Channel: Business Insider

A California father described his regret after his unvaccinated pregnant wife was ventilated and their unborn baby died

A health worker prepares to inoculate a pregnant woman with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 at a vaccination center in Bogota.
A pregnant woman (not the one in the article) is awaiting a shot of COVID-19 vaccine in Bogotá, Colombia, on July 23.
  • Esmeralda Ramos of Victorville, CA, caught COVID-19 in August about six months into her pregnancy.
  • She had to be ventilated after being hospitalized and lost the baby on Sunday.
  • Ramos, 43, was scared to be vaccinated, her husband said. He is calling on others to get the shots.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A father spoke of his regret after his unvaccinated wife caught COVID-19 and lost their unborn son.

Esmeralda "Mely" Ramos, was hospitalized and on a ventilator as of Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.

Ramos, of Victorville, California, is 43 and has two other children.

Ramos was in her sixth month of pregnancy when she caught COVID-19 in mid-August, the Post said.

She had not been vaccinated, according to her husband Juan Guevara, who also unvaccinated, NBC Los Angeles reported.

"She's a nervous person. She was scared of getting it, thought it might affect the baby," Guevara told the outlet.

A picture of the family can be seen on their GoFundMe page.

Ramos tested positive not long after the CDC issued a recommendation that pregnant and breastfeeding people should get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Pregnant people are more likely to be severely ill after catching COVID-19, per the CDC, and vaccines are known to greatly reduce the risk of severe disease and death.

When Ramos started showing mild symptoms of the disease, she drove herself to the hospital. Her husband, who was also sick with COVID-19, stayed home to care for their children, who are two and seven years old.

Over the next few weeks, Ramos' symptoms worsened, and she was put on a ventilator, The Post reported. On Sunday, the baby's heart stopped, the outlet said.

The unborn baby was going to be called Jonathan Julius, The Post reported. Ramos had a stillbirth the same day as his heart stopped.

As of Wednesday, Ramos was still in a "very critical" state, the Post reported.

Guevera hopes his story can encourage others to get vaccinated, per NBC Los Angeles. The CDC on August 11 published new guidelines urging pregnant people to get vaccinated, saying it is "safe and effective."

Pregnant people are at higher risk of death and miscarriage if they catch COVID-19.

A large study on US medical records published in August, Insider's Anna Medaris Miller reported, found that pregnant people with COVID-19 are:

  • 40% more likely to deliver prematurely.
  • more than five times as likely to be admitted to the ICU.
  • more than 14 times as likely to need intubation or mechanical ventilation.
  • more than 15 times as likely to die.

A CDC analysis found that vaccination in pregnant people does not increase the risk of miscarriage. There is no evidence that vaccines pose a risk to the pregnant person's life, fertility, or the safety of the fetus, per CDC.

"Unfortunately, right now, it's too late for me: I already lost my son," Guevara said, NBC Los Angeles reported, adding that he was going to get vaccinated.

"Wear your mask and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Don't even think about it," he told the Post "People are going to regret it just like me."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Recent discoveries reveal how dogs are hardwired to understand and communicate with people - even at birth

dog hug owner
An owner and her dog.

Dogs often seem uncannily shrewd about what we're trying to tell them.

A handful of recent studies offer surprising insights into the ways our canine companions are hardwired to communicate with people.

The most recent of those studies, published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, found that dogs can understand the difference between their owners' accidental and deliberate actions. Earlier this summer, another showed that even when puppies primarily grow up around other dogs - not humans - they are still are better at understanding our gestures than wolf pups raised by people. Still other research describes how puppies are born ready to interact with humans, no training required.

"Dogs' communicative skills uniquely position them to fill the niche that they do alongside humans," Emily Bray, a canine-cognition researcher at the University of Arizona, Tucson, told Insider in an email. "Many of the tasks that they perform for us, now and in the past (i.e. herding, hunting, detecting, acting as service dogs), are facilitated by their ability to understand our cues."

Dogs recognize their owners' intentions

dog yellow lab
A yellow Labrador.

Sometimes, when giving a four-legged friend a treat, we drop it by accident. Other times, owners withhold treats to teach their dogs a lesson.

According to last week's study, dogs can tell the difference between a clumsy human who intends to give them a treat and a person who is deliberately withholding that reward.

The researchers set up an experiment: A person and a dog were separated by a plastic barrier, with a small gap in the middle large enough for a hand to squeeze through. The barrier did not span the length of the room, however, so the dogs could go around it if they wanted. The human participants passed the dog a treat through the gap in three ways. First, they offered the morsel but suddenly dropped it on their side of barrier and said, "Oops." Next, they attempted to pass the treat over, but the gap was blocked. Lastly, they offered the treat but subsequently pulled back their arm and laughed.

The experimenters tried this set-up on 51 dogs and timed how long it took each to walk around the barrier and retrieve the treat. The results showed that the dogs waited much longer to retrieve the treat when the experimenter had purposefully withheld it than when the experimenter dropped it or couldn't get it through the barrier.

This suggests dogs can distinguish humans' intentional actions from their unintentional behavior and respond accordingly.

Even puppies raised with limited human contact know how to read us

Earlier this summer, Bray published a study analyzing the behavior of 8-week-old puppies - 375 of them, to be precise. The pups were being trained at Canine Companions, a service-dog organization in California. And they had grown up mostly with their litter mates, so had little one-on-one exposure to people.

puppies labradors
Labrador puppies from the non-profit Canine Companion for Independence, photographed at the Duke University Puppy Kindergarten.

Bray's team put the puppies through a series of tasks that measured the animals' ability to interact with humans. They measured how long it took the puppies to follow an experimenter's finger to find a hidden treat and how long they held eye contact.

The team found that once an experimenter spoke to the dogs, saying, "Puppy, look!" and made eye contact, the puppies successfully reciprocated that eye contact and could follow the gesture to locate the treats.

"If you take away the preceding eye contact and vocal cue and give a signal that looks the same, dogs are not as likely to follow it," Bray said.

The researchers found that the puppies' performance on the tasks did not improve over the course of the experiment, suggesting this wasn't part of a learning process. Instead, they think, dogs are born with the social skills they need to read people and understand our intentions.

"We can assume that puppies started the task with the communicative ability necessary to be successful," Bray said. She added, though, that dogs' abilities overall can improve these as they age, just as humans' do.

Her team had access to each puppy's pedigree, so could assess how related the 375 dogs were to one another. According to Bray, 40% of the variation in the puppies' performance could likely be explained by their genes, suggesting "genetics plays a large role in shaping an individual dog's cognition."

Dogs are more likely to ask humans for help than wolves raised by people

wolf pup and mother zoo
A wolf plays with a one-month-old puppy in its enclosure at Berlin's zoo on May 31, 2013.

Research published in July further underscored the idea that dogs are hardwired to be "man's best friend."

The study compared 44 puppies raised with their litter mates at Canine Companions to 37 wolf puppies that recieved almost constant human care at a wildlife center in Minnesota. The researchers tested how well the dogs and wolves could find a treat hidden in one of two covered bowls by following a person's gaze and pointed finger.

The dog pups were twice as likely as their wolf counterparts to pick the right bowl, even though they'd spent far less time around people. Many of the puppies got it right on the first try, suggesting they didn't need training to follow those human gestures.

"Dogs have naturally better skills at understanding humans' cooperative communication than wolves do, even from puppyhood," Hannah Salomons, an animal cognition researcher at Duke University who co-authored the study, told Insider. "I would say, based on our results, that nature is definitely playing a greater role than nurture in this regard."

The dogs were also 30 times more likely to approach a stranger than the wolves, Salomons' group found. And in another task, in which the animals were trying to get a treat stuck inside a closed container, the dogs also spent more time looking to humans for help.

The wolves, by contrast, were more likely to try to tackle the problem on their own.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Coinbase applies to offer trading in crypto derivatives and futures on the exchange


Coinbase, the largest publicly listed crypto exchange, said on Wednesday it plans to expand its product offering to include trading in futures and derivatives.

The company said in a tweet it had submitted an application with the National Futures Association (NFA), a US regulatory body that focuses on derivatives.

Coinbase is joining CME Group, as well as crypto exchanges like Binance, OKEx, FTX and Kraken, in offering derivatives.

"This is the next step to broaden our offerings and offer futures and derivatives trading on our platforms. Goal: Further grow the crypto economy," Coinbase said in a tweet.

The company, which listed on the US stock exchange in February, has been making strides in growing its business.

Earlier this week, Coinbase said it planned to raise up to $2 billion through a bond sale and would use the proceeds to fund future takeovers, develop new technologies and products.

The NFA website showed Coinbase Financial Markets had a pending membership application.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Moderna says a study showed falling COVID-19 immunity over time and a need for boosters - even though most 'breakthrough' infections weren't severe

Moderna vaccine
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine lab tech Sendy Puerto processes blood samples from study participants in the specimen processing lab, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in Miami. The volunteers are taking part in testing the NIH funded Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Moderna said people vaccinated in 2020 caught COVID-19 more often than those vaccinated this year.
  • This suggested immunity from its COVID-19 shot waned over time, and provided evidence for a booster dose, it said.
  • But the number of people that got severe COVID-19 wasn't significantly different between the groups.

Moderna said new data from its late-stage clinical trial provided proof of waning immunity from its COVID-19 vaccine and a need for a booster dose - but its shot still appears to protect against severe illness.

People who got its vaccine more recently, between December 2020 and March 2021, reported 36% fewer "breakthrough" COVID-19 infections, compared with those vaccinated during its initial trial between July and October 2020, the company said Wednesday, citing an unpublished company analysis.

There were 88 breakthrough cases in the more recently vaccinated group of 14,746 people, and 162 COVID-19 cases in the 11,431 trial participants, eight to 12 months after the second dose, the company said.

Moderna said the findings show evidence of waning immunity from its vaccine, and a "potential benefit" for a booster.

Stephen Hoge, president at Moderna, said on a conference call with investors that "the first six months are great, but you can't count on that being stable out to a year and beyond," as reported by Reuters.

He said that "the estimated impact of waning immunity would be 600,000 additional cases of COVID-19" across the US population of 66 million. "We would expect some of those cases to be severe and some could unfortunately result in death," he said.

But the data also suggested its shot protected against severe COVID-19 long-term. There were only 19 "severe" breakthrough infections overall, and no "significant difference" between the two groups of people, it said. The company didn't define what it meant by "severe" COVID-19, but usually this means illness that kills or requires hospital treatment.

Mild breakthrough infections are expected with any vaccine because no vaccine is 100% effective.

Moderna's announcement comes as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is soon to decide whether to give an extra dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to fully-vaccinated Americans to shore up immunity against the highly infectious Delta variant, which can evade the immune response.

The FDA is expected to decide on a potential Moderna booster soon after. But some healthcare experts, including Ellie Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University, have concerns around the quality of data informing the FDA decision: We don't really know how long booster protection lasts, or when best to give a booster. The World Health Organization argues that we should prioritize people worldwide who haven't had a first dose before giving boosters to fully vaccinated people.

The Biden administration hopes that fully vaccinated Americans can get a booster dose at six months after their second dose, from September 20. Immunocompromised people in the US can already get an extra shot.

Moderna vaccine's protection against severe disease

Moderna's shot has performed better than Pfizer's in recent lab studies. Some experts speculated that this could relate to the higher dose of the active ingredient, mRNA, in Moderna's shot, or the longer time intervals between doses - Moderna's vaccine is given four weeks apart, and Pfizer's three weeks.

Moderna's booster shot is half the dose of the original vaccine.

A real-world Qatari study found that Moderna's shot was 84.5% effective against any infection from 14 days after the second dose, including asymptomatic illness. Pfizer's was 53.5% effective, the study found. External factors could influence the results, including that Pfizer's vaccine has typically been given to older people, who tend to produce weaker immune responses.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some restaurants are closing dining rooms again, but owners blame staffing shortages, not COVID

Chick-fil-A dining room closed
Restaurant chains have had top close dining rooms.
  • Fast-food locations around the country are temporarily closing dining rooms or cutting hours.
  • Owners say that they can't open dining rooms without enough staff.
  • The restaurant industry has faced a shortage of workers for the last year.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Restaurant chains are going through another round of dining room closures, but this time it's not directly because of COVID-19 infections. Chains are having to adjust hours or only operate drive-thrus as they face a lack of staff to keep restaurants running.

McDonald's reminded franchisees of guidelines that would allow them to close dining rooms in areas with high rates of infection, and Chick-fil-A is allowing operators to keep them closed through January for safety, but many dining room closures across the country are actually a direct result of the labor shortage.

Three Chick-fil-A restaurants in Alabama had to close their dining rooms over lack of staff, though they continued to make food for delivery.

"We, along with many businesses, are in the middle of a hiring crisis," the Calera, Alabama Chick-fil-A restaurant said in a Facebook post. A McDonald's location in North Carolina made a similar move, closing the dining room while keeping the drive-thru running.

Two more Chick-fil-A locations in northern Alabama have started closing early because of "extremely short staffing," Grace Dean reported for Insider. Two campus Starbucks locations at the University of Alabama temporarily closed dining rooms due to "limited staff and supply chain challenges," The Crimson White reported.

Staffing issues are a problem across the country. In an August earnings call, Wendy's president and CEO told investors that some dining rooms were closing early and operating drive-thru only because of a lack of workers.

Dunkin' closing early sign
Restaurants are closing early and shortening hours over worker shortages.

A Dunkin' location in Colorado temporarily closed operations completely after it was down to only three workers, Zahra Tayeb reported for Insider.

"We're in a major labor crisis and that is the 100% reason why we're closed," Alex Apodaca, chief operating officer at JB Partners, the franchisee, said. "No other reason." JB Partners closed and reopened two other Colorado locations this year over hiring issues.

At least two Dunkin' locations in Rochester, New York have also shortened hours, and a location in The Villages in Florida temporarily closed its dining room for several days.

"It's really tough times for staffing," Kalinowski Equity founder Mark Kalinowski previously told Insider. Restaurant workers continue to quit the industry at record rates, moving to jobs where they don't have to interact with angry customers. To ward off potential closures, some operators have gotten creative by recruiting young teen workers and offering sign-on bonuses and hiring incentives.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Coca-Cola's New York distributor says it's short of truckers, after a supermarket CEO complained he was struggling to get hold of the beverage giant's products

Bottles of Coca Cola
Coca-Cola says it's struggling to recruit enough truck drivers in New York City.
  • A New York supermarket owner told Fox Business his stores were struggling to get Coca-Cola products.
  • Coca-Cola's New York distribution partner confirmed to Insider it had a trucker shortage.
  • Companies say supply chain chaos means deliveries are arriving late or with items missing.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Coca-Cola's New York City delivery partner says it's struggling to recruit enough truck drivers in the city, which one supermarket chain owner said was leading to product shortages in his stores.

John Catsimatidis, the owner of New York supermarket chain Gristedes, told Fox Business Tuesday that Coca-Cola "can't get truck drivers to deliver into New York City." Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, which produces and distributes the company's products across New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, confirmed to Insider that it was struggling to hire truckers.

"Like many local employers around the New York City area, as well as employers across the country, we are currently navigating a disrupted supply chain and labor shortage among different departments, including our fleet management and delivery drivers," a spokesperson for the company said.

The spokesperson added that Liberty Coca-Cola was "continuously" working to improve its supply chain.

This included offering signing bonuses to new recruits, providing free commercial drivers' license classes and certifications to current employees, and investing millions of dollars into its local facilities to increase efficiencies, the spokesperson said.

The Coca-Cola Company also owns brands including Sprite, Fanta, Topo Chico, and Minute Maid.

Deliveries are arriving late or with items missing

The US is currently facing a huge shortage of truck drivers, which is causing havoc in the supply chain.

Companies are raising wages to attract more hires and dangling massive sign-on bonuses. One logistics company in Maryland said it would pay all its new drivers a signing bonus of at least $15,000.

The trucker shortage "is symptomatic of the whole labor industry right now," Dennis Hickey, chief merchandising officer at Krasdale Foods, told Insider in an interview. Krasdale supplies groceries for retail across six states but mainly focuses on independent stores in New York City.

Hickey said that the trucker shortage, coupled with other supply-chain disruptions like port delays and soaring demand for goods, was causing huge problems stocking items. Hickey said that the supply shortages had become worse since mid-June, when "trucks stopped showing up on time" and would arrive up to four days late, often with products missing.

The shortages were "across the board," including juice, pet food, and "anything in aluminium cans," he said.

Scott Price, the president of UPS, told AFP on Sunday that supply problems would continue into 2022.

"I half-jokingly tell people, 'Order your Christmas presents now because otherwise on Christmas Day, there may just be a picture of something that's not coming until February or March,'" Price said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I made more than $1.7 million in a week selling doomsday bunkers. You know who doesn't buy them? Democrats.

Rob Hubbard/Atlas Survival Shelters
Ron Hubbard is the founder and owner of Atlas Survival Shelters.

This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Ron Hubbard, owner of Atlas Survival Shelters in Sulphur Springs, Texas, about his business. It has been edited for length and clarity.

The bunker business is hotter than ever this year. Day and night, my phone is ringing off the hook from people across the country looking to buy a bunker.

Before starting my bunker business in 2011, I worked building custom iron doors for 30 years. Now, I don't even know all of my customers' full names or where their bunkers will be located because we ship to a local third-party.

It's all pretty discreet, because people don't necessarily want to announce they're buying a bunker or its whereabouts. Customers don't finance their bunkers either - they're plunking down cash upfront and in full via wire transfer.

In the second week of August, we made over $1.7 million in sales in one week.

The kitchen of a bunker featuring a stainless sink, microwave, fridge, and dining area. Ron Hubbard/Atlas Survival Shelters
The kitchen of a bunker featuring a stainless sink, microwave, fridge, and dining area.

Our bunkers on offer range from 100 square feet in size for around $50,000, to over 10,000 square feet for close to $5,000,000. People are snapping up everything we have, from in-stock standard models to custom-built designs.

I credit the increase in sales to the reality that people are scared of what's happening in the world right now. Many are buying a bunker to be somewhere safe to hide regardless of what the future holds, as a survival Plan B.

The lion's share of our business comes to us via our YouTube Channel, which has close to 350,000 subscribers and is typically how people first learn about us.

Our customers tend to be pro-Trump, pro-gun, educated, upper-class Christians.

Ron Hubbard/Atlas Survival Shelters
The entrance and outside of a custom bunker being constructed.

These clients often bring up their political views when talking about why they want to buy a bunker. They'd rather build a shelter they may never need than risk not having one should the need ever arise. Everyone from CEOs to billionaires to celebrities are buying our bunkers.

In my experience, you know who doesn't buy bunkers? Democrats - at least they don't buy Doomsday Bunkers. They might buy our tornado or fallout shelters or safe cellars to store wine but that's about it.

Since Biden took office, more and more customers have reached out wanting bunkers to prepare for a potential disaster. Every time Biden appears on the news, it prompts another Republican to call me up and say 'This country is going downhill. I need a bunker!' Our sales are up because Biden is unknowingly driving a bunker boom, and we're here for it.

The standard bunkers we build are always in stock and ready to be shipped from our Texas warehouse.

A standard size bunker. Rob Hubbard/Atlas Survival Shelters
A standard size bunker.

They have military-grade nuclear, biological, and chemical air filtration systems, a mudroom and decontamination shower, air and gas-tight waterproof doors, and power sources. Beyond that, customers can outfit and design their place however they like, so it feels like a real home.

