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1. LIVE: Experts discuss race, wealth-building, and closing the racial wealth gap once and for all23:24[−]
Closing Racial Weath Gap Panel 4x3

The racial wealth gap in the United States is cavernous. In 2016, the average white family's net worth was 10 times that of the average Black family, according to the Brookings Institution — $171,000 for white families compared to $17,150 among Black families.

The wealth gap persists at every income level, too. Among the top 10% of earners, the median net worth of white families is $1,789,300, whereas a Black family earning the same income has a median net worth of $343,160.

These staggering numbers reveal what scholars and others have long known to be true: Centuries of racial discrimination at the federal, state, and local levels — beginning with slavery — have left Black Americans behind. And the gap is not closing — the Brookings Institution's research actually suggests it's getting wider.

So what to do about this persistent gap? On September 25 at 4pm EST, a group of thinkers will join Business Insider reporter Taylor Nicole Rogers for a conversation on closing the racial wealth gap. The group will discuss how policy, reparations, personal finance principles, and business directives can shift this inequality once and for all.

This conversation is part of Business Insider's "Inside the racial wealth gap" series, examining how we got here and why the wealth gap persists. Read more from the series:

Below are additional details about the digital live event, which is available to attend for free. Click here to register.

DATE & TIME: Friday, September 25 at 4pm EST on Zoom

SPEAKERS:

Dr. Dania Francis, assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston and co-author of " The Economics of Reparations."

Shawn Rochester, author of "The Black Tax," a book about how much racism and the legacy of slavery have cost Black Americans.

Malik S. Lee, Certified Financial Planner, founder of Felton and Peel Wealth Management, and a regular contributor to Business Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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2. How to access iCloud photos on your Apple devices or through iCloud's website23:22[−]
iPhone with iCloud icon and Apple logo as background
iCloud syncing lets you view photos associated with your Apple ID across devices.
  • Apple's iCloud service syncs all of the photos you take on your iPhone or iPad so that your images are always accessible from any device and the iCloud website.
  • To access iCloud photos from anywhere, turn the syncing feature on through the Settings app on each of your Apple devices.
  • Once enabled, you can access all your photos in the Photos app of your iPhone and iPad, or through the iCloud website's Photos page.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you have one or more iOS devices, you probably appreciate that everything is connected via iCloud.

Any photos you take on your iPhone, for example, can be automatically synced everywhere. That means you can take a photo on your phone and see it minutes later on your iPad or the iCloud website.

This iCloud Photos feature should work automatically, though you may need to make sure it is turned on. If iCloud Photos won't turn on with your device, you may have no free storage space on the iCloud left.

To check, open your device's Settings app, tap your account name, and then select "iCloud." You should see a graph at the top of the screen showing how your iCloud storage is being used. If it's full, you can tap "Manage Storage" to free up some space or change your storage plan.

If you're ready to sync your iCloud photos across devices, here's how to enable and access the feature.

How to turn on iCloud Photos on an iPhone or iPad

1. On your iPhone or iPad device, open the Settings app.

2. Tap "Photos."

3. Turn on iCloud Photos by swiping the button to the right if it's not already enabled.

How to access iCloud photos 1
This copies your photos to iCloud and synchronizes them with other Apple devices.

4. Repeat that process for every device you want to sync with iCloud.

How to access iCloud photos on an iPhone or iPad

1. On your iPhone or iPad, launch the Photos app.

2. You should see all the photos taken on either your iPhone or iPad and stored on iCloud.

3. Use the "Albums" button at the bottom of the screen to browse your photos by album and category. You can also tap "Search" to find photos by keyword, location, or time period.

How to access iCloud photos 3
Your Photos app should contain all the photos you've taken on any iOS device, not just your current one.

How to access iCloud photos on the iCloud website

1. Open iCloud.com in a web browser.

2. Login to the service with your Apple ID if needed.

3. Click "Photos."

4. You should see all your photos taken on all your iOS and iPadOS devices.

How to access iCloud photos 4
You can access your synced photos from the iCloud website.

5. Use the navigation pane on the left side of the web page to search, browse, and filter your photos.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the original article on Business Insider

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3. SCOTT GALLOWAY: Palantir can wrap itself in the flag all it wants. The company is still a s----y business that has never made money in 17 years.23:16[−]
Palantir
Galloway says Uncle Sam should be advising Palantir.
  • Scott Galloway is a bestselling author and professor of marketing at NYU Stern.
  • The following is his recent blog post and video, republished with permission. It originally ran on his blog, " No Mercy / No Malice."
  • Galloway critiques Palantir, a data management software company cofounded by Peter Thiel, ahead of its IPO scheduled for late September.
  • He calls Palantir "the Rudy Giuliani of tech," saying that despite the company's claims of advocating to minimize the role of the US government, they've done the opposite in practice.
  • Palantir has worked with US customs to track immigrants at the border and tested predictive policing software at New Orleans, he points out.
  • "The success of the Palantir listing is a bet on one of two opposing forces," he writes.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Variation is an aspect of natural selection that helps a population's gene pool to develop new traits. Those traits allow the next generation to adapt to changing environments. Symmetry of facial features is attractive, as it indicates an absence of maladies. We're also drawn to people from different places, as it's less likely we'll cross the same two defective genes, like Tay-Sachs or hemophilia.

The subtle instincts of natural selection play out in our consumer choices, such as choosing branded denim or which artificially colored carbonated water, mixed with phosphoric acid, to stock in the fridge. Our subconscious desire to have more adaptable offspring rears its symmetrical head and decides that if Dad is wearing Nikes, I need Adidas.

In the 60s, the 7UP company faced a dilemma — how to carve share from brands Coke and Pepsi, who had the good judgment to put an addictive substance, caffeine, in their product. 7UP's "Uncola" campaign was a breakthrough, positioning the cola brands as the establishment when the country was feeling especially anti-establishment, in the 60s. Featuring Trinidadian dancer and actor Geoffrey Holder, 7UP's "Uncola" campaign broke racial barriers and held the promise of a different type of soft drink — and diversifying your gene pool with a Trinidadian dancer. (Note: Mr. Holder played a Bond villain, was married to a spectacular dancer/choreographer, Carmen de Lavallade, for 59 years, and passed away at 84 — a nice life.)

The Uncola of a sector gains relevance around the time everyone throws in the towel, all new entrants mimic the leader, and the sector has the variance of your Dockers-wearing dad. The most innovative Uncola of the last decade is Shopify, who became the non-Amazon Amazon. Shopify taps into a reservoir of ill will from third-party retailers, who were forced to surrender data, custody of the consumer, and merchandising options so they could access the largest ecommerce platform in history.

Shopify boasts a market cap greater than Boeing and Southwest Airlines, combined. Shopify should acquire FedEx and Simon Properties. This would enable NewCo ("Shopify-Ex") to offer small- and medium-sized commerce firms the second-best last-mile solution and the best retail real estate in the country, possibly on a short-term basis. Shopify would maintain 60% ownership of Shopify-Ex and provide a new generation of brands and retailers access to technology, fulfillment, and brick and mortar that were previously unavailable to any firm sub a billion. Truly disruptive. But I digress.

Scott Galloway shopify https://www.profgalloway.com/

Apple has brilliantly positioned itself as the Uncola, despite being a Cola — one of the incumbents. A focus on privacy depositioned Google and Facebook, making their business model (harvesting personal data) feel "drunk uncle." Since Tim Cook told Kara Swisher "Privacy is a human right; it's a civil liberty," the firm's stock has tripled, adding $1.3 trillion in value.

PalanThiel

The firm attempting to position itself as the non-tech tech firm is Palantir, who filed for a direct listing last month. Instead of smearing lipstick on a pig — Facebook's pages of grandmothers rescuing dachshunds and Ms. Sandberg pretending to be an advocate for women while condoning lies for profit — Palantir has decided to put the prize hog up front. As Google and Facebook employees conduct virtual walkouts in protest of their firms' work with the government (that'll show 'em), Palantir has wrapped itself in the flag, claiming:

"Our software is used to target terrorists and to keep soldiers safe. If we are going to ask someone to put themselves in harm's way, we believe that we have a duty to give them what they need to do their job. We have chosen sides, and we know that our partners value our commitment. We stand by them when it is convenient, and when it is not."

I agree with that statement, and think that Facebook/Google employees doing their best impression of Cesar Chavez, if Mr. Chavez was a total b---h, is performative… at best. The US government is the most noble customer in history, whether you support the person in the White House or not. In addition, Palantir doesn't work with nations viewed as adversaries. However, wrapping yourself in a flag when your founder, Peter Thiel, is a libertarian is a bit like wearing a chinchilla to a PETA benefit. The definition of libertarian, according to the Institute of Humane Studies at George Mason University is:

"One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state."

Minimizing the role of government? The firm has worked with US Customs and Border Protection to track immigrants at the border, and it secretly tested its predictive policing software in New Orleans. So, minimize the state … unless they are our client … and we can help them surveil others. It only gets stranger from there. The S-1 claims:

"Government agencies have faltered in fulfilling their mandates and serving the public. Some institutions will struggle to survive. Others will collapse."

Ok, so buy our stock, as our growth is only limited by how stupid our customer (the government) is… and they're really stupid. And so is any tech firm that is not Palantir. Again, from the S-1:

"The engineering elite of Silicon Valley may know more than most about building software. But they do not know more about how society should be organized or what justice requires."

But Palantir knows how society should be organized, as they (wait for it) relocated their HQ to Denver and have several dozen engineers who reached level 20 in Dungeons and Dragons in high school. Does this mean Western Union and Liberty Media, also in Denver, are better suited to save the world?

A word cloud of the S-1 reads like a survivalist manifesto. Pro tip: If you interview at Palantir and everyone is wearing black Nikes that day, skip drinks with the team after work.

Scott Galloway https://www.profgalloway.com/

Palantir is the Rudy Giuliani of tech — just give them a few minutes/pages and they'll begin contradicting themselves, making no sense and muddying the waters in hopes that investors will ignore a central truth.

Another red flag — the idolatry of Thiel and Karp as reflected in the S-1:

Scott Galloway https://www.profgalloway.com/

The most impressive group of people

What do Ken Chenault, Susan Desmond Hellman, Erskine Bowles, and Reed Hastings have in common? There are few groups of people (i.e., none) one could better trust to lead a business or government, or to raise our kids. The thing that unites them is they all decided they couldn't stomach the leadership and governance at Facebook — they left early. Instead, the constant on the board, the invisible hand of delay, obfuscation, election interference, rage, hate, and teen depression is Peter Thiel.

Shavings of s--t on a s--t salad

Palantir states their mission is to become "the default operating system for data across the US government." So, is Peter Thiel the person (and do we ever want "a" person) to default to for influence/control of the operating systems for relationships, and now government? Is Mr. Thiel our go-to for who controls the guy who controls the media for one third of the planet, and now the data behind the surveillance apparatus of America?

Scott Galloway https://www.profgalloway.com/

Do we look at the outcomes from Facebook and think, "We should definitely put the guy overseeing Mark Zuckerberg in charge of the algorithms controlling what data the government collects on us, and what behaviors it/he deems as a security threat"? The shavings of s--t on a s--t salad here are the proposed Class F shares, meaning the invisible hand of Facebook (Thiel) could control Palantir, and the operating system of government, until he dies.

What. Could. Go. Wrong?

The men of the night's watch

What stands between us and the White Walkers — Zuck and Thiel? Is it our institutions? Our elected officials? The public, who will rise, as they have a sixth sense for this type of threat? Or the media, which will cover the story without fear or favor? No. The only thing standing between two men grasping for control of media, the economy (Libra), and government surveillance is capitalism. Specifically:

Palantir. Is. A. S----y. Business.

It took Amazon eight years to get to profitability, Netflix six, Facebook five, and Google three. Palantir is old enough to see an R-rated film, get a pilot's license, or (with parental consent) join the armed services. But at 17 years of age, and after raising $3 billion, the "startup" has never made money. In 2019, Palantir lost $580 million on approximately $740 million in revenues. The idiot client they serve (US government) lost 25 cents on the dollar ($1 trillion deficit vs. $3.5 trillion in revenues) in 2019 versus 78 cents at Palantir. Shouldn't Uncle Sam be advising Palantir?

The firm spent $911 million in marketing over the last 24 months, roughly half of what Tide detergent spent over the same period. The firm has 125 clients, 3 of them accounting for 28% of revenues. Palantir feels more like a services firm, with tech at its core (e.g., Accenture), but one that, unlike a services firm, is massively unprofitable.

This is not to say that unprofitable firms (Uber, Snap) don't have value. Brand, distribution, customer relationships, and IP can be assets that should fling the bling or splash the cash down the road. As we are now 17 years in, it feels as if the pitch here would be something around the IP or customer relationships. There is little mention of defensible IP, but the deep relationship with the deepest pocket, Uncle Sam, is a huge asset. Except, with Palantir, it's also the biggest risk.

Oligarchy for dummies

The key to being a successful oligarch is to leverage your proximity to power, without becoming so close that you become contaminated should "your guy" lose power (be voted out of office). Peter Thiel is no dummy and recognizes this. It's not an accident that about the time Biden's polls numbers went up, the president went from Mr. Thiel's BFF to BFFN (best friend for never). (Note: People close to Thiel say it's the president's poor handling of the pandemic that has come between them. Right.) Expect Palantir's valuation in the private markets (approximately $19.9 billion) to be inversely correlated to Biden's poll numbers. Do you think Senator Kamala Harris will ever agree to be in the same room with Peter Thiel, who recently agreed to be in the same room with white nationalists?

Distancing

Based on recent news, I would venture that Thiel's better judgment has him distancing from Trump:

Scott Galloway https://www.profgalloway.com/

Distancing, Norweigan style

In another Giulianiesque move, after paying himself $12 million, CEO Alexander Karp began pimping his self-proclaimed socialism. Yeah, he feels Norweigan … if they paid their CEOs tens of millions to operate firms hemorrhaging cash that surveil people.

Scott Galloway

I reached out to early Facebook investor, and total gangster, Roger McNamee for his take:

"Palantir exists to allow law enforcement to investigate citizens without obtaining a warrant. The data sets come from third parties and (presumably) are filled with the errors and implicit bias that infect almost all data sets, whether by design or accident. The business model of Palantir undermines civil rights."

— Roger McNamee

What happens:

The success of the Palantir listing is a bet on one of two opposing forces. If we get another stimulus, chased by young men on Robinhood in their parents' basements, and Trump is reelected, then the consensual hallucination between Palantir and the markets — a 17-year-old firm, hemorrhaging cash, that is not growing that fast but is valued at 27x revenues — may continue. The opposing forces that may stop Palantir at the border? Capitalism and math.

The analytics firm is attempting to position itself as the "Uncola," the non-tech tech firm. A more apt metaphor is Zima. Palantir is all of the calories of Facebook (scaled sociopathy) with none of the great taste (profits).

READ MORE: Popular NYU professor Scott Galloway has a new course on business strategy anyone can sign up to take — I took away MBA-like insights for way less money than going to business school

Read the original article on Business Insider

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4. How to add a user profile to a Nintendo Switch, so that every player can have their own save files and settings23:15[−]
nintendo switch lite
It's easy to create a new user profile on the Switch.
  • You can add a new user profile to a Nintendo Switch through the console's System Settings menu.
  • Up to eight unique user profiles can be added to the Switch, which means that each person in your family can have their own save files and settings.
  • You can also set parental controls on each user profile individually, which is handy if you're playing games that you don't want your children to have access to.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Although most games these days let you have several save files at the same time, there are some — like "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" or "Pok?mon Sword and Shield" — that only give you one. This can pose a problem if multiple people want to play it on the same Nintendo Switch.

In this case, your best bet is to add user profiles. Every profile on the Switch has their own save data and their own settings — this means that multiple people can play the same game without erasing each other's data.

So if one child is already playing "Pok?mon Shield," the other one doesn't have to wait until he's finished: She can create her own profile and start her own game right there and then, without disturbing her brother's adventure.

You can also set parental controls for each individual profile, so if you download a mature game, but want to make sure your kids don't play it, you don't need an entirely new device — just a different profile.

Here's how to create a new user profile on the Switch, so multiple people can play the same game on the same device.

How to add a new user profile to a Nintendo Switch

1. On the home screen of your Switch, select System Settings — the second icon from the right, shaped like a gear.

how to add a new user profile switch
Open your Switch's settings.

2. In the System Settings sidebar, scroll down to "Users."

3. On the right side of the screen, select "Add User."

how to add a new user profile switch 2
Select the "Add User" option.

4. Select "Create New User."

Note: If you're looking to move an existing profile from one Switch to another — for example, if a friend was letting you play games on their Switch until you got your own — instead select "Import User Data from Another Console," and follow the on-screen instructions.

how to add a new user profile switch 3
Unless you have already set up a profile on another device, select "Create A New User."

5. Choose an icon for the new user. You can select one of the randomized options presented to you, or select "More Options" to choose from dozens of other Nintendo characters and icons. You can also customize its background color this way.

When you're finished, press "OK."

how to add a new user profile switch 4
There are dozens of icons to choose from, but you'll be shown only twelve to start.

6. Choose a nickname for the user to go by. This can be their own name, or whatever silly or fun code name they come up with.

7. You'll be shown a preview of what your new user profile will look like. If you're satisfied, press A to confirm the settings and finish the process. If you're not, press B to go back.

how to add a new user profile switch 5
Look over and then confirm your profile.

8. Now that the profile is added, you'll be asked if you want to link a Nintendo Account to it. Linking an account will give it access to online multiplayer, the eShop, and more.

Either select "Link a Nintendo Account," or "Later."

how to add a new user profile switch 6
You can connect an account now or later.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the original article on Business Insider

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5. The Department of the Treasury is reportedly looking into the American companies behind 'Fortnite' and 'League of Legends' over their ties to Chinese tech titan Tencent23:12[−]
donald trump thumbs
US President Donald Trump.
  • The wildly popular smartphone apps TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the US starting on September 20, the US government announced on Friday morning.
  • CFIUS, the same Treasury group that initated those investigations, is now looking into "Fortnite" maker Epic Games and "League of Legends" maker Riot Games due to their associations with the Chinese conglomerate Tencent, Bloomberg reported.
  • Tencent, which owns WeChat, wholly owns Riot Games and owns a 40% stake in Epic Games.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After taking action against the wildly popular smartphone apps TikTok and WeChat, President Trump's administration appears to be setting its sights on the gaming studios behind two of the biggest games in the world: "Fortnite" and "League of Legends."

The same government body that investigated TikTok and WeChat is now looking into Epic Games and Riot Games, according to a new Bloomberg report. Both companies received letters from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), the report states, regarding how they handle security for American user data, the report says.

The issue appears to be the two companies' relationship with Chinese conglomerate Tencent.

Tencent owns a 40% stake in Epic Games, based in Cary, North Carolina, and wholly owns Riot Games, based in Los Angeles, California. Epic is most well-known for "Fortnite," but also operates other popular games, including "Rocket League." Riot is most well-known for "League of Legends" and, more recently, "Valorant." Both companies operate games with hundreds of millions of players.

Tencent itself is far from a bit player in the world of gaming — it's quietly the biggest game company in the world. Aside from its significant stake in Epic and outright ownership of Riot Games, Tencent has investments in Supercell, Ubisoft, Activision, and other notable game publishers.

The company is already facing scrutiny from the US government for its ownership of WeChat, one of two major apps run by Chinese companies that were banned in a federal order on Friday morning.

Starting this Sunday, September 20, the wildly popular video app TikTok and the messaging and commerce app WeChat will no longer be available through Apple and Google's digital storefronts.

Moreover, if you've already got the apps on your phones, future updates won't be allowed, under the text of that order.

That's according to an order published by the US Department of Commerce on Friday morning which says that starting on September 20, 2020, TikTok will be barred from software updates and distribution in the US. WeChat is also being pulled and having its updates stopped, but the order goes a step further: It outright bars internet service providers from working with WeChat, thus nullifying critical components of how the app operates.

Whether the order goes into effect on Sunday as planned still remains to be seen.

China-based TikTok owner ByteDance has reportedly negotiated some kind of deal over its US operations with Silicon Valley tech giant Oracle, which is awaiting the green light from the White House. If this deal is approved and confirmed by Sunday, it could obviate the order entirely, Reuters reported. However, that would still seemingly leave WeChat subject to the terms of the order, making the app's future in the US uncertain.

The order follows the Trump adminstration's wider efforts to force a sale of TikTok's US business to a US firm in the name of national security. President Trump has repeatedly insisted that TikTok, because it is owned and operated by a Chinese company, is collecting information from users in the US and feeding that information to the Chinese government.

Representatives for Epic Games and Riot Games declined to comment. The US Department of the Treasury did not respond to a request for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ( bgilbert@businessinsider.com), or Twitter DM ( @realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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6. The stock market will become disconnected from the economy in 2021 as companies expand layoffs, money manager says23:12[−]
Economy recession coronavirus Germany
  • The stock market will become disconnected from the economy in 2021, as a lot of layoffs become permanent, a money manager said.
  • RiverFront Investment Group's Kevin Nicholson, said firms focusing on profitability next year will create a "divergence between the economy and the market."
  • More than 13.5 million Americans are still out of work compared to a pandemic high of about 23 million.
  • Nicholson said he expects the S&P 500 to level between 3,400-3,450 until January.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The economy and stock market will become increasingly disconnected from each other in 2021, as companies are likely to reduce headcount to increase profits, manager Kevin Nicholson told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Thursday.

The co-chief investment officer of global fixed income at RiverFront Investment Group said firms are going to focus more on profitability next year, and this is "going to create a divergence between the economy and the market."

Nicholson, who manages $7 billion of assets according to CNBC, said this divergence will hinder the US economic recovery from the pandemic due to the adverse impact it is expected to have on consumption.

"You can increase profits in two ways. You can either increase your sales and revenue or you can cut costs," he said. "I believe that companies are going to do the latter and the biggest expense they are going to have is their employees. A lot of these workers that were furloughed will not end up coming back to work and they are going to be permanently unemployed."

Read more: Jefferies handpicks the 17 best stocks spanning multiple sectors to buy now — and details why each company's future looks 'particularly attractive,' even in a downturn

Nicholson said: "The pandemic pledge that a lot of companies put out there will go away as they move towards focusing on profitability unless they are not laying off workers."

More than 13.5 million Americans are still out of work compared to a pandemic high of about 23 million. Data from Yelp this week showed 60% of US businesses that have shut since the start of the coronavirus pandemic won't ever reopen.

The report, published on Wednesday, said a total of 163,735 US businesses have closed since the beginning of the pandemic as of August 31, marking a 23% increase since July 10.

Nicholson said he is expecting the S&P 500 to range between 3,400-3,450 until January and "move sideways" due to volatility caused by the upcoming election.

Read more: Legendary options trader Tony Saliba famously put together 70 straight months of profits greater than $100,000. Here's an inside look at the strategy that propelled him to millionaire status before age 25.

The index has risen about 53% since touching multi-year lows in March, thanks to a boom in tech stocks and a period of rock bottom interest rates as the Fed has poured trillions of dollars worth of stimulus to prevent the economy from collapse.

US jobless claims fell more than expected this week, but Nicholson said he is still concerned about the labour market.

"In the beginning of the pandemic we lost [about] 22 million jobs, and we have put only roughly a little over 10 million back to work," he said. "As each month goes on past June, delta, that rate of change is declining. That is leading me to think we may have a job-light recovery as we get through the pandemic companies are going to right size the business," he said.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says oil prices are set to move 'meaningfully higher' into next year. Here are 7 reasons why the firm is bullish, and 5 stocks it recommends buying in advance

Read the original article on Business Insider

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7. S&P 500, Nasdaq drop for 3rd straight week as tech continues downward spiral23:05[−]
trader worried upset screen
  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes declined for the third straight week on falling tech giants and weakening economic data.
  • Mega-cap tech stocks led indexes lower as investors continued to shun lofty valuations and look for returns elsewhere.
  • Traders hoping for a stimulus breakthrough had little to cheer heading into the weekend. Democrats and Republicans remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart in their respective proposals.
  • The deadlock comes after weekly jobless claims and retail sales data pointed to a slowing economic recovery earlier in the week.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

The S&P 500 slid for a third straight week as sinking tech giants continued to pull major indexes from record highs.

Mega-cap companies including Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook led the slump once again. The market darlings have played major roles in recent weeks' declines. While crowding in the stocks helped drive the market's rapid rebound from virus-induced lows, investors have since shunned their sky-high valuations. As traders dumped the popular names, tech-heavy indexes tumbled just as quickly.

Oracle slid in Friday trading after the US government said it will block all TikTok and WeChat downloads in the country starting Sunday. The surprise announcement arrives as Oracle closes in on finalizing its partnership with TikTok-parent ByteDance.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. market close on Friday:

Read more: Jefferies handpicks the 17 best stocks spanning multiple sectors to buy now — and details why each company's future looks 'particularly attractive,' even in a downturn

"Mega-cap tech stocks are dragging everyone down right now," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said. "The outlook is foggy for big-tech as the latest TikTok developments continues to add further strain to US-China trade relations and as Wall Street needs to start pricing in a Blue wave in November that would trigger higher taxes and tougher regulations."

All 11 S&P 500 sectors posted losses, though heath care stocks nearly avoided a downturn. Real estate and utility shares fell the most through the session.

Market participants continue to look for any sign of progress toward a near-term stimulus deal. Congress remains locked in negotiations over new spending as the pace of economic recovery slows. Indicators including jobless claims and retail sales showed mild improvement over the week, signaling the bump from March's CARES Act has largely played out.

The Fed announced Wednesday it plans to hold rates close to zero until well into the US economic rebound. With monetary policy set to stay accommodative for years, all eyes are on legislators to reinstate aid programs including expanded unemployment benefits, economic relief payments, and small business stimulus.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says oil prices are set to move 'meaningfully higher' into next year. Here are 7 reasons why the firm is bullish, and 5 stocks it recommends buying in advance

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows indicated on Thursday that the Trump administration is willing to back a $1.5 trillion bill. The target is higher than the White House's previous goal of $1.3 trillion, but Democrats and Republicans remain divided on a final figure and allocations for federal funds.

The stalemate follows weaker-than-expected readings for weekly jobless claims and retail sales earlier in the weak. Still, some indicators pointed to encouraging trends across consumers. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index gained to 78.9 in September from 74.1, hitting its highest point in six months. Economists expected a reading of 75, according to Bloomberg data.

Gold gained as much as 0.8%, to $1,960.14 per ounce, remaining in a narrow trading range between $1,900 and $2,000. Treasury yields wavered and the US dollar gained.

Oil prices slid on reports of exports resuming in Libya reignited fears of a supply glut. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.6%, to $40.30 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, decreased 1.8%, to $42.53 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

3 top investing executives lay out the biggest risks to markets heading into a volatile election season — and share their best recommendations for navigating what happens next

Tesla will leap 12% from current levels as pent-up demand drives Chinese market domination, Wedbush says

A new ETF aims to deliver gains from S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, and Russell 2000 simultaneously — with only one index's losses

Read the original article on Business Insider

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8. Sen. Thom Tillis vies against Democrat Cal Cunningham in a competitive US Senate race in North Carolina23:01[−]
cal cunningham wins nc senate primary 4x3
Former State Senator Cal Cunningham
  • Former State Senator Cal Cunningham is challenging GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina in one of the most highly-watched Senate races of 2020.
  • Tillis, who was first elected in the Republican wave year of 2014, is up for a tough re-election battle in 2020.
  • Cunningham posted impressive fundraising numbers in his campaign and has led with Tillis with substantial margins in recent polls of the state, with Tillis running behind President Trump.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former State Senator Cal Cunningham is challenging GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina in one of the most highly-watched Senate races of 2020.

