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    Google Assistant iPhone

    • The latest version of Google Assistant for iOS lets you summon Google Assistant via Siri.
    • You have to say "Hey Siri, OK Google" to open Google Assistant. Then say "OK Google" again to use your voice with Google Assistant.
    • It's an imperfect workaround, but it helps break down the barrier that Apple built around its ecosystem — before now, there wasn't a way to open Google Assistant using your voice on iOS.

    Up until Wednesday, the only voice assistant you could summon and control with your voice on Apple's devices was Siri, but that's now changed with the latest version of Google Assistant for iOS.

    In the latest update, you can now add Google Assistant's "OK Google" summoning phrase — or your own custom phrase — to Siri. That means you can summon Siri and ask it to summon Google Assistant using your voice.

    It goes like this: "Hey Siri, OK Google." Siri will then open the Google Assistant app, at which point you have to say "OK Google" again to start asking questions or issuing commands to Google Assistant. It's not perfect and it feels a bit like a workaround rather than an actual feature, as you have to say three phrases to get to Google Assistant versus the single phrase for Siri or Google Assistant on Android devices.

    To get this to work, you'll need to update to the latest version of Google Assistant via the iOS App Store. You might get prompted to "Add Google Assistant to Siri," in which case you tap "Add to Siri" and add the Google Assistant summoning phrase of your choice. Otherwise, you'll need to go to Siri's settings in iOS and tap "Add OK Google to Siri" manually.

    add ok google to siri

    In the past, in order to summon Google Assistant on iOS devices using your voice, you needed to open the Google Assistant app or tap a shortcut on the widgets screen.

    This is incredibly useful for anyone who uses iOS devices and Google devices. It's incredibly useful even if you don't own Google devices, as you can now use Google Assistant as your main voice-activated assistant instead of Siri. In general, this workaround to access Google Assistant with your voice helps break down the wall that Apple builds around its products and ecosystem, and gives iOS users more access to things that aren't Apple.

    Overall, Google Assistant is smarter and more useful than Siri. It's more capable in almost every single way. Funnily enough, the most useful thing that Siri now does is to summon Google Assistant — without Siri, there would still be no way to summon Google Assistant with your voice.

    SEE ALSO: Apple doesn't have Black Friday deals for iPhones — but here are the stores that do

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: After using Samsung Galaxy phones for 5 years, I made the switch to the iPhone XS

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    Coast Guard drug cocaine offload engine cowling gunshot hole

    • The Coast Guard is catching increasing amounts of cocaine at sea.
    • Most of the cocaine heading to the US is coming through the eastern Pacific Ocean.
    • More smuggling routes are swinging deep into the Pacific and around the Galapagos.

    FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida — The Coast Guard has been seizing record amounts of cocaine, bringing in more than 458,000 pounds during fiscal year 2018, which ended in September.

    That was less than the record-setting 493,000 pounds seized in fiscal year 2017 but more than the 443,000 pounds intercepted in fiscal year 2016, which was the record at the time.

    More than 80% of that cocaine travels through the eastern Pacific Ocean as it is smuggled between South America and entry points in Central America and Mexico.

    According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, an increasing portion of that smuggling is going around the Galapagos Islands — a cluster of volcanic islands that straddle the equator and are better known for unique wildlife than transnational crime.

    South America Pacific Ocean drug cocaine trafficking smuggling Galapagos Islands

    Cocaine production in Colombia, the world's largest producer of the drug, has more than quadrupled since 2012, according to the DEA's most recent National Drug Threat Assessment. (Peru and Bolivia are the world's other main cocaine producers, but combined they produce less than Colombia.)

    Booming production kept cocaine moving out of South America at "elevated levels" in 2017, the DEA said.

    "In 2017, at least 84% of the documented cocaine departing South America transited the eastern Pacific," the DEA report states.

    Read also: Billions of dollars of cocaine are smuggled into the US by sea every year, and the Coast Guard says it can only stop one-quarter of it

    Ecuador cocaine seizure

    "The Galapagos has always been a staging area," Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the DEA said. Traffickers shifted to the eastern Pacific in response to more law-enforcement focus on Caribbean routes.

    "There's no better staging area, because it's close to South America; they can loiter there," Vigil said. "It's a big fishing area. They can always say they're fishing. They're in tune with any kind of enforcement shift" around the islands, whether it's by the US Coast Guard or Colombian authorities.

    Usually a large ship like a freighter or a commercial fishing boat, what Vigil called the "mothership," will approach the Galapagos with a load of drugs or fuel that would be distributed to smaller vessels heading north.

    The Galapagos and the surrounding waters are "very safe" for traffickers, Vigil added. "Even if you have surveillance there [by] Coast Guard cutters or whatever, they're going to pick it up" and can abort smuggling operations.

    Central America drug trafficking map

    Most of the cocaine being staged in the Galapagos originates in Peru or Bolivia, Vigil said, but travels over sea or land to Ecuador, of which the Galapagos Islands are a province. From Ecuador, that cocaine mostly leaves through the ports of Esmeraldas or Manta.

    Ecuador has been seen as a major transshipment point for cocaine for some time. But given a lack or resources, it can only search about 3% of the shipments coming out of those ports, Vigil said.

    US law-enforcement ties with Ecuador withered under former President Rafael Correa. His successor, Lenin Moreno, has been more open to working with the US, agreeing in April to allow the DEA and Customs and Border Protection back into the country.

    The US government has touted at-sea interdictions as a way to undermine trafficking organizations

    US Coast Guard cutter James cocaine drug bust narco sub low-profile vesse

    Traffickers "may use a variety of routes, and that's a tactical calculus ... that these transnational criminal organizations make," Capt. Jeffrey Randall, commander of the Coast Guard cutter James, said on Thursday during a drug offload from the James in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

    "Some of them may choose to go that route. Some of them may choose to go a shorter route," Randall said of trafficking around the Galapagos. "It all depends on how that individual cartel or individual drug-trafficking organization chooses to move their narcotics."

    Now read: Drug cartels make billions in the US, but somebody else is doing the selling

    "But you can't do that without some sort of logistics change, so there's a network at play there," he said. "Dismantling that network is what's key to reducing the overall flow."

    The US government has touted at-sea interdictions as a way to undermine trafficking organizations.

    The Coast Guard has said its seizures between 2002 and 2011 and information gained from them contributed to the extradition of 75% of Colombian cartel leaders, as well as to the 2014 capture of Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

    US Coast Guard helicopter HITRON Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron warning shots

    The Coast Guard can stop drug smuggling early in the process and "exploit connections amongst the transnational criminal organizations to not just catch a single bad actor but reach back across the organization and disrupt the overall flow," Claire Grady, the Homeland Security Department's management chief, said aboard the James on Thursday.

