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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Costco

    • Black Friday sales' start times have crept earlier, encroaching on Thanksgiving Day.
    • This year, at least 60 retailers — including Costco, TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom — have said they will keep stores closed on Thanksgiving, according to BestBlackFriday.com.
    • Several retailers told the website that this was because they wanted to give employees time to spend with family.

    Black Friday sales' start times have continued to creep earlier as retailers look to max out on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

    This has meant that many stores opened their doors the day before, on Thanksgiving. Sears did so in 2010, Walmart in 2011, then Target in 2012.

    However, several retailers and mall owners have bucked the trend in recent years by refusing to open their doors early.

    According to data gathered by BestBlackFriday.com, at least 60 retailers plan to keep their stores closed on Thanksgiving this year. Several told the website that this was because they wanted to give employees time to spend with family.

    Here's the full list of retailers planning to stay closed on Thanksgiving, per BestBlackFriday.com:

    • A.C. Moore
    • Abt Electronics
    • Academy Sports + Outdoors
    • Acme Tools
    • Allen Edmonds
    • American Girl
    • At Home
    • AT&T (company-owned stores)
    • Big 5 Sporting Goods
    • BJ's Wholesale Club
    • Blain's Farm & Fleet
    • Bob's Discount Furniture
    • Burlington
    • Christopher & Banks
    • Cost Plus World Market
    • Costco
    • Craft Warehouse
    • Crate and Barrel
    • Dillard's
    • Dressbarn (majority of stores)
    • Fleet Farm
    • Gardner-White Furniture
    • Guitar Center
    • H&M
    • Half Price Books
    • Harbor Freight Tools
    • Hobby Lobby
    • Home Depot
    • HomeGoods
    • Homesense
    • Ikea
    • JoAnn Stores
    • Lowe's
    • Marshalls
    • Mattress Firm
    • Music & Arts
    • Nordstrom
    • Nordstrom Rack
    • P.C. Richard & Son
    • Patagonia
    • Pep Boys
    • Petco
    • PetSmart
    • Pier 1 Imports
    • Publix
    • Raymour & Flanigan Furniture and Mattresses
    • REI
    • Sam's Club
    • Sierra Trading Post
    • Sportsman's Warehouse
    • Sprint (retail stores closed unless mall dictates otherwise; mall kiosks may open)
    • Staples
    • Stein Mart
    • Sur La Table
    • The Container Store
    • TJ Maxx
    • Tractor Supply Co.
    • Trollbeads
    • Von Maur
    • West Marine

    SEE ALSO: Major retailers like Walmart and Target are doing whatever it takes to convince people to work there

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for a week like a Navy SEAL


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    Google Smartwatch OS

    The new version of Google's smartwatch operating system, Wear OS, isn't exactly revolutionary. 

    It's not a major change, design-wise, to last year's version, and it doesn't really have any futuristic new features. Instead, Google made small changes that seem to have a singular focus: to make your life easier.

    The new Wear OS — which doesn't have a new name, or even a new number; it's simply the "next evolution"— began rolling out to smartwatches at the end of September. Google still relies on third-party watchmakers to utilize its software, and doesn't offer its own smartwatch. 

    To that end, I've been testing the new Wear OS on one of Google's partner watches, a Fossil Q Venture HR, over the last few weeks.

    Here's what it's like.  

    SEE ALSO: Here's how the new $400 Apple Watch Series 4 compares to last year's model, the Apple Watch Series 3

    If you've ever used Wear OS before, you'll notice a lot of similarities to previous versions of the operating system.

    While some key features have changed, a lot has stayed the same in the new Wear OS. 

    If you've ever used a Wear OS watch before — which used to be called Android Wear until earlier this year — you're used to a few basic features: a round watch face; apps arranged in a rounded, scrollable list view; and the ability to swipe up and down to get where you need to go.

    With the new OS, those things haven't changed, which is a good thing — you won't need to relearn every feature and gesture you've become accustomed to. 

    Another thing that hasn't changed: the inability to quick reply to text messages on the watch if you're an iPhone user. To be clear, this is not a failing on Google's part — Apple's iOS software is closed source, which means outside companies can't tap into it. It's unlikely this will ever change, which means it's unlikely iOS users will ever be able to reap the full benefits of a Wear OS smartwatch. 

    Now is probably a good time to mention that the battery life I experienced was just OK. The watch lasted a full day, but rarely more than that. 



    There are a few key features that have changed for the better, though — let's start with the new shortcuts menu.

    Now, when you swipe down from the top of the watch, you'll see a new and improved shortcut display. This is a prime example of Google making a minor change with the intention of making the watch quicker and easier to use. 

    The redesign brings a few features to this screen that were previously buried inside the app list. You can now access Google Pay from this screen, which lets you pay for things using only your watch. You'll also be able to tap a button on this screen to locate your phone if you lose it. 

    For me, these weren't life-altering changes, but they certainly did come in handy — anything that saves you a few taps and swipes is a win in my book. 



    Another minor-yet-effective change: notifications look better and are easier to read now.

    Google redesigned the notification set-up in the new Wear OS, and it's another subtle improvement that I really appreciate. Now, notifications are larger, and you can interact with them without leaving the notification stream. 

    Here's what I mean: when you swipe up from the bottom, you'll see all your notifications sectioned off by app. If you have an Android phone, you'll be able to send a quick reply to a text without leaving the notifications screen. And if you just want all of them gone, there's the option to "clear all" down at the bottom. 

    Again, this is an extremely minor change — and one that some users may not even notice — but it was made with usability in mind. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    new york city homelessnessTake a walk through any borough of New York City and you’re likely to encounter people living on the street.

    Homelessness is on the rise in the city, up 39% from 2016. And even more are opting to live in the city’s streets, parks, and alleys than shelters — nearly 4,000 as of July, the most since 2005.

    There’s a vast diversity to the people living without secure housing, and the various situations they find themselves in.

    In central Brooklyn, a flashpoint of gentrification in the city, we met Moustafa, a 48-year-old mechanic who lost his shop and his home three years ago.

    Moustafa now lives nearby in a community of about a dozen homeless mechanics who live out of their vehicles and try to get work when they can. He invited us to spend the day and night with him to get a glimpse into what it’s really like to be homeless in New York.

    Here's what we saw:

    SEE ALSO: I covered murders during Chicago's deadliest year in decades – here's what I saw

    When we first met Moustafa, he was changing the the brakes on a car in the parking lot he lived in for a seemingly affluent customer. The area is full of industrial parking lots full of diesel trucks and small buses. He and his fellow homeless mechanics often do work for customers in them.

