizer Jason Kessler said in a video posted to Twitter that Airbnb was canceling protest participant's reservations, and he told The New York Times that "hundreds of people have been put out of their accommodations."

Groups from both sides of the conflict have planned public demonstrations in Washington, D.C., this weekend on the anniversary of the Charlottesville clashes.

Permits for protests have been granted in different parts of the nation's capital, with the organizers of the original "Unite the Right" rally planning to march from a nearby Metro station to a demonstration in Lafayette Square Park, directly opposite the White House.

Organizers for counter-demonstrations, including groups like Black Lives Matter and an individual who plans to burn a Confederate flag in Lafayette Park, have also received permits.

More details about the demonstrations are expected to be released in the coming days.

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Converse(BOSTON) -- Converse and Hello Kitty are collaborating on a footwear and apparel collection and all of our childhood dreams are coming true.

Sneakers have been the go-to shoe style this summer and everyone knows '90s nostalgia is the best accessory. So lace up, because your shoe collection is about to get a whole lot cuter when these sneaks come out.

The collection that includes Hello Kitty designs on the classic Chuck Taylor All Star, the One Star and Chuck 70s, ranging from kid sizes to adults.

In addition to the footwear line, they will also be releasing apparel and accessories in the collection, including a pullover hoodie, long sleeve T-shirts, short sleeve T-shirts, Hello Kitty pins in an easy-to-carry pouch, a crossbody purse, a duffel bag and a baseball cap.

The two iconic brands will be releasing the collection globally Aug. 16, and it will be available for purchase on Converse's website, and at retailers like Nordstrom, Journey’s and Shoe Palace.

Everything in the collection is priced from $35 to $100.

Some of the shoes feature the well-known Hello kitty tagline "Say Hello To Me When You See Me!"

Sophie Bambuck, CMO of Converse, said the release of the collection is "incredibly exciting, and fun. Both Converse and Hello Kitty are symbols of expression and originality across generations, cultures and communities. Hello Kitty is whoever you want her to be to you, and Converse sneakers have always been adopted and transformed by the individuals that bring us into their lives daily, and made their own."

Bambuck hopes that lifelong fans of both Hello Kitty and Converse will "welcome this collection ... and have fun with it, just as we did creating it."

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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- 2018 could be the year of the Mustang, Ford's iconic pony car immortalized by Steve McQueen in "Bullitt."

On Wednesday, the 10 millionth Mustang rolled off the line at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan.

In April, the 54-year-old Mustang was named the best-selling sports coupe for the third year in a row by IHS Markit, an industry analytics firm.

And the Big 3 automaker launched a special edition Mustang to coincide with the upcoming 50th anniversary of “Bullitt,” McQueen's classic 1968 action film.

But even the Mustang may not be able to outrun what’s going on in Washington.

In retaliation of President Trump’s move to slap tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese-made goods, China imposed a 40 percent duty on vehicles imported from the U.S.

Ford sold 7,125 Mustangs in China in 2017, making it the No. 1 sports coupe in the country. Mustangs, though long popular with Chinese drivers who would often buy them on the “gray market” and ship them overseas, didn’t officially enter the Chinese market until January of 2015.

Ford said it has no current plans to increase the price of the Mustang in China but “the company’s clear view is that governments should work together to lower, not raise, barriers to trade,” a Ford spokesman told ABC News. “Higher tariffs do not benefit our customers or our employees.”

China appears to have the upper hand in the trade standoff, according to Brandon Mason, PwC’s automotive director and U.S. mobility leader.

The U.S. sends far more vehicles to China — 267,473 in 2017 — than it imports (58,437), he pointed out.

“Given that it’s the world’s largest automotive market, an unintended consequence of the U.S. tariffs could be that OEMs [Original Equipment Manufacturer] will look to further localize production there in order to bypass Chinese tariffs,” he told ABC News. “Given the huge tariff amount, it seems unlikely that automakers would continue to send their vehicles to China over the long term — their margins will either be slashed or they would have to pass the cost along to customers, making their products uncompetitive.”

Stephanie Brinley, an auto analyst at IHS Markit, said Ford’s decision to offer the Mustang globally has helped it maintain a sales lead over its competitors.

The car’s fortune, however, is “still tied to its U.S. buyer base,” she said.

