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The best kettlebells

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  • Kettlebells are a great way to make the most of every exercise session as they allow you to combine strength work with cardio and flexibility training.
  • Before you start using a kettlebell, take the time to learn proper form and make sure you start with appropriate weight in order to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Our top pick, the Everlast Vinyl Dipped Kettlebells, features a thick vinyl coating, a color-coded weight system, and comes in a variety of weight options perfect for any home gym.

Editor's note: Due to fluctuating stock, many of the picks may be out of stock, back-ordered, or low in stock. We will keep this updated as best we can. 

If you get into serious strength training, it won't be long before you find your hands wrapping around the grip of a kettlebell. Even if you've yet to use those large, bell-shaped weights with thick handles on top, it's likely you've seen them either at your local gym or as the centerpiece of a live-streamed workout. They're popular for good reason.

The odd shape of a kettlebell allows for a more dynamic range of movement than you get with a traditional dumbbell. Thus, kettlebells are used not only for strength training but also for cardio work, flexibility and balance training, and to target multiple muscle groups at once.

Why you should add kettlebells to your workout

For some professional perspective on the importance of kettlebells, I spoke with R.J. Cincotta, director of fitness with Orange Theory Fitness Long Island and a 15-year veteran of the professional training and fitness world. Though most Orange Theory gyms don't use kettlebells, Cincotta spoke to Business Insider based on his own extensive fitness experience. 

"Kettlebells are best used for power movements," Cincotta said. "You're going to use them for squats and swings, and you'll use them for a lot of single-sided exercises often referred to as asymmetrical movements. You can even use kettlebells for stability work, as well."

What makes a kettlebell harder to use than a dumbbell lies with its shape which puts the weight several inches away from your hand. This means you'll need to activate more of your muscles as you stabilize the weight. With a kettlebell, every single-handed exercise like curls, shoulder presses, snatches, and so on is that much more productive. And for two-handed exercises like goblet squats, the grip shape means added stability so you can focus on your form, as well as your core, glutes, quads, and other muscles.

Before you start swinging your new kettlebells around wildly, make sure you take some time to learn how to properly execute the exercises for which they are so helpful when used correctly.

"When you're using kettlebells, safety is the first thing," Cincotta said. "Many people just start swinging them around and don't focus on form. There's such a dynamic difference using them [compared to other weights] that you really need to learn form first. And you don't want to go too heavy too quickly; that's a very easy way to get injured."

With that advice in mind, we tested a variety of kettlebells from brands like Everlast, TRX, and Bowflex to find the best currently available. So, no matter if you're just looking for a set to round out your home gym or want to kick your weekly fitness routine up a few notches, there's a set of kettlebells perfect for you. 

Here are the best kettlebells:

Updated on 9/4/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the section on why you should add a kettlebell to your workout, checked the availablity of each recommended kettlebell, and updated the prices and links where necessary.

The best kettlebell overall
everlast kettlebell

Everlast's Vinyl Dipped Kettlebells are coated with a thick, colorful layer of vinyl which makes them safer to use and allows for quick identification of each weight.

It only takes smashing a cast-iron kettlebell into the side of your knee one time to teach you that smashing a cast iron kettlebell into the side of your knee is no fun. That's why these kettlebells from Everlast are a great choice.

"I've used Everlast kettlebells for years," Cincotta told Business Insider. "When the bell itself is coated like this, as opposed to metal-based, you're able to do much more with the bell without accidentally tearing up your body."

You're also at less risk of grabbing the wrong weight for a given exercise thanks to the bright coloring of the vinyl casings of these kettlebells. Each different weight increment has a distinct color, so within a few minutes of using a given kettlebell, you'll know at a glance how much it weighs. They're also available in multiple increments between five and 35 pounds. 

Whether used for suitcase squats, lunges, presses, or core training, these are reliable kettlebells from a company with more than 110 years of history in the fitness gear arena.

Pros: Protective vinyl coating, easy-to-use color coding, decent price point

Cons: Maximum weight too low for some athletes

The best kettlebell for interval training
TRX kettlebell

TRX Training Kettlebells have lightly textured handles that allow for a secure grip and easy transitions, ideal for use during high-intensity exercise.

If you're a fan of HIIT exercise (high-intensity interval training), then you'll appreciate these kettlebells that are perfectly suited to the fast, highly specific motions used in such routines. Their textured grips ensure you keep a steady grasp even when you're sweaty, moving fast, and rapidly switching between various different exercises.

TRX offers kettlebells weighing just four kilograms (8.8 pounds) all the way up to 40 kg (88 pounds) with moderate increases between each option, so you can choose the exact amount of weight to suit your body for any given exercise.

Another feature to note is the broader flat base these kettlebells have over most competitors. That extra flattened surface area makes these kettlebells more stable, a bonus when you're setting them down fast during HIIT workouts especially, but useful all the time.

One significant drawback is the price, however — these aren't cheap.

Pros: Textured handles for secure grip, multiple weights offered, broad flat base adds stability

Cons: Quite expensive

The best adjustable kettlebell
bowflex kettle bell w

With your Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell you get six kettlebells in one, which is ultimately one of the best values around.

Yes, $149 is a lot to pay for a kettlebell. But when you factor in that you're paying for six kettlebells, it turns into quite the deal.

The 840 gets its name from its lowest and highest weights, which are eight pounds and 40 pounds, respectively. In between those low and high options, you get 12-, 20-, 25-, and 35-pound increments, a good spread for people of varying strength and for a single person's use at varied exercises.

Switching between weights is quick and easy, too. You simply turn a dial and lift up on the handle, and the extra weight is left sitting there on the ground. Beyond the ease of use during active exercise, you'll also appreciate what is effectively six kettlebells only occupying the space of one. 

The benefits of the design are clear here but with that said, there are a few drawbacks, the largest of which is that kettlebell is less ergonomic than a standard option. The handle is slimmer and doesn't have the flared shape of most kettlebells, and the overall unit is larger than solid options, which might make some exercises harder to execute properly.

With a few reps, you should get used to the shape, though, and the pros far outweigh the cons.

Pros: Six kettlebells in one, affordable compared to buying six weights, easy to adjust

Cons: Handle is less ergonomic than standard options, bulky especially for use at lighter weight

The best low-cost kettlebell
amazonbasics kettlebell

An AmazonBasics Vinyl Kettlebell is largely indistinguishable from kettlebells offered by other brands, but you'll pay a few bucks less.

There's plenty of positive things to say about the kettlebells from AmazonBasics. They're coated in a thick vinyl that protects your skin and helps minimize the chance of scuffing the floor or scratching a piece of furniture; they come in a wide range of weights, starting at 10 pounds and reaching all the way up to 60, with 11 increments along the way; and their colorful coatings make it easy to tell one weight from another.

Here's the thing: That description fits just about any decent set of kettlebells. What sets these apart from the pack is that they cost on average 15% less than generally comparable options such as those from Everlast.

For that reduced price, you can expect a slight reduction in quality. Many of the kettlebells sold under the AmazonBasics banner have minor imperfections in the handles such as irregular bumps or little holes. 

These flaws shouldn't be deal-breakers unless you have sensitive hands. Also, you can always work out with gloves on, which many people do as a general rule anyway.

Pros: Great price point, good spread of weight increments, colorful vinyl coatings

Cons: Grips often have minor imperfections

The best soft kettlebell
Bionic Body kettlebell

The Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell is plenty heavy but soft to the touch, so you won't break a toe or crack a tile if you accidentally drop one.

If you work out often enough, at some point you are going to have an accident. Dropping weights is a fact of life, and it's why gyms have padded floors. If you're working out on the hardwood or tile floors of your own home, that dropped weight might lead to an unexpected and unpleasant home repair project — or, potentially, an ER trip to fix a broken toe.

That is, of course, unless you were working out with a soft-sided kettlebell. Bionic Body's Soft Kettlebells come in a decent range of weights, spanning 10 to 35 pounds, and they're both durable and solid-feeling in your hands.

There's no sacrifice of function in the name of making them soft-sided, and you won't even pay that much more for these kettlebells than you would for standard iron or vinyl-coated weights. 

The leather wraps around the weights won't chafe or irritate your skin, so these kettlebells make for more comfort. But with being leather, the exterior can get scuffed and torn in a way a solid kettlebell can't, so you do need to treat these with a bit more care than with other options.

Pros: won't damage flooring and less prone to injure, decent price point for a unique product

Cons: leather exterior damages more easily than standard kettlebell

What else we tested
kettlegrip

Many brands offer their own version of the kettlebell incredibly similar to one another, so there's little reason to look much beyond the list we put together. There are, however, a few specialty options and accessories worth your consideration:

  • Meister MMA Elite Portable Sand Kettlebell: This option is a sack made from rugged PVC that can be filled with sand to create a functional kettlebell. Empty, the sack packs down flat for easy storage or travel. Filled and with the neoprene handle wrapped into place, this portable kettlebell lets you knock out snatches, standing rows, and more anywhere you go — so long as you can find sand.
  • Kettle Gryp: The Kettle Gryp is a one-pound plastic grip that affixes to any dumbbell with a grip wider than 4.5 inches and converts dumbbells into kettlebells. So that stack of free weights you have there in your garage? Every one of those could be used just like a kettlebell.
  • Yes4All Adjustable Kettlebell Handle: If you have weight plates in your home (the disc weights with holes for mounting them on bars, e.g.) then a Yes4All Adjustable Kettlebell Handle can create an ad hoc kettlebell of myriad weight combinations.
Read the original article on Business Insider

One chart shows how much further the US economy needs to go to recover from the coronavirus recession

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FILE - In this June 4, 2020, file photo, a customer walks out of a U.S. Post Office branch and under a banner advertising a job opening, in Seattle. Unemployment remains painfully high in the U.S. even as economic activity is slowly picking up. That reality will be on display Thursday, July 16, 2020, when the U.S. government releases data on the number of laid off workers seeking unemployment benefits the week prior and retail sales in June. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
In this June 4, 2020 photo, a customer walks out of a US Post Office branch and under a banner advertising a job opening, in Seattle.
  • August's US jobs report showed a big increase of 1.4 million jobs over the month. 
  • The positive August report marks the fourth straight months of gains, but the pace of jobs growth seems to be slowing.
  • US employment is still far lower than before the coronavirus pandemic, with 11.5 million fewer Americans on nonfarm payrolls in August than in February.
  • The current downturn has been far sharper and deeper than any other postwar US recession.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The August jobs report showed a slightly larger-than-expected increase in employment, with about 1.4 million nonfarm payroll jobs added over the month.

But even what would be considered in normal times a blisteringly fast rate of job growth still leaves the US labor market in a deep hole. 

August's beat followed three months of even faster jobs growth, with about 9.2 million jobs added between May and July. The rate of job growth may be slowing, however, and millions of Americans remain out of work.

Finance blogger Bill McBride publishes a monthly chart showing how employment has declined and recovered during and after historical US recessions since World War II. The chart starts at the highest level of non-farm payroll employment at the beginning of each of the 12 postwar recessions as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and then shows the percent decline in the following months until employment returns to the pre-recession high.

The chart shows a fascinating historical comparison of the depth and length of modern US recessions and recoveries. Until the coronavirus pandemic, the deepest and longest employment decline in the postwar period was the Great Recession of 2007-2009, highlighted in blue in our version of the chart below.

