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The latest news from Business Insider

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    zuckerberg san francisco general hospital protest

    • San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin has asked the city attorney to look into getting Mark Zuckerberg's name removed from a hospital he donated $75 million to.
    • It's the first time a sitting San Francisco politician has called for the removal of the Zuckerberg name, and points to the increasing toxicity of the Facebook brand.
    • Earlier this year, nurses at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital protested being attached to the CEO's name.

    A San Francisco politician is pushing to have Mark Zuckerberg's name removed from the hospital he donated $75 million in response to Facebook's recent scandals.

    On Tuesday, Supervisor Aaron Peskin asked the city attorney to "outline the procedure for the removal of the Zuckerberg name from San Francisco General Hospital," and to revisit the city's policy on offering naming rights in exchange for gifts.

    It comes after a protest earlier this year by nurses working at the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital And Trauma Center — commonly referred to as just the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital — over the Facebook CEO's name being attached to the institution following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

    "What message does it send when we are willing to brand our public facilities in exchange for one-time donations, while the entities behind those one-time donations turn around and oppose even the most modest taxes, which – when allocated to our general fund – actually give the citizens of San Francisco oversight for how those funds are spent," Peskin said in remarks provided to Business Insider.

    This is the first time a sitting San Francisco supervisor has spoken out in support of renaming the hospital, Peskin's chief of staff said. (Former supervisor John Avalos also called for it to be changed earlier this year.) It is a sign of the increasing toxicity of Facebook and Zuckerberg's brand, and points to how the consequences of the Silicon Valley giant's mounting scandals may impact the CEO's image.

    San Francisco has 11 supervisors, each representing a district, and they are the city's legislative body. Peskin represents District 3, which includes North Beach, Chinatown, the Financial District, and Nob Hill. His comments, made at a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday night, cite the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's attempts to smear critics with a line of attack that has been called anti-Semitic, and an experiment in which it manipulated users' emotions without their knowledge in 2014.

    "It cannot be considered normal for corporations to hire political consultancy firms to perform opposition research on their critics," he said. "It is not normal for private entities to then use that information to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on platforms that they control. It is not normal for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to refuse to accept responsibility and to publicly distance themselves from acts that they personally instigated. In fact it is abhorrent."

    A Facebook spokesperson did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment as to whether Zuckerberg would fight the change, or if the CEO would ask for his money back if the remove is successful.

    In an email, Sasha Cuttler, a nurse at the hospital, said: "It seems that S.F. politicians have heard how much the staff and patients actually care about their hospital. Mark Zuckerberg’s motto to 'move fast and break things' was proven correct; the late Mayor Lee moved very fast in renaming the hospital and broke our hearts. Hopefully Facebook will refrain from further violations of our right not to be experimented on without our knowledge and consent."

    Do you work at Facebook? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

    Here are Aaron Peskin's full comments, via his chief of staff:

    Supervisor Peskin Talking Points for Roll Call for Introduction – 11/27/2018


    I am also introducing a Request to the City Attorney’s Office to revisit the City’s policy on the Acceptance of Gifts in exchange for Naming Rights and, specifically, to outline the procedure for removal of the Zuckerberg name from San Francisco General Hospital.

    Over the past couple of weeks, media outlets have reported on the latest in a steady string of scandals confronting Facebook and its leadership – namely, that Facebook hired a PR firm to spread malicious and anti-Semitic attacks against George Soros, which is a tool directly from the playbook of the most toxic rightwing conspiracy theory groups – many of which flourish on Facebook’s own platform.

    This latest revelation follows the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, wherein it was revealed that peoples’ private information was being used to fundamentally undermine our system of democracy. That scandal was the impetus behind the Privacy First Policy which was on this last November’s ballot, which the voters passed by a nearly two-thirds margin.

    And it follows a report in the New York Times from earlier this year that Facebook itself was tinkering with users’ emotions in a news feed experiment, which spawned protests by SEIU workers at SF General Hospital.

    It cannot be considered normal for corporations to hire political consultancy firms to perform opposition research on their critics. It is not normal for private entities to then use that information to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on platforms that they control. It is not normal for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to refuse to accept responsibility and to publicly distance themselves from acts that they personally instigated. In fact it is abhorrent.

    And it cannot be normal for this City to put a price tag on the branding of institutions and spaces that fundamentally belong to the citizens of this City. As a matter of fact, while Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Chan gifted about $75 million dollars in exchange for these naming rights, the people of this City funded far more than ten times that via a nearly $900 Million Dollar bond in 2008 to rebuild the acute care hospital and trauma center at SF General.

    This also gets at a larger issue of the true costs of corporate charity. And what message does it send when we are willing to brand our public facilities in exchange for one-time donations, while the entities behind those one-time donations turn around and oppose even the most modest taxes, which – when allocated to our general fund – actually give the citizens of San Francisco oversight for how those funds are spent.

    Whether it’s Facebook, or Amazon whose technology is being sold to target immigrants at the Mexico-United States border, or Wells Fargo whose complicity in the home foreclosure crisis and involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline have also drawn public scrutiny – I really want this City to re-assess the value of giving up these naming rights and the message this sends relative to our role as stewards of the public trust.

    More than just about naming rights, this is about the integrity of institutions and spaces that are overwhelmingly funded by the public and which exist to serve the public. I want to thank City Attorney Herrera for his commitment to pursue this.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Review: Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are the best smartphones you can buy right now

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    cia director gina haspel

    • President Donald Trump is being accused of engaging in a "cover-up" after reportedly preventing CIA Director Gina Haspel from attending a Wednesday Senate briefing on Jamal Khashoggi's killing. 
    • Former intelligence officials described the apparent move as "very unusual" as both Republican and Democratic senators complained about Haspel's absence. 
    • Jeff Prescott, who served as a senior director for the Middle East on the National Security Council in the Obama administration, told INSIDER, "The reaction you see from members shows how unusual it is."
    • Glenn Carle, a former CIA covert operative, described the situation as "another step in Trump's erosion of our system of government."

    The White House reportedly refused to allow CIA Director Gina Haspel to attend a Wednesday Senate briefing on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing, a move that has prompted confusion from former intelligence officials and accusations of a "cover-up" from the president's critics. 

    The CIA director traveled to Istanbul to learn more about the killing, and listened to audio of the incident during her visit. The CIA and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment from INSIDER.

    Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had requested Haspel's presence.

    Accordingly, Haspel's absence from Wednesday's briefing, which was attended by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, did not go unnoticed. 

    'Nobody was happy that she wasn't there, put it that way'

    Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said Haspel's absence from the briefing was noted "several times."

    "A lot of us were frustrated that she wasn't there...Nobody was happy that she wasn't there, put it that way," Flake said.

    Republican Sen. Cory Gardner expressed similar sentiments. "It would be nice if the CIA director addressed the Congress,"Gardner told reporters after the briefing.

    Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez took things a step further, accusing the Trump administration of engaging in a "cover-up" on the "critical question" of Khashoggi's "murder."

    Read more: 'Saudi Arabia First, not America First': Even top GOP allies of Trump are railing against his defense of Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's killing

    The CIA has reportedly concluded with "high confidence" that Khashoggi's killing was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, with whom President Donald Trump has developed a strong relationship.

