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The latest news from Life

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    Donald Trump

    • Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, called President Donald Trump's order for the declassification and release of sensitive Russia materials a "clear abuse of power" meant to influence the Russia probe.
    • Schiff also revealed that the FBI and DOJ had previously told him that the release of some of the materials would be a "red line" that must not be crossed because it may compromise sources and methods.
    • Trump on Monday ordered "the immediate declassification" of parts of the FBI's application to surveil Carter Page, as well as FBI reports of interviews connected to Page and DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
    • He also called for the release, without redaction, of all text messages from Ohr, former FBI director James Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. 

    Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, slammed President Donald Trump's decision Monday to order the release of a slew of sensitive documents related to the Russia investigation.

    Schiff's statement came after the White House announced that Trump had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (DOJ) "to provide for the immediate declassification" of parts of the FBI's June 2017 application to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as FBI reports of interviews connected to Page and DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

    The president also asked the FBI and the DOJ to release, without redaction, all text messages pertaining to the Russia investigation from former FBI director James Comey, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and Ohr.

    Schiff called the president's move a "clear abuse of power" meant to "intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative."

    Schiff also revealed that the FBI and DOJ had previously told him that they would consider the release of some of the materials Trump wants declassified a "red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods."

    The White House said Trump made the decision for transparency purposes and after it was requested by multiple congressional committees. 

    Trump's move came after Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump's campaign, agreed to cooperate with the special counsel Robert Mueller, securing him his most significant victory yet in the Russia investigation.

    Trump and his allies, including Schiff's counterpart, Rep. Devin Nunes, frequently rail against the Russia probe and characterize it as a politically motivated fishing expedition meant to undermine Trump's presidency. He has also personally attacked every individual whose text messages he wants released to the public.

    The most recent target of his ire is Ohr, who communicated with the former British spy Christopher Steele in 2016, while Steele was putting together a dossier with allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned Steele's work. Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, also testified last year that he met with Ohr after the 2016 election to discuss how the dossier was compiled.

    Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein previously testified that Ohr did not work on the Russia investigation and was not involved in the FBI's surveillance of Page.

    Politico reported that the DOJ and FBI have no idea how the redaction process is being handled, with a source familiar with the process saying both entities feel it's possible that the White House could release the information on its own as early as Monday.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for a week like a Navy SEAL

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  • 09/17/18--17:20: All the Emmys 2018 winners
  • Alex Borstein Emmy

    It was a big Emmys night for streaming giants Netflix and Amazon, as well as reigning champ HBO, and long-snubbed "The Americans" from FX.

    The 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, aired Monday night from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. 

    HBO and Netflix ended the night tied for top network with 23 Emmys each, while "Game of Thrones" had the most wins of any show with 9.

    The first award of the night went to Henry Winkler for his work as best supporting actor in "Barry," the HBO comedy series. Later, "Barry" star Bill Hader won the Emmy for best lead actor in a comedy series.  Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" picked up four awards early in the night for best supporting actress, best writing for a comedy, best lead actress in a comedy, and best directing for a comedy. It later won the best comedy Emmy. 

    The drama category was quite varied this year, with a win for best actor in a supporting role going to Peter Dinklage for "Game of Thrones" and best supporting actress going to Thandie Newton for "Westworld." After years of deserving it, Matthew Rhys finally won for the final season of "The Americans," and Claire Foy won for her final season of "The Crown." Best drama series went to "Game of Thrones."

    FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" won for best limited series, and split the limited series (or movie) acting categories with Netflix's Western "Godless" and "Seven Seconds."  

    Below are the big winners of the night's awards:

    SEE ALSO: Our Emmys 2018 predictions: who should win, who will win, and who got snubbed


    "The Americans"

    "The Crown"

    "Game of Thrones" *WINNER*

    "The Handmaid's Tale"

    "Stranger Things"

    "This Is Us"






    "Curb Your Enthusiasm"


    "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" *WINNER*

    "Silicon Valley"

    "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"


    "The Alienist"

    "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" *WINNER*

    "Genius: Picasso"


    "Patrick Melrose"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump

    • President Donald Trump announced tariffs on roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will go into effect September 24.
    • The tariffs will hit a wide range of industrial and consumer goods.
    • The escalation of the US-China trade war drew criticism from Democrats, Republicans, and many business groups.
    • The complaints warned that the tariffs will ultimately hurt US consumers and businesses, due to cost-increases for key goods.

    President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods drew a swift rebuke from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and business groups.

    Trump announced Monday that the US Trade Representative would begin to impose a 10% tariffs on Chinese goods ranging from food to fabrics to industrial chemicals. The tariffs will increase to 25% on January 1, 2019, unless the US and China agree on a trade deal.

    The escalation of the US-China trade war was quickly criticized by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers along with many business groups. All of the critiques centered on economists warnings that the tariffs would ultimately harm US business and consumers by raising prices on imported goods from China.

    Additionally, concerns about China's retaliatory action on US agricultural goods popped up from farmers groups.

    Here's a rundown of the criticism from lawmakers, business groups, and conservative interest groups:

    • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND): “The reckless escalation of the administration’s trade war is having serious consequences for rural America, which is already suffering from the uncertainty and low commodity prices caused by the disruptions to our markets,” Heitkamp said.
    • Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX, chair of the House Ways and Means committee): "Any time tariffs are imposed I worry that Americans will be forced to pay extra costs - in this case on nearly half of US imports from China," Brady said. "I continue to emphasize that the ultimate means to create an effective outcome is for President Trump and President Xi to engage constructively to develop a long-term and profound solution that levels the playing field for American manufacturers, farmers, and workers."
    • National Retail Federation: "Every time this trade war escalates, the risk to US consumers grows. With these latest tariffs, many hardworking Americans will soon wonder why their shopping bills are higher and their budgets feel stretched," Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF, said.
    • National Associations of Manufacturers: "No one wins in a trade war, and manufacturing workers are hopeful the administration’s approach will quickly yield results. Now is the time for talks—not just tariffs—and manufacturers have laid out a blueprint to reset the US-China commercial relationship that will result in ending China’s unfair and anti-competitive behavior," Jay Timmons, NAM's president and CEO, said.
    • Consumer Technology Association: "Today's retaliatory tariffs are not an effective trade policy and may violate US law. Congress has not given the president or the USTR a blank check to pursue a trade war," Gary Shapiro, CTA's president and CEO, said. "These new retaliatory tariffs run afoul of the carefully tailored provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, which require any action to be within the scope of the Section 301 investigation. We urge the administration to reconsider its misguided approach of increasing tariffs, as they are directly paid for by American companies and consumers."
    • Americans For Farmers & Families: "As trade tensions escalate, and our ability to sell our goods to major markets diminishes, we’re having to make long-term business decisions that could affect our farms for generations," Casey Guernsey, a seventh-generation farmer and spokesperson for AFF said. "Many family farmers are canceling new projects, selling their equipment and livestock, and even thinking about closing their operations entirely."
    • Freedom Partners (conservative lobbying group): "These tariffs are 'all pain, no gain' for American businesses and workers. Countless American employers weighed in on this idea during the comment period and told the administration these tariffs would be job-killers. Unfortunately, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears," Nathan Nascimento, Freedom Partners' Executive Vice President, said.

    SEE ALSO: THE BIG ONE: Trump slams China with tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods, taking the trade war to the next level

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: One bite from this tick could ruin red meat for the rest of your life

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    mcd apple pie

    • McDonald's announced last week that the chain has changed the recipe for its iconic apple pie. 
    • Some customers are complaining about the new recipe, with one person saying on social media that people should be "rioting in the streets" in response to the change. 
    • Others have a more positive attitude after tasting the new apple pie, which was revamped to remove sugar and reduce the number of ingredients used.

    McDonald's changed its iconic apple pie recipe — and customers are split on if it is a healthy change for the better or a horrific mistake. 

    Last week, the fast-food giant announced it was debuting a new recipe for its apple pie with less sugar and a simplified ingredients list. 

    "Our new freshly baked Apple pie recipe is in line with other positive changes we have made," Tiffany Briggs, a McDonald's spokesperson, said in a statement. "We removed, for example, artificial preservatives from our Chicken McNuggets and switched to real butter in our breakfast sandwiches because those changes matter to our guests." 

    However, not every McDonald's customer has been loving the new pie. As the revamped dessert has hit menus, many customers have taken to social media to complain about the changes. 

    "What's up with the new apple pies????" one person tweeted. "I like the old recipe better. Is it a seasonal thing? Or a permanent change???"

    McDonald's responded on Twitter: "Our new apple pie is made with fewer ingredients such as sugar, sliced 100-percent American grown apples and a bit of cinnamon to the filling for flavor to give each one that homemade taste our customers love." 

    However, others had more positive things to say about the new apple pie. 

    With the apple pie's long and fabled history, McDonald's was sure to face some backlash over changes.

    The pie was the first dessert ever added to McDonald's menu, in 1968. McDonald's replaced the original fried apple pies to a baked version in the early 1990s — a change that some people are still lamenting decades later. 

    SEE ALSO: Chick-fil-A broke from tradition and opened on a Sunday in the midst of Hurricane Florence — and there's an incredible backstory

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Publishers Clearing House makes $1 billion a year

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    gary cohn donald trump

    • Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump's former top economic adviser, said the president originally wanted to raise the top marginal tax rate to 44% as the GOP tax bill was being crafted.
    • The rate was ultimately lowered to 37% from 39.6% in the final version of the bill that is now law.
    • Cohn's statement appears to confirm reporting by Bob Woodward in his new book "Fear: Trump in the White House."
    • Woodward reported that Cohn had to talk Trump out of raising the top rate to 44%.
    • Cohn refused to talk further about the Woodward book, neither confirming nor denying the report that he stole documents from Trump's desk to prevent the president from pulling the US out of two major trade deals.

