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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Seabourn Sojourn

    • The luxury cruise line Seabourn plans to take 450 or so guests on a round-the-world tour in 2020.
    • The Seabourn's flagship Sojourn liner is set to visit five continents in 146 days.
    • The ship is scheduled to depart from Miami in January 2020 and conclude its journey in San Francisco in May.

    Would you embark on a 146-day cruise around the world?

    That's exactly what Seabourn, a luxury cruise line, has in mind for its upcoming "Extraordinary Destinations" cruise. The line's flagship, the Seabourn Sojourn, is set to visit five continents and 62 ports in 146 days in 2020.

    According to Seabourn, this marks the line's first world cruise in six years. The Sojourn is scheduled to cast off from Miami in January 2020 and reach its final destination, San Francisco, in May.

    Here's a look inside the luxury cruise ship where passengers will reside during their voyage:

    SEE ALSO: 17 historical photos that show how the wealthy once traveled on ships just like the Titanic

    DON'T MISS: Carnival’s president spent a year traveling the world to meet some of her 43,000 employees — here are the 3 questions she asked them

    READ MORE: A day in the life of a Disneyland manager who's worked there for 23 years, walks 5 miles daily around the park, and has a 'long-distance' marriage with his wife

    The 650-foot Sojourn is registered in the Bahamas and can hold 458 passengers. Its fastest speed is 19 knots.

    Source: Seabourn

    In total, the ship will make stops in 26 countries.

    Source: Seabourn

    Some of the "Extraordinary Destinations" on the Sojourn's itinerary include Sydney, Australia ...

    Source: Seabourn

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • H&M has a concept store in Sweden that offers a curated selection of clothing and accessories.
    • This store is the antithesis of H&M's standard locations. It speaks to the direction in which brick-and-mortar shopping is headed, casting doubt on whether H&M in its original form is still viable in the current market.
    • We took a look around the store via Instagram. 

    H&M's vision for the store of the future is minimalist, curated, and pricey — everything that the original H&M is not.

    Its new concept store, which was unveiled in November 2017 in one of its existing locations in Sweden, is the antithesis of a typical H&M store. Shoppers come in to shop its limited collection of clothing, have a coffee in the store, or even take a yoga class. 

    While this is currently the only H&M store of its kind, it's telling of where the company believes retail is headed. It's a very different direction from what we see in the rest of its often chaotic and cluttered fleet of stores

    Once the king of fast fashion, H&M has stumbled in recent years and lost out to more nimble online players such as ASOS and Boohoo, which have cut down supply-chain times and swooped in to poach customers. As a result, sales growth at H&M has slowed. It has also battled with a mountain of unsold inventory and seen its stock price slump

    One of H&M's key areas of success has been its sister brands, specifically Cos, which is the second-largest brand in the company's portfolio and is focused on better-quality but higher-cost clothing

    The overlap between Cos and its concept store is far greater than at its own H&M brand, signifying that Cos may have become the model for H&M stores of the future. 

    Take a look around H&M's concept store below:

    SEE ALSO: H&M is taking notes from Kanye West's Yeezy brand

    H&M's concept store is located in the upmarket Karlaplan neighborhood in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Instagram Embed:
    Width: 540px


    The store is tailored to the local shopper and carries a larger selection of its more expensive "Premium Quality" and "Trend" collections. The premium collection of clothing includes more expensive items such as cashmere sweaters and real leather jackets.

    Instagram Embed:
    Width: 540px


    Source: Reuters

    Inside, it looks significantly more luxurious than a typical H&M store.

    Instagram Embed:
    Width: 540px


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jeff bezos.JPG

    • Amazon announced on Tuesday plans to raise the company's minimum wage in the US to $15.
    • Despite this salary increase, Amazon workers don't make close to what CEO Jeff Bezos makes.
    • We calculated how much Bezos makes in one year, month, week, day, hour, minute, and second.

    On Tuesday, Amazon announced plans to increase the company's minimum wage in the US to $15 — more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

    Currently, the median annual worker pay at Amazon is $28,466.

    But neither Amazon's minimum wage increase nor the median annual worker pay is close to how much Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — the world's richest man, according to Forbes— makes.

    We calculated the CEO's annual earnings by finding the difference between Bezos' 2017 and 2018 net worths (calculated in October of each year) as provided by the Forbes 400 list. But what does that translate to per month, or even per second? From his annual earnings, which we determined to be $78.5 billion, we then calculated how much Bezos earns in smaller time frames.

    Business Insider previously calculated Bezos' annual and hourly earnings using Forbes' annual billionaire's list, published every March, but we've updated these calculations using the latest Forbes 400 list, published on October 3.

    This estimation of Bezos' wages are being used for the sake of comparison. A large portion of his wealth is tied to Amazon stock, which can increase or decrease in value at any given time.

    how much money jeff bezos makes

    At the annual earnings rate Business Insider calculated — again, an estimation based on the change in his Forbes net worth year-over-year — Bezos has earned $6.54 billion a month, more than $1.5 billion a week, and more than $215 million a day in the last 12 months.

    Per hour, he earns a whopping $8,961,187 million — that's roughly 315 times Amazon's $28,466 median annual worker pay. An Amazon worker earning the $15 minimum wage would need to work about 597,412 hours, or 24 hours a day for about 68 years, just to earn what Bezos makes in one hour.

    Bezos' hourly rate is equivalent to $149,353 a minute. To put things in perspective, Bezos makes more than three times what the median US worker makes in year $45,552, according to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics— in one minute.

    In one second, Bezos also makes more than twice what the median US worker makes in one week — $2,489 compared to $876, respectively.

