Channel: Business Insider

I was hypnotized by the Four Seasons Hotel's 'resident healer' and was pleasantly surprised by the eccentric $285 treatment. Here's what it was like.

Four Seasons hypnotism session
Four Seasons hypnotism session
  • The Four Seasons Hotel spa in New York offers consultations with "certified spiritual healers."
  • From chakra healing to astrology, the unique offerings tap into a $639 billion wellness tourism market. 
  • I'd choose the spa's hour-long hypnosis session over spending the same amount of money on a massage.

Luxury hotels now offer a range of wellness treatments that go far beyond your typical facial or massage, but the Four Seasons "resident healer" program takes the trend to the next level. 

The hotel's spa in downtown Manhattan offers appointments catered to an individual's "spiritual awareness and personal enlightenment," ranging from a $380 astrology reading to a $485 crystal healing session. 

Over the course of an hour, I was hypnotized by one of the hotel's resident healers with a combination of visualization, manifestation, and mindfulness exercises. The session put me into a semi-trance that left me feeling more confident and relaxed. 

For $285, the session lived up to its advertised promise of providing "clarity and emotional release" — plus access to the spa's amenities, including the sauna and steam room. In the future, I'd choose the unique experience over spending the same amount of money on a traditional spa treatment like a massage or facial.

Nicole Hernandez, also known as "the traveling hypnotist," is a resident healer at the Four Seasons Downtown New York.
Nicole Hernandez, also known as "the traveling hypnotist," is a resident healer at the Four Seasons Downtown New York.

Prior to my session with Nicole Hernandez, also known as "the traveling hypnotist," the only experience I'd had with hypnotism was a disappointing stage performance in high school. I didn't fall into the trance that made my peers dance awkwardly and fall asleep, so I was escorted off the stage. 

I could tell this would be a completely different kind of hypnotism. Nicole felt more like a professional psychologist than a wacky stage guru, despite references to past lives and a fair amount of mindfulness buzz words.

She explained that everybody has different levels of susceptibility to hypnosis: movies, reading books, daydreaming — these are all different ways we hypnotize our brains without realizing it. People who don't frequently seek out those escapes may be harder to coach into a trance, she said. 

Prior to the session, I filled out a detailed survey (left) about my intentions and goals for the session.
Prior to the session, I filled out a detailed survey about my intentions and goals.

After Nicole explained what to expect, we had a 20-minute conversation about any issues I'd like to tackle. Officially a year out of college, I wanted to focus on taking the next step in my career and improving my relationships as I transition into full-on adulthood. We discussed my value system and the things that are most important to me. This part felt like therapy but with more specific action items.

From there, Nicole began our first visualization exercise, which I can only describe as trippy. She guided me through "expanding my peripheral vision" as far as possible while focusing on a single spot on the wall, which felt like my eyes were a camera zooming out. Afterward, I felt strangely relaxed, a sensation Nicole credited to our brains only being able to handle so much visual stimulus. When you intentionally overload it, everything else shuts down. 

With my inner eye officially open, Nicole proceeded to have me visualize myself on the other side of the room "wearing" the issues we discussed, taking the form of a backpack filled with rocks. Then, I had to visualize taking the backpack off and seeing how I felt without the weight. 

Four Seasons hypnotism session
Four Seasons hypnotism session

As the projection of myself ran around and danced, Nicole asked me what else she (I?) needed. I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so I opted to feed imaginary-me steak and french fries, an answer that Nicole did her best to take seriously while we both laughed. 

After feeding my projection, Nicole instructed me to open the backpack and see if there were still rocks inside, to which I responded, "well, I'm making this up (duh) ... but now it's just filled with paper." Imaginary-me then put the bag back on and found the weight much lighter than when we started. 

Next, I was instructed to have her walk closer to me until our "energy merged." At this point, I was definitely in some kind of a trance and experienced an emotional release. The exercise left me feeling lighter and happier afterward (and craving steak and french fries). 

The locker room at the Four Seasons Hotel spa in downtown New York.
The locker room at the Four Seasons Hotel spa in downtown New York.

One of the crazier things was that the entire exercise only seemed to last 10 minutes, when it was actually closer to 30. Nicole said this is super common, and that four-hour hypnosis sessions can go by in a minute. 

Three days later, I've found myself returning to the backpack-filled-with-rocks image when I've felt overwhelmed or stressed, thinking to myself: "It's not rocks! It's just paper!" And maybe that's just pretending life's problems aren't there instead of fixing them, but hey, we'll see how it goes. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

I've driven 15 different electric cars. These are my 13 favorite features, from the F-150's frunk to Rivian's camping kitchen.

The Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.
  • I've driven more than a dozen electric models from BMW, Tesla, Ford, and more. 
  • Tons of EVs boast interesting designs and capabilities, but only the coolest features cut through the noise. 
  • Rivian's R1T offers a one-of-a-kind gear tunnel, while Porsche's Taycan can charge incredibly quickly. 
Slowly but surely, car companies are going electric. More buyers than ever are considering the switch from fossil fuels.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.
What's great for early adopters is that automakers are using cutting-edge electric models as a testing ground for new and interesting designs and capabilities.
The Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y.
I've driven more than a dozen electric cars from Ford, Tesla, Porsche, and others and experienced plenty of cool features, but a handful stand out.
The 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.
The 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.
California upstart Rivian is looking to become the Tesla of rugged pickup trucks and SUVs.
[EMBARGO 9/28 DNP] Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T.
Its vehicles are jam-packed with interesting features, but the coolest part of the R1T truck has to be its Gear Tunnel.
[EMBARGO 9/28 DNP] Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T.
It's a bonus, one-of-a-kind storage area running between R1T's back seats and bed.
The 2022 Rivian R1T.
The 2022 Rivian R1T.
Plus, buyers can add on a slide-out Camp Kitchen complete with a sink, cutting board, utensils, and induction cooktop.
The 2022 Rivian R1T.
The 2022 Rivian R1T.

Read more: Take a closer look at the electric Rivian R1T pickup's coolest option — the Camp Kitchen

The Gear Tunnel opens from both sides. Both doors house extra goodies like a first aid kit.
The 2022 Rivian R1T.
The 2022 Rivian R1T.
Rivian's R1S SUV sets itself apart with extraordinary off-road capability.
The Rivian R1S electric SUV.
The Rivian R1S.

Read more: I drove the coolest new electric SUV in the US. Here's a full photo tour of the fabulous Rivian R1S.

Simply point the seven-seat SUV at a deep creek, steep incline, or mass of boulders, and step on the accelerator. Its four powerful motors, adjustable air suspension, and advanced all-wheel-drive system handle the rest.
The Rivian R1S electric SUV.
The Rivian R1S.
In Tesla's Model Y, the star of the show is its minimalist, technology-packed interior.
The Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y.

Read more: I drove a Tesla for the first time after testing 14 other electric cars. Now I get why people are so obsessed with Elon Musk's vehicles.

Tesla rejects almost all conventional buttons and gauges in favor of a sleek and uncluttered look.
The Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y.
And tech geeks will get a kick out of the big, snappy touchscreen that controls basic vehicle settings and receives software updates.
The Tesla Model Y electric SUV.
The Tesla Model Y.
Fun built-in features like a racing game (which uses the actual steering wheel), drawing pad, and Netflix ensure you'll never be bored while charging up.
The 2022 Tesla Model Y.
The 2022 Tesla Model Y.
Kia's spaceship-like EV6 has a trick up its sleeve in the form of bidirectional charging capability.
The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line.
The 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line.
The clever feature involves using an adapter that plugs into the charge port.
The 2022 Kia EV6.
The 2022 Kia EV6.
From there, you can power things things like speakers, an electric cooktop, or a coffee maker. I used the EV6 to make breakfast.
The 2022 Kia EV6.
The 2022 Kia EV6.

Read more: I used the electric Kia EV6's coolest feature to make breakfast outside

Hyundai's Ioniq 5 shares its guts with the EV6, so it can also power your toaster or hair dryer on the go.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD.

Read more: The $56,000 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an electric living room on wheels that'll make you want to ditch gas for good

But the best thing about driving the Ioniq 5 is just how cool it makes you feel.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Its retrofuturistic styling — complete with origami-like angles and lights comprised of dozens of little pixels — makes it stand out from regular blob-shaped SUVs.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
In addition to top-tier handling and absurd acceleration, the Porsche Taycan delivers astonishingly quick charging speeds.
The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.
The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.

Read more: Review: Porsche's $209,000 electric station wagon launched me into the stunning, wicked-fast future of cars

It can charge at a peak rate of 270 kilowatts, faster than most electric cars, meaning 5% to 80% can happen in just 22.5 minutes.
The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.
The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.
That's a game-changer for long road trips with multiple charging stops.
The 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.
The 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.
The Polestar 2 showed me that big touchscreens in cars don't have to be scary.
The 2022 Polestar 2.
The 2022 Polestar 2.

Read more: The $45,900 Polestar 2 is the coolest new electric car you've never heard of

The thought of going without regular buttons may repel some buyers. But the sporty sedan's Google-powered infotainment system isn't clunky like some other vehicle touchscreens.
The 2022 Polestar 2.
The 2022 Polestar 2.
Instead, both the main display and digital instrument panel are remarkably intuitive, simple, and pretty to look at. Hyper-realistic graphics of the vehicle are a nice touch.
The 2022 Polestar 2.
The 2022 Polestar 2.
BMW's first electric SUV for American buyers makes up for its polarizing, slightly buck-toothed looks with a palatial interior.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.

Read more: The $96,000 electric BMW iX's luxurious interior will make you forget all about its weird looks

The $96,000 iX I drove cocooned me in generous amounts of supple leather.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive60.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive60.
It had a massaging driver's seat, a slim, floating screen, and plenty of gold trim.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
The Ford F-150 Lightning's biggest superpower is how normal it feels. Ford took the F-150 and injected it with electric power without sacrificing the familiarity of America's favorite truck.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Ford F-150 Lightning.
But the Lightning brings some big advantages. It has outlets throughout that can provide serious amounts of electricity for power tools and tailgating accessories.
[EMBARGO 5/11/22 6 AM DNP] The F-150 Lightning Lariat.
The F-150 Lightning Lariat.
With the right adapter, it can even charge other electric vehicles.
Ford F-150 Lightning vehicle-to-vehicle charging.
The Ford F-150 Lightning charging an E-Transit van.
The Lightning's goofily named Mega Power Frunk also deserves a mention. The front trunk gives truck buyers something they've never really had before: Lockable, weather-proof storage outside of the bed.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.

Read more: The Ford F-150 Lightning's massive frunk is packed with useful features — take a closer look

It also offers power outlets and a big, wide opening to make loading things even easier.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.
Likewise, one of the Ford Mustang Mach-E's handiest features is its frunk.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.
It's made of hard plastic and has a drain hole, making it the perfect spot to stow muddy shoes and wet gear. Lots of electric SUVs go without a frunk, giving the Mach-E a leg up.
Mustang Mach-E frunk
The Mustang Mach-E's frunk.
Read the original article on Business Insider

iOS 16 lets you schedule emails in your iPhone's Mail app — here's how to do it

iPhone 12
Apple added a scheduling feature to the Mail app with iOS 16.
  • In iOS 16, you can schedule an email in your iPhone's Mail app so it gets sent at any time of your choice.
  • To schedule an email, tap and hold the Send button to see scheduling choices. 
  • Your iPhone must be turned on at the time the email is scheduled to be sent.

Not every email needs to be — or even should be — sent immediately, and that's why many mail apps offer a way to send email at a later time. Starting with iOS 16, Apple allows you to schedule an email for later on your iPhone using the standard Mail app. This way, for example, you can send email during normal business hours even if you drafted it late at night or over the weekend. 

How to schedule an email on the iPhone

To schedule an email, your iPhone needs to be running iOS 16 or later. Check your version of iOS and update your iPhone if needed. After that, you'll be ready to schedule emails for later.

1. Start the Mail app.

2. Draft your email the way you normally would, complete with the recipient, subject, and message.

3. When you are done with the email and ready to send it, tap and hold the Send icon (the big blue arrow). You'll see a pop-up menu.

Sending an email in Mail for iPhone.
Tap and hold the Send button to see your scheduling options.

4. Choose when you want to send the message. 

Apple gives you a few quick-pick choices, including Send 9:00 PM Tonight and Send 8:00 AM Tomorrow. If you want to choose a custom time, tap Send Later… and you can choose the date and time from a calendar view, then tap Done

The Send Later options in Mail for iPhone.
You can choose exactly when you want an email to be sent, regardless of when you write it.

How to change the scheduled time before it's sent

After you choose your time, the email will be stored in the Mail app's Send Later mailbox. If you need to change when the email is being sent, you can adjust the send time right until the last moment. 

1. In the Mail app, tap the Back arrow as needed to see the Mailboxes page. 

2. Tap Send Later, then tap the scheduled email you want to edit.

The Mailboxes page in Mail for iPhone.
Open the Send Later mailbox to see your scheduled messages.

3. In the gray bar at the top of the message that shows when the email will be sent, tap Edit

4. Change the send time and then tap Done

Scheduled email in Mail for iPhone.
Tap Edit to change the time a scheduled email is set to be sent.
Read the original article on Business Insider

This map shows how many people in each state could benefit from Biden's student loan forgiveness

Graduates tossing caps into the air
  • President Joe Biden's recently announced student debt forgiveness could impact states differently.
  • Several states in the South and Midwest have the largest shares of their populations eligible for relief.
  • Ohio and Mississippi have the highest shares among states, but their shares fall below DC's share.

Student-loan borrowers in all 50 states and DC will stand to benefit from President Joe Biden's recent debt relief.

At the end of August, Biden announced up to $20,000 in debt cancellation for federal borrowers making under $125,000 a year — a highly anticipated announcement, given he promised relief on the campaign trail. Eligible Pell Grant recipients will see up to the full $20,000 in debt relief; those who fall below the income cutoff and who aren't Pell Grant recipients will receive up to $10,000 in relief. Most borrowers will have to apply for relief through a form set to be released in early October.

The White House recently released state-by-state data on how many people could be eligible for forgiveness, and the scope of borrowers who are on track to benefit is significant.

The estimated share of a state's population that is eligible for student loan forgiveness varies across the US.

Insider looked at how many people could be eligible for student loan forgiveness after adjusting by population. To do this, Insider looked at the estimated number of borrowers eligible according to the Department of Education that was recently published in the White House fact sheet. Those estimated values were rounded to the nearest hundred. We also used July 1, 2021 population estimate data from the Census Bureau.

As seen in the below map, multiple states in the middle of the country, the Midwest, and the South have some of the highest shares. You can hover over each state and DC to see the population size, the rounded number of potential borrowers eligible for relief, and the estimated share of a population eligible for student loan debt relief.

Ohio is one Midwestern state that has a high share, with an estimated 14.2% of residents eligible for student-debt relief. That's the second highest share among states and DC, falling right after DC's 15.8%. As The Columbus Dispatch reported, over 94% of student loan borrowers in Ohio could be eligible for this student loan relief.

Looking just at the estimated number of eligible borrowers, California leads the list with 3,549,300 borrowers estimated to be eligible for the relief — along with 2,340,600 Pell Grant recipients — followed by Texas and Florida. An Education Department official told reporters during a press call last week that these estimates were based on "commonly employed statistical techniques" to estimate borrowers' income, along with Census data that has detailed information on income for specific groups of people. 

"The analysis we are releasing today tells us that President Biden's debt relief plan will touch working families in every corner of the state of the country, in red states and blue states and everywhere in between, states and big cities, sprawling suburbs, tribal lands and remote rural towns," Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal told reporters. "Nearly 20 million borrowers will have their entire balances discharged, others will benefit from lower balances and lower payments."

Although California may have millions of borrowers estimated to be eligible for this relief, it actually has one of the smallest shares of people eligible for relief when adjusting for its large population.

Even in the states where Republicans have opposed Biden's debt relief, millions of borrowers could benefit. Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley told reporters that "I was emotional walking through these numbers with my team, recognizing that behind every number, there is a person, there's a family, there's a story here."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Everything we know about the mass protests in Iran

  • Protesters in Iran are raging over the death of Mahsa Amini who was arrested for wearing her hijab incorrectly.
  • Over 40 protesters have died and hundreds have been arrested.
  • Women across the world joined protests by cutting off their hair and burning hijabs.

Protesters are raging against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was allegedly detained for not wearing a hijab correctly and died in police custody.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden's student loan relief plan will cost $400 billion. Republicans call it 'unsustainable' and Democrats say it will give 'Americans more breathing room.'

George Washington University student Kai Nilsen and other student loan debt activists rally outside the White House a day after President Biden announced a plan that would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 a year in Washington, DC, on August 25, 2022.
George Washington University student Kai Nilsen and other student loan debt activists rally outside the White House a day after President Biden announced a plan that would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 a year in Washington, DC, on August 25, 2022.
  • A new report from the Congressional Budget Office finds student loan relief will cost $400 billion.
  • That figure also doesn't account for losses from reforms to income-driven repayment plans.
  • But the figure pales in comparison to spending on defense, and will benefit millions of borrowers.

At the end of August, President Joe Biden finally fulfilled a long-awaited campaign promise, and canceled up to $20,000 in student loan debt for some borrowers — a move that immediately drew ire from the right over its fairness and potential cost.

Now, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is shedding light on how much relief will cost: $400 billion, plus $20 billion from outstanding loan payments and interest being paused through December. That $400 billion comes from the difference between how much borrowers were expected to repay before cancelation was announced, versus how much they'll pay now, with the CBO's data projecting the potential impact over the next 30 years.

The figure is "even worse than we thought," Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for policy at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told Insider. "This is only the debt cancellation. This does not account for the income driven repayment reforms."

"It's almost unthinkable that the administration would announce such a large policy and not even know, or not even tell us how much it costs — particularly, we're talking about something that costs 400 billion dollars plus," Goldwein said. 

It's a figure that will likely stoke continued GOP concerns over the cost of Biden's policy. The CBO estimates come partially in response to questions raised by Reps. Virginia Foxx and Richard Burr. Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, has been an outspoken opponent of Biden's relief plan — and previously introduced legislation to preemptively block it.

The estimate "shows this administration has lost all sense of fiscal responsibility," the Republican from North Carolina said in a statement. "Rather than working with Congress to bring down college costs, President Biden has opted to bury the American people under our unsustainable debt," Foxx said.

However, the Government Accountability Office found in July that the government was already losing money on federal student loans partially due to pandemic-related pauses, even before Biden announced cancelation. The $400 billion also pales in comparison to major expenditures from the administration, like $796 billion on defense in 2022.

The student loan relief will disproportionately impact Black and Latino borrowers, millennials, and public servants such as teachers, police, and non-profit workers. A Census Bureau report found that Black and Hispanic women will see the biggest reductions among borrowers holding student loans, with 5.4% and 4.7% respectively seeing their loans completely wiped. Borrowers who will see their debts wiped completely previously told Insider that the relief is life-changing.

"Today's CBO estimate makes clear that millions of middle class Americans have more breathing room thanks to President Biden's historic decision to cancel student debt," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer — two Democrats who have been on the frontlines of pushing for broader relief — said in a joint statement.

"We don't agree with all of CBO's assumptions that underlie this analysis," they said, "but it is clear the pandemic payment pause and student debt cancellation are policies that demonstrate how government can and should invest in working people, not the wealthy and billionaire corporations."

Read the original article on Business Insider

You can claim a year of Grubhub+ with a Prime membership ahead of Amazon's recently announced Early Access Sale


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

  • Amazon just announced its second Prime-exclusive event of 2022 will be held October 11 and 12.
  • One of the best Prime membership benefits is a year of Grubhub+, which you can still claim ahead of the October event.
  • Grubhub+ usually costs $9.99 a month and gets you free delivery on mobile food orders, plus occasional freebies.