    Gary Cohn, the former top economic adviser to President Donald Trump, confirmed a detail about the president's position on taxes that was reported in Bob Woodward's new book.

    During a Reuters event in New York City on Monday, Cohn expressed regret that the Republican tax law that was passed at the end of 2017 was not simply a cut in the corporate tax rate. Cohn said that during the debate over the plan, Trump similarly wanted to just focus the bill on the corporate side instead of also cutting taxes for individuals.

    In fact, Cohn said, Trump actually wanted to raise the top marginal tax rate to 44%.

    "I would have rather have just cut corporate taxes, not touch personal taxes at all, and by the way the president was there too, the president would've just done corporate taxes and not personal taxes," Cohn said. "In fact he was willing to raise the high end of personal taxes, there were times he was talking about 44.6% or 44.9% on the personal side."

    Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, said that the administration ultimately had to include individual tax cuts because many US companies are pass-through businesses in which the owner takes the profits and the money is taxed like personal income. Cutting just the corporate rate would have created too large a discrepancy for corporations and those pass-throughs, Cohn said.

    Trump's desire to raise the rate to 44% was reported in Woodward's new book "Fear: Trump in the White House."

    The plan to increase the top tax rate to 44% was originally attributed to former adviser Steve Bannon and, according to Woodward, the bump would have allowed Trump to lower the corporate tax rate to 15% instead of the 21% in the final bill. But, Cohn advised Trump not to increase the top rate, Woodward reported.

    "Sir, you can't take the top rate up," Cohn reportedly told the president. "You just can't."

    "What do you mean?" Trump replied per Woodward.

    "You're a Republican," Cohn, who was a Democrat, told Trump, adding the president would "get absolutely destroyed" if he went through with the idea.

    The top rate was eventually dropped to 37% from 39.5% in the version of the GOP tax bill that is now law.

    In addition to confirming Trump's desire to boost taxes, Cohn also fielded questions on the most explosive part of the book. Woodward reported that Cohn stole documents off the president's desk to prevent Trump from pulling the US out of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    Cohn refused to confirm or deny that Woodward's reporting was correct.

    "I've said what I'm going to say on the Woodward book," Cohn said.

    Cohn is featured extensively in Woodward's book, including many direct quotes. Woodward's book used interviews with anonymous sources conducted on deep background, which means no source is identified in the writing. According to reports, Trump and other members of the administration believe Cohn was a source for the book.

    Cohn issued a statement on the day of the book's release that said Woodward's reporting "does not accurately portray my experience at the White House." The statement did not push back on any individual story, such as the document theft.

    Cohn left the White House in March soon after Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The former Goldman executive has been critical of Trump's use of tariffs.

    The White House has also attacked Woodward's book, calling it "nothing more than fabricated stories."

    SEE ALSO: THE BIG ONE: Trump slams China with tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods, taking the trade war to the next level

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The world's most dangerous venomous animals are all in Australia

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    U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House in Washington

    • President Donald Trump's decision to declassify select portions of a FISA application targeting the former Trump campaign aide Carter Page alarmed legal and national security experts.
    • Trump called for the immediate declassification of certain portions of the Page FISA application, some of which appear to include information about confidential sources and methods.
    • "The release of FISAs like this is off the charts," wrote one former Justice Department official. 
    • Another former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York called Trump's decision an "incredibly dangerous move that sets a really troubling precedent."

    Former law-enforcement officials and national security experts sounded the alarm on Monday, after the White House announced that President Donald Trump had ordered the immediate declassification of select portions of an FBI application to surveil a former Trump campaign aide.

    The warrant to monitor that aide, Carter Page, was granted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Department of Justice (DOJ) released the application, with significant redactions, earlier this year amid heightened cries from Trump and his Republican allies that the FBI had planted a spy within his campaign to cripple it during the 2016 election.

    On Monday, Trump demanded the declassification of several pages of a June 2017 application to renew the Page FISA warrant, as well as FBI interviews and reports connected to the surveillance.

    David Kris, the former assistant attorney general for national security and an expert on FISA, didn't mince words when he reacted to the news.

    "The release of FISAs like this is off the charts," he wrote. "It is especially unprecedented considering that the FISAs have already gone through declassification review and the President is overruling the judgments of his subordinates to require expanded disclosure."

    Joyce Alene Vance, a longtime former federal prosecutor, largely agreed.

    "Releasing FISA materials compromises national security," she wrote. "Publicly releasing evidence during an ongoing criminal investigation is unprecedented."

    An 'incredibly dangerous move'

    Carter Page

    The FISA process is arguably one of the most sensitive and secretive methods that the US government uses when it comes to gathering foreign intelligence.

    The application process that goes into obtaining a FISA warrant targeting a US person involves multiple levels of authorization from senior FBI and DOJ officials, as well as permission from a FISA court judge.

    The FBI's surveillance of Page began in October 2016 and continued at least until the summer of 2017.

    His monitoring was related to the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor.

    On Monday, Trump asked the DOJ and FBI to declassify pages 10 to 12 and 17 to 34 of the Page FISA application.

    One of those sections appears to relate to the time period that Page worked on Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser.

    Trump did not ask the DOJ and FBI to declassify subsequent portions of the document that detail Page's activities and Russian efforts to recruit him as an agent before he joined the campaign.

    The president also did not order the declassification of another part of the document that details information Page provided to the FBI during an earlier interview, or sections that go over Russia's attempts to recruit New York City residents as intelligence assets.

    While the Trump campaign has sought to distance itself from Page after he drew scrutiny, the former adviser testified to the House Intelligence Committee last year that he had several contacts with Russia-linked individuals, at times with the campaign's knowledge.

    His testimony also appeared to corroborate key sections of the Steele dossier, a collection of explosive memos by the former British spy Christopher Steele that alleges collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    But Page had been on the FBI's radar even before he joined the campaign in 2016. Earlier this year, TIME reported that Page boasted about his Russia contacts as early as 2013, and two months after the FBI warned him that Russia was trying to recruit him as an agent.

    Trump seeks to declassify information that could compromise sources and methods

    christopher steele

    Pages 17 to 34 of the application, which Trump moved to declassify, deal with Page's possible coordination with Russian government officials on activities designed to influence the 2016 election.

    Crucially, several parts of this section appear to contain information about confidential sources that Steele used while compiling his dossier, as well as Steele's own history as an FBI source.

    Several top congressional Democrats, like House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff and minority leader Nancy Pelosi, also warned that the declassification and release of some materials Trump requested could endanger sources and methods.

    Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, called Trump's decision an "incredibly dangerous move that sets a really troubling precedent."

    "To say you're going to throw open the information in a FISA warrant for plainly political purposes is incredibly reckless," he added.

    Kris echoed that view.

    "The President has the literal authority to do this, but here, as in so many other areas, his exercise of authority is tainted by a severe conflict of interest, as he is a subject of investigation to which these FISAs pertain," he wrote.

    Kris added: "This is perhaps the signal feature of many of his worst actions -- he seems assiduously to view and engage with everything through the straw-sized aperture of his own self-interest instead of the broader national interest."

    The White House said Trump's decision was made in the name of "transparency."

    But Trump has long characterized the Russia investigation as a politically motivated "witch hunt" designed to undermine his presidency.

    In addition to publicly castigating the attorney general for not shutting down the investigation, he also ousted the FBI director, James Comey, who was overseeing the investigation last year, and he has publicly lashed out against other current and former DOJ and FBI officials connected to the investigation.

    On Monday, he additionally called for the release, without redactions, of all text messages by several of those individuals, including Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, DOJ official Bruce Ohr, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An aerospace company reintroduced its precision helicopter with two crossing motors

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    Burning Man 2018

    There are three of us, cramped inside a dusty Toyota that's packed to the gills along with a triad of busted bicycles hanging precariously off the back.

    We are flanked on every side by travelers who, like us, have driven several hours to form what has turned out to be a particularly sluggish caravan into Black Rock City, Nevada.

    Miles from the city's entrance, I realize I am in no way adequately prepared. It was only two weeks earlier when I decided to buy a ticket to Burning Man at the persuasion of my best friend, Jes.

    "You don't have to bring anything, dude," she told me over the phone. "Just get your ticket. I'll bring all the stuff."

    At the time, the plan made sense. I would fly from New York to San Francisco to meet Jes and her girlfriend, Ryan. They would retrieve me from the airport and we would embark on the six-hour drive to Burning Man together.

    Because nothing is available for purchase at the event itself, Jes has packed enough camping gear, food, and water for all three of us. Or so she has promised. My contribution to our collective efforts is a slim backpack filled with sparkly bathing suits, a ziplock bag of costume jewelry, and a jumbo-size box of disposable dust masks.

    Burning man 2018

    Like most people who have never been to Burning Man before, I had, of course, heard of it. I also had a general approximation of what would occur there, based largely on the accounts of people I knew who had gone and returned as newfound vegans exuding auras of a certain new-age holiness.

    Some weird sex stuff would go down, I imagined. People would take their clothes off. There would be loud music and large artworks and psychedelics and partying late into the night. Like Woodstock, but with less shade.

    Ask people who have been to Burning Man what it's like, and their answer is inevitably the same. "Oh my god," they say. "It's absolutely wild. You really have to see it for yourself."

    This rapturous response had still in no way convinced me. Privately, I was skeptical. What Kool-Aid were they drinking down there in the middle of the desert?