Seventy-three percent of Mustang sales in 2017 were in the U.S. Even though Mustang sales have slipped in recent years and are projected to decline again in 2018, the American performance legend was never at risk of being banished to the history books like other Ford models.

“There is no reason to believe the Mustang is in any danger of being dropped,” she said. “The Mustang is an image car for Ford, an expression of performance. If Ford did drop the car owners and enthusiasts would be disappointed.”

Bill Ford Jr., whose grandfather, Henry Ford, founded the company 115 years ago, reportedly has more than a dozen Mustangs in his personal car collection. He told ABC News that no one imagined the Mustang would “create such a dedicated base of fans around the world” and still be in production today when it debuted at the New York World Fair in April of 1964.

Now, “the Mustang has become the quintessential American car and a global icon,” he said.

As for the company’s plan to end production of most of its passenger cars, Ford said it was necessary as the automaker “reinvents” its business.

“The consumer shift to utilities is undeniable and our new body styles will give people more capability, space and style,” he said.

Ford SUVs and pickups may be the financial answer for the company but the Mustang will always be part of its past, present and future. McQueen chose the Mustang as his character’s vehicle in “Bullitt” because it had relatability, according to Eric Minoff, an auto specialist at Bonhams auction house.

“That movie cemented the Mustang’s position in popular culture,” he told ABC News, “and Ford markets the hell out of it.”

In June, Bonhams auctioned off six Mustangs that personally belonged to Carroll Shelby, the famous race car driver who collaborated with Ford to build incredibly powerful and limited edition Mustangs. All exceeded sale expectations, especially the 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 continuation series convertible, which sold for $201,600, far above its original $60,000 to $80,000 estimate.

The Mustang’s working class image continues to be part of its allure, Minoff said. The V8 engine sports car offers sheer power and a sexy body at a fraction of the cost of a Ferrari, Corvette or Porsche, he noted.

“Everyone knows someone who has or had a Mustang,” he said. “The most valuable have the Carroll Shelby connection [but] they have been so successful partly because they’re the antithesis of rare. That’s the only limiting factor — there are a lot of them.”

Ford has sold 418,000 Mustangs in 146 countries since 2015. More women are choosing Mustangs over its hometown rivals, the Corvette and Camaro. Even as Ford shifts gears to stay ahead of fickle driving trends the Mustang will endure.

“It’s the soul of Ford,” said Mark Schaller, Mustang’s marketing manager. “It is so deeply intertwined with Ford’s identity.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Communications Commission acknowledged Wednesday that bots were not responsible for the agency's website slowdown after it sought public comment last year on its controversial plan to repeal net neutrality.

After people were temporarily unable to contest the proposal, the FCC at the time put out a statement blaming the issue on an "attack" by bots coordinated by "external actors."

"Beginning on Sunday night at midnight, our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDos)," said Chief Information Officer David Bray in the statement. "These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC."

However, the slowdown was likely due to a boost in use, the inspector general found.

"The degradation of ECFS system availability was likely the result of a combination of: (1) “flash crowd” activity resulting from the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver episode that aired on May 7, 2017 through the links provided by that program for filing comments in the proceeding; and (2) high volume traffic resulting from system design issues," an inspector general report says.

Traffic had increased by 3,116 percent, according to the report, but that was likely caused by a segment on "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" and the host's call to action to flood the agency's public comment page with protests.

The inspector general said it "learned very quickly that there was no analysis supporting the conclusion" of the FCC's allegation of an attack and "there were no subsequent analyses performed, and logs and other material were not readily available."

ABC News' attempts to reach Bray were unsuccessful. He left the agency in October 2017.

Before the report was publicly released, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai blamed the misinformation on his former Chief Information Officer, who was hired by the Obama Administration, for the inaccurate initial statement.

"I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former Chief Information Officer (CIO), who was hired by the prior Administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people," Pai said in a statement.

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Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Twitter said it is standing by its decision not to ban accounts associated with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, despite "outside pressure" for it to ban his content.

The CEO and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, explained the company’s decision in a series of tweets on Tuesday night, noting that Jones, owner of the InfoWars website, hadn’t violated any of its rules.

