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The latest news from Business Insider

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    The newly refurbished R/V Thomas G. Thompson on its way back to its home dock at the University of Washington School of Oceanography

    • Beijing expressed "solemn concerns" Wednesday after a US Navy vessel stopped in Taiwan, brushing up against China's red line.
    • Taiwan's defense ministry stated emphatically that the visit was "unrelated to military activity" amid speculation that this might be a precursor to plans for a US Navy show of force near Taiwan later this month.
    • The Thomas G. Thompson, a research vessel, has visited before, but this visit comes on the heels of a major showdown in the South China Sea.
    • Toward the end of last month, a Chinese destroyer nearly collided with a US Navy warship during a tense standoff following a close pass of Chinese-occupied islands.

    A US Navy research vessel docked in Taiwan Monday, sparking concern in Beijing at a time of heightened tension between the US and China.

    The Thomas G. Thompson (T-AGOR-23), a research ship owned by the Office of Naval Research, arrived in Kaohsiung earlier this week to refuel and make crew changes, the Associated Press reported. The Taiwan Ministry of Defense stressed that the visit, notably not a first for this oceanographic vessel, is "unrelated to military activity."

    China is "expressing our solemn concerns to the US side," Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday, adding that Beijing "opposes all kinds of military contacts between the US and Taiwan." The US should immediately "stop all forms of official exchanges and military interactions with Taiwan and handle the Taiwan-related issues with caution," he warned.

    Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, called on the parties involved to be cautious "in deed and avoid undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,"according to China's Xinhua News Agency. "The Taiwan issue bears on China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and core interests, and we have firmly resolved to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity," Ma explained.

    The US Navy research vessel is carrying around 30 scientists from Taiwan, the Philippines, and the US, the Liberty Times reported, adding that the ship will conduct oceanographic research in the South China Sea.

    The presence of a US naval vessel, even one engaging in non-military activities, at a port in Taiwan makes Beijing very uncomfortable.

    "The day that a U.S. Navy vessel arrives in Kaohsiung, is the day that our People’s Liberation Army unites Taiwan with military force," Li Kexin, the minister at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said last year. The latest visit has not crossed that red line, activating China's Anti-Secession Law, which permits the use of force to defend Chinese territorial integrity.

    The visit comes amid heated disputes over trade, sanctions, Chinese territorial claims to the South China Sea, and arms sales to Taiwan. Beijing's concern over the arrival of the Thomas G. Thompson in Taiwan comes on the heels of another incident with a US warship.

    After a recent US Navy freedom-of-navigation operation near the contested Spratly Islands, during which a US warship approached Chinese-occupied territories, a Chinese destroyer challenged the US vessel to a showdown, nearly colliding with the American ship in the process.

    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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    Big Little Lies

    How much are networks shelling out to bring Hollywood stars to TV?

    In this age of proliferated programming, marquee names have become essential to bring sizable audiences to shows. And the competition among networks and producers has driven industry salaries to new heights.

    On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the stars of HBO's "Westworld" would be getting big raises ahead of the sci-fi drama's third season.

    At its height, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman reportedly negotiated $1 million salaries for the upcoming second season of HBO's Emmy-winning drama, "Big Little Lies."

    Jim Parsons of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" made headlines in August for walking away from a reported two-year, $50 million paycheck for two more seasons of the sitcom, which CBS subsequently decided to end in 2019.

    Here's how much the highest-paid stars on TV are earning per-episode:

    Note: Some salaries may include producing fees.

    Jethro Nededog contributed to a previous version of this story. 

    SEE ALSO: Warner Bros. triumphed over Disney in public sentiment after hiring James Gunn for 'Suicide Squad 2'

    $1,000,000 — Nicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)

    Source: The Hollywood Reporter



    $1,000,000 — Reese Witherspoon, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)

    Source: The Hollywood Reporter



    $1,000,000 — Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

    Source: Variety



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kate middleton disco

    The royal family has lots of rules and protocol about how to dress up for formal occasions. But when it comes to dressing up in costume, there's more room to have a little fun.

    While some royal costumes have caused enormous scandals (such as Prince Harry's infamous Nazi costume), others, such as "Cinderella" dresses or masks of each other's faces, are more innocuous.

    Here are 10 times royals dressed up in costume.

    Queen Elizabeth has been dressing up since she was a young girl.

    Queen Elizabeth, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (left) wore what Getty Images describes as a "fancy-dress costume" circa 1909, with her brother, Lord David Bowes-Lyon, at Glamis Castle in Angus, Scotland. Why she and her brother dressed up on this particular occasion is unknown.



    She and her sister Princess Margaret put on the pantomime "Cinderella."

    In Queen Elizabeth's youth, she and her sister put on Christmas productions at Windsor Castle. In 1942, Queen Elizabeth played Prince Florizel and Princess Margaret played Cinderella and produced the play for the benefit of the Royal Household Concert Wool Fund.



    They also starred in a royal production of the Christmas pantomime "Aladdin."

    The next year, Queen Elizabeth played Aladdin and Princess Margaret played Princess Roxana in "Aladdin."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Meghan Markle Australia white dress

    Kensington Palace announced on October 15 that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019. The news comes five months after their grand royal wedding in May.

    Markle's sister-in-law Kate Middleton has served up some iconic looks during her pregnancies with her three children, and now it's Markle's turn to serve as the ultimate maternity style inspiration. 

    According to People, the duchess was reportedly 12 weeks along when the Palace made the announcement, which means that, without knowing it, we've likely already seen Markle experiment with her maternity style since July.

    Here are the best outfits she's worn during her pregnancy so far.

    In July, Markle wore a $2,190 denim dress by Carolina Herrera to a charity polo match.

    The duchess paired her dress with Aquazurra pumps and a woven clutch by J. Crew for a casual-chic look.



    In August, Markle wore a tuxedo-style suit-dress while attending a charity gala performance of "Hamilton."

    The tuxedo-style minidress is a $595 design by Canadian brand Judith & Charles that created a look similar to the popular "no pants" trend.



    In early September, the duchess rocked an all-black pantsuit while attending the WellChild Awards.

    She paired the Altuzarra blazer and pants with a matching black blouse by Deitas.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    methadone

    • To treat addiction to opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, scientists say we should be using something called medication-assisted treatment, which involves giving patients access to medications that appear to curb overdose deaths.
    • Few rehabs or treatment centers offer the medications, however.
    • Instead, many centers follow the guidance of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which often encourage completely abstaining from all drugs.
    • But part of a new initiative launched this week to grade those treatment centers includes making sure they provide access to medications.

