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The latest news from Life

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    Costco customer

    • Costco membership can go to some people's heads, according to workers.
    • Business Insider reached out to 49 Costco employees to find out what they wish they could tell shoppers but can't.
    • Common requests were to control your kids, hang up your phone, and help unload the cart.

    Costco membership comes with some obvious perks — namely, access to the retail chain and its food court.

    But according to dozens of Costco workers who spoke with Business Insider, being a member doesn't entitle you to do whatever you want.

    While Costco made Glassdoor's list of best places to work in 2017, employees still had several complaints about shoppers' rude and inconvenient behavior.

    Business Insider spoke to 49 Costco employees about the things they want to tell members but can't. Some of their responses focused on obvious problems, like members being mean and inconsiderate. But some of the tips were more instructive.

    Here's what they had to say.

    SEE ALSO: 8 Costco food court menu items employees swear by

    DON'T MISS: Costco employees share the 7 best parts of working at the retail chain with a cult-like following

    SEE ALSO: Costco employees pick the 11 most surprising items the wholesale retailer sells

    Have your membership card ready at the door. "Concentrate on handing me your membership card instead of telling me a story," a Costco employee in Minnesota told Business Insider.



    Don't trash the warehouse. A Costco employee from Arizona told Business Insider that they wanted to tell members to stop leaving "sample cups all over the floor." "Don't be rude," the employee said.



    Put back items you've picked up. "Please put back that item that you just threw there," a Costco worker from California told Business Insider.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hurricane michael landfall

    Hurricane Michael, the most powerful storm the US has seen in nearly 50 years, is moving through the Florida Panhandle, ripping apart homes and sending walls of water rushing inland.

    The storm made landfall northwest of Mexico Beach around noon on Wednesday, with an eye so clear and wide it could easily be seen from space.

    Michael's strong, well-developed core makes for a very powerful, windy storm on land.

    Kirsten Fiscus, a journalist, was less than 25 miles away in Panama City when Michael's eye made landfall. She said she could smell the pine from snapped tree branches.

    Richard Fausset of The New York Times said the winds were so intense that it felt like a California earthquake.

    Outside, The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore narrowly missed a flying piece of wood.

    Part of the reason Hurricane Michael became so strong and developed so quickly is that the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are much warmer right now than what's normal for October.

    Up the coast in Pensacola, the water temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit — 8 degrees higher than normal for this time of year. Warmer water acts as fuel for a hurricane, helping it develop into a more destructive, windier storm.

    Michael was forecast to bring a storm surge up to 14 feet in some areas. Josh Benson, a news anchor at WFLA, a Tampa Bay news station, shared a video taken by Tessa Talarico in Mexico Beach that showed the extreme flooding.

    In Panama City Beach, a building that was still under construction didn't stand a chance against Michael. It quickly buckled under the pressure of the storm.

    The hurricane also ripped the roofs off homes.

    "Where homes were, they are not," Ginger Zee, ABC's chief meteorologist, said in a video posted on Twitter. "It's really wild to see."

    Benson also posted a clip of the storm's winds picking up a portable toilet and sending it flying across a parking lot.

    Michael is making its way northeast toward Georgia and the Carolinas at about 14 mph. It's expected to gradually weaken over land. By Friday, it should be a post-tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center.

    You can track the hurricane's progress using Google's Crisis Map tool or check for live updates from this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration camera in space.

    michael storm track weds

    SEE ALSO: Watch how Hurricane Michael morphed from a small tropical depression into a record-breaking Category 4 hurricane over the course of 72 hours

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why water disappears from shorelines during a hurricane


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    chuck schumer

    • Senate Democrats forced a vote to roll back the Trump administration's new rule expanding the use of short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans on Wednesday.
    • Short-term, limited-duration plans are cheap alternatives to Obamacare marketplace plans.
    • But they lack key protections for Americans with preexisting conditions.
    • Democrats say the expanded use of short-term plans would harm people with preexisting conditions, while the GOP argue expanding the plans gave consumers more choice.
    • The vote ultimately failed, but bringing the preexisting condition issue to the forefront could still be a win for Democrats.

    Senate Democrats failed to push through a key healthcare vote on Wednesday, but in defeat looked toward a boost in their midterm election prospects.

    Sen. Tammy Baldwin used a procedure called a discharge petition to force a vote that would have repealed President Donald Trump's plan to expand short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans — which Democrats called "junk" plans.

    The petition ultimately failed in the Senate by a vote of 50-50, with GOP Sen. Susan Collins crossing party lines to vote with Democrats.

    But Democrats may still have gotten a big win from the vote.

    In the run up to the midterm elections, Democrats are hammering the GOP on healthcare — particularly protections for people with preexisting conditions. And the stark divide between the two parties in the petition vote could give add another wrinkle to the fight.

    Preexisting condition protections vs. consumer choice

    The discharge petition was designed to roll back a regulatory change from Trump's Department of Health and Human Services. The rule change allowed the expanded use of short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans.

    These plans are cheaper but also less generous in what they cover. Under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, the use of short-term plans was limited to three months and were generally used by people as a bridge in case of a job loss.

    The new Trump rule would allow Americans to stay on the short-term plans for up to 12 months and allow renewals for up to three years.