Amazon announced today that it'll hold a second big sales holiday, which it's calling the Prime Early Access Event, on October 11 and 12. While shopping the sale (and others like it, such as Prime Day) is one of the big perks for Prime members, we're also diving into other Prime benefits ahead of the big day, including one of its newest: a year of Grubhub+ for new and existing members. 

Grubhub is a food delivery app that allows you to order food from local and chain restaurants in your area. While the app is free, you typically pay a delivery fee on each order, ranging from $2.50 to $7.50. Grubhub+ lets you to avoid the delivery fees on your orders for $9.99 per month. With Amazon's new offer, a year of Grubhub+ is now included with a $14.99 per month Prime membership fee — a savings of nearly $120. 

How to claim a year of Grubhub+ with Prime

New and existing members can visit Amazon's Grubhub+ page and click the "Activate free Grubhub+" button. You'll be prompted to set up or sign into your Prime account and then rerouted to Grubhub. 

Who is eligible?

All Prime members are eligible, including Prime Student members. If you are already a Grubhub+ member, you can still claim the offer. The only exceptions are Grubhub Campus, Corporate, and certain existing partnership members. 

What are the benefits of Grubhub+?

Grubhub+ lets you order food from the app with unlimited $0 delivery fees on orders over $12 at eligible restaurants. You can also get free food and occasional member discounts, like $10 off a pickup order every month. We've found that if you order food at least once a week, Grubhub+ is worth it.

What are the other benefits of Amazon Prime?

Aside from a year of Grubhub+, an Amazon Prime membership comes with a number of useful benefits. Chief among them are free shipping on most orders and access to the retailer's huge sales event, Prime Day and its newer Early Access holiday event in October. If you're unsure of whether Prime is for you, Amazon offers a free 30 day trial that allows you to take advantage of the benefits before committing. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Most women think US leaders are 'out of touch' when it comes to abortion: poll

diverse group of women conversing with each other while seated at a table, with a red and blue overlay
  • Most women think that US leaders are "out of touch" regarding abortion, a new poll found.
  • Liberals and conservatives were both overwhelmingly unsatisfied with how the government addresses abortion.
  • The Supreme Court in June overturned Roe v. Wade's federally protected access to an abortion.

Women from across the political spectrum said they think American leaders are "out of touch" on the issue of abortion access, according to an Insider/Morning Consult poll.

This includes both liberal women wishing fewer restrictions be placed on abortion and conservative women who don't think government has done enough to curb the procedure.

Nearly seven in 10 women polled said the Supreme Court was either "very" or "somewhat out of touch" regarding their needs for abortion access including 55% of Republican women, 64% of independent women, and 72% of Democratic women.

And a solid majority of women surveyed as a part of Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" project noted that also Congress, specifically, doesn't represent their interests on abortion.

Abortion rights have risen to the forefront of American politics after the Supreme Court in June overturned federal abortion rights enshrined in the high court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Individual states may now pass laws that significantly restrict or effectively outlaw abortion, meaning one state's rules for abortion may be markedly different than another's rules. 

Prior to the Supreme Court's decision, Democrats in both the House and Senate attempted to codify national access to an abortion. But Democrats in the Senate failed to gain the support of enough Republicans — and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin —  to overcome a Republican-led filibuster, which requires 60 affirmative votes to advance a bill.

Separately, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham unveiled a bill in September banning abortions at 15 weeks of gestation to lukewarm support from his Republican colleagues. The bill appears to be headed for defeat.

The survey, which polled participants before Graham announced his bill, indicated that women on both the right and left thought that Congress failed to represent their needs on abortion access. Seven in 10 women surveyed said that Congress was either "very" or "somewhat" out of touch on abortion, with nearly three-fourths of independent women, and two-thirds of Republican women, saying the same.


Following the Supreme Court's ruling in June, President Joe Biden issued several executive orders protecting access to abortion drugs and other reproductive health-related matters, chastising the nation's highest court in the process.

"We cannot allow an out-of-control Supreme Court working in conjunction with extremist elements of the Republican Party to take away freedoms and our personal autonomy," Biden said in July.

In spite of Biden and the rest of the executive branch's push for greater access to abortion, 56% of women polled said the executive branch — which includes the White House and federal government agencies — was still "out of touch" on abortion.

Independent and Republican-leaning women were much likelier to say the executive branch was out of touch regarding abortion, with 65% of Republican women and 64% of independent women saying it didn't represent their needs.

That number dropped to 44% among Democratic-identified women.

The Insider/Morning Consult survey was conducted from September 8 through September 10, and had 2,210 respondents and a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.


Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk's legal team is frustrated after Twitter's CEO cancels his deal deposition on short notice

SUN VALLEY, IDAHO - JULY 07: Parag Agrawal, CEO of Twitter, walks to a morning session during the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 07, 2022 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The world's most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, and technology will converge at the Sun Valley Resort this week for the exclusive conference.
  • Parag Agrawal canceled an interview with Elon Musk's lawyer the day before it was set to take place.
  • The CEO has yet to reschedule, although the interview is expected to happen.
  • Musk is expected to be interviewed later this week as part of the ongoing lawsuit.

Twitter's Parag Agrawal canceled on short notice a scheduled deposition as part of his company's lawsuit against Elon Musk, frustrating the billionaire's legal team, people familiar with the case told Insider.

The Twitter CEO was set to be interviewed for 10 hours in San Francisco on Monday in a deposition scheduled to start at 9 am local time. Agrawal was to be questioned at length by Musk's New York-based lawyer Alex Spiro, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. On Sunday, lawyers for Twitter emailed Musk's side to cancel Agrawal's deposition, citing "personal reasons." The deposition is expected to be rescheduled, but a new date is yet to be decided, the people familiar with the case said.

The sudden rescheduling and alleged "no show" of Agrawal created a swirl of speculation that Twitter and Musk were possibly engaging in talks about an out of court settlement. 

While some of the depositions so far in the $44 billion legal battle have been done virtually or over video conference, like that of former CEO Jack Dorsey, Musk's side is said to have demanded that Agrawal be interviewed in person. The lawsuit is Twitter's attempt to force Musk to acquire the company on the terms he agreed to in April, with Musk accusing Twitter of fraud largely based on his allegation that it misled the public about how many authentic user accounts it has. A five-day trial is still set to take place the week of October 17.

Meanwhile, Musk is still set to be deposed sometime this week, one of the people familiar said, although it is also being rescheduled. His interview will also happen in person, but likely no longer in Delaware, where it was initially set to take place. One of his closest associates, Jared Birchall, was deposed last week in New York. Another, Antonia Gracias, is set to be deposed on Tuesday in Chicago.

Are you a Twitter employee or someone with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Amazon Prime Early Access Sale 2022: Previewing the best deals for Amazon's second Prime Day event in October


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

Amazon delivery person pulling cart of packaged with the Insider Reviews Amazon Prime Day 2022 Deals badge
Keep this page bookmarked for the latest tips to help you get the most out of Prime Day.
  • The Amazon Prime Early Access Sale is on Tuesday, October 11 and Wednesday, October 12. 
  • Amazon's second Prime Day 2022 event will offer special holiday savings and gift guides. 
  • Deals include Amazon Music Unlimited, Gruhub+ memberships, Prime Video, and more. 

Amazon will hold the Prime Early Access Sale on October 11 and 12. It is the second Prime Day deal event in 2022. 

The Prime Early Access Sale lasts 48 hours and is available in 15 countries: the US, UK, Turkey, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Poland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, and Austria. 

We'll be helping you find all the best deals as the sale approaches. Here's what we know about the Prime Early Access Sale so far, and what types of deals will be offered. 

What are the best deals for Prime Early Access Sale?

Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale will showcase deals across electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, pets, toys, and Amazon devices. 

Some deals are already available: You can get an Amazon Echo Dot for 99 cents with a free month of Amazon Music Unlimited (typically a $40 value). Gruhub+ is also free for the first 12 months of your Prime membership (typically a $9.99 value). 

There will also be a Top 100 list of most popular and giftable items, a toys gift guide featuring brands like Hasbro and Disney, and a home gift guide with brands like iRobot and Shark. 

How long do deals last?

While Prime Day lasts for 48 hours, it's important to understand that many deals do sell out quickly. For example, Lightning Deals are limited-time, limited-inventory discounts. They are Amazon's version of a flash sale — complete with a countdown clock — and last for just a few hours or until the item sells out.

Are Prime Day deals the same both days?

Over the 48-hour event, Amazon releases thousands of sales. There are some deals that span both days, but some deals sell out quickly. If you shopped the first day of Prime Day, you can expect a whole new set of fresh deals on the second day. 

Can you return Prime Day deals?

Yes, you can return Prime Day deals. Amazon's return policy for items bought during Prime Day is the same as it is any day of the year. The majority of items, including Amazon devices, can be returned in 30 days. However, there are some items you can't return, including grocery products and gift cards — so be sure to read the fine print. 

How to prepare for Prime Day

Sign up for Prime: As a reminder, only Prime members can participate in Prime Day. That said, you can sign up and take advantage of the free 30-day trial and cancel it after the event. If you plan to cancel your account after Prime Day, be sure to set a reminder. 

Start shopping now: With big sales events like Prime Day, it's easy to fill your cart with things you don't need. That's why we recommend setting a budget and a shortlist of specific items you want to buy in advance. Take the time to outline what items you want to buy, research them in advance, and then save them to your Amazon Wish List so you're ready to go if those items go on sale. 

Consider maximizing your rewards: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card is a no-brainer for anyone who does a lot of shopping on Amazon. In addition to receiving a $200 Amazon gift card for signing up before Prime Day, you'll get 5% back year-round on everything you buy from the site and from Whole Foods market, with an additional 10% to 20% back on select products. 

Tips for finding the best deals on Prime Day 

Check the price history: The best Prime Day advice is to always compare historical prices with Prime Day prices. To understand if you're actually getting a good deal, use the free tool CamelCamelCamel. It is the most trusted Amazon price tracker available, and you can get notifications for price decreases for any product listed on Amazon.

Monitor lightning deals: Lightning Deals — flash sales that only last a few hours — are a big part of Prime Day, and you'll need to be ready to buy right away due to limited quantities. However, if the item you want does sell out, you can join the waitlist. If someone doesn't complete the purchase within 15 minutes, the deal is made available to the next person on the waitlist. 

Set up deal notifications: This is where coming with a plan for specific items you want to buy pays off. If you download the Amazon mobile app, you can set up deal alerts for the items you care about. First, you'll want to add the items to your Amazon Wish List. Then, all you have to do is open up the Amazon app and navigate to your Settings. From the drop-down menu, click Notifications. From there, turn on Your Watched & Waitlisted Deals

Double-check the specs: If you're hunting for gadgets and tech devices specifically, take a close look at the specs, especially if you're looking at refurbished older models. If you wouldn't buy the product at full price, you may want to rethink your purchase. General rule of thumb: It's a good idea to buy tech with specs with the future in mind, not just right now.

Look to sales outside of Amazon: Amazon isn't the only retailer offering deals during Prime Day. You may find the same items on sale at Target, Best Buy, and other major retailers. Beyond major retailers, dozens of brands host competing sales. 

Follow Insider Reviews: We've been covering Prime Day since its inception, and if you don't have time to prep, we've got you covered. We'll be surfacing up the best deals across the entire sale and keeping our coverage fresh and up-to-date. 

Best previous Prime Day deals

For reference, we kept tabs on the best Prime Day deals from Amazon's first 2022 sale in July. 

Prime Day Amazon deals

Amazon Fire TV Cube

Prime Day TV deals

amazon fire tv omni series 50 inch smart tv in a darkened living room

Prime Day Apple deals

Apple's 2022 iPad Air.

Apple devices tend to be discounted throughout the year, but it isn't until events like Amazon Prime Day that they drop to particularly worthwhile prices. iPads, AirPods, Apple Watches, and more are expected to fall to their best prices of the year, from more retailers than just Amazon. 

Prime Day tech and gaming deals

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Prime Day home and kitchen deals


Prime Day beauty and fashion deals

Braun Epilator Silk

Prime Day toy and board game deals

LEGO Star Wars Luke Skywalker's X-Wing Fighter building kit
Read the original article on Business Insider

You can get an Echo Dot for 99 cents if you sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited — here's how to score the limited-time deal


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

The Amazon Echo Dot mounted on a Kitchen wall
The third-gen Echo Dot can be attached to a wall with a separate mount.
  • Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale is coming October 11 and 12, marking the season's first major deal event.
  • As part of an early deal, Prime members can snag an Echo Dot for 99 cents when signing up for a month of Amazon Music Unlimited.
  • As an alternative, new Amazon Music Unlimited members can get their first four months for free.

Amazon has announced its next big deals event: the Prime Early Access Sale landing on October 11 and 12. The 48-hour affair is basically Amazon's fall version of Prime Day, and it will feature thousands of discounts on everything, from electronics to toys, for the gifting season.

Ahead of the sale, Amazon is offering some excellent early promotions for Prime members, including not one, but two Amazon Music Unlimited offers. Now through October 12, newcomers to Amazon Music Unlimited can get up to four months free, or the chance to get a third-gen Echo Dot for 99 cents with a one-month subscription. 

Get an Echo Dot for 99 cents with a month of Amazon Music Unlimited

Here's how the Prime Early Access deal works: Prime members that pay for one month of Amazon Music Unlimited at the regular rate of $9 a month can get an Echo Dot (3rd Gen) for only 99 cents. That comes out to a total of $10 for a compact smart speaker and one month of music streaming.

A third-gen Echo Dot usually costs $40, so the deal saves members $39 on the popular smart speaker. The deal is good through October 12. After your first month of Music Unlimited, your subscription will automatically renew at $9 a month until you cancel. 

Sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited and get 4 months free

If a discounted smart speaker isn't to your liking, Prime subscribers can also choose a different limited-time promotion. Prime members who have yet to try Amazon Music Unlimited can get their first four months of service for free. Meanwhile, non-members that are new to the service are eligible for three free months.

Typically, Amazon Music Unlimited only offers a one-month trial, making this offer especially enticing. It's available now through October 12. After your promo period ends, your subscription will automatically renew at $9 a month (Prime members) or $10 a month (non-members). 

Amazon Music Unlimited Early Access Sale FAQs

When is the Prime Early Access Sale?

Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale runs from October 11 through 12. The 48-hour event offers Prime members exclusive deals on home goods, electronics, toys, beauty, and much more. 

What is Amazon Music Unlimited?

Amazon Music Unlimited is an ad-free music streaming service with a library of over 90 million songs. It includes lossless HD, Ultra HD, and spatial audio in Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality formats for no additional cost. 

Prime members can sign up for only $9 a month; non-members can also join for $10 a month. It can be streamed on smartphones, tablets, Fire TVs, web browsers, and Echo speakers. 

Is Amazon Music Unlimited worth it?

Amazon Music Unlimited is one of our top picks for the best music streaming services you can subscribe to, and it's our choice for those with Alexa-integrated homes. We also recommend it for Prime members, since it comes at a special discounted rate just for them. 

If you're not a Prime member or Alexa user, however, we recommend Spotify for most music listeners. It doesn't offer lossless audio or an Amazon subscriber discount, but it does have better curation, playlist and sharing features, and a free listening option. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

NASA is evacuating its prized moon rocket from its Florida launchpad as Hurricane Ian approaches

flat wide platform with wheels on a runway in front of giant orange rocket against blue sky
Teams prepare a crawler-transporter to roll NASA's Space Launch System rocket away from Launchpad 39B back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, on September 24, 2022.
  • NASA was poised to launch its Space Launch System moon rocket for the first time Tuesday.
  • Hurricane Ian is forcing the agency to roll SLS into a vertical steel building for shelter.
  • That means a 4-mile, 10-hour journey for the rocket and possibly another month of delays.

NASA has overcome technical challenges, bureaucracy, and changes of leadership to get its new moon rocket to the launchpad. Now a major hurricane may be its last obstacle to launch.

The Space Launch System (SLS) is the 30-story-high, $50 million rocket that NASA has spent 17 years building in order to carry out its new lunar missions, a program called Artemis. After years of delays and two scrubbed launch attempts, the agency was ready to try its first liftoff again on Tuesday.

Now, NASA is rushing to return the treasured rocket to shelter from Hurricane Ian in its Vehicle Assembly Building. The agency is preparing to roll the rocket away from the launchpad Monday evening, spend about 10 hours slowly crawling it 4.2 miles down a runway, and tuck it safely in the vertical steel building.

NASA aims to start the rollback at 11 p.m. ET, and it's broadcasting from the launchpad (complete with clouds and drizzles) below.

This could deal a major delay to the rocket's first flight, a mission called Artemis I. Now it might not launch until November, according to Eric Berger, senior space editor at Ars Technica.

The mission aims to launch an uncrewed Orion spaceship on a wide trajectory around the moon, testing the hardware for later flights with astronauts.

NASA aims to use SLS and Orion (along with SpaceX's Starship) to land astronauts on the moon in 2025 — the first moonwalk since 1972. But industry wonks and regulators have said that timeline is overly optimistic. Every new delay to Artemis I makes a 2025 landing less and less likely.

Hurricane Ian is brewing trouble for Florida

satellite image colorful infrared shows red hurrican ian approaching florida
Satellite imagery shows Hurricane Ian at 12:21 p.m. ET, on September 26, 2022.

Hurricane Ian is forecast to rapidly strengthen from its current Category 2 status to a major Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds of 111 mph or greater by the time it reaches the Florida coast.

This swift change is called rapid intensification — a process in which a tropical cyclone's maximum sustained winds increase by 35 mph in just 24 hours. It's usually fueled by warm water. Scientists expect it to happen more often as climate change leads to higher temperatures in the oceans, especially the Gulf of Mexico.

In fact, it's already happening. In a 2020 study, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that each new decade over the last 40 years has brought an 8% increase in the chance that a storm turns into a major hurricane.

Ian will be climbing Florida's Gulf Coast, while SLS is located on the Atlantic side at Cape Canaveral. Still, the entire peninsula is expected to be inundated with heavy rainfall. Those conditions make rocket launches dangerous, since there's a high risk of damage or interference as the rocket ascends.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mysterious fires and explosions at sensitive Russian sites are hints of a hallmark mission for special-operations units

Ukraine Izyum Izium bridge
A damaged structure in the Ukrainian city of Izium after the withdrawal of Russian forces on September 16.
  • For months, important facilities across Russia have been hit by mysterious fires and explosions.
  • The incidents have little obvious explanation but seem to have affected a narrow set of targets.
  • Some may be the work of Russians opposed to Putin; others show signs of military special operations.

The war in Ukraine isn't going well for Russia's military. In a matter of a days this month, Ukrainian forces managed to liberate more territory than the Russian military captured and held over six months of war.

But the Russian military's struggles aren't limited to inside Ukrainian borders.

For months now, sensitive sites and important facilities throughout Russia have been hit by mysterious fires and explosions, hinting at a sabotage campaign that is the hallmark of special-operations forces.

Mystery fires and explosions

Belgorod Russia oil refinery attack
An oil refinery in the Russian city of Belgorod on April 1 after an attack that the regional governor blamed on Ukraine.

In May, as the Russian military was preparing to launch a renewed offensive in Ukraine's Donbas region, military outposts, recruitment centers, and defense industrial complexes across Russia started suffering mysterious explosions or fires.

In all, there have been dozens of incidents at facilities throughout Russia with little obvious explanation.

The targets include oil refineries, ammunition production and storage facilities, aerospace and defense companies, and communications infrastructure. The attacks appear to be part of an effort to undermine and degrade the Russian military's offensive capabilities.

The perpetrators may not all be working together.

In May, for example, Russian authorities caught two Russian teenagers throwing Molotov cocktails at a military commissariat — essentially a recruitment station. Dozens of commissariats have been attacked in Russia this year, suggesting that some Russians, especially those likely to be drafted into the military, are opposed to the war.

