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    eating restaurant

    • Americans tip 16.4% of the check, on average, according to a study from Square.
    • High-income states like California and Massachusetts tip well below the national average.
    • One survey found that purchases with credit cards are more likely to include a tip than those with cash.


    You've enjoyed your meal but your work is not yet over. You have to pay the check and figure out how much to tip.

    Americans tip 16.4% of a check, on average, according to a study from Square, which measured credit and debit card transactions from over two million vendors in July 2017 and discovered how much people tip in each US state.

    A June 2017 survey of 1,002 Americans from found men were more generous with tipping, at least to restaurant servers. When asked if they leave tips 0f 15% or more, 59% of men responded in the affirmative while only 47% of women said yes.

    Women, however, were more likely to say they always tipped hair stylists, baristas, and hotel staff than men.

    The survey — which is self reported — found that plastic also pays more than paper; purchases with credit cards are more likely to include a tip than those with cash.

    People also tip differently depending on which part of the country they live. According to Square's research, five of the ten states that tip less than 16% are in the Northeast.

    The state with the lowest tip average, Hawaii, paid 14.8% of the check, while the place with the highest tip average, Idaho, paid out 17.4%. See where every state ranked in generosity, according to data from Square.

    SEE ALSO: Bill Gates has no idea what groceries cost, but you should — here's how much it costs to buy groceries in 25 major US cities

    DON'T MISS: These stores have the best return policies in retail

    Hawaii — 14.8%

    Washington, DC — 14.9%

    Massachusetts — 15.0%

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kate Middleton Prince William St. Patrick's Day celebration 6

    Kate Middleton and Prince William honored St. Patrick's Day with the traditional visit to the 1st Battalion of the Guards regiment at their barracks in Hounslow, London. Since Middleton is expected to give birth within the next month, she had to skip the annual pint of Guinness. 

    But the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared to have a great time — and even met a grand Irish wolfhound.

    Keep scrolling for a look at Middleton sporting a baby bump beneath her regal green coat and celebrating the holiday.

    Kate Middleton attended the annual Irish Guards St. Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks.

    Middleton wore a green coat with matching hat and fur trim — and her smile was clearly infectious.

    The Duchess of Cambridge presented the 1st Battalion Irish Guardsmen with shamrocks.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    little ceasar's

    • Little Caesars pizza chain promised a free lunch combo if a 16th seed beat a number 1 seed during the NCAA March Madness tournament.
    • That happened, and now Little Caesar's is giving away free pizza.
    • The chain will give away a free pizza combo to anyone who comes in between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on April 2.

    "Crazy happened," and now Little Caesars has to pay up.

    The pizza chain promised to give away free lunch combos "if crazy happens" and a 16th seed team beat a 1-seeded team in the NCAA March Madness tournament.

    On Friday night, exactly that happened when the University of Maryland Baltimore County beat University of Virginia in a shock upset with a final score of 74-54.

    Now Little Caesar's has pledged to hold up its end of the bargain and will give away free lunch combos, which usually cost $5. The box contains a "deep deep" personal pizza and a 20-ounce Pepsi product of your choice.

    The offer will only be available on April 2, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and is limited to "one per family" and "while supplies last." Simply being in line during that time will not be enough to claim your free pizza, as the promotion comes to a hard stop at 1 p.m. Still, there are no catches and no purchase is required, making it a genuine food giveaway, which is rare in fast food.

    It's unlikely that Little Caesars was planning on actually dishing out the free pizzas, since an upset of this magnitude has never actually occurred since March Madness expanded to include 64 teams. Other chains often participate in promotions like this during high profile sports games.

    Taco Bell frequently promises to give away free tacos if certain conditions are met and has followed through on more than one occasion. As recently as June 2017, Taco Bell gave away free Doritos Locos Tacos on the road in Cleveland after the Golden State Warriors "stole" Game 3 of the NBA Finals from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Tacos are not as pricey as full pizza combos, however, making Little Caesars' deal a bit more generous.

    Check out the full advertisement for the promotion below. A full list of the promotion's fine print is on Little Caesars web page.

    free pizza

    SEE ALSO: Trump has reportedly changed his diet — and after a week of eating like him, I can see why it was necessary

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Hooters Air — the airline that lost the 'breastaurant' $40 million

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    "Burnout" is back!

    Burnout Paradise Remastered

    10 years after "Burnout Paradise" demonstrated what a car game could be, the crash-filled racing series is back to show up everyone once again.

    In "Burnout Paradise Remastered," you get the same incredible open-world racing game that impressed critics and fans alike way back in 2008. Better yet: You also get all the additional content that came out after release, and a massive update to the visuals that befit a new game in 2018. 

    SEE ALSO: 'Forza Horizon 3' is the best racing game on any game console

    If you're looking for a simulation racing game, look elsewhere. "Burnout Paradise Remastered" is about driving fast, getting into wrecks, and not worrying too much about it.

