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The latest news from Business Insider

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    FILE PHOTO: People gather at the booth of Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio as it unveils its ES8 SUV at the Shanghai autoshow, in Shanghai, China April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

    • Nio, widely seen as the Tesla of China, slid below its initial-public-offering price on Tuesday.
    • Shares priced at $6.26 apiece on September 12.
    • One investor recently told Business Insider that Nio is "an easy stock to steer clear of" because of its unproven management and inexperience manufacturing cars.
    • Watch Nio trade in real time here.

    Nio, which has been touted as the Tesla of China, slid below its initial-public-offering price nearly three weeks after going public, touching a intra-day low of $5.88 per share on Tuesday.

    Shares priced at $6.26 apiece on September 12, the low end of its range, causing the electric-car maker to fall short of raising the $1.8 billion it had sought. But on the next day, after touching its record low of $5.35, the stock soared 75%, sending its market capitalization above $12 billion — despite Bernstein analyst Robin Zhu assigning an "underperform" rating and saying he thinks a capital raise is coming in the next 12 to 18 months.

    The stock would top out a day later at $13.80. Since then, shares have fallen in 10 of the last 12 sessions, shedding about 36% over that time. 

    "Nio's not a stock we have any interest in," said Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, managing over $1 billion in assets, told Business Insider. "An unproven management team along zero experience in manufacturing cars makes this an easy stock to steer clear of."

    The four-year old Tencent-backed electric-car startup delivered its first volume-manufactured vehicle — the ES8 — to users on June 28, and started to generate revenue this year, according to its IPO filing. Nio said it made $6.95 million revenue in the first half of 2018, and that it had 6,201 unfilled ES8 reservations by the end of August, for which non-refundable deposits had been made but customers could still cancel their orders.

    Now read:



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    NOW WATCH: 7 outdoor adventures that are worth the hike

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    iceland blue lagoon shutterstock_522339559

    • The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is one of the country's most popular destinations.
    • Nearly 1.2 million people came to swim in its milky blue waters in 2017, a Blue Lagoon representative told Business Insider.
    • But these disappointing photos show that the Blue Lagoon is not always as idyllic and photogenic as it seems.


    The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is one of the country's most famous and visited attractions, seeing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

    But for all its fame and for all the idyllic Instagram photos, the manmade pool can be overcrowded, unphotogenic, and underwhelming. One person on TripAdvisor called it "a dirty, lukewarm, crowded disappointment."

    It's also not cheap. A swim in the milky blue waters will cost you a minimum of $64, which includes a silica mud mask, towel, and a drink. You can upgrade to a premium package for $91, which includes a second mask, use of slippers and a bathrobe, a table reservation at the lagoon's Lava Restaurant, and sparkling wine if eating at the restaurant. You can also shell out $268 for four-hour exclusive entry to the spa in addition to the pool.

    These disappointing photos show that the hot springs experience isn't always as picture-perfect as it seems.

    SEE ALSO: 12 surprising differences between Icelandic and American culture

    The Blue Lagoon is known for its milky blue water, rock formations, and skin-nourishing clay that visitors apply as face masks.

    Source: Blue Lagoon

    It's one of the most-visited attractions in Iceland, with nearly 1.2 million visitors in 2017.

    Source: Blue Lagoon

    But what most Instagram photos don't show are the industrial-looking buildings that surround the pool.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    US President Donald Trump hugging flag

    • The United States now has less freedom because of the Trump Administration and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to a democracy rights group.
    • Overall, the US's freedom rating dropped from 89 to 86 because its political rights dropped from 36 to 33, according to an annual Freedom House report.
    • This was due to Robert Mueller's investigation gathering force, and Trump repeatedly defying ethical standards set forth by predecessors and making major policy decisions with little consultation and transparency. 

    The United States has less freedom because of the Trump administration and Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to an independent watchdog that measures political rights and democratic institutions around the world. 

    "The United States’ political rights rating declined ... due to growing evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, violations of basic ethical standards by the new administration, and a reduction in government transparency,"according to Freedom House. 

    Freedom House's annual report, Freedom in the World, measures freedom in terms of civil liberties and political rights by collecting data from media, research articles, government documents, and other sources.

    The collected data is then used to score a country's political rights on a scale of 0-40 and its civil liberties on a scale of 0-60 (you can read about their methodology here). 

    Overall, the US's freedom rating dropped from 89 to 86 because its political rights dropped from 36 to 33, making the Land of the Free only the 58th freest country in the world. 

    Freedom House said this was due to Robert Mueller's investigation gathering force, and Trump repeatedly defying ethical standards set forth by predecessors and making major policy decisions with apparently little consultation and transparency. 

    In terms of defying ethical standards, Freedom House specifically mentioned Trump refusing to release his tax returns, "promoting his private business empire" in office, and "naming his daughter and son-in-law as presidential advisers."

    As for making major policy decisions with little consulation or transparency, Freedom House mentioned Trump's January 2017 executive order banning seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the US, and his July 2017 executive order banning transgender people from the military. 

    Freedom House also mentioned other factors leading to the US' drop in political rights, including Trump's executive order forming the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which "was widely seen as an effort to follow up on Trump’s unsubstantiated assertion that between three and five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 elections."

