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The latest news from Life

older | 1 | .... | 1641 | 1642 | (Page 1643) | 1644 | 1645 | .... | 2006 | newer

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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.

    dr dennis gross

    Skin care, and treating acne in particular, is an ongoing process that takes time, consistency, and plenty of experimentation.

    Though everyone's skin is different, sometimes what works for one person might just actually work for you, too. When there are hundreds to tens of thousands of verified reviews that tout similar success stories, it's a good sign you should try the product. 

    The following cleansers, masks, spot treatments, and tools have earned their places at the top of best-selling lists because they're just plain effective. Some are admittedly pricey investments, while others only cost less than $10, so whatever your budget, you'll be able to find a top-rated, best-selling acne product for you. 

    These 11 acne products have the support of tons of satisfied users across the Internet: 

    A $9 clay mask that promises the 'world's most powerful facial'

    Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, $10.95, available at Amazon

    Amazon rating: 4.4 stars out of 18,300+ reviews

    More than 12,000 five-star Amazon reviews, plus the glowing approval of Insider Picks reporter Mara Leighton, confirm that this affordable clay mask is no ordinary mask. Keep it on for five to 10 minutes and it draws out impurities to make your skin clearer and smoother. 



    A plant-based vitamin C serum

    TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum, $19.99, available at Amazon

    Amazon rating: 4.3 stars out of 9,800+ reviews

    Acne sufferers have noticed a marked reduction in the number of breakouts after consistent use of this gentle serum. The great part is that it's not only for acne — it also helps with fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and sun spots. 



    A gentle cream that harnesses the power of tea tree oil

    Keeva Tea Tree Oil, $22.97, available at Amazon

    Amazon rating: 4.4 stars out of 60+ reviews

    If you have to deal with deep, painful cystic acne, you'll appreciate this tea tree oil treatment designed for sensitive skin. The tea tree oil dries out the gunk in your pimples without drying out your actual skin. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    best new sous vide

    From January through December, you can find us testing and writing about products and services we think will benefit our readers.

    Sometimes, they're the best-selling cult-favorites that have already been around for a few years, and we want to confirm for you whether they really live up to the hype. Other times, we're on the front lines of product drops and we get our hands on the newest products to see if they're worth your time. In 2018, many of our favorite brands introduced shiny new things to get excited about.

    Notable new products of 2018 include cool tech that doesn't come from the big names you would expect, comfortable clothing you'll never want to take off, and kitchen tools that can help you make the most delicious meals of the year. 

    Check out the 23 best new products of 2018, along with their original reviews, below. 

    Best new candle: Otherland

    Shop candles at Otherland

    Read our review of Otherland candles here

    Beautiful packaging and limited-edition collections play a big role in Otherland's success. Our editors, a pair of ardent candle enthusiasts, agree that its whimsical scents and bold designs are unlike any other in the candle space right now. For $89, you can send off a custom gift box by picking three favorites, choosing a matchbox message, then writing a personal note. Just one candle will cost you $36.



    Best new cordless vacuum: Dyson V10 Absolute

    Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, $507, available at Amazon

    The trade-off for the convenience of a cordless vacuum is usually power, but we found that the V10 Absolute actually compared to a corded Dyson in suction power. It's lightweight, powerful, and versatile, with three power modes, two different cleaning heads, and four additional cleaning tools.

    Though it's expensive and may not be suitable for larger homes because of its relatively short battery life, it cleans efficiently and thoroughly, a godsend to anyone who enjoys living in a sparkling clean space. Insider Picks senior editor Ellen Hoffman said, "You'll never look back if you get a Dyson vacuum." 

     



    Best new women's underwear: Tommy John

    Shop underwear at Tommy John here

    Read our review of Tommy John women's underwear here

    Some of our favorite and most memorable products aren't fancy gadgets by any means. If you can perfect a basic essential, then you have our hearts, and that's just what Tommy John did this year with its launch of women's underwear.

    The very comfortable underwear is available in three different fabrics (the light, barely there Air; soft micro modal Second Skin; and breathable Cool Cotton), four cuts (Boyshort, Brief, Cheeky, and Thong), and a variety of colors. By providing coverage and comfort without pilling, rolling, or bunching, they've nailed exactly what we've been looking for in our underwear. The underwear isn't cheap, but it is definitely worth the cost.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the walton family walmart

    • The Walmart heirs are worth a combined $157 billion.
    • They grant money and resources to support education, environmental efforts, and their home community through the Walton Family Foundation.
    • In public, the Waltons live a pretty modest life despite their wealth. Here's how they spend their fortune.

    The combined wealth of the Walmart heirs— which includes Rob, Jim, Alice, John's wife Christy, and their son Lukas — is $157 billion, according to Bloomberg

    While some work in the family business — whether that's serving on the company board or working to manage the family's wealth — others chose to pursue areas of personal passion.

    Sam Walton, the original man behind the company that now encompasses both Walmart and Sam's Club, set his family up for financial success when he divided the ownership before he died.

    He wasn't a man of flashy luxury, but you can see how his children are living a slightly more lavish life now. 

    SEE ALSO: Walmart is eliminating the most dreaded part of holiday shopping

    Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Arkansas in 1962.



    He married Helen Robson on Valentine's Day in 1942 and together they had four children: Rob, John, Jim, and Alice.



    By the time Sam died in 1992, he had set up the company ownership in a way that minimized the estate taxes anyone on the receiving end of his will had to pay.

    Source: Fortune



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    IP gift guide banner

    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.

    Uncommon Goods, $40

    Shopping for coworkers can become a never-ending parade of mild pine-scented candles, Hallmark cards, and candy that is destined for retirement in a desk drawer for most of January. It's easier to buy thoughtful, impactful gifts for your closest loved ones, and it gets harder once you add in the subtleties and professionalism of the workplace.

    However, there are hordes of fantastic gifts out there for coworkers. And they don't have to be expensive — in fact, they probably shouldn't be. The ideal colleague present is thoughtful, unique, and lands somewhere in the casual middle ground between re-gifting paperclips from the supply closet and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean. 

