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The latest news from Business Insider

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    BMW X7

    • BMW's X7 SUV goes on sale in March 2019.
    • The SUV will start at $74,895 and will compete against Audi's Q7 SUV and Mercedes-Benz's GLS SUV.
    • An optional V8 engine will crank out 456 horsepower and serve up a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds, BMW said.
    • Driver-assistance features include lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, assisted parking, blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, rear and frontal collision warning, pedestrian warning, and rear cross-traffic warning.

    BMW rolled out its new 2019 X7 SUV on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The carmaker plans to put the three-row X7 on sale next March. The vehicle will start at $74,895 and compete against the likes of Audi's Q7 SUV and Mercedes-Benz's GLS SUV.

    Two trim levels — xDrive40i and xDrive50i — will be available. The xDrive50i will offer a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, while the xDrive40i will have a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. For both, power will be sent to the all-wheel-drive system via an eight-speed transmission.

    Read more: I drove a $97,000 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe to see if it can be an SUV and a sports car — here's the verdict

    The inline six cranks out 335 horsepower with 330 pound-feet of torque, while the V8 will up that to 456 horsepower with 479 pound-feet of torque. According to BMW, the 0-60 mph dash will take a mere 5.2 seconds for the V8-equipped X7. Driver-assistance features will include lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, assisted parking, blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, rear and frontal collision warning, pedestrian warning, and rear cross-traffic warning.

    The X7 will have a maximum 90.4 cubic feet of storage capacity when the third row of seats is not occupied.

    The big Bimmer will go up against other seven-seat luxury SUVs in the segment and occupy the flagship position in BMW's SUV fleet, above the X3 and the X5. It will be produced at the same plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that makes the those smaller SUVs, as well as the X4 and the X6.

    SEE ALSO: Audi just revealed a new electric concept car that puts Tesla's Model S to shame

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: There's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us

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    Bernie Sanders

    • The Senate on Wednesday advanced a resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
    • The resolution, which calls on the president to remove most US troops stationed in Yemen, passed 63 to 37. 
    • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) led the push for the resolution, alongside Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
    • All Senate Democrats voted in favor of the resolution
    • Calls for strong action against Saudi Arabia and its leadership have grown louder since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month. Wednesday's vote signals strong bipartisan pushback against the White House over its continued support of its Middle East ally. 

    The Senate on Wednesday advanced a resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

    The resolution, which calls on the president to remove most US troops in Yemen, passed 63 to 37. The resolution failed to pass earlier this year. 

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) led the push for the measure alongside Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Sanders has long opposed the United States' role in the war in Yemen — one of the world's worst humanitarian crises— and characterized it as "unconstitutional" given that Congress had not weighed in on the matter. 

    In an incredible show of unity, all Senate Democrats voted in favor of the resolution. Prominent Senate Republicans, including Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) — all of whom have voiced strong opposition to Trump's handling of Saudi Arabia in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's murder —  also voted in favor of the measure.

    Following the vote, Sanders praised the decision to move toward withdrawing troops from Yemen.

    "The bottom line is the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a dangerous and irresponsible military policy," Sanders said in a statement. "Let us bring this catastrophic war in Yemen to an end, help bring peace to this tortured country and with the rest of the world help provide the humanitarian aid that is so desperately needed."

    Murphy tweeted that Wednesday's vote sent a huge signal to the Trump administration. 

    "The Saudis are our ally. But their war in Yemen has gone off the rails and their disregard for human life has become unconscionable," he wrote. "Today’s Senate vote is a signal to the Administration that they must reorient American policy toward Saudi Arabia or Congress will do it for them."

    The resolution still needs another vote to be debated on the floor, and then a final vote — though the White House has indicated plans to shelve the measure when it reaches the president's desk. 

    In the lead up to the vote, the Trump administration was accused of trying to "cover up" Khashoggi's murder by reportedly blocking CIA Director Gina Haspel from attending a classified Senate briefing on Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Khashoggi. Haspel has traveled to Istanbul to discuss the investigation and is said to have listened to audio of the grisly killing. A CIA spokesperson told The Washington Post that "the notion that anyone told Director Haspel not to attend today’s briefing is false."

    Earlier this month, the CIA determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination despite consistent denials from Riyadh. Bipartisan calls for strong action against Saudi Arabia and its leadership have grown louder since the October 2 killing, and Wednesday's vote signals strong pushback against the White House over its continued support for its Middle East ally. 

    SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders slams US support for 'despotic' Saudi Arabia in Yemen and bashes Trump over Khashoggi: 'No more! Enough death. Enough killing.'

    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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    Aaron Samuels Blavity

    • Aaron Samuels is cofounder and chief operating officer of Blavity, the LA media upstart focused on African-American millennials, and he is a man of many talents.
    • The Stanford business school grad oversees a team of 48 full-time employees, with a vision to perfect the storytelling art for a generation of people underserved by the current mass-media landscape.
    • Samuels' early years as an artist and poet helped shape that focus, and he believes that by owning your own narrative you can reshape the way you live in the world.
    • With the help of Samuels' cofounders, Blavity is emerging as a media juggernaut, a little more than four years after its founding.

    "When you tell your own story, it changes the way other people see you, and it changes the way you see yourself," Aaron Samuels, cofounder and chief operating officer of Blavity, a digital-news publication geared toward African-American millennials told Business Insider.

    Blavity has been a hot topic in the media world since it closed a $6.5 million Series A round with Google Ventures in July, bringing its total venture investment so far to $8.5 million. That's an almost of unheard-of amount of money for an early-stage, black-owned startup, much less a new digital publication — especially one with a young, black, female CEO, Morgan DeBaun, Samuels' cofounder.

    But it is clearly doing something right. Blavity has only been in business for four years, and it already has seven million readers per month.

    And much of that success is anchored in Samuels' personal mission for the company.

    Come see Aaron Samuels speak at Business Insider's Ignition conference, December 3 & 4 in New York.

    He believes that by creating a company — and a community — that lets black millennials "really control their own narratives" in ways that mainstream media doesn't understand, "we could change the way people see themselves."

    Aaron Samuels BlavityBlavity was founded in 2014, but you could trace its roots back to Samuels' teenage years, when he discovered the power of storytelling through poetry, and later, on the Washington University campus in St. Louis, Missouri, where Samuels and his friends — DeBaun, Jonathan Jackson, and Jeff Nelson — experienced firsthand the phenomenon that would eventually define Blavity's core ethos.

    Samuels calls it "black gravity," a microcosm of black people who would move toward each other in public spaces. At the campus in St. Louis, the lunch table was a central meeting place.

    "The black community at Washington University was really tight. Although Washington University was primarily a white institution, black folks stuck together, we looked out for each other," Samuels told Business Insider in an interview at Blavity's downtown Los Angeles headquarters.

    "That experience represented support; it represented love, and trust," Samuels said. "It was a way for us to flourish and thrive, and also represented all the different kinds of black conversations that were happening simultaneously."

    They talked about everything from politics to engineering homework to where the party was going to be on the weekend.

    But for Samuels, who grew up in a mixed-race, mixed-faith household in Providence, Rhode Island, with a Jewish mother and an African-American father — both of whom are clinical psychologists — finding common ground is a practiced art.

    His parents taught him to identify with all corners of his cultural identity and to embrace and share it with others. And that ultimately helped him navigate a world where he often found himself in the minority.

    "I could see that learning how to own and tell my story can change the way that others see me, and more importantly change the way that I see myself," Samuels said.

    "I wanted to imagine what happens if we do this on a community level, if everyone who I'm friends with is also owning their own stories and their own narrative," he said.

