Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

The latest news from Life
    0 0

    MoviePass

    • MoviePass' parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, will propose a reverse stock split of up to 1-for-500 to its shareholders in a special meeting next month.
    • It's the latest attempt by the struggling movie-ticket subscription service to not have the HMNY stock be delisted by the Nasdaq in mid-December.

     

    Next month, MoviePass will try its most dramatic step yet to revive its failing stock.

    In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, the movie-ticket subscription service's parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), said it would hold a special meeting with stockholders on October 18 to approve an amendment for a one-time reverse stock split of up to 1-for-500 shares.

    This follows HMNY's 1-for-250 reverse stock split in August, which shot the stock up from $0.09 temporarily before it crashed back down again. HMNY stock is currently trading at around $0.02.

    In the filing, HMNY said this new stock split could range from 1-for-2 to 1-for-500. But if history is a guide, HMNY will come in at the very upper end of that range. When voting in August, shareholders approved a reverse split range from 1-for-2 to 1-for-250. The next day, HMNY did the reverse split at 1-for-250.

    HMNY said in the filing that the reverse split was necessary since the company will have to raise more capital, presumably by continuing to sell stock, which has been its playbook to cover losses this year.

    "Although MoviePass recently has implemented significant cost cutting measures which have had an immediate and materially positive effect in reducing the Company’s monthly cash deficit, the Company believes it will continue to need to raise capital to fund MoviePass until MoviePass becomes cash flow positive or profitable (of which there is no assurance)," HMNY said in the filing. 

    The bolder 1-for-500 is the latest attempt by HMNY to revive the stock, which if it continues trading below $1 could be delisted from the Nasdaq by mid-December. And as HMNY states in the filing, that would make things even more challenging for the cash-strapped company.

    "If the Company is unable to maintain its Nasdaq listing, its access to capital will become further limited and it may not have sufficient capital to enable MoviePass to continue its operations or become cash flow positive or profitable," HMNY said.

    The stock will need to stay at $1 or above for 10 straight trading days for it to no longer be at risk of being delisted, according to Nasdaq. But even that might not a stop a delisting.

    "Even if another reverse stock split enables us to regain compliance with the Minimum Bid Price Requirement, the Company may be delisted due to other Nasdaq listing criteria deficiencies, including the failure to maintain the minimum required market value of listed shares equal to at least $35 million and the failure to have at least three independent directors on the audit committee of the Board and a majority of independent directors on the Board," HMNY said. "Further, the reverse split may not result in a per share price that would attract brokers and investors who do not trade in lower priced stocks."

    HMNY bought MoviePass last August and since has burned through hundreds of millions of dollars to try to make the company a disrupter in the movie-theater business. Currently all it has to show are over three million subscribers, massive losses, and competition in the form of AMC, Cinemark, and Alamo Drafthouse creating ticket subscription service deals for their own customers.  

    SEE ALSO: Nicolas Cage gives a wild and unhinged performance in his new movie, "Mandy," and the dark past of its director was the inspiration

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A top movie actor reveals how he learns different accents


    0 0

    Reed hastings

    • Netflix has a notably unique company culture, which its CEO Reed Hastings once outlined the philosophy of in a 2009 slide deck. 
    • Drawing from a recent LinkedIn Q&A with Netflix and from a 2016 Reddit AMA hosted by a Netflix employee, we've compiled a list of quotes on the company's hiring process and culture.

     

    Netflix is famous for its unique company culture, which does not tolerate either failing employees or "brilliant jerks."

    The company recently held a LinkedIn Q&A where users could ask questions about its culture and philosophy, and its answers largely echoed a famous slide deck CEO Reed Hastings released in 2009 to summarize Netflix's management philosophy.

    Though the company has morphed significantly since then, diving into original content and expanding across the globe, Netflix has maintained a commitment to its culture.

    That means that working at Netflix isn’t quite like working anywhere else, and neither is getting hired there.

    Drawing from a 2016 Reddit AMA hosted by a purported Netflix employee and from last week's LinkedIn Q&A, we've compiled the following essential quotes on Netflix's hiring process and company culture:

    The interview (via Reddit):

    About 40-50% of the interview is about making sure your personality is compatible with our company culture. The rest is about making sure you're technically capable … They flew me out and interviewed me for eight hours. It seemed really easy at the time, but I now realize that a lot of the questions were checking that my personality was a fit for the company. No crazy technical questions that I hate.”

    Culture fit was a big part of the hiring (via Reddit):

    “You'll talk to about eight or so people, some from HR, some higher-ups, some of the team you're applying to. Typically if even a single person doesn't like you, it's unlikely you'll be hired. Ultimately the decision is with the team that's hiring but it's very rare for them to overrule a single ‘no.’”

    There's a list of qualities they expect in an employee (via LinkedIn):

    "You need to have relevant experience for the role you are applying for and on top of that, when you interview in person, demonstrate qualities that showcase Netflix values. Are you courageous? Are you humble? Are you curious and passionate and ask thoughtful questions about the business? Are you able to and open to providing and receiving feedback to be better? Are you scrappy, have grit and willing to roll up your sleeves regardless of your title? Are you a team player? Are you inclusive and self aware? These are all things we look for."

    No one cares where you went to school (via Reddit):

    “I'm a college dropout. I haven't heard a single person discuss education or degrees. When you're working with people who have 5, 10, or even more years of experience education doesn't matter anymore. It's all about what problems you have the knowledge to solve.”

    There’s independence with responsibility (via Reddit):

    “At every other place I've worked, there's a very strict hierarchy and everyone is working on whatever the orders from up high are. In a sense that's also true at Netflix, but the orders are less orders and more context about what the big picture is and what is going on with the numbers. And everyone is expected to pitch in in their own way. You can give someone a problem and they can solve it without going back and asking you for the exact procedure.”

    On whether you can binge-watch Netflix at work (via LinkedIn):

    "Freedom and responsibility — you choose how you want to spend your day doing what," a company representative responded on LinkedIn. "No one is saying you can or cannot do something, but you have to be responsible in moving the business and making an impact. For some teams it is necessary to watch our titles because they work on them."

    "To be candid, there are a lot of fast-paced and exciting projects happening, so there probably isn't time or as much of a priority to catch up with personal Netflix viewing."

    You have to perform (via Reddit):

    “Netflix is definitely more cutthroat about firing ‘dead weight’ than every other company I worked for. If you're not working out for whatever reason, there's no reason to keep you.”

    This person also said there weren’t any real “entry-level positions.” So if you were looking to get hired straight out of college, you’re probably out of luck. Though there are definitely people who have begun their Netflix careers in their mid-20s.

    The "best" and "worst" part of the job are the same (via LinkedIn):

    "The best thing is the freedom to do whatever you think is necessary to move the business forward. The worst thing is that nobody will tell you how to spend your time or what exactly you should be working on (outside of setting larger goals for your role). Determining which projects will truly be impactful is up to you, and sometimes that is really hard."

