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- 12/17/18--19:06: _Recession worries a...
- 12/17/18--19:49: _White House fires b...
- 12/17/18--20:05: _When it comes to VR...
- 12/17/18--21:25: _Special counsel Mue...
- 12/18/18--09:42: _Trump's travel ban ...
- 12/18/18--09:46: _Ninja had a simple ...
- 12/18/18--09:53: _A Delta plane clipp...
- 12/18/18--10:03: _'You sold your coun...
- 12/18/18--10:03: _The Future of Payme...
- 12/18/18--10:04: _The incredibly popu...
- 12/18/18--10:07: _How much to tip in ...
- 12/18/18--10:10: _Save up to 40% on B...
- 12/18/18--10:12: _9 signs you're not ...
- 12/18/18--10:12: _Bill Clinton was im...
- 12/18/18--10:20: _THEN AND NOW: The c...
- 12/18/18--10:21: _What you need to kn...
- 12/18/18--10:22: _Angela Merkel repor...
- 12/18/18--10:25: _ALAN GREENSPAN: The...
- 12/18/18--10:26: _How three countries...
- 12/18/18--10:28: _50 cool stocking st...
- Economists expect growth to slow in the US over the next couple of years.
- The yield curve partially inverted this month, an occurrence seen as a potential recession predictor.
- Meanwhile, banks have started to pull back on risky lending, Reuters reports.
- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused former FBI director James Comey of "tremendous corruption" in a blistering statement released Monday.
- Sanders' comments follows Comey's roughly six-hour, closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and Oversight committee, which took place earlier in the day.
- Comey criticized Republican lawmakers for not standing up to President Donald Trump's treatment of the FBI.
- Business Insider Intelligence forecasts shipments of all VR headsets to grow 69% year-over-year (YoY) to reach 13.5 million in 2018. Powering that growth is the stand-alone VR headset category, which is expected to account for 30% of total headsets shipped in the year ahead.
- The VR hardware market is volatile because getting a device right is a balancing act. On one hand, the price point needs to be affordable for most consumers, and on the other, the experience has to be distinctive and immersive enough to convince a consumer to strap a visor to their face on a regular basis.
- While only a handful of stand-alone VR headsets will hit the market in 2018, they mark the biggest step toward mainstream adoption of consumer-oriented VR headsets by making the technology more accessible for the average consumer.
- Declining price points, coupled with high-quality headsets and the introduction of a game-changing app, are crucial for the VR industry to achieve before VR can really gain traction on a global scale.
- Forecasts the growth projections and shipment expectations of the global VR headset market, and breaks it up by the major headset categories.
- Explores the four major segments in the current VR hardware market, defined by the hardware needed to power the experience — stand-alone, smartphone-powered, PC-powered, and game console-powered VR.
- Identifies the key players shaping the burgeoning stand-alone VR headset segment.
- Discusses the biggest challenges to VR development and adoption.
- Twin reports prepared for the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, detail the extent of "Russian influence operations" on social media — including posts trying to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller.
- "As facets of the investigation trickled out over 2017, the right-targeted accounts justified, dismissed, normalized, and redirected," the report explained.
- One example is a meme that reads, "Russia special counsel Robert Mueller worked with radical Islamic groups to purge anti-terrorism training material offensive to Muslims."
- A Yemeni mother has been granted a waiver to President Donald Trump's travel ban so she can see her dying two-year-old son before he is taken off life support.
- Abdullah Hassan, who was born with a rare brain disease, likely has just weeks left to live.
- His father made an impassioned plea to the Trump administration on Monday, urging US officials to "please help us. Get my family together again."
- Tyler "Ninja" Blevins has become the face of the video gaming world with the No. 1 channel on Twitch and over 20 million subscribers on YouTube.
- The Fortnite virtuoso appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night and discussed everything from his nickname to his famous Pon Pon dance.
- During the interview, Ninja had a compelling answer for Fallon when he questioned why anyone would want to watch other people play video games.
- Two Delta Air Lines flights were delayed Monday morning in Los Angeles after one plane clipped the wing of another plane at Los Angeles International Airport
- According to ABC 7 Los Angeles, a Delta 737 bound for Salt Lake City clipped the wing of another plane while backing out from its gate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Flight 2377, bound for Salt Lake City from Los Angeles, was delayed nine hours, according to FlightAware, while the second aircraft, Delta Flight 696, a 757 traveling from Los Angeles to Atlanta, was delayed for two hours.
- There were no reported injuries and maintenance teams are evaluating the aircrafts.
- US District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled to delay the former national security adviser Michael Flynn's sentencing until March following a tense hearing on Tuesday.
- "Arguably," Sullivan told Flynn earlier in the day, "you sold your country out."
- Flynn pleaded guilty last December to one count of lying to the FBI as part of the bureau's Russia investigation.
- He has been cooperating with investigators for nearly a year since then, and prosecutors said it was possible Flynn would cooperate more.
- Sullivan said that "this crime" that Flynn committed "is very serious," adding that he would not hide his "disdain" for Flynn's actions.
- "In the White House!" Sullivan said. "In the West Wing! It's a very serious offense. You can't minimize that."
- 12/18/18--10:03: The Future of Payments 2018
- The new American Express® Gold Card features a new metallic design, in addition to competitive rewards on restaurants and supermarkets in the US, airfare, and more.
- AmEx also introduced a special rose gold version — it's been a runaway success, with over 60% of new card applicants requesting that version.
- You can request a rose gold card, but only until January 9, 2019.
- New cardholders can also get a unique, limited-time welcome bonus if they apply before the same date.
