Channel: Business Insider

The air is so dry in Antarctica that chips and popcorn never go stale. It also wrecks your skin, according to someone working there

Josiah Horneman, a man, is wearing a heavy red coat whilst walking in a corridor at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
Horneman in full gear as he prepares to walk out into the cold Antarctic winter.
  • During the polar winter, the remote Amundsen-Scott station is the driest place on Earth.
  • Over winter, people living there battle flaky skin and "bloody boogers", he said.
  • But there are some perks: chips and popcorn never go stale.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The air in Antarctica's remote Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is so dry that chips and popcorn never go stale, according to a worker that is currently living there

That is because the station is not only one of the coldest places on Earth. The air there is also incredibly dry.

"It's the driest place on earth," Josiah "Joe" Horneman, a physician assistant working at the station over winter, told Insider.

Horneman uses TikTok to show that day-to-day life at the station is far from bleak.

Because the air can often reach -70 degrees Fahrenheit, it can't retain as much moisture. Any that is introduced instantly freezes, a fact demonstrated by Horneman by tossing boiling water into the air:


Answer to @lewithe13 @joespinstheglobe and i throw boiling water in the air. so cold. so fun. ##antarctica ##southpole

♬ original sound - toni on ice

"This means flaky skin, constantly hydrating, bloody boogers, getting zapped whenever you touch metal," Horneman said.

But there are some unexpected perks to the air being that dry.

"Your bath towel and hair (for those that have it) dry very fast," Horneman said, adding: "Mildew and mold are non-existent."

Another upside is that chips and popcorn never go stale, Horneman said. That's useful as the staff have a popcorn machine that they use for every movie night and TV night, Horneman says in a TikTok post.

"I eat so much freaking popcorn here," he said.

Josiah Horneman points to a popcorn machine in the background at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
Staff have an on-site popcorn machine that is useful on movie nights.

You can read more about life in the Antarctic winter in Insider's full interview with Horneman and a colleague here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tesla just beat out Ford as the most American-made car for the first time ever

Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3, which is manufactured in Fremont, California.
  • Tesla's Model 3 sedan topped Ford's Mustang in the Cars.com American-Made Index this year.
  • It's the first time in 16 years that Tesla has topped the list.
  • The American-Made Index ranks American cars by how much of the car and its parts are made in the US.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In a ranking of dozens of American cars, Tesla took the top spot over rivals from American giants like Ford and Jeep - but not for the reasons you might think.

The Cars.com American-Made Index, now in its 16th year, ranks dozens of American-made cars to determine which is the most "made in America" of all. It takes five primary factors into account: final assembly location, origin of parts, origin of engines, origin of transmissions, and manufacturing workforce.

To that end, Tesla's Fremont, California-made Model 3 sedan took the top spot - the first time ever for Tesla.

Ford's Mustang, made in Flat Rock, Michigan, took the second spot, while Tesla's Model Y SUV rounded out the third spot.

Ford and Tesla have come into increasingly close competition lately, with Ford's wildly successful Mustang Mach-E directly taking on Tesla in electric car sales. Ford's first all-electric Mustang made a big enough splash when it launched earlier this year that it immediately cut Tesla's market share in the electric car market by over 10%.

Despite the competition, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley appear to share a mutual appreciation of each other.

"Tesla & Ford are the only American carmakers not to have gone bankrupt out of 1000's of car startups. Prototypes are easy, production is hard & being cash flow positive is excruciating," Musk tweeted in March. "Respect," Farley said in response.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Andreessen Horowitz raises $2.2 billion for its largest ever cryptocurrency fund

Marc Andreessen Ben Horowtiz Andreessen Horowitz

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) announced Thursday it is launching a $2.2 billion crypto fund to deploy more capital across blockchain and digital asset projects.

The fund, called "Crypto Fund III," is a16z's third and largest crypto venture fund.

"The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives," Katie Haun and Chris Dixon, partners who will co-lead the fund, said in a blog post.

The Financial Times reported in April that the venture capital firm would be raising $1 billion for a crypto fund. After that news, several VCs told Insider that firms have been scrambling to get into crypto deals.

A16z's first crypto-focused fund in 2018 ushered in $300 million of LP commitments. Its second fund, which closed in April 2020, brought in about $515 million.

One of the firm's first forays into crypto was a 2013 investment in Coinbase. This April, A16z exited Coinbase upon the cryptocurrency exchange's public debut. According to estimates, the venture capital fund made so much money on Coinbase it may have banked enough to repay its last two funds totaling $4.5 billion.

A16z is also adding a swath of new hires to the crypto team. Among them is Bill Hinman, former director of the SEC division of corporation finance, and Brent McIntosh, former Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mark Meadows was 'consumed with fear' that Trump would die from COVID-19, book says

Former president Donald Trump and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows
President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, on Marine One helicopter after he tested positive for COVID-19. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is at second from left.
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was "consumed with fear" that Trump would die from COVID.
  • The White House was wholly caught off guard and unprepared for a COVID outbreak in October.
  • The behind-the-scenes panic over Trump's illness is documented in the book "Nightmare Scenario."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was "consumed with fear" that former President Donald Trump would die from COVID-19, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters.

A new excerpt of the book, "Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History," detailed the White House's chaotic response to Trump's October 2020 COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization. The book, written by Yasmeen Abultaeb and Damian Paletta, is due for release on June 29.

Despite flouting COVID protocols like mask-wearing and social distancing for months, the White House was fully caught off guard by the COVID-19 outbreak that swept through the complex in October, infecting both Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

Read more: Entire paychecks going to day care, swiping free food: 8 congressional staffers break down how they stretch their salaries in expensive DC

Many officials were kept in the dark about the severity of Trump's illness, and the White House didn't even have a plan in place to swear in Vice President Mike Pence if Trump became immobilized or indisposed from his illness, the authors revealed.

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution allows the president themself or members of the president's cabinet to temporarily transfer the powers of the presidency to the vice-president.

As previously reported, Trump was a high-risk patient due to his age and weight, and spiked a high fever while his blood oxygen levels dropped to dangerously low levels.

The book also documented the behind-the-scenes scramble at the Food & Drug Administration to secure compassionate-use authorization of an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment not yet authorized for widespread use, for Trump's treatment.

At Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump received multiple drug therapies not available to most of the American public, and steroids that helped him recover from COVID-19.

Trump becoming even more seriously ill or dying just four weeks before the 2020 presidential election would have would have thrown the administration and the US' future into disarray.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meet the Cathys, heirs to the Chick-fil-A empire, who have a fortune of more than $14 billion and are one of America's wealthiest family 'dynasties'

chick fil a family 4x3
The Cathy family.

When it comes to the Cathy family's reported $14.2 billion fortune, it's all about the fried chicken. That's because the Cathys are the family behind the Chick-fil-A empire.

S. Truett Cathy officially founded the popular fast-food chain in the 1960s, laying the roots for what is today America's 21st-richest family wealth "dynasty," according to the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies' "Silver Spoon Oligarchs" Report.

Since then, the family-owned business has remained in the hands of second- and third-generation family members. Truett's sons, Dan Cathy and Don "Bubba" Cathy, run the company as CEO and executive vice president, respectively - they each have a reported net worth of $7.1 billion, according to the Forbes 400.

Born and raised in the south, the Cathy family has been dedicated to continuing Truett's legacy, growing Chick-fil-A across the US. Chick-fil-A has been celebrated for its company culture, customer service, and quality food, but it has also received backlash over anti-same-sex marriage issues that align with the Cathys' Christian beliefs.

Take a look inside the rise of Chick-fil-A and the family behind it.

The Cathy family's multibillion-dollar fortune is rooted in the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A.
S. Truett Cathy
S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A (second right) poses with son Dan T. Cathy (far left), daughter Trudy White, and son Donald "Bubba" Cathy.

SourceForbes, Business Insider

In 1946, without any management or restaurant experience, S. Truett and his brother Ben opened an Atlanta diner called the Dwarf Grill, later renamed the Dwarf House.
Truett Cathy

Source: Business Insider

It was there that they first served chicken sandwiches, mainly to Ford factory workers and airport employees who worked nearby.
truett cathy

Source: Forbes

Three years later, Ben died in a plane crash and Truett found himself handling the business on his own.
truett cathy

Source: Forbes

In 1967, he opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant at a mall in Atlanta.
truett cathy chick fil a

Source: Forbes

More than 60 years later, Chick-fil-A is a massive restaurant empire.
chick fil a

Source: Chick-fil-A

Today, it has more than 2,500 restaurants across 47 states and Washington, DC.
chick fil a

Source: Chick-fil-A

In 2019, it was the third-largest restaurant chain in the US by sales in 2019, bringing in $11.3 billion.
chickfila thanksgiving

Source: Insider

It's the most profitable fast-food chain in America on a per-location basis, with the average per-unit revenue greater than $4 million.
Chick fil A
hick-fil-A cow and brand ambassador attend the PANDORA Discovery Den SXSW on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

Source: Business Insider, QSR

According to Forbes, Truett "practically invented the idea of a quickly served chicken sandwich."

Source: Forbes

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned business. Truett had three children with his wife, Jeannette: Dan, Don "Bubba," and Trudy.
truett cathy office
Truett's family photos.

Source: Forbes

When he passed away in 2014, he left the fast-food chain to his sons, Dan and Bubba. They're America's 21st-richest family-wealth "dynasty," according to a recent report.
dan cathy
Dan Cathy.

Source: Forbes, The Silver Spoon Oligarchs Report 

Dan is Chick-fil-A's chairman and CEO - he spends a lot of time visiting restaurants and grand openings across the US.
Dan Cathy

Source: Forbes, Forbes

It's a fitting position for someone who grew up doing odd jobs at Chick-fil-A, including scraping chewing gum from table bottoms with a butter knife.
chick fil a dan cathy

Source: Forbes

He helped expand Chick-fil-A's growth monetarily and geographically, opening restaurants in big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.
Chick-fil-A in Manhattan, New York.

Source: Chick-fil-A

Dan lives on a farm south of Atlanta with his wife, Rhonda. He has two sons, Andrew and Ross, and three grandchildren.
cathy dan

Source: Chick-fil-A

Outside of Chick-fil-A, he's very involved in community organizations, including the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Aquarium, and Atlanta Committee for Progress. He's particularly passionate about the revitalization of Atlanta's Westside.
georgia aquarium

Source: Chick-fil-A

He also serves on multiple boards and is involved in ministries, philanthropies, and nonprofits such as City of Refuge, Passion City Church, and the Rock Ranch.
dan cathy

Source: Chick-fil-A

In his spare time, Dan plays the trumpet, gardens, and landscapes.
dan cathy chick fil a

Source: Chick-fil-A

He also pilots small jets and rides motorcycles. He was previously a competitive wrestler.
chick fil a dan cathy

Source: Chick-fil-A

His brother, Bubba, has held a number of positions in the company, including construction apprentice, and is the executive vice president.
Bubba Cathy photo (1)

Source: Chick-fil-A, Forbes

Like his brother, Bubba is a motorcyclist, leading groups on charity rides in the US. He's also an avid sailor, taking groups on charity yacht voyages.
bubba cathy

Source: Forbes

Dan and Bubba both have fortunes of $7.1 billion, according to the most recent Forbes 400 list.
dan cathy

Source: Forbes 400

Their sister, Trudy Cathy White, began working for the family business at age 19 when she became operator of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, she's an ambassador.
Trudy Cathy

Source: Chick-fil-A

She's also an author - her book "Climb Every Mountain" is published by Simon & Schuster.
climb every mountain trudy white

Source: Simon & Schuster

It could be said that she got the writing gene from her father, who published five books about business, motivation, and parenting during his lifetime.
truett cathy book

Source: Business Insider

She and her husband, John, have four children and 15 grandchildren.
trudy cathy white

Source: Trudy Cathy White

Truett raised his children in a "modest house" but had a car collection that included former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's 1937 Lincoln Continental, George Glaze's Brewster 8 Town Car, and a 1931 Duesenberg.
truett cathy car collection

Source: Business Insider

The Cathy family is known for their Southern Baptist values - Chick-fil-A is famously closed on Sundays, restaurant openings often include prayer, and employees are advised "to base your business in biblical principles."
chick fil a

Source: Forbes, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal

Truett and his wife created the WinShape Foundation in the 1980s, which donates money to Christian organizations and offers residential camps, a retreat center, and a foster home.
truett cathy

Source: Business Insider

Truett taught Sunday school for more than 50 years. Dan followed in his footsteps - he teaches Bible study on Sundays.
truett cathy chick fil a

Source: Chick-fil-A, Business Insider

The Whites served for 20 years with the International Mission Board. For half that time, they served as missionaries in Brazil, where they started a small church.
trudy white

Source: Chick-fil-A

They also cofounded Lifeshape and Impact 360 Institute, two religious nonprofits.
trudy cathy white

Source: Chick-fil-A

In 2012, Dan stirred controversy for his comments on gay marriage. In an interview with Baptist Press, he said he's "guilty as charged" when it comes to supporting what he calls the "biblical definition of the family unit."
chick fil a anti gay

Source: Baptist Press

WinShape was criticized for donating to anti-gay marriage groups - about $5 million since 2003, Forbes reported in 2012. Chick-fil-A told Insider in 2019 that giving to all but one of these organizations - Fellowship of Christian Athletes - has stopped.
chick fil a anti gay marriage

Source: Forbes, Forbes

Dan has said the chain doesn't have an anti-gay agenda. "While my family and I believe in the biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees," he previously said.
chick fil a kiss in.JPG

Source: Forbes

Chick-fil-A may be considered controversial by some, but it also has a reputation for its commitment to customer service and employee experience: It's received a number of rankings in both categories and has been dubbed the "Best Franchise Brand."
Chick fil A

Source: Chick-fil-A

Its giving arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, is focused on providing support for youth and education programs nationwide. In 2017, they funded $150,000 programs for Salvation Army, including camps for kids and the Angel Tree program in Atlanta.
salvation army

Source: Chick-fil-A

And back in April 2020, Chick-fil-A donated $10.8 million to local communities for pandemic relief.
chick fil a pandemic
People walk past Chick-fil-A in New York City.

Source: Chick-fil-A

In 1973, Truett initiated a scholarship program called Remarkable Futures Initiative. It has awarded $75 million to nearly 53,000 team members, Chick-fil-A told Insider in 2019.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

In 2021, it awarded $19 million in scholarships to restaurant team members.

Source: Chick-fil-A

Franchisees have been known to cover costs for not just a worker's education, but for support during a personal emergency. They also encourage employees to follow their dreams.
chick fil a

Source: Business Insider

Chick-fil-A's employee culture translates to how the brand treats its customers, with a focus on quality food and a pleasant dining experience. It's taken on a healthier menu, removing all trans fats from its foods, using only antibiotic-free meats, and even establishing an Innovation Center to develop recipes.

Source: Business Insider

In 2018, it was rated the most beloved fast-food restaurant in the American Customer Satisfaction Index's annual survey.
Chick fil A

Source: Insider

Ever the family-owned business, Chick-fil-A has no plans to go public.
chick fil a cow.JPG
Truett's family photos.

Source: Insider

The Cathy family has been working together for more than 70 years and third-generation members continue to carry on the tradition - 12 of Truett's grandchildren work at Chick-fil-A.
truett cathy mark cathy
Truett with grandson Mark Cathy.

Source: Forbes, Chick-fil-A

New York Times reporter Kim Severson wrote in 2012 that many people in Atlanta have respect for the Cathy family.
mark cathy
Mark Cathy.

Source: The New York Times

"People speak of the Cathys as if they were local royalty, and the company logo is as much a part of the Atlanta cityscape as Coca-Cola's," she wrote.
chick fil a

Source: The New York Times

When asked what was so smart about creating his chicken sandwich, Truett answered with, "Nothing. That's why I was able to do it."
S. Truett Cathy

Source: Chick-fil-A

Read the original article on Business Insider

BuzzFeed agrees deal to go public via a SPAC merger with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners

  • BuzzFeed agreed to go public via a merger with SPAC 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, a SPAC focused on media and entertainment.
  • It plans to acquire youth-focused digital publisher Complex Networks under the deal.
  • The parent company will be named BuzzFeed, and will be listed under the ticker "BZFD."
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

BuzzFeed agreed to become public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, according to an announcement on Thursday.

As part of the deal with media-and-telecom focused SPAC 890 Fifth Avenue, named after the fictional Avengers mansion, BuzzFeed plans to acquire digital-publisher Complex Networks for $300 million.

The New York-headquartered company's acquisition of HuffPost last year sparked speculation that it could attempt to buy other digital media rivals by combining with a blank-check company.

Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti and CFO Felicia DellaFortuna will continue to hold their roles, along with other executive board members. Adam Rothstein, executive chairman of 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, and Greg Coleman, an advisor to the SPAC and former BuzzFeed president, will join the company's board, according to the announcement.

Peretti hopes the Complex acquisition will help the combined organization to scale up in the face of competition from Google and Facebook for digital advertising business, according to the WSJ.

SPACs typically aim to first secure a stock-market listing and then identify a private company to acquire and merge with, offering businesses an alternative to the traditional IPO process. There have been about twice as many listings through blank-check companies so far in 2021, compared with traditional offers. Around $108 billion has already been raised across 349 SPAC IPOs year-to-date, according to data from SPACInsider.com.

The emergence of SPACs is a positive force for digital media, because large-scale companies like BuzzFeed and Vox have mostly given up on selling to major cable or media companies, a media executive told Insider in December.

After the merger, expected to close in the fourth-quarter, the parent company will be called BuzzFeed and will be listed on the stock exchange under the ticker symbol "BZFD."

Read More: Bank of America says to buy these 31 small- and mid-cap stocks with average implied upside of nearly 30% as they represent its best ideas for the second half of 2021

Read the original article on Business Insider

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman trumpeted his Universal Music deal, nodded to his Reddit fans, and invited company sellers to call him in a presentation this week. Here are the 8 best quotes.

Bill Ackman, Ackman, William Ackman
Bill Ackman.
  • Bill Ackman dug into his $4 billion deal to buy 10% of Universal Music in a presentation this week.
  • The hedge fund manager emphasized music's timeless appeal and lauded the group's CEO.
  • Ackman also mentioned his Reddit fanbase and discussed his proposed SPARC investment vehicle.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman touted his recent deal to buy 10% of Universal Music Group for $4 billion in a presentation on Wednesday. He underscored the power of the music publisher's business model, ranked its boss among the best CEOs in modern history, and tipped his hat to the Reddit users who cheered him on while he worked to close the transaction.

The Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH) boss also emphasized the lasting appeal of music, explained the key strengths of his planned special-purpose acquisition rights company (SPARC), and invited private companies that fit his requirements to call him if they want to go public.

Here are Ackman's eight best quotes from the presentation, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. "We got our first meeting and it was love at first sight. We dug in and really stopped looking at other opportunities because we had found our target." - discussing the start of talks with Universal about eight months ago.

2. "It was a bit like the dog that grabbed the bumper of the car and wouldn't let go because this was precisely what were were looking for." - underscoring how well Universal fit Pershing's criteria.

3. "If you own Universal Music Group, you own a royalty on people listening to music. I can't think of an asset that I have more confidence in it being consumed over time, other than food and water. But the difference with music is you can create IP that you can license to others."

4. "Think about the iconic CEOs that will be remembered. Think about Walt Disney, think about Steve Jobs. Lucian is an executive who will be remembered for his contribution to this industry. He's a tremendous human being." - praising Universal CEO Lucian Grainge.

5. "You don't need to go hire a ton of developers; everyone wants to be a rock star. There are a lot of entrepreneurs working really hard pitching Universal and hoping Universal will back them in their careers. They want Universal because Universal has had better success than anyone else in making you a star." - explaining why Universal has a better business model than a typical software company.

6. "Analysts value these interests at anywhere between $2 billion and $4 billion if you were to liquidate them all tomorrow. We're getting those investments 'free' and that's always a good price." - commenting on Universal's investments in Spotify and Tencent Music.

7. "There are some excellent analysts on Reddit. There is a community of people that are studying this company." - nodding to the members of the r/PSTH subreddit who have been closely following his deal since last year.

8. "It takes away the shot clock from us. We're never going to put money to work because we're under pressure, but I don't like that people are waiting for us to do something and their money is sitting there. I feel that burden and this removes that burden." - highlighting a key advantage of his proposed SPARC vehicle, which differs from a SPAC because it won't tap investors for cash until it has struck a deal.

9. "If someone needs $1.5 billion to $3 billion and wants to go public tomorrow, call me." - Ackman emphasized that businesses need to meet Pershing Square's criteria.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jack Dorsey said he would leave Square and Twitter to work on bitcoin if it needed more help, in a new interview. Here are his 9 best quotes.

