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DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images(HAWTHORNE, Calif.) -- SpaceX announced on Monday night that its first moonshot passenger will be Yusaku Maezawa, a billionaire estimated by Forbes to be the 18th-richest person in Japan.

He'll be the first private passenger to visit the moon in the company's much hyped Big Falcon Rocket -- if the launch happens.

"I choose to go to the moon!" said the 42-year-old Maezawa, who founded Japan's largest online fashion mall and is worth almost $3 billion.

The announcement was made at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The launch is scheduled to happen in 2023.

"I love the moon," Maezawa told ABC News' David Kerley following the announcement. "I like to do the things that never have been done before. So I want the challenge to go to the moon."

The announcement was a relief for the Japanese billionaire, who punctuated a question about the announcement with "finally." He told ABC News he's long dreamed of going to the moon.

"It's always been there, it's always been inside of me," Maezawa said, before transitioning to Japanese to say the moon has always "felt like it's protecting me."

"In Japan, you look up at the moon, and it looks like a rabbit," he said, noting that 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac.

It's not the first time the company has made this kind of announcement. In February 2017, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced the first two paying customers had put down a deposit to fly around the moon without landing in the smaller Falcon Heavy rocket sometime this year. In June, the company announced that wouldn't happen.

Earlier this year, on Feb. 6, the Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launching a red Tesla Roadster driven by a Starman mannequin.

Earlier in the day, Musk was sued for defamation by the British driver he had accused of being a "child rapist" and pedophile via tweets and emails to media.

SpaceX has succeeded in its goal of building reusable rockets.

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Mark Brake/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Elon Musk was sued on Monday for defamation by a British diver he accused of being a "pedo."

Diver Vernon Unsworth filed a lawsuit against the SpaceX and Tesla founder, over tweets Musk sent during the rescue of a Thai boys soccer team in June and July.

"Elon Musk falsely accused Vern Unsworth of being guilty of heinous crimes," his lawyer, Lin Wood, wrote in a statement emailed to ABC News. "Musk’s influence and wealth cannot convert his lies into truth or protect him from accountability for his wrongdoing in a court of law."

The lawsuit, which blasts the "unlawful, unsupportable, and reprehensible accusations" by Musk that Unsworth "is a pedophile and child rapist," was filed in a Los Angeles federal court.

Unsworth is seeking more than $75,000 in damages, attorney fees, and a court order stopping Musk from making further allegations. Musk resides in California and his two companies, SpaceX and Tesla are headquartered there.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. SpaceX, which is announcing its first private passenger for a flight to the moon later on Monday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The battle of words dates back to earlier this summer when 12 Thai soccer players and their coach were trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand. The story caught Musk's attention, who, unprompted, sent a mini-submarine to assist with the rescue.

In a CNN interview that followed, Unsworth, an experienced diver who assisted in the rescue, said Musk's mini-submarine was a "PR stunt" that has "absolutely no chance of working."

In response, Musk criticized Unsworth several times via his Twitter account, using slang to call the diver a pedophile.

"You know what, don’t bother showing the video," Musk tweeted on July 15. "We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it." He later deleted the tweet.

“I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists," Musk wrote in an email to a Buzzfeed reporter, employing a pair of expletives to underscore his point.

“He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.”

“As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I...hope he sues me,” Musk's email continued, again using an expletive to underscore his point.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Brit Morin is the force behind the popular digital media and e-commerce company Brit Co., a go-to destination for millennial women looking for DIY tips and other information on health, beauty, food, fashion, relationships and more.

Recently named by Inc. as one of the most creative entrepreneurs of 2018, Morin created Brit and Co. to build a community and help people tap into their own creativity.

She founded the company in 2011 after leaving a job at Google, where she worked under Marissa Mayer. She was only 25 at the time and although she knew she wanted to start a business, what she ended up creating wasn’t exactly what she expected.

“I actually was on the track to starting a different company; it was more of a health-oriented startup,” Morin told ABC News’ chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.

As she worked to develop her startup, Morin was also planning her wedding, using her knack for DIY projects and digital design to make much of what she needed by hand.