Custom jobs typically take two to three months, and larger projects that require poured in place concrete can take over six months to complete. We've designed lots of custom bunkers, many that are 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. The largest we've sold to date was a whopping 4,000 square feet.

Wine racks border a TV in the living room of an Atlas bunker. Ron Hubbard/Atlas Survival Shelters
Wine racks border a TV in the living room of an Atlas bunker.

For customers looking for a bit extra, we offer our Platinum Series, which begins at $300 per square foot, with 24 inches of under the floor storage and built-in water tanks. These bunkers have spacious master bedrooms with full baths and walk-in showers, as well as enough area for dining rooms, game rooms, and gun rooms. We also offer high-end upgrades such as stainless steel appliances, ceramic-tiled backsplashes, granite countertops, oak flooring, and sliding barn doors.

All of our platinum bunkers really pack a "wow" factor. I mean, who doesn't want to have a secret passageway to a secret escape tunnel that leads to a secret bunker?

These aren't your grandfather's bunkers we're building anymore.

Times have changed. If you're going to be hunkered down below ground for a while, it may as well be in style.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Where to spot TikTok creators in LA: from upscale pasta spots to western-themed steakhouses


Lil Huddy with Charli D'Amelio
Lil Huddy with Charli D'Amelio at Craig's in Los Angeles

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week's edition:

Send tips to aperelli@insider.com or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.

Craig's in LA
Craig's in LA

7 LA hot spots where TikTok stars party, date, make deals, and work out

As social-media influencers have grown in followers and clout, becoming celebrities in their own right, they've made several choice Los Angeles establishments their regular hangouts.

When Noah Beck turned 20 this May, he celebrated the birthday milestone with girlfriend Dixie D'Amelio and friends at BOA. Josh Richards and Nikita Dragun, meanwhile, get their fitness fix at the exclusive personal training gym Dogpound.

Mark Birnbaum, founder and owner of Catch LA, attributes influencers' affinity for certain LA spots to an aspirational desire to join the "It" crowd they've seen photographed in recent years.

My colleagues JP Mangalindan and Madeline Berg broke down which places have become the go-to spots for these Gen-Z stars to celebrate follower milestones, birthdays, and their young love:

  • BOA Steakhouse: Nearly every night, some TikTok or YouTube star is seen coming in or out of this restaurant, where they often order $50-per-ounce Snow Beef Wagyu.

  • Il Pastaio: This upscale Beverly Hills spot is perfect for when TikTokers want to spot one of their teen idols. After all, Justin Bieber has his own pasta on the menu.

  • Dogpound: Influencers like Bryce Hall, Josh Richards, and Nikita Dragun are just a few of the stars shelling out up to $200 per session here for well-defined abs.

Here's where else you might run into the D'Amelios, Addison Rae, Chase Hudson, and more.

Gigi Robinson in a white shirt in front of a blue background
Gigi Robinson

How a college influencer made thousands from brand deals with companies like Amazon, TikTok, and Tinder

Like many other undergrads, former USC student Gigi Robinson got a part-time job to help pay off her student loans.

But she wasn't working the cashier at a snack shop or bookstore. Instead, Robinson got a gig marketing some of the world's largest companies as a brand ambassador.

Robinson landed her first ambassador job with Abercrombie in July 2018 after finding the position on LinkedIn, and since then has worked with a dozen other companies.

My colleague Michael Espinosa spoke with her about how she scored these partnerships - and exactly how lucrative 12 of these deals were.

Here's a snapshot of her earnings from three of them:

  • Abercrombie (biweekly payments): $1,500

  • Smashbox Cosmetics (monthly payment): $1,000

  • TinderU (biweekly stipend): $1,600

Read more on her tips for how to land brand ambassadorships and exactly how much she earned from 12 of them.

LinkedIn is courting creators with the Creator Accelerator Program
LinkedIn is courting creators with the Creator Accelerator Program

LinkedIn enters the creator fund arms race with $25 million, new tools, and an accelerator program

LinkedIn is the latest platform looking to win over creators and incentivize them to make content for the app.

The company is launching a Creator Accelerator Program as a way to tap influencers.

It will select 100 creators from a pool of applicants, and each one will receive coaching from LinkedIn employees and a $15,000 grant, JP wrote.

Users can expect to see creators from the program throughout the social network, from the comment sections of trending topics to newsletters.

More on how the program compares to other creator funds, here.

Barstool Sports' founder Dave Portnoy speaks in front of a Barstool logo during a radio broadcast in Miami Beach, Florida on January 30, 2020.
"If you play Division 1 sports and you blink at me, we will sign you," Barstool Sports' founder Dave Portnoy said on Twitter.

Some colleges push back as Barstool Sports signs up thousands of athletes for its student marketing program

It only took one day after the NCAA rule change for Barstool Sports to announce an NCAA marketing firm, promising free swag to any students who wanted to become Barstool Athletes.

"If you play Division I sports and you blink at me, we will sign you," Barstool founder Dave Portnoy said.

But as my colleagues Dan Whateley and Ashley Rodriguez reported, some colleges are wary of the brand, saying it doesn't have permission to use their trademarks.

The University of Louisville, for instance, barred students outright from working with Barstool on NIL activities.

"Barstool can be seen at times as controversial on certain topics, and I think schools are wary to have their logo associated with a lightning-rod company," said Peter Schoenthal, the CEO of Athliance, an NIL-compliance startup.

Here's more detail on the brewing conflict.

Here's what else you need to know this week:

What's trending

Creator earnings

Marketing moves

Chart of the week:


The influencer-marketing platform Intellifluence recently published a survey asking 1,249 influencers how much money they expect brands to pay them.

Intellifluence broke down how much money Instagram micro influencers (under 100,000 followers) typically charged brands for sponsored posts. It also asked about other platforms.

Here are the full rate breakdowns for TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.


TikTok hashtag of the week:

Every week, we highlight a top trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.

This week's hashtag: fashionweek

  • Percentage uptick: 2,410%

  • The latest viral hashtag is centered around Fashion Week. New York Fashion Week came to a close last week, and several TikTok stars like Tinx (1.3 million followers) and Remi Bader (1.9 million followers) were invited to the event.


What else we're reading and watching:

Subscribe to the newsletter here.

And before you go, check out the top trending songs on TikTok this week to add to your playlist. The data was collected by UTA IQ, the research, analytics, and digital strategy division of United Talent Agency.


Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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Cathie Wood has now cashed in $266 million of Tesla shares this month as the stock has reclaimed multi-month highs

Cathie Wood Ark Invest
Cathie Wood has been trimming Ark Invest's Tesla holdings.
  • Cathie Wood's Ark Invest has now sold more than $260 million of Tesla stock in September.
  • Still, Wood remains a staunch Tesla bull, with a price target roughly 300% above Wednesday's close.
  • Wood has previously said she likes to take profit on rising stocks, and buys the dip on sell-offs.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Cathie Wood has now sold around $266 million of Tesla shares in September as the stock hovers near multi-month highs.

Wood's Ark Invest group sold 81,609 shares of the electric-car maker, worth around $62 million, on Wednesday, according to the company's daily trade update. The superstar investor still has a price target for the stock roughly 300% above Wednesday's close.

That takes total Tesla sales by Ark Invest's exchange-traded funds to around $266 million in September, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Ark did not give a reason for the sales. Insider has contacted the company for comment.

Wood has previously said that she likes to take profit after a company's stock has gained and to try to buy when they dip.

Wood explained her trading approach to CNBC last year. She said that when there's hype around a stock, "we naturally just take profits because we know we're going to get another opportunity associated with controversy to buy the stock lower."

Read more: Ryan Jacob's flagship tech fund has tripled the S&P 500 and returned 1,876% to investors over 24 years. He told us how he's done it, and 5 stocks he expects to lead his portfolio into the future.

Tesla's share price has risen more than 22% over the last three months, and is currently near its highest level since April.

Wood is highly bullish on the Elon Musk-led company, which remains Ark Invest's single biggest holding and made up 10.5% of the $26 billion Ark Innovation ETF as of Wednesday.

She told Yahoo Finance that she thinks the car maker is worth around $3,000, saying she's pleased with its growing market share. Tesla closed at $755,83 on Wednesday.

However, Tesla has been caught up in the global supply-chain problems that are hitting businesses in the US and Europe as economies rapidly reopen.

Company CEO Musk tweeted early in September that "super crazy supply chain shortages" were delaying its new Roadster model until 2023.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The challenge for future US Navy aircraft carriers is much closer to home than China's missiles, top Democrat says

USS Gerald R. Ford
Newport News Shipbuilding begins flooding Dry Dock 12 to float the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, October 11, 2013.
  • The US Navy's new aircraft carriers have been criticized for their technical problems and their high cost.
  • Those problems and China's rapid development of anti-ship weapons have raised doubts about the carrier's utility.
  • Carriers still have value, but the way they're designed and used needs to be reassessed, experts and officials say.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

When China released footage of its "carrier killer" ballistic missiles being tested two years ago, the US Navy's top admiral fired back, calling the aircraft carrier "the most survivable airfield within the field of fire."

China's missile arsenal has only gotten bigger, but the Navy's flattops may now face another challenge closer to home.

At a Brookings Institute event last month, Rep. Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that while carriers are still important to US defense, their high cost could prompt a reassessment of their utility.

"The one big thing going into the aircraft carrier would be the $12 billion price tag." Smith said. "Are there other ways to get closer to the fight, to get unmanned systems closer to the fight, that don't cost $12 billion?"

China military missile DF-21
A DF-21D missile on parade in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, September 3, 2015.

The carrier has long been both a symbol and a tool, reflecting the US's ability to project power. But the struggles of the Navy's new Ford-class carriers, including delays and cost overruns caused by unproven technologies, have made the program a target.

Following a 2017 visit to the carrier, President Donald Trump demanded it revert to "goddammed steam" to power its catapults instead of using its new electromagnetic aircraft launching system.

In 2019, one lawmaker, frustrated by ongoing delays, likened the carrier to a "floating barge that's not deployable."

Some have questioned if technological advances, including China's DF-21D missiles have made carriers obsolete. Those missiles and others in China's arsenal can reach most of the Western Pacific, where US carriers often deploy.

Essential mission, evolving role

Navy aircraft carrier Gerald Ford during shock trials
USS Gerald R. Ford during a shock trial in the Atlantic Ocean, June 18, 2021.

Experts on naval warfare and on China's capabilities see carriers as having an evolving role but remaining vital.

Thomas Shugart, a retired Navy captain and a defense fellow at the Center for New American Security, said while China's missiles may force a carrier to stay farther from the frontlines, it would be no less vulnerable than other major air bases nearby.

Shugart told lawmakers in March that it appeared China's military was testing warheads that could target high-value aircraft at those bases.

"You still have to do things differently than if that missile didn't exist," Shugart said of the "carrier killer."

China's military capabilities are only growing and could soon include hundreds of anti-ship ballistic missiles, allowing Beijing to expand from focus on carriers to a ship-killer mission, targeting smaller warships, like destroyers.

"You have to generate tactical airpower somehow within the region," Shugart said. "You think the carrier is going to be part of that answer? Probably."

Matthew Funaiole, a senior fellow with the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said carriers offer a flexible platform for different environments and missions, but there are alternatives that can work with tighter budgets, including lighter, less sophisticated flattops.

Allies and partners can also play a complimentary role in countering China, and some are showing more interest in doing so, Funaiole said.

"The US doesn't need to do everything alone [and] probably in a lot of cases shouldn't do everything alone," Funaiole told Insider.

Not all about China

China's DF-26 ballistic missiles
DF-26 missiles, which have a longer range than the DF-21D, on parade in Beijing, September 3, 2015.

Smith, Funaiole, and Shugart pointed out that if carriers were obsolete, China wouldn't be building its own fleet of them.

"Question is, how do we use them going forward?" Smith told Insider. "What are the scenarios? How do we make that work?"

The Pentagon is currently reviewing the US military's footprint across the globe. Smith said a more "in-depth cost analysis" must be done before determining the role of aircraft carriers in the overall picture.

The National Defense Strategy will help in that analysis, and lessons learned during the construction of Ford will help avoid cost overruns in future Ford-class ships, Smith added.

"I think we can build aircraft carriers in a much more cost-effective way," Smith said, adding that the US also needs to think about how those ships can "exist in a more contested environment."

Navy aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy
The Ford-class aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy is launched into the James River on February 28, 2020.

Survivable information and communications platforms, and developing long-range fighters, unmanned systems, and new missiles, are elements of that, Smith said.

"Maybe we have to have the stealth aircraft and develop ways to refuel them to get to the target," Smith said. "Maybe we use a more distributed force with more expendable unmanned systems."

Shugart has argued the US should build carriers equipped only with unmanned aerial vehicles.

"The role for the aircraft carrier in this is probably to be able to, just like it always has, deliver aircraft from a standoff position that doesn't require those aircraft to take off from [the continental US] or an existing military base, like in Japan," Smith said. "That is incredibly useful. If you go up against a peer adversary, as China is rapidly becoming, then that changes the equation for every single system that we have."

The US has named China as its "pacing threat," but Russia, North Korea, and Iran are still foes, and an aircraft carrier remains an imposing presence.

"I don't think China's capabilities have made the carriers obsolete, in large part, because we're not just worried about China," Smith said.

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JOIN OUR LIVE EVENT ON OCTOBER 14: What employers can do to support working parents right now

remote learning parent getty
There are a number of strategies companies can use to support working parents.

The coronavirus pandemic created a caregiving crisis, and working parents have paid a steep price. When schools shut down in March of 2020, they became their children's de facto nannies and teachers, juggling at-home math lessons with Zoom meetings, work email, and other life responsibilities. Today, more than a year-and-a-half later as the delta variant surges and children under the age of 12 remain ineligible for the vaccine, struggles and stresses remain.

Some working parents have left their jobs, while many others have scaled back their careers. Mental health issues, meanwhile, have skyrocketed. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 70% of parents and caregivers reported poor mental health during the pandemic, compared with a third of people who did not hold those responsibilities.

At a time when companies are struggling to retain workers, the strain on parents and caregivers is no small issue for employers. So, what can they do about it? What kinds of benefits can organizations provide that address caregiver burnout? How can they create part-time and flexible work schedules to keep more women in the workforce and give all employees more control over where and when they work? And finally, what can individual managers do to help parents and other workers juggling outside caregiving responsibilities?

Please join us for a live virtual conversation around these topics, moderated by Insider's Rebecca Knight, senior correspondent for careers and the workplace. The hour-long chat is scheduled for October 14 at 1pm ET, or 10 a.m. PT. The experts will also be taking audience questions live.

Our guests include:

  • Adrienne Schneider, former Director of Benefits at American Airlines, and CEO, The Camille Group
  • Karsten Vagner, SVP of People, at the Maven Clinic
  • Kate Walker, CEO, Presence Learning, and author of "The Good Boss: 9 Ways Every Manager Can Support Women at Work."

You can sign up here.

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US weekly jobless claims shoot up to 332,000 in first week after federal boost's expiration

unemployment jobless claims
People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on April 6, 2020.
  • Weekly jobless claims jumped to 332,000 in the first week since boosted unemployment benefits lapsed.
  • Economists expected claims to rise to 330,000 last week.
  • Continuing claims fell to 2.67 million for the week that ended September 4, below estimates.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Filings for unemployment insurance shot up last week, the first week after enhanced federal unemployment benefits lapsed.

Jobless claims totaled an unadjusted 332,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That came in just above the median economist forecast of 330,000 claims. It also snapped a two-week streak of declines and placed claims just above pandemic-era lows.

The prior week's total was revised to 312,000 from 310,000.

Continuing claims, which track Americans receiving unemployment benefits, slid to 2.67 million for the week that ended September 4. That compares to a median forecast of 2.74 million claims.

Last week was the first since the federal boost to UI payments expired on September 6. The government had been supplementing benefits with a $300-per-week expansion since Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package in March. The expiration cut benefits for roughly 7.5 million Americans, and while the Biden administration has said states can repurpose stimulus funds for extended benefits, no state government told Insider that it plans to do so.

Hope for a renewed supplement isn't entirely lost. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday said she will introduce a bill that would extend federal UI programs until February 2022. Though it's unlikely such legislation will see passage, the representative said she "simply could not allow this to happen" without trying to revive the programs.

"I've been very disappointed on both sides of the aisle that we've just simply allowed pandemic unemployment assistance to completely lapse, when we are clearly not fully recovered from the consequences of the pandemic," Ocasio-Cortez added in a statement.

In other economic news, retail sales rose 0.7% in August as the Delta wave intensified and some restrictions were put back in place. Consumer spending counts for roughly 70% of US economic activity, and while sales still sit below their April highs, the unexpected August gain suggests the recovery was stayed intact despite the virus's resurgence.

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We dug into Pfizer's case for COVID-19 booster shots



Welcome to Insider Healthcare. I'm Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer, and today in healthcare news:

If you're new to this newsletter, sign up here. Comments, tips? Email me at lramsey@insider.com or tweet @lydiaramsey125. Let's get to it...

pfizer vaccine
Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be administered to front-line health care workers under an emergency use authorization at a drive up vaccination site from Renown Health in Reno, Nevada on December 17, 2020.

FDA releases documents outlining Pfizer's case for COVID-19 booster shots

Here's what you need to know>>

Employees work at a workshop in Haikou Brilliant Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Employees work at a workshop in Haikou Brilliant Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd on March 24, 2021 in Haikou, Hainan Province of China.

How China quietly grew into a biotech powerhouse that will shape the future of the drug industry

Get the full story>>

israel vaccine
An Israeli receives a coronavirus vaccine from medical staff at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

A massive study from Israel suggests older adults were far less likely to develop severe COVID-19 after a booster shot, but the finding carries major limitations

Find out more>>

More stories we're reading:

- Lydia

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Trump thinks the Sept. 18 rally in support of Capitol riot suspects is a setup designed to make him look bad, report says

Former President Donald Trump.
  • A right-wing rally in support of Capitol riot suspects is being planned for Saturday.
  • Trump thinks it's about making him look bad regardless of the outcome, sources told the NYT.
  • There have been concerns that the rally, planned to be outside the US Capitol, could turn violent.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former President Donald Trump is staying away from the September 18 Washington, DC, rally in support of Capitol riot suspects because he thinks its a set-up to damage his reputation, sources told The New York Times.

Trump has in the past spoken in support of his fans who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 in a bid to stop Joe Biden's certification as president.

But sources told The Times that he won't be going anywhere near Washington on Saturday, and will instead spend the day at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

"Mr. Trump views the planned protest as a setup that the news media will use against him regardless of the outcome," the Times reported, citing people familiar with his thinking.

The Saturday rally was organized by Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign data official, and is being held in support of those who have been jailed or have faced other punishments in relation to the Capitol riot.

Earlier this week Braynard said attendees would not be allowed to wear clothing in support of Trump or Biden, saying the event was "not [about] the election or any candidate."

Trump is not the only Republican keeping his distance, with Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, who were originally scheduled to speak at the event, both canceling their appearances, Politico reported.

The event had raised fears of a repeat of the violence on January 6, with intelligence officials saying that several far-right groups, such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, were expected to attend.

Amid the security concerns, police officers have re-erected a security fence around the perimeter of the Capitol that was originally put there in the wake of the insurrection.

