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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims climbed higher last week, increasing by 10,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.For the week ending April 15, the number of people filing for benefits jumped from an unrevised level of 234,000 the previous week to 244,000. The four-week moving average, however, decreased by 4,250 to 243,000.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Federal Trade Commission is warning social media influencers -- celebrities, athletes and other brand marketers with large online followings -- to properly disclose relationships with brands when endorsing or promoting products on Instagram.In a Wednesday press release, the regulatory body announced that it had sent over 90 letters "reminding influencers and marketers" about the FTC's guidelines on "influencer advertising" in response to petitions launched by consumer rights advocacy groups like Public Citizen. "Our goal is to influence influencers to comply with those established principles in their Instagram posts," the FTC wrote in an accompanying blog post.In the FTC guide for commercial practices concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials, it states that the material connection between an endorser and the seller of the advertised product must be fully disclosed."A material connection could be a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the gift of a free product," the FTC press release said.But the FTC said that a number of influencer Instagram posts it reviewed left that connection ambiguous, and the disclosures were sometimes insufficient. It noted that hashtags used in some posts to denote that relationship -- including “Thanks [Brand],” or “#partner” -- were not always obvious. While not an official warning, the FTC's letters are meant to act as a reminder to influencers to stick within the proper standards for endorsing or promoting products.Legally, it is up to both the brand and influencer to clearly disclose their marketing relationship, but the FTC said celebrities and influencers should directly make people aware of their connection and marketers should educate clients about their posts and monitor their adherence to FTC guidelines.  In its blog post, the FTC recommended three steps that influencers should take to ensure the effectiveness of disclosures on Instagram:Keep your disclosures unambiguous.Make your disclosures hard to miss.Avoid #HardtoRead #BuriedDisclosures #inStringofHashtags #SkippedByReaders.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • SeaWorld(NEW YORK) -- SeaWorld on Wednesday announced the birth of the last killer whale that will ever be born at the theme park, just a little over a year after it announced plans to stop breeding orcas there amid falling ticket sales and a wave of animal rights protests.SeaWorld Entertainment, which operates 12 parks including its flagship location in Orlando, Florida, said the calf was born Wednesday afternoon to Takara, the 25-year-old matriarch of its orca pod who was already pregnant when the marine theme park company said it would stop breeding killer whales in March of last year."Although this is the last killer whale birth at a SeaWorld park, our work to understand and protect this species will continue for decades to come," said Hendrik Nollens, vice president of veterinary services for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.The company called the calf's birth "historic" and said the event would mark "a new era" for SeaWorld Parks."This is an exciting and emotional day for us at SeaWorld and we are all so proud to share this new killer whale calf with the world, after a year and a half of planning, and observing and providing all the special care," said Chris Bellows, vice president of zoological operations at the company’s park in San Antonio, Texas, where the calf was born.Last year, SeaWorld said "society is changing" and the company is "changing with it" as it announced plans to stop breeding orcas.  The Orlando, Florida-based company reported total revenue of $1.34 billion for 2016, down 2.2 percent from the previous full year.Total park attendance for 2016 fell by about 2.1 percent for the year as the company's Florida and northeast park locations hit a major slump, according to the company's own accounting.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Bill O'Reilly has responded to news that he will not be returning to his top-rated Fox News Channel show The O'Reilly Factor, saying "it is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.""That is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today," he said in a statement released late Wednesday afternoon.Earlier on Wednesday, Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced that "after a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel."O'Reilly said that over his 20-year career he has "been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television.""I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers," O'Reilly said. "I wish only the best for Fox News Channel."The host has been dogged by misconduct claims -- some sexual in nature -- since an April 1 story in The New York Times detailed alleged settlements made between the host and five women who accused him of harassment and sexual misconduct.ABC News has not been able to independently verify the claims made in the Times story.
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  • JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A bad day for the Dow pushed the stock markets lower on Wednesday for the second consecutive day.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 118.79 to a close of 20,404.49.The Nasdaq gained 13.56, closing at 5,863.03, while the S&P 500 ended the session at 2,338.17, 4.02 lower than it opened.The latest report from the Federal Reserve showed the economy growing in all 12 districts. The latest Beige Book also laid out figures that represent expanding employment nationwide.This year's college graduates will likely take on a lot of student loan debt. The Census Bureau says starting salaries are the same as they were in 2008, and in some cases are even lower.
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  • Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage(NEW YORK ) -- Bill O'Reilly is leaving Fox News Channel, the network's parent company has said.
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