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The latest news from Business Insider

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    piers constable

    • A New York-based managing director at Deutsche Bank spends up to 10 days out of the month traveling for work.
    • Piers Constable described his daily routine to Business Insider — and exercise is a huge part of it.
    • On a recent trip to Cote d'Ivoire, he woke up at 5:00 a.m. to exercise, met with clients all day, ate lunch while on an international conference call, and squeezed in another workout before heading back to the airport at 10:00 p.m. for his flight home. 


    Piers Constable, a managing director at Deutsche Bank, wakes up at 5:00 a.m. every day and spends eight to 10 days of the month traveling for work.

    Constable, based in New York City, has traveled to more than 60 countries while working for Deutsche Bank and has also lived in London and Dubai. His team arranges finance for infrastructure projects in emerging markets.

    He wakes up at 5:00 a.m. every day to work out — and often fits in a second workout later in the day.

    "I find getting up in the morning to go for a swim or sit on the bike is basically an hour less sleep than I'd have, but that gives me sort of more energy than I'd have had if I'd have stayed in bed," he told Business Insider. "I think nobody likes waking up at 5 o'clock, but if it becomes a habit, it's much easier to do."

    Here's what a typical day looks like for Constable when he's traveling for business.

    SEE ALSO: A Deutsche Bank exec who's traveled to more than 60 countries for business meetings says he always does the same thing when he gets to a new city

    DON'T MISS: A Deutsche Bank exec says he travels up to 10 days every month — and he's been able to keep doing it for over 20 years because of a 'magic combination'

    Piers Constable, a managing director at Deutsche Bank, is based in New York City but travels all over the world to meet clients for up to 10 days out of the month.

    Constable wakes up at about 5:00 a.m. every morning, whether he's traveling or home in New York City. He said that he travels so much that sometimes it takes him a moment to remember where he's waking up. He recently woke up in a hotel in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, where he arrived on a Sunday evening after a 15-hour flight.

    The first thing Constable does on any given day is exercise. A competitive triathlete, he likes to get a workout in before anyone else is awake. The hotel lobby in Abidjan was empty as he went to the pool at 6:00 a.m. He woke up slightly later than usual, at 5:30, because he wasn't allowed to swim in the pool before 6:00.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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


    Outside of the US Postal Service (USPS), FedEx and UPS have dominated the domestic logistics industry — and in particular, the last-mile of the delivery — for decades. On a quarterly earnings call in 2016, FedEx estimated that itself, UPS, and USPS executed a whopping 95% of all e-commerce orders.

    But rapidly rising volumes have put the pair of legacy shippers in a bind. E-commerce sales have risen over 50% and are projected to continue their ascent into the next decade. High volumes are already straining shippers' networks — UPS struggled to bring consumers their parcels on time due to higher-than-anticipated package volume, which upset some big-name retail partners, including Macy's, Walmart, and Amazon. As online sales surge further, package volumes will outstrip legacy shippers' capacities, creating space for new entrants. 

    Amazon is uniquely well-positioned to dethrone UPS and FedEx's duopoly. It's built up a strong logistics infrastructure, counting hundreds of warehouses and thousands of delivery trucks.

    Further, as the leading online retailer in the US, it has a wealth of data on consumers that it can use to craft a personalized delivery experience that's superior to UPS and FedEx's offerings. Amazon must act soon, however, as UPS and FedEx are hard at work fortifying their own networks to handle the expected surge in parcel volume.

    The longer the Seattle-based e-tailer delays the launch of a delivery service, the more it runs the risk that these legacy players will be able to defend their territory. 

    In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explains how the age of e-commerce is opening up cracks in UPS and FedEx's duopoly. We then outline how Amazon's logistics ambitions began as an effort to more quickly get parcels out the door and fulfill its famous 2-day shipping process and how it'll be a key building block for the company if it builds out a last-mile service. Lastly, we offer concrete steps that the firm must take to maximize the dent it makes in UPS and FedEx's duopoly.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Alibaba, Amazon, FedEx, and UPS.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • While UPS and FedEx have dominated the US last-mile delivery market for the last few decades, the surge in e-commerce is creating more volume than shipping companies can handle.
    • Amazon is uniquely well-positioned to put a dent in UPS and FedEx's duopoly due to its strategic position as the leading online retailer in the US.
    • Amazon can carry its trust amongst the public, a wealth of consumer data, and its ability to craft a more personalized delivery experience to the last-mile delivery space to ultimately dethrone UPS and FedEx.
    • The top priority for Amazon in taking on UPS and FedEx needs to be offering substantially lower shipping rates — one-third of US retailers say they'll switch to an Amazon shipping service if it's at least 20% cheaper than UPS and FedEx. 

    In full, the report:

    • Outlines Amazon's current shipping and logistics footprint and strengths that it would bring to the last-mile delivery space in the US.
    • Lays out concrete steps that Amazon must take if it wants to launch a standalone last-mile delivery service, including how it can offer a more memorable, higher-quality delivery experience than UPS and FedEx.
    • Illustrates how Amazon can minimize operating costs for a delivery service to ultimately undercut UPS and FedEx's shipping rates in the last-mile space.


    SEE ALSO: Amazon and Walmart are building out delivery capabilities

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Michael Cohen

    • Michael Cohen's attorney said the former lawyer will "tell all" about President Donald Trump. 
    • Lanny Davis said his client will state "all he knows" about the president to any Congressional committee. 

    Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer who on Wednesday was sentenced to three years in prison for an array of crimes he committed while employed by the president, will "tell all" about Trump, his attorney said. 

    Lanny Davis', Cohen's lawyer, said his client will "state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump" once special counsel Robert Mueller completes his investigation.

    Davis said he will help Cohen testify before any Congressional committee that is "interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies. Mr. Trump's repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts." 

    Read more: Michael Cohen says he felt it was his 'duty' to 'cover up' Trump's 'dirty deeds,' is sentenced to 3 years in prison

    "Michael has owned up to his mistakes and fully cooperated with Special Counsel Mueller in his investigation over possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian meddling in the 2016 election," Davis said in a statement. "While Mr. Mueller gave Michael significant credit for cooperation on the 'core' issues, it is unfortunate that SDNY prosecutors did not do the same. To me, their judgement showed a lack of appropriate proportionality." 