    Aaron Samuels Blavity

    Living at the office, literally

    His Washington University friends would eventually become his cofounders, but not right away. Immediately after they graduated, they went to work on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.

    Samuels worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York, DeBaun became a product manager at Intuit, Nelson was an early engineer at Palantir, and Jackson was a community manager at LinkedIn.

    Those roles taught them the necessary skills they would take to Blavity, but there was a downside.

    With social and political unrest brewing in places like Ferguson, Missouri, Samuels said he and his friends — who were, at the time, separated by distance and their careers — shared a less edifying experience than their happy college days.

    "This time, we didn't have that core black gravity linking us together. The world was exploding. This is 2014; this is coming off the heels of the government execution of Troy Davis; this is after Trayvon Martin. And that was building up to 2014 when Mike Brown was killed," Samuels said.

    Ferguson protests"It was hard to be a black person in primarily white spaces when so many things were happening," he said.

    On some days, Samuels recalled, he would walk into work, and it would feel like none of the political unrest he and other black millennials saw as an existential threat was happening at all.

    So, he did what most black millennials did at the time.

    "I was texting my friends and family, or I was going to social media to feel what needed to be felt, so that at least I knew I wasn't crazy to be like, sad, or upset, or angry, or frustrated."

    Samuels wasn't alone. That's when he, DeBaun, Jackson, and Nelson landed on an idea. They could take their combined experience in digital technology and business strategy, along with the creative people they knew who were sharing stories on social media, to replicate their college-years' feeling of black gravity. And they could do that on a national level, he said.

    So, in July 2014, Blavity was born. Early on, it existed as a virtual company. The team worked via Slack, Asana, and Gmail. After a year and a half of bootstrapping, they opened their first office, inside a large live-work loft in LA's arts district — but the hustle continued.

    Samuels, DeBaun, and the team lived in that loft; they created separate micro-apartments inside — one for DeBaun and the other for Samuels — while the office occupied the rest of the space.

    "It doesn't get any closer than living, eating, and breathing your work," Samuels quipped.

    That early focus on elevating African-American millennials in a digital media landscape where they were inadequately represented proved to be the right move.

    More than two years after Blavity's founding, an October 2016 Nielsen report illustrated just how effectively African-American millennials, with their multibillion-dollar buying power and "undisputed cultural influence" was driving conversations online.

    Blavity team founders Aaron Samuels Morgan DeBaun Jonathan Jackson Jeff Nelson

    A game of endurance

    As if growing a startup with his best friends and living at the office with them weren't enough, Samuels was also attending Stanford business school and traveling.

    He calls his life a game of endurance.

    "It's a statement about the journeys that some entrepreneurs have to go through, that other entrepreneurs never have to go through," he said.

    Things changed after Blavity raised $1.86 million of seed-round funding in April 2017 from the Washington, DC-based New Media Ventures and LA-based Macro Ventures. The company has since gone on to raise $8.5 million total.

    Now the company has an office parked in a pristine high-rise in bustling downtown Los Angeles, where Samuels oversees 48 full-time employees, as well as a new office and staff in Atlanta.

    Samuels is excited about expansion but doesn't want to lose sight of the bigger mission: empowering a generation of leaders.

    Aaron Samuels Blavity AfroTech 2017"I’m really excited about the next phase for our company," Samuels said.

    "I'm also terrified. I think that it is difficult being a black millennial in this country. That is something that has probably always been true for the entire history of this country. And I don’t think that it’s different now."

    Samuels recognizes the progress black people have made in the world, but he warns against using that progress to justify that things still are not as they should be.

    He hopes that Blavity can lead the way in moving the cultural conversation forward. To Samuels, that conversation should include everyone, without neglecting Blavity's foundational principles.

    "I am hoping for more support from our current community to expand, to be welcoming, and to share in our collective excitement about the possibilities of what we can build together," he said.

    Find Aaron Samuels on Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @PoetryAaron.

    Hear more of Samuels' story, building a business as an artist and founder, and the future of black digital media at IGNITION 2018.

    Register now »

    SEE ALSO: Announcing IGNITION 2018 speakers: Don't miss Mark Cuban, Sir Martin Sorrell, Danica Patrick, Troy Carter, and more!

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    Steve Cohen

    • Senior hedge fund managers are taking home smaller paychecks in 2018.
    • Median compensation - including base and bonus - for senior analysts is expected to decline by 12%, while median pay for portfolio managers is projected to fall 15%.
    • Market volatility, particularly in October, hurt hedge funds this year.

    This year was a brutal one for hedge funds— and it's hitting portfolio managers' bonuses as a result. 

    With hedge funds suffering from poor performance in 2018, investment managers are likely to to take home smaller paychecks, according to a new report.

    "Hedge funds had a bad year," said Adam Zoia, chief executive officer at compensation advisory firm CompIQ, which published the data. "Of course, the year is not over, but so far, it's not good." 

    Median compensation - including base and bonus - for senior analysts is expected to decline by as much as 12%, to $572,000 in 2018. For portfolio managers, it is likely to fall to $967,370, down 15% year-over-year, the report said.

    Junior investment professionals and back office employees will be shielded from the volatility, Zoia said. The report predicts a 1% decrease in median pay for junior analysts.

    See also: Hedge funds have plunged into a 'vicious downward cycle' with the most popular stocks, and it's a sign the meltdown is just getting started

    The hedge fund industry has historically been known for its eye-popping salaries, with managers such as Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio and Appaloosa Management's David Tepper among the world's wealthiest

    But recently the industry has come under pressure from its own investors — called limited partners — for its high fees and subpar returns. 

    As of November 1, hedge funds across all strategies posted an annual return of -0.8%, according to CompIQ. That compares to a return of 11.4% in 2017, which was the highest level in four years. 

    The month of October, in particular, was the worst month for hedge funds since May 2010.  The group lost almost 3%, according to Hedge Fund Research

    As a result of market turmoil smaller hedge funds might slash jobs by year-end, Zoia predicted. 

    See also:

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Seth Klarman

    • Baupost Group CEO Seth Klarman gave a speech calling for a shift away from what he sees as toxic short-termism.
    • He believes this is the result of the theory of shareholder primacy, and he thinks other stakeholders, like employees and the community, need to be considered for the sake of long-term growth.
    • He called for companies to reconsider their actions as society's calls for change become increasingly stronger.
    • This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism.

    Seth Klarman, the renowned founder and CEO of the $30 billion hedge fund the Baupost Group, recently gave a speech on the ramifications of shareholder primacy.

    "Business schools have sometimes taught that shareholder value maximization is the Holy Grail, the sole proper focus of corporate managements," he said. "So I ask, should managements be focused solely on a company's share price, which itself is ephemeral, and do everything within their power to levitate it? What longer-term good would this possibly accomplish? And does anyone really believe that shareholders are the only constituency that matters: not customers, not employees, not the community, or the country, or planet Earth?"

    Klarman gave the speech at a dinner celebrating the opening of Klarman Hall at Harvard Business School on Oct. 1.

    Klarman is an avowed value investor, which means his approach to managing money involves buying shares of companies he thinks are cheap relative to their peers. It's a philosophy employed by other industry heavyweights, such as Warren Buffett and Joel Greenblatt, who is the managing principal and cochief investment officer at Gotham Funds.

    Read more:An unauthorized copy of Seth Klarman's investing bible that Wall Streeters pay thousands of dollars for was up for grabs on Kindle for $9.99

    It makes sense, then, that he's in favor of an approach that creates long-term value. But his speech declared the notion of shareholder primacy, as it's been practiced for the last 40 years, is an impediment to the health of the economy and society at large.

