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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.


    With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rearview mirror, you might think that the best online shopping deals are now nothing but a distant memory. If you missed the sales on the big days, couldn't commit to a purchase day of, or just remembered something you really wanted to buy but totally forgot — you're in luck. Some of the best Cyber Monday sales have been extended so you can still shop them right now.

    We already scoured the web to see what sales and deals are still going on out there, and we're impressed with the continued savings. From the niche startups to big-box retailers, there's plenty of stores still hosting great deals you can take advantage of right now. 

    Read on for 13 great Cyber Week deals that are still going on right now:

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

    A Hulu subscription for just 99¢ a month

    Hulu Subscription, $0.99/month for 12 months (usually $7.99/month) [You save $7/month or $84/year]

    If you're trying to cut your cable costs or have been wanting to get set up with a streaming service, this deal is too good to pass up. You can get an annual Hulu subscription for just $0.99 a month. That means a year's worth of access to thousands of TV shows and movies, including Hulu originals and shows that are on cable right now, all at a monthly price that's less than your morning latte. 

    Buy one, get one free eyewear (plus an extra 15% off) at EyeBuyDirect

    EyeBuyDirect Traveller Glasses, frames starting at $27.22 (originally starting $32) [You save $4.80+]

    EyeBuyDirect is one of our go-tos for stylish and affordable eyewear. If you like to have a few different frame options that you can switch up with your outfits rather than just one everyday pair, you'll love EyeBuyDirect's huge selection. Right now is a great time to stock up on some fun frames with EyeBuyDirect's extended Cyber Monday sale. When you buy one pair, you'll get another free, plus an extra 15% off your order with the code "GOBOGO" at checkout.

    Shop all eyewear deals at EyeBuyDirect here >> 

    Save 25% or more on great denim and basics from Mott & Bow

    Mott & Bow Jane Mid-Rise Skinny, $81 (originally $108) [You save $27]

    Mott & Bow was built on the idea that consumers should be able to get premium denim at a lower price. They've delivered on this promise with comfortable, flattering, and quality-made denim that hovers around $100 a pair. They've also expanded into cashmere sweaters, and even shirts and T-shirts, which are all made with the same mantra in mind. Right now, you can save 25% on everything at Mott & Bow, but you'll save 30% on your order if you spend over $200, or 35% on your order if you spend over $300. 

    Shop denim, sweaters, shirts, and more at Mott & Bow here >>

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    casper mattress cyber monday 15% off

    In the last few years, a lot of online mattress startups have popped up. They've taken out the middlemen and the accompanying costs of showrooms. As a result, the same or superior mattresses are offered for less money and hassle than the brick-and-mortar store.

    Of the many startups out there, Casper may be king.

    The company has become synonymous with successful online startups, and has expanded from its first mattress sale in 2014 to begin selling sheets (which we reviewed here), pillows (find our review here), and even dog beds. (you bet we had one of our dogs try the bed). It also doesn't hurt that every mattress comes with a 100-night money-back guarantee and a 10-year warranty, which is pretty much par for the course in the industry.

    In other words, Casper is a grown-up cult-favorite, and the company owes a lot of that success to a really great mattress, the convenience of no-hassle home delivery, and pretty awesome prices.

    On a regular day, you can get the company's best-seller, The Casper, from $595 for a twin size, and the streamlined Essential mattress from as low as $350. The upgraded high-end mattress, The Wave, comes in at $1,250 to start.

    For Giving Tuesday, you can get a 10% off mattresses when they apply the code "GIVING10" at checkout. So, for example, if you add a queen-size Casper Wave Mattress ($2,250) to your cart, you'll save $225 on your purchase.

    If you've been meaning to get a new mattress — or bedding of any kind — now is a great time to act. Casper's prices are already low to remain competitive, and sales don't happen often.

    Get 10% off Casper mattresses with the code "GIVING10"

    If you're interested in learning more before committing to a Casper mattress, these guides will help you out:

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

    cyber monday 4x3

    SEE ALSO: Brooklinen's only sale of the year ends Tuesday night — here's how to save up to 20% on sheets and bedding

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    feminist shirts wildfang

    All too often, products that say they're feminist are actually just mass produced goods that don't represent the principles and values that feminists hold dear.

    We've done the research to find feminist gifts that give back to women and children around the world, so you can feel good about the gifts you give. Some of the brands we've included donate a portion of the proceeds for every item purchased from their stores, while others have special collections of products that give back.

    No matter which gifts you choose from our guide, the feminist in your life will probably love the story behind them just as much as the gifts themselves.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here. Keep scrolling to check out the best feminist gifts that give back to women and children.

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

    Clothing and accessories that give 100% of the price to charity

    J.Crew Garments for Good Collection — only available 11/27-11/29

    In honor of Giving Tuesday, J.Crew has partnered with Girls Inc., HRC, and charity: water to create special collections of products that give back. From November 27-29, J.Crew will donate 100% of each item's retail price to the corresponding charity.

    You can choose from 18 different styles, including sweatshirts, tote bags, T-shirts, and accessories for each charity. We love the Girls Inc. Sweatshirt, which says "girls" in several different languages.

    Girls Inc. is a nonprofit that was founded in 1864 to empower girls and young women from age 6 to 18. The charity provides "safe spaces, mentorship and programming to help them build lasting skills to succeed and create systemic change." 

    HRC and charity: water are also wonderful organizations to support. HRC works to ensure equal rights for LGBTQ people and charity: water provides fresh drinking water to those who don't have access to it.

    Gifts that are handmade by women artisans

    Shop all artisan handmade goods at Globe In 

    Globe In sells Fair Trade, handmade products that are produced in ethical working conditions by workers who are compensated fairly for their labor. Many of the workers are women who would otherwise have no employment or means of supporting themselves or their families. Each product description says where it was made and who made it. You can also read about the positive impact Globe In's special gift boxes have had on local communities.

    Feminist clothing that fights back with every purchase

    Shop all Wildfang clothing and accessories

    Wild Feminist Pride Edition T-Shirt, $40

    Wildfang was founded by a woman and continues to be run by women. The brand's offerings include cool basics, suiting, gender neutral apparel, as well as feminist clothing and accessories. We really love the Wild Feminist line, which includes T-shirts, beanies, button-up shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories. Wildfang makes a donation to select charities with every single purchase.

    "We walk the walk, giving back $400,000 and counting this year," Wildfang's website says, "In 2017, we helped raise over $75,000 for charities including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Joyful Heart, and the Tegan and Sara Foundation ... Additionally, a percentage of all full price goods across our entire site go directly to a rotating monthly charity." You can see all the charities Wildfang has supported here.




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    Robert Mueller

    • The special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly probing a 2017 meeting between former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno.
    • Mueller is said to be asking specifically about whether Manafort and Moreno discussed WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, during the meeting.
    • Manafort was spearheading the Trump campaign when WikiLeaks began dumping batches of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee that had been stolen by Russian hackers.

    The special counsel Robert Mueller is inquiring about a 2017 meeting between Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign, and Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno, CNN reported.

    Mueller is said to be asking, in particular, about whether Manafort and Moreno discussed the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks, or its founder Julian Assange, during the meeting.

    Assange has been seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. CNN's report comes hours after The Guardian reported that Manafort visited the embassy at least three times since Assange began living there, including once in March 2016, around the time he joined the Trump campaign.

