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The latest news from Business Insider

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    quarterly global fintech fundingThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Fintech hubs — cities where startups, talent, and funding congregate — are proliferating globally in tandem with ongoing disruption in financial services. 

    These hubs are all vying to become established fintech centers in their own right, and want to contribute to the broader financial services ecosystem of the future. Their success depends on a variety of factors, including access to funding and talent, as well as the approach of relevant regulators.

    This report compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Most countries in Europe have made some formal attempt to foster the development of domestic fintech industries, with Germany and Ireland seeing the best results so far. France, meanwhile, got off to a slow start, but that's starting to change. 
    • The Asian fintech scene took off later than in the US or Europe, but it's seen rapid growth lately, particularly in India, China, and Singapore.
    • The increasing importance of technology-enabled products and services within the financial services ecosystem means the global fintech industry isn't going anywhere. 
    • Fintech hubs will continue to proliferate, with leaders emerging in each region.
    • The future fintech landscape will be molded by regulatory bodies — national and international — as they seek to mitigate the risks, and leverage the opportunities, presented by fintech. 

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
    • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
    • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    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.

    corkcicle $40

    The gift-giving season is upon us.

    Here to help you choose the perfect gifts for everyone on your list — from your coworkers to your dad, or the person you pulled for a White Elephant gift exchange— are the editors and reporters from the Insider Picks team.

    If you need some inspiration for what to get for her this holiday season (whether she's your sister, mom, daughter, wife, or otherwise), we have you covered with some truly excellent gift ideas. Though you can never go wrong with a new leather wallet or festive, holiday-themed beauty gift set, we've also included some more unique gifts, like a custom map poster and a book about everything "Friends" in our list.

    Check out all 64 gifts for her, and happy shopping! 

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

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

    DON'T MISS: 55 creative and unexpected gifts for her that are all under $50

    A stylish and comfortable pair of shoes

    Allbirds Wool Loungers, available at Allbirds, $95 (9 colors)

    Popular shoe startup Allbirds came out with a new high-top sneaker this month, dubbed the Tree Toppers, but for the uninitiated (and honestly really anyone), the classic Wool Loungers make an excellent gift. 



    The Amazon Echo Spot

    Amazon Echo Spot, available at Amazon, $130 (2 colors)

    The Echo Spot is the perfect addition to her nightstand. Like every other Echo, it uses Alexa to accomplish any number of tasks, from answering questions to reordering supplies on Amazon. In addition Alexa's verbal response about the day's weather forecast, the Echo Spot displays it on its 2.5-inch screen. 



    A reusable bag that comes in dozens of fun prints

    Standard Baggu, available at Baggu, $10 (35 colors)

    You can never have too many reusable bags, especially when they're as cute as the ones Baggu makes. The Standard Baggu is design to hold 50 pounds and folds into a flat 5-inch by 5-inch pouch for easy storage in her purse. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    At IGNITION 2018, Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and investor on ABC's "Shark Tank," spoke with Insider US editor-in-chief, Julie Zeveloff West, about entrepreneurship. She explained the key to a good business partnership, why she fired 25% of her sales staff, and the roles gender and wealth play in career success. 

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    ariana grande travis scott kali uchis

    While the Grammy Awards have often been criticized for being out of touch, there's plenty to celebrate about the 2019 nominations.

    The late rapper Mac Miller secured a posthumous nod for "Best Rap Album;"Janelle Monáe's groundbreaking "Dirty Computer" is up for "Album of the Year;""A Star is Born" and Lady Gaga fans alike will be thrilled to see "Shallow" nominated for two of the biggest awards offered.

    But as many fans know, for every success from a major award show, there is usually a source of rage or confusion.

    Here are INSIDER's picks for the 11 biggest snubs, in no particular order.

    Mitski's singular nomination for "Best Recording Package" is just plain rude.

    "Best Recording Package" is an award that honors the visual look of an album, not its sonic achievements.

    It is also the only category that recognized "Be the Cowboy," the fifth album from Japanese-American indie rock musician Mitski, and easily her most masterful to date — despite landing within the top five in everymajorroundup of this year's best albums.



    Ariana Grande's "Sweetener" didn't get much love.

    Ariana Grande is optimistic, alluring, and more confident than ever on her fourth studio album, "Sweetener." By many accounts, including Grande's, it's her best album yet.

    "This feels like the most 'me' an album has ever felt. It just feels super close to home,"Grande recently revealed. "A lot of people were like, 'How does it feel stepping out of your comfort zone?' And I'm like, 'Nah, I don't feel like I've stepped out of my comfort zone. I feel like I found it.'"

    But while "Sweetener" did secure a nomination for "Best Pop Vocal Album," it was shut out of most major categories, including "Album of the Year."

    Grande's hit single "God Is a Woman" was thankfully recognized for "Best Pop Solo Performance," but the most glittering, nuanced, and impeccably crafted tracks on the album (most notably "No Tears Left to Cry,""Get Well Soon," and "R.E.M.") were completely ignored.



    Travis Scott was one of the most successful artists this year, but his No. 1 album "Astroworld" was nearly ignored.

    Travis Scott has never been a Grammys darling, but "Astroworld" demonstrated a growth in skill and musical maturity that many thought would change his fate; after all, he somehow managed to get Drake, John Mayer, and Stevie Wonder on the same album. 

    "A real driver on this album too was when we got snubbed for the Grammys in 2016," Scott's A&R told Rolling Stone earlier this year. "We were like, man, are they not respecting us? That's when it was like, 'No, y'all got it f---ed up.' We went back and wanted to make an album that was undeniable."

    And yet: Scott secured a nomination for "Best Rap Album," but was still denied entry to the coveted "Album of the Year" category.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Coupang

    • Coupang is the largest online shopping platform in South Korea, with sales totaling nearly $5 billion.
    • It has been called "the Amazon of South Korea" for its dominant position in the country, but Coupang employs a different model from its US counterpart.
    • The company canceled an IPO four years ago in order to pivot to a completely different business model, which has seen success today.
    • It recently received an extra $2 billion in capital investment from SoftBank's Vision Fund to expand that model.
    • Even with all of its success, the company has racked up losses.
    • CEO Bom Kim discussed how the company rose to its dominant position — and what comes next — in a recent interview with Business Insider.

    Coupang was this close to an initial public offering in 2014.

    "The printers were waiting for us, and we just decided to not go forward," CEO and founder Bom Kim told Business Insider in a recent interview. "We took a bold step to basically stop the IPO process, and to go and invest heavily." 

    Coupang was in fact profitable at the time, Kim said, by operating as a fairly standard online marketplace for other sellers. It was much like Amazon's or Walmart's marketplace, or how Ebay operates now — a platform that connects sellers and buyers.

    But Kim realized that wasn't what he wanted for the company. 

    "We don't believe that a company should exist or that a company should be created to strive for a five or 10% better customer experience," he said. "It's just a waste of our passion, our time, talents. Our vision, our goal, what we aspire to, is to create a customer experience that's 100 times better."

    So, instead, Kim pulled the plug on the IPO and decided to pivot Coupang. 