    "That is probably the best progress that we've made," Grady added, "making every time we encounter a nefarious actor that much more important because of our ability to then penetrate and disrupt the entire organization."

    Decisions about at-sea interdictions are based on "a time-speed-distance calculation," Randall said when asked whether the Coast Guard was spending more time around the Galapagos Islands.

    "You want to optimize your position to react," he added, "because the last thing you want to do is be in a tail chase, chasing somebody down and you're both going the same speed. You're never going to get there if that happens."

    Nevertheless, Coast Guard commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said, the Coast Guard has the edge deep in the Pacific.

    "When those 419-foot national security [cutters] show up with a [Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron] helicopter and very capable boats [and] you're in a fishing boat [or] you're in a fast boat," Schultz said Thursday, "it's sort of game, set, match when you're out past the Galapagos."

    SEE ALSO: These photos show why the US Coast Guard's snipers are some of the best in the business

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the US Coast Guard seize a narco sub laden with $73 million worth of cocaine

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    • Some fish varieties contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients.
    • Fish can also contain toxins like mercury, which isn't always as harmful as you'd think. 
    • Some types of fish typically contain fewer toxins than others. 
    • Eating fish isn't for everyone and there are other alternatives to eating fish that could still provide nutrients. 

    Fish is typically considered part of a balanced, healthy diet according to the government'sdietary guidelines. And although consuming fish isn't for everyone, there are a lot of benefits and stigma that come with it. 

    Eating fish can come with some major benefits 

    Salmon_nigiri sushiAccording to Livestrong, many varieties of fish are rich in vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium.

    Plus, some varieties are high in omega-3 fatty acids that, according to theWashington State Department of Health, can lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of arthritis, and decrease the risk of depression, Alzheimer's, dementia, diabetes, and ADHD.

    A2006 report from two Harvard School of Public Health professors also found that an appropriate intake of fish every week can lower a person's chances of dying from heart disease.

    But, consuming fish can come with a few risks that can be reduced

    codFish can contain some contaminants — including mercury, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), and other toxins.

    But, these toxins are more common than you think and many common foods contain more toxins than fish. A Harvard report found that the toxic PCBs are actually more present in other foods than in fish. Upwards of 90% of PCBs and dioxins can be found in non-seafood sources like meat, dairy, eggs, and vegetables.

    There's also insufficient evidence on the effects of long-term mercury consumption from eating fish, so Harvard reported that the FDA doesn't recommend that adults limit their fish intake based on fear of toxins alone.

    Some fish tend to contain more toxins than others 

    fish cod

    The FDA reported that fish with longer life spans accumulate more toxins over time, so those concerned about mercury consumption should aim to eat fish with shorter life expectancies. The FDA even has a chart that indicates which seafood choices are the lowest and highest in mercury. 

    For example, the FDA lists canned tuna, cod, salmon, and shrimp among some of the best low-mercury choices.  And they suggest avoiding fish with high mercury levels, like king mackerel, marlin, and bigeye tuna. 

    Ultimately, the suggested serving size for you can depend on age and a variety of health factors, so it's best to consult your doctor when deciding how much fish to consume during the week. 

    There are other ways to get vitamins and nutrients if you don't eat fish

    shrimp risottoNot everyone enjoys fish or chooses to eat it. There are plenty of alternatives to eating fish that can help you to incorporate nutrients and vitamins into your diet.

    Ultimately, the amount of fish you consume is up to you. In cases where you may be unsure of what to be consuming and how much to consume it's best to consult your doctor to ensure you're consuming the right nutrients for your body. 

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

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.


    • Now through November 27, you can save 20% on clothing and outerwear at L.L.Bean by using the promo code "THANKS20" at checkout.
    • The sale includes fleeces, flannels, jeans, jackets, and much more.

    Made for the outdoors, L.L.Bean is one of the best brands for tackling the elements in style. This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, its having a huge sale to pass along some savings.

    Now through November 27, you can save 20% on clothing and outwear by using the promo code "THANKS20" at checkout. You'll also receive a $10 gift card to use on a future purchase of $50 or more by December 24.

    Whether you're looking for warm flannel shirts and sweaters, comfortable fleece jackets, or a heavy winter parka, you'll be able to get a great deal at L.L.Bean.

    Since there are so many great sales going on all across the web, the last thing you want to do is spend too much time shopping in one place. So, to make it easier for you, we rounded up some of the best deals at L.L.Bean for men, women, and kids. Check them out below.

    Shop the L.L.Bean Black Friday sale now.

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    To potentially save more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    Men's Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirt

    Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirt, available in nine colors, $39.96 (Originally $49.95) [You save $9.99]

    Men's Classic Ragg Wool Sweater

    Classic Ragg Wool Sweater, available in four colors, $79.20 (Originally $99) [You save $19.80]

    Men's Hi-Pile Fleece Pullover

    Hi-Pile Fleece Pullover, available in four colors, $63.20 (Originally $79) [You save $15.80]

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    romaine lettuce field

    • Romaine lettuce is banned from the table once again as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigates a multistate outbreak of E. coli that has sickened at least 50 people across the US and Canada.
    • This is the third time in less than 12 months that romaine lettuce has been deemed unsafe to eat.
    • The problem shows how difficult it can be to control a supply of fresh, uncooked produce that touches dirt and changes hands countless times before it reaches consumers.
    • Still, fresh produce is not the deadliest source of pathogens that we eat. That prize goes to meat.  

    Once again, salad eaters are being told to avoid romaine. 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Tuesday it is investigating an E. coli outbreak that spans at least 11 US states and two Canadian provinces. 

    "Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away," the CDC said, just two days before Thanksgiving. The ban comes as peak harvest season picks up at some of the nation's busiest romaine farms in states like Arizona.

    "At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified," the CDC added.

    Lettuce-related outbreaks are starting to feel like a wintertime tradition. Seven months ago, another E. coli outbreak in romaine killed five people and sickened nearly 200 more. A year ago, one person was killed in another leafy-green outbreak that made 25 people ill. Here's why this keeps happening:

    There's only one way that romaine gets contaminated with E. coli

    romaine farmers

    E. coli is a broad species of gut bacteria (you have some of it in your intestines right now), but the strains that public-health investigators have discovered in sick people's feces recently are not the kind that keep us healthy. Instead, the E. coli in question — called O157:H7 — can make people develop bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and kidney failure. In severe cases, the gut poisoning can kill. It's most dangerous for elderly adults and children.