    In a statement to INSIDER, Manafort forcefully denied the Guardian's report.

    "This story is totally false and deliberately libelous," he said. "I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him. I have never been contacted by anyone connected to Wikileaks, either directly or indirectly."

    The statement continued: "We are considering all legal options against the Guardian who proceeded with this story even after being notified by my representatives that it was false."

    Manafort was spearheading the Trump campaign when WikiLeaks published thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign at the height of the 2016 election. The US intelligence community believes the breaches and subsequent dissemination of emails were carried out on the Kremlin's orders and that Russia used WikiLeaks as a propaganda tool.

    WikiLeaks dumped the first batch of hacked Democratic emails on July 22, 2016. Days later, on August 2, Manafort met with the Russian military intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik and later said they discussed the Trump campaign and the DNC hack.

    Kilimnik said they did not discuss the campaign but talked about "current events" and "unpaid bills," believed to be a reference to Manafort's financial debt to the Russian-Ukrainian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

    Manafort pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy and obstruction and has been cooperating with Mueller since. But prosecutors said in a late Monday court filing that Manafort has lied to investigators in breach of his agreement, potentially jeopardizing his cooperation deal.

    The agreement between the two sides had been rocky for at least the last few weeks. Earlier this month, ABC News reported that talks between Manafort and Mueller broke down because prosecutors felt the former Trump campaign chairman wasn't being forthcoming about what he knew.

    Among other things, Mueller is known to be asking Manafort what he knows about the Trump campaign's ties to the transparency organization.

    Assange and WikiLeaks are at the center of Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The DOJ has been investigating Assange since 2010 for his role in obtaining and disseminating sensitive information pertaining to US national security interests. It recently surfaced that the DOJ is preparing to indict Assange.

    In a recently unsealed court filing in an unrelated case, assistant US attorney Kellen S. Dwyer asked a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia to keep the matter sealed.

    Dwyer wrote that "due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged," adding that the charges would "need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested."

    Dwyer was reportedly also working on the WikiLeaks case, and people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post that what Dwyer had revealed in the filing was true but unintentional.

    The longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone and the far-right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, both of whom are of interest to Mueller because of their connections to WikiLeaks, have also said in recent weeks that they expect to be indicted soon.

    SEE ALSO: Paul Manafort forcefully denies explosive report that he secretly met with Julian Assange at the height of the 2016 campaign

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Fox News' Harris Faulkner is the only black woman in cable news with a daily show: 'It's a tremendous amount of responsibility'

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    corporate gifts

    A company is nothing without its employees. Whether you manage a lean team of five out of a coworking space or oversee thousands across offices nationwide, you know that your employees are invaluable to the success of your business — and you want to thank them beyond simply paying a salary. 

    Skip the tired and cheap corporate gifts and surprise your employees this year with these elevated, thoughtful, and useful options instead. Some come from our favorite startups, while others are just a click away on Amazon. Go the extra mile by customizing them with company colors, a logo, or a personal touch that truly shows your appreciation. 

    These 21 corporate gifts are sure to wow your employees. 

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

    Gourmet gummies from Sugarfina

    Submit a corporate gift request at Sugarfina here

    Give your employees a sweet treat they'll remember with a Sugarfina Candy Cube or Bento Box. Packaged thoughtfully in clear acrylic boxes, these candies were made for gifting. You can choose from over 100 fun and unique candies and customize the box with a special message or company logo. 

    Nylon tote bags from BAGGU

    Request a custom quote at BAGGU here

    These waterproof nylon totes hold 50 pounds of stuff, fold down to a fraction of their size to fit in your back pocket, and can be customized to let your employees flaunt where they work. As eco-friendly practices become more than a passing trend, you'll only see more of BAGGU's stylish yet functional bags out on the streets. 





    Chocolate covered strawberries from Shari's Berries

    Request a business gift quote at Shari's Berries here

    Peak indulgence is a box of strawberries dipped in rich milk, white, or dark chocolate, and maybe even sprinkled with nuts or chocolate chips. Shari's Berries are our favorite chocolate covered strawberries and they might just become your employees' favorite too after they try them. 




    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kirsten gillibrand

    • A host of top Democratic donors say they won't donate to or raise funds for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's potential 2020 bid after she led the charge in ousting fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken last year amid sexual misconduct charges. 
    • Gillibrand defended herself on Monday, arguing that the women who accused Franken of groping, forcible kissing, and other alleged wrongdoing deserve to be believed. 
    • But some of Gillibrand's supporters worry the criticism from powerful donors will scare off other Democrats and undermine the senator's higher ambitions. 

    When Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand led the charge in pressuring former Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat, to resign last year amid mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, many hailed the move as both moral leadership and smart politics. 

    As a majority of Democratic senators followed her call, Gillibrand cemented her status as an unapologetic defender of women's rights and boosted her credentials on the progressive left. 

    But nearly a year later, many Democrats — including some of the party's wealthiest donors — remain convinced that Franken's ouster was unjust — and more than a dozen party patrons told Politico on Monday that that they blame Gillibrand and, as a result, will never donate to or raise funds for her potential 2020 bid.

    Gillibrand fought back against the criticism on Monday, reasserting her argument that the women who accused Franken of groping, forcible kissing, and other alleged wrongdoing deserve to be believed. 

    "Silencing women for the powerful, or for your friends, or for convenience, is neither acceptable, nor just," she wrote

    The senator's supporters insist she made the right move, but they're privately concerned that the blowback will hurt her. 

    Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Kirsten Gillibrand

    'We love blaming women' 

    Many of Gillibrand's allies see the resistance to her decision as gendered. They insist Franken was already on his way out when Gillibrand wrote a Facebook post pressuring him to resign last December — and argue that Democrats couldn't have held the moral high ground on these issues without a zero tolerance policy. 

    "We love blaming women," one progressive Democratic donor, who asked for anonymity to protect relationships with other Democrats, told INSIDER.  

    "What KG is being maligned for is believing women," Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, tweeted Monday. "We have nothing that resembles due process for these claims and we saw with Kavanaugh that survivors coming forward incur serious consequences. KG has always shown that survivors have somewhere to turn." 

    Gillibrand's spokesperson, Glen Caplin, also issued a defense of the decision, arguing that morality should always take precedent over political expediency. 

    "Leadership means standing up for your values when it's hard. Kirsten has never been afraid to stand up for what she believes in and never will be. You can disagree with her views, but holding her accountable for someone else's behavior towards women is wrong, and her values aren't for sale," Caplin said in a statement to Politico.

    The progressive donor argued that the criticism of Gillibrand isn't coming from any of her longtime supporters, but rather from those, like billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who supported Franken and never had skin in the game for Gillibrand. 

    "This very aggressive posturing is trying to scare off support and trying to convince her not run," he said. "It's not reflecting a deeply-held position other than hard-nosed politics."

    'His voice is missed' 

    While Gillibrand remains broadly popular among Democrats (she was re-elected this year with 66% of the vote — and received nearly 400,000 more votes than New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo), it's clear that many in the party hold a grudge against her over Franken.  

    The former "Saturday Night Live" star remains beloved among many on the left. 

    Mitch Draizin, a New York hedge fund founder and Democratic donor, doesn't think Franken deserved to be pushed out ("I don't really think Franken did anything that bad compared to other things we've seen," he said), but added that he wouldn't base his support for Gillibrand on that single decision — and would back her in 2020 if she's the strongest contender. 