    Read Freedom House's 2018 Freedom in the World report here, and its explainer of the US's freedom here

    SEE ALSO: The 27 countries in the world with the most freedom

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    NOW WATCH: 3 surprising ways humans are still evolving

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    President Donald Trump

    • President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed — falsely — that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the highest-ranked member of both his undergraduate class and law school class at Yale. 
    • Kavanaugh did not graduate at the top of his undergraduate class — he finished cum laude — somewhere among the second quarter of the class.
    • And Yale Law School does not rank or give conventional grades to its students. 

    President Donald Trump has repeatedly cited Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's "sterling" academic record in defending his pick from attacks on his integrity and character throughout his confirmation process, which has been derailed by sexual misconduct allegations.

    There's little doubt that Kavanaugh, who's served on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for 12 years, is a top legal thinker or, as Trump put it, "one of the most accomplished legal minds of our time." But the president repeatedly claimed — falsely — that Kavanaugh was the highest-ranked member of both his undergraduate class and law school class at Yale. 

    "I think he was number one in his class at Yale. He was number one in his law school at Yale," Trump said at a White House press conference on Monday.

    Kavanaugh did not graduate at the top of his undergraduate class — he finished cum laude — somewhere among the second quarter of the class and below those who graduated magna cum laude and summa cum laude, which NPR's Nina Totenberg reported make up the top 22% of the class. 

    And Yale Law School does not rank students or grade them conventionally, so it's unclear how well Kavanaugh performed as a graduate student. 

    But Kavanaugh does say he was at the top of his high-school class at Georgetown Preparatory School, an elite all-boys private school in the suburbs of Washington, and has repeatedly asserted that he was accepted to Yale Law School, which he noted is "number one" in the country, because he worked exceptionally hard in college. 

    During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, the judge repeatedly referenced his academic prowess in high school when answering questions about allegations that he drank to excess and sexually abused teenage girls. 

    "I was at the top of my class academically, busted my butt in school. Captain of the varsity basketball team," he said during his combative and emotional four hour testimony. "Got in Yale College. When I got into Yale College, got into Yale Law School. Worked my tail off."

    At another point in his testimony he said that he got into law school without "connections." While Kavanaugh has no known family members who attended Yale Law, his grandfather, Everett Edward Kavanaugh, graduated from Yale College — a connection that made him a legacy student during his undergraduate years. 

    SEE ALSO: 'It's not fair': Trump launches into extended defense of Kavanaugh but says he wants FBI to do a 'comprehensive' investigation amid confusion

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    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory

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    jc penney 1971

    • JCPenney has hired a new CEO, Jill Soltau.

    • The struggling department store has been without a leader since May, when its former CEO, Marvin Ellison, resigned to take up a new role at the head of Lowe's.
    • In September, JCPenney's CFO, Jeffrey Davis, also announced he would be resigning effective October 1.

    JCPenney has a new CEO. 

    On Tuesday afternoon, JCPenney announced that Jill Soltau, formerly CEO of Joann Stores, will be taking the position.

    The struggling department store has been without a leader since May after its former CEO, Marvin Ellison, resigned to run home-improvement retailer Lowe's. Since then, Penney's has been managed by a team of four executives while the board searched for a replacement. In September, it suffered a second blow after its CFO, Jeffrey Davis stepped down from the business. 

    While Ellison has been credited with leading the company through a major turnaround effort after his predecessor almost ran the business into the ground, analysts say he jumped ship at a crucial time. 

    "The departure of Marvin Ellison from JCPenney could not have come at a worse time for the beleaguered department store chain. The turnaround program that Ellison put in place has partly delivered but is still far from complete," Neil Saunders of GlobalData Retail said in a note to clients at the time of his resignation. 

    The department store has also been accused of losing its way in the retail landscape and alienating its core customer – the middle-aged mom – by trying to be all things to all people. 

    In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in July, Penney's chairman Ronald Tysoe said the board’s priority was to recruit a CEO with apparel experience.

    On Tuesday, Paul J. Brown, Penney's board director praised Soltau for just this:

    "Jill stood out from the start among an incredibly strong slate of candidates. As we looked for the right person to lead this iconic Company, we wanted someone with rich apparel and merchandising experience and found Jill to be an ideal fit."

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    NOW WATCH: Why horseshoe crab blood is so expensive

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    fema test emergency text

    Don't be alarmed when your phone buzzes incessantly with an emergency alert from the president Wednesday afternoon — it's only a test.

    But unlike the emergency alerts and AMBER alerts that you can toggle off on your smartphone, you won't be able to switch off the notification for this "presidential alert," which is designed to be used "in the event of a national emergency," the Federal Emergency Management Agency says.

    The special Presidential Alert will be pretty similar to any emergency alert you've gotten before. Your phone will vibrate and emit a loud abrasive tone that's likely to freak you out if you're not anticipating it. A message will also appear on your screen that says, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

    That means you might want to prepare yourself now for the flurry of incessant buzzing and loud alarming sounds that will take over your office Wednesday. Anyone with a wireless cell phone will receive a test emergency message Wednesday anytime between 2:18 p.m. Eastern and the half-hour window that follows. 

    This will be the first time ever the government is testing the national emergency alert system. The test was originally scheduled for Sept. 20, but was postponed so FEMA could focus on responding to Hurricane Florence.

    FEMA first created the alert system to adhere to a law passed in 2016 under former President Barack Obama, which gives the president the ability to send out nationwide alerts addressing public safety issues.