    An E. coli outbreak in lettuce can only mean one thing: The leaves have poop on them. The feces could come from livestock in a farm close to where lettuce grows, or they could come from washing the lettuce in water that's not clean. The contamination could also come from one of the countless people who touch the lettuce before it reaches consumers' mouths.

    Read More: What is E. coli? 

    It's pretty easy for bits of contaminated soil to get lodged into the folds of lettuce leaves. Although washing your produce at home can help reduce the chances of infection, it won't eliminate your risk of getting sick. That's probably why fresh produce accounts for nearly half of all foodborne illnesses in the US. 

    E coli O157:H7

    An easy way to reduce your risk of getting sick, though, is to cut down on the number of hands that touch your leaves before you eat them.

    Tim Richter, a romaine farmer in Puyallup, Washington, told the Associated Press that he encourages his customers to buy their own romaine heads and then wash and chop them at home, rather than buying pre-chopped bags of lettuce. That way, the leaves touch fewer hands, knives, and countertops as they go from soil to table. 

    romaine lettuce growing

    There's probably nothing inherently bacteria-prone about romaine lettuce as compared to other fresh leafy greens. Outbreaks probably just affect more people and are easier to notice when tied to a leaf that's commonly consumed. Lettuce is one of the most common veggies on American plates, and romaine's share of the market has been growing steadily since it was introduced in the late '80s. Romaine and leaf lettuce account for well over 60% of per capita lettuce consumption across the US, according to the USDA.

    Uncooked leaves are not the deadliest thing on the menu this Thanksgiving

    People infected with the O157:H7 strain of E. coli can develop "severe abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea, which may become bloody within 24 hours," according to the Merck Manual.  

    "People usually have severe abdominal pain and diarrhea many times a day. They also often feel an urge to defecate but may not be able to," the manual says. In severe cases, the illness can lead to kidney failure. 

    There's typically no fever involved, and there isn't much that otherwise healthy people can do about the infection besides staying hydrated. It can take anywhere from one to eight days for the illness to pass. 

    salad packaging yuma arizona

    Fresh produce is the most common source of food contamination, but food poisoning from meat and poultry is more deadly.

    Taken together, meat and poultry account for 29% of the foodborne illnesses that kill people, while produce (fruit and vegetables combined) accounts for 23% of deaths. 

    In fact, veggies are not even the worst source of E. coli infections — beef's track record is equally bad. Vegetable row crops (mostly leafy greens) and beef each account for roughly 40% of E. coli cases across the country, according to a 2013 CDC report.

    Chicken and other poultry can also get people really sick — the birds are commonly a source of listeria and salmonella infections. This Thanksgiving, a salmonella investigation is underway for raw turkey that has sickened more than 160 people and killed at least one.

    romaine salad e coli

    The good thing about meat is that correct preparation involves an easy "kill step"— cooking it to a high temperature ensures you won't sick. But there isn't a step like that for fresh greens. That's why the CDC urges travelers not to eat fresh salad or unpeeled fruits in developing countries, where night soil (i.e. human manure) might be used as fertilizer, and water used to rinse fruits and veggies may not be clean enough to drink.

    Fortunately, these contamination concerns are less of an issue in the US. Americans consume, on average, nearly 25 pounds of lettuce per person each year. So a couple dozen cases of food poisoning this fall (while miserable for those infected) are still a drop in the proverbial salad bowl.

    SEE ALSO: An E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce has sickened 50 people — here's how to avoid getting sick

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: RANKED: The 10 healthiest leafy greens you should be putting in your salad

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    • Macy's will start its Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving.
    • The department store will be open between the hours of 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Thursday, November 22, a spokesperson for Macy's told Business Insider. 
    • This is the third year in a row that Macy's has opened during the holiday. The 5 p.m. opening time in 2016 marked the retailer's earliest Black Friday kickoff in history.

    Macy's is opening its stores during Thanksgiving.

    The department store will be open between the hours of 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Thursday, November 22. 

    This is the third year in a row that Macy's has opened during the holiday. The 5 p.m. opening time in 2016 marked the retailer's earliest Black Friday kickoff in history.

    A spokesperson for Macy's told Business Insider that employees that work on Thanksgiving will be paid overtime. 

    Retailers have come under fire in recent years for kicking off their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving. As a result, several have started to buck the trend and stay closed. 

    At least 60 retailers including Costco, Home Depot, and TJ Maxx confirmed they would remain closed on Thanksgiving. 

    While some retailers are still hoping to capitalize on Black Friday sales early by opening during Thanksgiving, some have likely pulled back because the famous shopping day doesn't carry the same weight it once did. This is partly because consumers are increasingly shopping for deals online, which means they don't need to waste time lining up in stores for one big day of shopping. They are also used to having deals year-round, which takes pressure off of the day.

    On Black Friday last year, Macy's suffered a major technical glitch that prevented customers from paying with a credit card or using gift cards in its stores.  

    "Came to the Macy's on State for some Black Friday shopping and all of the registers are down," one angry customer wrote on Macy's Facebook page at the time. "No credit or debit, only cash! Wasted time picking things out only to leave empty-handed with all my merchandise at the register."

    More on Black Friday 2018:

    SEE ALSO: Black Friday is dead — and constant discounts could be to blame

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Target has a few sneaky ways it gets customers to spend more money

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    kira iaconetti

    • After 19-year-old Kira Iaconetti was diagnosed with musicogenic epilepsy, a form of epilepsy where listening and singing music can trigger seizures, she needed brain surgery.
    • After consulting with doctors at Seattle Children's Hospital, Iaconetti underwent an awake surgery where she remained conscious and sang throughout the procedure.
    • Awake surgeries can be used to protect brain functions like musicality or speech during the removal of a tumor, Dr. Jason Hauptman, Iaconetti's surgeon, told INSIDER.

    When 19-year-old Kira Iaconetti went tone deaf and began slurring song lyrics, she knew something was wrong. A talented singer since the age of six, Iaconetti began having episodes four years ago where she, "couldn't process the words in time with the music" and "couldn't sing," she told Teen Vogue.

    It turns out, Iaconetti had musicogenic epilepsy — a form of epilepsy where listening and singing music can trigger seizures, according to the Epilepsy Society — and she needed surgery to remove a brain tumor and stop the seizures.

    In an effort to help Iaconetti without harming the parts of her brain where her musicality stems from, Dr. Jason Hauptman and his team performed an awake surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital.

    "In the short time I got to know Kira, I learned her passion was in singing and acting and I thought the worst thing I can do is take that away from her,"Hauptman told INSIDER.