    Health policy experts say the problem with these plans is that they do not have to abide by the ACA's basic coverage rules:

    • This means that while insurers can't deny people short-term plans based on a preexisting condition, they can charge more for people who are sick and possibly even price those people out of the market.
    • The short-term plans do not need to abide by the ACA's essential health benefits rules, which force all insurance plans to offer baseline coverage like prescription drug payments and maternity care.
    • Experts warn that the short-term plans could pull healthier, younger people out of the ACA market. That would leave a more expensive pool of people in the Obamacare marketplace, potentially pushing up prices for everyone.

    Obama doctors Obamacare

    Democrats argued the expansion of these plans will undermine preexisting condition protections and harm sicker Americans.

    Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat facing a tough reelection race in West Virginia, supported the petition.

    "I am fighting to ensure that every West Virginian with preexisting conditions, and those who may someday have a pre-existing condition, cannot be denied healthcare coverage or be charged more for their coverage," Manchin said in a statement after the vote.

    While Democrats hammered the issue as a vote on preexisting conditions protections, Republicans cast the discharge petition in a very different light.

    To Republicans, the short-term healthcare plans were about consumer choice. 

    "We don’t need more command and control, more paternalism out of Washington that thinks it knows what’s best for you," said Sen. John Cornyn, the second-highest ranking Republican. "We need more choices for consumers so they can buy healthcare at a price they can afford and that suits their needs."

    Others like Sen. Ron Johnson argued that the short-term plans do not undermine Obamacare's preexisting condition protections.

    "The rule expands affordable options and leaves Obamacare plans’ pre-existing conditions provisions untouched," Johnson said.

    While it is true that the plans don't eliminate the ACA's preexisting conditions provisions, it would undermine them for people on the plans. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 1.6 million in the first four years under the rule would be on those types of plans without protections.

    Collins, the lone GOP vote for the petition, framed preexisting conditions as the decisive factor in her vote.

    "Short-Term Limited Duration plans do not provide protections for enrollees who suffer from preexisting conditions," Collins said. "As I have often emphasized, it is essential that individuals who suffer from preexisting conditions are covered."

    A political winner?

    Polling shows that protections of people with preexisting conditions are important to voters.

    According to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank:

    • 75% of people surveyed said protections to ensure people are not denied coverage due to a preexisting condition are "very important."
    • 72% said ensuring people are not charged more because of preexisting conditions is very important.
    • 56% of Republicans polled by Kaiser said protecting sick people from being charged more from insurance was important.
    • Another poll, from Morning Consult and Politico, found that 81% of voters said that it should be illegal for insurers to deny people coverage due to a preexisting condition.
    • 71% said it should be illegal for insurers to charge more.

    And more people said they trusted the Democratic Party to ensure those protections: 42% of people surveyed by Morning Consult/Politico said that they trust Democrats to protect people with preexisting conditions, while only 20% preferred Republicans.

    It's obvious Democrats know their advantage. Roughly half of all ad spending by Democratic midterm candidates or groups focuses on healthcare, far and way the largest focus for the party.

    SEE ALSO: A bipartisan pair of senators want more answers from the company accused of selling Apple and Amazon data servers compromised by Chinese spies

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    minimalist desk

    • Your desk should be organized in a way that maximizes productivity and your ability to perform tasks efficiently at work.
    • A cluttered, messy desk can negatively impact your ability to perform your job.
    • Here are nine things you should never keep at your desk.

     

    Organization comes naturally to some, but for others, it's just not in their nature. Maybe you're too busy to clean up, or perhaps organized chaos works well for you.

    Regardless, a messy desk can negatively impact productivity and your ability to perform tasks efficiently at work, according to a study published in The Harvard Business Review.

    Additionally, some of the items you keep on your desk may not be appropriate for the workplace, such as political items or documents with sensitive information.

    Whether your place of work is cubicle, corner office, or open layout, here are nine things you should never keep at your desk:

    SEE ALSO: 6 things you should always keep at your desk

    1. Lunch

    You may think it's wise  to eat lunch at your desk, when in fact, it could actually hurt your productivity.

    In a 2015 NPR article, Professor Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management noted, "We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment, to a natural environment."

    "So staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It's also detrimental to doing that rumination that's needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an 'aha' moment," Elsbach said.



    2. Dirty coffee mugs

    Unwashed coffee mugs lying around can add clutter your workspace.

    "It's best to take a minute and leave your coffee mug in the kitchen immediately after usage," Valli Vishnubhotla, digital PR manager at AW Media, told Business Insider.



    3. Political items

    "Although everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions, your work colleagues may take umbrage to your political viewpoint," business coach and entrepreneur Eugene Gamble told Business Insider.

    This can lead to unnecessary work tension and conflict. Gamble suggested keeping your political views separate from the workplace.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hurricane michael florida destruction

    Hurricane Michael came roaring ashore in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. The Category 4 storm had maximum wind speeds of 155 mph as its eye touched down northwest of Mexico Beach.

    Based on its low central pressure, Michael is the strongest storm that region has ever seen, and the most powerful hurricane the US has weathered in nearly 50 years. The storm has already ripped roofs off of homes, sent a porta potty flying through the air, and inundated areas along the coast with more than 7 feet of water. 

    Michael developed and organized quickly in the Gulf of Mexico, strengthening from a messy tropical depression into a swirling funnel in just 72 hours

    Hurricane hunters still don't understand perfectly why storms go through such impressive periods of rapid intensification, but they do know that warm water provides the essential fuel for hurricanes to form. 