The current downturn is far sharper and deeper than any other postwar employment recession, with over 22 million jobs lost between February and April. Even the last three months of rapid job expansion still means the US economy has about 11.5 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic.

The labor market is not the only part of the US economy that has tumbled during the pandemic. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic activity, fell at a record-shattering 33% annualized rate in the second quarter of this year. Many economists expect rapid growth through the rest of the year, but not enough to return to pre-recession levels until as late as the end of 2021.

Here's our version of McBride's chart, showing declines in the number of nonfarm payroll jobs as a percentage of peak pre-recession employment during each postwar US recession:

Read Bill McBride's full comments on the July jobs report here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

One chart shows the gap between men's and women's salaries is shrinking — and it's good news for anyone looking for a job right now

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woman atm credit card
When it comes to new hires, women's salaries have been slowly inching toward men's for the past few years.
  • A new report indicates the wage gap in the US is closing, at least when it comes to the salaries of new hires.  
  • Women who were new hires were offered salaries comparable to about 96% of their male counterparts, indicating the lowest difference, 4%, it's ever been. 
  • That's according to a new report from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Michigan that looked at salary data of new hires in July 2020. 
  • Despite the hopeful trend, the gender wage gap is still a national problem. 
  • White women, on average, earn 80% of what white men do, while black women earn 66% and Hispanic women earn 58%, a pay gap of 42%, according to the US Census Bureau's 2018 data. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The US may be making strides toward closing the pay gap — at least for new hires.

That's according to new data from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Michigan that looked at salary data of new hires in July 2020. The data was originally reported by Bloomberg.

It shows that recently hired women were offered salaries comparable to about 96% of men's — which is an improvement from previous years. For example, in 2015 new hires who were women earned 88.8% of what men did.

While the data is encouraging, it is by no means cause for celebration. The pay gap is still a consistent problem across the board.

The news comes just a few weeks after 2020's Equal Pay Day on Aug. 13. This date indicates how far into 2020 a Black female worker would have to work to earn as much as a white male worker did in 2019 alone.

W.E. Upjohn Institute did not immediately return request for comment on any racial breakdown of data.

White women, on average, earn 80% of what white men do, while black women earn 66% and Hispanic women earn 58%, a pay gap of 42%, according to the US Census Bureau's 2018 1-year American Community Survey.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Co-op supermarket chain will add 1,000 new jobs with 65 new, or improved, stores powered by renewable energy

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Co-op store in London
  • The Co-op is opening, or extending, 65 stores in the UK as part of its move to focus on local convenience retail.
  • The new stores will run on 100% renewable electricity.
  • Though it's expanding its physical stores, in August the Co-op became the most widely available supermarket on Deliveroo in the UK.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Britain's sixth-largest grocer will create 1,000 new jobs with a plan to open, or extend 65 stores by the end of the year that will all run on 100% renewable electricity. 

As well as extending some existing branches, the Co-op said it will also overhaul more than 100 of its 2,600 stores as part of a £130 million ($172.8 million) investment plan.

Up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores will also launch by the end of 2020 with many on university campuses. This is part of the chain's move to focus on local convenience retail – which includes its own-brand products now being stocked at around 90% of all Nisa stores after it acquired the grocery wholesaler in May 2018.

As well as making plans to expand its physical stores, the Co-op rapidly increased its delivery services during the pandemic. In August it became the most widely available supermarket on food delivery app Deliveroo. After partnering with the platform in 2019, the Co-op now operates deliveries from over 400 stores and covers 128 UK cities.

Many UK grocers began changing the way they served customers during the lockdown that kept millions of people at home. Some began working with Deliveroo, including Morrisons and German-owned Aldi. Others, such as Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain, began ramping up its online offerings by recruiting 10,000 new staff to assemble customer orders and 3,000 new delivery drivers.

"Convenience stores have firmly established themselves as a place that local communities can rely on, not just for groceries but for a growing range of services that have kept the nation going during the last few months," James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said.

The pandemic has caused a long-term shift in people's spending habits, with around 17.2 million British consumers – or one in four Brits – planning on making permanent changes to how they shop, according to a report by Alvarez & Marsal and Retail Economics.

The Co-op's sales increased by 13.9% in July to give it a 5.2% share of the grocery market. In June the grocer reported that at certain points in time, demand for face masks outsold essentials such as milk, bread, and eggs. However, the Co-op wasn't the only UK supermarket chain to flourish during the pandemic.

Tesco reported its online sales doubling in the three months to May to 1.3 million orders per week compared to the same period the year before.

While many UK supermarkets hired temporary staff to meet demand during the pandemic, some have since announced job cuts. Marks and Spencer, which sells food alongside clothing and homeware products, said last month that it would cut 7,000 jobs by Christmas after the pandemic caused a sales slump. This is around 10% of its UK workforce.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Homesick candles smell like home and make great gifts for any occasion — and they're 15% off right now

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When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

homesick candles diffuser

Scent is very closely tied to memory. That's why when you smell cookies baking in the oven, you might feel like you're back in your kitchen helping your grandma decorate cookies with icing and sprinkles. 

But what about the scents of more abstract things like "home" and even geographic locations like New York? 

Homesick candles range from the hilarious to the sentimental, with unique scents that somehow smell like how you'd imagine

Candle company Homesick polled people around the US to find out what home smelled like to them to develop customized scents for each city and state, as well as more nostalgic experiences. The results range from the hilarious — like Jewish Christmas, which smells like "Buttered popcorn and a movie at the local theatre followed by an overindulgence of Chinese food with friends and family" — to the more sentimental — like Thank you, Mom, which smells like "Freshly trimmed flowers on the kitchen table. The smell of breakfast sizzling on Sunday." 

Each candle is made from all-natural soy wax, which is then hand-poured into a glass container. The simple black and white labels are minimal, and let you know what candle you're smelling. The candles come in cute, colorful packaging, making them ready to gift to anyone who wants a whiff of nostalgia in their home away from home.

Homesick's candles are also reasonably priced starting at $29.95

What Homesick candles actually smell like

We tested a few of its candles and liked how the unique scents transported us "home," whether that meant New York City or baking with our grandma in the kitchen.

New York City candle

As denizens of New York City, the Insider Reviews team typically remembers the malodorous smells we catch a whiff on the street rather than the candle's idealistic "scents of spring days in Central Park, fine department stores, and concrete."

Senior reporter Mara Leighton said it best when she described the candle as "what New York smells like in your dreams before you actually move here." Still, we cannot deny that the candle smells a lot like Macy's in Herald Square, or that the scent is infinitely preferable to the iffy smell of the city streets and the subway.

When I burned the NYC candle in my apartment, it smelled amazing. The gentle scent made my entire apartment smell great, and it burned evenly.

Holiday candle (currently unavailable)

The Holiday candle hit all the right notes with its scents of "freshly cut Pine trees and pomander balls; Mom's sugar cookies and Grandma's pies, warm from the oven." The whole Insider Reviews team agreed that it smelled wonderful.

Just like the NYC candle, it burned evenly and beautifully all evening long in my apartment. When I closed my eyes, the gentle and aromatic pine scent reminded me of Christmastime at my Grandma's house, which was surrounded by pine trees. The hint of cinnamon in there brought me right back to baking Swedish cinnamon buns with her too. It's my favorite of the two I tried.

Homesick also makes a reed diffuser if you're not into candles

If you don't like candles because of the fire risk, you may prefer Homesick's reed diffuser. The glass bottle has four ounces of essential oils that saturate reeds for a lovely scent, and you can choose from several different Homesick oils that smell the same as the brand's candles.

At $35, Homesick candles are reasonably priced so you can get a different one as a gift for every occasion. College students and new-ish grown-ups who are just getting started in a new city or state will love the nostalgia factor, and anyone who likes candles will appreciate how well made they are.

Shop all Homesick candles and diffusers

Read the original article on Business Insider

Facebook took down a far-right congressional candidate's photo showing her holding a gun next to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the 'Squad'

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Marjorie Taylor Greene in her campaign ad.
Marjorie Taylor Greene in her campaign ad.
  • Facebook on Friday pulled down an image posted by GOP congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene showing Greene holding a rifle next to pictures of three Democratic congresswomen. 
  • The text of the post — which bashes "hate America leftists ... who want to rip our country apart" — remains on Greene's page. 
  • Greene, a QAnon conspiracist with a history of making racist comments, was endorsed by President Donald Trump. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Facebook on Friday removed an image shared by Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene — in which she holding an assault rifle next to pictures of three freshman Democratic congresswomen — because the post violated the site's policy on "violence and incitement," according to Facebook spokesman Andy Stone. 

Marjorie Greene screenshot

The image was published on Greene's campaign Facebook page on Thursday but was deleted the next day.

The text of the post — which implies that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are "America leftists ... who want to rip our country apart" — wasn't taken down. 

"I NEVER threatened violence to the squad or anyone," Greene told Insider. "My post with the meme said America needs fighters who speak the truth."

"Speaking the truth is not threatening violence, the squad refusing to condemn and supporting Antifa/BLM violence is the real danger to all of us," she added.

Omar condemned Greene's post in a tweet on Friday, writing, "Posting a photo with an assault rifle next to the faces of three women of color is not advertising. It's incitement. There are already death threats in response to this post." 

Greene refused to apologize and instead accused Omar of endorsing violent demonstrators. 

"Relax @IlhanMN, it's just a meme," Greene tweeted. "What isn't a meme is BLM / ANTIFA violence, rioting, and destruction that occurred on Minneapolis streets. While your city was being burned and innocent people of color like David Dorn were killed, you called BLM / ANTIFA peaceful protesters." 

Omar has said "we should and must protest peacefully" in response to looting and rioting following the killing of George Floyd by police in her home state earlier this year. 

Spokespeople for Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Greene, a QAnon conspiracist endorsed by President Donald Trump, won the Republican primary runoff in Georgia's 14th district last month. She's virtually guaranteed to win the general election in her deep red district and join the lawmakers she's attacked in Congress next year.

Four freshmen progressive congresswomen of color — Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley — refer to their alliance as a "Squad."

Greene also has a documented history of making Islamophobic and racist comments

But Trump celebrated her win in a tweet, calling her a "future Republican Star" who's "strong on everything." 

Apparently in response to Facebook's move, Greene announced on Twitter that she would auction off the rifle she's shown holding in the photo.

"Nothing scares the radical left more than a free thinking, gun-toting, conservative woman. It completely destroys their narrative that all women should be Democrats!" she wrote in part. 

This isn't the first time Greene has violated Facebook's policies. The social media giant removed one of her campaign ads earlier this year for "brandishing" her assault weapon while lambasting "Antifa terrorists."

Greene has featured the "Squad" in many other campaign materials and depicted the women as threats. 

In one recent Facebook post, she juxtaposed photos of the four congresswomen with one of herself on a horse and wrote, "These radical women scare some Republicans, but they don't scare this American woman. Stop the socialist Squad!" 

Another campaign ad sticks to the same narrative, with Greene saying, "AOC wants to plunge us into Communism — she is clueless about how capitalism even works."