“I was getting married and started making everything for my wedding and putting it on my blog,” Morin said. “I was like, ‘Oh this is a fun side thing that I'm doing,’ and then I started to get a little bit of a following doing that.”

As women began reaching out to Morin for guidance on how to create wedding accessories ranging from handmade flowers to custom tie designs, the seeds for Brit and Co. were planted.

“I created a digital design in an illustrator for a pattern that then I exported onto fabric and then I sewed my husband's tie for the wedding...My flowers were handmade. I didn't have any real flowers; they were all handmade wooden...I did the whole thing and I had so much fun doing it. And all these women were asking questions like how did I make those flowers and how they wanted to do that.”

Morin decided that she could build a space to help women creatively express themselves. She created a few weeks worth of content and, with $5,000, hired an engineering and design agency to build the initial website. Morin already had somewhat of a social following from her personal blog and leveraged those followers to drive initial traffic.

“The initial strategy was, ‘OK, I'm going to make enough content to create enough engagement that people come back to my site, and then I'm going to build apps and all these different categories -- wedding, food, home -- and create utility services in these categories and then redirect them to download the apps. And so the content was just part of the funnel. What happened was like people just started really liking the content.”

The business made six figures in its first year, momentum that led Morin to her seed round of financing which allowed her to hire a team. From there Brit and Co. started to grow rapidly, and today the business has raised over $40 million in funds, creates hundreds of pieces of content a month and reaches over 175 million people online and across platforms.

Recently the company has evolved past the digital realm with conferences and pop-up experiences to bring together a growing community of “Brit girls”.

“I just feel like a group of women working together for the same mission is so much more powerful than one person alone,” Morin said.

Building a community was always important to Morin, who said the worst advice she ever got ran counter to that idea.

“The worst advice I’ve ever received was to make myself a huge celebrity and not worry about the business behind it," Morin told Jarvis. "To me that’s always been wrong because everything I wanted to do is around creating a community.”

She said she got the advice early in her venture, and realized that she could go in that direction if she chose.

“I was so early on and YouTube stars were a thing and TV stars of course were always a thing, and it felt like it could be a nice way to go if I were not so obsessed with the idea of motivating hundreds of millions of women around the globe to be more creative and confident in themselves.”

She added, “It would have been a much smaller idea without the full potential of what we’ve achieved now.”

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Amazon(SEATTLE) -- Amazon is investigating reports that employees have offered to disclose private sales data and delete negative consumer reviews in exchange for cash.

An Amazon spokesperson told ABC News on Monday that the company launched an internal probe in light of a report in The Wall Street Journal that claimed employees may have sold data and accepted bribes from independent merchants.

Such practices are in violation of the company’s policy and employees and merchants could face criminal and/or legal penalties if caught, according to the spokesperson.

“We are conducting a thorough investigation of these claims,” Amazon said. “We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties.”

Some employees have offered to sell confidential data that could give merchants an edge over over their competitors, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing unidentified sellers who have been offered and purchased the data.

Amazon did not give the number of employees or merchants involved in the probe.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the Journal report said Amazon was investigating “a number” of incidents involving employees in the U.S. and abroad who were suspected accepting the bribes.

The practice is more common in China, where brokers for Amazon employees offered private information and reviewer email addresses to independent merchants in exchange for between $80 and $2,000, according to the WSJ report.

Amazon told ABC News that it has policies and systems in place to protect internal sales data.

“We implement sophisticated systems to restrict and audit access to information,” the spokesperson said. “We have strict policies and a code of business conduct & ethics in place for our employees.”

Amazon once sued more than 1,000 people who allegedly sold fake product reviews in an effort to mislead customers, according to a 2015 complaint.

Merchants caught abusing the platform could lose their accounts on the platform and face legal action, the company said Monday.

“In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems,” the Amazon spokesperson said, “and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action.”

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ten years after the financial crisis caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, houses or both, the head of the nation's largest bank said he knows many people remain angry at banks.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis that some in the public see it as unfair that banks, which helped to spark the crash through high-risk lending, got a federal bailout while many ordinary people suffered.

