Channel: Business Insider

The investment chief at the world's largest hedge fund sees stocks sinking another 20% before the Fed steps in: report

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 5, 2018.

Stocks could slide another 20% before the Federal Reserve starts to take action, according to an investment chief at the world's largest hedge fund. 

Greg Jensen, co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates, told Bloomberg News that the Fed won't come to the market's rescue — in what's known as a Fed put — until the market drops another 15% to 20%. Even in that case, he said it would depend on how quickly the bottom falls out from the market. 

So far this year, the stock market has largely slumped. The S&P 500 has dipped 9% to 4,349.93 as of early Thursday. Another 20% decline would bring the index down to about 3,480 points — a level last seen around the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

Jensen said a decline in asset prices likely isn't a bad thing from the Fed's view, considering inflation is at its highest in 40 years.

"At these levels, it would take a much bigger move to get the 'Fed put' into the money," Jensen told Bloomberg. "They're a long way from that."

Bridgewater, the firm founded by billionaire investor Ray Dalio, has $150 billion in assets under management. A representative from the firm did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Jensen told Bloomberg he thinks the Fed just wants the market to reset, not to crash. Excess liquidity has caused elevated asset prices, and with the Fed tightening its monetary policy, not enough buyers can make up for the difference, he added. 

Investors were initially spooked by the potential for lower liquidity after Wednesday's Fed meeting when Chairman Jerome Powell said there's plenty of room to raise rates and declined to rule out rate hikes at every meeting this year.

Analysts told Insider the Fed's moves are a sign of change coming to the economy. Jensen also reflected the sentiment in his interview with Bloomberg: "We're at a turning point now and things will be much different."

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Bill Ackman plowed more than $1 billion into Netflix stock in 4 days. The investor has pounced on several beaten-down stocks during the pandemic.

bill ackman
Bill Ackman.

Bill Ackman disclosed a $1.1 billion stake in Netflix on Wednesday, and revealed that his Pershing Square hedge fund built the position in the space of four trading days. The billionaire investor's massive bet on the video-streaming company is the latest example of his pouncing on stock-price weakness, and buying and selling quickly, in the pandemic era.

Ackman began buying Netflix stock when it plunged 25% on Friday, slashing the company's market capitalization to just over half of its level in mid-November.

Pershing Square took a similar approach when Domino's Pizza shares tumbled in March last year. The fund bought 5% of the fast-food chain in a matter of days, securing a stake worth $750 million at the end of that month.

Ackman also capitalized when pandemic fears crashed the stock market in the spring of 2020. Pershing Square had spent $27 million on credit-default swaps as insurance against a wave of corporate defaults, and those hedges had ballooned in value to $2.6 billion. The fund sold them and plowed more than $2 billion of the proceeds into Hilton, Lowe's, and other stocks in its portfolio that had tumbled in value.

The market swiftly rebounded, boosting the value of Pershing's stocks and helping it to deliver a 70% return in 2020.

Pershing Square pursued a somewhat similar strategy for his Netflix wager. It cashed in about $1.2 billion worth of interest-rate hedges to finance the stock purchases, Ackman disclosed in a client letter this week.

Ackman has also been willing to sell stocks to seize buying opportunities. For example, Pershing Square dumped its almost 1% stake in Starbucks to pay for its Domino's Pizza stock last year, as Ackman and his team saw more upside in the pizza business.

Moreover, Pershing Square disposed of roughly $1 billion of shares in Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in May 2020. That was a surprising move, as the fund had only established the position in 2019, and had boosted it by about one-third during the market downturn a couple months earlier.

Ackman and his team later explained that they wanted to free up cash, felt Pershing could be more nimble than the Berkshire, and were disappointed that Buffett hadn't deployed a big chunk of his conglomerate's roughly $140 billion cash pile during the pandemic crash.

It's too soon to say whether Ackman's Netflix wager will pay off. Yet it's shown once again that he's ready to deploy billions of dollars at a moment's notice, and won't hesitate to cash in other investments when something catches his eye.

Read more: Warren Buffett is ready to deploy $80 billion if the market crashes this year. 7 experts say the investor should trim his Apple stake, acquire luxury brands, or buy some blue-chip stocks in the meantime.

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Artificial intelligence could be used to detect heart disease from an eye scan, scientists say

Women with mask gets eye test.
Researchers said eye tests could revolutionize the way people are screened for heart disease.
  • Eye scans could be used to predict the likelihood of a heart attack, scientists say.
  • AI that analyzes blood vessels could be used by opticians to screen for heart disease, they said.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, according to the CDC.

Artificial intelligence could detect early signs of heart disease during routine trips to an optician, a group of researchers has said.

A study, led by Leeds University and published in Nature Machine Intelligence Tuesday, found that a new AI system that examined eye scans was about 70% accurate at predicting a heart attack within the next 12 months, according to the researchers.

Currently, doctors estimate someone's risk of a heart attack in the next ten years using tools that take into account parameters such as age, gender, smoking history, cholesterol and blood pressure.

The use of AI with eye scans could help determine more accurately the risk of someone having a heart attack, allowing heart disease treatment to be started earlier, the study authors said. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Heart disease" refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attack, the CDC says.

Alex Frangi, study lead author and a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, said in a statement that the technique could revolutionize the screening of heart disease.

"Retinal scans are comparatively cheap and routinely used in many optician practices. As a result of automated screening, patients who are at high risk of becoming ill could be referred for specialist cardiac services," Frangi, the Diamond Jubilee Chair in Computational Medicine at Leeds University, said.

The new system uses images of the retina to estimate the size of one of the heart chambers, the left ventricle, and the blood pressure in it. It uses this information, combined with demographic data, to predict the likelihood of a heart attack within the next 12 months.

When someone develops heart disease, the left ventricle enlarges and its blood pressure – measured when the heart is relaxed – increases as the ventricle becomes a less efficient pump. These features are usually detected with investigations such as an electronic heart trace or a heart scan. 

The researchers trained the AI system using retinal images and demographic data — such as gender, smoking and alcohol consumption — from more than 5,600 people, the study authors said. They excluded people with diabetes, a condition that also causes changes to blood vessels in the eye.

The study authors cautioned that the technique was "less powerful" in identifying heart attack risk in individuals with larger left ventricles and higher ventricular blood pressure. The models hadn't been trained for this and retinal images don't contain all the information about the heart, they said.

The method was also less accurate for people with age-related macular degeneration, a common eye condition when part of the retina gets damaged, they said.

Frangi told Insider that the data was acquired in "very realistic conditions", but it wasn't yet clear how well the technology would perform in a high-street optician. 

"Those questions will need to be explored in a prospective trial once a pre-commercial prototype has been built and evaluated." he said, adding that it would also need to satisfy all required regulations.

The scientists will now look at genetic data to try to make the heart disease predictions more accurate, a "crucial step towards delivering personalized medicine", they said.

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Cathie Wood's Ark Invest expects ether to soar over 7,000% and hit a $20 trillion market cap by 2030

Cathie Wood of Ark Invest

Even as crypto markets face turbulence, Cathie Wood's Ark Invest is making a bullish call on the price of ether in a new report this week. 

The second-largest cryptocurrency, according to Ark Invest, will meet or surpass a $20 trillion market capitalization by 2030. Each coin would be priced at around $170,000-$180,000. Based on its current price of about $2,480, ether would have to jump by about 7,200% to meet the firm's target. 

The ETF manager said ethereum could "displace many traditional financial services" as decentralized finance gains traction, laying the groundwork for ether — ethereum's native token — to compete as a global currency. 

"As financial services move on-chain, decentralized networks are likely to take share from existing financial intermediaries," the report said. Ark Invest predicts ether will be a primary beneficiary of this shift. 

The report also said the price of a single bitcoin could "exceed $1 million by 2030" as investors remain focused on its long-term value.

Ark Invest's forecasts for both ether and bitcoin are high. Ether has sunk more than 22% over the last week, and is well off its record near $5,000 in November. 

Bitcoin, similarly, has fallen more than 50% since its November all-time high of $69,000. JPMorgan said the recent decline in bitcoin makes even a $150,000 long-term target less likely.

The new year has pummeled the cryptocurrency market after massive gains in 2021. Digital assets have mirrored technology stocks, all of which have traded in the red for most of this month

As the Federal Reserve signals continues to signal its hawkish stance for 2022, analysts expect crypto to remain under pressure

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Detailed video takes you as close as you can get to a catapult launch aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier

C-2A Greyhound USS Ronald Reagan
A C-2A Greyhound takes off from USS Ronald Reagan.
  • Former naval aviator Rob Roy has posted video of one of his carrier takeoffs with a C-2A Greyhound.
  • The footage explains what the pilots and handlers are looking for during a real catapult launch.

The Grumman C-2A Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft, designed to perform the COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) mission for the US Navy aircraft carriers.

The aircraft, that has carried out the mission for more than 55 years, regularly transporting equipment, passengers (including occasional distinguished visitors) supplies and mail to and from US flattops, will soon be retired: The type is being replaced by 58 CMV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft included in a $4.2 billion USD contract signed by the Pentagon in 2018 to fully replace the C-2 fleet. The last squadron is expected to phase out the Greyhound in 2024.

Our friend Rob Roy is a former naval aviator who flew the C-2A Greyhound with the "Rawhides" of VRC-40.

Navy Gerald Ford aircraft carrier
A C-2A Greyhound takes off from USS Gerald R. Ford, January 23, 2020.

His cool videos filmed during his career flying the type provide an unprecedented look at the C-2's blue-water operations inside and outside the cockpit (check these ones we have already commented, showing Rob not even blinking on approach to the carrier or performing a bolter and a waveoff).

The following one is, once again pretty cool, as it shows a catapult shot off "Cat 4" (catapult #4) on the USS Harry S. Truman.

"Another naval aviator, who is also a good friend of mine, filmed the video and was able to capture the raw power of what aircraft carriers are callable of, but also just how deadly military aircraft, propeller planes in particular, can be," he told us.

"There was nothing out of the ordinary with this particular launch, other than we were at the 'end of the launch cycle' and we were the last to get catapulted off. This is also why you see the F/A-18 Super Hornet coming in overhead for the carrier break. In naval aviation, unless there are student pilots flying to the carrier for the first time or if it's bad weather (Case II or Case III) we operate under something called 'zip lip.' This means that no one is talking to anyone, unless a safety of flight issue arises."

"This is usually the case on a clear VFR day (Case I). So that Hornet was coming in for the overhead break, then broke, and timed his 'approach turn' and subsequent final approach (flying the ball) immediately following my launch. It's quite a sight to see really, but if he's too early, then he has to wave off and try again."

Navy C-2A Greyhound aircraft carrier Harry S Truman
A C-2A Greyhound lands aboard USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean, July 9, 2014.

"Naval aviation is really about being the best you can be, while being safe and always trying to anticipate what the other aircraft are going to do. On deployment (which is when this video was from) we are all very in sync with how we are supposed to operate and it's one of the many reasons why the carrier strike group is such an effective fighting unit when it's game time," he said.

"Also you can see in the video, that immediately after I take off I make a hard bank to the left. This is to get away from the carrier as soon as possible, in case we have an engine failure on takeoff. This way, it minimizes our chances of getting run over (literally) by the ship, if we have to ditch in the water."

Along with the unique POV the clip also provides explanation for most of the things that happen in the C-2 aircraft and around it before the cat shot.

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AOC swipes at Joe Manchin, saying he has 'a different demand' every day and is making it tough for Democrats to pass Biden's economic agenda

Manchin AOC
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York remains in her seat as Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia stands and applauds as President Donald Trump delivers his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol on February 5, 2019.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Manchin for holding up Biden's economic agenda.
  • "This idea of just give him what he wants — he's been given everything that he wants," she said.
  • Democrats are returning to the drawing board on Build Back Better after Manchin torpedoed it.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York took a swipe at Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, saying the Democratic holdout changed his mind from one day to the next on President Joe Biden's proposed $2 trillion social- and climate-spending package.

Ocasio-Cortez criticized Manchin, saying he issued a "laundry list" of demands on the plan, which is directed at expanding healthcare and childcare, as well as aggressively combating the climate emergency.

"The issue that we have is that every day Joe Manchin wakes up, he has a different demand. And he wants to start over from scratch every single day," she told MSNBC on Wednesday night. "That is a quite difficult position to work with."

She added: "This idea of just give him what he wants — he's been given everything that he wants."

Her comments reflect a simmering frustration that many Democrats — particularly progressives — have with Manchin for derailing the centerpiece of the party's economic agenda last month. He has listed several concerns with the bill, including its effects on inflation and the national debt.

Manchin has criticized the "shell games" of the plan that he said were meant to disguise its true cost. He has also said since the fall that he wants the price tag to be kept at no more than $1.75 trillion.

Democrats labored to strike a deal with him on major parts of the bill, including the expanded child tax credit, which would provide checks to families. But he later reiterated his demands that the measure include a work requirement.

Manchin had pitched the White House on a $1.8 trillion package that included subsidies people could use to purchase health insurance from Affordable Care Act exchanges, universal pre-K, and childcare. But he told Insider earlier this month the offer was off the table and future negotiations with the White House would be "starting from scratch."

Party leaders are going in the opposite direction and urging rank-and-file members to avoid pummeling Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, another holdout who demanded major tax changes to the legislation. Senate Democrats can't afford a single defection in their drive to turn the package into law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that she communicated to House Democrats that criticizing the centrist pair may backfire on the party as it tried to assemble a new and slimmer Build Back Better plan.

"I have discouraged it because we are a giant kaleidoscope here, Democrats and Republicans," she said at her weekly press conference earlier this month. "You never know who is going to be in the design of the next bill. And so we have to be respectful."

Senate Democrats are poised to head back to the drawing board in the near future and overhaul the plan in an attempt to address Manchin's fiscal demands. Some Democrats are eyeing a bill centered on extending ACA subsidies and drug-price controls, along with climate and green-energy measures.

But they're far from reaching 50 votes. Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter Wednesday that a major tax cut for the wealthy was out of the plan, causing almost immediate pushback from other Democrats that want it in the plan.

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Biden announces Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement and says he will name a Black woman as his successor

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden, with retiring US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (left), in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 27.
  • President Joe Biden announced Justice Stephen Breyer's plan to retire from the Supreme Court.
  • Breyer's retirement clears the way for Biden to appoint his replacement.
  • Breyer, 83, has served on the court for almost 28 years.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that Justice Stephen Breyer's planned to retire at the end of the Supreme Court term this summer.

"I'm here today to express the nation's gratitude to Justice Stephen Breyer for his remarkable career in public service and his clear-eyed commitment to making our country's laws work for its people," Biden said.

"Today, Justice Breyer announces his intention to step down from active service," he added.

Breyer, 83, is the oldest member on the nation's highest court. News about his retirement broke on Wednesday, prior to the formal announcement at the White House.

Breyer made his decision official in a Thursday letter to Biden, commenting on his decades-long tenure on the court.

"I enormously appreciate the privilege of serving as part of the federal judicial system," Breyer wrote. "I have found the work challenging and meaningful." 

The forthcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court gives Biden the opportunity to fulfill his campaign pledge to nominate a Black woman to the bench, which he made clear he'll do. 

"While I've been studying candidates' backgrounds and writings, I've made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity, and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court," Biden said on Thursday. "It's long overdue, in my opinion."

Names that have been floated as potential contenders include DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and South Carolina federal district Judge J. Michelle Childs, who's also a Biden nominee for the DC circuit court. Biden said he planned to solicit ideas from lawmakers of both parties and consult with Vice President Kamala Harris before announcing his choice by the end of February.

Breyer's letter said he intended to step down after his successor had been nominated and confirmed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Wednesday that the upper chamber would move quickly to confirm Biden's nominee. 

Breyer, for his part, reflected on his career following Biden's remarks.

"This is a complicated country, more than 330 million people," he said. "It's a kind of miracle, people, when you sit there and see all those people in front of you, people that are so different in what they think, and yet they've decided to help solve their major differences under law."  

Breyer also quoted President Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," saying, "We are now engaged in a great civil war to determine whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

Describing himself as an optimist, Breyer said he was "pretty sure" the "American experiment" would endure.

Breyer, appointed by President Bill Clinton, has served on the court for almost 28 years. A moderate liberal, Breyer has a legacy as a strong defender of healthcare and abortion rights and a fierce opponent of the death penalty. 

After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death in 2020, he entered the spotlight as the most senior member of the court's liberal wing. Breyer wrote the majority opinions for influential cases in the court's last term, including upholding the Affordable Care Act against a Republican-backed challenge and siding with a former high-school cheerleader who had been punished over a profane rant on social media.

Breyer also drew attention over the past year for reasons unrelated to his judicial review, as progressive groups demanded he leave the bench. Progressives, upset by the court's expanded 6-3 conservative majority cemented under President Donald Trump, wanted Breyer to step down so Biden could name his replacement while the Senate was still under Democratic control.

Breyer's departure ahead of this year's midterm elections brings relief to progressives, giving Biden time to appoint a successor before Republicans have a chance to flip control of the Senate and block the president's Supreme Court nominee.

Biden's role will be history-making: He presided over Breyer's 1994 Supreme Court confirmation as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Now, as president, he is set to name Breyer's successor, which has never happened before, Punchbowl News reported.

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A newly minted cryptocurrency called Grimacecoin surged 285,000% after a McDonald's joke in response to Elon Musk's tweet

Ronald McDonald and Grimace with arms outstretched standing on street at Macy's parade
Ronald McDonald and Grimace.

McDonald's response to Elon Musk's push for the fast-food chain to accept dogecoin caused a new cryptocurrency called grimacecoin to surge more than 285,000%. 

The Tesla boss tweeted on Tuesday that he would eat a McDonald's Happy Meal on TV, if the restaurant started accepting dogecoin as a form of payment. In response, McDonald's tweeted, "Only if @tesla accepts grimacecoin." The tweet included a crypto version of Grimace, the company's round, purple mascot often featured in marketing materials. 

In true crypto fashion, the meme spurred a meme token.

According to CoinDesk, one newly minted grimacecoin surged as much as 285,641% in the hours following the tweet. About 10 other versions of grimacecoin started trading on the Binance Smart Chain network alone, CoinDesk found.

McDonald's did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the matter. To Fortune, the company said it does not have an affiliation with any grimacecoin.

McDonald's entered the crypto conversation earlier this week when digital assets like bitcoin dropped as the broader market slumped. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts joked on Twitter that the volatile price of bitcoin was starting to look like the McDonald's golden arches, while others said they'd have to apply for jobs flipping burgers if crypto trading didn't work out, Fortune reported previously. 

El Salvador's president and bitcoin evangelist, Nayib Bukele, even tweeted a photo of himself wearing a McDonald's hat and name tag. Then Musk, known for pushing the shiba inu-inspired meme coin, joined in with the Happy Meal tweet.

So far this year, bitcoin has fallen about 24% and is trading below $40,000, a stark drop from the $69,000 peak in November last year. The slump comes as the broader market itself has fallen into a rut amid a hawkish Federal Reserve and Russia-Ukraine tensions. 

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Texas AG went on Mike Lindell's TV network urging people to pressure state judges after they stopped him from prosecuting supposed voter fraud

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
  • Texas AG Ken Paxton urged the public to pressure state judges on Mike Lindell's broadcast platform.
  • A Texas court of appeals stripped the AG of the power to unilaterally prosecute election-fraud cases. 
  • Paxton said on the show that people should call the judges "out by name." 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went on MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell's broadcast platform and urged the public to put pressure on the state's Court of Criminal Appeals judges over a recent ruling that stripped him of the power to unilaterally prosecute supposed election-fraud cases. 

"Contact the Court of Criminal Appeals. Call them out by name. I mean, you can look them up," the Republican attorney general said during an interview last week with Brannon Howse on Lindell's platform, Frank. 

"There's eight of them that voted the wrong way," Paxton said and urged listeners to "call them," "send mail," and "send email."

"I encourage Texans to talk to their legislators to make them aware of it because most of Texas legislators don't realize what's about to happen in Texas," Paxton said during the January 17 interview. 

After the interview, Howse showed a graphic with the address and contact information for the court in Austin, saying, "Let them know what you think about this" but also advising viewers to be polite.

"Assume that your call is being recorded," he added, "so speak in nice, calm terms."

Howse also said viewers could look up the judges online.

Paxton's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

In December, the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals — an all-GOP panel — ruled 8-1 that Paxton can no longer unilaterally prosecute purported cases of voter fraud. 

Paxton previously said in a tweet that because of the decision, "Soros-funded district attorneys will have sole power to decide whether election fraud has occurred in Texas. This ruling could be devastating for future elections in Texas." 

Earlier this month, Paxton filed a motion for a rehearing with the court, requesting that it reconsider the ruling. 

"The Court's decision to suddenly remove our authority to prosecute election fraud can only empower dishonest campaigns to silence voters across the state," Paxton said in a statement, calling the decision "not only wrong on legal grounds, but it has the effect of giving district and county attorneys virtually unlimited discretion to not bring election law prosecutions."


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A couple that riots together stays together: Missouri husband and wife avoid jail time for their role in the Capitol insurrection

zachary kelsey wilson
Zachary and Kelsey Wilson photographed at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
  • A federal judge ordered a married couple who participated in the Capitol siege to serve 24 months probation.
  • Zachary and Kelsey Wilson were arrested after storming the Capitol and entering Pelosi's office.
  • They were also accused of lying to the FBI about their role in the riot.

She entered through the Senate wing doors, he through a nearby window. But on January 6, 2021, Kelsey and Zachary Wilson were otherwise together as they participated in the attack on the Capitol and "went pretty much everywhere in the building," a federal prosecutor said Thursday.

On Thursday, the married couple avoided prison time for their participation in the deadly siege. They each received two years of probation, with Judge Amit Mehta ordering Zachary and Kelsey Wilson to serve 45 days and 30 days of home detention, respectively.

Mehta also ordered 60 hours of community service to be completed within the two-year probation period.

"Regrettably, you all made the decision to do something that contributed to a transition of power that ultimately was marred by violence, destruction, and death," Mehta said at the sentencing hearing on Thursday.

But he added: "I think you are both decent people. I think you are decent, hardworking Americans who were regrettably caught up in something."

The Wilsons pleaded guilty last year to one count each of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building.

The Justice Department recommended that they spend two weeks in prison, three years probation, and pay $500 in restitution.

The FBI first learned of Zachary Wilson's participation in the deadly siege from an anonymous tipster who pointed to a Facebook post from Wilson saying he had entered the building.

"First ones in !! !!" Wilson commented on a post asking if he went into the Capitol. "First thing we found was [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi's office."

The government said in its sentencing memo for Zachary Wilson that, in addition to entering the Capitol and posting footage of the breach online, he lied to the FBI about his participation in the riot.

Kelsey Wilson did not post footage of the breach on social media, but the Justice Department said she entered Pelosi's office with her husband and lacked candor with the FBI.

"Unfortunately, they didn't tell the truth," said prosecutor Jacob Strain, who noted that Zachary Wilson lied at least times, "mostly about Ms. Wilson's involvement."

"Ms. Wilson never told the FBI that she had entered the building," Strain added.

The FBI also saw video footage from the Capitol Police that showed the Wilsons walking down a hallway in the building. Law enforcement officials said Kelsey Wilson was seen with a "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" flag wrapped around her.

The Justice Department emphasized that the Wilsons' participation in the riot "took place in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm law enforcement, breach the Capitol, and disrupt the proceedings."

If not for their actions "alongside so many others, the riot likely would have failed to disrupt the certification vote," the government said in sentencing memos for the two defendants. "As this Court knows, a riot cannot occur without rioters, and each rioter's actions – from the most mundane to the most violent – contributed, directly and indirectly, to the violence and destruction of that day."

"I know that what I did was wrong and I know that it was detrimental to the country," Zachary Wilson said at the sentencing hearing. "I can assure you that if I could take it all back I would in a heartbeat."

He also apologized to staffers who were trapped in the building during the siege, adding that he was "incredibly sorry" for his participation in the riot, which he said "put a stain on our country's history."

US District Judge Amit Mehta, who presided over the hearing, asked Wilson why he thought it was okay to enter the Capitol on January 6. 

"I think it really was just kind of like an impulse," Wilson said. "I did not believe it was okay, my common sense told me that ... maybe I didn't register it at the moment, but afterwards, I realized that wasn't okay."

Mehta also pressed Wilson on why he deleted his social media posts from the inside of the building after the siege.

"I was caught up in President Trump telling everybody that the election got stolen, he had everybody enraged," Wilson said.

He added that "we didn't have any idea" initially that the Trump rally that preceded the siege would lead to marching to the Capitol. "We thought we were just there for the speech, and when he told everybody to march, we were like, okay," Wilson said, referring to Trump.

"I really feel stupid, to be honest," he said. When asked why he lied to the FBI about his role in the riot, Wilson replied: "I just panicked."

Mehta then told Wilson that he was "lucky" not to have been charged with an additional count of lying to the FBI.

Kelsey Wilson called the aftermath of the Capitol riot "one of the most life changing things that I will ever go through," adding, "I know what I did on January 6 was wrong. We got caught up in everything that was happening in the last year and got swept up in the crowd."