    For Bezos, time is money — a lot of it.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour — here's how much CEO Jeff Bezos makes in those same 60 minutes

    DON'T MISS: We did the math to calculate exactly how much money billionaires and celebrities like Jeff Bezos and Kylie Jenner make an hour

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • JCPenney announced on Tuesday it had hired a new CEO, Jill Soltau. The department store's former CEO, Marvin Ellison, left abruptly to become CEO of Lowe's in May. 
    • The company has had a series of different CEOs over the past few years, each with their own vision for the company. Experts say this has created a confusing and inconsistent experience for shoppers. 
    • Some retail experts are skeptical as to whether JCPenney's business can be saved. 

    In the months since former CEO Marvin Ellison's abrupt departure from JCPenney in May, investors have been left wondering who would come to the store's rescue and finish off a turnaround effort that he never truly completed. 

    They finally got an answer on Tuesday afternoon when JCPenney announced that Jill Soltau, the former president and CEO of craft retailer Joann Stores, would be taking on the role. She will be joining the company on October 15. 

    "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," Paul J. Brown, JCPenney's board director and chairman of the company's search committee, said in a statement to the press on Tuesday. 

    Soltau served as president of retailer Shopko for seven years and before that held senior-level positions at Sears and Kohl's. 

    JCPenney's stock price rose more than 10% on the news. While investors were likely reassured that the position had been filled, some experts remain skeptical as to whether Soltau will be able to revive the company. JCPenney has not only been unprofitable for 16 of the last 18 quarters, but it now also finds itself without a CFO after Jeffrey Davis resigned in September to become CFO of Qurate Retail Group, the retail conglomerate that owns QVC. 

    "It remains to be seen whether she has the skillset and the ability to move as quickly as she will have to in order to pull JCPenney out of the spiral that it is in," Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School and the former CEO of Sears Canada, told Business Insider. 

    "She has to deal with the fact that the office of the CEO has basically disintegrated," he said, stressing how critical the role of CFO is in a turnaround situation. 

    "'What motivated this guy to leave? Who knows, we will never know,'" he said.

    Confusion and inconsistency

    JCPenney store cashier

    JCPenney has had a series of different CEOs over the past few years, each with their own vision for the company. This has not only been unsettling for employees who work at the company, but also made for a confusing shopping experience for its customers, several retail experts told Business Insider. 

    Ron Johnson, who before joining JCPenney helped pioneer what became the Apple Store, is considered by many to have had the most detrimental impact on the retailer. He attempted to make the department store more upmarket and in doing so, ended up alienating its core customers. JCPenney reported a $1.42 billion operating loss in 2013 and was left drowning in debt when Johnson was fired. 

    When Marvin Ellison took the helm in 2015, after a period in which Mike Ullman was brought back as interim CEO, JCPenney was confident Ellison would become the company's saving grace. But Ellison, who had previously spent over a decade at Home Depot, had no experience in apparel and made his mark on the company in ways he knew best — not necessarily in the ways that were right for JCPenney, Cohen said.

    One of Ellison's main strategies was to bring appliances back after a 33-year hiatus. He was hoping to cash in on the collapse of rival department store Sears, attract first-time millennial home buyers, and shift focus away from its declining apparel sales.

    JCPenney said that appliance sales were the strongest area of growth for the company in 2017. Home-department sales accounted for 15% of the company's sales in 2017. This was up from 13% in 2016 and 12% in 2015.

    While this certainly helped to create an uptick in sales, retail experts said it likely wasn't enough for long-term growth. 

    "Throwing in a new category to pump some new sales into the system isn't a long-term strategy because you are still not understanding what the customer wants from you," Kathy Gersch, executive vice president of the consultancy firm Kotter, told Business Insider. 

    The company has continued to struggle while some of its competitors have started to recover and consumer spending has strengthened. In August, JCPenney lowered its full-year outlook following disappointing quarterly sales numbers.

    Gersch said that the biggest mistake the company has made is in trying to be all things to all people and in doing so, creating a shopping environment that wasn't right for anyone. The frequent CEO turnover likely contributed to this. 

    "I think they have had so many iterations of themselves with the last few CEOs trying so many different things and speaking to different types of customers that I don't think the customer knows what to expect from JCPenney anymore," she said. 


    In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in July, JCPenney supply chain executive Mike Robbins echoed these sentiments, saying that the retailer's focus should be on winning back its core customer, the middle-aged mother. Four JCPenney executives filled the role of CEO while the company searched for a replacement after Ellison's resignation.

    What comes next

    The hope now is that by putting a woman at the helm, the retailer will be better equipped to understand its core customer. 

    Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, described it as a "sensible move" in a statement emailed to Business Insider.

    "One of JCPenney's central problems has been its inability to connect with women shoppers, especially in terms of fashion. We believe Ms. Soltau will have a far more intuitive understanding of the changes that need to be made than many of those who held the role before her," he said. 

    In a statement on Tuesday, Soltau hinted that this customer will be at the forefront of her strategy.

    "I am highly passionate about the customer and I spent my entire career focused on the needs of a value-based consumer by researching, understanding and meeting her expectations for style, quality and inspiration," she said in the press release announcing her hiring. 

    However, whether she will be able to turn the business around in time remains to be seen.

    "At the end of the day, I don't really see a future for the business. It is a genre that is under tremendous challenge, and it is a very badly damaged business," Cohen said.

    SEE ALSO: JCPenney has hired a new CEO months after an abrupt resignation by its former chief executive

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Bud Light Beer

    • Millennials' indifference or outright disdain have sent a wide range of industries into a slump in recent years.  
    • From golf equipment makers to razor manufacturers, changing millennial tastes have hit some companies hard. 
    • Here's a list of industries that are struggling to keep up. 