    "Perhaps she had no other choice given the women’s movement," Draizin told INSIDER. "I think she could have gotten caught up in the moment — you don't know what counter-veiling forces were there." 

    Richard Ravitch, a real estate developer and former lieutenant governor of New York, is more critical of Gillibrand. 

    "I don't think it disqualifies her," he told INSIDER. "I just don't like or respect what she did." 

    It's likely too early to know whether the ongoing backlash against Gillibrand will undermine her 2020 chances. And some argue a strong grassroots campaign could overcome resistance from a few powerful voices. 

    "I would hope that the voters would decide and not the donors," Jeff Gural, a New York real estate developer and Democratic donor, told INSIDER. "I don't think raising the most money is the most important thing anymore."

    But Gillibrand's allies are privately concerned that enough voters agree with these donors and have a long memory. 

    "I actually think a lot of progressives are really mad," the progressive donor said, adding that the public attacks from donors "might work." "I think a lot of good, solid progressives … liked Al Franken and all they remember is Kirsten Gillibrand pushed him out and it wasn’t even that bad."

    SEE ALSO: Mississippi's Republican Senate candidate is feeling the heat after it's revealed that she attended a 'segregation academy' and celebrated the Confederacy

    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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    Have you woken up in the wrong city? Gotten into a bar brawl with a colleague? Drunkenly confessed something completely devious to a superior? Or perhaps you were witness to a colleague's disaster of epic proportions?

     Business Insider wants to hear your best (worst?) office holiday party stories!

    Share your experience in the anonymous Google form below, and we may include your response in our annual roundup of holiday office party tales.

    SEE ALSO: 21 of the wildest office holiday party stories we've ever heard

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    dagne dover 5

    • Dagne Dover, one of our favorite places to shop for leather, neoprene, and canvas bags to carry for work and beyond.
    • From November 20 through November 28, it's offering 20% off sitewide with the code "GRATITUDE". 
    • There are three collections to shop from: the canvas Signature Collection, the Leather Collection, and the neoprene 365 Collection
    • 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.

    Here at Insider Picks, we can't recommend the company Dagne Dover enough if you're looking for sophisticated, high-quality bags. 

    These bags aren't just arm candy though — from office-appropriate gym bags to premium laptop bags, they're designed to be highly functional and tailored to the needs of a modern working woman. 

    From November 20 through November 28 at Dagne Dover, you can get 20% off the bags that have never failed us. This deal applies online and at its holiday pop-up at 419 Broome St. in New York. 

    That means no tote, clutch, wallet, or backpack is left out. This Cyber Week sale is the best time of the year to gift yourself or a fellow girl boss one of Dagne Dover's timeless looks from its Signature Collection or a new, seasonal style.

    See our top picks for what you should buy below, or shop all of Dagne Dover's bags here.

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

    SEE ALSO: 16 feminist gifts that give back to empower women and children around the world

    READ MORE: 13 worthwhile Cyber Monday sales and deals that are still going on right now

    DON'T MISS: All of our holiday gift guides, in one place

    Weston Laptop Bag

    Weston Laptop Bag, $108-$124 (originally $135-$155) [You save $27-$31] 

    This bag protects your important tech from water and other elements, and it's very comfortable to carry. With a laptop sleeve, a trolley sleeve, interior Airmesh and zipper pockets, and an exterior pocket, it's the only bag you need to carry on your out-of-office days. Find our review of the Weston Laptop Bag here.

    Dakota Backpack

    Dakota Backpack, $140 (originally $175) [You save $35]

    Backpacks typically conjure up associations with school kids and traveling, but this neoprene backpack is sophisticated enough to bring to work. Find our review of the Dakota Backpack here.

    Allyn Tote

    The Allyn Tote, $276 (originally $345) [You save $69]

    One of the company's best sellers is the large work bag that Insider Picks editor Ellen Hoffman carries every day. It's not cheap, but this sale at least brings the price to under $300. Find our review of the Allyn Tote here.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    christmas lights christmas tree holidays

    Black Friday, like a groundhog escaping its shadow on Groundhog Day, ushers in the holiday shopping season with harried enthusiasm. Retailers slash prices by as much as 75% to their lowest of the year, and shoppers oblige by stocking up on the essentials, now-justifiable splurges, and, of course, holiday gifts.

    This year, among the Echo Dots, Instant Pots, Ancestry DNA tests, books by Michelle Obama, and Bose QuietComfort headphones bought on Amazon during Cyber Week were also a mass of Christmas lights. Prime members ordered so many of them via Prime Now that holiday lights were a best seller on a record-breaking weekend in the company's history.

    Amazon is also offering discounts on Christmas lights (most of which you can still shop) but Prime Now may be an even more advantageous way to shop if you have a Prime membership — it has discounts of up to 50% on holiday lights depending on your zip code, and the service offers two-hour delivery in contrast to Amazon's two days for Prime members. And as a relatively new and thereby under-utilized branch of Amazon, Prime Now offers frequent discounts, like $10 off your first order and $20 off your first order if you're an Amex cardholder with the code "AMEX20" at checkout (expiring November 30). However, Prime Now isn't available in every city yet. 

    With Cyber Monday over (with the exclusion of a few sales), people will begin the happy labor of bedecking the halls for the holidays, leisurely stocking up on gifts they'll inevitably give, and panic-booking mid-January trips to help beat the depression of seasonal cold and darkness. 

    But if you're behind on the Christmas lights bandwagon — or just can't bear the thought of untangling yours this year — it's worth grabbing some while they're still included in Amazon's Cyber Week sales (which are likely to peter out by November 30) or get some delivered to your door through Prime Now

    Shop holiday lights at up to 50% off on Prime Now for a limited time

    Shop holiday lights at up to 40% off on Amazon for a limited time

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    k9 sports bag

    When it comes to gifting the dog owner in your life, you know that few things would make them happier than something that either speaks to them as a dog fanatic or directly benefits their pups. Sure, you could get them the usual, tried-and-true calendar of cute dog photos or a fun chew toy and call it a day, or you can go the more unconventional route. 

    With these unique gifts, you can ensure their dog is always hydrated, comfortable, and entertained. Meanwhile, there are also a few gifts in here for the owners themselves, to remind them of their utter devotion to the world's greatest animal.

    Next time you want to gift a dog parent, check out these 22 gift ideas first.  

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

    A custom printed pillow

    Custom Photo Pillow, $39, available at Canvaspop

    Most owners have framed photos of their dogs, but how many do you know that have entire pillows dedicated to them? On Canvaspop, they just upload their favorite photo onto the 18"x 18" plush pillow to make a unique home decor piece. 

    A portable water and food bowl

    Grab and Go Dog Dinette, $20.95, available at UncommonGoods

    This on-the-go accessory includes both a water and food compartment for those all-day trips. The canine canteen is attached to a five-foot nylon leash, so they can still hold everything with one hand. 


    A blueprint of a specific dog breed

    Dog Blueprint, $185, available at UncommonGoods

    These detailed, mid-century blueprints include "design specs" and information about the breed origins and temperament. There are over 100 dog breeds are available to choose from. 