    Right now, the waters along the Gulf Coast of Florida are anywhere from 4 to 7 degrees above what's normal for this time of year, according to federal temperature sensors. In Pensacola, the water temperature on Wednesday was recorded at 81.9 degrees Fahrenheit, nearly 8 degrees warmer than average. In St. Petersburg, the water was a balmy 81.7 degrees — almost 4 degrees above the norm. 

    hurricane michael water temperatures so hot

    That warm ocean water pumps more heat and evaporating seawater up into a hurricane, giving the storm extra juice. 

    Much of the reason why the gulf is so warm these days is that as humans burn fossil fuels to power our buildings, transportation, and manufacturing, the gases that emits enter the atmosphere and cause it to trap more of the sun's heat. Earth's oceans have soaked up 90% of that extra heat, making them a breeding ground for fiercer storms. 

    In a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters in May, scientists tracked 30 years of tropical storms (from 1986-2015) and found that the central and eastern tropical Atlantic, from the eastern Caribbean islands to Florida, has indeed seen more rapidly intensifying storms in recent years. Another study published in 2012 showed similar results, finding that storms can intensify 20 hours faster than they used to, in some cases.

    "Every hurricane will be more likely to be an intense hurricane," James Done, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research recently told Business Insider 

    Unless major steps are taken to cut emissions and curb climate change, Hurricane Michael is likely only a preview of the kind of catastrophic, devastating storms that are yet to come.

    SEE ALSO: Early videos of Hurricane Michael reveal the scale of the storm's destruction in the Florida Panhandle

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Most hurricanes that hit the US come from the same exact spot in the world


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    Michael Jordan

    Michael Jordan made less than $100 million as the NBA's greatest player of all time but is now a member of Forbes' list of billionaires with an estimated net worth of $1.65 billion.

    Since Jordan retired 15 years ago, he has built the most successful and lucrative career we've ever seen from a former athlete.

    From sprawling houses to custom planes to his own golf course, he's clearly enjoying life after hoops.

     

    Jordan still makes more money than LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, or any other active player.



    He reportedly makes $100 million a year from Nike royalties alone. LeBron is estimated to make less than $90 million a year, including salary and endorsements.

    Read more: Michael Jordan still makes $100 million a year off his sneaker deal

    Source: Forbes



    That's way more than he made in salary while he played. He earned $93.8 million TOTAL in NBA salary, and $63.3 million of that came in his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

    Source: Spotrac and Basketball-Reference



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hurricane kittens

    • Thursday morning, ABC News' Rob Marciano showed off four kittens that were rescued after Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, Florida.
    • Marciano said he spoke with a family who rode out the storm.
    • When the storm caused their roof to collapse, the four kittens dropped from the ceiling into their kitchen.
    • The reporter has since been using his social media to find an animal rescue group to help the kittens, who were not with their mother.

    While reporting on Hurricane Michael's destruction from Panama City, Florida Thursday morning, ABC News' Rob Marciano showed off four kittens that were rescued from the storm.

    He said he spoke to a family who rode out the storm, who found the kittens when their roof collapsed, and the baby felines "fell out of the ceiling and into the kitchen."

    "They didn't even know that they were alive up there," Marciano said, adding that the mother cat was not with them.

    hurricane kittens 1

    "They're cold, they're frightened, they're hungry," Marciano said. "So we just got them, we're going to try to get them a little more comfortable, but oh my — they're so cute."

    He later took to Twitter to ask for help in finding the kittens some shelter and food.

    "I need to hear from any animal rescue org that's in the storm zone," he wrote. "[These] little buggers need food & shelter ASAP."

    Animal rescue organization Best Friends responded with resources for anyone who finds stray animals in the storm's path.

    SEE ALSO: Freakishly warm ocean water is a major reason why Hurricane Michael became the strongest storm in decades

    DON'T MISS: Hurricane Michael weakens to a tropical storm on its way through central Georgia, and it is due to hit South Carolina

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 3 compelling reasons why we haven't found aliens yet


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    Great Wall Of China Photos Tour (1 of 1)

    • The Great Wall of China became one of the 7 New Wonders of the World when it was chosen in 2007 by a vote of 100 million people.
    • The Great Wall may be one of the most iconic man-made structures in the world and is a must-see for most travelers.
    • There are many places to see the 13,000+ mile long wall. I decided to visit a section called Mutianyu about 2 hours outside of Beijing.
    • Located in a picturesque verdant valley, the Wall was beautiful and, on a spring day in May,  there was perfect weather and few crowds. I can't wait to visit wilder sections of the Wall on later trips.

    While only one of the ancient seven wonders of the world still stands — the Pyramids of Giza — 100 million people voted in 2007 to select a New Seven Wonders of the World.

    Among the winners: the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Taj Mahal in India.

    And, last but not least: the Great Wall of China,

    Though the Great Wall was not listed as World Heritage site by UNESCO until 1987, it is possibly the most iconic man-made structure in the world. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it is a must-see for just about every traveler with even a passing interest in seeing China. 

    Visiting the Wall can be easy or hard depending on what exactly you want to see. Stretching over 13,000 miles through mountains, grasslands, and deserts, there are lots of places to see The Great Wall. It all depends on how much time you have and what you want to see. 

    When I visited China in April, I was on a tight schedule that had me running from Shanghai to Beijing to Shenzhen for a slew of meetings with tech companies. It left me little time to traverse the wilder sections of the Great Wall. But there was no way I was going to miss a chance to see the wonder.

    I decided to visit the Mutianyu section of the Wall, just a couple hours outside of Beijing. Located in a picturesque green valley, the well-maintained section is one of the most popular places to walk the Wall.