    The special counsel had suggested Cohen get no prison time due to his cooperation with the investigation. SDNY prosecutors thought otherwise. During Cohen's hearing, SDNY's Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos said Cohen could not "have it both ways." 

    "To do so would send the wrong message," Roos said.

    Before his sentencing, Cohen said apologized for his actions, saying he felt he had a "duty" to "cover up" Trump's "dirty deeds." He said he acted out of "blind loyalty" to Trump. It was this loyalty, he said, what led him go down "a path of darkness instead of light."

    Cohen must report to federal prison on March 6.

    SEE ALSO: People are dragging Michael Cohen for a 2015 tweet about Hillary Clinton after he was sentenced to 3 years in prison

    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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    canopy growth

    • Canopy Growth expects to have an active presence in the US cannabis market by late 2019, CEO Bruce Linton said at an event on Tuesday, according to Cowen.
    • Linton's announcement came after the US Senate voted Tuesday to approve the hemp-friendly Farm Bill. The House will vote on the bill Wednesday. 
    • The US-hemp market is expected to be worth $1.6 billion by 2021, said Vivien Azer, an analyst at Cowen.
    • Watch Canopy Growth trade live.

    The Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth expects to enter the US market by the end of 2019, according to analysts at Cowen.

    Speaking at a New York City-based Contractors Association Lunch on Tuesday, Canopy CEO Bruce Linton said he expects his company to have an active presence in the US cannabis market by late 2019, Cowen says.

    Linton's announcement came after the US Senate voted to approve the hemp-friendly Farm Bill. The bill, which is expected to pass in the House on Wednesday and be signed by President Donald Trump, includes a provision for the legalization of industrial hemp.

    Hemp is a source of the popular ingredient cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the primary cannabinoids that occur naturally in cannabis. This corner of the market is one to keep an eye on as Coca-Cola reportedly held talks with Canopy rival Aurora Cannabis to develop beverages infused with CBD.

    "With the legislation having been signed by Congressional leadership the night before his presentation (and slated for a floor vote by the end of next week), Linton’s tone brightened notably,"Vivien Azer, an analyst at Cowen, said in a note sent out on Wednesday.

    "As a reminder, Brightfield estimates that U.S. CBD currently generates $418 million in sales, which is expected to climb to $1.6 billion by 2021."


    So far in the US, nine states and Washington, DC, allow recreational marijuana, while 31 states and Washington, DC, allow medical marijuana.

    Canopy Growth moved its stock listing from Toronto to the New York Stock Exchange in May. Shares were flat for the year until August, when Constellation Brands, the beverage maker behind Corona beer and Svedka vodka, announced a $4 billion investment in the company, sparking a so-called green rush into the cannabis sector and causing companies across the industry to see their valuations more than double in a matter of weeks.

    However, shares have been under pressure as of late — after the company missed big on second-quarter revenue on November 14. Canopy was down 44% from its all-time high of $56.89 set on October 15, two days before Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalize marijuana for recreational use. 

    Now read:


    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The world's largest cruise ship just landed in Miami — here's what it's like on board

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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.

    Away $225

    Startups are often seen as incubators or think tanks making better, smarter, or cooler products faster than traditional companies can. And thanks to the lean businesses models made possible by the internet, those products don't have to cost more than the status quo they're replacing. 

    Their uniqueness, cool origin stories, and — on average — more sustainable and ethical business practices also make them particularly good gifts. Below are 76 up-and-coming startups we love to shop at, plus a cheat sheet for what to buy from each of them.

    Below, you'll find 76 of the best gifts you can buy from startups this year.

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


    What to buy:
    Women's Wool Loungers, $95
    Men's Wool Loungers, $95

    This is the footwear company responsible for the merino wool sneakers and loungers often called the "most comfortable shoes in the world"— a statement we agreed with after trying them. They're great for everyday use or for traveling, and you'll find them in high concentrations in hubs like Silicon Valley and New York City. 

    Allbirds are also a great gift for environmentally-conscious shoppers. The company is well-known for practicing "better business" and engineering its shoes from sustainable wool, eucalyptus leaves, or foam made from sugar cane.


    What to buy:
    Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, from $213

    Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Picks team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.

    The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in 15 colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. As part of the Bundle, you'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave. Grab a gift card (delivered digitally or in a gift box) if you want them to have more freedom. 

    Atlas Coffee Club

    What to buy:
    Three-Month Subscription, $55

    Atlas Coffee Club is a monthly coffee subscription that curates freshly-roasted, micro-lot coffees from around the world and sends them to your door. Since the coffees span the globe, each shipment is meant to connect recipients with the culture that produced it. Shipments include a corresponding postcard (plus flavor notes and brewing tips), and the coffee bag designs are inspired by local landscapes and textiles. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    color viral

    • This year was full of optical illusions that baffled people.
    • Some were viral photos of humorous coincidences.
    • Others were more intricate works of art using Photoshop or other materials.

    From intricate works of art to masterful Photoshop jobs to viral coincidences, 2018 was full of optical illusions that baffled people.

    Here are 15 of the most mind-bending optical illusions of the year.

    "Triply Ambiguous Object" created by Kokichi Sugihara of Japan won the title of Best Optical Illusion of the Year.

    "Triply Ambiguous Object" created by Kokichi Sugihara of Japan shows what appears to be a three-dimensional object looking completely different from three different viewpoints. These seemingly different objects can all be seen at the same time thanks to two vertical mirrors placed behind it.

    There are three reasons why the illusion occurs. For one, it only works on video, meaning that depth perception is absent: our brains then fill in the missing depth information with rectangles. Also, the vertical pin emphasizes the direction of gravity when viewing the object on a slant, strengthening the illusion of a 3D space. Finally, it's hard to tell that the three viewpoints are showing the same object.

    Contrasted by the colorful items in the aisles, the greyscale section in this supermarket looks eerily colorless.

    Holly McKee was shopping for a Halloween costume for her younger sister at Asda supermarket in Dundee Milton, Scotland, when she came across an irl optical illusion that made her do a double take.

