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The latest news from Life

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    caravan migrants

    • The first groups of caravan migrants have reached the US-Mexico border and are staying in shelters in Tijuana, Mexico.
    • Thousands more lag far behind the initial group, and Tijuana officials expect them to arrive within weeks.
    • The US government has responded by shutting down lanes at the San Diego ports of entry and setting up barriers and wire.
    • The roughly 5,200 troops that the Trump administration deployed ahead of the caravan are still in Texas — hundreds of miles away from where the caravan is arriving.

    The first groups of caravan migrants reached the United States' southern border this week, hundreds of miles ahead of the main caravan of thousands of other migrants traveling north through Mexico.

    Roughly 800 migrants have reached Tijuana, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

    The US Customs and Border Protection agency has responded by attempting to "harden" San Diego's border with Tijuana, shutting down four lanes at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry. The agency also said in a statement that US troops are putting up concertina wire, barriers, and fencing.

    Officials in Tijuana have arranged shelter beds for the migrants already there, but city officials have expressed some alarm over the rapidly growing number of migrants arriving.

    The director if the Tijuana Municipal Migration Affairs Office told The Washington Post there is only shelter space for 900 migrants, though they expect at least 3,000 more to arrive in the next couple of weeks.

    "We are expecting more of these little groups, but we don't know right now exactly what we are going to do with the big caravan," César Palencia told The Post.

    'To be determined'

    migrant caravan

    The migrants are largely from Central American countries and say they plan to seek asylum in the United States, though the American ports of entry are letting in only a few migrants at a time to make claims.

    Read more: The Trump administration just moved to restrict its asylum system as migrant caravans head toward the US

    It's still unclear when the main group of migrants will arrive, as many are traveling through the Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit. Though the smaller groups of migrants that have splintered off have managed to arrange bus transportation, the larger groups haven't moved as quickly.

    Meanwhile, roughly 1,500 miles away, troops stationed at the US-Mexico border in south Texas met with top Trump administration officials on Wednesday to discuss their mission.

    In anticipation of the caravan, roughly 5,200 troops were deployed to the area, where they have been erecting barriers and putting up wires — even though the caravan is arriving at the opposite end of the country.

    During a live-streamed meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, one soldier asked about the short- and long-term plans for the mission. Mattis responded that the latter was "to be determined."

    "When you're in something like this," he said, "It's dynamic, it's unpredictable. We'll have to see."

    SEE ALSO: 12 records the 2018 midterm elections smashed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote


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    25 Bali MonkeyForest (16 of 38)

    • The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, a town about 10 miles inland on the Indonesian island of Bali, is a nature reserve housing hundreds of wild monkeys.
    • The gorgeous forest and temple complex have been home to monkeys for hundreds of years, and the area is considered a holy place on the island.
    • Considered one of the top tourist attractions in Bali, the forest is worth a visit. When I went, I came within feet of dozens of monkeys, while I saw monkeys actually land on top of other visitors.

    While most of the world's famous temples are known for their architecture — like the Taj Mahal in India or Angkor Wat in Cambodia — there's one temple that may be best known for its inhabitants. And I'm not talking about monks.

    At the center of Ubud, a town about 10 miles inland on the Indonesian island of Bali, lies the Sacred Monkey Forest, a nature reserve and temple complex that houses about 600 wild long-tailed macaques, a type of monkey. Ubud has been known as a spiritual and mystical center to Balinese for centuries — Ubud means "medicine."

    The Monkey Forest is one of the holiest places in the area.

    But ever since Bali, and Ubud, became a magnet for honeymooners, New Agey seekers, and backpackers, the forest has become one of the island's top tourist sites. In the confines of the forest, visitors can observe monkeys in close quarters going about their monkey business: mating, fighting, grooming, eating, and, occasionally, interacting with humans.

    On a visit to Bali this past spring, I decided to stop by the monkey forest for a visit. It was unlike anywhere I'd been before.

    SEE ALSO: I woke up at 2 a.m. to hike two hours up a mountain in Bali to see the sunrise — and it was completely worth it

    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.

    The Sacred Monkey Forest is located in the center of Ubud. In fact, a main street that runs through the town is known as Monkey Forest Street.



    Getting a ticket is easy enough. It costs 50,000 Indonesian rupiah, or $3.40. It's best to go in the morning before it gets too crowded.

    Source: Monkey Forest Ubud



    There are a lot of guidelines you'll want to follow to have a good time. The big one to remember: Don't carry anything you wouldn't want to lose. Monkeys are mischievous creatures.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    arlo soho 1205

    • In New York City, a boutique micro-hotel offers 150-square-foot guest rooms — some with bunk beds — and a "bodega" in lieu of room service.
    • Arlo Hotels operates two boutique hotels in Manhattan: one in SoHo and one in NoMad, with another set to open near Hudson Yards in the next year or two. 
    • We visited the SoHo location, where average rates range from $335 to $535 a night.
    • The rooms were definitely small, but for someone who doesn't plan to spend much time in their hotel room and isn't traveling with multiple large pieces of luggage, I think it would be a fun and memorable place to stay. 

     

    Measuring just 150 square feet, the guest rooms at Arlo Hotels aren't meant for people who plan on spending most of their time holed up in their rooms.

    At Arlo's boutique micro-hotels in New York City, the rooms are less than half the size of an average hotel room, there's a 24-hour "bodega" in lieu of room service, and you can sleep in bunk beds. What the individual guest rooms lack in size, they make up for in creative, space-saving design, according to managing director Javier Egipciaco.

    The average size of a hotel room in the US was about 330 square feet in 2015, CNBC reported, and the average rate for a hotel room in Manhattan is about $216 per night in 2018, according to The Real Deal. 

    On Yelp, a couple of people compared Arlo to a hostel, with one calling it "overpriced fancy hostel" that lacks storage and space to work.

    But Arlo's philosophy is to offer an abundance of welcoming common space and activities to offset the smaller rooms. 

    "The micro-room concept was one that we came to market with in the beginning, but then we realized pretty quickly that Arlo was a lifestyle and not necessarily a micro-concept lifestyle," Egipciaco told Business Insider.

    Inclusivity is a large part of their brand, he said, which is why the common areas are all open to the public without requiring anyone to buy anything. The hotel includes expansive, open shared space that comprises a lobby bar, an airy lounge area, a courtyard, a rooftop bar, and a restaurant that serves healthy, seasonal fare and is run by chef Harold Moore.

    We took a tour of Arlo's SoHo location to see just how small the rooms actually are and met the managing director to hear what Arlo Hotel is all about.

    Here's what it was like.

