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The latest news from Business Insider

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    harold hamm

    • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, announced Wednesday via Twitter that he and his wife, MacKenzie, would divorce.
    • It was reported on Thursday the couple do not have a prenuptial agreement.
    • One infamous instance of a billionaire going through a divorce without a prenup was Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm.

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is the world's richest man, said Wednesday via Twitter that he and his wife, MacKenzie, planned to divorce after 25 years of marriage. 

    TMZ reported Thursday the Bezoses do not have a prenuptial agreement, citing "sources with direct knowledge" of the matter.

    Some could draw a comparison between the Bezoses' impending split — if in fact there is no prenup — and that of another billionaire, oil magnate Harold Hamm.

    Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources, was ordered in November of 2014 to pay his ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall, nearly $1 billion in cash and assets when the couple divorced after 26 years of marriage. At the time, the marital estate was said to be worth $18 billion. There was no prenup.

    Arnall had sought billions more than the $974,790,317.77 she was awarded. Their case began in 2012, and concluded after two and a half years; the judgement was among the largest-ever in a U.S. divorce. Here's a copy of the handwritten check from Hamm to Arnall:

    harold hamm check

    But the Bezos divorce is likely to have a much bigger payday for MacKenzie. Jeff is worth $137 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the world's richest person. 

    Furthermore, since the divorce proceedings are likely to take place in Washington — MacKenzie could benefit from that state's community property divorce rules, where a 50/50 split applies to the estate. Hamm's divorce, meanwhile, played out in Oklahoma, an equitable-distribution state, meaning the assets are divided "fairly" at a judge's discretion

    Still, any final ruling will be for the judge to decide. 

    Read more on the Bezoses' divorce:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The equity chief at $6.3 trillion BlackRock weighs in on the trade war, a possible recession, and offers her best investing advice for a tricky 2019 landscape


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    • Life insurance is fundamentally hard to sell; it’s morbid to think about, promises no immediate rewards, and often requires a lengthy paper application with minimal guidance.
    • Despite the popularity of personalized products in other areas of finance and fintech, life insurance largely remains unchanged.
    • A small, but growing pocket of insurtech startups are shaking up the status quo by finding ways to digitize life insurance and increase its appeal.

    Life insurance is a fundamentally difficult product to sell; it requires people to think about their deaths without promising any immediate returns.

    Life Insurance Graphic

    And, despite tech innovations and the development of personalized services in other areas of finance, life insurance remains largely unchanged.

    Luckily, there is a small but growing pocket of insurtech startups looking to modernize it. These companies are finding ways to digitize life insurance to  appeal to consumers — and they’re giving incumbents the opportunity to revamp traditional offerings, either by partnering with them or using their technology.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has forecasted the shifting landscape of life insurance in the The Future of Life Insurance report. Here are the key problems insurtechs are tackling:

    • Lack of education: Forty percent of US consumers told the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) that they feel intimidated by the life insurance application process, often drastically overestimating its cost and facing uncertainty about how much or which type of coverage to buy.
    • Inconvenient application process: It can take weeks or months for coverage to take effect because of the sheer number of meetings and parties combing through paperwork in each round of the application process. The risk for the insurer often warrants reviews from the carrier, a team of underwriters, a broker, and even a medical examiner.
    • Low customer loyalty: Life insurance tends to be a “set it and forget it” type of purchase, with very few people revisiting it after buying. Insurers and consumers therefore have limited contact for most of the relationship — with the exception of an annual bill, of course.
    • Inefficient data management and processing: The aggregate data life insurers rely on is typically fed into algorithms that make broad assumptions about particular populations, and often incorporate outdated medical documentation — all of which can delay applications and result in unnecessary rejections.

    Want to learn more?

    The need for modernization in life insurance is clear: Overall sales are slowing and policy ownership is hitting record lows. And because it’s such a tightly-regulated space, innovation from incumbents has stagnated — but they’re not helpless. Consumer-focused and insurer-focused startups have emerged to offer new technologies and process improvements.

    The Future of Life Insurance report from Business Insider Intelligence looks at the two main strategies life insurtechs are adopting to drive change in this market, for the benefit of both buyers and sellers. In full, the report discusses best practices incumbents and startups should adopt to steer clear of the risks attached to applying emerging technologies to such a tightly regulated product.

    Insurtech startups will soon set new industry standards and consumer expectations around this complex product. That, in turn will serve as a catalyst for innovation among legacy players.

    Companies included in this report: Ladder, Haven Life, Getsurance, Tomorrow, Fabric, Atidot, AllLife, Royal London, Polly, Life.io, Legal & General, Vitality, Discovery, John Hancock, Dai-ichi Life.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Lefortovo Prison

    • Vladimir Zherebenkov, the Russian lawyer for US citizen Paul Whelan, was in the Dominican Republic on Thursday as his office filed a request for his client to be released on bail. 
    • Whelan was arrested in Moscow on New Year's Eve and charged with espionage. 
    • The prison in which he's being held was built in the 19th century, where people were tortured and killed throughout the Soviet era.
    • Zherebenkov is a former Soviet government investigator who's never before represented a foreign citizen charged with espionage.

    A Russian lawyer representing a US citizen who's been detained on espionage charges in Russia is on vacation as his client sits in one of the most infamous prisons in Moscow. 

    Vladimir Zherebenkov, who's representing Paul Whelan, was in the Dominican Republic on Thursday as his office filed a request for his client to be released on bail

    Zherebenkov told The Daily Beast the detention center Whelan in which is currently being held, Lefortovo prison, is closed for the holidays and there's not much he can do for him this week. Lefortovo, built in the 19th century, was where people were tortured and killed throughout the Soviet era. It has a notorious reputation in Moscow. 

    "Paul is absolutely healthy, his heart is in good shape, he has been checked by the investigators," Zherebenkov said. "What makes me happy is that he does not lose his spirit, as many people do in his situation."

    Read more:Paul Whelan, the US Marine veteran detained in Russia, has been charged with espionage, state media reports

    Lefortovo Prison

    The Russian lawyer was reportedly tapped to be Whelan's attorney by the same investigators with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) who arrested him. 

    Zherebenkov is a former Soviet government investigator who's never before represented a foreign citizen charged with espionage, and he reportedly has close ties to the FSB. He's typically represented famous Russians, including oligarchs, politicians, and alleged smugglers, according to The Washington Post.

    Zherebenkov told the Post that Whelan sought him out for representation, seemingly contradicting reports suggesting the FSB appointed him. But he also said that "who recommended me to Whelan is a secret between me and him."

    Read more:Here's a look at the infamous Russian prison where US citizen Paul Whelan is being held on espionage charges

    "I defend famous people," Zherebenkov added. "So it makes sense that I defend Paul Whelan."

    Whelan, 48, does not fit the typical profile of a spy, experts have said. Whelan's family also insists he's not a spy.

    Bizarre details surrounding his life, such as the fact he's a citizen of four countries, have added to confusion surrounding his arrest and the charges against him. Whelan, who's a global security chief for a Michigan-based auto supplies company, is also a former US Marine and was discharged for poor conduct. 

    But Zherebenkov has essentially contended he believes his client his guilty. 

    Speaking on the unusual circumstances surrounding Whelan's arrest by the FSB, Zherebenkov told The Daily Beast, "They are highly professional investigators. Of course to avoid a scandal they double-checked all their reasons before they accused him."

    Zherebenkov then complained that "Americans arrest our innocent citizens all the time," perhaps alluding to the case of accused Russian spy Maria Butina, and claimed Russians don't detain innocent people. 

    "If they grabbed the person, it means they have serious reason for that, they can prove his guilt," he said. 

    Read more:National-security experts say a US Marine veteran detained in Russia doesn’t fit the profile of a spy, but he could be a bargaining chip for a prisoner swap

    Some former members of the US intelligence community believe Whelan was arrested so the Russians can swap him for Butina. Relatedly, Zherebenkov has expressed hope that Whelan will open the possibility of bring home "one Russian soul."

    "I myself hope that we can rescue and bring home one Russian soul," the Russian lawyer recently told The New York Times.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    BART car

    • San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit system is introducing hundreds of new train cars in hopes of improving service.
    • As the new cars arrive, the agency will soon run out of room to store the old ones.
    • BART plans to entertain a suggestion to convert the old train cars into much-needed housing. 

    Public transit is undergoing a major overhaul in San Francisco. The city's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system recently unveiled a multibillion-dollar plan to build the "Fleet of the Future," a series of high-tech train cars that promise a "quieter, cooler, and more comfortable ride."

