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Slack spikes 32% following report of potential takeover by Salesforce

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Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield poses for photos outside the New York Stock Exchange before his company's IPO, Thursday, June 20, 2019.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield poses for photos outside the New York Stock Exchange before his company's IPO on June 20, 2019.
  • Slack rocketed as much as 32% on Wednesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that Salesforce was in talks to acquire the workspace-communications company.
  • Such a deal would likely value Slack at more than the $17 billion market cap it held before shares jumped.
  • There's no guarantee the talks will lead to a takeover, and Salesforce could target another company for an acquisition, sources familiar with the matter told The Journal.
  • Salesforce shares slid as much as 4% on the news.
  • Watch Slack trade live here.

Slack leaped as much as 32% on Wednesday following a report of a potential acquisition by Salesforce.

The corporate-software company was in talks to buy Slack, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Such a deal would likely value Slack at more than the $17 billion market cap it boasted before shares spiked. That acquisition would also be Salesforce's largest yet.

There's no guarantee a deal will be reached, and Salesforce could target another company for a takeover, sources told The Journal.

Read more: Buy these 19 small-cap stocks that hedge funds have invested the most dollars in as smaller companies head for their strongest monthly outperformance ever, RBC says

The jump placed Slack shares at their highest since early June. The company made its market debut on June 20, 2019, with an opening price of $38.50.

Salesforce shares fell as much as 4% on the news.

Slack traded at $38.08 as of 11:55 a.m. ET, up 42% year-to-date. Slack has 14 "buy" ratings, 10 "hold" ratings, and three "sell" ratings from analysts.

Read more: 93 units with another 122 under contract: Here's how Emma Powell built a king-size real-estate investment portfolio leveraging a simple strategy

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For the first time, an F-35A dropped an inert B61-12 nuclear bomb while flying at supersonic speed

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B61-12 nuclear bomb F-35A
A mock B61-12 nuclear bomb during a flight test with a US Air Force F-35A, August 2020.
  • During a test in August, an F-35A dropped an inert B61-12 nuclear bomb from its internal bomb bay during a supersonic flight for the first time.
  • The test with the B61-12 is also the first F-35A Dual Capable Aircraft test to be shown in an unclassified video.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Just a few months after the first photos of the F-35 testing the B61-12 nuclear bomb in 2019 for the F-35A Dual Capable Aircraft (DCA) program were released, the Sandia National Laboratories announced that the F-35 dropped for the first time an inert B61-12 nuclear bomb from its internal bomb bay during supersonic flight.

According to the press release, the test took place on August 25, 2020, at about 10,500 feet above the Tonopah Test Range, with the inert bomb hitting the target area after a 42-second flight.

The test was the first performed by Sandia, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the US Air Force over the Tonopah Test Range with the F-35A and the first of a testing series that will conclude with full-weapon systems demonstrations designed to increase confidence the bomb will always work when needed and never under any other circumstances.

Sandia oversees the design and engineering for the non-nuclear components of the United States' nuclear stockpile, including the new B61-12, and of the integration of the complete weapon on the aircraft.

"We successfully executed this historic, first-ever F-35A flight test at Tonopah Test Range within the specified delivery criteria," said Brian Adkins, range manager at TTR. "The success of this test, as with all other weapons evaluations, is only possible through the detailed planning, combined with full collaboration between TTR and the program engineers, and the execution of the test evolution by the field operators and recovery specialists in the combined team of Sandia and TTR's operations and maintenance subcontractor, Navarro Research and Engineering. With the multiple phases and operational activities a test involves, the team at TTR is diligent to integrate safety and security into all segments to ensure proper precautions are implemented for mission success."

B61-12 nuclear bomb F-35A
An F-35A Lightning II opens its bomb bay doors and drops a mock B61-12 at Sandia National Laboratories’ Tonopah Test Range, August 2020.

Earlier this year, the team completed a B61-12 full-weapon system demonstration with the F-15E Strike Eagle and the B-2A Spirit, completing the integration of the bomb aboard the two aircraft.

Differently than the Strike Eagle, the F-35 transports its B61-12 internally, and according to Sandia's previous press releases, it seems that the F-15E did not attempt a supersonic drop of the bomb, simply stating that the aircraft was flying "near Mach 1" in at least two tests at 1,000 feet and 25,000 feet.

Steven Samuels, a manager with Sandia's B61-12 Systems Team, confirmed that the F-35 test was the first demonstration of a fully instrumented B61-12 release from an internal bomb bay on a fighter and the first such release at speeds of Mach 1 or greater.

The F-35A DCA, according to public information, should achieve the nuclear certification in January 2023, pretty much in line with earlier reports that scheduled the completion of the integration works between 2020 and 2022.

Regarding the delivery of the new weapon, the B61-12 could be first delivered to the US Air Force starting from 2022, after significant delays were caused by some faulty electrical components. Around 480 bombs will reportedly be upgraded to the new configuration.

As already explained in a previous article here at The Aviationist:

"The B61-12 represent the latest LEP (Life-Extention Program) upgrade to the B61 line of nuclear weapons that has already been extensively tested with the F-15E Strike Eagles of the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, back in 2015.

The Life Extension Program or LEP, will replace the B61 -3, -4, -7, and -10 mods, with the -12 that, along with the B83, will become the only remaining gravity delivered nukes in the inventory.

"The B61-12 gravity bomb ensures the current capability for the air-delivered leg of the US strategic nuclear triad well into the future for both bombers and dual-capable aircraft supporting NATO," said Paul Waugh, AFNWC's Air-Delivered Capabilities director in a U.S. Air Force release dated Apr. 13 (more or less when the world learned about the first use of the famous MOAB in Afghanistan). The B61-12 will be compatible with the B-2A, B-21, F-15E, F-16C/D, F-16 MLU, F-35 and PA-200 aircraft.

The LEP increases the B61's accuracy so much that it will have the same capability against hardened targets as the much more powerful weapons it is replacing."

Here below you can find the video released by Sandia. After the bomb drop at the beginning of the video, you can also see, at about the 30-second mark, the spin rocket motors firing to improve stability during the bomb's descent.

If you can't see the embedded video below, here's the link to the declassified footage.

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Coursera is offering a free online resume course right now — you'll learn to put together a strong resume for any industry with the help of a professional career counselor

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

Coursera E Learning 4x3

If you're looking to optimize your next career move, it'd be wise to start with a strong resume.

How to Write a Resume is an online course taught by SUNY career counselor and recruiter Holly Justice that walks you through how to create the cornerstone of your job search. This seemingly simple document is what markets you to prospective employers, and as something you'll submit over and over again, it's important that yours is polished to the best version it can be.

In this course, you'll either revise a current resume or create one from scratch with the help of an insider's strategy and feedback from your peers. The whole thing can be completed in around three hours, and from now until December 31, it's completely free as part of Coursera's 100 free online courses.

While the course is mostly designed for college students or young professionals who are writing a resume for the first time, it provides a useful peek behind the curtain for anyone hoping to gain meaningful career guidance. Justice presents resume best practices as well as pitfalls to avoid and explores some current resume trends from the perspective of a professional career counselor and recruiter.

You'll also get an introduction to the purpose of a great resume, a top-to-bottom look at its typical sections, tips on extracting transferable skills from past experiences, and advice on action statements, maximizing data, and organizing your work experience into a strong thesis statement to recruiters. Students will also hear from an employer about how they approach a stack of resumes, so they can understand how the application process works from a different perspective. And in the fourth module, students learn how to determine buzzwords for their industry or a job posting, and how to incorporate them effectively in their resume. 

Of course, resumes vary depending on the industry, but Justice will help you to build a universal framework that's applicable to most, if not all, fields.

Enroll in How to Write a Resume for free here until December 31

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The US Air Force has 'studied every single piece of concrete in the Pacific' to find new places to fight from

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Air Force Japan C-130 agile combat employment
US airmen load an R-11 fuel truck on a C-130J during an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Yokota Air Base in Japan, February 13, 2020.
  • The vast distances of the Pacific region and the growing reach of the Chinese military has led the US to look for ways to disperse its forces and their bases.
  • For the US Air Force, that means scouring the region for runways and facilities that can support its aircraft as they try to spread out and sustain potential combat operations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The prospect of a war with China, which has a rapidly modernizing military that can reach farther and farther across the Pacific, has the US military looking to spread out.

For the US Air Force, that means scouring the region for new places to operate, but rather building new bases, it's working with what's there, according to Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, commander of Pacific Air Forces.

"What we're doing is taking advantage of airfields that already exist," Wilsbach told reporters last week. "If you're going to put [in] an F-22 or an F-15 or a C-130, the airfield has to have certain criteria, and so we've actually studied every single piece of concrete in the Pacific and Indo-Pacific ... for whether they would meet our criteria."

Air Force brass developed plans for expeditionary basing in the 1990s, a strategy that is getting renewed attention.

Air Force Alaska F-15 agile combat employment
US airmen from Kadena Air Base in Japan prepare an F-15 for takeoff during an agile combat employment exercise at Fort Greely in Alaska, August 8, 2019.

"We actually started working on this pretty diligently probably about four to five years ago," Wilsbach said. "I was the commander in Alaska at the time ... we really started getting into this in Alaska at first and then it's expanded throughout all of the Indo-Pacific."

The 2018 National Defense Strategy cited Russia and China as the US's main strategic rivals — the latter, it said, "will continue to pursue a military modernization program that seeks Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near-term and displacement of the United States ... in the future."

The kind of conflict described in that document "may not have fixed bases, infrastructure, and established command and control," meaning the Air Force needed to return to its "expeditionary roots," Gen. David Goldfein, then the Air Force's top officer, said in a 2018 speech.

That ambition is reflected in Agile Combat Employment, in which aircraft from major bases, or hubs, would operate from austere locations, or spokes, without an established support network to refuel, rearm, and relaunch in a relatively short period.

"The premise behind ACE is instead of having a few ... really big bases, we disperse the forces and we become a lot more agile and a lot more mobile," Wilsbach said, adding that "audibles" would allow aircraft and aircrews to come and go with what would seem like randomness to an adversary.

Marine Corps Japan agile combat employment
US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Noah Gulledge tests JP8 fuel during an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Japan, February 20, 2020.

ACE has been around for some time, and "almost every exercise" the command does has an ACE component, Wilsbach said. During exercise Valiant Shield in September, airmen augmented it with additional duties.

"We had F-22s going to, we call it base X, so not one of the hub bases ... [to] get refueled, and they also practiced what we call multi-skilled airman," Wilsbach said. "You can send a smaller team to one of the out-bases and instead of having an airman that all they do, say, is refuel an aircraft, we asked them to learn multiple skills."

Being able to do multiple tasks means fewer people would be needed at the spokes, but being flexible can also mean roughing it, Wilsbach said.

"When I was in Alaska, we did this at, literally, a bare base, and everybody was camping in" store-bought tents and eating MREs next to the runway. "We operated from that bare base for two weeks," Wilsbach said.

'A lot of competition'

Air Force Guam agile combat employment
US and allied personnel during an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, March 6, 2019.

Wilsbach didn't elaborate on plans for those hubs and spokes or where they might be, but the Air Force and other service branches are practicing to operate across broader swaths of the Pacific.

The US has territories in that area — such as Guam, which has a major Air Force base, and the Northern Mariana Islands — but some countries there are also eager to play host.

Palau's outgoing president has repeatedly encouraged the US military to expand facilities there. Wilsbach has expressed a "desire to increase the options" in Palau, where airfields are well situated but would take "quite a bit more work" to expand.

Palau, along with Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, have Compacts of Free Association with the US, under which their citizens get benefits in the US and the US military gets sweeping rights to operate on their territory.

Air Force Guam C-130 agile combat employment
Airmen at Andersen Air Force Base unload a C-130 to establish a base of operations during an Agile Combat Employment exercise, March 6, 2019.

Pacific Air Forces "regularly assesses locations" in the Indo-Pacific region for "operational, training and exercise objectives" and "routinely" trains and operates in and around the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau, a public affairs officer for the command told Insider.

Interest in the region is growing because of its amenability to such a hub-and-spoke model and proximity to either side of the Pacific, according to Derek Grossman, senior defense analyst at the Rand Corporation think tank.

