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    Children watch as soldier stands guard outside of Damascus, Syria.

    • The US military says it is responsible for inadvertently killing 1,139 civilians in its fight against ISIS since August 2014, but many argue they're underestimating.
    • The report also states that 12 were killed in a May 2017 strike on Mosul.
    • Other estimates are significantly higher, placing the civilian death toll in the US' fight against ISIS closer to at least 7,000.


    The US military says it is responsible for inadvertently killing 1,139 civilians in its fight against ISIS since August 2014, but many argue they're underestimating, according to a report from Defense One's Kevin Baron.

    The US Central Command announced internally Sunday that 1,139 civilians have been inadvertently killed in its fight against the Islamic State since August 2014, in 31,406 airstrikes. 

    The report also states 12 were killed in a May 2017 strike on a Mosul bomb-making facility from a secondary explosion. When the Mosul strike happened in May 2017, BBC reported that 105 civilians were killed.

    Estimates from other organizations place the civilian death toll in the Middle East exponentially higher than CentCom estimates.

    Airwars, a non-profit organization that tracks civilian deaths in Syria, Libya, and Iraq, estimated that between 7,316–11,637 civilians have been killed in Syria and Iraq by US-led actions.

    Read more:Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record as suicide attacks surge

    Other reports show similar estimates. The Syrian Network for Human Rights estimated in October that 6,395 civilians have been killed in Syria in 2018 alone.

    In June, U.S. Army Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said no one will ever truly know the number of civilian deaths that have occurred.

    “As far as how do we know how many civilians were killed, I am just being honest, no one will ever know,” Veale said in a briefing at the Pentagon by video link from Baghdad. “Anyone who claims they will know is lying, and there’s no possible way.” 

    US Central Command did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    aquaman 2 warner bros

    • "Aquaman" won the domestic box office for a second-straight weekend with $51.5 million.
    • The movie's worldwide total of $748.8 million has surpassed the lifetime gross of "Justice League" and "Suicide Squad."
    • "Mary Poppins Returns" stays in second place with $28 million, and now has a domestic total of $98.9 million, which will best the domestic take of Disney's "Christopher Robin" by New Year's Day.

    "Aquaman" continues to dominate the box office in its second week in US theaters. 

    Warner Bros.'s latest release from its DC Comics Extended Universe is number one for a second-straight weekend with an estimated $51.5 million, which is a stronger week-two figure than some of the big comic book movie releases of the past. 

    Its $51.5 million bests "Doctor Strange" ($42.9 million), "Guardians of the Galaxy" ($42.1 million), and "Justice League" ($41 million).

    Read more: 5 trends that could shake up the movie business in 2019

    In fact, the worldwide total of $748.8 million for "Aquaman" as of this weekend is more than the lifetime gross of "Justice League" ($657.9 million) and "Suicide Squad" ($746.8 million). The success of "Aquaman" for Warner Bros. stands in stark contrast with "Justice League's" deflating release for the DCEU last year. 

    Now, the watch begins to see if James Wan's underwater thrill ride can break the $1 billion worldwide box office milestone. With the movie going into January, which is always a soft time of year when it comes to new releases, Warner Bros. won't have to worry about much competition. But having already opened in China (and dominating there) in early December, the movie can't expect a boost from a late international release.

    mary poppins returnsMeanwhile, Disney is in the unfamiliar position of being in the silver position during the holiday season. "Mary Poppins Returns" has been doing well, but has been stuck behind "Aquaman" since it opened before Christmas. 

    This weekend it took in another second place finish with $28 million, its domestic total is now at $98.9 million. By New Year's Day it will top the domestic total of the studio's "Christopher Robin" release earlier this year of $99.2 million.

    But don't feel sorry for Disney. A big reason for the record-breaking box office business in 2018 is because of the 26% market share of Disney at the domestic ticket counter.

    SEE ALSO: Director Jason Reitman made 2 of the year's best movies. But you probably didn't see them.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    artificial intelligence social network eter9

    Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.

    But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?

    Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.

    To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.

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    Dubai Burj Al Arab Most Luxurious Hotel (37 of 74)

    • One of the most decorated luxury hotels in the world, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, was recently named the "best hotel in the world" by the Ultratravel Awards. The Burj has frequently been called "the world's first seven-star hotel" and "the most luxurious hotel in the world" by travel writers and critics.
    • I recently stayed at the hotel on a trip to Dubai to see if the Burj Al Arab could possibly live up to the hype.
    • While the hotel is full of extravagances, it's the service that puts it over the top.

    When someone tells you a place is "the most luxurious hotel in the world," the natural response might be to ask incredulously, "What makes it so luxurious?"

    That's how I felt before visiting the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, which was named the Best Hotel in the World by The Telegraph's ULTRA Awards this year and has often been called "the most luxurious hotel in the world" by travel writers and critics.

    After spending a night at the Burj this past November, I think I have the answer. While the $1 billion hotel is full of extravagances, like a Rolls-Royce chauffeur, a 14-piece set of Hermès toiletries, and interiors decorated with nearly 20,000 square feet of 24-karat gold, it's the service that puts it over the top.

    Dubai Burj Al Arab Most Luxurious Hotel (4 of 4)

    The Burj Al Arab has a staff-to-suite ratio of 6:1. That means there are 1,300 employees for the hotel's 202 suites, everything from chefs and mixologists to florists, locker room attendants, and hosts. 

    The ratio leads to a level of attention that I imagine most people have never experienced. Someone is always available to take care of your every whim or answer every question. Look around in the hotel with a puzzled look for more than a few seconds and someone comes over to ask what you need. That's assuming they don't already know what you are looking for.

    The service reaches another level when it comes to your actual suite. Every floor has a team of personal butlers (I'm not kidding) who are there waiting to attend to your every desire. Whoever is on duty will stand up as you approach and greet you by name.

    If you need anything — a dinner reservation, an Earl Grey tea brewed at 9 p.m. sharp, or, say, a bubble bath — they'll take care of it with gusto.

    Dubai Burj Al Arab Most Luxurious Hotel (63 of 74)

    Beyond that, the staff take their expertise and hospitality seriously.

    I stayed at the hotel on Thanksgiving night. Knowing that I was American, my personal butler dropped off a tray of Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches and miniature pies so that I wouldn't completely miss out on the holiday.

    Just before going to bed during my stay, I decided to make an impromptu stop to the 27th floor of the hotel for a nightcap at the Burj's lounge, Gold On 27. As I walked up to the host to ask for a table, he greeted me by name. 

    As I sipped my $31 cocktail, I puzzled over how he knew who I was. I hadn't made any reservation and I was one of hundreds in the hotel that night. I theorized that the butler had tipped him off that I was heading to the bar.

    When I asked him later by what magic he knew who I was, he told me that each night he researches all of the guests staying in the hotel and attempts to memorize the name and face of every single one. He confessed with a smile that he doesn't always get it right. 