    Trump has stood by Prince Mohammed throughout the Khashoggi controversy, issuing a forceful defense the kingdom last Tuesday.

    After the briefing, Pompeo, who previously served as CIA director under Trump, dodged questions on why Haspel didn't attend. "I was asked to be here, and I'm here," Pompeo said on the matter, also claiming there is no "direct reporting" linking the crown prince to Khashoggi's killing. 

    Corker, however, said, "I don’t think there’s anybody in the room that doesn’t believe [Prince Mohammed] was responsible for it."

    Trump Mohammed bin Salman

    'It's not the White House's role to determine what intelligence Congress receives'

    Multiple former intelligence officials and foreign policy experts portrayed Haspel's absence as highly unusual. 

    Caroline Tess, who served as special assistant to the president and senior director for legislative affairs on the National Security Council under the Obama administration, told INSIDER, "It's not the White House's role to determine what intelligence Congress receives or what briefings Congress receives from the intelligence community." 

    Robert Deitz, a former top lawyer at the CIA and National Security Agency, echoed these sentiments.

    Read more: Trump is wrong, Saudi Arabia needs the US a lot more than the US needs the kingdom

    Deitz told INSIDER it was "very unusual" for senior intelligence officials to not participate in briefing lawmakers on a high-profile matter like Khashoggi's death. But, he added, "the Trump White House is a bit thin on trust."

    Glenn Carle, a former CIA covert operative, also said it’s “highly unusual” for the White House to bar senior intelligence officials from briefing the Senate. “Another step in Trump's erosion of our system of government,” he said, and added that it’s possible Trump may not even have the authority to determine who briefs the oversight committees.

    khashoggi mbs

    'The reaction you see from members shows how unusual it is'

    Jeff Prescott, who served as special assistant to the president and senior director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf States on the National Security Council in the Obama administration, also said it was "very unusual" Haspel did not attend. 

    "The reaction you see from members shows how unusual it is," Prescott said. 

    Noting Menendez's characterization of the move as a "cover-up," Prescott added that in some ways you could argue it's "even worse than a cover-up" because the administration is seemingly offering a different story on Khashoggi's killing than what the US intelligence community has reportedly concluded. 

    "I don't know exactly what's going on in terms of how the administration is thinking about this, but they appear to have made the conclusion providing the intelligence [to Congress] would be more damaging to their case than the anger from not having the intelligence community represented," Prescott said. 

    This appears to be a 'delay tactic'

    Michael S. Smith II, a terrorism analyst and national security expert, told INSIDER if it's true the Trump administration "discouraged" Haspel from accepting requests to brief the Senate it would be an "extraordinary move" and "one that demands a congressional investigation."

    After the initial reports on the White House's move to bar Haspel from the briefing, Smith said he contacted intelligence historians and former CIA officials — including a former CIA director — to see if there was any precedent for an administration "testing the bounds" of its authority in such a way. "No one could come up with one," said Smith, who's offered expert testimony on intelligence matters before the Senate.

    "Director Haspel has served as the de facto case officer managing CIA’s evaluation of who may be responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi," Smith said, adding her absence from the briefing made it a "giant waste of time."

    Smith also added that this appears to be a "delay tactic" from the White House to shield Prince Mohammed and decrease the likelihood Congress will take actions against him.

    The Senate is set to vote on a resolution to end US support for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen conflict, which Trump opposes

    Wednesday's briefing on Khashoggi's killing came before a vote was set to occur on a resolution from Sen. Bernie Sanders to end US support for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen conflict.

    Pompeo after the briefing said the vote was "poorly timed" and claimed the resolution would serve the interests of Iran. 

    Bernie Sanders

    The resolution is being co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy and Republican Sen. Mike Lee. 

    "[Sanders] and I disagree on many things but we agree on this," Lee said to reporters following the briefing. "Our chief executive can not enter war unilaterally."

    Khashoggi's killing has made other senators reevaluate why the US has so "blindly" entered into an alliance with the kingdom, particularly in terms of the Yemen conflict, Lee added.

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment

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    Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

    The stock market has become wildly unpredictable — here are 4 simple portfolio tweaks Credit Suisse says will help traders make a killing amid the chaos

    The stock market has been flipped upside down.

    Value stocks, which have suffered at the hands of their growth counterparts for most of the 10-year bull market, are suddenly the hot ticket for portfolio managers. Meanwhile, stocks that look desirable and safe because of their low volatility are headed for their best quarter in seven years relative to the broader market.

    What's resulted is a landscape that looks increasingly foreign to equity investors who have become accustomed to certain circumstances — ones that rewarded growth stocks and the traders who indiscriminately piled into them.

    While this has been a tough pill to swallow for some investors, there are still plentiful opportunities available to those willing to make the right adjustments. To that end, Credit Suisse has a handful of ideas how traders can navigate these choppy waters.

    Money managers may see higher bonuses this year, but are bracing for job cuts in 2019

    Asset managers are likely to receive a small bump in their overall compensation this year - around 5%, according to a new report. But that uptick masks some of the larger challenges within the industry, as market volatility, the reallocation of bonus pool dollars to technology investments and declining margins eat into industry profits.

    Overall compensation for equities-focused traditional asset managers is expected to average around $710,000 this year, compared to $490,000 for fixed income-focused managers, according to a survey of more than 1,000 professionals by consulting firms Greenwich Associates and Johnson Associates.

    But those figures could fall, as markets have moved lower in recent weeks.

    When Moderna goes public in what might be the biggest IPO in biotech history, it should be very good for these 7 people and investors

    Moderna Therapeutics, a buzzy startup with a $7.5 billion private valuation, filed paperwork in November to go public.

    According to an updated filing, Moderna plans to sell shares for as much as $24 each, raising $600 million, a move that would value the company at $7.8 billion.

    Here's who stands to gain the most on what's heading to be the biggest IPO in biotech history.

    In markets news

    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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    Graduation Columbia university

    • Figuring out how to pay for college can get tricky, so many turn to private scholarships. 
    • Some companies are taking advantage of students' financial need and scamming their families. 
    • From asking for your social security number to claiming that every person is eligible, there are plenty of red flags to look out for.

    The college application process is a stressful time, but figuring out how to pay for college can be even more complicated. While many students turn to financial aid, others look to private scholarships to fund their education. 

    In fact, 70% of students use scholarships at some point during their college education, according to The Student Loan Report. But with hundreds of thousands of scholarships offered, it is difficult to know what to look for when applying. Choosing the wrong one could lead to harmful scams that actually make paying for college even more difficult. 

    Here are a few warning signs to look out for when applying for scholarships. 

    writing check

    If they're asking for any amount of money, it's probably a scam

    Applying for scholarships should cost you nothing. If a fund is asking for a fee or requiring a payment of any kind, then it probably is a scam. No matter how small the fee is, do not pay. The $3 fee may seem small but when 100,000 applicants fall for the same trick, then the scammers get a major payout. 