    As the death toll from opioid addiction continues to soar with nearly 64,000 people dying in 2016 alone, scientists and public health experts are calling on clinics and rehab facilities to make sure they're using the latest science to treat the condition.

    So this week, the main professional society of addiction scientists launched a pilot program that gives treatment centers a grade based on a set of research-backed criteria designed to ensure patient health and safety. The program is being spearheaded by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which announced a partnership with nonprofit healthcare accreditation group CARF International.

    Among other requirements, the criteria includes providing people with access to medications like naltrexone that help curb cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms. That kind of treatment, also known as medication-assisted treatment or MAT, has been controversial in the past. Thousands of rehabs still refuse to offer it, instead encouraging people to abstain from medications altogether in accordance with the guidance of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

    But medication-assisted treatment is a powerful tool to help curb deaths from addiction, according to leading scientists and several peer-reviewed studies.

    "Medications are an effective treatment for opioid addiction,"Kelly J. Clark, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, told Business Insider in April.

    So as part of the new program, treatment centers "have to provide access to medication-assisted treatment," Paul Earley, an addiction medicine physician and board member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, told Business Insider on Wednesday.

    'These treatments are life-saving and they work'

    Fentanyl opioids

    Currently, only about half of private-sector treatment programs for opioid use disorder offer access to the medications, and of those, only a third of patients actually receive them, according to a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

    But dozens of experts and several studies suggest the medicines are powerful tools to help prevent deaths.

    "These treatments are life saving and they work,"Sarah Wakeman, the medical director of the substance use disorder initiative at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard, told Business Insider in April.

    The problem is that the medications are surprisingly difficult to obtain.

    In someone with opioid use disorder, as addiction to painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin is formally known, using the drugs is not often a pleasurable experience. Instead, it's a practice that has become a necessary fact of life. Being without the drugs leads to painful symptoms that can include severe nausea, shaking, diarrhea, and depression. The need to use is simultaneously a physical and emotional compulsion — the lines between those kinds of pain are blurred.

    One of the main misconceptions about medication-assisted treatment is that the medications for drug addiction simply replace the drugs that hooked users — leading to more highs and fueling a pattern of repeated use.

    But that view is outdated and ill-informed, experts say. Instead, the drugs work by staunching cravings and reducing or preventing withdrawal and relapse. Buprenorphine and methadone help suppress cravings, while naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids so users don't experience a high.

    And not surprisingly, as access to medication rises, drug overdose deaths fall.

    A study of heroin overdose deaths in Baltimore between 1995 and 2009 published in the American Journal of Public Health, for example, found that in places where methadone and buprenorphine were available, the number of fatal overdoses fell by 50%.

    "People ask me all the time, ‘well, aren't they just substituting one drug for another?' The answer is no. These are evidence-based treatments and they work,"Patrice A. Harris, the chair of the American Medical Association's opioid task force and a board certified psychiatrist, told Business Insider in April.

    From jail to court to rehab, medication-assisted treatment is hard to find

    Black tar heroin Mexico US drugs free baseDespite the evidence behind them,  medications for addiction are surprisingly difficult to obtain.

    One of the hardest-to-access forms of medication for recovery is methadone. In the US, the medication can only be accessed in specialized clinics; because of the way the treatment works, people using medication-assisted treatment must come to a facility to get their dose daily. But those facilities typically have negative reputations because of policies that restrict them to locations considered seedy or run-down. And patients who come for treatment often have to push past active drug users — a big trigger for someone with substance use disorder — on their way to and from the clinic.

    "You can access heroin pretty easily, yet we make it really hard to get a treatment that’s life-saving and allows you to live healthily," Wakeman said.

    In April, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a new set of guidelines aimed at underlining the important role that medication-assisted treatment should play treating opioid use disorder.

    “Unfortunately, far too few people who suffer from opioid use disorder are offered an adequate chance for treatment that uses safe and effective medications,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

    Other countries take a very different approach to medication-assisted treatment that makes the treatments easier to obtain. In Canada, for example, methadone is distributed in pharmacies.

    Rehabilitation facilities and courts in the US often don't offer medication-assisted treatment either. Instead, most operate on an abstinence-based model, in which patients must detox and then are offered counseling. They're  encouraged to attend 12-step meetings like Narcotics Anonymous, which remains opposed to medication-assisted treatment despite the growing body of evidence behind it.

    Among staff at rehab centers across the US, many workers maintain the belief that the medication doesn't work and say clients will "abuse" medications. Stephanie Rogers, an intake coordinator at Talbott Recovery, an Atlanta-based addiction treatment center, told Business Insider in April that she "honestly believed" that medication-assisted was "just substituting one drug for another."

    This trend runs in sharp contrast to the way treatment for other conditions has changed based on new research. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, for example, a large body of scientific evidence demonstrated that the medication insulin helped curb the symptoms of the illness. Those findings prompted medical professionals across the country to uniformly endorse and offer it.

    Even among rehab center workers who do understand the potential of medication-assisted treatment, many told Business Insider that their facilities aren't licensed to provide medication-assisted treatment in the first place. San Diego-based drug treatment center AToN, for example, lacks the proper licensing to provide methadone to patients, according to its program director.

    Turning the tide requires buy-in from officials and medical providers

    Some officials, including judges who preside over courts that see people brought in on drug offenses, are trying to update their policies to incorporate the most recent research on addiction treatment.

    Judge Desiree Bruce-Lyle presides over several such courts at the Superior Court of San Diego County. She told Business Insider in April that she became convinced of the efficacy of medication-assisted treatment after attending an American Society of Addiction Medicine conference and speaking to some of its leaders, including Kelly Clark and vice president Penny S. Mills.

    "I didn't believe in [medication-assisted treatment] until I met Penny and Kelly last year and they convinced me why it was a good thing and then I heard from a lot of the speakers that were attending that we needed to take a look at it," Bruce-Lyle said.

    Still, out of roughly 50 participants in the reentry court that Bruce-Lyle helps oversees, only one or two were on medication-assisted, she said in April. In their veterans court, which includes roughly 60 people, three or four were using the program.

    "I'd like to see more of it," Bruce-Lyle said, but added that she felt she'd need to convince key players at the court — including the Sheriff and other leaders — of the treatment's efficacy.

