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The latest news from Life

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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.


    Cyber Monday may technically be over, but there are quite a few deals still floating around, and L.L.Bean has one of the best sales on outdoor apparel.

    During the brand's extended Cyber Monday sale, you can save 20% on clothing and outwear by using the promo code "THANKS20" at checkout. You'll also receive a $10 gift card to use on a future purchase of $50 or more by December 24. On top of that, you can save 25% on L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers with the promo code "WICKED25".

    Whether you're looking for warm flannel shirts and sweaters, a fleece jacket, a heavy winter parka, or comfortable slippers and moccasins, you'll be able to get a great deal at L.L.Bean.

    There's not much time left to shop this sale. So to make it easier for you, we rounded up some of the best deals at L.L.Bean for men, women, and kids. Check them out below.

    Shop the L.L.Bean extended Cyber Monday sale now.

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Cyber Week deals on the internet.

    To potentially save more during Cyber Week, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    DON'T MISS: Allbirds has dropped a limited-edition sneaker for Cyber Week — and it's selling out quickly

    Men's Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirt

    Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirt, available in nine colors, $39.96 (Originally $49.95) [You save $9.99]

    Men's Wicked Good Moccasins

    Men's Wicked Good Moccasins, available in four colors, $59.25 (originally $79) [You save $19.75]

    Men's Irish Fisherman's Crewneck Sweater

    Irish Fisherman's Crewneck Sweater, available in four colors, $135.20 (Originally $169) [You save $33.80]

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    california cobb

    • The keto diet can be challenging to keep up with, but popular chain restaurants have some meals that are particularly keto-friendly.
    • Here, two registered dietitians take you through 10 of the best keto meal options at chain restaurants.


    Life on the keto diet can be challenging as you carefully track macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. But eating out isn’t something you have to completely eliminate.

    What follows is a list of keto-friendly meals at popular chain restaurants, vetted by Jonathan Valdez, registered dietitian and media spokesperson for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Pegah Jalali, MS, CDN, and registered dietitian at Middleberg Nutrition.

    Jalali told Business Insider that keto, a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate protein diet, is not for everyone.

    "If someone is pursuing keto, they should work with a healthcare professional who understands the diet and can help keep patients safe and thriving," Jalali said. "Keto has many side effects, and if patients want to do it long-term, they need to be closely monitored."

    Though the following chain restaurant meals tick the boxes when looking at carbohydrate, fat, and protein content (the recommended ratios of which will differ from person to person), it's also important to note that it's probably best to limit how often you're consuming these items.

    "Food quality is really important, especially on keto when the diet is so high in fat as some fats can be very inflammatory," Jalali said. "Restaurant foods tend to be overly processed, not good quality, and high in preservatives which can increase the sodium load."

    That said, here are 10 of the best keto meal options at chain restaurants.

    SEE ALSO: 9 things about the keto diet I wish I'd known before starting it

    Garlic shrimp scampi at Red Lobster

    Nutrition facts: 440 calories; 35g fat; 4g net carbohydrates; 24g protein

    Valdez recommended adding four tablespoons of olive oil to achieve a more keto-friendly ratio, as the protein content of the base dish is high compared to the amount of fat. As another option, Valdez suggested the classic Caesar salad with half the amount of salmon plus one tablespoon of olive oil, or with half the amount of chicken plus three tablespoons of olive oil.

    Asian Caesar salad at P. F. Chang's

    Nutrition facts: 410 calories; 30g fat; 17g net carbohydrates; 15g protein

    Order this salad without the wonton croutons to cut the carb content, Valdez recommended, and add two tablespoons of dressing to get more calories from fat. As another option, order the Northern-style spare ribs.

    Jalali recommended eating a half portion here, while adding one tablespoon of olive oil and a half cup of iceberg lettuce for some added fiber. "One of the biggest side effects [of keto] is constipation, as the diet can be low in fiber and fluids, so choosing high-fiber, low-carb foods is very important," Jalali said. "So is drinking plenty of water."

    Chargrilled ribeye (12 oz) at Outback Steakhouse

    Nutrition facts: 890 calories; 68g fat; 0g net carbohydrates; 65g protein

    Modify this dish by eating half of the steak, adding two tablespoons of butter, olive oil, or canola oil (or a blend of these types of fat), and ordering a side of buttered or grilled low-carb, non-starchy vegetables, Valdez said.

    Valdez added that you should request meat servings of around two to three ounces to maintain ideal fat to protein ratios for keto. Jalali pointed to the grilled asparagus as a good vegetable option, and echoed Valdez’s suggestion of modifying protein servings for the steaks and seafood on the menu.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    cheryl eisen


    Cheryl Eisen is unapologetically not a morning person.

    In sharp contrast to the many executives who wake up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m, Eisen starts her day slowly, waking up at 9 a.m. and enjoying a "caffeine cocktail" of Poland Spring water, espresso, Truvia, and Lactaid milk.

    "In all honesty, it takes until noon for my brain to fully wake up," she told Business Insider.

    Eisen, 50, is the CEO of Interior Marketing Group, or IMG, a New York City-based company of nearly 80 employees that does interior design, staging, and marketing for luxury homes that start at $5 million. Eisen has done the interior design for apartments in buildings belonging to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, an Airbnb rented by Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, and homes for Bethenny Frankel, Swedish real estate broker Fredrik Eklund, and Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. IMG also does projects in Miami, Los Angeles, Connecticut, and the Hamptons.

    Eisen said IMG's designs tend to be neutral and classic. They layer with textures rather than color, sticking with neutral tones that let the focus stay on the selling pieces of the home, whether that's high ceilings or jaw-dropping views. One of her favorite parts of the job is the big reveal when the client finally gets to see the finished space.

    "People cry," she said. "And I get it, because once you see something that you've been working on for months, you see it come to life and it can be overwhelming because a home is a very personal thing."

    Here's a peek into a typical day in her life, from her morning "caffeine cocktail" to rearranging furniture and choosing drapes for multimillion-dollar New York City penthouses.

    SEE ALSO: A day in the life of a Deutsche Bank managing director, who wakes up at 5:00 a.m., spends 10 days of the month traveling, and works out twice a day even while on business trips

    DON'T MISS: Luxury apartment buildings are offering more outrageous amenities than ever to attract tenants, from rooftop gyms and dog spas to outdoor movie theaters

    Cheryl Eisen is the CEO of Interior Marketing Group, which does interior design, staging, and marketing for luxury homes primarily in New York City, but also in Miami, Los Angeles, Connecticut, and the Hamptons.

    Instagram Embed:
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    Eisen says she is "unapologetically" not a morning person. She starts her day at 9:00 a.m. with a "caffeine cocktail," which she describes as "a carefully crafted combination of espresso, Poland Spring and Truvia: 3 parts Poland Spring, 2 parts espresso, a ton of Truvia, and Lactaid milk."

    By 10:00 a.m., she's out the door, drinking her coffee and answering emails in the car she commissions during the week, which she calls her "mobile office."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    south korean youth economic anxieties fragrances 4x3

    • South Korea is one of the fastest-growing air freshener markets in the world, dominating a global industry that's worth $10 billion. 
    • Candle sales alone jumped from $55.3 million in 2013 to $184.5 milion in 2016.
    • South Korean millennials are driving the home fragrance trend.
    • The youngest millennials don't have enough money to afford homes or cars, while the oldest ones are eschewing childcare and marriage to spend money on themselves, their homes, and their comfort. 

    SEOUL, South Korea — It's 10 p.m. in Munjeong-dong, a fashionable neighborhood in Seoul, and Vora Jeon, 34, is embarking on her nightly ritual: flowery Parisian tea, gentle European house music and, most crucially, a sunset-inspired candle called "Rare Sky." It smells of tulip, wood, and rhubarb.

    "I love the kind of pink sky," says Jeon, the CEO and creative director of Seoul-based fragrance company MOTE. "When I see that kind of thing, I feel really happy. I use that kind of candle when I want to refresh my memory of it."

    Across South Korea, there's a growing emphasis on home scent.

    Candles are the classic housewarming or wedding gift. Pots of fragrance diffusers are tucked into elevator corners and onto car dashboards and displayed in office cubicles and classrooms. Diffusers perfume even the shabbiest public restrooms and taxi cabs. Convenience stores often have fewer varieties of candy than of air care products — candles, room sprays, car vent sticks, fabric sprays, diffusers, and so on.