     

     

     



    Some other people were hanging around the lot, but weren't interested in talking.



    The lot had a number of small buses and vans parked in it that Moustafa said many of the homeless in the area lived in. Some people had built out patio areas in front of their vehicles with plants, flowers, and equipment for work.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    netflix ceo reed hastings

    • RBC Capital Markets provided a third-quarter update to its annual list of "Top 30 Global Ideas for 2018." We compiled the 14 US-based companies from the list.
    • The portfolio consists of global 30 stocks poised to grow in the year ahead.
    • The list is created on an annual basis by RBC Capital Markets’ Global Equity Research Department with quarterly updates. 

    RBC Capital Markets provided a third-quarter update to its annual list of "Top 30 Global Ideas for 2018." The portfolio consists of 30 stocks poised to grow in the year ahead.

    The list is created on an annual basis by RBC Capital Markets’ Global Equity Research Department with quarterly updates. "We publish quarterly updates of the Top 30 to highlight performance metrics YTD as well as any potential updates to our investment thesis or price targets," RBC Capital Markets added. 

    We rounded up the US-based companies that RBC says are primed to grow.

    SEE ALSO: Millennial investors are buying weed stocks at a faster clip than Amazon and Netflix

    Air Lease Corporation

    Ticker: AL

    Market Cap: $5.15 billion

    Rating: Top Pick

    Price Target: $93

    Dividend yield: 0.9%

    YTD Total Return: -4%

    "We anticipate continued portfolio expansion on aircraft deliveries to support continued strong revenue expansion and robust 20% + EPS growth ahead."

     

    Source: RBC Capital Markets



    Aptiv

    Ticker: APTV

    Market Cap: $22.2 billion

    Rating: Outperform

    Price Target: $120

    Dividend yield: 1%

    YTD Total Return: -0.4%

    "Aptiv’s strong top-line growth should allow for further margin expansion." 

     

    Source: RBC Capital Markets



    Celgene Corporation

    Ticker: CELG

    Market Cap: $ 65.5 billion

    Rating: Outperform

    Price Target: $110

    Dividend yield: 0

    YTD Total Return: -14.3%

    RBC Capital Markets sees multiple areas of growth for Celgene's best-selling cancer drug Revlimid, including share gains, demographic expansion, and pricing power.

     

    Source: RBC Capital Markets

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Surface Pro 6

    • Microsoft latest Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 devices, announced this week, won't come with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, the latest and fastest standards for connecting accessories and charging your computer.
    • Apple's recent MacBook Pros have taken the opposite approach by only including USB-C ports — alienating those who don't necessarily adopt the latest tech the moment it rolls out.
    • Neither company has the right idea.

    Just last week, Microsoft unveiled a brand new laptop lineup that has zero compatibility with the latest standard for connecting accessories — USB-C.

    In other words, these laptops may sport 2018 specs, but are about as cutting-edge as devices released in 2015. 

    Meanwhile, Microsoft's direct competitor Apple has a polar opposite approach: Give the people USB-C, and nothing else, to force them into the future. Indeed, Apple's current MacBook and MacBook Pro lineups are entirely devoted to USB-C, with nary a traditional USB port in sight. 

    Interestingly, neither tech behemoth has it right. At all.

    My colleague Matt Weinberger shared his concerns with Apple's USB-C-only strategy in an earlier post. It means dongles and frustration for anyone who's not ready to make the move. Even Apple isn't ready, judging by the fact that it ships the usual USB cable with its latest iPhone, rather than a newer USB-C cable. 

    Today, I'm focusing a little more on Microsoft's move to completely ditch USB-C.

    What is USB-C? 

    In a nutshell, USB-C is a new standard that uses one cable to connect everything from headphones, to external monitors, to flash drives, and even to wall chargers — it all uses one port that's standard across devices. 

    USB-C also supports the "Thunderbolt 3" standard that began rolling out in late 2015. It delivers ultra-fast data speeds for heavy-duty accessories like external graphics cards (eGPUs) and Thunderbolt 3 external hard-drives — stuff that professionals might use to streamline their workflow. It has theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabytes-per-second, which is significantly faster than previous USB generations, the latest of which (USB 3.2) could reach speeds of up to 2.5 gigabytes-per-second. 

    surface laptop 2

    I don't expect most people to immediately adopt USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, but I have to question why anyone would buy a laptop in 2018 that doesn't allow them to future-proof themselves as USB-C becomes more common. 

    What's surprising is that it's Microsoft being the "weird" one among its peers. There are a wide variety of third-party Windows 10 laptops that come with similar, older-style USB ports as Microsoft's new Surface laptop lineup, as well as the newer USB-C. It's just an odd decision. 

    Last year, Microsoft's Surface engineering chief Pete Kyriacou told the Verge that USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 are still confusing to a lot of people.

    Kyriacou has a good point. It is confusing, even a year later. USB-C cables all look the same, but some work with Thunderbolt 3 accessories, and some don't. Unless you're in the know, you may never make sense of it all. You could say the kinks of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 are still being ironed out. 

    In an interview with journalist Lance Ulanoff around the big reveal event, Microsoft Surface boss Panos Panay spelled it out: USB-C is on Microsoft's radar. But it's not going to ditch traditional USB any time soon. 

    What Microsoft and Apple get wrong

    microsoft surface studio 2

    Still, to completely omit the latest technology because it's confusing, especially when it's not a necessity, feels a little like helicopter parenting on Microsoft's part. It's not like anything will break if I plug in the wrong USB-C cable into the wrong USB-C port. Let me run my own life, Microsoft mom and Microsoft dad.

    Plus, Microsoft apparently believes that USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 aren't too confusing for buyers of Microsoft's $3,499 Surface Studio 2. The new desktop from Microsoft, indeed, features the latest technology.

    To be fair, I haven't yet tried the new Surface Pro 6 or Surface Laptop 2, beyond a few minutes with them at Microsoft's announcement event earlier this week. And when I do dig in on them, something tells me I'm not going to terribly miss the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports that come standard on my 2016 MacBook Pro. Nearly all the accessories I own and use would plug in directly into the Surface laptop lineup. 

    But what about anyone who has already adopted USB-C devices, especially pros who like the ultra fast data speeds of Thunderbolt 3 for their heavy-duty accessories? Microsoft offers no laptop that can suit their needs, and so, it could be  completely alienating a crowd of forward-thinking tech users. In other words, it's not pro enough for professionals or early adopters.