    A handful of physicians and social workers are also helping to lead the charge by calling attention to the scientific evidence that shows medication-assisted treatment is more effective than an abstinence-only model. Wakeman, the assistant professor at Harvard, travels around the country giving presentations at conferences like the one that helped change Bruce-Lyle's mind.

    "Medication-assisted treatment saves lives," Wakeman said. "You can also just call it 'treatment' and drop the two words in front of it."

    This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated.

    SEE ALSO: Pharmaceutical giants are sidestepping US marijuana restrictions to research cannabis-based drugs

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    Join the conversation about this story »

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    roman abramovich

     

    Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of the UK's Chelsea soccer team, is known for his mind-boggling collection of superyachts, luxury cars, private planes, and lavish homes around the world. 

    The Wall Street Journal once nicknamed his global collection of extravagant possessions "The Roman Empire."

    Once the richest man in Russia, Abramovich has amassed a vast personal fortune. The 51-year-old billionaire is the largest shareholder of Evraz, Russia's second-biggest steelmaker, and also owns stakes in the world's largest producer of refined nickel, according to Bloomberg.

    In 2008, Abramovich's wealth peaked at $23.5 billion, Forbes reported. Today, estimates for his net worth vary greatly, from $11.6 billion to $14.1 billion.

    Here's how Abramovich spends his billions.

    SEE ALSO: 10 things people buy when they have more money than they'd ever need

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    Roman Abramovich is a Russian billionaire with an estimated net worth between $11.6 billion and $14.1 billion.

    Source: Forbes, Bloomberg



    Once the richest man in Russia, Abramovich's net worth peaked in 2008 at $23.5 billion.

    Source: Forbes



    The 51-year-old billionaire became a high-profile figure in Britain after he acquired Chelsea Football Club in 2003.

    Source: Bloomberg



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Air Cooled Porsches

    • The Bridge, an exclusive, annual car and art event in Bridgehampton, New York, features impressive displays of rare and expensive cars.
    • Author Steven John drove a loaned Ferrari GTC5 Lusso T to the event and documented 14 of its stand-out vehicles.

     

    I was recently fortunate enough to land an invitation to The Bridge, an exclusive annual automobile-centric event. Though only in its third year, The Bridge is already one of the world's most impressive displays of rare, expensive, immensely powerful, and simply beautiful motor vehicles.

    I spent the weekend with a lovely Ferrari GTC4Lusso T, borrowed from Ferrari. It's a grand tourer, twin-turbocharged V-8-that packs 680 horsepower into an elegant, curved body. It has an all-glass roof, seating for four adults, passes 60 miles per hour in less than 3.4 seconds, and tops out around 208 MPH, according to Ferrari. And it sells for a mere $298,000 MSRP.

    On normal roads in normal neighborhoods, the car is an absolute head turner, something I experienced myself multiple times with a mix of awkwardness and glee. At The Bridge? My Ferrari blended right into the crowd and frankly took a back seat to most of the stunning cars on display.

    But that's no knock on the Lusso. Rather, it clarifies the caliber of the 150 vehicles gathered together on a clear mid-September day with a cool offshore breeze that curled around tens of millions of dollars’ worth of automobiles.

    The event also featured 12 world-class art galleries, erected in temporary buildings and displaying an eclectic mix of artwork both modern and generations old. The common theme there, too, was rarity and price.

    From The Bridge’s car-studded fields, here are 14 of the most amazing, powerful, gorgeous, rare, and downright weird vehicles I saw:

    SEE ALSO: 5 things you can learn in a day that will make your life better

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    1. Ferrari 365 California

    The Ferrari 365 California debuted in 1966, and the vehicle is as much of a stunner today as it was more than half a century ago. Getting a look at this 4.4-liter V12 convertible is a lot more likely than getting your hands on one, though even spotting one in person is rare: only 14 were built.



    2. McLaren 600 LT

    According to McLaren's website, "an LT is the most extreme expression of a McLaren you can get. Pushed to the edge, pushed as far as it will go in terms of performance and exhilaration." So yeah, this is a fast car. According to McLaren, goes from zero to 62 mph in about 2.9 seconds. That figure is conservative. It's almost certainly faster.



    3. Alfa Romeo

    An antique right-hand drive, the Alfa Romeo was perched prominently on a high point of The Bridge golf course and drew a constant stream of admirers. The 1930s-era convertible was in pristine condition, though I couldn't help thinking I'd hate to be in the car if it rolled over.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Packers

    • The Buffalo Bills' quarterback situation is an absolute mess, and they will turn to 35-year-old career backup Derek Anderson as their starter on Sunday.
    • Anderson appears to be the Bills' best option available, with rookie quarterback Josh Allen dealing with an elbow sprain and backup Nathan Peterman notorious for his turnovers.
    • Anderson has been with the team for just 10 days.


    Coming into the 2018 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills were already looking at a tough year ahead.

    Buffalo had the worst quarterback room in all of the NFL, and despite hopes of developing rookie Josh Allen into a franchise player, he was certainly more of a project than other rookie signal callers.

    Six weeks into the season and things are exponentially worse for the Bills, so much so that the team is now turning to 35-year-old career backup Derek Anderson as their starter after signing him just days ago.

    "Derek is a guy that I've been around in Carolina," McDermott said after making the decision public. "He brings experience, leadership presence to the table and he's worked hard the last week, week and a half, to get up to speed."

    The road here was a long one for the Bills.

    First, while many thought Allen would start the year under center for the Bills, head coach Sean McDermott gave the first team duties to Nathan Peterman. Peterman was best known for throwing five interceptions in a single half during his debut as a starter in 2017 and then coming in as a backup in the playoffs to throw another game-sealing interception.

    Opening the 2018 season, Peterman completed just 5-of-18 in the Bills first game, prompting McDermott to hand the reins over the Allen almost immediately.

    Since then, Allen has been pretty awful as well, ranking last among qualified quarterbacks in rating and yards per game, and second to last in completion percentage and yards per attempt.

    Then on Sunday, Allen went down with an elbow sprain, bringing Peterman back under center for the Bills. Peterman would lead the Bills down the field for a go-ahead touchdown score, only to then throw two more interceptions including a game-losing pick-six with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

    With Allen now feared to be out for multiple weeks, McDermott announced on Wednesday that this Sunday, the Bills will turn to Derek Anderson as their starting quarterback, despite the fact that he's been with the team for just 10 days. Anderson has started in just four NFL games since 2011.

