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The latest news from Life

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    Obama Illinois

    • Former President Barack Obama criticized President Donald Trump's response to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia during a Friday speech to students at the University of Illinois. 
    • "We are Americans. We're supposed to stand up to bullies. Not follow them...how hard can that be, to say that Nazis are bad?" he said.
    • Obama is re-entering the political fray to campaign for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections and encourage voter participation. 

    Former President Barack Obama directly criticized President Donald Trump's perceived failure to properly condemn the white nationalist and neo-Nazi protests that led to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last year, calling out Trump's specific actions by name for the first time since leaving the White House. 

    "We are Americans. We're supposed to stand up to bullies. Not follow them," Obama said in a Friday speech at the University of Illinois. "We're supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we're sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers." 

    "How hard can that be, to say that Nazis are bad?" he exclaimed, to resounding applause and laughter from the audience. Obama's speech encouraged students to vote in the 2018 midterm elections.

    Trump received heavy backlash from both political parties over his remarks blaming "both sides" for the deadly violence that occurred at a white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia during the summer of 2017.  

    Three people were killed and dozens more injured from the violent clashes between attendees of the "Unite the Right" rally and counter-protestors.

    Trump was also criticized for saying there were "very fine people" involved in the protests against the removal of a Charlottesville statue of Robert E. Lee, which then inspired the "Unite the Right" rally. 

    Obama's midterm campaign schedule includes plans to campaign for for Democratic candidates in close  congressional races in Orange County, California, as well as Richard Cordray, the Democratic nominee for governor in Ohio. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Meet the woman behind Trump's $20 million merch empire


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    Elon Musk Joe Rogan Experience

    • During an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed how he feels apps like Instagram aren't a great representation of how life truly is.
    • "Some of the happiest seeming people — actually some of the saddest people in reality," Musk said. 
    • It was part of a nearly three-hour conversation with comedian Joe Rogan, in which the two discussed Musk's companies, artificial intelligence, and smoke marijuana together.

    Elon Musk isn't buying the rose-tinted glasses that come with looking at people's lives through social media apps like Instagram. 

    During his nearly three-hour conversation on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tesla CEO Musk and comedian Joe Rogan discussed topics ranging from Musk's businesses, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and then smoked some marijuana together. But Musk also made it clear how he feels about apps like Instagram, and how they can make life appear more exciting than it really is. 

    "One of the issues with social media is people look like they have a much better life than they really do," Musk said. "People are posting pictures of when they were really happy, they’re modifying those pictures to be better-looking. Even if they’re not modifying those pictures, they’re selecting the pictures for the best lighting, the best angle."

    Musk went on to express that Instagram makes people seem better-looking and happier "than they really are," which can have negative effects on the psyche of followers who might buy into it. He feels that seeing attractive, happy people on social media will make people think "I'm not that good looking and I'm not that happy. So I must suck."

    "When, in fact, those people you think are super happy — actually not that happy. Really depressed, they’re very sad," Musk said. "Some of the happiest seeming people – actually some of the saddest people in reality. And nobody looks good all the time, it doesn’t matter who you are."

    His overall opinion on social media apps? Not great — even with his heavy Twitter use. 

    "It’s relative to others," Musk said. "We are constantly re-baselining our expectations."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This machine turns a truck into a tent in seconds - here's how it's installed


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    Afghanistan

    • Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the Trump administration continues to reject the idea Afghanistan is America's "forever war" as the conflict nears its 17th anniversary.
    • Experts say America is losing the war even as the Pentagon contends increased military pressure will help spark peace talks.
    • Research shows the war has reached its deadliest point in years.  
    • A US soldier on his 13th deployment overseas was killed in an insider attack in Afghanistan on Monday. 

    Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bolyard was on his 13th deployment overseas when he was killed in an insider attack in Afghanistan on Monday.

    Bolyard, who was 42, had served in the US Army for 24 years and was less than two months away from coming home and retiring, according to his son. The following day, Army Staff Sgt. Diobanjo Sanagustin died in a non-combat incident at Bagram Airfield, becoming the seventh US service member killed there so far in 2018, fighting in a war that has largely been forgotten by the US public and that experts say America is losing. 

    These deaths are another sign the war is not going well for the US as the Trump administration continues to avoid the subject or downplay the situation on the ground by pointing to signs of progress even as the death toll spikes higher. President Donald Trump is reportedly so eager to find a way out that he's asking anyone around, including his 27-year-old personal assistant, for military advice.

    "Nobody really wants to come to grips with this war – particularly within the Pentagon or this administration," said Anthony Cordesman, one of three influential defense experts who view the war as all but lost. "They're letting it slide out of visibility."

    The war is as deadly as ever

    Last year, Trump announced a new strategy in Afghanistan, which involved increasing US troop presence by several thousand, ramping up the US bombing campaign against the Taliban, and increased focus on training and assisting local forces. 

    During a surprise visit to Kabul in July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed the strategy was working and suggested it was pushing the Taliban toward embracing a peace process.

    But the numbers surrounding the conflict paint a different picture. 

    The Taliban controls or contests nearly half of all the country's districts and the Islamic State also has a foothold in the country. 

    There are currently around 15,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan. Their presence serves as a tenuous support system for a weak, corrupt Afghan government, which would undoubtedly fall if the US military suddenly pulled out.

    Safety can't even be guaranteed in the capital, which is frequently the site of bombings and other deadly violence.  

    Meanwhile, recent research suggests the total number of battle deaths in Afghanistan, including civilians and combatants on both sides, will soon surpass 20,000 in 2018. Based on this data, the war is at its deadliest point in years. 

    'I can't guarantee you any timeline or an end date'

    Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the Pentagon and Trump administration continue to reject the idea Afghanistan is America's "forever war" as the conflict nears its 17th anniversary.

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. in late August claimed he didn't believe the US would have an "enduring large military commitment." 

    Simultaneously, Defense Secretary James Mattis conceded the Afghanistan conflict is "not an easy fight," but pushed back against the notion the Taliban is routinely overpowering local forces trained by the US. 

    "If you look at where the Taliban were and what they were claiming they were going to do two years ago, one year ago, they have not succeeded in taking down these towns and holding these towns," Mattis said at the time. 

    But despite such assurances the US military and Trump administration still struggle to offer specifics on how long the US might remain in Afghanistan. 

    Army Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the new commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, in June said he could not guarantee "any timeline or an end date" regarding America's role in the conflict. 

    'We are losing, if we have not already lost'

    As the war in Afghanistan has dragged on, historians and foreign policy analysts have often compared it to the Vietnam war.

    Benjamin Hopkins, a professor in international affairs and history at George Washington University who specializes in Afghanistan, says policy-makers continue to look back to the devastating, humiliating conclusion to America's war in Vietnam as they seek to wrap up the conflict in Afghanistan.

    "I always tell my students that I think the iconic image of the chopper taking off from the US embassy in Saigon in 1975 is emblazoned in policy-makers' collective consciousness, and they are bound and determined not to have such a image – even if the outcome is the same," Hopkins told Business Insider. 

    Saigon

    In this context, it's not surprising to Hopkins the government isn't being particularly forthcoming about the state of the war. 

    "Since early into the Obama administration, there has been a consensus amongst the US government and more broadly the American political establishment to play down this war," Hopkins said.

    "When, after all, was the last time Afghanistan made front page news? Yet it is the longest and, inflation adjusted, one of the most expensive wars in American history. And one we are losing, if we have not already lost," Hopkins added. 