The candidates:

Tillis was first elected in a Republican wave year in 2014, and is now running for a second term in an increasingly competitive state. In the Senate, Tillis serves on the powerful Judiciary and Armed Services Committees. He was previously the speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Cunningham, a US Army veteran and former state legislator, is mainly emphasizing increasing access to healthcare, improving education, and combating climate change in his policy platform.

He's also posted impressive fundraising numbers in his campaign so far, a promising sign of his ability to compete in a state with several pricey media markets. In 2020's second fundraising quarter, Cunningham broke an all-time US Senate quarterly fundraising record in the state with a $7.4 million haul.

The stakes:

In addition to winning back the White House, regaining control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015 is a top priority for Democrats and would be a major accomplishment towards either delivering on a future president Joe Biden's policy goals or thwarting President Donald Trump's second-term agenda.

Currently, the US Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents that caucus with Democrats, winning that Democrats need to win back a net total of four seats to have a 51-seat majority (if Biden wins, his vice president would also serve as president of the Senate and would be a tie-breaker vote).

North Carolina voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, but flipped to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016.

Now, with Trump in an increasingly precarious position heading into his re-election, Democrats are making a play to bring the state back into their coalition and pick up a crucial US Senate seat.

In a further troubling sign for Tillis' chances, he's performed behind Trump in many of the most recent polls of the race. A New York Times and Siena College poll released September 18 showed Trump garnering 44% support in the state compared to 37% for Tillis.

Biden leads Trump by 2.3 points on average in the presidential race in North Carolina, according to FiveThirtyEight's polling averages.

The money race: Cunningham has narrowly outraised and outspent Tillis, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This cycle, Cunningham has brought in a total $14.8 million this cycle, spent $8.1 million, and has $6.6 million in cash on hand while Tillis has raised $13.7 million, spent $7.3 million, and has $6.8 million in cash on hand.

What the polling says: Cunningham has led Tillis every single public poll of the race released since June, according to FiveThirtyEight's polling tracker.

The most recent survey of the race, conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, found Cunningham leading Tillis by five points, 42% to 37%, among likely voters.

Another poll conducted by Suffolk University from September 11 to 14 found Cunningham leading Tillis by four points, 42% to 38%, among likely voters, with Libertarian candidate Shannon Bray earning 6% of the vote and Constitution Party candidate Kevin Hayes earning 2% support.

What experts say: The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics all rate this race as a toss-up.

According to FiveThirtyEight's US Senate forecast, Cunningham has a 62% chance of defeating Tillis in November. As of mid-September, Cunningham is expected to receive 50% of the vote, 3% more than Tillis.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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9. Joe Rogan apologized for spreading misinformation about Oregon fires amid Spotify employee backlash23:00[−]
Joe Rogan
  • Podcast host Joe Rogan apologized for echoing a false claim that that "left-wing activists" had been arrested on suspicion of setting forest fires in Oregon.
  • In a recent episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," Rogan referenced false reports of left-wing extremists setting fires — reports that the FBI had confirmed to be "untrue."
  • On Friday, Rogan posted a video on Instagram in which he said he was "duped" and wanted to make an apology and a retraction.
  • The podcaster called the mistake "irresponsible" and he promised to take the incident into account when reporting future stories.
  • Rogan has been in hot water this week after facing criticism about segments deemed to be transphobic by some listeners. At Spotify, with which Rogan has a streaming deal, some employees have pushed leadership to address the criticisms.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Podcast host Joe Rogan is apologizing for echoing a false claim about the ongoing wildfires in Portland, Oregon.

On Thursday, the "Joe Rogan Experience" host repeated a debunked claim that left-wing activists had been arrested on suspicion of setting forest fires in Oregon.

"They've arrested left-wing people for lighting these forest fires — you know, air-quote 'activists,'" the 53-year-old said on his latest podcast episode in which he spoke with author and political commentator Douglas Murray. "This is also something that's not being widely reported, you know, that people have actually been arrested for lighting fires up there."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement, however, confirmed that recent reports of "extremists" setting wildfires were, in fact, false.

"With our state and local partners, he FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue," Loren Cannon, the special agent in charge of the FBI office covering Portland, said in a statement posted to Twitter by FBI Portland.

Twitter user @AlexPattyy re-shared a clip of Rogan echoing the false claim to Twitter, where it quickly racked up 2 million views and outraged comments from viewers demanding accountability from Spotify, as Rogan signed an exclusive deal with the platform in May.

"I mean, is Spotify trying to get people killed?" one commenter wrote.

"Why would they put someone who spreads lies on their platform? Maybe boycott @Spotify?" another said, echoing a proposal that was posted by numerous users.

Spotify did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

On Friday, Rogan apologized in an Instagram video

"I need to make an apology and a retraction," Rogan said in a video posted to his account. "I said something on the podcast with Douglas Murray about people getting arrested for lighting fires, and I got duped. It's wrong."

Rogan continued, claiming that had confused false reports about firesetting in Portland with another instance of fire-starting, and he repeated the story "without looking into it."

"It was very irresponsible," he said. "I just didn't check. I made a mistake. I f----- up and I'm sorry if I duped you as well."

The podcaster concluded the video by promising to take the incident into account when reporting in the future.

"I don't take it lightly," he said.

The apology follows a turbulent week for Rogan, who faced backlash for a recent episode of his podcast in which he suggested that Kardashian "b----es" had "made" Caitlyn Jenner transgender, while misgendering Jenner throughout the episode and using her dead name.

"We lost a f---ing Olympic gold medalist, goddamn it. We lost one of our greatest athletes ever," he said of Jenner.

The episode, Vice reported, sparked an internal struggle among Spotify employees who voiced concern over the platform's relationship with Rogan and his content.

In an interview with TMZ, Jenner called him a "homophobic, transphobic a--."

Read more:

Caitlyn Jenner calls Joe Rogan a 'transphobic a--' over his joke that the Kardashians made her trans

Joe Rogan falsely blamed forest fires in Oregon on 'left-wing' activists

Spotify is reportedly fighting with employees about hosting episodes of Joe Rogan's podcast that some consider transphobic

Read the original article on Business Insider

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10. What you need to know about Maine's US Senate election between Susan Collins and Sara Gideon22:40[−]
  • GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is facing the toughest re-election battle of her career against Maine State House Speaker Sara Gideon.
  • For decades, Collins has cultivated a unique political brand as an independent, moderate New England Republican.
  • Trump winning the presidency and taking over the GOP mantle made it much more difficult for Collins to thread the needle between being a member of the Republican party and cultivating her own unique brand.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sara Gideon
House Speaker Sara Gideon, D- Freeport, a candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks at a "Supper with Sara" campaign event at the Poulin-Turner Union Hall, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 in Skowhegan, Maine.

Sara Gideon, the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, is challenging fourth-term GOP Sen. Susan Collins in Maine in the most re-election competitive bid of Collins' career.

The candidates:

For decades, Collins cultivated a unique political brand as an independent, moderate New England Republican who was supportive of abortion access and LGBTQ rights. In 2019, the Lugar Center at Georgetown University rated her as the most bipartisan member of the US Senate in the 116th Congress.

For most of her career, Collins enjoyed high approval ratings from her constituents for her strong bipartisan record in the Senate and was easily re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014.

But Trump winning the presidency in 2016 and taking over the GOP mantle made it much more difficult for Collins to thread the needle between being a member of the Republican party and maintaining her own highly specialized brand of bipartisan politics.

While Collins broke with the party to vote against repealing with the Affordable Care Act along with GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2017, she's subsequently infuriated some Democrats and voters by voting to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the fall of 2018.

Gideon, a four-term state representative who was recruited early on by the Senate Democrats' campaign arm, easily consolidated the Democratic field and has proven to be a prolific fundraiser, substantially outraising Collins in 2020's most recent fundraising quarter.

When she formally clinched the nomination on July 14, she also received a $4 million windfall that activists raised against Collins' eventual Democratic opponent when she voted to confirm Kavanaugh in October 2018.

The stakes:

In addition to winning back the White House, regaining control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015 is a top priority for Democrats and would be a major accomplishment towards either delivering on a future president Joe Biden's policy goals or thwarting President Donald Trump's second-term agenda.

Currently, the US Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents that caucus with Democrats, winning that Democrats need to win back a net total of four seats to have a 51-seat majority (if Biden wins, his vice president would also serve as president of the Senate and would be a tie-breaker vote).

Collins is no stranger to winning split-ticket crossover votes. In the two past presidential elections where she was also up f0r re-election, 1996 and 2008, she won election by double-digit margins both times despite former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama carrying the state of Maine in the electoral college.

But 2020 will be the biggest test yet of whether Collins can separate herself from Trump's increasingly toxic brand and worsening approval ratings on his handling of the COVID-19 crisis — not to mention some of her own most controversial votes.

Collins clearly argued and emphasizes that she hasn't changed her approach to legislating or become a far-right partisan, rather, the political world around her has gotten substantially more toxic and divisive.

But so far, the Senator has struggled somewhat to land consistent lines of attack on Gideon, with her two most recent campaign ads either highlighting all of Gideon's policy priorities and arguing that Gideon can't prioritize multiple policy goals at once or re-iterating all of Gideon's criticisms of her record.

A recent poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College found that 50% of voters had a very or somewhat favorable view of Collins while 47% had a somewhat or very unfavorable view of her.

Voters overwhelmingly disapprove of her votes to confirm Kavanaugh and against impeaching Trump by double-digit margins, but largely approved of her vote against repealing the ACA, the survey found. In the poll, 49% said they believe she supports Trump too much while 38% said she supports Trump "about the right amount."

The money race: Gideon has both outraised and outspent Collins so far this cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2020's second fundraising quarter, Gideon brought in $8.1 million compared to $3 million for Collins.

What the polling says: Gideon has led Collins in all but one public poll released so far this year, FiveThirtyEight's polling tracker shows.

The most recent survey of the race conducted by The New York Times and Siena College found Gideon leading Collins by four points, 44% to 40%, among likely voters, with two additional independent candidates receiving two percent support each (Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system).

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted September 10-14 found Gideon leading Collins by a much larger margin of 12 points, 54% to 42%, in the race.

What experts say: The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics all rate this race a toss-up and rate Maine as likely Democratic in the electoral college.

According to FiveThirtyEight's US Senate forecasting model, Gideon has a 53% chance of defeating Collins in November. The final vote tally is expected to be extremely close as each candidate is forecast to receive about 50% of the popular vote.

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11. Trump says he's providing a $13 billion bailout to farmers as he seeks support from rural voters ahead of November22:35[−]
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech following a tour of Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, U.S., June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
  • President Trump announced a $13 billion bailout for farmers as he seeks to solidify rural support less than two months away from election day.
  • "I’m proud to announce that I’m doing even more to support Wisconsin farmers,” Trump said at a rally.
  • Polls show Joe Biden edging out Trump by several percentage points in the key battleground state of Wisconsin.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump announced he was providing a $13 billion bailout for farmers late on Thursday as he sought to strengthen his rural support ahead of November.

The funds are the latest federal aid that's gone to assist farmers struggling with the fallout of the pandemic and the lingering effects of the president's trade wars.

"I'm proud to announce that I'm doing even more to support Wisconsin farmers," Trump said, adding it would be directed to help dairy and ginseng farmers.

Farmers received $19 billion from the CARES Act that Congress and Trump approved in March. The pandemic overturned the traditional supply chain, leaving farmers with a glut of agricultural goods as the nation's restaurants and schools closed their doors earlier this year.

Read more: Morgan Stanley says the stock market's future is 'unusually dependent' on another stimulus package — and recommends 5 portfolio moves to make if Congress passes another round

"America's agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement.

The federal funds Trump pledged are in addition to nearly $20 billion in direct federal payments already made to farmers over the past two years, the result of Trump's trade wars.

On Friday, Trump said without evidence that Democrats were moving to strip farmers of federal assistance.

"Pelosi wants to take 30 Billion Dollars away from our great Farmers," he wrote on Twitter. "Can't let that happen!"

An average of polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight indicate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is currently edging out Trump in the key battleground state of Wisconsin by several percentage points.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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12. A dentist who pulled someone's tooth while riding a hoverboard has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud and 'unlawful dental acts'22:34[−]
Untitled presentation (22)
  • An Alaska dentist who pulled a woman's tooth while riding a hoverboard has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud, embezzlement, and "unlawful dental acts."
  • The video was part of prosecutors' case against Seth Lookhart, who was found guilty of defrauding his customers by administering unnecessary procedures to rack up Medicare charges.
  • Prosecutors are seeking $2.2 million in damanges, and Lookhart could also permanently lose his medical license in the state.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An Alaska dentist who was videotaped pulling a woman's tooth while riding a hoverboard is now facing jail time after he was found guilty by an Alaska court.

Seth Lookhart went viral when the video surfaced as part of an investigation into his Anchorage dental practice last year. In the 2016 video, Lookhart rolls up to a sedated patient, pulls her tooth while standing on the hoverboard, and rolls away. Prosecutors said they obtained the video after Lookhart sent it to people outside his office.

This week, an Alaska judge sentenced Lookhart to 20 years in prison with eight years suspended, state law enforcement officials announced. Lookhart was found guilty in January on 46 felony and misdemeanor counts including embezzlement, fraud, and "unlawful dental acts."

The state first opened an investigation into Lookhart in 2016 after a former employee reported that Lookhart was administering more drugs than necessary in order to bill patients higher, according to the criminal complaint. Lookhart ultimately billed Medicaid as much as $2.5 million for unnecessary charges, prosecutors said.

"Lookhart almost killed many patients by performing anesthesia thousands of times without training or consent, on patients outside his scope of training and expertise, while stealing money from Medicaid and embezzling from his bosses," the Alaska Department of Law said in a press release.

Veronica Wilhelm, the patient in the hoverboard video, confronted Lookhart in court last year, Anchorage's KTUU-TV reported.

"I don't have anything bad to say about taking out my tooth, I appreciate that, but I just think that what you did was outrageous, narcissistic, you know, and crazy," she said.

After being sentenced this week, Lookhart read a statement in court apologizing to his patients, according to KTUU-TV.

"While I do not doubt that I was able to render care and alleviate the pain to many people who were in dire need, I also know that I could have and should have maintained better discipline and focus while serving a patient base I came to love," he said.

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13. Wearing glasses may help protect you from the coronavirus, but it's not worth getting them if you don't need them for vision22:32[−]
coronavirus face mask portrait  19
  • A small study out of China found people who wear glasses regularly were less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • Though not as protective as goggles and face shields, glasses may provide a barrier against the virus or prevent people from touching their faces.
  • Other factors could be at play that explain the link, though, and experts still don't recommend getting glasses if you don't otherwise need them.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Needing glasses to go about your daily life can be a minor annoyance, but the frames may have an added bonus during the pandemic, a small study in JAMA Ophthalmology suggests.

In the study, published September 16, researchers in China looked at 276 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and found that less than 6% regularly wore glasses; all those who did so had myopia, or nearsightedness.

Compared to the 31.5% of the population estimated to need glasses for the same reason, the study authors suggested that people who wear glasses for at least eight hours a day may be less likely to contract COVID-19.

"These findings suggest that the eye may be an important infection route for COVID-19, and more attention should be paid to preventive measures such as frequent handwashing and avoiding touching the eyes," the researchers wrote.

Experts say it's understandable why eye protection may be linked to coronavirus protection, but it's too soon to suggest everyone shield their eyes.

Glasses may act as a barrier against the virus

The eyes, like the mouth and nose, are known to be potential entry-points for all sorts of bacteria and viruses, which is why healthcare workers wear goggles as part of their personal protective equipment.

While its unclear how readily the coronavirus enters through the eyes, non-healthcare workers may also benefit from using similar protection. A June review in The Lancet found that eye coverings like goggles, face shields, or visors might substantially reduce coronavirus infections.

"If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC health correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton. "It's not universally recommended, but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can."

Glasses, though not as protective as goggles or a shield, may deliver some of the same benefits, the latest study suggests.

Spectacles "may serve as a partial barrier that reduces the inoculum of virus in a manner similar to what has been observed for cloth masks," Dr. Lisa L. Maragakis of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine wrote in a commentary accompanying the study.

They may also help prevent people from touching their eyes and faces, which in turn reduces coronavirus risk. That's why the American Academy of Ophthomology has suggested contact-wearers consider switching to glasses.

It's not necessary to start wearing glasses if you don't already need them

But there's a lot to learn before experts recommend glasses like they do face masks.

For instance, could the association between glasses and lower coronavirus risk be due to some other variable, like that glasses wearers may tend to be of higher socioeconomic statuses and less likely to be in close contact with others at essential jobs or in crowded housing?

Plus, it's possible that encouraging people with fine eyesight to get glasses could cause them to touch their faces more, or offer a false sense of security such that they slack on the most important protective measures: good hygiene, mask wearing, and physical distancing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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14. Sen. Cory Gardner defends his seat against Democrat John Hickenlooper in Colorado22:30[−]
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2019, file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks in Des Moines, Iowa.   Hickenlooper's Senate campaign reported Wednesday, July 15, 2020, a $5.2 million fundraising haul over the past three months, calling it a record for any Senate candidate in state history. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is running for US Senate.

Former Governor John Hickenlooper will face GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado 2020 US Senate's race.

The candidates:

Gardner, who was elected to the US Senate in the Republican wave midterm year of 2014, is now one of the most vulnerable incumbent GOP Senators due to the state's Democratic shift and his own strong alliance with President Donald Trump.

A former member of the Colorado House and US House of Representatives, Gardner has heavily focused on energy policy and public lands — two key issues in Colorado — during his time in the US Senate. In 2019, Gardner was rated as the third most bipartisan member of the US Senate by the Lugar Center at Georgetown University.

Hickenlooper, a former two-term mayor of Denver from 2004 to 2010, served two terms as the state's governor from 2011 to 2019. He was elected as a statewide Democrat in 2010 and 2014, two GOP wave years, and w as highly regarded by the public as an effective, pragmatic governor.

Hickenlooper ran an ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and announced his campaign for US Senate shortly after dropping out of the presidential contest in August 2019.

Hickenlooper has faced some setbacks during his campaign as the state's Independent Ethics Commission found him in contempt for defying a subpoena to appear before the panel. After he did appear to testify, the Commission fined him for violating state ethics laws by accepting private flights and limousine trips as governor.

Despite some negative headlines, he easily defeated his main opponent in the Democratic primary, Andrew Romanoff, by nearly 20 points on June 30.

The stakes:

In addition to winning back the White House, regaining control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015 is a top priority for Democrats and would be a major accomplishment towards either delivering on a future president Joe Biden's policy goals or thwarting President Donald Trump's second-term agenda.

Currently, the US Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents that caucus with Democrats, winning that Democrats need to win back a net total of four seats to have a 51-seat majority (if Biden wins, his vice president would also serve as president of the Senate and would be a tie-breaker vote).

Since 2014, Colorado has rapidly transformed from a swing state to a much more reliably Democratic one at the federal and state levels.

The Democratic presidential candidate has carried Colorado in every presidential election since 2004, with Clinton winning the state by nearly five percentage points in 2016. In the electoral college, the state is rated as likely Democratic by the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and safe Democratic by Inside Elections.

Colorado's shift towards Democrats and Hickenlooper's particularly strong track record winning statewide elections as Democrat makes this seat the most promising pick-up opportunity for Democrats, and a must-win seat in the party's quest to take back the Senate.

The money race: In 2020's second fundraising quarter, Hickenlooper brought in $5.2 million compared to $3.62 million for Gardner. So far, Hickenlooper has spent nearly $9.5 million in the race compared to $6.5 million for Gardner, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Gardner has over twice the cash on hand, $10.6 million, as Hickenlooper, who has $4.5 million.

What the polling says: The few polls conducted of the race have all shown Hickenlooper leading Gardner by comfortable margins.

The most recent poll, conducted by the Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm, from August 28 to September 1, showed Hickenlooper ahead by 10 points over Gardner, 52% to 42%. Another survey conducted by Fabrizio Ward and Hart Research Associates for the AARP from August 30 to September 5 found Hickenlooper ahead by five points, 51% to 46%.

What experts say: The Cook Political Report rates the race a toss-up, Inside Elections rates it tilt Democratic, and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics rates it lean Democratic.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Hickenlooper has a 68% chance of defeating Gardner in November. The former governor of Colorado is expected to receive 50% of the popular vote, enough to defeat Gardner and the third party candidate in the race.

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15. A historic Charleston mansion that survived over 200 years of wars, earthquakes, and hurricanes is on the market for nearly $10 million. Take a look inside.22:28[−]
46 Street shot
This historic pink mansion is located at 69 Church St. in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • An over 8,000 square feet big pre-Revolutionary war home in Charleston, South Carolina is on the market, valued at nearly $10 million.
  • Built in the mid-18th century, the mansion sits on Church Street, which the New York Post called one of the city's "most picturesque streets."
  • The seven-bedroom mansion is complete with 15 fireplaces, a ballroom, and a secret garden.
  • Take a look inside the historic home.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The mansion, located on Church St. in the South of Broad neighborhood of Charleston is on the market for almost $10 million.
1 Pool

Source: Maison Real Estate

The house has ceilings exceeding 11 feet on all three floors.
7 Downstairs Hallway

Source: Maison Real Estate

The second floor of the mansion features a ballroom and a drawing-room.
3 Ballroom

Source: Maison Real Estate

Built in 1745, the home has a total of 15 fireplaces and a cypress-paneled library.
13 Library

Source: Maison Real Estate

The current owners bought the home in 1998 and renovated it extensively to what it currently looks like.
31 Back door

Source: Maison Real Estate

Before that, Anthony and Jessica Cecil purchased the home in 1969 and ran a bed and breakfast.
32 Looking back

Source: Maison Real Estate

The listing says the house was "extensively damaged" during the Civil War. Eliza Middleton Huger Smith bought and restored the home in 1869.
45 Front Door by Anne Caufmann

Source: Maison Real Estate

At one time, the mansion is said to have housed Colonel Jacob Motte, who was treasurer of the South Carolina colony for close to three decades.
44  Street Plaques by Anne Caufmann

Source: Maison Real Estate

The listing boasts an authentic Georgian style in its interior design.
8 Sitting Room

Source: Maison Real Estate

Georgian design is characterized in part by symmetry, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as classical detailing, like arches and pillars.
10 Dining Room

Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is represented in the home's fireplace moldings, woodworking details on the library walls, and stairwells.
12 Fireplace Mouldings

Source: Maison Real Estate

This is the entry to the kitchen building, which is connected to the main house.
18 Entry to Kichen

Source: Maison Real Estate

The kitchen features a large island and has windows overlooking the property's lush gardens
19 Kitchen

Source: Maison Real Estate

The building that houses the kitchen also has a family room, two bedrooms, and two full bathrooms.
23 Bedroom, Green

Source: Maison Real Estate

Every bedroom in the home has an en suite bathroom. This is a rare feature in historic homes, according to the listing.
22 Master Bedroom

Source: Maison Real Estate

Outside, there are five garden rooms with high brick walls for privacy ...
30 Garden

Source: Maison Real Estate

... and a secret garden with a hidden entrance.
26 Garden Walkway

Source: Maison Real Estate

Large heirloom bushes wall some parts of the garden.
34 Walled Garden

Source: Maison Real Estate

There is a pool bathroom in one of the original privies.
28 Garden Privy

Source: Maison Real Estate

Another one is complete with a pool. The listing says it is one of the first ones ever made in downtown Charleston.
41 Pool

"The 69 Church Street listing has received a great amount of interest recently given that it is the perfect compound for quarantine, home school, work from home and it is also great for multi-generational families to stay in, as everyone can have their own space," the listing agents told Business Insider through a spokesperson.

Source: Maison Real Estate

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16. Sen. Martha McSally and Democrat Mark Kelly face off in the special election for US Senate in Arizona22:24[−]
Mark Kelly Gabby Giffords .JPG
Mark Kelly, left, is running for US Senate in Arizona against GOP Sen. Martha McSally
  • Sen. Martha McSally is running in a special election against Democrat Mark Kelly US Senate in Arizona.
  • McSally was appointed to serve in the Senate seat held by the former Sen. John McCain and is running to serve out what would have been the rest of his term until 2022.
  • Kelly, a gun prevention advocate and former astronaut, is a prolific fundraiser and formidable opponent, making this election one of the most competitive US Senate races for Democrats.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sen. Martha McSally is running in a special election against Democrat Mark Kelly for US Senate in Arizona.

The candidates:

McSally, a former US House Representative, ran for an open US Senate seat to replace Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018 but lost to Sen. Krysten Sinema.

Gov. Doug Ducey then appointed McSally to serve in the US Senate seat held by the legendary former Sen. John McCain, who died in office in 2018. Now, McSally is running to serve out the rest of McCain's term, slated to end in 2022.

Shortly after McSally took office in January 2019, former Navy captain, astronaut, and gun violence prevention advocate Mark Kelly announced he would challenge her in 2020 as a Democrat.

Kelly co-founded the organization now known as the Giffords Foundation with his wife, the former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and seriously injured while meeting with constituents in Tucson in January 2011.

His campaign platform emphasizes expanding access to affordable healthcare, building up Arizona's economy, immigration reform, and protecting Social Security benefits for seniors.

McSally is among the most talented fundraisers among the Republicans running for re-election this year, but she faces a tough match-up to catch up to Kelly.

Right out of the gate, Kelly proved himself to be a formidable fundraiser, bringing in several million dollars per quarter. He raised an eye-popping $12.8 million in 2020's second quarter compared to $9.2 million for McSally.

The stakes:

In addition to winning back the White House, regaining control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015 is a top priority for Democrats and would be a major accomplishment towards either delivering on a future president Joe Biden's policy goals or thwarting President Donald Trump's second-term agenda.

Currently, the US Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents that caucus with Democrats, winning that Democrats need to win back a net total of four seats to have a 51-seat majority (if Biden wins, his vice president would also serve as president of the Senate and would be a tie-breaker vote).

In her short time in the US Senate, McSally has aligned herself closely with Trump during her time in the Senate and taken conservative, pro-Trump stances, and has voted with Trump 95% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

And after previously being rejected by the voters in 2018, McSally now in an increasingly precarious position vying for a full term in a year where the electorate is poised to be far friendlier to Democrats.

Thanks to Biden's strong performance among white, suburban, and senior voters, Arizona — once considered a Republican bastion — is now a tossup state in the electoral college. Biden leads Trump by 4.9 percentage points on average in Arizona, according to FiveThirtyEight's tracker of general election polls.

The most recent poll of the race conducted by The New York Times and Siena College found Kelly leading McSally among voters over 65 by four points and leading among women, Latino voters, and white voters with a college degree, three more key demographic groups in the state, by double-digit margins. In the poll, McSally led Kelly among white voters and white voters without a college degree.

Given the general trending direction of the state, some of McSally's weaknesses in expanding her support over 2018, and Kelly's strength as a candidate, Arizona could be the next best pickup opportunity for Democrats after Colorado.

The money race: Both candidates are prolific fundraisers. McSally has raised $30 million this cycle, spent nearly $20 million, and has $10.9 million in cash on hand, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Kelly has raised $45.7 million, spend $24.5 million, and has $21.2 million in cash on hand.

Recently, McSally was criticized for joking at an event that supporters should "fast a meal" in order to give money to her campaign.

What the polls say: Kelly has led McSally by a margin of four percentage points or more in every non-partisan poll conducted in 2020, according to FiveThirtyEight's tracker of Arizona Senate polls.

