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Marco Rubio: Rand Paul ‘Chief Cheerleader’ of Obama Foreign Policy

Sunday December 21, 2014

Robert Giroux/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sen. Marco Rubio responded to criticism from fellow Republican and potential 2016 presidential rival Sen. Rand Paul over his position on Cuba, insisting Sunday that he would oppose the “Obama-Paul foreign policy,” and referring to the Kentucky senator as “chief cheerleader” of the president’s overseas agenda.

“Rand, if he wants to become the chief cheerleader of Obama’s foreign policy, he certainly has a right to do that,” Rubio, R-Fla., told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “I’m going to continue to oppose the Obama-Paul foreign policy on Cuba because I know it won’t lead to freedom and liberty for the Cuban people, which is my sole interest here.”

Earlier this week, Paul tweeted on Rubio’s position on engagement with Cuba that he “is acting like an isolationist who wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat. I reject this isolationism.”

President Obama announced in an historic but controversial decision that the U.S. would move to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana, the country’s capital. Rubio, who is of Cuban heritage, criticized the president’s decision this morning.

“I want closer ties with Cuba, as well, but those closer ties have to come about as a result of a policy that will also ultimately lead to freedom. And that’s my problem with what the president’s done here. It’s not that I simply want to continue to do what we’ve been doing. I’m OK with changing policy toward Cuba,” Rubio said.

“But it has to be a policy change that has a reasonable chance of achieving freedom — freedom for the Cuban people. And I just don’t think this pol… — no, let me rephrase that. I know that this policy change that the president has now undertaken will not lead to freedom,” he added.

Rubio, questioned about Pope Francis’ role in the U.S. talks on engagement with Cuba, said it was important for the pontiff to encourage democracy as well.

“The pope is a spiritual leader and he always, naturally, is going to want to bring people closer together. And I respect that as a spiritual leader,” Rubio said. “But I think it’s also important to say that people deserve the right to be free. Our certain — our nation was founded on that principle.”

Asked about the race for the White House in 2016, Rubio said he anticipated supporting whomever the Republican party nominates, while seeming to indicate that Paul, whom he had just discussed, did not fit the bill.

“I’m pretty confident that the Republican nominee for president will be someone who has a pretty forceful role — view of America’s role in the world as a defender of democracy and of freedom and also understands that it’s important for America to be engaged on the global stage,” he said.

When asked about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s potential entrance into the 2016 race, Rubio said he had “tremendous respect” for Bush and said he would be a very “credible” and “strong” candidate if he decides to run.

Rubio told Stephanopoulos he has not decided whether to make his own bid for the presidency.

“I think ultimately, that first I have to make the decision that that’s what I want to do, that that’s the best place for me to serve the country at this time. And then I think that’s why you have a primary. And that’s the greatness about our system of government in comparison to what they have in Cuba, for example, where they don’t get to choose their leaders,” he said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" Tops Box Office in Opening Weekend

Sunday December 21, 2014

Warner Bros.(LOS ANGELES) -- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies topped the box office in its first weekend.

The latest Lord of the Rings installment brought in $56.22 million between Friday and Sunday. The fantasy film stars Martin Freeman, Orland Bloom, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, and Evangeline Lilly.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which also opened this weekend, came in second earning $17.3 million, while Annie debuted in third with $16.3 million.

Here are the weekend's top films according to boxofficemojo.com:

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: $56.22 million
2. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb: $17.3 million
3. Annie: $16.3 million
4. Exodus: Gods and Kings: $8.065 million
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1: $7.75 million
6. Wild: $4.15 million
7. Top Five: $3.57 million
8. Big Hero 6: $3.563 million
9. Penguins of Madagascar: $3.525 million
10. P.K.:$3.50 million

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

This Week (12.21.14) Podcast

Sunday December 21, 2014

In today's episode of This Week podcast, the cold-blooded execution of two New York City police officers – shot to death while sitting in their patrol car. The suspect apparently targeting the officers just because of their uniforms – all of it coming after the recent firestorm over deaths involving police. ABC’s Linsey Davis has more.  After President Obama announced the re-opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba…it sparked strident responses from GOP leaders and ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulos chats with Florida Senator Marco Rubio. And federal investigators are trying to track down the hackers behind the Sony attack. The movie studio is firing back after President Obama said Sony made the wrong call when it gave in to the hackers’ demands. This and more on the This Week podcast. 




