Man pays $1,000 to feed those in drive-thru at Abilene Chick-Fil-A

ABILENE, Texas -

The Monday evening rush was hectic at the south side Chick-Fil-A, but then something happened – a man donated $1,000 and told employees he wanted to pay for everyone in the drive-thru line behind him.

 

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During that hour employees saw most customers smile, some cry and all of them in shock.

Chick-Fil-A team member Duste Wolf worked Monday night and saw everything.

"One lady actually cried because she had a really tough day," Wolf said. "She had a lot of bad stuff happen to her."

The woman's tears were of joy -- the free meal was a gift to everyone.

When employees asked the man about himself all he said was his name – John. According to employees John said he donated the money in order to make everyone's Monday better.

According to Brian LaCroix, the franchise owner, making Monday a good day is exactly what he did.

"He paid for 88 cars in a little over an hour," LaCroix said. "He pretty much bought everyone's meal in the drive-thru for a little over an hour."

The man handed over 10 $100 bills to pay for the meals at about 7 pm Monday night.

Chick-Fil-A employees have seen customers purchase meals for others but never with this much money. The mysterious man made a lot of people happy.

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Australian Foils Possible ISIS Terror Attack

Counterterrorism raids in Sydney on Thursday were sparked by security intelligence that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was planning a random, violent attack in Australia as a demonstration of its reach, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

About 800 Australian police officers were involved in what was the country's largest counterterrorism operation, Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin said. Authorities detained 15 people and raided more than a dozen properties across Sydney.

Abbott said he had been briefed on Wednesday night about the operation, which was prompted by information that an ISIS (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) leader in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to carry out killings.

Abbott was asked about reports that the people detained were planning to publicly behead a random person in Sydney.

"That's the intelligence we received," he told reporters. "The exhortations - quite direct exhortations - were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country."

Abbott did not name the Australian.

"This is not just suspicion, this is intent and that's why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have," he added.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for a former Sydney nightclub bouncer, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, 33, who is suspected to be Australia's most senior ISIS member.

One man detained in the raid, 22-year-old Omarjan Azari of Sydney, appeared briefly in a Sydney court on Thursday.

Prosecutor Michael Allnutt said Azari was involved in a plan to "gruesomely" execute a randomly selected person - something that was "clearly designed to shock and horrify" the public. That plan involved an "unusual level of fanaticism," he said.

Azari is charged with conspiracy to prepare for a terrorist attack. The potential penalty was not immediately clear.

In court documents, Azari was accused of conspiring with Baryalei and others between May and September of this year to prepare for a terrorist attack. Allnutt said the charge stemmed from the interception of a phone call a couple of days ago.

Police declined to reveal exact details of the attack they believe was being plotted. New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said only that it was to be carried out against a member of the public on the street and was at "a very high level."

"Right now is a time for calm," Scipione said in a press conference about Operation Appleby. "We need to let people know that they are safe, and certainly from our perspective, we know that the work this morning will ensure that all of those plans that may have been on foot have been thwarted."

Last week, Australian police arrested two men in Brisbane for allegedly preparing to fight in Syria, recruiting jihadists and raising money for the al Qaeda offshoot group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front.

Colvin, who is also the acting Federal Police Commissioner, said the raids conducted in Brisbane on Thursday were a follow-up to that operation. It was not yet clear how the investigations in Sydney and Brisbane were linked, he said.

The government raised its terrorism threat last week from "medium" to "high" on a four-tier scale on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization. The domestic spy agency's Director-General David Irvine said the threat had been rising over the past year, mainly due to Australians joining the Islamic State movement to fight in Syria and Iraq.

"There are at least 60 Australians that we know of who are serving with ISIL and other terror groups in the Middle East," Abbot said. "There's at least 100 Australians that we know of that are supporting them."

Despite the elevated threat level, Abbott stressed that there was no information suggesting a terror attack was imminent.

Police said at the time there was no terrorist threat to the Group of 20 leaders' summit to be hosted by Brisbane in November that will bring President Obama and other leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies to the Queensland state capital.

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U.S. Consumer Prices Drop for First Time in a Year

The cost of living in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in August for the first time in more than a year, showing inflation still is falling short of the Federal Reserve’s goal as policy makers meet.

The consumer-price index declined 0.2 percent, the first decrease since April 2013, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for unchanged. Excluding volatile food and fuel, the so-called core measure was unchanged, the first time it failed to increase in almost four years.

A drop in energy costs and muted global growth are helping contain inflation. Subdued price increases have allowed Fed officials, who conclude two days of meetings today, to keep interest rates at record lows even as they plan to end their unprecedented monthly asset purchase program in October.

Video: U.S. Consumer Spending Falls for First Time in 6 Months

“Inflation is certainly benign,” said Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, who correctly forecast the drop in prices. “Inflation is not a front-burner issue” for Fed policy makers. “The doves have the high ground on this one,” he said, referring to central bankers who are less concerned about inflation. “They are not going to do anything with rates for a long time.”

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from a 0.3 percent drop to a 0.1 percent advance.