- Here's what you need to know about the AmEx Gold Card.
- How much to tip is often more complicated than it needs to be.
- While tipping varies by service, a solid tip amount is generally 18% of your bill.
- DealNews broke down the most common tipping situations and how much to tip for each one.
- 12/18/18--10:12: 9 signs you're not getting enough vitamin C
- Vitamin C plays a key role in boosting your immune system.
- Not getting enough can be quite harmful to your health and wellbeing.
- INSIDER spoke to some experts about what the warning signs are that you're vitamin C deficient.
- President Bill Clinton was impeached 20 years ago, on December 19, 1998.
- Clinton was the second president in US history to be impeached. Despite the House's vote, Clinton promised to stay in the presidency until the "last hour."
- Here's what that winter day looked like in Washington, D.C.:
- 12/18/18--10:20: THEN AND NOW: The cast of the original 'Mary Poppins'
- The Disney classic "Mary Poppins" is 54 years old.
- "Mary Poppins Returns" premieres this holiday season and is a continuation of the Mary Poppins universe.
- INSIDER looked back at the original film and cast to find out what they were up to before the movie was released.
- 12/18/18--10:21: What you need to know on Wall Street today
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly prepared for her first meeting with President Donald Trump by reading his 1990 interview with Playboy.
- The article offers a distinct portrait of Trump's views on foreign policy and economics.
- The interview reveals Trump's political philosophy hasn't shifted much in the past quarter-century or so.
- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with CNN that stock-market investors should "run for cover" amid the recent volatility.
- He also said that a notable rise in interest rates has proven to be the "key factor which is bringing the stock market down," and that the pressure would likely continue.
- When asked if he believes if stocks are still in a bull market, he said, "Not really, no."
- A reliable, little-talked about stock-market indicator is rolling over and its a 'warning' for sign for investors
- Investors just poured a record amount into bonds as 'extreme bearishness' sends them fleeing from stocks
- 12/18/18--10:26: How three countries are creating the roadmap to a cashless society
- Noncash payments are on the rise worldwide.
- As new players emerge to capitalize on consumer appetite for digital payment methods, three mature markets — the UK, Australia, and Sweden — have become standouts for what a more cashless society could look like.
- The UK, Australia, and Sweden are transitioning to digital particularly well, and can serve as a roadmap for other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash.
- Australia is launching government initiatives and instating new regulations. The Australian government has banned purchases over AU$10,000 ($7,500) from being made in cash, as well as launched the New Payments Platform (NPP) to allow real-time funds transfer as a means of replacing transactions typically made in cash, such as paying back a friend.
- In Sweden, consumers are rapidly abandoning cash in favor of cards. In fact, only 2% of the total value of transactions in Sweden consist of cash — a figure that’s expected to decline to less than half a percent by 2020.
- Contactless payments are leading the shift away from cash in the UK. Nearly the entire population has a debit card, and debit card transactions surpassed cash payments for the first time at the end of 2017. This milestone was largely fueled by the surge in contactless cards, which grew 97% annually last year to hit 5.6 billion transactions.
- 12/18/18--10:28: 50 cool stocking stuffers you can get on Amazon for under $20
With fears about the next economic downturn looming, banks are taking a step back from risky lending.
Reuters first reported that Capital One Financial Corp is among banks restricting how much they lend, holding back on initial loans and credit-line increases. Regional banks also appear to be erring on the side of caution, particularly with second mortgages, commercial real-estate loans, and credit cards.
According to a survey out this month from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, nearly half of applicants with low credit scores were rejected in the four months ending in October. The credit rejection rate was 21.2% that month, well above its reading of 15.7% at the same time a year earlier.
And banks shut down the highest number of existing accounts since the beginning of the survey in 2013, with most of the closures among subprime customers.
"Rates have risen over the past year so I'm not surprised to see banks pulling back from riskier loans; that's what they're supposed to do," said Ian Sheperdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "Higher interest rates mean higher default rates, other things equal."
As trade tensions linger, stimulus fades, and monetary policy tightens, economists widely expect growth to slow next year.
The yield curve partially inverted earlier this month, with the shorter-dated 3-year Treasury yield topping its 5-year counterpart. That marked the first time it had happened in 11 years, and it awakened fears of an imminent slowdown.
If the Federal Reserve increases its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point this week, as is widely expected, that narrowing would likely continue.
Bank stocks have tumbled in recent months, with the S&P 500 financials index briefly falling more than a fifth from its January peak. For financial institutions borrowing at a low short-term rate and lending at higher long-term rates, a flattening yield curve can also threaten profitability.
More than half of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal forecast a recession could start in 2020. Still, just one in 10 respondents expect a recession next year.
John Stoltzfus, chief investment officer at Oppenheimer Research, said fundamentals this year have shown enough strength to weather some slowing domestically and abroad.
"Yet recession predictions continue to litter the economic landscape even as fundamentals don’t appear to show deterioration or signs that a recession is imminent," he said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused former FBI director James Comey of "tremendous corruption" in a blistering statement after he criticized Republican lawmakers for not standing up to President Donald Trump's treatment of the FBI.
"Republicans should stand up to Comey and his tremendous corruption - from the fake Hillary Clinton investigation, to lying and leaking, to FISA abuse, and a list too long to name," Sanders said in a tweet on Monday night. "The President did the country a service by firing him and exposing him for the shameless fraud he is."
Sanders' comments follow Comey's roughly six-hour, closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and Oversight committee on Monday — the second such hearing Comey is publicly known to have attended this month.