    Sometimes tricky wording is used in an attempt to fool applicants into paying. If you're accepted into a "society"and are forced to pay membership fees in order to be eligible for a scholarship, it is most likely a scam. Do not get distracted by fancy wording and be tricked into sending money. 

    Also, remember that nothing is guaranteed when applying for a scholarship. If you see wording like, "Your scholarship is guaranteed or your money back," the company is probably planning on scamming you. Stay away from such sweeping claims

    Read more: 20 US colleges where financial aid could be better, according to students

    If a scholarship program contacts you before you've even applied, it's probably a scam

    If you're getting unsolicited emails, phone calls, and mailings from scholarships, then chances are that scholarship fund is a scam. Legitimate scholarships have thousands of applicants, so don't need to actively seek out students. If you're being contacted and you haven't even applied, stay away from that program. 

    Likewise, funds don't need to pressure students into applying because they usually have enough interest. Words like "limited time offer" are often used in marketing campaigns to draw people in and to force them to act fast. Legitimate scholarships shouldn't be using the same marketing tactics. 

    Scholarships that ask for your social security number are not legitimate

    Scholarships should never ask for personal information, especially not your social security number. If you win, then some personal information is required, but your social security number is not needed for applications

    If every person is eligible, it should raise some flags

    Most scholarships are designed to help a specific niche of students. In most cases, students have to meet a certain set of criteria to be eligible for the scholarship. For example, there are some offered only to specific races and ethnicities, some are for students who participate in sports, and some offer aid to creatives. If you're applying to a scholarship that is open to every type of student, it is cause for alarm. 

    Stay away from companies that say they will do all the work for you

    There are some companies that offer to do the scholarship process for you. If they are offering to do the research for a fee, they are probably scamming you. Remember that applying to scholarships is relatively easy and that all the information is easily accessible online. No company has more access or information than you do. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This mind-melting thought experiment of Einstein's reveals how to manipulate time

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    donald trump

    • General Motors announced a round of layoffs and plant closures on Monday.
    • President Donald Trump is not happy with that decision.
    • Trump's policies weren't the main reason for GM's move, but they probably helped push the automaker toward the decision.
    • Trump's proposed responses to GM's decision — cutting subsidies and imposing auto tariffs — would likely make things worse.

    President Donald Trump's latest threats to get back at General Motors could end up doing the exact opposite of what he wants.

    In the days since GM announced it would lay off roughly 15,000 workers and idle four factories in North America, Trump has attempted to bully and badger the US automaker into sticking around. But the president's tactics are only going to make GM, and other companies like it, more likely to get out.

    Trump probably helped make GM's call easier

    Trump's policy goals may have helped contribute to GM's decision to lay off 15% of its salaried workforce and shutter the plants.

    Neil Dutta, head of US economics at Renaissance Macro, laid out the reasons:

    • "Trump wants to boost auto manufacturing. He wants low gas prices," Dutta, Renaissance's head of US economics,  said in an email Tuesday.
    • "He has seen relative low gas prices through most of his tenure (even lower now)."
    • "That has slowly made cars like the Volt and Cruze pointless to buy. Auto manufacturing gets hurt."

    Additionally, Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum helped drive up GM's costs by $1 billion this year. While the ultimate decision to close the plants appears to be more related to the industry trends and consumer demands,experts told Business Insider that the tariffs likely accelerated GM's timeframe.

    In response, Trump could try to make it more economically viable for GM to continue to produce cars or other vehicles in the US to stem the layoffs and prevent further losses But instead, the president is threatening to do the exact opposite.

    Subsidy cut, tariff threats would backfire

    Trump has floated two ideas to punish GM and encourage more US auto production: cutting subsidies and adding auto tariffs. Economists say both would backfire:

    • Trump said his administration is "looking at cutting all GM subsidies, including for electric cars."
    • He said Wednesday that GM's decision has prompted him to think about imposing tariffs on imported cars, trucks, and auto parts.

    It's unclear exactly what subsidies Trump was referring to in his tweet, but most think he was talking about the electric vehicle tax credit, which gives a $7,000 break to anyone who buys an electric vehicle.

    As Business Insider's Matthew Debordpointed out, the threat to cut the electric vehicle credit is essentially meaningless to GM, since the credit is already set to expire within the next two years.

    But if Trump scraps the subsidy for all manufacturers to spite GM or increase overall production, this would cause electric cars from other companies to become more expensive — and likely end up hurting auto manufacturing in the US.

    "He wants to cut electric car subsidies, [auto manufacturing] gets hurt even more," Dutta said. "It's the classic Trump thing of policies he supports working against goals he also supports."

    Read more:Trump's threat to impose a 'chicken tax' on cars could cause a major mess for the US economy»

    The other idea, higher auto tariffs, would also likely end up backfiring. Studies have shown that Trump's idea of a 25% tariff on all cars, trucks, and auto parts coming into the US would result in a net loss of US jobs, lower car production in the US, offshoring of car manufacturing, and a substantial hit to the US economy.

    SEE ALSO: Trump blames the Federal Reserve for GM's layoffs

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

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    starbucks princi 2938

    • Starbucks just opened its first stand-alone Princi bakery in New York City.
    • The bakery, located in New York's Theater District, is the third Princi Bakery to open in the United States. Starbucks is an investor in and licensee of Princi. 
    • We visited the bakery on opening day. Here’s what it was like.

    Starbucks just opened its first stand-alone Princi bakery in New York City.

    The Princi bakery in New York's Theater District is Starbucks' third in the United States, following openings in Seattle and Chicago. Princi was first opened in 1986 by Italian baker Rocco Princi, expanding to five locations in Milan and London over the course of 30 years. Starbucks and Princi joined forces in 2016, when the coffee giant joined the bakery's global investment team and licensed the first Princi location in the US at theStarbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle.

    Princi is the sole provider of baked goods at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle and at Starbucks Reserve Roasteriesaround the world. The Roasteries are seen as more upscale than the typical Starbucks location. Customers typically spend four times more in the company's Roastery locations than in a traditional Starbucks, according to a company spokesperson.

    While the new Princi bakery in New York is not part of a Reserve Roastery, Starbucks has announced that there will be a Reserve Roastery — with a Princi inside — opening in New Yorkby the end of the year.

    The design of Princi's first New York bakery was inspired by Rocco Princi's original bakery in Milan, using natural materials, earth-colored stone, hand-blown glass light fixtures, and a 20-foot wall displaying colorful ingredients like lemons, peppers, and tomatoes. A 20-foot communal table sits in the center of the room, meant to promote a sense of community.

    We checked out the bakery on opening day — here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: We compared Dunkin's first store to its brand-new 'store of the future' — and it showed how far the coffee giant has come

    Princi opened in the Theater District, on the corner of 51st Street and Broadway, on Wednesday.

    It was packed when I arrived at 9 a.m. You could smell the freshly baked bread as soon as you opened the doors.

    There was a huge crowd of people waiting to order.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    James Mattis

    • Both Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Wednesday that the there is "no smoking gun" and "no direct reporting" linking the Saudi crown prince to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    • Mattis insisted that the US does not have the tape that supposedly captures the moment Khashoggi was killed, contradicting President Donald Trump.
    • Mattis and Pompeo both told the Senate Wednesday that cutting American military support to Saudi Arabia as it carries out operations in Yemen would be detrimental to US interests.