    SEE ALSO: I stayed at Robert De Niro's ridiculously swanky new hotel in Ibiza — and it makes you feel like a celebrity, if you can afford it

    DON'T MISS: 45 hotels around the world with stunning views

    We got to Arlo's SoHo location at 9 a.m. to meet with the hotel's managing director, Javier Egipciaco.

    Source: Arlo Hotels



    The hotel is in the trendy SoHo neighborhood, near the Holland Tunnel.

    Source: Arlo Hotels



    I immediately noticed the chic Arlo-branded bikes outside the entrance of the hotel, which Egipciaco later told us were available for guests to borrow free of charge.

    Source: Arlo Hotels



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jeff bezos dc 4x3

    • Amazon has announced that its second headquarters, HQ2, will be split between Queens, New York, and Arlington, Virginia.
    • There are a lot of reasons Amazon decided to locate HQ2 in the Washington, DC metro area, from the area's being in the "bull's-eye of America's internet," to the human resources talent available, to the proximity to the US government.
    • But one of the biggest reasons could be that CEO Jeff Bezos owns a $23 million mansion in Washington DC's Kalorama neighborhood, a historic area that's home to the Obamas, Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump, among numerous other bigwigs in media, politics, diplomacy, and lobbying.
    • On a visit last winter, I found it to be a sleepy, ritzy community full of embassies, security guards, and expensive real estate.

    After nearly a year of deliberation, Amazon has announced where it will build its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

    Instead of choosing one city, the company has decided to build two new headquarters, in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, and the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia. As Business Insider's Dennis Green reported, each of the two locations will get about half of the expected 50,000 employees, and a portion of the investment.

    It should be little surprise. Arlington, Virginia is only a 15-20 minute drive from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' biggest recent purchase — a $23 million, 27,000-square-foot mansion in Kalorama, the historic DC neighborhood home to bigwigs in media, politics, diplomacy, and lobbying.

    The mansion, which was once the Textile Museum, is the largest private home in DC and blocks from the homes of Barack and Michelle Obama and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who both moved to the Kalorama neighborhood last year.

    We took a walk through Bezos' neighborhood on a trip to DC to see why the area is such a coveted destination.

    Additional reporting by Tanza Loudenback.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon has announced its locations for HQ2, but a walk through Seattle made me think any city should be wary of hosting the tech giant

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' new DC home is in the Kalorama neighborhood. At 27,000 square feet, the house is the largest in Washington, and Bezos reportedly paid $23 million in cash in October 2016.

    Source: The Washington Post



    Kalorama, in northwest DC, just above Dupont Circle, is actually two neighborhoods: Sheridan-Kalorama (in yellow) and Kalorama Triangle (in purple).



    The house is made up of two historic mansions that Bezos is converting to a single-family home. A lot of construction was underway the day we walked by. Bezos is said to be spending $12 million to renovate the homes and the surrounding property.

    Source: New York Times



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    13 places travel december

    • To find the best places to visit in December 2018, Business Insider looked at climate data, cultural calendars, and peak travel times.
    • December offers all kinds of travel experiences, from unforgettable Christmas and New Year's celebrations to relaxing getaways on tropical islands.
    • The best places to visit in December include the "Hamptons of South America," a European capital filled to the brim with Christmas markets, and the rugged wilderness of Australia's southernmost state.

    As December nears and the year draws to close, travelers are looking for the site of their last big vacation.

    Thanks to the popularity of Christmas and New Year's Eve vacations, December is often one of the most expensive months of the year to travel to the world's tourism hotspots. 

    Whether you want to indulge in the holiday festivities or escape to a sunny island paradise, there are endless options for travelers in December. 

    We looked at airfare trends, climate data, and worldwide cultural calendars to select 13 vacation spots that should be on your radar for a December vacation. They include a glitzy resort town in Uruguay that's called the "Hamptons of South America," an icy European wonderland filled with Christmas markets and holiday cheer, and the rugged wilderness of Australia's southernmost state.

    Take a look at the places we recommend for a December trip, and plan away.

    SEE ALSO: 13 places to visit in November for every type of traveler

    DON'T MISS: The 13 best places to visit in October for every type of traveler

    Miami, Florida

    No city knows how to party quite like Miami, and on New Year's Eve, the city takes it to another level. You'll have your pick of parties, from sparkling rooftop soirees to thumping ragers on South Beach.

    There are plenty of other non-party activities to keep you busy, too. It's always beach weather in Miami, with December highs typically reaching the mid-70s Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, tourist favorites like the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Zoo Miami host special holiday-themed events in December. 

    Note that December is a huge month for traveling in Miami, so book airfare and hotels early for the best rates.



    Atlanta, Georgia

    Another Southeastern city that should be on your radar for December is Atlanta, Georgia.

    Only Chicago and New York City see more visitors than Atlanta each year, and for good reason. Must-sees for first-time visitors include the World of Coca-Cola and a studio tour at the CNN Center— both companies are headquartered there — the Georgia Aquarium, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, which includes the civil rights leader's childhood home and church.

    If you can tolerate temperatures in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit, Piedmont Park and Centennial Olympic Park are always good for a daytime stroll, and nearby Stone Mountain offers an epic lights-filled Christmas celebration each night. 



    San Antonio, Texas

    The end of the year is the perfect time to visit San Antonio, as hotel rates plummet but the temperature stays mostly warm.

    The Alamo is San Antonio's biggest claim to fame, and there are plenty of other activities that make the city worth an extended stay. Locals love the quickly growing Pearl District for its eclectic mix of food, shopping, and art, as well as the 15-mile River Walk and its unique canals, pathways, and architecture. First-time visitors should hop on a cruise for a guided tour.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Amazon Music Unlimited

    • Black Friday technically doesn't start until November 23, but you can get early access to savings right now.
    • Currently, Amazon Music Unlimited is offering new members access to tens of millions of songs for $0.99 for the first three months (regularly priced at $7.99 per month).
    • You don't need a Prime membership, but if you want to try it free for 30 days, you can sign up here.

    Black Friday is officially on its way, and along with it comes plenty of early deals from Amazon. Though the big day doesn't start until November 23, you can take advantage of savings starting now — including a major deal on Amazon Music Unlimited.

    If you have an Echo device, you've probably asked Alexa to play a song for you. Somewhat frustratingly, you may have noticed that there's a distinct limit to what she can play on if you're not a member of Amazon Music Unlimited. As a consolation for your lack of membership, she generally offers a short sample of the song that cuts off just as you start getting into it. 

    If you'd like to avoid this happening again, it's worth considering a membership to Amazon Music Unlimited, especially right now. Though it'll usually run you a monthly fee of $7.99, it's currently just $0.99 for the first three months of your membership as an early Black Friday deal. 