    - 로즈골드시그니쳐디퓨저, 사이트에 시그니쳐디퓨저창 열어놓았어요! 내일부터 공방에서 디퓨저작업해요. 이번주까지 주문제작이었지만 다음주부터는 공방에서 다양한 디퓨저보고 구매하실 수 있어요. 사진 속 로즈골드디퓨저는 100ml사이즈💡 #디오르센트 . . 🏷문의 카카오톡 theor1 / theorscent . 🏷클래스문의 네이버에서 디오르센트 🏷구매 인스타프로필 상단 스토어팜 클릭 . . #캔들공방#홈인테리어#홈카페#옥리단길#집들이선물#신혼집인테리어#여친선물#커플템#웨딩석고방향제#기념일선물#데이트#순천카페#순천캔들#순천공방#순천여행#순천내일로#데일리룩#광주캔들#순천맘#디퓨저#디퓨저추천#디퓨저선물#순천디퓨저#캔들홀더#촛대#빈티지촛대

    A post shared by THEOR SCENT. 디오르센트 (@theor_scent) on Nov 23, 2018 at 8:22am PST on

    Worldwide, home fragrance is having a moment. The global air care market was valued at $10 billion last year and will grow to $12 billion by 2023, according to Allied Market Research.

    With that growth, South Korea has become the largest and fastest-expanding air care market, according to Taeho Sim, a Seoul-based partner at ‎management consultant firm A.T. Kearney.

    The fragrance market totaled 2.7 trillion South Korean won (US $2.49 billion) in 2016, according to Sim. Candle products grew from $55.3 million in 2013 to $184.5 milion in 2016. The country imported three times as many candles in 2017 as it did 10 years prior, according to data from the Korea Customs Service.

    Shinsegae Department Store, a luxury retailer, said air fragrance sales increased 60% year-over-year in 2015, while ubiquitous cosmetics store Olive Young reported that sales of health products like candles and diffusers jumped 90% in the fall of 2017 compared to the previous autumn. 

    "Such growth in the South Korean home fragrance market is not just a short trend, but rather a long-lasting and permanent feature," Sim said.

    South Korea's youngsters have lost hope for the future

    After years of breakneck economic growth, the South Korean economy is suffering from its worst consecutive growth years on record.

    That has hit South Korea's young adults particularly hard. It's also one of the best-educated groups of youngsters in the world. Nearly 70% of South Koreans aged 25 to 34 have a college degree or higher, compared to 40% of American adults. 


    But that education hasn't helped their prospects. Youth unemployment recently hit a 19-year high. For the past five years, it's been around 10%, though the overall unemployment rate is 4.6%.

    College graduates spend an average of 10 months job-seeking after graduation, according to a survey by South Korean HR firm Saramin. This group has been dubbed the "770,000 won generation" because of their low incomes. (880,000 won, or $800, is the minimum monthly income for low-income workers, but young South Koreans are making even less than that.)

    Read more: South Korea has the highest rate of deaths by suicide in the developed world — but a 2011 law helped decrease rates by 15%

    While most South Korean youth don't fear for shelter, food, or healthcare, there's a declining sense of hope among youngsters. Nearly half of young South Koreans said in a 2015 survey that they don't believe they'll do better than their parents, while only 29% expressed similar doubts in 2006. And eight out of 10 said they would like to emigrate out of South Korea. 

    A frozen economy means a hot home fragrance market

    Unexpectedly, analysts say worsening economic prospects have fueled an interest in home fragrance. Youngsters are looking for affordable luxuries.

    Cars, homes, and lavish vacations are out of the question — so it's all about $7 lattés in beautiful cafés and the so-called "natural toothpaste craze," which ushered in $13 tubes of toothpaste. 


    The trend is called so-hwak-haeng, or "small but authentic happiness," home and tech analyst James Kang of Euromonitor International Korea told Business Insider. There's a more vulgar way to describe it: sibal biyong, or "f--- it spending."

    Sim of A.T. Kearney said those trends are clear in home fragrance.

    "Consumers find home fragrance products more affordable and accessible compared to other luxury products, such as designer bags and clothes," he said.

    "Instead of buying a new house or new furniture, young Koreans can spend $20 or $30 on candles," said SL Life CEO Jesse Kim, whose company distributes Aquiesse, a US fragrance brand, in South Korea. "Because of the long-term recession, people are stressed out. They're looking for ways to alleviate their stress and have a healing moment."

    Here are some Instagram photos tagged 시발비용, or 'f--- it spending'

    👻고스트#gucci 소소하게#시발비용

    A post shared by 송도네일 , 딜라잇 네일🍊 (@delight_nail) on Jun 21, 2018 at 6:49am PDT on

    : #보상심리 #시발비용 4일빵의 마지막은 너무 빡쎘고, 석화는 맛있었다

    A post shared by Hyemi_j ( on Nov 23, 2018 at 9:49am PST on


    Older South Korean millennials are driving the home fragrance craze for a different reason

    The most coveted brands in South Korea are Jo Malone and Diptyque.

    A standard Jo Malone diffuser costs 129,000 South Korean won (or $118), which may strike some as a dizzying amount of money to spend on a pot of lime- and orange-scented liquid with some sticks poking out. But it's indicative of another trend in which single-person households, along with millennials, are the biggest sector of the home fragrance market, Sim said.

    Home fragrance has a different tone among the various youth sectors in South Korea. Older South Korean millennials, 30- or 40-somethings who haven't married or had kids, want to make their home a sanctuary space. 

    "Having home fragrances, which help one's home to smell nice with a very natural and stress-reducing scent, has a strong correlation with this trend," Sim said. 

    백수생활중인나에게 주신 선물 #딥티크 #감사히잘쓸게요🙏🏾

    A post shared by 천대장 (@1000zzang1000) on Nov 20, 2018 at 8:50pm PST on

    :) 심플아늑

    A post shared by 퓨리언니 (@phj174) on Nov 23, 2018 at 12:16am PST on

    The number of single-person households in South Korea increased from 23.9% in 2010 to 27.2% in 2015, Sim said. According to Statistics Korea, 38% of women aged 30-34 were single in 2015, compared to 29% five years prior.

    "I am living alone even though my age is too high for that; I'm 34," Jeon said. "Even though women like me are getting old, they don't get pressure a lot like before. They just enjoy their own lives."

    Meanwhile, South Korea's fertility rate is the lowest in the world— even lower than Japan's. There is a variety of reasons for that, including the cost of childcare and the lack of career opportunities for mothers. 

    "We like pets more than babies," Jeon said. Then, she added that candles are helpful for covering up the smell of a pooch or kitten. 

    YOLO (or, 요로) is back

    There's a unifying thought among these two sets of young South Koreans, despite their very different economic prospects: a shift from focusing on the future to thinking about the present.

    South Korean millennials have embraced YOLO, or "You Only Live Once" — yes, the phrase first popularized in 2011 by the Canadian rapper Drake. The term has taken on a feeling in South Korea that one should live in the moment.

    "In the past, a future-oriented paradigm prevailed," Kim Nan-do, a consumer studies professor at Seoul National University, told The Korea Times. "We saved a lot, preparing for tomorrow. Now, more people cherish the joy of the present."

    korea candles

    When it comes to money, YOLO encourages a completely different mindset than what existed previously in the country. South Korea has long been known among economists as a country that saves rather than spends — even Germans, the more stereotypically saving-obsessed country, save less money than Koreans, according to OECD data.

    But, among younger South Koreans, that seems to be changing. 

    "Unlike our parents' generation, our younger generation cares more for themselves or they care for more this moment," Jihye Lee, marketing manager at Seoul-based distributor Kumbi Cosmetics, told Business Insider. "They are not worrying for their future."

    But the things that South Koreans used to buy have spiraled out of reach. The average home in Seoul costs more than $600,000. As for having a child, after-school tutoring alone cost the country's parents $17 billion in 2011.

    Luckily, even the priciest diffuser is a comparatively tiny $118. 

    SEE ALSO: What it takes to become a flight attendant in South Korea, where it's so competitive that candidates are getting plastic surgery to improve their odds

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How ketchup started as a fish sauce from Asia

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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.