"You want to be able to project power into the potential theaters of combat — South China Sea, Taiwan Strait — and as China develops its ballistic and cruise missiles and other capabilities to attack farther out, you're going to want to be able to disperse a bit," Grossman told Insider in an October interview.

That is not lost on China, which has courted countries there to advance its own military and diplomatic goals.

"That's why there's been a lot of competition recently between the US and China in this area," Grossman said.

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The top 9 streaming TV shows this week, from Netflix's 'The Crown' to HBO Max's 'Titans'

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the crown
"The Crown"
  • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand original TV shows on streaming services in the US.
  • "The Mandalorian" is still the top series but "The Crown" is catching up. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Disney Plus' "The Mandalorian" is still the most in-demand streaming original series in the US, but Netflix's "The Crown" is gaining ground.

Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand TV shows on streaming services in the US.

The data is based on "demand expressions," Parrot Analytics' globally standardized TV-demand measurement unit. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance. The list is ranked by how much more in demand the top series are than the average TV show in the US.

"Titans," the former DC Universe series that is now an HBO Max original, also made strides this week in audience demand after Max revealed concept art for the upcoming season three.

Below are this week's nine most popular original shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

9. "Lucifer" (Netflix)
lucifer

Times more in demand than average show: 28.8

Description: "Bored with being the Lord of Hell, the devil relocates to Los Angeles, where he opens a nightclub and forms a connection with a homicide detective."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 5): 81%

What critics said: "Lucifer will always be the show that gave us an archangel chasing a chicken while the Devil laughs in the background and Season 5 is going all-in on the parts of the show that make it such an addictive watch." — TV Guide (Season 5)

Season 5 premieres on Netflix on August 21. See more insights for "Lucifer."

8. "Cobra Kai" (Netflix)
cobra kai

Times more in demand than average show: 29.5

Description: "Decades after the tournament that changed their lives, the rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in this sequel to the 'Karate Kid' films."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 89%

What critics said: "Children of the '80s will have plenty to scratch that nostalgic itch with numerous callbacks to the 'Karate Kid' films." — Indiewire (season 2)

Season 3 premieres on January 8 on Netflix. See more insights for "Cobra Kai."

7. "The Boys" (Amazon Prime Video)
the boys 208 queen maeve
Dominique McElligott on season two, episode eight of "The Boys."

Times more in demand than average show: 30.9

Description: "In a more intense, more desperate Season 2 of THE BOYS, Butcher, Hughie and the team reel from their losses in Season 1. On the run from the law, they struggle to fight back against the Superheroes. As Vought, the company that manages the heroes, cashes in on the panic over the threat of Supervillains, and a new hero, Stormfront, shakes up the company and challenges an already unstable Homelander."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 97%

What critics said: "The second season, much like life in these United States, is structured around a leadership vacuum, and it's an enormous improvement." — Slate (season 2)

Season 2 premiered on September 4 on Prime Video. See more insights for "The Boys."

6. "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (Disney Plus)
star wars the clone wars

Times more in demand than average show: 36.1

Description: "From Dave Filoni, director and executive producer of 'The Mandalorian,' the new 'Clone Wars' episodes will continue the storylines introduced in the original series, exploring the events leading up to 'Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.'"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 7): 100%

What critics said: "In the endgame, the show is better than ever." — Memphis Flyer (season 7)

Season 7 premiered on February 21 on Disney Plus. See more insights for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."

5. "Star Trek: Discovery" (CBS All Access)
star trek discovery

Times more in demand than average show: 36.2

Description: "After making the jump in the second season finale, season three of "Star Trek: Discovery" finds the U.S.S. Discovery crew dropping out of the wormhole and into an unknown future far from the home they once knew. Now living in a time filled with uncertainty, the U.S.S. Discovery crew, along with the help of some new friends, must together fight to regain a hopeful future."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 93%

What critics said: "Despite a premiere that augurs poorly for its broader narrative arc, Discovery's third season at least momentarily succeeds in thinking about undiscovered things to come." — Slant Magazine (season 3)

Season 3 premiered October 15 on CBS All Access. See more insights for "Star Trek: Discovery."

4. "Titans' (HBO Max)
titans
"Titans" season 2

Times more in demand than average show: 37.7

Description: "'Titans' follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and lovable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 81%

What critics said: "DC's darkest series can be as dour and ultra-violent as it wants but at its heart it's a coming-of-age family drama dressed up in tights." — Collider (Season 2)

Season 2 premiered on DC Universe in September, 2019. See more insights for "Titans."

3. "Stranger Things" (Netflix)
stranger things 2
"Stranger Things."

Times more in demand than average show: 46.8

Description: "When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 89%

What critics said: "With risk comes reward, and in the end, the show feels all the more fresh because of it." — Film School Rejects (Season 3)

Season 3 premiered July 4, 2019 on Netflix. See more insights for "Stranger Things."

2. "The Crown" (Netflix)
the crown

Times more in demand than average show: 75.5

Description: "This drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 4): 97%

What critics said: "The Crown observes that the royals' failures can more often than not be self-inflicted — and in doing so, the show produces its most thrilling and biting season yet." — The Atlantic (season 4)

Season four premiered on November 15 on Netflix. See more insights for "The Crown."

1. "The Mandalorian" (Disney Plus)
Baby Yoda the Child in School Mandalorian Disney Plus
The Child in "Chapter 12" of "The Mandalorian."

Times more in demand than average show: 96.5

Description: "After the fall of the Empire, a lone gunfighter makes his way through the lawless galaxy."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 92%

What critics said: "'The Siege' offered promising evidence that this world is still fun, even if Mando and Baby Yoda are both off-camera." — Rolling Stone (Season 2)

Season 2 premiered on Disney Plus on October 30. See more insights for "The Mandalorian."

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The best cold brew coffee makers in 2020

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  • Cold brew coffee is refreshing and delicious, but it can take up to 24 hours to make. 
  • I tested seven different cold brew devices and relied on my 10+ years of coffee industry experience to find the best cold brew makers so you won't be disappointed by a weak batch after hours of brewing. 
  • The Toddy Cold Brew System is the best cold brew maker because it produces large batches of flavorful concentrate and is easy to use and clean.
  • We expect some cold brew makers to go on sale, so if you're looking for deals, check out our Black Friday and Cyber Monday coverage. 
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

One of the most dramatic changes I've seen in my decade-long career in specialty coffee both behind the bar and behind the scenes is the rise of cold brew coffee. It's gone from a niche, seasonal drink to being one of the most popular beverages available. Thankfully, like traditional pour-over or drip coffee, there is plenty of equipment to brew your own at home.  

I spent five years at a company that was well-known for its cold brew and helped its cafes troubleshoot their cold brew systems, delivered truckloads of drinks, and of course, drank it almost every day, so I knew what to look for when testing cold brew makers to determine the best ones. I also spoke with two industry veterans, each with 20+ years of experience — Eileen Rinaldi, founder and CEO of Ritual Coffee; and Ben Helfen, Education Support Specialist from Counter Culture Coffee — about some of the nuances of brewing cold brew, such as grind coarseness, water temperature and which roasts taste as cold brew, which you can read about here

Regardless of which brewer you use, making cold brew is one of the simplest ways to brew coffee, but it can take up to 24 hours. The increased brew time and lack of heat make the brewing process less volatile and more forgiving than pour over or espresso, which means you don't need complicated techniques or an elaborate machine. The only things you'll really need are good beans, time, and a simple cold brew maker. 

The best cold brew makers of 2020

Prices and links are current as of 11/25/2020. We rewrote this guide after comprehensive testing of our previous picks and new options on the market, as well as consulting two experts. We've also added a thorough testing methodology and FAQs.

The best overall
Toddy Cold Brew

The Toddy Cold Brew System makes a strong and flavorful concentrate without any learning curve or trial and error, and up to 28 cups of cold brew when diluted. 

Pros: Makes large batches of concentrate, offers two styles of filtration, easy to clean, the concentrate is full-flavored and delicious

Cons: Silicone lid doesn't form a perfect seal, contains small parts that can be easily lost, paper and felt filters need replacing

Of all the brewers I tested, the Toddy Cold Brew System was my favorite because of its intuitive design. The first concentrate I brewed turned out perfect without any learning curve or trial and error. 

There are two main components to the Toddy Cold Brew System. The brewer itself consists of a plastic brewing container, gray silicone lid, and rubber stopper that fits into the bottom. It also comes with a stylish glass carafe and a plastic lid that seals the carafe tightly. It's the perfect size for storing a full batch of concentrate and fits easily in the fridge. Everything felt sturdy and well designed

The Toddy requires 12 ounces of coffee for brewing, which is a pretty large amount. I ground the coffee to a coarse fineness and covered it with seven cups of water as instructed. After placing the lid on top of the brewing container and leaving it at room temperature for 24 hours, I came back to a perfectly brewed concentrate that tasted almost as rich and full as hot coffee. Every batch of concentrate, including the first I brewed, was full-flavored with no sediment. It had a strong, chocolatey flavor with hints of fruitiness and slight spice. 

The required 12 ounces of coffee per batch may seem excessive, but the Toddy makes about seven cups of concentrate, and when diluted to the recommended 1:3 ratio of coffee to water, yields about 28 total cups of cold brew. If you wanted to make less cold brew, just cut the amount of coffee and water in half, keep the grind coarseness and brew time the same, and the concentrate should be the same high quality.

The Toddy system comes with felt filters as well as paper filters. You can use only the felt filter which fits snugly into the bottom of the plastic brewing tank, or pair it with the paper filter for double filtration. When using the paper filter, the coffee grounds are placed in the paper before adding the water; with the felt filter, you put the grounds directly in the tank. I tested both methods and didn't notice an extreme difference between the drinks. The felt filter seemed to filter out more of the particulates than the paper filter, but the paper filter was much easier to clean since you can throw it out. The felt filter needs to be rinsed out, but it was relatively easy and didn't stain after multiple uses. Two filters are included with the brewing system, and Toddy recommends replacing the felt filter after three months of use.

I would strongly recommend setting the Toddy somewhere it won't easily be knocked over. The silicone lid doesn't create a perfectly tight seal, so the cold brew will spill if the unit is tipped over. Thankfully, this didn't happen to me, but I had a few close calls. I also noticed that the silicone lid can create a seal that prevents the coffee from draining properly once I began filtering, so I'd removed the lid while filtering to avoid that.

The best budget brewer
Takeya

Despite the low price, the build quality of the Takeya is solid — the plastic is durable (though prone to staining after many uses)‚ and the seals are tight so there was no leaking even when brewing on its side.

Pros: Affordable, available in 1-quart and 2-quart sizes, easy to use and clean, did not leak

Cons: Clear plastic can become stained after extended use, too tall to fit upright in most refrigerators, grounds can get caught in the lid and make a mess during cleaning

The Takeya is similar to the Coffee Gator brewer but more affordable, and it uses a plastic pitcher instead of glass. When it comes to coffee, plastic and glass don't make a difference in flavor, but glass tends to hold up better over time whereas plastic can become permanently stained after multiple uses — which may not be a dealbreaker. 

The filter basket and cap on the Takeya screw together and then screw onto the pitcher — all impressively tightly for the price. However, one drawback to this design is that it's hard to make sure all of the grounds are properly steeped if the brewer isn't placed sideways per the instructions (the 2-quart size I tested was too tall for my standard refrigerator) or shaken throughout the brewing time. There is about an inch of space between the filter and the lid where grounds may become stuck and not exposed to the water for brewing. While brewing, the Takeya didn't leak at all, but the grounds settled in the top of the lid and fell out of the lid when I tried to clean the brewer which made a bit of a mess.

The Takeya comes as a 1- or 2-qt pitcher and they function the same way; I tested the larger of the two sizes. The instructions call for about two cups of coarsely ground coffee and filling the pitcher three-quarters of the way with water, which by my measurements, was about 50 ounces or 1400 ml. The 2-qt Takeya was taller than the other brewers I tested and taller than my refrigerator allowed, so I brewed it on its side according to the instructions. Even if you have the space available, I would still recommend storing it sideways while brewing so that all of the grounds are properly saturated through the brewing process. 

The results were very similar to other ready-to-drink immersion brewers. I followed the directions and brewed for 12 hours in my refrigerator, producing a tea-like drink. I brewed it for 24 hours and the results were much stronger, but not quite the same level as the concentrate produced from the Toddy. Overall, the finished cold brew was very well-rounded and balanced with a sweet, chocolatey flavor on the forefront. The Takeya could easily be used to make a stronger concentrate if left to brew at room temperature as well.

