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Black Friday 2020: The best early deals, the latest ad scans, and everything else you need to know for November 27

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Black Friday 2020 is next week but there are several deals that you can already pick up.

Black Friday 2020 is one week away. The much-anticipated shopping event is shaping up to be unlike any that came before it. 

This year, retailers are de-emphasizing in-store shopping and electing for more frequent, online sales leading up to the big day. This means there'll be more Black Friday discounts, and it will be more convenient to shop.

Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Kohl's, Macy's, Target, The Home Depot, and Walmart are currently offering several early Black Friday deals in stores and online, which means you can snag some bargains ahead of November 27. Shoppers can also expect another round of deals for a few days on and following Cyber Monday 2020

Suffice it to say, there are plenty of deals to keep track of this month. Below, we answer all of the questions you have for Black Friday 2020, including the best early deals available right now, and how our team of expert product reviewers expects holiday shopping to be different during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best early Black Friday deals available now

Nearly every major retailer will release new deals in the days leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Below, we've listed a few highlights, but we're also keeping track of all of the sales happening across the web, from stores big and small.

 

Best early Amazon Black Friday deals

Outside of Amazon's annual Prime Day shopping holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best days out of the year to find discounted Amazon devices. This year, shoppers can expect hefty discounts on Amazon's ever-growing catalog of smart home products, which include Kindle e-book readers, Fire TVs, Echo speakers, Ring security cameras, and more.

Best early Apple Black Friday deals

Every year, Apple devices seem to find their way into most people's wish lists — for good reason. Apple's iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, and AirPods are some of the most loved devices in the world, and shoppers can expect big discounts on nearly everything Apple has to offer.

Best early Black Friday TV deals 

During Black Friday, we expect to see several 4K TVs in myriad sizes drop in price. Black Friday is historically one of the best times to buy a new set, be it a cheap TV or a fancy 4K TV or OLED TV, outside of Amazon Prime Day and Labor Day weekend. 

Best early Black Friday gaming deals

If you're looking for gifts for the gamer in your life, or want to add to your expanding collection of games and accessories, Black Friday is, without question, one of the best times to shop.

While we don't expect to see any doorbuster deals on the latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft, shoppers can expect tons of markdowns on the Nintendo Switch and its vast library of games, PC gaming hardware and peripherals, and gaming computers.

Best early Black Friday headphone deals

This year, shoppers will likely see big discounts on headphones from nearly every brand, including Sony, Beats, Bose, and Sennheiser. Shoppers can expect several noise-cancelling headphones and truly wireless earbuds to drop to Prime Day prices.

Best early Black Friday laptop deals

Whether you're looking for a new laptop for work, or searching for a new gaming laptop, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will have plenty of options to choose from. This year, shoppers can expect big savings on Apple MacBooks and Windows PCs from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and more.

Best early Black Friday kitchen deals

If you're looking for a bedroom or kitchen upgrade, Black Friday is a great time to shop. Brands like Breville, Cuisinart, Pyrex, Instant Pot, and Dyson will see huge discounts ahead of and during Black Friday. 

Best early Black Friday mattress deals

The best mattress brands always offer Cyber Week deals that can save shoppers hundreds of dollars. This year many are starting their sales well in advance and will extend them days after Cyber Monday. 

 

Best early Black Friday style and beauty deals

Nearly every fashion and style retailer, big and small, will offer wide-ranging sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Whether you're looking for a new winter coat or want to add a new pair of slippers, the shopping holiday is an excellent time to shop. 

Of course, there are several stores, like Adidas, Amazon, L.L.Bean, and Ulta, that are currently offering sales you can take advantage of right now.

Deals by store

Black Friday 2020 FAQs

What is Black Friday? 

Black Friday is an annual sales event that traditionally happens at the end of November and, historically, marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. The event is one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year — sales are so high that the day can push a retailer into "the black," or solvency.

Shoppers can expect thousands of deals to crop up on the days leading up to and following the big sales event. That said, many retailers often wait until the big day to drop the best deals.

Is Black Friday 2020 cancelled?

No, but it will be unlike any Black Friday that came before it. This year, Black Friday will be longer and more online than ever.

Nearly every major retailer will offer deals and exclusive offers throughout the month of November, if they haven't started already. 

With the ongoing pandemic, the in-store Black Friday experience will look a lot different than in previous years. It's hard to imagine seeing the deluge of people scrambling for doorbuster deals happening this year with safety restrictions in place.

When is Black Friday 2020?

Black Friday is always the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday falls on November 27. 

However, due to increased online shopping and subsequent supply-chain delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, several storefronts, including Walmart and Best Buy, have augmented their schedules. Nearly every retailer will offer new sales and deals leading up to Black Friday. 

Shoppers can expect Black Friday-caliber deals sooner than in past years, and many will last beyond Cyber Monday.

What time does Black Friday start?

Technically speaking, Black Friday starts at 12:01 a.m. local time for online retailers. However, Black Friday sales start whenever each retailer decides their sales will go live.

From what we've seen so far, several retailers will be releasing new deals every week in 2020. 

  • Amazon: While Amazon hasn't released when it will release its official, wide-ranging Black Friday sale, it's offering several one-day offers during its Holiday Dash sale. Last year, Amazon's deals started online at midnight on November 22.
  • Best Buy: Stores will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but the retailer is running several sales for the whole month of November. 
  • GameStop: GameStop's early Black Friday event starts on November 14, and the official GameStop Black Friday sale begins online on November 25 at 9 p.m. ET. Stores will open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday with extended hours, and the sale will continue through November 29. 
  • The Home Depot: The Home Depot's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales run from November 6 through December 2. Its early preview is already available to view on The Home Depot app. 
  • Kohl's: Stores will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but the retailer's online sale kicks off Thursday, November 26 through Black Friday, but the best sales will be saved for Black Friday proper. 
  • Macy's: Macy's will start rolling out its Black Friday deals on November 24, with some bargains available the week prior to Thanksgiving.
  • Nordstrom: Last year, stores opened at 10 a.m. November 29 and online sales started on November 27. This year, we expect to see Nordstrom take a more online approach. 
  • Target: The company is offering new deals every week of November for Black Friday this year, with weekly ads dropping each Thursday.
  • Walmart: Walmart's Black Friday sale kicks off on Thanksgiving Day, November 25 at 7 p.m. EST. In-store shopping on Black Friday starts at 5 a.m. local time. 
  • Wayfair: Wayfair's early Black Friday bargains are already released, but it's light on bonafide deals. We expect the retailer is saving its best prices for Black Friday. 

How long do Black Friday sales last?

Don't be fooled by the name that suggests it's a single day. It's most definitely not. It's more like a shopping season that begins in early November. 

Black Friday sales generally start days or weeks in advance of the actual shopping event and continue on until Cyber Monday. Better yet, some retailers hold their deals until well after both events to further boost the entire December shopping season.

What should you buy on Black Friday? 

Since it falls a few weeks before the gift-giving season, Black Friday provides excellent opportunities to buy — and save on all your holiday gifts  — before the last-minute rush. 

It's nearly guaranteed that you'll get great value for your money on certain products during Black Friday — but some tend to see better discounts at other times of the year. If you go in knowing what you're looking for, you're less likely to be ripped off by a fancy-looking coupon or to spend money on products you don't need.

Shoppers can expect tons of great deals — including so-called "doorbusters" — online before and the days following Black Friday. During the event, prices will drop to all-time lows, often beating out prices we see over the course of the year. The sale covers every product category: tech, home and kitchen, fashion, and smart home. 

This Black Friday, shoppers should expect to see similar offers to the ones we saw on Amazon Prime Day, except more wide-ranging.

We recommend focusing on the following product categories if you want the best deals: 

  • TVs
  • Smart home devices
  • Gaming consoles and video games
  • Kitchen appliances

Historically, Black Friday has been a great time to purchase big-ticket electronics — especially larger TVs. Whether you're looking for a top-of-the-line Samsung set or LG OLED, or a budget-friendly TCL or Hisense model, Black Friday will likely deliver several deals.

Much like Amazon Prime Day, we expect to see tons of discounts on smart home products. We'll likely see Amazon Echo products drop to their lowest prices ever, plus several discounts and bundles on Google's recently released products.

Black Friday happens after the latest Xbox and Playstation consoles are released. While we're unlikely to see any markdowns on the consoles, we may see a few bundles crop up. We will likely see modest discounts on games for all consoles, and huge bundles for last-generation consoles. 

If you're looking for a kitchen upgrade, Black Friday is a great time to shop. We'll likely see discounts on Instant Pot pressure cookers, KitchenAid appliances, pots and pans, plus everything else you'll want for the upcoming holiday season.

Of course, the deals found during Black Friday are incredibly wide-ranging. While we expect there to be several deals on diapers, toilet paper, or other household essentials and toiletries, please be careful not to over-stock on supplies during a pandemic.

Is Black Friday or Cyber Monday better?

It's complicated, and it matters much less this year.

For those unfamiliar, Cyber Monday traditionally comes three days after Black Friday, or the following Monday after. However, we've seen Black Friday and Cyber Monday slowly merge and expand to a weeklong, or even a monthlong affair. Different products receive better discounts on each day, and the deals that each retailer offers will vary.

This year, with most Americans shopping online, it's more critical for shoppers to know where and what time to shop, not what day. 

A good rule of thumb to follow: If you think you see a good deal, (e.g. one we recommend) create the order as soon as possible. While you can always cancel or return a product, it's impossible to take advantage of an inactive, or expired deal.

Suppose you purchase a discounted product during Black Friday and see a more significant markdown at another retailer come Cyber Monday. Don't sweat it.

You can ask the original storefront to match the price (some automatically refund you the difference), or you can return or cancel the order, then place a new order with the better price. Some orders won't even ship during the weekend, which makes it easy to cancel orders.

For those who can shop in-person during Black Friday, we've found that it's better to shop on Black Friday in these situations:

  • For expensive products
  • For major stores
  • For this year's products
  • If you plan to shop in stores (if it's available in your area)

It should go without saying, but this year's in-store experience will be a lot different from the one last year. If you so choose to shop Black Friday in-person, make sure to read up on the safety guidelines provided by each storefront.

What stores have Black Friday deals? 

Outside of a few notable exceptions like REI, nearly every major retailer and direct-to-consumer company will offer markdowns during the event. Shoppers should expect deals from Walmart, Best Buy, Dell, Amazon, Adorama, Lowe's, The Home Depot, and more.

As we do every Black Friday, we are sifting through all of the offers and rounding up the best deals from your favorite retailers. 

Will there be Black Friday shipping delays?

Shipping delays and major shopping holidays go hand in hand, and this year is no exception. Experts suggest that consumers may see low inventory problems and shipping, during Black Friday and the weeks following

While we do expect shipping delays, several retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, are hoping to alleviate some of that stress by offering in-store pickup and contactless curbside pickup. This means shoppers can grab their orders at a nearby location if the store has it in stock. 

When do Black Friday ads come out?

Every year, shoppers eagerly await Black Friday advertising to get a sneak peek at the deals each retailer will offer. Shoppers use these "ad scans" to help create their Black Friday game plan.

With Black Friday arriving next week, shoppers can already preview the sales available from storefronts like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.  We'll update this section to include all of the available ad scans as soon as they become available.

Here are the most important ad scans currently available: 

  • Amazon: The online retailer previewed its plans for Black Friday with a press release. There, we learned that Amazon will kick off their Black Friday sale on November 20, with discounts on tons of products, including Amazon-branded goods, Echo devices, Ring smart home products, and more.
  • Best Buy: Best Buy's Black Friday offers are currently live on their website. Be on the lookout for the "Deal available today" banner for markdowns you can take advantage of now, with new deals refreshing every week until Black Friday.
  • GameStop: Shoppers can start shopping for discounted games and consoles early via  gamestop.com and through the GameStop mobile app starting November 25 at 8 p.m. CST, and in-store starting November 27 through November 29.
  • Home Depot: From November 6 through December 2, The Home Depot is offering discounts on appliances, home improvement tools, holiday decor, and more.
  • Kohl's: Kohl's pre-Black Friday sale kicks off Sunday, November 22. Shoppers can save an additional 15% off select products and pick up $15 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent. Starting Thursday, November 26 through Black Friday, Kohl's will release several limited-time "Super Deals" wherein the retailer will offer its best discounts.
  • Target: Throughout November, Target is offering new Black Friday deals every week, with ads provided the week before. You can preview the upcoming week's deals starting every Thursday. Sign up for email notifications here to get Target's weekly ads delivered straight to your email.
  • Walmart: To find the ad scan, first find your local Walmart via the local directory. Once you get to the "Store Overview" page, find the "Weekly Ad" section.

How we select the best Black Friday deals

  • We only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage and that we've either used ourselves or researched carefully.
  • We'll compare the prices among top retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart and include only the deals that are better than all others offered (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards). 
  • All deals will be at least 20% off, with the occasional exception for products that are rarely discounted or provide an outsize value.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Cyber Monday 2020: The best early deals from Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, plus everything you need to know for November 30

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Cyber Monday 2020 early deals include markdowns on LG 4K TVs, Beats headphones, and more.

Cyber Monday is a little more than a week away. This year's massive online sales event, like Black Friday, is shaping up to be much bigger than in years past.

Many retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, The Home Depot, Kohl's, Macy's, and Walmart, are currently offering early deals, effectively turning Cyber Week into Cyber Month.

Below, you'll find all the information you need regarding the upcoming Cyber Monday sales events, including the best early deals, what to expect on November 30, and answers to frequently asked questions. We'll be updating this post with more deals as stores release details on new discounts and sales.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The best early Cyber Monday deals

Best early Cyber Monday Amazon deals

During Cyber Monday, we expect to see lots of discounts on Amazon devices, including products from Amazon Fashion, Echo smart speakers, and Fire tablets and TVs. We also expect some of these discounts to top what was offered during Prime Day in October.

Best early Cyber Monday Apple deals 

Every Cyber Monday, shoppers can look forward to big discounts on Apple's entire catalog of products. While only a select few will see markdowns on Apple's websites, we expect many more bargains to come from Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.

Best early Cyber Monday TV deals 

Shoppers can look forward to dozens of TV deals during Cyber Monday. Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart typically offer several limited-stock doorbuster sets, on top of the standard discounts available through Cyber Week.

Best early Cyber Monday home entertainment deals 

Cyber Monday is a great time to shop for everything you need to fully equip your home theater. Whether you're shopping for a new streaming media player, receiver, or soundbar, you can expect several products to see all-time low prices during the holiday.

Best early Cyber Monday gaming deals 

While we're unlikely to see any discounts on the PS5 or the Xbox Series X, it's virtually guaranteed we'll see discounts on video games, peripherals, and storage accessories. Better still, we're likely to see digital game copies, plus PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass subscription discounts.

Best early Cyber Monday smart home deals 

Smart speakers, security products, smart lights, and tons of other smart home products will see huge markdowns during Cyber Monday. Whether you're in an Alexa, Google Assistant, or HomeKit-powered home, the upcoming shopping holiday.

Deals by store

Cyber Monday FAQs

When is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday occurs the following week after Black Friday. This year, the online-focused shopping holiday lands on Monday, November 30. Typically, it begins at 12 a.m. on Monday. Of course, Cyber Monday sales can start as early as Saturday morning after Black Friday. 

As a continuation of sorts of Black Friday, Cyber Monday gives you another opportunity to save on tech, home goods, clothing, and other deals that you might've missed while recovering from Thanksgiving dinner.

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday began as the online version of Black Friday, where online retailers offered big discounts to match their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Now, Cyber Monday is the biggest shopping day of the year, surpassing even Black Friday in terms of revenue and sales. 

The "holiday" was created in 2005 as the online version of the brick-and-mortar-focused Black Friday. Previously, the main differentiation between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was that Black Friday focused on in-store sales and Cyber Monday on online sales. But as shopping habits have increasingly favored the internet, amplified by the pandemic, shoppers can look forward to a very online-focused Cyber Monday and Black Friday. 

Cyber Monday offers a great opportunity to save on all your holiday gifts

How long do Cyber Monday sales last? 

Though Cyber Monday sales once only took place on Monday, we've been seeing them extend to longer and longer durations, with more than a few lasting until the rest of the week. For instance, Wayfair's Cyber Monday deals will take place all from November 30 through December 4.

"Doorbuster" Cyber Monday markdowns are often restricted to the day and available stock. When we know the end date of a deal, we'll list it next to the deal. 

What's better, Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

With most Americans sticking to online shopping this year, the debate on which shopping holiday is particularly moot. Both events will be held predominantly online, and more than a few deals overlap. In fact, many Black Friday deals become Cyber Monday deals when the dates change. 

If possible, shoppers should shop both holidays. We've seen different products receive better discounts on each day, and the deals that each retailer offers will vary. 

Generally speaking, consumers shopping for big-ticket items, such as laptops, TVs, and kitchen appliances, can expect more opportunities on Black Friday. But for shoppers looking for last year's models, smart home gadgets, digital subscriptions, and gift cards will likely find more luck during Cyber Monday.

What should I buy during Cyber Monday?

If a retailer offers Black Friday deals, it's a near guarantee that it will offer Cyber Monday deals, too. Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are some noteworthy retailers that we know will participate in the shopping event.

We will likely see massive discounts on some of our favorite direct-to-consumer products during Cyber Monday, such as retail startups like Leesa and Brooklinen. For some, Cyber Monday (or Cyber Week) will be one of the few times of the year when their products see major markdowns.

Where can I find Cyber Monday ads?

Shoppers in-the-know eagerly await Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertising to help guide their Black Friday game plan. Typically, storefronts like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart release their previews early-November or alongside their Black Friday ads.

Here are the most important ad scans currently available: 

  • Best Buy: While the electronics retailer has yet to announce any deals for Cyber Monday, shoppers can peruse Best Buy's Black Friday Ad here. For that intend on shopping the discounts early, there are deals already available from the ad
  • Walmart: To find the ad scan, first find your local Walmart via the local directory. Once you get to the "Store Overview" page, find the "Weekly Ad" section.

Will there be Cyber Monday shipping delays?

Shipping delays and shopping holidays are inextricably linked, and this year is no different. Experts suggest that consumers may see low inventory and shipping problems, during Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and the weeks following

To help you avoid the shipping crunch and get your stuff sooner, several retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, offer in-store pickup and contactless curbside pickup. This means shoppers can grab their orders at a nearby location, provided that the retailer has it in stock. 

How we select the best Cyber Monday deals

  • We only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage, and that we've either used ourselves or researched carefully.
  • We will compare the prices among top retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart and only include the deals that are better than all others offered (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).
  • All deals will be at least 20% off, with the occasional exception for products that are rarely discounted or provide an outsized value.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Why working women should ditch 'leaning in' and 'lean together' instead

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  • Sarah Lacy is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Chairman Mom, an abuse-free, nonjudgmental platform for working women.
  • For more than 20 years, Lacy had a lucrative career as an entrepreneur raising venture capital in Silicon Valley. 
  • After the 2016 presidential election and height of the #MeToo movement, she decided to devote her life to a new mission of connecting and supporting other women. 
  • Lacy argues women do not professionally help other women like men do, largely due to a "scarcity mentality," and an internalized bias against other women who haven't yet "made it."
  • She says without an engaged support network and systemized change, women will struggle to see the gains they all collectively want.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

For the first 20 years of my career, I was mostly in male-dominated spaces. I've written for publications like Businessweek and TechCrunch. Even my own investigative journalism startup, Pando, had an 85% male audience. 

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Sarah Lacy

I've attended decades of conferences where I'm one of a handful of female attendees, spoken at one where my spouse got monogrammed soaps as a thank you gift, because the assumption was only women would be speakers' spouses. And most of the people who have given me breaks in this industry or millions in venture capital have been men. 

It's not that life in the patriarchy didn't serve me. I had a great career, was one of the few women to successfully raise venture capital, and even did well enough to buy a house in San Francisco. I was a lucky exception in many ways, working hard and taking risks, but also coasting on privilege and a network I'd spent 20 years building. I was the exception that made other men feel like they couldn't possibly be sexist, because: Look! I was a woman and they supported me! 

But a few years ago, just after Donald Trump was elected and in the middle of the #metoo movement, I decided to make a radical change that could have cost me everything. I decided to largely rebuild my life around a new mission: Connecting and lifting up women. I gave up a lucrative perch in a man's world, to help build up a woman's world. 

I had a pretty radical transformation: From someone who was in it for me, to someone who was going to be in it for other women. 

Read more: Less than 10% of decision makers in venture capital are women. Here's a managing partner's advice for shattering the glass ceiling.

wrote a book about this transformation and started having women to my home for dinner every month to connect them together. And when that wasn't enough, I raised capital to start Chairman Mom, a company that aims to be the opposite of the rest of the Internet for women. A place where there is only support, no shame and no judgement of any kind. 

I absolutely love my job. It's the best job I've ever had, easily. And we are growing in 2020. But more rewarding still: The relationships I've formed with women have been so much richer and deeper than the relationships I had with men in the first half of my career. (Reminder: My one time "pals" like Travis Kalanick and Shervin Pishevar decided to go after my family once I became an inconvenience for them... It has been painful to realize how thin so many of those relationships were.)

But as much as I have adored spending almost all my time in the power of thousands of amazing and accomplished women, one thing is still a constant source of pain, of frustration, of bafflement: 

Writ large, women do not professionally help other women like men do. 

I know this because for 20 years I was essentially an honorary dude let into the club. I have seen it from both sides. 

Men share deals.

Men invest in themselves, because they have outsized belief it will pay off.

Men promote what they are working on without apologizing or getting shamed. And other men promote it too.

Men trade secrets about what is working. 

Men fund each other, sometimes simply because they like each other. They don't need to see years of traction first. They don't have to twist themselves in knots of justification for funding someone of the same gender. 

Men "he's a good dude" each other all the way to the bank. 

And you know what? You won't hear me say this everyday, but good for men! This is why men in a place like Silicon Valley can go from a nobody with no work experience and no pedigree to a billionaire in a few years' time. (And make even more money for so many other men along the way.) 

Here's the difference: Men don't operate from a place of scarcity

Read more: Read the spreadsheet women in tech are sending each other to find out how much they're making compared to their male coworkers

And after years of examining this problem as a journalist and a frustrated woman, I've come to believe that it isn't because we don't want to help each other. It's because we operate from a scarcity mentality. A scarcity mentality that may be the ultimate gaslighting because it isn't even based on reality.

We don't see the power we have. 

We don't believe we can make enough of a difference. 

Maybe we're mad that we had to work so hard to get what we have now, and so we hold our power, knowledge, contacts, and money jealously. 

We are all still worried it might get taken away from us. 

We all know we've worked harder than men to get where we are. But somehow there's still a feeling that success is something that's been bestowed on us that might get taken away if we don't keep playing the game that mostly still serves men. 

Maybe some women keep other women out, because it makes them feel special. I made it, but not everyone can… A bit like Margaret Thatcher in the Crown saying she didn't name women to her cabinet, because they aren't suited to higher office. 

Being the exception feels good. I know, I used to be it. But trust me when I say, helping other women and changing the system feels better. 

There is enough to go around. Your power you earned? You've actually earned it. It belongs to you. No one can take it away. Do you know how many men have tried to revoke my power? It's still here. Giving some away to others does not diminish it. 

You can afford to spend your money and your reputational capital. You have the power to make another woman's lives better. To open doors for her. To introduce her to someone who can change her life. To buy products from female founders. (And yes, all of this goes quadruple for women of color, who have it so much worse than white women. Let's be honest: White women are largely the problem here, because those are largely the ones that "lean in" works for. That's the group that voted in greater numbers for Donald Trump. Reminder: Affirmative action has benefitted white women more than any racial group.)

Imagine for a moment, a world where women supported women the way men support other men. 

The increase in women writing venture capital checks would have meant that more — not fewer — female founders are getting funded. 

Every female-owned company would thrive, because women — who control the vast majority of household spending — would vote with their dollars to support other women. 

Female journalists would ferret out and champion more women, or at least give them the benefit of the doubt, not tear them down for their reproductive or fashion choices. 

Politicians would cater to women's issues, because women are the largest chunk of the population and control most of the assets in this country. 

Women would hire other women; women would promote other women. 

Read more: Meet the individuals making the 'financial independence, retire early,' or FIRE, movement more inclusive by challenging norms around saving, debt, and living frugally

What would social media look like? After all, women represent the biggest audience on platforms like Facebook. So why are women treated disproportionately worse than men on these platforms? A survey done by Survey Monkey and Chairman Mom three years ago showed that nearly 90% of women had experienced or witnessed "mom shaming" on social media. Maternity bias is a real thing that destroys careers and confidence. Why are other women — who know how it feels — so complicit in it?

Don't tell me we don't have enough. Unlike other underprivileged groups, we've actually got the numbers. The global advertising industry is based on courting women. Female billionaires alone have more than $1 trillion in assets. Women control 51% of the wealth in America, some $22 trillion, a percentage that is increasing, even things get worse for most women in America, career-wise. Women make up the majority of those seeking higher education. 

Unlike other disadvantaged groups, women have all the assets and power and the numbers needed to change our reality. Together, we could stop this. We don't, because we don't pull together.

We are not operating from a place of scarcity. 

It isn't because women want to tear down other women. I reject the idea of "mean girls" and "Queen Bees." It's socialization; it's gaslighting; it's bias, yes, but it's also our own internalized bias we exert on one another. We can be the victims, and the perpetrators of our own oppression. 

We are never going to see the gains we want until each of us individually stops focusing on leaning in, and we take the risk to lean together.

Leaning together is scary if you've been let down before. You are putting a lot of trust in others. You are opening up to them. But when it works, it's not just your force pushing against a system, it's the force of millions. 

This has never been more important than it is right now in 2020. Look around. More than 2 million women have left the workforce since the pandemic started. How hard did we all fight to make those inroads? Gone. Funding for women? That paltry 2% we used to get is going in the wrong direction. Share of the burden at home? It's increasing for women, not decreasing. 

What we have done up until now does not work. Things are getting worse for us. We need to try something new. 

This is why my friend, Adimika Arthur, and I created the Sisterhood Program. It's a six month course, but more than that, it's a six month commitment, to dig deep with 99 other accomplished and diverse womxn. To examine why the patriarchy is so good at getting us to do its dirty work. To examine why women fall into these patterns. To heal from past wounds. But mostly to commit to one another that we're gonna support each other the way men support each other. 

Together, we will collect our power, our networks, our influence, our experience and share it with one another. We'll stop hoarding it. And starting from a base of 100 womxn that will have profound ripple effects.

You only have to have done one of those sticker club chain letters with your kids to know this works. You buy one package of stickers, but your kid gets seven back. Women in this program are going to share the things they've fought so hard to acquire. But they're going to get 99 sticker packs of influence and connections and power back. 

