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  • Maria Falaschi/Twitter(HONOLULU) -- Passengers on a Hawaii-bound United Airlines flight got the scare of a lifetime on Tuesday when a part of the plane's engine fell apart in midair, leaving metal pieces flapping in the wind."I thought we were going to die, and hoped that my kids knew that I loved them," one passenger told ABC News after the plane made an emergency landing. "It was horrible.""The flight attendants were really professional, but they were scared. You could tell from their face,” she added.United flight 1175 from San Francisco to Honolulu made an emergency landing on Tuesday afternoon after a “mechanical issue” caused the plane’s engine cover to come apart, the airline said in a statement Tuesday.The plane, a Boeing 777, landed safely and no injuries were reported."United flight 1175 traveling to Honolulu from San Francisco landed safely after the pilots called for an emergency landing because of a loss of the engine cowling (the covering of the engine),” the statement said. “Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft. The aircraft taxied to the gate, and passengers deplaned normally.""The flight landed safely, and all passengers deplaned normally at the gate," it added in separate statement.United did not say exactly when the cowling came off, but it said there was no debris on the runway or taxiways.Horrified passengers shared images from inside the plane, showing what appeared to be the plane’s bare engine, exposed in midair.One of the passengers said he heard “a big metallic bang” that was followed by about 40 minutes of “shaking” until the plane finally landed.A passenger, who shared images from aboard on Twitter, referred to the incident as the “scariest flight of my life,” while another said it felt like “people calmly preparing themselves for death” as the plane braced for the emergency landing.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A second lawsuit has been filed claiming popular beauty store chain Ulta resells returned products and bills them as new.A complaint filed last week in an Illinois circuit court comes less than a month after the first lawsuit filed by a California woman alleging Ulta has a practice of reselling returned products to customers who believe they are purchasing new and unused cosmetics.The latest complaint details Ulta's alleged return policies. The beauty store chain allows customers to return beauty products if they are "unsatisfied" with their purchase, according to the complaint. Ulta employees are required to ask customers making returns if they used the product. Used products are then placed in a "damage bin," but this new complaint alleges former employees say there is a quota for how many returned items can be deemed "damaged," meaning used products are ending up back on the shelf.The latest complaint claims a former manager of an Ohio store told Business Insider, "We would literally get lectured by our boss on our conference calls if our stores were over" that quota.As a result, the complaint alleges Ulta employees routinely restock used beauty products and sell them as new, potentially exposing customers to harmful bacteria, including E. coli and another bacteria commonly found in feces.The allegations first came to light last month when a woman who claims to be a former employee of Ulta alleged on Twitter that employees were instructed to "repackage/reseal the item and put it back on the shelf" when customers made returns.Ulta spokesperson Karen May told ABC News in a statement, "Ulta Beauty's policies and practices do not allow the resale of used, damaged or expired products. As the nation's largest beauty retailers, we take protecting the integrity of the products we sell very seriously. Based on our review of these allegations, we are confident that our stores uphold our policies and practices. Assertions to the contrary are inconsistent with what we stand for."Attorney Tom Zimmerman, who is representing the customer who filed the second lawsuit, told ABC News the lawsuit is seeking to change the quota for how many returned products can be thrown away and compensate customers who bought used products.
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  • Genevieve Shaw Brown(NEW YORK) -- Travel experts tell ABC News what their picks are for "the most romantic place I've ever been."Genevieve Shaw Brown, ABC NewsAs an award-winning travel journalist traveling the world for years, the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday got me thinking about the most romantic place I'd ever been.I started wondering how that compared to other world wanderers' most romantic places, so I asked some travel experts to share with "Good Morning America" the one place in the world that's captured their hearts the most.From Bora Bora to Italy and lots of places in between, here are our various picks for "the most romantic place I've ever been."For me, the most romantic place is Turtle Island, Fiji.The resort where I stayed is only accessible by sea plane and you're greeted by the staff with a welcome song upon landing. But what makes Turtle Island so romantic is the element of privacy. There are only 14 couples booked at any one time and 14 beaches, so guests have a private beach every day of their visit, assigned each morning. Champagne picnics are the norm as are private dinners on pontoons, in the mountains or beachside. If you do want to interact with your fellow guests -- and you probably will, there's nightly group dinners, as well.Aside from the romantic nature of Turtle Island, there's something so special about the staff. From the moment you arrive on the island, you are treated like family. The Fijian people who live and work on Turtle Island are some of the most welcoming, caring people I've ever come across in my travels.Lee