This story has been updated to note that Facebook removed the photo for violating its "violence and incitement" policies and to add comment from Greene.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A third of American companies say they don't know when they'll reopen their offices

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bank teller coronavirus
Just 67% of US employers said they will require screening, testing or temperature checks.
  • About 35% of US companies don't know when they will allow employees back into the office, per a new survey of executives and senior managers at more than 1,000 companies.
  • The Conference Board, a non-profit think tank that conducts business management research, polled 1,100 C-suite executives, vice presidents, and senior managers in 20 metropolitan areas at the end of August. 
  • The survey found that 39% of companies plan to reopen offices by early 2021, while 13% of offices have remained open throughout the pandemic. 
  • After the coronavirus pandemic caused swarths of large firms to shut down in mid- to late March, some large firms like Apple and Facebook began bringing employees back over the summer. Others, like Google, have extended work-from-home orders until the summer of 2021.
  • The uncertainty with reopening offices stems from the country's inability to bring infections down. The US has the world's highest cumulative number of confirmed cases at more than 6 million, and many colleges and schools have reported infection clusters as they have reopened. 
  • Though drug companies have begun human trials of a coronavirus vaccine, just 5% of business leaders told The Conference Board the drug is a "significant factor" in determining when to reopen. 
  • Though most companies surveyed have bought PPE and created social distancing rules for returning to the office, just 67% said they will require screening, testing, or temperature checks. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump says he lowered the flag for McCain 'without hesitation or complaint,' but a former senior official says 'that is not true'

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President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump
  • The Atlantic reported Thursday that when Sen. John McCain died in 2018, Trump told his staff that "we're not going to support that loser's funeral" and was furious when the flags were lowered to honor the senator for his public and military service.
  • Trump denied the report, claiming that he approved the lowering of the flags and funeral services for McCain "without hesitation or complaint."
  • Former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security Miles Taylor responded to the president's tweets, writing in his own post "that is not true."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Responding to an article critical of his behavior, President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he approved the lowering of the flags and funeral services for late Sen. John McCain "without hesitation or complaint," but a former senior Department of Homeland Security official tweeted Friday morning that "this is not true."

"Mr. President, this is not true," Miles Taylor, who served as the chief of staff at DHS during this administration, wrote. "You were angry that DHS notified federal buildings to lower the flags for Sen. McCain. I would know because your staff called and told me."

Taylor has endorsed Biden and is an outspoken critic of the president, who previously called Taylor a "lowlife" after he spoke out about the president's behavior and characterized Trump as dangerous.

The president's tweets followed the publication of an article in The Atlantic calling attention to disparaging comments Trump reportedly made about US service members, specifically those who died in battle, were captured and held as prisoners of war, or suffered serious injuries in combat.

The article, citing multiple sources, says that when McCain passed after a long fight with cancer, Trump told his staff that "we're not going to support that loser's funeral" and was furious when the flags were lowered to honor the senator for both his public and military service.

"What the f--- are we doing that for? Guy was a f---ing loser," Trump reportedly said at the time.

In his tweets Thursday, Trump said that he "never called John a loser," but he did so publicly during a presidential campaign eventin 2015. "I like people who weren't captured," Trump said, commenting on the more than five years McCain spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, adding, "I don't like losers."

He even tweeted about his comments later.

Trump and McCain — who served for years as a senator from Arizona and was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee — butted heads repeatedly on a number of issues.

When McCain died in August 2018, the customary honors were initially withheld. While US Flag Code demands the flag be flown at half-mast on the day a member of Congress passes and the day after, it is customary for presidents to issue a proclamation to lower the flags until the day of interment, as Insider's John Haltiwanger previously reported.

McCain died on a Saturday, and while flags were flown at half-staff at the Pentagon and White House over the weekend, the flags were returned to full staff on Monday.

The New York Times reported at the time that Trump "stubbornly refused" requests from Vice President Mike Pence and then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to publicly acknowledge McCain's death. Veterans groups also pressured the president.

"By lowering flags for not one second more than the bare minimum required by law, despite a long-standing tradition of lowering flags until the funeral, the White House is openly showcasing its blatant disrespect for Senator McCain's many decades of service and sacrifice to our country as well as the service of all his fellow veterans," Joe Chenelly, the national executive director of American Veterans wrote in a statement.

Trump finally relented the Monday afternoon following McCain's death.

"Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment," he said at around 4 pm that day.

White House officials have also strongly denied the accusations made in the article published in The Atlantic.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere tweeted in response that the story is "false," calling it "just another anonymously sourced story meant to tear down a Commander-in-Chief who loves our military and has delivered on the promises he's made."

Read the original article on Business Insider

All the best sales and deals to shop for Labor Day weekend 2020

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When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Labor Day Sales (everything you need to know) 4x3
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

 

The best overall Labor Day sales of 2020

Best Buy: Save on both major and small appliances through September 16

Home Depot: Save on tools, appliances and more through September 16

Lowe's: Smart home tech, appliances, tools, and more are discounted from Lowe's — end dates vary per item

REI: Save up to 40% on brands like Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and more during REI's Labor Day sale, running from August 28 through September 7.

Allswell: Save 15% on the Luxe and Supreme Mattresses plus 20% on bedding and bath & spa with the promo code PERFECTROOM through September 3

Bloomingdale's: Save an extra 50% on clearance products and 30–60% off regular-price items through September 9 

Brooklinen: Save 15% select bedroom and bathroom accessories by using LABORDAY-15

Brooklyn Bedding: 25% off sitewide and 50% off sheets now through August 27 

Buffy: Save $20 off orders worth over $100 with code SEEYASUMMER20 until September 8

Burrow: During Burrow's Labor Day sale, furniture shoppers will save more the more they buy. Starting August 29 and ending September 13, use the code LDW to save 10% on purchases up to $1,799, $200 off $1,800+, $250 off $2,200+, $300 off $2,600+, $400 off $3,000+, and $500 off $4,000+

Casper: Save 10% on Casper's line of beds, sheets, and more

Clarks: Save an additional 50% off on-sale styles through September 10 with the code SALE50

Crane & Canopy: Save up to 70% on bedding, sheets, rugs, and home décor through September 7

eBay: Save 25% on select products from Dyson, Bissell, Hasbro, Samsonite, and more with the promo code PARTYFOR25

Eight Sleep: Save $150 off a Pod and get 20% off accessories through September 7

GlassesUSA: Take 65% off in-house frames, sunglasses and prescription glasses with code LABOR65

Huckberry: Save up to 50% on clothing and accessories through September 7

JCPenney: Save 50% on select Instant Pots from September 6 through 14. 

Layla: Save up to $200 select mattresses through September 7

Leesa: Insider Reviews readers can take 20% off any Leesa Hybrid or Legend mattress with our exclusive discount code INSIDER

Levi's: Save up to 40% off sitewide through September 9, with an extra 30% discount on sale styles with the code EXTRA30

Macy's: Save 20-50% on select kids and baby styles until September 7

Nomad: Take 20% off smartphone accessories with code LABORDAY

Nutribullet: Save 20% on all Nutribullet blenders and accessories with code LABOR30

Purple: Save up to $350 off mattresses and sleep bundles and up to $150 off select mattresses 

Primary Goods: Save 25% on sheets, bedding, pillows and more with the promo code WERK

Serta: Save up to $400 on iComfort mattresses through September 15

Rhone: Save up to 50% on select activewear styles through September 8

Tuft & Needle: Save 10% sitewide through September 7

Under Armour: Save up to 50% off outlet products, with free shipping on orders over $60 starting September 4 through 7

Wayfair: Up to 70% off sitewide starting August 31 through September 8

Winc: 45% off your first order using code LD2020

Labor Day sales from big-box stores
whirlpool over the range microwave product image

Best Buy: Save on both major and small appliances through September 16

Home Depot: Save on tools, appliances and more through September 16

Lowe's: Smart home tech, appliances, tools, and more are discounted from Lowe's — end dates vary per item

REI: Save up to 40% on brands like Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and more during REI's Labor Day sale, running from August 28 through September 7.

Labor Day mattress and bedding sales
labor day 4

Allswell: Save 15% on the Luxe and Supreme Mattresses plus 20% on bedding and bath & spa with the promo code PERFECTROOM through September 3

Bloomingdale's: Save an extra 50% on clearance products and 30–60% off regular-price items through September 9 

Brooklyn Bedding: 25% off sitewide and 50% off sheets now through August 27 

Buffy: Save $20 off orders worth over $100 with code SEEYASUMMER20 until September 8

Burrow: During Burrow's Labor Day sale, furniture shoppers will save more the more they buy. Starting August 29 and ending September 13, use the code LDW to save 10% on purchases up to $1,799, $200 off $1,800+, $250 off $2,200+, $300 off $2,600+, $400 off $3,000+, and $500 off $4,000+

Casper: Save 10% on Casper's line of beds, sheets, and more

Crane & Canopy: Save up to 70% on bedding, sheets, rugs, and home décor through September 7

Dreamcloud: $200 off the Dreamcloud Mattress, plus a free mattress protector and sheets now through August 30 

Eight Sleep: Save $150 off a Pod and get 20% off accessories through September 7

Layla: Save up to $200 select mattresses through September 7

Leesa: Insider Reviews readers can take 20% off any Leesa Hybrid or Legend mattress with our exclusive discount code INSIDER

Mattress Firm: Save up to 50% on select mattresses, plus free shipping

Nectar: $100 off the Nectar Mattress + 2 free pillows now through September 9

PlushBeds: $1,200 off organic mattresses plus a free plush luxury sheet set and mattress protector with the code LABOR2020. Additionally, you can save 25% on all toppers, pillows, bedding, and beds.

Primary Goods: Save 25% sitewide with the promo code WERK

Purple: Save up to $350 off mattresses and sleep bundles and up to $150 off select mattresses 

Saatva: Save $200 off any order over $1,000 through September 7

Serta: Save up to $400 on iComfort mattresses through September 15

Tuft & Needle: Save 10% sitewide through September 7

Wayfair: Up to 70% off sitewide starting August 31 through September 8

Labor Day furniture and kitchen sales
labor day 6

Best Buy: Save on both major and small appliances through September 16

Birchlane: Save up to 65% on select outdoor home goods

Burrow: During Burrow's Labor Day sale, shoppers will save more the more they buy. Starting August 29 and ending September 13, use the code LDW to save 10% on purchases up to $1,799, $200 off $1,800+, $250 off $2,200+, $300 off $2,600+, $400 off $3,000+, and $500 off $4,000+

JCPenney: Save 50% on select Instant Pots from September 6 through 14

Nutribullet: Save 20% on all Nutribullet blenders and accessories with code LABOR30

Saatchi Art: Save 10% on Originals of $1,000+ with code ANNIVERSARY10; 15% off Originals orders over $2,500+ with the code ANNIVERSARY15

Society6: Take 30% off select outdoor and home decor 

Wayfair: Up to 70% off sitewide starting August 31 through September 8

Labor Day clothing sales
labor day 5

2Xist: Save up to 20% off sitewide with the promo code 2XHead 

Adidas Outdoor: Save up to 50% on select products

Bloomingdale's: Save an extra 50% on clearance products and 30–60% off regular-price items through September 9 

Clarks: Save an additional 50% off on-sale styles through September 10 with the code SALE50

Cotopaxi: Save an additional 20% off already-discounted products with the promo code GEARGRAB20

GlassesUSA: Take 65% off in-house frames, sunglasses and prescription glasses with code LABOR65

Huckberry: Save up to 50% on clothing and accessories through September 7

Lensabl: Save 20% off sunglass lenses and contacts with the promo codes SUN20 and CONTACTS20 respectively

Levi's: Save up to 40% off sitewide through September 9, with an extra 30% discount on sale styles with the code EXTRA30

Macy's: Save 20-50% on select kids and baby styles until September 7

Reebok: Up to 40% off sitewide and an extra 10% on kid's styles with the promo code BTS

Rhone: Save up to 50% on select activewear styles through September 8

Skagen: Save 30% sitewide with the promo code HOORAY

Under Armour: Save up to 50% off outlet products, with free shipping on orders over $60 starting September 4 through 7

Miscellaneous Labor Day sales
labor day 3

eBay: Save 25% on select products from Dyson, Bissell, Hasbro, Samsonite, and more with the promo code PARTYFOR25.