But the attacks seem to focus on a narrow set of targets, and the incidents have largely aligned with what military special-operations units would be tasked with as part of an unconventional-warfare campaign.

A guerrilla campaign inside Russia

Ukraine Romania US Army Special Forces Green Berets
Ukrainian, Romanian, and US Army Special Forces soldiers during an exercise in Romania in May 2021.

Unconventional warfare is a skill set that the US special-operations community excels at and with which it has decades of experience conducting and training others to conduct.

Since the US military isn't directly involved in the fighting in Ukraine, the source of the attacks is likely Ukrainian commandos or Russian dissidents — or possibly a combination of both.

Such a guerrilla campaign could gain steam if Russia continues to fail in Ukraine, and it could take many forms, a Green Beret assigned to a National Guard Special Forces unit told Insider.

"At the start, it may look like a disruption campaign, like the one we saw in Belarus with the trains. Targeting and attacking the supply lines and other soft targets is always on the list," said the Green Beret, who was not authorized to speak to the media and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"Next on the list would be harder targets, such as military convoys, bases, or even attacks on command-and-control facilities and headquarters," the Green Beret added.

After 2014, when Russia attacked Ukraine by seizing Crimea and invading the Donbas, US Special Operations Command ramped up its training, assistance, and advising for Ukrainian forces.

People on a beach as smoke and flames rise after explosions at a Russian military airbase, in Novofedorivka, Crimea August 9, 2022.
Smoke and flames rise at a Russian military base in Crimea after explosions there on August 9.

Green Berets from the 10th Special Forces Group, which has Europe as its area of operations, have been pivotal in bringing up the Ukrainian special-operations community up to speed.

The effectiveness of that American instruction is now visible to the world in the Ukrainian military's operations. Some of those operations appear to have struck inside Russian territory, including an attack on a fuel dump in the city of Belgorod in April that Russia blamed on Ukrainian helicopters and missile strikes on Russian bases in Crimea in August.

"But eventually a guerrilla campaign would have to mature and adapt on the expected security measures that the Russian military and security services will take to respond to the attacks," the Green Beret told Insider.

While many Russians have expressed opposition to or dismay about President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, the most difficult part of such a campaign for Ukraine may be winning over the Russian public, the Green Beret said.

"A lot of Russians are fiercely patriotic, and Putin has spun the war quite smartly to appeal to the ordinary Russian," and an unconventional-warfare campaign "is very hard to pull off" against a hostile population, the Green Beret added.

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. He is currently working toward a master's degree in strategy and cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Capitol rioter who received phone call from the White House on Jan. 6 was identified as a 26-year-old Trump-loving New Yorker who joked about shooting Nancy Pelosi

A mob of rioters stand inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Anton Lunyk was captured on surveillance footage inside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
  • CNN revealed the identity of a Capitol rioter who received a phone call from the White House on Jan. 6
  • Anton Lunyk, 26, pleaded guilty to one riot-related charge earlier this year.
  • According to CNN, Lunyk claims to not remember getting the call.

The Capitol rioter who received a perplexing nine-second phone call from inside the White House on the afternoon of January 6, 2021, has been identified by CNN.

Anton Lunyk, 26, had already left the Capitol premises that day when his phone rang at 4:34 p.m., according to records reviewed by the outlet. The call came from the White House's publicly available phone number just minutes after former President Donald Trump posted a video encouraging his supporters to "go home," telling them, "we love you, you're very special," CNN reported.

The revelation of Lunyk's identity as the mysterious call recipient comes after a former technical advisor to the the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection said Friday that he traced a call between a rioter and the White House switchboard during the attack.

"You get a real 'a-ha' moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter's phone while it's happening," Denver Riggleman, a former Republican Congressman , whose unauthorized "behind-the-scenes" book on the probe is set to be published later this week, told 60 Minutes. "That's a big, pretty big 'a-ha' moment."

Members of the January 6 House select Committee have since downplayed Riggleman's role with the panel — as well as the importance of the phone call — suggesting that Riggleman is "overstating" the incident.

An anonymous source told CNN that the committee is still investigating the nature of the phone call, but has thus far been unable to uncover who made it — or why.

What has been made clear this week, however, is who received the call: Anton Lunyk — who claims he doesn't remember getting the ring and says he doesn't know anyone who worked in the Trump White House, according to CNN's sources. 

Anton Lunyk.
Anton Lunyk.

Lunyk, of Brooklyn, New York, was initially charged with five counts related to his role in the riot, including violent entry, disorderly and disruptive conduct, and entering or remaining in a restricted building. But in April, he pleaded guilty to just one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building and was sentenced to 12 months of probation, 60 hours of community service, and a restitution fine in September. 

Prosecutors said Lunyk traveled to Washington, DC, the evening before the riot with two of his friends, Francis Connor and Antonio Ferrigno. The three men first attended the "Stop the Steal" rally before joining the mob of Trump supporters in walking to the US Capitol, where the crowd laid siege to the building.

Photos of Lunyk inside the Capitol show him wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat, and videos from the scene captured Lunyk and his friends laughing and recording on their cellphones while in the building, according to court documents. 

A sentencing memorandum revealed that Lunyk and his friends made violent jokes about Democratic lawmakers in the days after the November 2020 election, alleging that the presidency had been "stolen." 

"If they take my money I'm gonna shoot Pelosi," Lunyk said in a message to Connor, Ferrigno, and others on January 12, 2021.

The trio spent approximately 10 minutes inside the Capitol before exiting through a window, prosecutors said. They had been out of the building for nearly an hour and a half when Lunyk's phone rang, according to CNN, and photographic evidence suggests the friends were already on their way back to New York when the call came through.

There is no mention of the phone call in any court records related to Lunyk's case, and an attorney for him did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Red, White, and Gray': Key findings from Insider's investigation into the US gerontocracy

Senior hand with strings swinging the Capitol building 2x1
  • Congress and the president are the oldest in US history.
  • There's a growing age gap between the people leading the government and Americans being led.
  • Some young officials say they feel blocked by those clinging to power, their issues downplayed.

The United States' elected leaders are the oldest they've ever been.

The age gap between the government and the governed is wider than ever before.

And the notion that the nation is now a gerontocracy — which the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary defines as "a state, society, or group governed by old people" — is decidedly real.

Insider journalists have spent four months interviewing hundreds of sources and analyzing gigabytes of data to understand how the United States arrived at this moment.

In "Red, White, and Gray," Insider endeavors to explain what it means for a nation that, on balance, is decades younger than its representatives in Washington, DC.

Launched September 13, here are highlights and key findings from this ongoing series:

New installments of "Red, White, and Gray" will be published here through early October as voters across the country prepare for the midterm elections.

Have a tip for Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" reporting team? Confidentially email us at insider-dc@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Credit Suisse bankers are preparing for 'Uli the Knife' to carve up the investment bank.


Let's talk about Credit Suisse today. The bank's share price is down almost 60% this year, it has dealt with what feels like scandal after scandal in the last few years, and now the investment bank might be on the chopping block.

It's a tense time for many insiders at Credit Suisse. Many are unsure if their jobs are safe, and they're all sweating on the next earnings call, on October 27, for more clarity.

One person told me it's a case of "rinse and repeat," as Credit Suisse undergoes its second strategic review in less than a year.

Another person was "cynical" about leadership and questioned whether they knew what they were doing.

There's a ton of speculation over Credit Suisse's future, so I wrote a piece canvassing reactions from a few people at the firm. Check it out here.

This post first appeared in 10 Things on Wall Street, a newsletter by Insider that brings you all the biggest stories dominating the finance industry — delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. Download Insider's app here.

This illustration photo shows a sign with the logo of Switzerland's second largest bank "Credit Suisse" at their headquarters in Zurich on March 23, 2022.
Law firm sued Credit Suisse over claims it misled investors on business dealings related to Russian oligarchs.

1. Credit Suisse's investment bankers are stuck in limbo ahead of third-quarter earnings on October 27. They expressed frustration and resignation to me as they brace for a radical overhaul.

"We're professional enough to keep working hard, but everybody is wondering what's going on," one managing director told me.

Among the plans reported to be under consideration are a three-way split of the investment bank, according to the Financial Times. Reviving the old Wall Street name of First Boston is another option, according to Bloomberg.

The bank, in response to the intense speculation, said in a press release on Monday that it was "on track" with its review and that it was considering potential divestitures and asset sales.

Under Chief Executive Ulrich Körner, Credit Suisse wants to transform its investment bank into a "capital-light, advisory-led banking business."

That could potentially be curtains for thousands of jobs, Reuters reported.

"It's the famous line: 'Just business, not personal.' I hate that, but such is life I guess. Some people are made for it," another person told me.

"If I lose my job to 'The Knife,' at least it's a good story," this same banker said, in reference to Körner's nickname 'Uli the Knife'.

Here's the full story.

In other news:

A half eaten cheesesteak with onions in a wrapper
The cheesesteaks from Campo's Deli are also sold in Citizens Bank Park, where the Philadelphia Phillies play.

2. New Jersey deli Hometown — made famous through an investor letter from Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn — is in the crosshairs of  prosecutors and regulators. Federal prosecutors accused James T. Patten, Peter L. Coker Sr., and Peter L. Coker Jr. of artificially inflating the price of two companies: The deli's parent Hometown International and E-Waste Corp., a distributor of electric tactical vehicles.

3. Celsius wants to issue "IOU" type cryptocurrency to customers who have signed up to some of its accounts. The bankrupt crypto lender said it is building out a new system to track its assets, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

4. Top venture capitalists were asked to name the 21 most promising startups that could upend the health-tech space. Insider spoke to executives at firms like Redpoint Ventures, XYZ, and Menlo Ventures.

5. New York City's empty offices reveal a global property dilemma. The rise of remote work will hurt older buildings and leave landlords in the lurch, according to Bloomberg.

6. Private-equity executives met recently along the shore of the French Riviera and did their best to ignore the woes of the industry. Top dealmakers exuded confidence even as market conditions have shifted the dynamics of the buyout industry, the Financial Times reported.

7. Social-media consultant Matt Navarra's Geekout newsletter is on track to earn about $200,000 this year, Insider has learned. Here is how Navarra built a newsletter business that has garnered more than 22,000 subscribers.

8. Fall is usually a busy time for hiring in the entertainment industry, especially at the big streaming companies. The boom, however, is quieter this year. Here is where the jobs are now and when hiring will pick up again.

9. Vori just raised $10 million for its grocery-inventory software aimed at independent grocers. Here is a look at the 13-page pitch deck that helped the startup secure the funds.

10. Henna Choi left a high-paying job as a lawyer to pursue making TikTok videos. Choi always feared being a "quitter," but now she does not regret it.

People moves:

  • TA Associates has appointed Jennifer Barbetta its chief operating officer. She will join the private-equity firm from Starwood Capital Group, where she was also COO. Before that, Barbetta was a partner at Goldman Sachs.
  • Andrew Bednar has been appointed chief executive of advisory firm Perella Weinberg Partners. Peter Weinberg intends to step down as CEO, the firm said.

Curated by Aaron Weinman in New York. Tips? Email aweinman@insider.com or tweet @aaronw11. Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

Read the original article on Business Insider

NASA crashes DART spacecraft into an asteroid, testing a tactic to bump space rocks away from Earth

DRACO took live images as the spacecraft approached the space rock.
The surface of Dimorphos moments before NASA's DART spacecraft crashed into it.

NASA purposefully crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid on Monday, in a first-of-its-kind test to learn how to defend the planet against rogue space rocks.

The experiment should tell us whether hurtling a spacecraft at high speeds into an asteroid is a viable strategy to deflect it. There are no asteroids that pose an immediate threat to human civilization at this time. But experts say it's only a matter of time before an asteroid big enough to wipe out a city crosses paths with Earth.

NASA's 1,376-pound probe traveled about 6.8 million miles before crashing into the asteroid, as part of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. It did not survive the collision.

"Now is when the science starts," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's planetary science division, said after Monday's collision. "Now that we've impacted, we're going to see for real how effective we were."

"We're embarking on a new era of humankind, an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous, hazardous asteroid impact," Glaze added.

Scientists will be monitoring the trajectory of the asteroid, Dimorphos, which orbits a larger asteroid, Didymos. Neither asteroid pose a threat to the Earth, which is why NASA selected them. 

On Monday, the spacecraft provided a nearly real-time feed of its demise starting more than an hour before impact, thanks to its lone instrument — the Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO). It took DART's final transmissions 38 seconds to reach Earth.

Initial images from DRACO, which took one image per second to document the impact and aftermath
Initial images from DRACO, which took one image per second to document the impact and aftermath.

In the initial images from DRACO, shown above, Didymos and its moonlet Dimorphos appeared as a single white dot. That changed as the spacecraft closed in.

As the DART spacecraft flew closer, Dimorphos emerged as a separate point of light that grew larger and brighter.
As the DART spacecraft flew closer, Dimorphos emerged as a separate point of light that grew larger and brighter.

Gradually, Dimorphos emerged as a separate point of light that grew larger and brighter, as in the image shown above. The asteroid ultimately took shape, filling the entire screen until just before impact.

DRACO took live images as the spacecraft approached the space rock.
DRACO took live images as the spacecraft approached the space rock.

Below, one of the last frames beamed at Earth from DRACO before the DART spacecraft ate it, showing several boulders on the asteroid surface. The team knew the spacecraft successfully smashed into Dimorphos when they lost the spacecraft's signal, which was indicated when the live screen went red. The DART mission operations team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory erupted in applause after the probe's successful demise. 

Above, the last image from the DART mission taken by DRACO.
Above, the last image from the DART mission taken by DRACO.

If all goes according to plan, scientists expect the collision will change the speed of Dimorphos by a fraction of 1%, altering its orbit around Didymos ever so slightly. 

The Italian Space Agency's LICIACube, a small satellite which traveled with the spacecraft and is now at a safe distance from it, will beam high-resolution photos of the impact back to Earth. It may take weeks for scientists on Earth to receive that data. 

Now that DART has been destroyed during the collision, follow-up observations with ground- and space-based telescopes — including NASA's new infrared eye in the sky, the James Webb Space Telescope — will evaluate the asteroid system to see how much its orbit changed. 

Infographic showing the effect of DART's impact on the orbit of Dimorphos.
Infographic showing the effect of DART's impact on the orbit of Dimorphos.

Dimorphos has a mass of about 11 billion pounds and is about 525 feet in diameter, and it orbits another, larger asteroid — the 2,650-foot-wide Didymos.about 525 feet wide. 

An illustration shows the scale of Dymorphos and Didymos as compared to recognisable objects on earth like the Eiffel Tower and the Burj Khaliffa.
A scale shows the size of the asteroids compared to recognizable Earth landmarks.

Scientists hope the tiny nudge will be enough to change the trajectory of the space rock. 

They will also monitor debris that fly off of the asteroid after the impact. 

An animation looking from behind as NASA's first planetary defense test mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), collides with the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos.
An animation from behind as NASA's first planetary defense test mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, collides with the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos.

The Earth is not prepared for a city-killing asteroid 

Knowing how to knock a dangerous asteroid off its path is crucial information. But if a city-killer asteroid — that's an asteroid bigger than 460 feet — were headed toward Earth today, odds are scientists would be woefully unprepared. 

NASA has organized seven asteroid impact simulations since 2013. A group of international experts was only able to fully stop the asteroid once, mostly because of the limited warning period given in the simulations. 

Experts previously told Insider that NASA would need five to 10 years to build and launch a customized mission that could deflect an asteroid. 

There's also a risk experts might not spot the rock in time. NASA tracks about 28,000 nearby asteroids. But to date, only about 40% of city-killer asteroids orbiting Earth have been identified, Insider's Morgan McFall-Johnsen previously reported.

This problem is not just theoretical. In recent years, there have been a few times when large space rocks came a little too close for comfort and scientists didn't spot them until it was too late.

In 2019, a city-killer sized asteroid came within 45,000 miles of Earth and scientists only had a few days' warning of the flyby. An asteroid the size of a car flew within 1,830 miles of Earth in 2020 — the closest any known space rock has come without crashing. Scientists only spotted it about six hours before it passed Earth. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Russian Orthodox leader said Russian soldiers who die in the Ukraine war are committing a 'sacrifice' that 'washes away all the sins' as many citizens leave the country to avoid the draft

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill
Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill I conducts Easter service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, on April 24, 2022.
  • Patriarch Kirill I said Russian soldiers who die in the war will be absolved of "sins."
  • The Sunday sermin came days after Russia announced the mobilization of 300,000 troops.
  • Kirill is known to support Russian President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church compared dying in the war against Ukraine to an act of "sacrifice" and that doing so absolved soldiers of their "sins."

Patriarch Kirill I made his remarks on Sunday, days after Russia announced a "partial mobilization" of troops, and men continue to be seen fleeing the country to avoid the draft.

"Many are dying on the fields of internecine warfare," Kirill said, according to a translation by Reuters. "The Church prays that this battle will end as soon as possible, so that as few brothers as possible will kill each other in this fratricidal war."

"But at the same time, the Church realizes that if somebody, driven by a sense of duty and the need to fulfill their oath ... goes to do what their duty calls of them, and if a person dies in the performance of this duty, then they have undoubtedly committed an act equivalent to sacrifice. They will have sacrificed themselves for others. And therefore, we believe that this sacrifice washes away all the sins that a person has committed," he said, according to Reuters.

Kirill is known to be a supporter of President Vladimir Putin and of the invasion of Ukraine.

He previously justified the war as a fight against "excess consumption" and "gay parades" infiltrating Ukraine, according to The Orthodox Times. Kirill has also described Putin's leadership as a "miracle of God."

Putin announced on September 21 a "partial mobilization" of 300,000 military troops — an act seen as an escalation of Russia's war against Ukraine.

Almost immediately, one-way flight tickets out of Russia sold out and internet searches for "how to leave Russia" spiked in the country.

Lines of cars have packed Russia's borders with Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and other countries, according to The Associated Press.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's aides were 'annoyed' by DeSantis' migrant stunt: NYT

Texas Governor Greg Abbott stares with an American flag in the background.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas
  • Aides to Greg Abbott were annoyed by Ron DeSantis' migrant stunt, according to The New York Times.
  • DeSantis reportedly didn't tell anyone in Abbott's office about the plan ahead of time.
  • The migrants flew to Martha's Vineyard from San Antonio, Texas. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ticked off more than just Democrats with his Martha's Vineyard migrant stunt earlier this month. 

The Sunshine State leader's scheme left several Texas Republicans peeved, according to The New York Times — including members of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's team.

DeSantis continues to court criticism and compliments after he flew dozens of migrants from San Antonio, Texas to Martha's Vineyard in the most recent effort by GOP leaders to highlight what they call a crisis at the US Southern border.

The GOP governor's office later clarified that the move was part of Florida's "relocation program" to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations. But it was a move that is undeniably indebted to Abbott's own relocation program, which has bussed thousands of migrants to liberal locales in recent months.

DeSantis failed to make anyone in Abbott's office aware of his most recent plan — even though the migrants at the heart of the controversy were gathered in San Antonio, according to The Times. 

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

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference held at the Cox Science Center & Aquarium on June 08, 2022 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Abbott has not publicly rebuked DeSantis, instead, publicly praising the stunt in an effort to rally further support for his state's own immigration policy. But it's DeSantis who has almost exclusively reaped the publicity from the fallout.

It's a marked win for DeSantis in the two governors' ongoing, but muted rivalry. Both men are conservative leaders in two of the country's megastates, and both men are seeking reelection this fall.

But many believe DeSantis has his eye on even higher office, with rumors of a 2024 presidential run gaining more traction with each passing day. The GOP, once deeply loyal to former President Donald Trump, is increasingly turning to DeSantis, with Republicans in both Florida and Texas opting for DeSantis over Trump in a theoretical 2024 matchup, according to recent polls

The migrants involved in the Martha's Vineyard move filed a federal class action lawsuit against DeSantis last week, claiming that the incident was a "premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme."

