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The latest news from Life

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    tokyosushi

    • Last week, restaurateur Kiyoshi Kimura paid a record-breaking $3.1 million for the first tuna sold in the new year at Tokyo's brand new Toyosu Fish Market, which opened last October.
    • Toyosu replaced the legendary Tsukiji Fish Market, which was famous for decades as the best place in the world to get fresh fish.
    • I took a walk through Tsukiji Market two years ago before it closed to see what it was like in action. It was a crazy place not meant for tourists.

    Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market was once known as the "Wall Street of fish."

    Every day, fishers, wholesalers, and the owners of Japan's top sushi restaurants used to gather to buy and sell more than $21 million of the freshest fish in the world.

    In recent decades, the market unexpectedly became one of Japan's top tourists attractions. Thousands came to try to get a glimpse of the market's world-famous tuna auction, where a single tuna once sold for $1.76 million.

    Last October, the Tokyo government moved the market from its original location in central Tokyo to a new $5.42 billion site east called Toyosu Market.

    The Toyosu Market has continued with the world-famous tuna auctions. Last week, Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushizanmai restaurant chain, paid $3.1 million for the first tuna sold in the new year, a 613-pound fish.

    Though Toyosu has improved refrigeration, earthquake resistance, and sanitation facilities, it isn't the legendary Tsukiji Market.

    I took a walk through before dawn at Tsukiji two years ago — when it was off-limits to tourists — to see what the iconic market was like in action.

    Here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: The most iconic desert in the world is the Sahara. I drove for days, rode a camel for hours, and slept under the stars just to see it.

    DON'T MISS: I didn't think the $1 billion hotel considered 'the most luxurious in the world' could possibly live up to the hype. I was very wrong.

    The Tsukiji Fish Market was once located in the Tsukiji district in central Tokyo. It was bordered by the swanky shopping district Ginza and the Sumida River.

    Google Maps directions »



    The best time to visit was before sunrise when fishers were bringing in their catch and fishmongers were preparing fish for sale.



    There were two parts to the market. The jōgai-shijō was a mix of sushi restaurants and shops that sell everything from wholesale restaurant supplies to groceries. The jōnai-shijō was where wholesalers processed their fish and sold to restaurants. There was also a wholesale produce market, which was the part I visited.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    julian castro

    • Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, has announced his bid for the presidency. 
    • Castro has a track record that includes revolutionary early childhood education programs while mayor, and controversy around handling of mortgage sales during his tenure at HUD. 
    • Based on his announcement, Castro plans to use his experience in local government to tout community-minded policies

    Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary, has joined the race for the 2020 Election. 

    Speaking to a crowd in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, Castro touted his commitment to policies that included early childhood education, accessible college alternatives, universal healthcare, and criminal-justice reform.

    See the policies with roots in Castro's personal and professional past that he's cast as key to his campaign:

    SEE ALSO: Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary under Obama, announces 2020 presidential bid

    DON'T MISS: Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination are turning to Instagram Live as a secret weapon

    Castro and his twin brother, Joaquín, who is a US representative that heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were raised in San Antonio, Texas by their activist mother, Rosie.

    Source: Business Insider



    Both brothers went to Stanford University, where Julián credited affirmative action for his acceptance, before attending Harvard Law. After finishing his degree at Harvard, Julián ran for San Antonio City Council, which he won in 2001.

    Source: The New York Times



    Castro has been a longtime support of LGBTQ rights. He became the first San Antonio mayor to serve as the grand marshal of the city's Pride Parade in 2009 and signed the "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" petition for same-sex marriage equality in 2012.

    Source: Politico



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    An Afghan interpreter, right, working on a patrol with of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment of the 5th Stryker Brigade, calls over some local teenagers who were seen moving suspiciously in a tree line in Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

    • A former interpreter who served alongside US troops in Afghanistan was detained at the international airport in Houston with his wife and five kids after traveling to the US from Kabul.
    • While the man's wife and children were temporarily released into the US in response to pressure from Democratic lawmakers, 48-year-old Mohasif Motawakil reportedly remains in the custody of the Customs and Border Protection agency.
    • The reason for the detention is reportedly because someone opened sealed medical records, causing officials to question the authenticity of the family's documents.
    • The family is said to have been traveling on Special Immigrant Visas, which are granted to those who are in danger in their home countries due to their service with the US troops.

    A former interpreter who helped US troops in Afghanistan before fleeing the country with his family was detained at the international airport in Houston, Texas, on Friday upon their arrival from Kabul, according to a Texas-based immigration advocacy group.

    Mohasif Motawakil, 48, was detained by Customs and Border Protection along with his wife and five children, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) told The Washington Post. Though his wife and children have since been released, Motawakil is still being held by authorities.

    RAICES said Motawakil served alongside US troops as an interpreter from 2012 to 2013, later working as a US contractor in his home country.

    He and his family were reportedly traveling to the US on Special Immigrant Visas, which are hard to come by and granted to those whose lives are in danger as a result of their service with the US military.

    Special Immigrant Visas take years to obtain, and tightened immigration controls have apparently made the process even more difficult for applicants.

    "The father remains detained and his wife and children were allowed into the US pending the outcome of his proceedings," CBP told The Hill, further explaining that "due to the restrictions of the Privacy Act, US Customs and Border Protection does not discuss the details of individual cases."

    The temporary release of the mother and the children was attributed to the efforts made by four Texas Democrats working on behalf of the family.

    Texas Reps. Lloyd Doggett and Joaquin Castro called CBP while Reps. Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee supported the family at the airport.

    Nonetheless, the family is is "confused and traumatized" by the situation, RAICES spokesman William Fitzgeral told The Post. Motawakil's wife and children spent Friday night at the Afghan Cultural Center in Houston.

    The reason for the detention is murky, but Fitzgerald told The Post the family was threatened with deportation after someone — potentially a relative — opened sealed medical records, leading authorities to question the authenticity of the family's documentation.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The US Air Force refuels combat jets in midair with a 'flying boom system' — watch it in action


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    trump putin

    • President Donald Trump reportedly hid details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his own administration.
    • He once took notes from his interpreter and ordered the linguist to stay silent, after a 2017 meeting with Putin in Hamburg, Germany, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
    • US officials told The Post that no detailed records exist of Trump's face-to-face conversations with Putin in five occasions over the last two years.

    President Donald Trump has taken pains to hide details of his communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his own administration — even going so far as to take notes from his interpreter and order the linguist to stay silent, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

    The Post, citing current and former US officials, said Trump took the interpreter's notes after a 2017 meeting with Putin in Hamburg, which then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also attended.

    The officials said they found out about the apparent concealment when a White House adviser and a State Department official tried to get information from the interpreter beyond a separate readout provided by Tillerson.

    A White House spokesman told The Post on condition of anonymity that Tillerson's readout of the Hamburg meeting was "fulsome" and delivered to US officials immediately afterward — and a readout was given to the press.

    The spokesman added that Trump has tried to "improve the relationship with Russia" and "imposed significant new sanctions in response to Russian malign activities."

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told INSIDER in a statement that The Post's story was "so outrageously inaccurate it doesn't even warrant a response."

    She continued: "The liberal media has wasted two years trying to manufacture a fake collusion scandal instead of reporting the fact that unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia."