    Below, you'll find 35 of the best coworker gifts for under $50. You'll also find 22 work-appropriate yet thoughtful gifts for your boss for under $50 here.

    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: 22 work-appropriate yet thoughtful gifts for your boss — all under $50

    A three-month subscription of freshly roasted whole bean, single-origin coffees from a cool startup

    Driftaway Coffee Subscription, Three Months, available on Driftaway Coffee, from $39

    If they're practically tethered to the coffee pot, they'll probably love the fun and thoughtful gift of a three-month subscription to this cool Brooklyn startup's beans. Driftaway sends freshly roasted, whole bean, single-origin coffees from around the world to their doorstep.



    An Atlas Obscura calendar full of daily photos and tidbits about the world's strangest and coolest places or festivals

    Atlas Obscura Color Page-A-Day Desk 2019 Calendar, available on Amazon, $20.99

    Add some fun to their day-to-day routine with the Atlas Obscura calendar. There are hundreds of photos that celebrate the world's strangest and coolest places, festivals, and foods. Travelers and life-long learners are particularly good candidates for this one. 



    A funny mug that acknowledges the bond forged by people who have to fix the same defunct printer every week together

    The This is Fine Mug, available on Etsy, from $9.99

    A "This is Fine" mug is the perfect gift for the only other people on earth who can truly relate to the particularities of your job: a defunct printer, last night's too-fun team happy hour, and the occasional avalanche of meetings and high-priority emails. Here's a $13 nod to the fond shared stressors. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    le creuset, $50

    Whether they have a cookware collection that rivals Martha Stewart's or their most prized kitchen accessory is their drawer of takeout menus, they'll appreciate a nice new kitchen tool to add to their space.

    From solving common cooking aggravations to just making mealtime more fun, there's really a kitchen gadget for everyone, and every budget, out there. 

    For a solid gift you can bank on them loving, check out our list of 21 kitchen accessories below. It runs the gamut from practical to quirky and everything in between, plus you can find all of it for $50 or less. 

    SEE ALSO: 35 clever presents for coworkers that they'll actually be happy to receive

    DON'T MISS: The 36 best products we discovered in 2018

    A batter crayon

    Fred CRAYUM Batter Crayon, $7.99, available at Amazon

    Getting the perfect pancake can be a challenge, but this batter crayon can help them out — and make breakfast a little more fun. 

     



    A stovetop espresso maker

    Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Coffee Maker (1-cup), $24.95, available at Amazon

    For the coffee-loving types who have already tried just about every way to get their morning brew, give them this moka pot. Bialetti actually invented the first stovetop coffee maker in the early 20th century and, even after all these years, it's original model is our favorite option out there. 



    A cheese melt pan

    Cuisinart BBQ Cheese Melt Pan, $9.99, available at Amazon

    If they're not already melting cheese on all of their favorite foods... they should probably start. Help them out with this pan that makes the ooey, gooey, cheesy topping of their dreams a reality. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    house_flipping_side_by_side

    • House flipping isn't all reality TV makes it out to be.
    • Flipping houses can be rewarding and a good investment, but you should be prepared for unexpected problems, budget increases, time-inducing mistakes, a longer renovation timeline, and issues selling on the market.
    • Here's what house flipping is really like, according to those who've done it.

    "Flip or Flop"— it's not just the name of one of HGTV's most popular home-improvement shows but the reality of house flipping.

    Buying a home, renovating it, and reselling it can be a hit or a miss. If it's the latter, you best be prepared for a financial hit.

    But that's not preventing people from flipping houses. American homeowners flipped 217,000 single-family homes or condos in 2017, the most in 11 years, reported Ronda Kaysen of The New York Times, citing real estate data company ATTOM Data Solutions.

    But flipping houses isn't as easy as reality TV makes it out to be — or as quick. We talked to several people who have been through the process of flipping a house more than once, and many said the real-life timeline of house flipping is longer than depicted. The consensus? You need to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances, especially going over budget. 

    You're also bound to learn the hard way from mistakes. One house flipper spent a grueling amount of time scraping wallpaper off her kitchen, while another didn't check how laminate flooring fit together before purchasing it, resulting in complications when it came to laying it down. 

    And then there's the housing market. Sometimes, a flipped house will take longer to sell or won't sell for as much as you anticipated, decreasing your profit.

    But that's not to say house flipping can't be rewarding — or a good investment — especially if you love doing it.

    Here's what house flipping is really like, according to house flippers themselves.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what living in a tiny house is really like, according to people who traded their homes for minimalism

    DON'T MISS: What a $250,000 home looks like in the biggest city in every state

    House flipping involves buying an investment home, renovating it, and reselling it quickly to make a profit.

    Instagram Embed:
    //instagram.com/p/BrVeSAtnwKx/embed
    Width: 540px

     



    You can make serious money if all goes well, but it's not a surefire way to get rich. There are a lot of details to house flipping that can get overlooked.

    Instagram Embed:
    //instagram.com/p/BpUazstFPR_/embed
    Width: 540px

     



    In fact, house flipping isn't what HGTV makes it out to be. Here's what it's really like, according to those who've done it.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Allbirds

    If you're looking to make a big difference with a gift, shopping for a college student is a good place to begin. They have classes, internships, second jobs, social lives, and relationships to manage, and they probably have far less money to support themselves than they wish they did.

    Useful, thoughtful gifts can make a disproportionate difference in their quality of life — especially when it's something they'll both use frequently and couldn't afford on their own.

    As a recent college graduate, I can tell you from experience that the list below is a really good place to start your shopping.

    Below are 36 of the best gifts for college students:

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

    DON'T MISS: The 18 best subscription boxes you can gift from Amazon this holiday season

    Popular wireless over-ear headphones for quality noise-canceling during studying, traveling, and working out

    Beats by Dre Wireless Solo3 Headphones, available at Best Buy and Amazon, $239.95

    If there's one thing every college student needs, it's good wireless headphones. They'll use them at the gym, at the library, and commuting to class and internships. This pair has great sound, cushioned ear cups, and 40 hours of battery life so they have one less thing to think about. And if they let the battery run out, a five-minute charge is the equivalent to three hours of play time.