    Video games weren't always capable of simulating real-world stuff. Take sports for example. The earliest video games based on sports are extremely pared down versions of the actual sports.

    Eventually, as developers were able to more closely simulate the real thing, games like "FIFA" and "Madden" took over — they're basically simulations at this point, completely divorced from the origins of sports gaming.

    That same evolutionary path can be tracked with racing games — early racing games were video game approximations of the real thing. 

    But in the case of racing games, when simulations became possible, the sillier, less realistic racing games split into their own subset of the overall racing genre. Even though games like "Gran Turismo" and "Forza Motorsport" offer gorgeous, ultra-realistic simulations of racing, franchises like "Burnout,""Mario Kart," and "Forza Horizon" use racing as the foundation for great video games. They don't intend to simulate real-world driving — they just use it as the jumping off point for a good game.

    "Burnout Paradise Remastered" is very much part of this delightful subset of racing games that strives for more than an exciting racing experience.

    At the heart of "Burnout Paradise Remastered" is high-speed, arcade-style racing. Think: "Need for Speed." 

    You don't have to know how a manual gearbox works, and you don't need to know the finer details of drifting. The right trigger is the go button, and the left trigger is the stop button. If you push A, you can use a turbo boost. That's it!

    The goal in "Burnout Paradise Remastered" is to get you going fast as soon as possible. If you happen to get into a dramatic crash along the way, so be it.

    Burnout Paradise Remastered

    The cars aren't Lambos and Ferraris — they're entirely made up, part of the "Burnout" universe. They approximate cars you know and love, but they're all fake. And that's a good thing, because Honda and Ford probably wouldn't appreciate the constant barrage of massive crashes.

    The "Burnout" series nails the feeling of high-speed driving better than any other game, and "Burnout Paradise" is the best possible example.

    10 years later, and it's still incredibly impressive how well "Burnout Paradise" nails the feeling of going very fast. Right from the first car you get — a junky old racer — there's a palpable sense of danger to every second of gameplay.

    I played the original game for dozens of hours back in 2008, and I've put another 10 or so into "Burnout Paradise Remastered"— even after all that time, I still freak out when I accidentally crash at full speed.

    That's a testament to how well "Burnout Paradise" does speed. You really feel that crash in your gut, the same way you feel it when a roller coaster inches past the tipping point and starts thundering downward at full speed. The bottom drops out, and you feel it — physically.

    It's that sense of speed, and those horrific, hilarious crashes, that make "Burnout Paradise" feel so special.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    scott kelly selfie

    • Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days in space aboard the International Space Station in 2015-2016, a trip that changed his DNA by 7%.
    • He told us that his space career also changed his perspective on life, making him more empathetic.
    • He wants more people to experience the life-changing effects of visiting space.

    NASA revealed in March that after his year in space, astronaut Scott Kelly's DNA changed by a full 7%.

    But when we recently interviewed him for Business Insider's podcast "Success! How I Did It," he said the experience changed him personally, as well.

    "I think it makes you a more empathetic person," he said. "More in touch with humanity and who we are, and what we should do to not only to take care of the planet but also to solve our common problems, which clearly are many."

    You can subscribe to the podcast and listen to the episode below:

    Kelly retired in April 2016, after returning home from a 340-day trip aboard the International Space Station. It was his fourth and longest mission in space, and he was able to share the experience with the public using the internet. This included uploading some stunning photos that offer a small glimpse into his point about what it's like to see the entirety of Earth.

    He explained:

    "The planet is incredibly beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful. Having said that, parts of it are polluted, like with constant levels of pollution in certain parts of Asia. You see how fragile the atmosphere looks. It's very thin. It's almost like a thin contact lens over somebody's eye, and you realized all the pollutants we put into the atmosphere are contained in that very thin film over the surface. It's a little bit scary actually to look at it.

    "And then you realize looking at the Earth, that despite its beauty and its tranquility, there's a lot of hardship and conflict that goes on. You look at the planet without borders, especially during the day. At night you can see countries with lights, but during the daytime it looks like we are all part of one spaceship, Spaceship Earth.

    "And we're all flying through space together, as a team, and it gives you this perspective — people have described it as this 'orbital perspective' — on humanity, and you get this feeling that we just need to work better — much, much better — to solve our common problems."

    earth atmosphere

    Kelly said that even though he's retired from flying missions, he wants to return to space again at some point. He's hopeful that one day flying into space will be as commonplace for the average person as getting onto an airplane. And with it will be the sharing of this new perspective.

    "I think it's a privilege to do it, and I think it changes people for the better, having that experience," he said.

    SEE ALSO: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly — whose DNA changed after a year in space — talks about his underachieving childhood, his identical twin and fellow astronaut brother, and how leaving Earth changes people for the better

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What would happen if humans tried to land on Jupiter

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    the last jedi tree2 final

    • The burning tree scene in "The Last Jedi" was a practical effect — they really lit a fake tree on fire.
    • It took months to build the tree, and close to 25 separate gas lines were rigged to it to have the tree burn to director Rian Johnson's liking.
    • Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould explained to Business Insider how the scene was pulled off.