    Millennials have been blamed for a lot. 

    But, in 2018, failing to win over millennials can mean the difference between growth and death for an industry. 

    Millennials are growing up, moving out of their parents' homes, and having kids of their own. But, their tastes still don't necessarily line up with those of the generations that came before in some key ways. 

    From napkins to motorcycles, here are the industries that have been hit hardest by millennials:

    SEE ALSO: Amazon just intensified the war against Walmart

    Casual-dining chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and TGI Fridays

    Executives may say that the death of the industry at the hand of millennials has been overstated.

    However, the fact remains that brands such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Ruby Tuesday, and Applebee's have faced sales slumps and dozens of restaurant closures as casual-dining chains have struggled to attract customers and increase sales. 

    "Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants," Buffalo Wild Wings' then-CEO Sally Smith wrote in a letter to shareholders in 2017, prior to leaving the company.

    Millennial distaste for the category has been so great that Buffalo Wild Wings and TGI Fridays have actually said they don't even want to be called casual-dining chains any more. 

    "I don't see the competitive set of Buffalo Wild Wings being a traditional casual-dining place,"Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown said soon after Inspire completed its acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings."When it was growing gangbusters, it didn't position itself against its traditional cast of casual-dining players."

    Traditional weddings

    Couples are increasingly ditching banquet halls and hotel reception rooms in favor of unconventional venues such as barns and farms, according to a survey from wedding website The Knot.

    In general, weddings — from venues to dresses — are becoming more casual. Wedding planners told Business Insider that many clients are getting married later and funding their own weddings, meaning they don't have to stick to their parents' traditions. 

    "Ten years ago brides and grooms were relying on their parents to solely fund weddings,"said one planner."Now people are empowered by doing what they want to do and they want it to be a reflection of who they are." 


    Millennials simply aren't drinking as much beer as generations past. 

    Beer consumption among drinkers from 21 to 24 has fallen roughly 3% per year over the last 15 years. Beer penetration fell one percentage point in the US market from 2016 to 2017, while both wine and spirits were unmoved, according to Nielsen data. And, per-capita consumption of beer in the US dropped by nearly 10% from 2008 to 2017, according to Euromonitor data.

    The brands that are being hit the hardest include massively popular American brands such as Coors and Bud Light. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Colin Huang

    • More companies are going public in the United States, according to a study by institutional research firm Renaissance Capital.
    • So far in 2018, 23 Chinese companies have gone public on the US markets.
    • Even more Chinese companies are planning to enter the US markets by the end of the year. 


    This has been a landmark year for Chinese companies on American markets.

    According to a study by institutional research firm Renaissance Capital, which was first reported by VentureBeat,  23 Chinese companies have gone public in the US this year — more than any other year since 2010. In the third quarter of the year alone, ten Chinese companies went public, raising an accumulated $3.3 billion USD. 

    Among them are startups like the fast-growing ecommerce giant Pinduoduo, Beijing-based electronics company Xiaomi, and the electric car manufacturer Nio. And even more Chinese companies are eyeing the US market for public offerings before the year is up.

    Read more:How Pinduoduo became a $23 billion company in less than 4 years

    On Tuesday, the music division of Tencent and largest Chinese streaming service, Tencent Music, filed to go public in the US. At least four more Chinese companies are expected to appear on the US market, including scooter manufacturer Niu and a casino operator, according to Renaissance Capital's report.

    Despite President Donald Trump's trade war, China's tech sector is still testing out the US public markets. It also shows that more and more Chinese companies are eager to position themselves as contenders on the global stage. Ron Cao, a partner at Shanghai-based investment firm Sky9 Capital, which spearheaded early investments in China's Pinduoduo, has said that Chinese startups aren't simply interested in overtaking Asia's markets. 

    "We're seeing more and more international trends," Cao said in an interview with Business Insider earlier this year. "We're seeing how we can take advantage of where we're living in China to take an advantage of things globally. US companies have been very successful globally, and we're thinking that more Chinese companies will become successful on a global scale as well."


    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Gwyneth Paltrow

    • Actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow spoke with Net-a-Porter about her diet and exercise routine.

    • She said she exercised for two hours a day and usually skips breakfast and eats a low-carb lunch.

    • I decided to tackle her habits for a week.

    I tried to live like Gwyneth Paltrow for a week, and it didn't quite work out the way I'd planned.

    Paltrow famously leads an intense life. In terms of exercise, she used to do an hour of cardio and an hour of weights six days of the week. Her lifestyle brand Goop also hawks all sorts of hardcore detoxes and cleanses.

    But all that doesn't really reflect Paltrow's current reality. She recently told Net-a-Porter that she doesn't have the time or energy to tackle that grueling schedule anymore: "I'm getting old, my back hurts! It's depressing. Some days, the gym gives me this rush of energy and I feel amazing, but then my body's like 'f--- you.'"

    She also doesn't stick to any Goop cleanses for a long amount of time. She told Net-a-Porter she passes on breakfast and eats a low-carb lunch "so my energy levels don't peak and valley through the day." Then, for dinner, she typically decides to "loosen the reins."

    I decided to follow her diet as best I could, as well as take up her previous exercise routine. Here are the rules I was determined to follow for a week:

    • Skip breakfast.

    • Have a low-carb lunch.

    • Put in an hour of cardio exercise.

    • Go for an hour of weights-based exercise.

    • Eat a dinner along the lines of her typical evening meal: "A glass of wine, maybe a baguette dripping in cheese, some fries."

    I didn't prepare at all for this. I just jumped into it, sparking concerns among the people I know. "You're going to die," several coworkers told me when I described my plan. Family members predicted I would "seriously injure" myself and expressed concerns about my shambling running style.

