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The latest news from Life

older | 1 | .... | 1632 | 1633 | (Page 1634) | 1635 | 1636 | .... | 2006 | newer

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    Walton family

    • The richest families in the world own billions, possessing $1.1 trillion in wealth collectively, according to Bloomberg.
    • This wealth is derived from various industries, including retail, media, agribusiness, technology, and more.
    • From the Ferrero family's Nutella fortune to the Walton family's Walmart fortune, here are the 25 richest families in the world.

    From the richest families in America to the richest royals in Europe, high concentrations of wealth can be found all around the world.

    In fact, there are 2,208 billionaire individuals across 72 countries for a combined total of $9.1 trillion, according to Forbes. But what about the world's billionaire families?

    Bloomberg ranked the top 25 families with the richest fortunes across the globe — together, they possess $1.1 trillion in wealth from retail industries, media conglomerates, agribusiness companies, tech giants, and more. 

    Bloomberg determined its ranking based on net worth figures from June 15, 2018. It didn't take into account first-generation fortunes, fortunes controlled by a single heir, or fortunes derived primarily from the state. For the purposes of this list, families who wealth stems from a joint company or enterprise are being considered as a single entry.

    From the Ferrero family whose $22.9 billion fortune comes from Nutella to the Walton family whose $151.5 billion fortune comes from Walmart, see below for the 25 richest families in the world, ranked.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 richest American families, ranked

    DON'T MISS: The 10 richest royal families in Europe, ranked

    25. The Ferrero family

    Net worth: $22.9 billion

    Source of wealth: Ferrero Group

    The Ferrero family built its fortune on a chocolate confectionary empire. Ferrero Group's roots date back to 1940s Italy when it created what is now known as Nutella. In 2018, it acquired US Nestle's candy business. 



    24. The Lauder family

    Net worth: $24.3 billion

    Source of wealth: Estée Lauder

    In 1947, the Estée Lauder brand was born. Today, the company, which includes 30 brands of makeup including MAC and Clinique, generates $12 billion in revenue from the sale of cosmetics and fragrances.

    The Lauders are active philanthropists, and sons Leonard and Ronald are major art collectors. Leonard donated $1 billion worth of paintings and sculptures to the Met. The family also owns a lot of real estate.



    23. The Hearst family

    Net worth: $24.5 billion

    Source of wealth: Hearst Corporation

    About 67 family members share the fortune that William Randolph Hearst created when he took over the San Francisco Examiner in the late 1800s.

    Soon after, Hearst acquired other newspapers and forayed into radio and TV, creating the foundation for today's media giant, Hearst Corporation, which owns several newspapers, nearly 300 magazines, TV and radio stations, and stakes in cable TV channels.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Nap York

    • A wellness center in New York City that says its aim is "recharging the people who power the world" by giving them a space for an important activity: napping.
    • Nap York is a 24-hour facility in midtown Manhattan that lets people drop in to sleep in pods, from a 30-minute power nap to a multiple-hour slumber session designed for travelers who have layovers at one of the nearby airports.
    • Visitors can pay $15 for a 30-minute nap or up to $250 a month for a membership that includes five naps a week.
    • Studies have found that naps improve immune system health, energy, cognitive function, and emotional control.

    A few blocks from Times Square, in the middle of one of New York City's busiest neighborhoods, is an urban oasis where sleep-deprived New Yorkers can swap their shoes for slippers, drink a cup of tea, and take a nap.

    That's the idea behind Nap York, which opened in February, offering 30-minute naps in sleep pods for $10. Seven months later, prices have risen slightly, to $15 for half an hour, and there are additional options for monthly memberships.

    For $35 a month, you can pop into Nap York for one 30-minute nap a week. The priciest membership is the $250-a-month Gold Premium, which includes five naps — up to 90 minutes each — per week. You can also book a longer nap starting $50 for three hours with each additional hour costing $7.

    The pods are strictly single-occupancy. Visitors can also take a shower, get a massage, or relax in one of the hammocks on the roof.

    Reza Moreno, the community director for Nap York, told Business Insider that a large chunk of its visitors were travelers who need a place to sleep for a few hours during their layover at a nearby airport.

    But she stressed that Nap York is not a hotel. Visitors can't book multiple long sleep sessions in a row.

    "We just give the convenience for those who literally just need a place to bonk out for the night," Moreno said.

    During the day, Nap York sees office workers who pop in for a half-hour power nap on their lunch break. In the summertime, some sweaty New Yorkers even dropped by to take a shower before a business meeting.

    Here's what it's like inside Nap York.

    SEE ALSO: A productivity expert says coffee naps — 'nappuccinos' — changed his life. Here's how.

    DON'T MISS: Forget $40 fitness classes — now a tech startup is asking rich people to spend $1,500 plus monthly fees on a mirror to stream workouts directly into their homes

    Located in Manhattan's bustling Midtown neighborhood, Nap York calls itself "your 24/7 oasis in the middle of the Concrete Jungle." When I got there, I tried to peer in the windows, but they were obscured by dark curtains.

    Source: Nap York



    Nap York has had about 8,000 people come in for naps since it opened in February, according to Moreno.



    When you step inside, you're greeted by screens that display the various nap and membership options available. There are also several large plants, which instantly hooked me, a stereotypically plant-loving millennial.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    cheryl eisen

     

    Cheryl Eisen is unapologetically not a morning person.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



    By 10:00 a.m., she's out the door, drinking her coffee and answering emails in the car, which she calls her "mobile office." Eisen employs a full-time driver.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    New York City skyline

    Wealthy people live in every state in the US — but some states are more charitable than others.

    The IRS publishes data about the number of people who itemize their tax returns every year, and how many people claim which deductions by state and by income bracket.