Clinton: Off Her Peak, but Still Towering

Sunday December 21, 2014

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton is off her peak but still overwhelmingly strong in support for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, while Elizabeth Warren has inched up in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Clinton’s backed by 61 percent of Democratic and Democratic leaning independents who are registered to vote, giving her a vast advantage over potential rivals Joe Biden, at 14 percent, and Warren, the freshman U.S. senator from Massachusetts, at 13 percent.

See PDF with full results here.

Still, Clinton’s support has slipped from 69 percent in June, down by 8 points, while support for Warren is up by 6 points – not remotely enough to make it look competitive at this stage, but movement nonetheless. Biden has held essentially steady.

Warren’s been described as the darling of liberals, and indeed her support among liberals has gained 11 points since June, while Clinton’s has slipped in this group by 14 points. Nonetheless, Clinton still holds a wide 59-19 percent lead over Warren among liberals, with 12 percent for Biden. (Narrow it down to “very” liberals, combining the last two ABC/Post polls for an adequate sample size, and it’s similar – Clinton 63 percent, Warren 21, Biden 6.)

There are few if any substantive differences across groups in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates - and very little support for three others tested, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley. That makes it a far different-looking race from the GOP contest, in which, as reported last week, allegiances are widely scattered, with no clear leader.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Goodbye Facebook Revolutions? Page Supporting Putin Critic Blocked

Sunday December 21, 2014

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Facing pressure from Russian authorities, Facebook blocked a page Saturday supporting a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin.

A page urging Russians to attend a rally in support of opposition leader Alexey Navalny was unavailable after Russia's media watchdog reportedly requested that Facebook take it down because it promoted an unauthorized mass gathering.

On Friday, Navalny was in court facing what he says are trumped up corruption charges aimed at silencing Putin's opponents. Prosecutors are seeking to put him in prison for 10 years. During his closing argument, Navalny issued a stinging rebuke of Putin's government.

The Facebook page called on Russians to attend a rally in Navalny's defense on Jan. 15, the day of his sentencing hearing. By the time it had been blocked, more than 12,000 people said they planned to attend.



A spokesman for Facebook said there was no comment on the blockage of the page.

The social network had been a popular platform for Russians to organize during a winter of anti-government protests three years ago. It played a similar role during the Arab Spring, when it was hailed as a free and open tool for oppressed masses to communicate.

That era may now be over.

Facebook has been keen to grow its user base in Russia, one of the few countries in the world where a local social network, in this case VKontakte, has more members.

Yet Russian authorities have become increasingly wary of social media and have sought to control it. Facebook says it blocked 29 pieces of content in Russia during the first half of this year due to requests from the government, compared to just four during the previous six months.

VKontakte has also faced strong pressure. The site's founder, Pavel Durov, defied repeated requests from Russian authorities to provide information on users. Durov eventually left the company and temporarily fled the country as the pressure intensified. VKontakte is now controlled by Putin allies.

Foreign websites, including Facebook and Twitter, are facing a looming deadline to store their data on Russian servers in accordance with new Russian legislation. A representative from Twitter recently visited Moscow to discuss the new requirements.

Shortly after the initial page in support of Navalny was blocked, a new event page sprung up in its place. Proving the resilience of the Internet age, within a few hours nearly 10,000 people had already pledged to attend.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Seeks Help from China with Korean Hackers

Sunday December 21, 2014

Sony / Columbia(WASHINGTON) -- The United States has asked for the cooperation of China to help combat the destructive cyber-attack on U.S. information systems the government says was carried out by North Korea. The attack has created fears of attacks in the U.S. and caused Sony to pull the Dec. 25 release of The Interview.

“We have discussed this issue with the Chinese to share information, express our concerns about this attack, and to ask for their cooperation. In our cybersecurity discussions, both China and the United States have expressed the view that conducting destructive attacks in cyberspace is outside the norms of appropriate cyber behavior,” a senior administration official told ABC News on Saturday.

In a rare official statement, released Friday, the FBI blamed North Korea as the force behind the cyber-attack.

“North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves,” the statement said. “Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”

President Obama has promised a response, saying the North Koreans have caused significant damage.

“We will respond,” Obama said. “We will respond proportionally, and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose.”

The decision to seek help from China comes a day after the president said Sony made a “mistake” and wishes Sony had spoken with him before deciding to cancel the planned release of the movie.

“Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage. There were threats against its employees. I’m sympathetic to the concerns that they faced. Having said all that, yes I think they made a mistake,” Obama said.