Dimon said some banks caused the problem. "And I understand that the American public looks at it and it's unfair, and it was,” Dimon said in an exclusive interview for This Week.

He said the public sees it as "the elite Washington banks" being bailed out, while they suffered. "And there's some truth to that. They didn't see ‘Old Testament’ justice. So I understand why there is a lot of anger out there," he added.

The crisis -- the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression -- was triggered by the bursting of a bubble in housing prices that had been fueled in part by increased risk in mortgage lending. Housing foreclosures soared, and unemployment reached 10 percent. But despite allegations of irresponsible lending and wrongdoing by some big banks, the U.S. government helped bail out some of the largest financial institutions, and no bank executives were prosecuted.

“All the banks got help. I mean, I think the government did the right thing; I want to give full credit," Dimon said. "But not all the banks needed that. And all those banks, including JPMorgan, continued to lend money every day to all their clients nonstop around the world.”

Now, with unemployment below 4 percent and high consumer confidence, Jarvis asked Dimon how much credit President Trump deserves for the strength of the economy.

The JPMorgan Chase CEO said Trump's policies have been beneficial. "When President Trump was elected, confidence skyrocketed -- consumers, small business, large corporate -- and because pro-business, pro-competitive taxes, pro-some regulatory reform."

"It's impossible to tease out how much, but it has helped the economy, just like President Obama helped to stop the economy from getting much worse," Dimon said. “Yeah, he should take some credit for that.”

Dimon added that the banking system is strong, and the collapse of a major institution like that of investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 could not happen today. “The banking system is very, very, very healthy. And regulators should actually take a little bit of a victory lap because Lehman would not happen today,” he said.

Dimon spoke to Jarvis after a public panel at JPMorgan Chase on Wednesday where he took aim at Trump, suggesting he could beat the president in an election.

“I said this before Trump was elected, 'You're not going to get a wealthy New Yorker elected,'" Dimon said at the panel. "That was dead wrong. And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money; it wasn't a gift from Daddy."

He added, "I'm as tough as he is. I'm smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants -- it wouldn't work for me. I'd fight right back.”

Afterward, in his one-on-one interview with Jarvis, Dimon walked back his remarks.

“I shouldn't have said it," Dimon said to Jarvis, adding that he did so "more out of frustration and a little of my own machismo.”

"But I shouldn't have said it," he said, adding that it "also proves I wouldn't be a good politician.”

Dimon’s remarks at the panel prompted a response from Trump, who slammed the banker as lacking the “aptitude” or “smarts” to run for president.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Businesses from Tesla to Pepsi to breweries both large and small have stepped in to offer help to victims of Hurricane Florence.

Anheuser-Busch is sending more than 300,000 cans of drinking water in six truckloads to North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia from its brewery in Cartersville, Georgia, the company said in a press release.

MillerCoors donated 80 pallets of water from its brewery in Virginia to American Red Cross shelters in the region, the company said.

Smaller breweries are also joining in. Blue Blaze Brewing, which brews 5,000 barrels a year in Charlotte, North Carolina, filled its tanks with drinking water and sterilized its kegs for anyone, including from restaurants and other businesses, who may need to take a keg of fresh water.

“We wanted to be able to provide the community with fresh water in case of flooding, power outages, or downed trees, because the stores have run out," Blue Blaze owner Craig Nunn told ABC News. He said his company was preparing especially for needs early next week "when what everybody’s bought runs out, if there’s still infrastructure issues.”

Two other North Carolina breweries -- The Dreamchaser's Brewery and Resident Culture Brewing Co. –- are also pitching in.

Chef José Andrés, who provided meals to Puerto Ricans after the devastation left by Hurricane Maria last year, is now in Wilmington, North Carolina, helping those in need.

His team is delivering fresh food to evacuees, homeless shelters, emergency workers and local police.

Pepsi is giving back to its birthplace -- New Bern, North Carolina -- which was overwhelmed by torrential flooding from Florence.