    If you want to take a look at Reed Hastings' famous 2009 slide deck, scroll down:

    SEE ALSO: Netflix held a Q&A on LinkedIn, and everyone seemed to have the same 2 burning questions







    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    0 0

    omni mount washington resort

    • It may resemble a European castle, but this luxury resort is tucked away in the woods of New Hampshire.
    • Omni Mount Washington Resort was ranked the best hotel in New Hampshire by the US News and World Report.
    • At the resort, guests can fly through treetops on zip line, play tennis, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the winter, and get massages, anti-aging manicures, facials, and many other treatments at a 25,000-square-foot spa.
    • Rates are $350 to $500 a night on average but can range up to $700 for family suites.
    • The hotel is rumored to be haunted by a well-mannered ghost.

     

    The Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire is "one of the original grand resorts of New England," according to Suzanne Joyella, a representative for the resort.

    With its "stately guest rooms, sensational dining, full-service spa, skiing, and 27 holes of golf," the resort offers something for everyone, Joyella told Business Insider.

    Industrialist Joseph Stickney had the hotel built between 1900 and 1902 — and it's rumored that his wife, Carolyn, who died in 1936, still haunts the hotel. Forbes included Omni Mount Washington Resort in a 2017 list of America's 25 most haunted hotels. But not to worry: Carolyn is a well-mannered ghost, according to Town and Country magazine.

    Take a look at the hotel and grounds below.

    SEE ALSO: This luxury resort on Maine's largest island costs up to $2,000 per night and is a gateway to one of the country's most stunning national parks

    DON'T MISS: The 100 most scenic restaurants in the US

    Omni Mount Washington Resort is nestled in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire, near Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern US.

    Source: Google Maps, New Hampshire State Parks



    White Mountain National Forest is a landscape of mountain lakes and streams, hardwood forests, and alpine peaks.

    Source: US Forest Service



    The 200-room resort is more than 100 years old, built between 1900 and 1902 by 250 master craftsmen and originally called the Mount Washington Hotel.

    Source: Omni Mount Washington Resort



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    0 0

    You really want to take that 3pm nap, but you don't feel like taking out your contacts. After all, what's the worst that could happen? We spoke to an eye surgeon to find out. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Irina Belinsky: Some contact lens brands say that it's okay to sleep in them, but as a general rule, it's really not. Contact lenses are safe, but they're safe if you take care of them appropriately, and part of good contact lens hygiene is not sleeping in your contact lenses. Think of the contact lens as foreign material in your eye. It's sort of like a sponge, and to be comfortable, the contact lens needs to be moist, so, it absorbs moisture from your eye, and it can also trap bacteria, and so, it's very important to take your contact lenses out to clean them periodically.

    Leaving them in when you sleep can cause an eye infection that can sometimes be really, really bad. A lot of the infections can be mild and go away with antibiotic eye drops, but some infections can be really, really severe, and even if they go away, they can cause scarring of the surface of your eye, which is the cornea, and that scar can cause sort of a permanent change in your vision. Sometimes an infection can be devastating, and it can completely cause the eye to scar to the point that someone might need a corneal transplant or lose vision completely.

    Really serious blinding kind of infections related to contact lens wear are rare, fortunately. If they were common, then nobody would ever wear contact lenses. So, they are exceedingly rare, and they usually have to do with really, really bad contact lens hygiene. So, good contact lens hygiene has to do with a few things. One, knowing if your contact lens needs to be changed every month or every two weeks and trying to stick to that, even if you have to put a little reminder in your calendar. The more common thing that we see is just contact lens overwear. The cornea gets devoid of oxygen. So, a contact lens does start to break down over time so it doesn't have a smooth surface. It's gonna form micro-breakdown kind of edges, and the contact lens will also dry out. I mean, your eye just doesn't have enough moisture to keep a contact lens in there forever.

    If you think of the contact lens as a sponge, like the sponge in your kitchen, you have to clean it every so often, and you might even have to replace it every so often, because it just doesn't do the job right anymore. A contact lens can become kind of folded and entrapped in the eye underneath the lid, so, I have seen that where patients come in with chronic red eye, and you look around very carefully and sometimes, and this is also rare, but you can actually extract a contact lens that has probably been there for months.

    It can happen if you put it in wrong. It can happen if you sleep in it. It can happen if you don't take it out, or if you forget to take it out. Take your contact lenses out. Don't leave them in. Take them out every day.

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    roma

    • Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said at a conference his company is in "active discussions" with streaming services about showing their original content on a large-format screen.
    • Gelfond said he would respect the exclusive theatrical window if Imax shows any streaming titles.

     

    Would you leave your couch to see a Netflix movie on an Imax screen?

    That's the crux of discussions the leading large-format screen company is having with not just Netflix, but all of the streaming services.

    Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said during a session at Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference that his company had been in "active discussions" about streaming original movies getting the Imax treatment.

    "Over time, to me, it's inevitable that these big blockbusters that people are spending all this money on, are going to have a theatrical release and I think almost certainly an Imax release," Gelfond said.

    Imax has already gone down this road with Netflix in the past.

    Netflix's 2016 movie, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny," the sequel to the Oscar-winning 2000 original, was quietly shown on 10-12 Imax screens when AMC allowed the movie to be on large-format screens in select theaters in New Jersey and California during the movie's opening weekend. (The box-office results for those screenings were never reported).

    Gelfond said any deal Imax had with a streaming title would respect the 90-day exclusive theatrical window currently in place for all theatrical releases. That's a surprising development since all the major movie chains generally will not show Netflix movies as the streamer never obeys the 90-day theatrical window. (In contrast, movies relased by Amazon have a traditional theatrical release before streaming.)

    But this may be the latest indication that Netflix is more willing to respect the theatrical window.

    Gelfond's comments come on the heels of reports that Netflix is going to give an expanded exclusive theatrical run to its award season hopeful, Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma," that way it doesn't get slighted like the streaming giant has in the past with titles like previous Oscar hopeful, "Beasts of No Nation."

    An Imax source told Business Insider that the discussions with streaming companies are still in the early phases, but it's not hard to imagine consumer interest in seeing streaming titles on Imax, especially if they are shown there first.

    Looking forward, there's the sequel to the Will Smith sci-fi movie "Bright" and Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" on Netflix that would be great to see on an Imax screen. Maybe even the first few episodes of Amazon's upcoming "Lord of the Rings" series would be worth watching on a large screen before binge-watching back home. And there's also Apple's content coming soon. 

    SEE ALSO: MoviePass competitor Sinemia has launched an unlimited movie-ticket subscription plan for $29.99

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How actors fake fight in movies


    0 0

    Starbucks barista

    • The fast food business isn't exactly known for doling out a ton of perks — or high pay.
    • But there are some exceptions among major fast food giants.
    • Check out some of the best perks that fast food workers at companies like Starbucks and Chick-fil-A get.

    Fast food isn't known for being the easiest industry to work in.