    Read more: The FBI reportedly started investigating whether Trump was a Russian asset after he fired Comey

    trump putin

    Tillerson told The Post in an email that he "was present for the entirety of the two presidents' official bilateral meeting in Hamburg," but declined to comment on the meeting and whether Trump had taken the interpreter's notes.

    Tillerson has previously discussed the Hamburg meeting, telling reporters at a news conference that Trump "pressed" Putin on allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, which Putin denied.

    But though Tillerson had declined during the news conference to say whether Trump had accepted or rejected Putin's denial, Trump administration officials said the only detail the interpreter would give them was that Trump responded by telling Putin, "I believe you."

    It's unclear whether Trump has taken interpreters' notes on more than one occasion, but several officials told The Post they never received a reliable readout from Trump and Putin's meeting in Helsinki in July 2018, which no Cabinet officials or Trump aides attended.

    US officials told The Post that no detailed records exist — even classified ones — of Trump's face-to-face conversations with Putin in five occasions over the last two years.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    border wall map full border

    • The US government is currently shut down because President Donald Trump is demanding billions of dollars to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, and Congress won't fund it.
    • Of the 1,933 miles along the border, 1,279 miles is unfenced.
    • Most of the barrier that currently exists, and that the Trump administration has built, isn't the high concrete wall Trump talked about on the campaign trail, and instead resembles a fence.

    From western California to eastern Texas, across four US states and 24 counties, the 1,933-mile US-Mexico border criss-crosses arid desert, rugged mountains, and winding rivers.

    For 654 of those miles, fencing separates the two countries from each other.

    The 7.3 million people who live in the border counties on each side of the line have watched for years as security grew tighter and illegal crossings tapered off.

    In just the last 12 years, the US government built the barriers, deployed troops, and started using advanced surveillance technology — all in an effort to tame and control some of the wildest and remotest land in the United States.

    In an effort to make good on campaign promises to "build that wall," President Donald Trump has refused to back down on his demand that Congress allocate $5.7 billion for the project, plunging the government into a weeks-long shutdown after Senate Democrats refused to back a spending bill with the wall funding.

    Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, have long opposed Trump's wall and placed the blame for the shutdown on Trump.

    The shutdown comes amid controversy over US immigration and border policies, after two young migrant children died in Border Patrol custody last month. The deaths also come on the heels of outrage over the Trump administration's family separation policy over the summer, which split thousands of children from their parents.

    With public outrage has growing toward the government's immigration policies, it's worth taking a look at the complexity of the borderlands to understand the daunting task of securing them.

    From the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east, here's what the entire US-Mexico border looks like.

    SEE ALSO: The 8-year-old migrant boy who died on Christmas Eve was held in US custody for nearly a week — against Border Patrol's own rules

    DON'T MISS: The Trump administration just released new photos of 'the president's border wall' — and it looks more like a fence

    California has stood more defiantly than any other state against Trump's immigration agenda and his long-promised wall. Yet the Golden State's southern boundary is one of the most thoroughly fortified along the entire US-Mexico border.

    Source: Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and OpenStreetMap contributors



    Roughly 105 miles of the 140-mile border California shares with Mexico are walled off by pedestrian fencing or vehicle barriers, beginning on the west coast with a tall, metal fence that juts into the Pacific Ocean.

    Source: GAO analysis of Customs and Border Protection data



    Though some Trump critics have seized upon his deployment of the National Guard in California, the San Diego coastline already hosts around 55 guardsman who assist in "counterdrug missions" and conduct surveillance support.

    Source: USA Today



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    keto

    • The high-fat, low-carb keto diet can be great for shedding weight, but it presents distinct challenges.
    • Jennifer Still writes that though the keto diet has been a "godsend" for her, there are several things she wishes she'd known before starting.

    Having been overweight for years, I've tried every diet in the proverbial book in the hopes of shedding pounds and getting healthy.

    Like with many people, any success I found in dieting was usually short-lived, and I always ended up frustrated and right back where I started — that is, until I discovered the keto diet four years ago.

    While following a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates has been a godsend for me, it has come with its fair share of difficulties.

    Here are a few things I wish I'd known before I started the keto diet:

    SEE ALSO: 10 surprisingly filling foods you can eat on the keto diet

    A lot of people really won't get it.

    The idea that you can eat a large amount of fatty foods — bacon, steak, whole milk, cheeses, etc. — and not only lose weight but increase energy tends to surprise people.

    You'll soon lose count of the number of people who insist you need carbs to live. Ignore them. As the saying goes, KCKO. Keep calm and keto on.



    You still need to count calories.

    You may lose more weight more quickly on the keto diet than on other diets, but you can't eat with abandon just because you're cutting out carbs.

    Calories still count, so it's important to determine your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns daily by simply existing, as well as the deficit you should be eating at to lose weight.



    Going "off plan" for even a day could make you gain weight.

    It's pretty disheartening to wake up a few pounds heavier than you were the day before just because you had to have a cheat meal at McDonald's.

    While this change is may just be water weight that you can shed after going back to the keto diet for a day or two (it flushes water from your system), some people will find that such an interruption is not worth the trouble.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Bill Gates poo

    • Worm toilets require no traditional flushing and aren't hooked up to a sewer system — instead, worms compost human waste.
    • More than 4,000 such "Tiger Toilets" have been installed to date across India, in homes of people who were previously defecating in the open.
    • The worm toilets smell a lot better than a pit latrine, and don't breed mosquitoes either.
    • Here's how a $350 toilet powered by worms could change the world and save lives. 

    Worms may not have spines, but they're doing some back-breaking sewer work in more than 4,000 toilets across India. 

    Since 2015, a creative new type of toilet called the Tiger Toilet has been popping up outside homes and schools around the country. From the outside, this toilet looks like any other pit latrine. But it doesn't smell like one. Instead, it comes with a built-in population of tiger worms. 

    "Their natural breeding, natural habitat is in cow dung heaps, or horse sh*t heaps, that kind of thing," Ajeet Oak, director of the Tiger Toilet company, told Business Insider. "Poop. That’s where they like to live."

    The toilets involve no traditional flushing and aren't hooked up to a sewer system. Instead, the worms are contained in a container below the toilet, and they feast on feces. The creatures' activity leaves behind a mix of water, carbon dioxide, and a small amount of wormy compost (that's technically the worms' poo, though it's much less toxic and more nutrient-rich than ours).

    The resulting water isn't clean enough to drink, but it "can go into the ground and it sort of gets filtered naturally from there on," Oak said. No wastewater treatment plant needed. 

    To get the worm system to market, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded at least $4.8 million in grant money to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to perfect the technology. Tiger Toilets also received $170,000 for initial testing in India, Myanmar and Uganda from USAID. Now, after years of development and field testing around the world, the technology is finally reaching people who need it most.

    "These are people who are getting toilets for the first time," Oak said, adding that before getting a Tiger Toilet, "they would go out in the field." 

    Bill Gates recently told a crowd in Beijing that he's ready to spend an additional $200 million developing technology for next-generation toilets like these that can operate without mainframe sewer systems. 

    "We estimate that by 2030, the opportunity here is over $6 billion a year," Gates said.

    Read More: Bill Gates is so obsessed with redesigning the world's toilets, he brought a jar of poop onstage in Beijing to prove it

    How worms clean excrement

    Tiger worms, or Eisenia fetida if you prefer the scientific term, are animals that love to eat waste. This makes them a perfect composting solution, and they especially love what falls into their Tiger Toilet compartment. 