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    Robert Mueller

    • The special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly has several emails from 2016 between the GOP strategist Roger Stone and the far-right commentator Jerome Corsi.
    • In the emails, the two men discuss WikiLeaks' upcoming document dump.
    • In one email, sent three days after WikiLeaks published its first batch of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, Stone reportedly instructed Corsi to "get to" WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
    • Eight days later, Corsi reportedly replied that Assange "plans 2 more dumps."
    • Corsi later reportedly deleted all of his emails that were sent or received before October 11, 2016.
    • The same day, Corsi reportedly emailed Stone about WikiLeaks' upcoming document dump.
    • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort then met with a former Russian intelligence operative and said they discussed the recent DNC hack and the Trump campaign.
    • Manafort has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors, while Corsi said he expects to be indicted soon for perjury.

    Three days after the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks dumped the first batch of Democratic National Committee emails obtained by Russian hackers, the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone reportedly emailed his associate, Jerome Corsi, instructing him to "get the pending emails."

    The email surfaced in a bombshell report from NBC News, which alleges that the special counsel Robert Mueller has documentary evidence showing that Corsi anticipated a WikiLeaks document dump at the height of the 2016 election.

    Prosecutors laid out the email in a statement of offense, a court document detailing charges against a defendant, that Mueller's office sent to Corsi, according to NBC News. Along with the statement of offense, prosecutors also sent Corsi a draft plea agreement which said Mueller would accept Corsi requesting a sentence of probation if he agreed to plead guilty to one count of perjury.

    Corsi told reporters on Monday that he had rejected Mueller's plea-deal offer, saying he would not "lie to save my life." Both he and Stone deny knowing in advance about WikiLeaks' plans.

    Corsi and Stone are at the center of Mueller's investigation into whether any associates of President Donald Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans to release hacked DNC emails in 2016, and whether they assisted in disseminating the materials.

    Here's a rough timeline of what we know:

    • WikiLeaks published the first batch of hacked DNC emails on July 22.
    • Three days later, on July 25, according to the statement of offense obtained by NBC News, Stone emailed Corsi and told him to "Get to (Assange) [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending (WikiLeaks) emails."
    • Corsi reportedly told investigators that he rebuffed Stone's request, but prosecutors had evidence showing that Corsi in fact forwarded Stone's request to Ted Malloch, a right-wing commentator in London. Malloch was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury earlier this year.
    • Eight days later, on August 2, Corsi touched base with Stone to tell him about the upcoming document dump. "Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," Corsi reportedly wrote to Stone. Corsi was likely referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. "One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct," Corsi wrote. "Impact planned to be very damaging."
    • "Time to let more than [Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC," Corsi reportedly added, referring to Clinton. "That appears to be the game hackers are now about."
    • A little over two weeks later, on August 21, Stone tweeted that Podesta would "soon" be targeted.
    • On October 7, WikiLeaks published a damaging batch of emails belonging to Podesta.

    Jerome Corsi

    NBC News reported that prosecutors said between January 13, 2017, and March 1, 2017, Corsi deleted all emails from his computer that were sent or received before October 11, 2016. They included his correspondences with Stone and Malloch.

    Meanwhile, on August 2, 2016, the same day Corsi emailed Stone anticipating WikiLeaks' document dump, then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with the former Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik and later said they discussed the Trump campaign and the DNC hack that had taken place just days before.

    Read more: There's a huge question looming over Paul Manafort's unraveling plea deal with Mueller

    Kilimnik said they did not discuss the campaign but talked about "current events" and "unpaid bills," believed to be a reference to Manafort's financial debt to the Russian-Ukrainian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

    Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction charges in September and has since been cooperating with Mueller. Media reports have said prosecutors have spent a significant amount of time asking Manafort about the Trump campaign's and Stone's ties to WikiLeaks, but talks between the two sides have broken down because prosecutors think Manafort isn't being forthcoming about what he knows.

    On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that Manafort met with Assange at least three times over the last five years: in 2013, 2015, and most recently in March 2016, around the time he joined the Trump campaign.

    Manafort issued a statement to INSIDER denying the report's claims and called it "libelous." Manafort added that he was "considering all legal options" in response.

    CNN also reported that Mueller is probing a 2017 meeting between Manafort and Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno. The special counsel is reportedly focusing on whether Manafort and Moreno discussed WikiLeaks or Assange during the meeting.

    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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    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and members of his staff head to the floor of the Senate for the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh U.S. Capitol October 06, 2018 in Washington, DC. After days of testimony, weeks of protest and an additional five days of FBI investigation into accusations of sexual assault, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate, 50-48. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • Republicans have to tackle a handful of must-pass legislation in the lame duck session or risk not being able to keep President Trump's word on his campaign promises.
    • Congress has to fund the government and reauthorize the Farm Bill, or risk a partial shutdown.
    • There are also a number of key bipartisan issues facing resistance from leadership and the White House that senators are looking to push through in the final weeks of 2018.

    WASHINGTON — During the lame duck session, the period after the election but before the new Congress convenes in January, lawmakers typically have a long list of legislation they want to push through in the final two months of work.

    This year's lame duck session has a handful of things Republicans want to get to President Donald Trump's desk before Democrats take back the majority control they earned on Election Day. But first, Republicans will have to pass the remaining funding to avoid another partial government shutdown — and even that is tied to highly controversial proposals.

    While funding the government is must-pass legislation, many Republicans see the end of the year push as the final chance to secure the funds to build Trump's long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border.

    Read more: Jeff Flake threatens to block Trump's judicial nominees until Senate votes on bill to protect Mueller

    To make matters worse, Trump has repeatedly threatened to veto a funding bill if it does not have money for his border wall included.

    "Could happen, yeah. Over border security," Trump told reporters on Thanksgiving when asked about the prospect of a government shutdown. "The wall is just a part of border security — a very important part. Probably the most important part. But could there be a shutdownThere certainly could. And it will be about border security, of which the wall is a part."

    The threats from Trump to cause a government shutdown over wall funding are nothing new, but Republicans often fear finding an agreeable path forward until Trump gives his blessing. And at the current moment, the House and Senate funding bills look very different, with the House plan offering $5 billion to beef up border security compared to $1.6 billion in the Senate bill.

    Last minute initiatives

    A major criminal justice reform proposal is being considered as well, but has also been the cause of a lot of Republican infighting over the bill's specifics.

    While proponents of the First Step Act want to see it passed before the Congress disbands at the end of the year — and Trump himself has pushed for the bill to be considered — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has remained hesistant to move anything forward out of fear the Republicans opposed to it could create divisions in the conference.

    Spearheading the White House's effort to move the bill has been Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also attended the Senate Republicans' closed door lunch on Tuesday alongside Vice President Mike Pence in an effort to cultivate support.

    According to multiple senators in the room, Kushner did not speak, but Pence did, offering vigorous support for the bill.

    When lawmakers emerged, McConnell told reporters that Republicans "had an extensive discussion" about criminal justice reform. In addition, McConnell said they would begin whipping the conference to gauge support for "not only the substance, but the timing of moving forward with [the legislation]."

    A farm bill reauthorization hangs in the balance as well, with major differences between the House and Senate versions creating a jam.

    The House version wants work requirements for able-bodied individuals receiving food stamps. While Trump and most Republicans back that proposal, the Senate's version does not have it included, making it particularly difficult to get through when you also need to pass a 60-vote threshold with only 51 Republicans.

    Controversial legislation hanging in the balance

    The fate of US support for Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen makes its way to the Senate floor this week, with many Republicans and Democrats looking to invoke the War Powers Resolution and offer their first rebuke to the Trump administration for its tepid response to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    Both Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are briefing senators on the US-Saudi relationship on Wednesday, but some have find this unsatisfactory and are looking for further answers from CIA Director Gina Haspel.