"I'm embarrassed and deeply sorry for my actions that day," she continued. "My family is truly sorry for the embarrassment that we brought on our country, and we will definitely pay for this for the rest of our lives."

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Oxford researchers are seeking volunteers willing to get COVID-19 deliberately for a human challenge trial

Boots test covid coronavirus
  • Researchers in the UK have been working on a low-risk dose of the coronavirus for human trials.
  • In the next phase, they'll expose willing participants to the virus to see how their immune defenses hold up.
  • This kind of study, while not without risks, could help inform future vaccine development.

A team of researchers at the University of Oxford is hoping to study how the coronavirus affects people who have previously been exposed, either by vaccination or natural infection. To do so, they'll need some volunteers.

Britain was the first country to approve a human challenge trial, where researchers deliberately expose participants to a pathogen that may make them sick, back in February 2021. Such a design comes with obvious risks, but it's a unique way to study the immune response to a virus and potentially improve future vaccines.

Since April 2021, a research team headed by Oxford vaccinology professor Helen McShane has been testing out various doses to determine the minimum amount of virus needed to trigger an immune response.

"We have learned a lot about COVID over the past two years, but the emergence of new variants means that we will probably have to keep refining the vaccines," McShane said in a news release from the university. "If we know what level of immune response we need the vaccine to induce, it will make future vaccine development much quicker and much more efficient."

Their aim is to have about 50% of participants test positive on a nose and throat swab with minimal to no symptoms, according to the release. 

Now that the team says it is close to finding that perfect dose, the researchers are seeking volunteers for the second phase of the trial.

Phase 2 involves infecting young, healthy participants

Researchers will infect participants with SARS-CoV-2 — the technical name for the novel coronavirus — via nasal drops and observe how their immune systems respond to the threat.

The team is working with the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 discovered in Wuhan, China, that was also used to formulate the vaccines. The virus looks very different today. It has since mutated into variants like Omicron, which experts have described as  typically causes milder, cold-like symptoms compared to the flu-like illness and respiratory distress seen at the start of the pandemic.

There are safeguards in place to avoid severe illness. The study is only enrolling participants aged 18-30 who are in "excellent health." Participants must be vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or both. Anyone who develops symptoms will be given Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment Ronapreve.

The risk of death from COVID-19 for someone in that age group is around one in 3,000, according to one analysis by The Guardian — that's about the same risk level that comes with donating a kidney.

The real challenge might be getting through more than two weeks in isolation: three days alone at home, two days in quarantine pre-exposure, then at least 14 days of quarantine post-exposure.

"It's basically like being in lockdown again, it's just you're being paid for it," Emily, a COVID-19 challenge trial participant, said in a video produced by Oxford. "And you're helping a really good cause to hopefully never go into lockdown again."

Participants also stand to gain a large sum of money — at least £4,995, or about $6,690 — as compensation for their time and inconvenience.

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The appearance of one of China's most advanced warplanes signals a new threat to Taiwan

China J-16 fighter jet
A J-16 fighter jet at a Chinese air force Open Day in Jilin province, October 17, 2019.
  • Two of China's J-16D jets appeared for the first time in a group that entered Taiwan's air-defence zone on Monday.
  • It is a sign that the jets, equipped with electronic interference functions, are combat ready, one analyst says.

The appearance of two PLA electronic warfare jets in a Taiwan air defence fly-by on Monday signals a new possible threat to the island — an aircraft capable of launching direct strikes and interfering with radar systems at short-range, observers said.

The island's defence ministry reported on Monday that 13 PLA warplanes entered the southwest of Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

The aircraft included eight J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft. But there were also two J-16Ds, the electronic-warfare version of the J-16 multirole strike fighter developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corp.

According to the ministry, it was the first time the J-16Ds, which function as both fighter jets and electronic-warfare aircraft, had been spotted in the zone since the aircraft made its debut at the Airshow China in September.

According to the ministry, the planes flew into the southwest of Taiwan's ADIZ but were far from the Pratas Islands controlled by Taipei.

Observers said the sorties raised alarm in Taiwan as the J-16D was one of the most advanced People's Liberation Army warplanes and its capacity to interfere with the island's defence radar systems could make all the difference in combat.

China air force J-16D fighter jet
A J-16D electronic-warfare aircraft at Airshow China in Zhuhai, September 29, 2021.

Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Yuan Wang military science and technology institute in Beijing, said the J-16D could offer "electronic support" to its wing planes.

"The first function of the J-16D is electronic support, such as jamming the enemy's communication systems. Second is electronic suppression, which is to interfere with the radar of the enemy," he said.

Fu Qianshao, a retired equipment expert from the PLA Air Force in Beijing, said the J-16D could support other aircraft over a short-range by interfering with enemy air-defence missile bases and radar systems, and China was among only a few countries to manufacture such warplanes.

"It can take the lead in warfare with electromagnetic suppression … Then the assault group follows in its path to attack the enemy," Fu said. "It can use the tactics of both 'soft' and 'hard' kill," Fu said, referring to the use of jammers to blind radars and missiles to directly attack those enemy systems.

He said that unlike other aircraft with electronic warfare capabilities, the J-16D could protect other planes at a closer range.

"Larger transport aircraft or bombers can also be converted to have electronic capabilities, but they can only jam the enemy over a long range outside the defensive zone," Fu said.

Chieh Chung, a senior researcher at National Policy Foundation, a think tank affiliated with Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang, said there had been some suggestion that the J-16D could deceive radars into detecting a large number of incoming warplanes.

China J-16D electronic warfare aircraft
A J-16D at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, September 29, 2021.

But the J-16D's electromagnetic system might be designed to create only a number of indistinguishable or confusing signals for a radar.

"Such a function would confuse those monitoring the radar system, leading to misjudgments from the side being targeted," Chieh said. He said the appearance of the J-16Ds on Monday indicated that the aircraft was advanced enough to join other warplanes in combat missions.

"Their fly-by on Monday is probably part of the PLA Air Force's plan to test the performance of the aircraft," he said.

Chang Yen-ting, a guest professor of National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and a retired lieutenant air force general, said the J-16D was one of the PLA's trump cards because the aircraft performed even better than the EA-18G Growler electronic attack jets deployed by the US Navy for carrier operations.

"The appearance of the warplanes on Monday indicates the start of mass production and the combat readiness of the planes," he said.

Monday's sorties came a day after 39 PLA warplanes — 34 fighter jets, four electronic warfare planes and a bomber — flew into the island's ADIZ.

They also came after two US aircraft carrier groups, led by the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carriers, entered the South China Sea for training on Sunday following a six-day joint exercise with Japan near Okinawa from January 17.

Read the original article on Business Insider

What to expect from the 2022 Super Bowl commercials

NFL super bowl 2021
The 2021 Super Bowl
  • Brands like Crypto.com, Budweiser, and Doritos are planning ads for the upcoming Super Bowl on February 13.
  • The game is the biggest stage for advertisers and is expected to be watched by nearly 100 million people.
  • Insider is talking to the brands and ad agencies behind the ads to learn how they put them together.

Brands are gearing up for the biggest advertising event of the year.

First-time advertisers like Crypto.com will join longtime advertisers Pepsi, Budweiser, and Doritos on February 13 at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.

While it's not clear which teams will face off at the game, brands have spent months preparing to run TV commercials that entertain people and convince them to buy their products.

NBCUniversal is charging advertisers $6.5 million to run a 30-second ad with millions more spent on production and digital ads. 

Insider is talking to the big names and lesser known ad executives behind the scenes to learn what makes an iconic advertisement.

Advertisers will play up humor this year

Ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners has worked on dozens of Super Bowl campaigns for Frito-Lay and Sam Adams. Humor is always a big part of making a hit Super Bowl ad, but chief creative officer Margaret Johnson expects to see ads with more sophisticated humor this year.

"People are tired of this we're-all-in-this-together-pat-on-the-back spirit," she told Michael Kamier. "But sophomoric humor won't play well this year. I'm encouraging more sophisticated humor, especially considering the pandemic."

How agencies find the right idea

Advertisers' biggest challenge with the Super Bowl is creating the right message that will resonate with people. HighDive, a Chicago-based agency with founders who have worked on more than 50 Super Bowl campaigns, gave this advice to Nasha Smith.

"You start with identifying the strategy, the brand belief, and the product truth. Where it begins to really differ is recognizing the broad Super Bowl audience and the expectations they have to be entertained," said cofounders Mark Gross and Chad Broude. "If you meet those expectations, you could really insert a brand into the culture.

If you don't, you could fail. This is the one time a year consumers are not avoiding commercials. They're actually seeking them out, and it's important you don't make them regret that."

For Intuit's first Super Bowl spot for its brand QuickBooks, the company is promoting its recent acquisition of Mailchimp in an ad that will feature a celebrity.

Celebrities are a tried-and-tested way to make a statement.

"Strategically aligning a celebrity that taps into your brands' DNA and truly embodies their messaging is the real key," said Susannah Keller, executive vice president and global business leader of Mars at BBDO Worldwide.

Covid has dramatically changed production

Startup ClickUp is running its first regional Super Bowl ad this year and is testing two different ads. With more protocols in place with how to shoot commercials, Melissa Rosenthal, chief creative officer at ClickUp, said that it's crucial to shoot as much as possible to have choices for the final ad.

"It's important to have those options in a time when something as simple as being physically inside an office is so socially and politically fluid," she said. "Production planning happens over the course of months, but the news is a moving target."

Super Bowl ads need to extend past the game

For the past few years, Avocados from Mexico has been a staple advertiser in the game. This year, the brand is using the Super Bowl to build a bigger campaign that includes two other parts, Avocados from Mexico's VP of marketing and innovation Ivonne Kinser told Fortesa Latifi.

Read the original article on Business Insider

'No new models in 2022': Wall Street analysts react as Tesla's 4th-quarter earnings spark 7% drop in stock price

Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a white shirt and tie exits the backseat of a white Tesla
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla stock fell as much as 8% on Thursday after its fourth-quarter earnings call revealed several product delays for its Cybertruck, Semi-truck, and Roadster.

The company's results were ahead of analyst expectations, and Tesla said it expects to continue growing annually at a pace of at least 50%. 

Here were the key numbers:

Revenue: $17.7 billion, versus analyst estimates of $16.6 billion
Adjusted earnings per share: $2.54, versus analyst estimates of $2.38
Automotive gross margin: 30.6%, versus 30.5% in the prior quarter

While Tesla beat estimates and expects the growth to continue, CEO Elon Musk said on the earnings call that the company will likely be facing supply chain issues through the end of 2022. The main driver is a shortage of semiconductors, which Tesla heavily relies on.

That shortage and the continued strong demand for Tesla's Model 3 and Y vehicles led the company to announce that its Cybertruck, Roadster, and Semi-truck won't launch in 2022. Additionally, Tesla said it is not currently working on a lower-cost $25,000 electric vehicle.

Finally, the EV maker talked up the potential of its human robot that is under development, dubbed "Optimus." Musk said the friendly version of R2-D2 has the potential to one day be a bigger business than its automotive division.

Here's how three Wall Street analysts reacted to Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings report. 

JPMorgan: "No new models in 2022 as Cybertruck and Semi delayed again."

JPMorgan raised its price target to $325 from $295 and reiterated its "Underweight" rating.

"While Tesla's product development roadmap may have disappointed customers having placed deposits for their Roadsters as far back as 2017 and their Cybertrucks as far back as 2019, there is no denying Tesla delivered for investors in 4Q," JPMorgan said.

The bank highlighted that Tesla's focus on a human robot and delays of its Cybertruck come as competition in the electric pickup truck space heats up with Rivian, Ford, and General Motors.

Wedbush: "Tesla delivers another stellar quarter."

Wedbush reiterated its $1,400 price target and "Outperform" rating.

"The narrative and fundamental story for Tesla is more bullish this morning after the call/quarter than 24 hours ago. The Austin production news and 4680 [battery] update are potential 'game changers' to the Tesla story especially in this supply constrained backdrop. In a nutshell, Tesla is extending their lead in the EV arms race and once Austin and Berlin are fully ramped over the coming months the expanded production capacity will be a linchpin to meeting the growing Tesla demand trajectory in 2022 and beyond," Wedbush said.

Goldman Sachs: "Strong revenue and profit growth continues."

Goldman reiterated its $1,200 price target and "Buy" rating."

"While the delay to the Cybertruck was widely reported on already, the info on the $25K vehicle progress could raise questions on growth in the 2023-2025 timeframe given the large number of vehicles sold in this price band. However, we see significant growth ahead with its current models, including as the company drives down cost."

"Moreover, profits on entry-level vehicles for the entire auto industry have typically been limited, and thus the company's decision to devote its resources first to high-value software and more profitable hardware is reasonable in our view," Goldman said.

Tesla stock price
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Google increases parental-leave policy to nearly 6 months and adds more vacation time for employees in a boost to well-being benefits

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during Google I/O 2016 at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 19, 2016 in Mountain View, California. The annual Google I/O conference is runs through May 20.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
  • Google is boosting its benefits and offering employees more parental leave and vacation time.
  • Employees will now get a minimum of 20 days of vacation a year, up from 15.
  • It's also increasing parental leave to 18 weeks and upping caregiver leave to eight weeks.

Google is increasing parental leave and offering additional vacation time as part of an overhaul of its employee benefits.

The company announced on Thursday that it had expanded parental leave to 18 weeks for all parents (previously 12 weeks) and 24 weeks for parents who give birth (previously 18 weeks). As of April 2, it will also let employees take up to eight weeks of caregiver leave, doubling its previous allowance.

It is also increasing employees' paid vacation time to a minimum of 20 days a year, up from 15, starting April 2. A Google spokesperson said all the changes would apply to full-time employees globally.

Google has long been seen as a leader in employee benefits, especially when it comes to parental leave. But as remote work has taken away the free food and other in-office perks employees have come to expect, the company has searched for other ways to retain talent and prevent burnout.

Last year's annual employee survey showed a decline in reported well-being, prompting the company to roll out additional benefits, including more companywide days off and employee bonuses (sometimes jokingly called "Sundar days" and "Sundar dollars" by employees in reference to CEO Sundar Pichai). 

"More than 40% of our employees are in the 'sandwich generation,' where they might find themselves both bringing up their children and caring for aging family members," Fiona Cicconi, Google's chief people officer, wrote in an emailed statement on Thursday.

"We want to support our employees at every stage of their lives and that means providing extraordinary benefits, so they can spend more time with their new baby, look after a sick loved one or take care of their own wellbeing," Cicconi said. "Today we're announcing increases to our global leave benefits to ensure that parents and caregivers have more time to spend with their families and loved ones, and to encourage all Googlers to take more time for themselves, too."

Are you a current or former Google employee with more to share? Got a tip? Contact this reporter at hlangley@insider.com or on the encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram at +1 628-228-1836.

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The IMF is predicting more pain for global stocks as central banks tighten monetary policy

The seal for the International Monetary Fund is seen in Washington, DC on January 10, 2022.
The seal for the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC.
  • The IMF is predicting more pain for global stocks as central banks around the world tighten their monetary policies.
  • "Risk assets such as equities could sell off further," an IMF official told CNBC. 
  • The Fed on Wednesday indicated hawkish plans for rate hikes this year to tame inflation.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The International Monetary Fund is predicting more pain for global stocks as central banks around the world tighten their monetary policies to curb rising inflation. 

Less accommodative policies would come as the global economy enters 2022 in a "weaker position than previously expected" on the back of a still ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF warned in a new report Thursday.

"We could certainly see further tightening of financial conditions, and that means that risk assets such as equities could sell off further," Tobias Adrian, the IMF's financial counselor and director of monetary and capital markets, told CNBC Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve indicated hawkish plans for rate hikes this year to tame inflation, which is running at the fastest pace in 40 years. The central bank's policy statement opened the door for the Fed to start raising the benchmark rate as early as March.

In the press conference that followed, Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that inflation may stay high for longer than expected and admitted that a rate hike at every meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee this year is not off the table. US stocks quickly gave up steep gains and finished mostly lower.

"This is hopefully not going to be disorderly, but it's going to be an orderly adjustment in terms of valuations," the IMF's Adrian told CNBC, adding that the reaction of the markets will largely depend on the central bank's clarity.

He also said an unexpected tightening of, for instance, 50 basis points, could spark a "substantial" sell-off. This pressure will likely spill over to the digital asset space, he said, which has exhibited high correlations with traditional financial markets.

Bitcoin dropped as much as 5% Thursday as cryptocurrencies fell across the board, with altcoins leading the way, on the back of the surprisingly hawkish comments from the Fed.

Ethereum, the second-biggest digital currency after bitcoin, was 3.66% lower at $2,430 — far off its record high of nearly $5,000 in November. The wider crypto market also slumped and lost about $100 billion in total market value overnight. 

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57 meaningful and fun gift ideas for your wife that'll last longer than a flower bouquet


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woman opening a gift - gifts for wife
  • Thoughtful gifts for your wife are key, whether it's for a birthday, anniversary, or just because. 
  • We rounded up unique gift ideas for her, whether you want a grand gesture or a personalized memento.
  • Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested.

Putting extra care into picking out thoughtful gifts for your wife shows her just how how special she is and how much you appreciate all she does. Whether you're looking for an anniversary gift, birthday gift, or just an "I love you" gift, we have a wide range of gift ideas for your wife she's sure to love.

Of course, the best ways to show your appreciation for your loved ones can't be bought. Nothing can top showing your gratitude with patience, support, and love. But when it comes to the tangible, gifts for her can enhance the gratitude we show daily through our actions.

Here are thoughtful gift ideas for your wife, ranging from romantic gift ideas to unique and personalized options. 

Browse all of the best gifts for your wife below, or jump to a specific gift category here:

Here are 57 of the best gifts for your wife

Romantic gifts for your wife
An enchanting candle
diptyque candle - gifts for wife

Diptyque Baies Small Candle, $38, available at Diptyque

A scent from Diptyque is a classic gift — and for good reason. The aromas are unique, without being overpowering. This tangy scent with flowery accents is just right for an everyday smell that's still romantic. You can also find more of our favorite candle brands here. 

A 'just because' toast
La Marca prosecco - gifts for wife

La Marca Prosecco, $15.99, available at Wine.com

Celebrating someone you love is an opportune time to pop open a bottle of bubbly. This bottle is well-priced, and though it's not the fanciest gift on its own, it'll pair nicely with something else from this list. 

A modern twist on love letters
love letter templates - gifts for wife

How Do I Love Thee From A-Z, $20, available at Uncommon Goods

Fill in the blanks about why you love your spouse. This little book holds 26 prompts, from A to Z, that let you express why you love and appreciate her. It is all bound together as a small book that she can have as a thoughtful keepsake forever.

Sentimental gifts for your wife
A sentimental map
grafomap custom map art - gifts for wife

Grafomap Custom Map, from $49, available at Grafomap

Make her a totally custom map of one of her favorite places. Pick your location, then get to customizing. Grafomap lets you choose your own colors, write your own labels, and zoom in or out, for a map that is 100% unique. 

A collection of your best memories
Snapfish photo book

Snapfish Photo Book, from $5.99, available at Snapfish

Even though it has become so easy to scroll through old photos with your phone on Facebook and Instagram, there is something special about a tangible photo book that you can look at. These are nice to leave around the house, flip through every now and then, and be reminded of the memories that fill the pages. 

A thoughtful piece of home decor
hand embroidered state pillows - gifts for wife

Hand Embroidered State Pillows, $225, available at Uncommon Goods

Give her some state pride with one of these beautiful pillows hand embroidered with each state's cities, towns, famous sites, cultural icons, and more. Pick a state that means something to her like where she was born, went to college, or where you met. These vibrant pillows are so unique; they'll look great in your home and are definite conversation starters.

A portable printer
portable photo printer - gifts for wife

HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer, $79.99, available on Amazon, Walmart, and Bloomingdale's

If your wife is always documenting moments on her smartphone, she'll love having the opportunity to turn all of those memories into real prints. All she has to do is connect her phone to the printer with Bluetooth, then quickly print her favorites into physical prints she can hang up or frame. Pick out a favorite photo of the two of you to get her started and add an extra special touch.

A nostalgic trip down memory lane
reel viewer - gifts for wife

Create Your Own Reel Viewer, from $14.95, available at Uncommon Goods

Dive headfirst into some nostalgia with a reel viewer like the ones you had as a child. Customize the reel with pictures of your favorite memories. It's a really fun way to reminisce about the past and is sure to get you and your spouse feeling sentimental.

A DNA kit to connect with her family roots
Ancestry dna kit - gifts for wife

Ancestry DNA Kit, from $99.99, available at Ancesty.com

Give your wife the meaningful gift of learning more about her roots and family history with an Ancestry DNA Kit. She'll be able to discover her own DNA story with a few easy steps and get results in 6-8 weeks.

Unique gifts for your wife
A pottery starter kit
pottery kit - gifts for wife

Sculpd Pottery Starter Bundle, $89, available from Sculpd

If your wife enjoys getting crafty, this starter kit just might help her discover a new pottery passion. Every kit comes with 2 kilograms of air-dry clay, which is enough to make two different pieces. She can choose from projects like planters, ring dishes, vases, and more.

A wearable blanket
wearable blanket hoodie - gifts for wife

The Comfy Oversized Microfiber & Sherpa Wearable Blanket, $44.99, available on Amazon

She'll never be cold again thanks to this super cozy wearable blanket. Perfect for lounging around the house or cuddling up in at night, it comes in numerous color and pattern options to suit her tastes.

A cute, custom phone case
custom phone case - gifts for wife

BaubleBar x Off My Case iPhone Case, $68, available at BaubleBar

A new phone case is always a fun little accessory update. Give her one that can be customized to say something that matters to her; think names, initials, favorite foods. You can get creative with what you want the case to say, as long as it fits within the 12 character maximum.

An eye-catching print of her favorite city
city prints - gifts for wife

City Prints by Carolyn Gavin, $40, available at Uncommon Goods

These sentimental yet meticulously crafted prints highlight 10 major cities that your wife may hold dear to her heart. Each print is a bit different than the next, but they all share the depiction of her city's most notable landmarks. 

A cute, custom gift box
Greetabl custom gift box - gifts for wife

Greetabl Gift Box, starting at $15, available at Greetabl

Greetabl is the spot for times when you want to give those "just because" kind of gifts. The box also functions as the greeting card, to which you can add your own personal photos. Then you can pick two small gifts from a group of curated items like Sugarfina gummies or sweet-smelling soap. It's a small gift with the opportunity to add a lot of personal touches.

A funky pair of socks
Jimmy Lion funky socks - gifts for wife

Jimmy Lion Mid-Calf Socks, starting at $9.56, available at Jimmy Lion

If you're looking to put a smile on her face, gift your spouse a pair of these funky socks. The crazy patterns and bright colors make getting dressed a lot more fun. 

A curated box of surprises
breo box of curated goods - gifts for wife

brēō box One-Time Gift Purchase, from $175, available at brēō box

Brēō box is a service that makes curated boxes full of unique and actually useful items. The contents of the box are always different, centering around everyday essentials, fitness, health, and tech items — and they're always seasonal. If they love the first box, you can even gift them a subscription

Food and drinks gifts for your wife
A fill-in recipe journal
recipe journal - gifts for wife

Bon Appétit Recipe Journal, $32.99, available at Papier

Whether it's a family recipe or new dishes to try out, this recipe journal stores every one of her delicious dishes and favorite restaurants. Stash every breakfast, lunch, dinner, or treat recipe in one place with this thoughtful gift for your wife.

A tasty cake for special occasions
An image of two Milk Bar Cakes, one of Insider Reviews all time best products

Milk Bar cakes, from $58, available at Milk Bar

Congratulate her on her special day or huge achievement with a delicious Milk Bar cake. A sweet Milk Bar cake that tastes irresistible will make her fall in love with you all over again. These cakes made our list of the All-Time Best products we tested.

A high-tech spice grinder
finamill spice grinder - gifts for wife

FinaMill Spice Grinder, from $44.99, available on Amazon

This nifty battery-operated spice grinder expertly grinds up dried spices and herbs at various coarseness with the simple touch of a button. Just pop in the interchangeable and refillable pods and enjoy freshly ground pepper, minced garlic, finely chopped onion, and more.

A gift to satisfy any wife's sweet tooth
Sugarfina Champagne gummy bears - gifts for wife

Sugarfina Champagne Bears, $22, available at Neiman Marcus

Treat your wife to some of the cutest sweet treats around. Sugarfina makes adorable gummies inspired by — and sometimes infused with — alcohol like champagne and rosé. They're just as pretty to look at as they are delicious to eat.

Fancy olive oil that'll instantly elevate any dish
gourmet bottle of olive oil - gifts for wife

Alive Olive Oil, $37, available at Brightland

If they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, they probably already know the merits of high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the beautiful bottle will look great on display in their kitchen. 

Something small but sweet
Bees Knees spicy honey

Bees Knees Spicy Honey, $14.99, available at Amazon

This sweet and spicy honey will be a welcome addition to your kitchen. It's a thoughtful gift for an adventurous foodie who'll appreciate this hand-infused, locally made update to the classic sweetener.

A taste of Japan by way of yummy snacks
bokksu may taste of japan gift box - gifts for wife

Bokksu Tasting Gift, $44.95 per month, 3-month box, available at Bokksu

If they love exploring new cultures through food, they'll appreciate this curated box of gourmet Japanese snacks. In this Bokksu box, your wife can expect to find between 10 to 14 snacks, a tea pairing, and an in-depth guide that details every product included. 