    And it's not just on your Echo devices that you can listen to the millions of songs on the platform. Similar to Spotify, you can listen commercial-free on pretty much any device — from your computer to your tablet to your phone — via an app that curates personalized listening channels and playlists for every mood. 

    We don't know when the deal will end, but we know it won't last for long. You can start taking advantage of the deal now, which will run for three months from the date of purchase. Once the promotion is over, you can either cancel your membership or continue to pay the full $7.99 rate.

    For a total cost of $1, it'd be a shame to subject yourself to all those half-played samples for the next three months. 

    Get Amazon Music Unlimited for $0.99 for three months here.

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Daredevil

    The former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island hasn't held prisoners in seven years, but on Wednesday morning, there was plenty of law enforcement there.

    During my tour of the campus, a group of men dressed in SWAT gear barreled into what used to be a waiting room for guests, complete with a children's play area with Disney characters painted on the wall. And throughout the facility, people who appeared to be police officers were walking around minding their own business.

    But they were all actors.

    What used to be a prison is now a growing hub for film and TV productions and is owned by full-service, Brooklyn-based production company Broadway Stages, which bought the 67-acre property in 2017 for $7 million and a $20 million investment to be completed in five years, according to Broadway Stages spokespeople Warren Cohn and Samara Schaum.

    The prison, which opened in 1976 and closed in 2011, has become a hot spot for popular movies like this year's Sandra Bullock-starring "Ocean's 8" and TV shows like Netflix's "Daredevil" and "Orange is the New Black." NBC's "The Black List" was filming on Wednesday when I got a look at the place. 

    There was also a helicopter parked on the grounds for what must have been a painstaking shoot of an undisclosed project (but no permit is required since it's private property now).

    daredevil

    The fourth episode from "Daredevil" season 3, named "Blindsided," has made headlines recently for its nearly 11-minute one-take tracking shot inside a prison facility during a riot. The scene finds Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), the man known as the costumed-vigilante Daredevil, fighting his way through a group of prisoners to learn the name of a man a bad guy Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) paid to shank him.

    It was all filmed at Arthur Kill. In an interview with Vulture, showrunner Erik Oleson detailed how the scene came to be, and that it was director Alex Garcia Lopez's idea to do the "oner" after he read the script. But Oleson didn't initially grasp the extent of Lopez's vision, and didn't foresee it being an over-10-minute take, which made executives skeptical.

    "I had to call all the financial people and say, 'Guess what? We’re gonna stop filming for a day but have the entire crew there to rehearse,'" Oleson said. "From television production, that’s definitely caused some agita."

    According to Oleson, the take is actually one shot, with no CGI tricks. Cox did 80% of the scene himself, but a stunt double, Chris Brewster, was strategically swapped in at opportune moments, called a "Texas switch."

    Lopez and the crew captured the scene, which begins in an infirmary room at the prison and ends with Murdock finally escaping and getting in to a taxi, on the third uninterrupted take.

    daredevil

    Since Arthur Kill has been the shooting location for various productions, there are plenty of props around. But a lot of what's left from the former prison is still there, including writing carved in to walls that is authentic.

    As more and more productions leave New York for lower-cost locations, such as Georgia, Broadway Stages hopes Arthur Kill will be a one-stop-shop for multiple shoots at once that could provide at least 1,500 jobs daily. Cohn or Schaum didn't divulge what Broadway Stages charges for a production to use the grounds, but film students, such as from New York University, can film there for an affordable price.

    Broadway Stages' five-year $20 million investment includes editing facilities, renovations to the pool for underwater filming, and five sound stages (there's currently one).

    Below is a closer look at the prison:

    SEE ALSO: Interest in Netflix's 'Luke Cage' and 'Iron Fist' dropped dramatically over time, and its other Marvel shows could also be in trouble

    Here's the view from the guard tower. There was even a toilet in the tower because guards would be stationed there for hours at a time.



    This was the children's area in the waiting room, where guests would wait to visit prisoners. This wasn't painted for a production, it was left there from the prison.



    In the secured control room of the holding area, this ladder led up to the roof in the event of a dangerous riot and the guards needed to escape, according to Cohn.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    What is Lewis Hamilton's diet

    Lewis Hamilton is one of the most famous athletes in the modern world of sport.

    The British racer is a five-time Formula 1 champion who claimed his most recent title at the Monaco Grand Prix in September 2018.

    Hamilton is constantly evolving as an athlete and as an F1 driver, and even changed his diet in 2017 at the age of 33 to strictly follow a plant-based diet.

    So what sort of food does the vegan king of the racetrack eat?

    Here's everything Hamilton likes to eat and drink for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    SEE ALSO: The most expensive, rare, and bizarre vehicles Lewis Hamilton drives when he's not racing

    This is 33-year-old Lewis Hamilton, the biggest name in motor sports. Hamilton is a five-time Formula 1 world champion and holds a number of records in the game including most amount of pole positions (82), 41 fastest laps, and most career points in the history of F1 (2,993).

    Source: Getty Images.



    Like a lot of people, Hamilton enjoys breakfast. Here, he sits down to set up a day of skiing. But Hamilton strictly follows a plant-based diet, so that means he cannot eat breakfast items like pastries that might be made with dairy butter.

    Source: Getty Images.



    Hamilton has said he regularly eats porridge for breakfast. Porridge, as Business Insider has previously reported, is a staple menu item for many Formula 1 drivers, but every now and then Hamilton has something more adventurous, like beans on toast.

    Source: BBC and Business Insider.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    arlo hotel nyc

    • Sam Shank, the founder and CEO of HotelTonight, recently told Business Insider that the best boutiquehotels appeal to a sense of nostalgia.
    • Shank also said that New York City has the best collection of boutique hotels.
    • HotelTonight is an online travel company that allows users to book discounted, last-minute hotel rooms via its app or mobile site.

    Booking a hotel room can be a tedious, confusing process — but it doesn't have to be.

    That's part of the reason Sam Shank founded HotelTonight, an online travel company that allows users to book discounted, last-minute hotel rooms via its app or mobile site.

    HotelTonight offers hotels across a range of price points; they classify their hotels as hip, luxe, basic, and solid.  When it comes to trends in the luxury realm, Shank noted that it varies across cities — but one trend is clear.

    "The best boutique hotels are appealing to people's nostalgia," Shank told Business Insider.

    "Things like cookies and milk offered before bed, the pillow fight kit one hotel sells, games in the lobby," he continued. "Hotels need to have things that are memorable and different."

    Read more:Luxury hotels around the world have private rooms that are so elite they're not even listed online — and some are only available via email booking

    Sam Shank Headshot

    On top of that, Shank added, the hotels also have to be extremely photographable.

    They need, he explained, "Amenities that are unique, buzzworthy, and Instagrammable."