Read the original article on Business Insider

See video of the moment NASA's DART spacecraft crashed itself into an asteroid and its livestream cut out

sequence of images showing asteroid from a distance then close up then video cutting out
Screenshots of the footage from DART's camera as the spacecraft approached, then smashed into the rock, on September 26, 2022.

NASA just slammed a spacecraft into a distant asteroid in the name of planetary defense.

The asteroid, called Dimorphos, poses no threat to Earth. But the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) was designed for low stakes. NASA wants to see if it can change a space rock's orbit — just in case it ever discovers a large one bound for Earth.

"We're embarking on a new era of humankind, an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous, hazardous asteroid impact," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's planetary science division, said on a livestream shortly after the DART impact.

After 10 months of traveling to the distant, desolate rock, DART finally reached its destination — and met its demise — at 7:14 p.m. ET on Monday. In the final minutes, a livestream from the spacecraft's camera showed Dimorphos coming into clear view.

Giant boulders on its surface came into resolution, then smaller boulders as DART careened closer to its target, then the tiny rocks on the asteroid's surface just before the feed cut out. As NASA planned, DART crashed into the craggy surface and its camera feed died. Watch those final moments, below.

The DART control room erupted in applause, cheers, and cries of congratulations.

"Never before have I been so excited to see a signal go away, and an image to stop," Ralph Semmel, director of Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Laboratory, which developed the spacecraft, said on NASA's live broadcast.

"Normally, losing signal from a spacecraft is a very bad thing, but in this case it was the ideal outcome," he added in a briefing.

illustration shows spacecraft with two long solar panel wings and blue engine fire approaching an asteroid
Illustration of DART approaching Dimorphos.

DART hit the asteroid about 17 meters from its center — a bullseye in astronomical scales.

Now, more work begins. Astronomers are poised to point their telescopes to Dimorphos as it continues to orbit a much larger asteroid called Didymos. DART's goal was to give Dimorphos just enough of a bump to change its orbit by about 1%. If everything went as expected, it should have moved closer to the larger rock.

Data from those follow-up observations will be crucial if NASA ever needs to launch an asteroid-bumping mission to deflect a real threat to Earth.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Roger Stone is heard saying 'let's get right to the violence' in unearthed footage from 2020 election handed over to January 6 committee

Roger Stone addresses reporters
Roger Stone, a former adviser and confidant to former U.S. President Donald Trump, addresses reporters in front of the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Federal Building
  • New footage obtained by CNN shows Roger Stone calling for violence before the 2020 election.
  • In the footage, Stone is also heard saying "fuck voting" and "you see antifa, shoot to kill."
  • The footage filmed by Danish producers could become crucial evidence for the Jan. 6 committee.

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone was shown calling for violence on the day before the 2020 election as seen in documentary footage obtained by CNN.

In clips previewed by the network, Stone and his associates are seated in a van returning home from a Doug Collins rally in Georgia on November 2, 2020, the day before the general election. In the car, Stone can be heard explaining his game plan to his colleagues.

"Fuck the voting, let's get right to the violence," Stone is heard saying. "Shoot to kill, you see an antifa — shoot to kill."

According to CNN, Danish filmmakers Christoffer Guldbrandsen and Frederik Marbell nestled with Stone for three years on and off in the process of their documentary. Some of their clips will be used by the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, the outlet reported.

In another clip from election night, Stone can be heard telling his crew that even if Trump loses, "the key thing to do is to claim victory … No we won, sorry fuck you."

A spokesperson for Stone did not immediately return Insider's request for comment. In a statement shared with CNN, Stone claimed that the videos were doctored.

The January 6 committee is looking at the links between Stone and extremist groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, both of whom have had multiple members plead guilty to crimes committed on the day of the insurrection.

In December 2020, within the last month of the Trump presidency, the former president pardoned Stone, who had been convicted of multiple felonies in 2019. Before Trump's pardon, a jury found Stone guilty of seven felonies which included witness tampering, obstructing Robert Mueller's 2016 Russia investigation, and making false statements.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Kremlin reluctantly acknowledged issues with its draft amid mobilization chaos, but blamed local authorities and rebellious citizens for botching the decree

A Russian police officer detains a protester who has her hand in the air.
A police officer detains a demonstrator during a protest against a partial mobilization in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
  • A Kremlin spokesman tried to deflect blame over mounting discord following Russia's draft decree.
  • Protests, displays of violence, and reports of mass departures have plagued Russia in recent days.
  • There have been reports of defiant civilians refusing the call-up.

The Kremlin on Monday continued to defend its recent mobilization order while acknowledging that the draft thus far has been plagued with problems.  

Last week, more than seven months into Russia's war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization in an effort to address Russia's manpower problem amid a spate of recent Ukrainian victories.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov on Monday acknowledged disarray within the draft process thus far, but evaded responsibility, instead blaming local authorities who have been tasked with implementing mobilization among rebellious civilians, according to The New York Times.

The conscription hammered home the realities of war to the Russian people, the majority of whom have been largely unaffected by the conflict until now. The country's mobilization will see up to 300,000 reservists called upon to join the fight, many on the frontlines.

Tens of thousands of draft orders have already been issued – the Russian public isn't happy.

In the days since Putin announced the draft, the country experienced mass protests, displays of violence, and reports of hundreds of thousands of fleeing Russian men. On Monday, satellite images showed lines of cars waiting to cross into Georgia and Mongolia from Russia.

The country's mounting defiance culminated in a shocking incident on Monday, when a man frustrated by the mobilization order shot and injured a recruitment officer at a Siberian enlistment office. The suspected gunman's mother told a local news outlet that her son was infuriated after one of his friends received a draft summons despite having no previous Russian military experience, according to The Times.

There have also been reports that men who are unfit to fight are being conscripted, and several regional governors have acknowledged as much.  

In a call with reporters, Peskov said there have been incidents of people violating the decree, but added that regional governors are working to address such occurrences.  

He also said that the government is eliminating any cases of "noncompliance" with military requirements among conscripts. 

But as Russia endures mounting military losses thanks to depleted personnel, it's clear that the country is prioritizing soldiers of any skill.

It's a late-in-the-game adjustment that is unlikely to make a dent in Russia's military performance anytime soon, experts previously told Insider. The country's weakened military infrastructure poses significant problems for training and arming conscripts.  

"It's one thing to call up reservists, but to make them combat effective, you need to run them through a training process of some sort that takes several weeks at least," Simon Miles, an assistant professor at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and a historian of the Soviet Union and US-Soviet relations, told Insider last week. "But the Russians have basically cannibalized their capacity to do that."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Siberia will be full of investment opportunities in the next 3 decades if you can get in right after the war, says a fund manager who manages $7 billion in assets

Combines harvest wheat in a field owned by the "Siberia" farming company outside the village of Ogur in Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia September 8, 2019.
There are vast reserves of croplands in Siberia, Russia.
  • Investing in Russia after the war with Ukraine could present a surprising upside, said an investor.
  • That's thanks to vast farmlands in Siberia, said Cheah Cheng Hye, co-CIO of Value Partners Group.
  • Chinese investors were already snapping up farmland in Siberia before the war.

Russia may be in the thick of war now — but investing in it may "surprise on the upside" after the conflict with Ukraine ends, a Hong Kong-based fund manager said at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on Monday.

"All these vast lands they have in Siberia will be the biggest, most productive farmlands in the world in the next three decades. They will be a food superpower," said Cheah Cheng Hye, co-chief investment officer of Value Partners Group, an asset management firm that manages about $7 billion in assets.

Climate change has been negatively impacting crop yields, nutritional quality of major cereals, and livestock productivity. But Siberia is home to some of the world's largest reserves of idle cropland with potential for huge farms, wrote agriculture experts Maarten Elferink and Florian Schierhorn in The Diplomat in 2019.

"Russia could be the key winner of global warming," Cheah said. Over two-thirds of Value Partners' clients are based in China and Hong Kong.

Cheah was speaking about unexpected investing opportunities that could "surprise on the upside."

"Right now, Russia is not good news for investors but look longer-term out," Cheah said.

While Cheah's recommendation may seem like an extreme contrarian trade, Siberia is a huge resource play for investors.

Siberia is a vast region — accounting for about three-quarters of Russia's land area — and home to wide swathes of oil and gas fields and farmlands.

Even before the war, investments from China were pouring into Siberia, with at least 865,000 acres of farmland — or 16% of Siberian land used for farming — sold to or leased as of November 2019 by Chinese citizens, BBC's Russian service reported, using state land register data. 

Moreover, China has not condemned Moscow over the Ukraine war. In February, China approved wheat imports from all regions in Russia, presenting an alternative market for the major exporter of the grain. Trade between China and Russia has surged 31% in the first eight months of 2022. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

A group of young Ukrainians near the Donbas war front is making combat drones to carry bombs inscribed with messages for their Russian enemies: AFP video

A Ukrainian soldier loads a bomb on a drone in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on September 25, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A group of tech-savvy Ukrainian soldiers is making drones and explosives to be used at the front line of the conflict in the country's Donbas region.
  • A team of young soldiers in Ukraine is building drones and explosives to be used on the front lines.
  • They are creating drones loaded with bombs to be used in combat in the Donbas region.
  • Some of the bombs come inscribed with messages like "happy birthday."

A new Agence France-Presse video shows a group of young Ukrainian troops making drones and bombs from a basement close to the front lines of the ongoing conflict in the country's Donbas region.

In the video, a group of around a dozen men in fatigues is seen working on small, remotely-piloted robots. AFP reported that the devices were scavenged from damaged aircraft.

The AFP video, which describes the men as a "group of 20-somethings," also shows a soldier named Varnak, who has been tasked with packing the robots with explosives.

"Their job is to make it move. My job is to make it explode, to fill it with explosives as effectively as possible so that it does the most damage to the enemy, or their tanks, or other military equipment," he told the outlet.

Also seen in the video were bombs made by the team, which come inscribed with personal messages to their Russian enemies, including the sarcastic "happy birthday" and the matter-of-fact "today is a Wednesday, man."

This picture shows bombs ready to be mounted on a drone in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on September 25, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
These message-inscribed bombs are meant to be dropped from drones.

Ukraine has been wresting large swathes of territory from the Russians, particularly in the Kharkiv region.

However, the skies over the highly-contested eastern Donbas have been the site of a fierce aerial battle, with the Ukrainians leaning on drones created by its fighters — many of whom are tech enthusiasts — to be flown in combat.

The US has also sent thousands of drones to Ukraine for use in the ongoing conflict. The figure includes 121 Phoenix Ghosts, a type of unmanned aerial system that can be launched by front-line troops for single attacks.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Take a look at China's fleet of destroyers, including the Type 055, which cost $920 million to build and is considered one of the country's most powerful warships

The first Type 055, Nanchang (101) guided-missile destroyer.
The first Type 055, Nanchang (101) guided-missile destroyer.
  • The Chinese navy is the largest in the world in terms of number of vessels.
  • It is estimated that the navy has 41 destroyers across eight classes.
  • Its most powerful destroyer class, the Type 055 or Renhai, cost $920 million per unit to build.
China has the world's largest navy, with more than 355 vessels in its fleet, according to a 2021 report by the United States Naval Institute.
Officers and soldiers of the Chinese naval fleet for escort mission line up on the deck at a port in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province, April 28, 2020.
Officers and soldiers of the Chinese naval fleet for escort mission line up on the deck at a port in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province, April 28, 2020.

The US, China's primary rival, has the second-largest navy in the world, with 296 ships, per a 2022 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Though it is smaller than China's People's Liberation Army Navy, the US Navy is still widely considered the most powerful in the world today given its presence, partnerships, experience, and technology. 

China, though, is determined to build a world-class military able to fight and win wars. While China already has the lead in terms of navy size, it continues to expand its naval force. The Congressional Research Service predicts that the country's fleet will grow to as many as 400 vessels by 2025 and 425 by 2030. And it is also investing heavily in improved combat capabilities for its ships.

China has been strengthening its navy over the past decade to bolster its military presence around Taiwan, according to a March report by The Japan Times. The report stated that "increasing capabilities of Chinese warships" like destroyers is crucial to the country's military plans.

China relies on its growing navy to enforce its will and advance its national interests in the East China Sea, South China Sea, parts of the Western Pacific, and potentially farther as its force grows and improves.

The Chinese navy's growing fleet of destroyers is comprised of 41 active ships, which belong to eight classes, according to a 2022 estimate by military data site Global Firepower.

In addition to China's newest class, the Type 055, there are six other locally made active destroyer classes: Type 052A, Type 051B, Type 051C, Type 052B, Type 052C, and Type 052D(L), per a 2018 report by CRS. Only one class, the Type 956E(M), is foreign-made.

Keep reading for a look at all eight of China's destroyer classes. The classes are ranked according to when they were commissioned, from the most recent to the oldest.

1. Type 055 (Renhai)
China Type 055 destroyer Nanchang
Chinese Type 055 guided-missile destroyer Nanchang takes part in Joint Sea-2021, China and Russia's first joint naval patrol, in the Western Pacific on October 19, 2021.

The Type 055 is the Chinese navy's newest class of destroyer. Due to its long-range firepower, it has been described as "the world's most potent warship." There are currently six of these ships in service. The Chinese navy has said there are plans to expand the class to a fleet of 16 ships.

Some experts consider the Type 055 the world's second-most powerful surface combatant after the US Navy's Zumwalt-class destroyers, per a 2020 report by the China Maritime Studies Institute at the US Naval War College,

One of the Type 055's most notable features is its vertical launching system. The Type 055 has a total cell count of 112, with each cell measuring 0.85 meters, or around 2.8 feet, reported The Diplomat.

The destroyers are also fitted with electronic warfare countermeasures systems that include EW jammers and Type 762-4 decoy launchers, per the military site Naval Technology.

Nanchang (hull number 101), which was launched in June 2017 and commissioned in January 2020, was the first ship in the class. There are five more in active service: Lhasa (102), Anshan (104), Wuxi (107), Dalian (105), and Yan'an (106), per the geopolitical publication SpecialEurasia.

Each ship cost 6 billion Chinese yuan, or $920 million to build, according to the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post. The Zumwalt-class destroyers, in comparison to the Type 055, cost $7 billion to construct, per Foreign Policy.

2. Type 052D(L) (Luyang III)
The Type 052D guided missile destroyer Guiyang participates in a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's PLA Navy in the sea near Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province on April 23, 2019.
The Type 052D guided missile destroyer Guiyang participates in a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's PLA Navy in the sea near Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province on April 23, 2019.

There are two variants within the Type 052 class: Type 052D and Type 052DL. The flight deck of the latter is 13 feet longer to accommodate for the Harbin Z-20 helicopter, per the defence agency Janes.

Over two dozen ships belong to the class across the two variants, per the military news site Naval News. Kunming (hull number 172), commissioned in March 2014, was the first active ship in the class, according to China Daily.

The ships are active under several commands, including the South Sea, North Sea, and East Sea fleets, per the official site of China's Ministry of National Defence.

The ships have a Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) system, which means they have long-range air-defense and modern anti-ship missile capabilities, per the US Naval Institute.

3. Type 051C (Louzhou)
The Shijiazhuang (DDG-116), a type 051C missile destroyer arrives in the Russian port city of Vladivostok located near the North Korean border on September 18, 2017.
The Shijiazhuang (DDG-116), a type 051C missile destroyer arrives in the Russian port city of Vladivostok located near the North Korean border on September 18, 2017.

There are only two ships in the Type 051C class: Shenyang (hull number 115) and Shijiazhuang (116), per Naval Technology. Shenyang, the lead ship in this class, was launched in December 2004 and commissioned in October 2006, per the news site.

The Type 051C was the first class to be outfitted with the Russian 30N6E1 engagement radar, which is similar to the US Navy's AN/SPY-1 radar system, according to a 2020 paper by Sarah Kirchberger, an assistant professor at the University of Hamburg.

4. Type 052C (Luyang II)
Type 052C destroyer Jinan enters Hong Kong waters from southern Hong Kong.
Type 052C destroyer Jinan enters Hong Kong waters from southern Hong Kong.

The Chinese navy has six Type 052C ships, per a 2020 paper by the US Naval War College. The introduction of this class into the navy's fleet marked the start of China's modernization of its surface combatants, according to the paper.

Lanzhou (hull number 170) was commissioned in July 2004 and was the first ship in the class, according to the 2009 warship reference book Jane's Fighting Ships. It was also the first Chinese warship with air-defense capability, per a 2017 report by the China Maritime Studies Institute at the US Naval War College.

5. Type 052B (Luyang I)
Chinese destroyer DDG-169 Wuhan is pictured from French Frigate Le Floreal on January 7, 2009.
Chinese destroyer DDG-169 Wuhan is pictured from French Frigate Le Floreal on January 7, 2009.

There are two ships in the Type 052B class: Guangzhou (hull number 168) and Wuhan (169), per a 2008 CRS report. Guangzhou was launched in May 2002 and commissioned in July 2004, according to the military website Global Security.

The development of the class represented major innovation in the Chinese navy with the adoption of features like "smooth and angled surfaces," which resembled the most advanced European destroyers, per the military website.

The Type 052B was the first locally built class to demonstrate air defense capabilities, per  Naval Technology. It is also equipped with anti-surface and anti-submarine features, the news site reported.

6. Type 051B (Luhai)
Shenzhen (DDG-167), Type 051B Luhai-class destroyer, in Tokyo, Japan on November 2007.
Shenzhen (DDG-167), Type 051B Luhai-class destroyer, in Tokyo, Japan on November 2007.

Only one ship — Shenzhen (hull number 167) — belongs to the Type 051B class, The Diplomat reported, citing a defense report.

Shenzhen was commissioned in 1999, per state-run China Daily. The ship is tasked with "near-seas active defense," which is China's naval strategy for protecting its surrounding waters, per the 2011 book "The Chinese Navy: Expanding Capabilities, Evolving Roles."

According to China Daily, the ship underwent upgrades in 2017 to improve its combat capability. China's navy also refitted the ship's weapons and electronics systems in 2014 as China modernized its older fleet.

7. Type 052A (Luhu)
China's guided missile destroyer Harbin is escorted into Hong Kong, early 30 April 2004, part of a Task Force visiting the territory.
China's guided missile destroyer Harbin is escorted into Hong Kong, early 30 April 2004, part of a Task Force visiting the territory.

There are two ships in this class: Harbin (hull number 112) and Qingdao (113), per a 2014 book written by Dennis Gormly, Andrew Erickson, and Jingdong Yuan, experts on China's military.

Harbin was launched in August 1991 and commissioned in May 1994, according to the navy database site Sea Forces.

The class consists of the first domestically made modern multirole surface combatants equipped with "comprehensive surface strike" and air defense capabilities, according to the authors of the 2014 book. The ships are fitted with "a significant suite of Western-designed weapons systems and sensors."

8. Type 956E(M) (Sovremenny)
A Sovremenny ship in 1989, before refitting and modifications made by the Chinese navy.
A Sovremenny ship in 1989, before refitting and modifications made by the Chinese navy.

The Type 956 is the only active class that is foreign built. The Russian-made ships are comparable in size to the US Navy's Aegis-equipped missile cruisers, per Naval Technology.

The Chinese navy has four of these ships, two of which were modified to suit the navy's standards, per the military news site. The first ship was delivered to the Chinese navy in December 1999.

The modified ships were purchased for over $1 billion in 2002, according to the military news outlet Jane's Defence Weekly.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is leaking and pressure has dropped on Nord Stream 1 and 2, authorities say

A sign with the words "Nord Stream" stands in front of the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL long-distance gas pipeline.
A sign with the words "Nord Stream" stands in front of the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL long-distance gas pipeline.
  • Danish authorities have detected a gas leak on the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline.
  • They have warned ships to not sail within five nautical miles of the pipeline.
  • Pressure on both the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines has dropped.