    That level of dedication is hard to fake. He was far from the only one among the staff that seemed to take the hotel's reputation as "the most luxurious hotel in the world" very seriously.

    It showed.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 4 tricks that will make hosting Thanksgiving dinner much easier this year

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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.

    best products 2018 6

    Thousands of product tests and reviews later, here we stand at the end of the year, excited to present to you our 2018 Insider Picks Hall of Fame.

    The point of Insider Picks has always been to discover and share with you the best of the best. Still, we have some personal favorites that are truly the cream of the crop and we want to make sure you don't miss them.  

    These are all the tech gadgets, kitchen appliances, clothes, shoes, home products, and personal care products that impressed us and rose above everything else we reviewed in 2018. Some are new product launches, while others are just new to us.

    You'll find an explanation for why we loved it, plus a link to the original review or related guide so you'll have all the information needed to decide whether you want to join each product's fan club.

    See the 36 best products we reviewed in 2018 below.

    Crane & Canopy sheets

    Sheets and Sheet Sets, $35 to $249, available at Crane & Canopy

    Read more about the best sheets you can buy for your bed here

    Crane & Canopy is a startup that began selling easy-to-use duvet covers in 2012. Since then, the company has branched out into sheets, comforters, pillows, blankets, towels, washcloths, and more.

    I tried a set of striped sheets from Crane & Canopy and I loved them. Not only are the sheets silky smooth and soft straight out of the package, they also come in several fun prints and colors. I chose the gray and white striped sheets, because they make for a nice, neutral base layer for my bedding. Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks guides editor

    The Sonos soundbar

    Sonos Beam, $399, available at Amazon

    Read our review of the Sonos Beam here

    Once a year I make a significant "treat yourself"-style tech purchase, and in 2018 that was the Sonos Beam. Sonos’ compact soundbar carries over the best features from the company’s Sonos One speaker: built-in Alexa, support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 software, and excellent, well-balanced sound.

    The Beam gets louder than its small size would suggest, and it never sounds distorted. I’ve used it while watching movies, playing video games, and listening to music, and it’s sounded universally excellent. The Beam can’t quite compete with the immersion from a 5.1 surround sound setup, but it doesn’t have to. I live in a small, New York City apartment, and the Beam has given me a home theater system that was easy to set up and enjoy. Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

    A Peak Design backpack

    Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L, $259.95, available at Amazon

    Peak originally began as a camera accessory company, but its Everyday backpack and travel bags are great for, well, everyday use — not just for carrying cameras. The reconfigurable internal shelves can be adjusted quickly for any needs. I use this bag for my daily commute to work, and even as my daypack when I travel. I'm also a fan of Peak’s travel backpack and packing tools. David Slotnick, Insider Picks senior reporter

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sears 1348

    • Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-October. The company says it will close 142 stores before the end of the year, and its CEO, Eddie Lampert, will step down. It has been searching for funding to avoid liquidation.
    • Lampert submitted a last-minute $4.4 billion bid on Friday for many of the company's assets, including 425 stores. The bid may save Sears from imminently shutting down.
    • The rise of e-commerce, declining foot traffic to malls, and a higher demand for off-price products are just some of the factors that have caused department stores to suffer in recent years, and Sears is no exception to that. 
    • We visited a Sears store the day the company filed for bankruptcy, and it felt like the store had already been abandoned. Parts of the store were well-kempt, but others were disorganized and empty, and there was hardly anyone in sight. 

    Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-October and has been desperately trying to stay afloat since.

    The company said when it filed that it will close 142 stores before the end of the year, and its CEO, Eddie Lampert, will step down.

    The company has been searching for funding to avoid liquidation, and on Friday, Lampert submitted a last-minute $4.4 billion bid for many of the company's assets, including 425 stores. The bid may save Sears from imminently shutting down.

    READ MORE: Inside Sears' death spiral.

    Sears has been closing stores and selling off assets following years of crippling sales declines. The company currently operates 687 Sears and Kmart stores, according to its bankruptcy filing. That's down from nearly 2,000 stores in 2013.

    The rise of e-commerce, declining foot traffic to malls, and a higher demand for off-price products are just some of the factors that have caused department stores as a category to suffer in recent years. 

    "The problem in Sears' case is that it is a poor retailer. Put bluntly, it has failed on every facet of retailing from assortment to service to merchandise to basic shop-keeping standards,"said Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail.

    When we visited a Sears store the day the company filed for bankruptcy, it felt like the store had already been abandoned. Parts of the store were well-kempt, but others were disorganized and empty, and there was hardly anyone in sight.

    Here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, has filed for bankruptcy and is closing 142 stores. Here's how it got there.

    We went to a Sears store in Jersey City, New Jersey.

    The store seemed like it was in pretty good shape at first glance.

    Women's clothing was the first department at the front of the store.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Dubai Mall Worlds Second Largest Mall (30 of 61)

    • The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is known worldwide for its extravagance and wealth. Business Insider international correspondent Harrison Jacobs visited in November, expecting it to be wildly expensive and out of reach for all but wealthy travelers.
    • But he and his travel partner found that Dubai was a melting pot of Arabic, Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures with a variety of cheap, delicious food, efficient public transportation, five-star hotels available for budget prices, and a thriving art scene.
    • As they quickly learned, if Dubai's luxury attractions like high-end shopping malls and ultra luxurious hotels don't interest you, you can easily have a blast in the city without breaking the bank.

    Three decades ago, Dubai was little more than just desert.

    But an oil boom in the United Arab Emirates produced unprecedented wealth for the small Gulf nation. Dubai's rulers have taken that wealth and turned it into a bustling city with things designed to be the biggest and most extravagant of the world — the tallest building, the second-biggest mall, the most luxurious hotel, and so on.

    Nicknamed the "city of gold," Dubai has increasingly become known as a home for the world's rich.

    Last year, around 5,000 millionaires moved to the United Arab Emirates — a figure higher than the number of millionaires moving to Switzerland or Singapore, traditional places for the world's millionaires and billionaires to park their money. There are now 88,700 millionaires total in the UAE.

    With those figures and the Lamborghini and Dom Perignon-bedecked "Rich Kids of Dubai" in mind, one would think visiting Dubai as a budget traveler wouldn't work out particularly well.

    I (Harrison, here!) spent a week in the city in November, along with my travel partner and Business Insider contributor Annie. Our fears were unfounded.

    Though Dubai's tourism board may emphasize high-end shopping boutiques and swanky resorts to would-be travelers, the city's real attraction is its melting pot of Arabic, Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures.

    Add in efficient public transportation, a thriving art scene, and an oversupply of five-star hotels giving away rooms at discount prices, and you can easily have a blast in the city without breaking the bank.

    Here's what it was like to visit Dubai:

    SEE ALSO: I visited Singapore, the outlandishly wealthy setting of 'Crazy Rich Asians.' You don't need billions to have a good time.