    "I had this moment of clarity where [I asked myself] 'Is this really living up to that mission?' Kim said. "The DNA, the company was so wrapped around this mission, and I couldn't reconcile it. Because we were, essentially, not there. Not even close. We're still a long ways away."

    A whole new world of online shopping

    Bom Suk Kim Coupang CEO

    Kim says he decided to take Coupang down a completely different route, which put it on the path to become what is now the biggest online-shopping company in South Korea.

    Coupang invested heavily in building a network of fulfillment centers and developing its own last-mile system. That included a fleet of trucks and personnel for a service called Rocket Delivery, which the company says is able to deliver millions of items —from fresh food to electronics — to almost the entire country of 51 million people, within the same day of ordering. 

    Kim likes to call it an end-to-end delivery system, which he says gives Coupang complete control over the customer experience. The package never leaves Coupang's hands until it arrives at a customer's door.

    The holistic logistics system allows the company to offer unique services that upstart competitors can't match. One of its more recent initatives is a service the company calls "dawn delivery." Orders placed by midnight can be delivered to customers first thing in the morning.

    Read more: Amazon and Nike are charting a course for the store of the future

    Coupang's model also allows for other services that even the most die-hard Amazon customer would be unfamiliar with. For example, many products aren't delivered in traditional cardboard boxes. Instead, more than half of Coupang's orders are hand-delivered in a bag to customers' doors by a Coupang employee. Doing so saves more space in the delivery truck than packing items in cardboard boxes would, and some of the company's employees make deliveries only on foot.

    Coupang delivery people can also cart away returns and do exchanges on the spot.

    Spending money to make money

    Kim says that "millions" of customers now order from the service at least 50 times a year, or nearly once every week. Coupang is now the largest retailer in South Korea for some items, like diapers. Kim says the company sells half of all diapers sold in the country — either online or off. 

    The company is now approaching $5 billion in annual revenue and is projecting 70% growth by the end of this year. 

    All of that innovation is expensive, though, and the changes are largely outpacing revenue growth. It has been fueled by investments from venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital, BlackRock, and SoftBank's Vision Fund, which Kim says was pivotal in its growth. By 2015, Coupang was valued at $5 billion.

    Though it was once profitable, the company posted a loss of up to $600 million in 2017, according to Bloomberg.

    Coupang

    Kim doesn't seem worried, however. 

    "Right now, we're just so focused on building a foundation for the long term," Kim said. "I think the market, and the opportunity for customers' lives to be changed, is so huge right now ... It's just so early in that evolution, that our investors, and we are aligned, that this is the time for investment."

    It's not uncommon for companies — especially e-commerce-centric ones — to post losses as it builds infrastructure. Amazon, for example, posted losses for years before its current stunning growth streak began.

    Amazon does not have domestic operations in South Korea or in the vast majority of Asian countries, instead focusing on developing countries like India. Shoppers in South Korea still do order from Amazon's worldwide website, however, and that trend is picking up steam. According to the US Department of Commerce, online sales of cross-border commerce from foreign companies reached $2 billion in South Korea in 2017, up from $1.6 billion in 2016. Amazon and Ebay led the way.

    SoftBank has tripled down on its bet on Coupang with another $2 billion investment it announced in November, which a source told TechCrunch valued the company at a cool $9 billion. It has raised $3.4 billion in total to date. 

    It's home for now

    Coupang has grown ito the dominant position in South Korea. And that is projected to bear fruit. On the back of the country's investment in infrastructure and the very high percentage of the population that both owns a smartphone and is willing to shop from it, e-commerce in South Korea is expected to reach 31% of all spending in the country by 2021, according a report by Euromonitor cited by the Wall Street Journal.

    For comparison, US online spending is projected to reach about a third of that next year, according to EMarketer data.

    But that doesn't mean Coupang will never leave home.

    "The home market for us is still very much the focus," Kim said. "The constraints that we are solving for: high penetration of smartphones, people living in vertical, dense cities. These are similar challenges that you would find in other emerging Asian economies as well. I think there are possibilities of the platforms that we're building translating in other markets."

    As for another IPO on the horizon? We'll have to wait and see. 

    "At some point, an IPO is in our future," Kim said. "I don't think there's any specific time table I can share right now."

    SEE ALSO: Walmart has a new initiative that proves it still has a serious edge against Amazon in one key way

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The true story behind the name 'Black Friday' is much darker than you may have thought


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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.

    sweet treat gifts 22

    Food, and specifically sweet treats, is an essential part of the holiday season. If you're not spending your holidays in flannel pajamas picking out which chocolate truffle to eat next or fueling your solo performance of Christmas carols with peppermint candies and a shot of hot cocoa, you might not be doing it right. 

    The greatest gift you can give a sweet tooth who enjoys indulging in the above activities is something they can eat. Candy, cocoa, cookies — as long as it's sugary and seasonal, they'll love it. 

    These 20 holiday food gifts will keep them full and happy this season. 

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

    A fan-favorite peppermint bark

    The Original Peppermint Bark, $21.71, available at Williams-Sonoma

    Gifters have been flocking to Williams-Sonoma's peppermint bark for years. It gets the proportion of dark to white chocolate just right, is topped with crunchy peppermint candy pieces, and comes in a nostalgic collectible tin. 

     

     



    Grown-up gummy bears

    24k Gold Rose All Day Bears, $24, available at Sugarfina

    They'll savor each one of these fancy gummies, which are infused with rosé from Provence and gilded with edible 24k gold leaf. 

     



    A huge variety of Belgian truffles

    Ultimate Truffle Collection (80-piece), $175, available at Godiva

    The only way to experience Godiva at its best is with this decadent collection. They can try creative flavors like Rocky Road Ice Cream Parlor alongside staples like a simple Milk Chocolate. 

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Margaret Gieszinger

    • Margaret Gieszinger, a science teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California, was arrested on Wednesday.
    • She had been filmed singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" while cutting a student's hair at the front of a classroom.
    • Students had reported her to officials days before the outburst happened in class. 

    Students had reportedly warned administrators at a California high school about a teacher's strange behavior days before she was filmed forcibly cutting off a student's hair in the middle of class.

    Margaret GieszingerMargaret Gieszinger, a science teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, was arrested on Wednesday after video of the incident was posted online.

    According to one parent,though, students had reported Gieszinger for strange behavior on Monday, but school officials turned them away, the Visalia Times Delta reported.

    Two days before Wednesday's incident, in which she was filmed as she belted out the national anthem and attempted to cut more than one student's hair, Gieszinger reportedly had an outburst over a missing test.

    "I know that on Monday she had another freak out because a test was missing or something. She accused the students of taking the test," one student told ABC 30.

    A UPHS parent, Sara Rocha, said her daughter's friend reported Gieszinger to administrators on Monday after the alleged outburst.


    Read more:A California teacher was arrested after appearing to forcibly cut off a student's hair while singing the national anthem


    "(Students) asked for help," she told the Visalia Times Delta. "But were told they had to go back to class." 

    One student, Lauren Hizon, said Gieszinger is a "jokester" and that she was shocked by the teacher's actions.