    Business Insider's Katie Warren recently toured Arlo House in Soho, NYC— one of many hotels available for booking on HotelTonight — and found the hotel to be full of such flourishes. The lobby, for example, has a candy shop and a bodega full of fresh, made-on-location offerings. The rooftop, meanwhile, offers yoga classes and a wall that's seemingly made for Instagram and reads, "Every night should end with a story."

    As for which city holds the company's best collection of boutique hotels, Shank was very clear.

    "New York City," he said, "hands down. The production value and the creativity in New York that gets reflected in the hotels is unparalleled."

    SEE ALSO: The latest in luxury hotel service: not-so-mini minibars and custom-made cocktails delivered right to your door

    NOW READ: The 31 hotels everyone should stay at in their lifetime

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The author of 'Boy Erased' reveals what gay conversion therapy is really like — and how he survived it


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    President Donald Trump

    • President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on the special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation on Thursday, after an uncharacteristically quiet period.
    • In a series of tweets Trump accused Mueller, without evidence, of having "gone absolutely nuts," adding that his prosecutors are "screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want."
    • Trump's latest attacks come as he and his lawyers put the finishing touches on their answers to a set of written questions from Mueller.
    • They also come as Mueller reportedly prepares to drop more indictments, which could come as soon as this week.

    After an uncharacteristic lull, President Donald Trump on Thursday renewed his attacks on the special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation.

    "The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess," Trump tweeted. "They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation and don’t ... care how many lives the ruin."

    He added: "These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!"

    Trump did not provide any evidence for his statements, and a spokesperson for Mueller's office declined to comment on Trump's claim that Mueller's team is "screaming and shouting at people" and "horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want."

    Mueller also did not work for former President Barack Obama. FBI directors are non-partisan and independent from political entities. Mueller is a registered Republican who was confirmed as head of the FBI under former President George W. Bush and continued serving until 2013, during Obama's second term.

    Trump's Thursday tweetstorm also comes as the special counsel reportedly prepares to drop more indictments that could come as soon as this week.

    On Monday, the far-right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi told NBC News that Mueller's team told him he would be indicted for perjury. And the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone recently told INSIDER he also expects to be indicted soon, though he has not been contacted by the special counsel yet.

    Trump's legal team has asked him to refrain from criticizing Mueller and the Russia investigation on Twitter, and the president laid off in the period before the November midterm elections. But Thursday's tweetstorm indicates the inquiry is very much at the forefront of his mind, particularly as he and his lawyers put the finishing touches on their answers to a set of written questions from Mueller's office.

    Robert Mueller

    After returning from a planned trip to Paris over the weekend, the president reportedly huddled with his legal team, led by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, and has spent the last three days drafting written answers to Mueller's questions about whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

    "Universities will someday study what highly conflicted (and NOT Senate approved) Bob Mueller and his gang of Democrat thugs have done to destroy people," Trump tweeted on Thursday. "Why is he protecting Crooked Hillary, Comey, McCabe, Lisa Page & her lover, Peter S, and all of his friends on the other side?"

    The president later tacked on: "The only 'Collusion' is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others. Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!"

    Trump has recently taken to pushing the bogus talking point that Mueller was not confirmed by the Senate, and legal experts told INSIDER the claim is "flat out wrong" because Mueller is an "inferior officer" — not a "principal officer" who reports directly to the President — and therefore does not need to be confirmed by the Senate.

    SEE ALSO: New text messages show Roger Stone associate Randy Credico may have known more than he was letting on about WikiLeaks' plans during the 2016 election

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions


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    Joe Biden John McCain

    This week, newly-elected members of the 116th Congress are gathering in Washington, DC for freshman orientation after years of historically pernicious partisan gridlock, which has led to two government shutdowns in the past five years. 

    In recent decades, however, many politicians and political figures of opposite parties have put been able to put aside their ideological differences to forge working partnerships and friendships.

    At Republican Senator John McCain's August memorial services, for example, several Democratic politicians including President Barack Obama, former Senator John Kerry, and former Vice President Joe Biden gave eulogies reflecting on their close professional and personal relationships with McCain. 

    Here are nine of the most famous political friendships that crossed party lines: 

    President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill

    The former Republican president and Democratic house speaker from Massachusetts didn't always see eye-to-eye on fundamental political questions, but respected each other as public servants and worked across the aisle to find common ground.

    "Historic tax reforms, seven tax increases, a strong united front that brought down the Soviet Union — all came of a commitment to find common ground," O'Neill's son Thomas O'Neill wrote in the New York Times in 2012.

    "While neither man embraced the other’s worldview, each respected the other’s right to hold it. Each respected the other as a man."

    When Reagan survived an assassination attempt in 1981, O'Neill went to the hospital to visit the president and pray at his bedside. And after O'Neill's death, Reagan headlined fundraisers to raise the money to build the O'Neill Library at Boston College, O'Neill's alma mater.  

    Source: New York Times



    John Boehner and Barack Obama

    The former Democratic president and Republican house speaker from Ohio often clashed on policy — famously so when the 2011 "grand bargain" budget deal fell apart — but still maintained a respectful working relationship while Boehner was speaker. 

    The two would famously discuss strategy and hash out disagreements in the Rose Garden outside the White House, during which Boehner would smoke cigarettes and Obama, a former smoker, would chew nicotine gum. 

    Boehner even recalled having to "sneak in" into the White House to meet with Obama to avoid the press from "going crazy." 

    "We were having a nice conversation and finally the president says, 'Boehner, man, I'm going to miss you," Boehner said of Obama's phone call to him after he retired as Speaker of the House in 2015.  

    Boehner even made a cameo in a comedic video Obama showed at the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner during which they joked around and watched "Toy Story."

    "I understand him, he understands me, and while we had big disagreements, we were able to get an awful lot of things done, somehow. Don't ask me how," he added. 

    Sources:Cleveland.com, Business InsiderWashington Post, Vox 



    Senator John Kerry and Senator John McCain

    John Kerry and John McCain shared the distinct path of serving in the Vietnam War to being elected to the US Senate. 

    McCain famously spent six years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, while Kerry — a former Navy officer — led a signature protest in which a thousand Vietnam veterans tossed medals and ribbons won in the war over a barricade into the vicinity of the US Capitol. 

    While McCain strongly disagreed with Kerry's protest at the time, the two ended up working together on Vietnam veterans issues while serving on the former select Senate committee on POW/MIA soldiers. 

    "We got to know each other and began to work together on some things, particularly on the normalization and lifting of the embargo with Vietnam. And John was willing to tackle things that a lot of other people weren't willing to tackle, so we found some common ground in strange places," Kerry told NPR in 2017.