    In fact, employees from fast food giants have participated in a lengthy Fight for 15 campaign to demand that companies pay them a living wage.

    But that doesn't mean that it's all gloom and doom for fast food workers. Some companies do provide employees with appealing benefits.

    Here's a look at some of the top perks in the fast food business:

    SEE ALSO: McDonald's drive-thrus are 'not suitable for horses' — and 11 other insider facts about McDonald's that employees know and most customers don't

    DON'T MISS: 7 insider facts about Panera Bread that employees know and most customers don't

    SEE ALSO: Employees from Costco, Walmart, and Target share their worst horror stories — and they'll make you rethink how you act when you shop

    Taco Bell will award $3 million in scholarships this year

    The Taco Bell Foundation established its Live Más Scholarship for Restaurant Employees back in 2016.



    This year, Taco Bell will give millions to its scholarship program

    According to the company's website, the scholarship is not based on grades and involves no essays or test scores.

    Instead, they are looking for "the innovators, creators and dreamers."



    In-N-Out managers get to travel the world

    In-N-Out employees don't just bring home bigger paychecks than most fast food employees.

    Thrillist reported that In-N-Out managers who meet their goals get to embark on free trips.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    0 0

    marc benioff

    • Marc Benioff and wife Lynne Benioff announced Sunday that they're buying Time magazine for $190 million.
    • The acquisition will cost Benioff around 21% of the estimated $900 million he earned from March 2017 to March 2018, according to our calculations, and only about 4% of his total $4.9 billion net worth.
    • It takes Benioff about two and a half months to earn $190 million. It would take someone earning the typical US annual salary every day more than 11 years to earn that same sum.
    • Benioff isn't the first billionaire to purchase a media title — Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013, and Laurene Powell Jobs acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic. 

    On Sunday, Salesforce CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff and wife Lynne Benioff announced they are buying Time Magazine for $190 million cash as individuals. 

    This isn't the first time Time magazine finds itself in new hands recently: The move comes not even one year after Meredith Corporation acquired its namesake company, Time Inc., which also houses well-known titles including People, Better Homes and Gardens, and Entertainment Weekly.

    Nearly $200 million is a fortune, but to Benioff, it's not as much as it sounds. According to Forbes, his 2018 net worth is $4.9 billion, nearly $1 billion more than his $4 billion net worth in 2017. That means in just a year, his net worth increased by $900 million, earning him a spot on Forbes' 2017 and 2018 richest people in the world lists.

    Broken down, that's:

    • $102,740 an hour
    • $2.47 million a day
    • $17.3 million a week
    • $75 million a month

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Time, which generated $173 million in revenue in 2017, has an operating profit of $33 million. At $190 million, the Benioffs purchased the nearly century-old magazine for more than five-and-a-half times its operating profit — and around 21% of Benioff's estimated earnings over the past year. At $75 million a month, Benioff's wealth only had to grow for two and a half months to be able to afford the deal.

    When you look at Time's purchase price compared to Benioff's total $4.9 billion net worth, it cost him a measly 3.88% of his wealth to acquire the magazine.

    To put things in perspective, the median annual US salary in the second quarter of 2018 was $45,552, according to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Benioff makes more than twice that much in an hour.

    As noted above, the $190 million Benioff spent on Time is roughly 21% of his earnings last year. For the median US worker, that 21% rate is equivalent to $9,565. A person earning the median annual US salary every day would need 4,171 days, or more than 11 years, just to be able to afford Benioff's Time acquisition. 

    Benioff may be a billionaire, but these numbers don't even begin to stack up compared to how much other billionaires make in an hour. Other notable billionaires, like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, make Benioff's $102,739 hourly rate look like pennies.

    how much money billionaires make in hour chart

    Benioff follows in the footsteps of other billionaires — Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013, and Laurene Powell Jobs acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic.

    The deal is expected to close in 30 days. As of September 17, one day following his acquisition announcement, Benioff's net worth is estimated at $6.6 billion by Forbes. 

    SEE ALSO: We did the math to calculate exactly how much money billionaires and celebrities like Jeff Bezos and Kylie Jenner make an hour

    DON'T MISS: Billionaire Marc Benioff's $190 million deal for Time could drag tech deeper into Trump's firing line

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything we know about Samsung’s foldable phone


    0 0

    Insider Inc NYC

    Insider Inc. has a number of editorial openings across both Business Insider and INSIDER. If you're interested in joining a fast-paced, growing newsroom, apply at the links provided below. Unless otherwise stated, positions are located in our New York City headquarters.

    Editorial internships

    Full-time positions

    For a constantly updated list of openings, see our careers page.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for a week like a Navy SEAL


    0 0

    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

    • Republicans are still bullish on confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, despite him being accused of sexual assaulting a teenage girl when he was in high school.
    • Democrats are demanding the FBI investigate the matter, while behind the scenes they are becoming increasingly optimistic that his nomination could sink.
    • Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a call with Kavanaugh late on Monday, even though their Democratic counterparts refused to participate.

    WASHINGTON — While Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is embroiled in an allegation that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl while in high school, Republicans and Democrats are growing increasingly at odds with what kind of process should come next and putting the appeals judge's confirmation chances on thin ice.

    Senators are breaking out into multiple factions:

    • Democrats would like the FBI to reopen a probe of the allegations from Kavanaugh's accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
    • Most Republicans have carved out their stance that follow-up calls should be made with Kavanaugh and Ford.
    • Some Republicans want additional testimony from Kavanaugh and to hear from Ford under oath, which would likely delay the necessary procedural vote the committee scheduled for Thursday.
    • Republican Sen. John Kennedy said Monday, after a meeting of Senate GOP Judiciary Committee members, that there "will be a full opportunity for the accuser and the accused to be heard."

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement Monday afternoon that the FBI should handle the matter, not Judiciary Committee staff.

    "The FBI has the resources and know-how to conduct an objective, independent evaluation of these sensitive allegations with appropriately trained investigators," she said. "This isn’t just about an interview, it’s about analyzing information and gathering the facts. That’s what the FBI does, and that’s why they’re in charge of the background review process."

    But Republican staffers have already begun the process. At the direction of the committee's chairman, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, staffers conducted a phone call with Kavanaugh late Monday afternoon, while Democrats refused to take part.

    Possibility of additional hearings

    While Kavanaugh testified for several days earlier this month, the possibility of additional hearings is becoming more real by the minute. And some Republicans, including one of the only swing votes on Kavanaugh's confirmation in Sen. Susan Collins, want a more in-depth approach to assessing both sides of the story.

    "For my part, I believe that it’s very important that both Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh testify under oath about these allegations," Collins told reporters on Monday. "And for my part I need to see them and listen to their answers to the questions in order to make an assessment."

    The different positions on how to handle the allegations has some Democrats thinking Kavanaugh does not make it through the confirmation process and at risk of losing crucial votes he might need from the Senate's moderate Democrats facing re-election. One Democratic aide told Business Insider that "this gives red state [Democrats] all the cover they need" to not feel pressured to back Kavanaugh, while another thinks he is "toast."