    In November, BART placed an order for more than 700 new cars, with the agency setting aside funds for up to 1,200. Starting in spring 2019, the agency expects to have ten new cars delivered each month.

    Read more:A $2 billion transit center in San Francisco shut down just months after it opened. Here's everything that's gone wrong.

    At that rate, BART would run out of room to house its older trains by 2020. 

    BART train new

    The agency is now weighing some surprising ideas for how to make use of the original cars.

    At a Thursday meeting, BART's board of directors will entertain solutions to create a museum, donate the old cars to the US army, or sell them for scraps.  

    They'll also consider a proposal to convert the cars into new housing — something the Bay Area desperately needs.

    Rising rents and home prices, along with a set of neo-liberal housing policies, have contributed to a shortage of affordable homes in San Francisco and its surrounding areas. In the urban core, this has generated a mounting homelessness crisis that the United Nations recently dubbed a "human rights violation."

    Transforming abandoned BART cars into new homes or homeless shelters could give the Bay Area an opportunity to tackle two issues at once. 

    BART san francisco

    Like housing investments, transportation improvements are much-needed in San Francisco. Around 34% of the city's residents rely on public transit. By its own benchmark, the city has determined that its light rail service is unreliable compared to peer cities like Boston and Los Angeles. 

    "It is a complicated balancing act because we have an operational need to expand service and lengthen trains...and we're figuring out what to do with the old ones as they are retired," BART's special projects manager, Philip Kamhi, said in a blog post

    For now, the board remains open to ideas. 

    "One day in the future, there will be a retirement announcement and ceremony as the last of the original BART cars rolls off into the sunset," the agency said online. "You've got some time if you'd like to share input."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The worst thing people do to wake up in the morning, according to a sleep scientist


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    ces 2019

    • I went to CES, the biggest tech show in the world, for the first time since 2012.
    • To be honest, not much has changed since the last time I went seven years ago.

    LAS VEGAS — Thousands of people flock to Nevada in the first weeks of January for the biggest annual tech show in the world — and this year, I was one of them.

    I hadn't been back to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) — or Las Vegas, for that matter — since 2012, which was the last time I had been sent on assignment to cover the tech showcase.

    Seven years is a very long time in the world of technology. Just think about smartphones made seven years ago: We were on the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 back then.

    So, I was expecting the 2019 show would be different. Better. More interesting.

    Perhaps, I would see tech that addressed issues that have only gotten more important over the past decade, like climate change.

    That didn't really happen.

    What I saw in 2012, I saw in 2019

    At CES 2012, 8K displays were the star of the show. In 2019, 8K displays are still the star — albeit more companies are making them than ever before.

    lg oled waterfall ces 2019

    Electric cars and concept cars were also a hit back in 2012. It's the same deal in 2019.

    In 2012, I took dozens of photos of smartphone accessories, robots that can clean your home and keep you company, and smart appliances that talk to each other. In 2019, I felt like I was seeing all the same stuff again, including Roomba knock-offs, smart refrigerators and washing machines, and smart home-monitoring equipment.

    Read: The best smart-home device we saw at CES 2019

    And, of course, I saw dozens upon dozens of people napping in the showroom floor. Many of them lined the hallway leading to the media rooms, but most of them set up shop in one of the hundreds of massage chairs on display at CES. That was just like my last trip, too.

    Some things are definitely better

    For what it's worth, the Consumer Electronics Show has certainly improved in some areas.

    Cars, in particular, seem to have vastly improved. Most companies are now pushing all-green, all-electric, and mostly autonomous experiences. And while their outside form factors haven't changed too drastically, companies are experimenting with more unique designs for the car's interior, to provide more customizable experiences. This year, one of my favorite exhibits was from Magna, which showed how seats could automatically shift around in a next-generation car or van to fit the changing needs of the passengers.

    I also noticed fewer instances of female objectification — "booth babes"— than the last time I attended CES, and that's a good thing. Still, I was not happy every time I saw a woman wearing an ornate, revealing outfit for the sole purpose of presentation, and I still saw this more often than I would like.

    These women are not expected to talk to people; just to stand, smile, and look pretty as random men take their pictures. While I didn't notice as many gross instances as I did in 2012, I was still disappointed to see so many companies like Nikon failing in this regard.

    nikon booth babe

    You can't stuff the genie back in the bottle

    The last time I was at CES, it was Microsoft's final year of attending, and having a big booth, at the show.

    Years later, I definitely notice the impact of bigger companies pulling out of CES.

    microsoft ces booth 21

    The biggest companies commanded the most attention at CES 2019: Google, Amazon, Samsung, LG, and the big automakers like Mercedes-Benz were on everyone's lips. Smaller companies did have some unique inventions to show off, but they didn't offer anything nearly as impressive or futuristic as the bigger companies, which makes sense. Tech giants have more money to spend toward research and development, sales, advertising, and of course, having massive booths and hotel suites at the biggest tech show in the world.

    Still, the absences of Microsoft and Apple at CES are meaningful. They're two of the most influential tech companies in the world and they choose to hold their own events throughout the year instead of participating in this massive show. And that sets a precedent. It wouldn't be surprising to see Google and Amazon ditch CES in the coming years, too, for similar reasons — perhaps to give their own announcements more oomph and exclusivity.

    CES is probably not going to change anytime soon

    coffee robot ces 2019While some attendees go to CES every single year, many people are first-timers, and this show is their first glimpse into the future. And that's great!

    Overall, I like what CES symbolizes — optimism, and progress — which are nice things to think about at the start of a new year.

    But I hope CES continues to improve: I hope it finds a way to keep bigger companies coming back to the show, and I hope it encourages even more outlandish innovations, displays, and presentations to make the show feel a little more different from year to year.

    I also hope CES finds a better way to showcase tech that addresses prevalent and immediate issues, like climate change, because if that tech was at the show I couldn't find it.

    CES does a great job at introducing people to the world of cutting-edge consumer tech. But for those people who go every year, or every few years, it doesn't offer much in the way of newness. Many technologies shown off are iterative improvements, not radical reimaginings.

    CES may not be able to control the companies that attend and present at the show, but I hope to see the Consumer Technology Association, the group that operates CES, try harder to make each show look and feel a little different from past years.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Apple went from a $1 trillion company to losing over 20% of its share price in 3 months


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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.

    volition beauty review 2

    • The beauty and skincare world is known for having highly involved customers, but few companies so directly loop them into the product development process as Volition Beauty
    • Its model lets members submit their own product ideas, and if they receive enough support from fellow members, Volition will create and sell the products on its website and at Sephora
    • Cool user-generated beauty products include Turmeric Brightening Polish ($38) and Snow Mushroom Water Serum ($62). They're all made with clean ingredients and come with free shipping, returns, and a sample-sized tester. 

    In a world full of beauty and skincare products that hydrate, moisturize, illuminate, tighten, and exfoliate your face and body, sometimes you still can't find the one that will do exactly what you want. 

    Every great innovation starts with the question of "What if?"— which is exactly what the community members of Volition Beauty ask when thinking about the beauty products they need in their lives but don't see available on the shelves.

    "What if blurring primers weren't just for your face?"

    "What if your eyeshadow wasn't just for looks?"

    "What if I could get the exact amount of sunscreen I needed daily?" 

    These are just a few of the real-life concerns members have that are soon going to be translated into actual products through Volition's democratic platform that connects beauty enthusiasts with experienced chemists, R&D teams, and labs. 

    The answers to the above questions, by the way, are a smooth and hydrating full body-friendly balm that fills in pores and fine lines; an eyeshadow containing Konjac root, which will retain moisture and reduce wrinkles on the eyes; and a non-greasy SPF 30 sunscreen in the form of small pre-dosed pearls. 

    Here's how Volition's process of ideation to shoppable product works:

    1. Submit your idea: Volition's team reviews it for feasibility, brand fit and market potential. 
    2. Develop the prototype: If your idea is accepted, you'll work with the company to further develop the concept, product profile, campaign (where the idea can be voted on by fellow members), and prototype. 
    3. Post the campaignIt's now up to the community to decide whether your idea is a product they would actually buy and use. 
    4. See your product idea come to life: If it gets the necessary number of votes in a given time period, it will be made into a product to be sold on the site's shop

    Screen Shot 2019 01 10 at 10.39.16 AM

    Volition Beauty is every beauty and skincare enthusiast's dream company, not only for its unique involvement of members, but also for its clean formulation standards. 