    The risks of awake brain surgery aren't much different than the risks of regular brain surgery

    According to Teen Vogue, Iaconetti was initially put to sleep, then woken up when it was time to remove her tumor. Once awake, Iaconetti was asked to sing and perform other musical tasks so Hauptman could determine what parts of her brain to touch and which were off-limits. 

    Read more:A woman thought she had a hangover but it turned out to be a brain tumor

    "One advantage of doing surgery while a patient is awake is that it's very reassuring that function is being preserved," Hauptman told INSIDER. He also noted this type of surgery can be useful for people with epilepsy who need to preserve their speech or other brain functions, not just music-related ones.

    An awake surgery sounds scary, but Hauptman said the procedure has similar risks as a regular brain surgery. "In a small percentage of patients, [awake brain surgery] could cause transient seizures, but we can fix it immediately if necessary," he told INSIDER.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, other risk factors include changes to your vision, impaired coordination and balance, impaired speech, and memory loss. 

    Iaconetti's procedure was a team effort and the "performance of a lifetime"

    Brain surgery is a complex procedure that requires teamwork, and Hauptman said his team rose to the challenge. From the anesthesiologists who were in charge of keeping Iaconetti awake and comfortable to the neurosurgeons performing the procedure and all of the hospital staff in between, Hauptman said it was a fulfilling experience to watch his team flawlessly complete the surgery.

    kira iaconetti scar

    As for Iaconetti, "it was a performance of lifetime," Hauptman told INSIDER of her work in the operating room. "She was performing for her health and did it incredibly well. I couldn't think of a better patient to do this surgery on."

    Hauptman hopes this procedure and Iaconetti's story give others going through similar experiences hope in the midst of scary, uncertain times in their lives.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get enough sleep

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    becky hammon

    • Since Adam Silver took over as Commissioner of the NBA in 2014, the league has taken on a new reputation as a progressive organization that is willing to embrace social change.
    • In a conversation with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle, Silver leaned into that reputation and expressed his hopes that the NBA would become the first major professional men's sports league to employ a female head coach.
    • Silver named San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, Washington Mystics guard and Washington Wizards player development assistant Kristi Toliver, and Seattle Storm star and newly-appointed Denver Nuggets basketball operation associate Sue Bird as likely candidates to break the NBA's glass ceiling.

    Since Adam Silver took over as commissioner of the NBA in 2014, the league has embraced its new reputation as a progressive organization.

    In direct opposition to the NFL, the NBA has supported its athletes as they use their platforms to promote social change. Silver has also made multiple decisions that have made it clear that the league will not tolerate hate of any kind, including barring former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league after his racist comments and actions and relocating the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina in light of the state's anti-LGBTQ legislation.

    But even given all of these actions geared towards pushing the league into the future, the NBA is still hoping to overcome one significant hurdle in the realm of diversity.

    In the NBA's 72-year history, there has never been a single female head coach at the helm of any of the league's 30 teams. But according to Silver, all of that could change soon.

    Silver spoke to MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle at the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday about his expectation that the NBA will have a woman head coach soon. According to Kevin Draper of the New York Times, Silver hopes that the NBA will become the first major professional men's sports league in the United States to employ a female head coach.

    "We are very focused on a woman being a head coach in our league," Silver said, per the New York Times. "I am very confident it is going to happen at some point."

    Silver named San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, Washington Mystics guard and Washington Wizards player development assistant Kristi Toliver, and Seattle Storm star and newly-appointed Denver Nuggets basketball operation associate Sue Bird as likely candidates to break the NBA's glass ceiling.

    Gregg Popovich on Becky Hammon

    Former WNBA stars Lindsey Harding and Jenny Boucek also currently hold positions with NBA franchises and could advance through the ranks in the coming years.

    Back in March of 2017, Silver told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk that he hopes a female ascends to the helm of one of the NBA's teams "sooner rather than later." In that same interview, Silver addressed the lack of gender diversity among the league's officiants.

    "It would be my goal as we look to increase that pool of officials that we recruit equally from pools of potential women as we do from men," Silver told Youngmisuk. "We will be looking very hard at dramatically increasing the representation of women in our officiating ranks."

    He has already begun to make good on that promise. The league recently promoted two female referees to full-time positions, making them the fourth and fifth women to ever officiate in the NBA. Now it appears Silver will focus his attention on the lack of female representation in coaching.

    "When it comes to coaching, when there is absolutely no physical requirement, when it is not a function of how high you can jump or how strong you are, there is no physical litmus test to being a head coach in the league, there is absolutely no reason why a woman will not ascend to be a head coach in this league," he told Youngmisuk. "We are very focused in on it."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside an intense training session where aspiring WWE wrestlers learn how to fight

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    • President Donald Trump lashed out at Chief Justice John Roberts on Twitter Wednesday.
    • He also doubled down on criticism of the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
    • Earlier on Wednesday, Roberts rebuked Trump, saying, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges."
    • Roberts was responding to Trump calling a judge who ruled against the Trump administration on a matter related to asylum requests at the US-Mexico border an "Obama judge."

    President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at Chief Justice John Roberts, continuing his criticism of the federal judiciary and repeating suspect claims about the caravan of migrants from Central America.

    "Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have 'Obama judges,' and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country," Trump tweeted.

    "It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an 'independent judiciary,' but if it is why are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned," he said. "Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security - these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!"

    Earlier in the day Roberts had made a rare statement defending the federal judiciary against attacks from Trump.

    "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said in a statement to the Associated Press. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."

    He added: "That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."

    Trump's Wednesday tweets were a response to Roberts' statement, and a doubling down of criticism against the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. He also repeated a claim that there were "criminals" in the caravan of migrants either at or heading to the border, which in a fact-check The Washington Post gave three Pinocchios.

    Earlier this week, Judge Jon Tigar of the US District Court in San Francisco blocked the Trump administration from applying a new immigration rule that would bar immigrants from applying for asylum if they did not cross at a legal checkpoint.

    "Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,"Tigar's order stated.

    On Tuesday, Trump called Tigar an "Obama judge," and he claimed that the 9th Circuit where, according to The New York Times, the case will likely head, a "disgrace."

    "This was an Obama judge," Trump said of the ruling. "And I'll tell you what, it's not going to happen like this anymore. It means an automatic loss no matter what you do. ... People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case."

    Trump had previously clashed with the courts — especially over his immigration policies. In June, however, in a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the third iteration of the Trump administration's "travel ban," barring entry from certain majority-Muslim countries and North Korea.

    The president's open hostility toward courts and judges that rule against him is unprecedented.

    "The courts are bulwarks of our Constitution and laws, and they depend on the public to respect their judgments and on officials to obey and enforce their decisions," the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan organization, wrote last year.