Godiva: 15% off purchases of $50+ and 25% off purchases of $100+ now through September 2 

Goldbelly: Save up to 40% off select products

Lenovo: Save up to 65% on select doorbusters

Nomad: Take 20% off smartphone accessories with code LABORDAY

The Bouqs Co: 15% off sitewide code AUGUST15

Winc: 45% off your first order using code LD2020

Labor Day 2020 FAQs

When do Labor Day sales start in 2020?

Labor Day sales typically start the week before Labor Day, which falls on Monday, September 7 this year. Most sales run through the weekend, but some continue to run for a couple of days afterward, giving shoppers a full week or more in some cases to take advantage of deals.

What types of deals will I find over Labor Day weekend?

Most online retailers offer discounts for Labor Day. Shoppers can expect big discounts on tech, clothes, mattresses, furniture and home goods, outdoor gear, and more during the week leading up to and following Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day weekend is one of the best times in the year to shop online for furniture, appliances, and outdoor gear. 

If you're shopping for fall-friendly attire, it's also a solid time to refresh your wardrobe. Check out our buying guides to the best women's cashmere sweaters, men's cashmere sweaters, women's winter coats, men's winter coats, women's slippers, and men's slippers for inspiration.

 

All of our additional coverage related to the Labor Day sales

A full rundown of all the Labor Day sales happening in 2020

We highlighted 16 of the best Labor Day sales to shop this weekend, but there are plenty more. For a full rundown, check out this list with even more deals, broken down by category.  


REI's Labor Day sale is going on now through September 7 — here are 10 great deals from Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and more

Save up to 40% on brands like Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and more during REI's Labor Day sale, running from August 28 through September 7.

25+ Labor Day mattress sales from Casper, Leesa, Purple, and more

Labor Day weekend is one of the best times to shop for mattresses, and this year is no exception. Starting this week, shoppers can save hundreds of dollars on select mattresses from some of our favorite brands.


The best Labor Day furniture sales to shop this weekend

Ahead of Labor Day, shoppers can take advantage of discounts from companies like WayfairBurrow, and West Elm. Whether you're looking to upgrade your home office or want to replace your couch, this is a good time to shop.


Wayfair's huge Labor Day sale has discounts up to 70% on furniture, bedding, decor, and more

Wayfair is having a huge Labor Day sale with discounts up to 70% on everything you need from the giant home goods and furniture storefront. Highlights include markdowns on office furnituredecormattresses, and bedroom furniture


The best Labor Day deals from Home Depot, including tools, home appliances, furniture, and more

Home Depot's Labor Day sale includes major brand home and garden essentials discounted through September 16.


The best deals from Lowe's this Labor Day 2020— including home decor, tools, and appliances

Save on home appliances, smart home tech, tools, and more with Lowe's this Labor Day. Deadlines vary for each item.


The best TV deals for Labor Day 2020 include $1,200 off LG's flagship CX OLED TV

To celebrate Labor Day on September 7, many retailers have launched sales on several TVs, including HD, 4K, and even 8K models. We'll be updating this list with new discounts as they are revealed.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Labor Day sales 2020: Everything you need to know and the best deals to shop this weekend

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When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Labor Day Sales (everything you need to know) 4x3
  • Labor Day is on Monday, September 7, but you can already take advantage of many end-of-summer and Labor Day sales right now. 
  • Shoppers can find discounts on nearly every product category ahead of the holiday weekend — including discounts on mattresses, furniture, outdoor gear.
  • For more savings across the internet, visit Insider Coupons and our deals homepage.
Table of Contents: Static

Labor Day weekend provides shoppers an opportunity to save on anything they need to buy online.

While Labor Day falls on September 7 this year, shoppers can save big on tech, mattresses, clothing, and more before the weekend.

To make shopping easier, we're rounding up the best sales and deals all happening online ahead of the weekend. We'll routinely update this post with more coverage in the days leading up to the big holiday weekend.

To potentially save more during Labor Day, you can visit our coupons site to find promo codes to these retailers. 

When do Labor Day sales start in 2020?

Labor Day sales typically start the week before Labor Day, which falls on Monday, September 7 this year. Most sales run through the weekend, but some continue to run for a couple of days afterward, giving shoppers a full week or more in some cases to take advantage of deals.

What types of deals will I find over Labor Day weekend?

Most online retailers offer discounts for Labor Day. Shoppers can expect big discounts on tech, clothes, mattresses, furniture and home goods, outdoor gear, and more during the week leading up to and following Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day weekend is one of the best times in the year to shop online for furniture, appliances, and outdoor gear. 

If you're shopping for fall-friendly attire, it's also a solid time to refresh your wardrobe. Check out our buying guides to the best women's cashmere sweaters, men's cashmere sweaters, women's winter coats, men's winter coats, women's slippers, and men's slippers for inspiration.

What are the best Labor Day sales of 2020?

  • Allswell: Save 15% on the Luxe and Supreme Mattresses plus 20% on bedding and bath & spa with the promo code PERFECTROOM through September 3
  • Best Buy: Select appliances are discounted through September 16; both major and small appliances are included in the sale
  • Bloomingdale's: Save an extra 50% on clearance products and 30–60% off regular-price items through September 9 
  • Brooklinen: Save 15% select bedroom and bathroom accessories by using LABORDAY-15
  • Brooklyn Bedding: 25% off sitewide and 50% off sheets now through August 27 
  • Buffy: Save $20 off orders worth over $100 with code SEEYASUMMER20 until September 8
  • Burrow: During Burrow's Labor Day sale, furniture shoppers will save more the more they buy. Starting August 29 and ending September 13, use the code LDW to save 10% on purchases up to $1,799, $200 off $1,800+, $250 off $2,200+, $300 off $2,600+, $400 off $3,000+, and $500 off $4,000+
  • Casper: Save 10% on Casper's line of beds, sheets, and more
  • Clarks: Save an additional 50% off on-sale styles through September 10 with the code SALE50
  • Crane & Canopy: Save up to 70% on bedding, sheets, rugs, and home décor through September 7
  • eBay: Save 25% on select products from Dyson, Bissell, Hasbro, Samsonite, and more with the promo code PARTYFOR25
  • Eight Sleep: Save $150 off a Pod and get 20% off accessories through September 7
  • GlassesUSA: Take 65% off in-house frames, sunglasses and prescription glasses with code LABOR65
  • Home Depot: Save on major brand home and garden essentials through September 16
  • Huckberry: Save up to 50% on clothing and accessories through September 7
  • JCPenney: Save 50% on select Instant Pots from September 6 through 14. 
  • Layla: Save up to $200 select mattresses through September 7
  • Leesa: Insider Reviews readers can take 20% off any Leesa Hybrid or Legend mattress with our exclusive discount code INSIDER
  • Levi's: Save up to 40% off sitewide through September 9, with an extra 30% discount on sale styles with the code EXTRA30
  • Lowe's: Save on select brands with varying deadlines
  • Macy's: Save 20-50% on select kids and baby styles until September 7
  • Nomad: Take 20% off smartphone accessories with code LABORDAY
  • Nutribullet: Save 20% on all Nutribullet blenders and accessories with code LABOR30
  • Purple: Save up to $350 off mattresses and sleep bundles and up to $150 off select mattresses 
  • Primary Goods: Save 25% on sheets, bedding, pillows and more with the promo code WERK
  • Serta: Save up to $400 on iComfort mattresses through September 15
  • Rhone: Save up to 50% on select activewear styles through September 8
  • Tuft & Needle: Save 10% sitewide through September 7
  • Under Armour: Save up to 50% off outlet products, with free shipping on orders over $60 starting September 4 through 7
  • Wayfair: Up to 70% off sitewide starting August 31 through September 8
  • Winc: 45% off your first order using code LD2020

All of our additional coverage related to the Labor Day sales

A full rundown of all the Labor Day sales happening in 2020

We highlighted 16 of the best Labor Day sales to shop this weekend, but there are plenty more. For a full rundown, check out this list with even more deals, broken down by category.  


REI's Labor Day sale is going on now through September 7 — here are 10 great deals from Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and more

Save up to 40% on brands like Klean Kanteen, Arc'teryx, Osprey, and more during REI's Labor Day sale, running from August 28 through September 7.

25+ Labor Day mattress sales from Casper, Leesa, Purple, and more

Labor Day weekend is one of the best times to shop for mattresses, and this year is no exception. Starting this week, shoppers can save hundreds of dollars on select mattresses from some of our favorite brands.


The best Labor Day furniture sales to shop this weekend

Ahead of Labor Day, shoppers can take advantage of discounts from companies like WayfairBurrow, and West Elm. Whether you're looking to upgrade your home office or want to replace your couch, this is a good time to shop.


Wayfair's huge Labor Day sale has discounts up to 70% on furniture, bedding, decor, and more

Wayfair is having a huge Labor Day sale with discounts up to 70% on everything you need from the giant home goods and furniture storefront. Highlights include markdowns on office furnituredecormattresses, and bedroom furniture


The best Labor Day deals from Home Depot, including tools, home appliances, furniture, and more

Home Depot's Labor Day sale includes major brand home and garden essentials discounted through September 16.


The best deals from Lowe's this Labor Day 2020— including home decor, tools, and appliances

Save on home appliances, smart home tech, tools, and more with Lowe's this Labor Day. Deadlines vary for each item.


The best TV deals for Labor Day 2020 include $1,200 off LG's flagship CX OLED TV

To celebrate Labor Day on September 7, many retailers have launched sales on several TVs, including HD, 4K, and even 8K models. We'll be updating this list with new discounts as they are revealed.

Read the original article on Business Insider

SoftBank reportedly bought billions worth of high-flying tech stocks, helping propel the market's recent record rally

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Softbank
  • Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. bought $4 billion of shares in tech companies and another $4 billion of call options tied to roughly $50 billion in tech stocks, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
  • Regulatory filings showed Softbank's tech-stock buying activity, but did not show the options purchase. 
  • Softbank sold the call options at a higher price, according to The Journal's report. 

Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. bought and sold options for individual tech stocks worth billions of dollars, which helped propel the tech sector and broader market rally, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

According to regulatory filings, the Japan-based multinational conglomerate bought roughly $4 billion of shares in tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Netflix this spring. 