Danish authorities have detected a gas leak on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and are warning ships to not sail within five nautical miles of it. 

"A leak has been discovered Monday from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea," the Danish Energy Agency said in an announcement. "The Danish Maritime Authority has released a navigational warning and established a prohibitive no sail zone around the area."

The Swedish Maritime Authority also issued warning for two leaks "very near each other" on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Swedish and Danish waters northeast of Bornholm.

The German government said it's working with Danish authorities and local law enforcement to determine why the pressure of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has dropped, according to Reuters.

There's also been a pressure drop in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that transports natural gas from Russia to Germany. In a statement, Nord Stream AG said it is investigating the drop in pressure.

Klaus Mueller, the president of the German energy network regulator, wrote on Twitter that the pressure drop on both pipelines is a"tense situation."

The situation surrounding both Nord Stream pipelines could exacerbate Europe's energy crisis this winter, as Russia typically supplies about 40% of Europe's natural gas, most of which is transported via pipelines. 

In 2021, Russia exported about 155 billion cubic meters of the fuel to Europe — more than one-third of which came from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, according to Reuters.

In early September, Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom completely turned off gas supply to Europe via Nord Stream 1. Gazprom and the Kremlin have consistently insisted that the slowing of gas flows was due to technical reasons.

The Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline runs parallel to Nord Stream 1. Construction on the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany was completed in September 2021. The pipeline was to double Russia's gas flow to Europe. However, Nord Stream 2 has never been operational because Germany shelved the project in February, days before Russia invaded Ukraine.

European natural gas prices rose Tuesday as the reports of the leak emerged, after hitting a two-month low Monday for its fourth day of losses. Dutch TTF gas futures, the European benchmark, were up 6.9% on the ICE index at last check.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ruben Gallego ignites feud with fellow Democratic lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema, accusing her of wanting the GOP to win the House and the Senate

A composite image of Rep. Ruben Gallego and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego previously teased the idea of mounting a potential challenge against Senator Krysten Sinema in the 2024 Democratic primary Kyrsten Sinema.
  • Ruben Gallego took a jab at fellow Democrat Kyrsten Sinema on Monday.
  • Gallego said he sensed that Sinema would prefer it if the Democrats lost the House and Senate.
  • He said Sinema was "nowhere" to be seen while he was campaigning around their home state of Arizona.

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego hit out at his Democratic colleague, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Monday, accusing Sinema of secretly wanting their party to fail.

On Monday, Gallego re-tweeted reporting by Daily Beast reporter Ursula Perano on how Sinema was predicting a shift in power from the Democratic Party to the GOP in the upcoming midterms.

"I mean you could be out there helping our candidates @SenatorSinema But my sense is that you would actually prefer the Dems lose control of the Senate and House," Gallego wrote.

He also criticized Sinema for being absent from the party's campaigning efforts in their home state.

"Now that I think of it. I have been traveling the state and country. Donating, raising funds and encouraging people to come out and vote and I have seen you nowhere @SenatorSinema," Gallego tweeted.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Sinema's team declined to comment on Gallego's tweets but said that the senator had given more than $140,000 to Democratic candidates in this election cycle.

Representatives for Sinema did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Sinema has been a stumbling block in the Democratic Party's attempts to pass legislation in the Senate.

For instance, Sinema was one of the lone holdouts in the way of the party passing the Inflation Reduction Act. Her colleague, fellow moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, was even seen taking a knee in front of Sinema's desk to speak to her on the Senate floor while trying to obtain her make-or-break vote.

With Sinema's stance having stalled major pieces of Democratic legislation in the upper chamber, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday praised Sinema, calling her the "most effective first-term senator" he had seen during his decades in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Gallego has teased the idea of mounting a potential challenge against Sinema in the 2024 Democratic primary. Gallego also told CNN in January that he had been approached about possibly challenging Sinema.

"To be honest, I have gotten a lot of encouragement from elected officials, from senators, from unions, from your traditional Democratic groups, big donors," he said. "Everything you can imagine under the sun."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dr. Oz is getting dragged on Twitter for saying his Democratic opponent John Fetterman looks like he's 'kicking authority in the balls'

Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Pennsylvania senate candidates John Fetterman (left) and Dr. Mehmet Oz have traded barbs on multiple occasions.
  • Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is getting mocked on Twitter after his insult backfired.
  • Oz took a jab at Fetterman, saying his wearing of hoodies made him look like "the man."
  • Some Twitter users said Oz's insult was more of an unintended compliment.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, saw an insult against his Democratic political opponent John Fetterman backfire this week.

Oz had taken issue with Fetterman's fashion choices, accusing his rival of wearing a "costume" of hoodies. Fetterman is known for dressing casually, a choice even former President Donald Trump has criticized him for.

"When he dresses like that, it's not an accident," Oz said on the "Ruthless" podcast last week.

"He's kicking authority in the balls. He's saying, 'I'm the man. I'll show those guys who's boss,'" Oz added, implying that Fetterman was attempting to send a deeper message with his choice of attire.

However, many online — particularly on Twitter — pointed out that Oz's comments could be framed in a positive light.

"Does he not understand how cool that makes his opponent sound?!" tweeted podcast host Jordan Heath-Rawlings in response to Oz's post.

"Oz again shows that he is not from Pennsylvania. I mean, if you advertised an event where Philadelphians were given the opportunity to "Come kick authority in the balls." there would be a line 6 miles long before the first kick was landed," wrote a Twitter user with the ID @Toxic.

Another user wrote that Oz "continues to be John Fetterman's best campaigner."

A representative for Oz's campaign and representatives for Fetterman did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Fetterman and Oz have taken potshots at each other over various issues.

Fetterman, who recently got back on the campaign trail after suffering a stroke, has slammed Oz — a wealthy celebrity — for being out of touch with average Americans. In August, for instance, Fetterman needled Oz when the latter messed up the name of the grocery store Wegmans, calling it "Wegner's" instead. 

Fetterman has also been known for trolling Oz on social media. Earlier this month, he slammed Oz for carpetbagging and having a shaky connection to Pennsylvania. After critics repeatedly questioned Oz about whether he lived in the state, Fetterman pushed for the Republican candidate to be enshrined in the New Jersey hall of fame.

Meanwhile, Oz ridiculed Fetterman for having had a stroke, saying his rival would not have experienced it if he had "ever eaten a vegetable in his life." Fetterman responded to Oz, saying he knew "politics can be nasty" but could "never imagine ridiculing someone for their health challenges."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Alzheimer's disease, retirement 'pacts,' and serving until you're 104 years old: Inside the federal judiciary's reckoning with age

Hand holding a gavel collage
  • Lifetime tenures are making the federal judiciary older than ever — the median age is 68.
  • Traditionally averse to outside oversight, the judiciary handles age-related issues internally.
  • Many states have mandatory retirement ages, but the federal bench has few tools to push out judges.
  • Read more from Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" series.

After several years on the federal trial court in Manhattan, Shira Scheindlin began noticing signs that some of her senior colleagues were losing sharpness in their old age. She wasn't the only one.

And so, in her early 50s, Scheindlin found herself making a pact with two of her fellow judges: They would tell one another if they felt it was time for one of them to retire.

"I had seen too many judges stay too long," Scheindlin said. "It's a problem. It's just a problem. Some judges get too old to do it well."

Across the federal courts, other judges have quietly struck up similar ways to initiate retirement conversations if a colleague's sharpness dulls or competency wanes. The informal, if imperfect, arrangements reflect an awareness that age can affect the performance of federal judges, whose lifetime tenures come with the pitfall of growing doddery to the detriment not only to their own legacies but also to the functioning of the legal system and those subjected to it.

The Constitution conferred lifetime appointments on federal judges, including the justices of the Supreme Court, to shield the judiciary from political pressures of the day. But with lengthening lifespans, that bulwark for judicial independence has increasingly presented the risk of judges remaining in robes well past common retirement age and presiding over cases with diminished mental capacity or physical health.

While keenly aware of that risk, the court system has few tools — aside from gentle persuasion — to address those seen as having lost a step in old age, according to numerous current and former federal judges and other legal experts.

In interviews, several current and former judges said lifetime tenures came with considerable upside. On the whole, they said, lifetime tenures preserve the experience and expertise of judges who might otherwise be forced out prematurely by a mandatory retirement date.

"People age differently," Scheindlin said. "Some judges are 95 years old and they're terrific, but a whole bunch of others at 75 or more are not so terrific. It's hard to have one age cutoff when some people are fine in their 80s or 90s and others aren't."

But judges wield immense power, and the diminished capacity of any one can undermine the legitimacy and efficiency of the court system.

In criminal cases, they're tasked with ensuring a fair trial and, in the event of a guilty verdict, often hold the liberty of a convicted defendant in their hands. In other cases, judges are tasked with resolving high-stakes, costly private disputes. They oversee challenges to controversial government policies involving environmental protection, workers' rights, immigration, and healthcare.

"You have this dichotomy: There's absolute value to having older judges because of their breadth of experience," said Judge Frederic Block of the federal trial court in Brooklyn, New York, who at age 88 described himself as "very blessed" and in "great shape."

But, he added, "I do think there is this issue." 

"For an attorney or a client," he said, "when you see a 99-year-old judge sitting, it adds — automatically — an X-factor into the case."

Richard Posner
Judge Richard Posner once called for a mandatory retirement age, "probably 80.”

A cautionary tale

In nearly four decades on the federal bench, Richard Posner won renown as a prolific, widely cited judge who brought a brilliant legal mind and vivid writing style to the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

Such was his aura that — apart from his day job — Posner wrote or coauthored dozens of books on judging, including a memoir the Harvard University Press published in 2013.

Posner had planned to stay on the bench until age 80, which he believed was the upper limit for federal judges. But in 2017 he retired at age 78, citing "difficulty" with colleagues over the treatment of so-called pro se litigants who represent themselves in legal disputes.

His retirement stunned the legal world, bringing an abrupt end to a 36-year career on the bench. Soon, though, even his longtime admirers quietly wondered whether he had stayed too long.

Posner soon helped found a center devoted to supporting pro se litigants. 

But his namesake legal organization — the Posner Center of Justice for Pro Se's — folded within a year of its founding. And in litigation over unpaid wages at the organization, Posner disclosed through his lawyer that he received a "confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease" about six months after his retirement, Reuters reported.

It was a painful end to a storied career — and, for some, a cautionary tale of a lifetime-tenured judge who may not have known when to quit.

"No one can force a federal judge to retire, really," said David Lat, a former clerk on the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit who is the author of "Original Jurisdiction," a newsletter covering legal issues. "The challenge, though, is that there are many excellent judges who are well into their 70s or 80s or beyond, but there are also some older judges who are not so great. For every Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you also have some judges who probably should have left the bench years ago."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg resisted pleas for her to retire through two bouts with cancer.

'The Notorious RBG'

It is the rare judge who ascends to pop-icon status. Ginsburg reached it — in her ninth decade of life.

Her fiery dissents earned her the nickname "The Notorious RBG," a moniker inspired by the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.

A night owl, she was known to pore over decisions until 3 a.m. She inspired films and books.

And she hit the gym. Her routine drew such attention that, with Ginsburg's encouragement, her trainer published a manual with illustrations of the justice performing planks and push-ups.

But her mental and physical tenacity into old age didn't shield her from criticism that she remained on the bench too long. 

Despite two bouts of cancer — in 1999 and 2009 — and pleas from liberals, Ginsburg declined to retire during the Obama administration and open a Supreme Court seat for a younger, Democratic-appointed justice. That decision would come to expose the political consequences of a judge continuing to serve through old age — and serious illness — and dying while on the federal bench.

In September 2020, Ginsburg died at age 87 while still serving on the high court. She was nearly two decades older than the median age — 68 — for all federal judges, according to an Insider analysis.

Her death opened a seat for President Donald Trump to fill, and the Republican-controlled Senate confirmed Trump's nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, 39 days after Ginsburg's death.

The rapid sequence of events denied the Democrat Joe Biden, who'd go on to win the presidency in November, an opportunity to nominate another liberal to the Supreme Court and temper the court's ideological balance. 

In the eyes of many liberal admirers, Ginsburg's decision not to step down earlier tarnished her legacy and opened the door to conservatives consolidating what's now a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court.

"That was the biggest consequence, and I think a lot of people who admire her on the left would say it definitely mars her legacy somewhat," Lat said. "It's really what led to Justice Barrett joining the court and, ultimately, the overruling of Roe."

John Roberts
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has been a vocal advocate for the independence of the federal bench.

An imperfect system

At the federal level, the question of mandatory retirement or lifetime tenure has been the subject of debate dating back to the late 18th century.

In "Federalist 79," Alexander Hamilton defended the need for "permanency in office" for judges, considering "how few there are who outlive the season of intellectual vigor."

More than a century later, in the 1920s, future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes argued for a mandatory retirement age. He cautioned that "the importance in the Supreme Court of avoiding the risk of having judges who are unable properly to do their work and yet insist on remaining on the bench, is too great to permit chances to be taken."

Congress has tried — and failed — to introduce a similar age cutoff to the federal courts. In 1954, the Senate passed a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment that'd require retirement at age 75 for federal judges.

The federal judiciary has proved averse to outside oversight. 

In a 2021 year-end report, Chief Justice John Roberts addressed the need for the judiciary to "manage its internal affairs, both to promote informed administration and to ensure independence of the Branch." 

Congress can impeach federal judges, but it has hardly ever done so. As a Brennan Center for Justice study noted in 2018, the impeachment of federal judges "is rare, and removal is rarer still." 

In 2010, the Senate voted to convict Thomas Porteous, then a federal judge in New Orleans, after the House impeached him on allegations of bribery and making false statements. Other judges have resigned in the face of threatened impeachment and removal from their lifetime appointments, but such situations are exceptional across US history.

That has left it largely up to the judiciary to self-police. But with age-related loss of cognition, it faces an issue that is difficult to detect and sensitive to address. The instinct of self-policing leaves the court system relying largely on itself — in the form of the buddy systems, for instance — to flag judges whose competency comes into question.

But it can be difficult for judges, after years of working together, to act on those informal arrangements and candidly broach the subject of age and retirement.

"It's easier to say that and set it up than to do it," said Arthur Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who is an expert on the federal judiciary. "It's a helpful thing to have, but it's not something you can rely on to catch people early enough."

Hellman added that the informal arrangements struck up across the judiciary were inherently private, leaving it unclear when they failed to catch judges in time.

"There's so much that goes on that we don't know about," Hellman said. "Certainly, when the system works through these informal means, you just never know that a failing judge has been eased out of office and is not deciding cases anymore. There's no formal record that it happened, but it did happen, and the litigants and the system are better off for it."

For Scheindlin, the retirement pact proved unnecessary. Eager for a new challenge and to leave at the top of her game, Scheindlin retired in 2016 at age 70 and returned to private practice.

Scheindlin said she was mindful that, with age-related issues, "one never knows when that might happen and then it might be too late to recognize the problem."

Explaining her decision to leave the judiciary for a "second act," Scheindlin wrote in an American Bar Association journal that she "did not want to stay past my prime or preside over cases when I could no longer do my very best."

"I saw some judges becoming unfit for the pressures and burdens of the difficult dockets they managed, and I heard the discontent of the lawyers when those judges were assigned to their case," she wrote. "I heard lawyers say, 'He was once so great … but no longer' or 'She was so smart … but is starting to lose it.'"

Thomas Griffith
Judge Thomas Griffith (left) introduced now-Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson at her Senate confirmation hearing in March 2022.

A whispered sense

At a conference in Washington, DC, last month, federal judges were thrust into a delicate exercise.

The Federal Judicial Center, an education and research agency for the federal courts, had convened the training for judges across the US. For one session, the judges received one of two roles: chief judge of a court and an elderly colleague who was beginning to slow down.

The judge in the chief's role was tasked with approaching the aging colleague for a difficult discussion.

"It's definitely on the judiciary's mind," a person familiar with the conference told Insider.

Indeed, in recent years, discussions of age in the judiciary have picked up as some activists have called for changes to the Supreme Court and more broadly for judicial term limits or a mandatory retirement age.

In the face of those calls, Biden pledged on the 2020 campaign trail to study the issue. 

The commission, in a nearly 300-page report, noted that "life tenure is virtually unique to the US federal judiciary" and that "states have decidedly moved away from life tenure for justices of their highest courts."

According to the report, 31 states and Washington, DC, have some form of mandatory retirement for their judges. A majority of those states set the mandatory retirement age at 70; Vermont allows judges to remain on the state bench until 90. 

A recent poll by Insider and Morning Consult found that 71% of 2,210 respondents said the federal judiciary should have a mandatory retirement age. Of that pool, nearly two-thirds said the judiciary should "definitely" have an age limit, with the rest answering that it should "probably" have one.

"The United States is the only major constitutional democracy in the world that has neither a retirement age nor a fixed term limit for its high court justices," the report said.

The commission stopped short of making a recommendation but explored setting term limits through either a statute or a constitutional amendment.

Thomas B. Griffith, a retired federal judge who served on the commission, told Insider that a constitutional amendment was the only realistic option for setting a mandatory retirement age. 

"It would take a constitutional amendment to change that, and that's unlikely to happen," he said. "But even if you could find a mechanism to enforce term limits, I think it would take something like 50 years to implement."

Nancy Gertner, a former federal judge in Massachusetts who served on the commission, said she saw several colleagues during her judicial career who grew unfit to sit on the federal bench but declined to step down.

Gertner said that while there were procedures for judges and staff members to raise concerns about a judge, they were not used enough.

"It is extraordinarily delicate to initiate that kind of process," she said. "It's very difficult for one judge to do that with respect to another judge."

At the time of Posner's sudden retirement, Judge Diane Wood served as chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. In a recent podcast, Wood weighed in on a proposal in Congress to cap Supreme Court justices' terms at 18 years, calling it "intriguing."

Wood said she would "favor something like" an age limit for judges set at 75 to 80, noting the risk of aging jurists developing dementia or other impairing conditions.

"The people who wrote the Constitution didn't think that everybody was going to live to 90 and keep on serving as a judge because life expectancies just weren't that high," Wood told David Levi, who hosts the podcast and is the director of Duke Law School's Bolch Judicial Institute.

Hellman, the University of Pittsburgh law professor, said the key for any such procedure was to alert the chief judge of a particular court.

"That faces a number of obstacles," he said, because those with inside information — secretaries and law clerks — may fear reprisal or have long-standing loyalty to the judge in question.

"The essence of the problem is that you have, on the one hand, the chief judge who has the responsibility and, on the other, the people with the information who, for a variety of reasons, might be reluctant to say anything," Hellman said.

Thurgood Marshall
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote that the decision to retire — or take senior status — is "absolutely a personal one" for a judge.

In defense of seniority

In 1992, Judge Jack Weinstein was in his early 70s when he wrote a letter to former Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Just a year earlier, Marshall had resigned from the Supreme Court, and Weinstein wanted his advice about whether to take senior status — a form of semiretirement for judges that allows them to take a reduced caseload.

"Now, as an old man, I have to decide whether to take senior status or keep fighting the good fight as an active judge," Weinstein wrote in the letter, a photograph of which was provided to Insider. "I'm inclined to do the fighting."

Marshall responded that the decision of whether to take senior status was "absolutely a personal one and there is no help anybody can give."

"I have for myself narrowed it down to the doctor, my wife, and me," he wrote. "Together we went over all the conditions year after year after year and eventually the doctor persuaded us that it was time to retire and I retired."

Weinstein would serve on the federal trial court in Brooklyn for another three decades and maintain a nearly full docket well into his 90s. In his chambers, he kept a framed copy of his correspondence with Marshall on the wall.

For Scheindlin, the former federal judge in Manhattan, Weinstein was an example of an older judge who was "terrific to his last day." 