A cookbook that'll inspire her next cheese plate
Platters and Boards guide book - gifts for wife

"Platters and Boards" by Shelly Westerhausen, $15.38, available at Amazon

She's already the hostess with the mostest, but that doesn't mean she won't appreciate some inspiration for how to make her famous cheese plates and charcuterie boards even better. This book is filled with plenty of party-ready spreads along with the perfect meat and drink pairings for every platter. 

A handheld milk frother
milk frother - gifts for wife

Aerolatte Handheld Milk Frother, $21.99, available at Bed Bath & Beyond

You know how she takes her morning coffee, so why not make it a little easier to get a rich, frothy cappuccino at home? It's a little gadget that can make a huge difference for her morning ritual. 

A really nice apron
food52 aprons - gifts for wife

Five Two Ultimate Apron, from $25, available at Food52

If one of her greatest joys is cooking, make sure your wife is suited up with some of the best cooking accessories around. This lightweight cotton apron has smart pockets to keep all the essentials at arm's reach, built-in potholders, and even comes in some really cute colors she'll actually want to wear.

Coffee from around the world
uncommon goods international coffee samplers - gifts for wife

World Explorer's Coffee Sampler, from $22, available at Driftaway

At the intersection of globetrotter and coffee connoisseur is this sample set. This box contains four unique coffees sourced from around the world, which vary depending on the season and other conditions. It's a great gift that'll make morning coffee a little more exciting.

Self-care gifts for your wife
A fluffy bathrobe for relaxing at home
From left to right: woman wearing white robe in 1X, woman wearing pink robe in medium, man wearing gray robe in large

Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Robe, $99, available at Parachute

When there's no time for a trip to the spa, this fluffy bathrobe will help her feel like she's on a luxury staycation. We named it as our best overall pick in our guide to the best bathrobes for its soft feel and substantial shawl collar.

A four-piece set of popular face masks
four pack cult favorite face mask - gifts for wife

Peter Thomas Roth Mask to the Max Kit, $58, available at Sephora

Treat your spouse to new and cult-favorite face masks that treat any skincare concerns with premium ingredients. The four-piece mask kit is designed to hydrate, exfoliate, soothe, and tighten any skin type.

A journal to jot down her thoughts
An image of a light pink, dark green, and light blue notebook with floral bouquets on them

Stitched Notebook Set, $15, available at Rifle Paper Co.

Your wife can keep this set of three beautiful notebooks out on her desk or nightstand to jot down everything from her to-do lists to her daily musings. 

A subscription to 100+ classes
Ron Finley MasterClass - gifts for wife

MasterClass Subscription, $180 annually, available from MasterClass

MasterClass provides online video classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders. Your wife can opt for a cooking class with Thomas Keller or a photography lesson from Annie Leibovitz. Plus, right now the subscription comes with a 2-for-1 offer, so you can gift a subscription to yourself as part of the deal.

An exciting new read
book of the month membership - gifts for wife

Book of the Month Membership, $49.99/3 months, $99.99/6 months, $179.99/12 months, available at Book of the Month

For the wife that loves to read, give her the joy of getting lost in a book. Book of the Month curates some of the best new reads and has your pick delivered to your door as a hardcover each month. It's a great way to discover great new books and authors, plus if you sign up now you can get a free book.

A luxurious exfoliator to keep skin smooth
necessaire exfoliator - gifts for wife

Necessaire The Body Exfoliator, $30, available at Sephora

Necessaire's clean beauty products come in beautiful, minimalist packaging that looks as good in their bathroom as it feels on their skin. This gentle exfoliator will help them slough off dry winter skin for good. 

A candle inspired by notable scents
an image of Otherland's The Threesome, or three candles, one of Insider Reviews all time best products

Otherland Candles, $36, available at Otherland

We love Otherland's candles, and we're sure your spouse will too. The assortment includes a selection of nostalgic aromas reminiscent of sandalwood, fig, and champagne, to name a few. It's one of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested.

A Disney + subscription for her movie marathon
Disney Plus subscription

Subscribe for $7.99/month or $79.99/year

Unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox make for a perfect movie marathon.

Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here. And if you need to give her some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A cute and cozy pair of pajamas
Eberjey pj set with short sleeve top and shorts - gifts for wife

Eberjey Gisele Short PJ Set, $68.60, available at Shopbop

A comfortable pajama set can make bedtime much better. Sometimes, though, it's hard to justify spending so much on an outfit you'll never wear outside of your house. Since they might not be something she would buy herself, but you know she'd enjoy them, treat her to a comfy and colorful pair.

A mist made of calming essential oil
pillow mist - gifts for wife

Sleep Comes Easy Mist, $10, available at Grove Collaborative

Lavender, chamomile, and frankincense are revered for their calming properties. Give your spouse all the tools she needs for a calm night with this mist. It can be used as a mist or pillow spray to wash any stress away and bring on major relaxation. 

A super-hydrating sheet mask
Skin Laundry face mask - gifts for wife

Skin Laundry Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask, $10, available at JCPenney

For only $10, this little luxury will make her feel like she's indulging in a spa experience. Simply leave this mask on for about 20 minutes to refresh and soften your skin. You might want to get two or three since she's probably going to like these — and you probably will too.

A statement candle
VOLUSPA Japanese Plum Bloom candle - gifts for wife

Voluspa Japanese Plum Bloom Candle, $32, available at Sephora

This candle has a mix of plum bloom petals and leaves, ripe plum fruit, and crushed currant fragrances. If you're not familiar with candle fragrances, all you need to know is that this makes a room smell delightful. Beyond the scent, the embossed glass jar is the final touch that makes this a wonderful gift.

Breakfast in bed
breakfast in bed tray - gifts for wife

Breakfast in Bed Tray, $28.51, available at Etsy

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I say it's best served in bed. Use this cute tray to give them their favorite breakfast treats without ever having to leave the room. You can choose from an array of color options, sizes, and even have the text customized.

Of course, this tray is best paired with a delicious, home-cooked meal and a lazy weekend morning.

A refreshing body scrub
kiehls body scrub - gifts for wife

Kiehl's Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub, from $36, available at Kiehl's

This refreshing scrub is gentle and leaves skin smelling great and feeling soft. She'll thank you for this indulgent product that yields great results.

A hydrating gift set
laneige hydrating set - gifts for wife

Laneige Hydration-To-Go! Normal to Dry Skin Set, $29, available at Sephora

This travel set is great for getting an on-the-go glow and includes some of Laneige's most popular products, including the cult-favorite Lip Sleeping Mask. If they have combination or oily skin, don't fret: Laneige makes an additional set.

Stylish gifts for your wife
A diamond-embellished necklace with her zodiac sign
Close up image of the wrist of a woman wearing black with a gold bracelet with pisces written in script and a small diamond

Montserrat Zodiac Necklace, $225, available at Montserrat

Surprise her with this nameplate necklace that's plated in 18-karat gold and a set with a sparkly lab-grown diamond. It's simple enough to wear every day, and having her zodiac sign engraved makes it feel personalized just to her. Plus, the brand purchases carbon offsets to reduce its environmental impact.

A popular puffer jacket that comes in dozens of colors
Woman wearing The Super Puff™ in modern taupe over a brown hoodie and sweatpants

TnA The Super Puff Jacket, $250, available at Aritzia

Aritzia's Super Puff jacket has a huge following that includes Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, and several members of the Insider Reviews team. Made with responsibly sourced down, the jacket is exceptionally warm and even water-resistant. We also love that it has fleece-lined pockets, but the best part about the jacket is that it comes in dozens of iterations so you can choose one to match her favorite color and desired length.

A classic pair of solid gold hoop earrings
Left ear of woman wearing Mejuri Oversized Thin Hoop Earrings in gold

Mejuri Oversized Thin Hoop Earrings, $295, available at Mejuri

A simple, classic pair of earrings is a gift that'll come in handy over and over again. These solid 14-karat gold hoops are a Mejuri bestseller and can be worn with everything from a T-shirt to a cocktail dress. She'll be wearing them for years to come.

A delicate, personalized gold bracelet
initial bracelet - gifts for wife

Lalinne Jewelry Initial Bracelet, $22, available at Etsy

There are endless possibilities to how you can personalize this bracelet. The initials of kids, pets, or just the two of you are all thoughtful, personal takes on this delicate piece.

A summery pair of sunglasses
tortoise sunglasses - gifts for wife

Percey Sunglasses, from $95, available at Warby Parker

Treat your wife to a new pair of shades, just in time for sunny spring. This pair takes the classic tortoise and flecks it with pink for a fresh take. If pink isn't really her color, you can find plenty of other styles at Warby Parker.

A practical toiletry bag
toiletry bag - gifts for wife

Hunter Toiletry Bag, $40, available at Dagne Dover

Your wife probably already has a few toiletry bags to hold her trinkets while she travels, but this one — with its multiple pockets, removable mesh pouches, and waterproof neoprene material — reigns supreme. 

A socially conscious shirt
everlane 100% human collection - gifts for wife

Everlane 100% Human Collection, from $25, available at Everlane

Show your wife you appreciate her with a product that supports gender equality. When you purchase any shirt in the 100% Human Equality Now Collection, Everlane will donate a portion of the proceeds to the ACLU. Not only will she look great sporting this socially conscious message, but you can feel good about the fact that part of your purchase is going to a great cause.

A cozy pullover
Image of woman wearing Patagonia Organic Cotton Quilt Snap-T Pullover in Sage Khaki with Insider's all-time best badge

Patagonia Synchilla Lightweight Snap-T Fleece Pullover, $119 available at Patagonia

Whether you love hiking together or simply spending time on the couch, this pullover is absolutely worth its received hype. We love many of Patagonia's pullovers and sweaters because of their always dependable quality, durability, and comfort level. It's one of the best products we've ever tested.

The comfiest sneakers she's ever worn
allbirds wool runners sneakers - gifts for wife

Women's Wool Runners, $98, available at Allbirds

Allbirds have reached cult-like status for their superior combination of comfort, style, and convenience. Each pair is made out of merino wool, which makes them super soft inside and out, plus they're machine washable so she can wear them wherever life takes her. 

Luxury gifts for your wife
Sleek and sustainable luggage
Woman in jeans walking with Aviator carry-on in scout tan

Paravel Aviator Carry-On Suitcase, $275, available at Paravel

If she's looking forward to traveling again, a new set of luggage might be the perfect way to kick off the next trip. Paravel's carry-on suitcase is not only incredibly stylish, but it's also carbon neutral and sustainably made with 15 upcycled water bottles. Gift her the ultimate travel upgrade by adding a matching weekender or tote bag.

A gorgeous set of glassware
estelle colored wine glasses - gifts for wife

Estelle Colored Wine Stemware (Set of 6), $175, available at Estelle

Elevate your wife's stemware collection for her next wine night in or dinner party with these stunning, handblown glasses. Sets are available in rainbow hues from cobalt to blush and you can even mix and match colors. 

Flowers that will last all year
custom rose flower bouquet box - gifts for wife

Custom Small Box, $179, available at Rosebox

Getting a bouquet of roses is a sweet gesture, but a chic box of fresh stems that will last a full year takes it to the next level. Yes, you read that right. Rosebox arrangements are real flowers that are carefully preserved to stay fresh for a full year without any maintenance. Choose from a range of sizes from mini boxes to large centerpieces. Roses are also available in an array of color options from classic red to bright turquoise or lavender.  

A chic weighted blanket
velvet weighted blanket - gifts for wife

Cotton Napper, $199, available at Bearaby

Weighted blankets have been shown to help reduce anxiety and help some people sleep better. This soft and luxurious version from Bearaby is chic enough to leave draped over the couch as a decor accent and cuddly enough to curl up in for a cozy night in. It also comes in five different color options and three different weights for a more customized experience.

A smartwatch she'll wear daily
apple smartwatch series 7 - gifts for wife

Apple Watch Series 7, from $399, available at Apple

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch Apple currently sells. Your wife will certainly appreciate that it comes with top-of-the-line health features, a brighter display, and fast charging.

A royally-approved travel tech organizer
travel and tech leather case - gifts for wife

Stow Travel & Tech The First Class Leather Case, $511, available at Stow London

This stylish tech travel case will keep all your wife's accessories organized on your next trip and comes with a Stow-branded USB and portable power bank as extra perks. Plus, it's royally approved. Meghan Markle has been spotted traveling with this very case. Choose from eight different colors and add embossed or hand-painted initials to it for an extra personal touch.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Man gets 18 months in prison for trying to breach plane's cockpit and jumping from emergency door before takeoff

A United Airlines plane taxis past American Airlines planes on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 1, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
A United Airlines plane taxis past American Airlines planes on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 1, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
  • A man was sentenced to 18 months in prison after trying to breach the cockpit of a United Airlines plane.
  • Prosecutors said he tried to jump out the emergency door while the plane was taxiing at LAX.
  • Luis Armando Victoria Dominguez was also ordered to pay more than $20,000 in fines. 

A Mexican national was sentenced to 18 months in prison for attempting to breach the cockpit of a United Airlines plane and then jumping out the door while it was taxiing at Los Angeles International Airport, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Luis Armando Victoria Dominguez, 34, boarded a June flight departing Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, but after the plane pushed back from its gate he bolted from his seat and began "banging on the cockpit door and manipulating the locked doorknob," court documents show. 

Unable to gain entry to the cockpit, Dominguez then pushed past a flight attendant and partially open the emergency exit door on the plane's right side, prosecutors said.

The plane's emergency slide, however, did not deploy fully, prosecutors said. Another passenger tried to restrain Dominguez but he managed to escape, jump out of the emergency exit door, and miss the slide completely.

"Once [Dominguez] landed on the tarmac, he began crawling away from the aircraft. His right leg appeared broken," prosecutors said. 

Dominguez pleaded guilty in October to a single count of interference with flight crew members. He was sentenced Wednesday by US District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who also ordered him to pay $20,132 in fines. 

It is unclear what prompted Dominguez to attempt to breach the cockpit. His attorney could not be immediately reached by Insider for comment. 

In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said the pilots had to shut down the plane and turn off the right engine so that the emergency slide wouldn't get sucked in.

Dominguez's "unruly conduct damaged the plane, taking it out of commission for four days," prosecutors said.  

The Federal Aviation Administration said it recorded over 6,000 incidents of unruly passengers in 2021. But most incidents did not lead to criminal charges.

Recent indictments and sentencing reflect the Justice Department's elevated priority of aviation-related crimes, following instructions from Attorney General Merrick Garland to federal prosecutors in November.

Garland said in a memo to US attorneys that his agency was "concerned about a rise in criminal behavior occurring on commercial flights that endangers the safety of passengers, flight crews, and flight attendants." 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden's Education Department just laid out its plan to make college more affordable — and it didn't include broad student-loan forgiveness

Education Sec. Miguel Cardona
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
  • Education Secretary Miguel Cardona outlined his department's priorities in a Thursday address.
  • One was college affordability, but broad student-loan forgiveness went unmentioned.
  • Cardona did cite targeted loan forgiveness along with improvements to forgiveness programs.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona outlined priorities for his department in a speech delivered on Thursday. And while college affordability was a primary focus, broad student-loan forgiveness didn't make the cut.

Cardona's first major address of 2022 laid out how he plans to address four major priorities for his department: supporting students through pandemic recovery, addressing opportunity and achievement gaps, ensuring higher education leads to successful careers, and making higher education more inclusive and affordable.

On the last item, Cardona acknowledged the soaring costs of college and how they can lead to a lifetime of student debt for some of those who seek higher education. But he stopped short of detailing a plan for broad relief.

"It is also unacceptable to be burdened with unmanageable loan debt for several decades because you chose to earn a college degree," he said during his address. "Today too many talented Americans are choosing against enrolling in higher education due to the fear of debt and the feeling that college is out of reach.

Cardona continued: "We maintain a posture of neglect when postsecondary education is out of reach for students and their families. This is un-American."

Here's how Cardona says he plans to tackle college affordability:

  • Continue providing targeted student-loan relief to certain groups of borrowers, adding to the $15 billion already canceled for those defrauded by for-profit schools and those with disabilities
  • Enacting stricter enforcement on colleges that mislead and defraud borrowers
  • Ensuring borrowers have loan-repayment options that match their financial circumstances
  • Implementing long-term improvements to loan-forgiveness programs like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and creating a strong Gainful Employment Rule to ensure borrowers have good job opportunities.

Cardona has already begun to carry out reforms to PSLF, but President Joe Biden's campaign promise of $10,000 in student-loan relief for every federal borrower went unmentioned.

Along with the $15 billion in relief Cardona referenced, Biden has also extended the pause on student-loan payments three times, with the most recent extension being through May 1. And during that time, the Education Department prepared a memo on Biden's legal ability to cancel student debt broadly using executive action — but recently released documents found White House officials saw the memo in April and are choosing not to release it.

That prompted 85 Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday to not only call on Biden to release the memo but also cancel up to $50,000 in student debt per federal borrower before payments resume on May 1. The White House responded to that letter by noting that "no one has been required to pay a single dime" in federal loans under Biden while adding that if Congress sends Biden a bill to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower — his campaign promise — he would be happy to do so.

It's unclear when, or if, federal borrowers will experience broad relief. When asked about the issue, Cardona has frequently said that "conversations are continuing" on the issue, but he has not commented on the student-debt memo and says he remains focused on the targeted relief he has already begun to carry out — along with ensuring everyone can access higher education.

"Students, today, with a greater sense of urgency, we re-commit to fulfill the promise to support you as you seek the education that will give you the tools to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," Cardona said. "Let's get to work."

Read the original article on Business Insider

34 clever Valentine's Day gifts for him that don't feel predictable


Prices are accurate at the time of publication.

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

He'll love this non-traditional bouquet of salami.
  • Whether it's your husband, boyfriend, or friend, it can be tough to find a Valentine's Day gift.
  • We came up with a list of 34 great Valentine's Day gifts any guy will appreciate. 
  • For even more inspiration, check out all of our 2022 Valentine's Day gift guides here.

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Maybe you have a dinner reservation you booked months ago or you were waiting to pick up a card and box of chocolates at the drugstore on February 14. 

Whatever your gifting mode, we're making Valentine's Day gifting for the guys in your life a breeze. We rounded up a list of 34 great gift ideas that work for pretty much anyone, whether it's your dad, brother, boyfriend, husband, or friend. From Valentine's Day classics like flowers to practical pieces and cozy accessories, we've covered all the bases. 

The 34 best Valentine's Day gifts for him:

A lifetime REI membership you can use to get outside together
A wooden cabin wall with several colorful winter jackets hanging on a wall -- gifts for dad

REI Lifetime Membership, available at REI, $20

A lifetime REI membership costs $20 — and with it comes a host of perks, like trading in used gear for REI gift cards. 

A coffee-maker for his next camping trip
A black tubular coffee maker with a black tote bag

AeroPress Coffee Maker and Tote Bag, available at REI, $31.95

Aeropress has a cult following indoors and out, and this one makes one to three cups of hot coffee in about a minute — or cold brew in about two minutes. Cleanup is a quick rinse.

A movie watchlist poster
scratch-off posters for 100 movies -  best long distance relationship gifts

100 Movies Scratch Off Poster, available at Uncommon Goods, $15

We have more downtime at home than ever these days. Hang this somewhere and slowly work through the movies together when you're completely stuck on what to watch.

A cookbook he'll actually be excited to use
Rodney Scott

"Rodney Scott's World of BBQ," available at Amazon, $17.77

If he's a cook, there's a perfect cookbook for him out there. This book — voted one of the best cookbooks of 2021 by the New York Times — covers Rodney Scott's style of South Carolina BBQ and is great whether he has a studio apartment stovetop or spacious backyard and grill.

Tickets to a show
StubHhub Gift Card

StubHub Gift Card, available at StubHub, from $100

Whether his favorite musician is traveling right now or not, the promise of a night out enjoying live music in the future is fantastic on its own. Grab tickets to a concert as a surprise or get a gift card and decide who to see together.

A timeless cashmere sweater
Person wearing Everlane's Cashmere Crew Sweater in gray

Cashmere Crew Sweater, available at Everlane, $140

Pick a good neutral color, a wear-anywhere style like a crewneck, and he'll wear this countless times. Cashmere is soft, warm, and timeless. Plus, it's comfortable for the person wearing it and for the person hugging the person wearing it. A gift for you both! 

A book sneakerheads will love
sneaker book

"Sneaker Freaker: The Ultimate Sneaker Book" By Simon Wood, available at Amazon, $43.49

If his first love is footwear, he'll appreciate this cool coffee table book all about sneakers. The chapters follow the evolution of sneakers throughout history with photos, quotes, and observations about some of the industry's most monumental moments. 

A travel-friendly Dopp kit

Mini See-All Vanity Case, available at Paravel, $65

Packing his toiletries for his next trip will be easy with this vanity case. The exterior material is resistant to water and stains, and the clear window lets him easily identify the case's contents. 

Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo Dot 4th gen

Echo Dot (4th generation), available at Amazon, $49.99

Amazon's signature Alexa-powered speaker gets a design upgrade with its new spherical shape. If he wants a smart speaker that can control the home, stream music, and connect with others, this iteration could easily level up his office.

A card game to get to know each other better
we're not really strangers card game - cheap gift ideas

We're Not Really Strangers, available at Amazon, $24.99

This card game is an easy, non-cheesy way of teasing out new, interesting parts of whoever you play with — whether it's a new friend or your longtime partner. 


A can-sized projector for movie night
Anker Nebula Capsule Smart Mini Projector; Amazon Prime-eligible gift

Anker Nebula Capsule, available at Amazon, from $279.99

Get your favorite buttery microwave popcorn or something gourmet and have yourselves a thoughtful, elevated movie night in.

A staycation to daydream about
airbnb gift card - best long distance relationship gifts

Airbnb Gift Card, from $25, available at Airbnb

Consider a vacation or staycation. It's something you can both look forward to for months before you actually enjoy it in person. Start dreaming with these especially cool Airbnbs — from hobbit homes to futuristic abodes in Joshua Tree

A collapsible helmet
A stack of white, blue, and black bike helmets

CLOSCA Helmet Loop, available at Priority Bicycles, $79.99

If his preferred mode of travel is a bike, consider gifting him this helmet. It's one of our favorite products to recommend (find more in the Insider Top 100) because it collapses to half its size and is really lightweight (only 330 grams). He won't be sacrificing comfort or durability either — it's safety-certified in both the US and EU.

Questlove's "Music Is History" book
The book cover of Questlove's "Music is History"

"Music is History," available at Amazon, $14.99

"Music Is History" is a natural project for Questlove and a natural gift for any music lover. It combines Questlove's deep musical expertise with a fascination for history, examining America over the past 50 years through its music.

A smart lights kit that can set a mellow mood in every room
Philips Hue

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance LED Starter Kit, $139.99, available at Best Buy

Get this to help outfit his home with smart lights. This kit includes three bulbs that can change from white to a range of colors — which you can control with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit — and a Philips Hue Bridge that connects them to your router.

They can automate the bulbs with timers and schedules, or create mellow lighting effects. And with the Philips Hue Sync feature, they can even sync up with the audio of his music, movies, or games. The kit also comes with a smart dimmer switch.

A cozy beanie for cold days

Carhartt Men's Acrylic Knit Beanie, available at Amazon, $16.99

This hat is a fan favorite — it has over 7,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. It's made of a soft yet durable material, has a classic fit, and comes in lots of colors, so it's no wonder people love it so much. 

A truffle-oil infused hot sauce

Truff Black Truffle Oil Hot Sauce, available at Amazon, $17.95

A spicy, tangy sauce unlike anything he's tried before, Truff will light up his taste buds and elevate any meal. 

A Disney Plus gift subscription
Kids shows disney plus

Disney Plus gift subscription, 1-year subscription for $79.99

This subscription gives him unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $79.99 for a year. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.

And if he needs some streaming inspiration, here are all the new movies available to watch.

A luxurious sheet set that makes bedtime better
brooklinen sheets

Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240

Brooklinen has a well-earned reputation as the internet's favorite bedding startup; its sheets are comfortable and luxurious, and its fun patterns like Graphite Maze (pictured above) instantly upgrade the look of any bedroom. 

A funky pair (or pairs) of underwear

Men's Boxer Brief, available at MeUndies, from $17

Your first thought may be that underwear is a strange gift, but hear us out. MeUndies are so comfortable that they're sure to be his new favorite, and they come in tons of colors and festive, limited-edition prints!

A cooler cup to keep their drinks ice cold
hflask beer cooler

Hydro Flask 12 oz Insulated Cooler Cup, available at Hydro Flask, $14.97

A cup when he needs it to be and a beer koozie when he wants one, this versatile cooler cup will keep his beverages hot or cold wherever he goes. 

A waterproof, no-glare Kindle e-reader
Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99

The recently refreshed Kindle Paperwhite is an excellent gift for anyone who loves to read. For under $100, he'll get a Kindle that's now waterproof, as well as thinner, lighter, and with twice the amount of storage for books. 