    U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Wednesday the United States has "no smoking gun" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.

    Asked about reports that a CIA assessment earlier this month concluded the crown prince had ordered Khashoggi's death, Mattis referred journalists back to the intelligence agency.

    "We have no smoking gun the crown prince was involved, not the intelligence community or anyone else. There is no smoking gun," Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, adding that the United States still expected those responsible for the killing to be held accountable.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made similar comments before the Senate earlier in the day, stating, "There is no direct reporting connecting the Crown Prince to the order to murder Jamal Khoshoggi." He added, "That's all I can say in an unclassified setting."

    Mattis insisted that the US does not have the tapes capturing the moment Khashoggi was killed. "We do not have the tapes, at least I'm not aware that we do." Last week, President Donald Trump told Fox News that "we have the tape," but he clarified that he had not listened to it. Mattis told reporters that he has not listened to the tape, but he has read all the intel and the translations.

    Pompeo and Mattis urged senators Wednesday to avoid letting concerns over Khashoggi interfere with US defense cooperation with Saudi Arabia with regard to Yemen.

    "Our security interests cannot be dismissed, even as we seek accountability for what President Trump described as the 'unacceptable and horrible crime' of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a crime which 'our country does not condone'," Mattis said in his prepared remarks.

    "Pulling back our limited U.S. military support, our weapons sales to our partners, and our protection of the Saudi and Emirati populations would be misguided," he further explained.

    Reuters staff members Idrees Ali, David Alexander, and Jonathan Oatis contributed to this report

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • Christmas trees can be found all over the world today, but medieval Germans were the first to fully embrace the holidaytradition.
    • Even before that, many cultures, including ancient Egyptians, worshipped evergreen trees and branches as a symbol of eternal life.
    • Watch the video above to see how pagans "decked the halls" with evergreens before Queen Victoria made it a popular Christmas decoration. 

    Trees have long been used to decorate homes. Ancient Chinese, Hebrews, and Egyptians viewed evergreens as symbols of eternal life. European pagans "decked the halls" with evergreen branches to bring in life during the dark days of winter. But, medieval Germans are credited with starting the Xmas tree tradition. They brought fir trees inside on December 24. The trees were decorated with wafers, candles, and red apples. These "paradise trees" symbolized the Garden of Eden.

    17th-century German settlers brought the tradition to North America. The tradition didn't catch on with most Americans until Queen Victoria popularized it. In 1846, Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert, put up a Xmas tree. They decorated it with toys, candy, popcorn, and cakes.

    Once word spread, the popularity of Christmas trees took off. It became a tradition throughout England and North America. Now, they can be found all over the world.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Chuck Schumer

    • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a backlash from progressive Democrats after offering $1.6 billion in border security funding in the spending bill. 
    • Progressive Democrats immediately attacked Schumer over his offer, arguing that he's too quick to acquiesce to Republican requests. 
    • "We didn't build a blue wave so that they could build a wall," one critic tweeted. 

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a backlash from progressive Democrats after offering $1.6 billion in border security funding as part of a deal with President Donald Trump and the GOP on a government spending bill.

    Schumer insisted on Tuesday that the money would not go towards the construction of a border wall or an expansion of detention facilities or the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. And he said his caucus won't offer more than the $1.6 billion, even as Trump says he would "totally be willing" to shut down the government beginning on Dec. 7 if he doesn't get $5 billion in funding for the US-Mexico border wall. 

    "Our position has been clear from the beginning: Ds & Rs have a months-old agreement in the Senate. $1.6B for border security, NOT a concrete wall or increases in detention beds or ICE agents," Schumer tweeted. "We should stick to this agreement. If POTUS interferes, he is responsible for a shutdown."

    Sixty votes are required to pass the spending bill through the Senate, so Republicans need Democratic buy-in. 

    Progressive Democrats immediately attacked Schumer over his offer, arguing that he's too quick to acquiesce to Republican requests and that Democrats should flatly refuse to compromise on the issue. 

    "The correct amount of funding for the wall is $0.00,"tweeted New Yorker writer Osita Nwanevu, who also pointed out that Schumer was previously opposed to any funding for the border wall. Liberal MSNBC host Chris Hayes called Schumer's move "malpractice, politically and substantively." 

    The American Civil Liberties Union also weighed in, arguing in a Tuesday tweet that there should be a public debate over how much border funding Democrats are willing to agree to and that there's "no reason Democrats should be giving in and allocating any funding for a wall, let alone $1.6 billion." 

    Others held that Schumer is fundamentally misrepresenting the interests of a changing, increasingly progressive caucus. Some argued it makes little sense for the party to compromise on immigration when Trump's strategy of ginning up his base by fearmongering over the so-called border crisis was apparently unsuccessful in the midterms. 

    "Schumer's problem is he is forever trapped in the mindset of a circa 2002 Democrat, where nothing the party believes in is supposedly popular and everything has to be offered on Republican terms,"tweeted Oliver Willis, a liberal blogger and Democratic activist. "Of course it wasn't even true then. But Schumer hasn't learned and is the leader." 

    Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of the liberal organizing group Indivisible, called the move "sleepwalking." 

    "We didn't build a blue wave so that they could build a wall," she tweeted Tuesday.

    When Schumer posted photos on Wednesday morning of his first grandchild, Noah, who was born this week, one commenter replied, "Congrats! next, ZERO money for Trump's wall."

    This comes as Schumer's counterpart in Congress' lower chamber, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is also facing pressure from a group of lawmakers who want fresh leadership in the body. Some Pelosi allies have argued that Schumer has received relatively little pushback from the left-wing of the party as compared to Pelosi — a discrepancy some attribute to a sexist fixation on Pelosi.

    SEE ALSO: Newly-elected House Democrats make their play for powerful positions as Pelosi seeks their votes for House speaker

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    Delivery vans are lined up prior to dispatch at the Ocado CFC (Customer Fulfilment Centre) in Andover, Britain May 1, 2018. Picture taken May 1, 2018.

    • As delivery becomes cheaper because of autonomous vehicles, the need for personal shopping trips could get cut in half, KPMG estimates.
    • To fill the gap, however, one million robots could take to the street to deliver everything from pizza to groceries. 
    • The consulting firm envisions local "islands" where the technology can start, with different options for each geographic area based on the market. 

    Self-driving cars might allow you to get out of driving across town to Costco, but it doesn't mean fewer vehicles on the roads.

    According to a new study from the consulting firm KPMG, if shopping trips in personal vehicles decline even by half, one million autonomous delivery robots will need to take to the streets to fill the gap. For context, the firm estimates there are 300,000 taxis currently on US streets, and about 1 million buses. 

    "The number of bots needed to service such deliveries will be impressively large," the consultancy team lead by Gary Silberg, the firm's national automotive reader, writes in its report.

    "There may well be vehicles that pool such orders, but to meet that level of urgency, they will not carry many packages to many customers. All such vehicles must travel from the store or delivery center to the consumer and return, and they will likely not move fast since they will need to unload at homes, perhaps navigating sidewalk. As a result, only a significant number of these vehicles can meet the totality of customer demand for the same-hour delivery market."