Block had similar praise for Weinstein, his former colleague on the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Like Weinstein, Block said he's mindful, at 88, of what his age meant for his continued service on the federal court in Brooklyn.

"It's a year-to-year proposition now, when you reach the age I'm at," he told Insider. "And there's no magic formula. You need common sense and an ability to assess your own ability to function." 

But Block said he's "blessed with good health" and felt fully equipped to write "good books and write good decisions."

In one of those books, "Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge," Block directly posed the question: "What happens … if a judge starts to lose it?"

Block invoked Judge Wesley Brown, who served on the federal trial court in Kansas until he died at age 104. In his 2012 book, Block said Brown's presence on the bench was "seen as a daily miracle."

A tube under his nose fed oxygen, Block wrote, and Brown was known to warn lawyers preparing for long trials that he might not survive to finish them.

"At this age," Brown would tell them, "I'm not even buying green bananas."

But, Block wrote, "the consensus is that Judge Brown remained sharp and capable."

Block came out against term limits in the book and said he hoped, if his "faculties start to seriously fade," that the decision of whether to retire would be left to him.

"At the present time, however, I feel that I can do a better job at my age than at any other time in my judicial career. If we had term limits, Judge Weinstein would no longer be on the bench, nor would four other EDNY colleagues who are outstanding jurists in their late 80s," Block wrote in 2012.

A decade later, Block told Insider he's hitting his stride in his ninth decade of life — and not just because of his decades of experience on the bench.

"You reach the point, because we have a lifetime appointment and because we've been on the bench for many years, you feel psychologically freed up. You really are more inclined to do the right thing without having any thoughts in your head about being reversed, about whether the public will like what you do," Block said. "It frees you up, because you have the security and maturity now to feel like you can do that."

"I do feel within my own bones that I've reached the stage where I don't have any restrictions psychologically or otherwise to reach the decision that is the right decision," he added.

But his retirement, namely the timing of it, remains on his mind. 

"I'm definitely mindful about it, there's no question about it," he said. "I talk to my wife about it. I think I will probably make the right decision at the right time. When that will be, I don't know."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Pound steadies after hitting record low as investors weigh the chances of the Bank of England stepping in

Souvenir stall selling souvenirs and flags for one pound, now selling for £1.50 which is illustrative of inflation and the cost of living crisis on 23rd August 2022 in London, United Kingdom. The term cost of living crisis comes from a fall in income that the UK has experienced since 2021. It is being caused by a combination of high inflation which is above wage increases alongside tax increases that have squeezed incomes for many people and households.
The pound steadied against the dollar Tuesday after hitting an all-time low in the previous trading session.
  • The pound climbed nearly 1% against the dollar Tuesday, after hitting a record low the previous day.
  • The Bank of England said it will not hesitate to hike interest rates but stopped short of an emergency meeting.
  • The new UK government's debt-fueled tax-cutting plans have rattled markets since Friday.

The British pound rose Tuesday, recovering some ground after hitting an all-time low against the US dollar, as investors assessed the chances of an emergency intervention by the Bank of England.

The UK currency was up 0.96% at $1.0791 at last check, having slumped to a record low of $1.0350 on Monday after the country's finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng promised to press ahead with further tax cuts.

Investors are weighing up a statement from the Bank of England on Monday on the central bank's response to the pound's drop, which sent ripples through UK stocks and other markets.

The BoE's governor, Andrew Bailey, said the bank is monitoring developments in financial markets very closely and will not hesitate to hike interest rates to combat high levels of inflation. But it failed to say it would hold an emergency meeting of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee, as many analysts had anticipated.

"The messages may appear to be a bit contradictory but should probably be interpreted as the BoE committing to act strongly against inflation but not to strengthen the pound," SEB strategist Jussi Hiljanen said in a note.

Janet Henry, HSBC's global chief economist, said that unlike Asian central banks that have intervened in currencies rather than raise interest rates, the UK central bank has held back from that.

"I don't think there will be currency intervention on sterling. But I think we've got this battle between the central bank versus the government," she said at a Forbes conference in Singapore on Monday.

"The onus is now on central bank to do more to tighten policy, to stabilize the situation. Whether they're forced to do an interbank meeting — I think unless we get severe financial distress, dislocation, they won't. They'll wait for the next meeting and they'll show decisive action and raise rates decisively in the next couple of meetings," Henry said.

In a move to help restore investor confidence, the UK Treasury released plans Monday for Kwarteng to set out a medium-term first plan on November 23, which will include independent analysis from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Kwarteng also plans to meet top bankers on Tuesday, the Guardian reported.

Other UK assets also steadied in early-morning trading Tuesday.

Yields on 10-year gilts slipped 18 basis points to 4.104%, having soared to 4.282% just before the Bank of England's statement. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 jumped 0.68%.

Here's what's happening elsewhere in markets on Tuesday:

Read the original article on Business Insider

Putin could announce Russia is annexing parts of occupied Ukraine on Friday, UK defense chiefs warn

A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk People's Republic, which is controlled by Russia-back separatists, on September 23, 2022.
A Luhansk People's Republic serviceman votes in a polling station in Luhansk People's Republic, which is controlled by Russia-back separatists, on September 23, 2022.
  • Russia is holding sham referendums on getting occupied Ukraine to become part of Russia.
  • Putin could formally annex the regions on Friday, the UK Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.
  • Soldiers are threatening to shoot Ukrainians who don't take part, The Telegraph reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin could announce on Friday his country is formally annexing parts of Ukraine that its forces have been occupying, the UK Ministry of Defense warned on Tuesday.

Russia is holding referendums on the eastern Ukrainian regions joining Russia, in votes that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg condemned last week as a "sham" and "further escalation in Putin's war." Reuters notes the regions make up 15% of Ukraine's territory.

Voting in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia – which make up 15% of Ukraine's territory according to Reuters – is due to end on Tuesday. Many countries, including Russia's ally Kazakhstan, have announced they will not recognize the outcome.

As part of of ongoing updates on the war in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that Putin may use his Friday address to parliament to announce the regions are being annexed.

"There is a realistic possibility that Putin will use his address to formally announce the accession of the occupied regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation," the ministry said.

It said that the annexation could be an attempt to provide "a vindication" of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, after the success of Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russian forces in recent weeks.

"Russia's leaders almost certainly hope that any accession announcement will be seen as a vindication of the 'special military operation' and will consolidate patriotic support for the conflict," the ministry said.

But it added: "This aspiration will likely be undermined by the increasing domestic awareness of Russia's recent battlefield sets-backs and significant unease about the partial mobilisation announced last week."

The Telegraph reported that armed soldiers were going door-to-door to collect votes and that they threatened to shoot Ukrainians who don't take part in the referendums.

Ukraine's security service said pro-Russian officials were trying to get children as young as 13 to vote, so turnout could look higher.

Russia also used a referendum after it seized Crimea from Ukraine and annexed it in 2014.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Russians are paying up to $27,000 to escape the country on private jets after Putin's partial mobilization, report says

Putin address
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he addresses the nation in Moscow, Russia, on September 21, 2022.
  • Putin announced a partial mobilization last week, meaning more Russian troops going to Ukraine.
  • Many Russians of military age are now desperately trying to get out of the country.
  • Some are paying up to $27,000 to escape on private jets, The Guardian reported.

Russians are paying up to $27,000 to escape the country on private jets after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of his country's reservists last week, The Guardian reported.

Companies that offer private jet flights have reported a sharp increase in requests for one-way flights out of Russia, according to The Guardian.

They are now charging between $21,500 and $27,000 for a seat on a private plane, as per the report. 

Russians are predominantly heading to countries that still allow them to enter without a visa, including Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, The Guardian reported.

Many European countries say they will not allow Russians fleeing mobilization to enter, and many had already blocked Russian tourists.

Yevgeny Bikov, the director of a broker jet company Your Charter, told The Guardian that they used to get around 50 requests a day, but this number has now increased to 5,000 a day.

"The situation is absolutely crazy at the moment," he added.

Eduard Simonov, the CEO of aviation company FlightWay, told The Guardian that the demand for private jets has "increased by 50 times," adding that they're struggling to meet demands after EU sanctions earlier this year severely limited jet availability.

"All the European private jet firms have left the market. There is more demand than supply now and the prices are through the roof compared with six months ago," Simonov said.

Simonov also said that it's not only the rich that are looking into renting private jets, but that they are getting a "completely new client base ... people who never flew private before." 

"There are many who had some extra money left and are looking to get away," Simonov added.

Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservist troops last week as part of the next phase of his ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

The announcement sparked panic among many Russians. Google searches for how to leave Russia surged, one-way plane tickets out of Moscow sold out, and satellite imagery shows long lines of cars at crossing points along Russia's borders.

There are widespread fears of a border closures as the outflow of military-aged men out of Russia continues.

But the Kremlin's official spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied to reporters on Monday that he had any knowledge of planned border closures.

"I don't know anything about this. At the moment, no decisions have been taken on this," he said, according to Reuters.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The British pound is cratering against the dollar. Here's everything you want to know.


The outlook for the UK economy is under the microscope amid a new tax plan and inflation, and sterling tumbled to a record-low against the dollar. I'm Phil Rosen, and economic signals from our colleagues across the pond are deep in the red to start the week. 

No frills or tomfoolery today, out of fear that the pound will drop further before we get to the news. 

Below, I'm breaking down why sterling tumbled to an all-time low Monday. 

If audio is more your speed, here's my breakdown on The Refresh from Insider

Let's get started. 

This post first appeared in 10 Before the Opening Bell, a newsletter by Insider that brings you the inside scoop on what traders are talking about — delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. Download Insider's app here.

FILE PHOTO: British five pound banknotes are seen in this picture illustration taken November 14, 2017. REUTERS/ Benoit Tessier/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: British five pound banknotes are seen in this picture illustration

1. The British pound fell to 1.035 against the US dollar yesterday, as traders bet that a sweeping tax-cut plan could fuel inflation and result in more aggressive interest rate hikes by the Bank of England — all of which would rattle an already-shaky economy.

To close last week, chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said he's scrapping Britain's top income-tax rate of 45%, along with other policy measures, in the name of reducing the risk of a severe recession, Insider's Theron Mohamed writes. 

But that strategy has only heightened concerns, and it manifested most visibly in the currency plunge.

The Bank of England this year has hiked its base rate to 2.25% from near-zero in an attempt to stem inflation, but this tax plan may force the bank to hike rates even more aggressively or even impose an emergency rate hike, which some UK Conservative Party members have floated

That looming possibility, paired with a US dollar that's appreciated to 20-year highs, has pushed investors to swap pounds for greenbacks as the outlook for the UK dims. 

UBS analysts said Monday that the dollar is poised to stay "stronger for longer" as long as the Fed remains committed to hawkish policy, despite the risk of a recession. Even after its third consecutive 75-basis-point hike last week, all signs point to more to come. 

All this, unfortunately, means the UK may have to brace for more turmoil ahead in the shape of persistent, high inflation and unemployment, as well as an extended cost-of-living crisis, soaring power and food prices, and a heavier government debt load.  

What do you think is the Bank of England's best option to stop the pound from falling further? Email prosen@insider.com or tweet @philrosenn.  

In other news: 

Warren Buffett

2. US stock futures rise early Tuesday, as the pound steadied after hitting a record low. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies were also up, with bitcoin trading above the $20,000 level. Here are the latest market moves.

3. Earnings on deck: BlackBerry Ltd, Northgate PLC, and Hotel Chocolat Group PLC, all reporting. Plus, look out for speeches by Fed Chair Jerome Powell and ECB President Christine Lagarde at the Banque de France Conference.

4. Goldman Sachs recommended this batch of stocks that are set to outperform and generate rich cash flows despite the Fed's rate hikes. These newly added stocks to the bank's basket of picks are projected to rise even in a high-interest-rate environment. Get the list of 26 names here.

5. Russia's war on Ukraine will cost $2.8 trillion across the world. That's what Paris-based OECD forecasted this week — and it said that the figure can climb even higher if winter energy shortages in Europe necessitate rationing. 

6. The EU will likely delay a cap on Russian oil prices as the bloc struggles to reach an agreement. Efforts to implement new sanctions on crude coming out of Moscow are stalling, sources told Bloomberg Monday, and European nations have yet to come to a consensus on the matter. 

7. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway looks likely to be a top payer for Biden's new corporate tax. The administration's new 15% minimum corporate levy means Buffett's conglomerate would've paid $8.3 billion based on the company's 2021 earnings , a new study found. Here's what you want to know.

8. Personal finance expert and "Financial Grownups" podcast host Bobbi Rebell broke down her favorite books. These reads are Rebell's top picks for finance, money security, and preparing for retirement. See the four books here.

9. A top-2% fund manager said to buy these stocks right now before a "pain trade" to the upside catches investors off-guard. Too much fear in markets has positioned stocks for a rebound — and these 8 names in particular are worth adding to your portfolio amid the uncertainty. 

employment economy markets data

10. Unlike past recessions, office jobs are the most at risk for layoffs. During the initial downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic, white-collar workers fared much better than blue-collar employees, but several signs suggest the opposite will be true in a potential Fed-induced downturn. Dig into the data here.

Keep up with the latest markets news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.

Curated by Phil Rosen in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email prosen@insider.com or tweet @philrosenn).

Edited by Max Adams (@maxradams) in New York and Hallam Bullock (@hallam_bullock) in London.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Everything you'll need to know about Amazon's second Prime Day


It's another Amazon sales bonanza. That's right: Amazon has confirmed it's hosting another Prime Day-esque event, slated to take place next month. Details are sparse so far, but I'll be walking you through what we do know below. 

I'm your host, Jordan Parker Erb. Let's get started. 

This post first appeared in 10 Things in Tech, a newsletter by Insider that brings you all the latest tech news & scoops — delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. Download Insider's app here.

A worker assembles a box for delivery at an Amazon fulfillment center

1. It's official: Amazon is hosting a second "Prime Day" sales event. Confirming a report by Insider's Katherine Long from earlier this year, Amazon has announced it will be holding another mega sale for Prime members in October. Here's what we know so far:

  • The "Prime Early Access Sale," will be held on October 11 and 12. According to a press release, it'll feature tons of "popular and giftable items" — right before it heads into its busy holiday season, known internally as "peak."
  • As with Prime Day, the Prime Early Access Sale is exclusively available to Amazon Prime subscribers. But as long as you sign up before the event ends on October 12, you'll be able to partake.
  • Amazon has kept details to a minimum, but it did offer a list of brands to expect, including Peloton, New Balance, Philips Sonicare, Lego, Samsung, and iRobot — and we're expecting the same quality of deals you'd find on Prime Day, if not better. 

Everything you'll want to know about the sale.

In other news:

Edward Snowden, former intelligence officer who served the CIA, NSA, and DIA for nearly a decade as a subject matter expert on technology and cyber security, speaks from Russia to the audience at a conference in Lisbon on Nov. 4, 2019.
Edward Snowden, former intelligence officer who served the CIA, NSA, and DIA for nearly a decade as a subject matter expert on technology and cyber security, speaks from Russia to the audience at a conference in Lisbon on Nov. 4, 2019.

2. Putin granted Edward Snowden Russian citizenship. The ex-NSA contractor and whistleblower fled the US and was given asylum in Russia in 2013. Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted him citizenship, amid sky-high tensions between the US and Russia. What we know so far. 

3. Google employees are skeptical about the company's $1.2 billion contract with Israel's government. At an all-hands meeting, Google execs tried to assure employees that the controversial contract wouldn't support the country's sensitive military work — but some employees are still wary. Everything we learned from the leaked meeting audio.

4. Elon Musk's legal team is frustrated after Twitter's CEO canceled his deposition. Parag Agrawal has yet to reschedule after canceling an interview with Musk's lawyer the day before it was set to take place. More on Agrawal's alleged "no show."

5. A leaked org chart shows the people running Microsoft's big future bets. Last year, the company created a division for the company's big bets, from quantum to government IT. We got a look at a leaked document that outlines the people running the moonshot team — meet the 12 execs running the show.

6. Google saw a spike in searches for "how to leave Russia." The surge came in the leadup to a speech by Putin, wherein he announced a partial military mobilization of 300,000 reservists that would be drafted to fight in Ukraine. However, some men, in fields like banking and IT, will be exempt.

7. These 15 cloud-software companies are most likely to be acquired after Adobe's $20 billion Figma deal. We spoke with research analysts and Wall Street experts, who shared their picks for the private and public software companies that could be scooped up. From Canva to Miro, here are 15 likely acquisition targets.

8. Elon Musk's Starlink is now active in Iran. According to a think tank, SpaceX has activated the service as the country experiences disruption to its internet network. People in Iran have been reporting internet outages after protests over the death of a 22-year-old woman who died in police custody. Get the full rundown here.

Odds and ends:

The words “Get Ready With Music” and the Spotify logo against a yellow background, surrounded by floating makeup tools and accessories.

9. A new Spotify feature recommends music based on what you're wearing. The app's new "Get Ready With Music" feature makes a custom playlist inspired by your outfit, your mood, and your "vibe." Here's how to make your own.

10. Some of your favorite shows are leaving Netflix. Come October, seasons of the baking competition show "Nailed It" and reality dating show "Love Is Blind" will be available — but fan favorites like "Schitt's Creek" and "The Notebook" will disappear. Everything coming to (and leaving) Netflix in October.

What we're watching today:

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

Read the original article on Business Insider

German officials reportedly believe the crucial Nord Stream natural-gas pipelines connecting Russia to Europe were sabotaged near a Danish island

Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline
Pressure in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines dropped sharply on Monday.
  • German officials reportedly believe the Nord Stream Russia-Europe natural-gas pipelines were sabotaged.
  • The operator of the pipelines said Tuesday they'd suffered "unprecedented" damage in a single day.
  • It's not yet known who, or what, might have caused the damage.

German officials reportedly believe the crucial Nord Stream natural-gas pipelines connecting Russia to Europe have been sabotaged.

Der Tagesspiegel, a newspaper in Germany, where the pipelines land from Russia, reported a government source as saying: "We can't imagine a scenario that isn't a targeted attack. Everything speaks against a coincidence."

The Danish Navy has sent an Absalon-class frigate to site of the leaks for monitoring purposes and to warn ships to stay away, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation reported. A no-fly zone is in operation over the affected area, a German government official told Insider.

The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipeline systems are the largest for transporting natural-gas from Russia to Europe. Each system consists of two pipelines.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the newer Nord Stream 2 system, which at the time was filled with natural-gas but wasn't operational, was suspended. And as the war has dragged on, Russia has gradually crimped supply through Nord Stream 1, which was fully-operational before the invasion.

The Danish Energy Agency said Monday it had discovered a leak in the Nord Stream 2 system near Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic Sea. The Swedish Maritime Authority said leaks had been detected in both Nord Steam 1 and Nord Stream 2 near Bornholm.

On Tuesday, Nord Stream AG, the operator of the pipelines, said: "The destruction that happened within one day at three lines of the Nord Stream pipeline system is unprecedented."

Jakob Hanke Vela, a Germany-based reporter for Politico, tweeted: "Accident highly unlikely, officials in Berlin believe both pipelines have been attacked."

Die Welt, another German publication, reported that the timing of the damage suggested sabotage, and was unlikely to be an accident.

Later Tuesday, Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said the situation was "extraordinary" and it was "difficult to imagine" the damage was accidental.

Also later Tuesday, the Kremlin said it couldn't rule out sabotage, per Reuters.

A spokesperson for Germany's economy ministry told Insider it "doesn't participate in speculation." Germany's energy regulator, the Federal Network Agency, said in an email it was in the process of clarifying the situation.

"It seems extremely improbable that the leaks on two different pipelines happen at the same time," Mate usz Kubiak, energy analyst at the Warsaw-based Esper is consultancy, told Politico. "Therefore I think we should assume that it was intentional to create these leaks." Kubiak added that he didn't think it made sense for Ukraine or the West to sabotage the pipelines, per Politico.