Jack Dorsey
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey.
  • Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey said he would leave the companies to focus on bitcoin if needed.
  • Higher profits will drive crypto miners to use cheaper renewable energy, he said at the Bitcoin 2021 conference.
  • Governments are trying to block cryptocurrency use to avoid losing hold of power, Dorsey said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey said he would leave the helm of the two publicly-traded US companies to work on bitcoin if needed, speaking in an interview at the Bitcoin 2021 conference earlier this month.

He argued that bitcoin miners have a profit incentive to use green energy in their operations, which have come under fire for the huge amounts of electricity they can consume. He also said central-bank concerns and roadblocks to cryptocurrencies are just excuses to prevent losing power, speaking in an interview with the Human Rights Foundation's Alex Gladstein.

Here are Dorsey's 9 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. "If I were not at Square or Twitter, I'd be working on bitcoin. If it (bitcoin) needed more help than Square and Twitter, I'd leave them for bitcoin. But I believe both companies have a role to play, and I think anything that we can do as companies to help find the right intersection between a corporate narrative and a community open narrative is for the best." - on making bitcoin more accessible.

2. "Bitcoin changes absolutely everything, and what I'm drawn to the most about it is the ethos - what it represents, how conditions that created it are so rare and so special and so precious. And I don't think there's anything more important in my lifetime to work on, and I don't think there's anything more enabling for people around the world." - on bitcoin as a tool for protecting human rights, rather than just an investment.

3. "We don't need the banks anymore." - on billions of people around the world not having a bank account.

4. "That's why we don't deal with any other currencies or coins - because we're so focused on making bitcoin the native currency for the internet." - on financial payments provider Square's ambitions for bitcoin.

5. "What central banks are trying to do are just bumps in the road, and they're bulls---. We have a much better alternative in bitcoin. We have designs for that sort of privacy and that freedom within it. And the more we can - especially our governments - can realize that, and get in the boat sooner, the better off we all are." - on central banks developing their own digital currencies as a move away from paper money.

6. "It feels like there's probably something a little bit deeper when you're hearing any of these excuses. And it's just trying to understand what that really is, and I think it's really (about) losing power, effectively." - on government bodies and critics characterizing bitcoin as connected with criminal activity.

7. "It can't, and it never will." - on the chance of Wall Street controlling bitcoin.

8. "Ultimately, miners have to make a profit. And getting cheap renewable energy maximizes their potential for profit. It's really that simple, and I thought I had some agreement with some notable figures out there. Then that seemed to change over a matter of few weeks, and now it's in a weird kind of place. But I believe fully that bitcoin over time and today does incentivize more renewable energy." - on how bitcoin mining incentivizes use of renewable energy.

9. "Just that realization that we finally have a currency that can be traded to any single point on the planet is pretty incredible, and what that enables going forward is mind-blowing. And I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that happens." - on the potential for bitcoin's widespread use.

Read More: A managing partner at a venture fund that's backed more than 30 billion-dollar blockchain projects compares the technology today to the dot-com boom of the 1990s - and breaks down 4 platform types and the cryptos leading each one into the future

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nancy Pelosi says 'there ain't no bipartisan bill' unless Senate also approves Democrat-only infrastructure package

Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer in Capitol, smiling
Speaker of the House House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talk to reporters at the Capitol.
  • Schumer and Pelosi are plowing ahead with a separate spending package without the GOP.
  • Pelosi said a bipartisan plan won't be approved in the House unless
  • A bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure deal is in sight after weeks of sputtering negotiations.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that a bipartisan infrastructure plan won't get voted on in the House until the Senate approves a Democrat-only package.

"There ain't gonna be no bipartisan bill unless we're going to have a reconciliation bill," she said, referring to a method available to Democrats to approve certain bills with a simple majority.

The idea was initially floated by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. It's aimed at ensuring House Democrats don't lose their leverage to the Senate as it starts assembling a follow-up package with many of the social and climate initiatives many in the caucus strongly favor.

Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress say they're moving ahead without Republicans on a separate economic package that would include President Joe Biden's proposed social programs.

"We're all on the same page: both tracks, the bipartisan track and the budget reconciliation track, are proceeding at pace, and we hope to have votes on both of them in the House - in the Senate and the House in July," Schumer told reporters on Wednesday evening.

Most Democrats are pressing for a separate package focused on the social initiatives Biden has laid out, including healthcare, childcare, and education. But all 50 Democratic senators would have to support the sprawling spending package, given the strong odds of united GOP opposition.

A bipartisan Senate group struck a $1 trillion infrastructure deal with Biden after weeks of sputtering negotiations. The package would be focused on areas typically considered core infrastructure, like roads and bridges.

"We've agreed on a framework on the entire package and we're going to the White House," Sen. Mitt Romney told reporters.

The bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. GOP senators include Sens. Romney of Utah; Rob Portman of Ohio; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The Democratic half is made up of Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia; Jon Tester of Montana; Mark Warner of Virginia; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. The lawmakers are expected to personally pitch the framework to Biden on Thursday.

The framework has not been publicly released yet, though Manchin suggested it would be released Friday after the finer details were hashed out. Both Manchin and Portman told Insider the group did not boost an initial $40 billion in funding for the IRS to collect more tax dollars.

Read the original article on Business Insider

25 GOP-led states and one Democratic state are cutting $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits. Here are the 26 states making the cut this summer.

GettyImages 1231114054
President Joe Biden.
  • Some Republican governors have decided Americans make too much from expanded unemployment benefits.
  • After a surprisingly dismal April jobs report, they moved to end federal jobless aid early.
  • That also includes eliminating programs benefiting gig workers, freelancers, and the long-term unemployed.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.
kay ivey
Gov. Kay Ivey.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Monday that the state was halting its participation in federal unemployment benefits starting June 19. 

Those include the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program for gig workers and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for the long-term unemployed.

"We have announced the end date of our state of emergency, there are no industry shutdowns, and daycares are operating with no restrictions. Vaccinations are available for all adults. Alabama is giving the federal government our 30-day notice that it's time to get back to work," Ivey said in a press release.

Alabama is also resuming its work-search requirements for recipients, which had been paused throughout the pandemic.

The average weekly benefit in Alabama amounted to $283 in March. Its unemployment rate stands at 3.8%, higher than the 2.8% it had in February 2020.

Alabama is among the seven states that have not raised the hourly minimum wage for workers since the hike to $7.25 in 2009

Experts say other factors are keeping workers from jumping back into the labor force, such as a lack of childcare access and fear of COVID-19 infection.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy
Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Alaska will end its participation in the extra $300 in weekly benefits effective June 12. 

"As Alaska's economy opens up, employers are posting a wide range of job opportunities and workers are needed," labor and workforce development commissioner, Dr. Tamika L. Ledbetter, said in a statement.

Extensions for the state benefit will continue through September 6. 

Alaska's unemployment rate was 6.6% in March 2021, a 0.8% increase from the rate of 5.8% in February 2020. The state's average weekly benefit is $298.

Doug Ducey Arizona governor
Gov. Doug Ducey.

Gov. Doug Ducey said the state will terminate all federal jobless benefit programs on July 10, per a news release from his office.

Arizona, however, is setting aside some federal funds to provide a one-time $2,000 bonus for people who return to work by Sept. 6. There are some strings attached.

People qualify for the measure if they are already receiving jobless aid — and they must earn less than $25 hourly at their next job. That amounts to a yearly salary of $52,000. Individuals must also work 10 weeks with a new employer to get the cash.

The state last recorded an unemployment rate of 6.7%, higher than the 4.9% it had immediately before the pandemic in February 2020.

Arizona's average jobless payout is $238.

Asa Hutchinson
Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced on May 7 that the state would no longer participate in federal unemployment after June 26. 

"The $300 federal supplement helped thousands of Arkansans make it through this tough time, so it served a good purpose. Now we need Arkansans back on the job so that we can get our economy back to full speed," Hutchinson said in a press release, which cited South Carolina's and Montana's separate decisions to opt out of the federal assistance program.

Its unemployment rate is 4.4%, slightly higher than the 3.8% level of February 2020. The average weekly benefit in the state is $248.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, 74.7% of the UI Arkansas disbursed came from federal funds, according to a report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. On January 1 of this year, Arkansas's minimum wage increased to $11 — several dollars above the federal rate of $7.25.

ron desantis florida vaccine 60 minutes
Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Florida will end its participation in the $300 in additional weekly benefits effective June 26. However, other federal programs, including PUA, "will continue for the time being as DEO [Department of Economic Opportunity] continues to carefully monitor job posting and industry hiring trends."

In a press release, DEO Secretary Dane Eagle said "transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce." Florida's unemployment rate was 4.7% in March 2021, 1.9% higher than 2.8% in February 2020. The state's average weekly benefit is $235.22.

brian kemp
Gov. Brian Kemp.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday that the state will end its participation in federal unemployment benefit programs effective June 26.

"Even in the middle of a global pandemic, job growth and economic development in Georgia remained strong — including an unemployment rate below the national average," Kemp said in a statement. "To build on our momentum, accelerate a full economic recovery, and get more Georgians back to work in good-paying jobs, our state will end its participation in the federal COVID-19 unemployment programs, effective June 26th."

The Georgia unemployment rate was 4.5% in March 2021, 1% above the February 2020 rate of 3.5%. The state's average weekly benefit is $278.95.

Gov. Brad Little
Gov. Brad Little.

Gov. Brad Little said Idaho would no longer draw federal money to fund enhanced unemployment insurance, and the state will cancel its program on June 19.

It's time to get back to work," Little said in a Tuesday statement. "My decision is based on a fundamental conservative principle — we do not want people on unemployment. We want people working."

The state was among those that recently reimposed a job-seeking requirement for people receiving jobless aid.

Idaho's unemployment rate stands at 3.2%, a higher level compared to 2.6% in February 2020. The average weekly unemployment benefit in the state is $355, per the Labor Department.

GettyImages eric holcomb
Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said the state is terminating all federal unemployment programs effective June 19.

"There are help wanted signs posted all over Indiana, and while our economy took a hit last year, it is roaring like an Indy 500 race car engine now," Holcomb said in the news release. "I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow."

The state is also among those now requiring people to actively seek work while on unemployment.

Indiana's unemployment rate is 3.9%, higher than the 3.2% it had in February 2020. The average weekly benefit is $254.

kim reynolds iowa
Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state would cancel federal jobless benefits on June 12.

"Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began," Reynolds said in a statement. "But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work."

The state's unemployment rate stood at 3.7%, still slightly higher than the 2.9% it recorded in February 2020. Iowa's average weekly jobless benefit is $430.

john bel edwards
Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Louisiana is the first Democrat-led state to prematurely cut off its participation in $300 weekly benefits. Those benefits will end July 31.

Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law a bill that would increase the state's regular weekly benefits by $28. One of the bill's stipulations was that supplemental unemployment benefits had to end on July 31.

Local news outlet WWLTV reported that, prior to the bill's passage, the governor had already said he planned on ending benefits in early August, when school begins.

Louisiana's unemployment rate was 7.1% in May 2021, nearly two points higher than 5.2% in February 2020. The state's average weekly benefit is $175.57.

larry hogan
Gov. Larry Hogan.

Maryland will end its participation in all federal unemployment programs effective July 3.

Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement that the state has vaccinated 70% of its adults, hitting the goal set by President Joe Biden, and that Maryland's "health and economic recovery continues to outpace the nation."

"While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply," Hogan said. "And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages."

Maryland's unemployment rate was 6.2% in April 2021, nearly three points higher than 3.3% in February 2020. The state's average weekly benefit is $318.16.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves
Gov. Tate Reeves.

Gov. Tate Reeves announced on Monday that he was pulling out the state from the federal pandemic-aid programs starting June 12.

"It has become clear to me that we cannot have a full economic recovery until we get the thousands of available jobs in our state filled," Reeves wrote on Twitter.

The average weekly benefit in the state is $195, according to the Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor.

The state's unemployment rate is 6.3%, a figure still elevated from its pre-pandemic rate of 5.8% in February 2020.

Mississippi is among the seven states that have not lifted hourly pay for workers since the last increase to the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

missouri gov mike parson
Gov. Mike Parson.

Gov. Mike Parson announced on Tuesday that Missouri would be ending its participation in federal unemployment on June 12. 

"While these benefits provided supplementary financial assistance during the height of COVID-19, they were intended to be temporary, and their continuation has instead worsened the workforce issues we are facing," Parson said in a statement. "It's time that we end these programs that have ultimately incentivized people to stay out of the workforce." 

The average weekly benefit in Missouri amounted to $258.57 in March. Its unemployment rate stood at 4.2% in March, a drop from 4.3% in February. That's still 0.5% higher than the March 2020 unemployment rate.

Missouri raised its minimum wage to $10.30 on January 1, 2021.

greg gianforte
Gov. Greg Gianforte.

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced the state was ending federal benefits on June 27.

"Incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good," Gianforte said in a statement. "We need to incentivize Montanans to reenter the workforce."

Taking its place will be a $1,200 return-to-work bonus, an amount equivalent to four weeks of receiving federal jobless aid. Workers will be eligible for the cash after a month on the job. The measure enjoys support among some congressional Republicans.

The average weekly benefit in the state is $468 without the federal supplement. The state's unemployment rate has reached pre-pandemic levels, at 3.8% in April.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts delivers the annual State of the State Address to lawmakers in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.
Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Nebraska will end its participation in all federal unemployment programs effective June 19.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Gov. Pete Ricketts said the benefits are a "disincentive for some people" in returning to work. The curtailing of benefits come as part of the state's initiative to reopen and "return to normalcy."

Nebraska's unemployment rate was 2.8% in April 2021, lower than 2.9% in February 2020. The state's average weekly benefit is $343.25.

New Hampshire
chris sununu
Gov. Chris Sununu.

Gov. Chris Sununu said on Thursday that he was planning on ending the additional $300 weekly benefit before it's due to expire, NECN reports. However, the date that benefits will be discontinued in the state remains unclear.

The state will also begin work search requirements for those on UI beginning May 23.

The New Hampshire unemployment rate was 3.0% in March 2021, above the February 2020 rate of 2.6%. The state's average weekly benefit is $277.26.

North Dakota
doug burgum north dakota trans school sports bill
Gov. Doug Burgum.

Gov. Doug Burgum said the state would pull out of federal unemployment benefit programs on June 19.

"Safe, effective vaccines have been available to every adult in North Dakota for months now, and we have an abundance of job openings with employers who are eager to hire," Burgum said in a news release, noting the state had its highest number of online job postings since July 2015.

The state's unemployment rate is 4.4%, still almost double its level of 2.3% in February 2020. North Dakota's average weekly unemployment payment is $480.

Gov. Mike DeWine.

Gov. Mike Dewine said the state will scrap the federal unemployment benefit programs on June 26.

"This assistance was always intended to be temporary," DeWine said in a statement.

The state's unemployment rate stands at 4.7%, the same level it had in February 2020. The average weekly benefit in Ohio is $383.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt
Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Gov. Kevin Stitt is dropping all federal unemployment programs starting on June 26.

"That gives people six weeks to get off the sidelines and get back into the game," he said in a news release.

Stitt also announced that the first 20,000 laid-off workers now receiving benefits that are rehired will get a $1,200 "incentive using funds from the American Rescue Plan."

People are eligible if they receive some form of federal unemployment aid between May 2 through 15, and keep their new job for at least six weeks. Individuals must also have a 32-hour workweek.

The Oklahoma unemployment rate stands at 5.2%, higher than the 3.1% it had before the pandemic broke out in February last year. The average weekly benefit is $310.

South Carolina
henry mcmaster
Gov. Henry McMaster.

Even before the jobs report hit, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster said the state would stop its participation in federal unemployment effective June 30.

"This labor shortage is being created in large part by the supplemental unemployment payments that the federal government provides claimants on top of their state unemployment benefits," McMaster wrote in a letter to the state's Department of Employment and Workforce.

McMaster spoke with Fox News' Tucker Carlson about the expanded unemployment program, saying he believed it's a "counterproductive policy."

The average weekly benefit in the state stands at $228. South Carolina's unemployment rate is 5.1%, still nearly double its pre-pandemic rate of 2.8% in February 2020.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, 76.7% of the unemployment insurance that South Carolina disbursed came from federal funds, according to the report from the Economic Policy Institute. The minimum wage in South Carolina was last raised in 2009, when the federal minimum wage as a whole was increased to $7.25.

South Dakota
Kristi Noem
Gov. Kristi Noem.

Gov. Kristi Noem announced Wednesday that the state will end its participation in federal unemployment benefit programs effective the week of June 26. In a related statement, the state's Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman noted that "help wanted signs line our streets."

"South Dakota is, and has been, 'Open for Business.' Ending these programs is a necessary step towards recovery, growth, and getting people back to work," Hultman added.

The South Dakota unemployment rate was 2.9% in March 2021, unchanged from 2.9% in February 2020. The state's average weekly benefit is $369.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
Gov. Bill Lee.

Gov. Bill Lee announced Tuesday that federal unemployment benefits would end in the state effective July 3.

"We will no longer participate in federal pandemic unemployment programs because Tennesseans have access to more than 250,000 jobs in our state," Lee said in a statement. "Families, businesses and our economy thrive when we focus on meaningful employment and move on from short-term, federal fixes."

The state's unemployment rate in March 2021 was 5%, a 0.1% increase from the month before and 1% higher than the March 2020 rate. Tennessee's average weekly unemployment payment is $219.45. Tennessee is one of seven states where the minimum wage remains at the federal level of $7.25.

greg abbott texas
Gov. Greg Abbott.

Gov. Greg Abbott said he was scrapping all federal unemployment programs on June 26.

"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state," Abbott said in a statement.

Nearly 1.3 million people in the state will experience a sharp cut in their unemployment aid, per an estimate from Andrew Stettner at the liberal-leaning Century Foundation. It's the largest state yet to eliminate the programs, with the eliminated aid coming to an estimated $8.8 billion.

The average weekly benefit in Texas is $405. The state's current 6.9% unemployment rate is still nearly double what it used to be in February 2020.

AP spencer cox
Gov. Spencer Cox.

Utah is withdrawing from federal unemployment aid programs effective June 26.

"This is the natural next step in getting the state and people's lives back to normal," Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement. "The market should not be competing with the government for workers."

The state has a 2.9% unemployment rate, slightly higher than the 2.5% pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The average weekly benefit in Utah is $428.

West Virginia
WV Gov Jim Justice
Gov. Jim Justice.

West Virginia will end its participation in federal unemployment benefit programs effective June 19 at midnight.

"We need everyone back to work," Gov. Jim Justice said in a statement. "Our small businesses and West Virginia's economy depend on it."

West Virginia's unemployment rate was 5.9% in March 2021, 1% above the February 2020 rate of 4.9%. The state's average weekly benefit is $276.15.

mark gordon
Gov. Mark Gordon.

Gov. Mark Gordon said the state was scrapping the federal unemployment benefit, along with programs aiding gig workers and those who exhausted traditional state payouts.

"Wyoming needs workers, our businesses are raring to go," Gordon said in a statement. "People want to work, and work is available. Incentivizing people not to work is just plain un-American."

The Wyoming unemployment rate is 5.3%, slightly higher than the 4.8% it once had in February 2020. The state's average weekly benefit is $430.

Are you unemployed and have a story you want to share? Contact these reporters at jkaplan@insider.com and jzeballos@insider.com.

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Fox News host Laura Ingraham suggests the US military should be defunded after top general's defense of anti-racism education goes viral

Fox News host Laura Ingraham speaks to guests over a chyron reading "General Milley embarrasses himself with woke rant."
Fox News host Laura Ingraham, center.
  • Fox News host Laura Ingraham lashed out at top US Gen. Mark Milley over his viral testimony.
  • Milley defended the military against critiques that it has gone "woke" with diversity training.
  • Ingraham said Pentagon efforts to weed out extremists "just means conservative Evangelicals."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

After Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham made sure to note she respects Gen. Mark Milley's service - an infantry officer who served in the Green Berets during his four-decade career - she tore into the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The segment on her 10 p.m. show is the latest episode of prominent Fox personalities putting the military on blast, with the network's top-rated host, Tucker Carlson, mocking "woke generals" in March after defense officials called him out for spreading misinformation about transgender service members and suggesting pregnant women would fight wars.

Milley's Congressional testimony went viral on Wednesday when the general swatted away accusations from Republicans that the military has gone "woke" by embracing critical race theory, an academic practice focusing on how racism plays a role in laws and public policy.