    DON'T MISS: I stayed at a hotel on Dubai's massive artificial island shaped like a palm tree and it's more surreal than any photos can show

    Our trip to Dubai began with $1,145 ticket on Dubai-owned Emirates Airlines. I'd always wanted to fly Emirates, the world's fourth-best airline, and was willing to splurge. While there were options as cheap as $400 with a layover, Emirates turned out to be worth the extra dough. It was the best economy experience I've ever had.

    Read More:I flew 13 hours nonstop on the world's biggest passenger plane, the $446 million Airbus superjumbo jet, and it's about as good as economy can get

    When I got off the plane, I noticed that you can pick up the metro directly from the airport. Depending on where you are going it's between 4 and 8.50 Dirhams ($1.09-$2.31).

    But with the bags, we decided to take a car with Careem, a ride-hailing app founded in Dubai and popular all over the Middle East. Prices are very reasonable. It cost 50 Dirhams, or about $14, for the ride to the hotel.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Dubai Development Property Real Estate (40 of 40)

    • A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in October detailed how even just half a degree of rise in the world's temperature would result in severe, catastrophic effects, making the climate unlivable in the most severe cases.
    • If you are wondering what life might be like in such a scenario, Dubai can give you a good approximation. For more than half the year, temperatures are regularly around 105 degrees Fahrenheitand have gone as high as 119 degrees Fahrenheit, with plenty of humidity. It makes being outside for more than a few minutes unbearable.
    • Dubai has developed into a series of climate-controlled indoor spaces including more than 65 malls, apartment buildings with entire indoor cities attached, and car-centric design that discourages walking outside. You can spend entire days without ever stepping outside.

    It's become more clear than ever this year that climate change is very real and that we are already seeing the effects.

    A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in October detailed how even just half a degree of rise in the world's temperature would result in severe, catastrophic effects.

    As Business Insider's Kevin Loria summed up: That half of a degree will make drought-prone regions much more likely to experience severe drought, and areas prone to heat waves or intense hurricanes will get more of those disasters, too. These factors could trigger huge migrations of people and mass extinctions of animals. 

    In short, the climate will get a lot less livable, particularly in places already vulnerable to high temperatures.

    As I hung out in Dubai last month, it struck me that the city's severe climate and its adaptation to that climate was a good approximation of what I imagine living with the severe effects of climate change to be.

    During Dubai's long summer, stretching from mid-April through October, temperatures make it unbearable to be outside for more than a few minutes. Temperatures are regularly around 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) and have gone as high as 119 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius), with plenty of humidity.

    The city's adaptation to that climate? A proliferation of interconnected climate-controlled spaces, including more than 65 malls, residential and office buildings with entire indoor cities attached, metros, and indoor parking lots. 

    Dubai Development Property Real Estate (25 of 40)

    For a certain social millieu — I'm talking native Emiratis and the wealthy expats with white-collar jobs — one could go entire days or weeks during the summer without stepping outside. You go from your air-conditioned apartment in a residential skyscraper to the indoor parking lot, and then drive to your office, park in the indoor lot, and head upstairs to the office skyscraper.

    If you need to do grocery shopping or pick up a present, there are likely retail stores, grocery stores, or an entire retail complex attached to your office building or apartment building.

    Dubai Mall Worlds Second Largest Mall (60 of 61)

    If you want to spend a Saturday out with your family, grab coffee with a colleague, or enjoy an "al fresco" dinner and a movie, you are likely doing it inside at The Dubai Mall, a $2 billion complex with  1,200 stores, hundreds of restaurants, a movie theater, a luxury hotel, an Olympic-size ice-skating rink, a virtual-reality theme park, and an aquarium. Or, perhaps you'll visit one of Dubai's dozens of other megamalls with similar amenities that blur the line between mall and city block.

    Meanwhile, for the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in Dubai who aren't lucky enough to live in air-conditioned megacomplexes, Dubai can be a hellscape during the summer — just as the climate might be for the developing countries that will be hardest hit by the effects of climate change.

    Dubai is getting so good at simulating the outdoors inside that its next megaproject is dedicated to just that. Dubai Square, set to become the world's largest mall, is built around a four-lane "boulevard" that mimics a wide city street, a piazza, and an entertainment center for concerts and theater shows. It will even have the Middle East's largest Chinatown.

    Boulevard at Dubai Square

    The net effect of this kind of development is that nearly all "public" or "social" space in the city is a corporatized shopping destination.

    "[In the UAE] the mall is a social space, not just a shopping space," Justin Thomas, an associate professor of psychology at Zayed University, wrote for The National in 2014.

    "The mall is where three generations of the same family take an evening stroll; the mall is where the Abu Dhabi Readers (a book club) meet to discuss works of literature."

    When you can't hang out in social spaces outside, whether it's due to a severe climate or pollution, you find indoor spaces to do so.

    It's hard to say that's de-facto bad when such malls and climate-controlled spaces are providing livable spaces outside of the home in a city that desperately needs them. But there is a creeping feeling that something is lost when all public spaces exist solely so large corporations can make a profit.

    If I was going to take a guess at where our hyper-consumerist world is heading in the event the world can't get its act together on climate change, I'd say it's going to look a lot like Dubai.

    And Dubai, for its part, will have to keep adapting to its extreme climate. The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi found in a report last year that under its most severe climate change scenario, nearly all of Dubai would be underwater due to rising sea levels.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: History of the Christmas tree: Evergreens were sacred to ancient Egyptians. Then people started decorating them.

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    Lars Løkke Rasmussen Prime Minister of Denmark

    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning may promise vast social benefits in governance, however, without regulation, they could damage democracy. 
    • Algorithms are especially useful in welfare states, where benefits can be delivered more efficiently. 
    • For example, Denmark is beginning to use algorithms to make its welfare state more efficient, but it does not seem to fully understand the dangerous potential. 
    • The municipality of Gladsaxe in Copenhagen has quietly been experimenting with a system that would use algorithms to identify children at risk of abuse.
    • But that same technology will inevitably take a toll on privacy, family life, and free speech, and can weaken public accountability on the government. 

    Everyone likes to talk about the ways that liberalism might be killed off, whether by populism at home or adversaries abroad. Fewer talk about the growing indications in places like Denmark that liberal democracy might accidentally commit suicide.

    As a philosophy of government, liberalism is premised on the belief that the coercive powers of public authorities should be used in service of individual freedom and flourishing, and that they should therefore be constrained by laws controlling their scope, limits, and discretion.

    That is the basis for historic liberal achievements such as human rights and the rule of law, which are built into the infrastructure of the Scandinavian welfare state.


    Yet the idea of legal constraint is increasingly difficult to reconcile with the revolution promised by artificial intelligence and machine learning—specifically, those technologies’ promises of vast social benefits in exchange for unconstrained access to data and lack of adequate regulation on what can be done with it.