The PepsiCo Foundation said it's donating $1 million to relief agencies and 350,000 meals to help those devastated by the storm.

New Bern "is the birthplace of Pepsi," Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi tweeted. "We wouldn’t be here without you and we are here for you now and always. #NewBernStrong"

Further up the coast in New Jersey, Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City opened its doors to let Hurricane Florence evacuees stay for free.

Amazon is also stepping in to help. It debuted a new Alexa donations feature, which enables customers to donate to the Red Cross by saying: “Alexa, donate to Hurricane Florence disaster relief.”

Offline, the company has prepped 40 of its warehouses east of the Mississippi with Amazon-donated products that can be shipped as needed. The company, which recently hit a $1 trillion valuation, also donated 100,000 food items and more than 30,000 bottles of water to Feeding America, Amazon announced in a blog post.

Tesla is helping its owners by expanding the battery capacity for affected customers until mid-October. The eligible Model S and Model X vehicles with 40kWh, 60kWh and 70kWh batteries will have their capacity expanded to 60kWh or 75kWh in the affected areas, according to a company spokesman.

Tesla also opened up all of its express-charging stations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia to allow free charging of its cars.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW BERN, N.C.) -- As Hurricane Florence clobbers the Carolinas, millions of residents have evacuated, leaving thousands of homes and businesses empty, including an especially attractive target for looters: gun stores.

The Carolinas are home to more than 3,300 federally licensed firearms dealers, but with law enforcement stretched thin during the storm and its aftermath, criminals can take advantage.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has recommended that gun dealers take measures to safeguard their businesses by securing or moving their inventories of guns to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

“During hurricanes and similar natural disasters, ATF regularly communicates with the Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in the affected areas to ensure they are employing best safety practices available to secure their inventory and records during the storm,” ATF spokesman Christopher Elolf told ABC News.

During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, there were 35 reports of gun store burglaries with 1,012 guns stolen, according to ATF.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008, there were just six reports of burglaries with 158 guns stolen.

Last year, before Hurricane Harvey, ATF issued an alert to gun shops before the storm, encouraging dealers to secure their inventories before the storm and to offer help to any stores that needed it.

As Hurricane Harvey flooded most of Houston, there were reports of five gun store burglaries with 109 guns stolen.

The owners of Cash America Pawn watched remotely on their surveillance system as burglars looted their gun shop.

Harvey’s floodwaters prevented authorities from getting to the store before the crooks made off with 84 rifles, shotguns and handguns.

The threat of stolen guns is magnified by the danger they pose when they are sold on the black market.

“These crimes result in double harm. Not only are the FFLs victimized -- at times, assaulted or killed in the course of a robbery -- the stolen firearms fuel the illicit market, too often ending up in the hands of violent criminals who wreak havoc in our communities and pose an immediate threat to our partners on patrol who confront them,” ATF Acting Directory Thomas Brandon said in testimony before Congress.

ATF is also the federal coordinating agency for public safety and security assistance during the response to Hurricane Florence. That means there are teams of federal agents already deployed to the hurricane zone, ready to respond to incidents, including gun store burglaries.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ten years ago this week, as the nation’s subprime mortgage crisis deepened, Lehman Brothers submitted the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history -- a flashpoint in the country’s worst financial downturn since the Great Depression.

The firm was heavily involved in subprime mortgage lending. As people began to default on their loan payments, their houses were foreclosed on, and they were forced to leave.

The problem was felt most acutely in Lee County, Florida, which became the nation’s capital of foreclosure.

“You walked down a street and you saw houses vacant, people stealing the air conditioners for the copper,” said Lee County Commission Chairman Cecil Pendergrass.

Entire subdivisions suffocated under waist-high weeds, boarded-up windows and blackened swimming pools.

Ten years later, Karen Tighe is still recovering.

“Everything is up in the air,” Tighe said in a small, squat duplex rental in Cape Coral, Florida. She was packing, forced to move because her rent was going up beyond what she could afford.

Lehman’s bankruptcy was preceded by the federal takeover of home mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were put under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHHA) after the housing market collapsed and the subprime mortgage crisis reached a critical stage.