    It was the perfect trip to see 3,000-years worth of history in a single day.

    Here's what the experience was like:

    SEE ALSO: One of the 7 wonders of the world is a 10,000-year-old city hidden in the desert — and in real life, it's more incredible than you can imagine

    DON'T MISS: I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I've found real life doesn't always live up to the hype. These are the most disappointing places I've been.

    While most people tend to think of The Great Wall as one giant thing, it's actually a series of sometimes connected, sometimes independent fortifications built along China's historical northern border.



    There are any number of sections to visit, but the most popular tend to be those within a few hours of Beijing. The Badaling section, the closest to Beijing is easy to walk but very crowded, while the Simatai section is further away, quiet, unrestored, and requires a difficult hike. The Mutianyu section is somewhere in between those two.



    After about a two-hour drive north from Beijing, I arrived at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. There's a big paifang, or Chinese gateway arch, to let you know you're in the right place.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bernie trump wide

    • President Donald Trump has turned his attention to Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan over the past few days.
    • In an op-ed for USA Today, Trump bashed the idea. Later, he called Medicare for All a "disaster" during an interview on Fox News.
    • The plan would make the federal government the single provider of insurance, eliminating private insurance and premiums.
    • Advocates say it would give all access to health coverage and alleviate high costs for middle-class Americans.
    • Detractors say it would upend the healthcare system and cause a massive burden on the federal government.
    • Trump's focus on the issue appears to be in response to Democrats decisive advantage on healthcare heading into the midterms.

    President Donald Trump in recent days has found a new political boogeyman in Democrats' "Medicare-for-All" proposal.

    In an op-ed for USA Today published Wednesday, Trump took shots at the healthcare overhaul that has been proposed and popularized by progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders.

    "Throughout the year, we have seen Democrats across the country uniting around a new legislative proposal that would end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives," Trump wrote.

    The president again blasted the concept during an interview on Fox News, calling it a "catastrophe" and "disaster."

    While the president seems to be zeroing in on the Medicare for All plan, the idea has been picking up steam among Democrats and the general public. To help get a sense of the issue, we've broken down Sanders' plan and what it would mean for consumers, the federal government, and healthcare providers.

    What is the basic idea and what would it cost?

    Democrats have proposed different ways to go about changing the healthcare system: Some want to shore up and expand Obamacare. Others want to create a public option for people to opt in for government-funded coverage.

    But Trump's attacks appear to be targeting specifically at the Medicare for All idea pushed by Sanders during the 2016 election.

    • In Sanders' plan, the current Medicare program for elderly Americans would be expanded to cover all Americans.
    • Current Medicare recipients would see their benefits expanded as areas like dental and vision would begin to be covered.
    • The age to qualify for the program would drop each year for four years until all Americans qualified.
    • So contrary to Trump's assertion that the plan would "take away benefits" from seniors, it would — in theory — expand those benefits.

    By eliminating private insurance, Sanders' plan would significantly shift the cost burden to the federal government. To fund the new program, Medicare for All would impose a series of new taxes but require no co-payments, premiums, or deductibles.

    As Trump pointed out, a recent study by the Mercatus Center — a free market, anti-regulation think tank — found that Sanders' plan would cost the government $32.6 trillion over a 10-year period.

    But the same study determined that overall healthcare costs for the whole US system— what the government, private companies, and households paid for healthcare — would come in lower than current projections, using the Sanders plan's assumptions (more on those in a minute).

    Even assuming large costs, advocates argue it would be a small price to pay to ensure every American has access to healthcare and faces lower personal costs.

    Change the healthcare system as we know it

    Several thorny issues emerge in the Medicare for All debate, ranging from doctor pay to prescription drug development.

    Sanders' plan assumes doctors and hospitals would be paid by the government at a rate equal to current Medicare reimbursement rates, which are generally lower than the rate private insurers pay.

    This would save the system money overall, but would also significantly cut reimbursement rates for some healthcare providers. Critics of the plan argue that cutting those reimbursement rates to the Medicare level, which are 40% lower than private plans in some cases, couldn't work because it would disincentivize people from becoming doctors and roil the healthcare system as we know it.

    Advocates note the plan would also eliminate a slew of overhead and administrative costs by streamlining the billing and reporting system. Instead of dealing with a confusing jumble of private insurers and plans, doctors and healthcare providers would only work with a single payer.

    In addition, Sanders' plan would attempt to extract lower prices from pharmaceutical manufacturers. But critics contend that lower payments will reduce spending on research and development at pharma companies and may stifle innovation in the field. 

    It's gaining popularity

    While Trump and the GOP have slammed Medicare for All, the concept is actually gaining steam among the American public:

    • According to recent polls, a majority of Americans support a Medicare for All plan.
    • A March poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank, found 59% of people surveyed supported Sanders' Medicare for All plan, while 75% supported a public option, opt-in system.
    • Similarly, a June poll from Politico found 63% of people surveyed supported Medicare for All.
    • A Reuters-Ipsos poll in August found 70% of Americans — including 51% of Republicans — supported the idea.

    Even in the Democratic Party, there has been a rapid shift toward supporting Medicare for All. During the 2016 primaries, then-candidate Hillary Clinton dismissed the idea as politically impractical and said it would "never, ever happen."