Comey, who was asked questions about the FBI's investigations into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and Hillary Clinton's emails, appeared to be distraught by Trump's repeated attacks on the department Comey once led until his abrupt firing in May 2017.
"Somebody has to stand up and speak for the FBI," Comey said to reporters after his testimony. "People who know better, including Republican members of this body, have to have the courage to stand up and speak the truth, not be cowed by mean tweets or fear of their base. There is a truth and they're not telling it. Their silence is shameful."
"The FBI's reputation has taken a big hit because the President of the United States has lied about it constantly," he added.
Trump has repeatedly questioned the FBI's investigation into Clinton's emails and through his attorneys, encouraged the agency to investigate Comey's handing of the probe.
Clinton was investigated for mishandling classified information through her private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. The FBI concluded twice that it would not pursue criminal charges against Clinton.
A Justice Department investigation on Comey's handling of Clinton's email found that the former director had violated norms and damaged the department's reputation after announcing he would reopen the probe, days before the 2016 presidential election. But the inspector general also concluded his role in the investigation was not influenced by political bias.
Comey's appearance before Congress has touched a nerve among Republicans. Some members of the party have continued to express frustration about the Russia probe and have raised doubts about Comey's motivations.
Democrats have accused Republicans of staging a last-ditch effort to score political points before Democrats retake the House in 2019.
"I find it frustrating to be here answering questions about things that are far less important than the values this country is built upon," Comey said after the hearing.
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.
The virtual reality (VR) market is expected to rally in 2018 after seeing slow growth from 2016 to 2017. The uptick will be largely catalyzed by the emergence of the newest headset form factor, stand-alone VR headsets, which address some of the biggest pain points that have prohibited mainstream consumers from adopting VR.
This new form factor is more affordable than cost-prohibitive high-end headsets and more capable than its smartphone-powered counterparts. Additionally, it features in-unit processing that frees the VR headset from wires. The first major stand-alone headset, the Vive Focus from HTC, was launched in January of this year, and more from other major companies like Oculus and Google are expected to follow over the next six months.
In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence lays out where the VR market is and forecasts how it will grow over the next five years. We dissect the various hardware categories and the unique strengths and opportunities of each, and identify how they will gain traction at different points of the market’s evolution. Finally, we examine various components impacting consumer adoption.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
A pair of reports prepared for the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence detail the extent of "Russian influence operations" on social media — including posts trying to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
One of the reports was obtained on Sunday by The Washington Post; it was compiled by the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford University and the analysis firm Graphika. The other was compiled by New Knowledge, Columbia University, and Canfield Research and was released on Monday.
Together they provide a comprehensive look at how the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), which Mueller indicted on criminal charges earlier this year, used different social media platforms, and different content strategies to sow partisan discord.
One of the surprising findings in the reports was that disinformation campaigns continued after news outlets pointed to Russian interference, or even specifically reported on the IRA, like Adrian Chen for The New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker. Instead they "redirected" their focus - with Mueller and former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump in May of 2017, the new targets.
"As articles began to emerge about election interference – pointing the finger at Russia – the IRA didn’t shy away or ignore it," the report by New Knowledge said. "It used derision and disparagement in content targeting the Right-leaning pages, to create and amplify the narrative that the whole investigation was nonsense, that Comey and Mueller were corrupt, and that the emerging Russia stories were a 'weird conspiracy' pushed by 'liberal crybabies.'"
"As facets of the investigation trickled out over 2017, the Right-targeted accounts justified, dismissed, normalized, and redirected," the report continued.
One example is a meme that reads, "Russia special counsel Robert Mueller worked with radical Islamic groups to purge anti-terrorism training material offensive to Muslims."
Other memes target Comey, who was initially in charge of the Russia investigation, before he was fired by Trump, leading to the appointment of Mueller. Comey has become a partisan figure given his role in both investigating Hillary Clinton over her private email server and investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Other unexpected facts from the report include the surprisingly robust use of Instagram at levels and the IRA's targeting of the Black community with an aim to spreading confusion and suppressing voters.
"Between 2013 and 2018, the IRA’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter campaigns reached tens of millions of users in the United States," the Computational Propaganda Project report explained.
"Surprisingly, these campaigns did not stop once Russia's IRA was caught interfering in the 2016 election," the report noted, with a tone of surprise.
In fact, engagement rates increased at this point and even broadened to cover a new range of public policy issues, national security challenges, and importantly, the issues that grab younger, Instagram-using voters, the report added.
A Yemeni mother barred from entering the United States due to President Donald Trump's travel ban has been granted a waiver that will allow her to see her dying two-year-old son, the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced on Tuesday.
"We're getting her here ASAP," the organization tweeted.
Shaima Swileh, 21, is expected to get on the earliest flight possible to California, according to Basim Elkarra, the executive director of CAIR's Sacramento Valley chapter.
"We just hope that she can make it in time and see her son in his last hours,"Elkarra told CNN.
Though she lives in Egypt, Swileh couldn't legally enter the US due to Trump's ban on travel from some majority-Muslim countries, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
Citizens from those countries can request waivers to travel to the US despite the ban, but immigration advocates say they are rarely granted.
Swileh's son, Abdullah Hassan, was born with a rare brain disease called hypomyelination, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The condition first targeted his speech and mobility, then his ability to breathe, leaving him on a ventilator at the University of California San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland.
Doctors have said that Abdullah can likely stay on life support for a couple of weeks, or a month at most.
Ali Hassan told The San Francisco Chronicle that he repeatedly reached out to the State Department regarding his wife's visa, but always received an automated response saying her application is still pending.