    Sources: The New Yorker, NPR



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    Udemy 9

    This Black Friday, one thing that will be heavily discounted isn't a physical product. Instead, you can give or get educational courses and start on your New Year's learning resolutions early.

    Now through November 25, online learning platform Udemy will be slashing prices on all its courses. And if you buy one on Black Friday (November 22 - November 23), you'll also get one free on Cyber Monday (November 26 - November 27). 

    You can get over 55,000 courses on the site for only $10. You'll get full lifetime access to the course, so you can always go back and reference specific lessons if you need to. This deal ends November 25 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

    If you buy a course on Black Friday between 12:00 a.m. on November 22 and 11:59 November 23, you’ll receive a credit of $9.99. For your free course, just make sure to redeem the credit before 11:59 p.m. PST on Tuesday, November 27, otherwise you'll lose it.

    Click here to check out all the courses on the site or use the links below to go directly to a category and browse classes there:

    Not sure what you want to learn? Keep scrolling to get inspired and see some of the top courses, which range from development to music theory, on Udemy.

    SEE ALSO: 

    The Web Developer Bootcamp

    The Web Developer Bootcamp, $10 (originally $200) [You save $190]

    This popular class is packed with 42.5 hours of HTML, CSS, and Javascript lessons. You'll learn how to make real web applications, a blog application, and browser-based game.



    Cryptocurrency Trading Course 2017: Make Profits Daily!

    Cryptocurrency Trading Course 2017: Make Profits Daily!, $10 (originally $200) [You save $190]

    Learn when to buy and sell cryptocurrency so you can maximize profits and minimize losses.



    Learn to Code by Making Games - Complete C# Unity Developer

    Learn to Code by Making Games - Complete C# Unity Developer, $10 (originally $195) [You save $185]

    Learn C+, a powerful programming language, through game creation. Students rave about the quality of the course and instructors.



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    holiday gift sets 13

    You're worried about placing all your bets on a single product as a gift, or you're simply running out of time to find the perfect gift. We get it — it's tempting to grab any old gift set or bundle and call it a day.

    However, it's important to take a more careful look. Many gift sets seem like they were arranged as carelessly as the way you stalked down the aisle frantically eyeing them.

    A good gift set isn't necessarily defined by the quantity of items in it (though it's certainly satisfying to save by getting a value pack), but rather by its careful, thoughtful curation. You want to look at each item in the set, then the set as a whole and say, "Yup, this all makes sense." 

    If you plan on buying a holiday gift set this year, these 14 are solid choices. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    A set of matching socks

    2 Peas in a Pod Gift Box, $16, available at Happy Socks

    There's enough to go around for both parent and child with this matching set of fun, colorful socks. 

    This set contains:

    • Cherry Socks (Kids) 
    • Cherry Socks (Adult) 

     

     



    A range of luxury beauty products

    The Luxe Beauty Box, $48, available at Birchbox

    The mix of full-size, travel-size, and sample beauty products come from some of the top prestige brands, yet total up to less than $50. 

    This set contains:

    • Wander Beauty Extended Stay Hydrating Mask 
    • Smith & Cult Illumify Shimmering Highlight - Starlings 
    • Oribe Run-Through Detangling Primer 
    • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment
    • EVE LOM Cleanser
    • Kevyn Aucoin The Molten Liquid Lipstick Molten Metals - White Gold
    • Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts
    • BY TERRY Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder 
    • Birchbox Verge Faux Leather Box


    A shaving kit

    Winter Winston Deluxe Gift Set, $35, available at Harry's

    The razor in this giftable shaving set features a special two-color grip, which can be engraved (for an additional $10) for an extra personal touch. 

    This set contains:

    • Winter Winston handle 
    • Blade Cartridges (3)
    • Foaming Shave Gel
    • Travel Cover
    • Razor Stand


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    girl taxes documents paper

    • Tax season brings with it a deluge of acronyms that you need to be familiar with.
    • Here, we break down 10 of the major abbreviations you'll encounter when filing your taxes.

     

    This year's new federal income tax form may be the size of a postcard, but that doesn't mean filling it out will be a snap.

    One of the less amusing parts of doing your taxes is getting through the alphabet soup it presents: AGI, EIN, EIC — what do all those abbreviations mean?

    To help you navigate your tax forms, here are definitions of common abbreviations you may encounter while doing your taxes this year.

    AGI

    Adjusted gross income is a measure of the amount of money you earned during the year. It's basically all your income — including any wages, dividends, alimony, retirement money, or other income — minus certain deductions. It is used to figure out how much of your income the government can tax.

    MAGI

    There's also modified adjusted gross income, another measure of income that is slightly but crucially different from AGI. To calculate MAGI, you take your AGI and add back certain deductions, but only if they apply to you. The deductions can include student loan interest, tuition expenses, IRA contributions, and more.

    SSN

    Social Security numbers are issued to all U.S. citizens, and some eligible U.S. residents, often as soon as they are born. The nine-digit number is used to track your income and report it to the Internal Revenue Service. You also use it for other purposes, like opening a bank account or applying for a mortgage.  

    EIN

    An employer identification number is kind of like a Social Security number for a business or organization. It's a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to individuals, businesses, sole proprietors, non-profit organizations and other entities. The EIN identifies tax-paying entities that need to file business tax returns.

    EIC

    The Earned Income Credit is a "benefit for working people with low to moderate income," according to the IRS. It is also called the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). You might be eligible for this credit depending on factors like income, filing status, and whether you have any qualifying children.

    CTC

    Parents may qualify for a Child Tax Credit for having child dependents under the age of 17. The credit may also apply for a grandchild, sibling, niece or nephew, adopted child,foster child, or any other family member who is under 17, has lived with you for more than half the tax year, and is claimed as a dependent on your tax return. Under the new tax plan, the credit has doubled to $2,000 per child, and much of it is refundable.

    FICA

    Those deductions taken out of each paycheck? Some of it is for the US federal payroll tax called the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. FICA "helps fund Social Security and Medicare programs," which pay benefits to retirees, the disabled, and children, according to the Social Security Administration.

    IRA

    An individual retirement arrangement provides a way for you to save money for retirement while enjoying certain tax advantages. You set up an IRA through a bank or financial institution, and you may be able to deduct "some or all of your contributions to a traditional IRA" on your tax return, according to the IRS. There are different types, including traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, each with their own tax rules.

    Read more: This chart should convince every teen to start saving for retirement

    HSA

    A health savings account lets you put away pre-tax money to pay for qualified medical expenses, including deductibles and copayments. You are eligible to open one if you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)— a health plan with a deductible of at least $1,350 ($2,700 for a family). HSAs may earn interest, and the interest is not taxable.