    "A capitalist economy should be judged not just on the aggregate economic improvement driven by its innovation, but also on the design and strength of the social safety net that cushions the ill, or disadvantaged, or those who simply fail to thrive in their particular setting, geography, industry, or trade," Klarman said.

    What is the role of business in society?

    The debate over the pursuit of short- versus long-term value, and how that is related to the responsibilities of public corporations, has been drawn out over many decades.

    In the wake of the Great Depression, the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote in "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" that the American stock market encouraged public companies to prioritize short-term gains — temporarily benefiting their stock price — over long-term gains, which benefit both their business and society as a whole. It frustrated Keynes and the Keynesians that followed.

    But for free-market economists like Milton Friedman, who published "Capitalism and Freedom" in 1962, there was no need to differentiate between the short and long terms. For Friedman, a company's sole social responsibility was to make as much profit as possible, as long as it followed the rules. A free market would reward the best companies, which would take care of all stakeholders.

    American executives and politicians embraced Friedman's ideas in the 1980s, and judicial precedents in the United States cemented the notion that public companies existed to maximize profits for their shareholders.

    This debate resumed in earnest, however, during the recovery from the financial crisis of 2008, and this time, the other side has more momentum. Klarman isn't the only billionaire calling for change.

    In 2013, investor Paul Tudor Jones, for example, cofounded Just Capital, which measures public companies' value to all stakeholders, not just the shareholders. It launched an exchange-traded fund in partnership with Goldman Sachs earlier this year. On the corporate side, more large companies, like food giant Danone, are seeking "B Corp" status (the "B" stands for "benefit") — this certification proves they received high marks from the company B Lab, founded in 2006, that measures a company's societal benefit.

    And, notably, this past January, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote in his annual letter to CEOs that, "To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society."

    At the New York Times DealBook Conference in October, Fink defended himself against accusations from critics, like Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr., that he was just trying to be en vogue or "buy indulgences" from the public. As Fink put it, the demand from customers and employees for customers with purpose has become so strong that he wrote his letter as a way to improve his clients' performance.

    There's evidence this is more than just intuition. Boston Consulting Group found that companies pursuing initiatives that benefit ESG (environmental, social, governance) metrics actually boost their bottom lines. Fink said that in the near-future — as early as the next five years — all investors will measure a company's value along ESG metrics.

    Where Klarman stands

    While Klarman called for an improvement of capitalism in his speech, he did not consider his suggestions to be drastic.

    He specifically mentioned Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act as something he finds too radical. Warren's proposal would require billion-dollar public companies to obtain a federal charter that binds them to creating value for stakeholders beyond shareholders, as well as have 40% of its board members elected by employees.

    The way he sees it, businesses should determine how they are going to grow more responsibly before regulators decide for them.

    He noted that, "when capitalism goes unchecked and unexamined, and management is seduced by a narrow and myopic perspective, the pendulum can quickly swing in directions where capitalism's benefits are discounted, and its flaws exaggerated, thereby leaving its future even more clouded and uncertain."

    "While it's hard to see how this proposed regulation would solve the problems that I've raised tonight, it’s exactly the kind of proposal that business will have to contend with when complex issues go unexamined, and when character, sound values, restraint, and long-term thinking fail to gain the upper hand."

    SEE ALSO: More than 2,600 companies, like Danone and Patagonia, are on board with an entrepreneur who says the way we do business runs counter to human nature and there's only one way forward

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Expanding Warren Buffett’s value investing approach to the socially responsible sector

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    George Papadopoulos

    • Trump-Russia investigators are reportedly looking into an uncorroborated letter that claims George Papadopoulos was pursuing a business deal with Russians "which would result in large financial gains for himself" and President Donald Trump after the 2016 election.
    • The letter is being examined by both congressional and FBI investigators, and two US officials told The Atlantic that the FBI is taking the letter's claims "very seriously."
    • Papadopoulos began serving out his two-week prison sentence for lying to the FBI this week.
    • But the revelation that officials are probing the letter indicates Papadopoulos is still a significant player in ongoing investigations into whether Trump associates colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election.

    FBI and congressional investigators are looking into a new and uncorroborated claim that the former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos said he was pursuing a business deal with Russians "which would result in large financial gains for himself" and President Donald Trump, The Atlantic reported.

    A Democratic source on the House Intelligence Committee confirmed to INSIDER that the letter was sent to ranking member Adam Schiff's office earlier this month from someone who claims to have been close to Papadopoulos in late 2016 and early 2017. Two US officials also told The Atlantic that federal authorities are investigating the letter and taking its claims "very seriously."

    Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to one count of lying to the FBI and began serving his two-week prison sentence on November 26. But the revelation that authorities are probing the letter shows Papadopoulos is still a significant figure of interest in ongoing investigations into whether Trump associates colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election.

    Papadopoulos denies having any financial links to Russia. But in a court filing announcing his guilty plea last year, prosecutors laid out multiple attempts by Papadopoulos to set up meetings between top campaign officials and Russians during the election.

    Read more:George Papadopoulos tweets offer at Comey: Testify publicly and I’ll withdraw my request for immunity

    george papadopoulos

    Papadopoulos told the FBI that his outreach to the Russia-linked foreign nationals occurred before he joined the campaign. But his first interaction with an "overseas professor" with ties to high-level Russian officials occurred on March 14, 2016, weeks after he joined the campaign.

    That professor, Joseph Mifsud, told Papadopoulos just over a month later that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton that came in the form of "thousands of emails," according to the charging document.

    Papadopoulos later told the top Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about the claim that Russia had kompromat on Clinton. That conversation, which Downer relayed to US officials, is what prompted the FBI to launch the Russia investigation.

    Papadopoulos expressed remorse for lying to the FBI about his Russia connections during his sentencing hearing in September. But he has since adopted a drastically different tone by claiming in recent months that he was entrapped by the FBI and that his interactions with Mifsud were part of an elaborate set-up by British intelligence.

    According to The Atlantic, Papadopoulos' baseless claims were what prompted the unnamed author of the letter to come forward. The person reportedly said they were willing to take a polygraph test "to prove that I am being truthful" and added that they decided to send the letter after observing Papadopoulos "become increasingly hostile towards those who are investigating him and his associates."

    The individual also reportedly said Papadopoulos said in late 2016 that "Greek Orthodox leaders" and their Russian counterparts were "playing an important role" in Papadopoulos' interactions with the Russians.

    Papadopoulos has met and interacted with several Greek officials, most notably the Greek defense minister Pannos Kammenos. Kammenos' department was described to BuzzFeed News by a NATO official earlier this year as having been compromised by Russian intelligence.

    SEE ALSO: George Papadopoulos tweets offer at Comey: Testify publicly and I’ll withdraw my request for immunity

    Join the conversation about this story »

    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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    Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, both potential 2020 contenders.

    • Just over half of Americans are "very comfortable" with the prospect of a female commander in chief, according to a new report released this week by the consulting firm Kantar Public. 
    • On this question, the US came in third among G7 nations — behind the UK and Canada.
    • This comes as women, particularly in the Democratic party, have been elected into office in the US in historic numbers. 

    Just over half of Americans are "very comfortable" with the prospect of a female commander in chief, according to a new report released this week by the consulting firm Kantar Public. 

    According to the report, 52% would feel "very comfortable" with a woman at the head of government, and 63% would feel similarly comfortable with a woman as a CEO of a major company.