If you're looking to save a little money and don't mind making more batches, the 1-qt Takeya is a good alternative to the Coffee Gator. The 2-quart model is about the same price as Coffee Gator but can brew significantly more coffee without a noticeable drop in quality.

The best automatic brewer
Cuisinart cold brew

The Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker provides brew times much quicker than any immersion cold brew maker. This brewer is perfect for anyone who values convenience and quickness and doesn't mind sacrificing a bit of flavor.

Pros: Extremely quick brew time, sturdy build, easy to use, easily disassembled for cleaning 

Cons: Even at the longest brew time, the coffee lacks the depth of a longer immersion brewing process; more large and expensive than simpler brew coffee makers; requires electricity to work 

With the Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker, the filter basket spins inside the water at regular intervals every few seconds to agitate the grounds and cut the brewing time down to minutes.

The device is built similarly to a standard electric coffee maker, and it's closer to a high-end kitchen appliance. This coffee maker is made from high-quality plastic and glass and has a sturdy base that holds the water reservoir and filter basket above a carafe, which is used to collect the finished coffee. It's bigger, heavier, and, unlike any of the other cold brew makers I tested, it requires electricity. The filter basket sits inside the water tank, and both can be removed from the base for easy cleaning. The filters are also all-metal, so there is less need for replacements.

It might seem a bit complicated when you first encounter this coffeemaker, but it's easy to use and the instructions are clear. Cuisinart recommends a medium to coarse grind size, but I found that anything coarser than medium led to a weaker flavor. The machine has filters in both the grind basket and the lid of the carafe, so the finished coffee is light and free of sediment.

But with a faster brewing time, there are tradeoffs. The Cuisinart offers preset timing selections with the mild, medium, and bold buttons, which correspond to 25-, 35-, and 45-minute brew times respectively. I tried batches at each length of time and found the best results came with the longest brew time, but even then, the finished cold brew is not as full-flavored or developed as the cold brew you'd get from an 8- to 24-hour immersion brew. That's not to say it was bad, it was just different. The coffee was bright and more tea-like in color and taste than the coffee produced from the other brewers I tested. The flavor notes were more fruity and less chocolatey and robust.

One thing to note is that the instruction manual doesn't list measurements for coffee by weight, so you have to rely on the provided scoop for measurements. Traditionally, whole bean coffee is measured by weight before grinding, so this was a bit frustrating, as I was using freshly ground coffee. If you're using whole bean coffee, I recommend grinding your coffee first and then using the included scoop to measure. 

The machine disassembles easily for cleaning. Since it doesn't use hot water, not as much residue is left behind, so all it needs is a quick rinse.

If you want a quick and easy solution to brewing cold brew, it doesn't get much quicker than this. With a 45-minute maximum brew time, it brews cold brew significantly faster than any other product I tested. The Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker is priced favorably compared to other automatic cold brew machines on the market, but it's more expensive than most manual cold brew devices because of the mechanics involved. If you have the budget, it's a great tool for people who want cold brew without having to plan ahead or wait.

The best for ready-to-drink cold brew
Coffee Gator

The Coffee Gator Cold Brewer is a great immersion brewer for cold brew. Its no-frills design makes it accessible and easy to use while allowing for customization.

Pros: Very easy to use, easy to clean up, fits easily in the fridge, drinks can be customized to your preference depending on brew time

Cons: Makes less cold brew than other brewers, the metal filter allows more sediment than paper or felt filters

The Coffee Gator has a pretty standard design as far as immersion brewers go, and makes a ready-to-drink cold brew instead of a concentrate for convenience. The design is a glass pitcher with a detachable and reusable filter basket that doubles as a brewer and serving vessel. I was impressed by how sturdy and well-made this brewer is, and how tightly-fitted all the pieces were, which helped prevent any leaks. 

It's a bit smaller than comparable products and fits perfectly in the fridge, unlike the Takeya cold brewer (our budget pick), which is so tall it needs to be stored on its side. It disassembles easily and the bottom of the filter basket screws off for easy rinsing, though you want to be a little careful with the thin filter; thorough rinsing and light scrubbing with a sponge did the trick for me. There was no discoloration after testing the brewer three times.

It's also easy to use. Ground coffee goes into the filter basket, then water is poured over the top of the coffee through the hole in the lid. The instructions call for about 2.5 oz (75g) of coffee to 1.1 liters of water, which almost completely fills the brewer. Cold brew isn't an exact science so you can eyeball the water here. 

The instructions call for a minimum brew time of eight hours, but that wasn't nearly enough time for a strong brew. I sampled a bit of the coffee after the recommended eight hours and found it to be quite weak and more similar to tea. I tried it again after 12 hours and was more pleased with the stronger coffee it produced. It was better developed and some more of the fruity flavor notes came through. For my second round of tests, I let the coffee brew for a full 24 hours in the fridge, and it was much stronger, but still smooth. The strongest batch was brewed for 12 hours at room temperature. This yielded a well-rounded, sweet and chocolatey cup of cold brew, almost as strong as a concentrate. I did notice slightly more sediment in the cold brew after longer brew times, so I'd avoid drinking until the very bottom of the batch.

The best compact brewer
Toddy Artisan

If space is at a premium in your apartment or fridge, the Toddy Artisan can make great cold brew without taking up much space. The brewer also serves as a carafe for serving.

Pros: Compact, fits in small fridges, can make concentrate or ready-to-drink cold brew, very easy cleanup

Cons: Requires single-use paper filters, thin glass, easily tipped over, silicone lid doesn't form a perfect seal  

The Toddy Artisan is a smaller alternative to the full-sized Toddy Cold Brew System, but it's just as easy to use. Like its larger counterpart, it made great coffee right away with very little need for any adjustment.

The brewer is essentially a glass jar with a silicone lid and it comes with 12 paper filter bags, a metal filter basket, and tongs. The brewer itself doubles as a small carafe for easy storage after brewing; it's the smallest brewer I reviewed. At 6.5 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide, it's slightly smaller than a standard Mason jar and can fit easily in a kitchen cabinet or in the fridge. Unlike the full-sized Toddy, this brewer can only be used with paper filters, which are not reusable. 

The Toddy Artisan is simple and easy to use but isn't the sturdiest product. The glass is a little thin and the silicone lid doesn't form a perfect seal, so be careful not to knock it over while it's brewing. 

This brewer offers the option to brew a concentrate or a ready-to-drink cold brew. For concentrate, use 50 g of coffee to 400 ml (13.5 oz) of water. This yields just under 400 ml of concentrate that can be diluted 1:3 with water to produce about 54 oz or about five cups of cold brew. The ready-to-drink recipe uses slightly less coffee (35 g), more water (500 ml), and less steeping time — which is entirely going to depend on personal preference.

Like the full-sized Toddy, the instructions were easy to follow and the brewing process was intuitive — I was able to achieve great results on my first test. I brewed my first batch of concentrate according to the instructions for 24 hours at room temperature. It was balanced and slightly chocolatey with low acidity, very similar in flavor to the full-sized Toddy. I also brewed it for eight hours to try the ready-to-drink version, and it also tasted great. It wasn't as sweet and was a bit lighter than the concentrate. 

Cleanup couldn't be easier since the grounds are neatly contained in the paper filter bag. Once the coffee is allowed to drip from the bag, you just dump out the filter bag with the grounds, rinse off the metal basket, and serve or store the coffee in the glass brewer itself.

Needing to buy replacement filters is a bit inconvenient, but I think the paper filter leads to a noticeably higher quality cup of cold brew. If you're short on space and don't mind buying extra filters, I highly recommend the Toddy Artisan.

What else we recommend
OXO Compact

OXO Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker ($29.95): The OXO Compact is an affordable alternative to the more expensive Toddy Artisan. It makes a well-developed concentrate that tasted a bit brighter and had slightly more grit. It also has a built-in reusable metal filter, so if replacement filters are a dealbreaker, this is a great alternative. The Toddy Artisan slightly edged this one out due to better flavor (it tasted truer to how the coffee was supposed to taste), but this is a perfectly capable alternative if you're able to compromise a bit.

OXO Good Grips 32 Ounce Cold Brew Coffee Maker ($39.99): The OXO Good Grips Cold Brew provides a slightly more affordable alternative to the Toddy Cold Brew System. It's made of plastic and feels sturdier than the full-sized Toddy, makes a concentrate, and uses a built-in metal filter just like the OXO Compact. But due to the metal filter, the concentrate that it produced was not quite as clean-tasting as that produced with paper or felt filters, and the coffee was just a bit more gritty. It was very easy to use and clean, and with a capacity similar to the Toddy, the OXO is great for large batches.

What I look forward to testing
What we look forward to testing Cold Brew Makers

Cold Bruer Drip Coffee Maker ($79.99): This brewer uses the drip process to make cold brew which is not common in at-home cold brewers, so I'd like to see how a drip cold brew maker works in the kitchen.

Filtron Concentrate Brewer ($39.95, currently unavailable): The Filtron is similar to our favorite overall cold brew maker, so I'd love to see how they compare head to head.

Bodum Bean 12 Cup Cold Brew Black Iced Coffee Maker ($12.88): Bodum has an excellent track record with its home coffee products, so I would love to see if that quality extends to its cold brewer as well. However, this one didn't arrive in time for me to test this time around.

Hario Mizudashi ($20.50): Hario is one of my favorite producers of home coffee products. I'm really looking forward to testing this one and seeing how it stacks up against the Coffee Gator and Takeya.

Soma Brew Bottle ($31.89): The Soma came highly recommended by Eileen Rinaldi of Ritual Coffee. I'm curious how it compares to our favorite compact brewer, the Toddy Artisan.

Presto Dorothy ($67.89): The Presto Dorothy is another automatic cold brew maker that advertises a 15-minute brew time, but this is another one that didn't come in time for me to test.

KitchenAid ($59.99): The KitchenAid also didn't arrive in time to make it into this round of testing. It comes with a built-in tap to make serving easy.

Testing methodology
Testing methodology Cold Brew

I worked in specialty coffee for almost a decade and handled countless tasks behind the scenes and behind the bar. I also helped develop the menu for a local coffee shop in my town of Warsaw, Indiana, and I also consulted Eileen Rinaldi, founder and CEO of Ritual Coffee, and Ben Helfen, Education Support Specialist from Counter Culture Coffee.

When testing cold brew makers, I tried to keep the variables consistent between brewers. To do this, I tested each coffee maker with Ritual Coffee's Featherweight Blend, a bright, juicy blend with a well-developed, roasted sweetness that's suited for cold brew. Using the same coffee ensures that any differences in the finished coffee are a result of differences between the products and brewing processes.

I carefully weighed all the coffee and water using a digital kitchen scale according to the manufacturer's instructions and ground beans with my Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. To ensure I was using the right amount of beans, I weighed the coffee before grinding based on the amount recommended by each manufacturer.  I used coarsely ground coffee for each test unless instructed otherwise by the manufacturer, and tap water filtered with a generic Brita pitcher.

I used each brewer three times and noted the following:

Ease of use: For the first round of tests, I followed the directions from each brewer and noted the results. I looked at how easy each brewer was to set up, how easy the instructions were to follow, and how intuitive each product was to use. After the initial test, I tried minor differences in brewing to see if I could achieve better results — longer brewing time, brewing temperature (refrigerator or room temp), and coarser grinds. Part of what makes brewing coffee at home so rewarding is that you can make it exactly how you want, so I wanted to see how each coffee maker handled customization. 

Quality: While testing, I made sure to note how well-made each brewer was or wasn't. I noted the materials, whether the brewers felt durable enough to withstand extended use, and I paid attention to the filtration method in each brewer, taking into account if they were reusable and easy to clean. For the brewers that screwed shut, I checked for leaks. I paid close attention to nuances in the design that would lead to any inconsistencies in brewing or possible spills or accidents. I also noted how easy each brewer was to clean after use and whether there was any discoloration in the filters, pitchers, or carafes.