    TCJA

    In case you missed it, there's been significant tax reform in the past year. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted in December 2017, bringing many changes for the next tax-filing season, including reforms to deductions and tax rates. The IRS says the simplest way to make sure you file a complete and accurate return is to use tax-prep software like IRS Free File, IRS Free File Fillable Forms, or commercial software.

    SEE ALSO: What it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time

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    michelle obama queen elizabeth april 2009

    • In her new memoir, "Becoming," Michelle Obama details the time she broke royal protocol by touching Queen Elizabeth.
    • During their first meeting in April 2009, Obama says the two bonded over the pain of wearing heels.
    • Michelle says she placed a hand on the Queen's shoulder, which she learned was against the rules.
    • But the monarch appeared to reciprocate the feeling since she placed a hand on her back.
    • During their final meeting, the Queen surprised Michelle again when she told her to sit wherever she liked.

    Michelle Obama certainly had a special relationship with Queen Elizabeth during her husband's eight years in office.

    In her new memoir, "Becoming", the former first lady details the two times she broke royal protocol while meeting with the Queen of England, and how the monarch never seemed to care.

    The first faux pas happened during their first meeting in April 2009. At a reception for G20 leaders at Buckingham Palace, Michelle says she and the Queen bonded over their shared pain standing in heels for hours.

    "Forget that she sometimes wore a diamond crown and that I'd flown to London on a presidential jet; we were two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes," Obama recalls. "I then did what's instinctive to me anytime I feel connected to a new person, which is to express my feelings outwardly. I laid a hand affectionately across her shoulder."

    That moment was caught on camera, and she wouldn't realize until later that she had committed "what would be deemed as an epic faux pas" because one wasn't supposed to touch the Queen.

    Pictures of the moment were published in papers around the world, and Obama says it "revived some campaign-era speculation that I was generally uncouth and lacking the standard elegance of a First Lady."

    While she was initially concerned that she had "distracted from Barack's efforts abroad," looking back, Michelle is hardly sorry for cozying up to the monarch.

    "But I tried not to let the criticism rattle me. If I hadn't done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing.

    "I daresay the Queen was okay with it, too, because when I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back," Obama recalls.

    Read more: Historic photos show every time American presidents met British Kings and Queens

    The Obamas' final audience with the Queen

    michelle obama queen elizabeth prince philip barack april 2016

    In April 2016, the Obamas flew to the UK for one final state visit with the Queen.

    The plan was to fly by helicopter from the ambassador's residence in London to the Windsor Castle to meet with the Queen and Prince Philip, who would greet them in a field on the estate and drive them back to the palace in their own vehicle.

    It was a big deal for the Obamas, since it would be the first time they had ridden in a car that wasn't driven by Secret Service, and without agents in the car. So every detail about the ride was planned in advance.

    Read more: 25 things we learned from Michelle Obama's new memoir, 'Becoming'

    The plan was that Prince Philip would drive the car back to Windsor Castle, with Michelle sitting in the front seat, and the Queen and Barack in the back seat.

    But when they touched down on the estate, Michelle writes that the Queen "threw a wrench into everything by gesturing for me to join her in the backseat of the Range Rover."

    She continues:

    "I froze, trying to remember if anyone had prepped me for this scenario, whether is was more polite to go along with it or to insist that Barack take his proper seat by her side.

    "The Queen immediately picked up on my hesitation. And was having none of it.

    "'Did they give you some rule about this?' she said, dismissing all the fuss with a wave of her hand. 'That's rubbish. Sit wherever you want.'"

    SEE ALSO: Michelle and Malia Obama once sneaked out of the White House

    DON'T MISS: Michelle Obama shares what the 'darkest day' was like in the White House: the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The Obamas are worth $40 million — here's how they make and spend their money


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    CUNTB_4_Holbox

    When it comes to the recipe for a good vacation, Mexico delivers with crystal-white sand, incredibly delicious food, unique cultures, and plenty of sunshine across the country.

    If what you want is an unforgettable vacation, Mexico's Caribbean coast is where you want to be. In, on, and alongside the water you'll find plenty of opportunities to make the kinds of memories that last long after you return home.

    Sky high and deep below in Cancun

    cun_imagecollage_01

    When the sun goes down in Cancun, people don't go home — they go dancing. Join them at Coco Bongo. Located in the center of Cancun's Hotel Zone, and just a block from the Caribbean Sea, you'll find a mix of locals and tourists amid the strobe-lighted crowd. From breathtaking stage shows to gravity-defying flying acrobats, a night here is like no other.

    Don't make early-morning plans: Cancun parties can go all night, with music including everything from jazz to electronic and deejays and live bands.

    Looking for a more serene experience? Consider heading out beyond the 14 miles of white-sand beaches to explore beneath the waters. MUSA is an underwater museum of art with some 500 life-size sculptures created and deposited here in 2009. The coral reef and marine life that have grown around the statues offer a breathtaking experience, whether you're in a glass-bottom boat, on a guided snorkel excursion, or scuba diving.

    Skim the surface or go off the beaten path in Cozumel

    czm_imagecollage_01

    You can snorkel right off the shore at Palancar Beach, but for a chance to see bigger fish and an incredible reef, head farther out. Guided boats will take you to explore Palancar Reef — the second-largest coral reef in the world — which is a part of Cozumel Reefs National Park. From your perch on top of the water, keep your eyes peeled for turtles, rays, parrotfish, and more.

    For a heart-racing experience, get behind the wheel of a dune buggy or ATV. The off-road tours will take you up hills, through mud puddles, and into the jungle. It's a chance to see the beauty of the area away from the crowds at your own pace. Part roller coaster, part intimate adventure, it's the perfect way to spend the day exploring.

    Breathtaking and heart racing in Riviera Maya

    riv_imagecollage_02

    This popular coastal area has plenty to offer travelers. One destination not to miss: Tulum. Located on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, the ancient ruins are set on 39-foot-high cliffs overlooking stunning blue-green waters. Your photos will be gorgeous, but be sure to take time to appreciate that you're walking in the footsteps of an ancient culture in some of the world's best-preserved Mayan ruins.

    Below the water, a trip of a lifetime awaits. Sharks of all sizes call the area home, and with the proper guide and equipment you can spend time with them. From reef sharks and nurse sharks to bull sharks and whale sharks, seasoned professional guides offer expert knowledge and instruction to help you create the kind of magical experience that will leave you with a story you'll be telling for years to come.

    Mexico's Caribbean coast offers must-see destinations, and Apple Vacations can help get you there. With all-inclusive packages that include round-trip airfare and airport transfers, hotel accommodations, and in-resort services from an Apple Vacations representative, all you have to do is show up and enjoy your getaway.