    If they like to study in public spaces, you can't go wrong with Bose's pricey but unbeatable QuietComfort headphones for noise-cancellation. If they're a runner and need something lightweight and in-ear, you should opt for Jaybird RUN



    An Amazon Echo Dot for hands-free calls, alarms, music, updates on the weather, recipes, and more

    Echo Dot (3rd Generation), available on Amazon, $29.99

    The Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason — it's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (weather updates, recipes, music, news), which is the main reason most people buy an Echo device. The newest version — the third generation — has a speaker that's 70% louder than the second, and comes in a fabric design that better matches home decor. Find an Insider Picks comparison of the Echo devices for fast reference here

     



    An inexpensive way for them to get the iced coffee they love at home

    The Takeya Cold Brew Maker is an inexpensive, easy way to make cold brew from home — something that can save them hundreds of dollars per year. Find a full review here.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    WatchTime NYC 2018

    • WatchTime New York is the biggest luxurywatch show in NYC.
    • It features exhibits by many of the biggest and most respected names in the luxury watch business, including Bovet, Montblanc, MB&F, and Breguet.
    • I know very little (read: almost nothing) about watches, but I decided to check it out.

    I'll preface this by saying I know very little about watches. I have a $100 Skagen that I've been wearing every day since I got it for Christmas two years ago and that, aside from some waterproof stopwatches I wore as a teenager, is the extent of my watch ownership.

    But, as the executive life editor for Busines Insider, I'm fascinated by the endless trappings of luxury, even the ones on our wrists, so I decided to check out WatchTime New York, NYC's biggest luxury watch show.

    The late October show is a two-day day event in midtown Manhattan. This was its fourth year running, and it was co-hosted by watch publication WatchTime and luxury blog and Instagram account Watch Anish.

    It's a testament to the buzzy energy at the show, and to the attentiveness of the PR team that was showing me around, that I didn't feel completely lost.

    Here's what it's like inside NYC's biggest luxury watch show.

    WatchTime New York is a two-day event. It's the biggest luxury watch show in NYC, and for the fourth year running, it was held in Gotham Hall, a couple of blocks from Bryant Park in midtown.



    I showed up for the event after work at around 7 p.m. on Friday, by which point the show had already been running for about two hours.



    I wasn't sure what the attire was, so I wore black jeans and a black turtleneck, thinking I couldn't go wrong. A doorman let me into the building, where I was able to check my coat and backpack.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    4

    The holiday time may not be the best for golfing weather… depending on where you live, of course. (We northerners are very jealous of you southerners this time of the year.)

    Even if cool weather makes it tougher to play golf, it doesn't mean golfers stop thinking about the game. You can keep that fuel for the game of golf going during the winter with holiday gifts for golfers.

    Most golfers love trying out new equipment, which means a golf gift is always appreciated and almost certainly will be used, once the weather warms up.

    Check out our list of 18 great golf gifts at all different price points for the holidays, and a "19th hole" gift that'll have them laughing, even if their game involves spending more time in the woods than on the fairway.

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


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

    A two-headed club brush

    FBJW Golf Club Brush and Groove Cleaner, $6.99, available at Amazon

    Every golfer can use a club brush while on the course. Keeping the club face's grooves clean will help you strike the ball properly. This brush has two sides, one to clean the club face and one for the grooves. It clips onto your golf bag with a 2-foot retractable line, so you can leave it attached to the bag while you use it.



    A soft microfiber golf towel

    Greens Towel Microfiber Golf Towel Set of 3, $12.97, available at Amazon

    Golf towels are designed to handle the dirt from your golf ball and clubs. Because they become dirty over time, having a couple of extra towels stored inside the bag that the golfer can swap out as needed will make this set of three microfiber towels a handy gift. Each towel has a carabiner clip to affix to the golf bag. The soft nap on the towels handles golf ball dimples and golf club grooves perfectly.



    A reasonably priced golf ball

    Callaway Hex Bit Golf Balls (12-Pack), $19.99, available at Amazon

    Every golfer can use more control around the green, and these golf balls will help. The cover on the Hex Bit balls is soft, which improves the feel you'll have on short approach shots and chip shots. Best of all, these balls are reasonably priced, which means the gift recipient won't feel bad if he or she hits one or two… or all 12 into various water hazards during the next round.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Snowboarding at the 2018 Winter Olympics

    • Google took a look back on the people, topics, events, and places that trended the most on search as part of its 2018 "Year in Search" series.
    • We looked at the top results for the search, "Where is..."
    • The most trending queries involved natural disasters, world events, and unexpected people news.

    Just Google it.

    It's an impulse thought many have when it comes to finding the answer to something one doesn't know.

    As the year draws to a close, Google took a look back on the people, topics, events, and places that trended the most on search in 2018 as part of its 2018 "Year in Search" series.

    We looked at the top results for the search, "Where is..." to see what locations people were looking for during the past year. The results were certainly reflective of the news of 2018 — three of the searches regard natural disasters, two involved world events (the Olympics and the World Cup), while others were inquired based on a scandal, company announcement, and school shooting.

    Note that these items aren't the "most searched" — they're trending queries that increased the most from 2017 to 2018, according to Google.

    See below for the year's most trending "Where is" topics, ranked.

    10. Where is Prince from?

    Musician Prince is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He died in 2016 from an accidental fentanyl overdose, which was brought into the news again in 2018 when his family moved the medical malpractice suit to the county where he died.

     



    9. Where is Paradise, California?

    Paradise, California, was located in northern California in Butte County. Home to 27,000 people, the town was completely destroyed by the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in the state's history.