Trump appears not to be the only one concerned that the event was a setup, with NBC News reporting on Wednesday that hardline Trump supporters and right-wing extremists on social media channels were riddled with paranoia that the event could be a decoy used to entrap them.

The Department for Homeland Security said that about 700 people were expected to attend the event.

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United Airlines is bringing back meals on some longer flights, with a new menu that includes a $10 burger and a $8 chia seed pudding

coffee tea airplane flight attendant drinks
United Airlines is introducing new food items on its menu, The Chicago Business Journal reported.
  • United passengers can now order meals on some longer flights, The Chicago Business Journal first reported.
  • Previously, United only offered snacks on flights lasting more than four hours due to COVID-19.
  • United has five new menu items, including a $10 cheese tray, a spokesperson told Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

United Airlines said Wednesday that it was bringing back meals on some longer flights, The Chicago Business Journal first reported.

United passengers on domestic flights lasting more than four hours can now purchase fresh meals onboard, a United spokesperson told Insider. Previously, passengers could only buy snacks due to COVID-19 safety rules, according to a United FAQs on its website.

"The introduction of these new, fresh retail offerings is part of the customer experience transformation underway at United," an airline spokesperson told Insider in an emailed statement. "By leveraging contactless payment and pre-order technology, the airline is able to safely and seamlessly reintroduce the onboard offerings most important to customers."

Among the new items, which are listed on United's website on its Buy-on Board Menu, are:

  • Chia Seed Pudding - $8
  • Bacon, Egg and Cheese Spiral Croissant - $8
  • Mediterranean Grain Bowl - $8
  • Classic Beef Butter Burger with Cheddar - $10
  • Kindred Creamery Selection Cheese Tray - $10

United is teaming up with Chicago-based restaurant company Lettuce Entertain You and Beatrix Market's chef partner, Janet Kirker, to provide some of the meals, the spokesperson said. United is headquartered in Chicago.

Insider contacted Lettuce Entertain You and Beatrix Market for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

From March 4, United passengers were able to purchase snacks and drinks again on some flights, according to the airline's website. United expanded its food options again on June 1, offering alcoholic beverages and a wider selection of snacks on most flights longer than two hours, it said in a statement.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From 'water spider' to 'swag bucks,' 15 secret terms only Amazon workers know, and what they mean

Jeff Bezos
  • From "water spider" to "swag bucks," Amazon workers have their own internal language.
  • Many company terms refer to secretive productivity measurements and employee programs.
  • Insider compiled a list of 15 code words and acronyms used by Amazon employees and what they mean.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

1. Swag Bucks, also called Swaggies

"Swag Bucks," also called "Swaggies" or "Amazon Bucks," are a kind of company currency that can only be spent inside Amazon. Its physical description varies across warehouse locations - one Amazon worker told Insider they have been rewarded with monopoly-like bills featuring Bezos' face in the center. As a way to encourage productivity, workers can spend them on items like T-shirts, lanyards, and water bottles from Amazon.

2. CRaP

A company acronym for "Can't Realize a Profit," Amazon CRaP items include bottled water, paper towels, and snack foods. Usually selling for less than $15, these bulky items are costly to ship - leading to slim or no profit margins. In 2018, Amazon cut back on selling CRaP products in order to focus on more profitable items.

3. Hire to Fire

Amazon has a goal to get rid of a certain percentage of employees every year, and three managers told Insider they felt so much pressure to meet the goal that they hired people to fire them. The practice is informally called "hire to fire," in which managers hire people, internally or externally, that they intend to fire within a year, just to help meet their annual turnover target.

4. Water Spider

In a warehouse, "water spiders" are workers tasked with keeping work stations fully stocked. At Amazon, this means carrying boxes of goods to a "stower" who then places the items onto merchandise racks. Once the rack is filled, a robot rolls it away and replaces it with an empty one. When a customer orders something from Amazon, the robot brings the rack to a "picker" who sends the ordered product on a conveyor belt to a "packer" who then boxes it up, a process broken down by The Atlantic in 2019.

5. Stow Rate / Pick Rate / Scan Rate

Hourly productivity rates calculated for each worker, depending on their role in the warehouse lineup. If a worker falls behind on their rate, they can be written up and eventually fired, a system that The Wall Street Journal coined "Bezosism."

6. Power Hours

Power hours are when managers try to pump up warehouse workers to work even harder for 60 minutes, sometimes motivating them by saying workers in other departments have been talking smack or outperforming them. At the end of the hour, staff members can be rewarded with swag bucks or prizes.

7. Make Rate

A phrase used by Amazon workers to describe keeping up with the hourly stow, pick, or scan rates expected of them. Strict time constraints and high productivity targets have led delivery drivers and warehouse workers to take drastic measures such as peeing in bottles, Insider previously reported.

8. Focus

Amazon's "coaching" program for underperformers. Insider previously reported on an internal memo that shows Focus is part of a strategy to meet its goal to get rid of a certain number of employees each year, usually 6% of its corporate workforce. In most cases, being enrolled in Focus prevents an employee from applying for other positions within the company, according to employees and internal memos and emails viewed by Insider.

9. Forte

Amazon's employee-feedback program. This year, Amazon rolled out new Forte performance ratings based on a number of factors, including job-specific skills and peer reviews, Insider's Eugene Kim and Ashley Stewart reported.

10. Day One

Jeff Bezos' philosophy for running Amazon like it's always the company's "day one." That means fighting off stasis and always working within the vitality of a startup, something that's become Amazon's "mantra for longevity," according to Insider contributors Ram Charan and Julia Yang.

11. Peak

Peak season at Amazon lasts from Black Friday to Christmas. Thirty current and former Amazon workers across the US, the UK, and Europe told Insider about the "brutal" reality of working during the holidays, when 60-hour weeks are mandatory and ambulance calls are common.

12. S-team

What Amazon workers call a group of roughly two dozen senior executives at Amazon that work closely together on key business decisions.

13. VTO / UPT

Company acronyms for "voluntary time off" and "unpaid time off." Sources told Insider that when workers dip into "negative UPT," meaning they have taken more than their allotted UPT, Amazon can be ruthless. If there's not enough work to go around, managers will sometimes offer unpaid voluntary time off, or VTO.

14. URA

One of the key pieces of Amazon's review process is a metric called "unregretted attrition rate," or URA, which represents the percentage of employees that managers aren't sad to see leave the company - whether they part ways voluntarily or otherwise. Amazon's CEO closely follows URA metrics, according to internal documents obtained by Insider.

15. OV / HV

Employee performance measurements that stand for "overall value" and "highly valued." Under OV ratings, Amazon managers group their employees in three broad buckets of performance grades - top tier (TT), highly valued (HV), and least effective (LE), according to internal documents reviewed by Insider.

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A crew member on the SpaceX civilian launch survived cancer as a kid, and took a photo of her 10-year-old self into orbit

A picture of the SpaceX Inspiration 4 crew in a model Crew Dragon spaceship, smiling and they are sitting in their chairs and wearing they full black and white spacesuits. A large red arrow points to Hayley Arceneaux.
An annotated picture the Inspiration4 crew sits inside a model Crew Dragon spaceship. Left to right: Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman, and Hayley Arceneaux.
  • A member of SpaceX's all-civilian crew took a picture of her 10-year-old self to space.
  • Hayley Arceneaux is a cancer survivor, she had bone cancer as a kid.
  • She said she hopes the picture will show children receiving cancer treatments that "there is a future."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

One of the crew launched into orbit by SpaceX said the possession she chose to take with her to space was a photo showing her as a child going through cancer.

Hayley Arceneaux is one of the amateur astronauts who blasted off Wednesday on the Inspiration4 mission. Her regular job is as a physician in Tennessee.

Arceneaux recovered from bone cancer in her childhood and said it was part of her motivation in joining the crew.

She said she would take a photo of herself aged 10 into space to show "all my patients, all these kids going through cancer treatments around the world that there is a future that it gets better."

The remark was in a video released on the Inspiration4 Twitter channel on Wednesday:

The picture was taken when she was 10 years old and battling bone cancer at St. Jude Children Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Arceneaux is now a physician assistant working at St. Jude. She joined a group of civilians on the Inspiration4 mission that launched into Earth's orbit at 8:02 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

She shared a shot of the picture in the tweet below.

Arceneaux is representing her employer on the Inspiration4 mission, Insider previously reported. St. Jude received about $130 million from fundraising efforts connected to the mission, per The New York Times.

At 29 years old, she is the youngest American and also the first person with a prosthetic body part to go to space Insider previously reported. (Metal rods replace parts of the bones on her left leg.)

In an interview with Insider's Morgan McFall-Johnsen, Arceneaux previously said she wants to video-chat with her cancer patients while she is on board.

The SpaceX Inspiration4 crew received five months of training before launching into space, far less than conventional astronauts.

The Falcon9 rocket that carried the Inspiration4 crew successfully reached the Earth's orbit on Wednesday. A recording of the launch stream can be found here.

The crew will orbit the Earth for three days before coming back into orbit and splashing down off the coast of Florida.

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60% of millennials earning over $100,000 say they're living paycheck to paycheck

wealthy millennial
High-earning millennials are stretching their paychecks.

High-earning millennials feel broke.

Sixty percent of millennials raking in over $100,000 a year said they're living paycheck to paycheck, found a survey this June by PYMNTS and LendingClub, which analyzed economic data and census-balanced surveys of over 28,000 Americans.

It found that about 54% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. And nearly 40% of high earners - those making more than $100,000 annually - said they live that way.

That means high-earning millennials aren't the only ones feeling stretched thin, but they feel that way more than their six-figure-making peers. Living on constrained budgets may therefore have less to do with income and more to do with expenses, the report said.

That's partly because of lifestyle choices. Many of these millennials are likely HENRYs - short for high earner, not rich yet. The acronym was invented in 2003, but it has come to characterize a certain group of 30-something six-figure earners who struggle to balance their spending and savings habits.

HENRYs typically fall victim to lifestyle creep, when one increases one's standard of living to match a rise in discretionary income. They prefer a comfortable and often expensive lifestyle that leaves them living paycheck to paycheck.

A $100,000 salary isn't what it was

The economy is also a huge factor behind why six-figure-earning millennials feel broke.

As the report said, "Living paycheck to paycheck sometimes carries connotations of barely scraping by and of poverty. The reality of a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle in the United States today is much more complex, and the current economic environment has made it even more complicated."

It cited the example of a college-educated 35-year-old earning more than $100,000 while juggling a mortgage, student-loan debt, and a child, which could leave them with little savings for big purchases or unexpected emergencies.

The generation is facing an affordability crisis. Income increases simply have not kept up with an exponential increase in living costs, and the pandemic hasn't helped matters by throwing job loss and pay cuts into the mix.

The cost of education has also more than doubled since the 1970s, leaving many millennials with student debt. Priya Malani, the founder of Stash Wealth, a financial firm that works with HENRYs, previously told Insider that 40% of her clients had student loans. On average, they owed $80,000.

As a byproduct of this increased cost in living, the middle class has been shrinking. Pew Research Center defines the US middle class as people earning two-thirds to twice the median household income - i.e., about $48,500 to $145,500 in 2018, the most recent data available found.

That means a six-figure salary is no longer what it used to be. In today's economy, $100,000 is considered middle class in the US.

Are you a millennial earning over $100,000 who is living paycheck-to-paycheck? We'd like to hear from you. Email hhoffower@insider.com.

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How the Air Force gave a wrecked F-35 a second life after a $176 million crash

Parts of damaged F-35 repurposed for training
US airmen cut off the wing of a condemned F-35A Lightning II and prep it for transport at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
  • A botched landing in May 2020 left an F-35 a mess of scorched metal that would never fly again.
  • Rather than scrap the burnt remains, the Air Force decided to give the F-35 a second life.
  • Airmen with the 372nd Training Squadron at Hill Air Force Base have repurposed the jet to train maintainers.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Last year, it was an F-35A Lightning II fighter jet - one of the most advanced aircraft the world has ever seen. Now, after a crash that cost an estimated $176 million, it's being cut into pieces for training aids.

The Air Force jet was left a mess of scorched metal that would never fly again after a botched landing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in May 2020. The pilot ejected safely.

Rather than toss the burnt remains on the scrap pile, the service decided on a second life for the F-35 parts as practice for military aircraft maintainers.

The aircraft crashed when a pilot instructor attempted a landing during night training. The Accident Investigation Board found the jet came in about 50 knots too fast and at too shallow an angle for its speed, causing it to bounce and roll. A problem with the aircraft's flight systems also caused the tail not to respond to the pilot.

The F-35 caught fire and was completely destroyed.

Parts of damaged F-35 repurposed for training
A crew loads the fuselage of a condemned F-35A onto a flatbed trailer at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for transport to Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

Part of the most costly weapons program in Pentagon history, the jet originally was slated to be scrapped and destroyed. But airmen at the 372nd Training Squadron at Hill Air Force Base in Utah saw an opportunity.

They wondered whether inside the "damaged crust," as the squadron's Master Sgt. Andrew Wilkow put it in a September 7 press release, some parts such as the avionics, fuel cell and gun systems still might be relatively intact and salvageable for training.

Until now, the Air Force has used operational aircraft for F-35 maintenance training, Tech Sgt. Dennis Corcoran of the 372nd said in the release. But that's not always ideal: Squadrons have missions to carry out, so there's always pressure to get the jets back up and running as quickly as possible.

But with a trashed F-35, maintainers can take as long as they want to poke around inside and hone their skills without an operational squadron growing impatient to get its jet back.

Parts of damaged F-35 repurposed for training
US airmen work on decontamination and surface sanding a condemned F-35A at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, July 20, 2021.

A team from Hill Air Force Base went to Eglin to take a look, confirming that the major components they would need for training were still in usable shape.

They struck a deal to share with a Navy unit, which was also interested in using the components for its own test and evaluation purposes, and got ready to move the fighter's remains back to Hill. The wings were cut off to prepare it for transport on a flatbed trailer.

But a burned-up F-35 includes a lot of hazardous contaminants, so the 388th Maintenance Squadron at Hill began cleaning it so it can be safely used. That involved sanding its surface and removing carbon fiber that became exposed in the wreck.

Parts of damaged F-35 repurposed for training
The fuselage of a condemned F-35A that has been decontaminated, painted, and made safe for further handling, at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, August 23, 2021.

"Our shop is involved with removing contaminants, cleaning up any fluid or chemical residue, trimming off exposed burnt composites and removing sharp edges or metal damage," Tech. Sgt. Kevin Browning, the noncommissioned officer in charge of corrosion control at the 388th, said in the release. "Then we prep and paint the components, so that they are safe to handle."

Next, the F-35 will be cut into pieces, first lengthwise across the fuselage, and then into individual component sections that will be mounted on stands to give maintainers better access. The Air Force expects that will be finished next year.

"Obviously, accidents are unfortunate, but when it comes to aircraft involved in a mishap, I have always found that there is a silver lining and something to be gained," Dan Santos, the heavy maintenance manager for the F-35 Joint Program Office, said in the release.

- Stephen Losey can be reached at stephen.losey@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StephenLosey.

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Americans kept spending amid the August Delta wave as retail sales unexpectedly rose to $619 billion

A woman shops for clothing July 12, 2021 on Cape Cod in Orleans, Massachusetts.
  • Spending at US retailers and restaurants unexpectedly rose in August to $618.7 billion, the Census Bureau said.
  • The 0.7% jump trounced the average economist estimate of a 0.8% decline.
  • The spending surge came amid soaring Delta cases, the renewal of some restrictions, and weak hiring.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Spending at US retailers unexpectedly rebounded in August despite soaring COVID cases and the reinstatement of some economic restrictions.

Retail sales gained 0.7% last month to $618.7 billion, the Census Bureau announced Thursday morning. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected sales to drop by 0.8% through the month.

The print offsets some of the decline seen in July. That month's sales were revised to $614.3 billion from $617.7 billion.

While sales are still well below their April peak of $629 billion, they remain above trend and significantly higher than pre-COVID levels. Consumer spending counts for roughly 70% of economic activity, and during a recession characterized by lockdowns and business restrictions, a resumption of typical spending activity is critical to reviving the broader economy.

"Consumers have continued to spend robustly even after the stimulus sugar-high has worn off," Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said. "That's a good sign for the economy. Rising COVID cases did not seem to have much of an effect on retail sales in August."

Spending soared the most at nonstore retailers - which include e-commerce websites and pop-up stands - as such businesses enjoyed a 5.3% gain. Furniture stores saw a 3.7% jump in sales and merchandise retailers followed with a 3.5% increase.

Other sectors continued to see sales slide through the virus resurgence. Spending at electronics and appliance stores slid 3.1% in August, while sales at vehicle dealers and parts stores dropped 3.6%. Sales were flat in restaurants and bars, suggesting the renewal of some mask-wearing rules did little to dent Americans' return to dining out.

Tracking the not-so-fragile recovery

The Thursday sales data offers a more promising view of the US rebound than several bleaker developments recently.

For one, it shows spending on the rise despite a sharp slowing in the labor market's recovery. The US economy added just 235,000 jobs in August, less than a third of the growth expected and the smallest monthly increase since January. It also marked a significant deceleration from job growth in the month prior, when the country added 1.1 million payrolls.

Measures of Americans' confidence were similarly harsh last month. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index plummeted to 70.3 in August, its lowest level since 2011 and the largest one-month drop since the start of the pandemic.

The latest retail sales data reflects that, despite soured confidence in the recovery, Americans still went out and spent, although obstacles remain in the way of sustained sales growth. For one, virus cases have only climbed higher in September, and while economic restrictions haven't changed, daily case counts now surpass those seen during the dire winter wave.

Supply-chain issues also risk hobbling the recovery. Holiday season spending could bring a healthy boost to economic activity, but shortages and shipping bottlenecks could limit just how much supply can meet Americans' massive demand. Early signs are encouraging, and the August report signals businesses can bet on people still wanting to spend, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.

"Inventory now appears to have stabilized so sales likely won't keep falling at their recent pace, but we can't be sure August marks the bottom," he said. "Upside surprises on this scale don't come often, and this one indicates a real degree of resilience on the part of consumers."

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US stocks trade mixed as investors weigh impact of new economic data on Fed policy

trader screen chart nyse

US stocks were on Thursday as traders digested how the latest batch of economic data will impact the Federal Reserve's timeline for easing its stimulus measures.

Spending at US retailers and restaurants handedly beat economist expectations and soared in August. Retail sales gained 0.7% last month, while economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected sales to drop by 0.8% through the month.

Meanwhile, more Americans filed for unemployment than expected last week. Initial jobless claims jumped to an unadjusted 332,000 last week, versus 330,000 expected. It also snapped a two-week streak of declines and placed claims just above pandemic-era lows.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:

Weaker economic data means the Fed is unlikely to announce a taper at next week's FOMC meeting, according to macro economists at Guggenheim. While an announcement at the November meeting seems the market's base-case, upcoming drama in Washington over the debt ceiling and infrastructure bill could affect that decision, they added.

Bitcoin hovered around $48,000. Coinbase said on Wednesday it plans to expand its product offering to include trading in futures and derivatives.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.35%, to $72.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, slid 0.32%, to $75.23 per barrel.

Gold 1.9%% to $1,760.10 per ounce.