    Visit Apple Vacations to plan your perfect vacation.

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    This post is sponsored by Apple Vacations.

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    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to journalists before heading into a Democratic caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center November 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. Democrats gained 33 seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections so far and appear on track to gain between 35 and 40 once all the counting is complete, putting them in control of the chamber in 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • A small group of Democrats are circulating a letter to oppose Nancy Pelosi's campaign to be the next speaker of the House when the new Congress forms in January.
    • Pelosi has remained confident in public, telling reporters she has enough votes to be elected speaker.
    • Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who is opposed to Pelosi, is considering a bid to challenge for the speaker's gavel.

    WASHINGTON — Nancy Pelosi's unopposed bid to serve as the next speaker of the House might not be totally assured after all, despite the longtime Democratic leader reiterating her confidence she will win back the coveted gavel.

    A small but powerful contingent of Democratic members — partnering with a sizable chunk of incoming freshmen who unseated Republican incumbents — could upend the process by remaining opposed to Pelosi becoming speaker of the House.

    The group, which contains longtime anti-Pelosi members like Reps. Seth Moulton, is circulating a letter opposing Pelosi. Comprised of a handful of current members and incoming freshmen who pledged not to support Pelosi, the letter currently has 17 signatures, according a Democratic source. But the group is looking to beef up the list of signatures to at least 20.

    Read more: House Democratic leadership is dominated by coastal states, has a 'geographic diversity" problem

    The group's main problem is that they still do not have anyone willing to actually challenge Pelosi. While Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge is mulling a run at speaker, no one has officially jumped in, leaving Pelosi unopposed.

    Fudge acknowledged on Wednesday that her colleagues have encouraged her to run, but discussions are still ongoing.

    "We're not going to allow the Republicans to have a speaker, so certainly there will be someone that will step up," she said. "And those discussions are going on now."

    Fudge, who is one of the members who signed the letter opposing Pelosi, described her frustrations with Pelosi and the current leadership in a HuffPost interview.

    "I don’t have a pitch because at this point I’ve not decided I’m going to run," she said. "But I would say this: My concern about the caucus is the same concern I have about the country. Just as there is this undertone of racism in the country, there’s also that in our caucus."

    Fudge added that "to some degree," Pelosi is an elitist, which is why she is so often the target of Republicans — which until 2018 had served the GOP well in the elections over the past eight years. 

    "If we’re going to give her credit for the wins, why is she not responsible for all the losses?" Fudge said.

    Pelosi was defiant in addressing the movement to challenge her 

    A defiant Pelosi addressed the difficult path forward during a press conference on Thursday, telling reporters that she would handily win the speaker's gavel if the vote were held immediately, despite the math saying otherwise.

    "I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House," Pelosi said. "And certainly we have many many people in our caucus who could serve in this capacity. I happen to think at this point, I am the best person for that." 

    About rumors she could potentially rely upon Republicans to vote "present" instead of against, Pelosi laughed off the prospect and that she intends to "win the speakership with Democratic votes."

    And she welcomed a challenge from Fudge or anyone else who thinks they are up to the task, saying, "Come on in. The water's warm."

    And Pelosi has more to contend with than just the individuals who signed the letter. There is a fair amount of frustration from members who are not from the coastal states, which are primarily represented throughout the leadership team.

    "I think it's critical that we send a message to Democrats all over this country that we're not leaving behind any group, any region, that rural America can be represented in our leadership," Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos told INSIDER.

    "I think the leadership team matters," Bustos added. "I know the focus is everybody gets asked about the speaker's race, but the leadership team matters in all sorts of ways. And one of those is geographic diversity."

    SEE ALSO: Mark Meadows doesn't 'anticipate' running for another term as chairman of powerful conservative Freedom Caucus

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    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions


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    Subaru Ascent 0386

    Editorial note: Business Insider will name its 2018 Car of the Year on Monday, November 19. Each day this week, we're taking another look at the five vehicles that were runners-up that were selected from a pool of 15 finalists. Earlier this week, we featured the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, the 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast, and the Jaguar I-PACE. Today, our featured runner-up is the 2019 Subaru Ascent. 

    • The Subaru Ascent midsize crossover SUV is all new for 2019.
    • The Ascent is Subaru's first attempt at a midsize SUV since the disappointing Tribeca was discontinued in 2014.
    • Subaru's new SUV will take on industry leaders like the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer. 
    • The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $44,695. With fees, our car carried an as-test price of $45,670.
    • We were impressed by the Ascent's comfortable cabin, bountiful safety features, solid driving dynamics, and powerful turbocharged engine.
    • The Ascent's somewhat anonymous styling, spongy brakes, and lethargic transmission, however, were a bit disappointing. 

    Subaru has been on a roll in the US. The longtime purveyor of Japanese all-wheel-drive motors has reported nearly seven years' worth of consecutive month-over-month sales growth.

    Its Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek crossovers have become a popular alternative to the more mainstream offerings from Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Nissan. 

    Success in the midsize SUV segment, however, has eluded Subaru over the years. It tried in 2005 with the B9 Tribeca. Unfortunately, the Tribeca's odd styling, diminutive size, and tepid performance prevented it from gaining traction in the market. Even a 2008 facelift and the addition of a more powerful engine couldn't save the Tribeca, which soldiered on for nearly a decade before Subaru pulled the plug on the SUV in 2014.

    Read More: One of these 15 finalists will become Business Insider's 2018 Car of the Year.

    For 2019, Subaru is back with an all-new midsize SUV: the Ascent. The Ascent is larger than the Tribeca, with room for up to eight passengers, and is packed with a bevy of state-of-the-art tech features. 

    The Ascent is meant to slot in above the Outback wagon in Subaru's lineup and will be its most expensive offering. 

    Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a new Magnetite Gray Metallic Subaru Ascent Touring.

    The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $44,695. With fees, our test car carried an as-test price of $45,670.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 10 coolest new cars for under $20,000

    FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    The Ascent is Subaru's first attempt to crack the midsize SUV market since the failed ...



    ... B9 Tribeca, which sold from 2005 to 2014.



    At 196.8 inches long, the Ascent is nearly half a foot longer than the Tribeca.



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    best ornaments

    • Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, where are the best places to buy ornaments to decorate you so beautifully?

    • It might not inspire you to burst into song, but if you want a great selection of holiday ornaments to suit just about any style, it’s hard to go wrong with Cost Plus World Market's selection of ornaments.

    Whether you go all-out decorating for the holidays, prefer to keep things low key, or live somewhere in the middle, there’s always something magical about the sight of a Christmas tree loaded with twinkling lights and beautiful ornaments, a lovely tree skirt spread underneath, and a heaping of colorfully wrapped gifts arranged under the branches.