    'Nobody wants to admit this is a war of attrition'

    Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke chair in strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says there isn't as much "folly" surrounding Afghanistan as there was with Vietnam when it comes to the government's approach.

    But he added there's a general reluctance to acknowledge what the conflict really is: a war of attrition. 

    "Nobody wants to admit this is a war of attrition," said Cordesman, an expert on the Middle East who has advised the Defense and State departments on Afghanistan.

    Wars of attrition generally end when both sides get exhausted and one side "unexpectedly breaks," he said, adding there's no way of knowing when that might occur. 

    "None of this has a clear or predictable outcome and then the question comes to be, 'Is this war of attrition really worth the cost?' And that's a basic question you have to keep asking," Cordesman said. 

    But Trump administration is seemingly determined to avoid this question. 

    "This isn't so much the forgotten war but the unreported war, not necessarily in the press, but nobody really wants to come to grips with this war – particularly within the Pentagon or this administration. They're letting it slide out of visibility," Cordesman said. 

    'It isn't so much that people don't care, it's they don't have to care'

    Cordesman pointed to the growing disconnect between the public and military as a large part of the problem. 

    "You have such a tiny fraction of Americans who now assume the risk for everyone. It isn't so much that people don't care, it's they don't have to care," Cordesman said.

    "People are taking those who are off on their second or third tours for granted," Cordesman added. "You're asking a hell of a lot of a very few people. Being thanked for your service is a kind of cold thanks when you're coming home from the fights against extremism."

    'The US is largely irrelevant to the issue at this point'

    Andrew Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and retired Army colonel who fought in Vietnam, somewhat echoed these sentiments. 

    "The difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan is that the American people cared about the Vietnam War," Bacevich said. "They don't care about the war in Afghanistan."

    At the end of the day, Bacevich says it's up to the Afghan government and Taliban to bring peace to the country. 

    "I expect that the war there will end when the Taliban and the Afghan government decide to negotiate a peace," Bacevich said. "The US is largely irrelevant to the issue at this point."

    The US, Russian, and Afghan governments have all made efforts in recent months to spark peace talks with the Taliban, which has at times seemed open to such outreach.

    At the same time, history offers many reasons to be skeptical of these developments, particularly as the Taliban has made major gains over the past year and staged devastating attacks in multiple provinces even within the past few weeks. 

    SEE ALSO: This graphic shows why the Afghanistan War is getting worse after 17 years

    DON'T MISS: 'I'm going to f---ing send you to Afghanistan': Jim Mattis reportedly lashed out at Sean Spicer when he kept asking him to go on television

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: INSIDE WEST POINT: What it’s really like for new Army cadets on their first day


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    hong kong

    • Hong Kong is now the city with the most super-wealthy people in the world, unseating New York City.
    • A new report from Wealth-X showed that the countries with the fastest-growing population of ultra-wealthy individuals are Bangladesh, China, and Vietnam.
    • It points to an increasingly "balanced distribution of global ultra wealth."

     

    New York City is no longer the city with the most ultra-wealthy people. Now, it's Hong Kong.

    That's according to a new report from ultra high net worth intelligence and data company Wealth-X. Hong Kong's population of individuals worth at least $30 million jumped 31% last year to 10,010. New York was second at 8,865 folks, a relatively meager increase of 7%.

    We've known for a while that Hong Kong was likely to unseat New York as the world's multi-millionaire and billionaire capital.

    Wealth is exploding across Asia, and Hong Kong is the leading city — with neighborhoods like The Peak attracting buyers for villas worth about $19,400 per square foot.

    Of the 30 fastest-growing ultra-wealthy cities, China is home to 26 of them. Wealth-X credited China's "gradual and ongoing process of market liberalization," as well as its market growth in real estate and other high-value economies.

    The countries with exploding ultra-wealthy residents were outside of the usual suspects in North American and Europe. Bangladesh and China led, with Vietnam, Kenya, and India directly behind.

    And while the US in general is still by far the most ultra-wealthy country in the world, the American population of high net worth individuals grew remarkably slowly this year. That, according to the report, is "pointing to a more balanced distribution of global ultra wealth.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the Hong Kong billionaire enclave name-dropped in 'Crazy Rich Asians,' where Alibaba founder Jack Ma may have bought a $191 million mansion

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The CEO of one of the largest health insurers in the US explains the problem with healthcare in America


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    9/11

    • 9/11 was the deadliest terrorist attack on US soil in history and sparked a global war on terror.
    • As a survivor, author Helaina Hovitz lived with the effects of being within a couple of blocks of the collapsing towers for years.
    • Seventeen years later, the US still feels the aftermath of that day.

    I was 12 years old and in school just a few blocks away from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when we felt the impact of the first plane hit the first tower.

    Unaware of the events unfolding outside, my class continued with our science lesson, until an announcement commanded everyone to move to the cafeteria. We waited there, confused and frightened, until the bomb squad burst in and told us we had five minutes to evacuate the building.

    Parents rushed into the cafeteria, frantically searching for their children. I panicked, wondering how I would get home to my elderly grandparents, who lived in our apartment building several blocks from the towers, when my neighbor and her 13-year-old son appeared in the doorway to walk me home.

    We left just minutes before the first tower fell.

    We ran for our lives away from the collapsing towers — the first, then the second. I'll never forget what we saw, heard, smelled, and experienced as we pushed through crowds of bloody, ash-covered bodies and a sea of police officers toward home.

    It seemed like the world was ending, and although my parents and I had survived, the world as we knew it would not — life after 9/11 was just beginning.

    In the days that followed, our neighborhood became a war zone. We avoided going outside as much as we could because the air was full of toxic smog. We had almost no access to food, water, phones, electricity, or medications.

    Armed National Guards were posted at every corner. The towers were still on fire and more bomb threats and building collapses were rumored seemingly every hour. I didn't have school for two weeks, and when we were relocated to a school further uptown, we were encouraged to move on and focus on school.

    But "moving on" was not easy in the era of orange alerts, anthrax scares, "weapons of mass destruction," and shoe bombs.

    For years, we survivors grew up physically ducking as planes flew overhead. A siren, a scream, or a bus passing over a speed bump could send us into a state of panic. These sounds are as common in New York as the sound of crickets in the country.

    But it wasn't just our worlds that were changed forever — it was the world:

    Backpacks, luggage, and other things that were a dime a dozen in New York were suddenly dangerous

    This was the beginning of the "If you see something, say something" campaign by the Department of Homeland Security, which encourages citizens to report suspicious or unattended bags that could be bombs or otherwise dangerous.

    Airport security was completely overhauled

    Two months after the attacks, the Transportation Security Agency, or TSA, was born. Your friends and family could no longer meet you at the gate— only ticketed passengers could get that far. New scanning equipment was introduced. Plane cockpit doors were reinforced to "withstand a grenade blast," and usually remained locked throughout flights.

    Coming back from a trip to Disney World the following spring, I was terrified in the airport because a baseball team was being loud and rowdy, which triggered my PTSD.

    Later, a man on the plane kept telling passengers to "look out for" sitting in first class, but he didn't explain why. I was immediately suspicious, but after a crowd of people gathered around a man at baggage claim asking for autographs, I realized Yankees pitcher Ramiro Mendoza had been on our flight.

    The old Manhattan skyline started to change and disappear on-screen

    TV shows like "Sex and the City" and movies like "Spiderman" that featured the towers in one way or another were changed to edit them out post production.

    Hate crimes and Islamophobia affected people of Middle Eastern descent and Muslims

    The media publicized the identities and background of the terrorists, which led to a spike in hate crimes against Muslims and people who appeared to be Middle Eastern in the US, as the New York Times reported.