    While it takes traditional beauty brands three to six months to bring a new product to market, Volition only takes three to six weeks. In this speedy process that involves a large network of development and manufacturing partners, it adheres to strict formulation guidelines. Shoppers are scrutinizing product labels with a thoroughness like never before, and Volition is listening to their concerns.

    Its list of banned ingredients include sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, aluminum, BHA, and BHT. Its products are also certified cruelty-free. This level of care, balanced with high efficiency and shopper involvement, is rare in the beauty industry, and Volition's mastery of it all is a promising sign for the future of beauty. 

    Unsurprisingly, the final products are a hit. 

    I tried Volition's Turmeric Brightening Polish ($38, also available at Sephora) and Snow Mushroom Water Serum ($62, also available at Sephora).

    The polish, containing turmeric, olive oil, sandalwood, and walnut shell, is an exfoliant that cleaned, softened, and brightened my skin without stripping it of moisture. I went through a period of time when I was using exfoliants that were too harsh and irritating on my skin, making me nervous to try the polish, but after easing into it and realizing how gentle it was, I became a bonafide fan.

    volition beauty review

    The serum uses snow mushroom extract to deliver and lock in hydration. It left my skin unmistakably bouncy and plump every time I used it, and I noticed after a few weeks of consistent use that my skin was also softer. 

    You'll be happy to hear it's also easy to receive, try, and return Volition's products. It offers free US shipping, proof testers, and returns. With each product purchase, you'll get a sample size to try out first. If it works well, simply keep the full size. If not, you can return the unopened full size product for free. 

    Beauty brands often claim to be behind "the next big thing," but it's only at Volition where you can have a hand in the process and shop products with proven backing. 

    Submit or vote on an idea, and shop all beauty products at Volition Beauty here

    Shop Volition Beauty products at Sephora here

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Robert Mueller

    • This week brought a slew of new developments in Russia news.
    • The special counsel Robert Mueller notched a victory from the Supreme Court.
    • New York prosecutors charged a Kremlin-connected lawyer with obstruction of justice.
    • Media reports said deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein may soon be leaving the Justice Department.
    • Lawyers representing Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, accidentally revealed sensitive details about Manafort’s alleged lies to Mueller.
    • Two years after BuzzFeed News first published the unverified "Steele dossier", several of its claims have held up over time.

    The special counsel Robert Mueller's "quiet period" is officially over.

    This week brought a slew of new developments on multiple fronts related to the Russia investigation and key figures connected to the probe. Here's what you need to know:

    The Supreme Court handed Mueller a victory in his mystery grand-jury subpoena case:

    Mueller has been duking it out with a mysterious foreign corporation over a grand-jury subpoena since last August.

    The company has been fighting the subpoena, saying that doing so would violate the law in "Country A." In December, a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, struck down the company's argument and ordered it to comply with the subpoena. It also imposed a fine for each day the company did not cooperate with Mueller.

    The company appealed to the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts placed a temporary freeze on the fines while the court considered the case. But the Supreme Court ultimately declined to intervene, holding up the lower court's ruling.

    Paul Manafort's lawyers screwed up ... again:

    In a Tuesday court filing, lawyers representing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort made a formatting error and accidentally unsealed sensitive information about Manafort's alleged lies.

    The information, which was supposed to be redacted in the filing, revealed that Mueller believes Manafort lied about sharing confidential Trump campaign polling data with the former Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik.

    Prosecutors say the information was intended for two Ukrainian oligarchs, and the news prompted speculation over whether Manafort provided the information as part of a quid pro quo for his political consulting work.

    His spokesperson denied that was the case, and Manafort's team continues pushing back against Mueller's claim that he breached his plea deal.

    The two-year anniversary of the Steele dossier:

    Thursday marks two years since BuzzFeed News published the so-called Steele dossier. Many of the dossier's claims remain uncorroborated. But several allegations have proven, in part, to have held up over time.

    That includes some of the document's claims about a direct link between Russia and the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee and subsequent dissemination of stolen emails through WikiLeaks; some of Trump's business dealings in Russia; former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page's meetings during a shadowy Moscow trip; and Manafort's deep ties to Russian and Ukrainian interests.

    A Kremlin-connected lawyer was charged with obstruction of justice:

    Federal prosecutors in New York indicted Natalia Veselnitskaya, the self-identified Kremlin "informant" and lawyer, accusing her of secretly working with a top Russian prosecutor to hamper a Justice Department investigation into an alleged money-laundering operation that involved an elaborate Russian tax-fraud scheme and implicated high-level Kremlin officials.

    Veselnitskaya made headlines in 2017 when it surfaced that she met with several top Trump campaign officials during the 2016 election to offer them compromising information on then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton "as part of Russia and its government's support" for President Donald Trump's candidacy.

    Rod Rosenstein's impending departure from the Justice Department:

    Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein is said to be preparing to leave the Justice Department after William Barr, Trump's nominee for attorney general, is confirmed by the Senate later this month.

    Some media reports said Rosenstein would stay on not only until Barr's confirmation, but also until Mueller's investigation was nearly wrapped up.

    Legal experts said the news itself indicates the investigation could formally end soon, but that it is an unlikely possibility given a number of looming indictments that have yet to drop. A federal judge in Washington, DC, recently extended Mueller's grand jury for another six months.

    Either way, one Justice Department veteran said the myriad court cases stemming from the probe would continue past Rosenstein's departure, potentially generating new evidence, cooperators, and charges.

    SEE ALSO: Grading the Steele dossier 2 years later: what’s been corroborated and what's still unclear

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    JetBlue.

    • JetBlue is running a contest to see Lin-Manuel Miranda in “Hamilton” in Puerto Rico.
    • The giveaway kicked off today, Jan. 10, and runs through the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 16.
    • The prize includes two round-trip tickets from New York to San Juan, two tickets to “Hamilton” at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center and a one-night hotel stay.

     

    Lin-Manuel Miranda may have stepped away from “Hamilton” in July 2016, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of chances to see the Tony winner perform the title role in the hip-hop-inspired historical musical that made him famous.

    Not if JetBlue has anything to say about it, at least.

    That’s right, the budget airline is running a contest to see Miranda in “Hamilton” in Puerto Rico as part of its Duel Seats: JetBlue’s “Hamilton” in Puerto Rico Ticket Giveaway, which kicked off today and runs through the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 16.

    Here’s how the sweepstakes works, according to JetBlue:

    • The entry period opens at 9:00 a.m. ET two days before each performance and closes at 8:59 a.m. ET the next day.
    • To enter, complete the required fields here. (Entry is free.)
    • A winner (plus a guest of their choosing) will be announced every morning and will be flown from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Puerto Rico the following day to catch that evening’s performance.
    • The prize includes a one-night hotel stay in San Juan.

     

    The Tony-winning musical opens Jan. 11 at Puerto Rico’s Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center, with Miranda reprising the title role, Broadway World reported. The engagement, which runs through Jan. 27, will raise money for the Flamboyan Arts Fund, an initiative “dedicated to supporting institutions and arts groups as well as musicians, galleries, and other cultural spaces and workers.”

    Giveaway winners will be contacted via phone and email every morning, and will have one hour to accept the prize and complete a winner verification form. Another entry will be selected if you don’t respond in time, so keep an eye on your phone and be ready!

    Sign up here to get INSIDER's favorite stories straight to your inbox.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tried the Costco food court and it totally blew us away


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    duncan hunter

    • Rep. Duncan Hunter has called for President Donald Trump to intervene for a Navy SEAL chief being held in pre-trial confinement for the alleged murder of a wounded IS fighter.
    • Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher is awaiting court-martial for charges that he stabbed the 15-year-old in the neck while the fighter was being treated.
    • Hunter, a Marine veteran, visited Gallagher in the brig at Miramar, California, which he says is "not an appropriate venue for an American war hero."
    • Hunter has requested that the White House intervene to find nicer arrangements for the SEAL while he awaits court-martial.
    • Gallagher's attorneys expect the judge to decide Thursday whether he will be released from pre-trial confinement.

    Rep. Duncan Hunter is asking President Donald Trump to intervene on behalf of a Navy SEAL currently awaiting court-martial for alleged war crimes stemming from the 2017 killing of a wounded Islamic State fighter.

    Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher was arrested September 11, 2018 and has been held in pre-trial confinement while he awaits court-martial. Hunter, a congressman and Marine veteran, visited Gallagher in the brig at Miramar, California, where he is being held.

    After the visit, Hunter sent a letter to Trump, calling for the president to intervene on Gallagher's behalf. The congressman wrote that the brig is "not an appropriate venue for an American war hero."