    It's also completely alienating anyone who may wish to adopt USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 during the time they own a Surface Pro 6 or Surface Laptop 2. Say you own the Surface Pro 6, and you need a new external hard drive. You'd be stuck buying a slower model that uses older technology.  

    The answer is definitely not to buy a USB-C-only MacBook Pro, either. Apple was too aggressive in ditching more traditional ports and force-feeding USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 to regular users. It's too pro, and the overly eager switch to USB-C is seeming more and more like a misfire by the company.

    As nice as it is to plug all my regular USB accessories into a single USB-C adapter and port, relying on the tech can be a real pain. It's fine if you're a professional going all in on the latest technology, but maybe not so great for the rest of us.

    My answer, for anyone who asks, will likely be to look elsewhere at third-party laptops that come with the ports you want, as well as those you might want in the near future so you can make the gradual shift to the latest technology at a pace that's comfortable for you.

    And that's a huge shame, because the new Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 could have been among the best laptops you can buy. Plus, they look really, really good in the new matte black color option.

    SEE ALSO: There's a huge new update to Windows 10 that's going out — here are the 9 best new features and upgrades

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This smartphone has 5 cameras — here's what it's like


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    homeless dc

    • Experts predict that Amazon will locate its second headquarters somewhere in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
    • As cities await the company's announcement, DC residents are bracing for the potential negative impacts on their communities.
    • Many neighborhoods are up in arms over Amazon's lack of transparency and questionable labor practices.
    • Others are fearful that the new headquarters will exacerbate congestion and the lack of affordable housing in DC.

    As Amazon grows closer to announcing the location of its second North American headquarters, HQ2, insiders have narrowed the company's shortlist to the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

    Whether the company locates in Montgomery County, Maryland, DC proper, or — as many speculate — the neighborhoods of Northern Virginia, its impact could be widespread throughout the region.  

    With its new headquarters, Amazon expects to introduce 50,000 employees and tens of thousands of additional jobs in construction and operations. That could amount to up to 1 million new residents over the span of ten to 15 years, depending on how many employees already live in the area. 

    Many worry that the region won't be able to handle a major uptick in population size. Already, DC suffers from a crumbling metro system, rampant gentrification, and some of the worst traffic congestion in the country. 

    While local startups are touting the new talent and opportunity Amazon may bring to their ecosystem, some residents are singing a different tune — one of fear and frustration. 

    HQ2 is already affecting residents

    If Amazon wants to locate in the heart of DC, the city has offered up a few possible locations. As the advisory neighborhood commissioner for Hill East, an area on the edge of Capitol Hill, Denise Krepp lives directly across from Reservation 13, one of the proposed Amazon sites. 

    The impact of an Amazon headquarters in the area, she said, would be disastrous. 

    "I've been in this community now for 20 years," said Krepp. "Our infrastructure is failing. We have roads that are collapsing on themselves. We have water coming out of the streets in the middle of winter because the pipes are bursting. ... We have a metro system that doesn't work." 

    Adding a new crop of workers to the area could put increased pressure on an already-waning transit system, she believes.

    Residents are also concerned about the potential for a more acute shortage of affordable housing, similar to what has happened with Amazon's first headquarters in Seattle.

    Three days before the Amazon bid was announced in September 2017, Krepp attended a community meeting with the DC mayor’s office. At the time, she said, the office claimed there was no plans to further develop the parcels of land in her neighborhood. Days later, the city offered up the land to Amazon. Now, Krepp suspects that land is being held vacant in anticipation of the company's arrival — a claim the city's Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development has strongly denied.

    If Amazon were to take over the land, the company would occupy valuable space for affordable housing, Krepp said. 

    Some say rotten, others say ripe 

    Not all residents agree with this assessment.

    "DC is like any city," said John Coplen, a real estate professional who lives in Eckington and works in Logan Circle. "It's dealing with its own challenges ... but I think DC is really trying."

    What Coplen finds exciting about the Amazon headquarters is its potential to rebrand the city as more than a politics town. While he acknowledges that "a lot of people are really concerned" about the company's arrival, he sees it as an opportunity for the region to grow and diversify its industry makeup. 

    As a member of the real estate community, he's also not worried about soaring housing costs. Compared to other capital cities, he said, DC is "way behind" in terms of property values.

    Other experts tend to agree. "Politics may not always be stable here, but property values are," Nela Richardson, the chief economist of Redfin, told the Washington Post in April.

    Even after Amazon's arrival, Coplen anticipates that residents and commuters won't concentrate in a single area.

    "No matter where [Amazon goes], there’s going to be this cross-stream of commuters that want to live somewhere else," said Coplen. "If they locate in Montgomery County or Virginia, they’ll have a whole mass of people who want to live in DC."

    But Krepp sees a lack of available land as a main contributor to the city's affordability issues. 

    "It's not like 'poof,' there's a lot of space," she said. "We have a finite amount of space that can't be doubled overnight simply because Amazon wishes it."

    'Treat them like any other business'

    Still others are worried about an increase in local taxes. In April, DC ranked at the bottom of a list of cities that said they'd pay higher taxes to lure Amazon, with only 14% of residents saying they'd be willing to endure a tax hike. 

    Though DC and Northern Virginia have yet to reveal their incentives packages, Montgomery County, Maryland has already offered the biggest known package of any HQ2 city: $8.5 billion in tax breaks and infrastructure incentives

    For Justin McCarthy, a Glover Park resident and advisory neighborhood commissioner, that's a major concern. 

    "I don't think the district should be in the business of handing out massive corporate tax breaks," he said. "I don't really want to see my tax dollars going to subsidize the richest corporation in the history of mankind."

    Krepp agrees: "Why would neighbors support giving property and tax incentives to an entity, when we could we be using that money to shore up our schools?" 

    But kowtowing to major corporations is typical of both the DC Council and mayor's office, McCarthy said. While he finds that people in his neighborhood aren't vehemently opposed to Amazon's arrival, they do have one request of the city: Treat the company like any other business.

    "When we make these mega-businesses pay their fair share, it makes it easier for us to actively accommodate smaller businesses in the district," said McCarthy. That's a key priority in Glover Park, which — like many DC neighborhoods — is witnessing the closure of beloved mom-and-pop stores. 