    We've been stalled outside the gates for five hours when it comes to my attention that we have not brought enough water.

    Burning Man 2018"Fifteen gallons, plus the beer," Jes tells me from the front seat. "I think it's enough for three people."

    It is not enough. Per official Burning Man recommendations, you're supposed to bring in at least 1 1/2 gallons per person, per day. The Nevada desert reaches temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, making death by dehydration highly probable. Jes, Ryan, and I are exactly 21 gallons short of the recommended minimum.

    Already, Jes has rationed my water intake.

    "You should be fine on half a gallon day," she assures me. "Just don't guzzle it down all at once like you're a camel."

    It is Jes' third year at Burning Man, and her voice has assumed an air of seasoned authority.

    I think back longingly to the last convenience store we passed some hours ago along the congested, two-lane road that led us into this godforsaken desert. But to turn back now is out of the question.

    A dust storm has swept the desert into an opaque, suffocating cloud, making it impossible to see even a few feet beyond the car. The instant we crack a window, the interior of Jes' RAV4 becomes coated in a layer of dust the size of a small sand dune.

    We are sandwiched in a restless convoy of revelers. Several people have set up lawn chairs on the roofs of their RVs, and the pickup truck behind us is blasting a relentless EDM beat. Outside, the air smells of mothballs and marijuana.

    Jes and Ryan are wearing goggles. I am wearing a hot pink scuba mask that's designed to fit the face of a small child. ("For ages 3 plus!" a label on the plastic package says brightly.) The scuba mask was a last-minute purchase made at a CVS in Reno at Jes' insistence that I should have some sort of protective eyewear beyond sunglasses. It is too small for my face and covers my nose, making it difficult to breathe. I am intensely uncomfortable.

    A masked woman taps on the car's passenger window.

    "Welcome to Burning Man," she says, warmly. "Would you like to play Mad Libs to pass the time?"

    burning man 2018

    By the time we enter the city, it is nearly midnight.

    We are greeted at the floodlit gate by a stocky, bearded man who kindly invites us to disembark from our vehicle and roll around in the dirt. "You're a virgin burner," he tells me. "It's time to embrace the playa."

    It is not my wish to embrace the playa. My hope is to stay clean for as long as possible, and this plan does not include rolling around in a pile of dirt even before I pitch my tent.

    "I'll pass, but thank you very much," I say. He shoots me a disappointed look.

    "It's your first time at Burning Man," he insists. "It's just a little dirt." Already, Jess and Ryan are performing joyful somersaults in the sand at my feet.

    Not wanting to appear a square who isn’t open to the possibility of some good old-fashioned fun, I concede, and lamely drop to the ground. I loll around in the dirt for what seems to be the acceptable minimum amount of time to constitute a full playa embrace. I stand, covered in dust, and start to sneeze repeatedly.

    "Isn't it the greatest?" the man asks, smiling gently as he wraps his arms around me in a warm embrace."Welcome home."

    Burning Man 2018

    Over the course of my week in Black Rock City, I am welcomed home hundreds of times by strangers whose eyes are filled, almost uniformly, with the clear light of loving-kindness and acceptance. It is like being at a family reunion after coming out of a coma, except that every member of your family is an extremely attractive yoga instructor.

    One of the people who welcome me home is the stubble-faced attendant at the Media Mecca tent, where I'm directed to receive a media pass. He asks whether it's my first time at Burning Man, and I tell him that it is. "When you write about Burning Man, make sure you don't refer to it as a festival," he directs me. "This is not a festival. It is an event."

    This semantic differentiation is stressed to me multiple times by veteran attendees over the course of the week. The difference in these two terms, it is largely felt, lies in the participatory onus placed on Burning Man's attendees. This is not Coachella. To even consider Burning Man remotely related to that other desert cabal is a sentiment of deepest insult. We are not passive observers glibly traipsing through a fairground. As attendees, we are part of the spectacle itself, members of a temporary community that has sprouted up along a sinister stretch of earth regularly unfit for human habitation.


    Perhaps the most impressive part of Burning Man is the playa, the open stretch of desert surrounded by a jagged mountain range that serves as the backdrop to roving art cars, impromptu dance parties, and art installations many stories high.

    Burning Man 2018

    The first time we encounter the playa is the night of our arrival to the city, after we unpack the car by the light of headlamps. We are on bicycles, wrapped in advance with LEDs — the only way to avoid collision along the dark, haphazard route into the city, where traffic laws are largely open to interpretation.

    Teetering forth, we pass darkened campsites, a snail-shaped car lit by kaleidoscopic bulbs, a hundred or so other pedestrians and bicyclists, who, like us, have draped themselves in flashing neon.

    And then, the playa comes into view.

    It is much bigger than I'd expected, a limitless, psychedelic wilderness of pulsing neon and throbbing music. Wheeling across this great expanse are enormous metal piranhas belching flame, slow-moving magic carpets, and cathedrals whose roofs have been overtaken by crowds of fist-pumping dancers.

    Burning man 2018"This is f---ing wild," says Ryan, and she's right.

    We stop in at a bar for shots of whiskey and are then instructed to walk along a thin, rickety plank 15 feet above the ground. We roller-skate at a makeshift roller rink along the esplanade. We dance with an enormous panda. We see a punk-rock band perform.

    Time is confused by the fact that not one but two moons shine above the playa. One is art. The other is real. The former is a convincing, illuminated orb that waxes from crescent to full again and again. According to this new lunar body, we spend an entire month on the playa by the time we head back to our tents.

    Burning man 2018

    There is no exchange of cash at Burning Man.

    Everything and anything is free. Rickety roadside garment racks filled with used clothing are marked with signs that read, "Take what you need!" People are giving away artwork they've made, plastic kazoos, necklaces, bags of candy, stickers, miso soup, massages, shots of B12, hair washing, cold-brew coffee, three-course meals completed by wine pairings. Everything is gratis.

    Burning man 2018Our camp is hosting a small bar, where we're inviting passersby to stop in for a swig of whiskey or a sickly sweet-peach punch made with dubious ingredients. A man in a tatterdemalion business suit stops by for a drink.

    "I'm the Burning Man banker," he says. "Put your hand inside my pocket for a gift."

    A redheaded woman reaches into his breast-coat pocket. She digs around for a moment and then pulls out a $100 bill.

    "It's real, sweetheart," he says. "Don't spend it all at once."

    He grins broadly to reveal two rows of yellowed teeth, tucks his hands into his pockets, and then ambles away.

    Despite the lack of physical cash, lavish displays of wealth are still on full display. It's difficult, after all, not to notice the comparative wealth of people who are able to take a week off of work and spend what has been tallied as an average cost of $1,500 apiece to achieve an advanced state of wokeness in the middle of the desert.

    burning man 2018While some of the artworks are cobbled together with the help of grants and financial aid, other installations on the playa are rumored to be dreamed up by one-percenters who, like the Medicis before them, fund gargantuan aesthetic projects.

    Some of the art cars are a level of ostentation bordering on comedy, one monied person's gaudy fantasy attempting to outdo another's. Mammoth vehicles spew balls of flame and beam out spotlights viewable from miles away, all the while blasting a continuous, inescapable soundtrack of pounding EDM.

    At a corner of the camp close to the playa, identical RVs are lined neatly in pristine rows, alongside private Port A Potties. They are located a half-mile walk from our ramshackle quarters filled with weathered tents and tattered shade structures — a reminder that nearly all American cities, even temporary ones, are still subject to economic divide.

    Burning Man 2018

    The people who visit Burning Man have come from every conceivable corner of the earth. They are from Austin and Denver and Brooklyn and Tampa. They hail from China, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, France, Germany, and Indonesia. But even despite this geographical diversity, the crowd is still overwhelmingly white.

    While the majority of burners appear to be lithe fitness models in sparkly bootie shorts, a small portion of attendees are kids in superhero capes, grandmothers in motorized wheelchairs, and elderly, white-haired men, some of whom comprise a roaming group of naked Santas.

    Anything and everything you could imagine exists here. At the Healing Foot Wash down the road, you can wash your neighbor's feet and hear all about the love of your prospective savior Jesus Christ. Just blocks from the Healing Foot Wash, another camp's sign announces "Free Abortions!" with the words "No minors allowed!" scrawled in marker underneath. A 10-minute walk from here is Kindergarten Kamp, an outdoor playground where toddlers bounce gleefully on a giant trampoline.


    Hedonism abounds.

    Everywhere you look, debauchery unfolds. Naked women wielding leather paddles implore bystanders to pull their pants down for a spanking. Couples bedecked in feathers and dust masks line up expectantly outside the air-conditioned Orgy Dome. At the nightly Bareoke, a woman strips down as she sings along to the Spice Girls.

    Burning Man 2018

    Nudity is ubiquitous, and informally enforced in bizarre and ridiculous ways. Several ramshackle bars require women to bare their breasts if they wish to drink there. "I had to show my penis to get a snow cone yesterday," a man in our camp confides.

    Of just a small sampling of the activities available are fellatio contests, something advertised as "p---y massages," genital prints made in the "traditional Japanese method," BDSM play inside a dungeon, the Slut Olympics, an activity described as a "Bubbles and Boobs VIP Party" ("Bring your boobs!"), and a workshop where you can learn to write erotic poetry in binary code (010101).

    Burning Man 2018

    People who in their everyday lives work as scientists or elementary-school teachers or web developers are passing out thimbles of absinthe, ladles of vodka-laced punch, and pours of whiskey. Sobriety is strongly discouraged. As early as 8 a.m., tutu-clad men and women armed with bullhorns hail bikers into their requisite bars for a mimosa or a shot of tequila. "Why be sober!?" a woman shouts. At one camp's communal dinner, LSD-blotted Altoids, magic mushrooms, and MDMA are rationed out alongside a meal of chili made from a broth of beer.