    "I want somebody from the intel committee to come debrief the Congress about what the gang of eight and the president have heard about [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman]," Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters on Tuesday. "The strategic relationship is important, but the conduct of butchering a man in your consulate violates every norm of civilized society. And what makes the world a more dangerous place is when there are no more rules left — when America looks the other way."

    Graham, who is not backing the effort to invoke the War Powers Resolution, also noted Trump's response to the killing of Khashoggi, saying that while he understands the White House role is about a "strategic relationship," there is more at stake than just business.

    "The difference I have is I think to give MBS a pass if he clearly is complicit — if — is a huge mistake for regional stability, sets us back in terms of our ability to hold the world together, and takes our voice off the table in a credible fashion."

    Another pressing issue, which has created headaches for McConnell, is retiring Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake's pledge to not support judicial confirmations until he receives a floor vote for the bipartisan bill aimed at putting protections in place in the event Trump tries to fire Robert Mueller, who is heading the special counsel tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

    McConnell has the ultimate say on what makes it to the floor and has signaled he would block any attempts to bring the special counsel protections to a vote. But Republicans who are uneasy with Flake's tactics have showed some signs of breaking.

    During an interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt early Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn acknowledged the Mueller protection bill could potentially get a vote in the coming weeks.

    "There is a possibility we will have a vote on the Mueller, so-called Mueller protection bill, but I think there really is some serious Constitutional issues on that, and I certainly don’t support it," Cornyn said.

    It is still a long shot, and Republicans can still confirm the large slate of Trump's judicial nominations without Flake's support. But it certainly makes it difficult having to bring in Pence for tie-breakers over and over again.

    SEE ALSO: Democratic opposition to Nancy Pelosi's bid for speaker of the House has virtually collapsed

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

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    craigslist encounters kremer johnson 17

    • Photographers Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson turned to Craigslist to recruit complete strangers as photo subjects in their series "Craigslist Encounters."
    • The ad simply asked for "interesting people to photograph" in LA for $20 an hour in return. 
    • The resulting portraits are hauntingly beautiful.

    Photographing strangers is a necessity for many photographers. However, not many actively seek out complete strangers as subjects.

    As a personal project, the duo behind LA-based photography studio Kremer Johnson sent an ad into the Craigslist universe asking for "interesting people to photograph" for $20 an hour in return. 

    They initially wanted to photograph just one subject.

    The resulting images, compiled into a photo series dubbed "Craigslist Encounters," ended up featuring 65 complete strangers in intimate and unique settings.

    Business Insider spoke to Neil Kremer about the series. Take a look at the portraits.

    SEE ALSO: This photographer captured shots of New Yorkers on their way to work for 10 years — and it shows how repetitive a commute can be

    Photographers Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson originally set out to photograph just one subject through their Craigslist ad.

    The simple ad stated that interesting people were needed as portrait subjects, that they would be compensated $20 per hour, and that Johnson and Kremer would come to them at their convenience.

    Not long into the project, Kremer said they realized they wanted to go further with it.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters before heading into a Democratic caucus meeting in the Capitol on Nov. 14.

    • Newly-elected House Democrats are jockeying for power as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi scrambles to assemble the required votes to be elected Speaker in the new Congress. 
    • A letter drafted by Michigan Rep.-elect Elissa Slotkin is being passed around the large freshman class, asking Pelosi to place incoming Democrats on powerful committees, among other demands. 
    • "Make no mistake, we are united in the belief that the Class of 2019 has a responsibility and mandate for change in the U.S. Congress," the letter reads. 

    Playing on their powerful numbers following a "blue wave" election, newly-elected House Democrats are jockeying for power as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi scrambles to assemble the required votes to be elected Speaker in the new Congress. 

    A letter drafted by Michigan Rep.-elect Elissa Slotkin is being passed around the large freshman class, demanding that Pelosi and other Democratic leaders place incoming Democrats on the powerful Appropriations, Rules, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Financial Services committees. 

    It holds that the incoming class (which will make up more than 25% of the caucus) was elected on a mandate of change — and that Democratic voters want them to be a "driving force" in the legislative process.

    While it's not clear who will sign the letter besides Slotkin, the demand acknowledges that the new lawmakers aren't necessarily united on policy specifics. More than two-thirds of the class will represent red-leaning districts while others, like Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, were elected on leftist platforms in deep blue districts to replace longtime Democratic incumbents.

    "We are a diverse group. Politically and ideologically, we have different views," the letter reads. "But make no mistake, we are united in the belief that the Class of 2019 has a responsibility and mandate for change in the U.S. Congress."

    It calls for new members to fill two spots on the Steering and Policy Committee (which handles the party's communications messaging and committee assignments), for all bills to be available for review for 72 hours before a vote, and for monthly meetings to discuss legislation with leadership. 

    Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, is pushing for a seat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, which would give her influence over health care, environmental issues, and energy policy — an opportunity to forward some of her key campaign promises, including single-payer healthcare and a Green New Deal. 

    Rep.-elect Elissa Slotkin on election night in Michigan.

    This comes as Pelosi is working fastidiously behind the scenes to convince her colleagues — new and old — to support her bid for speaker, as an insurgent group of Democrats pushes for new, younger leadership. 

    The minority leader and her allies argue that her fundraising prowess, significant legislative accomplishments, recent electoral victories, and a lack of any strong progressive alternative should be enough to vault her to the speakership. Pelosi has said she's "100 percent" confident she'll return to her former position as speaker in the new Congress, citing "overwhelming support" in her caucus.

    Read more: Nancy Pelosi is using gender to win over progressives in her fight to become House speaker

    And the effort to replace Pelosi — spearheaded by a group of largely centrist lawmakers — took a blow last week when Rep. Marcia Fudge, who'd been put forward as a potential challenger, announced she wouldn't run for speaker after Pelosi promised to revive a subcommittee on elections and name Fudge its chair. 

    Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts centrist and one of the leaders of the anti-Pelosi faction, released a statement on Monday suggesting he would be open to negotiating with Pelosi — suggesting that her two veteran deputies Reps. Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn be replaced. 

    But while Pelosi is expected to win the support of a majority of the Democratic caucus during a Wednesday closed-door vote, her opposition insists it has the votes to derail her bid on the House floor. 

    SEE ALSO: Nancy Pelosi is using gender to win over progressives in her fight to become House speaker

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

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    donald trump jerome powell

    • President Donald Trump laid into the Federal Reserve and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell once again.
    • "So far, I'm not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay. Not even a little bit," Trump said, using Powell's nickname.
    • Trump also blamed the Fed for the layoffs at General Motors and the stock market's recent wobbles.

    President Donald Trump continued to point the finger at the Federal Reserve for any and all bad economic news during an interview with The Washington Post published Tuesday.

    The president blamed the Fed's interest-rate hikes for the recent stock-market wobbles, as well as General Motors' big round of layoffs and factory-closure announcement, according to The Post.

    "I'm doing deals, and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed," Trump said. "They're making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me."

    Trump also used the opportunity to once again blast Fed Chairman Jerome "Jay" Powell.

    "So far, I'm not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay. Not even a little bit," the president said. "And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off base with what they’re doing."