    All of this just bolstered my determination to rise to the occasion.

    The experiment itself left me somewhat surprised. On the one hand, some of Paltrow's dietary habits were easier to tackle than I thought. On the other, I ended up pulling my shoulder.

    Here's a look at what happened when I tried to live like Gwyneth Paltrow for a week:

    WATCH: More of my experiment here

    Before this Gwyneth Paltrow challenge, bagels were my go-to morning meal. I'd often grab one — poppy seed with cream cheese or butter — before heading into the office.

    But, like some other celebrities, Paltrow skips breakfast altogether. So I had to kick the habit. Instead of stopping by the bagel shop, I'd just hop on the train and head to work.

    Truth be told, this wasn't particularly challenging for me. Back in college, I rarely ate breakfast. It may or may not be the most important meal of the day, but I've never had a problem skipping it.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • InVision is a software startup that has 700 employees but no office space.
    • The company was founded on remote work.
    • InVision's chief people officer, Mark Frein, explained how the company makes it work.

    When InVision was founded in 2011, its CEO and founder, Clark Valberg, knew he'd have to get creative to maintain a competitive edge. Google had recently increased its presence in Manhattan, making it all the more difficult to snag coveted East Coast tech talent.

    To open an office in New York's punishing real-estate market wasn't an appealing prospect. It seemed wasteful to shell out money for office space when InVision's core product — a software focused on augmenting the work of user-experience designers — could be built entirely from a laptop.

    So why not do away with an office altogether?

    Valberg decided to do exactly that.

    Now, seven years and 700 employees later, the company has yet to open an official headquarters.

    "People always ask, 'Where does Clark go to work?'" said InVision's chief people officer, Mark Frein. "Well, he goes to his desk to work. Sometimes at a coffee shop. Sometimes at his home. It's a very important piece of the puzzle for us, to make sure we all operate the same way. The culture is very strong about leaning into the remote model."

    'It's about results, not where your IP address is'

    InVision's employees work from all corners of the world, including England, Israel, Australia, Argentina, and Nigeria. Despite the differences in time zones, the company still maintains official office hours between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET.

    But even with official hours, InVision provides for plenty of autonomy, Frein said, adding that it's more about proving yourself through the quality of your work than showing up at a certain time every day.

    "It's about results, not where your IP address is," Frein said. "We care about what you're able to do or achieve. If you're able to achieve something great while working wonky hours, then that's great."

    It also provides for greater flexibility. When Frein and I spoke, he was working while traveling to New York on vacation with his family.

    "This is what my family gets to do," he said. "It's lovely for us. If you have kids, you're not held down during the school break. The freedom and the flexibility are the most satisfying reasons for being at InVision."

    Frein said that when he tells people about InVision's remote-work policy, they're typically incredulous. They often ask how he gets anything done, and how he makes sure people are doing what they're supposed to be doing.

    But having employees show up to an office every day doesn't necessarily guarantee they'll be working any more than if they were remote, Frein said.

    "After all, when you walk down the aisles of a standard company these days, people are on YouTube, social media," he said. "The modern knowledge worker, the technical worker, is going to focus on what engages them."


    All or nothing

    Still, running an entire company remotely is not without its challenges.

    For instance, establishing a rapport among coworkers who never see each other can be difficult, Frein said, and he recognizes that InVision is at a disadvantage in that way.

    To help solve that problem, the company works to help enable those relationships by having employees practice empathy and encouraging them to ask their colleagues lots of questions.

    InVision also hosted a weeklong companywide retreat last February where employees could connect face-to-face.

    "Some people had never met each other and had been working together for years," Frein said. "People were laughing and crying. It was an incredible experience."

    Frein said there was one key takeaway he had learned from overseeing a company that encourages remote work: It's all or nothing.

    "One of the most important factors for our success is that we do it with everyone," he said. "If you have an office and yet a bunch of people work remote, it can be problematic, because the work experience of the people who work remote is often impoverished compared to the people working from the office."

    He also said it had given InVision an edge over the competition. After all, with no geographical restrictions on hiring, the company can bring in talent from all over the world. Additionally, InVision says it saves many millions in overhead every year by not renting a physical space.

    But most importantly, Frein said, it helps InVision build a better product.

    "We're a software company that builds tools for designers," he said. "It definitely helps us think about our product, since we're all designing remotely anyway."

    Ultimately, though, InVision's remote-work policy succeeds because for its employees there isn't another option.

    "I think the key part of our model is that we made ourselves figure out how to do it, because there is no place to go," Frein said. "We have to make it work, because we don't have the choice of walking into an office every morning."

    SEE ALSO: What happens when you let employees pick how much they want to be paid? This company decided to find out.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    pop vs. soda

    • Americans have different words for soft drink depending on which region of the United States they're from.
    • The three most popular terms are soda, pop, and coke, according to data collected by the site Pop Vs. Soda.
    • Linguists have noted other terms people from certain regions use for soft drinks, including tonic and cocola.

    People in the United States have different ways of saying things from region to region, from what they call the night before Halloween to how they pronounce the word "crayon."

    One of the things Americans can never seem to agree on is what to call fizzy, carbonated beverages: soda, pop, or coke?

    That's exactly the question cartographer Alan McConchie sought to answer with his web project, the aptly named Pop Vs. Soda. The site invites visitors to fill out a brief questionnaire asking where they are from and which term they use for soft drinks. To date, more than 400,000 users have submitted answers.