    But in September, former President Barack Obama praised the idea and said new Democratic politicians were "running on good new ideas" like it. Sanders' plan, meanwhile, garnered 16 cosponsors in the Senate in 2017, with many of the frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination hopping on board.

    Ahead of the midterm elections, Democrats are hammering the GOP on healthcare, and it seems to be a political winner. According to a Fox News poll released in September, 49% of people think Democrats would do a better job handling healthcare, while just 34% of people preferred the GOP to handle it.

    SEE ALSO: Democrats just made a play to make their signature healthcare issue stand out on the campaign trail

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    First Man Daniel McFadden

    • "First Man" screenwriter Josh Singer spoke to Business Insider about the controversy surrounding the fact that, in the movie, there is no scene of the American flag being planted on the moon.
    • Singer told Business Insider that "if you see the film you understand why" that kind of scene isn't in the movie.

     

    Before pretty much anyone saw “First Man,” the opinion of some was that it wasn’t patriotic. Why? Because the movie doesn’t have a scene in which Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the American flag on the moon. 

    And no one was more upset about this misconception than the person who spent four years researching and crafting the screenplay, Josh Singer.

    “One of the things that upset me the most about the flag conversation is this is very much a celebration of blue collar work, or patriotic sacrifice, which is what Neil embodied,” Singer told Business Insider.

    Singer said he and director Damien Chazelle’s main goal with the movie was to delve deep into the life of Armstrong and what he was dealing with not just technology-wise to get to the moon, but also personally.

    But despite that focus, the movie is still patriotic, even though we don’t see our heroes stick the flag into the moon's lunar surface. In fact, the flag is shown in all its glory on the moon in a gorgeous wide shot that’s made even more majestic and patriotic as it was part of the footage that was shot on an Imax camera.

    "To be perfectly honest, I can understand why people who haven't seen the film are questioning why that isn't there, but if you see the film you understand why," Singer said. "The film is so deeply patriotic to begin with it's not necessary. We also don't have the call to Nixon. We're trying to get under the myth."

    “First Man” opens in theaters Friday.

    SEE ALSO: The screenwriter of "First Man" spent 4 years researching Neil Armstrong to craft a true-life story even some hardcore space historians didn't know

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How actors fake fight in movies


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    Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO Amazon.com

    • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world.
    • Amazon became the second US company to reach the $1 trillion mark— although it's since fallen to a $913 billion market cap.
    • The tech mogul's daily routine indicates that he's not addicted to work.
    • Bezos prioritizes lots of family time, and even time allotted for washing the dishes.


    Jeff Bezos is the richest person in history.

    According to Bloomberg, the Amazon founder and CEO has $145 billion to his name. In addition to founding the online retail behemoth Amazon, Bezos also owns The Washington Post and an aerospace company, Blue Origin.

    Amazon also recently became the second US company to join the $1 trillion valuation club, according to Markets Insider. Apple was the first ever US company to receive that distinction. However, Amazon just lost $56 billion of its market capitalization after the stock market dipped. Still, its market cap is around $913 billion.

    So what does daily life look like for this tech mogul?

    Here's a look inside his daily routine:

    SEE ALSO: A look at the demanding schedule of Elon Musk, who works in 5-minute slots, skips breakfast, and largely avoids emails

    DON'T MISS: A typical day in the life of Mark Zuckerberg, who wears the same thing every day and tucks his daughter in every night

    SEE ALSO: A look inside the marriage of the richest couple in history, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos — who met at work, were engaged in 3 months, and own more land than almost anyone else in America

    Bezos is a big believer in getting enough shut-eye.

    Source: CNBC, Inc., Entrepreneur



    He wakes up every morning naturally, without the aid of an alarm clock.

    Source: CNBC, Inc., Entrepreneur



    "I like to putter in the morning," Bezos told a gathering of Economic Club of Washington, DC. "So I like to read the newspaper. I like to have coffee."

    Source: Axios



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Knickerbocker Hotel

    • The Knickerbocker Hotel was built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor IV in 1906, who died in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. It sits on the corner of 42nd street and Broadway.
    • After closing its doors in 1921, the hotel reopened in 2015 and began hosting luxury New Year's Eve rooftop parties, just 150 feet from the ball drop in Times Square. 
    • You can enjoy the exclusive party with three experiences ranging from $4,335 to $125,000. 
    • Each package includes two tickets, a minimum two-night stay at the hotel, access to a buffet and top-shelf open bar, and live entertainment, among other perks.

    An estimated one million people crowd into sectioned-off quarters of Times Square every year to see the famous countdown and ball drop on New Year's Eve.

    But that's not the only way to enjoy the celebratory night in person. You can experience an exclusive party at The Knickerbocker Hotel's St. Cloud rooftop, just 150 feet from the ball drop — if you're willing to pay at least $4,335.

    The hotel sits on the corner of 42nd street and Broadway, giving guests the Times Square experience without the crowded streets. The site was built in 1906 by Jacob Astor IV, whose family line is also responsible for several other properties in New York City, including the St. Regis Hotel

    The Knickerbocker Hotel claims several historical moments happened within its walls, including the creation of the first-ever martini and the debut of the red velvet rope to help control dinner crowds.

    But one of its most luxurious creations is an exclusive rooftop experience to ring in the new year. Check out what up to $125,000 could buy you on New Year's Eve at the historic hotel. 

    SEE ALSO: 30 highly successful people share their New Year's resolutions for 2018

    DON'T MISS: The 27 best under-the-radar places to spend New Year's Eve, according to the world's leading travel experts

    You can enjoy New Year's Eve 150 feet away from the iconic ball drop atop The Knickerbocker Hotel with a choice of three experiences: Gold, Platinum, or VIP box seats.