    Fortunately, I had a humanities teacher who helped us to better understand exactly who was and wasn't responsible and where information was being distorted, but trying to wrap your head around all of it at age 12, in the face of more threats, was overwhelming and terrifying.

    We watched planes fly overhead with trepidation

    Previously, none of us really paid attention to planes. They flew over New York all day, every day, by the dozen.

    After 9/11, I started instinctively ducking when I saw planes overhead, and neighbors often commented nervously on how low they were flying.

    It felt like nobody could keep us completely safe

    Survivors of that tragic day realized at a very young age that our parents, the government, and emergency medical personnel couldn't protect us from everything.

    Many of us no longer felt safe or trusted those who we normally rely on to protect us. When I left for school, I was no longer sure whether I'd make it home to my parents after.

    While these feelings were prevalent for all of us in living downtown and others in New York City, they also reached people as far as the West Coast, the Midwest, the South, those whose parents traveled for work, people who worked in high security buildings, pilots, and more.

    Ground Zero became a spectator's area

    In the months following the attack, thousands of people lined up to see and take pictures of the massive pit in the ground filled with wreckage where the the towers once stood.

    Many took photos in front of the hole, smiling and posing, as if it were not a site of death, destruction, and tragedy. Street vendors sold books filled with images of the fireballs, the collapse, and the planes, like souvenirs you receive after a Broadway show.

    Everyone in the world was flocking to what was essentially my backyard to look at the tragedy like it was a tourist attraction, and it remained this way for years.

    Now, people can visit the Reflecting Pools, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and the Freedom Tower.

    On the other side of these tragic changes, and years of reeling from PTSD, came hope on the other side. That, and gratitude, at least for me — for my own life, the lives of my loved ones, and, with the notion that any day truly can be our last, the refusal to wait to say, do, or try anything tomorrow that can be done today.

    Helaina Hovitz is the author of the memoir "After 9/11" and works as a journalist and editor focusing on social good, health, and wellness. Follow her work at HelainaHovitz.com and on Twitter and Facebook. She still lives in New York City.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what Hiroshima looks like today — and how the effects of the bombing still linger

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Charity's expanding sandals are now available to buy commercially and for each pair bought a pair is given to a child in need


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    Trump sleep

    • President Donald Trump on Friday said he fell asleep while watching a speech former President Barack Obama delivered to students in Illinois. 
    • "I’m sorry I watched it, but I fell asleep," Trump said during a speech in North Dakota.
    • Obama's speech on Friday marked the first time he's mentioned Trump by name in a public address since departing the White House.  

    President Donald Trump on Friday said he fell asleep while watching a speech former President Barack Obama delivered to students in Illinois. 

    "I’m sorry I watched it, but I fell asleep," Trump said during a speech in North Dakota, claiming his predecessor is "very good" at putting people to sleep. 

    Obama ripped into Trump in his speech, directly mentioning his successor for the first time since he left the White House. 

    As he spoke to an audience of students at the University of Illinois, Obama described Trump as a "symptom, not the cause" of the divisive, bitter sentiments permeating US politics today.

    "He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years," Obama said of Trump. 

    The former president characterized Trump as a bully and bashed him on everything from his response to Charlottesville to his attacks against the media.

    Obama was also heavily critical of the Republican Party in general.

    "The politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party," he said.

    At one point during his speech, Obama took a jab at Trump's repetitive, misleading claims he's fostered the strongest economy in US history

    "When you hear about this economic miracle going on ... suddenly Republicans are saying, 'It's a miracle!' I have to remind them that those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015, 2016," Obama said. 

    Trump responded directly to this remark during his speech in North Dakota.

    "I have to say this to President Obama, and it wasn’t him, but it would have been the same thing. If the Democrats got in with their agenda in November of almost two years ago, instead of having 4.2 up, I believe honestly you would have 4.2 down," Trump said, referring to the percentage of second-quarter GDP growth.

    SEE ALSO: 'He is a symptom, not the cause': Obama takes direct aim at Trump for the first time since leaving office

    DON'T MISS: 'This is not normal': Obama slams anonymous author of New York Times op-ed and warns people against feeling comforted by it

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Meet the woman behind Trump's $20 million merch empire


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    mac miller

    • The rapper Mac Miller died Friday of an apparent overdose at the age of 26, TMZ first reported.
    • Miller was set to start a tour next month to promote his latest album, "Swimming."

    The rapper Mac Miller has died of an apparent overdose at the age of 26, TMZ reported Friday. Us Weekly and Variety later confirmed his death.

    Citing law-enforcement sources, TMZ reported that Miller was found at his San Fernando Valley home around noon following a 911 call. He was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene.

    The rapper and producer, a Pittsburgh native, had opened up about his struggles with substance abuse in recentinterviews promoting his fifth studio album, "Swimming," which he released in August.

    "I used to rap super openly about really dark s---," he said of his past music in an interview with Vulture published on Thursday. "Because that's what I was experiencing at the time. That's fine, that's good, that's life. It should be all the emotions."

    In May, shortly after the end of his two-year relationship with the pop singer Ariana Grande, Miller was charged with a DUI after police said he hit a utility pole with his car.

    Miller was set to start a tour next month to promote "Swimming," with a planned first date of October 27 in San Francisco.

    "I just wanna go on tour," Miller tweeted on Thursday, adding: "The show is going to be special every night. I wish it started tomorrow."

    Miller released his first studio album, "Blue Slide Park," in 2011 after a series of popular mixtapes. His highest-charting single, "Loud," reached No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2012. "Swimming" was the most critically acclaimed release of his career.

    Condolences and grief poured out from the music community on Friday following reports of Miller's death, with artists like Chance the Rapper and Wiz Khalifa, a fellow Pittsburgh native, tweeting in remembrance of Miller.

    Miller's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    If you are struggling with addiction and want to seek treatment, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's free, national, 24/7 helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'


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    hacienda de la paz home rolling hills california 18

    • Multi-million-dollar homes for the 1 percent are hardly eyebrow-raising.
    • They are, however, when they extend stories beneath the earth's surface. 
    • Here are 50 photos that show how obsessed the wealthy are with subterranean homes.

    For the wealthy, owning a luxury home is no rare feat. 

    But even for the some of the world's wealthiest individuals, underground luxury mansions are an extravagant expense.

    But, whether these mansions have been fashioned out of a desire for pure opulence, a lack of space, or paranoia (yes, luxury bomb shelters are a thing), for some, they are a must. These photos show just how obsessed the super rich are with underground mansions.

    Check it out:

    SEE ALSO: A tech billionaire just listed his Palo Alto home for $100 million, the most expensive Bay Area listing in a decade — take a look inside

    At the St. Moritz ski resort in Switzerland sits a lavish, seven-story home, dubbed The Lonsdaleite, or The Ice Palace.

    Source: Business Insider, Vimeo, and Vimeo



    It was listed on the market for $185 million last fall. Realtor Senada Adzem told CNBC that the home was "designed to make a billionaire's jaw drop."

    Source: Business Insider and CNBC



    The home's great room is covered in 35-foot floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall...

    Source: CNBC



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Trump Syria

    • President Donald Trump is reportedly adopting a new strategy in Syria that will see US troops remain there indefinitely. 
    • The Trump administration won't consider withdrawing US forces until Iran leaves the country. 
    • A representative for the secretary of state told reporters on Thursday, "We are not in a hurry."

    President Donald Trump is reportedly adopting a new strategy in Syria that will see US troops remain there indefinitely. 