    The Fed began a slow and steady interest-rate hiking cycle in December 2015, well before Trump took office, because of the relative strength of the US economy.

    But ever since the stock market started stumbling in recent months, and the economy has shown some signs of strain, Trump has blasted the rate hikes as the source of America's economic ills. The president has even gone so far as to call the Fed's rate hikes "loco" and said in Tuesday's interview that "the Fed is a much bigger problem than China."

    Trump has also singled out Powell on multiple occasions for continuing to support the rate hikes. In fact, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is reportedly now the subject of Trump's ire because Mnuchin supported Powell during the selection process.

    While the stock market's uneven footing is due to a variety of factors, one of those being the rate hikes, the GM announcement appears to be unrelated. The automaker announced that four US plants in three states would be idled because of falling demand and industry trends moving away from the products made at those factories.

    Trump's attacks raise decades-old fears

    Trump's attacks on the Fed generally worry economists and other market watchers because the abuse harkens back to President Richard Nixon's pressure on then-Fed Chairman Arthur Burns.

    Read more:Trump keeps bashing the Fed, calling the central bank 'loco' and 'crazy.' An ugly economic lesson from the Nixon administration shows why his criticism is so worrying

    Though done in private, Nixon pressured Burns to keep interest rates low before the 1972 election in order to keep the economy humming. In basic economic theory, the Fed's interest rates make it more expensive for companies and consumers to borrow money. This helps fulfill the Fed's goal of keeping inflation low, but also slows economic activity.

    Nixon was successful in convincing Burns to keep rates low, which helped to contribute to the disastrous stagflation of the 1970s and damaged the US economy in the long run.

    While Trump's pressure may not be as tactful as Nixon's — and may in fact backfire — the specter of the incident still looms large over president-Fed interactions.

    SEE ALSO: Trump threatens to slash GM subsidies after the automaker announced layoffs, factory closings

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly in 2017: 'I regret a lot' of the controversial stuff I've said on live television

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    romaine lettuce field

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli that has sickened at least 65 people across the US and Canada.
    • Investigators are zeroing in on the romaine-growing region in central and northern California as the source of the outbreak. Romaine lettuce that was not grown in California has been deemed safe to eat.
    • This is the third time in less than 12 months that romaine lettuce has been deemed dangerous to eat.
    • The problem shows how difficult it can be to control a supply of fresh, uncooked produce that touches water and dirt, and changes hands countless times before it reaches consumers.
    • Still, fresh produce is not the deadliest source of pathogens that we eat. That prize goes to meat.  

    Salad eaters, rejoice: romaine lettuce is safe to eat again, as long as the leaves aren't from California.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week that it is investigating an E. coli outbreak that spans at least 12 US states and three Canadian provinces. So far, at least 65 people have gotten sick. 

    The CDC originally warned the public not to eat any romaine lettuce, just two days ahead of Thanksgiving. Simply "throw it away," officials advised.

    But investigators have now zeroed in on some end-of-season Californian lettuce from the state's Central Coast growing region as the outbreak's culprit.

    "Romaine lettuce that was harvested outside of the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California does not appear to be related to the current outbreak," the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday. "Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine also does not appear to be related to the current outbreak."

    Since it can be tough for consumers to know exactly where their lettuce was grown, the FDA is also proposing some new voluntary romaine salad labeling guidelines. The FDA's proposed labels would include information about where the lettuce was grown and when it was harvested.

    The revision comes as romaine harvesting season winds down in central and northern California, and picks up in lettuce-growing states like Arizona and Florida, as well as Mexico.

    Lettuce-related outbreaks are starting to feel like a wintertime tradition. Seven months ago, another E. coli outbreak in romaine from Arizona killed five people and sickened nearly 200 more. A year ago, one person was killed in another leafy-green outbreak that made 25 people ill. Here's why this keeps happening.

    There's only one way that romaine gets contaminated with E. coli

    romaine farmers

    E. coli is a broad species of gut bacteria (you have some of it in your intestines right now), but the strains that public-health investigators have discovered in sick people's feces recently are not the kind that keep us healthy. Instead, the E. coli in question — called O157:H7 — can make people develop bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and kidney failure. In severe cases, the gut poisoning can kill. It's most dangerous for elderly adults and children.

    An E. coli outbreak in lettuce can only mean one thing: The leaves have poop on them. The feces could come from livestock in a farm close to where lettuce grows, or they could come from washing or watering the lettuce in water that's not clean. The contamination could also come from one of the countless people who touch the lettuce before it reaches consumers' mouths.

    Read More: What is E. coli? 

    It's pretty easy for bits of contaminated soil or water to get lodged into the folds of lettuce leaves. Although washing your produce at home can help reduce the chances of infection, it won't eliminate your risk of getting sick. That's probably why fresh produce accounts for nearly half of all foodborne illnesses in the US. 

    E coli O157:H7

    An easy way to reduce your risk of getting sick, though, is to cut down on the number of hands that touch your leaves before you eat them.

    Tim Richter, a romaine farmer in Puyallup, Washington, told the Associated Press that he encourages his customers to buy their own romaine heads and then wash and chop them at home, rather than buying pre-chopped bags of lettuce. That way, the leaves touch fewer hands, knives, and countertops as they go from soil to table. (Of course the cautionary step won't help prevent infection if lettuce was already contaminated in the field.)

    romaine lettuce growing

    There's probably nothing inherently bacteria-prone about romaine lettuce as compared to other fresh leafy greens. Outbreaks probably just affect more people and are easier to notice when tied to a leaf that's commonly consumed. Lettuce is one of the most common veggies on American plates, and romaine's share of the market has been growing steadily since it was introduced in the late '80s. Romaine and leaf lettuce account for well over 60% of per capita lettuce consumption across the US, according to the USDA.

    "I think that the issue isn't that there's more unsafe food," FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on the day the outbreak was announced. "I think what's happening is that we have better technology than ever before to link outbreaks of human illness to a common pathogen."

    Uncooked leaves are not the deadliest thing on the menu 

    People infected with the O157:H7 strain of E. coli can develop "severe abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea, which may become bloody within 24 hours," according to the Merck Manual.  

    "People usually have severe abdominal pain and diarrhea many times a day. They also often feel an urge to defecate but may not be able to," the manual says. In severe cases, the illness can lead to kidney failure. 

    There's typically no fever involved, and there isn't much that otherwise healthy people can do about the infection besides staying hydrated. It can take anywhere from one to eight days for the illness to pass. 

    salad packaging yuma arizona

    Fresh produce is the most common source of food contamination, but food poisoning from meat and poultry is more deadly.

    Taken together, meat and poultry account for 29% of the foodborne illnesses that kill people, while produce (fruit and vegetables combined) accounts for 23% of deaths. 

    In fact, veggies are not even the worst source of E. coli infections — beef's track record is equally bad. Vegetable row crops (mostly leafy greens) and beef each account for roughly 40% of E. coli cases across the country, according to a 2013 CDC report.

    Chicken and other poultry can also get people really sick — the birds are commonly a source of listeria and salmonella infections. During Thanksgiving, a salmonella investigation was underway for raw turkey that sickened more than 160 people and killed at least one.

    romaine salad e coli

    The good thing about meat is that correct preparation involves an easy "kill step" — cooking it to a high temperature ensures you won't sick. But there isn't a step like that for fresh greens. That's why the CDC urges travelers not to eat fresh salad or unpeeled fruits in developing countries, where night soil (i.e. human manure) might be used as fertilizer, and water used to rinse fruits and veggies may not be clean enough to drink.