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    Source: The Knickerbocker Hotel



    Each package includes two tickets, a minimum two-night stay at the hotel, access to the St. Cloud rooftop, hors d'oeuvres, buffet, top-shelf open bar, live entertainment, party favors (including hand warmers) and a champagne toast at midnight.

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    Source: The Knickerbocker Hotel



    Here's what it looked like last year...

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    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    death penalty lethal injection

    • Washington state's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the death penalty violates its constitution.
    • Capital punishment has reached record lows across the US — at both the state and federal levels.
    • Though most states still technically retain the death penalty, very few actually use it.

    Washington state's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the death penalty violates its constitution because it has been "imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner."

    The ruling declared that all eight of the state's prisoners who are currently on death row will now serve life sentences instead.

    "The use of the death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant," the justices wrote in their ruling. "The death penalty, as administered in our state, fails to serve any legitimate penological goal."

    Washington isn't alone — data show that use of the death penalty has steadily declined since the 1970s, and few states still execute prisoners regularly.

    Though the majority of states still retain capital punishment, few of them have actually used it in recent years. There are even 16 states that haven't executed a single prisoner since 1976, according to The Marshall Project.

    As the death penalty fades out of use across the country, many states have even put the issue on the ballot in recent years. But voters have been reluctant to abolish capital punishment completely, no matter how rarely it's used.

    death penalty in united states map

    Here are all the states that still retain the death penalty, but haven't executed anyone in at least five years:

    states death penalty haven't executed 5 years map

    Harvard researchers found in 2016 that the US's use of the death penalty is mainly fueled by just a handful of counties — they're known as "outlier" counties and they're scattered throughout states like Texas, Alabama, and Florida.

    The researchers found that the counties that still actively pursue the death penalty tend to have several factors in common: overzealous prosecutors, inadequate defense attorneys, and racial bias.

    SEE ALSO: Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz

    DON'T MISS: Just 16 counties are fueling America’s use of the death penalty

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    Former first lady Michelle Obama embraces former president George Bush at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in September 2016.

    • Former first lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush went viral last month when Bush was caught on camera giving Obama a cough drop during Sen. John McCain's funeral service in Washington, DC.
    • Obama said the gesture might have struck a chord because people are "hungry" for bipartisanship and evidence that political party, race, and gender aren't dividers.
    • "I love him to death. He's a wonderful man. He's a funny man," Obama said of her husband's predecessor.

    Former first lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush went viral last month when Bush was caught on camera giving Obama a cough drop during Sen. John McCain's funeral service in Washington, DC.

    A clip of Obama mouthing "thank you" as Bush passed her the cough drop while Sen. Joe Lieberman was giving his eulogy became a symbol of bipartisanship and human decency at a time of deep political and cultural division.

    In an interview on the "Today" show on Thursday morning, the former first lady called Bush a "wonderful man" and said they were often seated next to each other at official gatherings that include former presidents.

    "He is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the 'formers' gather," she said. "So we're together all the time, and I love him to death. He's a wonderful man. He's a funny man."

    The former first lady added that she was surprised that the cough drop Bush passed her from his wife, Laura Bush, came in a White House box.

    "I was like, 'How long have you had these?' And he said, 'A long time — we got a lot of these!'" Obama said.

    Obama, who appeared on NBC to promote the International Day of the Girl and launch an Obama Foundation initiative aimed at empowering girls around the world through education, said the gesture may have struck a chord because people are "hungry" for leaders who can rise above the political fray.

    "Party doesn't separate us. Color, gender — those kinds of things don't separate us. It's the messages that we send," Obama said. "If we're the adults and the leaders in the room and we're not showing that level of decency, we cannot expect our children to do the same."

    SEE ALSO: A Republican candidate accused his Democratic opponent of 'shouting him down' at a town hall — but she did nothing of the sort

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    Fyre

    • Billy McFarland, who organized last year's Fyre Festival, was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday and has been ordered to forfeit $26 million.
    • McFarland pleaded guilty in March to wire-fraud charges in relation to Fyre Festival, which instantly became infamous after hundreds of attendees were left stranded in the Bahamas last year.
    • In June, McFarland was arrested again on charges of selling fake tickets through a different company, called NYC VIP Access, starting in late 2017. He pleaded guilty to those charges in July.
    • Here's a look back at what happened at Fyre Festival.

    Billy McFarland, the 26-year-old founder of the nightmarish Fyre Festival that left hundreds of attendees stranded in the Bahamas last year, was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday and faces a $26 million forfeiture order.

    "The remorse I feel is crushing," McFarland said during his sentencing on Thursday, Vice News reported. "I lived every day with the weight of knowing that I literally destroyed the lives of my friends and family."

    According to Vice, victims of his scams also testified against him. One investor, Joe Nemeth, said McFarland had "financially ruined" his and his wife's lives.

    "It took me 20 years of saving my lunch money to save $180,000," Nemeth said in court, according to Vice. "I hope the justice system has the last laugh at Mr. McFarland."

    McFarland had been awaiting sentencing since pleading guilty in March to wire-fraud charges in relation to Fyre Festival.

    In July, he pleaded guilty to charges in a separate fraudulent scheme in which he sold tickets to exclusive events such as the 2018 Met Gala, Burning Man, Coachella, the Grammy Awards, and the Super Bowl through a company called NYC VIP Access starting in late 2017.