    SEE ALSO: 'Siri, I'm getting pulled over': A new shortcut for iPhones can automatically record the police

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    NOW WATCH: British Airways has a $13 million flight simulator that taught us how to take off, fly, and land an airplane

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    Surface Studio 2

    • Meet the Microsoft Surface Studio 2: a big, beautiful, all-in-one PC that will be available on November 15th at a starting price of $3,499. 
    • Like the original, it can fold down into "studio mode," so you can draw and sketch on the screen.
    • New to this model: a brighter screen with better contrast, plus updated graphical hardware and newer processors. 

    Microsoft's first-ever desktop PC is getting a big upgrade. 

    Introducing the powerful Surface Studio 2, a mega-premium, all-in-one Windows 10 PC that will be available on November 15th for the mega-premium starting price of $3,499.  

    Like the original Surface Studio, which launched in late 2016, this new model comes with a 28-inch touchscreen that can swivel down into "studio mode," letting you sketch and mark up documents right on your desk. If you've ever used a Surface Studio, you know that it's smooth and weirdly addictive to raise the screen up and back down again.

    The Surface Studio 2 is much the same, but better and brighter — literally. Microsoft claims the new screen has "38 percent higher luminance and 22 percent more contrast" than that in the original Surface Studio. 

    Under the hood, Microsoft says that the Surface Studio 2 is 50% faster than the original at file processing, thanks to new solid-state hard drives, plus more up-to-date Intel processors.

    Also, depending on which model Surface Studio 2 you buy, you'll get NVIDIA GeForce GTXl 1060 or 1070 graphics hardware. It's not a dedicated gaming machine by any means, but the Surface Studio 2 can make a reasonable go at playing just about any recent-release PC game at high graphics settings. 

    Originally pitched as a super-powerful machine for creative professionals, the original Surface Studio was said to be something of a surprise hit — it sported a hefty $3,000 pricetag, but reportedly blew away Microsoft's internal projections. At a higher starting price tag of $3,500, it'll be interesting to see if Surface Studio 2 can repeat the trick.

    Also of note: The original Surface Studio could have been helped along by a perceived weakness with Apple's iMac, the Cupertino titan's own all-in-one PC, which in 2016 hadn't seen a significant update in some while. This time, though, the Surface Studio will face stiffer competition — last year, Apple released a more powerful iMac Pro, and the rumor mill suggests the original iMac will get an update this year, too. 

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    NOW WATCH: Apple's entire iPhone XS event in 8 minutes

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    the conners abc

    • ABC released a teaser trailer for its "Roseanne" spin-off "The Conners."
    • The spin-off will revolve around the rest of the Conner family without matriarch, Roseanne Barr.
    • This year's successful "Roseanne" revival was canceled after Barr compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape on Twitter
    • According to Barr, her character will be killed off the show.
    • The new promo doesn't address Barr's absence at all. Instead, it dances around the elephant in the room by touching on how the family will celebrate Halloween and the rest of the year.
    • "The Conners" will premiere on ABC Tuesday, October 16 at 8 p.m. Watch the trailer below.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    NOW WATCH: Why horseshoe crab blood is so expensive

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    Carolyn Everson

    • Facebook's sales chief Carolyn Everson said she spent Friday and the past weekend talking to advertisers about the latest cyber attack that affected 50 million user accounts.
    • Everson said that advertisers at large were very empathetic, as cyber attacks can hit anyone. 
    • The advertiser reaction is very different from when the Cambridge Analytica crisis hit, said Everson, because Facebook has gone all out to take responsibility and fix things.

    The spate of bad news continues for Facebook.

    After Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, a cyber attack impacted nearly 50 millionFacebook user accounts, the company said on Friday.

    But marketers aren't freaking out, and instead they're being empathetic, says Carolyn Everson, Facebook's vice president of global marketing solutions.

    Speaking at Advertising Week New York, Everson said that she and her team spent Friday and the weekend contacting the company's advertisers, helping them understand the ramifications of the cyber attack. And while they had questions, most were understanding. 

    "There's empathy around the fact that we're all dealing with this incredible threat, and that at any given moment there can be a cyber attack on anyone," she said. "And certainly, we're not the only company to have had a situation like this."

    On Tuesday, Facebook discovered that an unknown attacker, or attackers, had taken advantage of a security flaw to take over users' accounts. The flaw was related to the "View As" feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like through the eyes of another user, Facebook explained.

    Everson called the attack "extremely intricate," likening it to an "odorless, weightless intruder" that walks into a house. She said that the attack was so sophisticated that it was very complicated for Facebook's security team to be able to detect it.

    Facebook's business team put together a guide over the weekend listing certain steps clients could take to secure their accounts.

    And Facebook's team encouraged advertisers to take a stock of admins on their accounts, as large brands tend to have several people that are admins across not just the company, but also at their agencies. Those brands looking to take extra precautions could log out and log back in, said Everson. Lastly, Facebook assured brands that their credit card information could not have been taken by the hackers.

    "We do not store the full digits of the credit card number anywhere, and so that was of comfort as well," she said. "Mostly, they're just looking forward to us providing them updates."

    This reaction is very different from when the Cambridge Analytica crisis hit, said Everson. And that's because that was something that could have been prevented. 

    "With Cambridge Analytica, the reaction was slightly different in that that was something that we felt we definitely should have prevented," she said. "We should have gone back and really checked that audit. The firm said that they deleted the data and they didn't and we didn't go back and check on that."

