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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.

    Screen Shot 2018 10 29 at 4.15.19 PM

    At least once a year, you get to thank your best friend for being your own personal saint for the other 364 days of the year.

    They're the ones you rely upon, confide in, and plague with everything from menu choices to whether or not you should move across the country for this new job. So when the holidays roll around, it can be difficult to find something adequately thoughtful to give to that most important person — especially within the relatively affordable under-$100 range.

    To make things easier for you, we put together a list of 38 unique, thoughtful gifts that your best friend will actually love to get — all for less than $100.

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

    A high-tech towel that's better for their hair

    Aquis Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel, available on Sephora and Amazon, $35

    Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of reviewers.

    The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that's composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction the hair experiences while in its weakest state. It also prevents hygral fatigue — the stretching and swelling of wet hair that makes it vulnerable to frizz and damage — by cutting the hair's drying time by 50%.

    Note: Currently unavailable on Amazon



    A customized map of their favorite place on earth

    Customized Grafomap, available on Grafomap, from $49

    Memories tend to be tied to specific locations — places that start to signify whole periods of our lives: where you met your best friend, where they grew up, where they met their significant other, where they went to college. Grafomap lets you take that place and those memories with you through customized maps. You can adjust, pan, and zoom to specific spots; add or remove text; select the size, frame, and orientation; and opt for a specific color theme that matches their interior.  

    Insider Picks senior editor Ellen Hoffman tried it, and the process of turning an ordinary map into a work of art only took five minutes. At $49 for a 18-inch by 24-inch print, it's affordable, too.

     



    A small but powerful Bluetooth Bose speaker

    Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker, available on Amazon, $79 (Originally $99) [You save $20]

    The term "small but mighty" gets thrown around a lot, but this small Bose speaker is only a little larger than the phone used to control the music — and has a much bigger sound. It comes in three colors and has a six-hour battery life. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    chartwell estate los angeles

     

    A Los Angeles mansion is on the market for $245 million, making it the most expensive house for sale in the US — and about 960 times more expensive than the typical American home. 

    The median US home price was $255,000 as of the second quarter of 2018, according to data compiled by ATTOM Data Solutions.

    Sitting on nearly 11 acres, the main home of the Chartwell Estate was designed by Sumner Spaulding in 1930, according to the listing. In the 1980s, the mansion's interiors were renovated by designer Henri Samuel — but no recent photos have been released, keeping the inside of the home a mystery. 

    The expansive grounds of Chartwell include manicured gardens, a 75-foot pool, and views that span from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. There's also a car gallery that fits 40 vehicles, a five-bedroom guest house, a tennis court, and a 12,00-bottle wine cellar. Last year, the property was listed for $350 million.

    Chartwell is listed with several agents: Jeff Hyland, Drew Fenton, and Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland (a Christie's International Real Estate affiliate), along with Jade Mills, Joyce Rey, and Alexandra Allen of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, and Drew Gitlin and Susan Gitlin of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.

    Here's a look at the sprawling estate's grounds.

    SEE ALSO: The iconic mansion from ‘The Godfather’ is on the market for $135 million — here's a look inside the 29-bedroom Beverly Hills estate

    The Chartwell Estate sits on 10.39 acres in Bel Air, Los Angeles, one of the most "prestigious residential communities in the city of Los Angeles," according to luxury real estate firm Hilton & Hyland.

    Source: Hilton & Hyland



    The 25,000-square-foot mansion has 11 bedrooms, 18 bathrooms, and a ballroom.

    Source: Realtor



    The home was built in the 1930s for civil engineer Lynn Atkinson and later purchased by late Univision billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio.

    Source: Los Angeles Times



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Trump Xi Trade War

    • China released a statement on Tuesday offering reassurances about the preliminary trade deal made between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    • While the statement was light on specifics, the Chinese official attempted to assuage skepticism about the deal that helped contribute to a major selloff in US stocks.
    • The Chinese also made a concrete step toward addressing US concerns by releasing a new set of punishments for intellectual property theft.
    • But confusion over the deal and ineffective communication by the Trump team has left many worried.

    China is trying to catch up to President Donald Trump's trade deal promises as questions linger about the agreement he made with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit.

    After two days of relative silence, a spokesperson from China's Ministry of Commerce offered a short statement on the preliminary agreement Tuesday night:

    • The official confirmed for the first time that China had agreed to the 90-day "timetable and road map" to negotiate a further trade deal with the US.
    • The official also said China is committed to implementing certain actions agreed to during the Trump-Xi dinner but did not provide specifics.

    According to reports, China is planning to reopen up its markets to American soybeans and natural gas. US soybean farmers in particular have been hard hit by the trade fight, as China's tariffs on US product have choked off their largest market.

    But it was still unclear whether the tariffs on those American goods would be eliminated, how much of each good China would buy, and the timetable for the purchases.

    Additionally, the official made no mention of the Trump administration's issues with China's broader economic policies such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, forced partnerships with Chinese firms, and more.

    The statement from the Chinese comes after skepticism over the deal began to grow, which helped contribute to a sharp sell off in US stocks on Tuesday. Discrepancies between the US and Chinese accounts on the meeting, Trump's promise that China would lower auto tariffs going unconfirmed by the Chinese, and a lack of follow up from Beijing all cast doubts on the nature of the negotiations.

    Read more:Trump calls himself 'Tariff Man' during raging tweetstorm on China trade war»

    Trump touted the Chinese statement in a tweet on Wednesday, pointing to it as an example that China is serious about reaching a more detailed agreement.

    "Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina," Trump said. "Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!"

    A small concrete step

    The most concrete step toward fulfilling the agreement appears to be an announcement from China's National Development and Reform Commission on punishments for violating intellectual property protections.

    Chinese firms stealing US IP, either through counterfeiting or coercing companies to hand over trade secrets, was a major focus of the US Trade Representative's initial investigation into unfair trade practices. That investigation was the mechanism that allowed Trump to impose the tariffs on China.

    Beijing said there would be 38 different punishments for violations of IP protections, including restrictions on government contract opportunities and access to loans.

    Read more:Trump's newest pick to lead the trade fight against China reportedly took the Chinese by surprise and could be bad news for a deal»

    Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University, told Business Insider that the announcement is beneficial both for China — which is trying to encourage more domestic innovation — and for the US-China trade tensions.

    But Prasad warned that it depends on how strictly Beijing enforces the rules.

    "The vigor and consistency with which these regulations are going to be enforced, especially in the case of state-owned enterprises and large private companies, remains the key open question," he said in an email. "China does not exactly have a stellar record of keeping to its commitments to other countries, especially in the context of industries that are part of the government’s plan to restructure the economy towards high-tech, high-value added sectors."

    trump xi jinping

    Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who previously advised the Trump team on China, held a dimmer view.