“We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does,” he said. “If we succumb and simply react to outside pressure, rather than straightforward principles we enforce (and evolve) impartially regardless of political viewpoints, we become a service that’s constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction. That’s not us.”

Twitter has been under fire from users since Sunday, when Apple said it removed podcasts produced by Jones from its streaming platform, citing “hate speech.” Facebook, YouTube and Spotify followed suit with restrictions of their own this week.

Dorsey said he understood why people were upset with the decision, but he said censorship isn’t the answer. He also encouraged journalists to “refute” false information.

“Accounts like Jones' can often sensationalize issues and spread unsubstantiated rumors,” Dorsey said, “so it’s critical journalists document, validate, and refute such information directly so people can form their own opinions. This is what serves the public conversation best.”

Dorsey appeared to take a swipe at the tech platforms that banned Jones and said Twitter refused to take “one-off actions to make us feel good” or make decisions that could ultimately fuel “new conspiracy theories.”

“Truth is we’ve been terrible at explaining our decisions in the past. We’re fixing that,” Dorsey said. “We’re going to hold Jones to the same standard we hold to every account, not taking one-off actions to make us feel good in the short term, and adding fuel to new conspiracy theories.”

Facebook suspended Jones' account for 30 days on Monday due to repeated violations, includings posts that it said glorified violence and dehumanized others.

“We have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” Facebook said.

YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, issued a similar statement, saying Jones’ accounts had violated its “policies against hate speech and harassment,” but Jones claimed his statements are protected by free speech.

"What conservative news outlet will be next? The one platform that they CAN'T ban and will ALWAYS have our live streams is infowars.com/show," Jones, who has more than 850,000 Twitter followers, tweeted Monday.

“#Infowars has been banned on so many platforms, but people are still finding ways to get the truth,” he added in subsequent tweet.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The month of August, eight months into the year, is how far into 2018 a typical black woman must work to bring home what a typical white male was paid at the end of 2017, according to the organizers of Black Women's Equal Pay Day.

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, observed Tuesday, comes nearly five months after Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how far into 2018 a woman will have to work to earn what her male colleague earned in 2017.

Black women earn 96 percent as much as their black male counterparts, and earn nearly 83 percent as much as white women in the workforce, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The news for black women is not promising if nothing is done. Black women may not see equal pay until 2124 if current trends continue, the think tank Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) found.

In addition to deserving the right to be paid equally for equal work, eight in 10 black women are the breadwinner of the family, according to the IWPR. Black women represented one in seven women in the civilian labor force in 2015, or about 10.2 million women.

Over the course of a 40-year career, black women's losses total $867,920 because of the pay gap, the National Women's Law Center recently reported. For black women living in eight states in the U.S., the lifetime wage gap would amount to more than $1 million compared to the earnings of white, non-Hispanic men.

Groups like the Equal Pay Today! Campaign, comprised of women's legal advocacy and worker justice organizations, are working to help erase the pay gap for black women by shining a spotlight on the fact that such a gap still exists in 2018.

A survey commissioned by Lean In, the women-focused organization launched by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, found more than one in three Americans are not aware of the pay gap between black women and white men, and half of Americans are not aware of the pay gap between black women and white women.

"This pay gap for black women persists across industries, occupations, and levels of education," Sandberg and Laphonza Butler, a union leader, wrote in an essay for Fortune magazine. "No matter what her job or how educated she is, the average black woman is still earning a great deal less than a white man at the same level."

The actress Jessica Chastain placed Hollywood's spotlight on the pay gap for black women when she spoke out after learning her costar, Octavia Spencer, who is black, was making less than other actresses, even with her Academy Award for "The Help."

"Your silence is your discrimination," Chastain told The Hollywood Reporter in June. "So if you are succeeding in an environment where there is discrimination, you are actively being discriminatory."

She continued, "I knew women of color got paid less than Caucasian actresses. What I didn’t know is someone of Octavia’s level, who had an Oscar and two Oscar nominations, how much less she would be getting paid. When she told me what she was making, that’s what really made me go, 'Hold up, that doesn’t compute in my brain.'"

The disparity in pay for black women sparked a social media storm Tuesday in observance of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. The hashtags #BlackWomensEqualPay and #DemandMore both trended on Twitter.