    "These worms, they won’t escape on their own, because they won’t survive in just soil," Oak said. They need our human waste to live.

    sprinkling the worms Tiger Toilets

    The Tiger Toilet system costs about $350 USD to install and requires no connection to drainage pipes or a mainline sewer.

    Once a person does their business in the toilet, they send their waste down into the worm-filled compartment below using a pour-flush system, usually with a little bucket of water. (There are no handles or automatic flushing devices in the Tiger Toilet.)

    The toilet's cleaning stats are impressive: they process feces, remove 99% of the pathogens, and leave behind no more than 15% of the waste by weight, in the form of compost material. The rest becomes water (around 60-70%) and carbon dioxide. That's better performance than a septic tank.

    Plus, the leftover byproduct makes for "excellent fertilizer," Oak said, because its mix of nitrogen, phosphorous, carbon, and potassium is good for growing plants. 

    Tiger Toilets (and Tiger worm-powered treatment plants, like the one pictured below) also don’t breed mosquitoes or attract other flying menaces.

    Tiger toilet digesters

    "Users find the toilets preferable to traditional latrines,” USAID wrote of the toilets during field testing in 2015. "Because the worms break down the solid waste, the toilets emit fewer odors and attract fewer flies than traditional latrines."

    The earliest editions of Tiger Toilets are now more than five years old and their worm compartments haven't needed any maintenance yet — the slimy creatures are still chomping away. Eventually, after about eight to 10 years, the company expects some toilet maintenance to be required. At that point, the worm bin, which isn't visible to toilet users, must be emptied.

    It's not a terrible job — "you don’t have to handle sludge," Oak said. 

    Simply remove the lid of the toilet, exposing the top layer of worm castings — their leftovers from years of hard work. Then shovel it out and use it in a garden as fertilizer. Then the worm population will be ready to work again. 

    Why people need worm toilets

    Tiger Toilet of Thamaji Dhokal, in the village of Nayfad, Pune district, India.

    The tiny worms that make their home in filth are performing a lifesaving task for humans. 

    Across the developing world, people without a safe place to go to the bathroom can die because of unsanitary conditions. Diarrhea kills 525,000 children under five annually around the world "as a result of poor hygiene," according to the World Health Organization

    Improper hygiene also causes the global economy to miss out on an estimated $223 billion USD per year.

    Additionally, open defecation can be a dangerous situation for women. A 2016 study in India found that women who defecate in the open are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted by a stranger as those who have a toilet in their house.

    Tiger Toilet and Mangal Shirke in the village of Adachiwadi, Pune district, India.

    In India, millions of people relieve themselves outdoors on a daily basis — 40% of the country's population, according to the World Bank’s estimate from 2015.

    The country has set a "Swachh Bharat Mission" goal of becoming open-defecation free this year, but it's unlikely to be fully successful, since even people who can access a toilet don’t always use it. A 2018 survey of more than 9,800 people and 150 local government officials across India found that one in four people in rural northern provinces have access to latrines but don’t use them. 

    Some people choose to relieve themselves in the open for compelling reasons. An Indian woman identified only as "Veer" told Meenakshi Dalal, a program and communications specialist with USAID/India, that men block the way to her community toilet, taunting and harassing women.

    "They dress up as women, they get in line with us, they might touch us," Dalal recalled Veer telling her. "Every few days someone is raped. On one side of the toilet is where we live and on the other side it’s jungle. They can pull us there."

    Tiger toilets is testing out some options for crowded slums like Veer's — a kind of downsized, city-friendly version of the worm toilet — but they’re not ready yet.

    "The challenge is to have something for a family which can be put in a very small house," Oak said. "We’re calling it the Urban Tiger Toilet." 

    India's government has also started offering cash incentives to people who install toilets in their homes, which makes a Tiger Toilet even more affordable for families who are getting their first toilet. 

    Bringing worm toilets to the world

    Tiger Toilets Santosh Sathe, in the village of Bhalgudi, Pune district, India.

    Lixil Group, the parent company that owns toilet-industry giants American Standard and Grohe, is also interested in Tiger Toilets. The company recently signed a letter of intent to bring Tiger Toilets to scale.

    "Eventually we want to have something that’s really sleek and you can place anywhere," Daigo Ishiyama, Lixil's  marketing and technology director, told Business Insider.

    But he said that will take some time: "We’re dealing with living creatures — you know, worms."

    Schoolkids and their Tiger Toilet in the village of Adachiwadi, Pune district, India.

    Still, this kind of game-changing new invention — a toilet that requires no traditional sewer system — is an exciting prospect for Gates. He has even compared it to the invention of the personal computer. 

    "A whole new product category is being introduced here," he said.

    SEE ALSO: Bill Gates is so obsessed with redesigning the world's toilets, he brought a jar of poop onstage in Beijing to prove it

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Bill Gates is backing the waterless toilet of the future — here's how it works


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    Copa Airlines Boeing 737

    • Every year, global travel data provider OAG sifts through a mountain of data to create its annual ranking of the airlines with the best on-time performance, or OTP, called the Punctuality League.

    • This year, OAG analyzed over 57 million flight records collected from around the world between January 1 and January 31, 2018.

    • The overall winner is Panama-based Copa Airlines
    • Hawaiian Airlines took the title of most punctual US airline while AirBaltic took the top spot among European carriers. Hong Kong Airlines took the top spot for Asian airlines while LATAM won for South America. South Africa's Mango Airlines was named the most punctual airline from the African continent.

    • Brazil's Azul was named the most punctual low-cost carrier. 
    • The airlines were then ranked based on their OTP, which is defined as the percentage of flights that depart or arrive with 15 minutes of their scheduled times.

    In 2017, more than four billion people around the world traveled by air. The result is a growing airline industry that has pushed the constraints of the global air transport networks' existing infrastructure and technology. 

    In an age of crowded airports and flight delays, some airlines perform better than others. 

    Every year, global travel data provider OAG sifts through a mountain of data to create its annual rankings of the airlines with the best on-time performance, or OTP, called the Punctuality League.

    "On-time performance is one of the single most important metrics in the travel industry," John Grand, a senior analyst at OAG, said in a statement. "Every on-time arrival and departure creates a significant trickle-down impact that affects travelers, other airlines and airports, business, travel suppliers and more."

    Read more: The 10 best airlines in the world for 2019.

    To create the rankings, OAG analyzed over 57 million flight records collected from around the world between January 1 and January 31, 2018. OAG must have data for at least 80% of an airline's flights in order for it to qualify for the list. 

    The airlines are then ranked based on their OTP, which is defined as the percentage of flights that depart or arrive with 15 minutes of their scheduled times.

    The overall winner is Panama-based Copa Airlines, with an on-time performance of just under 90%. 

    Hawaiian Airlines took the title of most punctual US airline while AirBaltic took the top spot among European carriers. Hong Kong Airlines took the top spot for Asian airlines while LATAM won for South America. 

    South Africa's Mango Airlines was named the most punctual airline from the African continent while Brazil's Azul was named the most punctual low-cost carrier. 

    Here's a closer look at the 20 most punctual airlines in 2018: 

    SEE ALSO: The 21 safest airlines in the world

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    20. Alitalia: 82.87% on-time performance (OTP).