    It's a bold move, but likely McDermott's only one to make, having watched Peterman throw 10 interceptions on 82 pass attempts over his seven career appearances.

    Making the whole situation worse is that this is a problem entirely of the Bills' creation.

    Tyrod Taylor was the team's starter last year, and led Buffalo to an improbable playoff appearance, only for the team to trade him away to Cleveland for a third-round pick. The Bills made a play for A.J. McCarron in the offseason, but would later send him away to Oakland in order to save a roster spot. There was plenty of time to avoid this situation, and yet here the Bills are.

    And so with no other options, the Bills will turn to Anderson, who McDermott is at least familiar with from their time together with the Carolina Panthers.

    The Bills travel to Indianapolis on Sunday where they will be +7.5-point underdogs to Andrew Luck and the Colts.

    If only there was a marquee free agent quarterback on the market capable of stepping into the job.

    SEE ALSO: NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where all 32 teams stand going into Week 7

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    pixel 3 cameras

    More often than you'd think, I'll see an iPhone user on the internet express interest in switching to Android.

    The main reason tends to be a very human thing: Those iPhone users want to see what else is out there. It's usually because they've grown completely accustomed to Apple's iPhone design, iOS, or both, and they're looking to try "something else"

    It's not a hit on Apple's iPhones. In a nutshell, they're fantastic smartphones. But exploring what's around you is healthy, and you'll make the most informed decision of what ecosystem is best for you by trying out Android for yourself.

    Either way, there's one Android phone I would recommend to iPhone users looking to expand their horizons among the dozens of high-end Android devices at their disposal: The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL. 

    My goal isn't to get you to switch to Android or the Pixel 3 phones. Rather, it's to recommend the Pixel 3 over other Android phones if you, the iPhone user, are looking for the best representative of Android.

    Check out why:

    SEE ALSO: Google's amazing Pixel 3 and the sleek Samsung Galaxy S9 are 2 of the best Android smartphones on the market — here's which one you should buy

    The Pixel 3 phones and Android are both made by Google — much like how the iPhone and iOS are both made by Apple.

    One of the best things about Apple's iPhone is that everything is "in-house." The hardware and operating system are made by the same company, and they're designed to work perfectly with each other. 

    Google's Pixel 3 phones have a similar vibe. You get a phone made by Google to run Google's own operating system, Android. Google doesn't go quite as far as Apple, however, as Apple uses its own chips to run the iPhones. Google uses chips that you'll find on other top Android phones, too. 

    Still, if you want to use Android the way Google intended it, much like Apple is making you use iOS the way Apple intends it, your best bet is the Pixel 3 or the Pixel 3XL. 



    Google's own phones get updates when they're released, while most other Android phones don't.

    So far, Google's own Pixel phones and the Essential Phone are the only Android devices that get Android updates the moment they're released. Otherwise, Android devices from other companies might not get updates for months after they're released, if at all. 

    Getting the latest updates as they're released, or at least having them available to install, is something that iPhone users are used to. If getting the latest updates as soon as they're released is important to you, Google's Pixel devices are your best bet.



    Google's phones run the best version of Android and offer the best experience.

    If you didn't know already, Android looks and works differently across different devices from different companies. That's because Android phone makers tend to add their own designs and features to Android. In many cases, phones that aren't made Google will actually have more features than Pixel phones as a result. 

    But after using Android devices from almost every company that makes them, I always prefer the pure, stock experience of Android that's made by Google and Google alone. Android 9.0 "Pie" on the Pixel 3XL feels up to date, optimized, clean, responsive, fluid, and reliable. Other Android versions on smartphones that aren't made by Google check some of those boxes, but not all of them.

    It's a cleaner experience on the Pixel 3 phones, much like the clean experience you get with iOS. Other Android phones that aren't made by Google tend to feel overly cluttered with extra features that aren't entirely meaningful.

     

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Helm email server

    • Helm, a $500 device with a $99 yearly subscription plan, lets you operate an email server out of your own home. 
    • Your email and data is stored on the device in your home, and it's encrypted before traveling through Helm's servers. 
    • Helm claims to collect very little information from its users — just the necessary payment information and device diagnostics.
    • While no server is completely secure, this could provide peace of mind to people who don't trust large tech companies to protect their data. 

    It's not hard to get the impression that big tech companies can't effectively keep our data safe. 

    Just in the past few weeks, Google disclosed a security bug that exposed hundreds of thousands of private accounts on the Google+ social network. Facebook admitted that 29 million users had private information stolen. It's easy to decide to quit using social media sites, but nearly everyone needs or uses an email service. Email is the backbone of every internet account — you almost can't get by in life these days without an email address. 

    One solution is to run your own in-house email server, as plenty of companies and tech-savvy individuals do. 

    This means that a private entity is in control of the email server and all of the information stored there. There's no need to place your trust in a tech company that has proven itself to be vulnerable to security bugs or breaches. 

    But if you're not an IT pro, the idea of setting  up an email server can be pretty intimidating. That's where Helm comes in.

    Helm wants to make that a reality for the everyday email user — someone who probably wouldn't know how to set up an email server from scratch. Helm's $500 device is an in-home email server, meaning all of your data and emails are stored on the device right in your home. Helm doesn't collect much information about its users besides the necessary details like payment information and device diagnostics, and any communication or data are encrypted when they leave the Helm device. 

    With traditional email services like Gmail or Yahoo, your data and emails are stored on a server controlled by the email provider. You don't have much control over what that company does with your data.

    Helm stores your emails and data in your home, but that doesn't mean it's completely safe. Any server can be attacked, regardless of where it's located. However, you're paying for the control over your emails and the ability to be free from a tech company storing your data. Helm also says it hires hackers to try to locate vulnerabilities in the device or its software, and it plans to release improvements and boost security through future software updates. 

    You can choose to store a backup of your emails on Helm's servers, but those backups are encrypted and require your security key in order to be decrypted. 

    Helm features a standard 120GB of storage, but that can be increased to up to 5TB with additional hardware. The device also comes with physical encryption keys for encrypting data locally on the machine and offline for a secure backup. The device costs $500, and has a $99 subscription fee for every year after the included one-year subscription. 