    8. Where is Amazon based?

    Amazon is based in Seattle, Washington. In 2018, it announced the addition of two new headquarter locations: Queens, New York, and the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    therapy dogs airport

    • Delta just barred emotional-support pets from flights longer than eight hours.
    • Some such animals have caused problems on flights by peeing, defecating, or mauling passengers.
    • Other airlines are also considering cracking down on support animals and issuing tighter regulations.
    • Unlike service dogs, "emotional support animals" are an unregulated group. There's little scientific evidence about what they really do for people.

    Emotional support peacocks. Emotional support snakes. Emotional support hamsters.

    People have brought all sorts of "support animals" into public places recently, arguing the creatures should be allowed to fly on planes or come into offices because they serve a mental-health purpose. 

    But the trend has led to a spike in in-flight problems for airlines. Animals have peed, defecated, bit, and in one case mauled people on Delta planes. So the company announced Monday that emotional support pets will no longer be allowed on any Delta flights longer than eight hours.

    When it comes to the science behind the concept of a support pet, "the research is quite inconsistent on whether the animals really do anything at all," Forensic psychologist Jeffrey Younggren from the University of New Mexico told Business Insider.

    FILE PHOTO: A peacock spreading its feathers is seen at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple, in Pathum Thani province, Thailand March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Photo

    Younggren has spent years studying the trend of patients asking their therapists to sign letters certifying that they need an emotional support animal.

    Overall, he said, scientists don't know if such pets do anything "other than make somebody happy."

    But despite that lack of evidence, many therapists sign "ESP" letters for their patients, sometimes without even seeing the animals in action. 

    "How can you say the animal does something if you've never seen them with a patient?" Younggren said.

    New rules for Delta flights

    As such signed letters get more common, some pet owners are using the designation as a way to let their pets fly on planes with them for free. 

    As the holiday travel season approaches, Delta is cracking down, instituting some of the strictest support-animal rules of any US carrier to date. Support pets will no longer be allowed on eight-plus-hour flights if the ticket is purchased on or after December 18. The airline is also instituting a ban on "ESP"'s under four months of age. No exceptions will be granted after February 1, 2019.

    Delta said there has been an 84% increase in incidents involving unruly animals since 2016. 

    Earlier this year, the airline started requiring anyone flying with an emotional-support pet to sign a waiver stating that the animal can behave on a flight. The airline has also initiated other restrictions, including requiring proof of vaccination for the animals and only accepting certification letters from a doctor or mental health professional. (In the past, travelers could easy pay for such a letter online.)

    United has also made its policies more strict, as ABC News previously reported. 

    What is an emotional support animal?

    There's not much regulation about what constitutes an emotional support pet. People can buy their way into a designation pretty easily online for around $70.

    Researchers in California looked at more than a decade of records of registered "assistance" dogs and found that from 1999-2012, there was a huge uptick in the number of smaller dogs, older dogs, and dogs used for psychiatric and medical assistance in the state. Those researchers said the study revealed a growing trend of "misunderstanding" and "misuse" of support dogs. 

    Support pets are not the same as service animals. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal must be trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability, be it physical or psychiatric. Disabilities can include being blind or deaf, using a wheelchair, relying on a dog to remind you to take meds, or having a dog around in case of an anxiety attack.

    Under federal law, only dogs and miniature horses weighing less than 100 pounds qualify for the "service animal" designation.

    These trained animals are on the job and allowed to accompany their humans anywhere that members of the general public can go (including businesses, hospitals, and just about anywhere that's not a sterile operating room).

    But the law is clear: "Service animals are working animals, not pets." The ADA even spells out that "dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA."

    The Fair Housing Act, however, is a bit more lenient: It says that US tenants have a right to keep "assistance animals," including emotional support pets, in their homes even if a leaser has a strict no-pets policy. 

    Therapy dogs are a third category of animal, and they're trained to help calm patients down during therapy sessions, usually in clinical settings. 

    Animals can help people feel better, but they have to be trained

    People who train and certify dogs to work with patients are worried about the growing number of untrained pets flying on planes.

    dog and cat pets

    Alice Smith, a client services coordinator at the PAWS dog training center in Florida, told Business Insider that untrained pets are giving real service dogs a bad name.

    "There are people who just wanna be able to take their dogs with them everywhere, and they go online and buy a vest," Smith said. She added that if owners don't put in the six months to a year required to train an animal, the dog can end up barking and acting out in public. 

    However, Smith believes dogs can help for people dealing with anxiety and depression. As a pet owner herself, she said she has benefitted from having dogs around when she's upset. 

    "My dogs have just known it," she said. "They would come over to me, and get close to me, and as soon as I would pet them, I would calm down." 

    Smith said there are likely many other people who'd benefit from having a furry, well-behaved friend nearby. She said she even fielded calls from students in Florida who were scared about getting on the bus after the school shooting in Parkland and thought a support dog might help. Other kids call the training center because they're getting bullied and want an emotional support dog to help them get through the day safely. Dogs can also help guide their owners to exits in a panic, or just lean into a person to calm them down in a crowd.

    "They can feel that dog's pressure, and know the dog's there," Smith said.

    But Younggren pointed out that some people are afraid of dogs or allergic to them. For those individuals, a flight alongside an emotional support pet could be an anxiety- or illness-provoking experience.

    It boils down to a simple, well-known problem, he said: "People who love dogs think everybody loves dogs."

     

    This post has been updated to reflect Delta's new policies. Jeffrey Younggren, a forensic psychology professor at the University of New Mexico, was at the University of Missouri when this story was first published.

    SEE ALSO: Rare polar blue ice has come to the shores of the Great Lakes — and it's stunning photographers

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's how dogs actually see the world


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    supreme court 2018

    • Whenever a new judge enters the Supreme Court, the justices gather for a class photo.
    • For decades, the shot has taken place in the east conference room of the court, with the justices dressed in their traditional black robes.
    • Today, news photographers only have 120 seconds to capture the moment.
    • Justice Clarence Thomas makes it hard to get a good shot because he jokes with the justices sitting next to him.

    In November, the Supreme Court justices gathered to take a new group photo after Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the court.