Some people have asked me what they'll "get" out of this. And given how hard we have to work to earn our money, that is a totally fair question. But it's also exactly the kind of thinking that keeps us down. That's your scarcity mentality in your ear. 

I can't give up my time! I can't give up my money! I can't give up my shields without a guarantee I'll get more in return! 

You can keep operating that way, and if you work harder than anyone else, and you've got the same kinds of privilege I had, you may still succeed. But you'll still be the person at the keynote asking why women don't help other women more. Nothing will change.

Or, you can join us. We can deprogram ourselves and finally use all the power, assets, smarts and influence we have.

Sarah Lacy is the founder and CEO of Chairman Mom. She's a three-time founder, an award winning investigative journalist, and best-selling author. She's known for her no-nonsense take downs of the bro economy and her cartoons of mice and foxes she draws for her adorable kids. She lives in San Francisco.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This Swedish startup created an electric, autonomous freight vehicle that it says will hit roads next year

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Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod.
  • Einride has created what it calls the world's first electric autonomous heavy cargo transport vehicle that has been driven on public roads: the Pod.
  • The Pod comes in four variations for four different uses, and two of the variants will be delivered to customers next year.
  • The Sweden-based company has now worked with names like Oatly, Coca-Cola, Lidl, and DB Schenker.
  • "What sets us apart is our full-scale approach to sustainable autonomous freight development that's based on the needs of our customers, allowing us to tailor these solutions for real-world use," Einride's CEO and Robert Falck told Business Insider in an email interview.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Einride created the Pod, an autonomous electric heavy cargo transport vehicle.

There are, of course, other automakers and startups venturing into the autonomous cargo delivery segment. However, according to  Einride's CEO and founder Robert Falck, unlike other companies, Einride's Pods are "customer and use-tailored."

"What sets us apart is our full-scale approach to sustainable autonomous freight development that's based on the needs of our customers, allowing us to tailor these solutions for real-world use," Falck wrote to Business Insider in an email interview.  "We believe the strongest business case is to remove the driver from the vehicle to operate it remotely, and operate only with electric drivetrains to improve sustainability and reduce costs."

Read more: Tesla has released 'full self-driving' in beta — here's how experts rank it, Waymo and 16 other power players in the world of self-driving cars

And unlike other makers, the Sweden-based company's Pod is the world's first electric autonomous transport vehicle to be driven on public roads, according to its maker.

According to Einride, the Pod lineup and the company's "Freight Mobility Platform" offers several benefits, such as a slash in emissions and operational costs, and an increase in safety. The use of Einride's Pod and platform — which will be available in US — also provides a 200% productivity boost compared to the diesel vehicles that companies use today, according to Einride.

Reservations are now open for the autonomous electric transport (AET) vehicles, which can be be mass produced and "commercialized."

According to Einride, the exterior design and its rounded edges make the vehicle aerodynamic without decreasing its interior storage capacity.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod at the Top Gear track.
“We designed the Pod from the ground up to present the best possible business case for road freight utilizing autonomous and electric technology,” Falck told Business Insider in the email interview. “If we’re going to make transport both sustainable and cost-competitive, AET solutions like the Pod are the only way forward.”
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod at the Top Gear track.
The road-legal Pod has no cab for a driver. According to Falck, not having a driver's area reduces costs and the impact on the electric drivetrain, making the price of the Pod comparable to diesel trucks.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod.
"With our recent brand identity project, a central focus was on the symbiotic relationship between software and hardware in freight mobility," Einride's CMO and co-founder Linnéa Kornehed said in a statement. "It's a symbol of our accomplishments in pioneering the category of AET, but also emphasizes our commitment to developing software solutions that make the transition to sustainable freight seamless."
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod.
Einride is offering four different Pod types that all have varying uses.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod at the Top Gear track.
For example, AET 1, the "fenced' level, is good for use in "closed facilities" with set operational routes and times. The AET 1 can reach up to almost 19 miles-per-hour, has a range between about 81 to 112 miles, and has a payload of 16 tons.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod.

Source: Einride

The AET 2, designated for "nearby" use, is good for the aforementioned closed spaces, as well as travel on public roads between two close locations. The AET 2 has the same payload, range, and miles-per-hour specs as the AET 1.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod at the Top Gear track.

Source: Einride

The pre-orders for AET 1 and AET 2 are now available, and Einride will begin shipping the vehicles to customers next year. The other two Pod types, the AET 3 and AET 4, are also available for reservations, but Enride will not begin shipping these two until 2022 to 2023.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod at the Top Gear track.
The AET 3, classified for "rural" use, can be operated on less crammed main and back roads between two locations. This vehicle can travel at almost 28 miles-per-hour, has a range between 124 to 186 miles, and has a payload of up to 16 tons.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod at the Top Gear track.
The AET 4, labeled for "highway" use, is faster at almost 53 miles-per-hour and can be operated on freeways and "major roads." The AET 4 has the same aforementioned specs as the AET 3.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod.

Source: Einride

Each AET level has different "operational fees" at varying costs. For example, the vehicles all cost $10,000 to reserve, but the AET 1 has a monthly $18,000 operational charge, and the AET 4's monthly fee is higher at $22,500.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod.
These additional monthly fees allow customers to use Eirnride's "freight mobility platform which will plan and operate the Pods, overseen by Einride-certified remote operators," according to the company. The platform also provides information like the vehicle's location, route, and energy.
Einride's platform.
Einride's platform.

Source: Einride (1) (2)

Customers like Oatly, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, and Lidl have already expressed interest in Einride's line of products, which also includes "traditional" electric trucks.
Einride Next Gen Pod
The Next Gen Pod at the Top Gear track.
Read the original article on Business Insider

BMW's Mini created a futuristic concept electric car that looks like a living room inside and has seats that can turn into a daybed

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Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
  • BMW Group's Mini has unveiled an electric Mini Vision Urbanaut, a concept "retreat" living room on wheels.
  • The futuristic concept vehicle's interior layout can transform depending on "Mini moment" selected.
  • When the car is parked, the dashboard can turn into a daybed, to name just one of the lounging-related aspects included inside the concept electric vehicle.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

BMW Group's Mini has unveiled the Mini Vision Urbanaut, a concept living room "retreat" on wheels. 

The concept electric vehicle is filled with futuristic and fantastical elements, from changing interior layouts to a front dashboard that can transform into a daybed when the car is parked.

However, lounging spaces don't stop at just the daybed: the vehicle's entire interior is reminiscent of a bright living room with set floor plans, furniture, and even a plant. There's also room to sit on the floor when the single sliding door is open. 

Read more: The business of automotive sound design: How luxury car brands stay competitive by perfectly orchestrating every noise that hits buyers' ears

"In the MINI Vision Urbanaut, we extend private space far into the public realm, creating completely new and enriching experiences," Head of BMW Group Design Adrian van Hooydonk said in a statement on the news release announcing the concept vehicle.

According to BMW, the concept vehicle was “designed from the inside out.”
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

The vehicle is taller than a typical Mini but sits at 14.6 feet long.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Augmented reality systems were used to create the digital version of the Vision Urbanaut, according to its maker.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

The single entry sliding doorway sits on one side of the vehicle, removing the need for any additional doors.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
The car can be opened using smartphones, and points of interests are customized for the passengers.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Moving inside, the interior has four seats. The two in the front can be rotated to face the interior, and the rear backrests can be folded or turned.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
The electric concept vehicle uses sustainable and recycled materials, a trend that other electric automakers like Fisker have taken part in as well. This includes the use of cork in the steering wheel and parts of the floor.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
The table that the plant sits on is the "center point" for social interactions inside the vehicle. Near the table is a multi-purpose display that also doubles as a table lamp when it's folded.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

When the car is parked, the windshield can open up and the dashboard can become a daybed seating nook.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
In order to create a more minimalist space, its maker didn’t include any “switches or buttons.”
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

"With the Mini Vision Urbanaut we have been able to rethink and increase the usable surface area inside the car even further in relation to its footprint," the head of Mini Design Oliver Heilmer said in a statement in the news release.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

The Vision Urbanaut integrates three "Mini moments" uses: chill, wanderlust, and vibe.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
These three Mini Moments — as well as any personalized "moments" — are used in the "Mini Token" and its system.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
When a "moment" is activated after a token is put into its slot at the table, aspects of the car — such as lighting, music, and smells — will change according to the selected "moment."
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
"Chill" is integrated into the vehicle by making it a "retreat" space for relaxation and work.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
The rear part of the Vision Urbanaut is the "Cozy Corner," which has features like LED back lights and a dimmable "loop" that looks like a forest canopy when the car is activated in its "chill" mode, according to its maker.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
"Wanderlust" is showcased with the Vision Urbanaut's movement, either when it's driven by people or by its automated drive capabilities. If the passengers prefer automated driving, the steering wheel, pedals, and drive display will vanish.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
When the car is in "wanderlust" mode, the interior layout alters to be driving friendly, and the circular display changes to show tourist posters from the mid-1900s, as well as route and driving information.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
The aforementioned loop also updates to show "simulated blurs of passing scenery in a mix of orange and turquoise," according to its maker.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

The final "vibe" theme is reflected in its goal of allowing people to spend more time with each other.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
In "vibe" mode, the side door and windshield open for an indoor-outdoor feel, and the circular display becomes a "media control center" for music.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Illustrated equalizers are then projected throughout parts of the car to create what BMW Group calls a "pleasant club atmosphere."
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

Even the exterior receives a makeover per "moment": the color of the wheels and head and rear lights can change according to the "moment" that the occupants have selected.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Otherwise, the wheels are turquoise blue, inspired by the ocean. They're also shaped to look like skateboard wheels.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Vision Urbanaut's headlights can only be seen when they are activated.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Both the front and rear lights have "multicolor dynamic matrix" capabilities, and both lights can also indicate when the car is in its "automated driving" mode.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

The grille has also been altered to be octagon shaped with the purpose of acting as the "intelligence panel for automated driving."
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.

Source: BMW Group

The unique color of the vehicle and its gradient windows are also a change from the typical non-conceptual Mini vehicle.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Finally, the driver's side C-pillar comes with a display box-like glass section that allows passengers to showcase different "charms" from different experiences, according to its maker.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
One of the "charms" also includes a QR code that redirects to Mini.com.
Mini Vision Urbanaut concept
The Mini Vision Urbanaut.
Read the original article on Business Insider

A millennial CEO is behind Jeff Bezos' favorite sunglasses. Here's how he built his luxury eyewear brand.

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Garrett Leight Headshot   2019
Garrett Leight.

Luxury eyewear designer Garrett Leight knows exactly what millennials want. In fact, with a celebrity clientele list that includes Jeff Bezos, Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and Jennifer Lawrence — Leight doesn't just know what millennials want, he knows what the world wants. 

"We market .... who we are, what we stand for, [and] what we've been about since day one, which is California DNA and the quality product and great customer service," Leight told Business Insider. "We just kind of were ourselves and created what we thought was cool and people liked it."

In an interview with Business Insider about his career, Leight also gave some advice for others who aspire to enter the luxury retail field, and for entrepreneurs who have launched — or who are thinking about launching — their own business. Here are his five key tips.

1. Companies must "innovate or die."
Barneys

In speaking about luxury retailer Barneys, Leight said one of the main reasons the store failed in the 2010s is because it didn't establish an "identity" that could connect with the younger generations. 

"Today, millennials [and] Gen-Z, we want to connect with something. We want to know who we're supporting," he told Business Insider. "You gotta dedicate some effort both financially and creatively to creating something that buyers [and] consumers can connect with."

He also said that brands should pay attention to what happened to the once-famed retailer, noting that if they fail to adapt to the changing taste in the consumer market, they could easily be the next to fall.

2. Authenticity is key.
Garret Leight

When speaking about how his brand uses social media for marketing, Leight and his brand's chief communications officer Jamie Katz emphasized that they rely on authenticity in order to connect with customers, future buyers, and most importantly, brand ambassadors.

"It's more about an organic alignment. If they feel like they are an extension of what we've tried to create as the Garrett Leight lifestyle, then we feel like they're probably in a community of people that would also appreciate the Garrett Leight lifestyle and the brand," Katz said.

3. Mental health care is vital.
Mental Health

To ease his stress, Leight makes sure he involves himself in activities that can take his mind far away from the world of business and entrepreneurship. He plays golf, softball, and regularly gets massages and acupuncture, and he recommends others invest in health and wellness activities that can ease the mind. 

"I've felt overwhelmed in my head," Leight told Business Insider. "For me, stress comes ... in my neck and my back. Some people, it's in their stomach, it's all through their body ... I think even if you feel great at 25, it eventually will catch up to you. So I think introducing these [wellness] forms are important." 

Katz doubled down on what Leight had to say. 

"People think, 'Oh no, I can't take a break. I have to stay focused. I have to do this, and work all these hours,'" Katz said. "It's like, you're gonna end up not achieving what you could achieve if you just take the time to take care of yourself, do a digital detox, shut down for a little while to take your mind off of what you're doing and then come back feeling refreshed, feeling focused. You could get to the answer that you're looking for, the solution or whatever it is, so much quicker."

4. For a burgeoning brand, too much inventory can be deadly.
Garret Leight

"You have to pay for everything you buy [but] you're not going to sell everything you buy," Leight said. "Some people are so lucky and, especially today, in that they could just have, it seems, mostly with celebrities and influencers, that they just make something, and they make 50 units and it sells out, and it's all about scarcity. But that's super rare and I would just be really conscious [of how much inventory you have]."

5. Strong leadership starts with having a grounded mindset.
Garrett Leight + Elena Doukas
Garrett Leight (right) with his design director Elena Doukas (left).

One of the most important things Leight has learned throughout his career is to not take anything for granted.

"When you're growing really fast, you kind of feel like you're on top of the world and [you] could lose sight of some things," he said. "At least as an entrepreneur, you're always one mistake away from losing everything, more or less. So you just have to be aware of your business. And, especially as a creative leader, trying to have a grounded mindset and an understanding of the financial and operational side [can help you] be operationally excellent and not lose what you've created."

Read the original article on Business Insider

An exceedingly rare '90s supercar owned by the Sultan of Brunei is on the market for $725,000

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1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
  • An extremely rare supercar previously owned by the Sultan of Brunei is for sale for $725,000. 
  • The 1993 Cizeta V16T up for grabs is one of only nine examples built, and it's the only one in this particular color combination. 
  • With only 600 miles on the clock, a spotless interior, and its original tires, the car is essentially like new. 
  • It's on offer from Curated, a Miami dealership that sells vintage supercars. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Low mileage, high performance, and rarity are all great, but an interesting story is what separates the ordinary from the highly coveted when it comes to classic cars. Now there's a supercar up for sale in Miami that has all of that and more. 

An extremely rare 1993 Cizeta V16T formerly belonging to the Sultan of Brunei is now up for grabs through Curated, a dealership specializing in vintage supercars.

Read more: Car auctions have seen a digital boom amid the pandemic, with industry leaders citing a 'reallocation' of priorities and resources

Cizeta, a short-lived supercar company founded by ex-Lamborghini engineer and exotic-car dealer Claudio Zampolli and famed record producer Giorgio Moroder, built fewer than 20 cars during its main production run from 1988 to 1994, and this is one of them.

Given its history and rarity, Curated is asking deep six figures for the car — $725,000 to be exact. And lest you think that the pandemic might have destroyed the market for ultra-high-end vehicles, car auctions have actually seen a boom over the last several months. Auction companies like Hemmings and Bring a Trailer have noted a spike in demand, despite overall uncertainty in the economy. 

Check out the Cizeta and its story below — you probably won't see another one on the market for a while. 

The 1993 Cizeta V16T up for sale is one of only nine models built, and it's the only example finished in blue on blue.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, bought it new in 1993, adding it to his collection that's reported to have several thousand cars.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
The car was imported to Singapore, and it never actually made it to Brunei. Curated scooped it up earlier this year.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
According to the listing, the car made an appearance at the 1993 Geneva Motor Show.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
The V16T was designed my Marcello Gandini, who also penned such classics as the Lamborghini Countach and Miura.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
The car only has 600 miles on it, and was never even registered.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
Cizetas were hand-built mainly by former Lamborghini and Ferrari engineers.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
And they sported not one but two pairs of pop-up headlights. Very '90s.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
But the V16T's coolest feature, arguably, is its namesake 6.0-liter 16-cylinder engine.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
It produced a claimed 540 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque when new.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
That massive engine is fed by a 37-gallon fuel tank.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
According to the selling dealer, the interior shows no signs of wear and the tires are original from 1993.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
This specific V16T, according to Curated, was always Zampolli's favorite example. Whether it's worth more than $700,000 to you is wholly subjective, but it definitely has a lot going for it.
1993 CIZETA V16T
1993 Cizeta V16T.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Inside the world of private libraries, where the minimum investment to create a custom collection is $25,000

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Alex Assouline
Alex Assouline.
  • Alex Assouline, 28, is a creative library designer at his family's luxury publishing company, Assouline
  • Founded in 1994, the publishing house has a specialty in creating highly curated libraries for private residences and commercial businesses.
  • It also releases thematic coffee-table books. Books in Assouline's latest collection range in price from $75 to $1,000.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Assouline explains how he creates some of the most luxurious libraries in the world and gives advice for those looking to make their own libraries at home.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The first step to creating a quintessential Assouline library is, of course, getting in touch with the Assouline publishing house.

Founded in 1994 by Martine and Prosper Assouline, the publishing house is known for creating some of the most luxurious — and expensive — private libraries in the world, in addition to publishing some of the chicest coffee-table books. 

Assouline's books, which range from $75 to $1,000, are highly researched and honor various well-known people, places, and businesses. The most recent catalogue offers books on subjects including cigars, Rolex watches, feminism, and the Amalfi Coast. These books often take years to produce and sometimes come bound in silk cloth and velvet. 

Assouline fall titles
Assouline fall 2020 releases.

"Now we're launching a book on Marrakesh and Miami beach in the next few months," Alex Assouline, the company's 28-year-old heir and creative library designer, told Business Insider. "Our book on Paris took us a year to do. It's 300 pages, and it really brings you into the essence of Paris."

Assouline talked to Business Insider about his creative process in building these high-end commissioned libraries and how much it would cost if you hired him.

"We're selective in what we choose to incorporate in each curation and who we touch because we're really hands on. So we cannot take every project," Assouline said. "Also, the minimum investment that we need to start a project is $25,000."

Assouline
An image from the latest Assouline book, "Paris Chic."

Since he began working for his family's company full time, Assouline has helped design private and exclusive libraries in the Middle East and Mexico. In New York City, his recent work can be seen in Hudson Yards, the 432 Park Ave. Condominiums, and the Tribeca Towers. At the same time, he's helped produce the Assouline coffee-table books on St. Tropez, Versailles, Ibiza, and Mykonos.

Assouline
An image from "Paris Chic."

He was born in Paris, and his family moved to New York when he was 15 years old. He studied marketing, art history, and graphic design at Concordia University in Montreal and attended Columbia Business School for an executive program in digital marketing.

Alex Assouline seeks to make each of his libraries 'one of a kind'

After a business or a person commissions a library, Assouline said it takes him about two weeks to come up with a design plan. First, he said, he studies the surroundings of the building where the library will be housed. For businesses, it's studying the neighborhood; for people, it's studying the families. 

In both instances, the goal is to understand the people who will be interacting with the space the most. From there, he said he could figure out which books and objects would best capture the essence of who will be using it. 

Assouline
The finished product of a library design Alex Assouline worked on.

"The idea and concept is to create the most beautiful and sophisticated space that will enable people to unplug and enjoy the moment," he said. "It's doing a deep dive to really understand what will inspire people, and it's understanding the tonalities that people would enjoy, along with themes and subject matters." 

He also spends time working with the interior designers who designed the establishments in which he is placing a library. This is to ensure the libraries are harmonious with their interior surroundings and ambiance. 

"It's again, understanding the tonality," he said.

An Assouline-designed library is most often filled with Assouline-published books

Assouline said he aims to fill at least 70% of Assouline-commissioned libraries with Assouline-published books. The most recent releases from the Assouline publishing house include the 300-page "Paris Chic," which pays homage to the City of Lights and took a year to produce, and "Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower," which includes a forward by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.

Assouline said he also seeks to include a variety of genres and adds decorations to the library space, such as rare statues and sculptures — objects that help take guests on "visual journeys" and add "conceptual depth" to the library. 

"It's always interesting to have the eyes bounce back and forth," he said, adding that he loves to work with a lot of wooden clamshells and mix in various textures such as a velvet couch.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg Assouline
An image "Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower," which features Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

His signature touch is adding a piece that is rare or first edition and would otherwise be found only at an auction house or flea market. The goal, for him, is to create personal libraries that are "one of a kind."

"It's also about the elements of engagement and maintaining class and sophistication," he added. "We'll pair that with a hint of playfulness, like a game, or an old wooden domino or something."

'A library tells a lot about you, and there's a lot of individuality in them'

Assouline said his requests for physical libraries and hard-cover books have remained steady, even as the world continues to pivot to digital. His comments aren't surprising, however: As CNBC's Lucy Handley reported last year, physical books still outsell e-books.

In 2018, print books in the US made up $22.6 billion in revenue, while e-books made $2.04 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers' 2019 report. Even as digital continues to disrupt every other industry, from television to retail, Meryl Halls, the managing director of the Booksellers Association in the UK, told Handley physical books still appeal to people. 

Assouline
The lobby of an Assouline store featuring the "Ultimate Books" collection on the back shelves.

"Publishers are producing incredibly gorgeous books, so the cover designs are often gorgeous, they're beautiful objects," she told the outlet. "The book lover loves to have a record of what they've read, and it's about signaling to the rest of the world. It's about decorating your home. It's about collecting, I guess, because people are completists, aren't they — they want to have that to indicate about themselves."

And this is especially true for coffee-table books, Assouline said, adding that books his family produces cannot necessarily be compared to novels, which can be translated to a Kindle. 

Assouline
The inside of an Assouline book.

"In terms of coffee-table books, it's the whole experience of seeing your thematic interest," he said. "We spend so much time finding the right images and finding the right resolutions to actually print them on paper, and provide experiences to appeal to your emotions and intellect through the text. So it's totally different."

Advice for those looking to create personal libraries at home

Assouline has some advice that broadly applies to library creation.

His first piece of advice: Be mindful of how you use your space. It's not really about the books that you buy, he said, but rather how you show off each title.

"Take into account an excess of books and let each title breathe. A large quantity of books may take away from how special each book is," he said. "It's a science of visuals." 

It also doesn't hurt to incorporate small objects that show off your personality, he added, and there should be color but not too much. Everything should hold aesthetic value and be placed with intention, he said. 

"A library tells a lot about you, and there's a lot of individuality in them," he said. "It's really something you make for yourself."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The architects behind Apple Park are using Boston Dynamics' lifelike $75,000 Spot robot in construction — see how

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Boston Dynamics Spot Singapore
Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
  • Robotics company Boston Dynamics announced that its robot dog, Spot, is now for commercial sale Canada, the EU, and the UK, following earlier release in the US.
  • The robot retails for $74,500, with a lead time of 6-8 weeks.
  • Spot has already been used in hospitals, agriculture, and most recently by architecture firm Foster and Partners.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories

Spot, Boston Dynamics' famous four-legged robot, is officially available to purchase in Canada and Europe. In the UK, frequent Apple collaborator Foster and Partners are using Spot on their Battersea Power Station project.

For $74,500, Spot is ready for use by "developers eager to explore how flexible mobile robots can be adapted for tasks ranging from industrial inspection to entertainment."

Spot was previously only available to US customers after a $1,000 deposit since June. The company suggests several uses for the dog-like robot: "Inspect dangerous, inaccessible, and remote environments, automate data collection on your site, carry payloads on unstructured or unknown terrain." 

Previously, companies used Spot as part of the "Early Adopter Program," which meant they could lease the robot under certain conditions. If customers violated the agreement, Boston Dynamics could reclaim the robot and end the relationship. Under that program, architecture firm Foster and Partners, which designed Apple Park, the Steve Jobs Theater, and some of the tech giant's most recognizable stores, is using Spot on a construction project in London. 

Now, interested customers can buy Spot directly. Here are a few things Spot has already done. 

Boston area hospitals started reaching out to Boston Dynamics in early March asking for robots that could help minimize staff exposure to COVID-19.
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Boston Dynamics Spot robot.

Source: Business Insider 

To work with COVID-19 patients at a Boston hospital, Spot robots were equipped with iPads and two-way radios.
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Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
Using this setup, doctors could talk to patients and evaluate their symptoms from afar, without having to put themselves at risk of exposure.
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Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
Boston Dynamics said that for every shift completed by a robot, at least one healthcare worker can decrease their exposure to coronavirus.
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Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
Boston Dynamics has been working on ways for Spot to measure body temperature, respiratory rate, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation.
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Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
In New Zealand, Boston Dynamics' Spot partnered with another company, Rocos, to herd sheep and collect agricultural data.
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Boston Dynamics Spot robot.

Source: Business Insider

Rocos said that its software will make Spot more useful on remote missions, and make the data collected by Spot more useful and accessible for remote teams.
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Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
Rocos predicts that these tools could be useful in agriculture, making food production more efficient, yielding more accurate estimates, and easing the strain of worker shortages.
Screen Shot 2020 05 22 at 5.35.36 PM
Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
In a Singapore park, Spot was used to encourage social distancing because of COVID-19.
Boston Dynamics Spot Singapore
Boston Dynamics Spot robot.

Source: Business Insider

Spot walked around the park with a speaker telling people to stay at least one meter apart, and scanning for estimates of crowd sizes.
Boston Dynamics Spot Singapore
Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
Boston Dynamics already partnered with some construction companies to use Spot.
Spot   construction
Boston Dynamics Spot robot.

Source: Robotics Business Review

On construction sites, Spot can walk through and capture 360 degree images of progress.
Spot   construction2
Boston Dynamics Spot robot.
Massachusetts State Police used a Spot robot for several months in 2019.
Boston Dynamics "Spotmini"
Boston Dynamics Spot robot.

Source: Business Insider

Videos showed Spot opening doors and engaging in surveillance. According to the lease agreement, the robot was only used by the Bomb Squad.
Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics' robot dog.
Foster and Partners, which is behind some of Apple's most iconic stores, are now using Spot in the Battersea Power Station project in London.
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Spot in construction.
They are using the roof garden as a test for Spot.
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Spot in construction.
The robot returns to the site weekly to scan certain areas and capture data that the team can use.
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Spot in construction.
They also used Spot to create four-dimensional models.
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Spot in construction.
"The ability of Spot to repeatedly and effortlessly complete routine scans, in an ever-changing environment was invaluable not only in terms of the consistency but also the large amount of high-quality data collected," Martha Tsigkari, a partner at Foster and Partners, said in a release.
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Spot in construction.
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Management consulting salaries revealed: How much top firms like McKinsey and PwC pay everyone from interns to C-suite execs

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Boston Consulting Group office in Hudson Yards, New York.