    By Wednesday, we are subsisting largely off of a diet of warm Modelos, sardines, and pickles. We are looking haggard. We are feeling more than a little unhealthy.

    "I think I'm immune to drugs," a fellow campmate confides. "I've taken so much LSD that it no longer has any effect on me. I took three hits today and all I want to do is go to bed."

    Burning Man 2018

    Despite the hedonism, the total and complete lack of a single trash can, and the fact 70,000 people are wandering around a largely unmonitored desert expanse at deeply questionable degrees of sobriety, the playa itself is remarkably, exceptionally clean.

    In my seven days here, I could count the amount of trash I have seen on one hand and can also recount exactly what those items are: a blue ballpoint pen, a piece of toilet paper, a glow stick, and a headband. That's it. This detritus is called MOOP, or Matter Out of Place, and is intensely, near-manically monitored by veteran attendees.

    When I attempt to run a brush through my ratty, dust-ridden hair in the middle of the afternoon, a girl from our camp immediately stops me.

    "Can you go inside your tent and do that?" She asks. "Hair is technically MOOP."

    Burning man 2018

    I am surprised to learn that, along with a noticeable police presence, there are many rules.

    We are reminded in a booklet of regulations issued along with our ticket that drugs including marijuana are technically illegal. The same DUI laws that govern the state of Nevada are applied to anyone driving an art car at 5 mph around the playa. Vehicles, even ones in the shape of rubber duckies or UFOs, should be registered and insured. Pee on the playa, and you could be slapped with a fee of hundreds of dollars.

    If you plan to drink alcohol, you'll need to bring along your ID. A few, more lenient bars accept laminated copies of identification, but most demand the real deal.

    Even the Orgy Dome, which I have envisioned as a den of sweaty carnality so iniquitous it would make the devil blush, has its own set of rules.

    "The Orgy Dome is so boring," a campmate complains. "First, you have to hear this long lecture about consent. Then you have to wait in line forever. And then, once you get in, it's mostly just couples laying around. It's the most organized sex you'll ever have in your life."

    "It's true," a friend volunteers. "The only good reason to go to the Orgy Dome is if you want to take a nap."

    burning man 2018

    On Thursday, after the sun has set, I hitch a ride with Jes and Ryan from a man driving an enormous banana to the outer regions of the desert, called the Deep Playa. There, we have heard, a drone show is about to take place. We arrive at a planar opening filled with art cars decked out in blinking neon. We drink absinthe from a mobile bar and take turns pushing one another on the enormous basket swing that's attached to its roof.

    And then, suddenly, hundreds of drones lit up in purple and blue appear above our heads. They pulse and blossom overhead, moving in undulating formations to piano music.

    It is beautiful and moving, the sort of artwork that is impossible to imagine happening anywhere but here, above an alien flatland of desolate earth and against this particular backdrop of pitch-black desert sky.

    Burning Man 2018

    Burning Man is filled with moments like these, instances of profundity and depth that you might not have at first expected from a tutu-ridden desert bacchanal.

    Visit the Temple, for instance, and it's impossible not to be moved.

    The Temple is located in the center of the playa; an intricate, wooden spiral, big enough to hold hundreds of people. It's the sort of structure that takes months to build. Like The Man, the stick figure epithet for which the event is named, it too will be burned to the ground at the end of the week.

    The moment you enter the Temple, the atmosphere shifts. The air grows suddenly heavy. It is quiet. Inside, visitors have left mementos of all that they have lost. Stapled to the spiraled beams are photographs of dead loved ones, notes of regret penned to ex-lovers, locks of hair. Several wedding dresses hang overhead.

    A little boy seated on his father's shoulders asks, "Is this where we're leaving mommy?"

    People write notes on beams with sharpies. The items left inside are glimpses into the personal tragedies of strangers. Most are crying. A woman lies prostrate on the ground. A group of people chant someone's name.

    burning man temple

    By Thursday, we are exhausted.

    My personal filthiness has a reached a degree I've never previously experienced. In the course of five days, I have applied two boxes of wet wipes to my body. I have cleaned my feet in great secrecy with bottled water so as not to enrage my fellow campmates by the lavish and nonessential use of our beverage supply. I have attempted to brush my hair and accordingly ripped from my scalp three separate knots of intricate and dusty tangles. I have experienced multiple bloody noses. I have been tempted to dispose of wet wipes into the Port A Potty even though I have been reminded, with nagging persistence, that this holy receptacle is fit for human waste and one-ply toilet paper alone.

    I feel as though I haven't slept in days, even though our camp is located in what is considered one of the quieter sites at Burning Man. The throbbing EDM music from the perpetual parade of art cars streaming past at all hours of the night has rendered the 20 pairs of earplugs I've packed entirely ineffectual.

    Burning Man 2018

    A man from our camp has deserted us for a luxurious hotel room in Tahoe. Burning Man, he tells us upon departure, is simply too much. "I think I get it," he says. "A bunch of people partying in the desert. How much more of this can people take?"

    At the beginning of the week, I might have agreed with him. But now, while still at Burning Man, I am experiencing an onset of Burning Man FOMO. I miss out on the sumo-wrestling competition. I never make it to the group wedding that takes place at sunset. I keep waking up too late to go skydiving. There's too much going on.

    But by the end of the week, the loving-kindness which had at first seemed so refreshing and limitless is beginning to wane. The heat is getting to us. People are irritable. I am irritable. Jes and I have a minor disagreement, and I storm away, furious. Arguments are sprouting up all around us. A married couple in our camp gets into a shouting match. One of them threatens divorce.

    burning man 2018The morning after The Man is burned, we gather to eat a pig that's being cooked over the remains of its blackened ashes. Just feet away from where a woman in a black bodice poses for a photo, her hands filled with the heart and lungs of a dead goat (really), a thin woman slaps a man in the face and screams, "What were you doing all night at your pervert party? Where were you? How can you leave your child like that?"

    People holding bullhorns line the dusty streets and shout: "Go home! Get the f--- out of here! Leave Burning Man and never come back! What are you still doing here?"

    burning man 2018

    On Sunday, we repack the Toyota, hitching our bicycles to the rear and strapping bags of trash to the roof. The moment is bittersweet. It would be difficult to leave Burning Man with a perspective on life that, if not entirely renewed, is at the very least refurbished. "I'm gonna change my life, man," I overhear a man telling his friend. "I'm gonna quit my job. I'm gonna lose 20 pounds." This is the sort of inspirational zeitgeist that's in the air.

    On our final evening there, as we watch The Man burn amid towering flames, a friend turns to me.

    Burning Man 2018"Maybe it's about death. Or renewal? Or art. But also life? Definitely society. And self-image," he ponders, filled with psychedelic wisdom.

    We can still feel the heat from where we stand, far from the flames, the biggest fire I've seen in my life. We are quiet, then, just taking it in.


    Two weeks later at an investor dinner in New York, I’m chatting with an entrepreneur who mentions that he and his wife were at Burning Man this year.

    "We've gone for four years," he tells me. "Missing it would be like not going home at Christmas."

    I ask what he thought about the experience. Did he feel that Burning Man would still be culturally relevant in coming years?

    "Well yeah, of course," he said. "If there's anything that can outlive the hype, it's Burning Man."

    SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: What it's like to visit Burning Man, one of the wildest, most surreal events in the world

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    hong kong mansion


    A mansion for sale in Hong Kong's exclusive and wealthy Peak neighborhood could break the record for the most expensive home sold in the territory — and possibly in all of Asia.

    The $446 million home, which was built in 1991, went on the market in April 2018 and was available for lease before that, Joyce Lee, a representative for Christie's International Real Estate, told Business Insider. 

    Hong Kong, which is now home to more super-rich individuals than any other city in the world, is seeing property prices continuing to climb, particularly in the luxury market. 

    Christie's International Real Estate named Hong Kong the prime luxury market in the world for the second year in a row in its 2017 "Luxury Index" that evaluated growth and demand of premium real estate.

    Hong Kong claimed the world's first and second most expensive home sales of 2017, according to the South China Morning Post, breaking several property records in the process, as Business Insider's Rosie Perper reported. An estate on The Peak was sold for $360 million to billionaire technology manufacturer Yeung Kin-man in January 2017, the South China Morning Post reported.

    In November 2017, the most expensive apartments in Asia sold for a combined $149 million. And the city-state continues to break records in the luxury housing market in 2018.

    In March 2018, a buyer paid $178.4 million, or $19,400 per square foot, for a mansion in Hong Kong's super-exclusive and wealthy Peak neighborhood, making it the most expensive residential sale in all of Asia, according to Bloomberg.

    But this $446 million home could break even those staggering records. Here's a look inside the mansion and the exclusive, super-wealthy neighborhood where it sits. 

    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

    DON'T MISS: Hong Kong now has more mega-millionaires than New York City

    The four-bedroom mansion sits on 7,725 square feet on Middle Gap Road, one of the most prestigious gated communities in Hong Kong, according to the real estate listing. The home is surrounded by dense woods.

    Source: Landscope Christie's International Real Estate

    The colonial-style home was built in 1991 and includes an outdoor swimming pool.

    Source: Landscope Christie's International Real Estate

    Views of the hilly, greenery-filled neighborhood surround the pool area.

    Source: Landscope Christie's International Real Estate

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Carrie Severino, chief counsel at the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, speaks on CNN.