    Read more: Ford and Walmart are teaming up to test delivering products with self-driving cars

    KPMG expects a majority of vehicles to be used for "instant" delivery, assumably within the next hour, with the second largest demand for same day delivery, and a measly fraction for next day delivery.

    Autonomous delivery vehicles by 2040 KPMG

    However, it's safe to assume companies may try to incentivize customers to choose slower or more flexible shipping options. Amazon, for example, already does this to some extent by offering Prime Now credit to members if they choose a slower shipping option instead of the company's complimentary two-day shipping.

    A one-size fits all approach won't work when it comes to autonomous deliveries, KPMG says. Instead, the firm envisions delivery "islands" stationed at strategic locations to service towns or cities. These are places where the population is dense enough to support the expensive digital infrastructure required for autonomous deliveries.

    self driving delivery islands

    This means local markets will be the source of competition, and could theoretically allow different companies to dominate in regional markets, as opposed to one leader across the country.

    "From the analysis of individual islands you [companies] will be able to make the informed decisions about which markets to enter or which to continue competing in: how you will meet your own future," Silberg writes.

    "The revolution is coming. It's time to prepare."

    SEE ALSO: Ford and Walmart are teaming up to test delivering products with self-driving cars

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    NOW WATCH: Why you shouldn't be afraid to fly, according to a pilot with over 20 years of experience

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    man worried nervous thinking listening

    • Not everyone is suited to owning a business– and that's OK.
    • Some people don't have an entrepreneurial mindset, and there are clear signs that you're not ready to start a company, according to Uptima Business Bootcamp cofounder Rani Langer-Croager.
    • There are also some practical matters you should have in order, particularly your finances.


    Despite the entrepreneurial hype of the Silicon Valley era, not everyone is suited to owning a business— and that's OK.

    "Starting and growing a business takes a lot of energy. It's very risky,"Rani Langer-Croager, the cofounder of Uptima Business Bootcamp, told Business Insider.

    There's no shame if you are happier as an employee, as some people don't have an entrepreneurial mindset. Though you can develop entrepreneurial traits, your business would need to be something "that you can't not do," according to Langer-Croager.

    From issues of risk appetite to matters of personal finance, Langer-Croager shared eight signs you might want to keep your day job, at least for now.

    SEE ALSO: 8 things that could increase your chances of being audited, and how to avoid them

    1. You have a low appetite for risk

    Here's the harsh reality of starting a business: around 70% of startups are no longer in business by year 10, according to Fundera.

    Even if your product or service is fantastic, there are a host of snags you can hit, from running out of money to running out of steam. To deal with this risk, "every entrepreneur should go into this with their own timeline" for when they expect the business to turn a profit — and pay its founder a salary.

    This timeline should be "tied to their own financial wellbeing," Langer-Croager said. In other words, figure out how long you can afford to allow your business to grow without getting something back from it, knowing that there's a chance your startup might never turn a profit. She said that doing so "makes managing that risk a little easier." 

    2. You have a "scarcity mindset"

    "People who are in a scarcity mindset think there aren't enough opportunities or resources for them," Langer-Croager said. This can result in a sense of desperation that can lead you to pursue avenues that hurt your business, rather than holding out for better opportunities. This is a pitfall even for seasoned business owners during down times, she said.

    "Working on your own relationship with money and knowing that relationship might be deep-rooted" may be necessary to remove this obstacle to becoming your own boss, according to Langer-Croager.

    3. You need a quick profit

    Small Business Trends reported only 40% of startups actually turn a profit and 82% of small business failures are tied to cash-flow problems.

    It can take years for your business to become profitable enough to pay yourself a living wage, Langer-Croager noted. "If you're trying to make cash quickly, you're going to put a lot of pressure on the business that's not going to allow it to grow the way it needs to grow," she said.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    paul manafort donald trump.JPG

    • President Donald Trump on Wednesday said a pardon for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is "not off the table" as he erroneously accused the special counsel Robert Mueller of coercing people to "flip and lie." 
    • "You know this flipping stuff is terrible. You flip and you lie and you get – the prosecutors will tell you 99% of the time they can get people to flip. It’s rare that they can’t," Trump told The New York Post in an interview. 
    • This comes shortly after Manafort was accused by Mueller of violating his plea deal by lying to the FBI and the special counsel's office on a "variety of subject matters." 

    President Donald Trump on Wednesday said a pardon for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is "not off the table" as he erroneously accused special counsel Robert Mueller of coercing people to "flip and lie." 

    In an Oval Office interview with the New York Post, the president said, "It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table?"

    Trump, without evidence, then accused Mueller of coercing Manafort — and others linked to the special counsel's probe into Russia election interference — to lie. 

    "You know this flipping stuff is terrible. You flip and you lie and you get – the prosecutors will tell you 99% of the time they can get people to flip. It’s rare that they can’t," Trump said. 

    This comes shortly after Manafort was accused by Mueller of violating his plea deal by lying to the FBI and the special counsel's office on a "variety of subject matters." 

    Read more: What Paul Manafort's highly unusual move to brief Trump's team on his discussions with Mueller reveals about his strategy

    Manafort in September pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of conspiracy against the US.

    Trump in recent days has raged over Mueller's claims, accusing him of "ruining people's lives" for "refusing to lie." The president has long criticized Mueller's investigation, characterizing it as a "witch hunt" while vehemently denying allegations his campaign colluded with Russia. 

    The presidential pardon is among the most controversial powers of the president, and critics have already accused Trump of abusing it by pardoning incendiary individuals such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

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    Senator Maggie Hassan

    • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will investigate the use of loot box micro-transactions in video games at the request of U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.
    • Hassan and other critics of the digital goods have compared loot-box transactions to gambling and have expressed concerns that the business model introduces children to addictive behavior.
    • The move follows a September statement from European regulators promising to explore the connection between loot boxes and gambling.

    Video game loot boxes are facing a fresh round of scrutiny from United States officials as the Federal Trade Commission prepares to launch an investigation into the increasingly popular business model at the request of Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

    Loot boxes are virtual packages containing digital items for use in a specific video game; most games sell loot boxes for real cash via micro-transactions, but some allow players to earn them by playing too. The items inside each virtual box are randomized, with odds of encountering each item set in advance by the developer. Especially rare items often come with really long odds. In some cases, the items inside a loot box can enhance the player's gameplay, creating an added incentive to spend real money to acquire a digital item faster.

    Clash Royale (loot box)

    Critics of the loot box business model compare the practice to gambling, because the odds of obtaining specific items are often unknown to the buyer, and the desire to find the rarest items can lead some players to continue spending money on a game with little return on investment. As more video games adopt loot boxes and micro-transactions as a standard, lawmakers around the world have expressed concerns that children are being exposed to an entry-level form of gambling.

    Read more: Regulators from more than a dozen countries are looking to crack down on 'loot boxes,' a controversial video gaming practice that could be too much like gambling

    During an oversight hearing for the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Hassan asked the commissioners to investigate loot-box practices to ensure that children are protected from habit-forming or addictive business models and that parents are informed about other potential negatives. Earlier this year Sen. Hassan wrote an open letter to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board asking the board to collect data on the use and revenue generated by micro-transactions in video games. 