    Meanwhile, Republicans are digging in their heels, confident that they can still get Kavanaugh through to confirmation. If they cannot confirm him, many GOP aides believe the next nominee would not be as difficult, as the urgency to fill the vacant seat would increase and Trump could even end up selecting a more conservative nominee.

    And Trump himself appeared to not balk at the prospect of delayed hearings, telling reporters at the White House on Monday that if "it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay."

    "But again, this is something that should have been brought up long before this. They had the information in July as I understand it," Trump added. "That’s a long time ago and nobody mentioned it until the other day. You know, it’s very unfortunate they didn’t mention it sooner. But with all of that being said, it will, I'm sure, work out very well."

    SEE ALSO: Here's an evolving count of which senators are voting for Trump's Supreme Court pick

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What drinking diet soda does to your body and brain


    0 0

    Michael Jackson

    • Michael Jackson's famed Neverland Ranch has been on the market since 2015 despite millions of dollars in renovations, a large price cut, and a new name.
    • Jackson's former 2,700 acre property boasts a 12,598 main residence, two guest houses, a lake, a 50-seat movie theatre, a tennis court, a 14-ft lagoon-style pool, a dance studio, and barns.
    • At $67 million, here's what the new Sycamore Valley Ranch has to offer and why it's been on the market for three years.

    Michael Jackson's famed Neverland Ranch hit the market in 2015 hoping to ring in buyers under a new identity as Sycamore Valley Ranch.

    However, the 12,598 square foot French-Normandy style residence located in Los Olivos, California has been on the market for three years, despite a 33% price cut from its original $100 million listing price by Sotheby's International Realty and Hilton & Hyland.

    Jackson, who bought the property for $19.5 million in 1987, defaulted on a loan after financial hardships and entered Neverland into an ownership agreement with private investment firm Colony Capital in 2008 for $23 million, according to ABC News.

    After millions of dollars in renovations, the 2,700 acre ranch boasts a main residence with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms, two guesthouses, a four-acre lake, a 50-seat movie theatre, a tennis court, a 14-ft lagoon-style pool, a dance studio, barns, and separate staff facilities.

    "This quintessential California estate is now ready for the next chapter in its journey," Sycamore Valley Ranch's listing agent Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker said in a statement, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    For $67 million, the King of Pop's former home could be yours, although you'll have to pass "extensive prequalification," according to The Wall Street JournalHere's what Sycamore Valley Ranch has to offer:

    April Walloga and Alyson Penn contributed to an earlier version of this story.

    SEE ALSO: 50 photos show how obsessed the wealthy are with underground mansions

    Welcome to Sycamore Valley Ranch, the former Neverland Ranch that once belonged to Michael Jackson. Jackson originally purchased the property for $19.5 million in 1987.

    Source: Variety



    The 2,700-acre property is on the market for $67 million, down 33% from its original $100 million listing price in 2015.

    Source: Bloomberg



    Under Jackson’s ownership, Neverland Ranch was a Peter-Pan inspired fantasyland with an amusement park, exotic animals, and a Disney-themed train station.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    0 0

    Brett Kavanaugh

    • Mark Judge is Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's high school friend and was named in allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.
    • Christine Blasey Ford says Judge was in the room when the alleged assault took place.
    • Judge claims the alleged assault never happened and said it wouldn't fit Kavanaugh's character.
    • But Judge has come under scrutiny over past writings on rape, masculinity, and alcoholism. 
    • The allegations against Kavanaugh could derail his Supreme Court nomination. 

    The allegations that have upended the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have also opened scrutiny on another man: Mark Judge, who Christine Blasey Ford claims was also in the room when she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as a teenager.

    Ford claims that Judge laughed as Kavanaugh assaulted her and assisted him, claiming both were "highly inebriated" at the time. 

    "Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room," Ford said in a letter to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

    "They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help," Ford added. "They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me."

    Ford said she was only able to escape the situation when Judge jumped onto the bed and the "pile toppled." 

    Judge denies Ford's claims

    Judge, like Kavanaugh, denies the alleged assault occurred and has claimed such an act would be contrary to Kavanaugh's character.

    "It is not who he is," Judge told The New York Times, adding that school they both attended instilled within them values that would've urged against such behavior. 

    Kavanaugh and Judge both went to Georgetown Prep, an elite, all-boys high school in the Washington, DC, area. 

    Judge, an author, filmmaker, and journalist, has floated some controversial ideas and opinions in his writings.

    In 1983, for example, one of Judge's high school yearbook quotes read: "Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs."

    Judge has also come under fire for racially charged comments, and reports have suggested he used to routinely post images of young women on social media.

    His social media accounts have apparently been deleted in recent days, however, but many of his writings are still available for access. 

    He didn't respond to a request for an interview.

    Judge wrote a memoir on his alcoholism in high school, referencing a friend named 'Bart O'Kavanaugh'

    Years after high school, Judge wrote a memoir, "Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk." It chronicled his struggles with alcoholism while a teenager, painting his days at Georgetown Prep as filled with parties and black-out drunk nights. 

    Judge changed names in the book to protect people's privacy, but he at one point referenced a friend named "Bart O'Kavanaugh." The character was described as someone who got so drunk he "puked in someone's car the other night."

    Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, on Monday referenced Judge's writings on his alcoholism when discussing the alleged sexual assault.

    "My client had a beer. ... The men were stumbling drunk, one only needs to look at the writings of Mark Judge — who was the other person present — to know that he wrote ... that they were all drinking so heavily that they would black out repeatedly," she said during an appearance on CBS "This Morning."

    Judge once wrote an op-ed criticizing women who 'dress like prostitutes'

    Judge, who has written opinion pieces for an array of publications, including The Daily Caller, in November 2013 wrote an article about rape for the online magazine Acculturated that has come under scrutiny in light of Ford's allegations. 

    "Feminists argue that no means no, and that men need to understand that," Judge wrote at the time. "There’s never any excuse to rape, a crime that I think is almost akin to murder because the rapist kills a part of the human soul. And yet what women wear and their body language also send signals about their sexuality."

    Judge went on to say that women who "dress like prostitutes" send out certain signals and use their bodies for "cheap theatrics." 

    In a separate article written by Judge for SpliceToday in September 2015, he argued it's good for young men to understand that "no means no" but also said there's an "ambiguous middle ground" in which a woman seems interested and a man must "prove himself to her."

    "If that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion," Judge added. 

    Judge once said Barack Obama is 'the first female president'

    In an August 2013 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Judge also offered some of his views on masculinity and suggested former first lady Michelle Obama was the real "man" in her relationship with then-President Barack Obama. In this context, Judge expressed a longing for the days former President George W. Bush was in the White House. 

    "Barack Obama is the first female president," Judge wrote.

    "With her love of violent movies, her fixation on fitness, and death glare that appears when she doesn’t like what she’s hearing, Michelle is actually more man than her husband," Judge added. "Oh for the days when President George W. Bush gave his wife Laura a loving but firm pat on the backside in public. The man knew who was boss."