    • People bought an incredible 180 million products worldwide on Amazon over the long Thanksgiving weekend.
    • The number one best-selling item was the new Echo Dot (third generation)
    • Right now, the Echo Dot is still listed at its sale price of $29.99 rather than $49.99. If you're thinking of getting one, this is one of its lowest prices ever.

    Cyber Monday was once again the biggest shopping day in Amazon's history, and it has already been predicted to be the largest online shopping day of the year 

    People bought an incredible 180 million items on Amazon over the long weekend, which included thousands of deals to celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But the number one best-selling item worldwide — from any manufacturer, in any category — was the all-new third generation Echo Dot

    The Echo Dot is Amazon's most popular voice-controlled speaker, likely due to the fact that it packs all the benefits of Alexa into an under-$50 device that's small enough not to convert the feng shui of your home to "techy" in one fell swoop. With it, you can ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms, call and message hands-free, and control compatible smart home devices (like lights, locks, or thermostats). 

    You can stream songs from Amazon Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, and more. For stereo sound, you can pair with another third generation Echo Dot in your home or connect to your own speakers over Bluetooth (or with a 3.5 mm audio cable). If you have Echo devices in different rooms, you can drop in to make an announcement in other rooms instantaneously. 

    The new third generation Echo Dot is 70% louder than the 2nd, and it has a new fabric design that comes in three colors: sandstone, heather gray, and charcoal. Right now, it's still priced at $29.99 (originally $49.99) — one of its lowest prices ever (rivaled only by a $24 listing on November 22, 2018). In comparison, the similar second generation Echo Dot typically retails for $39.99, but it's currently priced at $19.99.

    If you're looking for something with dual speakers or more height, check out the full-sized Echo ($69.99 now, originally $99.99). If you're looking for stronger bass and a clearer sound, check out the $149.99 Echo Plus (or, better yet, the bundle deal that gives you an Echo Plus and a Philips Hue smart bulb for the same $149.99 (originally $164.98). For a full breakdown on Echo devices, find a short Insider Picks comparison here. Most Cyber Monday deals on Amazon products and services are still available — including up to 75% off Amazon devices for a limited time — so if you missed out on Cyber Monday, it's not too late. 

    Echo Dot (third generation), $29.99 (originally $49.99) [You save $20]

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Elon Musk

    • In advertising his companies on Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote, "There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week."
    • Musk's comments, particularly about how you can't change the world working only 40 hours a week, couldn't be further from the truth.

    Elon Musk is notorious for working very long hours, and getting very little sleep.

    He also thinks long work hours are necessary to change the world.

    In a series of tweets supporting his companies, Musk said, "There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week."

    Many on Twitter were quick to point out the errors in Musk's observation:

    One woman was keen to point out the example of Alexander Fleming, a scientist who changed the world by going on vacation and accidentally leaving a petri dish open near a window, leading to the discovery of penicillin.

    As so many on Twitter pointed out, changing the world has little to do with the volume of hours one works, and has everything to do with the impact and quality of that work. Countless people have changed the course of history without the requisite of working more than 40 hours every week. Though studies have shown working more hours generally does lead to higher corporate positions, working more hours is also correlated with anxiety, depression, and worse sleep.

    About one-third of US adults don't get enough sleep — and Musk could probably do with a little more sleep himself. Back in 2015, he said in a Reddit AMA that he sleeps "almost exactly 6 hours on average." Earlier this year, he told The New York Times that he often logs 120-hour weeks at work, and doesn't leave Tesla's factories for days at a time. He said he's needed to take Ambien just to fall asleep.

    Read moreElon Musk says grueling 120-hour work weeks are taking a toll on his health — here's what sleeping less than 7 hours a night can do to you

    But studies show that sleep deprivation is ultimately harmful: It's linked to certain cancers, chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, heart disease, and can do serious damage to your immune system in general.

    Of course, every person's needs are different, and Musk's schedule may work for him. But the health risks of more work and less sleep are undeniable, and it's significantly more difficult to change the world if you're sick, or dead.

    SEE ALSO: Sleep deprivation can kill you — here's what sleeping less than 7 hours per night does to your body and brain

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Review: Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are the best smartphones you can buy right now

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    donald trump

    • President Donald Trump's trade policy could take a major bite out of the US economy, according to a new report.
    • The report, commissioned by the pro-free trade Koch Industries, modeled the impact if Trump were to go through with all of his tariff threats on China and auto imports.
    • The report also assumed other countries respond in kind.
    • The report found that GDP, household income, and industrial production would fall substantially while unemployment rose.

    President Donald Trump's trade policy could cost American households thousands of dollar next year, according to a new study released Tuesday.

    The report, authored by Terrie Walmsley and Peter Minor and sponsored by the pro-free market Koch Industries, concluded that Trump's threats to boost tariffs on Chinese products to 25%, impose tariffs on auto imports, and continue tariffs on steel and aluminum could take a major chunk out of the economy.

    "A stated goal of the US administration’s trade policy is to strengthen the US economy," the authors wrote. "The findings in this report indicate that the administration’s trade actions could be potentially costly and reduce economic growth."

    The reasoning behind the economic slowdown is fairly simple. Tariffs act as taxes on goods coming into the US, making items hit with the restrictions more expensive. While this makes US goods cheaper by comparison, it also drives up costs for American businesses and consumers.

    In response to the higher prices, businesses and consumers could buy less, resulting in a slower pace of job growth, lower capital investment, and eventually slower economic activity. While the researchers' estimates don't suggest the US would be plunged into a recession, they say the slowdown would be substantial.

    Screen Shot 2018 11 27 at 11.45.38 AM

    Here's a rundown of some of the key findings from the report:

    • The total economic cost from the measures from 2018 to 2030 would be $2.8 trillion.
    • GDP in 2019 would be 1.78 percentage points lower in 2019 than the current projection.
    • In 2019, each US household would lose the equivalent of $2,357, which also works out to a cost of about $915 per person. Through 2030, the study estimates that each household will lose just over $17,000 in spending power.
    • If all trade actions hit concurrently, up to 2.75 million more workers would be unemployed compared to current projections, as companies slow their hiring plans and lay off current workers.
    • The authors also estimate that the trade policies would force 665,000 workers to find employment in other industries.

    Not all of the trade policies modeled in the study have come to pass. But Trump has recently suggested that many of those scenarios could soon become a reality. For instance, the president told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Monday that it is "highly unlikely" the US and China come to a deal to avoid an increase of the current 10% tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% come January 1.

    Trump has also made more noise regarding the potential imposition of auto tariffs in recent weeks. Officials from the European Union and other major partners have warned that retaliation similar to what Walmsley and Minor modeled could become a reality if the president goes through with those threats.

    Read more: The US and China are giving off bad signals ahead of a crucial meeting between Trump and Xi Jinping»

    Additionally, the authors' findings line up with other studies that have shown that the trade war could harm US economic growth, increase the number of jobless, and cause prices to rise.

    Trump is set to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G20 summit this weekend in a meeting that could set the stage for the trade war's path ahead.

    SEE ALSO: Trump is ready to go all out in the trade war with China, and even the iPhone may not be spared

    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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    • The Costco Auto Program allows Costco members to buy discounted cars through participating dealerships.
    • The program makes a lot of the hardest parts of buying a car — like research and negotiation — easier.
    • But it also limits the customer's options in some areas.


    Shopping for a car can be overwhelming.

    Even if you know what kind of vehicle you're looking for, you have to decide on the brand, model, and model year you'd like, as well as the dealership you want to use, whether you'd like to buy new or used, and whether you want to buy or lease.

    Where do you start your research? Which sources can you trust? What's a reasonable price?

    The Costco Auto Program attempts to eliminate some of that uncertainty.

    Read more: How to use your Costco membership to rent a car

    In the past five years, over 1 million Costco members have purchased a vehicle through the program, which allows members to research and compare vehicles, calculate monthly payments, and get a discount at participating dealerships through the program's website or call center.

    While the size of the discount varies based on the vehicle's class, brand, and model, a Costco Auto Program representative told Business Insider in March that the average discount was over $1,000 off a vehicle's average transaction price.

    And since the program is available only to its members, Costco has plenty of reasons to vet dealers and salespeople so their customers don't end up feeling tricked and blame Costco.