    The resulting maps illustrate what linguists have long known:

    • Soda is the preferred term in the Northeast, most of Florida, California, and pockets in the Midwest around Milwaukee and St. Louis
    • Pop is what people say in most of the Midwest and West
    • And coke, even if it's not Coca-Cola brand, is what people call it in the South

    Previous research reveals even more regional divides. According to Jason Katz, the graphic artist who wrote "Speaking American: How Y'all, Youse, and You Guys Talk," there are even more regionalisms that most Americans may not have heard of. Among them:

    • A solid 6% of Americans simply call them soft drinks, especially in Louisiana and North Carolina
    • In small pockets of the Deep South, cocola is the preferred term
    • And in Boston, tonic is what a decent amount of older residents grew up saying, although that term is quickly falling out of favor

    Whether you call it pop, soda, coke, or something else entirely, there's no question that Americans won't be agreeing on its name any time soon.

    SEE ALSO: 27 fascinating maps that show how Americans speak English differently across the US

    DON'T MISS: 9 words and phrases people think are wrong, but are actually correct

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    quarterly global fintech fundingThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Fintech hubs — cities where startups, talent, and funding congregate — are proliferating globally in tandem with ongoing disruption in financial services. 

    These hubs are all vying to become established fintech centers in their own right, and want to contribute to the broader financial services ecosystem of the future. Their success depends on a variety of factors, including access to funding and talent, as well as the approach of relevant regulators.

    This report compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Most countries in Europe have made some formal attempt to foster the development of domestic fintech industries, with Germany and Ireland seeing the best results so far. France, meanwhile, got off to a slow start, but that's starting to change. 
    • The Asian fintech scene took off later than in the US or Europe, but it's seen rapid growth lately, particularly in India, China, and Singapore.
    • The increasing importance of technology-enabled products and services within the financial services ecosystem means the global fintech industry isn't going anywhere. 
    • Fintech hubs will continue to proliferate, with leaders emerging in each region.
    • The future fintech landscape will be molded by regulatory bodies — national and international — as they seek to mitigate the risks, and leverage the opportunities, presented by fintech. 

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
    • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
    • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store


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    US Philippines Marines assault amphibious vehicles beach landing

    • Japanese troops are in the Philippines for an exercise with Filipino and US troops.
    • They brought armored vehicles with them, marking the first time Japanese armor has landed on foreign soil since World War II.
    • The US stressed that the exercise is not directed at anyone, but it comes amid heightened tensions with China.

    A small contingent of Japanese troops and armored vehicles engaged in military exercises with the US and the Philippines in the Philippines on Saturday, assisting in a humanitarian role during an amphibious exericse simulating recapturing territory from a terrorist group.

    A total of about 150 troops took part in the landing on Saturday. Fifty Japanese troops, unarmed and in camouflage, followed four of their armored vehicles ashore, moving over beach and brushland while picking up Filipino and US troops playing wounded.

    Japanese Maj. Koki Inoue stressed that Japanese personnel weren't involved in the combat portion of the exercise but added that the drills were the first time the Japanese military's armored vehicles had been used on foreign soil since World War II. After being defeated in that war, Japan adopted a pacifist constitution.

    Japan Ground Self-Defense Force amphibious assault vehicle landing

    "Our purpose is to improve our operational capability, and this is a very good opportunity for us to improve our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training,” Inoue said, according to AFP.

    The exercise, called Kamandag — an acronym for the Tagalog phrase, "Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat," which translates to "Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea"— started in 2017 and has focused on counterterrorism, disaster response, and interoperability.

    This year's iteration of the exercise runs from October 2 to October 11, and the US has said it is not directed at any outside power.

    "It has nothing to do with a foreign nation or any sort of foreign army. This is exclusively counter-terrorism within the Philippines," 1st Lt. Zack Doherty, a Marine Corps communications officer, told AFP.

    US Philippines Marines medics

    But the drill's timing and location put it in the middle of simmering tensions between China and its rivals in the region.

    The landing took place at a Philippine navy base in the province of Zambales on the northern island of Luzon. The same base hosted an expanded annual US-Philippine military exercise earlier this year.

    About 130 miles west in the South China Sea is Scarborough Shoal, a group of rocks long administered by Manila until China seized it after a stand-off in 2012.

    China has ignored a 2016 ruling by an international tribunal that rejected its expansive claims in the South China Sea and found that it violated the Philippines' territorial rights.

    China has built up other islands and reefs it claims in the South China Sea, adding military outposts and hardware. It has not done that on Scarborough, and doing so would have strategic implications for the US and the Philippines. Manila has said such activity would be a "red line."

    The exercise also kicked off after a series of shows of force by US and Chinese forces in the East and South China Seas, including numerous flyovers by US bombers and a close encounter between US and Chinese warships.

    Japan's presence was one of several recent firsts for that country's military, which has looked to increase its capabilities and readiness.

    Earlier this month, British troops became the first non-US military personnel to be hosted by Japan for military exercises, joining members of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force for Exercise Vigilant Isles.

    This spring, Japan stood up an elite Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade for the first time since World War II. Japan has its own territorial dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea, and that force, which has carried out several exercises already this year, would likely be called on to defend those islands.

    SEE ALSO: Russia's submarines are showing they can strike deep inside Europe, and they've got the US Navy on edge

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    kate hudson

    • Kate Hudson took to Instagram on Saturday to share the first photo of her newborn daughter, Rani Rose. 
    • This is Hudson's first child with boyfriend filmmaker Danny Fujikawa.
    • In an Instagram announcement, the actress explained that the name "Rani" is meant to honor her daughter's grandfather, Ron Fujikawa.
    • Kate Hudson, who announced her pregnancy in February, is also the mother of two boys, 14-year-old Ryder Russell, and 7-year-old Bingham Hawn. 


    Just four days after giving birth, Kate Hudson is introducing her newborn daughter to fans via Instagram.