    “She was always nice, that’s why we were surprised,” Hizon told the Times Delta.

    Tulare County Office of Education, which oversees the high school, is investigating the incident.


    Read more:The husband of a teacher who got arrested after being filmed forcibly cutting a student's hair said he's shocked and confused by video of the incident


    Officials said counselors would be available for students affected by Gieszinger's actions.

    Jim Vidak, superintendent of Tulare County schools, said Gieszinger would not return to her classroom and a substitute will take over for the rest of the semester.

    Visalia Times Delta reported that, according to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Gieszinger's teaching credential was suspended in 2007 and 2016. The reasons behind the suspensions remain unclear.

    Gieszinger is now being held at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility on $100,000 bail on suspicion of felony child endangerment.

    Administrators at UPHS did not immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Beautiful time-lapse videos show how much China has changed over the years


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    US Army Mark Milley handshake

    • President Donald Trump hinted on Friday that he would make an announcement about the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    • The chairman is the president's top military adviser and oversees US military operations.
    • According to reports on Friday, Army chief of staff Gen. Mark Milley will be picked for the job.

    President Donald Trump will tap Army chief of staff Gen. Mark Milley to take over as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, people familiar with the decision told The Washington Post.

    The New York Times also reported that Milley would be named chairman, citing administration sources.

    Milley, a four-star general, was commissioned in 1980 and has led command and staff positions in eight Army divisions and Special Forces. He has also held positions with the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Division and is well known at the Pentagon and throughout the Army.

    Read more: 11 books the US Army's top officer recommends to help understand the world

    He was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served three tours during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he was the commanding general of International Security Assistance Force joint command and deputy commanding general of US forces.

    Milley's experience with counterinsurgency operations informed the creation of the Army's Security Force Assistance Brigades, which are units tasked with training and advising local partner forces. The first brigade was launched earlier this year and deployed to Afghanistan. Several other brigades have been stationed in the US.

    U.S. Army General Milley testifies at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to become the Army's chief of staff, on Capitol Hill in Washington

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs oversees US military operations around the world and is the top adviser to the president on military affairs. The current chairman, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, is set to retire on October 1, 2019.

    Milley, along with Navy chief of operations Adm. John Richardson and Marine Corps commandant Gen. Robert Neller, is expected to complete his current position around the middle of 2019.

    Trump hinted a looming announcement about the chairmanship on Friday after confirming his picks for the attorney general and the US ambassador to the United Nations.

    Read more: The US military's top officer says Russia and China present different challenges — but they both can rival US power

    "I have another one for tomorrow that I’m going to be announcing at the Army-Navy game," Trump told reporters at the White House. "I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession."

    Two weeks ago, Trump met with Milley and Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein, an experienced aviator who is also well respected at the Pentagon.

    While Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had a good relationship with Milley, he preferred Goldfein, according to The Post. Trump's decision to go with the Army chief of staff was noted by some current and former officials as another sign of Mattis' waning influence.

    If chosen, Milley will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

    SEE ALSO: 'We can do better': The Navy's newest fleet commander says US ships and sailors got 'beat up' during NATO's biggest exercise since the Cold War

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: INSIDE WEST POINT: What it’s really like for new Army cadets on their first day


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    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the opening bell in New York, U.S., February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid

    Stocks turned negative Friday amid concerns of a slowing US economy after the jobs report missed Wall Street estimates.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 2.5%, or more than 600 points. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3.2%, and the S&P 500 was down 2.6%. Stocks had earlier climbed on the back of renewed expectations for the Federal Reserve to pursue a slower interest-rate path.

    Semiconductor companies including Micron Technology (-4.9%) and Nvidia (-6.1%) were among the biggest losers. Technology giants were also lower, with Apple down nearly 3% and Intel 3.2% lower. 

    The US economy added 155,000 jobs in November, well below expectations of 198,000, and the unemployment rate held near historic lows at 3.7%. Wages grew at a slightly slower-than-expected pace, rising 0.2% for a second straight month.

    "For markets, of course, this is the new Goldilocks: still strong-enough job growth, but a more cautious Fed will be good for markets and overall business confidence," said Josh Wright, the chief economist at iCIMS Inc.

    Treasury yields seesawed as market watchers digested the report. After initially falling, the yield on the benchmark 10-year note erased its early losses and climbed back to unchanged near 2.895%. All eyes have been on rates this week after parts of the yield curve inverted, an occurrence seen as a potential recession signal. The dollar slipped against a basket of peers.

    "The immediate reaction in Treasuries was that this is a soft report, but yields are now back to the pre-data level; we think that makes sense," Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in an email. "These numbers won't deflect the Fed next week, and we see every reason to expect a return to 200K job gains in December."

    Officials are still expected to hike the fed funds rate by a quarter percentage point to a target range of 2.25% to 2.5% next week, but the path for next year is less clear.

    Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell emphasized the strength of the labor market late Thursday, saying,"By many national-level measures, our labor market is very strong." The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported the central bank might adopt a "wait-and-see approach" to future policy decisions.

    The S&P 500's energy sector was little changed after the OPEC cartel of oil producers reached a deal to cut coordinated output levels. Oil spiked following the agreement, with West Texas Intermediate trading at $52.95 a barrel and Brent at $61.73. Prices are still in bear territory, however, losing nearly a quarter in value since the beginning of November.

    On the trade front, President Donald Trump said early Friday that "China talks are going very well!" Wall Street suffered its worst session since October on Tuesday following the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies. The incident cast doubt on trade relations between Washington and Beijing, which agreed last weekend to pause tariff escalations for negotiations.

    Elsewhere, Altria, one of the largest tobacco companies in the world, was up 0.2% after announcing plans to invest $1.8 billion in the cannabis producer Cronos.

    Now Read:

    'It ends next year': What Wall Street's biggest firms are forecasting for the stock market in 2019, and where they say you should put your money

    A top cannabis CEO talks about what's next following a $300 million merger, and says he's playing 'Risk' while his competitors are playing 'Monopoly'

    SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: Options traders are signaling that these areas of the market will surge in 2019

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The science of why human breasts are so big


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    where to go when you need medical care 4x3

    Hello,

    Welcome to Dispensed, a new email containing the biotech, pharma, and healthcare stories that kept Business Insider's healthcare team busy this week. 

    For those of you who've followed my previous newsletter, Drug Developments, never fear! This will feel the exact same way, just sent through Business Insider rather than independently — and with a much cooler name. It'll still come out on Fridays as a way to recap the week.

    New to the newsletter? You can sign up here

    And boy was it a week. For starters, Emma Court joined our team on Monday! Based in NYC, she'll be working alongside me, West Coast correspondent Erin Brodwin and our editor Zach Tracer.

    Not sure who to reach out to on a topic? Feel free to find us all at healthcare@businessinsider.com. 

    On the news side too, there were some exciting developments. On Friday alone, we witnessed the biggest initial public offering in biotech history after Moderna priced at $23 a share, raising more than $600 million

    Moderna is sliding in its Wall Street debut after the biggest IPO in biotech history

    • Moderna Therapeutics started trading Friday in its initial public offering under the ticker "MRNA."
    • It raised more than $600 million in the biggest IPO in biotech history, selling shares at $23 each.
    • Moderna's stock declined in its trading debut on Friday.
    • Moderna is developing medical treatments based on messenger RNA, and the company is still in the early days of human trials for its treatments.