Another report today showed the current-account deficit unexpectedly shrank in the second quarter. The gap, the broadest measure of international trade because it includes income payments and government transfers, narrowed 3.5 percent to $98.5 billion from a revised $102.1 billion shortfall in the prior period, according to Commerce Department figures. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for the deficit to widen to $113.4 billion.

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The narrowing was mainly caused by a smaller shortfall on secondary income, which at $21.4 billion was the least since 2006. The drop reflected payments of fines and penalties to the U.S. government.

Stock-index futures rose after the report, erasing earlier losses. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in December climbed 0.1 percent to 1,993.1 at 8:32 a.m. in New York as the drop in prices eased concern the Fed will need to raise interest rates sooner.

The unchanged reading in core consumer prices was the first time they failed to rise since October 2010 and followed a 0.1 percent rise in July. Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent advance, according to the survey median.

Story: Putin's Paradox: Popularity Up, Russian Consumer Spending Down

Overall consumer prices climbed 1.7 percent in the 12 months ended in August, following a 2 percent year-over-year gain the prior month. The core measure also rose 1.7 percent from August 2013 after 1.9 percent in the prior 12-month period.

Energy costs declined 2.6 percent in August from a month earlier, the most since March 2013. Gas prices have been falling for almost three months, helping cushion household budgets. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.38 as of Sept. 15, its lowest level since February, according to AAA, the largest U.S. motoring club.

Today’s report showed food costs increased 0.2 percent in August after a 0.4 percent gain the prior month.

Story: A Rare Drop in the U.S. Poverty Rate Doesn't Deliver Much Good News

The core rate was held back by broad-based declines in prices, including airline fares, recreation, household furnishings, clothing and used cars and trucks.

The Fed’s 2-percent inflation goal is based on the personal consumption expenditures index, the Commerce Department’s price gauge that is tied to consumer spending. That measure climbed 1.6 percent in the 12 months through July and hasn’t reached the 2-percent level since April 2012.

Fed officials were expected to discuss this week whether to emphasize that an increase in the federal funds rate depends on progress toward the twin goals of full employment and low and stable inflation, rather than guidance on time periods and dates.

Story: Could McDonald's Be the Latest Victim of Russian Retaliation?

The policy makers on the Federal Open Market Committee today also will release an updated set of projections for measures including unemployment and growth at the conclusion of their two-day meeting today.

The CPI is the broadest of three price gauges from the Labor Department because it includes all goods and services. About 60 percent of the index covers prices consumers pay for services from medical visits to airline fares, movie tickets and rents.

The Labor Department’s gauge of wholesale prices, which includes 75 percent of all U.S. goods and services, was unchanged in August and followed a 0.1 percent rise the prior month, data showed yesterday. A separate report indicated the cost of imported goods fell 0.9 percent last month.  

 

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Airlines least likely to require a 'Knee Defender'

 

Whether you're looking to exercise your right to recline or hoping to avoid squashed knees, it pays to pick the right seat.

In recent weeks, passenger fights over reclining seats have diverted three flights—a Delta flight from New York to West Palm Beach, Florida, a United flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Denver, and an American flight from Miami to Paris. Paying up for extra legroom isn't a cure-all: In two of the three recent incidents, passengers were sitting in such premium seats.

Read More Fight on board airliner boosts 'Knee Defender'

To avoid a tight squeeze—and avoid paying expensive additional charges for extra space—look to seat maps on sites such as SeatGuru.com or SeatExpert.com. Dimensions for basic economy seats can vary widely, and the difference in fares may be less than the fee to upgrade. (See chart of what U.S. carriers offer on short-haul flights, below.) "On JetBlue, even the seats that you don't pay for have more legroom than others," said George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com.

U.S. airlines' seat dimensions on short-haul flights

Airline Seat pitch Seat width AirTran 30-31" 18" Alaska Airlines 31-32" 17" Allegiant 30" 17-17.5" American 30-32" 17.2-18.5" Delta 30-33" 17.2-18.25" Frontier 30-31" 17-18" Hawaiian Airlines 30-32" 17-18" JetBlue 30-34" 17-18.25" Southwest 31-33" 17" Spirit 28" 17.75" Sun Country 31-33" 17" United 30-32" 17-20.5" US Airways 30-32" 17-18.25" Virgin America 32" 17.7" SOURCE: SeatGuru.com

Sites will also warn you off seats that have space constraints, like those ahead of exit rows that won't fully recline, or that are a little narrower because the tray table is in the armrest.

If all that's left at booking is the dreaded middle seat, check back periodically to see if a better seat has opened up, Hobica said. Aisle seats often do, especially in the day or two before departure, as elite frequent fliers are offered upgrades or decide to use miles for them. "Usually the people who are upgraded have the better seats anyway," he said.

And if you are willing to pay for an upgrade? Price that in at the start, to better compare comfort and price. "People hate Spirit, but seriously, their Big Front Seat product is still cheaper than many airlines' economy seats," Hobica said. But don't necessarily grab the upgrade at booking. SeatGuru.com reports that premium economy prices can be significantly cheaper booked closer to departure—although you do risk missing out altogether.