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Using a mix of new technologies, teledermatology is changing how dermatologists provide care during the pandemic

Telemedicine online doctor appointment
  • The pandemic has quickly illuminated teledermatology's specific applications.
  • A hybrid approach may ensure the capture of high-quality images for evaluation.
  • Advances in technology may expand the types of skin conditions assessed with teledermatology.
  • This article is part of the "Healthcare Innovation" series, highlighting what healthcare professionals need to do to meet this technology moment.

Increased reliance on teledermatology during the COVID-19 pandemic has not only helped patients avoid contracting infection but it's also given dermatologists a better understanding of how to best employ the technology in daily practice.

"Teledermatology has definitely become more important during the pandemic and has allowed us to keep delivering effective care to our patients while they are in the safe environment of their homes," Dr. Trilokraj Tejasvi, chair of the American Academy of Dermatology teledermatology task force, chair of the American Telemedicine Association special interest group for teledermatology, and associate professor of dermatology and director of teledermatology at the University of Michigan, said.

As the field scaled up teledermatology in March of 2020, dermatologists quickly learned that the technology has specific applications, Dr. Joseph C. Kvedar, chair of the ATA board of directors, professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, and senior advisor of virtual care at Mass General Brigham, said. Patient selection is critical to the success of teledermatology, as is knowing the limitations of some available technologies, he said.

When using teledermatology, understanding the typical workflow of patient care and adhering to HIPAA regulations are also key, Tejasvi said. He adds that professional societies such as the AAD and the ATA offer a variety of online teledermatology educational tools on these topics to their members.

Workflow and HIPAA compliance

Some appointments managed via teledermatology consist of an asynchronous approach with an initial online questionnaire or intake form about medical history and symptoms, Tejasvi said. Patients then take photos of their skin concerns with a smartphone and send images through the online patient portal.

A photo review by the dermatologist is followed by a video telehealth visit with the patient to collect more nuanced information and to provide a diagnosis and recommendations, Tejasvi said. Dermatologists may also prescribe necessary medications and give additional at-home care recommendations.

Video visits have gained popularity during the pandemic because of real-time interaction. However, with the lack of high-quality, static images available through video, a hybrid approach using synchronous and asynchronous elements is becoming the new normal, Tejasvi said.

"You need to use HIPAA-compliant software, whether it is through a system-wide portal or you're using some private party software," Tejasvi said. "Patient privacy is paramount."

Careful patient selection

Patients best suited for teledermatology include those with acne, eczema, psoriasis, or wounds, Kvedar said. These patients may occasionally need to go into a lab for blood work to monitor medications, with follow-up visits via telehealth.

In contrast, patients with skin cancer need in-person visits about every six months to a year, Dr. Kvedar said. Video conferencing apps on phones and laptops are not high enough resolution for this type of monitoring.

However, someone with a new skin growth might be initially evaluated via a teledermatology appointment using photos sent to the patient portal, Kvedar said. Dermatologists can then determine whether the patient needs immediate, in-person follow-up or can wait for a regularly scheduled appointment.

Mole mapping technology is advancing

While teledermatology currently isn't ideal for evaluating suspicious lesions, high-resolution digital photography has helped with mole mapping in the clinic, Dr. Adam Mamelak, a dermatologist in private practice in Austin, Texas, said. By using high-resolution photos to track moles over time, dermatologists can better recommend interventions, diagnostic testing, and treatment.

High-resolution, total body photography and dermoscopy, or microscopic examination of the skin surface, combined with artificial intelligence is an impressive advance in mole monitoring, Tejasvi said. However, the technology is cost-prohibitive because of the lack of reimbursement and may require more square footage than practices or institutions want to dedicate to the hardware required. Some patients with a history of melanoma or with more than 100 moles may want to pay out-of-pocket for these services.

Cloud-based systems and apps on smartphones can now run AI interpretations of moles and pigmented lesions, Mamelak said. In some cases, these apps can make patient self-evaluations more accurate, he said. Triage is one such example. "I predict that many of the larger hardware-heavy systems will become obsolete as the mobile apps become more developed," he said.

AI's application to dermatology will be manifold, but it will also help primary care doctors triage patients for dermatology referral, Kvedar said, who is an adviser to LuminDx, which is developing such a system. "I think that's the next phase of care we need to prepare for."

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The 24-year old jewelry designer, whose rings have been spotted on Serena Williams and Meghan Markle, uses half her profits to fund female entrepreneurs

Shilpa Yarlagadda looks at the camera wearing a white coat
Shilpa Yarlagadda

This article was originally published on November 4th, 2020. On September 14th, 2021 Meghan Markle wore Shiffon jewelry on the cover of Times' 100 Most Influential List. This article has been updated to reflect that.

When Shilpa Yarlagadda was in between her freshman and sophomore years at Harvard, she had an idea.

At the time, she was a computer science major with no experience in jewelry. She did, however, have the desire to make a change. In Indian culture, jewelry holds great sentimental value and is something that is typically passed down for generations, said Yarlagadda. And as a Silicon Valley native, Yarlagadda grew up close to one of the US' venture capital hotspots. Her idea was a jewelry business that would also "give women access to venture capital and opportunities beyond the capital," she told Insider in a 2020 interview.

She took $5,000 in savings and $20,000 she won from a grant in high school to launch fine jewelry company Shiffon in 2017. Half of Shiffon's profits are given to the company's nonprofit organization, the Startup Girl Foundation, which focuses on funding female-owned businesses.

The Startup Girl Foundation takes equity in each company it invests in and all returns go back to the foundation so it can invest in more businesses. "Twenty-five thousand sounded like a lot of money, but now growing and seeing what other founders are able to do, I'm realizing it actually wasn't," she said. "We had to be really resourceful in what we did."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for the cover of Times' 100 most influential. On her left pink ring,  Markle wears a white suit while Harry is dressed in all Black.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for the cover of Times' 100 most influential. On her left finger, Markle wears a Shiffon pinky ring.

Now 24 years old, Yarlagadda's business is thriving - along with the companies she invested in - and her jewelry has been spotted on Emma Watson, Kate Moss, Serena Williams, Amanda Gorman, and Shailene Woodley. Recently, Meghan Markle wore a Shiffon ring on the cover of Times' 2021 100 'most influential' people issue, which she shared with husband Prince Harry.

Last November, Shiffon partnered with When We All Vote - co-chaired by Michelle Obama - to create a line of jewelry encouraging people to vote.

"In the boardrooms, women are still not given a fair and equal say," Yarlagadda said. "We wanted to inspire and remind women how hard they work to get these rights and that their voice matters."

Shiffon rings have a symbolic meaning

Shiffon's most famous product is the Pinky Ring, a version of which the Duchess of Sussex sported on her Times cover.

It's a pinky ring to represent the pinky promise that women will pay it forward to other women and is adjustable so it can fit everyone, Yarlagadda said.

Priced between $155 and $780, the ring's spiral designs represent how the company aims to help women spiral upward. Those who buy the rings unlock a secret menu that gives them access to more Shiffon products.

This year the company also expanded into creating hoop earrings in which 19.65% of profits will be invested back into female businesses through the Startup Girl Foundation. The year 1965 was the year the Voting Rights Act passed, which protected voting rights for all women - especially those of color.


To date, profits from Shiffon have gone to support 11 startups, including the bra company Pepper and the espadrille brand Sea Star Beachwear, Yarlagadda said. This kind of investment is sorely needed: Last year, just 2.3% of VC funding went to startups led by women, down from 2.8% the year prior. That number is even more dismal for women of color.

"If we can create exponential growth and a chain reaction, it's going to help us reach equality in the venture capital and business ecosystem sooner," Yarlagadda said.

Shilpa Yarlagadda stands against a wall wearing a Harvard sweater
Shilpa Yarlagadda

Providing mentorship opportunities is also key for female entrepreneurs

Shiffon has a mentorship board including stylist Sarah Slutsky, Obama's stylist Meredith Koop, photographers Inez & Vinoodh, and former Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers, who also advise the founders that Startup Girl Foundation invests in.

Mentorship has played a big part in Yarlagadda's career, and it's almost as important for young entrepreneurs to receive mentorship as it is to receive capital, she said.

"Having key advice from people who've been there before and people that you look up to can just really make a huge difference," Yarlagadda added.

Her own mentorship journey began in the early days of her business when she started contacting people she looked up to, including Slutsky, who is best known for working with celebrities like Emma Watson and Tory Burch.

A post shared by SHIFFON (@shiffonco)

It was Slutsky who, in addition to providing mentorship, taught Yarlagadda about the Kimberley Process - a certification scheme that requires participants to source conflict-free diamonds - and helped her find diamonds.

Yarlagadda has also been a mentor to the female founders who are part of her foundation, including Trisha Goyal, founder of tennis company Break The Love.

Founded in 2019, the company seeks to make tennis more accessible and has worked with Burch, sports equipment company Wilson, and received capital from Adidas' venture fund. Goyal told Insider the foundation has given her resources on how to stand out in the male-dominated sports industry, and that Yarlagadda has reminded her that each small win is an important win for every person who comes after her.

"We jumped through so many hoops to get here and there are so many more hoops to come," Yarlagadda said. "We're going to have to continue advocating for women more, and I just like to remind women to use their voices, and that their voices matter."

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Investor interest in secondhand retailers like The RealReal and ThredUp continues to rise as sales expand

A large narrow video screen displays the announcement of Poshmark Inc.'s IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in Times Square in New York
Interest in secondhand items has expanded beyond Poshmark.
  • Secondhand retail is expected to grow by 69% from 2019 to 2021, a World Resources Institute report said.
  • A ThredUp report said a secondhand clothing item had an 82% smaller carbon footprint than a new one.
  • Several startups have raised lots of funding for specialized platforms and support services.
  • Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, Insider Sustainability

When I want to buy something fancy or moderately expensive from a brand like Tumi or Patagonia, I don't just look for sales - I also check out websites like eBay and Goodwill Auctions, as well as listings on platforms like ThredUp, Poshmark, Grailed, and The RealReal, for secondhand items to see if I can save a few bucks. Sometimes the secondhand items have triple-digit price tags, but it's still a deep discount from the retail price.

My habit of searching online for this kind of deal is part of a trend in modern thrifting, one that is increasingly lucrative and interesting to investors, too.

As the popularity of and public trust in buying secondhand items increase, more digital platforms are helping this area of the retail industry expand. It's part of what's known as the circular economy, where consumers are both the buyers and the suppliers of goods and services. Corporations are also responding to the rise in interest and sales of secondhand goods, especially fashion, with millions of dollars in funding, partnerships with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, and even their own resale marketplaces.

Sustainability is also increasingly important for buyers and sellers. A recent survey from The RealReal focusing on luxury shoppers found a 13-percentage-point rise over 2019 in shoppers who cited sustainability as why they'd made a purchase from the luxury resale marketplace. "Bringing more new shoppers and consignors into the circular economy is essential to creating a more sustainable future for fashion," Julie Wainwright, the company's founder and CEO, said in a statement.

While secondhand apparel sold online represents a fraction of overall retail sales, it's indicative of a broader shift. A report from the World Resources Institute in December said secondhand retail was expected to grow by 69% from 2019 to 2021 to reach a market value of $12 billion. The retail sector for apparel was expected to shrink by 15% during the same period, to $334 billion.

thrift shopping
Interest in resale services such as ThredUp, Poshmark, and Depop has surged amid the pandemic.

Buying used and secondhand items could mean significantly lower energy and water consumption, as well as a reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions from the production process of a new item. Selling secondhand items also helps divert them from landfills. A ThredUp report found that buying a used item instead of a new one reduced its carbon footprint by 82%.

Thrift stores like Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange have existed for decades, but the pandemic ushered in an explosion of activity on resale platforms and services like ThredUp, Poshmark, The RealReal, and Depop.

One indication that resale is evolving into a much bigger player is business-to-business companies like Trove. The software-and-logistics company has partnered with brands like Nordstrom, Levi's, Patagonia, Lululemon, REI, and Arc'Teryx to help them create their own marketplaces for secondhand items.

Just this year, Poshmark debuted on the Nasdaq; Curtsy, an app aimed at Gen Z women, raised $11 million in funding; the European secondhand marketplace Vinted raised $303 million; the UK fashion portal Lyst raised $85 million; Vestiaire Collective raised $216 million; the formalwear website Queenly raised $6.3 million; and Wallapop, a classifieds app in Spain, raised $191 million. Even Trove raised $77.5 million.

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France accused Biden of stabbing it in the back and behaving like Trump after he cut it from a $50 billion defense contract without notice

President Biden delivers remarks on National Security at the White House, September 15, 2021.
President Joe Biden announcing the new security partnership with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the screen.
  • Australia angered France by cutting it out of a $50 billion contract to build its submarines.
  • The decision was the result of a new security partnership Australia set up with the US and UK.
  • France's foreign minister said the "brutal" decision "reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

France accused President Joe Biden of "a stab in the back" and compared him to former President Donald Trump after it was cut out of a lucrative defense contract without notice.

Australia cut France out of a $50 billion deal to build its submarines following the launch of a new security partnership between the UK, US, and Australia amid concerns about China's growing threat.

As part of the new pact, Australia's new nuclear-powered submarines would now be built domestically, bringing an abrupt and surprise end to France's submarine contract with Sydney.

In response, the French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio on Thursday, per Reuters: "This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do."

"It's a stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken," he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the news of the contract change on Wednesday, saying his country would now draw on US and UK expertise to build US-powered nuclear vessels rather than purchase French-built versions.

The original deal with the French shipbuilder Naval Group to build 12 submarines was signed in 2019, and came amid growing concern from Sydney about China's threat in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia had announced the French contract in 2016, but it was beset by repeated delays and wrangling over budgets. It was worth at least $50 billion, making it one of the most lucrative defense contracts in the world.

The decision by Australia to cut out France from its submarine-building plans represents a significant blow to the authority of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has invested considerable political energy into making France a key player in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia's defense and foreign ministers had reportedly confirmed that the deal was still on course as recently as two weeks ago, Sky News reported.

The French embassy on Wednesday condemned said the decision to exclude France from the contract showed "a lack of coherence that France can only regret."

Philippe Etienne, France's ambassador to the US, suggested that the US had betrayed France's historic loyalty to Washington, recalling the French Navy's defeat of the British Navy at Chesapeake Bay in 1781 - the decisive battle of the American Revolutionary War.

"Interestingly, exactly 240 years ago the French Navy defeated the British Navy in Chesapeake Bay, paving the way for the victory at Yorktown and the independence of the United States," he tweeted.

In a Thursday joint statement, Morrison and Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said the decision to cut France out of the submarine contact "was not taken lightly."

"Our partnership with the Government of France and Naval Group on the Attack class conventional submarine program would have resulted in the most capable and lethal conventional submarine ever built," it said.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely and positively with our French counterparts. France is a key friend and partner to Australia and the Indo-Pacific."

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13 years after retirement, stealthy F-117s popped up again to train against US Air Force fighter jets

F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft
An F-117 Nighthawk over Death Valley, California, February 27, 2019.
  • The F-117 was the world's first operational stealth aircraft, but it officially retired in 2008.
  • Despite that retirement, F-117s have regularly appeared over the southwest US.
  • F-117s appeared again this week in California, where they may be about to square off against F-15s.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The world's first operational stealth aircraft, the F-117 Nighthawk, made a surprise appearance in Fresno, California this week, despite being officially retired since 2008.

The Nighthawks, which were spotted alongside F-15 Eagles from the 144th Fighter Wing, made the trip to square off against the air-superiority jets in what are expected to be training missions meant to prepare the Air National Guard's F-15s and their pilots for the threat posed by stealthy foreign fighters like China's J-20 and Russia's Su-57.

For years now, the long-retired F-117 Nighthawk has been spotted in the skies over the southwest United States, serving as largely un-acknowledged aggressor platforms in training flights against America's fighters.

Despite the somewhat frequent reports of these aircraft, often spotted flying in what look like mock dogfights against other fighters, the Air Force has largely opted not to formally acknowledge their roles, or even their presence, in these flights.

F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft
An F-117 over the Nevada desert.

This week's surprise F-117 arrival in Fresno, California then marks what may be the first time Air Force officials have gone on record regarding the use of these unusual aircraft who are likely operated by contractors, rather than active-duty Air Force pilots.

The 144th Fighter Wing of California's Air National Guard, which once operated F-16 Fighting Falcons, transitioned to flying only F-15Cs and F-15Ds in 2013. America's F-15s are air-superiority fighters, meaning that although they're capable of air-to-ground operations, they specialize in air-to-air combat.

As such, it seems likely that the F-117s spotted in Fresno will be squaring off with the Eagles in the sky, rather than training side-by-side as air support for a strike operation.

However, it's important to note that despite air-to-air training being the most logical explanation for the F-117 Nighthawks' arrival in Fresno, the Air National Guard has not confirmed that assertion.

Sandboxx News received permission from Instagram user corryismigratoryman to post this picture he snapped of one of the F-117 Nighthawks flying alongside two local F-15s.

A post shared by Corry (@corryismigratoryman)

What is an aggressor aircraft?

F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft
A crowd around an F-117 at an airshow at Van Nuys Airport.

Aggressor (sometimes called adversary) aircraft serve as the opposing force in air combat training operations and military war games. In effect, they play the bad guys when America's fighter pilots and air-defense service personnel are training for a near-peer conflict with a nation like China or Russia.

Aggressor aircraft can sometimes be the very same platforms operated by opposing forces, like America's now-famed Red Eagles aggressor squadron that once operated Soviet MiGs of varying types from 1977 to 1988.

Of course, that's not always the case, and often aggressor pilots fly in American or allied jets while mirroring the tactics and sometimes the flight characteristics of opponent forces. Often, these aircraft will even be painted to match the paint schemes found on enemy aircraft, to make the experience that much more realistic for the pilots in training.

You may not realize it, but you're probably already quite familiar with that approach thanks to the 1988 movie, "Top Gun." The seemingly terrifying MiG-28 Maverick and Goose found themselves flying against never actually existed at all. The Soviet Union never developed a MiG-28-the aircraft was played by the American-made Northrop F-5 Tiger II.

Why use the F-117 Nighthawk as an aggressor?

F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft
An F-117 takes off from Palmdale Airport, home to Lockheed Martin Corps Skunk Works, April 22, 2008.

Despite recent reports that the F-117 Nighthawk did carry air-to-air weapons, the truth is, the famed "stealth fighter" was never a fighter at all. The F-117 was an attack aircraft, meaning it specialized in air-to-ground engagements and possessed no onboard radar, guns, or air-to-air missiles.

In fact, the Nighthawk could carry a maximum payload of two 2,000-pound bombs and really not much else. Lockheed Martin did propose an air-to-air capable iteration of the Nighthawk in the F-117N Seahawk that would have served on the Navy's carriers, but the effort never came to fruition. You can read our full feature on that proposal here.

So why would you use the F-117 as an aggressor for air-combat drills if it has no air-to-air capabilities?

Well, to put it simply, it doesn't really matter if the Nighthawk could actually shoot an opponent down for these types of exercises. The real point behind leveraging the now 40-year-old stealth jet as an aggressor is almost certainly all about training to locate and target stealth platforms in the sky.

Stealth does not make an aircraft invisible to radar, nor is radar the only way aircraft are targetted. The truth is, stealth is an overlapping series of technologies, production methodologies, and combat tactics that are all intended to delay detection and inhibit air defense systems from getting what's called a "weapons-grade lock" - or a sufficient lock to really shoot an aircraft down.