    The study surveyed 10,000 people across seven developed nations — the members of the G7 — to investigate public sentiment concerning women in leadership, and they were given a score from 0 to 100 on the Reykjavik Index for Leadership. "A score of 100 means that across society, there is complete agreement that men and women are equally suited to leadership in all sectors," the report explains. Out of the G7 nations, the US ranked third with a score of 70.

    Read more:7 Democratic women to watch in 2020

    Both the UK and Canada reported a higher tolerance for women in political leadership — 58% of those surveyed in the UK and 57% of those polled in Canada said they'd be "very comfortable" with a female head of government. At the low end of the spectrum, just 26% of those in Germany and 23% of those in Japan felt the same way. 

    In the US, women — particularly in the Democratic party — are running for office, and winning, in unprecedented numbers. And several female politicians, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand, are likely contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. 

    Some of these women have pointed to their gender as an attribute, rather than a barrier, in their pursuit of power. 

    "It's time for women to go to Washington and fix our broken government, and that includes a woman at the top," Warren told supporters in September. "So here's what I promise: After November 6, I will take a hard look at running for president." 

    SEE ALSO: 'This is malpractice': Left-wing slams Chuck Schumer for agreeing to $1.6 billion for border security to avoid a government shutdown

    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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    AWS CEO Andy Jassy

    • Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy kicked off his talk with a blow at Oracle.
    • Jassy included Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison's face on one of his slides to show different cloud vendors' market shares in the cloud business.
    • "People are sick of it, and now they have choice," Jassy said of Oracle's databases.
    • Ellison also frequently takes opportunities to snub Amazon, especially at Oracle's most recent conference.

    LAS VEGAS — There's something about executives in the cloud computing business that makes them unable to resist bashing each other. 

    And within his first 10 minutes on stage at the Amazon Web Services conference on Wednesday, AWS CEO Andy Jassy was already at it. 

    His target: Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison, whose face was pictured on a giant screen, peering haplessly over the edge of pie chart's tiny red sliver and looking like a cartoon villain in some old slapstick movie.

    Some people in the cloud business don't show up on the chart, Jassy said, referencing Ellison — they only "pop in."

    Amazon Web Services has 51.8% of the market share, Jassy said. In comparison, Microsoft has 13.3%, Alibaba has 4.6%, and Google has 3.3%. 

    "These old guard databases like Oracle and SQL servers are expensive and not customer serving," Jassy said later in his talk. "People are sick of it, and now they have choice."

    Previously, Ellison had taken a shot at Amazon during Oracle's conference, saying Amazon's database was like a semi-autonomous car, saying "You get in, you start driving, you die." Oracle declined to comment on the keynote.

    On that note, Jassy also announced that AWS is launching an autonomous racecar.

    Read more: Amazon's cloud is now embracing an idea that it spent almost a decade trashing — and it's a big sign that Microsoft was right

    Jassy also spent some time emphasizing that Amazon is way ahead of Microsoft. This year, AWS saw 46% growth. In comparison, Microsoft Azure, or "the next closest provider," as Jassy kept calling it, saw a revenue growth of 76%, but it doesn't specifically break out its revenue for cloud.

    "Because it's so expensive to pay for these services in the cloud, it doesn't take long for builders to know the difference and depth in these platforms," Jassy said.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 18 hottest companies in one of the most important tech trends for enterprises: 'DevOps'

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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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    sisters of quiet mercy riverdale

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for seasons one, two, and three of "Riverdale."

    The Sisters of Quiet Mercy first appeared during the first season of "Riverdale."

    Betty and Jughead learn of the "home for troubled youth" after Betty discovers her parents have been making payments to the home because they sent Polly, Betty's sister, there. 

    Since that first appearance, more details and facts about the group home have been revealed, and more characters have been sent to stay at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.

    During Wednesday's episode of the CW show, Alice sends Betty to the home to try and protect her from the Gargoyle King, but the end of the episode reveals the home may not be the safest place.

    Here's what we know about the group home. 

    The group home has a dark past.

    sister woodhouse riverdale

    On season two, Kevin Keller tells Veronica Lodge and Toni Topaz that the Sisters used to be a distillery during Prohibition. They would smuggle alcohol through underground tunnels. He says the tunnels now are used by kids looking for hookups. 

    The group home still continues to use corporal, or physical, punishments on the youths. During season two, Betty threatens to expose the Sisters for the "house of horrors that it really is" when she goes to the home looking for information on Mr. Svenson.

    Svenson, known as Joseph Conway when he was left as an orphan at the home, later worked as a groundskeeper for them and then became a janitor at Riverdale High. He was thought to be the Black Hood, but it was revealed that he was just used by the real Black Hood, Hal Cooper, as a red herring. 

    Read more: 'Riverdale' fans finally know who the real Black Hood is and the truth is bonkers

    The home is also one of the places that still does secret conversion therapy. 

    Polly is sent to the home to have her baby. 

    polly riverdale sisters of quiet mercy

    On season one, Polly's parents, Hal and Alice, send her to the home because she is pregnant with Jason Blossom's baby. Because she is cut off from her family and friends, Polly is unaware of Jason's death until Betty goes to visit her.

    The sisters at the home call Alice to alert her of Polly's visitor and Alice arrives for Betty and Jughead. Polly confronts Alice in the hallway about lying and is dragged away by two men as Alice and Betty tearfully watch. Polly breaks a window and escapes from the Sisters before hiding in her family home. 

    Alice later reveals to Betty that she went to the Sisters when she was pregnant in high school because both she and Hal disagreed about what to do. Alice says she gave birth to Betty's brother, Charles, there, and he was put up for adoption. 

    On season two, Betty learns that Charles was never actually adopted and was kicked out of the home after turning 18. 

    Cheryl Blossom is forced into the home by her mother, Penelope. 

    cheryl riverdale

    During season two, Penelope takes Cheryl to the home for conversion therapy. Cheryl is kept locked in a small room and is visited by Sister Woodhouse, who says she's "going to rid you of all those naughty demons." Cheryl is injected with a needle and told that the "conversion" will begin the next day.

    While at the home, Cheryl is forced to do physical labor and "physical therapy" as part of the conversion.

    Toni, Betty, and Kevin break into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy through the underground tunnels and help Cheryl escape. 

    During the flashback episode on season three, Penelope reveals that she grew up as an orphan at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy before being taken home by the Blossom family when she was eight because she had red hair. She was groomed to be Clifford's eventual wife. 

    Alice sends Betty to the home.

    betty riverdale

    On Wednesday's episode of the series, Alice send Betty to the Sisters to "protect" her from the Gargoyle King who attacked the family at home. 

    Read more: 'Riverdale' star Casey Cott says fans are getting closer to the truth of the Gargoyle King

    Alice tells her that she is going to the Farm with Polly and the twins.

    "The Sisters protected me, they protected Polly," Alice says. "They'll watch over you now."

    Sister Woodhouse and two men from the group home forcefully take Betty away. 

    At the Sisters, Betty is taken to a painting class, but as she sits down, she notices that everyone is painting some form of the Gargoyle King. 

    Read more: Everything we know about the 'gruesome' Gargoyle King on 'Riverdale'

    What is his connection to the Sisters? Are the youths being forced into a game of Gryphons and Gargoyles? Fans will have to continue watching to see what influence the Gargoyle King has on the group home and how Betty will get out. 

    Read all of our "Riverdale" coverage here.

    "Riverdale" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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

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    Griffins and Gargoyles

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for season three of "Riverdale."

    "Gryphons and Gargoyles" (G&G) is a dangerous game on "Riverdale." 

    The role-playing game, similar to "Dungeons and Dragons," is behind five deaths so far — RIP Dilton, Ben, Principal Featherhead, Warden Norton, and Joaquin — and it's sure to affect more residents as the third season of the hit CW show progresses.