    Now that the terrorist group ISIS has largely been driven into the desert, the Trump administration wants to focus on ensuring all Iranian forces leave Syria moving forward, a representative for the State Department said Thursday. 

    James Jeffrey, a retired foreign service officer who was recently tapped by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be his representative for Syria engagement, told reporters, "The new policy is we're no longer pulling out by the end of the year."

    He added, "That means we are not in a hurry."

    Jeffrey said he's "confident" that Trump is on board with this new plan, which he said will involve a "major diplomatic initiative" in the United Nations and beyond. This all comes just months after Trump said he wanted to pull US forces out of Syria. "I want to get out," Trump said in April, "I want to bring our troops back home."

    Over the course of the seven-year war in Syria that has decimated much of the country, Iran and Russia have been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's closest allies. At present, Assad is close to achieving victory as his forces attack the last rebel stronghold in the country in the city of Idlib. 

    Meanwhile, Iran recently reaffirmed its commitment to the Assad regime. Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami in late August said Iran would have "presence, participation and assistance" in the reconstruction of Syria, adding, "and no third party will be influential in this issue." The US is staunchly anti-Assad, but has made it clear it will not pursue regime change.

    In short, Assad isn't going anywhere and Iran is poised to stick with him for years to come. Based on the Trump administration's new policy, this also means the US won't be leaving the country anytime soon even as the war is seemingly winding down.

    There are currently about 2,200 US soldiers stationed in Syria, where tensions with Russia are on the rise

    Trump has addressed the situation in Syria more and more in recent days, issuing stern warnings to Assad and Russia regarding the assault on Idlib.

    "If it's a slaughter, the world is going to get very, very angry. And the United States is going to get very angry, too," Trump said Wednesday

    Trump in the past has already approved limited missile strikes against Assad, prompting suggestions he might use military force again if the Syrian leader employs chemical weapons.

    "We've started using new language," Jeffrey said on Thursday, adding the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated by the US "period." 

    SEE ALSO: Russia threatened a key US base, and US Marines there just doubled-down with a threatening show of force

    DON'T MISS: Russia reportedly warns the US that it's prepared to attack a key base where dozens of US troops are stationed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: INSIDE WEST POINT: What it’s really like for new Army cadets on their first day


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    donald trump

    • New York federal prosecutors are investigating whether Trump Organization executives violated campaign finance laws.
    • Prosecutors began looking into the matter after Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and bank fraud last month.
    • In a court filing, prosecutors said Trump Organization executives approved $420,000 in "reimbursements" to Cohen for "election-related" costs.

    Prosecutors at the Manhattan US attorney's office are probing whether people working at the Trump Organization broke campaign finance laws, Bloomberg reported.

    Investigators are said to have expanded their inquiry after Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer and the Trump Organization's former lead counsel, pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations last month.

    Cohen claimed that his campaign finance violations were made "at the direction of the candidate" with "the purpose of influencing the election." Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, confirmed that candidate was Trump.

    The Manhattan US attorney's investigation has been steadily growing in scope over the last several weeks.

    In August, it emerged that two of the men closest to hush-money payments to women who claim to have had affairs with Trump were granted immunity by prosecutors.

    One of those men is Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization. The other is David Pecker, the CEO of American Media, Inc., which owns the Trump-friendly tabloid, The National Enquirer.

    At the center of the investigation are two separate payments made to women in order to silence them before the 2016 election.

    One of those was a $130,000 payment Cohen made to the porn star Stormy Daniels in October 2016, just days before the election. Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which Trump denies.

    The other was a $150,000 that American Media, Inc. paid to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal in exchange for the rights to her story about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump.

    But the outlet never published the piece. That practice is known as "catch and kill," and it effectively silenced McDougal about her allegations. The Washington Post reported in July that Cohen had secretly recorded a conversation in which he and Trump discussed a plan to purchase the rights to McDougal's story from American Media, Inc.

    In a court filing last month, prosecutors said Cohen approached Trump Organization executives asking to be reimbursed for "election-related" costs following the election, and that he began receiving the payments in February 2017. The document said the Trump Organization ultimately approved $420,000 in reimbursements to Cohen.

    Specifically, prosecutors claim Cohen "sought reimbursement for that money by submitting invoices to the candidate's company, which were untrue and false."

    "They indicated that the reimbursement was for services rendered for the year 2017, when in fact the invoices were a sham," the document said.

    This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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    NOW WATCH: Meet the woman behind Trump's $20 million merch empire


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    George Papadopoulos

    • Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI. 
    • He is the first former campaign aide to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
    • Papadopoulos admitted to lying to investigators about conversations he had with Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton during the election.

    George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy aide to President Donald Trump's campaign, has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI.

    The sentence was imposed Friday in federal court in Washington, DC. In addition to prison, a federal judge ordered Papadopoulos to pay a $9,500 fine and complete 300 hours of community service. 

    He is the first former campaign aide to be sentenced in the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

    Papadopoulos apologized for his actions during his sentencing hearing on Friday, telling the judge that he had made a "dreadful mistake" and was eager for redemption. Prosecutors sought a sentence of up to six months, while defense lawyers asked for probation.

    Papadopoulos' case was the first to detail a member of the Trump campaign having knowledge of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election while it was ongoing.

    He pleaded guilty last year to lying to investigators during a January 2017 FBI interview about conversations he had with Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who told Papadopoulos in March 2016 that the Russian government had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of hacked emails. 

    Prosecutors said Papadopoulos' lies caused irreparable harm to the investigation and he did not provide substantial assistance, but his attorneys said he cooperated fully.

    Papadopoulos' wife, Simona Maginante, has ramped up claims as of late that her husband is innocent and was entrapped by the FBI and pressured into pleading guilty. She attempted, unsuccessfully, to scrap Papadopoulos' plea deal with Mueller on that basis.

     "Knowing his case, he clearly didn't commit any crime, since every crime is characterized by a 'status of mind' [sic] and a motive, it's pretty clear George had no reason to lie about the date in which he met with professor Mifsud," Maginante told Business Insider in August. 

    Two other Trump campaign aides, Michael Flynn and Rick Gates, have also struck plea deals to cooperate in the Mueller probe, but neither have yet been sentenced. 

    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted in Virginia last month on 8 counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to register foreign bank accounts. He will face a second federal trial in Washington, DC, this month. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Jade Mountain Saint Lucia 37

    The super-rich are no longer just spending their money on private jets, yachts, and hotels — they're also splashing out on second passports.

    The Second Citizenship Survey 2017 from CS Global Partners found that 89% of people would like to own a second passport, and over 34% said they had looked into investing in a second citizenship.

    Even more striking were the 80% who said they would be willing to invest or donate 5% of their annual salary for a second citizenship — more than they spend on monthly rent.

    Luckily, a number of countries offer Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programs where money — normally invested in real estate — can actually buy a second passport, and the elite status that comes along with owning citizenship in another country.

    Other programs offer "elite residency" — an extended visa with perks — in exchange for similar investments.

    Nuri Katz, President of Apex Capital Partners, an international advisory firm that specialises in CIPs, told Business Insider: "For a lot of wealthy people having a second or third passport is important for the ability to travel. For some it's also a status symbol, like buying a fancy car to show your friends."

    He added that along with the travel benefits and the status that comes along with owning real estate around the world, the programs also allow people to manage their tax burdens.

    "Second citizenship is becoming more than just getting a passport," he said. "There are certain advantages towards using second citizenship to create residence in countries where tax burdens would be lower than where you are at the current time."

    However, Katz explained there's a difference between CIPs and residency programs.

    "Citizenship is forever, and cannot be taken away unless you received it under fraudulent circumstances," he said. "You also get a passport."