    It also helps that Facebook has taken full responsibility for the previous goof-ups and has been proactive in communicating with advertisers, she said. And that's because it recognizes that the foundation of its business is trust from both consumers and marketers. 

    "At the end of the day we have a responsibility to people and to the marketers that utilize our platform — trust is one of those things that is earned every day by individual actions," she said. "There is no amount of time, energy, or effort that won't be expended in protecting people."

    In fact, there is a massive cultural shift taking place within Facebook as far as the role it plays and its responsibility in regard to election integrity, the fight against fake news and data security is concerned, said Everson. She said it was a bigger shift than when the company embraced mobile.

    "This is the most important cultural shift — recognizing our responsibility, taking very specific actions and doing everything we can. We have zero tolerance for all of this behavior, but there won't be zero occurrence," she said. "This is the most important thing that we're doing. Nothing else matters if we don't get this right."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory

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    • Microsoft just announced the release of its $350 Surface Headphones.
    • The headphones will feature active and passive noise cancelation, bluetooth and wired connections, fast charging, and Cortana support.
    • The Surface Headphones will be available later this holiday season.

    Apple has its AirPods, Google built the Pixel Buds, and now Microsoft has its Surface Headphones. 

    The $350 over-the-ear Surface Headphones, available later this holiday season, were announced at a Microsoft event in New York City on Tuesday. They'll feature active and passive noise cancelation, bluetooth and wired connections, fast charging, and Cortana support.

    Users can ask Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant to pause, play, or change songs, as well as utilize Cortana's non-audio functionalities like reminders and Bing searches. The headphones will also notice when they're taken off someone's head, and will pause songs or mute calls accordingly while the headset is removed. 

    The idea, it seems, is to offer a pair of high-end headphones that complement Microsoft's high-end Surface hardware. Indeed, on Tuesday, Microsoft announced a trio of new Surface computers: the Surface Pro 6, the Surface Laptop 2, and the Surface Studio 2. 

    Here are the key specs for the Surface Headphones: 

    • 20-20k Hz frequency response 
    • Up to 30 dB active noise cancelation, up to 40 dB passive noise cancelation 
    • 15-hour battery life using functions like active noise cancelation and Bluetooth
    • 50-hour battery life when idle or not using battery-draining functions
    • Bluetooth compatibility
    • 3.5 mm audio jack and USB-C connector 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Apple's entire iPhone XS event in 8 minutes

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    Donald Trump

    • The New York Times released an extensive investigation focused on President Donald Trump's fortune on Tuesday.
    • The Times reported that the president and his family engaged in "instances of outright fraud" to enhance their wealth.
    • The story also runs counter to Trump's narrative that he is a self-made billionaire.

    The New York Times reported in an extensive investigation published Tuesday that President Donald Trump engaged in what it described as "dubious tax schemes" in the 1990s that even included "instances of outright fraud" that enhanced the fortune his parents — mainly his father, Fred — passed on to him.

    What The Times reported runs counter to Trump's personal narrative, which he has repeated for decades: that he is a self-made billionaire who built his own empire.

    While The Times was not able to review Trump's personal tax returns — which he has refused to release, breaking with decades of precedent for presidential nominees — it examined "trove of confidential tax returns and financial records." They revealed Trump received at least $413 million in today's dollars from when he was a small child through the present day.

    The Times reported that this money was passed on to Trump because he assisted his parents in dodging taxes, setting up a sham corporation and helping his father take millions in improper tax deductions.

    The Internal Revenue Service apparently did not offer much "resistance" to the schemes, The Times wrote.

    In total, The Times reported that the president's parents transferred more than $1 billion in wealth to their kids, an amount that could've produced as much as $550 million in tax revenue. Instead, the Trumps paid just north of $50 million in taxes.

    Charles Harder, an attorney for the president, told The Times in a statement that the report is "100% false and highly defamatory."

    Trump's brother, Robert Trump, also issued a statement to The Times.

    "All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid" following their parents' deaths, Robert wrote. "Our father’s estate was closed in 2001 by both the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State tax authorities, and our mother’s estate was closed in 2004."

    Harder, the White House, and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

    Here's are the key points from The Times report:

    • Tax experts told The Times it's unlikely these findings open Donald Trump up to criminal prosecution, because the actions happened too long ago.
    • He could still face civil fines, however.
    • The Times reviewed more than 100,000 pages of documents.
    • By the time he was 3 years old, Donald Trump was earning $200,000 per year in today's dollars. By the time he was 8 years old, he was a millionaire.
    • Soon after graduating college, Trump was earning the equivalent in today's dollars of $1 million annually from his father.
    • That increased to more than $5 million annually when Donald Trump was in his 40s and 50s.
    • Trump's father gave millions to his kids in a way that was structured to sidestep gift and inheritance taxes. Experts told The Times the methods were suspect, possibly even illegal.
    • When Donald Trump and his siblings gained ownership of their father's real estate empire in 1997, they dodged hundreds of millions in taxes by undervaluing the properties.
    • They then sold off the properties for 16 times the amount they were listed at, which was just north of $41 million.
    • The Trump family in 1992 formed what The Times described as "the most overt fraud," a company called All County Building Supply and Maintenance.
    • Its purpose was to be a purchasing agent for their father's buildings. It did not function in that manner, the Times said.
    • The company instead was used to siphon millions from the elder Trump's empire by marking up purchases that were already made.
    • The Times found 295 revenue streams Fred Trump created to enrich his sons over five decades.
    • In 2004, the Trumps sold off their father's empire. The future president made $177.3 million off the sale.
    • By 1990, Fred Trump had transferred today's equivalent of $46.2 million to Donald Trump.
    • Had Donald Trump done nothing but invest all the money Fred Trump gave him into an index fund tracking the S&P 500, he would be worth $1.96 billion today.
    • Trump said his father only gave him a $1 million loan, but he actually lent him at least $60.7 million, The Times found. That is $140 million in today's dollars.