    "Punishment for IP violations was the major issue 10 to 15 years ago," Scissors said in an email. "It has since been emphatically replaced by the Chinese government actively seeking to acquire IP — legally, through coercion, or through cyber-theft. So this addresses about 5%" of the complaint.

    Questions remain

    While China seems to be trying to catch up to the Trump administration's pronouncements about the trade deal, the Trump team is also struggling to gets its story straight, as well.

    The most obvious instance of crossed wires came Monday when Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, said the 90-day delay to tariff rate increases would start on January 1. The White House had to scramble to correct the timeline, saying the timeline actually began December 1.

    But Kudlow's slip is indicative of a messy communications pattern from the Trump team that has only fueled confusion. Multiple members of the administration spent the early part of the week walking back Trump's surprise declaration that China would lower tariffs on US-made cars, a deal that Kudlow later admitted was not set in stone.

    And Trump's dubbing of himself as a "Tariff Man," as well as general skepticism that the two sides can reach an agreement in such a short time means that the next 90 days of China-US talks will be incredibly volatile.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's 'Tariff Man' tweet was an homage one of his favorite presidents who ran on a platform of tariffs

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Robert Mueller

    • The special counsel Robert Mueller sent a big message this week: cooperate with investigators and they'll show you leniency. Refuse, and they'll bite back.
    • Mueller's office recommended little to no jail time for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who they said provided "substantial assistance" to multiple ongoing investigations, including the Russia probe.
    • Flynn's sentencing memo was heavily redacted, but one DOJ veteran said that "if you read around all that black ink, Mueller did say enough to let us know this: Flynn gave up the goods, and Mueller's work is far from over."
    • President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, also pleaded guilty in the Russia probe last week and has shown a keen willingness to tell prosecutors everything he knows.
    • Cohen's and Flynn's cases stand in stark contrast to that of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who prosecutors accused of breaching his plea deal and committing additional crimes after pleading guilty.

    The special counsel Robert Mueller sent a clear message this week: cooperate with investigators and be forthcoming about what you know, and they'll show you leniency. Refuse, and they'll bite back.

    Late Tuesday, prosecutors filed a highly anticipated sentencing memorandum in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI.

    In it, they recommended that Flynn get little to no jail time, citing the "substantial assistance" he provided to the special counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, as well as other, separate ongoing investigations.

    Flynn was among the first defendants to plead guilty in the Russia probe and has been cooperating with Mueller for over a year. His sentencing was delayed five times after prosecutors said they needed more information from the former national security adviser, who also served as a key adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

    In their Tuesday filing, prosecutors emphasized that Flynn began cooperating early, that his assistance was critical in encouraging other witnesses to come forward and be candid, and that he helped the investigation in several ways.

    Michael Flynn

    'Flynn gave up the goods'

    In typical fashion, Mueller's office revealed very little information, if any, about the specifics of what Flynn told them. Prosecutors also attached a largely-redacted 6-page addendum to the sentencing memo laying out how Flynn had cooperated in what appears to be a separate investigation not being conducted by Mueller's office.

    In the original sentencing memo, prosecutors laid out the crux of what Flynn was charged with: his lies to the FBI about conversations he had during the transition period with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about US sanctions on Russia.

    But that's not the only thread of which Flynn may have had valuable information.

    The former national security adviser was also not forthcoming about his involvement in three key areas: his now defunct lobbying firm's work for the Turkish government in 2016, his efforts with Russia and Saudi Arabia to develop nuclear reactors in the Middle East, a project that would have benefited from the US lifting sanctions on Russia, and payments he received from the state-owned media outlet Russia Today that he failed to disclose when he applied to renew his security clearance in January 2016.

    Flynn was also a participant in a controversial meeting with Kislyak and senior adviser Jared Kushner during the transition period, in which Kushner reportedly discussed setting up a secret back channel between the Trump team and Moscow using Russian diplomatic facilities.

    Mike Flynn Jared Kushner Ivanka Trump Steve Bannon Reince Priebus

    And he served as an adviser to the campaign when Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr. met with two Russian lobbyists offering dirt on the Hillary Clinton campaign. The meeting, which took place at Trump Tower in June 2016, is a key investigative focus for the special counsel and congressional committees.

    Flynn's sentencing memo said he provided "firsthand information" about contacts between Russian officials and members of the Trump transition team.

    "We do not yet know everything about Flynn's cooperation," said Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, in an interview with INSIDER. "The heavy redactions in the filing hide nearly all the details that Mueller provided to the court."

    Jens David Ohlin, a vice dean at Cornell Law School and an expert on criminal law, echoed that view.

    "There is more to come, but we don't know what that is," told INSIDER. The substantial redactions in Flynn's sentencing memo indicate that the targets of other investigations he's cooperated with have not yet been charged, he said. "It could be a reference to an obstruction of justice investigation, possibly involving the president, but we don't really know. So this is a known unknown."

    Honig emphasized, however, that "if you read around all that black ink, Mueller did say enough to let us know this: Flynn gave up the goods, and Mueller's work is far from over."

    Paul Manafort with Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller

    'Manafort tried to play both sides and got caught'

    To be sure, Mueller recently secured a guilty plea from another crucial player: Trump's former longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last week to one count of lying to Congress in 2017.

    Like Flynn, Cohen has signaled a willingness to tell prosecutors everything he knows in exchange for leniency. His first meeting with Mueller came in early August, before he pleaded guilty to separate charges in a Manhattan US attorney's office investigation into his and Trump's financial dealings before the 2016 election.

    Cohen has voluntarily met with Mueller's team, New York prosecutors, and investigators in the New York attorney general's office several times since, his lawyers said.

    They also dropped a number of bombshells about what Cohen knows in a sentencing memo they filed on his behalf last week. Cohen has asked for an early sentencing date so he can go about rebuilding his life, his lawyers said, but that does not signal that he doesn't want to help the investigation.

    On the contrary, they said, "he expects to cooperate further."

    Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the Justice Department, told INSIDER the fact that Cohen and Flynn both pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and have cooperated extensively is a key indication that Mueller is gaining traction.

    "When you see people pleading guilty or getting indicted on similar facts, that's when you start building a path forward as a prosecutor," he said. 

    Michael Cohen

    The Cohen and Flynn memos stand in stark contrast to what prosecutors said about Manafort, whom they accused last month of breaching his plea deal by lying to investigators after pleading guilty and allegedly committing more crimes. They were also reportedly furious when they learned that Manafort's lawyers were regularly in touch with Trump's lawyers about what Manafort was being questioned about.

    Prosecutors are expected to lay out Manafort's alleged misdeeds in intricate detail in a court brief Friday. And Politico reported that the special counsel is weighing putting Manafort on trial again in the wake of his decision to breach his plea deal.