    "Fear of personal attacks, public backlash, or enforcement failures should not color judicial decision-making, and public officials have a responsibility to respect courts and judicial decisions. Separation of powers is not a threat to democracy; it is the essence of democracy."

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    NOW WATCH: The Obamas are worth $40 million — here's how they make and spend their money

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    NASA International Space Station

    The International Space Station (ISS) celebrated its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, marking two decades since the station's first component launched into orbit on a Russian rocket.

    Since November 2000, when NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko became the first humans to stay long-term on the ISS, more than 230 people have visited the $150 billion laboratory in space. 

    Today, the ISS is voluminous enough to fill a six-bedroom house. It's the largest space vehicle ever built, and scientists have conducted more than 2,500 investigations there.

    To celebrate the ISS' birthday, we've rounded up what some astronauts have said about their time onboard.

    SEE ALSO: Stunning video captures what it's like to live on the International Space Station

    The space station, which hovers about 250 miles above the Earth, is the size of a football field. It was envisioned as both a laboratory and a potential pit stop for missions to the moon or Mars.

    A spacecraft can reach the ISS as little as six hours after launching from Earth, and six spaceships can be connected to the station at the same time.

    Astronaut Peggy Whitson was the first woman to command the ISS. Whitson, who retired in June, holds the US record for most time in space: 665 days. Whitson told Business Insider that she won't miss the food, which is on a 16-day rotation cycle. "The motto 'it's all about the sauce' really is true, because it all kinda starts tasting the same after a while," she said.

    Read more: The incredible career of NASA's Peggy Whitson, who applied to become an astronaut 10 times before she broke the American record for space travel

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Amazon Fire TV Cube

    Maybe it's the shadow cast by Prime Day, or the need to be the biggest and best, or the seemingly infinite number of products available in its marketplace, but Amazon does not play around when it comes to Black Friday. As a result, plenty of shoppers will spend most of the holiday in the weeds of thousands of those deals — trying to stay on top of them while new discounts drop by the minute.

    To make Black Friday on Amazon less overwhelming and more impactful for you, we 'll be logging the best deals below for easy reference: Amazon devices, robot vacuums, Instant Pots, HD TVs, and pretty much anything else you could need — and actually want — all in one scrollable place. 

    Below are the deals currently active to shop. We'll be updating this article as more deals become available. Bookmark this page and check back in if you want to be kept up-to-date. 

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    To potentially save more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    Edge computing solutions are key tools that help companies grapple with rising data volumes across industries. These types of solutions are critical in allowing companies to gain more control over the data their IoT devices create and in reducing their reliance on (and the costs of) cloud computing.

    edge popularity

    These systems are becoming more sought-after — 40% of companies that provide IoT solutions reported that edge computing came up more in discussion with customers in 2017 than the year before, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s 2017 Global IoT Executive Survey. But companies need to know whether they should look into edge computing solutions, and what in particular they can hope to gain from shifting data processing and analysis from the cloud to the edge.

    There are three particular types of problems that edge computing solutions are helping to combat across industries:

    • Security issues. Edge computing can limit the exposure of critical data by minimizing how often it’s transmitted. Further, they pre-process data, so there’s less data to secure overall.
    • Access issues. These systems help to provide live insights regardless of whether there’s a network connection available, greatly expanding where companies and organizations can use connected devices and the data they generate.
    • Transmission efficiency. Edge computing solutions process data where it’s created so less needs to be sent to the cloud, leading to lower cloud storage requirements and reduced transmission cost.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence examines how edge computing is reducing companies' reliance on cloud computing in three key industries: healthcare, telecommunications, and the automotive space. We explore how these systems mitigate issues in each sector by helping to efficiently process growing troves of data, expanding the potential realms of IoT solutions a company can offer, and bringing enhanced computing capability to remote and mobile platforms.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • In healthcare, companies and organizations are using edge computing to improve telemedicine and remote monitoring capabilities.
    • For telecommunications companies, edge computing is helping to reduce network congestion and enabling a shift toward the IoT platform market.
    • And in the automotive space, edge computing systems are enabling companies to increase the capabilities of connected cars and trucks and approach autonomy.

    In full, the report:

    • Explores the key advantages edge computing solutions can provide.
    • Highlights the circumstances when companies should look into edge systems.
    • Identifies key vendors and partners in specific industries while showcasing case studies of successful edge computing programs.

      Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

      This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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    Apple TV

    • Apple has considered the release of a lower-priced Apple TV dongle similar to the Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick, according to a report by The Information on Wednesday
    • For Apple, a low-price dongle could make sense, given the upcoming launch of the company's streaming video service. 
    • A device that's cheaper than the Apple TV could help broaden Apple's audience for its original and licensed content. 

    Apple has considered the release a lower-priced Apple TV dongle similar to the Roku Streaming Stick or Amazon Fire TV Stick, according to a report by The Information on Wednesday.

    It's not clear if Apple ultimately decided whether or not to move forward with plans to release such a device. For Apple, though, a lower-price TV dongle could make sense, given that the company's upcoming streaming service is set to launch as early as March 2019.

    The streaming service will only be available on the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV. Given that the Apple TV costs at least $149, a cheaper device for accessing the company's content could help broaden Apple's audience. 

    Today, Amazon and Roku dongles — which plug into the back of televisions and allow users to stream content— cost as little as $25 and $30 respectively. 

    Apple's streaming service will include a combination of original content and licensing deals with production companies. The company has already announced 19 original series, including a biographical drama about Kevin Durant and an untitled series starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. 

    Read more: The 19 original shows Apple is producing in its push into TV as an 'expensive NBC'

    Apple has already spent more than $1 billion producing its original content. In October, CNBC reported that Apple's original TV and movie content might be free for anyone accessing it through an iPhone or iPad. 

    Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 


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    NOW WATCH: 7 places you can't find on Google Maps

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    lol surprise toy 2018

    • INSIDER rounds up this year's most sought-after toys.
    • Hatchibabies, L.O.L. Surprise, a Hogwarts Lego castle, and "Incredibles 2" action figures are among the toys you'll want to look for.

    The biggest shopping days of the year are nearly upon us and if you're unsure what to go out and buy this holiday season for the kids in your life, we have you covered.

    This year is all about L.O.L. Surprise, dinosaurs, "The Incredibles 2," and some good old '90s nostalgia. 
    After attending several toy fairs, visiting a few major retailers, and attending toy review site TTPM's annual holiday showcase this year, INSIDER rounded up the toys every kid will want on their holiday list. 

    Keep reading to see what toys are going to sell out fast. 

    One of the biggest toys this year is L.O.L. Surprise.