The New York Times/Siena poll conducted September 10-15 found Kelly leading McSally by eight points, 50% to 42% among likely voters. A Monmouth University poll conducted September 11-15 found Kelly leading McSally by six points about among registered voters and four points among high-turnout likely voters, while a previous Fox News poll conducted August 29-September 1 found Kelly leading by a remarkable margin of 17 percentage points, 56% to 39%, among likely voters.

What the experts say: The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics rate the race as lean Democratic, and Inside Elections rates it tilt Democratic.

According to FiveThirtyEight's US Senate forecast, Kelly has a 78% chance at defeating McSally in the November election. The forecast shows that Kelly is poised to receive 50% of the popular vote, 6% more than McSally.

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17. MAKING BIG MONEY: The ultimate guides to breaking into careers with 6-figure salaries22:21[−]
Caroline Stokes
Caroline Stokes is the CEO of talent agency and executive search firm FORWARD, and an expert on growing your career in management consulting.
  • You want to increase your salary in your current position but you don't know how to get that promotion, or you're thinking about a career change and hoping to bolster your earnings.
  • These guides will point you in the right direction to start making more dollar signs by shifting toward freelancing or learning new skills.
  • Business Insider regularly interviews career experts about making more money in your current job or at a new one. You can read them all by subscribing to Business Insider.

Looking for a career move that can boost cash flow? These professions and positions help add the good kind of zeros to your salary. Read these articles to help you combine a career you love with a paycheck you want — and for advice on how to get there.

Management consultant: How to get onto the partner track at McKinsey and make millions, according to 3 management-consulting headhunters and a former McKinsey HR manager

Engineer: The best way to teach yourself to code and land a six-figure job, from 5 people who've done it

Freelancer: The ultimate guide to going freelance — and making more than you did at a full-time gig

Ghostwriter: How to become a freelance ghostwriter, according to someone who left her $50,000-a-year banking job and now makes $80,000 a year on her own time

Graphic designer: The best way to build a client base and make 6 figures as a freelance graphic designer, according to 6 people who are currently doing it

Web designer: How to find clients and market your business as an independent web designer, according to 6-figure freelancers who did it

Presentation designer: The exact email one freelance presentation designer uses to increase her rates — and how she plans to make $400,000 this year

Marketing consultant: The ultimate guide to breaking into marketing consulting and making 6 figures, from people who did it

Independent consultant: How 5 executives who left their jobs to become independent consultants now make 6 figures on their own time — and how you could do the same

Real estate agent: How to make 6 figures as an independent real estate agent, according to someone who did it

Dietitian: How to earn a 6-figure salary as a dietitian or nutritionist, according to 4 renowned entrepreneurs in the industry

Personal trainer: How to earn a 6-figure salary as a personal trainer, according to 3 people who are doing it

Online tutor: How to become a highly successful online tutor and make a lucrative living as virtual learning becomes the norm

Poshmark seller: The ultimate guide to earning 6 figures on Poshmark, according to star sellers who've done it and gained boatloads of customers

VC: How to break into venture capital and land a job at a top firm, according to recruiters, managing partners, and executive coaches in the VC space

Massage therapist and birth coach: A New-York-based doula and massage therapist reveals the exact formula that's helped her build an almost 6-figure business solely by word-of-mouth referrals

Crisis manager: Crisis managers are taking center stage during the pandemic — and can make a lucrative living. Here's how to break into the in-demand role, according to 5 veterans in the industry.

Software engineer: 3 software engineers reveal the steps they took to move up in their careers to make 6-figure salaries

Executive in gaming or esports: The non-engineer's guide to landing a 6-figure job in online gaming or esports, according to senior executives and CEOs in the space

Upwork freelancer: Self-employed professionals who've made over $100,000 on Upwork reveal how they built lucrative businesses in just a few years on the freelancing platform

Read the original article on Business Insider

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18. What you need to know about South Carolina's Senate race between Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison22:20[−]
jaime harrison
Former South Carolina Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison.
  • Former state legislator Jaime Harrison is challenging GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham for US Senate in South Carolina.
  • Graham, one of the most high-profile Republican Senators and a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, is seeking a fourth term to office in 2020.
  • Harrison is putting up a formidable fight in deep-red South Carolina, narrowly outpacing Graham in fundraising and tying him in recent polls.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former state legislator Jaime Harrison is challenging GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham for US Senate in South Carolina.

The candidates:

Graham, one of the most high-profile Republican Senators and a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, is seeking a fourth term to office in 2020.

Graham holds a powerful position as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, giving him a vantage point to help execute much of Trump's agenda. His staunch defenses of Trump and sometimes-bombastic style have also made Graham one of the most heavily despised Republican Senators among Democrats.

Graham has also been criticized and perceived as not sufficiently loyal to Trump among some members of his own party. Influential Fox News host Tucker Carlson, one of the most powerful voices in conservative media, recently blamed Graham for encouraging Trump to agree to a number of incriminating interviews with legendary journalist Bob Woodward.

Harrison, a former state senator and former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, launched his campaign in February 2019. His campaign platform centers around expanding access to affordable healthcare, building up the middle class, defeating poverty, and protecting seniors.

His Senate bid immediately gained national attention and attracted lots of funding thanks to Harrison's unique campaign ads, his charismatic campaign style, and the widespread dislike of Graham among Democrats.

One of his ads that gained a million views on Twitter, for example, illustrated the story of him approaching a Black man in South Carolina who had never had his door knocked on by a candidate and felt ignored and left behind.

Harrison has now out-raised Graham two fundraising quarters in a row, according to the Post and Courier, raising a stunning $14 million in 2020's second quarter compared to $8.4 million for Graham.

The stakes:

In addition to winning back the White House, regaining control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015 is a top priority for Democrats and would be a major accomplishment towards either delivering on a future president Joe Biden's policy goals or thwarting President Donald Trump's second-term agenda.

Currently, the US Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents that caucus with Democrats, winning that Democrats need to win back a net total of four seats to have a 51-seat majority (if Biden wins, his vice president would also serve as president of the Senate and would be a tie-breaker vote).

Like the Kentucky Senate race between Sen. Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath, this race pits a nationally well-known Republican reviled by Democrats against an upstart Democrat bringing in tens of millions of dollars the race, not to mention the substantial amount of outside spending in both cases.

South Carolina has been solidly Republican at the federal level in recent years. In 2016, Trump carried South Carolina by nearly 15 percentage points over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton while GOP Sen. Tim Scott won re-election by nearly 24 points over his Democratic opponent.

But despite South Carolina's traditional role as a GOP bastion, recent polls have indicated an extremely close race between Graham and Harrison, meaning Harrison could have a shot at massively improving Democrats' usual margins in South Carolina and making both sides seriously invest in the state.

The money race: Harrison has proven himself to be a prolific fundraiser, bringing in $28.6 million so far this cycle compared to nearly $30 million for Graham, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Harrison has spent $18.4 and now has $10.2 million in cash on hand compared to $15.3 million in spending and $15 million in cash on hand for Graham.

Harrison raised a stunning $2 million in just 48 hours after a Quinnipiac University poll released on September 16 showed Graham and Harrison tied, a signal of both the interest in the race and outside enthusiasm for Harrison.

What the polling says: Polls in the beginning of 2020 had Graham leading Harrison by double-digit margins, but more recent surveys show a significantly more competitive race.

A Morning Consult survey conducted July 24-August 4 found Graham leading Harrison by just one percentage point, 44% to 43%, while a Quinnipiac University poll conducted July 30-August 3 found the two candidates tied at 44%.

A subsequent poll, also from Quinnipiac University, similarly showed Graham and Harris exactly tied at 48% of the vote each among likely South Carolin voters. The poll found that 44% of likely voters viewed Graham favorably while 49% viewed him unfavorably.

What experts say: The Cook Political Report and while Inside Elections rates the race as "leans Republican" while Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics rates this race as "likely Republican."

According to FiveThirtyEight's US Senate forecasting, Graham has an 85% chance of defeating Harrison in November. Graham is expected to receive about 54% of the popular vote, or close to 9% more votes than Harrison.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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19. Trump sued by parents of toddlers featured in doctored 'racist baby' video22:15[−]
Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at an airport hanger at a rally a day after he formally accepted his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention on August 28, 2020 in Londonderry, New Hampshire.
  • The parents of two toddlers who were featured in a manipulated "racist baby" video are suing Donald Trump, the Trump campaign, and Logan Cook, a conservative meme creator who goes by Carpe Donktum.
  • The video, created by Cook, was manipulated to show a Black child running away from a white child with the caption "Terrified Todler [sic] Runs From Racist Baby" and "Racist Baby Probably A Trump Voter."
  • At the time, Twitter labeled the video as "manipulated media," removing it in response to a copyright claim from the children's parents.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The parents of two toddlers who were featured in a doctored "racist baby" video that President Donald Trump tweeted in June are suing the president, his campaign, and conservative meme-maker Logan Cook (better known as Carpe Donktum). The filing was submitted Thursday to the New York Supreme Court.

The lawsuit, filed by Michael Cisneros, Alex Hanson, Erica McKenna, and Daniel McKenna individually and on behalf of their children, alleges that Cook "manipulated and adulterated" a video of their children without their written consent, and is seeking unspecified damages, according to The Wrap.

The video in question, which is still available on YouTube, contained manipulated footage that appeared to show a Black child running away from a white child, edited to appear to have originated from a CNN news segment, with a banner that, per the lawsuit, read "Terrified Todler [sic] Runs From Racist Baby" and "Racist Baby Probably A Trump Voter."

The original video, which was featured on CNN, features the two toddlers hugging.

Trump shared the video on his personal social media accounts, and Facebook and Twitter both removed it in response to a copyright claim from the children's parents. Twitter also labeled the video as "manipulated media," signifying that it had been significantly edited.

Cook's Twitter account, Carpe Donktum, was permanently banned by Twitter after the incident, following "repeated" copyright violations. The lawsuit alleges that the Trump campaign account, @Team Trump, also retweeted the video.

The lawsuit alleges that Cook created the video "with reckless disregard of the true nature of the original video." It also alleges that both Trump and his campaign used Cook's memes, including the video, to seek donations for his re-election campaign.

The Trump Campaign and representatives for Trump and Cook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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20. Jared Kushner reportedly said 'free markets will solve' the PPE shortage in March. Nurses are still paying for that approach.22:11[−]
kushner free market suffer covid
Jared Kushner
  • New reporting on a March 21 meeting in the White House Situation Room quotes Jared Kushner as saying it was "not the role of government" to solve the PPE shortage and prevent states from outbidding each other, according to Vanity Fair.
  • "The federal government is not going to lead this response," Kushner said, according to Vanity Fair. "It's up to the states to figure out what they want to do."
  • "Free markets will solve this. That is not the role of government."
  • A PPE shortage persists today, with one survey finding 58% of nurses in Florida, Kansas, Missouri and Nevada saying they had to reuse N95 masks for five days or more by the beginning of September.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, made comments at a March 21 meeting in the Situation Room so egregious that those present leaked them to Vanity Fair in a new report.

Kushner was speaking to a group of business people in realms like Silicon Valley and venture capital to hash out how personal protective equipment would get to hospitals battling COVID-19.

The private sector attendees were looking to convince Kushner and his well-documented " shadow coronavirus task force" to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to produce PPE at scale to overcome the shortage facing the country at that point — a shortage that has persisted through the summer.

Kushner "was quick to strike a confrontational tone" at the meeting, according to those who recounted it to Vanity Fair for the first time, stunning those across the table who were expecting a sweeping national plan.

"The federal government is not going to lead this response," Kushner said, according to Vanity Fair. "It's up to the states to figure out what they want to do."

When someone else tried to explain to Kushner that under the situation at the time, states were outbidding each other and driving up the price of PPE, the 39-year-old with just a couple years of government experience brushed it aside.

"Free markets will solve this," Kushner said. "That is not the role of government."

By that point in March, there were just over 19,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and around 260 recorded deaths.

Today, the nation is nearing 200,000 deaths, with the Johns Hopkins University tally sitting at more than 198,000 as of Friday afternoon.

Kushner's comments fit the Trump administration's laissez-faire approach to the pandemic and are not ground breaking on that front, but they do reveal that as a key decision maker, Kushner stymied any sort of a national response on something as basic as ensuring enough PPE was manufactured and distributed to America's health care systems, according to the meeting attendees quoted by Vanity Fair.

"We were flabbergasted," one of those who heard Kushner's comments at the meeting told Vanity Fair. "I basically had an out-of-body experience: Where am I, and what happened to America?"

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied the report in a statement to the magazine.

"This story is another inaccurate and disgusting partisan hit job. President Trump has consistently put the health of all Americans first."

Kushner would go on to proclaim the US would be " really rocking again by July."

July came and went.

The virus has continued to spread, and more Americans have died from COVID-19 than did in World War I.

And still, nurses have been reusing the same masks, with 58% in one survey on nurses in Florida, Kansas, Missouri and Nevada reporting that they had to reuse N95 masks for five days or more by the beginning of September.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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21. Insider Transportation: Nikola's rebuttal, Uber's fight for its life, and safety data for wary air travelers22:08[−]
Nikola Trevor Milton
CEO and founder of U.S. Nikola Trevor Milton attends a news conference held to presents its new full-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell battery trucks in partnership with U.S. Nikola, at an event in Turin, Italy, December 3, 2019.

Nikola, the electric-truck startup that found itself in a full-throated yelling match with a short-seller last Thursday, has been playing defense this week — and it's not clear if investors are completely convinced.

After initially promising a tit-for-tat rebuttal within the day, the company, presumably on the advice of well-heeled counsel, released a full response on Monday to Hindenburg Research's allegations of lies, deception, and outright fraud. For the most part, the company's response flatly denied most of the accusations against it — but many require a little nuance.

Perhaps most notably, the company would like you to know that its truck did, in fact, simply roll down a hill for a video shoot. However, the video was not a lie, Nikola said, because it was shot by a third party and never insinuated the truck was actually moving on its own power.

As for the other allegations, even Wall Street's top analysts have brushed off most concerns in the Hindenburg allegations, given that they had to do with things that occurred before Nikola's full launch or at founder Trevor Milton's previous companies. Still, investors haven't been fully won over, and the stock is at its lowest levels since July — well before Nikola's $2 billion deal with General Motors deal was announced.

Board member and early investor Jeffrey Ubben was also on the defense this week, saying he pushed Trevor & Co. to go public too soon. The real story here, he told Bloomberg and the Financial Times, is Nikola's plans for hydrogen sales — not the trucks that have made up its only announcements and products so far.

Read on below for more news from this week, including new data that could be good news for weary travelers, Uber's continued struggles in London and Arizona, cruise lines, U-Haul, and more. And if you haven't yet, sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox every week.

Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population — and airline CEOs say it's proof that flying is safe

Some (perhaps surprising) data from airline workers shows that flight attendants and other airline employees have had a lower incidence of COVID-19 than the general population. Airline executives and union leaders say that's a sign that the safety measures airlines are taking on airplanes are having an effect.

Data from the Association of Flight Attendants shows that a little over 1,000 flight attendants nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19, or a 0.8% incidence rate, if we count it from the roughly 122,000 US flight attendants as of the end of 2019. The number includes the association's members, as well as members of other unions and nonunionized workers.

There had been a total of 6.6 million confirmed cases in the US as of Thursday, according to data from The New York Times, putting national incidence rates at about 2%.

Uber's struggles continue in Arizona and London

Two long-running Uber storylines are drawing nearer to an end.

In Arizona, the driver of a self-driving car that struck and killed a pedestrian in 2018 was charged with negligent homicide. Rafaela Vasquez, who was found to have been watching a video on her phone at the time, pleaded not guilty. The case is likely to set many precedents for our driverless future, since it is likely the first case of a death caused by self-driving vehicles. Uber notably was already chided by the National Transportation Safety Board last year for an "inadequate safety culture."

And across the pond, the company's fighting for its life in London. This week, it agreed to hand over private data on drivers and riders to police as part of efforts to keep its license in the city. Uber's eventual fate there is set to be decided on September 28.

Everything else:

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22. Everlane's cashmere crew neck sweater is the backbone of my fall and winter wardrobe — and it's only $10022:08[−]

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

everlane cashmere
The Cashmere Crew in Indigo Donegal

  • Everlane has a great line of cashmere sweaters for women and men.
  • The relatively low cost reflects Everlane's transparent pricing and declining costs in raw materials.
  • I wore the $100 Cashmere Crew as an unofficial uniform the last two winters, and it's a great deal.

It's that time of year again. The cold is creeping in through drafty windowsills, Central Park once again smells like decomposing leaves and roasted peanuts, and cashmere and wool coats — the unofficial mascots of the winter season — are being unfolded from their summertime storage.

For me, that means Everlane's $100 Cashmere Crew, which without much conscious involvement, becomes my cold weather uniform — a reliable choice for everything from weekend apple picking outings to groggy Monday mornings.

It's warm and soft, but still ultimately lightweight, making it perfect on its own, layered, or tucked into a skirt. The relaxed fit works for the office, weekend plans, or lounging around the house with a cup of coffee and a book. This also makes it a good investment piece, since I can wear it alone on chilly fall nights and layered during colder winter nights. It is a closet staple for six months of the year.

In other words, the Cashmere Crew has been a great use of $100.

It's a foundational closet piece, and it never disappoints. I've had more fun buying statement pieces, but rarely have I ever gotten so much wear per dollar.

The Crew comes in seven sizes (XXS-XXL) and 16 colors for women and six sizes (XS - XXL) and 13 colors for men, but I suggest starting with a staple color that works with the bulk of your closet, like black, charcoal, or dark navy. You can always stock up on more colors, but I guarantee you will thank yourself for beginning with one that weathers repeated wears gracefully. I ordered true to size, but if you're concerned about tightness, you should be happy with the next size up.

Read more: These new upcycled knit boots from Everlane fit like a glove — here's what 5 women thought about its new sock-like ankle boot

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The Cashmere Crew in Camel

It's not cheap, but it is relatively affordable. Everlane uses Grade-A cashmere — the best there is — but sells it at the same price you might find Grade-C in another store. Unlike lower-quality options, Grade-A is stronger and doesn't pill as easily.

According to Everlane, the cost of raw cashmere fluctuates wildly, and retailers raise prices to reflect higher cashmere costs when necessary. However, they rarely lower prices when the raw cost declines. Because of their 100% transparency model, Everlane has adjusted prices to reflect the declining cashmere costs in recent years (from $125 originally to $100 for the last few years).

Cashmere sweaters — like many items on the site — have a pricing breakdown for the interested customer. According to the company, it cost $46.21 to make the women's Cashmere Crew, and traditional retail markup would sell it for $210. Everlane has priced it at $100.

Though you are getting a nicer form of cashmere, $100 still isn't chump change. But, if you're looking for a good deal, then this is a great option.

I don't have a minimalist closet with spare options, but I opt to wear this sweater at least once a week during the cold season. It's soft, comfortable, flattering, and comes in a silhouette that makes it even more versatile than the average crewneck cashmere sweater. If you need to stock up on winter closet workhorses you know you're going to inevitably live in, you may want to take a look.

Shop all Everlane Cashmere.

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23. Mohamed El-Erian warns that stocks could tank if the Fed's liquidity 'engine' stops running, cites disconnect between prices and fundamentals22:03[−]
mohammed el erian.JPG
  • Economist Mohamed El-Erian says markets may falter as the Fed's liquidity "engine" becomes less and less powerful, and as investors begin to challenge elevated valuations.
  • "If that engine disappears, we have a long way between where asset prices are right now and where fundamentals will validate them," he told Bloomberg TV.
  • In a separate op-ed for Bloomberg, El-Erian said economic and corporate fundamentals must improve for valuations to be sustained.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Renowned economist Mohamed El-Erian says the stock market faces downside risk as the Fed's liquidity "engine" becomes less and less powerful. He also sees the possibility of a dip if more investors start to question whether sky-high valuations can be validated by fundamentals.

"Where we go from here is going to continue to be liquidity driven, if that engine disappears, we have a long way between where asset prices are right now and where fundamentals will validate them," he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday.

El-Erian detailed how, since Wednesday's FOMC meeting, there have been signs that investors are "less comfortable about the effectiveness of Fed liquidity," and as a result of that, "more willing to challenge pretty elevated valuations."

In a separate Bloomberg op-ed published before the interview, El-Erian warned that the Fed has injected liquidity into markets not only through policies, but by sparking a fear-of-missing-out mindset for investors.

"The Fed's repeated support for financial markets has engendered a deep 'buy-the-dip' investor conditioning and a prominent FOMO mindset," he wrote.

Read more: Jefferies handpicks the 17 best stocks spanning multiple sectors to buy now — and details why each company's future looks 'particularly attractive,' even in a downturn

Now that the Fed isn't meeting for the next two months, El-Erian expects "more skeptical investors may now feel more comfortable to challenge valuations."

For these valuations to be sustained, more economic improvement and stronger corporate fundamentals are necessary, wrote El-Erian.

Citing Thursday's mildly improving jobless claims, he said: "The economic recovery continues but at a space that is too slow relative both to what's possible and what's needed."

"Unless Congress steps up to the responsibility of taking timely action to support both the demand and supply side of the economy...the risk increases of a missed market hand-off from previously strong but fading liquidity to what's urgently needed also for economic and social well-being: A strong lasting and inclusive recovery," El-Erian wrote.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says oil prices are set to move 'meaningfully higher' into next year. Here are 7 reasons why the firm is bullish, and 5 stocks it recommends buying in advance

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24. The best hotels on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard22:00[−]

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Cape Cod

Long a favorite summer retreat for the New England set, Cape Cod now attracts millions of visitors from around the world to its beautiful golden beaches, charming historic villages, and rolling dunes sprinkled with gray-shingled cottages. Rustic seafood shacks serve local catches, while the signature Cape Codder, a mix of vodka and cranberry juice, is ubiquitous in local bars and taverns.

And while the warmer months are certainly a draw, the shoulder and off-season periods present a rare opportunity to savor the Cape sans crowds, with cheaper hotel prices, to boot.

For the uninformed, Cape Cod is a roughly 70-mile-long, crescent-shaped peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic, and includes two islands: Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. It's divided into four regions, each with its own distinct personality and rich history.

Closest to the mainland, the Upper Cape is home to some of the oldest towns in America including Sandwich, which dates back to 1639. Mid Cape is considered the urban hub with the biggest population and largest city, Hyannis; this is also where most people catch ferries to the islands.

Once you reach the "elbow," or the Lower Cape, you've entered quaint towns such as Chatham, Orleans, Harwich, which are home to some of the region's finest beaches, including Nauset Beach.

The Outer Cape also includes miles of pristine beaches, seagrasses, and sand dunes, plus the 43,000-acre Cape Cod National Seashore, and has a wilder, more remote feel. That is, until you reach the easternmost tip and Provincetown (commonly referred to as P-town), which is a bustling LGBTQ enclave known for its artsy vibe and eclectic nightlife.

Finally, there are the islands: Nantucket, with its picture-perfect cobblestoned historic district, and the showier Martha's Vineyard, which regularly lures celebrities, former presidents, and royalty.

States have started reopening following the novel coronavirus and a fall visit to Cape Cod offers a relaxing respite free from summer crowds, with plenty of space for social distancing. However, it's important to keep in mind that even where quarantine isn't mandatory, there's no guarantee of safety without a vaccine. Before making any travel plans, we recommend following guidelines from the CDC and WHO, considering your own health risks and those of others where you're traveling, practicing safe social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks in public places.

If you're wondering if hotels are safe to stay at right now, we also talked to experts to identify the best ways to keep yourself and others safe during travel, as well as potential risk factors surrounding flying and renting a car.

If after considering the above factors you're interested in planning a trip to the Cape, our top hotel picks are found in just about every region, with a wide variety of properties suited to different travelers' styles and budgets. There are quaint historic inns and B&Bs, luxe family-friendly resorts, and funky boutique hotels, all ranging in price from $139 to $440 per night to start. Just note that some properties are seasonal, and may close for the winter.

These are the best hotels on Cape Cod, sorted by price from low to high.

Dan'l Webster Inn & Spa - Sandwich
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Book the Dan'l Webster Inn & Spa starting at $139 per night

Set in the heart of the oldest town on the Cape, this quaint inn harkens back to its original history as the Patriot headquarters during the Revolutionary War, and later, a tavern and inn that hosted such notables as Henry David Thoreau. Though the historic structure was destroyed by a fire, the current building certainly looks the part, with gracious interiors inspired by traditional Colonial-style design.

The inn counts multiple dining rooms, with the glass-enclosed Conservancy being the loveliest, and the fireside Music room being the coziest, while the Tavern at the Inn is ideal for a drink or casual meal. The property, which includes the main house and several wings, is nestled among beautifully manicured grounds that include a seasonal heated outdoor pool and patio. The hotel also features the Beach Plum Spa, and guests have free access to a state-of-the-art fitness center in town.

Individually decorated rooms have plenty of colonial charm with many featuring canopy and four-poster beds, fireplaces, and balconies. Entry-level Traditional rooms are set on the first floor of the Jarvis Wing, adjacent to the main building. For better views and more space, trade up to a Superior room on the second floor of the main inn. A $15 breakfast voucher is included in the rate.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 3 out of 7 B&Bs/inns in Sandwich

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Sandwich is one of the first villages you hit after driving over the Sagamore Bridge, which means you can avoid the traffic-clogged roads leading to points farther out on the Cape. The inn is surrounded by pretty streets and churches of the historic village and the beach is about a mile away.

Cons: While the town's rocky bay-side beach is pleasant enough, if you are seeking a true Cape Cod beach experience, Sandwich isn't it.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has new policies in place including:

  • Guests and staff are required to wear masks.
  • No daily housekeeping service at this time. You can have supplies delivered to rooms and trash removed by placing it in a bag in the hallway.
  • The pool is open but hours and capacities have been limited to meet state guidelines for social distancing.
  • See more info here.
Gabriel's, A Provincetown Hotel - Provincetown
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Book Gabriel's, A Provincetown Hotel starting at $155 per night

This charming bed and breakfast has an unbeatable central location that is smack-dab in P-town's bustling commercial district and adjacent to the iconic Pilgrim Monument Memorial.

The inn is comprised of four historic buildings dating from the 1800s, surrounded by flowering gardens, and threaded with pathways and stone bridges. Multiple sun decks, garden seating, and an outdoor fire pit offer plenty of areas to relax. The made-to-order breakfast changes with the seasons and is served either outside on the deck next to the goldfish pond, or in the Great Room with a cozy gas fireplace.

Rooms, named after famous personalities like Jane Goodall, Julia Child, and Virginia Woolf, are scattered throughout the four buildings and arranged around a tranquil courtyard. Individually designed, mostly in a classic style, they all feature gas fireplaces, kitchenettes, and Tempur-pedic mattresses.

Layouts vary, with rooms ranging from entry-level Value Rooms (the smallest measures just 163 square feet, with a Queen-sized bed) up to an 838-square-foot, top-floor one-bedroom apartment with a King-sized bed, a living room with skylights, a full kitchen, a private deck, and a sauna. Many rooms have balconies or decks, and some feature spectacular views of the towering Pilgrim Monument.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 5 out of 15 hotels in Provincetown

Booking.com Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Pros: Even though Gabriel's is centrally located near all of P-town's restaurants and bars, the garden setting gives it a secluded feel.

Cons: Parking is located off-site and costs $12 per day. There is no restaurant on-site. Rooms on upper floors are reachable only by stairs, and some rooms have the bathroom and bedroom on separate levels.

COVID-19 procedures: The hotel doesn't have any specific cleaning procedures listed, however, they have implemented a new cancellation policy that states reservation deposits are non-refundable if the unit does not rent. If the unit is re-rented, a refund will be issued for the amount the room was re-rented for, which may be offered at a lower price.