    "Even if Manafort decides to cooperate now, there's no chance Mueller accepts it because he's basically a useless witness," Cramer said. "Cohen fell on his sword and has shown that he's a valuable cooperator. Manafort tried to play both sides and he got caught."

    Trump, for his part, has defended Manafort extensively in recent days and praised his refusal to cooperate with Mueller. And experts say a presidential pardon may be Manafort's last hope after his plea deal fell through.

    "He's like a guy at the casino table who's lost all his money at craps," Cramer said. "And now he heads to the ATM to try to turn things around. Donald Trump is basically the ATM."

    Grace Panetta contributed reporting.

    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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    Beto O'Rourke Rally

    • Beto O'Rourke of Texas and Andrew Gillum of Florida, both rising Democratic stars and potential 2020 candidates, recently met with former President Barack Obama in his Washington offices. 
    • Obama endorsed Gillum during his gubernatorial bid this year and praised O'Rourke last month, saying the former senate candidate reminds him of himself.
    • Both O'Rourke and Gillum, who ran strong, but unsuccessful races for Senate and governor, have declined to say whether they'll run for president in 2020. 

    Beto O'Rourke of Texas and Andrew Gillum of Florida, both rising stars in the Democratic Party from purple and red states, met with former President Barack Obama in his Washington offices in recent days, stoking speculation that the two will launch 2020 presidential bids. 

    The three-term El Paso congressman — who nearly unseated GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last month — met with Obama on Nov. 16, the Washington Post reported, while the Florida mayor who narrowly lost his state's gubernatorial race met with the former president on Tuesday, according to multiple news outlets. 

    O'Rourke, 46, was by far the best-funded and most competitive Democrat to run statewide in Texas in years, and he would have been the first elected statewide in nearly a quarter of a century. His campaign, which attracted huge national attention and raised more money than any other senate bid in US history, sparked widespread hope among Democrats that he'll channel his popularity into a presidential ticket.

    Obama publicly praised O'Rourke last month, telling his former top adviser David Axelrod that the Texas politician reminded him of himself and inspired voters because he's authentic in his convictions. 

    "What I liked most about his race was that it didn’t feel constantly poll-tested," Obama said during a podcast discussion with Axelrod. "It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed. And that, you’d like to think, is normally how things work. Sadly it's not."

    Read more: 'I'm so f---ing proud of you guys': Star Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke concedes defeat to Ted Cruz in impassioned speech after his devastating loss

    O'Rourke, who said last week that he's considering a 2020 bid despite repeatedly saying otherwise on the campaign trail, reportedly declined Obama's offers to record robo-calls and stump with O'Rourke and decided against using a video Obama recorded endorsing him during the senate campaign.

    The congressman has expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of endorsements from politicians outside of his home state and rarely utilized surrogates on the campaign trail, but he did receive a series of high-profile endorsements from celebrities, including Beyonce, LeBron James, and Ellen DeGeneres. 

    GILLUM

    Gillum, 39, also attracted national attention when he stunned the state by beating out an array of wealthy primary opponents and waged an aggressive and deeply progressive campaign for governor against the Trump-endorsed Rep. Ron DeSantis. 

    It's unclear what Gillum and the former president discussed in DC this week, and Gillum has declined to elaborate on his thoughts about a presidential run. 

    "I plan on being married to my wife. That is all I am planning," Gillum said in response to questions about 2020 during an event at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Washington this week. "What I am committed to doing between now and 2020 is doing everything I can to make the state of Florida available and winnable for the democratic nominee for president."

    Obama has also reportedly met with other potential 2020 candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu. 

    SEE ALSO: 'I'm so f---ing proud of you guys': Star Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke concedes defeat to Ted Cruz in impassioned speech after his devastating loss

    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 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.

    patagonia recycled cashmere

    Finding sustainable cashmere reads like an oxymoron. It's sort of like telling everyone you're searching for low-fat deep-fried Oreos or a safe tanning oil. 

    The process of creating cashmere is so inherently detrimental — requiring lots of resources and incurring lots of environmental degradation — that any claim of sustainability is pretty much moot. It may make us happy to have, but it sure isn't preserving the grasslands of Mongolia. 

    However, the demand is not going away. If I could, I would live out every day of my life under 40 degrees from the inside a cashmere jumpsuit. I happily use eco-friendly products like Bee's Wrap food wraps, vegan bar shampoo, metal straws, non-toxic laundry detergent, and a mess of other easy swaps because the state of the environment concerns me, but I do own cashmere. It's tough to give up. 

    The possible loophole to the problem of cashmere — and the demand for it — is to stop making more cashmere, and instead recycle it. You get your super-soft sweater, and the environment suffers no (or at least less) gratuitous damage. It's not a perfect solution, but it is a functional one — and one many established companies are adopting across multiple industries, making leggings from fish nets, shirts from plastic bottles, and shoes from eucalyptus tree fiber

    Patagonia's cashmere line is the best no-compromise option I've found. Each piece is made out of 95% cashmere scraps collected from European garment factories, plus 5% virgin wool for strength. Altogether, it's a line of durable, warm, guilt-free cashmere sweaters, hats, and scarves with way less ecological impact, plus the added benefit of Patagonia-level quality and design. You can also view "The Footprint Chronicles" to learn about their supply chain and the sewing factory that made your sweater.

    unnamed

    And if you associate "recycled" with hand-me-downs from your older sister, it's good to note that the cashmere scraps are pre-consumer, meaning nobody else wore them before you. It's indistinguishable from any other cashmere sweater and just a more creative, environmentally-savvy way of making it. 

    The Patagonia cashmere line is limited but covers the classics: crews for men and women, hoodies for men and women, beanies, cardigans, and scarves. Beanies go for $69, Scarves for $99, and sweaters range from $199 to $299 for the men's hoodie. Prices are comparable to other high-end cashmere options though not outliers like the inexplicable $75 sweater from Naadam, though conventional wisdom suggests caution where sustainability is concerned for a price point that low.

    skinner_b_0089

    I tried the women's Recycled Cashmere Crew ($199), which is a pointelle knit. The women's crew is super-soft and feels like it will last for a long time. It's not at all itchy. I found it to run big, but only to the extent that the fit is relaxed and loose. The style itself is slimming thanks to intuitive seams that negate any bulk around the hips. The pointelle is a nice touch, but the small eyelet holes do mean you probably won't want to wear this alone outside on a chilly day.

    I wish they offered a ribbed knit for women as well as men, but you could just buy the men's in a smaller size if that's what you're looking for. Altogether, the Cashmere Crew exceeded expectations and is just one more Patagonia classic. You'd buy this for the look and feel first without knowing it had a sustainable ethos.