Management consulting is a highly competitive industry — with highly competitive pay. 

The consulting industry has taken a hit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Over the last several months, firms had to halt business travel, adopt remote work tools, and adjust to the new normal while simultaneously serving corporate clients. 

But many are still hiring for 6-figure jobs. 

Nearly all of the consulting firms have extended full-time offers to this year's summer interns who completed their programs virtually. Boutique firms specialized in healthcare, pharma, and corporate turnaround are looking to expand. Some firms, like PwC and KPMG, have slowed their recruitment efforts, but they are still looking and carefully hiring talent. 

So how much can you make if you land a job in management consulting right now? 

Business Insider has compiled a list of salary reports for major consulting firms. These guides are based on our analysis of the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification's 2019 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers, annual salary reports from career-development company Management Consulted, and interviews with experts. 

Here's what you need to know if you're an MBA graduate, college student, or an experienced hire looking to switch jobs.

Highest-paying firms for MBA graduates: 13 consulting firms where you can earn more than $200,000 right out of business school

Highest-paying firms for MBA interns: 8 consulting firms where MBA students can earn more than $30,000 during their internships

Highest-paying firms for college graduates: 10 consulting firms where you can earn more than $100,000 right out of college

Firms with the biggest salary boosts: 10 consulting firms that gave MBA grads the biggest salary boosts in the last 5 years

"Big 4" salaries: 'Big 4' salaries, revealed: How much Deloitte, KPMG, EY, and PwC accountants and consultants make, from entry level to executive roles

"Big 3" salaries: REVEALED: Bain, BCG, and McKinsey management-consulting salaries, from $90,000 entry-level roles through partner

Accenture salaries: Accenture salary data reveals how much it pays for jobs in consulting, data science, engineering, and computer programming

Boutique firm salaries: Consulting salaries revealed: How much employees make at 12 boutique firms including Booz Allen Hamilton, AlixPartners, and Mercer

Read the original article on Business Insider

I visited a United Club during the pandemic and saw how the airline is re-imagining the airport lounge as it slowly welcomes back travelers

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United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • United Airlines is re-examining its airport lounges, called United Clubs, during the pandemic as the priorities of its top passengers have shifted towards health and safety. 
  • Only 10 lounges are open across a network of 33 airports as daily departures are slashed and international travel remains scarce but more are likely to be opened in the coming months.
  • We visited the United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport for a closer look at how the lounge is surviving the pandemic with fewer passengers and a reduced offering.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

United Airlines is slowly reopening its premium lounges, aptly named United Clubs, across the country as more flyers return to the skies.

Only 10 lounges have opened their doors with at least one at each of United's hubs in the US  but locations at 25 airports across the airline's global network remain closed. They normally cater to the airline's top flyers – including those flying in business and first class on select flights, elite status holders, and cardholders of certain United credit cards –  who have not yet returned in meaningful numbers to warrant the opening of additional lounges. 

United was similarly forced to close all of the Polaris lounges, its flagship lounge product geared towards international Polaris business class flyers that included showers, sit-down dining, and private suites. All Polaris lounges had been opened except for one location in Washington before the pandemic hit and the loss of premium international travelers warranted their temporary closure. 

With passenger priorities changing, United has adjusted the purpose of its lounges, focusing more on social distancing and safety than anything else. A five-point plan was crafted by the airline to guide the reopening process with a focus on examining everything from how guests enter the lounge to training staff on new health and safety policies and procedures.

Take a look inside what is now the only United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.

United has consolidated its Newark operation to Terminal C, the airport's largest terminal used exclusively by United.
United Club Newark Airport
Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Even with the consolidation, the terminal remains quieter than normal with Newark seeing a reduction in daily United departures of around 50%.
United Club Newark Airport
Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport.
With fewer departures, only one of the four United lounges at the airport remains open.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
It's a quick walk or elevator ride up to the lounge but before passengers even step foot in the lounge, they're greeted with a hand sanitizer station...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
And a reminder of United's new overall safety measures, in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and Clorox. These signs can be found across the terminal from check-in to the gate.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Elevator riders will notice the social distancing placards that limit capacity to five at a time.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Those placards continue on the top floor and lead the way towards check-in.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The main hallway is divided by a rope where passengers heading into the lounge stay on the right and those leaving the lounge stay on the opposite side.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
And there's another hand sanitizer station for good measure.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Plexiglass partitions have been installed at check-in, a common trend across the entire airport that also sees these partitions at gates and ticket counters.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Visitors are encouraged to scan their own boarding passes when verifying their eligibility to enter as a way to reduce interactions between lounge staff and passengers.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
This lounge just reopened in July after being closed in the early days of the pandemic.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
It has a very basic hexagonal design with capacity restricted to 202, down from around 400.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
United used the downtime to change the layout and also slightly refurbish the lounge as it is one of the older lounges in the airline's network.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
But even with the capacity restrictions, the lounge was nowhere near full during our visit where only 300 people had entered from the time the lounge had opened until 3 p.m.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
That number will undoubtedly grow as United adds more departures from Newark but coastal hubs have taken a beating in terms of traffic numbers since international flights have been reduced.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Returning visitors to the United Club will notice a slight change of design with fewer tables and chairs in some places to better allow for distancing.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Instead of blocking seats or tables with a placard as other airline lounges have done, they've been removed entirely from the lounge.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
These tables, for example, used to line the perimeter of the lounge along the inner window but a lot of them have been removed so they can be effectively spaced.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Chairs were also removed from high-tops so visitors can be spaced a few feet apart.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The low-density configuration helps make the experience more private, contributing to the goal of making the lounge a quiet, safe place to wait before a flight.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
A benefit of the lounge's original design was that it included these single-person workstations, separated from each other with high walls that aid in social distancing.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Beyond the design changes, visitors will also notice a scaled-back food offering.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
This self-serve buffet would normally feature a mixture of hot and cold food items including soups, breads, and salads, but fresh food has largely been replaced with pre-packaged snacks.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.

United is trialing an enhanced pre-packaged food offering to include items like salads, breakfast parfaits, wraps, sandwiches, and desserts. Lounges in Denver, Chicago, and Honolulu will be the test lounges. 

Well-known snacks are represented included Ritz...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Oreos...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Chips Ahoy...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Wheat Thins...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
And Doritos.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Slightly fresher food items include mozzarella cheese sticks...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Brownies...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Individually packaged apples...
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
And classic mixed nuts.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
During lunchtime, Smucker's peanut butter and jelly Uncrustables sandwiches are also available on request while staff will come around with yogurts, selections of cheeses, blueberry muffins, and banana nut muffins throughout the day.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Other hours of the day will also see hard-boiled eggs and cup noodles on offer, depending on the mealtime.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The offering isn't meant to be permanent as United is in the midst of revising its lounge dining strategy.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
But the strategy, for now, is focused on small bites that passengers can grab and quickly bring back to their seats.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The bar area has also been scaled back with United removing all tables and barstools to avoid crowding in the area.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
This now-barren space, for example, used to be filled with tables and chairs
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
And barstools formerly lined the bar so passengers could watch television while enjoying a drink.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
But United doesn't want passengers to linger here so those amenities have been removed. Plexiglass partitions have been installed at ordering stations to further reduce contact between staff and patrons.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Coffee is now also served by bartenders as the self-serve machines have been shut to lower the number of touchpoints in the lounge.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The bar's offering remains the same with house beer, wines, and liquors remaining complimentary.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Cocktails and more high-end items will still cost, however.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
For soft drink users, the multi-drink Coca-Cola machine provides countless options from sparkling water to classic Coke. It even has QR functionality so passengers can operate the machine using their own device.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
I was able to make this sparkling lemon-lime Dasani without touching the screen. All drinks are also being served in these single-use cups so they can be easily discarded.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Hand sanitizer stations then flank the edge of the bar for patrons to use after getting their drink.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
In an effort to further reduce touchpoints, magazines and newspapers have also been removed.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Cleaning the lounge falls under United's CleanPlus initiative that's in collaboration with Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic. Facilities are cleaned daily and staff ensure that spaces are cleaned shortly after a passenger uses it.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Unlike other airline lounges, there are very few physical reminders to wear a mask or social distance in the seating areas of the lounge. United attributes that to a desire to use less paper and plastic.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Instead, overhead announcements and digital signage remind all patrons to wear a mask and social distance. Wearing a mask is required in all United lounges, except when eating and drinking, and anywhere in the airport.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Realizing that demand and traffic are down and will be for quite some time, United is re-examining the role of its lounges amid a new reality of air travel. Health and safety now take precedence over the typical lounge luxuries.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Travelers are spending less time in airports as fewer passengers are clogging up security checkpoint lines so the appeal of arriving early to enjoy the luxuries of the lounge is no longer an issue.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.
United will open more lounges are the number of daily passengers increase and has said it will open additional spaces before removing capacity limits in existing ones.
United Club Newark Airport
The United Club at Newark Liberty International Airport.

In Honolulu, for example, United is opening a lounge on November 21 as leisure demand increases to Hawaii. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The freeze on federal student loan payments expires on December 31. With no action from Trump or Congress, the Biden administration will have to move quickly to protect millions of borrowers.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at the White House August 12, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • A freeze on federal student loan repayments and interest is set to expire on December 31, just weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. 
  • Without an extension from President Donald Trump, millions of Americans will be expected to resume those payments in order to avoid penalties.
  • The onus will be on the Biden administration to address the issue during the new president's first weeks in office. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A few weeks before President-elect Joe Biden officially takes office, a temporary freeze on federal student loan payments put in place by President Donald Trump is set to expire, and without a pathway to renewing that moratorium beforehand, Biden would inherit the task of addressing the issue. 

Congress passed a bill in late March pausing payments on federal student loans and interest. In August, Trump extended the freeze until December 31. Borrowers were allowed to take advantage of the zero-interest period to continue paying down the principal on their loans, if they chose to.

With more than 40 million student loan borrowers in the US, experts told Business Insider that ending the payment suspension could be detrimental to individual borrowers, the economy, and even loan servicers.

Americans could be left struggling to make payments in the absence of a renewed student loan moratorium, and the Biden administration would need to find a solution for the likely economic consequences, a process that could take months to accomplish.

Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance told Business Insider the looming uncertainty around the student loan freeze poses challenges for servicers. Buchanan told Politico the federal student loan system "was not designed to start and stop at the same time for 30 million borrowers."

The Department of Education has already begun reminding borrowers that payments will restart soon, and has been offering advice about the resources available to them, including a number of repayment options and deferments.

Without a solution extending the payment suspension, the number of requests for assistance could potentially overwhelm the companies managing federal student debt. Betsy Mayotte, president of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors, told Business Insider that servicers could experience delays that negatively impact consumers. 

Mayotte explained the student loan payment freeze had helped servicers address assistance requests from borrowers. Without the moratorium, it would have been difficult for servicers and the US Department of Education to handle the demand, especially as they also navigated COVID-19 and managed employees who were working from home.

"I suspect that the delays would have been enormous. There absolutely would have been some borrowers that fell through the cracks there," Mayotte said. 

To address the millions of federal student loan accounts that would emerge from the payment freeze on December 31, Buchanan suggested implementing a tiered repayment system where borrowers who are least in need of assistance can opt into repayments first. It is not clear how servicers would determine which borrowers fall into that category, or how companies would encourage them to resume payments ahead of financially strapped customers. 

Young man at home, paying bills online

What's next

A week before Thanksgiving, the future of the federal student loan freeze remains unclear. The Trump administration could decide to extend it, or if it ends, the incoming Biden administration could pursue a different path, or renew it retroactively when the president-elect takes office. And the likelihood of Congress addressing the matter as part of a new stimulus package before the end of 2020 is slim. 

Mayotte said she doesn't anticipate the Trump administration is likely to extend the moratorium and that it's likely the Biden-administration rolls out orders to reinstate a freeze. 

Read moreEXCLUSIVE: Documents reveal Trump is building his own 'deep state' by leaving political appointees behind in government for the Biden administration

There are other likely pain points. It could take weeks or months, for loan servicers to implement any new freeze that may come after the current one ends. 

It took weeks for the Department of Education to freeze all payments in March. Additionally, CNN reported in May that the department was sued for continuing to collect on defaulted borrowers' loans. Additionally, as many as 5 million borrowers experienced technical errors from servicers that impacted their credit scores and took time to correct. 

Michele Streeter, a senior policy analyst at the Institute for College Access & Success, told Business Insider the payment suspension hasn't just been helpful for keeping people out of default and delinquency, it has allowed them to focus on other necessary expenses. 

"So many people have taken either an income loss or lost a job or have had hours reduced or have had additional expenses arise in terms of the pandemic. It's given people some breathing room and it's given them the space to stretch their resources further," Streeter said. 

She added that defaulting and delinquency aren't easy on borrowers either and the freeze has helped prevent wages from being garnished, and while it's unclear how many people could default without some kind of intervention, the pause on payments and interest has helped give borrowers additional financial leverage. 

Read more: Trump waged a 4-year war against the press. Here's what 5 White House briefing room insiders want from the Biden era.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and many public health experts have warned that the US is in the deadliest wave yet. As cases surge, and the US continues to break single-day case records, many states and localities are reimplementing modified lockdown measures to slow down the spread of the virus. On Friday, the COVID-19 Tracking Project reported 193,000 new cases. 

For some people, the end of the student loan freeze could lead to more account delinquencies and force borrowers to make tough decisions about their bills. Streeter said this is especially the case since it's likely there would be delays in processing applications for new safety net programs.

"They will either decide not to make a payment because they can't afford it. They don't really have the choice and so then they start going into delinquency status and potentially default down the road," Streeter said.

"Or you see people trying to make payments they can't afford and foregoing paying for other necessities because of it."

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to speak more confidently in work meetings if you struggle with anxiety

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Your sensitivity and emotions could get in the way of building up confidence during meetings
  • Melody Wilding is an executive coach who helps people navigate their careers confidently and find lasting work-life balance.
  • If you're freezing, overthinking your responses, rambling, or shutting down at meetings, she says you're likely a "Sensitive Striver" — a high-achieving individual who's more susceptible to stress.
  • She recommends reframing your mindset about pre-meeting jitters, and arriving or logging onto a meeting before it starts to avoid feeling rushed.
  • Speak up early in the meeting, ask powerful questions, and take the initiative on next steps for following up.  
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Another meeting is coming up at work, and you're dreading it. But if you want to get ahead, it's important to speak confidently in meetings.

This is a goal one of my clients, Allison, had when she first started coaching. She came to me asking, "Why do I get so nervous before speaking in a meeting?"

Allison was an experienced cybersecurity professional — so highly regarded for her specialized expertise that she was recruited out of her current role into a new one.

Her new role was exciting and presented a huge opportunity for her career. But the thought of greater visibility made her impossibly anxious. The fear of speaking in meetings paralyzed her. Whenever it came time to contribute, Allison would freeze, overthink her response, and end up rambling.

Afterward, she'd beat herself up and feel like an imposter – incapable of doing the very job she had been recruited for. She desperately wanted to be more confident and less fearful in meetings and in her work overall.

Does Allison's story sound familiar? If so, you're far from alone.

Read more: 9 books to improve your virtual communication skills, according to a public speaking expert

Sensitive Strivers and speaking up in meetings

Sensitive Strivers are high-achievers who are also highly sensitive. This describes 15-20% of the population who thinks and feels everything more deeply.

Common workplace situations might be moderately stressful to the average person can cause a Sensitive Striver to shut down, especially when overwhelmed. You bring many assets and talents to the table thanks to your ability to process information more thoroughly.

But it also means you are more susceptible to stress and emotional reactivity, particularly when it involves judgment or evaluation from others (like in a meeting or on a conference call).

Are you a Sensitive Striver?

You may be a Sensitive Striver if you agree with most of the following:

  • I experience emotions to a high level of depth and complexity.
  • I have a strong desire to "exceed expectations" in every aspect of my life.
  • I have an inner critic that never takes a day off.
  • I'm kind, compassionate, and empathetic to others.
  • I often put other people's needs ahead of my own.
  • I'm easily impacted by stress.
  • I struggle to "turn off" my mind because it's constantly filled with thoughts.
  • I have strong emotional reactions.
  • I feel anxious when I'm caught off guard or know I'm being watched or evaluated.
  • I hold myself to high standards and judge myself harshly if I make mistakes.
  • I often get stuck in indecision and analysis paralysis.
  • I take feedback and criticism to heart.

Meetings can be tough environments for Sensitive Strivers because:

  • You genuinely enjoy listening to others' ideas
  • You prefer to observe and absorb what's happening before offering an opinion
  • You have a high sense of responsibility so you show respect by deferring to the leaders at the table
  • You tend to be more reserved, which mean more outgoing co-workers may dominate the discussion
  • You are overwhelmed more easily and may freeze under pressure
  • You are able to think deeply and see all sides of a situation, which can lead to overthinking
  • You are so empathetic that you worry about what other people think of you

Read more: 5 major players in internal comms making it easier for companies to communicate with staff in the new remote world

Strategies to speak confidently in meetings

Sitting frozen and fearful through yet another meeting is a terrible feeling. Take heart, because it doesn't need to be this way. It is entirely within your power to take control and ditch a habit of staying silent so you can get ahead.

Elevating your visibility at work is essential if you want your career to evolve and grow. You work hard and have great ideas to contribute — you should be making an impact and getting the recognition you deserve.

With a little practice from these tips, you'll finally feel like the integral team member you've always been.

1. Banish pre-meeting jitters

Your hands are shaky. Your stomach is doing somersaults. You suddenly start second-guessing if you spelled the client's name correctly on the agenda. These are common pre-meeting anxieties. It's normal to experience anticipatory stress when you feel as if your intelligence or contributions are being evaluated.

Instead of impugning your jitters as a sign that you're inadequate or otherwise not up to the task at hand, Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal suggests befriending your stress response, reframing it as a sign you're ready for action and prepared to bring your best to the (conference) table.

It's also essential to bring down your baseline level of stimulation before a meeting. Allison, the client I told you about in the story earlier, would use box breathing to shift from nervous to calm.

2. Ease into it 

It may be tempting to arrive right before a meeting starts to appear prompt or avoid awkward small talk. But if you feel rushed or short on time, this will only exacerbate the existing stress you already feel during meetings.

Instead, build in a buffer and plan to settle in before things get underway. Give yourself the opportunity to ease into the physical meeting space. If it's a virtual teleconference, get comfortable with the webinar controls, your mic, and webcam ahead of time.

As colleagues arrive, focus on making conversation with one or two people at a time, which can feel both socially fulfilling and less overwhelming. You'll also already have an "in" of sorts as the meeting begins and the conversation turns towards agenda items. This can help ease anxiety and make speaking up for the duration of the session seamless.

3. Commit to speaking early

Have you ever come to a meeting with ideas and plan for what you want to say, then left realizing you said nothing the entire time? While you're not alone, staying quiet is doing yourself a disservice. It typically gets more difficult to enter the conversation as a meeting progresses. The longer you wait, the more your anxiety will build.

Growth often comes from discomfort, so push yourself to speak up early. Set a simple strategy to say something in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the session–whether it's to welcome attendees, present your main argument, ask a question or offer an opinion on a new business proposal. It's a surefire way to ensure you contribute.

Read more: LinkedIn's incoming CEO Ryan Roslansky starts in June. He says these are the 3 principles the company is relying on to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

4. Use your strengths when speaking up

You don't have to be the loudest in the room. Even soft-spoken Sensitive Strivers can still make an impact by backing up a coworker's comment with a simple, "Great idea! I can see that working really well."

You can also focus on asking powerful questions. As a Sensitive Striver, you're very observant, which gives you an edge when it comes to posing the kind of thought-provoking questions that haven't crossed your colleagues' minds quite yet.

Another powerful way to increase your impact and visibility even after the meeting wraps is by following up with an email to your boss summarizing key points raised, or better yet, providing a proposal for a new project sparked by the conversation. You'll build up a reputation as someone who makes useful contributions and you'll come to everyone's mind more quickly when promotion time comes around. More importantly, you'll gain confidence in yourself.

This is exactly what Allison did within the first weeks of starting her job. Armed with the new tools and courage she gained through coaching, she was soon able to say, "I'm proud of how confident and competent my new colleagues perceive me to be. But most importantly, I value myself."

5. Be the one to take action on "next steps" 

Did something come up in the meeting that could use more research? Commit to taking on something for the next meeting. It shows you have initiative and that you're interested and invested in your organization.

This is a great example of employing a pre-commitment device, a habit formation technique you can use to nudge yourself towards behaviors you desire. You've committed yourself — now you'll be more motivated and likely to follow through.

6. Challenge your beliefs about contributing 

Many people's leadership instincts may not have been nurtured to their full potential in childhood, and subconscious insecurities can seep into our behavior to this day when it comes to speaking up. So how do you overcome old, outdated scripts holding you back from feeling confident about speaking up? It requires a deep-dive into your presumptions about self-worth and speaking up.

Growing up, what were you told about standing out? Were you given the message by your parents, teachers, and community that you could be whatever you wanted, or did you internalize concepts like, "People won't like you if you try to stand out"?

If you find yourself easily devastated by real or imagined negative feedback should you express your ideas, consider that you may be reverting back to an immature identity when your self-esteem was more contingent on others' (especially that of authority figures') opinions.

When you have a point to make yet find undermining thoughts creeping in, thank your inner critic for trying to do its job by keeping you protected. Fear can signal you're saying something of significance. Seize the moment. Stop playing small. Remember, you're part of your organization because you're qualified, you're effective, and you matter.

As a Sensitive Striver, you've got a lot to offer. Now it's time to let everyone know it.

Read the original article on Business Insider

In the age of COVID-19, gym-goers are looking for safer ways to work out. KleenWraps says its microbial wraps are the solution

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  • Gym-goers are seeking extra protection as they try to return to normal life amid the pandemic.
  • KleenWraps says it has a solution to this problem: microbial wraps that can be used on dumbbells, bar weights, and other gym equipment to prevent surface transmission of COVID-19.
  • The wraps are waterproof, have silicon grips, and can also be used for shopping carts, subway poles, and railings in communal buildings like senior homes.
  • KleenWraps has also launched a facemask with designer Chris Gelinas for performance athletes, and is considering developing microbial seat covers and yoga mats.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Like so many areas of commerce, gyms have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After being forced to shut during lockdowns, they are now trying to encourage safety-conscious patrons to maintain their memberships.

Although many Americans have turned to fitness during the pandemic as a way to stay both healthy and entertained, causing sales to boom for the likes of Peloton, Lululemon, and Strava, gym-goers are seeking extra protection. Some feel that mask mandates and distancing guidelines might still not be enough to protect them. One company thinks it has come up with a solution to this uncertainty: KleenWraps

The brand's patented microbial wraps can be used on dumbbells, bar weights, and other gym equipment to prevent surface transmission of COVID-19 and other germs.

The wraps are made from waterproof neoprene and medical grade iHeir-333 antimicrobial technology. They have velcro to attach them, and silicon dots for grip.

Kleenwraps

The design means that users only have to touch the outside of the wrap. The inside of the wrap is the only part that touches shared surfaces, meaning the germs stay on the inside.

Despite the current need for their products, KleenWraps wasn't actually set up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mother and son team Elizabeth Silver and Russell Silver-Fagan produced their first batch of the product in 2018. The pair shared an elliptical, but this would become sweaty after each use. Silver-Fagan tried using a beer koozie at first, before they decided to develop their own solution for the problem – a waterproof wrap that could be used for non-open-ended products like dumbbells, too.

Demand wasn't huge at first, the pair told Business Insider. Gyms didn't like the idea of the product as it would make them look unclean.

But some individual gym-goers liked the product because although visitors have to clean down exercise machines, such as treadmills, after use, very few cleaned the barbells and dumbbells.

During the pandemic, sales for the product have rocketed as people increasingly take personal responsibility for their hygiene in communal settings like gyms. The wraps are ideal for use there, because they also repel sweat and are quick drying.

But the wraps aren't just for use in gyms, Silver and Silver-Fagan explained. People have been using them in everyday situations, such as on shopping carts, bike handlebars, and subway poles, and senior homes in Florida have also ordered the wraps to use on communal surfaces like railings.

KleenWraps3

And because of their versatility, the directors aren't worried about sales tanking during state lockdowns, which have risen over the course of November as COVID-19 cases across the US continue to rise. Even if gyms shut, people will still need the protection for other shared surfaces, they explained.

The duo are predominantly selling the wraps directly to consumers via their website, although gyms in New York, Oregon, and California have placed orders. There has been interest from potential distributors and third-party sellers, the directors explained to Business Insider, but the brand wants to maintain control and oversight of the product for the time being.

Kleenwraps

Similar products have popped up over the pandemic, Silver and Silver-Fagan explained, but KleenWraps isn't worried about any potential competition. The product is protected by a patent, they explained, and already has a loyal customer base.

Some companies have launched antimicrobial gloves, but these aren't as hygienic, the pair said. Many people will transfer germs between different communal surfaces while wearing the gloves, they explained, and may also spread them to their phones.

 

The brand launched a facemask with designer Chris Gelinas

As the pandemic strengthened demand for personal protective equipment, the duo noticed a gap in the market. Most brands offering stylish face masks were lifestyle or fashion brands, they found. KleenWraps wanted to launch an alternative that would balance comfort, style, and safety.

The company spent almost four months developing the masks with product and apparel designer Chris Gelinas, who has previously worked with Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, and Lady Gaga.

Though Silver and Silver-Fagan had performance athletes in mind, they were quick to add that masks are designed for everyday use, and described it as "the most comfortable mask on the market."

KleenWraps1

The masks are aligned vertically, not horizontally, meaning they are less likely to fall off the wearer's nose. They also have a fitted nose guard, which stops glasses from fogging up. The masks are also quick drying and have a two-way stretch which makes them breathable, and the antimicrobial covering is guaranteed for the masks' lifetime.

Like the wraps, KleenWraps has seen huge demand for its mask too, in part due to a partnership with Crunch Fitness. The first pre-orders for the masks sold out within a week.

The brand currently offers masks and wraps, but it plans to diversify to larger products in the future. When states start to open up again, people will return to more communal activities, such as public transport and exercise classes. KleenWraps plans on exploring options like microbial seat covers for traveling and yoga mats, Silver and Silver-Fagan explained, as people continue to embrace the new normal.