    Kate Hudson took to social media on Saturday to share the first photo of her baby girl. The photo shows Rani Rose sleeping soundly, accompanied by the caption, "Our little rosebud." 

    🌹Our little rosebud🌹

    A post shared by Kate Hudson (@katehudson) on Oct 6, 2018 at 11:13am PDT on

    Hudson welcomed her first child with boyfriend Danny Fujikawa on Tuesday. In an Instagram announcement, the "Almost Famous" actress explained that the name "Rani" was in honor of Fujikawa's grandfather, Ron Fujikawa.

    "We have decided to name our daughter Rani (pronounced Ronnie) after her grandfather, Ron Fujikawa," Hudson wrote. "Ron was the most special man who we all miss dearly. To name her after him is an honor. Everyone is doing well and happy as can be. Our family thanks you for all the love and blessings that have been sent our way and we send them right back."

    She’s here 💕

    A post shared by Kate Hudson (@katehudson) on Oct 3, 2018 at 1:28pm PDT on

    Kate Hudson, who announced her pregnancy in February, is also the mother of two boys, 14-year-old Ryder Russell, and 7-year-old Bingham Hawn. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    Judge Brett Kavanaugh

    • Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court the votes of 50 senators, bringing to a close weeks of bitter partisan fights and protests over the nominee, who faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and doubts about his truthfulness under oath. 
    • A conservative who served in President George W. Bush's White House, Kavanaugh will replace the court's swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and will likely move the court to the right for decades to come. 

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court in a narrow 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday afternoon, bringing to a close the most divisive high court confirmation battle since the 1990s.

    Protesters — many of them women and sexual assault survivors — flooded Capitol Hill on Saturday, continuing weeks of mass protests against a nominee whose alleged history of sexual misconduct transformed a partisan debate over ideology into a cultural battle fueled by the #MeToo movement. Republicans condemned the demonstrators, some of whom interrupted the final vote with shouts as they were dragged out of the chamber, characterizing them as a special interest-funded "mob."

    Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday evening in a private ceremony, replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's swing vote on critical issues including same-sex marriage, abortion, and campaign finance. A 53-year-old former aide to President George W. Bush who's spent the last 12 years on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh will cement a conservative majority on the court likely for decades to come. 

    Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on stacking the Supreme Court with staunch conservatives, celebrated the vote on Saturday, tweeting, "I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court."

    Democrats quickly expressed their fury as some lawmakers joined the protesters gathered outside the court, already indicating how the party intends to use Kavanaugh's confirmation to drive an energized base to the polls in November.

    "Right, forever vigilant is always stronger than wrong, temporarily victorious," Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, tweeted shortly after the vote. "May our outrage get us out working."

    After just under two months of protests and bitter partisan battles, Kavanaugh's confirmation was assured on Friday when the two remaining undecided senators — Susan Collins, a moderate Maine Republican, and Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat — announced they would vote to send the judge to the nation's highest court. 

    In a 45-minute address from the Senate floor on Friday, Collins lamented the divisiveness of the process, hoping that it had "finally hit rock bottom." The senator both defended Kavanaugh's judicial record and insisted that he should be presumed innocent of misconduct charges until proven guilty.

    Manchin announced he would vote with the Republican majority as Collins concluded her floor speech, all but assuring the judge's confirmation.  

    In a symbol of the deep division over Kavanaugh, Collins' closest colleague and the only other remaining Republican centrist in the Senate, Lisa Murkowski, bucked her party and voted against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination on Friday. The pro-choice Republican remained undecided until the day of the cloture vote, but concluded that Kavanaugh's confirmation would undermine the public's confidence in the court. 

    On Saturday, Murkowski paired her vote with that of Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, who intended to vote "yes" on Kavanaugh but missed the proceedings while he attended his daughter's wedding. Murkowski asked that her vote instead be marked as "present," leaving the final outcome unchanged.

    Protestors rally against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday.

    A bitter and tumultuous confirmation battle

    Kavanaugh's nomination was protested since the beginning by Democrats and liberal activists who oppose the judge's conservative record on key issues including abortion, environmental protection, and presidential powers. But the fight escalated dramatically after three women came forward to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct last month.

    In her riveting appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford delivered testimony that came close to derailing Kavanaugh's confirmation. And Democrats have maintained that the FBI's investigation into the misconduct claims against Kavanaugh was overly limited by the White House. 

    Democrats have also accused the nominee of lying under oath, pointing to instances in which the judge appeared to either mislead or make false statements to the Judiciary Committee about a range of issues, including his drinking habits and social life in high school and college and his work in the Bush White House. 

    Kavanaugh, who denied all of the misconduct allegations, called the attacks on his nomination a "calculated and orchestrated political hit" devised by Democrats in combative and emotional testimony that made many, including even some Republicans, question his temperament and political impartiality. 

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

    Concerns about public confidence in the court

    Experts across the political spectrum worry that Kavanaugh's confirmation to the court will further undermine public confidence in the institution, as the court loses its swing vote and the conservative majority includes two men credibly accused of sexual misconduct. 

    Alicia Bannon, senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, called the likely erosion of trust in the judicial branch "dangerous and damaging" to democracy. 

    "It's vitally important that the people who are on the losing side of a case still accept that they have to follow that decision," Bannon told Business Insider. "It's been important that you haven't had a dynamic where on every issue the court was ruling in a 5-4 decision in a conservative direction — you had a legitimate swing justice." 

    Both Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan recently voiced concern about the politicization of the high court and the implications for public trust in its authority. 

    "Part of the court's strength and part of the court's legitimacy depends on people not seeing the court in the way that people see the rest of the governing structures of this country now," Kagan told an audience at Princeton University on Friday. 