A massage gun for the avid trainer
Percussion Massage Gun parts laid out

Sportneer Massage Gun, from Amazon, $99.99

His sore muscles will thank you after he uses this deep tissue massage gun that has five different speed levels and six massage heads.

A classic floral bouquet

Shop all bouquets at The Bouqs, from $39

A fresh scent and bright colors make floral bouquets a wonderful gift that they'll love to keep on display. There's a reason flowers are a classic.

A less traditional take on a bouquet
He'll love this non-traditional bouquet of salami.

Olympia Provisions Salami Bouquet, available at Food52, from $50

If flowers aren't really his thing, go for something that's more his taste — like this salami bouquet. It's an arrangement he can really enjoy. 

A custom map of a sentimental place
custom map and poster - engagement gifts ideas

Grafomap Personalized Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49

Whether it's their favorite city or the exact location where you met, you can be sure they'll appreciate the sentimentality of this personalized poster, which turns a map of any location you choose into a unique piece of art. 

A kit of essentials to help him stay sharp on the go
harry's, $30

Harry's Essential Travel Kit, available at Harry's, $30

This shave kit from Harry's has all of the essentials they need for a clean shave — a razor, shave cream, and travel blade cover — in TSA-friendly sizes. Plus, it's packed in a sturdy waterproof case that can be used again and again. 

At at-home workout system
trx $150

TRX Home2 Suspension Training System, available at Amazon, $219.95

For the fitness fan, you can bring the gym home with this TRX trainer. He'll appreciate the thoughtful, practical gift. 

A coffee subscription that lets him taste beans from around the world
atlas coffee club $60, 3 months

Atlas Coffee Club 3-Month Gift Subscription, available at Atlas Coffee Club, $50

If his veins run dark roast, we recommend a subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to his house from $9 per bag. 

Buildable magnets that will keep adults entertained

Speks Magnetic Toy, available at Speks, $34.95

This set of over 500 magnets can be mashed, rolled, and molded into different shapes. It's a productivity toy that he'll love to play with. You'll find a set on nearly every one of our desks at Insider Reviews. 

A pair of slippers to help him stay cozy
Ascot Slipper UGG®

Ugg Ascot Slipper, available at Nordstrom, from $69.90

Comfortable slippers are a practical gift that he'll love to wear around the house and while running errands. This pair can also heat up his feet during the winter with its sheepskin lining.

A personalized photo calendar for his desk
Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar

Artifact Uprising Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, from Artifact Uprising, $35

Decorating his office is easy with this customizable desktop photo calendar. He can take a peek at some of your favorite photos together while also checking the days of the month.

Convenient touchscreen gloves
The North Face Women's Etip

The North Face Etip Gloves, from Amazon, $54.99

If he's constantly removing his gloves to use his phone, this gift is a great solution. All of the fingertips work with a touchscreen and the polyester/fleece material will keep his hands warm when it's cold out. 

His next truly excellent read
Say Nothing

"Say Nothing," available at Amazon, $10.99

Gift him his next favorite book. For that, I'd suggest the it's-so-compelling-you-won't-believe-it's-true account of The Troubles, written by the intrepid journalist and incomparable storyteller Patrick Radden Keefe. (You may recognize him as the author of "Empire of Pain.") Otherwise, depending on his interests, you could peruse some of this past year's award winners or the most anticipated books of 2022

Read the original article on Business Insider

The US economy just grew at its fastest rate since 1984

Ronald Reagan and Joe Biden
President Ronald Reagan and President Joe Biden.
  • The US economy grew 5.7% throughout last year, the fastest expansion since 1984.
  • That puts Biden in the same ranks as Reagan, who saw similar growth after the early-'80s recessions.
  • Biden's scorecard is marred by high inflation, but the Fed's fight against rising prices just began.

It's "Morning in America" all over again.

US gross domestic product grew 5.7% through 2021, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Thursday morning.

That marks the strongest annual economic growth since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan was hoping for his second term in the White House. The 40th president ran with the now famous "Morning in America" message as he looked to pull the US out of its inflation nightmare and into a new era of economic prosperity.

Similarities abound with the country's present situation. Thursday's GDP print caps a standout year for the US economy. Job growth was the strongest in the country's history, with the US adding 6.4 million jobs. Consumer spending fully recovered and then some. The economy isn't just booming; it's recovering at a pace much faster than in the wake of previous recessions.

Biden isn't seeking reelection for another couple years, but the latest GDP data gives the president another metric to tout as he hits the campaign trail ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

It also places his first-year economic scorecard far above what most economists anticipated. GDP growth through 2021 exceeded forecasts from the Federal Open Market Committee, Congressional Budget Office, and the country's top business economists, according to Jason Furman and Wilson Powell, researchers at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.


The outstanding growth also narrowed the gap between potential GDP and actual GDP, the Peterson Institute for International Economics team said. Economic output sat 3.6% below the CBO's pre-pandemic forecast at the end of 2020. That gap has since narrowed to 0.2%, the researchers said, which signals the economy has nearly recovered all the growth it lost to the pandemic and its related lockdowns.

The inflation problem looms large

The incredible growth over the past year has also come with a new, equally extraordinary challenge for the Biden administration. Inflation ran at a 7% year-over-year rate in December, according to the Consumer Price Index, which was the fastest price growth since 1982 and well above the Federal Reserve's 2% target. 

That, too, harks back to Reagan's time in office. Though price growth had dramatically slowed by the time Reagan was running for his second term, his first years in office featured inflation as the country's paramount economic issue. Price surges that began in the 1970s came to a peak in early 1979 but remained stubbornly high as Reagan entered the White House. The crisis led Reagan to dramatically cut federal spending during his time in office, an act that's become a core tenant of his neoliberal economic policy, aptly nicknamed Reaganomics.

Biden is taking the opposite approach. The president framed his Build Back Better spending bill on January 19 as the best way Congress could counter inflation, saying the package "will address the biggest costs that working families face every day." By spending on programs that cut costs in healthcare, childcare, and energy, Biden said, the package could help pull inflation lower.

It remains to be seen whether the package will pass or whether Biden can quash inflation as Reagan did. What's certain is that he'll have some help from the country's central bank. The Federal Open Market Committee "is of a mind to raise the federal funds rate at the March meeting" to begin combating inflation so long as the conditions are right, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a Wednesday press conference. The Fed's projections showed policymakers anticipating at least three rate hikes in 2022 and another in 2023 as they look to ease inflation.

Challenges remain for Biden to match Reagan's economic record. The pandemic recession was unlike any in history, and while inflation has yet to cool, the recovery through 2021 is superlative on its own.

Read the original article on Business Insider

15 inventions made using garbage

  • Around the world, innovators are creating new ways to turn trash into treasure.
  • These inventions can help decrease pollution and trash from entering landfills.
  • Watch the video above to see how these inventions were made and hear from the creators.


Read the original article on Business Insider

44 affordable gift ideas under $25 that you can buy on Amazon, from a countertop wine rack to a mini waffle maker


Prices are accurate at the time of publication.

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

woman opening a package - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
  • Amazon has wide selections and low costs, making it a great destination for budget-friendly gifts.
  • To help make gift shopping easier, we highlighted some of our favorite Amazon purchases under $25.
  • We unearthed some interesting finds, from a cheddar cheese powder to a dog collar that lights up.

Amazon has not only become a one-stop shop for its variety of products, but it's also where many shoppers go for affordable gifts. The retailer has a huge selection where you'll find household names, low prices, and plenty of items that qualify for Prime's handy two-day (or two-hour) shipping.

But such a huge selection can make it time-consuming to root out what's really worth spending your money on. The best loophole is to seek out recommendations from people you trust. 

We asked our colleagues at Insider Reviews about the best things they've bought on Amazon for under $25 — most of whom spend every day researching and testing thousands of products to recommend to you.

Below are the 44 best things we've bought on Amazon that cost us less than $25:

A bright collar for nighttime dog walkers
Black dog wearing MASBRILL light up collar in blue

During evening adventures with my pups, this LED collar from Masbrill makes it simple to keep track of my pets. Whether out camping or just trying to spot my dog out of dozens at the park, this light-up collar is highly visible in the dark, making my job a lot easier. —Sarah Saril

A low-profile whiteboard for your fridge
Woman writing list of things to do on Officeline Dry Erase Board for Kitchen Fridge
Originally $13.99 | Save 25%

I was looking for a solid whiteboard to use for shopping lists, chores, and meal planning in my kitchen. The Officeline Dry Erase Board keeps it simple: it's thin, securely attaches, and wipes clean as promised. It comes with a set of markers and a small eraser too, so your giftee won't need any extra items to get started. —Sarah Saril

Earring organization that protects them from dust and looks cute
Various earrings in gray velvet earring organizer with clear cover

I wear a lot of studs, and it's hard to find cute display storage for my earrings. Not only is the Autoark Ice Velvet Earring Organizer good at storing my jewelry, it's also nice to keep on display. It's low profile too, so it sits pleasantly on any vanity or dresser. —Sarah Saril

A set of silk pillowcases
Bedsure Satin Pillowcases Standard Set of 2 - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

Silk pillowcases are game-changing products for your beauty sleep. They offer premium care as silk pillowcases leave skin hydrated and hair undamaged. Better yet, silk pillowcases feature a soft texture and elevate any bedroom decor toward an elegant taste. —Taylor Jeffries

A cute tea infuser
duck shaped tea infuser - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

Tea time becomes a whimsical affair with this charming tea infuser. The duck-shaped infuser is a perfect gift for the tea lover looking for an additional delight. —Taylor Jeffries

A ring that holds your nail polish
a hand wearing nail polish ring while painting nails, one of the best cheap gifts on Amazon

For the manicure-obsessed friend, this nail care gift is something they'll absolutely need. The wearable nail polish holder allows you to flawlessly polish your nails without bothersome spills. —Taylor Jeffries

A deck of tarot cards
tarot card journal showing nine of pentacles and diary reflection

I'm not into the occult, but this deck of tarot cards has bought be endless hours of fun with my friends and insight for journaling. On days I don't feel inspired to write in my journal, I pull a card and reflect on whatever feelings it brings up. —Lauren Savoie

A quick-drying styling brush
Wet Dry Brush - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $16.98 | Save 12%

Some may think a blow dryer does all the work, but a round brush makes all the difference. Replacing the $5 styling brush I've owned far past its use, the Wet Round Brush completely revived my hair routine. It grips onto large hair sections and helps dry my entire head in 10 minutes, making it a great haircare product to gift. Knowing its on Amazon, I'll definitely be gifting myself this brush more frequently. —Jacqueline Saguin

A satisfying foot peel mask
Feet wearing foot mask with cracked feet in the background - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

Ok, I know these things are all over the internet, but this winter is the perfect time to gift one of these viral foot peels. It took about five days for my feet to start peeling after using it, but it was so satisfying in a really gross, but fascinating sort of way. The end result was that my feet looked and felt softer, but I have to say that the process was all part of the fun. —Lauren Savoie

Delicious coffee grounds
Cafe Du Monde coffee beans - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I usually abide by a time-consuming pour-over routine that involves grinding my own beans every morning, but when I'm short on time (and honestly, even when I'm not), I've come to rely heavily on this Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee. Most pre-ground coffee is flavorless and brews a weak cup, but this stuff is strong, rich, and delicious. Ten out of ten, highly recommend gifting this to a coffee lover! —Sally Kaplan

A handy dough scraper
Hand scraping dough out of a bowl with a scraper - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

If they bake a lot, do them a favor and gift a pack of these plastic bench scrapers. They're great for scraping dough out of bowls or off the counter — I can't tell you how handy they are! —Sally Kaplan

A two-in-one workout bra tank
Lemedy padded sports bra - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I've found some of my favorite workout pieces from Amazon. This two-in-one sports bra tank has a smoothing material that rivals luxury activewear fabrics that you may gift this season. Its cropped cut meets high-waisted leggings for a flattering fit. Plus, it comes in 19 fun colors. —Jacqueline Saguin

A sweet-smelling scrub for sensitive skin
Brookly Botany Brown Sugar Scrub - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

Face and body scrubs make me nervous because of my sensitive skin, but this brown sugar exfoliator combines natural ingredients like sweet almond oil that are nourishing and gentler than other formulas. I typically use it on my body before I shave or before I apply self-tanner. It's comforting knowing that whenever I run out I can get it in just a couple of days. —Jacqueline Saguin

A convenient Bluetooth charging port for your car
bluetooth charging port for the car - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

My car is from 2005, long before Bluetooth connectivity in cars were standard. This little transmitter instantly brought my car up to present-day standards, letting me stream music and directions from my phone via an open radio channel. It plugs into the cigarette lighter and even has two USB ports so my husband and I can both charge our phones on long rides. It cost less than $15 and gifting this device will make your driving experience infinitely more enjoyable. —Lauren Savoie

A plastic bath drain cover
a plastic bath drain cover - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

Ok, I know everyone and their mother raves about this gift, but it's the only thing allowing me to take baths in my current apartment. Our claw foot tub is from the early 20th century and if I don't cover the overflow drain, my bathtub only accommodates enough water to barely reach the top of my thighs before it starts draining not a very pleasant or relaxing bath. This little plastic overflow drain cover lets me soak deeply and comfortably in my tub. —Lauren Savoie

A cheesy powder that takes popcorn to the next level
Cheddar Cheese Powder on popcorn - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I generally eat pretty healthy, but I think I'm in love with this tub of powdered cheese. It's so good on popcorn, in mac and cheese, and sprinkled on any other sort of cracker, chip, etc. It's a supremely cheesy and salty and delicious treat to gift! This is honestly one of the best Amazon purchases I've made in years. —Sally Kaplan

A practical but chic wine holder
black honeycomb wine rack - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I wanted a non-bulky wine rack to sit on my kitchen counter, and I love the simple style of this one. This honeycomb design holds seven bottles officially, but nine if you add two on top — and if you need more storage, you can buy two and stack them. Rachael Schultz

A set of hair clips
large hair claw clip - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $16.98 | Save 18%

I have really long hair and most clips can't hold it all back when I'm washing my face. These oversized clips are so great, I gifted the other three in this set to friends with crazy curly hair. All four of the matte colors are very lowkey and match everything. I've dropped mine at least two dozen times, and it has yet to break. Rachael Schultz

A ring light that pulls out all the stops
10 inch Ring light - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $20.99 | Save 15%

I took a cue from our Insider Reviews team by gifting myself its pick for the best budget ring light. It has made my job on the style and beauty reviews team much easier, drastically cutting down on my photo-taking time. When I test makeup and clothing, I can set this up anywhere and adjust it to the angle I need in order to do my products justice. I love changing between its three different light settings: white, warm yellow, and warm white, to find the perfect glow. —Jacqueline Saguin

A decorative antique tray that shows off and stores your beauty products
Zosenley Polyresin Ellipse Antique Decorative Mirror Tray

This tray is an aesthetically pleasing stage that doubles as decor and a proud home for my cosmetics. I use it in my bathroom, storing the skincare products and perfume I reach for every day. I've seen people using it on TikTok as a jewelry vanity to display their favorite pieces. —Jacqueline Saguin

Spiral hair ties that won't break
Kitsch spiral hair ties - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $7.99 | Save 25%

After using elastic hair ties for so long, I got tired of pulling out my hair, getting headaches, and snapping scrunchies. I had seen spiral hair ties before but assumed they wouldn't hold well. However, these ones from Kitsch really do the trick. They keep their shape, are comfortable, and avoid long-lasting ponytail bumps. I wear these with high ponytails, low ponytails, and even braids. —Katie Decker-Jacoby

Espresso capsules that satisfy your coffee fix
illy espresso capsule - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

The majority of my Amazon order history is made up of these illy espresso capsules, and the orders have even been way more frequent since I started working from home. You'll need one of the illy pod machines to use them (I have the X7) but the investment is 110% worth it in my opinion.

I can whip up an Italian espresso in under a minute, and it tastes so much better than the coffee from the Nespresso and Keurig machines I previously owned. Being able to buy the pods off of Amazon means my caffeine supply is always well-stocked, and if I ever do run out, I know I can get more in just two days max. —Ashley Phillips

A hair mask that restores moisture to your scalp
Shiseido Tsubaki Premium Repair Hair Mask - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I was looking for hair masks because my hair tends to get really dry in the wintertime. I bought this hair mask after doing some research on Asian hair products, and I'm so glad I did. My hair feels soft and moisturized after I use it, even if I just use it as a normal conditioner. It works even better as a leave-in deep conditioner, and I highly recommend gifting it to anyone who wants to add moisture to their hair. Bonus: It also smells amazing. —Allison Jiang

An iPad case that is multi-functional
iPad case that holds stylus - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $16.98 | Save 30%

I needed a simple case for my new iPad Air 4 but was shocked by how much Apple charges for one of its cases. This option from ESR is a fraction of Apple's Smart Cover, and while it doesn't have as nice of a build quality as the Smart Cover, the ESR case is well-made nonetheless. It has a magnetic closure to wake the iPad's screen or put it to sleep, the cover folds into a stand, and there's a convenient slot for an Apple Pencil. My only complaint is that the case makes it hard to use the Touch ID sensor, but I'm quite satisfied given the price and overall usability. —Les Shu

Fuzzy slippers to complete your work-from-home look
Parlovable fuzzy slippers - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $25.99 | Save 50%

I've been hearing about these Amazon slippers for months — from TikTok, Instagram, podcasts I listen to — so I had to give them a try. These slippers are comfy, just warm enough, and a perfect gift for working from home. The quality is also great for being under $20. An added bonus is that they come in almost any color you can imagine! —Victoria Gracie

A knit beanie that's stylish and comfortable
Carhartt knit beanie - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I've noticed Carhartt beanies have become increasingly popular and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. This beanie is cute, comfortable, and super warm. I got it in black so it would go with almost anything and I've been wearing it nonstop since I got it. —Victoria Gracie

Ingredients for a favorite recipe
freeze dried strawberries - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I buy a lot of recipe ingredients, spices, and hot sauces on Amazon that I'm less likely to find in stores near me, like these freeze-dried strawberries. They are the star ingredient in my Berry Crinkle Cookies recipe; I use one whole package per batch. — Ellen Hoffman 

A liquid cleanser that works as a gentle hand soap for sensitive skin
Liquid Cleanser hand soap - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $8.94 | Save 11%

I bought this as an alternative to my household's Bath & Body Works hand soap stock. Its fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and dermatologist-tested formula pleases my sensitive skin. This straightforward cleanser gift never causes redness or irritation for frequent hand washers like me. I pour the liquid into a decorative holder so it matches my bathroom. — Jacqueline Saguin

Pimple patches that suck the gunk right out of your pores
Mighty Patch pimple patches - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Left: Mighty Patch Original. Right: Invisible+ Mighty Patch.

If you look at my Amazon history, these pimple patches are the only thing I consistently order. They're super effective at drawing out fluids from pimples and helping them deflate, and as small, virtually clear stickers, they're hardly noticeable by other people. Within a few hours, you can expect them to noticeably improve the look and swelling of your pimple — they're that reliable. — Connie Chen

A natural clay mask that has a cult-following
Aztec Secret Healing clay - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

This mask, as seen on Insider, transformed my skin and is probably my most recommended product to gift this season. The best part? It's $15! — Chelsey Hoffman

A milk frother for homemade treats
milk frother - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

This gift is the BOMB. So easy to use and clean, and to spice up my weekend coffees/matcha drinks at home, allowing me to live my best bougie life. — Kirstie Jiongco

A wash and stain bar that will keep your shirt collars looking nicer for longer
laundress wash and stain bar - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

No $6 has had a more positive impact on my effort to preserve my clothing than the $6 I spent on this bar by The Laundress. I learned about this product from editor-in-chief Ellen Hoffman and I can honestly say it's the best thing I've done for my dress shirts. One bar has lasted me well over a year, and I just need to wet my shirt collar and rub the bar back and forth a few times before washing. It gets rid of all of the grime and oil from my collars. I was able to rehab shirts that were ready to go to charity or become rags. — Breton Fischetti

A mini waffle-maker that gets the job done and takes up minimal countertop space
mini waffle maker - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

This teeny-tiny waffle maker is a small but mighty gift. For those rare instances when I'm craving a waffle or two, this very small appliance easily gets the job done and stays out of the way when it's stored. It's very easy to use and clean; just plug in and wait for the light, add your batter and close the iron. To clean, wait for the iron to cool down, then wipe with a damp cloth and you're done. — Melanie Winer 

A pair of $15 earbuds that sound like they'd cost way more
Panasonic ErgoFit Earbuds - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $19.98 | Save 25%

These Panasonic earbuds were easily the best $8.25 [price at the time] I ever spent on Amazon. The sound quality is fantastic and they're incredibly comfortable. I'm not someone who would ever spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of over-the-ear headphones, so these are exactly a budget-friendly gift. — Andrew Meola

Hangers that actually keep your clothes hung up
Velvet hangers - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

Clothes falling off hangers are a thing of the past once you gift these grippy velvet hangers to upgrade their closet. — Ellen Hoffman 

A little 'Tub Shroom' that catches your hair before it clogs the drain
tub drain protector - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

Between her curly red hair and my long brown hair, my roommate and I shed a lot. Our tub doesn't have a drain catch and after a particularly effortful session with a plastic drain cleaner, I decided it was finally time to try this viral hair catcher out. This small silicone tool fits into most standard tub drains and collects all the hair before it washes down and clogs your drain. Take it out, remove the hair with a piece of toilet paper, and it's ready for the next shower."  — Connie Chen 

Comfortable, public-friendly sweatpants
SweatyRocks striped joggers - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

As work from home continues, I've been looking for more sweatpants that I can comfortably work in that are also appropriate for walks and socially distant plans. These sweats are affordable to gift, have sustained washes and all-day wear, and the rainbow stripe down the side adds a bit of fun. — Emily Hein

No-slip gel gripped socks
no slip gel socks - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $13.00 | Save 27%

These PEDS socks are the only ones I use, and I wear sneakers almost every day. The no-slip gel grips on the heel keep them from falling off and bunching up. — Sally Kaplan

A hairbrush that won't break after a few months
detangle wet hair brush - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

My thick hair has a long history of eating brushes, but the Wet Brush finally put a stop to that! It painlessly smooths out tangles and the bristles are tough enough that I only have to buy a new one every year or so. Before, my brushes only ever made it a few months. — Ashley Phillips

An inexpensive, well-designed measuring cup
oxo measuring cup set - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

OXO is my go-to kitchen brand for cheap, well-designed tools. This measuring cup set has an angled surface that allows you to see measurement markings from above as you're pouring, so you can better measure ingredients without bending or lifting the cup to eye level. 

I also highly recommend gifting OXO's silicone baking mat for creating a non-stick surface that makes for easier cleanups and this cookie scoop for scooping out balls of dough that are all the same size. — Ellen Hoffman 

Affordable jewelry that lets you save up for an investment piece
Layered Choker Necklace - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

I love chokers and layering different necklaces together, but I have a short attention span when it comes to jewelry. I tend to lean more towards affordable jewelry that I can experiment with on different looks before committing to staple pieces that I know I'll wear forever. This choker set was a great addition to my summer looks, and now I have more of an idea of what I'm looking for when I eventually take the plunge on long-wear jewelry. — Emily Hein

A PopSocket to make gripping a large iPhone less strenuous on your fingers
Popsocket - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

When I got my iPhone X, I also picked up a PopSocket grip to make it easier to hold my phone without straining my fingers. I love it as a gift because it's practical, keeps one's phone secure, and lets me express my crazy cat lady side. — Malarie Gokey

Editor's note: They come in a variety of colors and designs.

A rapid egg cooking machine that's completely foolproof
Dash Rapid Egg Cooker - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars
Originally $19.98 | Save 15%

After I read Jen Gushue's review of this under-$20 rapid egg cooking gadget, I was fully influenced to buy it. It makes hard-boiled eggs in half the time of traditional methods with absolutely no guesswork, saving me a good chunk of time during the week and ensuring I actually eat breakfast on busy mornings. — Ellen Hoffman

This handy water bottle that takes the guesswork out of hydration
32oz Water Bottle with Time Marker - cheap amazon purchases under 25 dollars

This water bottle comes with me everywhere I go. The secure lid ensures no spillage in my bag and the removable strap adds versatility in transportation. The printed tracking is the main selling point as a quick glance can let me know how I am doing with my daily water intake and if needed motivate me to ensure I am drinking at least 64oz of water per day. In a sense, this water bottle has gamified drinking water and that's fun for a gift! — Frank Massaro

Read the original article on Business Insider

Amazon will shut down its 'Sold by Amazon' 3rd-party-seller program and pay $2.25 million to settle price-fixing allegations

A white Amazon package with a black barcode on a conveyor belt
An Amazon package.
  • Amazon will shutter the third-party-seller program Sold by Amazon over allegations of price fixing.
  • Washington's AG said it "unreasonably restrained competition in order to maximize its own profits."
  • The company will also pay $2.25 million to settle the allegations.

Amazon is shutting down its third-party-seller program "Sold by Amazon" after the company was accused of price-fixing.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday that Amazon would end the program nationwide and pay $2.25 million to settle the allegations under a legally binding resolution.

Ferguson's lawsuit alleged that Amazon violated antitrust laws and "unreasonably restrained competition in order to maximize its own profits off third-party sales" by agreeing on prices with these sellers instead of competing with them.