Read the original article on Business Insider

It's time for liberals to stop fat shaming Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump
  • Fat shaming Trump has been widely accepted and popular among progressives and liberals for years.
  • Fat shaming doesn't harm Trump, but rather average fat people, who internalize public fat-shaming and get the message that their body is a subject of ridicule and should be a source of shame.
  • Trump is one of the most inept and harmful presidents in our country's history, but he should be critiqued on his words and actions, not on his body.
  • Rebecca Bodenheimer is a freelance writer and cultural critic with a PhD in ethnomusicology.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Joe Biden has been elected as the next president of the United States. There is a light at the end of the long, dark Trump tunnel. While Trumpism as a phenomenon is far from defeated, the man himself will exit the White House in January. 

Donald Trump will go down in history as one of the most inept and harmful presidents in history. From his disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to his cruel immigration policies and tacit condoning of white supremacist rhetoric, it's clear that Trump is a miserable leader and abhorrent person. 

Despite this, I'm tired of the pervasive and wrong-headed body-shaming of him by progressives and liberals. 

Fatphobic comments directed at Trump don't harm him—he'll never see most of them, as he lives in an echo chamber of media that strokes his fragile ego. Instead, these barbs telegraph to the fat friends and family members of progressives that our bodies should be a source of shame and are deserving of ridicule. Progressives' mocking of Trump's body let us know exactly how you feel about fat people.

Progressives are often fat-phobic

Most recently, while the election results were coming in and Trump was falsely claiming they were rigged, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper characterized Trump as "an obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot son, realizing his time is over." The fact that Cooper resorted to fat-shaming by calling attention to Trump's obesity reflects a widespread acceptance of fat phobia within our society. It was entirely unnecessary to reference Trump's weight to comment on how anti-democratic and dangerous his misinformation campaign is. 

On October 8, former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll fat-shamed Trump on Twitter in a now deleted quote-tweet that read "Sir, I hear you weigh 1300 pounds." I replied directly, writing that while I supported her and believed her claims of being sexually assaulted by Trump, it was inappropriate to body-shame him in order to critique his awful behavior.

These examples follow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's fat-phobic comments in May, when she (erroneously) referred to Trump as "morbidly obese" (his reported height and weight would classify him as "obese"). And in 2018, when Trump's doctors publicized his weight, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes joked, "Has anyone coined 'girther' for those who [sic] belive the president weighs more than his doctor reports?" 

I see plenty of support for these fat-phobic cheap shots in my social media feeds. In the past week, I've been unfriended by someone for critiquing their support of Anderson Cooper's comment. Some defend their right to fat-shame by mentioning the fact that he has fat-shamed women many times, so he deserves a dose of his own medicine. But why anyone would want to defend their right to perpetuate a form of bigotry just because Trump does it himself is beyond me.  

Unlike racism, xenophobia, homophobia or misogyny, fat-phobia is still widely acceptable within progressive public discourse. It's also a form of bigotry that harms many more people, as it's experienced across race, sexuality, and gender—though of course it's much more commonly deployed against women. Over 70% of American adults are classified as overweight or obese, meaning our societal fat-phobia — reiterated by the media we consume — negatively affects roughly 231 million adults.

Fat phobia is more harmful than obesity 

One very tangible way we see fat-phobia causing harm is how deeply ingrained it is within the medical profession. As reported in this 2018 Michael Hobbes piece, doctors have routinely ignored the "mountains of evidence" finding that shaming and pathologizing fat people as a method for getting them to lose weight is completely ineffective — instead, it's actively harmful. Researchers have known for decades that diets don't work long-term for losing weight, and that body size isn't necessarily correlated with overall health. 

Fat patients are reluctant to go to the doctor's office due to the prejudice they experience. Their medical problems are often reduced to their weight (even if their symptoms are unrelated), which leads to them being under-diagnosed for a variety of conditions, including cancer

As Hobbes reported, "Negative words—'noncompliant,' 'overindulgent,' 'weak willed'—pop up in [fat patients'] medical histories with higher frequency." He also noted that some doctors outright refuse to see patients weighing more than 200 pounds, which is discrimination, plain and simple.  

The irony of progressives perpetuating fat-phobia is that the people who it hurts the most are those we purport to support and advocate for: people who are already marginalized, either by their race, their class, or both. 

The Body Mass Index (BMI), the primary measure for categorizing people as overweight or obese, is deeply flawed as an indicator for how healthy someone is: it was designed solely with white people in mind, and doesn't take into account one's bone density or muscle mass. This means Black Americans are more likely to be considered obese and at risk for diseases like diabetes, while Asian Americans are commonly assumed to be healthy (and thus not at risk) simply because they have a low BMI. 

Compounding the flaws of the BMI, fatphobia is rooted in anti-Blackness. Sociologist Sabrina Strings traces the fear of fatness back to slavery, arguing that it was used to justify Black people's enslavement and classify them as slaves when skin color wasn't a reliable marker. She also believes it was the structural conditions slavery created, not obesity (as is commonly thought), that explains why Black Americans have been dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate than white people. Black women already suffer from maternal mortality at three times the rate of white women, and report their pain not being taken as seriously by doctors. Fatphobia among medical professionals only exacerbates the risks Black women face within our healthcare system.  

Soon we will no longer be forced to endure countless news cycles debating Donald Trump's latest lie or inhumane policy decision. But when he's gone, there will still be a lot of fat people in this country—many of whom abhor him. 

Fat people aren't inherently inferior, lazier, or less disciplined than thin people. The reason we need to do away with the concept of obesity—often assumed to be a moral failing of fat people—is that it doesn't have any meaning beyond a number on a scale.  

When I say it's time to stop fat-shaming Trump, it's not because I care about his feelings or don't enjoy gloating over his loss. It's because I want all body-shaming to stop, because its psychological effects are much more harmful for fat people than being fat is. Trump isn't awful because he's fat. He's awful because of his callousness and cruelty. Slam him for what he says and does, not what his body looks like.

Rebecca Bodenheimer is a freelance writer and cultural critic with a PhD in ethnomusicology. She writes on a wide range of topics, including pop culture, gender, fatphobia, parenting, and Cuba.

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Concede or fight? Where Trump's lawyers, family members, and GOP lawmakers stand on the president's decision to refuse to concede to Biden

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Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. before the presidential debate last week in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • President Donald Trump is refusing to concede the presidential election, and said he plans to fight the results in court. 
  • The issue of whether to concede has divided Trump's inner circle, with some advising him to accept loss with dignity.
  • Others are encouraging him to continue to dispute the results, even though his cases are widely seen as hopeless and ineffective.
  • Below is Business Insider's roundup of where figures like Melania Trump, Don Jr, Rudy Giuliani, and Jared Kushner stand on the issue.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump's refusal to accept that he lost the presidential election is dividing Trumpworld figures, who have either been encouraging him to concede or disputing the results. 

Soon after Business Insider and major media networks called the election for President-elect Joe Biden, Trump's campaign rushed out a statement saying that the former vice president "is rushing to falsely pose as the winner" and signaled that he would attempt to challenge the results in court. 

Even much of Trump's own legal team consider the attempt hopeless, as Business Insider's Sophia Ankel has reported. Trump "is mostly alone here," one aide told CNN.

Still, his campaign has continued asking for funds from supporters to finance the effort. And many high-profile MAGA supporters are rallying to defend him.

Here's what his inner circle and major supporters have said to him:

Melania Trump: Concede

The First Lady has made no public statement, but has privately told her husband to accept defeat, a source familiar with the conversations told CNN

"She has offered [her opinion], as she often does," the source said. 

Ivanka Trump: Is the fight really worth it?

Ivanka Trump has approached her father to concede but advised him to do it after the Georgia recount finished, CNN reported

According to the network, she feels the legal challenges will ensure election integrity, but won't change the outcome — and has asked her father to consider the business impact of his refusal. 

Jared Kushner: Both sides?

Axios and The New York Times cited sources saying Kushner has advised Trump to keep fighting. 

But Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller disputed the reports, saying in a tweet: "Jared has advised @realDonaldTrump to pursue all available legal remedies to ensure accuracy."

But news outlets are reporting that Kushner largely agrees with Ivanka's assessment, and is telling Trump only to fight until the Georgia recount, rather than to the bitter end. 

Fox's Laura Ingraham: "Accept defeat"

One of the president's staunchest cheerleaders, Fox News host Laura Ingraham, took the unusual step unaligning herself with Trump and advising him to accept defeat

"If and when it's time to accept an unfavorable outcome in this election, and we hope it never comes, President Trump needs to do it with the same grace and composure that he demonstrated at that town hall with Savannah Guthrie," she said, in reference to his town hall event with the NBC anchor. 

Sean Hannity: Keeping hope alive

The Fox anchor and Trump confidante has attempted to create a picture of hope for Trump.

His Twitter feed as of November 9 included a Breitbart article comparing the election results with the Bush v Gore contest of 2000, even though legal experts have said it is a poor comparison.

Hannity also tweeted a blog post by conservative political commentator Gregg Jarrett with the headline: "The presidency is chosen by electors from all 50 states, not news organizations riven with bias."

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Fight

The South Carolina senator has put his money where his mouth is, telling Sean Hannity's show that he had personally donated $500,000 to Trump's legal efforts. 

He also appeared on Fox News to urge him not to concede and to fight in the courts. 

Sen. Pat Toomey: Move on

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey congratulated Biden on his victory, saying Trump has "exhausted all plausible legal options."

"I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory," Toomey said. "They are both dedicated public servants and I will be praying for them and for our country."

Trump is trying "to thwart the will of Michigan voters and select an illegitimate slate of electoral college electors," he added.

Other Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have also acknowledged Biden as the victor.

Sen. Kevin Cramer: Keep fighting

The North Dakota senator is keeping in tune with Trump, telling him to continuing fighting the election results. 

"I don't know why we are so easily offended by a president who is carrying out all his legal options," Cramer said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

At the same time, though, Cramer said the White House should begin the transition process.

Sen. Ted Cruz: Concession 'way premature.'

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told Fox News that it was "way premature" for the president to concede. "At this point, we do not know who has prevailed in the election," he said, according to Newsweek.

The New York Post: Give up

The New York Post rallied hard in the president's defense during the late stages of his campaign, including running a controversial and poorly sourced story alleging corruption by Biden and his son in Ukraine.

But it appears the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid has accepted the reality in this case, with a full-page cover saying "It's Joe Time."

In an editorial, the Post described Trump's re-election as "near-impossible" and urged him to drop "conspiracy-addled talk of a 'stolen election'" and to concede to secure his "legacy."

Rudy Giuliani: Fight

The president's personal lawyer has been spearheading Trump's efforts to dispute the election results.

He's alleged that there's "uniform deprivation of the right to inspect" ballots at counting stations, CBS reported. He said he has statements from several poll watchers corroborating this allegation. 

He also accused the "Democratic machine" of tampering and of "[keeping] the votes of dead people secret," the network reported. He did not offer evidence.

"Obviously [Trump is] not going to concede when at least 600,000 ballots are in question," CBS reported him as saying. 

Don Jr. and Eric Trump: Come out swinging

The president's two eldest sons, Eric and Donald, were bullish on Thursday in defense of the president, lambasting senior Republicans on Twitter for not standing up for him more vocally.  

As of Monday, the pair had retweeted numerous claims of voter fraud and lack of trust in the electoral process. Twitter flagged numerous tweets, slapping on them a "disputed" information label.

Mitch McConnell: Noncommittal

McConnell echoed Trump's unease with the results, writing in a tweet that "Every legal vote should be counted." While not explicitly endorsing Trump's baseless allegations of fraud, that message has been repeated by many who sympathize with him.

Still, McConnell has promised there would be a peaceful transfer of power

Kayleigh McEnany: 'NOPE!!'

McEnany, who is unusually both a campaign advisor and White House press secretary, backed the president.

She tweeted: "Now we are expected to roll over & unite behind Joe Biden without asking questions? NOPE!!"

Jeanine Pirro: Fight this fraud

The Fox host retweeted Eric Trump's call for Republicans to "have some backbone" and "fight against this fraud."

"Time to stand up for our constitution our president and our way of life," she added. 

Newt Gingrich: Alleged an anti-Semitic conspiracy

The former speaker of the House went on "Fox & Friends" to back the unfounded accusations of fraud. He also alleged, also without evidence, that figures "like George Soros" were behind an attempt to steal the election. 

"I think [Biden] would have to do a lot to convince Republicans that this is anything except a left-wing power grab financed by people like George Soros, deeply laid in at the local level," he said. "And, frankly, I think that it is a corrupt, stolen election."

Soros, a Jewish billionaire who finances progressive initiatives, is a favored target among the hard right, who accuse him baselessly of piloting an attempt to control the world order. 

Gov. Larry Hogan: Biden won

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland asked Republican lawmakers and governors to acknowledge Biden's victory. 

"More and more people, very close supporters and friends of the President are all giving him that advice. He is just not listening," Hogan said on CNN.

"It was a pretty overwhelming victory [for Joe Biden] at this point," he added.

Liz Cheney: The time has come to concede

"America is governed by the rule of law," Cheney, the chair of the House Republican Conference, said in a statement. "The President and his lawyers have made claims of criminality and widespread fraud, which they allege could impact election results. If they have genuine evidence of this, they are obligated to present it immediately in court and to the American people."

"If the President cannot prove these claims or demonstrate that they would change the election result, he should fulfill his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States by respecting the sanctity of our electoral process," she added.

Mike Pence: Four more years

Vice President Mike Pence said the administration plans to remain in place for another full term

Supporters on Friday began chanting "four more years" at Pence, who was delivering a speech to conservative nonprofit Council for National Policy. 

"That's the plan," Pence replied to the event attendees. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Greta Thunberg spoke zero words to anyone outside her family for 3 years before becoming the face of the youth climate movement, a new film reveals

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Environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the 'Friday Strike For Climate' on March 6, 2020, in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Greta Thunberg, a teenage activist from Sweden, is the face of the youth climate movement.
  • A new documentary reveals that Thunberg didn't speak to anyone outside her family for three years before her rise to the world stage.
  • Since 2018, Thunberg has addressed the United Nations, US Congress, and UK Parliament, and met with countless powerful world leaders.
  • Thunberg has Asperger's syndrome, which she partially credits for her fierce activist nature.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Greta Thunberg, one of the world's most prominent climate activists, has spoken at United Nations summits, and addressed parliaments in the UK, France, and other countries. She's met Barack Obama and the Pope.

But a new documentary called "I Am Greta" reveals that Thunberg didn't speak to anyone outside her family for three years.

"They call it selective mutism," Thunberg's father, Svalte, says in the film, which came out on Hulu November 13. "She didn't speak to anyone but me, my wife, and her little sister maybe for three years."

Thunberg has Asperger's syndrome, which she calls her "superpower." Young children with Asperger's may develop selective mutism, speaking only to people they are comfortable with, like their families, but not strangers.

"I don't like making small talk with people or socializing," Thunberg says in the documentary, adding, "sometimes I go quiet for hours simply because I can't talk."

'I was sick. I almost starved to death'

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Thunberg and her father, Svante, at a press conference during the COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018.

Since 2018, Thunberg has become the face of a youth climate movement more than 4 million strong. She started the "Fridays For Future" movement — or School Strike for Climate, as it says in Swedish on her now famous sign. In March 2019, Thunberg led more than 1 million students around the world in walking out of Friday classes to protest inaction on climate change.

Then in September of that year, she led a worldwide climate strike that included 4 million people across 161 countries — the biggest climate-change protest in history.

Thunberg had been thinking about climate change — and the lack of action to curb it — since age 8. Three years later, she says, she became depressed by the seemingly impossible task of saving the planet.

"We saw a film in school. There were starving polar bears, floods, hurricanes, and droughts," Thunberg says in the documentary. "And the scientists said that we didn't have much time left to change our behavior."

That's when anxiety and illness set in.

"I stopped eating. I stopped speaking. I was sick. I almost starved to death," she says.

Thunberg's father said she stayed home from school for a year during that time.

From there, it took "many years" for her to start feeling better, she says in the film. Her desire to fight for climate action played a role in her recovery.

"I felt that why should I give up when there an infinite number of things you could do to make a difference," she says.

A voice for the youth movement

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Thunberg began her youth climate strike movement in Stockholm, Sweden in 2018.

The genesis of Thunberg's activism career came in May 2018, when she won a climate-change essay competition for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

In December of that year, Thunberg was invited to speak at the United Nations climate-change conference in Katowice, Poland.

It was the beginning of a public-speaking career.

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Thunberg speaks during a hearing in front of the US House of Representatives, September 18, 2019.

One of her most famous speeches was an impassioned call to action at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, a few days after the global climate strike. 

Thunberg chastised world leaders with tears in her eyes: "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," she said.

Time Magazine named Thunberg its 2019 Person of the Year.

'It feels like I'm speaking a completely different language'

Thunberg says in the documentary that despite the many invitations she's gotten to address policymakers, her frustration has mounted as world leaders continue not listen to her.

"I honestly do not understand why I am invited," she says, adding, "it feels like all they want is to be spotlighted to make it look like they care, as if they are doing something."

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Thunberg speaks at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, September 23, 2019.

During one meeting highlighted in the documentary, Thunberg spoke to members of the European Economic and Social Committee about the need to limit carbon emissions. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, spoke after Thunberg, but he didn't address the science she'd laid out. Instead, he floated the possibility of regulating toilet flushes across Europe.

"It feels like I'm speaking a completely different language, or as if the microphone isn't even on," Thunberg says in the film. "Sometimes when they just sit there and talk, I wonder to myself what would happen if I just stood up now and screamed."

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Bitcoin is 'here to stay' thanks to huge demand from millennials, BlackRock's Rick Rieder says

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Rick Rieder
  • Bitcoin is "is here to stay," BlackRock's chief investment officer of fixed income Rick Rieder told CNBC on Friday.
  • Rieder pointed to millenials openness to cryptocurrencies and digital payments as one reason why the popular crypto currency isn't going anywhere.
  • While Rieder said he doesn't own bitcoin in his own portfolio, he does see potential for bitcoin to "take the place of gold to a large extent," according to the interview.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Bitcoin isn't going anywhere, according to BlackRock's CIO of fixed income Rick Rieder.

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Rieder said bitcoin is "here to stay" thanks to millenials' openness to the cryptocurrency and digital payments in general.

The comments come in a month where bitcoin has surged 37% to levels not seen since its run to just under $20,000 in December of 2017.

Rieder believes bitcoin has real potential to "replace gold to a large extent" given that it's a durable mechanism for means of trade, more so than gold at least.

"[Bitcoin] is so much for functional than passing a bar of gold around," Rieder said.

Read more: 'I still think there's a long way to go': A crypto CEO breaks down why he's bullish on Bitcoin even after its surge back to $18,000 — and shares the other cryptocurrency he thinks is here to stay

Rieder isn't alone in that thinking. JPMorgan said it sees "considerable" upside in bitcoin as it better competes with gold as an alternative currency, according to a note from October.

JPMorgan said it sees millennials accelerating adoption of bitcoin, which will further its status as both a store of wealth and means of payment.

"Even a modest crowding out of gold as an 'alternative' currency over the longer term would imply doubling or tripling of the bitcoin price," JPMorgan said.

Other investors weighing in on bitcoin's rapid rise this year and where they see it going next include billionaire investors Chamath Palihapitiya Stanley Druckenmiller, and Ray Dalio.

While Rieder believes in the long term outlook of bitcoin, he has yet to add any to his investment portfolios, according to the interview. 

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 14 stocks well-positioned to see surging cash flow as the recovering economy upends the market

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden's climate change policies are better than Trump's, but they still aren't enough to prevent a climate catastrophe

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Climate activists protest in New York.
  • American voters rejected Trump's climate-change-denial-as-federal-policy approach and showed their commitment to a greener future at the ballot box this month by voting on key state issues.
  • The Biden administration promises a return to certain Obama-era climate and energy policies — but it's a far cry from the aggressive action favored by experts and activists.
  • Time is running out to prevent a catastrophic climate future.
  • Marianne Dhenin is a freelance writer covering social justice, politics, and the Middle East. 
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Trump administration has been a disaster for the environment. 

On just his fourth day in office, President Trump signed executive orders reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines after construction on both had been halted, meeting the demands of Indigenous activists and other protestors who argued that the projects had not undergone requisite environmental review and would threaten local water sources and increase carbon emissions. Trump also barred the Environmental Protection Agency from sharing its research with the public less than a week after his inauguration. 

Trump later announced the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. And last month, judges heard arguments in what The New York Times called Trump's "biggest climate rollback" — an attempt to replace Obama-era regulations on planet-warming emissions from coal plants with much weaker rules, which the American Lung Association claims violate the Clean Air Act. Altogether, Trump's rollbacks are estimated to increase carbon pollution in the United States by 1.8 tons between 2020 and 2035.

But on election day, voters rejected Trump's dangerous climate and energy policy reversals and outright climate change denial and showed that they're committed to a greener future. And this backlash didn't just come in the form of the presidential vote.

How Americans voted this year

Voters in Michigan committed to increasing spending on restoration and conservation of public lands with Proposal One, the Use of State and Local Park Funds Amendment, which was backed by a broad coalition of local and national environmental groups, including the National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy.

Those in Nevada approved Question Six, a constitutional amendment requiring utilities to draw at least 50% of their electricity from renewable resources in the next ten years. Voters passed the amendment not once but twice because, in Nevada, any amendment to the state Constitution has to be approved in two consecutive elections. The success of Question Six means there's now a constitutional amendment and a bill mandating 50% renewables after Governor Steve Sisolak signed SB358 on Earth Day last year.

Even in Louisiana, where Trump garnered nearly 60% of the vote, grassroots organizers prevailed over Big Oil as voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have saved the oil and natural gas industry billions of dollars. 

As in Louisiana, voters elsewhere made clear that they will not be swayed by the fossil fuel industry interfering in their politics and backed candidates committed to climate action. 

Candidates who support the Green New Deal, including the original members of the Squad — Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib — and others, like Rep. Mike Levin, in swing districts, kept their seats. Young progressives who ran on climate justice platforms also made their mark in places as diverse as the South Bronx — where 29-year-old Amanda Septimo beat out three-decade incumbent Carmen Arroyo for a seat in the New York State Assembly — and Grants Pass, Oregon, a rural Republican stronghold where 28-year-old Vanessa Ogier flipped a seat on the city council.

Will a Biden administration follow suit on climate action? 

While voters showed that they are eager for climate action, it is difficult to know if a Biden administration will honor their mandate. Of course, Biden claims he supports "a clean energy revolution and environmental justice." And during his first speech as president-elect, he emphasized the role that his administration would have to play in a "battle to save the climate.

In a speech on the campaign trail in May, Biden boasted that he backed one of the earliest climate bills in US history — which is true! But as Zoya Teirstein wrote for Grist, between Biden's early senate days when he supported the Global Climate Protection Act of 1986 and now, "Biden's most notable climate-related accomplishment was serving as Barack Obama's sidekick for eight years." (And, remember, the Obama administration's climate record isn't perfect either.)

The truth is, Biden's record on climate has had environmentalists worried since he launched his campaign last year. It seems they were right to be concerned. Throughout his campaign, Biden has waffled on the Green New Deal — while his website calls it a "crucial framework for meeting … climate challenges," he said in the first presidential debate that he does not support it. He also spent the last few weeks of his campaign defending fracking, which is perhaps unsurprising considering Biden is being advised on climate policy by bigwigs with connections to the fossil fuel industry. On Tuesday, news broke that Biden had selected Rep. Cedric Richmond, another ally of the oil and gas industry, to lead the Office of Public Engagement and act as a special adviser within his administration, further angering climate activists.

So, what can Americans expect from the 46th President of the United States, who is slated to lead the nation for what could be half of the world's remaining years to prevent an irreversible climate catastrophe? Likely a return to Obama-era policies of regulating emissions and coordinating with other nations (Biden has already promised to re-enter the Paris Agreement). 

While that may be leagues better than what Trump has accomplished on climate issues, it is not the kind of decisive action that experts and activists are calling for, nor that Americans voted for in down-ballot races this month.

If Americans want the Biden administration to take aggressive action against climate change, they may need to take their demands from the ballot box out into the street. The young climate activists who have galvanized the climate movement in recent years are already planning on it.

Marianne Dhenin is a freelance writer covering social justice, politics, and the Middle East. She holds a master's degree in human rights law and justice and is earning a doctorate in Middle East history. Follow her on Twitter: @mariannedhe.

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The top 9 shows on Netflix this week, from 'The Crown' to 'American Horror Story'

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the crown
"The Crown"
  • "The Crown" returned this week, but couldn't topple "The Queen's Gambit."
  • Netflix introduced daily top lists of the most popular titles on the streaming service in February.
  • Streaming search engine Reelgood keeps track of the lists and provides Business Insider with a rundown of the week's most popular TV shows on Netflix.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In a match between the Queen and "The Queen's Gambit," the latter came out on top.

"The Crown" returned on Sunday with its fourth season, but it couldn't dethrone "The Queen's Gambit," which has been Netflix's most popular series for a month.

Netflix introduced daily top 10 lists of its most viewed movies and TV shows in February (it counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a title).

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Business Insider a list of which TV shows have been most prominent on Netflix's daily lists that week.

Below are Netflix's 9 most popular TV shows of the week in the US:

9. "Chappelle's Show" (Comedy Central, 2003-2006)
The Chappelle Show
"Chappelle's Show" only ran for two seasons on Comedy Central.

Description: "The brilliant Dave Chappelle performs blistering stand-up, impressions and sketches that skewer topics like racism, politics, celebrities and sex."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 96%

What critics said: "Part of [Dave] Chappelle's charm is that he makes all this dangerous material look effortless." — Slate (season three)

8. "The Great British Baking Show" (Netflix original, 2010-present)
Great British Baking Show

Description: "A talented batch of amateur bakers face off in a 10-week competition, whipping up their best dishes in the hopes of being named the U.K.'s best."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: "There is a greater joy to be found in an emotional landscape where the greatest disappointment is some unrisen dough, the purest thrill some beautifully neat piping. Yes, it's the same old Bake Off — but it's a slightly different world." — New Statesmen (season 11)

7. "The Boss Baby: Back in Business" (Netflix original, 2018-present)
the boss baby back in business netflix

Description: "The Boss Baby brings his big brother Tim to the office to teach him the art of business in this animated series sprung from the hit film."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

6. "Dash and Lily" (Netflix original, 2020-present)
dash dash and lily

Description: "Opposites attract at Christmas as cynical Dash and sunny Lily trade messages and dares in a red notebook they pass back and forth around New York City."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%

What critics said: "These eight episodes, each around 25 minutes, never drag; they fly by with tinsel fluttering behind them." — NPR (season one)

5. "Trial 4" (Netflix original, 2020)
trial 4 netflix

Description: "Charged as a teen in the 1993 killing of a Boston cop, Sean K. Ellis fights to prove his innocence while exposing police corruption and systemic racism."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%

What critics said: "With policing under the microscope, Trial 4 possesses a greater sense of timeliness and considerable weight. Eight hours, however, is a lot of time to keep rehashing the specifics of Ellis' story." — CNN

4. "Cocomelon" (Netflix original, 2020-present)
cocomelon netflix

Description: "Learn letters, numbers, animal sounds and more with J.J. in this musical series that brings fun times with nursery rhymes for the whole family!"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

3. "American Horror Story" (FX, 2011-present)
american horror story 1984

Description: "This twisted Emmy-winning drama plays upon the power of supernatural fears and everyday horrors, exploring humankind's unsettling capacity for evil."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 76%

What critics said: "American Horror Story: 1984 still managed to throw a few surprises in." — Inverse (season nine)

2. "The Crown" (Netflix original, 2016-present)
the crown
"The Crown"

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: 90%

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 four)

1. "The Queen's Gambit" (Netflix original, 2020)
Anya taylor-joy the queen's gambit chess netflix
Anya Taylor-Joy in Netflix's 'The Queen's Gambit'

Description: "In a 1950s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely journey to stardom while grappling with addiction."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%

What critics said: "Anchored by a magnetic lead performance and bolstered by world-class acting, marvelous visual language, a teleplay that's never less than gripping, and an admirable willingness to embrace contradiction and ambiguity, it's one of the year's best series." — RogerEbert.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

SoulCycle's top instructors had sex with clients, 'fat-shamed' coworkers, and used homophobic and racist language, insiders say

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Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Read on for more on SoulCycle's top instructors mistreating staff, Moderna's research revolution, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai's leadership shift.

soulcycle celebrity instructor controversies 2x1

Hello!