    Algorithms hold the allure of providing wider-ranging benefits to welfare states, and of delivering these benefits more efficiently.

    Such improvements in governance are undeniably enticing. What should concern us, however, is that the means of achieving them are not liberal.

    There are now growing indications that the West is slouching toward rule by algorithm—a brave new world in which vast fields of human life will be governed by digital code both invisible and unintelligible to human beings, with significant political power placed beyond individual resistance and legal challenge. Liberal democracies are already initiating this quiet, technologically enabled revolution, even as it undermines their own social foundation.

    Consider the case of Denmark.

    The country currently leads the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law ranking, not least because of its well-administered welfare state. But the country does not appear to fully understand the risks involved in enhancing that welfare state through artificial intelligence applications.

    The municipality of Gladsaxe in Copenhagen, for example, has quietly been experimenting with a system that would use algorithms to identify children at risk of abuse, allowing authorities to target the flagged families for early intervention that could ultimately result in forced removals.

    The children would be targeted based on specially designed algorithms tasked with crunching the information already gathered by the Danish government and linked to the personal identification number that is assigned to all Danes at birth. This information includes health records, employment information, and much more.

    From the Danish government’s perspective, the child-welfare algorithm proposal is merely an extension of the systems it already has in place to detect social fraud and abuse. Benefits and entitlements covering millions of Danes have long been handled by a centralized agency (Udbetaling Danmark), and based on the vast amounts of personal data gathered and processed by this agency, algorithms create so-called puzzlement lists identifying suspicious patterns that may suggest fraud or abuse.

    danish prime minister

    These lists can then be acted on by the “control units” operated by many municipalities to investigate those suspected of receiving benefits to which they are not entitled. The data may include information on spouses and children, as well as information from financial institutions.

    These practices might seem both well intended and largely benign. After all, a universal welfare state cannot function if the trust of those who contribute to it breaks down due to systematic freeriding and abuse. And in the prototype being developed in Gladsaxe, the application of big data and algorithmic processing seems to be perfectly virtuous, aimed as it is at upholding the core human rights of vulnerable children.

    But the potential for mission creep is abundantly clear.

    Udbetaling Danmark is a case in point: The agency’s powers and its access to data have been steadily expanded over the years. A recent proposal even aimed at providing this program leviathan access to the electricity use of Danish households to better identify people who have registered a false address to qualify for extra benefits.

    The Danish government has also used a loophole in Europe’s new digital data rules to allow public authorities to use data gathered under one pretext for entirely different purposes.

    And yet the perils of such programs are less understood and discussed than the benefits.

    Part of the reason may be that the West’s embrace of public-service algorithms are byproducts of lofty and genuinely beneficial initiatives aimed at better governance. But these externalities are also beneficial for those in power in creating a parallel form of governing alongside more familiar tools of legislation and policy-setting. And the opacity of the algorithms’ power means that it isn’t easy to determine when algorithmic governance stops serving the common good and instead becomes the servant of the powers that be.

    writing sitting outside denmark

    This will inevitably take a toll on privacy, family life, and free speech, as individuals will be unsure when their personal actions may come under the radar of the government.

    Such government algorithms also weaken public accountability over the government.

    Danish citizens have not been asked to give specific consent to the massive data processing already underway. They are not informed if they are placed on “puzzlement lists,” nor whether it is possible to legally challenge one’s designation. And nobody outside the municipal government of Gladsaxe knows exactly how its algorithm would even identify children at risk.

    Gladsaxe’s proposal has produced a major public backlash, which has forced the town to delay the program’s planned rollout. Nevertheless, the Danish government has expressed interest in widening the use of public-service algorithms across the country to bolster its welfare services—even at the expense of the freedom of the people they are intended to serve.

    It may be tempting to dismiss algorithmic governance, or algocracy, as a mere continuation of authoritarianism, as represented by China’s notorious social credit systems, which have often been described as the 21st-century manifestation of Orwellian dystopia.

    artificial intelligence AI robtos US military and defense tech technology Google

    And one-party states do indeed find obvious comfort in using new technologies like AI to consolidate the power of the party and its interests. This conforms to historical examples of dictatorships using newspapers, radio, television, and other media for propaganda purposes while suppressing critical journalism and political pluralism.

    But algocracy is not a matter of ideology, but rather technology and its inherently attractive potential. As Denmark makes clear, there are strong temptations for liberal democracies to govern with algorithmic tools that promise huge rewards in terms of efficiency, consistency and precision.

    Algocracies are likely to emerge as by-products of governments seeking to better deliver benefits to citizens.

    And despite the fundamental differences between China’s one-party state and Danish liberal democracy, the very democratic infrastructure that distinguishes the latter from the former might not be able to fulfil that role into the future.

    There are good reasons to think judicial procedures would not be able to serve as a check on the growth of public-service algorithms. Consider the Danish case: the civil servants working to detect child abuse and social fraud will be largely unable to understand and explain why the algorithm identified a family for early intervention or individual for control.

    As deep learning progresses, algorithmic processes will only become more incomprehensible to human beings, who will be relegated to merely relying on the outcomes of these processes, without having meaningful access to the data or its processing that these algorithmic systems rely upon to produce specific outcomes. But in the absence of government actors making clear and reasoned decisions, it will be impossible for courts to hold them accountable for their actions.

    Thus, algorithms designed with the sole purpose of eliminating social welfare free-riding will almost inevitably lead to increasingly draconian measures to police individual behavior. To prevent AI from serving as a tool toward this dystopian end, the West must focus more on algorithmic governance—regulations to ensure meaningful democratic participation and legitimacy in the production of the algorithms themselves. There is little doubt that this would reduce the efficiency of algorithmic processes. But such a compromise would be worthwhile, given the way that algocracy will otherwise involve the sacrifice of democracy.

    Jacob Mchangama is the executive director of Justitia, a Copenhagen based think tank focusing on human rights and the rule of law and the host and producer of the podcast Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech.

    Hin-Yan Liu is an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, faculty of law, where he coordinates the faculty's Artificial Intelligence and Legal Disruption Research Group.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That’s the strategy e-tailers will have to adopt if they want to compete with Amazon. To fight back against the e-commerce giant’s expanding dominance, other online retailers must understand exactly why and how customers are buying on Amazon — and which aspects of the Amazon shopping experience they can incorporate into their own strategic frameworks to win back customers.

    Why Amazon First

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to give e-tailers the tools to figure out how to do just that with its latest Enterprise Edge Report: The Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report.

    Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.

    Business Insider Intelligence fielded the Amazon study to members of its proprietary panel in March 2018, reaching over 1,000 US consumers – primarily hand-picked digital professionals and early-adopters – to gather their insights on Amazon’s role in the online shopping experience.