    Betty and Jughead are working to uncover the mystery surrounding the game, and viewers are trying to do the same. 

    Here's what we know so far.

    How is the game affecting Riverdale?

    jughead ben dilton riverdale

    The first introduction to the game comes when Jughead tries to ask Ben and Dilton what they are playing at Pop's Diner during the premiere. Dilton tries to answer, but all he gets out is "Gryphons and..." before Ben tells him to shut up.

    Later, when Jughead is preparing to go to Archie's trial, Dilton knocks on Jug's door in a panic.

    When Jughead asks who, Dilton eventually responds with, "The Gargoyle King."

    Jughead finds a paper covered in weird symbols and what looks to be a stick creature in his home. The symbols lead him to the woods where he finds Ben and Dilton unresponsive and kneeling in front of an altar with symbols carved into their backs. Dilton dies in the park due to cyanide consumption after mixing the poison with Fresh-Aid. After recovering in the hospital, Ben then leaps to his death out of the hospital window mentioning that he isn't afraid to "ascend" like Dilton was.  

    Betty and Jughead learn that Ethel is also playing the game. When they confront her, she reveals that Dilton had a secret bunker in the woods. Betty and Jughead later find the bunker and discover that the poisoned chalice Ben and Dilton drank from was part of "G&G." 

    Betty and Jughead go to Ethel to ask more questions, and Jughead asks what the "kingdom" means. He also inquires about the rulebook, which Ethel refers to as the "scripture."

    She tells him that he "isn't worthy of the king's scripture," so he asks if she can show him. When Jughead goes to the bunker and meets Ethel, she is dressed in her Princess Etheline gown. She has him choose a character, and he picks the Hellcaster.

    "Good choice," she says. "That was Ben's avatar. I was supposed to ascend with him but then he betrayed me and finished the game with Dilton instead." 

    After getting through part of the game, Ethel presents Jughead with two chalices. When he incredulously asks if one of them is poisoned, she says it's "gargoyle blood." He drinks it to get the manual and is fine. But before she hands it over to him, she makes him kiss her because it's all part of the "scripture." 

    Ethel then drinks from the other chalice and starts to get ill. He saves her life by getting her to the hospital. She denies being suicidal and then threatens Jughead if he spills the secrets. 

    "I told him you were worthy enough to spread his gospel," she tells him. 

    How do they play the game? 

    the midnight club riverdale

    In the bunker, Betty and Jug find coins with the Gargoyle King on them, drawings of the king, and various knick-knacks from the game. 

    The game consists of a die and quests that the players must complete. Sometimes, they dress up in costumes to match their characters. Along with the game master's book, there's a small game board, characters to choose from, and quest cards used to control the game. 

    On the flashback episode, it's made clear that the game master designs the quests and incorporates them into the real world. 

    Read more: 'Riverdale' fans finally know what the parents' big secret is and there's a murder involved

    The Gargoyle King himself is a terrifying creature who seems to be behind the rules of the game. 

    Jughead has a theory.  

    jughead riverdale

    Someone, possibly Ethel, distributed a manual to every student's locker at Riverdale High.

    "By next weekend, almost every student at Riverdale High would be playing "Gryphons and Gargoyles," and the real game was just beginning," Jughead says.  

    Jughead starts to play and becomes a level three-game master and leads his players on quests. When Betty goes to tell him about their parent’s secret, he tells her that he is working to ascend and meet the Gargoyle King.

    He says that their parents playing the game means that his theory is correct: "We have been playing this game for a lot longer than we know and off board."

    He says the gang fights and struggles they have had to deal with are all just part of the game. He also points out an interesting fact about the game's location. 

    "Eldervair, the realm of 'Gryphons and Gargoyles' is an anagram for Riverdale," he said. "The whole game is an analog for Riverdale. The game only exists in Riverdale, that's why we couldn't find it on the web. It's all connected. It's all one big narrative that's still being written and played." 

    Jughead is onto something, and "G&G" isn't going away any time soon. 

    Read all of our "Riverdale" coverage here.

    "Riverdale" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    riverdale veronica betty

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for season three, episode six of "Riverdale," titled "Manhunter."

    The Gargoyle King is spreading his wings on "Riverdale." 

    During Wednesday's episode of the CW show, the creepy creature attacks Betty and Alice in their home, and it's revealed that he has a team of people doing his bidding. Betty is sent to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for her protection. But when she gets there, she sees that he has influence there, as well. 

    Not everything is scary in the small town. Veronica helps get Archie exonerated after finding proof that the sheriff coerced the witnesses into lying. But when Veronica is waiting for Archie to come home, he calls and says that he has to leave town.

    As always, the CW show included some pop culture and comic references. We worked with Archie Comics to find five details you may have missed.

    Jughead calls Betty Miss Marple.

    Miss Marple is a character from Agatha Christie novels who solves crimes as an amateur detective.

    The Gargoyle King scene in the Cooper house is reminiscent of "Scream."

    FP climbing the ladder into Betty's room calls back to when Billy Loomis, played by FP actor Skeet Ulrich, did the same in "Scream." In one scene, she freaks out saying that Ghostface is in the house. He hugs her and says, "He's gone, he's gone," as he creepily looks over her shoulder. FP does almost the same thing with Alice when she is freaking out about the Gargoyle King being in the house. The slight similarities can be seen at the beginning of this YouTube video

    The stovetop popcorn scene also calls back to "Scream." 

    The song "Ballad of Paladin" plays over Archie and Jughead.

    As Archie and Jughead are walking down the train tracks, the song "Ballad of Paladin" from "Have Gun — Will Travel" plays over them. Warden Norton calls Archie "the Red Paladin." 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    baby girl

    • Baby Center recently revealed their top 10 baby names for boys and girls this year. 
    • Sophia and Jackson topped the list.
    • Some names fell off the lists while others held strong. 

    Baby Center recently revealed their list of the top 10 baby names of 2018, and the results are pretty in line with years passed.

    When it comes to girls names, Sophia topped the list for the ninth consecutive year. In fact, earlier this year, Sophia was named as the top baby name for girls in the entire world.

    The four remaining names of the top five for girls — Olivia, Emma, Ava, and Isabella — were the same as the top five in 2017.

    baby girl beach

    As for the boys, Jackson topped the list for the sixth year in a row. Liam, Noah, and Aiden took on spots two, three and four, respectively, for the second year in a row, while Caden and Grayson knocked Lucas down a few spots.

    Layla climbed the list from 2017, kicking Zoe out of the top 10 (although, at 11, the name isn't too far off). For the boys, Oliver kicked Logan out of the top 10 and into spot 11.

    Over the summer, Nameberry put together a list of the most popular baby names of 2018 thus far that was a bit different from Baby Center's current list. The only two girl names that made the top 10 for both lists were Olivia and Ava, which may be a sign that these are more popular than they seem. As for the boys, none of the top 10 names were the same.

    baby boy

    But it's worth noting that the process of compiling these lists are pretty different. Nameberry picked their most popular names based on the number of views each name received for the first half of 2018, looking at interest in names rather than actual babies with those names — it's more of a tracker for future trends and popularity.