"My wife's calling me every day, wanting to kiss and hold her son for one last time," Ali Hassan, Abdullah's father, told reporters at an emotional news conference on Monday. "Time is running out. Please help us. Get my family together again."
Tyler Blevins — known to most as "Ninja"— has brought video gaming into the mainstream with the No. 1 channel on Twitch and over 20 million subscribers on YouTube.
Monday night, the Fortnite virtuoso appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to discuss his love of video gaming, his nickname and signature headband, and his famous Pon Pon dance.
During the interview, Fallon questioned why anyone would want to watch other people play video games, and Ninja came up with a very convincing response.
"It's so funny [when people say that], man," Ninja said. "Why would you want to watch the best of the best play football, soccer, [or] hockey? Why don't you go outside and do it right now? If you love it so much, you could do it. That's what it is, there are so many people like 'well why do you watch people play video games if you could go play video games yourself?' and it's like, can you do that? Can you compete at that high a level?
"It's entertainment, right? So you watch the NFL and things like that because you want to watch people do things that you can't. It's kind of the same thing with gaming and streaming."
This year alone, Ninja has streamed for 3,400 hours, which is equivalent to 142 days of gaming. The 27-year-old will cap his breakout year with a special New Year's Eve streaming event from 4 AM to 4 PM EST in Times Square. You can tune in on his Twitch channel.
Two Delta Air Lines flights were delayed Monday morning in Los Angeles after one plane clipped the wing of another plane at Los Angeles International Airport, ABC 7 Los Angeles reported.
According to ABC 7 Los Angeles, a Delta 737 bound for Salt Lake City clipped the wing of another plane while backing out from its gate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
ABC 7 reports"the right winglet clipped the left wing of a parked plane."
Flight 2377, bound for Salt Lake City from Los Angeles, was delayed nine hours, according to FlightAware, while the second aircraft, Delta Flight 696, a 757 traveling from Los Angeles to Atlanta, was delayed for two hours.
LAX's public relations office declined to comment when asked by Business Insider for a statement, calling the incident "a Delta matter."
Delta Air Lines did not respond to Business Insider was asked for a comment or statement.
In a statement to USA Today, a Delta Air Lines spokesperson said, "On pushback from the gate, the right winglet of flight 2377 made contact with the left wing of flight 696 parked at the adjacent gate," adding that, "Delta apologizes to the customers for the delay this has caused."
ABC 7 reports there were no reported injuries and maintenance teams evaluated the aircrafts.
US District Judge Emmet Sullivan agreed to delay the sentencing of the former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday following criticism from Sullivan and a request from Flynn's defense attorney.
Flynn has been cooperating with federal investigators for nearly a year, and prosecutors hinted on Tuesday that Flynn could cooperate more.
Flynn pleaded guilty last December to one count of lying to the FBI about his communications during the presidential transition period with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the US. Flynn also admitted to lying about the lobbying work he did for the Turkish government.
President Donald Trump has frequently suggested that Flynn was duped into lying to the FBI. On Tuesday, Flynn threw cold water on that assertion and said he "was aware" that lying to the FBI was a crime when he misled investigators.
During his sentencing hearing, Sullivan asked Flynn whether he wanted to challenge the circumstances under which he was interviewed by the FBI.
"No, your honor," Flynn replied.
Sullivan later gave Flynn another chance to withdraw his guilty plea if he felt he had been unfairly coaxed into it.
"I would like to proceed," Flynn said.
Asked whether he wished to proceed because he was guilty, Flynn said, "Yes, your honor."
Sullivan asked prosecutors whether Flynn was still cooperating.
"It remains a possibility," they said, adding that they decided to move forward with his sentencing because he had already given them the "vast majority" of potentially useful information. They emphasized an indictment unsealed on Monday against his former associate, who was charged with acting as an illegal agent of the Turkish government.
Nonetheless, Sullivan said, "this crime" that Flynn committed "is very serious."
"In the White House!" Sullivan said. "In the West Wing! It's a very serious offense. You can't minimize that."
He added: "Arguably, you sold your country out."
Sullivan also asked the government whether Flynn could be charged under the Logan Act, and even whether he could face charges of treason. Prosecutors declined to broach that territory.
"I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal action," Sullivan said.
After the court returned from its recess a little after noon on Tuesday, Sullivan walked back some of his comments, saying he was merely asking about treason, not implying that Flynn committed it.
"Don't read too much into the questions I asked," he said.
What Flynn lied about
According to a memo released by the special counsel Robert Mueller's office late Monday, Flynn portrayed his conversations with Kislyak as more benign than they were during a January 2017 interview with FBI agents.
The memo said Flynn told investigators he had not tried to influence Russia's vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution about Israeli settlements. But investigators knew Flynn had asked Russia to vote against or delay the resolution, according to charging documents filed in his case last year.
Mueller's memo said Flynn also lied when FBI agents asked him about President Barack Obama's expulsion of Russian diplomats and closing of Russian diplomatic facilities in response to the Kremlin's meddling in the 2016 US election.
Investigators asked Flynn whether he had asked Kislyak during a phone call in December not to retaliate following Obama's move. Flynn replied: "Not really. I don't remember. It wasn't, 'Don't do anything.'"
But his answers contradicted signals intelligence the FBI had collected that indicated Flynn had asked Kislyak during the phone call not to punch back.
In a sentencing memo Mueller's office filed in Flynn's case last week, prosecutors recommended Flynn get little to no jail time, citing the "substantial assistance" he provided to not only the special counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, but separate ongoing investigations.