"Consumers lose when corporate giants like Amazon fix prices to increase their profits," Ferguson said in a press release. "Today's action promotes product innovation and consumer choice, and makes the market more competitive for sellers in Washington state and across the country."

The program ran from 2018 to 2020 and guaranteed third-party sellers a minimum payment for product sales "in exchange for their agreement to stop competing with Amazon for the pricing of their products," the release said. Whenever sales exceeded the minimum, Amazon split the extra proceeds with the sellers.

Amazon had its pricing algorithm match prices offered by some external retailers, the lawsuit said. This meant higher prices and lower sales for the sellers, as customers sometimes turned to Amazon's branded products instead.

"This resulted in Amazon maximizing its own profits regardless of whether consumers paid a higher price for sales of products enrolled in the 'Sold by Amazon' program or settled for buying the same or similar product offered through Amazon," the release said.

The release alleged Amazon's pricing algorithm set artificially high prices for many of the sellers' products because it was programmed "to maintain the seller's pre-enrollment price as the price floor." Sellers had few options to offer discounts without dropping out of the program, which hurt their sales and customers' wallets, Ferguson alleged.

Amazon told Insider the program was started to give small businesses another channel to get their products to market and to lower prices for consumers. The company said Sold by Amazon was shut down for business reasons unrelated to the investigation. 

"This was a small program to provide another tool to help sellers offer lower prices, much like similar programs common among other retailers, that has since been discontinued," a company spokesperson said in a statement. "While we strongly believe the program was legal, we're glad to have this matter resolved."

Amazon faced a similar lawsuit in May, when Washington, DC, Attorney General Karl Racine accused the company of creating "an artificially high price floor across the online retail marketplace" by demanding third-party sellers not sell their products at lower prices on other websites.

Besides Sold by Amazon, the company has recently ended or suspended a handful of other programs, according to reports.

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that the company ended its ambassador program at the end of last year. The news outlet cited sources with knowledge of the matter. The program had paid warehouse workers to tweet positively about Amazon. Also this week, The Information reported that Amazon suspended its pay-to-quit program, which offered workers up to $5,000 to quit after busy seasons and agree never to return.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Gen Z investors gravitate toward penny stocks for a cheap way to start building wealth, says S&P Global

zillennials millennials gen z
  • Gen Z investors are driving interest in penny stocks, S&P Global Market Intelligence said in a report this week. 
  • Penny stocks are cheap to buy for young traders who have less money to invest than their older counterparts do. 
  • Gen Z investors also use fractional investing to buy large-cap shares such as Tesla. 
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Gen Z traders tend to have less money than their older counterparts do, and inexpensive stocks serve as their main avenue into investing, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence report. 

Their penchant for penny stocks, interest in how markets work, and relative lack of capital for investing are some of the "unique characteristics" of Gen Z investors, S&P Global said in its US Digital Investing report published this week. 

"The challenges confronting young investors could explain why penny stocks were the most heavily traded equities on major U.S. exchanges in nine of the first 11 months of 2021," Tom Mason, senior research analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, wrote in the report. "With penny stocks, one can buy a relatively large block of shares on the cheap." 

Cannabis producer Sundial Growers (which traded around $0.56 a share on Thursday), workflow automation company Exela Technologies ($0.57) and oil producer Camber Energy ($0.44) were among the most heavily traded stocks last year. AMC Entertainment followed top-volume stock Sundial, even though the movie theater chain's shares trade above $15.

The Gen Z stocks tended to have low percentages of institutional ownership, S&P Global noted. AMC was the highest at about 30%, well below the 60% average for all US stocks traded on major exchanges. 

They also have disclosure and listing issues. Camber Energy recently won an extension from the New York Stock Exchange to file certain financial reports. And Sundial is working to avoid a potential delisting from Nasdaq as the bid price on common shares had fallen below $1 for 30 consecutive days. 

But Gen Z was undeterred. And to illustrate the new driving force in penny stocks, S&P pointed out that in the third quarter of 2021 Gen Z was the only cohort to have Camber Energy in its top 20 holdings. The findings were based on an analysis of more than 6 million accounts by Apex Clearing, a provider of back-end services for retail trading apps.

Despite their interest in penny stocks, young investors aren't shutting out large-cap names from their portfolios. Tesla, Apple and Amazon are among their holdings, aided in part by retail trading apps offering fractional investing, a feature that lets investors buy a portion of high-priced stocks. 

"It seems, then, that some retail traders simply like penny stock trading, perhaps as a long-term, moon shot investment or as a way of making bets on short-term price movements," wrote Mason.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rents just hit another record high after a 12% surge in January

Father walking by apartment complex.
Father walking by apartment complex.
  • Renting is getting more expensive everywhere.
  • In January, renters paid $1,374 on average for a one-bedroom unit.
  • Rental affordability will likely decline further in 2022.

Renting is getting more expensive everywhere. Prices are rising at an alarming pace, and new data suggests rental affordability will falter in 2022.

In January, US renters paid $1,374 on average for a one-bedroom unit, according to Zumper. That's a 12% increase from last year when renters only needed to pay around $1,217. This growth marks a new record and highlights just how fast rents are climbing. In 2021 and 2020, rents increased only 0.6% and 0.3% year over year in January, respectively.

"For the national index to move by double digits takes incredible price increases everywhere, and that's exactly what we're seeing," Zumper researchers wrote. 

After steadily growing in 2021, inflation in December was the strongest in almost four decades. Americans are feeling the burden in their wallets, especially in relation to housing costs. Housing affordability has been on the decline for years and inflation isn't helping. As priced-out buyers forsake homeownership, the rental market is likely to become even more expensive in the months to come.

"These still-rising prices also reflect a pre-existing housing shortage that will likely continue to push rent up in 2022," Zumper researchers wrote. 

A shortage of homes is driving rent prices up

The housing market is short 5.24 million homes and new-home construction remains at its slowest pace since 1995. The decline in homebuilding is putting additional pressure on costs, pricing out many would-be buyers. 

In 2021, the median home sales price increased 16.9% from 2020, marking the highest on record going back to 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors. Home sales also increased 8.5%, which is the strongest year since 2006. Frustrated with costs and increased competition, many buyers are returning to the rental market.

The Census Bureau indicates in 2020, prior to the CDC's moratorium on evictions and prices, 34.7% of homes were rented. By the end of 2021, the rate reached 36%, according to iproperty management, a renting database. As the rental market experiences an uptick in traffic, prices have begun to increase across the country. 

"Rising demand is giving landlords the latitude to push rents higher, especially as new supply was also hampered by pandemic quarantines," George Ratiu, Realtor.com senior economist, told Forbes. 

As growth in home building remains lackluster, the National Association of Homebuilders reports that tens of thousands of dollars have been added to the price of a new home, while costs for new apartments have jumped as well. 

"Recent NAHB analysis shows that higher costs for lumber products have added nearly $30,000 to the price of an average new single-family home and raised the rental price of a new apartment unit by more than $90," said  Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist.

Affordability is declining for both homeowners and renters. As more Americans say no to homeownership, rental prices could set more records in 2022. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The bull market in stocks will have 'a new lease on life' if this technical indicator flashes, research firm says

NYSE trader
  • The January decline in stocks has bulls on notice as volatility surges and several technical support levels are broken.
  • Ned Davis Research suggests investors monitor momentum to gauge if stocks will recover in a sustainable way.
  • "Another round of breadth thrusts would signal the cyclical bull has a new lease on life," NDR said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The S&P 500's year-to-date decline of 9% is on pace to be the worst start ever for the stock market, and now investors are wondering if the decline will continue, or if a typical "V-shaped" recovery will materialize like it did throughout 2020 and 2021.

According to a Wednesday note from Ned Davis Research, investors can monitor the so-called breadth thrust technical indicator to gauge whether stocks are ready for a relief rally that is sustainable enough to extend the life of the current bull market.

The breadth thrust indicator tracks momentum in the stock market. The "thrust" occurs when a high percentage of stocks rally together, and NDR monitors when 90% of stocks climb above the 10-day moving average.

Not helping stocks in recent weeks has been the loss of support at the rising 200-day moving average for broader indices like the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. It's the same story for individual stocks, with 55% of S&P 500 listings trading below their 200-day moving average as of Thursday.

While current breadth and investor sentiment readings indicate the market is in short-term oversold territory and could be ready for a bounce, that's not enough to drive a sustainable move higher.

"Short-term oversold readings are widespread, but intermediate-term and long-term signals have not fired," NDR said, adding that "the challenge with oversold and sentiment indicators is that they can be early."

Breadth thrusts, however, offer a higher conviction signal that a bottom may indeed have been found. The last time such a signal occurred was in March 2021. Stocks went on to rally more than 20% by year-end.

Historically, the S&P 500 was higher 72% of the time 10 days after a breadth thrust signal, and was higher 97% of the time one year after a breadth thrust signal, according to NDR.

"After the March 2020 bottom, breadth thrusts were common after even minor pullbacks, but they have been absent in recent months, including just missing on the Santa Claus rally. Another round would signal the cyclical bull market has a new lease on life," NDR concluded.

Read the original article on Business Insider

US stocks end volatile session lower as impact of Fed rate hikes outweighs strong GDP growth

US stock trader Wall Street stock exchange woman
Traders have been cheered by earnings but are still concerned about inflation.
  • The S&P 500 fell for a third straight session on Thursday after rallying earlier in the day. 
  • The Nasdaq Composite also turned lower as investors price in rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. 
  • Stocks got an initial bounce after data showed fourth-quarter GDP grew at a 6.9% rate, faster than anticipated. 

US stocks fell in Thursday's choppy trading session as concerns about the Fed's fast ramp-up in interest rates pushed out earlier gains notched after quarterly US economic growth outstripped expectations. 

The S&P 500 closed with a third straight loss, led by pullbacks for consumer discretionary shares. Technology shares also fell, with Tesla down as investors were disappointed by product delays for its Cybertruck and Semi truck. Apple slipped ahead of quarterly financial results late Thursday. 

Wall Street's big benchmarks had risen earlier in the session after the Commerce Department said the world's largest economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.9% in the fourth quarter. That was well above the 5.5% median forecast from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The data also showed growth accelerated from the 2.3% pave in the third quarter. 

Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday:   

"Volatility is the market driver du jour, as investors reacted to the post-FOMC comments from Powell, which were more hawkish than many investors anticipated," said Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments, in a note to Insider.

Stocks reversed lower on Wednesday, giving steep gains, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated that a rate hike at every meeting this year is not off the table with inflation risks to the upside.

"Notwithstanding the greater volatility sparked by the latest FOMC views, investors could benefit from several key moves, including a rotation out of growth and into value stocks that offer a margin of safety," said Bassuk.

Being overweight on inflation-sensitive assets such as commodities and cyclical stocks "not only mitigate inflationary woes, but also perform well in price-rising environments," he added 

Around the market, Block stock declined following a Bloomberg report that Apple is working on a service that would allow small businesses to accept payments on iPhones without extra hardware.

Netflix stock spiked as much as 10% after hedge fund investor Bill Ackman revealed a $1.1 billion bet on the streaming giant.

The International Monetary Fund predicted more pain for global stocks as central banks around the world tighten their monetary policies to curb rising inflation. 

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.8% to $88.01 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained 0.7%, at $88.32.

Gold dropped 2% to $1,792.40 per ounce. The 10-year yield lost 6 basis points, at 1.809%. 

Bitcoin turned lower, losing 2.1% to $36,056.78. 

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Elon Musk called Biden a 'damp sock puppet in human form' after the president highlighted EV production by GM and Ford — but not Tesla

Elon Musk
Elon Musk
  • Elon Musk tweeted frustrations with President Biden for highlighting electric vehicle production by GM and Ford, but not Tesla.
  • Commenting on a video of Biden talking with GM CEO Mary Barra, Musk called the president "a damp sock puppet in human form."
  • Musk had said earlier this week that GM had "room for improvement" if it wanted to overtake Tesla in EV sales by 2025.

Elon Musk took a swipe at President Biden on Thursday after Biden left Tesla out of a discussion about domestic electric vehicle production.

"I meant it when I said the future was going to be made right here in America. Companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before," Biden tweeted on Wednesday. The tweet included a video of him speaking with General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra, who discussed the company's $7 billion investment into manufacturing electric vehicles and battery cells in Michigan.

Musk first commented on the post, "Starts with a T, Ends with an A, ESL in the middle."

Later, a Twitter user commented on Biden's video, "Madness has taken national proportions ... Shame on Joe Biden and Mary Barra for this lie, it's so insignificant to be like that." In response, Musk tweeted, "Biden is a damp sock puppet in human form," using the sock emoji.

As for GM, Musk took a dig at the company on Wednesday when a Twitter user posted a screenshot of a CNBC report on GM's bid to overtake Tesla in EV sales by 2025 despite having sold only 26 electric vehicles last quarter. 

"They appear to have some room for improvement," Musk commented in response.

Musk is not new to criticizing Biden. He's torched the centerpiece of the president's domestic agenda, a climate and spending plan known as Build Back Better, mused that Biden is "controlled by unions," and joked that Biden was "still sleeping" when the White House didn't remark on Space X's historic, private space flight. 

It wasn't always this way. Just after Biden was inaugurated, Musk gushed to Fortune that he was "super fired up that the new administration is focused on climate." But he has lamented America's de-facto gerontocracy, calling for an age limit "just below 70" that would have disqualified Biden and former President Donald Trump.

The world's richest man was clear when he disagreed with Trump, too. He called out Trump's character in 2016, saying he wasn't fit to be president. Musk, like many in Silicon Valley and the broader business community, was also outraged over the Trump administration's decision to exit the Paris climate accords.

But he would also defend Trump at times, too.

"It may be controversial, but I actually like the idea," Musk said in 2018 of Trump's later successful push to create a new military branch focused on space called the Space Force. 

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Jen Psaki dodged a question about the 2022 election consequences of Biden's refusal to cancel additional student debt

A monitor displays a graph showing American economic growth in the 21st century as White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, on Thursday.
  • Jen Psaki on Thursday dodged a question about the 2022 election consequences of student debt.
  • Psaki cited a strong economic recovery and $15 billion in student loans that Biden already canceled.
  • "If Congress sends him a bill to cancel $10,000 in student debt, he'd be happy to sign," Psaki said.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, dodged a question on Thursday about whether President Joe Biden could hurt the Democratic Party's chances in the 2022 midterms by not canceling more student debt. 

Federal student-loan payments, which have been paused for nearly two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are set to restart in May. Numerous Democratic lawmakers have pressed the Biden administration to extend the pause, and 85 of them sent a letter to Biden on Wednesday asking for a memo with more answers on the administration's legal authority for broader student-debt cancellations. 

"Is the president worried at all about slapping millions of student borrowers with their monthly obligations of hundreds or thousands of dollars toward their student-loan payments several months ahead of an election cycle when he's then going to run around to those same college-educated voters and ask them to vote for Democrats in November?" a reporter asked at Thursday's briefing.

"First, no one has been required to pay a single dime of federal student loans since the president took office," Psaki said, echoing comments she made during Wednesday's briefing. "I'm not sure there's another time in history where that has been the case in the first year of a presidency."

Psaki added: "At the same time, our economy is seeing one of the strongest recoveries in history. And the president has also taken historic steps to provide relief. He's canceled $15 billion of student loans during his first year in office.

"Obviously, as we get closer to the timeline in May, we will have to make a decision about what's next, and we've obviously been clear about what we're preparing for. But the president's going to make these decisions based on what we're seeing in economic data and what we feel is certainly needed at the time."

The reporter then asked about people who wanted to know why some borrowers, and not others, had gotten their loans canceled. The Biden administration previously canceled $15 billion in debt for 675,000 borrowers because of their eligibility for public-service loan forgiveness or total and permanent disability. 

"If Congress sends him a bill to cancel $10,000 in student debt, he'd be happy to sign that into law," Psaki said.   

This is not the first time Biden's administration has ducked questions on broad student-debt relief. While Biden promised during his campaign to cancel $10,000 in student debt for every federal borrower, he has since been largely silent on that promise. During his first solo press conference of 2022, Biden ignored a question on whether he planned to fulfill that promise.

And on Wednesday, after the 85 Democratic lawmakers sent their letter, Psaki once again touted the relief the administration had already provided for the 43 million federal-student-loan borrowers and said Biden would sign a bill passed by Congress for any additional broad relief.

It's unclear whether Biden will enact broad student-loan forgiveness, and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona made clear during a Thursday speech that this form of relief was not on the department's list of priorities to tackle college affordability. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tucker Carlson says he 'could care less' if people say he's a 'pawn of Putin,' as he echoes Russian propaganda on Ukraine

Tucker Carlson
The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on December 7, 2021.
  • Tucker Carlson told Axios he doesn't care if critics call him Putin's "pawn."
  • Carlson has echoed Kremlin talking points in covering the Ukraine-Russia crisis. 
  • Some Republican lawmakers are now parroting Carlson's rhetoric on the issue. 

Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a new interview with Axios said he hopes Republicans vote out any lawmaker "who believes Ukraine's borders are more important than our borders."

As Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine's border in recent months, Carlson has defended Moscow amid fears the Kremlin is planning an invasion. The Fox News host, for example, recently said the Russian military buildup on Ukraine's border is just Putin trying "to keep his western borders secure." This rhetoric is near-identical to Kremlin propaganda. 

But Carlson told Axios he isn't bothered by allegations that he's acting as a "pawn" for Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

"I just want to go on the record and say I could care less if they call me a pawn of Putin," Carlson said in comments published by Axios on Thursday. "It's too stupid. I don't speak Russian. I've never been to Russia. I'm not that interested in Russia. All I care about is the fortunes of the United States because I have four children who live here."

Carlson ignores how Putin fomented the Ukraine crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks past military personnel during a ceremonial event.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremonial event.

Ukraine in recent years has emerged as a geopolitical dividing line between Russia and the West.

Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed Crimea, and in the years since has supported separatists in a war against Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbass region. Despite amassing a force of roughly 100,000 troops on the border of the former Soviet republic, the Kremlin claims it has no plans to invade Ukraine.

The US and its allies are concerned that Putin is vying to implant a pro-Kremlin government in Kyiv — threatening to destabilize the region in the process.

Russia, for its part, blames NATO for the contentious dynamic. Putin has accused the West of not respecting his "red lines." The Russian government has frequently railed against NATO's expanding influence in Eastern Europe, while complaining about the alliance's military drills in the region.

As the US moves to resolve the present hostilities diplomatically, the Kremlin has made demands for binding security guarantees from Western powers. Among other things, Moscow has insisted that Ukraine and Georgia — another former Soviet republic that Russia invaded back in 2008 — be barred from ever joining NATO. But the US and the alliance have made clear that NATO's open-door policy is not up for discussion, underscoring that countries should be free to choose their own alliances. 

Meanwhile, Carlson has reiterated Russia's claims that NATO is to blame for the situation, ignoring the fact that Putin's history of aggression in the region is what pushed Ukraine closer to the West and the alliance in the first place. 

"NATO exists primarily to torment Vladimir Putin," Carlson said in December, while baselessly accusing President Joe Biden of pursuing a "hot war" with Russia.  

Despite Carlson's claims, Biden has been firm that no US troops would be sent into Ukraine to fight Russia if it invades. Ukraine is not a NATO member, and the US is not obligated to defend it. The US has sent weapons to Ukraine and warned Russia of severe economic consequences if it invades. Biden is mulling over sending troops to NATO member countries in Eastern Europe as a deterrent, but has been clear that he's not pursuing a conflict with Russia. 

NATO, created in the wake of World War II to protect Europe against the Soviet Union amid the Cold War, is not without its critics. There are those in the American foreign policy community and beyond who question whether the alliance is an outdated relic of the Cold War, contending that Europe needs to update its security apparatus and priorities.

"Russia does have some legitimate security concerns, and European security arrangements could certainly do with fresh thinking and refurbishment after 30 years," Fiona Hill, who served as the top Russia advisor on the National Security Council under the Trump administration, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed. "But a further Russian invasion of Ukraine and Ukraine's dismemberment and neutralization cannot be an issue for US-Russian negotiation nor a line item in European security."

And after 20 years of the war on terror, there are many Americans who don't want to see the US drawn into yet another conflict. A recent YouGov poll, for example, found 33% of Americans say the US does not have a responsibility to protect Ukraine. 

But Carlson's portrayal of the Ukraine crisis whitewashes Putin's record of threatening its next-door neighbor and the wider region with violence, as he attempts to reestablish Russian supremacy in Eastern Europe that was lost when the Soviet Union collapsed. 

Carlson is influencing the GOP's position on Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine on January 20, 2022.

Carlson's commentary on Ukraine has been aired on Russian state TV, and critics have accused him of enabling the Kremlin.

"@TuckerCarlson loves him some Putin," Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, said in a recent tweet. 

As the most-watched host on cable news, Carlson has immense influence. His rhetoric on Ukraine has been parroted by far-right Republicans like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona.

"My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we're not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia's 'reasonable' positions," Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey said in a tweet on Monday.

Carlson has continued to take Russia's side even as it refuses to pull troops away from Ukraine's border to help lower the temperature.

"Why is it disloyal to side with Russia but loyal to side with Ukraine?" Carlson said on Monday night. "They're both foreign countries that don't care anything about the United States. Kind of strange." 

Though Ukraine has had its problems with corruption, it's a democratic country with close ties to the US and its top allies. Meanwhile, Putin is a strongman who has ruled over Russia for two decades. He's widely viewed as an enemy to democracy, and has directed interference in recent US elections. And the Russian leader's opponents often end up dead or in prison

Ukraine would be outmatched in a war with Russia, which has one of the most powerful militaries in the world. Russia has effectively created a geopolitical hostage crisis by threatening Ukraine with invasion, as it pushes the West into negotiations while refusing to withdraw troops. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has likened the present crisis to Russia pointing a gun at Ukraine's head

But none of these factors have prevented Carlson from continuing to take Putin's side. 

Carlson's defense of Putin is part of a broader trend on the American right

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive at a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland.

Though he's an authoritarian who has taken anti-democratic steps to remain president for life while working against US interests at almost every turn, Putin has a certain appeal among the American right. 

A recent poll found that 62% of Republicans view Putin as a stronger leader than Biden.  

Putin, who has been condemned by human rights groups over Russia's anti-LGBTQ policies, has been applauded by evangelical leaders in the US, like Franklin Graham, for defending "traditional Christianity." 

White nationalists in the US, who widely admire Carlson's show, have also praised Putin. In 2016, white supremacist leader Richard Spencer said that Russia is "the sole white power in the world." 

Former President Donald Trump has often expressed admiration for Putin, controversially showering the Russian president with flattery on numerous occasions and defending him against criticism. Trump, like Carlson, has been accused by experts of emboldening Putin and opening the door for further aggression against Ukraine. 

But not all Republicans have adopted a pro-Putin stance. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this week said that Biden was moving in the "right direction" as the administration put 8,500 troops on heightened alert for a potential deployment to Eastern Europe. Indeed, many top GOP lawmakers in Congress are urging Biden to pursue a tougher approach against Russia, and the party generally stands in line with Democrats when it comes to showing strong support for Ukraine.

But it remains an open question as to whether Carlson's ongoing coverage of the Russia-Ukraine crisis could push more Republicans to abandon this position and echo the Kremlin's talking points. 

Insider has reached out to Fox News for comment.

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Younger retail traders are sweating the Fed-induced volatility more than seasoned investors, Charles Schwab investment strategist says

A view of the Wall Street street sign with the New York Stock Exchange during the coronavirus pandemic on May 25, 2020 in New York City.

As US equities have whipsawed in the past few days, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average swinging more than 1,000 points in one session, investors have been on the edge of their seats. However, one cohort is feeling the pressure more deeply, according to Charles Schwab managing director and chief investment strategist, Liz Ann Sonders.

"Some of our newer, younger, more trading-oriented investors are feeling this a little bit more acutely, and the questions are more short-term in nature: When is this going to end? Where?" Sonders told Bloomberg in a TV interview Thursday.

She said seasoned investors are more used to volatility and typically have longer-term strategic asset allocation plans in place. 

"They adhere to the disciplines of diversification and rebalancing," she told Bloomberg. "They're more calm in this environment."

Sonders, who has been with the financial services firm for more than two decades, was responding to a question about investor sentiment amid a more hawkish Federal Reserve that signaled rate hikes are set to begin in March.

On Wednesday, Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that inflation may stay high for longer than expected and admitted that a rate hike at every meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee this year is not off the table. 

While some have criticized Fed policy through the pandemic and questioned its ability to rein in inflation — including Goldman Sachs president John Waldron — Sonders said the central bank's determination to ease monetary policy is "the real deal."

"Just because we get financial market volatility, if it doesn't threaten financial system stability, then we're going to lift off here sooner than what was thought only a few months ago," she said.

Liz Ann Sonders
Liz Ann Sonders is the managing director and the chief investment strategist of Charles Schwab.

The volatility in US stocks this week began with jitters that a Fed determined to curb inflation will turn aggressively hawkish. That included worries the central bank may start to shrink its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet.

The consensus is for the Fed to increase rates four times this year, starting with a 25-basis-point increase in March, though some analysts believe policy makers could move even more aggressively. Even before Wednesday's FOMC announcement, JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon had been predicting the Fed will raise interest rates as many as seven times in 2022. 