    Baby Center, on the other hand, compiled their 2018 list by using data from more than 742,000 parents who shared their baby's name with them in 2018. They also combined similar spellings (Sophia, Sofia for example) to get their findings. 

    baby boy

    Take a look at who took the top spots this year:


    1. Sophia
    2. Olivia
    3. Emma
    4. Ava
    5. Isabella
    6. Aria
    7. Riley
    8. Amelia
    9. Mia
    10. Layla

    baby boy on bed


    1. Jackson
    2. Liam
    3. Noah
    4. Aiden
    5. Caden
    6. Grayson
    7. Lucas
    8. Mason
    9. Oliver
    10. Elijah

    You can read the full list of top baby names for the year on BabyCenter.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    luka doncic mavs

    • Before the 2018 NBA Draft, 19-year-old Slovenian forward Luka Doncic went from the clear-cut No. 1 prospect to sliding down draft boards.
    • The Dallas Mavericks traded up to take Doncic with the third pick, and now it looks like the best move of the draft.
    • Through 19 games, Doncic is averaging 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while showing poise and feel for the game that is beyond his years.
    • Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said Doncic is unlike any player he's seen, and it appears the Mavs have found a franchise star.

    In retrospect, perhaps the easiest call in the 2018 NBA Draft was taking the teenager who dominated the Euroleague, the second-best basketball league in the world.

    Luka Doncic, the 19-year-old Slovenian who won an MVP in the Euroleague, was seen as the clear-cut top NBA prospect for most of the 2017-18 season. Then, suddenly, before the draft, things went the other way.

    Concerns about Doncic's skill set and athleticism suddenly crept into the discussion, and soon, Arizona's Deandre Ayton became the No. 1 prospect, while the Sacramento Kings were said to be interested in other players with the second overall pick. Some experts had Doncic sliding from the top three to closer to sixth, seventh, or eighth.

    luka doncic 2Sure enough, on draft day, Ayton went No. 1, Duke's Marvin Bagley went second, and the Atlanta Hawks were set to take Trae Young with the third overall pick when the Dallas Mavericks swooped in. Dallas offered the fifth pick and their 2019 first-rounder to the Hawks so that they could take Doncic at No. 3. Now it looks like the move of the draft.

    Doncic's rookie year puts him in good company

    Through 19 games, Doncic is the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. The 6-foot-7 forward is averaging 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while shooting 45% from the field and 39% from three for the surprising 10-9 Mavericks.

    Doncic's rookie-year numbers put him in good company. Only seven other NBA players have averaged at least 19, 6, and 4 per game as rookies — the list includes Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Elgin Baylor, and Grant Hill.

    But perhaps what's most impressive about Doncic is the way he plays. With each mounting highlight, Doncic shows a poise unlike other rookies and an overall feel for the game that few players have — period.

    In a 112-109 win over the Golden State Warriors in November, Doncic put up 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists, commanding the ball in the clutch and going right at the reigning champs.

    The pre-draft argument for Doncic was that he was out-performing grown men in Europe — the adjustment to the NBA wouldn't be too bad. Indeed, Doncic doesn't seem afraid of the spotlight or playing against other household stars.

    You know Doncic has a long leash when he's taking step-back threes against James Harden.

    And he has a flair for the dramatic.

    On top of it all, Doncic plays like a seasoned playmaker. His assist totals don't show it, but he has great court vision and is unselfish. According to's tracking data, Doncic is second among rookies in passes made per game, fourth in secondary assists (a pass that leads to an assist), and second in potential assists (a teammate misses a shot after his pass) with 9.2 per game. He ranks 33rd among all NBA players in the latter category.

    Doncic's arrhythmic drives and patience allow him to survey the floor and poke holes in defenses that are suddenly drawn to him.

    There were concerns about Doncic's athleticism and ability to separate coming into the NBA. But so far, he's shooting 61.5% at the rim, and despite not being an explosive jumper, he gets by opposing defenders with his deft handle and then takes contact because of his frame. He should only continue to improve physically as he adjusts to the NBA. Mahoney noted that Doncic has already lost weight in the NBA, as the Mavs have stayed on top of his fitness and diet.

    Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle told Sports Illustrated's Rob Mahoney of Doncic: "He's an authentic original. He's truly unlike any specific player that I've ever seen."

    The NBA is impressed

    After an early November win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in which Doncic had 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists, offered more praise for Doncic's poise.

    luka doncic"He's got a good feel for the game. He reads situations well, and he knows that, before the game is over, he'll have the ball in his hands enough. He plays beyond his years in terms of reading things, mixing aggression and unselfishness."

    Dirk Nowitzki repeatedly said that Doncic is far ahead of where he was when he came to the NBA as a teenager.

    "He's polished. He's skilled," Kevin Durant said after the Mavs beat the Warriors. "You can tell that he played professional basketball already and they've got a great guy in him to lead this franchise in the future."

    Harden, after losing to Doncic and the Mavs on Wednesday, simply said, "He can play."

    Read more:NBA POWER RANKINGS: Where all 30 teams stand after a wild first month

    Thus far, Doncic has the makings of a franchise star, one who could help the Mavericks swiftly transition from the Nowitzki era to the next. They've missed the playoffs three seasons in a row, but this year, they're back in the mix. Nowitzki hasn't played yet, but the young core of Doncic, Dennis Smith Jr., and Dorian Finney-Smith, plus veterans like DeAndre Jordan, Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews, and J.J. Barea have helped Dallas get off to a surprising start.

    When reached by Business Insider for comment on Doncic's progress this season, Mavs owner Mark Cuban offered a simple praise.

    "So far, so good."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump walks toward a group of reporters to answer questions while departing the White House November 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump answered numerous questions regarding his former attorney Michael Cohen's recent court appearance and testimony before departing for the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    • A handful of senators flipped their votes to support advancement of invoking the War Powers Resolution, which had been the result of an increasingly deteriorating relationship between Congress and Saudi Arabia.
    • The advancement of the resolution passed 63-37, with 14 Republicans joining all the Senate Democrats.
    • Senators are putting together different proposals to respond to the Saudis in a more forceful way than the Trump administration has.

    WASHINGTON — Lawmakers' views of the Saudi Arabian government are at an all-time low, which came into full force on Wednesday when enough senators rebuked the Trump administration's policies by advancing a resolution to end the US involvement in the war in Yemen being spearheaded by the Saudis.

    The move to invoke the War Powers Resolution did not come easy. The Senate failed to move forward on the same resolution last March. But the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen, coupled with the Saudi's apparent murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi  — which President Donald Trump has largely dismissed — started changing minds on both sides of the aisle.

    Read more:Bernie Sanders slams US support for 'despotic' Saudi Arabia in Yemen and bashes Trump over Khashoggi: 'No more! Enough death. Enough killing.'

    Sen. Bob Corker, who chairs the powerful Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, told reporters on Thursday that the Trump administration's poor handling of everything involved had accelerated matters.

    "I prefer these things to be handled by the administration," he said. "So far that’s been lacking."

    And the unprecedented move to assert such congressional authority is aggravating White House officials. 

    "This is new territory," Corker said. "This hasn’t been done in the past and I want to do everything I can to ensure that this is handled in a dignified manner."

    Sen. Lindsey Graham joined the bipartisan group out of pure anger at the lack of explanations from the administration. While lawmakers received a briefing from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, they wanted more, specifically a rundown from CIA Director Gina Haspel.

    "I changed my mind because I'm pissed," Graham told reporters. "I don't agree with what [Lee, Murphy, and Sanders] are doing. I don’t think the War Powers Act is one, constitutional, two, the aid we provide to Saudi Arabia and Yemen would require an authorization to use military force. Having said that, the way the administration has handled the Saudi Arabia is just not acceptable."

    On Thursday, Graham said he had been informed he would receive a briefing from the CIA at some point next week. 

    How the Democrats who were previously opposed were converted

    Since the failed March vote, the resolution offered by Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders and Chris Murphy, who are joined by Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has gained steam and attracted previous no votes. The Wednesday vote showed a sea change of 18 Democrats and Republicans flipping their positions.