Low-frequency radar has long been able to spot stealth aircraft in the sky, but isn't accurate enough to actually target one.

Nonetheless, infrared-guided (heat-seeking) missiles can still sniff out the masked jet exhaust pouring out of the back of these aircraft, and of course, pilots can see them with their naked eye if they find themselves within visual range.

As the folks over at The Warzone have pointed out in the past, many of America's 4th-generation fighters, non-stealth jets like the F-15, have already been equipped with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars designed specifically to aid in targeting the tiny radar cross-sections common to stealth aircraft and even cruise missiles.

In other words, these pilots have the gear - and now they're getting the training.

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Dominic Cummings is trying to restart paid work with AI health firm Babylon, blunder by officials suggests

FILE PHOTO: Dominic Cummings, special adviser to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain October 17, 2019.  REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
Dominic Cummings.
  • A blunder by the UK revolving-door watchdog suggests Cummings is looking to restart work with Babylon Heath.
  • ACOBA had redacted Babylon's name from an official letter but left it on the file name.
  • Cummings worked for Babylon before joining Downing Street. It could benefit from a £250M fund set up after he joined.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's former top advisor appears to be seeking to rejoin Babylon Health, an AI healthcare firm that could benefit from a £250 million government fund set up during his tenure, Insider can reveal.

The accidental disclosure, which suggests Dominic Cummings is hoping to work as a consultant for Babylon Health, was made in a letter from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) to the Cabinet Office.

ACOBA acts as the watchdog on the revolving door between public and private sector roles for former ministers, senior civil servants, and special advisors.

ACOBA wrote to the Cabinet Office on September 10 noting its refusal to offer advice on an application made by Cummings for work with a company that ACOBA redacted prior to publication.

But the document was uploaded with "Babylon" in the file name, as can be seen here:

Metadata from an ACOBA letter to the Cabinet Office
The metadata of ACOBA's letter about Cummings.

Babylon could benefit from a £250 million fund Cummings helped set up

Cummings started working for Johnson in Downing Street in July 2019, and was dismissed in November 2020. Before joining Downing Street, Cummings worked for Babylon Health, according to a 2019 investigation by The Guardian and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Cummings previously advised Babylon Health on its communications strategy and senior recruitment, formally working with the firm up to July 2018 but continuing to advise on recruitment until September 2018, the investigation said.

On August 8, 2019, just over two weeks after Johnson's premiership began with Cummings at his side, Johnson and then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a £250 million investment in the use of AI in the UK's National Health Service.

Babylon Health has not yet received any investment from the fund, but welcomed its announcement, The Guardian and the Bureau reported. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Babylon Health.

ACOBA has refused to offer Cummings advice on his application to work for Babylon Health, as his consultancy work with the firm would overlap with other consultancy services Cummings previously advertised on his £10-a-month Substack.

Cummings had advertised those consultancy services without first making an application to ACOBA, and failed to respond to a request for information by ACOBA. This was reported by ACOBA as a breach of the Business Appointment Rules, which are set down by the government and form part of special advisors' contracts.

ACOBA told the Cabinet Office it would refuse to consider any further applications from Cummings until it receives "a full reply to our previous correspondence and written assurance of full cooperation with all future applications."

'Doesn't think the rules apply to him'

Justin Madders MP, Labour's shadow health minister, told Insider: "Once again he doesn't think the rules apply to him."

Cummings has recently written about the issues of the revolving door on his paid-for Substack.

"This 'revolving door' is a huge problem among UK officials and probably worst of all in the defence sector where so much is classified to prevent scrutiny. Parliament totally fails in its duty to probe the revolving door and its corrupt consequences," he wrote last week.

"A tiny bit of this has been exposed recently in the way senior officials who have left got in touch with old comrades to seek favours during covid but Parliament has as usual done little to delve into it and I'm not aware of a single person being fired."

"Ironically some officials have successfully spread the idea with the political media that I got a payrise during covid and got a payoff when I left - I refused both, as the records show, but the media obviously prefers to spread lies about me than dig into institutionalised corruption which is largely ignored."

Cummings did not respond to a question from Insider on a recent Substack ask-me-anything about his previous breach of government rules.

Cummings, the Cabinet Office, Babylon Health, and ACOBA did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment for this story.

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Barr told Trump that supporting a GOP-led Supreme Court case against Obamacare would be a 'fucking loser for you,' book says

Trump makes a statement with Attorney General William Barr in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 11, 2019 in Washington, DC.
  • AG Barr tried to convince Trump not to join a Supreme Court lawsuit last year challenging Obamacare, a new book says.
  • The suit was brought by 18 Republican attorneys general and was widely panned as far-fetched.
  • Barr is quoted as calling the case "a fucking loser," adding, "It's hard not to laugh at our argument."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Then-Attorney General William Barr warned then-President Donald Trump in May 2020 that the GOP's latest attempt before the Supreme Court to get rid of Obamacare would be "a fucking loser for you."

That's according to "Peril," a forthcoming book by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider. The book is set to be released next week.

The book said that Barr made the comment during a White House meeting with Trump and his senior-most policy and legal advisors. The president wanted the Justice Department to join a lawsuit brought by 18 Republican state attorneys general arguing that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

At the crux of the lawsuit was the claim that because Congress had rendered a core provision of the law known as the "individual mandate" - that people buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty - moot by reducing the penalty to zero, the entire law should be killed.

When Trump expressed interest in the federal government joining the lawsuit, Barr reportedly stepped in.

"Mr. President, this case is not going to win. You're going to be lucky to get anything better than 9-0 on this," the attorney general said, according to the book. At the time, the Supreme Court was made up of five conservative and four liberal justices. Two of the conservatives, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were Trump appointees.

Barr continued to press his point, adding that Trump could suffer a significant political loss by joining the case.

"Mr. President, this is an election year," he said, according to the book. "The liberals on the Supreme Court voted to hear this case because they realize this is a fucking loser for you. We're in the middle of a COVID epidemic. And you are now creating uncertainty as to people's medical coverage. And you haven't put up a substitute and we're going to lose the case."

But Trump insisted that he needed to "be with Texas" because "that is my base," the book said. Barr pushed back again, saying that Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general leading the case, "has his constituency. You have your constituency. I don't see outsourcing our policy to the fucking state of Texas."

Trump's senior counselor, Kellyanne Conway, also reportedly stepped in to sway Trump's decision, saying that the case was a "loser" that "doesn't help you." She also added that Republicans lost their House majority in 2018 in part because of their stance on Obamacare and universal healthcare.

"Mr. President," Barr reportedly said, "this case sucks. It's hard not to laugh at our argument."

But Trump was undeterred and the Justice Department joined the lawsuit. In June, the Supreme Court dismissed the legal challenge, California v. Texas, in a 7-2 vote. Kavanaugh and Trump's latest appointee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who joined the court after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last September, voted in the majority. Justices Samuel Alito and Gorsuch dissented.

The nation's high court argued that the GOP-led lawsuit lacked standing, preserving health care coverage for millions of Americans. It was the third time the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act since the law was enacted in 2010.

Republicans had long been hostile to former President Barack Obama's legacy achievement. Trump had campaigned on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a new health care law, yet in his four years in office, he failed to do so.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Binance CEO says the crypto exchange needs centralized headquarters to work well with regulators

Changpeng Zhao
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
  • Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told the South China Morning Post the cryptocurrency exchange needs to become a centralized entity.
  • Zhao said rebuilding as a centralized network would help it work well with regulators.
  • Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, has been hit with regulatory action worldwide.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, says the company needs to centralize its operations to work better with regulators as it tries to win licensing approvals around the world, according to an interview with the South China Morning Post.

"As the largest player in the industry, we need to prepare ourselves for the shift. We are making changes to make it easier to work with regulators," said Changpeng Zhao in the interview published Thursday. He said Binance needs to have clear records of stakeholders' ownership, transparency and risk controls.

Binance has run as a decentralized entity with no formal headquarters and this year has received regulatory warnings worldwide, including from Hong Kong, Japan, and the UK, and has been facing numerous bans and restrictions. The company reportedly was under investigation by US regulators.

The exchange has been talking with regulators to land approvals. Binance in July press conference said it's been working to become a fully compliant institution.

Binance's rebuilding efforts come as the cryptocurrency market this year has swelled to a valuation of more than $2 trillion.

Zhao also told SCMP that a roll-out of digital currencies backed by central banks could help increase the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.

"Once people start using central bank digital currencies locally, then they'll use bitcoin to pay their friends in other countries," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A crypto hedge fund manager was sentenced to over 7 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme


A former cryptocurrency hedge fund manager who pleaded guilty to securities fraud after prosecutors said he ran a Ponzi scheme was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York said Wednesday.

From 2017 to 2020, 24-year old Stefan Qin stole and dissipated nearly all of the assets of his $90 million flagship hedge fund, and attempted to steal millions from a secondary fund to pay back investors, according to the Department of Justice.

Qin pled guilty to one count of securities fraud in federal court in February. Now the trader, who was the subject of a Wall Street Journal profile for his cryptocurrency arbitrage skills in 2018, is facing a prison sentence.

According to the US attorney's office, Qin lied about returns on his $90 million fund and took money from its accounts to fund personal expenses, including a penthouse apartment in New York City. The office also said over 100 investors in Qin's fund were scammed.

"Qin's brazen and wide-ranging scheme left his beleaguered investors in the lurch for over $54 million, and he has now been handed the appropriately lengthy sentence of over seven years in federal prison," US Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, federal sentencing guidelines called for nearly 20 years in prison, but US District Judge Valerie Caproni said those recommendations were draconian. Qin's lawyers had asked for a two-year sentence, but the judge landed on a sentence that would dissuade others from committing similar white collar crimes, the Journal said.

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Top Islamic State commander who led deadly attack on US soldiers killed by French troops

Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi in an undated Rewards For Justice wanted poster
Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi in an undated Rewards For Justice wanted poster
  • The head of the Islamic State's deadly group in the Sahara was killed by French troops.
  • Multiple reports said Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahraoui led the killings of four US servicemen in 2017.
  • al-Sahrawi formed the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara in 2015.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The head of the Islamic State's group in the Sahara was killed by French troops, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi had led the killings of four US soldiers in Niger in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The US soldiers were ambushed by Islamic State fighters on October 4, 2017 while attempting to return to their base, the Journal reported in 2018.

The troops waited nearly an hour to request help because they thought there were fewer militants during the attack.

The ambush - which left four Americans and five Nigerian fighters dead in the Nigerien village of Tongo Tongo - was the deadliest attack on American troops in Africa since the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, the Journal said.

Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) was formed by al-Sahrawi in 2015, the BBC said, and is blamed for most of the deadly attacks in the West African region, including violence against a group of six French aid workers and their Nigerien guides and drivers in 2020.

The killing of al-Sahrawi was "another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel," French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

French forces have been fighting insurgencies in the region for years, the BBC said. There are several missions ongoing, including a counterterrorism mission and United Nations peacekeeping mission.

The eight-year campaign in the region by France is shrinking, the Journal said, with a reduced troop presence from 5,100 soldiers to between 2,500 and 3,000.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump fumed that it was the 'biggest fucking mistake' to hold a campaign rally after a TikTok prank resulted in thousands of empty seats: book

Donald Trump speaking at a lectern with the presidential seal in an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., June 20, 2020.
  • Trump ranted last year that it was the "biggest fucking mistake" to hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a new book says.
  • He initially gloated that more than 1 million people had requested tickets and tens of thousands would show up.
  • But fewer than 6,500 people showed, prompting Trump to erupt at his campaign manager and demote him, per the book.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

President Donald was furious after TikTok users played a prank that resulted in thousands of empty seats at a campaign rally in Oklahoma last year, and ranted that holding the rally was the "biggest fucking mistake," a new book says.

About half the stadium was empty, and Trump "erupted" at his campaign manager Brad Parscale afterward, according to "Peril," by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

"Biggest fucking mistake," the president is quoted as saying at an Oval Office meeting after the June 2020 rally in Tulsa. "I shouldn't have ever done that fucking, fucking rally." He also called Parscale a "fucking moron," the book said. Trump fired Parscale as campaign manager less than a month later.

A few days before the Tulsa rally, Trump boasted that nearly one million people had requested tickets. He also told Woodward the day before the rally that "over 1.2 million have signed up" and that he was expecting tens of thousands to show up. "But think of that," he told Woodward. "Nobody ever had rallies like that."

In the end, turnout proved dismal at the rally, drawing just 6,200 people at a stadium that had a 19,000-seat capacity. Trump was faced with rows of empty seats, and the president had to nix plans to speak outside the venue, where the campaign initially anticipated hosting throngs of supporters who couldn't get into the stadium because it was expected to be packed.

After the rally, a wave of K-pop fans and other social media users claimed responsibility for the lack of showing, saying they reserved thousands of tickets for the event with no plans to actually attend.

A 51-year-old Iowa woman played a significant role in the spoof gaining steam with a video explaining how to register for the rally, racking up more than 725,00 likes.

Trump attracted sharp scrutiny for holding the event in the first place given that COVID-19 cases in the city were on the rise and public health experts were urging Americans not to gather in large crowds and to follow social-distancing recommendations. Medical professionals also warned the rally could become a superspreader event.

Cases spiked in and around Tulsa following the rally, leading the city-county health department director to conclude the arena crowd and protests outside "likely contributed" to the outbreak. Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who spoke at the Trump rally, also died of COVID-19 less than two weeks later.

The rally also fell on Juneteenth in 2020, drawing intense backlash from the Black community in Tulsa and Black Lives Matter supporters nationwide who pointed to the rally also falling near the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre on Black Wall Street.

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3 ways businesses can use AI to improve diversity and inclusion while growing their teams

Four people sit together with their laptops and books discussing something exciting
Diverse work teams are more likely to come up with influential ideas.
  • Diverse teams are shown to perform better as a result of varied skills and perspectives.
  • AI technology can help employers collect data on team diversity and equity of company practices.
  • Be open-minded when reevaluating business policies - they may be impacting some employees unfairly.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

As a business leader, you probably want to improve your organization's diversity, merit, and fairness - whether related to hiring, advancement, teamwork, or other initiatives.

It's a critical area with high stakes. For example, there's evidence that diverse teams perform better, due to an integration of different skills and perspectives, and that fair systems generate employee devotion by giving credit where credit is due. Moreover, racial, gender, and other biases in hiring, promotion, and compensation have significant legal implications for businesses and other organizations.

The good news is that there are new ways to improve diversity, fairness, and merit - with the data already on hand in your enterprise. New technology enables you to use data to surface, understand, and address issues related to diversity and performance in unprecedented and sustainable ways.

The following are three specific ways to make that happen.

1. Give credit to the right people

Despite stereotypes being typically wrong on any individual basis, they influence how a person's contributions are valued and recognized. Specifically, stereotypes create a "believing is seeing" situation where people distort reality to fit their biased view of a given group, such as the contribution of gender stereotypes to the devaluing of women's contributions in multiple settings.

To resolve such bias, the broad idea is to create transparency around who contributes what and how, so that actual performance is quantified - fairly - and visible. While it was previously costly to collect comprehensive, accurate data that creates transparency, such data is now routinely collected inexpensively as a byproduct of team-based collaboration platforms.

Popular tech collaboration platforms like Slack, Dropbox, and Zoom unobtrusively capture real-time performance information that can be mined with AI to reveal unprecedented windows into the drivers of organizational performance: who leads thinking around a specific project, resolves key problems, initiates important conversations, and so on.

Not only can this new data give credit where credit is due, but it can promote effort and fairness. For instance, if a given factor affects performance, understand what's driving that outcome and take steps to address it. For example, if you find women's brainstorming contributions increase team performance when there is formal structure for turn-taking rather than an unstructured free-for-all, it indicates that teamwork processes, rather than gender, are likely correlated to outcomes, and such processes are modifiable. Thus you can use what's learned to improve processes, make better, evidence-based people-advancement decisions, rectify misconceptions, and raise the organization's entire tide of performance.

2. Create diverse teams

The famed Moneyball approach to team performance showed that team diversity on important metrics rather than star players drives success. Here, new data can help you understand the performance link between teams and diversity.

Much business today hinges on teamwork. Thus, a basic question might no longer be whether teams of all men or all women perform best, but whether more gender-balanced teams perform better than those heavily weighted toward men or women. For example, does an engineering team with at least one woman reach milestones faster than an all-male group?

My past investigation of millions of teams of biomedical researchers over a 20-year period found that controlling for individual past success, mixed-gender, balanced teams are more likely to publish more influential ideas than all-male or all-female groups, and that the mixed-gender-team effect becomes even more pronounced as the team's gender balance becomes more equal. Use this simple insight to broadly promote performance and fairness.

3. Examine your policies with data

Data is critical to creating effective, innovative people policies, especially as labor markets and work arrangements change.

For example, one company recently used data to discover that their relocation policy hampered their recruitment of strong candidates, particularly women: When they asked prospective hires to move in the middle of the school year, rather than in the summer, women with children were prone to decline the offer because it disrupted family routines, even though they wanted the job. With this insight, and new options for remote work, the company is able to make better offers, reinforce a culture of support, and increase their yield of top talent, with no real increase in costs.

Take a similar, open-minded approach to examining your policies and practices using data and smart hypotheses, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

I hope the ideas here inspire you to harness data and AI in service of diversity, merit, and fairness in your organization. Remember: Leadership plays a critical role in these efforts, through championing initiatives and smartly exploiting data to quantify true relationships and promote important new insights.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Chick-fil-A has some of the longest wait times at its drive-thru, but it doesn't seem to be deterring customers

chick fil a drive thru
Chick-fil-A's long wait times don't deter customers.
  • Chick-fil-A's average wait time topped nine minutes in QSR's annual drive-thru study.
  • The chain also got top marks for accuracy and customer service.
  • Drive-thrus have become more important than ever in fast food.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Chick-fil-A stood out in nearly every category in the 2021 QSR drive-thru study. The chicken chain had the longest wait time out of the 10 quick-service chains tested at 541 seconds, or about nine minutes, but it also beat out its competitors in the accuracy and customer service categories.

Chick-fil-A's drive-thru wait times are getting longer. In 2019, the average speed was 322.98 seconds, just over five minutes, and in 2020 the wait was 488.8 seconds, about eight minutes. Waits have nearly doubled since 2019, but customers don't seem to care. The chain was the only business to get a 100% accuracy rating in the same survey, and also got the top spot for customer service.

Chick-fil-A declined to comment on this study or drive-thru wait times.

Long waits at Chick-fil-A are unsurprising. According to the survey, Chick-fil-A locations had an average of four cars waiting in line at any given time, well above the average of 2.2 cars at McDonald's, the next highest. These wait times are a symptom of Chick-fil-A's massive success; the average Chick-fil-A store does over $4.5 million in annual sales, compared to the average McDonald's store with $2.9 million.

The chain also takes measures to make drive-thrus efficient and running smoothly. Chick-fil-A has installed double drive-thru lanes at some locations, with plans to continue adding more. It also has workers take customers' orders on tablets at their cars before they reach windows, dividing the drive-thru into zones instead of set locations, which reduces bottlenecks.

Drive-thrus have been key to the survival of fast-food chains throughout the pandemic of the last year and a half. Fast food and fast-casual brands across the country have optimized drive-thrus over the last year, many of them making improvements pioneered by Chick-fil-A. Drive-thru orders have grown across the fast-food industry since the pandemic closed many dining rooms.