    "We're not just providing leads to dealers — we're creating a referral," Rick Borg, a Costco Auto Program senior executive, told Business Insider in March.

    Here's how using the Costco Auto Program is different from the average car shopping process.

    SEE ALSO: I visited Target and Best Buy on Black Friday — and I couldn't believe how empty they were

    1. You have to be a Costco member to use the program.

    This may sound obvious, but while nonmembers can use some of the program's research tools, only Costco members are eligible to get the discounted price.

    2. Multiple strands of research are condensed into one place.

    One of the most difficult parts of shopping for a car is figuring out where to start and end your research, especially if you don't read car reviews for fun.

    The Costco Auto Program brings reviews, safety ratings, a financial calculator, and a vehicle-comparison tool under one roof.

    While it never hurts to compare research from multiple sources, the program's website provides a good place to start.

    3. Your choice of dealerships and salespeople is limited.

    Borg said Costco works with one dealership per brand in a defined geographic area around a Costco warehouse — and at each participating dealership, only a handful of salespeople are authorized to work with customers shopping through the program.

    He said Costco picks dealerships based on prices, customer satisfaction index scores, and reputations on social media. Authorized salespeople are also evaluated based on their customer satisfaction scores and must work at their dealership for at least six months before they are eligible to work with the program.

    But the limited number of dealerships and salespeople makes things a little more difficult for customers who don't end up satisfied with the first dealership Costco recommends. While Borg said Costco can point customers to other participating dealerships, they may not be geographically convenient.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump

    • General Motors announced that the automaker will stop producing cars at three North American plants and reduce its salaried workforce by 15%.
    • According to some analysts, GM's move could convince President Donald Trump to move forward with tariffs on imported cars and trucks.
    • But given Trump's fickle approach to trade policy, a swift reaction isn't guaranteed.

    General Motors' announcement that the company would shutter three North American factories — two in the US —could help inspire President Donald Trump to move forward with tariffs on imported cars and trucks.

    Chris Krueger, a policy analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group, told Business insider that GM's announcement on Monday could add more fuel to Trump's desire to impose a 25% tariff on all cars, trucks, and auto parts coming into the US.

    "Perhaps he does a mea culpa on his steel tariffs, but what seems far more likely is that he doubles down with auto and auto parts tariffs," Krueger said in an email.

    Trump has long wanted to slap import restrictions on cars coming from Europe, Japan, and other countries to provide a boost for American manufacturers. Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, has said the president asked him why all cars couldn't be made in America.

    The move would be economically devastating, economists say. A study from the Peterson Institute of International Economics found that a 25% auto tariff would cause auto production in the US to fall by 1.5% over the first three years and result in a net loss of 195,000 jobs. 

    Read more: A new study found that Trump's trade war could take a gigantic bite out of the US economy

    Krueger's thinking goes that Trump could use the announcement as an example of why the US needs the tariffs — to protect the remaining auto manufacturing jobs in the US.

    "Protectionist arguments tend to win the day with Trump," Krueger said.

    But the president's fickle nature on trade policy makes the timing and exact reason for any move a guessing game, said Ed Mills, a policy analyst at Raymond James.

    "Trying to figure out whether Trump will impose tariffs is a little bit of presidential game theory and a little bit of psychoanalysis," Mills said. "Will he see these headlines and try to reverse the job losses through tariffs? It's hard to tell."

    Mills said that Trump has banked a lot on revitalizing the industrial sector in the US. Given that Trump has received the report necessary to impose the tariffs, Mills said, there's certainly a chance the tariffs could be on the way.

    While tariffs were not directly mentioned in GM's announcement, GM recently reported that Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum will cost the company $1 billion this year. Given this soaring cost pressure, there is a good chance that the tariffs played a part in GM's decision, said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    "I would guess that the import tariffs probably accelerated the move," Alden told Business Insider. "GM is eliminating its lower margin passenger vehicles to concentrate on higher-margin products, and the rising cost of steel probably made made those lower margin vehicles even less attractive than they already were."

    But while Trump's tariffs may have made an indirect contribution to GM's decision, Alden said he doesn't think that GM's move will feed back to Trump's auto tariff decision.

    "With the possible exception of the steel and aluminum tariffs, I don’t think the administration generally uses tariffs to 'protect' beleaguered US industries," Alden said. "The purpose is more to give the president a big club to try to force changes in the trading practices of other countries. So I don’t think this will make a difference."

    For his part, Krueger was confident that regardless the impetus for the move, there is only one outcome in the end.

    "Tariffs are coming," he said.

    SEE ALSO: Trump attacks GM, says they 'better damn well open a new plant' in Ohio after the automaker announces layoffs and factory shutdowns

    Join the conversation about this story »

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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.

    driftaway coffee gifts mother's dayTeachers form the backbone of our educational system. They teach us everything we need to know in and beyond the classroom, and with endless enthusiasm, patience, and compassion along the way.

    As the year winds down, it's only proper to show them some love and appreciation. Teaching any age group — kids, teens, adults — is a difficult job that most of us can only attempt to understand. So, as you say goodbye before winter break, make sure to give your teacher the thanks they deserve. 

    They have more than enough mugs in their cabinet by now that you probably shouldn't default to giving them one, no matter how witty the slogan on it is. Instead, give them one of these 25 thoughtful and useful gifts. If you're not already one of their favorite students, you surely will be after they receive something from this list.

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

    A fragrant candle

    Gift an Otherland Candle, $36

    These sophisticated coconut and soy wax candles come in scents ranging from refreshing Canopy (fig, ivy greens, mint) to rich Chandelier (champagne, saffron, leather). The beautiful look, delightful scents, and personalized matchbox make this candle gifting experience special


    A detailed poster of the opening lines from famous novels

    Gift the Pop Chart Lab 'Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels', $30

    English and grammar teachers will appreciate this chart diagramming the opening lines from 25 famous works of fiction. After admiring the partitioned, color-coded picto-grammatical representations, they'll want to read the books all over again. 


    A portable tea set

    Gift the Zens Mobile Moon Portable Tea Set, $49.99

    Don't just give them the tea infuser. Give them the cups and a handy carrying case, too, so they can enjoy a hot cup at work or at home. The glass teapot has an integrated infuser plus two indentations for easy holding, and the tea cups are double-walled and resistant to high temperatures. All the pieces fit snugly in the eye-catching hardshell case so they can take their favorite tea from home to school and beyond. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Watches_be12f45d 53c9 45af a509 (1)

    MVMT, one of our favorite watch brands, is having a huge extended Cyber Monday sale to ring in the holidays. Now through Thursday, November 29, you can get up to 25% off the entire site.

    Their selection of watch designs ranges from timeless to innovative and edgy. One thing that's consistent throughout the brand is its affordability, and this sale makes it even better.

    Sales like this don't come around often, so right now is likely the best time to get one. Whether you're shopping for someone special this holiday season or picking up a watch for yourself, you're not likely to beat this deal.

    If you're looking for reviews, we ranked them as the makers of the best minimalist women's watches on the market, and their new $300 automatic watch is one of the best values in automatic watches we've come across — though it appears to be excluded from the Black Friday discounts.

    Shop all items at MVMT now

    Below you can find some of the best things on sale right now for up to 25% off. Prices may differ by lens and frame color.

    SEE ALSO: Allbirds has dropped a limited-edition sneaker for Cyber Week — and it's selling out quickly

    DON'T MISS: Mott & Bow's incredibly comfortable jeans are up to 35% off as an extended Cyber Monday deal

    Men's Watches: Gunmetal Sandstone

    Gunmetal Sandstone, $114.75 (Originally $135) [You save $20.25]

    Monochrome Black Box

    Monochrome Black Box, 208.25 (Originally $245) [You save $36.75]

    Slate Combo Box

    Slate Combo Box, $153 (Originally $180) [You save $27]

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Brooklinen, $225

    • Brooklinen's biggest and only sale of the year ends tonight.
    • Now through November 27, the more you spend, the more you'll save — up to 20% off orders of $450 or more.
    • We ranked Brooklinen as the makers of the best luxury sheets, the best sateen sheets, and the best duvet cover on the internet. Find the startup's seven best-sellers below.
    • To potentially save more during Cyber Week, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    Brooklinen is one of our favorite brands to cover — from its core and luxe bedsheets to its latest Brooklittles line for babies and toddlers. However, it's not known for holding sales. Prices are usually low enough to warrant what is essentially a year-round sale in itself.