    Patagonia's recycled cashmere is as durable, non-itchy, and high-quality as their clothes typically are. It benefits from the same stereotypically meticulous design and production process. And the only difference between Patagonia's cashmere and any other, it seems, is its smarter supply chain and lower environmental impact. In the end, it's a win-win.

    Shop Patagonia's Recycled Cashmere line, $69 - $199

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network.

    TPG Awards

    • Travel and rewards website The Points Guy held its inaugural awards gala, awarding the best airline, hotel, rewards, and credit card products of 2018.
    • The credit card winners were all nominated and chosen by TPG readers.
    • Here are the credit card winners — these are some of the best credit cards you can get as 2018 draws to a close.

    Last night, travel and points/miles/credit card website The Points Guy (an Insider Picks e-commerce partner) held its first annual TPG Awards at the USS Intrepid museum in New York.

    The awards show featured a number of presentations and honors — including an award to "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger III.

    Award categories featured credit cards, loyalty programs, hotels, and airlines, and — except for a few awards for the best airline cabins — all the nominees and winners were chosen by TPG readers. 

    The winners for the various credit card categories were mostly unsurprising, as TPG readers are a savvy bunch who know how to find great value, but there were a few categories in which the winner was likely a tough choice.

    Read on to see the best credit cards of 2018, in a few different categories, as picked by The Points Guy's readers.

    You can read more about the airline winners here.

    Premium Card of the Year: Chase Sapphire Reserve

    Insider Picks' take: The Sapphire Reserve is one of our all-around favorites, and our pick for best overall credit card. TPG readers were — unsurprisingly — on the ball with this one.

    Mid-Tier Card of the Year: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

    Insider Picks' take: The Sapphire Preferred is definitely worthy of best mid-tier card, with rewards and benefits that easily outweigh the card's $95 annual fee (which is waived the first year). However, another nominee on the list — the recently refreshedAmerican Express® Gold Card— is also worthy of a nod.

    No-Fee Card of the Year: Chase Freedom Unlimited

    Insider Picks' take: Capping off Chase's sweep of the personal cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is another favorite. It offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but that cash technically comes in the form of points (meaning 1.5 points earned per dollar spent). If you have a card like the Sapphire Reserve or Preferred, you can pool your points and potentially get a better redemption value for them.

    Best Credit Card Perk of the Year: Sapphire Reserve's $300 travel benefit

    Insider Picks' take: The annual, no-hassle $300 travel credit is fantastic. It automatically applies to the first $300 of travel purchases you make each card membership year, and "travel" is defined broadly to include things like taxis, parking, and subway tickets, as well as airfare and hotels. The perk brings the card's effective annual fee down from $450 to $150.

    However, another nominated perk — Centurion Lounge access with the Platinum Card® from American Express— shouldn't be overlooked, especially with several new locations opening next year. In fact, the Platinum Card's overall lounge access shines above the Sapphire Reserve, so if that's important to you, you might be better off with the AmEx card.

    Best New/Refreshed Card of the Year: The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Insider Picks' take: We feel this is the all-around best hotel card you can get right now, and several members of our team carry it. The card offers airline fee credits, resort credits, free nights, automatic top-tier elite status, and more.

    The award category was open to cards that launched in the 12-month period ending September 14. Had it extended through October, we suspect that the American Express Gold Card would have taken home this prize, since it offers 4x points at US restaurants and supermarkets (for the latter, that's on up to $25,000 per year — you get 1x point per dollar after that).

    Best Business Card of the Year: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

    Insider Picks' take: For a while, this has been among the best business cards around, offering some incredible perks to outweigh it's $450 annual fee.

    The day before the TPG Awards, AmEx Business announced a few changes to the Business Platinum Card — including a few new perks but an increased annual fee of $595 — that make the card potentially less useful for sole proprieters and very small businesses, but better for bigger small and mid-size businesses.

    Had these changes been announced earlier, when the TPG Awards voting was open, we wonder if the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase might have won instead.

    Best Airline Cobranded Card of the Year: Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

    Insider Picks' take: This has been a good year for cobranded airline cards, as positive changes have come to both the American and United Airlines mid-tier cards. However, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card is a favorite thanks to its annual companion certificate, which can be an incredibly lucrative benefit.

    Best Hotel Cobranded Card of the Year: The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Insider Picks' take: There's no question here, as the Aspire Card offers such an absurdly high value proposition that there's little reason not to get it — even with its high annual fee, you'll get way more value back over the course of each year.

    SEE ALSO: The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks in 2018

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    barbara corcoran.JPG

    • Barbara Corcoran was a real-estate mogul before she became a judge on "Shark Tank."
    • She built up her real estate empire in her 20s, 30s, and 40s, and then she started focusing more on motherhood. 
    • She explained at IGNITION 2018 that her story is proof that women can have it all, but not at the same time.

     

    Michelle Obama and Indra K. Nooyi say women can't have it all. And Sheryl Sandberg is sick of people only wondering if women can balance work and family — when, meanwhile, folks rarely ask men if they're spending enough time with their kids. 

    But Barbara Corcoran — real-estate mogul turned "Shark Tank" judge — said at IGNITION 2018 that women actually can have it all. It just won't happen all at the same time. 

    "You can have it all, but I don't believe it's possible to build a huge business and at the same time be a doting mother without the guilt and with the satisfaction of raising the child," Corcoran said. "I’m the most organized person I've ever met and, if I couldn't do it, I'm wondering who could do it."

    Corcoran said "having it all" can happen at different parts of your life. In her case, she spent her 20s, 30s, and 40s working tirelessly.

    "I had from 22 to 46 to hyperfocus on building one thing, not a family, but my business," Corcoran said. "I worked like an animal, 24-7, long hours. Nothing interfered with my thoughts of where I wanted to go."

    Read more:Barbara Corcoran explains why she secretly 'couldn't wait' for Fridays — the day she fired people

    At 46, Corcoran had her first baby, Tommy. Her schedule then changed drastically. She couldn't come in first thing in the morning anymore — and what's more, her priorities weren't all in The Corcoran Group anymore. 

    "It wasn't because I was tired of my work," Corcoran said. "I was divided. I wanted to be a phenomenal mom and I wanted to be phenomenal at work. And they fought with each other in my heart."

    She ultimately sold The Corcoran Group for a cool $66 million in 2001, and became wholly involved with her son and daughter. "The most satisfying thing I've ever done in my life, the most fulfilling thing I've done, is being a parent," Corcoran said. "And you know I love business, but it can't measure up for me."

    Still, there are certain perks that come along with being a multimillionaire parent — namely the ability to afford pricey fertility services that make motherhood possible later in life. Egg freezing costsmore than $10,000 in many cases, while the average couple who goes through in-vitro fertilizationpays $19,000.