Abbamonte, youngest American to travel to every country in the world"The Seychelles has to be the most romantic place in the world. It’s many, varied islands are perfect for couples to explore nature and have some of the worlds best beaches all to themselves. Whether it’s riding bikes on tranquil La Digue or staying in a perfectly cultivated luxury resort on Mahe, the Seychelles just oozes romance. Meet you there?"Lee Abbamonte is a New York City-based travel blogger, on-air travel personality and entrepreneur who has been to all 193 United Nations member states, the North Pole and the South Pole.Yana and Timon Peskin, Beard & Curly"New Zealand is the most romantic place we have ever been. Our idea of a romantic getaway is to escape the crowds and get into nature. We spent a few days at a charming bed and breakfast while searching for our favorite local winery. Most of our time was hiking in the South Island of New Zealand. Nothing says I love you like a hike to an empty mountain hut and cuddling up to a warm cozy fire."Yana and Timon from beardandcurly.com quit their jobs in 2015 to pursue their passion and travel the world. They are travel junkies and love exploring new cultures and mountain peaks. Their blog focuses on photography, country guides, and budget travel tips.Kimia Kalbasi, Founder of Kimia’s Kravings"Hands downs, the most romantic place I’ve ever been to is Bora Bora undoubtedly. Bora Bora simply equates to all of your tropical dreams come to life. There are pristine bluer than blue waters, glistening white sand, and majestic, dreamy bungalows tucked away at every turn. Unlike some other tropical destinations, Bora Bora is truly secluded and feels like your own private island. In fact, it’s so private that the same number of people who visit Hawaii in a week equates to the same number of people who visit Bora Bora annually. Bora Bora epitomizes the perfect romantic getaway."Kimia Kalbasi (@KimiasKravings) is a travel + food + lifestyle influencer, blogger and content creator based in NYC. She is the Founder of Kimia’s Kravings. Kimia’s Kravings is your ultimate tour guide for to where to eat, drink and be merry. She’s visited countless destinations from Bora Bora to Turks & Caicos to Hawaii to Tulum and countless travel spots in between.Johnny Jet, Founder of www.JohnnyJet.com"The island of Taha'a! It&rsqu
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  • Scott Pattenden (copyright 2017)/courtesy RM Sotheby's(NEW YORK) -- Mamma Mia! That’s some price for a 41-year-old, cassette-playing BMW once used by Swedish band Abba, one of the world’s most successful pop groups of all time.The stylish 1977 BMW 633, with nearly 125,000 miles behind it, sold at auction in Paris by RM Sotheby’s for about $42,500, nearly a record for that particular model, according to car specialist Felix Archer of RM Sotheby’s.“An equivalent of this car, with the same mileage of 200,000 kilometers and in such good condition, but without Abba attached to It, would sell for between [roughly $12,400 and $18.600],” he told ABC News. “Abba’s influence is bigger than you can imagine.”Abba -- which turned out hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Chiquitita” and the iconic “Mamma Mia!” -- used the Polaris silver BMW on European tours from 1978 to 1980 and as a discrete everyday car for members Bjorn Ulvaeus or Benny Andersson. They sold it in 1980, according to RM Sotheby’s.Two then-married couples -- Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog, and Andersson and Frida Lyngstad -- formed the quartet in the early-1970s, producing disco-era Swedish-made, English-language pop songs.The car, with leather seats and electric windows, sold last week with copies of the original documents signed by Ulvaeus and Andersson.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Bill and Melinda Gates have tackled some of the biggest problems in the world -- from poverty to education and health care -- through their multibillion-dollar Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.And the couple of 25 years is not afraid to tackle the hard topics at home with each other either, Melinda Gates said."I don’t think either of us is afraid of a little bit of grist in the conversation because that’s how you get better," she said today on "Good Morning America" in response to a viewer's question asking what the couple's "arguments are like." "Sometimes one of us will learn something first, we’ll see it out in the field in Africa or we’ll read something, and so we bring that to the conversation but always with that shared goal in mind."We agree on the broad goals of where we’re going as a couple with this foundation so that’s first and foremost," Melinda Gates said. "We always have that in mind."The Gates, the parents of three children, today released their foundation's annual letter, a publication that outlines the goals of their philanthropic organization.To mark the letter's 10th anniversary, the Gates this year chose to answer the 10 toughest questions they're asked by the public, taking on their influence, achievements and the political climate."We thought the 10th anniversary, we get asked these tough questions and we are super ambitious for the world -- I mean, we want children to survive and thrive -- but these kinds of questions pressure-test for us the work that we’re doing, pressure-test our optimism," Melinda Gates, 53, explained."And I think they help us be more transparent and take people on the learning journey that we’ve had during this time."The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation employs more than 1,400 people and has distributed $41.3 billion in grants since its inception in 2000, according to its website.In the annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates write that despite headlines of political divisions, violence