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22 books to read before watching the TV shows, from 'The Witcher' to 'Killing Eve'


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Vintage TV showing pattern of popular books that have been turned into tv shows, including The Handmaid's Tale, and Sharp Objects
Watch your favorite books come to life on the screen with these literary TV adaptations, from "Outlander" to "The Underground Railroad."

Lately, the bookshelf-to-big-screen pipeline has churned our favorite novels into shows as if TV adaptations are going out of business. 

Fortunately for those of us often stuck inside for the last two years, that means ample ready-made entertainment. We can nosedive into lusty romantic dramas about time travelers in Scotland or a Pulitzer-Prize-winning historical fiction novel before watching them reimagined on our TV screen. (Or vice versa, getting engrossed in a limited series before picking up the books to catch the details we might've missed.)

Below you'll find 22 books that have been turned into TV shows. If you're looking for your next great read or watch, you can start here. 

22 books made into TV shows you can stream, and where to find them:

Descriptions are provided by Amazon and edited lightly for clarity.

"Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach — an "outlander" — in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord… 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes an urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

Where to watch it: Netflix, Starz

Note: All five seasons are on Starz, while seasons one through four are also on Netflix.

"Normal People" by Sally Rooney
"Normal People" by Sally Rooney book cover

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation — awkward but electrifying — something life-changing begins.

A year later, they're both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Where to watch it: Hulu

"Mindhunter" by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker
The book cover of "Mindhunter"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

During his 25-year career with the Investigative Support Unit, Special Agent John Douglas became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic serial killers of our time.

As the model for Jack Crawford in "The Silence of the Lambs," Douglas has confronted, interviewed, and studied scores of serial killers and assassins, including Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Ed Gein, who dressed in his victims' peeled skin. Using his uncanny ability to become both predator and prey, Douglas examines each crime scene, reliving both the killer's and the victim's actions in his mind, creating their profiles, describing their habits, and predicting their next moves.

Where to watch it: Netflix

"Unorthodox" by Deborah Feldman
The book cover of "Unorthodox"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. 

Yet in spite of her repressive upbringing, Deborah grew into an independent-minded young woman whose stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life among the skyscrapers of Manhattan. 

Trapped as a teenager in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she barely knew, the tension between Deborah's desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until she gave birth at 19 and realized that, regardless of the obstacles, she would have to forge a path — for herself and her son — to happiness and freedom.

Where to watch it: Netflix


"Queen Sugar" by Natalie Baszile
The book cover of "Queen Sugar"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

When Charley unexpectedly inherits 800 acres of sugarcane land, she and her 11-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man's business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.

Where to watch it: Hulu


"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty
big little lies

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

A murder… A tragic accident… Or just parents behaving badly? What's indisputable is that someone is dead.

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.

Where to watch it: HBO Max


"Nine Perfect Strangers" by Liane Moriarty
The book cover of "Nine Perfect Strangers"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop 

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can't even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these 10 days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ones are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She's immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don't look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner and director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn't even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer — or should she run while she still can?

It's not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Where to watch it: Hulu

"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop 

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood — where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.

In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: Engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video

"Bridgerton" by Julia Quinn
the duke and i julia quinn

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister — the lovely and almost-on-the-shelf — Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth — it's all an elaborate ruse to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a sham. Maybe it's his devilish smile, certainly, it's the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real. And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love.

Where to watch it: Netflix


"Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn
"Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. 

For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: A beautiful 13-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims — a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story — and survive this homecoming.

Where to watch it: HBO Max

"Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood book cover

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

In Margaret Atwood's dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to the Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead's commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. 

Where to watch it: Hulu

"Killing Eve" by Luke Jennings
The book cover of "Killing Eve"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Villanelle (a codename, of course) is one of the world's most skilled assassins. A catlike psychopath whose love for the creature comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to her love of the game, she specializes in murdering the world's richest and most powerful. But when she murders an influential Russian politician, she draws a relentless foe to her tail.

Eve Polastri (not a codename) is a former MI6 operative hired by the national security services for a singular task: To find and capture or kill the assassin responsible, and those who have aided her. Eve, whose quiet and otherwise unextraordinary life belies her quick wit and keen intellect, accepts the mission.

The ensuing chase will lead them on a trail around the world, intersecting with corrupt governments and powerful criminal organizations, all leading towards a final confrontation from which neither will emerge unscathed. 

Where to watch it: Hulu

Note New seasons air first on BBC America and AMC before arriving on Hulu.

"Dash and Lily" by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
The book cover of "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges.

What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Where to watch it: Netflix


"Looking for Alaska" by John Green
looking for alaska

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

First drink. First prank. First friend. First love. 

Last words.

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words — and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young, who will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Where to watch it: Hulu

"A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket
Series of Unfortunate Events

Buy the book on Amazon 

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.

In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odor.

Where to watch it: Netflix

"Watchmen" by Alan Moore
The book cover of "The Watchmen"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

The groundbreaking series presents a world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history — the US won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the Cold War is in full effect.

Considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium, the Hugo Award-winning story chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the superhero is dissected as an unknown assassin stalks the erstwhile heroes.

Where to watch it: HBO Max

Note: Rather than an adaptation of the graphic novel's story, HBO's "Watchmen" series serves as a sequel to the original book. 

"Anatomy of a Scandal" by Sarah Vaughan
The book cover of "Anatomy of a Scandal"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Sophie Whitehouse has a lovely home, two adorable children, and a handsome, successful husband. In other words, she has the "perfect" life. But everything changes the night her husband James comes home and confesses an indiscretion. Suddenly, her neat, ordered world is turned upside down. Did she ever really know the man she married?

And, as it turns out, James's revelation is just the tip of the iceberg. He stands accused of a terrible crime. But, the truth is even more shocking than anyone ever could have thought. Is James the guilty perpetrator or an innocent victim of a toxic agenda?

In this riveting story of love, revenge, and deception, no one's motives are pure, but some people's secrets are much darker than others.

Where to watch it: Netflix 


"The Witcher" by Andrzej Sapkowski
The book cover of "The Last Wish"

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless hunter. Yet he is no ordinary killer. His sole purpose: To destroy the monsters that plague the world.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Note: "The Witcher" has also been adapted into a popular series of video games.

"Firefly Lane" by Kristin Hannah
Firefly Lane: A Novel

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the "coolest girl in the world" moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all — beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface, they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer's end, they've become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

For 30 years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship — jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they've survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart… and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.

Where to watch it: Netflix

"Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo
'Shadow and Bone' by Leigh Bardugo

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold — a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country's magical military elite — and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

Welcome to Ravka… a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.

Where to watch it: Netflix


"Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin
"Game of Thrones" series by George R.R. Martin

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King's Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert's name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse — unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.

Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen's brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister — the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.

Where to watch it: HBO Max

"The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

Buy the book on Amazon or Bookshop

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages, it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video when it premieres in September 2022

Note: Amazon's upcoming series, titled "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," will take place thousands of years before the time period in Tolkien's original trilogy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best wireless earbuds for every budget


Prices are accurate at the time of publication.

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Collage of the best wireless earplugs, including Jabra, Airpods, and Sony 4x3

Wireless earbuds fit neatly in your ears and are completely without wires. Because they're so small, these earbuds can be easily transported and stored in small charging cases when you're not wearing them, not to mention they're more comfortable and lightweight than on-ear or over-ear headphones.

The sheer convenience of this type of headphone makes them suitable for everyday use, on-the-go listening, workouts, and noisy environments. The best models offer the right balance of sound quality, comfort, cost, and battery life. 

After testing and comparing several pairs of true wireless earbuds, we selected the best models you can buy in 2022. Our picks cover a variety of needs and budgets, offering recommendations based on overall value, sound quality, specific platforms, and more. 

Learn more about why you can trust our tech team to recommend the best products.

Here are the best wireless earbuds of 2022

Best wireless earbuds overall: Jabra Elite 85T, $229.99 on Best Buy
The Jabra Elite 85T have just the right balance of sound quality, comfort, battery life, and price. 

Best premium wireless earbuds: Sony WF-1000XM4, $248 on Amazon
The WF-1000XM4 offer truly high-end audio quality and noise cancellation for those willing to pay a little more. 

Best mid-range wireless earbuds: Amazon Echo Buds, $119.99 on Amazon
Amazon's Echo Buds 2 feature almost everything you'd want in wireless earbuds for a little less than most competitors.

Best cheap wireless earbuds: Jlab Jbuds Air, $31.66 on Amazon
With performance that far exceeds their affordable price, the Jbuds Air by Jlab are stunning wireless earbuds on a budget. 

Best wireless earbuds for Apple users: AirPods Pro, $179.99 on Amazon
The AirPods Pro are the best wireless earbuds to pair with other Apple devices, and they're a good value when on sale.  

Best wireless earbuds for Android phones: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, $149.99 on Best Buy
Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 defy their affordable price by producing quality, powerful sound from a tiny package.

Best wireless earbuds overall
An open case of the Jabra Elite 85T with one outside of the case on a white background

The Jabra Elite 85T deliver high-end audio quality and noise-cancelling performance for a great price.

Pros: Great audio quality, good noise cancellation, customizable sound, Bluetooth Multipoint, comfortable fit, wireless charging case, water resistant

Cons: Can be prone to interference (very rare) 

Jabra's Elite 85T are the first headphones that pop into my mind when someone asks me what wireless earbuds they should buy. 

That's because they're such good all-rounders that do almost everything well for a good price. Audio quality and noise cancellation are great, they fit well, they come with a wireless charging case, and they're water-resistant. 

Battery life is fairly average at five and half hours with ANC activated, but the wireless charging case holds an extra 19.5 hours of charge, making for a total of 25 hours. You can get up to 31 hours with ANC turned off. 

Phone calls are fine, but they'll struggle in noisy environments, where my test calls were disjointed and full of "can-you-hear-mes." That's par for the course in noisy places with most wireless earbuds — you need to spend more and get the Sony WF-1000XM4, or full-size WH-1000XM4 or Bose 700 if this is a priority for you. 

There was one instance during testing where the Elite 85T faced interference — they hated being next to a TV in an office waiting room, and they crackled to the point that it was better to simply take them off. This was the only instance I encountered this issue, so it's likely isolated.

It's also worth noting that Jabra does have a newer pair of earbuds on the market now, the Elite 7 Pro, that come with improved clarity. But we still recommend the Elite 85T over the Elite 7 Pro because the new model doesn't feature Bluetooth Mutlipoint connectivity for pairing with multiple devices at the same time.

Best premium wireless earbuds
The Sony WF-1000XM4 outside of their case on a glass table
Originally $279.99 | Save 11%
Originally $279.99 | Save 11%
Originally $278.00 | Save 11%
Originally $278.99 | Save 10%

The Sony WF-1000XM4 are best-in-class for sound quality and noise cancellation, but they're best suited for those willing to pay their high price. 

Pros: Superb audio quality and noise cancellation, customizable sound, long battery life, comfortable ear tips, wireless charging case, good phone call quality, water resistant

Cons: Pricey, lack Bluetooth Multipoint, app could be easier to use

If you're looking for the best pair of wireless earbuds and you're willing to spend up to $280, Sony's WF-1000XM4 come highly recommended. 

Audio quality and noise-cancelling performance are only rivaled by the Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds, but for the same price as the Bose, we'd rather recommend the Sony WF-1000XM4 for their slightly better battery life. Sony also has excellent EQ settings that help you get the best out of the earbuds. 

We also prefer the foam ear tips on the WF-1000XM4, as they make for a more secure ear-plug-style fit that ensures a tighter seal. The Bose may be more comfortable in the ears, but users who have difficulty getting earbuds to fit properly may have more trouble getting a proper seal with them. 

You also get a long eight-hour battery life with ANC activated on the buds themselves, and the wireless charging case's 16 hours makes for a total of 24 hours. You can get up to 36 hours with ANC turned off. The WF-1000XM4 are also water-resistant, and offer good phone call quality with some ability to reduce ambient noise, so the person you're calling can hear you better.

Best mid-range wireless earbuds
Amazon’s new Echo Buds (2nd generation) offer plenty of features and customization

Amazon's Echo Buds 2 offer almost everything you'd want in wireless earbuds for a little less than most competitors.

Pros: Good sound quality and noise cancellation for the price, customizable sound, sleek and comfortable design

Cons: Not as much bass as pricier earbuds, sometimes feel loose while exercising without wing tips, no multi-device connectivity

If our overall top pick — the Jabra Elite 85T — is a little out of budget, Amazon's Echo Buds 2 are a great alternative. They offer good sound that can be customized, noise cancellation, and water resistance for a cheaper price.

The Echo Buds 2 come with four different tips compared to the usual three you get with most earbuds, so you're likely to find a great fit. Plus, the optional included wingtips add security to the fit for workouts.  

Battery is about average at five hours for the buds with ANC enabled, or six and a half hours with ANC off. With the case, you get 15 hours total with ANC on, and 19.5 hours with ANC off. For $20 extra, Amazon offers a model with a wireless charging case.

Best cheap wireless earbuds
JBL JBuds Air
Originally $49.99 | Save 37%
Originally $49.99 | Save 48%

The Jlab Jbuds Air deliver better sound than their low price lets on, and discounts are available frequently, making them unbelievably affordable.

Pros: Impressive sound for price, touch controls, water resistance, built-in USB charging cable 

Cons: No ANC, microUSB charging case 

Considering their affordable price, frequent discounts, impressive sound quality, and water resistance, it's pretty much impossible to say anything negative about the Jlab Jbuds Air. If you're looking to get the wireless earbud experience without spending more than $50, the Jbuds Air are the pair to get.

They sound remarkable for their price and you can often find them on sale for under $30. That's not to say they sound as good as wireless earbuds that cost $200 or more — bass is strong and rich, but the highs can make audio sound a little thin. Still, for this price range we can't complain.

They also work with phone or video calls, but only with the right earbud. There are touch sensors on each bud for media controls, summoning Siri or Google Assistant, and switching between the Jlab's equalizer presets. 

Total battery life is fairly standard, but we love the built-in USB charger — you never need to worry about bringing a charging cable as long as you have a power source with a USB port, like a laptop or charging brick. 

There's no premium features, like noise-cancelling or wireless charging, but that's not expected at this price point.

Best wireless earbuds for Apple users
airpods pro
Originally $249.99 | Save 28%
Originally $249.99 | Save 20%
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Originally $249.00 | Save 8%

Apple users who want to get the most out of Apple's ecosystem should consider the AirPods Pro.

Pros: Integrate with the Apple ecosystem, decent sound and noise cancellation, water resistant, wireless charging case, comfortable and more universal fit than standard AirPods

Cons: Inferior earbud battery life compared to competition

The vast majority of wireless earbuds will work on any Apple device with a Bluetooth connection, and you'll find better sound quality, noise cancellation, and battery life for the price. But no other wireless earbuds complement your Apple devices like the AirPods and AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro pair seamlessly with iPhones and Apple Watches, and they can connect to Macs simultaneously to switch back and forth to various Apple devices automatically. As expected, Siri is fully supported, and you can take advantage of Apple's Audio Sharing feature that lets you share what you're listening to with another user's pair of AirPods. 

Anyone who's had fitting issues with the standard AirPods will find solace with the AirPods Pro and their silicone tips, which fit deeper in your ear canal, but don't quite have an ear-plug fit. As a result, they're comfortable and light in the ear. Their water resistance also makes them a suitable option for working out. 

And if the AirPods Pro are a little over budget, the cheaper standard AirPods also come with seamless Apple ecosystem support. You just lose noise cancellation and water resistance, and audio quality isn't as good.

Best wireless earbuds for Android phones
A pair of white Galaxy Buds 2 on a white background

The Galaxy Buds 2 deliver incredible sound and noise-cancelling performance, but the app is limited to Android devices only.

Pros: Amazing audio quality for the price, incredibly effective noise-cancelling, small and discreet, comfortable fit, wireless charging case

Cons: No IP-rated water resistance, app for controls isn't available on iOS, doesn't support Bluetooth multipoint for multiple devices connections

Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 are total winners in the $150 range. If you're an Android user and can't find a good deal on the Jabra Elite 85T, the Galaxy Buds 2 are the next best option. 

The Galaxy Buds 2 deliver satisfyingly rich and clear sound that's widely customizable to match any style of music or personal preference. It's amazing such tiny things can produce such big sound while nicely balancing powerful bass and clarity.  

Noise-cancelling performance is very good, and even threatens Jabra and Sony's on their more expensive earbuds. Customizable touch controls on the buds make it easy to quickly switch to ambient mode so you can hear what's going on around you. 

Seeing as they're so small, they barely stick out of your ears. Fit is snug, secure, and comfortable, and the buds come with three tip sizes. Battery life is fairly average, but the wireless charging case is rare in this price range. You get five hours on the buds themselves with ANC on, and 20 hours total with the case included. 

The only thing to watch out for is the lack of an official IP rating for water resistance, which makes us nervous about recommending the Galaxy Buds 2 for those who want to use them for workouts. They might be totally fine with a little sweat, but we can't say for sure without the proper specs to back them up.

What else we considered
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
  • The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds also come highly recommended in the premium category. Their audio quality and noise-cancelling performance are comparable to the Sony XM4, and they come with nearly identical features like water resistance and wireless charging. The main reason the Bose earbuds don't quite make it to the top of the list is because it's harder to adjust their sound profile to your specific listening tastes.
  • We also tried the Jabra 75T, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+, and the Beats Studio Buds, all of which are in the $120 to $150 price range. These are all good options, and they would be worthy alternatives to the Amazon Echo Buds 2. Just note that the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ don't have noise cancellation. 
  • We tested the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro as well, which we loved at first. However, we now prefer the Galaxy Buds 2 for their better price, superior battery life, and equally good audio performance.
  • The $20 Jlab Go Air Pop are also a fantastic pair of bare-bones wireless earbuds for their price. Their sound quality far exceeds what you'd expect for $20, but we still recommend the Jbuds Air as our best budget pick for that model's superior build quality.
How we test wireless earbuds
The AirPods Pro on the left, 3rd-gen AirPods in the middle, and 2nd-gen AirPods on a marble counter/

We take product testing seriously, and we aim to use consistent, reproducible testing methods. For audio products like headphones and wireless earbuds, we assess their sound quality by listening to a wide range of music genres. To replicate the most likely scenario that our readers would be using wireless earbuds, we stream music from common mobile devices, both iOS and Android, with popular music streaming services. We also test the ease of setup and use. 

An extra note on sound quality on wireless earbuds: We don't base our assessment on how "accurate" their sound is. "Accurate" headphones tend to be studio-grade or monitor headphones that have flatter sound signatures, and they aren't very pleasing for general listening. Those kinds of studio-grade headphones tend to be designed for audiophiles or professionals. We're making recommendations for "most of us" who simply want a good, convenient pair of wireless earbuds we can use with our computers and mobile devices. 

For noise-cancelling performance, we find common noisy environments and try new models against our top picks one after the other in the same testing period. 

We are currently devising a way to validate the battery life claims that companies make about their wireless earbuds and headphones. However, we haven't found that any claims have been dramatically inaccurate so far.

Best deals on wireless earbuds from this guide
The color options for Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2.

Most of the year, our picks are discounted to a little less than retail price; the AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro are often $20 off, for example. 

At the time of writing, we see a small $30 off the Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds. We're also seeing a cool $70 off AirPods Pro. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, these models will likely be down even more. 

Below, we rounded up the best deals on wireless earbuds from top brands, including Samsung, Apple, and Sony.

Originally $279.99 | Save 11%
Originally $279.99 | Save 11%
Originally $278.00 | Save 11%
Originally $278.99 | Save 10%

Originally $249.99 | Save 28%
Originally $249.99 | Save 20%
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Originally $249.00 | Save 8%

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Read the original article on Business Insider

NYC says Sarah Palin showed 'complete disregard' for public health by dining out 2 days after positive COVID-19 test

Sarah Palin
Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
  • An unvaccinated Sarah Palin tested positive for COVID-19 Monday but dined at a Manhattan eatery Wednesday.
  • New York City said Palin showed a "complete disregard" for public health.
  • A city spokesperson told Insider on Thursday that Palin should follow the "guidance on isolation."

New York City officials said Thursday Sarah Palin showed a "complete disregard" for the health of others when she ate at an Italian restaurant in the city two days after the former Alaska governor tested positive for COVID-19. 

"By repeatedly flouting CDC guidelines, Ms. Palin has shown a complete disregard for the health and safety of small business workers and her fellow patrons," a city spokesperson told Insider in a statement. 

The spokesperson added, "The city offers multiple resources to support isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19, and we encourage Ms. Palin to join the 98 percent of New Yorkers who report they have followed guidance on isolation and have helped New York City stop the spread."

Palin, who is unvaccinated against the coronavirus, dined indoors at Elio's on Manhattan's Upper East Side on Saturday night in violation of city rules requiring that all indoor-dining customers show proof of vaccination before entering. And the former vice presidential candidate returned to the Italian restaurant on Wednesday after she tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday

Under guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who test positive for the virus should isolate for at least five days after the first positive test result. 

An attorney for Palin did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider on Thursday. 

Colleen Croft, one of the owners of Elio's, told Insider on Thursday that Palin had come back to the restaurant to apologize for the unwanted attention the eatery received. 

Croft said that the restaurant had made a "mistake" by not checking Palin's vaccine status on Saturday, but that it was in compliance with the city's rules when it sat Palin outside to eat on Wednesday.

The city said it will not investigate Elio's for allowing an unvaccinated Palin to dine indoors there because it only cites warnings or violations to businesses flouting its vaccine rules if an inspector observes a failure to comply.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Newt Gingrich wants to punish Rep. Adam Schiff and other anti-Trump lawmakers with a bogus committee assignment if Republicans retake the majority

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at Trump Tower on November 21, 2016.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at Trump Tower on November 21, 2016.
  • Gingrich told Insider he wants Republicans to invent a new committee for "despicable" lawmakers.
  • He wants Republicans to "dump" Rep. Adam Schiff in the committee with no staff.
  • Gingrich earlier said January 6 Committee members could face jail if Republicans take over.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wants Republicans to banish lawmakers he considers "despicable," like Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, to a newly created, powerless committee if the GOP retakes the House majority in this year's elections.

Gingrich's comments to Insider follow his recent statement on Fox News that members of the select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol siege are risking "jail for the kind of laws they're breaking" as they carry out their work.

Gingrich told Insider his advice is to invent a new committee "for people who are so despicable that they should not have any legislative jurisdiction."

He recommended that House Republicans "dump" Schiff of California on the bogus committee "with no staff, no jurisdiction and no opportunity to do anything, and say, 'You can stay in the Congress as long as you can get re-elected. You'll just be useless.'"

Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was the lead manager in the trial that led to former President Trump's first impeachment by the House in 2019. He also is a member of the January 6 Select Committee. 

A Schiff spokesperson wrote to Insider, "Mr. Gingrich has [suggested] jailing the members of the January 6 committee. His false and dangerous smears merit no response."

Gingrich said Schiff should go to the powerless committee "because he used his position as the head of the Intelligence Committee to lie to the country for years… And I would expect the Republicans next year will simply demand to see all of his records."

As for jail sentences, he said it's more likely that "all of those eager, aggressive young partisan staffers" on the January 6 Committee are more at risk than members.

Asked what would be the crime for a congressional committee doing oversight, Gingrich said, "the crime will be, if you'll notice the two Supreme Court decisions in the McCarthy era." A Gingrich spokesperson pointed to the 1950s cases, Watkins v. United States and Quinn v. United States, case law limiting congressional investigative powers. Additionally, the spokesperson said lawmakers and staff could also be found in violation of citizens' Fourth Amendment protection against illegal searches and seizures.

Gingrich detailed his ideas for punishing Schiff and "a handful of destructive, dishonest members" in a January 18 blog post, titled "The Wolves Will Become Sheep," comparing Democrats to wolves who will become sheep when the 2022 elections hands "the power to shear them" to Republicans. 

He complained in the blog, as he did during his Fox News interview on Sunday, that the January 6 Committee will potentially bankrupt people who worked for or supported Trump.

Insider earlier wrote that his comments on Fox came about two weeks after the panel subpoenaed his longtime former aide, Ross Worthington, who also co-authored a book with him.

Asked if he was thinking about Worthington when he made those comments, Gingrich said he wasn't.

He pointed instead to Glenn Greenwald's column about the committee secretly acquiring financial records of American citizens without supervision by federal judges. He also cited news that the Capitol Police are gathering information on people who visit members of Congress.

Committee staff declined to comment and Capitol Police did not immediately respond. 

Gingrich said, "you establish the basis for a very frightening country" if any random committee can secretly obtain a person's records without a federal judge's supervision.

"I don't care whether they're a Republican congressman or a Democratic congressman. I don't want that level of power which violates every constitutional provision," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

HBO Max offers a free trial to new subscribers who sign up through Hulu — here's how to take advantage


Prices are accurate at the time of publication.

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Zendaya in Euphoria sitting on her bed on her laptop
Zendaya in HBO's "Euphoria."