Taste: Most important in my testing was the quality of the cold brew produced. Taste is subjective, of course, and the specific flavors in each batch depend on what kind of coffee you prefer to use. Because of that, I looked at how well-extracted or developed each batch turned out, meaning how deep, strong, and complex the flavor was. The Ritual beans I used responded well to a wide spectrum of tests that yielded coffee of different strengths. Both lighter batches of ready-to-drink cold brew, and darker, more robust concentrates had very similar flavor profiles, with slightly different notes highlighted in each batch. I also looked at whether any sediment was left behind in the carafes after each batch was done.

FAQs
FAQ Cold Brew

What is cold brew?

Cold brew is coffee brewed cold or at room temperature, instead of with hot water. Rinaldi said making a batch of cold brew can take 12 to 24 hours, depending on your recipe. That is, of course, significantly slower than any hot water method. But in the absence of heat, it takes much longer for all of those delicious organic compounds and oils to become fully extracted from the ground coffee.

This process slightly changes the flavor too. Helfen said, "Oftentimes, the nuance of the coffee is lost in cold brew, but because the sugars in coffee take longer to extract, the extra brew time can increase sweetness." According to Rinaldi, some of the more volatile organic compounds aren't extracted as readily so cold brew can produce a really clean and less acidic flavor profile.

Why should I buy a cold brew maker?

Cold brew is easy and possible to make at home, but having a specialized cold brew maker certainly makes the process easier. All of the brewers I tested are designed to make the brewing process easier and are tailor-made for cold brew. Most importantly, they all provide a dedicated mode of filtration that is geared toward brewing a more clear and refreshing cup of coffee.

What's the difference between a cold brew concentrate and a cold brew that's ready to drink?

Cold brew makers can produce a cold brew concentrate or cold brew that is ready to drink. The concentrate is usually a much stronger extraction with higher caffeine content and must be diluted at a coffee to water ratio of 1:3 or 1:2. Ready-to-drink cold brew doesn't require any dilution and can be consumed right away. It's usually lighter in color, and the strength and flavor are more reminiscent of tea. It's a more bright and refreshing drink, whereas concentrate offers a more full-flavored, dark, intense product. Most cold brew devices are advertised as producing either concentrate or ready-to-drink, but some are flexible enough to do both. In those instances, you can increase the strength of the coffee and create a concentrate by using less water and steeping for longer.

What are the differences between automatic, immersion, and drip cold brew?

There are a few ways cold brew makers work. Each method has its pros and cons, but immersion brewing is the standard style, and the most common, accessible, and affordable. Here, the grounds are submerged in room-temperature water for an extended period of time. The ground coffee can be contained in a filter basket, a paper filter, or hang loose in the water and be filtered later. 

Drip cold brew, also known as the Kyoto Method, is made by slowly dripping cold water over a bed of ground coffee, which is then filtered. Like immersion brewing, this process can take 12 or more hours. Drip cold brewers tend to be a bit more complex and expensive, and aren't as common as immersion or automatic makers.

Automatic cold brew makers are a newer entry in the market that use different methods to speed up the brewing process. For example, the Cuisinart Automatic uses a motor to spin the filter basket around in the water tank, agitating the grounds and creating a batch of cold brew in 25 to 45 minutes. 

What is the best kind of coffee to use for cold brew?

There is no "correct" coffee when it comes to cold brew — feel free to use any coffee you like. I used blends for my tests, but single-origin roasts are also commonly used. Rinaldi said, "Darker roasted coffee is more extractable, so you see a lot of espresso roasts being prepared as a cold brew." I've also seen many cafes rotating single-origin blends to provide a variety and different choices to their customers. Ultimately, like many aspects of home brewing coffee, it all comes down to personal taste.

What's the best grind coarseness for cold brew?

Coarse grind size — similar to what you'd use for a French press — is usually recommended for cold brew, and what I used in testing.  

The major factor to consider with the grind size is filtration. A finer grind can turn muddy over a long brew time, making it more difficult for the water to pass through the grounds during filtration. Helfen said, "Most folks grind coarser for cold brew because of the long brew time and because filtering the liquid out of the grounds doesn't take as long." 

Paper and felt filters tend to filter out more of the fine solids than metal or mesh filters, and a finer grind will pass through more than a coarse one. Too much sediment makes a silty, cloudy cup of coffee, which is not desirable with cold brew. 

Of course, there are exceptions. Some brewers I tested, like the Cuisinart Automatic, respond well to a finer grind because of the shorter extraction time needed.

What is the proper ratio of coffee to water for cold brew?

The ratio of coffee to water will vary slightly depending on whether you're brewing concentrate or ready-to-drink cold brew, and which coffee maker you use. The ratios I tend to prefer are about 1 part coffee to 5 parts water, or a 1:5 ratio, for concentrate and 1:7 for something that's ready to drink. I recommend following the instructions included in your brewer and adjusting the ratio to taste. The one thing that's consistent across all brewers is that cold brew uses way more ground coffee than traditional brewing, so be prepared with your beans. 

Should I steep my cold brew in the refrigerator or at room temperature?

Water temperature is one of the most important things to consider when brewing coffee. Since cold brew is extracted over such a long period of time, there's a bit more leeway with the temperature than with hot brewing methods. Warmer water leads to a quicker and more complete extraction, which usually makes a more complex and deep flavored coffee. Once again, I recommend following the instructions of your coffee maker and adjusting to taste from there. 

From all of my testing, I found that letting the coffee steep at room temperature produces a much better flavor than leaving it in the fridge for an extended period of time. But Helfen does add one caveat. "I find brewing at room temp quite risky. Unless you're very meticulously sanitizing your brewing equipment, the bacterial growth of coffee brewing at room temp can get out of control pretty easy." If this is a concern, most cold brew devices are dishwasher safe or have removable components that can be cleaned in a dishwasher.

How long does cold brew stay fresh?

Unlike hot coffee, cold brew can maintain its flavor in the fridge for a while. If stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator, it should stay fresh for up to two weeks. It may start to taste more stale, sour or bitter after a few days, which is fine if you can tolerate it but unlike traditionally brewed coffee, cold brew will maintain freshness for longer than a few minutes.

Check out our other great coffee buying guides
Bialetti stovetop espresso maker

The best stovetop espresso machines 


The best pour-over coffee gear


The best French presses


The best espresso machines

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Kohl's Black Friday deals include $15 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 you spend, plus top deals on Fitbit, Roomba, a Nest Hub, and more

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Black Friday 2020 Kohl's Deals 4x3

  • Black Friday arrives November 27. Kohl's will certainly have some great deals on a variety of products.
  • In past years, Kohl's competed with tech-centric retailers with its deals on vacuums, kitchenware, video games, smart speakers, and more.
  • November 22 to 27, you can earn $15 of Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent, to use toward future purchases at Kohl's.
  • You'll find the best Black Friday deals that are already available below. 
  • We're also tracking Black Friday deals from Amazon, Target, Walmart, The Home Depot, Nordstrom, and more stores.
  • Read Insider Reviews' Black Friday 2020 deals coverage for more savings.

In the past few years, we've seen more stores stay open on Thanksgiving to start Black Friday deals early. This year, the pandemic is changing many aspects of the annual shopping bonanza. Kohl's is one of the retailers that will stay closed on Thursday, November 26. Stores reopen at 5:00 a.m. on Black Friday, November 27. 

However, Kohl's has already started its Black Friday deals online, and many products are currently heavily discounted. Some items can be further discounted by 15% with the code THANKS. You'll also receive Kohl's Cash, which must be used between November 28 and December 9.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

 

Best Black Friday 2020

Versa 3 (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Roomba 677 Wi-Fi Connected Robotic Vacuum (R677020) (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Nest Hub with Google Assistant (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Space-Saving Food Vacuum Sealer (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Foodi 6-in-1 Smart XL Indoor Grill with Air Fryer (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Single Serve Blender (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)CBK110P1 Automatic Breadmaker (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)K-Supreme Single-Serve Coffee Maker (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Deluxe Multi-Vehicle Activity Rug (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker 11 in 1 with Air Fryer (8 Qt) (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Super Heroes Batman, Batwing and The Riddler Heist Set (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Nest Hub with Google Assistant (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Sonicare DiamondClean Classic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fryer, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds (SONY-WFXB700) (medium, Preferred: Kohl's)

How do we select the best deals at Kohl's?

  • The products we choose must meet our coverage standards and come from brands we've tested and trust.
  • We compare the prices against Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other retailers. The deals we include are the same or better (not including promotional discounts from using certain credit cards).
  • We consider products' price histories to evaluate how significant the savings are. 

When does Kohl's Black Friday sale start?

Black Friday 2020 is November 27 and Cyber Monday is November 30, but many retailers already started their sales. Many Kohl's deals are already live. 

What should I buy from Kohl's on Black Friday?

If clothes and home goods are what mainly come to mind when you think of Kohl's, you'll be pleasantly surprised to hear what else the retailer usually offers for Black Friday. Last year, it had great deals on smart speakers, fitness trackers, kitchen appliances, and even an Xbox bundle. This year, expect to find similar deals on vacuums, cookware, pajamas, air fryers, and more. 

Last year, some of the best deals at Kohl's included $100 off the Xbox One S 1TB Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Gaming Console Bundle, $70 off the Beats Studio Wireless Headphones, and $65 off the Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 6-Quart

Should I enroll in Kohl's Rewards?

Kohl's Rewards is a relatively new program that replaces Yes2You Rewards. The new, free program gives members 5% Kohl's Cash every day (not just during promotional events) on all purchases, as well as additional rewards, like a birthday gift. 

Any Kohl's Cash received through the rewards program will be available on the first day of the following month and must be used within 30 days. So, if you earn a lot on Black Friday, it should be available on December 1. If you think you'll be shopping at Kohl's again before Christmas, it might be worthwhile to take advantage of the extra Kohl's Cash savings. 

What is Kohl's cash?

Even if you're not a Kohl's Rewards member, you'll still get $10 of Kohl's Cash for every $50 you spend during promotional periods. For Black Friday, the amount increases to $15 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent between November 22 to 27. You can then use that Kohl's Cash like a coupon on future purchases. 

If you make purchases in-store, you'll receive a coupon for your Kohl's Cash. If you buy online, Kohl's will send an email with your Kohl's Cash. You'll have to pay attention to expiration dates, because Kohl's Cash doesn't last forever. 

Keep in mind that there's a limit to how much Kohl's Cash you can earn: $1,500 on a single purchase. 

Can I order online and pick up in a Kohl's store?

Kohl's will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but plans to open its stores at 5:00 a.m. on Black Friday. The retailer's CEO has touted the chain stores' massive sizes as useful for social distancing when shopping

Due to the pandemic, Kohl's also began offering curbside pickup this year. Many products are available for purchase online, and you can have it delivered to your car two hours later. 

How does Kohl's compare to other stores on Black Friday?

Like Best Buy, Kohl's will likely have lots of tech deals. The retailer also sells cookware, vacuums, clothes, toys, and home goods that will also be on sale, similar to Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Often, these stores will all offer very similar deals on the same products, so if you have your eye on something that goes out of stock, you may still find it at a competitor. 

Kohl's does sometimes win out over other stores' deals because of Kohl's Cash, but that's really only a draw if you plan on shopping there again before the end of 2020. 

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Bitcoin could soar to $100,000 by the end of next year as supply rapidly exceeds demand, says a crypto investor

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A token of the virtual currency Bitcoin is seen placed on a monitor that displays binary digits in this illustration picture, December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
  • Bitcoin could surge to $100,000 by the end of 2021, according to crypto investor Anthony Pompliano. 
  • The co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital told CNBC on Wednesday that bitcoin's demand is rapidly exceeding supply, while the macroeconomic environment of low interest rates is "rocket-fuel" for bitcoin's price. 
  • "I don't think it's that crazy to see a $100,000 bitcoin price by the end of 2021," said Pompliano. "And if we continue to get bigger and bigger buyers...if this kind of tips over and all of the sudden it becomes a kind of consensus trade,  it wouldn't surprise me to see something even higher."
  • Watch Bitcoin trade live here.

Bitcoin could surge to $100,000 by the end of 2021, according to crypto investor Anthony Pompliano. The coin traded as high as $19,389 on Wednesday and is nearing its 2017 all-time high.

Pompliano told CNBC on Wednesday that demand for the coin is rapidly outpacing supply, especially after the bitcoin "halving" in May of 2020, when the amount of bitcoins awarded to miners was cut by half. This halving occurs roughly every four years and serves to limit the future supply of bitcoin coming into the market.