    "Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smart phone games to the newest high budget video game releases," Sen. Hassan said during the hearing. "Loot boxes represent a $50 billion industry by the year 2022 according to the latest research estimates."

    FTC Chairman Joseph Simons agreed to investigate the loot-box model and issue a report.

    Sen. Hassan's comments reference an April 2018 report from UK-based Juniper Research, which predicts that loot box revenue will grow from $30 billion this year to $50 billion in 2022. Juniper recommended that regulators step in to stop teenage gamers from selling items scored in loot boxes or using them to gamble. Hassan also referenced a survey of 2,865 11- to 16-year-olds from the UK Gambling Commission showing that 31% of participants had paid for a loot box or had used an in-game item to open a loot box.

    However, in a statement given to prior to Monday's hearing, the UK Gambling Commission clarified that though 31% of the surveyed teens had used loot boxes, there was no direct correlation with gambling.

    The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the political interests of American video game companies, issued the following statement in response to Sen. Hassan's comments:

    "Loot boxes are one way that players can enhance the experience that video games offer. Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase. They can enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, but have no impact on those who do not."

    The ESA also said that the ESRB already documents the presence of loot boxes and other interactive elements in video games. As of February 2018, games rated by the ESRB now carry an "in-game purchases" label when micro-transactions are present. Tools for parents to monitor the contents of their children's games are available at

    Read more:Video game addiction has sparked a culture war in China — and it’s having huge repercussions for the world's biggest video game maker

    In September, the Gambling Regulators European Forum released a joint statement signed by officials from 15 European countries and the Washington State Gambling Commission mirroring concerns about the potential connection between loot boxes and gambling.

    Some European countries have already implemented regulations on micro-transactions, leading developers to disclose the odds of winning each item included in loot boxes or discontinue their sale entirely. A Belgian investigation of popular games like "Overwatch,""FIFA 19,""PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds," and "NBA 2K19" for their implementation of loot boxes ultimately sparked reform earlier this year.

    Despite warnings from politicians and waves of consumer outrage, gaming companies are seeing larger percentages of their revenue generated from micro-transactions each year. While some contend that buying optional loot boxes is ultimately an issue of player's choice, the concern from critics is that, like gambling, the issue is not knowing when to stop.

    SEE ALSO: Video game addiction has sparked a culture war in China — and it’s having huge repercussions for the world's biggest video game maker

    SEE ALSO: Regulators from more than a dozen countries are looking to crack down on 'loot boxes,' a controversial video gaming practice that could be too much like gambling

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    washing romaine lettuce e coli

    • Romaine lettuce is now safe to eat, as long as it was not grown in northern and central California, the FDA announced Monday. 
    • Major romaine lettuce producers and distributors will begin labeling lettuce with its harvest location and date. If lettuce is unlabeled, the FDA says it should not be eaten and instead be thrown away.
    • Romaine lettuce has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that resulted in 43 reported illnesses across 12 states in the US, as well as 22 people in Canada who have become ill, as of Monday. 

    Romaine lettuce is back on the menu. 

    On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that romaine lettuce not grown in northern and central California is safe to eat. 

    The romaine has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that resulted in 43 reported illnesses across 12 states in the United States, as well as 22 people in Canada who have become ill, as of Monday. 

    Read more:Romaine lettuce sales are down more than $71 million so far this year as the industry has been pummeled with food-poisoning outbreaks — and things are about to get worse

    Major romaine lettuce producers and distributors will begin labeling lettuce with its harvest location and date to ensure that the vegetables were not contaminated by E. coli. Specific counties where the romaine linked to the outbreak was harvested include Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura, the FDA announced on Wednesday. 

    If the lettuce is labeled and not from northern and central California, it is safe to eat; if it is not labeled, the FDA is advising against buying or eating the lettuce. 

    "The FDA believes it was critically important to have a 'clean break' in the romaine supply available to consumers in the US in order to purge the market of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce related to the current outbreak," the FDA said in a statement. "This appears to have been accomplished through the market withdrawal request of Nov. 20, 2018."

    On November 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told people across the US to stop eating and get rid of romaine lettuce in all forms. At that point, at least 32 people in 11 states had reported E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce starting in October, according to the CDC. 

    Food poisoning outbreaks have cost the romaine lettuce industry millions of dollars so far in 2017. In April, the FDA revealed that romaine lettuce harvested in the Yuma, Arizona, region was contaminated with E. coli in an outbreak that left five people dead and sickened at least 210. 

    The outbreak sent romaine lettuce sales plummeting more than 40% in the weeks after the CDC told people to throw away all types of romaine. Romaine lettuce sales are down by more than $71 million so far in 2018, according to Nielsen data.

    Despite the rough year, Bill Marler, an attorney who specializes in food-poisoning cases, says there's no clear reason why romaine has been at the center of two major E. coli outbreaks.

    "I think it's just, romaine's getting a bad draw," Marler said. "It could have just as easily happened to other kinds of lettuce or other types of leafy greens, such as spinach."

    SEE ALSO: Romaine lettuce has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 32 people in 11 states. Here's why this food-poisoning expert never orders salad in restaurants.

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

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    Tim Cook

    • Apple's stock has fallen sharply this month.
    • Investors have been spooked by the company's decision to discontinue reporting the number of iPhones it sells — and by indications of weak sales of the latest phones.
    • Investors are right to be upset about Apple's decision and concerned about iPhone sales, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a new report in which he cut his price target for Apple.
    • But shareholders who get too caught up in the iPhone news are missing a big reason to be bullish about Apple's stock, he said.

    Daniel Ives wants you to know that he's still bullish on Apple. 

    But even his outlook on the iPhone maker isn't as rosy today as it was just a few weeks ago. 

    In a research note on Wednesday, Ives, a financial analyst for Wedbush and a longtime bull on Apple's stock, slashed his price target on the company's shares from $310 to $275 and cut his earnings estimates for its current quarter and fiscal year. The updates reflect reports that sales of the company's iPhones have been lower than anticipated and his expectation that they may not get better anytime soon.

    Still, he's sticking by the company, maintaining his "outperform" rating on its shares and trying to reassure shareholders made nervous by the recent plunge in Apple's shares.

    "The key question we keep getting from investors is, do you stay bullish on the name or just throw in the towel on the stock till the dust clears?" Ives said in the note. "It's a good and valid question."

    In his opinion, the selloff has only made Apple more attractive. 

    "Apple still remains of our favorite tech names heading into 2019 despite the horror show over the last month seen out of Cupertino," he said.

    Apple's stock has been plunging since its earnings report

    The tech giant has been reeling since it announced its latest earnings report at the beginning of this month. Although the company's sales and profit results topped Wall Street's expectations, it sold fewer iPhones than expected and projected that its holiday results may come in below analysts' forecasts. Worse, it announced it would no longer report the number of iPhones it sells each quarter, stoking fears that it was trying to hide an expected sales decline. Those fears have been amplified since with reports that indicate weak demand for the company's latest phones. 