    To arrive at the rankings, we looked at the people who itemized and made between $500,000 and $1 million, and more than $1 million in the year 2016 (the most recent one for which we have data). We looked at how many claimed the itemized deduction for charitable giving. The IRS also indicates how much money was claimed to be donated. Using that information, we could figure out the average claimed donation per $500,000+ income tax return per state.

    Here, in ascending order, are the top 26 most charitable states plus Washington DC.

    SEE ALSO: The happiest states in the US, ranked

    DON'T MISS: This $245 million Los Angeles mansion is the most expensive home for sale in the US — and it costs 960 times more than a typical US home

    26: Illinois

    Average annual charitable contribution: $62,328.16
    Percentage of people making $500,000+ who donate: 96%



    25: Texas

    Average annual charitable contribution:$64,512.10
    Percentage of people making $500,000+ who donate: 94%



    24: Vermont

    Average annual charitable contribution: $65,926.79
    Percentage of people making $500,000+ who donate: 95%



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    chelsea clinton george h.w. bush extra wide

    • Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton tweeted a photo on Monday of the first time she met George H.W. Bush.
    • The photo appears to be taken when Chelsea, born in 1980, was a toddler.
    • That would mean Bush was vice president at the time, and Chelsea's father, Bill, was Arkansas governor.
    • "I'm very grateful for the friendship our families share," she wrote.

    Chelsea Clinton shared a sweet photo of the first time she met George H.W. Bush on Monday, as the nation mourned the death of the 41st president.

    The photo shows a toddler Chelsea holding onto her parents' hands at what appears to be a lawn party.

    Bush, who would have been President Ronald Reagan's vice president at the time, crouches down to greet a bashful-looking Chelsea.

    "Loved finding this photo over the weekend of my first time meeting President George H.W. Bush," she recalled. "I remember his kindness toward me."

    Chelsea said that her parents pointed out that Bush "was both kind & good enough to direct me to the restroom!"

    "I'm very grateful for the friendship our families share," she said.

    A few years later, Bill Clinton would go on to unseat then-President Bush after he had served just one term in office.

    Despite Bush and her father's political differences, they went on to become close friends in later life, and worked on raising money for charity together.

    When Bush died last week, former President Clinton issued a statement saying he and his wife "give thanks for his great long life of service, love and friendship."

    Read more:Former US presidents, Queen Elizabeth, the Dalai Lama, and more react to the death of former president George H.W. Bush

    Clinton also remembered the same day that his daughter met the elder Bush in his statement.

    "I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed," Clinton added. "From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood."

    The Clintons are expected to attend Bush's Washington, D.C. funeral on Wednesday morning.

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


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    your healthcare burden in every state 2017 map

    The cost of healthcare keeps on rising, and a new report shows just how much of a squeeze it's putting on family budgets.

    Researchers at The Commonwealth Fund added up the cost of health insurance with the size of deductibles, or how much people would have to spend if they got sick before their insurance kicks in. They then compared that dollar figure with median incomes in every state. 

    You can think of the resulting figure as providing a rough measure of the financial burden of healthcare spending in every state. The burden is growing because healthcare costs are increasing faster than incomes.

    Nationwide, the combined cost of insurance premiums and deductibles was about $7,240, or about 11.7% of income, in 2017. A decade ago, it was 7.8% of the median income.

    The researchers, Sara Collins and David Radley, used data on the health insurance plans typically offered by employers, which are the most common type of coverage for people under age 65.

    As you can see in the graphic above, the states where healthcare has the potential to eat up the most of a family's earnings are concentrated in the South and Southwest. In Louisiana, the combined cost of premiums and deductibles is equivalent to 15.5% of median income. In Mississippi, it's 15%. Those states face a combination of relatively high health costs and lower incomes.

    Hawaii faces the lowest total cost, at 7.8% of median income. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This animation will make you think twice before going to work sick


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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.

    The best workout leggings

    • When it's cold outside, you need a good pair of workout tights to keep your muscles warm and protected.

    • Sweaty Betty makes the best women's workout tights you can buy. Not only do they look great, but they're made to last through intense workouts day in and day out.

    It’s tights weather again, bless up. Not only does that mean that it’s okay to leave your home in naught but an oversized sweater and yoga pants, but it also means that you’re probably putting away your athletic shorts in favor of your longer athletic wear.

    I’m always thrilled to have the opportunity to try on new pairs of workout tights. Not only do they generally make your butt look unreasonably good, but they’re also remarkably multipurpose. A great pair of tights can go straight from the gym to your night out, which is the type of multitasking that I want my clothes to be able to do.

    When considering what new tights to add to your closet this season, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, what sort of exercise are you most likely to engage in? Some tights are better suited for yoga, while other well-ventilated options may be best for your long runs.

    You’ll also want to consider the length of your tights. While some women prefer their legs to be fully covered during their workout, you may prefer a slightly cropped look. To that end, you’ll want to keep in mind the multifunctional aspect of your tights — I’ve always found that full-length wear is easier to transition into streetwear than the cropped variety.

    Another thing to think about in your purchasing process is sustainability. An increasing number of companies are ensuring that their tights are ethically made and environmentally friendly. If you’re constantly replenishing your tights supply, you should probably look toward a company that’s doing its part to keep the Earth healthy even as it manufactures large quantities of athletic wear.

    Finally, of course, price point is important to consider. While dropping a pretty penny on workout gear almost always feels worth it, you probably don’t need that fifth pair of $150 leggings to sweat in.

    Here are the best workout tights that women can buy:

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

    The best workout tights for women overall

    Why you’ll love it: For tights that make you look and feel almost unreasonably good, the best place to go is Sweaty Betty.