    SEE ALSO: Stormy Daniels explains in her new book how 2 Michael Cohen stories completely changed her outlook toward her infamous nondisclosure agreement

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory

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    Princess Eugenie Jack Brooksbank engagement portrait

    2018 has been an exciting year for royal weddings. Queen Elizabeth's cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten married his longtime partner James Coyle in September, and of course, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had the most highly-anticipated royal wedding since Kate Middleton and Prince William's.

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, which will also serve as the venue for this year's next big royal event: the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.

    Their big day takes place on Friday, October 12. Here's everything we know about Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding so far. 

    Their wedding date of October 12 upholds a longstanding royal wedding tradition of taking place on a weekday.

    Markle and Harry notably skewed tradition by having theirs take place on the weekend, but Eugenie and Brooksbank are going the more traditional route by holding theirs on a Friday.

    The wedding will start at 11 a.m. in the UK (6 a.m. EST) and will be shown live on ITV.

    ITV is planning a three-hour broadcast that will start at 9:25 a.m. in the UK (4:25 a.m. EST) and will be hosted by Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.

    It's currently unclear if the wedding will be broadcast in full in the US via ITV America. INSIDER has reached out to ITV for confirmation.

    The wedding will take place in the same venue as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's ceremony.

    The wedding will take place in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, which can accommodate around 800 guests.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen underway in the Pacific Ocean

    • Photos of the standoff between the US Navy destroyer USS Decatur and a Chinese warship have surfaced online, and they show just how close the Chinese ship came to colliding with the American vessel.

    A Chinese destroyer challenged a US Navy warship in an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter in the tense South China Sea Sunday.

    The Chinese ship, reportedly the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 052C Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Lanzhou (170), part of the Chinese navy's South Sea Fleet, took on the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73) during a close approach near Gaven Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands.

    The Chinese vessel "conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings" for the US Navy ship to "leave the area," Pacific Fleet revealed in an official statement Monday. US Navy photos first obtained by gCaptain and confirmed to CNN by three American officials show just how close the Chinese destroyer got to the US ship.

    (The USS Decatur is pictured left, and the Chinese destroyer is on the right)

    The USS Decatur was forced to maneuver out of the way to avoid a collision with the Chinese vessel, which reportedly came within 45 yards of the American ship, although the pictures certainly look a lot closer to the 45 feet originally reported.

    Ankit Panda, foreign policy expert and a senior editor at The Diplomat, called the incident "the PLAN's most direct and dangerous attempt to interfere with lawful U.S. Navy navigation in the South China Sea to date."

    China condemned the US for its operations in the South China Sea, where China is attempting to bolster its claims through increased militarization. The US does not recognize Chinese claims, which were previously discredited by an international tribunal.

    Beijing said the US "repeatedly sends military ships without permission close to South China Seas islands, seriously threatening China's sovereignty and security, seriously damaging Sino-U.S. military ties and seriously harming regional peace and stability," adding that the Chinese military is opposed to this behavior.

    The latest incident followed a series of US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress long-range bomber flights through the East and South China Sea. Beijing called the flights "provocative," but Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis insisted that the flights would not mean anything if China had not militarized the waterway.

    "If it was 20 years ago and had they not militarized those features there it would have been just another bomber on its way to Diego Garcia or wherever," he said last Wednesday.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: One bite from this tick could ruin red meat for the rest of your life

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    fred trump don king donald trump

    • An explosive New York Times investigation revealed the complex financial transactions that allowed Fred Trump to transfer wealth to his children, including President Donald Trump.
    • According to the Times, the Trumps at times engaged in "outright fraud" by marking down the value of properties to avoid larger tax bills.
    • The The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance told Business Insider in an email that the state is reviewing the allegations and "is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation."

    New York State officials are reviewing allegations of fraud against President Donald Trump and his father Fred made in a bombshell New York Times investigation.

    The New York Times report alleges that the Trumps undervalued assets in an attempt to circumnavigate large state and gift tax bills as part of the wealth transfer from Fred to his children, including Donald.

    The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance told Business Insider that the state is looking into the allegations.

    "The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the NYT article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation," a spokesperson said in an email.

    The Internal Revenue Service, which collects federal taxes, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    For example, The New York Times detailed an instance in which the Trump family claimed on a tax return that the Park Briar development in the Queens borough of New York City was worth just $2.9 million while executing the will of Donald's brother Fred Jr. But, just 18 days before the Times said, the Trump family valued the same development at $17.1 million.

    By lowering the value in the development, the Trumps could then avoid a larger tax bill from the IRS, The Times said.

    The report also detailed Fred Trump's complex series of trusts and shell companies that allowed the Trump children — in particular Donald — to inherit millions of dollars with minimal tax liabilities.