Flynn was among the first defendants to plead guilty in the Russia investigation. His sentencing was delayed five times after prosecutors said they needed more information from the former national security adviser, who was a key surrogate for Trump's 2016 campaign.
Flynn emerges as a valuable asset
In their sentencing memo, prosecutors emphasized that Flynn began cooperating early, that his assistance was critical in encouraging other witnesses to come forward and be candid, and that he helped the investigation in several ways.
In typical fashion, Mueller's office revealed very little information, if any, about the specifics of what Flynn said. Prosecutors also attached a mostly redacted six-page addendum to the sentencing memo laying out how Flynn had cooperated in what appears to be a separate investigation not being conducted by Mueller's office.
In the original sentencing memo, prosecutors laid out the crux of what Flynn was charged with: lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Kislyak about US sanctions on Russia.
But that's not the only thread in which Flynn may have had valuable information.
The former national security adviser was also not forthcoming about his involvement in three key areas: his now defunct lobbying firm's work for the Turkish government in 2016, his efforts with Russia and Saudi Arabia to develop nuclear reactors in the Middle East — a project that would have benefited from the US lifting sanctions on Russia — and payments he received from the state-owned media outlet Russia Today that he failed to disclose when he applied to renew his security clearance in January 2016.
Flynn was also a participant in a controversial meeting during the transition period with Kislyak and Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, in which Kushner is said to have discussed setting up a secret back channel between the Trump team and Moscow using Russian diplomatic facilities.
And Flynn was an adviser to the campaign in June 2016 when Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and Paul Manafort, then the campaign chairman, met in Trump Tower with two Russian lobbyists offering dirt on Hillary Clinton's campaign. The meeting is a focus of investigators for the special counsel and congressional committees.
'Flynn gave up the goods'
Flynn's sentencing memo said he provided "firsthand information" about contacts between Russian officials and members of the Trump transition team.
"We do not yet know everything about Flynn's cooperation," said Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, in an interview with INSIDER. "The heavy redactions in the filing hide nearly all the details that Mueller provided to the court."
Jens David Ohlin, a vice dean at Cornell Law School and an expert on criminal law, echoed that view.
"There is more to come, but we don't know what that is," told INSIDER. The substantial redactions in Flynn's sentencing memo indicate that the targets of other investigations he's cooperated with have not yet been charged, he said. "It could be a reference to an obstruction of justice investigation, possibly involving the president, but we don't really know. So this is a known unknown."
Honig emphasized, however, that "if you read around all that black ink, Mueller did say enough to let us know this: Flynn gave up the goods, and Mueller's work is far from over."
The payments industry is transforming.
Noncash payments methods are quickly becoming the norm.
Business Insider Intelligence projects digital payments to continue to grow through 2023 and beyond.
This shift has created a battle between incumbents and startups vying to become the leaders of the future of payments.
While incumbents have massive scale to lean on, startups typically offer a much friendlier user experience. Whoever can master both first will win the battle.
That will require navigating four key digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection and automation.
In this FREE section of The Future of Payments 2018 slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence, we look at the first key digital transformation: diversification.
Subscribe to Business Insider Intelligence today for full access to the complete deck.
As an added bonus to this FREE section, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive BI Intelligence Daily newsletter.
To get your copy of this free slide deck, click here.
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network.
When looking for a new credit card or charge card, aesthetics should not be your biggest concern. Your focus — assuming you pay your bills in time and don't carry credit card debt — should be on things like rewards.
That said, it's nice when you're able to enjoy both.
As part of the overhaul, AmEx unveiled a new chic, gold-colored metal version of the card, similar to the Platinum Card's design. AmEx also introduced a limited-edition rose gold variation of the card — it was so popular that AmEx encountered shipping delays. According to AmEx, over 60% of new card applicants requested the rose gold version of the card, although information on how many existing cardholders requested one was not immediately available.
Current and new users are able request either the regular or the rose gold card. However, the latter option goes away on January 9.
That means that this is the last chance to get the rose gold version of the card.
Also going away January 9: a unique limited-time bonus for new members. If you don't have the Gold Card and open one by then, AmEx will "pick up the tip" when you dine out. During the first three months, new card members will get 20% back on restaurant charges — in the form of a statement credit — up to $100 total.
That's in addition to the standard welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. Some people may be targeted for a higher bonus.
The new Gold Card earns 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at US restaurants, as well as on the first $25,000 spent each calendar year at US supermarkets (and 1x point after that). It also earns 3x points on flights booked directly through the airline, and 1x point on everything else.
That makes it among the most competitive cards for restaurants and supermarkets in the US — since it's possible to get more than 1¢ of value for each Membership Rewards point, the value is more than 4% back.
The Gold Card features several other benefits, too. Cardholders can get up to $120 in dining credits a year — split into $10 chunks each month — when they use their cards to order food through Grubhub or Seamless, or at The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations. That's in addition to a $100 airline fee credit each calendar year.
The card's annual fee is $250, but between the annual credits and the rewards, it should be easy to earn enough value to more than make up for that.
Click here to learn more about the American Express Gold Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.
Nothing kills wining and dining than closing out the evening having to mull over just what percentage of your bill should go to the waitstaff.
That's because figuring out how much to tip, if tipping is required, and whom you should tip to is often more complicated than it needs to be. To help simplify the confusion, controversy, and complication that is tipping, DealNews broke down the most common situations in which tipping is expected and how much to tip for each one.
While how much to tip varies by service, a solid tip amount is generally about 18% of your bill — something to bear in mind now that tipping has started going up.
