- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix5 days ago
When you’re a size 14, the thought of putting on a bridesmaid’s dress can seem daunting, but Christina Maher was up for the challenge.
By the day of her cousin’s wedding, Maher, a 26-year-old who lives in New York City, literally bet she could be down four dress sizes – 40 pounds in six months -- and if she made it, she could win money.
Maher sent $385 each month to HealthyWage, a company that allows users to place bets on its website and phone app that they meet weight loss goals in exchange for cash prizes.
If she achieved her goal, Maher would win $5,000, plus get all her money back, for a grand total of $7,310. But if she didn’t lose the weight, she would be out thousands of dollars.
“I’m re-motivated and ready to go,” Maher said. “I think I really need to get my ass into gear so I can win this bet because I cannot afford not to.”
HealthyWage says it has already paid out more than $2 million in prize money, yet only one third of participants actually win their bets.
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix6 days ago
By Clayton Sandell, Aristides Pinedo-Burns and Lauren Effron
Every morning, Lauren Bobert starts the day by getting ready for work. She puts on her make-up, fixes her near-perfect hair, and puts on a sparkly belt.
But the 27-year-old mother of four isn’t fully dressed until she straps on her loaded 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.
Bobert and her husband run a restaurant called the Shooters Grill. When they opened it a year ago in their hometown of Rifle, Colorado, going with a “gun theme” seemed natural. But Bobert took it one step further and began carrying a loaded weapon on her hip in public.
“I wanted to start carrying just for my protection. This is my establishment, so I didn’t see anything wrong with that,” she said. “[So] I began to open carry.”
It’s legal in Colorado to open carry handguns and Bobert isn’t the only one packing heat inside her restaurant. Most of the restaurant’s wait staff also open carry. The restaurant is so popular, Bobert said they sometimes sell out of food. She denies the armed staff is a gimmick for Shooters Grill, saying it’s about expressing their right to defend themselves.
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix11 days ago
By Lesley Messer and Michael Rothman
Weird Al is back.
Al Yankovic, famous for his parodies of hit songs, is coming out with a new album, "Mandatory Fun," and to promote it, he's releasing eight videos in eight days.
His first, "Tacky," set to Pharrell's "Happy," is making the rounds today, and features appearances by celebrities including Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black.
The album has other songs including, "Handy," ("Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, perhaps?) and "Word Crimes," believed to be set to "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke.
“It’s ironic. When I first started out, nobody wanted to sign me to a record deal,” Yankovic told the New York Post. "They said, ‘That’s not going to be around for very long."
As for "Tacky," Pharrell told Billboard magazine that he "approved" the spoof song before it came to fruition.
"He wrote me a letter and I was like, 'Aww, what?!'" he said. "Yeah!"
Yankovic just feels lucky to be able to continue doing what he does best.
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix12 days ago
By Megan Chuchmach and Brian Ross
In his first television interview, the elderly artist whose look-alike paintings in the styles of Abstract Expressionists including Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock fooled experts and sent shock waves through the art world claims he was ”shocked” to learn that his works were sold as newly discovered masterpieces to wealthy collectors for tens of millions of dollars.
“When I made these paintings, I had no idea they would represent them as the real thing to sell,” said Pei Shen Qian in an interview to be broadcast Tuesday on “World News With Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline” as part of an ABC News investigation of the fake art industry and the Long Island fraud ring that flooded the market with over $80 million in forged work.
Now under federal indictment in New York on charges of fraud, Qian has moved from his studio in the New York borough of Queens to a small apartment on the outskirts of Shanghai where ABC News found him.
“My intent wasn’t for my fake paintings to be sold as the real thing,” Qian said. “They were just copies to put up in your home if you like it.”
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix13 days ago
By ABC News
John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist for the National Weather Service, offered this advice for staying safe when there is a threat of lightning:
Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, but being outdoors when a thunderstorm is in the area puts you at risk of becoming a lightning victim. Lightning can strike 10 miles from a thunderstorm and if you hear thunder, you’re likely within striking distance of the storm. If you plan to be outdoors, here are some tips that could save your life.