"Bitcoin is the winner of a supply and demand exercise," the co-founder and partner of Morgan Creek Digital said.

Pompliano added that the macro-economic environment right now is "rocket-fuel" for Bitcoin. Low interest rates, money printing, and a Federal Reserve average inflation target of 2% have driven retail and institutional investors into bitcoin, he said.

The investor also said potential Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is "notorious" for tolerating higher levels of inflation and this could push the bitcoin price higher as well.

"I don't think it's that crazy to see a $100,000 bitcoin price by the end of 2021," said Pompliano. "And if we continue to get bigger and bigger buyers...if this kind of tips over and all of the sudden it becomes a kind of consensus trade,  it wouldn't surprise me to see something even higher."

Read more: Ashton Kutcher is Hollywood's most active Silicon Valley investor. Here's how he built a lucrative investing career, from making an early bet on Uber to turning a $30 million fund into $250 million.

Bitcoin's roughly 160% surge this year comes as more major investors and institutions acknowledge the cryptocurrency's legitimacy as a store of value. Billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller told CNBC he owns a "tiny bit" of bitcoin as a hedge against inflationary pressure, while venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya said every citizen should hold 1% of their assets in bitcoin as it's a "fantastic hedge." 

Despite his bullish view, Pompliano shared two  potential risks for bitcoin.

"The first thing is a self-inflicted wound. If there's a bug introduced into the code or something like that," he said. "The second thing would be some sort of geopolitical risk where we saw a  really aggressive coordinated kind of action by multiple nation states. But again, I think that those things have a very low probability of occurring so it doesn't really seem like that's going to happen in the short-term."

Pompliano's Morgan Creek Digital is an investment firm that helps public pensions, university endowments, and private foundations invest in blockchain technology.

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INSIDER Poll: Half of Biden voters said they will not be mixing households this Thanksgiving compared to just 29% of Trump voters

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Trump Biden
President-elect Joe Biden's supporters appear to take more COVID-19 precautions for Thanksgiving.
  • According to Insider polling from November 20 to 21, just over half of Biden voters said they will not be mixing households this Thanksgiving compared to 29% of Trump voters.
  • Additionally, 43% of Trump and 26% of Biden voters said their Thanksgiving festivities will mix three or more households.
  • Experts are concerned that increased travel and gathering will lead to a surge in COVID-19 infections across the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC News "the chances are that you will see a surge superimposed upon a surge."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The US presidential elections have come to a close, but voters remain divided, particularly regarding Thanksgiving plans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey, 51% of self-identified Biden voters said they would not be mixing households for Thanksgiving, higher than the national level of 43% and notably higher than the 29% of self-identified Trump voters that are also reportedly celebrating alone. 

Additionally, about 34% of respondents said their Thanksgiving festivities will mix three or more households. A similar presidential divide occurs as before: 26% of Biden voters said they will mix three or more households on Thanksgiving compared to the 43% of Trump voters who said as much.

On November 19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans stay home for the holiday to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Insider polling, however, shows that 31% of respondents said the CDC's advice had no impact on their Thanksgiving plans. 

This breakdown comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken between November 20 and November 21. The poll collected 1,110 respondents who were asked about their plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, COVID-19, as well as a number of other questions.

Under Trump's leadership during the pandemic, he has regularly relayed coronavirus misinformation on numerous occasions, often misrepresenting the severity of the virus. He privately told the veteran Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward in March that, "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

At the first presidential debate, Trump mocked Biden for wearing a face mask at previous public events. Soon after the first debate, it was announced that Trump had been diagnosed with COVID-19, though he has since recovered.

It appears that Trump's coronavirus rhetoric is well shared among the Republican Party. According to the Associated Press just two days after the presidential election, 93% of the 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita in the US voted for Trump.

As of November 25, 2020, there have been 259,979 deaths in the United States attributed to the virus, according to the Coronavirus Research Center at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. Many of the ICU beds around the nation are at capacity, with some rural hospitals transporting their sickest patients to the cities where there are more resources available.

Many doctors and experts have expressed concern about a surge in coronavirus infections following the Thanksgiving holiday. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reiterated to ABC News about the importance of staying home this Thanksgiving.

"The travel, the congregate setting, not wearing masks — the chances are that you will see a surge superimposed upon a surge," Fauci said to ABC News. "What we're doing now is going to be reflected two, three weeks from now.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,110 respondents November 21-22. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

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'This is not a 3rd Obama term,' Biden says amid criticism for choosing a slew of former Obama officials for top White House roles

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GettyImages joe biden
President-elect Joe Biden introduces his cabinet member nominees at the Queen in Wilmington, DE on November 24, 2020. The President-elect along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris introduced Antony Blinken for Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas for Secretary of Homeland Security, Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jake Sullivan as National Security Adviser, and John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
  • On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden told NBC News' Lester Holt that his presidency won't be a "third Obama term."
  • Biden's comments come amid criticism of his recent announcements for top national security and foreign policy positions. Many of the people who he's selected worked for President Barack Obama.
  • "We face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration," Biden said. "President Trump has changed the landscape. It's become America first. It's been America alone."
  • Biden is taking heat for some of apparent picks not only from progressives but also from his own campaign staffers who are upset at being left out while ex-Obama administration officials are snatching up key jobs.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In his first televised interview since the election, President-elect Joe Biden, who is facing criticism over his recent Cabinet picks, said that the next four years won't be a repeat of the Obama administration.

On Tuesday, the former vice president introduced some members of his incoming administration's national security and foreign policy teams. Several of his picks worked under former President Barack Obama.

"This lineup, those you've selected so far — a lot of familiar faces among them," NBC News anchor Lester Holt told Biden. "What do you say to those who are wondering if you're trying to create a third Obama term?" 

Biden pushed back on the claim: "This is not a third Obama term," he said.

"We face a totally different world than we faced in the Obama-Biden administration," Biden added. "President Trump has changed the landscape. It's become America first. It's been America alone. We find ourselves in a position where our alliances are being frayed."

Some of Biden's Obama-era selections include former secretary of state John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Antony Blinken as secretary of state and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as United Nations ambassador. The president-elect has also named a slew of Obama officials for senior White House roles.

"I found people who join the administration in key points that represent the spectrum of the American people as well as the spectrum of the Democratic Party," he said.

Biden's comments come amid pressure from people on both sides of the aisle who fear his selections will simply continue the Obama years.

Progressives are hoping to avoid this scenario. They've launched a petition to block Obama official Bruce Reed from getting a new gig, slamming him as a "deficit hawk" for his previous support for Social Security and Medicare cuts, Axios reported on Tuesday. 

"Biden must not repeat Obama's mistake," the petition against Reed says. It's been backed by the progressive group Justice Democrats and signed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, among others.

Ocasio-Cortez and Reps.-elect Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones have also called out Biden's rumored candidate for Transportation Secretary, former Chicago mayor and one-time Obama chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.   

"It is shameful and concerning that he is even being considered," Ocasio-Cortez said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also chimed in on Biden's announcements and expressed concerns with the next administration in a Fox News interview on Tuesday. 

"I know some of these folks, they took a very different view, they lived in a bit of a fantasy world," Pompeo said. "They led from behind, they appeased. I hope they will choose a different course."

Biden has repeatedly stressed that he's seeking to unite the country and bridge political divides. He told Holt that he's considered selecting a Republican for a top post as well as progressive politicians such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Announcements for dozens of White House positions are still to come. 

"There's nothing really off the table," Biden said.

Many in Biden's own campaign staff have also grown frustrated with the onslaught of Obama alum joining the administration, Politico reported on Tuesday. His advisers told the outlet that some veteran staffers are "pissed" that they have not been chosen for new jobs while ex-Obama officials have snatched up several positions.

In the wide-ranging NBC News interview, Biden also discussed how he's working with the White House on his transition, and explained that he doesn't plan on using the Department of Justice as a "vehicle" to launch investigations into Trump.

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Vaccine trials didn't monitor one variable: volunteers' behavior. 'Masks and social distancing were left up to us,' a participant said.

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People wear face masks at the Union Square Greenmarket on September 19, 2020, in New York City.

Jenny Hamilton, a 57-year-old former police officer, joined Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine trial in August. After getting each of the two shots, she recorded what she felt in an app: low-grade fevers, fatigue, and muscle aches. When Hamilton reported "severe" tiredness, a study coordinator quickly texted her to see how she was doing.

But the coordinators didn't track Hamilton's social interactions after she got injected — nor those of any other volunteer. That's true in other vaccine trials as well: Moderna did not give volunteers any specific instructions about mask wearing or social distancing. And neither trial assessed volunteers' individual exposure levels (based on, say, their family members' activity). That means there could be unintended variations between the groups that got a placebo and those that got the real vaccine.

But experts don't expect these variations to significantly alter the findings, since the volunteers were randomly — and blindly — assigned to one group or the other.

Plus, Pfizer and Moderna both set rules about who could participate in the trials in the first place. Pfizer's volunteers had to be "at risk for acquiring COVID-19" — people like frontline workers and those who use mass transit. Participants in Moderna's trial also had to have a considerable risk of exposure. 

Jenny Hamilton.
Jenny Hamilton.

Hamilton said Pfizer's study coordinators made sure she was still working as a security professional in Atlanta — not holed up inside her house.

"They needed participants to interact moderately in the community, such as grocery shopping once a week, picking up food in restaurants, take out, or dining in once in a while," Hamilton told Business Insider. "Masks and social distancing were left up to us."

Randomized trials control for individual behavior 

Clinical vaccine trials are designed to hunt for COVID-19 cases or adverse side effects among participants. In their trials, both Pfizer and Moderna randomly assigned half the participants to get a saline shot, while the other half got the actual COVID-19 vaccine. Neither researchers nor volunteers knew which type of shot they were getting. If the vaccine is successful, very few people in the vaccine group should get sick.

Indeed, that's what happened. Pfizer's trial recorded 162 COVID-19 cases in the placebo group, and just eight in the vaccine group. That suggest its vaccine is 95% effective in preventing the disease. Moderna's trial, meanwhile, observed 90 COVID-19 cases in the placebo group and five in the vaccine group, suggesting its vaccine is 94.5% effective.

Although the researchers have no way to tell how people behaved after they received their shots, both companies' trials rely on randomization to control for that potential variation. That's how they prevent differences in individual behavior from skewing the results. 

"I'd imagine that behavioral differences between vaccine and placebo groups did not move the needle that much," Peter Doshi, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, told Business Insider, "because rates of COVID-19 were extremely low — around or less than 1% in the placebo group."

The trials also cast a wide net in terms of geography. Pfizer's study involved more than 43,000 people across six countries and 16 US states. Moderna's trial has more than 30,000 participants spread throughout 30 US states. So variations in local public-health policies shouldn't impact the data, either.

"Behavioral differences by geography, say between a city with a stay-at-home order and one without, shouldn't bias the trial results because the trials are randomized at the individual level," Doshi said. 

More exposure is good for research purposes

venice mask wearing
A woman walks past a recently reopened shop on Abbot Kinney Boulevard on August 26, 2020, in Venice, California.

If trial participants engage in riskier behavior, it becomes easier to tell if a vaccine actually prevents them from getting COVID-19.

"In many ways, you don't want them to get sick, but on the other hand, you're only going to know if the vaccine works if a certain number of them get sick," Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a recent Medscape interview

But participating in a vaccine trial may also change how people normally behave — particularly if they think they can guess whether they got the vaccine or placebo due to the appearance or absence of side effects.

"One could hypothesize that this would lead to greater chances of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the vaccine group, as this group might be more confident to venture out, meet friends, be less worried about distancing, and so on," Doshi said. "This would lead to more COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group, not less."

If that's the case, the companies' recent results would look even more promising.

'I still wear my mask'

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A healthcare worker in Turkey injects a patient with the vaccine candidate from Pfizer and BioNTech in a phase 3 trial in October 2020.

Hamilton said she took the symptoms she experienced following injection as a sign that she probably got the real-deal vaccine. But her level of risk-taking hasn't changed much, she added.

"Even though it feels like I have another layer of protection, I still wear my mask," Hamilton said. "I'm actually careful. I have gone out to eat occasionally, but since the whole pandemic, it's made my perception change. I look down on restaurants that don't enforce mask-wearing and social distancing. I make sure I'm socially distancing myself in places."