    A secretive bid process

    While residents are aware that Amazon is being wined and dined by the mayor's office, they're not quite sure what to expect. Amazon has requested that all 20 of the finalist cities sign a nondisclosure agreement that protects the company's proprietary information, including their future plans.

    In 2017, dozens of civic groups from across the country wrote an open letter outlining three positive changes that Amazon could make in its new host city. At the top of the list was transparency, including ongoing reports on the impact of potential projects. 

    It's a request echoed by citizens across the DC metro. But in Glover Park and East Hill, residents are frustrated by a lack of communication.

    "There hasn’t been any sort of public engagement," said McCarthy.

    Even council members are blind to what their city is offering. In Montgomery County, officials responded to a request for information by sending an entire document of redacted material. 

    Though Amazon hasn't commented on the secrecy surrounding its RFP process, the Seattle Times reports that employees at its current headquarters are surprised by the degree of silence. 

    According to Krepp, the lack of communication is causing local residents to "lose their minds." 

    Moral qualms

    Fueling this frustration are reports of Amazon's questionable labor practices.

    In September, Business Insider spoke with more than 30 current or recently employed Amazon drivers about their experience delivering packages. Several of them said they had endured unfavorable, and at times abusive, conditions, including a lack of overtime pay, missing wages, intimidation, and favoritism.

    McCarthy cites Amazon's "reputation for poor working conditions" as one of his reasons not to embrace HQ2. "From a moral perspective, I have significant objections," he said. 

    At the very least, Glover Park residents are insisting that Amazon hire local construction workers and ensure robust labor agreements prior to rolling out new development. These demands are reflected in the open letter signed by DC Jobs with Justice, Common Cause Maryland, and the Washington Interfaith Network, which calls for "safe, family-sustaining jobs" that respect workers' rights. 

    Is there anything the city can do?

    With Amazon staying mum on its final decision, DC may still have time to address concerns.

    Some residents suspect that HQ2 is already motivating the cityto make necessary improvements to transit and infrastructure. According to Coplen, the city has indicated both a "desire and demand" for new investment. 

    But McCarthy doesn't expect the city to be much help.

    "Are there things they could be doing? Yes. [But] realistically, I don't even know if that's a worthwhile question to ask, given the current state of politics," he said.

    When posed with the same inquiry, Krepp laughed. "That’s a pipe dream,'" she said. "The city knows our core is rotten."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 3 surprising ways humans are still evolving


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    haunting of hill house

    New titles come and go on Netflix every week, but choosing what to stream can be a daunting task.

    That's why, every week, Business Insider rounds up which of the newly arrived movies and TV shows on Netflix are actually worth watching.

    This week's titles include Netflix's new horror series "The Haunting of Hill House" and Paul Greengrass' "22 July." 

    New movies and TV shows coming this week:

    "22 July" (Movie — coming Wednesday, October 10): Directed by the "Bourne" franchise's Paul Greengrass, "22 July" tells the gripping true story of a terrorist attack in Norway. Along with "Roma," it has launched Netflix into Oscars conversations.

    "The Haunting of Hill House" (TV show — coming Friday, October 12): This Netflix original series is not only perfect for Halloween, it's a great show in its own right that mixes an emotional family drama with elements of horror.

    "The Kindergarten Teacher" (Movie — coming Friday, October 12): Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a teacher who takes too much of an interest in a student's talents. The drama won best director (Sara Colangelo) at the Sundance Film Festival and Netflix nabbed the rights soon after.

    "Feminists: What Were They Thinking?" (Movie — Coming Friday, October 12): This documentary feature, which follows the evolution of feminism through personal accounts, feels like the right film for this time in America.

    Titles leaving this week:

    "Kubo and the Two Strings" (Movie — Leaving Monday, October 8): You still have Sunday to watch this acclaimed animated film before it departs on Monday — and before you see director Travis Knight's next film, "Bumblebee," later this year.

    SEE ALSO: DC Universe's first original series — 'Titans' — is a dark reimagining of a classic superhero team that's bound to divide fans

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A top movie actor reveals how he learns different accents


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    In 2017 "Game of Thrones" set a world record during their season seven "Loot Train" scene. But Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon can't take all the credit. Stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam and his team set 20 stunt people on fire for a single shot. And 73 stunt performers were set on fire throughout the scene. But how do stunt people actually get set on fire? Doesn't it hurt? We talked with stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam to find out what it takes to safely set someone on fire. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Rowley Irlam: Action!

    Narrator: Last year, "Game of Thrones" set a world record for the most stunt people on fire in one shot. And it looks like it hurt. A lot. Can't Hollywood just use CGI? Each year, dozens of movies and TV shows feature scenes where stunt performers are set on fire. It turns out, this is often done with real fire, not visual effects. Fire and water are some of the hardest things to create in CGI. And stunt performers bring a unique take to each scene.

    Rowley Irlam: What you still get from a person that you won't get from VFX is a human performance and their own take on something.

    Narrator: That's stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam. He's worked on films like "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." His latest project has been the last four seasons of "Game of Thrones." Sounds easy, right? Get a few stunt people, some fire, and your scene will look great! Turns out, even just a few seconds of fire requires a lot of work. You're not just setting people on fire, you have to set them on fire safely. The most extreme type of burn is one where the stunt person is fully engulfed in flame. But the biggest risk isn't burning their skin.

    Rowley Irlam: You need to be holding your breath, so you don't breathe in any kind of flame.

    Narrator: In order to keep stunt performers safe, Rowley and his team count out loud to let them know how much time is left.

    Rowley Irlam: 11! 12! Out, out, out!

    Narrator: They remain on fire for no more than 15 seconds.

    Rowley Irlam: The danger is disorientation, or if you were to injure yourself or bang into something, you know. What you don't want to do is breathe in because of a shock of pain or injury.

    Narrator: Stunt coordinators try to anticipate and eliminate anything that could go wrong or cause an injury. Everything is rehearsed multiple times, so everyone knows where to go and what to do.

    Rowley Irlam: If you do enough of it, you become competent and confident. We run a very controlled set, you know, we make a plan, and we stick to the plan, and we execute the plan.

    Narrator: In addition to lots of rehearsal, stunt performers wear a ton of protective gear. And their secret ingredient is a flame-retardant material called Zel Jel. For "Game of Thrones," stunt performers wear three layers of fireproof underwear, which is soaked in Zel Jel. Above that is a rain suit to prevent the gel from being absorbed by the other layers. Next is a fire suit and a thin cotton suit. Any exposed skin is also coated in Zel Jel. Finally, their costume goes on top.