Read more: A fund manager at a $629 billion firm lays out his strategy for 'making money at the expense of machines' during the stock market's sell-off — and shares 4 sectors he's betting on

The filings do not mention, however, that SoftBank also spent roughly $4 billion on call options for the tech companies it previously bought, and other names as well. Those options were tied to roughly $50 billion in tech stocks, The Journal reported.

SoftBank sold the call options at higher prices, according to The Journal's report.

The Journal reported that investors have been aware of the recent options activity, but did not know who was responsible for it. 

Read more: 'I had run $5,000 up to $140,000 in just 2 years': Here are the 7 trading rules stock-market wizard Marty Schwartz leverages to help ensure success

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch 'The Boys' — Amazon's dark comic book adaptation is back for season 2

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When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

the boys
Antony Starr as Homelander, leader of the superhero team the Seven in "The Boys."
  • Season two of "The Boys" premiered on Amazon Prime Video on September 4, and new episodes will be added every Friday until October 9.
  • "The Boys" is a dark parody set in a world of corrupt superheroes. The show is based on the comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.
  • Led by Billy Butcher, the Boys want to expose the world's super-powered people as evil, corporate frauds, but they'll have to overcome a sadistic group of heroes known as the Seven to reveal the truth. 
  • Amazon Prime Video is included as part of an Amazon Prime subscription for $119 a year.
  • Read more: 17 critically acclaimed Amazon Prime Video original shows to add to your streaming queue

"The Boys," Amazon Prime Video's biggest show of 2019, premiered its second season on September 4.

Based on a comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, "The Boys" depicts the darker side of the superhero genre. Billy Butcher, a former CIA operative played by "Star Trek" and "Doom" star Karl Urban, leads a group of vigilantes dedicated to exposing the world's biggest secret — that the superpowered heroes worshipped by the public are actually morally corrupt frauds working for an international corporation.

Antony Starr plays Homelander, the cruel and arrogant leader of Vought International's leading superhero team, the Seven. Season one of "The Boys" reveals just how depraved the superhero group can be, causing the deaths of innocent people without remorse, manipulating the public, and attacking their fellow teammates.

Season two sees a new hero named Stormfront challenging Homelander for leadership over the Seven and advocating for an army of one million superpowered soldiers. Meanwhile, Butcher's reason for revenge has been called into question just as the Boys have become the world's most wanted criminals.

The first season of "The Boys" received critical acclaim, and currently holds an "84% Fresh" rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Early reviews for season two have been positive as well, as the second season currently holds an even higher "98% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Updated on 9/4/2020 by Kevin Webb: The language of this article has been revised to coincide with the premiere of "The Boys" season two on September 4.

How to watch "The Boys" season 2

The first three episodes of "The Boys" season two debuted on Amazon Prime Video on September 4, while remaining episodes will debut weekly every Friday. Season two is scheduled to include a total of eight episodes, and the season finale is set to stream on October 9.

"The Boys" is only available on Amazon Prime Video, which is included with all Amazon Prime subscriptions. While Amazon Prime costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year, you can subscribe to Prime Video alone for $8.99 per month.

In addition to the second season of "The Boys," all eight episodes of the show's first season are also available to stream on Amazon Prime video.

You can watch Amazon Prime Video on Android and iOS mobile devices, Amazon's Fire TV and Fire tablet devices, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, most smart TV brands, and your home computer. Prime Video will let you download original shows like "The Boys" for offline viewing as well

More hit shows on Amazon Prime Video

Along with "The Boys," you can find a large collection of originals series and films on Amazon Prime Video, including award-winning shows like "Fleabag," "Transparent," and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

We've put together a full list of the best original shows you can find on Amazon Prime Video, and if you're looking for more TV shows based on comic books like "The Boys," you can check out this list of the 20 best comic book TV shows of all-time.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best casserole dishes

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  • A high-quality casserole dish can handle the heat of the oven without being damaged, has large handles for easy maneuverability, and cooks meals evenly without burning.
  • The Arcuisine Glass Rectangular Roaster Pan is our top pick because it's made of durable borosilicate glass, bakes excellent casseroles, and comes with a five-year warranty.
  • See more: The best stockpots

If you like roasted vegetables, enchiladas, baked macaroni and cheese, lasagna, or casseroles of any variety, a good baking dish is an indispensable part of your cookware collection. Also referred to as casserole dishes and roasting pans, baking dishes come in a broad array of shapes, sizes, and materials.

For the purposes of this guide, we are going to focus on rectangular dishes that are roughly the standard 13 by 9 inches (give or take an inch or two). We are also only going to cover glass and ceramic models since they have slow heat distribution, which is best for cooking popular casserole ingredients, like pasta, cheese, and eggs.

The baking dishes included in our guide are easy to clean, designed to last, and they produce excellently baked, roasted, and sometimes broiled foods.

Here are the best casserole dishes:

Prices and links are current as of 9/3/20. We reformatted this guide and added a product showcase so you can easily shop all our picks at once.

The best casserole dish overall
arcuising baking dish

If you're looking for a simple glass baking dish that is resistant to thermal shock, the Arcuisine Glass Rectangular Roaster Pan is your best bet.

What sets the Arcuisine Glass Rectangular Roaster Pan apart from the other casserole dishes in our guide is that it's made in France of borosilicate glass. This glass is tempered and features boron, which helps with its heat, scratch, and stain resistance. Heat resistance is important for even cooking and ensuring the glass doesn't crack when you set your hot casserole on a cold counter.

It's important to note that the sizes include the handle measurements. For instance, the 13.75 by 8.65- inch pan is closer to 12.5 by 8.25 inches. This bakeware is dishwasher safe and is backed by a five-year manufacturer's guarantee.

Pyrex has switched to soda-lime glass, which is more susceptible to shattering, which is why we're recommending a less common French import. Because it's an import, you may notice that while the dish itself is cheap, the shipping is quite pricey. We've factored the shipping cost into the price below.

There aren't any complaints of this casserole dish shattering. The biggest negative complaint is that it's somewhat hard to clean around the logo, which is molded on the interior.

Pros: Made of durable borosilicate glass, 5-year manufacturer's guarantee

Cons: Small handles, not broiler safe, measurements in the description are misleading

The best high-end casserole dish
revol belle roasting dish

Spending a little bit extra on a larger baking dish like the Revol Belle Cuisine Rectangular Roasting Dish is well-worth your money thanks to its easy-to-grab handles and durable construction.

Like the other two baking dishes we've covered so far, the Revol Belle Cuisine Rectangular Roasting Dish is made in France. In fact, founded in 1789, Revol is one of the most prestigious porcelain makers in France.

The dish is slip cast, so the handles are cast in one piece with the dish. The smooth white enamel finish is nonporous, nonreactive, and resistant to thermal shock, chipping, and staining. Plus, it cleans up easily. The dish is dishwasher, microwave, freezer, and oven safe up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you're regularly bringing entire casseroles to serve at the table, you'll appreciate the elegant look of the Revol dish. It's quite a bit more appealing to the eye than a typical clear glass baking dish.

Pros: Large handles, easy to clean, resistant to chipping

Cons: Expensive

The best on a budget
pyrex baking dish

For an affordable glass baking dish that's easy to use and clean, we recommend the Pyrex Easy Grab Oblong Glass Bakeware Dish.

The Pyrex Easy Grab Oblong Glass Bakeware Dish is the only casserole dish in our guide made of tempered soda-lime glass, which is manufactured to reduce the chance of thermal shock but isn't as durable as borosilicate glass. But it's still great at resisting odors, staining, and warping — and the price is right.

The Pyrex baking dish is safe for the dishwasher, freezer, fridge, microwave, and oven up to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The Easy Grab Dish is made in the United States and comes with a two-year warranty.

This is my favorite of the four baking dishes I own. The handles are a definite benefit when removing items from the oven, and they don't take up too much storage space. The dish also fits effortlessly in our dishwasher. However, I generally wash it by hand since the dishwasher tends not to get the job done. Lastly, the actual measurements of the dish are 11.75 by 7.5 inches at the bottom and 13 by 9 inches at the top with a depth of about 2 inches.

Back in 2015, Pyrex seemed to have a quality control issue the lead to some of these dishes shattering upon removal from the oven. But, looking at reviews from just the past 12 months, it appears Pyrex has solved this issue.

Pros: Inexpensive, large handles, lightweight

Cons: Older reports of the dish breaking into countless pieces, misleading measurements

The best casserole dish for lasagna
emile henry lasagna dish

The Emile Henry 11 x 8-inch Lasagna Baker has steep sides, making it great for layered dishes like lasagna or hearty casseroles. 

What sets the Emile Henry Lasagna Dish apart from other baking dishes is its steep sides and broiler-safe materials, which makes it ideal for lasagna. First of all, you can layer your lasagna uniformly from bottom to top. Then, as the baking cycle comes to an end, remove your foil cover, and broil for browned perfection on top.

Crafted in the Burgundy region of France, this dish is made of high-fired ceramic that allows for even browning without burning or sticking. The stoneware's glossy, translucent glaze protects it from showing utensil marks, crackling, or discoloration. Emile Henry backs this casserole dish with a three-year warranty.

The handles are a bit small, but it's still relatively easy to transport as long as you're not going long distances with it.

Pros: Broiler safe, steep sides, easy to clean

Cons: Small handles

A note on thermal shock

The downside of glass and ceramic is that they are both susceptible to thermal shock. Thermal shock occurs when parts of a dish expand or contract at different rates when coming in contact with a hot or cold surface. This difference in expansion can lead to shattering. Glass is more susceptible to thermal shock than porcelain and other ceramics.

There are steps you can take to avoid thermal shock. Never put an empty dish in a heated oven. Also, if you have a meal frozen in a baking dish, let it sit on your counter for a while before popping it in the oven. It may also be helpful to place your baking dish on a towel once you take it out of the oven rather than putting it directly on a cold counter.

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The best cookware sets

Whether you consider cooking a hobby or a chore, there are several types of cookware to choose from to suit your needs. Many different cookware sets made from various materials are available, including stainless steel, nonstick aluminum, cast iron, and copper. These are the best cookware sets.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best dog nail clippers and grinders

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Though it may seem like nothing more than a cosmetic issue, keeping your dog's nails trimmed is important for their health and well-being. Unless your dog is very active outdoors, their nails are unlikely to become worn down on their own, and if they grow too long, they could break or splinter. Too-long nails can also curl back and grow into the paw pad — a painful and dangerous condition that requires swift treatment from a veterinarian.

"Every dog's behavior and nails are different, so it's important to do research before attempting trimming at home," said pet groomer Cassie Edmond, who is an animal caregiver at the San Diego Humane Society. "Dogs have a quick (vein) inside the nail, which can bleed if cut by nail trimmers." Before getting started, learn how to safely trim a dog's nails and watch videos that further illustrate the process.

Nail clippers for dogs come in several different forms. The size of the nail clipper should correlate with the size of the dog (small, medium, or large). Style matters, too. Pliers-style nail clippers can work for any size or breed. Guillotine-style clippers are generally best for small or medium-sized dogs. Nail grinders are great for gently filing down the nail rather than cutting through it.

"When trimming your dog's nails at home, the style of clippers you're comfortable handling is what's best," Edmond said. "When I'm grooming, I use the plier-style nail clippers. I have a small size for puppies or dogs with very small or curled nails, a medium size for any size dog, and a large size for large dogs or dogs with thick nails."