    • The chief counsel for a conservative judicial group backing Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination described the sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford against the judge as potentially "rough horseplay." 
    • "Her allegations cover a whole range of conduct from boorishness to rough horseplay to actual attempted rape," the lawyer Carrie Severino said during a Tuesday interview on CNN.
    • Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh attacked her and has described the incident as an attempted rape.

    The chief counsel for a conservative group backing Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination described on Tuesday the sexual assault allegations Christine Blasey Ford made against the judge as potential "rough horseplay." 

    "Her allegations cover a whole range of conduct from boorishness to rough horseplay to actual attempted rape," the lawyer, Carrie Severino, said during an interview on CNN. "And so, obviously, if you go to rape, yes, that is a very serious allegation." 

    Ford, who identified herself to The Washington Post in an article published Sunday, says that when she was 15 years old, Kavanaugh, then 17, pinned her to a bed and groped her while his friend watched in a home in Montgomery County, Maryland. Kavanaugh, she alleges, covered her mouth with his hand and turned up the music to mask her screams.

    CNN host Kate Bolduan pushed back on Severino.

    "I don't think anywhere in there she's saying this is boorish horseplay — at all," the CNN host said. 

    But Severino insisted that Ford's allegations could be interpreted in many ways. 

    "She's certainly implying that it's attempted rape," Severino replied. "I'm saying the behavior she described could describe a whole range of things." 

    The conservative attorney went on to note that Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegations and said that he did not attend the party where Ford said the attack took place. 

    The Judicial Crisis Network, which has poured millions of dollars into pressuring senators to confirm Kavanaugh, is planning a $1.5 million ad campaign to support Kavanaugh amid the allegations, multiple news outlets reported Monday.


    SEE ALSO: A top Democratic candidate's own brother says he's voting against him in a new Republican attack ad

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    • Eminem's diss track "Killshot" had the largest debut of a hip-hop song in YouTube's history, the company said.
    • The song, directed at the rapper Machine Gun Kelly, earned a record 38.1 million views on YouTube in its first 24 hours.

    Eminem's recently released single "Killshot" — a diss track directed at the rapper Machine Gun Kelly — had the largest debut of any hip-hop song in the history of YouTube, the company said Tuesday.

    The official audio of "Killshot" earned a record 38.1 million views on YouTube in the first 24 hours of its release on Friday. It now has over 72 million views on the site.

    YouTube said "Killshot" also had the third-highest debut of any song in the site's history, and the track is on top of the site's US trending chart.

    Eminem threw the first overt punch in his beef with Kelly by calling the rapper out on the song "Not Alike" from his new album, "Kamikaze," which topped the Billboard 200 album chart after its release on August 31.

    "I'm talkin' to you, but you already know who the f--- you are, Kelly / I don't use sublims and sure as f--- don't sneak-diss / But keep commenting on my daughter Hailie," Eminem rapped on "Not Alike," in reference to a 2012 tweet Kelly wrote, calling Eminem's daughter, Hailie, who was then 16 years old, "hot as f---."

    Eminem released "Killshot" 11 days after Kelly dissed him in the song "Rap Devil," in which Kelly accused the Detroit rapper of trying to hinder his career by barring him from the Sirius XM channel Shade 45, which Eminem owns.

    Kelly's "Rap Devil," released on September 3 on WorldStarHipHop's YouTube page, has over 95 million views.

    Eminem explained last week why he dissed Kelly with "Killshot" in an interview with Sway Calloway:

    "The reason that I dissed him is because he got on—first he said, ‘I’m the greatest rapper alive since my favorite rapper banned me from Shade 45,’ or whatever he said, right? Like I’m trying to hinder his career.' I don’t give a f--- about your career. You think I actually f---in’ think about you? You know how many f---in’ rappers that are better than you? You’re not even in the f---in’ conversation."

    Listen to "Killshot" below:

    SEE ALSO: Kanye West announces the release of a new album, an apparent follow-up to his 2013 album 'Yeezus'

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    Tayor Ebony Project

    • San Diego-based Taylor Guitars has made a substantial investment in a sawmill in Cameroon to provide the innovative company with a sustainable supply of an essential wood, ebony.
    • Under co-founder and President Bob Taylor's leadership, the company upgraded the sawmill to a high level of craftsmanship.
    • Acoustic guitar companies are at the leading edge of sustainability in this respect because they use so many exotic and monitored woods in their instruments. 
    • This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism.

    It's like something out of a movie: a seasoned entrepreneur and environmentally conscious leader decides to buy and transform a sawmill in Cameroon. 

    But if anybody was going to undertake such a daunting project, it would be Bob Taylor, who in 1974 decided that there was room for another major American guitar manufacturer. His ambition back then was considered by many to be quixotic at best and foolhardy at worst.

    The American high-end acoustic guitar scene has long been dominated by two companies: Pennsylvania-based C.F. Martin & Co.; and Tennessee's Gibson. Other US-based guitar brands came and went, rose and fell. Names such as Guild and Ovation. But until San Diego's Taylor Guitars came on the scene, it was a two-horse race.

    For several decades now, Taylor has been the third and youngest pony. Lacking Martin's pre-Civil War legacy and Gibson's iconic and eye-catching designs, the company has made its mark with innovation. Among professional musicians, Taylor's reputation is stupendous.

    Taylor Review

    Like all makers of expensive, high-end acoustic guitars (Taylor also sells cheaper instruments), the company is up against a fundamental constraint when it comes to raw materials. The long-ago established Lacey Act prohibits the trade of endangered natural materials, including exotic woods. Gibson ran afoul of the law a few years ago. 

    In Taylor's case, the critical wood is ebony, sourced from West Africa's Congo Basin. It goes into every guitar that Taylor makes. Bob Taylor was determined to obtain it in a just and sustainable manner, but he also saw an opportunity to embed his company more deeply with the community in Cameroon. For him and for Taylor, it was simply better capitalism, and they were prepared to shoulder the risk.

    A business opportunity presents itself

    Enter the sawmill, called Crelicam, located in Cameroon's capital, Yaoundé. The mill is a jointly owned facility — Taylor bought it together with a Spanish supplier, Madinter, in 2011.

    "We got a call from our colleagues in Madrid," Taylor recalled. "It was presented to me as a business opportunity."

    Ultimately, Taylor and Madinter would turn Crelicam into an updated version of what Taylor characterized as an American sawmill from the 1950s, focused on craftsmanship, right down to vintage saws that had to be restored.

    That was over seven years ago, and Taylor's timing was perfect. Issues around sustainability have only intensified, and Taylor has documented its commitment to Cameroon in a series called "The Ebony Project."

    "The water heating up slowly, but it will soon boil," Taylor said. "In 2007, we made 100 guitars a day. But we make 750 now. With ebony, we're at the heart of the heart of the heart of the matter. So we bought this business and decided to make it right with all the pain and suffering involved. It's turned out to be fantastic."

    One might reasonably ask if Taylor could have used something other than ebony, but according to Bob Taylor, the company had to find a solution with the favored material, which he said he's relied on for years to make premium instruments.

    The guitar business has found itself understandably on the leading edge of a pressure wave for sustainability. 

    Making the most of ebony

    Bob Taylor

    "One of the first sectors to be affected was acoustic guitar manufacturing," said, Scott Paul, Taylor's Director of Natural Resource Sustainability since early 2017 and a veteran of environmental organizations, such as Greenpeace. "Guitars are a composite of different species from all around the world."

    One might logically ask if Taylor could use something other than ebony, but Bob Taylor dismissed that idea.

    "It's the same circus, different tent," he said (Taylor is nothing if not a colorful and outspoken leader — not exactly a maverick, but a guy who knows his own mind and isn't afraid to speak it). "With ebony, it's the favored wood. We've relied on it for years to make good instruments."

    In terms of working with ebony in Cameroon, Taylor has updated its sawmill to be both a throwback to the fifties and a model of manufacturing, circa 2018. Seven years into the project, Crelicam now keeps workers dry by preventing rain from leaking in and the electricity is reliable. Wages for workers are also up.

    According to Bob Taylor, the company is also able to maximize its ebony usage, as well, by using wood that has color in it (a perfect ebony guitar fretboard, in the eyes of some, should be an unbroken strip of black).

    Some manufacturers could sell that rejected ebony for 75 cents per fretboard, but Taylor uses it, believing that it can add a visual dimension to some instruments. It's certainly better than taking only the perfect ebony from felled trees and leaving flawed material on the forest floor.

    Why wealth is found in waste

    "Your wealth is in your waste," Bob Taylor said. 

    Paul added that for the industry, the reality with ebony from this part of Africa is that the resource has been exported in an unprocessed form. But Taylor is doing the opposite.

    "Our investment is in the country," he said. "We're bringing more value-added processing to Cameroon."

    And for Bob Taylor, who turned 63 this year, the investment sends a clear message. "This wood brings jobs," he said. "Rather than this wood is just extracted."

    Taylor's reputation for innovation has in this case resisted restlessness and settled into a long-term commitment to Cameroon. Bob Taylor explained that when some companies consider a 50-year plan, they have no concept of what it will be. But in his field, he made some sage predictions. 

    "I know what a guitar will be in 50 years," he said. "And by making this investment in wood, I believe that that our company will still be here. I'm OK with delayed gratification."

    SEE ALSO: Taylor's radical new acoustic guitar design proves that a centuries-old musical instrument can be high-tech

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    china tungsten factory workers

    • President Donald Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Monday, escalating the US-China trade war.
    • The tariffs will apply to a slew of Chinese goods, ranging from minerals to food to clothing.
    • The US Trade Representatives office removed almost 300 items from an initial list released in July.
    • But 5,745 Chinese goods will still get hit.
    • We complied the major categories of goods that will be subject to the tariffs.