    Rowley Irlam: You are now ready to be set on fire.

    Narrator: And Rowley Irlam is no stranger to setting people on fire. For season seven of "Game of Thrones," 20 stunt performers were set ablaze at a single time, and 73 were lit on fire throughout the course of the scene. Each performer has their own safety partner, who helps them get dressed and extinguishes their fire. For every four safety people, there is an additional safety person. That's more than 45 crew members for just one stunt. It took weeks of pre-production and multiple cameras to shoot. But the key to making that scene convincing wasn't the fire. It was the acting.

    Rowley Irlam: What we wanted to do is find the humanity of the situation. These are the human moments when you feel their suffering.

    Narrator: Crafting a scene that looks realistic while maintaining strict safety standards isn't easy.

    Rowley Irlam: Well, the challenging thing is to make sure that you don't make a mistake. If we can get through stuff and make it look really, really exciting and dynamic and not hurt anybody, then we've won. When we were planning to do the 20-man burn, it was going to rain on Monday. And I was like, "Well, it's sunny now." And they were like, "Okay, what do you mean?" I said, "Well, let's do this afternoon then." And he was like, "But we can't!" And I was like, "Well, why?" And he went, "I don't know."

    Join the conversation about this story »


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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 dozens 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?

    Wrong. 

    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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    joanns 0770

    • Hobby LobbyMichaels, and Joann Stores all sell arts-and-crafts products like canvases and paint, sketchbooks, scrap-booking supplies, and home decor. 
    • Hobby Lobby is a privately owned company, but earlier this year, it announced it would be continuing to grow, opening an additional 60 stores and hiring around 2,500 new employees in 2018.
    • In August, Michaels reported comparable sales decreased 0.4% in the second quarter. The company opened nine new stores, closed one store, and relocated seven stores in the quarter.
    • Joann is also a privately owned company. It was taken private by private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP in a $1.6 billion deal in 2011.
    • We visited neighboring locations of Hobby Lobby and Michaels in Commack, New York, and a Joann in Scarsdale, New York, and found that one of the stores had a lot more to offer than the other two. 

    Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Joann are three of the biggest arts-and-crafts retailers in the United States.

    Each store sells products like canvases and paint, sketchbooks, scrapbooking supplies, and home decor. All three stores also offer craft classes for kids and adults, as well as DIY project ideas and tips.

    Hobby Lobby, which is privately owned, currently operates 800 stores across 47 states. In 2017, it opened 63 new stores, including 12 relocated stores. Earlier this year, Hobby Lobby announced it would be continuing to grow, opening an additional 60 stores and hiring around 2,500 new employees in 2018.

    Michaels, which is a public company, currently has 1,251 of its namesake stores in 49 states. In August, Michaels reported comparable sales decreased 0.4% in the second quarter. The company opened nine new stores, closed one store, and relocated seven stores in the quarter.

    Joann is also a privately owned company. It was taken private in 2011 by private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP in a $1.6 billion deal, and it currently operates more than 850 stores across the country. 

    We visited neighboring locations of Hobby Lobby and Michaels in Commack, New York, and a Joann in Scarsdale, New York, and found that one of the stores had a lot more to offer than the other two.

    Here's the verdict:

    SEE ALSO: We put some of the most popular vegan fast-food options to the test — and the winner was clear

    The first stop was Hobby Lobby.



    The front of the store was fully stocked with autumn decor.



    There was also Christmas decor, much of which was on sale.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tj yeldon

    Fantasy football is a tough game.

    There's always good weeks and bad weeks, but when your players aren't producing, the second-guessing starts almost immediately.

    Last week was a rough one for our DraftKings value picks. Aside from Calvin Ridley, who continues to tear through opposing defenses like he seeks desperate medical attention that can only be found in the end zone, we picked a few performances that were honestly underwhelming.

    But the great thing about daily fantasy is that every week you get a brand new start, so this week, we're back at it yet again.

    Take a look below for our picks at every position that looks set to outplay their pricing this week in DraftKings. They'll come in handy for when you've constructed the perfect lineup only to find that you don't have quite as much money left for your flex as you expected.

    QB: Josh Rosen, $4,700

    The 49ers are giving up almost 25 points per game in DraftKings scoring so far this season. Josh Rosen might be a rookie, but he looked solid enough in his first outing and should have a bit more room to throw this week against the San Francisco defense.



    RB: T.J. Yeldon, $5,600

    With Leonard Fournette still nursing a hamstring injury, T.J. Yeldon should be the featured back for the Jaguars in their trip to Kansas City. Expect Jacksonville to want to establish the run on the road.



    RB: Mike Davis, $3,500

    With his astonishing 31.4-point performance last weekend, taking Mike Davis again might be asking for lightning to strike twice, but he's likely Seattle's best option at running back. While the Seahawks rushing attack won't have the success, they had last week against the Rams fearsome defensive front, at this price Davis is still a decent flyer.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    State of the Union With Jake Tapper susan collins

    • Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, defended her support for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sunday.
    • She said she found no corroborating evidence for Christine Blasey Ford's accusations of sexual assault. 
    • Collins, who provided a critical "yes" vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation Saturday, said when other lawmakers took issue with the judge's emotional denial of the allegations, she put herself "in his shoes."
    • Democratic lawmakers, organizations, and activists have spoken out to denounce the centrists' support for Kavanaugh. 

    Sen. Susan Collins defended her support for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and said she found no corroborating evidence for Christine Blasey Ford's accusations of sexual assault. 

    "I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant," Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union.""I do believe that she was assaulted. I don't know by whom and I'm not certain when."

    Ford said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a small house party when the two were teenagers, and detailed her allegations under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

    Host Dana Bash pressed Collins, adding that Ford had testified that she was "100 percent" certain that Kavanaugh was the person who assaulted her.

    Collins said though Ford's testimony was "very compelling and painful," she had asked herself whether it was "more likely than not" Kavanaugh assaulted Ford.

    A number of conservatives, including President Donald Trump, have said they found Ford's testimony convincing, but doubted that she had identified the correct man as her alleged attacker.

    Collins, a Republican, who provided a critical "yes" vote to confirm Kavanaugh, rebuked lawmakers' disapproval of Kavanaugh's testimony. She said at times he had "stepped over the line," but his emotional testimony was understandable.

    "I put myself in his shoes," Collins said. "He is coming forth and answering an allegation that includes he was involved in gang raping and doping girls. That is so devastating."

    Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court in a narrow 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday afternoon after one of the most contentious nominations in decades. 

    Ahead of Saturday's vote, eyes were also on three other key swing votes, one of whom denounced Kavanaugh in a Friday floor speech. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska broke with her party that day to vote against advancing Kavanaugh's confirmation, and took aim at parts of Kavanaugh's testimony she said displayed inappropriate partisan interest and a short temper.

    Collins' continued support for Kavanaugh throughout the confirmation process earned the ire of organizations like the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which tweeted ahead of the vote that Collins "can no longer call herself a women's rights champion" after she "sided with those who disbelieved, disrespected, and even mocked survivors."

    Collins shot back that the suggestion was "just plain untrue."

    Collins also shrugged off Bash's mention that her support for Kavanaugh had drawn more than $3 million in funding for her opponent in 2020 and a public challenge from former President Barack Obama's national security adviser.

    "I have to do what I think is right," Collins said. "Over the years the people of Maine have trusted me to exercise my best judgment, and that's what I did in this case."

    SEE ALSO: How 'the Forrest Gump of Republican politics' Brett Kavanaugh became the Supreme Court's most embattled justice in decades, after controversy over sexual misconduct allegations

    DON'T MISS: Trump says he mocked Christine Blasey Ford at a rally to 'even the playing field' for Kavanaugh

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Carson Wentz

    Gambling is never easy.

    Not only because of the emotional and financial stress it can cause, but also because there is always more information to know. Any time you think you have a great read on a game, it's likely best to go the other way. If a bet is too good to be true, it probably is, and there is someone is Las Vegas eager to take your money if you don't realize it quick enough.

    Sadly, to my knowledge, it is impossible to predict the future. We analyze trends and make our best guesses, but one guarantee about football is that you can't know how a game is going to end until the final whistle blows.

    All of that to say — this is an extremely tough week to bet on football.

    But while other bettors might want to use this week to play it slow, that's not an option in our quest to win $1 million in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest.

    Through four weeks our picks are sitting at an admirable 11-9, but in order to take home the top prize, we need to keep grinding out winners week after week.

    This weekend, I'd be fine with going 3-2. It's dangerous out there.

    Below are our best bets for Week 5 of the NFL season.

    SuperContest Pick 1: Philadelphia Eagles (-3) over Minnesota Vikings

    This is a tough spot for the Eagles, as Minnesota is riding two straight losses and rather desperate for a win, but Philadelphia tends to rise to the occasion at home.

    While the team had to scramble to beat the Colts during their last home stand, the 16 points they ceded to Indianapolis was the most they had given up in Philadelphia since Week 9 of last season.

    Further, the Eagles offense, despite not being able to seal the deal against Tennessee, feels like its finding its groove. Expect tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert to both be heavily involved in the passing game, and with Alshon Jeffrey back in the fold, hopefully the Philadelphia attack can get back to looking like Super Bowl champions.



    SuperContest Pick 2: Oakland Raiders (+4.5) over Los Angeles Chargers

    The Oakland Raiders win over the Browns last weekend might not have been wholly convincing, but it was enough to give bettors faith that Derek Carr and company can at least get points on the board.

    Meanwhile, the Chargers had to pull off a late comeback to beat the C.J. Beathard-led 49ers in a game that was much more grueling than it should have been.

    But the main reason we're backing the Raiders in this spot is their home-field advantage. While this game is technically being played in Los Angeles, the Chargers have a habit of letting opposing fans invade their territory, as has happened time and time again over the past two seasons.

    With Oakland just a drive away, and with Los Angeles already full of citizens of Raider Nation, the Black Hole should be in full force on Sunday. The Chargers apparently know what's coming, even prepping for crowd noise to be a factor despite playing what is supposed to be a home game.

    The Raiders should at least be able to keep this one close.



    SuperContest Pick 3: Buffalo Bills (+3.5) over Tennessee Titans

    Betting on the Buffalo Bills can feel a lot like jumping through a flaming table: you know it's going to hurt, but given the circumstances (an especially animated Bills tailgate, in this case) it feels like the right thing to do.

    First and foremost, you always want to lean in the direction of the home underdog. While the Bills are considered by many to be the worst team in football so far this season, their defense is not bad, and if Josh Allen can reel in his cannon of an arm to make just one or two accurate throws, Buffalo can get on the board.

    Further, the Titans are coming off of wins over the Eagles and Jaguars — two of the final four teams playing postseason football last year. If there was ever a spot for a let-down game, it's here.

    And even if Tennessee does prevail in the game, there's still hope for our bet. The Titans are 3-1 on the season, but all three of their wins have come by exactly three points — if the trend continues, the half-point hook will be enough to swing our bet to victory.

    It's a plan so crazy it just might work.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    ayahuasca peru

    When brewed, the jungle vines and leaves that make ayahuasca have strange powers, often described as mystical.

    Ayahuasca is a psychedelic compound — along the lines of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, though with different effects — that's been used for thousands of years by shamans and communities in and around the Amazon rainforest. Some use the substance in healing ceremonies, meant to help people get past ailments of the body and mind. Other ceremonies are meant to aid communication with ancestors and other spirits.

    Yet around the world, people are fascinated by the experience, which is often described as life-changing.

    In recent years, enthusiasm for ayahuasca and its effects has spread from the indigenous roots of the substance and experimentation by curious backpackers to communities of tech workers in Silicon Valley and Brooklyn.

    "It's mind-boggling how much it can do in one or two nights," Tim Ferriss, the author of "The 4-Hour Workweek," told The New Yorker in 2016 for a feature about the jungle psychedelic's exploding popularity in Silicon Valley and Brooklyn, New York.

    Ferriss said that the substance was harrowing and that it made him feel as if he were "being torn apart and killed a thousand times a second for two hours." It also wiped away anger he'd held onto for decades, he said.

    At the same time, a revival of scientific interest in psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin — and ayahuasca — is leading to a growing understanding of exactly what these substances do the body and especially the brain.

    Here's what we know so far.

    SEE ALSO: Hallucinogenic drugs could soon work 'like a surgical intervention' for mental illness

    Ayahuasca, also known as yagé, is made by brewing certain leaves and vines together. In Quechua, the name means "vine of the dead" or "vine of the soul."

    The preparation involves the vine Banisteriopsis caapi and components of the Psychotria viridis plant. 