Celebrities from “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts to tennis legend Billie Jean King and actress Patricia Arquette raised their voices in support of equal pay for black women.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket for a second time early Tuesday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, according to a statement from the company.

The rocket carried the Merah Putih satellite into orbit, which will provide internet and phone services across Indonesia and Southeast Asia, according to SpaceX.

“The satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years,” SpaceX said.

After separating from the satellite, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

This is the first time SpaceX has successfully reused a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, according to Space.com. Its first launch was in May 2018. Shortly after the launch, Musk told Ars Technica, "We are going to be very rigorous in taking this rocket apart and confirming our design assumptions to be confident that it is indeed able to be reused without taking it apart. Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart.”

The Falcon 9 rocket is designed to fly 10 times with inspections only at landing and liftoff, and 100 times or more with some refurbishment involved, according to Space.com.

Musk has said that reusing rockets is essential for cutting costs in spaceflight and making space exploration more accessible.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that while fighting online fraud is critical, 81% of those polled call cutting edge password practices are overkill.

The poll from analytics software firm FICO revealed 78% of those surveyed have trouble keeping track of their passwords, and 7 in 10 are sick of those warped-looking "Captcha" codes that we're forced to enter just to prove we're not robots.

Sixty-four percent of those polled say they hate having to turn their passwords into that tricky to guess -- and remember -- combination of letters and numbers.

The irony isn't lost on computer security experts.

"There’s a real discrepancy here," says TJ Horan, Vice President of fraud solutions at FICO. "Consumers are glad their bank is protecting them, but frustrated that the protection is making it harder for them to open accounts and make purchases."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A new survey reveals that millennials are the most likely to want to take a trip with their families.

The poll, commissioned by the travel site Ebates, found that 61% of millennials want to travel with their families -- and want to go on romantic vacations the least.

The Ebates Summer Survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults notes that 18.4% of millennials consider romantic trips "cringe worthy," as compared to 10.3% of Gen Xers, and 8.2% of baby boomers.

While romantic trips get the thumbs-down, a majority of millennials say their ideal travel partners would be their BFFs.
 
Other findings of the poll reveal that 82% of all Americans take between 1-3 vacations a year, with more than half getting away during the summer.

Americans are staying home, relatively, this year, with 92% traveling domestically.

Road trips are the preferred vacation mode, says the poll, with 40% saying they're getting away by getting behind the wheel. Plane travel was a close second, at 38%. Cruises ranked a distant third with 7% saying that's how they're traveling, followed by hiking at 6% and trains at 5%.

As for travel inspiration, 51% of Americans ask their friends, and 58% ask family members for destination advice. Twenty-three percent use travel TV shows to find destinations -- the same percentage of those who use sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

The survey also notes that millennials are much more likely than other Americans to turn to social media to find a place to go.

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Brooks Kraft/ Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Facebook on Monday announced that it took down four pages belonging to rightwing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, including his "Infowars" radio show, citing violations of the platform's hate speech and bullying policies.

It is the latest effort by social media giants and the tech industry to try and crack down on speech deemed offensive.

Facebook said in a statement obtained by ABC News on Monday that it also suspended Jones' account for 30 days and that it "unpublished" the pages because they have repeated posted content "glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies."

The media giant said that it removed the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page due to repeated violations of the company's terms of use.

"We've been banned completely on Facebook, Apple, & Spotify. What conservative news outlet will be next? The one platform that they CAN'T ban and will ALWAYS have our live streams is infowars.com/show," Jones, who remains active on Twitter, tweeted on Monday, slamming what he referred to as "censorship."

ABC News has reached out to Jones but a request for comment were not immediately returned.

Twitter told ABC News on Monday that Jones is currently not in violation of the company’s policies.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said that although he is "no fan" of Jones, "Free speech includes views you disagree with."

"Am no fan of Jones — among other things he has a habit of repeatedly slandering my Dad by falsely and absurdly accusing him of killing JFK — but who the hell made Facebook the arbiter of political speech? Free speech includes views you disagree with," he tweeted Monday.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, issued a strike against Jones in July and removed four of his videos, removed top channels associated with InfoWars on Monday, including The Alex Jones Channel, which has nearly 2.5 million subscribers. Two of the videos contained anti-Muslim speech and another showed a man pushing a child to the ground.