    If you go to the gym to see and be seen (hey, no shame), then you’ll want to be wearing something that makes you look as confident as you feel. And here to help you do just that is Sweaty Betty, whose Zero Gravity tights will never fail you — either in form or in function.

    Not only are these leggings shockingly light so that you can take them with you on work trips and vacations alike, but they’re also extremely effective in sculpting your backside. I’m not entirely sure how Sweaty Betty manages to create tights that make your bum look quite so bodacious, but whatever they’re doing, it’s working wonders.

    I’m a huge fan of the 7/8 Run Leggings, a black pair with just the right amount of eggplant and neon accents down the side of your legs, creating an elongating effect. This particular pair is designed with 80% opacity, so while they’re great for running or HIIT workouts, they’re less suitable for hot yoga.

    All of Sweaty Betty’s bum-sculpting leggings are constructed with a unique Italian fabric that is not only lightweight but also sweat-wicking with killer compression technology to keep you in place no matter how tough your workout. Because the fibers are hydrophilic, they’ll keep sweat away from your body, and will also help the tights dry faster — whether it’s after a turn in the laundry machine or after a hard run.

    Despite wearing and washing my leggings on what is likely a too-often basis, I’ve yet to wear these leggings down. They may feel incredibly delicate and breathable, but rest assured, they’re much hardier than you think. So even if you’re paying $135 a pair, you’ll have these leggings for years on end.

    Pros: Fantastic bum-sculpting, extremely lightweight, sweat-wicking, breathable

    Cons: 80% opacity means you’ll want a different pair for yoga, expensive

    Buy Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Leggings for $135



    The best flattering workout tights

    Why you’ll love it: For workout tights that make you look good from the second you put them on, check out Boom Boom Athletica.

    Boom Boom Athletica was founded by an ultra-marathon runner, so it comes as no surprise that the workout tights from this line are about as high-performance as you can find on the market. That said, what may surprise you is just how flattering these pieces really are.

    Boom Boom Athletica’s entire line is edgy and functional, but its tights are particularly adept at sculpting your body and giving off that enviable hourglass shape.

    Recently stocked at Nordstrom, Boom Boom Athletica’s workout wear is made from premium moisture-wicking fabric that dries quickly to keep you cool and comfortable, four-way stretch fabric that welcomes motion and has UPF properties, and compressive designs.

    I’m a huge fan of the Tricolor Panel Leggings, not only because they’re wildly soft and great to work out in but also because they’re extremely aesthetically pleasing. Cleverly placed mesh paneling and flattering geometric patterns make these tights some of the best in my wardrobe.

    The brand’s leggings are of the high-waist variety and feature a thick waistband and a figure-flattering pattern. As Insider Picks reporter Mara Leighton wrote previously, the moisture-wicking fabric dries quickly, smooth flatlock seaming minimizes rubbing and irritation and only helps streamline silhouette, while the antimicrobial fabric helps inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. They fit true to size.

    Pros: Incredibly flattering, very soft, comfortable for all workouts

    Cons: At $115 a pair, these are not inexpensive leggings

    Buy the Boom Boom Athletica leggings for $125, available in Black/Grey/White



    The best warm workout tights

    Why you'll love it: For mornings and evenings that are not just chilly, but windy, too, you’ll need a pair of tights like Reebok’s new Thermowarms to keep you cozy throughout your workout.  

    There’s a reason you’re meant to warm up before working out, and in much the same way, you want to stay warm throughout your workout. While you can normally maintain your body temperature simply by upping your activity level, on particularly cold days and nights, this may be a bit more difficult to do. Enter Thermowarm, a new technology from Reebok that’s meant specifically for the chilly weather to come.

    These newly designed tights are built especially for running and are comprised of a performance fleece that feels remarkably soft on your skin. Not only does it feel great, but the fabric insulates against the elements, too. When wind chill sends temperatures into negative ranges, you’ll be thankful to have a pair of Thermowarms around.

    In addition to the warmth provided by the fabric, these tights also feature woven panels on the front to shield your legs from strong headwinds. With the addition of a secure stash pocket, you can keep keys, cash, and other essentials on your person throughout your workout.

    The Thermowarm fabric has the added benefit of being sweat-wicking, which helps maintain a higher body temperature, and the addition of fleece and woven fabrics directly into the spandex help to make this a particularly comfortable pair of tights. An internal drawcord helps keep a secure fit around your waist, while 360-degree reflectivity keeps you safe during the evening hours.

    Pros: Extremely warm, offers protection from headwinds, sweat-wicking, comfortable

    Cons: Because these tights are so warm, they’re not exactly all-weather friendly

    Buy the Reebok Thermowarm tights for $70



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    stocking stuffers main

    Not everyone in your life, like your friendly neighborhood mailman or the kid cousins you only see once a year, is going to receive a fancy gift from you this year. However, you might still want to give them a small token of love and appreciation during the holidays because it's simply a nice thing to do.

    Before you tackle the big-ticket gift purchases on your list for your mom, dad, or significant other, it's easier to start small with the stocking stuffers you can buy by the armful. Under $10 is just about as affordable as you can get with gifts, but this low price point doesn't mean your stocking stuffers can't still be useful, thoughtful, and unique. 

    These 31 affordable stocking stuffers, from handy tech accessories to personal care staples, are far from throwaways.

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

    DON'T MISS: 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

    A stylish and reusable shopping bag

    Baby Baggu, $8, available at Baggu and Amazon

    The mini version of Baggu's original best-selling bag is the perfect size for grocery store pick-me-ups or their daily lunch. 



    Cute lid lifts that allow steam to escape so their pots won't boil over

    Tovolo Farm Animal Pot Lid Lifts, three for $9.89, available at Amazon

    Add a little personality to their kitchen with these heat-resistant silicone lid lifts. They're also available in sheep and smiley-face varieties. 