HBO Max has a huge library of movies and shows, making it one of our picks for the best streaming services you can subscribe to. Right now, new HBO Max members can get a seven-day free trial if they sign up through Hulu

The free trial gives you ad-free access to all of HBO Max's content. This includes the HBO cable channel's entire lineup of programming, additional WarnerMedia content, and new original series exclusive to the service. 

In 2022, HBO Max will also stream new Warner Bros. movies just 45 days after they debut in theaters. This is a change from last year's same-day release strategy, but it's still an excellent perk for those who want to enjoy new movies at home. "The Batman," starring Robert Pattinson, will hit HBO Max just six weeks after its March 4 theatrical release.

How to get an HBO Max free trial

To get the seven-day HBO Max free trial, you have to subscribe to the service through Hulu as an add-on. That means you also need to have a Hulu membership to sign up.

HBO Max does not offer a trial directly, so the Hulu add-on is the only way to snag a trial. This may seem like extra work, but it's still an excellent deal, especially since anyone new to Hulu can also get a 30-day free trial to Hulu's base plan. 

So, customers who are new to Hulu and HBO Max can walk away with one month of Hulu and one week of HBO Max for free. Customers who have previously signed up for HBO Max or HBO are not eligible for the trial. 

When your HBO Max trial ends, you will be charged $15 a month if you choose to keep the subscription. The ad-supported HBO Max plan for $10 a month is not an option through Hulu. 

You will also be charged for your Hulu subscription after the 30-day free trial wraps up. Hulu costs $7 a month for ad-supported streaming or $13 a month for ad-free streaming.

How to watch select HBO Max episodes for free

If you're on the fence about starting a free trial or you're no longer eligible for one, HBO Max still lets you sample some of its content completely free of charge.

The service has a page on its website where you can watch the first episode of select shows without a membership. It's a great way to check out some of the service's most popular content before committing to a subscription. 

There are 25 pilot episodes currently available for free, including HBO hits like "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Euphoria," and "Succession," along with new Max originals like "Peacemaker" and "Station Eleven."

Frequently asked questions

What are the best shows on HBO Max?

HBO Max has hundreds of shows to browse, including many original series. Users can enjoy HBO shows like "Euphoria" and "The Gilded Age" at the same time they air on TV. 

Popular series like "Game of Thrones," "Mare of Easttown," "The Sopranos," and "Friends" are all available to stream in their entirety. Max originals, including "Peacemaker" and "And Just Like That…," are also available.. 

In addition to the large library of shows offered by the streaming service, HBO Max subscribers will soon be able to stream new Warner Bros. films 45 days after they are released in theaters.

What is the best streaming service?

Each streaming platform is a little bit different, so we've put together a list of our favorite streaming services that offer subscriptions. We placed services into categories for on-demand streaming, live TV, and channel-specific streaming.

Apple TV Plus, Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount Plus, and Peacock TV are the best streaming services for on-demand entertainment. 

For live TV without cable or satellite, the best streaming services are Hulu + Live TV, Youtube TV, Philo TV, FuboTV, AT&T TV, and Sling TV.  

Check out our guide to the best streaming services to read more about each option.

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Reagan's White House made sure the president stuck by his promise to a name woman to the Supreme Court — they knew the politics would help too

Ronald Reagan and Sandra Day O'Connor
President Ronald Reagan and his then-Supreme Court nominee pose for photographs at the White House in July 1981
  • Conservatives have attacked Biden for sticking by his promise to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
  • But President Reagan did virtually the same thing Biden is now doing.
  • The history of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's nomination is worth a closer examination.

Some conservatives are upset. Legal commentators and pundits are aghast that President Joe Biden would stand by his commitment to naming a Black woman to the Supreme Court. 

A few also point out that Biden made his promise in the heat of the presidential campaign. Based on multiple reports, it's likely Biden's hastily made vow during a Democratic primary debate wrapped up the endorsement that helped springboard him to the White House.

There's just one problem. If Biden is being "woke," misguided, or corrupting the supposedly pure process of selecting Supreme Court nominees, then he's not alone. President Ronald Reagan went by the same playbook.

Reagan's own words, news accounts, and the private memos his aides authored at the time make abundantly clear that both the conception and later commitment to the historic vow to name the first-ever woman to the Supreme Court was about more than just high-minded idealism.

One top Reagan advisor told the president that delivering on his pledge to nominate a woman to the highest court "would be a good political move."

"It will strengthen our base among women and probably among men also," the aide wrote. 

Memo to President Reagan
A memo to President Reagan urging him to keep his commitment to name a woman to the Supreme Court.

This was about politics, too. And the parallels don't end there. 

Renee Knake Jefferson, who co-wrote a book about women considered for Supreme Court nominations, said Reagan also considered naming a Black woman. In fact, US Circuit Court Judge Amalya L. Kearse was on the shortlist for seats that ended up going to Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Stephen Breyer. Breyer's retirement, of course, is opening the seat for Biden.

"This is a long time coming and to the extent that anyone is suggesting that any of the Black women who would be selected wouldn't be chosen but for the fact Biden made this campaign pledge that rings very hollow to me," said Jefferson, who is also a law professor at the University of Houston and co-author of "Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court." "Black women have been eminently qualified for a lifetime."


Reagan had some problems. As governor of California, his record of appointing women to the bench was anemic compared to President Jimmy Carter's historic pace of naming women and people of color to federal courts. It didn't help matters that Reagan opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, while first lady Rosslyn Carter and her husband took up the cause to finally push the ERA to ratification.

"Reagan had to offer something in order to earn the vote of women who would care very deeply about that stark contrast," Jefferson said.

Reagan knew he needed to do something to show women that they wouldn't be forgotten in his White House. He acknowledged to reporters that he was lagging behind with female voters, though he disputed whether that was linked to his opposition to the ERA. At a news conference defending his record on October 15, 1980, Reagan made the commitment that would later lead to a historic moment.

"I am announcing today that one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can possibly find, one who meets the high standards I will demand for all court appointments," Reagan told reporters midway through a speech that began with him declaring that it was untrue that he was "somehow opposed to full and equal opportunities for women in America."

Unlike Biden, Reagan didn't really need his pledge to power his campaign. The Reagan-Bush ticket delivered one of the worst beatdowns to an incumbent president since FDR trounced Herbert Hoover out of office.

'We're not sure how we feel about affirmative action'

Like Biden, Reagan's promise wasn't forgotten. And in June 1981, Justice Potter Stewart's retirement brought the discussion to a head. 

Lyn Nofziger, who worked for Reagan when he was governor and became a top White House advisor, laid out the stakes in a memo to the president and argued that the American people had "strong feelings" about the need to appoint a woman. If Reagan didn't follow through, he wrote, it could come back to bite Republicans. Plus, he signed off, "It's the right thing to do." Starting with FDR, presidents had at times included women on their Supreme Court shortlists. But until this point, being on the same list as men was just about the extent of their chances.

"I think also that if you do not appoint a woman you will be perceived as having reneged on your promise and that will hurt you in Congress in your effort to get your legislation package passed and will certainly hurt you in the polls, and all in all, will have a strong negative effect that will hurt your overall standing," Nofziger wrote in the memo, part of a collection of documents the National Archives has digitized on O'Connor's historic nomination.

A note from the Reagan Justice Department to the White House
A Reagan Justice Department aide warns the White House to tread lightly in discussing President Ronald Reagan's pledge to name a female Supreme Court jusice.

But that doesn't mean the Reagan administration didn't see the danger of a conservative engaging in what Republicans today might call identity politics. After all, Reagan's Justice Department eagerly challenged affirmative action programs.

"The other key is not to go too far in raising expectations for a woman appointee — even to the point of avoiding saying we're making a special effort to seek out women (since that would be affirmative action and we're not sure how we feel about affirmative action," Reagan Justice Department official Tom DeCair wrote in a June 1981 note to the White House after Stewart had retired.

We 'may embarrass the president'

Reagan was quickly inundated with suggestions for nominees after Stewart's retirement. Lawmakers, governors, judges, and even former President Gerald Ford wrote to the White House with names of potential candidates. Ford's suggestion, Judge Cornelia Kennedy, would eventually become the only other woman Reagan would interview for the opening.

An anti-abortion group's letter to Reagan
A prominent anti-abortion group warns President Reagan against the possibility of naming Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court.

Sandra Day O'Connor, a former Arizona lawmaker and judge, soon became the frontrunner. Opposition quickly arose as soon as news of her status began to spread around Washington. 

"The burden of the message was that the nomination of Judge O'Connor would trigger a nasty political protest against the President," Michael Uhlmann, special assistant to the president, wrote to Reagan aide Edwin Meese in a summary of his calls with anti-abortion groups and activists.

John C. Wilke, president of the National Right to Life Committee, warned Reagan that naming O'Connor would spark a firestorm due to her mixed record on abortion. Wilke went so far as to say his organization was ready to "go public" with a press release that "may embarrass the President."

The White House began to collect the names of senators who would oppose O'Connor. But Reagan refused to budge. O'Connor's selection was quickly announced, a decision Attorney General William French Smith told reporters was "very efficient" while trying to shoo off questions that it had been rushed to preempt any further contempt from the religious right.

Democrats, on the other hand, lined up to support O'Connor. According to White House notes, Sen. Joe Biden assured them he knew of no fellow Democrats on the powerful Judiciary Committee who would oppose O'Connor. Senators grilled her and expressed dissatisfaction with her "vague" answers about abortion during her three-day confirmation hearing, the first ever to be televised.

Opposition soon began to crumble in the face of growing public support. In the end, no senator explicitly opposed her. Only one, a staunch abortion opponent from Alabama, voted "present" during the committee vote, and the Republican lawmaker later supported her final confirmation. O'Connor was confirmed 99-0, the most votes a justice has ever received.

Reagan had kept his word. The court would now have its first female justice. 

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Inside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's long, messy breakup with Arizona Democrats

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema at Arizona at a Senate hearing
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema at Arizona at a Senate hearing.
  • The relationship between Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Arizona Democrats has completely broken down.
  • The Arizona Democratic Party is furious at her support for the Senate filibuster.
  • But their disagreements stretch much farther back, to Sinema's days as a congresswoman.

For three years, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema had been elusive. Local Democrats had marshaled their forces and cash to help elect her to the Senate. But after that, state party officials told Insider, Sinema has rarely engaged with them, declining to hold large public town halls or meetings with state party figures and leaving key Democrats confused by her stance on major issues.

Then on June 23, 2021, they caught their white whale: they'd gotten a meeting with Sinema, just as they were approaching their breaking point.

When the Arizona Democratic Party formally censured Sinema last week, it was not a sudden fit of pique, but the conclusion of a long-deteriorating relationship between Arizona's senior senator and her state's party machine. Insider spoke with seven members of the Arizona Democratic Party about their organization's frustration with Sinema, which had been building since her election to the Senate in 2018.

The senator's blockage of President Joe Biden's key legislative proposals, coupled with what local Democrats view as her inaccessibility in the state, has led to a breakdown with little chance of healing. Should the schism persist, it could affect Sinema's ability to run a successful re-election campaign in 2024.

"Her support among the party members has collapsed," Michael Slugocki, a vice-chairperson of the Arizona Democratic Party, told Insider. "People are frankly done with her."

Much of the outrage directed at Sinema now was fomented back on that June call. Furious at her support for keeping the Senate filibuster, which party members saw as a blockade to voting rights legislation, equality measures, and other key elements of the Democratic agenda, they wanted to press Sinema on her rationale for the vote and urge her to change her position. Despite their differences with the senator, they hoped for a productive dialogue.

What happened instead, as board member Brianna Westbrook told Insider, was "one of the most …one-sided Zoom calls I've ever participated in."

Sinema kept her camera off for the duration of the Zoom call, according to Westbrook. 

In a recording of the meeting obtained by Insider, Sinema can be heard reading an eight-minute statement in response to pre-submitted questions from the executive board.

 "I understand the frustration about the lack of bipartisan cooperation, and I often share it because I was elected to get things done for Arizona," Sinema said. "But as you know, I believe that all or nothing political battles leave us with nothing, and they don't help us achieve lasting results."

Westbrook asked Sinema to commit to "holding three town halls by the end of October." Sinema declined to commit, telling Westbrook and the board to follow up with a staffer overseeing her schedule.

"I am out in the state all the time, working with folks, listening to folks, and ensuring that I and my team are hearing from constituents throughout the state," Sinema said. "And that of course is something that obviously I remain committed to."

The board members asked three questions before Sinema had to leave.

The call only lasted 17 minutes, but the damage was done. 

Six months later, Sinema enraged members of her own party by voting with Senate Republicans to keep the filibuster intact, thereby ensuring the failure of two pieces of voting rights legislation that were top priorities for Democrats. 

Sinema's office pushed back on criticism that she had not been accessible in the state and provided Insider with a lengthy list of local interviews, tele-town halls, and in-person events she had held over the past year. 

"Arizona input and values fuel Senator Sinema's work and she consistently meets with and hears from folks across the state, including in recent weeks when she has held numerous in-person and virtual meetings and calls with Arizonans of all backgrounds – from student groups to civil rights leaders –on a variety of issues," a Sinema spokesperson Hannah Hurley said in a statement to Insider.

"She hasn't considered who's gonna knock on doors for her, who's gonna phone bank for her," Slugocki said. "I can't think of a person who's gonna phone bank for her or door knock for her in 2024. Everyone who got her into office in 2018 is done with her."

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona speaks as Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine stand by on Capitol Hill on July 28, 2021.
Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona speaks alongside Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine stand by on Capitol Hill on July 28, 2021.

'She was the AOC of Arizona'

Democrats who knew Sinema back in the day have a hard time squaring the onetime Green Party activist who championed LGBTQ rights and fought against Republican-backed immigration laws with the senator who they believe now votes against her party's interests.

Sinema started out as a member of the Arizona Green Party, working on Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign. She once protested outside a 2003 campaign event for then-Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman in Tucson, calling him "a shame to Democrats," according to Mother Jones.

"I don't even know why he's running," Sinema said at the time. "He seems to want to get Republicans voting for him—what kind of strategy is that?"

Sinema briefly became an Independent before officially making the switch to the Democratic Party. In 2008, she was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. While serving in the state legislature, "She was a voice in the Arizona Democratic Party for immigrants, Latinos, against some of the most conservative Republican voices," said Dan O'Neal, an official with the Arizona Democratic Party and organizer with Progressive Democrats of America.

"She was the AOC of Arizona at one point," O'Neal said, referring to New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has become the face of young progressives.

Sinema got elected to the US House of Representatives in 2012, and her shift to the middle commenced. 

"I think the expectation was that she would continue to represent the way she did in the state legislature," said Patti Serrano, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party's progressive caucus and who years later would help draft a September 2021 resolution threatening to censure Sinema. "There was the expectation that that Sinema would continue, and it did not."

Sinema joined the House's main moderate caucus, the Blue Dog Democrats, and would occasionally take votes that baffled Democrats back home.

Slugocki cited Sinema's 2015 vote in favor of a House bill that placed more stringent screening requirements on refugees. It wasn't that she was one of 48 Democrats to vote with Republicans that puzzled Arizona Democrats. It was the fact that she had touted her record working with refugees before going into politics, and as a lawyer in 2007 had represented an Iraqi refugee whose background check was delayed, AZ Central reported.

At the time, Sinema said the bill allowed the US "to shelter those in need and keep our homeland safe from terrorism."

"That was a big shock for a lot of people," Slugocki said of the vote. He remembered thinking, "something is different here."

Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin talk in a Senate elevator.
Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin talk in a Senate elevator.

More than her voting record

Regardless of misgivings from some of its members, the Arizona Democratic Party threw its weight behind Sinema during her 2018 Senate race. 

"She was working with the apparatus of the state party, to coordinate a lot of things," Slugocki said. "We were phone-banking, door-knocking, canvassing. The state party was right there with her."

Sinema narrowly defeated Republican Martha McSally, marking the first time a Democratic senator had held a seat in Arizona since 1995. Though the House of Representatives flipped that year to Democrats' control, Sinema joined a Senate chamber still ruled by Republicans and their shrewd majority leader, Mitch McConnell. Donald Trump was president, and most Democratic legislative priorities had little chance of passage.

Arizona Democrats who had long known Sinema say they empathized with her need to court the middle in a state where Independents make up the largest share of voters, followed by Republicans. But they'd hoped that the version of Sinema who'd aligned with progressive positions on immigration, refugees, and LGBTQ rights back in her state legislature days was heading to Washington, too.

"It has been always bad," Westbrook said of the state party's relationship with Sinema. "But we had a level of understanding knowing we have not had the majority. She was working under Republicans in Washington, DC."

"Many of us had hoped that once Democrats did win, we would see the person that we all thought this person was, who was gonna adjust to the political climate and make the necessary changes to meet the moment, sail with the winds of the time. And be able to enact legislation if they're in the majority."

When Democrats took the Senate and the White House in 2020, they scored a long-sought trifecta that would theoretically allow them to pass major agenda items on voting rights, healthcare, immigration, and LGBTQ rights. But with the Senate divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans, every vote was crucial. And the Senate filibuster remained intact, meaning that Republicans could blockade most major bills even though they were in the minority.

Sinema has become a controversial figure among Democrats, but nowhere more than Arizona, where local Democratic officials are outraged with her choices. 

 But her voting record is only one cause of their anger.

 Arizona Democrats perceived Sinema as disengaged with her own voters in the state, and disinterested in working with the party apparatus there. A common talking point of Sinema's critics, echoed by Westbrook, is that she refuses to hold public events.  "She has not held one single town hall in three years, whether it be in person, virtual, in any capacity," Westbrook said. 

 Sinema has in fact held smaller tele-town halls, such as events with Arizona AARP members in April and May of 2020, focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

 Sinema's office said that she has "while in-person town halls are rare in general, the senator has held a number of tele-town halls during her time in the Senate." 

 Sinema does attend events in Arizona, but they tend to be smaller in scale. She frequently publishes photos of her meetings with local officials on her Instagram. In November, she attended a roundtable in Mesa with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, helped announce $54 million for forest restoration and fire prevention during a meeting in Flagstaff, and touted the construction of a new facility for Gulfstream jets at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. This January, she visited the site of a metro expansion project in Phoenix to tout Biden's infrastructure bill. She tends to grant interviews to Arizona media over national outlets.

Sinema has not, to Westbrook or Slugocki's knowledge, personally held meetings with Arizona Democratic Party leadership beyond their Zoom call in June 2021. During that meeting, one of their demands was for Sinema to hold town halls with constituents.

 "She barely reaches out to the state party," Slugocki said. "Her staff is very difficult to contact or coordinate with. It's a very strange relationship at the moment, and getting worse if not at a breaking point right now."

Kyrsten Sinema
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (arrives to the U.S. Capitol Building for a vote on October 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Breaking points for Democrats

Critics of Sinema point to two key votes as breaking points for party members. 

The first was her vote against including a $15 minimum wage provision in a coronavirus relief bill in March 2021. Seven other Democrats voted against including the measure. But Sinema was caught on chamber cameras mimicking the late Republican Sen. John McCain's thumbs down gesture, performing a slight knee bend, and walking off the floor. The clip went viral, and her critics viewed the moment as a flippant disregard for working-class people.

The gesture "enraged everyone in Arizona," Slugocki said. 

"That was when people started paying attention to whether or not she was someone who we would continuously get behind," said April Ignacio, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party's Native American caucus.

The second was her support for the filibuster.

For the entirety of Biden's presidency, Senate Democrats have weighed ending or altering the filibuster rule to give themselves a runway to pass their agenda. They've faced intense pressure from progressives, activists, and advocacy organizations to do so. But two Democratic senators have stood by the rule: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Sinema.

In September, the Arizona Democratic Party issued a resolution that urged Sinema to help repeal the filibuster. If she did not, the resolution said, they would be forced to hold a vote of no confidence against her. 

Both Sinema and Manchin joined Republicans to vote against changing Senate rules to alter the filibuster to allow passage of two voting rights bills. Sinema made a speech from the Senate floor defending her choice. "I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country," she said.

And it was at that moment that Arizona Democrats had enough.

"Sinema is dead to me at this point," said Ann Heitland, chairwoman of the Coconino County Democratic Party.

The following Saturday, they took the extraordinary step of censuring their own senator. Meanwhile, three separate campaigns, including a primary pledge backed by state party members like Westbrook and O'Neal, have formed to oust her in her 2024 primary. Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Phoenix-area congressman, is high on progressives' wish list.

A blue seat in a purple state is not something the Democratic Party can take for granted. Sinema has proven she can win in Arizona, which is still not an easy feat for a Democrat.

"I don't see this censure as just, 'we are not seeing eye to eye and we're packing up our Barbies and leaving'," said Ignacio. "I think that regardless of whether we agree or not we have to maintain a relationship with the senator because she still represents us."

At the moment, party officials say they're focused on re-electing Mark Kelly to a full term in the Senate in November.

Sinema's primary in 2024 will likely test who needs the other more: Kyrsten Sinema, or the Arizona Democratic Party? The censure could mean that Sinema loses a bundle of cash and an army of volunteers to call donors, register voters, and knock on doors across the state. 

"I'm sure after November, there will be some serious come-to-Jesus meetings about what to do with Sinema," O'Neal said. "I'm predicting the party will probably not spend resources to support her."

"Will they spend resources to support a primary challenger? Probably not directly," O'Neal said. "If she wins the primary, I will suggest that there will be half-baked support for her."

Grassroots activists, he said, could "leave her on her own."

"Unless she changes her position," O'Neal added. "And we're always hoping that will happen."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Before there were 'Night Stalkers,' these daredevil pilots got US special operators to their missions deep behind enemy lines

UH-1B Huey helicopter gunship
The door gunner in a UH-1B Huey gunship fires on Vietcong positions during a search-and-destroy mission in the Mekong Delta, January 23, 1968.
  • US commandos fought a covert war in the jungles of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
  • Their operations were supported by dedicated Air Force, Navy, and Army fixed-wing and helicopter units.
  • Those pilots and crews flew high-risk missions deep into enemy territory to support US special operators.

While the US was waging a conventional war in North and South Vietnam, American commandos fought a covert war in the jungles of Southeast Asia for eight years.

Operating under Military Assistance Command Vietnam-Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG), Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs, and Air Commandos conducted highly classified operations in Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam — where US troops weren't supposed to be.

SOG operated mainly in small recon teams — usually six to 10 special operators — that went behind enemy lines to track, identify, or sabotage North Vietnamese units and supply lines.

Although their small numbers afforded them stealth, they faced attack from hundreds or thousands of enemy troops if they were compromised.

In such situations, their only chance of survival came from the air.

Air Warriors

Air Force Bell UH-1P helicopter in Laos
A US Air Force Bell UH-1P with the "Green Hornets" of the 20th Special Operations Squadron in Laos in 1970.

SOG's covert nature meant that only a few people could support its operations. That task went to dedicated Air Force, Navy, and Army fixed-wing and helicopter units, in addition to some exceptionally brave South Vietnamese pilots and crews.

The Air Force's 20th Special Operations Squadron, the "Green Hornets," and the Army's 101st Airborne Division's "Black Angels" Huey helicopter gunships were some of the best.

From 1964 to 1972, these and other units worked with SOG and conducted some jaw-dropping operations, but their approach to supporting the highly secretive SOG had differing levels of rigor.

Green Hornet pilots were all experienced commissioned officers with several hundred flight hours under their belt, whereas the Army also used warrant officers who tended to be younger and less experienced.

"The only training process to support MACV-SOG [operations] was on-the-job training and a willingness to be involved in these very dangerous missions, as they were always on a volunteer basis," Roger Lockshier, a crew chief and door gunner with the Black Angels, told Insider.

Army Bell UH-1D helicopter in Vietnam
US Army Bell UH-1D helicopters airlift US soldiers during a search-and-destroy mission in South Vietnam, 1966.

When it came to gunners, the Green Hornets recruited experienced crew chiefs and helicopter mechanics and specialists with munitions and weapons.

"All volunteers and highly experienced in their respective disciplines. I personally had been a Huey crew chief for four years prior to going to the 20th. Crew chiefs usually flew [as] Right Gunner, Weapons guys on the left," Alfonso Rivero, a Green Hornet gunner, told Insider.

All Green Hornets had to pass a physical exam from a flight surgeon, graduate from the Pacific Air Force Jungle Survival School in the Philippines, receive a top-secret security clearance. Once in the unit, pilots and gunners had to be certified for SOG operations.

New Green Hornet pilots assigned to both transport and gunship helicopters had to conduct several training flights under the supervision of a qualified pilot, known as a Flight Examiner, Rivero said.

"After the trainer determined the subject was sufficiently proficient, a final Check Flight took place. If passed, the trainee would be certified by the Flight Examiner," Rivero added.

Firepower equaled survival

Air Force UH-1P Huey helicopter Cambodia
Bell UH-1P helicopter gunships from the US Air Force's 20th Special Operations Squadron in Cambodia, around 1970

SOG recon teams often raced to their landing zones with hundreds or thousands of enemy troops just a few moments behind them. The firepower aboard the helicopters picking them up could be the difference between life and death.

The helicopters had to put down a near-constant rate of fire to keep the enemy at bay and deny them the pleasure of killing or capturing the SOG commandos at the last moment, as the commandos exposed themselves to scramble aboard the helicopters.

To achieve that, Army and Air Force choppers rolled in with lots of guns.