Pfizer's trial is scheduled to run until 2023, so Hamilton will have to log her symptoms once a week at least for two years. Moderna's trial is set to end in 2022.

In a recent BMJ editorial, Doshi said it's not too late to refine how these trials are designed to recruit more people at high risk of exposure, or include other metrics — such as whether COVID-19 vaccines actually lower mortality in addition to just preventing symptomatic disease. 

"The ongoing phase-three trials for COVID-19 vaccines are some of the most consequential randomized trials ever done," Doshi wrote, adding, "we still have time to advocate for changes to ensure these trials investigate the questions that most need answers."

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How to change your default Google account in any browser, using a PC or Mac computer

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Google laptop computer tech office
You can change your default Google account in four steps.
  • You can change your default Google account by signing out of all your Google accounts, and then signing back into the one you want as your default.
  • The first Google account you sign back into will be set as your default until you log out of them all again.
  • Your default Google account is the one that Google Drive, YouTube, and other platforms will usually sign you into when you visit.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

A new job, a new life direction, a new priority — circumstances change, and sometimes that means a new Gmail account needs to become your top priority.

That's when it's time to change your default Google account, and therefore prioritize a certain one over any others you have. That way, you'll see those emails first, but you'll be able to switch over to your other linked accounts whenever you want.

Luckily, it's easy to set a new default Google account on your Mac or PC. It should only take a few minutes to accomplish. Here's how to do it. 

How to change your default Google account

1. Go to mail.google.com on your PC or Mac computer, make sure you're logged in, and click on your profile picture icon located in the top right corner of the screen.

how to change default google account
Click your profile picture.

2. Sign out of it, as well as any other Gmail accounts you're signed into.

how to change default google account
Sign out of all of your Google accounts.

3. Sign back into the account you want to be your new default, then sign back into another one of your accounts.

how to change default google account
Sign back into your chosen default account first, then sign into your other accounts.

4. To verify that your intended account is now set as the default, click on your profile picture located in the top right corner. It should list an email address and below that in parenthesis it should say "default."

how to change default google account
Your default account will now be listed as "(default)."

Signing back in this way will get the job done. You can subsequently sign back into all of your other Google accounts without messing up your new setup.

Remember: Your default account is different from device to device, and the method described above will only apply to the device you complete the steps on.

So if you want to update the default for all of your devices, you'll have to do it individually on each device.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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The best vacuum cleaners in 2020

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Vacuuming is a chore to be sure, but when your white socks start to look a little gray on the bottom after a day of padding around the house, it's time to take action.  

The Insider Reviews team has tested plenty of vacuum cleaners over the years — enough to break out our vacuum coverage into multiple distinct buying guides. We go in-depth into the best robot vacuums, the best affordable vacuums, the best vacuums for pet hair, and the best cordless vacuums in each of those guides. But here, we've assembled each of our top picks here for an easily digestible look at the best of the best.

We also spoke with former Dyson Optimization Manager and engineer Edward Chudleigh about some common vacuum cleaner pitfalls and how to shop for a reliable appliance, which can be found here.

A good vacuum cleaner should be able to tackle carpet and hardwood flooring with ease, and some of the best we've tested can automatically detect the difference between the two and adjust their suction accordingly. You'll also want one that's easy to clean and maintain — one of the most common losses of suction in a vacuum is the easily remedied dirty filter.

Whether you want a robot vacuum you can set and forget; a cordless vacuum that will reach under furniture, into tight corners, or even up to the ceiling; or anything in between, you'll find exactly what you need below.

The best vacuum cleaners

Prices and links are accurate as of 11/25/20. We updated this guide to reflect our current best overall picks in each of our various vacuum cleaner buying guides.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
The best cordless vacuum
dyson v11 outsize vacuum review

With a bin that's 150% larger than the previous model, strong suction power, and a two-hour battery life, the Dyson V11 Outsize is made for cleaning large homes with ease and efficiency.

Pros: Lightweight, very powerful for a cordless vacuum, stores almost anywhere, long battery life for a cordless vacuum, large dust bin, easily reaches under furniture

Cons: Very expensive, batteries aren't removable, heaviest of Dyson's cordless vacuums

Cordless, compact, battery-powered "stick" vacuums are ideal for homes and apartments where space is precious. They're slim, lightweight, and easy to store, but in the past, we've hesitated to recommend them to folks with larger homes due to limited battery life.

But the Dyson V11 Outsize solves this issue by improving its battery life to up to 120 minutes, and it complements the longer run time with a full-size dust bin and large cleaning head. Collectively, the Insider Reviews team has tested a host of cordless vacuums, and senior editor Jada Wong and senior reporter Connie Chen both agree that the Dyson V11 Outsize has impressed us the most.

"The V11 Outsize has all the features you could want in a high-tech vacuum: it's big and efficient, but it still looks sleek, and it can get into low, tough-to-reach areas. Outside of the core cleaning task, it's easy to empty, maintain, and store. If you want to invest in an effective cordless vacuum, I can't imagine a better choice," said Chen.

If you're not ready to financially commit to the V11, Dyson's other cordless models including the V8 and V10 are still excellent performers that will suit you well, especially if you have a smaller home.

Read our full review of the Dyson V11 Outsize.

Read our full guide to the best cordless vacuums.

The best on a budget
sharkvac

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers solid performance, a useful set of tools, and best of all, a reasonable price tag.

Pros: Low price, superior performance, five-year warranty, lift-off canister and hose

Cons: The hose is a bit short at five feet, the electric cord is also relatively short at 25 feet (but an extension cord will fix that)

A canister vacuum offers powerful suction and versatility while an upright vacuum offers the convenience of easy navigation. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers the best of both worlds and its versatility has earned it the top spot in our guide to the best budget vacuum cleaners. It easily operates like an upright vacuum, but when you need to get under low furniture, vacuum the stairs, or even clear high cobwebs from your ceiling, the canister lifts off the base and becomes a much more portable machine.

The hose allows you to reach into tight places and anywhere the broad brush head won't go, though it's a bit short at just five feet, so you'll have to carry the canister with you as you clean. Hose attachments include an eight-inch upholstery tool and two different crevice tools.

This Shark model comes with two clean settings, one for hardwood and one for carpet, which activates the brush roll. The bagless dust bin is quite large at 2.2 quarts and is sealed with a HEPA filter — a requirement of a good vacuum these days — to ensure airborne allergens don't escape.

While a budget vacuum may not have the longevity offered by some of the more expensive models on the market, Shark offers a five-year limited warranty which all but guarantees you'll get your money's worth out of the machine. The filters are also easy to clean, so you'll be able to maintain your machine's suction.

Read our full guide to the best affordable vacuum cleaners.

The best for pet hair
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 prioritizes maneuverability, but the tangle-free brush setup is really what sets this machine apart for pet owners.

Pros: Powerful suction, great maneuverability, keeps dust and allergens in the machine, tangle-free turbine tool gets into tight spaces

Cons: Rollerball prevents you from getting under furniture, heavy, power cord does not retract

A vacuum specialized for pet hair should boast an easy-to-clean brush head, HEPA filtration to lock in allergens, and a removable hose with an upholstery attachment so you can suck up pet hair wherever it happens to land. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 checks all the boxes.

This upright vacuum easily handles both hardwood and carpet — with a rotating brush head that gets deep into area rugs and low-pile carpet very well. The self-adjusting head helps the vacuum create a tight seal against any type of flooring for a better clean.

The large-capacity bagless dustbin is sealed with a HEPA filter, locking in dust, hair, and pet dander. To empty it, simply lift it off the base and press a button on the canister handle to release the bottom and let the dust fall out. The filter is easily removable and washable.

Where the Ball Animal 2 really stands out is in its wand attachments. Not only does it come with a combination brush for hard to reach places and a specialized stair tool, but it also comes with its unique tangle-free turbine tool specifically formulated for pet hair. Chudleigh actually had a hand in developing the design, though we had already selected the vacuum as among the best before we ever reached out to him for this guide. The tool features counter-rotating spinner brushes which sucks up hair without giving it the chance to get tangled. It's great for furniture, curtains, pet beds, and any other fabric you need to detail.

The Ball Animal 2 has a couple of downsides, the largest of which is that the roller ball makes it difficult to fit under furniture. When pet hair floats around the house and settles in hard-to-reach places like under the couch, the Dyson might have trouble getting there. The wand will be helpful, but you won't get as thorough a clean you would with the brush head. It's also a heavy machine at 17.5 pounds.

But overall, the powerful suction, tangle-free brush tool, and deep-cleaning spinning brush head make this the best overall pick in our guide to the best vacuums for pet hair. If you're looking for other options in this category, check out our full guide here.

Read our full guide to the best vacuums for pet hair.

The best robot vacuum
Roborock S6

The Roborock S6 has excellent suction power, runs quietly, is easily programmable, and comes with a bunch of extras that make cleaning up cat hair, cereal, and dust a breeze.

Pros: Excellent suction, works with Amazon Alexa, extra attachments, mopping capabilities, quiet, one-year warranty

Cons: Loud when on the highest setting, too tall to clean under some furniture

Insider Reviews' James Brains has tested 16 robot vacuums to date, putting them through rigorous tests to see how well they pick up debris such as coffee grounds, cat litter, flour, and pet hair on both carpet and hardwood floors, and the Roborock S6 tops the list. 

Not only does it handle both hardwood and carpeted flooring with ease, but it also gets deepest into the corners of any robot vacuum we tested. It also did a good job navigating its cleaning paths, getting stuck very infrequently.

The Roborock S6 is Alexa compatible and comes with an app that allows you to set your cleaning schedule, determine varying suction levels, and set no-go zones once the vacuum has had a chance to map out your space.

The S6 also comes with a mopping tank attachment that allows you to transform it from a robot vac to a robot mop. According to Brains, the mopping attachment works well and the tank can be set to disperse just enough water, so you won't have to worry about accidental flooding.

His complaints were minimal and mainly centered around the higher profile of the S6 when compared to other robot vac models. It can be a tight fit under some low-profile furniture which can lead to it getting stuck.

Read our full review of the Roborock S6.

Read our full guide to the best robot vacuums.

What to look for when shopping for a new vacuum

Like any home appliance, there are certain things to watch out for as you shop, certain boxes you should be sure to tick, and a good amount of homework to do before making a decision. Edward Chudleigh, a former Dyson engineer of 11 years, walked us through some of the common pitfalls of vacuum cleaners and how to shop for the best machine for your needs.

Here are some more specifics to look for:

A brushless motor: A vacuum's motor is, of course, what powers the mechanism, ultimately providing suction and ensuring a clean home. Motors fall into two categories: brushed and brushless. Chudleigh recommends sticking to brushless motors: "Brushless motors are very efficient and translate much more of the available power from the battery to cleaning the floor. The trouble with brushed motors is that there is more friction in the system which in turn eats some of the battery power and, amongst other things, makes the machine less efficient." He said brushes can also wear down over time and may emit carbon pollution into the air. Both Dyson models and the Roborock we recommend use brushless motors, but we were unable to determine what type of motor the Shark uses.

A well-designed brush head: "It's all good having efficient motors and batteries, however this only works with a well-designed pick-up head," said Chudleigh, who was involved in developing Dyson's Tangle-Free Turbine Tool — a key feature in our recommendation for the best vacuum for pet hair. A well-designed brush head ensures the dirt and dust on your floor is actually making its way into your vacuum. You can see a good example of how we test vacuum pick-up in our guide to the best robot vacuums.

A bagless design: "Bagless every time," said Chudleigh. Vacuum bags have tiny holes that allow air to pass through them and act almost like a filter, trapping dust and dirt. But over time, those tiny holes get clogged. "The suction of the vacuum then decreases as more holes get blocked. It's essentially like strangling a vacuum cleaner," said Chudleigh. Bagless designs employ a cyclonic system that "spins the particles out of the airflow" allowing clean air to pass through the motor without clogging anything or impeding suction. All of the vacuums we recommend are bagless.

A lightweight machine: This one's pretty simple. You'd want a vacuum somewhere around 10 to 15 pounds that you can easily carry around your home, up and down flights of stairs, and even out to your car.  