Before Going Out:
* Listen to the forecast and consider cancelling or postponing activities if thunderstorms are predicted.
* Know where you’ll go for safety in case a thunderstorm develops. While Outside:
* Monitor weather conditions and seek shelter at the first sign of a developing or approaching storm.
* If you hear thunder, immediately get inside a substantial building (one with wiring and plumbing) or hard-topped metal vehicle.
* If you can’t get inside, never shelter under a tree or other tall objects that could increase your risk of being struck.
* Avoid contact with anything that is plugged into the wall, such as appliances and computers.
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix17 days ago
You're about to meet a woman who takes care of big, potentially dangerous animals, abandoned by or taken from drug kingpins. What they may have been used for is nothing short of shocking. It's feeding time for two of Colombia's most feared animals - Bengal tigers - once owned by a paramilitary commander who allegedly used them to devour his enemies.
Animals so dangerous, so unpredictable - but one woman is getting right up close and very personal with some of the deadliest pets of Colombia's drug lords.
The story begins in the slums outside of Kali, Colombia. A world few people, let alone TV cameras, are ever allowed to see. Bob Woodruff visited a place teaming with more than 800 exotic animals. Welcome to the wild kingdom of Ana Julia Torres, school principal turned animal rights crusader.
The animals love her. It's the way they express their gratefulness to her.
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix19 days ago
By Neal Karlinsky, Sarah Kolinovsky and Lauren Effron
There is an extreme cross-country bike race so difficult that racers are practically guaranteed to suffer injury and, quite possibly, hallucinate, yet they ride through the pain to prove to themselves they are up for the challenge.
The Race Across America (RAAM) is billed as the world’s toughest, and maybe craziest, bike race.
An endurance test like no other, RAAM racers have 12 days to ride roughly 3,000 miles from San Diego, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, without hotel stops, or even beds to sleep in, just a bike, a support team in a camper that follows close by, and the willpower to ride night and day, over mountains, across deserts, through rain and sweltering heat. If they don’t make it coast to coast before the 12-day cutoff, they are disqualified.
“We cross 12 states, 88 counties, 350 communities,” said race director Fred Boethling.
The race is open to solo racers, as well as two, four or eight-person teams. The 48 racers who competed in this year’s race, which included Pippa Middleton as part of a team, came from 27 countries.
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix20 days ago
A long-distance swimmer said in the two seconds before a great white sank its teeth into his body, he "saw the eyes of the shark" as it bore down on him in the waters off one of Southern California's most popular beaches.
Steve Robles said he went into shock when he "felt the teeth clamping on to my thigh and ribs," but managed to get free of the 7-foot shark's jaws during the attack Saturday morning.
Robles suffered several puncture wounds. The shark was fighting to free itself from a fisherman's line near Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles, said fire rescue officials.
"It was a burning pain that was going down the side of my chest," Robles told ABC station KABC.
Robles was out for a two-mile swim with a group of friends when the shark suddenly appeared.
"It came from the bottom of the water. It came up to the surface, it looked at me and attacked me right on the side of my chest," Robles said. "That all happened within two seconds. I saw the eyes of the shark as I was seeing it swim towards me. It lunged at my chest, and it locked into my chest."
- ABC News Nightline at Nightline Fix1 mth ago
A new breed of credit card thieves is stealing unsuspecting customers' credit card information at gas pumps and drive thrus by installing "skimmer" devices that steal a purchaser's data as quickly as one swipe of a credit card.
The "old way, they used to come in here with a gun, or they used to break the windows at night when you were gone," said Ahmad Motlagh, a California gas station owner who has been in the business for 33 years.
But now thieves have advanced with the times.
Earlier this year, a skimming device was found inside one of Motlagh's pumps. Without his knowledge, the skimming device sat there for months silently stealing the credit card information of his customers.
Skimming has gotten so bad across the country that Steve Scarince, assistant to the special agent in charge at the United States Secret Service, is on the case. He described skimming as a "multi-billion dollar" problem.
ABC's "The Lookout" asked Scarince if the U.S. Secret Service was winning the war on this crime.
"It's even right now," he said. "We're doing our best. We certainly could use more help."