"There were several configurations for weaponry throughout the Vietnam War, but during my time, 1967 and 1968, the most common configuration was with one 7.62 mm mini-gun and one seven-shot rocket pod mounted on each side of the aircraft," Lockshier said.

Lockshier — who has written about his hair-raising experiences in the book "We Saved SOG Souls: 101st Airborne Missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos During the Vietnam War" — and others in his flight platoon each used a 7.62 mm M-60, often firing it with one hand, or "free-hand style."

Vietnam war helicopter landing zone in jungle
A helicopter landing zone cleared in heavy Vietnamese jungle by a 15,000-pound bomb dropped by a C-130 cargo plane, March 6, 1971.

A less common configuration for Huey gunships featured a 19-shot rocket pod mounted on each side of the aircraft with a 40 mm cannon on the nose and the two M-60 machine guns used by the crew chief and door-gunner, Lockshier added.

"This configuration was called an Aerial Artillery Platform but more commonly called a 'Hog Gunship,' due to the hoglike appearance to the aircraft the nose cannon created," Lockshier said.

In its gunship configuration, the UH-1P helicopter "carried two rocket pods, each loaded with seven 2.75-inch folding-fin aerial rockets. In addition, two pintle-mounted GAU-2B 7.62 mm mini-guns were operated by the door gunners. The maximum load held by the electric-motor-assisted ammo cans was a total of 12,000 rounds," Rivero said.

The loadout on helicopters in the troop-transport configuration was reduced so the SOG recon team could fit. These Hueys were called "Slicks" because they lacked external armament.

On such missions, the Hueys had only two door gunners, each with M-60 machine guns, but they also carried rope ladders and McGuire or STABO rigs — special gear used to lift recon teams off the ground without the helicopter landing.

Army helicopter gunner in Vietnam
A US Army helicopter gunner leans out while firing on enemy positions as US troops board the helicopter, in South Vietnam, April 4, 1965.

Although "Slicks" could get crowded, the Green Hornet's powerful T-58 engines had no issue carrying a full recon team plus the Air Commandos.

"Our most effective weapon was by far the mini-guns, which could provide the very close support to the teams on the LZ. We could often fire within feet of the team and do it safely. We never had a friendly-fire incident. With rockets, the level of accuracy was somewhat lesser," Rivero added.

SOG had a 100% casualty rate, meaning all its members were either wounded, some of them multiple times, or killed in action. Many who made it back owe their lives to the pilots and crew who supported them.

"SOG rotorheads were the unsung heroes of the eight-year secret war. Time and again their heroics and aviation skills saved the lives of SOG recon teams" and larger SOG units, known as Hatchet Forces, that conducted direct-action missions said John Stryker Meyer, a legendary Green Beret who served two tours in SOG and has written about his experiences.

These helicopter pilots and crews have had a lasting impact. Today's Air Commandos can trace their lineage back to Vietnam, and the Army's world-famous 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the "Night Stalkers," drew its first pilots and crews from the 101st Airborne Division.

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to change your Steam password from your computer or phone

Steam application icon
There are a few different ways to change a Steam password.

If you're like most PC gamers, you've probably got a few games in your Steam library, if not dozens. But while having all your games in one place can be incredibly convenient, it also makes Steam accounts prime targets for hackers and scammers.

Like with most apps, the best way to keep your Steam account safe is by using a strong password (probably one created by a password manager). And luckily, you can change your Steam password in a variety of ways.

How to change your Steam password using the desktop app

This works on both PC and Mac computers.

1. Open the Steam app and then click Steam in the top-left corner of the screen.

2. In the drop-down menu that opens, click Settings (PC) or Preferences (Mac).

3. The Settings window will open. Make sure that Account is selected in the left sidebar, then click Change Password.

The Preferences window in Steam. The "Change Password" option is highlighted.
Select the "Change Password" option.

4. A web browser window will open. Go through the two-factor authentication process if asked, then enter your new password twice.

5. Click Change Password, and your new password will be saved.

The page that lets a user change their Steam password.
Enter and confirm your new password.

How to change your Steam password using the website

1. Head to the Steam website and log into your account, if you haven't already.

2. Click your username in the top-right corner, and then select Account details from the drop-down.

A section of the Steam website. The "Account details" option is highlighted.
Head to your account page.

3. Scroll down to the Account Security section, then click Change my password.

The "Account details" page on the Steam website. The "Change password" option is highlighted.
You'll find the "Change password" option in the third section of this page.

4. Go through the two-factor authentication process if asked, then enter your new password twice.

5. Click Change Password to save your new login info.

How to change your Steam password using the mobile app

1. Open the Steam app and tap the three stacked lines in the top-left corner.

2. At the bottom of this sidebar menu, tap Account Details.

The sidebar menu in the Steam mobile app. The "Account Details" option is highlighted.
Tap "Account Details."

3. Scroll down to the Account Security section and tap Change my password.

4. Verify your account if asked, and then enter your new password twice.

5. Tap Change Password to save your new login info.

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How to cancel your SiriusXM subscription in 2 ways


Prices are accurate at the time of publication.

The app icon for SiriusXM Radio.
You can cancel most SiriusXM subscriptions using your phone.
  • The method you'll use to cancel a SiriusXM subscription depends on how you signed up.
  • If you signed up for SiriusXM through the mobile app, you'll need to cancel using your phone.
  • Otherwise, you'll need to contact SiriusXM's customer support team online or over the phone.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

For some people, SiriusXM is synonymous with radio. But even if you've had it for years, there might come a time when you don't want to pay SiriusXM's monthly fees.

No matter your reason, there are a few different ways to cancel a SiriusXM subscription. Which one you use will depend on how you signed up in the first place.

How to cancel your SiriusXM subscription

When SiriusXM first launched, you could only listen to its stations if you had a compatible car. But now you can sign up using the official mobile app, too.

If you signed up with the mobile app

When you sign up using the mobile app, it'll connect SiriusXM to your Apple or Google account. This means that you'll have to go through that Apple or Google account to cancel.

If you use an iPhone or iPad:

1. Open your iPhone's Settings app and tap your name at the top of the page.

2. Tap Subscriptions, then select SiriusXM from the list.

The Apple ID menu on an iPhone. The Subscriptions option is highlighted.
Open your Apple ID Subscriptions menu.

3. Select Cancel Subscription and confirm that you want to end your membership.

If you use an Android phone or tablet:

1. Open the Google Play Store app and tap your profile icon in the top-right.

2. Tap Payments & subscriptions and then Subscriptions.

The Google menu in an Android phone's Google Play Store app. The "Payments & subscriptions" option is highlighted.
Head to your Google account's "Payments & subscriptions" page.

3. Select SiriusXM from your list of subscriptions, and tap the Cancel subscription button when it appears.

If you don't see SiriusXM in your list of subscriptions, keep reading. It probably means that you signed up with SiriusXM directly.

If you signed up with SiriusXM directly

This is the method you'll use if SiriusXM came included with your car, if you signed up through the website, if you called them to start your membership, and more. If you didn't use the mobile app, this is probably the category you fall into.

To cancel a direct SiriusXM subscription, you need to contact the company. You can do this online by heading to this page and clicking Chat with an Agent, or by calling them at 1-866-635-5020.

The online chat is open seven days a week, but the phone service is only available Mondays through Fridays.

The page on SiriusXM's website that describes how to cancel your service directly.
Click the "Chat" option to start an online conversation.
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An ex-Army private who waved a 'Pepe the Frog' flag during Capitol riot was sentenced to 44 months in prison for assaulting officers

Languerand pictured holding a "Pepe the frog" flag on the Upper West Terrace on January 6.
Languerand pictured holding a "Pepe the frog" flag on the Upper West Terrace on January 6, 2021.
  • A man who assaulted officers during the Capitol riot was sentenced to more than 3 years in prison.
  • Nicholas Languerand, an ex-Army private, received a 44-month sentence earlier this week.
  • Prosecutors say Langeruand threw several dangerous items at law enforcement on January 6, 2021.

An ex-Army private who threw objects at law enforcement during the Capitol riot received a 44-month sentence after pleading guilty to a felony count of assaulting officers in November.

Nicholas Languerand, of Little River, South Carolina, was sentenced to more than three years behind bars following a ruling by US District Judge John Bates on Wednesday. Languerand, who has been jailed since his arrest in April 2021, will receive credit for time already served.

Prosecutors initially recommended a 51-month sentence for the defendant, but Bates offered a "modest reduction" in his final ruling, citing Languerand's "extremely difficult and chaotic upbringing," according to Reuters.

An attorney for Languerand told the court how Languerand's father spent six months behind bars after blowing up the family trailer in an attempt to kill Languerand's mother, WUSA reported. Languerand later lived with his father in a run-down home built from downed telephone poles, according to his legal team. 

Languerand's grandparents testified in court this week, describing how their grandson became enamored with the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement ahead of the Capitol riot. Languerand was administratively discharged from his role in the Army after a positive drug test, according to WUSA, and became "consumed" by the extremist movement after he was laid off from work. 

Prosecutors say Languerand, who was living in Vermont in January 2021, traveled to Washington DC to attend former President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6, 2021.

After the rally, Languerand made his way to the Upper West Terrace of the US Capitol where photos and video show him throwing a variety of dangerous items at law enforcement, including a large orange traffic barrier, an audio speaker, pieces of wood, and sticks, according to charging documents.

Photos also show him waving a "Pepe the Frog" flag atop the Upper West Terrace, according to charging docs. As Insider previously reported, political extremists in 2016 began associating the meme frog with white nationalism and far-right extremism. 

Authorities say Languerand also took an officer's riot shield, slammed it into the ground multiple times, and then pushed it back at police. According to court records, Languerand left the immediate area after law enforcement officers began using tear gas. 

An Instagram post of Languerand outside the US Capitol on January 6.
An Instagram post of Languerand outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Prosecutors emphasized that, although Languerand did not enter the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, "it was not for a lack of trying."

An anonymous witness contacted the FBI in February to say Languerand had posted an Instagram picture of himself at the Capitol during the insurrection, according to charging documents. Upon further review, investigators found several social media posts and comments made by Languerand discussing his role in the siege. 

"No I never made it inside but I got some good shots in," Languerand wrote on Instagram on January 6, 2021, according to charging documents. "A [sic] stole a riot shield got pepper sprayed gassed it was lit."

When agents searched Languerand's trailer and bedroom last spring, they found a stockpile of weapons, a makeshift human-like target full of bullet holes, and a notebook containing a "target list," according to a sentencing memo.

On Wednesday, Languerand briefly addressed the courtroom to express remorse. "I have represented my community in an extremely poor way," he said, according to WUSA. 

Languerand's 44-month sentence marks one of the longest sentences yet in a Capitol riot-related case. Two other men convicted of assaulting officers received 46 and 63 months in prison respectively. 

An attorney for Languerand did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

More than 760 people have been arrested in connection with the attack and more than 170 have pleaded guilty.

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How to use your iPhone's built-in sleep timer to fall asleep to the media of your choice

person looking at phone in bed
The location of the iPhone's sleep timer isn't immediately apparent.
  • The iPhone has a sleep timer built into its Clock app.
  • To use the sleep timer, set a time in the Clock app's timer, and set the When Timer Ends option to Stop Playing.
  • When the timer expires, your media will stop playing and the phone will lock. 
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

It's not especially easy to find, but the iPhone has a sleep timer built in that does an excellent job of helping you unwind and shut down at night, or any time you want to play media for a limited time. It's not a new feature, either; the sleep timer has been built into the iPhone since iOS 7, so even older or un-updated devices have this capability. 

When using the sleep timer, you can specify how long you want the timer to run, and at the end of the cycle, your phone will stop playing music, video, or whatever media happens to be playing, turn off the screen and lock the device. This way you can trust that your phone will shut down and conserve your battery if you like to fall asleep to late-night entertainment.

How to use the iPhone sleep timer

1. Start the Clock app. 

2. At the bottom of the screen, tap Timer.

Clock app in iOS
There's a sleep timer in the Clock's Timer tab.

3. Spin the hour, minute and second dials to set the length of timer you want to use.

4. Tap When Timer Ends.

5. Scroll to the bottom and tap Stop Playing, then tap Set.

Clock app in iOS
Scroll to the bottom of the When Timer Ends page.

6. Tap Start.

Click app in iOS
When you set the timer to stop playing, the sleep timer is ready.

The timer will begin. Now start watching or listening to whatever media you want, and let yourself drift off to sleep if that's what you want to do. When the timer runs out, the phone will stop playing media, turn off the display, and lock itself.

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Trump says his publisher — Donald Trump Jr. — can't find enough paper, ink, glue, or leather to make copies of his 'very successful' photo book

donald trump rally
Former President Donald Trump said this week on a podcast that he was running into a shortage of paper, ink, glue, and leather for his books.
  • Former President Donald Trump is claiming that he can't find the supplies to produce his book.
  • Trump said that he was told his publisher can't find enough paper, ink, glue, or leather to produce the book.
  • Trump's book is published by Winning Team Publishing, a company co-founded by Donald Trump Jr. in 2021.

Former President Donald Trump claimed this week that he couldn't get enough supplies to produce his book because of ongoing supply chain disruptions.

Trump spoke to Fox Business host Lou Dobbs on a Wednesday episode of Dobbs' podcast, "The Great America Show."

Trump responded to a question from Dobbs about how he felt about product shortages in the US, claiming that he faced problems printing his book because of issues with the supply chain. 

"Nobody ever heard the term 'supply chain,'" Trump said. "The supply chain, it was automatic. It just was embedded. It was embedded in a free country, in a democracy. It was embedded in our country. We didn't sit around talking about the supply chain. Now all of a sudden, it's the two words people are using most because you can't get anything." 

He went on to claim that he was running out of supplies to produce copies of his book, "Our Journey Together." 

"I just did a book, which is very successful, they sold 240,000 copies, and we just ordered another 240,000, I guess, or more," Trump said.

"The publisher, the printer, who is one of the biggest in the country, I think he said he has eight plants, he said, 'Well we have one problem — we can't get paper, we can't get ink. We can't get glue. We can't get leather for the covers.' He said, 'I've been doing this for 40 years, I've never had a problem getting anything,'" Trump said. 

Trump added that his publisher was paying "a huge premium" to get these supplies. 

Trump's publisher for "Our Journey Together,"  Winning Team Publishing, is a company that was co-founded by his son, Donald Trump Jr., in 2021. It brands itself as "the nation's premier conservative publishing house," with the mission of promoting "authors who represent the Silent Majority, America First patriots, and liberty-minded readers." 

Winning Team Publishing claimed on its website that "every single copy of Our Journey Together is proudly printed in America," noting that "overwhelming demand and global supply chain issues" have caused production delays.

Two versions of "Our Journey Together" are available, one for $74.99 and a signed copy at $229.99. However, the descriptions of both books do not appear to indicate that they are leather-bound. According to the book's listing on Winning Team Publishing's website, copies are scheduled to ship in February 2022. 

This past June, Trump boasted that he was "writing like crazy" and working on "the book of all books" about his presidency.

In November, he revealed the book would be a coffee table book filled with photos. Donald Trump Jr. told Axios in that month: "My father picked every single photo in this book, wrote all the captions, including some by hand."

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Billionaire Peter Thiel hosted closed-door fundraiser for a Trump-backed Liz Cheney challenger at his Miami compound

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2016.
Peter Thiel.
  • Billionaire Peter Thiel hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Liz Cheney's challenger Harriet Hageman.
  • According to Vanity Fair, it was held at Thiel's Miami estate and attended by Donald Trump Jr.
  • Dozens of GOP donors attended, as Thiel is backing Trump-tied candidates in the midterms.

Billionaire and PayPal founder Peter Thiel hosted a fundraiser in Miami for Wyoming Republican Harriet Hageman, the Trump-backed challenger to Rep. Liz Cheney, according to Vanity Fair.

According to sources familiar with the event, dozens of Republican donors attended, and it was staged at Thiel's 10,000-square-foot Miami estate, which Thiel purchased last year, and was formerly the location of the 1996 season of MTV's Real World.

Donald Trump Jr. was in attendance, according to the report.

Hageman's speech that night "was all about how the 2020 election was stolen and Cheney is a RINO," according to Vanity Fair's report, which cited a source briefed by an attendee. In late December, Politico reported on invites for the event being sent out.

Cheney, one of two Republicans on the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack, has been adamant about investigating former President Donald Trump and other top GOP players' roles in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Her position has drawn ire from Trump and his loyalist sect of the GOP and led to her removal from Republican leadership in May 2021.

Thiel, a vocal Silicon Valley ally to Trump, donated the maximum $5,800 contribution to Hageman's campaign in October, Politico reported.

He has also backed two Wyoming PACs supporting the challenger, who is still not caught up to Cheney on funds. By September 2021, weeks after Hageman announced a run, Politico reported that Rep. Cheney had $3.6 in campaign funds and Hageman had $245,000.

Cheney's office and Hageman did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Last week, Politico reported that Thiel had also backed fundraising efforts for Arizona GOP candidate for US Senate Blake Masters and Ohio GOP candidate for US Senate JD Vance.

Thiel has donated $10 million apiece to super PACs supporting Vance and Masters, and also introduced a plan with Masters to mint and sell 99 NFTs of their joint book, "Zero to One."

Masters posted about the plan on Twitter, promising "exclusive access to parties with me and Peter" for a $5,800 contribution to his campaign.

Peter Thiel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Elizabeth Warren said cancelling $50,000 student loan debt would give 36 million borrowers 'permanent total relief'

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill July 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. Warren spoke with Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) on legislation to cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill July 23, 2019 in Washington, DC.
  • Sen. Warren said forgiving $50,000 in college debt could provide "permanent total relief" for 36 million borrowers.
  • "That would be the end of their debt burden," Sen. Warren said during a Thursday town hall.
  • The remark came amid a push from Democrats for Biden to forgive the student loan debt before the payment pause ends in May.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that canceling $50,000 in student loan debt could give 36 million borrowers "permanent total relief."

Warren appeared at a virtual town hall with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Ayanna Pressley to continue the push for broad student loan forgiveness.

The senator from Massachusetts reiterated her call on President Joe Biden and his administration to "do the right thing" and offer relief to student loan borrowers.

"Canceling $50,000 of student loan debt would give 36 million Americans permanent total relief," Warren said during the town hall. "That would be the end of their debt burden. And it would aid millions more by significantly reducing the principal on their debt."

Federal student loan debt totaled $1.6 trillion in 2021, held by more than 43 million borrowers.

The Biden administration has faced mounting pressure to fulfill his campaign promise and cancel at least $10,000 in student loan debt — a figure that some Democrats have been urging him to raise to at least $50,000.

More than 80 Democratic letters sent a letter to Biden earlier this week to "immediately" cancel student debt in a memo before the payment pause expires in May of this year.

The letter outlined the administration's authority to provide student loan relief to borrowers; thus far the administration has deflected responsibility to Congress failing to put forth a student-debt bill on his desk.

"When Elizabeth [Warren] and I started on this, they denied that they had the authority to do it they don't deny that anymore," Schumer said during the Thursday town hall. "We've made the conclusive case."

"The President can do it with a flick of the pen, all he has to do is sign an executive order," the Senate Majority leader continued. "He doesn't need a single Congress member on his side — he just has to do it — and ... if the administration signs this, it will provide immediate relief to millions millions of Americans currently saddled with this awful debt."

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Joe Manchin says he would be open to voting for a Biden SCOTUS pick who is more liberal than he is

Senator Joe Manchin gestures in front of an American flag with his palms up, the right half of the photo is blurred out in black.
"It's not too hard to get more liberal than me," Manchin said of Biden's SCOTUS pick, adding that ideological differences would not "prohibit" him for voting for their confirmation to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin this week said he would be open to voting for a more liberal Biden SCOTUS pick.
  • "It's not too hard to get more liberal than me," Manchin said on Thursday. 
  • He added that differing "philosophical beliefs" would not stop him from voting to confirm Biden's pick.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said this week that he would be open to supporting a Supreme Court nominee from President Joe Biden even if they were more liberal than him.

Manchin made these comments during a Thursday interview with West Virginia MetroNews' "Talkline" host Hoppy Kercheval.

Kercheval asked Manchin about how he would vote on the Biden nominee, given that it was very likely that Biden's SCOTUS pick would be "more left of center" and "more liberal" than he is. Kercheval also asked Manchin if the difference in political leanings might prompt him to vote "no" on their confirmation. 

Manchin replied that the Biden nominee was unlikely to change the current ideological makeup of the 6-3 SCOTUS' 6-3 conservative majority, adding that the "main thing" he's looking for is someone with good judgment and character. 

The West Virginia senator added that it would not bother him to vote for a nominee far more liberal than himself. 

"It's not too hard to get more liberal than me," Manchin said, saying that he would set personal beliefs aside to vote for someone who was "sound in their thought process."

"Whoever (Biden) puts up will have experience, and we'll be able to judge them off of that. But as far as just the philosophical beliefs, no, that will not prohibit me from supporting somebody," Manchin added. 

CNN reported that while Manchin has stalled legislation like Biden's landmark Build Back Better bill, he's supported the president's court nominees, even confirming Oregon state labor board member Jennifer Sung to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Sung signed a letter in opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Biden announced SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement on Thursday. The president has promised to name a Black woman as his SCOTUS pick, fulfilling a campaign pledge that he made

Potential contenders include DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and South Carolina Federal District Judge J. Michelle Childs. 

Democratic lawmakers are now set to confirm Biden's nominee "with all deliberate speed," per Senate Majority Leader Schumer. Republican figures like Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded that Breyer's replacement would be likely be confirmed, even without Republican support. 

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Southwest says it may start selling booze on flights again this spring. It'd come after a record year in unruly passenger behavior.

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines could start selling alcohol onboard again.
  • Southwest paused has paused its inflight alcohol service several times since the start of the pandemic.
  • But now Southwest CEO Gary Kelly says the carrier is looking to resume service in spring.
  • The news comes on the back of FAA data showing it received 5,981 unruly passenger reports in 2021.

Southwest Airlines says it may start serving booze onboard again this spring.

Like other carriers, Southwest first paused inflight alcohol sales in 2020 to minimize exposure between staff and passengers during the pandemic. The service was postponed first due to a rise in unruly passengers and then because of a federal mask mandate that runs through March 18.

This week, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly says the carrier is looking to resume alcohol service "late in the first quarter, maybe early in the second quarter," according to a transcript of the airline's Q4 earnings call.

The carrier is bolstering its safe distancing measures before resuming the service, Kelly indicated in the call on Thursday.

His comments come after data this month from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed it received 5,981 unruly passenger reports for the whole of 2021. According to the FAA, more than two-thirds of the incidents in 2021 were due to disputes over face masks. 

Southwest Airlines' flight attendant union, TWU Local 556, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Flight attendants told Insider's Allan Akhtar in June last year that they hoped that the limits on alcohol service would stay.

"When we have problems that escalate, they would be escalated ten times more if they were fueled by alcohol," an anonymous flight attendant told Insider at the time.

FAA regulations do not allow passengers to consume alcohol onboard flights unless the drinks are served by the airline.

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Fox News' Tomi Lahren told officers at a policing conference that prominent police killings could have been avoided if people 'would just comply'

tomi lahren
Tomi Lahren in Pasadena, California.
  • Tomi Lahren was among several who spoke at a police training conference in Atlantic City in October.
  • Lahren described Black Lives Matter as "thugs, felons, and criminals" and as a "terrorist organization."
  • She went on to say police shootings could be avoided if people "would just comply with police."

Fox News personality Tomi Lahren told police officers that significant numbers of police brutality cases could have been avoided "if people would just comply with police, would follow orders, and not resist arrest."

The Washington Post reported that Lahren, a political commentator for the Fox Nation shows "Final Thoughts" and "No Interruption," made the comments in October at the Street Cop Training Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

More than 1,000 police officers from departments across New Jersey and other states attended the conference, The Post reported. During her speech, Lahren described Black Lives Matter as "thugs, felons, and criminals" and a "terrorist organization."

"If I'm wrong, please point it out," Lahren said, according to a sound clip of her remarks shared by The Post. "But all these major headline incidents that we've had in this country involving law enforcement in the last, at least, five years could have all been prevented if people would just comply with police, would follow orders, and not resist arrest."

The audience can be heard applauding and cheering in the clip. 

Her comments were consistent with previous statements she has made on her shows and social media.

The Post's investigation found Lahren's sentiments were typical of those made in commercial police training settings, even as calls for reform grow. The outlet spoke with 18 trainers and experts in addition to watching or attending conferences in New Jersey and Idaho, many of whom balked at police reform.

Several blamed the media for overplaying the public's desire for reform and dismissed reformers as a small cohort, The Post found. The outlet also said many portrayed violence as an inherent part of policing.

"The curriculum is that you are a good person and reveling in violence and being an expert in violence is not morally wrong," Michael Sierra-Arévalo, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin who attended the Street Cop Conference, told The Post. "In fact, it's your moral duty because you're a paladin. You are this kind of warrior."

Calls for police reform grew during the racial justice protests in the summer of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Congress engaged in bipartisan talks about a potential police reform bill last summer, but they fell apart without reaching a deal.

Sources told NBC News that President Joe Biden plans to sign executive orders on police reform as early as this month.

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