    When combined, the plant released the powerful hallucinogen DMT, and the vine releases compounds that cause the DMT effect to last for hours. Alone, DMT would just last about 20 minutes.

    The most significant effects of DMT are feelings of being separated from the body, experiencing an unearthly environment, encountering mystical or otherworldly beings, having an altered perception of time, feeling peace and joy, and having heightened senses. 



    The physical effects of ayahuasca are often described as miserable, including serious vomiting, though they are temporary.

    Both DMT and ayahuasca can temporarily raise heart rate and increase blood pressure. Most users experience what is often described as a purging, which manifests as potentially intense vomiting and diarrhea.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Venom Sony

    • "Venom" broke the best opening weekend ever for a movie released in October with an estimated $80 million take, domestically.
    • "A Star Is Born" also had an impressive opening, earning $42.6 million.

     

    Look out Spider-Man — Sony has found a new Marvel character that can score it big box office coin.

    Over the weekend, "Venom" defied the critics and outperformed industry projections by earning an estimated $80 million at the domestic box office.

    Now, for comic book movie standards that's not a huge number, but for October openings it's huge. The "Venom" opening is the best ever for the month, easily passing 2013's "Gravity" ($55.78 million).

    The dark comedic tone of the movie turned off most critics, as going into the weekend "Venom" had a 28% Rotten Tomatoes score (it's currently at 31%), but it turned out general audiences were totally into Tom Hardy's tater-tot-loving, lobster-tank-diving interpretation of the Eddie Brock character.

    The movie, which has a $205 million global take, has an 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and earned four out of five stars from audience exit polls, leading to a B+ Cinemascore.

    Things looked good for Sony and the Symbiote on Thursday, when the movie earned an October record $10 million in Thursday previews. The movie then earned a strong $32.8 million on Friday followed by only a 17% drop of $27.2 million on Saturday.

    A Star Is Born 2 Warner Bros

    But that's not the only title having a strong weekend.

    Warner Bros.' major Oscar contender, "A Star Is Born," with Lady Gaga starring in the rags-to-riches role played by Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland in the past, took in a strong $42.6 million (that counts special screenings earlier in the week). Bradley Cooper stars alongside Gaga and also directed the movie. The star power, combined with rave reviews from critics and the Oscar buzz, will fuel the box office for this release the rest of the year.

    It will be interesting to see if "Venom" will have similar staying power, or if the unique comedic take on the character will lead to sour word-of-mouth going forward.

    SEE ALSO: "Venom" is a darkly comedic Marvel movie you will either love or hate

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    meeting business company team

    • Startups can be just as risky as they are promising — 20% of small businesses fail in just their first year.
    • But Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn, has a method for success that bucks tradition.
    • "Blitzscaling," as Hoffman calls it in his new book, means prioritizing speed over efficiency in the face of uncertainty.
    • The method requires taking risks in a "do-or-die" environment, but promises competitive advantage.

    Startups carry unavoidable risk small businesses have a 20% chance of failing in their first year, and a 50% chance after five years.

    The idyllic story of a Silicon Valley startup — beginning with just a few employees in a garage and consistently scaling over time until it's a major company with hundreds of workers — is the anomaly, not the prototype. Most businesses don't experience the same trajectory, and a startup with a solid foundation won't always scale to become a force among its competitors. Some may have ups and downs, while others see slow, steady growth over a longer period of time.

    Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn, understands how to achieve the kind of hypergrowth needed to survive in a world of companies like Amazon and Google. His new book, "Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies," focuses on the strategies and techniques that companies like these use to grow rapidly and stay ahead in their industries.

    He sent Business Insider a presentation explaining how startups can use what he calls "blitzscaling"— prioritizing speed over efficiency — to grow quickly when faced with an uncertain future, and beat out the competition to take over the market.

    SEE ALSO: 10 cities where it's the cheapest to get a startup off the ground







    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump maga farming

    • President Donald Trump said soybean prices have gone up.
    • They have fallen to near decade lows since his trade war with China began.
    • China has turned to South American countries to replace US soybeans. 
    • Soybean stocks are approaching record levels. 
    • Watch soybeans trade in real time here.

    President Donald Trump claims US soybeans have largely held up against his trade war with China. But tariffs have pushed prices to lows not seen since 2008. 

    "And soybeans are going up, and things are going up," he said at a press conference in New York on Wednesday. "And we've had very little hurt, from what I’ve done. In fact, the markets have gone up, and the farmers are going to do great."

    In reality, soybean prices have fallen more than 12% since China placed a 25% import tax on the legume to retaliate against the Trump administration. That country is the largest soybean customer in the world, accounting for more than half of global imports in 2017. 

    "There's a lot of concern about the future," Gary Schnitkey, a farm management specialist and University of Illinois professor, said. "Because [soybean farmers] are going to see much lower prices as a result of tariffs."

    Also on Wednesday, Trump said China has started buying US soybeans again. But officials in Beijing have been strategizing to minimize reliance on US soybeans since the start of the trade war. China has swapped much of its demand to South America and away from the US, which is now seeing record levels of soybean inventories. 

    "At this juncture of deepening trade tensions, it is unlikely that private traders in China would seek to buy US origin soybeans," JPMorgan analysts said in a recent research note. 

    Screen Shot 2018 09 27 at 12.58.56 PM

    In July, the Trump administration unveiled $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers who risked suffering financial losses from its trade policies. Soybean farmers are poised to get a large portion of benefits from the controversial plan. 

    "The soybean is not just some small thing in the background," Torsten Sløk, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, said.

    "It's actually something that is pretty important overall for what the agriculture sector is doing and in terms of where revenue is coming from. That's why we're watching very carefully whether soybean prices go up or down."

    With no clear end ito the trade war in sight, analysts say there's little chance of soybean prices recovering anytime soon. Beijing cancelled high-level trade talks planned for this week after another round of Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports took effect. And the longer tariffs are in place, the more difficult regaining market share could be. 

    "Even under a best-case scenario, ie, cease of the trade war, it will be difficult to fully recover the prior extent of China’s soybean import demand in our view," JPMorgan wrote. 

    Screen Shot 2018 09 27 at 12.53.12 PM

    SEE ALSO: Oil approaches $82 as Iran sanctions continue to drive supply fears

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio says the economy looks like 1937 and a downturn is coming in about two years


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    taylor swift

    • On Instagram Sunday night, Taylor Swift endorsed Democrat Phil Bredesen in the 2018 midterm elections after Republican senators confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
    • However, Bredesen said he would have voted to confirm Kavanaugh anyway.
    • Swift didn't explicitly mention the Supreme Court in her endorsement, but her message came a day after Kavanaugh's confirmation.
    • She also spoke up about violence against women; three women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

    Following Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court, Taylor Swift spoke out for the first time about her political views. In an Instagram post, she threw her weight behind the Democratic party and endorsed Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives in the November 6 midterm elections.