—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant

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iPhone 6 pre-orders crash Apple Store, iPhone 6 Plus sells out

Apple said Monday it hit a record in first-day preorders of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with over four million preorders in the first 24 hours.

By comparison, Apple two years ago received over two million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 within 24 hours, and first weekend sales totaled more than 5 million. And last year, the first time Apple offered two iPhones the company said it sold 9 million units of the iPhone 5S and 5Cmodels in the first weekend after they hit stores.

The iPhone 6 has the potential to be the biggest launch in Apple's 38-year history, with the latest design providing two larger-screen models, slimmer and lighter bodies, and a new mobile-payment system. Applereportedly has askedmanufacturing partners to produce about 70 million to 80 million units of its larger screen iPhones by December 30, which is about 30 percent to 40 percent more iPhones than it ordered for its initial run of last year'siPhone 5S and 5C.

"IPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do," Apple CEO Tim Cook, who unveiled the new smartphones last week, said in a statement Monday.

The company also confirmed that demand for the new smartphones outpaced initial preorder supplies. It said "a significant amount" of the devices will be delivered to preorder customers beginning this Friday and throughout September. However, many iPhone preorders aren't scheduled to arrive to customers until October. Apple, as well as several wireless carriers, have shown on their websites a longer wait in delivery time for the larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus.

Additional supplies of the smartphones will be available to walk-in customers on Friday, starting at 8 a.m. local time at Apple retail stores, when the devices officially go on sale. With long lines expected at Apple stores, the company encouraged customers to arrive early, or order online and then pick up their devices in stores or receive an estimate delivery date.

The record for the first 24 hours comes on the heels of Apple saying last Friday it hit a record number of customer orders overnight when presales started that day. These records follow with a trend of new Apple devices selling out quickly.

The iPhone 5 from 2012 -- available for preorder on Sept. 14 of that year and in stores Sept. 24 -- sold out of launch-day stock at a then record pace. About an hour after preorders started, Apple's online store changed the shipment timing from one week -- coinciding with the official launch date -- to as long as three weeks.

 

 

Apple received over two million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 within 24 hours. By comparison, it took about 22 hours for the iPhone 4S preorders to sell out online after it went on sale Oct. 14, 2011, and about 20 hours for the iPhone 4, released June 24, 2010, to go out of stock.

Last year marked the first time Apple released two phones at the same time, the pricier 5S with the TouchID fingerprint sensor, and the colorful and cheaper iPhone 5C. Apple didn't make the iPhone 5S available for preorder because of supply issues, but it did allow customers to reserve the 5C on Sept. 13.

Apple didn't release preorder figures for the 5C as it had done for every iPhone since 2009's introduction of the iPhone 3GS. That was likely because the 5C's initial uptake wasn't very strong, as Apple CEO Tim Cook later acknowledgedduring an earnings report in January.

The 5C also didn't sell out during preorders, with the device still available in many places after preorders first started. But less than two days after the Sept. 20 launch, it already was tough to find an iPhone 5S. Many customers waited as long as a month for the new device.

The demand was so high when preorders began last Friday that Apple's online store and various carriers couldn't keep up. Outages plagued the Apple Store sitefor more than two hours after the iPhones became available for presale at midnight PT. Despite the outages , customers scooped up the devices at a rapid clip. As of 7 p.m. PT Sunday, the iPhone 6 models generally were available to ship in seven to 10 business days, according to the Apple Store online. The iPhone 6 Plus wouldn't be available to ship for three to four weeks.

Preorders through Verizon Wireless and AT&T largely started without a hitch at midnight Friday, though some customers on Twitter complained about issues. Those problems were nothing compared with the issues experienced by Sprint and T-Mobile customers. The Sprint and T-Mobile sites were still down for many users nearly two hours after presales were slated to start. Access to Sprint's site faded in and out, while the T-Mobile site continued to display a form to register for a reminder for when the preorders began.

 

NEW IPHONE 6/6 PLUS CASESSEE FULL GALLERY1 - 4 of 41NEXTPREV

Ordering more devices from its manufacturers could buffer Apple against the supply shortages it has seen with past launches -- though there was still a significant wait time for customers as of midmorning Friday. The company also sets aside allotments for the different days of the preorder process.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 goes on sale September 19 in 115 countries, starting at $199 for a version with 16 gigabytes of storage space. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for its 16-gigabyte version. In the UK, an unlocked iPhone 6 will start at £539, and the iPhone 6 Plus will start at £619.

Both models will also be available Friday from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless -- which all started preorders, too -- as well as additional carriers and some Apple authorized resellers.

The iPhone is Apple's most important device and its biggest moneymaker, accounting for more than half of sales. Millions of customers continue to purchase its older devices, but Apple has been challenged by a trend toward bigger-screen smartphones from Samsung, HTC and others. Introducing larger screens with theiPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will help it please current customers and possibly tempt some buyers away from its competitors.

The new iPhones are a big jump over the 4-inch screen found in last year's iPhone 5S and 5C. Both models also include a 64-bit A8 processor with improved graphics, an improved 8-megapixel rear camera, better battery life and an NFC chip that allows you to use the phone to make payments.

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