    High-quality, matte prints of your favorite memories together

    Everyday Print Set, from $8, available at Artifact Uprising

    Physical prints are always thoughtful and appreciated. Artifact Uprising's easy-to-use photo editor helps you check off your gift list in no time. 

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Donald Trump Russia

    • President Donald Trump has often claimed he has "nothing to do with Russia," but that's far from the truth. 
    • Trump's efforts to lay down his name in the Russian capital stretch back more than 30 years. 
    • According to Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the president's most recent attempt to break ground in Moscow was a drawn-out process that lasted well into the 2016 presidential campaign season

    President Donald Trump is adamant that he has no financial interests in Russia.

    "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me," he tweeted in January 2017. "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"

    But a glimpse at his actions over the last few decades paints a quite different picture, one that shows a concerted effort by the real-estate mogul to lay a foundation for the Trump name in the heart of Moscow.

    Trump's business ties to Russia jumped back into the spotlight this week, after his former longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted that he lied to Congress about the extent of the Trump Organization's push to open a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 election.

    Prosecutors said Cohen "discussed the status and progress of the Moscow Project" with Trump "on more than the three occasions Cohen claimed" to the Senate Intelligence Committee last year and that "he briefed family members" of Trump within the Trump Organization about it.

    They also said Cohen admitted to pursuing the deal as late as June 2016, after Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

    After Cohen's stunning revelations about the timeline of discussions on building Trump Tower in Moscow, Trump tweeted that he "lightly looked" at "doing a building somewhere in Russia." But the president added that he "didn't do the project" and claimed he made no verbal or financial commitments. The defunct Moscow project is just the latest in a long history of the president trying — and failing — to make his mark in the Russian capital.

    Here's a rundown of Trump's attempted business dealings in Russia:

    • Trump's interest in doing business in Russia was first piqued in 1986, when he met the Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin and they began discussing building a "large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin in partnership with the Soviet government," as Trump recounted in his 1987 book, "The Art of the Deal."
    • Trump traveled to Russia in 1987 to survey potential locations for his hotel as landmark policies like perestroika and glasnost made the Soviet Union more open to foreign investments.
    • Trump in 1988 said the hotel plan failed because "in the Soviet Union, you don't own anything. It's hard to conjure up spending hundreds of millions of dollars on something and not own."
    • Trump went back to Russia in 1996 and announced a plan to invest $250 million in Russian real estate and slap his name on two luxury residential buildings. 
    • Trump boasted about his plan when he met the Russian politician Aleksandr Lebed in New York in 1997, telling Lebed, "We are actually looking at something in Moscow right now ... Only quality stuff. And we're working with the local government, the mayor of Moscow, and the mayor's people. So far, they've been very responsive ..." The plan never came to fruition.
    • But that wasn't the end of Trump's connection to Russian money. According to The Washington Post, the real estate mogul began seeing significant returns from Russian investments in US properties bearing the Trump name in the 2000s.
    • A Reuters investigation last year found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, for instance.
    • Reuters noted that its tally of Russian investors may be conservative. At least 703 — or about one-third — of the owners of the 2,044 units in the seven Trump buildings are limited liability companies, or LLCs, which have the ability to hide the identity of a property's true owner.
    • In the mid-2000s, the Trump Organization partnered with a company called the Bayrock Group, contracting it to pursue a development deal in Moscow. This effort was led by the Russian-born businessman Felix Sater, who's become a key figure in Mueller's investigation and Cohen's plea deal.
    • In 2005, Sater found a former pencil factory he thought could be converted into a high-end skyscraper, and was in discussions with Russian investors about it. The deal ultimately fell through, but Sater continued to maintain a relationship with the Trump Organization. 
    • At a real estate conference in 2008, Donald Trump Jr. discussed the family's attempts to break into the Russian business world. "As much as we want to take our business over there, Russia is just a different world,” he said at the time. "It is a question of who knows who, whose brother is paying off who...It really is a scary place." Trump Jr. at that point had traveled to Russia a number of times, including a 2006 visit with Sater his sister, Ivanka Trump, and Sater.
    • At the 2008 conference, Trump Jr. also said, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets." He explained that despite the difficulties his family had in trying to build in Russia they were still determined to keep pushing for it. In the 18 months prior to the conference, Trump Jr. made six trips to Russia.
    • In 2013, Trump traveled to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. During the visit, he said, "I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper."
    • In 2015 and 2016, Cohen and Sater teamed up in an attempt to put up a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen said discussions on the plan lasted until June 2016, which was after Trump had clinched the GOP nomination for president.
    • Cohen was in touch with the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary over the matter, which reportedly included a plan to offer Putin a $50 million penthouse in the tower. Those talks fell through as well and the plan eventually crumbled.  

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


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


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    happy people in coffee shop

    • If you're looking for a new job, you might want to check out companies where employees are happier than the norm. 
    • Glassdoor has released its annual ranking of the best places to work, which takes into account its database of 45 million company reviews provided by anonymous current and former workers
    • Tech companies dominated the listing, but plenty of firms in healthcare, consulting, manufacturing, and food got kudos for their excellent workplace cultures

     

    The average American spends some 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime, but 80% are outright dissatisfied with their work

    For that overwhelming majority, the secret to job satisfaction might just be a new company. Glassdoor, a job site with 45 million company reviews, has just released its annual Employees’ Choice Awards for the Best Places to Work. 

    The rankings are compiled from anonymous employee feedback that former or current workers can provide right on Glassdoor. To compile the listing, Glassdoor scans their massive database of company reviews.

    Workers writing a company review are asked to assess the pros and cons of working at the company, growth opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management, work/life balance, if they would recommend the workplace to a friend, and the company's six-month business outlook. 