    SEE ALSO: Here are all the times Kavanaugh is suspected of misleading the Senate

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    This is a preview of the Internet of Things (2018) research report from Business Insider Intelligence. To learn more about the IoT ecosystem, tech trends and industry forecasts, click here.

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how companies and consumers go about their days around the world. The technology that underlies this whole segment is evolving quickly, whether it’s the rapid rise of the Amazon Echo and voice assistants upending the consumer space, or growth of AI-powered analytics platforms for the enterprise market.

    Investments into Internet of Things solutions

    And Business Insider Intelligence is keeping its finger on the pulse of this ongoing revolution by conducting our second annual Global IoT Executive Survey, which provides us with critical insights on new developments within the IoT and explains how top-level perspectives are changing year-to-year. Our survey includes more than 400 responses from key executives around the world, including C-suite and director-level respondents.

    Through this exclusive study and in-depth research into the field, Business Insider Intelligence details the components that make up the IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market and use exclusive data to identify key trends in device installations and investment. And we profile the enterprise and consumer IoT segments individually, drilling down into the drivers and characteristics that are shaping each market.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • We project that there will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 9 billion in 2017.
    • We forecast that there will be nearly $15 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2017 and 2025, with survey data showing that companies' plans to invest in IoT solutions are accelerating.
    • The report highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; deployment and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.

    In full, the report:

    • Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem.
    • Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward, and highlights areas of interest in the coming years.
    • Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why.
    • Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies that are implementing IoT solutions.

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    brett kavanaugh

    • The Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm President Donald Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to the Supreme Court.
    • Kavanaugh's nomination appeared to be in jeopardy for weeks, after multiple women came forward to publicly accuse him of sexual misconduct in high school and college. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations in statements and testimony.
    • But several key senators on Friday announced they intended to vote for him on Saturday regardless, paving the way for his confirmation.

    After several tumultuous weeks of uncertainty, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday.

    The Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm Kavanaugh, after several days of speculation over how key senators viewed as "swing votes" would decide. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia were pivotal in confirming Kavanaugh, voting "yes," while Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski opposed his confirmation.

    But the multiple sexual misconduct allegations lodged against Kavanaugh in recent weeks still hangs over Saturday's news, prompting furious backlash from the protesters who for weeks lobbied Collins, Manchin, and other senators to vote against Kavanaugh's confirmation.

    Christine Blasey Ford, 51, accused a teenaged Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her at a high school party in the early 1980s. Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh's, said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her without her consent at a dorm-room party during his freshman 1983-84 school year.

    Kavanaugh categorically denied Ford and Ramirez's accounts in separate statements before delivering a fiery testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. An additional FBI background check into the allegations concluded less than a week later with no corroboration for the accounts.

    Kavanaugh was born and bred in the Washington, DC area and has a long history in conservative circles. Top Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin once called Kavanaugh the "Forrest Gump of Republican politics," because he was present for so many key moments in modern political history.

    As the final vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation approaches, here's a look at how the born-and-bred conservative rose to become the court's most pivotal nomination in decades:

    SEE ALSO: Here are all the sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

    DON'T MISS: Here's an evolving count of which senators are voting for Trump's Supreme Court pick

    Brett Kavanaugh was born Feb. 12, 1965, in Washington, DC.

    Source: NPR

    He attended Georgetown Preparatory School, an all-boys school in Rockville, Maryland. He was staff for the school newspaper, played on the school's varsity football team, and was captain of the basketball team.

    Source: Washingtonian

    Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, also attended Georgetown Prep and graduated two years before Kavanaugh.

    Sources: Washingtonian, Business Insider

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kavanaugh protests

    • Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday by 50-48 votes in the Senate. He was sworn in that evening in a private ceremony.
    • Before, during, and after the vote, protesters and activists flooded the areas outside the Supreme Court and the US Capitol to oppose his confirmation.
    • Kavanaugh's confirmation process has been marred by controversy following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday, after the Senate voted 50-48.

    Protesters and activists came out in droves before, during, and after the vote to voice their opposition to Kavanaugh's confirmation, which comes following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and heated testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday evening in a private ceremony, as the crowds of protesters flooded the steps leading up to the Supreme Court, even knocking on the front doors.

    After Kavanaugh's first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, came forward with her accusations, polls showed that Americans' opinions of Kavanaugh plummeted, and according to numerous polls, Kavanaugh has lost the most support from women and Democrats.

    Scroll down for photos of the tumultuous protests taking place ahead of his confirmation:

    The protests began early Saturday, hours before the final vote is set to take place.

    Demonstrators congregated outside the steps of the Supreme Court and the US Capitol building. Several held signs depicting Ford, who says a drunken Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers.

    Kavanaugh's expected confirmation comes after sexual-assault survivors across the nation came out swinging against the judge's nomination in light of the allegations against him.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Subaru Ascent 0386

    • The Subaru Ascent mid-size crossover SUV is all-new for 2019.
    • The Ascent is Subaru's first attempt at a mid-size SUV since the disappointing Tribeca was discontinued in 2014.
    • Subaru's new SUV will take on industry leaders like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer. 
    • The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $44,695. With fees, our car carried an as-test price of $45,670.
    • We were impressed by the Ascent's comfortable cabin, bountiful safety features, solid driving dynamics, and powerful turbocharged engine.
    • However, the Ascent's somewhat anonymous styling and lethargic transmission were a bit disappointing. 

    Subaru has been on a roll in the US. The long-time purveyor of Japanese all-wheel-drive motors has reported nearly seven years worth of consecutive month over month sales growth.

    Its Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek crossovers have become a popular alternative to the more mainstream offerings from Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Nissan. 