    In an era when you assume anything amazing that happens in a movie is courtesy of computer-generated imagery, it’s always exciting to learn when a memorable scene was pulled off by practical effects.

    Since the “Star Wars” prequels, in which George Lucas was heavily criticized for using too much CGI to create the worlds and characters, many big-budget movies have tried to find that happy medium of practical and visual effects to give the action on screen a more grounded feel. And the now Disney-owned “Star Wars” saga is leading the way.

    A perfect example is in “The Last Jedi” (available on digital release Tuesday, on Blu-ray/DVD March 27) when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) attempts to burn down the giant tree that holds the sacred Jedi texts. It’s a scene that also features a Force ghost of Yoda.

    When Skywalker tells the legendary Jedi master what he’s about to do, Yoda doesn't talk him out of it. But when Skywalker gets to the giant tree, with flame in hand, he can’t go through with it. This leads to Yoda summoning a giant lightening bolt that strikes the tree and engulfs it in flames. He then delivers his famous giddy laugh as Skywalker looks on in complete shock.

    the last jedi tree finalAlmost all of that scene is done with practical effects. From the puppet of Yoda, voiced by Frank Oz, that Hamill traded lines with, to the enormous tree and giant flames shooting from it.

    It was the handiwork of the movie’s special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, and one of the reasons why he recently received a visual effects Oscar nomination for “The Last Jedi.”

    Responsible for some of the greatest visual effects pulled off on screen in the last 40 years, he’s done everything from James Bond movies like “Moonraker” and “GoldenEye,” to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and “Inception” (which he won an Oscar for). He’s now hit the effects industry mountain top with getting the “Star Wars” gig (he was also the effects supervisor on “The Force Awakens”) and the Yoda/Skywalker scene for him is one of his favorites.

    There’s the nostalgia of seeing Luke and Yoda on screen again, but also the pride of pulling off a practical effect of this size.

    “It was a tricky one,” Corbould admitted to Business Insider.

    First, there was building the tree and rigging it to burn. Corbould said it took a couple of months for the construction crew on the movie to build the fireproof tree that was almost 60 feet high and close to 50 feet wide. It was so big that the tree could not be built on the set.

    “They had to assemble it in various parts,” Corbould said.

    So the tree was basically a very large Lego set. A piece of a trunk would be built on set, then another piece of the trunk would be brought in and attached to that. Then the multiple branches were attached one at a time.

    After all that, close to 25 separate gas lines were put into the tree, each one with its own valve so Corbould and his team could adjust the flame to his and director Rian Johnson’s liking.

    “It’s very easy to have it just burst into flames,” Corbould said. “Rian really wanted it to catch the light a little bit slower. So we had to spent quite a lot of testing time to bring the gas lines to a point where it looked like the flames were slowly creeping up and then totally enveloping the whole tree.”

    The tree burning scene was shot over two nights with a crew of 20 people just responsible for the tree catching on fire. Most of the shots pre-fire were completed on the first night. The second night was for the shots after the tree was on fire, which included Hamill, the Yoda puppet, and Oz voicing the character in front of the giant burning tree. And it got hot — to the joy of everyone on set.

    “When we shot the scene the nights were incredibly cold,” Corbould said. “I think the whole crew was happy when we lit that up.”

    The tree was lit on fire close to 30 times by the time they wrapped on the scene, according to Corbould.

    Chris Corbould Frazer Harrison GettyThe special effects veteran laughed when he was told that many people probably think the tree fire scene is just another dazzling VFX feat by the wizards at Industrial Light and Magic.

    “I think when you do something for real you get a much more convincing performance from the actors,” he said. “I think that’s why a lot of the directors — Chris [Nolan], Rian [Johnson], J.J. [Abrams] — they value those moments where you’ve got a real look of terror, anxiety, excitement on the faces of the actors.”

    Corbould added that some of the excitement for him is seeing if a practical effect could even be pulled off.

    He said he wasn’t completely confident he could pull off the 18-wheeler truck flip he did in “The Dark Knight.”

    “There was a bit of banter between me and Chris Nolan,” he said. “Eventually we pulled it off.”

    But in today’s moviemaking landscape, it’s what’s done on the VFX side that has really upped everyone’s game in the special effects profession.

    “When CGI was first invented we all thought we're not going to have a job in five years,” Corbould said. “But what it actually did is it allowed films to do even bigger visual effects and we had to enhance what they did — whether it's an asteroid hitting the ground or blowing 10 cars up in the air. It's a great marriage these days. It's a combination of practical and visual effects to make that great film — that's what we're striving to do.”

    Corbould's next task: Making our hearts melt for Winnie the Pooh in the upcoming Disney release, "Christopher Robin."