Jared Coffin House - Nantucket
Jared Coffin House Exterior

Book the Jared Coffin House starting at $155 per night

The hotel's namesake was a wealthy shipowner, who built this three-story red-brick mansion in 1845 in the heart of the island's whaling town. Today it's home to this elegant, year-round inn, whose beautifully refurbished interiors — gleaming wood floors, crown molding, marble fireplaces in the lobby/library — are complemented by period-style furnishings and antiques.

The property also includes the white-shingled Daniel Webster House next door, where 13 guest rooms are located, in addition to a flower-filled garden. The hotel's Nantucket Prime steakhouse features a formal dining room, as well as a more casual bar and patio dining.

Along with a continental breakfast, guests can take advantage of free afternoon coffee and snacks. Also included in the rate are beach chairs and umbrellas, bicycles, on-site parking, courtesy BWM car service, as well as access to the spa at the White Elephant, the hotel's sister property nearby, which all add tremendous value.

Rooms are individually decorated but done in a traditional style that suits both buildings' historical character. That can mean floral wallpaper, spindle beds, wood floors, and chandeliers, depending on the room. Entry-level rooms include those with double beds in the main house and Queen beds in the Daniel Webster House; both are snug, measuring around 200 square feet. The main house's King Corner rooms are particularly light and bright.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 11 out of 13 hotels in Nantucket

Booking.com Rating: 9 out of 10

Pros: Jared Coffin House is located within walking distance of everything in the historic district, and just 10 minutes from the ferry.

Cons: Rooms and bathrooms are quite small and those above the restaurant patio can be noisy. There is no elevator and stairs are steep. To reach the island's better beaches you'll need to hop the nearby public bus or take the hotel car to Jetties Beach, about a mile away.

COVID-19 procedures: This property will be following a comprehensive blueprint put in place by all White Elephant Resorts. New policies include:

  • Reduced contact check-in.
  • Guests will have the option to choose low contact daily service.
  • Accommodations will be sanitized prior to arrival using new technology and procedures to ensure safety.
  • Restaurant tables and capacities will be reconfigured based on reopening guidelines, with particular focus on using our beautiful outdoor areas at each location.
  • See more info here.
Summercamp, Oak Bluffs - Martha's Vineyard
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Book Summercamp, Oak Bluffs starting at $169 per night

Set among the candy-colored gingerbread houses of Oak Bluffs, this boutique property stands out for its size, housed in a grand 19th-century former hotel overlooking the harbor. It's also the largest hotel on the island with 95 rooms. True to its name, the interiors are playful, with contemporary furnishings in bold colors and whimsical hanging chairs in the sprawling, open-plan lobby.

There are plenty of nostalgic touches, too, like wood tennis rackets as artwork and a game room off the lobby stocked with vintage board games. Grab a snack from the Camp Canteen and relax on the expansive porch with soothing views of the sailboat-dotted harbor.

While on the small side, rooms are bright and cheerful, with punchy geometric-patterned fabrics in shades of blue, green, and yellow. They feature high-tech amenities such as USB ports, Tivoli Bluetooth radios, and smart TVs. Entry-level Queen rooms measure less than 200 square feet; you'll need to upgrade for those offering partial water views from the veranda, and rooms with full water views come at a premium.

The hotel is open seasonally, from May through October.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 3 hotels in Oak Bluffs

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Summercamp is just a five-minute walk from the ferry and close to many of Oak Bluffs' restaurants and bars. Free coffee, tea, and filtered water are available in the lobby and you can borrow iPads.

Cons: As the hotel is a historic property, there is no elevator and upper-floor rooms mean a lot of steps. Just four parking spots are available, and they're pricey at $40 per night. There is no bar or restaurant on-site.

COVID-19 procedures: Summercamp will be following the same new policies as all Lark Hotel properties that include:

  • Guests, vendors, and all teams being required to wear a mask in public areas of the hotels and restaurants.
  • Staff's health will be screened daily and anyone showing symptoms will be sent home.
  • Additional sanitizing products will be made available in public areas.
  • Adjusting all food and beverage offerings across the portfolio to adhere to the new guidelines and stay as contactless as possible.
  • See more info here.
Ship's Knees Inn - East Orleans
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Book Ship's Knees Inn starting at $170 per night

Surrounded by 1.5 acres of rolling lawns and flowering gardens, this charming 1820 gray-shingled inn is just a five-minute walk to Nauset, one of the Cape's best Atlantic beaches. While the common areas are perfectly pleasant, the highlight of the property is its outdoor space, which includes a seasonal outdoor pool with a tree-lined deck, a sprawling courtyard patio with a fire pit, and green lawns dotted with hammocks and Adirondack chairs. A buffet-style continental breakfast is included in the rate.

Rooms are scattered throughout several buildings on the property and each is uniquely decorated in traditional Cape Cod style with nautical motifs and original local art. Some rooms have working fireplaces, private entrances, and distant views of the ocean. Entry-level Petite Queens are indeed petite, measuring 120 to 150 square feet, and are located on the first floor of the North wing with views of the pool or backyard. Slightly larger Deluxe Queens are set in the historic main house and some offer ocean views.

The inn is open seasonally, from mid-April through October.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 3 out of 5 B&Bs/inns in East Orleans

Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Pros: The pastoral setting is lovely, and the proximity to the beach is unbeatable.

Cons: Rooms are all on the smaller side. The inn is several miles from Orleans's restaurants and bars, so you'll need to drive or take a taxi for most meals.

COVID-19 procedures: The hotel has implemented new policies and procedures including:

  • Frequently disinfecting all high-touch areas and all hard surfaces in guest rooms and bathrooms with an EPA approved "N List" disinfectant recommended for use with COVID-19.
  • Implemented both a physically distanced and self check-in/check-out process.
  • Bagged breakfasts offered instead of a buffet.
  • No housekeeping staff will enter rooms during stays unless requested.
  • Hand sanitizing stations along with face masks, vinyl gloves & disposable wipes provided in specific common Inn areas.
  • See more info here.
AWOL Hotel - Provincetown
Copy of Credit_ Read McKendree 2018 07 19 AWOL 72

Book AWOL Hotel starting at $199 per night

Departing from the traditional nautical-themed decor found in many a P-town bed and breakfast, this boutique hotel sports a refreshingly modern, bohemian-chic vibe. Bright common areas highlight natural materials with light-wood floors, straw light fixtures, and macramé-style pillows scattered atop bentwood chairs. Big picture windows frame the verdant tidal marshes that lie just across the street.

Rooms are similarly chic with gray polished concrete floors, straw lighting, platform beds, comfy built-in sofas, and minimalist black-and-white photos on the walls. They are all on the smaller side with entry-level King and double Queen rooms measuring 235 square feet, but they do feature spacious patios or balconies. Deluxe rooms offer a bit more space at 322 square feet, while the 1,200-square-foot, top-floor Lark Suite has its own rooftop deck, a fireplace, and a full kitchen.

Outdoors, the grounds feature a seasonally heated pool, three cozy fire pits, and a sprawling waterfront bar reserved for guests with communal picnic tables atop the sand. While there's no restaurant, the hotel partnered with local favorite, The Beach Market, to deliver sandwiches and salads.

Note that the hotel is open seasonally, from May through October.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 12 out of 15 hotels in Provincetown

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: A breakfast spread of fruit, yogurt, and a bagel and toast bar with spreads is included in the rate, as are complimentary bikes. All rooms have outdoor space, with views overlooking the tidal waterways. The hotel is close to all the buzzy bars and restaurants of Commercial Street, but the West End location is blissfully quiet.

Cons: Rooms and bathrooms are quite small and there is no storage space for clothing. The breakfast selection is limited.

COVID-19 procedures: AWOL will be following the same new policies as all Lark Hotel properties that include:

  • Guests, vendors, and all teams being required to wear a mask in public areas of the hotels and restaurants.
  • Staff's health will be screened daily and anyone showing symptoms will be sent home.
  • Additional sanitizing products will be made available in public areas.
  • Adjusting all food and beverage offerings across the portfolio to adhere to the new guidelines and stay as contactless as possible.
  • See more info here.
Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa - Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
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Book Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa starting at $249 per night

The very definition of a romantic New England retreat, this 19th-century white-clapboard inn is tucked along the tree-lined brick sidewalks of Edgartown, a former whaling town turned celebrity retreat. The Gothic Revival building is beautifully appointed with antiques and fine art, and the fireside drawing room is perfectly cozy, but the large wraparound porch and garden-facing sun room are the best spots to relax and enjoy the complimentary afternoon tea with fresh scones. Guests have access to the spa, which includes a fitness center, steam shower, and sauna. A full breakfast is included in the rate.

The 17 individually-designed rooms and suites come in a variety of layouts and sizes. All have a colonial theme, with patterned wallpaper, antique furnishings, coastal artwork, and plush floral headboards on King-sized beds. Entry-level standard rooms are located on the first and second floors, while top-floor Deluxe rooms feature skylights and kitchenettes and look out over the property's garden. The hotel is open seasonally, from May through October.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 9 hotels in Edgartown

Booking.com Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Pros: Hob Knob has a quaint, homey feel and a fantastic location that is just a short walk to all the restaurants, bars, and attractions of Edgartown.

Cons: As the hotel does not have a liquor license, no alcohol is served on the premises (though guests can buy and drink their own). There is also no on-site restaurant. Prices are extraordinarily high during the summer season.

COVID-19 procedures: The hotel as implemented new policies including:

  • Offering a contactless check-in experience.
  • Staff members wearing protective gloves and face masks.
  • Utilizing EPA-registered disinfectants to properly clean rooms and common areas.
  • See more info here.
Chatham Bars Inn - Chatham
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Book Chatham Bars Inn starting at $295 per night

With a magnificent oceanfront location, a quarter-mile of private beach, four restaurants, and a vast array of plush amenities, this luxurious resort is a top summer destination for well-heeled families.

Built as a hunting lodge in 1914, the main house sits atop a hill and commands beautiful views of the ocean from its expansive veranda. Down below is a huge heated waterfront pool, kiddie pool, and hot tub. The property also has Har-Tru tennis courts, croquet, and volleyball areas, plus a seasonal complimentary daily boat shuttle to the Cape Cod National Seashore's North Beach Island just across the cove. For a fee, you can charter a boat from its private fleet, play a round on the adjacent nine-hole golf course, or use the spa's seasonal outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam rooms, and saunas.

Complementing the main inn's original wood-beamed ceilings and hardwood floors are traditional antiques, period-style furnishings, and handcrafted ship models. Relax in the expansive lobby or elegant fireside lounge, but when the weather is fine, the sprawling patios at The Veranda or the oceanfront Beach House Grill are ideal for a cocktail or casual meal. The signature Stars restaurant is an upscale affair, serving farm-to-table dishes in a formal dining room with panoramic water views.

The main house has two floors of guest rooms, most with their own balcony or deck; entry-level Deluxe rooms, with Queen-sized beds and neutral-toned modern furnishings, overlook the back of the inn, while pricier Ocean View rooms offer water views. There are also rooms located in cottages around the property, some with gas fireplaces, as well as adults-only spa suites that feature hydrotherapy tubs, steam showers, and fireplaces.

Open year-round, the property is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, which means members can receive exclusive discounts and upgrades.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 6 out of 9 hotels in Chatham

Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Pros: A huge array of amenities — chief among them the private beach — means you need never leave the property. But should you want to venture to the charming town of Chatham, you have free use of the hotel's fleet of Lexus cars.

Cons: There is a daily resort fee and many activities incur additional charges. During peak season, the hotel's restaurants book up quickly, as they are open to the public. Rates soar in the summer months, as does the number of people on the property, so opt for low or shoulder season for a quieter stay and lower rates.

COVID-19 procedures: The Inn has a new comprehensive Wellness Program that includes:

  • Curbside check-in available an option.
  • Industry-leading cleaning and sanitizing protocols used to clean guest rooms, with particular attention paid to high-touch items.
  • Frequency of cleaning and sanitizing increased in all public spaces.
  • New socially distant experience options including dinner on the lawn, beach picnic lunch baskets, and in-room white-glove service.
  • See more info here.
Wequassett Resort & Golf Club - Harwich
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Book the Wequassett Resort & Golf Club starting at $440 per night

Nestled on the "elbow" of the Cape, this five-star oceanfront property attracts an upscale crowd and is particularly popular with families thanks to spacious accommodations and abundance of amenities.

Some 22 historic buildings make up the 27-acre resort, which counts two beaches — including the particularly lovely Pleasant Bay beach — two outdoor pools (one an adults-only lap pool), a fitness center, and Har-Tru tennis courts. Guests have access to the adjacent members-only Cape Cod National Golf Club and the nearby Cape Cod Rail Trail offers 36 miles of flat paved bike paths.

Five restaurants and bars dot the property; the signature Twenty-Eight Atlantic serves a refined seafood-based menu in a gracious windowed dining room that overlooks Pleasant Bay, while the clubby, tavern-style Thoreau's offers fireside dining. The seasonal oceanfront Outer Bar & Grille and LiBAYtion beachfront bar are best for soaking up sea breezes with a cocktail while enjoying nightly concerts.

Rooms are done up in soft blue and taupe hues that reflect the surrounding sea and feature a blend of modern and traditional style furnishings. All offer a private deck or patio and most have water views. Entry-level Garden View rooms are located on the first floor of the main building and measure 360 square feet with spacious patios facing the gardens. For a bit more privacy and space, opt for one of the Cottage rooms, set in the resort's Cape Cod-style cottages scattered throughout the property. The family-sized rooms, accommodating four people, range from 400 to 505 square feet and feature seating areas and fireplaces; the best offer large decks directly overlooking the water.

The resort, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is open seasonally, from April to mid-December.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 5 hotels in Harwich

Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Pros: Service is truly outstanding; mention to the waitstaff that you like a certain brand of beer or onion rings and they might magically appear at your next meal. The resort also offers free shuttle service to nearby towns like Chatham.

Cons: There is a $28 nightly resort fee and during high season, there is a minimum-night stay which varies depending on the month.

COVID-19 procedures: The resort has several new policies in place including:

  • Check-in offered curbside and staff using contactless credit card devices.
  • Housekeeping services for guest room accommodations will be provided based upon the guest preference which will be determined prior to arrival.
  • All staff will be wearing masks and gloves.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols have been established to ensure health and safety.
  • The pool area seating capacity has been redesigned to accommodate social distancing policies.
  • See more info here.
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25. The Fed's money-pumping efforts are driving a new economic cycle that's reminiscent of 2009, Canaccord Genuity says21:58[−]
Federal Reserve
  • The Federal Reserve's liquidity-boosting measures place the economy on track for a 2009-style upswing, Canaccord Genuity analysts said in a Thursday note.
  • Policymakers signaled on Wednesday that the central bank would hold rates near zero through 2023 and maintained asset purchases of at least $120 billion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities per month.
  • The purchases spiked excess cash in the financial system, but liquidity has since fallen from its peak.
  • The excess-liquidity trend is "just like" the post-peak reversal seen "as the economy emerged from the 2009 recession," the analysts said.
  • The Fed's policy "reinforces our view that we are in the early stages of a new economic and market cycle," they added.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

The Federal Reserve's plans for long-lasting aid are on track to drive a 2009-style economic comeback, Canaccord Genuity analysts said Thursday.

The central bank on Wednesday elected to hold interest rates near zero, but the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting also revealed how the Fed aims to guide policy for years to come. Policymakers maintained the Fed's pace of asset purchases, pledging to keep buying at least $80 billion in Treasurys and $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities each month.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, the purchases have driven a sharp increase in excess liquidity, or the difference between available money and that needed for economic growth. But excess liquidity recently fell from its peak amid a late-summer rebound in industrial production, Canaccord said.

Read more: Jefferies handpicks the 17 best stocks spanning multiple sectors to buy now — and details why each company's future looks 'particularly attractive,' even in a downturn

The excess-liquidity downtick is "just like" the post-peak drop seen "as the economy emerged from the 2009 recession," the analysts Tony Dwyer and Michael Welch said, adding that it "reinforces our view that we are in the early stages of a new economic and market cycle."

Canaccord's team also highlighted upgraded outlooks from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in their bullish projection. The organization on Wednesday lifted its forecast for global growth this year to -4.5% from -6%. Group of 20 nations' collective GDP is expected to slide 4.1%, and China is set to be the only country with positive growth in 2020.

The latest OECD data reinforces the beginning of a new economic cycle as major economies swing out of their pandemic-induced slumps, Canaccord said. Investors should position for broad market gains over the next six to 12 months and "use any bouts of volatility like last week to add exposure" to recovery trends, the analysts said.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says oil prices are set to move 'meaningfully higher' into next year. Here are 7 reasons why the firm is bullish, and 5 stocks it recommends buying in advance

Uncertainty about the presidential election, the coronavirus' spread, and US-China trade tensions will continue to weigh on markets, they added. Still, the Fed's latest meeting cemented long-term monetary support and should reassure investors that the policy backstop is intact.

"The market risks are real and can lead to temporary pullbacks like last week," the team said. "But, the clear Fed policy is to attack any liquidity or credit issues as they emerge."

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

Economic recovery trackers stumble as Labor Day boost fades and demand wavers

Tech stocks aren't in a bubble but investors should be pickier, Credit Suisse says

Goldman Sachs says oil prices are set to move 'meaningfully higher' into next year. Here are 7 reasons why the firm is bullish, and 5 stocks it recommends buying in advance

Read the original article on Business Insider

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26. 'Super Mario 3D All-Stars' brings a trio of classic games to the Nintendo Switch on a limited run — here's how to buy the collection before it's gone for good21:50[−]

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Super Mario 3d Allstars
"Super Mario 3D All-Stars" brings three classic Mario games to the Nintendo Switch.
  • "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" is a Nintendo Switch collection featuring "Super Mario 64," "Super Mario Sunshine," and "Super Mario Galaxy."
  • All three classic games have been upgraded to high definition resolution and given updated controls, though the general look and feel will remain the same.
  • You can buy "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" now for $59.99 from several retailers, including Amazon, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy.
  • However, Nintendo says "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" will only be available for purchase until March 31, 2021.
  • Read more: The best Nintendo Switch games

In celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the "Super Mario" franchise, Nintendo has released "Super Mario 3D All-Stars," collecting three of the iconic plumber's classic adventures for the Nintendo Switch, but it will only be available for a few months. The games included are "Super Mario 64," "Super Mario Sunshine," and "Super Mario Galaxy."

"Super Mario 3D All-Stars" costs $59.99 for all three games and both physical and digital versions are available. However, Nintendo says "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" will only be available until March 31, 2021, at which point the digital download will no longer be sold and new physical copies will no longer be made.

It's unclear why "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" will only be made available for a limited time, especially since "Super Mario" is Nintendo's flagship franchise and fans have been eager to see the games restored and preserved on Nintendo's newest hardware.

Digital versions of "Super Mario 64," "Super Mario Galaxy," and "Super Mario Galaxy 2" are available on Nintendo's previous console, the Wii U. "Super Mario Sunshine" was released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002 and you still need the original game disc to play it legally — the game has never been made available digitally before "Super Mario 3D All-Stars."

Hopefully, Nintendo will make "Super Mario 64," "Super Mario Sunshine," and "Super Mario Galaxy" available as separate digital downloads when "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" is no longer available, and with any luck, "Super Mario Galaxy 2" will be added to the Switch library as well.

How to buy "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" for the Nintendo Switch

You can buy "Super Mario 3D All-Stars" digitally through Nintendo's eShop for $59.99, which will let you download the game to play right away, so long as you have the 4.9GB install space needed on your Switch. As noted above, the game will only be available to buy until March 31, 2021.

If you want a physical copy to keep long after Nintendo stops selling "Super Mario 3D All-Stars," you can now buy the game at most major retailers, including Amazon, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy.

"Super Mario 3D All-Stars," $59.99 at Best Buy

"Super Mario 3D All-Stars," $59.99 at Amazon

"Super Mario 3D All-Stars," $59.99 at GameStop

"Super Mario 3D All-Stars," $59.99 at Target

What other Mario games are coming to the Nintendo Switch?

"Super Mario 3D All-Stars" is just one part of Nintendo's big celebration for the "Super Mario" franchise's 35th anniversary. The company made slew of announcements that included several new games.

Another updated release for the Switch, " Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury," will remaster the 2013 Wii U release, adding online play and a new set of levels. "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury" will be available on February 12, 2021, and you can preorder the game now.

"Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury," $59.99 at Best Buy

"Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury," $59.99 at GameStop

"Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury," $59.99 at Target

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27. The pandemic revealed a huge flaw in Chipotle's restaurant assembly line system21:49[−]
Chipotle TikTok menu hacks 22
Chipotle is looking for the "silver lining" of the pandemic.
  • Chipotle is making some permanent changes to its strategy after new discoveries made in the pandemic.
  • The chain realized that it can be much more precise when it comes to portion control, now that most customers are ordering ahead via app.
  • "Our portion sizes are much more consistent because there's not somebody pointing at every single pan ... the crew will see just the way that a customer is looking at them and think, 'Oh, I better put another scoop in,'" Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung said this week.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Chipotle is discovering that a few things about its business have actually changed for the better during the pandemic.

Brian Niccol, Chipotle's CEO, and CFO Jack Hartung spoke about the recent discoveries at the Raymond James North American Equities Conference on Thursday.

"The extra costs of COVID are definitely higher than the savings. But there are a couple of areas that we are seeing savings and we do think that some, maybe all of it, will stick," Hartung told Raymond James analyst Brian Vaccaro.

The cost-cutting change that is most likely to resonate with the average Chipotle customer is the question of portion control — or, exactly how much chicken or salsa you get when you order your burrito.

While you can adjust how much of each ingredient you want when ordering on the chain's app, Hartung said, the amount of each ingredient served is much more precise when employees are shielded from customers. The only way for a customer to get more than the standard size is to ask — and pay — for extra.

"We're not restricting what the customer is allowed to do, either in terms of portion or in terms of adding additional ingredients," Hartung said. "But our portion sizes are much more consistent because there's not somebody pointing at every single pan ... the crew will see just the way that a customer is looking at them and think, 'Oh, I better put another scoop in.'"

"We're finding things like that are resulting in better controls at the food line," Hartung added. "We do think, certainly, because digital will be more sticky, a lot of that will stay. But we also think it's an opportunity for us to get better execution on the front line as well as people ordering in restaurant."

Chipotle executives mentioned a few other learnings that will likely result in long-term changes.

With more delivery orders, the chain has cut back its delivery fee and instead raised prices on delivery menus by roughly 7%. People ordering ahead gives employees time to prepare the quesadilla, which can slow down the traditional assembly line, at locations where the menu item is being tested as a digital-only option. And, Chipotle is planning to accelerate store openings as other restaurants' closures present new real estate opportunities.

"The pipeline building is going very well, better than it would have if there wasn't COVID," Hartung said. "And you hate to say that COVID — that there's a silver lining to it, but there are things that you can take advantage of while we're navigating through this challenge."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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28. Trump's TikTok ban could mean Americans have less freedom on the internet, just like in China, experts warn21:48[−]
zhang yiming donald trump tiktok bytedance
Donald Trump, left, and ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming.
  • Trump's plan to ban TikTok from US app stores by Sunday is an unprecedented move — and it could make the US internet more closely resemble China's heavily-censored internet, experts say.
  • The ban could force users to try to download TikTok and WeChat through secretive backchannels, or attempt to keep using them until the inability to update the apps makes them unusable, experts told Business Insider.
  • Civil rights groups have criticized the ban as a potential violation of American users' First Amendment rights, and the ban is likely to face a legal challenge on those grounds.
  • But other experts said that Trump's ban doesn't rise to the level of China's censorship because it doesn't ban TikTok at the network level, and people in the US could still access TikTok through VPNs or other channels.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When the Trump administration announced plans to ban TikTok and WeChat from US app stores this week, some technology and government experts were reminded of the tactics of a different nation that heavily regulates its internet: China.

The unprecedented ban mirrors the methods China employs, using its "great firewall" to ban apps and websites that are seen as threats to the government and its interests. While US tech companies have traditionally advocated for an open, unregulated internet across the globe, increasing geopolitical tensions — especially between the US and China — are threatening that vision.

"The Trump administration is effectively taking a page out of the CCP playbook by replicating cyber sovereignty in a US context," said Rebecca Lissner, a scholar at Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies and co-author of a An Open World, a new book on shifting global powers.

The Trump administration's ban on TikTok and WeChat hinges on the fact that, because they are based in China, the apps are subject to laws that require they turn over any requested data to the Chinese government. But the ban also aligns with an ongoing trade war between the two countries that has amplified under Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Lissner argues that Trump's ban could accelerate a fragmented "splinternet" that hampers the ability of US tech companies and users to connect with other countries.

"Rather than establishing a model for the type of global internet that the United States would hope to see, we're actually replicating the exact types of behaviors that on a global scale we should be trying to combat," Lissner told Buisness Insider.

The ban could force TikTok users to access the app through secretive backchannels — and is likely to face a First Amendment challenge

Leeza Garber, a lecturer at the Wharton School of Business teaching internet law, told Business Insider that while the ban is unprecedented, it doesn't rise to the level of Chinese state censorship because TikTok would merely be banned from US app stores, not blacklisted from the internet entirely.

However, Garber anticipates that people in the US could be forced to find backchannels to keep accessing TikTok, like using VPNs that make it look like they're viewing the app from a different country. Otherwise, users who already have the app downloaded will be able to keep using it but not receive updates.

"What a ban is really going to look like is users that already have it can continue to use it, but as it needs patches you're not going to get those. So at some point it'll stop working and if that happens, it'll likely fizzle out and a new competitor will come in," Garber said.

Garber said it's highly unlikely that the US will attempt to ban TikTok from all American networks in the way China's great firewall operates — but that the possibility shouldn't be ruled out entirely.

"2020 has proven to be such a crazy year that you never know," she said.

Regardless of whether the ban goes further than Trump's current plan — which would freeze app store downloads and ban TikTok data from being held on US servers — it's likely to face a First Amendment challenge, Garber said. The ACLU said in a statement to The Information on Friday that Trump's order "violates the First Amendment rights of the people of the United States."

Experts say the dispute could lead to a domino effect, further splintering the internet across the globe

Trump's ban comes as governments across the globe are increasingly regulating how their citizens' data is stored and what tech companies do with that data. Ireland recently ordered Facebook to stop sending Irish users' data to the US, citing concerns about surveillance by the US government.

As that trend continues, companies like TikTok could become increasingly caught in the crosshairs when nation-states no longer trust one another with data, according to St. Johns University professor of finance Yun Zhu, who specializes in tech and international trade.

"This is not only happening between the US and China," Zhu told Business Insider. "Facebook, Apple, and Google are facing challenges from foreign countries as well. "How do they prevent a country of accusing them of not meeting national security standards?"

TikTok said it plans to fight the Trump ban in court, and has called on other US social media companies to join its litigation.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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29. All the ex-Trump officials who have publicly vowed not to vote for him in November21:43[−]
GettyImages-donald trump
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at Central Wisconsin Airport on September 17, 2020 in Mosinee, Wisconsin.
  • President Donald Trump has experienced record-setting turnover during his time in office.
  • Many of these former officials have not only gone on to publicly criticize the president, but also create anti-Trump groups and voice their support for Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
  • The list of ex-Trump employees who say they will not vote for Trump continues to grow.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump's administration has been rocked by an historic turnover rate, higher than his five predecessors' in their entire first terms, the Brookings Institute found.