We now have two promising coronavirus vaccines, with Moderna's promising results this week backing up those from Pfizer the previous week. Moncef Slaoui, the head of the White House "Operation Warp Speed," said this morning that some Americans will begin receiving the vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as December 11, per Connor Perrett.

That has some employers already wondering whether they can make it mandatory for employees to get vaccinated, Yoonji Han and Jack Newsham reported. You can read their story in full here:


Soulcycle's top instructors mistreated staff

From Katie Warren:

In August 2014, Jennifer Brody was working as a studio manager at California's Palo Alto SoulCycle when she met Conor Kelly, a "master instructor" with SoulCycle. Kelly was in town from the East Coast to teach a class.

After riding in his class, Brody, who is a Black woman, said she changed out of her workout clothes and put a bandana on her head. When she passed Kelly in the studio, she said, he laughed and said "Whoa — Aunt Jemima!" in an apparent reference to the syrup and pancake brand.

"That he felt OK calling me 'Aunt Jemima' in the middle of a studio lobby in Palo Alto was disgusting," Brody recently told Business Insider. Brody said she told a couple of instructors of color about Kelly's remark, but she didn't officially report it because, she believed, "There wasn't anyone who would have cared."

"SoulCycle kind of turned the cheek on a lot of stuff as long as they were making money," Brody added.

SoulCycle instructors were fawned over by riders and the company's top brass, but insiders said inappropriate behavior became more commonplace as SoulCycle's cult following grew.

Read the full story here:


Moderna's research revolution

moderna covid vaccine record time 2x1

From Andy Dunn:

In January, Stéphane Bancel, the chief executive of Moderna, was skimming through the news on his iPad while vacationing with his family in the south of France. A headline stopped his finger: "Health Officials Work to Solve China's Mystery Virus Outbreak," The Wall Street Journal reported on January 6.

The Frenchman, who is 48, wrote an email to Dr. Barney Graham, a vaccine researcher at the US National Institutes of Health, asking him what he knew about these pneumonia cases cropping up in central China.

Graham said he didn't yet know the identity of the mysterious virus, but within a few days it was identified as a novel coronavirus. Bancel urged the Graham to let him know when government scientists had the virus' genetic sequence.

His company, Moderna, was ready to get to work.

Now, less than a year later, Moderna and the NIH have developed a vaccine that appears to be highly effective at preventing people from coming down with COVID-19, the disease caused by that new virus. 

Read the full story here:

Also read:


Sundar Pichai's leadership shift

Sundar Pichai Berlin Office
Sundar Pichai, Alphabet CEO

From Hugh Langley:

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped away from their day-to-day duties at Alphabet last year, an informal agreement with CEO Sundar Pichai was made: the two billionaire cofounders would make themselves available whenever Pichai called, but they would not initiate contact.

It was an important acknowledgement that Pichai, the understated, 48-year-old engineer who rose through the ranks, was now the sole decision maker at the helm of an internet powerhouse that includes Google, YouTube and Android. 

The founders' arrangement also signaled that the grueling task of steering the company through  some of the biggest crises in its history was now Pichai's problem.

Read the full story here:

Also read:


ICYMI: Amazon puts the healthcare industry on notice

From Blake Dodge, Megan Hernbroth, and Shelby Livingston:

Ever since Amazon bought the online pharmacy PillPack in 2018, industry insiders have been waiting for Amazon's big move into the prescription-drug business. 

On Tuesday, it finally came, triggering a sell-off of shares for distributors, retail pharmacies, and health plans alike.

Read the full story:

Also read:

Here are some headlines from the past week that you might have missed.

— Matt


A Joe Biden presidency could transform homeownership. Here are the winners and losers of his real-estate policies.

GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 20 deeply underpriced stocks now before the recovery helps them rebound and crush Wall Street's low expectations in 2021

HEDGE FUND COMP: How much engineers, associates, and researchers are paid at AQR, Bridgewater, Citadel, D.E. Shaw, Point72, and Two Sigma

Rising-star VC Li Jin describes her 6-month process to getting hired by Andreessen Horowitz — and how she landed the job with no prior experience

Kevin O'Leary of 'Shark Tank': Why I'm betting big on psychedelics, and how investors should be thinking about this opportunity

Inside SNKRS: How a group of Nike employees went 'unconventional' to build a chart-topping app that would forever change the sneaker landscape

David Bradley has talked to 100 people in his search for The Atlantic's next CEO. Who in the world are they? We found some names.

Snap has acquired Voisey, a hot new music app that looks an awful lot like TikTok

Read the original article on Business Insider

The vaccine breakthroughs at Moderna and Pfizer are the latest examples of how immigrants have been driving billions in American innovation for decades

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Noubar Afeyan
Noubar Afeyan, an immigrant from Lebanon, is the co-founder and chairman of Moderna, the company behind one of the most promising potential COVID019 vaccines.
  • Behind both Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech potential coronavirus vaccines are a group of incredible scientists, biotech CEOs, and venture capitalists funding the effort — many of whom are immigrants.
  • Business Insider spoke with Moderna cofounder and chairman Noubar Afeyan, an immigrant himself, about the breakthrough, and the role immigration plays in US science and technology. 
  • Giovanni Peri, professor and chair of the department of economics at the University of California, Davis, said immigrants have powered American innovation for the past three decades. 
  • The scientific breakthroughs come as the Trump administration continues to limit the number of high-skilled immigrants that can come into the country. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Monday, Moderna, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, announced that its mRNA-1273 vaccine, developed in partnership with the US government, appeared to be 94.5% effective against the novel coronavirus. 

It was a major breakthrough in modern science. And it was made possible in part because of an immigrant from the Middle East named Noubar Afeyan. 

The 58-year-old is the cofounder and chairman of Moderna, and founder and CEO of the venture-capital firm backing the company, Flagship Pioneering. Born in Beirut to Armenian parents, he moved to Canada to study at McGill University in Montreal. 

"As a teenager I dreamed of living in the US. Like many immigrants drawn here, the US was not just a country, but an animating idea where people from different places, different religions, different races, could come together as one," he told Business Insider. 

noubar afeyan young
Noubar Afeyan pictured here in grade school in Beirut, Lebanon.

He then earned his PhD in biochemical engineering at MIT on a student visa and stayed in the US to work thanks to an H-1B visa (a visa for high-skilled foreigners). In 2008, he became a US citizen. 

The biotech leader credits his success to his "immigrant mindset." (Moderna's CEO, Stéphane Bancel, is also an immigrant, born in France.)

"Innovation is really a form of intellectual immigration," Afeyan said. "Leaving the comforts of what you know, exposing yourself to criticism, going to something that others don't believe to be possible and to keep at it until you make it a reality." 

Moderna's scientific breakthroughs serve as a reminder of the importance of immigration to the American economy. In recent years, President Donald Trump has cracked down on foreign visas, the very same visas that brought Afeyan to the US. This is a move that could stifle innovation because behind many of America's scientific breakthroughs, including potential coronavirus vaccines, are immigrants.  

Immigration has long had a sizable impact on US innovation

The impact of immigrants on US innovation can't be overstated, said Giovanni Peri, professor and chair of the department of economics at the University of California, Davis. 

"There is nothing to be surprised about because immigrants and foreign-born scientists and engineers have been driving American innovation and technology for at least the last 30 years," he told Business Insider.  

Top health and science companies like Moderna and Pfizer frequently bring highly skilled immigrants to the US on H-1B visas. 

For example, Moderna received or renewed 27 high-skilled immigrant visa applications in 2019, according to analysis of data from the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification. In 2019, that that number was 100 for Pfizer. 

Entrepreneurship, too, has greatly prospered because of immigrants. Immigrants are twice as likely as US natives to patent, Jennifer Hunt, professor and chair of Rutgers University's department of economics told Business Insider. Immigration increases US productivity and gross domestic product, she said. 

Between 1980 and 2000, nearly 40% of all PhD scientists and engineers employed in the US were foreign born. From 1990 to 2004, over one-third of US scientists who had received Nobel Prizes were immigrants. 

One 2007 study estimated that one in four technology firms created in the US between 1995 and 2005 was founded by at least one foreign-born entrepreneur. Separate research found that in 2006, immigrants made up 25% of new high-tech companies with more than a million dollars in sales. 

According to this data, the US has more immigrant inventors than every other country combined, Quartz reported. 

Immigrants helm some of the nation's top companies

The reason there's such a high concentration of hardworking immigrants in the US is because people who are smart in science or technology are attracted to the country's esteemed universities, graduate schools, and companies, Peri said.

"If the US would cut out or limit itself to Americans, the US would have a much much smaller pool of people who are highly educated in science and technology," he said. 

That is a main reason why immigrants head some of America's top health companies. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. He emigrated to the US when he was 34.

Pfizer, along with the German biotechnology company BioNTech, is working on a coronavirus vaccine that proved to be highly effective in a late-stage trial.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

As Bourla tells one Greek news outlet, Kathimerini, "My Greekness is intense."

"I left Greece as an adult, I left when I was already 34-35 years old and this resulted in me spending the years that shape a person's character in Greece," he said. 

The couple at the center of BioNTech come from immigrant backgrounds, too. Dr. Ugur Sahin is the CEO and Dr. Özlem Türeci is the chief medical officer. Both are children of Turkish immigrants to Germany.

Ugur Sahin Özlem Türeci biontech
Dr. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Özlem Türeci.

While Tureci was born in Germany, Sahin was born in Turkey and emigrated to Cologne as a toddler with his mom to join his father who was working at a car factory there, Bloomberg's Andreas Kluth reported

Then there are a few high profile immigrants whose contributions to US society are so big, they're hard to quantify. Think of Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, born in South Africa, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, born in Russia, or serial investor Robert Herjavec, born in Croatia. 

The US is cracking down on visas for highly skilled workers

Despite the important work immigrants play in American innovation, recent US policy has been unfriendly toward them. 

The US grants 85,000 H-1B visas each year, which companies rely on to fill positions with the world's best and brightest. Each visa is highly coveted, and given out via a lottery system. 

At the start of Donald Trump's presidency, the administration introduced hurdles to the application process that "made it more cumbersome to apply, made the process a little slower," Peri told Business Insider. 

When the novel coronavirus hit the US, the Trump administration cracked down on visas even more, banning foreigners with temporary work visas — including the high-skilled H-1B visas — through the end of 2020. The ban excludes high-skilled immigrants working on research related to the coronavirus. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to reverse these policies.

"If these restrictions stay at they are, if they are not reversed relatively quickly after COVID, it could generate slower growth of science and technology," Peri said. 

The thinking behind the clampdown on H-1B visas is that it will open up more jobs for Americans. While in the short-term, it may be true, research shows that over the long-term, highly-skilled immigrants actually create more jobs for Americans and lift Americans' wages

Afeyan agreed, saying restrictions to the H-1B program and other visa programs hurt science and technology. 

"This country would not be what it is, the dream and ideal of this country would not be possible without immigrants, and the commitment and daring of those who have no choice but to imagine another way of life," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

We run the largest health system in New York and treated more than 100,000 COVID cases. Here's how the US can better tackle the pandemic.

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vaccine trial
Nurse Practitioner Gabriela Huyke prepares for medical examination of a volunteer for the COVID-19 vaccine study at the Research Centers of America (RCA) in Hollywood, Florida, on August 13, 2020.
  • Northwell Health has treated more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases since March and we've learned valuable lessons. 
  • While we wait for a vaccine, we need to keep researching new treatment therapies, establish a governance structure at each research enterprise, and stop politicizing therapies. We also need to increase investments in vacccines and new therapies. 
  • COVID-19 is not a one-time event. We need to be ready for the next pandemic. 
  • Michael J. Dowling is president & CEO of Northwell Health, New York's largest health system, and Kevin J. Tracey, MD, is president & CEO of Northwell's Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the authors. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As COVID-19 passes its first birthday, the virus is surging again to record levels throughout most of the US, threatening a continued lethal and expensive assault on the nation's health and economy.  

Researchers in universities, government, and industry are actively pursuing new vaccines and therapies, but we still lack an effective or curative treatment. Having treated more than 100,000 COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic last March, including over 16,600 inpatients, Northwell Health gained invaluable knowledge of how to manage the response for our communities throughout the New York area. 

It is timely now to consider how the lessons learned through research can help guide preparations for future resurgences, based on what we are seeing currently and our experiences from past pandemics. Although we can hope for the best, we have an obligation to prepare for the worst.

Keep researching new therapies.

Promising developments with vaccines in Phase Three clinical trials announced recently by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech offer hope for controlling COVID-19. But even if the Food & Drug Administration approves emergency use authorization, a vaccine won't be broadly available to the public until well into next year. Until that rollout it is imperative to keep pursuing new therapies to treat the disease. 

Clinical trials during a pandemic require enormous staffing, oversight and financial support. During an eight-week period from March through May, we staffed a 200-member, rapid-response clinical trial group that enrolled more than 1,200 patients into COVID research trials. The results of our research findings were published in more than 200 manuscripts, providing clinicians throughout the world with timely, useful information on how to treat the virus. 

Prioritize and coordinate clinical trials. 

No one knows which therapies will prove safe and effective. The answer can only come from doing multiple parallel clinical trials. But to avoid needless duplication of effort, inefficiencies and competition for patients, we recommend a two-prong approach.

First, establish a central governance structure at each research enterprise governed by the highest standards of feasibility, FDA approval and scientific impact, And second, a national clinical trials council to provide a clearing house of information to be shared among all clinical trial sites.

Stop politicizing therapies. 

Today's hyper-politicized world has ensnared medical research. Drugs and vaccines are neither Democratic nor Republican, neither politically left nor right. Researchers, physicians, regulators and industry, guided by the Hippocratic oath to "first do no harm," should be the sole source of treatment guidelines. It is dangerous when politicians speak out for or against the use or disuse of a drug unless it has been fully scrutinized by teams of researchers. In other words, "let the science decide."

Increase investments in vaccines and new therapies. 

We will find a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19, but we don't know yet what it will be. Vaccines have eradicated diseases like polio and smallpox, but sometimes it is difficult or impossible to make them effective and  safe. 

Despite billions of dollars spent over four decades, there is still no approved vaccine for HIV. Thankfully, additional billions spent on HIV therapies produced drugs used by millions of HIV-infected patients, saving untold lives. If there is never a vaccine for COVID-19, then we need to double down investments in research for new therapies.

Unfortunately, US investments in research have not kept pace with inflation for more than 20 years. This has cost us time and lives because our science needs to catch up to COVID-19. It's time to reinvest in science, make up for lost time and prepare for future pandemics. 

This is not a one-time event. 

COVID-19 was highly predictable, forecast by countless researchers, epidemiologists and public health experts in hundreds of books and publications. It felt like a surprise only because government leaders and policy makers chose to ignore the risks and failed to prepare. 

In 2003, in the wake of SARS-CoV-1, co-author Kevin Tracey, MD, was one of four physician-scientists who participated in a panel convened by the US Department of Health & Human Services. The group recommended the US stockpile PPE, drugs, ventilators and other essential equipment to deal with a pandemic. They also used a forecasting model to assess the impact to the US from a virus more lethal than the current SARS-CoV-2. Their analysis predicted that within the first six months, up to 40%of the US population would be dead, compared to the 243,000 COVID-19 deaths so far.

While we are confident that our nation will defeat COVID-19, it's only a matter of time before another pandemic will come. The larger question is whether we will face another virus with a relatively low death rate, or one far more dangerous like the one predicted 17 years ago.

Preparing for the worst-case scenario should be a priority for national security. To be ready, we need to significantly increase the nation's investments in research, clinical trials, operational excellence and public health. 

Michael J. Dowling is president & CEO of Northwell Health, New York's largest health system, and Kevin J. Tracey, MD, is president & CEO of Northwell's Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.

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The German government tells people to be as 'lazy as raccoons' as it deploys humor to control the spread of COVID-19

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german coronavirus advert
The German coronavirus ad campaign was released to the public on November 14, 2020
  • Official adverts created by the German government last week encouraged the country to be "lazy as raccoons" to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
  • One of the ads, which was widely shared on social media, shows an old man speaking about how in the "winter of 2020" people became "heroes" after doing "absolutely nothing."
  • Last month, Berlin's tourism authority launched an ad campaign featuring an elderly woman in a floral mask giving the middle finger to people who refuse to wear face coverings.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The German government released a string of humorous adverts last week that urged the country to be "lazy as raccoons" to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

In one of the adverts, which was widely shared on social media and has since received more than 2.5 million views, an old man is seen reflecting on "the winter of 2020."

"The fate of this country lay in our hands," he says, alongside dramatic music. "So, we mustered all our courage and did what was expected of us, the only right thing — We did nothing. Absolutely nothing."

"We were as lazy as raccoons," he adds. "Day and night, we kept our asses at home and fought the spread of the virus. Our couch was the front and our patience was our weapon." 

The video cuts between the "present-day" and "the past," which shows a younger version of the man lounging on the sofa and watching television.

Watch the advert below:

 

Another advert follows a similar storyline with an old man showing his "medal of honor" he received for "being brave" during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Before the pandemic, I was, without doubt, the laziest person to tiptoe through this country," he says in the video. "I almost never left my flat, played computer games without any kind of ambition, and ate cold ravioli straight from the tin because I was too lazy to heat it up."

The advert cuts to shots of him as a young man playing video games. The old man continues: "And when the virus spread, I remained the same lazy sack of potatoes that I was before."

"But unlike me, the world had changed: to contain the virus, people were urged to stay at home, doing nothing suddenly became a public service, laziness could save lives, and I was a champion in that," he adds.

 

 

Sawsan Chebli, a politician from the Social Democratic Party, praised the campaign, tweeting on Tuesday: "So strong. So heart-warming. And so damn important."

Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on the video, tweeting: "Have you seen Germany's new ads about COVID-19? It doesn't matter what language you speak, the message is clear. You can be the hero in the fight against this virus - and you don't even have to do that much."

This is not the first time the German government has opted for humor in their coronavirus advertisements. 

Last month, Berlin's tourism authority launched a campaign featuring an older woman in a floral mask giving the middle finger to people who refuse to wear face coverings.

 

But not everybody was a fan of the ad campaign, with the editor-in-chief of Berlin's Der Tagesspiegel newspaper, Lorenz Maroldt, saying: "The Senate seem to think that insulting people is more successful than strict, clear rules with efficient controls. They failed with that completely," according to the BBC.

Germany has reported almost 900,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and more than 30,000 deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.

The country is currently on a partial lockdown, which was implemented on November 2. 

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Why sailors on the Navy's newest aircraft carrier will eat better than anyone else in the fleet

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USS Gerald R Ford
Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford at its commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
  • The Navy got some bad press recently when a sailor shared images of disgusting food from aboard the carrier USS Nimitz.
  • But aboard the newest carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, which entered service more than 40 years after Nimitz, the Navy has taken a number of measures to ensure sailors' mess is better than it's ever been.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

OFF THE COAST OF NORFOLK, Virginia — In October, an enlisted sailor aboard the carrier Nimitz published a Facebook post that quickly went viral showing an assortment of truly disgusting-looking meals from the mess deck, from raw and bloody roast beef to bread edged in blue mold and grey eggs with fossilized yolks.

While a Navy official came to the Nimitz's defense, pointing out it had been recognized for the best carrier food service in the fleet this year, an array of measures are being taken on the next class of carrier to ensure sailors' mess is better than it's ever been.

On Tuesday aboard the carrier Gerald R. Ford, Military.com toured a galley, or kitchen, and refrigerated storage unit replete with design tweaks to enable food to stay fresh longer and enjoy higher levels of quality control in preparation and service.

The Nimitz, the first of its class, was commissioned in 1975, and the Ford in 2017. While the ships have the same footprint, space all over the Ford has been reimagined to make carrier life and work better and more efficient.

Navy Gerald R. Ford galley
Culinary Specialist Seaman Marilyn Mejiasanchez with her dessert in USS Gerald R. Ford's aft galley, May 21, 2020.

Regarding food, one of the most significant changes on the Ford is the ship's two galleys, compared with the Nimitz's five. According to Navy officials, these include a centralized galley to the aft of the aircraft and a forward galley that will be manned only when the carrier's air wing is aboard. While this means the ship's food service crew will be more centralized and the mess they dish up more consistent, it also means that officers, chiefs and enlisted sailors will be eating the exact same food -- even though they still eat on different mess decks.

If seamen are getting fossilized eggs, officers will get them too.

In one of the galleys, a chef, Culinary Specialist Trevorn McKnight, showed off another modernization: self-cleaning touch-screen steam and heat convection ovens with a myriad of settings for cooking every kind of meat in a variety of styles. More automation means less guesswork and more consistency when serving up four meals a day to a crew of up to 4,000.

Cmdr. Carl Koch, the ship's supply officer, said early feedback has been favorable.

"Our reviews have been pretty solid, I think, from the crew," he said.

Navy Gerald R. Ford galley
Culinary Specialist Seaman Bryce Jamison cooks eggs on a grill in USS Gerald R. Ford's forward mess decks, June 2, 2020.

Below the galley, a fluorescent-lit refrigeration unit held pallet upon pallet of pineapples, tomatoes and melons. In the corner, bags of onions, yellow and purple, were neatly piled halfway to the ceiling. Koch explained that these storage rooms were designed with a number of modular refrigeration units designed to maintain everything in storage at a steady temperature. In the Nimitz's legacy system, he said, with storage set up around a centralized refrigeration unit, a change to the temperature of one section would cause the temperature of everything in the unit to climb, resulting in poorer storage conditions and risking spoilage.

"With ours, when individual units go to defrost, the temperature stays the same everywhere else," he said.

And from the ceiling above refrigerated produce hung ethylene filters, designed to trap the gases that cause ripening and allow fruits and vegetables to remain fresh for longer.

Capt. J.J. Cummings, commanding officer of the Ford, said he'd noticed a marked difference from time served on previous carriers during a previous underway.

"We had fresh strawberries ... usually by the 14-day mark, you're struggling," he said. "We were eating green salad on Day 28."

— Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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I'm a 45-year-old IKEA worker who travels to people's homes to help them build their furniture. I love my job — this is what it's like.

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Gerard Danks has worked for IKEA for over 4 years.
  • Gerard Danks is a 45-year-old IKEA worker in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 
  • He's worked for IKEA for over four years and is currently employed as a quality support specialist, doing home deliveries and assembling furniture for customers. 
  • During the pandemic, Danks never stopped working, and says he spends six hours on average driving products to customers' homes across Amsterdam. 
  • This is his story, as told to freelance writer Meira Gebel. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After working in the casino industry for years in the UK, I started working for IKEA four years ago in its Amsterdam warehouse after moving to the Netherlands to be with my partner. I've always had a customer-facing job because I love working with customers. I've held many roles since I started at IKEA, but now I am a full-time quality support specialist. 

The quality support specialist role is somewhat new — I'd say about two years old. When I started at IKEA, I would rotate through roles, and then one day this position became available. Sometimes I feel like it was made for me, because I truly enjoy helping customers. 

I help customers solve problems with IKEA furniture in their homes, which sometimes includes going to see them in person to diagnose the issues they are having. Most of the time the customer has read the manual wrong, or there is a missing piece from their order. Other times, it's issues like a sofa bed that is slumping, which is often a quick fix, like fixing a bolt that turned the wrong way. 

The majority of my job entails assembling the furniture for customers, assessing missing orders and parts, and collecting the necessary pieces to their order for same-day delivery.

Gerard Danks
Gerard Danks has worked for IKEA for over 4 years.

When I work the early shift, I wake up at 6 a.m. and get ready for work. I try to be out of the house by 7 a.m. so that I am at the warehouse by 9 a.m. I live in Almere, which is a 30-minute drive by car to the Amsterdam IKEA. 

I first check in with my supervisor and see if there is anything outstanding that I need to do right away. Then I go into the back office and sign into the PC. There is usually a queue of quality support tasks lined up there for the day. 

I look through the queue and see if there are any items that need to be picked from the warehouse floor and put in those orders. For example, if a customer ordered a dresser and one or two drawers are missing, I'd add those items to the picking line.

Once I have my list of tasks for the day, I will print out a list and create a route on Google Maps of all the deliveries I need to make. I make sure to call the customer to tell them I plan to drop off their order before I leave the warehouse, and schedule a time when it is best for me to come by. 

On an average day, I make around six to 10 deliveries to customer homes across Amsterdam and Almere — that means I am in the car for about six hours of my eight-hour workday.

Read more: I design $100,000 luxury playrooms for the children of wealthy execs and celebrities. Business is wild right now — here's what my job is like.

I've never had a problem putting together IKEA furniture. It comes easy to me. 

Gerald Danks
Danks says assembling IKEA furniture has always been easy for him.

Many people think putting together IKEA furniture is difficult, but it comes very naturally to me, probably because I played with a lot of Legos as a kid. Most of the time I've found that customers aren't reading the manual right, or they're skipping a step. 

The manuals from IKEA are largely visual and drawn, with pictures and graphics, so some customers who aren't visual learners may find them more challenging to understand. 

When I go to a customer's house to diagnose an issue with their furniture, it usually takes me five minutes to figure it out, even with furniture I'm assembling for the first time. If I am ever stumped, I read through the manual carefully, and usually by the second time I am able to grasp the problem. 