With consumers eating more fast food than ever, speed is no longer the defining metric of a drive-thru's success, and Chick-fil-A's continued strength proves it.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How one nonprofit is getting the world's biggest retail brands to improve human rights in countries producing raw materials

a landscape photo taken from above in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A landscape in the Haut Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • The Responsible Sourcing Network is getting global brands to improve supply-chain sustainability.
  • It convinces companies to use sustainable raw materials and boycott producers who use slave labor.
  • They partner with major companies like Adidas, Amazon, Apple, and Costco.
  • This article is part of a series called "Partners for a Sustainable Future," profiling innovative alliances that are driving real progress in sustainability.

Sustainable and ethical sourcing of materials continues to be a problem for retail brands reliant on global supply chains.

Patricia Jurewicz, founder and CEO of Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), is helping to champion human rights in the mining and harvesting of raw materials used in our clothes and electronics.

"I think it is very difficult for companies because there's often a black hole that exists in the middle of value chains of not knowing where their suppliers' suppliers are buying materials," she told Insider.

The Network is creating responsible supply-chain coalitions of stakeholders including investors, companies, and human-rights advocates. It focuses on the "parallel situations" of mining minerals such as cobalt that are needed for smartphones from The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and harvesting cotton from Central Asia.

Members in the responsible sourcing of minerals network include Amazon and Apple, and the Uzbek Cotton Pledge counts Adidas and Gap among hundreds of brands boycotting cotton harvested under slave labor in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

"The most egregious labor and human rights violations are happening in value chains, but at the raw commodity level in what's called the pre-competitive space," Jurewicz said. "If you look overall at modern slavery statistics, the vast majority of them are happening in agriculture and mining."

Acting as a resource to bring brands to the table

The passing of conflict minerals legislation in Congress in 2010 helped the Network gain momentum as companies were forced to sign supply-chain disclosures for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

"As one of our first big partnership activities, we had monthly multistakeholder phone calls to talk about actions and what companies would put in their SEC disclosures," Jurewicz said.

Helping companies complete their due diligence obligations is how Jurewicz started building alliances between investors, corporations, local activists, journalists, and NGOs on the ground in countries such as the DRC and Uzbekistan.

"We decided to put out a report where we're ranking companies' actions and activities. We tried to do it in good faith, setting our expectations in advance," she said.

As brands got to know the Network through this work, Jurewicz would start reaching out to them to encourage simple sustainability steps, such as setting up recycling programs for their old electronic equipment.

Using stakeholders to pressure companies to lift their game

The Network's most successful campaign to date has been the Uzbek Cotton Pledge, a boycott of the nation's cotton due to its forced labor.

"We've found a lot of success in working with shareholders and investor groups to pressure companies to be more sustainable," she said. Sometimes, it's a matter of using those relationships to get brands to answer her calls. Other times, shareholders get involved directly.

"Costco had not signed the pledge, and there was a professor from Santa Clara interested in responsible investing. As a Costco shareholder, he filed a resolution encouraging them to sign it - and in the end, they did," she said.

Jurewicz pointed out that responsible sourcing measures need to be done in alliances - it's very difficult for lone actors to change supply chains.

"I think reputational harm is what brings companies to the table. We're finding now that before going into countries to source their cotton, companies want to know they have the NGOs working with them - they don't want to risk being attacked through a media or social media campaign," she said.

Making the organization approachable, not scary

Now, many of the brands the Network works with have corporate responsibility plans in place.

Retail giant Adidas notes it has "clearly defined near term priorities including targeted modern slavery capacity building" for its suppliers and uses "outside benchmarks, managed by KnowTheChain and the Responsible Sourcing Network to track our performance in relation to our industry sector and the cotton supply chain."

Jurewicz said that she attends a lot of conferences and speaks on panels to put a face to the activism and get companies on board.

"A few times when I've met people, they've said afterwards that they thought it was going to be a lot scarier," she said. "We're just trying to make sure people and the environment are treated properly. There's enough resources on the planet for everybody to benefit."

In a relatively short time, they're seeing results - the new Uzbek government has even invited the Network into the country to improve its cotton harvesting.

"They're asking us what they need to do to start bringing companies back in to buy cotton from them. I think a lot of progress has been made," she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Silicon Valley wealthy have become super doomsday preppers by buying remote New Zealand properties, getting eye surgeries, and stockpiling ammo and food

peter thiel new zealand
Peter Thiel.
  • Some of Silicon Valley's wealthiest have developed a penchant for prepping for the apocalypse.
  • They're turning to Lasik eye surgery and multimillion-dollar real-estate investments in New Zealand.
  • Investing for the end of the world has been embraced by the uber-rich, many of whom exist in Silicon Valley.

The so-called doomsday prepper community has been preparing for disaster, especially since the pandemic hit in March 2020.

A divisive political climate has also contributed to what has become increasingly uncertain times. A Texas bunker producer, who makes millions selling doomsday shelters, said his pro-Trump clients often bring up their political views, citing President Joe Biden's administration as a reason for wanting to prepare for disaster.

The wealthiest in society, from Silicon Valley to Wall Street and beyond, take it to a whole other level, perhaps simply because they can afford to.

From buying up land in New Zealand to getting Lasik eye surgery, here's how and why some of the biggest names in tech have invested in doomsday prepping.

Survivalism is a movement whose participants actively prepare for a political, social, or natural global emergency by stockpiling food, weaponry, and other supplies.
reuters us families doomsday preppers 28
A prepper in Warrenton, North Carolina on December 13, 2012.
It's more commonly referred to as "doomsday prepping."
reuters us families doomsday preppers 21
A prepper in Warrenton, North Carolina on December 13, 2012.

Source: The New Yorker

There are subreddits and Facebook groups devoted to the community, and it's perforated pop culture in recent years, with TV programs like National Geographic Channel's "Doomsday Preppers" series that kicked off in 2012.
reuters us families doomsday preppers 16
A bunker at Utah Shelter Systems in North Salt Lake, Utah, on December 12, 2012.

Source: The New Yorker

There's an entire "doom boom" industry consisting of companies that sell emergency prep equipment.
reuters us families doomsday preppers 23
Phil Burns pulls a gun from his backpack full of survival supplies at his home in American Fork, Utah, December 14, 2012.

Source: NPR

An estimated 20% of Americans participate in some sort of doomsday prepping, according to a survey by Finder, which tracks spending habits.
reuters us families doomsday preppers 14
A prepper's home in Warrenton, North Carolina on December 13, 2012.

Source: Finder

But how the average American prepares is going to look a lot different from how the wealthiest in society will go about it.
reuters us families doomsday preppers 10
Prepper Jeff Nice looks at his farm in Kinston, North Carolina on December 14, 2012.
Investing in insurance for the end of the world has infiltrated the global elite lifestyle, and Silicon Valley's most notable figures are no exception.
Sam Altman
Ex-Y Combinator president Sam Altman.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told The New Yorker in 2017 that he bought motorcycles, guns, and ammo for his San Francisco home in the event of a disaster.
san francisco
San Francisco.

Source: The New Yorker

He said he became inspired to take precautions for potential disaster scenarios after seeing the movie "Deep Impact."
deep impact tsunami tidal wave
A comet slams into the Atlantic Ocean in the movie, causing a tsunami.

Source: The New Yorker

And while most have at least motorcycles, guns, and gold coins stocked up in case of a catastrophe, that's at the tame end of the spectrum.
reuters us families doomsday preppers 27
Phil Burns, a firearms instructor, holds a handgun that he carries as part of his survival supplies at his home in American Fork, Utah, December 14, 2012.

Source: The New Yorker

Huffman got Lasik eye surgery to increase his odds of surviving some kind of world disaster. Yishan Wong, who served as CEO of Reddit from 2012 to 2014, did the same.
Steve Huffman Reddit CEO
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman.

Source: The New Yorker

The head of an investment firm told The New Yorker that he keeps a gassed-up helicopter on standby at all times and has an underground bunker with an air-filtration system.
underground bunker
An example of an underground bunker.

Source: The New Yorker

Tim Chang, managing director at the venture capital firm Mayfield Fund, told The New Yorker that he keeps a set of bags packed for him and his family in case of a disaster. He also invests in real estate for passive income and to have safehouses in place.
A man drags a suitcase.

Source: The New Yorker

Ex-Yahoo exec and current 500 Startups partner Marvin Liao said he took archery classes to be able to protect his family in the event that all hell broke loose.
Cirque Beserk acrobat bow and arrow
A Cirque Berserk performer in 2016.

Source: The New Yorker

Doomsday real estate purchases have also become a trend.
Survival Condo Project Mono Dome Cap.JPG
The Survival Condo Project, a doomsday development.
LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman told The New Yorker he estimated that more than 50% of his "fellow Silicon Valley billionaires" have acquired some kind of doomsday hideaway spot in the US or elsewhere in the world.
reid hoffman linkedin
Reid Hoffman.

Source: The New Yorker

Antonio García Martínez, an ex-Facebook product manager who lives in San Francisco, bought five acres on an island in the Pacific Northwest. His island home features generators, solar panels, and weaponry.
pacific northwest
Washington State in 2015. Martinez's land is not pictured.

Source: The New Yorker

There could be many reasons why those with money in the Valley opt to invest in doomsday preparations.
Peter Thiel Casual
Peter Thiel.
One, as Huffman told The New Yorker, could be that Silicon Valley needs an exit strategy for when the angry masses retaliate against them for building the kind of automated technology that is replacing human workers.
cafex san francisco robot cafe coffee bar robotic 4
A robotic barista at San Francisco's now-shuttered Cafe X coffee bar.

Source: The New Yorker

Political unrest is another potential factor.
protest new york palantir ice
Activists protest the Palantir Technologies software company for allegedly helping ICE and the Trump administration in New York City, U.S., September 13, 2019.

Source: The New Yorker

But their mere wealth and circumstances could also be the simplest explanation, as well as the experience that comes with operating in the risk-heavy venture capital industry.
peter thiel
Peter Thiel at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016.
As Wong, the former Reddit CEO, told The New Yorker, "The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely. They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this ... is a logical thing to do."
peter thiel
Thiel's net worth is an estimated $2.3 billion.
The most popular location for buying up apocalypse land has become New Zealand.
new zealand
Palmerston North, New Zealand, in 2011.
"New Zealand is already utopia," Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel told Business Insider in 2011.
new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011.

Source: Business Insider

Thiel owns two New Zealand properties and became a citizen in 2011.
donald trump peter thiel handshake
Then-President-elect Donald Trump shakes the hand of Peter Thiel at Trump Tower, December 14, 2016 in New York City.

Source: Business Insider

Ex-president of famed accelerator Y Combinator Sam Altman said he also has his eyes trained on New Zealand in case of a disaster.
Sam Altman Sun Valley
Altman in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2018.

Source: The New Yorker

He told The New Yorker that he and Thiel had an escape route to New Zealand planned in case of some kind of cataclysmic collapse, like a nuclear war or a viral outbreak.
sam altman

Source: The New Yorker

The fixation on New Zealand could stem from one of Thiel's favorite books.
new zealand
A view of Lake Wanaka in the Otago region of New Zealand.
According to the Guardian's Mark O'Connell, Thiel has long cited "The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State" as one of the most influential in his life.
peter thiel
Thiel speaks at a Republican National Convention in 2016.

Source: The Guardian

At its core, the book essentially details how a civilizational collapse would give way to the rise of the surviving "cognitive elite" who would then rebuild a new world after idling standing by - and hiding - as the existing way of life crumbled to pieces.
Survival Condo Project Garage 2.JPG
The front of a doomsday shelter.

Source: The Guardian

Thiel passed the book on through the Valley grapevine, spreading the concept to his colleagues in the tech community, according to The Guardian.
sam altman
Sam Altman.

Source: The Guardian

The book's authors also pinpointed New Zealand as the prime spot to hole up until the dust settled following a fallout.
new zealand
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.
That fact, coupled with Thiel's longtime fanaticism of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy - which was filmed in the country - is how Thiel and the rest of the tech elite made New Zealand their target apocalyptic hideout.
peter thiel new zealand
Peter Thiel.

Source: Business Insider

According to The New Zealand Herald, Thiel bought a Queenstown mansion in 2011. He turned one of the home's walk-in closets into a panic room.
queenstown new zealand
Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown in New Zealand in 2011.

Source: Business Insider

Thiel obtained private citizenship of New Zealand in 2011 as well, despite only having spent 12 days in the country.
peter thiel
Peter Thiel.

Source: The Guardian and The Guardian

And in 2015, he bought an estate on Lake Wanaka valued at around $10 million.
lake wanaka new zealand
Lake Wanaka in 2008.

Source: The New Zealand Herald

Buying up New Zealand real estate became so popular among execs in the Valley that purchasing a house in New Zealand became Silicon Valley code for getting "apocalypse insurance," as Business Insider's Melia Russell reported in 2017.
new zealand
Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand in 2013.

Source: Business Insider

Some tech execs have even reportedly already flocked to their bunkers in the country to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic.
new zealand man autumn
A man enjoys some late afternoon autumn sunshine in a park in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Source: Business Insider

And some in New Zealand resent that so much of the nation's property has gone to wealthy foreign buyers who don't live there permanently.
peter thiel
Peter Thiel lives in Los Angeles, California.

Source: The New Yorker

So in 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed a law barring most foreign visitors from purchasing homes or land within the country, which had begun exacerbating a nationwide housing crisis.
new zealand
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, in 2018.

Source: Business Insider

"If you've got the right to live in New Zealand permanently, you've got the right to buy here. But otherwise it's not a right, it's a privilege," New Zealand's minister for economic development and trade David Parker said in 2018.
new zealand david parker
David Parker in 2019.

Source: Business Insider

The country of New Zealand requires foreigners who purchase land there to be "of good character," a clause that affected former NBC host Matt Lauer when sexual-misconduct allegations arose in 2017.
Matt Lauer
Matt Lauer.

Source:  Business Insider

Lauer purchased a 16,000-acre ranch valued at $9.1 million in early 2017 before the allegations were made public. New Zealand ultimately allowed the former TV host to keep his land.
matt lauer
Matt Lauer in 2016.

Source: Business Insider and The New York Times

The clause still applies to all New Zealand property owners - good character is "actively confirmed" throughout ownership periods.
new zealand
Lake Rotoiti on New Zealand's South Island in 2016.

Source: The New York Times and Business Insider

Read the original article on Business Insider

Wall Street's newest millionaires are whistleblowers

whistleblower lawsuits 4x3
  • The SEC announced awards ranging from $4 million to $110 million paid to Wall Street whistleblowers.
  • In total, the watchdog program has paid $1 billion, awarding 207 whistleblowers since 2012.
  • But not all whistleblowers hit it big - and some never see a single dollar.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission just paid two multi-million dollar awards to Wall Street whistleblowers, according to a statement released Wednesday.

The payouts of $110 million and $4 million bring the agency's whistle-blowing awards to a total of $1 billion. A record-breaking payment of $114 million was awarded last October.

"The whistleblower program has been instrumental to the success of numerous enforcement actions since it was instituted a decade ago," said Gurbir S. Grewal, the SEC's Director of Division of Enforcement.

"We hope that today's announcement encourages whistleblowers to continue to come forward with credible information about potential violations of the securities laws."

A total of 207 whistleblowers have received payouts from the SEC since the program began in 2012. In order to qualify for an award, the information provided to the agency must be "original, timely, and credible" and result in "a successful enforcement action."

All watchdog payments are financed through sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators. The awards can be anywhere from 10% to 30% of the money collected from the guilty party if the sanctions exceed $1 million, according to the SEC.

But not all whistleblowers hit it big - and some never see a single dollar.

John McPherson, a whistleblower who aided the SEC's investigation into an alleged $1.4 billion scam at Life Partners Holdings Inc., received zero compensation from the agency, The Wall Street Journal reported this June.

The lack of payment was due to a controversial SEC rule that states whistleblowers cannot be paid if the guilty party declares bankruptcy, which is a common outcome for fraudulent companies.

Effective December of last year, the SEC amended the whistleblower program rules to clarify that awards cannot be sourced from private actions such as bankruptcy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Piers Morgan lands 'global deal' with Fox News Media and Murdoch outlets after leaving his job over Meghan Markle spat

Piers Morgan toasts a glass of champagne wearing a grey tophat on day 2 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2018 in Ascot, England.
Piers Morgan.
  • Piers Morgan will join Fox News Media and News Corp. across platforms in a "global deal."
  • On top of a tabloid column, he'll have a weeknight show in the US, UK, and Australia.
  • He walked off the set of "Good Morning Britain" in March over his derision of Meghan Markle.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Just over five months after he vowed to "scheme and plot my next stage of global domination," Piers Morgan has struck a deal with Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Media and News Corp to host a weeknight TV show and write weekly columns.

A Thursday press release from Fox News Media announced a "global deal" that will include a nightly show airing in the US, UK, and Australia, weekly columns in the New York Post and The Sun, a book deal with HarperCollins, and a "series of True Crime documentaries."

Morgan's US show will be available on the Fox Nation streaming app, according to the network.

Morgan walked off the set of "Good Morning Britain" in March following a spat with a co-host as tensions boiled over after his intense criticism of Dutchess Meghan Markle. He later said he was given a chance to apologize but refused, deciding instead to resign.

His first appearance following the Markle controversy ended up foreshadowing the move to Fox, with Morgan sitting down for an interview on Tucker Carlson's streaming show where he doubled down on culture war issues and called Markle "completely delusional" for speaking out about her experience with racism in the Royal Family.

In a statement accompanying the news release, Morgan on Thursday praised Rupert Murdoch and touted his new deal as a win for free speech.

"I'm thrilled to be returning to News Corp. which is where I began my media career more than 30 years ago," Morgan said. "Rupert Murdoch has been a constant and fearless champion of free speech and we are going to be building something new and very exciting together.

"I want my global show to be a fearless forum for lively debate and agenda-setting interviews," he continued, "and a place that celebrates the right of everyone to have an opinion, and for those opinions to be vigorously examined and challenged."

While hosting a weeknight show at CNN, Morgan was a vocal critic of the pro-gun lobby and the lack of government action following mass shootings in the US, frequently pointing out what a global outlier the nation remains compared to other industrialized democracies.

Whether he echoes those same sentiments in his new role across the staunchly conservative outlets remains to be seen.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A trip to Mexico is more valuable than even the best book, says a prominent economist

Travel. It's better than a book.

Books have got nothing on travel. Especially if you're going to Mexico.

So says economist Tyler Cowen, professor at George Mason University and coauthor of the blog Marginal Revolution. In a recent episode of The Ezra Klein Show, he discussed how books are overrated because experiences shift people's perspectives the most.

"A lot of very smart people maybe overinvest in books, under invest in travel," he said. After all, "we as humans are creatures of the body," and Cowen said he takes that "very literally and very seriously."

When Klein asked Cowen his top three underrated places for travel, his answer was simple: "Mexico, Mexico, and Mexico."

His reasons were plenty: the country is accessible, inexhaustible, affordable, and safer than people think. "I think I've done 31 trips to Mexico in my life," he said. "I'm never bored when I go there."

He added: "The food is amazing. People are very warm. There's an incredible sense of the dramatic and the tragic there. And my goodness, you will never stop thinking about Mexico once you start going. And I mean, not just in Cancun."