    19. Mango Airlines: 82.88% OTP.



    18. Solaseed Air: 82.90% OTP.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Gladiator_Game_Of_Thrones_Ait_Ben_Haddou_Filming_Morocco (8 of 41)

    • The medieval ksar of Aït Benhaddou is a gorgeous tiny town in southwestern Morocco and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Located in a stunning red desert landscape, Aït Benhaddou is a frequent filming location for historical and epic movies like "The Mummy," "Gladiator," "Alexander," "Prince of Persia," "Kingdom of Heaven," and, most recently, "Game of Thrones."
    • I recently visited. While it doesn't rival ancient archeological sites in places like Greece or Egypt, it is a stunning sight in its own right.

    A tiny medieval town in southwestern Morocco is one of the most iconic sights in the world. You just don't know it by name.

    The medieval ksar of Aït Benhaddou has played the part of an Egyptian town in the 1999 action movie "The Mummy," the Hindu Kush in Oliver Stone's 2004 Greek epic "Alexander," the Roman-era African city of Zucchabar in the 2000 classic "Gladiator," and, most recently, the city of Yunkai in "Game Of Thrones."

    It's a strange phenomenon that locations that are historical and famous in their own right sometimes become more famous for the fictional things that happen there.

    On my first trip to Philadelphia, I recall joking with my parents that Independence Hall is famously where Nicholas Cage's "National Treasure" character Benjamin Gates discovers a pair of glasses "made by" Benjamin Franklin, rather than where The Declaration of Independence was signed. "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" is half the reason I was so excited to visit the ancient city of Petra last year.

    But that doesn't make a place like Aït Benhaddou any less awe-inspiring.  Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the mud-brick structures of Aït Benhaddou date back to the 1700s and are an impressive example of Moroccan architecture.

    On a recent trip to Morocco, I decided to make a stop to check out Aït Benhaddou. Here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: An otherworldly desert in Jordan has doubled as distant planets in movies like 'Star Wars' and 'The Martian' — after seeing it myself, I can tell you it's just as breathtaking in person

    DON'T MISS: One of the 7 wonders of the world is a 10,000-year-old city hidden in the desert — and in real life, it's more incredible than you can imagine

    If you've ever watched Daenerys Targaryen conquer the city of Yunkai in "Game of Thrones" ...



    ... or seen Maximus Decimus Meridius become a slave and shout "Are you not entertained?" to a coliseum of bloodthirsty Romans ...



    ... then you've seen the medieval ksar of Aït Benhaddou. You may just not have known it. A few hours from Marrakech in southwestern Morocco, the fortified town is one of the premier sights in the country. That's it in the distance.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    shaq florida mansion

    Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is selling his lakeside mansion in Florida for $21.9 million.

    The 12-bedroom, 35,000-square-foot house sits on three acres in the exclusive, gated golf community of Isleworth, which is about a 30 minute drive from Orlando. 

    O'Neal, who retired in 2011 after making more than $286 million over the course of his basketball career, bought the house in 1993 for a little less than $4 million, according to Realtor. He put it on the market in 2018 for $28 million and later dropped the price to $21.9 million.

    The Florida home is in the exclusive Isleworth community, a 600-acre golf-club community bordering a lake that's full of grand cypress and oak trees, and lavish estates.

    Here's a look at the mansion O'Neal is selling after 26 years.

    SEE ALSO: Mark Cuban just bought a $19 million Laguna Beach vacation home that comes with concierge service and walls that open up to views of the Pacific Ocean. Here's a look inside.

    DON'T MISS: Jeff Bezos and his family own at least 6 massive properties across the US. Here's a look at the homes, from a sprawling Seattle estate to a set of historic NYC condos

    Retired NBA star Shaquille O'Neal is selling his lakeside mansion in Windermere, Florida, for $22 million.

    Source: The Agency



    Shaq bought the house in 1993 for a little less than $4 million.

    Source: Realtor



    The house sits on the shores of Lake Butler, in exclusive Isleworth, a gated golf community about a 30-minute drive from Orlando.

    Source: Realtor



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    City Hall subway station exit

    • New York has the oldest and most expansive subway system in North America.
    • But the first ever underground station to open has long been shuttered since World War II. 
    • Today, the only way to get to the abandoned masterpiece is by special tour. 

    When New York City's subway first opened in 1904, it was a true modern marvel. Its very first station, almost directly beneath City Hall, was a sight to see. Sun flooded the platform from skylights in the ground above, and gilded chandeliers filled the shadows with electric light.

    On the first day of service, some 15,000 New Yorkers would pay the nickel fare to ride the first subway to open outside of Europe. 

    But things wouldn't remain so glorious for this station. Once train cars became longer, the gaps between doors and platforms were deemed too wide to be safe. What's more, many passengers opted to walk from the larger Brooklyn Bridge station nearby, which had express service that the City Hall loop did not.

    Today, there's no service provided to the station — trains made their final stop on December 31, 1945 — but you can catch a glimpse by riding a downtown 6 local train past its terminal stop, which today is known as Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall. Keep your eyes peeled as you go through the loop and a few minutes later you'll end up on the uptown platform of the same station.

    If a mere glance isn't enough, the New York Transit Museum offers tours to members, and they sell out in just minutes. That's how Business Insider got the chance to visit. Here's what it's like:

    SEE ALSO: New York's governor called Tesla to see if the company could help fix NYC's subway system

    As its name suggests, the subway station sits directly beneath City Hall, the oldest municipal headquarters in the United States. It's more than 200 years old.



    The subway station was also beneath the City Hall Post Office and Courthouse Building, a massive French-style building that many derided as an eyesore. It was later demolished in 1939 to make way for what's today called City Hall Park.

    The street cars on Park Row that crossed the Brooklyn Bridge (just out of view on the right) are long gone. 



    Here's how the tracks lie in relation to the City Hall building and the adjacent park. In this diagram it's easier to see how the 6 train makes its 180-degree turnaround while allowing express trains to continue south through downtown and into Brooklyn.



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    lenovo x1 carbon closeup ces 2019

    • Lenovo's 7th-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon was the best laptop of CES 2019.
    • It's incredibly light-weight — lighter than the new 2018 MacBook Air which is known for its lightness.
    • It is the perfect combination of performance, design, and portability, making the new X1 Carbon as good as it gets when it comes to laptops. 

    Conceptual design and technology in laptops was surprisingly scant at CES this year, which left no choice but to pick a refreshing, unapologetically practical and reasonable top laptop of CES 2019.  

    It's the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th-generation, and I'm completely enamored by its absurdly lightweight and beautiful, traditional, and signature IBM/Lenovo design. Indeed, it's lighter than the new 2018 MacBook Air, which is already incredibly light.

    lenovo x1 carbon ces 2019

    ces 2019 graphicWorthy of note, Lenovo's ThinkPad series of laptops also consistently have the best keyboards and trackpads on Windows devices. All this combined with great specs makes the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 the most desirable laptop I saw at CES 2019. I nearly tried to buy it right there and then at the show. 

    What it is: A laptop that's lighter than Apple's lightest and thinnest laptop — the new 2018 MacBook Air — with a classic, yet, modern aesthetic, and great specs.

    Who makes it: Lenovo.