Several of his ex-employees have slid out of the public eye, while others have chosen to launch scathing attacks on the president and openly disavow him. Many have gone further and publicly revealed plans to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden come November, and some have privately said they will do so as well.

These Republicans have also joined anti-Trump political coalitions such as The Lincoln Project, Republican Voters Against Trump, 43 Alumni for Joe Biden PAC, and others. The groups see an opening to sway the votes of independent, undecided, and moderate Republicans. To that end, they have raised millions of dollars, spending that money on campaign ads aimed at ousting Trump from the White House.

Here is a list of all the former Trump administration officials who have publicly indicated they will not vote for Trump:

Olivia Troye, Vice President Mike Pence's former homeland security, counterterrorism, and coronavirus adviser
Olivia Troye, Vice President Mike Pence's former homeland security, counterterrorism, and coronavirus adviser

Olivia Troye, former adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security to Vice President Mike Pence: Troye worked for Pence for the past two years until she left her post last month, after most recently serving on his coronavirus task force. In a new campaign ad released Thursday, Troye slammed Trump for his response to the public health crisis and accused the president of saying that the pandemic was a "good thing" because it prevented him from having to shake hands with "disgusting people," who she said were his supporters.

Miles Taylor, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff: Taylor worked under the Trump administration for two years and later called the experience "terrifying." Many things Trump wanted the department to do were illegal, he alleged. Taylor endorsed Biden saying he's "confident that he won't make the same mistakes as this president" and announced in August the creation of an anti-Trump group called the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR).

Josh Venable, former chief of staff for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: Venable served in his position from the start of Trump's presidency until October 2018. On Thursday, he joined REPAIR to help "outline a more hopeful vision of America's future," according to a statement reported by Politico.

Elizabeth Neumann, former assistant secretary of counterterrorism and threat prevention at DHS: Neumann worked at the DHS for three years before resigning this April, lambasting Trump for " throwing fuel on the fire" of the threat of domestic terrorism. In a campaign ad, she revealed that she is voting for Biden since Americans are "less safe today because of his leadership," referring to Trump.

Anthony Scaramucci
Anthony Scaramucci speaks to reporters during his brief tenure as White House communications director in 2017.

Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director: Scaramucci had a brief tenure with the Trump administration — less than two weeks in July 2017 — but was featured on Trump's Twitter page long afterward as the president continued to criticize him. Earlier this year, Scaramucci voiced his support for Biden, saying, "Of course I'll campaign for him, we gotta beat Trump."

donald trump john bolton
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House August 20, 2019 in Washington, DC.

John Bolton, former national security adviser: Bolton left the Trump administration in September 2019, after serving for about 16 months. He reinserted himself into the limelight earlier this year by publishing a tell-all memoir, in which he characterized Trump as erratic and unfit for office. He said in an interview with Business Insider that he doesn't plan to vote for Trump or Biden, and will instead write in the name of a conservative Republican.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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30. 'Biggest growth quarter of all time' will help inflation meet overhauled target, Fed's Bullard says21:36[−]
james bullard jackson hole
James Bullard
  • Third-quarter GDP is on track for 30% growth, and such strong improvement can lift inflation closer to its new target, James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said Friday.
  • The Federal Reserve's updated policy framework allows for periods of stronger-than-usual inflation to combat weak price growth through the pandemic.
  • The third quarter is "the biggest growth quarter of all time in the US," and it could bring "more inflation than we have during pre-pandemic era," Bullard said.
  • The Fed president also expects unemployment to trend lower than anticipated. While his Fed colleagues project the rate to sit at 7.6% by the end of the year, Bullard sees unemployment falling to 6.5% over the same period.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Third-quarter economic growth will be a shot in the arm that ultimately helps the US reach a healthy level of inflation, James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said Friday.

Economists largely expect gross domestic product growth to hit record highs in the third quarter as reopenings and partial containment of the coronavirus bring activity back online. Bullard anticipates GDP to be "off the charts," and that the rebound will drive inflation closer to the central bank's new target.

"This is the biggest growth quarter of all time in the US. It looks like 30% at an annual rate," Bullard said during a virtual conference with the Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation.

He continued: "I actually think you may see more inflation than we have during the pre-pandemic era when things were very quiet and inflation was very subdued."

Read more: 2 senior PMs at Morgan Stanley's $665 billion investment-management business share their contrarian outlooks on the election, the stock market, and a vaccine — and break down how they are readying portfolios in advance

The Fed updated its policy framework in late August to gain greater control of price growth over time. Where the central bank previously targeted a 2% inflation rate, it now plans to guide an average inflation rate of 2% over time. The overhaul allows for temporary overshoots of the target level after periods of weak price growth.

Chair Jerome Powell said in a Wednesday press conference that the Fed will aim for higher-than-usual inflation after the pandemic pushed the rate as low as o.1% in May. Some economists have raised doubts that such overshoots are possible, as the Fed failed to reach its 2% target in recent years. Bullard rebuked such concerns, adding that relaxed central bank policy, a larger federal deficit, and deferred demand can lift inflation faster than anticipated.

"I think this will be quite successful," he added.

The Fed president also expects unemployment to trend above expectations and fall to 6.5% by the end of the year. The projection is markedly more optimistic than Fed policymakers' median forecast of 7.6% published on Wednesday. The rate sank to 8.4% in August, but still has a ways to go before returning to the pre-pandemic low of 3.5%.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

New ETF aims to deliver gains from S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, and Russell 2000 simultaneously — with only one index's losses

Tesla will leap 12% from current levels as pent-up demand drives Chinese market domination, Wedbush says

Jefferies handpicks the 17 best stocks spanning multiple sectors to buy now — and details why each company's future looks 'particularly attractive,' even in a downturn

Read the original article on Business Insider

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31. The best cat litter boxes21:35[−]
  • We spoke to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Wailani Sung and cat behavior consultant Daniel "DQ" Quagliozzi to find out what qualities to look for in a litter box.
  • We then tested 15 of the most popular litter boxes, including disposable, hooded, top-entry, and self-cleaning models.
  • The affordable Nature's Miracle Hooded Flip-Top Litter Box, which can be used in three ways, is our top pick for the best litter box.

Cats are notoriously finicky when it comes to toileting. Many a cat household has been caught off-guard when their furry feline suddenly begins to urinate or defecate outside of the litter box. But while a cat who pees or poops on the floor or furniture may have underlying health issues, often inappropriate elimination is a cat's best attempt at communicating that something about their litter box is not quite right.

Unfortunately, most of us do not provide our cats with the toileting options they would prefer, according to Daniel "DQ" Quagliozzi, cat behavior consultant and owner of Go Cat Go! in San Francisco. "In my experience, the human being makes choices based on their preferences," he said. Hiding the box in an unused corner or placing it at a bottleneck where one cat may be bullied by another on their way to do their business can cause a cat to develop an aversion to using their litter box.

The size of the litter box and, in multi-cat households, the number of litter boxes available can also be major problems. Traditionally, experts recommend that a household should have the same number of litter boxes as they do cats, plus one extra. Those who are living in small spaces, though, may be able to get away with fewer, frequently cleaned larger boxes.

"If you have four cats, you ideally should have five litter boxes total," said Dr. Wailani Sung, a veterinary behaviorist at the San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospital. "Who has room for that? However, if you provide a litter box that is twice the size of a traditional-sized box and clean it at least twice daily [that] may be sufficient for the needs of all four cats."

No matter the number of cats, both Quagliozzi and Sung agree that most cats do best with large, simple litter boxes without a cover. I've taken their advice into account over the last several months as my two cats have tried out 15 different litter boxes, all but two of which (Nature's Miracle High-Sided Litter Box and Petmate Booda Dome) were provided to Insider Reviews as editorial samples from their manufacturers.

Although most of the litter boxes I tested were good or even great, I selected the ones that both my cats and I preferred as our top picks. For the best overall, I chose the versatile and affordable Nature's Miracle Hooded Flip-Top Litter Box, which can be used in three different ways according to a cat's preferences.

Here are our top picks for the best litter boxes:

Prices and links are current as of 9/18/20. We added a slide that includes additonal litter boxes we're testing for an update to this guide.

The best litter box overall
natures miracle hooded litter box

The versatile Nature's Miracle Hooded Flip-Top Litter Box is spacious, affordable, and easy to modify for sensitive cats.

Often what a cat desires in a litter box is not the same thing that appeals to our human interests. Over the last several months, I saw this firsthand as my two cats tested the litter boxes for this guide. From observing them and speaking to Quagliozzi and Sung, what I've learned above all is that cats need choices in order to feel secure.

I selected Nature's Miracle Hooded Flip-Top Litter Box precisely because it allows me to give my cats different options to best meet their toileting needs. The first option with this box is to use the base alone without adding the cover. With high, rounded sides, the 25.25-by-18.75-inch pan is spacious and sturdy.

The second option is to add the cover. It snaps into the base in four places and has a handle and a charcoal filter for absorbing odors. Unlike some covered litter boxes, there is no plastic door that a cat will need to push through and that may also swing disconcertingly once the cat is inside the box.

The third option is to flip the front of the cover up so it uncovers about a third of the box. This makes for easy cleaning and, if left in this position, also creates a hybrid covered-uncovered box that may better meet the requirements of both cat (easy entry and no over-confinement) and guardian (odor control and less visible waste).

While the Nature's Miracle Hooded Flip Top isn't particularly stylish, the large, versatile box will satisfy the whole family — two-legged and four-legged, alike — for a very reasonable price.

Pros: Can be used uncovered, covered, or partially covered; simple design; spacious pan; no swinging door; snaps and handle on cover make it easy to remove and attach; charcoal filter odor absorber; affordable

Cons: Basic design might not be appealing to some people

The best litter pan
petmate giant litter pan

The spacious Petmate Giant Litter Pan is made with antimicrobial material to fight odors and has built-in pockets for supplies.

Simplicity and spaciousness are the first two factors Quagliozzi looks for in a litter box. Both he and Sung often recommend that their clients look beyond commercially sold litter boxes and use a wide, flat plastic storage container instead because it offers both qualities.

"Most of the traditional litter boxes offered are [too] small," said Sung, explaining that the box should be at least one and a half times the length of the cat.

Just like a plastic storage box, Petmate's Giant Litter Pan is long and flat at 34.75 inches by 19.5 inches. There is plenty of room for a cat to comfortably stretch their legs and cover their waste. Even better, this pan has relatively high sides to decrease litter scatter and is made with Microban, an antimicrobial product that helps prevent the growth of stain- and odor-producing bacteria.

Petmate's Giant Litter Pan also has two pockets on the side for storing a litter scooper, bags for waste, and other supplies. And while the traditional rule of thumb for litter boxes is to have one for every cat plus an extra, Sung said if you're vigilant about cleaning an extra-large pan two to three times a day, a family with more than one cat may be able to keep their felines happily toileting with just one box.

This litter box is priced right, too, but is only available in one color: off-white.

Pros: Plenty of room for a cat to stretch their legs and cover their waste; built-in pockets on side for storing supplies; relatively high sides help decrease litter scatter; affordable; antimicrobial

Cons: Only one color option

The best disposable litter box
nature's miracle disposable litter box

Made from recycled paper and infused with baking soda, Nature's Miracle Corner Disposable Litter Box holds up against leaks and odors for 30 days.

Whether you're looking for a sturdy stand-alone litter box or a liner for a plastic box, Nature's Miracle disposable boxes are an excellent worry-free option. Even after a full month of use by my two cats, the bottom of the pan was fully intact. Nowhere had urine even started to penetrate the recycled paper material.

Nature's Miracle makes three versions of their disposable litter box. Based on the recommendations of Sung and Quagliozzi, the largest of the bunch, the 23-by-18-inch triangular corner box is the best option for comfortable toileting.

The corner litter box (sold in a two-pack) is made of dense, compacted recycled paper that the company advertises as leakproof and tear-proof. In our monthlong test, I found both claims to be true. The box is also made with baking soda, which helps keep bad odors in check. Nature's Miracle disposable boxes can be used with any style of litter (I chose a clumping clay version) and when it's at the end of its 30-day life cycle, the landfill-safe pan can be easily thrown out.

Because the disposable litter box is made of paper instead of plastic, its biggest flaw is that clumps that get stuck to the bottom or sides are a little harder to remove than they are in a smooth, plastic box. And although this is a great option for travel or temporary care, sending the pan to rot in a landfill every month seems unnecessary when there are so many reusable options available.

Nevertheless, both owners who are ultra-fastidious with regard to their litter boxes and those who need a reliable temporary box will find a great solution in the Nature's Miracle Corner Disposable Litter Box.

Pros: Made of recycled materials; leakproof and tear-proof; infused with baking soda to keep smells at bay; comes in two-pack; can be used with any style litter; lasts 30 days; ideal for temporary use or travel

Cons: More challenging to scrape stuck-on clumps than in a plastic box; generates a lot of waste when used long-term

The best top-entry litter box
modkat litter box

The modern Modkat Top-Entry Litter Box reduces litter tracking and is easy to clean.

Top-entry litter boxes are not for every cat. They require athletic ability to enter, and once inside, the cat can only go in a place that allows them to pop their head out of the hole. These boxes are also typically smaller than most cats will find comfortable. The two top-entry boxes I tested were among the smallest of the 14 litter pans I considered.

Because of these factors, the two best reasons for purchasing a top-entry litter box are to reduce litter tracking and more stylishly conceal a cat's business. The award-winning Modkat Litter Box exemplifies both of these qualities.

Good-looking and well-designed, the 16-by-16-inch box with a 9-inch diameter entry has a perforated lid for funneling litter that sticks to your cat's feet back into the pan. To clean the box there's no need to remove the lid completely — it unlatches and swivels to a vertical position for easy access.

The Modkat also comes with a rip-resistant reusable plastic liner that lasts up to three months and a matching scoop that can be hung anywhere on the rim. It's offered in two colors: white with a grey lid and black with a white lid.

At almost a hundred dollars, however, the Modkat is two to three times the cost of all of the litter boxes I tested, with the exception of two of the self-cleaning varieties. And while my cats were willing to use it, it's clearly not their preference. I often found the Modkat completely empty at cleaning time even when a standard box in another room had several clumps and piles.

While it won't be ideal for many cats, those who are looking for a little style in their litter box will be charmed by the Modkat.

Pros: Attractive modern design; perforated swivel lid for capturing loose litter and easy cleaning; reusable rip-free plastic liner and a scoop

Cons: One of the smallest boxes tested; kittens and older or anxiety-prone cats may have trouble using this box; cat has to position themselves with their head out of the hole to keep from bending in an uncomfortable position; expensive

The best self-cleaning litter box
petsafe self cleaning litter box

Simply designed for cat comfort, the Petsafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box removes solid waste so you don't have to.

Self-cleaning litter boxes are controversial among cat experts. Sung does not recommend them. She said that self-cleaning boxes can be loud and scary to cats, especially if the machine is accidentally triggered to clean when the cat is still inside.

Self-cleaning boxes also make it easier for guardians to miss the signs of intestinal or urinary problems. "If the owner does not clean the box, they may not know that their cat has had a bout of soft stool or several bouts of diarrhea until one or two days later when they empty out the storage area," Sung said. "They may also miss out on small amounts of urine being deposited, which may be an indication the cat has an underlying urinary tract infection."

Still, if a guardian is struggling to clean their cat's litter box(es) at least once daily, a self-cleaning style may help to provide fastidious felines with a more pleasant toileting experience. Of the three self-cleaning litter boxes I tested, my cats preferred the one that most resembled a generously sized standard litter box: the ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box by Petsafe.

Petsafe's self-cleaning litter box has an easy-to-set-up rim with a built-in rake that sits on top of a 23-by-15.5-inch disposable litter tray. Safety sensors on the rim recognize when a cat enters the box. Twenty minutes after they have exited, the rake is automatically triggered to push solid waste toward a covered compartment at the opposite end. A health counter on the rim keeps track of how often your pet does their business.

The ScoopFree box must be used with Petsafe's disposable or reusable litter tray and their proprietary blend of crystal cat litter. The litter is absorbent, drying, and 99% dust-free, but for it to work properly, it has to be replaced every two to four weeks (depending on the number of cats in the home) at a cost of $16.95 per disposable tray or about $15 per bag. So while the device is relatively affordable, the litter costs add up to significantly more than you might spend on litter for a standard box. Plus, chemical-based litters can be harmful to a cat if they accidentally ingest them.

And just because the box is self-cleaning doesn't mean you're completely off the hook. The compartment that collects solid waste is small and will likely have to be emptied at least once, if not several times, before it's time to change the litter tray. All things considered, though, both my cats and I are happy with the Petsafe ScoopFree box. This automatic litter box works hard to keep the pan constantly clean and fresh, ensuring that your cat will have a pleasant experience every time they need to go.

Pros: Easy setup and use; self-cleaning rake triggers 20 minutes after cat has exited box; a small covered compartment holds solid waste; proprietary litter is odor-absorbent and dust-free; health counter tracks how often a cat uses the box; disposable trays can be easily thrown out after 2 to 4 weeks

Cons: Requires Petsafe's crystal pet litter which gets pricey; litter may be harmful to cat if ingested; waste compartment needs occasional emptying

What else we considered
litter-robot 3 automatic self-cleaning litter box

Self-cleaning litter boxes

  • Litter-Robot 3 Connec t ($499): I loved this automatic litter box. The technology is very impressive — it even comes with an app to help track your cat's business — and it appears to work well. I say "appears" because after two months of waiting and following the company's instructions to entice my cats, they still haven't dared to enter the Litter-Robot. In my tests, however, the Litter-Robot had no trouble dealing with the various objects I tasked it with filtering out: pencils, erasers, and water to activate urine-like clumps. Unfortunately, for my felines, the tight globe shape of the box's interior, which prevents a cat from being able to stand on even ground as they do their business, was a deal-breaker. It's an expensive lesson in how cat preferences and human preferences often don't align. Luckily, the machine comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee for cats, like mine, who refuse to give it a try.
  • Omega Paw Roll'N Clean Cat Litter Box ($36): While this self-cleaning box has received plenty of good reviews, for me it missed the mark. Rolling the box to filter my cats' waste often resulted in pouring litter on to the floor and I still had to go in and scrape clumps stuck to the bottom of the pan with a litter scooper regularly. At just 10 by 15 inches, the interior of the pan is also extremely small when the filter is in place.

Budget litter boxes

Covered litter boxes

  • Catit Jumbo Hooded Pan ($30): This litter box was a close second to my overall best pick. Like the Nature's Miracle hooded box, this pan can be used uncovered, covered, or in a hybrid-style with the front section flipped up. It's relatively large, and I also like the Magic Blue air purifier cartridge that comes with it. The cover is fitted with a swinging door that can be removed if desired. It was only the cost — more than twice that of the Nature's Miracle pan — that kept the Catit Jumbo Hooded Pan out of the top spot.
  • Frisco Hooded Cat Litter Box, Extra Large ($33): This is a good all-around box that is spacious and easy to enter. The door flap is lightweight and it can be removed if desired, but the cover has to be completely lifted off of the base for cleaning.
  • Booda Dome Cleanstep Litter Box ($35): While I like the look of this litter box, it devotes too much space to design and not enough to the litter itself (the pan is only 12 by 21 inches). The inclusion of the stairs also makes this box unnecessarily complicated for more sensitive cats who prefer simple access to their toilet.

Disposable litter boxes

  • Nature's Miracle Disposable Cat Box ($7): The regular- and jumbo-size disposable litter pans by Nature's Miracle are made of the same great stuff as the corner version I selected as the best disposable box. But both are significantly smaller: The jumbo has 25% less space and the regular almost 50% less.
  • Kitty's WonderBox Disposable Litter Box ($11): This disposable litter box is well made, but it's tiny, just 13.5 by 17 inches. The size makes the WonderBox a decent option for travel, but it's not appropriate for long-term daily use.

Top-entry litter boxes

  • Petmate Top-Entry Litter Pan ($20): The dimensions of this box and the opening are similar to those of the Modkat, and I like that this box is affordable and made from 95% recycled materials. Style is lacking with the Petmate, however, and it doesn't come with a liner. Its lid is also a little less functional than the Modkat, which swivels up for easy cleaning and clicks back into place when closed. Despite being designed with hinges on the side to allow for lifting the lid without removing it completely, I found that every time I actually attempted to clean the Petmate pan, the lid slipped out of the hinges and pulled completely off of the top.
What we're looking forward to
petmate basic litter pan

We're currently testing additional litter boxes for an update to this guide, including the following:

Check out our other guides to the best products for cats
best cat products guides

The best cat litter

Cats are picky about the litter in their litter boxes, so it's important to choose a formula that's healthy for your cat and easy to clean. Because there are so many different types of cat litter out there, it can be a challenge to make the right choice.


The best natural cat litter

Natural cat litter has several advantages over conventional clay-based cat litter — it's more eco-friendly, it clumps well, and it's healthy for your cat.


The best litter mats

Even with low-tracking litter, you still need a mat to contain scatter. The best cat litter mats trap litter to prevent it from being spread all over the house. We tested mats with three cats and consulted veterinarians to select the best ones.


The best cat brushes

Brushing a cat regularly can help reduce shedding, matted fur, and hairballs. We tested 14 cat brushes, dematting tools, combs, and grooming gloves to select the best for short- and long-haired cats.


The best flea prevention and treatment for cats

Fleas can pose serious risks to your cat's health. With the right flea treatment for cats, you can keep your cat or kitten safe from fleas. Effective over-the-counter flea control products are available in the form of topical preventives, collars, shampoos, sprays, and oral options.


The best cat carriers

Travel makes many cats nervous. To keep your cat safe and secure, you need to invest in a high-quality cat carrier. Cat carriers come in all shapes and sizes with different designs depending on the intended use. Here are our top picks for the best cat carriers.


The best cat food

Cats need lots of protein and fat in their diets to be healthy, so it's important that you feed them the best nutritionally balanced cat food. Whether you're shopping for dry or wet cat food, we've researched many brands to give you high-quality options.


The best hairball medicine

Hairballs are inevitable for cats, and if your feline is extra fluffy, it may be a chronic problem. Luckily, there are plenty of great hairball remedies, medicines, and prevention tools out there.


The best scratching posts

Cats need to scratch, so to save your sofa and your curtains, you need a sturdy cat scratching post or scratcher. Scratching posts may be vertical, horizontal, or inclined, and some of them can be wall-mounted. Each cat has their own unique preferences, of course. These are the best scratching posts.


The best cat bowls

Some cats are picky about their food bowl. That's why it's important to choose the right one for their needs. When it comes to choosing the best cat food bowl for your cat, there are a number of factors to consider. Here are our top picks for the best cat bowls.


The best cat beds

There are many different kinds of cat beds, and cats, fickle creatures that they are, will all like different beds for special, mysterious cat reasons. Here are the best cat beds you can buy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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32. Apple's brand-new 8th generation iPad is already on sale for $30 off at Walmart21:30[−]

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Apple ipad 8th gen widgets

Read the original article on Business Insider

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33. The 10 most haunted hotels in the US21:26[−]

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa 3

  • Across the US, some of the country's oldest hotels are more than ready to inspire their guests with a little spooky superstition.
  • From passed-along tales of ghost sightings to unexplained noises, many historic hotels take a lot of pride in their paranormal pasts.
  • With Halloween approaching, we selected the most haunted hotels in the US with incredible stories to tell, which range between $105 and $298 per night to start.
  • And while creaky floorboards and ghostly characters are spooky scary, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic is scary scary. As such, we included each hotel's protocol for keeping guests safe.
  • Read more: 7 of the most haunted places around the world.

Even for the least superstitious travelers among us, spending the night in a purported haunted hotel can be exhilarating.

Hotel employees are often more than eager to pass on their local legends and share personal paranormal experiences, or what they've been told by past guests.

While there's hardly concrete proof, for the open-minded, these stories often spur a state of hyperawareness that greatly impact their stay, where the possibility of the unknown may lurk in any corner.

I experienced this for myself one late September at The Allegiance in Rochester, New York as part of a trip through the Finger Lakes on the Haunted History Trail of New York State.

Upon checking in, the owners welcomed me to their regal 19th century home and regaled me with stories. Their ghosts were friendly, I was told, and some not even human — the owners maintained multiple guests have woken up to the sensation of the resident ghost cat sleeping on top of their feet. Although I didn't experience anything paranormal, the possibility of such an encounter in the middle of the night made it feel as if I had suddenly become the main character in a Tim Burton movie.

Indeed, the US is filled with historic and iconic hotels that claim to have haunted roots. These hotels pride themselves on their more permanent guests and are quite happy to share haunted histories during your stay.

Of course, most lore is conjecture and depends on your level of openness to the idea of otherworldly activity. And since I'm not an official ghost hunter, you'll have to call a paranormal investigator if you really want to find out which hotels are considered the most haunted.

However, we compiled hotels that are sufficiently spooky, with great stories to tell at any time of year, though, there's nothing quite like visiting around Halloween.

And while creaky floorboards and ghostly characters are spooky scary, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic is scary scary. As such, we included each hotel's protocol for keeping guests safe in an era of social distancing.

Across the country, restrictions are lifting, but according to experts, traveling at this time is still somewhat risky, particularly in hotels where you are more likely to cross paths with many people. Of course, without a vaccine, there is no firm guarantee with regard to safety. It's crucial to follow guidelines and advice from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. Additionally, consider your own level of risk, and whether you're traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.

The most haunted hotels in America were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Hotels must be historic, dating back to the 1920s or earlier.
  • With respect to the hotel's age, we were more lenient in considering reviews from guests unhappy with the wear and tear that comes along with a centuries-old hotel.
  • The hotel must show that they embrace their ghost stories by:
    • Offering tours
    • Dedicating a section of their website for guests to learn more
    • Stories about the hotel are commonly known and shared in the ghost-hunting community.
  • Every hotel has a Booking.com rating of 7 or higher and is priced between $105 and $298 per night to start.
  • In regards to COVID-19, every hotel must have social distancing and enhanced sanitation protocols in place.

Here are the most haunted hotels in the US sorted by price from low to high:

1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa

Book 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa starting at $105 per night

In the Arkansas Ozarks, the grand 1186 Crescent Hotel and Spa has long been a symbol of hospitality with 72 rooms and four luxury cottages. But it also touts itself as "America's Most Haunted Hotel" for the sheer number of paranormal experiences guests here have claimed over the years.

According to the hotel website, mediums hired by the hotel believe there is actually a portal to another world in the hotel, which explains the high frequency of encounters. Guests on the hotel's nightly tours have said they've experienced sudden lightheadedness when passing a particular spot outside the hotel's annex and this old building has had many tragic chapters. It was once a women's college and also used as "hospital" by a mad doctor who was later discovered to be a fraud conducting ghastly experiments. A nightly tour is available for guests who want the full story.

Whether or not you believe the lore, you'll stay in rooms that channel southern hospitality with bold color combinations, fanciful wallpapers, and opulently-upholstered furniture in the Governor and Parlour Suites. There are also modernly-designed penthouses, which boast incredible panoramic views of the treetops below.

Try to book Room 218, the most frequently requested (and allegedly haunted) room, which is decorated in homage to the hotel's most famous ghost, a builder who died while the building was under construction.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 12 out of 35 hotels in Eureka Springs

Booking.com Rating: 8.1 out of 10

Pros: Guests frequently praise the beautiful valley views from the balcony rooms.

Cons: It's an old hotel, so rooms will show their age and some guests did not find the rooms as clean as expected.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: In addition to checking the temperatures of their staff and enforcing social distancing and mask usage, the hotel is also installing hand sanitizer dispensers, disinfecting high-touch surfaces like buttons and handrails, and removing couches from the lobby.