    Wedbush financial analyst Daniel Ives, who covers AppleOn top of all that, President Trump indicated this week that Apple may be hit with a tariff on the iPhone and its other products that are manufactured in China.

    Since November 1, when it reported earnings, Apple's stock has fallen 18%. Thanks to that drop, the company's market capitalization has fallen well below the $1 trillion mark it topped in August and even briefly fell below that of Microsoft.

    Read this: Microsoft's surprising comeback over Apple is the outcome of two new CEOs with radically different game plans

    All the bad news out of and surrounding the company has been a "perfect storm" that has bolstered the pessimistic — or bear — case on Apple's stock, Ives said. Those bears have argued that Apple is a maturing company and, as such, should trade at a lower multiple to its earnings than it has in the past when it was growing rapidly. 

    "Many of those bears have come out of their caves after hibernation, arguing the iPhone upgrade cycle will continue to decelerate and multiple compression is on the horizon," Ives said.

    iPhone sales have been a "disappointment"

    Apple bears some of the blame for the selloff, he said. Sales of the latest iPhones have been a "clear disappointment," and the company needs to rethink its pricing strategy and the design of its upcoming phones, he said. What's more, it bungled the way it communicated its decision to stop providing unit sales of the iPhone, he said. 

    "It is extremely frustrating and perplexing the way Apple communicated the 'metrics move,'" Ives said.

    Even so, those who are focusing on the bearish case are missing some important trends, he said. While Apple's move to hike prices on the iPhone may have depressed sales, the decision has meant that its revenues have held up and likely will continue to do so.

    While the company's decision to stop reporting iPhone unit sales was disappointing, the company had a legitimate reason for doing so, Ives said. Apple is no longer just a hardware company. Its services business — which includes both its AppleCare warranty and subscription offerings such as Apple Music and iCloud storage — is now its second biggest segment  and one of its fastest growing. The company's revenues aren't just determined by how many iPhones it sells, but also how many additional services for which it convinces customers to sign up. 

    Apple's "underlying goal [in discontinuing reporting the unit-sales numbers] is to get the Street to start valuing the entire business as an overall services business with hardware/iPhone purchase the first step," Ives said.

    Apple is becoming a services company

    The services business has huge potential, Ives said, and it's ultimately what keeps him bullish on Apple. That business posted more than $37 billion in sales in the company's last fiscal year, which ended in September. It should easily hit $50 billion in annual sales by 2020, Ives said.

    Even better for Apple and its investors, that segment's gross margins — which represent the difference between what a company charges consumers for its products and services and its direct costs of making and providing those products and services — are about double that for its hardware sales. So, if Apple continues to see more of its revenue coming from services rather than from selling phones and computers, it should start posting even healthier profits.

    Apple's services revenue grew 24% last year, and Ives expects it to continue to grow by at least 20% a year for the foreseeable future. Because of that growth and the revenue it's already posting, he thinks the services business alone is worth $400 billion to $450 billion. By way of comparison, Apple's overall market capitalization at the close of trading on Wednesday stood at $859 billion.

    "The services business represents the linchpin of Apple's future," Ives said. He continued: "Now it's about Cook and [Apple] navigating through this white-knuckle period and proving that Apple's ability to monetize its billion [-plus] devices sold to date and unparalleled installed base is still on the horizon and not in the rear view mirror."

    Now read:

    SEE ALSO: Apple's $1,000 iPhones are turning it into a luxury brand — and it could lose a whole generation of customers

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

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    happy endings wedding

    • Many people get cold feet before their weddings. 
    • Some people go through with it, some don't.
    • These people told their stories of getting cold feet and either calling it off or going through with the wedding. 

    It's normal to feel very nervous or even anxious before you walk down the aisle to marry someone. Some of that could be from feeling worried about standing in front of a big crowd of people, but sometimes, it's more serious than that. While some people get over their cold feet and go on to have happy marriages, others don't… and they let things totally fall apart.

    There are a bunch of stories on Reddit about people who got cold feet right before their wedding, and they're pretty horrifying. They might even make you nervous about your own future wedding day. Of course, these are just for fun as INSIDER cannot independently authenticate these stories:

    "I didn't leave and I should have."

    "I realized 10 days before the wedding it was a mistake, but talked myself into believing it was cold feet, and got caught up thinking about the deposits and guests traveling. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Almost divorced now! Worst years of my life." - Redditor Daiye7

    "I left a man at the altar."

    "I was in my dress and getting ready to go to the chapel when I realized I couldn't. I froze. I didn't love him as much as I craved the safety and security that being married would bring. I was fairly recently divorced and very young and scared." - Redditor fluffledoodle

    "My sister was left at the altar by my best mate and I was the best man."

    "He met my sister through me and they went out with each other for two years and were engaged for a year before the big day. We're in the church, at the front, waiting for the bride with about 15 minutes to go. He says he needs the toilet and walks to the back of the church. A minute or so later it hits me that the toilets aren't at the back of the church and I start to worry, so I go looking for him. He's not in the toilets, not around the church, nowhere to be found.

    "My best mate had legged it. We didn't see or hear from him for three days, his own family for two days, and by then - he was in Europe somewhere 'staying with a friend,' where he's been ever since, three years now. He's never made any effort to explain, even to my sister." - Redditor thrownitawayday

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Stormy Daniels

    • Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels said Michael Avenatti, her firebrand attorney, had filed a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump without her approval.
    • Daniels also said Avenatti ignored her monthslong requests to give accounting information on crowdfunding for her legal fees and launched another campaign "to raise money on my behalf," without her knowing.
    • Daniels suggested she is still considering whether to keep Avenatti as her attorney.
    • Avenatti released his own statement saying he was Daniels' "biggest champion" and had "personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy" for her case.

    Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels said Michael Avenatti, her firebrand attorney, had litigated on her behalf against President Donald Trump without her approval.

    In a statement sent to The Daily Beast, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said Avenatti had spoken on her behalf "without my approval" and filed a defamation case "against my wishes."

    Daniels also said Avenatti had ignored her monthslong requests to give accounting information on crowdfunding for her legal fees, and instead, launched another crowdfunding campaign"to raise money on my behalf."

    "Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said," Daniels said in her statement. "I'm deeply grateful to my supporters and they deserve to know their money is being spent responsibly. I don't want to hurt Michael, but it's time to set the record straight."

    Read more: 'I have never struck a woman': Michael Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations after his arrest by the LAPD

    stormy daniels

    Daniels suggested she was still considering whether to keep Avenatti as her attorney. After Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic abuse earlier in November, Daniels said she would be "seeking new representation" if the allegations were proven to be true.

    Avenatti adamantly denied the domestic abuse allegations. The Los Angeles district attorney declined to press charges, and the case, which is still under investigation, was referred to the city attorney.

    "I haven't decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward," Daniels said. "Michael has been a great advocate in many ways. I'm tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice."

    "But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client," Daniels added.

    In response to Daniels' claims, Avenatti released his own statement to The Beast. The attorney asserted he was Daniels' "biggest champion" and had "personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy" for her case.