    Don't wait until the last minute to nab one of these. No matter what Target I head to, this toy is always sold out. And don't settle for just any version of this toy.

    There are a few different categories of the toy you can purchase. There are "Pets" and "Lil Sisters." Don't make the mistake of picking up the pets. I've never had a problem finding those in any store. It's the dolls everyone is seeking out. Aim for a "Glam Glitter" or "Under Wraps" kit seen above. 

    Fair warning: These toys are all about the unboxing experience. Parents may not be big fans of all the wrappers and clean up involved just for their kids to get to the doll and its accessories inside. If your child is really into the unwrapping experience and you're OK with the mess, go for the L.O.L. Bigger Surprise, which contains 60 surprises.

    Price: $9.95 to $80
    Ages: 5+
    Where to find them: Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Kohls, and Amazon

    Another huge toy is Hatchimals' Hatchibabies.

    Similar to the original popular Hatchimals, Spin Master's big fall release is a baby version of the interactive animals which hatch from eggs. Part of the play is hatching the egg, which you need to tap and hug for the little guy (or girl) inside to come out.

    The babies have bigger eyes than their predecessors and respond to being fed, tickled, burped, and more. The hatchlings come with accessories including a hairbrush, rattle, and bottle to help care for them. 

    Price: $59.99
    Ages: 5 and up
    Where to find them: Target, Walmart, and Amazon

    Fingerlings Hugs are a major upgrade to last year's popular must-have.

    If the original Fingerlings toys were a bit too small for you, WowWee is back this year with a larger version of its hit. Just like the tiny Fingerlings baby monkeys, the stuffed versions can be rocked to sleep, blow kisses, and respond to being held upside down. 

    A new addition is that kids can record their words and have them repeated back to them. You can read more about Fingerlings hugs here. The plush toys aren't limited to monkeys either. There are also sloth and unicorn stuffed animals to choose from. 

    Price: $29.99
    Ages: 2+
    Where to find them: Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Kohls

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    lebron james lakers

    • LeBron James is taking deeper three-pointers and making more of them than ever before, adding a Stephen Curry-esque trait to his game.
    • James' shooting has helped the Los Angeles Lakers find their groove in recent weeks.
    • If James can continue to become a better shooter as he gets older, he could stretch his prime even longer and maintain his effectiveness on the court.

    LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have found their groove in recent weeks, winning five of their last six games and seven of their last nine to improve to 9-7 on the season.

    In the process, James has become more comfortable with his new teammates, and it's showing on the court. In his last nine games, James is averaging 29.7 points per game on 53.6% shooting, 50.9% from three, with 6 rebounds and 6 assists per game.

    James has improved as a shooter during his career, and his accuracy from beyond the three-point line has made him a more dangerous and versatile player. This year, James looks even more willing to let it fly from well beyond the line, as if he studied Stephen Curry in the offseason. James hasn't admitted to such, but it's not a stretch to think he might have viewed the way Curry bends the floor.

    Curry's ability to launch from anywhere inside of half court has changed the NBA. Teams now practice shooting from well beyond the arc, with teams like the Houston Rockets emphasizing to their players to take a few steps behind the line to create more spacing.

    After starting hot from three-point range last season, James said he changed his form in the offseason and worked on his shot. Perhaps he was back in the lab this summer.

    For the season, James is shooting 39% from three-point range, the second-best mark of his career. According to the NBA's stats site, James has taken 68 field-goal attempts from between 25-29 feet and six attempts from 30-34 feet. He's hit 39% of his attempts from beyond 25 feet, which is any noncorner three-pointer. James is also taking more attempts from three than ever before, with 30% of his overall shots coming from long range, up from 25% in the last two seasons.

    In other words, James is launching from deep more than ever before and hitting them at a nearly career-best clip.

    Another noteworthy addition to James' game is that he's taking more pull-up shots than before. According to the NBA's stats site, 42.8% of James' shots this year have been pull-up jumpers. That's up from 36% last year and 34% the year before. He's averaging a whopping 3.8 pull-up three-pointers per game and hitting 43% of them. That is Stephen Curry-esque!

    This development is about more than James expanding his game, however.

    First, if James can sustain this type of shooting, it changes the Lakers' offense. Much was made about the Lakers' roster and the lack of shooting around James. That hasn't changed, though fears of a cramped floor have slowly dissipated as the season has gone on. The Lakers are shooting 36.1% from three, 11th best in the league. Last season, that mark would have placed them at 15th in the league, smack-dab in the middle.

    Before the season, James was said to be eyeing a move to the low post, which would help mitigate the Lakers' spacing issues and also allow him to do less dribbling and play-making from the perimeter.

    Read more: LeBron James is reportedly already eyeing a role change with the Lakers that would emulate past NBA greats

    But James isn't posting up more — in fact, he's averaging two fewer post-ups per game this year. Instead, he's stretched his game farther from the basket. In doing so, he creates more space for his teammates and gives the Lakers' offense an added dose of efficiency.

    It's also an interesting development in James' overall career arc. James will turn 34 in December. No matter how superhuman he may seem on the court, his burst and quickness will start to fade as he gets older. James has already developed into a good-enough shooter to make defenses pay for sagging off on him.

    One source familiar with James told Business Insider that teams incorrectly defend James when they give him space to brace for his drives to the hoop. James' first step has slowed down already, this source said, so teams should play him on him, taking away both the drive and his jumper.

    Instead, teams continue to give James space, and now he's making them pay with his jumper.

    Perhaps this is a sign of what's to come in James' future. He's no longer the highest flyer in the league, but he can still attack the basket with gusto. If James' jumper continues to develop and becomes more accurate as he gets older, he could stretch his prime for longer than anyone expected.

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    NOW WATCH: Inside an intense training session where aspiring WWE wrestlers learn how to fight

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    LeBron James

    • LeBron James played in his first game back in Cleveland since signing as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers.
    • Cavaliers fans gave James a brief standing ovation during the team introductions.
    • During an early break in the action, the Cavaliers played a touching video tribute to their former star.
    • The tribute touched on James leading the Cavs to a championship and his charitable work in Northeast Ohio.

    Here is the video, via ESPN.


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    NOW WATCH: Inside an intense training session where aspiring WWE wrestlers learn how to fight

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    Robert Mueller

    • A new report from the Associated Press details the back-and-forth between President Donald Trump's lawyers and the special counsel Robert Mueller over the terms of a potential interview with Trump. Their compromise? Written answers to questions, which were delivered on Tuesday.
    • Logistics for an interview at Camp David on January 27 this year were being worked out before the plan was scrapped after lawyers learned about the scope of Mueller's questions.
    • Trump's lawyers and the special counsel's office agreed on the president answering written questions only about the 2016 campaign — not obstruction of justice.
    • With the addition of Rudy Giuliani to the team in April, the Trump team's tactics included dragging out the interview and attacking Mueller.