    President Donald Trump kicked the trade war with China into high gear Monday, formally announcing the imposition of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

    The tariffs cover a wide array of goods, from minerals used in manufacturing, to vegetable juices, to leather handbags. All of the goods with face a 10% duty until the start of 2019, when the tariffs will jump to 25%.

    While the Trump administration is downplaying the effect of the tariffs, many economists expect prices for these goods will increase once the tariffs are officially imposed on September 24.

    The new list of goods that will be subject to the tariffs was released by the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's office on Monday.

    The final list is notably different from the previous round of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, because there are consumer products on the list. The previous round focused almost exclusively on industrial equipment and machinery, while the new round includes items like hats, TVs, and food.

    There were 297 items removed from the USTR's initial list, released in July, after the public comment period

    Those include:

    • Certain consumer electronics including smartwatches and bluetooth devices
    • Certain industrial chemicals used for manufacturing textiles
    • Certain health and safety products including bicycle helmets
    • Certain types of child safety furniture including high chairs and car seats

    The USTR did not specify how it determined which products to remove beyond assertions that the official followed an inter-agency procedure and listened to feedback from businesses. The smartwatch removal drew interest after it was revealed that Apple, makers of the Apple Watch, directly lobbied the White House.

    Even with the removals, 5,745 full or partial tariff lines are included on the final list that represent roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

    Here's a breakdown of the major categories included in the list:

    • Meat: pork; beef intestine; rabbit meat; venison; frog legs
    • Fish and seafood: live fish including ornamental fish, trout, eels, tuna, and carp; chilled or frozen meat of various types of trout, salmon, halibut, plaice, sole, albacore, tuna, herring, mackerel, cobia, swordfish, pollack, whiting, catfish, rays, and more; various types of salted or smoked fish; other seafood including various types of lobsters, crabs, shrimps, prawns, oysters, scallops, mussels, clams, squid, octopus, conchs, abalone, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins.
    • Non-meat animal products such as eggs and dairy: Whey products; butter; various types of eggs including chicken; honey; hair of animals including human, hog, horse and badger; animal intestines, bladders; feathers; bones including shells, beaks, corals, hooves, antlers, and more.
    • Vegetables: onions; garlic; cauliflower and broccoli; cabbage; carrots; turnips; radishes; beats; cucumbers; peas of various types; beans; lentils; celery; mushrooms; peppers of various types; squash; okra; sweet corn; potatoes; sweet potatoes and yams; some types of tomatoes; spinach; Brussels sprouts.
    • Fruit and Nuts: Coconuts; cashews; almonds; hazelnuts; walnuts; chestnuts; pistachios; macadamia nuts; pecans; dates; figs; pineapples; guavas; oranges; mandarins; clementines; raisins; grapes; apples; pears; quinces; peaches; berries including strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries and others; bananas; a variety of dried fruits; peels of various fruits.
    • Cereals: wheat, including durum wheat; barley; oats; corn; various types of rice; grain sorghum; buckwheat; quinoa; and more.
    • Mill products: flours including those form wheat, corn, buckwheat, rice, rye, other cereals, potatoes, and bananas; groats and meal of various types including wheat, corn, oats, and rice; malt; starches of wheat, corn, potato, and more
    • Oil seeds: soybeans; seeds of sunflower, flax seed, sesame, mustard, poppy and more; planting seeds for certain crops; cocoas and mint leaves; and seaweeds.
    • Sugars and candies: cane sugar; candies with no cocoa
    • Breads and Pasta: uncooked pasta; various breads, pastries, cakes, and biscuits.
    • Prepared vegetables and fruits: various vegetables and fruits previously listen in their prepared or preserved forms; various fruit jams including strawberry, pineapple, apricot, and more; peanut butter; various fruit juices including orange, pineapple, lime, grape, apple, and more.
    • Other food items: soy sauce; condiments and seasonings; protein concentrates.
    • Beverages and vinegars: water, including mineral water; fruit or vegetable juices and juice mixes; beer from malt; wine, including rice wine; ethyl alcohol; vinegars
    • Food processing waste and animal feed: brans from processing; oil cakes; dog or cat food; animal feed
    • Tobacco products: various types and preparations of tobacco; tobacco refuse; cigars; cigarettes; smoking tobacco
    • Salts and minerals: salt/sodium chloride; sulfur; graphite; quartz; types of clays; chalk; slate; marble; granite; sandstone; dolomite; gypsum; some plasters; some types of cement; mica; Epsom salts
    • Ores, slag, and ash: ores of iron, copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminum, lead, zinc, tin, chromium, tungsten, uranium, titanium, silver, other precious metals, and others; slag, various types of ash.
    • Mineral fuels and oils: coal; lignite; peat; coke; tars; various types of light oil; various types of kerosene; petroleum oils; liquefied fuels including natural gas, propane, butane, ethylene, and petroleum; oil shale and tar sands
    • Inorganic Chemicals: chemicals such as chlorine, sulfur; carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and silicon; acids including sulfuric, nitric, and more; various types of fluorides, chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, carbonates, and more. (See full list below.)
    • Organic chemicals: (See full list below.)
    • Fertilizers: animal or vegetable fertilizers; urea; ammonium sulfate; sodium nitrate; and more.
    • Tanning and drying extracts, dyes, and paints
    • Essential oils, perfumes: perfume; lip or eye make up preparations; manicure or pedicure products; shampoo; hairspray; bath salts.
    • Soaps and cleaning products: various types of soap; leather and textile treatments; polishes for shoes and furniture.
    • Glues, adhesives, and enzymes
    • Cigarette lighter fluid
    • Photographic goods: various types of photo plates; instant film; various types of film in rolls; various types of motion picture film.
    • Various chemical products: pesticides; herbicides; fungicides
    • Plastics: vinyl flooring and other plastic floor and wall coverings; sausage casings; bags; gloves including baseball gloves; rain jackets; machinery belts.
    • Rubber: latex; rods, tubes, and other products; conveyor belts; various types of transmission belts; various types of pneumatic tires; gloves; gaskets; dock fenders.
    • Raw hides and leather: animal skins including cow, buffalo, sheep, goats, reptile; various types of leather made from cow, buffalo, sheep, goats, reptile; leather trunks and suitcases; leather handbags; CD cases; gloves including ski, ice hockey, and typical use; belts; fur clothing, incluidng artificial fur.
    • Wood: fuel wood; charcoal; various types of wood including oak, beech, maple, ash and cherry; moldings; rods; particleboard; various types of plywood; doors; corks and stoppers; wicker and bamboo baskets.
    • Wood pulp products
    • Paper: Newsprint; writing paper; vegetable parchment; carbon paper; self-adhesive paper; cigarette paper; envelopes; tablecloths; handkerchiefs; folders.
    • Silk
    • Wool or animal hair products: cashmere; yarns; tapestries and upholstery.
    • Cotton: fibers; thread; yarn; denim; satin.
    • Flax: yarn; fabrics
    • Man-made textiles: polypropylene; rayon; nylon; polyester
    • Other textile products, rope, twine: hammocks; fish nets; carpets;
    • Fabrics: corduroy; gauze; terry towel; lace; badges; embroidery
    • Headgear: caps; hairnets; wool hats; head bands.
    • Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos: stone for art; marble slabs; roofing slate; millstones; sandpaper; floor or wall tiles; cement bricks.
    • Ceramics: fire bricks; pipes; tiles; porcelain and china.
    • Glass and glassware: balls; rods; drawn or blown glass; float glass; tempered safety glass; mirrors; carboys, bottles, jars, pots, flasks, and other containers; microscope slides; woven fiberglass
    • Precious stones and pearls: industrial diamonds; silver and products made of silver; gold and products made of gold; platinum; palladium.
    • Iron and steel and products derived from the metals: drums; tubes; pipes; doors; windows; screws; horseshoes;
    • Copper: plates; cables; tubes; pipes; springs
    • Nickel: bars; rods; wires
    • Aluminum: powder; cable; wire; screws.
    • Various metal products, tools, cutlery: industrial items made from lead, zinc, tin, and more; saw blades; bolt cutters; hammers; wrenches; crow bars.
    • Machinery, both industrial and retail: steam turbines; engines; fuel-injection pumps; air compressors; air conditioning machines; refrigerators; cream separators; hydraulic jacks; escalators; manure spreaders; copiers; automatic beverage-vending machines
    • Electronics: vacuum cleaners; hair clippers; spark plugs; generators; bicycle lights; electric amps; television cameras; various types of TVs; video projectors.
    • Vehicles and parts: axles; driving shafts; gear boxes; radiators.
    • Parachutes
    • Ships and boats: sailboats; motorboats; canoes; yachts.
    • Instruments for scientific or medical purposes: microscopes; cameras for non-art purposes; gauges for pressure, electrical currents, and more.
    • Clocks and watches
    • Furniture, bedding, mattresses: car seats; wood chairs; furniture designed for offices, kitchens, and more; mattresses; chandeliers; lamps.
    • Assorted items: buttons; stamps; paintings; collections of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological interest; antiques of an age exceeding one hundred years

    Here is the full list, via the USTR:


    SEE ALSO: Wilbur Ross: Americans aren't 'going to actually notice' price increases from Trump's trade war with China

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    Apple's HomePod is getting a bit smarter thanks to a new software update. 

    Apple rolled out iOS 12 on Monday, the latest update to its operating system for iPhones and iPads. The update — which is free and available for download now for anyone with an iPhone 5S or later — includes a few key updates to HomePod, Apple's $349 smart speaker. 