    According to Hunter, Gallagher's children must wear hospital gowns during visits so as not to attract attention from other prisoners, who the congressman says are mostly convicted sex offenders. Hunter also argues that pre-trial confinement has infringed on Gallagher's right to a fair and speedy trial. 

    The congressman says Gallagher could not meet with his initial representation for eight weeks, and that his current attorneys face barriers when attempting to contact and meet with their client. 

    "A Navy SEAL with eight combat deployments and two Bronze Stars with Valor deserves better," Hunter wrote.

    In a statement to The San Diego Union-Tribune, a spokeswoman for Navy Personnel Command said that "excessively tight or revealing clothing" would violate the brig's dress code for visitation, but did not comment on Hunter's statement.

    Read more:Prosecutors allege a Navy SEAL killed a wounded ISIS fighter with a hunting knife and held his head for photos

    Prosecutors say that during a deployment in Iraq, the SEAL stabbed a 15-year-old IS militant in the neck while he was being treated for wounds sustained in an air strike. The SEAL then allegedly conducted a reenlistment ceremony next to the body and posed for photographs while he held the dead fighter's head.

    Read more:Navy SEAL accused of brutal killing allegedly threatened to blackmail his teammates: 'I have s--- on all of you'

    Charges also include obstruction of justice for alleged attempts to blackmail fellow SEALs. Prosecutors say the SEAL threatened to publicly disclose the names of colleagues who cooperated with investigators, which he ascertained through initials found on warrants used to search his home.

    Gallagher's court-martial is scheduled to begin February 19. A judge in the case is expected to decide Thursday whether the SEAL will remain in pre-trial confinement.

    "Congressman Hunter calls on the President to personally review the situation in the hope that the White House will assist in Chief Gallagher's removal from the Miramar Brig, providing for a more suitable arrangement to be put into place," Hunter said in a Wednesday press release.

    Hunter has used similar arguments of politicization within the justice system to defend against his own indictment.

    Read more:'It's happening with Trump, it's happening with me': Embattled congressman Duncan Hunter claims Justice Department used 'every dirty trick in the book' for his indictment

    The congressman and his wife face charges of misusing $250,000 in campaign funds for a wide range of personal expenses, including vacations, groceries, and meals. The Department of Justice indictment says the couple hid their spending by filing the expenses as gifts for wounded veterans.

    "This is modern politics and modern media, mixed in with law enforcement that has a political agenda," Hunter told ABC News affiliate KGTV in August. He and his wife have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is 35 — here's how he became one of the world's scariest dictators


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    As consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce for all their shopping needs, speedy fulfillment isn’t just a “nice to have” — it’s the expectation of every online shopping experience. And if logistics companies and their retail partners want a shot at thwarting the ever-looming threat of Amazon Prime, it needs to be a priority.

    last mile share of delivery costs

    As a result, businesses have begun racing to develop new technologies and experimental supply chain models to increase parcel volume, expedite deliveries, and delight customers — all while trying to cut costs. Unfortunately, one of their biggest expenses and challenges is same-day, last mile shipping.

    In a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, we take a look at shipping logistics, the last mile problem, and how companies can adapt to the new challenges of e-commerce shipping. Read on to learn some of the highlights of this increasingly prevalent disruption.

    What is last mile delivery?

    In a product’s journey from warehouse shelf to customer doorstep, the “last mile” of delivery is the final step of the process — the point at which the package finally arrives at the buyer’s door. In addition to being a key to customer satisfaction, last mile delivery is both the most expensive and time-consuming part of the shipping process.

    What is the last mile problem?

    If you’ve ever tracked a package online and saw that it was “out for delivery” for what felt like forever, you already understand that the last mile problem is inefficiency. That’s because the final leg of shipment typically involves multiple stops with low drop sizes.

    In rural areas, delivery points along a particular route could be several miles apart, with only one or two packages getting dropped off at each one. In cities, the outlook isn’t much better; what urban areas make up for in stop proximity is quickly negated by the near constant delays of traffic congestion.

    The costs and inefficiencies of the last mile problem have only been further compounded by the continuous rise of e-commerce in US retail sales, which has dramatically increased the number of parcels delivered each day, as well as raised customer expectations to include not just fast, but also free, delivery.

    What are the costs of last mile delivery?

    As a share of the total cost of shipping, last mile delivery costs are substantial — comprising 53% overall. And with the growing ubiquitousness of “free shipping,” customers are less willing to foot a delivery fee, forcing retailers and logistics partners to shoulder the cost. As such, it’s become the first place they’re looking to implement new technologies and drive process improvements.

    Technology solutions to improve last mile logistics

    With the rise of the gig economy, many consumers are already familiar with the concept of crowdsourcing local services through digital platforms like Uber, Airbnb, and Postmates. Location-based crowdsourcing allows consumers to open a mobile app to hail a ride, book a place to stay, order coffee to the office, hire a handyman to mount a TV, send flowers to that special someone, or even schedule takeout to arrive just as they’re walking through their apartment door.

    Postmates_Anywhere

    The crowdsourcing model has been prevalent in transportation, hospitality, and food delivery for some time now, and retailers are eyeing its low startup costs, asset-light operations, and improved customer experience to ease their last mile delivery woes.

    With crowdsource technology, retailers, logistics partners, and consumers can connect directly with local, non-professional couriers who use their own transportation to make deliveries. Companies can get their online orders to customers faster, and customers can get their items when and where they want them. The freedom to make on-demand and scheduled deliveries also ensures that customers are home at the time of delivery — eliminating the need for a second (or third) attempt.

    And with the ongoing integration and enhancement of automation across industries, it’s likely we’ll start seeing delivery robots, drones, and self-driving vehicles making many of these drop-offs in the not-so-far future.

    Explore last mile logistics challenges, solutions and trends

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service,  has written a detailed report on crowdsourced delivery that:

    • Details the factors driving investment and growth in crowdsourced delivery startups.
    • Examines the benefits and drawbacks of using crowdsourcing to deliver online orders.
    • Explains how crowdsourced delivery startups can improve their cost efficiencies to tackle greater delivery volumes
    • Explores the role that crowdsourcing will play in the future of delivery once automated delivery options, like drones and robots, arrive.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Retailers are looking for ways to deliver goods faster to consumers' doorsteps to stave off Amazon's threat and meet customer expectations.
    • To accomplish that, retailers and delivery providers are zeroing in on the "last mile" of fulfillment, the most expensive and time-consuming part of the delivery process, which is when a package reaches the customer's address.
    • Startups like Postmates, Instacart, and others are looking to disrupt the last mile delivery space by leveraging the "Uber model," and connecting businesses to non-professional couriers who can deliver goods instantly.
    • Crowdsourcing can drastically speed up deliveries in urban areas, where there is a high density of deliveries and potential couriers to be matched.
    • However, as delivery volumes increase, crowdsourced delivery startups will need to further optimize their deliveries to improve cost efficiencies.
    • Many of the deliveries these startups perform today will likely be automated in the future, raising the possibility that these startups may eventually look to incorporate new technologies like delivery drones or self-driving delivery vehicles. 

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

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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    Oscar statue Christopher Polk Getty

    There’s nothing better to help a Hollywood career than Oscar buzz.

    Though you can make the argument that some of people in the race this year — like Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Mahershala Ali — are going to do just fine in their careers regardless if they get Oscar nominated (chances are very high all three of these people will), for others who are in contention this year, it marks the moment in their careers when they elevate their profile to the next level.

    For some, being an Oscar contender means getting bigger projects and heftier pay days. For others, especially those in the below-the-line categories, getting nominated or winning a little gold statue can solidify a career.

    Here are eight Hollywood players who are getting the most out of their Oscar buzz:

    SEE ALSO: The 43 biggest movies coming out in 2019, which could propel the box office to another record-breaking year

    Olivia Colman (Actress) — "The Favourite"

    Colman has had an established career in the UK for over a decade, but with her acclaimed performance as Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite" (which has already earned her a Golden Globes win), it's likely roles for her will only increase on this side of the pond.

    It's likely Colman will be nominated in the best actress Oscar category when nominations are revealed later this month. Competition to win will be tough with Lady Gaga ("A Star Is Born") and Glenn Close ("The Wife") also likely to be nominated as well. But in the case of Colman, getting the nomination is the win. 



    John David Washington (Actor) — "BlacKkKlansman"

    John David Washington has spent most of his life trying to not follow in his famous dad's footsteps. Being the son of Denzel Washington, John only recently got into acting as most of his life, he tried to become a pro football player (which made him the perfect fit to star in the HBO series "Ballers"). Now in the family business, John is forging an impressive career path thanks to one of the directors who made his dad an icon, Spike Lee. 