and natural disasters, "We see a world that's getting better.""Compare today to the way things were a decade or a century ago. The world is healthier and safer than ever," they write. "The number of children who die every year has been cut in half since 1990 and keeps going down. The number of mothers who die has also dropped dramatically. So has extreme poverty—declining by nearly half in just 20 years. More children are attending school. The list goes on and on."Bill Gates, 62, explained that being optimistic, and objective, about the state of the world helps them solve problems faster."Being objective about the progress the world has made, whether it’s less violence in the United States or childhood deaths going down, that allows us to see the exemplars, the heroes, the innovation and actually drive that progress even faster," he said today.Bill Gates hopes the next generation of young people is both inspired by the innovations of today and looking ahead to the problems of tomorrow, he added."I hope you can see strong models and look at how the miracles of science, the miracles of non-profit organizations, the frontiers of curing disease, letting people communicate in new ways, that you get to drive that to a new level," he said."The new generation has a lot of problems to solve so I’m excited that you’ll step up and see that our generation solved some problems but we left plenty for you to work on."Melinda Gates, who travels the world with her husband for their humanitarian work, said she stays optimistic partly by witnessing all that humans have in common."If you travel as much as I’m lucky to do, you see the commonality we have as human beings," she said."When you see a mom and a dad who care as much for that child and want to educate them as much as we do in the United States and for them to grow up, not just healthy but thrive and reach their full potential, those are our shared
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  • ABC News(VANCOUVER) -- It’s a rainy afternoon in January in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, and commuters are dashing into Burrard Station to get out of the weather and onto their trains. Above the rush, a dozen or so sleeping pigeons are sitting quietly on the roof.That is, until Avro the peregrine falcon arrives.“Birds know birds,” falconer Kim Kamstra told ABC News. “Predators send out a message. The prey is looking for that message. So, when he acts natural and looks at them in a certain way, the pigeons leave.”In December, Kamstra, co-owner of Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey with his wife, Karen Kamstra, were contracted to be part of a six-week, six station pilot program launched by the city’s mass transit company, British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC), a subsidiary of TransLink. The mission was simple: Scare the pigeons away from the city's SkyTrain stations.According to TransLink officials, the SkyTrain rail system is fully automated, so trains rely on sensors in its 53 stations to brake if objects are detected on the track. Last year, 142 delays were caused by birds setting off the sensors, accounting for a nearly 20 percent in delays.Plus, pigeon feces have been linked to several diseases, which TransLink officials said could raise health concerns."It's fair to say that the pigeons are a problem at most of our stations. Many are above ground and exposed to the elements, and even in underground stations, pigeons somehow get in there," Chris Bryans, a spokesman for TransLink, told ABC News.The pigeon problem has been around since 1985, when the rail system went into effect, he noted.“We’ve tried many things… we’ve tried spikes, nets and even mimicking the sounds of various birds that are predators,” Vivienne King, president of BCRTC, told ABC News. “Apparently we played with this many years ago with the falcons and [we] sort of said ‘Hey, you know, we could try a natural approach because it’s very humane.'”The theory behind the project is that if raptors and their handlers make enough appearances at stations in a semi-irregular pattern, the pigeons will associate the stations as predator territory and go elsewhere.Back at Burrard Station, Avro excitedly squawks as Kamstra delicately hoists him out of his travel crate and tethers him to his gloved fist.“Are you excited?” Kamstra jokes to Avro as the falcon squeals.Once Avro is comfortably in place, Kamstra walks casually to the station’s front courtyard and almost immediately pigeons flee out of fear. Soon after, other birds start circling and cawing from above.“Those are gulls flying up above us, and when they make that crying noise, that’s actually an alarm call that there’s a predator in the neighborhood,” Kamstra said. “And nobody likes the predators living in the neighborhood.”Avro doesn’t seem fazed by the chaos ensuing around him. Occasionally he tries to fly off Kamstra’s fist, only to be thwarted by his tether.“Some days I think he’s questioning me like, ‘Why can’t I just fly around and scare them?’ That definitely has got to be going through his head,” Kamstra said.Of the 30 raptors that Kim and Karen Kamstra keep on their 2-acre property in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Avro is Mr. Kamstra’s favorite. Mrs. Kamstra jokes they’re “two peas in a pod” because “he trusts Kim more. Just because Kim and Avro spend so much time together.”Avro, 6, was adopted by Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey when he was around 3 months old. In addition to the railway pilot program, Kamstra and Avro have also worked in orchards, blueberry fields, educational events and one of Vancouver’s busiest tourist hotspots, Granville Island.“As you heard him earlier, he does like to talk,” Kamstra said of Avro’s personality. “And tha
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