    Those reviews are compiled in Glassdoor's awards algorithm, which also assesses the quality of reviews represented in its ranking. 

    Then, companies receive a score on a scale of one to five — five being the highest. The scores have been rounded to the nearest tenth in our article, while Glassdoor ranked the companies by looking at their score rounded to the thousandth. The employers on this list scored between 4.2 and 4.6 on Glassdoor; the average company rating is 3.4.

    Many of these companies in the list of large US workplaces (having more than 1,000 employees) are Bay Area tech firms. Of the 100 workplaces, 23 have headquarters in San Francisco, and 29 are in tech. 

    That's because tech firms are facing a major labor shortage and are keen to woo employees with excellent work cultures, Glassdoor chief economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain told Business Insider.

    Read more: The 50 best places to work in 2018, according to employees

    But you don't have to be a techie to enjoy the benefits of an excellent workplace, which often includes mission-driven company cultures, smart coworkers, transparent senior leadership, great compensation and benefits, and work-life balance. 

    "To work at a company that treats you ethically and gives you good pay and benefits, you don't necessarily have to be in tech," Chamberlain said. "There's something for everybody."

    What's more, you don't even need to be in an office job or to have a college degree to work at a company that will treat you right. In-N-Out Burger, Trader Joe's, lululemon, and other employers powered by associates all topped the list, as well as healthcare providers that are largely staffed by nursing assistants and similar roles. 

    Here is a countdown of the best 50 workplaces, along with their headquarters location, a description of the company from Glassdoor, and a quote from a current or former employee. You can see all 100 companies on Glassdoor.

    SEE ALSO: Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are worth more than $100 billion — see how they spend it, from trapeze lessons to a 600-foot 'air yacht'

    DON'T MISS: 16 things you should never wear to work — even if you work in a business casual environment

    50. Crowe

    Score: 4.3 

    Headquarters location: Chicago

    Crowe is an accounting, technology, and consulting firm.

    "Very flexible work environment, with the ability to work remotely as needed. The company also strives to push career advancement of every employee." Crowe audit business analyst



    49. Johnson & Johnson

    Score: 4.3 

    Headquarters location: New Brunswick, New Jersey

    Johnson & Johnson is a biotech and pharmaceuticals company. 

    "Great people, great culture, and the company really cares about their employees. Really good work life balance and flexibility to work remote."Johnson & Johnson manager 



    48. SpaceX

    Score: 4.3 

    Headquarters location: Hawthorne, California

    SpaceX is an aerospace company dedicated to making human life on Mars possible. 

    "SpaceX believes in its employees and its missions so much, that they invest in you and you invest in the company. All our employees are owners of the company."SpaceX employee 






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    lede

    A great pair of boots is an absolute must for the fall and winter, and Nordstrom has a wonderful selection for men and women.

    While you could shop their new arrivals, Nordstrom's sale section is full of hidden gems. There, you can find deeply discounted styles, ranging from classic Chelsea boots to chukkas to snow boots, from top brands like UGG, Timberland, Hunter, Cole Haan, FRYE, and more.

    To help you sort through all the options, we rounded up 30 boots for men and women that you can buy on sale right now at Nordstrom. If you're also looking for great deals on clothes, accessories, and even home goods, check out the rest of Nordstrom's sale section.

    Shop men's boots at Nordstrom here >>

    Shop women's boots at Nordstrom here >>

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

    DON'T MISS: 25 cold weather wardrobe staples for women we swear by for our own closets

    Men's J&M 1850 Karnes Brogue Cap Toe Boot

    J&M 1850 Karnes Brogue Cap Toe Boot, $136.90 (Originally $229) [You save $92.10]



    Men's UGG Dalvin Zip Boot with Genuine Shearling

    UGG Dalvin Zip Boot with Genuine Shearling, $129.90 (Originally $260) [You save $130.10]



    Men's Cole Haan Tyler Chukka Boot

    Cole Haan Tyler Chukka Boot, available in two colors, $149.90 (Originally $250) [You save $100.10]



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    williams sonoma $19.95

    The Star Wars franchise has captivated and continues to captivate audiences of all ages around the world. Nearly everyone can identify at least one person in their lives who loves the epic space story and has watched each of the movies a dozen times. 

    Thanks to the franchise's long-lasting and universal popularity, there are more than enough Star Wars products to go around, from props and clothing to decor and books. Finding a Star Wars-related gift isn't the hard part — finding one that's creative and unexpected is. 

    You can surprise them this year with one of these 27 Star Wars gifts they don't already have. As you'll see, there is a wide range of ways to incorporate new and interesting galactic fun into their lives. 

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

    SEE ALSO: 31 cool tech gifts for the home that suit every kind of budget

    DON'T MISS: 34 cool stocking stuffers you can get on Amazon for under $20

    A Darth Vader figurine that's also an alarm clock

    Clic Time LEGO Darth Vader Alarm Clock, $22.99, available at Amazon

    What makes this alarm clock even more fun is that they can move the arms and legs to make Darth Vader sit or stand on their night stand. When they push down on his head to snooze the alarm or check the time, he lights up with a red glow. 



    Super comfortable underwear that also glows in the dark

    Men's Star Wars Boxer Brief, $24, available at MeUndies

    Women's Star Wars Bikini, $18, available at MeUndies

    One of MeUndies' many Adventurous prints is not only a fun group of Star Wars characters, but it also glows in the dark for extra quirkiness. We love its soft and stretchy micromodal underwear so much, we recommend MeUndies as some of the best underwear men and women can buy. 

     



    Mugs shaped like a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader

    Darth Vader and Stormtrooper Ceramic Mugs, $19.99, available at Target

    They'll feel like they can conquer the morning just like Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers after sipping their coffee from these ceramic mugs. 