    I also took some time these past few weeks to dive into the urgent care market, whose offices are seemingly turning up in every neighborhood in the US.

    The move toward convenience is making everyone from hospitals to health insurers pay attention. 

    The doctor who founded CityMD and sold it for $600 million explains how a new kind of medical clinic is changing how Americans get healthcare

    • Urgent-care centers have become an increasingly popular way to get healthcare in the US.
    • Big players — from health plans to hospital systems to private-equity investors — all want in on urgent care, which grew by 25% between 2014 and 2017.
    • The growth is coming at a time when the way Americans access healthcare is changing.

    As part of it, I chatted with CityMD CEO Richard Park, who walked me through his decision to open up an urgent care site in Jackson Heights, Queens, even though it ended up losing millions. 

    In pharma, I had a standing-desk-style meeting with Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan at the Forbes Healthcare Summit last week. Here were some of the highlights from our chat:

    Emma's first official BI byline was a story about the latest development from AbbVie's Stemcentrx acquisition. 

    A cancer drug that AbbVie acquired in a $10 billion deal is looking more and more like a failure

    • AbbVie acquired the buzzy cancer drug Rova-T in a 2016 deal worth up to $10.2 billion.
    • But the company just stopped enrolling a late-stage trial at an independent committee's recommendation because patients had shorter survival results on the drug.
    • Wall Street had already been lowering its expectations for Rova-T earlier this year.

    And Zach and Erin tackled an interesting story coming out of the DNA space about a startup that wants to pay for your genetic code. 

    A tiny startup wants to pay you for your DNA, and it could lead to the next wave of medical innovation

    • A startup called LunaDNA is taking a new approach to genetic research by paying individuals to share their information with scientists.
    • Right now, some DNA testing companies already sell your genome for medical research, though you can usually opt out.
    • You probably won't get rich off your DNA. LunaDNA estimates the value of your whole genome at $21, for now.

    Zach and the graphics team also mapped out the percentage of income devoted to healthcare spending in each state. Definitely makes me want to move away from NYC...

    your healthcare burden in every state 4x3

    More ahead now that the team is fully assembled! I'm going to be out in Seattle for the first half of next week learning more about the health and tech developments taking place in the area. If there's folks I should be meeting while I'm out there, please let me know — my days are pretty full, but still on the hunt for breakfast and dinner companions. 

    Tips, things we missed while waiting for Moderna to start trading, or — perhaps importantly — suggestions for places to go/eat in Seattle while I'm out there next week? Find me at lramsey@businessinsider.com. 

    And don't forget to sign up for the newsletter!

    - Lydia

    SIGN UP: Dispensed: A weekly dose of pharma, biotech, and healthcare news

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Beautiful time-lapse videos show how much China has changed over the years


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    chang e 4 moon lunar rover front china chinese flag casc

    • On Friday, China launched a space mission to the far side of the moon — the first ever to land on the face of the moon that Earth can't see.
    • Called Chang'e-4, the mission aims to gently set down a rover and lander on the lunar surface.
    • The two Chinese-built robots will record unprecedented measurements of the moon's geology and chemistry in an ancient impact crater.
    • The moon mission will also see if the area is appropriate to build a powerful deep-space radio telescope or maybe a base.
    • The lander contains a sealed box that will try to grow plants and silkworms.

    China has just blasted toward a unique place in space exploration history.

    Around 1:23 p.m. EST on Friday (early Saturday morning in China), the country's space agency launched a lunar-landing mission toward the moon's far side, which is hidden from Earth's view.

    The mission seeks to gently touch the spacecraft down on the far side some time in January 2019, according to a post by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Group. No country or space agency, including NASA and Russia, has ever landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon.

    The Chinese moon mission is called Chang'e-4. The name "Chang'e" is that of a mythical lunar goddess, and the "4" indicates that this is the fourth robotic mission in China's decade-long lunar space exploration program.

    "The mission is ambitious and the science is amazing," Tamela Maciel, an astrophysicist and communications manager at the National Space Center in Leicester, England, tweeted on Friday. "Chang'e-4 plans to explore the oldest and deepest impact basin on the moon — the South Pole-Aitken basin, which we never see from Earth since it's on the far side."

    moon earth space china cast

    In fact, Chang'e-4 is poised to make the first-ever "soft landing on and inspection of" the far side of the moon, an official said in August at China's National Defense Science and Technology Bureau in Beijing.

    The mission's rover and lander could take unprecedented measurements of the rocks and lunar soil, or regolith, on the moon's far side (a lunar "dark side" is something of a misnomer), while also paving the way for a lunar landing with people.

    Read more: NASA's first moon landings in nearly 50 years may happen in 2019. The agency thinks these 9 companies can get it to the lunar surface.

    China hopes to launch a crewed moon-landing mission in the early 2030s. If that happens as planned, it could be the first time people set foot on the lunar surface since NASA's Apollo program ended in 1972.

    Some military experts worry a crewed landing would help China dominate dominate the moon, which is rich in water ice and other resources to support permanent moon bases, make rocket fuel, and power deep-space exploration.

    What Chang'e-4 will do — and why it could be revolutionary

    jade rabbit change3 lunar moon rover china cnsa cas

    Chang'e-4 is made from backup hardware for Chang'e-3, a nearly identical mission that launched the Yutu or "Jade Rabbit" rover along with a stationary probe to the moon's near side in 2013.

    Given Chang'e-3's success, officials said at the time that the backup hardware would be retrofitted for Chang'e-4.

    If the landing is successful, Chang'e-4 will set down in a 1,550-mile-wide crater called Von Kármán. The crater exists within a huge and ancient feature called the South Pole-Aitken Basin, which was the site of a cataclysmic impact about 3.9 billion years ago. This collision may have punched all the way through the moon's crust.

    "It's possible this basin is so deep that it contains material from the moon's inner mantle," Maciel said. "By landing on the far side for the first time, the Chang'e-4 lander and rover will help us understand so much more about the moon's formation and history."

    The Chinese robots might therefore be able to study some of the moon's most ancient and hidden rocks. Those samples could help scientists better understand the moon's extremely violent history, since they might be wildly different than anything the US or Russia has ever examined.

    von karman crater moon lunar orbiter james stuby lunar orbiter 5 cc01Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona, has said that other exotic grit could also be found.

    "The moon's far side is the oldest surface, and there are probably some Earth rocks over there that got transported early on. And there they still sit," Asphaug previously told this reporter for a story published by Popular Mechanics. "Locked within those samples may be direct records of conditions on Earth between 4.3 and 3.8 billion years ago — right around the time biologists think life got its start here.

    Asphaug describes the moon as "a storehouse of terrestrial evolution."

    "It's kind of like granny's attic, where you find her old pom poms and question everything you knew before," he said.

    Read more: The space between Earth and the moon is mind-boggling. This graphic reveals just how big it is — and what's out there.