    A new report from the Associated Press details the back-and-forth between President Donald Trump's lawyers and the special counsel Robert Mueller's office on whether Trump would sit down with Mueller for an interview under oath.

    The matter has been a point of controversy ever since Mueller was appointed as the special counsel in May 2017, shortly after Trump fired FBI director James Comey who had been overseeing the investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

    The Mueller-led Russia probe has landed several indictments of Trump associates in the last 18 months. It has also prompted frequent speculation about Trump's possible legal exposure stemming from actions he took during the 2016 campaign and after he took office.

    One of the biggest questions has centered on that Trump-Mueller interview, on which the president has expressed conflicting assertions — often changing his tune about whether or not he would attend.

    Additionally, the road to get there was long, the Associated Press explained in a detailed report published Wednesday. It included tense negotiations, Trump's initial desire to answer questions, the prospect of a subpoena, and a host of tactics put forth by Trump's lawyers.

    Those strategies included saying that all of the documents Trump's lawyers provided to Mueller's office were enough to make a formal sit-down with Trump unnecessary. The lawyers have also argued that questioning Trump about his time in the White House would infringe on "his executive powers."

    Attorneys for the president also engaged in a one-sided public war against Mueller. That was another tactic the Associated Press said was meant to drag out the Trump-Mueller meeting negotiations for as long as possible, while also attacking Mueller, an exercise that was led by Rudy Giuliani, who joined Trump's team in April.

    According to the AP, an interview was scheduled for January 27, 2018. Chief of staff John Kelly got as far as working on logistics to get Trump to Camp David before the plan was scrapped by Trump's lawyers, after they learned the scope of Mueller's questions.

    On Tuesday, the newswire service reported that written answers to Mueller's questions about the 2016 campaign — not potential obstruction of justice — were submitted to the special counsel's office. This compromise was reached in September "when Mueller’s team said it would accept written answers on Russian election interference and collusion," the AP reports.

    It's unclear if Mueller will submit more questions to be answered. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for clarification from INSIDER on Wednesday night.

    SEE ALSO: Trump’s written answers to Mueller’s questions in the Russia probe are on their way to the special counsel’s office Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement that the answers were provided Tuesday.

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    NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly in 2017: 'I regret a lot' of the controversial stuff I've said on live television

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    saudi protest mohammed bin salman white house

    • Saudi Arabia's human rights record has come under intense scrutiny in recent months. 
    • Earlier this year, the country detained dozens of prominent women's rights activists — most without access to communication and many who were never formally charged with a crime. 
    • Award-winning campaigner Samar Badawi was arrested in August, which sparked a massive feud between Riyadh and Ottawa over the Kingdom's human rights record. 
    • In October, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents, possibly at the order of the Saudi crown prince, which thrust the country's human rights violations back into the spotlight. 
    • In November, testimonies from detained human rights activists emerged detailing torture, interrogation, and sexual abuse at the hands of Saudi authorities in prison. 

    Saudi Arabia's human rights record has come under intense scrutiny in recent months — even before the murder of Jamal Khashoggi made international headlines.

    Earlier this year, the country detained dozens of prominent women's rights activists — many without formal charge or access to communication — most of whom still remain in custody.

    In May, at least 15 prominent women's rights activists had been arrested, many who had been actively involved in the women's right to drive movement.  

    Local media reported that nine of the activists were set to be tried at a criminal court that specifically deal with terrorism-related offenses. And Saudi state media was quick to brand the activists as "traitors," and accused them of forming a "cell" in conjunction with foreign agents, Amnesty International said.

    The government finally lifted the driving ban in June after decades of campaigning, though many of the activists still remain in prison.

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been leading a push for modernization — cracking down hard on anyone that stands in his way.

    mohammed bin salman

    The crackdown on rights activists occurred at a time when the country was preparing to lift its ban on women drivers.

    Critics of the driving ban say it was symbolic of Saudi Arabia's strong patriarchal society, an image which Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has eagerly been trying to shed since ascending to the throne and instating his ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 to completely overhaul the Saudi economy and society. 

    But along with his major push for modernization came ruthless intolerance towards anyone that stood in his way. The prince arrested hundreds of officials, billionaires, and members of the royal family in massive graft, netting him over $100 billion in settlements.

    And human rights campaigners and dissidents continue to be targeted.

    In August, award-winning human rights campaigner Samar Badawi — who is best known for challenging the country's restrictive male guardianship laws — was arrested along with several other activists.

    samar badawi

    She had previously been detained for her advocacy and was banned from travel.

    Badawi had been targeted by police in the past for her close ties to several prominent rights activists, including her former husband Waleed Abu al-Khair, a lawyer currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for defending human rights.

    She is also the sister of Raif Badawi, a renowned Saudi blogger who gained international recognition after he was sentenced to public flogging and a 10-year prison sentence for his dissenting views. 

    saudi raif badawi arrests

    Samar Badawi's arrest sparked a massive feud between Riyadh and Ottawa, and shined a spotlight on the Kingdom's human rights record once more. 

    In August, Canada's foreign ministry tweeted that it was "gravely concerned" about the new wave of arrests in the Kingdom targeting women's rights activists, which sparked outrage from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia quickly retaliated with a series of intensifying diplomatic measures, which have since simmered down. 

    But Saudi Arabia's human rights record was called into question once more following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    jamal khashoggi cat

    The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has thrust Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses back onto the global stage.

    On October 2, the Washington Post contributor was murdered at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul after attempting to retrieve routine documents for his upcoming wedding to his Turkish fiance. His fiance waited outside for hours, but Khashoggi never left the embassy.

    His body has not been recovered. 

    The country has repeatedly denied that the crown prince had any role in Khashoggi's death, though its version of the events surrounding Khashoggi's murder have shifted several times over the last several weeks, fueling suspicions. Recent CIA assessments have reportedly determined that the prince directly ordered the assassination, accusations the Kingdom has swiftly rejected

    Reports of torture in Saudi prisons have recently emerged 

    saudi police guard

    On Tuesday, reports emerged detailing abuse inflicted on activists caught up in the crown prince's crackdown on dissent.  

    Amnesty International obtained three separate testimonies which reveal instances of sexual harassment, electrocution, and flogging while in detention at the country’s Dhahban Prison, where many human rights activists have been held for months. Some of the detainees were so badly harmed that they were left unable to walk or stand properly. Human Rights Watch also reported similar torture at the hands of Saudi authorities, including whipping and sexual assault.