    SEE ALSO: The amount of money The Rock gets paid for a single movie is unheard of in Today's movie business

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why 555 is always used for phone numbers on TV and in movies

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    US troops Germany Remagen World War II

    Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the old Roman town of Remagen, about halfway between Dusseldorf and Frankfurt on the Rhine River, at the end of World War II was the 1,000-foot, double-track Ludendorff railroad bridge.

    Despite the bridge's presence, Remagen didn't really factor into Allied plans as they stormed across France and Belgium in late 1944. The geography of the town, with narrow roads and imposing cliffs, made it unsuitable for a military crossing.

    But the swift Allied advance toward Germany was blunted in autumn 1944 by supply problems and renewed resistance by German forces, themselves invigorated by the prospect of defending of their homeland.

    After Allied forces halted and flattened the bulge created by a massive and ferocious German offensive in winter 1944, attention turned to how to cross the Siegfried line at Germany's western border and the Rhine River beyond it.

    Plans were drawn up to thrust into the German heartland north and south of Remagen. The US 9th Armored Division — nicknamed the "Phantom" division because of repeated German reports that it had been destroyed — was left in a backup role.

    But fate, and a few thousand pounds of faulty explosives, soon made the 9th Division the first military force cross the Rhine since Napoleon.

    NOW READ: What it was like in the room when Nazi Germany finally surrendered to end World War II in Europe

    SEE ALSO: 73 years ago, Allied bombers obliterated one of Europe's most beautiful cities — here are 18 photos of the bombing of Dresden

    As US troops approached the Rhine River in February and March 1945, the prospects of finding one of the 40 bridges across the river intact seemed dim — until Lt. Karl Timmermann and the men of his company came across the bridge at Remagen.

    Sources: Deutsche Welle, "The Bridge at Remagen"


    Timmermann and his troops advanced through the town of Remagen on the western side of the river, fighting off German defenders. German soldiers on the bridge prepared the numerous demolition charges they had planted to destroy the bridge.

    Just as Timmermann ordered his men to cross the span, its German defenders set off the explosives. Explosions rocked the superstructure, sending up plumes of smoke and debris. The US troops flung themselves to the ground for cover but soon stood up to see the bridge intact.

    "I asked for 600 kilos (1,320 pounds) of army explosives; I received 300 kilos (660 pounds) of commercial explosives," Willi Bratge, a German captain in charge of bridge security at the time, told Stars and Stripes in 1962. "They were to be exploded electrically; we activated the detonator; only one charge went off causing a crater in front of the bridge.

    "The main charge did not go off; a tank round must have hit the pipe carrying the cable to the explosives," he added.

    Jacob Kleebach, then a sergeant of the bridge security force who became a carpenter in Remagen after the war, differed: "All those stories are not true. Nobody knows. It just didn't explode."


    American troops scrambled across what remained of the Ludendorff Bridge, backed up by rifle, machine-gun, and tank fire suppressing the German soldiers attempting to beat them back. As they sprinted across the railroad tracks toward the eastern bank, US troops cut every wire they spotted, hoping to avert further demolition.

    Sgt. Alex Drabik, running for his life through a storm of German fire, was the first infantryman to set foot west of the Rhine. Soon behind him was Timmermann.

    Back in the US, on the evening of March 7, Mary Timmermann, at work at the Goldenrod Cafe, got a long-distance call. She was apprehensive. She had two sons in the US Army in Germany and brothers fighting on the German side.

    "This is the Omaha World-Herald calling," the voice boomed, according to Ken Hechler's 1957 book, "The Bridge at Remagen.""Your son Karl has just crossed the Remagen bridge. You know what that means?"

    "I know what it means to me: Is he hurt?" she replied.

    "No, he's not hurt. But listen to this: Karl Timmermann was the first officer of an invading army to cross the Rhine River since Napoleon," the voice told her.

    "Napoleon I don't care about," she said. "How is my Karl?"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    35 big tech predictions for 2018Technology is increasingly disrupting every part of our daily lives.

    Smart speakers and voice assistants let us interact with our homes and with retailers in new and seamless ways.

    Smartphones are taking over as the dominant shopping device.

    Viewers continue to move away from traditional TV toward digital platforms.

    And the list is growing.

    Nearly every industry has been disrupted by digital technologies over the past 10 years. And in 2018, we expect to see more transformative developments affect our businesses, careers, and lives.

    BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a list of 35 Big Tech Predictions for 2018 across Apps and Platforms, Digital Media, Payments, Internet of Things, E-Commerce, Fintech, and Transportation & Logistics. Some of these major predictions include:

    • Cryptocurrencies will become more widely accepted
    • Google and Apple will challenge Amazon in the smart speaker space
    • The resurgence of the VR market
    • The real self-driving car race will begin
    • Drone regulations will relax
    • Alibaba’s international expansion
    • Gen Z will become a major focal point for media companies and advertisers
    • Payment security will become paramount
    • Smart home devices will take off

    This comprehensive list of 35 predictions can be yours for free today. As an added bonus, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive free newsletter, BI Intelligence Daily.