    And Corcoran recognizes the role that her financial freedom played in helping her have it all.

    "I had enough money to pay for five years of in-vitro," Corcoran said. "If I hadn’t had that money, I couldn't have had kids. I would have missed that."

    SEE ALSO: Barbara Corcoran asks a simple question on 'Shark Tank' to quickly understand if a business partnership will succeed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The science of why human breasts are so big


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    Seabourn Sojourn

    • The luxury cruise line Seabourn plans to take 450 or so guests on a round-the-world tour in 2020.
    • The Seabourn's flagship Sojourn liner is set to visit five continents in 146 days.
    • Seabourn was recently recognized as the world's best luxury cruise line by Cruise Critic in their Editors' Pick Awards.

    Would you embark on a 146-day cruise around the world?

    That's exactly what Seabourn, a luxury cruise line, has in mind for its upcoming "Extraordinary Destinations" cruise. The line's flagship, the Seabourn Sojourn, is set to visit five continents and 62 ports in 146 days in 2020.

    According to Seabourn, this marks the line's first world cruise in six years. The Sojourn is scheduled to cast off from Miami in January 2020 and reach its final destination, San Francisco, in May.

    Here's a look inside the luxury cruise ship where passengers will reside during their voyage:

    SEE ALSO: 17 historical photos that show how the wealthy once traveled on ships just like the Titanic

    DON'T MISS: Carnival’s president spent a year traveling the world to meet some of her 43,000 employees — here are the 3 questions she asked them

    READ MORE: A day in the life of a Disneyland manager who's worked there for 23 years, walks 5 miles daily around the park, and has a 'long-distance' marriage with his wife

    The 650-foot Sojourn is registered in the Bahamas and can hold 458 passengers. Its fastest speed is 19 knots.

    Source: Seabourn



    In total, the ship will make stops in 26 countries.

    Source: Seabourn



    Some of the "Extraordinary Destinations" on the Sojourn's itinerary include Sydney, Australia ...

    Source: Seabourn



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    BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - NOVEMBER 30: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during the plenary session on the opening day of Argentina G20 Leaders' Summit 2018 at Costa Salguero on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images)

    • Trump said he plans to terminate NAFTA, setting off a firestorm among lawmakers.
    • But both key Republicans and Democrats agree that he has no such legal authority.
    • Lawmakers also warned of the "disruptive" economic effect that a sudden NAFTA withdrawal could have.

    WASHINGTON — Key Republicans and Democrats are in agreement that President Donald Trump does not have any legal authority to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in an effort to force Congress to swiftly consider his new deal with Canada and Mexico.

    Members of the Senate Finance Committee told INSIDER that Trump cannot just shred NAFTA, but would instead have to consult with Congress, where he would no doubt face significant hurdles without a concrete and agreed upon replacement already in place.

    Read more:Republicans are freaking out about Trump's massive new tariffs

    "I'll be terminating it within a relatively short period of time. We get rid of NAFTA. It's been a disaster for the United States. It's caused us tremendous amounts of unemployment and loss and company loss and everything else," Trump told reporters this week. "That'll be terminated. And so Congress will have a choice of the USMCA or pre-NAFTA, which worked very well."

    Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters that Trump has no legal authority to withdraw, and he would require consent from Congress.

    "The simple fact is NAFTA was enacted through legislation. It requires legislation to repeal it," Toomey said. "The bizarre thing about the administration’s contention is they acknowledge that if they changed one word in NAFTA they have to come back to Congress to get it approved, but somehow they can strike the whole thing and they don’t need Congress for that? That makes no sense and it is not consistent with the legislation."

    And Toomey's feelings are felt across the political aisle. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, told INSIDER the Constitution's separation of powers is clear as day that Congress is in charge of NAFTA.

    "Up at the White House, they ought to take out a copy of the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, is very clear that Congress has the power to regulate foreign commerce and there’s also a Congressional Research Service analysis that supports it," he said.

    The CRS analysis Wyden mentioned has stated any withdrawal would require congressional approval.

    Wyden also said Trump is exhibiting lack of confidence in his United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) proposal.

    "If the president was really confident that his trade proposal was going to work, he wouldn’t be playing this kind of brinkmanship and trying to throw this kind of muscle around," he said.

    And Toomey suggested the president's rhetoric about wanting to tear up NAFTA is an attempt to kick-start consideration of the USMCA, but that it is a poor strategy to begin with.

    "It appears the president is trying to say, 'you know it’s this or nothing.'" he said. "But when he doesn’t have the legal authority to enforce that choice, it's not a very good strategy."

    But some suggested there is room for some kind of NAFTA dismantling by Trump, as long as he meets certain criteria.

    "The president is given substantial authority in all of our trade dealings. But it’s not without restrictions," Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told INSIDER. "In other words, certain factual findings are necessary first."

    "As is often in the case, what the president proposes to do has to fit within a larger framework of what is legally permitted under the treaty," she added.

    A rapid withdrawal from NAFTA could have devastating effects on the economy

    In terms of the risks of a NAFTA withdrawal, Warren said the US needs a new deal to replace it, but without the risks of igniting a catastrophe that could devastate the economy.

    "Look, we need a different NAFTA, but that means sitting down and negotiating for a NAFTA that works for American workers, small businesses, and farmers," she said. "Not just unilaterally just trying to start yet another trade war."

    Toomey took a harder stance, saying a sudden or even timetabled withdrawal without a replacement could force the US economy into a downward spiral.

    "It would be extremely disruptive," Toomey told INSIDER. "The markets would go haywire, I mean supply chains would be very, very disrupted. It’d be very harmful to the economy, to jobs in the United States."

    Toomey has reiterated his sentiments to White House officials, but not yet to Trump.

    "So it’s not a good policy," he added. "But as I say, I simply reject the idea he has the authority to do it."

    SEE ALSO: US senators furious with Saudi Arabia after classified briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel

    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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    Hampton Inn and Suites in Albany, New York

    • A woman is suing Hilton Worldwide for $100 million, claiming that she was filmed in the shower during her stay at one of its hotels in Albany, New York. 
    • The plaintiff says she was then blackmailed by the suspected filmer, who allegedly posted the video to several pornographic sites and sent it to her friends and coworkers.
    • In a lawsuit filed on Friday, the plaintiff said she believed the person must have been an employee at the hotel as they knew her personal details. 

    A Chicago woman is suing Hilton Worldwide for $100 million, claiming that she was filmed in the shower during her stay at one of its hotels in Albany, New York. 

    In a lawsuit filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Friday, the plaintiff — identified as "Jane Doe" — claims that she was filmed by an unknown person while staying at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Albany in 2015. 

    She said she did not become aware of this until September of this year, when she received an anonymous email with a link to the video, which she said had been posted to a pornography site. 