Omni Parker House in Boston, Massachusetts
Omni Parker House

Book Omni Parker House starting at $111 per night

Boston's Omni Parker House is famous for two things: Boston Cream Pie and the ghost of Harvey Parker.

According to the Omni Hotels blog, the 19th-century hotelier still haunts the 10th floor of the hotel and past guests have reported eerie whispers and elevators that are repeatedly called to the third floor, despite no button being pushed. The hotel does not offer ghost tours, but you can learn all about it on the Ghosts & Gravestones tour that will also expand on the haunted history of one of America's oldest cities.

Rooms at the Omni Parker House are classy and contemporary and some come with great views overlooking the Park Street Church Tower and the Boston Common. Room sizes range from the 90-square foot Economy Petite rooms, which are cost-effective, to the 210-square foot Deluxe rooms, which are decorated with cherry wood furnishings and include a sitting area.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 60 out of 96 hotels in Boston

Booking.com Rating: 8.3 out of 10

Pros: Steps away from the Boston Common, this hotel is a centrally-located and elegant choice for anyone visiting Boston.

Cons: Being in the heart of the city, rooms tend to be small and it can be noisy outside, especially on weekends.

COVID-19 cleaning protocol: Omni hotels have enhanced their cleaning routines to disinfect frequently touched items in guest rooms and public spaces. Hand sanitizer is provided at the front desk and staff is equipped with disposable wipes to clean commonly-used surfaces throughout the day.

Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina
Francis Marion Hotel

Book Francis Marion Hotel starting at $120 per night

In the historic city of Charleston, the Francis Marion Hotel originally opened in the 1920s and is believed to be haunted by Ned Cohen, a heartbroken New Yorker who jumped to his death after getting dumped by his Southern belle.

According to the hotel's blog, many guests have purported to feel his presence at night, reporting a bizarre rustling of the drapes, or even feeling a caress on their cheek. Some guests and hotel staff have even claimed to see a man crying in the hallway.

With 234 rooms, this historic hotel was one of the grandest in the city when it was built and today is still one of the top-rated hotels, revered for its historical significance and elegantly furnished rooms. They're bright and modern, decorated in a calming color scheme of light blue and muted shades of gold. Traditional rooms are spacious and feature marble and granite bathrooms and the best views overlook the Charleston Harbor. If you need extra room, the Deluxe rooms have an extra seating area and more desk space.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 21 out of 68 hotels in Charleston

Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Pros: Guests laud this hotel's great service and how well it balances modernity with old-world charm.

Cons: Some guests find the room layouts awkward and outdated.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The Francis Marion is frequently disinfecting high-touch areas like door handles and handrails, limiting elevator usage to one group at a time, and enforcing masks in public areas.

The Wolf Creek Inn in Wolf Creek, Oregon
Wolf Creek Inn

Book the Wolf Creek Inn starting at $125 per night

In Southern Oregon, the Wolf Creek Inn is housed in a 135-year old building with nine rooms and a long list of strange occurrences.

According to Travel Oregon, the inn originally welcomed pioneers traveling the Applegate Trail and the parlor still has the original flooring and bricks, with real bullet holes from this era.

The owner describes the haunting sounds of doors slamming or piano playing when no one else around as acts of friendly mischief, and paranormal investigators that have visited the hotel have called out Room 8 for being particularly "heavy." The hotel appeared on Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures," among other television specials, and offers guided tours with a focus on the paranormal.

Aside from such legacy, the rooms maintain old-world charm with whitewashed paneled walls and pioneer era-inspired artwork, but still feel modern and clean with plush linens and elegant bed dressings. The hotel is small, so room choices are limited to two Twins, a Full, or Queen-sized bed.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 2 hotels in Wolf Creek

Booking.com Rating: 9.2 out of 10

Pros: The hotel is fully-renovated and feels like new without losing the historic touch.

Cons: It's a small inn, so staff shortages will affect service and cars outside can be noisy.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The Wolf Creek Inn is following the protocol set by the Oregon Health Authority to sanitize and promote social distancing, requiring all guests to wear masks when they are in any common area of the Inn.

La Fonda on the Plaza in Sante Fe, New Mexico
La Fonda on the Plaza

Book La Fonda on the Plaza starting at $169 per night

One of the most iconic hotels in Santa Fe, La Fonda on the Plaza is said to be haunted by a man in a long black coat believed to be the ghost of a local judge from the 19th century. Previous guests claim to have seen him roaming the halls, and according to a post by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, he is among a cast of other commonly-seen spirits. Legend says a cowboy often looms at the bar, as does a young bride who met a tragic end on her wedding night.

Sitting on the same plot of land as Santa Fe's first-ever inn from 400 years ago, this hotel is a historic and luxurious place to stay with an on-site spa and rooms that exude Southwestern elegance with colorful and elaborately designed headboards. Deluxe rooms are worth the splurge for their adorable elevated seating area or fireplace and balcony combination.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 7 out of 64 hotels in Santa Fe

Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Pros: Located in the middle of the Santa Fe, the location is hard to beat and exciting amenities include an outdoor pool and rooftop hot tub.

Cons: Fees for parking can be costly and rooms are on the smaller side without bathtubs.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: This hotel has committed to New Mexico's safety commitment in addition to closing the pool and gym in addition, thoroughly sanitizing rooms thoroughly, allowing a few days to pass between guest stays, and washing linens at high temperatures.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel

Book the Stanley Hotel starting at $199 per night

The Stanley Hotel is a grand hotel that first opened in 1909 and is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Stephen King's epic horror novel "The Shining." However, it was Stanley Kubrick's film interpretation that showed audiences just how unnerving a large hotel can be.

With over 400 rooms offered in this sprawling complex, claims of ghost stories run rampant and the hotel offers an hour-long night tour, which is open to non-guests as well. According to guests who have been on the tour, each section of the hotel has its own story from an alleged energy vortex underneath the main staircase, to Paul, who yells at guests to "get out" if they stay in the concert hall past 11 p.m.

This is a huge resort, so accommodations depend on whether you stay in the historic section, or the lodge, which is a newer boutique-style hotel. The latter includes updated rooms that feature spacious, contemporary layouts, while rooms in the older hotel are similarly decorated, but lack that modern touch.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 22 out of 28 hotels in Estes Park

Booking.com Rating: 7.7 out of 10

Pros: Besides the bragging rights of staying in this historic hotel, the Stanley is also in a great location with many things to do nearby, and places to eat in Estes Park.

Cons: This older hotel shows its age through in-room features like ceiling fans and tubs, which may not be a fit for travelers who prefer modern design.

COVID-19 cleaning protocol: Face coverings are required at all times in the hotel's public areas and the hotel has added hand sanitizing stations in key locations and introduced additional sanitation to high-touch areas to their cleaning procedures. Tours will be limited to groups of 10.

The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, California
Hollywood Roosevelt

Book The Hollywood Roosevelt starting at $242 per night

The longest-running hotel in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Roosevelt has welcomed many stars through its doors from Shirley Temple to Brad Pitt.

However, according to rumors, the hotel's most famous ghost haunts Room #1200, where pasts guests have claimed to glimpsed a starlet's reflection in the mirror — and she's not alone. Other claims include spirits that lock guests out of their rooms and mysterious noises like somebody stomping with boots.

Guests can choose to stay in the classic tower, where the supposed haunted rooms are, or in one of the modern Hollywood-style cabana suites if they'd rather keep their distance. Rooms feel fresh and young with trendy furnishings and colorful decoration, while suites and Superior rooms boast sleekly-tiled bathrooms and four-post beds.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 29 out of 390 in Los Angeles

Booking.com Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Pros: This historic building has kept up with the times, meaning the rooms are modern and fashionable.

Cons: Rooms are on the small side, and because of the hotel's age, the layout of some may feel outdated with large closets and tiny bathrooms.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The Hollywood Roosevelt has added to their cleaning protocol by disinfecting high-touch items in guest rooms, public spaces, and in the back of the house. All guests will be asked to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask and only one guest, or group of guests, will be allowed on the elevator at one time.

Read our full hotel review for The Hollywood Roosevelt

Belhurst Castle in Geneva, New York
Belhurst Castle

Book Bellhurst Castle starting at $245 per night

Sitting on Seneca Lake in Upstate New York, Belhurst Castle is comprised of three hotels in one, however, the castle's resident woman in white appears most often to those staying in the Chambers.

Isabella, for whom the spa is named, was an opera singer and according to legend, she was tragically killed in a collapse when trying to escape the authorities through a secret tunnel built under their home. According to the Haunted History Trail of New York State, guests have reported seeing her standing on the front lawn at night, and hotel staff have noticed unusual activities like the sound of furniture being moved about in a room that once housed illegal gambling activities during the castle's speakeasy days.

From the outside, this castle hotel is so picturesque that it's one the Finger Lakes' most popular wedding venues. In the chambers, guest rooms include regal details such as high-end furnishings or stained glass windows. However, the prize room is the Tower Suite, which has a curved staircase and a balcony overlooking the castle's distinguished grounds.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 7 out of 12 hotels in Geneva

Booking.com Rating: 8.0 out of 10

Pros: This castle is thoroughly unique in design and feels classic in every way. It's a castle!

Cons: Because rooms are fitted inside an old building, each layout is one-of-a-kind and not immune to design flaws like faulty fuses and awkwardly-placed A/C units.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: All guests will be required to wear a face-covering and room keys, which are physical, will all be sanitized and non-essential objects that are purely decorative have been removed from every room.

The Cavalier Resort in Virginia Beach
The Cavalier Resort

Book The Cavalier Resort starting at $279 per night

Originally opened in 1927, The Cavalier Resort has welcomed presidents and celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor.

It's still just as grand as it was in its heyday, however, this historic hotel also comes with a few ghostly tales according to Visit Virginia Beach. Over the years, guests have reported hearing strange sounds like cats scratching at doors, pianos playing on their own, and some guests even claimed to have seen a soldier roaming the halls at night.

The sixth floor is believed to be particularly haunted as that was the floor where the body of the Coors Brewing Company founder was found. Guests who have stayed in the same room have reported cold spots and waking up to open windows.

The rooms come with gold-trimmed headboards, colorful pillows, and marble-adorned bathrooms. Heritage Suites were each designed by one of the hotel's partners and make bold statements with color.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 110 hotels in Virginia Beach

Booking.com Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Pros: This highly-rated hotel impresses guests with elegant touches, marble countertops, and clawfoot tubs, and great service.

Cons: Some recent guests report that social distancing isn't being enforced in the restaurants as it should be.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: Rooms will be cleaned with attention to touchpoints and the hotel has increased how often their public spaces are cleaned.

Jekyll Island Club Resort in Jekyll Island, Georgia
Jekyll Island Club

Book Jekyll Island Club Resort starting at $298 per night

Dating back to 1887, this hotel was once a Victorian-era club and playground for elite 19th-century figures like J.P. Morgan, whose spirit is said to visit from time to time according to HauntedHouses.com. Guests staying in the same condos he once occupied sometimes report the smell of cigar smoke early in the morning.

Other ghosts spotted at the hotel allegedly include the Union General John Lloyd Aspinwall, and a bellhop, who sometimes appears in his uniform to honeymooning couples. Historical tours are offered but focus on the prestigious founding of the island, rather than ghostly claims.

Today, Jekyll Island is a state park and the resort offers a wide variety of accommodations from cottages to a boutique hotel. Rooms in the Island Club are large and updated, while the Island Club Cottages, are charming with large porches outfitted with classic southern-style rocking chairs.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 10 hotels in Jekyll Island

Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Pros: The sprawling grounds are very peaceful and the food and service are highly praised.

Cons: The buildings are old and some guests have reported leaky pipes and malfunctioning A/C units.

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The resort is keeping the pools open, but lounge chairs will be set up for social distancing and the hotel has committed to disinfecting high-touch surfaces in the rooms and also behind the scenes.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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34. The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'The Devil All the Time' to 'Cuties'21:24[−]
The Devil All The Time Robert Pattinson Glen Wilson Netflix.JPG
Robert Pattinson in "The Devil All the Time"
  • "Cuties" is among Netflix's most popular movies this week, despite controversy surrounding it.
  • Netflix introduced daily top lists of the most popular titles on the streaming service in February.
  • Streaming search engine Reelgood keeps track of the lists and provides Business Insider with a rundown of the week's most popular movies on Netflix every Friday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Netflix's "Cuties" is one of the streamer's most popular movies this week, despite calls to boycott Netflix related to the film.

Data provided to Business Insider from the analytics firm SimilarWeb showed a 187% spike in traffic to Netflix's US cancellation page on September 10, the day after the movie debuted.

Some, including the conservative Parents Television Council, argued that the movie, about a French-Senegalese girl who joins a dance troupe, sexualized young girls. Netflix said in a statement that it's a "social commentary against the sexualization of young children."

"It's an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie," a Netflix spokesperson said.

"Cuties" was the No. 4 most popular movie on Netflix this week.

Netflix's new crime thriller "The Devil All the Time," starring Spider-Man actor Tom Holland and the future Batman, Robert Pattinson, was also popular.

Netflix introduced daily top 10 lists of its most viewed movies and TV shows in February (it counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a title).

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Business Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix's daily lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix's entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Below are Netflix's 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:

9. "Dad Wanted" (2020, Netflix original)
dad wanted netflix

Description: "What does a thrill-seeker tween girl do when her mom forbids her to enter a BMX race? Cast an actor with nothing to lose to play her approving dad."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: "Dad Wanted yearns to heat the cockles of your heart, but it's barely lukewarm." — Decider

8. "The Smurfs 2" (2013)
the smurfs 2

Description: "Evil magician Gargamel continues his quest to tap the power of the Smurfs, creating a pair of his own 'Smurf-alikes' called the Naughties."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 14%

What critics said: "Reluctant parents: you don't need to tell your kids that you won't love them if they like 'The Smurfs 2.' Instead, you can silently judge them until either you and/or they simply can't bear the thought of talking to each other." — RogerEbert.com

7. "The Devil All the Time" (2020, Netflix original)
The Devil All The Time Tom Hollan Glen Wilson Netflix

Description: "Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 66%

What critics said: "The casting alone should spur interest in The Devil All the Time, but can't make the movie feel like less of a slog." — CNN

6. "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (2014)
how to train your dragon 2

Description: "Hiccup, Toothless and a mysterious dragon rider join forces to protect the island of Berk from a power-hungry warrior with a dragon army of his own."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

What critics said: "Hats off to Dreamworks for offering some bold surprises in a respectable sequel filled with moments of humour and emotion among its ample noise and movement." — Time Out

5. "#Alive" (2020, Netflix original)
alive netflix

Description: "As a grisly virus rampages a city, a lone man stays locked inside his apartment, digitally cut off from seeking help and desperate to find a way out."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 87%

What critics said: "The prosthetics are consistently well-done, the set-pieces are well executed, and even though George A Romero would disapprove of the zombies' lightning reflexes, Max Brooks would be proud of the protagonists' ingenuity." — Hindustan Times

4. "Cuties" (2020, Netflix original)
Cuties Netflix film
"Cuties" is directed by Ma?mouna Doucour?.

Description: "Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family's traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 86%

What critics said: "'Cuties' dramatizes what people of color and immigrants endure as a result of isolation and ghettoization, of not being represented culturally and politically — and of not being represented in French national mythology." — New Yorker

3. "The Babysitter: Killer Queen" (2020, Netflix original)
the babysitter killer queen

Description: "Two years after Cole survived a satanic blood cult, he's living another nightmare: high school. And the demons from his past? Still making his life hell."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 41%

What critics said: "In this new era of McG movies, you can simply turn his film off, walk a few steps to your bedroom and go to sleep." — Globe and Mail

2. "The Social Dilemma" (2020, Netflix original)
social dilemma netflix

Description: "This documentary-drama hybrid explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: "Jeff Orlowski's 'The Social Dilemma' may be the most important documentary you see this year." — Los Angeles Times

1. "Pets United" (2020, Netflix original)
pets united

Description: "A street-smart dog and a pampered cat join forces to lead a pack of unlikely heroes when their city is seized by its evil mayor — and his robot army."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

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35. How to delete photos from your iCloud account in 2 ways to free up storage space21:22[−]
iPhone X
It's easy to delete your photos from iCloud.
  • To delete photos from iCloud, you can either delete them from your synced iPhone or iPad, or turn off photo syncing.
  • By default, if you delete a synced photo from your iPhone or iPad, it'll be deleted from iCloud too.
  • If you turn off iCloud photo syncing, you can delete photos from the iCloud website without affecting your iPhone or iPad.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

iCloud might not be a feature you think about very often, but its automatic backups of your most important data makes it an incredibly powerful tool.

If enabled, every photo and video you take on your iPhone or iPad is automatically copied to iCloud. Consequently, you might sometimes need to delete some of those images.

There are two ways to delete photos from your iCloud storage.

How to delete photos from iCloud using your iPhone or iPad

If you want to delete a single photo or a small selection of photos that are synced to iCloud from your device, you can do that easily using the Photos app. Note, however, that this will delete them from your device too.

Start the Photos app and find the photo you want to delete, then:

  • To delete a single photo, tap and hold the image until the pop-up menu appears, then tap "Delete."
How to delete photos from iCloud 1
Tap and hold a photo to see the pop-up menu with the option to delete it.
  • To delete several photos at once, tap "Select" at the top right of the screen, then tap each photo you want to remove. When you're done, tap the trash can icon at the bottom-right of the screen.
How to delete photos from iCloud 2
You can select multiple photos for deletion.

As soon as you delete one or more photos, they'll also disappear from your other devices and the iCloud website.

How to delete photos from iCloud without removing them from your device

What if you want to delete photos from iCloud — just a few, or all of them — without also removing them from your iPhone or iPad?

If the iCloud Photos feature is turned on, you can't do this because everything stays in sync. But you can delete photos from iCloud without affecting your devices if you turn off iCloud Photos syncing.

1. Start the Settings app on one of your devices and tap "Photos."

2. Turn off "iCloud Photos" by swiping its button to the left.

How to delete photos from iCloud 3
Turn off iCloud Photos to stop syncing photos.

3. Repeat this for any other iOS devices you have connected to that Apple ID account. Once iCloud Photos is turned off, each of your devices' photo collections will be managed individually.

4. Open iCloud.com in a browser and sign in with your Apple ID if needed.

5. Click "Photos" and do one of the following:

  • To delete one or a small selection of photos, hold the Ctrl or Command key on your keyboard and then click each photo you want to select. Then click the trash can icon at the top-right of the page.
  • To delete your entire iCloud photo collection, press Ctrl +A or Command + A on the keyboard, and then click the trash can icon.
How to delete photos from iCloud 4
You can delete photos a few at a time or select them all for deletion.

Any selected images will be deleted from iCloud, but if you've turned off iCloud Photos, the photos on your other devices will remain intact.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the original article on Business Insider

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36. High-speed railways, water recycling programs, and partnerships with tech companies: How America can innovate to make its infrastructure more competitive, sustainable, and last through the 21st century21:18[−]
inside infrastructure banner siemens
highspeed railway railroad train
"We're still pouring billions and billions of dollars into a 1950s-era highway system without investing in high-speed rail."
  • At United for Infrastructure 2020, a week-long virtual event bringing key stakeholders together, leaders, and government officials discussed how innovation and tech can improve America's infrastructure for the long haul.
  • High-speed rails are the future, they said, pointing to success in Japan, China, and many European countries — and the rising need for better public transportation during the pandemic.
  • Cities like Denver and Plano, Texas, have partnered with tech companies like Comcast to bring free and low-cost broadband internet to their communities.
  • Investing in water recycling systems can ensure we're conserving energy and making our infrastructure sustainable through the 21st century.
  • Read more from the Inside Infrastructure series.

Infrastructure conversations often center on the funding needed to maintain decades-old roadways, highways, utilities, and other systems. But according to government leaders on a recent panel, " Infrastructure and Innovation," cities should be thinking more about innovation and making infrastructure decisions that are relevant for the 21st century.

The session, held on September 17 and hosted by Washington Post Live and Siemens USA, was part of United for Infrastructure 2020, a week-long virtual event bringing together stakeholders across different sectors to discuss the value of infrastructure to the economy and citizens.

"We talk a lot about the need to simply invest more money in infrastructure, and of course this includes everything from fixing the potholes in our roads, our bridges that are literally falling down, to investing in high-speed broadband all across America, including rural America," US Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts) said during the panel. "But while everyone agrees we have an infrastructure deficit, I think what we don't talk about enough is how to truly invest in 21st-century infrastructure."

This is especially important now, as most mayors expect their cities' operating budgets will drop in the next 12 to 18 months, with 66% saying COVID-19 is to blame for the decline, according to a new US Conference of Mayors (USCM) study conducted with Siemens USA and the Harris Poll.

With money tight, investing in infrastructure to create jobs and grow their local economies is mayors' top priority. Dedicating resources to innovative, tech-focused, and environmentally forward initiatives may offer the best payoff in the long run.

High-speed rail, not highways, may make more sense for the future

The transportation system is one example of how infrastructure initiatives don't always factor in the future. Japan, China, and many European countries have invested heavily in high-speed rail, which is faster, more efficient, and better for the environment, while Moulton said the US is "doubling down on highways."

"We're still pouring billions and billions of dollars into a 1950s-era highway system without investing in high-speed rail," he said.

In May, Moulton proposed a plan to invest $205 billion over the next five years to build a coast-to-coast high-speed rail network, which he said would create 2.6 million jobs, reduce strain on highways, and encourage global competitiveness. "This is a better use of our transportation dollars," he said during the panel.

Fear over contracting COVID-19 has curbed the public's use of public transportation, however, and the demand for new and used cars has grown.

"Life is going to get back to normal," Moulton said, and congested and crumbling roadways will continue to be a nuisance for commuters. "The question is, are we going to recreate the infrastructure that we built in the 1950s or are we going to build a next-generation infrastructure system that includes high-speed rail, high-speed broadband, next-generation technologies like 5G to reach everywhere in America and truly improve the quality of life for Americans?"

Tech-focused programs can bridge the digital divide

According to the USCM study, 84% of mayors said it was more important to dedicate resources to technology, including 5G and universal WiFi, to help residents working remotely than to commercial buildings. But 97% still agreed investing in the technology needed to reimagine, change, or adapt how commercial buildings are being used is vital to their city's future.

Access to broadband internet has been a key discussion point during United for Infrastructure 2020, as the pandemic has put the digital divide on display. Advocacy group Broadband Now estimates that more than 40 million Americans lack access to broadband, with rural areas and communities of color hardest hit.

Cities across the country have been working on solutions to address the problem, and many are partnering with tech companies to do so. Denver, for example, joined forces with Comcast to bring the Internet Essentials program to the city to offer free or low-cost broadband to low-income households.

"Everybody was blown away to learn again that we still have this gap existing, this digital divide that separates the haves and the have-nots in our communities," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. "Too many of our children were lost because they did not have the ability to get online at home."

Plano, Texas, is also working with telecom providers to put 5G infrastructure in place, the city's Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said.

"In order to be relevant in the next decade, we need to invest in our infrastructure," he said. "We're looking at doing creative things, like using drones for traffic monitoring and smart poles that allow residents to connect throughout the city, and for our first responders to have access to broadband and WiFi throughout the city. And that's a major expense."

Innovation could protect water and energy resources

Investing in technology that will make cities more environmentally sustainable is another concern for officials. According to the USCM poll, 78% of mayors placed a high priority on reducing energy costs and emissions, and nearly 70% were prioritizing investing in infrastructure for electric vehicles in public transit and in "resilient energy projects" to address power outages. Developing more sustainable ways to generate power is also important.

Water utility officials discussed how many of the utilities across the country are redesigning and innovating their capabilities on the panel " HQ 2.0: Infrastructure Innovations at Utility Headquarters."

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, for example, implemented an onsite water recycling program, where rainwater and water produced at its facility runs through a treatment system, is disinfected, and then is used to flush toilets in the building, the commission's director of water resources Paula Kehoe said.

"We have been able to save over 50% of our indoor potable water demand as a result of this system," she said.

Using the headquarters as a model, in 2015, the city of San Francisco began requiring all new developments in the city over 250,000 square feet to recycle water on-site for the building's toilet flushing and irrigation.

One barrier for more efficient water programs nationwide is that water and wastewater utilities lack consistent water-quality standards that protect public health, Kehoe said. The US Water Alliance's National Blue Ribbon Commission for On-site Non-potable Water Systems is working to create consistent water-quality standards from state to state, promote standards that are risk-based, encourage local oversight and management, and establish peer-to-peer learning.

Scott Berry, director of policy and government affairs at US Water Alliance, said water utility innovators are showing what's possible when it comes to reducing energy and creating more sustainable systems.

"These technologies not only have a big potential for managing utilities' bottom line, and by extension the affordability of services to their customers, but also they really demonstrate the leadership that some utilities are doing to be anchor institutions in their communities by being good stewards of resources," he said.

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37. I tried a ready-made meal delivery service that makes it easy to eat healthy on busy days — all the meals are gluten-free, protein-packed, and actually taste good21:15[−]

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

freshly

  • Finding the time to cook and eat healthy, satisfying meals can be difficult when you have a busy schedule.
  • Meal delivery service Freshly is filling the gap by offering healthy, gluten-free, ready-to-eat meals that can be heated up in three minutes or less.
  • I tried the service for a month and, while I don't think it will ultimately work for my lifestyle, I was impressed with the sustainable packaging, healthy options, and how tasty the meals were.
  • One major con is that there aren't many vegetarian or vegan options — but if you eat meat, this may be a good option for you.
  • If you're looking to expand your culinary skills and palates, here are the best meal kit delivery services to try.
  • Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

I love cooking. From chopping vegetables to experimenting with seasonings, every aspect of making a meal is a fun adventure. I even enjoy going to the grocery store to scavenge for the perfect ingredients.

Yet, even as someone who genuinely likes to cook, a busy schedule can make cooking feel more like a chore than an enjoyable activity. There's always takeout, but most delivery apps hit you with a number of fees making ordering in an expensive pursuit, not to mention that I usually default to something less than nutritious — pizza, anyone?

What is Freshly?

Freshly is a meal delivery service that sends healthy, sustainable, ready-to-eat meals right to your doorstep. After seeing the branded boxes pop up everywhere around me, I was intrigued. I tried the service for a month, so I'll take you through how Freshly works and what I thought about the service below.

What are Freshly's weekly plans?

Freshly makes good on its mission to make healthy eating easy. All of its meals are gluten-free, but you won't miss it anyway.

Here's how it works: First, pick out your plan. There are four options with prices starting at $8.49:

  • 4 meals per week: $49.99/week or $11.49/meal
  • 6 meals per week: $59.99/week or $9.49/meal
  • 9 meals per week: $89.99/week or $8.99/meal
  • 12 meals per week: $107.99/week or $8.49/meal

Once you've picked your plan, you get to pick your desired delivery date. Rather than sending the whole weeks worth of meals to you on Monday, Freshly lets you choose to receive meals any day of the week, so you can pick a date that best fits your schedule.

Once you've picked your delivery date, Freshly will show you the menu for that given week, and you get to select which meals you want (you can even double-up if you want to order one of them multiple times). A typical week has 30 options, give or take. The selection always includes an array of cuisines and dietary preferences, but not many vegan or vegetarian options. This service is definitely heavy on animal proteins.

With its emphasis on making healthy meals, Freshly makes it easy to find all the nutrition info you could want for each meal. Under every meal is an array of icons that tell you if the meal is paleo-friendly, dairy-free, and high protein, among other facts. If you want to do a deeper dive into a particular meal, click on it and you can find even more information — down to every ingredient and calorie count.

freshly
Choosing my meals for the week.

How are the meals delivered?