     



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    teabox $85.50, 3 months

    By now, the idea of a subscription box service is far from new. It remains, however, an excellent gift choice because there's one for pretty much every interest and hobby you can think of. It's also easy to purchase online and send — no pesky gift-wrapping necessary. 

    The best subscription services provide unique discovery opportunities, curate high-quality brands, and automate everyday routines to make life easier. We think the following subscriptions fit the bill and should be on your gifting list this year.

    With some, you can buy a gift card to apply toward a plan of their choice, while with others you can designate the subscription duration and details yourself. 

    Find a subscription service gift they'll love, below. 

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

    Harry's: the razors and accessories needed for a close and comfortable shave

    Gift a Harry's custom shave plan here

    The gift of a clean, smooth shave is more cherished than you might think. Harry's full line of shaving products work together seamlessly, and you can customize this combination of blades, creams, foaming gels, and post-shave balms to send to your recipient. 



    Hint: delicious, healthy waters that kick their soda habit

    Gift the Hint Flavor of the Month Club, $16.99/month

    Fans of this flavored water stock it in their pantries by the caseful. The calorie-, sugar-, and GMO-free water comes in refreshing flavors like mango-grapefruit and blood orange, which they can rotate through with this drink subscription. Anyone who's bored with regular water but wants to stay hydrated and healthy will look forward to each month's delivery. 



    Causebox: products for the socially and environmentally conscious

    Gift a Causebox membership, $199.80/year

    Causebox curates ethically made, vegan, and charitable products from the top socially conscious brands in beauty, fashion, wellness, home, and art. Each quarterly box has a retail value of more than $200 but only costs $49.95 and has the added benefit of doing good — for artisans, the environment, and your body. 



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    uniqlo

    • Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka is only $69.90 but delivers the warmth of a much more expensive product.
    • This jacket is very thin, it weighs less than a pound, and it can be rolled into a compact pouch for easy storage while traveling.
    • Fall weather requires a jacket that is warm without being too heavy, and this jacket delivers on that with its lightweight, flattering cut.

    I spent my college years in upstate New York, an area known for its frigid winter temperatures. Naturally, weeks before my first year began my mom insisted on taking me shopping for winter essentials — think heavy jackets, snow boots, and fleece gloves. 

    Shopping for winter jackets in the summer can be quite trying, especially when you're a teenager who wants nothing less than their mom telling them what to do. So, when my mom insisted I buy this Uniqlo jacket after a draining day of trying on too much down and wool, I said fine, packed it in my bag, and brought it to school with me. Shortly after, I ended up losing it at a party without much thought.

    Fast forward two years, I was about to head off to study abroad in Spain. With limited packing space for four months abroad, I needed a jacket that would keep me warm for my travels throughout Europe without taking up too much space in my suitcase. I thought back to the Uniqlo Ultra Light Down jacket I had lost two years ago, yes the one my mom insisted I buy but I could have cared less about, and realized it was just what I needed. There began my love story with this jacket — and I have never worn it to a party, or let it get lost, since.

    jacketuniqlo

    If you are looking for a heavy-duty winter coat, one that can withstand below freezing temperatures, this is not it. What this jacket is, though, is a thin down layer that is deceptively warm and very affordable at about $70.

    While there are a few styles, I have the Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka. It's hard to imagine that this coat could provide any substantial warmth from just looking at it. The jacket itself weighs less than a pound; Uniqlo compares the weight of the jacket to the weight of three eggs. But, surprisingly, this super thin jacket is pretty warm.

    The shell is 100% nylon and it's filled with 90% down, with a fill power of over 640. Fill power refers to the quality of the down used and a higher fill power correlates with a greater ability to retain heat. So, even though this jacket is very light, the high fill power means it provides a substantial amount of warmth for its weight.

    The jacket comes in many colors and a simple, fitted cut that will complement anyone. This can be credited to the vertical quilting Uniqlo uses to achieve a more flattering look. Of course, I think this jacket is better used for function than fashion, but the fact that it's nice looking is a plus.

    I tend to size up in down jackets, as I like having the ability to layer as much as I want underneath my coat in order to stay warm. In wanting to keep with the fitted look of this one, I stayed with my regular size  and I still am able to fit a few layers beneath the coat comfortably.

    What sets this jacket apart for me is that it can be rolled into a small pouch for easy storage and portability.

    Each jacket in the collection is accompanied by a drawstring nylon pouch which, when used, transforms your jacket into a light, compact little cylinder. It easily fits in a backpack, larger pocket, or even a purse. When I traveled abroad, this feature became especially useful as I usually only travelled with a small carry on bag, even for longer trips. In attempting to pack smarter, some items had to go, but this small jacket always had a place in my luggage. For the warmth it gives, I would have given up even more of my suitcase space to keep it with me, but luckily it barely takes up any room at all.

    uniqlopocket

    It should also be noted that his jacket has a water-repellent coating, but is not weatherproof. It is enough to withstand light rain and snow, but can't promise to keep you dry in a monsoon. I have got caught in heavy rain in this jacket before, and while it doesn't compare to a slick windbreaker, it does a decent job of keeping out the water. The jacket itself absorbs most of the water, making it wetter and heavier, but for the most part your body and any layers of clothing you are wearing underneath won't be sopping wet. When you zip the jacket all the way up and put on the hood, the hood does a good job of covering your face, which I feel is one of its best features for more severe weather conditions like wind and snow. Again, though, this isn't a rain jacket or ski jacket and it isn't trying to be.