    It's a class photo steeped in decades of tradition, down to the red velvet-draped room where the picture is taken and the way the winning photo is selected.

    The Chief Justice is seated in the middle, with his four longest-serving colleagues on either side, while the four junior justices are relegated to the back.

    But there are other facts about the photo that many will find surprising, which The New York Times revealed in a report on Monday. Here are six things you might not know about the Supreme Court class photo.

    SEE ALSO: Supreme Court refuses to take up states' case to defund Planned Parenthood

    DON'T MISS: Trump asks Supreme Court to consider transgender military ban

    1. The Supreme Court generally gathers to take a class photo whenever someone new enters their ranks — but that's not a hard-and-fast rule.

    In 2003, the justices decided to take a new photo because they had served together nine years without any changes to the court. A photo from that session is seen above.

    Source: The New York Times



    2. Until recently, the justices would vote on which photo they would release as their official group shot.

    Last year, that changed slightly thanks to advances in digital photography.

    For the 2017 photo, as seen above, each justice was able to choose which photo they looked best in, and each of those shots was edited into the final photo.

    In reality, the shot is actually a composite, instead of a photo, but it's impossible to tell.

    Source: The New York Times



    3. News photographers only have 2 minutes to take a photo of the justices together.

    After a Supreme Court photographer takes the official picture, news photographers are let into the east conference room to take photos as well.

    For decades, news photographers were given just 3 minutes to take their pictures. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist thought this was too long and cut the time down to 2 minutes.

    During November's photo, the Supreme Court's public information officer used a stopwatch to count off the 120 seconds that photographers were allowed to take their pictures.

    You can hear her calling the time in this video »

    Source: The New York Times



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    erin brockovich reverse osmosis.JPG

    • Erin Brockovich is a former legal clerk and clean-water advocate who was made famous by Julia Roberts' Oscar-winning portrayal of her in the 2000 film that shares her name.
    • Brockovich helped citizens of Hinkley, California, fight California Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) after unsafe levels of the carcinogen chromium-6 were found in their water. 
    • Brockovich told Business Insider that she's "funny" about her own drinking water.
    • She offered a few tips for how to determine if your tap water is safe to drink and what to do when it's not.

    If tap water looks like the color of "light pee," Erin Brockovich refuses to drink it. 

    The self-billed "water gal" made a name for herself fighting California's Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) in 1996, when chromium-6 leeched into tap water in the Mojave Desert. The legal case ended with a $333 million settlement.

    At low-level concentrations, the cancer-causing chemical can turn clear water yellow, and when it's really bad, a water source contaminated with 'chrome-6' can flow purple

    But even when tap water is perfectly clear, Brockovich admitted she's still "funny about water," and rarely, if ever, drinks straight from a tap. 

    "I don't want to drink chlorine. I don't want to drink ammonia. None of us do," Brockovich told Business Insider. "I feel safe enough and know enough about my tap water that I shower and bathe, but I don't know. I don't like how it tastes, smells."

    She said this worry comes from what she sees as an unspoken "emerging crisis" the US: More unsafe drinking water is flowing out of our taps, and our system is unprepared to deal with the problem.

    These days, chromium-6 (sometimes called "Erin Brockovich chemical") is not her main concern.

    "Right now, the largest emerging contaminant in the nation in water is PFOA — Perfluorooctanoic acid," Brockovich said.

    PFOA is a manufactured chemical that may be best known as Teflon, the nonstick substance that lets you easily slide scrambled eggs out of a pan. It's part of a broad class of thousands of man-made chemicals called PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), that can be stain-proof, waterproof, and fireproof.

    Read more: Dangerous 'forever chemicals' have been found in US drinking water at alarmingly high rates — here's what to know about PFAS

    Unfortunately, the same qualities that make PFAS good at suppressing fires, keeping pants stain-free, and repelling rain means they don't break down in the environment. Instead, the artificial chemicals remain intact in water and air for thousands of years.

    They can also easily build up in the human body as they move from the water we drink into our bloodstreams. Experts agree that every person has at least some PFAS in their system. Excessive exposure to the chemicals can be linked to health problems, including low birth rates, liver damage, high cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), immunization resistance in children, early menopause, and colon ulcers.

    "I think we’re pretty convinced that these chemicals are immune toxicants that we should be concerned about," Linda Birnbaum, a microbiologist who directs the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, said last month. 

    Why 'forever chemicals' like PFOA are in the water

    teflon pan

    PFAS chemicals were darlings of chemical-industry leaders like 3M and DuPont for much of the 20th century following their discovery in the 1930s. PFAS were championed for their abilities to fight grease (Teflon) and repel water (Gore-Tex and Scotchgard). They were also used to make a firefighting foam used at military bases around the country.

    But waste dumped from chemical-manufacturing plants can contaminate groundwater with PFAS chemicals, and they can also seep into lakes and other freshwater sources after firefighting foam gets used. PFAS are extremely persistent, so if they leech out of household products like cooking pans or if people unwittingly drink or inhale them, the chemicals bioaccumulate in our bodies. Then, they're pretty much with us for life.

    Researchers from Harvard estimated in 2016 that at least 6 million Americans — nearly 2% of the population — were drinking water with PFAS levels higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends. EPA testing done between 2013 and 2015 found significant amounts of PFAS in public water supplies in 33 US states.

    Eight big chemical companies in the US (including DuPont and 3M) voluntarily phased out the chemicals in their products and replaced them with new ones by 2015. But those replacements are still largely unregulated by the EPA, and little is known about what they might do to us.

    "We've got about 80,000-plus chemicals that just go onto the market and, 'oh, we'll find out later down the road how that turns out for us,'" Brockovich said. "PFOA is a perfect example of this." 

    Meanwhile, PFAS chemicals are still found in many other products, like stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, food packaging, raincoats, and even some cosmetics. Though the concentrations of PFAS we're exposed to through these sources are tiny, scientists like Birnbaum are increasingly concerned that even household dust may have elevated concentrations of the chemicals. 