    For more information, or to purchase a device, visit Helm's website here

    SEE ALSO: This clever $35 iPhone case has a scroll wheel with six built-in lenses — and it turns your phone camera into a Swiss-army knife for taking pictures

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    2018 Buick Regal GS

    • The 2018 Regal GS is a made-mostly-in-Germany sport sedan with the soul of a Buick.
    • That means it combines value, practicality, style, and performance.
    • It's a compelling alternative to the competition from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes— but it shouldn't be completely defined against those brands.

    I am — and always have been — an unapologetic Buick fan. And, in particular, a Buick Regal fan. 

    I got through high school behind the wheel of a lovely Regal two-door, powered by a V6 engine and outfitted in an elegant brown velour interior. Very, very elegant!

    As a car writer, I've richly enjoyed pretty much every single Buick I've sampled — and even pressed a LaCrosse and its heated seats with lumbar support into service to treat an ailing lower back. 

    But I reserve a special place in my heart for the Buick Regal GS, a version of the car that once actually claimed the General Motors top-speed title from Corvette, however briefly (I speak of the legendary turbocharged GNX). My last crack at the Regal found me relishing the Opel-based previous generation, but some notable changes have arrived for the 2018 edition, also a rebadged Opel Insignia manufactured in Germany.

    That's right, the Buick Regal GS is a German car, for the most part — but it offers an intriguing alternative to vehicles from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, at a lower price point and with much, much better infotainment technology than what the Teutons have on offer.

    My tester arrived in a dashing Sport Red paint job and tipped the cost scales at a well-optioned $44,115 (the base is about $40,000). I drove it around for a week. And as is typically the case with Buick sedans, I didn't want to give it back. Yes, I'm showing my hand here, but the Regal is still my kind of car. 

    Here's why:

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Behold! The 2018 Buick Regal GS.



    The weather was rather less favorable on my last go-round with the Regal GS.

    Read the review »



    For what it's worth, the Regal lineup now boasts an actual wagon — and a good one, at that.

    Read the review »



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kmart 1510

    Sears, Kmart's parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.

    The company says it will close 142 stores before the end of the year, and its CEO, Eddie Lampert, will step down.

    Sears has been closing stores and selling off assets following years of crippling sales declines. The company currently operates 687 Sears and Kmart stores, according to its bankruptcy filing. That's down from nearly 2,000 stores in 2013.

    The rise of e-commerce, declining foot traffic to malls, and a higher demand for off-price products are just some of the factors that havecaused department stores as a category to suffer in recent years.

    "The problem in Sears' case is that it is a poor retailer. Put bluntly, it has failed on every facet of retailing from assortment to service to merchandise to basic shop-keeping standards," said Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail.

    Kmart stores seem to be facing the same issues. When we visited the discount store the day after the company filed for bankruptcy, it had rusty shelves, huge empty spaces, and piles of boxes left around.

    Here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: We visited a Sears store on the day the company filed for bankruptcy, and it felt like a ghost town. Here's what it was like shopping there.

    We went to the Kmart store in New York's Penn Station.



    At the front of the store was a small Halloween section ...



    ... greeting cards and gift wrap ...



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Donald Trump

    • Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October and is feared dead.
    • Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of killing Khashoggi on orders from the highest levels of its government, and the evidence is damning.
    • Reports suggest Khashoggi's death was a result of orders from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
    • Trump has largely stood by the Saudis throughout the investigation, and has repeatedly defended its rulers.
    • The president's approach to the Khashoggi case follows a familiar pattern to his playbook on Russian election interference.
    • Trump has made a habit of placing trust in leaders with dubious reputations, perhaps most notably Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    There's an expanding mountain of evidence that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and multiple reports suggest his death was a result of orders from the highest levels of the kingdom's government, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    But US President Donald Trump has largely stood by the Saudi leadership despite the troubling allegations.

    Based on what we know about the Khashoggi investigation and Trump's overall reaction to it, the president is placing his trust in a leader — the crown prince — who is either being deliberately deceptive or has people working for him who are uncontrollable.

    What we know is this:

    • Khashoggi, who's often been critical of Saudi leadership in his writing, entered the consulate on October 2. He never came out.
    • The Saudi government has vehemently denied any involvement in his disappearance and originally claimed he safely departed the consulate, but provided no proof.
    • Reports this week have suggested they are considering changing that story, admitting he was killed but blaming it on a botched investigation without clearance from the government.
    • Turkish officials have said they have audio and video recordings that proves Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.
    • Turkish officials have suggested the Saudis sent a 15-man team to Istanbul that interrogated, tortured, drugged, and killed Khashoggi before dismembering his body with a bone saw and sending it back to Saudi Arabia.
    • One of the people suspected of being involved in Khashoggi's disappearance has been identified as a frequent travel companion of the crown prince, according to The New York Times.

    Trump continues to defend the Saudis despite the evidence

    Trump has opted to side with the Saudis, repeatedly touting denials of any responsibility for Khashoggi's fate from both the crown prince and his father, King Salman, while exhibiting a deep reluctance to punish the kingdom.

    For example, Trump said it would be a "tough pill to swallow" to reduce or cease US arms sales to the Saudis.

    Congressional leaders have condemned Trump for his response.

    "I think the Saudis believe they have a blank check from this presidency. I'm very concerned that US national security policy is for sale," Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Business Insider.

    Donald Trump Saudi Arabia

    On Monday, Trump suggested "rogue killers" could be behind Khashoggi's disappearance. On Tuesday, he said the case served as another example of "guilty until proven innocent," comparing it to the chaotic confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    And on Wednesday, Trump expressed skepticism as to whether Turkish officials had audio and video proving Khashoggi was killed. He also stressed the fact Khashoggi was not a US citizen — he was a US resident with a green card — as he boasted about billions of dollars of US arms sales to the Saudis.

    "My instinct is that the Saudis will cook up some way to cast blame on someone — anyone — so as to get Prince Salman off the hook," said Robert Deitz, a former top lawyer at the CIA and National Security Agency. "Hence, the search for 'rogues.'"

    However, he added: "Trump is not exactly Mother Teresa. I doubt whether he much cares if yet another annoying reporter gets shot between the eyes."

    Trump's trust in the Saudi leadership follows a familiar pattern

    Randa Slim, director of conflict resolution at the Middle East Institute, told Business Insider she does not see Trump taking significant steps to reprimand the Saudis. She also said Trump's approach to the situation will be similar to how he's handled Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

    "Congress will act," Slim said. "Trump will try to limit the fallout as much as possible. Look at how he is dealing with Russia and Putin as the roadmap for how he will deal with Saudi Arabia and the crown prince going forward." 