Edmond points out that safety is the biggest consideration — both for you and your dog. "There's a viral video going around about wrapping your head in plastic wrap and smearing peanut butter on it to distract your dog while you do the nails," she said. "I very strongly advise against this. This is not safe due to the proximity of your face to your dog's mouth. If you accidentally hit your dog's quick, you don't know how he's going to react. Even the sweetest, calmest dog can bite if provoked or hurt." 

Because there are so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which option is best. Over the years, I've used a variety of pet nail trimmers and done the research to narrow down the best ones.

Here are the best dog nail clippers you can buy:

Prices and links are up to date as of 9/04/2020. Added slide with products we are currently testing for an update to this guide.

The best clippers overall
safari professional nail trimmers

Safari Professional Nail Trimmers are not only made with high-quality stainless steel, but they are also comfortable and easy to use.

If you're going to buy a set of dog nail clippers, you want them to work well and last a long time. A high-quality set of dog nail trimmers doesn't have to be expensive, but you do need to pay attention to the materials from which they are made as well as the design.

Our top pick for the best nail clippers overall is Safari Professional Nail Trimmers because they are made from high-quality stainless steel and come extra-sharp for a quick, clean cut.

Safari Professional Nail Trimmers feature a super-sharp stainless-steel double-bladed cutter with a tension spring for a smooth cut every time. The clippers are professional quality yet very affordable. These trimmers come in two sizes for dogs of all breeds, and they work well even on thick nails. These lightweight trimmers also have a rubberized nonslip grip for comfort and control, and a quick-stop guard for safety.

The Spruce Pets also named these as their top pick. They agree that the clippers are the extra strong, sharp and durable, and will cut through nails quickly.

Pros: Super-sharp stainless-steel blades, rubberized grips for comfort and control, quick-stop guard for safety, lightweight, easy to handle, locking mechanism for safe storage, makes a clean and quick cut

Cons: Large size may be too big for many dogs, thick nails may require significant force, not designed specifically for small dogs and puppies

The best basic clippers
millers forge dog nail clippers

Millers Forge Quality Nail Clippers are simple high-quality clippers that are easy to use, affordable, and durable.

If all you want is a simple set of dog nail clippers, look for affordable clippers that are easy to use, functional, and durable. Millers Forge Quality Nail Clippers are the best basic clippers we've found.

Made with sharp, stainless-steel cutting blades and spring-loaded operation, Millers Forge Quality Nail Clippers are easy and comfortable to use. In addition to nonslip handles, the clippers feature a safety lock for storage. The spring-loaded operation makes it easy to trim even thick, tough nails, although you do need to be careful because there is no quick-stop safety feature.

The Spruce Pets praised the heavy-duty construction and extra-sharp blades.

Pros: Heavy-duty construction for durability, sharp stainless-steel blades, simple but functional design, spring-loaded operation requires less force, nonslip handles for comfort, safety lock for storage, works well for even large and tough nails

Cons: Larger size might make them somewhat difficult to use on small dogs, no quick-guard safety feature

The best for large dogs
andis dog nail clippers large

The Andis Premium Large Dog Nail Clipper is designed to make quick work of even the thickest nails on large dogs. [currently out of stock]

While most dog nail clippers will work for small- to medium-sized dogs, not all of them will work for large dogs. A large-breed dog's nails are bigger in size, thicker, and more difficult to cut. If you use the wrong clippers, you may find yourself exerting more force than is safe and you could end up crushing rather than cutting the nail.

Our top pick for the best nail clippers for large dogs is the Andis Premium Large Dog Nail Clipper. Designed for durability and strength, the clippers are specially made for larger dogs. The stainless-steel heat-treated blades provide optimum cutting.

The spring-loaded action makes cutting easier on your hand too. The anti-slip, easy-grip handle ensures maximum comfort and control. The clippers also feature a safety stop to help prevent over-cutting and a safety lock for secure storage.

Pros: Heavy-duty heat-treated stainless steel blades, extra-large guide, larger size for larger and thicker nails, antislip grip, affordable, built-in safety stop, also available is small size

Cons: Might be difficult to trim smaller dewclaws with large-size clipper, might be loud for some dogs

The best safety clippers
go pets dog nail clippers

Ergonomically designed for comfort as well as safety, the GoPets Nail Clippers are a great choice for both large and small dogs. 

When trimming your dog's nails, you need to be careful not to cut off too much of the nail or you'll sever the quick (the vessel that delivers blood to the nail). Cutting the quick is painful for your dog and will cause the nail to bleed. While many dog nail clippers feature a quick-stop guard, GoPets Nail Clippers are specifically designed for safety.

Made with 3.5mm thick stainless-steel blades and ergonomically designed handles, GoPets Nail Clippers are an excellent option for dog owners who are new to trimming their dog's nails. These clippers come in two sizes and the blades are guaranteed to remain sharp for years.

The quick-sensor safety guide prevents you from accidentally cutting the dog's nail too short and the locking mechanism ensures safe storage. The clippers also come with a nail file and a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.

The Spruce Pets praises these clippers for the safety guard that prevents you from cutting too much at once. The guard can also be rotated out of the way if you prefer.

Pros: 3.5mm thick stainless-steel blades, long-lasting sharpness, quick sensor guard for safety, locking mechanism for safe storage, rubberized nonslip handles, available in two sizes, spring-loaded for easy operation, lifetime guarantee

Cons: Pricey, additional strength may be required for very thick nails, locking mechanism may sometimes engage during trimming

The best guillotine clippers
resco dog nail clippers

With patented blade replacement technology, these Resco Original Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers are the only trimmers you'll ever need. 

If you have trouble using pliers-style nail trimmers, guillotine trimmers might be a better option. This style doesn't offer a quick-guard safety feature, so you'll need to be careful. However, this type of trimmers creates a clean cut with less force than is needed with other types of clippers.

Our top pick for the best guillotine clippers for dogs is Resco Original Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers. The inventor of the guillotine-style nail trimmer, Resco offers deluxe grips for comfort. The trimmer is equipped with American steel blades that cut through even thick nails with ease and precision for a quick, painless cut. Additionally, you can simply replace the blade if it dulls instead of buying a whole new set.

The Spruce Pets said that the sharp, high-quality blades on the Resco Original Deluxe Clippers ensure your dog's nails won't split or splinter during nail trimming.

Pros: High-quality steel, sharp blade for a smooth cut, rubberized grip for comfort, removable blade can be replaced as needed, made in US, lifetime warranty

Cons: No quick-guard safety feature, blade may dull over time and require replacement, may be tricky to replace blade, may not be ideal for beginners

The best nail grinder
dremel dog nail grinder

With two speed settings and an assortment of interchangeable heads, the Dremel 7300-PT Pet Nail Grooming Tool is safe and easy to use.

If you're nervous about cutting the quick in your dog's nail, a nail grinder might be a better choice than a set of nail clippers. Nail grinders are great for wiggly dogs and also dogs with black nails since it's not possible to see the quick.

"When grooming, nine times out of 10 I will just grind a dog's nails instead of trimming," Edmond said. "Nail clippers can leave a jagged rough edge on the nail, but a nail grinder can buff out the sharpness and round the nail all the way down to the quick."

While it may take your dog some time to get used to the vibrating tool, a nail grinder is a safer and gentler alternative to traditional scissor and guillotine clippers. Plus, nail grinders give you the ability to shape the nail to perfectly suit your dog. Our top pick for the best dog nail grinder is the Dremel 7300-PT Pet Nail Grooming Tool.

With 4.8 volts of power and a rechargeable battery, the Dremel 7300-PT Pet Nail Grooming Tool is an excellent alternative to traditional nail trimmers. It is compatible with any Dremel sanding drum or band, making it a highly versatile tool for dogs of all sizes and breeds. This nail grinder allows you to remove layers of nail, shaping the nail while without damaging it and removing excess length without less risk of cutting the quick.

Wirecutter chose the Dremel 7300-PT Pet Nail Grooming Tool as its top pick, praising its cordless maneuverability, quiet sound, and gentle touch. It's important to note that it takes some dogs time to get used to the noise and vibration.

Pros: Two speed settings, works for dogs of all sizes, effective on very thick or tough nails, rechargeable battery for cordless operation, won't damage the nail when used properly, reduces risk of cutting the quick

Cons: Assembly instructions are somewhat confusing, some dogs dislike noise and vibration, need to keep long paw hair from wrapping around grinder, grinding heads need occasional replacement

What we're looking forward to
dremel_nail_grinder

We are currently testing the following clippers and grinders for an update to this guide.

 

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The best dog collars

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The best dog food

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What it's like going to the 'Super Bowl of horse sales,' where royals and millionaires bid on horses they hope might be the next Kentucky Derby winner

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keeneland sale
Keeneland's September yearling sale has been called the "Super Bowl" of horse sales.

 

Every September, wealthy horse-racing fans, buyers, and sellers converge on Kentucky's second-largest city, Lexington, known as "the horse capital of the world."

Lexington is surrounded by hundreds of horse farms and is home to the world's largest thoroughbred horse auction house, Keeneland, which also hosts races. At Keeneland's September yearling sale, buyers drop millions on one-year-old horses that have never even been ridden. In 2019, buyers spent more than $360 million on 2,855 of these horses (also called "yearlings") at the September sale.

This year's sale, which kicks off on September 13, is moving forward with some significant changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. All Keeneland staff are required to be tested for the virus within 10 days of their entry to the sales grounds. Buyers, owners, and agents are not required to be tested, but they will all be asked to complete a health questionnaire ahead of the sale and testing will be available to buyers upon request. Everyone who sets foot on the sales grounds must pass a daily health screening that includes a temperature check. Bidding will be available online for those who don't want to attend in person.

Last fall, however, I got to experience Keeneland's September yearling sale in a typical year. Here's what it was like.

Keeneland is the world's largest thoroughbred auction house. Throughout 2018, it sold more than $600 million worth of horses — $377 million during its September sale alone.
keeneland sale
The sales arena at Keeneland.

The Lexington, Kentucky-based auction house holds four thoroughbred sales annually in January, April, September, and November.

Its September sale, which has been called the "Super Bowl" of horse sales, is for yearlings only, meaning year-old horses who have never even been ridden.

"We talk about [Lexington] being the horse capital of the world, and it really is the place that's acknowledged around the world," Bill Thomason, president and CEO of Keeneland, told me in an interview during last year's sale.

More than half of all horses born in the US are born within 30 miles of Keeneland, and the top stallions in the country are all within this 30-mile radius, according to Thomason.

"It's a concentration of an industry that's in this town with people whose livelihoods depend on this crop that they're producing, which are the yearlings," he said.

Keeneland is also a horse racing company.
keeneland racetrack lexington kentucky

Keeneland hosts races on approximately 32 days per year, with eight to 10 races per day.

The auction house throws lavish parties for its VIP buyers and sponsors.
keeneland apiary party

I got into the kickoff party for last year's September sale, which took place at an opulent venue in Lexington and included electric violin and cello performers and a rare bourbon tasting.

At the party, Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason led a Champagne toast in honor of the horse, because, as he said, "the horse is the reason for our existence and why we do what we do."