    How to ensure your water is safe to drink

    flint michigan bottled water

    The first thing you can do if you're worried about the quality of your tap water is read your local water report. The EPA makes an annual drinking-water report available online, and there's also an independent tap-water database from the Environmental Working Group

    There are also a few ways to get rid of PFAS chemicals in your water. Experts like Birnbaum generally agree that reverse osmosis is one of the best techniques — that's what Brockovich opts for. She has even agreed to endorse a filtering product for the first time ever: the AquaTru home water filter.

    Using the reverse-osmosis filter is "the most certain way to clean your water," Brockovich said.

    AquaTru works like a filtered water pitcher, but it catches more contaminants. You place it on the counter, plug it in, and fill the purifier with water from the tap. The water goes through a four-stage filtration system, which removes fluoride, chlorine, and chloramine from the water, along with harmful viruses and bacteria. That process takes about 15 minutes for a gallon of water.

    At around $470 (not including replacement filters), AquaTru is more expensive than a reverse-osmosis system you might buy at the hardware store, but most other filters require under-the-counter installation.

    Brockovich said when she's away from home, she opts for bottled water (though she tries to buy water in glass bottles, since plastic can leech chemicals). She doesn't like the pollution bottled water creates, but Brockovich said she feels safer drinking water that has probably been filtered more thoroughly than the stuff that comes out of the tap.

    That's not true everywhere, though. Some states, like New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut, have adopted more stringent PFAS regulations than the EPA has. 

    Plus, bottled water is often just treated tap water, and the products are generally less regulated than what comes out of the tap. As the Centers for Disease Control said, "there are no requirements that bottled water quality data be reported to any federal agency or to the public."

    Most bottled water sold in the US today is run through a filtration system before it gets packaged. Some labels even include the words "reverse osmosis." But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lets companies use the label "purified water" on water that's been treated in several different ways, so it's not always clear how it's been filtered.  

    Brockovich also suggests people do their own visual inspection of tap and bottled water, and trust their instincts.

    "You're not going to convince me when I'm looking at yellow water, green-yellow, brown water, water that looks like diarrhea, that it's going to be safe to drink," she said. "I let consumers know, use your own common sense ... if it looks funny or smells funny, don't drink it."

    The EPA can't say for sure if your water is safe to drink

    pfas epa contaminated drinking water

    Although the EPA monitors our tap water, the agency has admitted it's a tricky job. 

    "The EPA and public may not know if water arriving at taps meets national drinking water standards," the agency wrote in a May 2018 report.

    So an EPA stamp of approval does not always mean everything's all right in your home.

    Water-quality data for cities and towns around the country is required to be reported every year, and it's available on the EPA's website. But it's easier to find water-quality reports for a big municipality like New York than it is to retrieve information on smaller towns like southern Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Health department officials there recently found deadly brain-eating amoebas in the water system. 

    There are also many chemicals that the EPA doesn't test for. Unlike the FDA, which scrutinizes drugs and medical devices for years before they enter the consumer market, there's no preemptive EPA approval process for chemicals. 

    Aging infrastructure is also to blame for water contamination. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US' tap-water systems a D grade on its 2017 report card. 

    The EPA estimates that over $743 billion is needed for improvements to the country's decaying water infrastructure.

    But Brockovich isn't holding out hope that'll happen anytime soon.

    In fact, the Trump administration is set to do the opposite. Trump's EPA proposed a rollback on Tuesday that would undo decades-old protections for wetlands and streams that help maintain the quality of our water supply. This is in addition to the administration's previous proposal to cut regulations on how dirt can be dumped into US waters, which was part of a failed infrastructure package that didn't make it to a vote in the House.

    "Superman's not coming," Brockovich said. "You need to inform yourself, educate yourself, be aware, use common sense."

    SEE ALSO: The record-breaking year of deadly fires in California was stoked by distinctly devilish winds — here's how they work

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Erin Brockovich reveals how she protects herself against contaminated water in America and abroad


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    EtihadA320 9

    • Etihad Airways is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, operating in 75 cities around the world.
    • Though the airline is only 15 years old, it has built a stellar reputation primarily because of its long-haul flights on new planes like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A380 superjumbo.
    • It is also known for its extravagant business- and first-class offerings, like The Residence, a $23,000 ticket that comes with a literal apartment in the sky.
    • With Gulf airlines like Etihad and Emirates becoming more popular, I recently decided to fly Etihad from Abu Dhabi, UAE, to Cairo. I was curious whether Etihad's reputation would hold up in economy class on a non-long-haul flight.

    Gone are the golden days of Pan Am, American Airlines, and the like. If you want to fly the best in 2018, your best bet is an international flag carrier — an airline owned or previously owned by a government, usually one from the Middle East or Asia.

    The consumer-aviation website Skytrax's list of the world's top airlines is dominated by flag carriers like Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines, and Cathay Pacific, among others.

    Coming in at 15th on the list is an airline I've heard tons of about: Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates.

    Read more:I flew 13 hours nonstop on the $446 million Airbus superjumbo jet, and it's about as good as economy can get

    Etihad has made a lot of noise over the years because of its ultramodern fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A380 superjumbos and its extravagant first- and business-class offerings on long-haul flights, including Business Studio, which comes with a massaging lie-flat bed, an 18.5-inch touchscreen, and a lounge to hang out in, and The Residence, a $23,000 ticket that comes with a literal apartment in the sky.

    But let's be real: I'm not flying any of that.

    As an average Joe — albeit one who travels quite often — I was curious how Etihad would hold up in economy class. I got my chance recently when booking a flight from Abu Dhabi, Etihad's hub, to Cairo.

    While I wouldn't say Etihad was bad, it certainly wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

    Here's what I thought of my flight on an Etihad Airways Airbus A320, departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Cairo International Airport.