    SEE ALSO: New York Times report says Trump engaged in 'outright fraud' to avoid taxes as he inherited father's wealth — worth more than $400 million in today's dollars

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    road trip car beach driving

    Depending on what country you're in, a driver's license can either cost next to nothing, or it can burn a real hole in your pocket.

    In fact, there's no universal standard for getting a driver’s license, meaning that both the difficulty and cost will vary greatly. Some countries require hours of classes and training, and these extra fees can add up.

    INSIDER gathered the cost of getting a driver's license in 20 countries, then used the current exchange rate to see each cost in US dollars.

    Keep scrolling to see just how much a license costs in 20 different countries.

    In the US, costs can range anywhere from $20 to $1,000.

    Though the costs for getting a driver's license in the US vary from state to state, Americans across the country go through the same general process for obtaining their licenses.

    Teenagers are eligible for a learner's permit at the age of 15, provided they pass a permit test. This allows them to drive with restricted hours, a limited amount of passengers, and requires that they take a Driver's Ed class. When applicants turn 16, they qualify for their driver's license, provided they pass a road test.

    In Canada, a driver's license costs around Can$158.25, which is about $123 in US dollars.

    As in the US, Canadians must complete a series of tests before they can get a license. These include a vision test, knowledge test, and two road tests. To qualify for a driver's license, applicants must be 16 years old, though the process to get a full license takes 20 to 24 months.

    A Russian driver's license costs about RUB 2,000, or $30.60.

    The Russian Empire was one of the first countries to create a driver's license, issuing their first licenses in 1900.

    Getting a Russian driver's license necessitates 130 hours of classes, and 56 hours of driving lessons.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Donald Trump

    JCPenney's new CEO is coming fresh off a stint as the chief executive at Joann Stores, where she was in the middle of a battle against President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods. 

    On Tuesday, JCPenney announced plans to appoint Jill Soltau as CEO, effective October 15. Soltau most recently served as the CEO of Joann Stores, a fabric-and-craft retailer with 850 stores across the United States. 

    In her position as CEO of Joann, Soltau helped lead efforts to turn around the retailer. She also has been outspoken in leading Joann's opposition to Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods. 

    In an interview with Business Insider's Bob Bryan in late August, Soltau said that roughly 70% of Joann's goods come from China, and roughly 60% would be subject to the tariffs on Chinese goods backed by Trump. According to Soltau, there would be no way for Joann to avoid raising prices in light of the tariffs. 

    "We looked at it and as we digested it, the conclusion we came to is that these tariffs would unintentionally create a tax on raw materials that are imported into the United States so that our customers can create projects and products that are made in America," Soltau said.

    Soltau spoke about the downsides of the tariffs at the Section 301 hearing in Washington, DC, as part of an anti-tariff media blitz. Joann Stores also created an online petition for customers to sign, calling the tariffs a "made in America tax."

    Soltau will likely continue her battle against the tariffs at the helm of JCPenney, another retailer that has opposed the tariffs. 

    "No retailer will be able to simply absorb the cost of a 10% percent tariff, much less a 25% tariff in today's ultracompetitive retail environment,"JCPenney counsel David M. Spooner wrote in a September 6 letter to US trade representative Robert E. Lighthizer. "That means consumers will pay higher prices."

    Read Business Insider's full interview with Jill Soltau, JCPenney's newly appointed CEO, here »

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    • Amazon announced it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour after months of political pressure.
    • Chief executive Jeff Bezos said the company had listened to critics in its decision and encouraged other companies to do the same.
    • Economists say the wage increase was just a natural symptom of a tightening labor market. 

    When announcing plans to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour for all of Amazon's employees in the US, chief executive Jeff Bezos portrayed the move as a sort of moral reckoning.

    "We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead," he said Tuesday, referring to months of backlash over how Amazon treats its workers. "We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us."

    But political pressure aside, economists say Amazon was probably going to have to raise its wages anyway. In order to stay competitive in a tight labor market, they say, companies across the US will have to make similar moves.

    "It is a big deal in that it says a lot about the current political climate and where the labor market is headed," said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS Inc., a recruiting software company. "But it is more symbolic than it is significant." 

    With historically low unemployment levels and a humming economy, labor shortages in the US look poised to extend past the holiday shopping season. Put simply, companies need to offer more to attract workers when labor conditions are tight.

    Martha Gimbel, director of economic research for the job site Indeed, said the move is just an example of what is expected in the current labor market, and expects other companies would have made similar moves on their own.

    "This is not just an Amazon phenomenon," Gimbel said. "When something is harder to find, you're going to have to pay for it."

    The policy likely won't show up in national wage data anytime soon. It would increase average hourly earnings in the US by 1.2 cents, Moody's economist Adam Ozimek estimates, as affected workers make up less than a quarter percentage point of total payroll employment. For comparison, that figure tends to rise about 10 cents on average each month. 

    "This reflects an underlying trend in wage growth anyway so some of the wage hikes were going to happen even without this policy," Ozimek said. "I think it's more reflective of a tight labor market than it is likely to generate a tight labor market."

    Still, others see the action as more than a symptom. Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at the career site Glassdoor, predicts the company will put "immediate" pressure on wage growth. In the retail and e-commerce sectors, pillars of Amazon's workforce, he expects payrolls to rise faster than the national average. 

    "The writing is on the wall," he said. "If the largest retailer in the US is taking a stand like this, it puts other companies at a competitive disadvantage." 