    Meanwhile, as laws change, a residency visa can be taken away — but it's a more affordable way to get the perks that come along with living in another country.

    In order to put together a complete list of countries that offer citizenship or residency by investment, along with advice from Katz, Business Insider consulted the latest CBI Index, published by the Financial Times' PWM magazine, and spoke to global investment migration firm Henley & Partners and global citizenship and residence planning company Knightsbridge Capital Partners.

    Whether you choose to splash out for full citizenship or you invest in residency, here are 23 countries where money can buy you a second passport — or at least a chance to live long-term abroad — ranked by cost, from cheapest to most expensive.

    23. Thailand — 'Elite residency' from THB 500,000 ($15,253 or £11,793).

    The Thai government offers "elite" residency visas for wealthy foreign citizens, allowing them to live in the country for around $3,000 a year.

    There are seven different packages, with the most expensive being the "Elite Ultimate Privilege" scheme for $60,000 for 20 years of residency.

    Here are the three most popular options, according to Henley & Partners:

    Elite Easy Access

    • Five-year residence visa for the one-time fee of THB 500,000 ($15,253)

    Elite Family Excursion

    • A five-year visa for two people, for a one-time fee of THB 800,000 ($24,405), plus an additional charge of THB 300,000 ($9,152) per dependent.

    Elite Superiority Extension/Elite Ultimate Privilege

    • 20-year residence visa for a one-time fee of THB 2.14 million ($65,283)
      -Package includes complimentary VIP privileges such as government concierge services and airport services


    22. Latvia — Residency from €64,600 (£58,318 or $74,973).

    For residency in Latvia, here's what's required:

    • A minimum of €286,000 ($333,064 or £257,472) over a period of five years in a credit institution, or;
    • To invest in equity capital, the foreign national must invest a minimum of €36,000 ($41,924 or £32,409) and must pay a minimum of €28,600 ($33,306 or £25,747) in the next year.

    Henley & Partners added that there are also options to apply for the residence permit through the purchase of real estate or interest-free government bonds.

    You can apply for citizenship after five years through process of naturalization (i.e. language test, history test), according to Katz.

    "The true catch here is when they want to get citizenship, they have to take a language test, and Latvian is an impossible language to learn as an adult," Katz said.

    "No one can, and they know it, and as such they know no one will ever become a citizen."



    =19. Saint Lucia — Citizenship from $100,000 (£77,786).

    There are three ways to get citizenship in Saint Lucia, according to Katz:

    • A donation of at least $100,000 (£77,113) to the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund (depending on number of dependents), or;
    • Investment of at least $300,000 (£231,517) in an approved real estate development, or;
    • Investment of $3.5 million (£2.7 million) in an approved enterprise project.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    A soldier salutes atop an armoured vehicle as it drives past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

    • The North Korean state has defied all the odds and constant forecasts of its impending doom to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on September 9, 2018.
    • North Korea has a dark and tortured history going back millennia as regional powers like China and Japan have sought to dominate it. 
    • The story of North Korea really is the story of the Kim dynasty founded by Kim Il Sung in response to Japanese colonization of Korea and its attempts to beat and break Korean identity. 
    • In this slideshow, follow the harrowing story of the often brutal Kim family and how they came from starving guerilla fighters to stand toe to toe with President Donald Trump.

    September 9, 2018 marks 70 years of the small, impoverished state of North Korea defying major world powers to exist as a bastion of Korean identity and revolutionary, and often brutal politics.

    North Korea's story begins in earnest with the Kim family that would become the stuff of legends and propaganda alike. Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and now Kim Jong Un have proven wrong seven decades of US leaders who bet on their spectacular demise, with 2018 emerging as a banner year.

    This year, North Korea — the most heavily sanctioned country on earth — managed to build powerful nuclear weapons and missiles at home that can fly halfway around the world to the shock and awe of its mortal enemy and the world's greatest superpower: The US.

    But the amazing leaps of military engineering, and acts of deep spite and distrust to the US, have come at a heavy price. North Korea funnels about a quarter of its budget into the military while 18 million of its 25 million people rely on government rations to survive. Of them, 10.5 million are thought to be undernourished.

    Any North Korean at any time can be imprisoned or put to death for the slightest deviation from the government's narrative, and each citizen must complete mandatory military service. 

    But despite North Korea's horrific human rights record and open nuclear threats towards the US, Kim met President Donald Trump as equals this year in a truly epochal change in bilateral relations.

    Scroll down to find out how the strange and mysterious history of the Kim family shaped North Korea into the land of contradictions it is today. 

    Korea, a peninsula between powerful Chinese and Japanese empires, forged its own unique identity under the Chosun dynasty from the 14th to 20th centuries. Below is the first known photograph of Koreans ever taken.



    Despite the strong identity and culture, Chinese influence permeated much of its culture. The rigid ideas of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, shaped Korean ideas of loyalty and ritual as proper behavior in relationships, citizenship, and society.



    In 1910, the peninsula's days of self-rule came to a brutal end when Japan forcefully colonized it and then ruled with an iron first. Japan brought to Korea its own racial purity and hierarchy-obsessed ideas.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Anthony Bosch Joe Readle Getty

    • Billy Corben, the director behind the acclaimed documentary "Cocaine Cowboys," turns his focus to the world of performance-enhancing drugs for his latest movie.
    • His Toronto International Film Festival entry, "Screwball," is a comedic documentary that looks at the rise and fall of Anthony Bosch, the doctor who provided PEDs to some of the biggest names in Major League Baseball, including Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez.
    • Corben and his longtime producer Alfred Spellman tell Business Insider why the rise and fall of Bosch's empire had to be told through casting kids in the doc's reenactments and why it's the most Florida story they have made yet.


    In the office of Rakontur, the South Florida-based production company of “Cocaine Cowboys” director Billy Corben and producer Alfred Spellman, there’s a spreadsheet that the duo have been building for most of their professional careers. It’s a unique wish list with the names of shady characters who became notorious in their hometown of Miami that they hope to one day make movies about.

    Checked off that list already are the figureheads behind the cocaine blizzard that hit the beaches of Miami in the 1980s, which became the subject of their breakout documentary “Cocaine Cowboys.” There’s also the outlandish University of Miami football program during the 1980s, which they profiled in “The U” as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series. And within the last year, they were surprised to check another off the list: Biogenesis owner Dr. Anthony Bosch, better known as the man who provided performance-enhancing drugs to numerous Major League Baseball players, including Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez.

    Though Bosch isn’t the first to disgrace the MLB with PEDs — before Bosch there was the BALCO scandal that outed users like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi, and also led to the Mitchell Report— it’s how Bosch operated that fascinated Corben and Spellman, who have made a living making documentaries about, as they coin it, “Florida f---ery.”

    And with Bosch, they had hit the jackpot.

    Alex RodriguezHaving its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday night, Corben’s “Screwball” is a zany documentary that looks inside Bosch’s Biogenesis operation, which was touted as being a rejuvenation clinic operating out of Coral Gables, Florida, when in reality it was a one-stop shop for athletes to get their human growth hormones, obtained by Bosch often on the black market through the help of gangsters who were using South Florida tanning salons as a front. And it was all overseen by Bosch, who never had a license to practice medicine in the US and studied just three years at a medical school in Belize.

    It inevitably all crumbled when Porter Fischer, a disgruntled “professional tanner” who was helping out Bosch with marketing for the company, wasn’t paid back $4,000. So Fischer took notepads and documents that revealed the big-name clients Bosch had and handed it all over to a reporter for the New Miami Times, which ran an explosive story about MLB players’ involvement with Bosch. It led to suspensions for 13 MLB players in 2013, including a full-season suspension for Rodriguez, then the highest-paid player in the game.