"All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube," a YouTube spokesperson told ABC News on Monday. "When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts."

Jones also targeted the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 dead and called activist and shooting survivor David Hogg a "crisis actor" in a video that was later taken down by YouTube. Jones later claimed that Hogg has been given lines by anti-gun advocates.

Apple also removed the majority of Infowars' podcasts from its iTunes and Podcast apps, citing violations of hate speech guidelines.

"Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users," an Apple spokesperson told ABC News. "Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

And last week Spotify, the music streaming service, said said on Wednesday that it has removed some episodes of "The Alex Jones Show" podcast, which airs on Inforwars, for violating its "hate content policy," following backlash on social media.

“We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community," a Spotify spokesperson told ABC News on Monday. "Due to repeated violations of Spotify’s prohibited content policies, The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform.”

"I was born in censorship. I was born being suppressed," he said on his radio show, responding to Spotify's move.

Among other conspiracy theories, Jones has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax.

Six families of victims killed in the shooting, as well as an FBI agent who responded to the scene, filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones in May after he repeatedly called the shooting fake on "Infowars." The lawusit was filed in Travis County, Texas, where Jones' media company is based.

On Wednesday Jones' attorneys argued that the "Infowars" host didn't defame one victim's parents who say they've been tormented by his followers and forced to move seven times. Jones was not present at the hearing.

Jones now admits the shooting occurred but says his claims were free speech. He has sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A legal defense fund set up to help Trump allies caught up in the ongoing probe of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election does not appear to have spent any money on legal services, according to tax records shared with ABC News.

A handful of top Trump donors collectively donated nearly $200,000 to the Patriot Legal Expense Fund Trust between March and June, but so far, the fund has listed expenditures totaling less than $50,000 to an insurance provider and an accounting service.

The fund, which was set up by President Donald Trump’s lawyers in February to provide financial support for legal expenses incurred by any Trump campaign employee, consultant, fundraiser or volunteer (excluding Trump’s family members) questioned in the ongoing probe of Russian election meddling, is required as a 527 political organization to disclose contributions and expenditures.

Monday’s revelations, however, arrive as a growing number of people from across the political spectrum have been asking what has become of the fund. Multiple sources who have been questioned by investigators told ABC News on the condition of anonymity that their requests for assistance either went completely unanswered or resulted in no financial assistance.

Michael Caputo, a public relations executive and onetime Trump campaign aide, reached out to the fund for help as he was facing mounting legal bills following his May interviews with congressional investigators and special counsel prosecutors, but he told ABC News he received no reply.

And last week, five Senate Democrats sent a letter to the newly-confirmed director of the Office of Government Ethics urging the agency to investigate whether the fund is in compliance with federal law and ethics guidelines, citing the lack of transparency in the fund’s guidelines.

"The Fund lacks transparency: both donors and recipients could potentially be shielded from public disclosure and it is impossible to know which donors supplied money for contributions to which employees, making it impossible to discern whether donations are legal or ethical," the senators wrote.

Former Rep. Nan Hayworth, a Republican from New York, who is listed as the fund’s interim manager, did not respond to multiple calls and emails from ABC News. The White House did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

As of this writing, neither of the reports of contributions and expenditures shared with ABC News are available on the IRS website. In response to questions from ABC News, the IRS declined to comment on the filing status of a specific group.

Four Trump loyalists with a long history of giving to the mogul-turned-politician have made large contributions to the fund.

Proactive Communications, a public relations firm run by Mark Serrano, donated $22,000 to the fund in March. Serrano has been a frequent supporter and defender of Trump on television.

Phil Ruffin, one of Trump’s longtime friends and supporters, donated $50,000 in April. Ruffin worked with Trump on his Las Vegas casino development and flew with him to Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that has since become an area of interest to investigators.

Continental Resources, an oil and gas company run by Harold Hamm, donated $25,000 in May. Hamm is a billionaire and major Trump donor from Oklahoma whom Trump once considered for U.S. Energy Secretary.

Geoffrey Palmer, a Beverly Hills real estate developer, donated $100,000 in June. In 2016, Palmer was flagged in published reports as the single largest donor to Trump’s various campaign committees and political action committees.