A strong warranty: Chudleigh said that the most common parts that fail in vacuums are hoses and batteries, so ensure the warranty on any vacuum you buy has a suitable guarantee to replace those parts should issues come up. He also recommends you look for a good money-back guarantee that ensures you can return that machine for any reason if you're unhappy with its performance.

Vacuum glossary

Types of vacuum cleaners

Robot vacuum: A robot vacuum is an autonomous vacuum cleaner that roams around your house with no effort on your part aside from maybe setting a scheduled cleaning time or freeing it when it gets tangled in a power cord or stuck behind a piece of furniture. They're not as powerful as other types of vacuum cleaners and need to be emptied regularly, but they can't be beaten when it comes to convenience.

Canister vacuum: A canister vacuum has its motor and dust bin in a standalone canister with the brush head attached by a long suction hose. The canister is usually on wheels, and it follows you around a bit like a lost puppy. Canister vacuums are known for their superior power and excellent suction, but they don't offer much versatility and are particularly difficult to move around the house given that you're tethered to a separate piece that you have to tote around with you.

Upright vacuum: An upright vacuum is what you likely picture when asked to imagine a vacuum — if you're in the US, that is. (If you're in the UK, you'll likely picture a canister vacuum.) Unlike canister vacuums, upright vacuums have the motor, dustbin, and head all aligned in one package. The vacuum stands upright on its own and the body of the machine tilts back when you need to vacuum. Upright vacuums balance power and versatility, but can still be clunky to operate in some cases. They are often equipped with a removable hose to reach places the main brush head can't go.

Stick vacuum: Stick vacuums prevail when it comes to convenience and portability, but they often do so by sacrificing power. Often rechargeable and cordless, the batteries they're equipped with simply can't generate as much power as corded vacuums and they need to be recharged often. The dustbins are often smaller than upright or canister vacuums as well. But it's the most lightweight category of vacuum, and a low profile makes it easy to slide under almost any furniture.

Handheld vacuum: Just like Jell-O became synonymous with gelatin desserts, so too did Black & Decker's Dustbuster become synonymous with handheld vacuums. A handheld vacuum is ultra-compact and good for spot cleaning — think of a spilled box of cereal, stray kitty litter, or picking up dust after sweeping. You certainly won't want to clean your whole house with one, but they're good to have around for quick messes.

Vacuum parts

Head: This is the part of the vacuum that moves across your floor and picks up dirt and dust.

Brush roll: The brush roll is situated in the head of the vacuum and should be activated when cleaning carpet. It spins to help agitate the carpet pile to dislodge dust and dirt.

Dust bin: A canister on the main body of the vacuum where trapped dirt and dust is stored.

HEPA filter: A high-efficiency particulate air filter or HEPA filter must filter 99.97% of airborne particles in order to meet HEPA standards. Most high-quality vacuum cleaners contain HEPA filters. Many are washable and reusable and should be cleaned regularly.

Wand: Often featured on upright vacuums, wands detach from the main body to allow you to reach spots the head can't go. They're useful for cleaning stairs, corners, and upholstery.

Check out our other vacuum buying guides
Bissel cordless vacuum
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Retail workers may face a higher risk than shoppers of catching COVID-19 on Black Friday, even as stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy increase safety measures

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  • Retail workers may face a higher risk than shoppers of catching COVID-19 on Black Friday and during the extended holiday shopping season.
  • Workers spend more time than shoppers in enclosed spaces, where the virus thrives, and are likely to come into contact with multiple people during their shifts. 
  • Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have detailed their plans to keep shoppers safe. The companies did not respond to requests for comment on any additional plans to protect workers. 
  • The National Retail Federation found that 50% of major retailers said they would not hire additional security to specifically enforce "social distancing and face covering requirements among customers." 

Retail workers are gearing up for an unprecedented — and potentially dangerous — Black Friday.

Stores like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target will open later and spread deals across several days or weeks this year to decrease big crowds. The stores have also increased curbside delivery and online deals.

But any kind of indoor shopping this Black Friday could be risky. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled shopping "before, on, or after Thanksgiving" a high-risk activity. Reduced hours may even lead to more overcrowding, having the opposite effect than intended, experts previously told Business Insider's Mary Meisenzahl. 

Despite the warning, 54 major retailers surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they had no plans to close stores on the holiday, with about two-thirds of retailers anticipating all of their stores to be open for the duration of the holiday shopping season. Of the retailers surveyed, 50% said they would not hire additional security to specifically enforce "social distancing and face covering requirements among customers." 

Without safely reducing or eliminating crowds during Black Friday, frontline retail workers may have to brace for a dangerous working conditions. 

If stores get busy on Black Friday, retail workers could be in a particularly dangerous situation. 

Experts expect the recent surge in coronavirus cases to continue as Americans continued to travel for Thanksgiving this year, despite the CDC's recommendation against it. The seven-day average of cases as of November 24 was more than 169,000, an all-time high. At least 250,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, and the US for the first time recorded 1 million new COVID-19 cases within a single week

Retail workers' risk of catching the virus is still difficult to quantify. The New York Times recently reported most states provide limited data where outbreaks start. One study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that of 104 grocery workers tested in a Boston store, 20% had COVID-19 — "a significantly higher rate of infection" than that seen in surrounding communities. 

But if stores get busy on Black Friday, in combination with the climbing case counts, retail workers could be in a particularly dangerous situation. 

The coronavirus can travel in the air further than six feet, especially in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces. For instance, if an infected shopper talks or coughs, they would release small microdroplets that may linger in the air for a few minutes in enclosed settings

The CDC since May has recommended "improving the building ventilation system" as a way for employers to safely resume operations, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued guidance on how workplaces in general can filter air.

Big-box stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have detailed their plans to keep shoppers safe, but those plans did not appear to include additional precautions to protect employees, like increased air-circulation measures. Walmart and Target did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment on if they planned to hire additional security for enforcement of mask protocols and whether they had plans to ventilate stores. A representative for Best Buy directed us to the company's Black Friday plan, which Business Insider previously reported on. 

Research has shown — and updated CDC guidelines indicate — that exposure to the virus is cumulative, not consecutive. That means an employee who spends eight hours in the store interacting with many people in short spurts is more likely to contract the virus than one shopper who stops in for 15 minutes. CNN reported in April that workers who faced the greatest risk of contracting the disease were those who spent "the most direct contact" with other people, like cashiers. 

Workers at Target and Walmart went on strike this spring over unsafe working conditions and a lack of paid sick leave for COVID-19. This summer, employees at Kroger, Costco, and Waffle House, among others, reported facing violence and assault when they tried to enforce mask policies

At Amazon, Walmart, Petco, and PetSmart, employees have called for an additional $5 an hour in hazard pay for those working the holiday shopping season. 

"When the CDC is saying that Americans should not gather our families for Thanksgiving dinner, I do not believe that Walmart should be trying to entice crowds into our stores on Black Friday, and risk a Walmart super-spreader event," Melissa Love, a Walmart worker part of the United for Respect advocacy group, said in a statement.

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Apple is reportedly moving iPad production out of China for the first time ever because of Trump's trade war

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Apple CEO Tim Cook.
  • Major Apple supplier Foxconn is moving some production of the iPad and Macbook from China to Vietnam, a source told Reuters.
  • The source said Apple requested the move as a way of making its supply chain less reliant on China, following the trade war between the nation and President Donald Trump's administration. 
  • This will be the first time the iPad has been manufactured outside of China.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Major Apple supplier Foxconn is moving some iPad and MacBook assembly to Vietnam from China at the request of Apple, a person with knowledge of the plan told Reuters, as the US firm diversifies production to minimize the impact of a US-China trade war.

The development comes as the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump encourages US firms to shift production out of China. During Trump's tenure, the United States has targeted made-in-China electronics for higher import tariffs, and restricted supplies of components produced using US technology to Chinese firms it deems a national security risk.

Apple was able to skirt some the tariffs, but it seems the iPhone-maker is wary that being dependent on China for its global supply chain, which could make the company vulnerable to geopolitical forces.

Apple's dependence on China was also thrown into stark relief at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as the outbreak caused major disruption in the company's supply cahin.

Foxconn is building assembly lines for Apple's iPad tablet and MacBook laptop at its plant in Vietnam's northeastern Bac Giang province, to come online in the first half of 2021, the person said, declining to be identified as the plan was private.

The lines will also take some production from China, the person said, without elaborating how much production will shift.

"The move was requested by Apple," the person said. "It wants to diversify production following the trade war."

Foxconn said in statement: "As a matter of company policy, and for reasons of commercial sensitivity, we do not comment on any aspect of our work for any customer or their products".

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taiwan's Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, on Tuesday announced a $270 million investment to set up a new subsidiary called FuKang Technology Co Ltd — a move the person said was aimed at supporting the Vietnam expansion.

Shifting iPad production to Vietnam will mark the first time Foxconn has assembled the device outside of China.

This isn't the first indication we've had that Apple is looking to seed its global supply chain beyond China.

The firm already plans to spend up to $1 billion expanding an iPhone assembly plant in India as "strongly requested" by Apple to diversify production beyond China, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters in July.

Foxconn and peers such as Pegatron Corp are also considering building plants in Mexico, people with knowledge of the matter said, as Washington promotes near-shoring production.

Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way in August told investors the US-China trade war had split the world into two, saying his firm aimed to provide "two sets of supply chains."

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The mayor of Denver apologized for traveling to Mississippi after asking his whole city to stay home for Thanksgiving

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver in Washington, DC, in May 2017.
  • Denver's mayor apologized for traveling to Mississippi for Thanksgiving despite asking people to avoid travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Mayor Michael Hancock flew on the same day that he encouraged "virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners" and said to "avoid travel, if you can."
  • He later said: "I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The mayor of Denver apologized for traveling to Mississippi for Thanksgiving after asking his city's residents to stay at home for the holiday.

"I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel," Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, tweeted Wednesday.

He said he decided to travel to see his wife and his daughter in Mississippi on the grounds that "it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver."

He continued: "I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone."

"As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel.

"I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head."

Hancock had tweeted on the same day that people should avoid traveling for Thanksgiving.

His tweet said "Stay home as much as you can, especially if you're sick," "Host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners," and "Avoid travel, if you can."

A representative for Hancock told The Denver Channel that "Upon return, he will follow all necessary health and safety guidance and quarantine."

It also reported that Hancock said in a November 20 press conference that people should avoid meeting up with family members for Thanksgiving and implied he would do the same.

"So please, I urge everyone: Maybe get a small turkey this year and celebrate with just the host you live with," he said.

"And after the meal, as we're going to do, Zoom with your extended family — all your friends, everyone that you meet, and tell them that you look forward to seeing them real soon, and that maybe next year, maybe next year, we can all be together again."

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last Thursday that Americans not travel for Thanksgiving. Millions of Americans traveled anyway.

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European shares hover around nine-month highs, while gold gets a boost from a weaker dollar and cryptocurrencies slide

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Bull and Bear sculptures outside the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt,
Bull and Bear sculptures outside the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt.
  • European shares held around nine-month highs, led by gains in German stocks, while the dollar eased, which boosted gold.
  • Cryptocurrencies ran into a wall of selling after this week's rally, with Bitcoin down by $2,000 on the day and Ripple's XRP losing as much as 30% on the day.
  • The US Thanksgiving holiday kept trading volumes fairly subdued, with futures showing a modest rise on the day.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

European shares held mostly steady around nine-month highs on Thursday, with German blue-chips outperforming the broader region, while a weaker dollar helped prop up gold, and cryptocurrencies ran into a wall of profit-taking after a huge rally this week.

Disappointing US data did little to impact the modest optimism prevailing in the European markets, although it did weigh on the dollar, which traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

Weekly US initial jobless claims came in higher than expected for a second week in a row, while data on consumer finances showed a worrying decline in personal income. Both of which suggest the economy may be losing momentum, as cases of COVID-19 around the country spike.

With US markets closed for Thanksgiving, futures on the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 were flat to modestly higher, trading between 0.1 and 0.3% higher on the day. 

"Today promises to be a somewhat quiet affair, thanks to the US Thanksgiving holiday and a distinct lack of any major economic releases," IG analysts said in a note. "Nevertheless, with markets failing to react to yesterday's disappointing jobless claims figure, there is an argument that the current bullish outlook means any short-term economic weakness is being largely overlooked in any case." 