Klaus Müller, president of Germany's Federal Network Agency, wrote in a Twitter post Monday the situation was "tense" but Germany and the European Union were no longer dependent on Nord Stream 1.

Since Russia halted gas supplies to Europe in early September, no gas has flowed through Nord Stream 1, the Federal Network Agency said. It added that storage levels in Germany were rising and were around 91% at the time of writing.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Texas Attorney General ran away when served with court papers over abortion rights lawsuit, affidavit says

WASHINGTON, DC - ARPIL 26: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to reporters after the Supreme Court oral arguments in the Biden v. Texas case at the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton outside the US Supreme Court.
  • An official attempted to serve Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton with a subpoena. 
  • But Paxton fled his home in his wife's truck to avoid being served, an affidavit says. 
  • The process server said he shouted out but Paxton ignored him and continued to flee.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home when faced with a subpoena following a lawsuit by abortion rights groups, according to an affidavit by the man trying to serve it. 

According to the affidavit, first obtained by the Texas Tribune, Paxton escaped in a truck driven by his wife, Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton after the process server, Ernesto Martin Herrera, arrived at his home.

The subpoena required Paxton to give evidence Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by several abortion rights groups, who are seeking protections against legal threats made against them for helping women travel to other states to get abortions.

Texas has enacted tough new restrictions on abortion following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling earlier this year. 

In his affidavit, Herrera said he parked outside Paxton's address on Monday and saw a man he recognized as Paxton. He approached the front door and saw him turn around and walk away when he saw Herrera.

The door was answered by Sen. Paxton, who said her husband was on the phone and in a "hurry to leave."

Herrera said he had already spotted Paxton inside the house, so he went and waited for an hour.

He then saw Paxton emerging from a garage, but when Herrera called out Paxton's name, he "RAN back inside the house," Herrera said in the affidavit.

Shortly after, Sen. Paxton emerged from the property, got into a black truck parked in front of the house, and opened the passenger side back door, at which point "Mr. Paxton ran from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side," said Herrera.

The process server added: "I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him. Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck."

Herrera said he left the subpoena documents by the truck, but the Paxtons sped away "leaving the documents on the ground."

Responding on Twitter to media reports about the incident, Paxton, who is is up for re-election in November's mid-terms, said he fled because he feared for his family over a "stranger lingering outside my home."


He said: "The media wants to drum up another controversy involving my work as Attorney General, so they're attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The fallout from the pound's crash prompts UK banks to pull mortgage deals as they brace for interest rate hikes

UK homes
Virgin Money, Halifax and Skipton are among UK lenders cutting deals.
  • Several UK lenders have pulled mortgage deals as they expect interest rates to rise, reports said.
  • They believe the Bank of England could hike rates after the pound crashed to record lows.
  • Halifax, Virgin Money and Skipton Building Society are among the lenders withdrawing deals, per reports.

The crash in the British pound has lifted expectations that the UK central bank will hike interest rates — and that's prompted a wave of UK banks to pull mortgage deals. 

"We have temporarily withdrawn our mortgage range to new customers. This is so we can reprice following the market response over recent days," Skipton Building Society told Insider.

Virgin Money has also put its mortgages on hold for new customers, while the UK's biggest mortgage provider, Halifax, will temporarily remove products that come with a fee from Wednesday. 

More than 350 mortgage products have been pulled from the market since Friday, according to consumer financial information provider MoneyFacts. On Friday, the UK government revealed its debt-financed plan for big tax cuts, spurring a slide in sterling.

After the pound plummeted to a record low on Monday, calls have risen for the Bank of England to bring in an emergency interest rate hike to support the UK currency. Higher interest rates strongly impact the mortage market, as the cost of borrowing goes up given they track moves in the BoE's base rate.

The uncertainty around the BoE's next move has presented problems for mortgage lenders, making it more difficult for them to price their products accurately. 

The central bank's governor, Andrew Bailey, said in a statement Monday the BoE wouldn't hesitate to change interest rates as much as needed to cool red-hot inflation. He also said policymakers will assess the fall in sterling at its November meeting and act accordingly.

But Bailey stopped short of calling an emergency meeting ahead of the central bank's next scheduled gathering on November 3. 

Several smaller mortgage providers — Clydesdale Bank, Scottish Building Society, Paragon, Leek United Building Society, Skipton Building Society and The Nottingham for Intermediaries — have pulled some deals for now, the Telegraph reported.

Mortgage lenders told Insider they will monitor the situation closely, and some plan to launch new product ranges soon.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some Uber drivers are worried they're being used as 'drug mules,' report says

An 'Uber' placard sits on top of a car roof and a person walks past in the background.
One Uber driver said he was given a bag he assumed contained drugs and took it to the police.
  • Some Uber drivers are concerned they may be unknowingly delivering drugs.
  • Uber Connect drivers have raised concerns about drugs potentially being transported via the service.
  • Six drivers told NBC News they were concerned they were being used as "drug mules."

Some Uber drivers are reportedly worried they are unknowingly delivering drugs via Uber Connect, the company's courier service.

Six drivers from the US and Australia told NBC News they were concerned that customers were using them as "drug mules." 

One driver told NBC News he took a package to a police station after he was given an almost empty plastic bag.

"All I could see inside was one little baggy that had two crystallized forms in there," the driver told the outlet. "Immediately, I assumed it was some kind of narcotic." 

The driver took the suspicious package to the police, according to NBC News, but said he was nervous as the customer could track him on the Uber app. 

"I had my head on a swivel, because this person can see that I've diverted from the route, and if they know the area — which isn't very far from their house — they can see I'm sitting outside the substation," he said. 

Uber prohibits customers from using the service to deliver illegal items, alcohol, medication, or recreational drugs, per a company website. However, parcels are also required to be securely sealed and drivers are forbidden from opening or looking inside packages. 

Representatives for Uber did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside normal working hours.

In a statement to NBC News, an Uber spokesperson said: "When we receive this type of report, our global safety team investigates and may take actions ranging from deactivating the relevant account to reporting the issue to law enforcement." 

"The misuse of shipping and transportation platforms to deliver illicit drugs is an industry-wide issue, and we will continue partnering with law enforcement to address it," the spokesperson added. 

Uber has faced scrutiny over safety concerns since its launch. These include accusations of sexual assault from both drivers and, more recently, 550 female passengers

Read the original article on Business Insider

Warren Buffett's favorite market gauge is reading nearly 150%, signaling US stocks are still overvalued and at risk of tumbling further

warren buffett close up
Warren Buffett.
  • Warren Buffett's go-to market gauge is reading nearly 150%, suggesting stocks remain overvalued.
  • The "Buffett indicator" has retreated from over 210% in January due to the stock-market downturn.
  • The metric compares the US stock market's total value with the size of the economy.

Warren Buffett's favorite market gauge is reading nearly 150%, signaling that beaten-down US stocks remain overvalued and at high risk of tumbling further.

The "Buffett indicator" takes the combined market capitalization of all actively traded US stocks, and divides it by the latest quarterly estimate for gross domestic product (GDP). Investors use the yardstick to compare the stock market's valuation with the size of the economy.

The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index has plunged 25% this year, driven by the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones indices all declining by over 20% since January. The market-cap index closed at $36.41 trillion on Monday, within touching distance of its June low of $36.36 trillion.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Economic Analysis' latest estimate of second-quarter GDP is $24.88 trillion. That puts the Buffett indicator at 146%, down from over 210% at the start of this year.

Buffett implied in a Fortune article in 2001 that stocks would be fairly valued with the gauge at 100%, suggesting they remain substantially overpriced today. Buying stocks would be "likely to work very well" at a 70% or 80% level, but would be "playing with fire" around the 200% mark, he wrote.

In the article, the billionaire investor trumpeted his namesake indicator as "probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment." He noted that when it skyrocketed during the dot-com bubble, it should have been a "very strong warning signal" of an impending crash.

Given the precipitous decline in stocks this year, the Berkshire Hathaway's CEO's go-to gauge appears to have shown its worth once again.

Still, it's worth noting that Buffett's preferred gauge has its flaws. For example, it compares the stock market's current value with a GDP reading from several months ago. GDP also excludes overseas income, whereas US companies' market caps reflect the value of both their domestic and foreign operations.

Here's the St. Louis Fed's version of the Buffett indicator (both market cap and GDP are indexed to the fourth quarter of 2007):

Buffett Indicator for September 27, 2022
A chart showing the Buffett indicator.

Read more: Stifel's stock chief shares 4 places to put your money now as an 'immediate window' for returns opens up while stocks hit a near-term bottom

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple's new London office is set to open in 2023 inside a decommissioned coal-fired power station — take a look

A photo of Battersea Power Station in London, a large rectangular brick building with four white chimneys at each corner.
Battersea Power Station in London.
  • Apple plans to move 1,400 London staff into a new office in Battersea Power Station in 2023.
  • The iconic building is a decommissioned coal-fired power plant on the bank of the River Thames.
  • It's due to open its doors to the public on October 14 after lying abandoned for 39 years.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared images of his company's new London office, which is due to open inside an old coal-fired power plant decommissioned 47 years ago.

Cook tweeted Monday that Apple would open the new office, in Battersea Power Station, in 2023. About 1,400 Apple staff are expected to move there.

An Apple spokesperson told Insider the Battersea Power Station office would cover 500,000 square feet and occupy six floors. The spokesperson declined to say which month Apple planned to open the office.

A CGI rendering of the interior of a large office building, with lots of natural light and red brick.
A rendering of Apple's new Battersea Power Station office, shared by CEO Tim Cook.

Battersea Power Station is an iconic London landmark on the south bank of the River Thames.

A black-and-white photo of a small boat on the river Thames with Battersea Power Station in the background, a rectangular building with four tall chimneys at its corners. Two of the chimneys are belching smoke.
Battersea Power Station in 1971.

Built between 1929 and 1955, at its peak, the coal-fired power plant supplied 20% of London's electricity.

It stopped generating electricity in 1983 and it is now is a Grade II listed building of "powerful architectural and historic significance," according to Historic England, a UK government body tasked with preserving historic buildings.

A CGI rendering of a large office space with glass ceilings, red brick, and indoor trees.
How Apple's new London office will look.

An Apple spokesperson said that for the office interior, the company had sourced hand-fired bricks from the same quarry used in the original construction of the power station.

After decades lying abandoned, Battersea Power Station has undergone a lengthy renovation, and is due to open to the public on October 14.

A photo of a power station with four chimneys towering above buildings in London, surrounded by cranes.
Battersea Power Station in 2018.

The redeveloped building will feature private apartments, restaurants, shops, and event venues, as well as offices.

"Once a source of energy for much of London, the transformation this building has undergone honors London's past and celebrates its future," Cook said in a statement to Insider. "We're so glad to be a part of it."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Pipeline boss says he's turned down $13 million in work because he can't find workers, even after boosting wages 22% and offering $5,000 retention bonuses

A construction worker standing on a bulldozer
  • A pipeline company's president told WSJ it's lost $13 million in work because of staff shortages.
  • He said the firm increased wages by 22% and offers hiring and retention bonuses.
  • Almost half of small businesses said finding and retaining staff was a problem, a survey found.

A pipeline company in California said that it's turned down over $13 million in potential work this year because of staff shortages, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Boudreau Pipeline Corp. is made up of about 350 people, and the company installs underground sewer, water, and storm drain utilities.

Alan Boudreau, the company's president, told the Journal that the staff shortages are "frustrating," and that there's enough work for an extra 50 employees. The $13 million in lost work translates to around 22% of the total value of the contracts the company had won during the time period, Boudreau said.

In the last two years, the company's wages have increased by 22%, Boudreau told WSJ. The company has also hired three in-house recruiters, and is offering hiring bonuses up to $2,500 and retention bonuses up to $5,000 if the employee stays for at least a year, he added. Boudreau did not immediately respond to Insider's request for additional comment ahead of publication.

The company increased referral bonuses up to $1,500 in early 2021, which is a $150 more than it was four years ago, Boudreau told WSJ, adding that it's the best way to get new employees.

Boudreau isn't the only small business owner with a hiring problem.

A survey from Goldman Sachs found that 47% of almost 1,500 small business owners surveyed are having difficulty finding and retaining employees. The top reason, the survey found, was competition with larger companies who can offer higher pay and benefits.

Insider has previously reported that some businesses are also facing problems with job candidates who don't show up to their job interviews, or some who leave right after they're hired.

In a July 2022 report on small business employment from the National Federation of Independent Business, 49% of small business owners surveyed said they had job openings they couldn't fill.

Are you a small business owner with a story to share? Contact the reporter at bnguyen@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Flying taxi ordered by American Airlines successfully completes first test flight

The piloted test flight is the first time that the VX4 has flown.
The piloted test flight was the first time that the VX4 had flown.
  • The flying taxi that's been ordered by American Airlines has completed its first test flight. 
  • The piloted test of the VX4 is the first in a series of planned tests, Vertical Aerospace said Monday. 
  • American Airlines has preordered 250 of the aircraft, which could be certified by 2025. 

A British startup has successfully completed the first piloted test flight of its VX4 flying taxi.

The company, Vertical Aerospace, announced the news on Monday. It marks a significant step in the development of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft technology. 

Vertical Aerospace has designed the VX4, which has been ordered by American Airlines and Virgin Airlines, to carry four passengers on 30-minute flights between airports and across cities.

The test flight, which occurred inside an aircraft hanger, aimed to determine whether the vehicle could lift itself under its own weight, a spokesperson for Vertical Aerospace told Insider. 

During the 10-minute test, the craft, which was tethered to the ground, hovered at a height of around 3 feet, the spokesperson said. 

"This test represented the culmination of many months of preparation by a huge team," said Justin Paines, the company's chief test pilot, who also flew the aircraft.

The full-scale VX4 prototype was piloted by Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines.
The full-scale VX4 prototype was piloted by Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines.

Vertical Aerospace, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, is one of several startups rushing to develop eVTOLs.

The vehicles, often marketed as flying taxis, are attracting significant interest from major airlines, charter firms, and tourism companies.

No model has been certified by flight regulators, although Vertical Aerospace hopes to have the VX4 certified by 2025.

In July, American Airlines announced it had paid for the pre-delivery of 50 VX4 craft and has a further 200 on order, with an option for 100 more.

The test flight announced on Monday was the first time the VX4 had flown, although Vertical Aerospace previously carried out tests flights on prototype craft. 

Because the test flight was piloted, Vertical Aerospace had to apply for a permit from the UK's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The spokesperson said that members of the CAA were present during the first test flight. 

Vertical Aerospace plans to continue testing the VX4 for several months and increase the altitude and speed with each new test flight.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Spring and summer 2023 will finally be a good time to buy a home

A young family moving into a home.
A young family moving into a home.
  • Inflation and interest rate hikes have made it even more expensive to buy a home.
  • Now, as demand slows, an economist says US home prices could fall as much as 20% in 2023. 
  • In addition, a slowing economy overall could bring 30-year mortgage rates back down.

Buying a home right now may feel like a pipe dream for many Americans — but good news could be on the horizon come spring 2023. 

However, it comes at the expense of bad news for the economy overall. As economic volatility further seeps into the US real estate market, housing activity is fading fast. That's because inflation and interest rate hikes have dampened affordability for many would-be shoppers, leading to a steady decline in buyer demand.

The downturn has led to a decrease in home sales and ultimately home prices.

Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at research consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics says "the plunging trend in sales has further to go."

If home sales were to fall further, Shepherdson believes US home prices could take an even steeper nosedive — and that could mean buyers could see greater affordability return to the market.  

"The very low level of inventory means that a headlong collapse in prices is unlikely, but we still expect a total decline of up to 20% by the middle of next year," Shepherdson said in a research note published last week. 

Also at play in the housing market dynamic are mortgage rates.

The Federal Reserve's most recent rate hike, which was the third of five promised consecutive hikes, led to a rapid increase in mortgage rates that have helped to push housing affordability to a 3-decade low. According to mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 6.29% last week. That is more than double the levels seen in 2021 and nearly three percentage points higher than where the benchmark rate stood at the end of last year.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's Chief Economist, told Insider that "impacted by higher rates, house prices are softening, and home sales have decreased."

"The increase in mortgage rates is coming at a particularly vulnerable time for the housing market as sellers are recalibrating their pricing due to lower purchase demand, likely resulting in continued price growth deceleration," Khater said.

However, despite the possibility of two more additional rate hikes in 2022, there is a chance that mortgage rates could come back to earth. It all hinges on the possibility of a larger economic recession.

Given the weaker outlook for economic growth, the Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that there is a "50% likelihood of a mild recession over the next 12 months," Forbes reported

According to the organization's researchers, if a recession were to materialize in the first half of 2023, "mortgage rates would fall around 30 basis points from the baseline forecast level of 5.2%." That means rates are likely to return to levels seen during the early months of 2022 when 30-year fixed rates hovered around 4%. 

This combination of cooling prices and declining mortgage rates could indicate the typically busy real estate seasons of spring and summer could ring in a more affordable housing market in 2023.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Families in over 20 states are scrambling to place a bet on what their energy bills will be in the future. A wrong decision could cost them hundreds of dollars.

couple stressed about bills
The Fed study reflects growing pessimism among aspiring homebuyers — especially young homebuyers — as prices have ballooned over the course of the pandemic.
  • In over 20 states, families have some choice over where their home's energy comes from.
  • In today's volatile energy market, a wrong decision could cost them hundreds of dollars.
  • Increasing in prevalence in the 1990's, deregulated energy markets have pros and cons, experts say.

Faced with rising costs, Americans are shopping for the best deals on not just food, housing, and flights — but the energy powering their homes. 

In over 20 states that include New York, Illinois, and California, energy markets have been deregulated or restructured to varying degrees. It means consumers aren't simply stuck with a single local energy company. Some can shop around for the best offer before deciding on their electricity and gas providers.  

Many are even faced with the decision of whether to lock in a fixed energy rate for a period of time or roll the dice with a variable rate — which can be subject to demand, production, weather, and other factors. In today's volatile energy market, a wrong decision could cost them hundreds of dollars

While more consumer choice is typically regarded as good thing, the recent volatility in the energy market — and households' lack of knowledge about how to navigate this — are making these choices much more difficult.

"It's almost analogous to the stock market," Joshua Basseches, an assistant professor of public policy and environmental studies at Tulane University, told Insider. "It's putting a lot of these decisions into the hands of consumers, sort of betting on what's going to happen to these different prices of these different fuels."

In August, electricity bills rose at their fastest rate in 41 years, with natural gas prices rising 33% vs. the year prior. These increases have been driven by the reopening of the US economy, the energy crisis in Europe, and heatwaves across the country. With prices at the gas pump easing in recent months, Americans are turning their attention to their energy bills as prices spike. And things could get even worse this winter.

Whether they like it or not, consumers in deregulated states deciding which provider to use and what kind of plan to sign up for are effectively betting on the future of energy prices. That would be a tall task even for energy experts.

"You are being asked to play the market out a year to three years, and that is not a comfortable decision," Floyd Stanley, a 66-year old in Texas, told Bloomberg

"If you're low income, then every dollar counts"

When it comes to consumer choice in energy markets, Basseches says "none of this was possible" 20 years ago: "The utilities made all the decisions for you. They sent you your bill."

But in the 1990s, some states with high electricity costs began opening up their energy markets to new companies, with the goal being to make them more competitive and reduce costs. It allowed some Americans to choose not who owned the electricity wires connected to their homes, but where this electricity was being generated. Today, there are as many as 28 states offering some choice, although choice is very limited in some states — making a precise number difficult to determine. 

In theory, consumers were in a position to benefit, but stakes, particularly as inflation grips the economy.

"If you're low income, then every dollar counts," said Basseches. "But if you're middle or upper class, these are probably going to be relatively minor differences in costs, depending on whether you take advantage of these different packages."