The general explained how diversity training is important and that cadets at West Point are also university students who should be "open minded and be widely read," but that does not mean they've been radicalized.

Ingraham took umbrage at Milley's testimony.

Ingraham accused Milley of being "a total partisan," and misleadingly described Pentagon efforts to weed out white supremacists and other extremists.

"We are sending our tax dollars to this military in an attempt to weed out so-called extremists, which just means conservative Evangelicals, as far as I can tell," Ingraham said.

"The fact is, Milley has made his choice," she said at another point. "And he's chosen to indulge the radical whims of Democrats. He'll do everything they tell him as long as they keep the military-industrial complex flush with cash."

Some of Milley's testimony was directed at critiques from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who went from being a fixture on Fox News to not appearing at all ever since he became enveloped in a child sex trafficking investigation that he maintains is a a smear campaign against him.

The attacks show the extent that even Milley, a Trump nominee, has been unable to steer the US military clear of the cultural wars. Milley oversees a work force of nearly 1.4 million active-duty troops and their instruction from boot camps to graduate schools that ensure they are a capable and cohesive fighting force that doesn't tolerate abuse or discrimination in the ranks.

Read more: How Matt Gaetz went in just 3 months from Fox News darling to being 'excommunicated' from the network's many shows

She then suggested defunding the military over critical race theory, which Milley said isn't something he's very familiar with, and focused most of his testimony on broader instruction about the United States' history of racism within the armed forces.

"Why is Congress not saying we're not going to give you a penny until all of this is eradicated from the military budget," Ingraham said. "Nothing. This is my offer to you: nothing. That's what I would say. I am totally outraged by him and his ridiculous response today."

Ingraham also warned Milley of teaching a "far-left Marxist racist ideology," which he addressed during his Wednesday testimony.

"I've read Mao Zedong, I've read Karl Marx. I've read Lenin. That doesn't make me a communist," Milley said. "So what is wrong with some situational understanding of the country for which we are personally here to defend?"

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'Loki' is the biggest streaming show worldwide, but has yet to top a Netflix hit in the US

loki 101 dessert 1
Tom Hiddleston on episode one of "Loki."
  • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand original TV shows on streaming services in the US.
  • Parrot's list is ranked by how much more in demand the top series are than the average TV show in the US. Audience demand reflects the desire and engagement, or overall popularity, of a series.
  • Disney+'s "Loki" is the most in-demand series in the world. It's quickly moved up the charts in the US, but Netflix's "Stranger Things" is the top series this week.
  • Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" also gained in audience demand after its fourth season finale last week.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.
9. "Titans" (HBO Max)

Times more in demand than average show: 26.1

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

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 81%

What critics said: "Bruce, Deathstroke, and Rose so far form an impressive trio of new characters that breathe life into the show. They seem to be well cast, and open up the story up to many possible new plot-lines." — Forbes (Season 2)

Season 3 premieres on HBO Max on August 12. See more insights for "Titans."

8. "Cobra Kai" (Netflix)
cobra kai
Cobra Kai"

Times more in demand than average show: 26.5

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

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 90%

What critics said: "Even with its flaws in season three, Cobra Kai hasn't just honored the Karate Kid way of storytelling, but mastered it." — RogerEbert.com (season 3)

Season 3 premiered on January 1 on Netflix. See more insights for "Cobra Kai."

7. "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" (Disney+)
the falcon and the winter soldier 106 sam wilson captain america 4 hq
Anthony Mackie on episode six of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier."

Times more in demand than average show: 26.9

Description: "Marvel Studios' 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. The pair, who came together in the final moments of 'Avengers: Endgame,' team up on a global adventures that tests their abilities — and their patience."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 90%

What critics said: "Why must Sam, or anyone for that matter, don a nation's name and symbols in order to be a fitting hero? The show never provides a satisfactory answer." — Slate (Season 1)

Season 1 premiered on Disney+ on March 19. See more insights for "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier."

6. "WandaVision" (Disney+)
wandavision 108 wanda
Elizabeth Olsen on episode eight of "WandaVision."

Times more in demand than average show: 32.1

Description: "Marvel Studios' captivating new series 'WandaVision' stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision — two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives — begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 91%

What critics said: "WandaVision is doing a great job of expanding the magical world of this fictional universe." — Black Nerd Problems (Season 1)

Season 1 premiered on Disney+ January 15. See more insights for "WandaVision."

5. "The Mandalorian" (Disney+)
Ahsoka Tano Grogu The Mandalorian Disney Plus
Rosario Dawson plays Ahsoka Tano in "The Mandalorian" live-action series.

Times more in demand than average show: 35.1

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

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 94%

What critics said: "Aside from just being watchable TV, The Mandalorian season 2's real strength is that it's great Star Wars." — Polygon (Season 2)

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

4. "Lucifer" (Netflix)

Times more in demand than average show: 35.5

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

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 5): 85%

What critics said: "If you watch more for the whodunnit and less for the supernatural ingredients, you might find big themes — like immortality and the responsibility to rule the universe — a bit overwhelming. But you can still enjoy the show for all of its other parts." — Ask (Season 5)

Season 5B premiered on Netflix on May 28. See more insights for "Lucifer."

3. "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
the handmaid's tale
"The Handmaid's Tale" season four.

Times more in demand than average show: 35.9

Description: "A woman forced into sexual servitude struggles to survive in a terrifying, totalitarian society."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 4): 71%

What critics said: "After these 10 episodes, I feel confident in saying that The Handmaid's Tale definitely redeemed itself after the season three slog." — AV Club (Season 4)

Season 4 premiered April 28 on Hulu. See more insights for "The Handmaid's Tale."

2. "Loki" (Disney+)
Loki Sylvie Sophia Di Martino
Sophia Di Martino plays Sylvie in "Loki."

Times more in demand than average show: 36.7

Description: "In Marvel Studios' 'Loki,' the mercurial Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of 'Avengers: Endgame.'"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (season 1): 93%

What critics said: "Loki, in drawing inspiration not from the established MCU method but from the looser narratives of comic books, feels like a refreshing reset for the franchise." — The Atlantic (season 1)

Season 1 premiered on Disney+ on June 9. See more insights for "Loki."

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

Times more in demand than average show: 40.7

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

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 89%

What critics said: "Even while some things go a bit too predictably, the last two episodes tie everything and everyone together in spectacular, emotional fashion." — Dallas Morning News (Season 3)

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

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Major unions ACLU and SEIU join 126 organizations in calling on Biden to extend the freeze on student-loan payments

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.
  • 128 organizations sent a letter to Biden urging him to extend the student-loan payment pause.
  • They want the pause maintained until Biden reforms student-loan programs and cancels student debt.
  • This week, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer urged Biden to extend the pause by six months.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

President Joe Biden extended the pause on student-loan payments through September, but as that date is getting closer and closer, lawmakers and advocates say borrowers are still suffering financially from the pandemic. That's why they are calling on the president to further extend the pause.

Led by the Student Borrower Protection Center, 128 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), sent a letter to Biden on Thursday urging him to extend the payment pause until the administration has followed through on its promises to fix the student-loan system and cancel federal student debt.

"The student loan payment pause has been one of the most important investments the federal government has made in Americans' financial lives in a generation - a recognition that the inadequacies of the existing student loan safety net could not protect families in the midst of an economic and public health crisis," the organizations wrote.

The letter cited a number of failures in the student-loan system during just this year, including low numbers of disability discharges and high denial rates for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, as examples of how the system is failing borrowers and why borrowers are not ready to resume paying their loans come October.

According to his campaign website, Biden would "see to it that the existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is fixed," but as Insider previously reported, 98% of applicants are still being rejected from the program. He also said during his campaign that he would immediately cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower - he hasn't yet done that, either.

The organizations' letter comes just days after Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer led some of their Democratic colleagues in sending a letter to Biden requesting the payment pause be extended at least six months or until the economy returns to pre-pandemic employment levels, whichever is longer. They said the pause has provided "essential relief" to borrowers.

Warren was also one of the Democrats that sent a letter to the CEOs of all student-loan servicers on Monday, requesting information on how they are best preparing borrowers to restart loan payments and warning of the "disastrous" consequences of dropping borrowers back into repayment without proper assistance.

Cardona said during a Senate hearing last week that he is continuing to have conversations on extending the payment pause past September, but the Education Department declined to provide further details on those conversations.

"President Biden should act quickly to pause payments and interest for federally-held student loans as our country continues to recover from the historic COVID-19 health and economic crisis," Schumer said in a statement. "Failing to extend this pause would not only hurt our nation's struggling students, but it could also impact future economic growth and recovery."

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Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in New York after a court found 'uncontroverted evidence' that he made 'demonstrably false and misleading statements' about the election

Rudy Giuliani covers his mouth with his hand at a press conference, with American flags visible in the background.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, at a news conference in November.
  • Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in the state of New York.
  • A court found "uncontroverted evidence" that he made "demonstrably false and misleading" election-related statements.
  • It said his conduct "threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in the state of New York pending further review, a new court filing on Thursday said.

The ruling said there was "uncontroverted evidence" that Giuliani "communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large" in connection with former President Donald Trump's failed attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

"These false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent's narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client," the ruling said.

"We conclude that respondent's conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law, pending further proceedings before the Attorney Grievance Committee," it continued.

Giuliani was a fixture on conservative airwaves after the election, repeatedly claiming, without evidence, that Joe Biden won because of rampant voter and election fraud and that Trump was the rightful winner of the race.

As Trump's lead defense attorney fighting to overturn the election, Giuliani filed several lawsuits seeking to nullify the results in battleground states that Biden won. All the suits were tossed out.

Nonpartisan election experts and cybersecurity professionals found that, contrary to Giuliani's and Trump's claims of malfeasance, the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history.

Thursday's ruling pointed to several false statements Giuliani had made that rose to the level of professional misconduct, all of which investigators and courts across the country have debunked:

  • He claimed that more absentee ballots in Pennsylvania came in after the election than had been sent before it.
  • During a court appearance in November related to Pennsylvania's election results, Giuliani said his client, the Trump campaign, was pursuing a fraud claim when it was in fact making an equal-protection claim.
  • Giuliani repeatedly alleged that anywhere from 8,021 to 30,000 dead people voted in Philadelphia.
  • He made "extensive and wide-ranging claims" casting doubt on the veracity of Georgia's election results and suggesting that Dominion Voting Systems had engaged in election fraud.
    • He claimed that tens of thousands of "underage voters illegally voted" in Georgia.
    • Giuliani said that more than 2,500 felons voted illegally in Georgia.
    • He claimed that anywhere from 800 to 6,000 dead people voted in Georgia.
    • He alleged that security footage showed Georgia election officials illegally counting mail-in ballots.
  • Giuliani claimed that "illegal aliens" voted in Arizona.

The Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, which covers Manhattan, had filed a petition seeking Giuliani's "immediate suspension" from practicing in New York in light of his election crusade.

The AGC pointed to several provisions of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct that prohibit lawyers from knowingly making false statements or engaging in "conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" inside and out of the courtroom.

Giuliani, in turn, accused the AGC of violating his First Amendment right to free speech. The appellate division for the First Judicial Department in the state Supreme Court rejected Giuliani's claim.

"He does not attack the constitutionality of the particular disciplinary rules; he seemingly claims that they are unconstitutional as applied to him," the ruling said.

The court noted that previous cases had found that "speech by an attorney is subject to greater regulation than speech by others," because lawyers are "an intimate and trusted and essential part of the machinery of justice."

Giuliani also claimed that if he'd made false statements about the election results, he hadn't done so knowingly. Addressing that argument, the court said that while it's usually necessary to prove an element of knowingness in connection with attorney misconduct, Giuliani must "demonstrate that there is some legitimate dispute about whether the statement is false or whether the statement was made by him without knowledge it was false."

"Conclusory or vague arguments will not create a controverted issue as to whether there has been misconduct," the ruling said, adding that Giuliani's "references to affidavits he has not provided, or sources of information he has not disclosed or other nebulous unspecified information, will not prevent the Court from concluding that misconduct has occurred."

In this case, the court said, the AGC proved that there was an "immediate threat to the public interest" and that Giuliani's interim suspension was warranted.

"We find that there is evidence of continuing misconduct, the underlying offense is incredibly serious, and the uncontroverted misconduct in itself will likely result in substantial permanent sanctions at the conclusion of these disciplinary proceedings," the ruling said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A new private aviation firm just launched with exclusive flights for only $1,995 an hour on an aircraft known as the 'Ferrari of the Skies'

A side view of AeroVanti's Piaggio P.180 Avanti - AeroVanti's Piaggio P.180 Avanti Demonstration Private Aircraft Flight
An AeroVanti Piaggio P.180 Avanti.
  • AeroVanti is a new private aviation firm offering members-only flights on a unique plane, the Piaggio P.180 Avanti.
  • The hourly charter rate is only $1,995 and no repositioning or ferry flight fees are charged.
  • Memberships start at $1,000 per month and will soon require a sponsor as AeroVanti grows.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Wealthy travelers have been making the jump from first class to private aircraft during the pandemic, and a new startup is now making it less expensive.

AeroVanti is a membership-based platform where flyers pay a monthly fee for exclusive access to a fleet of Piaggio P.180 Avanti aircraft. Monthly fees are nominal and one hour of flight time only costs $1,995. Plus, flyers aren't billed for aircraft repositioning, which can drive up charter costs.

Read More: Private jet industry CEOs say business will boom as the wealthy abandon airlines and reveal what they're doing now to take advantage

Three different membership tiers: individual, family, corporate. An individual membership costs $1,000 per month while a family membership costs $1,500 per month.

Corporate memberships cost $2,500 per month and allow for employees to arrange and take flights. That tier is limited to registered corporations, limited liability companies, or partnerships, however.

Members can book up to 12 round-trips at a time and cancel with no penalty up to 72 hours prior to departure.

Flying the Ferrari of the Skies

An side view of AeroVanti's Piaggio P.180 Avanti - AeroVanti's Piaggio P.180 Avanti Demonstration Private Aircraft Flight
AeroVanti's Piaggio P.180 Avanti.

The Piaggio P.180 Avanti powering AeroVanti's business model is an Italian plane that's popular in Europe thanks to its speed, spacious cabin, and low operating costs compared to jet aircraft.

A curved fuselage creates a spacious interior with a 5.8-foot tall and 6.1-foot wide cabin that seats up to seven passengers with a separate lavatory.

Four passengers can fly non-stop between New York and South Florida. But any more than four and the aircraft's range decreases, especially with carry-on bags.

Chief Pilot Steve Harr told Insider that seven passengers and their bags can only fly a rough 800 nautical miles. That's around the distance between New York and Daytona Beach, Florida.

Two rear-facing Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66 engines push the aircraft forward instead of pulling it. In turn, a top speed of Mach .70 is achieved that makes the Piaggio the fastest turboprop in the sky.

The Avanti can also utilize small airports with 4,000-foot runways. New York's East Hampton Airport, for example, is accessible for the Avanti, under the right conditions.

Flight times are a bit longer compared to jets but flying coast-to-coast can be done with just one stop if conditions allow. Popular mountain destinations like Aspen, Colorado can be a one-stop flight away from the East Coast.

Operating the aircraft is Oklahoma-based Brazos Valley Air Charter, an Argus Gold safety-rated aircraft operator.

Membership is limited and not open to just anybody

An inside view of AeroVanti's Piaggio P.180 Avanti - AeroVanti's Piaggio P.180 Avanti Demonstration Private Aircraft Flight
An AeroVanti Piaggio P.180 Avanti.

AeroVanti's goal is 1,200 members in 12 months to have enough demand that keeps planes flying regularly, with minimal empty legs.

"The premise is to have power in numbers and with the members having those membership fees, it allows to cover all the expenses for an operation such as [the one] we have," Patrick Britton-Harr, cofounder and CEO told Insider.

Once AeroVanti passes the 300-member threshold, any prospective applicant needs to be sponsored by a current member.

There will be tradeoffs to the service given the low pricing and members may have to be flexible. A flight may not be able to leave exactly at a passenger's requested flight time as memberships grow, for example.

Memberships are limited based on fleet size, with five airplanes currently and plans for 12 total by year's end. Having between 60 and 80 members per aircraft ensures that members can get flights when they want.

AeroVanti is already sourcing additional aircraft, including new builds like Piaggio's next-generation P.180 Avanti Evo, for when memberships grow.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Lawmakers introduced 2 new bills after a study found popular beauty products may contain cancer-linked 'forever chemicals'

makeup products
A worker cleans the makeup section inside Hema, a Dutch variety store-chain, in Katwijk, Netherlands on December 16, 2020.
  • A study found indicators of PFAS chemicals in US makeup from Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • Following the study, two Senate bills that regulate chemicals in cosmetics were introduced.
  • The 'clean beauty' industry is expected to grow by $6 billion over the next six years.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Lawmakers are reacting to a new study that found indicators of potentially harmful chemicals in popular makeup products, with two bills introduced to the US Senate.

The bills follow a study conducted by The University of Notre Dame that tested US makeup products from Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond. More than half of the 231 makeup products tested contained indicators of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a potentially toxic class of chemicals.

Both the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act and the Personal Care Products Safety Act would amend the FDA to have further regulatory power over the chemicals used in cosmetic products. The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act would ban the intentional use of PFAS chemicals in cosmetics. The Personal Care Products Safety Act would require companies to submit their ingredients to the FDA, allowing the agency to determine potential health risks.

Exposure to PFAS is linked to health concerns such as cancer, hormone imbalances, fertility issues, and obesity.

According to the study, the cosmetic products most likely to contain PFAS are waterproof mascara and liquid lipstick. It's unclear which products were purchased from which store.

Alexandra Kowcz, chief scientist at The Personal Care Products Council, said in a statement that PFAS chemicals are used in small amounts for product consistency and texture, but that the association does support banning certain PFAS from use in cosmetics.

If successful, the bills would mean big changes for the US beauty industry, which is the largest cosmetic market in the world and valued at approximately $39 billion.

The chemical policies retailers have in place

L'Oreal is the only multinational beauty company to have completely eliminated the use of PFAS in their products, a decision made back in 2018.

Ulta Beauty includes a section on its website called clean ingredients. Products listed within this category are made without 24 potentially harmful ingredients, including PFAS chemicals.

Sephora also launched a "Clean at Sephora" program in 2019. All brands marked with the program's green seal are made without 32 types of chemicals. PFAS chemicals are not included on this list.

Similarly, Target adheres to an unwanted chemicals list for what they call their 'essential businesses:' beauty, personal care, baby care, and household cleaning. This list does not include PFAS chemicals.

Bed, Bath & Beyond's restricted chemicals list mandates suppliers to select ingredients identified as Safer Chemicals by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Spokespeople from Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A growing push for 'clean beauty'

Gen Z and others concerned about beauty-product ingredients are pushing to promote what they call "clean beauty" products.

The trend #cleanbeauty now has 207 million views on Tik Tok and 4.1 million posts on Instagram. The hashtag references personal-care products that are safe, non-toxic, and have transparent labeling of ingredients.

According to financial services company Klarna, Gen Z consumers in the US have spent 26% more on clean beauty since the beginning of the pandemic.

Despite their young age, Gen Z has massive influence over the cosmetic and skincare industries, spending an average of $368 per person on beauty each year, a number that's only going up. The clean beauty industry is expected to grow by $6 billion over the next six years.

Popular skincare influencers such as @lipstickittty responded to the study on Tik Tok by sharing PFAS-free makeup brands with her 50 thousand followers. In the comment section, one follower shared EWG's Skin Deep Guide, an online tool that allows you to search thousands of cosmetic products for the chemicals they contain.

"As someone who heavily uses makeup products, I wish that this study would share the exact list of brands that contain these cancer-causing chemicals so it's available to the public," @lipstickittty told Insider. "I had to do a lot of digging to find a list of brands that don't contain these chemicals."

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Pelosi announces committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finalized plans to create a select committee to investigate January 6.
  • The Senate rejected a bipartisan bill to create an independent, 9/11-style January 6 commission.
  • "It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure an attack of that kind cannot happen," she said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formalized plans to create a select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection on Thursday after Senate Republicans blocked a bill to establish an independent commission on the matter.

"This morning, with great solemnity and sadness, I am announcing the House will be establishing a select committee on the January 6th insurrection," Pelosi said in her weekly news conference. "Again, January 6 was one of the darkest days in our nation's history...it is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure an attack of that kind cannot happen, and that we can root out the causes of it all."

Read more: Entire paychecks going to day care, swiping free food: 8 congressional staffers break down how they stretch their salaries in expensive DC

Her official announcement follows some confusion Wednesday night over whether she could establish a committee. After multiple outlets reported her plans to create a select committee, Pelosi said she was not ready to make an announcement, but she made the news official the next day on Thursday.