    "I click on it and I see my face and profile in a bathroom and I start screaming," Doe told Good Morning America on Tuesday. "I just immediately started screaming. It was devastating on kind of a cellular level because I didn't know. ... I had no clue, I had no context for this."

    In the lawsuit, Doe said that she then received several more emails from the person, who threatened to expose the video and her identity unless she sent nude videos of herself to them.

    "I'm a perv. I don't hurt anyone. I like to watch," the person wrote in an email, according to the court filing. "No need to worry about me. I just like to watch and then I move on to the next."

    In another email: "Promise me my own show. That's the hottest. No need to show your face. Then I disappear and remove the videos forever before they get copied on every website."

    Minutes later, the video was posted to PornHub.com, court documents said. 

    Read more: Here's how to check if you were one of the 500 million customers affected by the Marriott hack

    The person then allegedly went on to send the video to Doe's friend and colleagues from an email address that was in her name. The person later demanded money and said that if Doe did not pay, it would be sent to more people, according to the filing. 

    "It was just absolutely traumatizing because these are people I went to law school with," she told Good Morning America. "They're friends, they're coworkers. And they were sent a link to what looks like an email I sent."

    The video was subsequently posted on several more pornographic sites, according to the court filing.

    Doe is now suing the Hilton Worldwide for $100 million. A spokesperson for Hilton did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment, but told The Associated Press that it will support the Albany hotel's management team as they investigate.

    In the lawsuit, Doe said that she believes the person in question is an employee of the hotel because they had access to the rooms and to her personal details.

    See the lawsuit below:

    Lawsuit by Mary Hanbury on Scribd

     

    SEE ALSO: A Hilton exec explains how technology keeps the hotel chain relevant after nearly 100 years

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I cooked nothing but Blue Apron for a week and it was a roller coaster of emotions — here's why I won't be using the meal kit service anymore


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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.

    nordstrom jackets

    Setting aside those who are fortunate enough to live where the weather is nice year round, we can all agree that it's undeniably cold outside — and owning a warm winter jacket is a must.

    While there are plenty of warm winter jackets for men and women all over the web, Nordstrom's sale section is full of hidden deals. You can find deeply discounted jackets, ranging from puffer jackets and parkas to trench coats and peacoats, from top brands like Cole Haan, Marc New York, Bonobos, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and more.

    To help you sort through the many options, we rounded up 31 winter jackets and coats for men and women that you can buy on sale right now at Nordstrom. If you're also looking for a solid pair of boots to go along with your outfit, check out 30 pairs we found on sale at Nordstrom here.

    Shop men's coats at Nordstrom here >>

    Shop women's coats at Nordstrom here >>

    Men's Cole Haan Italian Overcoat

    Cole Haan Italian Overcoat, $299, available in five colors, (Originally $598) [You save $299]

     



    Men's Michael Kors Double Breasted Peacoat

    Michael Kors Double Breasted Peacoat, $99.90 (Originally $350) [You save $250.01]



    Men's Cole Haan Faux Fur Collar Parka

    Cole Haan Faux Fur Collar Parka, $147.50 (Originally $295) [You save $147.50]



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    34c3e80d 3527 4c65 8976 d6d62b554442

    No matter the holiday, everyone loves to know that they're appreciated. As our days become full of the realities of work, family, and all other aspects of our lives, it can be easy to forget to show our appreciation for the ones we love.

    Of course, the best ways to show your appreciation for your loved ones can't be bought. Nothing can top showing your gratitude with patience, support, and love. When it comes to the tangible, though, gifts can enhance the gratitude we show through our actions.

    So, if you feel that your wife needs to be shown some extra appreciation — on her birthday or your anniversary, or during the holidays this season — here are some thoughtful gifts you can give to show her you care.

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

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

    DON'T MISS: 55 creative and unexpected gifts for her that are all under $50

    An exciting new read

    Book of the Month Membership, $44.99 for 3 months, $79.99 for 6 months, $149.99 for 12 months, available at Book of the Month

    For the wife that loves to read, give her the joy of getting lost in a book. Book of the Month curates some of the best new reads and has your pick delivered to your door as a hardcover each month. It's a great way to discover great new books and authors, plus if you sign up now you can get a free book.

     



    A super soft cashmere sweater

    Everlane Cashmere Waffle Square Turtleneck, available at Everlane, $155

    Showing your appreciation for your wife will make her feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and with this cashmere sweater, she'll feel the same way on the outside too. It's a cozy, luxurious upgrade from a regular turtleneck that anyone is bound to love.



    Something small but sweet

    Bees Knees Spicy Honey, $14, available at Uncommon Goods

    This sweet and spicy honey will be a welcome addition to your kitchen. It's a thoughtful gift for an adventurous foodie who'll appreciate this hand-infused, locally made update to the classic sweetener.



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    Most high tech cities in the world

    Silicon Valley may be home to huge tech companies like Google and Facebook, but the San Francisco metro area isn't the most innovative city in the world, according to annual rankings compiled by data firm 2thinknow.

    Instead, the top spot belongs to Tokyo, Japan, according to the 2018 Innovation Cities Index. This is the first time that an Asian city has claimed the title as world's most innovative city since 2thinknow first started compiling the annual rankings in 2007.

    Of the top 50, the city with the biggest jump in the rankings was Austin, Texas, which moved up 18 spots from 2017 to claim No. 29. Meanwhile, Barcelona dropped to No. 30 in the index, a 17-spot decrease from last year.

    Cities are assessed based on 31 segments of their industries and economy, and 162 indicators of innovation. However, the firm's data analysts compile each city's index score, out of 60, from three key factors: cultural assets, human infrastructure, and networked markets.

    Here is the 2018 ranking of the 50 most innovative cities in the world:

    50. Orlando, Florida

    Change from 2017 ranking: +11

    Companies that call this city home: AAA, FreeCast, Immune Therapeutics, Solodev



    49. Dublin, Ireland

    Change from 2017 ranking: no change

    Companies that call this city home: Accenture, Storyful, Zalando, Udemy



    48. Moscow, Russia

    Change from 2017 ranking: -5

    Companies that call this city home: Yandex, Gazprom, Sistema, Mobile TeleSystems



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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.



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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.

    gifts for him, allbirds wool runners

    It's the most wonderful time of the year for anyone who enjoys exchanging gifts with their friends and family. And as someone who gets a special satisfaction from picking out the perfect gifts for everyone in her life, whether they're her coworkers, her in-laws, her dad, or her boyfriend, I'm very lucky it's essentially my job to help other people do just that.

    If you need some inspiration for what to get for him this holiday season (whether he's your brother, father, husband, son, or otherwise), the Insider Picks team has you covered with some truly excellent gift ideas. Though you can never go wrong with a new leather wallet or festive, holiday-themed socks, we've also included some more unique gifts, like a custom Xbox controller and a cookbook by Snoop Dogg (yes, really!) in our list.