    The scouting done by the Chang'e-4 rover might also help identify a suitable place to build a telescope that could study the Big Bang's afterglow, according to Air and Space magazine.

    That afterglow is called the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, or CMBR, and it's tough to "see" amid all of the signals emanating from humanity's telecommunications. But the moon's far side should be extraordinarily quiet, since that noisy chatter is blocked by the moon itself.

    polarisation cosmic microwave background

    Chang'e-4 could deploy an experiment to take images of the CMBR in low-frequency radio waves — a feat that's practically impossible on Earth.

    Yet such frequencies are essential to understanding the universe's and our own origins.

    "We need these signals to learn whether and how the universe inflated rapidly in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang," Joseph Silk, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University, wrote in Nature earlier this year.

    Chang'e-4 will also test some hardware that China plans to use for Chang'e-5: a mission designed to collect about 4.4 lbs of dust and rocks from a northwest part of the moon and bring those samples back to Earth. That mission is supposed to launch in late 2019.

    China had to launch a special satellite to make its far-side mission possible

    queqiao lunar relay communications satellite cnsa cas

    For the same reason the moon is very good at blocking Earth's radio signals, it's pretty complicated to pull off a far-side lunar landing and exploration mission.

    When Apollo astronauts orbited the moon, for example, they temporarily (and expectedly) lost contact with mission control in Houston each time they passed behind the 2,159-mile-wide ball of rock.

    To get around this problem, China successfully launched a precursor mission in May called Queqiao.

    Queqiao is a telecommunications satellite that's now parked in a gravity-neutral spot in space, called a Lagrange point, that overlooks the far side of the moon but maintains a line-of-sight to Earth.

    "The name Queqiao means 'magpie bridge' in Chinese and comes from a Chinese folk tale, a love story about a flock of magpies that form a bridge crossing the Milky Way once a year to reunite lovers known as the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, as well as their children" according to a blog post by Luyuan Xu at the Planetary Society.

    Queqiao will act as a "bridge" between Earth and the Chang'e-4 mission after its robots land. Specifically, the lander will communicate with both the rover and the Queqiao relay satellite, and the satellite will connect with mission control at China National Space Administration.

    Lunar silkworms, potatoes, and mustard

    Silkworm

    China designed its solar-powered moon rover to last about three months and its lander to function for about a year.

    In addition to the rock-sampling and radio-astronomy experiments, the mission will carry a miniature ecosystem of life on Earth.

    The lander will hold a seven-inch-long aluminum container, designed by 28 universities, that's packed with potato seeds, Arabidopsis (mustard) seeds, and silkworm eggs, according to People's Daily, a state-supervised media outlet in China.

    Zhang Yuanxun, chief designer of the container, explained the goal for these seeds and worms in the Chongqing Morning Post, according to People's Daily.

    "The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis," Yuanxun said. "Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the moon."

    This story has been updated with new information. It was originally published at 12:16 p.m. EST on December 7, 2018.

    Na Li contributed Mandarin Chinese translation for this story.

    SEE ALSO: 2019 will be an extraordinary year in space — here's what NASA, SpaceX, and the night sky have in store for Earth

    DON'T MISS: NASA will dig for signs of alien life on Mars in Jezero Crater — the landing site for its 2020 rover

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What living on Earth would be like without the moon


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

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

    edge popularity

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

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

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

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

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

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

    In full, the report:

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

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

      This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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    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.

    the bouqs co

    We've all been there — a holiday or event starts creeping closer and closer, your schedule starts getting more chaotic, and suddenly it hits you. "I forgot to find a gift!"

    Whether it just slipped your mind to prepare ahead or time or you received a last-minute invite to an event for which you should probably have a present, we've got you covered. 

    This list proves that last-minute gifts can still be thoughtful and unique — from clever subscriptions to useful gift cards and everything in between (all of which can be e-mailed to the recipient just in time). 

    Check out our picks for last-minute gifts they'll think you pored over:

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

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

    DON'T MISS: 22 unique gift ideas for everyone in the family — all from Amazon

    An Amazon Prime membership to make their lives easier

    Amazon Prime membership, $39 for three months or $119 for a year

    The gift of Amazon Prime is always one that'll be met with extreme appreciation given that it is both practical and actually thoughtful. If the recipient already has a membership, the money will convert into a gift card that they can use on anything they want from the site. 



    A Birchbox subscription for beauty and skincare lovers of any gender

    Birchbox subscription, from three months for $30

    There's a reason Birchbox is so popular — it's a super affordable way to find and learn about new beauty, skincare, and grooming products for men or women without the risk of spending too much on full-sized options you might not like. For $30, you'll be able to gift three months worth of boxes right to their door. For a more substantial option, you can gift six months for $60, or 12 months for $110.  



    A box from Fanchest filled with their favorite team's gear

    Fanchest team boxes, starting at $59

    Chances are, if the person you're gifting is a serious fan, they'll love anything you get them with their team's logo emblazoned on it. Fanchest delivers boxes full of licensed memorabilia for NHL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and NFL teams at a great value, and even has an option for babies. They also offer overnight and two-day shipping. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Michael Cohen

    • In a sentencing memo released on Friday, federal prosecutors said Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, "acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1"— Donald Trump.
    • The Southern District of New York recommended Cohen face 3 1/2 years of prison time and a $100,000 fine.
    • On the same day, the special counsel Robert Mueller's office released its sentencing memo, which recommended prison time concurrent with that recommended by federal prosecutors.
    • Mueller's sentencing memo also detailed contact with a Russian national who wanted to arrange a meeting between Trump and the president of Russia, and offered the campaign "political synergy." Cohen did not follow up on this request, the memo stated.
    • Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12.

    Two sentencing memos related to Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, dropped on Friday.

    In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations in a case brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. On November 29, he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in relation to the Mueller investigation.

    Each sentencing memo revealed something new about the charges against Cohen being investigated by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the special counsel Robert Mueller's office.

    Among the revelations in the 40-page sentencing document from federal prosecutors was that Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1."

    Individual-1 is widely believed to be President Donald Trump. This coordination relates to the payment of two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

    "With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election," the memo states. "Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments."

    "In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1," the document continues. "As a result of Cohen’s actions, neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election."

    In the sentencing memo submitted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York to Judge William H. Pauley III, federal prosecutors rejected Cohen's attorney's call for no prison time, saying that "Cohen, an attorney and businessman, committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years."

    "He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends," the memorandum continues.

    It acknowledged that Cohen cooperated with the special counsel's office, but says that his "extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct" warrant 3 1/2 years of prison time.

    The surprising revelation from Mueller's memo included the words 'synergy' in regard to contact with a Russian national.

    "In or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a 'trusted person' in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign 'political synergy' and 'synergy on a government level,'" the Mueller memo claims. "The defendant recalled that this person repeatedly proposed a meeting between Individual 1 and the President of Russia."

    Said person allegedly told Cohen that contact could have a 'phenomenal' impact 'not only in political but in a business dimension as well,' which was allegedly a reference to the "Moscow Project"— or Trump's attempts to build a luxury tower in Moscow. Cohen did not follow up on this offer, the memo says.