    But Black Friday and Cyber Monday are exceptions; Cyber Week is its biggest and only sale of the year.

    This year, the popular startup is offering steep discounts. Now through November 27, you can take advantage of the following deals:

    If you're looking for a new pair of sheets, or you've been waiting for an additional discount as an excuse to try out luxury bedding, this is probably the best time of the year to invest. And in terms of value per dollar, Brooklinen is a particularly great deal.

    They look great, feel even better, and can vastly improve your quality of sleep — which, in turn, improves quite a few other areas of your life. When six hours feels like eight, it's easier to operate in the way that you want in your day-to-day.

    You can check out its full range of options here, but we're fans of the Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle for every day (with a duvet cover, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and four pillowcases for $228 if you're buying for a queen). Insider Picks editor Ellen Hoffman described them as one of the best purchases she's ever made.

    In our comprehensive Buying Guides, we ranked Brooklinen sheets the #1 best luxurious sheets and the best sateen sheets you can buy. Its Down Comforter (queen, $349) is the best we found from a startup, and its Classic Duvet Cover (queen, $109) is another best-in-its-category on the internet. It also makes great, blanket-sized towels (Bath Sheets, two for $89). 

    If you're looking for something that adds some warmth and softness for the designated "cozy" winter season, I can't recommend the Twill Hardcore Sheet Bundle (queen, $189) enough. It's made to feel like your favorite worn-in flannel, and the twill fabrication allows the yarns to move more freely, creating an overall more forgiving, softer experience. As I've mentioned in my review of them, they'll make you wake up and wish you were working from home every day.

    When it comes to Brooklinen, our experience is that it's pretty difficult to go wrong.

    Take advantage of extended Cyber Monday Brooklinen discounts here.

    Below are some of Brooklinen's best sellers:

    SEE ALSO: Allbirds has dropped a limited-edition sneaker for Cyber Week — and it's selling out quickly

    Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle

    The queen-size Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle is $213 before a discount is applied

    Available in 15 colors. 

    • Luxe Core Sheet Set (one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases)
    • Luxe Duvet Cover
    • Luxe Pillowcases (an extra pair)

    Find a full review of the sheets here. We also ranked them the #1 best luxury sheets and the #1 best sateen sheets in the Insider Picks Buying Guides. 

    Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle

    The queen-size Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle is $129 before a discount is applied

    Available in 15 colors.

    • Classic Core Sheet Set (one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases)
    • Classic Duvet Cover
    • Classic Pillowcases (an extra pair)

    Super-Plush Complete Towel Set

    The Super-Plush Complete Towel Set is $189 before a discount is applied

    Available in four colors. 

    • Two "Bath Sheets"
    • Two bath towels
    • Two hand towels
    • Two washcloths
    • Bath mat

    Find a full review here.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woman business coffee

    • Life changes will shift your perspective of personal and societal issues.
    • Here, author Charyn Pfeuffer details eight ways her life has changed unexpectedly by age 45.


    Like a lot of people, I was raised to think about life in a particular way. You go to college, land a steady 9-to-5 job, meet "The One," and then swap a promise and a piece of paper before getting down to raising a family.

    Somewhere in there, you may adopt a pet, or take the next big step and buy a house. This typically happens between a man and woman, who once coupled, remain linked in almighty monogamous bliss until "death do us part." I never bought into this fairy tale, although the storyline was pushed throughout my childhood and 20s.

    Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine, though, that I'd have the life I have now at 45. I steered clear of societal norms or pressures, and my life continues to grow more abundant and fulfilling every single day.

    Here are 8 ways my life looks entirely different than I ever imagined:

    SEE ALSO: 7 hard truths about adulthood that my 20-year-old self would never have understood

    1. I didn't follow a typical career path

    I'm an art school dropout who somehow landed a successful freelance writing career. After dropping out of college and returning to the restaurant industry, I answered a job post asking: "Would you like to play Cupid?"

    Despite being completely unqualified, I landed a job co-managing a 10-page section of the Philadelphia Weekly and the writings of more than 500 dating hopefuls.

    Every week, I received dozens of letters asking relationships questions, so I started writing a dating advice column in the Personals section (in a pre-Carrie Bradshaw era), and other local publications took notice.

    I began freelancing for Philadelphia-area newspapers and magazines and had a few serendipitous breaks on the New York City media scene. I quit my full-time gig, and more than two decades later, I've never looked back.

    2. I haven't gotten married

    I'm in no way long-term relationship averse. In fact, I love being loved and being in love. I just never saw the need to legally seal the deal with formalities or a big event.

    I've been proposed to on several occasions, but the answer has always been "no." Still, I never 100% ruled out marriage. I guess I always thought if it was super important to a partner, I'd maybe consider it.

    Although marriage was never a priority for me, it's somewhat surprising that I've managed to make it to 45 and have some really great relationships without this ever becoming a big issue.

    Read more: 4 reasons why I'm never getting married

    3. I haven't had children, despite societal pressures

    I feel way more maternal toward four-legged friends than human babies. Although I've been told nonstop since my early 20s that not having children would be the biggest regret of my life, I'm pleased to report that at 45, I feel absolutely no remorse.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    michelle obama 1

    Michelle Obama's new memoir, "Becoming," is chock-full of never-before-heard stories from the former first lady's childhood and eight years in the White House.

    Obama is startlingly candid about a wide variety of topics, from her shock after learning that Donald Trump had won the 2016 presidential election to her being labeled an "angry black woman" by racists.

    There are plenty of heartfelt moments too, such as the kindness that President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush showed her after her husband, President Barack Obama, was elected, and the time she and her daughter Malia snuck out of the White House.

    It's these anecdotes that made the book a top-seller on Amazon for Cyber Monday.

    "Becoming," which Oprah Winfrey has already selected for her book club, is on sale wherever books are sold.

    Here are some of the most interesting anecdotes Obama shares in the book:

    • Her family's focus on education alienated Obama from her friends on the South Side of Chicago growing up. She recalls that one day, when she was about 10, a cousin asked her, "How come you talk like a white girl?" While she denied it at the time, Obama wrote that the accusation "held a kernel of something that was confusing for both of us," adding, "We seemed to be related but of two different worlds."
    • A pivotal moment of Obama's life was when a college counselor told her she wasn't "Princeton material"despite being in the top of her class at a magnet school, in student government, a member of the National Honor Society, and the sister of a current Princeton student. She decided to apply anyway and got in. "I wasn't going to let one person's opinion dislodge everything I thought I knew about myself," she said.
    • When she got to Princeton, she realized that the other students weren't smarter than her, as she had been led to believe. "I tried not to feel intimidated when classroom conversation was dominated by male students, which it often was. Hearing them, I realized that they weren't smarter than the rest of us. They were simply emboldened, floating on an ancient tide of superiority, buoyed by the fact that history had never told them anything different."

    Michelle Obama

    • She was not impressed with Barack before she met him in 1989, when he was assigned as her mentee while he completed a summer associateship at her law firm. The office assistants, who had seen him come in to interview, said he was cute, but Michelle said she was "unmoved" by the picture she saw of him in the staff directory: "a less than flattering, poorly lit headshot of a guy with a big smile and a whiff of geekiness."
    • She described Barack's style as "challenged." She recalled one night, before they started dating, when she invited him to a happy hour with her friends. "He changed out of his work clothes, I noticed, and was wearing a white linen blazer that looked as if it'd come straight out of the Miami Vice costume closet. Ah well."
    • Five-year-old Sasha was less than impressed with the White House when Michelle took her daughters on a tour in 2006, when Barack was a senator. When the tour guide said they were moving on to the Red Room, Sasha looked up "and blurted, in the unquiet voice of an aggrieved kindergartner, 'Oh nooo, not another ROOM!'"
    • After the 2008 presidential election, the Bush family invited the Obamas to the White House, as is tradition. Barack's favorite part of the tour was the gym— something he shared with President George W. Bush. Michelle's was seeing her future dressing room, which offered a view of the Rose Garden and the Oval Office. Laura Bush said that Hillary Clinton "had shown her this same view when she'd first come to visit the White House eight years earlier," and that "eight years before that, her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, had pointed out the view to Hillary." Michelle said that looking out that window reminded her "that I was part of a humble continuum."