    Fyre Festival, which promised attendees a VIP experience when they set off to Great Exuma in the Bahamas, turned into a nightmare as they encountered delayed flights, half-built huts to sleep in, and cold cheese sandwiches to eat.

    Here's what happened at Fyre Festival:

    SEE ALSO: Fyre Festival founder sentenced to 6 years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding investors out of millions of dollars in various ticketing schemes

    The three-day party was supposed to be on a private beach on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas.



    It was supposed to be over two weekends in 2017: April 28-30 and May 5-7.



    It was described as an "immersive music festival."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mitch McConnell

    • Several vulnerable Democratic senators, including Bill Nelson of Florida, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, saw net drops in their approval ratings in the third quarter of this year. 
    • Nelson and Sen. Bob Menendez, who's expected to win reelection in New Jersey after being acquitted of federal corruption charges this year, saw the biggest drops in approval. 
    • Sens. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader from Kentucky, held on to their titles as the most and least popular senators, respectively. 

    As 26 Democratic and nine Republican senators seek reelection in November, the chamber's most vulnerable members made few gains in their approval ratings in the last quarter, according to a new Morning Consult poll

    Sen. Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat running for reelection in a competitive race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott (R), saw the biggest drop in approval numbers of any senator: 12 points since last quarter's poll. It's also the first underwater rating for Nelson — 39% approve of him and 41% disapprove — since Morning Consult began conducting this quarterly poll in 2015.

    Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana — all up for reelection — also saw steep drops in their approval ratings, while Sen. Dean Heller, the Nevada Republican facing a strong challenge, saw a four-point drop. 

    Sens. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader from Kentucky, held on to their titles as the most and least popular senators, respectively. The pair held these titles throughout 2017 and 2018, but McConnell saw his approval rating increase by eight points since last quarter's poll. 

    The poll surveyed 359,057 registered voters between July 1 and Sept. 25 nationwide.

    Check out the top five most and least popular senators below.

    SEE ALSO: A Republican candidate accused his Democratic opponent of 'shouting him down' at a town hall — but she did nothing of the sort

    LEAST POPULAR: 1. Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell

    Approve: 33%

    Disapprove: 52%



    2. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake

    Approve: 32%

    Disapprove: 49%



    3. Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill

    Approve: 37%

    Disapprove: 48%



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    brian kemp

    • Georgia Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is coming under fire for putting the voter registration status of tens of thousands of predominately African-American voters "on hold" for name discrepancies.
    • He is in a close race for governor against Stacey Abrams, who would be the United States' first black, female governor if elected.
    • Critics have accused Kemp of using his office to conduct racially motivated voter suppression, but he says the holds are necessary to ensure the integrity of Georgia elections.

    Brian Kemp, Georgia's Secretary of State and the GOP candidate for Governor, is under heavy criticism for putting the voter registration status of thousands of African-American Georgia voters "on hold" just a month before his election against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who if elected would be America's first black, female governor.

    Georgia is one of several states that uses an "exact match" voter verification system to confirm the identity of voters, requiring the name and spelling someone uses to register to vote to match the information on their driver's license and/or Social Security card.

    An error as minor as a one-letter spelling discrepancy or dropped hyphen from a last name could mean a voter's registration application or status would be indefinitely stalled until they resolve the discrepancy with the relevant state or federal agency.

    An Associated Press analysis revealed that while Georgia's population is 32% African-American, according to the most recent Census data, a full 70% of the 53,000 voters whose registration status had been put on hold identified as such, leading critics to accuse Kemp of deliberately disenfranchising likely Abrams voters.

    Stacey Abrams won Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial primary in May.

    Kemp, the top elections official in Georgia, has also come under fire for cancelling 1.4 million Georgia voter registrations since he took office in 2012.

    "We've shown that this process disproportionately prevents minority applicants from getting on the voter registration rolls," Julie Houk, special counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said of exact matching registration in an interview with the Associated Press.

    Kemp says the cancelled and stalled registrations are not intentionally suppressive, but necessary to ensure that noncitizens don't vote in Georgia elections.

    Research shows voter impersonation is practically nonexistent across recent American electoral history.

    Kemp has also blamed Abrams herself, and the voter turnout nonprofit she founded, for the racial disparities in those affected by the registration freezes, accusing Abrams' New Georgia Project of submitting voter registration forms with missing information or illegible names of voters.

    "As he has done for years, Brian Kemp is maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters — the majority of them people of color," Abrams spokeswoman Abigail Collazo told CNN.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    princess eugenie engagement getty wpa pool

    • Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will marry on Friday, October 12.
    • The pair, who have dated since 2010, have a common ancestor in 19th-century earl Thomas William Coke.
    • See exactly how the two are related in the chart below.


    Princess Eugenie will marry London socialite Jack Brooksbank on Friday October 12 in the second most anticipated royal wedding of the year.

    The announcement of their engagement in January prompted an observation almost as old as the British royal family itself: that the soon-to-be-married couple are blood relatives.

    Eugenie and Brooksbank are distant cousins — third cousins once removed, to be precise. This chart explains what's going on:

    Princess Eugenie Family Tree (3)

    They couple share a common ancestor in the 19th-century aristocrat Thomas William Coke, the 2nd Earl of Leicester.

    We found the connection via thepeerage.com, an online database of European aristocracy sourced from a variety of historical texts. Coke's entry is here, and you can click through each descendant to Brooksbank and Eugenie.