    Sandwiched between colorful aisles of clothes and accessories was a display of greyscale children's clothes so uniform that it looked like a black and white filter had been applied in reality.

    McKee first posted the photo to her Instagram story, then to Twitter, captioning it "Thought I went colour blind in Asda today."

    When people thought that she edited the photo, McKee went back to the store to film a video of the display to prove that it was real for her YouTube channel, The Scottish Sisters.

    This frog actually consists of five models covered in body paint.

    Johannes Stotter creates optical illusions that first appear to be hyperrealistic depictions of animals. But on closer inspection, you can see they're actually humans covered in body paint.

    Stotter began his "Illusions" project in 2013 while living in the Italian Alps, where he says nature directly influenced his art.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    A tourist in Santorini.

    • In the US, warm-weather destinations like Edisto Island, South Carolina and Dunedin, Florida typically have fewer crowds in the winter.  
    • The Caribbean island Anguilla is more private warm-weather travel destination.
    • Panama City, Panama and Santorini, Greece are also popular warm-weather destinations that can be bit less crowded during the winter time. 

    Whether you're looking for a warm-weather travel destination to escape from cold winter weather or you simply want to explore somewhere new during the holiday season, there are plenty of travel options out there if you want to avoid the crowds. 

    Here are a few underrated warm-weather travel destinations to check out this holiday season. 

    Edisto Island in South Carolina is a beachy destination that's close to Charleston.

    Get two trips in one by visiting Edisto Island in South Carolina — it's only about an hour away from Charleston, so you can visit the popular destination and also get to relax by the beach.

    You can have a low-key trip, or you can explore a bit by going dolphin and whale watching, taking a boat tour to beautiful Shell Island.

    Head to Cartagena in Colombia for beautiful sightseeing.

    Pretty much any place in South America will be a warm-weather destination, but if you want a somewhat less crowded destination, check out Cartagena, Colombia.

    This coastal city features amazing food, beautiful architecture, and quaint cobblestone streets. 

    Explore nature at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

    The shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan offer you a view of three volcanoes. Plus, you can visit the village of San Marcos for some quiet relaxation or head to Santa Cruz La Laguna to explore — it's the lake's scuba capital that's also known for diving. San Pedro also offers plenty of delicious restaurants to check out.

    Read More:  45 hotels around the world with stunning views

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump white house 2x1

    • The Trump administration has provided no shortage of controversy and scandal in 2018.
    • From Trump reportedly referring to several nations as "s--thole countries" and multiple cabinet members implicated in ethics scandals, it was an eventful year for the White House and the administration broadly.
    • Here are the 21 biggest scandals that roiled the Trump administration in 2018. 

    It's been a long and eventful year in the administration of President Donald Trump, with nearly every day bringing with it a new controversy or scandal. 

    Between the release of two tell-all books that described the West Wing as dysfunctional, five cabinet members either ousted or mired in scandal, and several bombshell revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference, there's been no shortage of scandal. 

    Here are the 21 of the biggest scandals that rocked the Trump administration in 2018:

    Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" left aides scrambling to do damage control.

    In early 2018, a controversial tell-all book about the Trump administration written by  Hollywood Reporter columnist Michael Wolff raised tensions among White House staffers as they tried to minimize the damage.

    Among the book's most salacious allegations were that former White House advisor Steve Bannon called Trump's oldest daughter Ivanka "dumb as a brick" and his son Donald Jr. "treasonous," that Trump repeatedly tried to have sex with his friends' wives, and that "everyone around him" questions his intelligence and fitness for office.

    While the book's claims were treated with cautious skepticism by other members of the media, Trump slammed Wolff and blamed "weak libel laws" for the book's allegations.


    Staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after his two ex-wives accused him of domestic violence.

    Rob Porter, a White House staff secretary and right-hand man to chief of staff John Kelly, resigned in early February after two of his ex-wives came forward with allegations of domestic abuse, sending the West Wing into chaos. 

    Many of Porter's White House colleagues stuck by him even as the women came forward with disturbing accounts of physical assault, photographs of black eyes, and protective orders they filed against Porter. The allegations were considered serious enough to deny Porter a security clearance, according to reports. 

    While Kelly publicly stated he was "shocked" by the claims, multiple news reports asserted the White House was aware of the allegations for months before they became public. 


    The Washington Post reported that Trump referred to a number of nations as "s--thole countries" in a meeting.

    In a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress, Trump reportedly referred to nations including Haiti, El Salvador, and a number of African nations as "shithole countries," and lamented why the US wasn't seeing more people immigrate from places like Norway.

    The remarks garnered heavy backlash from figures in Washington and the media. 

    "I don't know how to break this to you, but I think the president might be racist," Trevor Noah, host of "The Daily Show,"said.

    "Sir, they're not shithole countries," joked "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert. "For one, Donald Trump isn't their president."


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the americans season 6

    • The nominations for the 25th Annual Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) Awards are here, and they're filled with surprises and snubs.
    • Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell didn't get nominated for their leading roles on the excellent final season of "The Americans."
    • "Bohemian Rhapsody," a movie that has only been praised for one performance, got a nomination for best ensemble cast.
    • We're confused. 

    We thought actors (people who professionally act) would be really good at voting for acting awards, but we were wrong!

    The SAG Awards, which take place a few weeks before the Oscars every year, is an awards show hosted by the Screen Actor's Guild. Actors vote on their peers in film and television, but the focus is performances, with awards for best lead and supporting actors and actresses, and awards for best ensemble casts. 

    Usually SAG nominees are a bit better than the bigger shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes, because SAG voters really know their craft. But not in 2018.

    This year's nominations are filled with shocking snubs and unpleasant surprises, including no nomination for the leads on FX's "The Americans," and a strange outstanding ensemble cast nomination for "Bohemian Rhapsody."

    The 25th Annual SAG Awards ceremony will be broadcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. 

    Here are the five biggest snubs and surprises from the SAG Awards nominations:

    Matthew Rhys didn't get nominated for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series, but Jason Bateman and John Krasinski did.