Sony says it is actively surveying alternatives to release the movie on a different platform, as it is still their hope that those who want to see the movie with have the opportunity to do so.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Elton John and David Furnish Are Married

Sunday December 21, 2014

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for EJAF(LONDON) -- After more than 20 years together, Elton John and his partner David Furnish are married!

The music icon shared the news on Instagram:


That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony! #ShareTheLove @DavidFurnish

Фото опубликовано Elton John (@eltonjohn) Дек 12, 2014 at 3:20 PST


The couple, who have been together since 1993, are already parents to Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, who will be 4 years old this Christmas, and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, 23 months.

A law passed earlier this year in England allowing same-sex marriage and the Grammy winner has always been open about his relationship with Furnish, telling Parade magazine in 2010 that he "was attracted to David immediately."

He regaled the magazine on how they met.

“In 1993 I went back to my house in Windsor for a while. I wanted meet new people so I rang up a friend in London and said, ‘Could you please rattle some new people together for dinner here Saturday?’” John told Parade. "[David] was very well dressed, very shy. The next night we had dinner. After it, we consummated our relationship. We fell in love very quickly.”

John added that to keep that spark in their relationship, "Every Saturday for 16 years, we’ve sent each other a card, no matter where we are in the world, to say how much we love each other.”

The couple famously already entered into a civil partnership in 2005.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lance Bass Marries Michael Turchin

Sunday December 21, 2014

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lance Bass is a married man!

The former 'N Sync star, host and producer, 35, married Michael Turchin in Los Angeles Saturday, People magazine reported.

According to People, the couple married at the Park Plaza Hotel.

Earlier this week, Bass couldn't contain his excitement, tweeting, "Heading to Santa Barbara to do a our walk through of the wedding at the venue!! Ahhhhhh! #LanceLovesMichael."

He added that the rings arrived on Thursday.



Bass and the artists got engaged last September and shortly after, he spoke to ABC News about what to expect from his grand wedding.

"I love a party. It's going to be nice and big and over the top," he said. "We're wanting all of our guests to come completely over the top, high fashion like you're heading to the MET Ball or the Royal Wedding."

Bass also said the wedding was filmed by E! for a special to air early next year.

"The network is doing the first celebrity, gay wedding, which is such an honor to be a part of," he said. "It's almost 2015, and we are just now having the first gay wedding special on television. As a little kid from Mississippi, I would have loved to have seen something like that go down on TV, so that I knew nothing was wrong with me."

Bass revealed last year the couple hadn't fought once in their years together.

"I think it's just the universe telling me he's the one," he said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Flu Widespread in 29 States

Sunday December 21, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Flu season is gaining steam.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting widespread flu activity in 29 states--twice as many states as last week.

Hospitalizations are increasing and 11 children have died from the virus.

Maryland State Health Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, whose state is one of those impacted, says, "It happens every year. There's always a point where enough people get it and the virus is very infectious and it can be transmitted from person to person before the illness starts."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

App Shows What 200 Calories of Holiday Treats Look Like

Saturday December 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- This season there's plenty of holiday cheer, but also holiday treats and goodies that can wreak havoc on any diet.

To help those trying to stay healthy while enjoying seasonal treats, the app Calorific has created a handy guide that shows what 200 calories of holiday treats look like. The weight-loss app displays pictures of a single food in the amount that would equal 200 calories.

Apparently it takes a whole plate of Brussels sprouts to equal 200 calories, but just a single glass of mulled wine.

"We saw some apps that showed how many calories are in a meal but we thought it would be useful to show the individual foods," Nic Mulvaney, the British graphic designer who designed the app, told ABC News in a November interview.

The app is free with 30 images preloaded to but to unlock all the holiday-themed foods, you’ve got to pay $2.99.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Australian Woman Arrested for Fatally Stabbing Eight Children

Saturday December 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) -- Following the discovery of eight children's bodies in an Australian home Friday morning, police have arrested the woman who was found injured at the scene.

Police confirm that the woman who was found with stab wounds to her head and neck has been arrested in her Cairns hospital bed.

Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said, "We will look at everybody and anybody that we need to look at and there might be at a point later down the road, we'll be talking to more people, we may even have more persons of interest."

The victims ranged in age from 18 months to 15 years. Seven of them were the suspect's children and the eighth was her niece.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

First Family Arrives in Hawaii for 16-Day Vacation

Saturday December 20, 2014

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The president and first family have arrived in Hawaii, for a 16-day tropical vacation that’s become their annual tradition over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“The president himself is eagerly looking forward to” the time away, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said last week.

They will remain on the island until after the New Year.