Senate Republicans on May 28 blocked the advancement of a bill to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly January 6 Capitol riot in a filibuster, the first legislative filibuster of President Joe Biden's administration.

The bill to create an independent commission came out of a bipartisan agreement between Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and GOP ranking member Rep. John Katko and was passed by the US House with the support of 35 Republicans.

Like the 9/11 Commission, the proposal for the 10-member commission included the ability to issue subpoenas for relevant information on the insurrection. The group, made of independent experts, would have been tasked with producing a final report by December 31 with "findings regarding the facts and causes of the attack" and solutions to prevent attacks on the Capitol and other "democratic institutions."

By contrast, a select committee made up of members of Congress is convened temporarily to investigate or study a particular matter. The select committee will include both a Democratic chair appointed by Pelosi and a Republican ranking member appointed by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The many existing ongoing congressional investigations into the insurrection could end up being consolidated into the select committee's work. Both House and Senate committees have held extensive hearings into the insurrection itself and the intelligence and security failures on the part of the law enforcement.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The FAA wants the airline industry to fight decades of sexism on airplanes by removing words like 'Cockpit,' 'Airman,' and 'Unmanned'

Pilots in cockpit
Airline pilots in an Airbus cockpit.
  • An FAA committee released a report recommending airlines shift to gender neutral language.
  • The group recommended airlines replace words like "Airman" with "Aviator" to promote inclusivity.
  • Women have little representation in the industry. 94% of pilots and flight engineers are white men.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The airline industry may soon move toward promoting more inclusive language in an effort to increase diversity.

On Wednesday, a Federal Aviation Administration advisory committee released a report recommending that airlines shift toward more gender neutral language by removing words like "Airman" and "Cockpit" from their lexicon.

The FAA group recommended airlines replace "airman" with "aviator" and "cockpit" with "flight deck." It also said "unmanned aerial system" should become "unscrewed aerial system" or "drone system," to name a few recommendations.

"Research shows that the utilization of general-neutral language can lead to a more inclusive environment that draws more people to the industry and helps keep them there," the committee said in its report.

The move would mirror changes that other organizations have made to be more inclusive toward women. In 2006, NASA decided that all terminology used in the space program would be gender neutral.

The recommendation from the FAA's drone advisory committee comes as a result of a push from the Biden administration for more equity in aviation - an industry that has been primarily dominated by white men. While many women serve as flight attendants, there are very few female or minority pilots and flight engineers. To date, about 94% of airline pilots and flight engineers are white men, according to data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

By bringing more female representation into the industry, airlines could help combat a shortage of pilots that threatens to halt a post pandemic boom in travel. Though, gender neutral terminology will not target the lack of minority representation in the industry.

The new terminology is one step toward addressing decades of sexism in the aviation industry

In the past, the industry has benefited from the sexualization of women. In the 1950s through 1960s, flight attendants - called stewardesses at the time - were hired based on looks and were required to be unmarried, Axios reports. Most flight attendants at the time were forced to retire by the age of 35, according to the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

Some airlines became known for their stewardesses and even used them to advertise in the 60s. Braniff International Airways' slogan was "Does your wife know you're flying with us?" While Pan Am asked: "How do you like your stewardesses?"

Pan Am
A Pan American (Pan Am) airhostess serving champagne in the first class cabin of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
By the 70s, many airlines had flight attendants donning hot pants and go-go boots. National Airlines spent $9.5 million on a 1971 campaign that read "I'm Cheryl. Fly Me." The company later expanded the ads to include "I'm going to fly you as you've never been flown before" and claimed it saw a 23% jump in bookings.

In the 80s, the industry began to gradually shift away from stringent physical requirements for flight attendants, as well as the sexual advertising schemes. Though, the Association of Flight Attendants notes women in the industry have continued to struggle with representation, as well as pay - the median annual wage for pilots is nearly double a flight attendant's salary, according to federal data.

In the past year, flight attendants have been forced to grapple with another set of issues. In May, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant allegedly lost two teeth after a passenger assaulted her.

That month, the FAA said it was seeing a spike of unruly and aggressive behavior on airlines, citing moments when passengers hit, yelled, and shoved flight attendants. Last week, several flight attendants told Insider's Allana Akhtar that they have faced "unprecedented" instances of violence and aggression in-air.

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NYDIG partners with digital bank Q2 to enable bitcoin trading for 18 million users

GettyImages 942027334

Cryptocurrency custody firm NYDIG has partnered with digital bank Q2 to enable over 18 million of the bank's US account holders to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin.

Q2's platform, founded in 2004, powers nearly 30% of the top 100 banks in the US, according to the statement. It also enables one in 10 digital banking customers to transact via the cloud.

The partnership, announced Thursday, aims to serve the growing number of Americans who own cryptocurrency, Jonathan Price, EVP at Q2, said.

He cited a December 2020 study by Cornerstone Advisors, which found that 15% of US consumers own cryptocurrencies. The majority of those, the study revealed, would prefer to use their banks to invest if given the choice.

The collaboration will be powered by NYDIG's regulated bitcoin platform, the statement said. The company, founded in 2017, is the bitcoin subsidiary of Stone Ridge, a $10 billion alternative asset manager.

In May, NYDIG teamed up with fintech company Fidelity National Information Services to enable banks to offer cryptocurrencies.

Banks have been moving to offer bitcoin services because they are seeing customers sending money to crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, according to Yan Zhao, president of NYDIG.

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The world's biggest luxury giant spent $835 million refurbishing a department store in Paris, and it's now open to the public. Take a look inside.

The handbag department at La Samaritaine department store in Paris
  • LVMH on Monday unveiled its $835 million refurb of Paris department store La Samaritaine.
  • The luxury conglomerate's elaborate refurb took seven years.
  • The building also houses a luxury hotel, a beauty salon, a spa, and 12 restaurants.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.
La Samaritaine is a large department store located on the banks of the River Seine, close to the Louvre museum. LVMH, the world's largest luxury conglomerate, bought the building in 2001 and later spent seven years renovating it.
An exterior shot of La Samaritaine department store in Paris
Billionaire Bernard Arnault is CEO and chairman of LVMH. He's currently the third richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg.

It's been shut for 16 years after it was deemed unsafe and closed in 2005.

LVMH — run by one of the world's richest men, Bernard Arnault — spent €750 million ($895 million) refurbishing the space, transforming it into a luxury shopping destination.  

This week, it opened its doors to the public after being painstakingly restored.
The opening of La Samaritaine in Paris
President Macron joins Bernard Arnault.

French President Emmanuel Macron joined LVMH CEO Arnault to open the new store on Monday. 

The retail portion of the building is around 20,000 square feet.
Women's fashion at La Samaritaine department store in Paris
Women's hats.

There's also 15,000 square feet of office space, 96 social housing units, and a hotel.

The hotel, called Cheval Blanc Paris, won't open until September 7.
La Samaritiaine  exterior shot
It has 72 luxury rooms and suites.

According to Bloomberg, prices for a room start at €1,150 ($1,400) per night. 

There are areas devoted to men's and women's fashion, beauty, and accessories.
Interior shot of La Samaritaine department store in Paris
Customers can spend an entire day here.

There are more than 600 different brands in the store – from legacy designers to newer brands, which are spread across seven levels. 

The glass roof is one of its most iconic features.
The staircase at La Samaritaine department store in Paris
Light floods into the store through the roof.

According to LVMH, this was rebuilt to match the original design from 1905.

Just below the roof, on the top floor of the building, is one of its bar-restaurants, Voyage.
Space Voyage restaurant at La Samaritaine department store in Paris
The bar closes at 2am.

According to Vogue Business, this bar stays open long after the store closes at 8 p.m..

There are a dozen restaurants in the building.
Restaurant at La Samaritaine department store in Paris
These range from more formal sit-down restaurants to bakeries.
There's a spa and beauty salon, too.
The beauty section at La Samaritaine
The hair salon.

"We strive to move away from the purely transactional side," Benjamin Vuchot, chairman and CEO of DFS Group, which operates the building for LVMH, told Vogue Business

"In a world where shopping is undergoing tremendous change, we have to find different solutions. Hence the food & beverage, the spa, the hair salon," he said. 

But luxury shopping is still at the heart of the space, and it's a place for LVMH to display and sell all the brands that it owns.
Men's department at La Samaritaine department store in Paris
The men's clothing section in the store.
LVMH owns 75 brands.
An interior shot of La Samaritaine department store in Paris
Champagne bottles lined up in the store.

These include Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Dom Pérignon champagne to name a few.


The focus is all on shopping in-store - the store's website is mainly to book beauty or hair appointments.
The handbag department at La Samaritaine department store in Paris
The luxury handbag department.
The department store was initially meant to reopen in 2020, but this was delayed because of the pandemic.
Boutique store at La Samaritaine
Loulou concept store.

With international travel still mostly at a standstill, it could be a while before tourists flock to the building — and tourist spending is vital to the luxury industry. 


"We expect it will take one or two years for tourists to really return," the regional president at DFS Group, Eleonore De Boysson, said at a press conference this week, which was reported by Bloomberg.
The women's fashion department at La Samaritaine department store in Paris

For now, "we want Parisians to reclaim La Samaritaine," she said

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Working in Antarctica sometimes means using 'pee bottles' as some buildings have no indoor plumbing, said one person there

The Atmospheric Research Observatory,  two-storied industrial building, is pictured here at night in 2018 in front of green auroras lighting up the sky in the background.
The Atmospheric Research Observatory building, one of the outbuildings by the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.
  • The Amundsen-Scott South Pole station houses some of the world's most sophisticated scientific equipment.
  • But the buildings that host those instruments often don't have running water.
  • So "pee bottles" are sometimes the best option, according to someone who works there.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Amazing scientific discoveries are made at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, a remote research station close to the ceremonial South Pole in Antarctica.

But for those working at the station over the polar winter, dedication to science sometimes means having to give up on the bare essentials.

"The outbuildings generally do not have running water, although there is sometimes a room with a primitive toilet (one that needs to be emptied)," Josiah "Joe" Horneman, a physician assistant working at the station over the winter, told Insider.

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station itself, nicknamed the elevated station, has all the mod-cons. Not only does it have indoor plumbing, but it also hosts a gym, a basketball court, a music room, and a craft room.

A 3D rendering of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station's elevated building. It has four wings and is seen here set against a snowy background.
A 3D rendering of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

But most of the scientific work takes place in outbuildings that are within walking distance of the stations, such as the South Pole Telescope, the South Pole Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO), and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, as Horneman showed here:

A post shared by Joe Spins the Globe (@joespinstheglobe)

The time it takes to travel from these sites back to the elevated station "varies with the outbuilding and weather," Horneman said.

For instance, the trip to the ARO in perfect weather takes less than 10 minutes, he said.

You can see Horneman walking to the ARO in the video here:

But coming back from a building that is further out, like the IceCube, in bad weather, could take more than 20 minutes, he said.

"So 'pee bottles' or good hustling skills are necessary if you head out to one of them," he said.

Horneman said that for most of the "winter-overs" like himself, this isn't a problem. The work in the outbuilding usually doesn't take much time - it is mostly maintenance, like making sure the boilers are working or checking that scientific equipment is running.

But there is one exception: the ARO. "Those guys are generally out there all day long because they need to take air samples and/or ozone measurements throughout the day," he said.

"They use pee bottles as far as I know," he added.

Read more about life in the Antarctic winter in Insider's full interview with Horneman and his colleague, Antoinette "Toni" Traub, here.

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Bank of America resumes coverage of Bed Bath & Beyond, says stock is trading on fundamentals again as meme-stock madness fades

Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Bank of America analysts resumed coverage of Bed Bath & Beyond after meme mania cooled down.
  • "The momentum from meme investing has likely passed," said the analysts who briefly paused coverage.
  • BofA rated the stock as a buy with a $38 price target.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Bank of America analysts say meme mania for Bed Bath & Beyond has cooled off, prompting them to resume covering the stock for investors.

In a Thursday note, Bank of America analysts led by Curtis Nagle said Bed Bath & Beyond shares are "once again trading on fundamentals," and rated the stock to a buy rating. The analysts stopped coverage of the company on June 3 after the price surged 62% in a single day amid hype from retail traders.

The Union, New Jersey-based home goods retailer became a meme stock in January, along with companies like AMC Entertainment and BlackBerry, after retail traders poured into shares of GameStop to cause a short squeeze. Then in June, retail traders again hyped up shares of Bed Bath & Beyond as other meme stocks also came back into the spotlight.

"While not quite as extreme as GameStop, for example, Bed Bath & Beyond did see a large increase in mentions on retail investor forums in January and late May through early June," the analysts said. But, "over the past two weeks, Bed Bath & Beyond has seen a sharp reduction in both those factors, which suggests that the momentum from meme investing has likely passed."

Since the craze earlier this month, shares are trading closer to pre-surge levels, and the social-media hype, trading volumes, and short interest, have all moderated, the analysts said. With that, they added a $38 price target for the stock, which traded at $29.89 at at 11:26 p.m. in New York.

The analysts attributed their bullish view to Bed Bath & Beyond's long-term turnaround, including the company's largest-ever new product rollout by year-end, store resets that will improve the shopping experience, closures of 200 underperforming locations, and a pickup in back-to-college and wedding registry purchases as the economy re-opens.

Read more: Bank of America says to buy these 31 small- and mid-cap stocks with average implied upside of nearly 30% as they represent its best ideas for the second half of 2021

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The US housing boom helped wealthy homeowners the most

House for sale US
A house's real estate for sale sign shows the home as being "Under Contract" in Washington, DC, November 19, 2020.
  • The housing market rally has largely benefitted wealthy homeowners as prices soar at record pace.
  • Sales of homes priced over $1 million are up 245% year-over-year. Homes worth under $100,000 are down 11%.
  • The gap is just one of several K-shaped trends in the uneven economic recovery.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Like many other aspects of the US recovery, the housing market's boom has been anything but even.

The market rally started as a broad upswing. After home sales tumbled at the start of the pandemic, surging demand and low mortgage rates spurred a nationwide buying spree. But as the boom charged forward, a K-shaped split emerged in which type of homes were rapidly gaining value and which were being left by the wayside.

The term "K-shaped recovery" has come to exemplify uneven elements of the US's economic rebound. Wealthier Americans generally fared better through lockdowns as they switched to remote work and leaned on savings. Low-income Americans and minorities, however, have longer recoveries ahead of them after being disproportionately hit by the COVID-19 recession.

Existing home sales data published Tuesday reveals just how wide that gap has become in housing. Sales of homes worth at least $1 million have surged 245% year-over-year, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's a larger jump than any other price category.

Conversely, sales of homes worth less than $100,000 have plummeted 11% from May 2020 and sales of homes worth between $100,000 and $250,000 dipped 1.7% through the year.

The disparities point to growing inequity in the US housing market. Homes worth up to $250,000 accounted for about 30% of sales in May, while those worth more than $1 million only represented 6.3% of sales.

The sales gap widened even further in the spring. As dire inventory shortage drove home-price inflation to its fastest rate since the mid-2000s market bubble with demand handily outstripping supply, sales for the most expensive homes soared even higher, and sales of homes costing less than $100,000 dropped lower.

Taken together, the country's wealthiest homeowners benefitted most from the price rally, and those living in the country's least-expensive homes have largely missed the market upswing.

Other data suggest the trend will continue through the summer. Housing starts have wavered in recent months as expensive lumber costs and lot shortages cut into homebuilding. And sales of new homes slid again in May, suggesting contractors are far from meeting massive demand with new supply.

New homes that have gone to market are also more skewed to wealthier buyers than a year ago. Where the majority of new homes in May 2020 were priced between $200,000 and $299,000, the majority now cost between $300,000 and $399,000, according to the Census Bureau.

The shift has little to do with more expensive units hitting the market, Ali Wolf, chief economist at housing platform Zonda, wrote in a Wednesday tweet. Instead, the change reflects price growth over the last year. Roughly 95% of contractors raised prices from April to May, and most of the increases averaged $10,000 or more, Wolf said.

Addressing the shortage will take a massive effort, according to NAR's estimates. Decades of underbuilding and losses of existing homes left the US with a supply shortage of about 6.8 million houses, according to a report published earlier this month.

Builders will need to accelerate construction to 2 million units per year should they aim to fill the hole over the next decade, NAR added. That would be a sizeable jump from the May pace of 1.57 million homes per year.

"There is a strong desire for homeownership across this country, but the lack of supply is preventing too many Americans from achieving that dream," Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, said in the report.

Read the original article on Business Insider

John McAfee spent 8 months in a 'dank' Spanish prison. His last days were spent musing on power, incarceration, and love.

A screenshot of John McAfee testifying to Spain's National High Court on June 15
A screenshot of John McAfee testifying to Spain's National High Court by video conference on June 15.
  • John McAfee asked for time in his cell two hours before he was found dead, El País reported.
  • He had been in prison for 8 months awaiting an extradition ruling, which he lost Wednesday.
  • McAfee had access to social media, made philosophical posts, and claimed to be in good spirits.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Two hours before John McAfee was found dead, he had requested to spend time in the cell that he shared with another prisoner, El País reported.

Ten days earlier, McAfee had argued in court that his looming extradition to the US on tax evasion charges would see him spend the rest of his life in prison.

But authorities did not find his argument persuasive, and at 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday he learned his extradition had been approved, the paper reported.

In Catalonia's Brian 2 prison, inmates can get some alone time in their cells in the afternoons if they have no other duties.

McAfee locked himself in alone, sources told the paper. Two hours later, prison staff found his body, the same sources said. He appeared to have killed himself by hanging.

His lawyer, Javier Villalba, told Reuters that McAfee died by suicide, a finding that was echoed by Catalonia's law enforcement body El Mossos D'Esquadra, El País reported.

The final determination will be made by autopsy, Reuters cited a Department of Justice official as saying.

McAfee tweeted more than once that he would never kill himself. The posts have since fueled online speculation about his death - including among QAnon conspiracy theorists, as Insider's as Insider's Rachel Greenspan and Steven Asarch reported.

McAfee had not been on suicide watch, prison sources told El País.

Villalba. the lawyer, also said the death was a shock. "At no point had he shown any special worry or clue that could let us think this could have happened," he told Reuters on Thursday.

In late May, McAfee said he'd been asked by another inmate how to kill himself, but didn't have any advice. But he said he was struck that suicide did not seem an odd prospect in prison.

McAfee posted about his mental state too. In late April he said incarceration had been "the most trying period of my life," and on June 8 noted that he was having "a down day."

Other times he took a different view: on May 23 he wrote that he had "never felt more free" than in prison.

Thoughts on prison, love and power

McAfee had spent more than eight months in the prison - which he described as "dank" - at the time of his death.

His Twitter account has 1.1 million followers - perhaps unsurprising for a man with such a colorful life.

While locked up, he posted about prison conditions - whether that was his fellow inmates, Spanish prison food, or the limited reading materials.

There were also bursts of humor, such as when he speculated about farting ants.

According to his wife Janice, McAfee was well-liked by his fellow inmates, who called him "Papa America" and particularly appreciated his full set of teeth - useful for opening sauce packets and taking the filters out of cigarettes.

"I'm sure he will figure out a way to turn that into a business of some sort," she wrote in an update on April 23.

He also shared his thoughts about love and power. Six days before his death, he posted a video. It is unclear when the video was made, as it appears to be recorded in a soundproofed room rather than in prison.

"Humans are compassionate, loving, gracious, kind, generous people," he said to camera We are simultaneously greedy, jealous, envious, angry - we're a mixed bag. And if you give one of the human species power, which part of ourselves uses it? Love?" He laughed. "Love does not need power, people."

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to make Google your default search engine on any major web browser

person at desk using phone and laptop with coffee cup
It's easy to set Google as your default search engine on any browser.
  • You can make Google your default search engine on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge.
  • With Google as your default search engine, every query you put in the address bar goes to Google.
  • Most browsers, except Microsoft Edge, start with Google as the default search engine.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Even though Google is the most popular search engine, some web browsers still don't automatically set it as the default. If you want to make sure all your web searches are done through Google, you can adjust your search settings no matter what browser you use.

Here's how to make Google your default search engine in Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

How to make Google the default search engine in Chrome

On a computer:

1. Open your Google Chrome browser.

2. At the top-right of the window next to the address bar, click the three vertical dots and choose Settings in the drop-down.

Screenshot of Chrome new window, with Settings drop-down menu
Select "Settings" in the drop-down under the three-dot icon.