    John playing Ron Stallworth in "BlacKkKlansman" is a major reason why Lee will likely get a best director Oscar nomination. Though it's a longshot that John will get a nomination, his performance in the movie will launch him to big roles. 



    Tony McNamara (Screenwriter) — "The Favourite"

    This Australian writer's exposure in Hollywood has jumped big time thanks to taking on a rework of "The Favourite." Originally penned by Deborah Davis, McNamara teamed with director Yorgos Lanthimos when he became attached to the project. They worked on making the story even more focused on the three main female leads than it originally was, while also plugging in the little quirks that makes a Lanthimos project so unique.

    On top of McNamara and Lanthimos working on another project together, "The Favourite" is a (sorry) favorite to win the Oscar for best original screenplay.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    City Hall subway station exit

    • New York has the oldest and most expansive subway system in North America.
    • But the first ever underground station to open has long been shuttered since World War II. 
    • Today, the only way to get to the abandoned masterpiece is by special tour. 

    When New York City's subway first opened in 1904, it was a true modern marvel. Its very first station, almost directly beneath City Hall, was a sight to see. Sun flooded the platform from skylights in the ground above, and gilded chandeliers filled the shadows with electric light.

    On the first day of service, some 15,000 New Yorkers would pay the nickel fare to ride the first subway to open outside of Europe. 

    But things wouldn't remain so glorious for this station. Once train cars became longer, the gaps between doors and platforms were deemed too wide to be safe. What's more, many passengers opted to walk from the larger Brooklyn Bridge station nearby, which had express service that the City Hall loop did not.

    Today, there's no service provided to the station — trains made their final stop on December 31, 1945 — but you can catch a glimpse by riding a downtown 6 local train past its terminal stop, which today is known as Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall. Keep your eyes peeled as you go through the loop and a few minutes later you'll end up on the uptown platform of the same station.

    If a mere glance isn't enough, the New York Transit Museum offers tours to members, and they sell out in just minutes. That's how Business Insider got the chance to visit. Here's what it's like:

    SEE ALSO: New York's governor called Tesla to see if the company could help fix NYC's subway system

    As its name suggests, the subway station sits directly beneath City Hall, the oldest municipal headquarters in the United States. It's more than 200 years old.



    The subway station was also beneath the City Hall Post Office and Courthouse Building, a massive French-style building that many derided as an eyesore. It was later demolished in 1939 to make way for what's today called City Hall Park.

    The street cars on Park Row that crossed the Brooklyn Bridge (just out of view on the right) are long gone. 



    Here's how the tracks lie in relation to the City Hall building and the adjacent park. In this diagram it's easier to see how the 6 train makes its 180-degree turnaround while allowing express trains to continue south through downtown and into Brooklyn.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    amazon

    • Amazon watchers say the company has accelerated its efforts to sell its own products or products it markets exclusively. That's worrying regulators around the world
    • SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts Youssef Squali and Naved Khan estimated in June that private label product sales would generate $7.5 billion for Amazon in 2018, a significant increase from their estimate for 2017.

    By selling more products of its own, Amazon is becoming a competitor to the outside manufacturers it hosts on its platform — and that's worrying regulators around the world.

    Why it matters: Governments have rarely tried to rein in Amazon's ambitions, allowing it to avoid most of the recent scrutiny directed at other large tech platforms. But the increased focus on Amazon's house-brand offerings suggests it may now be Amazon's turn.

    Driving the news: Amazon built a robust business as a participant in its own marketplace when it saw growth stall in stateside e-commerce, which is why holiday shoppers might have seen Amazon-owned brands like Happy Belly for food or Solimo for household goods when they browsed the site last year.

    • It created more “private label” products, from its AmazonBasics line to brands for fashion and furniture, that are in-house versions of things others sell on the site.
    • It struck deals with outside manufacturers to sell their products exclusively.

    Critics say Amazon uses its sales data to find fruitful areas where it can produce generic versions of already-popular products.

    • Then, its critics argue, Amazon favors its own brands when customers search for a certain item.
    • They admit that brick-and-mortar businesses have done the same thing for decades, but argue that Amazon's dominance over online retail makes it more of a problem when the company moves so aggressively into house brands.

    By the numbers: Amazon currently has 135 private-label brands, and it has deals to sell another 332 brands exclusively around the world, according to a database maintained by TJI Research.

    The big picture: Regulators in major overseas markets for Amazon have already taken aim at its efforts.

    • E-commerce rules going into effect next month in India appear to forbid a marketplace like Amazon — or Walmart-owned Flipkart — from selling products it has a stake in and to ban exclusivity deals. Analysts have questioned whether there may be a way around the prohibition.
    • European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager launched a preliminary look at Amazon's practice of using its data to build its private-label business last year, although a spokesperson said in an email that the EU has not yet begun a formal probe.
    • Germany's antitrust regulator is probing how Amazon treats third-party merchants who use its marketplace. It says its investigation differs from the EU inquiry, but that the two "proceedings supplement one another."

    In Washington, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who's running for the White House — has expressed concerns about Amazon’s growing role as a seller on its own platform.

    • “You got to pick one business or the other, baby,” Warren said in September. “You want to be a competitor, be a competitor, that’s great. You want to be the platform provider, that is a different function.”

    Yes, but: It could be hard for regulators to crack down on Amazon’s in-house product efforts in the United States, where most anticompetitive practices are ruled illegal only when consumers are hurt — often by a price increase.

    • Progressive lawmakers could use legislation to make antitrust law more applicable to major tech platforms, including Amazon.
    • "Would you speak to how the commission determines whether conduct has anti-competitive effects in non-price competition and how you make those determinations?" Rep. David Cicilline, the new chair of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, asked Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons at a recent hearing.

    The other side: Amazon told Axios that selling private-label products is a standard practice in retail that broadens selection for customers. It said third-party sellers continue to do well on its platform.

    • "Retail is fiercely competitive and it’s common for companies to offer customers private label products — consumers see it every day when they walk into a store," said an Amazon spokesperson in a statement, which noted the company represented only a small percentage of global retail, although its share of online retail is large.

    What’s next? Amazon watchers say the company has accelerated its efforts to sell its own products or products it markets exclusively.

    • SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts Youssef Squali and Naved Khan estimated in June that private label product sales would generate $7.5 billion for Amazon in 2018, a significant increase from their estimate for 2017.
    • “The company remains very early in building a sizable private label business, and as such, we expect growth in this segment to continue to outstrip overall e-commerce’s growth at Amazon,” they said.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    social security

    • The federal government is in the 20th day of a partial government shutdown.
    • Social Security and disability checks will still go out for the duration of the shutdown.
    • In contrast to previous shutdowns, no Social Security Administration employees will be placed on furlough and all services will remain open.

    The federal government is now in the 20th day of a partial federal shutdown, as President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have still not been able to come to a deal to reopen the government.

    While parts of the government are still funded, nine of the 15 federal agencies are affected by the shutdown and problems are beginning to pile up. Roughly 800,000 federal employees are also going without pay during the shutdown.

    But while the problems caused by the shutdown are significant, essential services, such as public safety operations and Medicare payments  have continued. 

    Additionally, the shutdown should have little effect on Social Security checks. According to the Social Security Administration's shutdown contingency plan, most core programs and benefits would continue in the event of a shutdown.

    "Funding for the programs under Titles II, XVI, and XVIII of the Social Security Act will continue, even in the event of a lapse in appropriations," the plan says.

    A shutdown only affects funds annually appropriated by Congress, not funding that is sustained long-term. The Social Security trust fund is paid for through a combination of taxes and long-term investments.

    Other core functions like disability claims or appeals over benefits would continue to function.

    Read more:The effects of the shutdown are only going to get exponentially worse as the fight drags on»

    For the military and veterans, VA disability payments, Survivor Benefits Plan payments, and retiree payments would all be made because those funds also come from non-annual appropriations. Additionally, the VA was included in the departments that were funded in September, so no services offered by the agency are affected.

    While previous shutdowns have led to the furlough of Social Security employees and some services, a full-year funding agreement for the Social Security Administration was reached in September so the agency is not affected this time around.

    Congressional leaders are scheduled to meet with Trump on Wednesday to try and hash out a deal to end the shutdown, but so far there is little progress towards a deal to reopen the government. The shutdown is now the second-longest in the modern budgeting era.