On the first day of the 2019 September sale, I got to Keeneland at about 9:00 a.m. The sale was set to kick off at noon.
keeneland sale

The race course and auction house are about seven miles from downtown Lexington.

The massive parking lot was already filling up with cars, many of them luxury vehicles like Range Rovers and Mercedes.
keeneland sale

Keeneland doesn't keep track of exactly how many people attend the September sale, but Amy Owens, a communications associate at Keeneland, told me that "thousands of people" are involved in the sale.

That includes Keeneland employees, those who sell horses (and all their employees), buyers and their associates, people from van companies, insurance companies, veterinary clinics, and also tourists who simply want a peek into the whole affair.

After I parked my rental car, I started walking, following signs that pointed me to the sales pavilion.
keeneland sale

But I'd only taken a few steps when a man driving a forest-green (or rather, Keeneland green, as I would soon realize) golf cart pulled up next to me and offered me a ride.

My first stop was breakfast at Keeneland's Equestrian Dining Room, a casual eatery on the ground floor of the grandstand, with Keeneland's chief marketing officer, Christa Marrillia.
keeneland sale

The restaurant has a buffet and offers an à la carte menu with items like pancakes and quiche.

All the menus at Keeneland's various hospitality facilities are created by their executive chef, Marc Therrien.

After breakfast, I headed over to the barn area behind the sales pavilion, where employees of the farms that brought horses to the sale were walking the yearlings around, warming them up and showing them off.
keeneland sale

This wasn't the first chance potential buyers had to see the yearlings.

While the first day of the sale was a Monday, previews — where prospective buyers could set up private viewings of individual horses — had been taking place since the previous Thursday, when the yearlings arrived at Keeneland. 

But some people were still viewing horses just a couple of hours before the sale was set to start, perhaps taking one last look before deciding to bid.
keeneland sale

In addition to a yearling's pedigree, potential buyers are looking at the horse's conformation, which means how balanced the horse's body is. They'll look closely at the horse's proportions, muscles, legs, and how the horse walks.

It's all to try and determine how the yearling might perform as a racehorse, and how likely it is to sustain any injuries — because a horse that isn't well-balanced is more prone to getting hurt.

Christa Marrillia, Keeneland's chief marketing officer, compared the sale to the NBA draft because it's "all based on potential."

Prospective buyers and their veterinarians can also visit the on-site repository, where they can find every horse's medical records, x-rays, and details on any surgeries or issues.

The majority of horses at the September sale are Kentucky-bred because everyone wants a Kentucky bred-horse, Keeneland's director of communications, Amy Gregory, told me.
keeneland sale
Keeneland's September yearling sale has been called the "Super Bowl" of horse sales.

But there are also horses from Russia, India, France, England, Ireland — all around the world.

"They all want American pedigrees to infuse into their bloodstock back home," Gregory said.

Before the horses are taken up onstage, they are carefully brushed.
keeneland sale

During a tour of the Taylor Made Farm facilities at Keeneland, an employee said they will dye a horse's hair if there are any gray streaks and paint their feet with fish oil to make them look nice and shiny.

Potential buyers can learn more about each yearling in the sales guide.
keeneland sale

They can look up each yearling's sire (father) and dam (mother), as well as the sire's and dam's achievements.

The first yearling to be auctioned off, for example — hip number one — was the filly of Tapit, who had a moderate racing career but went on to become a top breeding stallion. In the sales guide, you can see that Tapit's offspring have brought in almost $145 million in career earnings.

Ahead of taking their turns on stage, the horses are walked around the show barn, a large covered outdoor holding area.
keeneland sale

Here, Keeneland staffers are watching each and every move to make sure the right horse advances to the sales pavilion.

Then, when the horse is up next, it's brought into the sales pavilion's indoor holding area, where it's walked around in circles until it's led on stage to be bid on.
keeneland sale

Onlookers gathered in this area, watching the horses coming in right before they were auctioned off — sometimes for millions of dollars.

When a horse's hip number approaches, it's led up this walkway and onto the stage.
keeneland sale
Keeneland's iconic sales arena can seat up to 700 people, although it wasn't even half full on the first day of the sale.
keeneland horse sale

Thousands of people descend on Lexington for the September sale, but as the sale lasts for two weeks, not all the attendees come for the first day, or even the first week.

The most coveted yearlings up for auction at the September sale were the offspring of high-profile race horses such as 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and 2018 champion Justify.
keeneland sale

"Book One" of the September sale — the first three days of the sale — is made up of the yearlings that are expected to fetch the highest prices.

"What you're seeing right now is the cream of the crop," Bill Thomason, president and CEO of Keeneland, told me after the first day of the sale. "You're seeing the best sires and the best pedigrees ... the best looking horses. ... They're not all at this level."

But of course, these horses have never raced before — or even been ridden.

Whereas the November breeding stock sale sells proven race horses, breeding stallions, and broodmares, at the September sale, "you're selling the possibility," Marrillia told me at breakfast. "You're selling the future... The dream of winning the Derby." 

According to Gregory, the communications director, a whole new wave of buyers will come after Books One and Two of the sale, made up of more of "regional buyers and mom-and-pop type farms and racing outfits."

From my various vantage points, no matter how hard I tried, I could never spot anyone actually bidding. But that's what the bid spotters are for.
keeneland sale

Several bid spotters in suits were stationed in the aisles throughout the sales arena, scanning the crowd intently. Each spotter is assigned specific buyers, so they know where they're sitting and their own individual, subtle bidding signals.

Whenever they spotted a bid, the spotters would yell something that sounded like "hup!" — I asked around and nobody seemed to know what they were saying, if it was even an actual word — and then they gave beckoning gestures like they were encouraging the person to keep on bidding.

While the bid spotters wore suits, most of the guests at the sale were casually dressed.
keeneland sale

I saw lots of polo shirts, khakis, baseball caps, and jeans.

I found it interesting that while the horse crowd can certainly be fancy, as I saw at Keeneland's kickoff party, the sale itself is clearly about work, not dressing up or showing off. 

The seats in the sales arena are reserved for prospective buyers, but behind a glass wall encircling the back of the arena, many observers sat on benches and watched the sale from a distance.
keeneland sale
While the atmosphere during the auction was relatively subdued most of the time, the energy changed noticeably when bids for a horse surpassed $1 million.
keeneland sale

The level of chatter in the hallway behind the glass wall would rise, and there was a palpable tension in the air as people waited to see how high the bidding would go. 

After particularly exciting sales, reporters would rush to interview the buyer, if he or she was anywhere to be found.
keeneland sale
Agent Hiroyasu Takeuchi speaks to reporters after paying $1.5 million for a yearling for Yuji Hasegawa.

In many cases, the buyer isn't even at the sale.

When Japanese buyer Yuji Hasegawa bought a $1.5 million colt on the first day of the sale, it was his agent, Hiroyasu Takeuchi, who was actually on-site to do the bidding and speak to reporters.

Hasegawa, the buyer, is a new player on the thoroughbred scene in Japan, according to Bloodhorse Magazine.

The agent told reporters the plan was to take the colt back to Japan for now and hopefully later bring him back stateside to compete in the Kentucky Derby.

Once the bidding has been closed, each horse is brought back to its temporary stall at Keeneland's barn area, where it must be picked up within 24 hours.
keeneland sale

Keeneland encourages buyers to pick up their horses as quickly as possible to make room for the next round of yearlings to be brought in. 

At a van counter in the sales pavilion, buyers can arrange transport of a horse via various companies. To leave the property with a horse, the buyer or transportation company needs to have the bill of sale in hand, and they'll need to pass through three gates that are guarded 24/7.

Keeneland offers several dining options for guests at its horse sales. For casual bites, attendees can stop at the Pavilion Bar within the sales pavilion.
keeneland sale

Of course, there are televisions everywhere so nobody has to miss a moment of the sale.

For a more upscale sit-down dining experience, there's the Buffet at the Saddling Paddock Chalet, barely a minute's walk from the sales pavilion.
keeneland sale

For lunch, I enjoyed two plates from the buffet's spread, which included various meats — from corned beef to brined turkey — and sides such as salads, charcuterie, mac 'n' cheese, and multiple types of desserts. 

For the VIP guests at the sale, there's the Sycamore Room, which is reserved for those who spend $10 million or more at Keeneland's horse sales each year.
keeneland sale

In the lounge, guests can relax on plush couches and chairs and enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks. They can also reserve private conference rooms and use computers provided for them to do any necessary work.

But the ultra-VIP buyers might not even be found in this lounge. The Sheikh of Dubai, for example, has a private lounge in the grandstand area where he watches the sale on TV while one of his representatives bids for him in the sales arena. 

While I briefly spotted Sheikh Mohammed chatting with legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert outside behind the sales pavilion on the first day of the sale, he seemed to mainly stay out of the public eye during this year's sale.

"We always try to provide him with the most privacy he needs," a Keeneland employee told me.

At this year's sale, the Sheikh bought four of the seven yearlings that sold for $2 million or more at the auction. In total, he spent $16 million on 10 horses.

In total, 2,855 horses sold for a combined $360 million at Keeneland's September sale last year.
keeneland sale

The most expensive yearlings sold were an American Pharoah filly for $8.2 million, which was bought by Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm, and a $4.1 million colt sold to Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai.

After spending the day at the Keeneland sale, I was blown away by the amount of money spent on horses that have never even been ridden — essentially, as Marrillia put it, millions spent on "the possibility," on "the dream of winning the Derby." 

As I walked through the hallway of the sales pavilion that afternoon, I heard a man say something to his companion that pretty much summed it up for me: "This is a rich man's sport."

Indeed.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Beyoncé gives $1 million to Black-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic

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beyonce black is king
The "Black is King" singer is using her empire to help Black-owned businesses.
  • Beyoncé's foundation, BeyGOOD, announced Wednesday that it will be donating $1 million to Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • BeyGOOD will be working with the NAACP for the initiative. 
  • Black-owned businesses have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. 
  • The number of Black business owners dropped by 41% between February and April. White business owners dropped by 17%, Reuters reported.  
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Beyoncé, who's turning 39 on Friday, is celebrating her birthday in a big way. And no, we're not talking about a party. 

The superstar's foundation, BeyGOOD, announced Wednesday that it will be donating $1 million to Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19. The NAACP is partnering with BeyGOOD to carry out the initiative.

Earlier this summer, BeyGood worked with the NAACP to give several $10,000 grants to Black-owned small businesses that were negatively affected by the pandemic and recent protests against racial injustice and police brutality. Recipients included a barbershop, a hostel, and a community-run farm.  

"Over the last couple of months, the pandemic and out pours for justice throughout the Black community and across the country has been felt in every imaginable area of our lives, including in how our local businesses continue to operate," the NAACP said in a statement, according to Harper's Bazaar

Indeed, Black-owned businesses, which are highly concentrated in retail and other service industries impacted by social distancing, have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. 

The number of Black business owners dropped by 41% between February and April. White business owners dropped by 17%, Reuters reported.  

In April, Beyoncé partnered with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's #startsmall initiative, to donate $6 million toward mental health services for essential workers.

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US cannabis execs say the industry is heading for a turnaround

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Cannabis
(AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

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Happy Friday readers,

We have some exciting news here on the home front this week: Yeji Jesse Lee, our stalwart former editorial fellow, has rejoined BI as a full-time reporter after a stint at the Globe and Mail. She'll be reaching out to many of you to get up to speed on the industry, and look out for some of her reporting in the next newsletter!