    The nominees: 

    Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
    Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
    Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
    John Krasinski, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”
    Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

    Rhys's portrayal of the KGB spy Philip Jennings who's somewhat seduced by the American life has been the absolute best performance on television for years, overshadowed by more popular AMC shows. But this was finally his year. On the sixth season, Rhys did his best work to date, which included Philip's classic line dancing, an emotional final trip to McDonald's, but also an intense ten minute stand-off in a parking garage. Rhys carried carried the scene while allowing his co-stars Keri Russell and Noah Emmerich to shine, too. Rhys should have had a nomination, and he should have won.

    "The Americans" earned a SAG nomination for best ensemble cast on a TV drama, and while its cast has always been the best (and the most ignored), the lead performances deserve recognition the most. 


    Keri Russell didn't get nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, but two actresses from "Ozark" did.

    The nominees: 

    Julia Garner, “Ozark”
    Laura Linney, “Ozark”
    Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
    Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
    Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

    For the past five years, Russell, like her co-star Matthew Rhys, has been doing some of the best acting in television history on "The Americans" as the cold, dutiful, but sometimes conflicted KGB spy Elizabeth Jennings. Her character made some major advancement during the final season, and Russell captured every feeling, from the obvious to the subtle. 

    And yet, two actresses from Netflix's second season original series "Ozark," a mediocre drama with very good performances (not great), got nominated over Russell. Laura Linney is, as always good on the show, but she's not doing anything particularly groundbreaking. The same goes for her co-star and fellow nominee Julie Garner, who had a major role on "The Americans" and appeared briefly on the final season earlier this year. 

    "Bohemian Rhapsody" got nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for some reason.

    The nominees: 

    “A Star Is Born”
    “Black Panther”
    “Bohemian Rhapsody”
    “Crazy Rich Asians”

    This particular nomination is truly baffling, considering the only positive reception this movie has gotten is strictly related to Rami Malek's performance as Freddie Mercury. While there are other people in this movie, like  Mike Meyers apparently, no one is talking about them. You probably, like me, just found out that Mike Meyers is in this movie in the previous sentence.

    It feels like no SAG members even saw the movie, and just picked the movie out of a hat. Or maybe they just voted for it to avoid giving "Avengers: Infinity War" -- the biggest crossover event of all time -- a nomination in the category. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jon gosselin and kate gosselin

    • Jon Gosselin told "Access Hollywood" that he and ex-wife Kate Gosselin "don't talk."
    • "It's just nothing, which is sad because co-parenting would have been the process," the 41-year-old said. 
    • Jon recently won temporary sole physical and legal custody of their 14-year-old son Collin. 
    • Their other child, Hannah, lives with Jon, while Mady, CaraAlexis, Aaden, Leah, and Joe reside with Kate. 


    Jon Gosselin says that he no longer has a relationship with ex-wife Kate Gosselin.

    "We don't talk," Jon said during an interview with "Access Hollywood.""It's not even business, it's just nothing. I don't know what to call it."

    The reality TV star, who recently won temporary sole custody physical and legal custody of their 14-year-old son named Collin, went on to say: "It's just nothing, which is sad because co-parenting would have been the process. It's just nothing."

    Jon and Kate rose to fame for their reality TV show, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight," which focused on the couple and their children — Mady, Cara, and sextuplets Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah, and Joe. Since their 2009 split, the parents continue to have public disagreements and spats

    Mady, CaraAlexis, Aaden, Leah, and Joe live with Kate, while Collin and Hannah stay with Jon. Even though Jon won the legal battle, Collin still resides at a facility for children for special needs and visits his father occasionally. 

    "It's just her way and my way and that's it," Jon told "Access Hollywood.""She has her kids, I have mine."

    Read more: Jon Gosselin shared a rare photo of kids Collin and Hannah visiting, and you won't believe how much they've grown

    "It's a relief to know that my son is going to be taken care of, and I'm going to take care of him, and [girlfriend Colleen Conrad], and our family as well, my immediate family," he added.""It's comforting to know that my attorneys worked really hard and it's always nice to win, of course."

    The 41-year-old went on to say: "Hannah lives with me too, so his sister's going to be there to support him as well."

    A representative for Kate didn't respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

    Watch Jon Gosselin speak with "Access Hollywood" below. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.   

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 things you shouldn't buy on Black Friday

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    Super Smash Bros Ultimate Link

    • "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is out now for the Nintendo Switch and players are already starting to get competitive with the new game.
    • Up to eight players can fight each other in Smash at the same time, leading to plenty of mayhem on the battlefield.
    • While players who have played Smash in the past will have no problem picking up "Ultimate," there are a few tricks that set veterans apart from casual players.

    "Super Smash Bros." has provided fierce a fierce video game battleground since the first game in the series was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1999. With "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" now out for Nintendo Switch, the fight continues with multiplayer matches breaking out across offices, dorm rooms, and house parties everywhere.

    While "Ultimate" is the biggest Smash game ever, the rules are the same: players fight to knock each other off the stage using their favorite video game characters. Those who have played the previous games should feel right at home when they pick up "Ultimate;"every character from the previous games has returned and dedicated tournament players have already begun developing advanced techniques for their favorite characters.

    Not everyone is ready to become a professional Smasher, but it can't hurt to have a few tricks to beat casual players right? Here are some essential tips to help you dominate your friends in "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate."

    SEE ALSO: 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' brings more than 70 characters to the Nintendo Switch — here they all are

    SEE ALSO: We found a trick that unlocks every character in 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' in just a few hours. Here's how to get your favorites as fast as possible.

    Figure out a comfortable control scheme (seriously though).

    Really though, it may sound obvious, but knowing your controls is the first step to winning. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" has no shortage of control schemes and settings, so it's important to figure out which works best for you. While Smash veterans may prefer playing on the old-school GameCube controller (compatible with "Ultimate" via an adapter sold separately), the new Switch controls have a different layout and an extra button to customize.

    In addition to the standard controls, pay attention to the "Other Settings" options. Lots of players prefer to turn off "Stick Jump" so they don't accidentally jump with the analog stick and die. Personally, I like to set my right analog to "Tilts" for quick attacks, and use Attack+Special for smash attacks. Some people like to set their Jump to a trigger button at the top of the controller for easier access.