    One Democratic aide to a senator who flipped their vote described Senate Armed Services ranking member Jack Reed getting on board as "a game changer" that pulled in the Democrats who opposed it last time.

    Other Democrats cited the information they learned inside the briefing as the catalyst for switching their position. In total, 18 senators changed their votes.

    Still, there is work to be done on the issue, as most Republicans would prefer to take another route. Options on the table are still unclear, but senators are working on proposals that could send a stronger message to the Saudis than anything the White House has done.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, who opposed the resolution, reiterated to reporters Thursday they will still need to address Saudi Arabia, but through other means.

    "I certainly don’t think the resolution is the right answer to how to handle this. But it should be handled," he said. "We have to do something about what happened with Khashoggi and about recalibrating our relationship with the Saudis. But the Yemen resolution is the wrong way to do the right thing."

    SEE ALSO: Republicans are scrambling to save some of Trump's biggest campaign promises before Democrats take over Congress

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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.

    sonos alexa gifts

    The desire for speed and convenience seems to be hardwired into human behavior. The less energy we expend to accomplish our tasks, the better — that's why voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa are thriving right now.

    Alexa is primarily known for living inside Amazon devices like the Echo Dot, but it turns out you don't actually have to own an Echo speaker to take advantage of Alexa's capabilities. Many everyday devices like headphones and car dash cams have Alexa built in, allowing you to do things you thought you could only accomplish with an Echo speaker. 

    These gifts are all perfect for anyone who loves the convenience of Alexa and is always tinkering around to create the most seamless smart home setup. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Sonos One

    Sonos One Smart Speaker, $199, available at Amazon

    If your main priority is a good music listening experience, splurge for this smart speaker, which fills your room with clear, rich sound. You can use Alexa to play and control your music without ever lifting a finger, and you can also control the other smart home devices in your home. 


    Portal from Facebook

    Portal from Facebook, $199.99, available at Amazon

    Frequent Facebook users should consider Portal, the Alexa-enabled device that keeps them connected to their friends and family. It has a smart camera for video chatting and taking photos that adjusts and widens the camera view automatically as you move in and out of the frame, and a Super Frame feature that displays Facebook photos, videos, and birthday reminders. 


    Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones

    Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, $299, available at Amazon

    These headphones cut out surrounding noise so you can focus completely on the music and your task. Ask Alexa to turn down the volume, add to your to-do list, and tell you about tomorrow's weather without skipping a beat. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    millennial on phone woman phone

    • "Rock star" and "ninja" are becoming increasingly common job titles.
    • Companies across America are bidding farewell to terms like "associate" and introducing ones like "evangelist" as a way of attracting younger employees.
    • We looked at job postings around the country and found 17 of the most unusual titles — and what the job actually entails. 


    Jobs with "guru,""ninja," and "magician" in the title used to just apply to, well, actual gurus, ninjas, and magicians.

    Then along came tech companies like SCVNGR, where the chief operating officer had the job title of "Chief Rockstar."

    Now, more traditional companies are starting to pick up on these wild job titles to brand themselves as forward-thinking and recruit millennials

    "Companies like to play 'dress up,'"Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella told Business Insider. "By wearing the clothes, adopting the lingo, and mimicking the behavior of companies they want to be like, they hope to have some of the magic rub off on them."

    We looked at job postings around the country at companies big and small to find the zestiest job titles. Here are the 17 most unusual openings, and what each role actually does.

    Do you have an unusual job title? How do you feel about it? Email the reporter at

    SEE ALSO: Companies are desperate to attract millennials — and they're rebranding job titles as 'ninjas,' 'rock stars,' and 'evangelists' to do it

    Full stack magician

    Company: Influence Health

    Location: Atlanta

    Job description: "Write well-designed, maintainable, and testable code. Review requirements and architect suitable solutions. Estimate the complexity and cost of alternative solutions."

    Source: Glassdoor

    Data storyteller


    Location: San Francisco

    Job description: "Share how data is transforming the world through video. Use news, current events and creative stories to create short, entertaining, online videos."


    Data guru

    Company: Magna International

    Location: Troy, Michigan

    Job description: "The person in this position will lead data and AI activities at Corporate R&D and propagate to business groups."


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    chris pine spider man

    • Chris Pine ("Star Trek,""Wonder Woman") had a brief cameo in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."
    • He plays one of many versions of the webslinger when the movie comes to theaters Friday, December 14. 

    Nicolas Cage isn't the only big name with a cameo in Sony Pictures Animation's new "Spider-Man" movie.

    INSIDER can confirm Chris Pine makes an appearance in this holiday's "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" as one of many versions of the Marvel hero. 

    INSIDER spotted Pine's name in the credits for the movie during an early screening for the film and was able to confirm it is indeed the "Wonder Woman" star himself in the animated film. Sony declined to comment for this story.

    Who does he play? We won't say much to keep the reveal a surprise, but he appears briefly as the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker. 

    bam comic spider man

    You probably wouldn't have picked up on his cameo in the film unless you were paying close attention to the movie's credits. It's easy to think Jake Johnson — who voices another Peter Parker — is simply pulling double time as both characters.

    Read more: All the actors who play versions of Spider-Man in "Into the Spider-Verse"

    If and when you do see the movie, make sure to listen closely when you see a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Spidey who kind of resembles Pine. 

    "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is in theaters Friday, December 14. You can read our review calling it the best animated movie of the year here and watch a trailer for it below. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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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.

    aztec secret indian healing clay

    There are a few things that the majority of people who know me would be able to recite off-the-cuff that I love. That list would include the Scribd reading app, comfort and convenience in general (twill flannel-like sheets, fluffy robes, and non-spilling wine glasses), and, lastly, face masks.

    For the last few years, face masks have been a pivotal part of 'relaxing' for me. Long day? Throw on a face mask! Horrible commute? Face mask. It became the creature comfort version of Penicillin for every daily ill.

    While I've tried everything from the Allure Best of Beauty 2017 $80 TLC Babyface Facial to whatever was under $6 in the TJ Maxx pile, the changes were always minimal or too fleeting to warrant much shouting from the rooftops or jazz hands in the streets. Sheet masks and hydration masks always moisturized wonderfully, but clay masks remained entertainingly garish and lavish (so, more mentally helpful) rather than actually noticeably improving the clarity, texture, and tone of my skin. 

    That is, until I tried the $11 Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask that has almost 19,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.4-star rating. Even though I've been obsessed with face masks for years, this is the only one that I would go so far as to claim has actually markedly (and for the long-term) improved my skin. After a few weeks of using it once a week, my temperamental combination skin is smoother, clearer, and a more even overall. 

    The Aztec Clay Mask basically acts like a vacuum for your pores in the 5-20 minutes it's on. The 100% natural calcium bentonite clay draws out all the impurities deep in your skin for what has been called 'the world's most powerful facial'. I can't say it's "the world's most" anything, but it is the first thing I have ever used that wasn't prescribed by a dermatologist and actually works. In fact, it's the first topical treatment I've ever used (prescribed or not) that has actually worked. 

    Like all of my best purchases, I found it through a recommendation. A couple weeks ago, I asked the Business Insider staff to send me the best things they had ever bought on Amazon for under $25 and I bought this mask after seeing a colleague mention it as her "most recommended product." Apparently, it had been hiding in plain sight. Once I had heard of it, I couldn't stop seeing it everywhere: in articles, videos, Youtube testimonials with over 1 million views, and even the Sephora beauty blog, which is typically filled with luxe options from of-the-moment brands. But, all in all, the Aztec Clay Mask is worth the eerie, cult-favorite hype. 