    And while some of the most meaningful ornaments are those you or your children made by hand, it’s still undeniably true that the majority of tree décor in most people’s holiday stash is purchased.

    Although you’ll find Christmas ornaments for sale just about everywhere within days of Halloween, that doesn’t mean those ornaments are, well, nice. That’s why we decided to do some of the heavy lifting for you this holiday season, and round up some of the very best places to buy Christmas ornaments.

    Here are the best places to buy ornaments for your tree:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks. Also, if you're doing holiday gift shopping, you can check out all of our 2018 gift guides on Insider Picks.

    The best ornaments overall

    Why you'll love it: Whether you’re looking to add some dazzle, tradition, or fun to your Christmas tree, Cost Plus World Market has you covered.

    As you might expect, Cost Plus World Market has lots of ornaments that celebrate travel, from a passport to hang on your tree and the Union Jack, to felted Mexican Day of the Dead skulls. But that’s not all you’ll find. Cost Plus World Market offers a wide range of ornaments in lots of different styles.

    Looking for a felted wool canine Christmas caroler? You found him. How about a glittery winter wonderland inside a glass cloche? They have that, too. Or maybe your tastes run more towards the culinary. In that case, you’ll love the set of a hand-blown glass hotdog and hamburger.

    Of course, if you prefer something more traditional, there are plenty of pinecones, glass balls, gingerbread men, and snowmen ornaments to choose from.

    Because the prices are quite reasonable, you could easily cover an entire tree with one trip to the store, but plan on taking your time deciding on your purchases. There are so many wonderful ornaments here, it’s going to be hard to choose.

    Retro pinecone elves? Why not? Glass cloche with the Eiffel Tower inside? You got it. How about my personal favorite, felted wool hugging sloths? Whether you’re shopping for your own holiday tree or looking for gifts to give family, friends, or coworkers, it’s hard to beat Cost Plus World Market on the holiday front.

    Pros: Huge selection of reasonably priced ornaments with many unusual themes as well as traditional and handmade designs

    Cons: If you’re just looking for a big container of basic shatterproof ball ornaments, this isn’t your store

    Buy ornaments at Cost Plus World Market for $4 to $50



    The best personalized and collectible ornaments

    Why you'll love it: Bed, Bath & Beyond is one of the best places to stock up on popular high-end collectible Christmas ornaments, as well as personalized ornaments. 

    If you’ve ever wondered what comes “beyond” the bed and the bath at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I’ve got your answer: Christmas ornaments. Because the popular destination for all things related to the home has a great selection.

    You might think Bed, Bath & Beyond is just a great place to buy sheets and bath towels. And you mostly would be right, but remember the “beyond” in the name. That means all sorts of great stuff for the home, including a fantastic selection of Christmas ornaments.

    One of the best things at the shop is the large selection of personalized-for-free offerings, including simple circles, hearts, and my favorite, bears. Personalized ornaments make it easy to commemorate all of the good things that happened during the year, and are always a popular gift, as well.

    Or maybe you’re looking for an ornament to give your favorite graduate, doctor, or golfing enthusiast. You’ll find lots of other hobby or profession-specific ideas, and just about all of them can be personalized if you’d like.

    But where Bed, Bath & Beyond really shines on the ornament front is in the great selection of high-end collectible ornaments from companies like Waterford, Lenox, Swarovski, and Spode. You’ll find the yearly collections of these popular brands, as well as old favorites, and all at reasonable prices.

    Pros: Excellent selection of collectible and personalized ornaments

    Cons: Not a huge selection of quirky, untraditional, or “fun” ornaments

    Buy ornaments at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $2.99 to $251.99



    The best ornaments if you’re just starting out

    Why you'll love it: Target has a wide selection of affordable ornaments that will help you deck out your first tree if you're starting from scratch.

    Maybe it’s your first Christmas in your very own place, or maybe you like changing up your ornament selection periodically. Whatever the reason, if you need to decorate your tree from scratch, head to Target. You can cover your entire tree with the great assortment of ornaments, and you’ll still have money left for your Christmas gift list.

    You’ll find a nice assortment of individually sold ornaments at Target, but if you need to cover an entire tree on a fairly small budget — or you just want to fill in the gaps — skip the singles and head straight to the collections. Target carries quite a few wonderful four-packs.

    You’ll find adorable rustic snowmen, knit cactus plants, and even a set of colorful reindeer and llamas — you can bet these are going to grace my tree this year. Mix-and-match your four-packs, and you’ll soon cover your tree with your favorite themes. Most of the four-packs are $12.

    If you want to simplify things, you’ll find a rainbow of shatterproof balls and other shapes in packs of eight to 50. Go for a riot of color, stick with an elegant metallic theme, or mix your favorite two colors — The options are nearly endless. Prices range from $5 to $20 depending on the size of the collection.

    Pros: Low prices for large collections of ornaments, lots of color choices

    Cons: Some of the plastic ornaments are a bit cheap looking

    Buy ornaments at Target for $3 to $20



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    Tesla Road Trip 2016

    • I've driven many electric cars, and every vehicle Tesla sells. I've endured some mishaps and adventures when it comes to charging.
    • Tesla has an extensive network of Superchargers, but if you don't trust the vehicle to guide you to them and calibrate charging times, you can still get into trouble.
    • This requires an adjustment, if you're used to traveling in gas-powered cars and refueling at plentiful gas stations.

    I've driven a lot of electric cars, and for a few years I always tried to test one during my summer sojourns to my kids' sleepaway camp.

    I've had to change that pattern of late because I typically need a big SUV or pickup truck to transport up to four kids, two adults, and their gear. But for a couple of years, the roughly 240-mile round trip was a perfect EV test.

    Of course when driving electric one must be mindful of how much juice is in the battery and where the nearest charging options might be. This continues to be a work in progress. Even Tesla, with its widespread Supercharger network, can't cover every single eventuality.

    As I learned the hard way years ago, when I drove to camp in a Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode — then the baddest, fastest, coolest Tesla in all the land. (At least until the P100D arrived in early 2017.)

    The idea was to see if this four-door luxury "family car" with supercar-beating acceleration — zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds, claimed — could handle a journey of decent length, with maxed-out passengers and cargo. Quite a test, eh? And with a few scheduled stops to dine, take in the sights, and recharge the battery.

    Our adventure began on a pleasant Sunday in July, and all initially went according to plan. Until it didn't.

    Read on to learn all about our most excellent misadventure with the world's most famous electric car. And what I learned from it!

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    The pearl-white Tesla, equipped with everything, landed in the driveway of our suburban New Jersey test car HQ.



    My Prius was intimidated.



    Our Tesla was the Model S sedan ...



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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