    Remember that Smash has two types of jumps: A regular jump that is performed by holding the jump button, and a short hop, which can be done by tapping the jump button. You should feel comfortable using all of your attacks at both heights.

    Controls are saved to specific usernames, so you can set your personal preferences for different controllers and even create multiple names to use different control layouts for different characters.



    Learn how to use items to your advantage.

    While not everyone prefers to play with items enabled, they're a key part of Smash. Some are basic weapons, some will give you special power-ups, and a few might just blow up in your face and kill you. Learning the different items is key to survival.

    In addition to throwing items with the "Attack" button while they're equipped, you can also drop them in-place by pressing the "Grab" button. If an item is thrown at you, you can catch it by pressing "Attack" or "Grab" right before it hits you, even if you're in mid-air.

    Even if items are turned off, characters like Link and Peach can generate their own items — Link can throw bombs, and Peach can attack with thrown vegetables — and use them to trick and trap opponents.


    Remember all of your options for getting back to the stage.

    When knocked off stage, every character in "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" can use their Up+Special Attack move to help them get back onto the stage. That special move will vary from between characters but it's your prime key for survival when used properly. If you find yourself having trouble staying alive, you can pick a character like Kirby, Jigglypuff, Metaknight, King Dedede or Pit, who can float in the air for a period. 

    Some characters have extra moves to help them get back to the stage too. Using attacks with extra horizontal movement can help make your return to the stage less predictable. A few characters can hit themselves with their special moves to help propel them back to the stage, and an even smaller handful can use certain moves to literally tether themselves to the stage, including Samus, Lucas, Young Link, Toon Link, and Richter/Simon Belmont.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kristen bell dax shepard

    • Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell's children are 5 and 3, and their 5-year-old recently started asking questions about Santa.
    • Shepard said he has a personal policy that he'll never lie to his kids — so he told them the truth.
    • According to Shepard, they both still love Santa and aren't bothered in the least by this shocking revelation.
    • Psychologists have long debated the effects of telling — or not telling — kids about Santa, and will probably continue to do so.

    In an exclusive interview with Us Weekly, Dax Shephard offered a revelation that may shock some parents at this time of year — he and Kristen Bell have already told their kids the "truth" about Santa.

    Shepard and Bell's children are 5 and 3 years old, respectively.

    Shepard related the story this way:

    "This is going to be very controversial. I have a fundamental rule that I will never lie to them, which is challenging at times. Our 5-year-old started asking questions like, ‘Well, this doesn't make sense, and that doesn't make sense.' I'm like, ‘You know what? This is just a fun thing we pretend while it's Christmas.'"

    He said these kids still feel the Christmas magic all around them, though

    Shepard said that he and Bell's children still love Santa Claus, even if they don't necessarily believe in him.

    Shepard continued in his Us Weekly interview:

    "They love watching movies about Santa, they love talking about Santa. They don't think he exists, but they're super happy and everything's fine."

    grinch santa.JPG

    Psychologists have been debating about whether or not you should tell kids about Santa for a long time

    If you're wondering whether a belief in Santa can cause trust issues in children later in life — psychologists have been debating this question for a long time among themselves, and will probably continue to do so.

    finland santa

    Some say it's the adults who end up saddest when the kids find out that Santa isn't real — and that the kids are usually totally fine with it, as a study from the journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development found.

    Santa might be pretend — but that's not a bad thing for kids

    Most people who interact with kids know that they're very happy to play pretend — and that play involving imagination is essential for developing important life skills, according to experts.

    As psychologist Dr. John D. Rich, Jr. wrote for Psychology Today,

    "What's interesting from a psychological perspective is the difference between the Santa story and almost every other fantasy character to whom children are introduced. When parents play with their children, pretending to be Spider-Man or Wonder Woman, or Snow White, there is an implicit understanding that the play is just pretend. There are no efforts on the part of parents to convince a child that Spider-Man is real. By contrast, Santa (and, less so, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy) is not only a part of the Christmas magic but is also purported to be a real person, whose magic requires belief in his actuality."

    Sooner or later, kids usually learn the truth about Santa — maybe they hear it in whispers at school, or they figure it out themselves — and either way, that's a part of growing up in many families. But that doesn't mean the best part of the season has to end.


    Dr. Rich continued in his Psychology Today piece on the subject:

    "Whether or not your children have a literal belief in Santa, they are growing up. They can still believe in the love and generosity and devotion that the Santa myth represents. The demise of the literal Santa doesn't mean that the world becomes a terrible place. It means that your children are ready to realize, without the props, that it's a wonderful life!"

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    NOW WATCH: Why Harvard scientists think this interstellar object might be an alien spacecraft

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    amazon protest nyc 7553

    Protesters swarmed City Hall as New York's city council held its first in a series of hearings about Amazon's HQ2 deal on Wednesday.

    Amazon announced on November 13 it would split its second headquarters between the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens and a region of Northern Virginia that Amazon has named National Landing.

    As the hearing was set to begin, many angry New Yorkers gathered on the steps of City Hall, chanting "G-T-F-O Amazon has got to go" and "We need money for education, not for banks and corporations." 

    Between chants, speakers shared stories on behalf of Amazon workers who they said had reached out to them prior to the protest. Others expressed their own fears about what HQ2 means for New Yorkers and communities in Queens. 

    There were protesters from a number of organizations, including the New York City Democratic Socialists; New York Communities for Change; the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; and the Long Island City Coalition. Individual speakers included assembly member Latrice Walker and city council member Jumaane Williams.

    Read more: 'I was not elected to be a cheerleader for Amazon': New York officials rail against Amazon's HQ2 deal amid shouts of protesters in a wild hearing

    Miguel Adams, a representative of VOCAL NY, which assists formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, said he fears Amazon will continue to gentrify New York and displace working-class families.

    "We have been bamboozled by Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo. We must hold Amazon accountable, but we must hold these two accountable too," he said. 