"I have determined that the companies cannot continue to operate safely and soundly, and fulfill their critical public missions without significant action to address our concerns," then-FHFA Director James Lockhart said in a news conference at the time.

Then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called it “necessary” and promised it would “strengthen the U.S. housing market and promote stability in our financial markets."

Ten years later, stability is still lacking for Tighe, who lost her job, her home and her savings during the financial crisis.

“I’m shaking when I think about it too much,” she said.

As Tighe tells it, her bank took money from her account to pay a mortgage payment that was five days late. Her checks began to bounce.

“We lost the house. I lost my job. We were basically dumpster diving, looking for things in the trash we could take to the flea market and sell," she said. She survived that way for two years, liquidating “the silverware, the china, anything that I had of value.”

Tighe and her husband finally landed in the small duplex that backs up to a drainage basin where blue jays squawk in the trees, ducks waddle by and an osprey camps in an elevated nest. She had been juggling odd jobs to pay the $1,030 monthly rent before the landlord raised it to $1,600.

“We’re coping the best way we can,” Tighe said. “You try to see the beauty in each day, the positive in each day. But some days, it gets really hard.”

It was one of those days as Tighe waited for word on whether her application for a loan to buy a small trailer home would be accepted. The last 10 years have taken a toll on her credit.

“Every month is survival for us when you’re living from paycheck to paycheck,” she said. “We have been for the last 10 years.”

Tighe gripped a mug of strong coffee -- “Minnesota black” she called it, reflecting her Midwestern roots -- and took a wistful look at the setting she was about to leave.

“I know we’re going to survive," she said. "Sometimes the fear of not knowing is scary. I’ve got a tent in the garage if it comes to that.”

Thankfully, it did not come to that. Tighe’s loan application was accepted, and she and her husband took possession of a trailer home this month.

“Life is full of trials and tribulations, and we climb out of them,” she said. “We’ll be OK.”

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American Cajun Navy(NEW YORK) -- If people stranded in the middle of Hurricane Florence are unable to contact official first responders, there's an app that might be able to help them.

CrowdSource Rescue, a free app built to connect volunteers and emergency personnel with those in need, helped tens of thousands of people stranded during the three most recent major hurricanes: Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Now, the app's creators are gearing up to save more lives as Hurricane Florence batters the Carolinas, and inches closer to the East Coast.

"We have about 950 people who have signed up on our app as of this moment who've said, 'I am a rescuer and I have a boat or I have a truck and I can help,' as well as a number of dispatchers and people who are helping remotely," Matthew Marchetti, co-founder of CrowdSource Rescue, told ABC News. "We expect to be inundated with requests for help in the next 24 hours."

Marchetti said his team helped about 37,000 people during the three major hurricanes of 2017.

"In these large-scale disasters, we find resources can quickly become overwhelmed and there isn't a good coordination system, which is why we turn to civilian response," he said.

Marchetti claimed that during Hurricane Harvey, people were waiting for hours to speak with 911 dispatchers. But if someone puts a request into the CrowdSource Rescue website, they could be connected to a civilian responder within 20 minutes.

Marchetti emphasized that the app is meant to help civilians work alongside first responders, and not against them. Each call for help is vetted by the CrowdSource Rescue team through its geotags and IP address, to ensure that it is legitimate. Ultimately, it’s up to the civilian responder to call and make sure that the person calling is who they say they are.

"We will get involved only when we start to see abuse of the system and we'll take that very seriously and we'll block IP addresses,” said Marchetti. “But to date we've never really had a problem with that."

Marchetti, a Houston native, created CrowdSource Rescue with a business partner, Nate Larson, when the two were trying to help during Hurricane Harvey.

"We decided to write this really quick simple web app to help organize rescues just for our church. We built it in about 6 hours," he said.

When they woke up the next morning, Marchetti says there were around a thousand people using the app who needed to be rescued. That number grew to 5,000 people, then 10,000.

"Luckily for us we had all sorts of civilian rescuers checking in and using the site to self-organize rescues."