Beyond that, I spoke with execs at seven of the biggest US cannabis companies to see what's in store for the rest of this year and next. Things are turning around — expect to see more deals, investment dollars, and more cannabis reform on the state and federal level.

Let's get to it.

-Jeremy

Here's what we wrote about this week:

We spoke to top execs at 7 of the biggest US cannabis companies, and they said the industry is headed for a rebound, M&A is set to ramp up, and a Democratic win in November could be 'jet fuel' for the sector

US cannabis companies posted strong earnings as the coronavirus pandemic boosted sales in the second quarter.

I spoke with executives at 7 of the biggest US cannabis companies, including GTI, Curaleaf, and Trulieve, to understand what's in store for the industry after a disappointing 2019 and a challenging start to 2020.

They predicted that a Biden win — and Democrat control of the Senate — would pour 'jet fuel' on the industry. On top of that, they predicted lots of M&A activity in the next year.

Cannabis helped former NBA player Larry Sanders manage his mental health — and now it's part of his business portfolio. He explains how he's investing his time and money in the industry.

Larry Sanders, formerly of the Milwaukee Bucks, became a strategic advisor and investor for the Southern California cannabis oral spray brand CLICK in June.

Sanders said that cannabis was a huge part of his own mental health treatment while he was in the NBA, so joining the industry felt like a natural fit.

Executive moves

  • Former MedMen and Shryne Group communications pro Daniel Yi has joined Inanna Manufacturing as a managing partner and chief strategy officer.
  • Psychedelics company Cybin has appointed pharma veteran Doug Drysdale as CEO

cannabis
Budtender Varv Pavlova wears gloves while posing for photos handling marijuana samples under a magnifying glass at The Mission Cannabis Club dispensary in San Francisco, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Deals, launches, and IPOs

  • Delic Corp., a psychedelic media platform, raised $3.5 million in a private placement round. The company says it intends to go public via a reverse takeover.
  • Cannabis delivery service and dispensary chain Eaze is expanding its equity menu, which promotes Black- and POC-owned cannabis businesses, and provides support to social equity license holders. 
  • Cannabis data platform Headset raised a $3.2 million bridge funding round. Investors include Canopy Rivers, Poseidon Asset Management, and others.
  • Newsletter exclusive: Cannabrand founder Olivia Mannix is launching Psilocybrand, a marketing and communications firm dedicated to the hot psychedelic space. Psilocybrand is the US's first psychedelics communications firm, though Alan Aldous serves the Canadian market.
  • The Peter Thiel-backed psychedelic firm Compass Pathways filed with the SEC to go public on the Nasdaq. Compass Pathways mainly works on researching psilocybin-based therapies for depression. 
  • Cannabis recruiting startup Vangst is partnering with 70 Million Jobs, a for-profit platform that helps Americans with criminal records find jobs, in order to help place job applicants in the cannabis industry. 

Cool cannabis research

  • In the journal PLOS ONE, researchers looked at various cannabis compounds — including lesser-known cannabinoids like CBG and CBN — and found that the cannabis industry consistently misnames strains
  • Psychologists at Arizona State University found that a vast majority of cannabis users — 77.5% of participants in a 574 person study — prefer marijuana flower over concentrates and other derivative cannabis products. Participants who smoked regular old pot reported stronger, subjective "positive effects" than those who used concentrates.

What we're reading

The DEA told us it's aware of the CBD industry freaking out, looking at policy options (LA Weekly)

DIY firefighting in California (NPR)

For these ancient warrior women, cannabis was a part of everyday life (Leafly)

How legal weed destroyed a counterculture icon (Politico)

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Gogo and Intelsat CEOs reveal why their $400 million deal could soon make in-flight WiFi free — and good

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JetBlue Airways
A $400 million deal between Gogo and Intelsat aims to improve in-flight WiFi and could even make the service free.
  • Satellite service provider Intelsat is buying Gogo Commercial Aviation for $400 million in a deal announced Monday.
  • Intelsat plans to use the new division to improve in-flight WiFi speeds and capabilities at a lower cost than current offerings today, and soon offer a gate-to-gate experience.
  • Gogo will stay in the in-flight connectivity business but focus on business aviation and its new 5G network.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Spotty in-flight WiFi has long been the bane of a business traveler's existence, with anything from minor turbulence to bad weather causing service outages. The nature of the system most airlines use – where antennas on the ground beam signals up to aircraft  – is largely to blame. Those signals often can't penetrate bad weather, and service is limited outside of North America or when flying over water.

But now, Gogo Commercial Aviation — the arm of the company that provides that so often frustrating experience to commercial travelers — is being acquired in a $400 million deal by satellite service provider Intelsat. And the result could be that in-flight WiFi sees a major boost in quality and reliability, offering a "living room" experience. And you just might get it for free.

The key here is shifting from the ground-based system to one that uses satellites. Gogo was already working with airlines to retrofit aircraft with high-speed 2kU antennas. Thanks to the acquisition, that system — once complete — will have the direct backing of Intelsat's vast satellite network. 

The current system involves Gogo buying bulk and often unused capacity from service providers. Now Intelsat, as the provider, will be able to direct capacity to where it's needed and boost in-flight connectivity while keeping costs down by cutting out the middleman.

"Intelsat is the largest satellite company in the world," Gogo CEO Oakleigh Thorne told Business Insider. "I can't imagine a better partner for our CA [commercial aviation] business than somebody who has all that capacity."

The $400 million deal comes amid a financial restructuring for Intelsat that required the approval of its creditors and the use of debtor-in-possession financing. A Richmond, Virginia bankruptcy court approved the transaction on Monday with no opposition, allowing the deal to move forward with a proposed closing time frame of early 2021.

Expanding coverage and potentially making in-flight WiFi free

The end game for Intelsat is offering gate-to-gate, satellite-based WiFi so that passengers don't experience a gap in service at any point during a trip. Satellite-based WiFi systems have fewer outages than ground systems since antennas are always pointing up toward the satellites, regardless of where the aircraft is, whether on the ground or in the air.

Nearly every major airline offers in-flight WiFi, but passengers have never been willing to pay up in serious numbers. By cutting Gogo out of the process, CEO Stephen Spengler told Business Insider, Intelsat can offer the service at a lower cost to airlines which could result in lower prices for passengers looking to browse the web while cruising along at 35,000 feet.

"We have the ability within our company to leverage the owner economics and scale, and the flexibility we can provide," Spengler told Business Insider.

And the cost-savings that vertical integration will bring might even mean free WiFi for passengers. Airlines have not hidden their desperation to get flyers back in the air, with the big three US carriers also permanently eliminating change fees. A complimentary in-flight WiFi offering may be another selling point to help flyers get back in the air and speed up aviation's recovery. 

Today, JetBlue is the only US carrier offering in-flight WiFi for free. Gogo currently partners with T-Mobile to offer complimentary in-flight WiFi to the cellular carrier's customers on airlines like American and Delta but the service is often limited to an hour of use.

Gogo sticks to private aircraft

The pandemic has crippled Gogo's in-flight WiFi business, as airlines suffer record low passenger numbers. But the company had begun thinking about parting with its commercial aviation division even before the pandemic hit. 

"We were actually thinking about this process prior to March," Thorne said, noting that the pandemic put the sale on hold until the summer, when the company could stabilize its cost structure. 

Gogo will keep its business aviation sector and use the proceeds of the sale to reduce its $1.2 billion debt and expand a 5G system that will boost the ability of current air-to-ground networks on which business and smaller commercial aircraft depend, Thorne said. The smaller aircraft frequently used by the private aviation sector often can't accommodate satellite antennas.

Private aviation is a smaller market than the commercial side, but it is growing as more wealthy travelers eschew commercial flights and operators take on more planes to keep up with demand. Many customers are first-time private flyers, who expect in-flight connectivity for the price they're paying to charter an entire aircraft. 

The deal also gives Intelsat exclusive access to Gogo's air to ground system for 10 years to serve smaller commercial aircraft, subject to Intelsat meeting revenue guarantees, while Gogo gets favored status when buying satellite capacity for its business aircraft that can handle a satellite antenna, Thorne said. 

Flyers won't immediately notice a difference, as Intelsat will be able to use the Gogo name for up to two years, according to Thorne, with no lapse in service as the changeover occurs. But if all goes well, it may not be too long before you never have to worry about missing your midair connection.

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Calls to boycott 'Mulan' are gaining steam as the new movie lands on Disney Plus

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mulan liu yifei

Pro-democracy activists across Hong Kong, Korea, and Thailand have renewed their calls for a boycott of Disney's live-action "Mulan." The film was released for $30 on Disney Plus on Friday, reviving outrage over a social media post shared by the film's star, Liu Yifei, voicing support for Hong Kong's police.

Prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong on Friday tweeted, "Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan."

At the time of writing, Wong's post had 11,000 retweets and 16,000 likes. Since the start of the controversy in August of last year, the #BoycottMulan movement has expanded to Korea and Thailand, where activists have staged protests and held signs reading #BanMulan, according to Fortune.

On Friday, the hashtag #BoycottMulan was trending in the US. 

 

In August of 2019, as pro-democracy protests roiled Hong Kong, Liu Yifei shared an image that said, "I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong," on the popular social media platform Weibo. The post angered many pro-democracy protesters, who said that the Hong Kong police's crackdown on those demonstrating against a new extradition law was draconian. Hong Kong's police responded to protesters with "arbitrary arrests, brutal beatings, and torture," according to a report from Amnesty International.

In July, Yifei addressed the controversy, saying "I think it's obviously a very complicated situation and I'm not an expert," in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I just really hope this gets resolved soon... I think it's just a very sensitive situation."

But while the protests might affect viewership in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Korea, Disney is courting audiences in mainland China, where the film will premiere in theaters September 11, according to Fortune. The Mulan team cast popular Chinese actors, tested the film with Chinese audiences, and made sure to get the script approved by Chinese authorities, in a bid for a slice of mainland China's $9 billion box office revenues

The calls for a boycott are the latest in a series of challenges for the film's release. Mulan, which had a budget of $200 million, was originally slated to open in theaters March 27 and has been delayed multiple times due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Without a deal in the US to bring the film to theaters, the China market represents the largest theater-going audience for the film.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the controversy. 

On Friday, the movie became available to purchase for Disney+'s 60 million subscribers, who can pay $30 (on top of their $7 monthly subscription) to view the film. The film will be available for free to Disney Plus subscribers on starting December 4.

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The best Dyson vacuum deals happening right now — save $100 on a Dyson V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum

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dyson

Well-designed, super-convenient, and easy-to-use, it's no wonder why Dyson vacuums are some of the most sought after products in the home space. In fact, Dyson vacuums routinely rank among our favorites. 

For instance, we consider the Dyson Cyclone V10 to be the best cordless vacuum you could own and The Dyson Ball Animal 2 to be the best overall vacuum to tackle pet hair. Dyson's offerings aren't limited to just vacuums either, the home appliance company also makes highly-rated fans and hairdryers as well. 

However, Dyson's higher-than-average price can often be a significant barrier for most shoppers. Luckily, these vacuums regularly see discounts.

These are the best Dyson deals happening right now:

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