3. Scroll down to the Search engine section and click the drop-down next to Search engine used in the address bar.

Screenshot of Chrome Settings page, Search Engine section
Click the drop-down next to "Search engine used in the address bar."

4. Choose Google in the drop-down. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Choose search engine dropdown list
Select Google in the drop-down list.

On the Google Chrome mobile app:

1. Start the Chrome app on your Apple or Android device.

2. On an iPhone or iPad, tap the icon of three horizontal dots at the bottom-right of the screen. On an Android, tap the icon of three vertical dots in the upper-right corner. Choose Settings in the pop-up.

Screenshot of Chrome app on iPhone three-dot pop-up menu
Select "Settings" in the pop-up.

3. Tap Search engine and select Google on the next screen. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Choose Search Engine page on Chrome on iPhone
Choose Google as your preferred search engine.

How to make Google the default search engine in Firefox

On a computer:

1. Open your Firefox browser.

2. Click the icon of three horizontal lines at the top-right of the screen and then click Settings in the drop-down.

Screenshot of Firefox on desktop three-dot menu drop-down
Select "Settings" in the drop-down list.

3. In the sidebar menu on the left, click the Search tab.

Screenshot of Firefox Settings main page on desktop
Go to the "Search" tab.

4. In the Default Search Engine section, click the drop-down and choose Google. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Firefox Default Search Engine section of Settings
Choose Google in the drop-down list.

On the Firefox mobile app:

1. Start the Firefox app on your Apple or Android device.

2. On an iPhone or iPad, tap the icon of three horizontal lines in the bottom-right corner. On an Android, tap the icon of three vertical dots in the bottom-right corner. Select Settings in the pop-up.

Screenshot of Firefox on iPhone three-dot pop-up menu
Select "Settings" in the pop-up.

3. In the General section, tap Search.

Screenshot of Firefox Settings page
Under "General," tap "Search."

4. Under Default Search Engine, select Google. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Default Search Engine page on Firefox iPhone app
Tap Google to set it as your default search engine.

How to make Google the default search engine in Safari

On a Mac:

1. Open the Safari browser.

2. Click in the search bar and then, in the left corner, click the magnifying glass.

3. In the drop-down, choose Google. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Safari web browser magnifying glass drop-down
After clicking the magnifying glass, select Google in the drop-down.

On an iPhone or iPad:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Scroll down to Safari and tap it.

Screenshot of iPhone Settings list of apps
Tap "Safari" in the list of apps in Settings.

3. Tap Search Engine and select Google. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Search engine selection page in iPhone Settings
Choose Google as your preferred web browser.

How to make Google the default search engine in Microsoft Edge

On a computer:

1. Open the Microsoft Edge web browser.

2. Click the icon of three horizontal dots in the top-right corner of the window and then choose Settings at the bottom of the pop-up.

Screenshot of Microsoft Edge three-dot drop-down menu
Choose "Settings" in the drop-down menu.

3. In the sidebar menu on the left, click the Privacy, search, and services tab.

Screenshot of Edge Settings menu
Go to the "Privacy, search, and services" tab.

4. Scroll down and click Address bar and search at the bottom of the page.

Screenshot of Edge Settings page on "Privacy, search, and services" tab
Click "Address bar and search."

5. Click the drop-down next to Search engine used in the address bar, and select Google. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Address bar and search page in Settings in Edge on desktop
Choose Google as your preferred browser.

On the Edge mobile app for iPhone or iPad:

1. Open the Microsoft Edge app on your Apple device.

2. Tap the icon of three horizontal dots in the bottom-middle of the screen and then choose Settings in the top-right corner of the pop-up.

Screenshot of Edge app on iPhone three-dot pop-up menu
Tap "Settings" in the pop-up menu.

3. On the Settings page, tap Advanced Settings.

Screenshot of Edge app on iPhone Settings main page
Go to "Advanced settings."

4. Tap Search Engine and then tap Others… and select Google from the list.

Screenshot of Edge app on iPhone search engine selection page
Tap Google and a blue check mark will appear.

5. Once you've selected Google, hit Done in the upper-right corner. Your default search engine should now be changed.

On the Edge mobile app for Android:

1. Open the Microsoft Edge app on your Android device.

2. Tap the icon of three horizontal dots in the bottom-middle of the screen and then choose Settings in the top-right corner of the pop-up.

Screenshot of Edge app on Android three-dot pop-up menu
Select "Settings" in the pop-up menu.

3. Scroll down to the Advanced section and select Search.

Screenshot of Edge app on Android Settings page
Under "Advanced," tap "Search."

4. Tap Default search engine, and choose Google on the next page. Your default search engine should now be changed.

Screenshot of Edge app on Android select search engine page
Select Google as your preferred search engine.
How to delete your Google search history on various web browsersHow to reverse image search on Google to find information related to a specific photoHow to change the language in your Google Chrome browserHow to search and switch tabs on Google Chrome to better navigate your browser tab clutter
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Eli Lilly jumps 10% after it says it will seek approval for its Alzheimer's drug following designation as a breakthrough therapy by the FDA

The logo of Lilly is seen on a wall of the Lilly France company unit, part of the Eli Lilly and Co drugmaker group, in Fegersheim near Strasbourg, France, February 1, 2018.  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
The logo of Lilly is seen on a wall of the Lilly France company unit, part of the Eli Lilly and Co drugmaker group, in Fegersheim near Strasbourg
  • Eli Lilly jumped 10% on Thursday after the company said it would seek accelerated approval for its Alzheimer's drug.
  • Donanemab received a breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA on Thursday following phase two data.
  • The move comes just weeks after Biogen received FDA approval for its Alzheimer's drug despite criticisms around insufficient data.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares of Eli Lilly jumped as much as 10% on Thursday after the company said it would seek accelerated approval for its Alzheimer's drug candidate, donanemab.

The announcement from the Indianapolis-based firm comes alongside news that the FDA designated the drug as a breakthrough therapy, setting it up for an expedited approval process. Donanemab met its primary endpoint in a phase two trial earlier this year.

Investors are likely bullish on the potential approval for Eli Lilly's Alzheimer's drug candidate, given that the FDA recently approved a controversial Alzheimer's treatment, called Aduhelm, from Biogen. Many argued, including some scientists on an FDA panel reviewing the drug, that the data provided by Biogen was insufficient to receive approval.

Eli Lilly said it would file for accelerated approval of donanemab later this year, even though it is still in the midst of running its phase 3 trial of the drug. Eli Lilly's decision surprised one Wall Street analyst.

Goldman Sachs analyst Terence Flynn said in a note on Thursday that Eli Lilly seeking accelerated approval for the drug "is ahead of our expectations as we believed there was a likelihood the FDA could have requested additional safety data from the ongoing Phase 3 trial."

Flynn added that the potential approval of donanemab could "lead to questions on nearer-term market share for Biogen's Aduhelm." Shares of Biogen fell as much as 7% in Thursday trades.

Goldman Sachs rates Eli Lilly as a Buy with a $270 price target, representing potential upside of 24% from Wednesday's close.

Eli Lilly stock chart
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Kevin McCarthy mistakenly attributes a 19-year-old's poster promoting the child tax credit to the IRS

Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
  • Kevin McCarthy criticized the IRS for wasting taxpayer dollars on a poster promoting the child tax credit.
  • But 19-year-old college student Tobin Stone actually made the poster - not the IRS.
  • Democrats are pushing for an expansion of the credit while GOP members largely oppose it.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blamed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for wasting taxpayer dollars on a poster promoting the child tax credit. But the IRS actually didn't make the poster - a 19-year-old college student did.

In a now-deleted Facebook post on Wednesday, McCarthy posted a photo of a poster that college student Tobin Stone created promoting the child tax credit, which is a monthly credit given to families with children. McCarthy attributed the poster to the IRS, though, and criticized the agency for wasting taxpayer dollars on a "government handout."

"Infuriating," McCarthy wrote. "The IRS is literally spending taxpayer money to advertise a government handout. This is welfare without the work requirements."

Stone, a political science and public policy student at Albright College in Pennsylvania, told Forbes he's been a "big fan" of the child tax credit ever since it was introduced, which is why he created the poster that he first tweeted out in April.

McCarthy has not yet publicly commented on mistakenly attributing the poster to the IRS, but some Democrats were quick to notice the minority leader's error. Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, for example, wrote on Twitter that the "IRS had nothing to do with [the poster], but the enhanced Child Tax Credit WILL put money in the pockets of working families, no thanks to @GOPLeader who voted against it."

Beyer's is referring to President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus law, which increased the child tax credit's amount to $3,600 per child age 5 and under, and $3,000 for every kid between 6 and 17. It gives families the option to receive a monthly payment of $250 or $300 depending on each child's age, and individuals earning below $75,000 and couples making under $150,000 qualify for the full checks.

Not a single Republican voted for Biden's stimulus law, but even so, some Republicans, including McCarthy, have been promoting elements of it.

With regard to the child tax credit, Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported earlier this month that some centrist senators might stand in the way of a permanent expansion of the credit, which 41 Democratic senators had previously called for.

But Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the architects of the credit, told Insider he had spoken to some moderates and continues to stress the benefits it will have on American families.

"It's going to be an amazing moment in modern America where people actually see themselves and their families benefiting dramatically from something that we've done in Washington DC," Bennet said in an interview. "It's going to make a huge difference to people."

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

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple TV Plus has a one-year free trial offer when you buy select products - here's how to snag the deal before it expires on July 1


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

ted lasso
"Ted Lasso" is one of several Apple TV Plus original shows.
  • New Apple TV Plus subscribers can get a one-year free trial with a qualifying Apple device purchase.
  • You must activate your new device by June 30 in order to get the free year.
  • Starting July 1, the trial will be reduced to three months with a qualifying Apple purchase.
Table of Contents: Masthead StickyTV Plus (Annual Plan) (medium)

Apple TV Plus is home to a growing library of exclusive series, including the sports comedy "Ted Lasso" and the docuseries "The Me You Can't See" produced by Oprah and Prince Harry. The service usually costs $5 a month or $50 a year, but customers who buy select Apple products can snag a fantastic deal.

Apple TV Plus has been offering a one-year free trial with the purchase of a new Apple device since the streaming service launched in November 2019. But the days of that promotion are coming to a close, according to the deal's terms and conditions.

Starting July 1, activations of qualifying new Apple devices will get you a three-month trial of Apple TV Plus rather than a full year. You can still claim the one-year trial, however, if you activate your purchase by June 30.

The deal is valid with the purchase of any new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or Apple TV device that can run the latest Apple software.

How to get one year of Apple TV Plus for free

  1. Purchase a qualifying Apple device from the Apple Store or an authorized reseller.
  2. Activate your Apple device by June 30.
  3. Sign in with your Apple ID on your eligible device.
  4. Go to the Apple TV app and claim your offer.
  5. If the offer doesn't show up when you open the app, navigate to the Apple TV Plus tab to see it.
  6. Once claimed, you'll get 12 months of Apple TV Plus for free.

After your one-year trial, your plan will renew for the regular price of $5 a month unless you cancel. Customers who activate a qualifying purchase after June 30 will receive a three-month trial instead of one year.

What Apple products qualify?

Any iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or Apple TV that runs the latest Apple software is eligible for the promotion. Here's a rundown of some of our top Apple product recommendations.

TV 4K (2021) (small, Preferred: Walmart)iPhone 12 (small, Preferred: Best Buy)2020 iPad 10.2-inch (8th Gen) (small, Preferred: Amazon)11-inch iPad Pro (2021) (small, Preferred: Walmart)New MacBook Air (M1) (small, Preferred: Amazon)iMac (small, Preferred: Amazon)

If you're looking for more Apple product recommendations, check out our various Apple buying guides, comparisons, and reviews. Learn more about how Insider Reviews researches deals and tests products.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Frontier Airlines eliminates 'Covid recovery fee' it has been charging since May after backlash

frontier airlines
Frontier Airlines is discontinuing its "Covid Recovery Charge."
  • Frontier Airlines had been charging flyers an extra "Covid recovery fee" on tickets booked since May.
  • The $1.59 fee was levied for each passenger and flight segment on new bookings.
  • This is Frontier's second attempt at raising revenues under the guise of the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Frontier Airlines has abandoned yet another plan to increase revenues by charging flyers extra fees under the guise of the pandemic.

Travelers who had booked flights with the carrier from May until June 23 have been paying an extra fee, called the "Covid recovery charge," as first reported by ABC News. Embedded in the total fare was an extra $1.59 surcharge levied to each passenger and each flight segment in a new booking.

"The charge, which was included in the airline's total promoted fare versus an add-on fee, was meant to provide transparency and delineate what portion of the fare was going toward Covid-related business recovery, including repayment of a CARES Act loan from the U.S. Government," Frontier said in a statement to Insider.

Ultra-low-cost carriers like Frontier rely on additional fees for services, known as ancillary fees, that are non-taxable by the government. It's unclear whether the surcharge would have been tax-free and Frontier did not confirm to Insider whether or not the fee was taxable.

But travelers looking to make new bookings will notice that fares are slightly lower now that the surcharge has been discontinued. "Frontier Airlines has made the decision to rescind its Covid Recovery Charge of $1.59 per passenger per segment that was implemented in May," a Frontier spokesperson confirmed to Insider.

Frontier tried a similar move to raise revenue around this time in 2020 when flyers were just returning to the skies after a crippling March and April. Flyers could pay extra to book seats in rows that had a guaranteed empty middle while the rest of the aircraft could be filled.

Airlines were divided between those filling planes and those blocking middle seats and Frontier Chief Executive Barry Biffle publicly spoke in favor of filling planes, even while offering the buy up for the rows with an empty middle seat.

"We don't believe this is what you need to be safe but it's one more thing that we can do to put people's minds at ease," Biffle told CNBC at the time, citing the effectiveness of aircraft filtration systems, mask mandates, and Frontier's expanded cleaning practices.

The product was quickly abandoned by Frontier after backlash from federal lawmakers. Other carriers like Alaska Airlines debuted similar products that offered guaranteed empty middle seats, but those also offered extra amenities like complimentary alcohol and extra legroom.

"I find it outrageous that an airline sees the imperative for social distancing as an opportunity to make a buck," Rep. Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said in a statement at the time, as Insider reported. "Frontier's decision to charge passengers to keep middle seats empty is capitalizing on fear and passengers' well-founded concerns for their health and safety."

Frontier, alternatively, was an early adopter of a mask mandate for all passengers and crew and it was the only US airline to require temperature checks before boarding, which ended earlier in June.

Read More: Spirit Airlines' low-cost model puts it in the perfect spot to be the big winner of the pandemic, a Deutsche Bank analyst says

Read the original article on Business Insider

Casper pioneered the bed in a box format, and its Original mattress is just as good as ever


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

  • A high-quality mattress is ideal for a broad range of sleeping styles and body types.
  • I like Casper's Original Mattress because it sleeps cool, offers impressive motion isolation, and keeps my spine aligned.
  • It comes with a 10-year limited warranty and is available to try risk-free for 100 nights.
  • You can save up to 30% off bundles, 15% off mattresses and pillows, 10% off everything else until July 5th.

A Casper mattress in a dark bedroom

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyOriginal Mattress (Queen) (small)

Casper remains one of our favorite bed-in-a-box brands, even as the industry continues to attract new competitors. Over the past few years, Casper has continued to up its game by improving the construction of its flagship mattress, introducing new models, and even adding bed frames, pillows, and accessories to its repertoire.

While Casper now makes a host of hybrid mattresses, its OG foam mattress is still around, and better than ever. A bit ago, Casper updated its best-selling all-foam Original Mattress with a more eco-friendly (yet comfortable) cover. The company also combined foam layers for a simpler construction that still offers all of the same pressure-relieving and heat-dissipating benefits. Casper sent me the updated Original Mattress to test for free. Here is my experience with it.


Graphic of Casper all-foam original mattress showing layers of foam

The Casper Original Mattress is a 2020 update to the company's flagship bed. The price remains the same, but the main difference is that the new mattress has three layers of foam (versus the four layers of the previous model). The new layers are:

  • "Airscape" perforated breathable foam - This top layer is designed to increase airflow for a cooler sleep and offer pressure relief.
  • Zoned support memory foam - The middle layer provides more relief and helps align your spine with three ergonomic zones that are softer under the shoulders and firmer around the lower back, waist, and hips.
  • Durable base foam - The thickest layer offers support by preventing sagging and sinking.

The mattress also has a more modern cover made of recycled polyester, recycled bottles, and upcycled cotton, rayon, and lycra. Appearance-wise, the covers are fairly consistent across Casper models.

Setup process

A casper mattress on a grey bed frame with a Casper box in the foreground

The Casper Original Mattress arrives at your door in a box that's maybe a little larger than a mini-fridge and - in the case of the Queen - weighs about 85 pounds. Unless you run a CrossFit gym, you'll want to get a friend to help you move it around. I had my teenager, who's always looking to show off how strong he is, drag it up to our third-floor test bedroom. Casper also offers in-home setup for a fee.

The unboxing process is simple and intuitive. You open the box, remove the wrapped mattress, place it on your bed foundation, unwrap the outer plastic layer, carefully tear or cut open the inner layer of plastic, and give the bed time to expand.

The mattress is meant to work on just about any foundation, though since it's an all-foam mattress, you'll want to make sure it has as much direct support under it as possible. I slept on the same Zinus frame I use for all of my testings.

The mattress has the usual "new bed smell" so I'd recommend unboxing it in the morning and allowing it to air out before you put sheets on it. This will also give the mattress time to expand.

What makes the mattress stand out

woman sleeping on a Casper mattress that shows the interior layers

Sleeping on a mattress is the only way to find out for sure that it's right for you. That's why Casper offers a 100-night, risk-free trial. If you try the mattress and find it isn't right for you, contact Casper, and they will work to have a local charity or recycling center pick it up. You then get your refund within two weeks, and there are no shipping fees or hidden restocking fees removed from the refund.

The new Casper Original is closer to average firmness than the previous model, which was on the firmer side. Though I preferred to sleep on my stomach to take pressure off my back, this mattress was also comfortable when I was on my side, and my back-sleeping wife found it suited her style.

Like its first incarnation, the 2020 Casper Original stays nice and cool through the night. This was a relief since I tend to be a hot sleeper and memory foam usually traps heat. The breathable top layer allowed for good airflow.

As with the previous Casper Original, the motion isolation is great. The mattress passed my motion transfer test with flying colors. I placed a 12-ounce soda can in the center of the bed and dropped a 15-pound bowling ball so it landing 12 inches away. The can stayed upright each time. A good approximation of what it might be like to have a partner in bed tossing and turning. You're unlikely to be disturbed with this mattress.

The Casper Original is backed by a 10-year limited warranty that covers major indentations, manufacturing defects, physical flaws, and deterioration that may occur despite using a supportive foundation, proper handling, and normal usage.

Cons to consider

A woman's hand pressing into a Casper mattress

The edge support of the updated Casper Original is not as good as the previous version. When I sat on the edge of the bed, it sagged significantly. And, when I rolled onto the very edge of the bed, I quickly fell off.

One morning while testing the mattress, I woke up with back pain despite feeling fine when I went to bed. This is an intermittent problem for me, and I'm hesitant to blame the mattress. My back gradually improved as I continued to sleep on the mattress. That said, the mattress probably isn't perfect for back pain sufferers.

What are your alternatives?

Aside from the ultra-soft Nova Hybrid and the over-priced Wave Hybrid, the other Casper mattresses are fairly similar. So, if you are looking to save money, you might consider the low-end Casper Element. The pressure relief isn't as impressive as the Original, but unless you have specific aches and pains, you may not notice the difference.

If Casper doesn't interest you, take a look at our guide to the best mattresses, which features my favorite mattresses based on the rigorous testing of dozens of models.

The bottom line

Overall, I enjoy the Casper Original Mattress. My favorite parts are the average firmness that works for my sleeping positions as well as the breathable, open-cell memory foam that kept me cool at night.

You'll have a hard time finding a better all-foam mattress than the Casper Original. It works for a broad range of sleepers and is designed to offer supportive pressure relief. Though several mattress brands are more affordable, Casper has the benefit of being a juggernaut in the industry. This means that they will likely be around to honor the 10-year warranty that comes with the mattress.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, we recommend buying the Casper Original if you're looking for an excellent, reliable mattress that will last you for a decade or more.