    SEE ALSO: From airport lines to food inspections, here are all the ways the government shutdown is impacting the lives of average Americans

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    wall street stealing tech talent 2x1

    • The trend of Wall Street talent fleeing to Silicon Valley to chase riches, influence, and a better lifestyle appears to be slowing, if not reversing.
    • Banks and money managers, who eagerly court comparisons to giants like Amazon and Google, are spending tens of billions of dollars on aggressive technology projects they're betting are the future of the industry.
    • Companies like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan say they're luring more tech talent, and having an easier time doing it. 
    • No single dynamic is driving the trend, but rather a combination of cultural changes, compensation, and ambitious projects and challenges available to tackle on Wall Street. 
    • Wall Street's tarnished reputation following the crisis has also improved, while tech giants have taken a public whipping in recent months. 

    Alex Sion is the classic boomerang hire — from Wall Street, to tech startups, and back to high finance.

    He worked at Citigroup from 2006 to 2009 developing an early roboadviser concept, then left for a decade before rejoining last summer to run an internal start-up incubator for Citi's Global Consumer Bank.

    Much has changed in the intervening years, a large chunk of which Sion spent in the start-up world building and running a mobile-banking platform called Moven.

    During his last run at Citi, technologies like the Apple iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter were in nascent stages. Instagram didn't exist. To most, artificial intelligence was a Hollywood trope, not a flashy corporate buzzword that threatens to upend the labor market. 

    Wall Street was crawling its way back from the abyss of the financial crisis and licking its wounds by the time Sion left in 2009. Waves of other talented employees jumped ship amid the carnage as well to companies like Google, Apple, or the multitude of start-ups attracting piles of venture capital.

    But the trend of Wall Street talent fleeing to Silicon Valley to chase riches, influence, and a better lifestyle appears to be slowing, if not reversing, according data and interviews with bank executives and headhunters. The finance and technology industries have converged, and tech's competitive advantages have thinned.

    "In the past 10 years, there was an incredible shift in terms of what technology means to the (finance) business," Sion, who heads up a "Shark Tank"- like program at Citi called D10X, told Business Insider. "Back then, tech was a source of cost effectiveness. Today, it's very well understood that technology is the business."

    Copycat, Silicon Valley-inspired workplaces and billion-dollar budgets for high-impact projects

    Today, banks and money managers eagerly court comparisons to giants like Amazon and Google, and they're spending tens of billions of dollars on aggressive technology projects they're betting are the future of the industry.

    As a result, Sion said many of his colleagues in start-up world are taking the same route as him — boomeranging back to Wall Street, which they now view as the best place to scale their visions and create impact, after years accruing valuable knowledge in the trenches of the tech world.

    JPMorgan Chase 17

    "We have seen many instances of Citi employees who leave for tech firms or startups and boomerang back to Citi," Vanessa Colella, who as the head of Citi Ventures hired Sion, told Business Insider. "They take their learnings from their experiences elsewhere and bring them back into Citi with the aspiration to transform financial services with the support and network of the global bank."

    Citigroup, which spends $8 billion a year on tech, is far from alone. Wall Street has developed a voracious appetite for tech talent, and it's feeding off Silicon Valley to fill its needs.

    Oliver Cooke, a managing director and head of North America at recruiting firm Selby Jennings, said his company noticed a surprising and significant uptick in candidates joining Wall Street from big tech firms in 2018.

    Of the nearly 145 technologists his firm placed at banks, hedge funds, asset managers, or trading firms, 62% came from outside the financial industry — up from 43% in 2017 and 32% in 2016. The most common firms candidates decamped from were Amazon, Google, Oracle, Snap, and Twitter. 

    Cooke said the extent of the shift was surprising, adding that no single dynamic is driving engineers, developers, and data scientist to financial services.

    "They want to work on cool stuff. They want to build cutting-edge technology systems, and they want to be paid well," said Cooke, whose firm focuses on mid- to senior-level talent. "And finally, they want to do it in a cool and fun environment."

    Big banks have ramped up tech spendingAt Goldman Sachs — the only big US bank that doesn't reveal its annual tech spend — the firm says applications for engineering positions increased by more than 50% in 2018. The proportion of applicants accepting an offer extended by Goldman is up, too, according to George Lee, the co-chief information officer for the firm. 

    Lee, who spent decades at the firm as a San Francisco-based tech banker, attributes the Goldman's increased standing among engineers in part to cultural changes — efforts to mold the work environment to what's customary in Silicon Valley, including the modern tools, open and transparent communication, and a relaxed dress code.

    Such copycat culture efforts are becoming status quo in finance. The $40 billion hedge fund Two Sigma, which brands itself a tech company and on its website is currently "calling all data scientists, engineers, and academics," recently opened new offices in Manhattan complete with arcade games, computing memorabilia, gyms, a hacker space, and a music room.

    JPMorgan, which has a glistening tech hub in Hudson Yards with similar perks and features, now has 50,000 technologists on staff and a nearly $11 billion annual tech budget. Two top executives at the firm have bragged in recent months of their success in hiring from Silicon Valley.  

    Asset management president Chris Willcox, whose $1.7 trillion division is betting big on AI, told Business Insider in December that technologists "are enthusiastic about being in our industry." He helped poach Apoorv Saxena, Google's head of product management for AI, last summer to head up AI at JPMorgan. They added Facebook engineer Yang Wang in September as executive director of applied AI engineering.

    Gordon Smith, co-president and consumer banking chief at JPMorgan, said the bank has "honestly had no problems attracting that talent at all," adding that luring engineers has "actually been very easy."

    They may be requisite now, but ambiance and culture only get you so far. Additionally, developers are attracted to the challenges that can be tackled in finance as these companies execute their visions for the digital age.  

    Ambitious projects like Marcus, the Goldman's digital consumer lending effort, and Marquee, it's commercial app store, have earned currency and intrigue from the engineering world. 

    "Engineers are drawn to hard problems, big challenges, and opportunities to use their skills in unique and different ways. I think Wall Street provides that for people," Lee said.

    He added: "In the past you might've said, 'Look, if I want to work on leading-edge technologies, I need to go to a leading-edge technology firm.' I think the reality today on Wall Street is that if you come here, you'll be working on leading-edge technologies like AI, and machine learning, and natural-language processing."

    'An enormous opportunity to have impact'

    The rapid pace of markets means some developers can see their labor create impact and bear fruit much more quickly than it might in Silicon Valley.

    Quants and data scientists working on commercial space rockets and autonomous vehicles face years of waiting to see the impact of their work take root; working on trading algorithms at a bank or hedge fund, they may contribute meaningfully to the bottom line in a matter of weeks. 

    "A lot of these people will sit in the front office and work with traders in developing trading systems and libraries and help enhance the trading infrastructure," Cooke said. "A lot of these guys are actually pretty exposed to the revenue generation piece."

    Two Sigma offices

    In consumer banking, unleashing new features or fixing problems on a mobile app can make life easier for tens of millions of customers. That scale of impact has helped Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which spends $10 billion on tech, in poaching tech executives, such as Tommy Elliott, who left Apple last year to run digital payments at the bank.

    Another factor that has likely leveled the playing field: the onslaught of scandals that have battered the reputations of tech giants, undercutting the long-unchallenged sentiment that their work uniformly improves the world. 

    Tech platforms like Facebook, Uber, or the iPhone, in their infancy or nonexistent a decade ago, have become dominant economic and cultural forces across the globe, generating massive wealth and accruing immense influence in the process. But over the last two years, they've taken a public whipping as concerns over privacy, detrimental health effects, platform abuses, and other externalities previously ignored or overshadowed by their dazzling promise and convenience have taken center stage. 

    To be sure, many tech giants remain among the most desirable places to work in the country, so the two industries will likely battle over talent with increasing intensity. And trying to change the world and build a unicorn via entrepreneurship will remain alluring to many. 

    But to some, the sins of Wall Street 10 years after the financial crisis have faded from memory. A Big Tech company in 2018 may not seem all that different than a Big Bank. 

    For people who believe, as Sion does, that we're still in the early innings of the fintech age, working at a place with massive scale and resources like Citi is as among the most exciting opportunities out there right now.

    "A lot of the solutions being cooked up here are just as advanced and just as sophisticated, if not more-so, than the solutions I saw outside in the fintech space," Sion said. 

    "Its an enormous, enormous opportunity to have impact," he added.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    American Airlines DFW

    • Air-traffic controllers, along many other federal employees in the US, have been working unpaid during the government shutdown.
    • On Thursday, air-traffic controllers missed their first paycheck, with some posting photos of their $0 pay stubs on Twitter.
    • Aviation-industry workers, along with some political leaders, are rallying in Washington, DC, on Thursday to demand an end to the government shutdown, which began on December 22. 