    When HomePod made its debut earlier this year, it didn't exactly win over critics with its smarts. While the speaker sounds great, the version of Siri inside HomePod isn't as "smart" as competitors like Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa. 

    But the new updates to HomePod, while subtle, should make it easier to use and more useful for most people. 

    Here's everything that's new with HomePod. 

    SEE ALSO: There were two major no-shows at Apple's big iPhone event

    You can ask Siri to play a specific song, even if you only know a few of the lyrics.

    Apple added a new feature to help you out in those instances where you can't remember the name of a song. 

    Now, you can say, "Hey Siri, play the song that goes..." followed by the lyrics. Apple says Siri should be able to recognize the song, even if you don't know the title, artist, or band. 

    You can finally make and receive phone calls on HomePod.

    For me, one of the biggest shortcomings of HomePod when it came out was the inability to make and receive phone calls on the device. While you could use the HomePod as a speaker phone, you were required to use your iPhone to begin and end a call. 

    But Apple has fixed that with iOS 12. Now, incoming calls will be automatically routed to your HomePod, and you can ask Siri to pick up the phone. To make a call, you can ask Siri to call one of your contacts, or dial a specific phone number. 

    There are three extra features that will likely come in handy, too:

    • If you miss a call, you can ask Siri who just called you
    • You can hand off the call from HomePod back to your iPhone
    • Anyone on your network can hand off a call from their iPhone to your HomePod

    You can now set multiple 'named' timers on your HomePod.

    HomePod will now support multiple named timers at once, like one for cookies, one for pizza, and one for your laundry. Apple says you can set "as many as you need," so it appears that there's no limit on the number of timers you can have going at one time. 

    In other kitchen-related features, Siri on the HomePod also now knows several nutrition facts, like the amount of calories in red wine or the amount of fat in a burger. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Federal prosecutors have flipped the three men who may be privy to the most confidential details of the main facets of President Donald Trump's life: his personal dealings, his campaign, and his business.
    • The three men are Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman; Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer; and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's chief financial officer.
    • Together, said one former federal prosecutor, "this is the perfect storm of cooperators."
    • Another Justice Department veteran compared their roles to those in the mob: "One could draw the analogy here that Manafort was Trump's consigliere when it came to his campaign, Weisselberg was the underboss in the Trump Organization, and Cohen is, of course, the lawyer."

    Michael Cohen has been called President Donald Trump's fixer and pit bull.

    Paul Manafort worked on Trump's campaign during the most pivotal time in the 2016 election season.

    Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's longtime chief financial officer, manages the company's books and has been described as "the one guy who knows everything."

    In short, said Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor, "this is the perfect storm of cooperators."

    Cohen pleaded guilty last month to five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud, and two counts related to campaign-finance violations. He is now cooperating with a Manhattan US attorney's office investigation into his and the president's dealings leading up to the election.

    Manafort on Friday pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstruction, and a prosecutor working for the special counsel Robert Mueller said Manafort was cooperating "in any and all matters as to which the government deems the cooperation relevant," including "testifying fully, completely" before a grand jury.

    Weisselberg was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York in August so he could share information pertaining to their investigation into Cohen and Trump.

    Combined, the three men may be privy to some of the most confidential details of the main facets of Trump's life: his personal dealings, his campaign, and his business.

    Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who was part of the team that convicted the Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, said Cohen, Manafort, and Weisselberg all had different responsibilities to carry out on Trump's behalf.

    "Weisselberg is inside the Trump company, Manafort was inside the campaign and has the Russia connection, and Cohen is the all-purpose lawyer and fixer," he said.

    "If you're Mueller or other federal prosecutors, it's useful for you to try to identify as many people as you can near the top of the organization to talk to you," Cotter added. "And it looks like investigators got them."

    'I don't know that there's another person out there with more information about the president's potential criminal conduct'

    Michael Cohen

    At the center of the investigation into Cohen are two payments made to women who say they had affairs with Trump. Both women were paid shortly before the 2016 election.

    In a court filing last month, prosecutors said that 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.

    New York federal prosecutors are also looking into whether other executives at the Trump Organization broke campaign-finance laws.

    Weisselberg, as the man in charge of tracking the money flowing into and out of the company, is most likely crucial to helping investigators determine what kinds of transactions were made, who made them, and how high up their approval came from.

    Though Cohen and Weisselberg are cooperating as part of the New York federal investigation and Manafort is cooperating in the Russia probe, it is common practice for law-enforcement officials to share witnesses if prosecutors from other districts believe those people may have information pertaining to their own cases.

    Cohen is said to have been speaking to Mueller, who is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The president's former fixer is critical to several threads of Mueller's investigation, including the creation of a Russia-friendly "peace plan" during the early days of Trump's presidency, as well as an allegation that Cohen traveled to Prague during the summer of 2016 to meet with Kremlin-linked officials.

    trump tower

    Cohen was also central to the Trump Organization's push to build a Trump Tower in Moscow at the height of the campaign. Weisselberg, as the company's chief accountant, may be able to shed additional light on the controversial, defunct project.

    Last month, it also emerged that Cohen had said Trump knew in advance about a Russian lawyer's offer to the campaign of "dirt" on the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. Cohen is said to have claimed that he was one of the people in the room when Trump greenlit the meeting.

    As Manafort was one of three top campaign officials who attended the meeting, his firsthand account of it would most likely play an important role in helping Mueller determine whether the Trump campaign broke federal laws by accepting something of value from an agent of a foreign power.

    Manafort was also the campaign chairman when he offered a Russian oligarch "private briefings" on Trump's bid. And he was leading the campaign when WikiLeaks began dumping thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee that Russian operatives stole.

    Trump Jr. Russia meeting

    "These guys cover pretty much every angle, a lot of which overlap, so prosecutors have a lot of chances now to build their case through three different people with three different perspectives," Honig said.

    Cotter echoed that view.

    "In the mob, the most important guys are the consigliere, who is a top adviser of sorts to the boss; the underboss, who runs everyday operations; and the lawyer, who is the chief employee you send out to take care of your legal problems and dirty work," he said.

    Cotter added: "One could draw the analogy here that Manafort was Trump's consigliere when it came to his campaign, Weisselberg was the underboss in the Trump Organization, and Cohen is, of course, the lawyer. And prosecutors have all three men cooperating. I don't know that there's another person out there with more information about the president's potential criminal conduct."

    SEE ALSO: 'It's getting lonely on Trump Island': Mueller just snagged his biggest victory yet in the Russia probe

    DON'T MISS: Mueller's investigation bears the hallmark of an organized crime case

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    New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss

    • New York Times opinion writer and editor Bari Weiss was criticized online Tuesday after questioning whether sexual-assault accusations should disqualify Judge Brett Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court.
    • Weiss, a conservative, said she believed the allegations against Kavanaugh — allegations he's aggressively denied.
    • But she argued they may not be enough to prevent him from sitting on the highest court in the country.

    New York Times opinion writer and editor Bari Weiss was criticized Tuesday after questioning whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be disqualified from serving on the Supreme Court if sexual-assault allegations made against him are true.

    In an appearance on MSNBC, Weiss argued that the fundamental "ethical question" at issue is whether someone should be disqualified from sitting on the court because of a crime they committed as a teenager.

    She suggested that she believed the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, the 51-year-old psychology professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when the two were in high school. But Weiss questioned whether they amounted to making Kavanaugh unfit to serve.

    "What about the deeper, moral, cultural ... the ethical question here?" Weiss said. "Let's say he did this exactly as she said. Should the fact that a 17-year-old, presumably very drunk kid, did this, should this be disqualifying? That's the question at the end of the day, isn't it?"

    Weiss added that Ford's allegations, which Kavanaugh has "unequivocally" denied, don't fit a pattern — as many other instances of men who commit sexual misconduct do — and that the accusations can't be proved.

    "Brett Kavanaugh has a reputation as being a prince of a man, frankly, other than this," she said. "Now, I believe her. I believe what she's saying. I'm just saying, in the end of the day, it is one word against another."

    MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle pushed back, arguing that the standards should be higher for someone nominated for a lifetime position on the highest court in the country.

    "We're not talking about should he be disqualified to be a dogcatcher," Ruhle said. "We're talking about to be a Supreme Court justice."

    Ruhle went on: "What if this is the moment to finally say, 'You know what, let's actually take a stand,' and not say, 'This is life, people get drunk' — yikes — and actually move in another direction and say, 'This does disqualify you. Let's find another pick.'"

    Weiss then seemed to back away from her assertion, but lamented that Kavanaugh's "worst instance" was being "paraded" in public.

    "I guess I'm thinking of it today from the perspective of, let's all think about our worst instance that's happened to us in this world and imagine it paraded out in front of the country," Weiss said. "And that most men we know — it's a horrible reality."

    Liberal critics immediately jumped on Weiss' comments.

    Mark Joseph Stern, a lawyer and writer for Slate, called Weiss' question a "useless and irrelevant red herring" and argued that the question is not whether an adult should be held accountable for something they did as a teenager, but whether Kavanaugh lied about the allegations. If Weiss' intuition is correct and Ford is telling the truth about the incident, then Kavanaugh has wrongly undermined a victim, he said.

    "It is perfectly consistent to believe that nobody’s life should be ruined for committing a crime at age 17 — and that any adult who lies about that crime should not be elevated to the Supreme Court," he wrote.