    In full, the study:

    • Uses exclusive survey data to analyze the factors behind Amazon’s success with consumers.
    • Segments three types of Amazon customers that e-tailers should be targeting.
    • Shares strategies on how e-tailers can attract shoppers at key moments.

    First, why is Amazon so popular?

    Amazon is ubiquitous. In fact, a whopping 94% of those surveyed said they’d made a purchase on the site in the last twelve months. And of those who did, the vast majority believed Amazon’s customer experience was simply better than its leading competitors’ — specifically eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.

    The biggest contributor to Amazon’s superior experience? Free shipping, of course. According to Amazon’s 2017 annual report, the company actually spent $21.7 billion last year covering customers’ shipping costs, a number that’s been compounding over the past few years.

    Not only is free shipping included for all Prime members as part of their subscriptions but, of all e-tailers listed in the survey, Amazon also offers the lowest minimum order value for non-subscription members to qualify for the perk (just $25). The pervasiveness of free (and fast) shipping is steadily heightening customer expectations for the online shopping experience — and forcing competitors to offer similar programs and benefits.

    Who exactly is shopping on Amazon?

    The survey results showed that across generations for a large minority of respondents, Amazon is a standard part of their typical shopping process. Nearly a third (32%) of respondents said they begin their online shopping process on Amazon. Of those who do start their journeys elsewhere, 100% ended up purchasing something from Amazon at some point over the last 12 months.

    Based on the trends in responses, Business Insider Intelligence segmented out three different types of Amazon shoppers, each with unique implications for how competitors could evolve their strategies:

    • Amazon loyalists: This group of consumers is most committed to shopping on Amazon. E-tailers must understand what has made Amazon their default experience — and how they could be pried away.
    • Comparison shoppers: This consumer segment looks at other sites before ultimately completing a purchase with Amazon, which could allow e-tailers to find success at the bottom of the purchase funnel. E-tailers should focus on what they can do more of to steal sales away at the end of the purchasing process.
    • Open-search shoppers: These consumers start their online product search away from Amazon, often with specific reasons including what they’re looking for and why they’re not looking on Amazon. Other e-tailers have the opportunity to attract these shoppers from the beginning of the purchase funnel — keeping them from ever venturing to Amazon.

    Want to learn more?

    Business Insider Intelligence has compiled the complete survey findings into the four-part Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report, which dives deeper into each of these consumer segments to give e-tailers an intricate understanding of Amazon’s role in their purchasing processes.

    The report presents actionable strategies for retail strategists and executives to zero in on three individual consumer segments at critical shopping moments, and empower them to win sales in an Amazon-dominated world.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    man using phone in bed

    • If you're aiming for health and happiness in the new year, you'll want to make your bad habits harder to do.
    • James Clear, author of "Atomic Habits," calls this adding "friction" to the behavior.
    • For example, you might take the batteries out of your remote so you're less inclined to mindlessly watch TV.

    The problem with bad habits is that they're generally a lot harder to break than they are to start.

    A savvy solution to this dilemma appears in James Clear's "Atomic Habits." Simply put: Make the undesirable behavior difficult to do.

    Clear calls it adding "friction." For example, he writes, if you're watching too much TV, then unplug it after each use. You might even go so far as to take the batteries out of the remote, or to move the TV into a closet.

    A bonus just for you: Click here to claim 30 days of access to Business Insider PRIME

    And if you find yourself constantly checking your phone, leave it in a different room for a few hours. That way, every time you feel inclined to mindlessly binge-watch or browse your Instagram feed, you'll have to first go through some hoops, giving you ample opportunity to consider if this is really how you want to spend your time.

    You can use much the same strategy to develop good habits: Make them easier than they are currently. Clear writes that if you want to improve your diet, you might chop up fruits and vegetables on weekends and pack them in containers so that you have nutritious options readily available during the week.

    BJ Fogg, a psychologist and director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford, would call this strategy riding the "motivation wave," or the fluctuations in your motivation levels. If you want to make healthy behaviors easier, Fogg says, it's not about trying to increase your motivation so much as taking advantage of motivation when you do have it.

    Read more: The most 'disciplined' people don't have more self-control than you — they just make a different daily choice

    The idea here is to change your environment as opposed to changing (or at least trying to change) things like willpower and discipline.

    Or, as Clear puts it, "make the good habit the path of least resistance."

    SEE ALSO: I'm borrowing a simple strategy from a productivity expert to be healthier in 2019

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Spending habits of self-made millionaires from a guy who studied rich people for 5 years

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    christie's patek_philippe_an_extremely_fine_rare_and_historically_important_18k_g)

    • The 10 most expensive watches sold at Christie's this year ranged in price from $566,000 to $3.2 million.
    • The auction house also celebrated 25 consecutive years as the leading jewelry auction market in 2018.
    • Topping this list, a rare Patek Philippe wristwatch sold for a whopping $3,234,905 at Christie's.


    In a time when smartphones reign supreme, it's fascinating to find that there are still people willing to pay a pretty penny for a good old-fashioned watch.

    Whether they simply value the old way of telling time or are looking for a way to display their style on their wrist, watch buyers were willing to drop some serious cash with Christie's this year.

    Read more: I went to NYC's biggest luxury watch show, and the most memorable part wasn't the $1.8 million diamond watch or the $182,000 piece they let me try on

    In 2018, the auction house said it made $492.3 million in total jewelry sales ($484.5 million in live auction and $7.8 million online). The sales total earned Christie's its 25th consecutive year as the leading jewelry auction market. It also saw a new record being set with a bottle of Macallan 60 Year Old selling for a whopping $1.5 million (incidentally, that bottle broke the record set by another bottle of Macallan 60 Year Old, which had sold for $1.1 million just two months prior).

    Here are the top 10 most expensive watches sold by Christie's in 2018, ranked from least to most expensive.

    SEE ALSO: 5 signs you're probably not part of the middle class

    10. Designed and signed by Richard Mille, this rare platinum and baguette-cut, diamond-set tourbillon wristwatch sold for a cool $566,014.

    Source: Christie's

    9. A unique Patek Philippe chronograph wristwatch, 18k white gold and diamond-set with a degradé black dial, brought in $614,766.

    Source: Christie's

    8. This Patek Philippe 18K gold perpetual calendar chronograph watch with moon phases and a tachymeter scale sold for $668,862.

    Source: Christie's

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The healthcare industry is in a state of disruption. Digital solutions are becoming a necessary part of the new global standard of care for patients and regulation is being fast-tracked to catch up to digital health innovation.

    Digital Health

    These rapid changes will have ripple effects across the entire healthcare system, impacting incumbents and new entrants alike.

    Based on our ongoing analysis, understanding of industry trends, and conversations with industry executives, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together The Top Five Trends Shaping The Future of Digital Health.