    As the US government shutdown continues into its third week, federal employees who have been working unpaid are missing their first paychecks. 

    On Thursday, air-traffic controllers around the US received pay stubs showing $0 in income. Some have even posted photos of them on Twitter.

    It should be noted that the workers will receive back pay once the government reopens. Those controllers who were furloughed won't be so lucky and may not get paid. 

    Read more: United, Alaska, and Spirit flight attendants are warning Trump, Pelosi, and McConnell that the government shutdown is doing real damage to the airline industry.

    The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA), a union that represents roughly 20,000 controllers around the US, says the shutdown is creating additional strain on people who already carry a heavy burden. 

    "Even though air traffic controllers and traffic management coordinators remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, they don't know when they'll receive their next paycheck and that adds more stress to an already stressful profession,"NATCA said in a letter last week to Congressional leaders.

    According to NATCA, there are currently fewer fully trained controllers than at any other point in the last 30 years.

    The Air Line Pilots Association, as well as two major flight attendants unions, have also dispatched letters to President Donald Trump and congressional leadership, echoing NATCA's concerns. 

    "Flight Attendants across the industry ask you to end the shutdown now," the flight attendants' unions said in their letter. "This is a matter of safety, security, and economic concern."

    "We are in awe of the transportation security officers, air traffic controllers, and other workers deemed as essential employees for their patriotism in coming to work without the certainty of a paycheck or any resolution to this shutdown," their letter went on to say. 

    Read more: Delta, United, and JetBlue pilots are warning that flying will become more dangerous as the government shutdown continues.

    Aviation-industry workers, along with some political leaders, are rallying in Washington, DC, on Thursday to demand an end to the government shutdown, which began on December 22. 

     

    SEE ALSO: The government shutdown could spur more flight delays, making travel a nightmare, air traffic controllers claim

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    harry reid shutdown

    • The government shutdown is now in its 20th day.
    • This is the 21st time the federal government has had a funding lapse since the modern budgeting process began.
    • Most of those times, the shutdown has been short and not involved employees being sent home, but that has changed in recent years.

    President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders have yet to come to an agreement to reopen the government despite talks continuous talks and as the shutdown moves through day 20, there appears to be no end in sight.

    The trouble started just before Christmas when Trump's sudden reversal on a bipartisan funding extension forced a sizeable portion — but not all — of the government into a partial shutdown.

    Read more:Here's what the government shutdown means for federal agencies and employees»

    This is 21st time since the modern budget process began with the Budget Act of 1974 that the federal government has entered a shutdown or had a funding lapse.

    On average, the 20 previous shutdowns lasted eight days, though they have been longer in recent decades. The six shutdowns since 1990 have lasted nine days on average. And removing the short, nine-hour funding lapse caused by Sen. Rand Paul in February, recent shutdowns have averaged 11 days. The longest shutdown in history, lasting 21 days, came in 1995-1996.

    Most of these shutdowns weren't severe, with 11 of the 20 lasting five days or fewer, and seven lasting three days or fewer. By making it to the third week, the current 20-day shutdown has now become rhe second-longest of the modern era, passing Jimmy Carter's 19-day shutdown in 1978.

    Read more:The effects of the shutdown are only going to get exponentially worse as the fight drags on»

    The current shutdown also bears some major differences from the past because federal employees aren't working. Around 380,000 federal employees are now on furlough, meaning they do not report to work or get paid. In 11 of the previous shutdowns, employees were not placed on furlough.

    Sending employees home has become more frequent in recent shutdowns, with furloughs occurring during five of the last six funding lapses (the only exception being the short Rand Paul lapse).

    Another newer wrinkle is the fact that this is just the second shutdown during which employees were placed on furlough while one party controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House, which was the case for the beginning of the shutdown. The other instance was the three-day shutdown in January 2018.

    Additionally, with the changeover to the 116th Congress, which has a Democrat-controlled House, this is the first shutdown in which control of a chamber of Congress changed parties during the funding lapse.

    The current shutdown also means the president has set some historic firsts as well.

    Trump is the only president to furlough employees while his party controlled both chambers of Congress, the only one to achieve that dubious feat multiple times, and is second in total shutdowns for a president whose party controls chambers of Congress. Jimmy Carter presided over five shutdowns while Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, none of which resulted in furloughs.

    The latest shutdown also moved Trump into third place with three total funding lapses during his presidency, behind Carter's five and Ronald Reagan's eight. Trump also ranks fourth in totals shutdown days for modern presidents behind Carter's 67 days and the 28 day mark shared by Clinton and Reagan. 

    2018 also became just the second year of the modern era to have three funding lapses, tying 1977's record.

    Here's a breakdown of all the previous shutdowns:

    Government Shutdowns

    SEE ALSO: From airport lines to food inspections, here are all the ways the government shutdown is impacting the lives of average Americans

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    Apple China

    • Apple last week slashed its revenue guidance for the holiday quarter and blamed slumping sales on a slowdown in China.
    • As shares faced selling pressure following the announcement, down as much as 10%, millennials traders on Robinhood were piling into the stock.
    • Since peaking at $233.47 on October 3, Apple has lost 35% of its value. During the same time period, the number of Robinhood investors holding Apple shares increased by 30%.
    • Watch Apple trade live.

    Apple last week sounded the alarm on a holiday sales slowdown, but investors on Robinhood, a no-fee trading app popular among millennials, brushed off the company's warnings and instead snapped up shares.

    Last Wednesday, the tech giant said its revenue for the holiday quarter would be more than 7% below what it had expectedand blamed slumping sales on a slowdown in China. Seven days later, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Apple late last month asked its suppliers to cut production on new iPhones by 10% for the January-March quarter.

    Apple shares were hit hard over the past week, down as much as 10%, but that didn't scare millennials away from the stock. According to weekly data tacked by Markets Insider, Apple is now held by 235,900 Robinhood traders, up 15,095 from a week ago. The smartphone titan has consistently been the favorite stock or Robinhood users, outranking all the others in each of the past nine weeks. 

    And millennial's affection for Apple has strengthened as shares have weakened.

    On November 1, the company posted underwhelming iPhone sales and said revenue for its holiday quarter would be on the low end of analyst expectations. During that week, a net 14,013 Robinhood users added Apple to their portfolio, allowing it to reclaim its crown as the most-popular stock on the app.

    In mid-November, a handful of iPhone suppliers, including the main Face ID technology provider Lumentum and iPhone radio-frequency chip supplier Qorvo, cut their outlooks, citing a drop in demand from one of their biggest customers. At the time, Apple became the first stock to pass 200,000 owners on Robinhood, with a net 2,845 users buying the stock that week. 

    Since peaking at $233.47 on October 3, Apple has lost 35% of its value. During the same time period, the number of Robinhood investors holding shares increased by 30%, or 55,000.

    Apple was down 12% in the past twelve months.

    Now read:

     

    Apple

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    cannabis

    • Millennials are ditching beer for pot, according to Cowen's Vivien Azer, Wall Street's top marijuana analyst.
    • Slumping beer sales and the loosening regulations around marijuana have led to a rash of tie-ups between beverage-makers and Canadian marijuana producers, as companies like Constellation Brands and Molson Coors look towards emerging industries to revive their business. 
    • Azer raised her forecast for the marijuana market by $5 billion to $80 billion by 2030, as survey data shows young people are consuming more marijuana than previously thought in legal jurisdictions.
    • "I would expect all of the large global alcohol players are paying attention to this," Azer said.

    As beverage-makers contend with slumping beer sales, they're turning their attention towards a new growth opportunity: marijuana.

    Wall Street's top marijuana analyst, Cowen's Vivien Azer, estimates sales in the US will hit $80 billion by 2030 — up from her previous estimate of $75 billion— if marijuana is legalized at the federal level.

    That represents a 4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from the estimated $50 billion marijuana market today. Azer revised her estimates upwards after looking at the increased use rates among young adults in legal jurisdictions. 

    On top of that, young people are also consuming fewer drinks and spending less on beer, adding to the headwinds that beverage-makers are facing. In fact, Azer said last year "looks to have been the worst year for beer sales," in the near-decade since she has covered the sector. 

    "I would expect all of the large global alcohol players are paying attention to this," Azer said in a Tuesday meeting with reporters in Cowen's midtown Manhattan offices, adding that these trends will continue to drive M&A. 