    “This is our most Florida movie,” Spellman told Business Insider over the phone earlier this week. “This story is so insane it always struck me as a Coen brothers movie meets Elmore Leonard story.”

    And strangely it all fell in Corben and Spellman’s laps very quickly.

    The subjects come calling

    Months before Bosch would be sentenced in 2014 for conspiracy to distribute testosterone, Spellman got a call out of the blue from a friend of Bosch’s who said the doctor wanted to talk to him and Corben about making a documentary. The plan was that Corben would interview Bosch before he went to prison, which Bosch assumed would take a little time as he was currently in a drug rehab program. But on the day of sentencing, Bosch was hit with a four-year sentence and immediately hauled off to a white-collar prison in Alabama.

    Miraculously, things didn’t end right there. A few months after Bosch’s sentencing, Corben got a call saying that the whistleblower behind the collapse of Bosch’s empire, Porter Fischer, also wanted to tell his side of the story.

    Corben couldn’t ignore the good fortune.

    “Sometimes these stories have to ripen, we weren’t sure if this was too soon,” Corben told Business Insider. “And though I don’t believe in spirits or the universe or fate, I said to Alfred, someone is trying to tell us this was the time to make this movie.”

    After writing letters to Bosch in prison, Corben learned that he would only do 20 months of his sentence (thanks to cooperating with prosecutors), so once Bosch finished his time in prison, Corben went forward with the movie. He interviewed Bosch and Fischer separately over the span of six days last year.

    billy_corben_alfred_spellman_Seth BrowarnikWorldRedEye.comFrom the start, Corben was taken by how vivid both Bosch and Fischer's recollections of events were.

    “They were very excited and animated,” he said. “They would tell these stories and almost perform what the other person was saying in addition to what they said. It all was very in-the-moment.”

    Corben wanted to capitalize on the storytelling talents of his two main subjects. Knowing this movie wouldn’t have a lot of archival footage like his past work, as most of the story revolved around chats in Bosch’s office, night clubs, or in tanning salons, for the first time in his career Corben would have to film reenactments. However, with a title like “Screwball,” they couldn’t be conventional.

    “I was starting to assemble the interviews we shot and I thought, ‘My God, all these guys are acting like such children,' and the light bulb went off,” Corben said.

    The director would cast kids to reenact the scenes Bosch and Fischer told so vividly.

    Big-boy story, but played out by kids

    It was an idea that had been in the back of Corben’s mind for at least a decade. It started all the way back when he wanted to do a documentary on Scientology and stumbled across an off-Broadway musical in the East Village of New York City titled, “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant.” The cast was made up of elementary school students telling the life story of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

    At the time, Corben wanted to option the rights to the musical so he could use it as a framing device in his Scientology movie. He even got as far as talking to the writers of the musical. But the project fell though and was never made. However, with Bosch’s wacky story, Corben felt the kid aspect could fit perfectly with the doc’s tone.

    “Our vision was that this was always an Elmore Leonard farce,” Corben said. “It wasn’t like halfway through the movie we were like, ‘It’s a comedy!’ It was well established and the kids were something to continue building on that.”

    Dr. T ScrewballFrom the start of “Screwball” that comedic feel is laid out to the audience, as the opening goes from a traditional talking head interview with Fischer and cuts to a kid version of Fischer in a reenactment of what he’s describing in voiceover. The rest of the story Fischer tells is then reenacted by kids, who are even lip syncing what Fischer is saying (think of an episode of Comedy Central’s “Drunk History”).

    And along with kid versions of Fischer and Bosch, there’s reenactments that feature kid Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Miami gangsters, MLB investigators, and even Miami hip-hop legend Pitbull.

    And though the reenactments have a playful tone, Corben was extremely serious about authenticity, picking out the wig himself that the kid playing Anthony Bosch would wear, and insisting that costumes for the Miami police were designed to represent the correct municipality by color of the uniform and correct badge style.

    “It took a very Wes Anderson level of attention to detail, it almost killed us,” Spellman said half-joking of the 10-day reenactments shoot, which included them filming at some of the actual locations Bosch and Fischer reference in their recollections.

    And then there’s the story itself told in “Screwball,” which at times is more bizarre than watching kids playing gangsters and Major League players.

    Sunny place for shady people

    Bosch weaves a stranger-than-fiction tale in "Screwball" of his ascent to becoming pro baseball's go-to guy for PEDs (though he also provided them for college and even high school ball players). He recounts his first meeting with Manny Ramirez, when the player didn’t greet him with a handshake but instead patted him down to make sure he wasn’t wearing a wire. And he talks of later becoming a part of Alex Rodriguez’s entourage. Bosch claims one night when they partied at the posh Liv night club in Miami, he lost a vial of Rodriguez’s blood he had just drawn from him in the bathroom and the two crawled around the nightclub looking for it.

    And things get even more bizarre when the MLB begins to investigate Bosch. Throwing cash around South Florida like it’s Monopoly money (with Rodriguez's camp doing the same to try to get him out of trouble), instead of getting assistance, they get conned by gangsters.

    In all, it makes “Screwball” the ultimate “Florida Man” story, which begs the question, what motivated Bosch to go on camera and retell his rise and humiliating fall?

    “People get to a certain point in life sometimes when all they have is their story,” Corben said. “We’ve experienced this with other people we have interviewed, opportunities are now limited and all they have is their story, and so they are inclined to share it, for better or worse.”

    “Screwball” is currently seeking distribution.

    SEE ALSO: 24 movies coming out soon that are major Oscar contenders

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Galaxy Note 9

    As most of us do, I brought along a smartphone for a vacation this summer. But I decided to try something different in selecting my electronic traveling companion and took the oversized Galaxy Note 9.

    The Galaxy Note 9 is large and relatively heavy, which goes against the mantra of packing light tech for trips. I can easily understand why a smaller smartphone like the Pixel 2 would seem like a better choice, as it can do almost everything the Galaxy Note 9 can do in a smaller, lighter package. 

    Yet, I found that the big, heavy Galaxy Note 9 was actually a fantastic device to bring along for trip with long flights, hiking, and for generally being a tourist.

    Check out all the reasons why the Galaxy Note 9 was better than a smaller, lighter phone for traveling:

    SEE ALSO: I've been using Samsung's new $1,000 Galaxy Note 9, and it's the only smartphone actually worthy of its high price tag

    The Galaxy Note 9's large screen was enough to replace the iPad Mini I'd usually use to watch videos during a flight.

    Just in case a long flight doesn't have free movies and TV shows, I usually download a bunch of Netflix videos onto my iPad Mini 2. 

    Butt as mini as the iPad Mini is, it's still an extra item that I have to pull out of my bag and manage in a cramped flight. So for my most recent long-haul flight, I decided to try the Galaxy Note 9, which would be easily accessible in my pocket.  

    The Galaxy Note 9's 6.4-inch screen is only slightly smaller than the iPad Mini's 7.9-inch display when you take into consideration the actual video and not the black bars that surround it on the iPad. Plus, it was nice to keep the iPad Mini in my bag and not have to worry about it during the flight. 



    Its giant screen was also helpful for researching and planning activities, which I'd usually feel more comfortable doing on a laptop.

    I usually prefer researching activities on a nice, large laptop screen that gives me plenty of room for multiple tabs, apps, and windows. But this time, I left my comfort zone and just used the Galaxy Note 9, mostly because it was always right there with me, whereas my laptop was still stowed away in my backpack. 