    To get your copy of this free report, click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    frank ntilikina 1

    • As the New York Knicks undergo a lengthy rebuild, the development of Frank Ntilikina, a second-year guard, has become an interesting plot point.
    • The 20-year-old has continued what's been an up-and-down NBA career, at times showing immense two-way potential and other times looking lost on the floor.
    • If Ntilikina were to realize his full potential, he would be a crucial piece to a young, up-and-coming core.
    • Many think that will happen eventually, but some wonder whether the Knicks will stay committed to his development.

    The New York Knicks are undergoing the type of rebuild that fans have often pined for but rarely gotten to see through.

    With All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis sidelined indefinitely with a torn ACL, the team has collected young players and projects to sift through for pieces of a future core. The team has acknowledged that winning is not a priority — head coach David Fizdale has described his staff as "player development" coaches whose priority is to find ways to improve each player.

    The Knicks are on pace for a fifth straight 50-loss season but appear to have made some good finds. They have added the rookies Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, the undrafted guard Allonzo Trier, and once wayward lottery picks like Emmanuel Mudiay and Noah Vonleh.

    Lost in that mix is the Knicks' 2017 first-round pick, Frank Ntilikina. Perhaps no player has been as befuddling as the 20-year-old French guard, who can show so much promise one night then look lost the next.

    When the Knicks took Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick in 2017, under the stewardship of Phil Jackson, some described him as raw. That may have been an understatement, as Ntilikina runs hot and cold and is again shooting below 37%. He shows a wariness to attack the basket and can sometimes drift out on the floor when he's struggling, looking hesitant.

    Ntilikina has vacillated in and out of the Knicks' rotation this year. In a Christmas Day matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, Ntilikina received his fourth "did not play" of the month. It has not been the sophomore season — often when young players make leaps — that many had hoped.

    But Ntilikina is still a key player for the Knicks for multiple reasons.

    Ntilikina possesses the tools to be a perfect player in today's NBA. For all his struggles shooting the ball, he's shown himself to be a savvy passer at times, and he keeps the ball moving.

    Ntilikina is also already a great defender and a borderline elite one in the right matchups. He can guard three positions and use his 7-foot-1 wingspan and quick feet to hound opponents into flat-out giving up the ball.

    The Knicks made a significant investment in Ntilikina when they took him with the eighth pick in the draft. The pick that became Ntilikina could have been Donovan Mitchell (13th in the 2017 draft) or Bam Adebayo (14th) or even Kyle Kuzma (27th). When you have one star to build around (Porzingis), the following selections become crucial in forming a core.

    Nearly midway through Ntilikina's second season, it's unclear what position he should play. Is he a point guard who sometimes struggles to make plays? A two guard who struggles to shoot? A slightly undersized small forward?

    The Knicks are gearing up for a big offseason in which they'll try to attract a max free agent like Kevin Durant to join a young, up-and-coming core. Figuring out what they have in their second-year lottery pick has become a crucial plot point.

    frank ntilikina 2

    A potential 'game changer'

    One NBA coach told INSIDER that when everything is working for Ntilikina, he has the potential to be a "game changer."

    In today's NBA, everybody wants "three and D" players — guys who can spread the floor and hit open threes, then capably defend at the other end.

    What is the evolution of three-and-D players? Players who also add ball-handling and passing. Those are rarer than you think, and it's what Ntilikina could be.

    The defensive end is where Ntilikina shines. His defense will prevent him from becoming a bust.

    In less than two years, Ntilikina has made highlights for locking up the likes of James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

    The Knicks were borderline elite on defense last year with Ntilikina on the floor. This year, they've still improved, but their 110 defensive rating would still rank only 21st in the league. Ntilikina may not be in the model of a lockdown defender, à la Tony Allen, but he's already a plus defender who figures to improve.

    Much of the focus on Ntilikina still understandably falls on his offense.

    People around the NBA are unsure whether Ntilikina is a long-term point guard or at least a starting one. But this season has provided more evidence that Ntilikina functions better with the ball.

    Ntilikina has obvious vision. He's not an elite passer, and the best playmakers attack the basket with more gusto than he does. But he has shown he's comfortable setting up others.

    Ntilikina has struggled when he's played off the ball next to other guards. (The Knicks' guards would not be described as pass-first players, which is how Ntilikina plays.) Ntilikina told INSIDER that he believes he's made improvements off the ball — something that may be necessary for his long-term future, especially when his playmaking is good but not great.

    Playing off the ball "was not something I was used to last year," he said. "It's something Coach put me in the situation this year, and coming into the season he told me he expected me to be good at both."

    He added: "I didn't have no problem with it. Whatever is effective for the team, I'll do it. That's my role. I want the team to be successful. I practiced at it, I worked at it, and now I'm making improvements at it. But even if I'm still more comfortable at the point-guard position, if Coach called me and wanted me to play the two or the three, I'll do it."

    Despite his low percentages, Ntilikina's shot isn't broken. One Eastern Conference scout said that Ntilikina's form looks fine and that his 81% free-throw percentage indicates he can be a good shooter.

    After a string of DNPs in early December, Ntilikina reentered the Knicks lineup and exploded for 18 points in 20 minutes against the Charlotte Hornets. When his confidence is brimming, his shot looks smooth.

    There are tantalizing flashes from Ntilikina — stretches where he combines high-level defense with passable three-point shooting and an ability to set up others. That's a crucial piece to have in the NBA.

    Turning those flashes into sustained spells is the challenge.

    A confidence problem?

    Context is crucial with Ntilikina. He came to the NBA as a 19-year-old from France and is now adjusting to the second system in two years after his first coach and the person who drafted him were fired. Ups and downs are to be expected.

    But it's unclear why his confidence wavers, or whether the Knicks know the answer to Ntilikina's woes, namely on the offensive end.

    For the second straight year, Ntilikina has had an effective field-goal percentage (eFG%, a measure that weighs two-pointers, three-pointers, and free throws) below 42%. He has arguably been the least efficient scorer in the league this year — only one other player has posted an eFG% below 42% on more than 200 attempts (Jonathon Simmons).

    For a player who scouts think shoots relatively well, Ntilikina's low percentages are puzzling.

    The Knicks are reduced to intangibles when discussing Ntilikina's cold slumps.

    frank ntilikina 3"The big thing with me is for Frank to sustain his confidence throughout," Fizdale said after a December 17 loss to the Phoenix Suns in which Ntilikina began 3-of-6 from the field in first half, then went 0-of-5 in the second. "For all of his minutes out there, don't let anything bother him if anything goes wrong."

    Fizdale has said that he can see Ntilikina thinking out on the floor and that his goal is to get him to play confidently and worry-free.

    "I'm making improvements," Ntilikina told INSIDER. "I feel better on the court, so it's a good sign, and it gives me a motivation to work even harder for the future and become the best player I can be."

    Ntilikina has spoken openly about his transition from playing professionally in France, where point guards are less aggressive, to playing in the NBA, where point guards are asked to attack.