    Kavanaugh and Ford have both expressed a willingness to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the alleged assault. Some now believe Judge should also be called to testify

    SEE ALSO: 'Dems and their usual nonsense': Donald Trump Jr. mocks Kavanaugh accuser in Instagram post

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What drinking diet soda does to your body and brain


    0 0

    Brock Long

    • Federal prosecutors are handling an investigation into FEMA director Brock Long's use of government vehicles. The inquiry stems from concerns about Long driving the vehicles home during off-hours.
    • The prosecutors will determine whether Long and two other employees using government vehicles to travel from Washington, DC, to his home in North Carolina violated any federal laws.
    • Long strongly denied any wrongdoing regarding his use of the vehicles, and pushed back on reports he had been asked to resign during a Sunday morning appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    Federal prosecutors are handling an investigation into FEMA director Brock Long's use of government vehicles. The inquiry stems from concerns about Long driving the vehicles home during off-hours, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

    Long and two other FEMA officials are accused of using government vehicles for personal travel between Washington, DC, and Long's home in North Carolina at the taxpayer's expense. The probe into Long's actions has thus far been handled by FEMA's inspector general.

    Early on Monday, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform launched their own investigation into Long. Chairman Trey Gowdy requested Long provide documentation about the vehicles and details on other government officials who may have been on the trips to the Committee. 

    Federal prosecutors will now determine whether or not to bring criminal charges against Long's alleged conduct, people familiar with the investigation told the Journal. It is not yet clear whether prosecutors in Washington, DC, or North Carolina are conducting the inquiry, or what charges they are weighing bringing against him.  

    The congressional and criminal probes come as Long is currently leading the agency's response to Hurricane Florence, which has affected millions on the coasts of North and South Carolina. 

    The negative publicity around Long's travel led Trump administration officials to consider firing Long as recently as last Friday, and replacing him with another administrator — even as Florence barreled towards the East Coast.

    FEMA officials who spoke about the probe on the condition of anonymity to The New York Times defended Long's use of government's vehicles for personal travel, explaining those vehicles include "classified communications equipment" that the FEMA administrator must have access to at all times per agency protocol. 

    The officials who have traveled with Long on his trips home also said they paid to stay at close by hotels using taxpayer money. 

    Long strongly denied any wrongdoing regarding his use of the vehicles, and pushed back on reports he had been asked to resign during a Sunday morning appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    “These vehicles are designed to provide secure communications and the program was actually developed in 2008 — it ran for me the same way it’s run for anybody else,” Long said. “And you know, it’s my understanding that maybe some policies were not developed around these vehicles.”

    SEE ALSO: Photos and videos show the flooding and devastation as Hurricane Florence hits the Carolinas

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An aerospace company reintroduced its precision helicopter with two crossing motors


    0 0

    trump xi us china boxing 2x1

    • President Donald Trump hit China with tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
    • The move is seen as a major escalation of the US-China trade war.
    • China is expected to respond with more tariffs.
    • Economists expect the tariffs to increase the cost of goods for US consumers and possibly slow the broader US economy.

    President Donald Trump ordered the US Trade Representative to impose a tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, catapulting the US-China trade war to the next level.

    "For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies," Trump said in a statement. "We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices."

    "As President, it is my duty to protect the interests of working men and women, farmers, ranchers, businesses, and our country itself," Trump added. "My Administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack."

    The latest tariffs, along with previous rounds on $50 billion of Chinese goods and metal imports, will mean over half of all Chinese goods coming into the US are subject to the duties.

    China's Ministry of Commerce has promised to respond to Trump's latest attack with tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods. This means that between 85% and 95% of American imports coming into China will be subject to a tariff from the trade war.

    According to a senior administration official the duty levied on the incoming goods will be 10% when the measure goes into effect on September 24, then the tariffs will increase to 25% at the start of 2019. The delay is partly designed to give US businesses time to adjust their supply chains the official said.

    In addition to being much larger than previous rounds of tariffs, the new set zeroes in on different targets. The first round of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods focused almost exclusively on industrial goods, but Monday's tariffs also included a large amount of consumer goods.

    The final list of goods was tweaked slightly from the initial list released in July. Roughly 300 items, or tariff lines, were removed from the list including consumer electronics such as smartwatches, industrial chemicals, safety products like bicycle helmets, and child safety furniture like high chairs.

    Despite the removals, the administration still expects the total value of the goods subject to the tariffs to be $200 billion.

    The move willy also solidify Trump's commitment to to the trade war despite the Treasury Department's recent overtures to Beijing. China will reportedly decline further talks if Trump goes through with the tariffs on Monday.

    Talks with the Chinese have so far been unproductive, the administration official said, despite clear signals from the US on what needs to be done by China in order to reverse the tariffs.

    The Trump administration launched the trade war due to allegations of intellectual property theft by China. The White House has argued that the tariffs are necessary to pressure Beijing to change fundamental economic practices and protect US businesses operating in China.

    The president also threatened to slap tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods, which would mean all imports from China would be subject to duties.

    Economists estimate the tariffs will prompt an increase in prices for both US businesses and consumers. That could slow spending on large investments and consumer purchases, potentially harming the broader economy.

    Stocks declined on a pre-announcement statement by Trump's pre-announcement statement with the Dow Jones industrial average closing down 91 points, or 0.35%, for the day.

    Here's a timeline of the US-China trade war so far:

    • March 1: President Donald Trump announces tariffs on all imports of steel and aluminum, including metals from China.
    • March 22: Trump announces plans to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. China announces tariffs in retaliation to the steel and aluminum duties and promises a response to the latest US announcement.
    • April 3: The US trade representative announces a list of Chinese goods subject to the tariffs. There is a mandatory 60-day comment period for industries to ask for exemptions from the tariffs.
    • April 4: China rolls out a list of more than 100 US goods worth roughly $50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.
    • May 21: After a meeting, the two countries announce the outline of a trade deal to avoid the tariffs.
    • May 29: The White House announces that the tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods will move forward, with the final list of goods released June 15. The move appears to wreck the nascent trade deal.
    • June 15: Trump rolls out the final list of goods subject to new tariffs. Chinese imports worth $34 billion would be subject to the new 25% tariff as of July 6, with another $16 billion worth of imports subject to the tariff at a later date. China retaliates with an equivalent set of tariffs.
    • June 18: Trump threatens a 10% tariff on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
    • July 6: The first tranche of tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods takes effect; China responds in kind.
    • July 10: The US releases an initial list of an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be subject to a 10% tariff.
    • August 1: Washington more than doubles the value of its tariff threats against Beijing, announcing plans to increase the size of proposed duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.
    • August 3: China says it will impose tariffs of various rates on another $60 billion worth of US goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat.
    • August 7: The US announces that the second tranche of tariffs, which will hit $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, will go into effect on August 23.
    • August 23: The US imposes tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, and Beijing responds with tariffs on $16 billion worth of US goods.
    • September 7: Trump says the tranche of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods is coming "soon" and threatens to impose tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's trade war with China is still raging — here are the states that could end up getting whacked

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The world's most dangerous venomous animals are all in Australia


    0 0

    laura ingraham thursday

    • The Drudge Report and several prominent conservatives shared a story citing negative reviews purportedly written by students of Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. 
    • The comments instead concerned a different woman — Professor Christine A. Ford. 
    • Drudge, Fox host Laura Ingraham, and radio host Mark Levin all deleted their social media posts linking to Grabien's story, but none of them issued corrections. 