    To get your copy of this FREE report, simply click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    trader hide

    • For much of the past few years, investors have had plentiful options when it comes to hedging to the downside.
    • Goldman Sachs argues that markets are going through a major change that's threatening traders' ability to feel safe in their investments.

    Whether you've been a staunch bull or skeptical bear over the past few years, there have always been places to hide if you want to get away from it all.

    Treasurys, gold, and safe-haven currencies like the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc have been reliable hedges of sorts, providing needed fallback returns during risk-off environments.

    That's no longer the case, and it has left traders with "no places to hide," Goldman Sachs says.

    Screen Shot 2018 03 13 at 10.34.36 AM

    The firm notes the diverging performance of Treasurys and other haven assets, marking a reversal from last year when they were moving in lockstep. This development challenges the reliability of what have historically been viewed as surefire hedges.

    Goldman attributes the market shake-up to two drivers it says have thrown the long-standing Goldilocks market— characterized by strong growth without inflation — out of whack.

    The first is the pressure caused by higher rates and monetary tightening from the Federal Reserve. While the market largely expected the central bank's initial rate hikes, they've still led to a "rate shock environment," Goldman says. The firm also blames an unexpectedly weak dollar, which it says has been driven by global growth.

    Another measure informing Goldman's conclusion that effective hedges are scarce is the degree to which traditional haven assets are tracking the Cboe Volatility Index, known as the VIX. None of the 21 assets Goldman looked at had a positive beta to the VIX, which has led to "diversification desperation," it said. (See the chart below for details.)

    For context, the VIX trades inversely to the benchmark S&P 500 roughly 80% of the time, suggesting it's an effective hedge for the equity index. Theoretically, if haven assets are trading with a positive beta to the VIX, they should be doing their job as hedges. But that's apparently not the case right now.

    "No safe havens — and no assets or equity sectors — have had a positive beta to the VIX recently," Goldman strategists led by Ian Wright wrote in a note to clients. "Finding effective hedges in the cash space will continue to be difficult going forward as rates rise and Goldilocks fades."

    Screen Shot 2018 03 13 at 10.54.00 AM

    SEE ALSO: The head of a $1 trillion ETF provider shares a bold prediction for the record-shattering industry

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why North Korea sent hundreds of cheerleaders to the Olympics

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    mnuchin money

    Scrutiny over how some members of President Donald Trump's cabinet have spent taxpayer money isn't dying down.

    The latest official to come under the microscope is Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was found to have cost taxpayers more than $1 million in combined airfare after taking eight separate government trips during a an eight-month period last year.

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit government watchdog group, obtained documents detailing Mnuchin's travels after filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

    Mnuchin isn't the only Trump administration official who has come under fire for alleged misuse of taxpayer funds.

    Here are others who have been criticized for wasteful spending:

    SEE ALSO: Interior secretary Ryan Zinke's office spent $139,000 for construction on an office door

    DON'T MISS: EPA chief Scott Pruitt says he has to fly first class because a 'toxic' political environment puts him in danger

    Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury

    Between March and October last year, Mnuchin racked up more than $1 million in airfare, according to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit government watchdog group.

    In every instance, Mnuchin flew on military aircraft rather than on commercial, which would have cost far less.

    In August 2017, Mnuchin came under fire for a a $26,900 flight to Kentucky on an Air Force jet, a trip that coincided with the August 21 solar eclipse. Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, viewed the eclipse from the lawn of Fort Knox, just outside the eclipse's path of totality.

    The Treasury secretary's activities also raised questions when it was reported that Mnuchin requested to fly on a US military jet for his honeymoon to Europe. The trip could have cost $25,000 per hour, but it was ultimately scrapped after consideration by officials at the Treasury Department.

    Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior

    On March 8, the Associated Press reported that Zinke's office spent nearly $139,000 to renovate three sets of office doors allegedly in need of repair.

    A spokesperson for Zinke later explained the situation and said the secretary was not a part of the decision to authorize the payment.

    "The secretary was not aware of this contract but agrees that this is a lot of money for demo, install, materials, and labor," Heather Swift, the spokesperson, said in a statement. "Between regulations that require historic preservation and outdated government procurement rules, the costs for everything from pencils to printing to doors is astronomical."

    An official at the Interior Department told CNN that the doors being renovated were so damaged that they weren't able to stop rainwater from coming in during a storm.

    Before Thursday's news about the office doors surfaced, Zinke was involved in another spending controversy. The Associated Press reported in December that Zinke spent more than $53,000 on three helicopters trips.

    Those trips entailed:

    • $39,000 on a helicopter tour above national monuments in Nevada
    • $8,000 on a round trip ride to an emergency management exercise in West Virginia
    • $6,200 on a trip to Virginia to visit a Revolutionary War battlefield and attend a meeting

    Zinke called the reports "total fabrications and a wild departure from reality."

    Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

    Earlier this month, Carson came under firewhen his staff reportedly said they were attempting to cancel an order for a $31,000 mahogany dining set to replace the 50-year-old table currently in Carson's office. 

    Carson's business manager said the secretary intended to cancel the order, but that it might not be possible.

    "HUD is a bureaucracy, so everything is complicated. The person they contracted has already spent $14,000 making the table," Armstrong Williams told The New York Times. "While his intentions are to cancel it, we have to see what happens."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Donald Trump

    • Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe reportedly kept memos regarding President Donald Trump.
    • The memos are said to be similar to those kept by former FBI director James Comey about his interactions with Trump.
    • If McCabe 's memos are anything like Comey's, they would significantly bolster the special counsel Robert Mueller's obstruction-of-justice case against Trump.

    Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe created memos regarding President Donald Trump, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

    A person with direct knowledge of the matter told the AP that the memos are similar to those kept by former FBI director James Comey, which detailed his interactions with the president.

    McCabe was fired from the FBI late Friday night, less than 24 hours before he was set to retire with full pension benefits. The firing came amid an internal Department of Justice investigation into his handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and his role in approving unauthorized disclosures to the media about the inquiry.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Friday that he fired McCabe based on recommendations from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the FBI's Office of Personal Responsibility (OPR). Sessions' decision came despite his statement last year that he would recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation, the Clinton email investigation, and the Clinton Foundation.

    McCabe's ouster came after he was the target of a string of public attacks from Trump and his allies, who accused McCabe of putting his thumb on the scale in favor of Clinton.

    Meanwhile, McCabe said Friday night that he had been "singled out" because of the events he witnessed in the aftermath of Trump's decision to fire Comey last May.

    McCabe is one of three top FBI officials Comey apprised of his conversations with Trump. All three have since been fired, resigned, or reassigned within the bureau.

    The White House initially said Comey was fired because of the way he handled the Clinton email investigation. But Trump later said on national television that "this Russia thing" was a factor in his decision. He also reportedly told two top Russian officials that Comey's ouster had taken "great pressure" off of him.

    Shortly after the FBI director was terminated, The New York Times reported that Comey created memos documenting conversations with Trump that he believed may have crossed a line. 

    In one memo, Comey said Trump had asked him to shut down the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned from his position one day before the alleged conversation.

    Comey later testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump also repeatedly asked him for his loyalty and complained about the "cloud" the Russia investigation was casting over his presidency. Comey told lawmakers he saw the comments as an attempt to push him to swiftly end the investigation.

    Those interactions — and Comey's subsequent firing — now make up the basis of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether Trump sought to obstruct justice in the Russia probe when he dismissed Comey as FBI director last May.

    If McCabe had similar interactions with the president about the Russia investigation, it would significantly bolster the obstruction case against Trump.

    The AP reported that it's unclear whether McCabe's memos have been turned over to Mueller.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Jets fans

    • The New York Jets pulled off a monster trade with the Indianapolis Colts, giving up their No. 6, No. 37, and No. 49 picks, as well as their 2019 second-round pick for the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
    • The move suggests that the Jets believe their quarterback of the future will still be on the board with the third pick, and don't want to miss their shot at picking him up.
    • Experts are split on whether or not the move was a smart one for the Jets.

    The New York Jets are moving up to the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, suggesting they are hoping to snag its preferred quarterback of the future.

    The move came at a fairly steep price, with the Jets sending their No. 6, No. 37, and No. 49 pick to the Colts, as well as their 2019 second-round pick, in order to move up three spots at the top of the draft. The extra picks will go a long way towards helping Indianapolis build an offensive line that can protect quarterback Andrew Luck.

    The Jets had initially hoped to sign Kirk Cousins in free agency to solve their quarterback woes, but after Cousins chose to take his talent to Minneapolis, New York re-signed veteran Josh McCown and brought in Teddy Bridgewater to add depth at quarterback. Now, they'll have the third pick in a draft loaded with quarterback talent and enough veteran talent to let the rookie develop at his own pace.

    Experts and analysts seemed split on whether or not the move was a smart one for the Jets. For some, the cost of moving up was a drastic over-payment, but others noted that if you do wind up drafting your next franchise quarterback, then the trade is not only justifiable, but an incredible value.

    NFL Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson developed a draft pick value chart in the 1980s in an attempt to compare the value of picks relative to each other in the NFL Draft. By his metric — which overvalues picks at the top of the draft — the Colts came out on top of the trade, but it was still a reasonable transaction between both parties given that the Jets were the ones that wanted to move up.

    That said, if you go by other metrics — such as's draft pick value chart— the Colts end up much further out on top, with their return almost doubling the value of the No. 3 pick they traded away. Experts and sports fans took to Twitter to express their delight, embarrassment, and cautious optimism regarding the trade.