Pros: Works well for a broad range of sleeping styles, made of eco-friendly materials, excellent airflow for a cool sleep, great motion isolation, 100-night sleep trial

Cons: Poor edge support

Original Mattress (Queen) (button)
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Your bank or grocery store might be out of coins, but the Fed says there's not actually a shortage - people just aren't using them

change drawer coin shortage
The empty change drawer of the cash register at Symbiote Collectibles in West Reading, PA July 9, 2020.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the availability of quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies.
  • Unlike supply issues that have affected computer chips and lumber, there's no actual shortage of coins.
  • Roughly $48.5 billion of coins are in circulation, but much of that is "sitting dormant," the Fed says.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

If you've gone to the bank or grocery store recently, you may have noticed an availability problem that originally reared its head at the height of the pandemic last year: there aren't any coins.

Meanwhile, manufacturers can't get enough semiconductor chips because there aren't enough being made. Home prices are at record highs because there aren't enough houses. Used-car prices are soaring because there's no such thing as a used car factory.

So when is a shortage not really a shortage?

Last month, the US Federal Reserve acknowledged that businesses and banks in various parts of the country were once again having a hard time getting their hands on enough quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies.

But this time is different.

"Since mid-June of 2020, the U.S. Mint has been operating at full production capacity," the bank said. Last year the Mint produced 14.8 billion coins, up 24% from the year before.

It's not a shortage, per se, but that doesn't explain why you can't get a roll of quarters to do your laundry.

To find out, the Fed and other partners did what they do best: convened a task force.

The US Coin Task Force discovered that of the roughly $48.5 billion of metal currency in circulation, much is "sitting dormant" in the pockets, jars, and couch cushions of America's 128 million households.

In other words, there are more than enough coins in existence, they just aren't flowing smoothly thought the economy. Money, as you may recall, serves three key functions: a unit of account, a store of value, and a medium of exchange.

"The weak circulation affects most everyone, but the hardest hit are small cash-dependent businesses and those who are least well off," task force member Hannah vL. Walker said in a statement. "For millions of Americans, cash is the only form of payment."

Right now, the dormant coins are performing the first two roles just fine and failing at the third. The problem for the Mint is that it can't arbitrarily make more coins available without causing a lot of other problems in the US monetary system.

The tack force recommends an even simpler solution: break open that piggy bank.

"If just a fraction of the coin sitting dormant in households and businesses is redeemed and reused, this problem can be greatly reduced," the task force said.

By spending, depositing, or converting unneeded coins, the Mint said consumers can help close the circulation loop that has been disrupted over the past year and get a small but important part of the market moving again.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How much money Instagram influencers earn

Tyler Chanel influencer sustainability
Tyler Chanel is a "micro" influencer with under 15,000 Instagram followers.
  • Influencers on Instagram earn money in a multitude of ways.
  • From sponsored content to getting tips on IG Live, creators balance several streams of income.
  • We spoke with dozens of creators who shared how much money they earn.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Instagram and influencers go hand-in-hand.

The Facebook-owned social-media platform has become a primary stage for influencers launching their careers. And they don't need millions of followers to earn money on Instagram.

As more brands turn to smaller creators like "nano" or "micro" influencers with under 100,000 followers, establishing a career as a creator is no longer a pipe dream.

But it's not so straightforward to start earning money on Instagram. Unlike YouTube, Instagram doesn't yet have a comparable payment system in place like YouTube's Partner Program. Typically, influencers rely on sponsored content to make a living. From posting a picture to the main feed with #ad to sharing swipe-up links in a series of Stories, sponsored content takes on many different shapes.

Rates for these types of brands also vary.

Each deal has to account for an influencer's following, engagement metrics, and niche, while also calculating added fees like exclusivity, usage rights, and timing.

Sponsored content, however, isn't the only income generator for these influencers - although it is generally the most lucrative.

Influencers also make money on Instagram through commissions on affiliate links, selling merchandise and DTC products, and monetization tools the platform is slowly rolling out.

Insider has spoken with dozens of Instagram influencers about how much money they charge brands for sponsored content and how else they make a living using the app.

Here's a comprehensive breakdown of Insider's Instagram money log series:

How much money Instagram influencers make from brand deals

Working with brands on sponsored content is how many influencers earn an income on Instagram.

But how much money do influencers actually charge for these deals?

Here's a full breakdown of our coverage:

"Macro" and "Mega" influencers

Micro influencers

Nano influencers

How influencers earn money beyond brand deals

From earning a small commission through affiliate links to getting tipped by followers on an Instagram Live, there's a menu of supplementary sources of income for creators on Instagram.

How much money do influencers make through links or selling their own products?

Affiliate marketing

Influencers use platforms like LiketoKnow.it and ShopStyle to generate affiliate links, or discount codes provided by brands, to earn a percentage of sales.

Read more:

Getting tips via Instagram Badges

In 2020, Instagram announced "Badges", which allows fans to tip creators who livestream on the app. Instagram also started paying some creators who use Badges with "Bonuses" in June.

Read more:

Selling direct-to-consumer products and merch

Influencers can sell their own products and merchandise directly through Instagram's shopping features, or leverage their audience to promote their own brands and DTC products.

Read more:

Reselling clothing

Resale apps like Poshmark, Depop, and Etsy have become lucrative small businesses for many Instagram creators.

Read more:

Read the original article on Business Insider

Luxury parka maker Canada Goose will stop using fur in all products by the end of 2022 following years of activist pressure

Canada Goose
Workers piece together outerwear on the manufacturing floor of Canada Goose's facility in Toronto.
  • Canada Goose will stop purchasing fur in 2021 and end all manufacturing with fur by the end of 2022.
  • It previously defended using fur trims, saying these disrupt air flow and guard against frostbite.
  • Animal rights groups and activists have pressured the outerwear company to stop using fur for years.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Canada Goose is going fur-free after years of pressure from animal rights activists to do so.

The outerwear company will stop buying fur this year and stop making products with it by the end of 2022, according to a press release issued Thursday. Canada Goose says the decision was partly inspired by a focus on "expanding lifestyle relevance."

"Our focus has always been on making products that deliver exceptional quality, protection from the elements, and perform the way consumers need them to; this decision transforms how we will continue to do just that," said Dani Reiss, the company's president and CEO, in the release.

Animal rights groups have criticized the company for years over its use of coyote fur and goose down. The company previously stood by its use of fur in its popular jackets and other products, saying animal fur trims disrupt cold air flow and guard against frostbite.

"This is a significant step forward toward building a more humane and sustainable world," said Barbara Cartwright, the CEO of Humane Canada, in the release. "We applaud Canada Goose's commitment to end the use of all fur by late 2022 and the leadership position they are taking in their industry."

The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has been one of Canada Goose's biggest critics, welcomed the news.

"PETA and its affiliates are suspending their international campaigns against Canada Goose today, after years of eye-catching protests, hard-hitting exposés, celebrity actions, and legal battles, as the company has finally conceded and will stop using fur - sparing sensitive, intelligent, coyotes from being caught and killed in barbaric steel traps," said the organization's president, Ingrid Newkirk, in a statement. "PETA will now re-engage the company to push for an end to its use of feathers, which geese and ducks continue to suffer for."

Canada Goose previously announced plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by slashing them by more than 80% by 2025.

Earlier this year, the company debuted its most sustainable parka to date, the Standard Expedition Parka. Canada Goose says this one generates 30% less carbon and uses 65% less water in manufacturing compared to its in-line Expedition Parka.

Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Gucci are among the other big names who have gone fur-free in recent years in response to growing consumer interest in sustainability.

Read the original article on Business Insider

George Galloway promised to give unused funds from his general election campaign to 'local food banks' but no evidence of a donation has been found

George Galloway
George Galloway
  • EXCLUSIVE: George Galloway's promise to donate unused campaign funds to good causes is under scrutiny.
  • Galloway said he would give excess funds raised in his 2019 UK general election campaign to "local food banks".
  • However, West Bromwich food bank says they received nothing from Galloway.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

George Galloway's promise to donate unused funds from his 2019 UK general election campaign to "local food banks" has been called into question after an investigation by Insider found no evidence any money had ever been transferred.

The former member of parliament, who is standing to win next week's Batley and Spen by-election, set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding page in July 2019 for his then attempt to win a seat in West Bromwich East.

Galloway told potential supporters of the crowdfunding campaign that "all unspent monies [from the crowdfund] will be distributed to local food banks." He had raised more than £24,000 by the end of 2019.

Galloway's spending returns, obtained by Insider, show he spent just £8,749 during the election campaign, suggesting a potential surplus of up to £15,000 from the crowdfunding campaign.

However, the coordinator of the West Bromwich Food Bank, Keith Turner, told Insider that they had not received any money from the former MP, saying: "The West Brom food bank has never received a donation of any amount from Mr Galloway."

In an interview with Insider, Galloway insisted that "we spent most of the money we raised in the West Bromwich election."

However, pushed on whether he had donated any remaining surplus to local food banks he said that "I don't know what happened in West Brom."

Galloway did not respond to any further questions about his promise to donate any surplus funds to local food banks prior to publication.

Labour accused Galloway of trying to "take people for fools."

"George Galloway cannot be trusted," Anneliese Dodds, chair of the Labour Party told Insider.

"This just shows his priority is trying to take people for fools and trying to raise money to boost his ego wherever he can."

A Conservative source told Insider: "He pops up thinking he can expose and deepen community divisions, loses badly and then repeats. At least voters now know where they stand with him."

Read the original article on Business Insider

25 entertaining audiobooks narrated by celebrities, from Meryl Streep to Tom Hanks

Collage of audiobooks narrated by corresponding celebrities, including The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heartburn by Nora Ephron, narrated by Meryl Streep

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

  • Audiobooks offer vibrant narrations of books across all genres.
  • A-list celebrities have taken to using their iconic voices to narrate audiobooks, from classics to horror.
  • We rounded up some of the best ones, narrated by stars like Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and more.

Audiobooks bring stories to life with animated narration by emphasizing dialogue, playing up humor, or adding tension to suspenseful scenes. While usually narrated by professional voice actors, celebrities have taken to audiobook narration in the past few years by voicing new releases and retelling old classics.

In our list of celeb-voiced audiobooks, there's a historical fiction novel told through Tom Hanks' homey voice, a zombie book brought to life by a full cast of celebrities, and even an iconic '80s horror story narrated by the same star as from the movie adaptation. Each of these recommendations was chosen because the celebrity narrator adds something unique to a story.

The links for these audiobooks come from Audible (Amazon) and Libro.fm, a platform that splits its profit with local bookstores, supporting independent bookstores around the world. With either platform, you can subscribe to a membership or purchase an individual audiobook.

The 25 best audiobooks narrated by celebrities:

Classics 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Available on Audible

Narrator: Jake Gyllenhaal

There are quite a few versions of this audiobook with different narrators, but this edition with Jake Gyllenhall makes it obvious that he's the perfect narrator for this 1925 classic. "The Great Gatsby" is about Jay Gatsby, a wealthy man in the Jazz Age, attending extravagant parties with his new love. Jay is a passionate character, disillusioned by the high life of fame and money, reaching for an elusive American dream. The messages and themes of this novel are deep while the plot is energetic and verging on chaotic, making it an exciting listen.

'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Baum
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum

Available on Audible

Narrator: Anne Hathaway

Retold in this special edition by Anne Hathaway, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is the story of Dorothy who must get home to Kansas after finding herself in a strange and magical world. With the help of her three new companions- a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion- Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to the legendary Oz where each member of the group will be able to ask Oz to grant their greatest wishes. Anne Hathaway's narration gives greater personality and depth to Dorothy's character, an exciting version of a story many readers already know. 

'Othello' by William Shakespeare
Othello audiobook

Available on Audible

Narrators: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ewan McGregor, Kelly Reilly

This classic play is about the marriage and romance between Othello and Desdemona, a dramatic story set in the Mediterranean. Othello and Desdemona have stark differences between them from age to culture, yet rapidly fall in love and elope. Their marriage holds strong, until the manipulative villain, Iago — Othello's standard-bearer — sets out to destroy their marriage by planting seeds of doubt and deceit between the two. The cast of celebrity narrators does an incredible job of elevating the drama.

'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' by Mark Twain
“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

Available on Audible

Narrator: Elijah Wood 

While there are a few audiobook narrations of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" to choose from, this is a special performance by Elijah Wood, who's best known for playing Frodo Baggins in "Lord of the Rings." "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is a classic originally published in 1884 about a boy nicknamed Huck who runs away down a river with an escaped slave. Told through the lighthearted energy of a young boy, the book tackles racism, war, and freedom in a way that makes this historic piece of literature a must-read, and is made even more entertaining with Elijah Wood's narration. 

'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre Audiobook

Available on Audible

Narrator: Thandiwe Newton

"Jane Eyre" is a 19th-century gothic classic literature about an orphaned girl who is hired as a caretaker in Thornfield Hall, working for a mysterious and brooding man named Edward Rochester. Though Jane has felt like an outcast for most of her life, she falls in love with Rochester, who showers her with flattery and distracts her from his troubled spirit and the dark secrets the house may hold. This moody and powerful audiobook is narrated by Thandiwe Newton, an award-winning British actor most recently known for her role in "Westworld." 

'The Odyssey' by Homer
"The Odyssey" by Homer

Available at Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Sir Ian McKellen

"The Odyssey" is often considered a dense legend: A 10-year journey home that stands as a testament to survival and moral endurance. This classic is actually incredibly lyrical and begs to be read out loud, so Sir Ian McKellen's narration is exactly what this epic needs to bring Odysseus' adventure to life. It begins at the end of the Trojan War, where Odysseus must travel home through a wide berth of challenging and interesting encounters and obstacles. It is a long, mythological poem, a tale that is best appreciated when narrated, making an audiobook the perfect form to experience the timeless story. 

'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' by Mark Twain
"Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain

Available on Audible

Narrator: Nick Offerman 

While there are other audiobook editions of this classic, Nick Offerman's rendition stands above the rest, particularly due to his fantastic dialogue. Tom Sawyer is known as a rebellious schoolboy in his small town just off the Mississippi River. When Tom's younger brother once again tattles to their aunt, Tom's stuck with the punishment of whitewashing the fence, a chore he convinces the neighborhood boys to complete, as he would rather be hanging out with his friend, Huck Finn. This story is entertaining and memorable, about an interesting and mischievous young boy with a good heart whose hijinks often land him in sticky situations with his best friend. 

'To the Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf
"To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf

Available on Audible

Narrator: Nicole Kidman 

This story is about Mrs. and Mr. Ramsay, their eight children, and their guests gathered at a summer vacation cottage where a visit to a nearby lighthouse has been postponed. This is a novel of consciousness and perspectives, one that navigates a scope of emotion, conflict, and tensions as time passes and the Ramsay family changes. It is a reflective novel, where Nicole Kidman's narration greatly assists by helping readers set the pace for Woolf's beautiful and introspective prose. 

'Matilda' by Roald Dahl
“Matilda” by Roald Dahl

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Kate Winslet 

"Matilda" is a children's novel that is nothing short of delightful. Matilda is a prodigy child in more ways than one: She's supremely intelligent, independent, and has telekinetic powers. She has typical elementary school problems — like a terrible principal and classmate bullies — but her own special ways to deal with them. Some parts of this book may be strange to encounter as an adult (such as Matilda's neglectful parents or the way Matilda's teacher treats her like an adult), but it's a wonderful and whimsical story to which Kate Winslet's narration adds even more magic. 

Contemporary Fiction and Nonfiction 'Heartburn' by Nora Ephron
“Heartburn” by Nora Ephron

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Meryl Streep 

In this hilarious novel that you can breeze through in a day, Rachel is seven months pregnant when she discovers her husband is cheating on her. In a story based on real events in Nora Ephron's life, Rachel finds solace in making fun of the new woman, wishing her husband dead, and cooking some of her favorite recipes. Meryl Streep (who also played Rachel in the film adaptation) lends some incredible narration to a story of heartbreak filled with Nora Ephron's signature wry humor.

'The Dutch House' by Ann Patchett
"The Dutch House" by Ann Patchett

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Tom Hanks 

This story is about a dysfunctional family in a too-large mansion, still filled with the belongings of the deceased previous owners. Told by Danny, the son of the family, over five decades, the novel follows the Conroys after a smart investment brings them surprising wealth. They settle into the Dutch House — until Danny and his sister are ultimately thrown out by their stepmother and thrust back into poverty, relying on their bond to survive. Between Tom Hanks' narration and Ann Patchett's writing, this story is an example of masterful storytelling. 

'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood
'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood

Available on Audible

Narrator: Claire Danes 

Claire Danes' voice is the perfect match to this dystopian story, where women are only of value as reproductive vessels. Offred is a Handmaid to the Commander, laying down for him once a month with the goal of becoming pregnant with his child. She tells the horrors of her daily life, — where she isn't allowed to read or even have her own name — while pining for the days she can remember where she was free to enjoy life with her husband and daughter. This novel is a science fiction nightmare, a searing and complex feminist dystopia

'Go Set A Watchman' by Harper Lee
'Go Set A Watchman' by Harper Lee

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Reese Witherspoon 

The sequel to Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winner "To Kill A Mockingbird," this novel follows Scout, now 26, as she returns home to visit her father during the height of Civil Rights tensions. Scout navigates her home, abounding with childhood memories, as she revisits her past. While it's a work entirely different from "To Kill A Mockingbird," this book changes how readers understand many of the characters, adding an unexpected layer of depth to an American classic, a novel made even better with Reese Witherspoon's lively narration.  

'Kristy's Great Idea' by Ann M. Martin
“Kristy’s Great Idea” by Ann M. Martin

Available on Audible

Narrator: Elle Fanning 

Elle Fanning narrated the first four books in this series in a special edition for Audible. The series first premiered in 1986 with Kristy Thomas' brilliant idea to start a babysitters club for her and her friends to take care of kids in the neighborhood and make some money. These stories transcend time, following a tween group of girls as they navigate friendships, crushes, and their first business. For new and old readers alike, Elle Fanning's narration breathes fresh life into the series, reanimating the characters for which many readers feel great nostalgia.

'Homegoing' by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing audiobook

Available on Audible

Narrator: Dominic Hoffman

Dominic Hoffman is an incredible screen actor and also an award-winning voice actor, his narration making this already stunning debut reach a new level. "Homegoing" spans 300 years, following the descendants of two half-sisters from Ghana, some of whom are raised in Ghana and some who are enslaved in America. As each chapter introduces a new character, the powerful emotions build as the familial stories grow together. This novel creates an image of generations whose lives are shaped by historical events, diverging and converging over time and distance.

'Hex' by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
'Hex' by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Jenny Slate 

Comedian Jenny Slate ("Obvious Child," "Parks and Recreation") narrates this audiobook as Nell Barber, a Ph.D. candidate recently expelled from her program and looking to set a speed record for the detoxification of poisonous plants. As she studies her plants at home, Nell fills notebooks about her mentor, Joan, for whom she has unavoidable romantic feelings. This novel is intellectually and emotionally intense — a tangle of relationships, ambitions, and grudges. 

'Daisy Jones & The Six' by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrators: Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, and Pablo Schreiber 

"Daisy Jones & The Six" is a fast-paced read about the rise of a 1970s rock group who split at the height of their popularity without giving a reason to the public until now. The book is written interview-style and multiple celebrity narrators help keep all the characters and their unique stories straight. It begins with Daisy Jones' coming-of-age in the late '60s through drugs and fame and romance until the band's legendary success. It's one of those novels that is so well-written and believable, you'll forget that it's not about a real band.

'The Order of Time' by Carlo Rovelli
'The Order of Time' by Carlo Rovelli

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Benedict Cumberbatch 

This nonfiction book is about our understanding of time and what time truly is. With Carlo Rovelli's charming and enchanting writing style — plus Benedict Cumberbatch's naturally crisp voice — this book combines philosophy with science to explain how we can think about the concept of time in a way that is more useful to humanity. It's a short audiobook (just over four hours) but one that encourages readers to reshape their entire understanding of our relationship with time. 

'On Such a Full Sea' by Chang-Rae Lee
“On Such a Full Sea” by Chang-Rae Lee

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: B.D. Wong 

This novel takes place in a future dystopian America where people are strictly divided by class. Those of the labor class are largely Chinese descendants, brought to America after the environmental downfall of their country. These Chinese immigrants are kept in gated cities to farm and fish in order to support the rich Charter villages. Living in the B-mor settlement is Fan, who leaves the safety of her home to search for the man she loves, who has mysteriously disappeared. Her journey is a dangerous and strange one, a surreal science fiction adventure narrated by B.D. Wong, a Tony Award-winning actor most often recognized for his role in "Jurassic Park" as Dr. Henry Wu or the animated "Mulan," voicing Li Shang. 