    And with labor shortages across the economy, changes in retail and e-commerce could spread to the rest of the economy as it pulls workers from other sectors. 

    "Policies and public stances like this do matter," Chamberlain said. "Amazon is such a big fish in the pool that it can have far-reaching consequences."

    Also read:

    SEE ALSO: Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 following pressure from Bernie Sanders

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    Apple Emoji 2018

    • There are 70 new emoji coming to iPhones in the coming weeks as part of the iOS 12.1 software update. 
    • The Unicode Consortium, the governing body for emoji, approves dozes of new symbols every year. 
    • While new emoji are great, iPhone users have no easy way to sift the 2,800-plus emoji on their phones. 
    • There should be no new emoji until there's an easy way to find the one you're looking for on your iPhone. 

    In just a few weeks, 70 new emoji will arrive on your iPhone. 

    The new emoji include everything from redheads — like those pictured above — to a bagel, a lacrosse stick, a lobster, and more.

    This is a good thing, right?


    Hey, I'll be honest: I'm a huge fan of emoji, and I probably overuse them when texting with friends and family. Plus, as someone who is occasionally called a redhead, I'm thrilled that I and my ginger ilk will be better represented in emoji form. I'm even optimistic that having a bagel emoji will probably change my life.

    But the fact of the matter is, we just can't handle this annual influx of new emojis anymore — at some point, enough is enough. It's become far too difficult to ever find the emoji you're looking for at the exact moment you need it. If Apple insists on including dozens of new emoji each year with its latest software update, it needs to add an emoji search function to the iPhone, or just stop adding new emoji altogether.

    Don't believe me? OK, fine: say it's your friend's birthday, and you're hoping to send her a festive text message to help celebrate her special day. You'd like to include a balloon emoji. The only problem is, where the heck is the balloon emoji, anyway? Is it under the smiley faces? Hidden away in the tab with the little car and the little building? Suddenly, you're left scrolling through every single character before giving up in frustration. 

    It's just too much.

    (By the way, the balloon emoji is underneath the present emoji inside the tab that looks like a light bulb — obviously!)

    2,823 emoji

    For the past several years, we've gotten dozens upon dozens of new emoji annually. The Unicode Consortium — the governing body responsible for approving new emoji designs — typically approves the new characters for all platforms sometime around February, then they roll out on various devices and services over the course of the next several months.

    Apple usually adds new emoji to iPhones via a software update sometime in October. This year, they will arrive as part of iOS 12.1, which will land sometime in the next few weeks. 

    2018 emojis

    This year's update will include 70 new emoji, and 157 new characters total, which includes gender and skin tone variations. Last year, we got 56 unique characters, and a whopping 239 total emoji.

    All of that would be well and good, except our phones are now absolutely clogged with tiny characters and symbols, half of which are obscure and rarely, if ever, used. Seriously — have you ever used the paperclip emoji? 

    On top of that, each symbol that represents a person — or fictional creature, like a mermaid — has variations for gender and skin tone. This is a great thing! The more often people can feel represented, in ways big and small, the better. 

    Sometimes, though, the emoji powers-that-be take it a little too far: 

    The current total number of emoji, including skin tone and gender variations, is 2,823 — that's way too many if you ask me. 

    Just make a search button (please!)

    If we're going to keep getting new emoji each year — and all signs point to yes — I have one request: please, please make it easier to find them on your iPhone. 

    Yes, this is an iPhone-specific problem — Twitter has a search function for emoji; Google has an emoji search function across its phones and keyboards. Even Apple's iMessage on your Mac lets you search for a specific character.

    emoji messages ios 10 wwdc 2016

    And Slack, the popular work chat app, does you one better: typing in ":" followed by what you're looking for will bring up a bevy of emoji to choose from. Type ":car," and it'll bring up a selection of car emoji to choose from, for instance. 

    Apple has tried to add a way to make finding the right emoji easier in the past, but it's not fool-proof and, to be honest, I rarely find myself using it. It's called predictive emoji: if you type in a word in iMessage — say, for instance, "train"— then tap on the keyboard button, the word will highlight orange. Tapping on that word will bring up emoji suggestions where applicable.

    While it works, that isn't the most seamless way to do it — a good old search button would work just fine. 

    So while I may be a self-professed emoji fiend, I don't want any new symbols making it harder to find my favorite characters, like the hug emoji, the slice of pizza, or the dark red heart. Give me a search button, or give me no new emoji at all. 🙅

    SEE ALSO: Here's every single new emoji we're getting in 2018

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    jeff bezos amazon ceo founder

    Amazon made sure to mention it had "listened to our critics " when the company announced Tuesday it was raising the minimum wage for its workers to $15 an hour.

    Indeed, Amazon's pay practices have faced a lot of scrutiny — Sen. Bernie Sanders has been one of the most visible and ardent critics of Amazon. Most recently, the senator introduced a bill to Congress named after CEO Jeff Bezos, and has criticized the company for its practices in terms of employee pay, benefits and safety.

    But the flack Amazon has gotten hasn't come from Sanders alone. As the largest online retailer in the United States, the company has been subject to scrutiny from politicians, activist groups, and small businesses as it continues to grow.

    Here's a look at the biggest criticisms leveled against Amazon in the past year:

    SEE ALSO: We spent a day with China's rock star of AI, whose new book says China's machine learning superiority will subjugate Americans to 'technological colonization'

    August 2017: Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods further established its position as a corporation on the rise, and a target for criticisms of destroying small business while subjecting employees to poor working conditions and minimum wage.