"Many mobile-payment apps now offer the option to just choose a preset percentage amount, which can be very convenient but also might push you into tipping more," Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews, told Business Insider. "Rather than opting for the highest tier of 25%, feel free to choose 'another amount,' which many apps offer."
She said you can incorporate tipping by increasing your budget by 20%. "This allows you to tip adequately for exceptional service, but also allows you to tip less if the situation calls for it."
"Additionally, you can also consider creating an entirely separate category within your budget only for tipping," she said. "This means that if your tipping category runs low, you can decide how to dine out based around the tipping amount." When in doubt, always tip at least a little something.
Below, find out how much to tip in every situation, from your cleaner and your hairstylist to your nail technician and your dog groomer.
AAA tow service
Standard tip: $5 to $10
If the tow bill is high or you can't afford it, you don't have to tip.
Standard tip: 15% (up to 20% for exceptional service)
Tip the shuttle driver the way you would a cab driver.
Standard tip: $5 per job (up to $10 for exceptional service and $75 to $150 if it's around the holidays)
Tip when the job is complete.
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TheInsider Picksteam writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.
Any guy looking to add new pieces to his winter wardrobe should head over to Bonobos. For a limited time, you can 30% sitewide by using the promo code "LOVEMYSELF" at checkout. With everything from sweaters, sweatshirts, and dress shirts to jeans and outerwear, there are plenty of great basics to choose from.
The Instant Pot developed a cult following because of its versatility and easy-to-use functions. The 10-in-1 cooker can be used as a standard slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warmer, and sautée pan, cake maker, egg cooker, and sterilizer. The eight-quart Instant Pot is perfect for cooking for medium-sized families or people who like to have leftovers.
Being able to shop in one place for stylish clothes for the entire family makes things a lot easier, especially during the holidays. Ralph Lauren is known for its iconic American-inspired designs and now is the best time to shop them. Now through December 19, save 40% when you spend $125 or more by using the promo code "HURRY" at checkout. Plus, you can save an extra 10% on stocking stuffers.
As Fitbit's best-selling fitness tracker, the Charge 2 uses PulsePlus to continuously monitor your heart rate, and can track all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, and active minutes. All of the information is displayed on an easy-to-read OLED screen. One Insider Picks reporter chooses the Fitbit for everyday wear over other fitness trackers. You can read her full review here.
Christmas is a week away and Dell is offering huge deals to take advantage of in time for the holiday. Right now you can save up to 40% on laptops, PCs, tablets, monitors, smart home gadgets, audio equipment, and a lot more. Discounts are taken off automatically, so there's no need for a promo code. Order by December 19, and you'll get free expedited shipping with before-Christmas delivery.
Adidas has great items on sale all the time, but with its current sale, the more you buy, the more you'll save. Right now, you can save $20 off orders of $100, $50 off orders of $175, and $100 off orders of $300 when you use the promo code "SAVEMORE" at checkout. The discount applies to new arrivals and sale styles with select exclusions.
Amazon Music Unlimited is a paid music streaming service that has steadily grown into a worthy Spotify and Apple Music competitor. While most music streaming services charge $9.99 a month for unlimited listening, Prime members pay just $7.99. If you want to give Amazon's music service a try, new subscribers can sign up for four months for only $0.99 right now.
The Leesa Mattress is designed to use pocket springs and high-performance foams to help you sleep better. Leesa's mattresses are always a great value, but the startup is offering $150 off mattresses and a free pillow (a $75 value) for the holiday season. The offer ends soon, so you'll want to take advantage of it now. If buying a mattress online concerns you, know that you can try it out for 100 nights free of risk. If it's not the best sleep you've ever had, you can return it hassle-free.
The Echo Dot and Fire Stick are two of Amazon's most popular products for creating an interactive smart home and entertainment system. With the use of Alexa, you can easily watch movies, listen to music, order pizza, check the weather, and so much more. Right now, you can save $35 by bundling the two items together on Amazon.
Vitamin C plays a key role in boosting your immune system, but this essential vitamin also helps support collagen production, bone, and skin health, making it very important to be sure that you are getting enough in your diet.
Not getting enough vitamin C can actually be pretty harmful to your health if you aren't careful, so INSIDER spoke to some dietitians and physicians about all those warning signs you'll want to be on the lookout for.
You can bruise very easily
"This is usually one of the first signs of a vitamin C deficiency," said registered dietitian Chelsea Gold, MS, RD. Lack of vitamin C can weaken our blood vessels, causing the skin to easily bruise, she explained.
You can experience dry, rough bumpy skin.
"Vitamin C deficiency can lead to poor skin health," Gold told INSIDER. Studies show that having higher intakes of vitamin C increases your skin quality, she added.
You can have spoon-shaped nails.
"Lack of vitamin C can leave you with very thin and brittle spoon-shaped nails due to the lack of collagen and protein development," Gold suggested.
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December 19, 1998, was a cold winter day. Bill and Hillary Clinton prepared for the outcome of the House impeachment vote.
Pro and anti-Clinton protesters gathered around Capitol Hill.
People demonstrated outside the Capitol all day.
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The Disney classic "Mary Poppins" may be 54 years old, but its influence has withstood the test of time, so much so that Disney chose to carry on the magic by creating "Mary Poppins Returns." The film is a continuation of the Mary Poppins universe starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
INSIDER took a trip down memory lane to remember the cast of the original version, what they were doing before the film was released, and what they are up to now.
Julie Andrews became a household name in her first box office role.