    But, success in the midsize SUV segment has eluded Subaru over the years. It tried in 2005 with the B9 Tribeca. Unfortunately, the Tribeca's odd styling, diminutive size, and tepid performance prevented it from gaining traction in the market. Even a 2008 facelift and the addition of a more powerful engine couldn't save the Tribeca that soldiered on for nearly a decade before Subaru pulled the plug on the SUV in 2014.

    For 2019, Subaru is back with an all-new midsize SUV called the Ascent. Unlike the Tribeca, the Ascent is larger with room for up to eight passengers and is packed with a bevy of state-of-the-art tech features. 

    The Ascent is slated to slot in above the Outback wagon in Subaru's lineup and will be its most expensive offering. 

    Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a new Magnetite Gray Metallic Subaru Ascent Touring.

    The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $44,695. With fees, our car carried an as-test price of $45,670.

    SEE ALSO: We drove a $40,000 Jeep Cherokee SUV to see if the American icon is still one of the best money can buy — here's the verdict

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    The Ascent is Subaru's first attempt to crack the mid-size SUV market since the failed...

    ...B9 Tribeca that sold from 2005 to 2014.

    At 196.8 inches long, the Ascent is nearly half a foot longer than the Tribeca.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    I.D._BUZZ_CARGO Large 8856

    • Volkswagen has reached into the past and is now bringing back the iconic microbus in two new fully-electric vans slated to be released in the early 2020s. 
    • The German automaker unveiled its plans last month for the I.D. Buzz Cargo, an electric, commercial panel van version of the microbus, after earlier showcasing its planned release of the I.D. Buzz concept passenger van microbus. 
    • Once an icon of the care-free counterculture lifestyle of the 1960s and '70s, the Volkswagen's microbus was discontinued in 2013 because of safety concerns centered around a lack of air-bags and anti-lock breaks. 
    • Volkswagen hopes the I.D. Buzz and I.D. Cargo will have the ability to transition toward fully-integrated autonomous driving modes by the mid 2020s. 

    Volkswagen has reached into the past and is bringing back the iconic microbus in two new fully-electric vans slated to be released in the early 2020s. 

    While Volkswagen announced earlier in the year the expected production of the I.D. Buzz concept microbus, the German automaker unveiled its plans last month for the I.D. Buzz Cargo, an electric, commercial panel van version of the microbus. 

    According to Fox News, the I.D. Buzz Cargo may hit the road before the I.D. Buzz concept, which first made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show and is expected to become available in showrooms in 2022. 

    ID Buzz interior

    According to Volkswagen, the I.D. Buzz Cargo will have a battery with range of up to 340 miles per charge, with a large solar roof panel that can extend the daily range an additional nine miles. The van will have the ability to charge to almost 80 percent capacity in only 15 minutes, and is a fully-connected vehicle with a cargo tracking system that makes it possible to track orders and manage online supply networks from inside the cockpit. 

    Once an icon of the care-free counterculture lifestyle of the 1960s and '70s, the Volkswagen's microbus was discontinued in 2013 due to safety concerns centered around a lack of air-bags and anti-lock breaks. 

    Bringing back a passenger and commercial van is a step in a different direction for Volkswagen.  The Wolfsburg-based automaker last offered its imported Transporter van to U.S. buyers 15 years ago and it hasn't had a van in the U.S. market since 2014. 

    Volkswagen hopes the I.D. Buzz and I.D. Cargo will have the ability to transition toward fully integrated autonomous driving modes by the mid 2020s. 

    ID Buzz Driving



    SEE ALSO: BMW's new electric SUV concept is loaded with impressive tech — here's a look at its best features

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    tamir rice protest

    • Timothy Loehmann, who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, has been hired as a police officer in another department.
    • Bellaire Police Chief Richard Flanagan said Loehmann deserves "a second chance."
    • Rice's mother, Samaria Rice, believes "Loehmann doesn't belong on any police force anywhere & shouldn't be foisted upon the citizenry anywhere," according to the Rice family's attorney.

    The police officer who fatally gunned down 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland four years ago has been hired by another police department in rural Ohio.

    Timothy Loehmann will work as a cop in the Village of Bellaire, which has a population of roughly 4,000, Police Chief Richard Flanagan announced.

    "He's not quitting on being a police officer. He made a decision that's going to stay with him the rest of his life," Flanagan told CNN affiliate WTOV-TV. "Like anybody else, if you make a mistake, someone's got to give you a second chance, give someone opportunity. There is no worry, I stand behind this officer."

    Loehmann fatally shot Rice in November 2014 after he and his partner, Frank Garmback, were called to a Cleveland recreation center. They had received a report that a person with a gun was outside, but the 911 dispatcher did not tell the officers that the caller had said the gun was "probably fake" and that its owner was most likely a juvenile.

    Security footage from outside the recreation center showed Loehmann and Garmback's police cruiser skidding to a halt near Rice, at which point Loehmann opened the car door and began firing at Rice within seconds.

    Only after the shooting did it emerge that Rice was 12 and had been playing with a plastic pellet gun that had its orange safety tip removed.

    A grand jury declined in 2015 to indict both officers in Rice's death. Loehmann was fired from the police department in May 2017, after working on desk duty pending an administrative review since the 2014 shooting.

    Both Rice's shooting and the lack of prosecutorial action against Loehmann prompted national outrage and protests over police use of force and racial bias in the criminal-justice system.

    Rice's family attorney, Subodh Chandra, condemned Loehmann's hiring in a tweet. She said Rice's mother, Samaria Rice, believes "Loehmann doesn't belong on any police force anywhere & shouldn't be foisted upon the citizenry anywhere."

    SEE ALSO: Jury convicts white Chicago police officer of 2nd-degree murder in 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald

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