    SEE ALSO: I flew 13 hours nonstop on the world's biggest passenger plane, the $446 million Airbus superjumbo jet, and it's about as good as economy can get

    DON'T MISS: I saved $500 on international airfare by flying a top-rated airline most people overlook, and it was one of the best economy trips I've had yet

    The UAE is a bit unique in that it has two flag carriers: Emirates for Dubai, and Etihad for Abu Dhabi. Since I had an itch to try Etihad Airlines, I had to drive an hour to Abu Dhabi International Airport.



    While a handful of Asian and Middle Eastern airlines operate out of Abu Dhabi's airport, it is dominated by Etihad. Terminal 3, where my flight was leaving from, is the newest terminal and has almost exclusively Etihad flights.



    There's a giant sign on the side of the building to remind you which airline is boss here. I can't say I saw signs for any other airline.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    seven continent cruise ship

    • A luxury cruise ship will take passengers on a 140-day journey that spans all seven continents and costs up to $240,000 per person.
    • The cruising company Silversea says the ship, Silver Whisper, will be the first to cruise to all seven continents.
    • The cruise is set to kick off in 2020 and visit 62 ports in at least 32 countries.
    • It will begin in Florida and end in Amsterdam, stopping at ports including Singapore, Mumbai, Rome, and Antarctica.

    If a typical seven-day cruise that stops at only a few ports isn't appealing, then maybe a new ultra-luxurious world cruise is for you.

    In 2020, the cruising company Silversea is set to kick off a 140-day cruise making stops on all seven continents — for $62,000 to $240,000 per person.

    Dubbed "Legends of Cruising," the trip will begin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 6, 2020, and stop at 62 ports in at least 32 countries before ending up in Amsterdam on May 25. Up to 382 guests will be aboard.

    "Unlike any other world cruise ever conceived, Legends of Cruising takes you on a journey that lets you set foot on all seven continents," Silversea's website says.

    "There are those who believe they belong to the 1%, and those who actually do. And then there are those who are part of the 1% of the 1%," the website says. It's those people Silversea envisions embarking on its Legends of Cruising trip.

    Here's a look at the super-luxe ship for the cruise, Silver Whisper:

    SEE ALSO: This cruise ship is full of apartments that were designed to look like luxury condos in NYC and London — and wealthy people are dishing out up to $36 million for them

    DON'T MISS: What it's like living in Monaco, the glamorous city-state on the French Riviera that's home to a glitzy annual yacht show and where an estimated 1 in 3 people is a millionaire

    Silversea says Silver Whisper is its "world-cruisers preferred ship" with "the amenities of a grand resort" and "the charms of a stylish boutique hotel."

    Source: Silversea



    The 2020 world cruise on Silver Whisper will last 140 days and be the first to visit all seven continents, according to Silversea.

    Source: Silversea



    The ship is set to stop at 62 ports in at least 32 countries.

    Source: Silversea



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    St. moritz ski destination

    • St. Moritz, a ski resort in the Swiss Alps, has played home to the Winter Olympics not once, but twice.
    • With a number of five-star hotels and Michelin restaurants, St. Moritz has also become a pinnacle of luxury and a destination for the elite.
    • Celebrities, billionaires, and royalty flock to St. Moritz every winter to hit the slopes and vacation in style.

    St. Moritz is many things: A holiday resort with world-class skiing, the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism, twice a home to the Winter Olympics, and a hidden gem for the one percent.

    It's also, as Heidi Mitchell of Town & Country wrote, "Europe's most secretive and storied ski town."

    Located in the middle of the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz has done more than popularize modern winter sports like ice cricket and snow polo — it's also spawned a number of five-star luxury hotels and top class restaurants with gourmet chefs. 

    Such a history has created a champagne and caviar lifestyle that the glitterati flock to every winter. Celebrities, royalty, and billionaires alike, from Kate Moss to the Swedish royal family, come for the glitz and the slopes.

    Here's a glimpse into the lavish winter wonderland that is St. Moritz.

    SEE ALSO: What a $1 million vacation looks like in Mykonos, Greece, where you'll fly in on a private jet, sleep in an ocean-view villa, and cruise the seas in a yacht

    DON'T MISS: A luxury travel company says these are the 10 most extravagant requests it's had from its super-rich customers

    St. Moritz is located in Switzerland's Engadin Valley, a high Alpine valley region in the Swiss Alps.

    Source: Google Maps



    St. Moritz's history dates back to 1864, when the first winter tourists stayed from Christmas through Easter.

    Source: Free Press Journal



    In 1928, it hosted the first official Winter Olympics and again in 1948. Women dressed in silk, sequins, and fur; men dressed in three-piece suits, according to Vogue. The event secured its status as a luxury winter tourism destination.

    Source: Vogue



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Office work holiday party santa suit new year's

    No matter how many times we warn you against letting loose at the company holiday party, some people just don't listen.

    But it's important to remember that you're still on company time, and how you behave matters.

    As a lesson to us all, we asked readers and combed the web for wild stories of office holiday parties past. Here are some of the most cringe-worthy:

    Some answers have been edited for clarity.

    SEE ALSO: 15 things you should never do at the office holiday party

    DON'T MISS: The 17 best icebreakers to use at a holiday party where you don't know anyone

    'Our new janitor has no idea why everyone is treating him so nicely'

    "There was this quiet, old janitor that worked our office building who was scheduled to retire on Christmas, so our Christmas party kind of included his farewell; we gave gifts to each other, put up a Christmas tree, people brought cakes and pastries, Christmas stuff.

    "Then here comes the old janitor and he leaves a fairly big bag of presents under the tree; we're all kind of surprised because no one seemed to interact with him that much, but nonetheless we thank him and wish him the best and stuff, then he leaves and presumably sets off to the Midwest. The next day, we open the presents, including his.

    "Turns out, the retiring janitor gave everyone in the office a little bottle of sulfuric acid. Everybody got one, even me, I still have it. We don't know where he got them or how much they cost, but apparently, he hated our guts.

    "Our new janitor has no idea why everyone is treating him so nicely."

    —Anonymous Business Insider reader



    'That was a mistake'

    "My friend is in charge of a number of temporary hires, contract workers, and freelancers at an ad agency. Her company's HR department sent a mass save-the-date email for the holiday party to everyone, including the people she has under her. That was a mistake. She now has to contact each one and tell them they are not invited to the company party." 