    Read more: Melania Trump never reached out to Michelle Obama for advice on being first lady

    Barack and Michelle Obama 8

    • On her husband refusing the $100,000 in federal funds to move to and redecorate the White House: "As long as I've known him, he's been this way: extra vigilant when it comes to matters of money and ethics, holding himself to a higher standard than even what's dictated by law. There's an age-old maxim in the black community: You've got to be twice as good to get half as far."
    • They blasted Beyoncé in the presidential limo after walking the parade route during Barack's first inauguration.
    • On what it felt like to become the first black first lady: "As the only African American First Lady to set foot in the White House, I was 'other' almost by default. If there was a presumed grace assigned to my white predecessors, I knew it wasn't likely to be the same for me. I'd learned through the campaign stumbles that I had to be better, faster, smarter and stronger than ever. My grace would have to be earned."
    • On how the custom Jason Wu gown she wore to her first inaugural ball made her feel ready to take on the role of first lady: "The dress resurrected the dreaminess of my family's metamorphosis, the promise of this entire experience, transforming me if not into a full-blown ballroom princess, then at least into a woman capable of climbing onto another stage. I was now FLOTUS — First Lady of the United States — to Barack's POTUS. It was time to celebrate."

    barack and michelle obama

    • Obama said she had to walk a "thin line" when it came to dressing. "I was supposed to stand out without overshadowing others, to blend in but not fade away. As a black woman, too, I knew I'd be criticized if I was perceived as being showy and high-end, and I'd be criticized also if I was too casual. So I mixed it up. I'd match a high-end Michael Kors skirt with a T-shirt from Gap. I wore something from Target one day and Diane von Furstenberg the next."
    • She noticed two things at her husband's first speech before a joint session of Congress. The first was the lack of diversity, which she called "glaring" and "embarrassing" for "a modern multicultural country." She was also disappointed in the behavior of the Republicans, who "stayed seated through most of" his speech, "appearing obstinate and angry, their arms folded and their frowns deliberate, looking like children who hadn't gotten their way." She said that after the event, she wondered whether "there was any path forward."
    • She found life in the White House patriarchal. "Barack was now surrounded by people whose job was to treat him like a precious gem. It sometimes felt like a throwback to some lost era, when a household revolved solely around the man's needs, and it was the opposite of what I wanted our daughters to think was normal."
    • On why she decided to start the White House garden: "I knew what mattered to me. I didn't want to be some sort of well-dressed ornament who showed up at parties and ribbon cuttings. I wanted to do things that were purposeful and lasting."

    michelle obama

    • She was giving a speech when news of the Sandy Hook shooting broke. As soon as she wrapped up, her aides informed her of what had happened and said her husband wanted her to return to the White House right away. "This would be the only time in eight years that he'd request my presence in the middle of the work day," she said, adding: "When I walked into the Oval Office, Barack and I embraced silently. There was nothing to say. No words."
    • Bo and Sunny, the family's two dogs, acted as surrogates of sorts for Malia and Sasha. "Knowing that Malia and Sasha were basically off-limits, the White House communications teams began requesting the dogs for official appearances ... They made excellent ambassadors, impervious to criticism and unaware of their own fame."
    • Michelle was extremely anxious on election night 2012. The first lady sent a text to aides early in the night to ask how things were going, but she didn't get a response and feared that Mitt Romney had pulled ahead. She said she was "just about ready to pass out from the anxiety" when Barack entered their bedroom, completely relaxed. "We're kicking butt," he said. "It's basically done." She later learned that the service on her phone had disconnected and that her texts never sent.

    obama inauguration

    • Michelle and Malia sneaked out of the White House to see the presidential residence bathed in rainbow lights after the monumental Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015. They strode past guards but ran into issues when the door they were trying to use was locked. Staff members led them to loading doors where they were able to get out to view the lights together. "Malia and I leaned into each other, happy to have found our way here," she said.
    • Queen Elizabeth II had a sassy remark when she urged Michelle to sit next to her on the drive back to Windsor Castle during their last meeting, even though Michelle and Barack were told that Barack would get that seat. "'Did they give you some rule about this?' [the queen] said, dismissing all the fuss with the wave of her hand. 'That's rubbish. Sit wherever you like.'"
    • On why she decided to give a speech supporting Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention: "Since childhood, I'd believed it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level. And to be clear, we were now up against a bully, a man who among other things demeaned minorities and expressed contempt for prisoners of war, challenging the dignity of our country with practically every utterance."

    Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton Chelsea Clinton Barack Obama Michelle Obama

    Read more: Michelle Obama said she 'stopped even trying to smile' at Trump's inauguration

    • Her reaction when Donald Trump announced his candidacy, in a press conference during which he called Mexican immigrants "rapists": "I figured he was just grandstanding, sucking up the media's attention because he could. Nothing in how he conducted himself suggested that he was serious about wanting to govern."
    • She said she'd "never forgive" Trump for calling into question her husband's citizenship. Michelle said that when Trump started questioning Barack's citizenship, "it seemed he was just making noise in general, surfacing on cable shows to offer yammering, inexpert critiques of Barack's foreign policy decisions and openly questioning whether he was an American citizen." She said she found the birther controversy "crazy and mean spirited ... its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed." With all the hatred directed at her husband and family, she grew concerned about their safety. "Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family's safety at risk. And for this, I'd never forgive him."
    • On Trump's "grab them by the p---y" tape: "My body buzzed with fury after hearing that tape," she said, adding that she decided to address it directly at a speech for Clinton the following week. "I felt compelled to try to address Trump's words directly — to counter his voice with my own."
    • Obama said she was baffled at how women supported Trump in the 2016 election. "I will always wonder about what led so many women, in particular, to reject an exceptionally qualified female candidate and instead choose a misogynist as their president."

    SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama said she 'stopped even trying to smile' at Trump's inauguration

    DON'T MISS: Michelle Obama opens up about the first time she saw Barack and what their first kiss was like

    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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    paul manafort donald trump.JPG

    • Justice Department veterans are flummoxed that lawyers representing Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign, are still in touch with Trump's lawyers following Manafort's guilty plea.
    • "It is absolutely not normal for a convicted felon and now cooperator to continue to loop in a potential target's attorneys on the relationship with the prosecutor," one former DOJ attorney said.
    • There is no official guideline that bars lawyers for different sides of an investigation from communicating with one another, but such communications could severely undermine, or even tank, a cooperation deal.
    • The special counsel Robert Mueller said on Monday that Manafort breached his plea deal by lying to investigators. Manafort's team said he did not lie, and a source with direct knowledge of the matter told INSIDER his plea deal with Mueller remains intact.
    • By staying in touch with Trump's team while cooperating, experts said Manafort could be trying to keep all his options open, including angling for a potential presidential pardon.

    As Paul Manafort's name winds up back in the headlines this week, DOJ veterans say there's one big question they want an answer to: Why is Manafort's legal team still communicating with lawyers representing President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation?

    Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy and obstruction charges and has since been cooperating with the special counsel. But on Monday, Mueller's office said in a new court filing that Manafort had breached his plea deal by lying to investigators.

    Prosecutors said "the nature of the defendant's crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement," freed them of any obligation from the plea agreement.

    Trump's lead defense lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also indicated that the agreement may be unraveling when he told CNN on Tuesday that Manafort's lawyers told him they're running into trouble with Mueller.

    "We discuss things that are appropriate," Giuliani said. "[Manafort's team is] in control of it. I have no idea what else they're questioning them about. I don't want to know."

    Read more: Paul Manafort's plea agreement with the feds is in jeopardy as Mueller accuses him of lying to investigators

    Giuliani told INSIDER earlier this year that Manafort was in a joint defense agreement with Trump. But when a defendant flips and agrees to a plea deal, it requires that they pull out of any joint defense agreements they're party to.

    "It is absolutely not normal for a convicted felon and now cooperator to continue to loop in a potential target's attorneys on the relationship with the prosecutor," said Jeffrey Cramer, a former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the DOJ.

    "I doubt many prosecutors have had defendants who burn up the phone lines talking to an opposing counsel who may end up cross-examining him some day," he said.

    NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Robert S. Mueller III, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks at the International Conference on Cyber Security (ICCS) on August 8, 2013 in New York City. The ICCS, which is co-hosted by Fordham University and the FBI, is held every 18 months; more than 25 countries are represented at this year's conference. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

    'A pardon is still the holy grail for Manafort'

    Things between Manafort and Mueller have been shaky for a while. Earlier this month, ABC News reported that talks between the two sides had broken down.

    Since pleading guilty, Manafort has met with prosecutors nearly a dozen times, and though members of Mueller's team have been asking him about a wide range of topics, they're "not getting what they want," a source with knowledge of the discussions told ABC News.

    The dispute between the two sides reportedly stemmed from suspicions that Manafort was not being entirely forthcoming about all the information he may know that's relevant to the Russia investigation.

    "It appears as though Paul Manafort may have been pushing a counternarrative that, unknown to him, was belied by a mountain of evidence in the special counsel’s possession," Ilene Jaroslaw, a former federal prosecutor from the Eastern District of New York, told INSIDER.

    A source with direct knowledge of the matter told INSIDER on Tuesday that Manafort's plea deal with Mueller is still intact.

    There is no technical or legal guideline that bars an attorney for one target of a criminal investigation from communicating with lawyers representing another target, whether or not a joint defense agreement exists.

    But such communications could severely undermine, or even tank, a cooperation agreement if lawyers for one side revealed too much information to lawyers on the other side.

    Paul Manafort

    "If as a prosecutor I was dealing with Manafort's attorneys, I'd have made clear from day one that any communication with Trump's attorneys, or other attorneys for other subjects, would jeopardize the cooperation," Elie Honig, a former prosecutor from the Southern District of New York who specialized in organized-crime cases, told INSIDER.

    Manafort's guilty plea came after a lengthy court battle, during which his lawyers put up an aggressive defense against Mueller by challenging his authority and arguing that he had overstepped the scope of his mandate when he charged Manafort with crimes unrelated to Russian collusion.

    Legal experts said at the time that Manafort's refusal to flip could have been part of an effort to angle for a presidential pardon. His lawyers' unusual decision to stay in touch with Trump's team, even after pleading guilty, may point to the same strategy.

    Read more: Trump rips Mueller for 'ruining lives' of people 'refusing to lie' after Jerome Corsi says he will reject Mueller's plea offer

    "It does seem that Manafort is trying to keep all his options open for as long as possible," Cramer said. "He is a career fraudster so he is consistent, if nothing else. He was easily convicted and then decided to cooperate rather than go through another trial and more prison time being added to his sentence."

    "But a pardon is still the holy grail for Manafort," he added.

    Trump, for his part, appears to grow more heated with Mueller and the Russia probe every day.

    The president has alternated between defending and distancing himself from Manafort. Giuliani told INSIDER earlier this year that Trump would not consider whether or not to pardon his former campaign chairman until after the Russia probe had concluded.

    But even if Trump pardons Manafort, it doesn't mean he would be out of the woods.

    "Manafort cannot count on a pardon, even if he were promised one," Jaroslaw said. "His assets are forever forfeited, and he remains vulnerable to prosecution for state offenses, such as tax evasion."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    donald trump

    • President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to cut subsidies to General Motors.
    • The threat came a day after GM announced plans to halt production of cars and parts at factories in Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio.
    • "The US saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!" Trump tweeted. "We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars."
    • A tax credit to GM consumers who buy electric cars was already set to be slashed in 2019.

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to cut subsidies to General Motors over the automaker's plans for layoffs and factory shutdowns.

    "Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The US saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars."

    GM on Monday announced that the company planned to stop producing vehicles at three factories — one apiece in Michigan, Ohio, and the Canadian province of Ontario — and lay off as many as 15,000 workers by the end of 2019. Additionally, the company plans to shutter engine factories in Maryland and Michigan. The automaker said the changes were necessary to adjust to changes in the industry.

    The company's announcement was blasted by Trump and lawmakers of both parties. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Trump seemed to threaten the company if a new plant in Ohio were not opened shortly.

    "They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly," Trump said.

    Read more:Trump attacks GM, says they 'better damn well open a new plant' in Ohio after the automaker announces layoffs and factory shutdowns

    While it wasn't immediately clear which subsidies Trump had in mind, GM cited a shift toward electric cars in Tuesday's announcement. GM customers receive a $7,500 tax credit when purchasing a fully electric vehicle from the company, but that credit shrinks to $3,750 once an automaker has manufactured more than 200,000 electric cars. GM will pass that threshold in 2018, meaning consumers are already in line to get a smaller credit next year.

    Trump's comments came shortly after Larry Kudlow, his top economic adviser, suggested that the White House could try to prevent the layoffs and factory shutdowns by making adjustments to incentives GM receives from the government.

    "There is disappointment that they would rather build cars in China rather than the United States," Kudlow told reporters at a White House press briefing on Tuesday. "We are going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and others, whether they should apply."

    Also Tuesday, Trump blasted GM's decision to build factories outside the US.

    "General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) - don't think that bet is going to pay off," Trump said. "I am here to protect America's Workers!"

    Following Trump's tweet, shares of GM fell to their lowest point of the day, trading down roughly $1 a share, or 2.6%, as of 2:25 p.m. ET.

    SEE ALSO: 'Tariffs are coming': GM's massive layoffs could spur Trump to hit imported cars and trucks with tariffs, a potentially devastating move

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • A hacker can do everything from hijacking a corporate email account to draining millions of dollars from an online bank account.
    • Though many hackers may have malicious intent, some wear white hats and help companies find security holes and protect sensitive content.
    • Below we explore some of many jobs a hacker can do for you.


    Some parts of the web are the online equivalent of dark alleys where shady characters lurk in the shadows.

    Afraid your girlfriend is cheating on you? There's a hacker on the dark web who can get you into her email and social media accounts; that is, if you don't mind sliding past legal or ethical boundaries.

    These days you don't have to delve too deeply into the recesses of the dark web to find hackers — they're actually quite easy to find.

    For instance, you can easily hire an ethical hacker on Fiverr for as little as $5. These so-called "white hats" help protect your website from malicious attacks by identifying security holes and plugging them.

    Other hacking sites openly advertise services of questionable legality, offering illicit access to everything from Skype and Gmail to your college grades. InsideHackers' warns in its Terms of Service that hacking is a "dangerous industry" and "very, very risky business."

    In a 2016 report, Dell's SecureWorks found that the underground marketplace is "booming" because hackers are "extending their hours, guaranteeing their work, and expanding their offerings" to lure in customers.

    Whether you're in need of a hacker or just curious about the industry, here are seven hacks for sale right now and what they may cost, according to the SecureWorks report and other advertisements on the web.

    Note: Prices are listed in US dollars, but some hackers prefer to be paid in Bitcoin.

    SEE ALSO: 7 underrated European cities you need to visit

    1. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack: $5 - $25 per hour

    Kaspersky Labs reports that the average price for a DDoS attack is $25 per hour.

    According to Kaspersky, you can pay just $5 for a five-minute attack and $400 to overwhelm a server, blocking legitimate users, for a whole day. The SecureWorks report quotes a slightly lower price of $5 an hour or $30 per day.

    2. Online bank heist: $40 and up

    According to the SecureWorks report, you'll pay a hacker 1% to 5% of the money you drain from an online bank account in return for their getting you into it.

    To hack a US-based account and steal $1,000, for example, you would have to pay a hacker around $40, and accounts with smaller balances actually result in higher fees, according to the report.

    3. Rewards points transfer: $10 to $450

    To siphon loyalty program credits from someone's account, the price depends on the number of points in the account.

    The SecureWorks report lists hacks for hotel rewards points starting at $10 for 50,000 points, up to $200 for 1,000,000 miles.

    Frequent flyer miles on US airlines start at $60 for 200,000 miles. $450 will buy you 1,500,000 miles and, most likely, a trip around the world (perhaps to a country without an extradition treaty).

    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.

    Screen Shot 2018 11 26 at 9.22.25 AM

    Cyber Monday offers great deals on tech as well as home — two expenses it can be hard to commit to without steep discounts, despite how much you might need them. In this case, it's not just Cyber Monday — some stores are extending their sales through the rest of this week.

    Wayfair always has great deals, but some of its steepest discounts are happening now. If you're looking to do a total interior design upgrade, or even if you're just on the hunt for a very specific piece of furniture like a couch or ottoman, Wayfair is a solid place to start searching for a deal.