'Dispossession' by Tayari Jones
Dispossession audiobook

Available on Audible

Narrator: Gabrielle Union

"Dispossession" is a thought-provoking short story read by Gabrielle Union, an actor and author best known for her role in "Bring it On." Though it's just under an hour in audiobook form, this story deals with some complicated feelings about parenting, motherhood, and race. 10 years ago, Cheryl decided to send her son to a boarding school in New England, hoping he'd be safer away from the violence in Atlanta. When her son cancels a trip to visit from his home in Vermont, Cheryl picks up a last-minute job helping a Black family move. Her excitement for their bright future is diminished when she learns the family is being evicted, spurring a personal look at her city, her parenting choices, and her own past. 

'The Middlesteins' by Jami Attenberg
'The Middlesteins' by Jami Attenberg

Available at Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Molly Ringwald 

Molly Ringwald adds a touch of nostalgia to "The Middlesteins," a story of family, heartbreak, and obsession in the Middlestein family, each member of which portrays a different yearning of midwestern America. Edie has an addiction to food that may kill her if she can't get help. When her husband of more than 30 years leaves her, Edie's grown children and their spouses must help her while wondering if her challenges are all her fault or if others are to blame. While this story seems centered on addiction, it's also the story of tragedies and triumphs, bridging three generations in one novel, by using Edie as an axis for each family member's story. 

Horror 'Carrie' by Stephen King
"Carrie" by Stephen King

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Sissy Spacek

"Carrie" is Stephen King's first published horror novel, about a high school girl with telekinetic powers who is relentlessly bullied at school. After a particularly traumatic day, Carrie unleashes her powers as the book takes a turn into horror, culminating with a graphic and terrifying prom night. The audiobook is narrated by Sissy Spacek, who played Carrie in the 1976 film. Sissy's narration of Carrie's internal monologue throughout the novel is particularly thrilling and adds perfectly to the unsettling parts of the book. 

'World War Z: The Complete Edition' by Max Brooks
"World War Z: The Complete Edition" by Max Brooks

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrators: Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, Rob Reiner, Mark Hamill, Alfred Molina, Simon Pegg, Henry Rollins, Martin Scorsese

This book is a mix of funny and scary, a fictional account of a zombie war and apocalypse that nearly destroyed all of humankind, told as if it was factual. The story is delivered in a series of interviews of "survivors" from around the world during the rise of "The Great Panic" that precedes World War Z. The stories are intriguing, hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking as much of this book attempts a look at the future of our global politics while still being a compelling and interesting read. Max Brooks, the author, is the son of Mel Brooks and was formerly a writer for SNL. His writing — paired with the all-star cast — creates a movie-like piece of audiobook entertainment. 

'NOS4A2' by Joe Hill
“NOS4A2” by Joe Hill

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Kate Mulgrew

Vic is the only child who has escaped "Christmasland'' and Charles Manx's unparalleled evils. When she was younger, Vic had a knack for finding things when one day she found Manx, who likes to take children for rides in his old car, slipping out of our world and into Christmasland. Furious that Vic escaped, Manx is out for revenge — and finds it by kidnapping Vic's son. This horror book is a terrifying trip, far from a sweet holiday story. Kate Mulgrew, famous for her role as Red in "Orange Is the New Black," adds a layer of unrest to an already unnerving story.

'Pet Sematary' by Stephen King
"Pet Sematary" by Stephen King

Available on Audible and Libro.fm

Narrator: Michael C. Hall

In Stephen King's 1983 paranormal horror, an idyllic family moves into their new home in Maine to find a path behind their home that leads to a cemetery where local pets are buried. Even deeper lies an ancient burial ground, the scary secrets of which are uncovered following the death of a family pet. A slow burn of unease builds to a suspenseful climax, making it a book that Stephen King himself considers one of his scariest. The narration of the audiobook is done by Michael C. Hall, most well-known for his leading role in "Dexter."

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Dr. Doom' economist Nouriel Roubini warns that inflation won't be temporary and the Fed risks crashing the economy if its changes policy too soon

nouriel roubini
Nouriel Roubini, Chairman and Co-Founder, Roubini Global Economics, takes part in a panel discussion titled "Global Overview" at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California on April 29, 2013.
  • "Dr. Doom" economist Nouriel Roubini warned inflation won't be transitory like the Fed insists.
  • He told Yahoo Finance the economy could crash if the Fed changes its policy too soon to combat inflation.
  • He said the central bank can't tighten because there's so much debt in the system.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Economist Nouriel Roubini told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that rising inflation will not be temporary, and the Federal Reserve is at risk of crashing the economy if it changes policy too soon.

The CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, who has been nicknamed "Dr.Doom" for his bearish forecasts, cited supply bottlenecks, pent-up demand from excess savings during the pandemic, and sharp price increases in housing, commodities, and wages as signs of overheating inflation.

Roubini's stance stands in contrast with that of the Fed's, which has insisted that the any increase in inflation will be transitory. The central bank's outlook on inflation has guided its decision to keep interest rates low and continue with loose monetary policies.

"Inflation expectations are rising, the dollar is weakening, and that implies imported inflation and higher dollar price of commodities. And the Fed wants to overshoot 2% with the risk of the ongoing inflation expectation," Roubini said.

"And the Fed cannot tighten because there is so much debt in the system, if they're going to try to tighten too soon, the system is going to crash. So they are in a debt trap. They're in a fiscal dominance," he added.

Roubini also said that the economy could be facing 1970's-style inflation that looks like "stagflation," or a combination of high inflation and recession. Just like in the 1970's, Roubini sees a negative supply shock that will "hit the economy, reduce potential growth, increase the cost of production. And like in the '70s, with loose monetary and fiscal policy going to lead to stagflation."

He listed nine different factors that could lead to negative supply shocks. De-globalization, climate change, cyber attacks, and an aging global population were among the few.

"So you have nine factors that are all reducing potential output, increasing the cost of production and the price of goods and services. And with easy monetary fiscal policy, we're going to end up with stagflation like the seventies over time," said the economist.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Strawberry Moon is rising Thursday evening - your last chance to see a supermoon this year

supermoon rises yellow over hill where cyclist holds up cellphone
A cyclist uses a cellphone to photograph the full moon, known as the "Super Flower Moon" as it rises over Arguineguin, in the south of Gran Canaria, Spain May 26, 2021.
  • A Strawberry Moon will rise on Thursday night. It's named for the strawberry harvest, not for color.
  • It may be the last visible supermoon of 2021, though that is up for debate.
  • The name "Strawberry Moon" comes from the Anishnaabe, Sioux, and Algonquin peoples of North America.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A big, bright Strawberry Moon will crawl across the sky on Thursday night.

It's also called the Rose Moon or the Hot Moon, but none of these nicknames refer to its color - they're all just names for the full moon in the month of June. However, the moon tends to sit lower in the sky in June, according to NASA, which could give it a pinkish hue as it shines through the thickest parts of the atmosphere.

Thursday's celestial display is also a supermoon - depending on who you ask. The status is up for debate because there's no official definition of a supermoon.

Generally, supermoons occur when the moon is at perigee - the closest point to Earth in its orbit. They can cause stronger ocean tides and affect the weather. But the International Astronomical Union has not established a rule about how close to Earth the full moon must be in order to qualify. So astronomers and enthusiasts disagree on which full moons get the designation.

"The term 'supermoon' is much more recent and has come to be any full or new moon within 90% of its closest approach to Earth," Christine Shupla, an education manager at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, told CNN. "By that definition, the full moon on June 24 is also a supermoon, even though it is not as close as the full moon was in May or April."

If you do consider Thursday's full moon to be a supermoon, it's the last one you'll see this year. There are two more supermoons - on November 4 and December 4 - but they'll be invisible new moons.

The full moon goes by many names

picking strawberries vermont
A family picks strawberries at the Legare Farm Stand in Calais, Vermont, Thursday, June 21, 2007.

Across North America and Europe, people have used full moons to track months and seasons for thousands of years, naming each one based on the seasonal changes it indicates. Different languages and cultures characterized these moons differently, sometimes based on agricultural cycles, sometimes in reference to natural phenomena.

In this case, several Indigenous groups of North America call the June full moon "Strawberry Moon" - including the Anishnaabe peoples of the Great Lakes and the Sioux of the Great Plains, according to the Western Washington University Planetarium. For the Algonquin peoples - who share a family of languages and originate from the area that today ranges from New England as far west as Lake Superior - the name refers to the short season for harvesting strawberries in the Northeast.

In Europe, people called it the Mead Moon or the Honey Moon, according to NASA.

Here are some of the many names assigned to full moons throughout the year:

  • January: Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Ice Moon
  • February: Snow Moon, Hunger Moon
  • March: Worm Moon, Sap Moon, Crow Moon
  • April: Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Fish Moon
  • May: Flower Moon, Planting Moon
  • June: Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Hot Moon
  • July: Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon
  • August: Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon
  • September: Harvest Moon, Corn Moon, Barley Moon
  • October: Hunter's Moon, Blood Moon, Dying Grass Moon, Travel Moon
  • November: Beaver Moon, Frosty Moon
  • December: Cold Moon, Long Night's Moon
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Biden says he'll increase the 'ridiculously low' pay of federal firefighters, who can sometimes make $20,000 less than state firefighters

california fires
Members of firefighters walk in line during a wildfire in Yucaipa, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020.

President Joe Biden promised on Tuesday to increase the wages of federal firefighters across the country, who he said make "ridiculously low" wages while fighting deadly fires.

"The last few days alone, we've seen droughts and wildfires in the West," said Biden. "I didn't realize this, I have to admit - that federal firefighters get paid $13 an hour. That's going to end in my administration."

Federal firefighters are paid according to the Federal General Schedule payscale. Entry-level pay is determined by "the level of difficulty, responsibility, and qualifications required" by the job.

Starting salaries may take education level, military experience, and location into consideration, ranging from $19,738 to $48,978. New Jersey, California, Washington, New York, and Hawaii are the top-paying states for firefighters.

Nationwide, the average yearly salary for federal firefighters is approximately $55,000, with local firefighters making slightly more at around $57,500. In 2019, the U.S. median household income was $68,703.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a Forest Service firefighter's starting salary is more than $20,000 less than the starting salary for Cal Fire firefighters, Senators wrote in a letter to Congress on Tuesday. This is despite the fact that the federal government manages a majority of California's forest land.

In the letter, Senators wrote that while the annual wildfire season grows longer and more intense, agencies are struggling to hire and retain federal firefighters due to low pay. The proposed bill language would restructure the federal firefighter pay grade to be comparable to wildland firefighters employed by state and local governments.

In 2020, 70% of the nationwide acreage burned by wildfires was on federal lands.

The federal budget to pay firefighters comes through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI). Their combined wildfire management budget has nearly doubled over the past ten years, with a budget of $6.11 billion appropriated in 2020.

The 2021 wildfire season is estimated to exceed last year's record number of fires. Biden will hold a meeting next week to discuss preparing the nation for heat, wildfires, and drought.

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Microsoft just took a direct shot at Apple's controversial App Store policy with Windows 11

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.
  • Microsoft unveiled the next version of its major operating system, Windows 11, on Thursday morning.
  • Part of that event was a not-so-thinly veiled shot at Apple.
  • Going forward, app and game makers with their own payment systems can skip using Microsoft's system.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Microsoft just took a shot at Apple with a feature in its next major operating system, Windows 11.

Going forward, the Microsoft Store will allow software makers to use their own payment systems - something Apple refuses to allow on its App Store. Rather than paying Microsoft a cut of each transaction, software makers can charge users directly with their own systems.

"If you do bring your own commerce engine, you keep 100% of your revenue," Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay said during a Microsoft livestream featuring Windows 11. "We keep zero."

It's a major point of contention between Apple and a variety of software makers, and it's at the heart of ongoing litigation between "Fortnite" maker Epic Games and Apple.

Epic Games filed suit against Apple last summer after its hit game was pulled from Apple's App Store.

Apple says it pulled the game because Epic violated the terms of its developer agreement when Epic implemented a payment system in the game that enabled players to circumvent Apple's App Store. Epic says the App Store is a monopoly, and argues that iPhones and iPads are no different from computers.

Microsoft previously issued a letter to the court on behalf of Epic Games, and a Microsoft employee appeared as an expert witness during the trial. Arguments have ended for both sides in the ongoing case, and it's unknown when the judge will issue a ruling.

Windows 11 is a free upgrade for Windows users, and is scheduled to launch "this holiday," according to Microsoft.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Clothing sales are spiking even higher than 2019 levels - in part because roughly a quarter of consumers are a new size post-quarantine

People shopping
Clothes shopping is up 35% compared to 2019 levels.
  • Spending on clothes is skyrocketing past pre-pandemic levels.
  • According to Bank of America research, clothes-buying is up 35% compared to 2019.
  • The increase is due in part to pandemic-related weight-fluctuations, according to Levi's CEO.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Spending on clothes is skyrocketing, fueled by a desire to get dressed up again - and pandemic-related weight changes.

After taking a nosedive in the early months of the pandemic, spending on clothing is topping even pre-pandemic levels: It's up 35% compared to two years ago, according to Bank of America research.

"People are looking to get out and about again," Fokke de Jong, Suitsupply's founder and CEO told Insider earlier this year following the company's ad campaign promoting a raunchy "new normal." "Parallels to the Roaring 20s are being drawn on a regular basis."

Some retailers started to see a shift in purchasing behavior back in February. Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call in March that the company saw a shift away from "casual, at-home, comfortable" clothes and toward items like dresses - what he called "'going-out'-type apparel."

Sonia Syngal, the CEO of Gap, said earlier this year that the company is very optimistic about a return to dressing to impress, forecasting what she called a "peacocking effect" that will happen as people emerge from the pandemic.

Read more: 19 of the most promising retail startups of 2021, according to top VCs

But it's more than just a long-dormant desire to look good that's fueling the surge in clothes shopping.

According to a February poll conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association, 61% of US adults experienced undesired weight fluctuations during the pandemic, with 42% reporting they gained more weight than they'd anticipated.

Those who gained weight added an average of 29 pounds during the pandemic, the survey found.

Levi's CEO Chip Bergh said in an interview with the Associated Press earlier this month that he's seen the pandemic-era looser fits "taking hold." Bergh said that weight fluctuations during pandemic lockdowns mean some people aren't fitting into their clothes like they used to - in fact, Bergh estimated that more than 25% of consumers are now a new size.

"The number of people who are in a new size is pretty staggering," he said. "Some people gained weight during the pandemic, and many people lost weight. But both on the men's side of the business and women's side."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bonuses are on the rise: Job postings with incentives doubled in the past year, major jobs site Indeed says

Hiring labor market job opening signing bonus
Sandra Presley (L) interviews for a job as a hotel front desk staff member with a human resources manager during a Zislis Group job fair at The Brew Hall on June 23, 2021 in Torrance, California.
  • The number of job listings with incentives on Indeed has more than doubled since July 2020.
  • They include signing payments and retention bonuses, according to the major jobs site.
  • Searches for job openings with such incentives have surged 134% year-to-date, Indeed said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Businesses are battling to attract workers as the economy roars back to life. Their latest weapon: a slew of hiring incentives.

The share of job openings touting incentives - ranging from signing bonuses to retention payouts - has doubled since July 2020, according to employment service Indeed. The share began to steadily climb through the spring, the same time hiring unexpectedly slowed and narratives of a labor shortage emerged.

The bonuses are a win-win in the current labor market, AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, wrote in a Thursday blog post. Job searches for hiring incentives have leaped 134% since the start of 2021, reflecting the broad desire for more attractive openings.

The incentives are also appealing to businesses. Instead of offering permanently higher wages or paid time off, employers can boost hiring with one-time bonuses, Konkel said.

Source: Indeed Hiring Lab

The use of hiring incentives grew the most in the driving sector, where 16% of openings now mention bonuses, according to Indeed. That's up from 11.4% at the start of the year. The childcare and personal care sectors also saw strong increases in incentive use.

To be sure, the vast majority of job posts still lack any mention of hiring incentives. Only 4.1% of Indeed postings listed such bonuses. Still, that's up from the 1.8% share seen in July 2020, and much of the increase took place over the last few months.

The combination of rising incentive use and searches for such bonuses suggests workers "are holding out for better deals rather than taking the first opportunity that comes along," Konkel said. Businesses falling behind in the rehiring race may need to "consider offering candidates something upfront," she added.

Whether the increase in incentive use translates to an uptick in hiring remains to be seen. Payroll growth rebounded in May but still came in below estimates. Job openings totaled a record 9.3 million at the end of April, but quits also hit a record high.

A handful of outside factors are likely holding Americans back from rejoining the workforce, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a Tuesday hearing. Fears of COVID-19 and childcare costs could be keeping people at home. Expanded unemployment benefits could also pose a slight disincentive effect, Powell said.

Part of the hiring slowdown could simply be attributed to skills gaps in the workforce, he added. Millions of jobs are expected to be permanently erased from the economy, forcing jobless Americans to find new openings. There "might be something of a speed limit" on how quickly people can find new jobs or adopt completely new skillsets, Powell told a House subcommittee.

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The 9 best books for learning how to grow vegetables, according to experts


Tending your own edible garden can be a fun and interactive way to connect with the food you eat - you can sow small seeds and watch them gradually form stems and leaves as they grow into full-sized plants. Although vegetable gardening can be simple, there can be a lot to pay attention to and figure out, such as the right soil, sunlight, and water. Even for experienced gardeners, there can be plenty of variables that can affect how your garden grows.

Whether you have lots of backyard space or are limited to a balcony, porch, or stoop, there are creative ways to cultivate your own vegetable garden. From gardening with small containers to learning what it means to grow truly organic food, there are books for all types of vegetable gardening needs.

To find the best books for gardeners of all levels, I reached out to Chia-Ming Ro, founder of Coastal Homestead; Dr. Allan M. Armitage, an author and professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, Athens, and Dana Zucker, a farmer, homesteader, and owner of Sugar Water Manor.

The 9 best vegetable gardening books for beginners:

The best beginner vegetable gardening book
Book cover of "Garden-pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening Terms" by Maria Zampini and Pamela Bennett

"Garden-pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening Terms" by Maria Zampini and Pamela Bennett

Like any new activity, there can be a lot to figure out and learn. As the title implies, this book breaks down a lot of terminology to make it easy to understand and get started. "'Garden-pedia' takes the intimidation out of this calming, joyous hobby as well as simplifies the language of plant science," says Dr. Allan M. Armitage, who recommends this book to anyone who "wants to demystify the garden." "[It] easily defines terms like composting, cold frame, hardening off...and our favorite — dibbling; just a small sample of terms you need to know when starting out growing your own plants be it flowers, vegetables, or herbs."

The best overall book for growing a vegetable garden
Book cover for "Western Garden Book of Edibles" by the Editors of Sunset

"Western Garden Book of Edibles" by the Editors of Sunset

This is a fabulous reference book that digs in about everything you need to consider for starting an edible garden. "[It] touches upon all the basic elements of site selection, design, plant selection but it also talks a lot about microclimates," says Ro. "For example, I live in Southern California — known for it's hot summers — however, I live in a beach city so I have coastal influences creating a cooler microclimate within a hot microclimate." Knowing what is possible to grow in your region is the key to having success with your garden.

The best book for container vegetable gardening
Book cover for “Field Guide to Urban Gardening” by Kevin Espiritu

"Field Guide to Urban Gardening" by Kevin Espiritu

If you live in a city or with minimal outdoor space, you may be surprised by what is possible to grow in containers. "This book will guide you on everything you need to know about growing food in pots," says Ro. "It is concise and easy to digest and apply, [and] Espiritu writes from vast personal experience in container gardening in small spaces."

The best book for herb gardening
Book cover for "The Cook's Herb Garden" by Jeff Cox and Marie Pierre Moine

"The Cook's Herb Garden" by Jeff Cox and Marie Pierre Moine

Growing herbs can be an easy and fun way to get your hands in the soil. "Herbs are great gateway plants to gardening!" says Ro. "This book covers the plants, different food uses including teas, and how to plant and care for them." It also highlights 120 types of culinary herbs — including recipes. "What I love about this book the most are the herb combinations they share, like a tea garden, or an Italian herb garden," adds Ro.

The best book for edible gardening in small spaces
Book cover for "All New Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew

"Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew

Growing an abundant vegetable garden with limited space may seem challenging, but it's possible. If you're not sure where to begin or what to grow, this book will guide you from sowing seeds to harvesting. "Mel Bartholomew solves this by giving step-by-step guides on how to grow intensively to maximize efficiency in a small space," says Ro.

The best book for gardening multiple plants together
Book cover for "Plant Partners" by Jessica Walliser

"Plant Partners" by Jessica Walliser

Some plants grow well together and can be mutually beneficial — such as helping with pest management or attracting pollinators — while other plants don't get along and shouldn't be planted near each other. "Walliser goes in depth beyond which plants go together, and explains the actual relationships formed between the plants," says Ro. "This book is carefully thought out in presenting plant partnerships in a different way."