    Some other reactions:

    SEE ALSO: Spokeswoman for group supporting Kavanaugh says sexual-assault allegations could have been 'rough horseplay'

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    Donald Trump

    • President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he feels "terribly" for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his family amid allegations of sexual assault that have upended his confirmation process.
    • Trump said Kavanaugh is "not a man that deserves this" and accused Democrats of deliberately derailing the process by holding onto information regarding the alleged assault until recently. 
    • The president said he supports hearing from Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. 
    • Trump said "there shouldn't be even a little doubt" when it comes to the confirmation process. 

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he feels "terribly" for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his family amid allegations of sexual assault that have upended Kavanaugh's confirmation process.

    But the president also said he supported hearing from Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who had not yet answered an invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

    "I feel terribly for him, for his wife, who is an incredible lovely woman and his beautiful young daughters," Trump told reporters during a joint press conference with Poland's president. "I feel terribly for them."

    Trump said Kavanaugh is "not a man that deserves this" and accused Democrats of deliberately derailing the process by holding onto information regarding the woman's allegations until recently. 

    The president added: "Hopefully the woman will come forward, state her case, he will state his case before the Senate. And then they will vote."

    Trump said "there shouldn't be even a little doubt" when it comes to the confirmation process. 

    The Senate Judiciary Committee has invited Kavanaugh and Ford to testify Monday. Kavanaugh has accepted the invitation, but Senate Republicans say Ford and her legal team have yet to respond. 

    Meanwhile, there are also calls for Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh who Ford says was in the room during the incident, to come forward and testify. 

    Ford accuses Kavanaugh of attempting to force himself onto her when they were both teenagers at a high school party. 

    SEE ALSO: There are growing calls for Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Judge, to testify on sexual assault allegations

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    abandoned mansion carleton villa

    • Even the most expensive, extravagant homes can fall into disrepair without proper care.
    • These mansions were likely worth the equivalent of millions of dollars when they were built.
    • Years later, they sit abandoned in varying states of deterioration. 


    When they were built, these lavish homes were likely worth today's equivalent of millions of dollars. Now, they're falling apart.

    From a villa that's been sitting empty for 70 years on an island in upstate New York to a Gothic manor in Scotland, here are 10 abandoned mansions around the world that were once worth millions of dollars.

    SEE ALSO: The most expensive home for sale in every US state

    DON'T MISS: 10 abandoned underwater sites and the history behind them

    The Carleton Island Villa, a dilapidated mansion that sits on an island in Cape Vincent, New York, hasn't been inhabited for 70 years.

    Source: Realtor.com

    The 11-bedroom mansion was constructed around 1895 for William O. Wyckoff, who made his fortune from the Remington firearm and typewriter company. Around the World War II Era, contractors went in and removed the interior and doors and windows.

    Source: Realtor.com,Curbed

    The mansion is now for sale for $495,000 — but whoever buys it will certainly need to spend much more than that on repairs and restoration.

    Source: Realtor.com

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kavanaugh hearing

    • There are growing calls for Mark Judge to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee as it considers allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 
    • Judge on Tuesday afternoon said in a statement he has no memory of the alleged incident and does not wish to speak publicly on the matter. 
    • Christine Blasey Ford alleges Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers at a high school party, and she says Judge was the only other person in the room.
    • Democrats say Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee chairman, is rushing the confirmation process and are calling on the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation.
    • Some Senate Democrats have also called for Judge to testify next Monday, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

    There are growing calls for Mark Judge to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee as it considers allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, but Judge appears unwilling to speak publicly on the matter. 

    Christine Blasey Ford alleges that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers at a high school party, she says Judge was the only other person in the room. Kavanaugh and Judge attended Georgetown Prep, an elite all-boys high school in the Washington, DC, area, during the 1980s. 

    Both Kavanaugh and Judge have vehemently denied the allegations, which have emerged over the past week. 

    Judge on Tuesday afternoon issued a statement claiming he had no memory of the alleged incident and said he did not wish to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

    "I have no more information to offer the Committee and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford's letter," Judge said in the statement

    Kavanaugh and Ford have both been invited to testify before the committee next Monday. But Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley on Tuesday said Ford has yet to respond to the invitation, even after being contacted by the staff several times over the course of roughly 36 hours. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh has agreed to testify. 

    Democrats accuse Grassley of rushing the confirmation process

    Democrats on the committee say Grassley is rushing the confirmation process and are calling on the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh's background investigation, which would include questioning Kavanaugh, Ford, and Judge on the incident. But the FBI has shown no signs in plans to do so. 

    All 10 Democrats on the committee signed a letter sent to FBI Director Chris Wray and White House counsel Don McGahn expressing their dismay over the process. 

    "The need for the FBI to perform its due diligence has become even more important in light of Chairman Grassley’s announcement that he plans to move forward with a hearing on this matter next Monday," the letter said. "The Committee should have the completed report before any hearing occurs and we ask that you take immediate steps to make sure that we have the FBI’s report before we proceed."

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the FBI should not get involved and reiterated his support for Kavanaugh, who he said is "anxious" to testify. 

    'How could we want to get the truth and not have Mr. Judge come to the hearing?'

    Many Democrats argue Judge should be invited to testify before the committee. 

    Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday tweeted that "Mark Judge and other witnesses who can provide insight into Dr. Ford’s allegations should also testify in front of the Judiciary Committee.

    "The public deserves a thorough process not a rushed job," she said.

    Sen. Chris Coons, also a Democratic member of the committee, on Monday evening called on Judge to testify.

    "Not having in front of us the third person who is alleged to have been a participant in this troubling incident would be to not fully question whether there is some truth to it or not," Coons told CNN.

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday also said Judge should testify in addition to Kavanaugh and Ford. Schumer said it would be "simply inadequate" to only have two witnesses testify next Monday. 

    "How could we want to get the truth and not have Mr. Judge come to the hearing?" Schumer said. 

    'He's already said what he's gonna say'

    Senate Republicans have been more dismissive of Judge's potential testimony. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said there's "no reason" to have Judge appear. 

    "He’s already said what he’s gonna say," Graham said in reference to Judge. 

    And Republican Sen. Susan Collins on Tuesday said it's "too early for me to make that judgment" when asked whether Judge should be called to testify under oath. 

    Judge did not respond to repeated requests for comment from Business Insider.

    SEE ALSO: Mark Judge: Meet Brett Kavanaugh's high-school friend and the other man named in Christine Ford's allegations against the Supreme Court nominee

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    senate battlegrounds 9 18 18

    • The 2018 US Senate elections are full of tight races, polling shows.
    • Entering the midterms, Republicans hold a 51-to-49 seat majority in the upper chamber of Congress.
    • A few seats changing hands could flip the body to Democratic control.
    • But Democrats are faced with a challenging map.

    The battle for control of the Senate is as tight as can be, RealClearPolitics polling averages show.

    Candidates are separated by fewer than 2 points in six races, while the separation is less than 4.5 points in three additional contests:

    • Polling shows Republican candidates Rick Scott, Kevin Cramer, and Josh Hawley with leads of less than 2 points over Democratic incumbents in Florida, North Dakota, and Missouri.
    • Meanwhile, Democratic candidates Kyrsten Sinema and Jacky Rosen hold slim leads for seats currently under GOP control in Arizona and Nevada.
    • In five states won by President Donald Trump in 2016, Democratic incumbents hold substantial leads over their opponents: Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
    • In Tennessee, the race between Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is now locked in a dead heat.
    • In deep-red Texas, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is fending off Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke in a race that is separated by roughly 3 points.

    Entering the midterms, Republicans hold a 51-to-49 seat majority in the upper chamber of Congress.

    Election Day is November 6. We'll be updating this map in the weeks leading up to it.

    SEE ALSO: Insiders are buzzing that northern Virginia could soon be awarded Amazon's HQ2 as Jeff Bezos makes a high-profile visit to Washington, DC

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    • Your desk is your space at work where you complete all of your job-related tasks.
    • You should organize your desk in a way that enhances productivity, rather than clutter it with items that hinder it or distract you.
    • Here are six things, like a good office chair and desk planner, you should always keep at your desk.


    When I became a full-time freelancer and transitioned to working remotely about eight years ago, I was terrible with organization.

    My "desk" was the couch, and my organization strategy was scribbling notes on Post-Its and randomly sticking them to my laptop, only for them to get lost. A few years of this system resulted in lost emails and forgotten deadlines, and I realized that it was time to buy a proper desk and get organized.

    While I do occasionally work in coffee shops or from my bed, most of my working hours are spent sitting upright at my desk. Everything I need to stay organized is at my fingertips, so I’m able to complete my tasks more efficiently.

    Whether your working at home or in an office, here are six things you should always keep at your desk to be organized and enhance productivity:

    SEE ALSO: 5 organization tips for people who hate organizing

    1. A good office chair

    Sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day can result in back pain and distract you from concentrating on your job tasks.

    A decent desk chair should provide lumbar and pelvic support to remove stress from your back muscles. Since poor posture may lead to headaches or muscle fatigue, a supportive chair is a worthwhile investment.

    2. A desk planner

    While I often use Google Calendar to note important dates and there are no shortage of online planners, it also can be helpful to have deadlines, appointments, calls, and other reminders written on paper as well.

    Keeping a written to-do list near your desk can help you stay on-task, remind you of what's coming up, and help eliminate the possibility of a scheduling error.

    3. A wireless printer

    While mostly everything is done online these days, from shopping to filing your taxes, there are still times when you'll need a printer.

    Going paperless is great for the environment, but when you need to print out a form to send to an employer or you prefer editing with a paper and pen, a wireless printer comes in handy.

    A wireless printer also means one fewer cord to get in the way. Plus there are some inexpensive, high-quality options out there.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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