Read more: IKEA's US CEO explains why the furniture chain is investing in brand new stores even as it doubles down on e-commerce

During the pandemic, I never stopped working.

Our warehouse closed to customers for about six weeks, but we were still filling hundreds of online orders everyday. 

During the lockdown, I couldn't go into any customer's home, so I was mainly delivering orders to their doorsteps. Because everyone was in their homes, there was less traffic on the roads, which made my job easier. 

Since IKEA had to close its stores to customers during COVID-19, at one point the Amsterdam warehouse had a backlog of over 1,000 orders. Even compared to the busy holiday season, the pandemic increased our workload by a lot. 

Usually the delivery orders we would get for our store were big pieces of furniture, like beds that couldn't be rolled up or heavy dressers. During lockdown, orders started becoming a lot smaller, like candles and kitchen items. 

The safety precautions IKEA took made me feel safe and comfortable working there.

Gerald Danks
Danks says they wear masks at work and while assembling furniture in customers' homes.

Many of my coworkers were wearing masks before it was mandated. We keep a six-foot distance, and many of our most frequented routes in the store were made into one-ways so that we weren't crossing one another as much. 

I don't recall any of my coworkers at my location getting laid off. Those who worked in the restaurant or the Swedish market were given new roles, like picking orders from the shelves. 

The strangest part of the pandemic was that customers were no longer in our stores. It was only IKEA staff. I remember one time when the warehouse floor was so empty, it was almost like everyone went on lunch break at the same time. There were trolleys just sitting in the aisles, almost as if they were abandoned. It felt like it was a scene out of a disaster movie, because there was no one else around except me. 

Read more: A day in the life of a 'billionaire's magician,' who's hired to fly around the world and entertain the elite

One month after the Netherlands went on lockdown, our store reopened to customers again.

In mid-June, I resumed doing in-person assemblies in customer homes. I prefer working in a customer-based environment, so I was happy to have customers back in the store and felt safe knowing there were health precautions in place. It felt weird without them. 

Now when I go do in-person assembling, I wear a mask and make sure I have the space I need to do my job effectively. Customers will often tell me what is wrong with their products, and go off and do something else while I am working. 

I have a strong sense of pride working for IKEA knowing that the company and its products are used and loved all around the world. 

Gerald Danks
Gerald Danks says assembling IKEA furniture has always been easy for him.

All over the world you will find people who just love IKEA and it has been one of the nicest and most supportive places I've worked. 

In terms of staff, everyone gets along well. Management is supportive and gives you a gentle shove in the right direction, always building you up instead of trying to knock you down. I feel like the company has also been looking after its workers a lot better than other industries during the pandemic. 

It's not the sort of place where you will be told not to come into work tomorrow if you did something wrong. They always ask you for your opinion and never use any kind of negative reinforcement, but instead offer suggestions on how better to complete tasks in the future. 

I'm proud to tell people I work for IKEA. I get a lot of job satisfaction from working here, interacting with people, and feeling that I have colleagues who care about me. 

Editor's note: In an email to Business Insider, IKEA said it is mandated for workers wear a mask in the store in customer areas, and strictly advised in the coworker only areas. IKEA added that most coworkers in the Amsterdam store do wear their masks voluntarily all of the time.

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As a former Democratic US Senator, I believe in Joe Biden. But I also believe his plan to raise corporate taxes will hurt the US economy when it needs help the most

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President-elect Joe Biden.
  • I believe Joe Biden will help heal our nation, and I endorsed him for president earlier this year.
  • However, I have concerns about the Democratic party's plan to raise the corporate tax rate to 28%.
  • This will only put more pressure on our economy. Instead, keeping the tax rate competitive will ensure that companies can bounce back in recovery.
  • Blanche Lincoln is a former Democratic senator from Arkansas.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Back in March, I was proud to endorse my friend and former Senate colleague Joe Biden for President of the United States. Joe — as I noted at the time and still wholeheartedly believe today — is a proven and tested leader who can help heal and unite our nation, as well as make real progress for hardworking families. This belief was only strengthened the week after my endorsement when the coronavirus pandemic "seemed to crystallize in the national consciousness," and our economy was once again thrown into a precarious state. 

Like so many Americans during this difficult time, I am inspired by President-elect Biden's bold vision to Build America Back Better. And as a former Senator and Senate Finance Committee member, who served during one of the greatest economic expansions in American history and one of the gravest contractions, I believe Joe has what it takes to lead us out of our current economic catastrophe. 

With this background and experience, I have some concern about one particular provision found in the 2020 Democratic Party Platform. One that pushes for higher taxes on job-creating businesses in the throes of the steepest recession since World War II. 

Raising taxes in the midst of economic turmoil would only serve to keep the economy down. Instead, Democrats — led by Biden — should heed the lessons of our history and keep our country's tax system competitive.

Democrats should learn from history

Now that Democrats have made history in 2020, we must also remember to turn to this history in 2021. While this particular pandemic is without parallel, our party already has a well-refined road map to revitalize America in the aftermath of a recession. Raising taxes on businesses either during or on the heels of an economic downturn, as some prominent progressives have previously warned against, would instead serve as a roadblock for recovery.

In 2009, for instance, President Barack Obama shrewdly remarked that "the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up – take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole." The following year, former Senate colleagues of mine, including Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, Joe Lieberman – as well as dozens of House Democrats – issued similar statements about a tax hike's capacity to compound a recession rather than help us crawl out of one.

In addition to these concerns about the timing of a tax hike on America's job creators, legions of liberal leaders and legislators – including President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Chuck Schumer – have also cautioned about the concept in general. Indeed, all of these Democratic leaders noted the need for a corporate tax code that unleashes rather than undermines American competitiveness. 

As President Obama perfectly articulated both prior to and during his presidency – when our country's business rate was the highest in the industrialized world and a full fifteen percentage points above the OECD average – corporate tax reform should consist of two critical components: cutting the statutory rate to a competitive level and closing wasteful loopholes that permit certain companies to pay nothing. Keeping corporate rates competitive and predictable will help companies grow back better and faster.

Statistics that stem from the recent achievement of a globally competitive corporate tax system – a system that finally reflects the reality of today's globalized marketplace – underscore precisely why it was and should remain a bipartisan priority. 

Creating a stronger recover

Prior to the pandemic, our economy was far from perfect – there is much more we need to do to promote greater economic equality and inclusion. That said, our country's unemployment rate consistently remained below 4%, the economy created more than 100,000 private sector jobs per month, and nominal wage growth was either at or above 3%growth for nearly two straight years. Meaningful economic wins traditionally regarded as rare suddenly became routine. And corporate America itself was elevating the critical issues of environmental and social justice. 

Such tremendous success, meanwhile, was certainly not limited to the macro level as tax reform savings flowed into bank accounts of workers through bonuses, increased benefits, bigger paychecks, and lower utility bills. 

In total, 2017's tax reform generated "1,200 examples of pay raises, charitable donations, special bonuses, 401(k) match hikes, increased company funding of defined benefits plans, business expansions, benefit increases, and utility rate reductions" for millions upon millions of Americans in Arkansas and all 50 states.

Consequently, reversing one of the core catalysts responsible for such remarkable economic growth would be the wrong approach at the worst time. The 28% corporate tax rate proposed in the Democratic platform, which would increase to over 32% once sub-national tax burdens are factored in, would push our effective corporate tax rate near the highest in the world. 

As a direct result, it would put US businesses and workers at a competitive disadvantage, send American jobs abroad, and funnel investment in our country to foreign competitors that offer more favorable structures, such as China – whose 25% rate undercuts our current one when the foregoing state and local burden percent is factored in. And overall, the average corporate tax rate among the 37 countries that comprise the OECD is 23.59%– clearly below the U.S. combined rate of over 25%.

Rather than raising taxes on the very domestic companies that can help drive America's economic recovery out of this recession, our approach should seek to close the types of loopholes that President Obama lamented. Rather than encumbering companies that are struggling from this pandemic – and worse still, incentivizing the relocation of their operations and opportunities overseas – our approach should seek to ensure that no company can evade the tax rate already on the books. 

As they race to reduce their rates – France, for instance, is scheduled to trim down its rate to 25% by 2022 – America's global competitors recognize this reality and remain hopeful that they can once again be the greatest beneficiaries of our country's tax code. 

Accordingly, Democrats must once again recognize that a competitive corporate tax rate is among the most effective tools at our country's disposal to reignite the economy and create jobs. Democrats must refrain from revising the code in such a way that leaves many job creators paying more – and lets other companies continue to contribute nothing.

Following a season of fierce political division, it is time to come together in a spirit of bipartisanship to close loopholes, keep American jobs and Build America Back Better.

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The new Jeff Bezos book: Read his own words on how Amazon embraced failure to drive innovation and success

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Failure pays off if you want to figure out what customers really want, writes Bezos.
  • The following is an excerpt from the new book, "Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos," a collection of writings and public statements by Jeff Bezos, with an introduction by journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson.
  • Bezos shares how a customer-first mentality allowed Amazon to flourish and bounce back from financial failures.
  • From the early beginnings of Prime to failed initiatives, Bezos explains why differentiating between experimental and operational failures lifted his ecommerce site to new heights of innovation and change. 
  • "If we build a new fulfillment center and it's a disaster, that's just bad execution. That's not good failure," Bezos said. "But when we are developing a new product or service or experimenting in some way, and it doesn't work, that's okay. That's great failure."
  • The excerpt is based on Jeff Bezos' 2017 conversation with his brother Mark, a 2018 interview with billionaire David Rubenstein, and a 2019 interview with Ronald Reagan Presidential Institute director Roger Zakheim.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When you are focused on moving things forward, you run into problems, failures, things that don't work. Each one of those times you have a setback, you get back up and try again. You're trying to invent your way out of a box. We have so many examples at Amazon where we've had to do this. We've failed so many times — I think of this as a great place to fail. We're good at it. We've had so much practice.

Many years ago we decided to develop a third-party selling business to add selection to the store. We started Amazon Auctions. Nobody came. Then we opened zShops, which was fixed-price auctions. Again nobody came. Each one of these failures was like a year or a year and a half long. We finally came across this idea of putting the third-party selection on the same product-detail pages as our own retail inventory. We called this Marketplace, and it started working right away. That resourcefulness of trying new things to figure out what customers really want? It pays off and it is core to everything we do…

Invent and Wander
"Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos."

I treat every problem that I hear about from a customer as an opportunity to improve. My email address, jeff@amazon.com, is well known. I keep that address and read my emails, though I don't see every single one anymore because I get too many. But I see a lot of them, and I use my curiosity to pick out certain emails.

For example, I'll get one from a customer about a defect. We've done something wrong. That's usually why people are writing us — because we've screwed up their order somehow. Whenever something may seem a little odd about the problem, I'll ask the Amazon team to do a case study and find the real root cause or causes — and then do real root fixes. So then, when you fix it, you're not just fixing it for that one customer. You're fixing it for every customer, and that process is a gigantic part of what we do. So if I have a failed order or a bad customer experience, I treat it just like that.

Read more: Jeff Bezos just turned 56. Here's how his leadership style propelled him to become one of the richest men in the world — and what you can learn from it.

This customer-first mentality underscored the decision to forge ahead in the face of financial disaster with Prime…

Most of the inventing we do at Amazon goes like this: somebody has an idea, other people improve the idea, other people come up with objections for why it can never work, and then we solve those objections. It's a very fun process. We were always wondering what a loyalty program could be, and then a junior software engineer came up with the idea that we could offer people a kind of all-you-can-eat buffet of fast, free shipping.

When the finance team modeled that idea, the results were horrifying. Shipping is expensive, but customers love free shipping. You have to use heart and intuition. There has to be risk taking. You have to have instinct. All the good decisions have to be made that way. You do it with a group. You do it with great humility because, by the way, getting it wrong isn't that bad. We've made mistakes, doozies like the Fire Phone. I haven't enough space to list all of our failed experiments, but the big winners pay for thousands of failures.

So we tried Prime, and yes it was very expensive at the beginning. It cost us a lot of money because what happens when you offer a free all-you-can-eat buffet? Who shows up to the buffet first? The heavy eaters. It's scary. It's like, oh my god, did I really say as many prawns as you can eat? And so that is what happened, but we could see the trend lines. We could see all kinds of customers were coming, and they appreciated that service, so that's what led to the success of Prime.

Keeping the Faith

Failure is simply a matter of perspective:

At the pinnacle of the internet bubble our stock peaked somewhere around $113, and then after the internet bubble burst, in less than a year our stock went down to $6. My annual shareholder letter for 2000 starts with a one-word sentence: "Ouch." That whole period is very interesting because the stock is not the company, and the company is not the stock, and so, as I watched the stock fall from $113 to $6, I was also watching all of our internal business metrics — number of customers, profit per unit, defects — everything you can imagine. Every single thing about the business was getting better and fast. And so, as the stock price was going the wrong way, everything inside the company was going the right way, and we didn't need to go back to the capital markets. We already had the money we needed, so we just needed to continue to progress.

During that era I found myself on television, alongside half a dozen internet entrepreneurs, being interviewed by Tom Brokaw. Tom is now one of my good friends, but at the time he turned to me and said, "Mr. Bezos, can you even spell profit?" And I said, "Sure, P-R-O-P-H-E-T." He burst out laughing.

Read more: Amazon, Google, and now Facebook are pushing into cloud gaming, which could finally give advertisers a way into this market

Tolerance for failure has its limits:

I always point out that there are two different kinds of failure. There's experimental failure — that's the kind of failure you should be happy with. And there's operational failure. We've built hundreds of fulfillment centers at Amazon over the years, and we know how to do that. If we build a new fulfillment center and it's a disaster, that's just bad execution. That's not good failure. But when we are developing a new product or service or experimenting in some way, and it doesn't work, that's okay. That's great failure. And you need to distinguish between those two types of failure and really be seeking invention and innovation.

Reprinted by permission of Harvard Business Review Press. Excerpted from "Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos." "Invent and Wander" is co-published by PublicAffairs, an imprint of Perseus Books, and Harvard Business Review Press. Copyright 2021 Jeffrey P. Bezos. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This book is a collection of his writings and public statements. Bezos didn't drive the creation of the book and he won't profit. His royalties go to charity.

Excerpt is based on Jeff Bezos' conversation with his brother Mark Bezos at Summit LA17 on November 4, 2017, an interview with David Rubenstein at the Economic Club of Washington on September 13, 2018, and an interview with Roger Zakheim at the 2019 Reagan National Defense Initiative (RNDF) conference on December 7, 2019.

BezosJeff
Jeff Bezos.

Invent and Wander is a collection of writings and public statements by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. Bezos is also the founder of aerospace company Blue Origin, which is working to lower the cost and increase the safety of spaceflight, and he is owner of the Washington Post. In 2018, he founded the Bezos Day One Fund, which focuses on funding nonprofits that help homeless families, and on creating a network of tier-one preschools in low-income communities. Bezos graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University in 1986, and was named TIME Magazine's Person of the Year in 1999.

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Americans will hopefully begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as early as December 11, 'Warp Speed' advisor says

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Some Americans could "hopefully" receive the vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as December 11 or 12, Moncef Slaoui said

Some Americans could "hopefully" receive the vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as December 11 or 12, Moncef Slaoui, the chief science advisor of the White House's vaccine effort, "Operation Warp Speed," said Sunday.

Slaoui, who was tapped to head the White House effort to develop a vaccine earlier this year, told CNN's Jake Tapper during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" that he and his colleagues hoped to ship the vaccine to immunization sites within 24 hours of receiving approval to do so by the Food and Drug Administration.

A panel of outside experts that advises the FDA is expected to meet on December 10 to discuss Pfizer's application for an emergency use authorization. It's not clear how quickly FDA would act on the panel's recommendation. Clinical trials showed that Pfizer's vaccine was 95% effective in preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the company said.

"Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I would expect maybe a day or two after approval," Slaoui said on Sunday. "On the 11 or 12 of December, hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the United States."

Read more: How the pharma giant Pfizer teamed up with a little-known biotech to develop an effective coronavirus vaccine in record time

Slaoui had previously said he expected to immunize 20 million people in the month of December and as many as 30 million additional people could receive a vaccine each following month.

 

Slaoui, a former executive at GlaxoSmithKline and board member at biotech company Moderna, said he expected that children would be able to receive the vaccine by the middle of next year, and said there needed to be "expedited" trials before the vaccine became available to children. 

He also said on Sunday that he anticipated life for Americans could return to normal as early as May.

"Normally, with the level of efficacy we have — 95% — 70% or so of the population being immunized would allow for true herd immunity to take place," Slaoui said. "That is likely to happen in the month of May or something like that based on our plans."

He continued: "I really hope and look forward to seeing the level of the negative perception of the vaccine decrease and people's acceptance increases. That's going to be critical"

As Business Insider's Hillary Brueck previously reported, most people in the US will not likely receive a vaccine this year, as a rollout is likely to prioritize high-priority individuals, including frontline healthcare workers, essential workers, people over 65, and people with preexisting conditions

Slaoui said Sunday during an appearance on "Meet the Press" that the federal government is likely to create recommendations for who is first to receive the vaccine, but he added the decision will likely be left to state governments.

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Many stimulus programs are due to expire at the end of 2020, threatening the US economy during the COVID-19 pandemic's most challenging phase

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congress economic crisis 2020 nancy pelosi mitch mcconnell CARES act coronavirus pandemic 4x3
  • A number of critical COVID-19 economic relief programs will expire at the end of the year, threatening the stability of the US economy as the country enters an uncertain 2021.
  • After the CARES Act passed in March, stimulus gridlock has largely ensued, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 
  • From eviction moratoriums to a resumption in student loan payments, a lot is on the line if lawmakers don't reach an agreement on additional stimulus measures.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A number of critical COVID-19 economic relief programs will expire at the end of the year, which could force millions off of unemployment insurance, push many small businesses to permanently close, and raise the specter of mass evictions. This could threaten the stability of the US economy as the country enters an uncertain 2021.

In March, during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, easily passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support, providing a lifeline to recently laid-off employees and businesses that were forced to close due to COVID-related shutdowns.

However, this legislative comity quickly dissipated as the pandemic wore on. The $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, which followed the CARES Act, passed in the US House of Representatives in May, but was stymied in the Senate. While Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi championed the bill, GOP Senate Majority Mitch McConnell deemed it as too expensive.

Stimulus gridlock has largely ensued ever since, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin working with Pelosi and McConnell for months with little progress.

Pelosi wants a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, while McConnell has sought a $500 billion plan, but the leaders have not hashed out a compromise. Nor have their staffs worked together to forge any consensus on a potential bill. On November 19, Mnuchin expressed his desire to have $580 billion in unspent stimulus funds redirected to small businesses and to extend unemployment benefits. It is unclear if this will occur, however, as it requires Congressional approval.

"We need this money to go help small businesses that are still closed or hurt, no fault of their own," Mnuchin said last week. "Or people who are gonna be on unemployment that's running out."

With President Donald Trump refusing to approve and coordinate transition efforts with President-elect Joe Biden, exacerbated by the continued stimulus-related legislative impasse, there is a huge potential for dire economic problems for Americans if program extensions are not made in the next few weeks.

These events have all happened while at least 250,000 American citizens have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, a once-unthinkable statistic.

Here are some of the COVID-19 economic relief programs that will be impacted on or close to December 31:

Extended unemployment insurance

On December 31, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, will expire. This economic relief program extended traditional unemployment benefits from the standard 26 weeks to 39 weeks. Self-employed and gig economy workers can collect state unemployment benefits through December 31, but that will also expire under the CARES Act.

unemployment

According to a study by the Century Foundation, roughly 12 million people will lose their unemployment benefits on December 26 if no Congressional action is taken to forge a compromise stimulus bill.

At the end of July, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or FPUC, expired, which provided a federally funded $600 weekly supplemental boost to state unemployment payments. This was a huge economic lifeline for millions of Americans. However, that program expired, largely due to Republican opposition over the payments being too generous, and it has not been extended.

Eviction moratoriums

With extended unemployment benefits on the line and millions looking for new jobs, many have fallen behind on rent and mortgage payments. By the end of the year, this could set off a wave of new evictions and homelessness, all during what could be some of the most difficult days of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Census Household Pulse Survey, taken during late October and early November, presented an ominous message, with 32.9% of households indicating they were behind on rent or mortgage payments, and 25.9% of respondents expecting a loss in income over the next month. The data also showed that 12% of respondents revealed having food insecurity, meaning they were unable to provide enough healthy food for their household due to a lack of resources.

An analysis conducted by Stout revealed that roughly 6.4 million evictions could take effect at the beginning of the year.

Student loan forbearance

The pandemic-related student loan forbearance, which has allowed millions to redirect much-needed money to critical expenses, is expiring at the end of the year. The forbearance halted additional interest costs and penalties for millions of borrowers.

Ending the forbearance during a pandemic will force millions to begin making payments once again, which could potentially slow down any economic growth.

Biden is being urged by many to extend student loan protections once he takes office, and he has himself proposed $10,000 in debt relief as part of coronavirus-related aid.

Many Democrats are also urging the president-elect to take executive action on student loan debt once he's in office, but it is unclear if he will do so. The prospect of a potential GOP-controlled Senate would make this proposition more likely, as Republicans have generally been firmly opposed to any sort of student loan debt cancelation. 

State and local government aid for 2021

Municipal governments have struggled under the weight of economic losses, from leaner tax receipts to fewer riders on public transportation. According to The New York Times, the New York City subway may even have to reduce its service by 40% if it doesn't receive some form of federal aid, with deep budget holes brought on by the massive ridership decline since March.

The coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted funding for first-responders, teachers, firemen, and police officers, the very people who have been on the front lines.

State and local government funding has been a big sticking point during Congressional stimulus negotiations, with Pelosi favoring increased aid while McConnell has generally been in opposition. Without increased funding, many municipal workers could potentially be laid off by the end of the year.

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Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is 'embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up' against Trump's refusal to concede

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Larry Hogan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
  • Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said on Sunday that he's "embarrassed" members of his own party are staying silent while President Donald Trump continues to refuse to concede to Joe Biden. 
  • "It's time for them to stop the nonsense," Hogan said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It just gets more bizarre every single day, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."
  • Hogan's remarks come as the latest in a growing list of Republicans who are calling on the president to concede.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Another Republican is urging President Donald Trump to concede the 2020 election.

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said on Sunday that he wishes more Republicans would speak up against Trump, who has repeatedly declined to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden as the victor.

"I have confidence that on January 20th, the president-elect is going to be sworn in," Hogan said on CNN's "State of the Union." "But I'm not sure I could say that I'm confident that the president's going to do the right thing."

"We used to go supervise elections around the world. And we were the most respected country with respect to elections and now we're beginning to look like we're a Banana Republic," he added. "It's time for them to stop the nonsense. It just gets more bizarre every single day, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."

Business Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the race for Biden on Friday, November 6. One day later, other major outlets called the election in Biden's favor as well. But since then, Trump has repeatedly insisted that the result is not yet final.

The Trump campaign has filed dozens of lawsuits alleging voter fraud, most of which have so far been denied, dismissed, or withdrawn.

After the results were called, a group of international election observers announced it found no instances of voter fraud. The Organization of American States said in a preliminary statement that a team of 28 experts who observed the election across the country didn't witness any fraud or irregularities, despite Trump's claims.

Lawyers at firms working on Trump's challenge efforts told the New York Times that they were worried the lawsuits they were bringing against election results are not based on evidence.

The Times also reported that the outlet contacted election officials in every state, each of which said there is no evidence that fraud influenced the presidential election.

By coming out against Trump's attempt to derail his White House exit, Hogan joins a growing list of Republicans who are calling on the president to concede. First lady Melania Trump is one of those people, according to a CNN report on growing concerns within Trump's inner circle. The outlet has also reported that Trump's eldest daughter and advisor Ivanka is among those telling him to accept the results.

Meanwhile, others close to the president — including lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz — are urging him to keep fighting.

Last week, Trump appeared to concede, saying Biden "won" for the first time. But he quickly walked back those comments.

Trump lashed out at Hogan almost immediately after his remarks, calling him a RINO (Republican in name only). 

 

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Chris Christie dismissed Trump's legal team as 'a national embarrassment'

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chris christie
Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is a close ally of President Donald Trump.
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday said President Donald Trump's legal team was "a national embarrassment" for making claims of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election without providing any verifiable evidence.
  • On ABC's "This Week," Christie, a Republican, said Trump's attorneys have had ample opportunities to present solid evidence of any voting irregularities.
  • "They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but inside the courtroom they don't plead fraud and they don't argue fraud," he said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday called President Donald Trump's legal team "a national embarrassment" for making claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election without providing clear and convincing evidence in court.

On ABC's "This Week," Christie, a Republican, lit into the president's defense attorneys, saying that they've had multiple chances to present solid evidence of any voting irregularities. 

"The president has had an opportunity to access the courts," he said. "I said…if you've got the evidence of fraud, present it. What's happened here is quite frankly, the conduct of the president's legal team has been a national embarrassment."

Christie specifically blasted Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for unleashing a string of election-based conspiracy theories during television appearances in the weeks after the election, particularly one alleging that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp allowed voter fraud to occur in his state. 

"Sidney Powell accusing [Republican] Gov. Brian Kemp of a crime on television, yet being unwilling to go on TV and defend and lay out the evidence that she supposedly has," Christie said. "This is outrageous conduct by any lawyer and notice that they won't do it inside the courtroom."

He added: "They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but inside the courtroom they don't plead fraud and they don't argue fraud."

Christie, who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, has become an ally of the Trump White House, even helping him prepare for debates against then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden this fall. However, he is also known for his blunt talk, and in the wake of a Pennsylvania lawsuit alleging fraud being dismissed with prejudice on November 21, he didn't hold back any punches, despite his closeness to the president.

"I've been a supporter of the president," Christie said. "I voted for him twice. But elections have consequences. We cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn't happen. You have an obligation to present the evidence. The evidence has not been presented."

Since Biden was declared president-elect, Trump has resisted coordinating transition efforts with the incoming administration and has continued with last-ditch legal and recount efforts in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, despite a continued lack of verifiable evidence indicating any sort of fraud.

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Here's what would happen if you tried to dig to China

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  • To dig to China, you'd need to start your journey from Chile or Argentina — the location of China's antipode (or opposite point on Earth).  
  • You would need a super-powered drill to get through rock and metal within Earth's three layers.
  • First, there's the Earth's crust. It's the thinnest of three main layers, yet humans have never drilled all the way through it.
  • Then, the mantle makes up a whopping 84% of the planet's volume.
  • At the inner core, you'd have to drill through solid iron. This would be especially difficult because there's near-zero gravity at the core. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: If you want to get to the opposite end of the world, it's a hike. About 20,000 kilometers. But what if you didn't have to travel across the surface? What if you could dig straight through to the other side?