    Here's what the protest was like: 

    SEE ALSO: We walked around Long Island City, the New York neighborhood where Amazon is planning to bring HQ2, and saw why it'd be appealing to the e-commerce giant

    On Wednesday, New York's city council held its first in a series of hearings about Amazon's HQ2 deal. The council invited both New York City's Economic Development Corporation and representatives for Amazon to answer questions from members and the public.

    On the way to City Hall, there were "Amazon Crime" stickers on nearly every lamppost.

    It was cold, but there were dozens of protesters outside. The crowd was chanting, "G-T-F-O Amazon has got to go."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    Audible 3

    • If you're struggling to find the perfect holiday gift for a lapsed reader in your life, one of the best options is a gift subscription to Audible.
    • The service has over 425,000 titles available, and subscriptions start at just $15 per month. The person you gift this to will receive one credit per month to use on the audiobook of their choice, plus two free "Audible Originals," which are exclusive, short-form books and stories. 
    • They'll be able to listen to their audiobooks on their phone, tablet, or computer, and Audible will automatically sync their place so they'll never lose track of their spot. 
    • The best part is that they'll still have access to their library of Audible books after their gift subscription ends, whether they decide to subscribe on their own or not, so there's no pressure.

    Holiday shopping used to mean going to a store, fighting for a parking spot, hoping what you wanted was in stock, waiting in line, then getting home. Online shopping has turned that nightmare into a couple of clicks you can make in your pajamas from bed.

    To make things even easier, we've even done the work of finding the perfect gifts for you.

    If you're shopping for someone who wished they read more but "doesn't have the time," a gift subscription to Audible is a very thoughtful choice. Audible's library has over 425,000 titles from every era and genre, so it's likely that many of the titles on their "to read" list are available.

    Gift memberships start at $15 for one month, $45 for three months, $90 for six months, and $150 for 12 months. Your giftee will receive one "credit" per month, which they can spend on the book of their choice, plus two free "Audible Originals," which are shorter books and stories exclusive to the service. They'll also get a couple of additional Audible member benefits for the duration of their membership: a 30% discount on all audiobooks, and free audiobook exchanges. 


    Once they've made a book selection, it's extremely easy to start listening whenever and wherever, without losing their spot.

    They can use the Audible app, which is available on iOS and Android, a built-in Audible player on Amazon's Fire Tablets, or the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis. They'll also have the ability to import Audible books into iTunes, and there's a cloud player on Audible's website. They can even ask an Amazon Echo to play it.

    Audible will automatically remember and sync their place between devices, so if your giftee listens to part of a book on their phone during a morning commute, they can pick up exactly where they left off on their office computer.

    One of the best features of an Audible subscription is that you don't lose access to your audiobook library when your subscription ends. If the person you gift a subscription to really loves Audible, they can continue their subscription immediately. If not, they can continue to listen to the audiobooks as many times as they'd like.

    This lack of pressure is part of what makes an Audible subscription such a great gift. The person you gift it to will never feel the pressure of having to continue their subscription, and there are no penalties if they don't.

    Whether the lapsed reader in your life is worried about not having enough time read, or doesn't have the space to carry around books all the time, an Audible subscription is a wonderful gift that fixes both of their problems. They'll have it  with them at all times, and it'll help them turn their downtime into an opportunity to hear an interesting story or learn something new.

    Gift an Audible subscription from $15 here >>

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

    SEE ALSO: The 29 best books we read in 2018

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    tejon ranch 2

    • Los Angeles County's board of supervisors approved a plan to build a massive mixed-used development on land that's eight times the size of San Francisco.
    • The plan previously garnered controversy among environmental groups that are concerned about rising pollution levels and the destruction of natural habits.
    • Now, scientists and locals are worried about wildfire risk, especially in light of the recent California blazes.
    • While developers insist they're safeguarding the territory, wildfire experts say the main cause of fires — human activity — can't be accounted for in the project's design. 

    Los Angeles has approved a plan to build a mixed-used development on land that's eight times the size of San Francisco. Earlier this week, the county's board of supervisors voted in favor of the Centennial project, a sprawling suburban oasis that's being touted as a solution to the region's housing shortage.

    The development could soon introduce around 19,000 new homes LA County, bringing the state closer to its goal of adding 100,000 new units per year. Centennial's business park is also expected to generate around 23,000 jobs.

    Read more:A tug-of-war is ongoing over plans to build a new Southern California town on land that's 8 times the size of San Francisco

    There's one major problem: The development would sit on territory that's extremely prone to wildfires.

    According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the land falls within "high" or "very high"fire hazard zones, which have seen numerous blazes since the 1960s.

    tejon ranch 3

    Centennial was reminded of this risk in November with the onset of two major California wildfires, which claimed more than 90 lives and destroyed around 19,000 homes — the same amount that the project is expected to deliver. 

    Representatives from the project's developer, Tejon Ranch Co., have said that the new construction provides an opportunity to get things right. 

    "From the beginning of our planning process we've been cognizant of 'fireproofing' Centennial insomuch as any community can be fireproofed," the company's vice president of corporate communications, Barry Zoeller, told the Los Angeles Times.

    But therein lies the issue. Many scientists and locals insist that the development can't be fireproofed, citing evidence that most wildfires are the result of human activities such as neglecting campfires, flinging cigarette butts, burning debris, or committing arson.

    tejon ranch 4

    According to Marko Bourne, a former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official who now leads Booz Allen Hamilton's emergency management, disaster assistance, and risk practice, the only real way to minimize wildfire risk is to avoid living in or next to forested areas.

    "The denser we build [in these areas], the more we're going to see destruction," he said.

    Only one out of four local supervisors pointed to this evidence as a reason to curtail the Centennial project on Tuesday. Supervisor Kathryn Barger defended the project's use of flame-resistant materials, and said she was relying on the opinion of fire officials who had approved the project.

    The week before, a scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in to the LA Times to illustrate the danger.

    "Natural areas that have burned in the past will likely burn again," said scientist Tiffany Yap. "It's only a matter of time before Centennial leads to more human ignitions."

    The Center for Biological Diversity has released its own campaign called "Stop Centennial," which argues that the development would destroy natural wildlife habitats. 