    You'll never get the same experience of a laptop on a smartphone, but the Galaxy Note 9's large display made it easier to read and look at images than with smaller smartphones. I would always prefer a laptop's display, but the convenience of the smartphone that's always by my side is hard to beat. 



    The Galaxy Note 9's stylus also was a big help when I need to do more complex things on the screen

    The Galaxy Note 9's S Pen stylus made the biggest difference for researching on the Galaxy Note 9. Fingers are fine, but there were far fewer accidental taps and frustrations with the S Pen, and the task of doing more complex things on a smartphone was less daunting. I felt comfortable reaching for the Galaxy Note 9 instead of my laptop or iPad that were still packed in my backpack.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    justin trudeau enrique pena nieto

    • Business Insider spoke to former Mexican President Vicente Fox about the recent renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    • Fox said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stance that he would do whatever what was in the best interest of Canada — regardless of Mexico's interests — may have sacrificed the chance for Canada and Mexico to work together.
    • Mexico ultimately made a bilateral agreement with US on key issues without Canada.
    • Now Canada is under pressure to make a deal after President Donald Trump threatened to move on from NAFTA and go forward with just the bilateral US-Mexico agreement.
    • Fox suggested that Trudeau make a deal to stay in NAFTA, even "if you have to sacrifice a little bit."

    Mexico's former president thinks Canada left Mexico out to dry in the recent North American Free Trade Agreement talks, and now it's coming back to bite them.

    In an interview with Business Insider, former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's vehemently pro-Canada stance forced Mexico to go it alone in NAFTA talks with President Donald Trump.

    "Well, I remember, originally, Prime Minister Trudeau expressed it publicly," Fox said. "His position saying that he would always look after the interests of Canada no matter what would happen to Mexico, that he would even sacrifice having a joint position with Mexico in favor of Canada."

    Talks to renegotiate NAFTA — the 26-year-old trilateral trade deal that includes Canada, Mexico, the the US — began in August 2017. But after nearly a year of fairly unproductive talks, the Mexican government began negotiating with the US one-on-one in July.

    The intense bilateral talks led to a breakthrough deal between the US and Mexico on August 27, leaving Canada under pressure to work out their own end of a deal.

    "Now in the very end, it resulted in the opposite," Fox said. "Mexico finally ended up coming to an agreement with the United States and Canada stayed out."

    Since signing the US-Mexico deal, Trump has threatened to move forward without Canada in the agreement — though such a maneuver may be legally dubious. It has nevertheless placed pressure on the current bilateral talks between US and Canadian officials.

    Fox, who was Mexico's president from 2000 to 2006 and has been a fierce Trump critic, urged Trudeau to be open to negotiations with Trump and possibly give in on a few issues to keep the trilateral deal intact.

    "My suggestion to Prime Minister Trudeau is go ahead, stay in NAFTA. If you have to sacrifice a little bit, if you have to make some concessions, do it," Fox said. "Because NAFTA is so much more than just a few little things that can affect you."

    No breakthrough on NAFTA appears imminent, though all of its members insist that negotiations are productive.

    For his part, Fox is hopeful all three sides can come out the other side of the at-times acrimonious negotiations with a new deal to keep the trading bloc together.

    "The United States is also making concessions today," he told Business Insider. "So it's a deal, but it's a win win. So I hope Canada stays in."

    SEE ALSO: Mexico's former president says legalized marijuana is a paradigm shift, but greed could take the industry down a dangerous path

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    Rochelle Garza

    • Rochelle Garza, the plaintiff in the 2017 case Garza vs. Hargan, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
    • Garza represented Jane Doe, an undocumented teenager who the federal government tried to block from obtaining an abortion. Kavanaugh ruled against Doe on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • Garza told Business Insider she testified before the Committee on Jane's story because "constitutional law isn’t just this thing in the clouds above everything else, it actually has a direct affect on people."

    After lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh over three action-packed days, they listened on Friday to multiple witnesses who testified for or against Kavanaugh. Those people include the lawyer whose client he ruled against last year in the case of an undocumented teen seeking an abortion. 

    Rochelle Garza represented the 17 year-old girl, known as Jane Doe, in the case Garza v. Hargan. The case began as a suit against the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) over their decision to block Jane, who was detained in an ORR facility, from receiving an abortion. They did so by refusing to transport her to her appointment, even after she received the proper approval from a judge.

    Initially, a Texas state court judge ordered that Jane Doe be permitted to leave custody to obtain the abortion, given that she had obtained the proper judicial bypass to undergo the procedure without parental consent and had secured private funding to pay for it. 

    ORR appealed the state court decision to federal court, which is where Kavanaugh came in. As part of a three-judge panel for the Federal Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit, Kavanaugh ruled to invalidate the state judge's order. 

    His panel's ruling gave the government additional time to find an adult sponsor for the teen, but the ACLU appealed the decision on Garza's behalf, and it was eventually overruled by the full panel of judges on the court, where Kavanaugh dissented.

    In his dissent, Kavanaugh conceded that unauthorized immigrants on US soil do have a right to due process under the 14th Amendment, but wrote that undocumented youth in custody were not entitled to "abortion on demand."

    After a prolonged legal battle, Jane was able to obtain her abortion at 15 weeks, even though the Supreme Court eventually vacated the US appeals court ruling that allowed her to obtain it.

    In her full testimony to the Senate, Garza laid out the facts through Jane's perspective and talked about the teen's experience dealing with such an important and personal life decision made by a far-away court in DC. 

    Garza also recounted the treatment Jane endured in detention, which included being required to undergo "life affirming" counseling at a pro-life crisis pregnancy center as well as sonogram, and being under constant surveillance at the center, where she was not allowed to exercise or go out for excursions with her peers. 

    "The pain that this caused Jane is something I can’t even describe – knowing that her life’s path, whether she would be forced to carry a pregnancy to term, was completely in the hands of people she would never know made her feel desperate, hopeless, and alone," Garza said in her testimony.

    'Your decisions affect everyday people'

    Brett kavanaugh

    In a phone interview with Business Insider on Friday, Garza, who specializes in immigration and family law, said her motivation for appearing before the committee was to put a human story behind what can often seem like lofty and abstract concepts of federal law. 

    "As a Supreme Court judge, your decisions affect real people directly, and it was really important to get Jane’s story out there so that the senators can actually see that," she said. 

    While other witnesses on her panel testified to Kavanaugh's brilliance as a law professor and personal kindness and generosity as a mentor to his students and clerks, Garza said it was important to her to also discuss how much Kavanaugh's decision in Jane's case affected someone whom he would never meet. 

    "Constitutional law isn’t just this thing in the clouds above everything else, it actually has a direct affect on people," she said. 

    While the Garza v. Hargan case has been frequently cited by groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL as evidence that Kavanaugh will be hostile to reproductive rights and could even vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, Garza believes his rulings in her case case reveal his possible hostility to the rights of people in detention rather than to reproductive rights generally.

    “I believe the reason he felt it was okay to make the decision he made was because of her immigration status," Garza said. "Just because she was in detention, she should have still been able to go to her medical appointments."

    "So really, in effect, his decision-making in this case is chipping away at the rights of immigrants in detention, but doing it through the lens of reproductive rights,” she added. 

    Garza said she was concerned that had his ruling not been later overturned, the precedent it set could have limited the constitutional rights of others in detention seeking abortions or other medical care, including adults detained by ICE or US citizens incarcerated in the criminal justice system.

    "If his ruling had stayed, it could have been translated to other areas," she said. "That was my fear, ultimately: that the ruling would snowball to anyone who finds themselves in detention."