    This jacket sits in my closet sandwiched somewhere between my heavy-duty winter parka, which provides tons of warmth and insulation, and my denim jackets, which provide barely any. This jacket is a happy medium perfect for brisk fall days, when the average temperature is somewhere around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When it gets colder, this jacket can easily be worn over a heavier sweater or under a larger coat. I go with the former combination often, layering a T-shirt and sweater under this coat for added warmth.

    It's hard to now imagine my resistance to buying this piece those five years ago, but I am so glad I made the choice to re-purchase. For fall, winter, and spring, this jacket is now a staple of mine. It's not the warmest jacket I own, or the best-looking, but at only $69.90 it's the best value I've found and a product that now has a forever hanger in my closet.

    Buy the women's Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka, $69.90

    Buy the men's Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka, $69.90

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

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    Snacknation

    Subscription boxes are the gifts that keep on giving.

    Whether you subscribe for three months or 12, you're essentially giving several gifts but without the hassle of shopping and wrapping each one.

    And to save you even more time and effort, Amazon has stepped up its subscription box game. Not only does the site literally have all of the things, its subscription box service has kits for every need and budget.

    Beauty fans, snackers, kids, pet owners — it's all there. And each month has a different theme so they're never getting the same products twice. It's basically the holidays every month, and they have you to thank for that.

    If you're going to give a subscription box this season, these 18 are all great choices.

    And if you're looking for more gift suggestions, check out all of our gift guides here.

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

    READ MORE: 22 unique gift ideas for everyone in the family — all from Amazon

    DON'T MISS: 22 useful and fun gifts for coffee lovers they don't already have

    FaceTory: sheet masks they can do every weekend

    FaceTory: FOUR-ever FRESH, $8.90 - $19.90/month, available at Amazon

    Treat them to a four-pack or seven-pack of facial masks every month. The types of masks range from basic cotton sheets to hydrogels so there's a good range of products they can try and explore.



    MexiCrate: Mexican candy for their sweet tooth

    MexiCrate, $11.99 - $21.95/month, available at Amazon

    For a bold taste of Mexico, gift them a box of Mexican candies that hit all the right spots: sweet, spicy, salty, and sour. The Liker box includes one pound of candy, while the Lover box has a whopping three pounds.



    Bean Box: best-in-class coffee from Seattle and Portland

    Bean Box, $26/month, available at Amazon

    Every month, they can try out another amazing coffee brewer from Seattle and Portland. There are six types of boxes to choose from — light roast, medium roast, dark roast, espresso, decaf, and an "All Roasts" option. Each box comes with a 12-ounce pouch of freshly roasted whole beans, tasting notes, and at-home brewing tips.



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    france yellow vest protest

    • Yellow vest protesters took to the streets across France on Saturday, in what quickly devolved into violent clashes with police.
    • The demonstrators began by protesting a planned fuel tax hike weeks ago, but participants have continued even after the French government canceled the increase.
    • The protesters continue to be outraged over French President Emmanuel Macron, economic inequality, and worsening living standards.

    For the fourth weekend in a row, yellow vest protesters took to the streets across France to demonstrate against President Emmanuel Macron, high taxes, and economic inequality.

    The weekly protests have steadily grown more violent, and French officials said by the end of Saturday, dozens were injured and hundreds arrested.

    Thousands of police officers were deployed to control the riots, eventually firing tear gas and rubber bullets, and repelling demonstrators with water cannons.

    Here's how the clashes unfolded:

    The so-called "Yellow Vest" movement was first sparked weeks ago, when protestors began demonstrating against a planned fuel tax increase.



    Many of the demonstrators are working-class or impoverished residents of France.



    In response to the growing outrage and violence, Macron eventually backed down and canceled the fuel tax increase on Wednesday.

    Source: The New York Times



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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.

    best mouse pad

    • Mouse pad surfaces affect how your mouse tracks. Soft pads increase drag for more precision and hard surfaces allow for quicker movements.

    • The SteelSeries DeX's unique 3D texture reduces drag so your mouse tracking is fluid and responsive, but it's also soft for hours of comfortable use, virtually eliminating the trade-off between comfort and speed.

    Most people probably don't think too much about mouse pads. Given modern mouse technology, this is actually quite understandable. Old-school ball mouses (remember those?) were barely usable without a good mouse pad, but the optical sensors on today's mouses are much more forgiving when it comes to working surfaces. As long as it's smooth and flat, it'll probably work.

    Nonetheless, if you've ever used an optical mouse without a pad for an extended period of time, you've almost certainly realized what you were missing. A smooth, tactile surface is still a necessity — even with the greatly enhanced sensitivity and accuracy of optical mouse sensors — whether you're doing precise tasks like graphic design and gaming, or just tackling another long day of working on the computer.

    Whereas ball mouses generally required a softer surface for traction, sensitive optical sensors have given rise to a growing number of mouse pad designs that offer different benefits. When it comes to pad surfaces, there's a general trade-off between speed and accuracy: Softer or rougher textures will create more friction than a hard, slick surface, allowing for more precision (as well as creating more drag), whereas a smoother mouse pad will allow for quicker movements (such as while playing a fast-paced video game, for example) at the cost of accuracy.

    In other words: Your mouse will move faster on a hard/smooth surface, thus making it easier to make large cursor swipes quickly, and it'll move more slowly on a soft surface, thus giving you more precise control over your cursor. How much this matters to you really depends on your needs. Gamers are admittedly more fussy about this stuff than most people. Also note that softer mouse pads will naturally be more comfortable to use for long periods of time than hard ones.

    Whatever your needs, we've covered just about all the bases below. These picks include everything from a no-nonsense budget-friendly mouse pad to ones featuring the latest innovations in surface design, so if you're looking to upgrade your setup or just replace an old worn-out mouse pad, then be sure to read through them all to see which one is right for you.