    "The goal is to make [attacking] become natural and just be aggressive at all times and making improvement with it," Ntilikina said. "I know I still got to get better with it. I will."

    One Knicks source who worked with Ntilikina had only positive reviews, describing Ntilikina as "receptive" and saying he doesn't often need to be told to do something twice. He has a reputation as a good teammate and a hard worker. He's shy, which bleeds into his game.

    Coaches worked with Ntilikina his rookie year to get him stronger and thought his reluctance in attacking the basket was partly physical.

    The same Knicks source said they thought Ntilikina had made improvements in attacking on offense — whether it's getting to the basket, getting to his spots, or setting up others — even if it's not necessarily reflected in numbers.

    Again, Ntilikina is only 20. Given all his adjustments and his raw tools, the entire process may take some time.

    The piece the Knicks might need

    david fizdale frankHow long will the Knicks allow that process to play out? Fizdale has defended Ntilikina, saying he's important to the team. The Knicks' president, Steve Mills, told reporters that developing Ntilikina's game and confidence was a crucial part of the coaching staff's job.

    Supporters could argue that Ntilikina's effectiveness with the ball and increased confidence when his shot is falling are reasons to give him more opportunities.

    Sure, but what player wouldn't thrive with more minutes, touches, and opportunities? Even with the context in mind, Ntilikina hasn't played that well this season. He has the ninth-worst player efficiency rating in the NBA, at 6.13 (15 is average), and only three players have posted a lower number in ESPN's "real plus-minus" measure.

    With the Knicks using the 2018-19 season like one large tryout, when other players play well, Ntilikina can get only so many opportunities.

    NBA sources who spoke to INSIDER were generally optimistic that Ntilikina would become a good player; some are intrigued by him now. The question is how quickly he'll get there.

    The Knicks need to clear more cap space if they hope to go after a max free agent like Kevin Durant. Ntilikina is owed $4.8 million next season and $6.1 million in 2020-21 if they pick up his option. In a time of rising NBA salaries, that's not a lot, but it's not insignificant either.

    One league source said Ntilikina would be a good buy-low option for other teams. If the Knicks feel good about their chances of landing a star player, it's worth asking if they could get a more ready-to-play option in exchange for Ntilikina. The source suggested the Knicks could be willing to move on from Ntilikina by arguing that he was Jackson's draft pick, not the current front office's.

    frank ntilikina kevin durantThe same source noted the irony in that thinking. If the Knicks were to land a player like Durant, they would also need a young, cost-controlled player like Ntilikina who can soak up some ball-handling, play defense, and maybe even space the floor. His growth would be important next to stars on a (likely) capped-out team.

    In some ways, Ntilikina will be a test of this Knicks team. Will they be willing to experience growing pains and stick with his development? We know the Knicks' immediate plan in the rebuild: go after a top free agent. What happens if they strike out on the top free agents is less clear.

    While speaking to INSIDER, Ntilikina twice described his development as a "process." If this Knicks rebuild is truly different from previous short-sighted retools, they may want to see how a player with the skills the modern NBA demands pans out.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the secret to curbing your appetite

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    priyanka chopra nick jonas ski trip

    • Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas traveled to Verbier, Switzerland for a ski trip. 
    • They went with a group of family and friends, including Nick's brother, Joe Jonas, and Joe's fiancée, "Game of Thrones" actress Sophie Turner.
    • The two couples shared several photos from the trip on social media.
    • Chopra and Nick Jonas were married in early December, while Turner and Joe Jonas will reportedly wed next summer.

    Newlyweds Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas shared several photos documenting a ski trip to Verbier, Switzerland this weekend with Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner.

    Chopra and Nick Jonas were married in early December in Jodhpur, India, and Nick's brother, Joe, is currently engaged to Turner, the actress who stars as Sansa on "Game of Thrones." The latter couple has been engaged since October 2017 and will reportedly marry in France in 2019

    "Happiness in the mountains," Chopra captioned a photo of herself and her husband posted to Instagram on Saturday. 

    Happiness in the mountains ⛰ ❤️💕

    A post shared by Priyanka Chopra Jonas (@priyankachopra) on Dec 29, 2018 at 7:54am PST on

    The two couples were also joined by additional family and friends. On Sunday, Chopra posted a series of photos from the vacation, including one that shows her standing with her brother, Siddarth; the youngest Jonas brother Frankie; and friends Tamanna Dutt, Cavanaugh James, Chris Ganter, and Martin Barlan.

    Ski life 🎿 💕😜

    A post shared by Priyanka Chopra Jonas (@priyankachopra) on Dec 30, 2018 at 6:08am PST on

    The same individuals appeared in an Instagram slideshow posted by Nick Jonas. "The mountains, my love, family and friends," his caption read. 

    The mountains, my love, family and friends.

    A post shared by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) on Dec 28, 2018 at 4:12pm PST on

    On Saturday, Joe Jonas shared two photos of himself posing with Turner. "Giving our best 80's ski vibes," he wrote. 

    Giving our best 80’s Ski Vibes 🎿 🏔

    A post shared by J O E J O N A S (@joejonas) on Dec 29, 2018 at 5:50am PST on

    And on Sunday, Turner posted photos showing she and her fiancé posing and then kissing before a backdrop of picturesque, snow-capped mountains. 

    Frosted fun n frolics

    A post shared by Sophie Turner (@sophiet) on Dec 30, 2018 at 5:14am PST on

    The Turner, Jonas, and Chopra families have continued to spend time together since the lavish, multi-day wedding of Nick and Priyanka earlier this month

    In an interview with AOL published December 10, Joe Jonas said that Turner and Chopra even have a special nickname for their deepening friendship: They call themselves the "J-sisters."

    Read more: Priyanka Chopra describes the moment at her wedding when she realized marrying Nick Jonas was 'the best decision of my life'

    "They have this camaraderie now that they feel is not only friendship, but it's family," Jonas said about their relationship. "They've gotten really close, and it's really cool to see their friendship grow." 

    All three families spent time celebrating Christmas together, too. On Twitter, Chopra shared a photo of several family members dressed up for Christmas Eve. And on Instagram, Turner shared a photo of a holiday celebration in England attended by her own parents and brother; Paul, Denise, Joe, Frankie, and Nick Jonas; and Priyanka and Madhu Chopra. 


    A post shared by Sophie Turner (@sophiet) on Dec 25, 2018 at 12:53pm PST on

    The caption was just one word: "Family."

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    NOW WATCH: 5 times celebrity kids appeared in movies with their parents

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    A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration

    Bitcoin is everywhere.

    The cryptocurrency is seemingly in the news every day as investors and businesses try to understand the future of this digital finance.

    But what is Bitcoin all about?

    Why is it suddenly on every financial news program?

    And what does it mean to you?

    Find out the answers to these questions and more in Bitcoin 101, a brand new FREE report from Business Insider Intelligence.

    To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.