People can sign up to ask for help or offer help on CrowdSource Rescue's website.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump shot back at JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, saying the banker doesn't have the "smarts" to run for president.

"The problem with banker Jamie Dimon running for President is that he doesn’t have the aptitude or 'smarts' & is a poor public speaker & nervous mess - otherwise he is wonderful," the president said in a tweet Thursday morning.

The president's dig at Dimon comes after he said in a panel Wednesday that he would be able to beat Trump in an election because he is "smarter than" Trump is.

Dimon quickly backtracked in an interview with ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis on Wednesday.

Following Wednesday's event, in which JPMorgan Chase announced a new initiative to economically advance select cities around the world, the bank also released a statement to walk back Dimon's comments.

"I should not have said it. I’m not running for president. Proves I wouldn’t make a good politician," said Dimon in the statement. "I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems."

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Google(NEW YORK) -- As tech giants face mounting criticism from conservatives, Google is denying political bias after two notable leaks.

Breitbart on Wednesday published leaked video of a town-hall-style meeting with employees shortly after the 2016 election, in which Google executives appeared dismayed at President Trump's win. Google co-founder and Alphabet President Sergey Brin described the results as "pretty upsetting," while Google Senior Vice President of Global Affairs Kent Walker described a global political environment of "tribalism."

Google sought to contextualize the meeting -- and refute any implication of bias -- in a statement to ABC News.

"At a regularly scheduled all hands meeting, some Google employees and executives expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season. For over 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings," a Google spokesperson said. "Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products."

It was the second leak this week to hit the search giant.

On Monday, Fox News and Breitbart reported on a leaked email from Google's multicultural marketing chief, sent just after the 2016 election, referencing Google's efforts to boost Latino turnout.

"We pushed tp [sic] get out the Latino vote with our features, our partners, and our voices. We kept our Google efforts non-partisan and followed our company’s protocols for the elections strategy," read the email from Google's Eliana Murillo, sent Nov. 9, 2016, according to Breitbart.

The email went on to reference a Google partnership with the group Voto Latino, to pay for rides to the polls, referring to Google's activity as a "silent donation," and expressing surprise that 28 percent of Latinos voted for President Trump.

Google denied bias -- but seemed to confirm the email -- in a response to ABC News.

"The suggestion that Google's products or actions are politically biased is simply wrong," a Google spokesperson said, citing previous Google efforts to provide Americans with information about voting. "The employee's email is an expression of her personal political views about the outcome of the 2016 election and those views do not reflect any official stance by the company. We have nearly 90,000 employees comprising a broad array of political affiliations. The email itself explicitly notes that she is speaking personally, and that Google’s efforts were non-partisan."

Tech giants have faced rising criticism from conservatives, particularly as Trump has taken aim at them.

Trump has called Google results "RIGGED," accused Twitter of "'SHADOW BANNING' prominent Republicans," and accused Google, Twitter and Facebook of trying to "silence" swaths of the country. Congressional Republicans have also weighed in.

Twitter, in particular, has drawn Republican's ire after a handful of Republican lawmakers -- including influential House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.-- failed to appear in Twitter's automatically populated drop-down search results. Republicans publicly took aim at the social-media platform's so-called "shadow ban" practice, which has since been rectified. The company denied bias and explained its methods in a blog post.

Tech firms have begun to play a larger -- and more active -- role in politics, as Twitter and Facebook have each announced the suspensions of fake accounts aimed at influencing U.S. politics, as Google and Microsoft have worked to alert campaigns of attempted hacks. Google was notably absent from a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in September -- after it declined to send top leadership alongside Facebook Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey -- but Congress has taken a greater appetite in examining each of the companies, as the political ramifications of social media, search results and ad placement continue to draw public attention.

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Brad Barket/Getty Images for Peabody(NEW YORK) -- Days after the CEO of CBS left the network giant, one of the executive producers of the channel's hallmark programs is also leaving.

Jeff Fager, the executive producer of "60 Minutes," is leaving the newsmagazine program "immediately," according to a note circulated to staff from CBS News President David Rhodes.