The best book for gardening by the phases of the Moon (biodynamic gardening)
Book cover for “Biodynamic Gardening” by DK

"Biodynamic Gardening" by DK

Do you already have an organic garden but want to take your gardening methods and practices to a more integrated level? Consider growing food in a biodynamic way, which incorporates the phases of the moon during planning, growing, and harvesting. "If you want to know how to grow by the Moon and other interesting facets of this gardening method, this is your book," says Ro. "There is a complete guide on what to plant during which Moon phase and much more."

The best book for permaculture gardening
Book cover for "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway

"Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway

Creating a garden that is in harmony with Mother Nature requires thinking about what you plant in a more holistic way. "To truly garden organically with minimal to no pesticide use, you need to create an ecosystem," says Ro, who considers this a gardener's bookshelf staple. "This takes time and patience, but it can be done, even in an urban environment." Anyone who wants to be more connected to nature will want to have this book — according to Ro, it "explains the relationships between the wildlife, the plants, and you."

The best book for saving seeds
Book cover for "Starting and Saving Seeds" by Julie Thompson Adolf

"Starting and Saving Seeds" by Julie Thompson Adolf 

Collecting and saving seeds after each harvest is an important way to be more self-reliant, save money, and maintain special or heirloom varieties. "Growing food for my family, guests and community has become so much more rewarding and doable with Julie's guidance, not to mention the cost savings in saving my own seeds," says Zucker. According to her, this book is "a must have for both new and experienced gardeners and backyard gardeners to professionals." Harvesting and storing seeds requires care, patience and time. "'Starting and Saving Seeds' has given us not only the how-to and information we need but also the confidence to do what we do."

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Guggenheim will pay to settle SEC allegations it discouraged employees from reporting wrongdoing

People walking out of the SEC building US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Guggenheim violated whistleblower protections when its policies prohibited employees from reporting potential wrongdoing, the SEC said.
  • Guggenheim's employee manual required employees to contact the firm's internal legal department before contacting regulators.
  • The firm will pay a $208,912 fine to settle charges from the SEC.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The brokerage arm of Guggenheim Partners will pay a $208,912 fine to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission charge that the firm's policies discouraged employees from reporting potential wrongdoing, the US regulator said.

From at least 2016 to 2020, Guggenheim's Core Compliance Manual prohibited employees from initiating contact with any regulator, including the SEC, without prior approval from the firm's compliance or legal department. This was a violation of the SEC's whistleblower protection rules put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

The SEC also found that in 2018 and 2019, Guggenheim's annual compliance training for employees contained similar language.

Guggenheim removed the language prohibiting employees from contacting officials after the SEC contacted the firm. Guggenheim also added language that affirmatively advised employees of their right to contact regulators without legal penalty.

Guggenheim did not admit or deny the SEC's allegations. Along with paying the fine, the firm has agreed to a cease-and-desist order and a censure.

The firm in an email to Bloomberg said: "We are pleased to resolve the matter. Guggenheim Securities has always sought to protect whistle-blower rights, and we note that the SEC acknowledged in this settlement that there was no evidence that Guggenheim Securities impeded whistle-blower communications, if any."

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Peter Thiel has amassed a $5 billion fortune in tax-free Roth IRA account, report finds

Peter Thiel

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has managed to grow a tax-free retirement account worth less than $2,000 in 1999 to $5 billion today, according to a report from ProPublica.

Citing a "trove of IRA tax return data" spanning more than 15 years, ProPublica has helped piece together how the country's wealthiest people avoid paying taxes.

The Roth IRA was created by Congress in 1997 as a way for middle-class Americans to save for retirement independent of their employer. The retirement account initially had a $2,000 per year contribution limit.

Today, that contribution limit is $6,000, and American's that make more than $140,000 per year are unable to contribute to the account.

That's because the tax treatment of a Roth IRA account is so beneficial to its users, as it allows after-tax money to compound for decades in the stock market, and then be withdrawn tax-free as long as the owner is 59-and-a-half years old.

That sets the Roth IRA apart from a traditional IRA, which imposes a required minimum distribution that are taxed once the account holder turns 72 years old.

Thiel grew his fortune by using his Roth IRA account to invest in early-stage startups, which translated to massive windfalls when those successful companies went public years later. From there, Thiel was able to use that windfall to invest in more early stage companies within his Roth IRA account.

Thiel was able to put shares of early-staged startups in a Roth IRA account with the help of Pensco, a small firm that "allowed its customers to put nearly any investment they wanted into a tax-advantaged retirement account," according to the report.

Pensco founder Tom Anderson told ProPublica that in 1999, Thiel and other PayPal executives wanted to put startup shares of that company into a traditional IRA, but Anderson steered them into the newly launched tax-free Roth IRA account.

"They immediately grasped that, and they did it," Anderson told ProPublica.

The move was confirmed by Thiel's 2005 New Zealand residency application, which stated, "Mr. Thiel purchased his founders' shares in PayPal through his Roth IRA during PayPal's formation," according to ProPublica.

Read more: Bank of America says to buy these 31 small- and mid-cap stocks with average implied upside of nearly 30% as they represent its best ideas for the second half of 2021

That move has payed Thiel handsomely. PayPal, which was acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion and then spun out as an independent company in 2015, is now worth more than $330 billion.

According to ProPublica, Thiel paid just $1,700 for 1.7 million shares of PayPal in 1999. That's less than the $2,000 Roth IRA contribution limit in 1999. Today, that stake would be worth $501 million.

But Thiel sold the PayPal shares in his Roth IRA following the eBay acquisition in 2002, vaulting his Roth IRA account to be worth nearly $30 million, according to the report.

Since then, Thiel has used his Roth IRA account to buy shares of Palantir when it was still private, along with other silicon valley startups. And in doing so, Thiel has managed to avoid paying a massive tax-bill, assuming he doesn't withdraw money from his account prior to 2027, when he turns 59-and-a-half years old.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slams the lack of diversity in an all-white group of lawmakers who drafted a bipartisan infrastructure deal

AOC defund the police obama
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the bipartisan group of lawmakers who negotiated an infrastructure deal.
  • President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that the group reached a deal.
  • The New York lawmaker called out the group for its lack of diversity.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday criticized an all-white group of senators who reached a bipartisan deal on infrastructure legislation, pointing out the group's lack of diversity and arguing it excluded marginalized communities.

"The diversity of this 'bipartisan coalition' pretty perfectly conveys which communities get centered and which get left behind when leaders prioritize bipartisan dealmaking over inclusive lawmaking (which prioritizes delivering the most impact possible for the most people)," the New York Democrat tweeted alongside a photo of the group of lawmakers with President Joe Biden outside the White House on Thursday.

The senators who led the infrastructure negotiations with Biden include five Republicans and five Democrats. The GOP senators are Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The Democrats are Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

"This is why a bipartisan [package] alone isn't acceptable," Ocasio-Cortez went on to say. "The exclusion & denial of our communities is what DC bipartisan deals require. That's how you get GOP on board: don't do much/any for the working class & low income, or women, or poc communities, or unions, etc. We must do more."

The progressive firebrand has repeatedly cautioned in the past that communities of color and other marginalized groups get left behind in the pursuit of bipartisanship.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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A major cruise line just dropped its vaccine requirement for cruises leaving from Florida but there's an expensive catch for unvaccinated travelers

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Equinox
Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Equinox ship.
  • Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises brand rolled back its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Florida cruises.
  • Unvaccinated passengers will face on-board restrictions, COVID-19 tests, and higher out-of-pocket costs.
  • Cruise lines and Florida have been in a heated standoff over vaccine passports.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Royal Caribbean Group's Celebrity Cruises has rolled back its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cruises sailing out of Florida ports, as per a June 17 update on Celebrity's website.

The vaccine mandate reversal is the latest update in a heated battle between cruise lines and the state, which has banned vaccine passports. But there's a catch: unvaccinated passengers - or those unwilling to show proof of the vaccine - will face on-board restrictions, extra COVID tests, and subsequently, additional out-of-pocket costs, according to the cruise line.

Compared to vaccinated passengers, this means $178 worth of COVID-19 tests, strict mask requirements, seating restrictions in areas like theaters and casinos, and the possibility of not being able to go ashore depending on local restrictions.

This announcement comes just weeks after Celebrity Cruises' unveiled its resumption of sailing plans aboard the Celebrity Edge. The ship is set to sail this Saturday from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and will be the first revenue cruise to sail from a US port in over a year.

But when the sailing was first announced as "fully vaccinated" in May, DeSantis' office called the cruise line's vaccine mandate "discriminatory."

"Companies doing business in Florida, including Celebrity Cruises, should immediately cease to impose such discriminatory policies upon individuals," Christina Pushaw, DeSantis' press secretary told Insider in an email in May. "Allowing companies like Celebrity Cruises to require 'vaccine passports' for customers would mean tolerating discrimination by private businesses, which is unacceptable in Florida."

However, the cruise line still "strongly recommends" its eligible guests to be vaccinated, a spokesperson told Insider in an email statement.

Why cruise lines are dropping their vaccine mandates

celebrity cruises apex
Celebrity Cruises' Apex.

At the end of May, Celebrity Cruises' sibling brand Royal Caribbean announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all guests. However, like Celebrity, this mandate was subsequently rolled back in early June for all cruises sailing out of Florida and Texas.

There's one common reason for this quiet reversal of vaccine mandates: the ban on vaccine passports in states like Florida and Texas, which has created a heated stand-off between cruise lines and the states.

For Florida specifically, in April, the Sunshine State's Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning vaccine passports and local business - including cruise lines - from requiring them. And one month later, the state passed a law barring vaccine passports by July 1.

This means any company that violates this proof of vaccination ban could be fined $5,000 for every customer.

"Gov. DeSantis has stated many times that allowing private businesses to require 'vaccine passports' for Floridians taking part in everyday life - attending sporting events, dining at restaurants, or even going on cruises - would create two unequal classes of citizens based on vaccination status," Pushaw wrote in the email statement. "This would be unethical and harmful for society."

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Biden strikes $1 trillion infrastructure deal with GOP while supporting separate party-line package

Joe Biden thumbs up
President Joe Biden.
  • Biden struck a deal on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan with the GOP on Thursday.
  • "We have a deal," Biden told reporters outside the White House.
  • It's expected to encompass hard infrastructure like roads and bridges.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind a $1 trillion infrastructure deal negotiated by a Senate group of Republican and Democrats, a major step towards his goal of working with the GOP despite their opposition to the majority of his agenda.

"We have a deal," Biden said Thursday after an Oval Office meeting with bipartisan group of 10 senators. "We made serious compromises on both ends."

The Senate faction came out strongly in favor of the plan. "It was essential to show the Senate can function, that we can work in a bipartisan way," Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said. Other negotiators championed the package as well.

The framework was made public on Thursday after the White House meeting. It includes funding for physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Around $579 billion of it would constitute new spending beyond existing programs. That represents around a quarter of Biden's initial $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan unveiled in late March.

The document outlining the infrastructure deal shows $109 billion would fund roads, $65 billion would fund broadband so people could have access to the internet, and $49 billion would go toward public transit.

It would build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers along highways and in rural and disadvantaged communities.

It would also increase audits on the federal unemployment payments that went out during the coronavirus pandemic to crack down on fraud and would beef up IRS enforcement to reduce tax evasion. Insider previously reported that the bipartisan gang of 10 was near agreement on a $40 billion investment in the IRS that could yield what CBO estimates as $63 billion in additional tax revenues.

Additional funding for the program would come from allowing states to purchase unused toll credits for infrastructure and rerouting funds from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic response, among other measures.

The bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers is evenly divided between the parties. GOP senators include Sens. Mitt Romney; Rob Portman of Ohio; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Collins; and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The Democratic half is made up of Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia; Jon Tester of Montana; Mark Warner of Virginia; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Biden said in a press conference after the meeting that the plan out Thursday represented "one half" of his economic plan, saying he wanted to get to work "right away" on other infrastructure proposals including childcare, education, caregiving, and clean energy. The two bills would move "in tandem," he promised.

"For me, investment in our physical and human infrastructure are inextricably intertwined," Biden said. "Both make us stronger."

Democrats are poised to approve the follow-up economic package sometime in the late summer or early fall.

"There ain't no infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference Thursday, referring to the larger package that would pass along party lines, likely without any GOP votes.

Read more: These documents circulating on Capitol Hill show Bernie Sanders' and Democrats' $6 trillion backup plan if Republicans reject Biden's current infrastructure proposal

Many Democrats, particularly progressives, are pressing for quick passage of the separate economic package focused on Biden's spending initiatives.

"We know what we need to get done - roads, bridges, childcare, clean energy," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat of Massachusetts, told reporters. "That's one package altogether."

Asked by Insider about her preferred timeline for approving a party-line reconciliation plan, she emphasized "soon" and said July.

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Progressives will only support the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal if it comes with a bigger reconciliation bill

nancy pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
  • Biden agreed to a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal on Wednesday.
  • Progressives immediately said they'll only support it if a reconciliation bill comes alongside it.
  • The reconciliation bill would include care-economy measures and could be bigger than $1 trillion.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

After weeks of negotiations, President Joe Biden on Wednesday arrived at a deal on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a bipartisan group of 10 senators. Immediately, progressive Democrats said they'd only support it if a reconciliation bill comes right beside it.

"There ain't going to be an infrastructure bill unless we have the reconciliation bill passed by the United States Senate," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.

The framework of the bipartisan infrastructure plan remains unclear, but it will likely encompass physical infrastructure, like roads and bridges, with around $550 billion in new spending. This plan cuts out nearly all of the proposals in Biden's American Families Plan, which included care-economy measures including universal pre-K, free community college, and climate initiatives.

Progressive lawmakers want to ensure that exactly those measures are not forgotten and they are pushing for passage of a bill that includes them to be passed via reconciliation, which would be possible with all 50 Democrats voting together.

As the bipartisan plan was announced the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden, said on a call with the climate advocacy group Climate Power that the plan "will not include comprehensive clean energy policy, and I am not willing to support throwing climate overboard."

"The two bills have got to be directly connected," he added, referring to the infrastructure and reconciliation bills.

His colleague Richard Blumenthal told reporters the bipartisan plan is "paltry" and "pathetic," saying he needs "ironclad" committement about contents of the reconciliation bill in order to support passage of the bipartisan infrastructure plan.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Wednesday evening that both the bipartisan infrastructure plan and the reconciliation bill are moving at the same pace, and he hopes to that both the House and Senate will vote on them in July.

Last week, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drafted a $6 trillion bill that included many elements left out of the bipartisan plan, like climate initiatives and affordable housing, which he said would require reconciliation.

But Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, part of the bipartisan group, has balked at the size of Sanders' proposal and the amount it would add to the national debt.

Biden supports the progressive wing of his party, saying in a Thursday press conference that the bipartisan deal represented "one half" of his economic plan, and he wants to get to work "right away" on care-economy proposals. He promised the two bills would move "in tandem."

"For me, investment in our physical and human infrastructure are inextricably intertwined," Biden said. "Both make us stronger."

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A new USPS plan could add two days to delivery times for some Americans. Here are the states that could be hit hardest by mail delays.

  • The Postal Service's 10-year plan could slow mail delivery times by as much as two extra days.
  • The new policies would heavily impact delivery times along the West Coast, as well as parts of Florida and Texas.
  • The service cuts could make it even harder for USPS to compete with delivery services like Amazon Prime.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A new US Postal Service plan could tack on as much as two extra days to mail delivery times for some Americans, according to a recent analysis from The Washington Post.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced the 10-year plan- which includes longer first-class delivery timelines, reduced post office hours, and higher prices - in March. The proposal still needs approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission, but would cut the amount of mail that is delivered by plane in half. It would also reduce the distance a piece of mail can travel within a day.

The new policies would heavily impact western states, as well as parts of Texas and Florida, according to The Post's analysis which found the plan would slow mail delivery in 27 states.

Major cities like Seattle, Portland, and Las Vegas could expect to tack on an extra day to delivery times due to the new proposal, the publication found. It also said the plan would disproportionately affect rural communities that rely more heavily on mail.

Here are the 27 states that would be at least partially impacted: Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, Florida, New York, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Vermount, New Hampshire, Maryland.

Read more: Louis DeJoy looks to be safe as head of the USPS. Experts say his plan to save the post office may pummel small sellers struggling to compete against Amazon.

Currently, the standard delivery time for USPS packages is about 2-3 days, but the publication reported the new plan would create average delivery times between 2-5 days. Current USPS standards maintain the 2-3 day delivery margin for mail regardless of its destination, but the new policies would mean mail that travels long distances across the US would have standard delivery times between 4-5 days.

DeJoy said in the initial release that the new policies could create more stability, saying the government agency has not been able to maintain its delivery standards (2-3 day delivery windows at a success rate of 96%) for nearly 10 years. During the beginning of the pandemic, the Postal Service struggled to hit delivery timelines. This time last year, about 31% of mail was delivered outside of the 2-3 day delivery window.

The new standards only apply to the mail that predominantly flows through the US Postal Service, including first-class mail such as letters and newspapers.

Experts told The Washington Post the new delivery standards would represent the most significant delay of US mail in "more than a generation." 21 attorneys general issued a statement opposing the changes earlier this week.

The attorneys general said that the new plan reflects a "flawed philosophy that would prioritize the services it offers in competitive markets," such as package delivery, "over those that it alone provides and on which countless Americans depend."

When the plan was released, industry officials warned that the service cuts could make it even more difficult for the Postal Service to compete with delivery services like Amazon Primes, FedEx, and the United Parcel Service.

In the initial announcement, DeJoy said the plan will lower operating costs and help the group avoid $160 billion in projected losses - more than double its annual revenue in 2020.

The USPS did not respond to a request for comment.

Read The Washington Posts full report.

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Southwest CEO says the airline doesn't have enough planes for 2022 as demand spikes and it hints at more international flying

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737
Southwest Airlines needs more planes to keep up with demand.
  • Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly doesn't think his airline has enough planes to continue its current business model in 2022 and 2023.
  • New Boeing 737 Max aircraft are scheduled to enter the fleet as part of a modernization program.
  • Purchasing used aircraft would be costly and run counter to Southwest's long-term fleet plans.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Southwest Airlines is coming out of the pandemic in growth mode. But one thing holding it back is a lack of airplanes.

Outgoing CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC's Squawk on the Street on Thursday that the airline's fleet won't be large enough to support its existing model in the upcoming years, let alone an expansion.

"We don't feel like we have enough airplanes for 2022 and 2023, and that's just doing what you know us to be famous for," Kelly told Jim Kramer, referring to the airline's low-cost domestic flying.

Southwest is already one of the top four largest US airlines by fleet size with nearly 700 aircraft in storage, according to Cirium data, and has around 80 more aircraft stored or parked.

The focus for the nation's largest low-cost carrier is on a fleet standardization centered on the Boeing 737 Max. Southwest has been steadily increasing its orders for the embattled jet, including a June order for 34 aircraft, and likely getting great deals from Boeing in terms of price.

Read More: The 16 most outrageous things Boeing employees said about the company, 737 Max program, and each other in released internal emails

Boeing has been clearing out its backlog of unclaimed 737 Max aircraft, as the Wall Street Journal reported, but has likely been dropping pricing owing to the aircraft's 20-month grounding in the US.

Kelly also hinted at a potential international and intercontinental expansion of Southwest's route network using its current fleet.

"With the Boeing 737, just looking at North and South America, we have all kinds of growth opportunities," Kelly said. Southwest is yet to serve Canada, for example, and every South American country is accessible from Southwest's Fort Lauderdale, Florida base with the 737 Max 7 and its 3,850-nautical mile range.

Even the current generation Boeing 737s in Southwest's fleet can access countries as far south as Ecuador, Brazil, and Bolivia from Florida.

Southwest's aircraft woes show how quickly the domestic travel landscape has changed since the vaccine rollout began. Just a few months ago, the airline sold three Boeing 737-700 aircraft to new startup Avelo Airlines, which will be used to open a base in New Haven, Connecticut later this year.

"If Southwest knew then what it knows now about the demand, would they have gotten rid of their 737-700 fleet, or as many of the aircraft in that fleet as they did?" Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and cofounder of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider.

Inexpensive pre-owned Boeing 737s aren't difficult to come by but Southwest can't just go shopping for new planes. The multi-million-dollar investment would come with a time commitment that would run counter to Southwest's future fleet plans.

"The economics of acquiring an airplane are far more complex than the economics of deciding to buy or lease a used car," Harteveldt said.

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