    The trade is also having ramifications for teams across the league looking to set themselves up for draft success, as the move up the draft board indicates that the Jets are looking to take a quarterback at the top, leaving teams like the Bills to scramble as they might be forced to go with their second option.

    We'll have no way of knowing whether or not this trade worked out for the Jets for at least a couple of years — if they wind up finding their next franchise quarterback, it will go down as one of the smartest moves of the 2018 offseason. But on paper, it still looks like the Colts cashed out pretty well.

    SEE ALSO: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT: Here's what the experts are predicting for all 32 first-round picks

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    trader celebration

    • As volatility has picked up in equities, it has become increasingly important to identify specific areas of the stock market poised for strength.
    • Bank of America Merrill Lynch is highly constructive in the near term on one group that has everything going for it at the moment.

    When market sell-offs hit, it's usually the smaller, less liquid stocks that get hurt the most.

    But last month, when the stock market suffered its first 10% correction in years, the opposite happened. Large-cap companies actually fell more than their small-cap counterparts, bucking conventional wisdom.

    And if they didn't already have enough going for them, small-caps proceeded to beat their larger peers on the way back up. Now, the group's double dip of resilience and good fortune has it poised to shatter records.

    3 14 18 small vs large cap COTD

    So how did small-caps find themselves in this situation? The Bank of America Merrill Lynch equity strategist Dan Suzuki has identified three main drivers.

    First, he notes that the relative illiquidity seen in small-caps actually benefited them during the early-February market meltdown, which was worsened by forced selling in volatility products. Since small-caps are more thinly traded, they weren't as vulnerable to sharp, sudden price movements.

    Second, Suzuki highlights the new tax law as having an outsize positive impact on small-caps. He says the group, on average, paid higher taxes before the cuts and would therefore see a bigger profitability boost.

    Third, he argues the escalating prospect of a global trade war will favor more domestically focused companies, such as small-caps. It's a dynamic that has already played out since President Donald Trump first announced tariffs on steel and aluminum, with small-caps outperforming broader indexes.

    Beyond those three factors and looking forward, Suzuki says small-caps are more appealing on a valuation basis. He bases this on how much small-cap prices have contracted since November, noting that both mid- and large-cap indexes have seen more moderate pullbacks, making them expensive by comparison.

    Don't believe Suzuki? Well, he has company on Wall Street, with Goldman Sachs also espousing the positive characteristics of small-caps. In the weeks following February's 10% correction, Goldman highlighted small-caps as one of the two best stock market bets, on an investment-factor basis.

    "We maintain our tactically bullish stance on small-caps over large-caps given the accelerating economic and corporate profit outlook," Suzuki wrote in a client note. "The near-term risks appear firmly to the upside."

    SEE ALSO: 'No places to hide': Global markets are undergoing a major change that's left investors at serious risk

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    maturity of AI solutions

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

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

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

     In full, the report:

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

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
    2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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    NCAA Tournament March Madness North Carolina

    • March Madness began on March 13.
    • There are "First Four" games on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the real fun starts on Thursday, March 15.
    • The Final Four is on March 31, with the championship on April 2.

    March Madness is here.

    Below is a complete schedule for all 67 games, complete with when they start and what network you can watch them on. All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time.

    You can catch up with an updated bracket here.

    Here's a full roundup of how to watch March Madness

    Second Round

    Saturday, March 17

    (1) Villanova vs. (9) Alabama 12:10 p.m. CBS
    (2) Duke vs. (7) Rhode Island 2:40 p.m. CBS
    (5) Kentucky vs. (13) Buffalo 5:15 p.m. CBS
    (3) Tennessee vs. (11) Loyola Chicago 6:10 p.m. TNT
    (1) Kansas vs. (8) Seton Hall 7:10 p.m. TBS
    (4) Gonzaga vs. (5) Ohio State 7:45 p.m. CBS
    (3) Texas Tech vs. (6) Florida 8:40 p.m. TNT
    (3) Michigan vs. (6) Houston 9:40 p.m. TBS

    Sunday, March 18

    (10) Butler vs. (2) Purdue 12:10 p.m. CBS
    (11) Syracuse vs. (3) Michigan State 2:40 p.m. CBS
    (7) Texas A&M vs. (2) North Carolina 5:15 p.m. CBS
    (7) Nevada vs. (2) Cincinnati 6:10 p.m. TNT
    (5) Clemson vs. (4) Auburn 7:10 p.m. TBS
    (16) UMBC vs. (9) Kansas State 7:40 p.m. truTV
    (9) Florida State vs. (1) Xavier 8:40 p.m. TNT
    (13) Marshall vs. (5) West Virginia 9:40 p.m. TBS

    Sweet 16

    Thursday, March 22

    TBA vs. TBA 7:09 p.m. CBS
    TBA vs. TBA 7:27 p.m. TBS
    TBA vs. TBA 9:39 p.m. CBS
    TBA vs. TBA 9:57 p.m. TBS