CBS News reported the change, quoting the note as saying that Fager "is leaving the company" after having served as the executive editor of "60 Minutes" since 2008.

Fager's departure comes three days after it was announced that CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves was leaving the company amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Fager faced accusations in a July report in The New Yorker about unwanted touching by employees, but he has denied those accusations.

In Wednesday's memo, Rhodes wrote that Fager's departure "is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently. However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level."

That said, Fager told CNN that CBS "terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story."

"My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it," Fager said in the statement to CNN. "One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did."

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Apple(NEW YORK) -- Apple is focused on big screens -- and even bigger medical applications -- at its event, which introduces 3 new iPhones and a revamped Apple Watch with powerful diagnostic tools that have received government approvals.

Apple moves further into heart health with its latest smartwatch, offering a portable, over-the-counter electrocardiogram, or ECG, to monitor heart rate abnormalities, Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer announced.

The company said it has two Food and Drug Administration approvals for the watch as a medical device -- for the do-it-yourself ECG and for the monitoring of irregular heart rate, which can be a sign of atrial defibrillation.

The new watch aims to help with the injuries that come from falls, too. It will be able to detect falls and take a 30-second echocardiogram, the first over-the-counter and portable monitor to do so.

The American Heart Association's president Ivor J. Benjamin took the stage to talk about how devices that offer real-time heart information are "changing the way we practice medicine."

He said, "patients report symptoms that are absent during their medical visits," and that the device would help monitor symptoms during real life activity.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is also thinner and has a larger screen. The new watch starts at $399 for GPS models, $499 for cellular -- which will be supported by 16 carriers -- and the Series 3 would sell at $279 per order. Series 4 orders can start on Friday, Sept. 14 and will be available on Sept. 21. It will be available in three finishes: stainless, gold and black. There's a fire face, water face and vapor face for display.

Apple is also releasing three new versions of its signature phones -- with the largest screens to date -- at its annual event on Wednesday.

The new models are the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR.

The company is doubling down on the large screen with the Xs Max at 6.5 inches and the update to last year's iPhone X -- the iPhone Xs -- at 5.8 inches. They’ll be available in silver, black and gold and with storage options of 64 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB.

The iPhone XR, sports a 6.1 inch-screen, will come in black, white, red, yellow, coral and blue with available storage at 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.

All three new phones have eleminated the 'Home' button.

The event began at 1 p.m. EDT at the company’s new Cupertino campus, Apple Park.

For those choosing not to be early adopters, or anyone devoted to the home button, price cuts are expected on the older phones.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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Jean Catuffe/GC Images(WASHINGTON) -- JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said he shouldn't have bragged about being able to beat Donald Trump, adding that his comments show he probably shouldn't run for president.

"I shouldn't have said that," Dimon told ABC's Rebecca Jarvis Wednesday in an exclusive interview after making the comments during a panel with her in New York.

Dimon was asked if he thought he could beat Trump in an election during an event to announce a new "Advancing Cities" initiative.

"Yeah. I do, yeah. Because I'm as tough as he is, I'm smarter than he is. I would be fine," Dimon said on the panel. "He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn't work with me. I'd fight right back."

Dimon added that the Democratic Party has "got to get their act together in terms of understanding how society actually works."

Dimon was announcing JPMorgan Chase's $500 million initiative to economically advance select cities around the world. The company said its goal is to attract an additional $1 billion from outside investors.

Following the event, the bank also released a statement from Dimon walking back his comments.

"I should not have said it. I’m not running for President. Proves I wouldn’t make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems," Dimon said in the statement.

But earlier during the event, Dimon took a swipe at Trump's inheritance and accomplishments as a businessman.

"I mean, I've said this before Trump was elected. You're not going to get a wealthy New Yorker elected president. Boy, I was dead wrong. And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker [pointing to himself] actually earned his money. It wasn't a gift from daddy," Dimon said.