But so far, the only expenditures listed in the pair of disclosure reports are “insurance” from risk management company Petra RMS ($42,297 between March and June) and “professional accounting services” from accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen ($6,509 in May). The companies’ representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

And the Patriot Fund isn’t the only fundraising effort raising ethics questions. There are a number of similar legal defense funds associated with other former members of Trump’s campaign or administration, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, former campaign adviser Roger Stone and former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist with watchdog group Public Citizen, told ABC that by his count there are more legal defense funds under this administration than under all previous administrations combined, and he called on government ethics officials to lay out rules for how they should function, especially in light of the opportunity for wealthy special interests to attempt to buy favors from government officials.

"There are very few rules governing how these legal defense funds are created and operate," Holman said. "Any official who is facing serious legal charges will undoubtedly be most grateful to any person or company who chips in a large amount of money to pay for his or her legal defense.”

Representatives for Manafort, Gates and Pruitt did not respond to ABC New’ requests for comment. Stone referred questions to his lawyer, who did not immediately respond. Asource familiar with Flynn’s legal defense fund said the fund, which has not released fundraising figures since he pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, has helped Flynn combat skyrocketing legal expenses.

“General Flynn’s legal bills are in the multiple seven figures,” the source told ABC News. “His legal defense fund has helped defray a fraction of the costs.”

Former FEC Chairman Scott Thomas said the system in place lacks regulations and the means to enforce them.

"It's kind of a weak system that we have right now,” Thomas said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Study shows adults in the U.S. spend more than 11 hours a day interacting with media  

It's no surprise that people in the United States are massively into mass media, but a new study shows just how much: adults in the U.S. spend more than 11 hours of every day watching, reading, playing games, or otherwise interacting with media.

According to the first-quarter 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report, new platforms and streaming media are making it easier for people to stay glued to the stuff they like to watch.

Overall video use alone took up nearly six hours of an average U.S. adult's day. That's "time spent with a TV set, computer video and using video focused app/web on smartphones and tablets," according to The Nielsen Company.

Adults in this country between the ages of 18-34 spend some 43% of their media time on digital platforms -- with 29% interacting with media either online or via apps. 

And as those early adopters do their thing, their older counterparts start to follow suit, getting more used to streaming services and the like vs. traditional broadcast TV.

What's more, adults now spend, on average, 45 minutes of their day on social media, according to the report.

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ACM(WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.) -- Purdue University has dropped the name of Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, from a building at the school and offered to return a multimillion-dollar donation from the embattled pizza chain founder’s charity, according to a statement from the school.

Schnatter resigned as chairman of the board for Papa John’s in July after Forbes reported that he used the N-word during a May conference call. He later said stepping down was a "mistake." He had already been removed as CEO for comments made while discussing the national anthem protests in the NFL last year.

The Purdue building, once called the John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research, will now revert back to the Purdue University Research Center in Economics. The building was named after Schnatter when his foundation donated $8 million to the school in April, according to a statement from Purdue economics professor John Umbeck.

“The board believes this action is necessary to avoid distraction from the center’s work, counterproductive division on the campus, and any inference of any deviation from the university’s often-stated stance on tolerance and racial relations,” read a statement from Purdue.

According to official reports, Purdue’s board of trustees voted unanimously on Friday to change the building’s name and offer the refund.

The monetary donation was intended to fund economics research, according to Umbeck.

The John H. Schnatter Family Foundation did not immediately return ABC News’ request for comment.

Ball State University, Schnatter’s alma mater, said it will not change the name of a building named after him, according to a statement from Ball State University Board of Trustees Chairman Rick Hall.

“Based on our current understanding of what transpired, John’s response to the current situation and our experience with him, the board will continue our support of the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise,” Hall said. “In our experience with John, he has never expressed racist views."

“He has demonstrated himself to be an individual who is very appreciative of his fortunate situation and cares deeply about creating an environment in which all enterprising individuals have the opportunity to succeed,” he added.

Schnatter also resigned from his position on the University of Louisville’s board of trustees, according to the school. He had served on the board for two years.

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WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 14, 2018

An elderly Warren County, Pennsylvania woman was killed, while three others were hurt, when a car struck a tractor on Route 957 in Sugar Grove Township Sunday night....    State P...

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