The meals arrive as pre-made single portions packed in one big box. Inside the box is a layer of biodegradable recycled denim insulation, which keeps your meals fresh, and two big ice packs, which can also eventually be recycled. Actually, everything inside the box (even the box itself) can be recycled, so points to Freshly for sustainability efforts. If you're worried about ordering food when you might be out of town, just know these ice packs stayed frozen for almost 48 hours.

Meals are meant to be kept in the fridge — not frozen — and are all marked with an expiration date, though in general most meals will last a week.

How long do they take to make?

Freshly meals should take three minutes or less to heat up in the microwave. Freshly suggests you plate these meals rather than eat right out of the container, which I did when I had a little more time and clean dishes. For meals that could be "made" in three minutes or less, I was impressed by the flavor these meals packed.

Review of Freshly

The homestyle chicken with butternut mac and cheese was a hearty, indulgent dish that snuck in plenty of protein and veggies. While zucchini noodles are usually a sad, limp alternative to pasta, Freshly's take in their pesto turkey meatballs with zucchini noodles was zesty and flavorful — the perfect balance of protein and veggies for a midday lunch. Unfortunately, this meal is no longer available as an option.

I appreciated Freshly meals most on days when I came home late starving and not wanting to cook. Knowing I could get a healthy, satisfying meal in minutes kept me from getting hangry.

fresh
Freshly's packaging is all recyclable.

Pros

After trying the service, here are three things I think Freshly does best, in no particular order.

  1. Convenience: Coming home to a ready to eat meal makes life easy. Pop it in the microwave and have a full dinner in less than three minutes. The packaging also makes these pretty portable, so you could bring them with you as packed lunches for work too. Plus, the meals come right to your door. It doesn't get more convenient than that.
  2. Nutrition: When you order from a restaurant, you usually don't know what's really in your meal. So, you may think you're ordering a healthy dinner, but you don't know what cooking oils, sugars, or other hidden ingredients could be making that meal less than ideal. Freshly, on the other hand, is transparent about health. Everything is always natural, gluten-free, and follows the brand's specific health guidelines. If calories or dietary preferences are important to you, picking out your meals on Freshly and being able to see exactly what is inside is helpful.
  3. Taste: Convenience shouldn't come at the cost of taste — after all it's still a meal. Freshly works with talented chefs to dream up and cook all of its meals. It's not just grilled chicken and broccoli, Freshly dabbles in all kinds of cuisine — from chicken tikka masala to a low-country boil, there are plenty of adventurous options.

Cons

Here are three things I think Freshly could do better with, in no particular order.

  1. Vegetarian options: I'm not a vegetarian, but I wanted to try some of the vegetarian meals to get a sense of what the service is like for everyone. The vegetarian selection is pretty small, and most of the veggie-based meals didn't seem as appealing, to be honest. If I was a vegan or vegetarian, I'd probably get bored with the selection, especially if I wanted to order six or more meals a week.
  2. Price: I don't think Freshly is noticeably more expensive than other meal delivery services, but I was surprised that four meals a week land each one at $11.49. I understand why the price is what it is, but I still found it a little pricey. Of course, you're paying for the convenience of not having to do anything but open your microwave. And, Freshly's emphasis on sustainability makes me more apt to support them than competitors. But, I feel like I'd be remiss not to mention that this isn't the most affordable option out there.

The bottom line

Freshly is a great service, but I think it's better suited for some types of people than others. If you're someone who hates cooking, grocery shopping, and often finds yourself too busy to even whip up pasta or scrambled eggs, this service will make your life so much easier. No thought or effort, just pop a meal in the microwave and you're set.

If you're someone who likes to cook, go out to dinner often, or are more particular about what you eat, you may be better off trying a meal kit instead. Personally, I found six meals a week to be too much. When dinners came up as spontaneous social outings, I didn't want to refuse, but I also didn't want to waste my meals, which made me feel lukewarm about eating them. And, sometimes I didn't want to eat the meals I had chosen a week earlier. I like to eat what I feel like eating at any given moment and pre-planning all of your meals kind of takes that control away.

I really do like cooking for myself, though, and when I don't, I like to treat myself to meals out. Since my schedule usually gives me enough time to do those things, I probably wouldn't commit to Freshly again. But, I see why Freshly has been gaining so much traction recently. For anyone that wants quick, healthy, and convenient meals with little effort, I'd recommend the service.

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38. The coffee rush in the US has shifted from bright and early to later in the morning as people need 'a break from their Zoom,' says Dunkin' CFO21:14[−]
dunkin donuts covid drive thru mask
A Dunkin' worker hands a coffee out of a drive-thru window wearing gloves and a mask as the Coronavirus continues to spread on March 17, 2020 in Norwell, Massachusetts.
  • Dunkin' Donut's early morning rush used to run from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., as people stopped in for coffee before work.
  • But now, as the pandemic forces Americans to work from home, more Americans are grabbing coffee later in the day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Dunkin's CFO.
  • Starbucks, McDonald's, and Dunkin' have all seen breakfast sales decline since the start of the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The morning coffee-and-doughnuts rush at Dunkin' has shifted to mid-day, as workers skip their commutes to work from home, Dunkin' CFO Katherine Jaspon said on Tuesday.

"People are coming out a little later, maybe they need a break from their Zoom," said Jaspon at a conference hosted by JPMorgan.

Before the pandemic, consumers lined up for coffee on their way to work between the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every morning. Now, people show up more between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Dunkin's CFO said.

Dunkin' isn't the only chain restaurant feeling the change. Breakfast sales have "dried up" at McDonald's, Panera, and Starbucks, Business Insider previously reported.

In July, Starbucks also revealed that sales had slumped due to disruptions in morning commutes to work and school. Like Dunkin', the coffee chain said that Americans were stopping in later in the day, with early visits around 9:30 a.m. and a 2 p.m. afternoon peak. The chain saw same-store sales decline 41% year over year, with more consumers buying cappuccinos at suburban drive-thrus than urban cafes, according to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.

To court the growing number of Americans eating at home, Dunkin' has in recent months shifted to focus "on the espresso and latte platforms and things that you really can't make at home," said Jaspon. The chain also rolled out a line of breakfast cereals in August, with two lightly caffeinated flavors: Caramel Macchiato and Mocha Latte.

Despite these efforts, Dunkin's sales have been hurting since the start of the pandemic. In July, Dunkin' announced that it would be closing 800 stores across the US, about 8% of locations, according to prior Business Insider reporting. The chain also reported that same-store sales declined 18.7% year over year in the second quarter, not including temporarily closed locations.

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39. Meet the 10 richest documented Russian billionaires, who have a collective net worth of almost $180 billion21:09[−]
Putin Vladimir Potanin
Putin with Vladimir Potanin, the richest man in Russia that we know of.

The richest Russian people in the world are ultra-wealthy businessmen and investors with stakes in minerals, large banks, and even popular football clubs.

One name, however, is conspicuously absent: President Vladimir Putin.

There is no definitive answer on how much the Russian head of state is worth. In 2019, Quartz described Putin's net worth, as based on financial disclosures released by the Kremlin, as "comically modest." At a 2017 Senate Judiciary Hearing, outspoken Putin critic Bill Browder estimated the president "has accumulated $200 billion of ill-gotten gains" and described him as "one of the richest men in the world."

Here are the 10 richest people in Russia that we know of.

All net worths have been sourced from Bloomberg and industries have been sourced from Forbes.

10. Mikhail Fridman
Mikhail Fridman
Mikhail Fridman, Chairman of Supervisory Board of Alfa Group Consortium and Member of Supervisory Board of Х5 Retail Group, applauds during a ceremony as Х5 Retail Group starts trading on Moscow Exchange in the city of Moscow, Russia February 1, 2018.

Net worth: $13.6 billion

Age: 56

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Self-made; oil, banking, telecom

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $292 million.

Fridman cofounded Alfa Bank in 1991. It later grew into Alfra Group, one of Russia's largest privately owned investment groups. The majority of his wealth comes from the company.

In 2017 Fridman sued BuzzFeed over the publication of the Steele Dossier, parts of which said that the businessman bribed Putin in the 1990s. One of the most recent developments in the lengthy legal battle involved a London judge awarding Fridman $20,000 in compensation, while arguing that Christopher Steele's firm didn't vet the allegations in the dossiers thoroughly enough.

9. Viktor Vekselberg
Viktor Vekselberg

Net worth: $14.8 billion

Age: 63

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Self-made; metals, energy

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $6.39 million.

Vekselberg heads an investment company with a stake in the largest aluminum producer in Russia, owns several regional airports, and "controls more than a dozen closely held companies" per Bloomberg.

The Ukrainian-born businessman is married with two kids.

In April 2018, Vekselberg was one of seven ultrawealthy Russian tycoons who were met with sanctions by the Trump administration over the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The following month, he was stopped at a New York airport and questioned by federal agents working with special counsel Robert Mueller. He's described as having a "favorable relationship" with President Putin.

8. Andrey Melnichenko
Andrey Melnichenko

Net worth: $15.5 billion

Age: 48

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Self-made; EuroChem; coal, fertilizer

Net worth year-over-year change: Up by $74.5 million.

Melnichenko's $15 billion net worth comes largely from stakes in EuroChem, a fertilizer company, and SUEK, a coal company.

He's married to Serbian pop singer Aleksandra Nikolic. The couple has two kids. Melnichenko owns two yachts, one of which is worth $300 and resembles a submarine.

He also runs an eponymous foundation that "supports talented children in science and education."

7. Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich

Net worth: $15.8 billion

Age: 53

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; steel, investments

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $582 million.

Per Bloomberg, Abramovich made his substantial fortune through selling state-owned assets that he bought after the Soviet Union's fall.

Abramovich has been married three times and has seven kids.

He holds stakes in the Chelsea Football Club. He bought the club in 2003 for over $100 million. In January 2020, Forbes reported that Abramovich has continued to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the sports club despite a contentious relationship with Boris Johnson.

6. Vagit Alekperov
Vagit Alekperov Vladimir Putin

Net worth: $16.1 billion

Age: 70

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Self-made, Lukoil; oil

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $6.19 billion.

Alekperov, a former oil rig worker, is the head of the Moscow-based oil company Lukoil. Per Bloomberg, the company has 100,00 employees and generated over $114 billion in revenue in 2019.

Between 1990 and 1991, he served as Deputy Minister of the Soviet Union's oil and gas industry.

According to a transcript released by the Kremlin, Alekperov and Putin met in early 2020 to discuss business.

In a 2004 story, Peter Maass wrote for the New York Times that Alekperov "has a laser stare that could melt an iceberg."

5. Alexey Mordashov
Alexey Mordashov

Net worth: $18.2 billion

Age: 54

Industry: Metals and mining

Source of wealth: Self-made; Severstal; steel, investments

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $1.71 billion.

Mordashov holds a majority stake in Severstal, one of the largest steelmakers in Russia. He was the CEO of the company from 2006 to 2015.

He also owns shares in TUI AG, a German tourism company.

4. Alisher Usmanov
Alisher Usmanov

Net worth: $18.8 billion

Age: 67

Industry: Metals and mining

Source of wealth: Self-made; steel, telecom, and investments

Net worth year-over-year change: Up by $2.14 billion.

Bloomberg lists cash as Usmanov's biggest asset.

A man of many investments, Usmanov holds stakes in a number of wildly successful startups like Airbnb, Alibaba, and Spotify. He was also an early investor in Facebook.

He founded USM, his investments and holding company, in 2012. Through USM, he owns part of Metalloinvest, a Russian steel company, and all of Megafon, a Russian photo operator.

He has donated north of $2 billion to charity.

In 2018, he sold his stake in Arsenal Football Club for around $700 million.

3. Leonid Mikhelson
Leonid Mikhelson

Net worth: $19.5 billion

Age: 65

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Self-made; Novatek; gas, chemicals

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $5.06 billion in the last year.

Mikhelson holds a 25% stake in private Russian natural gas company Novatek — the source of the majority of his wealth. He's the CEO of the company and the largest shareholder. Mikhelson founded the company in 1994.

In 2010, Mikhelson and his business partner, Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire who has close ties to President Putin, entered into negotiations to acquire Sibur, Russian's largest petrochemical firm. Mikhelson owns close to 60% of the company.

2. Vladimir Lisin
Vladimir Lisin

Net worth: $20 billion

Age: 64

Industry: Metals and mining

Source of wealth: Industrial; Novolipetsk Steel; steel, transport

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $1.35 billion.

Lisin derives most of his wealth from his stake in Novolipetsk Steel, Russia's largest steelmaker. The company also exports steel across the world. He's been the chairman of the company since 1998.

He's married with three kids.

In 2018, he was elected president of the International Shooting Sport Federation.

1. Vladimir Potanin
FILE PHOTO: President and Chairman of the Board of MMC Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Net worth: $26.1 billion

Age: 59

Industry: Metals and mining

Source of wealth: Self-made; Norilsk Nickel; metals

Net worth year-over-year change: Down by $1.91 billion.

Most of Potanin's wealth comes from his stake in Norilsk Nickel, Russia's largest metal and mining company.

His Bloomberg profile calls him "the mastermind behind [Russia's] so-called loans-for-shares program," where individuals and companies lent money to the country in return for stakes in its natural resource companies.

In 1992, he joined forces with another Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov, to found Onexim Bank, one of the largest private banks in Russia.

Potanin has been married twice and has seven kids.

He's a part of The Giving Pledge, the charity founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, and is ice hockey buddies with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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40. Trump's ban on TikTok is another move in the 'tug-of-war' between the US and China that may send the Oracle deal back to the drawing board, experts say21:08[−]
tiktok oracle
  • The US Commerce Department said on Friday that it would prohibit downloads of TikTok and WeChat beginning September 20.
  • The move comes after Oracle and TikTok announced a proposal for the enterprise tech giant to become TikTok's "trusted technology provider" in the US.
  • But experts say the move to ban TikTok suggests that the involved parties are not happy with the deal.
  • That could send the deal back to the drawing board, some experts say.
  • Trump is said to have been pushing for US ownership, and the Oracle deal would have left ByteDance as the majority stakeholder.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After weeks of uncertainty, the Trump administration is upholding its decision to take action against TikTok and WeChat, two of the world's most widely-used social networks that are both owned by Chinese tech companies.

The US Commerce Department announced on Friday that it would prohibit TikTok and WeChat from being offered in US app stores beginning Sunday, September 20. The move comes after Oracle emerged as the "trusted technology provider" for TikTok's US presence, a proposal that TikTok said it believed "would resolve the administration's security concerns."

But the decision to prohibit the app from being downloaded in the United States is a sign that at least some of the parties involved aren't satisfied with the terms of the Oracle deal — whether it be the US government, TikTok's parent company ByteDance, or the Chinese government, experts say.

"I think what it means is they may have to bring their pencils back to the deal table and offer some potential concessions," Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer and CEO of cybersecurity consultancy firm Fortalice Solutions, said to Business Insider.

Experts also say it could be indicative of broader tensions that have been building between the United States and China, particularly over how technology companies are allowed to operate in their respective countries.

Uncertainties about the Oracle partnership

The US Commerce Department set two deadlines for TikTok. As of September 20, companies in the US are barred from distributing or maintaining the TikTok app. TikTok rose to the top of Apple's App Store on Friday, two days before the ban goes into effect.

TikTok has until November 12 to address the Trump administration's security concerns or else the app will stop working within the US.

Oracle recently emerged as the unexpected winner in the race to work with TikTok on its US operations in an attempt to assuage the national security concerns surrounding the app. Both Oracle and TikTok said on September 14 that they've submitted a proposal that would name Oracle as its "trusted technology provider" in the United States.

But little is known about what such a partnership would entail, other than that ByteDance has committed to establishing TikTok as a US-headquartered global company and would create 20,000 jobs under the proposed deal. As part of the partnership, Oracle would also be able to review TikTok's code to ensure there are no potential backdoors, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Still, ByteDance would remain the majority shareholder, leaving Oracle as a minority stakeholder, reports the Journal. Trump is said to have been pushing for majority ownership from a US company, the Journal also reported.

"My concern about the Oracle deal was that even under the best of circumstances — a code review, looking for backdoors that could be the potential place where information could be accessed — in the best of times is very hard to do," Payton said. "Every time you make a change to that code and recompile, you have to evaluate the code all over again."

The ban could suggest that TikTok and Oracle may need to "go back to the drawing board" and reevaluate the terms to satisfy Trump's security concerns, according to Daniel Elman, an analyst at Nucleus Research.

"Clearly there have been some stumbles in getting the Oracle deal approved," Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives also said. "This puts further pressure on ByteDance and TikTok to agree to the issues proposed otherwise this plug gets pulled."

The 'tug-of-war' between the US and China

By enforcing the ban, Trump could be sending a message to the Chinese government urging it to allow for a deal that would adequately satisfy concerns by allowing for more US control. It could also be somewhat of a retaliation against China's own policies, which prohibit American tech giants like Google and Facebook from operating within the country.

"It's more about sending a signal," Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research, said to Business Insider. "We told you there was a deadline, now we're shutting it down until you figure it out . . . It's a tacit acknowledgment that the US can't just make this decision."

China also updated its list of technologies that are barred from being exported in late August to include tech that's believed to be critical to TikTok's recommendation engine. The change occurred just weeks before the Oracle deal was announced, throwing a wrench in negotiations and possibly giving Beijing a stronger say in TikTok's fate.

"I think China and the US are going back and forth over it," Elman said. "It seems like a little bit of tug-of-war with TikTok in the middle."

Regardless, the ban suggests that concerns around TikTok are far from being solved, according to Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst with research firm Valoir.

"China's making the US out to be the bully on this, and while the ban is surely intended to push China toward a deal, it's equally likely China will dig in," Wettemann said to Business Insider via email. "The security concerns are legitimate, but unless the US does a better job of communicating the risk and why it's important, it's just throwing its weight around."

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41. An influencer set out to trade a bobby pin for a house — 18 trades later, she had a $19,500 diamond necklace. Here's how she did it.21:05[−]
Demi Skipper
Demi Skipper decided to launch her trade project in May 2020 amid the pandemic.
  • Since May, Demi Skipper has been on a mission to trade her way from a bobby pin to a house, inspired by man who did just that in Canada from 2005 to 2006.
  • The 29-year-old, based in San Francisco, made a TikTok account to track her progress; it now has over 4.5 million followers and is one of the most viewed accounts on the app.
  • Eighteen trades later, Skipper currently has a diamond and sapphire necklace appraised to be worth $19,500.
  • She says the project isn't about the type of house she can get or where it's located, but more to test the limits of what's possible.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Demi Skipper, 29, has always been a side hustler. She has a full-time job managing the mobile app team at OpenTable and a busy side business renting out wedding dresses from her apartment in San Francisco, but she decided to add in another project to keep her occupied during quarantine. She had no idea what a viral sensation that project would become.

Skipper was inspired by Kyle MacDonald, who decided in 2005 to attempt to barter for a house, starting off with just a paperclip. Trading the paperclip for a pen, he worked his way up to a snowmobile, and eventually a two-story farmhouse. It took him 14 trades over one year.

Skipper is on a similar mission, and wants to break MacDonald's record of one year.

She started off with a humble bobby pin, and traded it in May 2020 for a pair of earrings. Eighteen trades later, she is the owner of a diamond necklace valued at $19,500.

"I think I'm getting pretty close," Skipper told Business Insider. "I'm hopeful that within three more months I can do it."

Along the way, Skipper has picked up 4.5 million TikTok followers as @trademeproject.

She also now has well as over a quarter of a million followers on Instagram. She calls them "the Trade Me Project family" and receives daily motivation from the fans following along. She's blown away that she has "one of the most viewed accounts on TikTok."

Skipper sifts through thousands of messages every day, some offering trades and some offering support like transporting a trade if needed. While she would have taken anything for a bobby pin, she's now getting offers of boats, real estate, and RVs.

Demi Skipper bike
In one trade, Skipper swapped a MacBook Pro for this electric bike food cart.

"Kyle MacDonald was able to trade for non-tangibles like a role in a movie or a trip, but with COVID it adds another level of difficulty," Skipper said. "People would be shocked by how many hours go in behind the scenes of the one-minute video announcing a new trade. I'm up at 6 a.m. every day looking for new trades."

Each trade takes about a week to find the perfect 'yes.'

Skipper says the key to a successful trade is looking outside of the category — no one wants to trade their new iPhone for an old iPhone. Instead, Skipper got a new iPhone 11 Pro Max by trading some high-end sneakers. She uses Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other online marketplaces to find interested barterers, though now she's achieved enough fame and credibility that the offers come to her.

Demi Skipper caravan
One trade landed Skipper a 2008 Dodge Caravan.

Her third trade — a set of four margarita glasses valued at $24 for a Bissell vacuum cleaner valued at $60 — was a turning point for Skipper where she realized that she could really achieve her goal. The hardest trade so far was getting a broken down 2008 Dodge Caravan and finding someone who wanted to trade it for something of higher value. Skipper continually reminds herself that if she can make her way through a trade for an old minivan, she can trade anything.

"What's next is just as much of a surprise for me as it is for everyone else," she said. Knowing that millions of people are invested and along for the ride keeps her motivated. At this point, whether she gets a house is a matter of "when, not if."

It was never about the type of house or where the house was, but just if it was possible.

Skipper, who lives with her husband of one year — the man behind the camera for every TikTok video — thinks that she may give the house away to someone in need, potentially someone in the Trade Me Project family. Everything is on the table, including living in it or turning it into an Airbnb rental. She may even do it all over again. With her following and drive, Skipper may find trading hard to give up.

Demi Skipper husband
Skipper and her husband, who helps her film the TikTok videos.

Her advice for anyone wanting to start a project in quarantine? Look at the big picture, don't give up when it's hard, and be ready for an emotional roller coaster. "Trade to trade, I'm like 'Oh God, I only got from this to this,'" Skipper said, "but then I look back and I'm like 'OK, I started from a bobby pin."

"You have to know that the journey is worth it."

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42. Infosys commits to 1,000 tech jobs in Rhode Island, adding to the state's $45 million plan to retrain and reskill workers in partnership with Salesforce, Microsoft, and others21:04[−]
Gina Raimondo
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.
  • Rhode Island has a plan to use CARES Act funding to bring jobs back to the state.
  • A private-public partnership called "Back to Work RI" will support displaced workers with critical training to help them navigate a job market upended by the coronavirus.
  • The state is partnering on the $45 million plan with companies including Bank of America, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Twitter, as well as major unions and nonprofits.
  • The state's most recent partnership comes with global tech and consulting giant Infosys, which has committed to adding 1,000 jobs in the state.
  • Gov. Gina Raimondo told Business Insider that she'll be seizing the digital revolution to build a more resilient economy.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Rhode Island is using $45 million of federal stimulus funding to fast-track its economic comeback, and it's lined up an impressive roster of private-sector partners. But it could be more than that.

The state's "Back to Work RI" initiative could be a model for how government and business will work together to revive the economy.

The initiative intends to bring thousands of job opportunities to Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring using CARES Act funding. The approach shifts Rhode Island from the old "train and pray" model, as the state's press release from July calls it, to "a new paradigm – train, support, and hire."

More recently, global tech and consulting giant Infosys has committed to adding 1,000 jobs in the state, furthering Raimondo's job creation efforts. Recruiting businesses to add jobs in a crisis amid double-digit unemployment has been monumental, according to the governor.

"As a leader, I'm trying to look ahead and build for the future," Raimondo told Business Insider, adding that she plans to take advantage of the state's proximity to major cities like New York and Boston to position Rhode Island as the perfect work-from-home location, where quality of life is high and workers, particularly in sectors such as media and tech, can work remotely with ease.

"Getting Rhode Islanders back to work doesn't mean returning to the old way of doing business," Gov. Gina Raimondo said on Facebook live in July. "We need to give Rhode Islanders the skills and support they need to succeed in the new economy while building pathways to good jobs for people who have traditionally faced barriers to employment."

Partners include companies such as Amgen, Bank of America, CVS Health, Microsoft, Raytheon, Salesforce, and Twitter, unions such as the Laborers' International Union of North America and Service Employees International Union, and nonprofits such as Care New England Health System. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders.

On the Facebook live event, Microsoft President Brad Smith said, "This is all about the formula, because I do think this is precisely the right kind of formula that not just Rhode Island but the whole nation needs," adding that these kinds of partnerships matter most to deliver meaningful skills to the workforce.

According to the state's press release, the CARES program will offer new resources to foster skill development and will create immediate roles that focus on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services, and IT.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff echoed that sentiment, saying business is the perfect platform for change and committing to creating 3 million new jobs by 2023.

"If we embrace this opportunity and supercharge the collaborative approach to job training that has helped us rebound over the past six years, " Raimondo said, "Rhode Island's economy will be stronger, more equal, and more resilient than ever before."

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43. United Airlines is now using high-tech robots to disinfect its planes during the pandemic21:00[−]
NovaRover Antimicrobial sprayer electrostatic fog United Airlines
  • United Airlines introduced a new antimicrobial spray — and a new robotic cleaner — to help combat the coronavirus on airplanes.
  • The new cleaning product is in addition to the electrostatic spraying the airline does before each flight.
  • The robot is only at United's Chicago hub right now, but will be rolled out at the airline's other six hubs in the coming months.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The next time you fly the friendly skies, you may have a new high-tech pal to thank for your clean seat.

United Airlines unveiled a new tool in its fight against the novel coronavirus this week: a new antimicrobial spray applied to planes overnight by a robot.

The airline will begin using an EPA-certified antimicrobial coating to planes, called Zoono Microbe Shield, which forms "a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes." The new coating is in addition to electrostatic spraying and other cleaning processes United already has in place.

"As part of our layered approach to safety, antimicrobials are an effective complement to our hospital-grade HEPA air filtration system, mandatory mask policy for customers and daily electrostatic spraying," Toby Enqvist, United's chief customer officer, said in a statement.

The Zoono coating will be applied by a robot called NovaRover, the airline said.

NovaRover looks like a short box on wheels with a tall stalk on top. It's roughly the width of a drink cart, and can fit down plane aisles. The robot sprays the coating as a fine mist that covers every surface within 12 feet, the airline said.

United also released a video of the NovaRover in action:

"When you layer that in on top of our departure electrostatic spraying of the disinfectant, the masks we have customers wearing on board the airplane, the wipes that we provide to customers," said Scott Hildebrand, an operations director at United, "all of those things together make our airplanes very, very clean and safe."

The new spray — and the NovaRover — are currently being rolled out across United's fleet. The Rover is spraying roughly 30 aircraft a week at the airline's Chicago hub, but will be introduced to United's other hubs in the coming months.

Notably, the airline said it will continue to use electrostatic disinfection on its planes before each flight, even when the Zoono Microbe Shield is introduced more broadly. The new antimicrobial will be applied every seven days during overnight deep cleanings.

United and other airlines have worked to implement new cleaning and safety procedures during the pandemic as they try to convince passengers that flying is safe. Flight crews have experienced lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population, which airline CEOs say is proof that these new procedures are working.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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44. CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: We're looking for young power players in the luxury industry20:50[−]
Dog
  • Business Insider is seeking nominations for the young power players in the luxury sector.
  • We are looking for entrepreneurs and business professionals who identify as Gen Zers or millennials and are at the forefront of luxury fashion, travel, watches and jewelry, publishing, and more.
  • Specifically, we want to speak to the people who are not only poised to become the new faces of luxury, but also those who are leading change in a sector that is constantly innovating.
  • Nominate yourself or someone you know via this form.
  • Please email this reporter, Dominic-Madori Davis, at ddavis@businessinsider.com with any questions.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

We're seeking nominations for Business Insider's inaugural list of young power players in luxury, and we want to hear from you.