Mexico as a pandemic hot spot

Cowen isn't the only one taken with Mexico. The country has become a pandemic hot spot for both vacationers and digital nomads thanks to cheap flights and lax entry requirements.

Even though the US and Mexico agreed to close their shared land borders to non-essential travel at the pandemic's peak, Mexico never required COVID testing or a quarantine, opening up a loopholes for travelers.

Beachside municipalities, such as Los Cabos, have been most enticing to Americans. The Washington Post reported in late December that the Riviera Maya had welcomed more American tourists than ever before. Quintana Roo, home to Tulum and Cancun, saw a 23% increase in American visitors compared with 2019, The Post reported, with about 100 flights from the US were landing in the region every day.

Some are remote workers, typically millennials looking to take advantage of wi-fi in paradise. No longer chained to their office desks, a growing movement of digital nomads have been picking up and moving to some of the world's most remote places - and Tulum has been on their radar.

While Mexico may be all fun in the sun for visitors and expats, the travel boom has taken a toll on the country. As David Kushner reported for Insider, nomads are creating a permanent strain on infrastructure in Tulum and exacerbating issues already plaguing the town like water pollution. And Mexico saw a surge in coronavirus cases over the winter as American tourists flocked to its shores.

After a year locked up, it seems that people are over solitary leisure activities like reading books and are now craving experiences like travel - perhaps recognizing that they need to put their body "out there," as Cowen put it.

"You can see things now that you will never have a chance to see in your life," Cowen said. "So I would say the imperative to travel has never been stronger...conditional on absolute, 100% precautions being taken."

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to set up iCloud Drive on your iPhone to sync files across devices

woman using laptop and phone at home
When iCloud Drive is enabled, you can access your files and documents on all your Apple devices.
  • iCloud Drive for iPhone lets you save and access your various documents across multiple devices.
  • You'll have to set up iCloud Drive before you can reap the benefits of it.
  • Once set up, you'll be able to access your backed-up documents via the Files app.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Having a backup is one of those things that doesn't always seem that important - until your computer crashes and you've lost something.

To avoid that issue, you can use iCloud Drive on your iPhone to store your documents. You just have to know how to set it up and access it.

What is iCloud Drive?

iCloud Drive is basically the Apple equivalent of Dropbox. It allows you to access all your documents, on- or off-line, and recover deleted files. Plus it works across various devices, including:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod Touch
  • Mac
  • Windows PC

Because iCloud Drive comes as a part of iCloud, anything stored in iCloud Drive is subject to your iCloud storage capacity. It's free up to 5GB, though you can buy more iCloud storage space if needed. Individual file sizes in iCloud Drive are also capped at 50GB.

How to set up iCloud Drive

You'll need to turn on iCloud Drive on all your devices for your information to sync across them.

On iPhone or iPad

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap on your name and Apple ID at the very top.

Screenshot of iPhone Settings main screen
Tap on your name and profile icon at the very top of Settings.

3. Tap iCloud.

Screenshot of Apple ID page in iPhone Settings
Go to "iCloud."

4. Below the Apps Using iCloud section, scroll down and toggle the iCloud Drive button to the right, turning it green, if it isn't already.

Screenshot of iCloud page in iPhone Settings
Tap the iCloud Drive switch to turn it green.

On Mac

1. Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen and select System Preferences.

Screenshot of Apple icon drop-down in toolbar on Mac computer
Open System Preferences.

2. Choose Apple ID. If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier, you'll skip this step.

Screenshot of System Preferences homepage on Mac
Select "Apple ID."

3. Click iCloud in the left sidebar.

Screenshot of Apple ID page in Mac System Preferences
Click the "iCloud" tab.

4. Sign in using your Apple ID, if prompted.

5. Tick the box next to iCloud Drive.

Screenshot of iCloud page in Mac System Preferences
Check the box beside "iCloud Drive."

6. To add files from your Documents folder and Mac Desktop to iCloud Drive, click Options next to iCloud Drive, then tick the box labeled Desktop & Documents Folders.

Screenshot of iCloud Options in Mac System Preferences
Check the box next to "Desktop & Documents Folders."

How to access iCloud Drive on iPhone or iPad

1. Open the Files app.

Screenshot of Files app icon on iPhone
The Files app may be hidden in the Utilities folder.

2. Toggle over to Browse in the bottom toolbar, if needed.

3. Tap the three dots in the top-right corner to open a drop-down menu. Select Edit.

Screenshot of "Edit" button in Files app on iPhone
Tap "Edit."

4. Use the slider to enable iCloud Drive in the Files app.

Screenshot of iCloud Drive button in Files app on iPhone
Swipe the button to the right to turn on iCloud Drive.

You'll now be able to access your iCloud Drive documents and files.

How to sign out of iCloud on all of your devices at once to keep your account secureHow to clear iCloud storage and free up space on your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devicesHow to backup an iPhone to iCloud, to a computer through iTunes, or to an external hard driveHow to activate and access iCloud Drive on a Mac computer
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What is hyperinflation? Understanding the rapid increase in the cost of goods and services over time

Large magnifying glass with orange text, "hyperinflation," on green background with stock chart 2x1
Hyperinflation describes high levels of inflation, such as at least 50% per month.
  • Hyperinflation is when inflation - the increasing price of goods and services - rises uncontrollably for a period of time.
  • Governments responding to a crisis by printing money can lead to hyperinflation.
  • You may be able to protect wealth from hyperinflationary by investing in non-cash assets, such as commodities or real estate.
  • Visit Insider's Investing Reference library for more stories.

Your money's value depends on the goods and services you can buy with it. But what happens when prices start to rapidly increase - and they just keep going up? Hyperinflation describes this scenario, and it's often triggered by a major disaster or war, and a government's response to print more money.

What is hyperinflation?

Hyperinflation describes a situation when the cost of goods and services rapidly increases. "One definition of hyperinflation is inflation of more than 50% per month, which is about 600% per year," says Aleksandar Tomic, associate dean for strategy, innovation, and technology at Boston College. But that's just the starting point. "Hyperinflation can easily go to millions of percent per year," adds Tomic.

To better understand hyperinflation, it can be helpful to first define what "normal" inflation is. In short, inflation is the rising cost of goods and services over time. A low level of inflation, such as 2%, could be a sign of a healthy economy. Slowly increasing prices can encourage people and businesses to spend or invest their money, which can help keep the economy moving along.

You may notice inflation over time, as prices for basic products slowly increase. But imagine seeing the cost of a gallon of milk double every few months. Or, as was the case in Hungary after World War II, prices doubling every 15 hours.

What causes hyperinflation?

A variety of situations can lead to "normal" inflationary rates, such as demand outpacing production, manufacturers' cost of goods rising, or the Federal Reserve increasing the money supply. But a more dire situation and response may be required for inflation to turn into hyperinflation.

"[Hyperinflations] usually occur when a weak government attempts to fund its expenditures through printing money instead of other forms of taxation," says James Angel, associate professor of finance at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

Often there's an initial trigger, such as a war, social uprising, or supply shock - an event that unexpectedly leads to a sudden increase or decrease in the supply of a good or service. The situation may be worsened when the government has debt in a foreign currency or the supply shock hits its export industries.

If the government can't pay its required expenses with taxes or debt alone, it may try to cover its domestic and foreign payments by printing money. But as the government prints and disburses money, people and businesses may realize their cash could be worth much less next month. They'll try to spend it right away, leading to an increase in demand that drives prices up. And, because prices are now higher, the government may print even more money to keep up.

Once hyperinflationary periods begin, it can be difficult to rein inflation back in. "People do not often understand how quickly inflation can get out of control due to lack of political will to tame it," says Tomic. Often, drastic measures are needed to stop hyperinflation, such as strict austerity measures or changing the basis for a nation's currency.

Can you protect yourself from hyperinflation?

Governments may be able to put measures in place to prevent or stop hyperinflation. As an individual, there are also some actions you could take to try and protect your assets if you think your country is headed into hyperinflation.

"Generally, investors can invest in hard assets and/or foreign currency, including cryptocurrencies," says Tomic. "[But] it can be difficult for investors to protect against hyperinflation as oftentimes capital controls are put in place during hyperinflationary episodes."

Angel agrees that holding non-cash assets can help investors hedge against inflation. "These include real estate, physical objects, precious metals, and common stocks," he says. However, he doesn't suggest using cryptocurrencies, as their prices may be too volatile to offer security.

The financial takeaway

Hyperinflation describes high levels of inflation, such as at least 50% per month. The root cause may be tied to a natural or manmade disaster that leaves a country's government saddled with expenses that it can't afford to pay with its tax revenue or by borrowing money. In response, the government may turn to printing money and increasing the denomination of its currency.

Living in a hyperinflationary period can be difficult as the value of your money quickly decreases. "In such an environment any planning becomes meaningless, and oftentimes people and businesses will move to barter rather than continue using currency," says Tomic. However, investors may be able to protect some of their wealth if they invest in assets that aren't linked to the currency.

How to diversify your portfolio to limit losses and guard against riskHow to invest in real estate - 6 ways that offer a chance to make money and build long-term wealthHow to invest in bitcoin: The major ways to buy, their pros and cons, and the strategies to considerWhat are commodities? Tangible, everyday goods you can invest in, to hedge against inflation or sinking stock prices
Read the original article on Business Insider

Gen. Mark Milley fumed that he was 'fucking done with this shit' after Trump used him to stage a photo op during George Floyd protests: book

Then-President Donald Trump departs the White House on his way to a photo op outside St. John's Church amid George Floyd protests, accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and other administration officials on June 1, 2020.
Then-President Donald Trump departs the White House on his way to a photo op outside St. John's Church amid George Floyd protests, accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and other administration officials on June 1, 2020.
  • Gen. Mark Milley was disgusted when Trump roped him into participating in a staged photo op last year, a new book says.
  • "We're getting the fuck out of here. I'm fucking done with this shit," Milley said and left the group.
  • He briefly considered resigning but stayed on when Colin Powell told him Trump was "a fucking maniac."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Gen. Mark Milley was disgusted and said he was "fucking done with this shit" after then-President Donald Trump used him and other senior officials to stage a controversial photo op at a church in Washington, DC, amid last summer's George Floyd protests, a new book says.

Milley, then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper, then-Attorney General William Barr, and several others were summoned to the White House on June 1, 2020 and told to "line up" shortly after Trump gave a Rose Garden speech threatening to deploy US troops to quell antiracism protests across the country.

Reporters and photographers swarmed the group, led by Trump, as it trooped across Lafayette Square while police cleared the park by using tear gas and pepper balls on peaceful protesters. Trump was later photographed holding up a bible outside St. John's Episcopal Church.

When Esper realized he was participating in the photo op, he suddenly felt "sick," according to "Peril" by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

While they were walking to the church, Esper turned to Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was quoted as saying, "We've been duped. We're being used."

Milley is said to have agreed and turned to his chief of staff and said, "This is fucked up and this is a political event and I'm out of here," according to the book. "We're getting the fuck out of here. I'm fucking done with this shit."

Milley then left the group.

The longtime general was ashamed at having been roped into a plainly political event and felt like "he was looking into a personal abyss," the book said.

The next day, he sent a memo to the joint chiefs of staff and senior Pentagon officials reminding them of their duty to the country and the Constitution.

"Please remind all of our troops and leaders that we will uphold the values of our nation, and operate consistent with national laws and our own high standards of conduct at all times," he said in the memo, a copy of which was published in "Peril." Milley also included a handwritten note at the end, saying, "We all committed our lives to the idea that is America - we will stay true to that oath and the American people."

Milley was so plagued by the photo op that he considered resigning, Woodward and Costa reported. The general is said to have asked former Secretary of State Colin Powell - who also previously served as joint chiefs chairman - if he should resign.

"Fuck no!" Powell responded, according to the book. "I told you never to take the job. You never should have taken the job. Trump's a fucking maniac."

Powell was one of several former top military officials to criticize the photo op. "We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it," Powell told CNN.

Milley ultimately stayed in his role, but he publicly apologized for participating in the photo op in a keynote speech at National Defense University's 2020 graduation ceremony on June 11, calling it a "mistake." He made the comments while advising graduates to "always use a keen sense of situational awareness."

"As senior leaders, everything you do will be closely watched - and I am not immune," Milley said. "As many of you saw the result of the photograph of me at Lafayette Square last week, that sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society. I should not have been there."

"My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created a perception of the military involvement in domestic politics. As a commissioned, uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I've learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it," he continued said.

"We who wear the cloth of our nation come from the people of our nation, and we must hold dear the principle of an apolitical military that is so deeply rooted in the essence of our republic," Milley added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple's fitness instructors may never become Peloton-style stars, but the company is doing more for inclusivity than its upstart counterpart

Small rectangles with stills of workouts from Apple Fitness Plus
A peek into the offerings on Apple Fitness Plus.
  • Apple spotlighted some of the trainers from its fitness platform during the iPhone 13 launch event.
  • Its trainers aren't household names like Peloton's, who have become celebrities in their own right.
  • But Apple is positioning its platform as less intimidating and more inclusive than Peloton.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

In the Apple world of fitness, everyone is friendly, no one is intimidatingly hot, and it's OK if you want to work out in your pajamas.

That's what Apple portrayed during its annual product event this week, where the tech giant debuted its latest batch of iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads. It was there that Apple showed off the latest updates to Apple Fitness Plus, its in-house fitness subscription, which included new Pilates classes and workouts to help you get ready to ski this winter.

But Apple also provided a rare opportunity for non-subscribers to hear directly from the trainers themselves - Sam Sanchez, Jessica Skye, and Bakari Williams, who teach classes like strength, yoga, and cycling, and who explained the merits of letting Apple help you get in shape.

It's hard not to compare what Apple is doing with Peloton, the 9-year-old fitness upstart that turned its trainers into household names. Over the course of nearly a decade, Peloton has grown to a nearly $32 billion, publicly traded enterprise built alongside of, and perhaps because of, the stardom of trainers like Cody Rigsby and Robin Arzon.

The Peloton trainers are mostly glamorous, young, and svelte, and many of them have transcended the screens attached to the $1,500 or $2,500 bikes: Rigsby is about to be a contestant on this season of "Dancing with the Stars," and Ally Love - who teaches a range of classes including spin, dance, and pilates - just hosted a five-day wedding bash in Trinidad and Tobago, complete with thoughtful product placements, its own social media embargo, and a feature in Vogue.

So in Apple giving its own trainers a spotlight during an event like the iPhone debut, it seems as though the company might be hoping to tap into a bit of the Peloton magic. The stream was available to view on Apple TV, Apple's own website, and YouTube - on YouTube alone, it was viewed by more than 16 million people.

It's hard to say if can Apple recreate that level of stardom. As the author and journalist Anne Helen Petersen pointed out in her newsletter, Culture Study, the Peloton trainer fame is unique in that users' consumption of them isn't passive - you're tuned into the workout and strapped onto the bike, not distracted by your phone or the TV.

"You've shown them your worst and best self," Petersen wrote. "They've piloted you through frankly melodramatic episodes of athletic exertion. They might not know it, but that doesn't mean you haven't experienced it while staring directly at their faces."

She went on to say that the "continued cultivation of intimacy" via trainers' on-air personas and taglines, and the "Peloton family" mantra, all makes users feel like they're a part of something.

What's more, most users have already made a significant financial committement to Peloton. While Peloton classes are available to anyone via a $40-per-month subscription, most of its subscribers have shelled out for a bike or treadmill: The company said during its most recent earnings call that it has 2.33 million connected fitness subscribers, versus 874,000 digital subscribers.

Woman in "Peloton Wife" ad, at left, and a women working out in Apple Fitness Plus ad
The infamous "Peloton Wife" ad, left, and a still from Apple's most recent promotional video.

So while Apple's own Bakari or Sam may not become household names in the same way, Apple may be after a slightly different type of fandom. The Apple trainers are all fit and pleasing to look at, but they bring a different type of energy to the table, one Apple promotes on its website, which proclaims "All motivation. No intimidation."

"Apple Fitness+ trainers are welcoming, unique individuals, chosen as much for their friendly approach as for their expertise," Apple says. "They don't just create their own workouts and meditations, they weigh in on each other's - and even appear in their videos. It's a collaboration that lifts the whole team up."

What's more, Apple appears to have made a committement to inclusivity that you don't always see in the shimmering world of Peloton. Like Peloton, Apple's trainers represent a range of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, but it also employs multiple trainers over 50. Amir Ekbatani, who teaches group fitness classes on Apple's platform, lost his leg below the knee. Trainers incorporate American Sign Language into their classes.

And Apple's most recent promotional video for the platform, titled "Welcome to the Club," doesn't portray only lithe, wealthy people participating in its workouts. Unlike "Peloton Wife," the users Apple seems to be targeting have a range of body types and income levels more in line with, well, regular people. Of course, Apple requires that you buy an Apple Watch Series 3 or newer to use the $10-per-month subscription. While the 4-year-old smartwatch starts at $200, new Watches will cost $400 or more, and that kind of financial committement, while not as high as Peloton's, isn't realistic for all users.

In the past, Apple has been an exclusive, luxury company, a reputation it's been working to change over the past few years - and perhaps the way it's positioning its fitness service is another piece of that puzzle.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The gender pay gap shrank in 2020, but not because companies started paying women more

women at work
  • Women working full-time, year-round made 83 cents for every dollar men made, according to Census data.
  • The pay gap appeared to narrow in 2020, but that's because of the women who lost work during the pandemic.
  • Women left low-paying jobs, such as in restaurants, during the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The pandemic drove many women out of the labor force altogether - and that made a difference in last year's gender pay gap.

Whether they had to help children with virtual schooling, care for older family members, or were worried about their own health, more than 1.6 million women left the workforce and haven't returned since February 2020.

When the Census Bureau released income and poverty data for 2020 on Tuesday, the pay gap may narrowed slightly. But that can be deceiving. Many women left low-wage jobs, bringing up reported earnings for women last year.

"As the women doing those low-paid jobs - in restaurants, in retail, as child care workers, as hotel housekeepers - left the workforce, the wage gap artificially appeared to be closing," Emily Martin, the vice president for education & workplace justice at the National Women's Law Center said in a statement.

Looking at median earnings for full-time, year-round workers, women earned $​​50,982 and men earned $61,417 in 2020 per the Census data. That means women earned 83.0% of what men made or 83 cents for every dollar men earned. That's about a cent higher than in 2019, where women working full-time, year-round made 82.3 cents for every dollar men working full-time, year-round made.

A new analysis from small business platform Gusto came to a similar conclusion. Gusto's payroll data shows the pay gap narrowed by 2 cents from 2019 to 2020. Women working full-time, year-round earned 74 cents for every dollar men working full-time, year-round earned in 2020, per Gusto.

"On paper, it looks like women's relative earnings jumped," Luke Pardue, economist at Gusto, told Insider in an email. "What actually happened was women in low-wage, service-sector jobs left the workforce at significantly higher rates than women with higher-earning, professional sector jobs."

Gusto's microdata shows those who are part of the lowest wage quartile had the highest termination rates in 2020 for both men and women. Overall, women had a higher termination rate in 2020 than men, at 32% and 27% respectively.

"Indeed, we find that one-fifth of the narrowing of the gender pay gap was due to increased termination rates of women in 2020 - and that these termination rates resulted in the loss of an additional $44 billion in women's income lost from this termination gap," Pardue wrote in Gusto's report.