    On Tuesday, President Donald Trump released a lengthy defense of Saudi Arabia, despite the country's mounting human rights abuses and unanswered questions surrounding Khashoggi's killing. Trump signaled he does not intend to call for significant changes to the US-Saudi relationship, despite global calls for sanctions against Saudi officials and those involved in the gruesome murder plot. 

    Still, it appears Trump is unwilling to press the Saudi leadership too hard; his businesses have made millions from the Saudi government, and the crown prince gave his New York City hotel a huge boost. 

    It is growing increasingly clear that slapping sanctions on Riyadh will be a difficult option for the Trump administration, given the size of the economic ties between Washington and Riyadh, though some experts speculate that Saudi Arabia may actually need the US more than ever.

    SEE ALSO: Women in Saudi Arabia can now join the army but still need permission from a male guardian first

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    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions

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    Chuck Grassley

    • Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he had reservations about Chief Justice John Roberts' response to President Donald Trump's controversial remarks about a federal judge.
    • In a tweet, Grassley, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, referenced Roberts' previous interactions with the executive branch during President Barack Obama's administration.
    • Grassley suggested Roberts was curiously silent when Obama allegedly "rebuked" Justice Samuel Alito in 2010.
    • It was unclear what Grassley was referring to.

    Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he had reservations about Chief Justice John Roberts' response to President Donald Trump's controversial characterization of a federal judge and the 9th District court, and suggested it was a hypocritical move based on Roberts' previous interactions with Trump's predecessor.

    "Chief Justice Roberts rebuked Trump for a comment he made [about a] judge's decision on asylum," Grassley said in a tweet on Wednesday. "I don't recall the Chief attacking Obama when that Prez rebuked Alito during a State of the Union."

    Grassley, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, appeared to be referencing a State of the Union address Obama gave in 2010, where Obama criticized the Supreme Court's 5-4 landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The decision eased restrictions that blocked corporations and unions from funding political campaigns without limits.

    But Obama did not single out Justice Samuel Alito during that State of the Union address. Obama referred to the Supreme Court broadly, without mentioning any names.

    "With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections," Obama said at the time.

    Alito appeared to have a visceral reaction to Obama's remarks during the speech, which were captured on video. He was seen shaking his head and mouthing some words as Obama commented on the court's decision. Alito voted in favor of the ruling, and also joined concurring opinions from Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Roberts later alluded to the State of the Union address and questioned the Supreme Court's presence in that setting, stopping short of criticizing Obama.

    "There is the issue of the setting, the circumstances, and the decorum," Roberts said to students at the University of Alabama Law School, two months after Obama's speech. "The image of having the members of one branch of government, standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering, while the Court, according to the requirements of protocol, has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."

    "And it does cause me to think whether or not it makes sense for us to be there," Roberts added. "To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally, I'm not sure why we're there."

    Although Obama may not have singled out a specific Justice during his speech, as a former senator from Illinois in 2006, he was critical of Alito and grudgingly joined a Democrat-led filibuster against him.

    "I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values," Obama said during an interview on ABC News in 2006, days before Alito's eventual confirmation to the Supreme Court.

    "When you look at his decisions in particular during times of war, we need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch, and he has not shown himself willing to do that repeatedly," Obama added.

    Read more: Trump lashes out at Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts after he reminded the president that judges are supposed to be independent

    trump paradise

    Grassley's quip comes amid a terse back-and-forth between Trump and the federal judiciary. On Monday, a federal judge from the Northern District of California stopped Trump's move to curb the number of asylum-seeking migrants who cross the US-Mexico border at ports of entry.

    The following day, Trump described the judge as "an Obama judge" and railed against the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the appellate jurisdiction for the Northern District of California, by suggesting its rulings were inherently prejudiced.

    "You go the 9th Circuit and it's a disgrace," Trump said on Tuesday. "And I'm going to put in a major complaint because you cannot win — if you're us — a case in the 9th Circuit and I think it's a disgrace."

    Roberts responded to Trump's comments on Wednesday by suggesting the federal judiciary remained free of political biases.

    "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said in a statement. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."

    Trump later shot back and reiterated his allegation that the 9th Circuit, the largest appeals court overseeing the western US, was prejudiced.

    "Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have 'Obama judges,' and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country," Trump tweeted. "It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an 'independent judiciary,' but if it is why are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned."

    "Please study the numbers, they are shocking," Trump added.

    However, Democratic lawmakers praised Robert's statement and thanked him for taking a stand.

    "Thanks Chief Justice Roberts for your powerful rebuke to Trump— refuting his demagogic denunciation of an 'Obama judge,' Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said on Twitter. :When the history of this dark era is written, our independent judiciary (& free press) will be the heroes. Our gratitude goes to them this Thanksgiving."

    SEE ALSO: Trump lashes out at Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts after he reminded the president that judges are supposed to be independent

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    NOW WATCH: The Obamas are worth $40 million — here's how they make and spend their money

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    michelle obama

    • Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" sold more than 1.4 million copies in its first week, her publisher Crown Publishing told the Associated Press.
    • On its first day on sale, the former first lady's memoir sold more than 725,000 copies.
    • In it, she opens up about personal details from couples therapy, a miscarriage and a delightful anecdote about how she and one of her daughters, Malia, snuck out of the White House to see the building lit up in rainbow colors in celebration of the US Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.

    Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" sold more than 1.4 million copies in its first week, her publisher Crown Publishing told the Associated Press.

    The former first lady's memoir chronicles her journey from childhood on the South Side of Chicago to post-White House days. On its first day the book sold more than 725,000 copies — beating out former Hillary Clinton's 2003 memoir "Living History," which according to the AP sold 600,000 copies in its first day.

    In the book Michelle writes openly about a host of subjects:

    1. She discusses the difficult parts of marriage, and how going to couples therapy helped her "figure out how to build my life in a way that works for me."
    2. How she struggled with conceiving and had a miscarriage. "We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we'd felt," she wrote.
    3. Her feelings about President Donald Trump. In the book Michelle Obama writes about the impact of the "birther" conspiracy, which was loudly parroted by Trump. She says that beyond being bigoted, it was dangerous. "Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk," Obama said in the book. "And for this I’d never forgive him."
    4. Sneaking out of the White House with Malia to see the building lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the US Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. "It had taken us 10 minutes to get out of our own home, but we'd done it," she wrote. "We were outside, standing on a patch of lawn off to one side, out of sight of the public but with a beautiful, close-up view of the White House, lit up in pride."

    white house

    Her book was released on November 13, the totals include sales across formats in both the United States and Canada.

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