    Due to Cohen's "substantial and significant efforts to remediate his misconduct accept responsibility for his actions, and assist the SCO's investigation,"Mueller's office recommended to let Cohen "serve any sentence imposed in this case concurrently with any sentence imposed in United States v. Cohen."

    The White House responded to the Cohen memos.

    "The government's filings in Mr. Cohen's case tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero."

    Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    Dara

    • Uber has confidentially filed paperwork to hold its long-awaited IPO next year, reports the Wall Street Journal.
    • This comes a day after word got out that Lyft, the company's perennial rival in car-hailing services, made its own IPO filing. 
    • Uber was last privately valued at $76 billion, and the Journal reports that it could go public with a market cap of $120 billion.

    Uber has confidentially filed an S-1 document in preparation to hold its long-awaited IPO, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

    Uber has previously been valued privately at as much as $76 billion, and its advisers reportedly say it may go public with a market cap of as much as $120 billion. According to the Journal, Uber might go public "as soon as the first quarter." Internally, Uber is referring to the IPO  planning process as "Project Liberty." 

    A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment.

    The report comes one day after Uber's arch-rival, Lyft, announced that it had filed its initial paperwork to go public, and the two are now racing to be the first to float on the public markets in 2019. 

    The Uber IPO has been long-awaited, as investors and employees await liquidity, after the company raised $24.2 billion in debt and equity funding since its founding in 2009. Uber investors include Toyota, Softbank, Microsoft, Jeff Bezos, Jay Z, Morgan Stanley, and Axel Springer (the parent company of Business Insider), though some may have already sold their stakes through various share sales along the way. 

    Uber lost nearly $1 billion in the third quarter of 2018, according to its self-reported financial results, while it saw quarterly revenue of $2.95 billion. Recently, Uber has expanded into new lines of business beyond its flagship car-hailing service, including bikes and scooters, even as it invests in its Uber Eats food delivery business. 

    In August, Uber hired former Merrill Lynch CFO Nelson Chai as its new CFO, as it geared up to go public. The move comes as Uber attempts to move on from successive scandals throughout 2017, which culminated in the ousting of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, who was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi, formerly the chief executive of Expedia.

    2019 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for tech IPOs. As well as Uber and Lyft, work messaging app Slack also plans to go public next year, among others. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The NFL is using this football helmet that morphs on impact to reduce head injuries


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    Ivanka Trump

    • Michael Cohen's sentencing memo from the special counsel's office on Friday brings the spotlight back to Ivanka Trump's contacts with a Russian athlete who pitched a Trump-Putin meeting during the election
    • Ivanka Trump pushed Michael Cohen to work with a Russian athlete to secure a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow, BuzzFeed reported. This was in 2015, during the height of her father's US presidential campaign.
    • The former Olympic weightlifter, Dmitry Klokov, is said to have told Cohen, a longtime lawyer for President Donald Trump, that he could set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting would clear the way for the real-estate deal.
    • Cohen reportedly declined the offer, frustrating Ivanka Trump.
    • The report says congressional and FBI investigators have reviewed emails detailing the interactions of Cohen, Ivanka Trump, and Klokov and asked witnesses about them.

    Sign up for the latest Russia investigation updates here

    Michael Cohen's sentencing memo, released by special counsel Robert Muller's office on Friday, brings the spotlight back to Ivanka Trump's contacts with a Russian athlete who pitched a Trump-Putin meeting during the 2016 election campaign.

    The memo, which recommends that he serve a prison sentence concurrent with one recommended by federal prosecutors related to different charges, also revealed further contact between Cohen and a "Russian national"  around November 2015.

    This person mentioned in Mueller's memo "claimed to be a 'trusted person' in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign 'political synergy' and 'synergy on a government level.'"

    The memo also claims the person "repeatedly" proposed a meeting between "Individual 1" (thought to be Donald Trump) and "the President of Russia" (President Vladimir Putin). Cohen, the memo claims, did not follow through with the offer.

    The special counsel's mention of this Russian national is leading to speculation that the dates line up with previous BuzzFeed news reporting about Ivanka Trump, Cohen, and a Russian athlete named Dmitry Klokov.

    Ivanka Trump connected Michael Cohen with a Russian athlete, who offered to introduce Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, BuzzFeed News reported in June of 2018. The goal of the proposed meeting was to help pave the way for a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to emails and four sources BuzzFeed spoke with.

    Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter, told Cohen in November 2015 to talk to the athlete, the former Olympic weightlifter Dmitry Klokov, and Cohen had at least one subsequent phone conversation with Klokov, the report says.

    BuzzFeed reported that Cohen and Klokov also exchanged several emails, in one of which Klokov told Cohen he could set up a meeting between Putin and Donald Trump, a presidential candidate at the time, to clear the way for a Trump Tower in Moscow.

    But Cohen reportedly emailed Klokov to decline his offer and say the Trump Organization already had a deal to pursue the project.

    The Russian athlete copied Ivanka Trump in his reply and questioned Cohen's authority to make decisions for the Trump Organization, at which point Trump asked Cohen why he did not want to pursue the deal through Klokov, the report says.

    BuzzFeed said Klokov told the outlet he did not "send any emails" to Cohen but stopped responding when the publication told him it had learned that he had sent at least two emails to Cohen and had at least one phone call with him at Trump's request. 

    Both congressional and FBI investigators are said to be looking into the events and working out the details of how the first daughter knows Klokov, including by reviewing emails and questioning witnesses.

    A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Business Insider that the special counsel Robert Mueller's office had not contacted the White House with any document or interview requests related to Ivanka Trump.

    Other efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow were already in the works

    Cohen's rejection of Klokov's request may have to do, at least in part, with the fact that by that time, he and his longtime associate, the Russian-born businessman Felix Sater, had been collaborating for weeks to secure financing for the deal.

    Sater first sent a letter of intent to Cohen outlining the terms of the "Trump World Tower Moscow" deal on October 13, 2015. Andrey Rozov, a Russian investor, had already signed it by the time Sater forwarded it to Cohen for Trump's signature.

    "Lets make this happen and build a Trump Moscow," Sater wrote in a note attached to the letter and shared by The New York Times' Maggie Haberman. "And possibly fix relations between the countries by showing everyone that commerce & business are much better and more practical than politics. That should be Putins message as well, and we will help him agree on that message. Help world peace and make a lot of money, I would say that's a great lifetime goal for us to go after."

    In November — the same month Ivanka Trump told Cohen to contact Klokov — Cohen and Sater exchanged a series of emails gearing up to celebrate the Trump Tower Moscow deal. In the emails, obtained by The Times, Sater bragged about his relationship with Putin and told Cohen he would "get all of Putins team to buy in" on the deal.

    He also wrote that he "arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin."

    Of Donald Trump, Sater wrote: "Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it."

    Michael Cohen

    Cohen was advocating the project as late as January 2016, when he contacted Dmitry Peskov, a top aide to Putin, about pushing the Trump Tower Moscow deal through.

    "Over the past few months I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a Trump Tower-Moscow project in Moscow City," Cohen wrote to Peskov, according to The Washington Post, which cited a person familiar with the email. "Without getting into lengthy specifics, the communication between our two sides has stalled."