    Check out all 66 gifts for him, and happy shopping! 

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

    READ MORE: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    SEE ALSO: 20 cool gift ideas from 'Shark Tank' that you can find on Amazon

    DON'T MISS: 25 creative and unexpected gifts for 'Star Wars' fans of all ages

    A classic leather wallet

    Bellroy Slim Sleeve Wallet, available at Bellroy and Amazon, $79 (7 colors)

    A wallet doesn't have to be a boring gift when it's from Bellroy. The gorgeous Slim Sleeve fits everything he needs in a slim, efficient profile. We love it so much we named it the best men's wallet in our buying guide.



    A flask that'll keep his coffee hot

    Hydro Flask 20 oz. Coffee Flask, available at Hydro Flask and REI, $28 (11 colors)

    This insulated coffee flask keeps hot drinks hot (and we mean hot) for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours. 



    A stylish and comfortable pair of sneakers

    Allbirds Wool Runners, available at Allbirds and Nordstrom, $95 (4 classic colors, 10 limited-edition colors)

    Popular shoe startup Allbirds came out with a new high-top sneaker this month, dubbed the Tree Toppers, but for the uninitiated (and honestly really anyone), the classic Wool Runners make an excellent gift. 



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    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a weekly news conference November 15, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Pelosi discussed various topics including her run for Speaker of House of Representatives. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    • Nancy Pelosi called for a yearlong continuing resolution on funding for homeland security.
    • She dismissed a compromise of exchanging border-wall funding for a DACA solution.
    • Pelosi, the likely next speaker of the House, called the construction of a border wall "immoral, ineffective, expensive."

    WASHINGTON — Nancy Pelosi, who's set to become the next speaker of the House when the new Congress begins in January, shot down negotiations that would include funding for President Donald Trump's long-desired wall along the nearly 2,000-mile US-Mexico border.

    Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that pairing wall funding with a permanent solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was not on the table and that she would prefer Congress pass a continuing resolution for Homeland Security before Christmas.

    Read more: Republicans are scrambling to save some of Trump's biggest campaign promises before Democrats take over Congress

    "What we want in this negotiation, I can say, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to anybody is we’d like to just go in and say it’s December. We’ve lost now another week — for a legitimate purpose — but nonetheless, we’re getting closer to when this CR expires," Pelosi said.

    "I think what we can do that makes sense is to pass the six bills where the members of the Appropriations Committee have come to terms — you've heard me say it over and over — leave them to their own devices," she added. "The appropriators can come to a good conclusion and then have a CR only for homeland security as we go forward. And that’s pretty much where our position is right now."

    Pelosi also dismissed the prospect of a short-term continuing resolution to be tackled again in January, instead wanting a yearlong agreement for homeland security.

    "But even if you have a CR for a full year, that doesn’t mean that at some point if you come to another conclusion you can pass a bill," she said. "But you can’t do this week to — I mean, there’s too much uncertainty involved."

    Wall funding being on the table in a Democratic-controlled House is not likely either, as Pelosi called the construction of border wall "immoral, ineffective, expensive."

    "[Trump] also promised Mexico would pay for it, so even if they did, it’s immoral still and they’re not going to pay for it," she said.

    SEE ALSO: Republicans and Democrats agree: Trump can't just do what he wants with NAFTA

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    phone stand

    It seems that each year, the holiday season starts earlier and earlier. Whether you'd take every excuse to start decorating early or you'd prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to start the celebrations, there's no denying that getting a head start on figuring out the right gifts for her (no matter if it's your mom, partner, sister, daughter, or otherwise) will take at least some of the stress out of the preparation process.  

    We like to think of ourselves as professional gift givers, so you can bet we've been bookmarking all the best holiday gift ideas we've come across over the past year. We put together a list of over 50 clever gifts that we think she'll absolutely love.

    Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.


    SEE ALSO: 51 hilarious White Elephant gifts under $50 that are guaranteed to get a good laugh

    DON'T MISS: 30 clever gifts for coworkers that they'll actually be happy to receive

    A massager to melt away tension

    Zyllion Shiatsu Massager, available on Amazon, $49.95

    This shiatsu massager is, to date, one of the best things I’ve ever bought. It kneads away tension and stress in the back and shoulders, and can even be used on sore leg muscles after a workout. She’ll be thanking you for years to come.



    An all-purpose tote with a detachable wristlet

    Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote and Wristlet, available at Nordstrom, $49

    Your first thought may be that a plain tote is sort of a boring gift — but hear us out! This one is reversible and features a detachable wristlet, which basically means you’re getting three different bags for under $50. It’s a utilitarian gift with a fashion-friendly twist.



    An adjustable rolling pin

    Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin, available on Amazon, $26.44

    Anyone who loves to bake will appreciate this adjustable rolling pin that allows for more precision in the thickness of dough. All she’ll have to do is remove or add the different sized rings and let them guide her.



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

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.

    A1yufhEzVHL._SL1500_

    1. Save up to 50% on holiday decor on Amazon

    If you haven't decked the halls and lit the Christmas tree yet, there's still time — and plenty of great deals available of the essentials. Today, during day five of Amazon's 12 Days of Deals, you can save up to 50% on all the decorations you need. The sale includes lights, trees, ornaments, nativity scenes, snow globes, and more.

    Shop the holiday decor sale on Amazon now.

    Madewell

    2. Save up to 30% on clothing at Madewell

    J.Crew's popular sister brand Madewell has been a top choice for premium women's denim since 2006 — and recently released its first-ever men's collection. Right now, you can save 20% on your order or 30% on orders of $200 or more with the promo code "MERRYME" at checkout.

    Shop the Madewell sale now.

    Macbook Pro

    3. Save up to $600 on Apple MacBook Pro Laptops at Best Buy

    If you're shopping for a powerful laptop that can handle everything from simple tasks like surfing the web to harder task like video editing, Best Buy has exactly what you need. During the retailer's Apple Shopping Event, you can save up to $600 on MacBook Pro Laptops including 13-inch and 15-inch models. Each purchase will come with six months of Trend Micro Internet Security software and select purchases will also come with three months free of Apple Music.

    Shop for MacBook Pro Laptops at Best Buy now.

    AHAlife

    4. Save 20% on all orders of $100 or more at AHAlife

    Unlike traditional department stores, AHAlife is home to products from some of the most unique designers and artisans. From home, kitchen, and fashion accessories, the site features a wide array of beautiful items that make for truly special gifts. Use the promo code "GIFT20" at checkout to save 20% when you spend $100 or more and receive free shipping.

    Shop all items at AHALife now.