    In a statement, an attorney for the center called Centennial "one of the most destructive sprawl projects in county history."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The reason some men can't grow full beards, according to a dermatologist

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    airplane plane sunset

    • Airplane black boxes play a key role in helping the aviation industry figure out why plane crashes occur.
    • Black boxes have helped the FAA improve aviation safety standards since the 1950s.
    • They contain vital information that can reveal why a plane may have crashed.

    Every time a tragic aviation accident occurs, you're likely to hear the news mention something about the hunt for the plane's black boxes. These units are said to contain vital information that can reveal why a particular airplane might have crashed. Since the 1950s, the data inside black boxes has helped accident investigators, airline manufacturers, and aviation professionals improve flight safety for everyone.

    They are a significant contribution to airline safety, but have you ever wondered how they actually work?

    INSIDER found out some interesting facts about black boxes and how they record plane data.

    "Black boxes" aren't black at all.

    They're actually painted a loud, vibrant color called International Orange— a shade which is most often associated with San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, or the colorful highlighters you used as a student. The purpose behind this is to make them highly visible in the event of an accident, since there can be a lot of debris.

    Aviation industry professionals don't actually call them black boxes.

    As previously noted, the name "black boxes" is actually a misnomer, and it turns out, most people aren't completelysure why the term is still used. Some sources say it's because of its mysterious properties. Others say the name the name comes from the color of the box when its found after a crash, as it's typically covered in ashes.

    Whatever its origins may be, you likely won't hear a professional referring to them by that name. Instead, they call them by their technical terms: Flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders, or FDRs and CVRs.

    They're actually made of two components: the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.

    Technically there isn't one single"black box" on each plane. Instead, there are two parts — the flight data recorder (FDR), and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR). During a flight, the FDR tracks information about the plane itself, like its direction and speed, while the CVR records audio of the crew's conversations, radio transmissions, engine sounds, and alarm noises.

    Sometimes they can be combined together in one unit, but they are often two separate devices. They're also quite expensive to make. The standard flight data and cockpit voice recorder system can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 to produce.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    maturity of AI solutions

    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

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most commonly referenced terms by financial institutions (FIs) and payments firms when describing their vision for the future of financial services. 

    AI can be applied in almost every area of financial services, but the combination of its potential and complexity has made AI a buzzword, and led to its inclusion in many descriptions of new software, solutions, and systems.

    This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, cuts through the hype to offer an overview of different types of AI, and where they have potential applications within banking and payments. It also emphasizes which applications are most mature, provides recommendations of how FIs should approach using the technology, and offers examples of where FIs and payments firms are already leveraging AI. The report draws on executive interviews Business Insider Intelligence conducted with leading financial services providers, such as Bank of America, Capital One, and Mastercard, as well as top AI vendors like Feedzai, Expert System, and Kasisto.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • AI, or technologies that simulate human intelligence, is a trending topic in banking and payments circles. It comes in many different forms, and is lauded by many CEOs, CTOs, and strategy teams as their saving grace in a rapidly changing financial ecosystem.
    • Banks are using AI on the front end to secure customer identities, mimic bank employees, deepen digital interactions, and engage customers across channels.
    • Banks are also using AI on the back end to aid employees, automate processes, and preempt problems.
    • In payments, AI is being used in fraud prevention and detection, anti-money laundering (AML), and to grow conversational payments volume.

     In full, the report:

    • Offers an overview of different types of AI and their applications in payments and banking. 
    • Highlights which of these applications are most mature.
    • Offers examples where FIs and payments firms are already using the technology. 
    • Provides descriptions of vendors of different AI-based solutions that FIs may want to consider using.
    • Gives recommendations of how FIs and payments firms should approach using the technology.

    Subscribe to an All-Access membership 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!
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    michael cohen paul manafort

    • President Donald Trump's longtime fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison on December 12.
    • Another Trump associate, his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is facing at least a decade behind bars.
    • The Constitution grants the president sweeping powers to pardon people or grant clemency.
    • Trump has granted clemency to nine people so far, and he could pardon either Manafort or Cohen if he chose.

    President Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced on December 12 to three years in prison for what a federal judge called a "smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct."

    Cohen pleaded guilty to a slew of crimes, including tax evasion, bank fraud, lying to Congress about his role in a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and lying to Congress about payments he made in 2016 to two women who allege they had affairs with the president.

    Cohen's guilty plea and sentencing once again raises questions over Trump's clemency strategy for his former associates convicted of crimes. In Cohen's case, a pardon or commutation appears highly unlikely, given the abrupt about-face his relationship with Trump has taken in the last year.

    Trump even tweeted on December 3 that he believed Cohen deserved to do hard prison time.

    "'Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.' You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term?"he said. "He lied for his outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence."

    michael cohen

    But the possibility remains open for Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump's presidential campaign who was convicted last August of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failing to report foreign bank accounts. He's due to be sentenced in February 2019, and has also pleaded guilty to to two conspiracy charges.

    Manafort faces at least 10 years in prison for his crimes, and Trump has publicly sympathized with him, fueling speculation that a pardon is possible.

    "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. 'Justice' took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to 'break' - make up stories in order to get a 'deal,'" Trump tweeted in August. "Such respect for a brave man!"

    Read more: While Michael Cohen cooperates with Mueller probe, Paul Manafort appears to be betting on a presidential pardon

    Pardons are a form of executive clemency granted to the president by the Constitution — and that power is sweeping.

    Trump can decide carte blanche to legally forgive or free anyone, so long as the crimes were federal ones.

    Pardons essentially forgive people who have been convicted of crimes, removing any remaining punishments and restoring their rights. Commutations, on the other hand, merely reduce a prisoner's sentence.

    If Trump pardoned Manafort, the move would fall in line with the president's recent trend of granting clemency to political allies, as well as people who have been championed by conservative media, prominent Republicans, or celebrities.

    Here's who Trump has granted clemency to in the past.

    SEE ALSO: Trump floats a pardon bonanza of high-profile people, including Martha Stewart and Illinois' infamous former governor who was on 'Celebrity Apprentice'

    DON'T MISS: 'Kim has been my war angel': The unlikely story of how Kim Kardashian West is trying to get Trump to free a 63-year-old grandmother from prison

    Dwight and Steven Hammond

    Trump pardoned Oregon cattle ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond in July, both of whom were serving five-year prison sentences for arson.