    Trump has made a habit of placing trust in leaders with dubious reputations, perhaps most notably North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    When Trump suggested "rogue killers" could be responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance, it was similar to his suggestion during the 2016 campaign that a 400-pound hacker — not the Russian government — could be behind interference in the election.

    When Trump met with the Russian leader in Helsinki in July, he stunned observers when he indicated that he believed Putin over the US intelligence community, declined to denounce Putin, and suggested the FBI was part of a conspiracy to undermine his election victory.

    His comments on the Saudi controversy have been similar. Last week, for instance, he deflected when asked if Saudi Arabia's human rights record is "overlooked."

    "I think a lot of records are overlooked," Trump said. "If you look at Iran, if you look at so many other countries, take a look at Syria. You take a look at a lot of countries, a lot of countries' records have been overlooked."

    The comment was reminiscent of Trump's deflection when the former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly referred to Putin as a "killer" during an interview amid the 2016 campaign.

    Trump responded: "There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?"

    "It's hard to understand why the president has put us in such a weak position with Saudi Arabia and Russia," Murphy said. "It looks today as if they can get whatever they want from the US and this administration, and it raises lots of questions as to why that is."

    SEE ALSO: Lindsey Graham says 'toxic' Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had Khashoggi 'murdered' and can 'never be a world leader'

    DON'T MISS: Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

    • Facebook recently announced it would delete a Russian firm's accounts over alleged data scraping and take down a series of accounts that were said to be focused on entertainment but were instead tied to military personnel in Myanmar.
    • The social media giant is "not as in control of its business as it needs to be," said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group.
    • Wieser, a long-time Facebook bear, laid out three major risks that investors should consider when buying the stock.
    • Watch Facebook trade in real time here.

    Facebook has been busy dealing with security issues over the past week, taking down the Russian firm  SocialDataHub's accounts over alleged data scraping, as well as a series of accounts that were said to be focused on entertainment but were instead tied to military personnel in Myanmar.

    These were the latest in a series of problems that have surfaced at Facebook over the past few years, the big one being the Cambridge Analytica data scandal surrounding the 2016 presidential election. 

    All these may suggest the social media giant is "not as in control of its business as it needs to be," Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group, said in a note sent out to clients on Wednesday.

    "The underlying problem that we see is that the company has been so focused on growth at any cost that it has failed to sufficiently invest in processes that might anticipate problems, acknowledge problems fast enough or fix problems fast enough."

    Facebook's stock has been under pressure since July 25, when the social-media giant posted quarterly revenues that fell short of Wall Street estimates and warned investors that top-line growth rates will decline by "high single digit" percentages in the coming quarters. Shares fell more than 20% immediately after the earnings report, and are 27% down from the high set on July 25.

    Wieser, a long time Facebook bear, who has a "sell" rating and $131 price target — 18% below where shares are currently trading — laid out three major risks that investors should consider when buying the stock.

    1. High degree of rivalry given absence of barriers to deter new competition from emerging 

    "Web publishing and related businesses are highly competitive, which is only partially mitigated through ongoing investment of billions of dollars in capital expenditures annually," Wieser said.

    "The inherently open nature of the web increases the ease with which a competitor could approach and capture a portion or all of Facebook’s consumers or fee-payers. Google and other companies will persistently nip at the heels of Facebook, looking for points of entry to capture a share of Facebook’s market opportunity."

    2. High and increasing capital needs

    Wieser wrote: "The consequence of this competitive intensity is that ongoing – and potentially rising – investment levels are required. It occurs in both in a publisher’s facilities (for example, bringing data centers closer to consumers) and in consumer-facing activities (such as social networking and online video, which require significant spending on servers, storage and other networking gear) in order to secure a company’s core business.

    3. Government regulations/consumer pushback related to data management

    "Privacy is a worldwide issue for all companies associated with the Internet to contend with," Wieser said. "Facebook is generally in the limelight, as it has continually pushed boundaries with its approach to user information."

    He added: "Concerns were raised in large part because the system was launched without securing consent from consumers to opt-in."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: There's going to be an 'enormous backlash' against Donald Trump's lies


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    • A Ukrainian man who was reported dead in his home country was found alive and well, living a "lavish lifestyle" in France earlier this month.
    • Europol said Tuesday it had arrested an unnamed Ukrainian citizen after they discovered him living in a castle in Burgundy that dates back to the 12th century.
    • They said the man was living off laundered funds from a corruption scheme. During the October 5 raid they seized a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom and three works by Salvador Dalí.

    dmytro malynovskyyA Ukranian man who had been declared dead in his home country was arrested earlier this month, after European Union law enforcement agents found him alive and well, living a "lavish lifestyle" in a French castle.

    In an October 16 press release, Europol said the man, who they dubbed the "King of the Castle," was living off money laundered from a corruption scheme.

    French law enforcement officials first started investigating the man in January, after growing suspicious of his purchase of the Chateau de la Rochepot, near the town of Dijon in the Burgundy region. The castle, which dates back to the 12th century, is a popular tourist attraction and was previously owned by the descendants of former French President Marie François Sadi Carnot, who was assassinated in 1894, according to The Telegraph.

    When they reached out to Ukrainian officials for more information on the castle's new owners, they learned that he was wanted in his home country for large-scale corruption.

    europol 2

    Due to the international element of the case, French authorities requested the aid of Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, which discovered that the man had managed to evade capture by forging death certificates.

    On October 5, French law enforcement and Europol agents arrested the man, seizing his castle, 4.6 million euros, a Rolls Royce Phantom, and three unnamed works by Salvador Dalí.

    Europol officials did not release the identity of the man, but three sources who spoke with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty identified him as 36-year-old Dmytro Malynovskyy.

    europol 1

    A Ukranian government website says Malynovskyy has been missing since August 2014, just six months after the Ukranian Revolution resulted in then-President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country after revelations of widespread governmental corruption.

    Electoral records RFE/RL viewed showed Malynovskyy had previously run for the Odesa city council, in 2006, representing the same party Yanukovych belonged to.

    RFE/RL reports that the fraud and forgery Malynovskyy was allegedly involved in regarded Defense Ministry property in Odesa.