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    Susan Wojcicki

    • In 1998, Susan Wojcicki rented her Menlo Park, California, garage to Sergey Brin and Larry Page for $1,700 per month. 
    • The next year, she would join Google as its 16th employee.
    • Below is a glimpse at the life of Susan Wojcicki and her rise at Google, from an early employee to YouTube's chief exec. 

    Most landlords only hope their renters pay on time, keep a tidy space, and don't disturb the neighbors. 

    But for Susan Wojcicki, her renters ended up offering up a bit more: the chance to become employee No. 16 at a young search engine startup called Google. 

    Of course, it's taken more than this incredible circumstance for Wojcicki to rise the ranks at Google. From expanding the company's ad business to convincing founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to purchase an up-and-coming video sharing service called YouTube, Wojcicki has played a vital role in Google becoming one of the world's most valuable companies. 

    Here's a glimpse at the life of Susan Wojcicki and her rise at Google, from employee No. 16 to YouTube's chief exec: 

    SEE ALSO: From Elon Musk to Satya Nadella: Here are the 29 top tech CEOs of 2018, according to employees

    Susan Wojcicki (pronounced whoa-jit-ski) is 50 years old and a Silicon Valley native.

    Source: Forbes

    Wojcicki grew up on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California, where her father, Stanley Wojcicki, was chair of the physics department.

    Source: USA Today

    Wojcicki's mother, Esther Wojcicki, has taught journalism at Palo Alto High School for more than two decades, where she's mentored notable students like Steve Jobs' daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, and actor James Franco.

    Source: Business Insider,SF Gate

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    General McChrystal 2697

    • Retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the presidency, saying the Commander in Chief is dishonest and immoral.

    • In an interview on "This Week," McChrystal told ABC's Martha Raddatz, "I don't think he tells the truth."
    • McChrystal was also critical of President Trump's recent visit to Iraq and his decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
    • McChrystal gave warning to anyone who might fill the vacancy left by former Defense Secretary James Mattis, stating that he personally would never take a role in the Trump administration. 

    Retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the presidency, saying the Commander in Chief is dishonest and immoral.

    In an interview on "This Week," McChrystal told ABC's Martha Raddatz, "I don't think he tells the truth," in reference to President Trump. 

    When asked if he thinks President Trump is immoral, McChrystal answered, "I think he is."

    McChrystal, a 34-year veteran of the US Army, served as the head of the Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 to 2008 and later assumed command of all international forces in Afghanistan in June 2009.

    In his recently published book on leadership, "Leaders: Myth and Reality," McChrystal criticized Trump for not embodying effective leadership.

    McChrystal addressed President Trump's recent visit to Iraq, in which Trump politicized a typically non-partisan event. In addition to talking about domestic political issues in his speech to troops, Trump autographed troops' “Make America Great Again” hats.

    Read more:Stanley McChrystal tells a story about a battalion commander in a backward T-shirt to illustrate his top 2 pieces of leadership advice

    “If the US military becomes politicized, it will become something we're not happy with,” said McChrystal. 

    McChrystal also disagreed with Trump's announcement to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, warning it would lead to "greater instability" in the Middle East.

    He also gave warning to anyone who might fill the vacancy left by former Defense Secretary James Mattis.

    “I would ask [potential candidates] to look in the mirror and ask them if they can get comfortable enough with President Trump's approach to governance, how he conducts himself with his values and with his worldview to be truly loyal to him as a commander in chief and going forward,” McChrystal said on This Week. “If there's too much of a disconnect then I would tell him I think it’s —it would be a bad foundation upon which to try to build a successful partnership at that job.”

    McChrystal said he would not take a job in the Trump administration if he were asked. "It's important to me to work for people that I think are basically honest, and who tell the truth as best they know it."

    SEE ALSO: US military says it's responsible for killing 1,139 civilians in its fight against ISIS — but others estimate much higher numbers

    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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    kellyanne conway lindsey graham

    • Sen. Lindsey Graham, the likely incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday he plans to hold hearings on the deaths of two children in Customs and Border Protection custody.
    • Graham's comments were the most concrete offer of action amid statements from various officials Sunday on the migrant children's deaths.
    • Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway also spoke out Sunday to criticize Democratic lawmakers for allegedly treating the deaths as "political pawns," calling the presidents' blame of Democrats an "important" point. 

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, the likely incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday he will hold hearings on the deaths of two children in Customs and Border Protection custody.

    Graham told CNN host Dana Bash he would also be looking at "the policies that entice people to come."

    "One of the mothers of these two children was not seeking asylum, she was just trying to come here to find a job," he added.

    Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, was the second Guatemalan child to die this month while being held by US authorities, sparking outrage from immigration advocates.

    The boy's death followed the death in early December of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, also from Guatemala. She died after being detained along with her father by US border agents in a remote part of New Mexico.

    Read more: Jakelin Caal, the 7-year-old who died in DHS custody, isn't the first immigrant child to pass away after government detainment. Her death shows not much has changed

    Graham's promise comes after top Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein last week called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing early next year, saying the committee is "uniquely situated to examine these issues."

    There are currently open investigations into both deaths.

    Customs and Border Protection chief Kevin McAleenan said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that agents did everything they could to get medical help for two children who subsequently died in their custody

    McAleenan told host Martha Raddatz it had been a decade since a child had died in the agency's custody and the loss of two Guatemalan children in three weeks has been "absolutely devastating."

    "Our agents did everything they could, as soon as these children manifested symptoms of illness, to save their lives," McAleenan said.

    After the second death, the CBP said it will conduct secondary medical checks on all children in its custody, with a focus on those under 10.

    McAleenan ultimately stayed away from assigning responsibility for the deaths, and instead said the deaths represented "a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted solution." 

    Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway called the deaths "tragic" on CNN's "State of the Union," but objected to the policy discussions resulting from the deaths.

    "I don't like some of these Democrats using these deaths as political pawns," Conway told host Dana Bash.

    Conway went on to criticize Democratic lawmakers and leadership, asking "Where are they?" Conway did not mention Feinstein's letter to Graham requesting hearings on the matter.

    "We haven't heard from them," Conway said. "It's complete crickets.

    She added: "Let's have a bipartisan solution."

    Conway's comments come a day after Trump tweeted to blame Democrats for the children's deaths, connecting the gridlock in Congress that has prevented the construction of a border wall.

    When asked about a Saturday tweet in which the president said "Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies," Conway said, "the president’s point is an important one."

    Tensions over the Trump administration's immigration policies reached a fever pitch as the federal government entered a partial shutdown last week over congressional gridlock that failed to secure Trump's desired $5-billion for a wall along the southern US border. 

    SEE ALSO: Outgoing chief of staff John Kelly blamed Jeff Sessions for family separation policy in new interview

    DON'T MISS: The mother of an 8-year-old migrant boy who died in Border Patrol custody says he wasn't sick on his journey to the US

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