    Why it's the best: It's easy to put great specs in any computer, but less easy to make it look good. To make a powerful laptop that looks great and weighs under 2.5 pounds is a feat that should get the attention it deserves.

    Where and when you can get it: From Lenovo starting June 2019.

    How much it will cost: Price is estimated at $1,710, which is a little higher than I'd like, but it's not the final pricing.

    SEE ALSO: Samsung's latest laptops have a refreshed, modern look that makes them way more appealing

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We put the 7 best smartphones of 2018 head-to-head and there was a clear winner for the best value


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    savvy electric mirror ces 2019

    • Business Insider scoured the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to find the very best cutting-edge tech.
    • The best lifestyle tech we saw at CES 2019 had to be Electric Mirror's Savvy Smart Mirror, a gorgeous mirror that can also display information, run apps, play music and videos, and much more. 
    • While it's targeted towards hotels, the Savvy Smart Mirror has great potential to enhance any kind of lifestyle.

    LAS VEGAS - Mirrors are perhaps the most underrated part of any home. We use them all the time, primarily as feedback mechanisms: to know if we've done a good job brushing our teeth, or brushing our hair, or picking our outfit for the day.

    ces 2019 graphicThat's why Electric Mirror had the best lifestyle tech we saw at CES 2019, with its Savvy Smart Mirror — a device that improves upon one of the most useful items we keep in our homes.

    The Savvy Smart Mirror has the mirror aspect down, but it just looks futuristic. Being able to see important information like the weather, or the news — stuff you might want to see before leaving in the morning, or sleeping at night — is not only useful, it's pretty cool.

    Since it runs on Android (albeit an older version: 7.1 "Nougat"), the Smart Mirror can also run full apps, like Pandora for music. It's a mirror, but it's also a massive touchscreen. And down the line, we could see it getting even better with more smart-home controls and mirror-specific applications, to take advantage of the unique form factor.

    The Savvy Smart Mirror is available in 10-inch and 22-inch sizes — on the showroom floor at CES, we saw two 22-inch panels working next to each other, which we could imagine in a large home or even a hotel. Given how much we all rely on mirrors, we could see an interactive mirror having great potential for an improved lifestyle.

    What it is: An interactive mirror that shows you information.

    Who makes it: Electric Mirror, Inc., based in Everett, Washington.

    Why it's the best: Mirrors are essential to any lifestyle. They tell us how we look, and how we present ourselves, but the Savvy Smart Mirror can tell you even more than that — it can tell you the weather, or the news, or tell you about interesting attractions nearby, or let you control the lights in your room. It's equally appealing to businesses and consumers, and it could have a big impact on not only lifestyle, but happiness. 

    Where and when you can get it: It's currently available through Electric Mirror's website.

    How much it will cost: Electric Mirror will give you a quote based on your specific needs and setup.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 science-backed ways to a happier and healthier 2019 that you can do the first week of the new year


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    woman with phone lying in bed

    • If your new year's resolution was "spend less time on my phone," it can already feel challenging to stick to it.
    • Google has some built-in tools to help you relax and de-stress, or use less technology altogether.
    • There are 16 hidden features inside Google's most popular products to help you combat your tech addiction.

    Now that the new year is here, many of us are trying to form new habits, like eating healthier and exercising more.

    But if your resolution is to spend less time staring at screens or using your phone, it can be difficult.

    How do we change years of habits in a few weeks?

    Well, you don't have to do it alone.

    Most of us use at least one Google product regularly, whether that's Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, or even an Android phone or a Pixel. Built into those tools are features to help you wind down and de-stress, or take a break from technology altogether.

    So if you're one of the many whose resolution was "spend less time on my phone," here are some easy ways to stick to it, thanks to Google.

    SEE ALSO: 11 tips and tricks to get the most out of your new Wear OS smartwatch

    If you have an Android phone ...

    • If you're an Android user — if you have a Samsung phone, LG, OnePlus, or virtually any smartphone that's not an iPhone — there's a digital well-being dashboard on your device (as long as it's running Android 9 Pie). The dashboard will give you a picture of how you use each app on your phone daily — as in, how many times you unlock it, how many minutes you've spent staring at it, and even which apps are taking up the largest percentage of your time online.
    • Once you figure out which apps you use way too much, you can use the app timer to limit how much time you spend on an app each day. When that limit is reached, your device will pause that app for the rest of the day.
    • There's also a wind-down feature in Android 9 Pie that will automatically switch on Do Not Disturb and fade your device's screen to grayscale once it's bedtime.

    If you're an iPhone user, don't worry — iOS 12 includes a few similar features.



    If you watch a lot of YouTube videos ...

    • If you spend a lot of time on YouTube, you know how easy it can be to get sucked in to watching video after video. But hidden inside YouTube's mobile app is a time-watched profile, which lets you know how much time you spend inside the app along with a daily average. To find this feature, tap on your account inside the mobile app.
    • The app also includes the ability to set goals for how much you want to watch in a given day. Once you set a goal, YouTube's take a break reminder will pop up. It forces the video to pause at intervals, which you can set yourself. To turn this feature on, tap your account icon inside the mobile app.
    • You can set quiet hours for the YouTube app as well, which will silence notifications from the app during your customizable quiet hours.


    If you own a Google Home ...

    • With Google Home, you can set up bedtime routines to help you wind down at night. If you say a voice command like "Good night" or "Bedtime," Google Assistant will run your routine, which could include anything from turning off the lights to playing sleep sounds as you fall asleep.
    • You can also say, "Hey, Google, turn on Do Not Disturb," which will silence all notifications on both your Google Home devices and your Pixel phone.
    • The downtime feature on Google Home also lets you set up a customizable schedule for your device that allows you to take regular breaks.


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    julia tell honda crv

    • Small cars have advantages in cities, but in the suburbs, I've found that they aren't quite as common or useful as larger vehicles — SUVs, in particular.
    • An ugly-colored SUV is now my suburban camouflage, allowing me to see eye-to-eye with other drivers while disappearing into the background.
    • Here's why I finally decided to buy an SUV after 12 years of resisting it.

     

    I like small cars. There's a huge advantage to a small car in a city with tight parking. After living in San Francisco for years, and then in Brooklyn, I could squeeze my little hatchback into the tiniest of spaces.

    I was used to driving a car with a short nose and a compact derrière, and I hated it when I rented a car and got a big sedan or SUV. I was always afraid of hitting things because I wasn't used to the length and width of the vehicle. I was a small-car gal.

    But after moving to suburban New Jersey and spending years navigating the area with smaller cars, I decided I needed to move up to an SUV— the Honda CR-V EX — and I'm glad that I did. Here's why.

    SEE ALSO: 6 things people who are good with money always splurge on

    Driving small cars in the suburbs presented a host of issues.

    I moved to the suburbs of Princeton, New Jersey, 14 years ago with my little hatchback. I got no respect on the roads as zippy sports cars zoomed past me and ladies in SUVs seemed to want to drive right over me. The worst was in the Whole Foods parking lot.

    For some reason, this lot seems to be completely populated with the largest SUVs. Skinny moms in the latest workout gear would zoom in and park all while talking on the phone and handing a cookie to the toddler in the backseat.

    They had no time to notice anyone beneath them in a small car. I can't count the number of times I was nearly run over by one of these SUVs speeding into a three-point turn to grab that good parking spot.



    I moved on to two cars that weren't quite big enough.