    Ukranian prosecutors are reportedly in the process of securing the suspect's extradition. Three others associates were also arrested in the October 5 raid.

    SEE ALSO: 75 years ago, US bombers flew into the 'most violent, savagely fought, and bloodiest' battle of their campaign to halt the Nazi war machine

    DON'T MISS: Students in California are accused of handing out cookies made with human ash to their classmates

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    NOW WATCH: What happens when you sleep in your contacts


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    happy smiling woman

    • Like most people, you probably feel your productivity dip in the afternoon.
    • There are ways to get around that besides mindlessly scrolling on Instagram. 
    • One ideal way: get coffee near the office with a coworker. You'll stretch your legs, fuel up on caffeine, and strengthen your bonds with your colleagues. 

     

    Do you feel like your ability to focus and your supply of discipline and willpower are always dwindling by 2 p.m.?

    You're not alone.

    Lots of people experience a mid-afternoon lull: that dip in energy levels, alertness, and concentration are part of one's natural circadian rhythm, explains Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of "You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work."

    "The timing, extent, and intensity of the afternoon lull varies from person to person, and although our lunch diet can affect it, the No. 1 influencer is how well you slept the night before," Kerr said.

    Other factors, such as sitting for too long or spending too much time on the computer, can also contribute to a decline in energy. 

    And, perhaps one of the most surprising causes of afternoon fatigue is having too little work to do. "If you don't have a clear plan of action and don't set priorities for your day, and especially for the afternoon, it's that much easier to lose steam and feel a dip in energy," Kerr said.

    Here are 11 things successful people do to deal with the dreaded afternoon lull.

    Jacquelyn Smith contributed to the original version of this post. 

    SEE ALSO: 13 things successful people do in the first 3 months at a new job

    DON'T MISS: 14 things people think are fine to say at work — but are actually racist, sexist, or offensive

    They go to their scheduled meetings

    Some people make the mistake of planning meetings in the morning, and then working on projects that require individual focus in the afternoon.

    "This is a mistake, since you'll show up to the meeting regardless, and the stimulus of getting there and talking to people will help you focus," Laura Vanderkam, author of "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" said. "Better to plan meetings and phone calls for the afternoon, and individual work for the morning, when you're more focused." 



    They get out of the office

    "If you don't take an intentional break, your body will take an unintentional one for you," Vanderkam said. "Go for a walk. Get some fresh air."

    Taking a walk will get your muscles moving and the oxygen flowing, and it also allows you to clear your head. 

    "Plus, getting some fresh air will not only help wake you up, but if you've been working on a computer, focusing your eyes on longer distance objects can help minimize eyestrain — and getting some sunlight can help reset your clock," Kerr said.

     



    They eat

    When the energy boost you get from lunch starts wearing off, you tend to experience a wave of sleepiness, Vanderkam said. To avoid that, successful people eat something healthy to perk themselves up a bit.

    "Snack on something that isn't too high in sugar, like cheese or fruit," she said. "You don't want to crash again 20 minutes later."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    rod rosenstein

    • Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein told The Wall Street Journal the Russia investigation has already revealed a multi-faceted Russian effort to meddle in the 2016 US election.
    • Rosenstein added that he has a "solemn" responsibility to oversee and prosecute such cases, and that he is "pleased the president has been supportive of that."
    • President Donald Trump has repeatedly derided the ongoing Russia probe, calling it a politically motivated "witch hunt" and a "hoax."
    • "I believe that our department and our office have been appropriately managing that investigation," Rosenstein told The Journal, referring to the Russia probe.
    • Rosenstein's comments came after it was reported that he has been pressuring the special counsel Robert Mueller to wrap up the Russia investigation.

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Wednesday that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has already revealed an elaborate and widespread effort by the Russians to meddle in the 2016 US election.

    Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Rosenstein said, “I have a solemn responsibility to make sure that cases like that are pursued and prosecuted, and I’m pleased the president has been supportive of that.”

    President Donald Trump, whose campaign is at the center of the Russia probe, frequently derides the investigation as a politically motivated "hoax" and a "witch hunt." To date, he and his Republican allies in Congress have spearheaded several efforts — many of which have been successful — to force the Justice Department to disclose sensitive information about the investigation and who it's targeting.

    In addition to investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor, Mueller is also examining whether Trump sought to obstruct justice at various points throughout the inquiry.

    Trump has made numerous public and private attempts to exert more influence over the investigation, at one point reportedly wondering why "my guys" at the "Trump Justice Department" weren't protecting him from scrutiny.

    Trump also often gripes about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation last year, after it emerged that he had not been forthcoming during his confirmation hearing about his contacts with Russians during the campaign.

    Sessions is widely rumored to be leaving after the November midterm elections, and Trump is expected to clean house at the DOJ then as well.

    Meanwhile, Rosenstein's own job hangs in the balance following a New York Times report that said the deputy attorney general suggested secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office shortly after Trump fired then FBI director James Comey last year.

    Rosenstein vehemently denied the claim, and subsequent media reports also cast some doubt on the veracity of The Times' reporting. Still, Rosenstein reportedly offered to resign multiple times after the report came out because he wanted to avoid being fired and wanted to leave on amicable terms.

    Things between Trump and Rosenstein seemed to simmer down a bit after they met aboard Air Force One last week.

    Though Rosenstein declined to discuss the allegations or his conversations with Trump, he told The Journal, “The president knows that I am prepared to do this job as long as he wants me to do this job. You serve at the pleasure of the president, and there’s never been any ambiguity about that in my mind.”

    Rosenstein has long been a key target of Trump's ire as the president complains that he is not doing enough to rein in Mueller. Trump was also infuriated when it emerged in April that Rosenstein greenlit an FBI raid of his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen's property.

    “I believe that our department and our office have been appropriately managing that investigation,” Rosenstein told The Journal, referring to the Russia probe.

    His interview with the outlet came after Bloomberg reported earlier Wednesday that Rosenstein has been pressuring Mueller to wrap up the Russia investigation.

    Two US officials told Bloomberg that Mueller is expected to deliver his key findings shortly after the midterms. But legal experts say that while Mueller appears close to tying up the obstruction thread, he likely won't be finished with the collusion thread by November.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    branson

    • Saudi Arabia is walking away from a deal with Virgin Hyperloop, the Financial Times reports. The deal included a feasibility study — the agreement for which was expected to be signed at the Future Investment Initiative conference, otherwise known as "Davos in the Desert."
    • The move comes after Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson said he would suspend working with the Kingdom in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.
    • Swaths of US executives have declined to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference next week.