    The ranchers had long clashed with the federal government over public land, and the length of their sentences infuriated many conservatives, who saw the prosecutions as an example of federal overreach.

    The Hammonds' cases even sparked the controversy that led to a 41-day standoff in 2016 at Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a group of armed protesters who argued that federal control of public lands was unconstitutional.

    In a statement, the White House noted that Dwight and Steven Hammond had already served three and four years in prison, respectively, and had paid $400,000 to the federal government in a related civil case.

    "The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West," the White House said.

    Alice Marie Johnson

    Trump granted his second-ever commutation to Alice Marie Johnson in June, freeing the 63-year-old grandmother and great-grandmother from a life sentence in prison.

    Johnson was given the sentence in 1996 over non-violent drug offenses she had committed several years earlier. Her case received nationwide attention in recent months after the reality-television star Kim Kardashian West championed her release and paid a visit to Trump in a high-profile White House meeting last week.

    "Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates," the White House said in a statement. "While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance."

    Johnson's daughter Catina Scales told Business Insider the Wednesday afternoon she was en route to pick up her mother from the Aliceville correctional facility in Alabama, where Johnson was released.

    "I have been literally shaking ever since I heard this news — this is the best present anyone could have gave me in my life," Scales said. "Nothing will ever trump this feeling."

    Dinesh D'Souza

    Trump granted an unexpected pardon to the conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza in May.

    D'Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 to illegally using straw donors in 2012 to donate to a Republican Senate candidate in New York. He used the straw donors to funnel his funds to the candidate under their names to try and get around campaign finance laws.

    Though D'Souza fully admitted to knowingly violating the law, he lashed out at prosecutors at the time, arguing he was being singled out because of his conservative beliefs.

    Though he was spared prison time, D'Souza was sentenced to five years of probation and a $30,000 fine. A pardon relieved D'Souza of any remaining punishments stemming from his conviction, and would restore certain rights, such as his right to vote.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    silicon valley h1-b

    • Silicon Valley, a vital part of America's economic edge, is the global center of the digital revolution.
    • But back in the late 1970s, the center of technology revolution wasn’t guaranteed to occur in the US.
    • H-1B visas and skilled foreign workers changed that. 
    • After the US repealed immigration quotas in 1965 and the H-1B visa was created in 1990, US companies could recruit globally, leading the country to become destination for global science, math, and computer science talent.
    • President Trump's administration is discouraging foreign workers from applying to work legally in the US, and that could lead the US to lose its status as a leader in the tech world. 

    Silicon Valley is a vital catalyst for America’s economic edge. It is the global center of the digital revolution shaping the 21st century, and its location in the US established our country as the leader of that revolution. The country reaps the economic benefits of having some of the largest and most innovative technology companies and research centers housed within our borders.

    But back in the late 1970s, the center of technology revolution wasn’t guaranteed to occur in the US.

    At the time, top computer science talent was scattered across the globe, and the industry needed a place where the best and brightest could gather to collaborate and innovate. It could have been anywhere — but Silicon Valley ended up in America.


    The answer, in large part, is because the US opened its doors to skilled foreign workers.

    After 1965, when the US repealed the Immigration Act of 1924 — which limited the number of people who could emigrate from each country — America’s visa system allowed a remarkable amount of global talent to gather within our borders, including in burgeoning tech centers like Santa Clara County in California.

    silicon valley h1-b

    As a result, the US became a destination for global science, math, and computer science talent during the second half of the 20th century.

    A significant amount of these talented workers traveled to our shores from India. Between 1973 and 1977, more than 60 percent of the India Institute of Technology in Mumbai’s top quartile of electrical engineering graduates moved to the United States, which helped to revolutionize the landscape of the American technology industry. Many of these graduates accepted jobs in the region we now know as Silicon Valley.

    When President George H.W. Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990, a new type of visa was born: the H-1B. The new law institutionalized a program that allows employers to hire highly skilled foreign workers on a temporary basis for roles that require specialized knowledge. As a result, US companies were able to recruited from around the globe.

    Read more: Silicon Valley's immigrant tech workers are scared of buying homes after Trump's travel ban

    During my time as a US senator, I was proud to support legislation that expanded the annual cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to 195,000 to meet the explosive growth of the US information technology sector, growth that ensured America would continue global technology leadership.

    Silicon Valley and other high tech corridors — from Austin to Boston and various areas around the country — continue to rely on a symbiotic relationship between American and skilled foreign workers that enhances the contemporary tech scene.

    A 2017 report by The Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project found 57% of the San Francisco Bay’s tech workforce was born outside of the US. In a tight labor market with low unemployment, these workers help fill a critical worker shortage that has allowed US firms to remain strong and created thousands of jobs for US workers.

    This role becomes particularly crucial in light of the recent White House Council of Economic Advisers’ report highlighting the growing skills gap facing American companies.

    And America’s business leaders recognize how invaluable these workers are to their companies. Just last month, leaders of 59 US companies, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, signed onto a letter coordinated by the Business Roundtable and addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, arguing that “As the federal government undertakes its legitimate review of immigration rules, it must avoid making changes that disrupt the lives of thousands of law-abiding and skilled employees, and that inflict substantial harm on US competitiveness.”

    Read more: Highly skilled foreign workers are still flowing into the US — and in some cities, they make more than $100,000 yearly

    In stating his objectives, President Trump said in Phoenix in 2016 that “it is our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us”. But the regulations being promulgated by government agencies, like US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), are not consistent with these objectives and could discourage high-skilled workers from applying to work legally in the US or cause them to flee to other countries.  

    As we continue to debate the best ways to reformour immigrationsystem, we must not sacrifice our ability to attract the most talented people on the planet to contribute to our nation’s prosperity and work within our borders. Without their efforts, we would impair the factors that have made our economy so formidable on a global stage for more than a century.

    Spencer Abraham served as a US Senator from Michigan from 1995 to 2001, and was Secretary of Energy for George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. 

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

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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
      Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
      Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
      And more!
      Learn More

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