    Fortunately, these contamination concerns are less of an issue in the US. Americans consume, on average, nearly 25 pounds of lettuce per person each year. So a couple dozen cases of food poisoning this fall (while miserable for those infected) are still a drop in the proverbial salad bowl.

    SEE ALSO: An E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce has sickened 50 people — here's how to avoid getting sick

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: RANKED: The 10 healthiest leafy greens you should be putting in your salad

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    Iceland fan flag

    • The Legatum Institute's annual Prosperity Index was released on Wednesday.
    • The index looks at more than 100 variables to determine the most "prosperous" country on the planet.
    • Before 2018, Norway held the top spot for eight of the past nine years, only dethroned once by New Zealand in 2016.

    The think tank Legatum Institute on Wednesday released its 12th annual global Prosperity Index, a huge survey that ranks most of the world's countries by their "prosperity" — a measure encompassing a range of variables including the strength of their economies and their natural environment.

    In all, Legatum looks at more than 100 variables, including traditional indicators like per capita gross domestic product and the number of people in full-time work. It also analyzes more esoteric data such as the number of secure internet servers a country has and how well-rested people feel on a day-to-day basis.

    The variables are then split into nine subindexes: economic quality, business environment, governance, personal freedom, social capital, safety and security, education, health, and natural environment.

    The index looked at the 149 countries with the most available data.

    Norway held the top spot for eight of the past nine years, dethroned only once by New Zealand in 2016, but could the Nordic nation hold on to top spot in 2018?

    Check out the ranking below.

    SEE ALSO: The 32 most corrupt countries in the world

    37. Israel

    2017 position: 38th

    Highest subcategory ranking: Health (16th)

    Number of top-10 subcategory rankings: 0

    36. Lithuania

    2017 position: 41st

    Highest subcategory ranking: Natural environment (18th)

    Number of top-10 subcategory rankings: 0

    35. South Korea

    2017 position: 36th

    Highest subcategory ranking: Education (17th)

    Number of top-10 subcategory rankings: 0

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Fathers have important roles raising their children and the same can be true for some animal species like fish, bugs, and birds.
    • Some animal dads don't eat while their kids develop, while others ensure survival by protecting their young. 
    • Watch the video above to learn what it takes to be a father in some parts of the animal kingdom. 

    Imagine you're about to be a proud, new father. But first, you have to give birth to 2,000 babies.

    Sounds painful, right? Well, if you're a male seahorse, that's part of the job. Turns out, there are lots of animal dads out there who do all the hard work.

    The hardhead catfish takes parental sacrifice to the extreme. To protect the eggs, he'll hold them in his mouth. And it's not just one or two eggs. It can be as many as 65. The eggs take up so much space that he can't eat because he might swallow one.

    So, he'll fast for over two months, while the eggs develop. Believe it or not, the male giant water bug takes on an even heavier load. Females lay up to 100 eggs on the male's back. He'll carry the eggs for the next 2 to 3 weeks as they develop.

    But during that time, the eggs and mucus glue his wings down so that he can no longer fly, making him vulnerable to predators. Plus, the eggs weigh him down so much he has to rely on slower, easier prey like snails. Or he just doesn't eat at all!

    But it's worth it, to ensure his future offspring are safe. Lucky for the water bug, however, he can return to his regular life after the eggs hatch, and the babies fend for themselves.

    That's not the case for the male rhea. He doesn't just stick around to raise his chicks on his own. He raises multiple families at once.

    During breeding season, the male rhea will build a nest to attract as many females as possible. He'll form a group with about 5 to 7 females and mate with them that season. Females lay their eggs in his nest, and then skedaddle — for good. Leaving him to raise and defend all 30 or so chicks — until they're about 6 months old. Talk about the challenges of being an only parent!

    Last but not least is the male emperor penguin who does a lot of the hard work early on. Females entrust their eggs to the males. But since penguins don't have nests, males must play a delicate balancing act. Keeping the egg warm atop their feet, and away from the frozen ground they stand on. They can't hunt or forage for food. They have to stay put — and protect the egg.

    But the hard work doesn't end there. By the time the chicks hatch, the fathers are starved from fasting for weeks on end.

    But the chicks need to be fed. So dad manages to regurgitate some food from his esophagus to feed the chick until mom returns.

    Yum. Thanks, dad.

    Looks like there are a lot of animal dads who deserve an award for father of the year.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    trellis egg freezing

    • Trellis is a brand-new fertility studio in New York City that offers fertility assessments and services related to egg freezing
    • The studio has called itself "the Equinox of egg freezing" in comparison to the $240 a month luxury gym chain.
    • "We wanted to create a modern-day experience for women doing egg freezing," Jennifer Huang, the chief marketing officer at Trellis, told Business Insider. 
    • I took a tour of Trellis, and with its monogrammed Turkish cotton bath robes, green juices, and an Instagram corner, it felt more like a fancy spa than a medical clinic.
    Trellis is a brand-new fertility studio that bills itself the "Equinox of egg freezing."

    It may seem odd to liken a fertility clinic to a luxury gym chain, but for Jennifer Huang, the chief marketing officer at the boutique fertility studio in New York City, the comparison makes perfect sense.

    "We wanted to create a modern-day experience for women doing egg freezing," Huang told Business Insider. "That's why when we think of Equinox, something that's inspirational but very high-touch, we've really kind of reinvented what the client experience is around egg freezing."

    Trellis certainly seems like the kind of place someone who works out at Equinox would like. The airy, colorful space is decorated in warm peach and millennial pink tones with pops of navy and gold. In one corner created specifically for Instagram, a stencilled message on the wall reads, "It's up to each of us to invent our own future."

    Trellis is a division of IntegraMed, the largest operator of fertility clinics in North America. This gives Trellis access to "amazing doctors, top-tier science, and cryostorage," Huang said. "These are the things that sometimes take a very long time to set up. Because we're part of IntegraMed, we already have all of the infrastructure set up."

    I took a tour of Trellis, where a doctor told me — I'm 26 — that I was an "ideal young woman to come in here." Egg freezing "used to resonate primarily with women in their late 30s," Susan Herzberg, president of Prelude Fertility, a network of fertility clinics, told The New York Times. But Trellis — and other fertility centers — is now turning toward women in their 20s. And, as INSIDER'S Caroline Praderio previously reported, egg freezing is increasing in popularity, with many seeing it as a way to empower women.

    I was offered a fertility consult and assessmen, which Trellis was providing free of charge for those who came to the grand opening. Consults are now advertised for $45 on Trellis' website

    Here's what it was like inside Trellis.

    SEE ALSO: Clinics are hosting happy hours, lunches, and more to convince young women to start freezing their eggs

    Trellis is a brand-new boutique fertility clinic in New York City, about a five minute walk from Union Square.

    It's in the Flatiron District, which has lots of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

    The entrance to the building where Trellis is located sits between a hair salon and a home décor store.

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    Best Snow blowers

    • High-quality snow blowers make quick work of clearing snow, require minimal muscle, and serve you through many winters.
    • The Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE Gas Snow Blower is our top pick because it uses a self-propel system to match your pace, handles all varieties of snow, and has a joystick that makes adjusting the chute effortless.