"I grew up in a poorer part of Queens than he did, but I am a banker. I am part of the elite," Dimon continued. "I don't think the American public looks at Trump as part of the elite. They look at him as the upstart who punched the elite in the nose every day. And so I think -- I think I could beat Trump. I can't beat the liberal side of the Democratic party."

This is not the first time Dimon has taken back things he's said about Trump.

In November, when asked if he thought Trump would serve one or two terms, the CEO said if he "had to bet," Dimon thought Trump would only serve one term.

Dimon later said he wished he hadn't said that, adding, "I’m not a political expert."

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Tara Ziemba/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the country's most powerful media executives, Les Moonves, stepped down as CEO of CBS amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault, but he could get a payout of $100 million.

The possible huge severance payment, which is dependent on the outcome of an investigation of allegations against Moonves, continues a trend of departing CEOs often getting giant golden parachutes.

Moonves exited CBS on Sunday after six new allegations of sexual harassment and assault were published by The New Yorker and one by Vanity Fair.

These followed The New Yorker's reporting last month on six other sexual misconduct allegations against the CEO.

Moonves acknowledged to The New Yorker that three of the alleged sexual encounters happened but said they were consensual: “The appalling accusations in this article are untrue. What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women. In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career."

If the allegations against Moonves, some of which date back decades, are confirmed by investigators hired by CBS, he would lose his $120 million severance, according to a Sept. 9 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, if the investigation finds the allegations to be unfounded, he’ll take home $100 million, which will be held in a trust until then.

Moonves was supposed to get even more, $120 million. But $20 million of it is now to be donated immediately to organizations supporting women in the workplace, CBS announced Sunday.

“Moonves and CBS will donate $20 million to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace," CBS announced. "The donation, which will be made immediately, has been deducted from any severance benefits that may be due Moonves following the Board’s ongoing independent investigation.”

Golden parachutes, lucrative separation terms for corporate executives, started during an era of hostile corporate takeovers in the 1980s as a way for companies to lure talent by offering financial security.

Hostile takeovers are now mostly a thing of the past, but gargantuan severance agreements live on even in some cases when a CEO departs amid allegations of wrongdoing.

“Golden parachutes initially were a compensation package provided to corporate executives in the case of a corporate takeover,” University of Southern California Marshall School of Business professor Peer Fiss told ABC News. “In those situations the argument was 'Look, if you can’t protect my job security, provide me, as an executive, at least some financial compensation -- that takes away the risk for me.'”

Aside from large cash payouts and awards in terms of valuable stock, severance agreements can include unusual or very specific perks.

“Quite elaborate ones -- not just dental benefits, but use of the private helicopter, and all sorts of other things,” Fiss said.

“Some of these seem quite petty in hindsight. Jack Welch got box seats for the Boston Red Sox. You know, in the scope of things, that’s a very specific benefit. Why not just ... add it to the compensation?” Fiss said. “But in the end I think these are humans and they like certain things that they’ve gotten used to.”

United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek resigned amid a federal corruption probe, but still got an exit package worth about $28.6 million, according to The Washington Post, which cited Bloomberg. He was not charged with any crime and denied any wrongdoing.

Smisek's severance package included lifetime free flights and keeping his company car, according to an SEC filing.

The federal corruption probe centered on allegations that United exchanged favors with the then-head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates all New York-area airports. The airline in 2016 struck a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and paid $2.25 million in penalties.

CEOs who depart amid scandal can lose severance altogether. Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino owner received no severance when he parted ways with his namesake company in February amid sexual misconduct claims, according to an SEC filing. In his case, that meant missing out on $330 million in severance, according to a report last year from proxy-advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services that was confirmed by The Wall Street Journal.

Wynn has denied the allegations and called them "preposterous." But he said and in his resignation announcement said that given the “avalanche of negative publicity” and “rush to judgment,” he could not “continue to be effective” in his roles.

Fox News Channel’s CEO Roger Ailes, who resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations, received a reported severance package of at least $40 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

One of the most commented-upon cushy exit packages in media went to former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. She left after a tumultuous run, which included two huge data breaches, after Verizon bought the company last year. She got a $23 million severance package, according to a company filing with the SEC.

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