    But Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor, said he would have voted to confirm Kavanaugh if he sat in the Senate anyway. He said Christine Blasey Ford's accusation that Kavanaugh tried to rape her "didn't rise to the level" of disqualifying him, and said he had no problem with his conservative judicial record.

    "I think you have to look at somebody’s entire record,"he told Nashville's NewsChannel5 on Friday. "That was an aberration. He had a good reputation for the way he (conducted) himself as a judge over the last 12 years or so."

    Three women have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, and Swift's endorsement of the two Democratic candidates comes a day after Kavanaugh was confirmed. While Swift didn't explicitly say she decided to get involved in the Senate race because of the Kavanaugh vote, she did clarify that Blackburn's record of anti-women, anti-LGBT votes factored in.

    phil bredesen

    Blackburn, who is running against Bredesen for Corker's seat, has supported Kavanaugh throughout his nomination. And, as Swift noted, Blackburn opposes equal rights for LGBTQ people and voted against equal pay for women. Blackburn, she wrote, "believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values."

    "I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love," Swift wrote. "As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me."

    Swift's decision to publicly declare her politics comes a month before the contentious 2018 midterm elections. In her Instagram quote endorsing Bredesen and Representative Jim Cooper, Swift noted that many people"may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway."

    For more great stories, head to INSIDER's homepage.

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    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    Sundar Pichai

    Google is hosting an event on Tuesday where it's expected to announce all its new hardware.

    The most anticipated new devices are the Pixel 3 smartphones, which have been leaked so much in the last few weeks that I feel like it's already available to buy.

    Oh, wait — it was available to buy!

    A shop in Hong Kong somehow got ahold of Google's Pixel 3 phone, which was picked up by Engadget and revealed to the world. The phone was being sold for around $2,000, but I wouldn't expect the Pixel 3 to cost as much when Google announces it on Tuesday. 

    Apart from the Pixel 3, Google will likely unveil new new models of existing devices, as well as a brand new smart device that will house Google Assistant.

    Based on reports, rumors, and leaks, here's what we expect during Google's big hardware event:

    SEE ALSO: Apple and Microsoft are both making a big bet on the future of USB — and they’re both wrong

    The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, which have been fully leaked before the event.

    The Pixel 3 is perhaps the most leaked device in recent memory. It's so "leaked," in fact, that you could take a walk in Hong Kong and potentially run into someone using the new Pixel 3 before Google's event. 

    The new phone from Google apparently went on sale in a Hong Kong shop, and Engadget got its hands on the larger version, known as the Pixel 3 XL. The phone reportedly has a 6.3-inch display, runs on the latest Snapdragon 845 chip from Qualcomm, and has two selfie cameras (one of which is an ultra-wide angle lens for more inclusive selfies).

    There's even a full video with a rundown on the Pixel 3:

    Youtube Embed:
    //www.youtube.com/embed/xyrs6Ore25s?start=60
    Width: 800px
    Height: 450px

     



    Wired Pixel Buds, which will come with the new Pixel 3 smartphones.

    If the device obtained by Engadget is, indeed, the Pixel 3, we now know that the phone will come with a wired, USB-C version of Google's Pixel Buds. 

    This is noteworthy, as the Pixel 2 smartphones didn't come with USB-C earphones, despite the  fact that Google ditched the headphone jack.



    Pixel Buds 2, a new version of Google's wireless earbuds.

    Few rumors exist on the Pixel Buds 2 wireless earphones, but the general consensus is that Google will announce new Pixel Buds at its October 9 event.

    We're hoping that a new set of Pixel Buds will bring substantial improvements over the originals, which weren't well received at all by critics, including Business Insider's own Avery Hartmans.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Adam and Heather Halkuff

    • Adam and Heather Halkuff, and their five sons under the age of 16, were traveling from Dallas to Kansas City, Missouri, earlier this month. 
    • But they were taken off the plane during the boarding process when one of their sons, who has autism, had a meltdown. 
    • American Airlines said in a statement that it is looking into the incident and has reached out to the family.

    Parents of five children said they were kept off an American Airlines flight in Texas because one of their sons who has autism had a meltdown while boarding.

    Adam and Heather Halkuff, and their five sons under the age of 16, were traveling from Dallas to Kansas City, Missouri, earlier this month when they say they were taken off the flight, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

    Ahead of their flight, the Halkuffs went through trial run with their two sons with autism, 5-year-old Milo and 2-year-old Ollie, to make sure they would be comfortable come time for the actual flight.

    "I first contacted American Airlines and I asked them if there were any programs or anything they can do for us because we’d be traveling with five boys, two that had autism," Adam Halkuff said told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

    Four years ago, American Airlines launched its "It’s Cool to Fly" program to help children with autism prepare for flights, Newsweek reported.

    The test flight simulates every aspect of boarding a flight, including check-in, security, and waiting in crowded spaces. The program is supposed to help children become accustomed to the "sensory experience of air travel."

    The practice run went smoothly, but on the day of the flight, Milo had a meltdown just as the family was getting on the plane.

    Heather Halkuff said that while other passengers asked the family if they needed help, the American Airlines ticketing agent was not as accommodating.

    "Right away she goes, 'He can't get on the flight ... he's going to bother the other passengers and then he'll still be upset during the flight and we'll have to turn around and escort you off the plane,'" Heather said.

    The Halkuffs said they offered to split up, with Heather taking Milo home to Rockwall, Texas, and Adam taking the other kids to Kansas City.

    But the offer was rejected, and the entire family was taken back into the terminal, Heather said.

    American Airlines said in a statement that it is looking into the incident and has reached out to the family.

    The statement said: "We are concerned to hear about this situation. Our team has reached out to the Halkuff family to gather more information about what transpired at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). The American Airlines team is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for all of our customers.

    "When it comes to autism, American is a strong advocate for children. Our team members work closely with various nonprofit groups to alleviate the stress these children and their families may experience while flying, including offering families the opportunity to take a test fight on the ground. This process — which includes role playing and realistic airport interactions — helps children grow accustomed to the experience of flight."

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