    Both Garza and Melissa Murray, a constitutional law professor at New York University Law School who also testified against Kavanaugh on Friday, disagreed with the way Kavanaugh approached the Garza case from a legal perspective.

    "There was no consideration for the fact that Jane ... already had a ruling from a state court judge, who is more apt to determine her best interest," Garza said. "He didn’t consider that she was being followed one-on-one, that she was completely under the thumb of the federal government. These are all things that should have been taken into account, and weren’t.”

    But most of all, Garza said that she hopes that if Kavanaugh is confirmed to the high court, he will take into consideration how his decisions may affect the millions of everyday people who will never meet. 

    SEE ALSO: Roe v. Wade probably won't get overturned — but here's what could happen to slowly chip away at abortion rights if the Supreme Court becomes largely conservative

    DON'T MISS: Here's an evolving count of which senators are voting for Trump's Supreme Court pick

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Tim Cook Donald Trump

    • President Donald Trump said Apple should move production of its products to the US from China because the company could pay "ZERO tax" in America.
    • The tweet comes after Apple warned that Trump's pending tariffs on Chinese goods were a tax on US consumers and would drive up the cost of some of its products.
    • "Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting! #MAGA," Trump said.

    President Donald Trump suggested that Apple could face no taxes if the company moves its manufacturing process to the US from China.

    "Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China - but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive," Trump tweeted Saturday. "Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting! #MAGA."

    The tweet appears to be in response to a letter sent by Apple to the US Trade Representative on Friday. The company warned that many Apple products could increase in price if Trump implements a proposed round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

    "Second, because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on U.S. consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives," the company said in the letter.

    Trump first threatened to impose the round of tariffs in July, and the move would be a drastic escalation of the trade war between the US and China. US companies have warned that the tariffs, which would cover a huge range of industrial and consumer goods, would cause costs to increase. In turn, those companies could be forced to raise prices or lay off workers to control costs.

    Trump told reporters on Friday that the tariffs would "take place very soon."

    Trump has long encouraged Apple to being the entirety of its production to the US, though many analysts believe that the cost to do so would be enormous. This is the first time, however, that Trump has suggested a considerable tax break for the company if their manufacturing is brought back onshore.

    It is unclear whether Trump was suggesting that Apple would pay no tax at all if it moved manufacturing to the US or simply not pay the additional duties to import goods from China. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

    Apple also has a long history of working to lower its tax bill and the company is already reaping huge benefits from the recently-implemented GOP tax law.

    SEE ALSO: Trump threatens tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods

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    roger stone

    • The longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone is seeking donations to his legal defense fund as the special counsel Robert Mueller zeroes in on him.
    • Stone sent a photo to Business Insider early Saturday that appeared to be a play on Nike's recent ad campaign featuring NFL player Colin Kaepernick. The photo featured a link to Stone's new legal defense fund.
    • Stone, who is an informal adviser to President Donald Trump, also recently told Business Insider that he is looking to expand his legal team as the Russia probe heats up and will announce the new additions shortly.

    Sign up for the latest Russia investigation updates here»


    The longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone is asking for donations to his legal defense fund as the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation heats up.

    Early Saturday, he sent a photo to Business Insider that appears to be a play on Nike's recent ad campaign featuring NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

    "Believe in something. Even if it means Mueller will frame you," said a caption overlaying a black and white photo of Stone. Another caption at the bottom of the photo read, "Just do it," and featured a link to Stone's new legal defense fund.

    roger stone legal defense fund meme

    Stone has been in Mueller's crosshairs since the early stages of the Russia investigation, which is probing Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether members of President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor.

    Stone is currently represented by two lawyers in Florida, but he recently told Business Insider that he is looking to expand his legal team as Mueller closes in on him. He added that he will announce the new additions shortly.

    The special counsel has called over half a dozen of Stone's associates to testify in the Russia probe so far.

    Most recently, the radio host Randy Credico testified before a grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday. The far-right political commentator Jerome Corsi, one of Stone's close friends, was also subpoenaed to testify in connection to the investigation, but his lawyer said Friday that Corsi would not appear before the grand jury.

    Mueller's focus on the two men, as well as other Stone associates, indicates that he is homing in on links between Stone and the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks.

    WikiLeaks published thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign at the height of the 2016 election. The US intelligence community believes the breaches and subsequent dissemination of emails were carried out on the Kremlin's orders.

    When prosecutors indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in July on conspiracy and hacking charges, they referenced WikiLeaks — though not by name — as the Russians' conduit to release stolen documents via the hacker Guccifer 2.0, who is believed to be a front for Russian military intelligence.

    Stone is known to have been in direct communication with WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 during the election.

    He also said he has communicated indirectly with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the past through Credico. Credico denies the claim, and he said following his grand jury appearance Friday that prosecutors had demonstrated interest in Stone's statement.

    When he was an informal adviser to Trump during the campaign, Stone sent out several tweets in the summer of 2016 that raised questions about whether he had prior knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans to publish the hacked emails.

    In one tweet that drew increased scrutiny, Stone wrote on August 21, 2016, "Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta's time in the barrel," an apparent reference to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

    WikiLeaks published a batch of hacked emails from Podesta's account days later.

    Stone denies knowing about the document dump in advance.

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    starbucks italy 05

    • Starbucks just opened its first-ever store in Italy. It's one of only three Reserve Roasteries in the world.
    • The Roasteries are seen as more upscale than the typical Starbucks location. Starbucks has plans to open several additional Roasteries over the next two years. 
    • The Milan Reserve Roastery has unique features like a Scolari coffee roaster manufactured just miles outside of Milan, an Arriviamo bar serving more than 100 cocktails, and an affogato station where ice cream is made to order using liquid nitrogen.

    Starbucks just opened its first-ever store in Italy, and it's unlike any other Starbucks in the world. 

    The Starbucks in Milan is one of three Reserve Roasteries in the world, along with the new locations in Shanghai and Seattle. Starbucks plans to open additional Roasteries in New York later this year, and in Tokyo and Chicago in 2019.

    The Roasteries are seen as more upscale than the typical Starbucks location. Customers typically spend four times more in the company's Reserve Roastery locations than in a traditional Starbucks, according to a company spokesperson. 

    Starbucks' first Italian location is largely inspired by Milan itself. It uses bright colors to celebrate Milan's history of fashion and design, and it uses bronze and marble elements to blend in with Milan's architecture. The Roastery also features a Scolari coffee roaster manufactured just miles outside of Milan, and has unique features like a Arriviamo bar serving over 100 cocktails and an affogato station where ice cream is made to order using liquid nitrogen.

    Though this is Starbucks' first store in Italy, the brand has long been informed by Italian coffee culture. Starbucks' former longtime CEO and chairman, Howard Schultz, has said he was inspired to develop Starbucks as a destination coffee shop after a 1983 visit to Italy. According to Reuters, however, the $2.09 Starbucks is asking for an espresso is nearly double what local Italian coffee shops typically charge. 

    Take a look inside the stunning new Milan Roastery: 

    SEE ALSO: We compared Dunkin' Donuts' 'store of the future' with Starbucks to see which was a better coffee shop. Here's the verdict.

    The new Reserve Roastery is in Milan's Palazzo della Poste on the Piazza Cordusio.



    Surrounding the entrance to the Roastery is a floor-to-ceiling visual representation of Starbucks' history and its coffee. Customers can use the Starbucks app to learn more about anything on the wall.



    The interior of the Roastery is huge, and the design was inspired by Milan itself.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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