    Friday, March 23

    TBA vs. TBA 7:09 p.m. CBS
    TBA vs. TBA 7:27 p.m. TBS
    TBA vs. TBA 9:39 p.m. CBS
    TBA vs. TBA 9:57 p.m. TBS

    Elite Eight

    Saturday, March 24

    TBA vs. TBA 6:09 p.m. TBS
    TBA vs. TBA 8:49 p.m. TBS

    Sunday, March 25

    TBA vs. TBA 2:20 p.m. CBS
    TBA vs. TBA 5:05 p.m. CBS

    Final Four

    Saturday, March 31

    TBA vs. TBA 6:09 p.m. TBS
    TBA vs. TBA 8:49 p.m. TBS

    National championship

    Monday, April 2

    TBA vs. TBA 9:20 p.m. TBS

    More March Madness:

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    Donald Trump

    • President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that the "fake news" media was "beside themselves that [FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe] was caught, called out and fired."
    • He also reiterated that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the 2016 US election.
    • But he added that "as many are now finding out," there was "tremendous leaking, lying and corruption" from the top ranks of the FBI, Department of Justice, and State Department.

    President Donald Trump blasted out a series of tweets Saturday afternoon weighing in on the firing of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and reiterating that his campaign did not collude with Russia during the 2016 US election.

    "As the House Intelligence Committee has concluded, there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign," he tweeted. "As many are now finding out, however, there was tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State. #DrainTheSwamp"

    McCabe was fired from the FBI late Friday night, less than 24 hours before he was set to retire with full pension benefits. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the decision to terminate the FBI's second-in-command, based on an internal DOJ investigation which found that McCabe made unauthorized disclosures to the media during the bureau's Hillary Clinton email probe.

    Sessions' decision came despite his statements last year that he would recuse himself from matters related to the Russia investigation, the Clinton email investigation, and the Clinton Foundation. 

    The president said Friday night that McCabe's firing was "a great day" for the men and women of the FBI and for democracy.

    On Saturday, he tacked on, "The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!"

    Former FBI director James Comey hit back at Trump shortly after.

    "Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not," he tweeted. The statement came as Comey prepares to kick off a national tour and PR campaign to promote his upcoming book, which is said to be a detailed account of his conversations and interactions with the president prior to his firing last May. 

    Trump's attacks on McCabe, meanwhile, were based on information contained in an October 2016 Wall Street Journal article.

    McCabe's wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, mounted an unsuccessful run for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015. The Journal reported on October 24, 2016 that her campaign received $675,000 in donations from the Virginia Democratic Party and from Common Good VA, the super PAC run by Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton supporter. None of the donations came from Clinton or her family.

    Trump latched onto the revelations, accusing McCabe of corruption and anti-Trump bias, based on his wife's political campaign.

    McCabe wasn't in charge of the Clinton investigation at the time, and didn't take on an "oversight role" in the probe until February 2016, long after his wife lost her election bid.

    The FBI also released a trove of internal emails and documents in January that confirmed McCabe was not warned against becoming involved in the Clinton investigation but recused himself anyway following The Journal's report about his wife's campaign.

    McCabe said in a statement Friday night that he had been "singled out" and targeted because of the events he witnessed after Trump fired Comey. 

    Trump's conversations with Comey and his firing now make up the basis of the special counsel Robert Mueller's obstruction-of-justice case against Trump.

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    Kim Kardashian

    • Kim Kardashian West shared an unfiltered picture of her new baby Chicago on Instagram.
    • The comments are full of fans gushing over Chicago, and saying how she looks just like Kim.

    Kim Kardashian West shared a new photo of baby Chicago on Instagram, and her followers can't stop gushing over the sweet newborn. Chicago was born on January 15, but Kardashian has kept the young addition to their family mostly off most social media. 

    She shared the first photo of Chicago on Instagram at the end of February, but both baby and mom were filtered with  pink bear ears. In today's post, Kim simply shared an unedited photo of Chicago with the caption "morning cutie."

    Morning cutie 💗

    A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Mar 17, 2018 at 7:15am PDT on

    With over three millions likes and hundreds of comments racked up within just four hours, nearly everyone is sharing the same sentiment: Chicago looks just like her mom. 

    "She looks more like you than [North and Saint]," one person wrote.

    There was a chorus of, "She looks like you!" comments, too. 

    "Beautiful! She's got Kim's eyes," another fan said.

    "Omg she is your twin," one person said. "She is so beautiful. You and Kanye have some beautiful kids."

    Hair Hack- I crushed up vitamin C and mixed it with shampoo to get the pink color out. Full deets on my app

    A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:49pm PDT on

    Kardashian, a 37-year-old mom, now has three children with husband Kayne West. She recently said she might consider having a fourth child through a surrogate, like Chicago, but that would likely be their last one.

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