    About three years into my suburban existence, I graduated to a mini station wagon — a Volvo V50 — which seemed more like a family car, though it still had my small-car aesthetic.

    Somehow, I thought, a wagon would help me blend in with the strip-mall, soccer mom crowd. Nope. I was still completely invisible, like a bug to be squashed on the roadway by the monster machines of everyday life.

    A couple years later, an upgrade to a sizeable Volkswagen Passat sedan helped a little, but I was still the odd-mom out.



    Finally, I settled on a reliable SUV.

    When I set out to buy a new car two years ago, I settled on a Honda CR-V as my model of choice. It had good ratings, it was reliable, and it was reasonably priced. It had plenty of legroom in the backseat, and it was big but not huge.

    The gas mileage was as good as my smaller cars, but the pickup is sluggish. Don't get me wrong; it wasn't minivan sluggish. But suburban driving involves lots of stop lights and turns, so you can't go that fast anyway.



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    Jeff Bezos

    • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos created the world's most valuable company during the 25 years he was married to MacKenzie Bezos.
    • The couple, who announced plans for divorce on Wednesday, apparently have no prenuptial agreement and live in a state where assets are split 50-50.
    • MacKenzie was part of Amazon's early team, helping to come up with the name and serving as its first accountant. But there's another reason she deserves half of the $137 billion Amazon fortune.

    Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest person and the CEO of Amazon, is getting divorced from MacKenzie Bezos, his spouse of 25 years.

    Apparently, there was no prenup. And in Washington, where the couple lives, assets acquired during a prenup-less marriage are split 50-50.

    If you're married to the world's richest person (Bezos' net worth is $137 billion!) who is entirely self-made, do you deserve to get half?

    For MacKenzie Bezos, absolutely. For one simple reason: There would be no Amazon without her.

    MacKenzie Tuttle and Jeff Bezos met in 1992 when they both worked for hedge fund D.E. Shaw. MacKenzie graduated from Princeton and became a research associate at the firm where Bezos was a vice president. Her office was next door to his, and three months after they began dating, in 1993, they were married.

    While at D.E. Shaw, Bezos came up with the idea for Amazon. MacKenzie was supportive from the beginning, despite the high probability that his venture would fail (after all, almost all startups do).

    Brad Stone writes in The Everything Store: "At the time, Bezos was newly married, with a comfortable apartment on the Upper West Side and a well-paying job. While MacKenzie said she would be supportive if he decided to strike out on his own, the decision was not an easy one."

    MacKenzie later told CBS: "I'm not a businessperson. So to me, what I'm hearing when he tells me that idea is the passion and the excitement... And to me, you know, watching your spouse, somebody that you love, have an adventure — what is better than that, and being part of that?"

    In 1994, at ages 30 and 24, respectively, Jeff and MacKenzie decided to blow up their cushy lives.

    They road-tripped across the US in search of a new home and headquarters for Amazon. MacKenzie drove while Bezos punched out a business plan and revenue projections in the passenger seat. After starting in Texas and buying a beat-up car, they wound up in Seattle.

    The pair brainstormed the name "Amazon" together after almost choosing a different name: Relentless.com. MacKenzie became Amazon's first accountant, despite being an aspiring novelist.

    She did a lot of other grunt work, like most early startup employees do, from driving book orders to the post office to handling the company's bank account and line of credit. She met early Amazon investor John Doerr and partied with the team in Mexico after Amazon's IPO.

    But beyond her early role in the company is the significant role any spouse plays in a partner's career.

    Both Warren Buffett and Sheryl Sandberg say that the most important career decision you can make is who you marry.

    Sure, there's the sacrifice one partner might make to allow the other to pursue a demanding career. But that's not what Buffett was getting at.

    "Marry the right person," he said at the 2009 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. "I'm serious about that. It will make more difference in your life. It will change your aspirations, all kinds of things."

    Would the notion of opening an online bookstore have taken hold of Bezos as forcibly if he hadn't met MacKenzie? Would he have executed on that vision in the same way, hired the same people and taken the same kinds of risks with a different partner?

    These are impossible questions to answer. But it's not outrageous to suggest that a person's motivations, attitudes, and goals are influenced by the most important person in their life.

    Regardless of whether a spouse is listed as a partner on a business masthead, many couples operate as a team focused on a grand, overarching enterprise and work in tandem to achieve common goals. That's part of the reason many state laws recognize the concept of community property.

    Buffett has said that without his first wife, Susie, who died in 2004, he would not have built his fortune.

    "What happened with me would not have happened without her," he said in a 2017 HBO documentary.

    What happened to Bezos would not have happened without MacKenzie.

    SEE ALSO: Jeff Bezos' divorce could soon make MacKenzie Bezos one of Amazon's biggest shareholders

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos is worth over $100 billion — here's how the world's richest man makes and spends his money


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    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, arrive for the Axel Springer award ceremony on April 24, 2018 in Berlin. Bezos will be receiving the award later.

    • Amazon could soon have a large new individual shareholder in MacKenzie Bezos as a result of her divorce from her husband, Jeff Bezos, the company's CEO.
    • On Thursday TMZ reported that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, citing "sources with direct knowledge" of the situation.
    • Jeff Bezos owns 16% of the e-commerce giant, and MacKenzie Bezos could be entitled to up to half of those shares, which would give her one of the two largest stakes in the company.
    • Though Jeff Bezos is worth $137 billion on paper, nearly all of the Bezoses' assets are in the form of Amazon stock.
    • They live in, and are likely to file for divorce in, Washington, a community-property state, which could give her a claim to a sizable portion of their wealth. But it's unclear exactly how much Amazon stock she'll end up with.

    Jeff Bezos may soon have someone familiar looking over his shoulder when it comes to running Amazon and having a substantial say about it: his soon-to-be ex-wife.

    Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced Wednesday that they planned to divorce after more than 25 years of marriage.

    Because nearly all of his $137 billion net worth is in the form of his stock in Amazon, it's highly likely she will end up with a substantial stake in the company as part of any separation agreement.

    On Thursday, TMZ reported that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, citing "sources with direct knowledge" of the situation.

    If that's the case, there's a good chance that MacKenzie Bezos could end up having the biggest stake in the company other than Jeff Bezos.

    "One would think so," said Ira Garr, a family-law attorney in New York who represented Rupert Murdoch and Ivana Trump in their respective divorce cases. "I can't see anywhere else the settlement could come from."

    Read this: Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos may split his $137 billion fortune in half when they divorce — here's what typically happens when billionaires break up

    Jeff Bezos owns about 79 million shares of Amazon's stock, worth about $130 billion. The shares give him a 16% stake in the company, making him by far its largest shareholder. The second largest is Vanguard, which had about 6% of Amazon's shares as of last February.

    Should Jeff Bezos have to give half of his shares to MacKenzie Bezos — a not unthinkable outcome, especially if they didn't have a prenup — her 39 million or so shares would give her an 8% stake in the company and vault her over Vanguard.

    Though she could opt for cash instead — which would force Jeff Bezos to sell off tens of millions of shares — or immediately turn around and sell the shares herself, it's likely she'll choose to hold on to her shares instead, legal experts said.

    If MacKenzie Bezos chose to sell — or forced Jeff Bezos to — "the stock would go way down," Garr said.