    As right-wing activists and pundits seek to discredit sexual assault allegations made by a woman against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, several prominent conservatives shared a viral piece of false information about the judge's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University in Northern California. 

    On Monday, the conservative website Grabien News published a story quoting negative reviews purportedly written by Ford's students on RateMyProfessors.com. The Drudge Report, a right-leaning news aggregation site, shared the post with its 1.4 million Twitter followers. Laura Ingraham, one of Fox News' top opinion hosts, and Mark Levin, a right-wing radio host, also tweeted out the story. 

    "Christine Ford is the worst educator I have experienced," one former student wrote anonymously on the website. "Something's wrong with her," wrote another. 

    One key missing fact: they were reviews of a different Christine Ford. 

    The comments instead concerned a former instructor in the social work department at California State University-Fullerton, Christine A. Ford. 

    Blasey Ford, who identified herself to The Washington Post in an article published Sunday, says that when she was 15 years old, Kavanaugh, then 17, pinned her to a bed and groped her while his friend watched in a home in Montgomery County, Maryland. Kavanaugh, she alleges, covered her mouth with his hand and turned up the music to mask her screams.

    "I thought he might inadvertently kill me," Blasey Ford told the Post. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing."

    The professor also explained her initial reluctance to speak on the record about the allegations, thus revealing her identity and opening herself up to criticism and attacks. 

    "Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation," she told The Post. 

    Journalists and others quickly pounced on Grabien's false story, which did not include a writer's byline, and criticized the website and Drudge for promoting "fake news."

     

    Grabien News later retracted the story and replaced it with an editor's note. 

    "We've since learned there are two Christine Fords working in clinical psychology in California and we wrote this report about the wrong Christine Ford," the site wrote. "We regret not going to greater lengths to ensure this was indeed the same Christine Ford. Please do not share this article with anyone (and if you have, delete it/withdraw it); we are only leaving the page up so you can see this important update." 

    Drudge, Ingraham, and Levin all deleted their social media posts linking to Grabian's story, but none of them issued corrections or informed their followers that the information was false. 

    Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegations, calling them "completely false."

    "I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone," he said in a statement.

    Both Kavanaugh and Ford have agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the accusations, and are set to appear before the committee next Monday. 

    SEE ALSO: Michael Bloomberg suggests doubts about #MeToo movement and allegations against Charlie Rose

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Medical breakthroughs we will see in the next 50 years


    0 0

    Donald Trump

    • Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, called President Donald Trump's order for the declassification and release of sensitive Russia materials a "clear abuse of power" meant to influence the Russia probe.
    • Schiff also revealed that the FBI and DOJ had previously told him that the release of some of the materials would be a "red line" that must not be crossed because it may compromise sources and methods.
    • Trump on Monday ordered "the immediate declassification" of parts of the FBI's application to surveil Carter Page, as well as FBI reports of interviews connected to Page and DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
    • He also called for the release, without redaction, of all text messages from Ohr, former FBI director James Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. 

    Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, slammed President Donald Trump's decision Monday to order the release of a slew of sensitive documents related to the Russia investigation.

    Schiff's statement came after the White House announced that Trump had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (DOJ) "to provide for the immediate declassification" of parts of the FBI's June 2017 application to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as FBI reports of interviews connected to Page and DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

    The president also asked the FBI and the DOJ to release, without redaction, all text messages pertaining to the Russia investigation from former FBI director James Comey, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and Ohr.

    Schiff called the president's move a "clear abuse of power" meant to "intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative."

    Schiff also revealed that the FBI and DOJ had previously told him that they would consider the release of some of the materials Trump wants declassified a "red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods."

    The White House said Trump made the decision for transparency purposes and after it was requested by multiple congressional committees. 

    Trump's move came after Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump's campaign, agreed to cooperate with the special counsel Robert Mueller, securing him his most significant victory yet in the Russia investigation.

    Trump and his allies, including Schiff's counterpart, Rep. Devin Nunes, frequently rail against the Russia probe and characterize it as a politically motivated fishing expedition meant to undermine Trump's presidency. He has also personally attacked every individual whose text messages he wants released to the public.

    The most recent target of his ire is Ohr, who communicated with the former British spy Christopher Steele in 2016, while Steele was putting together a dossier with allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned Steele's work. Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, also testified last year that he met with Ohr after the 2016 election to discuss how the dossier was compiled.

    Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein previously testified that Ohr did not work on the Russia investigation and was not involved in the FBI's surveillance of Page.

    Politico reported that the DOJ and FBI have no idea how the redaction process is being handled, with a source familiar with the process saying both entities feel it's possible that the White House could release the information on its own as early as Monday.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for a week like a Navy SEAL


    0 0
  • 09/17/18--17:20: All the Emmys 2018 winners
  • Alex Borstein Emmy

    It was a big Emmys night for streaming giants Netflix and Amazon, as well as reigning champ HBO, and long-snubbed "The Americans" from FX.

    The 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, aired Monday night from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. 

    HBO and Netflix ended the night tied for top network with 23 Emmys each, while "Game of Thrones" had the most wins of any show with 9.

    The first award of the night went to Henry Winkler for his work as best supporting actor in "Barry," the HBO comedy series. Later, "Barry" star Bill Hader won the Emmy for best lead actor in a comedy series.  Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" picked up four awards early in the night for best supporting actress, best writing for a comedy, best lead actress in a comedy, and best directing for a comedy. It later won the best comedy Emmy. 

    The drama category was quite varied this year, with a win for best actor in a supporting role going to Peter Dinklage for "Game of Thrones" and best supporting actress going to Thandie Newton for "Westworld." After years of deserving it, Matthew Rhys finally won for the final season of "The Americans," and Claire Foy won for her final season of "The Crown." Best drama series went to "Game of Thrones."

    FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" won for best limited series, and split the limited series (or movie) acting categories with Netflix's Western "Godless" and "Seven Seconds."  