While many may know her from "The Sound of Music" or "The Princess Diaries,""Mary Poppins" was actually the role that skyrocketed Julie Andrews' fame. Before she took it on at 29 years old, Andrews only had a few television movie credits to her name. "Mary Poppins" was her first hit, and the next year she went on to star in "The Sound of Music" as Maria.
She recently returned to acting after a seven-year hiatus.
Andrews continued to perform consistently throughout the years until 2010, earning herself an Oscar for "Mary Poppins" and several Academy Awards, Golden Globe, Emmy, and BAFTAawards.
Following the death of her husband at the end of 2010, Andrews significantly decreased her acting work, only making sporadic guest appearances until she re-entered the Hollywood scene in 2017. Most recently, she lent her voice to 2018s "Aquaman" and 2017s "Despicable Me 3."
Dick Van Dyke was in the midst of his titular sitcom "The Dick Van Dyke Show" before being cast as "Bert" in the movie.
Dick Van Dyke was arguably the most famous cast member when he took on the roles of Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. He was the star of his own sitcom, "The Dick Van Dyke Show," at just 36 years old and was nominated for his first Primetime Emmy the year before for his contribution to the series.
His role in "Mary Poppins" would also bring him a slew of other accolades, including a Grammy and a Golden Globe nomination.
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The Fed’s next decision is its most important in recent memory — and the future of the stock market is at stake
A big part of that stems from the turbulence that's rocked the stock market in recent weeks. With major US indexes already in correction territory, one wrong step could open the floodgates for more selling.
As a result, the Fed finds itself in a difficult situation. If the central bank signals too much future monetary tightening for the market's tastes, the 10-year bull market could meet its demise. And if the Fed adopts a more dovish tone than expected, there will be speculation that it was been strong-armed by politicians.
Facebook's catastrophic year has caused Mark Zuckerberg to lose more money than any of the world's other 500 richest billionaires
Mark Zuckerberg's net worth took a major hit this year after scandals plagued Facebook.
Zuckerberg's wealth took its biggest nosedive after Facebook's disastrous second-quarter earnings were announced in July.
Zuckerberg began the year with about $75 billion, but, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index, he was worth about $56 billion on Monday. That's a $19 billion drop.
Barclays just hired two Wall Street veterans in its chief investment office
Barclays just hired two senior executives, Sanjeev Mordani and Ravi Singh, to work under the chief investment officer of its international unit, Art Mbanefo.
Mordani, who led cross asset solutions and strategies at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will join Barclays in the chief investment office and will be responsible for driving the structured finance business in the Americas.
"We are confident that his creativity and strong client relationships will accelerate our efforts to enhance Barclays' client offering," the bank said in a memo sent to staff and seen by Business Insider.
In markets news
German Chancellor Angela Merkel knew from the start she'd have her work cut out for her with President Donald Trump.
The two leaders' temperaments and worldviews could not be more different, and they've routinely clashed over an array of issues. Trump has driven US-German relations to their lowest point in decades, threatening to upend an intimate partnership forged in the devastating aftermath of World War II and solidified with the end of the Cold War.
Shortly before Trump's inauguration, John B. Emerson, who served as US ambassador to Germany under former President Barack Obama, advised her to build a personal relationship with Trump if she hoped to get through to him.
"My advice was: get to Washington as fast as possible and build a personal relationship with him, because that’s how Trump operates,"Emerson recently told The New Yorker.
Merkel had her first meeting with Trump relatively early on in his presidency in March 2017. She prepared for it, in part, by reading Trump's 1990 interview with Playboy, according to The New Yorker.
Ahead of Japanese President Shinzo Abe's meeting with Trump that came roughly a month before Merkel's visit, Japanese officials had reportedly read the same interview as part of their prep for the occasion.
Though it might sound unusual to read a decades-old interview from Playboy to prepare for a meeting with the President of the United States, the article offers a distinct portrait of Trump's views on foreign policy and economics.
In the interview, for example, Trump was asked the first thing he would do if elected president. In the late 1980s it looked like Trump might run for president, which seemingly prompted the question.
At the time, Trump said, "Many things. A toughness of attitude would prevail. I'd throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products, and we'd have wonderful allies again."
Fast forward to 2018: Trump frequently complains the US has been taken advantage of in trade deals with Germany and other European countries, and has threatened to slap heavy tariffs on German cars coming into the US. The president has placed trade at the top of his agenda from the start, and is in the midst of an ongoing trade war with China.
During the interview, Trump also said he believed then-President George H.W. Bush was wrong to call for a "kinder, gentler America."
"I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it's literally going to cease to exist," Trump said at the time.
He went on to say that a President Trump would "believe very strongly in extreme military strength. He wouldn't trust anyone. He wouldn't trust the Russians; he wouldn't trust our allies; he'd have a huge military arsenal, perfect it, understand it. Part of the problem is that we're defending some of the wealthiest countries in the world for nothing…. We're being laughed at around the world, defending Japan."
In the present day, Trump habitually discusses strengthening the military and boasts about the ways in which he's purportedly improved it. Trump has also put the US at odds with its traditional allies on myriad issues, from the Paris climate accord to the Iran nuclear deal. Moreover, he continuously accuses NATO allies of not paying their fair share, claiming they owe the US for protecting them.
Perhaps the only aspect of Trump's above statement from the 1990 interview that is not necessarily reflected in his current approach to the presidency is the claim he "wouldn't trust the Russians." Trump has faced a great deal of criticism over his dubious demeanor toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly in relation to the Kremlin's interference in the US presidential election.
In another part of the Playboy interview, Trump seemed to express admiration for the Chinese government's infamous, brutal crackdown on student protesters in Tiananmen Square.