While there’s no such thing as a work-free vacation for an American president, Obama will likely spend plenty of time soaking up the sun, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, hiking and biking with his daughters, and enjoying the local cuisine.

He’s also expected to play several rounds of golf and squeeze in a few workouts at the Marine Base Kanehoe.

The White House says he plans to hold no public events. But as with past years, there’s the possibility Obama’s two-week getaway will be punctuated with breaking news around the world to which he’ll need to respond.

This is the Obamas’ sixth trip to Oahu for family vacation since moving into the White House. The president has deep roots on the island, which is where he was born and spent most of his childhood.

The first family typically rents a multi-million dollar beach-side home in the town of Kailua, on the east side of the island, footing the several thousand-dollar per night bill with personal funds, the White House says.

Obama has taken fewer vacation days overall outside Washington than his predecessor, according to unofficial White House chronicler of presidential travel Mark Knoller of CBS News. While the meaning of "vacation day" is a matter of debate, by one measure, Obama had taken at least 140 days of R&R through August, per Knoller.

That compares to 533 days in George W. Bush’s two terms, including trips to his Crawford, Tex., ranch; 174 by Bill Clinton; and 390 for Ronald Reagan.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Welcome Baby Girl

Saturday December 20, 2014

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Lincoln has a new baby sister.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard welcomed their second child on Friday.

The couple, who married last October, are already parents to daughter Lincoln, born March 2013.



In typical sarcastic fashion, the Veronica Mars star commented on her pregnancy this summer.

"Having a cold while being pregnant is like getting a parking ticket while you’re at the dentist," she tweeted.

When the couple announced they were expecting again this past June, their rep said, "The whole family is beyond excited."

Bell, 34, and Shepard, 39, were married in Beverly Hills in a modest way at the clerk's office on Oct. 17, 2013. The two began dating in 2007.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

State Department Issues World Travel Alert

Saturday December 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department issued a travel alert for the world on Friday.

The alert reminds Americans to be "extra cautious" when they travel. The alert, which expires in March, also tells Americans to "maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security."

The alert is allegedly prompted by the lone wolf attack in Sydney earlier this week.

According to a State Department official, a similar warning was issued in August 2013 to warn U.S. citizens of the potential for terrorist attacks, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa. That month there was a large car bomb explosion in Beirut.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Turkey Issues Arrest Warrant for US-Based Islamic Cleric Fethullah Gülen

Saturday December 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An Islamic Turkish cleric who has become a critical voice against Turkey's leadership is now wanted Turkey, but is in exile in the United States.

Turkish officials say an arrest warrant has been issued for U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who lives in eastern Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile.

Charges include leading a criminal organization and an "armed terrorist group."

Gülen was a one-time supporter of Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan. However, the President blames Gülen for orchestrating a corruption scandal last year that implicated Erdogan, his allies, and his family.

The warrant for Gülen follows the recent detention of dozens of journalists and other supporters of the cleric on similar charges.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Child Discharged from Chicago Hospital After Testing Negative for Ebola

Saturday December 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A child who had symptoms of Ebola has been discharged from a Chicago hospital after testing negative for the disease.

The child, who recently traveled from West Africa, was admitted to University of Chicago Medical Center Friday after having a fever during an Ebola screening at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

On Saturday officials said the child, whose age and gender were not released, tested negative for Ebola and was discharged.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Madonna Releases Six Songs from New Album

Saturday December 20, 2014

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Great ready for some new music from the Material Girl.

Following the unauthorized leak earlier this week of some of her new-- but incomplete tracks-- Madonna has decided to officially release six songs from her upcoming album Rebel Heart.

The songs are available for pre-order at iTunes and other outlets with the purchase of the album, and individually. 

More music is coming February 9, and the entire album will officially arrive the first week of March.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"The Godfather: Part II": Celebrating the Movie's 40th Anniversary With 8 Little-Known Facts

Saturday December 20, 2014

Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It has been 40 years since Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II was released on Dec. 20, 1974 and the movie has had a lasting impact.

Part II was released two years after the The Godfather: Part I and it is widely considered the best sequel of all time. To some, the sequel even surpasses the original. The Godfather: Part III would come in 1990, but the third time was not quite the charm.

The sequel focused on Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, as he attempted to expand his family business into a then-brand new playground called Las Vegas. The film included flashbacks to the early 1900s, showing the rise to power of a young Vito Corleone, played by a little-known actor named Robert De Niro. In Part I, the Vito Corleone character was played by the iconic Marlon Brando.