    While you may appreciate how easy it is to turn to Amazon as a one-stop retailer you don't have to leave your couch to shop at, smaller businesses are struggling to keep up with the corporation. This situation was especially evident when Amazon acquired Whole Foods, sending other grocery chains scrambling to keep up.

    Amazon's dominance over the retail industry isn't anything new. Bezos' company has expanded into a variety of other industries, including healthcare, athletic apparel, and home insurance. The ability for this supercorporation to send entire retail sectors into tailspins even has its very own name — getting "Amazon'd." 

    This retail takeover has contributed to the e-commerce giant's growing reputation as "a symbol of everything wrong with big business." Amazon's place in the Reputation Institute's ranking of popular companies has steadily fallen, and was pushed out of the top spot in the retail category by Barnes & Noble.

    Many of the concerns that have been raised over the steady rise of Amazon were once aimed at Walmart. These two mega-retailers share a history of worrisome claims over their respective working cultures. Employees of bother retailers have — for years — recounted tales of brutal working conditions, intimidating workplace regimes, and poor pay practices.

    March 2018: Sen. Bernie Sanders steps onto the scene of throwing jabs at Amazon and other corporations for their "extraordinary power." But the senator wasn't the first politician to lash out against big business — Donald Trump had already been name-dropping Amazon in several tweets for well over a year.

    Before Sanders zeroed in on the issue of Amazon's worker pay, the corporation had been subject to criticism from highly visible politicians.

    Amazon has been a frequent target for criticism from Trump's personal Twitter account, but his attacks on the e-commerce giant are widespread: taking issue with its relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, accusing Bezos of using the Washington Post (which he owns) to lobby for Amazon, and blaming its tax practices for killing small businesses.

    In March, Sanders joined Trump in criticizing Amazon. The Vermont senator expressed concern about "companies like Amazon" exercising "monopoly power" in an interview with The Guardian. He followed this up by telling CNN he thought Amazon was getting "too big."

    "We're seeing this incredibly large company getting involved in almost every area of commerce,"Sanders told CNN. "And I think it is important to take a look at the power and influence that Amazon has."

    In the same interview, Sanders does briefly mention raising the U.S. minimum wage to a "living wage" of $15 an hour, for the "millions of people who are working two or three jobs because wages are much too low." 

    April 2018: Several Amazon workers told Business Insider their "horror stories" of the working conditions inside the retailer's warehouses. These accounts came soon after Bezos was named the richest man in the world.

    Soon after an undercover journalist revealed his experience working in Amazon's warehouse (which he described as having the culture of a "prison"), multiple employees for the retailer shared their stories with Business Insider.

    Workers talked about urinating in trash cans to save time and keep up with expected targets, undergoing constant surveillance while on the job, and having their breaks cut because of lines for airport-like security to get into the warehouses.

    In the wake of these stories, workers rights activists rebuked Amazon, and Bezos was greeted at an event in Berlin with protesters wanting to "make Amazon pay." While the median annual compensation for Amazon employees was $28,446 in April, Bezos' compensation topped $1.6 million. The following month, the Amazon founder and CEO officially became the richest man in recent history.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    danone kids

    • The world is undergoing a "food revolution," according to Emmanuel Faber, the CEO of $48 billion food company Danone.
    • "Millennials are changing the way everyone eats and drinks," Faber told Business Insider.
    • As millennials grow up and have children of their own, they have a new set of concerns centered on what their kids are eating and drinking. 

    Millennials have created massive shifts in countless industries. 

    Beards are in, hurting razor makers. Golf is out, worrying equipment manufacturers. And, sugar is public enemy number one, resulting in some massive shift in the food industry. 

    It's part of a change that Emmanuel Faber, CEO of the massive food company Danone, calls the "food revolution."

    "These millennials are changing the way everyone eats and drinks," Faber told Business Insider in a recent interview.

    With Faber at the helm, Danone — which has a market cap of $47.7 billion— hopes to cash in on the revolution instead of being left in the dust. 

    "They're turning away from the older brands that the previous generation, their parents, thought were there for granted, and they're reconsidering completely their options," Faber said. 

    Much of the media coverage of millennials has focused on the generation's youth, pointing to their indifference towards marriage and buying homes as evidence that many aren't ready to grow up. Now, however, as the eldest millennials are solidly in their mid-30s, they're having children of their own. And, that means new industries are being impacted by the generation's whims, and new generations are being shaped by the millennial mindset. 

    "We ... see parents becoming agents of change," Faber said. "When you are a millennial and you have a child, you reconsider how you feed your family." 

    The predominant trends are both culinary, such as a preference for higher-protein and lower-sugar options, as well as ethical, like a growing emphasis on sustainability and a desire for clarity in food production. Now that millennials are having children of their own, new industries are being hit by these demands. 

    The baby-food business, for example, is undergoing a seismic shift as more millennials have kids.

    Instead of embracing the convenience of preservative-packed jars of baby food, millennial parents are seeking out options with fewer ingredients and more information on sourcing. Danone recently overhauled two of its baby-food brands, which make up a massive part of its business, to emphasize their use of natural ingredients.

    Watch Business Insider's full conversation with Faber here:


    SEE ALSO: Millennials are wreaking havoc on these 18 industries

    Join the conversation about this story »

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