    Cohen continued: "As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance. I respectfully request someone, preferably you, contact me so that I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals. I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon."

    Cohen told Vanity Fair last year that the proposal from Sater was "business as usual and nothing more," describing it as "just another project, another licensing deal." He added that he had "really wanted to see this building go up, because the economics were fantastic."

    Adding another layer to the story, Sater told the MSNBC host Chris Hayes in March that the Trump Organization was negotiating with a sanctioned Russian bank to secure financing for the building during the campaign.

    The Trump Tower Moscow deal is among several events connected to Cohen that Mueller is known to be looking into as part of his investigation into Russia's election meddling.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    Michael Cohen

    • Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former attorney, likened the extent of his financial crimes to that of rapper Earl Simmons, otherwise known as DMX.
    • Cohen's attorneys argued that their client's sentencing should be similar to that of notable celebrities charged with tax evasion, including actors John Travolta and Chris Tucker, musician Willie Nelson, and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
    • Attorneys for Cohen pushed for a sentencing of time served, which would drastically reduce his sentence to "a matter of hours," prosecutors said.
    • If Cohen's attorneys are successful and manage to obtain a sentence of time served, the result would equate to a 99.5% lower sentence than the recommendation from the US Sentencing Commission.
    • Prosecutors called the request "meritless" and advised the court to view it with "great skepticism."

    Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former attorney, likened the extent of his financial crimes to that of rapper Earl Simmons, otherwise known as DMX, to federal prosecutors amid his guilty plea.

    Attorneys for Cohen, who pleaded guilty to eight counts of financial crimes and campaign violations, pushed for a sentencing of time served, which would drastically reduce his sentence to "a matter of hours," prosecutors said. The result would equate to a sentence 99.5% lower than the recommendation from the US Sentencing Commission.

    DMX Mike Lawrie Getty final

    Cohen's attorneys pointed to a "disparity in treatment" and claimed their client "may have been selected for criminal prosecution to set an example." The attorneys compared Cohen's circumstance to that of Simmons, who received a sentence of just one year, rather than the recommended guideline of four to five years.

    In the 2018 tax evasion case US v. Earl Simmons, Judge Jed Rakoff stressed that imposing prison terms in tax evasion cases, "regardless of complexity," posed as a general deterrent for potential criminals.

    "People who are considering tax evasion ... greatly exaggerate their chances of getting away with it ... That is why prison is important," Judge Jed Rakoff said at the time, according to the Southern District of New York prosecutors.

    Simmons was sentenced to one year in prison, after he was charged with evading income taxes and attempting to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service. Prosecutors in Simmons' case argued he owed $1.7 million to the government between 2002 and 2005, and had failed to file taxes from 2010 to 2015.

    Cohen's attorneys argued their client's sentencing should be similar to that of notable celebrities charged with tax evasion, including actors John Travolta and Chris Tucker, musician Willie Nelson, and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    The attorneys defended their assertion by claiming Cohen was "a prominent American and attorney" and also "a well-known public figure."

    SDNY prosecutors called the request "meritless" and advised the court to view it with "great skepticism." Prosecutors agreed that although Simmons' tax evasion scheme was "more complex" than Cohen's, both defendants had "made the calculated decision that they could get away with not paying taxes."

    Prosecutors also noted that tax evasion was just one of Cohen's crimes, in addition to campaign finance violations and bank fraud.

    Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, a crime that typically faces around six months in jail, as part of a plea deal with the special counsel. In a separate sentencing recommendation, Mueller suggested Cohen serve a concurrent sentence to that of the SDNY's recommendation of a 3.5 year sentence.

    SEE ALSO: Trump fires off late-night tweetstorm on the eve of a landmark moment in the Russia investigation

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Michael Avenatti

    • Attorney Michael Avenatti took a victory lap following the release of sentencing recommendations for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney.
    • "We are happy to see Michael Cohen is in a lot of trouble [regarding] sentencing," Avenatti said on Twitter on Friday.
    • Avenatti represents adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump and was paid $130,000 by Cohen to keep silent about it ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
    • Cohen admitted to making the payment "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, making his testimony a corroboration of Daniels' claim, and providing evidence that Trump may have violated campaign finance laws.
    • Avenatti also had a terse message for Trump.

    Attorney Michael Avenatti took a victory lap following the release of the special counsel Robert Mueller's and the Southern District of New York's sentencing recommendations for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, on Friday.

    "Over the weeks and months that followed our early March filing, we endured death threats, insults, and numerous attacks on our character, which have continued to this day," Avenatti said in a statement. "We sat and listened while many 'expert pundits' criticized our approach, including our constant media push, failing to recognize that we were playing the 'long game' and had a strategy."

    "Today is yet more evidence that our efforts have brought us closer toward realizing our goal," Avenatti said. "But we are not done. To our supporters — THANK YOU! To the others — better luck next time."

    Avenatti represents adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump and was paid $130,000 by Cohen to keep silent. Cohen initially admitted he personally made the payment to Daniels with his own money, but denied that Trump or his campaign was involved in the transaction.

    The payment was made a month before the 2016 presidential election and raised suspicions that it served as a hush-money payment.

    Michael Cohen

    Read more: Trump says he's 'totally' cleared after bombshell court filings related to Michael Cohen and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort

    But Cohen's previous statements contradicted his testimony to prosecutors, according to the sentencing memo for his numerous financial crimes and lies to Congress.

    In the court filing, Cohen was said to have "played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories" from two women who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. The two women are suspected to be Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

    Cohen admitted to making the payments "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, making his testimony a corroboration of Daniels' claim and providing evidence that Trump may have violated campaign finance laws. Cohen's actions, which was described as an "intent to influence the 2016 presidential election," was "coordinated ... with one or more members of the campaign," prosecutors added.

    Avenatti took a shot at Cohen, who prosecutors said should receive a "substantial" sentence for his crimes.

    "We are happy to see Michael Cohen is in a lot of trouble [regarding] sentencing," Avenatti said in a tweet. "We agree with the [government] that he should serve a substantial term of imprisonment. He lied to my client, the American people and investigators for years. He is a thug and deserves to be severely punished."

    Avenatti also had a terse message for Trump, who is referred to as "Individual-1" in the court filings.

    "I have to give you credit where credit is due," Avenatti tweeted. "You always have said you were No.1."

    SEE ALSO: Trump claims he's 'totally' cleared after bombshell court filings related to Michael Cohen and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort

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    mueller russia probe 2x1

    • The special counsel Robert Mueller released a memorandum on Friday detailing the cooperating and witness testimony provided by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer.
    • The memo says Cohen testified with respect to four crucial areas of Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
    • Cohen told Mueller about the talks to build a Trump Tower in Moscow; other contacts with Russia; his communications with the White House after Trump took office; and how and why he lied to Congress about the Trump Tower deal.

    The special counsel Robert Mueller released a memorandum on Friday detailing the cooperating and witness testimony provided by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and longtime fixer.