And stakes were even higher for large industrial companies that consume huge amounts of electricity. They lobbied for deregulation in the hopes it would lead to lower operating costs. For these companies, the choices they make in today's volatile energy market can have "hugely consequential" financial implications due their significant energy usage, says Basseches.  

Pros and cons of deregulation

In general, Basseches says he thinks deregulation can help lower a state's energy costs. In Texas for instance, among the "most deregulated" states, he says energy costs are generally "very low." It's also opened up the market to new sources of energy, making it easier for states to take steps towards renewables.

That said, Basseches hasn't seen conclusive evidence that deregulation has produced lower costs more broadly — some have even argued it's produced higher energy bills in some states. Additionally, there can be "issues of reliability and of system maintenance" in these markets that can contribute to blackouts and spiking costs during extreme weather events. 

For instance, while several factors led to the Texas blackouts in February of 2021, deregulation likely played a role. In the past, a monopoly utility would have been responsible for the maintenance of the state's electric grid in the event of a weather crisis like the one that hit the Lone Star State that winter. But in today's competitive market, a collective shirking of responsibility may have contributed to the crisis, though experts disagree on just how much. 

In the early 2000's, California blackouts — which were partially tied to the state's recently deregulated energy market — set the stage for the 2003 recall that made Arnold Schwarzenegger governor. The state took steps to mitigate these problems in the future, however. And it's unclear to what degree deregulation was to blame for California's power grid being pushed to the limit during the recent heat wave.

In the United Kingdom, the government could spend as much as $150 billion over the next year and a half to freeze household energy bills. But if energy bills continue to rise in the US, American households might not be so lucky as every dollar of government spending faces scrutiny

If anything, state governments might be asking citizens for help with the energy crisis. During the California heatwaves, residents received alerts on their phones asking them to cut down on their power usage, which reportedly helped the state avoid any blackouts. Perhaps they'll even be asked to shut off their Christmas lights this holiday season, as Germans are currently being urged to do.

In deregulated states, consumers eager to save money on energy bills may have no choice but to scour the options available to them and embrace their inner Nostradamus as they forecast future prices.  

Read the original article on Business Insider

Russia's former president said nuclear threats are not a bluff, and that NATO won't step in if Russia nukes Ukraine

Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin looking at each other while it's snowing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017.
  • A top Russian official repeated Russia's nuclear threats, saying it "isn't a bluff."
  • Dmitry Medvedev said NATO countries wouldn't step in if Russia fired a nuke on Ukraine.
  • One expert told Insider it likely is a bluff — but it should be taken seriously anyway. 

Russia's former president repeated the country's threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and mocked NATO by saying it would not come to Ukraine's aid if Russia struck. 

Dmitry Medvedev, who is now Russia's Security Council chief, took aim at US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, and the wider NATO alliance on Telegram early Tuesday.

He said those leaders "constantly threaten us with 'terrifying consequences' if Russia uses nuclear weapons," and accused Truss of being "completely ready to immediately begin an exchange of nuclear strikes with our country."

Medvedev said Russia's laws around the use of nuclear weapons mean it can retaliate with them if it is hit with nukes, or if it is attacked with conventional weapons that threaten "the very existence of our state."

Russia will also "do anything" to prevent the nuclear weapons emerging in the country's "hostile neighbors" such as Ukraine, Medvedev said. 

"If the threat to Russia exceeds the established danger limit, we will have to respond," he said. "Without asking anyone's permission, without long consultations. And it's definitely not a bluff."

And if Russia did strike Ukraine with a nuclear weapon, NATO member states will put their own security ahead of protecting "a dying Ukraine that no one needs," Medvedev said. 

An isolated Russia

Security expert Professor Michael Clarke told Insider he believes Putin using a nuclear weapon "would bring him down immediately."

"The whole world would turn against him," he said, arguing that he believed NATO would hit back, albeit with conventional weapons. China would likely drop its muted support for Russia also, he predicted. 

Clarke, associate director of the Strategy and Security Institute at the UK's University of Exeter, said: "I think there would be an immediate upping of the campaign, and I suspect that would actually bring Western forces into Ukraine." 

Medvedev's remarks come as Russia moves to annex large parts of occupied Ukraine through sham referendums.

Should President Vladimir Putin announce annexations — expected this Friday, per the UK's Ministry of Defence — any attempt to re-take those areas may be interpreted in Moscow as an attack on Russia itself.

Reminding the world about Russia's nuclear arsenal is nothing new among Putin and his allies. He alluded to it in February, and in March Medvedev re-asserted Russia's stated right to use nukes.

But a recent spate of statements like these is "trying to ramp up the threat" and scare the West away from further support of Ukraine because Putin is "in a corner," Clarke argued.

Putin's recent announcement calling up reservists has been viewed internationally as a desperate act spurred by Ukraine's successful counter-attack.

Putin has recently been snubbed even by semi-allies such as Turkey, India and China.

Clarke said Putin was "humiliated."

Is Putin bluffing?

After Putin's latest statement, the White House warned Russia would face "catastrophic consequences" if it used tactical nuclear weapons.

In an interview aired on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he didn't think Putin was bluffing

Clarke said he believes Russia's threats are indeed a bluff — but that the West must still take them seriously.

"Even when people are bluffing, they find themselves running out of room to maneuver and then get locked into doing what they thought they wouldn't have to do," he said. 

He added: "Whenever you start to play games with nuclear strategy, the danger of a mistake or sheer miscalculation can never be ruled out. So yes, the West has got to take it seriously."

The defense minister of Russia neighbor Latvia also told Insider he believes Putin is likely bluffing in the hopes of getting West to reduce its support for Ukraine.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk's SpaceX has made more than one million Starlink terminals so far. Here's what you need to know about the high-speed satellite network.

SpaceX Starlink internet terminal in Ukraine
A SpaceX Starlink terminal installed on a flower bed in Vorzel, Ukraine.
  • Starlink is SpaceX's broadband service that beams internet connectivity from satellites in orbit.
  • Elon Musk recently said Starlink has manufactured more than one million user terminals.
  • This year, Starlink has been activated in Ukraine and most recently, Iran.

Elon Musk has created a super-fast, global internet service that uses satellites orbiting Earth.

Starlink, a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, was launched in October 2020. It has more than 400,000 users worldwide, has partnered with airlines and cruise ships, and played a role in the Ukraine war.

Musk said on Twitter on Saturday that SpaceX has so far manufactured more than one million Starlink user terminals, which connect to the company's satellites in orbit.

Starlink can be an option for those living in remote areas who don't have access to affordable broadband.

What's the hype about Starlink?

SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer founded by Musk, has an expansive, high-speed satellite internet network in space called Starlink. The satellites in orbit envelope the Earth and offer broadband connectivity to users — especially those in rural areas without fixed-line connections.

SpaceX launched its first satellites in May 2019 and now has more than 2,900 satellites in low-earth orbit. The goal is to have up to 42,000 satellites by mid-2027.

The satellites are strapped onto SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and blasted into orbit, usually releasing 60 per launch.

When the service began, SpaceX said in an email to Starlink beta test subscribers they should expect speeds between 50 and 150 megabits per second, with intermittent outages. But some users hit much higher speeds. Starlink has even reached speeds of 175 Mbps in freezing temperatures, high winds and snow.

spacex falcon 9 rocket launch starlink internet satellites 13th mission cape canaveral florida beach family GettyImages 1228923231 edit
Spectators watch from Canaveral National Seashore as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink satellites launches.

Costs have fluctuated

A Starlink subscription is $110 per month and another $600 for the Starlink kit, which includes a mounting tripod, a WiFi router, and a terminal.

The service costs more than what it initially charged users in October 2020. Customers previously paid $600 upfront for the kit and monthly subscription. SpaceX told customers in March it was raising prices, with new customers now paying $710 upfront. However, prices were cut in late August for users in the US and Europe.

Insider explained how to sign up for the service, which works on a "first-come, first-served basis."

spacex starlink user terminal phased array consumer satellite internet dish antenna ufo on a stick roof los angeles california website
A photo of SpaceX's Starlink user terminal, or satellite dish, installed on a roof. Company founder Elon Musk has called such devices "UFOs on a stick," and they're designed to connect to the internet via a fleet of orbiting spacecraft.

Starlink wanted by airlines and cruises

SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in March 2021 if it could expand Starlink to the automotive industry. In June, the agency granted SpaceX authorization to use Starlink on vehicles in motion.

Since its FCC request last year, Starlink has signed deals with the likes of Royal Caribbean, Hawaiian Airlines, and semi-private regional jet service JSX to offer passengers WiFi. The company has also been in talks with Delta and Frontier Airlines.

Starlink uses antennas — "electrically identical" to existing user terminals — which can be mounted on vehicles, vessels, and aircraft. Musk tweeted that the antennas would not connect Tesla cars to Starlink because the terminals are "much too big."

"This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs," the billionaire said, who also tweeted that he's testing Starlink on his private jet.

Snow is melting on the Starlink user terminal
Snow melting on Starlink terminal.

Activating in Ukraine and Iran

Since Russian president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February, SpaceX has provided thousands of Starlink dishes to Ukrainians. This is despite Russia ramping up efforts to hack the network.

Ukraine's vice-prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, asked Musk in February to send Starlink terminals to Ukraine. In response, Musk said Starlink was activated in Ukraine and promised terminals were on the way. By June, SpaceX had delivered 15,000 Starlink internet kits to Ukraine.

Reports suggest Starlink has helped Ukrainian troops. One example was when a Ukrainian soldier told a journalist that Starlink had helped Ukrainian soldiers to stay online while Russia attacked internet infrastructure.

Musk tweeted on Friday that Starlink was being activated in Iran at the same time as network outages hit the country. The disruption with connectivity and social media apps came amid protests over the death of a 22-year-old woman who died in police custody.

starlink satellite internet spacex smartphone phone trcker logo illustration GettyImages 1229328429
A photo illustration of a satellite-tracking app showing one of SpaceX's Starlink internet-beaming spacecraft on a map of Earth.

Are you a Starlink user? How are you finding it? Get in touch with this reporter via Twitter DM or email kduffy@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The company trying to buy Trump's Truth Social has changed its HQ address from a WeWork to a mailbox at a UPS Store

Donald Trump; a
Digital World has been struggling to get its buyout deal with Trump's Truth Social over the line.
  • The company trying to buy Trump's Truth Social has changed its HQ address to a UPS mailbox.
  • Digital World Acquisition previously had its HQ address listed as a WeWork building in Miami.
  • The blank-check company's proposed deal with Truth Social has been plagued by setbacks.

The company that's trying to buy President Trump's Truth Social social-media app has switched its headquarters address from a WeWork building to a mailbox at a UPS Store.

Digital World Acquisition, a so-called "blank-check" company that's struggling to seal a deal for Truth Social, has now listed its HQ address as 3109 Grand Avenue, Miami — the same address as a UPS Store that's sat between a nail salon and an Italian seafood restaurant in the city's Coconut Grove neighborhood, Google Maps shows.

The Financial Times, which first reported on the change of HQ address, said a staff member at the UPS Store confirmed that unit 450, which is specified in Digital World's new HQ address, was one of its mailboxes.

Trump announced early in 2021 that he was creating his own social-media app after TwitterFacebook, and YouTube barred him in the wake of the Capitol siege on January 6, 2021. Trump has repeatedly criticized the platforms for removing his accounts and accused them of violating his First Amendment rights.

A buyout deal between Digital World and Truth Social was first announced in October 2021, and was originally set to close in September 2022. But the deal has been delayed, which Trump Media and Technology Group, the owner of Truth Social, blames on the SEC postponing a review into the merger.

Digital World's "address of principal executive offices" has since August 19 been listed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings as the same address as the UPS store in Coconut Grove. Prior to that, the address was a WeWork building on SW 7th Street in downtown Miami.

On its SEC page and its website, Digital World's address is listed as a building on the outskirts of San Diego.

Digital World said in a quarterly report that it pays $15,000 a month to another business affiliated with its CEO Patrick Orlando for office space, utilities, and admin services "as the company may require from time to time," the Financial Times first reported.

In an SEC filing Friday, Digital World said investors were pulling $138.5 million of the roughly $1 billion the company had secured for the deal to merge with Trump Media and Technology. Investors who signed up to the deal were able to back out if it wasn't completed by September 20.

Digital World did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside of regular working hours.

As well as investors walking away from Digital World and the SEC reviewing the merger, Truth Social has been besieged by a range of other problems.

Since the app launched in February, Trump has amassed 4.1 million followers, compared with 88 million on Twitter before he was banned.

The app isn't available on the Google Play store yet. A research group found it had been removing or limiting posts, including anti-Trump content or supporting abortion rights, and executives have been leaving Truth Social's parent company.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden tells gas stations to bring down prices at the pump immediately, as he slams high profits and delays passing on cost cuts

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.
  • Biden urged gas station operators to cut prices at the pump to reflect declining global oil prices. 
  • The US president said "do it now", noting it takes a long time for lower prices to be passed on. 
  • He said Americans pay for the energy companies' record profits through the inflation they face.

President Joe Biden has urged gas stations to cut their prices at the pump for American drivers, as he took a jab at them for delays in passing on a drop in oil prices.

At a White House Competition Council meeting Monday, Biden highlighted a fall in crude oil prices worldwide in August, but proceeded to criticize companies for the "long time" it takes for those to show up as lower costs for gas buyers.

"We haven't seen the lower prices reflected at the pump though.  Meanwhile, oil and gas companies are still making record profits — billions of dollars in profit," he said.  

"My message is simple. To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump: Bring down the prices you're charging at the pump to reflect the cost you pay for the product.

"Do it now.  Do it now.  Not a month from now — do it now.  And it's going to save people a lot of money."

Biden said Americans are paying for the profits that oil and gas companies are making through higher inflation. He has vowed to combat rising gas prices as inflation runs near 40-year highs in the US economy.

The average price of US gas hit a high above $5 a gallon in June, as oil prices surged thanks to Russia's war with Ukraine and an energy crisis in Europe.

Gas prices fell gradually after that, tracking oil prices lower as the Biden administration started releasing record amounts of crude from the US's Strategic Petroleum Reserve and demand pressures grew. Global benchmark Brent crude has dropped about 24% in the past three months, while US benchmark WTI futures have shed over 30%.

But last week, the US average gas price rose for the first time in 99 days at $3.674 on Wednesday. It now stands at $3.747 as of Tuesday, according to the AAA.  

Biden's remarks echo the criticisms he launched at oil and gas companies when energy prices prices peaked. In June, he slammed energy giant Exxon Mobil for making "more money than God this year" .

Read the original article on Business Insider

Colonel Sanders' former home and restaurant are on the market, and it's causing a legal headache for KFC's owner

Claudia Sanders Dinner House KFC
  • Friends of the late Colonel Sanders are selling his former home and a restaurant he set up.
  • The restaurant, the Claudia Sanders Dinner House, is named after his wife and sells fried chicken.
  • The NY Post reported that the potential sale is causing a legal headache for KFC's parent company.

A huge property that the late KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders once lived in is on the market, and it's causing a legal headache for KFC's owner.

The property in Shelbyville, Kentucky, includes a house known as Blackwood Hall and an almost 25,000-square-foot restaurant called the Claudia Sanders Dinner House, which is named after the Colonel's wife. The site also used to serve as KFC headquarters.

Claudia Sanders

It hit the market in June and its owners are looking for $9 million for the two buildings, as well as some KFC memorabilia and intellectual property rights. The Colonel's image is owned by KFC, but the buyer of the Shelbyville property will get the trademark and likeness of Claudia Sanders.

KFC's parent company Yum! Brands hasn't expressed an interest in buying the property or brand, Jonathan Klunk, a realtor at Six Degrees Real Estate, which is selling the property, told The New York Post.

But the property's current owners – family friends of the Sanders – have fielded multiple offers from other prospective buyers, The Post reported. The couple still run the restaurant and live in the house but want to retire, per the publication.

But some of the potential buyers, which include restaurant groups and serial entrepreneurs, want to franchise the Claudia Sanders restaurant and open new sites elsewhere, Klunk told The Post.

Days after the properties were added to the market, Yum! Brands submitted a patent filing seeking to reinforce protections of KFC trademarks, including "Colonel Sanders' Original Recipe" and "It's Finger Lickin' Good," The Post reported.

Yum! Brands has been approached for comment by Insider.

"We are selling Claudia and she doesn't have as much name recognition as her husband, but a buyer can't describe her without mentioning both her husband and KFC," Klunk told The Post. He said he was warning prospective buyers that if they wanted to use the Claudia Sanders brand, they would need to have a "team of intellectual property lawyers."

"Whoever is going to take on the Claudia Sanders name is probably in for an uphill and expensive battle," Brad D. Rose, a trademark attorney at Pryor Cashman, told The Post.

The Sanders moved into Blackwood Hall in 1959 and the Colonel sold KFC five years later. In 1968, he opened the Claudia Sanders Dinner House, which the couple ran the restaurant themselves until they retired in the 1970s, when it was taken over by the current owners. The Colonel died in 1980 and Claudia died in 1994.

The Claudia Sanders Dinner House describes itself as a "local landmark" serving "the finest in country cooking." The original building burned down in 1999 but was rebuilt with expanded facilities. The restaurant said its largest banquet room is called the Colonel's Quarters and can hold up to 1,000 standing guests.

Claudia Sanders Dinner House KFC

Like KFC, its menu consists largely of fried chicken, including all-you-can-eat options. It also sells steak, catfish, soups, and a pecan and chocolate dessert billed as "Claudia's Kentucky Pie."

But Klunk told The Post that though there are "a lot of similarities" between the restaurants' menus, the Claudia Sanders Dinner House has "no connection to the KFC recipe."

Klunk said he's considering splitting the bundle into separate listings to attract more buyers. Memorabilia included with the lot include Colonel Sanders' watch and bible, the first KFC flag and bucket, and a letter President Richard Nixon sent to Sanders in 1972.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Kremlin says it hopes its mobilization for Ukraine will 'speed up' after it corrects 'errors' in selecting draftees

A billboard promoting contract army service with a the slogan reading "Serving Russia is a real job" sits in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on September 20, 2022.
  • Reports last week found that Russians who were not eligible to fight were still being drafted.
  • The Kremlin admitted on Monday that it made "errors" in selecting draftees, Reuters reported.
  • Officials are "working to rectify the situation," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. 

The Kremlin it had made "errors" when it was selecting draftees to go and fight in Ukraine, and that it hopes troop mobilization will speed up after it corrects them.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, admitted to reporters on Monday that some of the recent call-ups have been issued in error.

He added that officials in some regions are now "actively working to rectify the situation," Reuters reported.

"There have been cases when the decree is violated," Peskov said, according to Reuters. "These cases of non-compliance with the required criteria are being eliminated."

His comments come amid multiple reports of Russian officials calling up unsuitable candidates in a scramble to bulk up its army in Ukraine.

Putin announced a partial military mobilization last week, pledging to call up 300,000 people. Those are only supposed to come from Russia's existing pool of military reservists. 

But a 26-year-old lecturer at a Russian university told the BBC last week that he was drafted into the military despite not having any combat experience.

And a 63-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes and a brain condition known as cerebral ischemia told the independent Russian news site The Insider that he was also drafted in the war. 

Officials said that the new decree announced by Putin would affect only those with a military background and that no students or Russians over 60 would be called up. 

Putin's partial mobilization announcement caused panic in Russia, with one-way plane tickets out of Moscow sold out, and satellite imagery showing cars queuing at crossing points along Russia's borders.

During the Monday press conference, Peskov also denied rumors that Russia would close its land borders to prevent eligible men from fleeing the draft.

"I don't know anything about this," Peskov told reporters, according to Reuters. "At the moment no decisions have been taken on this."

Read the original article on Business Insider