Trump said, "When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak ... as being spit on by the rest of the world."
During his presidential campaign, Trump frequently complained the world doesn't respect the US anymore, and without much evidence has claimed to have changed that since entering the White House. He's also developed close relationships with some of the world's most ruthless authoritarians, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he's publicly praised on numerous occassions.
Indeed, the 1990 Playboy interview foreshadowed much of what we've seen from Trump as president so far. It reveals his political philosophy hasn't evolved much in the past quarter-century, even as the world has changed in massive ways.
Accordingly, it makes sense that Merkel would read the interview to get a sense of how Trump thinks prior to their first encounter. But in spite of her apparent efforts to prepare, Merkel's initial meeting with Trump set the stage for a tumultuous relationship between two world leaders who struggled to see eye-to-eye on virtually any issue. If nothing else, Trump and Merkel have at least produced some of the most uncomfortable, striking photographs featuring world leaders in recent memory.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a television interview Tuesday that he believes investors ought to "run for cover" amid the recent volatility.
When asked about whether the stock market is still in the midst of a bull run, Greenspan told CNN anchor Julia Chatterley, "Not really, no, it's beginning to fumble. You can see it by the reaction in recent days."
He added: "It would be very surprising to see it sort of stabilize here and take off again. But it's happened in the past. However, at the end of that run, run for cover."
A brutal start to December has US markets on track for their worst final month of the year since 1931. The last three months have been particularly painful for investors, with the S&P 500, which touched a 14-month low on Monday, down nearly 12% over that time. The primary driver behind the sell-off was the notable rise in long-term interest rates, he said.
Greenspan, who served as Fed chairman from August 1987 until January 2006, made his comments one day before the central bank was widely expected to announce an interest rate hike for the fourth time this year, and ninth since the financial crisis, added that pressure from interest rates on stocks would persist.
He said he's observed a "pronounced" rise in real long-term interest rates, the "key factor which is bringing the stock market down."
He added: "In fact, it accounts for all of the weakness recently, and I think it's going to continue to account for it, because we're in a period now where I think long-term rates are going to rise."
More broadly, Greenspan sees the US economy moving toward a so-called "stagflation" environment in which there is both price inflation and a weakening economic backdrop.
To be sure, critics have viewed the former Fed chairman as having missed factors that contributed to the financial crisis. He wrote in a 2010 paper that he'd been "lulled into a sense of complacency."
Noncash payments have been gaining popularity around the world for the last decade. And though cash isn’t anywhere near dead, its global growth is slowing as consumers turn to emerging cashless alternatives.
But there are a few key markets - Australia, Sweden, and the UK - where annual noncash payments have already surpassed traditional cash transactions altogether — and they’re stong early indicators of what a truly cashless society could look like.
Why are digital payments on the rise?
The growing adoption of noncash payments is a direct result of the rise of e-commerce, but that’s not the only factor. Consumers today are adaptable to disruptive technologies and are generally open to trying new types of digital payment methods.
This consumer appetite is compounded by their access to infrastructure, as well as the emergence of government-backed initiatives, such as real-time transfers and the backing of electronic currencies, that make digital payments more enticing to both consumers and merchants.
How are Australia, Sweden, and the UK driving the world towards cashless payments?
Australia, Sweden, and the UK are emblematic of opportunities for payments players to lead the world away from cash. The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, provides a snapshot of the payments industry in each of these three markets.
The report shows that several leading payments players have already emerged or are dominant within each of these regions — and they’re finding success in different ways. For other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash, the digital transformations of Australia, Sweden, and the UK can serve as a roadmap.
Here are the strategies these regions are implementing in the race to become the world’s first cashless society:
Want to Learn More?
The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence compiles various payments snapshots, together illustrating how digital payment methods are supplementing or replacing cash in each market.
Each snapshot provides an overview of the payments industry in a particular country, and details the evolution of its development. They also highlight notable payments players in each region and discuss the opportunities and challenges that players are facing in their respective markets.
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.
Unless you won the lottery or lost a bet, not everyone in your life is expecting a brand new car from you for the holidays.
And for the many instances in which it's better to give a small gift, most of us would love to give something that's both inexpensive and impactful — more than just a token space filler in a stocking. For that, you'll probably have the best luck on Amazon. It's home to a ton of great, affordable products people actually want, and you get the added perks of easy, fast shipping and prices that are nearly always the lowest on the internet.
The trade off is that you need to be willing to invest the time, eye strain, and concentration wrinkles necessary for going through 30+ pages of product results. To save you the time, we curated a few of our all-time favorites and other great products from a wide range of interests below.
If you're looking for something even more budget-friendly, we also have 30+ stocking stuffers you can get for under $10 here.
Most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days' time, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.
Below, you'll find 50 of the best stocking stuffers you can find on Amazon for under $20.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
A mini, functional waffle maker that takes up minimal countertop space
This small but mighty waffle maker looks more like a gag gift than a functional one, but they'll be surprised by how often they end up using it. It takes up minimal counter and storage space, is easy to clean, and is perfect for when you're craving just one or two waffles and don't want to make a whole spread.
A protective cover for their AirPods case
Apple AirPods: incredibly convenient, but also incredibly easy to lose and scratch up. A silicone cover is a cheap and attractive way to protect the case protecting their beloved earbuds.
A pair of $10 headphones with over 30,000 5-star reviews
These $10 in-ear headphones are sort of like finding cheap diamonds in the rough. They have over 30,000 5-star reviews on Amazon and are one of few cheap tech products with universal praise. The best features include: noise isolation, good sound, and staying put.
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