    Right now, you can still save up to 80% on home goods and furniture in the following categories:

    With the new year coming up, it's the perfect time to to refresh any room of the house with new furniture, linens, or decor, and this is likely the best time of the year to do so. You could save thousands by doing your home goods shopping today rather than later in the month.

    While you're at it, you might also want to check out some of the other deals we've scoped out — like the best deals for your kitchen, and the best vacuum and mattress sales.

    You can shop the full Wayfair Cyber Monday sale selection here, and below are some of the most noteworthy deals you might want to check out:

    1. Mauldin Two-Door Accent Cabinet, $306.64 (originally $624.88)[You save $318.24]
    2. Meadows Hall Tree, $144.21 (originally $269) [You save $124.79]
    3. Macon Etagere Bookcase, $125.60 (originally $249) [You save $123.40]
    4. Wayfair Basics Ergonomic Executive Chair, $99.99 (originally $264.33) [You save $164.34]
    5. Bedias Platform Bed, $383.96 (originally $718.20)[You save $334.24]
    6. Caden 10-Light Sputnik Chandelier, $111.22 (originally $225)[You save $113.78]
    7. Lynn Wooden Entryway Bench, $71.68 (originally $168) [You save $96.32]
    8. Green Fir Artificial Christmas Tree, $44.99 (originally $69.99) [You save $25]
    9. Birch Lane Coat Rack, $130.14 (originally $509) [You save $378.86]
    10. Ione Server, $130.99 (originally $261.74)[You save $130.75]
    11. Abigail Five-Piece Dining Set, $267.99 (originally $359.99)[You Save $92]
    12. Wasser Coffee Table, $115.06 (originally $269) [You save $153.94]
    13. Timothy Manual Glider Recliner, $262.99 (originally $379.99) [You save $117]
    14. Kearney Sectional, $1,502.99 (originally $2,331.28) [You save $828.29]
    15. Marchese Credenza, $709.99 (originally $1,250) [You save $540.01]
    16. Wampler Kitchen Cart, $298.33 (originally $620) [You save $321.67]
    17. Nobles Storage Ottoman, $143.99 (originally $350) [You save $206.01]
    18. Simmons Curv 4-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper, $60.99 (originally $269.99) [You save $209]
    19. Sertapedic 6-Inch Firm Innerspring Mattress, $443.99 (Originally $624.99) [You save $181]
    20. Pamula Sofa, $688.99 (originally $1,900) [You save $1,211.01]

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

    cyber monday 4x3

    The best deal roundups

    The best individual deals

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Mark Zuckerberg Facebook employees

    • A former Facebook employee has accused the company of failing to deal with racism and failing to build an inclusive workplace.
    • In a goodbye note to colleagues he subsequently shared publicly, Mark S. Luckie wrote: "Facebook has a black people problem."
    • The former Twitter and Reddit employee said that "racial discrimination is real" and that black employees are marginalized.

    Former Facebook employee Mark S. Luckie's goodbye note starts bluntly: "Facebook has a black people problem." 

    Luckie, the company's strategic partner manager for influencers before quitting in November, sent a 2,500-word memo to his colleagues earlier in the month before posting it publicly on Facebook on Tuesday. It details his experiences of racism at the company, and what he says are the company's failures to build a more inclusive workplace that is supportive of people of color.

    "Facebook’s disenfranchisement of black people on the platform mirrors the marginalization of its black employees," he wrote. "Too many black employees can recount stories of being aggressively accosted by campus security beyond what was necessary.

    "On a personal note, at least two or three times a day, every day, a colleague at MPK [Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park] will look directly at me and tap or hold their wallet or shove their hands down their pocket to clutch it tightly until I pass ... To feel like an oddity at your own place of employment because of the color of your skin while passing posters reminding you to be your authentic self feels in itself inauthentic."

    Luckie, who has also worked at The Washington Post, Twitter, and Reddit, said that teams needed to hire more diverse workers, and that "uunderrepresented groups are being systematically excluded from communication."

    Black employees can be treated unfairly — including being considered "hostile" for acting in a similar manner to white colleagues — and have concerns that they can't speak out without risking "jeopardizing our professional relationships and our career advancements," he added.

    Luckie's criticisms open up a crisis on a new front for Facebook, which is already reeling from multiple scandals around its business — from Cambridge Analytica to its role spreading hate speech amid genocide in Myanmar, and the company's attempts to smear its critics with a line of attack that has been called anti-Semitic.

    Black employees currently make up 4% of Facebook's workforce, according to its 2018 diversity report, and make up 1% of the total number of employees in technical roles. Just 2% of the company's senior leadership is black employees. 

    In an emailed statement, Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison wrote: "Over the last few years, we’ve been working diligently to increase the range of perspectives among those who build our products and serve the people who use them throughout the world. The growth in representation of people from more diverse groups, working in many different functions across the company, is a key driver of our ability to succeed.

    "We want to fully support all employees when there are issues reported and when there may be micro-behaviors that add up. We are going to keep doing all we can to be a truly inclusive company."

    Luckie added: "In some buildings, there are more 'Black Lives Matter' posters than there are actual black people. Facebook can’t claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren’t represented proportionately in its staffing."

    Do you work at Facebook? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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    afm case

    • Acute Flaccid Myelitis, a polio-like illness affecting mostly young children, is spreading across the US.
    • Officials at the Centers for Disease Control said on Monday the number of cases has spiked in the last month, with now 286 suspected cases.
    • AFM affects the nervous system, causing paralysis that can lead to potentially deadly respiratory failure.
    • Doctors aren't sure what causes the rare illness, but some believe a certain virus may be responsible for the recent uptick in cases.

    The outbreak of a polio-like disease called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) keeps growing, with more than 130 new suspected cases across the United States in the last month.

    Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed on Monday that the number of suspected AFM cases has grown to 286, though medical experts are still baffled as to what is causing the spike in the rare illness. Last month, the number of suspected cases was at 155.

    The number of confirmed cases is now at 116 in 31 states. That's a stark increase from the end of October, when there were just 62 confirmed cases in 22 states.

    Last week, the CDC announced that they were forming a task force to address the outbreak.

    "I want to reaffirm to parents, patients, and our Nation CDC’s commitment to this serious medical condition," CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement. "This Task Force will ensure that the full capacity of the scientific community is engaged and working together to provide important answers and solutions to actively detect, more effectively treat, and ultimately prevent AFM and its consequences."

    acute flaccid myelitis

    AFM is a condition that mostly affects young children, with 90% of the cases in this recent outbreak affecting those under the age of 18. The average patient age is four years old.

    The disease can often start with what appears to be a common cold, but patients will then begin to lose control of their arms and legs. Especially bad cases can deteriorate to potentially deadly respiratory failure.

    Last year, one person died from AFM in the US.

    Read more:People in dozens of states have come down with a rare polio-like illness this year — here's what to know about it

    acute flaccid myelitis map cdcMedical experts still don't know much about the rare disease, which strikes just one in 1 million Americans. It's believed that viruses like polio, West Nile, and various enteroviruses (which cause the common cold) may be linked to AFM.

    The children involved in this outbreak have tested negative for polio and West Nile.

    Doctors and researchers who have been treating patients with AFM in the latest outbreak say they believe a virus called EV-D68 may be responsible for the recent uptick in cases.

    One thing researchers have noticed is that since 2014, the number of cases seems to spike every two years in August or September, the Washington Post pointed out.

    afm cases reported

    The CDC officials said they decided to speak out about the outbreak so that parents can be on the look out for the symptoms. There is no known cure for the disease, but children who are diagnosed earlier on have been able to gain at least some movement with intense physical therapy.

    The officials said that parents can try to prevent the disease by making their kids regularly wash their hands, keep them up to date on their vaccinations, and spray them with insect repellent when they go outdoors to prevent mosquito bites.

    "As a parent myself, I understand what it is like to be scared for your child," Messonnier said. "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now. We recommend seeking medical care right away if you or your child develop sudden weakness of the arms or legs."

    SEE ALSO: Here's what to know about AFM

    DON'T MISS: Minnesota is grappling with an outbreak of AFM

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The first woman in space almost didn't make it back to Earth and she had to keep it a secret for 30 years

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