    Shoveling is great exercise. When the snow starts, I always intend to shovel my way out of each snowfall to stay fit. But after the first few snowstorms, my intermittent back pain pays a visit, and I give in to the calls of the snow blower.

    When buying a snow blower, you should first consider where you want the power to come from. There are three main sources: gas, corded electric, and cordless electric or battery. Gas snow blowers are the most popular, most powerful, and most expensive option. They also typically need more maintenance than the other power options.

    Corded electric blowers are generally the least expensive and don’t rely on fossil fuels, but you have to mind the cord as you work, and it’s not recommended for longer driveways due to the inherent cord-length limitations. Battery power avoids the cord problem, but batteries only last for so long before they need to be recharged. You can buy extra batteries so that you have enough to complete your job, but they are usually quite expensive.

    Snow blowers are either single-stage, two-stage, or three-stage. A single-stage snow blower has an auger that moves very fast and sends the snow flying out of the chute in one step. Two-stage blowers have augers that feed the snow into the chute where a propeller throws the snow. Three-stage devices have augers that feed the snow into the center where it is chopped up and fed into the propeller. Snow blowers with multiple stages tend to cost more, but they can also handle heavier duty jobs and throw the snow further.

    While researching the best snow blowers, we combed through hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of models. Our guide features throwers that have a track record of performance, durability, and are fun to use.

    Here are the best snow blowers you can buy:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    The best snow blower overall

    Why you’ll love it: If you want to remove snow from flat, paved surfaces as quickly and effortlessly as possible, the Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE Gas Snow Blower is the best.

    There are a few features that make the Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE Gas Snow Blower(model #36002) stand out. First, it’s not a traditional single- or two-stage blower. It’s more of a hybrid.

    It has a single helical auger that moves 10 times faster than your usual two-stage blower. This sends the snow up to 40 feet away. The Personal Pace self-propel system moves the snow blower at your walking speed. And, a joystick allows you to adjust the chute direction and angle. The clearing width is 24 inches and the snow cut depth is 16 inches.

    Toro sent me this snow blower to test. Unfortunately, my town hasn’t been hit with a significant snowfall yet, so I haven’t had a chance to test it out. However, I can comment on the shipment and assembly process. The blower was delivered on a pallet by a semi-truck. The instructions for setting it up were pretty simple, and I had it up and running within half an hour of cutting into the box. Stay tuned for my full review once Michigan gets a few snowstorms.

    The Toro SnowMaster 724 is The Wirecutter’s top pick. The reviewer found that it was the fastest snow blower he had ever used. It beat out several larger and more expensive models. He also noted that the joystick chute adjustment was smooth, and the Personal Pace drive system worked as advertised. However, he mentioned that it did have some hiccups on steep inclines and uneven surfaces.

    Moving Snow recommends the snow blower for people with paved driveways up to two cars wide and 150-feet long that live in areas with regular light snows and the occasional heavy snow. The reviewer notes that the snow blower handles heavy, wet snow well and can take on deep snow piles. Busted Wallet, SnowBlower, and Snow Blower Guides also recommend this model.

    More than 86% of the people who reviewed the Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE on the Home Depot website gave it four or five stars. The most common comments revolve around how easy to use the unit is and how it has a good size and weight.

    Buyers found that the light weight and Personal Pace function made the snow blower easy to maneuver. One owner raced his neighbor who had a comparable driveway and a two-stage Ariens snow blower. The SnowMaster completed the job in half the time.

    Pros: Moves at your pace, fast, handles wet snow well, three-year limited warranty

    Cons: May have trouble with uneven surfaces

    Buy the Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE Gas Snow Blower from Home Depot for $749

    The best two-stage snow blower

    Why you’ll love it: The Cub Cadet 2X 26-inch HP Gas Snow Blower is your ideal pick if you want a unit that is easy to handle and throws snow far from your driveway.

    There are two features that set the Cub Cadet 2X 26-inch HP Gas Snow Blowerapart from the competition. First, it has dual LED headlights, which is important since the only opportunity many of us have to clear snow is when it’s dark outside. It also has zero-turn, posi-steer power steering that allows you to turn the blower around with just one hand.

    There’s a 26-inch clearing width and 21-inch intake height. Another cool spec is the 16- by 4.8-inch tires, which provide solid traction. Cub Cadet backs the 2X 26 HP with a three-year limited warranty for residential use.

    Consumers Reports recommends the Cub Cadet Snow Blower and gives it top ratings for the controls, handling, plow pile removal, and owner satisfaction. The only metric it didn’t score better than fair on in the tests was noise.

    Moving Snow recommends this model for people with a two-car driveway that’s 100 feet long and is in an area that gets up to 60 inches of snow a season. The reviewer liked the two headlights, smooth chute controls, and how much traction the tall tires afforded.

    About 82% of the buyers who reviewed the Cub Cadet Snow Blower on the Home Depot website recommended it. Several of the buyers commented on how helpful the power steering and ease of handling are. Another commonly mentioned benefit is how far the machine throws the snow. It easily clears double-wide driveways, and the steel chute adjusts effortlessly.

    For the most part, buyers have found unpackaging and assembly to be simple, but the instructions cover four different models so be careful to choose correctly.

    Pros: Power steering, good snow throwing range, headlights, smooth chute adjustment

    Cons: Expensive

    Buy the Cub Cadet 2X 26-inch HP Gas Snow Blower from Home Depot for $899.99

    The best single-stage snow blower

    Why you’ll love it: The Toro Power Clear 721 E Gas Snow Blower makes quick work of small paved driveways and city sidewalks.

    At 87 pounds, the Toro Power Clear 721 E Gas Snow Bloweris incredibly light for a gas-powered snow blower. This, along with the Power Propel self-propel system, make this single-stage unit easy to move around.

    Another cool feature is the Toro “Guaranteed to Start” warranty, which states that the blower will start on the first or second pull every time in the first two years. If not, the company will fix it for free. The hard-plastic body has a 21-inch width, and the tough plastic auger makes constant contact with the surface for efficient clearing.

    The Wirecutter recommends the Toro Power Clear 721 E for smaller properties that get less snow. The reviewer liked that the snow blower is light and compact enough to move around like a mower. However, he points out that single-stage blowers are not ideal for gravel or grass since they can pick up and throw stones. Also, this blower has trouble with more than six inches of snow.

    Consumer Reports didn’t review the 721 E, but the site did review the 721 QZE, which is virtually identical except it costs $160 more than the E and has a chute control on the handlebar. The Power Clear receives top scores for the controls, handling, surface cleaning, plow pile removal, and owner satisfaction. Consumer Reports recommends it and gives it the highest rating of any single-stage gas snow blower.

    Approximately 69% of the people who reviewed the Toro Power Clear 721 E Gas Snow Blower on the Home Depot website gave it five stars. The most common positives associated with this machine are that it’s self-propelled, lightweight, has a good size and weight, and it’s easy to use.

    The most helpful reviewer appreciated how well the 721 E handled an early-season slushy snowfall with ease, and as a smaller person, he liked that he just guided the unit rather than pushing it.

    Another buyer had his Power Clear break down after a single use, but Toro arranged to have it repaired for free, and it worked great after that.

    Pros: Compact, lightweight, easy to maneuver, self-propelled, two-year full “Guaranteed to Start” warranty

    Cons: Not meant for heavy snowfalls, manual chute adjustment

    Buy the Toro Power Clear 721 E Gas Snow Blower from Home Depot for $569

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