    Groupon

    5.Save up to 80% on Groupons

    Groupon is an inherently great place to find deals, and for a limited time, the site is making its offers even better. Now through December 6, you can save 20% on local deals and 25% on beauty deals using the promo code "WINTER" at checkout. You can save up to an 80% tech, apparel, home goods, and more.

    Shop all deals on Groupon now.

    Brooklyn Bedding

    6. Save up to 30% on mattresses, sheets, and pillows at Brooklyn Bedding

    If you missed out on the many bedding deals this past Black Friday, Brooklyn Bedding has great deals going on right now. Currently, you can save 20% on mattresses with the promo code "GIFT20" and 30% on pillows and sheets with the promo code "ACCESSORIES30" at checkout. With a 120 night sleep trial and free returns, buying a mattress online isn't something you should worry about. 

    Shop the Brooklyn Bedding sale now

    Jomashop

    7. Save up to 75% on watches at Jomashop

    Jomashop is having a huge holiday sale with up to 75% off big names like Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Hamilton, and Seiko. No matter what style of watch you're looking for, you'll find it here for a competitive price. You can also get free shipping by using the promo code "FASTSHIP" at checkout.

    Shop the Jomashop Holiday sale now.

    REI

    8. Save up to 40% on outdoor gear and apparel at REI

    REI is the one-stop shop for all outdoor camping and hiking gear, and right now is the best time to save big. Now through December 10, you can save up to 40% on a huge selection of products. The sale includes clothing, outerwear, footwear, essential camping gear, and more.

    Shop the REI sale now.

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    9. Save 30% on thousands of items at Macy's

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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.

    Eufy Blender Image

    • With the best blenders costing around $500, more consumers are looking for cost-effective options that can do just as good of a job.
    • Better known for its excellent yet affordable robot vacuums, Eufy recently entered the blender space with the goal of providing strong performance at a low price point.
    • I especially liked how the MiracleBlend D1 was able to pulverize seeds and kale leaves to produce a truly smooth smoothie.
    • Compared to the high-end brands, the Eufy MiracleBlend D1 Blender is inexpensive (currently $120 on Amazon), and though it has trouble with nut butters, it gives the big boys a run for their money when it comes to making smoothies and cleaning up easily afterward.

    I have experience using countless brands of blenders ranging from the bottom-of-the-line $20 units to the do-everything $700 powerhouses.

    I've noticed that there is a strong correlation between price and performance. However, there are the occasional outliers that work better than their price suggests.

    After using the Eufy MiracleBlend D1 Blender for four months, it's safe to say that it's one of those outliers, at least when it comes to making smoothies.

    My experiences with the Eufy Blender

    Eufy sent me a review copy of the MiracleBlend D1 for free. I only received the motor base and pitcher. It didn't come with a user manual, recipe book, or the vacuum-sealed cup, which typically come with the unit according to the Amazon product page. So, I can't speak to the cup's benefits.

    The jar is square and features a curved bottom that is helpful for keeping ingredients engaged in the blend and achieving the sought-after vortex effect, which is sort of like a small tornado. It's made of BPA-free plastic. The lid is also plastic and features a clear removable measuring cup in the center, where you can add ingredients while the blender is running.

    The Eufy Blender comes with an 18-month limited warranty, which covers all parts of the blender, including the jar and motor, as long as you use it for household purposes (and not commercial).

    The MiracleBlend D1 has a powerful 1200W motor and two pre-programmed settings: clean and smoothie. The control knob has settings of Off, On, Low, Medium, and High. There are approximately 30 speed gradations between Low and High. There's also a pulse option.

    How the Eufy Blender performed

    I'm the kind of weirdo who likes to read user manuals before using an appliance because you can learn interesting nuances about a gadget this way. So, I procured an electronic copy of the user manual. However, I know most people have better uses for their time than reading about a blender, a device you've probably used hundreds of times. Consequently, I gave the Eufy Blender a go without looking at any reading materials and found controlling it was utterly simple.

    The Eufy MiracleBlend D1 Blender excelled at smoothies. I liked that I could just press the pre-programmed smoothie button and walk away to attend to other things. To test the blender's abilities, I made a smoothie of kale, strawberries, banana, and milk. The kale was blended thoroughly. There were no green bits left over, and I didn't need to stop the blender to scrape the sides to get it all within reach of the blades. The seeds of the strawberries were pulverized and unrecognizable in the finished product. It was truly smooth. I had similar success pureeing soups.

    I also looked at whether the blender could turn ice cubes into slush. I added a tray of cubes to the jar and pressed the pulse button approximately 30 times. I ended up with a nice slush save for about three large chunks.

    Clean up is about as effortless as it gets. I just filled the jar about a quarter of the way with water, added a couple drops of dish soap, and pressed the Clean button. After the cycle, there was no visible debris. This is especially impressive considering how hard it usually is to remove dough and peanut butter from just about any kitchen item. The only time I noticed any residue left over was when I beat eggs in the blender and neglected to run the clean cycle right away. I had to finish the job with a sponge.

    eufy blender 2

    Some concerns about the blender

    The Eufy Blender did not do well making peanut butter or pizza dough. Many of the ingredients were quickly stuck to the sides where the blades couldn't reach. I'd scrape the ingredients to the bottom and start the blender back up again, and they'd immediately go to the sides again. Based on my experience, the more viscous the ingredients, the better the MiracleBlend does.

    I found a couple of quirks with the Eufy Blender when I was making mayonnaise. To make mayonnaise in a blender, you must slowly add cooking oil to the egg mixture. While slowly adding olive oil through the hole in the lid, the ingredients would splash back up through the hole, which would be fine, except that I was dealing with raw egg. Also, it takes about 10 minutes to drizzle all of the oil into the blender. Yet, the unit automatically times out after three minutes of use. Fortunately, you can start it back up immediately.

    At times, I noticed a slight mechanical smell while running the blender. However, at no time did I notice the motor straining, even after using it for marathon mayonnaise sessions.

    Lastly, I wish this unit came with a tamper. All of the high-end blenders come with a specially designed tamper that fits through the lid hole and reaches down into the jar just short of the blade. Without the tamper, you're left reaching in with other utensils that may get caught in the blade, which is problematic for a number of reasons.

    The bottom line

    Overall, I strongly recommend the Eufy MiracleBlend D1 to anyone in need of a workhorse smoothie blender.

    It's capable of annihilating the peskiest fruits and vegetables. Plus, it's simple to clean. Though it does have trouble with doughs and nut butters, it does an admirable job with soups and sauces.

    At its current price, the MiracleBlend is a great deal. Yet, within the last few months, there were periods when the price dropped significantly on Amazon. So, if you're willing to wait and price watch, you might be able to save a few dollars.

    Buy the Eufy MiracleBlend D1 Blender on Amazon for $120

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

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