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    Now, instead of putting on any face mask to have a fun night drinking wine with girlfriends, I apply this religiously once a week to sit with my facial muscles rendered immobile for about 10-20 minutes. In other words, it's the first mask I've used for the purpose of what it does to my skin, rather than how it makes me feel. I actually had a moment of paranoia where I considered buying another tub (which is giant even for $9) in advance in case the sellers catch onto the craze and raise prices.

    However, you should be careful to only use the Aztec Clay Mask for the recommended 5-10 minutes if you have delicate skin, and be prepared to feel the mask become scaly and tight on your face. I actually have to drink out of a straw when this stuff is on. It's powerful, so you'll see some redness after you take it off, but that has always dissipated within 10-15 minutes or so for me, despite having the sort of sensitive, pale skin that makes yoga teachers worried they aren't giving the class enough water breaks. 

    Thanks to its massive popularity, you can grab it from basically any retailer, but it's a few dollars cheaper on the organic food site Thrive Market ($6.59 versus $9+ elsewhere as of now — though you'll need a membership to access it).

    All in all, I can say from experience that this cheap wunderkind clay mask is absolutely worth a try if you'd like to see clearer and smoother skin immediately. Skincare is a touchy thing, and even with nearly 19,000 reviews you can't know for sure that it will work for you, but it is so far the only thing that has ever really made a difference in the clarity and appearance of my skin — and it seems I'm not alone in feeling that way. 

    *Update: After many suggestions from Amazon reviews and a reader writing in, I tried the Aztec Mask mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar. It worked markedly better than before even. You may find the smell unpleasant, but it is worth it for the soft skin, even texture, and improved tone — and absolutely at $9.

    Buy the Aztec Secret Clay Mask on Amazon, $10.95 

    Buy the Aztec Secret Clay Mask on Thrive Market, $6.59 

    Buy Apple Cider Vinegar on Amazon, $9.59

    SEE ALSO: 30 beauty gifts from Nordstrom that come with free shipping

    DON'T MISS: I'm using this unexpected pantry item to wash my face — and my skin has never looked better

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • Rose Capital, a marijuana-focused firm founded by former Wall Street veterans, closed its first $55 million fund, bringing its capital under management to $100 million.
    • The fund avoids investing in plant-touching companies, Timothy Simon, the firm's head of capital markets, told Business Insider in an interview.
    • Rose Capital joins a number of cannabis-focused funds in the New York City area as legalization sweeps the US. 

    The cannabis industry is seeing a wave of dedicated funds hoping to capitalize on the green rush. 

    Rose Capital on Thursday closed its first $55 million fund, bringing the firm's assets under management to approximately $100 million, said Timothy Simon, the firm's head of capital markets.

    Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, the firm's partners include Sat Joshi, a veteran of Apollo Global Management and hedge funds Ziff Brothers and Incline Global Management, and Andrew Schweibold. Schweibold also spent time at Apollo, as well as hedge fund Vision Capital and private equity shop Delos Capital, according to LinkedIn.

    The firm's fund I is fully deployed across a range of cannabis startups, including Mary's Medicinals, a CBD (cannabidiol) oil company, Helix Biotrack, a software provider, and Eaze, a cannabis delivery service, among others.

    Read more: Federal marijuana prohibition has opened a short window of opportunity for investors willing to stomach the risk 

    The fund primarily focuses on three verticals within the cannabis industry: consumer packaged goods, data and analytics, and distribution. Their investments are spread equally across the three verticals, Simon said. 

    The firm avoids investing directly in "plant-touching" companies — those that cultivate or sell marijuana directly — because of the "pricing erosion" due to the commoditization of wholesale cannabis, said Simon.

    "The industry has existed for hundreds of years, but has previously been supplied and managed by illicit markets," Simon said.

    Simons declined to disclose the investors in the fund. Investors in cannabis-specific funds, however, are generally either high net worth individuals or family offices who are able to take risks that institutions can't.

    Read more: 'My lips are wet, my mouth is watering to get a piece of that': A war is brewing between US and Canadian marijuana companies to claim a $75 billion market

    Rose Capital joins a bumper crop of cannabis-focused investment funds led by former Wall Street veterans in the New York City area.

    Merida Capital, founded by Mitch Baruchowitz, a former corporate lawyer, mostly invests in later-stage cannabis companies with a focus on ag-tech and data analytics.

    And Altitude Investment Management, another New York-based fund, on Wednesday closed its first $30 million fund.

    The firm is planning on raising another fund in the first quarter of 2019, which partner Jon Trauben — a former managing director at Barclays and Credit Suisse — told Business Insider will be "north of $100 million."

    SEE ALSO: These execs are leaving behind careers at companies like Coke and Victoria's Secret to tap into the $194 billion marijuana industry

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    HIV test

    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 million people in the United States are living with human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.
    • Despite the number, misinformation continues to abound about HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
    • Myths range from how you can contract HIV to how you can treat it. 
    • It's important to educate yourself about HIV to dispel common myths that marginalize people living with the disease.

    As of 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1.1 million people in the United States are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a disease that weakens a person's immune system and makes them more susceptible to other diseases and infections. 

    Despite the number of people who have the disease today, misinformation about HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues to abound. Fortunately, plenty of reputable sources offer accessible information about HIV and AIDS, while events like World AIDS Day, which falls on December 1 every year, promote awareness and research.

    Read on to learn about the most common HIV and AIDS myths and why you shouldn't believe them.

    Myth: HIV and AIDS are the same thing

    HIV happens in three different stages, with AIDS only coming into play if a person doesn't receive HIV treatment. It can take 10 years for an untreated person with HIV to get AIDS.

    Before that, HIV begins in stage 1, which occurs two to four weeks after a person is infected with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During stage 1, a person could either experience flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, chills, and a fever, or they can experience no symptoms at all.

    Read more:Withdrawal from climate pact is much bigger than just global warming — it could get in the way of fighting HIV

    Next comes stage 2, also known as asymptomatic HIV infection, according to the CDC. During this time, HIV is active in a person's body, but the virus reproduces slowly, meaning a person might not feel any symptoms for some time. Stage 2 can last for a decade or even several decades for a person who has been diagnosed and is taking medication.

    HIV medication can help a person stay virally suppressed, meaning they have a low chance of spreading HIV to others and their own health stays intact, according to the CDC. If a person is not taking HIV medication, however, HIV can progress to stage 3, or AIDS.

    In stage 3, a person's immune system is more compromised and they have a greater chance of getting opportunistic illnesses, which are infections or cancers that become very severe due to a person's extremely weakened immune system, according to the University of California San Francisco Center for HIV Information.

    Myth: You can get HIV from donating blood

    According to the CDC, contracting HIV via blood donations was common when the disease was first being researched. Nowadays, however, this is extremely rare thanks to rigorous pre-donation testing and restrictions. 

    These days, you are most likely to contract HIV one of two ways. The first is by having unprotected anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV. The second is by drug equipment — needles, syringes, rinse water — with someone who has HIV. 

    Myth: It's easy to tell if you have HIV

    Because people's symptoms can vary throughout the stages of HIV, getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV, according to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

    For example, one symptom of stage 1 HIV is flu-like symptoms — think fever, chills, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. But some people who have contracted HIV won't feel ill until later stages of the disease.

    What's more, these symptoms don't necessarily mean you have HIV and could be something else entirely. If you think you've been exposed to HIV through sex or blood, you should see your healthcare provider who can administer a test and verify the results. Other testing options include at-home testing kits, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation noted.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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