    MacKenzie Bezos is likely to benefit from Washington state law

    The reasons MacKenzie Bezos could end up with such a huge stake in Amazon have a lot do with where the Bezoses' divorce proceedings are likely to occur.

    Though the Bezoses have dwellings in different areas of the country, they're likely to file for divorce in Washington state, legal experts said. They have a home in the Seattle area, where Amazon has its headquarters, and have lived there for most of their marriage, said Deirdre Bowen, an associate professor of law at Seattle University's School of Law.

    Amazon holiday"Washington seems to be the most logical place" for the divorce proceedings, Bowen said.

    That's important, because it would mean that Washington law would govern the dissolution of the Bezoses' marriage.

    Washington is a community-property state; generally, assets acquired during a marriage are considered jointly held by the two parties. In the case of a divorce, those community assets have to be divvied up between the spouses.

    Community-property law works a little bit differently in Washington than in other parts of the country. Unlike states such as California, Washington doesn't require community assets to be divided evenly between the parties, legal experts noted.

    But in the Bezoses' case, where the two have been married for a long time and the founding of Amazon took place after they got married, it's likely that's where a court would end up, said James Spencer, an adjunct professor at Seattle University's law school and an attorney with Brothers & Henderson.

    "Considering the totality of the circumstances (as are publicly known), I think it more likely than not that a court would divide the stock roughly in half," Spencer said.

    Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos will most likely settle out of court

    Legal experts such as Spencer, though, don't expect the Bezoses' case to end up being decided by a judge. Instead, they expect the two to reach a settlement out of court, whether through negotiations between themselves or among their lawyers, or through arbitration proceedings. So Washington's community-property law may not have a direct effect on the divorce's outcome.

    But it's likely that MacKenzie Bezos will use it — and the assumption that she should get half of the couple's community assets — as a starting point for negotiations, Bowen said.

    "She can go in and tell her attorney ... to work with the assumption that it's going to be 50-50," she said.

    To be sure, MacKenzie Bezos could end up with a far smaller stake in Amazon than half of Jeff Bezos' current holdings. If they signed a prenup or a postnuptial agreement, for example, such a contract could severely limit her claims on his shares of the company.

    Amazon representatives did not respond to an email inquiry about whether the Bezoses had such an agreement, but TMZ reported on Thursday that the couple had not.

    They could fight over what she's entitled to

    Another complicating factor is how negotiators for the two parties — and potentially an arbiter or a judge — classify Jeff Bezos' stock holdings. Though assets acquired in marriage or the amount by which they appreciate are generally considered community property, courts can make a distinction between passive and active appreciation of assets, Bowen said.

    Jeff Bezos could argue that the massive increase in the value of his Amazon stock was largely due to his personal active management of the company and had nothing to do with MacKenzie Bezos. Should he take that stance and have it affirmed by a judge or an arbiter, MacKenzie Bezos could end up with a much smaller stake in Amazon than she might otherwise.

    He could argue his Amazon stake "should remain mine," Bowen said.

    The outcome of the case also will hinge in large part on Jeff's and MacKenzie's mental and emotional states going into it. In their joint statement announcing the divorce, the two portrayed their parting as amicable. But late Wednesday, reports in the New York Post and the National Enquirer charged that Jeff Bezos had been having an affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor, which could indicate their separation wasn't all that friendly.

    If there's rancor involved, it could have a major effect on what each party will demand and settle for, Bowen said.

    new shepard reusable rocket launch 2016 blue origin

    "The wild card here is I don't know the psychology each party has going into this divorce," Bowen said.

    MacKenzie Bezos could end up demanding a large cash payout, she said.

    "I don't think she's an unreasonable person, so I don't see that happening," Bowen said. But, she added, MacKenzie Bezos could say in the proceedings something like: "Why would I want Amazon stock when you're controlling it? I want you removed from my life."

    And there's another potential wrinkle. Amazon's board and Jeff Bezos may be uncomfortable and unwilling to hand over that much of the company's stock to MacKenzie Bezos, particularly if the two are at odds. He or the board may push to limit her ownership, either by having Jeff Bezos sell shares and give her stake in cash or by giving her other assets, such as his ownership of The Washington Post or his rocket company, Blue Origin, instead.

    "With someone who is as closely associated to his brand as Jeff Bezos, it may be that he will refuse a settlement that gives his ex-wife that much Amazon corporate power," said Terry Price, a family law professor at the University of Washington's School of Law.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon Web Services could be worth $600 billion by itself. Here's why Wall Street analysts think a spinoff won't happen any time soon.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos is worth over $100 billion — here's how the world's richest man makes and spends his money


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    lauren sanchez jeff bezos patrick whitesell

    • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is reportedly dating entrepreneur and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.
    • Earlier on Wednesday, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced that they were divorcing after 25 years together.
    • The New York Post reported that Sanchez is still married to Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell, though they are separated.
    • The National Enquirer said it's on the verge of publishing an exposé on the alleged affair between Bezos and Sanchez, saying its reporters tailed the pair for months.

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reportedly has a new romance in his life: former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

    On Wednesday, the billionaire exec and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, announced they were divorcing, saying in a joint statement: "We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends."

    The New York Post and the National Enquirer both reported that Jeff Bezos, 54, is romantically involved with 49-year-old Sanchez, a former "Good Day LA" news anchor with Fox who also works as a helicopter pilot and entrepreneur.

    The TV host is still married to Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of prominent Hollywood talent agency WME. Whitesell counts Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Hugh Jackman among his clients. According to the New York Post, Sanchez and Whitesell separated in the fall. It's after this that Bezos reportedly "became closer" with Sanchez. Sanchez has three children — two from her marriage to Whitesell and one from a previous relationship.

    The National Enquirer said it conducted a four-month investigation into Bezos and Sanchez's alleged affair, and suggested that it was its impending report — due to be published in full later this week — that sparked the announcement from Bezos.

    "During a blockbuster four-month investigation, The ENQUIRER tracked Bezos, who turns 55 on Jan. 12, and secret lover Sanchez across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and 'quality time' in hidden love nests," the National Enquirer wrote in a story teasing its upcoming investigation.

    Bezos has an estimated net worth of about $137 billion, and news of his impending divorce has sparked fevered speculation as to what it will mean for his fortune. It's not clear whether Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos signed a prenuptial agreement or formed another arrangement regarding what would happen if they split. The couple have been married for 25 years, and have four children.

    An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.


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

     

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    NOW WATCH: How Apple went from a $1 trillion company to losing over 20% of its share price in 3 months


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    trump putin

    • Thursday marks two years since the so-called Steele dossier, an explosive collection of memos alleging collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, was published.
    • The document was compiled by the former British spy Christopher Steele.
    • Many of the dossier's claims remain uncorroborated, but several allegations have held up.

    Thursday marks two years since the so-called Steele dossier, an explosive collection of memos alleging collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, was published by BuzzFeed News for public consumption.

    The largely unverified document, compiled by the former British spy Christopher Steele, consists of 16 separate reports that total 35 pages.

    The FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee are both known to be using the dossier as a "roadmap" in their respective investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election. The FBI also used the document to support, in part, its application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser who has drawn scrutiny over his Russia ties.

    Trump dismissed the memos as a "pile of garbage," and he and his Republican allies frequently accuse the FBI of fabricating the information to oust Trump from office.