Frankfurt's DAX was trading roughly steady on the day, while the mid-cap MDAX index rose 0.3%. This made it one of the best-performing indices in Europe, despite Germany reporting record cases of COVID-19 and chancellor Angela Merkel keeping restrictions in place until at least Christmas. 

The Stoxx 600, which hit nine-month highs this week, was almost unchanged on the day, as gains in the technology, healthcare and travel sectors offset losses in banking shares, oil and gas, and retail stocks.

Read More: Lazard's top ESG stock-picker outlines the 3-part strategy he's used to beat 75% of his peers and smash his benchmark without paying Tesla-like prices

Gold rose by around 0.8%, gaining some respite after a wave of selling in the past two weeks drove the price to its lowest since July. Gold often trades inversely to the dollar index, although this relationship has eroded somewhat over the course of November. 

The prospect of a vaccine has fed optimism over the economic outlook and, as a result, sent investors flocking into higher-risk assets, such as small-cap stocks, emerging-market currencies and cryptocurrencies, leaving gold and the dollar both lagging. 

Commerzbank analysts said in a note: "In this environment, gold is initially likely to trend sideways in a corridor of between $1,800 and $1,850."

Cryptocurrencies dropped sharply, as traders booked profits on this week's stellar rally. Bitcoin, the largest by market capitalization, fell by nearly 12% to around $16,940, having risen earlier this week to a near-record high of $19,497.

"It feels more and more like we're hitting a Bitcoin tipping point," said John Kramer, trader at crypto trading firm GSR. "In fact, a cooldown is to be expected."

Smaller coins Ethereum and Ripple tumbled, with Ethereum losing nearly 17% to trade around $494, well off this week's 2-1/2-year high of $621. Meanwhile, Ripple lost nearly 27% on the day, falling to $0.503, having almost entirely reversed the rally this week that took the price to a two-year high of $0.78.

Read More: An innovation-focused portfolio manager at a $158 billion firm shares 8 disruptive stocks across multiple industries he thinks could grow 30% every year over the next decade

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Trump's inner circle is telling him that Giuliani and the rest of his legal team are making him look like an idiot, report says

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rudy giuliani
Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, at a news conference at the Republican National Committee in Washington, DC, in November.
  • Multiple members of President Donald Trump's inner circle have told him that his legal team is making him look like an idiot, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday.
  • Trump appointed his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on November 14 to lead the Trump campaign's legal challenges to the 2020 election results.
  • But Giuliani has been mocked for a series of gaffes and legal losses.
  • This month he has made various bizarre media appearances, including hosting a briefing at a Philadelphia garden center on November 8 and sweating so profusely that a black liquid ran down his face on November 19.
  • On Monday, NBC reported that Trump was worried his legal team consisted of "fools that are making him look bad."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Multiple confidants of President Donald Trump are telling him the behavior and actions of his legal team are making him "look like an idiot," as The Daily Beast put it, citing two people with knowledge of the conversations in a report Wednesday.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has acted as Trump's personal attorney since 2018, was put in charge of the Trump campaign's legal challenge to the US election result on November 14.

Since President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election, Trump has made few public appearances, leaving Giuliani to take center stage as Trump challenges the integrity of the election.

Giuliani's conduct, including legal slipups, however, has drawn ridicule.

Giuliani Trump
Giuliani listening as Trump spoke in the White House Briefing Room on September 27.

On November 8, Giuliani hosted a press conference in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a Philadelphia garden center, in an apparent mix-up with the luxury hotel Four Seasons.

On November 19, during another press conference, Giuliani sweated so profusely that black liquid began running down his face.

Giuliani also used quotes from the movie "My Cousin Vinny" to support his claim the election was fraudulent.

Trump aides thought the press conference was "dangerous," the New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted that day. "They're waiting for the president to recognize that but he is not so far," she said.

On Monday, however, NBC News reported that Trump was losing patience with his legal team, with an official telling the outlet the president said it consisted of "fools that are making him look bad."

As of Thursday, none of the Trump campaign's 22 legal challenges to the US election results had been successful.

Several have been thrown out, prompting calls for Giuliani to have his legal license revoked.

On Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey wrote to state bars in Arizona, Michigan, New York, Nevada, and Pennsylvania asking for Giuliani and 22 other lawyers working for the Trump campaign to be disbarred.

"The egregious pattern of behavior by Mr. Giuliani to effectuate Mr. Trump's sinister arson is a danger not just to our legal system but is also unprecedented in our national life," he said.

Biden transition
President-elect Joe Biden at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 9.

Inside the White House, reports have detailed how most of Trump's closest advisors are actively avoiding his lawyers and trying to avoid discussing the election result at all.

In terms of why the US government, the Republican Party, and the Trump campaign are still spending time and money on Trump's legal challenges, The Daily Beast quoted a senior administration official as saying Trump "wanted this to continue" and "everyone else has to fake it."

Giuliani has also committed to remaining the president's friend and personal attorney when he leaves the White House, The Daily Beast said.

While Trump is yet to concede the election, he is said to have accepted the loss in private.

Biden's transition team has also begun its work, but Biden on Tuesday said Trump still hadn't spoken with him.

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Trump retweeted GOP ally Matt Gaetz calling for a pardoning spree including the president and his whole administration

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President Donald Trump pardoning Corn the turkey during the traditional turkey pardoning Tuesday at the White House.
  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday retweeted a post in which Rep. Matt Gaetz called for the president to issue himself a pardon. 
  • "President Trump should pardon Flynn, the Thanksgiving turkey, and everyone from himself, to his admin, to Joe Exotic if he has to," Gaetz tweeted.
  • There has been speculation that Trump may indeed issue himself a pardon before leaving office.
  • Though he has not been charged with any crimes, he faces a slew of investigations into his business practices. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has retweeted a GOP ally calling for him to pardon "himself" and potentially more members of his administration before leaving office.

The post, on Wednesday from Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, said: "President Trump should pardon Flynn, the Thanksgiving turkey, and everyone from himself, to his admin, to Joe Exotic if he has to."

The words were a repeat of what Gaetz had said in a Fox News interview earlier that day.

"The Left has a bloodlust that will only be quenched if they come for those who fought with @realDonaldTrump to deliver for the American people," he continued.

Since Trump's defeat in the US election, there has been speculation he may take an unprecedented step and preemptively pardon himself before leaving office in January.

Trump has not been charged with any crimes but faces a slew of investigations when he leaves the White House, including a criminal investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance into his business affairs.

A presidential pardon would shield him only from federal investigations, not those being pursued by jurisdictions such as the one in New York.

The possibility that the president might seek to preemptively absolve himself has sparked debate among legal scholars over whether the move would be constitutional.

Some legal experts believe it would be struck down by the Supreme Court.

The only other president to have received a pardon was Richard Nixon, who got one from his successor, Gerald Ford, in 1974 after resigning over the Watergate scandal.

In his remarks, Gaetz appeared to be alluding to a New York Times report on Trump's decision to pardon his former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted to lying to FBI agents about his contact with Russian officials.

Contrary to Gaetz's claim, President-elect Joe Biden has said he would not seek to use the Department of Justice to pursue investigations against Trump.

In its report, The Times noted speculation that the president would issue a series of pardons for former aides.

The Times also said Trump was being lobbied for a pardon by attorneys for Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, who is serving a prison sentence and was the subject of the hit Netflix crime documentary "Tiger King."

Presidents traditionally reserve their pardoning powers for criminals who are deemed to have been victims of a miscarriage of justice.

But Trump has been accused of wielding the power to shield allies from punishment.

In July, the president issued a pardon for his former advisor Roger Stone, who had been convicted of crimes in connection with the Russia investigation.

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Most of England banned from household mixing for months under Boris Johnson's new tiered coronavirus restrictions

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak arrive for a Cabinet meeting, in London, Britain October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak arrive for a Cabinet meeting, in London, Britain October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
  • Most of England will be banned from household mixing and visiting pubs and restaurants with friends under the UK government's toughened up 3-tier system.
  • It comes as England prepares to exit from a second national lockdown next week.
  • Official figures show that the infection rate of England has fallen significantly under England's national lockdown, but the number of coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday reached 608, its highest level since May. 
  • English residents can search their postcode to see which tier of restrictions apply to them.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Most of England will be banned from meeting with other households, potentially until the spring, after Boris Johnson announced a toughened up 3-tier system of restrictions once the country exits from its second national lockdown.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that most of the country, including London and Liverpool, will be placed under tier 2 restriction, meaning people will only be allowed to interact indoors with members of their household. Pubs and restaurants will remain open but venues will only be permitted to serve alcohol as part of a "substantial" meal.

The new restrictions, which represent a stricter version of the previous tier system, will come into place on December 2 when the UK exits from a second national lockdown.

People will be allowed to meet in groups of up to 6 in parks and other outdoor public spaces in tier 2.

However, local authorities in England where coronavirus infection rates remain highest, including Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Birmingham, Wolverhampton will be placed under the strictest tier 3 restrictions, meaning that pubs and restaurants will be shut and household mixing indoors or outdoors in private homes and hospitality venues will be banned.

Small parts of England, including Cornwall, where infection rates are lowest will be placed under tier 1 restrictions, where people will be allowed to meet in public or private in groups of up to 6.

Which tier is my area in?

North West

Greater Manchester — Tier 3

Lancashire, Blackpool, and Blackburn with Darwen — Tier 2

Liverpool City Region — Tier 2

Warrington and Cheshire — Tier 2

Cumbria — Tier 2

North East

Tees Valley (LA5) — Tier 3

North East 7 (LA7) — Tier 3

Yorkshire & The Humber

The Humber — Tier 3

West Yorkshire — Tier 3

South Yorkshire — Tier 3

York and North Yorkshire — Tier 2

East Midlands

Leicester and Leicestershire — Tier 3

Derby and Derbyshire — Tier 3

Lincolnshire — Tier 3

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire — Tier 3

Northamptonshire — Tier 2

Rutland — Tier 2

West Midlands

Birmingham and Black Country — Tier 3

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent — Tier 3

Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull — Tier 3

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin — Tier 2

Herefordshire — Tier 2

Worcestershire — Tier 2

London — Tier 2

East of England

Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes — Tier 2

Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea — Tier 2

Norfolk — Tier 2

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough — Tier 2

Hertfordshire — Tier 2

Suffolk — Tier 2

South East

Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton — Tier 2

Isle of Wight — Tier 1

East and West Sussex, and Brighton and Hove — Tier 2

Surrey — Tier 2

Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead, West Berkshire — Tier 2

Slough — Tier 3

Buckinghamshire — Tier 2

Oxfordshire — Tier 2

Kent & Medway — Tier 3

South West

Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset — Tier 3

Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset — Tier 2

Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole — Tier 2

Gloucestershire — Tier 2

Wiltshire and Swindon — Tier 2

Devon — Tier 2

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly — Tier 1

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, Matt Hancock said the national lockdown had "successfully turned the curve" and begun to ease pressure on the NHS, with hospital admissions having fallen by 7% in the last week.

Hancock added: "As tempting as it may be, we cannot simply flick a switch and try to return life to normal. Because if we did this we would undo the hard work of so many and see the NHS overwhelmed with all that would entail. We must keep suppressing the virus."

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said he "welcomed" the government's decision to place London in tier 2, but criticised the government's decision to extend the curfew for pubs and restaurants from 10pm to 11pm rather than scrapping it. 

"I am extremely disappointed that the Government is sticking with specific measures that seem to cause more harm than good," Khan said in a statement.

"I am pleased we persuaded the Government to get rid of the 10pm curfew but extending it to 11pm, when it should be scrapped altogether, is a mistake. It is a real blow to pubs, bars and restaurants which have endured such a difficult year and deserve better."

Official figures show that the infection rate of England has fallen significantly under England's national lockdown, but the number of coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday reached 608, its highest level since May

The decisions on which tier local authorities in England will be placed into were taken at a meeting between Boris Johnson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, other ministers, and health officials on Wednesday evening.

All local authorities will be placed under one of the three tiers, which can be searched online, and the decision will be reviewed every two weeks starting from December 16.

Authorities will be placed into specific tiers based on a number of criteria, with each decision being based on factors including how quickly infection rates are rising or falling, and the capacity of local hospitals.

You can search for the restrictions for your area of England here.

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