Here are some fun facts that you may not have known about Part II on its 40th anniversary:

1. De Niro, the Method Actor

To prepare for his role as Vito Corleone, De Niro, lived in Sicily and learned the Italian dialect. Nearly all of De Niro’s dialogue in the film was in Sicilian.

2. De Niro Was Almost Cast in the Original

De Niro auditioned for the role of Sonny Corleone in the original Godfather. De Niro’s audition tape is like watching poetry in motion. Various versions of the audition are on YouTube and worth a watch. The role of Sonny eventually went to James Caan, who made a cameo in a flashback in the final scene of the sequel even though he was killed in the original.

The famous flashback scene at the end of Part II was also supposed to include a small cameo from Brando. Brando didn’t show up on the day of filming because of legal issues and problems between the actor and Paramount.

3. The Brando-De Niro Connection

Brando and De Niro are the only two actors to ever win separate Oscars for playing the same character. Brando won Best Actor for The Godfather while De Niro won Best Supporting Actor in Part II.

4. Sequels Get No Love From Oscar

Speaking of Oscars, Part II is the first sequel to win the Oscar for Best Picture. This feat would not be repeated until 2004 when the award was given to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

5. Martin Scorsese Was This Close to Becoming Director

Coppola originally didn’t want to direct a sequel because of a tenuous relationship with Paramount during the filming of the original, according to the Oscar-winning director. In the commentary for The Godfather DVD Collection, Coppola revealed he recommended Martin Scorsese to direct the film.

6. Offer Pacino Couldn't Refuse

Pacino was paid $600,000 for his role in the sequel. Not bad for the time, but when you consider his salary for Part I -– a measly $35,000 -– it shows you how much Pacino’s stock rose in such a short time.

7. Best Adapted Screenplay?

Part II won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay even though only half the script was actually adapted. The story of Michael Corleone was written specifically for the film while the story of Vito Corleone came from The Godfather novel written by Mario Puzo, which was published in 1969.

8. Part II Got Off to a Rough Start

Coppola later revealed in another documentary that Part II didn't test well in previews leading up to its release. The issue was the cutting back and forth to Michael Corleone’s storyline and the flashback scenes with the young Vito Corleone. Coppola and his editors worked in the cutting room to make the narrative flow better up until the film was released nationwide.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Releasing 4 Afghan Prisoners from Guantanamo Bay

Saturday December 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Four Afghans held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for more than a decade are headed back home.

The Pentagon announced Saturday the release of four more Guantanamo Bay detainees, who will be repatriated in Afghanistan. They are the latest in a series of more than a dozen transfers over the last two months.

The Pentagon says 132 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brick-and-Mortar Stores Fight Online Shopping By Going Digital In-Store

Saturday December 20, 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some brick-and-mortar stores are doing all they can to offer high-tech in-store shopping and mimic an online shopping experience to draw more customers in.

Saturday kicks off the last weekend before Christmas and may actually be the biggest shopping day of the year. Roughly 93 percent of Americans haven’t finished their Christmas shopping by this point, and shopping online may be risky if you hope to get it in time.

“There are so many variables,” said Mark Ellwood, author of Bargain Fever. “Last year, presents arrived late after Christmas and all you got was an apology.”

But those procrastinators will take heart in the brick-and-mortar stores that are taking inspiration from the ease of online shopping and bringing it to their customers who walk through the door.

For example, Rebecca Minkoff’s new boutique in New York City offers interactive walls equipped with giant touchscreens where shoppers can browse items they want to try on, see complete outfits, look at what people are posting on Instagram about the brand, send items to a dressing room to try on later – even order a drink.

Minkoff and her brother Uri founded the company together, and decided to make their new NYC store state-of-the-art. Even the dressing rooms are equipped with touchscreens where customers can request new sizes, instead of asking a sales associate directly, and even adjust the lighting.

“You’re probably looking for a holiday cocktail dress or something like that but this lighting is not the best for it so we want to give you lighting options,” Uri Minkoff said.

Rebecca Minkoff is just one of dozens of stores incorporating the latest technology. Hointer Demin store and Lab in Seattle allows customers to scan what they see on the floor and have it automatically delivered to a dressing room. Lowes Home Improvement stores are experimenting with robot salespeople.

“The retail landscape is so competitive and the way to stand out is to use technology like everywhere else,” Ellwood said. “Brick-and-mortar retail stores are really taking inspiration from online stores, which know a lot about our shopping habits and the brick-and-mortar guys say hang on a second, we can know that too.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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