    Saudi Arabia is walking away from a deal with Virgin Hyperloop, the Financial Times reports. The deal included a feasibility study — the agreement for which was expected to be signed at the Future Investment Initiative conference, otherwise known as "Davos in the Desert."

    The move comes in response to the company joining droves of others who pulled out of the conference, following the disappearance and possible murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a naturalized US citizen and Washington Post columnist.

    Virgin Hyperloop One, one iteration of Elon Musk’s visionary Hyperloop transportation project, unveiled its first pod prototype earlier this year. Saudi Arabia is one one of its most important backers, and heralded the project as one that could “enable all 4th-generation technologies to flourish in the Kingdom.”

    On Thursday of last week, as evidence was mounting that Saudi officials were believed to have killed the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Branson joined the likes of JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and others in pulling out of the conference.

    "I had high hopes for the current government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and it is why I was delighted to accept two directorships in the tourism projects around the Red Sea,” Branson said in a blog post published October 11.

    "What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government."

    You can read everything we know about the troubling disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi here.

    SEE ALSO: Richard Branson just unveiled his vision for Virgin Hyperloop One — and it looks straight out of a sci-fi film

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    ted farnsworth mitch lowe

    • The New York Attorney General has launched an investigation into the parent company of MoviePass for allegedly misleading investors, according to CNBC.
    • Helios and Matheson has faced criticism from investors in recent months as several assurances from management have unraveled and the company has diluted their stakes by selling millions of new shares to the public.
    • Many Helios and Matheson shareholders have seen the value of their stakes dwindle by over 99%, with some losing over $100,000.

     

    New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has launched an investigation into the parent company of popular movie-ticket subscription service MoviePass for allegedly misleading investors, according to CNBC.

    The attorney general's office is probing whether Helios and Matheson (HMNY) "misled the investment community regarding the company’s financials," CNBC reported, citing a "source familiar with the matter." The investigation is in its "early stages," according to the report.

    Helios and Matheson confirmed the existence of an investigation in a statement to Business Insider.

    "We are aware of the New York Attorney General’s inquiry and are fully cooperating," the company said. "We believe our public disclosures have been complete, timely and truthful and we have not misled investors. We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate that to the New York Attorney General."

    The attorney general's office did not immediately return a request for comment. 

    Business Insider reported in August that Helios and Matheson had covered hundreds of millions in losses by selling millions of new shares of stock to shareholders, and that company CEO Ted Farnsworth had made several promises to investors at a July shareholders meeting that began to unravel soon after.

    Business Insider also interviewed Helios and Matheson shareholders in July who expressed frustration with management. Many had seen their stakes dwindle over 99% in value and some had lost more than $100,000. Several felt misled by Wall Street analysts who kept "buy" ratings on the stock while their banks made millions in fees selling Helios and Matheson stock as it collapsed.

    Helios and Matheson has a history of angry creditors and investors 

    Helios and Matheson has a long and complicated history that Business Insider outlined in a piece in July. The company was once the US subsidary of an Indian company (Helios and Matheson Information Technology) which stands accused of defrauding at least 5,000 creditors in India, including banks and senior citizens.

    HMIT began to extricate itself from the US business in 2016 when HMNY merged with Farnsworth's money-losing startup, Zone Technologies. Since then, HMIT's ownership stake has dwindled, though executives from the Indian company remain involved with the MoviePass owner.

    Helios and Matheson in New York bought MoviePass in August of last year, and drastically dropped the monthly price to $9.95, a move which meant that the company could lose money on some customers who went to just one movie per month. That move has meant a skyrocketing user base and losses to match.

    In recent months, MoviePass has tried to get its cash burn under control by introducing features unpopular with users like limiting showtimes and capping usage at three movies per month. But it has continued to cover losses by selling new shares and diluting previous shareholders. This strategy has angered many investors.

    On Tuesday, Helios and Matheson announced that it had postponed a crucial shareholders meeting until November 1. At the meeting, Helios and Matheson will ask for approval on an amendment for a one-time reverse stock split of up to 1-for-500 shares. The 1-for-500 reverse split is the latest attempt by Helios and Matheson to revive the stock, which if it continues trading below $1 could be delisted from the Nasdaq by mid-December.

    However, the last reverse split Helios and Matheson enacted in July did not prove successful in stabilizing the stock price, as it began to crash immediately following the 1-for-250 reverse split.

    Helios and Matheson stock was trading at around $0.02 on Wednesday.

    SEE ALSO: The strange story of how MoviePass' owner was created by an Indian company accused of massive fraud

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    In the cutting-edge world of Silicon Valley, not only do developers have to learn the most popular programming languages, they also have to keep up with new ones.

    GitHub, which hosts open-source software projects to which users can browse and contribute, has been tracking programming trends on their site each year. In their annual Octoverse report, GitHub reveals what the fastest growing languages are, as well as the most popular languages overall.

    The company is seeing trends toward languages focused on thread safety and interoperability — in terms, languages that can safely execute multiple sequences at once, and that are capable of interacting with another language in the same system.

    Microsoft will acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion, which has been seen as a smart move for the tech titan. GitHub itself is also rapidly growing. This past year, 8 million new users joined GitHub — more users than GitHub’s first six years combined. And on Tuesday at the GitHub Universe conference, the company announced the launch of GitHub Actions, which now allow users to build and execute code on the site.

    Here are the fastest-growing programming languages around, according to GitHub:



    #10: SQLPL. SQLPL stands for Structured Query Language Procedural Language, and it was developed by IBM. This language is used for database systems, similarly to the industry standard, SQL.



    #9: Groovy. Groovy is a dynamic programming language for the Java platform. It’s known for its concise and simple syntax. It also feels familiar to many programmers, as it has features similar to Python, Ruby and Perl.



    #8: Python. Python is a high-level language that’s popular in machine learning projects. It’s popular with programmers of all skill levels because it’s easy to read. In fact, not only is it fast-growing, it's already one of the top-3 most popular languages overall.

    “Python is a legit phenomenon of it’s own,” Stephen O’Grady, industry analyst with RedMonk, said at the GitHub Universe conference this week. “A lot of it comes down to the fact that it’s an incredibly versatile language. It’s escaped the track of being just front end or back end."





    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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