    Here are the best mouse pads you can buy:

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

    The best mouse pad overall

    Why you'll love it: With a unique 3D-textured surface that reduces friction despite its soft hand-feel, the SteelSeries DeX mouse pad solves the age-old problem of having to sacrifice comfort for responsiveness.

    As mentioned the intro, you generally have to make a compromise between friction and comfort when selecting the right mouse pad for your needs. A soft mouse pad might be more comfortable, but it will create more friction on your mouse, requiring you to do more work to glide it around. A harder surface won't have that "give" to it, allowing the mouse and therefore the optical sensor to glide more freely, but it's less precise and will be harder on your wrist in the long run.

    Our favorite, the SteelSeries DeX, reinvents the common mouse pad with a unique design that all but renders this dilemma solved. It has a unique 3D surface that is comfortable to use while reducing friction and increases your mouse's responsiveness. Instead of cloth or foam padding, the DeX is made of a soft rubberized polymer with a slightly raised texture. This results in a mouse pad that's easy on your hand and wrist, but the 3D surface greatly reduces the actual contact area between the pad and your mouse, thereby mitigating drag.

    The soft pad material is also completely waterproof and fully washable, and the edges are heat-bound so the DeX won't fray like many cloth mouse pads do after while. The great design of the SteelSeries DeX comes at a price, though. At around $40, it's the most expensive of our picks.

    It's nonetheless the closest thing to a perfect mouse pad that you can buy, and well worth the money. The durable polymer should last a long, long while, too. Don't be surprised if you see other companies copying the design of the DeX in the future.

    Pros: The unique 3D texture reduces surface contact between mouse and pad for more fluid and precise tracking, the soft rubbery polymer is comfortable and waterproof, heat-sealed edges prevent cracking and fraying, and no obnoxious branding

    Cons: It's expensive at around $40

    Buy the SteelSeries DeX mouse pad on Amazon for $37.99 (originally $39.99)



    The best mouse pad with wrist support

    Why you'll love it: For wrists that need a little more comfort than a normal soft mouse pad can give, the 3M Precise mouse pad features a gel-filled wrist rest that provides some much-needed relief at a price that's just as easy on the wallet.

    Unless you specifically want the increased movement speed of a hard working surface, then soft mouse pads are generally the best option for most people, especially if you're sitting at a computer for extended periods of time. Even a soft mouse pad can become uncomfortable after hours of use, though. Although the softer material might feel better on your hand, a flat pad still doesn't offer any real support for your wrist.

    Mouse pads with padded wrist rests, like our pick from 3M, are a popular and simple way to solve the problem of wrist pain. A number of padded designs exist today, but the 3M Precise mouse pad has a few features that put it well ahead of the competition.

    Firstly, the gel pillow's leatherette covering is softer and more durable than those of other ergonomic mouse pads. These typically have rubber- or cloth-covered gel pads that are more prone to cracking, pitting, leaking, or otherwise deteriorating over time.

    Secondly, the 3M Precise mouse pad offers more than just increased hand comfort: This pad also features 3M's patented surface design that's purpose-built for optical mouses. This flat, micro-grooved layer sits on top of the soft non-slip base underneath, providing enhanced tracking for optical sensors. This results in smoother, more responsive cursor feedback compared to standard cloth-surfaced mouse pads, which haven't changed much since the days of ball mouses.

    The 3M Precise mouse pad is cheap, too, and the model without the gel-filled hand rest was almost our "best budget" pick. This particular gel-padded design rings in at just $17, making it the second most affordable selection on our roundup and a great choice if you're on the fence about buying an ergonomic mouse pad and don't want to spend too much money to try it out.

    Pros: Durable leatherette-covered gel-filled wrist rest for added comfort, the 3M Precise micro-grooved surface enhances optical mouse feedback, and it's highly affordable

    Cons: The pad is prone to curling slightly at the edges over time

    Buy the 3M Precise mouse pad with gel wrist rest on Amazon for $17



    The best oversized mouse pad

    Why you'll love it: If you're looking for an oversized desk mat to serve as a rest for both your keyboard and mouse, then the Glorious PC Gaming Race extended mouse pad has everything you need at a price point that's hard to beat.

    Mouse pads have come a long way since the '90s, and not just in terms of surface designs and materials: They've grown in size as well. Oversized pads, often referred to as "mouse mats" to distinguish them from their smaller counterparts, serve a number of purposes: They give your hands and wrists a soft place to rest upon whether you're mousing or typing, prevent your keyboard from sliding around, and protect the surface finish of your desk.

    Our favorite, the Glorious PC Gaming Race mouse mat, has everything we like. Its soft and tactile surface feels great and tracks beautifully, and unlike many other cloth mouse pads, this mat has a stitched frame around the edges that prevents warping and fraying.

    The standard pad measures in at three feet long by 11 inches wide, giving you plenty of surface area for your keyboard and mouse, while its size and rubber base secure it in place on your desk. There are even larger options, too: the XXL and XXXL.

    The mat's soft surface is an open fabric, so it will absorb dirt and anything you spill on it more readily than other designs. The Glorious PC Gaming Race mouse pad is washable, though, either by hand or in a machine on a gentle cycle (air drying is recommended), and keeping it clean is not a problem. Just know that it's going to require it at some point like any cloth mouse pad.

    The Glorious PC Gaming Race extended mat is also a solid value starting at $24, which is a great price for something of this size and quality.

    Pros: Soft and comfortable cloth surface, anti-slip rubber base, stitched edges prevent fraying, multiple sizes available for just about any desktop setup, and it's a great value at $24 for the standard mat

    Cons: The non-sealed fabric collects dust and dirt more quickly than some others

    Buy the Glorious PC Gaming Race extended mouse mat on Amazon for $23.99



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