    Avenatti said the funds from the crowdsourced donations were intended to pay for legal fees and costs, but instead, a portion of it went toward "security expenses and similar other expenses." He continued by saying the new crowdsource effort "was simply a refresh" of the previous campaign and was "designed to defray some of [Daniels'] expenses."

    "We reset the page as the focus of the case changed from when we first launched the site," Avenatti said to The Beast.

    Avenatti, who asserted he had not "received a dime in attorney's fees" through the crowdsource campaign, added in another email that Daniels' "extraordinary" fees amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars "due to the high level of death threats" and "out-of-pocket costs" for litigation.

    In her lawsuit against Trump, Daniels said he had defamed her by suggesting she had lied about an alleged relationship with him. A federal judge eventually ruled in favor of Trump and ordered Daniels to pay for his legal fees. Avenatti said he would appeal the case.

    Avenatti and Daniels became household names after she said she and Trump had an affair in 2006. Trump has vehemently denied the allegation. Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, said he arranged a $130,000 hush payment to squash the story in order to protect Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

    SEE ALSO: 'I have never struck a woman': Michael Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations after his arrest by the LAPD

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    NOW WATCH: Fox News' Harris Faulkner is the only black woman in cable news with a daily show: 'It's a tremendous amount of responsibility'

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    Mazda 3

    • Mazda introduced the new 2019 Mazda3 at the 2018 LA Auto Show on Wednesday.
    • The Mazda3 will be available as both a sedan and a hatchback.
    • The Mazda3 is available with five different four-cylinder engines including a diesel and mild hybrid. 
    • The new Mazda3 goes on sales in early 2019. 

    Mazda introduced the new 2019 Mazda3 at the 2018 LA Auto Show on Wednesday. Even as Ford and General Motors announced their plans to exit the passenger car market, Mazda has unveiled one of the most striking and innovate compact cars in recent memory. 

    The fourth generation Mazda3, which is expected to go on sale in early 2019, will be available as both a sedan and four-door hatchback. 

    It's the latest in a long line of modern compact Mazdas that date back to the 323 hatchback and sedan. (The Mazda 323 sedan sold as the Protege in the US.)

    Mazda3Aesthetically, the Mazda3 represents the latest development in the Hiroshima, Japan-based automakers striking Kodo design language. The Mazda3 hatchback, in particular, is a direct descendant of the company's well-received Kai concept car that made the rounds at international auto shows last year. 

    Power for the Mazda3 comes from a quintet of four-cylinder engines ranging from 1.5 liters in displacement to 2.5 liters. Mazda is pushing its fuel-saving SkyActiv technology to new levels with a long-awaited 1.8-liter diesel and a mild hybrid. 

    Mazda3Mazda has not revealed the exact power output of any of the engines. 

    The Mazda3 will be available with a choice of a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is also available.

    Read more: Honda just unveiled a new all-American SUV to take on Ford, Nissan, and Chevy.

    The new Mazda3 comes during a period of contraction for the compact car segment. Through October, compact car sales are down 13.8% in the US. The Mazda3 is down even more at 14.3%. On Monday, GM announced that it plans to kill of the Cruze compact in 2019.

    Hopefully, the innovative and striking 2019 Mazda3 will inject some much need lift into the segment.  Official pricing is not yet available. 


    SEE ALSO: Jeep just jumped into the pickup truck game to take on Ford, Chevy, and Toyota with the 'most capable mid-size truck ever'

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    Joseph Duo, a Liberian militia commander loyal to the government, exults after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces at a key strategic bridge July 20, 2003 in Monrovia, Liberia. Government forces succeeded in forcing back rebel forces in fierce fighting on the edge of Monrovia's city center.

    The first known photograph ever taken was by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827, showing a view from a window of his home in France's Burgundy region.

    In 1839, the first known photograph of a person was taken in Paris, showing a shoe shiner working on the Boulevard du Temple. 

    But it wasn't until Mathew Brady, known as the father of photojournalism, and his employee, Andrew Gardner, began shooting pictures of dead American soldiers on Civil War battlefields that the medium transformed the way people saw war. 

    Since then, photography has both glorified and underscored the atrocities of conflict and war. 

    Here are eight of the most iconic war photographs of all-time in chronological order. 

    SEE ALSO: These 8 iconic images tell the story of every US conflict from World War I to Afghanistan

    1. The Dead of Antietam (1862)

    After the bloody Civil War battle of Antietam, Andrew Gardner took 70 shots of the dead in a field.

    It was the first time dead soldiers had been photographed on a battlefield.

    When Gardner later put them on display in New York City, the horrors of the Civil War, which before had only been seen in paintings, finally became apparent to Americans.

    2. Warsaw Ghetto Boy (1943)

    Likely taken by a Nazi photog named Franz Konrad, this photo shows Nazis rounding up Jewish people in the Warsaw ghetto. 

    The 9-year-old boy in the picture may have been Dr. Tsvi Nussbaum, who later became a doctor in New York, but the claim was never proven

    In any event, as the Washington Post's Clay Harris wrote in 1978, the picture "wrenches the heart because it appears that the boy, like millions of Jews and others, is to die at the hands of the Nazis." 

    3. Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (1945)

    This photo by Joe Rosenthal of the American flag being planted on Iwo Jima may be the Second World War's most iconic photo.

    Fifty years after the picture was taken, the Associated Press wrote that it may be the world's most widely reproduced.

    Half of the six soldiers depicted died — among 6,821 Americans — on the very same island they claimed: Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank, and Harlon Block.

    Rosenthal received a Pulitzer Prize for the photo in 1945. 


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Many people know when their partner is going to propose but others aren't so sure.
    • They may suddenly be more frugal.
    • They may also suddenly plan a trip. 
    • The only way to know for sure is to ask — or be surprised. 

    When you and your partner have been together for long enough, it's natural to start wondering if a proposal is around the corner.

    Chances are that you may have had a conversation or two about marriage before anyone pops the question, but it can still be exciting to try and spot the signs of an impending engagement.

    Here are a few subtle clues that your partner is planning to propose.

    They are suddenly more concerned with sticking to a budget.

    Getting married can be expensive, and a big chunk of that expense is likely to come in the form of an engagement ring. Though spending gobs of money on a sparkly rock is definitely not a requirement for a happy marriage,many people feel that giving a beautiful engagement ring is a gesture of love.  

    If your partner suddenly seems very concerned with sticking to a strict budget or finding ways to be frugal, it might mean they're saving up their pennies for the ring of your dreams.

    Your passport is nowhere to be found.

    Is your partner the type to plan a show topping proposal overseas? If so, you might want to check on the whereabouts of your passport.

    As the Telegraph reported, more and more people areproposing on vacation or planning proposals that revolve around travel. A missing passport may mean that your beloved has temporarily swiped it in order to book plane tickets without your knowledge. Of course, be sure that your passport eventually turns up again before assuming there's a proposal in the works.

    Your partner has started commenting on your friends' engagement rings.

    According to The Knot's 2017 Jewelry & Engagement study,66% of grooms report picking out the perfect engagement ring without input from their potential fiancée. This means that your partner will likely try to get some clues from you regarding your style preferences. If your partner suddenly seems obsessed with talking about other people's engagement rings or your taste in jewelry, consider that a pretty heavy hint.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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