If you're trying to dig to China from the US, there's something you should know first. The opposite point on the planet isn't in China. It's somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean. So, to get to China, you should start digging in either Argentina or Chile.

Your first challenge would be digging through the Earth's crust. It's the thinnest of Earth's three main layers, yet humans have never drilled all the way through it. As you descend, you'd soon reach the depth of the Paris Catacombs, the deepest metro station, and the devil worm, the deepest animal we've ever discovered underground.

Then, it would start to get hot. At 4,000 meters down, you'd pass the deepest mine on the planet, which is cooled with ice to make workers comfortable, because, down here, temperatures are 60 degrees Celsius. By 8,800 meters, you'll be as deep as Mt. Everest is tall, but it's still not the deepest point humans have ever dug. That point is at the bottom of the Kola Superdeep Borehole, at 12,260 meters below the surface. Down here, there's 4,000 times more pressure than at sea level, and temperatures push 180 degrees Celsius, so you'd need a lot of insulation to carry on and keep from melting.

At around 40,000 meters, you'd reach Earth's second and largest layer, the mantle, which makes up a whopping 84% of the planet's volume. Near the border, temperatures climb to around 1,000 degrees Celsius, hot enough to melt many metals, like silver, but not a steel drill. And good thing because you'll need it to drill through the first part of the mantle, which is made of solid rock, until you reach 100,000 meters, that is, when you might need to switch to a propeller.

Here, the pressure and temperature are so high that, in some places, rock takes on a caramel-like consistency. In fact, it's this rock that ultimately erupts from volcanoes on the surface. At 150,000 meters, keep your eyes peeled for diamonds. They form when heat and pressure restructure the carbon atoms in this region. Once you reach 410,000 meters, the rock is solid again, so it's back to the drill. You see, while it's still plenty hot at this depth to melt rock, the pressure is so extreme that the molecules inside literally can't move into a liquid state.

Then, by 3 million meters down, you'd reach Earth's third layer, the outer core. Unlike Earth's crust and mantle, the core is made of iron and nickel. Temperatures here are the same as the surface of the sun, hot enough to melt all that metal, so, yep, back to the propeller. And it would have to be made out of some kind of supermaterial, because no known element has a melting point above 6,000 degrees Celsius. Making matters worse, the outer core also has low gravity, because, when you're that deep, much of the planet's mass is now above you, which produces a gravitational force that pulls away from the center. So to continue, you'd need a super heat- and pressure-proof submarine that moves like rockets in space by shooting fuel out the back end.

You'd soon arrive at the inner core, around 5 million meters below the surface. The inner core is one giant sphere of solid iron, so it would definitely be challenging to get through. But if you did find a way, you'd soon hit the halfway point, about 6.4 million meters down, also known as the center of the Earth. Now, there's nearly the same amount of mass all around you, pulling you equally in all directions, so there's zero gravity here.

And now is when the trip really gets hard. The second half. Because as you dig past the inner core, you'd soon feel the pull of gravity again. And this time, it'd be pulling you from above, where the majority of Earth's mass is now. So while you might be digging down, relative to where you started, it'll feel like you're climbing up. And if you didn't have those handy rockets propelling you, you'd fall right back to the core. But 6.4 million meters later, after powering through impenetrable iron, molten alloy, and solid and mushy rock, you'd arrive, at long last, on the other side, in China.

That would certainly come as a relief, but it wouldn't even be the best part. Assuming you left a tunnel through the center of the Earth behind you, you'd now be able to travel back and forth between China and Argentina in under an hour, simply by jumping in. To learn why, check out another video we made about jumping through the center of the Earth.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in July 2019.

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A sommelier compared 11 wines from Costco, Target, Trader Joe's, and BJ's — and the winner was clear

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  • Sara Lehman is the private sommelier and lifestyle director of 160 Madison, which is a luxury, residential high-rise building in Manhattan. She also owns the wine and travel blog Somm in the City.
  • We gave Sara 11 different low-cost wines to try from big-box stores like Costco, Target, BJ's, and Trader Joe's
  • Watch the video above to see how she ranked bottles of cabernet sauvignon, pinot grigio, and rosé, all under $10.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Sara Lehman: I'm Sara Lehman. I am the owner of Somm in the City. It is a wine and travel blog that focuses on food, wine, and luxury.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Kirkland, Costco — $7.99

Give it a nice swirl first. It's quite fruity, but it's a little mild. Ooh. I actually like this. It has a little bit more complexity than I was expecting it to have.

Charles Shaw, Trader Joe's — $3.99

Hmm. Wow. This is definitely not as powerful as a cabernet that I would expect. It's just really approachable and very friendly, and I think this is a good cabernet.

The Collection, Target — $9.99

Very smooth. Wow. Not gonna lie, didn't expect that from Target, but I would drink this.

Wellsley Farms, BJ's — $7.99

This one's definitely spicy. It's a nice wine. There's nothing too complex about it. There's a lot of fruit, and you get a lot of this sour cherry, bright strawberry, and raspberry, and then it just kind of finishes flat.

Untamed Vine, Lidl — $8.99

Oh, excellent. Wow. Alright, so right off the bat, you're getting a lot of this cranberry and currants. Then you're getting this really nice, like meatiness and like some nice coco. I really like the sweet baking spice I'm also getting in this. I feel like this wine has a lot of layers.

Rankings:

My first choice is definitely the Untamed Vine. I think that this definitely showed everything that I love about California and California wines. I would say my second favorite would actually be the Kirkland. I was pleasantly surprised by that. It had some personality to it, and I really would not knock this wine. For my third, I would have to go with The Collection. Then I would say my fourth one would be the Charles Shaw. I just thought that this wasn't as strong as the other few. Lastly would be the Wellsley Farms, and that's just because I felt that it just tastes very commercial.

Pinot Grigio

Kirkland, Costco — $7.89

Pleasant nose. I think it's definitely very typical of Pinot Grigio. This is what I would expect from it. Not as much acidity as I thought it would have, which is pleasant because sometimes Pinot Grigio can be a little too racy and aggressive. But what I really like about this wine is the fact that it's medium bodied and it has a really smooth finish.

Charles Shaw, Trader Joe's — $3.99

Ooh. I'm kind of getting like an apple juice nose, which is interesting. So this one definitely has a lot more acidity than the Costco. It's almost like a creamy wine. The acidity is right there in the beginning of the wine, and then it just kind of smooths out and it becomes creamy. It's really interesting, but it's really reminding me of apple juice.

The Collection, Target — $9.99

Oh, right off the nose you get a lot of citrus. I'm getting some white flower. Okay, so this one has a lot more of like the citrus skins. We're getting a lot of this lime peel and I'm getting a little bit of a candied lemon. But it's nothing too sweet. This wine is still very dry.

Wellsley Farms, BJ's — $6.99

I'm getting some barnyard right in the nose. And I know that sounds like a weird quality to have, but barnyard is definitely an aroma in wine that can be attractive depending on the wine. Hmm. Yeah. Yellow apple, hay. It's got acidity. You got some lime in there. I really like it.

Rankings:

Out of my top favorites, I would say The Collection won my heart this time. It was just really fun, and I would just, I would drink this all the time. The Kirkland, again, surprised me. I am wondering if I should start going to Costco and buying some wine. And then I would say the Wellsley Farms definitely would be my third choice. And the fourth would be the Trader Joe's Shaw. It was my least favorite. It didn't have as much personality as the other three.

Rosé

Charles Shaw, Trader Joe's — $3.99

Ooh, okay pleasant. So, I'm getting again a lot of this fresh red fruit. It's really kind of a juicy wine. You have just enough acidity to get this drying sensation in your mouth, but what I really enjoy about this is that to me it tastes like a typical California rosé. This is an easy to drink wine. The finish does fall very short, though.

The Collection, Target — $9.99

This wine has a lot more acidity. It has everything I look for in a California rosé, so it's bright, it's fruit-forward, it's fresh. The finish is there. Like I'm still tasting it. This wine could be taken places I would say, compared to the Shaw where the Shaw is really just... it was decent but it fell flat compared to The Collection. It really did.

And the winner is . . .

So the winner of the wine tasting would definitely be Target. I think The Collection by Target is my top wine choice from the selection that I've tried today. I was pleasantly surprised by all three of these wines. They met a lot of my qualifications, which includes, taste, aromas, complexity, as well as finish. So if I were to say bring something that was less expensive to my friends but from California, I would go with The Collection. I think out of all the three wines that I tried from them they really all struck me in very different ways but in very positive ways, and I would buy them.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in March 2019.

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The best early Target Black Friday 2020 deals — including discounts on Google Nest, Fitbit, and more

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

Black Friday 2020 Target Deals 2x1

Every year, Target offers great deals on Black Friday and 2020 will be no different. Though you can't expect the same experience of mile-long lines and overflowing carts in-store, there will still be excellent deals ahead. 

Target's Black Friday 2020 deals have already begun and they will continue through the end of the month. For the best early deals and answers to any questions you might have, keep reading below.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best early Target Black Friday deals

Nest Hub with Google Assistant (medium, Preferred: Target)Video Doorbell 3 (medium, Preferred: Target)Flip 5 (medium, Preferred: Target)Stealth 300 Gaming Headset (medium, Preferred: Target)Inspire 2 (medium, Preferred: Target)Deebot N79W (medium, Preferred: Target)Powerbeats Pro (medium, Preferred: Target)Tune 750 (medium, Preferred: Target)43UN7000PUB Smart TV (medium, Preferred: Target)Roomba i3+ (3550) (medium, Preferred: Target)Galaxy Buds+ (medium, Preferred: Target)

 

When does Target's Black Friday sale start?

Every week of November, Target is offering new Black Friday deals, with ads provided the week before. Here are the specifics:

You can preview the upcoming week's deals starting every Thursday. Sign up for email notifications here to get Target's weekly ads delivered straight to your inbox. 

When will Target stores open for Black Friday?

Target has yet to announce its official hours on Black Friday, November 27, but we do know that stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Deals are going to be available both in-stores and online — though you might have more luck finding things in stock when shopping online. We'll update this section as soon as store hours are clarified. 

If you're planning to brave the crowds and wait in the inevitable lines come Black Friday, Target offers this handy online feature to save your spot in line. Simply enter your zip code to find your closest Target location, and it will enable you to "hop in line" before leaving the house. 

What should I buy from Target on Black Friday?

During Black Friday, Target will be featuring discounts on toys, kitchen goods, vacuums, electronics, and gaming gear

Last year, Target offered 50% off select toys and buy one, get one 50% off for the rest. This promotion included the season's best and newest toys, making it a great chance to pick up gifts for the kids in your life.

Small kitchen appliances were also deeply discounted during Black Friday last year, just as they are every year. Highlights included $70 off the PowerXL Vortex Air Fryer, $100 off the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine, and $45 off the 6-quart Instant Pot Duo Nova. This year, we expect to see similarly deep discounts on the same types of kitchen gear: stand mixers, electric pressure cookers, blenders, coffee makers, and the like. 

Last year's Black Friday was also a great time to buy vacuums of every type: robot, cordless, and upright. Specifically, we saw $150 off the Dyson V8 Animal, $260 off the Dyson Ball Animal 2, and $100 off the Roomba iRobot 690. For Black Friday 2020, we'll likely see all-time lows on the latest from brands like Dyson, Bissell, Roomba, Shark, Hoover, and more. 

Electronics like headphones, tablets, and smart home gear drop to record-breaking low prices every Black Friday from many retailers, including Target. Last year the 7th Gen 10.2-inch iPad was $100 off, the Beats Studio3 was $70 off, and the Google Home Mini was $30 off. Many of these discounts were price matched from other retailers like Amazon and Walmart, so if you were a REDcard holder, it was beneficial to shop the deals from Target to get an extra 5% off.

Both consoles and games saw great prices during last year's Black Friday. All PS4 and Xbox One games were only $30, the Xbox One 1 TB console was $150 off, and many other bundle deals featured discounts on games and consoles combined. Don't cross your fingers for deals on new consoles like the PS5, Xbox Series X, and Oculus Quest — older consoles are likely to be the only ones on sale.

What is the Target Circle loyalty program?

Target Circle is the retailer's free loyalty program. It offers perks like exclusive deals, coupons, and even 1% earnings (that can't be combined with REDcard savings). If Target is on your Black Friday hit list, it's worth signing up for Target Circle and downloading the Target app to access exclusive discounts — it's free to do so. 

What benefits do Target REDcard holders get on Black Friday?

As always, REDcard holders save 5% on all orders from Target and free shipping on most things. This is extra beneficial for Black Friday when 5% savings really add up over the many purchases. REDcard holders also have a longer item return window — an extra 30 days specifically. 

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Guitar Center, the largest retailer for musical instruments in the US, has filed for bankruptcy

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View of a Guitar Center store in Hollywood, California.
  • Guitar Center, the largest musical instrument retailer in the US, has filed for bankruptcy.
  • The company announced Saturday it was entering the Chapter 11 restructuring process, during which it'll stay in business. Guitar Center said it expects to finish up the process by the end of the year.
  • Like other physical retailers, Guitar Center has felt the negative impacts of consumers' increasing reliance on e-commerce, as well as the forced closures of many of its stores during the coronavirus pandemic.

Guitar Center, the largest retailer for musical instruments in the US, is the latest company to file for bankruptcy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer announced Saturday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection "to significantly reduce our debt and enhance our ability to reinvest in our business." Guitar Center aims to emerge from bankruptcy before the end of the year, the company said.

The possibility of Guitar Center's bankruptcy filing was first reported in October by Bloomberg.

According to the company's bankruptcy filings, Guitar Center has been forced to seek protection in part due to "the economic upheaval created by the persistence of the Covid-19 pandemic." The company also faces a "significant debt burden" standing at roughly $1.3 billion in debt, the New York Times reports.

Guitar Center is one of the retailers hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic: The retailer told the New York Times in March it had closed 75% of its stores during nationwide lockdowns. Social-distancing efforts and stay-at-home measures have forced storefronts across the US not deemed essential businesses to temporarily close.

With nearly 300 storefronts across the US, Guitar Center heavily relies on in-person sales to stay afloat. Although the company has an online store for purchasing musical instruments, it's been forced to offer alternatives — like virtual music lessons — during the pandemic to try to reverse its economic downturn.

According to its bankruptcy filing, Guitar Center said it had secured $165 million in new equity investments, and intends to reduce its debt by $800 million. The company will continue to pay its employees and operate its storefronts as normal during the Chapter 11 process, Guitar Center said.

Guitar Center is not the only retailer to have to file for bankruptcy during the pandemic. Both Century 21 and Lord & Taylor filed for bankruptcy this year, and made the decision to go out of business and close their storefronts. Other retailers like Muji, Brooks Brothers, JCPenney, and Pier 1 have also filed for bankruptcy in recent months.

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Coronavirus vaccine czar said Moderna will seek an emergency use authorization for its vaccine by the end of November

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Moderna will seek emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month, the coronavirus vaccine czar said Sunday.
  • Moderna, the biotech company that last week announced the results of its COVID-19 vaccine, will apply with the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization by the end of the month, Moncef Slaoui, the head of the White House Operation "Warp Speed" said Sunday.
  • Pfizer, which also last week said it had successfully developed a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 transmission, sought emergency use authorization on Friday.
  • A panel of outside experts is scheduled to meet on December 10 to discuss the Pfizer vaccine, and Slaoui said a panel would convene on December 17 to discuss the Moderna vaccine in what he called a "parallel" process.
  • Slaoui also said Sunday he was hopeful that the Pfizer vaccine could be administered to people in the US beginning December 11.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Moderna will seek emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month, Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation "Warp Speed," the White House effort to develop and administer the vaccine, said Sunday during an appearance on ABC News' "This Week." 

Pfizer, which also last week announced it had developed a vaccine to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, filed for emergency use authorization Friday. A panel of outside experts that advises the FDA is expected to meet on December 10 to discuss Pfizer's application for an emergency use authorization.

Slaoui, a former executive at GlaxoSmithKline and Moderna board member, said also Sunday that the Pfizer vaccine could be distributed to some people in the US as early as December 11 if it received an authorization on the same day the panel convenes to discuss it.

As Business Insider previously reported, it's not likely that most people in the US receive a vaccine this year, as a rollout is likely to prioritize high-priority individuals, including frontline healthcare workers, essential workers, people over 65, and people with preexisting conditions

 

Moderna announced on November 16 that its vaccine had been successful in clinical trials, proving 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19 transmission. On November 18, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 had been 95% effective during clinical trials.

"The two companies are working 24/7 preparing their files," Slaoui said Sunday during an appearance on ABC News' "This Week." "As you know, Pfizer already filed yesterday. Moderna is planning to file by the end of this month. The FDA will review the files."

Slaoui said the FDA will examine the Moderna vaccine on December 17, one week after a panel of experts is expected to review the Pfizer vaccine in what he described as a "parallel" process. It's unclear how long it will take for the FDA to approve the vaccines after experts make their recommendation.

Sloui added he was "concerned" with public perception and hesitancy surrounding the vaccine.

"The vaccines have been developed as thoroughly and as scientifically as ever," he told ABC News. "I have been doing this for more than 30 years. This vaccine development is not different than any other, except that we have gone at an incredibly fast speed with incredible resources and incredible commitment by all the parties."

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Early Walmart Black Friday deals are already here — save on tech from Apple, Samsung, and more

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

Black Friday 2020 Walmart Deals 2x1
Walmart offers big price drops on tons of products during Black Friday

In a little over a week, Black Friday will be here. But retailers like Walmart aren't waiting until then to start marking down products. Online and in stores, Walmart is one of the most popular retailers to shop during Black Friday.

This year, you can once again expect great deals on all the products you need for gifting and personal use. While its biggest sales will start on November 25, Walmart has deals available. 

Below, you'll find answers to frequently asked questions, plus the best bargains you can take advantage of right now. 

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best early Black Friday 2020 deals from Walmart

50-inch 4K UHD LED Smart TV with HDR (UN50NU6900) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

More great Black Friday 2020 sales from Walmart

Best Walmart Black Friday 2020 starting November 25

Deals start November 25 at 7 p.m. EST

AirPods Pro (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Watch Series 3 (GPS + 38mm) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)70-inch V-Series 4K UHD LED Smart TV HDR (V705x-H1) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Smart Tab M8 (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

When does Walmart's Black Friday sale start? 

Walmart, like many retailers, is trying something new for Black Friday 2020 and Cyber Monday 2020. Instead of a weekend of markdowns and deals, Walmart will stagger its offers and introduce new ones every day until Black Friday. Of course, in-store on Black Friday, November 27 at 5 a.m. local time, but shoppers can order the same deals online on November 25 at 7 p.m. EST.

How do we select the best Black Friday deals at Walmart?

  • We only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage, from brands we've tested and trust.
  • We compare the prices against other retailers like Amazon, Target, and Best Buy and only include the deals that are the same or better (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).
  • We research price history thoroughly, to ensure that every deal we list is actually worth your time.

Can you shop at Walmart in person this year?

Yes, but don't expect the mad rush during Black Friday like in years past. This year, Walmart will also limit store capacity to just 20% during its Black Friday sales. Plus, there will be safety precautions, including masks for staff and shoppers, plus carts will be sanitized. 

Since Walmart scheduled each set of discounts online a few days in advance, shoppers should consider heading in-store only when they miss a deal.  

Does Walmart have curbside pickup?

Every year around the holiday season, shipping delays and lost packages present a big headache for many consumers. To help alleviate that stress, Walmart offers contact-free curbside pickup for online orders. Going this route can save shoppers from any shipping-related headaches, so you'll have your orders on hand much sooner than if shipped.

What early Black Friday deals should you buy at Walmart?

Historically, Walmart's Black Friday markdowns are on par with those offered by Best Buy, Target, and Amazon — and this year is no different. Outside of a few select doorbusters, we expect each retailer to price-match their competitor's prices during Black Friday.  Shoppers can expect big savings on several TVs, streaming media players, kitchen appliances, and more. 

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'It's everything': Here's how a pair of Senate races in Georgia in January could decide whether Congress enacts a $3.4 trillion stimulus plan

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Democratic candidate for Senate Jon Ossoff, right, and Democratic candidate for Senate Raphael G Warnock, left.
  • The shape and size of a stimulus plan is on the line in the Georgia runoffs on January 5.
  • "It's everything," policy expert Heidi Schierholz said in an interview.
  • A slim Democratic majority in the Senate could use a legislative maneuver to pass a $3.4 trillion coronavirus aid plan without Republican votes.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden is on course to assume office on January 20, but the balance of power in Washington is still unresolved with a pair of Senate runoffs in Georgia just two weeks before Biden's inauguration. 

In one race, Democrat Jon Ossoff is challenging Republican Sen. David Perdue, while Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler is facing off against Democrat Raphael Warnock in the second runoff. The results will determine which party controls the Senate in an extraordinary period of public health and economic challenges  — and how many federal dollars are pumped into the economy early next year. 

The scope of another economic aid package in on the ballot as Georgians cast their votes on January 5. Democrats and most Republicans agree one is needed, but they have clashed for months over its size and the level of federal support necessary to support an economic recovery many economists say is weakening. Unemployment claims ticked up last week for the first time since early October.

Neither side has budged since Biden defeated President Donald Trump in the election on November 3 and the gulf between the two parties may only be widening in the lame-duck session. The president-elect this week praised the expansive Heroes Act which the House passed in May, even as Republicans have rejected it for months as a progressive wishlist.

Now Democrats are pinning their hopes on winning both races in the state and gain a threadbare majority, leaving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes. Under that scenario, Democrats could use a legislative maneuver to pass pandemic-relief and other tax and spending measures with a simple majority and no GOP votes. 

"It's everything on stimulus," Heidi Schierholz, policy director of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, told Business Insider. "It's everything because if there is a Democratic-controlled Senate, they will be able to get a sizable package through reconciliation."

She continued: "Without that, it will come down to Senate Republicans on what a relief package, if any, looks like. They've given plenty of signals where they are on that."

Read more: 'The unwinding of this bubble is going to be painful': A renowned stock bear says today's investors can expect negative returns for the next 12 years — and warns of a looming 66% stock plunge

The GOP supports a much smaller relief plan than the $3.4 trillion package that Democrats and Biden are seeking. Republicans continue to push for a slimmer $500 billion measure they rolled out twice in September and October, despite a recent surge of virus cases nationwide that are causing states to reinstate restrictions and business closures.

Ossoff recently slammed Perdue for supporting the plan, which would reduce federal unemployment benefits from the previous $600 a week to $300 and omit direct payments.

"Sen. David Perdue fought against $1,200 stimulus checks for workers, and led the fight to cut unemployment insurance — while at the same time he gave billions to his corporate donors," Ossoff said in a tweet earlier this month. He's previously expressed support for many of the Democratic legislation's provisions, including on implementing an eviction moratorium and aiding strapped state and local governments.

Democrats favored robust federal action throughout the pandemic, particularly progressives.

"Can we please get people stimulus checks and mortgage relief and rent forgiveness and small business support and free testing and hazard pay and healthcare for the uninsured (& underinsured) in the middle of a pandemic or is that too socialist too?" Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter last week.

Yet regardless of the outcome in the hotly contested races, Democrats may be compelled to scale back their ambitions. Elizabeth Pancotti, senior policy advisor for Employ America, a nonprofit organization, told Business Insider that Democrats may need to cater to "middle of the road, conservative Democrats" by trimming the price tag of pandemic relief legislation next year.

"Should Georgia go into Democrats' favor, I think there will be concessions still made because there will only be 50 votes," she said. "If they lose Georgia, I think off the table are the really expensive line items, like the $600 federal unemployment benefit. Where there would have been a round or two of [stimulus] checks, the phase-out may be lower."

Biden campaigned on levying higher taxes on wealthy individuals and businesses, an agenda that Republicans are virtually certain to block if they hold onto the Senate. 

Read more: 600 units and almost 20 flips: How Ashley Wilson created a real-estate investment empire leveraging just 2 simple strategies

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Stephen Moore says that Trump will leave office 'triumphant,' comparing him to Winston Churchill

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Stephen Moore.
  • Stephen Moore, a conservative economist, said in a Sunday radio interview that President Donald Trump would leave office on a high note due to the progress with COVID-19 vaccines and the economy.
  • Moore touted the president's handling of the coronavirus with New York businessman John Catsimatidis.
  • "I think he is going to leave the office triumphant," Moore said of the president. "By early next year, we will have a vaccine that nobody thought was possible.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Stephen Moore, a conservative economist and close ally of President Donald Trump, said on Sunday that the president would leave office "triumphant" due to the progress with COVID-19 vaccines and his opinion of an improving economy.

Moore touted the president's handling of the coronavirus vaccine during a WABC 770 AM radio interview with New York businessman John Catsimatidis.

"I think (Trump) is going to leave the office triumphant," Moore said. "By early next year, we will have a vaccine that nobody thought was possible.

Moore, who cowrote the book "Trumponomics" with economist Arthur Laffer, praised the president's handling of the economy, throwing out the possibility of strong growth in the last few weeks of 2020.

"We could actually end up with the economy in positive territory from where it was a year ago," he said.

Even with the US economy posting a 7.4% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2020, Congressional inaction on additional stimulus measures threatens to stymie economic gains in 2021.

Last week, both Moderna and Pfizer announced that they had developed coronavirus vaccines with efficacy rates of 94.5% and 95%, respectively, an overwhelming breakthrough in the fight against the virus.

Moderna was backed by nearly $2.5 billion in spending as part of the Trump administration's "Operation Warp Speed," which was created to accelerate the vaccine development process in the wake of the pandemic.

Moore gloated about the positive news during the interview, giving credit to Trump while slamming President-elect Joe Biden with an unfounded attack.

"This is an incredible tribute to Operation Warp Speed," he said. "There's no way Joe Biden would have been able to do this. It will save hundreds of thousands of American lives and maybe tens of millions of lives around the world."

Biden was critical of Trump's handling of the pandemic during the entire presidential campaign, and it was a leading issue for many of his supporters.

Moore then compared Trump to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, widely revered for his leadership during World War II. Churchill served as prime minister from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955, with his Conservative Party losing majority control in Parliament in 1945 and but sweeping back to power in 1951.

"Sometimes I think he's [Trump's] like Winston Churchill," Moore said. "The voters dumped Churchill a couple of times, and he kept coming back. Trump does not need to...put his tail between his legs. If Biden is the one who's pronounced the winner, I think Trump goes out in a triumphant, [US General] Douglas MacArthur kind of exit."

Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia also once compared President Donald Trump to Winston Churchill. But Trump did not find this to be a compliment, as Business Insider reported in 2018. Purdue said the president took offense and even called up Purdue to let him know. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ted Cruz suggests he won't give up Thanksgiving plans as his home state of Texas sends in the National Guard to process dead bodies

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Sunday.
  • As Texas reels from surging coronavirus cases and deaths, Sen. Ted Cruz is focused on making sure his Thanksgiving holiday goes as planned.
  • Cruz, whose home state is Texas, posted on Twitter an insensitive graphic depicting a turkey with the words "come and take it" below it, suggesting he has no intention of following the advice of health officials this coming holiday. 
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts have warned that large, in-person gatherings this fall could spread the coronavirus and create another uptick in cases.
  • Meanwhile, Texas is struggling to deal with the surges it's had in recent weeks. Morgues in Texas are full, for example, and thousands of people are lining up for food rations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted out a graphic on Saturday that suggested he would not alter his Thanksgiving plans, despite recommendations from health officials to avoid or limit in-person gatherings this year due to rising coronavirus cases.

The graphic shows a turkey with a star representing Texas above it and the words "come and take it" below it. 

 

Twitter users characterized his post as offensive, taking it to mean that the senator is refusing to ease up on his own holiday plans while his home state of Texas struggles to respond to surging coronavirus cases.

In one Texas city, the morgues can't keep up with the rate of dying people. In an attempt to alleviate some of the pressure, the state government decided to send in the National Guard to El Paso to process bodies.

CNN reported that thousands of people in Texas last weekend waited in line to receive food rations and groceries for the holiday. The pandemic, which has shuttered small businesses nationwide and forced millions of Americans to live off unemployment benefits, has made it difficult for families to consistently put food on the table. 

"Forty percent of the folks coming through our partners' doors are doing so for the first time," Anna Kurian, a spokesperson for North Texas Food Bank, told CNN. 

Less than two weeks ago, Texas became the first state to hit 1 million coronavirus cases.

And KVUE, an ABC affiliate, reported that 135 counties in the state are at a high-risk level, which could be cause for a necessary stay-at-home order.

Health officials have for weeks cautioned that cases will rise through the holiday season, as families and friends gather in large, in-person groups. 

Among those sounding the alarms is the nation's top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci. 

"If you have people like elderly, or individuals who are compromised because of underlying conditions, you want to take a couple of steps back and say, is it worth it for this year to bring those people together when you don't know what the status of everybody in that pod that you've created is?" he said last month in conversation with the peer-reviewed JAMA.

"If you look around the country now, many of the infections are in small family and friend gatherings, such as dinner parties and small social gatherings," he added.

His concerns are backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is urging Americans to make alternative Thanksgiving plans like hosting a virtual gathering or delaying travels.  

Cruz has previously skirted safety measures against the spread of the coronavirus, such as wearing a mask. He was photographed mask-less on a flight in July. 

More recently, Cruz mocked a Senate colleague for asking another colleague to wear a mask while speaking. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio asked Sen. Dan Sullivan to put on a face covering on the Senate floor last week. 

"This is idiotic. @SherrodBrown is being a complete ass," Cruz tweeted in response.

Health officials and the CDC have for months been urging people to follow protective measures such as mask-wearing and practicing social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.

The disease has infected more than 12.1 million people in the United States, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 256,000 Americans have died from it. The United States is the country that leads with both the most coronavirus cases and deaths.

Cruz's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How the governors of Iowa, Utah, and North Dakota pivoted and issued public health orders to contain recent coronavirus surges

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Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum all issued mask mandates.
  • The US is fighting against a surge of new cases of coronavirus across the country.
  • Governors of Iowa, Utah, and North Dakota all enforced their first statewide mask mandate this month. 
  • The governors cited alarming increases of coronavirus cases in each state that prompted the new mask mandates and caused them to change their stances on the policies. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Cases of coronavirus are surging across the United States. As more people congregate indoors in the cold weather and pandemic fatigue leads to more risk-taking behavior, data shows an alarming surge of new daily coronavirus cases.

The US has a total of over 12 million confirmed cases and over 250,000 deaths from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged the public in recent weeks to forgo any travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and a bipartisan group of governors from seven states penned an op-ed in the Washington Post asking families to "reconsider" spending the holiday with "people outside your household."

In addition to recommendations from the national level, a number of states and cities have announced new restrictions in the wake of the rising cases, including three governors who have pivoted from their previous stances to enforce statewide mask mandates.

Here's how the governors of Utah, Iowa, and South Dakota eventually ordered the policies in response to the country's third wave. 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds previously dismissed ideas of a mask mandate as "just kind of a feel-good" measure.
FILE - Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference, in a Tuesday, July 7, 2020, file photo in Urbandale, Iowa.  Iowa Auditor Rob Sand says the Test Iowa program brought to the state under a $28 million no-bid contract by Gov. Kim Reynolds on recommendation of actor and Iowa native Ashton Kutcher is violating state law in the way it handles test results data. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference, on July 7, 2020.

In July, Reynolds said on a Des Moines radio show that she would not enforce a mask mandate, which she brushed off, saying she believes in Iowans. 

"No, I'm not going to mandate masks. I trust Iowans. I believe in Iowans," she said on the show, The Quad-City Times reported in July. "Most of the states or entities that have done that, they've actually gone as far as to say we're not going to enforce it, so it's just kind of a feel-good."

In the month of July, Iowa was seeing record cases of new daily cases. The Gazette reported on July 4 that the new daily case surpassed Iowa's peak seven-day rolling average. According to the COVID Tracking Project as of July 30, Iowa had a total of over confirmed 43,000 cases of coronavirus.

In September, Reynolds said that the state's goal was to "reduce the spread of the virus" but she believed "we can get there without a mask mandate," according to the Associated Press.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert did not enforce a mask mandate, explaining he did not "want this to become a divisive issue."
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Utah Governor Gary Herbert speaks after a meeting of the National Governors Association at the White House in Washington, DC, February 23, 2015.

Herbert did not opt for a mask mandate, saying in June he didn't want wearing masks to "become a divisive issue." The governor did not adopt a statewide mask mandate even as key lawmakers including Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson and state Senate President J. Stuart Adams encouraged mask requirements, Deseret News reported in July.

The lawmakers spoke out as multiple Utah business leaders signed a letter calling for a mask mandate, citing the high coronavirus infection rates. 

According to the COVID Tracking project, Utah had a total of over 40,000 coronavirus cases on July 31. 

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum did not make mask recommendations into mask mandates prior to this month.
FILE PHOTO: Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND) speaks to delegates at the Republican State Convention in Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S. April 7, 2018. Picture taken April 7, 2018. REUTERS/Dan Koeck
Gov. Doug Burgum attends the Republican State Convention in Grand Forks.

Burgum did not require state residents to wear a mask but encouraged residents to do so.

"So if you're someone that can't wear a mask for whatever reason just join in the chorus of thanking people who are and have empathy to understand they may have a reason: a family member, a child someone else they are in close working conditions at work," Burgum said in July, according to KVRR.

According to the COVID Tracking project, North Dakota had a total of over 6,400 cases of coronavirus on July 31.

Iowa, North Dakota, and Utah have all seen surges in coronavirus cases.
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Close-up of a cardboard box filled with packaged blue surgical masks imported from China during an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in San Ramon, California, April 5, 2020.

The three states have seen record new daily cases, as the US goes through the third wave of a surge of coronavirus cases. 

According to the COVID Tracking Project, North Dakota had over 22,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus on October 1. On November 1, the state had over 45,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, doubling the amount from its previous month. 

Iowa reported over 86,000 confirmed cases at the top of the month of October, but on November 1 reported over 121,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

In Utah, there were over 74,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus on October 1st and over 116,000 confirmed cases on November 1st, according to the COVID Tracking Project. 

On November 8, Herbert changed course from his previous stance and announced a state of emergency that included a mask mandate for Utah.
Gary Herbert
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert delivers his final State of the State address at the Utah State Capitol, on January 29, 2020.

The order required everyone to wear masks at all times in public, in addition to any time they are within six feet of someone they do not reside with. The executive orders, which included restrictions on social gathering, will remain in effect until November 23.

Herbert's office warned the mask mandate "will be extended for the foreseeable future." 

Herbert said "it is time for the divisiveness to end" as he explained the new order.
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Gov. Gary Herbert speaks about the new state of emergency in a video on November 8.

In November, Herbert issued new mask mandates as case counts rose at "an alarming rate."

"Masks do not negatively affect our economy and wearing them is the easiest way to slow the spread of the virus," he said in a video. "We cannot afford to debate this issue any longer."

Herbert called for "all of us as Utahns to unite making whatever sacrifices are necessary to help our neighbor, and to bring healing back to our state."

On November 13, Burgum announced a mask mandate in North Dakota.
GettyImages Doug Burgum
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

On November 13, Burgum announced an executive order that requires everyone to wear masks in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor spaces where social distancing is not feasible. The order stated it will be in effect until December 13.

Burgum said, "our situation has changed, and we must change with it."
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Burgum speaks about the new measures put in place in the wake of rising cases of coronavirus.

Burgum cited the high rise in coronavirus cases as the reason for his pivot to enforcing mask mandates. 

"Our state is caught in the middle of a skyrocketing national COVID-19 storm," he said in a video when announcing the new measures put in place in the wake of the coronavirus. 

"Since the beginning, we've taken a data-driven approach to our pandemic response, focusing on saving lives and livelihoods," he added. "Right now, the data demands a higher level of mitigation efforts to reverse these dangerous trends, to slow the spread of this virus, and to avoid the need for any economic shutdowns. Our situation has changed, and we must change with it."

On November 16, Reynolds signed a "Public Health Disaster proclamation" that included the first mask mandate coming from the Iowa governor.
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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at a news conference on July 30, 2020, in Des Moines.

On November 16, Reynolds signed a new "Public Health Disaster proclamation," which included the state's first mask mandate. The mandate requires everyone must wear a mask or face covering while in public indoor spaces, and anytime when they spend 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone who is not part of their household, the proclamation said.

The proclamation also mandated various other measures including the restriction of indoor gatherings that include more than 15 attendees. Restaurants, gyms, and casinos may remain open if they adhere to the various guidelines listed in the proclamation.

The state of public health disaster emergency is in effect until December 10, according to the proclamation.

Reynolds said that while "no one wants to do this," the pandemic's alarming number of cases prompted action.
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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference about an update on the state's response to the new coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

Reynolds pointed out the severity of the coronavirus when announcing the state's mask mandate. 

"The pandemic in Iowa is the worst it has ever been," Reynolds said in an announcement, according to NBC News.

"No one wants to do this. I don't want to do this," she added, according to NBC News. 

 

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Trump slams the Paris climate accord at the G20 Summit, saying it was 'designed to kill the American economy'

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President Donald Trump.
  • President Donald Trump on Sunday slammed the Paris climate accord, telling world leaders at the G20 summit that the pact was detrimental to US citizens.
  • "To protect American workers, I withdrew the United States from the unfair and one-sided Paris climate accord, a very unfair act for the United States," he said.
  • The US formally left the accord on November 4, but President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reverse the decision and rejoin the international environmental agreement on his first day in office.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Sunday slammed the Paris climate accord, telling world leaders at the G20 summit that the pact was harmful to American citizens.

"To protect American workers, I withdrew the United States from the unfair and one-sided Paris climate accord, a very unfair act for the United States," he said. "The Paris accord was not designed to save the environment. It was designed to kill the American economy. I refuse to surrender millions of American jobs and send trillions of American dollars to the world's worst polluters and environmental offenders, and that's what would have happened."

Trump has been a longtime critic of the environmental pact, which was established in 2015 and the United States joined under then-President Barack Obama in August 2016.

In June 2017, a few months into his presidency, Trump withdrew from the accord, saying that the deal was "draconian," while disagreeing with the standards for carbon emission reductions.

After a complex winding-down process, the US formally left the Paris agreement on November 4.

However, President-elect Joe Biden has already pledged to rejoin the agreement on his first day in office.

In the video that was filmed for the summit in the White House, Trump said that the US "has reduced carbon emissions more than any nation," a claim that the Associated Press said was "not that remarkable."

"With its giant economy, the US has far more raw emissions of climate-damaging carbon dioxide to cut than any other country except China," the Associated Press reported. "A more telling measure of progress in various countries is to look at what percentage of emissions a county has cut. Since 2005, the United States hasn't been even in the top 10 in percentage of greenhouse gas emission reductions."

During the G20 climate session, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked the group to abide by the accord.

"Not long ago, I announced China's initiative to scale up its nationally determined contributions and strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060," Xi said. "China will honor its commitment and see the implementation through."

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Your pillowcase has more bacteria than your toilet seat if you don't wash your sheets often

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Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: No one likes making their bed, let alone washing their sheets. Especially single men. In one survey, 55% of single men between 18 and 25 reported changing their sheets only four times a year. And to be clear, those are beds that you would not want to sleep in.

You shed about 15 million skin cells each night, but they don't just pile up in your sheets. Because something else is already there waiting to gobble them up: dust mites. And the longer you wait between washes, the more food these critters will have and the more they'll procreate and multiply. So if you don't wash your sheets, you'll be sleeping with hundreds of thousands of arachnids.

Now, for the estimated 20 million Americans with dust allergies, it gets worse. Dust mites and their feces produce proteins that cause red and itchy eyes, runny noses, and other cold-like symptoms in people who are allergic. And dust mites, well, they're actually not the only allergen in a dirty bed. If you never wash your pillow sheets, a community of fungus can also build up there. One study found that a typical pillow has as many as 16 different species of fungus and literally millions of fungal spores. And the most common among them, Aspergillus fumigatus, is potentially dangerous. In addition to allergic reactions, it can infect your lungs and other organs.

And it's not just fungi joining the party. You see, bacteria also love a good unwashed pillow case or sheet a lot. Another study found that unwashed pillow cases and sheets had up to 39 times more bacteria than pet-food bowls and several thousand times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Like Staphylococcus aureus, which in some rare cases can be deadly.

Now on a slightly less or perhaps more frightening note, dirty sheets can also give you acne. Each night, the oil, lotion, and other cosmetics on your skin transfer to your sheets and build up over time until eventually your bedding is basically a giant used makeup wipe. Then during the following nights, all that gunk transfers back onto your body, clogging your pores, and, voila, you've got acne.

Fortunately, there's a simple way to avoid all of these problems: Wash your sheets, and wash them often. Experts recommend about once a week using the hottest water possible. That'll kill a lot of bacteria and dust mites, get out stains, and remove oils.

Plus, as awful as making your bed might be, there's simply nothing better than slipping between clean, crisp sheets.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in May 2019.

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How car manufacturers measure torque and horsepower

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  • Torque and horsepower are both ways of understanding force where torque measures the capacity of a force to twist an object and horsepower measures that capacity over time.
  • Dynamometers are instruments that measure torque. Once torque is obtained, you simply have to apply it to a formula to obtain horsepower. 
  • For a deeper dive into torque and horsepower, and how car manufacturers measure the two, watch the video below.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: This car is spinning up to a whopping 8,200 revolutions per minute. At 8,200 rpm, it screams. It's a Ford Mustang GT350, and though its wheels are spinning at what should carry the car to 140 mph, it's obviously not moving anywhere. But what you're seeing is an important test that helps us understand what the car is capable of and, in this case, could even help Ford decide how much they could sell it for.

It's impossible to watch a car commercial without seeing torque and horsepower numbers.

Commercial: Bred to deliver 412 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque.

Narrator: Car manufacturers would have you believe higher horsepower and torque translate to "faster" and "stronger." That's not exactly true. What those two numbers do, more precisely, is give us an idea of what a car is capable of in different road situations without having to see the car in person.

Before we examine how horsepower and torque are measured, let's break down what they are.

Simply put, torque is the capacity of a force to twist something. Think of a torque wrench, where you fit the mouth of the wrench to a bolt and push down on the handle. The wrench's ability to turn the bolt is torque. The same exact twisting action is happening inside of a car engine, except, this time, instead of your hand and arm pushing down on the handle, tiny explosions happen inside each engine cylinder, pushing a piston down that causes the crankshaft to rotate. No hands required! Torque!

The harder this piston pushes on the crankshaft, the harder the crankshaft spins, the more total energy a car's engine puts out. So, to recap, in the case of our car, torque is how much force an engine produces. How does horsepower relate? Well, if torque is how much force an engine produces, horsepower is how quickly it can produce that force.

So, we have a bunch of horsepower. What can we do with it? If we have, say, 5 horsepower, we'll have enough to move a 2,750-pound car one foot in one second, given weight and power are the only two factors. If we had a heavier car, we would need more horsepower to move it one foot. So, how exactly does one measure torque and horsepower?

Well, engineers use a device called a dynamometer, of which there are a couple of types. This dynamometer, called a chassis dynamometer, is a treadmill of sorts for cars. Here, the car's wheels sit on a roller that lets the wheels spin without causing the car to go anywhere. Various amounts of weight, or load, are applied to the car using straps. With the car chained down, an engineer pushes on the gas pedal to see how the car interacts with each load at a different rpm. The dynamometer outputs a chart that looks like this. On it, two lines are plotted: a line for torque and another for horsepower. Peak torque is where the engine produced the most force. Peak horsepower is where the engine produced the most force the most quickly. The figures for torque and horsepower that are put on dealership stat sheets and in commercials are, generally, the numbers at the peak of each of these lines.

While big torque and horsepower numbers on a stat sheet surely are impressive, they only clue a new car buyer into a couple of many facets of a car's personality. Those numbers, though, are still the best ones we've got of telling how capable a car really is.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in November 2019.

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Young voters in the US turned out in record numbers in 2020, powering Biden's presidential victory

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At the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, students organized get-out-the-vote campaigns through signs, stickers, and text messages.
  • Over half of all voters under the age of 30 voted in the 2020 elections, a record figure, according to data from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.
  • The surge in turnout greatly benefited President-elect Joe Biden, who won this demographic by 24 points (60%-36%) over President Donald Trump.
  • Hoping to avoid the voter enthusiasm pitfalls that plagued Democrats in 2016, Biden's campaign sought to engage with young voters throughout the presidential campaign.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Over half of all voters under the age of 30 voted in the 2020 elections, a record figure, and the demographic powered President-elect Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump, according to data from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.

The data revealed that 52% to 55% of registered voters under 30 cast ballots. In the 2016 presidential election between Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, roughly 42% to 44% of voters in this age group voted.

This year, the voters under 30 who cast ballots this year overwhelmingly supported Biden over Trump by a 60% to 36% margin, according to Edison Research. In 2016, many of these same voters supported Clinton over Trump by a narrower but still significant 55% to 36% margin.

Early data from Colorado, Georgia, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state showed a huge increase in youth turnout, according to The Hill.

Tom Bonier, chief executive officer at the Democratic data firm TargetSmart, told The Hill that "the increase in turnout among younger voters was greater than the increase overall."

While Biden was able to win the Democratic presidential primaries en route to his win in the general election, his early pathway was compromised by the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who had cultivated a huge following with younger voters from his 2016 campaign against Clinton.

With the Biden campaign aware that turnout dropped for Clinton in many major cities in 2016, Biden pushed to prioritize issues that many younger voters cared about, including student loan debt, health care reform, and environmental regulations.

"In the key battlegrounds, those younger voters likely netted Biden enough votes to carry the Electoral College," The Hill reported. "Based on turnout and exit poll data, the Tufts center estimates voters under 30 gave Biden enough net votes to carry Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan."

Biden did especially well with young Black voters, with 87% of them backing the president-elect, compared to 10% supporting Trump. Young Asian and Hispanic voters also overwhelmingly backed Biden, with 83% and 73%, respectively, while young white voters supported Biden overall with 51% of the vote.

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While the CDC recommended against travel, about 2 million people went through airport checkpoints this weekend. Here's what airports across the country look like right now.

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People wait to speak to a United Airlines representative at a terminal at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 20

Last Thursday, the CDC recommended Americans do not travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as the US is undergoing a massive surge of coronavirus cases. 

But the following day, airports saw over 1 million travelers Friday, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A little below 1 million traveled through TSA on Saturday.

States across the country have tightened restrictions on social gatherings and travel and experts have warned that small indoor gatherings are driving an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country. 

While some airports appear to be largely empty, photos and videos show some airports with alarming crowds of people at terminals and gates. Here is what airports looked like this weekend before the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

A video shows crowds of passengers waiting for their flights at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona.

3TV and CBS5 journalist Max Gorden posted a video on Friday, which showed packed crowds of people waiting at the gates of the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona has over 290,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

TSA crew and travelers wore masks at the security checkpoint at the Denver International Airport on Friday .
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Transportation Security Administration crews are checking baggages of travelers at the security checking point of Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado on Nov 20.

Colorado uses a "dial framework" that applies different levels of guidance and restrictions by county based on disease spread. Many counties, including Denver County, are currently in "Level Red: Severe Risk," where indoor gatherings and indoor dining at restaurants are prohibited.

One photo showed a number of people waiting in line at the Denver International Airport's food court.
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Travelers are waiting in the line at the food court of Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado on Friday.

Colorado has over 190,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

People line up at baggage drop kiosks at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois.
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People walk through a terminal as other wait in line at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 20

On Friday, November 20, the state of Illinois went into Tier 3 resurgence mitigations. The new mitigations include restricting indoor gatherings to one household and outdoor gatherings to up to ten people. 

On Friday, Illinois carried out strong coronavirus restrictions in the wake of surging new cases.
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Travelers talk in a terminal at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.

Illinois has over 640,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Boston Logan International Airport appeared to see very few people at the terminal.
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An American flag hangs over the nearly empty Delta terminal at Logan Airport, Friday Nov. 20

Massachusetts requires all travelers, apart from those deemed to be from lower-risk states, must also fill out a Massachusetts Travel Form as well, according to the state's coronavirus travel order. As of Saturday afternoon, only Vermont, Massachusetts, and Hawaii are listed as "COVID-19 lower risk-states" according to the public health department. 

Massachusetts requires travelers to quarantine for two weeks or test negative for the coronavirus within three days of arriving in the state.
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Travelers walk through the nearly empty JetBlue terminal at Logan Airport, Friday Nov. 20.

Massachusetts has over 200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A video of the terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport shows people waiting in line.

A video posted by NBC Correspondent Blayne Alexander showed some people in line at the terminal and baggage kiosks at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Georgia has over 440,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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People are waiting on long lines for coronavirus tests ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday

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People stand in line at a clinic in Long Beach, California offering quick coronavirus testing for a fee, on Monday, June 29, 2020.
  • Health officials are asking people to avoid large gatherings this week, but people are lining up to get tested in droves ahead of the holiday.
  • About 40% of people responding to a poll conducted by Ohio State University said they are planning to gather in person with 10 or more people this week. A third of respondents said they would not require people attending these gatherings to wear a mask.
  • Photos from cities across the US show some of those people waiting to get tested for the coronavirus ahead of the upcoming holiday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, people all over the country are waiting in lengthy lines to get tested for the coronavirus.

Normally, millions of Americans travel and gather with their extended family members and friends. But this year, health officials are urging citizens to do the opposite and avoid large gatherings.

Coronavirus cases have been surging in recent weeks across the US, and demand for tests has spiked as many Americans still plan to gather for the holiday. 

In an effort to limit movement and curb the spread of the virus, multiple states have enacted restrictions discouraging people from traveling out of state. But health officials fear those restrictions may not be enough. They're asking the public to downsize holiday plans. Among those sounding the alarms is the nation's top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci.

"If you have people like elderly, or individuals who are compromised because of underlying conditions, you want to take a couple of steps back and say, is it worth it for this year to bring those people together when you don't know what the status of everybody in that pod that you've created is?" he said last month in conversation with the peer-reviewed JAMA.

Fauci emphasized that among current case counts, "many of the infections are in small family and friend gatherings, such as dinner parties and small social gatherings." 

His concerns are backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has urged Americans to make alternative Thanksgiving plans like hosting a virtual gathering or delaying travels.

However, about 40% of people responding to a poll conducted by Ohio State University said they are planning to gather in person with 10 or more people this week. A third of respondents said they would not require people attending these gatherings to wear a mask.

These photos show some of those people waiting to get tested for the coronavirus in cities across the US ahead of the upcoming holiday.

New Yorkers waited in lines stretching around city blocks, like this one outside of a CityMD urgent care clinic.
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People lined up at a walk-up COVID-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on November 17, 2020.
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A Covid-19 walk-up test site in Los Angeles, California, attracted lines on November 17, 2020.
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Those at the Judiciary Square Covid-19 testing site in Washington, DC, were met with workers in blue protective gear on November 18, 2020.
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People waited in long lines in Boston, despite temperatures in the 30s.
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Members of the Utah National Guard gave COVID-19 swab tests to people in their cars at the Utah County Health Department on November 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Inside BuzzFeed and HuffPost's tie-up

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Hi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for November 23. I'm Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter at Business Insider. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. Send me feedback or tips at LJohnson@businessinsider.com.

Today's news: Inside BuzzFeed and HuffPost's tie-up, Bain & Co.'s bet on marketing, and Sports Illustrated-branded CBD cream.


buzzfeed uk
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage takes part in a BuzzFeed News and Facebook live EU referendum debate on June 10, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.

Staffers at BuzzFeed and HuffPost are worrying about layoffs and the future of their newsrooms as the two companies prepare to combine

Read the full story here.


Grudnowski_John_44551

Bain & Co. is the latest consultancy to set its sights on advertising, and says its marketing practice is growing by double digits every year

Read the full story here.


Sports Illustrated Mitchell and Ness collab

Sports Illustrated's new owners think there are big dollars to be had in branded supplements and swimsuits — but not so much in magazines

Read the full story here.


More stories we're reading:

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! You can reach me in the meantime at LJohnson@businessinsider.com and subscribe to this daily email here.

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Trump campaign purges conspiracy-theorist Sidney Powell from legal team

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Sidney Powell, right, speaks next to former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, as members of President Donald Trump's legal team, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.
  • The Trump campaign has purged attorney Sidney Powell from its legal team.
  • On Sunday, the campaign issued a statement asserting that Powell "is practicing law on her own."
  • But just last week the campaign and the Republican Party were promoting a press conference where Powell, along with Rudy Giuliani, alleged a vast conspiracy to steal the 2020 election.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Just last week, President Trump's personal lawyer stood beside another attorney, Sidney Powell, as she baselessly alleged a far-reaching, international conspiracy to steal the 2020 election, one involving hacked voting machines and Venezuelan communists.

That dubious claim was then promoted on social media by the Republican Party.

By Sunday, however, the president's campaign team was backing away and claiming it had nothing to do with her.

"Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," read a statement attributed to Jenna Ellis, a legal advisor to President Trump, and Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney who cosigned Powell's allegations at last Thursday's fact-challenged press conference.

"She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team," the statement continued. "She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity."

It is not clear what led to the weekend purge, which comes on the heels of a federal judge throwing out the president's latest challenge to the results in Pennsylvania.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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