    Mueller's sentencing memo and a separate memo filed last week by Cohen's lawyers say Cohen has provided 70 hours of testimony to the special counsel, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign collaborated with Moscow to tilt the race in Trump's favor.

    Read more: Federal prosecutors recommend 'substantial' prison sentence for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, saying he demonstrated a 'years-long pattern of deception'

    On November 30, Cohen struck a deal to plead guilty to one count of lying to Congress in exchange for cooperating with the special counsel. Cohen admitted to falsely stating in his September 2017 congressional testimony that the Trump Organization ended talks to build a Trump Tower in Moscow sometime in January 2016.

    In reality, prosecutors say, those discussions continued well into June 2016, and that Cohen "admitted he told these lies—which he made publicly and in submissions to Congress—in order to minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1," referring to Trump.

    Cohen provided testimony to Mueller on the following subjects:

    The Trump Organization's attempt to build a Trump Tower in Moscow

    The memo says Cohen provided "a detailed account of his involvement and the involvement of others in the Moscow Project," an effort that continued until June 2016, after Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

    The memo goes on to describe "in or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.”

    While this person is not named in the memo, BuzzFeed News reported in January that Cohen reached out to Russian weightlifter Dmitry Klokov about the project. Klokov claimed to be connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin. They were reportedly introduced by Ivanka Trump, then a vice president at the Trump Organization.

    The memo says that Klokov told Cohen that a meeting between Trump and Putin would have a "phenomenal" impact "not only in political but in a business dimension as well," referring to the Moscow Project, because there is "no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the President of Russia]."

    Cohen did not follow through with Klokov's offer, telling him there was an existing agreement to build a Trump Tower between Russia and the Trump Organization.

    Read more: Trump and his allies' explanations for the campaign's Russia contacts have seen a stark evolution as new evidence has spilled out

    Mueller's sentencing memo said Cohen's false testimony to Congress "obscured" the fact that the Trump Tower Moscow deal represented a potentially lucrative business opportunity that may have required approval from the Russian government.

    "If the project was completed, the Company could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues," the memo said. It also added that Cohen's continued work on the proposal, as well as his communications with Trump about it, were doubly relevant because they happened while the Russian government was actively interfering in the 2016 election to sway the race in Trump's favor.

    Other "discrete Russia-related matters"

    The memo says that "Cohen provided the [special counsel] with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact with Company executives during the campaign."

    This line stands out, given that many executives of "the Company" are in Trump's immediate family and have been implicated in other parts of the probe.

    Donald Trump Jr., also a vice-president at the Trump Organization, attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with top campaign officials and two Russian lobbyists who were offering dirt on the Hillary Clinton campaign. The parties involved have said nothing came of the meeting and that the Trump campaign did not get the kompromat it was promised, but the campaign's willingness to meet with Kremlin-aligned operatives has piqued investigators' interest.

    Trump Jr. also testified to Congress last year that his father did not have any advance knowledge of the meeting. If investigators learn that Trump did know about it, however, the revelation could land his eldest son in the same legal trouble Cohen found himself in for misleading Congress.

    Cohen, as well as at least two other Trump associates, have indicated that Trump may have known more about the meeting than he let on.

    Read more: Michael Cohen's plea deal poses a significant danger to Donald Trump Jr.

    Contacts with persons "connected to the White House"

    Mueller's memo also said Cohen provided "relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017-2018 time period."

    This line is also significant, because "relevant and useful" information to the special counsel investigation could indicate that Cohen and people in or near the White House continued to pursue criminal activity after the campaign, and well into the first two years of the Trump administration.

    "That sounds to me like someone else in the Trump orbit will be indicted as a co-conspirator either for lying to Congress or for obstruction of justice," said Jens David Ohlin, a vice dean at Cornell Law School and criminal-law expert.

    "Preparing and circulating" his false congressional testimony

    Finally, the memo states that Cohen "described the circumstances of preparing and circulating his response to the congressional inquiries, while continuing to accept responsibility for the false statements contained within it."

    Ohlin said it was also telling that the memo said that Cohen divulged who he collaborated with in the administration "while continuing to accept responsibility for his false statements."

    "Sounds to me that they consider this a collective crime with multiple perpetrators," Ohlin said. "Additional indictments are likely, especially involving contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, which is the last piece of the puzzle."

    Mueller's memo came shortly after the Southern District of New York filed a separate sentencing memo regarding Cohen's cooperation in its investigation into his and Trump's financial dealings before the election.

    Cohen pleaded guilty in August to tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations. He said he violated election law by participating in payments to two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump shortly before the 2016 race. Cohen told investigators he did so at Trump's direction.

    Friday's memo from the Manhattan US attorney's office echoed Cohen's claim, saying he committed his crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, who is identified in the document as Individual-1.

    "The biggest takeaway from this is that prosecutors actually named President Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator," said Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor in Chicago who spent 12 years at the DOJ. "And it's not just based on Cohen's word. These documents make it clear that investigators also have other independent, corroborating evidence."

    "You really can't overstate this," he added. "The President of the United States was an unindicted co-conspirator in a felony? When's the last time that statement's been uttered?"

    SEE ALSO: Here's everyone who has been charged and convicted in Mueller's Russia probe so far

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    Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina at the 2018 Forbes Healthcare Summit

    • Walgreens made a move that could protect its business from Amazon and rival CVS Health.
    • On Thursday, the pharmacy giant announced a partnership with FedEx to do national, next-day prescription delivery and same-day delivery for some cities. 
    • Customers who opted into getting texts from Walgreens will get an alert when prescriptions are ready, and then can decide to have them delivered instead of coming into the store. 

    Walgreens is getting deeper into the prescription-delivery wars. 

    On Thursday, the pharmacy giant said it partnered with FedEx to do national, next-day prescription delivery. At the start, the service will be available at 7,100 of Walgreens' 9,560 pharmacies. Same-day delivery is available in Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Gainesville, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale. 

    Walgreens is up against stiff competition for customers, facing off against Amazon, which is getting into the pharmacy business through its acquisition of the online pharmacy PillPack; CVS Health, which is making a big bet on the healthcare aspect of its business through the acquisition of the insurer Aetna; and of course the retail giant Walmart.

    Next-day delivery will cost customers $4.99. A Walgreens spokesman said same-day delivery fees will vary, but will be priced competitively. In the past, Walgreens has offered delivery, though typically not as quickly. It's also had a relationship with FedEx in which Walgreens set up counters in its stores where customers can drop off and pick up packages.

    Customers who opt into getting texts from Walgreens will get an alert when a prescription is ready, and then can decide to have it delivered instead of coming into the store. 

    Read more: Take a look inside Walgreens' futuristic store where it's plotting new ways to take on Amazon and CVS

    CVS Health is taking a similar approach. In June, CVS said it would offer next-day delivery, with pharmacies in some cities like New York and San Francisco providing a same-day delivery service. One-to-two day service, CVS said, would cost $4.99, while same-day costs $8.99. 

    The move came right before Amazon acquired PillPack. PillPack mails prescriptions that are packaged together based on when they need to be taken, putting it in a good spot to handle prescriptions for elderly people who tend to have more prescriptions. 

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