    Coke is Eugenie's great-great-great-great grandfather, on the side of her mother Sarah, Duchess of York (widely known as "Fergie").

    Coke is also Brooksbank's great-great grandfather, via his second marriage.

    Since this marriage came when Coke was older, and also because of later marriages further down the line, there are fewer generations on the Brooksbank side of the family.

    21 queen elizabeth prince philip wedding ap

    Eugenie's royal lineage comes from another section of her family tree, via her father Prince Andrew, who is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II.

    The heritage gives her a claim to the British throne, though as eighth in the line of succession her chance of ever being queen is virtually non-existent.

    The phenomenon is not uncommon, especially given the relatively contained social circles in which the British aristocracy has traditionally moved. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, by comparison, are related even more closely, and have a common ancestor in Queen Victoria.

    princess eugenie wedding getty wpa pool

    Historically, royal families were very closely linked because it was strongly discouraged to marry outside of the aristocracy. Until relatively recently, all descendants of the British monarch were legally obliged to ask his or her permission before marrying.

    In 2015, the British Parliament replaced that rule with a more limited one which only requires consent from the first six in the line of succession.

    However, in practice Eugenie still ended up with someone very closely linked to aristocratic circles when she and Brooksbank started dating in 2010.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what time Princess Eugenie's royal wedding starts where you live — and how to watch it live online

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    Jeff Bezos wife Mackenzie

    • Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie were married in 1993, after meeting at D.E. Shaw & Co.
    • Shortly afterward, the couple relocated to Seattle to found Amazon.
    • MacKenzie was one of the company's first employees.
    • Today, Jeff Bezos is worth $145 billion, making him the richest person in history.


    Jeff Bezos wasn't alone when he made his cross-county road trip to Seattle in 1994. And he wasn't alone when he founded Amazon, the online retail giant some analysts now believe will be the world's first trillion-dollar company.

    His wife, MacKenzie, was there for the whole journey.

    In an interview with CBS, she described watching her husband build Amazon up from scratch: "To me, watching your spouse, somebody that you love, have an adventure — what is better than that?"

    Today, Bloomberg estimates Bezos is worth $145 billion— making him the richest person in history, according to CNN. He's also topped Forbes' annual list of the richest people on the planet for the first time ever. And, recently, Amazon followed Apple to become the second-ever US company to reach a $1 trillion valuation — although the company has since dropped back to a $913 billion market cap.

    Here's a look inside the marriage of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos.

    SEE ALSO: A day in the life of the world's richest person, Jeff Bezos — who made $6.44 billion in one day, wakes up without an alarm, and washes dishes after dinner

    DON'T MISS: Inside billionaire Warren Buffett's unconventional marriage, which included an open arrangement and 3-way Christmas cards

    SEE ALSO: Inside the marriage of Bill and Melinda Gates, who met at work, live in a $124 million home, and will leave their children only a small fraction of their fortune

    MacKenzie and Jeff first met at investment management firm D.E. Shaw. MacKenzie was a research associate and Jeff was a vice president. Jeff was the first person to interview MacKenzie — a fellow Princeton grad — at the firm.

    Source: Business Insider, ForbesVogue



    "I think my wife is resourceful, smart, brainy, and hot, but I had the good fortune of having seen her résumé before I met her, so I knew exactly what her SATs were," he joked to Vogue.

    Source: Vogue



    After she landed the job, they became office neighbors. "All day long I listened to that fabulous laugh," she told Vogue. "How could you not fall in love with that laugh?"

    Source: Vogue



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kanye West and Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Thursday.

    • In a freewheeling Oval Office press conference on Thursday afternoon, rapper Kanye West ruminated on what attracted him to President Donald Trump, saying that he likes Trump's "male energy." 
    • Seated across from the president at the Resolute Desk, West said he he feels like "Superman" when he wears his "Make America Great Again" hat.
    • West said former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign didn't make him feel "like a guy that could play catch with his son." 

    In a freewheeling Oval Office press conference on Thursday afternoon, rapper Kanye West delivered a succinct explanation for his attraction to President Donald Trump: "male energy." 

    Seated across from the president at the Resolute Desk and wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, West delivered a nearly 10-minute long monologue in which he said he feels like "Superman" when he dons the MAGA hat. 

    "This hat — it gives me power in a way," West said. 

    While the rapper says he didn't vote in the 2016 election, he said that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's "I'm With Her" slogan didn't make him feel "like a guy that could play catch with his son." West said that because his parents separated when he was young and his wife's family is female-dominated, he needed more "male energy" in his life.

    "The campaign 'I'm with her' just didn't make me feel, as a guy that didn't get to see my dad all the time, like a guy that could play catch with his son," he said. "It was something about when I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman." 

    He told Trump, "You made a Superman cape for me."

    West, who has faced widespread criticism for his high-profile support for Trump and his controversial comments on issues like slavery, bounced from one topic to another, discussing criminal justice reform, an Apple-designed Air Force One, and his own mental health diagnosis. 

    Trump called West's rambling, impassioned speech "pretty impressive," adding that the rapper could speak for him "anytime he wants."

    "He's a smart cookie," Trump said. "He gets it."

    "That was quite something," Trump added before posing for photos.  

    SEE ALSO: 'Let's go to Fox': State Department spokesman creatively grilled over diplomatic vacancies amid disappearance of Saudi journalist

    Join the conversation about this story »

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