This list is open for all of those who identity themselves as Gen Zers or millennials and are working in a luxury category, including fashion, travel, watches and jewelry, and more.

As the next generation of luxury consumers rises, so does the next generation of luxury leaders and innovators.

We are looking to highlight and feature the next generation of luxury leaders who are not only poised to become the new faces of the sector, but who are also helping to change and further innovate the category in terms of sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and more.

The ranking will be determined based on the nominee's role and responsibilities, potential, and impact they have (or their company has) already had on the industry.

Complete this form by the submission deadline of 5:30 p.m. EST on October 15 to have your selection considered for the list. Please be as specific as possible in your submission. The form is also embedded to scroll through below.

Please email this reporter, Dominic-Madori Davis, at ddavis@businessinsider.com with any questions.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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45. Trump's push to ban TikTok, explained in 30 seconds20:39[−]
donald trump tiktok lawsuit 4x3
  • The US Commerce Department announced Friday it would ban TikTok and WeChat from app stores on September 20.
  • With the deadline just two days away, TikTok is rushing to put the finishing touches on a deal to assuage the US government's concerns about national-security risks posed by the app's ties to China.
  • Reports indicate the deal will include the creation of a new TikTok entity in which US investors, including Oracle, replace TikTok's current parent company, ByteDance, as majority stakeholders.
  • The next two days will be crucial for TikTok, which will see whether its bid to stay in the US is approved. TikTok has also filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to fight the ban.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Here's everything you need to go about what's going on with the US government's threat to ban TikTok.

TikTok, a product of the massive Chinese company ByteDance, came to the US in 2018. The app's addictive recommendation engine and simple video-making process quickly turned it into a mainstay in internet culture. It now has more than 100 million users each month in the US.

As TikTok's popularity has grown, so has scrutiny from US lawmakers over its roots in China, a country President Donald Trump has readily painted as an enemy during his presidency. Chinese law requires domestic companies to "cooperate" with the state's security efforts — a connection that raised concerns about the government's influence over TikTok content moderation in the US and its access to American users' data. The US government quietly launched an investigation in November 2019 into TikTok's potential national-security risks, a review led by a government body called CFIUS, which reviews foreign investments in the United States.

TikTok's popularity continued to rocket in 2020. Mainstream attention turned to TikTok when its userbase said it falsely inflated the expected attendance for a major Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the start of July 2020, Trump administration officials first stated publicly they were considering banning TikTok in the US.

On July 31, reports emerged the president would soon turn his words into action. The Trump administration weighed two options: a nationwide TikTok ban, or a directive for ByteDance divest its TikTok operations in the US. In his first executive order, Trump set a deadline for ByteDance to find an American buyer, threatening to bar "any transactions" between Americans and TikTok by Sept. 20 — a date murky and debated due to conflicting statements and orders from the Trump administration.

Although Trump seemed to initially lean toward an outright ban, the administration invited ByteDance to look for a bidder to satisfy US government concerns and avoid a ban. Microsoft emerged as the early, eager frontrunner with a multi-billion-dollar proposal to acquire a stake in TikTok's US assets. But Microsoft's bid fell apart at the eleventh hour and Oracle, which is run by a high-profile Trump supporter, emerged last weekend as the dark-horse bidder. What's resulted appears to be a far cry from what the Trump administration initially said it wanted, and although the terms haven't been finalized or announced it appears a new global US-based TikTok entity will be created, with US investors (including Oracle) replacing ByteDance as its majority shareholder.

On Friday morning, the Commerce Department expanded further on the details of TikTok's imminent Sept. 20 ban. The order bans all new US downloads of TikTok, and stops existing users from receiving software updates. The US government also threatens to ban the app's functionality on Nov. 12 by targeting internet service providers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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46. Trump just banned WeChat for US users. Here's how the company behind the popular app became a $69 billion behemoth that has a stake in everything from 'Fortnite' to Hollywood blockbusters.20:33[−]
tencent
WeChat mascots are displayed inside Tencent office in Guangzhou, China.
  • The Trump administration has banned WeChat in the US beginning on Sunday. The ban follows an executive order against the app in August that barred US companies and individuals from making any transactions with WeChat.
  • WeChat is owned by Tencent, which isn't a household name in the US, but is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Tencent has a stake in everything from blockbuster films to gaming.
  • In fact, Tencent is the biggest video game company in the world. It owns US game studio Riot Games and has a substantial stake in Epic Games, the company behind "Fortnite."
  • Run by billionaire Pony Ma, Tencent is now worth around $69 billion — more than Berkshire Hathaway and Johnson & Johnson, and nearly as much as Alibaba.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Trump administration announced Friday it will ban WeChat, the social media app owned by mega-conglomerate Tencent, for US users beginning on September 20.

Tencent likely isn't a household name for many Americans, but it's one of the biggest firms in Asia and has a stake in everything from video games like "Fortnite" to blockbuster films, including "Men in Black: International," "Top Gun: Maverick," and "Terminator: Dark Fate."

Plus, its messaging apps, WeChat and QQ, are used by more than two-thirds of Chinese people, according to Bloomberg.

The order, issued by the US Commerce Department, states that beginning on Sunday, WeChat will not only be unavailable to download and unable to process payments, but it will also be rendered unusable for US users — the order prohibits any internet hosting service from "enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the US." This could have far-reaching effects on the 3.3 million monthly active WeChat users in the US, as well as for Tencent.

Tencent has said it will continue to work with US officials to achieve a "long-term solution," and that the company "has always incorporated the highest standards of user privacy and data security."

As WeChat's future hangs in the balance and Tencent works to continue operating in the US, here's a look back at how Tencent got its start in the late '90s and grew to become one of the most powerful companies in the world.

Tencent was founded in 1998 by Ma Huateng — better known as Pony Ma — along with three of his classmates from college and a friend.
pony ma tencent
Tencent founder and CEO Pony Ma in Wuzhen, China, in November 2018.

Today, Ma is one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of $55.5 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

While Ma oversees the company, Tencent's day-to-day operations are managed by its president, Martin Lau, according to Bloomberg.

Tencent has a hand in everything from entertainment to financial services to comics. But perhaps its most powerful tool is WeChat.
FILE PHOTO:  A WeChat logo is displayed inside TIT Creativity Industry Zone where Tencent office is located in Guangzhou, China May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A WeChat logo is displayed inside TIT Creativity Industry Zone in Guangzhou.

While WeChat began as a messaging app, it's evolved into much more than that.

Tencent launched WeChat in 2011 with the goal of allowing users to send messages over the internet, much like WhatsApp. Since then, Tencent has added features like video calling, gaming, shopping, the ability to send mobile payments, and the option to hail a taxi or order food.

The app is a major part of everyday life in China, to an extent that users outside the country can't fully comprehend.

"For all intents and purposes WeChat is your phone, and to a far greater extent in China than anywhere else, your phone is everything," analyst and Stratechery founder Ben Thompson wrote in 2017. "There is nothing in any other country that is comparable, particularly the Facebook properties (Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp) to which WeChat is commonly compared."

But WeChat has also become a surveillance tool, according to experts. Researchers at Citizen Lab recently found that WeChat has been monitoring sensitive keywords and images sent by users overseas and using the findings to help it train its censorship algorithms in China.

The app also collects a substantial amount of information from its users, including their face and voice, leading some to worry that it could become an instrument for the Chinese government.

In recent years, Tencent has become the world's largest video game company through its tactic of investing in or outright buying up major game makers.
Fortnite
An attendee stops to text next to Epic Games' Fortnite sign at E3, the annual video games expo in Los Angeles.

Tencent outright owns Riot Games, the Los Angeles-based studio responsible for two of the world's biggest games: "League of Legends" and "Teamfight Tactics."

Tencent also owns a 40% stake in Epic Games, the North Carolina-based company behind "Fortnite," the Epic Games Store, and Unreal Engine, the software suite that powers a huge portion of gaming. And it owns the majority of Supercell, the Finnish mobile gaming powerhouse behind "Clash of Clans," "Clash Royale," and "Brawl Stars."

On top of that, Tencent has minority stakes in "Call of Duty" publisher Activision and "Assassin's Creed" publisher Ubisoft.

And for American companies looking to get their games in front of the Chinese market, Tencent also operates as a gatekeeper of sorts. For example, when Activision wants to bring "Call of Duty" to China, it partners with Tencent. Same goes for EA, Sony, and Ubisoft.

Moreover, Tencent operates WeGame — the Chinese equivalent of Steam, the world's largest PC gaming storefront. There's one major difference between Steam and WeGame: Tencent's version of Steam has far more users.

All of that combined means Tencent is the most powerful gaming company in the world.

Tencent has its own production company, Tencent Pictures, which has invested in multiple US films.
Top Gun Maverick

Launched in 2015, Tencent Pictures has been involved in high-profile Hollywood projects, including:

  • "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
  • "Terminator: Dark Fate"
  • "Top Gun: Maverick"
  • "Venom"
  • "Wonder Woman"
  • "Kong: Skull Island"
  • "Men in Black: International"
It's a major investor, with holdings in Tesla, Reddit, Discord, and Snap. Tencent has invested in more "unicorn" startups than Japanese investment giant SoftBank, according to Quartz.
Snapchat

Source: Quartz, Bloomberg, Pitchbook

Tencent also has a stake in streaming, music, and comics.
NBA store China
People walk by the NBA flagship retail store on October 9, 2019 in Beijing, China.

The company has signed major distribution deals with Sony Music, Warner Music Group, and YG Entertainment, which allow Tencent to distribute their music catalogs online and promote artists from those labels on Tencent's platforms, according to Reuters.

And in 2015, Tencent signed a deal worth $700 million with National Basketball Association, making the company the NBA's exclusive digital partner in China. The deal allowed Tencent to carry live games, the NBA draft, the NBA Finals, and the All-Star Game, Bloomberg reported at the time.

Tencent also has a massive comics and animation business, with its app pulling in 120 million monthly active users, according to TechCrunch.

Before the August executive order, Tencent was valued at more than $680 billion, making it the eighth-largest company in the world in terms of market value. But the ban resulted in a loss of $34.6 billion from its value, according to Bloomberg.
FILE PHOTO - Tencent headquarters is seen at Nanshan Hi-Tech Industrial Park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen June 9, 2011. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Tencent headquarters is seen at Nanshan Hi-Tech Industrial Park in Shenzhen.

Tencent was previously more valuable than Berkshire Hathaway and Johnson & Johnson, and was edging in on Alibaba, according to Bloomberg.

While Tencent is based in Shenzhen, China, it has offices in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Tokyo, Palo Alto, California, and elsewhere around the world.

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47. The best women's slippers20:31[−]

Whether you have perpetually cold feet, you follow a no-outdoor-shoes-inside-the-house rule and need something for indoor wear, or you just feel your soles deserve a touch of comfort, the right slippers make all the difference.

Our top pick is the tried and true L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins, a mainstay of cozy comfort from a brand that has had a steadfast reputation for decades.

Here are the best women's slippers you can buy in 2020:

Prices and links current as of 9/10/2020.

The best slippers overall
L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins

For many people, "slipper" is synonymous with shearling-lined, suede moccasins like the Wicked Good Moccasins from L.L.Bean.

L.L.Bean's Wicked Good Moccasins are the classic moccasin-style slipper. They are fully lined with real shearling – no faux sheepskin here – and have warm suede uppers that gently gather around the top of the foot, and include a suede cord that ties in a bow. These slippers also have a sturdy rubber outsole, so you can wear them for quick trips outdoors as well as cozying up inside.

We're not the only ones who love this fluffy shearling option. On L.L.Bean's own site, the Wicked Good Moccasins have nearly 5,000 reviews. Buyers overwhelmingly comment on the softness of the shearling and the overall comfort of the slippers. Some do mention, however, that the slippers run a bit small, and others feel the shearling wears out sooner than they would expect. If you find this happens, you can buy a new shearling insole at L.L.Bean for $30.

If you're looking for a pair of cozy and warm slippers, the Wicked Good Moccasins are a great choice. And, at just $79, they're a great price too. If you are someone whose feet get hot easily though, you may want something made with a more breathable material or an open-back style.

Pros: Real shearling, very soft, super warm

Cons: Might overheat your feet, some customers feel they wear out too quickly

The best slip-on slippers
Minnetonka Chesney

Minnetonka's Chesney slippers are soft, warm, convenient, and affordable.

Minnetonka started as a roadside gift shop in 1946. Since then, the company has been making high-quality leather and suede slippers, moccasins, boots, and more. We tried several different pairs of Minnetonka slippers and enjoyed them all, but it's the Chesney slippers that really stood out to us.

These real suede slippers are cozy, comfy, and attractive. The slippers are easy to slide on and off and they have a sturdy, hard sole so you can wear them outside to run a quick errand if need be.

But best of all, these slippers are warm. My feet always feel like ice cubes as soon as temperatures drop below 65 degrees, but I really hate wearing socks, so it's slippers or nothing. I've been a fan of Minnetonka's moccasins for years, so I was excited to try the Chesney slippers, and they lived up to my expectations.

They are plush, warm, and solid enough to support my feet even if I wear them outside or downstairs to the laundry room in my apartment building. I wiggle my toes into these toasty warm slippers every night after work. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Warm, comfy, affordable, good solid sole, real suede

Cons: Not for long excursions outside

Read our full Minnetonka Slippers review.

The best outdoor slippers
ugg

With a plush interior and a lightweight, but durable outsole, the Ugg Tasman Slippers are a comfy choice you won't regret wearing outside.

If you're searching for slippers, you're bound to come across Ugg at some point. The Australian brand is so well-known for its sheepskin boots and slippers that there's even a colloquialism "fuggs" for shoes that look similar but aren't made from the brand.

In my opinion, the praise for Ugg is well deserved. The shoes are supremely comfortable and they're made from high-quality materials. A personal favorite is the Tasman Slipper. These slippers have lasted in my closet for a good 10 years. It wasn't until the embroidered trim began fraying and the inner sole was completely matted that I decided it may be best to finally retire them. All that goes to say, these things last.

While Ugg has a lot of slipper options, I love the Tasmans for their versatility. The Uggpure (the brand's proprietary wool material) insole is seriously plush — it feels like you're always standing on top of a luxurious rug. This pair also comes with a particularly durable yet lightweight outsole, making them a great choice for wearing outdoors. Because they're slip-ons and keep your whole foot covered, these are ideal for just throwing on with a pair of jeans or leggings when you're in a rush to get out of the house. Insider Reviews reporter Amir Ismael also counts himself as a fan of the Tasman Slippers.

The braided embroidery around the shoe adds a bit of flair, and the color offerings include chestnut and black which both match pretty much everything. At $100, these are pricier than some of the options on this list, but you'll likely get more than enough wear out of them to make the price feel fair. — Remi Rosmarin

Pros: Long-lasting, durable, thick sole is perfect for walking outside

Cons: Pricey, wool can get matted around the foot

The best full-coverage slippers
L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers

The L.L. Bean Wicked Good Slippers come up to your ankle to keep your whole foot warm and secure in cold weather.

These slippers are a variation on our top pick that provide a bit more coverage to make sure you stay warm. While the moccasins stop below your ankle, exposing the gap between your slippers and your pants to cold air, the Wicked Good Slippers come all the way up over your ankle bone.

My partner has had a pair of these slippers for years, and I've stolen them plenty of times over the course of our relationship. They're genuine shearling-lined and incredibly soft, so they're perfect for our apartment where the heating is a bit spotty in the winter months. Even though they come up so high on the foot, they're so soft that there's no pinching or digging, even when you've got your feet curled up under you on the couch.

The shearling is moisture-wicking, so even though your feet may get a bit sweaty due to the limited breathability of the suede, your feet will still stay relatively dry. The shearling does get matted over years of wear, losing some of its initial fluffiness, but the integrity of the overall slipper has lasted very well.

You can't slip them on — they require at least one hand to assist you in pulling them over your heel — but they're not going to fall off your feet as you rush around the house either.

Unlike the Wicked Good Moccasins, the Wicked Good Slippers don't have a rubber outsole, so they are indoor only. The leather sole isn't textured, and though I've never found them to be slippery, you may want to be careful on tile surfaces. If you're making occasional trips to the mailbox, the moccasins may be a better choice for you.

Pros: Full coverage, long-lasting, genuine sheepskin and shearling

Cons: Indoor only, shearling can become matted from wear

The best ergonomic slippers
Vionic Relax Slipper

If you suffer from bunions, arthritis, or plantar fasciitis, you'll appreciate the support, adjustability, and soft comfort of the Vionic Women's Relax Slippers.

Vionic specializes in shoes for problem feet, and with the Relax Slippers, the company brings its sole-soothing design into the bedroom (or wherever else you wear these cozy slippers). The easy slip-on, slip-off style means no struggling with sore toes, while the adjustable top straps let you fit the slippers perfectly, even if one foot is swollen and the other is not.

The Relax Slippers have Vionic's biomechanical footbed to provide excellent support, while the EVA midsole absorbs shock and reduces stress on your feet and legs. Soft polyester terrycloth is easy on your feet and holds up well without irritating tender skin.

One downside is that these slippers are not full-coverage, so you may find your toes getting a bit cold in the winter, but thanks to their open design, you can easily pair these with socks for a bit of extra warmth and protection.

Pros: Ergonomic design is excellent for swollen or sore feet, adjustable strap, good support, and rubber outsole

Cons: May run a little large, not full coverage

The best vegan slippers
birdies

The Birdie Heron Slippers combine luxe looks with shock-absorbing cushioning and high-density memory foam. As a bonus, they're also vegan-friendly.

Smoking slippers are a little more formal than your average pair of moccasins. They're sophisticated in style and comfortable in fit and feel. This type of shoe actually has a history of being worn for at-home entertaining.

Birdies breathes new life into the classic silhouette with the Heron Slipper, making it a little more modern and exciting for the contemporary shopper. The exterior is made of soft velvet, which feels as luxurious as it looks. The inner sole is made of quilted satin, which makes for a soft and supportive spot for your feet. "The quilted satin footbed was bouncy, making me feel like I was stepping into a pillow every time I slipped the shoes on," Insider Reviews senior reporter Connie Chen has said of the pair.

What makes the Heron Slippers so comfortable? They have a seven-layer responsive cushion design, which includes shock absorption and dual-layer, high-density memory foam. Because there is a small heel, these slippers are suited for outdoor wear just as much as they are for wearing around the house.

On top of the chic design and wearable construction, Birdies Heron Slippers are completely vegan. Since many slippers are made out of shearling and fleece products, Birdies is a good brand to know about if you're looking for something that's animal-friendly. — Remi Rosmarin

Pros: Vegan, comfortable, stylish, can wear indoors and outdoors

Cons: You'll need to be careful with the velvet when wearing outside

What we're looking forward to testing
Mahabis

To keep this guide fresh with the best recommendations, we're always trying out new pairs. Here are some of the slippers we're excited about now:

  • Mahabis Classic, $109: A wool upper and foam footbed mean that Mahabis contour to your foot for serious comfort. The sole is made of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) which is a durable, rubber-like material that makes these slippers sufficient for indoor and outdoor wear.
  • Haflinger Cat Slipper, $84.95: Haflinger's low-profile, soft wool slippers are sure to keep your feet cozy. The brand puts cute appliqués on many of its pairs, which make these a particularly fun option to wear while lounging.
  • L.L. Bean Glerups Wool Slippers, $95: These slippers are easy to slip on and off thanks to the open heel. Reviewers say the felted wool upper is super soft and contours to the shape of your feet.
  • Lands' End Suede Leather Moccasin Slippers, $44.95: These cozy moccasins come in fun colors and can be monogrammed for a personal touch.
Check out our other great loungewear guides
eberjey2

The best men's slippers

With a fine pair of slippers, you can relax around the house in comfort or step outside to grab the paper or some logs for the fire. The UGG Ascot Slippers are our top pick because they're warm, supportive, and long-lasting.


The best loungewear

The best loungewear is perfect for relaxing at home, plus, it's stylish enough that you wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in it. We love all of Tommy John's loungewear from the cozy joggers to the lightweight underwear.


The best women's pajamas

A comfortable set of pajamas makes bedtime all the better. We picked plenty of pajamas that look as good as they feel. The J.Crew Dreamy Cotton Pajamas are our top pick because they're comfortable, cute, and come in a wide range of sizes.


The best women's bathrobe

A bathrobe can make any day feel like a spa day. There are plenty of comfortable options out there, but our top pick is the Parachute Classic Bathrobe because it adds a touch of luxury to your life at an affordable price.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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48. Democratic Senator Gary Peters faces Republican John James in Michigan20:23[−]
John James
John James speaks in Detroit, Michigan after winning his primary election in August 2018.
  • Republican John James is challenging Democratic Sen. Gary Peters for US Senate in Michigan.
  • For Democrats, ensuring that Peters keeps his seat will be key to winning back the Senate majority as they play offense to defeat Republicans in several other states.
  • James previously unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018. Still, his compelling background and fundraising talent make him one of the strongest GOP recruits this cycle.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Republican John James is challenging Democratic Sen. Gary Peters for US Senate in Michigan.

The candidates:

Peters, a former US House Representative from the Detroit area, was first elected to the US Senate in 2014 and is seeking a second term.

Peters is one of the more understated and low-key members of the Democratic caucus, but holds powerful posts as the ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He's rated as one of the most bipartisan members of the Senate by Georgetown University's Lugar Center and has emphasized his record of working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to secure concrete achievements on the campaign trail.

James, a US Army veteran who served as an aviation officer in Iraq and has more recently worked in economic development, is running for Senate in Michigan for the second time in 2020. He challenged Michigan's senior Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2018, and lost by 6.5 points, 52.3% to 45.8%.

As a Republican running in a state that President Donald Trump only won by a margin of 0.3 percentage points in 2016, James has struck a delicate balance between emphasizing his conservative bonafides while creating some distance between his bid for office and Trump, mainly framing himself as part of an up-and-coming generation of Republican leaders.

As James lost the 2018 Senate race to Stabenow, Michigan elected Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and several other statewide Democratic officials and flipped two suburban US House seats, the 8th and 11th congressional districts, from Republican to Democratic control.

The stakes:

In addition to winning back the White House, regaining control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015 is a top priority for Democrats and would be a major accomplishment towards either delivering on a future president Joe Biden's policy goals or thwarting Trump's second-term agenda.

Currently, the US Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents that caucus with Democrats, winning that Democrats need to win back a net total of four seats to have a 51-seat majority (if Biden wins, his vice president would also serve as president of the Senate and would be a tie-breaker vote).

Peters, along with Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, is one of just two Senate Democrats running for re-election in a state that Trump won in 2016.

James' compelling background, fundraising talent, and campaign charisma make him one of the strongest GOP recruits this cycle. But like in 2018, he'll face an uphill battle overcoming the national trends favoring Democrats and in 2020, will have to contend with Trump — who is currently receiving dismal marks from Michigan voters on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — running at the top of the ticket.

For Democrats, ensuring that Peters keeps his seat will be key to winning back the Senate majority as they play offense to defeat Republicans in several other states and win back the key swing state of Michigan in the electoral college. Democratic nominee Joe Biden currently leads Trump by 7.6 points in Michigan on average, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The money race: James has been an extremely competitive fundraiser, bringing in just over $20 million so far this cycle compared to $21 million for Peters and narrowly outspending Peters, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Peters has over $11 million in cash on hand compared to $9.2 million for James.

What the polling says: So far, Peters has led James by comfortable margins in almost all the polls of the race conducted in 2020. The most recent survey from Michigan-based pollster EPIC-MRA, conducted September 10-15, showed Peters leading James by four points, 45% to 41%, among likely voters.

Another poll conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group for the AARP similarly found Peters ahead by four points, 45% to 41%.

What some of the experts say: The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics all rate the race as leans Democratic.

FiveThirtyEight's US Senate forecasting model shows Peters with an 81% chance of winning his bid for reelection. Peters is projected to win 52% of the popular vote, or 7 percentage points more than James.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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49. Kohl's Rewards offers shoppers 5% back on every purchase and converts it to Kohl's Cash every month — here's everything you need to know about the new rewards program20:19[−]

Kohl's rewards 4x3

Kohl's launched its new rewards program ( after years of testing in select markets) on September 8, and it's worth looking into. With major deals events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up around the corner, free enrollment in a program like Kohl's Rewards can help turn your big purchases into free money.

How do I join?

Enrollment into the program is easy: just sign up online or in store. It's free to join, and just requires an email and phone number to do so. Members of the previous program, Yes2You Rewards, are automatically rolled into the new program, as are any existing rewards points.

How does it work?

  • Earn 5% Kohl's Rewards on every purchase, no minimum amount of spending required.
  • Within 48 hours of purchase, earnings will be added to your membership balance.
  • On the first of every month, receive your Rewards balance in $5 Kohl's Cash increments via email.
  • Spend your Kohl's Cash on anything in store, through the Kohl's App, or online within 30 days of issuance. No brands are excluded.
  • Additionally, shop during a Kohl's Cash earn period to earn an extra $10 of Kohl's Cash for every $50 you spend.

Should I join?

Kohl's Rewards may not be an essential service for everyone, but you don't have to be an avid Kohl's fan to benefit from enrollment; it's a profitable program for any deals-minded shopper. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up on the horizon, and if you have any intention of buying while the discounts are plenty, 5% back on all purchases will add up quickly. Kohl's has a history of offering robust holiday deals on bedding, apparel, and most importantly, small home appliances.

However, it's important to note that Kohl's Cash expires if it's not used within the redemption window, which is 30 days after it's issued. If you receive it on the first of October, you'll have to use it all before the month is up or lose it forever. So long as you don't expect Kohl's Rewards to justify uneccessary purchases, but rather just act as a pleasant bonus when buying something you would've bought regardless, it's worthwhile to enroll.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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50. Trump says Kamala Harris can't be the first woman to be president because she 'comes in through the back door'20:16[−]
GettyImages-donald-trump
President Donald Trump at during a rally at Central Wisconsin Airport on Thursday in Mosinee, Wisconsin.
  • President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, couldn't become the first woman to be president.
  • "This is not what people want. And she comes in through the back door — this would not be what people want, especially because it's her," Trump said during a campaign rally in Wisconsin.
  • Trump has dug into Joe Biden's running mate ever since she became the first Black woman to be on a major party's presidential ticket.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Thursday continued his line of attack against Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, saying that "if a woman is going to become the first president of the United States, it can't be her."

"That would rip our country apart," Trump told his supporters during a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin. "This is not what people want. And she comes in through the back door — this would not be what people want, especially because it's her."

The president drew attention to Harris' time on the campaign trail and her feuding with Biden, now the Democratic presidential nominee, on the debate stage.

"I said brilliantly, 'He'll never pick her, because she was too terrible to him,'" Trump said, adding, "But she picked him, and hopefully that's going to be history, it's not going to matter.

"And that is no way for a woman to become the first president, that's for sure," he said.

Since Biden announced Harris as his running mate last month, Trump and his allies have coalesced to deride the California senator, casting her as a "radical socialist" and calling her "nasty," "disrespectful," and "not competent."

Harris is the first woman of color on a major party's presidential ticket. Trump has floated false birther conspiracy theories questioning whether she's eligible to serve as vice president as the child of immigrants, born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. In reality, Harris meets all the qualifications to be a vice president: She is a US-born citizen over the age of 35. Trump has pushed similarly baseless accusations against President Barack Obama.

Harris is set to face off with Vice President Mike Pence on October 7 in their only debate. The event at the University of Utah will be moderated by Susan Page, USA Today's Washington bureau chief.

"I don't want to put pressure on him, but wait till you see what Mike Pence does to her in the debate," Trump said on Thursday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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