    —Anonymous Business Insider reader



    'The guy who brought the brownies grabbed the wrong plate ... '

    "A place that I worked at about eight years ago had a huge party. One of the managers brought brownies and the director of operations (let's call him Jack) was the first to try them as we were setting up the food table.

    "About half an hour later, as we were finishing up, Jack starts giggling and talking about how tall he feels. The guy who brought the brownies grabbed the wrong plate as he left the house and accidentally brought pot brownies.

    "Needless to say, we gathered as many of the stoners as we could to clear that plate before anyone else got to them and tried to keep Jack away from other management." 

    Redditor



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Nicole Wegman Ring concierge

    • Nicole Wegman started Ring Concierge, a fine jewelry business specializing in bespoke engagement rings, in 2013 by posting and selling diamonds on Instagram.
    • The biggest misconception Wegman sees when people buy diamonds is understanding the four C's: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. She said most people want a colorless diamond without inclusions.
    • Wegman likes to suggest prioritizing carat weight in the budget over color and clarity.

    There's a lot to consider when buying an engagement ring. That's part of the reason Nicole Wegman started Ring Concierge on Instagram in 2013 — to create bespoke engagement rings for women, by women. 

    Now, Wegman and her NYC-based team of six sell hundreds of engagement rings a year. The fin-jewelry business specializes in custom engagement rings that start at $10,000 and can go into the six figures. For comparison, the average cost of an engagement ring in the US is $6,000, Wegman told Business Insider. 

    Wegman said the biggest decision behind each ring is, unsurprisingly, the diamond itself — but that people come in with certain misconceptions, too.

    "The biggest misconception is, people will come in and say, 'I did research online and I read about the four C's and I think I need to have a colorless diamond with barely any inclusion,'" Wegman said.

    Read more:Millennial attitudes are forcing a massive change in the diamond industry

    The four C's refer to a diamond's cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. Diamond clarity reflects a lack of blemishes or inclusions, which many stones naturally have. The GIA International Diamond Grading System assigns grades that range from flawless to obvious inclusions, which affects the stone's value.

    "In reality, I always suggest dropping lower in color and clarity and allocating a bit more of the budget toward carat weight," she continued.  

    Good vibes only 💎👁

    A post shared by #Diamonds #Jewelry (@ringconcierge) on Aug 19, 2018 at 6:15pm PDT on

    Part of the Ring Concierge experience is a one-on-one meeting with Wegman and her team, whether that is in person or remotely. Wegman sees clients that come in and request a specific grade of diamond with a set budget. But when they try on the diamond they think they want, she said they are often times underwhelmed.

    "They say 'this isn't as big as I thought it was going to be.' And I'm like, 'you know what, for the same price you can get a three-carat diamond if you're just a little more flexible with color and clarity,'" Wegman said. 

    Creating a ring that suits the client's tastes — and their lifestyle

    Once a diamond is chosen, Wegman works with clients to understand how the ring will be worn to create a setting that is fashionable, durable, and timeless — but also lifestyle-appropriate.

    "Let's say they want the thinnest possible ring covered in diamonds ... but they have three kids, they go to the gym every day, and they never take their ring off. That's probably not the best decision," Wegman said. "That's too delicate a ring for your lifestyle. So, we'll think of ways to get them that look they want, but cater towards the way they are going to be wearing it."

    Wegman added: "We like to get clients the most bang for their buck without sacrificing the look of the ring. So, we like to find ways to drop down on the paperwork a little bit, not have it impact the diamond visually, and then just get them a large carat weight — which, ultimately, the women want."

    SEE ALSO: Meet the Clear Cut, a couple who's selling thousands of dollars worth of diamonds through their Instagram DMs

    DON'T MISS: There are over a quadrillion tons of diamonds lurking 100 miles below the Earth's surface, according to scientists

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How to tell if a diamond is real or fake


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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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    water tower bar

    • I visited The Water Tower in Brooklyn, New York, a brand-new rooftop lounge and nightclub designed to look like a water tower.
    • Cocktails start at $20 — and one special white truffle-infused beverage costs $150, while a grilled-cheese sandwich will run you $70.
    • Although the views were stunning, and the space was beautiful, I don't see myself ever going there again because of the high prices.

    One of New York City's newest bars is perched on top of a Brooklyn hotel and designed to look like one of the many industrial-looking water towers that dot the borough's rooftops.

    The Water Tower, which opened in November 2018, is super-exclusive: It's reservation-only and seats only 45 people. Cocktails at the club, which is open from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and features a rotating set of international DJs, start at $20 — and one specialty drink, infused with white truffles, will cost you $150. 

    The food menu includes items such as a $70 white-truffle grilled cheese, an $80 seafood platter, and caviar service ranging from $95 to $525. 

    Berton Rodov, the club's creative director, said they aim to cultivate a specific vibe at The Water Tower.

    "We have a fun, diverse crowd," he told me when I went to check out the club one afternoon. "Honestly, we try to curate the experience here, being that it's a small space, and it's the most luxurious extension of this brand."

    But, he added, that's "not saying you have to be rich to come in." He said the crowd tends to be, "cool kids, models, people just here to have fun," and they "try to look out for locals, too."

    After visiting the club one early December afternoon, I can't say I was entirely convinced that their target audience isn't just rich people.

    Here's what The Water Tower looks like inside.

    SEE ALSO: I visited New York's new Playboy Club, where Playboy Bunnies serve drinks in their iconic costumes and members pay up to $100,000 a year — and it wasn't at all what I expected

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    The Water Tower is perched on the rooftop of Brooklyn's Williamsburg Hotel, which already includes an outdoor bar and a pool.



    It was built as an "homage" to the iconic water towers that dot many Brooklyn rooftops.



    Rooms at the Williamsburg Hotel start at around $200 per night, according to its website.

    Source: The Williamsburg Hotel



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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