    Marijuana represents one of the 'most significant global growth opportunities' of the next decade

    Slumping beer sales and the loosening regulations around marijuana have led to a rash of tie-ups between beverage-makers and Canadian marijuana producers, as companies like Constellation Brands and Molson Coors look towards emerging industries to revive their business. 

    Bill Newlands, the incoming CEO of Constellation Brands — the beverage maker behind Corona — said on the company's earnings call that marijuana "represents one of the most significant global growth opportunities of the next decade and frankly, our lifetimes."

    "It's an opportunity that is opening up much more rapidly than originally anticipated," said Newlands. 

    Read more: Marijuana M&A is already hot in 2019, with a pot tech-vape tie-up worth $210 million

    Last year, Constellation closed a $4 billion investment into Canopy Growth, paving the way for other major corporations to move into the industry. Molson Coors entered a joint venture with Hexo in August, and Heineken's Lagunitas Brand has developed a hoppy, marijuana-infused sparkling water beverage for the California market.

    And perhaps notably, Jakob Ripshtein, an alum of British spirits brand Diageo, was recently promoted to chief commercial officer of Aphria, a Canadian marijuana producer that has been the target of short-seller ire and hostile takeover attempts.

    Not to be outdone, tobacco manufacturers have also joined the fray. Altria, the tobacco maker behind popular brands like Marlboro, paid $1.8 billion for a 45% stake in Cronos Group, a Canadian LP, last year. 

    states where marijuana legal 2x1

    The CBD market is going to explode 

    Following the passage of the Farm Bill late last year, which legalized hemp federally in the US, Azer expects CBD to be the "most topical" trend in the marijuana industry in 2019.

    CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound in the marijuana plant that's thought to have a range of wellness benefits, though the science is still shaky.

    Azer said the market for CBD could generate $1.6 billion in revenue over the next year or two. It's still unclear, however, how the FDA will regulate CBD-containing products.

    Read more: One of Canada's largest investment banks wants a piece of the $194 billion marijuana industry

    Canopy Growth outlined plans earlier this week to use the Farm Bill as an entry point into the US hemp market, and an executive at Aurora Cannabis, another Canadian LP, told Business Insider in December the Farm Bill provides a "pathway" to enter the US market while staying onside of federal and stock exchange regulations. 

    Azer maintains outperform ratings on the pot stocks she covers, including Tilray, Canopy, and Kush Bottles, a marijuana packaging company.

    "We should finally start to see the true benefits of adult use sales, and the lapping of upfront investments," said Azer. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What is CBD oil and how did it become a $1 billion industry?


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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 tights

    • Tights are a wardrobe staple for many women, and they come in all kinds of colors and styles.
    • We've tested dozens of tights to find the best ones you can buy, and Spanx's Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights are our top pick for great durability, comfort, and style.

    If there's a staple in a woman's wardrobe, it's a good pair of tights. Whether they're sheer, opaque, fishnet, or bright pink, these pieces of spandex are a blessing and a curse that, alas, we just can't live without.

    While we don't have to abide by the royal British dress code of wearing tights under every dress, skirt, and pair of shorts we own, there are still plenty of occasions in which a great pair of pantyhose can save the day. And when it comes to choosing some of the best tights on the market, you'll want to keep a few things in mind.

    First and foremost, a good pair of tights will be durable. Sure, they're delicate items, but that doesn't mean that you should only expect them to last through one wear. My favorite pair of tights have seen me through several years and several jobs, and that's just the way they ought to be.

    Second, you'll want to keep coverage in mind. Tights can be sheer, opaque, or patterned, and different settings will call for different sets. It's probably best to keep a wide range of tights on hand so that you're never caught unprepared.

    Another potential consideration may come in the amount of control your tights can exercise over your figure. With the right pair of Spanx, for example, you can prevent that much-dreaded muffin top situation, and always look your chicest.

    And finally, you'll want to consider the weather in which you'll be wearing your tights. If you tend to spend most of the year in tropical climates, you probably don't need a good pair of thick, heat-tech tights. If, on the other hand, you often find yourself traipsing through the snow in heels and a skirt, you'll want a warm pair on hand.

    Regardless of which pair you choose from among our favorite tights, you won't go wrong.

    Here are the best tights for women you can buy:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    The best tights overall

    Why you'll love them: For tights that will never rip, pill, or leave you hanging, the Spanx Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights are the best way to go.

    There's a reason Spanx has become synonymous with tights. When it comes to hosiery that is flattering and functional, I always turn to Spanx for a never-fail solution. The Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights are perfect for cooler days when you need a bit of extra warmth in and around your lower body.

    Capable of sculpting your figure to its most flattering potential, these Spanx are still surprisingly breathable and comfortable. Several women here on the Insider Picks team swear by Spanx.

    The fabric is strong — you can run them through the wash seemingly endless times without worrying about rips or pills — and extremely black. That said, they're not so dark that you can't see your legs at all. Rather, this pair toes the line between sheer and opaque in the best way possible.

    The real game-changer with these tights comes in the form of its built-in mid-thigh shaper, which helps your butt and thighs look firm and perky. Plus, with the premium power leg, these tights feel, as the name suggests, luxe, and allow for great recovery after a long night out. If you slip on a pair of these tights under a form-fitting dress or skirt, you'll truly look like your best self.

    Spanx are quite form-fitting, so going one size up may not be the worst idea in the world. Plus, at just $28 a pop, you can buy plenty a pair without having to worry about breaking the bank.

    Pros: Flattering and sculpting, won't pill or rip, great opacity, reasonable price point

    Cons: You may have to size up

    Buy Spanx Luxe Leg Mid-Thigh Shaping Tights at Spanx for $28 and at Nordstrom



    The best opaque tights

    Why you'll love them: If you judge your tights by their color, then DKNY's Opaque Control Top Tights are the way to go.

    What sets DKNY's Opaque Control Top Tights apart from the competition is the Lycra Living Lights technology, which means that your tights will be the color they're meant to be. And when it comes to black tights, I find that to be absolutely essential.

    DKNY's opaque tights are some of the best out there, and they have the unique ability to seem particularly black without being especially shiny — all in all, this makes your legs seems longer, more shapely, and just generally more like you want them to look.

    But color aside, the best thing about DKNY's tights is their comfort level. While these, like Spanx, are meant to shape and sculpt your middle to help you slip into that slinky dress, I've found that they're far more breathable and far less constricting than the competition. So even though you may look like you're wearing a corset, you won't feel like it.

    I've also found that DKNY's tights are able to stand up to several wears and several washes — even months after I made my purchase, I was able to don the same pair without worrying about rips or tears or rends. They're supremely comfortable and available in three staple colors — black, navy, and white — because yes, you do need white tights in the winter.

    Guides editor Malarie Gokey wears these tights multiple times a week during the fall and winter months, and she loves them.

    While they're slightly pricier than your most basic pair of hose, they're still extremely affordable at just $16 a pair.

    Pros: Great opacity, extremely comfortable, affordable, available in three classic colors

    Cons: Some customers have complained about the lack of a gusset

    Buy DKNY Opaque Control Top Tights at Nordstrom for $16



    The best nude tights

    Why you'll love them: Heist recognizes that there are many different definitions of nude, and the brand has tights for all of them.

    Heist may be a relative newcomer to the tights scene, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming a fast favorite. Heist is hugely popular here at Business Insider, thanks to its incredibly soft material, its comfortable fit, and its high-quality craftsmanship.

    One of my favorite aspects about Heist is the degree of personalization it offers wearers — not only can you choose between a high and a low waistband — which is so necessary and so rare in a pair of tights — but you can also choose among several different shades of nude. Because your nude is not everyone else's nude.

    These tights are available in an impressive seven shades, all of which both look and feel barely there. Thanks to its double-covered yarn construction, each pair is incredibly soft and durable, and also warm enough to withstand the weather.

    Heist has also rethought the overall design of a pair of tights. Not only is its waistband available in both high and low-rise options, but it's also designed to avoid rolling, twisting, and otherwise digging into your skin.

    I also love that there's no gusset to speak of — there aren't any seams where there shouldn't be, which makes for a more comfortable, longer-lasting wear.

    Heist tights also do a remarkably good job of staying up throughout the day thanks to the 5,000 spirals per inch on its yarn. And when they do stay up, they help smooth the appearance of your midsection without doing any serious sculpting.

    So if you're looking for a pair of tights that no one — including you — will know you're wearing, look to Heist.

    Pros: Soft, durable construction, no gusset, low or high waistband, several different shades of nude

    Cons: When taking shipping into consideration, these tights can set you back more than $50

    Buy Heist Nude tights for $32



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