    Below are the big winners of the night's awards:

    SEE ALSO: Our Emmys 2018 predictions: who should win, who will win, and who got snubbed

    DRAMA SERIES

    "The Americans"

    "The Crown"

    "Game of Thrones" *WINNER*

    "The Handmaid's Tale"

    "Stranger Things"

    "This Is Us"

    "Westworld"



    COMEDY SERIES

    "Atlanta"

    "Barry"

    "Black-ish"

    "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

    "Glow"

    "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" *WINNER*

    "Silicon Valley"

    "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"



    LIMITED SERIES

    "The Alienist"

    "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" *WINNER*

    "Genius: Picasso"

    "Godless"

    "Patrick Melrose"



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    0 0

    donald trump

    • President Donald Trump announced tariffs on roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will go into effect September 24.
    • The tariffs will hit a wide range of industrial and consumer goods.
    • The escalation of the US-China trade war drew criticism from Democrats, Republicans, and many business groups.
    • The complaints warned that the tariffs will ultimately hurt US consumers and businesses, due to cost-increases for key goods.

    President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods drew a swift rebuke from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and business groups.

    Trump announced Monday that the US Trade Representative would begin to impose a 10% tariffs on Chinese goods ranging from food to fabrics to industrial chemicals. The tariffs will increase to 25% on January 1, 2019, unless the US and China agree on a trade deal.

    The escalation of the US-China trade war was quickly criticized by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers along with many business groups. All of the critiques centered on economists warnings that the tariffs would ultimately harm US business and consumers by raising prices on imported goods from China.

    Additionally, concerns about China's retaliatory action on US agricultural goods popped up from farmers groups.

    Here's a rundown of the criticism from lawmakers, business groups, and conservative interest groups:

    • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND): “The reckless escalation of the administration’s trade war is having serious consequences for rural America, which is already suffering from the uncertainty and low commodity prices caused by the disruptions to our markets,” Heitkamp said.
    • Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX, chair of the House Ways and Means committee): "Any time tariffs are imposed I worry that Americans will be forced to pay extra costs - in this case on nearly half of US imports from China," Brady said. "I continue to emphasize that the ultimate means to create an effective outcome is for President Trump and President Xi to engage constructively to develop a long-term and profound solution that levels the playing field for American manufacturers, farmers, and workers."
    • National Retail Federation: "Every time this trade war escalates, the risk to US consumers grows. With these latest tariffs, many hardworking Americans will soon wonder why their shopping bills are higher and their budgets feel stretched," Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF, said.
    • National Associations of Manufacturers: "No one wins in a trade war, and manufacturing workers are hopeful the administration’s approach will quickly yield results. Now is the time for talks—not just tariffs—and manufacturers have laid out a blueprint to reset the US-China commercial relationship that will result in ending China’s unfair and anti-competitive behavior," Jay Timmons, NAM's president and CEO, said.
    • Consumer Technology Association: "Today's retaliatory tariffs are not an effective trade policy and may violate US law. Congress has not given the president or the USTR a blank check to pursue a trade war," Gary Shapiro, CTA's president and CEO, said. "These new retaliatory tariffs run afoul of the carefully tailored provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, which require any action to be within the scope of the Section 301 investigation. We urge the administration to reconsider its misguided approach of increasing tariffs, as they are directly paid for by American companies and consumers."
    • Americans For Farmers & Families: "As trade tensions escalate, and our ability to sell our goods to major markets diminishes, we’re having to make long-term business decisions that could affect our farms for generations," Casey Guernsey, a seventh-generation farmer and spokesperson for AFF said. "Many family farmers are canceling new projects, selling their equipment and livestock, and even thinking about closing their operations entirely."
    • Freedom Partners (conservative lobbying group): "These tariffs are 'all pain, no gain' for American businesses and workers. Countless American employers weighed in on this idea during the comment period and told the administration these tariffs would be job-killers. Unfortunately, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears," Nathan Nascimento, Freedom Partners' Executive Vice President, said.

    SEE ALSO: THE BIG ONE: Trump slams China with tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods, taking the trade war to the next level

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: One bite from this tick could ruin red meat for the rest of your life


    0 0

    mcd apple pie

    • McDonald's announced last week that the chain has changed the recipe for its iconic apple pie. 
    • Some customers are complaining about the new recipe, with one person saying on social media that people should be "rioting in the streets" in response to the change. 
    • Others have a more positive attitude after tasting the new apple pie, which was revamped to remove sugar and reduce the number of ingredients used.

    McDonald's changed its iconic apple pie recipe — and customers are split on if it is a healthy change for the better or a horrific mistake. 

    Last week, the fast-food giant announced it was debuting a new recipe for its apple pie with less sugar and a simplified ingredients list. 

    "Our new freshly baked Apple pie recipe is in line with other positive changes we have made," Tiffany Briggs, a McDonald's spokesperson, said in a statement. "We removed, for example, artificial preservatives from our Chicken McNuggets and switched to real butter in our breakfast sandwiches because those changes matter to our guests." 

    However, not every McDonald's customer has been loving the new pie. As the revamped dessert has hit menus, many customers have taken to social media to complain about the changes. 

    "What's up with the new apple pies????" one person tweeted. "I like the old recipe better. Is it a seasonal thing? Or a permanent change???"

    McDonald's responded on Twitter: "Our new apple pie is made with fewer ingredients such as sugar, sliced 100-percent American grown apples and a bit of cinnamon to the filling for flavor to give each one that homemade taste our customers love." 

    However, others had more positive things to say about the new apple pie. 

    With the apple pie's long and fabled history, McDonald's was sure to face some backlash over changes.

    The pie was the first dessert ever added to McDonald's menu, in 1968. McDonald's replaced the original fried apple pies to a baked version in the early 1990s — a change that some people are still lamenting decades later. 

    SEE ALSO: Chick-fil-A broke from tradition and opened on a Sunday in the midst of Hurricane Florence — and there's an incredible backstory

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Publishers Clearing House makes $1 billion a year


    0 0

    gary cohn donald trump

    • Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump's former top economic adviser, said the president originally wanted to raise the top marginal tax rate to 44% as the GOP tax bill was being crafted.
    • The rate was ultimately lowered to 37% from 39.6% in the final version of the bill that is now law.
    • Cohn's statement appears to confirm reporting by Bob Woodward in his new book "Fear: Trump in the White House."
    • Woodward reported that Cohn had to talk Trump out of raising the top rate to 44%.
    • Cohn refused to talk further about the Woodward book, neither confirming nor denying the report that he stole documents from Trump's desk to prevent the president from pulling the US out of two major trade deals.

    Gary Cohn, the former top economic adviser to President Donald Trump, confirmed a detail about the president's position on taxes that was reported in Bob Woodward's new book.

    During a Reuters event in New York City on Monday, Cohn expressed regret that the Republican tax law that was passed at the end of 2017 was not simply a cut in the corporate tax rate. Cohn said that during the debate over the plan, Trump similarly wanted to just focus the bill on the corporate side instead of also cutting taxes for individuals.

    In fact, Cohn said, Trump actually wanted to raise the top marginal tax rate to 44%.

    "I would have rather have just cut corporate taxes, not touch personal taxes at all, and by the way the president was there too, the president would've just done corporate taxes and not personal taxes," Cohn said. "In fact he was willing to raise the high end of personal taxes, there were times he was talking about 44.6% or 44.9% on the personal side."

    Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, said that the administration ultimately had to include individual tax cuts because many US companies are pass-through businesses in which the owner takes the profits and the money is taxed like personal income. Cutting just the corporate rate would have created too large a discrepancy for corporations and those pass-throughs, Cohn said.

    Trump's desire to raise the rate to 44% was reported in Woodward's new book "Fear: Trump in the White House."

    The plan to increase the top tax rate to 44% was originally attributed to former adviser Steve Bannon and, according to Woodward, the bump would have allowed Trump to lower the corporate tax rate to 15% instead of the 21% in the final bill. But, Cohn advised Trump not to increase the top rate, Woodward reported.

    "Sir, you can't take the top rate up," Cohn reportedly told the president. "You just can't."

    "What do you mean?" Trump replied per Woodward.

    "You're a Republican," Cohn, who was a Democrat, told Trump, adding the president would "get absolutely destroyed" if he went through with the idea.

    The top rate was eventually dropped to 37% from 39.5% in the version of the GOP tax bill that is now law.

    In addition to confirming Trump's desire to boost taxes, Cohn also fielded questions on the most explosive part of the book. Woodward reported that Cohn stole documents off the president's desk to prevent Trump from pulling the US out of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    Cohn refused to confirm or deny that Woodward's reporting was correct.

    "I've said what I'm going to say on the Woodward book," Cohn said.

    Cohn is featured extensively in Woodward's book, including many direct quotes. Woodward's book used interviews with anonymous sources conducted on deep background, which means no source is identified in the writing. According to reports, Trump and other members of the administration believe Cohn was a source for the book.

    Cohn issued a statement on the day of the book's release that said Woodward's reporting "does not accurately portray my experience at the White House." The statement did not push back on any individual story, such as the document theft.

    Cohn left the White House in March soon after Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The former Goldman executive has been critical of Trump's use of tariffs.

    The White House has also attacked Woodward's book, calling it "nothing more than fabricated stories."

    SEE ALSO: THE BIG ONE: Trump slams China with tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods, taking the trade war to the next level

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The world's most dangerous venomous animals are all in Australia


    0 0

    U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House in Washington

    • President Donald Trump's decision to declassify select portions of a FISA application targeting the former Trump campaign aide Carter Page alarmed legal and national security experts.
    • Trump called for the immediate declassification of certain portions of the Page FISA application, some of which appear to include information about confidential sources and methods.
    • "The release of FISAs like this is off the charts," wrote one former Justice Department official. 
    • Another former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York called Trump's decision an "incredibly dangerous move that sets a really troubling precedent."

    Former law-enforcement officials and national security experts sounded the alarm on Monday, after the White House announced that President Donald Trump had ordered the immediate declassification of select portions of an FBI application to surveil a former Trump campaign aide.

    The warrant to monitor that aide, Carter Page, was granted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Department of Justice (DOJ) released the application, with significant redactions, earlier this year amid heightened cries from Trump and his Republican allies that the FBI had planted a spy within his campaign to cripple it during the 2016 election.

    On Monday, Trump demanded the declassification of several pages of a June 2017 application to renew the Page FISA warrant, as well as FBI interviews and reports connected to the surveillance.

    David Kris, the former assistant attorney general for national security and an expert on FISA, didn't mince words when he reacted to the news.

    "The release of FISAs like this is off the charts," he wrote. "It is especially unprecedented considering that the FISAs have already gone through declassification review and the President is overruling the judgments of his subordinates to require expanded disclosure."

    Joyce Alene Vance, a longtime former federal prosecutor, largely agreed.

    "Releasing FISA materials compromises national security," she wrote. "Publicly releasing evidence during an ongoing criminal investigation is unprecedented."

    An 'incredibly dangerous move'

    Carter Page

    The FISA process is arguably one of the most sensitive and secretive methods that the US government uses when it comes to gathering foreign intelligence.

    The application process that goes into obtaining a FISA warrant targeting a US person involves multiple levels of authorization from senior FBI and DOJ officials, as well as permission from a FISA court judge.

    The FBI's surveillance of Page began in October 2016 and continued at least until the summer of 2017.

    His monitoring was related to the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor.

    On Monday, Trump asked the DOJ and FBI to declassify pages 10 to 12 and 17 to 34 of the Page FISA application.

    One of those sections appears to relate to the time period that Page worked on Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser.

    Trump did not ask the DOJ and FBI to declassify subsequent portions of the document that detail Page's activities and Russian efforts to recruit him as an agent before he joined the campaign.

    The president also did not order the declassification of another part of the document that details information Page provided to the FBI during an earlier interview, or sections that go over Russia's attempts to recruit New York City residents as intelligence assets.

    While the Trump campaign has sought to distance itself from Page after he drew scrutiny, the former adviser testified to the House Intelligence Committee last year that he had several contacts with Russia-linked individuals, at times with the campaign's knowledge.

    His testimony also appeared to corroborate key sections of the Steele dossier, a collection of explosive memos by the former British spy Christopher Steele that alleges collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    But Page had been on the FBI's radar even before he joined the campaign in 2016. Earlier this year, TIME reported that Page boasted about his Russia contacts as early as 2013, and two months after the FBI warned him that Russia was trying to recruit him as an agent.

    Trump seeks to declassify information that could compromise sources and methods

    christopher steele

    Pages 17 to 34 of the application, which Trump moved to declassify, deal with Page's possible coordination with Russian government officials on activities designed to influence the 2016 election.

    Crucially, several parts of this section appear to contain information about confidential sources that Steele used while compiling his dossier, as well as Steele's own history as an FBI source.

    Several top congressional Democrats, like House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff and minority leader Nancy Pelosi, also warned that the declassification and release of some materials Trump requested could endanger sources and methods.

    Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, called Trump's decision an "incredibly dangerous move that sets a really troubling precedent."

    "To say you're going to throw open the information in a FISA warrant for plainly political purposes is incredibly reckless," he added.

    Kris echoed that view.

    "The President has the literal authority to do this, but here, as in so many other areas, his exercise of authority is tainted by a severe conflict of interest, as he is a subject of investigation to which these FISAs pertain," he wrote.

    Kris added: "This is perhaps the signal feature of many of his worst actions -- he seems assiduously to view and engage with everything through the straw-sized aperture of his own self-interest instead of the broader national interest."

    The White House said Trump's decision was made in the name of "transparency."

    But Trump has long characterized the Russia investigation as a politically motivated "witch hunt" designed to undermine his presidency.

    In addition to publicly castigating the attorney general for not shutting down the investigation, he also ousted the FBI director, James Comey, who was overseeing the investigation last year, and he has publicly lashed out against other current and former DOJ and FBI officials connected to the investigation.

    On Monday, he additionally called for the release, without redactions, of all text messages by several of those individuals, including Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, DOJ official Bruce Ohr, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An aerospace company reintroduced its precision helicopter with two crossing motors