Per Census data, median earnings for full-time, year-round workers increased significantly by 6.9% in 2020 to $56,287, but again because of the kind of jobs Americans lost during the pandemic. The Census Bureau wrote in the report the figure "corresponds with a decrease of about 13.7 million full-time, year-round workers" and that some people may have moved to part-time as the number of workers overall dropped by roughly a smaller 3.0 million in 2020. Median earnings for total workers dropped by 1.2% from 2019 to 2020.

Companies can take steps toward closing the pay gap

Some women may have left the labor force for good. As of August 2021, over 1.6 million women who are at least 20 years old have left the labor force since February 2020, right before the start of the pandemic. That means they're not working or actively looking for work.

Jasmine Tucker, director of research at the National Women's Law Center, told Insider she's worried about the pay gap in the years to come. Because women have been out of work, she said, they might take the first job offer even if it doesn't pay well. She added that "they might be less willing to negotiate the salary or any of the other benefits in that job because they won't want to lose the offer."

At the national level, Tucker said policies and actions like raising the federal minimum wage, passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and strengthening equal pay laws are critical.

She added companies can also implement changes like raising wages and offering paid family and medical leave so employees don't have to make the choice between work and caring for someone or their own health.

Pardue told Insider in an email "flexibility is key to closing the pay gap and keeping women in the workforce."

"Flexibility in the professional services sector - in the form of paid sick leave, flexible scheduling, remote work, and greater access to childcare - has gone a long way in keeping women in the workforce," Pardue said in an email. "That type of flexibility should be accessible to women across industries and sectors."

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Trump said Jared Kushner was 'more loyal to Israel than the US,' employing the dual loyalty trope against his Jewish son-in-law: book

Jared Kushner and Trump
Donald Trump and Jared Kushner.
  • Trump in a White House meeting suggested Kushner was "more loyal to Israel," per a new book.
  • Kushner spearheaded the Trump administration's efforts on the Middle East peace process.
  • Trump has employed the anti-Semitic dual loyalty trope on a number of occasions.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former President Donald Trump targeted his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with off-color remarks suggesting he was more loyal to Israel than his home country - evoking an anti-Semitic trope in the process - during a White House meeting, according to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's new book, "Peril."

"'You know,' Trump joked in another meeting, mocking his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was raised in a modern Orthodox Jewish family and was working on Middle East peace, 'Jared's more loyal to Israel than the United States,'" Woodward and Costa wrote.

This was not the first time Trump has played into the dual loyalty trope or the anti-Semitic notion that Jewish Americans are more loyal to Israel than the US. "The charge of disloyalty has been used to harass, marginalize, and persecute the Jewish people for centuries," per the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Trump in April 2019 told an audience of Jewish Americans that Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is "your prime minister.

In August 2019, Trump said Jewish Americans who vote Democrat display either "a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Trump also faced criticism in September 2020 after he referred to Israel as "your country" in a conference call with Jewish American leaders. And that same month, The Washington Post reported that Trump after a phone call with Jewish lawmakers said Jews "stick together" and "are only in it for themselves."

The former president and his Republican allies have frequently accused Democrats who are critical of the Israeli government of anti-Semitism. In December 2019, Trump signed an executive order against anti-Semitism at colleges, which opponents said stifled free speech. Critics said the order was designed to target movements critical of the Israeli government's policy toward Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Trump supporters have frequently exhibited anti-Semitic sentiments. Among the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 was a man wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" t-shirt. An array of neo-Nazis and white supremacists participated in the deadly insurrection, which Trump provoked with lies about the 2020 election.

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EV startup Lucid's first car can travel 520 miles on a full battery - beating Tesla by 115 miles

Lucid Air exterior_10
The Lucid Air.
  • Lucid Motors' first electric car can drive 520 miles on a full battery, the EPA said.
  • When the Air Dream Edition reaches customers, it will be the longest-range EV on the road.
  • The Tesla Model S has an EPA-rated range of 405 miles.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

When Lucid Motors' hotly anticipated first cars reach customers later this year, they'll become the longest-range electric vehicles on the road.

In fact, they'll be able to travel over 100 miles farther on a full battery than the next best electric vehicle.

The startup's debut sedan, the Air Dream Edition R, has earned a range rating of 520 miles from the Environmental Protection Agency. It's the longest range rating the agency has ever awarded.

Lucid's share price rose more than 4% following Thursday's news.

For context, the Tesla Model S has worn the range crown for years, and the latest version of the sedan has an EPA rating of 405 miles. The Lucid Air Dream Edition R beats Tesla's best model by a long shot, but it costs a lot more too. The Air Dream Edition costs $169,000, while a Model S can be had for $90,000.

Still, the Air's exceptional range rating bodes well for Lucid's future in the increasingly crowded EV market. Lucid, which is run by former Model S chief engineer Peter Rawlinson, is widely regarded as one of the most legitimate EV startups. The company went public through a reverse merger in July, well before delivering a single vehicle.

After some supply-chain-related production delays, Lucid says it is on track to deliver Lucid Air Dream Edition models to preorder holders in 2021. The car comes in a range-oriented trim (R) and a performance version (P). The EPA estimates that the Air Dream Edition P can travel 471 miles on a full charge.

A slew of EV startups are vying for a slice of the growing market for green vehicles, but Lucid and fellow California upstart Rivian are by far the furthest along in their efforts.

Lucid plans to follow up the Dream Edition with other more affordable Air models in the coming years. Rivian plans to start delivering its R1T pickup truck to customers in September, followed by an SUV later in the fall.

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Michael Gove, the UK's new housing secretary, has received £120,000 from property developers in 2021 alone

Michael Gove
Michael Gove.
  • Michael Gove has received £120,000 in donations from property developers this year.
  • He was on Wednesday put in charge of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
  • Campaigners called the donations a "very obvious conflict of interest."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Michael Gove - the UK's new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government - accepted £120,000 ($165,207) from property developers this year, Insider can reveal.

The contributions came from two wealthy developers, both of whom have interests in the UK.

Campaigners say the sums represent a conflict of interest for Gove, who was put in charge of housing policy by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a reshuffle of his cabinet on Wednesday.

The first was £20,000 ($27,564) on May 24 from Alan Massie, a Scottish businessman who owns the development company Carlton Rock.

The second was were £100,000 ($137,820) from Zachariasz Gertler, paid in two installments of £50,000 on August 5 and August 6.

Gertler is the managing director of Gertler Estates, a property development company founded by his father.

He lives in Israel, where he has closed ties to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose 70th birthday party he hosted at his home, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The Gertler Estates website describes extensive developments around Frankfurt, but makes no mention of buildings in the UK.

According to The Sunday Times, the company built offices in London in the 1990s. News articles from 2004 mention two large office buildings near King's Cross in London, which Gertler sold for £90 million.

Its annual Rich List estimated his family's net worth at £150 million in 2009, but has not featured him since.

Massie's Carlton Rock has property interests in Aberdeenshire, where Gove grew up. Local press reports mention projects including an as-yet unbuilt hotel and a warehouse on the industrial outskirts of Aberdeen.

Massie and Gertler's contributions make up 87% of Gove's donations for the year.

Both were listed under Gove's name in Parliament's register of MPs' financial interests. Gove also received smaller donations from Massie, Gertler, and other property developers before 2021.

They include an earlier £10,000 each from Gertler and Massie in June 2019, when Gove was running for leadership of the Conservative Party, a contest he lost to Johnson.

Campaigners and opposition parties were quick to criticize Gove's appointment in light of the donations.

Susan Hawley, Executive Director at Spotlight on Corruption, told Insider: "This very obvious conflict of interest will need to be handled extremely carefully by Gove's new department and he will need to recuse and insulate him from all decisions that could benefit any of these donors."

"The public have a right to know that campaign contributions of this sort play no role in influencing government policy, and the onus is on the department to show through high levels of transparency, that these donors are not given any form of privileged access to Gove and that his decisions are not influenced by these donations."

Steve Reed MP, Labour's Shadow Communities Secretary, told Insider that Gove has "serious questions to answer" about the donations.

He called on Gove to drop planned legislation which critics say favors developers over local communities.

"If the Secretary of State wants to prove that his party is not in the pockets of the development industry, he should confirm that the Government's planning reforms are dead and buried," Reed said.

The Ministerial Code - rules governing how ministers behave - instructs ministers to "scrupulously avoid any danger of an actual or perceived conflict of interest between their Ministerial position and their private financial interests".

Neither the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government nor Michael Gove's office provided Insider with a comment by the time of publication.

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This startup wants to disrupt copper, silver, and gold trading. We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used to raise a $33 million.

Open Mineral cofounders Ilya Chernilovskiy and Boris Eykher
Open Mineral cofounders Ilya Chernilovskiy and Boris Eykher.
  • Open Mineral has created an eBay-like trading platform for copper, silver, and gold.
  • The Swiss startup has raised $33 million in fresh funding from UAE sovereign wealth fund Mubadala.
  • We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used to raise from investors.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A startup that wants to digitize the marketplace for metal commodities like copper, silver, and gold, has raised $33 million.

Switzerland-based Open Mineral aims to bring the trading process, which it claims still largely relies on paper, online. The startup, which was set up by two former asset managers at mining giant Glencore, says its system can disrupt the trading sector in a similar way to to what eBay did to retail.

Commodities are notoriously volatile. Open Mineral's trade platform for base metal commodities, which enables metals and mining companies to buy and sell digitally, uses "proprietary pricing algorithms" to estimate the value of products based on real-time market conditions in a bid to make transactions more efficient and profitable.

The platform, which also provides insights and reporting, is free to use but an account must be approved by the Open Mineral team. Once an account is approved, the person will be asked what materials they are interested in and trades are suggested based on this. Open Mineral charges a commission fee on each deal.

Cofounders Ilya Chernilovskiy and Boris Eykher, who were both working in the sector when they had the idea for the company, hope this will help companies make better business decisions and speed up trades.

Open Mineral has grown slowly since its inception, but the industry is beginning to see its value. "At first, people were cautious, I would say," Chernilovskiy told Insider. The industry has operated the same way for hundreds of years, he said, adding: "It's a very large industry, very old fashioned."

"We believe, in the 21st Century, we can use more data, more analytics, so people start to come from cautious to interested. We still have a long way to convert a very significant part of the industry."

Founded in 2017, the company has a London-based research team who publish industry news, trends, price data, and current market terms based on the trades being done on its platform.

The Series C was led by UAE sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company. Xploration Capital, which invests in digital transformation companies, industrial IT investors Emerald Technology Ventures, Statkraft, which focuses on energy disruptors, and fintech investor Lingfeng Capital also participated in the round.

The fresh cash will be used to expand its commercial team, develop the software further, and double-down on data and analytics.

Chernilovskiy "abstained" from comparing Open Mineral to "the largest companies in the industry", but said: "We have not started this business to be small."

He is, however, taking the raise as a vote of confidence. "This is a proof of the concept, proof of growth, and probably also proof of the potential of the company," Chernilovskiy said. "We are excited."

Scroll down to see the pitch deck Open Mineral used to raise the latest round.

Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
Open Mineral pitch deck
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Percale vs. sateen: Which cotton sheet type is best for you?


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

overhead shot of woman lying in brooklinen sateen sheets
  • As you shop for cotton sheets, you'll come across two terms: percale and sateen.
  • They refer to the different ways that cotton yarns are woven into fabric.
  • We explain their feel and breathability so you can buy the best one for a good night's sleep.
Table of Contents: Masthead StickyPima Cotton Percale Sheet Set (Queen) (small)Luxe Core Sheet Set (Queen) (small)

What are percale and sateen?

Percale and sateen are types of cotton weave - how cotton yarns are woven together to create a fabric. They're the most common weaves and cotton sheet types you'll see while shopping for bedding. While both percale and sateen are highly popular and comfortable, you'll probably like one more than the other based on your body temperature and what kind of feel you prefer.

The differences in their properties are due to how each weave is made:

Illustration of side by side comparison of percale and sateen, two types of cotton weave
In a percale weave, one yarn is woven with another thread into a tight grid pattern. It's a "one under, one over" pattern. In a sateen weave, three or four threads are woven over one thread into a looser grid pattern. It's a "three over, one under" weave pattern.

What does percale feel like?

Because percale has a tight, even 1:1 weave, it has a crisp, matte, and lightweight feel, similar to a white button-down shirt. It's airy and breathable. Percale is best for sleepers who like to stay cool throughout the night.

What does sateen feel like?

Due to its looser weave, where more yarn is exposed to the surface, sateen feels silky smooth, with a slight sheen to it. It's very soft and warm, but it's less breathable than percale, so it might not work for people who sleep warm. Thanks to its luxurious feel, many hotels use sateen sheets in their guestrooms.

Is percale or sateen better?

The best cotton sheet for you depends on how you like to sleep.

Percale is crisp and breathable, and it gets softer over time. Its tight grid pattern also makes it more durable than sateen.

Sateen has a luxuriously smooth and warm feel, but it tends to snag more easily due to its weave. Since sateen is less abrasion-resistant than percale, you must use more care when handling it.

In sum:

Percale Sateen
  • Feels crisp and lightweight
  • Highly breathable
  • Stays cool
  • More durable
  • Feels smooth, similar to silk
  • Stays warm
  • Makes your bed feel like a hotel bed
  • Less soft than sateen
  • Less durable and more prone to abrasion
  • Less breathable

Keep in mind that other factors like the type of cotton used and the thread count also play a role in the feel and durability of your sheet. Long-staple cotton, for example, is longer, softer, and more durable than short-staple cotton. Extra-long staple cotton (also known as pima or Supima cotton) is even softer and more durable than long-staple cotton. Meanwhile, thread count - the number of yarns per inch, horizontally and vertically - also helps make a sheet softer and durable.

Take into account weave, cotton type, and thread count when you shop for sheets.

white hotel h by frette sateen sheets on a bed

Does percale or sateen cost more?

The type of cotton and thread count affect the final cost. All things equal, you should be able to find percale and sateen sheets for about the same price.

However, since sateen tends to come in at a higher thread count, it's usually more expensive than percale. The higher price also helps contribute to the idea that sateen is more "luxurious" than percale.

How to care for and wash percale and sateen sheets

You should follow any specific instructions given by the brand you purchased. Generally, we recommend you wash your sheets every one to two weeks in cold water with a gentle detergent. Then, tumble dry on low.

Avoid hot water in the washer because it can cause colors to bleed, shrink your sheets, and weaken sheet fibers. Drying on high heat can also weaken the fibers or lead to pilling, especially in sateen sheets, which are already naturally more susceptible to abrasion.

Where to buy percale and sateen sheets

Many bedding brands offer both percale and sateen sheets. Once you've determined which type you want, try these sheet sets. We've personally tested them and can vouch for their comfort and durability.

The best percale sheets:

Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set (Queen) (small)Percale Sheet Set (Queen) (small)Percale Sheet Set (Queen) (small)

The best sateen sheets:

Sateen Classic Sheet Set (Queen) (small)Luxe Core Sheet Set (Queen) (small)Sateen Sheet Set (small)
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This subscription service matches your coffee preferences against brews from 400+ roasters to find you the very best cup of coffee


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

  • Trade Coffee Co. is our favorite coffee subscription service.
  • When you take its online quiz, you get matched against 400+ roasters across the country to find your perfect brew.
  • There are frequent discounts; currently, you can take 15% off your first bag and get free shipping too.

If you want to learn how to profile your ideal cuppa (and maybe self, while you're at it), there may be no better way than with the help of Trade Coffee.

Related Article Module: The 7 best coffee subscriptions in 2021

Trade is a coffee subscription service (our top-rated one, in fact) that matches your coffee preferences with more than 400 coffee brands and roasters to create a curated subscription of beans you'll love. You answer a seven question quiz about how you like your coffee, and Trade matches you with roasters around the country that fit your ideal profile.


Depending on your profile, Trade may match you with The Classics, which is their best value plan at $25 for two 12-ounce bags. Then there's The Hookup for those seeking something "surprising and unconventional" at $15 to $22 per 12-ounce bag. While the prices are more expensive than what you might be used to, Trade runs a good amount of discounts - right now, it's offering 15% off your first bag, and shipping is always free.

How it works

The process, intimidating at the outset, perhaps, is so thoroughly yet tidily detailed that it's a breeze.

What we like most about the selection and customization process is how unassuming it is. You don't feel like you're diving in headfirst with a sommelier who's just out to make you feel uninformed. Instead, you get a clean page layout with four options to identify your level of java snob-hood from newbie to nerd.

Here's what Trade's coffee matchmaking quiz looks like

Review of Trade Coffee Co.

Some of us on the team tested Trade's coffee, others tried equipment. Below is a short roundup of what each of us tested along with our findings and tasting notes.

Petunias Espresso by Revelator Coffee Co.
Petunias House Blend (button)

I went for the "surprising and unconventional" choice because you only live once, as they say. I'm rarely able to place undertones within things like coffee, wine, or beer. "Enjoyable" and "not enjoyable" are my usual descriptors, and to each our own, I always believe, but this was something I could savor, and did I ever.

A bitter, velvety dark chocolate tone was punctuated by hints of red stonefruit (cherry, I suppose) as vividly as any beverage ever delivered flavor to my palate. Okay, maybe it wasn't all that distinct (at least not for me), but it was different, and each and every morning, while the bag lasted, the thought of that thick crema greeting my tongue was enough for me to peel off the sheets and (almost) make it to work on time. Now that's something.

I'd be happy to wake with this sensation every morning for the rest of my life, and therein am seriously considering one of these subscriptions for myself. My benevolent overlords might appreciate this motion, too, should it continue to deliver me to work on time. — Owen Burke, senior reporter

Leftist Espresso by Gimme!
Leftist Espresso (button)

I rarely go a day without coffee but typically settle for the brew in our office. The Gimme! Leftist Espresso was a nice change to my routine and provided a strong and sweet batch of coffee. I received the whole bean bag and decided to grind it into medium grounds to use with my French press.

Since it's a light-medium roast, it was smooth and had a higher level of caffeine — meaning that I only had to have one cup to get through my morning to-do list. The actual coffee was a treat, plus I felt like it was made especially for me after using the "Get Matched" quiz on the Trade website. — Megan Foster, former editorial fellow

Cold Brew Coffee Bags by Trade Coffee Co.
Cold Brew Bags (button)

Typically, I use this cheap, utility-first plastic cold brew bottle to make a quart of cold brew at home, so I decided to try this on-the-go option. One reusable Trade Cold Brew Bag can make up to five batches per 12-ounce bag of coffee (and $9.50 gets you 20 bags).

Pretty much all you need is the Trade cold brew bag, some coffee, and a glass on hand (the company notes that mason jars work well, and I'd agree). You'll still have to wait 12 to 18 hours for your cold brew, but it's easy, mobile, and the bags are made from corn-based fiber and blessedly compostable. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

The bottom line
a cup of coffee brewed from beans sourced from Trade Coffee

If you're already spending $10 to $15 on a 12-ounce bag of coffee and you want to learn how to pull a better shot of espresso, make cold brew, or just learn a bit (or a lot) more about making coffee in general, then Trade Coffee might be for you.

It also makes an excellent gift for the coffee lover in your life (or soon-to-be coffee lover, once they get matched by Trade to their ideal roast). 

Subscribe to Trade Coffee Co. or explore single matches, starting at $12.50 per 12-ounce bag 

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