    Two years later, many of the dossier's claim remain uncorroborated. But several allegations have proven, at least in part, to have held up over time.

    SEE ALSO: Manafort's lawyers made a formatting error in a new court filing and accidentally revealed a slew of bombshells about his alleged lies to Mueller

    DON'T MISS: The Supreme Court handed Mueller a victory in his mysterious grand-jury subpoena fight

    WikiLeaks, Roger Stone, and the 2016 DNC hack

    The dossier said the "Russian regime had been behind the recent leak of embarrassing e-mail messages, emanating from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to the WikiLeaks platform."

    "The reason for using WikiLeaks was 'plausible deniability' and the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team," the dossier said.

    It added: "Over the period March-September 2016 a company called [redacted] and its affiliates had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct 'altering operations' against the Democratic Party leadership. Entities linked to one [redacted] were involved and he and another hacking expert, both recruited under duress by the FSB, [redacted] were significant players in this operation."



    What's been corroborated and what hasn't

    • The special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers last July on hacking and conspiracy charges related to the 2016 DNC hack and the subsequent dissemination of stolen emails via the Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0, the Russia-linked website DCLeaks, and the radical pro-transparency platform WikiLeaks.
    • The charging document alleged that beginning in March 2016, the conspirators "used a variety of means to hack the email accounts" of people working on the Hillary Clinton campaign.
    • In April, the defendants hacked into the computer networks of the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), according to the allegations.

    Once they breached the network, the indictment said, the hackers "covertly monitored the computers of dozens of DCCC and DNC employees, implanting hundreds of files containing malicious computer code ... and stole emails and other documents from the DCCC and DNC."

    In June, the Russians allegedly "staged and released" tens of thousands of hacked documents using Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.

    The indictment said the hackers also used Guccifer 2.0 to pass stolen emails along to WikiLeaks.

    • The charging document did not directly implicate any Americans. But it said that in August 2016, Guccifer 2.0 opened a channel of communication with "a person who was in regular contact with senior members" of the Trump campaign.
    • The longtime GOP strategist and informal Trump adviser Roger Stone is known to have communicated with Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks during the election. He has also publicly stated that he believes he is the unnamed American referred to in Mueller's indictment.

    Additional emails between Stone and the far-right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, which are in Mueller's possession, shed light on the two men's murky ties to WikiLeaks. Three days after the first document dump, the two men discussed how to get "the pending [WikiLeaks] emails," and Corsi also later touched base with Stone to tell him about an upcoming dump.

    "Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," Corsi reportedly wrote to Stone on August 8, according to NBC News. "One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct ... Impact planned to be very damaging."

    "Time to let more than [Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC," Corsi reportedly added, referring to Clinton. "That appears to be the game hackers are now about."

    A little over two weeks later, on August 21, Stone tweeted that Podesta would "soon" be targeted.

    On October 7, WikiLeaks published a damaging batch of emails belonging to Podesta.

    Trump heaped praise on WikiLeaks on the campaign trail. His son, Donald Trump Jr., is also known to have been in contact with WikiLeaks via Twitter during the election, according to The Atlantic.

    While media reports indicate that Trump, Stone, Trump Jr., and other members of the Trump campaign were interested in the WikiLeaks dumps, there is no evidence corroborating Steele's claim that the hacking operation was carried out "with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team."



    NATO and Russia's intervention in Ukraine

    The dossier said that in return for Russia's help in dumping hacked emails damaging to the Clinton campaign, the "TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defence commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject."

    The "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation between [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership was managed on the Trump side by the Republican candidate's campaign manager, Paul Manafort," the dossier added.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Robert Mueller

    • This week brought a slew of new developments in Russia news.
    • The special counsel Robert Mueller notched a victory from the Supreme Court.
    • New York prosecutors charged a Kremlin-connected lawyer with obstruction of justice.
    • Media reports said deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein may soon be leaving the Justice Department.
    • Lawyers representing Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, accidentally revealed sensitive details about Manafort’s alleged lies to Mueller.
    • Two years after BuzzFeed News first published the unverified "Steele dossier", several of its claims have held up over time.

    The special counsel Robert Mueller's "quiet period" is officially over.

    This week brought a slew of new developments on multiple fronts related to the Russia investigation and key figures connected to the probe. Here's what you need to know:

    The Supreme Court handed Mueller a victory in his mystery grand-jury subpoena case:

    Mueller has been duking it out with a mysterious foreign corporation over a grand-jury subpoena since last August.

    The company has been fighting the subpoena, saying that doing so would violate the law in "Country A." In December, a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, struck down the company's argument and ordered it to comply with the subpoena. It also imposed a fine for each day the company did not cooperate with Mueller.

    The company appealed to the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts placed a temporary freeze on the fines while the court considered the case. But the Supreme Court ultimately declined to intervene, holding up the lower court's ruling.

    Paul Manafort's lawyers screwed up ... again:

    In a Tuesday court filing, lawyers representing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort made a formatting error and accidentally unsealed sensitive information about Manafort's alleged lies.

    The information, which was supposed to be redacted in the filing, revealed that Mueller believes Manafort lied about sharing confidential Trump campaign polling data with the former Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik.

    Prosecutors say the information was intended for two Ukrainian oligarchs, and the news prompted speculation over whether Manafort provided the information as part of a quid pro quo for his political consulting work.

    His spokesperson denied that was the case, and Manafort's team continues pushing back against Mueller's claim that he breached his plea deal.

    The two-year anniversary of the Steele dossier:

    Thursday marks two years since BuzzFeed News published the so-called Steele dossier. Many of the dossier's claims remain uncorroborated. But several allegations have proven, in part, to have held up over time.

    That includes some of the document's claims about a direct link between Russia and the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee and subsequent dissemination of stolen emails through WikiLeaks; some of Trump's business dealings in Russia; former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page's meetings during a shadowy Moscow trip; and Manafort's deep ties to Russian and Ukrainian interests.

    A Kremlin-connected lawyer was charged with obstruction of justice:

    Federal prosecutors in New York indicted Natalia Veselnitskaya, the self-identified Kremlin "informant" and lawyer, accusing her of secretly working with a top Russian prosecutor to hamper a Justice Department investigation into an alleged money-laundering operation that involved an elaborate Russian tax-fraud scheme and implicated high-level Kremlin officials.

    Veselnitskaya made headlines in 2017 when it surfaced that she met with several top Trump campaign officials during the 2016 election to offer them compromising information on then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton "as part of Russia and its government's support" for President Donald Trump's candidacy.

    Rod Rosenstein's impending departure from the Justice Department:

    Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein is said to be preparing to leave the Justice Department after William Barr, Trump's nominee for attorney general, is confirmed by the Senate later this month.

    Some media reports said Rosenstein would stay on not only until Barr's confirmation, but also until Mueller's investigation was nearly wrapped up.

    Legal experts said the news itself indicates the investigation could formally end soon, but that it is an unlikely possibility given a number of looming indictments that have yet to drop. A federal judge in Washington, DC, recently extended Mueller's grand jury for another six months.

    Either way, one Justice Department veteran said the myriad court cases stemming from the probe would continue past Rosenstein's departure, potentially generating new evidence, cooperators, and charges.

    SEE ALSO: Grading the Steele dossier 2 years later: what’s been corroborated and what's still unclear

    Join the conversation about this story »

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